She wrapped her arms around herself. “Hey.” Was she supposed to apologize? There wasn’t exactly a playbook for how to act around your ex-boyfriend who was pretending to be your current boyfriend but had just given you a very real orgasm a few hours earlier. Brooklyn would be laughing her ass off if she knew.
“Hey.” He didn’t make a move to climb into the room. “I was a jackass earlier.”
“No, I’m sorry.” It was like the buildup, the one that had been rising since the moment she first saw him, finally burst the dam. She gripped her arms so tightly, she distantly wondered if she was in danger of breaking into a million pieces. “I used you and that wasn’t fair, and I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” I was so sure I was done using people, but the first chance I get, I’m right back at it.
The shadows hid his face, making it impossible to gauge his response. “Jessie.” Even his tone gave nothing away.
“Let’s just forget this ever happened.” She just wanted to rewind to the day she’d agreed to this insane idea—no, to the day she got the invitation in the mail. Jessica should have thrown it away immediately. Shredded it. Maybe lit a little fire just to make sure it was gone. She couldn’t blame her slow slide back into the queen bitch of Catfish Creek. The town had never been the cause of it. She couldn’t even blame her mama, because plenty of people had mothers like hers and didn’t become utterly wretched the second they stepped out the door.
Today was a vivid reminder that she wasn’t nearly as far along in her journey to being a different person as she’d thought—as she’d hoped.
“Jessica.” He leaned forward, the intensity in his green eyes rooting her in place. “You seem to be under the mistaken impression that you have some shit to atone for.”
“I do.” He should know that better than anyone.
Jake shook his head. “No, you don’t. Not with me.” He climbed into her room with one smooth move. “We both had a part to play, and I’m as guilty as you are when it comes to our shit going down in flames ten years ago.” She started to ask what he meant but forgot what she was saying when his hands came to rest on her hips. How had he gotten so close without her noticing? “But we’re not talking about ten years ago—we’re talking about today. And today, I was a right jackass.”
She tried to focus on his words, rather than the feeling of his fingers sliding down her hips and then back up, until they dipped beneath her sleep shirt and found bare skin. She licked her lips. “You made me come. I don’t think you were too much of a jackass.”
“I was punishing you for the fact that I still want you. It’s not your fault that my head is fucked up when it comes to you.” He backed her toward the bed, step by step. “We’ll talk about this, Jessica Jackson, but not right now.”
She licked her lips, doing her best not to arch against him like a cat begging to be stroked. She’d already pushed too hard earlier today. She was going to learn from her mistakes if it killed her—and with Jake’s thumbs slowly tracing back and forth over her hips bones, it might kill her. “What are we going to do now?”
“Now, I’m going to strip you naked and reacquaint myself with you.” His hips bumped hers, making it impossible to miss exactly what we meant. “And when we’re both satisfied, I’m going to start again—as many times as it takes.”
She couldn’t catch her breath. “Oh.”
“Is your door locked?” He coasted his hands up her sides, taking her shirt with it.
“I don’t know.” Jessica lifted her arms so he could slide it over her head and drop it on the floor. Then she stood before him, naked but for a pair of seriously unsexy underwear. She hadn’t been planning on wearing underwear for the most part during this trip, but she’d thrown in a few pairs to sleep in—she was going to be in her parents’ house, after all, and one did not sleep naked in one’s childhood home.
Now she wished she’d thrown that stupid rule out the window.
While she was debating the best way to distract Jake so she could get rid of the underwear without him seeing, he took a step back and went to his knees in front of her.
And barked out a laugh.
“Shut up.” She put a hand in front of his face, trying to block his vision.
“No, wait.” He grabbed her around the wrist and moved her arm. “Explain these. Is that a—”
“Yes, okay. It’s a cat.” She might die of embarrassment, right there on her bedroom floor. Jessica stared at the ceiling, her skin so hot, it might as well have been on fire. “A pussy, if you will.”
Jake made a choked sound. “The image very lifelike.”
“It was a gag gift from Brooklyn.” At least she thought it was a gag gift. With Brooklyn, one could never tell. The underwear was cut in a boy-short style and they had an image of an angry cat plastered across the front. “We don’t have to talk about it.”
“You are just full of surprises.”
She jumped at the feel of his breath against the sensitive skin below her belly button. Knowing he was so close gave her the courage to look down her body. Jake met her gaze, his green eyes drinking her in. “Lie down.”
Jessica shimmied out of the underwear and kicked it under the bed, his sharp inhale music to her ears. Maybe I still have it. She slowly backed onto the bed. He watched her the entire time, his entire body tense as if trying to keep from pouncing on her.
It would have been better if he did lose control.
There were no illusions on who held the power in their situation. Jake. Always Jake. He pulled off his shirt and then took off his pants, his gaze never leaving her. She wanted… Jessica couldn’t put into words what she wanted.
To go back in time and not be such a selfish fool. To be as brave as she used to be when she was that idiot teenager.
Most of all, she wanted Jake.
He climbed onto the bed and settled next to her. “Don’t move.” He placed a hand a quarter of an inch above her stomach and slowly drifted it over her body. Arms, shoulders, breasts, stomach, legs. Through it all, Jake didn’t touch her, never closed that minuscule distance.
Her skin broke out in goosebumps, and her breath went ragged. It didn’t make any sense. He wasn’
t touching her. “What are you doing to me?” She could barely force the words past her lips.
“Reacquainting myself.” He made it down one side of her body and started back the other, but he paused when he reached her hips. “Spread your legs for me, love. I want to see you.”
She obeyed without hesitation. His hand was so close to where she needed him. All she had to do was arch up and there would be contact. Her body shook from the need. “Jake, please. Touch me.”
He exhaled through clenched teeth. “Not yet.”
Desire and desperation gave her more courage than she would have dreamed. “If you won’t, then I will.” She hesitated half a second, and then slid her hand between her thighs. Her fingers bumped his, but he didn’t seem inclined to move—either to stop her or help her—so she parted her folds and drew a single finger over herself.
Jake caught her wrist before she could touch her clit. He lifted her hand, her finger gleaming with her wetness, and took it into his mouth.
“Shit.” Jessica’s eyes slid shut despite her best efforts as he gave her finger a hard suck and then pulled away. She immediately opened them again, not wanting to miss a single second.
“Shit,” he agreed. “Fuck, Jessie, you taste even better than I remember.” His gaze dropped to where she was still exposed. “I had plans for how this was going to play out.” He moved down until he was between her thighs, his big shoulders spreading her even further. “Very specific plans.”
“Was this part of them?” She couldn’t catch her breath for the anticipation tightening every muscle in her body.
“Eventually.” And then his mouth was on her and there was no more room for talking.
At the first lazy drag of his tongue, she had to slap a hand over her mouth to muffle her moan. Jake went still, his breath ghosting over her clit. “When’s the last time?”
Several seconds passed before she found her voice, and when she did, it was hoarse with need. “You’ll have to be more specific.”
“No, I won’t. You know exactly what I mean.” He flicked her clit with his tongue. “Tell me.”