I downloaded a new copy just to see if it worked and wound up reading–and sniffling over–the first chapter. I’d forgotten how much I loved Paul and Bailey.
Since I’m pretty sure I’ve shared their first kiss before, here’s a later scene I hope you’ll like:
Paul could honestly say he hadn’t seen ‘sex with Bailey’ as even a remote option when he fired up the Cessna. He’d figured the trip would involve a lot of pacing in hospital waiting rooms and ferrying OC back and forth from the hotel.
To wind up sharing a room with Bailey…a pleasant surprise. To be invited back into her life as a confidant of her worst fear, to hold her, kiss her…damn, he couldn’t quite get his head around the bounty.
“I want you worse than when we were in high school,” she’d said.
He knew exactly what she meant. He’d gone hard the moment she’d pulled off her T-shirt.
Every inch of her skin smelled like honey and roses. He wanted to go slow, remember every sensation, but Bailey had never been patient. Once she made up her mind to do something, it got done.
“Do you remember our first time?” he asked unbuttoning his shirt.
She brushed his fingers aside and took over. One, two, three, pull out shirt tails, four, five… “We came close so many times, but I think it was in my barn, right? The hayloft. Your Boy Scout sleeping bag.”
He unbuckled his belt and unzipped while she pulled the belt through the loops. “The hay smelled good but the sleeping bag wasn’t thick enough to keep the poking parts from poking you.”
His belt joined her shirt on the floor. By wordless agreement, they both wiggled out of their jeans. Her panties didn’t match her bra. Lime green bikinis with black polka dots. “Cute.”
She touched the raised fabric of his navy blue stretch boxer briefs. “No more tighty whities.”
His breath caught in his throat as her hand cupped his erection. “Not since college.” Not since Jen started shopping for him.
She turned her attention to his bare chest. “Your muscles are so filled out. Chiseled, even. From swinging a hammer, I suppose. You’re so manly, now.” Her tone held a hint of teasing, but he thought he detected a bit of wistfulness, too. He felt the same.
“You’re thinner and more voluptuous. How is that possible?”
She flexed her bare arm to show her well-defined biceps. “Exercise. For a while after the accident, I couldn’t do anything. I felt like my body was melting into the sheets. As soon as I started physical therapy, I went gung-ho. One of my trainers, who also became my friend, called me Bailing Wired.”
He squeezed the muscle. “Hey, that was my nickname for you.”
“That’s what I told her. Although I was never sure it was a compliment.”
He locked fingers with her and leaned in close enough to nibble her neck. “It was. I admired your drive and fearlessness. Scared the bejesus out of me at times, but, man, you were something to watch.”
She moved her head and shoulder in a way that told him she was enjoying his touch. He trailed his tongue to a pronounced bump on her clavicle. A broken collarbone from falling off a horse when she was ten. A scare like that might have stopped other kids, but not Bailey Jenkins. From what her mother told him, she was back in the saddle while her arm was in a sling.
She dropped back on her elbows. “This,” she said, shifting to her right side to touch her collarbone, “was the first of many. Two cracked ribs. My kneecap is all screwed up. I broke my elbow, but it’s stronger since I started lifting weights. A couple of toes. And fingers. And that’s not even counting my ankle.”
He slid off the bed so he could start at her feet. “Which toes?”
She wiggled her left foot. He kissed them all, which made her laugh.
“And your right ankle.”
The scar wasn’t as furious a red as when she first arrived in Marietta. He nuzzled his cheek against her wound, their gaze locked. “I’m sorry you were injured, but I’ve got a few war wounds of my own, you know.”
He licked the inside of both her knees.
“Viral paper cuts. I give myself a yearly bonus to make up for the grievance.”
Hey, what’s lovemaking without a little humor? 😉
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