LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW by Caitlyn Willows
Desperate to feel alive, Julia’s on the prowl for a hot, hard body before the Marine Corps sends her back to war.
Who knew a one-night stand could be more than either of them ever hoped for? Or that they’d have such little time to enjoy it?
Sometimes a person has to take a chance. Do something a little crazy. Live like there’s no tomorrow.
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“I need a name.” He had to have one. It drove him crazier by the second that she wouldn’t share it with him.
“For a drive-by, one-night stand? That was your intent, right?”
“Well…yeah. But I…” He couldn’t explain why it mattered. Hell, he didn’t know why it mattered. It just did. And what if she was a Marine? What about her rank? The whole fraternization thing? Fuck, he was going down for one rule-breaker after the other. But then, if she suspected he was a gunnery sergeant, she’d be on the watch for fraternization too. Maybe they were the same rank, or close, or…
“What are you calling me in your head?” Another naughty grin jerked his rambling thoughts to a halt. “Be nice now.”
“Little Red. Red.”
“Cute. Not very original, but it’ll do.” She took another bite.
And calling him Gunny was original? Subject closed. He let her win this round. The night was young and he was still horny. Getting hornier by the second.
Jim played out intelligent conversations in his head while they finished his burger then divvied up hers. Nothing scholarly came to mind. He was left with the basics.
Jim leaned back, one arm on the bench seat behind her, the other clutching the beer, ready to play twenty questions. One sip of his drink stopped him cold. He just couldn’t do it. He pushed the brew away, signaled the waitress, and ordered what he really wanted—wine.
“Make it two, please.”Red pushed her drink away too. “This lemonade isn’t working for me. And these drinks will be on me.” She scooted into the curve of his body. “That’s one pretense out of the way.”
“Speaking of which…”
She pressed her index finger against his lips. “No names, Gunny.”
It bugged the hell out of him. “All right.” For now.“Occupation?”
“Come on, Red. Gimme something.”
She tickled her fingers down to his navel. “I’d hoped to give you a lot tonight.”
“You know me? Been here before? Have we met?”
Her laughter felt like spring, all bright and warm after a long, hard winter. “No…to all of the above.
This in my first time in here. And no, I’m not new in town.”
“So why tonight, here, me?”
“Goodness, so many questions.” She thanked the waitress for their wine, grabbed both glasses, and handed him one. “I came in here to meet a heartbroken girlfriend. She bailed. I was getting ready to leave and saw you looking all…needful. How could I possibly resist? Plus, I didn’t think a decent-looking guy like you deserved to get tangled up with any of this.” She waved her hand toward the other females in the bar.
“You do this often?” Now that was a nasty question, and Jim regretted it the second the words left his mouth.
Judging from the startled look in her eyes, the question had hurt. Red should have kneed him in the balls and taken off. Instead, those green eyes softened, settled on him…in him. “No. Never.
Sometimes a person has to take a chance. Do something a little crazy. I needed. You needed. Good?”
Jim had thought so at first. “Yeah…good.”
Red rested her hot palm on his thigh and cuddled in close. “I like dogs, gardening and hiking. I’m a nerd and proud of it. Your turn.”
“Friends call me Rod.”
That brought snickers and a Spock-like lift of her eyebrow.
“Short for Roderick, my last name. First name’s Jim.”
“Preferences?” She sipped her wine. His eyes locked on to how her lips glistened afterward.
Jim honestly didn’t give a damn what friends called him. The nickname had also morphed into his work life, making him Gunny Rod. But from a woman he wanted more. He needed intimacy, especially from this woman.
He laughed to himself at the irony of it all. He’d come for a hook-up and here he was assigning more to it, needing more from it.
“Jim. As long as you don’t add any Star Trek reference to it.” Though he wouldn’t mind if she did.
“Jim.” She kissed him, soft and sweet. No tongue, just lips pulling at his. Tempting, not teasing. A nibble, a pull. As if he were somebody more than a desert-dried Marine who hadn’t been laid in six months.
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