Meghan March – Beneath These Chains
About Beneath These Chains
I was raised on the streets, so I know things are rarely as simple as they appear—especially this rich girl showing up at my pawnshop demanding a job.
She’s the most tempting thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ll be damned if I can make her leave.
Shit just got complicated … but when it comes to her—I want complicated.
We’re both fighting our own demons, and our only chance at a future is to let go of the past.
But will we be strong enough to break free from beneath these chains?
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I fucking hated people who stole from me. Which was ironic, considering the only thing that had kept me from starving as a kid had been picking pockets and snatching purses. I dropped my elbows to the desk and rubbed a hand over my buzzed head.
“Goddamn, karma’s a bitch.”
“She the bitch you fucked last night, bro?” The leather of my office couch creaked as Mathieu sank his tall, lanky frame into it.
“How many times do I have to tell you not to call women ‘bitches,’ boy?”
My words were met with a long sigh from Mathieu. Ever since he’d walked into Chains and tried to grab a guitar and run back out the door—only to be tackled to the ground by yours truly—he’d been a fixture in my life. To be fair, his choices had been to work off the price of what he’d attempted to steal, or go directly to the nearest cop shop. The entire situation had been such a blast from the past, I’d caught myself smiling when I should’ve been glaring and scaring the piss out of the kid. But apparently I’d done an okay job of it because he’d decided starting a rap sheet at seventeen wasn’t a good plan. Thank fuck. Almost two years later, the kid was my right hand.
And now that Chains was mine, someone was stealing from me—but not just someone. An employee. Someone I should’ve been able to trust. The cameras I had installed on her day off had already paid for themselves.
I rolled my head from side to side, cracking my neck. I hated firing people. It never got easier. And this time? This time it was going to be even worse … because there would be tears. And quite possibly claws.
Pushing up from the chair, I strode to the door without looking at Mathieu. Over my shoulder, I tossed, “You might want to stay here; Brianna’s ass is about to get canned.”
“For real?” His words followed me out, but I didn’t bother to reply.
Every time I stepped foot onto the shop floor, a feeling of pride surged through me—pride that I’d helped build this business into one that was not only honest, but profitable. At least, it was profitable when one of my employees wasn’t skimming off the till and messing with my bank deposits.
Finger twirling in her long, dark extensions and gum snapping between her teeth, Brianna flipped the pages of a magazine with a giant black Sharpie in one hand, circling shit. Probably shit she wanted to buy with the money she’d been stealing from me. The store was empty, which made what I was about to do a little easier.
“Bree, need a few minutes.”
Her head popped up, lips pursing as she took me in. “You can have all the time you need, boss.” Her gaudy fake eyelashes batted at me in what I assumed was supposed to be a sexy move. I stowed the urge to tell her to save it for someone whose dick got hard at the sight of her … but since I was about to fire her, why add insult to injury? The woman had been unsuccessfully trying to add her notch to my bedpost since I’d hired her. Bringing her on had been a mistake, and I’d known it from the minute she’d walked in the door, but a friend had called in a favor.
“Boss? You had something to say?” she prompted.
I watched her, not speaking.
She stopped the hair twirling and capped the Sharpie, resituating herself on the stool and folding her hands in her lap.
Bree’s dark eyes flew wide. “Done? You mean done for the day?”
“Done. For good. Get your shit and get out.”
Bree lost the innocent pose as she crossed her arms and stared me down. “Not until you tell me why.”
In two long strides, I closed the distance between the register and me and pressed my hands to the counter.
“I gave you a job. Gave you a paycheck you didn’t have to suck a dick to get. But that wasn’t enough for you. You had to have more, and instead of coming to me and asking for a raise, you decided to make it happen yourself.”
The color faded from her face, leaving her mocha-colored skin sallow. “Wh-what?”
“Get your shit.”
“I swear, I didn’t—”
“Don’t fucking lie to me. I can show you the tape if you want to see what I saw.”
Her lower lip started to wobble. It wasn’t going to work. I’d given her the benefit of the doubt, hoped I was wrong or it was just a one-time thing. But she’d gotten too bold.
“But I need this—”
I cut her off. She wasn’t even going to deny it. Not that she could. We both knew she’d done it, and I wasn’t in the mood to listen to her beg or justify her actions. Even though she didn’t know it, I’d already given her a second chance. And all that had done was cost me even more than I could afford to lose. “I needed someone to work the shop—someone who wasn’t going to fuck me over and steal from me. You weren’t capable of that, so you’re out. Now get your shit.”
“Save your breath, Bree. I ain’t listening unless you’re here to tell me you’ve got all the money you’ve taken, and you’re putting it right back where it belongs.”
Her face twisted into an angry glare even as the tears started falling. “You … you don’t understand.”
“No, I really don’t understand.” I crossed my arms and waited her out. When she realized the water works weren’t changing my decision, she spun off the stool, grabbed her giant purple purse from behind the counter, and stalked toward the door.
“You get all self-righteous with me about a little cash while you basically steal from people? Giving ‘em twenty dollars for their shit? Like you’re one to judge.”
A little cash? She’d skimmed enough to buy a nice used car, and I’d been too trusting to even realize it until the numbers hadn’t added up in a big way.
She slowed near the guitars at the front of the store and malicious glee lit her eyes.
Oh, but she did.
Bree grabbed a guitar and swung it toward the rack as the chimes above the front door jangled. Wood crashed against wood, and two female screeches erupted.
Shit … if she injured a customer…
I charged Bree and ripped the guitar from her hands before she could swing again. A swirl of red hair caught my attention as the other woman dodged out of the strike zone.
Bree struggled against my hold, and I wondered if I was going to end up with a face full of the acrylic claws tearing at my arms. “Let go of me, you asshole!”
“Whoa, boss. Getting the door for ya.” Mathieu bolted across the shop and yanked the door open again. I hustled Bree out and set her free on the sidewalk.
She spun to face Mathieu and me. “You’re gonna regret this,” she hissed. “I swear, you will.”
A soft laugh came from the open door. “From what I’ve seen, I highly doubt it.”
Bree opened her mouth to spew something else, but I shut her down. “Get gone. I don’t ever wanna see you near my shop again.”
Bree’s flinty eyes narrowed as she shouldered her purse. “Fuck you, Lord. You think you’re better than me? Not a chance. You’re just thievin’ street scum. Fuck you.”
“And now she’s getting repetitious,” the husky female voice commented from behind me.
Lip curling in disgust, Bree turned and marched toward the corner, never looking back.
“Her exit could totally use some work, but all-in-all, that was one hell of a welcome.”
I turned to survey the woman standing in the doorway of Chains. Even without a photographic memory, I didn’t think I’d ever forget this particular pose: one arm braced on the doorframe and the other propped on her hip, a green dress hugging curves that had my entire body sitting up and taking notice. Matched with her long, curling red hair, she was a goddamn knockout. What the hell is she doing here?
“You lost, sweet thing?”
She stepped onto the sidewalk and tore the HELP WANTED sign off the bottom corner of the front window. Holding it between two fingers, she smiled. “Nope. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m your newest employee.”
About Meghan March:
Meghan March is the author of contemporary and erotic romance novels.
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch Up on the Beneath Series:
Beneath This Mask (Beneath #1)
He loves me, and he doesn’t even know my real name.
The limelight that follows him could expose everything I’m hiding. But even knowing the risks, I can’t force myself to stay away.
I’m going to break his heart, but mine will shatter right along with it.
Will we lose it all when I reveal what’s beneath this mask?
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Meghan_March_Beneath_This_Mask?id=SAijBAAAQBAJ
Beneath This Ink (Beneath #2)
I’ve always known she was too good for me, but that never stopped me from wanting her.
And then I finally had her for one night.
A night I don’t remember.
I figured I’d blown my shot.
But now she’s walked back into my life, and this time, I have the upper hand. I want my second chance.
Will she be able to see the man beneath this ink?
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Meghan_March_Beneath_This_Ink?id=YaCTBgAAQBAJ&hl=en
Starting June 16th, readers can enter the contest to win a Coach Purse from Meghan March!
MILD SPOILER WARNING! If you have read Man On you will adore this poignant full circle scene. If you have not, feel free to read it and then jump into the novel for only .99!
ONLY .99 during the 2015 Women’s World Cup!
Bad boy of European football, Nicolas Garza is about to hit American shores with a vengeance. Signed by the Detroit Black Jack Gentlemen as lynch pin for their expansion club, Nicco only half believes he’s making the right move. But with a past full of ghosts and rotten behavior chasing him from his homeland, he has no real choice.
Parker Rollings is a college soccer superstar, but his parents’ plans for their only son do not include professional athletics. When the Black Jacks approach him to finalize their roster, Parker leaps at the chance to keep playing, leaving behind medical school, stability and his first and only college sweetheart.
Nicco and Parker face off as bitter rivals for a coveted starting spot at midfield and are forced to channel their negative energy into something positive for the sake of the group—and themselves.
All eyes are on the fledgling team in its debut season. It’s crucial that the Black Jacks prove all the doubters wrong. They must make a good showing in the league and with new fans. But player drama, club dynamics, and misplaced priorities may tear it apart before it even begins
Happy Father’s Day!
Black Jack Gentlemen Style
by Liz Crowe All Rights Reserved
“You realize that this is gonna be tough. I mean, World Cup level, final game, in the rain and heat against a stacked Brazilian national team level of impossible.”
“You realize that does not make me feel in any way prepared to help her, right?”
Parker glared at Nicco for a split second before turning his attention back to his simultaneous obsession with the current World Cup match they were watching and his phone, which he clutched in one hand so hard his fingers hurt. He glanced at it, then back at the huge TV screen.
The group of players huddled together on the large leather couch looked up at the sound of a female voice. Sara Gordon stood there clutching a bunch of sweating brown beer bottles. As the wife of the man who’d basically conjured the Black Jack Gentlemen expansion pro soccer team for Detroit, she’d never developed a full appreciation for the game, or so she claimed. But she knew how to host a party.
The team was gathered at the Gordon’s expansive Ann Arbor home to watch the semi finals. They’d eaten burgers, kicked the ball around with the kids that hovered around the edges of any Gordon party and now sat clustered around the huge television, cheering, in a solid fifty-fifty split for either Turkey or Uruguay in a surprise pairing. Neither team had been expected to get this far. Their coach, a Turk named Metin Sevim was pacing and cursing. Every man in the room was mesmerized by the action.
Everyone but Parker.
He smiled at Sara and started to stand, excusing himself for the thousandth time. Nicco put a hand on his leg, attempting to calm him but he was claustrophobic, antsy and Nicco’s little pep talk had not helped him in the slightest.
“She’ll be all right,” Sara whispered as he passed by her. “It’s soon, right?”
Parker’s face flushed red. He hated being so obviously beside himself. Hoping to deflect some of the attention focused on him by pretty much the entire room, he held out his hands. “I can take those around,” he said.
“Over here then, hurry up,” Jack Gordon said from the far side of the huge room. “She’s been serving everybody but me for the last hour.”
Sara stuck her tongue out at her husband as she handed the bottles over to Parker.
“You’re just spoiled Gordon,” a voice called, Parker couldn’t tell from where. His ears were ringing and his heart thumped with anxiety as he passed out the beers, making the politically correct call to get one over to Jack first.
The room erupted when a near miss drive came up just short inside the Uruguayan goal. Beers dispersed, Parker leaned against the wall in the back of the room, trying to let the vision of his favorite game played at the highest possible level distract him. It didn’t work. Sighing, he slunk back into the hall and headed upstairs with the sounds of cursing and cheering in his ears. He must really be off, he thought. He didn’t even care who’d scored.
The brightly lit kitchen beckoned from the end of the hall so he headed there, smiling at the sight of the various kids in the living room, watching some cartoon or another. His chest constricted on the heels of that, reminding him of his terror level.
“Hey there,” Rafe said on his way past him towards the basement door. The team’s co-manager, a former Argentinian star, put a hand on his shoulder. “Is it time?”
Parker shook his head, unwilling to talk about it even to the one guy who’d been his biggest supporter during the past months of insanity and drama. Thankful when Rafe read his “leave me the hell alone” body language and kept going past him, he headed into the kitchen, needing space to breathe and think.
“Hi,” Sara said, as she loaded dishes into the washer.
“Can I help?”
“Not ever gonna turn that down.” She smiled and pulled her hair back into a ponytail and plopped into a chair. “Thanks.”
After about twenty minutes he had all the dishes loaded, the counters cleared off and wiped down. Sara had stayed quiet, sipping a glass of wine and reading something on her tablet. He sat across from her once the busy work was complete. She glanced up at him, her deep green eyes thoughtful. “The patio could use a sweep,” she said, nodding towards the wall of glass between the kitchen and outdoors.
He leapt up, never more grateful for her spot-on intuition that he required something to do that would keep his mind off the fluttering, impending panic attack. Grabbing the broom he found leaning in the mud room he headed out into the warm June night. Once the patio was spotless, he dropped into a cushioned lounge chair, heart in his throat again.
What had he been thinking? He was not ready for this step. Especially considering the convoluted nature of how it would go down. He leaned forward, elbows on his knees and counted his blessings for a brief moment. He and Nicco were out. They were a couple. They’d weathered the many storms of media coverage both good and very bad. The Black Jacks organization had been supportive of their decision not to be the “face of gay men in sports.” But they’d also fully supported Nicco and Parker by not forbidding them to be seen together in public.
He sighed and lay back, staring up into the twinkling stars nestled into the velvety night sky. At that moment, he would have given anything he had to talk to his father. The milestone moment in his life that loomed terrified him. He wanted to hear his father’s deep, reassuring voice.
But since he’d thrown off his parents’ plan for medical school and marriage to his college sweetheart, they’d pretty much absented themselves from his life. His mother sent him emails, keeping him up to date on the various cousins he still felt close to and who’d made it to some of his games. But his father had not spoken to him in over a year. And Parker had never felt the giant, gaping hole the most important man in his life had once occupied than he did right this minute.
He must have dozed off because the next thing he knew, there was a hand on his face, startling him awake. He sat with a grunt, almost tumbling off the side of the wide seat.
“Relax baby,” Nicco said. “Scoot over.”
Parker made a concerted attempt not to yell at the man he’d finally admitted he loved not that long ago, right on the heels of one of the most alarming conversations he’d ever had with the last woman he’d had sex with. Nicco kept a firm hand on his thigh, calming him almost instantly. He shifted so Nicco could slide in next to him. He grabbed the man’s hand and threaded his fingers through his.
“God damn I am freaking out,” he said, putting Nicco’s knuckles to his lips.
“You think?” Nicco’s white smile gave him something to focus on not his own creeping panic. They sat in silence a while, comfortable, side by side and Parker sensed his pulse calm, finally.
“Not Turkey,” Nicco said, taking Parker’s hand and putting on his zipper. “I’m bored.”
“No, you’re not. You’re just as nervous as I am. You just like to fuck to distract yourself.”
“And that is a problem because…” Nicco flipped up onto his side and slid his hand under Parker’s tee shirt. Parker sighed, shivering when his lover’s fingertips teased his flesh. He sensed Nicco’s full lips on his neck, then his jaw. He let the man turn his face towards him with the hand that had made it all the way up under his shirt.
“I love you,” Nicco said, his mouth mere centimeters from Parker’s.
“I know,” Parker said, suddenly desperate for a connection. He gripped Nicco’s face, let his hand slide up into the other man’s hair. “Kiss me.”
“No problem,” Nicco said as he did as he was told. For a few seconds, Parker was one hundred percent distracted from what was about to happen to him, to them. He knew nothing but his lover’s lips and his body pressed close on the lounge chair in the soft, Michigan summer night.
“Hey!” A voice broke into their increasingly inappropriate groping. “Yo, Rollings! You out here?”
In the process of disentangling from Nicco’s embrace Parker dumped himself onto the hard patio surface. “Shit,” he muttered, scrambling to his feet.
Nicco rose gracefully, as usual, pulling his shirt tail out over his jeans in the dim light thrown by the kitchen.
“Si, we’re here. What d’you want.” Nicco said, irritation clear in his accented voice.
“Uh, you left your phone in the kitchen,” the voice said. “You’re getting a lot of calls…”
Parker ran past whoever was talking, he never found out, snagging his phone and breaking into a freezing cold sweat. Sara stood with Jack by the front door, holding it open. He stood, utterly frozen for a few seconds. Nicco breezed by and snagged his arm.
“Let’s go Papa. Time to make this thing for real.”
Parker glanced up in terror. But the cool, calm, dark gaze held him, calmed him and he nodded.
They made it to suburban Detroit hospital in record time. Parker barely remembered it. He’d placed two calls, one to his mother. She’d been excited, and promised that she’d relay his good news the family, reminding him to call the second he know more. The other one had been harder. He’d heard the fear and pain in Ashley’s voice.
“Hurry,” had been the one word he’d said to Nicco.
They burst out of the elevator onto the maternity floor, skidding to a stop at a nurse’s station long enough to bleat Ashley’s name. The nurse had taken one look at the two men, shook her head, then lead the way down a long hall to a closed door. He heard it then, the distinct sound of female screaming. He stopped, stepped back and sensed himself sliding the floor.
“Oh no you do not,” Nicco said, yanking him up. “Hold it together Parker. This is where she needs us.”
Parker nodded but knew he was gonna fade. He couldn’t bear it. Ashley was crying now, on the other side of that damn door. The nurse handed them papery gowns and masks. Then opened the door and shoved them into the very depths of hell.
Five hours later, Parker sat huddled in a chair holding a tiny infant who was staring at him in such a way that made his heart pound and his eyes burn with unfamiliar tears. Ashley was knocked out, having endured hours of screaming, blood, shit and pain before they just cut her open and took the damn baby out. But at that moment, all Parker knew was the small boy who was memorizing him with his earnest, dark blue gaze.
Nicco perched on the chair arm and touched the boy’s face making him blink and shift his gaze up, seeming to take in both men who were so transfixed by him. “Wow.” Nicco said, his voice hoarse. “Just…wow.”
“Yeah,” Parker croaked out, unwilling to admit how very much in love with the tiny boy he already was. “Ross. He’s for real.”
They both looked up when the door opened, revealing a tall, suited, handsome and very stressed out looking man. Nicco got up and walked over to him holding out a hand. The man took it but kept looking over Nicco’s shoulder at Ashley’s immobile form on the bed.
“Congratulations Anthony. It’s a boy.”
The man blinked. “Thanks. Um…she’s…”
“She’s exhausted. But fine.”
Parker looked up when he sensed the other man nearby, looking down at the infant. “Go to her,” he said, knowing that was all the man wanted right then.
A nurse came in to check Ashley’s vital signs then turned to Parker. “Okay let’s take baby Ross to the nursery now. You have more visitors.”
Parker felt himself clinging to the boy, not willing to surrender him yet. Nicco was back at his side, hand on his shoulder. “Can we share the good news first?”
She frowned, obviously wanting to get the baby back. But Nicco was not about to let that happen.
“Sure. But not for long.”
Nicco put a hand under Parker’s elbow and helped him up, keeping his arm around Parker’s waist as they walked out the door and into the bright morning light of a busy maternity wing. Parker blinked, certain that his fatigued brain was playing tricks on him when he caught sight of the people standing there.
“Mom?” he said, almost stumbling. But Nicco kept a firm grip on him. “I’m…it’s….” He turned to the man he’d been missing so much it hurt. “Dad?”
“Give him to me Parker,” his mother said, tears streaming down her face. “Please let me hold him.”
Nicco bumped his hip, breaking him out of his stunned silence. Parker’s tall, austere, patrician father stood there with tears in his eyes. Nicco whispered something in his ear, making him smile.
“Happy father’s day, Dad,” Parker said, staying close to Nicco, unwilling to hide or pretend anything about what he was anymore.
“Happy father’s day to you, son,” the man said as Nicco took the baby from his arms and gave him to Parker’s mother. Parker stood, staring at the man who’d raised him. To his utter shock, the man grabbed his arms, hesitated a split second, then tugged him into a tight hug.
Happy Father’s Day Liz Fans.
In Europe (And in South America and Africa as well) “soccer” is the primary sport played—from streets and sidewalks, to back yards and professional fields. Hands down it is the most popular sport despite the popularity of baseball in Central America, and rugby or cricket in the United Kingdom.
It’s a simple concept and takes minimal equipment. In sort of the same way that “basketball” was invented as a response to the expensive sport of “American football” in Indiana and Kentucky which, for the most part, did not have schools with the resources to field a football team, soccer’s rise in popularity early in poorer countries makes sense. You need a ball (and I have seen “balls” made of everything from leather to duct tape so essentially you need a “round sphere to kick around that will roll”). And something to kick it over (a line in sand, or a stick) or into (a bucket, a trash bin, or just pre-designated space). You can play alone and work on your “juggling” (the process of keeping the ball aloft using your feet and knees only) or your goal scoring, or you can play with 2 people. And of course you can play just about any “small sided” or “full sided” game. The pro game is played with 11 players on each team, including a goal keeper.
The rise of soccer players as super celebrities in some countries also makes sense. These guys are, for the most part, attractive, competitive, outgoing and in many cases as rich as any super NBA or NFL Star in the States. Since there are no NBA, NFL, MLB or hockey stars to fawn over, soccer stars fill the gap nicely for folks looking to latch onto someone who has worked very very (very) hard to achieve the sort of status enjoyed by players like Christiano Renaldo, Gerard Pique, Wayne Rooney, Clint Dempsey and many others. The popularity of fan sites do their part to show soccer playing men as the ultimate romance heroes.
Their “WAGs” (wives and girlfriends) are always big news too—most of them are (like they are in the states) models or actresses or socialites of some sort or another.
I wrote the Black Jack Gentlemen series with an eye on all of these things but translating them to an “American MLS expansion” concept. Each book focuses on a specific player or coach or staff member. I even hired a photographer and a couple of models to personalize the covers of these amazing books. Check how that went down here.
During the Duration of the Women’s World Cup of Soccer (June 8-July 7, 2015) You can get
SHUT OUT — about a tough, yet deeply troubled and unhappy Black Jacks goal keeper who gets and denies a concussion and the consequences of that choice on his part) for FREE!!
MAN ON — the Black Jacks washed up European player meets fresh faced American whipper snapper who is in the throes of denying his sexuality is just .99
RED CARD — The gut wrenching but ultimately redemptive story of the young man who was a super star but became the Black Jack’s coach is only .99
Here are some handy buy links:
AND because THIS is your lucky day….Allow me to introduce the newest team member, Declan MacGuire. He joins the Black Jacks with his story on July 7, 2015!
HAT TRICK, The Black Jack Gentlemen Book 4
Detroit’s expansion pro team has a hot star forward, fresh from the English Premiere League. Thanks to a series of fatal misunderstandings coupled with his famous temper, Declan MacGuire only has one thing left to him—soccer—and he’s determined not to make the same mistakes in his new life stateside.
Emily Keller, an accidental low-level PR flunkie for the team watches as Declan gets sucked into a whirlwind romance with Cassandra Dean, the team’s Queen Bee groupie, trying not to be jealous while the woman maneuvers him into a sickeningly familiar situation.
When things escalate, the team is forced to take sides, and Declan faces the toughest choice of his life.
Exclusive Excerpt (and I mean Super Duper Exclusive as in you will ONLY read it on the Liz Blog!)
********WARNING************NSFW. Over 18 only
“You still in here or did you melt? Damn, it’s hot!” His strikingly beautiful, painfully thin girlfriend demanded. She yanked open the glass door and glared at him.
“We’re gonna be late. Can you pick it up a little?” Her tone dialed down an octave.
“I don’t think I can do it. Do we have to go?”
She heaved a sigh that spoke volumes. “Dec.” She drew the single syllable into two and reached through the steam for him. “You know I wanna go. We’ve got our costumes.”
He groaned and let his head drop low, picturing the foolish getup he’d been told in no uncertain terms he’d be wearing that night.
“I’m horny, Cassandra. Can we…” He grabbed her hand and started to pull her in, bringing nothing but a squeal and smack to his bare shoulder.
“My hair, you jerk.” She jumped outside the range of the water.
He took a long breath.
I love her. I love her. I love her.
He repeated it a few more times to himself, turned the water off, and stepped out of the shower, getting an eyeful of his girlfriend, the lovely, temperamental groupie that none of his teammates liked. She stood in front of him, completely, gloriously naked. When she crooked a finger he grabbed a towel, giving his skin a quick swipe before following her swaying hips out into the bedroom.
She turned and held out a hand. “Stop.”
Declan’s grin widened and his dick got even harder when she dropped onto the bed and propped one foot on the edge. A manicured finger dropped between her legs and started stroking. Her other hand gripped one of her full breasts and started tugging at a nipple. Declan grinned and crawled toward her, his head still throbbing but his dick overruling it. It had been almost two weeks since they’d had sex, for reasons he no longer remembered. His eyes were fixed on her pussy, and that finger, and the way her hips were moving. And the noise she made.
He reached the bed and grabbed her, yanking her close and latching onto her clit with his lips, making them both groan. She tasted great, if a bit perfume-y, but in a way he’d gotten used to since that first, strange night after the dry humping at Hugo’s. She’d pulled a weird sort of innocent little girl thing on him then that had turned him off faster than a cold stream of water and he’d put a stop to the whole thing, much to the dismay of his balls.
The next morning, he’d woken with her in his arms. He’d kissed her neck, slowly, gently, reveling in the sensation of her skin against his. She’d jumped out of bed and stayed at least ten minutes in the bathroom, emerging with clean teeth, brushed hair, and a touch of fresh makeup, not that he cared. When she’d insisted he go brush his teeth and “maybe get a quick shower,” he’d only hesitated a second before doing what she asked.
It had been worth it. Epic didn’t even begin to describe it. Cassandra Dean was a world-rocker in the sack.
End of discussion.
He’d been a goner once they’d finished and he knew it. She’d had him that night he’d met her, fully over his mistake back home, focused on his game, his team, and his new goal—but somehow vulnerable.
“You’re a sap, Declan,” his mother had told him more than once. “A hopeless, romantic softie. And I love ya. So you’d better warn any of those American birds angling to be my daughter-in-law that I won’t allow you to be hurt.”
He crawled up between her legs, grabbed a condom from the bedside table, fumbled around with the package, and finally got it on before plowing into her like a lame-ass teenager. She tilted her hips and took him, wrapping her legs around his waist. He came with a grunt of pure relief, pulled out, and flopped onto his side, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep.
But she leapt up as if someone had hit an ejector button and started scurrying around the room. Declan let his eyes droop shut, opening them with a yelp when she tugged off the condom, interrupting his mild moment of fantasy about Emily, the pretty PR lady.
“Let’s go, Scotty. The party awaits our VIP presence.”
He dragged a pillow over his head and floated in a happy post-orgasmic stupor for a few more seconds before hauling himself up and contemplating the costume the marketing department had sent over the day before. He’d swear the Black Jacks were in the entertainment business ninety percent of the time, and soccer the remaining ten. It had been fun at first. But this season had brought such radical roster changes, he’d ventured more than once to the management that they’d be better off taking the next three or four hours to practice and gain a bit more cohesion instead of dressing up like a pack of tossers in vampire suits for yet one more charity ball.