Appealed, p.13
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       Appealed, p.13

         Part #3 of The Legal Briefs series by Emma Chase
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  “Like what?”

  “Like you want me to kiss you. I’m not going to kiss you, Kennedy—I’m pissed off at you.”

  She squirms in her seat, her eyes flickering between my lips and my Adam’s apple, rubbing her thighs together ever so slightly. And a groan catches in my chest—because she apparently likes me being pissed off at her.

  Jesus, the fun I could have with that.

  But I stay focused. “Ground rule two—we talk. Not about the case, but everything else is on the table. No more running away.”

  Her throats constrict as she swallows—and I can almost hear her heart pounding. Or maybe it’s mine.

  “Three—we take this one day at a time. You’re freaked, there’s shit between us—I get it. I won’t ask for more than you can give me.”

  Her brow crinkles. “Brent, I don’t think—”

  “You say that a lot. You seem confused, so I’m going to make it real easy for you. Four—I’m coming to your house tonight. I’m bringing food. We’ll hang out. If we happen to spend a good portion of that time without any clothes on—we’ll roll with that too. Say yes.”

  She’s silent for several heartbeats, making me hold my breath.

  Then she relents. “Yes.”

  “Good girl.”

  Her eyes narrow at me. But because I’m so pleased—because I’ve wanted to all damn day—I eat my own words, lean in, and kiss the fuck out of her. It’s hard, demanding—and infused with every ounce of possessiveness I feel for her. A teeth-clashing, tongue-lashing kiss that leaves her trembling.

  I’m a big believer in a well-timed exit. During final summations, the last image you give to the jury, the final words you leave ringing in their ears, are the most powerful. They can make a difference between an acquittal or a life sentence.

  And that kiss was one hell of a closing.

  So I stand up, turn, and stroll out of Kennedy’s office.

  • • •

  Just before sunset, I stand on the rickety porch of her Victorian house and knock on her front door. It swings open almost immediately, like she was waiting for me. Kennedy stands in the glow of the fading sunlight wearing worn, light blue jeans that hug her hips and show off her sweet ass in a fantastic fucking way. Her top is loose and thin strapped, a layer of white lace over a layer of chiffon, the neckline dipping to a low V that puts her pert, braless tits on perfect display.

  With my mouth watering, and my imagination raging, I mutter, “I’m sending Justice Bradshaw a thank-you note.”

  She giggles and I feel her eyes trail up my own faded jeans, over my black T-shirt, pausing right where the short sleeves wrap tight around my biceps. “You look very nice too.”


  Peeking out from behind Kennedy’s calf are two big black eyes attached to a puffball of gray fur. Cats aren’t my favorite animals—they come in behind dogs, pot-bellied pigs, and the cutest creature God ever created: the hedgehog. But, unlike my possible-future-serial-killer freshman-year college roommate—who tried to run over every stray cat that crossed his path—I don’t hate them either.

  “Who’s this?”

  “That’s Jasper.”


  I crouch down and reach out my hand. “Hey, Jasper . . .”

  “Brent, wait—”

  But before I can heed her warning, Jasper’s eyes transform into sharp slits and his paw slashes at my hand like Wolverine on a bad day. One claw nicks my middle finger.


  “So sorry,” Kennedy coos.

  I shake my hand, then stick the tip in my mouth, tasting blood.

  “I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your cat’s a dick.”

  She takes my hand, inspecting my injury. “He’s just wary of people he doesn’t know. Like a guard cat.” She glances behind her. “Jacob and Edward are a lot friendlier.”

  “How many do you have?”

  She shrugs. “Just the three.”

  I nod slowly. “I came back into your life just in time. Old house, multiple feline companions, an inappropriate interest in vampire books that were meant to be enjoyed by teenage virgin girls.” I pinch my thumb and forefinger together. “You realize you’re this close to becoming a full-fledged Cat Lady.”

  Kennedy sticks her tongue out at me.

  I smirk. “Do that again later; I’ll demonstrate much better uses for that tongue.”

  She laughs, shaking her head as if she thinks I’m kidding.

  “All right, let’s get going,” I tell her. “We’ve got a walk ahead of us.”

  Her brows crinkle. “I thought you said you were bringing food?”

  “I did. But I didn’t say we were eating it here.”

  I hold out my hand, and she puts hers in mine. It’s warm and soft and a perfect fit.

  “Where are we going?”

  I lean down and whisper in her ear, raising goose bumps along her collarbone. “It’s a surprise.”

  • • •

  We walk through the city beneath the pink-orange dusk sky, hands entwined. We pass the World War II Memorial and the Reflecting Pool across from the glowing warmth of the Lincoln Memorial, weaving between the picture-snapping, map-studying tourists that are a permanent fixture. And then we reach the Tidal Basin, its calm, still waters reflecting the soft orbs of the lampposts that illuminate the circling path around it. In the spring, the trees here are laden with cherry blossoms, making a thick light-pink wreath around the water, but by this time of year, the blossoms have all fallen, leaving only healthy greenery on their branches—the promise of next year’s bloom.

  I lead Kennedy off the path closer to the water’s edge, where a flannel blanket awaits us on the grass, lit lanterns stationed at each of the four corners. In the center are a bottle of white wine and two picnic baskets—one with cutlery, plates, and napkins, the other insulated to keep the containers of Chinese takeout inside it warm. I wasn’t sure what kind of Chinese food she liked, so I ordered a variety. The surrounding shrubbery sequesters the spot from the path—it feels like from the entire city—creating our own personal oasis. Our own little world for just her and me.

  Kennedy stops, taking it all in. The light from the lanterns shines in her sparkling eyes and her smile takes my fucking breath away.

  “This is . . . it’s beautiful, Brent. Thank you.”

  My thumb traces her bottom lip. “That smile is all the thanks I need.”

  Then I rethink that statement.

  “Well, maybe not all the thanks.” I wink. “Let’s see how the night goes.”

  And then we eat and drink, talk and laugh. Kennedy tells me about her scuba-diving trip to Belize this past spring and I tell her about my kayaking excursion in Alaska last year. I talk to her about the men’s lacrosse league I play with on the weekends and her face lights up as she tells me about her Sunday garage-sale antique hunts. We catch up on each other’s relatives and the latest gossip about distant family acquaintances. We tell each other stories—funny, horrifying, raunchy stories about college and law school.

  Basically, it’s a really fantastic date. The kind that would play in a montage with some terrible pop song in the background if this was a cheesy romantic comedy. The kind a guy would tell his friends about the next day—even if he didn’t get laid.

  The hours go by without either of us realizing it, and by the time we walk back up Kennedy’s front porch steps, it’s after midnight. We’re both relaxed and smiling—and her cheeks bloom with the loveliest flush of good wine and great conversation.

  She unlocks the door and asks, “Do you want to come inside?”

  Inside, back, stomach, mouth—I want to come everywhere she’ll let me.

  “For ‘coffee’?” I tease, making air quotes with my fingers.

  Her eyes darken to simmering chocolate brown. “No, but I could give you a tour. Show you how the restoration is going. We were able to keep all the original moldings.”

  I grin. “I know how that goes. First it
s ‘come see my moldings’ . . . then it’s ‘tear down my Sheetrock and take a look at my brickwork, big boy.’ And if I’m lucky, you’ll let me peek under your carpet for some floor action that’ll make us both lose our minds.”

  She chuckles. “Don’t forget the fireplace—do you want me to show you my mantel, Brent?”

  “You bet your sweet soffits I do.”

  • • •

  The house is an awe-inspiring combination of top-of-the-line modern convenience and gleaming old-world charm. We talk about the wood beams she’s keeping exposed in the den, and the hidden Bluetooth-capable speakers that will be installed in every room. She shows me a tiny drawing room with original wallpaper, which if you look at very closely contains hidden images of naked women and men.

  That’s the Victorians for you. Repressed perverts.

  Then we go upstairs, to her bedroom.

  The lighting is low, but welcoming—one lone crystal lamp on a mahogany bedside table. The walls are beige with a warm, deep red accent wall behind the bed. Kennedy’s actual bed is humongous, a four-poster with a thousand big puffy pillows that make me think of cumulous clouds. It’s the kind of bed you’d want to stay in for days—and with the way Kennedy is looking at me, that might just be the plan.

  I stop in front of the fireplace, running my hand along the impressive marble mantel. “This is nice.”

  Kennedy watches me from just inside the closed door. “Yes . . . it is.”

  When our eyes meet and hold, it’s like we both just know. No words are needed. Good or bad, right or wrong, everything that’s happened in our entwined lives has led us here—to this moment.

  My voice is deep, rough. “Come here, Kennedy.”

  She steps forward straight into my arms. I lift her right off her feet, holding her against me. Her hands bury in my hair, tugging a bit, then holding on tight.

  And we kiss like it’s the end of the world.

  The air goes thick around us and time stops as our mouths slant, our tongues fuck, our throats moan and hum with a desperate urgency. Kennedy arches in my arms, her head tilting toward the ceiling when my lips traverse the pristine expanse of her throat.

  “Brent . . .” She gasps, fingers running through my hair. “This is real. Tell me this is real.”

  My eyes jerk up to hers and I cup her jaw in one hand. “It’s real. This is so real I can’t stop shaking.”

  She searches my face . . . and then she smiles. Because she believes me.

  And the emotions that swell in my chest, my feelings for her—they’re indescribable. It’s like . . . piss off Jack Dawson . . . I’m the king of the world now.

  I slip one strap of Kennedy’s top down her arm, far enough to expose one pale, flawless breast. I bend my knees, pepper the soft mound with kisses, and close my lips over the hard, tight bud of her nipple. Her moan is deep and long with approval as I suck on that hard point. Worshiping it with my tongue, tracing, caressing, and flicking.

  Without breaking contact, I wrap my arms around her hips and lift, carrying her to the bed. I lay her down, sucking and laving her with my mouth. She grips the back of my shirt and I release her nipple with a pop, lifting my arms so she can pull my shirt off. Her hands scorch their way across my torso, fingernails digging. One strap of her shirt gives way as I yank it down her body in a fast tug, leaving her bare from the waist up. My eyes roam and consume—so much pale, perfect flesh.

  I kiss her stomach, licking and grazing with my teeth—working my way up. Kennedy arches and moans, her hands driving into my hair. The heat of our skin, our bare chests rubbing—it’s almost too much—and yet not even close to enough. Back at her mouth, I nip her plump bottom lip with my teeth, then cover both her lips with my own. Relishing the taste of her wet, sweet mouth, her soft, slick tongue . . . her whimpers and moans. Feeling my way blindly, the button on her jeans is released and with her help, I strip them off her legs—panties and all—leaving her bare.

  The desperate need to look at her gives me the strength to rise up on my knees beside her on the bed, but my fingers never lose contact with her flesh. They trail up her rib cage, cupping her breasts, teasing those beautiful nipples, tracing her collarbone, skimming down her arms. My eyes are everywhere, memorizing each detail—the pink flush of flawless skin, the hint of rib bone, the soft indent of her pelvis, the smooth, immaculate canvas below—and best of all, the bare, plump lips of her glistening pussy.

  My eyes threaten to close with a groan as the image is scored into my brain, but I force them open. I grasp Kennedy’s ankles and pull her around, spreading her legs for a better view. I groan again—long and low and guttural—as my hands rub, and my fingers dip inside her, making way for my mouth. I lie down on my stomach, my breath against her skin, my fingers opening the pink flesh.

  “Christ, Kennedy, your pussy is so fucking pretty.”

  She moans at my words.

  “This is made to be kissed and licked and fucked all damn day—and night.”

  I press my open mouth against her skin and she screams. My tongue searches, pierces—and now my eyes do roll closed. Because her taste is sweet and wet and hot. I could lose myself in her cunt. This could ruin me—because I don’t know how I’m going to function without thinking about these ripe, smooth lips. So soft, so fucking delicious. My mouth moves rough over her—inside her. My beard is scratching the tender skin on her thighs, probably leaving bright pink abrasions, and the thought turns me on even more.

  My nose rubs her clit as I suck and flick my tongue in the paradise between her legs. And when I move up, when my tongue rubs against that swollen nub, Kennedy’s hips jerk, and she comes against my mouth—legs trembling—crying my name.

  I barely pause to let her recover. I turn my head and suck on the skin of her thighs—definitely leaving a mark this time. I lick my way to the sensitive indentation just below her pelvic bone. She takes big, gulping breaths and pulls at my shoulders.

  “Come up here.” She pants. “Kiss me, Brent.”

  And I happily oblige.

  Her hands caress my face with tender, loving touches. Then she pushes on my chest with surprising strength until I’m up on my knees. When I’m where she wants me, she yanks frantically at the button on my jeans. A frustrated grunt escapes her, making me grin.

  But when she gets them open, my grin turns into an openmouthed groan. Because she doesn’t mess around—she pulls my pants down just low enough to free my hard, straining dick, and then she’s all over it. She lathers the shaft with her tongue and lips, wetting the delicate skin, sliding up to the tip and slipping the fucker all the way into her hot, wet mouth.

  My hips jerk, and I have to brace my hand on her back to keep from falling over.

  “Shit . . . fuuuuck . . .”

  The curses fall from me as Kennedy goes to town on my cock. Swirling her tongue fantastically around the tip, bobbing her head, sucking on me so hard it may bring on cardiac arrest.

  Wouldn’t that be the fucking way to go?

  The back of her hand scrapes against the open zipper of my jeans when she cups my balls, massaging them, then adding a playful tug that sends electric pleasure shooting up my spine. She’s really good at this—too good. Because when my hand burrows into her soft hair to do some nice tugging of my own, she hums around my cock—and the vibrations bring me right to the edge.

  And as glorious as it feels, as much as I want to go through life with her mouth permanently wrapped around my dick . . . no . . . no . . . I’m not going to come in her mouth.

  Not the first time.

  If Kennedy and I had actually “done it” all those years ago in my father’s Ferrari, it would’ve been the slow, gentle, sweet kind of lovemaking they write about in books.

  There’s nothing slow or gentle about us now.

  We’re devouring each other—kind of crazed—beautifully fucking wild.

  But there’s still a tenderness, because we want to be closer, kiss deeper, make each other feel so much better th
an good. My fist tightens in her hair, pulling her off my cock, until we’re chest to chest, face-to-face.

  And she practically growls at me.

  I kiss the hell out of her and laugh against her lips. “Hoover seems like a pretty fitting nickname at the moment.”

  Kennedy gazes into my eyes and laughs back, and, Christ, she’s so beautiful it hurts.

  Then she lies back with the delicate grace of a butterfly landing on a leaf, leaning up on her elbows. Her eyes rake me up and down and her voice goes husky. “Take your pants off. And come here.”

  That would be the command dreams are made of.

  “Yes, ma’am.”

  I turn my back to her, sit on the edge of the bed, and pull my pants off. I take the three condoms out of my wallet. Then I pop the pin on my leg and slip it and the liner off, because it’s easier to move around the bed without it catching on the sheets. And I plan on moving a whole lot.

  Kennedy’s impatient, because instead of lying back and waiting for me to come worship her, she peppers a hot trail of kisses up my spine. She moves to my neck and her breasts press against my back, making me groan. I turn and slide my hand behind her neck, holding her still as I plunder her warm, eager mouth. My other arm slips around her waist, hoisting her against me as I rise to my knees.

  Needy little moans and whimpers echo from her mouth to mine. Then she surprises me—pushing on my shoulders and taking us down to the bed so she lands on my hard chest with a soft oomph. She plants a kiss on one pec, then grins sexily as she rises up.

  “I want to look at you.”

  And look she does—with hungry eyes and exploring hands.

  But then—something fucking weird happens. I swallow hard, and it tastes like self-consciousness. Vulnerability. I imagine this is what women must feel like—if they have stretch marks or cellulite or a spare tire around the midsection. Something about their body they would change if they could.

  Here’s the thing—I got past any issues with my leg and women a long time ago. It doesn’t bother me, and the girls I’ve been with have been more interested in my long, thick third leg, if you know what I mean.

  But—if I’m being honest—my lack of a lower limb is . . . odd. It’s . . . missing. Your brain tells you there’s supposed to be more. You naturally expect to see two full legs, but the one just . . . ends.

  My chest rises and falls rapidly under Kennedy’s roaming gaze. And I don’t know if it’s the expression on my face, or some small unconscious movement—but she reads my fucking mind.

  “Do you know what I think of when I look at you, Brent?”

  My response comes out scratchy—rough. “What?”

  She caresses my abs, my arms, up both legs. “I don’t think, ‘Oh, Brent is so strong,’ even though you are. I don’t think, ‘He’s survived so much,’ even though you have.” She looks into my eyes. “I just think—perfect. You’re . . . perfect.”

  And I didn’t realize how badly I wanted to hear those words from her—until she gave them to me. I grab her arms and pull her down, putting every wild, sweet, insane emotion I have for her into a kiss.

  Enough talking. No more gazing or caressing. We need to fuck—now.

  I roll her over so I’m above her—pressing and grinding her into the mattress. Kennedy’s movements are as unbridled as my own—fingers scratching and pulling, hips gyrating, legs wrapping, thighs squeezing so hard I can barely breathe. I reach for a condom wrapper on the bed, tear it with my teeth, and expertly roll it on one-handed. Bracing on my elbow, I slide my cock through her bare nether lips, groaning at the wet heat I can feel even through the latex. Kennedy’s hips cradle me, her legs spread wider, beckoning me—and then I slide smoothly into her.

  For a long moment, I don’t move. I’m inside Kennedy. She’s so beautifully fucking snug. I let her body stretch around me, get accustomed to my size while I relish the tight clench of her muscles—the feel of her slick cunt wrapped around my full length.

  Then I look down into her heartbreakingly beautiful brown eyes—and I move. Withdrawing and pumping, flexing my hips in a slow, steady rhythm. Her lips are parted, sweet breath escaping with every thrust. Our noses rub, and then I give into the pure sensation—closing my eyes, capturing her mouth—riding her faster.

  Kennedy’s tongue dances against mine and she moans against my lips.

  “I knew . . . I knew it’d be like this. Yes . . . oh yes, Brent.”

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