Ben had heard rumors of how forward—hell, how aggressive and promiscuous and forward—airline hostesses were, but he’d never come face-to-beautiful-face with one. Like this. Of all his recent travels. Three countries since last year.
But then again, he most definitely had not been looking.
Or was he reading into things? Maybe she was literally just helping him walk to his hotel room.
But what if she wasn’t just walking him? What if she was going inside? Helping him to the bed. For him to go inside.
Oh man, was he so drunk.
And queasy. A lump had formed in his throat keeping him from swallowing successfully. His palms were sweaty now. Did she notice? Because she was holding his clammy hand in hers, guiding him. God, she must’ve.
What would happen when they got to the room? Damn it, he got married so young. Jaime, and only Jaime. Fuck, what was the etiquette? The how of this?
She took the key from his other clammy hand. Okay, she’s just going to help with the key. Right? Or no?
Was she staying? Because he wanted that. For her to stay. So badly, he wanted that.
But, as they got closer to the room, he didn’t want that.
The guilt had crossed his threshold into code-red status. He didn’t deserve pleasure. He deserved nothing.
But, God, he could use the release. How long had he’d been so uptight, so visibly tense, even to the blunt assessment of this stunning stranger who knew nothing of his history, his loss?
His loss. How could he do this? To Jaime, to her memory? But she’d made him promise to move on. To live. And this woman holding his sweaty, trembling hand was leading him. He probably wouldn’t have been able to walk without her.
If he couldn’t walk one foot in front of the other, would he even be able to perform? He’d been out of practice for so long. Two years for Christ’s sake—being intimate, not walking. And not drunk, or hell, walking drunk. Damn it, this was bad.
Get it together. Two years isn’t that long.
Who was he kidding? It was forever! At least it felt like forever since he’d made love to his Jaime. From the day she’d been diagnosed. All the way up to now. Two forever years.
But you promised her, Ben.
Yes, but, this was too soon. What the fuck was he thinking anyway, that he could swing this with this caliber woman? Getting off with his right hand a few times a month wasn’t near enough, not for Preeya, with the celestial violet eyes.
He sighed a lungful of pathetic self-pity while he continued his march behind his gorgeous guide. “Almost to your room.”
“Okay.” The one utterance made his stomach turn and had him holding his middle with his one free hand. “I’m feeling a little–” he began, but then he paused his words, distracted by a soft whisper. A hush. He couldn’t make out the words. But then the whisper became a shout as quick as a switch. He shook his head from the shock, then glanced at Preeya. She definitely hadn’t heard it, she just continued leading him down the long, dank Boise hotel corridor. God, he was so drunk. Drunk in Boise. Boise, Idaho.
“You good?” Preeya asked without looking back at him. She seemed hyper-focused on the room number plaques on each of the lacquered hotel room doors.
“Yeah. Great.” He wasn’t. He swallowed hard, focused on each next step instead of the nausea or on that haunting—
“Man the hell up.” The voice again. It was stern, sharp. But he could swear it was not his inner voice–the quality and tone were not at all usual, not at all his. It was low, and it was positively female. And it was from far, far off. But it was loud. Ear-jamming loud.
Then, “Buck up, asshole!”
Jesus…Jaime? She had hardly ever cursed. Unless she was flaming pissed.
He looked from the horrible swirl carpet to Preeya again.
She was still playing guide, watching the room numbers go up or down, he didn’t know. What he did know was that his internal crazy was still his little secret. His and his wife’s ghost, that is. For Christ’s sake.
Two strides more, than Preeya stopped in her tracks. They’d reached his room. And in silence, she turned to him, smiling a sweet, kind, warm smile…
…but those eyes, lavender and deep, were most definitely wanting.
He leaned down as his free hand moved up, from his stomach to her cheek.
He slowly let his lips meet hers. Slowly. Only his lips. And they pressed into hers, holding back the internal, desperate, screaming need for more. And reining in the same heightened level of guilt, restraining it with all his might, he inhaled her scent.
Then he pulled back. To look at her. To be sure she still had that look in her eyes.
She had, it was unmistakable. A glint of desire with a touch of sweet surprise.
He moved to her again. His parched, unsure lips, brushing her moist and tender lips; lush, sensual, wanting.
Welcoming. Her hand reached up to the nape of his neck, and she returned his kiss, gently dragging and caressing her lips over his. And he felt a light-headed flood of relief and warmth and, God, the very beginnings of endless bliss.
Then her tongue swept into his mouth, immediately electrifying his senses. It had been such a long, sad, hopeless time.
But now, after all that agonizing past, he was on fire.
Need trumps inebriation.
Keeping his mouth at hers, he grabbed the key card from her hand, unlocked and opened the door, and pulled her inside.
All the while, kissing her still. God, he never wanted it to end.
He took her in his arms, her toes hovering, floating across the room. Bed, found, he laid her down. All like he’d just returned to his body from a journey away, back from a black hole in space.
“What? Are you all right?”
“Condom, in my purse. It’s by the door.”
How the hell could he have forgotten?
Because he was two years, no fifteen years, out of that line of thinking was how. And drunk off-his-ass. But this gorgeous, fiery, intelligent, and forward-thinking creature had a condom in her purse. If she was a little philandering, at least she was safe about it. But God, he didn’t want to think of her with another man. No. Now, she was with him.
He looked over at her, ready, waiting for him, lying there on top of the tight, white duvet cover. Offering a coy smile, like a cat waving its sly tail for him to come to her.
He went to her purse, hoping then that she had two condoms in it. Or more.
His stamina, coupled with his focus on pleasuring her, was just unreal. And he was sloppy drunk, too! She’d never have thought he’d be this type of lover. Dr. Ben. Oh, good Lord.
He was detail-oriented. Masterfully precise in his direction, his pacing, and positioning. Like a good, attentive doctor, he cared for her. All the way in and out of her. His unbelievably fine, throbbing length, and what he did with it took her breath away. Over and over and over again.
And adding the other things he did to her while pumping her to the peak again and again, she was undone. The twirling and pressing of her sensitive bud, and the caressing of her slick lips with his surgeon-like hands.
This man, she thought, could take as long as he damn well pleased. Because five orgasms to none–yet, she intended to make him wail by the end–she was in ecstatic bliss and was inhumanly ready for more. Not sore, not tired or spent, just energized, and delirious with…something? Was it joy? Joy was the only word that fit.
And God, how he fit. So fucking well, he fit in her.
“So, the flight’s at seven?” he panted, moving his mouth down her bodice.
“Seven PM,” she added, writhing under his delicious control.
“Oh God, that’s good. So…” he said as he nibbled at her skin above her hip bone just lightly, and she squealed, “…good. We can do this all the way to noon, then.”
What was the time, anyway? Her phone was too far away. Her eyes searched the room. The neon red alarm clock on the other nightstand said 1 AM. “You can go for fourteen hours? I mean, wait, one to noon…nine, no ten! Whatever, I’m game.”
“I feel like I could.” He looked up, from her inner thigh now. “It’s…been a good while. I’ve got some catching up to do I think.” He smiled, then went back to her tensed thigh, giving her the most sensual plowing of kisses she’d ever felt before. His lips, his tongue, his ever-loving mouth was so close to her arousal, but still so far away. “But, will need to maybe…break. To eat,” he said, smiling up at her again before switching to her other thigh, again teasing her to the edge of madness.
She threw her head back in total elation.
How had he done it? Made her forget everyone and everything before. No Josh, no Evan, no fucked up family or flights or failures or fears.
There was only Dr. Ben Trainer. And his powerful focus on pleasing her. His energy and attention. His ravenous hunger for her, and for at least right now, only for her.