Tinny music blared from all directions, multicolored lights flickered, teenagers shrieked, pushing past families and older couples arm in arm. Generators—their cables snaking across the ground, ready to trip up the unwary—added noise, plus their particularly oily smell, to the other odors of grease and popcorn. All the fun of the fair. He loved it. Every last screaming child or puking teen. Each was a part of the whole.
His world. Even if he had to leave it and go back to his other life soon, for now this was all he wanted.
Raig stood and watched the crowds, always on the alert for anything untoward. Kids on their dad’s shoulders, mums pushing prams, couples holding hands as they decided where to go and what to do. A group of teenage boys, all swagger and bravado, stalked by and similar groups of giggling girls nudged and shoved one another. A normal evening at the fair.
He got the odd admiring glance, and ignored it. Something he found easy to do. One couple in particular caught his eyes. They were resolutely dragging an older woman in his direction. She looked as if she’d prefer root canal treatment. Ah, show time. Suck it up, Raig. Whether he liked it or not, a promise was just that—a promise. He didn’t make many, but those he did, he honored.
“Come on.” He heard Lorna, the younger woman, urging the older lady. He looked down at the other lady’s feet to see them encased in sensible ballet flats, albeit with something sparkly across the toes. Go figure. Semi-sensible then.
He glanced up at her face and his heart missed a beat. More than just a beautiful woman, she reached out to his soul, making him ache to know her in every way. What the fuck? That jolt of recognition, the electricity in his body, scared him. Was this what his da had meant? Recognizing a woman as his? Shit, if it were a film, the violins would be playing.
He’d always thought that his da had just been fanciful, making up the love-at-first-sight thing because it sounded so romantic and made his mum laugh, blush and poke Da in the ribs. Now? Well, now he wondered if maybe all those romance writers had hit the nail on the head. Shit, never mind the nail, he felt as if he had been hit on the head. With a sledgehammer. Him, a normally straightforward, hard-talking, no-nonsense businessman, thinking of roses and champagne, soft music and…yeah, and sex. Okay, so the sex bit was normal, the rest wasn’t.
“Mum, stop lagging.”
Mum? Oh fucking shit. This vibrant, sexy woman was Vairi, Lorna’s mum? The woman he was going to give a good time? Whew, ‘give a good time’ just took on a whole new meaning. It was unfortunate, but he suspected it was not the one Lorna and Denny wanted him to give her. The woman sighed deeply.
“I need to lag. You go on without me. I’ll sit and…smell the daisies.”
Raig chuckled. The stare she gave him should have withered his balls. He winked. She scowled, leaned on one of the security fences around the galloping horses and looked in the other direction.
“What shall we go on first?” Lorna shouted, her voice pitched above the noise. She sounded eager as she looked toward the chair-o-planes, the longing expression on her face there for everyone to see. The older woman rolled her eyes, raised her eyebrows and took a deep breath before exhaling heavily.
“You two can go on that torture ride. I’ll be here watching you and not losing my tea.”
Time to make his presence felt. He moved closer to her. “Ah, pretty lady. Sure, you’ll not lose your tea, but you can’t be at the fair and not have a ride.”
She whirled around, her long curls—the color of a raven’s wing—flipping across his face. He saw chagrin in her eyes and something else. Attraction? He and his ever-tightening body hoped so. His mind went to those classic novels his sisters had force-fed him. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Wuthering Heights, The Story of O. Okay, that wasn’t a classic per se, but he could imagine them both in it. He wondered what she saw when she looked at him. Six foot three tall. Inky, almost black eyes, overlong, dark, curly hair, one earring. Tattoos almost hidden with just one tantalizing bird’s wing showing. Tanned and toned.
He chuckled as she put her nose in the air, but not before she stared at him as if to reach into his soul. The sort of stare he would bet had nailed lesser men than him to the floor and kept them there and reduced them to babbling wrecks before they slunk away defeated. Not him.
His tone teased, low and husky as he leaned in a little closer. “So, what will your pleasure be?”
Did he really hear her say, ‘You naked’?
“Pardon?” Say that again.
“I’m sorry I need to go.” Pure frost. “My son-in-law is waiting for me.”
His smile was, with a bit of luck, wickedness personified. “I see him.” He raised his voice to be heard over a distorted rendition of Greased Lightnin’. Even John Travolta had trouble beating a fairground’s volume. “Are you well then, Denny?” He waved. “I have her. You and your lovely lady have a good evening now. As we will.” A laugh, a wave, a swift hug of her shoulders. “Now then, Lorna’s mum. What will be your pleasure?”
Vairi rolled her eyes. “For you to cut the crap and that phony Irish accent, to be sure.” She mimicked him. “‘Tis as fake as that Rolex you’re wearing. Own up to whatever shit you and your co-conspirators have thought up, find me a taxi and pay for the bloody thing.” There was the stare again. “Give me a break and don’t follow their well-meaning but unwelcome footsteps and try to”—she mimed quote marks—“make sure I have a good time, and show me what I’m missing. Seriously, I’m happy with my life and would be a lot happier without well-intentioned people trying to change it,” she finished with a snap. “So thanks but no thanks whatever you’re about to suggest. Unless it’s to escort me to the taxi rank.”
Oh ho, feisty. “Ouch. Oh, a chuisle, you pain me, indeed you do.” Did he sound as wounded as he felt? “Not shit at all. The Rolex is as real as those deep blue eyes of yours.”
Her stern expression relaxed and he swore he could see how she fought with herself not to give in to humor. Hopefully she wasn’t so annoyed as she’d tried to project.
“Now if only I could say I wore colored lenses. However, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. So Mister…”
“O’Shea. Padraig O’Shea. And you?” He bent over her hand and kissed it. A soft kiss, full of promise. Theatrical, but what the hell, he meant it. He, who had always steered clear of commitment, of ladies who clung, demanded attachment and wanted more than this. He had no idea why, how or when. Just that he did. Her laughter surprised and delighted him.
“Vairi McQueen.” Her voice held an absent tone. “Oh my God. Never. Paddy O’Shea. Next you’ll be telling me ‘indeed and there’s a leprechaun on my shoulder’.”
He contrived to look wounded. “Never, ever would I be joking about leprechauns, lovely lady. Also, no, I’m not Paddy O’Shea.”
“Told you.” She huffed, her eyes glittering in triumph. “I knew it. Lies, all lies. So who are you?”
“Paddy O’Shea is my da,” he continued as if she hadn’t spoken. “I’m Raig.”
“Rake? That sounds about right.” She shook her head. “I don’t half get them. Any oddball or weirdo and they come my way. And there’s something else. How do you know Denny?”
He chose to ignore her. “Now, I cannot be escorting a lovely lady and be calling her ‘Lorna’s mum’. I’ll be calling you Vairi My Queen.”
She glared. “You’re not escorting me anywhere long enough for that.”
“Now that’s where you’re wrong, love. God knows what’s in the water around here, but I can’t help it.” He bent his head and kissed her cheek, hoping to hell he wouldn’t end up with a black eye for his trouble. “You’ve bewitched me.”
Vairi shook her head. “You’re well-named, Rake O’Shea.”
In reply, he put his arms under hers and swung her around until the lights swirled. As he slowed she staggered and he held her close for a second, liking the way she felt as she rested against him. “How’s your dinner?”
“Bastard. My stomach wishes it had never met you. I can’t say it’s a pleasure to have done so.”
He could. His stomach was so churned up, a brass band could had taken up residence and was fighting the fairy folk for space. She was all woman, and his gut told him she should be all his woman. There was no rhyme or reason, just a certain ‘this is it, I’ve found her’ feeling. Something he accepted did happen to people, but never to him—until that moment. “Well then, Vairi My Queen. Tonight is yours. Requested, arranged and plotted by Lorna, who says you don’t get out enough. Denny and I were at school together, almost six months of every year when the fair overwintered. He knew I’d be more than happy to escort a lovely lady and show her the…sights.” It might have started as a favor to someone who’d helped him out of more scrapes than anyone could imagine, but now? Oh now, thank you, Denny!
She waited, and watched him with close attention. He had no idea why. Her reaction was most perplexing. If he wasn’t mistaken though, Lorna and Denny would get a piece of her mind when she saw them next, which left him wondering what would be her follow-up move.
“All mine? To choose or discard things?” she asked and licked her lips.
Oh fuckety fuck. His dick tried to thrust through denim. Sweet lord, did she know what that did to him?
“Use or loose as I please? And you’ll not argue?”
Shit. “I’ll try not to,” he said honestly. “I’m not saying I’ll succeed.”
“Honesty. I like that.”
She did that bloody arousing lick over her lips again.
“Okay then. The galloping horses. Then the big wheel.” She laughed up at him. “A hot dog and onions and some candy floss. So, Rake, you game?”
“Oh, Vairi My Queen, more than game. A woman after my own heart.”
She giggled. “That’s one thing I’m not. After your heart,” she elaborated as he stared at her blankly. “I have enough trouble with mine, let alone anyone else’s. I’m just after your fairground rides for a wee while.”
Raig tucked his arm inside hers and executed a mock bow as he led her across the grass toward the ride she’d requested. “That can be arranged. Let’s go.” He interspersed the short walk with a few words of caution—‘mind the cable now’ and ‘sure, and don’t be falling over the bin’.
As he was at least seven or eight inches taller than her, Raig found it easy to maneuver Vairi tight up against him, as he enjoyed her subtle scent and feeling her soft body next to his. If he had his way, there’d be a lot more feeling and soon. It was a strange sensation. Usually he kept his distance with any woman. With his other employment it paid not to have anyone around who the alleged opposition could use as leverage. Raig was invisible and intended he and his stayed that way.
So, no long term lovers.
Oh, he’d enjoyed his share of affairs, but no one had managed to get through his social mask and into his mind. Until now.
When they reached the side of the first ride, he turned her into his arms and lifted her effortlessly onto one of the painted horses before he stepped up after her.
“Now then, that’s you seated on Sword.” Oh, so aptly named. With luck, he’d have her seated on his sword before long. “Scoot forward so there’s room for me tucked in behind you.”
He imagined his eyes twinkled and dared her to disagree, as she scowled and rose to the challenge.
“Oh, Mr. Rake, I’ll show you. I may be way into my forties, but hey, I can flirt and enjoy, if I can remember how to do it.”
Interesting. She looked about thirty. Impossible, he knew, if she was truly Lorna’s mum. “So, how old are you?”
Vairi narrowed her eyes, very wary and on the defensive. “Why does it matter?” Her tone was full of suspicion. “Is there an upper age limit to riding these things?”
“It doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned. I’m just a nosy bugger. I go by the adage, you’re as old as the person you feel.” He smirked and hoped she would get the allusion to his age and the possibility she would be touching him. To make sure, he took her hand and placed it on his chest. The warmth of her touch hit him even through his shirt. If the material had scorched, he wouldn’t have been surprised. “Now think on, I’m thirty-one. Therefore, by that rule, QED, so are you.”
“Fuck.” She snatched her hand back as if she’d been stung, and shook her head. “Sod it. If you’re that age, that makes me almost old enough to be your mother. And if it works both ways, you’ll be feeling geriatric.”
Raig roared with laughter and gave in to the impulse to peck her on the cheek again. “Nah. It matters not. You are what you are. Which is perfect for me. So, Vairi My Queen, ready to roll?” He swung onto the horse behind her, moving her forward until she was stopped by the pole, which he imagined was tight between her legs and rubbed up against her pussy. When they began to move it should be more than arousing for her. And agony to watch and not participate for him. Raig’s cock strengthened, lengthened and hardened against her. Would she complain? Or comply and lean back into him? He had no idea. She wriggled and moaned softly under her breath as his dick did its best to chisel into her ass.
Steady. At least she didn’t turn around and thump him.
All he could do was to try to arrange things in his favor. Raig bent into her and whispered, “Ah, Vairi My Queen, this is what you do to me. Giving me such a hard-on, I’m wanting to bury myself far inside you, so deep, until you cry out my name in passion. But until you’re happy with the idea, we’ll be riding the horses.” Oh, how he wished he were a mind reader. Judging by the look he saw on her face as the mirrors on the ride flashed by, maybe it was a good idea he wasn’t. Had he gone too far too fast? Ah well, he’d rather be open and honest than coy and calculating.
Nodding at Jonny, a tall, skinny, blond-headed man who was in charge of the roundabout, Raig held Vairi firm as the ride quickened, each horse going up and down to its own pattern. As the roundabout began to speed up even further, he felt Vairi stiffen and hold on to the pole so tight her knuckles were white. Why the hell did she choose the ride if it upset her so? Unless the hardness of the pole on her pussy was worth it. So he would make sure the sensation of his cock crowding her ass surpassed anything else she may feel. From the subtle shift of her hips, he could tell how turned on she was. Well, fuck, if the pole did the job, who was he to complain? He could replace those emotions later.
He said softly, “Sway with the motion, move with it. That’s good.” He encouraged her as they spun around, lights blurring together, music flowing from one ride to another. A good thing about being the boss—they could stay where they were for as long as they liked. Raig could sense her becoming aroused. Her breathing changed pace and her body shook as the friction between him and the ride increased and intensified.
“Fuck you, Raig. This is so not me,” she said shakily as her skin flushed and the silken sheen of arousal slicked over it.
“Why not, love? Just let go.”
“I can… I can’t not… Oh shit…” Vairi leaned back into him before she shuddered and shivered her climax. Fuck it, how he wished he could have seen her face as she came.
The roundabout began to slow for the third—or was it fourth—time. Raig pressed gentle kisses along her neck. “I need to be an active worker for this go around. I’ll be back before you know it, well before your ride has finished. I need to help Jonny there to collect the fares.” He moved away, with reluctance, and off the horse. “I need to be with you. Hell, I’m needy.”
“Ditch the accent,” she said huskily. “Be natural.” ‘Or else’ was the inference.
“Ah, Vairi My Queen. It’s mine,” he said easily. “God’s truth. My voice. The voice I’ll use as I make love with you.”
Nimbly, he moved away before she could reply, swaying easily as the motion of the ride picked up once more. Raig glanced over at Vairi and frowned. Was it a case of once around too often? My, she does look pale. He could only hope she didn’t toss her cookies until he was able to get her off. He motioned to Jonny to go to her and check on how she was coping.
Raig took up the fare from three squealing teenagers and sensed Vairi’s eyes on him. He noticed her wan smile in response to Jonny, as he spoke to her. As soon as all the fares were in, the ride would stop. Why on earth did she ask to go on something she couldn’t handle? Women. Would any man ever understand them? One minute he was watching her come, the next about to throw up. Mind you, four rides on the trot probably was a tad excessive.
As the ride slowed, he made his way back to her. “Now then, Vairi My Queen. You’re looking green. Ah, you’ve made me a poet, sure I didn’t know it.”
“You oaf,” she said thickly. “Think yourself lucky I didn’t thump you. Please, please, get me off this ride. Sheesh, what planet am I on? Wherever, I’ve left my common sense behind, that’s for sure. I hate bloody things that go round. Oh hell, help me off now, pretty damn quick, or I’ll be sick. Oh fuck, you’ve got me doing it now.”
Watching her face, it was easy to worry. “Ah, love. It’s stopping. There now, I’ll get you down. Whoa, let me do the work.” She slumped against him. “That’s my girl.” Gently he lifted her off the ride. He was sure if she hadn’t felt so ill, she would have been embarrassed.
Worry churned Raig’s gut. He had entered into the spirit of the evening reasonably uninvolved. He had agreed to help Denny and Lorna out when they had requested he entertain Vairi for a while, as he knew he would be at a loose end during the early hours of the fair’s opening. He was the boss man. The one to wander around and keep an eye out for anything and everything, but he wouldn’t be the only one doing that.
I’m the spare part, really. Some saw him as a part-timer who played at the fair. Raig knew he didn’t and spent as much time there as humanly possible. What some people didn’t understand, was if he didn’t do other work—even though they weren’t told exactly what—the fair wouldn’t be as it was. Takings never covered the running costs. His alter ego was needed, even if it was a yoke around his neck at times.
Raig understood Lorna’s worries, had heard how she felt all her mum did was work and garden. How she never went out and enjoyed herself. He knew if it had been his mum, he’d want her to have a life as fulfilled and interesting as possible as well. And, he’d reasoned, all they wanted from him was a few hours of his time. Not much to ask of a good friend. However, it seemed, after he’d looked into a pair of dark blue eyes and watched the bravado there, he’d gone from fancy-free to entwined in thirty seconds flat.
It didn’t scare him. That was a first. Raig had always thought of commitment as akin to the plague. To be feared and avoided like, well, the plague.
Now this gorgeous woman with a slim body, legs encased in deep navy denim that seemed to go up to her ears, breasts that would be—he was sure—the perfect handful and a smile to launch ships, had him aroused in seconds. Her eyes were, he decided stupidly, liquid pools to drown in, and her loose gray blouse hinted at mysteries to be found. Although the sallowness of her skin and the misery in those eyes had him worried, he was still hot, horny and hard. Signaling to Jonny he was going, he lifted Vairi tight into his arms and carried her through the crowds to his trailer.
He could no more ignore the elegant line of her neck than stop breathing. It invited soft, nipping kisses. Fuck, he knew she was suffering, but he was suffering, too, though not with motion sickness, more like with lack of motion. Of the in-out variety.
She moaned softly in his arms. Ah, shit, Denny would kill him. After Lorna had. In his defense, no one had thought to tell him she got motion sick. What exactly had they imagined they would be doing all evening? Playing bingo, for fuck’s sake? He had more than an idea what he would like to be doing with Vairi. Somehow he didn’t think Lorna would have the same idea.
In his arms, Vairi struggled to sit up. “What the hell?” she asked huskily and coughed. “What was that?”
Well, that was spoken loud and clear, at any rate. “Hush now. You were feeling not so well on the ride. I’m taking you somewhere private and quiet to rest a while.”
“White slaving?” The chuckle, although weak, was definitely there. “Toss your cookies to be taken?”
Ah, that deserved a kiss—this one on her forehead. Christ, when was he going to bite the bullet and kiss her, firm and possessive, on the mouth? When she didn’t look as if she was going to pass out. Or throw up on him.
“If that’s what you’re wanting. If not, just to my trailer until you don’t look the same color as that lovely blouse you are wearing.” He smiled at her nod. “Seriously, I was worried.”
“And me. I’ve not been that bad before. I wanted to die.”
“You and me both, love, you and me both,” he said fervently. Raig skirted the big wheel and took care not to trip over the trailing cables before he walked quickly toward a large olive-green caravan. “Hold on a sec.” He mounted the steps and held her steady while he fumbled in his pocket to find the key. “Can you stand a moment as I unlock the door?” Damn, he was losing the brogue. Even though it might not be needed, as camouflage it was good enough. Did he still need to hide who he was? He had no idea. Think, Raig. “Yeah?”
She nodded again. “Think so.”
“There’s a girl. Be holding on to me now.” With care, he set her down on the top step and unlocked the door, propelled her in and helped her to sit on a long, comfy bench settee. “Now then, my brave one, I’m thinking a cup of tea might just help.”
“No, honestly, I’m fine now. A glass of water, then I’ll get something to eat.” She blushed, and nibbled her bottom lip. “Like I said, I’m not usually anywhere near that bad. No dinner combined with the trauma of being abandoned by my family might have a lot to do with it.”
“Ah, well, I’ll be thinking most people would be affected that way.” He poured a glass of water as he spoke. Vairi took it with a murmur of thanks and sipped slowly. Then she nodded, put the half-full glass down on a side table and cleared her throat. Unease traveled through him at the look of determination on her face.
Uh-oh. It was the universal ‘cut the crap, ditch the shit and open up and be honest’ look so many women had down to perfection. Usually it annoyed him, this time it worried him. Fuck, I have it bad.
“Right then, Rake O’Shea. Gloves-off time. Who are you, why do you keep using that phony accent, and what the hell is going on?” Vairi demanded in a tone sharp enough to split logs. “No bullshitting me, or this water might find its way to your face.”
Hell on wheels. He winced as he realized he had to think on his feet. Fast. Jeez, that sexy shoe was tapping on the floor and those glittery things that decorated it caught the light as she moved. Cool it, Raig. Concentrate. Use your brains not your balls. Not easy when said balls vied with his cock over which was the hardest. It was a close-run thing and walking would soon be difficult without emulating John Wayne.
“My name is Padraig O’Shea,” Raig said carefully. “I have known Denny since we were young. He and the lovely Lorna asked for my help. I wasn’t going to say no. I’m bloody glad I didn’t.”
“How young?” Vairi ignored the latter part of his statement and picked up her glass again. He eyed it warily. “Define young,” she added.
Hell, that voice could break eggs. Bite the bullet, Raig, you’re not going to wriggle out of this. “He was five, I was seven. So I’ll do the maths for you in case you’ve forgotten how. I’m thirty-one. Born in Dublin. Single, solvent and clean. My da always was working with the fair. He met my ma when it was set up there. He said it was love at first sight for him, but it took her a while to believe him. Married thirty-five years and as daft for each other now as they ever were.”
“‘Was’ as in not now?” Of course she’d pick up on the ‘was’, being as she was no slouch in the brains department. Her erotic, foot-tapping rhythm said ‘take me, fuck me’ and was making him hot as it sent messages from his brain to his cock and back again. Those sodding, fecking arousing scenarios were playing havoc with his concentration. What was he supposed to be answering? Oh fuck, Da and the fair.
“Ah well, Vairi My Queen, that’s the rub. Sometimes, although now more for the craic than the necessity.” Why did the look she was giving him have him wanting to cover all the strategic parts of his body? “Otherwise he’s at home with my ma and playing lord of the manor, so he is.”
“For fuck’s sake, cut the crap.” The water in her glass rippled violently as she slammed it down. She stood and paced across the trailer before swinging to face him, her hair following the motion in a forceful sweep across her face. Ah, that was why his hands, hovering over his cock and balls, were ready to take evasive action—her frustration was palpable.
“I, ah… Okay, tell me what you want,” he said slowly, his mind racing. “And I’ll do my best.”
“Please, Padraig. Okay, I’ll accept I’ve been set up,” she said in an exasperated voice. “Now I know why Lorna was so insistent I came to the fair with her and Denny. She knows I don’t do rides well. But what exactly was I set up for? Surely my daughter wasn’t pushing me toward an evening of sex and satisfaction?”
Laughing at the look of horror on her face as she realized what she had said, he made to reassure her. “No, no, Vairi My Queen, that was not in her mind.” It is in my mind though. Oh, by God, is it in my mind. “I was out with the two of them on Tuesday, and Lorna was saying that you’d been commenting you were in a rut and needed get out or drown in wallowing crappiness. Her words, not mine. She wanted to help you—all work and no play is not good. So I said if they brought you with them tonight, I’d show you a good time. I wasn’t thinking you would go a strange shade of gray when I did.”
That elicited a reluctant laugh. “Okay, I concede that’s my own fault. I decided to jump out of my rut. I forgot the parachute. Hell, I should know better. I even get motion sick in the passenger seat of a car. Should have stuck to hook-a-duck.”
He chuckled with her. “Would looking at the water round those cute little ducks not be making you seasick then?”
“Jeez, Rake, drop the accent, why don’t you. You keep dipping in and out so much I’m giddy. It’s not real, it’s phony. You sound like a stereotypical B-movie. Yes?”
He shook his head as he looked at her and replied with not entirely faked sorrow. “That’s where you are wrong. I’ll admit I’ve been piling it on. Lorna said you were a romantic, inspired by sexy accents, and as I’ve been told over the years, the Irish accent is just that, sexy, so I thought, well, why not? To be honest and truthful, the lilt is always there. It’s just been weakened over the years. I resurrected it for you.” He watched her, as she seemed to mull over his statement. He could imagine her dissecting every word and pulling up to consider the bits she chose to.
“I’ll buy into that. Right.” She took a deep breath and smiled. A look hot enough to split his jeans if he wasn’t careful. A lesser expression than that had started wars, he was certain.
“So, Rake.” The way she purred his name sent his libido sky high, and he swore there would be a stain on the cloth. “A good name, by the way. Now, what are you going to show me?”
His cock understood what he wanted. It was hard and tight up against the fly of his denims, straining the zip in its effort to be free of its confines. He was glad Mr. Levi Strauss knew a thing or two about the strength of that particular cloth.
“It depends on how much you want to fly.” His accent was now upper-class English. “I have an idea about what I’d like.” He saw her considering his statement. “I’ll be open and honest. I agreed at first because of a photo in Lorna’s purse. The pair of you, somewhere sunny.”
“Barbados,” Vairi said, her voice faint. “Three years ago, just before she married. It was my birthday present. We ate, drank and sunbathed. No sex.” She giggled. “Lord that sounds icky. I mean neither of us went off and had sex with anyone.”
“Shame.” He laughed. “Does your daughter not understand you are a living, breathing, sexy woman?”
She laughed with him. “Probably not. No girl or woman or, I suspect, male likes to think their mother knows about, you know, sex. Okay, we’ve had the kids, but then? Zilch. Won’t they be in for a surprise when they get to that state?”
He nodded and decided to use the element of surprise to catch her off guard. “So, Vairi My Queen, did you come on the horse? With its rod pressed hard where my cock wanted to be?” He took a gamble and guessed—hoped—she wouldn’t be shocked or offended by his frank speech. Vairi blushed, but no angry words accompanied it. So far, so good. Now he intended to make her less self-conscious.
“I could have done,” Raig remarked frankly. “Very easily. Hard up against your ass, with you rubbing against me and that bloody pole. Knowing it gave you more of a good time than my cock was gutting. Gutting. What I really wanted was my cock in you, never mind the pole. I would be your pole. Hot, hard, and fuck you into oblivion. Hear you come. Feel you come. That’s what I want. To feel you milk me to fruition.”
“Ah…” She seemed to struggle for an answer. Vairi stroked her index finger across his cheek and seared a line down to his lips, which she tapped twice. “So? Why are you waiting? Be that pole, Rake. Because all I thought about as I got hot and bothered was you. You inside me, making me come. Now’s your chance. If you’re not worried how old I am, why should I be? Cougars of the world unite and all that. Show me how you’re going to fuck me, Rake. Show me what you want, how you want it. Let me shout and scream for you.”
He was nonplussed. Of anything he’d hoped she say, that went over and above it. Boy, she surprised him. Big time.
“Love.” He had what he wanted, and now he was hesitating. What the fuck? Get real, Raig. “Are you sure, Vairi? God, I want you, do I ever. I want to hear you moan, see you writhe as I fill you and fuck you hard. Make you come as you scream my name. But I don’t want you to be wishing we hadn’t, come tomorrow.”
She sniggered. “That statement could be taken two ways. I’ll not wish I hadn’t come, come tomorrow, I promise.”
He smiled. Trust her. “Good but, love, listen well. It’ll mark you. Make you mine. I’ll bite, nip and scar. I’ll take you. Brand you. I may have only known you for a few hours, but by God, I know the type of man I am. If I make you mine, it’ll be forever. I know my own mind, I have faith in my intuition, and it’s letting me know this is ‘it’. So think very carefully, my Vairi. Are you up for taking that risk?”
The silence was total. Raig was glad. Glad she was taking his statement seriously. It mattered to him more than he’d ever imagined possible.
“I think so.” She spoke clearly, her voice unhurried. “But I’m not sure, Rake, and I need to be. Oh, not about the nipping and biting bit. I’ll give as good as I get. But forever? After only knowing you for a few hours?” She shook her head.
Not in negation, he thought, more in bemusement. He understood how she felt. He didn’t understand this connection between them himself. He just knew it was there.
“Get real,” Vairi continued. “What happened to try before you buy?”
“In this economic climate? Not a snowball in hell’s chance. It’s all cash on delivery these days. Or rather, no sale and return. That’s the price we pay. If you want us, we’re here for the taking. If not?” He shrugged. There was nothing else he could say.
With such an expressive face, her thoughts and doubts were easily read. He was ready to bet she’d now come out with a flat ‘no’, and he’d be driving her home and not driving into her. Wisely, he kept quiet, knowing it had to be her decision. He’d been taken aback by how easily he’d realized she was the one needed to make his life complete. As a kid, Raig had laughed at his da when he had told him that one look at his ma and he’d known she was the one for him—the shoe was now on the other foot. The photograph he had seen had whetted his appetite but not prepared him for meeting Vairi in the flesh. With the first look, he’d been smitten. He could have beaten his chest, Tarzan-style, jumping up and down, shouting ‘mine’.
Vairi’s shoulders straightened, almost because now her decision was made, it was time to impart it.
His cock shriveled as if it needed to hide—just in case. For fuck’s sake, in case of what? Get a grip. Hell, I’m acting like a wuss. Man up and face the music. Or whatever.
Raig held his breath as he waited anxiously for her to speak and decide their fate. How on earth he would handle it if she came out with a flat ‘no’, he didn’t want to imagine. Conversely, if they made love, and she said ‘thanks but no thanks’, would that not be worse? Bloody hellfire, he admonished himself angrily. Stop second-guessing the woman and let her speak. And expand your vocabulary, why don’t you? ‘For fuck’s sake’ and ‘bloody hellfire’ are well overused.
“Have you done muttering?” Vairi inquired as she sat down next to him. As he nodded with a wry grin, she smiled at him, her face lighting up. “I’m as worried as you are. It’s not a one-way street, you know? You looked like a toddler who’s been told he can’t have a third lollipop. Man up.”
He guessed what she was going to tell him would make him feel he wasn’t getting a fourth. Even so, his cock reacted predictably to her smile. She noticed, of course. It would be difficult not to when his jeans now seemed two sizes too small.
“Down, boy. You haven’t heard what I’m going to say yet.”
Ah, did he really want to?