Igniting Blaze - SAMPLE ONLY - now available on GALATEA
He woke to a mouth of cottonwool and a headache that couldn’t be silenced. Damn, didn’t he give up alcohol last week? Draping his arm over his forehead, he groaned his displeasure at the penetrating morning light. He was positive that he’d made some sort of oath about avoiding hangovers after his last blowout. With his eyes scrunched tight, he tried to remember all the reasons why this had been such a good idea at the time. The memories were there but they were sluggish and slow to surface, maybe they were as exhausted as he was.
He felt like he’d had about two hours sleep but there was more to this feeling of exhaustion than just that. His mind, his body and his muscles were joined in rebellion. His arms felt fatigued, his leg muscles were stiff and there were parts of him that felt battered and bruised. Being a professional dancer, he was fit and didn’t get this sore from normal exercise. Did he get into a fight? Maybe he’d decided to run a marathon while intoxicated? What else could he have done?
Hangovers, in his experience, weren't this debilitating. He felt universally abused with no part of him exempt, however despite this, his private parts seemed uncharacteristically oblivious to the pain. He felt like his testicles had been pummelled from the insides, which didn’t make sense, considering he was sporting one massive morning arousal that seemed to defy his aching body and his annoyance. It was unusual for him to get this hard when suffering from a hungover and he had plenty of reasons to be limp this morning. He’d stuffed up. He’d had a plan and that didn’t involve getting drunk in front of the woman he was trying to seduce. His erection should know that.
They had been in a great mood last night. The group, including the woman he’d been out of impress, had gone out to celebrate the successful completion of this leg of the tour. Not only that, it had been a show to commemorate, due to Jay and Belinda’s reconciliation. The guys had all worked together to persuade Belinda that Jay was worth the trouble he’d caused. With their friend a happy man again, they had converged on a midtown bar in jubilation. Then there had been bourbon, rum, whisky and multiple shots with rude names. He knew the loved-up couple had left early, leaving him sitting next to her, but everything around that time onwards was a blur.
Drew was about to give up trying to guess what he’d done, mark it up as hopefully just another drunken adventure, and head for a long, hot, steamy shower when something landed on his midriff. It flopped across his waist and then stayed there. It felt like a long, narrow cylinder that weighed enough to indent the skin. His manhood twitched as if his erection knew what was going on. He pushed one eye open, braving the excessively bright light, and lifted his head to look down. As he did, a small warm mass rolled against him, groaned, and smacked its lips together several times.
The naked skin pressed against his own, under the covers, was smooth and female. The nipples that seemed to be drilling into him were several degrees warmer than his own skin and surrounded by mounds of soft flesh. A leg was now lobbed over his own, as he lay flat on his back, and the knee edged upwards. The foot rested against his inner leg as the smooth thigh skin was skimming upwards rotating her hips inwards. Her knee was getting dangerously close to his erection which was now pitching a serious tent in the bedsheets.
He considered sending his hands south to cup his tender testicles, protecting them against further damage, but his subconscious seemed unconcerned by the threat. He felt his breath hitch as the small body snuggled closer. His hands weren’t interested in going south on his own body. They yearned to connect with her skin, caress down the snow-white surface, until they were cupping the sensitive areas of her body.
He had no idea who this woman was, but it was clear that his body recognised her. Pushing himself to remember, he tried to shove aside the clouds of exhaustion as he concentrated on dulling the throbbing inside his head. He could see flashes in the dark, desperately kissing each other, urgent groping, the ripping of clothing, and there had been sex, lots of it. Drew closed his eyes, there was a good reason for his exhaustion. The imagery wasn’t perfectly in focus and was patchy with various scenes not following in order, but there was now no doubt why he ached all over. The sex had been energetic, lengthy, adventurous, and consecutive. He had been, in one way or another, joined to this woman almost continuously from the point they’d left the bar until the early hours. It had been good. More than good, she had rocked his world last night.
He rubbed his face with his one hand, dragging it down the length, this wasn’t the plan. Who was this woman? Why had he done this when he had a plan to follow? It had been a simple plan, romance her into his arms and into his bed. Had he messed up everything for single night of hot sex with this stranger? The woman that he’d been scheming to impress had been sitting next to him for most of the night. What if she’d seen him seducing someone else? There was no doubt in his mind that she would have been disgusted by his behaviour.
What an idiot. He wasn’t going to win her after this. He’d never see her again. Even if she didn’t witness him acting like a man-whore, he’d never be able to look her in the face again. His plan was only in the first stages of implementation. They hadn’t even kissed or shared phone numbers yet. This wasn’t the first impression that he was aiming for.
His hand, resting across his face, formed a tight fist and beat a frustrated rhythm on his forehead which only made his head hurt more. Not that it mattered, he deserved the pain. He grimaced as the warm body against him wriggled again. What was he going to do about her? How was he going to package her up and get her out of here without causing a scene? And why was he still hard? He should have softened with shame for what he’d done, but he was still tall and taut with need.
The woman groaned and inhaled a long breath. She lifted her head and moved. He could now see her short hair, boyish short, and it wasn’t just one colour. There were streaks of blonde, light browns and even red creating the warm wheat shade. But where the morning light touched the strands, it looked like spun gold. Her head was nuzzled into his chest under his arm even though her feet weren’t far from his knees. She must be tiny.
Short hair, petite statue, sandy blonde hair, his eyes widened with surprise. No. It couldn’t be her. It really couldn’t be her. What had he done?
As if reading his mind, the woman against him swore a series of low, slurred with sleep, expletives. She lifted her head off his chest but didn’t look at his face, instead she seemed to be focusing on the circus tent in the centre of his body. Her body was no longer relaxed against his, her leg had moved down to join her other foot and there was now a margin of cold air between them.
“Please tell me that we didn’t make good use of that?” she groaned with an audible grimace.
He recognised the voice. He was stuffed. He was totally screwed.
“Depends on how you define ‘good use’?” he mumbled.
“Yes, we did that, several times,” the words were said while his brain was still registering his failure.
He closed his eyes, cursed at himself, and hoped that this wasn’t as bad as he was imagining it. Was it possible to salvage the situation? Could he skip all the steps on his plan and just pick it up from where they’d jumped to?
She groaned and muttered several words under her breath. Then she rolled away from him and sat on the side of the bed pulling the sheet with her to cover the front of her but left her back and shoulders exposed. With the bedsheet skewed it was pull off most of his body. He rolled to face her, lying on his side, his feet the only part of him covered. She looked like she was as shell-shocked about this as he was. Was she as drunk as he had been? Was this a mistake for her? He hoped not.
His eyes scanned the smooth, untanned expanse of her back as she dropped her head into her hands. Her skin was beautiful. It was so pale that it was almost translucent. She had almost no blemishes, scars and no tattoos to mar that perfection. The only exception were the freckles that dotted her in odd spots everywhere. He really wanted to find them all, map them and memorise the patterns they made.
But it wasn’t just her skin that had him intrigued. She was tiny, she couldn’t be much more than five-foot, but her proportions were textbook. Her bones structure was delicate, from her petite head down to her cute little toes. On top of that her figure was slight, soft in the right places and lean without being muscular. Her face was framed by her pixie haircut, very short but feminine, it suited her. She was pretty, with high cheek bones, a button nose, a sprinkle of freckles, large wide crystal blue eyes, and lips that were made for kissing. Jen was a perfectly formed mini-human.
He knew that he shouldn’t be thinking like this. He’d been conflicted from the moment he’d meet her. Jen was Belinda’s best friend and flatmate. She was the last person he should be lusting over and the worst person for him to mess around with. They’d just pulled out all the stops to fix Jay and Belinda’s love. If he stuffed that up by sleeping with her best friend, Jay would kill him. Which was why he’d created the plan. If he was going to do this without jeopardising his friends’ relationship, then he needed to go slow and follow the plan.
That wasn’t the only reason for the plan though. Jen wasn’t the type of woman who normally would be interested in him. She’d made no effort to hide the fact that she hated him. She didn’t like anything about his profession, his life, his friends or the fame that surrounded them. To make matters worse, Jen had made it clear that she thought that Belinda would have been better off without Jay.
He wasn’t sure if this contempt was what first attracted him to her, but he did know was that it didn’t faze him. He’d been fascinated with her from the moment he’d seen her. She wasn’t like anyone else he knew. Her fearless attitude, her devotion to her friend, and her clear-headed determination turned him on. With so many women in his life that are seduced by his good looks, his connections and his name, Jen’s indifference was alluring.
“Hell,” she was mumbling more curses, “Stupid idiot, huge mistake, massive.”
“Hey,” he interrupted her diatribe, “You’re not an idiot and this doesn’t have to be a mistake.”
“I was calling you the idiot, Pretty Boy,” she growled using the name she’d labelled him with on their first meeting. Then she breathed out while shaking her head, “And yes, this was a mistake. So much so that we are never going to speak of it. And if you tell anyone what happened, you’re dead.”
There it was. The words he was expecting and dreading at the same time. He was about to hear the door slamming as she left him. All his concerns about what this would do to Jay and Belinda were still there, but that wasn’t what triggered his fight instinct. He couldn’t let her walk away from him.
“The name is Drew,” he kept his voice low and tried to keep the emotion from showing, “And what if I disagree with you?”
“Oh, please,” she turned from him and he knew that she had her eyes closed as she shook her head, “It was just a drunken night out. It was nothing. It shouldn’t have happened.”
The words didn’t sit right on her lips. She said them but, instead of delivering the rebuke with fire in her eyes, she turned away and there was that slight quiver in her voice. It gave him hope. All might not be lost yet. It was possible that she wanted this as much as he did. He just needed to get her to admit to it.
“But it did happen,” he pushed himself up and leaned over towards her, so his lips hovered over her shoulder, “I disagree. If it was nothing, then why did we repeat that mistake nine times? In my experience that means that it was something.”
“Nine?” she shuffled away from him, still sitting on the edge of the bed, and turned her head to look at him horrified, “No, we didn’t.”
“There are only three condoms left from a box of twelve,” he jutted his head at the small number left on the bed stand and the empty box next to them, “I’d say that means that we couldn’t get enough of each other.”
“We had sex nine times?” she grimaced as she turned to look down into her lap, “Is that even possible?”
“And counting. With you my libido seems limitless,” his eyes were on her but hers couldn’t hold his stare, “How about you come here, and I’ll prove to you that this was no mistake?”
“How can you even,” she stopped midsentence and shivered while wincing.
“Because it was outstanding,” he smiled, “And don’t bother denying it. You enjoyed it as much as I did.”
“Please,” she growled her frustration, “Don’t assume too much, Pretty Boy.”
“No, not an assumption,” he watched her shiver again as his lips skimmed towards her neck, “And I can prove it to you easily enough.”
“Don’t,” she pulled away from him turning on the bed with the white sheet clasped to her chest dragging the sheet with her.
She blinked at his nakedness as he stretched himself out on the bed. He wasn’t embarrassed. It was second nature for him to be nude. As an erotic dancer you had to be comfortable in your own skin. She, however, was blushing a deep colour and had dropped her eyes away from his body that was hard and eager for her.
“Can you please cover up,” she grimaced away.
“Why?” he smiled, “This is yours, it wants you, I want you, and you’re already intimately aware of every inch of me.”
She blushed a shade brighter as she glanced at his manhood. He smiled at her. It was cute that she was embarrassed. He hadn’t been with a woman who blushed in a long time, he’d forgotten how hot it made him to see that reaction.
“Please,” she stuttered, “I didn’t. Can you not say that?”
Her halted rebuke accompanied by the blush caused him to pause. She might have been all over him like a succubus last night but this morning she was acting like a schoolgirl. Her anger and indignation were forced, but her embarrassment and insecurities were real. How experienced was she? Then he noticed how she was sitting. She didn’t look comfortable. Yes, she looked like she wanted to flee but she shuffled like she was physically in pain too. Was she sore? Was she suffering as a result of him? He hadn’t been gentle with her. They had sought each other out without reservation and he’d not held anything back. He was large in stature and in size. At the time, he hadn’t thought about how small she was, but this morning he was starting to think he’d been too rough.
Drew felt a pang of regret. He had to do something to help her. He might have been teasing her but that didn’t mean he was heartless. She wasn’t a virgin, but he suspected that she wasn’t far from. The treatment should be the same.
“What are you doing?” she blinked as he bounced off the bed and stood naked in the centre of the room, “Can’t you put on boxers, at least?”
“Stay there,” he ignored her question as he smiled his reassurance, “I know what you need.”
Without saying another word, he headed for the bathroom. He flipped the taps and started to pour the bath. When he stuck his head out, he found her standing in the room, still wrapped in the bedsheet, picking up the remains of her underwear and clothing. They weren’t much more than shredded scraps of cotton. She dropped it back to the bed, with a horrified look on her face.
“Sorry,” he said as he leaned against the doorframe, “I’ll replace them.”
“My clothes?” she whimpered, “And I can’t find my boots?”
“I think we left one in the elevator with my shirt,” he grimaced, “The other one is under the kitchen table. Don’t worry, the bath is nearly ready, just leave everything else to me.”
“I can’t have a bath,” she scrunched her hands into fists, “I have to go home.”
“I’ll get you home after you soak,” he watched her face as she glanced at the door then back at what was left of her underwear, “A bath is just what you need, it will relax your muscles and help with any soreness.”
“No, I’m going home now,” she leaned over to scoop up her jeans off the floor where they were inside-out but undamaged, “I’ll just borrow a shirt and catch the train.”
“No, you won’t,” he said in his best authoritative tone as he walked over and picked up what was left of her underwear. Her bra had one strap broken, the clasps ripped off, and the lace on one of the cups was in tatters but it was in better condition that the panties, “I can’t let you leave here to catch a train wearing nothing but my shirt. I won’t share what was mine with the general public.”
“You don’t own me,” she huffed.
“That is correct and would be true even if we were married,” he exhaled, “But, last night I possessed you, made love to you, and had you scream my name. You were mine. And, as your most recent lover, I have responsibilities towards you. I will not risk you getting raped or assaulted by having you catching the train half-naked. The only man who sees your body today is me, and don’t bother arguing with me.”
“Coming from the man who exposes himself to thousands of women, nightly, on a stage,” She scoffed, “Some would call that hypocritical.”
“Call it what you want,” he growled the words, “That doesn’t change the fact that, if it was up to me, you’d still be in that bed making love to me.”
“Pervert,” she sneered.
“Better the pervert you know,” he frowned, “But since it isn’t up to me, I will drive you home after you soak.”
“Then drive me home now, I don’t need,” her face creased as she stopped mid-step.
“A hot bath will help,” he moved in and wrapped his arms around her and half-carried her to the bathroom. He then lifted her and slowly lowered her into the hot bubbly water while separating her from the bedsheet.
“What did you do to me?” she grimaced as the hot water stung.
“I believe it was a joint effort,” he smiled, “But, in retrospect, next time we’ll take it a little slower.”
“Next time?” she scoffed, “In your dreams, Pretty Boy.”
He’d been teasing her, but he wasn’t joking. He had to see her again. He wanted her in his bed, in his arms and in his life. She didn’t like him, and she regretted what they’d done, that much was clear, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to change her mind. He was even more determined to prove her wrong.
“We’ll see about that,” he smiled, “I’ll leave you to soak, unless you want me to join you? It is a two-person bathtub.”
“No,” she answered too quickly, then she took a breath, clenched her teeth and said, “I think you’ve done enough.”
He left her, knowing that there was no point arguing with her. He put some music on and picked up his clothes from where they’d been dropped on the way in. He leased this apartment when he was in town. It was not much more than one room studio, but it had a full kitchen, a good view, and the bathtub. After a long night of dancing, he loved a good soak.
It was almost midday, so he picked up his phone and made a couple of calls. Then he busied himself in the kitchen. As per her request, he’d thrown on some soft cotton boxer shorts. He liked cooking. He found it therapeutic. He didn’t have to think about anything else when he cooked. He could escape all his problems and just concentrate on the task.
She was still in the bathroom when he plated up the food. He knocked on the door then, before she answered, opened it and stood there in the door frame. She was towel drying herself and turned hiding her body from him with her face blushing again. It was the reaction he was hoping for.
“Privacy? Is that word not in your vocabulary?” she huffed.
“Clothes?” he held up a folded shirt and a pair of his boxers, “But if you don’t want them, I’m happy to have you walking around here naked.”
“Fine,” she grasped the fabric from his hand and the towel slipped as she did, she pulled it back and glared at him, “Pervert.”
He just laughed as he closed the door after him. The look on her face was worth any insult she flung at him. Her eyes widened, her cheeks flushed, and her mouth formed a small rose bud with a tiny ‘o’ of surprise in the middle. She looked adorable. Even if it was for only a split second before her eyes hardened and she lashed out with her harsh words, he enjoyed that moment.
It took longer than he anticipated for the bathroom door to open again. When it did, she edged out and stood there looking like she wanted to run back and hide within. The shirt he’d given her came down the mid-thighs and didn’t do much to disguise the fact she wasn’t wearing a bra. She’d crossed her arms over her chest, but it still made him wish they’d been less boisterous last night. He could easily toss her into bed right now if she wasn’t so sore.
“You didn’t give me my jeans?” she pulled the shirt down with one hand while the other remained wrapped around her chest region.
“I put them in the wash,” he smiled, “They won’t be long. The shirt is long enough to be a dress anyways.”
“I don’t wear dresses,” she grumped.
“You should,” his eyes surveyed her body.
“Unbelievable,” she rolled her eyes at him but didn’t move.
“That’s what I’ve been told,” he smirked then indicated to the plate on the countertop, “Have some coffee and food.”
“I’d rather just go home,” she looked at the door.
“Eat,” he pulled out the barstool for her, “I’m going to have a shower then we will go. By the way, I managed to track down your other boot.”
“My boot?” Her eyes went to the two steel capped working boots waiting next to the front door and the relief on her face was visible, “They are my favourite pair of boots.”
“By way of thanks,” he smiled at her genuine relief, “I want you to promise that you won’t try to sneak out.”
“Do you expect me to sneak out wearing only this?” she lifted an eyebrow.
“I’m hoping not,” he frowned, “Just don’t leave, alright?”
“Whatever you say, Pretty Boy,” she rolled her eyes again.
He shut the bathroom door and leaned against the cool white tiles. He was stuffed. He wanted her. She hated him. There was no possible way he’d be able to convince her to see him again. He might have had the best sex he’d ever had, but unless he could change her mind, it would be a once-night-only performance.