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Biker Chic
2
Copyright ©2006 Devyn Quinn
Cover illustration copyright © 2006 Patricia Foltz
ISBN Not Assigned
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an
information storage and retrieval system-except by a reviewer
who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a
magazine, newspaper, or on the Web-without permission in
writing from the publisher.
All characters in this book have no existence outside the
imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to
anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even
distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the
author, and all incidents are pure invention.
Published by:
Whispers, 107 Clearview Circle, Goose Creek, SC 29445
Devyn Quinn
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Cjlfs!Dijd!
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Efwzo!Rvjoo!!
Biker Chic
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Devyn Quinn
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Chapter One
It’s amazing how easily our lives can be
dismantled, torn down and put away in boxes,
Melanie thought as she folded and packed away the
last few pieces of clothing lying on the bed.
With a sigh, she smoothed out the wrinkles on one
of Phil's shirts. She’d picked this one out. Was that
why he’d left it behind? He no longer wanted the
things she’d contributed to his life? So it seemed. She
ran her hands over the fabric, enjoying the feel of the
cotton under her palms. The shirt was one of her
favorites, and it was easy to remember how her
husband had looked wearing it. Absolutely fabulous.
How well it had fit over his broad shoulders, its crisp
style and bold color only serving to accentuate his
sandy blond hair and deeply tanned skin. More than
good-looking, Phillip Brooks was model handsome.
And for eighteen years he’d been hers.
But no longer.
Now they were separated. And it was breaking her
heart. Her mouth twisted at the ease with which she
recalled every detail of their recent arguments.
Trying not to think about the bitter scenes that
had passed between them, her thoughts returned to
the many boxes she’d been packing lately. Interesting
to think how boxes represented and contained
people’s lives. Boxes carried pieces of yourself from
place to place, to be rearranged to fit your life. She
remembered the boxes she’d packed when she moved
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out of her childhood home and into her first
apartment with the man she’d eventually marry.
Young and desperate to escape her parents and the
hate they’d developed for each other, moving in with
Phil seemed heaven sent. In retrospect, she would
come to believe she’d jumped out of the frying pan
and into the fire. It only took hindsight for her to
figure it out.
Time had passed and more boxes had come into
her life. Nine years ago, they'd moved into this house.
Those boxes had been so full of happiness, hope and
pride. Life was good for them, was getting better all
the time. Phil had graduated, and his practice was
really starting to take off. The struggle, it seemed,
was all behind them. They were young, in love, and
had a blooming future.
But her dreams were gone now, and in their place
was cold, hard reality. Her lips pressed tighter
together as resentment wound itself around her heart.
Now, the boxes are being packed again, but only one
of us is leaving.
That’s what she was doing today. Boxing up the
last few remnants of his life in their—now her—house.
She supposed they'd have to sell it. The house had
four big bedrooms, not to mention an exercise room
with an attached sauna and Jacuzzi. It was too big for
one person. Though they’d been trying to talk their
way through a tentative reconciliation, they weren’t
really getting very far. For two people who’d been
together for so long, they had little to say to each
other. Married too young, they’d grown up and grown
Devyn Quinn
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apart.
Phil was the one who had chosen to walk out. How
easily he seemed to be adjusting to the transition. For
her? It was sheer hell. Finito? For him, yes. Sometimes
it seemed like she'd been blown to bits by a bomb,
only her brain wasn’t registering any pain. Deep down
the hurt was there, but she was numb, absolutely
numb. Sooner or later the pain was going to hit. And
when it did, she’d feel every bit of it. Right now she
was only doing what she needed to do, functioning..
Boxes also reminded her of coffins. She wanted to
crawl in one the day Phil had told her, quite calmly
over dinner, that he was leaving her for another
woman.
No, she thought. It isn’t me who belongs in a
coffin. It's Phil. Him and his twenty-one-year-old slut,
Tammi.
Tammi with an 'I', not a 'Y'. Tammi with her pert,
upturned nose and her perky tits, the nose and tits
that Melanie’s plastic-surgeon hubby had constructed.
“A forty-one-year-old man running after an expatient,” she fumed, jealousy stabbing at her heart
with its sharp, poisonous blade. “That little girl is
barely old enough to drive, much less know what love
is. It’s obscene for a man that old to be running
around with a girl barely out of her teens.”
An angry tear trickled down her cheek. She
swiped it away with an impatient hand. At thirtyseven, she felt older than dirt. Useless. Worthless. For
the thousandth time, she wondered what she’d done
wrong, why she hadn’t been able to keep her man
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satisfied at home instead of having him wander off
sniffing out younger pussy at work
It wasn’t as if she was fat or frumpy. She’d never
had kids and had kept herself slim, trim, and firm. She
swam, played tennis at the country club—she worked
to make herself attractive. Her shoulder-length blond
hair was fashionably streaked and styled, her nails
beautifully manicured. She wore her make-up in a
subtle fashion, not painted onto her skin the way
some women wore it. She believed that she’d been
the picture-perfect wife in every way. Supportive and
loving; a lady in the parlor and a whore in the
bedroom. What more had he wanted? How exciting
could a marriage be after eighteen years?
Of course, she knew the answer. Phil wanted
something fresh, new and exciting—
Something out of the ordinary, a break from the
same-old routine. He’d even gone so far as to suggest
a partner swap with some of their friends. When she’d
vetoed that idea, he’d tried to wheedle her into a
threesome with the man or woman of her choice.
Again, she’d held her ground and said no. She’d
believed their sex life was fine. Trouble was, Phil
didn’t. He liked sex. Anytime, anywhere. And when he
couldn’t get what he wanted at home, he went
looking elsewhere. More than once, he’d taken a
lover. But he’d never before given any indication that
he’d be willing to bust up their marriage. Until Tammi
came into his life.
And so he walked out on me.
It wasn’t the first time a marriage had grown
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stale, that partners had grown apart. Happened every
day and the divorce courts across the nation were
clogged with similar sad stories. People simply got
bored with each other. The heat had gone—the fire
burned to ashes. Their marriage hadn’t ended with a
bang or a whimper, just a sad sigh.
If I had said yes, would he have stayed? Or would I
have been delaying the inevitable? With hindsight, she
realized that there had been something wrong with
their marriage for a long time; that he had been
spending less and less time at home with her. She
wanted to believe that it really was the pressures of
his work. In the back of her mind, though, she knew
the bombshell was coming, that Phil didn’t really love
her anymore, didn’t want her anymore. No, there
were other women in his life…and he’d finally met the
one for whom he wanted his freedom.
Unable to stop herself, Melanie picked up his shirt
and pressed it to her face. Though freshly laundered,
she thought she could smell his masculine scent still
trapped in its fibers, the lingering scent of his tangy
aftershave. Without thinking about it, she lifted her
tank top over her head, let it drop to the floor then
slipped into his shirt. If she closed her eyes, she could
almost imagine that Phil was pressing his body against
hers.
Even though they were separated, she still
dreamed about him, about making love to him. And
when she awoke, her body’s response to those images
was so acute and so sharp that it was impossible to
believe that it was all just a dream. It was almost as if
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her subconscious was trying to will him to come back
to her.
He said he wanted to see another man make love
to me. What would that have been like, having
another man put his hands on my body? It was a
fantasy of his. I remember how he’d whisper it in my
ear as he touched me.
Cupping her breasts through the material, she ran
her thumbs over her nipples, enjoying the feel of the
pebbled tips. Closing her eyes, she pushed the
material aside and began to trace the pink aureoles
with the soft pads of her fingers. As a doctor, a
surgeon, Phil had great hands, and he handled her
breasts as if they were something precious, squeezing
them gently as his fingers worked their way to her
hard nipples. It felt so good when he made love to
them. When he touched her, the sensation ran all the
way down her body, to between her legs.
Imagining that her hands were his, she rubbed
her breasts and sighed softly. It was easy to remember
their wild lovemaking, the way he’d assume control of
her body. She loved it when he circled her nipples
with his tongue. The sensation of a man suckling at
the hard tips could make her climax.
Almost panting from the memories playing across
her mind’s screen, Melanie’s hands traced over her
flat belly, her hands sneaking between her legs until
her fingers were stroking hard against the crotch of
her shorts. She was so wet that the material slipped
between her lips and rubbed against her clit.
Memories drifted in and out of her mind as she
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touched herself, whispering silken promises, and her
body started to relax. Phil had often told her that she
was unbelievably sensual and when he said it his eyes
would light up with passion, revealing to her how
much he enjoyed that side of her personality. It was
an aspect she’d never suspected existed inside her
until she’d met him, something she’d shared with him
and him alone. It was as though her love for her
husband gave her the freedom and confidence to show
him all the gifts of womanhood.
Lost in her fantasies, she didn’t hear the door
downstairs open, the footsteps coming up the stairs,
or the bedroom door swing open. A man’s voice
sounded behind her.
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Chapter Two
“Well, isn’t this a lovely sight? It does a man’s
heart good to come home and find his wife getting
herself ready for him.”
As busted as a kid caught with her hands in the
cookie jar, Melanie came out of her dream and
whirled around. Her body trembled, drenched in
sweat. Heat blazed in her cheeks. She quickly tugged
his shirt over her bare breasts, upset with herself for
being caught in a moment of self-betrayal. His
presence, coming so totally unexpected on the heels
of her erotic interlude, was almost too much for her
brain to cope with logically.
“Ph-Phil,” she stammered. “You weren’t supposed
to be here till five.” She’d been nervous about seeing
him today. She tried to tell herself that it was
ridiculous that she should be put in such a tizzy over
such a small thing as having him come by to pick up
the rest of his belongings, but she was. Since he’d
called this morning, the butterflies wouldn’t stop
fluttering in her stomach. Seeing him now, though,
butterflies of another kind took flight…and they
weren’t in her belly.
Giving her a guilty smile, he shrugged, sliding a
careless hand through his tousled hair. “It’s Friday.
Took off early. Good thing I did. Looks like you could
use a hand there.”
Devyn Quinn
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Did he mean the packing…Or…?
“Ah, no, silly,” she said, trying to gather her
composure and failing. “I was just gathering up the
last of your things.”
Twirling his stylish sunglasses by an earpiece, he
glanced quickly around the room. “You’ve been
busy.”
Breath catching in her throat, she nodded. “I
changed a few things around,” she answered
tentatively, almost fearing his displeasure. In a burst
of energy, she’d recently redecorated the entire
bedroom, painting all the walls eggshell white and
accenting it with a feminine shade of rose blush for
the curtains, bedspread and throw rugs. She could see
by his sour expression that he didn’t like it.
“Things have changed since you started packing
me up and moving me out,” he commented, walking
around the room as though inspecting her handiwork.
Melanie tensed and bit down hard on her bottom
lip. Something in his voice made her feel two inches
tall. How was it he still managed to make her believe
she had to ask permission for everything she did? She
supposed it was because he’d always been the boss,
made the major decisions. Only in sexual matters had
she dared to defy him, and even then she’d felt guilty
for not giving him what he desired.
She tried to clear her mind, think calmly and
logically. He’s cheated on me time and time again
because I didn’t give in, she reminded herself. Am I
supposed to cave in to keep him? A hard decision.
Which was more important—her marriage, or her
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dignity, and self-respect? She wasn’t sure she could
answer it.. All she felt right now was stupid and
useless. She hated the weakness she’d shown when
he left; continually driving around his office and new
apartment like a psycho stalker, leaving one message
after another with his secretary with yet another lame
excuse that she needed to talk to him about the
details of the separation. And just as she’d never had
the nerve to stop and go into either place to talk to
him face to face, he’d never returned her calls.
Her throat tightened in response, pain welling up
inside her. “You’re the one who decided to do that,”
she reminded through gritted teeth.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to go.” He
stopped and looked at her knowingly, his eyes
tracking over her body, taking in her bead-hard
nipples, her flat stomach, long legs. Desire sparked in
his brown eyes. “Mmm. You look good enough to eat
today, Mel.”
His frank comments caught her off-guard,
reminding her that he had walked in on her in a state
of acute physical arousal. Even though she was
somewhat dressed, she felt as though she were
standing stark naked before him. Her heart leapt to
her throat, nearly choking her. He had a way of
wheedling people, twisting things around to get what
he wanted. He never hesitated to use his looks, his
talent, and his intelligence to his advantage. Most
people did. That was human nature. And the way he
was looking at her meant that one thing, and one
thing alone was on his mind.
Devyn Quinn
15
“Don’t start, Phil,” she mumbled. The tension
was almost a physical barrier between them. Her eyes
burned from the strain of suppressing her tears. Every
breath she took reinforced her emotional and physical
awareness of him. She could actually feel her own
yearning need for him deep within her pussy. Her
breasts suddenly felt heavy and tender. She wanted to
lean against him, wrap herself around him.
He ignored her. Tossing his sunglasses on the bed,
he came to her in a few quick steps, hands capturing
her shoulders. Before she could stop him, he kissed
the curve of her jaw, near her ear, moving his lips
softly along her cheek until their mouths met. Their
kiss only lasted a moment before she pulled away,
looking at him with a mixture of suspicion and
longing.
Her frown deepened as panic engulfed her. Now
that he had touched her, her body longed for contact
with his. She was lost, helpless to control her
responses to him.
“Stop it,” she said as she crossed her arms over
her chest, desperate to change the subject while she
still had some control over it. “What you saw—”
He slid his fingers into her hair, and she flinched
and trembled as his thumb brushed the flushed heat
of her cheek, touched the corner of her mouth. "I saw
a woman just dying for a little relief."
Phil’s hands left her body, and she wondered
briefly what he was intended to do. And then he
slapped her.
Melanie screamed out in pain. What happened
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next was a haze of pain, mingled with the pain of
betrayal.
Her husband had raped her.
When Phil zipped his slacks and walked away,
Melanie’s mind stopped working. As she slid down the
wall and fell face forward into the carpet in a limp
heap, spatters of red, white and black exploded like
fireworks behind her eyes. Feeling as though she was
drowning in a murky pool, she realized the husband
she’d so dearly loved, the husband who had cheated
on her, was now no more than a ferocious stranger.
The brutality of his actions made her sick.
Shaken, feeling as though she would vomit, tears
pricked at her eyes. Her whole mind and soul ached
with acute resentment, her heart filling with hate.
Deep within her psyche, something sounded. Her
initial shock was fading, but what was left in its place
was even worse, a sick kind of anxiety, coupled with
the pain and something more, something she dared
not analyze.
Hatred. Distrust. Disgust.
Her fingers curled into angry claws. She’d been a
fool, and now she was paying for it.
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Chapter Three
“So that’s it?” Angela asked between spoonfuls of
cottage cheese and pineapple. “You’re divorced?”
Melanie speared a bite of her salad with her fork
and nodded. “Yep. Eighteen years of marriage down
the drain. We signed the final paperwork this
morning. It’s over.”
“And Phil agreed to the settlement?”
Melanie swallowed and took a sip of her white
wine. She didn’t usually drink alcohol this early in the
day, but she was still tense from this morning's
meeting in the judge’s chambers with Phil and his
attorney, and she needed to relax.
“I wouldn’t say he agreed,” she said lightly. “I’d
just say he really had no choice.”
Angela took a sip of her own gin and tonic. Unlike
Melanie, she was used to drinking in the afternoons.
For her, the cocktail hour began when the country
club opened at eleven.
“Would you have really pressed sexual assault
charges against him?”
Appetite suddenly gone, Melanie put down her
fork and wiped her mouth with her napkin. As she
lowered it, she noticed her lipstick had left a crimson
smear across the pristine white linen. The color
reminded her of blood. It wasn’t her normal shade,
but since the day Phil had attacked her, she’d taken
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to wearing the scarlet hue, as a symbol of the raging
hate she felt for him in her heart. That was how she
felt inside, all smeared, stained. Soiled. She hated the
way he had taken the love once existing between
them and perverted it, made it something ugly and
hurtful. Physically, she would recover. Mentally, she
still had a lot of healing to do.
“You bet your ass I would have,” she said. The
words sounded harsh and bitter even to her own ears.
She didn’t like that. She didn’t want to be an
antagonistic shrew.
“Then you got it all?”
Melanie shrugged. “Got it all? I don’t know if I
have anything useful at all.”
Angela’s green eyes widened. She twisted a piece
of her bleached blonde hair around a finger. “Oh,
come on, honey. Tell me all about the settlement
again.” She giggled. “Hearing about it makes me
shiver.”
“I’ve told you ten times already.” Melanie picked
up her wine, emptied the glass then motioned to the
waiter for a refill. “How many times do you need to
hear?”
Angela laughed. “Ten more times, honey. I’ve
love it when a man gets the shaft. Tell me again how
he yelled at your attorney he was being more than
fair.”
Watching the sparkling liquid swirl into the glass
as the waiter poured, she remembered the look on
Phil’s face as he’d signed the last of the papers. He’d
been seething, barely able to maintain his civility in
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front of the judge. Not only had she gotten the house
and her car, she’d walked away with more than half
of the precious stock portfolio he’d been carefully
building—worth almost two million dollars.
She hadn’t known about it, as she never asked
about the finances and his more than frugal handling
of money. They’d lived well, but he made every
decision regarding major purchases and controlled her
allowance with an iron fist. She’d known he’d come
into some insurance money when his parents died, but
she didn’t know any exact figures. Apparently, he’d
taken it and invested it, with the intention of
constructing himself a tidy little nest egg. And until
he’d abused her, she’d been willing to settle for
selling off the assets she knew about, taking her half
and cutting her losses.
But he’d blown her good will out of the water
when he fucked her up the ass and called her a bitch.
Being raped—and in her mind, he had raped her—had
made her a hard and cruel woman these last few
months. If he hadn’t known what a bitch was before
these proceedings, he certainly did now. Forget about
trying to be civil and decent and mature. She’d hired
the best divorce attorney in Albuquerque and sent him
after Phil’s jugular. Simply, she wanted to see the
bastard bleed. In a way, it was sad the way people
drifted apart. And it was frightening how easily love
could turn to hate. Now that it was said and done, she
saw every flaw her ex-husband had. In retrospect, she
could think of nothing positive.
There was something wet on her face. She
Biker Chic
20
touched it with a hand and discovered she was on the
verge of crying again. This simply would not do. She
was supposed to be a mature woman, in control of the
emotions that should have stopped hurting her months
ago. It was time to abandon the past. She couldn’t let
herself keep dwelling on a man who’d abandoned and
betrayed her.
“What can you call fair when a man screws you
like Phil did me?” she snapped, daubing at her face
with a napkin. “Sure, I got some damned possessions,
but what does that really mean?”
Angela wisely ignored Melanie's angry outburst.
“That you’ll never have to work again?”
“It means I doubt I’ll ever get my trust back. Right
now I hate men. I think they’re all bastards.” Melanie
drank down half her glass, liking the way the wine
tasted as it trickled down her throat and warmed her
belly. Though she was still far from relaxed, the
alcohol was loosening her tongue—and it was also
bringing out the worst of her mood.
Angela pushed her fruit salad aside and settled
her gin and tonic in front of her—her third since their
lunch began. With absurdly long, hot pink, fauxdiamond-encrusted fingernails, she fished out a piece
of ice.
“Come into the real world, Mel,” she chided. “All
men are bastards. You’ve just never learned because
you’ve been married to—and with—one man for almost
twenty years. You’re out on your own now, and you’re
about to learn some hard lessons.”
Melanie arched a cynical eyebrow. “Such as?”
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Angela propped an elbow on the table and held up
her index finger. “One—that all the good guys are
married or gay.” She held up a second finger. “Two—
men will fuck you, lie to you, and make you feel it’s
your fault every time. I know, honey. I’ve been
through four.”
Melanie regarded her friend of ten years over the
rim of her glass. Angela Sloane was by no means a
beautiful woman, but she had a good personality and
was loads of fun..
However, her green eyes sparkled, and she’d an
absolutely winning smile. Between the cleavage and
her sexual abilities, she never failed to have a
husband or boyfriend, sometimes both at the same
time. Angela Sloane had made a career out of
alimony, living and spending lavishly. She was
currently sporting a huge pink diamond engagement
ring so gaudy Elizabeth Taylor would blush with
embarrassment. No doubt, she would probably exceed
the number of husbands the actress had taken, given
time and opportunity.
“So what can a girl do?” she inquired.
“Use them back, honey,” Angela advised. “Men
and women are so different there’s no way on God’s
green earth they can ever get along. The only real
reason we come together is for breeding purposes. If
it weren’t for sex, I think men and women would stay
far away from each other.”
The waiter interrupted their talk briefly, taking
away their mostly untouched plates and refilling their
beverages. Melanie couldn’t fail to notice he was
Biker Chic
22
good-looking, cute the way men around twenty-one or
twenty-two always were. He was buff and looked like
he could fuck all night and all day. She gave him a
look-over but showed no interest. Angela practically
drooled, dropping hints and innuendoes until the poor
fellow walked away blushing.
“Looks like you’d like a piece,” Melanie said,
making a quick squeezing motion with both hands as
Angela checked out the waiter's tight butt.
Angela sipped her gin. “Yeah, I surely would. But
I’m trying to be faithful to Rich.”
“At least until the pre-nup is signed,” Melanie
teased, glad to have steered the conversation away
from her own angst and problems.
“No pre-nup,” Angela announced happily. “I
sucked him right out of that thought.”
She blinked. “You what?”
“I sucked him right out of it,” her friend repeated
blithely.
Melanie’s hand flew to her mouth. “You don’t
mean?”
Angela vigorously nodded her head. “Oh yeah. Put
on my kneepads and went to work, honey. He’d better
enjoy it now, too, ‘cause after we’re married that’s
the last time I suck his puny cock.” She let out a
deep, put-upon sigh. “After all this activity, I’ll need
a vacation.” Her green eyes lit up at the idea. “Hey,
not a half-bad idea. You could probably use one, too.”
“A vacation?” Melanie echoed. “What’s that?”
“Why not?” Angela prodded. “Don’t you have
some place you want to go?”
Devyn Quinn
23
Melanie had to laugh. “Well, I guess I’d like to go
to Europe.”
“You guess? God, girl, boring! Isn’t there any
place you’d like to go? I mean, just get into the car
and drive? Where’s your sense of adventure?”
She drained her glass. “I guess my sense of
adventure died years ago, you know?” Feeling the
effects of the wine combined with the stresses of the
last six months, an incredible sensation of exhaustion
suddenly washed over her.
Leaning forward on her elbows, Melanie stared
into her wine glass. It’s as empty as I feel inside, she
thought. She gave it an idle thump with her thumb
and forefinger, listening to its clear ringing tone.
When had she started thinking in such a negative way?
She didn’t remember any other time in her life when
she’d been so depressed. She’d always believed she’d
led a full and fulfilling life. While Phil was at work,
she’d tried to keep herself occupied; keeping house,
working out at the country club, planning dinners for
their friends, participating in community services.
She'd had her circle of friends.
Her brow wrinkled.
Circle of friends? Melanie questioned herself. Her
eyes drifted around the table. The other chairs were
empty. She’d invited four other women to join her for
lunch. Only Angela had bothered to show up. The rest
were ‘otherwise occupied’.
At least, she'd thought she had friends. Strangely,
they weren’t around much anymore. All her girlfriends
were married, now one-half of a couple. She was
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24
single, half of…well, nothing. It suddenly occurred to
her why no one called to chat any more, why the
lunch dates had dwindled to nothing, why the
invitations to events had ceased to come, why
everyone’s beauty appointments were now
coincidentally different from her own.
They’re afraid I’m on the prowl.
The realization hit her cold, but in her heart she
knew it to be true. The ladies had circled the wagons
around their men and left her standing alone on the
outside. A single girl was the enemy, like a fox in the
hen house.. She was a newly divorced woman, ink
barely dry on her papers, financially independent. She
couldn’t have been more threatening in other
women’s eyes than if she’d stripped off her clothes
and lay spread-eagled on the floor before their men.
No wonder it’s just me and Angela lunching
today, she thought. I’ve been frozen out. She
wondered how long it would be before they asked her
to resign her membership at the country club. That
sounded like something those cliquish bitches would
do.
Oddly, the idea did not bother her as much as she
thought it would.
Considering getting smashingly drunk, Melanie
ordered more wine from the passing waiter and tuned
out Angela’s voice. She suddenly didn’t feel like
gossiping or man bashing anymore.
All she felt was empty.
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Chapter Four
It was after dark when Melanie returned home.
Pulling into the driveway, she killed the lights and sat
looking at the house, now hers alone. No illumination
came from within, no sounds of a happy family
bustling around. The house was empty, a shell. There
was no one waiting for her. No one at all.
How can I live here alone? She thought, almost
panicked. It’s too big for one person.
Reluctantly opening the car door, she got out and
walked up the sidewalk. The wine she’d consumed
earlier had gone to her head, and she staggered a
little, not exactly drunk but not entirely sober, either.
Mostly she was tired. Exhausted, actually.
Her marriage to Phil had become an albatross
around her neck, weighing on her soul like a heavy
stone. It was a relief the divorce was over, a relief he
was forever out of her life. Her emotions were raw,
painful. She was still reeling from having the identity
she’d had since the day she married stripped away
from her. She was no longer Mrs. Phillip Brooks, wife
of a successful doctor. She was now just plain old
Melanie Brooks, wife of no man.
I’ve been cast off like an old pair of pants, she
thought, fumbling with her keys to unlock the door. It
swung inward on silent hinges, beckoning her into the
dim foyer.
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26
Flicking on the lights flooded the living room in
brilliant illumination. She winced against the
brightness. Pain stabbed through the front of her
skull, the beginnings of a tension headache combined
with too much wine.
The house was immaculate, elegantly furnished;
every piece of object d'art ever so carefully arranged
to be shown to its best effect. She’s spent years
decorating this house, making sure nothing offended
Phillip and his picky eye. Living in New Mexico, the
one thing they had not wanted to do was go for the
traditional southwest Spanish-Indian style themes. It
was too common and tacky, more prevalent around
Santa Fe. Instead they had chosen sleek and modern—
leather furniture, glass tables, cut crystal. Such
expensive décor excluded children or pets.
With a jolt, Melanie realized how artificial
everything looked. Instead of a home, the place
looked like a display you would see in a magazine. It
was a showroom, not a place people lived. It wasn’t
the kind of room you could lounge in; kick back, put
your feet up on the coffee table, and watch
television. It was the kind of room where classical
music played softly in the background, where people
sat around very prim and proper, sipping dry martinis
and nibbling tiny tasteless canapés.
And she suddenly hated it. Hated everything about
the life she’d spent eighteen years building.
Tossing her purse onto the couch, she dropped
down beside it. Tears stung in her eyes. She blinked,
not wanting to let them fall. She was so tired of
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27
crying, of spending her nights alone with a bottle of
wine and a box of tissues. She felt sick inside, her
nervous system so knotted and cramped she feared
she would never be able to relax again. She was filled
with self-loathing, unable to comprehend why she still
felt so lost, so alone. All of a sudden, she felt too
battered emotionally to even think about the divorce
anymore. All she wanted to do was hide away from
the world. If there were a way to hide herself from
herself, she would have chosen the option.
“What are you crying over?” she asked aloud, not
caring there was no one around to hear her words.
“You walked away the winner, Mel. Took half of
everything Phil had. This is all yours now.”
But she no longer wanted it, no longer felt
vindicated she’d gone after her husband with the
vengeance of a woman scorned. Of course she’d
known Phil Brooks had a wandering eye, had cheated
on her more than once. But she’d managed to hold
her head high, keep her chin firm, knowing his little
affairs would eventually end, that after he dallied
around Phil would inevitably come home to her. He
always had before.
And then came Tammi.
Like Pygmalion sculpting his Galatea, Phil had
reconstructed Tammi, taking a plain, unattractive girl
and giving her the beauty God had failed to finish.
He’d straightened her crooked nose, put a cleft in her
chin, installed a C-cup rack of tits, and lipoed a little
baby fat out of her stomach and thighs. Medical
science and Phil’s talent to manipulate human flesh
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28
had made Tammi Hankins a beautiful woman. Her
parents had happily footed the bill, blissfully unaware
the doctor doing the work was also playing Svengali
with his ex-patient.
Laying her head back on the cushions, Melanie’s
brow wrinkled in thought. Why, after all the women
he’d cheated on her with, had Phil chosen this last
dalliance of his to leave her for? She never stormed,
threw jealous fits, or played the prefect shrew. Quite
the opposite—she’d been a doormat.
During the many nights she’d spent alone, Melanie
had often thought of taking a lover herself. Something
always stopped her. She was the kind of woman who
took her vows of marriage seriously. She’d promised
to be faithful, for better or worse, richer or poorer.
I let Phil stifle me, then smother me, she
thought, wiping away the tears escaping down her
cheeks. He was good-looking, educated, urbane. She,
on the other hand, was always the little brown wren.
She knew other women looked at her, wondering how
he could have possibly been attracted to such a dud.
God knew she tried to keep herself together. But face
it, Tammi was twenty-one. She was thirty-seven.
Youth won every time.
Rising, she walked upstairs, heading to her
bedroom. There, she stripped off her clothes and
headed for the shower. The warm water would help
soothe her shattered nerves. She looked at herself in
the mirror and flinched at the image it flung back at
her. She looked, she decided in despair, exactly like
what she was. A sad, lost woman. She shook her head,
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29
trying to chase away the misery coiling through her
guts.
“Thank God I got away from Phil,” she remarked,
adjusting the water until it was just the right
temperature. She stepped under the showerhead,
enjoying the stinging, massaging spray as it hit her
back and shoulders. Wetting her hair, she poured a
dollop of shampoo into her hand and set to giving her
scalp a good scrub. Rinsing away the bubbles, she
picked up a bar of her favorite scented soap and
began to lather up her body. Finishing her wash, she
stepped out of the shower and wrapped a thick fluffy
towel around her naked body and another around her
wet hair.
Drifting into the bedroom, she sat down on the
edge of the bed and toweled her hair dry. Not for the
first time, she began to wonder what it would be like
to make love to another man. Listening to friends like
Angela swap stories had made her ears burn and her
cheeks redden. She couldn’t imagine being so casual
about sex, treating it as if it were nothing more than
another manicure. She was curious, though.
At this point, she couldn’t imagine the answer
because she simply didn’t know.
Getting off the bed, she slipped out of the towel
and into a comfy T-shirt and panties. She hated being
constrained when she slept, and often slipped out of
the shirt during the night. The feel of cool cotton
sheets against her warm skin was a sensual one.
Climbing into the king-sized bed and pulling the
comforter over her body, she was again struck by how
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30
large the house was for one person. She really didn’t
need four bedrooms. Even though she’d gotten the
house clear, it was still going to be expensive to
maintain. If she were careful with her settlement and
invested it wisely, she would never have to work.
Selling the house, banking the money, and finding
herself a smaller place might be the wisest thing to
do. Did she really want to stay in a place where she’d
known so much unhappiness? What would be the
point?
“So,” she said aloud. “I’m divorced, rich, and
childless. What to do?”
The thought dismayed her.
She had nothing to do. In searching her brain, she
found that there wasn’t one single reason why she
should get up in the morning. The years she’d spent
decorating, hanging out at the spas, gossiping, and
lunching at the country club were all gone, leaving
nothing but an empty void in her soul. God, she’d
believed she had a life. In reality she had nothing,
using those superficial activities to fill the endless
hours.
Maybe it is time to get away, she mused, I should
pack my bags, go somewhere new, see something
different.
Getting out of the city didn’t seem like a bad idea
at all.
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Chapter Five
The next morning, Melanie woke up late, slightly
hung over, but none the worse for wear. Groping her
way to the bathroom, she managed to get herself
showered, teeth brushed, and hair combed with
relatively little pain, save for a nagging headache.
Popping a couple of aspirin, she went downstairs and
made herself a cup of coffee. Though not usually a
breakfast eater, she thought she would feel better if
she’d a little something in her stomach. Knowing she
needed to watch her weight, she made two slices of
whole-wheat toast with a tiny dollop of butter—just
for taste. Then, wondering why she was watching her
figure, she slathered on more butter and added a
thick layer of cherry preserves. A long time since
she’d indulged her sweet tooth.
Getting the morning paper, she sat down at the
table to eat. Munching her toast, she glanced over the
features, read the comics, and then turned to the
lifestyle and travel section. The idea of taking a
vacation was still very much in the forefront of her
brain. Trouble was, she didn’t know where she’d want
to go. She and Phil had always vacationed together,
and he’d always chosen the destinations, planning
their itinerary down to the minute. They did what he
wanted to do, saw what he wanted to see. When it
came to travel, her passport was stamped many times
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32
over. England, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland,
Italy, Spain, Egypt, Ireland… They’d traveled all over
the world.
Hardly in the mood to trot around the world on
her own just yet, she immediately vetoed the idea of
going out of the country. What about other parts of
her own country? There were plenty of sights the good
old US of A had to offer. And what about her home
state?
A smile lit up her features as she licked the last of
the preserves from her fingers.
Carlsbad Caverns. She’d always wanted to visit
them, but Phil found the idea of underground caves
and masses of bats boring. Carlsbad wasn’t very far
away, only a couple of hundred miles. She could make
a weekend of it.
Excited by the idea, she took her cup of coffee
into the den. Phil had taken the big desktop, but she
still had her laptop, though she rarely used it.
Fetching it from the closet, she set it up, plugged it
in, and waited for the programs to load. Ten minutes
later, she was browsing the Internet, doing a search
for information. Jotting down notes on a yellow pad
because Phil had also taken the printer, she looked
over the information she’d gathered. The Caverns
were open seven days a week, excluding Christmas.
The commuter airline out of Albuquerque offered
the option to fly. Small planes scared the bejesus out
of her. The bus was another option, but she wasn't
fond of it, either. She just wasn’t willing to let the
busing system do the driving, having to endure stop
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33
after stop, strange stations, and too many people.
Driving seemed the best option. She could make the
drive in a day, rent a hotel room, see the sights, shop
and explore, spend another night, and be back by
Sunday evening.
“Sounds like a plan to me,” she said, copying
down the directions off an Internet map site. They
were fairly simple. Even an idiot like her couldn’t get
lost if she followed the signs.
Finishing her coffee, she glanced up at the clock.
It was ten after eleven in the morning. If she hurried
to pack, she could leave by noon and be in Carlsbad
by around seven in the evening. That would give her
time to find a place to stay and relax for the rest of
the evening.
Feeling very much the take-charge woman,
Melanie hurried into the kitchen to clean up her
breakfast mess. Next, she headed upstairs to pack.
Dragging out an overnight bag, she made some quick
choices she thought suitable for the late summer
season. It was nearing the end of August, and the
weather was broiling hot, in the high nineties,
sometimes sending the mercury into the low
hundreds. She picked out a few cute outfits, lowheeled sandals for walking, other toiletries she’d need
for an overnight trip.
Bag packed, she dressed herself just as carefully,
choosing a nice skirt and matching blouse. She put her
hair up in a flirty style, curling a few loose strands of
her blonde hair around her neck for a sexy effect.
She’d just had her long mane cut and frosted with
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34
lighter streaks, her manicure and pedicure freshened
with new coats of nail polish. Unlike Angela’s dragonlady nails, she preferred an active length French
style. With her tanned skin and perfect white teeth,
she believed she looked every bit the California
blonde. She applied her makeup with more care than
normal, putting on her full face. If she was going out,
she was going to be seen looking her best.
It was well past one in the afternoon when
Melanie finally made it outside to the car. She’d
double checked the doors and windows and set the
burglar alarm. Cell phone tucked into her purse, bag
in hand, she was finally ready to go.
I’m going to have fun, she told herself. I’m going
to get out and do something on my own.
She was more than a little bit anxious. She’d
never done anything wild or spontaneous in her life,
much less gone off on her own. This would literally be
her first trip alone as a grown woman.
She slid behind the wheel of her car, a 2006
convertible. The day was already burning hot, so she
put up the roof and cranked up the air conditioner.
There was no way she was going to broil in the sun.
Sun damage was the fastest way to wrinkles. Her own
tan was faux, done in a salon.
Starting the engine, she pulled out of the
driveway. It was two hundred and seventy-seven miles
to Carlsbad.. Following directions, she expertly wove
her way through the insane traffic..
Couldn’t be simpler, she thought, merging into a
busy lane. Exhilarated by the wide-open spaces in
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35
front of her, she slid a CD into the player and cranked
up the tunes. No staid classical music today. It was
going to be rock and roll all the way!
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36
Chapter Six
Melanie reached Cline’s Corners without any
problems. Pulling into a gas station, she refilled the
car’s tank, hit the ladies’ room, stocked up on snacks
and drinks and prepared for the longest part of the
drive, which would take her through Roswell and on to
Carlsbad.
Through the long stretch of highway, towns were
few and far in between, the dead desert lands of New
Mexico going as far as the eye could see. In this part
of the Land of Enchantment, there wasn’t much to
see except the flat brown plains and the long black
stretches of asphalt crawling across the land the way
the desert rattlers slithered across the arid, sunbaked earth. The desert stretched as far as the eye
could see and beyond.
Because the rainfall had been non-existent for the
year, there was little greenery to be found. Even the
weeds had been singed to the color of straw. Whoever
had dubbed the state the Land of Enchantment must
have been high on peyote. It was more like the land of
disenchantment. The best sight to be seen in New
Mexico was waving goodbye as you left it.
Not for the first time did Melanie think about
leaving the state entirely. Indeed, she’d been born in
Texas.. But where would she go? Her parents were
deceased. She did have miscellaneous aunts and
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37
uncles and cousins scattered around the state, but
those were people she hardly knew, much less cared
about. She wouldn’t know any of them if they were to
walk up and slap her.
That’s the way the cards fell for me. No family.
No kids.
And, it seemed, no close friends.
It occurred to her she’d been living her life as
though under a bell jar, breathing the rarified air that
came with being the extension of a successful man.
Life with Phil had spoiled her. As his practice had
taken off, she’d come to believe that his success was
also hers, that his social standing was hers, too. How
wrong she was. She’d only been privileged as long as
he allowed her to be.
I need to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t.
I can go to school or to work. Whatever I want. The
future is wide open for me, if only I let it be.
Uncomfortably she pushed away the thought.
What was the matter with her? Didn’t she have far
more important things to do than dwell on the past?
Her marriage had broken up, for heaven’s sake.
Hardly a catastrophe. Sure, there has been elation,
grief, pain,. That was part of life. She could hardly
expect to be spared. All in all, she seemed to have
emerged reasonably intact.
Not wanting to think anymore, she cranked up her
music and concentrated on the wide-open road. Drive.
That’s all she wanted to do, just drive and never have
to come to the end of the journey.
The trouble began after passing through Ramon, a
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38
little blink in the road. First, she accidentally took the
wrong exit and ended up going down a long stretch of
highway, obviously leading nowhere fast. The farther
she drove, the more her instincts began to tell her she
was lost. Just when she’d decided she should turn
around and go back to a point she recognized, the
gods of heat and car trouble struck.
First, the air conditioner was blowing hotter
instead of cooler. By time she thought to kill the AC
and sweat out the desert heat, her precious, branddamned-new car began to overheat.
The first time the car lurched she thought for sure
it was running out of gas. But a look at the fuel gauge
said that wasn’t so. The problem lay elsewhere, in the
TEMP light lit up like a Christmas tree in December. A
minute later the car pitched alarmingly. By the time
she’d managed to maneuver the car to the side of the
highway, the engine had spluttered one final time,
then died.
She cursed, getting out the car and hurrying
around to the front. Steam poured out from under the
hood. “What the hell happened?” One minute she’d
been driving down the road at a fair clip, the next she
was standing on the side of an empty highway, looking
helplessly at her car.
Hoping to find help, she turned and looked in
every direction. Of course, there was none.. She was
out in the middle of the desert where cars were few
and far between. She was completely and utterly
alone. What’s more, she knew zip about cars and
barely knew how to change a tire. As she stood and
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39
looked at her car, she could feel the sun beating down
on her unprotected head, sticky sweat beading on her
skin and running down between her breasts. The heat
had gone way past one hundred degrees, and if she
didn’t get out of it soon, she’d have a case of
sunstroke to contend with. A little laugh broke from
her lips.
“Well, naturally this is something that would
happen to me.”
She wasn’t worried, though. She had her cell
phone. She’d call Triple A and wait for them to send a
tow truck.. Getting back in the car, she dug her
membership information out of the glove
compartment and her cell out of her purse. Flipping
open the phone, she quickly dialed the 800 number
and pressed it to hear ear. Instead of the friendly
sound of a ringing phone, all she heard was silence.
Lowering the phone, she looked at the digital display.
No Signal..
“Shit, shit, shit,” she cursed in quick succession.
Thinking she would get a signal if she got out of the
car, she wiggled her butt out of the seat and stood
up, pressing the button.
Nothing.
The damned phone was as dead as her car.
“Well,” she muttered. “Looks like I’m going to
have to depend on the kindness of passing strangers.”
It didn’t look like she would have long to wait. A
pickup came roaring up the road at a rapid rate of
speed. Catching sight of it, Melanie put up her hand
and waved.
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40
The driver waved back. But didn’t stop.
Melanie lowered her hand. “Asshole.” Why hadn’t
he stopped? Then it occurred to her. She didn’t have
any flashers on or her hood up. He probably thought
she was giving a friendly wave.
To remedy the situation, she put up her hood.
There, that should get her some help.
Two more cars roared by. Neither stopped.
“What the fuck? Do I look like a serial killer or
something?” Her frustration was building. Was it just
her imagination or were the drivers of New Mexico the
unfriendliest people on earth? “Can’t they see I am
stuck here all by myself?”
She shook her head. Apparently, they couldn't.
All by herself on this hot stretch of barren
highway, she was beginning to feel like the last person
on earth. Moreover, she’d finished the last of her
bottled water, and now, she needed to pee.
She looked around. Since she was alone, she
didn’t see the harm of taking a little outdoor piss.
Grabbing a napkin to wipe her butt with, she hurried
around to the far side of her car, lifted her skirt,
lowered her panties, and hunkered down.
“If anyone comes by,” she muttered, “they won’t
see my rear hanging..”
She was almost finished with her libations when
she heard the roar of the engines and saw them pass,
probably two-dozen bikers riding by on their
motorcycles, smiling and waving at her—and all
getting a great view of her bare ass. Both sets of
cheeks burning, she scrambled to her feet, hurriedly
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41
tugging her skirt down around her legs as a couple of
the bikers pulled over.
Stiffening in fear, heart beginning to hammer in
her chest, Melanie quickly sized up the two men.
Immediately she could tell these weren’t weekend
road warriors, men who worked all week and took to
the highways come Friday. These were hardcore
bikers. The bikes they rode weren’t machines usually
garaged and kept beautifully polished. These were
bikes well-ridden, dinged and dented, saddle bags
packed with the supplies needed for living and
literally sleeping on the road.
Both the men were rough and scary looking,
dressed identically in heavy black boots, faded jeans,
tee-shirts with the sleeves cut out. Both were heavily
tattooed, long-haired, bearded. Their skin was deeply
tanned, almost leather-like from all the hours they’d
spent riding in the sun. They looked like the kind of
men who would beat their grandmothers and rob
convenience stores.
Though she was a fair-sized woman and had taken
a few self-defense classes, Melanie knew she wouldn’t
have a chance if these guys decided to get tough with
her. They would eat her up and spit her out. An image
flashed through her mind, of herself lying dead under
the desert sun, throat slashed, jewelry and credit
cards riding off with these two tough thugs.
Where the hell is the highway patrol when you
need it?
She watched warily as the men sauntered over to
the car.
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42
“Looks like you got a problem,” one said.
Demonic-looking faces glared up from both his arms.
He was a big bear of a man, sporting a pair of
enormous shoulders, and an even larger beer belly.
His greasy black hair was caught up in a ponytail
halfway down his back. He looked like he hadn’t
bathed in at least a year.
“I do,” she said, giving a timid smile. Might as
well be friendly. There was literally nothing else she
could do. Two more cars passed, neither stopped, the
drivers probably figuring she had enough help.
The second man bent over the engine, lifting his
dark sunglasses so he could examine it closer. His eyes
were gunmetal gray, flinty and hard, but also
intelligent. He had to be at least six feet tall. Under
his scraggly beard he appeared to be handsome in a
rugged kind of way. Unlike his buddy, he was lithe and
lean; tight jeans hugging his ass like a second skin, his
heavy metal T-shirt practically undulating over his flat
abdomen and broad shoulders as he moved.
He was sharply sculptured, shockingly masculine
in every way. He oozed with a potent, almost
unnerving aura of male sexuality. Everything about
him seemed overtly sexual, even his arms, which were
heavily inked, one forearm hugged by a beautiful
naked woman in a very suggestive pose. His sunbleached blond hair was shoulder length, flowing free
in the wind winnowing across the dusty desert plain.
Crudely put, he was built like a brick shithouse and
looked like he could fuck all night long.
Melanie found the tattoo obscene but also
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43
strangely erotic. She was suddenly stunned.
Something about the way he moved set the hair at the
nape of her neck prickling, her stomach fluttering. It
wasn’t revulsion, or fright. It was…attraction. She just
couldn’t help it. She wouldn’t mind being that woman
on his arm, her body wrapped around his.
Nice package, she thought, eyeing his crotch. In a
moment of unbidden fantasy, she imagined him
pulling her close, his hands moving up and down her
back and the other in her hair. Her breasts would
press against his chest, and her body would rub
against his as he slowly moved his hands down to her
ass, kneading her cheeks. Leaning down, he’d press
his lips lightly against hers, taste her, his fingers
weaving through her hair. Her breathing became a
little faster as she imagined how his cock would feel
pressing against her, his lips pressed against her
temple as his hands moved to her front to unbutton
her blouse... She almost moaned aloud, wondering
what it would feel like to have her pussy muscles
clench his shaft.
Aware her daydream was going into forbidden
territory, she blushed red clear to her roots. She felt a
lump in her throat. Her stomach began to churn, and
her legs felt weak. Her head spun from the heat, and
her heart pounded so hard inside her chest she was
sure he could hear it.
What the hell am I thinking? she thought wildly.
He’s not my type.. He, too, looked like he didn’t
know the meaning of soap and water, yet here she
was, wondering what it would be like to take him to
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44
bed! She gulped, feeling both sick and shaky, like
someone suffering from the aftermath of a nerveshattering shock. She told herself she was being
ridiculous. Still, she could not take her eyes off him.
He was magnificent. Savage. A beast.
He had been poking around under the hood, and
he finally came up with a length of frayed rubber.
“Looks like she snapped a belt and overheated.”
She shrugged. “That’s bad, right?”
The guys laughed.
“Only bad if you don’t have one to replace it,”
the blond said. He twisted off the radiator’s cap,
bent, and peered inside. “Damn, not a drop of water
in this thing. Did you just take off across the desert
without checking the fluids in your car first?”
She gave another helpless shrug. “I guess I just
didn’t think about it before I left.” She nibbled her
bottom lip. “It can be fixed, right?”
The fatter biker nodded. “Oh, yeah. Some water,
a new belt, and you’re back on the road. Probably
just overheated.”
She held out her cell. “Uh, my phone seems to be
dead, too. Is there any way you guys could help me
out?” She hated to ask, but right now she was at the
mercy of the desert, a broken-down car and…these
men.
The blond eyed her. “Sure, I’ll give you a ride.
That okay with you, Bill?”
Bill shrugged. “Whatever. I ain’t going to stand
out here in the sun all day. We got places to go, Jake.
Hurry up.”
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“Yeah.” To Melanie, “You coming?”
She quickly shook her head. “Ah, I don’t need a
ride,” she said. “Maybe you could just call the police
when you reach the next town. I can stay here with
the car.”
“Be a long wait.”
She fanned a hand in front of her face, trying to
cool herself off. God, but she was drenched in sweat.
The sun was beginning to sink into the west, but the
heat was hardly lessening. If anything it felt more
intense, broiling. Her skin felt grimy, gritty.. Her
makeup had practically melted off her face, and her
clothes were clinging to her body like a second skin.
All she wanted to do was strip everything off and take
an ice-cold shower. “I don’t mind.”
Both guys shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
His good deed done, the one called Bill ambled
back to his motorcycle, swung a leg over and kickstarted the engine. The old machine roared to life.
“Catch up down the road,” he shouted, sending dust
and gravel scattering when he pulled out.
Jake shook his head then turned to her. “Sorry.
He isn’t very friendly.”
A bit relieved her throat had thus far not been
slit, Melanie gave a weak grin. “Too tell you the truth,
he didn’t look very friendly.”
“He’s ok.” He looked from her to the car, back to
her. “You sure you want to stay here? I can give you a
ride to the next town.”
She wavered. “Well, I hate to leave the car
here…”
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46
He laughed. “It ain’t going nowhere, lady. I
guarantee it will still be here when you get back.” He
shrugged. “And if it’s not, you got insurance, right?”
She nodded. “I guess so.” She eyed the huge
motorcycle. “But I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle
before.”
“Then you’re in for a treat. Let’s go.”
A little bit apprehensive about her decision to
accompany this strange man, Melanie reluctantly
grabbed her purse and locked the car. She’d obviously
have to leave her luggage. There was no place to put
it on the motorcycle. She thought about waiting for
another ride to come along then vetoed the idea. Cars
were few and far between out here. She might have
to wait for hours for someone to stop. At least if he
took her to a town, she could use the phone, get a
room, and wait for the car to be towed in and
repaired.
“That thing is safe?” she asked, small beads of
sweat rolling over her skin.
Jake straddled the bike and sat rubbing his chin.
“It is if you don’t wreck it. Got a scar under my chin
from rolling one down the highway.”
“Oh, Jesus,” she breathed.
He half turned in his seat and lifted the helmet
perched across the rear passenger support bar. “Here.
Wear this.”
She eyed the helmet. “Aren’t you supposed to be
wearing it?”
He grunted. “No helmet law in New Mexico.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll crack your skull?”
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47
He shrugged. “No loss if it happened.”
She hefted the heavy helmet he handed over.
“It’ll ruin my hair.”
“The wind isn’t exactly going to fix it,” he
observed sardonically. “Besides, it’ll help keep the
bugs out of your teeth.”
“Bugs in my teeth?” She gasped, stepping back.
“Yuck.”
He rolled his eyes. “Just put it on.”
Hair limp from the heat and sweat anyway,
Melanie grudgingly put on the helmet and tucked the
strap under her chin. It was a little big, but it would
suffice. She could only imagine what a person’s head
would look like contacting with the asphalt while
going sixty miles an hour. The fact he’d admitted
wrecking one didn’t exactly bolster her confidence.
“Guess this makes me a biker chick now.”
Jake eyed her from head to foot, taking in her
prim blouse, skirt, and high-heeled sandals. She could
feel him looking at her, and immediately she started
to tense, suddenly self-conscious.
“Biker chic, maybe. Biker chick, hardly. You’re so
far from biker material it almost hurts my eyes to look
at you. Definitely not the road-hog type. What the
hell you doing out in the desert in an expensive
convertible anyway? There’s no cotillions out here.”
She bit down on her bottom lip to try and keep
herself from screaming. It didn’t work. “I got lost!
It’s easy to do in this godforsaken nowhere land,” she
snapped, trying to pull the helmet off. “And forget
going with you, you big stinking lout. I’ll wait for
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48
another ride.”
He put out a hand, catching her wrist. “Hey,
settle down, lady. I was just kidding.”
“You’re making fun of me,” she sulked, too
acutely aware of his skin contacting with hers. A
shiver ran up her spine, though she was far from cold.
“Yeah? Well you called me a lout, so we’re even.
You coming or not? I’m not going to wait all goddamn
day for you to decide.”
“Yes, okay,” she conceded. “What do I do now?”
For an answer, he flicked out the kick-start with
one booted foot then came down on it hard to bring
the big motorcycle to life.
“Get on and hold on,” he shouted over the
deafening din. “Keep your legs clear of the pipes.
They’ll burn.”
“Oh, great,” she muttered. Wearing a skirt, there
was no graceful way to climb onto a motorcycle. To
get on, she’d to hike it up around her hips, showing
quite a bit of leg. Hand on his shoulder, she
clambered onto the back..
Settled onto the narrow leather seat, legs splayed
open, her crotch almost directly connected with his
ass. She was wedged against him far too close for
comfort, but the wave of heat suffusing her body told
its own betraying story, the sudden pulse of desire
invading all the way to her clit. Immediately her
tension started to grow, a strange sexual fierceness
filling her as sure as the moist heat spreading
between her legs. The massive machine between her
legs vibrated with an intensity that almost caused her
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49
to climax. It shocked her to feel this heady, almost
wanton pleasure, just straddling an idling motorcycle.
It was like playing with a thousand-cc vibrator.
Jake guided her arms around his waist. His casual
touch redirected her attention. She was gutwrenchingly conscious of the power of the muscles
beneath his skin, more than achingly aware of his
body, his sheer maleness, in a way she’d never before
been aware of a man’s physical masculinity. She felt
positively wicked, never having been this close to a
strange man in her life. She was actually trembling
from her physical reaction his very nearness.
“Hang on!” Gunning the engine, he simultaneously
released the clutch and gave it gas as he shifted down
into first gear. In one smooth motion, the motorcycle
was on the road, skimming easily down the highway.
Body trembling, drenched with sweat, Melanie
tensed at first, then let herself relax as she leaned
into him. He smelled of heat, asphalt, and tangy
sweat, the scents clinging to his clothes and skin and
mingling with the musk of his unmistakable maleness.
Receiving a new shocking charge of erotic awareness,
she tightened her grip around his broad chest. A fine
thrill pierced her heart. She could feel him grow tense
at her touch; she could almost hear the blood
hammering through his veins. His muscles were rocksolid under her hands. It was all she could do to
restrain herself for letting her hand sneak lower
toward his crotch.
She wanted to rip through those skintight jeans
and go straight for his hard male flesh. Beneath her
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50
clothes her skin felt as though it were on fire. She
could imagine his hands at her waist, his blond head
bent over her body, lips pulling at a bare nipple.
There was nothing more she wanted right now than
the intimacy of his mouth against her own, his body
pressed against hers, his erection pressing against her
belly…
A soft sound of appreciation escaped her throat,
thankfully muffled by the roar of the engine. God, but
I’d love to run my hands over his package and see
what comes up.
The very idea stunned her. But not half as much
as thought of his rock-hard penis excited her. She
knew all she’d have to do was reach down and touch
him. Trouble was, she didn’t know if she could handle
what might happen next. A woman could get in
trouble for playing the cock tease.
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51
Chapter Seven
The dirty little town they pulled into didn’t even
have a sign posted to announce its name. Like a
mirage in the distance, it suddenly appeared on the
horizon of the flat, deserted land. Unlike a mirage, it
had nothing beautiful to offer anyone passing through
it—which was why people did exactly that—passed
through it. It was a tiny town. Blink and you would
miss it. So small there wasn’t even a traffic light, the
town boasted a little general store, a post office, a
few gas stations, and other stores only locals would
shop in. Most buildings had been shut down, broken
windows boarded over. The only thing seemingly
cultivated was weeds, wildflowers, and cactus, hardly
a lovely sight. The long summer had been so dry even
those were wilted and burned by the intense sunlight.
Jake pulled into a gas station. As he took care of
fueling his hog, Melanie hopped off, ditched the
helmet, and headed for the ladies room. Filling the
sink with cool water, she splashed it on her face,
washing off her makeup and the layers of road grime.
She felt positively filthy. Her bare arms and legs were
scorched red by the sun and wind. A few more hours
out in the sun and she would have shriveled up like a
raisin. There was no reason to try and re-fix her face.
It was a lost cause. Her hair was almost as bad. After
dunking her head in the water, she combed it back
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52
and braided it into a neat simple style. It wasn’t
beautiful, but it would suffice.
That done, she gave the key back to the clerk and
asked for a pay phone. A quick call to Triple-A would
fix everything. Ten minutes later, tears of frustration
pricked at her eyes, but she was too furious to cry.
“I can’t believe Phil canceled my membership,”
she cursed, banging down the receiver. “Now what
the hell do I do?” She pressed a shaking hand against
her forehead. She wasn’t used to dealing with these
things. She didn’t know how. Not for the first time,
she realized just how dependent she’d been on her
ex-husband. Phil had taken care of everything, part of
his all-controlling nature to handle every detail of
their lives. She never saw the bills, never worried
about house, lawn or car maintenance. God, when
had she become so helpless?
Don’t I know how to do anything? And then it hit
her. No, she really didn’t. She’d been a daughter and
then a wife all her life. First she’d had parents to do
it for her then a husband. After all, a man was
supposed to take care of those things…right?
Wrong, she thought. Instead of making her secure,
it had made her weak, dependent and helpless. She
didn’t know how to do anything. Well, then it’s time
to learn how to handle a mess. You got yourself into
this, get yourself out.
The sound of footsteps on gravel interrupted her
thoughts. She turned around to see Jake walking up to
her, two sodas in hand.
“Look like you could use something to drink.” He
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53
handed over the icy-cold soda.
Melanie gave him a wan but grateful smile. “Just
what I need.” She popped the tab and took a long
drink.
“So, get some help with the car?”
She shook her head. “Not yet. I’m a little stymied
since I am no longer a member of Triple-A.”
“Oh.” He took a drink of his own soda, quiet for a
minute. “We passed a little garage a few blocks back.
Odds are, these desert rats can tow your car in and do
the work. You look like a lady who has a lot of cash.
Should be no problem.”
“Cash? As in hard money?” Again, Melanie had to
shake her head. “I’ve only got credit cards, a few
traveler’s checks, and a few dollars in change. I’ve
never really gotten into the habit of carrying more
than ten dollars.”
“You should learn to carry a fair amount of the
green for emergencies. These little backwaters aren’t
really friendly to anything less than cold hard money.”
"I’ve never had many emergencies,” she
admitted.
“Welcome to the real world, lady.”
“Melanie.”
“What?”
She cleared her throat and held out her hand,
which seemed a little formal since she’d had her
thighs wrapped around his hips for the better part of a
hundred miles. “My name is Melanie Brooks.”
“Jake Marrs.” He took her hand, his grip firm,
unyielding. His bear’s paw practically swallowed hers.
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54
His hands were rough, callused, his fingernails
corroded with dirt and grease. She couldn’t help
wondering how those hands of his would look cleaned
up. For the first time since they met, he smiled,
revealing a row of straight white teeth. “Well,
Melanie,” he continued. “Why don’t we amble on over
there to the garage and see if we can’t find someone
to fix your car?”
The walk was a short one, less than four blocks.
The garage wasn’t much, seeming to be nothing more
than a tin shed, a little rickety and not nailed
together too sturdily. All kinds of junked cars were
parked around the garage, most of the parts rusted
down and welded together by the intense desert heat
and sand they were sinking into.
The owner of the garage was indeed an old desert
rat who’d apparently spent his whole life as a shade
tree mechanic. Dressed in coveralls without a shirt,
his skin was deeply tanned, leathery, and creased. He
might have been sixty or maybe a hundred. It was
hard to tell. He was bald, toothless, and reeked of the
tobacco chaw staining the scraggly beard around his
mouth a nasty yellow shade. Seeing Melanie, the old
fellow gave her a wink and a smile.
“Not every day a pretty woman comes in here,”
he said by way of a greeting.
“My car doesn’t break down in the desert every
day,” Melanie countered, trying not to wrinkle her
nose over the stench emanating from the old man.
“You folks broke down, huh?”
“About ninety or so miles down the highway,” she
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55
replied.
“What’s the matter?”
Not knowing exactly what the matter was, she
looked helplessly toward Jake.
“Snapped the fan belt, no water in the radiator,
overheated the car,” he said. “Easy fix. Just need
someone to go and get it, do the work.”
The old man scratched his whiskers and nodded.
“I reckon that’s easy enough. I could send my
grandson out to tow it in.”
Hearing his words, relief flooded her. “Great,”
she said. Digging in her purse, she pulled her credit
card out of her wallet. “I’ll pay anything to get it
fixed.”
The old man eyed the piece of plastic
speculatively. “I don’t take credit cards.”
Hope plummeted to her feet. “You don’t?”
The old man shook his head.
“Uh, traveler’s checks?”
Another shake of the head. “Cash only.”
The gods must hate me, Melanie thought.
Murphy’s law is certainly in effect today. I can’t win
for losing… She sighed. “Where’s the nearest ATM?”
“ATM?”
“You know, cash machine?”
“I don’t know if we have one of those here,” the
old fellow replied honestly. “Might be one at the
bank, but it’s closed.”
Jake broke in. “How much to tow in the lady’s car
and put a new belt on?”
The old timer did some silent figuring in his head.
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56
“Oh, ‘bout fifty dollars.”
Jake nodded and reached in his hip pocket for his
wallet. Unfolding it, he slid out a crisp fifty. “Better
get on it then.” He handed the money over. “Silverblue convertible. Can’t miss it if you go straight down
the road.”
The old man nodded. “I’ll get Toby right on it.”
Tucking his money safely away, he whistled, then
hollered as he pounded on the side of garage with a
gnarled hand. “Boy, get your lazy ass up.”
A tall skinny kid appeared around the corner.
About seventeen, he was dressed in faded jeans and a
T-shirt. A compact disc player was glued to his hip, a
pair of headphones dangling around his neck.
“Get the truck and pull it around front. We got
some work.”
The boy lit up. Something to break up the
boredom of his day.
“Pick it up tomorrow,” the old man told them.
“Good enough.” Jake turned to Melanie. “Okay
with you?”
She gave a grateful nod.
The old man spat a wad of chew onto the parched
ground at his feet. “Suppose you’ll be getting a room
for the night.”
“Yes, I suppose so,” Melanie said.
“I’ll have Toby come around and let you know
when it’s fixed.”
“Okay. Should I give you a call to let you know
where I am staying?”
The old man laughed. “There’s only one motel
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57
here.” He made a vague gesture. “’Bout six blocks
up.”
She gave a slight shake of her head. The town was
that small. Of course there wasn’t going to be a huge
selection of places to stay. Bidding the old fellow and
his grandson a final goodbye, she followed the big
biker as he began to walk toward the convenience
store where they’d left his bike. The sky was slowly
morphing from bright blue to dusky pinks and darker
purples. The heat was slowly receding, slinking away
with the shadows. The cooler night winds were
beginning to winnow across the desert plains.
“Thanks so much for helping me out,” she said,
doubling her steps to keep up with his stride. “I can
pay you back, write you a check.”
Jake made a vague ‘forget it’ gesture. “It wasn’t
a problem.”
“No, really,” she insisted. “I can pay you back.”
“No big deal.”
She threw up her hands, a bit confused by the
blend of irritation and wryness in his voice. “Hey, suit
yourself. I can’t make you take a check. But I
appreciate the time you took to help me.”
Another shrug. “Didn’t have anything else to do, I
guess.”
“Guess I’m still stuck here for the night.”
“Only a night. You’ll live.”
“I guess I have no choice, huh?” She gave him a
long look. “You seem to know your way around here.”
“Been here a few times, going back and forth.”
Melanie’s stomach rumbled, reminding her she
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58
hadn’t eaten anything solid in quite awhile. “So why
don’t you let me thank you by taking you to dinner?”
she suggested, surprised by her own boldness. “We
can get a room, clean up, grab a bite. That is, if you
haven’t got anyplace to be…” She let the sentence
trail off, unfinished.
Jake scratched his chin, running his fingers along
his jaw line. “I suppose I could clean up a little.”
“And you have to eat, right?”
“Yeah.”
She smiled. “Good. Then we’ll do that, and I can
pay you back.”
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59
Chapter Eight
The motel room was shabby but clean. The
furniture was plain, well used, but obviously as well
kept as possible. Two narrow little beds had been
pushed together to make one larger bed. The décor
was the usual faux-southwest patterns found all over
the homes in town; Indian-inspired motifs of Kachina
dolls and speckled corn. It was so ugly it could belong
nowhere else but in New Mexico.
The bedspread was faded, patched in a couple of
places. There was no telling how many years it had
been in use.... Ditto the sheets. It had the usual
accoutrements of a table, a chair, and an old color
television bolted to a TV table in the corner opposite
the beds. The puke-green carpet was well worn, thin
in spots, and the poor old air conditioner leaked
mightily as it labored against the heat. A few doors
down, an ice machine hummed, dumping out a fresh
load of chilled bliss.
To her relief, the place wasn’t crawling with
roaches and didn’t smell too terribly bad, which was a
high mark in Melanie’s book. And the fact they could
process credit card transactions was a definite plus.
At least she wasn’t wholly dependent on the strange
man she’d let pick her up. She’d even managed to get
the hotel clerk to advance her a hundred dollars on
her card so she could pay him back and cover dinner.
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60
She didn’t want to feel beholden; was glad he’d
helped her out, but now she wouldn’t owe him
anything further. She didn’t have any other clothes to
wear, but a shower would be heaven.
Before they’d reached the room, Melanie had
stopped to fill the plastic bucket provided by the
clerk. Right now the only thing she wanted to do was
run ice all over her blistering hot skin. Getting naked
and under a cool spray water would be an even better
idea.
It definitely wasn’t Shangri-La, but out in the
middle of nowhere, it was a little slice of paradise.
She’d offered to get Jake a room, but he’d declined.
A quick shower was all he wanted then he’d be on his
way.
Toting a good-sized knapsack, which was more
than she had, Jake looked around the room. “This’ll
do.” He tossed it on the bed, then flipped on the
television, finding the local news channel. He flopped
down on the bed. “You going to bathe first?”
Melanie set the ice down on the bed table. “Yes, I
will. Thanks.” Purse in hand, she disappeared into the
bathroom and shut the door.
Flipping on the light, she found herself in the
usual motel bathroom; sink, toilet, shower behind a
semi-transparent curtain. There were a couple of thin
towels, a washcloth, tiny bar of wrapped soap and
even tinier bottle of shampoo. The tile on the floor
was chipped and missing in places, the grout a little
stained, sink and toilet showing the reddish rust of the
hard mineral water corroding the pipes.
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61
Kicking off her sandals and stripping down to bra
and panties, she looked over her limp blouse and
skirt. There wasn’t much she could do with them.
Taking a washrag, she ran it under hot water and
brushed them up and down. It didn’t help much, but it
made her feel like she was doing something to make
them look a little neater, less wrinkled. Hanging them
on the hooks affixed to the back of the door, she
doffed panties and bra. Her lingerie looked no better.
She wished she’d had the smarts to grab her bag, but
trying to hold on to a bulky bag on the back of a
motorcycle would’ve been ridiculous. As for a clothing
store…there wasn’t one. The hotel’s clerk had
informed her that most residents did their major
shopping in the next town over.. Talk about living in
the middle of nowhere.
Stepping to the shower, she turned on the taps,
adjusting the water until it was warm, without being
too hot. Unwrapping the little bar of scented soap,
she stepped under the stream of water. The water
sprayed down with the force of stinging needles. It
was a welcome sting, though, the water driving away
the grime of the whole terrible day. She soaped up,
glad to rinse away the dirt and sweat.
As her hands skimmed over her breasts and ribs,
she let her fingers come to rest on her belly. Because
she’d never had children, no stretch marks marred her
skin. Still, her belly was scarred, the tiny white
puckers never entirely tanning the way unblemished
skin did. At the age of nineteen, before she’d married
Phil, she’d had a hysterectomy. Doctors had advised
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62
her the polyps developing on her ovaries had the
potential to turn cancerous, the way they had with
her mother. Fearing the worst, she’d agreed to the
surgery. Only later had it occurred to her she would
never be able to conceive. Phil had assured her it
didn’t matter to him—he loved her whether or not she
was able to have a baby. At the time she’d believed
him. Now she wondered if he hadn’t used her
infertility as an excuse to cheat; because she wasn’t a
whole woman anymore.
I still have feelings, she thought. I still enjoy sex,
having a man make love to me.
Her hand drifted down, gently touching the soft
petals between her thighs. Very lightly, she ran her
finger down between her lips, touching herself. She
pushed her finger in deeper, slipping it up until the
pad of her finger touched her clit, and she felt her
body tremble. She tilted back her head and closed her
eyes. Should she be embarrassed to be touching
herself this way? She wasn’t.
Her finger slid up and down slowly, ever so gently.
A faint moan escaped her lips as she spread her lips
apart. She hadn’t thought about sex until she’d met
Jake, but since wrapping her arms around his chest
and feeling the powerful vibrations of the motorcycle
between her legs, she’d thought of nothing but sex,
more specifically, making love to Jake.
Would he be a gentle lover or would he bang a
woman with a fierce rhythm? She could imagine her
legs spread around his hips, his cock driving fiercely
into her depth. The way he’d make love wouldn’t be
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63
vicious, she thought, but intense, a wholly consuming
thing. God, just thinking about having him certainly
did not quell her body’s desire to be sexually sated—it
only inflamed it.
She moaned as her finger entered her creamy
depth.. Unable to stop herself, she started pumping
her fingers in and out.. She groaned and pumped
faster and harder, moaning and whimpering under the
spray of water.
“Oh, God…” She moaned as her vagina’s muscles
tightened around her fingers. She bit her lip as her
body started to shake. She closed her eyes and
gripped the railing with her free hand, feeling her
body respond to the vibrations of climax. When she
squeezed her thighs together, the feeling became
more intense. Her chest was heaving slightly, her
breasts rising and falling as her hips rocked back and
forth.
Eyes closed and lips slightly parted, she tilted her
head back farther and moaned a little louder. How
she wished a man were here, slipping his hands down
to her ass and pulling her to his hard hips, grinding his
shaft against her. Orgasm came without warning, a
wave of pleasure beyond all control. A little cry
bubbled up out of her throat.
Sated, she leaned weakly against the wall of the
shower. The water had gone cold, and she hadn’t
even noticed. Was it pathetic she was masturbating in
the shower all by herself when a desirable man waited
outside her door?
I can’t sleep with a strange man, she blushed.
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64
God, no telling where he’s been, who he’s slept with.
Shaking her head, she put having sex with Jake
out of her head. It wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be
reasonable. It wouldn’t be Melanie.
“God,” she whispered. “I’m so tired of me.”
Twisting the cap off the shampoo, she dumped its
contents on her head and finished her washing.
Turning off the water, she pushed aside the
shower curtain, snagged a towel and dried the water
off her body. Her panties were still wet, but she put
them on anyway. The heat of her body would dry the
thin nylon in a few minutes. Besides, it wasn’t
uncomfortable to have a wet crotch against her. She
needed a little cooling off down there. She slipped
into her skirt then put on her blouse, foregoing her
bra. Rather than tucking it in her skirt, she knotted it
around her flat belly in a more casual summer style.
She surveyed her image in the mirror, combing
her hair back, letting it part naturally and hang loose
around her shoulders. Rather than wear a lot of makeup, she decided on a little eye shadow, mascara and
lipstick. Her cheeks were already more than red from
being under the scorching sun, so she certainly had no
need of blush. She didn’t look lovely, but she didn’t
look butt-ugly, either. She looked like a woman trying
to make the best of a bad situation.
When she exited the bathroom, the look on Jake’s
face said she looked quite fine. His eyes skimmed her
from head to foot, pausing a moment on her breasts,
the bead hard tips of her nipples poking through the
white material, her bare slice of belly, then her
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65
slender hips. A tiny flicker of sensation coiled through
her, a sweet ache mingling with the pride she could
actually have such an arousing effect on him.
He wants me... She savored the tingle. I can tell
by the way his eyes caress my body, he’s thinking
about us together… Instead of being embarrassed he
found her attractive, she discovered there was a
certain excitement to be savored in the knowledge
she was a desirable and sexual woman in his eyes.
His eyes widened. A small smile touched his
mouth. “You clean up nice,” he said by way of a
compliment..
She made a fluttery gesture with her hands. “I can
be nicer,” she said with a laugh. “But this is all I have
to work with.”
“It’s enough.” Stretching like a lazy cat, he lifted
himself off the bed and stripped off his t-shirt in one
smooth motion. His muscles rippled like a snake
skimming over the desert sand, bringing a whole new
set of warm feelings to her body. In the perimeters of
the small room, he was standing far too close to her.
She felt dizzy from the awareness of him, from her
wretched over-responsiveness to his very maleness,
and it galled her she seemed completely unable to
control her body’s physical compulsions. She wanted
to edge closer to him, put her hands on him and
explore his chest, his arms, his strong thighs…
She made a soft little sound of appreciation but
quickly caught herself and stepped out of his path. It
was hell to fight her attraction, to remind herself she
would pay over and over again in guilt if she gave in
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66
and had sex with a strange man.
“Your turn for the shower,” she quipped lightly,
forcing her eyes off him and onto the television. She
reached for the remote control and began to flip the
channels, pretending all the while her attention was
on the screen and not the hot man standing just a few
feet away.
He dug in his knapsack and pulled out a small
shaving kit. “I won’t be long.”
“Okay. But I’ll warn you now it’s cold.”
“You were in there long enough, so I wasn’t
expecting any hot water.” When he went into the
bathroom, he didn’t close the door behind him.
“There’s room in here for two,” he said, giving
her a wicked grin. “You could always make things
more interesting by joining me.”
“Join you?” She pretended to scoff. “I don’t even
know you.”
She gave a tiny shiver. Not because the found the
idea repulsive, but because she found it intriguing.
Surely her body wouldn’t have reacted to him so
strongly if there had been other men in her life. Every
breath she took only reinforced her physical and
emotional awareness of him. She could actually feel
her own burning need for him deep inside her body.
Her breasts suddenly felt heavy and tender. She
wanted him to come into the bedroom, press her back
onto the bed, spread her legs…
She knew immediately he’d seen what was in her
eyes, because she saw the recognition of it flash
within his own.
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He walked into the bedroom, unbuttoning the top
of his jeans. “It would be a good way to get to know
me, don’t you think?” Before she could stop him, he
slid his fingers around to the nape of her neck, his
thumb brushing the flushed heat of her cheek, before
barely touching the quivering left corner of her
mouth.
Melanie tried to pull away, turn her head. “No,
Jake…no,” she protested huskily. “I don’t want this.”
But she knew it was a lie. There was nothing more she
wanted than the intimacy of his strong arms around
her, his body moving against hers, his erect cock
rubbing against her moist slit.
She was still trying to helplessly protest when he
started to kiss her, slowly at first, both his hands now
cupping her face. The kiss was slow and lingering, as
he tasted the texture of her lips, his tongue caressing
their soft outline before pushing deeper into her
mouth. For a moment, the gap between them
threatened to completely close. Then, she was
pushing him away, gasping.
“I’m sorry,” she said hastily. “I can’t.” She drew a
deep breath, rubbing at her mouth as though trying to
erase the memory of this kiss.
Instead of being angry, he drew back with a laugh,
unabashed and unoffended. “Suit yourself. The offer
is always on the table.” Giving her a quick wink, he
sauntered back into the bathroom. There, he stripped
down to his bare ass without a hint of embarrassment.
Though she was trying hard to keep her cool and
not gasp aloud, Melanie couldn’t help noticing he
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wore no underwear. His ass was tight, hard and round.
Those firm cheeks were like an apple she’d love to
bite into. Flicking aside the shower curtain, he turned
on the water.
She found the sight of his naked body unnerving,
but not frightening, as if she feared he might attack
her. She didn’t feel he would force himself on her but
learning he wanted her was increasing her own need,
her own desires. The wave of heat suffusing her told
its own story.
Blushing furiously red as her heart hammered in
her chest, Melanie threw her hands up in front of her
eyes, dipping her head so he couldn’t see the
betraying emotions in her eyes, the ones screaming
she’d be happy to rip off her own clothes again and
join him.
Jake stepped under the water and pulled the
curtain closed. As it was clear plastic, she could still
see his every tantalizing move. Watching him wash
caused an odd weakening sensation in her stomach.
If I suited myself, she thought, I would be right in
there with him.
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Chapter Nine
The diner wasn’t the nicest place she’d ever been
in, but it looked clean. Whether by accident or
design, it seemed to be echoing a late-fifties motif,
complete with slide-in booths, a counter with stools,
and a huge mural of James Dean and Elvis armwrestling over Marilyn Monroe. As she and Jake slid
into a booth, a waitress dressed in jeans and a blueand-white-checkered blouse came over and set down
two glasses of ice water and a couple of plasticcoated menus with tattered edges.
Melanie immediately reached for the water.
“God, that tastes wonderful.”
“Anything else to drink?” The waitress tapped her
pencil against her pad.
“Tea,” Jake said.
“You?” The waitress asked Melanie.
“Same thing.”
The waitress, whose nametag read 'Susie', nodded.
“I’ll get your drinks while you look at the menus.” She
sauntered off, stopping to pick up some dirty dishes at
another table.
Melanie flipped open her menu. “Well, since I’m
buying, pick whatever you want.”
“Big spender, huh?”
“Oh, the biggest.”
Jake opened his own menu. “Let’s see what they
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have here.”
Glancing down at her menu, Melanie couldn’t help
sneaking a look at Jake as he read his. After the
shower, he’d shaved, getting rid of his facial hair and
combing his own long hair back into a ponytail
gathered at the nape of his neck. His face seemed so
much more sharply sculpted now, so much harder,
more strikingly masculine.
Though he’d dressed in the same jeans, he’d put
on a clean black t-shirt and a faded denim jacket. He
looked good. Damn good. The slight movements of his
body kept attracting her attention, her eyes flickering
helplessly toward him as though he were a magnet she
could not resist. She was so tempted to rub her leg
against his, slip off her sandal, and work her toes up
toward his crotch.
And that kiss he’d given her. God, the allconsuming kiss … the kind that practically made a
woman come in her panties. She wanted to taste his
lips again—and more. Just being with him even now
ignited a hunger going past the physical, straight into
the core of her being.
The waitress returned, breaking her stream of
thought as she set down two large glasses of iced tea,
complete with wedges of lemon.. She was suddenly
burning hot. Reaching for her iced tea, she took a
hasty sip. She missed her mouth, and a splash of liquid
went down her chin to dribble on her blouse.
“Oh, damn!” she cursed, snatching up a napkin
and scrubbing at her breasts.
“Having a little trouble finding your mouth?” Jake
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teased, taking a sip of his own beverage. He managed
not to spill his.
She tossed the rumpled napkin on the table.
“Apparently I am having all kinds of trouble today.
Talk about everything that can go wrong going wrong.
This hasn’t been my day at all.”
“Could be worse. You could still be sitting on the
highway waiting for a ride.”
She had to smile. “Yeah, guess so.” She tired
another drink and managed to hit her mouth.
“Ready to order?” the waitress broke in.
Jake glanced at his menu. “Steak and home fries,
and make sure the cow is dead.”
The waitress grinned and scribbled on her pad.
“Well done.”
“Very well done.”
She looked to Melanie. “You?”
Too distracted by Jake to have looked closely at
the menu, Melanie hastily skimmed the selections. As
she suspected, they were loaded with waist-busting,
calorie-laden selections typical to the southwestern
area; steaks, hamburgers, Mexican food. Even the
chicken dishes were swimming in oil, and the
appetizers were all deep-fried. She looked in vain for
salad selections and came up with only the ‘garden
salad’ consisting of nothing more than lettuce, a few
slices of tomato and cucumbers with carrot shavings
and croutons. The dressings available were French,
Ranch, or Bleu Cheese.
“Um, is this all you have for salads?”
Susie’s head went up and down. “That’s it.”
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Melanie sighed. She was so hungry and had
entertained visions of a baked chicken breast with a
side of steamed veggies. “I might have the salad.
There’s not really much to choose from…”
“Is that all?” Jake asked with a laugh. “What the
matter? Watching your figure?”
“Of course I am.”
He eyed her. “Trust me. You got nothing there in
the way of fat. Why don’t you have some real food? A
good piece of meat might do you some good. Put some
iron in your blood and color in your cheeks.”
“I try to eat healthy food not junk.”
He pulled a face reflecting disgust. “I guess if you
ate it, your kind would go and barf it up anyway.”
She bristled, a frown marring the smoothness of
her forehead. “I don’t have an eating disorder. What
do you mean, my kind?”
“Oh, you know, you rich bitches with your fake
tan, capped teeth, and bleached hair. I bet your tits
are as false as your eyelashes.”
“My breasts,” she shot back frostily, “are real.”
She pointed to her breasts, accentuating the fact she
was braless. “And they are all mine.” She narrowed
her eyes and looked him up and down. “And what
about you, Mister Tattoo King?”
Instead of taking offense, he laughed and sipped
his beer. “Point taken. What I was trying to say in my
crude way was you don’t have to worry about
watching your waistline.”
Feeling the tension of the day settling into her
neck and shoulders, Melanie reached up to rub at the
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skin at her nape, which was tender from the sun’s
scorching. She hoped her skin wouldn’t start to peel in
a couple of days.
“Thanks. I’m sorry I snapped at you.”
“No problem..” He offered a self-effacing grin.
“I’ve been called worse things.”
She laughed. “And I get called a spoiled country
club bitch every day.” She looked to the waitress, still
waiting patiently. “You know what? Scratch the salad
and bring me a double bacon cheeseburger, fries, and
a chocolate milkshake. Mustard, mayonnaise, and
ketchup.”
Nodding, the waitress sauntered off to get the
food.
“Much better,” he approved. “I like to see a
woman eat.”
She giggled like a guilty child. “Phil would just die
if he saw me eating a hamburger in a diner.”
His left eyebrow went up a notch. “Phil?”
She reached out and pulled the wine cooler close,
wrapping both her hands around the cool glass. “My
husband...ah, my ex-husband.”
“Not the hamburger-and-cheap-diner kind of
guy?”
She grimaced. “Hardly. He’s more the thousanddollar-suit-and-Palm-Pilot kind of guy.”
“So you two split up?”
“Our divorce was final this week as a matter of
fact.” She turned the spotlight back on him. “You
married?”
“To my bike and the road.” He fiddled with his
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napkin. “Seriously, no wife, no kids, not even a dog. I
like to be free to go where ever I want when I want.”
“Must be nice.”
“It is, most days.” There was something wistful in
his voice.
“Ever get lonely?”
“If I do, I find someone to fix it. What about you?
Got kids?”
She shook her head. “No kids. Well, no kids unless
you count his little girlfriend, Tammi. She’s only
twenty-one. How could I compete?” She paused, her
eyes filling with tears when she remembered how
she’d felt when Phil had announced he wanted the
divorce. How badly she’d wanted to change his mind,
until he’d come back to pick up the last of the things
he’d left behind…
She started to tremble but quickly checked the
bad memories at the door in her brain. In a heartstopping, gut surging moment of awareness, she
realized how stunted and stale her life had become.
Getting stuck in the middle of the desert was the
biggest adventure she’d had in years. And, far from
hating every minute, she was surprised to realize she
was, indeed, enjoying it.
From the moment Jake had pulled up, she’d been
attracted to him. And sitting her ass on his
motorcycle—wow! She loved the vibrations the huge
machine gave off, the feeling of fear fluttering in her
heart as she watched the black highway being eaten
up. It was somewhat frightening but also exhilarating
to know the only thing keeping her from smacking into
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the asphalt was the craftsmanship of the motorcycle
and the skill of the driver. During their ride into town,
she’d loved the feeling of danger almost as much as
she’d relished the feel of her arms around his chest.
I want to feel that again, she thought. I want to
feel him again.
“Why would you feel you had to compete?” he
asked quietly.
His question jarred her erotic introspection,
bringing her firmly back to earth. It was a question
Melanie had never dared to ask herself. Initially, when
Phillip had told her that there was another woman in
his life, she’d refused to accept that divorce was
exactly where their relationship had been heading for
years. Now that she’d the time to consider it, she was
beginning to realize she’d hung on to a bad marriage
because deep down inside she was afraid of growing
old and ill with no mate beside her.
“Because I didn’t want to be alone,” she
admitted, swallowing hard. She couldn’t go on. Her
throat was thick with the ache to cry.
He gave her a long, penetrating look. “Trust me.
You won’t be alone long.”
She forced herself to swallow the ache. Why was
she letting this stranger get so close anyway? He’d
probably ride off down the road in a few hours, and
she’d never see him again. “I wish that were true.”
“I think it will be.”
The food arrived, giving her a chance to recover
her composure as they dug into their meals. Her
burger was practically the size of the plate. She
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picked it up with both hands, taking a hearty bite.
Though it might be a little diner in a dead-end town,
the cook made the best burger she’d ever tasted in
her life. There were two patties, heaped with bacon,
melted cheese, tomatoes, and onions. The bun was
lightly toasted, greasy as hell, but she had no problem
swallowing it. She took a second bite and then a third.
“God, that’s so good,” she enthused, dumping
ketchup on her fries and salting them. She hadn’t
eaten like this since she was a teenager, and it felt
great to just let go and eat what she wanted, knowing
there would be no subtle shake of the head and
knitted brow across the table. She gobbled down a
French fry. You never realize you are a prisoner until
you’re free.
“See? I told you some good food would make you
feel better.” Jake laughed and cut into his steak. It
was almost burnt black and, to him, seemed perfect.
He was putting away the food like a stevedore. It was
clear he relished his meal. Watching him eat, Melanie
had to wonder if he made love with the same
intensity.
“Jake,” she asked, “after dinner, do you think we
could take a ride?” The words popped out of her
mouth before she could stop them.
Why in the world did I just ask that? she started
to silently rail against herself then stopped.
Excitement and adventure had been missing from her
life for a long time. It was time to be daring, have a
little fun.
He chewed his food slowly then swallowed before
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answering. “We could. Any place you have in mind?”
She gave a shy grin and sucked at her milkshake
through the long straw. “Well, I was on my way to see
the caverns in Carlsbad... But since I had this little
detour, maybe there’s something else to see. I hear
the desert is beautiful by night.”
One corner of his mouth quirked as he watched
her lick a bit of chocolate off her lips. “I think I can
show you a few sights.”
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Chapter Ten
Like most people, Melanie thought of the desert
as being a dry, arid, and harsh land. The dusky colors,
dusty air, and blazing hot temperatures were the
images most people often conjured when thinking of
the wide-open spaces. At night, however, the desert
changed. Temperatures cooled, light breezes blew,
and the animals taking refuge from the heat came to
life. The sandy flats and rocky hillsides were
breathtaking under the moon’s clear light, and the
black velvet sky seemed to stretch on forever, an
endless vista as vast as the land.
She wasn’t sure how far they’d ridden when Jake
pulled his motorcycle to a stop. Miles back he’d left
the main highway, navigating onto a dirt road until
there was nothing to be seen but miles of empty land.
He killed the engine and lights, and they sat for a
minute, listening to the sounds of the gentle wind.
The silence was loudest of all. There was no sound of
cars or any other city noise. The air was crisp, dry and
clean, the wind scouring the ground until not a stray
grain of sand remained.
Reluctant to unwrap her arms from around his
chest, Melanie sleepily raised her head. “Where are
we?”
“Nowhere,” he answered, slipping out of her arms
and swinging his leg over the bike. “This is the sights
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out here. Miles and miles of nothing.”
Inner thighs still pulsing from the intense
vibrations of the motorcycle, Melanie slid off the
leather seat. Her legs were a little shaky, and she
stumbled, almost falling down as an agonizing cramp
shot through her calf. Only Jake’s strong hand on her
arm saved her from a tumble.
“Careful,” he warned, his voice husky. “The
ground’s a little rocky here.”
She gave a wan smile and bent down to massage
her leg. “Leg’s a little cramped, that’s all.”
Standing, she came face to face with him,
realizing too late her body was far too close to his.
Suddenly, he was looking at her, searching her eyes so
intently she had to look away, unable to sustain the
scrutiny, especially when his gaze dropped to her
mouth and lingered there.
Her tender lips burned, felt so terribly dry she had
to lick them. “What are you looking at?”
“You. The moonlight shining in your eyes.”
His hand touched her face, cupping it gently, his
fingers skimming her skin before sliding into her hair,
supporting the weight of her head when his mouth
captured hers. At first the warm suckle of his mouth
was restrained, cautious, and reminiscent of the first
time he’d kissed her. Then he seemed to lose control,
kissing her harder, his tongue probing her mouth as his
own self-control was swept aside.
Without intending to, she pressed her body
against his. A sweet ache bloomed in her chest. The
sensation of his lips against her was so acutely
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heightened Melanie actually felt her response to it
down inside her core—a familiar tensing of certain
muscles, an awareness that a kiss, a little stroke
would not be enough to sate her desire for this man.
“Melanie, I want you.” The sound he made as he
said her name thrilled through her. It needed no
translations nor explanation. Its message was as clear
as the fierce hardening of his cock against the front of
his jeans. She was lost in the sensations, her mind
racing as her lips moved against his. His other hand
moved around her waist, pulling her closer to him as
his tongue traced her bottom lip. His hands were
warm against her bare skin.
Just as suddenly as their kiss began, she
regretfully ended it as her mind clicked back to
reality. She pulled back from him, her breathing
slightly ragged.
“Jake, no…I can’t.” Her hands trembled as they
slid down his arms, to his broad chest, pushing him
away.
He tensed abruptly at her rejection. “Why not?”
Because I’m a scuzzy biker and you’re—”
“Biker chic?” she finished with a laugh. “No, no.
It’s not that at all.”
A strange flicker of emotion crossed his face.
“What then?”
Melanie struggled against the lump building in her
throat, threatening to cut off her air. She twisted in
his grasp, trying to pull away from him, escape the
masculine heat of his body, but the motorcycle behind
her prevented her complete escape.
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“I—I’ve only been with one man in my life,” she
admitted, feeling raw inside. “I’ve never had sex with
anyone but my husband.” A vein throbbed in her neck
and he touched it with his fingertips, as though
measuring the furious racing of her pulse. Would it
turn him off?
He hesitated. His teeth were set, a muscle jerking
in his jaw. “And you think that matters to me?”
Too embarrassed to answer, she lowered her
head, giving a little nod.
Jake’s hand slid under her shin, lifting her head,
forcing her to face him. “I think that’s awesome
you’ve only been with one man,” he said gently. “It’s
so rare to meet a woman who was faithful to her
vows.” He was looking at her as he spoke, and for
some reason, his words made her ache and tremble
with a longing she could feel clear to her toes.
“I don’t want to think I’ll only have one lover,”
she breathed, “but I don’t want you to think I’d make
love to the first man who came along.”
“What if I told you I don’t try to have sex with
every woman I rescue off the highway?” he responded
evenly. “What if I told you I only make love to women
who attract me, and those are few and far between?”
“I’d say it’s a good thing,” she said, voice husky
with need.
He moved against her, pressing her body against
the seat of the Harley. “Me, too,” he agreed, touching
her as though his hands knew her body already; knew
how to touch her, pleasure her.
His lips trailed down her long neck, kissing and
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nibbling her soft flesh. As his lips brushed her skin, his
expert fingers worked the buttons of her blouse. He
peeled back the material to expose her bare breasts.
“All yours, huh?”
“Yeah.”
Melanie sucked in her breath as he began to
fondle her nipples. They were hard and swollen, ready
for the feel of his mouth. His hands cupped her
breasts, squeezing them softly. She closed her eyes,
relishing the feel of his callused hands against her soft
skin. Dipping his head, he used the tip of his tongue to
lightly trace the dusky pink circle of her erect nipple.
Her response was immediate and passionate,
fingers sliding to the nape of his neck as she guided
his mouth to the other breast. Her eyes were closed,
lips half parted.
“That feels so good.”
“It’ll feel a whole lot better in a minute.” Jake
nuzzled her other nipple, sucking it into his mouth. He
began to roll her recently abandoned nipple between
his thumb and forefinger. Her fingers tugged harder
on his hair as he paid her left nipple the same
attention. Somehow, she didn’t know how, one of his
hands found the zipper on her skirt, tugging it open.
The next thing she knew, it was pooling around her
waist as he slid it from her hips. Her little white
panties were all she had on.
Melanie felt his hands moving over her hips.
Looking down, she watched his face as he knelt on the
ground and slid the fabric over her ass and down her
legs. His hot breath against her skin made her moan,
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and sheer excitement built inside.. She wanted to
grab the back of his head and pull his face against her
pussy, but she controlled herself. Instead, she began
to rub her breasts, teasing her nipples with the tips of
her fingers.
Reaching up, Jake ran his hands between her legs,
higher, toward the valley between her thighs. Unlike
the desert around her, her cunt was moist with the
juices of her growing desire. She drew in a sharp
breath when he ran his finger up her swollen flesh.
Her body shook as she pushed back, causing his finger
to slip slightly inside. Her heart pounded with hard,
driving beats within her chest when his finger moved
deeper through the slick folds. Melanie cried out, her
fingers clenching his shoulders.
Too far gone to stop what he was doing to her
body, she gave herself wholly to the incredible
sensations he was awakening in her body. She could
hardly believe she was standing butt naked in the
night desert, leaning against a motorcycle as a biker
gave her oral sex. She felt wicked … and sexy. What
was happening now was magical and wonderful. She
realized and accepted she wasn’t a married woman
any longer, ruled by the expectations and restraints of
her husband. She was a single woman, free to make
her own decisions. Giving in to her attraction to Jake
now, showing how much she wanted and needed him
would hurt no one. What was happening was between
the two of them and need not concern anyone else.
“I want this to happen,” she said before she could
lose her newly found courage.
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“I intend for it to,” came his brash reply.
With his forehead against her belly, Jake’s tongue
snaked out and licked her pussy, his hand rising to
part her flesh with his fingers, exposing her pulsing
clit. Melanie gasped, but moved her feet farther apart
as she started grinding against his face. She moved
back and forth slowly, enjoying the feel of his tongue
stabbing inside of her. When his tongue circled her
swollen button, she cried out like one of the night
animals in heat. With his hands on her ass cheeks, he
let his tongue slide up until her clit was between his
lips. He sucked it into his mouth, his tongue flicking
hard against the throbbing nub.
Clenching her eyes shut as orgasm overtook her,
Melanie pushed down, rubbing against his face, his
nose rubbing against her slit. Her climax was fierce, a
powerful explosion of sensations that left her weak
and feeling dizzy, clinging to Jake as her body shook
with the wonderful aftermath.
He stood, kissing her, and she tasted her own
sweet juices on his lips. His hands moved to her waist,
and with no effort at all, he was lifting her off her
feet and setting her down on the seat of the bike so
she was facing its rear. He straddled it himself, and
they were face to face, her thighs sprawling open.
“Oh my God.” She laughed, wriggling her bare
butt against the cool leather. “What are you doing?”
“Just hang on for the ride.”
Catching the waist of his T-shirt, he lifted it over
his head, baring his chest. His skin glowed under the
moon’s light, the tattoos etched into his flesh seeming
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to echo the symbols long ago Indians had carved onto
the bare desert ground. Strange sensations thrilled
through her stomach at the sight of his bare torso.
Unable to resist, she reached out to touch his chest.
His entire torso was covered with the tattoo of a
black-robed Grim Reaper. Scythe in one hand, Death
held a naked woman draped over his arm. With the
tips of her fingers, she traced the Reaper’s blade
inked above one dusky flat nipple. His arms and back
were also covers with skulls, demons, and other grisly
images.
His skin seemed to ripple under her fingers.
Feeling his tension, she tentatively traced his nipple.
He drew in a sharp breath. His hand touched her
thigh, gently stroking. She laughed and leaned
forward, touching her lips to his chest, tracing some
of the lines of the naked woman with her tongue,
tasting the salty tang of his skin. Against her palm his
heart raced frantically.
“Damn.” His hands slid into her tousled hair, and
he held her slightly away from him, looking into her
eyes. Desire burned in his gaze, his response to her
touch immediate. She could see his cock straining
hard against his jeans, waiting for its freedom.
“Feel good?” Her hands moved to his thighs,
moving up his jeans to the vee of his crotch. She
kneaded his skin under the tough material, digging her
fingernails suggestively into his flesh. She heard him
moan, the sound thrilling her. She heard him catch his
breath next, felt the heat radiating from his body.
“Oh, yeah.” He grinned and guided her hands to
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the grips on the handlebars, than ran his hands over
her hips and down her thighs, propping her feet on
the footrests. Just like in a pair of stirrups in the
gynecologist’s office, she was spread open for his
examination. “But you feel a whole hell of a lot
better.”
Leaning forward, his lips trailed down her neck,
kissing here and nibbling there. Going lower, he
nuzzled a nipple briefly before kissing the valley
between her breasts, letting her flesh absorb the
sensations of his touch. Hand easing between her legs,
he slowly pressed the tips of his finger into her
softness. He circled her most sensitive flesh, teasing
her.
Melanie gasped and pushed back. A little whimper
escaped her throat. Anything to ease the aching need
inside..
Jake entered her with two fingers, slipping in and
out as his thumb stroked her clit. His free hand went
to the front of his pants, undoing the button at his
waist and bringing his zipper down. His cock surged
free, the head purple and swollen. He stroked himself
even as he pleasured her.
Melanie opened her eyes and glanced down. It was
an incredibly sexual sight to see—one of his hand
between her legs, even as he was stroking his penis.
Her grip on the handlebars tightened.
“Oh, God, Jake,” she gasped. “I’m about to come
again.”
“Not yet, baby.” Hands moving to her hips, he
pushed forward, impaling her.
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She heard him moan, felt the warmth of his hands
on her thighs, felt the deliciously wanton friction of
his skin against hers.
Jake held her hips, moving his in a slow back and
forth motion... “You’re so tight.” He pumped harder.
“Like taking a virgin.”
Supporting her weight on the handlebars, Melanie
braced her feet against the footrests. She ground her
hips against his, her every downward motion meeting
his powerful upward one, each becoming harder and
more intense. A low moan slipped through her lips
when she tossed her head back and closed her eyes.
She felt so free, so wild, so naturally female. Her
body tensed, feeling the waves of sheer gratification
wash over her.
Her pussy started to ripple around his penis, and
she knew his own release was close. She felt Jake’s
nails dig into her thighs as his whole body shook, a
deep primal grunt rising up in his throat. Cock pulsing,
his body tensed, trembling when he released his seed
deep inside her.
Time seemed to cease. There was only the sky,
the desert, and two people enjoying the primitive act
of joining their bodies in a satisfying physical union
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88
Chapter Eleven
Back at the motel, Melanie reluctantly climbed off
the huge motorcycle. Head spinning, body sated but
hardly satisfied, she wasn’t ready for their time
together to end. But like Cinderella attending the
ball, the midnight hour had struck, and the party had
come to its end. Unlike Cinderella, her coach was a
beat up motorcycle.
Jake accompanied her to her room. There was
hardly any danger she would be attacked. The town
rolled up the sidewalks at sundown. A coyote howled
in the distance, a reminder the desert was still as wild
and untamed as the man striding beside her.
Finding her room key, Melanie’s hands shook as
she tried to slide it into the lock. She couldn’t believe
she’d just had incredible sex with a complete
stranger. This was the only one-night stand she’d ever
had in her life.
Jake plucked the key from her hand. He opened
the door with the air of a man who’d opened a
thousand others just like it. “Returned safe and
sound.” He smiled, a lazy grin penetrating straight to
the center of her core. Instead of being sated, it only
served to kindle more sparks between them.
She suppressed a frown. How many hotel rooms
had he stayed in before, and how many other women
had welcomed him into their arms? Would there be
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89
another tomorrow, another lonely confused woman
eager to sate her carnal appetites with the burly
biker? It was inevitable Jake would go on down the
road. That was his way, what he’d always done. She
doubted he ever bothered looking back.
Still, Melanie wasn’t ready to let him go. The
night wasn’t over.
She slipped under the threshold, unsure of what
she wanted to say, or do, next. She wanted him again,
but couldn’t spit out the words.
He tossed her the key. “I guess this is where we
say goodnight.”
Melanie caught it. Feigning nonchalance, she
licked dry lips. Jake’s big body filled the doorway. He
placed his hands on either side, bracketing the
doorway. Framed by the halo of the light outside, he
stood like a lion hovering over freshly killed prey.
Anyone who didn’t know him would think him a
dangerous man.
The motorcycle, the tattoos, fierce weather
beaten face, Jake Marrs was a man who belonged to
the road. He wasn’t the kind to be tamed by the idea
of home and hearth. He craved the freedom of the
open highway, no strings attached. In another
moment he’d be gone, disappearing like a mirage
swallowed by shifting desert sands, nothing more than
an ache between her thighs.
“Stay.” The word slipped past her lips before she
even thought to say it. Her voice was low, husky with
sated desire—and hinting she’d welcome more of the
same.
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90
He gave her a long, hard look. “That really what
you want?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
Jake lifted an eyebrow. “How long?”
Melanie wanted to say forever. She twirled the
key around her finger. “It’s mine till eleven tomorrow
morning.” She cocked her head toward the bed.
“Let’s give them a reason to change those sheets.”
“You know I’m not the kind of man to hang
around?”
She swallowed the limp in her throat. She felt a
twinge go all the way from crotch to toes when she
looked up at him and knew what her answer had to
be. A twinge of pain ripped through her heart, but she
refused to let it deter her. Of course, she understood.
He had his way of life, and she’d hers. She did not,
could not, say the words she wanted.
“No strings.”
A slow lazy grin spilt his fine lips. “I think I could
be persuaded to hang around.”
She gulped, trembling. “How?”
“Like this.”
Jake’s big paw of a hand swept out, catching her
under the chin. Tilting back her head, he bent, slow
and certain in his control. His mouth covered hers,
the beginning of a kiss long and deep. Melanie knew
then this wasn’t going to be just any one-night stand.
The fierceness of his kiss said he was tired of those
long lonely stretches of asphalt, of the dangerous
outlaw life. He was willing to be persuaded.
And she was determined to be the woman who did
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91
the job.
Their lips had barely parted before Jake slipped
his hands down to her waist and pulled her against
him. Like a cat, he started rubbing sinuously against
her to increase the sensations, grinding his hips
against hers.
His gaze ranged over her face. “I’m not used to
hanging around,” he confessed.
She offered her lips again. When his mouth settled
on hers, she closed her eyes. Her whole body was
longing to melt into his, but he was tormenting her,
savoring the taste and feel of her as though his only
purpose were to pleasure her.
“Maybe you could get used to it,” she murmured
when he pulled away.
“Maybe.” He lifted his tight t-shirt over his head,
revealing his tattoos in all their glory. Each was as
unique and individual as the man who wore them, and
she couldn’t imagine him without them. It had taken a
lot of time—and pain—to get them inked into his flesh.
She wondered if he regretted them or wished he’d
done things differently. She pushed the thought away.
Right now they were exactly who they were
supposed to be, exactly where fate had placed them.
She wasn’t an insecure divorcee, and he wasn’t a
worthless road rat. They were two people who desired
each other and decided to take advantage of the fact.
Whether it was right or wrong, she didn’t care. She
was going to seize the moment and enjoy it.
Lifting her off her feet, Jake kicked the door shut
behind them. Two steps and they tumbled to the bed.
Biker Chic
92
His body covered hers. She felt the tough denim of his
jeans chafe the tender flesh between her thighs. Her
cry of delight was silenced by the crush of his lips, the
sweep of his tongue conquering hers.
Melanie ran her palms over his hard back,
relishing anew the sinewy muscle beneath her hands.
Jake had the body of a man who fought and fucked
with equal passion.
He groaned. He shifted his hips so she could feel
his erection straining for freedom against his tight
jeans. Liquid heat pooled inside her, trickling
between her thighs. The crotch of her panties was
wet with her juices, her neediness.
Melanie whimpered. Somehow she found the
strength to separate their lips. He laughed,
anticipating fulfilling her need and his own.
“Too late to change your mind, honey.” His voice
was gravel on silk.
“Not a chance.” Breath rasping in shallow pants,
her moistness increased. “I just want you out of those
clothes.”
“You do, eh?” Jake moved a hand between their
bodies. He cupped her mound through her panties,
rubbing her clit up and down with his middle finger.
Melanie released a slow agonized groan. The labia
around her slit were literally pulsing in time with the
soft rhythm of his strokes. She relished the primal
throb even as she wanted the ache to ease. Most of
all, she never wanted it to end.
“Slow down, babe. We’ll get there..” Stretching
out beside her, Jake propped himself up on an elbow.
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93
Whereas she’s wanted to doff the duds and do the
deed, it was clear he wanted to take things slower,
draw out the agony.
Gaze never leaving hers, he plucked apart the
knot at her belly. When it was undone, he started to
undo each button. The fine white fabric did little to
conceal the duskiness of her pink nipples, swollen and
hard, aching for the relief of his lips. With a knowing
smile, he inched the material off her left breast,
exposing a pink tip.
Her gut clenched in anticipation. He surprised her
by tracing her lips with one finger, slipping it inside
her mouth. “Suck it.”
Melanie sucked, wrapping her tongue around his
firm index finger. Later she hoped to be wrapping her
lips around something larger.
Jake drew his finger away. He brushed the wet tip
over the tight peak he’d exposed, tracing a moist path
on the aureole. The sensation of wet against her dry
skin was spellbinding. She felt the pull of lust straight
down to her toes.
He dipped his head for a taste, sucking the hard
bead into his mouth. He flicked and teased the tip
until she slid her hands into his long hair. “Oh, God,
I’m dying to come.” She guided his lips to her right
nipple. “Do the other one. Harder.”
Jake complied, tracing the tip. When she moaned
and closed her eyes, he nipped, bringing her eyes
back open. She giggled as he soothed away the brief
ache with more long hard licks.
“I never know what’s next.”
Biker Chic
94
“You’ll find out.” He bit again then rolled the
turgid tip between thumb and forefinger. Rolling over,
he reached for the ice bucket she’d placed on the bed
table... Most of the ice had melted hours ago, but a
few cubes still floated in the chilly water. That was
exactly what he wanted. Plucking a piece out, he
rubbed it over her nipples, making them even harder,
more sensitive to his touch. The ice vanished, trickling
over her skin, down her belly and into the top of her
skirt.
She felt familiar tension hardening her muscles,
caught the familiar small sound she made in the back
of her throat when she was aroused.
“Does that feel good, Melanie?” He dipped his
head for another taste. His tongue teased the beadhard tip, bringing a welcome warmth to chase away
the chill..
“Oh, yes.”
“Right now I'm thinking about pushing that tight
skirt up and bending you over this bed. When your
bare ass is sticking out, I can't help but think how
much you’d like me to give it a couple of hard swats.”
She gave a nervous laugh. Domination wasn’t
exactly her thing, but the idea was more than a little
intriguing. “You wouldn’t.”
“Try me.”
Jake’s hands moved over her flat belly, giving her
a little tummy rub before he expertly turned her over
onto her stomach. Pulling her to her knees, he pushed
her skirt up around her hips before sticking his thumbs
in the waistband of her panties and tugging them
Devyn Quinn
95
down.
Melanie closed her eyes, relishing the arrival of
his mouth. To her surprise, the flat of his hand came
down right across her exposed flesh.
The pain was sharp and absolutely shocking,
increasing her excitement ten fold. She could imagine
the print of his hand outlined on her bare butt and
that turned her on even more. Absolutely vanilla in
her sex life with her ex-husband, she was now eager
to explore sexual kinks she’d formerly rebuffed.
Somehow she hadn’t trusted Phil. He was too eager to
be cruel. She had the feeling Jake wouldn’t hurt her.
It was a leap of faith to trust a stranger. She
trusted him and leapt.
He smacked her rear again. “You like being a bad
girl?”
Melanie bit her lip. “Yes,” she threw out in a
mock challenge. “Break me if you dare.”
A slow smile turned up the corners of his mouth.
“You’re just dying for me to fuck you again.” He gave
her another smack across the ass.
She shivered. The addition of pain with her
pleasure was a cloying mix. She wasn’t sure if she
liked such sexual play or not. Before she could decide,
Jake’s probing finger moved between her nether lips.
He was touching her with hands that knew a woman’s
body, and she had no defense against that. Her desire
was as much of a bond, as much so as if he had tied
her spread-eagled to the bed. Her clit was swollen
and moist. She had to control herself from coming
right on the spot when he probed her depths.
Biker Chic
96
Delicious shivers shimmied up her spine. She
choked down a giggle. “Yes.”
“Like this?”
Jake’s hand disappeared. When it returned, she
felt a sliver of ice pressing against her clit. The
sensation of cold colliding with her own steam nearly
sent her through the ceiling. She’d never imagined ice
could be used in such an imaginative and erotic way.
Mingling with her own juices, the ice melted, tricking
down the inside of her thighs.
Melanie gasped, a long primal sound escaping
from deep within her throat. “That feels so good!”
Warm sensations worked their way outward from the
center of her groin, shimmering through her body like
waves lapping against a tropical beach. Moving her
hips in a slow motion, she started to rock against
Jake's wet hand. She felt her pussy contract when he
spread her wide and slipped a second piece inside her
depth.
Body shuddering, Melanie’s fingers dug into the
bedspread. All at once, Jake thrust two fingers inside
her. She cried out, moaned as her cunt clenched his
digits and held them. The hot and cold inside her was
a serious turn on.
He paused and treated her to a sexy grin. “I love
to hear you whimper.”
“Damn you, Jake,” she shot between clenched
teeth. He’d ignited a fierce lust inside her, and she
wasn’t going to be satisfied until she felt his cock
ramming into her. As his fingers probed her deeper
faster, she started moving her hips, the beginning of a
Devyn Quinn
97
slow finger-fuck session. Placing his thumb against her
pulsing clit, he pressed into her one more time,
causing her to cry out as orgasm crashed through her
body. The wave crested and then eased.
Fighting for breath, she threw a glance over her
shoulder. “I want to be taken—and not by fingers.”
Ready to oblige, Jake positioned his body between
her spread legs. His work calloused hands clasped her
hips, holding her in a grip she could not have escaped
if she wanted to. He lifted her higher, grabbing her
thighs and raising her up so her knees barely touched
the mattress. He massaged her ass cheeks with both
thumbs, spreading her open to reveal her anus.
Memories of her rape at her husband’s hands
tumbled to the forefront of her mind. Surely he didn’t
intend to take her…anally… as Phil had.
Melanie recognized his intent. Suddenly she
wasn’t so brave anymore. Blind panic gripped her,
lungs pulling in short, wild gasps of air. Body
quivering, she hung in his grasp, waiting...praying he
didn’t mean to penetrate her up the rear. She didn’t
think she could take it. Not again.
“No.” Her cry ended in a whimper. She wasn’t
into the game now. “Not that way.”
He froze. Lowering her back to the bed, she felt
the palm of his hand going up and down her back,
rubbing a slow gentle path, as one would to gentle a
skittish horse. He slid a hand around her waist, down
her belly. His fingertip located her clit, applying a
gentle but firmly placed pressure. She gasped
fiercely, whimpering when he changed the direction
Biker Chic
98
of probing massage, manipulating his index finger over
the little organ. The constriction in her cheat eased.
Each stroke took her closer to the edge of orgasm. She
hovered, weightless and breathless, ready to peak.
“Easy, baby,” she heard him say. “Relax. I won’t
do anything you don’t want.”
Though it was almost impossible, Melanie forced
her body to go limp, pliant. She could stop this now
by saying no. She doubted he would force her. But she
didn’t want to stop. She wanted him to fill her again,
wanted their bodies to come back together.
She clenched her eyes shut. The desire for
completion was so deeply entrenched in her gut it was
all of a sudden a part of her being, her very soul. A
bond would be created when he finally entered her.
Trust. She’d to give him that, wholly and without
question. Without fear.
“Don’t stop.”
Jake rolled her over. He came down on top of her,
arms bracketing her body, supporting his weight.
Their bodies fit together perfectly. The swell of his
erection pressed against her mound, separated only
by his jeans.
“Look into my eyes.”
She met his gaze. His eyes showed every emotion
he felt, and Melanie knew then he was a man on fire
with true passion. She saw a need so raw and so deep
she was swept away by it. Words failed her, but
emotion did not. Beneath the rough edges was a
gentle man concerned with the feelings of his partner.
She was glad she’d opened her mind to letting Jake
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99
spend a whole night.
“You know I won’t hurt you.” He planted a kiss on
her upturned nose. He brushed his mouth over her
lips, the beginning of a gentle kiss. The renewed
desire to reclaim her life—and Jake—surged her. She
sighed and swept her tongue out to meet his.
“I know.”
“I want you to enjoy this.”
She swallowed a moan. “I—I want to.”
Jake shifted his body, going lower. He ran his
tongue in a circle around a taut nipple, flicking the
hard tip. Her hips jerked upward in an involuntary
response, teasing his straining erection and testing his
sense of restraint. Her inhibitions fled as if they’d
never existed. “I want you inside me.”
The next few moments were a blur. Somehow his
clothes, along with the rest of hers, melted away, and
he was on top again. This time it was good and
right…nothing separated their bodies. She wasn’t
surprised he was rigid, driven by the same aching
need burning inside of her.
Moving his hips just so, Jake’s member parted her
cream slicked labia. His swollen purple head pressed
deliciously against her small hooded nubbin. The
friction between them intensified. Her body began to
shake.
Throat tight with tension and need, Melanie
whimpered, trying to lift her hips against his,
spreading her legs wider to guide him into her depth.
She couldn't because he was holding back, torturing
her. She felt dizzy from her awareness of him, from
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100
her over-responsiveness to him. Even now she was
completely unable to control her body’s physical
compulsion for intimacy with him, unable to control
the soft melting sensations within her soul.
“Melanie, baby, you’re the one.” As he whispered
her name, the warmth of his breath feathered across
her mouth.
Her own lips parted and softened. Beneath his
mouth she made a soft little sound of need.
Immediately, Jake responded. He thrust, sliding
his cock into her slick heat like a knife through butter.
She cried out as his size stretched her.
He pulled back a little, chuckling in delight.
“You’re so damn tight.” He pushed back in, all the
way. He could go no further. Belly to belly, their
bodies were completely joined.
Melanie felt his shaft pulsing inside her.. Her
muscles tightened around his length, making it harder
for him to pull out. A tiny frisson of sensation coiled
through her, an ache she welcomed. Somehow she’d
given him a power that was frightening. She could
hardly quell the aching throbbing need he’d ignited in
her body.
Jake’s hands found hers, intertwining his fingers
with hers and positing them above her head. The
uniting motion ground their bodies together until they
were not just locked together, they were a single
unit, his cock filling her until she was filled and
fulfilled.
His lips captured hers in a kiss as hot as their
bodies. He ground his hips against hers, each push
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101
taking him further than she ever thought possible.
With every thrust, the rasping of his penis inside her
depths became almost unbearable. He was creating an
agony so exquisite, she wanted to cry out for a
harder, deeper pummeling.
His eyes focused on hers, gazing deep.. Desire
flared in their depths. “Come for me, babe.”
She couldn’t shut her eyes. She wanted to look at
him as she climaxed, share the most intimate moment
a woman could have with a man. No doubt that was
his intention, and the crescendo of climax came
without warning, a rush of sensations totally beyond
her control.
She shuddered violently, lips pressed tightly as
she struggled to make the sensations last just a
moment longer. Her hands came up, clasping the back
of his head, her body arching in fierce response. He
slowed his rhythm, letting the tension between them
build up all over again. He tried to hold back a few
minutes longer, but control slipped away as the
sensations claimed his senses. His cock surged, his
body jerking as his seed gushed into her waiting
womb.
It was a fierce coming together, a powerful
explosion. Weak and dizzy, she clung to Jake while
her body shook with the aftermath.
After a moment, he rolled onto his side, relieving
her of his weight. By the look on his face, he was as
sated as she was. “Damn,” he muttered. “It’s been a
long time since I’ve sex twice in one night.”
Melanie pushed stray strand of hair off her sweaty
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102
face. “Oh, we’re hardly finished.” Her rapidly beating
heart and sudden liquid rush of desire between her
legs attested to that. “Round three is coming up.”
He shook his head. “I’m not as young as I used to
be, you know.”
She grinned. “You aren’t as old as you think.” She
reached down, caressing his spent member.
Jake’s cock twitched, indicating it still had a will
over its owner. He smiled and reached for her again.
“You’ll be the death of me, woman.”
Melanie nuzzled the side of his neck, running her
tongue between chin and shoulder... The smell of
perspiration mingled with his salty taste. “I intend to
do my best to keep you around a little longer.” Her
gut told her she wouldn’t be satisfied with one night
of pure unadulterated sex. Even if her body was
sated, her soul would crave more of him.
But if she had her way, he wasn’t going anywhere
anytime soon.
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Epilogue
Wrapped in a delicious warm lethargy, Melanie
came slowly to wakefulness. The sun was well into the
sky, the clock on the bed table reading two p.m.
Yawning then stretching, she rubbed the remnants of
sleep from her eyes and rolled over. It was muggy in
the hotel room, the day’s heat already at an
oppressive temperature. Vague sounds from outside
drifted in through the half-open window, its blinds
closed against the light and prying eyes. Her body was
covered with a fine sheen of perspiration. The
lingering scent of sex was all around her. A strange
sense of sadness filled her. The pillow beside hers was
empty, though the sheets still proved that Jake’s body
had lain beside hers through the night.
Her body tensed in face of the rejection she knew
subconsciously would be waiting for her when the day
arrived. A frown marred the smoothness of her
forehead.
I knew he wouldn’t be here when I woke up.
With a wistful smile, she put out her hand and
touched his side of the bed. She remembered how
flagrant desire had filled her with a yearning begging
to be sated, the touch of his hands only serving to
inflame her on to a deeper, more urgent lust only he
could tame.
And now he was gone.
Biker Chic
104
That was the way it had to be. She could accept
that.
Still, she couldn’t help thinking back, wishing he
were beside her now. The memories of Jake would
always be there, like walking down a favorite path. In
her mind she could relive the precious shared hours
he’d given her.
She refused to dwell on his leaving or that he’d
gone without as much as a goodbye. She’d known it
was to be nothing more than a one-night stand. They
would probably never meet again.
These last twenty-four hours had changed her in
ways that she never could have dreamed. She was no
longer Mrs. Phillip Brooks, wife of a prominent doctor.
No, that identity was gone forever. Nor was she the
weak, foolish ex-wife. She was something more now.
She was Melanie Brooks, a woman able to make her
own decisions—and deal with the consequences.
“I’m going to be fine. I’m going to be strong.” Her
car would be repaired today, and she’d be able to
leave this town. She doubted she would ever return.
There was no need to.
Sitting up, she pulled the sheet around her naked
body, even though there was no one to see her. A
sound caught her attention. She cocked her head. No,
surely it couldn’t be—
There it was, strong and clear, the familiar sound
of an engine. And not just any engine, but the
distinctive purr of Jake’s motorcycle pulling up in
front of her room…
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105
About Devyn Quinn
Award-winning author Devyn Quinn lives amid the
scenic Southwest Texas plains with her many cats, her
four ferrets, and a Shih Tzu puppy. A huge fan of dark
gothic literature, Devyn is a recent Romantic Times
Nominee and CAPA Award winner. Writing with a style
that has depth, fire, and fiendish imagination, Devyn
makes her New York debut and is currently working on
her next goth-erotic title. Readers may visit her on
the web at www.devynquinin.com.
Biker Chic
106
Spicy, sensual love stories which leave a reader breathless,
intense plots, alpha males, strong heroines and sizzling
dialogue—find it all at Whispers!
www.whispershome.com
Devyn Quinn
107
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A one night stand. That’s all Cecile wanted to relieve a little
erotic pressure. Finding her man, she given into one perfect
night of passion. But Ross Kincade wants more than one
night. He pictures happily ever after…just like in the movies.
To purchase your copy, please visit our website at
www.whispershome.com or contact us at
customerservice@whispershome.com.

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