Love Takes a Swim Part 34 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallDuring the night, Paisley has a nightmare and joins Kai (who is naked) in bed. Cody finds them the next morning, and freaks out, thinking they had sex.

She was already up, walking toward the door when the door to the master bedroom opened and closed.

“F**k!” Cody whispered. “You’re dead. You’re so dead!”

“She’s not coming in here,” Kai whispered hoarsely. “Calm down. Once she goes to the kitchen, Paisley can….”

“Kai?” it was his mother’s voice. She tapped on the door.

“Closet,” Kai whispered, gesturing toward it.

Paisley ducked inside.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“You decent?”

“Not exactly. Just woke up.”

“Want coffee, honey?”

“Always, Mom.”

“Okay. See you downstairs.”

“Sure thing, Mom.” He gestured at his brother. “Go look and see if she’s gone.”

Cody nodded, peeping out the door. “She’s in the kitchen, I hear her opening cupboards.”

“Get Paisley.”

“You get her.”

“Um… No, pretty sure you’d better.”

“Dude, you commando under there?” He reddened. “In bed with her? Naked?” His voice rose in a squeak.

“Just get her outta the closet.”

Cody flung open the door to the closet, ushering Paisley out. Once she was gone, Kai got up and put on his baggies. Cody came back as he was tying the waist.

“Are you completely, totally witless?” Cody smacked Kai’s shoulder with the back of his hand. “What were you doing?”

Kai blushed, trying to avoid answering. “Never mind, kid. It’s been a long week. I’m tired, but I promised the beach, so we’ll go to the beach.” He struggled into his T-shirt, getting hung up in the sleeves.

“What really happened?”

“There was a huge party down the street from her, at Brill’s. I wasn’t comfortable leaving her at her place, so I brought her here. She had a nightmare and crawled in with me. We slept—nothing more. Would I be this cranky if I’d just got laid?” Everything about his stance showed his brother how much tension was in him.

Cody’s laugh burst out and he shook his head. “Dude, sorry I freaked. They blue?”

“Blue and leaden.”

“Sorry, man. You must be in agony.”

“Ya think?”

There was a tap at the door.

“You dressed?” It was Paisley.


She opened the door, peeking around it. She was fully clothed and looked amazing. Even in shorts and a tank top, her hair pulled into a sloppy ponytail, she looked great. Kai’s body warmed again, making him curse inwardly. His discomfort was blatantly obvious, though he hoped she wouldn’t notice. It was bad enough that Cody knew. He forced a smile.

“I promised Cody a ride to the beach. Want to come?”

“I’d love to. I’ve never been to the beach.”

“Never? Not even since you’ve been here?” Cody, a beach addict, couldn’t believe it.

“Grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee. Never had the chance to travel much. And I don’t have a car.”

“Then we’ll take good care of you,” Kai said. “Cody, get some drinks. I’ll start sandwiches when I get down. I need a pit stop, babe. Gimme a few, and we’ll have some breakfast.”

“Sure.” She flopped down on the end of the bed.

He’d been hoping for some relaxing alone time, but that was not to be. Instead, he peed, thinking of everything he could, to kill the desire inside, but nothing worked. He was stuck with the war raging in his pants. He splashed cold water on his face, gazing at his harried reflection.

Straighten up, Kai. Suck it up and be a man! I am a man, that’s the whole problem!

Paisley sat cross legged in the middle of his bed. She looked so beautiful and serene, it was all he could do not to cover her body with his, and make passionate love to her. Instead, he helped her up. Leaning over to kiss her, he gasped when her hand cupped his ass, pulling him close.

“Is that because of me?” she asked, rubbing her hips against his erection.

“God, don’t do that! Please!”

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Love Takes a Swim Part 33 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallAfter his friends leave, Kai takes Paisley home with him, reluctant to have her by herself with Brill’s party going on. Unable to sleep, he has a long shower.

Feeling marginally better afterward, he dried off and crawled into bed naked. He was so tired, he couldn’t be bothered to find a pair of boxers. Lying on his stomach, he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. Sometime later, his door opened and someone crawled onto the bed, tugging at the covers. He rolled over on his side and looked into the frightened eyes of Paisley.

“I had a nightmare,” she said quietly. “I can’t go back to sleep.”

“Wanna talk about it?” Kai yawned and stretched.

She nodded, snuggling closer. As she closed the distance between them, he remembered he was naked under the covers. Shoving the sheets and duvet between them, he created a barrier so she wouldn’t feel, up close and personal, the fact that he wanted her. Her innocence intrigued him, her lack of guile like icing on the lust cake. Paisley’s scent ensorcelled him, drawing him to her. Fighting himself for control, Kai turned on his back letting her put her head on his chest. His arms circled her protectively.

“I dreamed about that night,” she whispered. “I could feel his hands on my throat. I never realized until this moment, he could have killed me, but he stopped. I don’t know why he stopped. I should be dead! Why would he stop?”

“Maybe he couldn’t bring himself to commit murder. Maybe he did it to scare you into submission? I don’t know, babe. I don’t know how a man like that thinks. I’d never hurt you like that.”

“You’d never hurt me at all,” she whispered, her tears pooling in the center of his chest. “You’d take care of me and protect me…. I can’t believe your friends are helping me. They hardly know me, but they’re taking care of me, just like you…. Why?”

“Because they’re some of the greatest guys I know. You’re with me, that makes you family.”

“I never had family to count on like that.”

Kai chuckled, his laugh rumbling deep in his chest. “You’re with me now, you’ll have so much family, you’ll need a playbook.”

“You really have that much?”

“Not quite as much as Toby, but it’s close.”

“Your family has been so good to me. I don’t know what I’d have done if I hadn’t met your mom when I did. I was desperate for a job…. She’s so kind….”

“She knew talent when she saw it. You’re great at what you do.” He stroked her hair, kissing her forehead.

Paisley sighed, snuggling closer, her fingers playing absently with the hairs on his chest. Her breathing slowed, and he knew she was asleep. Resting his chin on her head, he fell asleep.

The bedroom door thumped open. “Kai, dude, time to wake…. f**k!” Cody stood in the doorway, baggies on, shirt off, barefoot and frowzy.

The door closed quietly and his brother approached the bed, whispering hoarsely. “Are you insane? Totally out of your mind? What’s Mom gonna say if she catches you? Jeez, Kai! In Mom’s house?”

Kai sat up, groggy. “Huh? What’re you talking about, Cody?” It took a moment to become aware of the fact he wasn’t alone in the bed. “Oh, shit. We didn’t do anything, Cody. I swear.”

Paisley woke slowly, yawning and stretching as she sat up. Cody couldn’t take his eyes off her. She looked beautiful in the morning—and he was a man, after all. Kai didn’t get angry with the kid, he was too embarrassed by the fact that he was in bed with a beautiful woman—and buck ass naked. He had an erection that refused to go down. His younger brother was in the room, staring at his girlfriend like she was his next good meal.

Cody finally focused on his brother, squinting slightly. “You promised to take me and guys to the beach this morning, remember?”

Kai had forgotten. “Yeah, sure. What time is it?”

“Almost eight. You like to go early. They’ll be here soon. Dude, if Mom sees….”

“Shut up, and she won’t even know. I swear, nothing happened.”

“I had a bad dream. It’s my fault,” Paisley said calmly. “And he’s right, nothing happened.”

“Why’s she here?” Cody was almost frantic.

“Long story. She was in the guest room. Go see for yourself.”

“She has to get out of your room now. Mom gets up early, even on Saturday, you know that! What were you thinking?”

“I told you, nothing—never mind. Paisley, you’d better go, before my brother totally flips shit.”

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Love Takes a Swim Part 32 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallThe conversation continues, and Paisley finds out a little bit about Kai’s biological father.

“Too much baggage,” Toby offered.

“I was gonna say the elephants in the room,” Billy offered. “Man, I feel like I’m in a zoo, we got so many. But hey, we’re working on shrinking ’em down. Pretty soon, no more elephants.”

Chi had finished his beer and looked ready to leave. “Kai, it’s been great, but I want to get on this.”

“You can use my computer,” Paisley offered.

He grinned, winking. “Sweet cheeks, no offense but your laptop is tinker toys and bubble gum, compared to what I’ve got.”

“Most guys measure their potency based on the size of their package,” TM said. “Sushi measures his by RAM.”

“And I am the Computer Wizard King!” Sushi said, posing proudly, one hand on his jacket collar, the other clutching his groin.

Paisley laughed so hard, she almost fell off Kai’s lap. “Okay! On that note, maybe we ought to say good night.”

“It’s been a delight,” TM said, kissing her cheek.

Each of the men embraced her, bidding good night. None of them felt like going to the party now, though TM had to put in a brief appearance because it was his cousin’s party.

“I’ll talk to Brill while I’m there,” he assured Kai quietly. “We got your back, blood. Remember that.”

“Thanks, guys. You may be degenerates, but you’re the best guys I know.” He gave each one a clap on the back. “Take it easy. You’ve got my number, right?”

All four of them patted their pockets, nodding.

“You got a special lady,” Billy said. “You treat her right.”

“Is there any other way?”

They bumped knuckles, laughing.

Paisley was cleaning up when Kai got back inside. He helped her finish, then sat back down on the couch with her.

“I want you to go home with me tonight. I don’t feel right leaving you alone. TM’s cousin is cool, but we don’t know who’s at his party. Not all of Brill’s pals like me. If any of them recognize the Jeep….”

“Once you leave, that won’t be a problem.”

“I’m not comfortable with that. I don’t want you alone. Will you pack an overnight bag and come home with me? We’ve got a great guest room down the hall from me, next to Tempy.”

Paisley had to admit that she would feel better at the house. She wanted Kai to stay with her, but she couldn’t invite him without giving him expectations. She wasn’t ready to fulfill any fantasies he might have, so going home with him was the best solution.

Everyone was asleep when they got to his parent’s home. They went upstairs as quietly as possible. Kai led Paisley to the guest room next to Tempest’s. He wanted badly to kiss her, but thought better of it. It would make him extremely uncomfortable on a variety of levels, partly because he really wanted to make love to her, and partly because it was his parents’ house—And he really wanted to make love to her.

“I’ll be fine,” she said quietly. “Go to bed. You’re exhausted.”

“Good night, Paisley.”

“Good night.”

Paisley wanted to kiss Kai good night, but found herself reluctant to do that when they had come so close to making love earlier. Had the guys not come to the door when they did, she might have let him continue. Instead of giving in, she stepped backward into the room, closing the door slowly.

Kai leaned against the door frame as she swung it shut. Just before it closed in his face, he put the palm of his hand on it, halting its movement.

“Hell with it,” he mumbled.

His lips sought Paisley’s, kissing her deeply for a moment. Just as suddenly, he stopped, retreating to his room. Stunned, Paisley stood in the doorway, eyes closed, lips parted. Her eyes fluttered open when his bedroom door shut at the other end of the hall.

Sleep didn’t find Kai for several hours. Not only was he on sexual alert status, he’d slept the better part of the day. He watched a couple shows on Netflix, but didn’t really pay attention. His mind kept drifting to Paisley, and the fact she was down the hall. The taste of her lips and the scent of her perfume lingered…. Finally, he got up and started the shower.

Lathering up, he imagined her hands on his body, her lips on his, as he relieved the pent up sexual tension the only way he could.

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Love Takes a Swim Part 31 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallThe men find out that Paisley’s on the run from her abusive ex, and offer to help, if she needs it.

“I’d kinda rather he didn’t know Paisley lived here on her own,” Kai said. “I like Brill. But some of his homeboys scare the shit outta me, and I don’t scare easy.”

“Nobody but Brill needs to know. He can order some of the guys to keep an eye on the complex. Someone shows up they don’t know, they call in. Simple. Little peace of mind. You can’t be here twenty-four/seven, dude.”

Kai conceded that he couldn’t. “Baby, whatcha think?”

Paisley shrugged. Talking about her ex always made her quiet. “I’d like to know there were a few armed men between me and Ralph. That’s his name. Ralph Winston Embree, IV.”

“There been three others saddled with that name? And I thought Tyrone Marseilles was bad. Dude, no wonder he’s an asshole. Name like that….”

“He tried to kill me,” Paisley blurted out. “The night I left. He beat me up, and choked me. I couldn’t go to the cops, his dad owns them. So I packed a few things and ran.” She shook, spilling her beer.

Kai dragged her into the circle of his arms, giving what comfort he could.

“Man like that needs to die,” TM growled. “Needs to meet with an accident.”

“Needs to fall down stairs for a month,” Billy said. “With me at the bottom, kicking his ass back up.”

“What’s wrong with a guy like that? You said he was rich, he’s got more money than God, why’s he gotta be like that with you?” Toby asked, his handsome face full of concern.

“Know his social?” Chi asked. “Anything personal you know about him, tell me. You want his money? I’ll get it for you, completely untraceable. You want to be someone else? I can do that, too. I can disappear you fast as lightening. He’ll never find you again.”

“You can do that?” TM was stunned. “I don’t even wanna know how.”

“I couldn’t explain it to you anyway. But yeah, I can do that. Guy like that deserves to suffer. To lose it all, till he’s lower than chicken shit. Then he needs to die.”

“I don’t know his social,” Paisley said, sniffling.

“Don’t matter. Name like that, he’ll be easy to find. Guys, I’m heading home. Suddenly, the need to find female companionship, pales.”

“Dude, you do what you say you can, I’ll personally set you up with one of my cousins,” Toby said. “And you know how hot they are.”

Chi grinned, nodding. “Yeah, you’re related to the prettiest women in the state. Bites for you, man. Anytime Toby meets a new woman, he’s gotta go through his family tree, to make sure they aren’t kin.”

“I met one girl once, damn, she was fine! Tight ass, great tits, pretty, red headed, willing…. So, we’re nearly naked and it occurs to me that I don’t know her last name. Thank God I asked! She’s a distant cousin from North Carolina. Very disappointing.”

“How distant? You know, anything past second cousin is okay to date or even marry,” Paisley said.

“Not in my family,” Toby replied glumly. “It might just be shared potato salad, but we don’t date, and we sure don’t wed anything less than six degrees of separation. My uncle became a family outcast for marrying his third cousin. There was so much family pressure, he divorced her a year later.”

“That’s horrible!”

“That’s the McTeague way.” He shrugged.

“You’re really related to that many people?”

“My family breeds like Borg. I’m fifth of eight. My aunt has ten kids. Another has twelve. My cousin Drake’s from the smallest family, his mom has only two.”

“Patrick’s his cousin,” Kai told her. “There’s only three boys in that family.”

“I got more aunts, uncles and cousins than I can remember. Family reunions are crazy wild. But try to find a woman! I practically gotta go out of state.”

“Toby and I are what, third cousins once removed?” Kai asked him.

“Our mothers know. Kai’s related on Mom’s side. They aren’t as prolific.”

“My dad’s McMurtry kin,” Kai told Paisley.

“You know him?” She was shocked. He never spoke of his father.

“Yeah. He’s a good guy. He and Mom didn’t think marrying at sixteen was the way to go, so they went their own ways. But he’s always been around.”

“Why don’t you use his name?”

“Because then it would take a lot of explaining. He’s kind of an important man now. It’s mine, if I want it and he’s acknowledged me….”

“His dad’s in state government,” Toby explained. “Kai didn’t want to embarrass his old man. If anyone wanted to dig up dirt on him, they’d find Kai. His dad’s name is on the birth certificate. But why call attention?”

Paisley nodded, understanding completely. “How do we manage to find the subjects, most likely to cause embarrassment?” she asked, forcing a smile.

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Love Takes a Swim Part 30 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallThey have an interesting conversation with Kai’s friends.

“I’m working at Antonio’s Italian restaurant,” Billy said. “My folks own it.”

“I thought you were Hispanic,” Paisley said.

“Yeah, Dad is, but Mom’s Italian, and a hell of a chef. I’m waiting tables for her, and she’s teaching me to cook. Who knows, maybe I’m the next winner of Iron Chef?”

“What’re you doing, TM?” Paisley asked.

His dark eyes sparkled with humor. “Homeboy’s gonna laugh at me,” he said.

“Come on, the others told us!” Paisley leaned forward excitedly, not realizing that her shirt gaped, exposing the top of her breasts.

Mouth slacking, TM wrenched his eyes back to her face, knowing Kai hadn’t missed the momentary indiscretion. A slip-up would be excused. Full on ogling, would not.

“Me? I’m going to college. Gonna head to the seminary after that, and become a preacher.”

Kai’s mouth dropped open. He didn’t laugh, in fact he couldn’t make a sound. Paisley nudged him. Blinking, he closed his mouth, inhaling.

“Wow! That’s amazing, TM. I gotta say, I’m really impressed.”

“You ain’t laughin’,” TM said with awe. “These other mother f**kers laughed they ass off when I said that.”

“I always thought you hid your true nature from everyone, including yourself, man. You’ve always walked in faith, no matter how hard you tried to deny it. I think it’s great you’ve finally decided to accept it.”

“You knew? All this time? And you didn’t say?”

“Would you have listened? You buried yourself in drugs and women. Hell, we all did, for a while.”

“Not you, Kai. You always had one woman and you drank some. Most you did was weed,” TM said quietly.

They sat in silence a few moments, none of the men making eye contact with one another. Paisley knew she had to do something, or somebody was going to start crying, and she suspected it was her. Her heart went out to these men. All of them were trying to get their lives on track, running away from whatever demons haunted them, just like she was.

“Anyone want a beer?” she asked brightly, standing so fast, she lost her balance.

Kai’s hands steadied her. It took him a moment to realize he was grabbing her crotch and ass. Blushing, he dropped his hands.

“Beer?” she asked again, as if that hadn’t just happened.

TM cleared his throat. “Yeah. I’d like one. Let me give you a hand.” He stood up, adjusting his jeans.

The other men agreed to a beer, so they went in the kitchen and got them out of the case Nina had bought for her. Paisley insisted on washing and drying the tops before taking them out.

“You don’t know what’s been on them,” she said with a shudder. “I wash every can I open.”

“Works for me,” TM said. “We all have our OCD moments. Me, it’s car keys. I’ll check my pocket six times, before I leave the house to make sure I got ’em. I keep ’em in the front pocket, so folks mostly think I’m checking my balls.” His hand dropped unconsciously to his pocket as he spoke.

Paisley giggled. “If they think that, they’re dumb. Your balls are a little farther to the left.”

“Thanks for noticing,” he said with a deep chuckle.

“No problem,” she replied, flashing him a grin.

TM watched her almost hungrily as she walked into the living room ahead of him, three beers in her hands. He brought the other three, distributing them before sitting down.

“So how did you meet?” Billy asked, sipping his beer.

Kai told them.

“What brings you to Florida?” It was an innocent enough question. Sushi had no idea what monsters chased her.

Paisley paled, leaning against Kai.

“She’s got a lunatic ex. Guy was abusive, possessive, wacko.”

“So, you’re on the run?” This from Billy.

Paisley nodded, shivering.

“We got your back, chica,” he replied. “You ever need to disappear, we’re the guys who can do it. You need new ID, place to stay, anything, we got it covered. We got mad skills and all at your disposal.”

“Plus, I got a cousin down the way’s a bona fide criminal,” TM told her. “He’s got more fire power at his disposal than a seven nation army. That aside, he’s a good guy. Misdirected, but a good guy.”

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Love Takes a Swim Part 29 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallAs they’re kissing, they’re interrupted by a knock on the door. Scared, Paisley retreats to the bedroom. It turns out to be friends of Kai’s.

Kai sat in the only remaining chair, holding Paisley on his knee. “Y’all, this is Paisley. Baby, these are some of the degenerates I used to hang out with. Starting on the left, that’s Billy Mendez.” Billy nodded and said hello.

“Next to him is Toby McTeague, who’s kin to more people in this town than I am.”

A tall, lean blond man with icy blue eyes and dark eyelashes, rose, extending his hand. “Hi, Paisley.” He took her hand gently, kissing her fingers. Paisley smiled a little. He was quiet and gentle, much like Kai. His touch didn’t melt her insides, though. Only Kai did that.

“This guy,” Toby pointed to the Asian man next to him. “This is Sushi.”

“Not Sushi,” the guy said with a sneer of disgust. “None of them can say my name. ‘Tards.” He stood up, leaning across the table. He was shorter than Toby but taller than Billy. “Sung Chi,” he said distinctly.

Paisley took his hand. “Nice to meet you, Sung Chi,” she said.

Sushi grinned, shaking his straight, black hair from his eyes. “Nice to meet you too, Paisley. And thanks for getting it right.”

“Not that hard,” she said with a giggle.

“It is when you’re drunk off your ass on tequila,” the final man said as he stood up. He was the largest man Paisley had ever seen, easily seven feet tall, and heavily muscled. “Tyrone Marseilles Gordon.” White teeth flashed in the dark chocolate face. “Call me TM like the rest of my DG buddies.”

“DG?” Paisley looked at Kai, puzzled.

They exchanged a look and a chuckle. “Degenerate Generation,” Sushi explained. “What we used to call ourselves.”

“Be fair, it was Mr. Stevens that named us,” TM added. “High school principal our sophomore year. He thought we were all burnouts who’d never amount to anything.”

“Not us specifically,” Kai added. “Our entire generation. He labeled us the Degenerate Generation. We liked and adopted it.”

“We were pretty messed up at the time,” Billy explained. “Smokin’ in Kai’s Jeep at lunchtime.”

Paisley giggled as Kai blushed, dropping is head. “I’m real sorry you guys found me. I was hoping to keep my sordid past a secret.”

“You sordid?” Billy said with a laugh. “Dude, I’ve done things no sane man would do, and lived to tell about it. You’re a damn choir boy compared to me. I won’t tell if you won’t.”

Kai held up the middle finger on his right hand, his left he placed palm down like it was on a Bible. “I do solemnly swear never to tell the secrets of my fellow Degenerates though I be threatened with pain of death, dismemberment, or castration.”

The others joined him, cupping their hands over their groins when they said the last word. Paisley laughed loudly, rocking on Kai’s knee.

“You guys are great! How come you don’t hang out anymore?”

The men exchanged another meaningful look. TM spoke up quietly.

“Kai pointed out, more than once, that we were throwing our lives away. He pulled it together, and we didn’t. It took Billy getting set up on major drug charges, for us to realize he was right.”

“Yet you were going to the party down the street,” Kai said quietly, shaking his head.

TM laughed. “Dude, it’s my cousin Brill’s birthday. The hottest chicks in three counties will be there. The boys are hungry,” he said grabbing his crotch.

Kai laughed loudly. “Don’t I know it.”

“You got a lady and you’re hurtin’?” Billy looked disgusted. “Shit… What’s wrong with you, man?”

“Me,” Paisley said primly. “I don’t give it up right away.” She gave him a steely look that made him shut up.

“Sorry. Just my man Kai’s got a rep.”

“That we don’t need to discuss,” Kai said pointedly, raising an eyebrow. “They make it sound a lot worse than it was,” he told Paisley quickly.

“Even at his worst, he was never as bad as me,” TM admitted, though he wasn’t bragging. “Should’ve got me a tat that said Playah as a warning to any woman within grabbing distance.” He shook his head. “Changed up, had me a lady, but she played me. Karma’s a bitch, man.”

“Things fell apart when Kai left,” Sung Chi said so softly, Paisley almost didn’t hear him. “Like this big revelation that we’d totally f**ked our lives. But, I got a job with a computer firm. I’m writing anti-virus code.”

“I got a job doing landscaping with my cousin,” Toby said. “If I don’t stay straight, he’ll will Go Army Bad-Ass, and kill me.”

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Love Takes a Swim Part 28 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallBack at Paisley’s apartment, after dinner, they settled on the couch for coffee and more delicious kisses.

Expecting to get punched any time, Kai continued exploring, waiting to see what his parameters were. He nibbled Paisley’s collarbone, the nap of her neck, the curve where her neck and shoulder met, the base of her throat. Down and down he dropped, nibbling and kissing, until his mouth hovered over the top of her cleavage.

Paisley gasped, her chest heaving as she waited for Kai to continue. She could have stopped him, she should have, but she didn’t want him to stop. She wanted to know what she’d been missing. All those years ago, when her friends started having sex, she was already in Ralph’s clutches. He filled her with disgust, not lust. She’d never had any desire to bed him. Now she’d found a man who made her insides turn to mush, just by smelling him. When he kissed her, touched her, she felt alive for the first time in her life.

“Paisley, do you want me to stop?” Kai breathed across the tender, sensitive skin. Her nipples tightened. “I’ll stop—just say the word. But if we’re gonna stop, do it now, cause past this point, I won’t be able to….”

He wanted to kiss her breasts, take them in his mouth and suckle them, teasing the firm, ripe buds with his lips and tongue. His body ached, his loins burned. If she told him to stop now, he might erupt into flames, but somehow, he’d survive.

She shivered as his breath blew over her. She wanted him badly, but knew this wasn’t the right way. “I want you,” she whispered huskily. “I want you so much it hurts….”

“But not yet,” he said, straightening up. “That’s what you mean right?” His tone was more clipped and terse than he’d intended.

Paisley bit her lower lip, seeing the look in his eyes. Lust burned deep inside, searing her too. Kai saw pain there, doubt, fear. He helped her sit up, cuddling her, brushing her walnut colored hair from her face and lips as he held her.

“I’m not him, Paisley. I’ll never hurt you like he did. You’re safe. He won’t find you here.”

“He will. Sooner or later he’ll find me. He has resources you can’t imagine, Kai. And I had to take this job under my real name. He can track that….”

“Shh…. He hasn’t found you yet. Don’t be afraid. You’re not alone anymore, baby. You’ve got me.”

Paisley’s scent wrapped around him, reeling him in, making him crazy with desire. In tight control, he kissed her lightly on the lips, trying hard not to scare her. She relaxed, pulling his head closer, as she opened her mouth to him. Despite Kai’s best efforts, the heat built in him once more, threatening to overwhelm him. Groaning, he shuddered, the need for her consuming him.

Hammering at the door startled them both. Paisley screamed, clutching at him. Kai put his finger to his lips, kissing her quickly to quiet her. He pointed to the bedroom. Nodding, she ran to her room, locking the door behind her.

Kai looked out the window by the door as well as the peephole. Sighing with relief, he saw a cluster of old smoking buddies from high school. Their lives had gone a completely different direction from his, but they were still pals. He opened the door, leaning casually against the frame.

“You living here now, man?” A short, muscular Hispanic guy said.

“Billy! Dude! I thought they sent you up!” Kai clasped his hand and was dragged into a manly embrace.

“Nope. Charges didn’t stick. I didn’t do it, man. I want you to know that.”

“Never thought you did. Uh, no, this is my lady’s place. Come on in. Kinda freaked us out. How’d you know?”

The four men trooped in. Kai locked the door behind them.

“We was on the way to the party down the road,” Billy told him. “Saw your beat-ass Jeep.”

Kai chuckled. He’d driven the 1988 Jeep Cherokee since high school. It was beat to hell, dented, paint faded, but it had a completely rebuilt in-line 6 motor with 4 four wheel drive. He fixed it up gradually as he had the money.

“Have a seat. Lemme get my lady. That’s if she’s not freaking on me. Hang on.” Kai went to the bedroom door, tapping quietly. “Hey, baby. It’s okay. It’s some buddies of mine. You alright?”

He heard the bathroom door open and close. The doorknob moved slightly under his hand. Paisley peeped out, one green eye at the crack.

“It’s okay,” he whispered. “Some of my old drinking buddies were on the way down the street. They saw my Jeep. Come out and meet them, babe.”

Paisley’s face was pale and streaked by tears. She clutched his hand tightly as he led her back to the living room. The four muscular men were seated on her battered furniture, dwarfing the room.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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