Terèse Boynton saw the tall brown-haired man walking toward her. She wasn't really paying any attention to him, but she knew he was coming, and she assumed he was headed to some point beside or beyond her. She had registered his good looks, his height, the ease of his movements as he sauntered over. Damn, but he was a good-looking son of his mother! After a minute, she took her eye off him, and concentrated on rewriting the last sentence. She had to have the edits and rewrites done by tomorrow, or she'd miss the deadline for the third time, and the publisher would pull the plug on the novel. It was her third, and although the success of the first two meant she could find a new publisher fairly easily, she didn't want to have to go through all that until she was making enough money to leave her part time job as an adjunct lecturer in the local college.
When the waiter came to take her order, she spoke to him absently, and went back to her writing.
"Teri?" the voice said, in her ear, it seemed.
She looked up. It was the handsome brown-haired man. Close up, he looked vaguely familiar, but she had so many white male friends who were brown-haired, with a great smile, sexy lips, and a straight nose, that she couldn't place him. She wondered briefly how to respond, and chose cool aloofness, to cover her nervousness.
"You are...?" She let the coolness settle in her voice.
"Ethan Dunn," he replied, a hint of a drawl in his voice. "Don't you remember? From Austin, Texas. I told you I might be coming up on business."
Teri's eyes widened slightly, but she collected herself and put the laptop aside long enough to raise a hand to shake the one he held out. She was stunned that he recognized her, that he remembered her, even. She was one of the women he had invited to be his friend on the webpage where he kept a blog, among other things. She visited his page once or twice a week, mostly to say hello on the top page, every now and again stopping to catch up and read his blogs, and maybe comment on a couple. He was a witty man, but aloof, or at least that was her reading of him. Or actually, he was aloof with her. He seemed to get along well with the other friends on his list, but she had not felt any special interest from him at all. At first, because she knew how attracted to him she had become, she had been hurt by that, but eventually she gave up any hope of attracting more than a passing glance from him, and went on with the business of living. As far as she knew he was married, so he was unavailable, anyway.
"May I?" he was saying, indicating the chair to her right.
She blinked, and then nodded. When the waiter returned with her order, he made his.
"How are you?" he asked, clearly intent on doing more than merely sit there quietly while she worked.
She sighed inwardly and reluctantly put the laptop aside. "I'm fine, thank you. You?"
He smiled, and for some reason, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end.
"I'm much better, now that I've found you. I'd given up hope, and was just coming for a bite of dinner before heading back to my hotel. And suddenly, there you were!"
"You were looking for me?" she asked, forgetting the food in front of her for a minute. "Why?"
Again the smile that made her tingle. "I told you I would, in my e-mail, didn't I? I always keep my word. And I'm very glad I found you, too. You're the friend I've most wanted to meet offline, because," here he paused, "quite frankly, you're the most mysterious to me."
The waiter brought his drink, and she suddenly remembered the food she had been served. She picked at it, wondering why he would want to search out the "mysterious" black friend he barely acknowledged online. She felt increasingly uncomfortable, especially when she realized that the feelings for him she thought she had gotten over were now threatening to choke her, making it hard for her to do such a necessary thing as breathe. She realized she was holding her breath again when the waiter returned with his order. She swallowed and took a deep breath. "I'm flattered," she said, her voice a little husky. She wanted to clear her throat, but didn't want him to know the effect he was having on her. So she picked up her glass and drank deeply from it instead. She hunted around in her suddenly vacant head for something, anything, to say to break what was for her an uncomfortable lull in the conversation, such as it was.
"So, is your business done, Ethan?"
She half hoped he would say yes, and therefore could not account for her disappointment when he did just that.
"Yes," he nodded. "I was planning on taking a late flight home tonight, but now..." He looked at her, then at his plate, then back at her. "Now I think I'll go tomorrow."
Teri's appetite had long since deserted her, but she ate mechanically for another minute before pushing the plate away. The waiter appeared, as if by magic, and asked if she wanted to take it with her. She nodded and he left with her almost full plate.
"Not hungry anymore?" Ethan wanted to know.
He eyed her, taking in the blue jeans she wore, and the sleeveless red shirt with the V-neck that gave him a sweet view of her ample cleavage. She wore a simple, thin gold chain around her neck, with the initial B as a pendant, a graduation ring on her left ring finger, and another ring, with a sapphire, on the right ring finger. Her fingernails were varnished with clear polish. The watch she wore was simple but elegant, with a thin band of linked hearts, and a bracelet, of dolphins breaking the waves, adorned her right wrist. Her ears bore oval-shaped gold hoops. He knew he was making her nervous, and the thought thrilled him for some reason. He watched her eyes follow his as he took in her whole appearance.
"Teri," he began, swallowing some of the beer he'd ordered, "I really wanted to meet you to ask you something."
He looked at her steadily now, and Teri felt her face flaming.
"You once told me that you'd never played Truth or Dare. Ever since that day, I've wanted to play that game with you."
Although his voice was even, Teri thought she detected an undertone of something that made her begin to shiver.
"Really?" Her surprise was genuine. "Why?"
"I think you know why," he answered, and Teri found her hand held fast. "You ran away from a conversation we began months ago, when we first became friends. You said you would try almost anything once, but when I asked if you'd have sex with a stranger, you hemmed and hawed."
Ethan watched her, and saw her face flush with embarrassment, or acknowledgment, or both – he could not be sure. He gripped the handle of the beer stein a little harder and raised it to his lips. Although he had never given her even the slightest hint, Ethan had found the tall caramel-skinned woman sitting across from him intriguing and sexy from the time she had chatted with him for about an hour about their lives, their interests, and had played word games. She was good with words, he knew that much, and she had told him about the books she had already had published. He guessed, by the laptop, that she was working on another one now. And he knew he wanted to take her away from the world she created in her writing, to a world in which he could show her how exciting it could be to spend time with him. He wanted her, he realized with a flash of insight, to be as fascinated with him as he was with her. He wanted her to...well, it was becoming increasingly clear to him that he just plain wanted her.
He came back to the moment with a start when Teri cleared her throat and said,
"I don't normally talk about those things with almost total strangers. And anyway, the idea is outrageous! Would YOU have sex with a stranger?"
Teri watched Ethan's expression change from cool amusement to warm interest. Whenever her small hairs tingled, she knew things were going to get pretty interesting where she was. And those telltale hairs were fairly quivering with excitement now. Her brown eyes met his brown eyes, now darkened to almost black, and she saw the flash of desire in them. She tried to catch the breaths she couldn't seem to hold on to, and felt the force of his reply like a sensual caress.
"Only if that stranger was you!"
Ethan's eyes held hers, and Teri knew in that moment what it felt like to be mesmerized, bewitched, enthralled.
"Ready?" he asked. "Let's get out of here!"
Teri packed up her laptop while Ethan paid the check and collected her food. He extended a hand, and she slung the laptop bag over her shoulder and took it, enjoying the warm hardness of it as he engulfed her hand in his.
"Nervous?" he asked, looking down at her as they walked out into the late afternoon sunshine.
"Yes," she answered. "Where are we going?"
Ethan stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and turned her to face him.
"Where do you want to go?" he wondered huskily, his hand reaching up to caress her cheek, a thumb sliding warmly over her full lips.
Teri opened her mouth to reply, but no words would come out. She felt swamped by all the desires she had tamped down since the first time they had chatted online and he had dared her to come play with him and his friends in their Friday fun sessions online. Although she had been tempted, she had never gone, knowing that she was not brave enough to display any part of her body to strangers. Which made her wonder now what she thought she was doing going anywhere with a man she had only ever "met" online!
"Look, Ethan," she began, but he stopped her.
"Wouldn't you like to know how it could be between us? Just you and me. No outsiders. No voyeurs." He lifted her chin, forcing her to meet his gaze. "I think you know there's always been something unspoken between us, hon! I dare you to explore it with me. Now! I dare you to come back with me to my hotel room and find out what it's like to have sex with a stranger!"
There! He'd said what she was afraid he would, and yet she knew she wanted to hear it, and to do what he dared her to do. She wanted to feel alive, to feel desired, to be made love to by someone who knew what he was doing, and who could make her forget her name in the throes of passion. She suspected, from the things he said to her, the things he wrote in his blogs, and the comments he wrote on his friends' pages, that he was experienced and passionate, and that he would be an exceptional lover.
"Look," he said, taking her hand again and pulling her along, "why don't we drop your food off and take a ride on the train. We can get off at the last stop, take in a movie, and then I'll take you home. If nothing happens, I'll leave, and the game's off."
"Why don't we just do the drive-in movie here?" she heard herself asking. "They're showing "The Transformers", and I want to see it again!"
"Where's your car?"
"In the public parking lot. Down this way." She turned almost immediately down a side street and walked him to her car. "The first show is in twenty minutes. It'll take fifteen to get to it."
"D'you mind if I drive?" he asked, reaching for the key. "Just point me in the right direction!"
Teri relinquished her car keys, feeling buoyant and anxious at the same time. She gave him directions to get to the main road and soon they were parking her car on the grassy verge in the back of the drive-in lot. She heard her tummy rumble, and remembered that she hadn't eaten. Apparently, Ethan heard it too, for he said,
"You should probably eat that food now. I'll go get you a drink."
He got out before she could protest, and she watched him lope off to the convenience store in the center of the large field. Her fingers were tingling with nervousness, and she tried to still the faint trembling of her hands. She opened the paper bag and fumbled with the container, finally opening it, just as Ethan returned with two large cups.
"What on earth is IN there?" she asked laughingly, her nerves settling. "And more importantly, will I like it?"
"You'll love it," he answered, putting the drinks in the cup holders. "It's a double thick chocolate milkshake." He closed the door and turned fully to her. "Now eat. I don't want your tummy disturbing my concentration. Besides, I wanna hear the movie!"
He laughed and shied away from the playful swat she aimed at him. He watched her eat, and noticed how she licked the bits of food off her lips. She was a dainty eater, and a tidy one, too, not letting a morsel of food go anywhere except into her mouth or the plastic container. He had made sure to watch her surreptitiously, but when they both reached for their drinks at the same time, she looked up and saw the heat in his eyes that had been building since she had licked away the first crumb. He did not hide it, but let her see what he was thinking, by staring at her mouth.
"Stop it, Ethan!" she said, and turned her head away, sucking the drink through the straw.
Ethan took the trash off her lap, and left the car again to dump it. When he got back, Teri had set her seat back and was reclining, the drink in her hand, her eyes closed. He closed the door quietly, and then let his hand rest lightly on her knee. She opened her eyes and stared at it as though it had spoken. He squeezed gently, and heard her sharp intake of breath.
"Come here," he ordered his voice as gentle as his touch.
She turned her head, but did not move, watching instead as he came to her, and when he was an inch away she whispered, "What are you doing?"
Ethan chuckled softly. "If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed will come to the mountain." He closed the small space between their mouths and caressed her lips with his. He felt the swell of heat roll up from his groin and sweep over him, making his hands burn and his heartbeat accelerate. He kept his hand where it was but used the other one to raise her head a little, and then he licked her lips. Once, twice, and then he pushed his way inside her mouth. When she groaned, his cock, which had been growing harder since that first lick, jerked. He took her hand and placed it on the front of his pants, over his throbbing cock, and pressed it gently in place.
"All you've done is eat, and I'm ready. Do you doubt me now?" His breath when he spoke sighed into her open mouth.
"Doubt you?" she asked bemused, wondering why he wasn't still kissing her senseless. "About what?'
Ethan chuckled again. "Keep up, little one," he said, amused despite his arousal. "How are you gonna understand the movie if you can't even hold a single thought?" He dropped his mouth again and kissed her swiftly, a hard, hot kiss. "Do you doubt that I will have sex with a stranger if that stranger is you?"
Teri swallowed. "No," she replied. "No, I believe you!"
She stared at his mouth helplessly for a second or two, and then raised a languid arm to pull his head down for the kiss she was now dying to have.
Ethan obliged, pulling her fully into his kiss. He plumbed the depths of her needy mouth, giving her his tongue and taking hers in a passionate assault on her senses that left her dizzy with need. Only when the drinks threatened to spill did he pull back, slowly relinquishing his claim to her trembling mouth. He smiled when she whimpered a protest. He wanted her so badly that he would gladly have left without seeing the movie. But he didn't want to scare her. He wanted to make love to her – hot, hard, wet love, over and over again until morning.
"We're gonna miss the movie if you don't behave!" he said teasingly, and picked up his drink.
Teri sucked hard on the milky liquid in her cup and tried to concentrate on the movie, which had by this time begun. She had always loved the cartoon, which she watched with her sons when they were younger. Optimus Prime was her favorite Transformer, and by the time he appeared, she was sufficiently engaged that she could ignore the hand that was massaging her knee. But when Ethan moved it up her leg, and slid it over her left breast, she lost her breath immediately and almost choked on the milkshake.
"Ethan, stop!" she chastised him. "Please!"
Ethan moved his hand immediately, and tilted his seat back as far as it would go. He let his head fall on the headrest and turned so he could look at Teri. She was trying hard to concentrate on the movie, which he had already seen. But though he liked it, he was caught up so completely in a web of lust that he could focus on nothing but her. He admired the curve of her cheek, the sweep of her lashes, the high ridge of her nose, with the bump on top that made him wonder if it had been broken, the lines of her full lips. His cock swelled when she licked her lips as she finished her drink. He gave in to the sudden urgent need to suck on her, and touched her face. When she turned to look at him, he pulled her toward his raised head and kissed her deeply. When she made a small sound and touched his chest, whether to keep her balance or for some other reason, he didn't know, he sat up and pulled her more securely into his arms, kissing her again with all the fire he had been storing up since he had first seen her across the room in the restaurant.
"Damn, girl, you're killing me!"
His words were a groan, a plea that Teri was finding it hard to ignore.
"I'M killing YOU!" she exclaimed on a shaky laugh. "D'you have ANY idea how hard you're making it for me to me sensible?"
"Who wants to be sensible?" he said, opening the moon roof on her car and pulling her over onto his chest. "I want you, pretty lady! All of you! Don't think I can wait to take this some place else. Don't think I want to."
He looked around. Their car was in the last row of cars in the lot, and it was separated from the rest by a large flowering tree. No one would see anything that he did unless they walked over.
"Can we please go, babe?" he begged her, his voice scarred by desire. "Just say yes!"
He didn't wait for an answer but took her mouth again in a kiss that told her he was well past ready to take their time together to the next level. His hands roamed over her shoulders, down her back and arms, and he seemed to need to inhale her. Teri pulled away from him, and said shakily,
"Okay!" She kissed him back, opening her mouth to his probing tongue.
"Well, I guess I'll take that as a 'yes'!" he quipped, releasing her and straightening his seat. "Buckle up!"
The ride back to Teri's house took another twenty minutes, but once there, Ethan knew no one would interrupt what he meant to be an endless night of lovemaking. Unless they lived there...
"Where's your family?" he found the presence of mind to ask, as they were going through the garage door into the house.
"Vacationing. Away from me! We agreed I needed some 'me' time, and it was easier for them to go – and they wanted to anyway!" Teri answered, hanging the key on the carriage key chain and heading into the kitchen.
"When are they due back?"
"Three more days," she said, rounding the corner of the island and going to the microwave. "Would you like something to drink?"
"I want YOU, miss!! Now!!"
He followed her and put his arms around her, pressing himself into her back. She groaned when she felt the thick ridge of his need in the crack of her bottom. She couldn't help herself. His answering groan shook her all the way to her toes, and she found herself being turned in his arms, and her face being turned up for a kiss. He pushed against her again, and this time she parted her legs to cradle the rock hard impression of his cock between her thighs. He pushed the top she wore over her head, and began to unbuckle her jeans.
"Ethan, not here!" she protested weakly, not really caring too much where she was.
"Yes, here!" he insisted, as if he knew.
He pushed her up against the refrigerator, and raised one of her legs, curling it around behind him, and pushing himself against her as he pushed his tongue into her mouth. Teri pushed back, as much as she was able, because her legs were trembling and her heart was racing. She felt his hand at her bottom, his questing fingers reaching for her aching center.