“Torrey, I’ll admit I’m anxious. I don’t think you want me to say out loud what I am uneasy about.” Holt pulled out the chair closest to her and sat down. Stuart rounded the table and sat next to Joanna.
“You’ve gained more manners, I see.” Torrey’s flushed cheeks told him she’d rather not continue in the direction his thoughts were running.
“Always had them. You just never saw them enough to realize how polite and courteous I am.” Holt reached across Torrey, snagging a handful of oyster crackers. He tossed several into his mouth.
“I didn’t know you hadn’t eaten,” Stuart offered, nudging Joanna. “We got here earlier, figuring we’d meet you for dinner.”
“Depends on what you call eating and dinner.” Joanna’s emphasis on eating and dinner left little to any of their imaginations as she continued. “Don’t know about you and Torrey, Holt. I know who Stuart is eating for dessert, or his second course.”
“Water,” Holt coughed. Blast Joanna and her punning sense of humor. The cheesy grin she wore set ripples off in more places than Holt liked.
Torrey slid her glass of water in front of him. “Crackers a bit salty?” Her arched eyebrow and rolled eyes didn’t help.
Holt gulped water, swallowing. He reached for a napkin. If his eyes kept watering, he’d have to leave for fear of losing a contact. Dabbing his eyes, Holt kicked Stuart under the table.
Stuart startled. Sitting upright, he glared at Holt. “What the hell was that for?”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to, you know.” Holt hoped he plastered the best innocent grin he knew how to fake across his face. “Now that I have your attention, though, we could use a couple of fresh drinks. How about I buy and you get them?”
Holt tossed a twenty on the table. If Stuart didn’t pick up on the non-verbal signals, he deserved another kick, a well-placed kick in the seat of Stuart’s jeans if Holt could reach them.
Joanna claimed the twenty and rose. “Come on, Stuart. We’ll get the drinks. Torrey needs a fresh one. I know I do.”
* * * *
Torrey glanced over her shoulder as Stuart and Joanna threaded their way through the crowd toward the bar. She turned back, facing Holt. “Why are you here?”
She kept her hands below the table. Clenching and unclenching her hands did nothing to relieve the new flutters her stomach did each time Holt’s gaze ran over her. The heat rolled off him in huge waves, threatening to overwhelm her if she didn’t keep her icy shield in place. Problem was her hormones had different ideas. The man knew how to read her. He’d learned how to turn her on and keep the heat going. Chemistry didn’t need a catalyst with him.
“I’d ask you the same thing. Except I probably know why you’re here.” Holt laid his arm on the table and leaned forward. “Things didn’t work out, did they?”
Torrey scooted her chair further away. Even a bit of space might allow some air in to help cool down the blasts boiling up between them. “I’m here because I want to be. What do you mean it didn’t work out?”
Holt toyed with his napkin before his gaze met hers. She swallowed hard. His eyes smoldered like they had when she’d cried out his name as multiple orgasms claimed her. He wanted her just as he had then. She couldn’t deny her attraction either. This time she wasn’t going to jump in bed with him. Acting upon lust worked great if all she desired was another fling. Those were easy and came with a premium she wasn’t buying. Short and intense brought a slack in need but no long-term emotional connection to complement the physical satisfaction.
“If things had worked out, would you be here?” Torrey cringed at Holt’s emphasis on the word had. Damn, could he read her that easily? How much did he know?
“What if it hadn’t? I remember you saying that no woman would tie you down. You wanted to be free to pursue what came your way. You said I could do the same.” Torrey paused. Rubbing her lips together, she watched the glint in Holt’s eyes dim. She gripped her hands together under the table. Apologizing would only tell him what he said was true. Before he’d started dating another woman, he’d come close to taking a good chunk of her heart and sanity. Rumors flew hot and heavy concerning his involvement with the other woman. He’d never denied the juicy tales nor did he answer her e-mails and calls asking for clarification. What right did he think he had to sit here and challenge her?
Holt leaned closer. His hand reached for her. “Torrey, I know I said some dumb things in the past. And that line was the lamest. Truth is, two years ago I lived in the heat of the moment. The flash of passion ruled my libido.”
“Giving up already?” Torrey started to rock back on her heels away from Holt.
“Hold on, please. How about some good old-fashioned spooning with intercourse combined?” Holt reached up and fondled Torrey’s breasts. He scooted forward, captured each nipple in his mouth, sucked them, and let go. “I want to come together like we’ve done in the past if we can coordinate things.”
Torrey sighed. A stiff yawn followed. She looked at the bedside clock. Two p.m. While it wasn’t late on a normal day—what had been normal about yesterday or today?—they were both short on sleep and running on adrenaline from last night. A nap curled up in Holt’s arms felt right and made sense. Falling asleep in a postcoital embrace sounded wonderful. Later on at dinner, she’d tell him what her newfound feelings were. She’d take a chance on saying out loud the three words she whispered two years ago each time she saw him and kept hidden in her heart ever since, I love you.
Holt eased out from under Torrey and stood. “Make yourself comfortable, lady. I’m ready to finish what we started. I want to come long and hard deep inside you.”
Torrey rolled to her side. “Probably a pillow under my hip makes sense since you’re taller than me. That way you can ease into me from behind and still play with me as you like.”
Holt smiled and reached for the box of condoms sitting on the nightstand. “Neither of us is going to last long once I touch your clit. I know how wet you are.” He tore open the foil packet, eased the condom on, and kneeled on the bed. “Ready if you are, my darling.”
Torrey tried to vocalize her consent except her throat tightened on her, going dry from her mouth down to her vocal chords. All she could do was nod and smile. As she lay back on the pillows, she wondered how good Holt was at reading sign language. Not that she knew any. Maybe if she pointed, nodded, and smiled he might understand.
* * * *
Holt watched as Torrey kept enthusiastically nodding. He inhaled to keep from snorting and laughing. He’d gotten to her so much that she couldn’t speak. He wasn’t going to miss out on a golden opportunity. He reached out, capturing her nipples between his thumb and finger. He twisted and pulled like he’d done earlier, but this time he drew the pressure and pulled all the way out to the edge of her erect nipples.
Torrey arched her shoulders, forcing her breasts forward. Holt caught the look of pleasure flooding her face before she closed her eyes and exhaled. He let go of her nipples and followed her down on to the bed, bracing himself on his elbows and forearms so their chests were mere inches apart. Holt matched his breathing with Torrey’s. It was as if they were one in actions, thought, and focus. They lacked the last intimate physical connection, his cock deep within Torrey, rocking them to whatever number of mind-blowing orgasms they could reach before sleep overwhelmed them.
Torrey gently fondled him until his eyes met hers. She licked her lips and glanced at her hand. Holt gulped air as she tightened her hold on him. “Easy, darlin’. Much more of that and I’ll come.”
Holt rolled to his side as Torrey let go. “Come on top and ride us to the crest and back, love.”
Torrey swallowed hard and smiled. “Yes,” she managed to get out, despite her hoarseness.
Holding Holt with one hand, she used her other to steady herself as she straddled him. Moments later, she guided him deep within her. Holt placed his hands on her hips, stabilizing her jerky movements. “You set the pace,” he groaned on her next downward plunge.
* * * *
Torrey sucked in air as Holt rose to meet her. He held her steady barely moving his hips as he thrust rapidly in and out of her, stroking the fire waiting to explode deep in her belly. One last lunge deep within her and he fell back, breathing hard. “You are so wet,” he groaned. Holt’s hands dropped to his sides. “Baby, I don’t know how much more you can take. I’m ready to explode.”
Torrey smiled and ground her pussy tight against Holt, leaving no space between them as she began short jerks of her hips, mimicking what he’d done to her minutes before. “You said set the pace. I’m gonna enjoy the ride for a bit longer.” Holt groaned deep in his throat as Torrey tightened around him. The look on his face along with his short breaths said she had him right where she wanted him, hard, skirting the edge of a strong orgasm, and deep inside her.
Torrey picked up speed as her own need grew. Twice before at Holt’s encouragement, she’d ridden him. Both times, their mutual orgasms sent them both out of their bodies and into a space where nothing but being there together mattered. Of course, mind-blowing orgasms happened with others, but nothing compared to the aftercare that they lavished on each other. Torrey sucked in her stomach as tight as she could and milked Holt using the Kegel exercises she recently learned. The healthcare team at the shelter was right! Ripples set off more ripples and in turn created a stimulation that had Torrey panting along with Holt.
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