Army Ranger Jess Crofton doesn't plan on one last fling before his second deployment. He gets that and so much more with memories of a gorgeous Lorren Samples to carry with him into battle.
Lorren has her own fledgling career as a women's rights lawyer. She lives in the whirlwind that Jess creates in their one day together, not knowing until the moment he's leaving that he's an elite soldier. They promise to e-mail each other, but war intrudes on that plan.
Can a long deployment, a horrific Afghan mountain battle, and a wounded hero rekindle the passion he found on a hot Chicago summer's day? Will Lorren ignore their age difference and accept a new love in her life?
BUY IN KINDLE *** READ THE EXCERPT
Lorren shivered in reaction to the change in temperature when they stepped outside the restaurant.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Ghah, I'd forgotten how hot and humid it was out here." She fanned her face with the flat of her hand. "The restaurant was so cold."
"I could tell you were cold." He slipped his forefinger under the halter strap at her collarbone and lifted it.
She watched his finger, realizing that her popping nipples were quite visible under the thin material of her dress. "Oh."
"That's an amazing dress. The little checks look so homespun. Like one of my mom's old aprons."
"Well, thanks, I guess," she deadpanned.
"I wasn't finished," he said. "But the style is all sex."
She opened her mouth, closed it. "I just wore it because I knew it'd be hot today."
"Mm hum. Well, thank you! I applaud your decision." He bowed formally and clicked his heels.
She heated up. Inside and out. He was the sexiest man she'd met in a long time. Maybe in forever. Something had to be wrong with him. He hadn't burped, but maybe he farted regularly. Loudly and smellily. She chuckled to herself, doubting that smellily was even a word. But so far he hadn't done it. Maybe during sex. The laugh bubbled up and exploded out before she could stop it.
"What's so funny?"
"Oh, nothing. I'm just enjoying myself." There was no way she wanted him to know what she'd been imagining.
"That's good. I always aim to please." He jauntily tapped the bill of his cap in acknowledgement.
They strolled up the esplanade alongside the Pier. "And do you? Please, that is?" He sure was a pleasure to look at. That absolutely masculine face, shaded by the bill of the ball cap, topping a navy blue linen shirt and khakis drove her mad. He wasn't wearing cowboy boots or his Stetson, just brown tie, soft-soled shoes and the ball cap, but he was casual and elegant and sexy hot. Like a model. A masculine model, not one of those gay looking ones.
"I think I do," he answered modestly. His arm tightened around her waist.
Oh, he has to fart big time, she mused as she shrugged him off. Capering ahead, she pranced backward facing him and announced playfully. "You're too much. I think I need to take a deep breath. I'd tell you that you're too sexy for your shirt, but you'd get a big head."
He grabbed her hands and pulled her toward him. "Well, something big anyway."
"Oh nuts, I fell right into that, didn't I?" She chuckled.
"Yeah, I'd say you did." They reached the end of the pier, and he steered her over to the railing. "Are you going to let me kiss your sweet chocolate mouth any time soon? Don't you think I redeemed myself for being late?" He crowded her, his hands on the railing on either side of her blocking her in and nuzzled the tip of her nose with his chin.
Laughing again with lighthearted joy, she leaned back, shook her head, and let the breeze wild up her already unmanageable hair. The sun, the snap of the flags above them—it was glorious. Taking a deep breath, closing her eyes, she said, "Isn't this a magnificent day?"
He placed both palms on her cheeks and positioned her face.
"It's not..." She didn't get to finish her sentence. The next thing she knew, he was kissing her. This time his tongue didn't just spear, it attacked. It hadn't before. He'd been a gentleman. He wasn't now. His mouth opened wide, surrounding her lips, taking them. He drove her to the edge with that thick, hot, wet tongue and overwhelming senses already ratcheted up all afternoon.
He released her lips. Crap.
But no, they weren't finished. He re-angled his head and started in again stroking, thrusting his tongue in and out until all she could think about was how he'd do it with his cock. With a cry, high-pitched and delirious, she clenched her fingers in the shirt at his back and pressed, holding him as firmly as he was holding her. Every inch of their body fronts embraced, locked together as they were, thigh to thigh, bellies and chests fused to the other.
She moaned into his mouth as her breasts flattened against his hard chest, their ache not assuaged one bit. They wanted more.
His belt buckle molded a space at her belly, and it wasn't the only hard thing prodding her. Oh, my Lord, the length of his penis, the round shape of it pressed against her pussy. She rolled her hips, his answering groan heartening, arousing. She flexed her fingers open, dug her nails...
Shrieks filled the air. They both jerked apart, but didn't separate completely, still enfolded in each other's arms. What in hell was that commotion about? She peeked around. About a million kids swarmed the plaza, running to the railing, laughing, screaming about who got there first. Holy crap. They'd been putting on a live sex show for a bunch of grade school kids. She ducked her head to his chest, rolling her forehead back and forth, felt him shaking with laughter.
"Well." His hot breath wafted over her ear and neck. "I guess this is our cue to move on."
She looked up into his eyes. His lovely, sexy eyes. That's when it hit her. She hadn't felt like this in such a long time. This sweet, fulfilling, sensuously romantic awareness. The exciting spark with a handsome man that you didn't know where it would lead but knew it would be an outstanding experience. She smiled. And was rewarded with an answering grin. They were on the same page.
As if both tacitly agreeing to spend the rest of the afternoon in teasing foreplay instead of rushing off to bed, they wandered hand in hand back along the pier. They alternated between exhibits inside in the air conditioned building and enjoying jugglers and mimes and just plain, ordinary people watching outside in the sun. They availed themselves of soft drinks and ice cream, whatever looked good.
"What kind of law do you intend to practice?" he asked.
"I plan to do advocacy law for at-risk women and children."
"Wow, that's impressive."
"Well, it's kind of a personal thing with me." She pursed her lips in pained irritation. "My sister and niece were in trouble. The police and social services were useless. If you don't have family, you don't have anyone to help you. I intend to change the system." She gazed off into the distance. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get on my soapbox."
"Hey." He slipped his arm around her shoulders and hugged her companionably. "I understand. If there's a way to make the system better, you can do it."
She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her cheek on his chest. It felt good to be there. Comfortable. She took a deep breath, felt her breasts swell against his chest. He tightened his hug, and then pressed her head to his shoulder in a heart-warming gesture.
Even though he held her in his arms to comfort her, the fact she was in his arms didn't escape him. Burying his nose in her hair, he savored her ripe, soft body, feeling every inch of her torso through the thin material of her dress. He liked her even more knowing that she was going to be a good kind of lawyer. Someone to be proud of. They stood like that for several long moments.
Finally, she straightened her shoulders and gazed up at him. "Sorry, I didn't mean to depress you."
"I'm fine. How can I make you feel better," he asked, a teasing twinkle in his eyes. He'd had just about all the ice cream and Sno Cones he could handle. If he had to watch her lick and suck for one more minute, he was going to burst. And it wouldn't be pretty. It'd be messy, too. He needed to get her licking and sucking on something important. Like his cock.
"You are," she said noncommittally. "I'm fine now. Thank you."
"You're welcome." He gave her a quick buss on the top of her head. As much as he was enjoying their playtime out in public, he wanted her tucked away in his suite, on her back—or hands and knees—now! The hot, shimmering daytime had faded to dusk, and now, darkness edged in little twinkling lights cocooned them. Without discussion, they'd ambled with the crowd back to the end of the pier to watch fireworks. He leaned against the brick wall outside the Grand Ballroom and stationed her in front of him, her lovely, firm backside snuggled against his dick. All eyes turned toward the sky, and no one noticed the two of them hidden in the shadows.
He laced his fingers across her flat stomach and, with his thumbs, purposefully traced the elastic line of her panties stretched well below her belly button. That's my girl. Sexy dress, sexy panties. She wrapped her hands tightly around his wrists. Her stomach trembled in and out with nervous, rapid breaths. That she responded so easily to him was a huge turn on.
He hadn't told her that he'd be gone soon or that he didn't know for how long. He wanted her but had no right to seek a deeper connection than a one-night stand. He wished things could be different, but they weren't. Leaning closer, he nudged her hair back with his chin, nibbled kisses along her shoulder and up her neck to her ear. He felt her every gasp reverberate through his body and loved that her reactions to him were so powerful. He'd played nice all afternoon, acting the perfect gentleman when all he really wanted to do was slide his aching cock inside her hot, tight pussy. Time to see if she felt the same way.
Holding firmly with one splayed hand over her belly, he slid the other one down, around her hip to palm her ass cheek through the thin material of her dress. He felt her stomach jerk but couldn't hear if she moaned because fireworks had started exploding in the air above them. Slipping his hand further down, he trailed under the skirt to touch skin. Bare flesh. Her soft thigh. Curving around it, he brushed a thumb over the silk covering her pussy. Her nails dug into the hand on her belly, but it wasn't sending him a message to stop.
His thumb caressed over and over, lured to spread and play with puffy lips, until she squirmed and pumped her hips backward into his cock. Wiggling his fingers under the elastic, he came face-to-face, so to speak, with her pubic hair. Face-to-pussy would come later tonight.