Millions of women did this almost every other day, all over the world, right? So what was wrong with her? Absolutely nothing, Cait Daniels decided.
She inhaled one last courageous breath, pulled the sleeves of her top up to her elbows, slipped a pair of sunglasses on her face to shield her from the hot Cape Town, South Africa midmorning sun, and got out of the driver's seat of her car. She sat in the freaking financial director's chair for a large cosmetics company for goodness sake--purchasing a dildo should not be this much of a federal case. Besides, her very congeniality, or what was left of it, depended on her having a screaming orgasm courtesy of one nonobligatory plastic penis since the human variety had failed her on all possible accounts. Yes, she was a year overdue already.
Faking the confidence of a worldly thirty-four-year-old woman, she pushed open the door of the Curious Coition sex shop and entered before she changed her mind. A plethora of makeshift sexual devices flooded her sight, forcing her to remove her sunglasses for more intimate viewing. For a minute, she stood mute at the entrance, her gaze rapidly taking inventory of things she didn't even know existed, much less how they worked.
Crotch-less panties to the left of her; chains, clamps, and whips to the right of her. The tiles under her shoes illustrated naked bodies all entwined in passion. Blow-up dolls with thick red lips hung from the ceiling above her head. She twirled around in strange wonder, absorbing the very sexuality of the shop itself as if it were a live being.
A big screen TV mounted on the wall came to life before her eyes. She swallowed as the couple on screen engaged in graphic sex, advertising the amazement of some edible vaginal cream. Her thighs twitched and hot and desperate sensations transpired between her legs as the attractive male actor sucked the actress' pussy. God, she needed to come: hard, fast, and with something thick and solid inside her or face going mad while she ogled the do-not-touch-not-ever guy who holidayed at his relative's house opposite her. The one who made her wet and feel guilty at the same time. This was a better option by far. The safest and definitely the sanest.
"Hi, just shout if you need help." A voice snapped her out of her awe. She whipped her head in the direction of the cashier standing behind the counter, her bright smile and long dreadlocked hair oddly calm and comforting where everything else around her depicted nothing but the taboo.
With barely a nod in the cashier's direction, she snagged a safe looking vibrator off the shelf, put it back, and chose another instead that came with various attachments and everything else conducive to pleasing her every dirty fantasy and so much more. Sudden prongs of anxiety stabbed at her resolve as she neared the counter. She was so close to pulling off this clandestine mission and wanted nothing more than to leave the shop in relative safety.
"Will that be all for you?" the cashier asked, her orange glazed smile wider than before. "Yes, thank you." Cait dared not look her in the eye. She hadn't come that far yet; instead she dallied with her purse while the cashier counted the cash and registered the sale. She wished she'd just give her the mock cock and forfeit the whole idea of popping it into a Curious Coition designed bag. She really just wanted to get the hell out of the place already, preferably armed with the selected merchandize secured in her handbag. A long bath later and maybe even candles, and then it'll be just her and the dildo, eradicating any unhealthy thoughts she harbored about him that she couldn't have.
"It's one of our bestsellers. I'm sure you'll enjoy it."
Could she work any slower?
"It's a lovely day outside, isn't it?" she continued. "I should tell you we have a no return policy, unfortunately, so if--"
"That's fine. I..." Whatever else Cait meant to say died on her lips as the velvet curtains hanging from a rail behind the cashier parted. Her overworked heart ground to a dead-halt and manic nerves singed her skin. Her brain spun out of control, drowning her in disbelief. She resisted the urge to rub her eyes in case her vision felt prone to play cheap tricks on her now of all times. But no, he, the totally hot and completely off limits reason she found herself parading in a sex shop in broad daylight, was real, gorgeous, and instantly he recognized her.
His sexy thick-lashed gaze skimmed over the package dangling in midair from the cashier's hand en route to the bag and then landed back to her. Scorching hot blood rose into her cheeks. He folded his arms and then rubbed the edge of his jaw with one of his hands as his sensuous lips curved into a killer smile. Sparkling, straight white teeth mocked her. She couldn't look away, not when his overpowering height demanded she see nothing but him.
Amusement lined the gray of his irises as he relaxed against a tall cabinet next to him, enjoying her discomfort, and making no secret of it. This couldn't be happening to her. Embarrassment of the kind she never experienced before dictated her next move. Flee, leaving behind her purchase in the cashier's hands. Without a backward glance, she scurried out of the shop. She refused to question her juvenile antics as she dove into her car and started the ignition. The only sound louder than her resuscitated heart thudding inside her chest was the wheels of her car screeching in protest as she fled what she now called the crime scene.
Really? Of all the people in the world she could have met at a sex shop, did it have to be him? The core reason for her cranky mood, which sprouted from a lack of good old-fashioned fucking, revived by the mere sight of him. Eyeballing him from her window as he mowed the lawn was one thing, running into him at a sex shop and being caught red-handed soliciting artificial sexual favors quite another.
But when she'd woken up that morning from a night of dreaming about him, her wet and unsatisfied pussy dictated all her impulsive actions. She couldn't bear another night feeling so sexually deprived. She wanted instant gratification, so got into her car, drove into town, and found a sex shop. Now she wished she had practiced a little more patience, bought the darn thing online, and waited however long it was for them to deliver it. Patience though was never the quality she held in high merit. Besides, if she wanted something done, she always did it herself.
The way things were going her way, her online purchased dildo would probably arrive at her doorstep in a van with a cock painted on the side, sirens wailing, and a police escort, and everyone in the neighborhood would know. She groaned. Dammit, she knew his aunt. And what was he doing in a shop like that anyway?
She ducked her head as she pulled into her driveway, hoping to never set eyes on either the aunt or the nephew ever again. Thoughts of relocating flitted through her brain. She slipped into her house, locked the door, drew the curtains, and paced the floor as she bit her nails. What a mess. How had everything gone so hopelessly wrong so utterly quickly?
She still remembered meeting him six years ago when he concluded his greeting by calling her Ms. Daniels and matching it with a cocky smile. She had smiled back at him then, amused by his misguided youth, and the seed of underdeveloped arrogance hovering beneath the surface. Now ... now six years later at the age of twenty-four, he came in a different package altogether. One she had no business gawking at as he worked up a hot sweat down his long and lithe back.
There was nothing amusing about him anymore. He'd grown into his own quickly and solidly. His taunting grin sealed fast into her memory, reducing her to four instead of thirty-four. But oh, did it have to be Declan Meyer, he who she deliberately stripped from her thoughts when her body leaped into sexual hunger mode by the mere glimpse of him. He was twenty-four years old, and in case she didn't fully understand the math, he was ten years younger than her. Ten big, wide, uncompromising years. A whole decade. 3,665 days younger, give or take a leap year or two.
She padded into her kitchen and brewed a cup of chamomile tea, anything to soothe her frayed nerves. So he threw her off her guard by unfair surprise. No matter. From now she'll just avoid the heck out of him. She blew cool air into her steamy cup and then took a sip. She could handle him. Of course she could. She was experienced, sophisticated, mature, outranking him in all ways, but especially in age--basically giving her the upper hand. Running out of the sex shop like a wimpy virgin did not bode well for her in the chic department and without her date for the night either, but she was adult enough to write it off without a second thought. There.
Taking her cup to the bathroom, she filled the tub and added peach bath oil under the running faucet. She stripped and sunk her body into the silky water, prepared to wash away her disastrous excursion once and for all. The luxurious water teased her skin. She ran a hand over her breasts and immediately her nipples pulled taut. Tension rode up her thighs, all her nerves fluttered down to her stomach and lower, settling in an erotic heap smack on her clit. She leaned back, desperate to ease the residual lust lingering in her body. Her eyes drooped closed. A stark visual of Declan wearing nothing but that smug grin of his materialized before her eyes.
Water sloshed over the sides of the porcelain bath as she shot up. She rubbed her temples, willing away his presence from her mind. She couldn't possibly be attracted to a guy that much younger than her. What was this, some sort of pre-pre-midlife crisis?
After Dean left her a year ago following a seemingly good engagement, she shut herself off from sexual frivolities, putting her work first and foremost. She'd left it for too long. If she came across any man mowing the lawn in a gleaming hot body, she'd want to jump his bones. Declan Meyer was merely at the right time at the right place in her head and just as easily removed from said time and place.
She reached for her cup as her doorbell sounded. A heavy sigh sagged her shoulders further into the water. Could she pretend she wasn't home on this Saturday morning? Damn, her car was parked outside and she couldn't go anywhere without it. She waited a minute more, hoping her unwanted guest would give up. No such luck.
She draped her body in a thick bathrobe and went to answer the door, brushing tendrils of wet hair out of her face as she did so. She swung the door open and stopped herself from slamming it shut again. Mrs. Meyer stood on her doorstep, a tray of cookies in her hands and a beaming smile on her face.
"Hello, deary. I just baked an extra batch and wanted you to have some. They're for the wedding tomorrow. Did I disturb your bath, honey?"
"No ... not at all. Thank you, Mrs. Meyer. I'm sure they're delicious." She grabbed the tray from the older woman's hand and had every intention of wishing her good-bye. She couldn't face her, not with her sex shop fiasco so close to memory.
"Declan loves them. That boy eats like a horse, I tell you. God knows where he puts it all though. Ah, but it's so good to have him visiting his old aunt."
Cait forced her mind to blank out the mention of his name. Already a deep flush set into her skin, and it wouldn't be long before she crumbled in complete embarrassment in front of Mrs. Meyer. She had to get rid of her quickly. The instant her attention turned onto the street at an oncoming car, Cait started to say good-bye and had the door almost halfway closed already.
"Oh, look, it's Declan."
She didn't mean to look, really. But who couldn't when he drove one of those horrendously old-fashioned jeep things that looked as if it would leave a trail of parts in its wake?
"Thanks for the cookies, Mrs. Meyer. I really must go."
"Oh, hold on a minute. You haven't said a proper hello to him yet. I'm so proud of that boy. He's grown into such a lovely man and takes such good care of his mother." Mrs. Meyer's eyes misted over as she glanced at her nephew descending from his excuse for a car.
Yeah? Did she know he frequented sex shops on a Saturday morning? Not only that, he was some kind of VIP, too; or else what would he have been doing behind the counter if he weren't an honest regular customer, like her? "Declan," Mrs. Meyer called to him. No, she had to get out of this.
"Maybe another time, but I really have to go..."
He reached his arm through the open window and retrieved a package that dried her mouth and constricted her heart. With a few long strides, he was at her door. Her gaze glued to the bag he nonchalantly held in his hand. God, why did that look like her orphaned dildo, the one she purchased and left behind? She whipped her gaze to meet his teasing one. Yes, he held her dildo in his hands. In front of his aunt. Hot blood rushed to her cheeks. She gripped Mrs. Meyer's tray, afraid it might slip through her sweaty palms and crash to the ground. She couldn't take this anymore.
"You wanted someone to mow your lawn, Cait. Perhaps Declan can help you," Mrs. Meyer continued, oblivious to the hateful stare she gave him or the defiant combative one he returned. "Perhaps he could water your flowers too."
He lowered his head, his gaze flickering over the area between her legs, safely guarded by the terry cloth robe, but not enough when a scalding heat manifested itself there.
"I'm sure I could wet your flowers for you, Ms. Daniels, if you like." The sound of his deep voice penetrated her, heating her blood and making her blush like a virgin all over again. Clearly, he was playing her. How much time did she have before he handed her the bag and explained it was the vibrator she left behind at the sex shop she'd visited that morning? She wouldn't put anything past him, not with that bold chip on his shoulder.
"See, there. Perfect. Oh, and tell me you'll be able to take Declan with you to the wedding? I'll be leaving very early with the van, and I don't want him driving that death-trap car of his around the mountains. He drives much too fast you know for my nerves, and I'd rather have him in one piece while he visits me. Would you mind, deary? Oh, this is perfect. Now you two have a lot to talk about with the grass and the flowers, and I'm going to miss my favorite TV program."
Mrs. Meyer hardly gave her a chance to refuse, but the instant she had her back to the door, Cait grabbed his wrist and pulled him into her house. She shut the door behind her and then placed the tray on the entrance hall table.
"What the hell are you--?"
"What?" His challenging smile made her forget her words. "I brought you your merchandize seeing as how you paid for it already. I thought I was being considerate."
"Ha. Considerate? You were practically waving it in your aunt's face. Look here, it's the dildo Cait bought, see aunty?" Cait leaned into the door. She couldn't risk losing it now. What she desperately needed was a damage control tactic. Okay, deep breath, calm down. "Thank you. I appreciate it." She stretched her hand out, waiting for him to hand it over. He didn't move. Myriad feelings of lust and anger whirled around her. But more lust, much more lust. "Please."