“You feel fucking perfect,” he gasped, rolling off of me.

I almost cried out at the immediate feeling of emptiness as he withdrew from me.

“God, you’re amazing,” he said, his mouth on mine, kissing me deeply.

When his hand brushed the side of my breast, I responded, arching, pressing my breast into his palm eagerly.

“Want more, do you?” he said slyly.

“I’ve never felt so good before,” I said, before drifting off to peaceful sleep.

When I woke up hours later, he was still in bed with me. His arm was around me, my head pillowed on his chest. I let myself lay there and bask in it, in waking up in his arms and remembering the life-changing sex we’d had. I let my eyes drift shut and smiled blissfully until he kissed me awake softly.

“Want breakfast?” he asked.

“I need a shower,” I said, scrunching up my face.

“You go shower. Make it fast or you’ll have company,” he teased.

It felt so good to be teasing and playful and affectionate with him. I kissed his cheek and darted off to shower. In just a few minutes, I was clean and dressed and in the kitchen, where he was slicing fruit. The Company Man was cutting up a kiwi in my kitchen. It was the weirdest thing that had ever happened, except for the equally strange fact that it made me happy. I went up and hugged him. We made pancakes and had some fruit and cracked my emergency champagne for mimosas. It was a great way to start the day.

“I want to take you out tonight,” he said.

“Shouldn’t we keep this quiet? I mean, there’s a pretty clear conflict of interests,” I protested.

“We have nothing to hide. I’m happy to be seen with you, Maggie,” he said. That settled that.

14

Jeremiah

Dinner at a local barbecue joint was something terrific when it was with Maggie. She seemed so much more relaxed. She was at ease with me, and when I slid in beside her in the booth instead of sitting across from her, she held my arm and leaned her head on my shoulder. I liked having her at arm’s reach, so I could hold her, kiss her, know she hadn’t changed her mind and run off.

I convinced her to take me sightseeing on Sunday. She picked me up at the B&B.

“You have on hiking boots. Should I have gone to a sporting goods store?” I asked.

“Oh, we’re just gonna tour the factory,” she said lightly.

“You’re kidding.”

“Yeah, I am. I just wanted to remind you why we’re total enemies still. Because you’re the big city stiff who wants to shut down the plant. It would serve you right if I made you take an up-close tour of the scalding vats,” she teased.

“I’ve already evaluated those.”

“Oh. That’s a total spoiler. It would be a rerun if I took you there. Guess I’ll have to drive you out to some of my favorite spots nearby. There’s loads of scenic hiking trails…”

“Perfect for hiding a body?” I joked.

“Exactly,” she said with a laugh. “But I was thinking more like we’d take a walk and have a picnic.”

“Did you pack one? Because all I really have is the minibar back at the room.”

“Yeah, I did. It’s in the back. But listen, this place is so beautiful. You’re going to love it. You’re going to want to sell your place in the city and move here,” she said enthusiastically.

“Is that what you want? For me to move here?” I asked. She blushed and kept her eyes on the road. I wanted her to say yes. That she wanted me to live there, that she wanted to have me close by for potluck dinners and wild sex and making breakfast together. But she didn’t say a word.

“It’s about fifteen miles out of town, between here and Pendleton but out to the west.”

“What’s there?”

“It’s just a place I like. You can see the mountains. There’s a spring.”

“So it’s like Little House on the Prairie?”

“No. There are no mountains out on the prairie,” she said. “You city boys, I swear.” I chuckled.

“You’ll have to educate me then,” I said.

“Is everything innuendo with you?” she asked in mock exasperation.

“Apparently everything with you is innuendo since you think it’s all sexual.”

“It is. It’s all sexual,” she said grimly. “I mean clearly I don’t like spending time with you at all. We only see each other in the dark for ten minutes of fornicating.”

“No barbecue. No sightseeing. No making each other laugh. Yeah, it’s nothing but sexual,” I said sarcastically. She smiled at me. She had a killer smile.

We made our way out of town, and she parked on some old farm road and got out and handed me a reusable grocery bag with pictures of eggplants all over it. I looked at it suspiciously.

“What? Who has picnic baskets nowadays? This was the bag I had,” she said and struck out walking.


Tags: Natasha L. Black Romance
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