Sunset, Book 1
Published 2016 by Book Boutiques.
Copyright © 2016, Sami Lee.
I can’t believe this has happened. It’s April again. April 9th tomorrow, which will make it exactly one year to the day that I came to Graceville. A year in the same place. Who’d have thought it possible? When I think of all the years I bumped around from town to town with Mum, my mind still boggles at the thought of twelve whole months in this tiny coastal village. Mum got a singing gig in a piano bar in Newcastle once and we stayed there six months. Up till now, that’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place.
I was only meant to stay the weekend. But then I met one Andrew Buchanan and things changed in ways I never saw coming.
God, Drew. Attentive, romantic, gorgeous Drew. He’s my best friend and my perfect fantasy man rolled into one. I didn’t think men like him existed—perhaps part of me still doesn’t. I sometimes feel like this is all a dream, something out of one of the picture-perfect watercolors they sell to tourists down at the wharf-side markets on Sundays. Maybe that’s why part of me always feels like it’s waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for that “hit the road moment”, as Mum always called it. It hasn’t happened yet, but I keep expecting it.
The other night Drew said he loved me. That’s twice now, but both times we were in the middle of making love so I’m not sure it counts. Dare I believe he’s telling the truth? If I say it back, will it scare him away or make it real? Honestly, I don’t know which outcome frightens me more. Because if Drew really does love me, that means he’s going to want to marry me some day. He’s that kind of guy.
But me? Married? It seems so out of this world. If I believe in it, trust it, how will I cope if it disintegrates? I’ve had zero training at being a wife. Being a girlfriend still feels weird. I mean, I’m about to have my anniversary with Drew. I’ve never had an anniversary before. What am I supposed to do?
Well, that of course, but it ought to have a little extra something. I have a dress I bought online that I’ve been saving for a special occasion, and those naughty high-heeled shoes. If I’m ever supposed to strut my stuff, I suppose tomorrow is the night.
At least on the sex front I’m as sure as I can be of anything. It’s always been fantastic with Drew and somehow it keeps getting better. He sure knows his way around a woman’s body, at least around mine. Perhaps I should stop stressing about the future and go on as I have been, living in the moment. I never used to think about what was coming next and things have worked out okay for me so far.
All of a sudden I can’t wait to see Drew’s face when he comes home tomorrow night and I’m wearing that outrageous outfit…
Signing off in anticipation,
“You want me to what?”
Brody Nash stared at his oldest friend, sure his shock was written all over his face. Drew Buchanan continued swirling the rum and coke in his hand, making the melting ice clink against the glass. He didn’t flinch away from Brody’s scowl. “You look like a dog bit you, Brody. I didn’t think anything could shock you.”
“There’s a first time for everything.” How could he help being shocked? But chasing down the shock was something else he shouldn’t be feeling, something he’d forbidden himself to feel when it came to Sidney McCall. Adrenaline coursed through his bloodstream like an express train headed to all points south. No question, Drew’s suggestion piqued his sexual interest.
Drew ducked his gaze at last, turning his attention to the view of the full April moon draping silken light over the waters of Knight’s Bay. They sat side by side in a couple of the chairs usually reserved for patrons of The Blue Fish Grill, the restaurant Drew owned and that Brody worked at on occasions when it suited him. It was after ten now and the place was closed up for the night.
“I know it’s not exactly an orthodox favor to ask,” Drew admitted. “But I didn’t think you’d consider it a hardship. It’s not like it would be the first time.”
“Cheryl Ames,” Brody concluded, remembering. Pretty, insatiable Cheryl had shown him one of the most erotic nights of his life. Whenever he thought of her, he did so with fondness. Apparently so did Drew. “That was years ago, and it was only one night.”
“A hell of a night.” Drew’s words echoed Brody’s recollection. “Cheryl sure seemed to have a great time. Which is one of the reasons I think Sidney might react the same way.”
“You think? You mean Sidney wasn’t the one to suggest this?” The knowledge shouldn’t have disappointed Brody, but there was an undeniable cooling in the blood that had so rapidly heated. He’d thought Sidney McCall came up with the idea herself.
The idea that she wanted to have a threesome with her boyfriend and his best friend.
“She’s never said anything, but I can guess what she wants.”
Brody rolled his eyes. “Right. You can read women’s minds now?”
Drew laughed. “I wish. But on this I’m pretty certain.” Catching Brody’s look of disbelief, Drew sighed. He placed his empty glass on the table between them and fished a handful of ice from the bucket beside him. After he poured a generous serving of rum into his glass, he proffered the bottle to Brody.
Brody knocked back the remains of his drink and handed over his glass. “Why not?”
Once he’d poured, Drew sank into his chair once again and took a swallow of the potent alcoholic mix. “I found some books in Sid’s collection. They looked like ordinary chick books at first so I never took any notice of them. But a couple of weeks ago I was looking for something to read and I picked one up. It wasn’t exactly what I expected.”
Brody sent his friend a sly look. “Are you telling me you’ve been reading Sidney’s romance novels?”
“Maybe you ought to try it sometime. You might learn something about women.”
Brody smirked. “I know plenty about women.”
“I meant about the way women think.” Drew reached over and poked Brody’s temple with two fingers. “Not just the way they’re put together.”
“There’s something to be said for understanding the workings of the female anatomy.”
“No argument here. But knowing what her fantasies are, that takes things to a whole new level.”
“Is that what you think? That you know all your girlfriend’s secret desires because you’ve been sneaking a peak at her romance novels?”
“I wasn’t sneaking. And they’re not romance novels—not what I thought romance novels were anyway. These were full of sex. Lots and lots of sex.”
“Let me guess—threesome sex.”
Brody laughed so hard he almost snorted cola out his nose. “Oh man. I read spy novels, Drew, but it doesn’t make me James Bond.”
“If you could for a day, wouldn’t you want to be?”
“Speak for yourself. You’re the one with 007 fantasies.”
Drew shrugged. “He has some really cool gadgets.”
They fell quiet for a long moment as they both stared idly out at the moonlit bay. The water’s surface shimmered a little more than it had an hour ago, and Brody realized he was approaching a state of half-drunk. In his slightly inebriated state, he started to wonder why he was objecting to Drew’s suggestion so strenuously. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about what it would be like to have Sidney in his bed.
He shifted in his chair as the familiar prickle of guilt tugged at his gut. Yes, he’d thought of Sidney in a sexual way. More than once and certainly a hell of a lot more often than he should have. She was his best friend’s girl, for Christ’s sake.
But she was also five feet four of sassy blonde in a miniskirt, with an innately sensual smile that never failed to get his blood pumping. The instant he’d seen her the day he’d returned from a six-month stint cruising along Australia’s east coast, he’d wanted her. Even though she’d been in Drew’s apartment at the time, wearing the other man’s shirt and a very satisfied glow.
From then on, he’d done as much as he could to ignore the woman’s unwelcome impact on his libido. He couldn’t avoid her altogether because she and Drew were practically joined at the hip. She even worked as a waitress at The Blue Fish Grill, which made running into her a regular occurrence, seeing as he worked there himself in the summer months. So he’d done the only thing he felt he could do. He’d treated her with an aloof disdain that stopped slightly short of outright insolence, a manner he’d perfected in his adolescence that still proved useful from time to time.
Drew’s voice broke into Brody’s disquieting reminiscence. “I thought I’d like to organize a special surprise for her for our anniversary. You know it’s been a year, right?”
“Yeah,” Brody answered quietly. “I know.”
“A year.” Drew smiled and shook his head. Brody tried not to be jealous at how deliriously happy the other man looked. He tried really hard. “After everything she’s done for me, I think it’s the least I can do.”
“Ugh.” Brody gave an exaggerated wince. “Don’t you dare give me details.”
Drew laughed. “Envy is one of the seven deadly sins, man.”
Brody refrained from responding, taking a long pull of his drink instead. He was on intimate terms with a whole host of deadly sins, most especially of late the one Drew had just teased him about.
“Look, if you don’t want to do it, no problem.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t want to do it.” The retort surprised Brody. What the hell was he thinking? But he found he didn’t have it in him to take back the words. The thought of Sidney, naked, wet, wanting him… It was more powerful than what little sense of honor he could lay claim to. “But it’s not a good idea to surprise her. What am I going to do? Pop out of a closet?”
“I’ll talk to her before dinner tomorrow night. Why don’t you come over around eight? If it’s not something she wants to do, you can leave right after we eat.”
Brody’s heart started beating out that frantic tattoo again, the one that thoughts of Sidney often seemed to instigate. God help him, his desire for her overrode his sense of loyalty to Drew. And he owed Drew and the whole Buchanan clan for the way they’d opened their home to him. His childhood had been desolate and often frightening. His adolescence would have been worse if not for Drew.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Brody could as easily ask that question of himself. But if he was confident of anything, it was his ability to keep his true feelings hidden. Drew need never know Brody’s desire to be with Sidney was anything other than purely primal. “I mean basing this on what kind of books she reads?”
“They were pretty well thumbed. And dog-eared in particularly interesting places.”
“Dog-eared, huh?” Brody drawled. “Why didn’t you just say so?”
* * * *
Drew took the stairs to the flat he shared with Sidney two at a time, looking forward to seeing her. Although he didn’t open the restaurant on Monday nights, he’d gotten stuck there doing paperwork, the bane of his existence as a chef-slash-business owner. He was already later than he wanted to be on the first anniversary of the night they’d met.
The one-bedroom apartment was on the upper floor of a colonial-style house that had been converted to four separate living quarters in the 1980s. It was small and the bathroom had a tendency to attract mold, but the narrow terrace provided a terrific view of the bay and the town of Graceville below.
It hadn’t been much to look at on the inside when Drew lived there by himself, but when Sidney moved in, she started adding a few feminine touches that he found he liked—lace curtains over the windows, scented candles on the sideboard and paintings on the walls. Despite the fact that she’d never had a permanent base to call home, Drew recognized the nesting instinct that drove her to spruce the place up and it made him smile.
He’d first seen Sidney at his restaurant, where she’d been dining with a girlfriend of hers, the two of them having come to town on a weekend escape. He’d taken one look at her and his years of fun but shallow relationships went over the balcony. Golden-haired, green-eyed, pint-sized Sidney changed everything with her sweet, open spirit and her cheeky sex appeal. She’d stayed after her dinner to talk to him and before long she’d ended up at his flat. The next morning he’d asked her to stay.
To his delight she did. A year on and she hadn’t left. If Drew had anything to say about it, she never would.
He thought of the ring he’d bought months ago, which sat safely encased in a velvet box in his sock drawer. One day soon he’d give it to her. Maybe after tonight he’d have at last fulfilled every one of her secret wishes. He wanted to ease her inclination to grow unsettled, a tendency that troubled him. Sometimes he was beset by a chilling suspicion she might leave.
He set those niggling fears aside as he pushed open the door. Things were going so great between them that Drew refused to seriously contemplate the possibility she’d throw what they had away, simply because her peripatetic past hadn’t prepared her for the kind of constancy he wanted to offer her. “Honey!” he called out in a jovial voice. “I’m home!”
The aroma hit him first. Oregano, thyme and lemon, with a hint of garlic. Something baking, probably chicken. The ubiquitous scent of the bay, saltwater and sand carried through the open balcony doors on a gentle night breeze. And beneath it all, both subtle and unmistakable, the delicate drift of jasmine heralding Sid’s preferred perfume.
That scent teasing his nostrils alerted him to her approach before his searching gaze lit on her. When he caught sight of her in the candlelight, his breath stilled in his lungs. “Holy…” His epithet drifted away from him as the impact of what she wore hit with the force of a tornado. He felt dizzy and breathless and horny all in the matter of a split second.
She stood in the doorway that led to their bedroom, wearing a dress that could be illegal on several continents. Made of black mesh that clung to her curves and draped down her arms, the “V” neckline dipped low over the subtle swell of her cleavage. Black lace inserted in strategic places proffered a cursory nod to modesty, concealing her flesh where the mesh did not. The garment barely skimmed the lacy tops of her black stockings, and her petite legs seemed impossibly long thanks to a criminally high pair of black spike heels.
By the time his gaze completed the tour of her appearance, Drew wanted her in the worst way. It was all he could do to keep from grabbing hold and taking her right where she stood. He fought to curb his manly impulses and managed a husky comment. “Holy shit, Sid.”
Her chin-length blonde hair was tousled in a fashion that made him think of two of them rolling around in bed. She ran her hand up and down her side, shifting the material of that poor excuse for a dress against her skin in a deliberately sensuous movement that made his loins burn. “You like my outfit?”
“Is that a trick question?” He took three steps toward her, his gaze never quite managing to rise above her neck. “When do I get to take it off?”
Sidney laughed and wagged a finger at him. “Not yet, stud. I’ve prepared a delicious feast for you.”
“That sounds promising.”
She gave him an admonishing glance that did nothing to discourage his hard-on from growing to full strength. “Herb chicken, garlic roasted baby potatoes and steamed asparagus.”
“A goddess who also cooks. I really lucked out with you, didn’t I?”
“You taught me everything I know.” She stepped forward, those dangerously spiked heels clacking on the floorboards, and ran a red-painted fingernail down the center of his chest. Drew sucked more air into his already laboring lungs. “About cooking I mean.”
That wicked smile of hers made him grow harder, as though there were a steel rod implanted in his privates. He’d be the first to admit, despite his fairly extensive experience with women, Sidney had taught him a thing or two in the bedroom in the year they’d been together. She was thrillingly adventurous, sexually confident and always open to new things. Her daring nature was one of the factors he’d taken into account when he’d made his plans for tonight.
The reminder brought him up short. Brody. His friend would be here any minute. He ought to warn Sidney that Brody would be joining them and why. Something he would do, as soon as he could formulate a coherent sentence that didn’t begin with, I’ll give you the moon if you let me fuck you right now.
He cleared his throat. “Sid, there’s something I have to tell you.”
“Hmm?” She leaned forward and brushed her hot mouth softly over his neck, making his pulse beat against her ruby red lips.
Drew groaned, his head swimming with lust. “I mean it, I want to talk.”
Sidney twined her arms around his waist and ran her hands up over his back. Pressing her slender, womanly flesh tighter against his body, she raised one foot to trace her spike heel along his calf through his jeans. “What is it you want to talk about?”
His thoughts scattered as she continued to place enticing kisses along his throat. All reason fled south and channeled more energy into the erection that raged inside his pants. “I can’t remember.”
Her soft laugh rippled through his blood stream. “Did it have something to do with this?” She cupped him through his fly, giving his thickened staff an expert little massage. “You want to discuss what we’re going to do with”—she squeezed him gently—”this?”
Suddenly it was all Drew wanted to talk about. “Oh God yes.”
“I was going to make you wait. To make you sit all the way through a leisurely dinner before I let you get near me. Then I planned to play the reluctant mistress, so you would have to pull out all the stops to talk me into bed.” She released a melodramatic sigh that pushed her breasts against his chest and made him want to touch them so badly his hands started to itch. “But then I lay in a long, hot bubble bath and I started having another fantasy.”
With a groan, Drew ran his hands down her back until they settled on the tempting swell of her ass. He molded her cheeks through the dress, his mind’s eye picturing Sid naked in the bath, inventing ways to seduce him. “What is this fantasy?”
“Well, I thought it would be fun if you came home and took one look at me all dressed up and you were overcome with lust.”
Drew swooped upon the soft curl of her ear and nipped at the lobe. “I am overcome with lust.”
“So overcome you can’t possibly wait to have me?”
“Do you want to push up my dress and bury your long, hard cock inside me?”
“God, Sid.” She took a step backward and he followed blindly, completely driven by the need to do exactly as she’d said. He pressed her against the wall, his chest flattening her breasts as he slotted his hips into the “V” of her thighs and settled his seeking erection against her welcoming sex. He lifted her off her feet and she wrapped her legs around him. “You drive me crazy, you know that?”
“Likewise, Drew Buchanan.” She smiled into his eyes, the affectionate expression as lethal to his sensibilities as her overtly seductive one. “I’ve thought about you all day, wanted you all day. I almost resorted to my vibrator.”
Drew kissed her, hard. He loved how open and honest she was. He broke the kiss and they both panted heavily. Sidney’s eyes had darkened to an emerald green that looked almost black in the low light. Her lips were parted and swollen, the red lipstick smudged from his kiss. She brought her tongue out to wet those lips, and Drew watched them as they formed her throaty demand. “Fuck me, Drew.”
He didn’t need to be asked twice. He kissed her again while sending his fingers on an exploration of her inner thighs. He wasted little time reaching his ultimate destination, the urging rock of Sidney’s hips spurring his impatience. He found her hot core, circled her entrance and discovered her slick and open. He ran his touch over her smooth lips, the sensation yanking a gasp from his throat.
He pulled back far enough so he could lift her lacy black dress to her hips. She wore no panties. He stared down at her, confirming his suspicion. “Oh honey, you shaved.”
“It was a very long bath.”
Drew trailed his fingers over her mound, fascinated by its shape and texture. He pinched the folds of her sex together lightly, exerting gentle pressure on her clit. Sidney shimmied against the wall, thrusting her hips at him. “Drew…now.”
“Yes.” He tore open his fly with one hand, bracing his weight on the wall behind Sidney with the other. He pushed down his jocks and pulled out his cock. His flesh felt raw and sensitive, his balls about ready to burst from the touch of his own hand. He wasn’t going to last for any respectable length of time.
Fortunately, Sidney didn’t want a slow seduction right now. He pressed the tip of his swollen member to her opening and probed.
She was dripping, so wet he glided right in. He buried himself completely within the exquisite resistance of her slick muscles. Sidney grabbed his biceps and undulated into him. She held his gaze with one full of determination. “Don’t go slow this time, Drew. Do it fast. Do it hard.”
Drew withdrew enough that he was able to slam back into her. Sidney squealed, a purely female sound of shocked delight. He repeated the move and heard a thud as her head hit the wall. But when he might have gentled, she pinned him once again with her gaze. “Don’t stop.”
He didn’t. He slid inside her again and again, setting no lyrical rhythm, as he usually tried to do. He fucked her against the wall with primitive strokes, ramming into her body with satisfying power while she kept telling him not to stop, to give it to her hard, to make her come.
Drew wasn’t sure he’d be able to satisfy her last demand before he got to that point himself. The blood rushed in his ears, deafening him to all else but Sidney’s wild urgings. “Yes, that’s it. Slam into me. That’s it… Oh!”
Her first spasm made Drew lose himself. “God, Sid, I’m coming.”
“Yes, baby. Give it to me.”
“I love you, honey.”
At the cataclysm they cried out in rapture together, clinging to each other in the throes of climax like two people set adrift in a stormy sea. Drew nipped at Sidney’s earlobe as he sailed over the edge of the world, soothing the tender flesh with his tongue as the rushing tide of his blood finally began to ebb.
Sidney played with his hair, slowly twining the short strands around her fingertips while her breathing turned from shallow to deep. “Well,” she sighed at last. “How was your day, dear?”
Drew laughed, his chest rumbling against the laughter that billowed in hers. The joy swam with the aftereffects of ecstasy in his head, and he felt like he was flying. Like nothing could spoil this perfect moment.
But several things did.
The shrill ringing of the oven timer shouted into the postcoital bliss. Sidney groaned, “Oh, it’s the chicken.”
The sound punctured the euphoric bubble that surrounded Drew, and the realization crept in that in the midst of passion he’d told Sidney he loved her. Not the first time he’d whispered it, or shouted it, while he had her wrapped in his arms. On each of those occasions, like now, he carefully avoided remarking on the fact she didn’t say it back.
To complete the crash back to earth, there followed a knock on the door. Sidney gasped. “Who could that be?”
Drew swore. Reluctantly he pulled out of Sidney’s body and told her, “That’s Brody.”
“Brody?” Sidney’s mind blanked at Drew’s answer. “What’s Brody doing here?”
She’d rarely seen Drew appear sheepish, but the word perfectly described the expression that crossed his strongly carved features. “Ah, that’s what I was trying to talk to you about.”
Sidney watched as Drew refastened his jeans, only then remembering to smooth down her dress. She was still dizzy from the aftereffects of the fantastic sex and figured it must be adversely impacting her hearing. “Did you invite Brody here tonight?”
“Yeah. I did. But it’s not what you think.”
She crossed her arms over her chest and scowled. If Drew thought beer and poker was in the cards tonight after she’d spent all afternoon cooking, she’d kick him right in his cute behind with her five-inch stripper heels. “You mean you didn’t arrange some kind of boys’ night on our anniversary?”
His laugh held an irony she didn’t understand. “No, definitely not a boys’ night. More of a girl’s night, actually.”
Sidney squinted at him, confused. “Huh?”
The rapping on the door boomed once again and Drew called out impatiently, “Just a sec.” He turned back toward Sidney. “I meant to explain this as soon as I got home, but you looked so damned sexy. And then you started rubbing up against me and the words”—he waved a hand in the air—”disappeared.”
Rubbing up against him! He made her sound like a stray cat. “I swear, Andrew Buchanan, if you don’t start making some sense I’ll…”
She bit off the end of her threat as the knock came again.
“Do you guys want me to get out of here?” The sardonic lilt of that masculine voice confirmed that their visitor was indeed Drew’s best friend. Sidney uttered a frustrated sound. She whirled around and swung open the door. Surely, once Brody got a look at her dress, and the plethora of lit candles she’d placed all around the dining area, he’d get the message that she and Drew were busy.
Brody Nash stood in the hall, almost filling up the rectangular space formed by the open door with his wide shoulders. He carried a bowl of something that looked creamy and decadent tucked under his arm. Brody was one of the best dessert chefs in the business, a skill Sidney considered incongruently delicate for such a hulking bear of a man.
The gaze he raked over her held a wealth of blatant masculine interest. He didn’t bother to hide the fact he was x-ray visioning everything beneath the racy black dress she had donned for Drew’s benefit.
Sidney fought the urge to shuffle her feet as the possibility that Brody may have heard everything assailed her. He’d been in the hallway, right on the other side of the wall she’d demanded Drew fuck her against. His dark brown eyes held a hint of wicked knowledge that seemed to confirm he’d been privy to all that crazy dirty talk she’d screamed because she knew it drove Drew nuts. Not to mention all the banging against the wall she’d been doing while she’d been banging her boyfriend.
Her cheeks grew hot beneath Brody’s lazy scrutiny of her body. But it was the burst of something else unexpectedly heated that made her breath catch in her lungs. As the man’s gaze brushed over her cleavage, Sidney’s nipples pebbled. She was still sensitized from having Drew inside her, and those nerve endings zinged with something that had nothing to do with embarrassment.
The thought that Brody had heard her howling at Drew to make her come actually turned her on.
“Shortcake,” Brody drawled. He always called her shortcake with a derisive slant of his brow and a smile that was a breath away from a sneer. “You look good enough to eat. Are you going to invite me in?”
Sidney gaped as Brody sauntered past her. He didn’t look like a man ready to turn around and leave.
At a loss for what else to do, Sidney closed the door. Brody muttered something under his breath to Drew that she barely managed to make out. “You didn’t tell her I was coming.”
“I didn’t get the chance.”
Sidney’s face flamed further at Brody’s knowing chuckle. “So I heard.”
Drew’s reply was laced with reproach. “There’s wine in the fridge if you want some.”
“Don’t mind if I do.” Brody sent Sidney a half smile over his shoulder and disappeared into the kitchen.
Immediately Drew swung around to face her. “Don’t be mad.”
“That’s for me to decide,” she hissed. “What is he doing here?”
“He came for dinner and…” He bit down on what he’d been about to say and changed tack. “I thought you liked Brody.”
“I do like him. For the most part.” She knew that Drew and Brody shared a special bond, formed in childhood. Once, when Drew was eleven and Brody twelve, Drew and some of his friends had been playing in a drain after a storm. Drew’s foot had become wedged in a grate. The rushing water would have drowned him if Brody hadn’t come out of nowhere and dived beneath the torrent, freeing Drew’s foot and saving his life.
For that alone Brody held a special place in Sidney’s heart. And while his manner tended to be aloof, even callous, Sidney forgave him because Drew had also told her a little about his difficult childhood. How his mother left, how his father descended into an alcoholic stupor, how he’d punished Brody both physically and emotionally. After the incident in which Brody had saved Drew’s life, he’d spent so much time at Drew’s house he’d become an honorary Buchanan.
“I just don’t understand what he’s doing here tonight.” Sidney pushed the thoughts of Brody’s past from her mind. Sympathy for him would only weaken her resolve to make sure he left. He lived a solitary existence on a thirty-foot sloop currently moored at the marina, and she sensed a loneliness in him he’d surely never admit to. But that didn’t mean he could move in on her special evening with Drew.
“You would understand if I wasn’t such an idiot.” Drew smiled in that way that managed to be both self-deprecating and sexy, the same smile that had drawn her so easily to this very apartment on the night she’d met him a year ago.
He encircled her wrist and brought her hand up to his lips. He placed a soft, wet kiss against her palm, thawing her icy mood. His tawny hair was still ruffled from her fingers, making Sidney think of what they’d been doing only moments ago. His eyes glittered cobalt in the ambient light. “You see, I meant to tell you that Brody’s your anniversary present.”
His words befuddled her almost as much as the teasing brush of his lips against the pulse point at her wrist. “I don’t understand.”
“I want to fulfill every single one of your fantasies, Sid. I want to pamper you and make you feel special. Because you are special.”
She heard a whimper and realized she’d made it. Oh, Drew, you perfect, irresistible devil…
“What I’m trying to say is that we’d both like to make you feel like that. Brody and I would like very much to make love to you.”
Sidney figured she must have misheard. Yet her heart slammed to a stop. “I’m sorry…what?”
“I read a couple of your books. I thought it might be something you’d like to try.”
Sidney tried to breathe deeply, but her lungs wouldn’t allow it. She opened her mouth to tell Drew that her books were fiction—fantasy. She’d never thought for a moment she would actually do any of the wild things she’d read about.
Well, at least not all of them. Not this thing.
Instead of rejecting the idea right away, she heard herself stammer with an uncertainty that amazed her. “I-I don’t know.” Perhaps she shouldn’t have drunk that glass of wine while she’d been lying in the bath. She ought to be appalled. Her boyfriend had suggested she participate in a threesome.
But for some reason she couldn’t quite muster appalled. She felt…excited. Her heart rumbled like a theatrical drum roll. Oh yes, definitely excited.
“That’s okay.” Drew moved his mouth up her arm until he swirled his tongue around the sensitive spot at her inner elbow. “I’ve sprung this on you. Why don’t you let Brody stay for dinner? Any time you want him to leave, you say the word.”
“Dinner,” Sidney murmured dumbly. “Oh my goodness, the chicken will be burning.” Seriously, Sid, you’re thinking about chicken?
“I’ll get it. You sit down, have a glass of wine. Relax.”
* * * *
Throughout dinner, Sidney thought about telling Brody to leave more times than she could count. Each time she opened her mouth to say the words, something would stop her. A look Brody would cast her, one that seemed to dare her not to. The touch of Drew’s hand on her arm that kept the heat within her simmering. Another sip of wine that worked to relax her inhibitions.
The promise of living out a wicked fantasy.
As she toyed with the remains of her chicken dinner, Sidney surreptitiously studied Brody. He was around six feet with imposing shoulders and thickly muscled arms. Different from Drew, whose frame was long, rangy, and bunched tight in all the right places. While Drew kept his rich walnut-hued hair cut close at his nape, Brody’s was a shiny jet black that curled over the collar of his open necked shirt, the fringe sweeping down to shade his dark eyes. At times those eyes appeared as black as his hair, but tonight Sidney could make out the subtle flecks of amber shooting through the irises in the soft glow of the candlelight.
No question, he was an attractive man. She would have been blind not to notice. And while she’d wondered idly about his love life—his apparent preference for one-night stands with tourists looking for a meaningless holiday fling—she’d never actually thought about going to bed with him. She was with Drew, and she would never do anything to hurt him.
Brody’s gaze lifted from his plate and he caught her staring. Sidney reached for her nearly empty glass of Semillon and downed the remains, a renewed bout of nerves making her heart tumble through her chest.
Drew immediately lifted the bottle and poured her another half glass. Sidney figured she should probably refuse the alcohol. She was already slightly buzzed. But she didn’t. “You had enough, sweetheart?”
Drew’s question made Sidney cut her gaze away from Brody. She flushed with guilt at having been caught ogling another man while her boyfriend sat beside her. Yet Drew’s expression held no censure. His eyes were hooded—from the effect of alcohol or desire she wasn’t sure. Perhaps a little of both. Between the three of them, they’d polished off two bottles of wine, and any time she’d caught Drew’s stare throughout dinner, the air between them crackled with sexual energy.
Her befuddled brain registered his meaning slowly, but at last Sidney glanced down at the food in front of her. “I can’t eat another bite.” She pushed her plate aside and leaned back in her chair.
“Don’t say that,” Brody admonished, that irreverent smile surfacing. “I brought dessert.”
“Brody wouldn’t take well to anyone turning up their nose at his dessert,” Drew teased.
“I wouldn’t know. It’s never happened.”
“Arrogant bastard isn’t he?”
“Yes.” Sidney eyed the man in question over the rim of her wine glass. “He is.”
Drew laughed and Brody slanted his dark brows at her. “Is that a complaint? I don’t usually get them from Drew’s girlfriends.”
“Low blow, bringing that up, Nash.” Despite his words Drew didn’t seem angered by Brody’s remark. Catching the curious look Sidney sent him, Drew explained, “He’s talking about Cheryl Ames. One of my girlfriends who seemed to appreciate his particular brand of charm, such as it is.”
“She had a crush on me.”
“He’s been holding that over me ever since we were twenty-one.”
“What did she do?” Sidney asked. “Leave you for Brody?”
“Don’t sound so incredulous, Shortcake. It’s not a complete impossibility.”
Sidney met the challenge in Brody’s eyes square on. “I guess that depends on the woman.”
“Aw, Sid.” Drew leaned close and nuzzled her neck, making Sidney giggle. “Loyal and sexy. What did I do to deserve you?”
“Nothing but sheer dumb luck, I reckon.” Brody’s teasing seemed good natured on the surface, but something in the lilt of his voice set Sidney’s hackles rising.
She made her point by turning and treating Drew to a thoroughly seductive kiss. When she at last pulled back she said, “No luck involved. It was all his devastating charm.”
“You hear that, Nash?” Drew didn’t take his eyes off Sidney’s. “My charm is devastating.”
“Yeah, I got the message loud and clear. You two are like a couple of lovebirds, joined at the wing.” Sidney turned at Brody’s mocking tone and found him looking at her with a steady gaze. “You think I want to mess with that, Shortcake?”
“I don’t know what you want.”
Brody’s smile was shrewd. “You’re smarter than that.”
He’d practically pronounced that he wanted her while Drew’s arm was still looped over her shoulders. His brashness sent a tingle of awareness dancing over her skin. Her nipples drew tight against the lace of her dress. Brody’s gaze dropped, as though he somehow sensed her reaction and Sidney felt her cheeks heat.
“If my being here is so off-putting,” Brody continued. “Why haven’t you asked me to leave?”
A good question which Sidney had difficulty answering. She stood abruptly and began clearing the table. “Perhaps you should.”
The clash of cutlery and crockery sounded piercingly loud in the silence that closed in behind her as she carted her load to the kitchen. She was rinsing the plates, using the time alone to catch her breath when she glanced up and saw Brody in the entryway. All efforts she’d made to calm her rapid heartbeat were ruined at the sight of him, his bulky arms crossed over his chest, the black clothes making him seem even more mysterious than usual. His gaze trailed over her, from her ridiculously high heels to her flushed cheeks. He made no attempt to pretend disinterest in anything in between.
Desire clutched at Sidney, burning a hole in her stomach. Her nipples thrust against the lace that barely covered them and moisture gathered between her thighs. She shouldn’t be feeling this way about any man except Drew. But God help her, she was lusting after Brody.
Sidney reminded herself that Drew had given her permission to lust. He’d arranged this. If she wanted to indulge in a long-cherished fantasy, now was the time.
Brody unfolded his big body from the doorjamb and wandered into the kitchen. He leaned a hip against the sink and watched her. “Need help?”
Sidney continued to do the dishes in a vain attempt to ignore his presence. “No. Thanks.”
“My being here is making you nervous.”
His droll observation made her cut her gaze sideways at him. She wanted to deny it, but instead admitted, “A little.”
He raised a dark brow. “Only nervous?” He dropped his attention to the rapid rise and fall of her chest in a knowing assessment.
“What do you want me to say, Brody? That I’m sinfully turned on?”
His quiet laugh possessed a harsh edge that scraped against Sidney’s nerves. “That would be a start.”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you? You think every woman you meet wants to go to bed with you.” Sidney shoved a dinner plate into the dish rack with a clunk. “Just because most of them seem to, doesn’t mean you’re a shoe-in with me.”
“You’ve been keeping tabs on me,” he remarked. “Is that what’s bothering you? You think I’m easy?”
His terminology made her laugh despite her annoyance. “Brody, easy is not a word I’d use to describe anything about you. You are most definitely hard.” Realizing what she’d said, Sidney fought to control another blush. “I didn’t mean…”
“Maybe not.” He took a step closer, moving around so he stood behind her. Heat emanated from the body pressed against her back. “But if you want to talk about how hard I am, I’m more than willing.”
He rested his hands on her bare shoulders, his touch an electric burn on her skin. “You can trust me. Despite my reputation I’m not irresponsible. I always suit up for the occasion.”
Sidney released a derisive laugh. “I have no doubt you do. No way would you risk getting some poor girl pregnant and tying yourself down in the process. Besides, if Drew thought there was the slightest risk you’d pass on something unpleasant there’s no way he would have suggested this.”
“So what are you afraid of? That you’ll like it too much? That you’ll prefer me to Drew?”
Anger lashed through her. Sidney whirled around to face him, shooting fire from her eyes. “You son of a—”
He cut her off by capturing her parted lips with his hot and insistent ones. He worked her jaw to better facilitate the progress of his tongue into her mouth, brushed damp heat to her lips only cursorily before tripping past to explore the caverns beyond. He drank from her, tasted her as thirstily as he wished while Sidney could do little but go along for the ride. With a helpless groan of acceptance, she pressed her chest to the solid wall of his and let him lead her where he may.
It was indescribably arousing. The marauding nature of his kiss that compelled a reaction rather than persuaded it. She thought of Drew in the other room, who could walk in and see them at any moment. Perhaps that was what he wanted. To see her with another man. Perhaps the idea excited him as much as it did her.
She could no longer deny to herself that she wanted this. When Brody slid one hand down to cup her breast through the gauzy fabric of her dress, she could no longer deny it to him. Her flesh sizzled beneath his touch, her already hardened crest growing painfully taut. He drew his thumb across the distended tip and took her secrets into him.
Brody pulled out of the kiss a little, still resting his lips against hers. “Drew was right, you do want this.” He spoke in a soft murmur, tracing circles around her areola that made Sidney arch against him. “How do you want it? Do you want me to watch while Drew fucks you, or do you want him to watch us? How about if we take it in turns, would you like that?”
Sidney moaned and clutched at his shoulders. She turned her head aside, ashamed of her inability to hide the magnitude of her need from him. When he closed her breast more firmly in his cupped hand, she shuddered. “I’ve never done anything like this before.”
“Don’t worry. We have.”
Sidney swung her gaze back to Brody’s. “You mean…you and Drew?”
“It doesn’t matter. About Cheryl I mean,” Brody said dismissively. “What I’m saying is, we know how to make it good for you.”
Her curiosity about that other woman whispered away like smoke on the wind, leaving behind only the smoldering fire of passion, the thrill of the forbidden. We know how to make it good for you, he’d said. Both of them.
Need coiled tighter in her abdomen. Thinking of what Brody had said over dinner about the aforementioned Cheryl, Sidney declared, “I don’t have a crush on you.”
Brody’s laugh abraded her cheek. “Good. Crushes can be very inconvenient.”
He drew back and found her gaze with his. The amber flares in his brown eyes flickered like embers waiting to be reignited, while an unexpected sobriety softened their depths. “I was joking before. I already know who you prefer out of Drew and me. Even if I could, I’d never do anything to try and change that.” He tucked a curly tendril of hair behind her ear, a surprisingly tender gesture that squeezed at Sidney’s heart. It was so unlike Brody to show any emotion. “This won’t mean anything, Sidney. It’s just mating instinct.”
Sidney twisted her lips. “You promise?”
“Trust me. I’m very familiar with mating. The meaningless kind is my main area of study.”
“Funny, that doesn’t really surprise me.”
Brody laughed, a low, sexy sound. His chest vibrated against hers, teasing her tingling flesh once again. She really couldn’t take much more of this.
“So how about it, Shortcake?” Brody prompted.
Sidney found herself answering with a wordless nod.
Drew was standing by the table when Brody led her back to the dining area. The outline of his shoulders was tense against the golden glow. He turned when they entered the room.
“I think your girl is ready for dessert,” Brody said from behind her.
Sidney knew he wasn’t only referring to the white chocolate mousse he’d brought with him from the kitchen, and her insides creamed like the dessert’s whipped topping. The bowl made a soft thud on the table as Brody set it down. Anticipating what he planned to do with it made her all kinds of hot.
Drew’s face eased into a relaxed countenance. Yet his eyes remained earnest as he stepped forward and trailed his knuckles softly across her cheek. “Are you sure, Sid? I was beginning to think I’d made a huge mistake. It’s not too late to tell this reprobate to go home.”
“Who you calling a reprobate?”
Drew held her gaze, ignoring Brody’s retort. He ran the tip of his finger over her lower lip. Sidney nipped it with her teeth before taking it into her mouth, the most articulate answer she could formulate.
Drew groaned at the action, watching while she slowly sucked his fingertip. “Oh, Sid, honey. You’re so beautiful.” He withdrew his finger from her mouth, trailing it down her neck until he reached the top of her dress. He curled it around the fabric and gave a gentle tug. Then he swooped and captured her mouth with his.
His kiss was persuasive, a seductive melding of lips, teeth and tongues that, as always, involved Sidney’s entire being in the process—her heart, soul and libido. He gently squeezed her breasts and she moaned, forgetting for a moment that they weren’t alone.
Reality came back when Drew began steadily easing her dress up and over her thighs. She felt the night air brush coolly against her bared backside and realized that he was revealing her to his friend. Drew was going to undress her in front of Brody, and the knowledge bumped her arousal to new heights. She wrapped her arms around Drew’s neck, tightly, the added height afforded by her shoes making her breasts crush against his pecs. She swayed back and forth, rubbing her aching flesh against him, a blatant urging.
He accommodated her, sliding his hands down until they were gripping her ass. He lifted her against him, pulling her cheeks apart as her sex nestled against the rough denim of his jeans where they strained over his erection. Sidney heard a low guttural sound and knew Drew hadn’t made it. Brody.
He was watching Drew caress her bare behind. The realization made her whimper and kiss Drew with increased urgency. He responded in kind, devouring her mouth while he moved his hands to cradle her head.
Then Brody touched her. She felt immediately that Brody’s hands were different to Drew’s. His touch was different, more forceful as he traced the curve of her backside. The fabric of his trousers scraped against the silk stockings encasing her legs, parting her knees and rising to the juncture of her thighs so she was compelled to widen her stance. Then his hands were clutching at her cheeks, molding them.
Still kissing her, Drew reached down to grip her thighs and lift her off her feet. Brody was right there behind her, lifting her into Drew’s arms. Brody’s fingers did a slow walk to her center, and she realized the position Drew had put her in opened her completely to Brody’s touch.
He found her sultry cave and dipped a finger presumptuously inside. The sliding of his flesh inside hers made a slick, wet sound. “Oh my God.” Sidney moaned and held tight to Drew while her hips rocked in time with the repeated thrusts of Brody’s finger.
Drew asked, “Does that feel good?”
Sidney offered a muffled grunt of acknowledgement.
Brody added a second finger to the first, and Sidney moaned long and loud. She swayed against Drew and he took her weight easily, a solid column of strength she could cling to as Brody manipulated her with his hand. He educed a fierce response as he continued to plunge two firm fingers in and out of her while she hung on to Drew for dear life.
“She’s so wet,” Brody rasped. “I bet she tastes good.”
“Sid always tastes good.” Drew gently nipped at her neck. “Better than dessert. Even better with dessert.”
Drew swung her around and Brody’s fingers slid out of her. He settled her butt on the hard wood of the dining table. She looked up into Drew’s eyes and saw they’d darkened to a deep sapphire blue. She adored it when he looked at her like that, as though she was the most desirable creature he’d ever seen. “I hope you’re up for this, Sid. Because I really don’t want to stop.”
How could a woman ever be ready for something like this? But if she turned down such an opportunity she’d regret it for the rest of her life. Sidney gave a firm nod, injecting as much conviction into the act as she could.
Drew’s breath eased out of his chest. He reached forward and folded his hands over her shoulders. His fingers hooked beneath the material of her dress, moving it downward as his hands traveled to her elbows. Her bare breasts bobbed free, their crests pebbling further at being revealed.
Her breath grew shallow as Drew pulled her arms from her sleeves, twisting the neckline of her dress around her waist. Her eyes fluttered closed when his head dipped low, and her breath came out in a long exhalation as he took a nipple into his mouth.
Drew was so good with his tongue. As he swirled it around the distended peak of her breast in an action he knew full well would drive her crazy, Sid found herself bracing her weight on the table behind her with the flats of her hands. She was weak with excitement, and he’d barely started. She hoped she’d survive this.
Something made her open her eyes. She saw Brody watching her with a need so raw she felt a fresh wave of longing wash through her. She remained caught within his gaze for a long, tension-filled moment while Drew softly massaged her breasts, transferring the delicious lick of his tongue from one stiff peak to the other. He spread his hand across her back, groaning in satisfaction as he brought her breasts toward him. The position forced Sidney to seek purchase on his hips with her feet, her stiletto heels digging into his outer thighs.
All the while, Sid held Brody’s gaze. Her lips felt parched and she licked them, knowing the act would heighten Brody’s need. She wasn’t wrong. In one step he was beside her, his hand curling around her nape as his head descended.
The touch of his lips was searing but not as demanding as earlier. Now that he had her where he wanted her, Sidney supposed he’d decided he could take his time. Brody’s tongue embarked on a tour of her mouth that seemed to mirror the swirling, wet exploration of Drew’s tongue on her breasts. The twin sensations were so pleasurable that when Brody pulled back at last and Drew lifted his head from her breasts, Sid let out a cry of abject despair.
“It’s going to be okay, Sid,” Drew murmured. He ran his touch along the length of her thighs until he found the hem of her dress. He lifted her hips so he could drag the garment up and bunch it at her waist. “We’ll make sure everything’s perfect for you.”
Drew trailed his fingers up her leg until he touched her saturated lips. He only had to trace a circle around her entrance to discover the level of her arousal. “You’re dripping. Are we making you wet?”
Sid shifted her naked backside on the tabletop, unable to prevent the telling response. She’d never been so wet or excited in her life. “Yes.” She found her voice for the first time since this started. “The thought of you both is making me crazy.”
“Prepare to go nuts, Shortcake.” Sidney turned to see Brody holding out a spoonful of his sinful dessert for her, an equally devilish expression on his face. “This is going to make you cream.”
He looked deep into Sidney’s eyes, moving the spoon to her lips. Sidney opened her mouth and let him stick the spoon inside, the action making her think of what else she’d like to have Brody stick in her mouth.
The erotic thought increased her pleasure in the spectacular sweet, and Sidney couldn’t help the long moan that sounded as she swallowed the rich flavor to the back of her throat. “Hmm…that’s so good.”
Drew twirled his finger in a tantalizing circuit of her opening, taking the juice he collected there and spreading it around the lips that protected her pulsing clitoris. Brody filled her mouth with heaven while Drew took her to arousal hell with his finger. Sidney had no idea which way was up.
As Drew encroached farther into her pussy, Brody advanced again with the spoon. He crammed her mouth full of the sticky treat, then leaned down and covered her mouth with his own. He dipped his tongue inside her, stealing some of the whipped cream back, while Drew inserted another finger into her core and started a slow, sure stroke. His ministrations, coupled with Brody’s teasing kiss and the heavenly dessert, made Sidney insane. She tilted her hips into Drew’s hand and kissed Brody with fast-mounting hunger.
She was seconds away from an orgasm when Brody released her mouth. A moment later Drew pulled his fingers from her hot channel. “No.”
Brody asked her, “You want more, Shortcake?”
“Yes!” she yelled. “Oh, yes.”
Brody’s smile was the epitome of wickedness. “Drew first.”
At first she thought he meant she should make Drew come first. Sidney didn’t mind, she loved bringing Drew to orgasm.
But then Brody handed him the spoon, chock full of the fluffy white mousse. Sidney realized what Drew intended only a second before he brought the utensil between her legs and slathered the confection all over her neatly shaved lips.
Sensations of pure cool sweetness washed over her. She hovered so close to orgasm she could have come from Drew’s caressing her clit with that spoon. With a spoon for God’s sake! Sidney would have laughed if she wasn’t so tense with the need to come. She moaned as Drew pushed the creamy dessert into every nook and cranny. “Dear God, what are you doing?”
From between her legs, Drew glanced into her eyes and gave her the smile that never failed to make her go weak at the knees. “I’m making myself a Sidney sundae.”
Helplessly acquiescent, Sidney sank down onto the table, her back flat against the warm wood.
The flick of Drew’s tongue over her lips inflicted erotic torture. He sighed with audible satisfaction at his first taste of her covered in the dessert. His moans of appreciation grew more pronounced as he lapped at her, eventually making his way toward her opening, where he tasted the confection mingled with the heady juice flowing from her core.
Sidney started when Brody’s hands came to settle on her breasts. His calluses were a rough drag across her nipples as he gently caressed her. He cupped her small mounds, thumbing their crests until she arched against his touch. The action sent her pussy careening toward Drew’s mouth, and he took the invitation to bury his tongue to the hilt in her channel.
Sidney cried out. She was so close, climax only a breath away.
Brody took his hands from her breasts and she gasped a protest. He grabbed her wrists, pinning her arms to the table and forcing her to look at him.
He stood at the opposite side of the table to Drew, so he faced her upside-down. He stared hard into her eyes as Drew sucked at her pussy, stroking her with his tongue. “He knows exactly how to make you come, doesn’t he?”
Sidney could only nod.
“Something I have yet to learn.”
The thought of Brody between her legs, doing to her what Drew was doing, sent more cream sliding out to coat Drew’s tongue. He groaned, ate up the offering and lifted his head on an epithet. “You need to come now, don’t you?”
Sidney squirmed, the table unyielding beneath her. Drew’s hands held her thighs against the wood at one end while Brody pinned her arms at the other. She felt trapped by such an unbearable desire, such burning heat, she began to think she’d die if it wasn’t alleviated soon. “Oh yes. Yes, Drew. Please.”
He teased her by gently blowing at her moistened lips, now clean of dessert. Sidney moaned in frustration.
Brody once again found her breasts with his hands. His touch this time was harder, unrelenting. “And you want me to touch your breasts while he makes you come.”
She all but sobbed. “Yes, Brody. Yes.”
Brody began a slow circular movement with his palms while Drew bent his head to her again. This time he sought out her clit with a long wet stroke and Sidney bucked. Brody held tight to her breasts to steady her, plucking at their pained tips. He lowered his head and slanted his mouth over hers.
The first burst of ecstasy came in a rush. Sidney writhed against the table as Drew took her clit into his mouth and suckled it just as she liked. She wailed her rapture, the sound swallowed by Brody’s mouth. His hands were insistent on her breasts as she arched into the first waves of blessed release.
Clinging hard to Brody’s solid shoulders, Sidney rode it while she returned his kiss. She gave all she had, and when the end of the freefall approached, she became aware of the need to breathe. Dragging her mouth out from beneath Brody’s, she gasped for air.
Long moments later she still quivered with the aftereffects. She felt movement between her legs and dimly realized that Drew had left his position. Soon he appeared beside her. Brody shifted his weight to one elbow and brushed a hand through her hair as Drew came into her line of vision. He looked down at her with an expression so adoring she shuddered anew from the force of it. “You’re incredible, Sid.”
Sidney emitted a weak laugh. He was calling her incredible? “I feel incredible. I’m stunned speechless.”
Drew smiled and caressed her cheek. “Honey, that was only the beginning.”