tagNovels and NovellasChallenging Deirdre Pt. 01

Challenging Deirdre Pt. 01

bywildfern©

CHAPTER 1: HANDS OF FATE

I stretched, cat-like, my arms pushed out above my head and my back bowed. Umm… I was wonderfully exhausted! I looked over at the giant of a man sleeping next to me. I'd never made a habit of picking up stray men. But this one… this one was different.


He was my cousin's, husband's fraternity brother and best friend and had been best-man at her wedding. That made it sticky. I'd made it a policy not to date or sleep with friends of relatives. The fall out was just too much to deal with.

I propped my head on my hand and gently slid the sheet back to get a better look. He had that wonderful, all-over, golden sort of tan that reminds you of butter toffee. He was over six feet tall and well-muscled--not like a body builder, though. I don't go for bulk. He had thick, blonde hair on his head and fine, golden hairs scattered across the rest of him. He rolled onto his back, stretching out one long leg and folding up the other. Hmm… I could look at that all day!

One blue eye opened lazily and he smiled. "Hey, Red."

"Hey yourself, handsome." I let him pull me close for a cuddle, relaxing into his embrace.

He ran a hand over my back. "You get any sleep?"

I shrugged. I don't require much sleep. I spider-walked my fingers up his breast bone. God, this man had gorgeous pectoral muscless. "I'll have to leave pretty soon."

He nudged his pelvis up against me, letting me feel the hard length of his cock. A golden eyebrow winged skyward. "What's the rush?"

I shifted to look him in the eyes. "Gabriel, tonight was great, but..."

His arms tightened around me. "We could have a lot of fun together, Red."

I shook my head. "This was a once in a lifetime deal, lover." I kissed him softly and pulled away.

He slipped from the bed and pulled on a robe. His expression was so serious. I could almost see the wheels in his head turning. "Doesn't mean we have to limit ourselves to just one night, babe." His deep blue eyes followed me as I moved around gathering my clothes.

"Hmm…" I grabbed my dress from the floor and stuffed my bare feet into my shoes. The rest of my things I stuffed into my handbag. I yanked my hair into a loose knot at the back of my head. Without glancing in the mirror, I decided I'd do and headed for the door.

He grabbed my arm as I passed. "Hey." He pulled me into his arms, sliding his hands around my back to hold me to him. His lips pressed warmly into my neck. "How about a phone number?"

I tilted my head to the side, giving him better access to my shoulder. "Gabe…" He nipped my collarbone. "Fax number?" His tongue traced its way back up to my jaw. "E-mail address?"

He was persistent. And so delicious. "Hmm.. I really don't think…"

He shoved me up against the wall and leaned his hard body against mine. I could feel every inch of his erection as it strained against me. "Don't think, baby. Just feel."

I shuddered as his hand stroked up my leg, hmm… the man had a way with words. I supposed it couldn't do any harm. I dropped my bag and stepped out of my shoes. "Alright…"

Hours later I made my escape. Taking one last, long glance at the Viking sleeping peacefully in the bed, I opened the door and disappeared into the dawn.

***

"Sweet Jesus, man! You're in a foul mood. What's up with you?"

Gabriel Jarmon was not only in a foul mood, he was pissed! He sighed. "Sorry Tuck." He rubbed a hand across his neck. He'd had one hell of a week and was taking it out on his best friend. "Maybe today's not a good day for this."

Pierce Tucker grabbed a towel from his bag, wiping the sweat from his brow. He was out of breath from the beating Gabe had given him on the racquetball court. "You've been weird ever since the wedding." He slugged back a bottle of water. "You don't see me trying to take my frustrations out on you. And I'm the one who didn't get a honeymoon, ya know."

Gabe rolled his eyes. "I know, I know." He'd heard the same complaint every day for a week. He'd be glad when Pierce and Denny did finally take off on their cruise--too bad that wouldn't be for another twelve days. "Why'd you guys wait, anyway?"

Pierce shook his head. "Denny had some loose ends to tie up. We'd hoped she'd have everything done before the wedding, but it didn't work out that way."

"That sucks, man." Gabe took a pull on his water. "Hey, I've been meaning to ask you. That redhead at your wedding? You know her?"

Pierce blinked. Shit. Gabe didn't mean Deirdre… Nah… Surely not. "Uh, which redhead?"

"The only one at the wedding, butthead. The one with legs to here," he held a hand at his waist, "and tits out to here." He curved his hands a half foot in front of him. "C'mon, man. The one in that slinky black dress and four inch heels."

Crap! He did mean Deirdre. "Ahh, yeah. Sort of. She's Denny's cousin." Pierce put the cap on his water bottle. "You wanna play another set?"

Gabe shook his head. "Nah, man. Cousin? She and Denny close? "

"Umm…" How was he going to get out of this one? "You'd really have to ask Denny, man. A lot of her family only flew in long enough for the wedding, ya know? It's not like I really know them." Pierce leaned down to grab his bag. "I'd better get going. Denny wants me to stop by the cleaners and pick up my tux." He grimaced. "Apparently I'll need it on the cruise."

"Hey, wait a minute." Gabe stuffed everything into his own bag before picking it up. "Maybe I could take you and Denny to dinner tonight? Give you guys a change of scenery?"

"Uh, you know Gabe, I think maybe we've got something going on at her parents' tonight." Luckily, they'd reached the cars. Pierce hurriedly unlocked the trunk on his 'Vette and tossed the bag in. "Some other time, right?" He slid into the driver's seat. "Maybe after we get back from the cruise, huh?"

Gabe narrowed his eyes. Pierce sure was acting strange. "Yeah, sure. Later." He watched Pierce drive off, wondering what the heck was going on.

CHAPTER 2: CHANCE MEETINGS

I dropped my head back against the edge of the giant, claw-footed tub. I'd had a hard week and was bone tired. The phone rang softly near her ear. I opened one eye, staring at the device malevolently. Slipping one hand free of the bubbles, she snagged the receiver. "Bennett residence."

"Dee! What in Hades' name is going on?" Denny's voice rolled over the lines smoothly. "Gabriel Jarmon's been hounding my doorstep night and day for the last week asking all kinds of questions about you."

Jarmon? Who the hell was Jarmon? "Denny, have you been drinking?"

A loud snort echoed across the lines. "No! I haven't been drinking. Jarmon. Gabriel Jarmon? Tall, blond? He was at my wedding?"

Ohhh. Right. The Viking. "Gabe. Yeah. What about him?"

Denny sighed deeply. "Why do I get the feeling you're not listening to me? Gabe… asking questions about you… all week… really anxious… Are you getting the picture?"

I pulled the stopper out of the tub and reached for the bath sheet I'd laid on the warmer earlier. "I get the picture, Denny."

"Did something happen between you two at the wedding? Oh, lord. Please tell me you didn't sleep with him."

I reached up and pulled my hair up into a pony tail before rubbing moisturizer into my face and neck. "If I told you that, I'd be lying." I slathered scented cream into my arms and legs.

"Terrific." She sounded glum. "I don't suppose you want me to give him your number or anything?"

"You know me better than that! I don't do relationships." I pulled a copper colored sheath from her wardrobe.

"Too bad you had to 'do' one of Pierce's friends." Denny gnashed her teeth. "Fine, I'll do my best to get rid of him."

I finished my makeup and slid into the dress. The rich copper color set off my light skin and red-hair quite nicely. "You going to be home for a while this evening? I have a dinner date, but I could swing by after. I've got some things to drop off for you."

"Oh?" I could hear the curiosity in Denny's voice.

"Mmm…" I ran a fingertip across my plump lower lip, smoothing the line of my lipstick. I grabbed my keys and headed for the door. "I'll call you when I'm ready to head your way."

***

Ugh! Dinner had been torture--Cole Harper may have looked like a god, but Einstein he wasn't. I turned the nose of the car west and hit speed dial on my cell phone. Thankfully, Denny picked up on the first ring. "Hey, it's me. I should be there in five minutes or so."

"Oh. Great. Okay. We'll see you in a bit, then."

Denny had sounded a bit weird. I shrugged and dropped the phone into my bag. Married life must be getting to her.

Pierce and Denny lived in the top half of a quaint Victorian home that had recently been converted into a duplex. Parking was scarce and I had to settle for a spot on the street in front of the house. I grabbed my bag and headed for the door.

A flutter at an upper window caught my eye. I smiled as the door swung open, expecting to see Denny on the other side. My smile slipped when I saw the man standing in the doorway. "Gabriel. How… delightful to see you again.".

"Really?" He grabbed my hand, pulling me over the threshold and through the doorway. "So glad I could make your day."

Gabe shoved me up against the wall. "Why did you leave like that? No goodbye, no phone number. Nothing!" His large hands gripped my shoulders roughly and he gave me a slight shake.

"Umm, maybe we'd better…" Denny started.

"Leave you two alone." Pierce started pulling Denny towards the stairs. "Don't mind us. You two take all the time you need. Guest bedroom on the first floor's free, if you want privacy."

My jaw dropped. Well, hell. I looked to Denny for answers and found none. She simply shrugged her shoulders, shook her head and followed meekly after Pierce. "Some help you are," I muttered. "Hey! Put me down, Gabe."

He swung me into his arms and headed down the hall. "No way. Last time I let you go, you disappeared without a trace." He used his elbow to push open the door to the guest room, stepped through, shoved it closed with his foot and dropped me unceremoniously on the bed.

I sat up, swinging my feet to the floor. "Oh, for God's sake! It was a one-night stand, Gabe. People have them all the time. It didn't mean anything." I found my forward progress halted by two jean-clad legs.

"Is that a fact? I happen to think you're wrong." He unbuttoned his shirt. "You didn't just pull a 'love him and leave him' routine. You spent the afternoon, evening and all night long in my bed, sugar." He shrugged out of the shirt and reached for the buckle on his pants. "Now, I don't know about you, but in my world, spending the night in a man's bed means something."

I rolled my eyes. The man was obviously delusional. "Look, Gabe. I told you, I don't do relationships. Personal attachments just aren't worth the time and emotional effort needed to sustain them." I lost my train of thought momentarily as the waist of his pants headed south. Oh, my. He may have been angry with me, but certain portions of his anatomy were certainly happy to see me. I gulped for air and tried again. "Besides, one night of great sex doesn't give you the right to…"

He stepped out of his jeans and placed his knee on the edge of my bed, just between my thighs. "One night of great sex, huh? Try fourteen hours and at least that many orgasms, baby. The wedding was at 11:00 and I had you for lunch." He slid a warm palm up my thigh. "And dinner." His other hand shifted to my breast, stroking my nipple firmly through the thin silk of my dress. He leaned into me, forcing me back and down towards the mattress. "I would have had you for breakfast, too, but you'd disappeared by the time the sun came up."

I put my hands on his chest, intent on pushing him away. "Gabe, I…" His slipped his fingers underneath the lace edge of my panties, deftly stroking the tips across my nether lips. I sucked in a deep breath. "I don't think that…"

"I think we've had this conversation before, sweets." He flicked a finger across my clitoris, making me jump. "Sometimes it's just better…" The tip of one finger gently penetrated my vagina. "Not to think about these things."

I shuddered. "Oh!" I was already wet. Soon, a second finger joined the first and he pushed hard--all the way into me.

His mouth closed, hot and moist, on my neck. "I can feel how ready you are for me, babe." He slid his fingers back and forth within me. "How hot you are." Gabe nibbled his way up my neck to my ear. "Two feels good, doesn't it Red? Wouldn't three be better?" He inserted a third finger, stretching me.

My eyes drifted shut and I gasped. I wanted to come. I needed to come. My hips pumped in time to his rhythm. "Gabe…"

He increased the tempo and pressure of his hand as he worked my cunt. His thumb stroked my clitoris. Once, twice, three times. And I came with a soft keening wail.

I heard the rip of fabric and knew he'd torn away the scrap of silk covering my crotch. I opened my eyes long enough to watch him slip a condom over the head of his shaft. I reached for him, only to have him grab my hands and force them down above my head. "Gabriel?" I pushed my hips upward, trying to force him inside me. He pulled back slightly, not letting me have control. "Please, Gabriel." I'd never begged for anything before as I begged him now to fuck me.

"Hush, baby." He rubbed the purple tip of his cock across me, spreading my dew. "This is my game and we'll play it by my rules." He forced my hands upward. "Hold onto the headboard and don't let go." Then he slid his arms underneath my thighs, forcing my knees up and out--opening me wide for his invasion.

I whimpered as he inched forward slowly, oh so slowly. "Unh… Please, please, please!"

Sweat popped out on his forehead. "Shh, baby. Easy. I don't want to hurt you."

I didn't want easy. I wanted it hard… and fast. "Do it, Gabe! God, just do it!" I squeezed my PC muscles, urging him on.

He lifted his head to look into my eyes. I watched his pupils widen and his eyes grow dark. "I can't… be gentle…" He shook slightly. "If you do that…"

"I don't want gentle, Gabe. Fuck me!" I pleaded.

"You want me to fuck you, huh?" He pulled out and I screamed in frustration. "On your knees, Red." He flipped me onto my stomach and I rushed to comply, pulling the skirt of my dress up high out of his way.

He shoved pillows under my stomach and pushed my head down to the bed. His hand dropped to my buttocks, caressing the cleft between my cheeks. He spread my cheeks. I jumped when I felt his thumb probe my ass. "Oh, God!" I loved it this way.

He leaned forward, grabbing my breast and pinching me roughly. This is what you want, isn't it?" His thumb pushed higher and he stretched his fingers towards my cunt. "You want it rough." He let go of my breast and I felt a stinging slap on my butt. "You want it hard."

God, help me. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" I bit my lip to keep from screaming.

His hands left me momentarily, coming back only long enough to massage something cool and thick into my rear. Then I felt the head of his cock against my ass, seeking entry. I took a deep breath, trying to relax. But it was too much. I was like a bitch dog in heat, pushing backwards into him and forcing his thick shaft inside me. "Damn, you're tight!"

He pulled back slightly, then shoved forward. He did this again and again until the muscles of my ass relaxed enough to let him in. He paused, letting me feel the full length of him inside me. He was a big man and I'd felt full to bursting before, but in this position the fine line between pleasure and pain blurred.

I whimpered and pulled forward a little, seeking relief. His hands clamped down tight on my waist, letting me know there would be no escaping him. I cried out as he pulled almost completely out and lunged forward, pressing into me so hard I could feel his balls against the cheeks of my ass. "Aah!"

The bed rocked with us, intensifying the strength and tempo of his moves. I could feel pleasure building inside me again, even as I felt twinges of pain. Each thrust of his cock brought me closer and closer to the edge of fulfillment. A voice I didn't recognize, even though I knew it to be mine, called out "More! Harder!" Then I screamed as the world around me shattered into a million pieces.

He pulled out of me, rolling onto his side and easing off the bed. I heard running water and moments later he returned. I flinched but didn't pull away when he ran a warm, wet cloth across my cheeks and ass. Dropping the cloth on the floor, he slid onto the bed next to me and gathered me into his arms. "Care to discuss 'rights' now, Red?"

I rolled onto my back to stare at the ceiling. "Dammit, Gabriel…"

"All I want, sweet thing, is a chance." He shoved a strand of hair behind my ear. "A chance to have some fun and maybe get to know you better."

I looked into his Azure-blue eyes. He was fucking serious. For the first time in a long time, I agreed with Denny. Of all the single men that had been at her wedding, why the hell did I pick this man to sleep with? I shook my head, pushing him away from me and sitting up all in one smooth motion. "Whatever, Gabe." I smoothed down the skirt of my dress. Leaning over, I grabbed my ruined panties from the floor. I'd have to do without, they were toast. I drew a deep breath. "You want to date me, fine. We'll date." I walked to the door, pausing to look over my shoulder before exiting. "But don't get any ideas about ownership or permanence." The door to the bedroom slammed satisfactorily behind me as I exited. 'Nyah! So there!' I ran a hand through my hair. God, what was I going to do now? ***

Denny and Pierce were cuddled together in the living room watching some grade B science-fiction movie on TV. Newlyweds, ugh! "Denny, can I have a word with you?"

She jumped, startled. "Dee, hey." She looked guiltily at Pierce. "Umm, yeah. Sure thing. Let's go into the kitchen, okay?"

I grabbed my purse off the couch, aiming a look at Pierce. "He's your friend, Pierce. You deal with him!"

He paled. "Hey, I didn't know he'd…"

I held up a hand. "Later!" I could hear a door slam somewhere behind me, but didn't even turn to look. I just pushed Denny towards the kitchen. "Keep him out, Pierce. I mean it."

Denny settled onto a stool at the small island while I grabbed a wine cooler from the fridge. "Make yourself at home, Dee."

I glared at her over the rim of the bottle. "Shut up, Denny. I'm not talking to you right now." Silently, I polished off the bottle. I reached for my bag. "You asked me for a favor." I pulled out a sheaf of papers. "Take a look, see what you think."

Denny took the papers from me. The grin on her face broadened as she sifted through them. "You did it! This is so great!"

I nodded. "Your records been expunged. You'll need to sign and have that top page notarized. Then file everything with the district clerk's office. After that, you're good to go."

"God! This is so great. I can't thank you enough, Dee." Her expressive eyes lit up with joy.

"Sure you can, Dennny. Get him," I pointed back towards the doorway, "off my back."

"Hmm… I dunno, Dee." She tilted her head and grinned. "From the sound of things, I didn't think you really wanted him off your back."

The muscles in my jaw tightened. "Denny…"

She rolled her eyes at me. "Alright, alright. I'll try." Denny tapped a finger on the papers I'd given her. "I guess it's the least I can do, considering. It's just… he's such a nice guy, Dee. Would it really hurt to date him for a while? I mean, what harm could it do?"

I rubbed a hand across my head. My temples were starting to throb. "Ask me that in three months, Denny. When he starts screaming about my traveling on short notice, the number of business dinners I go to, or the men I 'hang out' with at the club. Or maybe when he comes crying to you and Pierce because I've been called out on yet another page in the middle of the night and haven't put in an appearance at home for two days." "Ahh, Dee…"

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