Rush me, p.64
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       Rush Me, p.64

         Part #1 of New York Leopards series by Allison Parr
Page 64

  But I had wanted to meet them so much, his crowd of brothers, his loud grandmother. I wanted to see the farm and listen to his brother Rich play the piano and see where his parents had taught him to ride. “I want you to leave. ” My voice shook. He stood too close, and my body wanted to lean into him. The rest of me wanted him to leave so I could cry in peace.

  “Fine. ” He didn’t move.

  I needed space. My hands flashed out and shoved at Ryan, hard, but he didn’t even rock back on his heels. I shoved again, and now his restraint broke and his arms were up, wrestling mine up and back. We tussled briefly, as I tried to elbow him in the chest or at least grind my heel into his instep, but he was stronger and faster and had me pinned against the wall in a breath. I bucked my body against his but instead of moving his it threw me flush against him. He slammed his lips down on mine, angry and demanding, hard enough to hurt. I bit down on his lower lip, hard.

  “God, you’re a bitch!”

  “Get the hell off me. ”

  His eyes, hot with desire, focused on mine, but he came no closer. He drew back, his body leaving me cold and alone, and I clamped down on the urge to follow.

  His finger reached out, tracing along my collarbone, the rough pad of his forefinger dipping into the hollow of my neck. My heart leaped rapidly, my skin on fire as his touch rested lightly on my pulse. “Fine. ” He dropped his hand and stepped back.

  I could barely think, my mind was so foggy with need.

  “Go on. ” His own voice was unsteady. “You can walk away from me. Get what you need from Tommy. ”

  “Don’t be a jerk. ” I pushed off from the wall, teetering away.

  His arm snaked out and hauled me toward him. I didn’t resist. When he slanted his mouth down to kiss me, I leaned in eagerly, our mouths opening, tongues tangling. Our hands twined over each other. He thrust his leg between mine, and I wrapped mine around his waist. I felt hot and dizzy, my breath caught in the back of my throat. His fingers slid over my bare skin and I moaned, my eyes hot with tears, my body aching with desire.

  Ryan pulled my dress over my head, the cloth falling in a puddle of blue silk, and I flicked off my panties, letting them tangle at my ankles. Ryan dropped to his knees, his hands gripping my hips, fingertips biting into my skin hard enough to bruise. I threw my head back as his mouth found my center, my hands closing over his shoulders. “Oh, God,” I groaned, heady sensation flooding my senses as he teased and tantalized. I slumped again the wall, my knees weak and unable to hold my weight. “Ryan,” I breathed. “Yes—there—” Just a little more. I was so close, just on the brink and I wanted to burst, to break and fall and I was so, so close. Just a little deeper, a little more. . . and. . .

  Ryan dropped his hands and drew back.

  I fell to the floor, my legs splayed apart. “What?” My entire body was titillated, my nipples peaked, my center swollen and wet. I reached blindly for Ryan, trying to pull my lover back to me. “Ryan. . . ”

  When I finally focused my dilated eyes on him, I saw his own gaze blazed hot and angry. “You’re kidding,” I gasped, when I realized he intended to just leave me on the brink, unfulfilled. I almost could have laughed. A game for a game, was it?

  Fine. I stretched my hand down. I could do this myself.

  Ryan caught my wrists and pinned them between one of his own large hands. “No. That’s not how this works,” he said through gritted teeth.

  I was teetering into pain. “Ryan. ” I let all my desire, all my need, fill my voice. I arched toward him. Right now I didn’t care if he hated me. He just couldn’t walk away.

  And he didn’t. Instead, he cursed and shed his clothes in seconds before pulling me back into his arms. We fell together against the wall, the momentum carrying Ryan as he buried himself in me in one smooth, deep movement. I cried out. That was all it took. I was over, climaxing, the world sky blue and bright as I spun through it.

  Ryan didn’t stop, still thrusting deep and hard, until he stiffened and pulled my body tight to him. We fell to the floor together, a tangle of limbs, as he groaned his satisfaction. Eyes closed, I smiled.

  He seared my lips with a kiss, and then withdrew. I opened my eyes, confused. Usually we lay with each other after making love. But now he was jerking up his jeans and buttoning them. He was windswept, but fully dressed, and when he looked at me, naked, my clothes strewn around me and legs sprawled open, his face was impassive. “Goodbye, Rachael. ”

  I pulled my dress over my head, starting to feel uncomfortable. “Ryan—what are you doing?”

  “Leaving. ”

  I sat up, filled with disbelief. “You can’t be that pissed off. ”

  “Come find me when you’ve grown up a bit,” he said coldly, and walked out the door.

  I sat there in shock. “When I’ve grown up!” I finally shouted. “What about you? Compromises aren’t made by one person!” I wobbled to my feet, smoothing my dress down. “Ryan!”

  It didn’t matter. He had already left.

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  “I’m impressed,” Gretchen said a week later. She sat in her chair, salt-and-pepper head bent, while I stood at attention before her. She patted the manuscript on her desk. “You’ve done a great job on this. ” She hesitated, and then smiled at me. I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen such a full-blown smile on the editor’s face, such sly satisfaction curving under her wire-rimmed frames. “It’ll go into the fall line-up for next year. ”

  For a moment, I could hardly breathe, and then my mouth split open in a huge grin. That Gretchen had been willing to give Alexandra’s book a glance was favor enough; that she thought it was worth publishing came straight from my daydreams.

  “Thank you so much. That’s wonderful. And I think it’s going to do really well. The website’s been really successful—oh, and I was talking to a college friend interning over at Tenth Review and she thinks she can get a spotlight done on it. ” I snapped my lips shut, aware I was babbling, but I couldn’t wipe the happiness from my face.

  “You’ve certainly done your homework. ” She considered me long enough that my nerves started to corrupt my joy. “Well. There’s a position opening up in the publicity department for a digital marketing assistant. I’d be happy to have a word with Howard, the creative director, if you’re interested. ”

  My throat dried up. This had to be a dream. “Really?” I tried not to squeak, and then I concentrated on sounding a little more collected. “I would really appreciate that. ”

  She let out another full smile. “Yes, I thought you would. We’ll be sad to lose you, but you’re a good worker, and you deserve a job. ”

  “I’ll still be working with Alexa, though, won’t I? My author?”

  “I imagine it will depend on your workload, but I don’t see that it would be a problem. ”

  In fact, even if Penelope Books didn’t want my editorial input, I might see if Alexa wanted to work with me directly. If she was interested in collaborating on a companion website, I definitely was.

  I grinned bright and dumbfounded as Gretchen nodded briskly. “Good. I’ll talk to Howard, and then I imagine you’ll meet with him the next time you come in. Monday?”

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New York Leopards