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|Before Jamaica Lane(On Dublin Street #3)(60) by Samantha Young|
‘Don’t,’ he whispered hoarsely. ‘I’ve hurt women by not giving a shit what happens after I’ve f**ked them. Let’s not pretend I’m something I’m not.’
My blood heated. ‘If you don’t like what you’re doing, then stop it. Your dad isn’t disappointed in you, Nate. He loves you and he’s proud of you. That’s plain to anyone who spends time with the two of you. He just wants you to move on. And you know what?’ I threw my hands up. ‘Maybe he’s right. Maybe it’s time to move on from Alana. Find a nice girl. Settle down.’
It was the wrong thing to say.
Nate’s lip curled as he eyed me disdainfully. ‘And what? I find a nice girl and you finally f**k the unwitting Benjamin – Library Boy?’
Not liking this side of him one bit, I glared at him, crossing my arms over my chest as I leaned back on the hood of the car. ‘I’d say I’m ready. You’ve got me all trained up. Lessons learned. I’m pretty f**kable now, right? I think he’ll enjoy it.’
I only had a moment to see the anger flare in his eyes before he rushed me. I found myself gripped by the nape of the neck as he hauled me up against him and started kissing me. It was rough, bruising, nipping, biting, and I gave as good as I got.
Breathing harshly, Nate pushed me back on the hood, insinuating himself between my legs. Shoving my dress up, he leaned over me, eyes black as the night around us, and I arched into his mouth as he pulled the straps of my dress, and the bra underneath, down to allow his lips access to my naked br**sts. His hand slid along my inner thigh, his fingers dipping under my panties and pushing inside me.
I cried out as he cursed hoarsely at finding me wet and ready.
And then it was all about desperation.
My panties were gone. His zip yanked down. My hips in his hard grasp as he pulled me down the hood of the car to meet his cock. He pumped into me, feeding my frenzy, and our surroundings no longer mattered. I didn’t care that we were outside. I didn’t care that I was on the hood of a car. All I cared about was that he wanted me. I took that, my inner muscles squeezing around his hard thrusts, extorting his release from him.
He relaxed against me, both of us lying across the hood, his warm breath on my neck, my legs wrapped around his waist. I could feel his heart thudding against mine. The skin of his back clammy and warm beneath my hands. I took it all.
I took it all and held on to it for a while.
And he let me.
Because I think he knew that it wouldn’t be long before he yanked it all away from me.
Nate was tender, almost apologetic after the wild sex on the rental car. It was only later that I realized he hadn’t said a word during the sex. It wasn’t like him. He usually said something hot, dirty, to spur us on. That he hadn’t made me feel like he was as angry and as confused as I was. Too caught up in pushing that confusion away – just needing to connect, not to think, let alone speak. At least that’s what I let myself believe.
We drove in silence back to the rental house, but I could feel his gaze on me every now and then. Searching. As soon as we arrived at the house, I left him to mingle with our friends while I headed for bed. Jo followed me upstairs. Concerned. I convinced her I was okay. Not so much my pillow. I think it was the tears that soaked it through the night that gave me away.
The next morning I almost gave up my spot in the front passenger seat on the ride home, but I knew that would raise suspicion since I’d been loud about getting it in the first place. However, I was quiet and Jo noticed. She sent me a text from the back of the car telling me she was worried about me.
I was breaking.
I so wanted to tell her everything.
But I held my silence and was grateful when Nate dropped me at my door so I could hurry inside away from all of their questioning looks.
There was no word from Nate for the rest of the day, and no word all day Monday. I left work, going over everything in my mind, trying to make sense of it all. To understand how I could have let myself fall.
When I couldn’t do that, I sought distraction …
‘Liv?’ Joss stood in her doorway, surprise slackening her features.
My brow furrowed at her appearance. She had dark circles under her eyes, her olive skin had a sickly pallor to it, and altogether she did not look like a healthy pregnant woman.
Before she could come up with an excuse to keep me out, I barged into her flat. ‘Is Braden here?’ I threw over my shoulder as I marched toward the kitchen.
‘No, he’s at work.’
She appeared in the doorway as I set about making coffee. My eyes washed over her. ‘You need to take better care of yourself.’
Joss smoothed a strand of hair back into her ponytail. ‘I’ve been busy. A literary agent in New York now represents me.’
A teaspoon of sugar froze over my mug. ‘She loved your book?’
‘She loved my book.’
I grinned excitedly. ‘Joss, that’s amazing.’
Her smile was bright, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. ‘Yeah.’
My gaze dropped to her stomach. ‘So what’s –’
‘She thinks I should start working on another.’ She interrupted me, almost frantically.
I knew deflection when I saw it. I let her get away with it. Just for a little while. Coffee made, biscuits on a plate, I carried them into the sitting room for us and settled back on her couch while she curled up in an armchair. Her words were hurried, breathless, so lacking in her usual composure that I could feel the unease growing in my gut. It was clear she was willing to talk to me about her books until she was blue in the face if it meant I wouldn’t ask about the pregnancy.
Finally, just when I was about to stop her and cut to the chase, we heard the sound of the front door opening. I watched Joss tense, as if she was a fragile pane of unsupported glass, bracing against a harsh wind.
My heart pitter-pattered on her behalf as she chewed on her lower lip, her eyes on the sitting room door as heavy footsteps made their way toward it. Braden’s large frame filled the doorway. His eyes were tired and the corners of his mouth were turned down. ‘Liv.’ He gave me a chin lift in greeting before his gaze moved to Joss. They narrowed at the sight of her. ‘Did you sleep today?’
Joss shook her head. ‘I couldn’t.’
Annoyed, he said, ‘You need to get some sleep.’ Without another word he turned on his heel, tugging at his tie as he wandered out of sight.