The Keys to Jericho

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Chapter 17

Rio looks from me to the door, and then skeptically eyes me again. “I take it you two made up?” I pick up my beer and shrug.

As I take a drink, Dash asks, “Did you apologize?”

They both wait for my answer as my gaze falls to the bottle in my hand. “We talked.”

Rio says, “Well, whatever you said to her must’ve worked.”

Dash loudly sighs and stretches his arms over his head. “I’m glad.” As he gets comfortable, he hesitantly laughs. “You and Kat looked… cozy.”

“We’re fine.” Shifting forward, I dangle my beer between my legs, staring at the fire.

“So, you did talk?” Rio asks.

Outwardly engrossed with the fire, I nod, idly spinning the mouth of the bottle with my fingers. They again wait for me to elaborate, but I don’t.

Dash’s laugh is more assured this time around. “Well, I thought you were going to have sex with her in front of us.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

Setting his phone down, Dash jumps to his feet, and walking over, he grabs the bag of marshmallows on the ground, next to my chair. “Why’s she going to bed so early? It’s not even 11:00.”

“Rough day,” Rio replies, his blue-eyed gaze darting to me as he walks past us. “I’ll be back.” He heads up the stairs, leaving me to feel worse about my actions earlier, before and after I seemingly exploited Kat for a climax.

Dash takes a roasting fork and spears three marshmallows, alternating watching his task and Rio going into the house, as do I. He says, “She didn’t even tell you goodnight. Are you sure she’s okay? You’re not hiding something, are you? I hope you’re telling us the truth, and you are friends with Kat again.”

I’m annoyed that he and Duquesne have noticed so much. “We are.” I would think her jerking me off would constitute a peace treaty of sorts.

Returning to his seat and leaning forward to roast his marshmallows, nearly mimicking how I’m sitting, he says, “I don’t know how much you talked, but she needs to tell you something. I doubt she already has.”

Perplexed, my eyebrows pinch. “Tell me what?”

He shakes his head back at me. “I can’t tell you that.”

I frown at the mouth of my beer bottle before I take a drink. “Then, why in the fuck did you mention it?”

“Because you need to know.”

Rapidly swallowing my beer, I spout, “Just tell me!”

Pulling out the metal stick, Dash inspects his marshmallows, but since they’re not charred and on fire, he shoves them back into the flames. “Nope. Kat has to be the one to tell you.”

I grit my teeth and grip the neck of the bottle tighter. “You’re pissing me off, Calder.”

“I know.” Dash grins as my glower intensifies. He turns down the mirth, saying, “It’s why she was so upset earlier after your outburst.”

“I’m still helping her get a license.”

He blows on the marshmallows ablaze and laughs. “That’s not the reason.”

Watching him inspect the charred globs, I ponder if he used enough hairspray to catch fire. Looking away, I sigh and tug on the bill of my hat. “We’re still friends, too.” I hope so, and she didn’t think I was just using her as a cum op.

Dash pulls a bloated, black-and-silver puff off the stick. “Dude, you really don’t get it.”

I lift my beer, swigging it back as I think of a reply to that. Kat wouldn’t keep anything significant from me. She said no secrets. Not anymore, at least. Finishing off the bottle, I set it on the ground. “If it were serious, she would’ve told me.”

With a glutinous mouthful, he argues, “If she had told you, there’s no way you’d be so calm about it, but it would explain this afternoon.” I frown at him for the jumbled reply. Did Kat tell him about her crush on me? If she didn’t, I’m not enlightening him for Dash and Rio to pick apart.

“Why? Is it going to piss me off?” Fuck. I’m fixated on finding out what it is.

Jostling the bag, Dash drops a marshmallow on the ground. Picking it up, he hurdles it into the fire with another laugh. “Piss you off? Probably. You won’t know how to deal with it.”

I shrug. “Maybe she told me, and I’m fine with it.”

He adamantly shakes his head. “Nope. You would not want to be talking about it. You’d hide the hell out of that.”

“Dash, if it’s serious, you’d better fucking tell me.”

“I told you, I can’t.” He takes a drink of his beer and frowns. “I doubt if she’ll ever tell you now, but you still need to ask her. You only have so much time left in Annapolis.”

I sneer, “So? Does Duquesne know?”

He casually shrugs as he eats marshmallows from the bag. “Yeah, he knows, but not because he was told.”

“And that implies…?”

“It means that he knows from watching you.”

Exasperated by this horrific conversation, I heave a vigorous sigh. “How can he figure out something about Kat from watching me?”

He dubiously angles his head, giving me some kind of pitying expression. “Jericho, because it’s your secret, too.” Shit. Did Kat tell him about what I suggested last night? Or did he see me getting off on her?

“I’m three seconds from committing your murder. This conversation has made no fucking sense. Are you drunk?”

He swiftly grins. “Still sober.”

Footsteps pound off the stairs, and I look to see Rio. I also subtly peer up to Kat’s room again and see the light is off, disappointing me because I want to check on her, too.

Dash asks, “How’s Kat?”

Rio says, “She was getting ready for a shower. She’s tired. Didn’t say much else.” He and Calder exchange a look, putting me on alert.

“I was just telling Jericho that Kat has something to tell him.”

Rio smiles but warily asks, “Oh, yeah?”

Restless, I sit back and put my ankle on my other knee and edgily ask, “What is it, Duquesne? Tell me.”

He laughs as he picks up his beer and sits down. “Not going there.”

I glower at them. “So, you both think this is damn funny?”

Dash says, “Just funny that you don’t see it from either side.”

Rio says to Dash, “He doesn’t want to see it.”

“You know what I find funny, Duquesne? You’re otherwise awkward around the opposite sex. So why are you and Kat suddenly chummy? Is she part of your family now, too?”

Rio crosses his ankles with a shrewd smile. “That’s a possibility.”

Dash eagerly nods and says to Rio, “She could always marry your cousin Vince.”

I doubtfully spit, “The zookeeper?”

Lowering his beer, Rio coolly shrugs. “He’s available. I think he’d appreciate her.”

I laugh. “Yeah, and she’d appreciate him smelling like ostrich shit.”

Dash pounds his fist on the arm of his chair and yelps, “He could teach her how to drive one of those golf carts!”

Rio grins. “Or how to drive a stick.”

Dash laughs. “Yeah. His stick.”

I snarl, “Fuck no.”

Rio’s grin turns up a level, and he glances at Calder. “Ok. How about she marry you, Dash?”

Dash appears to contemplate that, tilting his blond head side to side, making his hair glow like a shaky flashlight. “She has a nice rack. That’ll be good for when she pops out my babies soon.”

My jaw drops, shocked he even notices anyone else besides Hadley. “What the fuck?”

Dash smiles. “I haven’t even asked her out. I guess I could. We’re friends and all.”

I grip the arm of my chair. “The hell you will.”

“What, Jericho? You’ve known her since eleventh grade. You haven’t stayed in touch with her. I have since college, and she’s single.”

I think I bent the chair with my grip. “I don’t care. You’re not dating her.”

He puts up his hand. “According to you, I can’t date Hadley. I can’t date Kat. Why not Kat?”

“Because like I’ve already told you, I said no.”

“Jare, you haven’t dated Kat, haven’t had sex with her, or even have an interest in her, so the Bro Code doesn’t apply.” He turns to Dash and punches his arm. “I say ask her out, Douche.”

I angrily retort, “And I say you’re asking for a body bag.” Kat said we had been dating this week, but that’s something else I’m not sharing with them. They’d make it into a huge joke, and I’d have to commit two murders.

“Wow, Jericho. You’re awfully jealous for being only a friend.”

“I’m not jealous.” I internally wince as I steal my dad’s word of choice. “Just concerned.”

Dash looks confused. “About me? That’s a first.”

“About her, you prick.”

Dash laughs. “Because I’m so hazardous to her health.”

“No, but if you ask her out, I’ll be hazardous to your health.”

Rocking his beer bottle on the arm of his chair, Rio mutters, “Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, Jare.”

Reaching my limit with them, I snap, “Okay. I’m done. I’m tired of both of you, too.” Far from tired. I won’t be able to sleep. As I stand, since my pubes are glued to my legs and junk, the hair pulls at my skin, and I try not to make a face. “I’m going to bed.”

Dash says, “Just remember which room is yours, Jericho.”

“Fuck you.”

“Buy me dinner, show me the goods, and then we’ll talk.” He ridiculously grins at me. Idiot.

As I turn, Rio praises Dash for the joke. Traitor. I still hear them laughing as I stomp my way up the steps and open the sliding door. Fuckers. I’ll be laughing when they have to sleep on charred ash.

I head upstairs to get a change of clothes and to take a shower. Walking into the room, I turn on the light, and going to my suitcase, a gray box propped against a pillow catches my eye. I pick up the box of condoms with a Post-It note reading, Watch those swimmers! Love, Dash and Rio.

“What’s this damn shit?” I ask out loud, looking around my room like they’re suddenly going to jump out of the closet.

Taking the box to the hall, I whip it into Dash’s room, knocking it off the dresser with a clatter and then a light thud.

After finishing my shower, I creep down to Kat’s room and stand at her door, listening for anything, but it’s quiet. I deliberate knocking but ultimately decide against it. Hoping for tomorrow to be a fresh start, I sigh as I run my hand through my damp hair, flicking water into the air as I go back to my bedroom.

Unsettled, I turn on the reading lamp sitting on the nightstand and tear down the blankets, tossing extra pillows onto the floor. Flopping onto the bed, I put my hands behind my head and stare up at the dim ceiling, reminding me of watching clouds with Kat at the park, or rather, me watching her, watching clouds at the park.

The things Dash and Rio said are assaulting my mind, making me too jumpy to sleep. Kat will not be dating Dash. I have no right to be possessive of her, but Dash will not be laying any kind of fucking claim on her.

A knock on my door jolts me out of my daze. Sighing, I warn, “Just so you know, I have my lighter with me, so enter at your own risk.”

The oak door opens and expectantly waiting for Dash to bother me with some stupid shit, Kat quietly walks in, and my eyes widen in surprise. The hall light bathes the entrance to my room as my wide-eyed stare takes in her dark gray nightshirt, skimming her legs just above her knees. There’s no dark eye makeup on her face, no blue contacts, and even if her hair is streaked, Kat Merrick is the sexiest I’ve ever seen her.

Without giving me a smile or a reason why she’s here, she closes the door, darkening the room to just the small glow illuminating half of my bed. I prop myself up on my elbows. “Kit Kat, what’s wrong?”

I hear the click of the lock, and her dark brown eyes are focused—determined—as she walks to the side of my bed. Her gaze intently rakes over my body, and I grow hard, in full view, as if she’s conjuring me. Still unsmiling, she watches my cock respond to her presence, as it always has.

She says nothing to me, but I see her chest rising and falling quicker, in tune with mine. “Kat, what are you doing in here? I thought you went to sleep.”

She slowly shakes her head, keeping her eyes on my full-scale erection. “Not tired.”

I noisily gulp to open my constricting throat. “What is it you want?” Fuck. Don’t hurt me again. Tell me you want me.

Her eyes drag to my face, and she unexpectedly puts her knee on the edge of the bed, climbing on top of me, and on impulse, I pull her forward to avoid sitting on my dick. And even though she’s sitting on top of me in only a shirt, I’m still not sure what it is she wants. When her nightshirt slides up, I stroke my fingertips over the outside of her legs.

Nevertheless, with her sitting on me, I’m no longer worried about hiding my hard-on from her, so I take in the sight. Her legs are snug against my body, so I can’t see up her shirt. I need to change that.

I put my hands on her knees, urging her legs up. When she moves them, my eyes drop as her shirt slides up, revealing that she’s not wearing underwear.

I whisper up to her, “Fuck.” She doesn’t respond and only watches my reaction. Without touching her, I notice how aroused she is from her delicious scent, and as I push her shirt up further, the light reflects how wet she is, and I instinctually lick my lips.

I hear her loud swallow, and I peer up to her face, seeing her cheeks are also wet. “Kit Kat, what?”

Her tears are her only reply. I try to sit up, but she pushes me back down as she falls on top of me, her lips trapping mine. As much as I want to ask why she’s crying, my mouth won’t let me, just as my cock is begging to finally unite with her pussy.

My hands move underneath her shirt, lifting it up, and I grip her ass as we kiss hard and frantically. Her hair hangs over me, inundating me with her shampoo and arousal. She does the shifting thing with her hips, and I now realize she was turned on when she was on top of me at the park. Remembering she’s not wearing underwear, I push her shoulder, so she sits up. We pant as our kiss ends and when my hand trails from her ass, over her hip, and to her pussy, she moans.

“Jesus, Kat,” I groan as my fingers dig into her, feeling how slick she is, sliding my fingers in and out and making her moan louder. I can’t believe this is happening.

Kat breathlessly says, “Only for you, Jared.” She whimpers when my thumb caresses her clit. Liking how that sounded, I stroke with more pressure, causing her legs to open wider and for her to push against my hand.

With my other hand, I run my fingers up her thigh and through her pubic hair, getting them wet, wanting to touch her pussy as much as possible, in case I never have the chance to again. I’m already resolved I will, no matter what the hell I wanted to avoid.

Since my hands are busy, but I’m not finished exploring her, I whisper, “Take off your shirt.”

Kat immediately complies, exposing her breasts, and I stop fingering her to gawk at what she’s been teasing me with inside her tank tops. Her nipples are erect, and with my fingers still buried inside her, I say, “I’ve fantasized so fucking long about touching and seeing you like this. You’re goddamn gorgeous.”

Her cheeks are wet, but her brown eyes light up when she smiles.

Needing to feel her tits, but also needing to taste her, I take my hands off her, one at a time, and methodically lick my fingers as she watches. Her legs rhythmically press against me as her eyes widen. I slowly lick the tip of my index finger as we look at each other. “You’re fucking delicious. Give me more.”

Grinding her hips into my abdomen, she whimpers, “Jared.”

Reaching up, I glide my wet thumbs over her nipples, and I close my eyes to steady myself, so I don’t come in my underwear for the second time tonight.

Kat moans and holds onto my hands, fondling her tits, her pussy soaking my stomach. She snarls, “Jared, as much as I love what you’re doing to me, let’s cut the bullshit.”

“What?” My eyes fly open to her face, and my heart crashes to a painful halt, expecting her to tell me something I might not like, according to Dash.

“We’ve been doing this damn foreplay routine since high school.”

I’m afraid, but I don’t want to show it. “What do you want?”

She leans down. “I want you, Jared.” She then whispers, “Of course I fucking want you.”

Panting as my heart kickstarts, I stammer, “You… You said you didn’t.”

Her eyes fill with tears again. “I didn’t want what you were proposing we do, but if that’s the only part of you I’m getting before you leave, then I’ll deal with it.” She blinks through her unshed tears. “I wanted to lose my virginity to you, but you didn’t want me.”

I tersely inhale. “Yes, I fucking did. You’re all I thought about when my hand was wrapped around my cock. Not just past tense.”

“And when my fingers are inside of me, they’re yours. Not just present.”

Closing my eyes, I sigh. “Holy fuck.”

Suddenly, she shifts up and over my aching dick, even though I came earlier, I’m throbbing with new persistence. She zealously yanks down my shorts and underwear, making me groan as my sore cock sways. She drops my shorts onto the floor, and I watch her stunned expression as she takes a loud breath. “Jared.”

Catching my breath, I say, “It’s always been hard for you.” Kat eagerly takes ahold of my shaft, and I wheeze at the feel of her hand on me. “Fuck.” As she strokes me, I automatically grasp her hand, stopping her. “You’re right. Let’s cut the bullshit. Fuck me. Now.”

I grab her by the hips, pulling her closer, hovering her over my cock, only to realize I’m not wearing a damn condom. “Shit!”

Between heavy breaths, she asks, “What?”

I close my eyes. “A condom. There’re some in the other room.” I’m the idiot for ruining this.

“I’m on birth control. I get a shot.”

I roll my head side to side on the pillow. “I never have sex without a condom.” Except for my first time, but that’s been too long ago to count.

Feeling her slump, I open my eyes, and she dejectedly says to my chest, “Oh. I didn’t even think of that. I just…” She frowns, probably mentally kicking herself.

My gaze lowers to her pussy and unable to resist touching her there, my thumbs slide into her, dipping into her cream and then rubbing it onto my cock in a show for her.

Kat gives me a questioning look. I whisper, “But you’re the one who got away.” I don’t even ask about her condom-use history outside her marriage. Quite frankly, I don’t care. Not when we’re about to change our history.

Her breathing quickens as she considers what I just said. Licking her lips, suddenly uneasy, she says, “Jared, we’re about to cross a line we can’t uncross.”

I nod. “It’s about time, so we’d better make sure to dot our i’s and cross our t’s.” She looks away, but restively fidgets as I push the side of my shaft against her opening, causing me to add some of my own cream to the tip of my dick. “We don’t have to do this.” Fuck, I can’t turn back now. I’ll jack off as she watches. I don’t care, as long as I can touch her while I do.

Kat swiftly slides her eyes to mine. “I need to.”

My tongue flicks over my lips. “No regrets?”

“Only if we don’t do this.” Her brown eyes water again. “I want you so damn much. God, Jared. Fuck me. Finally, screw your driving partner.” She lifts and circles her hips, her pussy licking over the head, teasing me to take action.

I whisper, “Like this.” I yank down on her hips, thrusting into her, ending years of our baited torment. We both shout, not caring who the fuck hears us. I do want Dash Calder to listen to me fucking her. Claiming Kat Merrick. He can shove the Bro Code up his ass now.

As she pulls her hips up, my hands go to her tits, and I say, “Slow. Go slow.” I want this to last as long as possible. I want to appreciate each move, each breath, each stroke, each shudder, each word, and everything not said.

Kat pants, “I can’t.” She slams down, and I plunge deeper.

Squeezing my fingers into her, I gutturally groan, “Jesus Christ, Katriona!”

“Jared, I… Fuck… Make me come.” She glides up and down, whimpering louder.

I hold onto her tits, and her hair bounces against my hands as she rides me. “At long last. You. On my cock.” I drop my hands to grab her ass, urging her onto me, going deeper with every rebound of hers. I’ve never had sex like this before. No, this is a literal, fucking life-affirming experience. “I’ve always wanted you to fuck me. Shit.” I lift my hips and Kat off the bed.

Holding onto me, she wails, “Jared! I’m going to come!” Her pussy tightens, grabbing me by the balls.

In the middle of her orgasm, I roll her beneath me. “I want to screw you this way,” I whisper, slipping out of Kat before firmly driving into her, bouncing her tits in my face, and the headboard off the wall.

Her hands go into my hair, holding on as she cries, “Jesus!”

With one hand, I hold onto her waist as I fuck her, and with the other, I scrape her striped hair from her face. I tease with a breathless grin, “How’s my driving?”

She strokes my jaw with a look of some kind of awe or adoration. “Fucking awesome. Jared, I… I…”

Feeling my most intense orgasm erupting, I hold her tighter, securing her hips to mine. “Jesus Christ!” My spasms are hard and enduring. I’ve never had one this powerful. Disjointedly sighing, I empty into her as ordered with more loud groans, and she gasps while watching me.

As I slowly rock the rest of my erection into submission, I whisper, “What?”

Kat urges my head down, and we entangle our lips into a deep and desperate kiss, sucking on each other’s tongues, simulating what we just did.

I abruptly pull back when I feel my face getting wet. Kat tries to blink her tears away, but they fall to the sides of her face.

“What’s wrong?”

She answers me by forcing my mouth back onto hers, and I have the feeling she’s not going to let me inside her this much ever again.

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