He’s so big, he blots out the light of the street entirely, and I know I’m hidden behind him in this damp little nook. His hands span the sides of my neck, his thumbs on my jaw, holding me where he wants me.

I can only whimper, cling to him, kiss him back for all I’m worth.

One big hand slides down my chest, covering my breast and giving it a possessive squeeze before gliding lower, past my ribs, my hip. He leans further into me, his chest against mine as he reaches down and gathers my skirt.

“Did you know,” he murmurs almost conversationally against my lips, “that when you get all breathless and make those little whimpers…” His fingers brush the crease of my hip, tracing the edge of my panties. “I always find you…” He slips under my panties. “Wet.” His body shudders as the rough pad of his finger rubs along my slick flesh. “Always so fucking wet for me.”


“God, just feel you. You’re dripping onto my fingers.” A fine tremor works down his arm as his eyes flutter closed and he kisses me again. Again. Again.

He’s spinning a spell over me, making my limbs heavy and hot. My sex pulses, loving the attention, wanting more of it.

His fingers find my opening, and I whimper. He dips in just enough for me to feel it, to want more, then drifts away, strokes and circles, a lazy, languid exploration.

“Ethan…” I wiggle my hips, desperate to get him deeper. “Stop playing with me.”

He gives my upper lip a little lick, and still he gently fondles. “You love it.”

I do. So much. But I’m incapable of speech right now. I can only whine and rock my hips, wanting more. He holds me fast, not relenting.

“Say it, Cherry. Tell me how much you love it, and I’ll give you what you need.”

Licking my swollen lips, I look up at him, his face a collection of shadows in the dim light. “I love it, Ethan. Fuck me with those long fingers, and then shove your fat cock into me.”

His breath leaves with a gust. “Well played, darlin’.” He plunges deep, hard, and there. That’s all it takes to set me off. The orgasm rushes over me so fast, I suck in breaths like I’m drowning.

Ethan works his fingers slow and steady, his other hand cupping my neck, his lips coasting over mine as if he wants to drink up my pleasure.

And when I finally relax against him, my body limp and spent, he pulls his fingers out and lifts them to his lips to suck them clean. “Sweetest thing I’ve had in my mouth all night.”

A weak laugh escapes me. “I’ve created a monster.”

Ethan just grins wider before turning his attention to the little control panel beside my head. “Watch carefully now.” He moves to punch in a number, but I stop him with a little cry.

“This is your house? We were going at it right in front of your house?”

He doesn’t stop smiling. “You sound annoyed.”

“Well…” I’m flustered. “Why didn’t we go in? You know…” My cheeks heat. “Before.” I don’t even know why I’m being prudish. I certainly didn’t mind.

A laugh rumbles in his chest, and he gives me a look as if he is thinking the same thing. “That was the plan. But then I felt your sweet body against mine, and it was all over.”

Biting his lower lip as if to keep from smiling any longer, he punches in the code: 11-55-88. The door clicks open. “Did you get it?”

“Yes.” I force myself to stand taller.

“Good.” He nods toward the panel. “Remember it. Any time you want to come here, my house is open to you. Any time, Fi. For as long as you want.”

The back of my throat tickles. I stare up at him, struck dumb and only able to squeeze his big hand with my much smaller one. It feels momentous, what he’s done. Huge. The kind of commitment that speaks of permanence.

It’s terrifying and wonderful all in one breath. So I say the only thing I can. “Am I wrong, or wasn’t Gray’s college jersey number eighty-eight?”

Ethan blinks, clearly expecting something else, but he nods. “Yep. Drew’s was eleven. Mine was, and still is, fifty-five.”

“Aww. Aren’t you cute?” He’s perfect. And mine.

“It’s easy to remember,” he says gruffly. “Now let’s get inside.”


The door to Ethan’s house opens to a little carriage way, lit by an overhead wrought-iron lantern. We follow the path to a private courtyard.

“Wow,” I say as we walk farther into it. “This is beautiful.”

Frosted globe lanterns are hung across the yard. Little lights twinkle in the ivy-covered walls surrounding a garden of crepe myrtle and various palms. In the center, an ornate fountain runs.

“It came like this,” Dex says at my elbow. He glances around as if seeing it from my eyes. A loggia covered in bougainvillea shelters a double-wide lounger. There’s a massive tractor tire to one side of the courtyard. As in, it’s as wide as I am tall. His lips quirk at the sight of it. “Well, except for the tire.”

“You gonna tell me what’s up with the tire?”

He ducks his head and scratches the back of his neck. “I whack it with a sledgehammer. Sometimes I flip it.”

“Oh, sure. Because why not?”

“Does the job. But that’s for off-season training.” So nonchalant. But he can’t really hide his smug grin.

“That’s got to weigh, what?”

He shrugs his massive shoulders. “A thousand pounds.”

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