Maybe that was why she couldn’t keep the exaggerated sway from her hips as she walked inside Stable’s Bar and Grill. Why she was so aware of the way her jeans gripped her ass as she half danced everywhere. Why every time the seam of her pants rubbed her clit, she shifted position to tease herself.
Jackie lived for passion, romances with a short wick and a big dick. Her only rule was to never sleep with her friends. Never make it complicated.
Today was the day she was going to break her own rule.
She shrugged out of her coat and tossed it on the barstool in a heap of suede. She looked up at the screen. The football game was starting.
“Hey Jack!” a bartender yelled to her from all the way down the bar. “Whatcha want?”
Hawk was the guy’s name, or at least that’s what he went by. She couldn’t be sure he hadn’t coined the name himself, since he’d never let go of his sandy brown faux-hawk.
She yelled back her order and he nodded. A group of girls and a couple of guys crowded around the hub of the bar, salivating over Hawk’s blue eyes and sleeve stretching muscles. Giggling and drinking fruity drinks. He smiled, turning his charm and dimples loose on them.
Jackie grinned to herself and checked Facebook on her phone. All her friends from back east were talking trash about the upcoming game. She replied to a couple of them before the dark beer appeared in front of her.
“When am I ever going to see you with a boyfriend?” Hawk asked.
She rolled her eyes. “Maybe when I see you with one.”
Laughing, he leaned toward her. “Seriously, baby girl. You’re only young once.”
Then he was gone, off to barkeep and flirt with whoever would leave him the best tip.
Jackie pulled her shiny black hair into a messy ponytail and looked around the restaurant. She was here every Sunday and Monday to watch the games. All the regulars were there, from the reserved old married men drinking beer in the corner to the loud group of guys around her age.
Her gaze rested on the quiet blonde in the abrasive group. He’d been blessed with watchful blue eyes and a pouty lower lip she wanted to suck. Always with a different girl, he was the type of man she’d normally go to for a fling.
He’d do, but he wasn’t the one she wanted.
“Dear God. You’re not staring at him again, are you?” a deep voice said behind her.
Jackie froze. She’d know that voice anywhere. Even with her back to him.
Fighting a smile, she grabbed her beer and turned around. “Do you always have to sneak up on me like that?”
His white teeth were bright in contrast to his olive skin as he grinned. He signaled Hawk for a beer and turned his emerald eyes to her. “You’re never going to get him by eye ball fucking him from here.”
“I am not ‘eye ball fucking’ him.”
“Yes you are. You’re the only girl I’ve ever met this into football and you’re drooling over a fan of your team’s worst enemy. It doesn’t make sense.”
She shrugged. “I can’t help it. He’s cute.”
“Yeah. Guys are just fucking adorable.” Washington’s beer came and he thanked Hawk before he turned his attention back to her. “It’s been awhile for you, hasn’t it? You probably just need to get laid.”
“I really do,” she answered coyly, fingering the rim of her beer. “Know anyone…cute?”
His lips curved in the faintest of smiles. He kept his eyes on her as he took a sip from his glass and put it down, licking the excess from his mouth with precision.
That tongue. She imagined it diving into her cunt, her juice dripping from the stubble on his chin as those beautiful eyes were trained on hers.
Jackie’s breath hitched as they looked at each other. She swallowed. Her clothes were scratchy against her hot skin. Shifting position, her thong slipped through her nectar and lodged in the groove between her pussy lips.
A crash in the kitchen severed the tension in the air between them.
“I got it!” someone yelled.
When she looked back at Washington, his eyes were on the TV screen above them. “Game’s back on,” he murmured.
So it was. She exhaled slowly and looked up at the television.
This might be tougher than she’d thought.
Hawk brought her another drink with her burger and fries, shooting her a sympathetic look.
She shrugged, giving him license to leave.
In the four months since she’d moved here, she and Washington had sat at the bar together every football game, bantering and jeering, never getting too personal. It was the way she liked it. And, she presumed, the way he did too. Existing only in the present, only with each other. Never in the dragging riptides of their pasts or other personal relationships.
What she wanted now was between his legs, not in his skull. Just the thought of his sculpted body pumping into her was enough to make her nipples hard. Squeezing her legs together, she ground her clit into the seam of her jeans.
“So,” he said.
She blinked. Another timeout? She hadn’t even noticed the game had gone to commercial.
Jackie turned to him. “So what?”
He swiveled to face her in the bar stool. “When are you going to get a boyfriend?”
The words, coming from his lips, jolted her.
Trying to ignore the way her stomach seemed to be doing flips, she spread her hands. “Is that the question of the night? Hawk asked me the same thing. It’s not that weird. I just don’t date.”
“Yeah but you should. You’re a good girl, Jackie. You should be with someone that appreciates everything you are.” The abrupt seriousness of his tone blocked out the rest of the restaurant.
Her eyebrows raised. “Really.”
Clenching his jaw tight, he glanced up at the television screen. “Yeah.”
“Like…you?” She meant for the words to come out light and flirty, but her voice was too high pitched.
Washington’s green eyes met hers again, his expression flat. “I don’t date.”
She lifted her chin, trying to read his face. There was a look in his eyes. Lost. Haunted. Pained. Yet something else, something….
His eyes lowered, lingering over every curve of her body. Warmth spread over her as if she could feel touch of his gaze. From her throat to the swell of her cleavage and the part of her legs.
She wanted to fuck him.
Wincing, he looked at the television screen. The game was back on.
Jackie was suddenly very aware of how tight her top was, how much it clung to her breasts. She discretely pulled it away from her body and let it snap back. Then she reached for her beer and looked up at the television. Cleared her throat.
“If you don’t date, then don’t hound me again about it.” She took a swig of beer to cool herself down.
His shoulders tensed in front of her.
The football game continued. They spoke sparingly to each other about the plays, the normal lightness of their conversations missing. For once, she couldn’t keep her eyes on football. She was itchy, dying to be touched, needing an orgasm.
Had she been wrong to have tried to flirt with him? Should she have just gone for the fling instead?
She bit her lip and looked away, clasping her legs together.
The quiet blonde guy caught her attention. His right arm was hidden under the table. The blonde girl next to him was biting her lip and leaning back, eyes hooded as she pretended to follow the conversation between the others at the table. Jackie couldn’t help but notice the way the girl’s breasts moved. Like an aftershock to a thrust. Over and over, to the flexing beat of the guy’s arm next to her.
Jackie’s mouth went dry.
No. Way. Was he really…
“Is that hot?” Washington’s husky voice in her ear scattered goosebumps over her shoulders. “Watching him finger that girl’s cunt? Thinking no one’s watching? Are you wishing it was you?”
She inhaled shakily, her pussy spasming. Turning her head slowly, she met his gaze. They were inches from each other. She could feel his hot breath on her cheek as she looked into his beautiful green eyes, framed by long dark lashes.
“Go for it.” He sat back on the stool and took a sip of beer.
She stared at him.
“Washington?” Her heart thrummed hard in her chest. “What the hell?”
He looked up at the screen. “Just saying. You don’t want to be in a relationship, but you want that guy over there. You’re not doing anything about that either.”
Nodding slowly, she knew he was right. Not to mention that she was starting to think she was too into Washington, and that wasn’t good for her. Caring too much about a man never got her anywhere but hurt.
As he’d said, she just needed to get laid. Without the drama of attachment.
Jackie glanced back at the guy in the booth. His blue eyes met hers and he smiled, the little hollow in his lower lip deepening. She raised an eyebrow, then looked at the girl next to him. Smirking, he brought his hand to his mouth and licked his fingers.
Her mouth dropped open and she almost laughed. It was too much. She turned away instead, her hand over her mouth.
“God what a douche bag,” Washington muttered.
Giggling, she swatted his arm. “Some people might think that’s hot.”
“Yeah? Did you?” he asked.
Still smiling, she rolled her eyes and shrugged. “Nah, not really.”
He didn’t say anything. Then he looked up, reading the closed captioning on the sportscasters’ reviews as he sipped his beer.
She looked over at the blonde guy again. He inclined his head once to her and licked his bottom lip.
Jackie smiled. Shook her head and looked around the bar absently.
Okay, so normally she might find licking his fingers hot. It was dirty and sexy. Except that it wasn’t, because he wasn’t focused on the girl next to him, the one whose cream he’d licked from his fingers. He was focused on Jackie as he’d done it, taking away from the intimacy it would’ve evoked.
She peeked at Washington.
His eyes were on the television but it seemed as though he was looking past it, seeing nothing. Jaw clenching and unclenching, he didn’t look back at her. He just stared at the half time game, the tumbling cheerleaders of the other team.
“When was the last time you had a girlfriend?” she asked.
Where did that come from? She was as surprised as he looked.
“You’re asking me something personal?” he said.
“Right.” Jackie bit her lower lip.
Looking into his green eyes, she realized she wanted to know him. Maybe the girlfriend thing was important, maybe not. But there was something deeper inside him than the things they normally talked about. Something that rang every word and action between them flat.
“Tell me,” she said.
“Almost two years.” His eyes never left her own. “You?”
She glanced at the ground. Thought of her asshole ex, Stephen. Controlling. Whining. Yet he’d been the one to cheat on her. “About the same. Why don’t you date?”
“Why don’t you?”
“Men cheat. A lot. My last three boyfriends, actually. What happened with your ex to ruin you for relationships?”
Washington turned to face her, his lips parted with a surprised expression. “Why the fuck would someone cheat on you? You’re the perfect girl.”
“Thanks.” She smiled. “Maybe I have terrible taste in men. Maybe you’re all dicks. But for the third time, why don’t you date? What did your ex do to turn you away from having a girlfriend?”
“Nothing.” Turning away from her, he caught Hawk’s eye to signal for the bill.
“Nothing? Did you cheat on her?”
“No.” His voice was sharp. “I wouldn’t do that to her.”
He wouldn’t look at her, just held up a credit card. Hawk grabbed it on his way to the register.
She glanced at the bartender and back to her friend. “Don’t be a dick, Wash. I asked you a question. I answered yours.”
“I’ll tell you outside.”
By the time he ushered her out the swinging door, her body was pulsing with nervousness. She wanted to get to know him. The real him. His past. Everything. The need had penetrated her heart, pulled all the logic from her mind. It was fucking ridiculous, but she couldn’t stop.
Why wouldn’t he tell her?
Jackie followed him out the door and hissed at the cold weather, pushing her hands deeper in her coat pockets. Construction earlier in the day left the stench of tar in the air as they walked toward her apartment.
“Washington. Jesus Christ, it’s cold. Why couldn’t you tell me inside?”
He looked ahead. “I was in the army.”
“That’s…interesting. But it doesn’t answer my question.”
His lips twisted in a smile and he glanced over at her. “Give me a chance.”
She nodded, biting her lip.
“Two years ago, I was discharged from the army. I proposed to my girlfriend when she picked me up from the airport. She said yes.”
He was married?
Jackie felt numb, staring at her friend like she barely knew him. Hanging onto each thread of words that came from his mouth as they walked to her apartment.
“I didn’t have a ring, but we were going to look at them the next day. We’d been dating since high school.” He shoved his hands in his coat pockets, staring straight ahead. “The day we went looking for rings, we were mugged by a few guys. For the first time in years, I didn’t have a gun. All of them did.”
“Wash,” Jackie whispered, her heart thudding hard and heavy in her chest.
“They shot us. Amber didn’t live. I did.”
She stopped walking.
He turned around. “You asked. That’s it. Anyway, it was a long time ago.”
Not long enough. The shadows under his eyes could attest to that. Not to mention that he walked her home after every game, ignoring her “it’s only three blocks” protests. He didn’t care that she kept a knife in her pocket, that she knew jiu jitsu, or any other protests that she came up with to show that she could take care of herself.
I know you can take care of yourself, but there’s nothing more dangerous than a beautiful woman walking the streets at night alone, he always told her.
“Aren’t you cold?” he asked. “Let’s go.”
“You’ve never told me that before.”
“Yeah. Not that you wanted to know anything personal.”
She stared at him, jarred out of her pity. “You think if I had given your bullshit the time of day in the beginning, we’d be friends now? You fed me line after line. None of it was true. None of it was this.”
“You’re right.” Washington pursed his lips. “Not that any of this really matters. We’re just friends.”
Jackie blinked. Looked all around the empty street. “Yes. We are.”
Putting one foot in front of the other, she clicked past him in her boots. The cold stung her ears as she walked, painfully aware of Washington’s encroaching footsteps. Aware of his body next to hers. How wholly she now wanted him–his body and his shattered heart.
Why? A sob story didn’t make him any more appealing.
They walked past another couple. Across a crosswalk. Another. Until they were nearly in front of her apartment.
She couldn’t help but think about him even as he walked beside her. His past, his present. How he treated women he was interested in fucking.
The way he treated her.
Stopping dead, her coat flared in front of her before settling back against her body. She felt the blood run from her face. The thought in her head was more of a feeling. Unquestionable. A certainty.
She trusted him.
When the hell did that happen? How…?
She whirled around to face him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked softly.
His eyebrows raised. “Me.”
Jackie swallowed. Parting her lips, she took a shaky step backwards up the stairs to her apartment and stopped. The extra few inches put her at eye level to him as she searched his face in the beam of light on the stairs.
The ways she wanted him were unreal. In bed or just right here on her doorstep, but it would be more than a lay. More than just an orgasm.
“Don’t look at me like that.” His voice rough, he turned his body to face hers, plane for plane, inclining his head. “You don’t want that. Unlock your door and go inside.”
Her pussy felt like it was melting. Hot, wet, dripping. Needy.
“Good night, Jackie.”
“Good night, Washington.”
Neither of them moved.
He narrowed his green eyes, tilted his head. “What are you doing?”
“I have no idea.” Leaning forward, she stretched her hands over his shoulders and around the warm skin of his neck, sliding her fingers onto his nape and skimming his short hair.
Closing his eyes, he touched his forehead to hers. Took a deep breath and reopened them. He shook his head before taking her face in his palms.
“You’re fucking impossible,” he whispered.
His lips brushed hers, then came back for more. Pillowing against her mouth, drawing her further toward him. Her breasts heaved, burrowing into his chest as his arms twined around her.
He took a step forward, lifting her by her waist, over the next two steps and further, not setting her down until her back was to the front door. His tongue pushed inside her mouth, his erection hard against her pelvis.
If there was never warmth, never light in this city, there was now. Coursing through her veins. Igniting with every touch as the light in front of the building combed through his hair. Her cunt was a veritable marshland in summer.
Washington broke away from the magnetism of their kiss, breathing heavily even as his lips skimmed the line of her jaw. “It’s been too long for you, Jackie. Turning to me for this.”
Her hands left him and she fumbled into her purse for her keys.
“No.” He snatched the bag from her grip and let it fall to the ground.
“Shut up. Put your arms around my neck.”
A couple to the side of them hurried across the street, disappearing behind a corner.
Jackie looked up at him.
The feral look on his face was back.
She obeyed, slipping her hands around his warm neck. “Right here?”
“That’s right.” He opened the buttons to her long coat and started in on her jeans. “Out in the open. Too dirty for you?”
God, she was aching for him.
“No,” Jackie whispered.
“It should be.”
Her only answer was to pull his face down, pressing her lips against his. It was the slightest of kisses, the feeling surging not only south but to her heart. His lips were soft, cushioning her own as the heat from her pussy caught fire to the rest of her.
Washington’s mouth opened, his tongue moving into hers as his hands dipped under her jacket and then her shirt. His palms skimmed the shape of her body, brushing the underside of her breasts before falling to her waist. Further.
Their mouths broke apart, both of them gasping. She leaned her head back against the cold of the front door as his lips found the slope of her neck.
His fingers slid under the elastic of her dainty panties, slowly moving over her sensitive flesh until breaking through to her wet twat.
A moan escaped her mouth as she squirmed under his touch.
“Shhh.” He penetrated her soaking cunt, slowly pumping his fingers inside her. “I like how you go after what you want. How the rules of being a good girl don’t apply to you. That you fuck at your leisure. I’ve always wondered if you required rules behind closed doors, or if you’re lawless when you’re naked too.”
“Only one way to find out,” Jackie whispered shakily.
“No, baby. This is about you, not me.” He shoved down the waistband of her jeans, working his hand further into her lap, and sped up his rhythm inside her. “Your needs. Your desire. You’re burning with it. So wet and tight around my fingers.”
Jackie opened her eyes, trying to focus as his fingers pounded into her, his free knuckles rapping her clit. Pushing her head against the door and her hips out, her arms tightened around his neck.
“That’s it. Let go.” He gave it to her harder, leaning over her to run his tongue over the shell of her ear.
High pitched moans emitted from her throat, jumping with each thrust of his hand. Higher, higher, until she clamped down on him and rode out the orgasm that exploded from deep inside her pussy and sent sparks to the very tips of her fingers and toes.
Washington’s fingers pulled out of her, flickering over her sensitive clit and making her buck before exiting her panties. He slipped his hands under her blouse, wiping her cum over her stomach as he held her.
She leaned against him, inhaling the spicy cedar scent of his cologne.
“Jackie,” he prompted.
Sighing, she righted herself and looked up at him.
A smile pulled at her mouth. “We haven’t taken care of you yet. Come inside.”
“No.” He yanked her coat together and began buttoning it again. “This wasn’t about me. It was about you. You need to get laid.”
Jackie put her hands over his and waited until he looked her in the eyes. “You’re hard. Don’t tell me you don’t feel this intense thing between us. Come inside and fuck my brains out.”
He swallowed, his gaze raking over her body before looking deep into her eyes. Cupping her face, the aroma of her cum wafting into her nostrils, he brushed his lips against hers and pulled away. “I’m an asshole, Jacqueline. You’re better than that. So forget it. We’re just friends. Always will be.”
“You’re not an asshole.”
Washington stepped down the stairs slowly, looking at her. “I’ve always been an asshole. You barely know me.”
“Good night Jackie.”