I jumped up and swung around the table, practically throwing myself at Brandon. He scooted his chair back quickly as I was bearing down on him, opening his arms at the last second and catching me to his chest, settling me across his lap as he wrapped me up in a big bear hug. I squeezed him tight for a moment before pulling back and looking him in the eye as I said, “Thank you, Brandon. For everything.”

He chuckled and gave me another squeeze as he replied, “You’re welcome.”

I kissed his cheek before I moved off his lap and walked back toward my chair, but veered at the last second, plopping myself down in Chloe’s lap next, wrapping my arms around her neck and kissing her cheek over and over again until she was squealing, laughing, and trying to push me off.

“You’re welcome, you’re welcome! God, Ian, get your crazy-ass woman off me!” she yelled, still laughing.

I kissed her cheek one last time and grinned at her. “You guys rock, you know that?” I asked.

She pretended to breathe on her knuckles and polished them on her shoulder, pursing her lips and nodding her head in that yep-I’m-awesome-and-badass way. “I know,” she said, cockily.

Brandon groaned. “Oh, Christ. You’re gonna give her an even bigger head,” he grumbled, but the twinkle in his eyes told us he was kidding.

But Chloe took the cake with her comeback. “No, she’s not, but you will later…” she said, winking saucily at him.

When we were done eating and joking around, I motioned for Chloe to follow me, moving down the hall to my bedroom as Ian and Brandon tossed paper plates and pizza boxes into the trash, cleaning up after dinner. “Alright. So tell me, how bad was the damage? I know most of my bras and underwear are ruined.”

And that made me want to cry.

I opened the bedroom door, gritting my teeth in a flash of anger as the unmistakable scent of bleach teased my nostrils.

Chloe grimaced. “I opened the windows and aired out the room, but…she used two whole gallons of straight bleach. I found the containers in the bathtub. Why they were in the tub? No clue…but…”

“Two gallons?” I whispered, cringing at the thought. “Jesus, did it melt them?”

“Well,” Chloe hedged. “Let’s just say that you’re gonna need a new dresser and all new underclothes. And your shorts and tanks in the bottom drawers?”

She gave me a pained look, with jaw clenched, teeth showing, eyes squinting, and nose crinkled. She didn’t have to say another word.

I closed my eyes and breathed out, trying not to cry. As a teacher, I didn’t have a huge income. I had a decent savings account balance, but replacing my dresser and a good chunk of my wardrobe was going to hurt.

“I cleaned it all out and put it in a trash bag. Your underwear was pretty holey, like it had just eaten through most of them. Bras, too. None of it was worth saving. I’m so sorry…” she ended on a whisper.

I sighed, blinking rapidly to keep from crying. And it wasn’t that I was crying for my belongings; I mean, that sucked big, huge donkey balls, but things can be replaced. I was fighting tears of anger, because she came into my home, my sanctuary, and violated it. Plus, she was after my boyfriend, and that’s not okay.

“Don’t apologize, Chloe.” I sucked in a breath and blew it back out, realizing that I had spoken sharply. “I’m sorry,” I told her, stepping over and giving her a hug.

She smacked my shoulder lightly. “Don’t you dare apologize to me, either, Leah! It’s been a long, trying day. I put away Ian’s clothes for him…so he’s a boxer brief man, huh?” she asked, her eyes twinkling with mirth.

I winked at her, no longer in danger of bursting into tears. “When he remembers to wear them,” I said, slyly.

She lifted a shoulder and widened her eyes comically as she cooed, “Oooh…sexy commando,” before she busted out laughing once more. She sobered quickly, though, as she remembered something. “Oh, yeah. I meant to ask you about Ian’s luggage. I didn’t know where to put it, so…”

My eyes narrowed. “That’s not his luggage. He’s not a label whore. That’s Victoria’s.” Her name came out on a hiss.

Chloe dusted her hands together and nodded, obviously coming to a decision in her mind. And as soon as she looked at me, I knew exactly what she was thinking. “Then there’s only one thing to do with it, right?” she asked, lightly.

Our eyes met, both of our mouths curled up in very evil grins, and we said, together, “Bonfire!”

Chapter 14

“Mmmm…” I moaned against Ian’s neck, languidly tracing my tongue along his skin, nipping here and there, my breath coming in slow pants against his throat.

My fingers dug into the back of the couch, my knees braced on the cushions alongside Ian’s muscular thighs, and I kept up my slow pace, gently raising and lowering myself on his cock, reveling in the feel of the thick, heated length of him stretching and sliding against my slick, tender folds.

I was riding him slowly, deliberately, taking my time, rocking against him with every move, the tips of my breasts brushing against his chest, enhancing the pleasure curling through my body, streaming over every inch of my skin.

“Baby,” he groaned, his fingers digging into my hips, urging me to move faster, but I resisted. “Harder…” he breathed.

“No,” I gasped, my head dropping back, arching my back and swirling my hips before grinding down on him, still rotating my hips smoothly, but not increasing my pace.

“Jesus, Leah!” he gritted out between clenched teeth. “Faster!”

I shook my head, denying him once more. I knew he was ready to explode, could feel his thighs trembling underneath me with the effort to hold back his urge to pound furiously inside of me, knew I was pushing him.

But that’s what I wanted. I wanted the wildness that would come when he couldn’t fight it anymore, when he couldn’t take the pace I had set.

“Leah,” he growled again and I buried my face back into his neck to hide my smile.

I used my thighs to raise myself again, this time letting him slip completely out of me, then glided my wetness over him, sliding against him back and forth, the thick ridge of the head of his cock bumping over my clit again and again until I was moaning uncontrollably and my body was aching to have him fill me once more.

Ian’s muscles bunched underneath me and I felt his hand slide up my body until he cupped my jaw, his thumb brushing my lips and then shoving inside roughly. I sucked hard on it, loving the rough snarl that emitted from his lips. He jerked it free and grabbed my hips, gripping them tightly.

I felt myself being lifted as Ian flexed his hips, sliding himself against me one more time until the tip of him notched into my entrance and he slammed home, pulling me down to meet his almost violent upward thrust.

“Fuck!” he yelled as he powered up into me, his hand sliding up my back until his hands curved over my shoulders, giving him leverage to hold me in place as he fucked up into me with wild abandon, finally at the breaking point.

I gave myself over to it, the gentle but overwhelming release that had been building slowly bearing down on me like a runaway freight train, no longer coasting into pleasure, but instead, crashing into me and sending me screaming over the edge, Ian right there with me.

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