tagNovels and NovellasThe Retreat Ch. 03

The Retreat Ch. 03


Author's note: Hope you are enjoying the story so far. I'm hoping to get another chapter posted in the next few days. Again, sorry for the delay, but it sure feels good to be writing again!




Jess changed into a clean pair of slacks and brushed her hair into a glowing sheen. She touched up her lip gloss and pinched some color into her pale cheeks before returning to the dining room. The mess from her earlier spill had already been cleaned up.

She felt an overwhelming urge to run as far and fast as she could to get away from Nick, but she knew she couldn't desert her mother like that. Jess fidgeted nervously for a few minutes before deciding to take a walk outside. She bundled into her coat, gloves, hat and boots and stepped out onto the front porch.

The afternoon sun shone weakly through the trees, casting a rose hued light over the snow capped landscape. Jess spied a path that had been shoveled, and she followed it around the side of the cabin toward the lake. Beneath the branches of a massive pine tree, she paused to appreciate the beautiful view. The tranquil shimmering lake soothed her agitation, and the cold bite of the frosty air felt invigorating against her cheeks.

Jess ambled down to the shore, lost in memories of the past. She had relived those happy times so often that she wondered how accurate her recollections were. Despite years of analyzing her relationship with Nick, she couldn't pinpoint where it had gone wrong. Their last night together had seemed so perfect. She had been convinced that Nick loved her as much as she loved him. He had been so patient and caring, allowing her the time she needed and not pressuring her into physical intimacy before she was ready.

Perhaps he had simply lost patience with her. Jess clinched her eyes closed, remembering the last time she had seen Nick. His fraternity hosted a party for their new pledges the night after Jess's last date with Nick. She couldn't attend because she had to work, but they had planned for Nick to walk her home at the end of her shift. When he hadn't shown up, Jess had assumed that he had lost track of the time while at the party.

Jess grew increasingly concerned when she didn't hear from him the following day. He didn't answer her calls, and he wasn't in his dorm room when she went looking for him. Two days later, she finally found him in the SUB lounge. That was the day her heart was broken for the first time in her life.

Nick had been sitting in a booth with a beautiful blonde, and she was practically draped across his lap. Jess stood with her mouth hanging open as she watched the other woman whispering in his ear and running her hand over his thigh. He glanced up and saw Jess. He raised one brow in mocking contempt before turning back to his companion, effectively dismissing Jess. She had stayed only long enough to see him exchange a long, passionate kiss with the blonde before she fled.

Jess had seen Nick around campus a few times after that, and he was always in the company of a beautiful woman. The pain of seeing him never diminished. Jess had tried to muster anger or hatred to replace the love she felt for him, but in that endeavor, she had been totally unsuccessful. She released a deep sigh as she realized that a decade later her feelings for Nick were just as intense, just as gut wrenching. Jess was so lost in thought that she didn't hear Nick approach.

"You're the last person I expected to see here," Nick said softly.

Jess whirled so fast that her hair whipped across her face, blocking her view of him. She pushed the errant strands back with a trembling hand, and her startled eyes met his.

"Yeah, small world," she managed in a breathless whisper. "I had no idea that my mother's boyfriend was your father. I never dreamed that our parents would hook up one day."

Nick nodded slowly in agreement. "That makes two of us. I just hope that your mother is more honest than you. I won't let her take advantage of Dad the way you did me."

Jess's expression was full of confusion. If Nick didn't know from experience, he might have bought into her innocent act.

"What are you talking about?" Jess asked, shaking her head. "I'm not the one who ended our relationship. If anyone took advantage it was you!"

Nick took a step closer, and it seemed he towered over her. He was close enough that her breasts brushed against his chest with each shallow breath. Jess's eyes widened, sensing the latent threat of his pose. Her gaze dropped to his lips, and she swallowed convulsively.

"Is that the way you remember it, Jess?" Nick's voice had dropped to a menacing growl. "My recollection is quite different. You knew how badly I wanted to make love to you. You practically drove me out of my mind. It must have amused you to string me along, giving me just enough encouragement to keep me panting at your heels."

"That's not true," Jess gasped. "I was ready to make love with you, but you obviously decided you didn't want to wait any longer. I suppose those other women were all too willing to give you what you wanted."

Nick gave a mocking laugh. "I saw no reason to refuse what other women freely offered, after the way you deceived me."

"Deceived you? I never deceived you. I loved you." Jess bit her tongue to keep from shouting that she still did.

Nick steeled himself against her words. He wished he could accept what she said. It would certainly be easier on his heart and his ego to believe that she had truly loved him as he had loved her, that there was some other explanation for what had happened between them. But there was no other explanation. Nick had witnessed her betrayal with his own eyes.

Nick's smile was derisive. "I believed that once." His eyes narrowed. "You taught me a valuable lesson, Jess. I really should thank you."

He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her, his lips hard and punishing on hers. At first, Jess was too stunned to react, and for several moments, she stood motionless and received his kiss. Then, as if the floodgates were opened, her emotions spilled over. She moaned softly and clutched him around the waist as she responded.

Nick wished he could block out her taste, smell and touch. He intended to mock her with the kiss, but in the face of her response, he forgot himself and began to enjoy the moment. Her mouth was a remembered delight, soft and warm and accepting. She drew him in with each stroke of her tongue against his, luring him into the heated cavity of her mouth. He couldn't stop himself from feasting. He could feel his erection pounding painfully, and he growled in frustration before abruptly setting her back from him.

It seemed that time was suspended as Nick probed the depths of her eyes. Jess watched as his eyes took on a hard glint and his emotions became hidden once again.

"I'm not the same naïve sap you remember from college days, Jess. The last thing I want is to see my father conned the way you conned me." His eyes raked her from head to toe before returning to lock with hers. "If you have any plans of disrupting our parent's happiness, you can forget them."

Jess watched as he stalked back toward the cabin. Her lips were throbbing, and she could feel her nipples tingling as they crinkled into hardened buds. She drew in deep breaths of frigid air until her thoughts finally returned to normal.

She was stunned by Nick's words and the emotion she had fleetingly glimpsed in his eyes. She replayed their conversation, reviewing each phrase for subtle meaning. He blamed her for what had happened between them? He felt she had deceived him? All these years, she had believed that he had simply dumped her and walked away. Had their break up been the result of a huge misunderstanding?

Jess's heart thumped against her ribs as a tiny kernel of hope began to flower in her mind. If she had been wrong all these years, if Nick had once returned her love, if there was the smallest chance that he still did, she intended to find out. Nick had said he was different from the young man she had known. Jess had changed too. She may have allowed him to walk away from her without an explanation ten years ago, but she was no longer a timid young girl. Ten years of regret had matured her. She had learned to go after what she wanted. Jess firmed her chin and marched back toward the cabin.


Dinner was an awkward affair. Leslie and Cameron tried to keep the conversation flowing, but long silences lapsed while everyone tried to ignore the tension that was palpable around the table. The older couple exchanged confused glances, noticing the undercurrents between Jess and Nick.

Cameron had planned to announce their engagement, but when he sent Leslie a questioning glance, she gave him a small negative shake of her head. This was definitely not the time to spring their news.

"Why don't we all make an early night of it," Leslie suggested with a nervous smile. "I'm a bit tired, and I think you both must be too after the long drive you made getting here."

Jess smiled with relief and nodded. "I am, Mom. Why don't you and Cameron go on to bed? You made such a delicious meal. It's the least I can do to clean up the dishes." When it looked like her mother would argue, Jess gave her a gentle shove toward the hallway. "Go on. I insist."

Jess waited until Leslie and Cameron had disappeared into their bedroom before meeting Nick's brooding stare. He had been polite but distant since their earlier conversation. She floundered for a way to question him about their earlier conversation as she stacked the empty plates. Her pride insisted that she find out his version of events before she revealed her own emotions. It would be too humiliating to tell him she still loved him if he felt nothing in return. Figuring out how to get him to open up first was presenting a real challenge.

Nick watched her, wishing he was immune to the sight of Jess in her soft cream colored sweater and slacks. She was soft and sexy and feminine. She was temptation incarnate. She scared the hell out of him. Every time he looked at her, he was tempted to abandon all self respect. He wanted to flee from the cabin and return to his Manhattan apartment, but there was no way he would leave Jess here to wreak possible havoc on his father's new romance. Jess's soft voice startled him out of his dark thoughts.

"Would you like more coffee?"

"No, thanks. I'll get the rest of these," he said, carrying two large platters into the kitchen.

While Jess loaded the dishwasher and scrubbed the pots, Nick worked efficiently to pack the leftovers into the fridge. The sooner they got the kitchen cleaned, the sooner he could put some distance between them. He ignored the questioning glances Jess shot him, and he answered her comments and questions with cool politeness. Inside he was seething with the urge to haul her against him and kiss her again. If he didn't get away from her, he was going to lose his mind. Finally, the kitchen was returned to order.

"Good night," Nick said with a curt nod.

"Wait!" Jess bit her bottom lip when he pinned her with a questioning stare. "I was hoping we could talk for a while."

Nick raised one brow and frowned at her. "I'm all talked out for one day."

Without another word, Nick retreated to his bedroom. He undressed and crawled into bed, knowing that falling asleep would be impossible. For a couple of hours, he tossed and turned. He didn't dare close his eyes, knowing that visions of Jess would be waiting for him. When he couldn't stand another minute in the bed, he threw back the covers and stalked into the bathroom.

Nick stared at his reflection in the mirror. "Stupid idiot," he muttered. He stepped beneath the shower, turning the taps as cold as he could stand and letting the spray cool his body. He leaned his head against the cold tiles, groaning softly from the pain of his throbbing cock. God, he still wanted her! How could he still want her, knowing what he knew!

When his erection had finally subsided and he was shivering with cold, Nick turned off the water and wrapped a towel around his waist. He padded silently down the dark hallway to the sauna. When he opened the door, he froze. He silently cursed the gods that seemed intent on torturing him.

Jess lay dozing on the lower bench, wrapped in a thick white towel. Her body was coated with the sheen of perspiration, and one arm was draped across her eyes, exposing the vulnerable flesh of her armpit and the outer curve of her breast. Her long legs were curved perfection. Tendrils of steam wreathed her body, teasing him by caressing every swell and hollow just as he longed to do.

Nick swallowed hard, cursing himself for a fool as he silently closed the door and leaned back against it to savor the view. If he had any sense at all, he would leave. Instead, he padded toward her on silent feet and stood over her. As he looked down at her, he knew there was no way he could walk away. He wanted her like he had never wanted any other woman. Maybe if he took her, he could get her out of his system once and for all. Maybe one long, satisfying fuck was all he needed to end her hold over him!

Jess must have sensed his presence, because her eyes fluttered and then snapped open to lock with his. She gasped and came up onto her elbows.

For what seemed like forever, they assessed each other silently. When Nick finally spoke, his voice was gravely with barely contained emotion.

"I want you," he growled.

Jess was too stunned to answer. Her eyes flickered over his bare chest and down to his hips. She could see his cock straining against the towel, and her eyes flew up to meet his. She was startled to see passion, stark and savage, burning in the green depths.

Nick sat beside her on the wide bench. He searched her face for a minute before grasping her arms and pulling her up against him.

Any argument Jess might have made was forgotten as soon as she tasted him. She moaned softly, twining her arms around his neck as she gave herself over to him. This was what she wanted. This was what she had waited ten years for.

Nick enjoyed her mouth thoroughly before venturing to the sleek curves of her jaw and neck. She sighed his name as he nibbled beneath her ear, and another jolt of hot blood pounded into his cock. He pressed her back onto the bench, stretching out beside her.

The towel proved no barrier at all, as he opened it to reveal her body to his hungry gaze. Jess lay still, allowing him free access. His eyes prowled her flesh, skimming over each well remembered curve only to be followed by his hands. Her breasts were full and high and firm, topped by tightly budded nipples. They pouted and pleaded, begging for his attention. Nick kneaded her breast briefly before bending to taste the succulent flesh.

The clouds of steam thickened around them until it was a struggle to draw a deep breath. As the heat in the room intensified, the heat between their bodies kept pace. Jess wasn't sure how much of her lightheadedness was due to the temperature, and how much was attributable to Nick's burning mouth on her breast and his hand kneading her bottom.

Her nipple trembled against his tongue as he teased it. Nick scolded the impudent flesh by tugging it firmly with his teeth, tormenting it with sharp pulls until Jess arched her back, moaning with delight. He bit down hard, until the pain was indistinguishable from the pleasure, and Jess felt jolts of desire shooting down into her belly. Every sweep of his tongue intensified her need, until her pussy was throbbing and aching.

Nick inwardly grinned, taunting her breast as she responded like a puppet, his to command. When he tired of the first breast, he turned his attention to the second, and Jess sighed with relief as he latched on to the neglected peak. He wasn't satisfied until she was whimpering beneath him, desperate to be filled. She clamped her thighs together against the empty ache, mindless with need as she clutched his head to her breast.

Releasing her throbbing nipple, Nick caught and held her gaze while his hand slid over her stomach and mound at a maddeningly slow pace, finally coming to rest in her thatch of hair. He raised one expectant brow, and she mewled with desire as she opened her thighs for him. His eyes flared with possessive satisfaction as his fingers stole between her legs to claim her.

Jess felt pinned by his stare. She panted softly, biting her lip to contain an all too revealing moan of pleasure. He explored her boldly, teasing her clit and relishing every slick fold until fluid was oozing from her pussy. When his fingers ventured inside her, Jess couldn't hold her moans in any longer, and she arched against his hand. She clutched his arm and pressed the back of his hand, urging his fingers deeper inside her as she writhed on the bench.

Nick groaned, marveling at the velvety slick heat of her. Even his lewdest imaginings of her hadn't been this hot, this wet, this intoxicating. He could smell her musky dew, her fluid was running down his fingers. He probed her with tantalizing strokes, reveling in every soft cry she released. When he couldn't stand the pressure in his cock a moment longer, he flung his towel on the floor and settled between her thighs. He grasped her knees and pressed them wide apart, until her pussy was fully exposed.

Jess didn't shrink from his gaze. She lay as patiently as possible while he inspected every intimate detail of her womanhood. Her heart swelled with love for him as he fondled her. She had never felt as feminine and sexy as she did in that moment, open and vulnerable, intent on pleasing him.

Once again, Nick caught and held her gaze as he brushed the tip of his cock up and down her slit. When he was coated with her dew, he paused to relish the feeling of being poised at her entrance. Then, he thrust deep inside her with one savage thrust. She arched her hips and gasped, then moaned her acceptance.

He was huge! The muscles of her pussy stretched to accommodate him, and Jess felt an instant of sharp pain. It took a few moments for the pain to fade to a dull ache, then her pussy clamped down onto him, and Nick released a guttural groan of ecstasy. She was even sweeter than he had imagined! Nothing had ever felt so fucking good!

He savored the sensation of being locked inside her for a moment longer before he withdrew and thrust again, even harder than before. Time ceased to exist as he rode her, finding healing release in every slick stroke. With every invasion, Nick reclaimed a shred of his sanity, only to lose it again when she clutched him inside her.

Jess met his thrusts, tilting her hips to allow him deeper access. Her skin tingled where it brushed against his hair dusted body. When he latched onto her nipple again and suckled in time with his deep penetrations, she sobbed with pleasure. The tension wound tighter in her belly until she couldn't stand it any longer, and she shattered.

Nick buried his forehead against the curve of her neck and clenched his eyes as he staved off his own orgasm. He had fantasized for too long about enjoying her body. He didn't want the experience to end so soon. He waited just until he felt her body relax before pushing even further inside her, until he was butting against her womb with every pounding stroke. He wasn't even close to having enough of her!

Jess moaned deep in her throat and wound her legs around his hips. Nick straightened on his arms and watched her as he pounded into her. The sight of her body so blatantly accepting his inflamed him. Her breasts bounced wantonly, the nipples reddened from his mouth. Her eyes were heavy lidded, and her lips parted with a gasp each time he rammed deeper into her sweet heat. When she came apart a second time, he couldn't hold out any longer. He showered the inner walls of her hot pussy with scalding bursts of his cum, and she milked him until he felt wrung out, both physically and emotionally.

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