There wasn’t a man alive who could refuse a plea like that. He slowly withdrew then plunged forward again.
She writhed underneath him, and she wrapped her legs around him, pulling him tighter against her.
He sank into her welcoming heat, and with each thrust, he felt like he was losing more of himself. It wasn’t just physical. He wished to hell it was. He wanted it to be lust, because then when she was ready to go he could let her without regret or a sense of loss.
But as he moved deeper into her body, he felt the pull in his chest. Right where his heart lay.
Then he looked into her eyes. There was want and need there. They shone with something, something he couldn’t quite describe, yet it instilled such an ache within him.
Did she feel it too?
Her movements became more frantic, and her eyes widened. He knew she was close, and he was determined that she go first. He reached down, finding her clitoris. With a gentle touch, he strummed at it as he slid forward again.
Her mouth opened, and he knew if he didn’t cover it, she was going to let out one hell of a scream. He almost didn’t make it in time. As he clamped his hand over her mouth, his other hand still plucking at her clit, she let out a hoarse yell. Her pu**y convulsed around him, sucking him wetly as she orgasmed.
He closed his eyes and ground his teeth together. Oh holy hell, this was big. Shit.
Every ounce of blood in his body raced to his cock, swelling outward. Pressure. God, the pressure.
The condom felt like a vise around his cock. He wanted to rip it off to alleviate the tightness. Harder he thrust. Frantically he pounded against her willing body until finally the unbearable pressure blew.
He exploded inside her, the head of his c**k damn near blowing off with the force of his orgasm. Mindlessly, he rocked against her, never wanting the feeling to end.
Nikki sucked in her breath as J.T.’s hand slid from her mouth. She wanted to cry out, to scream, but she bit her lip to keep silent. Never had she felt anything to equal their coming together. It was everything she’d dreamed it would be.
She glanced up at J.T. who gently slid out of her body. Their eyes met, and what she saw in his made her heart fall. Regret. Guilt. Everything but the loving acceptance she’d hoped to find.
“J.T.,” she said softly as she struggled to sit up on the desk.
He took her hand and helped her up, but he wouldn’t look at her.
“I’ll get your clothes,” he said in a low voice.
“J.T., look at me,” she pleaded.
He finally turned his head, and she saw the regret simmering in his dark eyes. But there was something else. Sadness? The pupils were dilated, overtaking the brown orbs and painting his eyes black.
“I’m not going to insult you by offering excuses, Nikki. It shouldn’t have happened, but I wanted it. I knew exactly what I was doing. But make no mistake. It can’t happen again.”
“Why?” she demanded. She pressed in close to him, uncaring of the fact she was still na**d. Her pu**y was still throbbing from her orgasm, and she wanted nothing more than for him to take her in his arms.
“I’m not having a fling with you, Nikki,” he gritted out.
She tensed and tried to keep her anger and frustration at bay. “Who says it has to be a fling? Why can’t we have sex? We’re two adults, J.T. I’m not a child.”
“Maybe I’m not into casual sex,” he said calmly. “Maybe I’m at an age where I’m ready to settle down and find something more than a quick fuck.” She flinched and stepped back. “Quick fuck,” she said in a low voice. “Is that what I am, J.T.?” She couldn’t keep the pain from her voice. She wasn’t the woman he wanted to settle with. “I’m good for a blowjob and an easy lay, but not good enough for more.” Bitterness crept in. Invaded and slid over her with agonizing speed. Some things never changed in Barley. She’d been a fool to come back.
“That’s not what I said, Nikki,” he said patiently.
“You didn’t have to say it,” she whispered.
She yanked on her wet clothes, not caring how they looked. Without a backward glance at him, she unlocked his door and strode out to where her car was parked.
Her eyes were dry. She wouldn’t cry. Not over him. Her only consolation was that she hadn’t humiliated herself even more by blurting out her feelings.
J.T. shut the door so he could dress. He was standing in his office in the middle of the day, na**d and still wearing a used condom.
He reached down to pull it off and froze when he saw the traces of red on the outside of the latex. Blood. What the fuck?
His gaze flew to the desk but all he saw was the faintest smudge of red. God, had he been that rough? Had he hurt her?
But then he registered how tight she’d been. How unsure she’d been as he positioned himself to take her. And her gasp of surprise when he thrust that first time.
Nausea rolled in his stomach. Jesus Christ. She’d been a virgin.
He closed his eyes, and then remembering he was still na**d, in his office, in the middle of the day, he let out a curse and yanked his clothing back on.
A virgin. God. He’d taken her virginity, something he had no right to do, and not only that, he’d insulted her. He’d all but called her a whore. Not that he’d ever hurt her like that, but he might as well have said it out loud. All that shit about not wanting a quick fuck.
No, he didn’t want a quick f**k with her. He goddamn wanted more. But she didn’t.
This was all a game to her. He couldn’t ever see her settling with a small town, hokey cop in a place that had caused her nothing but grief. Why the f**k had she even come back?
Lucas was going to kill him.
J.T. groaned and rubbed a tired hand over his forehead. He’d promised one of his best friends that he’d look out for his kid sister and protect her from men who thought she was an easy mark. He swore long and hard again. Easy mark? She’d been a goddamn virgin, and he’d been the one who treated her like she was a carbon copy of her mother.
Way to go, asshole.
If J.T. had wanted Nikki to disappear, he’d certainly gotten his wish. She was no longer there every time he turned around. It was a week later before he realized he’d stopped hiding in hopes that he would see her, but no matter where he went, the café or Tucker’s, his house or his office, there was no sign of her.
A midweek conversation with Jasmine yielded nothing other than Jasmine calling him a dumbass and hanging up in a huff.
Where was she?
He couldn’t very well keep an eye on her if he never saw her.
“You’re a stupid son of a bitch,” he muttered. He’d hurt her. He still flinched when he remembered the look in her eyes. He’d been such a bastard.
Of course she wasn’t lining up to seduce him. A woman like her didn’t need to wait around on a man like him.
But she had waited, and he couldn’t figure out why. Why him? She had to have had men dying to take her out in college.
Even as he thought it, an image of her mother came readily to mind. And the expression on a much younger Nikki’s face the night he’d had to tell her that her mom wasn’t coming home.
That night had been a catalyst for so many things. He’d taken Nikki to his home so she’d have a place to stay until Lucas got into town. He hadn’t wanted her to be alone in the house she’d grown up in. Not when her mother’s boyfriends paid call at all times of the night. When they discovered Tricia gone, who was to say they wouldn’t turn their attention on Tricia’s teenage daughter?
Nikki hadn’t reacted with surprise to the news that her mother had skipped town with a new boyfriend and left Nikki to her own devices. It was that stoic acceptance that made J.T. grieve for the little girl trapped behind Nikki’s abrasive façade.
It made perfect sense why she was still a virgin. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out she wouldn’t want to be tarred with the same brush as her mother.
What didn’t make sense was why she’d chosen him to be her first.
He swore and pounded his desk with his fist. Then he glared at the window unit that had quit earlier in the afternoon. Damn repairman was supposed to have been here hours ago. He was tired of sitting here sweating his ass off with the ridiculous hope that Nikki might burst through the door with her million-dollar smile and those big blue eyes shining with mischief.
Instead, all he could remember was the hurt shadowing those gorgeous eyes. Hurt that he’d been responsible for.
Toby stuck his head in the door. “J.T., you might want to head over to Tucker’s.” The urgency in Toby’s voice spurred J.T. to action. He quickly stood and strode toward the door, his hand automatically checking his weapon at his side.
“What’s up?” he demanded.
Toby gave him an uneasy look and J.T. knew. He sighed. “What’s she done now?” Toby grimaced. “There’s a disturbance. Uh, Tucker said Nikki is pretty drunk.” J.T. bit out a curse even as he started for his car. Toby was right behind him.
At first, J.T. wondered if this was just another ploy on Nikki’s part, her calling his bluff on locking her up overnight. But when he walked into Tucker’s a few minutes later, he quickly hung up that notion.
In a word, Nikki was plastered. And he’d never seen her drunk. Hell, he’d never even seen her take a sip of alcohol.
She was on top of the bar, ignoring Tucker’s pleas to come down. She wore a tight miniskirt that afforded anyone in a three-foot radius a prime view of her underwear. He only hoped to hell she was wearing underwear.
Her midriff was bare as her tank top rode higher, brushing the undersides of her breasts. She was most definitely not wearing a bra.
She teetered precariously on three-inch heels, and no less than four sets of hands reached up to steady her. A peal of laughter escaped her as she dodged and continued gyrating atop the bar in time with the blaring country music.
She looked like she was having the time of her life. Only J.T. could see the pain flashing in her eyes.
Then one of the guys reached up and yanked at her hand. She tumbled down with a surprised yelp, right into the asshole’s arms. He grinned and plastered his mouth to hers.
She began to struggle and kick wildly, but the guy wasn’t inclined to let her go. If anything he tightened his grip. Her whimper of fright spilled out. It was all J.T. could hear. No music. No loud conversations. Just her sound of fear.
J.T. exploded into action, shoving men out of his way as he closed in on his goal.
Tucker gave J.T. a relieved look as he saw him.
Without a word, J.T. reached out and snagged her wrist. He pulled, but the guy holding on to her was reluctant to let go. Until he saw J.T.’s uniform. His compliance wasn’t enough, though. J.T. wanted his blood.
He decked the guy right in the jaw, and he went down, almost taking Nikki with him.
J.T. grabbed her and hauled her against him. He shoved her behind him as he waited to see if he’d have any more trouble out of Mr. Obnoxious.
Satisfied that he was out for the count, J.T. turned to Nikki. Her usually clear blue eyes were cloudy with confusion and the haze of too much alcohol.
“Are you all right, honey?” he demanded as he touched her cheek in a gentle gesture.
To his horror, her eyes filled with tears. Hell.
He pulled her into his arms then looked over her head to Tucker. “How long has she been at this?”
“A few hours,” Tucker said. “Only got bad about a half hour ago.”
“Thanks for calling,” J.T. said with a nod. “I’m taking her home.”
“Give Lucas my regards when you talk to him,” Tucker said. “Tell him he won’t have to worry about Nikki coming in here again.”
“No, he won’t,” J.T. said shortly. “She’ll be back in over my dead body.”
Tucker nodded his satisfaction, and J.T. gathered Nikki under one arm, pressing her against his side. He urged her from the bar, keeping her in the protective shelter of his embrace until they were outside.
When he got to his car, he opened the back door and gently helped her in. She offered no resistance and crawled onto the seat, lying down and curling her knees protectively against her chest. He stood there looking at her for a long moment, his jaw clenched until he thought his teeth might break.
J.T. turned and nearly ran into Toby.
“I’ll head back over to the station,” Toby said. “You go ahead and take her home.” J.T. nodded. “Thanks, man.”
J.T. walked around to the driver’s side and got in. They rode to her house in silence.
He glanced over his shoulder in the darkness to see if she was sleeping, but she was just lying there, her gaze fixed on some distant object. He sighed and turned his attention back to the road.
A few minutes later, he pulled up outside her house and cut the engine. He got out, opened the back door and reached in to pick her up. She offered no resistance and lay limply in his arms as he walked to her front door.
Hell, it wasn’t even locked.
“We’re going to have a talk about your safety measures,” he grumbled as he elbowed his way inside.
Her silence was starting to unnerve him. For a girl who always had something to say, this prolonged no-talking thing was starting to bug the shit out of him.
He laid her on the couch and knelt down beside her. He touched her cheek and ran his finger down to her lips.
“Are you okay, honey?”
Again her eyes filled with tears. One popped over the rim of her eye and slipped down, colliding with his finger. Damn.
“Don’t call me honey,” she said hoarsely. “I’m not your honey. I’m not your anything. I’m nothing to you. Just an easy lay.” He damn near exploded. Only the fear of scaring her kept him from losing his cool entirely.