Page 13 of Stinger

"We'll be back in plenty of time for that." He looked at me. "What time does your flight leave on Monday?"

"Six a.m." I said quietly. "Yours?"

"Seven. We could ride to the airport together."

I nodded but decided I didn't want to think about that. We were here now and I was going to enjoy the last of our time together.

We arrived at Olives and I looked around. It was beautiful, with the same Mediterranean style as the rest of the Bellagio. I waited back a bit as Carson leaned in and spoke to the hostess. She giggled and nodded her head and he smiled back at me, offering me his arm as we followed the hostess to our table. We walked out on to the balcony, overlooking Lake Bellagio where we had watched the fountain show and I gasped. "It's beautiful," I whispered. Carson just smiled at me and pulled out my chair. "It's not hot dogs on the strip, but I figured, we gotta eat, even if we have to slum it." He winked at me.

I looked around. Everything surrounding me was filled with light. The glow from the strip shined in the distance, the water sparkled, and the twinkle lights adorning the balcony danced. It felt magical, like another world. I looked up at Carson and he was studying me. "What are you thinking?" he asked taking my hand across the table.

I looked into his eyes, deciding that just for tonight, I was going to experience everything I could and enjoy every minute of it. Life is wild, Carson was right. Or it could be, if you let it. I was going to let it. I was going to clear my mind and soak in the beauty of everything around me–the location, the food, the man sitting across from me. I was going to live for all the years I had rejected relationships that might have come naturally if I hadn't been overly focused on other things, and for all the years I had made choices that I thought would make other people happy, never considering what would make me happy. Carson had infected me, it was true, but maybe his looks weren't the only part of his poison. Maybe it was his spirit too. And maybe when it came to Carson, just like a vaccine, a little poison was the cure, not the disease.

There would be consequences to this weekend, I knew that now and I wasn't lying to myself anymore. But maybe they wouldn't all be negative. Maybe I would walk away a better person because of my encounter with this man. Yes, it sure was, life was wild.

"What I was thinking, Carson, is that I feel lucky to be here with you tonight."

His eyes warmed and a small smile turned his full lips up right before something that looked like surprise skated over his features.

I raised the glass of wine that we had ordered and that the waiter had just placed on our table. "To life being wild," I smiled.

He raised his glass. "To well-made plans," he smiled back.

**********

Carson

I watched Grace across the table, her eyes shining as she looked around at all the sights. I loved it. I wanted to show her more. I wanted to give her all the experiences I could. I wanted to watch her big, blue eyes widen in delight, not just at the things I could do to her body, but with all the experiences she had deprived herself of for so long. I wanted to show her things she'd never seen before. I wanted to take her snowboarding on a mountain at twilight, I wanted to make love to her in the bright sunshine on a beach somewhere exotic. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had something to offer other than my body. But the wanting felt like a double edged sword–it made me feel alive in a way I'd never felt alive before, but it filled me with regret to know that I could never have any of it with this girl.

But maybe the wanting of it in and of itself was a good thing. Maybe Grace had opened my eyes to the possibility that I could be more, that life could be more. Something about that filled me with a feeling I couldn't identify in that moment–something I'd think about later.

We ordered dinner and Grace smiled across the table at me.

"So, Carson," she said, "should I trust you to take me hiking out in the desert, all alone? I'm not going to 'mysteriously' disappear tomorrow morning, am I?" She raised an eyebrow.

I chuckled. "Not because I'm planning on burying you in a shallow grave, but there is a real risk of me pouncing on you like a desert hyena because you're irresistible." I looked at her very seriously, not cracking a smile.

She burst out laughing. "I guess the authorities could trace me by following the trail of torn and discarded clothes?"

I took a drink of wine. I never drank wine. But tonight seemed to call for it. "And the scream of my name echoing through the canyons," I said, my eyes drooping slightly against my own will, and my c**k throbbing in my pants at the memory. God I loved to hear Grace scream my name. Nothing like it.

She cleared her throat. "Speaking of which, should we stay in my room tonight? It hasn't even been used."

"No, I decided I like having you in my room."

She tilted her head, taking a sip of her own wine. "Why?"

"I don't know. Something about having you in my lair." I winked.

She rolled her eyes. "More like your sex den, desert hyena."

I laughed. "I like that even better."

Our food came–I had ordered the Ribeye and Grace had ordered the Salmon. We ate quietly for a few minutes. "Mmmm, this is fantastic," Grace moaned.

"Do you go out to eat a lot?" I asked.

"No, rarely. I have a scholarship that pays my expenses too, but there's not a lot left over at the end of the month." She shrugged. "I don't have a lot of time to do anything except study anyway. It'll pay off." She took a drink of her wine, looking over the rim at me.

"I'm sure it will," I said. "What's your law focus anyway?" I cut a piece of meat and speared it and stuck it in my mouth.

"Corporate law."

I looked at her for a minute. "God, that sounds about as exciting as the patented burp of the Tupperware container."

She covered her mouth as she laughed out loud. "It's actually very interesting."

"Oh yeah? What's interesting about it?"

She looked up, thinking for a minute. Then she looked straight at me and laughed as she shook her head. "Nothing. There's nothing interesting about it at all."

"Then why did you choose it?"

She sighed. "My dad works in the criminal justice system. He sees all the stuff that goes down everyday with prosecutors and defense attorneys… all the b.s. they have to deal with, all the awful stories they hear. I asked for his advice and he thought corporate law would be a good, safe, solid career choice." She nodded, as if convincing herself.

I raised an eyebrow at her. "Your dad chose it, huh?"

"Carson–" she said, with a warning tone in her voice. "This isn't about me pleasing my dad. This is about me asking someone who has a lot of experience in the field to guide and direct me, that's all."

"Hmmm… okay, so if you hadn't had your dad to guide and direct you, what would you have chosen?"

She stared at me for a minute, a small frown on her face. "I'd really like to be a prosecutor," she said quietly, and then looked down at her food, her cheeks turning pink and shame filling her expression, like she had just admitted that she wanted to eat my liver with a fine Chianti.

I nodded, but she remained quiet. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable with this line of questioning, and so I changed the subject. "So, Las Vegas is known for its nightclubs. Do you wanna go to one after dinner?"

She took a sip of her wine and looked up at me with warmth in her eyes. "Actually, Carson, if it's okay with you, I'd rather go back up to your hotel room."

"Check please," I said, pretending to look around for our waiter.

She laughed. We chatted through the rest of dinner, and then the waiter cleared our dishes and I paid the bill. I took Grace's hand in mine and we headed back upstairs. My body was humming with anticipation, but more than that, something had deepened between Grace and me today. I couldn't experience all the things I wanted to with her, but we still had time left together–and I wasn't going to waste a second of it.

CHAPTER 10

Grace

We hopped on the elevator with two other couples and began our ascent to Carson's room. One of the couples got off at the next floor and we rode in silence with the remaining couple, until they too got off a couple floors later. As soon as the doors shut, I found myself pressed to the elevator wall by six feet of hard, really amazing smelling man. I moaned out even before his mouth came down on mine. I expected the kiss to be wild, filled with passion, but he took his time as he pressed against me, his hands stroking down the sides of my body, our tongues tangling slowly. The style of the kiss didn't seem to go along with the location–on an elevator where anyone could potentially catch us–and for some reason, this fact sent flames of want shooting through my body. Carson had kissed me in lots of different ways in the last day and a half. But this kiss was my favorite. This kiss felt like it was personalized just for me–I couldn't pinpoint exactly why, but something about that kiss was different than any before it. Our bodies fit together perfectly, our tongues moved together like a slow tango. I was dizzy with desire.

The doors opened and Carson pulled away from me slowly, leaving me blinking and breathless, apparently unconcerned about anyone seeing us kissing in the elevator. We stepped off and I walked on legs that felt like Jell-O down the corridors to his room.

The door shut behind us and he was on me again–pushing me up against the door, kissing me hard and deep. When he broke away, he gazed down at me, rubbing his thumb over my bottom lip. "I can't get enough of you," he whispered, his eyes stormy, his expression tense. Then his mouth was on mine again, my tongue meeting his, my hands in the silk of his hair.

Carson suddenly scooped me up and carried me to the bed, setting me down right next to it. He took my shoulders and turned me around slowly, unzipping my dress. I felt his warm mouth kiss down my back as the zipper sliding down revealed more and more skin. I shivered, my ni**les puckering at the erotic sensation of his mouth touching me somewhere unexpected.

My dress dropped to the floor and I stepped out of it and moved it aside with my foot. When Carson's hands weren't immediately on me again, I glanced over my shoulder to see him staring at me with a look that was intense and hungry, his eyes moving down my bare back, to the small, black thong exposing most of my backside, down to my heels. "You're stunning, Buttercup. If I could paint, I'd paint you right now, just like this."

I turned back around, smiling a small smile, relaxing my shoulders when I saw the look of intense appreciation on his face. Compliments usually made me uncomfortable. But for some reason, Carson's compliment made me feel warm and relaxed, and I knew by his expression that I had no reason to doubt his sincerity.

After several seconds, I felt his warm body move up against mine. He brought his hands around me to palm my breasts, his fingers drawing lazy circles around my nipples. I laid my head back on his shoulder, sighing with the pleasure his touch brought. "Carson," I breathed out as he continued to rub my ni**les gently, causing butterflies to take flight in my ribcage and sparks to shoot between my legs. In minutes, I was wet and ready for him, just like always.

I rocked my h*ps gently against his hardness and he sucked in a breath. "The things you do to me, Buttercup," he ground out, "I didn't know…" but he trailed off there, not finishing the thought. I wondered what he had been about to say, but my lust was so all-encompassing that when his hand wandered down between my br**sts in the direction of my hot core, all questions vanished, and I held my breath with the sweet anticipation of his touch right where I so desperately needed it.

Just as his hand reached my belly button, he stepped away from me and I made a whimpering sound of loss. "Shhh, Buttercup," he said, "I just want to be able to feel you skin on skin."

I didn't look around as I heard him taking off his clothes. Then he was back against me and I moaned at the sensation of his warm muscles against my soft curves, his erection hot and hard poking into my lower back. He was so supremely masculine, I felt feminine in a way I never had before. I relished it, discovering this side of myself for the very first time. I didn't have to be in control here, nor did I want to. I trusted him. I loved the way he talked, the things he said when we were intimate, the way he took control and told me what to do. It made me feel safe, taken care of, and hotter than I'd ever in my life felt before.

He rubbed my ni**les for another minute and kissed and licked down my neck and then he said, "Bend over the bed, Grace." He sounded strained.

Heat rolled through my belly at his words and I started to take my thong off, but his hand stopped me. "Leave it on."

"But–" I started to say, looking back around at him.

"Leave it on," he repeated.

I nodded, turning my head back around.

"Spread your legs," he said gently.

I did as he said and then bent forward over the bed. For several seconds, there was no movement behind me again. "Fucking perfect," he whispered, right before I heard the condom wrapper being ripped open. Not knowing exactly what was happening behind me and when it would happen, had my blood raging and my body trembling. I wanted to cry with the desperate need that was clawing through my body now, the deep ache pulsating in my core.

I felt him push my thong aside and although I expected to feel the blunt tip of him push inside me, instead what speared inside my opening was his warm, wet tongue. I cried out with the unexpected sensation, made up of equal parts physical pleasure and the mental shock of the picture of him behind me, lapping at me from that angle.

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