Some Kind of Hero [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Michelle Cary
eBook Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica
eBook Description: Courage comes in many forms? After serving his tour of duty in Iraq, Sergeant Derek Rison returns home to find his apartment--and his life--in ruins. Sitting in the back booth of a local diner, contemplating his options, Derek meets waitress Jordan Minx, a petite brunette with a sad smile and a big heart. Well-intentioned Jordan offers him a place to sleep, but an accidental encounter in the bathroom lands them both in her bed. Derek discovers a woman with an insatiable appetite for sex and a secret to hide--her "boyfriend" blackmails her to be a toy for his group of kinky friends. Bolstered by Derek's love, Jordan finds the courage to do the right thing. But the cost of freedom could be her life. Warning, this title contains the following: Explicit sex, spankings, menage a trois, violence.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2009
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60 Reader Ratings:
Jordan Minx stood at the server station, entering her customer's order into the computer, her thoughts still with the soldier sitting in the corner booth. She couldn't fathom the idea of not having any family or friends around to support you after returning from doing something so noble. Didn't people have any sense of honor, of right or wrong anymore? After all, he'd given up part of his life and put it on the line to keep the country safe.
Deep in her own thoughts, she barely heard her best friend and co-worker, Sonya, sidle up behind her. "Who's the hottie in the military digs?"
Jordan didn't bother to hide her smile. Sonya was right--even in his military garb, or maybe because of it, he was quite attractive. "I don't know. I didn't ask his name, though the name on his uniform says Rison."
"But I saw you talking to him. If you didn't ask his name, then what were you two talking about?"
Jordan wanted to roll her eyes at her friend. Sometimes Sonya could be a real pain. "If you must know, Miss Nosy, I took his order, then asked him if he was shipping out or coming home."
"And, he's just back from Iraq."
"Really?" Sonya lifted a delicate brow at her. "I wonder if all the good men serving our armed forces look that fine."
Jordan snickered, wondering that herself. "I don't know, but I'll bet you'd be the one to find out."
"Damn right. It's a shame he looks so sad though. Did you get his story?"
Jordan sidestepped, giving Sonya space in front of the computer screen. "Yeah, he came home today to learn that his apartment burned to the ground two days ago."
Sonya shook her head. "Damn. That's a kick in the balls."
"Wait a minute." Sonya paused, her finger hovering over the computer screen. "Rison? I knew he looked familiar. I think that's Derek Rison."
Jordan felt her brow wrinkle as she stared at Sonya. "Who is Derek Rison?"
Sonya turned to face her and leaned back against the counter. "He was one of my brother's friends. They played high school football together. Ty was a wide receiver and Derek was the quarterback. Last I heard he'd joined the Army after 9/11."
Jordan glanced over at the table where he sat. "So, he's an okay kind of guy?"
Sonya nodded. "Yeah, he's a good guy. A real stand-up type of person. At least he was when I knew him. Why?"
"Because right now he's homeless."
The interested tone to Sonya's voice had Jordan going on the defense. For reasons she couldn't quite identify, she wanted Sonya to stay as far away from him as possible. "Don't even think about it, girly. I'm going to offer up my place for him to sleep tonight."
Sonya wrinkled her nose. "How much fun do you think he'll have sleeping alone on an uncomfortable sofa? Especially when I can offer him up a warm bed and an even warmer body. You know, I always had a bit of a crush on him. Bet he hasn't had a good night of sex in a long time."
Jordan let out a sigh and rolled her eyes. Sonya might be her best friend, but the girl went through men like most people changed socks. The last thing she wanted was for Sonya to use the man then toss him aside like garbage. It seemed to her he had enough problems to handle already without adding a broken heart to the mix. "You're a real slut, you know that?"
Sonya looked around then leaned into her. "Have you looked in the mirror lately? At least I don't let my boyfriend pimp me out to his friends."
Heat burned Jordan's cheeks and she hoped she didn't look as red as she felt. Even though Sonya was right, the truth wasn't easy to accept. "Oh come on, like you've never had sex with more than one person at a time."
"Of course I have, but it's been on my terms, not his."
"It's on my terms," Jordan argued. "I mean it's not like he's bringing his clients to me. It's just a couple of his close friends. They're sexy as hell and treat me really well. What more could I ask for?"
Sonya cocked her head to the side, giving Jordan that Get real look she'd come to know so well. "When was the last time that no-good boyfriend of yours actually spent time with you that didn't involve sex?"
Jordan opened her mouth, then closed it again. She knew she couldn't debate that particular point and win. Over the past few years, her relationship with Randy had changed from the conventional to the weird. Not only had he stopped taking her out for dinners, dancing, and parties with friends, he'd all but stopped touching her during sex. She'd wanted to protest, say something about his absence of affection, but fear kept her from acting on her emotions. She didn't want to make him mad and run the risk of him kicking her out of the apartment or taking away her weekly stipend. That money helped to keep her grandmother nestled in a private nursing home. If it stopped coming, they might evict Jordan's grandmother and she'd have to go to a state-run facility.
"Speaking of which," Sonya started again, breaking Jordan's concentration. "What exactly is dear Randy going to think about you having another man at your place?"
Jordan shrugged, hoping to give the impression she wasn't worried about what Randy would think. Though in truth, she hadn't given Randy any thought until Sonya said something. Now she couldn't help but wonder herself. "Randy's away on business and won't be back until the end of the week. By then Derek will be gone and nobody will be the wiser."
Sonya gave her an apprehensive look. "I hope you know what you're doing. You have a big heart, Jordan, but if Randy finds out..."
Jordan glanced over at the booth were Derek still sat, knowing that by doing the right thing, she just might lose it all. "I know."
Derek pushed the empty soup bowl away and picked up his glass of water. He'd made up his mind, he'd spend what little money he had in pocket on a motel room and at least get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow, he would go to the bank and unfreeze his accounts so he could get to the rest of his money, then he'd start looking for a new place to live. As he took a long, slow drink, he heard the soft clank of glass making contact with the table. He looked down at the large piece of peach cobbler then up at the waitress. "Um ... I'm sorry, ma'am, but I didn't order this."
The waitress glanced around, then slid into the seat across from him. "The pie is on me. I'm Jordan." She extended her hand for him to shake.
"Sergeant Derek Rison," he replied more out of habit than thought. "And thank you for the slice of cobbler, but why?"
"I wanted to. Consider it a small thank you for protecting our country."
Her gesture brought a smile to his face. It wasn't often that a complete stranger actually went out of their way to thank him for his service. He hadn't joined the military to be a hero or seek praise, but it was still nice to hear it once in a while. "Thank you. That's sweet. If you wouldn't mind though, I'd like to take the pie to go."
The expression on her face turned somber. "Oh, you're leaving?"
"Yeah. I'm tired and would really like to get some rest, so I think I'm going to head down the road to the motel."
"How about you stay at my place tonight, instead?"
Her offer caused him to raise a curious brow. Had he heard her correctly? Did she just offer up her place to him? "That's a very generous offer, ma'am--"
"Jordan," she interrupted.
"Jordan," he repeated. "But why would you want to do that? You don't even know me."
"I know you need help and I want to be the one to give it."
"I appreciate the offer, but--"
She cut him off mid-sentence. "But nothing. You're in need of help. I have a warm place with a sleeper sofa and I'm not going to take no for an answer."
Who was he to argue with such a beautiful, thoughtful woman? "Okay, I know when to take an order."
"Good." She gave him a satisfied smile. "My shift ends in fifteen minutes. Enjoy your pie. I'll come get you when I'm ready to leave."
An hour later, Jordan stood in front of her first-floor apartment shivering in the dark while she struggled to push the key into the lock without taking her gloves off. The temperature had dropped a full twenty degrees since the previous day, leaving her wishing for an early spring. The fact that the outside light had again burned out didn't help.
She glanced over her shoulder at Derek, giving him an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. I don't usually have this much trouble getting into my own apartment."
"How about I give you a hand?" Derek wrapped his hand around hers, helping her guide the key into the lock. Even through her glove, she swore she could feel his heat infuse her skin and warm her entire arm.
"Thanks," she managed to squeak as she opened the door and ushered Derek inside. "It's not a very big place, but it works for me."
She watched him survey the room, then turn back to her and smile. "I think it's cozy."
"Cozy?" She raised a questioning brow. "Now there's a polite way to say small." She slipped off her gloves, removed her jacket and opened the closet door. "Here, let me hang up your coat."
"Thank you." He handed her his coat.
Their fingers brushed over the collar of his jacket, igniting a spark of desire somewhere inside her. She paused, her gaze lifting to his, and wondered if he'd felt it too.
After several seconds of contact, a slow smile spread across his face and he finally relinquished the garment. "I just want to thank you again for letting me stay here."
Her mouth went dry and she knew she probably looked like a fool standing there nodding at him, but all rational thought fled for higher ground, unable to sustain the tidal wave of emotions flooding her mind. "Uh ... you're welcome. I mean, no problem," she replied, finally recovering from her momentary lapse of stupidity. What had that been about, she wondered as she placed his coat on a hanger and closed the door. It certainly wasn't like her to crave another man.
Turning back, she found him still staring at her. "What?"
His smile softened around the edges of his mouth. "Nothing. I was just thinking it's nice to know there are some good people left in the world."
She waved off his gratitude, moved past him into the room and brushed against his arm in the process. Another rush of desire rippled through her. "Um ... The couch pulls out into a bed. If you want to remove the pillows, I'll go check the linen closet for extra sheets." She angled her thumbs in the direction of the hallway as she stepped in the same direction.
Once out of his sight, she opened the closet door and leaned against the jamb. What in the hell was wrong with her? She already had a boyfriend and lusting after a man she just met was not an option. Randy had her tied to an entirely separate world that Derek probably wouldn't understand or approve. Not that she owed Derek any explanations about her personal life--after all she'd just met the man and was only doing him a favor.
Still, deep down something gnawed at her consciousness. For whatever reason, being around him made her want to be a better person, and truthfully, there was very little about her relationship with Randy that still interested her. Only so many times she could do the whole ménage thing before even it grew old, but in the grand scheme of things, it was a small price to pay to ensure her grandmother's happiness. At eighty-six, Jordan's grandmother had never recovered from the stroke she'd suffered a few years back, leaving her paralyzed and with diminished speech. Within the last year, the diabetes she'd battled nearly all her life had finally ravaged her kidneys, leaving her relying on dialysis to survive. As grim as the thought was, Jordan knew her grandmother had a finite amount of time left on this earth and she was determined to make it as pleasant as possible.
Shaking off her wandering thoughts, Jordan set about pulling a set of dark blue sheets from the shelf and an extra pillow from her bed. She paused at the edge of the hall and watched Derek move about setting up the sleeper part of the sofa. Even through his loose-fitting fatigues, she could tell the man was built. Long muscular arms and strong, lean legs made Jordan's mouth water--a complete opposite of Randy with his pale lanky frame.
Derek also had the darkest blue eyes she'd ever seen on a man, an indigo color maybe, or possibly a shade of violet? His short brown hair was actually longer than what she expected to see on a military man. She'd always thought they all had buzz cuts or flat-tops, but his was longer, wavy, not quite touching the collar of his shirt.
As if he'd felt her presence, he stopped, then turned to look at her, catching Jordan in her stare. In an attempt to cover her obvious ogling, she raced forward with the sheets. "I'll put these on for you." She shook the sheet open onto the bed and began tucking the corners beneath the mattress. Her heart pounded against her chest, echoing in her ears as she moved around the bed. "I'm sorry it's not something nicer, but I rarely have houseguests."
"Don't worry about it. After sleeping in vehicles, on the ground and, if I was lucky, the occasional standard issue cot, this is going to be the best night of sleep I've had in years."
Finished, she turned to face him. "All done. The remote to the television is on the end table next to the lamp. Feel free to help yourself to anything in the fridge. I'm going to take a quick shower and scrub eight hours of stinky diner out of my hair." And maybe take the edge off in the process.
He nodded. "By all means, you go ahead with your normal routine. I'll do my best to stay out of your way."
She gave him one last glance, then headed to her bedroom to retrieve a change of clothes, knowing it was quite possible she'd be dreaming about him long after he was gone.
After entering the bathroom and locking the door behind her, Jordan moved to the sink and stared at her reflection in the mirror. "What in the hell were you thinking?" When she'd invited him to stay, her intentions had been honorable, but now, just a few short hours later, she could already envision writhing beneath him in a passionate embrace. So much for good intentions.
She turned on the taps and proceeded to strip out of her clothes. Her panties peeled away, sticking to her recently waxed skin, evidence of her attraction to him. Yeah, she was in trouble.
Jordan stepped into the tub, pulled the curtain back, and began to lather with her favorite body wash. The shower area filled with the smell of freesia as she scrubbed the smell of stale coffee off her skin. No matter what her attraction was to Derek, she belonged to Randy. Still, he'd always said they had an open relationship and were free to see other people. She knew it was because he was sleeping with other women and wanted to keep her around for the kinky stuff, but Jordan hadn't wanted to try anything on her own. She'd been too worried about losing everything if he got jealous and left. Maybe she should see if he meant what he said, or maybe she should keep Derek locked away in her little fantasy vault and use her thoughts of him to get her through the tough times. Her fingers slid down into her lips, her bare skin hot and wet to the touch. How long had it been since she'd had a truly gratifying orgasm? At this point, she couldn't really remember and satisfying herself, though pleasurable enough, didn't count. She slipped two fingers inside her channel and pulled her fluid up over her clit. The nub tightened and quivered beneath her touch and she realized it wouldn't take much to push her over that edge. Had Derek managed to induce that reaction by nothing more than simply being there? If that was the case, she didn't have a prayer of making it through the night unless she managed to take the edge off. Her pace increased, repeating the motion, as she leaned against the cool white tile and closed her eyes.
She could picture it all in her mind. Derek slowly pumping into her as his mouth gently sucked at one of her breasts, playing with the same nipple rings Randy seemed to hate. With her fingers digging into his shoulders and her legs wrapped around his waist, she worked with him, feeling impossibly full and satisfied as they came in one glorious and overpowering climax. She rubbed harder over her clit as her breathing grew heavy, coming in short bursts until she couldn't take it anymore. Jordan whimpered and immediately bit down on her bottom lip to keep from crying out as her release finally came, sending pleasure washing through her body.
* * * *
Derek reclined against the taupe-colored sofa bed, his legs stretched out over the mattress, while he searched the newspaper classifieds for a new apartment. He'd never imagined he'd be relying on the kindness of a stranger while he struggled to put his life back together. Then again, he had never expected to find his apartment a charred shell either.
"Not yet." He glanced up at Jordan. What he saw had him doing a double take. Her hair, still damp from the shower, hung loosely over her shoulders, framing her face, and stopped just above the slope of her breasts. A white tee-shirt clung to the still moist parts of her skin, helping to define the full, round shape of her body. Extra bumps around her nipples caused his dick to twitch with intrigue. Did she have nipple rings?
His gaze fell lower, watching the inward curve of her waist meet the band of the tight cotton shorts she wore. Despite the nearly sub-zero cold outside, Derek felt the temperature in the room rise considerably, along with parts of his body he hadn't used in over half a year. It simply had to be the fact that he hadn't been with a woman since his last leave, when he'd been home with Lisa. That had been over six months ago. Right before she'd bailed on their relationship.
Jordan opened the refrigerator door. Her head disappeared on the other side, leaving him with a full view of her ass. The gray cotton shorts did little to hide the tight arc where each cheek met her thighs. Damn, he hadn't expected that hot little body to be hiding beneath her work uniform. He caught the end of her sentence as her words broke through his thoughts.
"--do you want one?"
He shook his head in an attempt to free it from the web of desire building inside. There was no point in going down that path, especially after she'd been gracious enough to give him a place to sleep tonight. What kind of slug would he be to hit on his host? "I'm sorry, I didn't hear the question."
"I asked if you wanted something to drink."
"Sure." Maybe something cold would help cool off other parts of his body as well.
She pulled two bottles of water from inside, kicked the door shut with her bare foot and padded across the floor to where he sat. Her breasts bounced softly, causing the shirt she wore to ride up and reveal a jeweled belly ring. Derek dropped the paper over his lap, hoping to hide the bulge now evident through his pants, and reached for the water. "Thank you."
Giving him a smile, she climbed onto the mattress and sat cross-legged. He tried hard not to imagine what she looked like behind the thin strip of cotton nestled between her thighs. He was already hard as granite. Picturing her naked and on display would definitely be counterproductive.
"So, Sergeant Derek Rison, why don't you tell me about yourself?"
He twisted open the water and took a long drink before answering her question. "There's not much to tell. I'm just an ordinary guy."
She frowned. "You don't actually expect me to take that as an answer, do you?"
He laughed. "Okay, okay. Well, let's see. I was born and raised here in South Jersey. I lived in a large, white two-story house with my mom, dad, older sister and younger brother not too far from here."
"A middle child, huh? Did you suffer from the typical middle-child syndrome?"
"No. I was the oldest boy, so there was always a certain amount of pressure to live up to my parents' expectations. My brother's actually the one who went through the whole rebellious stage."
"Must be nice to have siblings." Jordan took a small drink. "I'm an only child. I know they say you can't miss what you never had, but I'd have to disagree. I'd love to have a brother or sister. Are you close to your siblings?"
Derek nodded. "There's only a year between my sister and me so we're pretty close. She married a computer-program designer and moved to California about eight years ago. I don't get to see much of her anymore."
"And your brother?"
He felt the smile leave his face and he glanced down at the bottle he held. "Last I checked, he was serving a ten-year prison sentence for knocking over a liquor store and stealing a car." To this day, he felt guilty for not being able to pull his brother out of the world he'd immersed himself in, but at some point Derek had to walk away or risk being sucked in too. It was a decision that still haunted him.
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"Don't be." He shrugged, hoping to keep his feelings at bay. "Daniel did it to himself. He had a chance to do the right thing and chose to run with drug dealers and criminals, so he got what he deserved."
An awkward silence descended over them. Desperate to keep the mood light and the conversation going, he decided to turn the questions on her. "So do you have a last name, Miss Jordan?"
He watched the end of her lips lift into a small smile. "Minx," she replied.
"Jordan Minx?" He shot her a curious look, causing her to laugh.
"I know what you're thinking, there's no way that can be my real name."
"No." He pursed his lips, trying hard not to smile. "I believe you."
She leaned over and gave him a playful smack on the arm. "No you don't."
"Of course I do, and I'm guessing your mom's name is Sable and your dad's is Fox?" He knew it was wrong to tease her about something she'd had no control over, but damned if she wasn't cute as hell, pouting at him with her lips pursed together in a disbelieving quirk.
She leaned in and raised a hand to smack him again, lost her balance and fell into him instead. In an instant, the mood around him changed from the playful banter they'd been sharing to something sultry. With their faces mere inches apart, their lips nearly brushing, Derek looked down at her and saw the intensity in her eyes. Lust, pure and simple, reared its ugly head and spurred him to take what he wanted. There would be consequences for his actions, of that he was sure. At that moment he didn't care. He'd deal with the fallout later. Before he could move, she did, lifting her mouth to his.
Her smooth full lips pressed gently against his at first. He opened his mouth, licked along her bottom lip and tugged gently on it, begging her for entrance. She settled against him, parting her lips and deepening the kiss as their tongues darted and danced in a unique rhythm. One of her hands rested on his chest, over his heart, while the other held onto his biceps. The silence in the room helped to magnify their ragged breaths. He slid his hand down her side and cupped her ass, generating a small gasp from her.
She pulled back, her eyes heavy with desire. "We can't do this."
As much as it killed him to admit it, he knew she was right. He wasn't the type to sleep around anyway, so to have sex with her after she'd been so generous in letting him sleep on her sofa, was out of the question. "I know."
"I'm sorry, Derek. I don't know what came over me." Her cheeks reddened as she slipped from the sofa bed and stood, obviously embarrassed by her behavior.
"It's okay, don't worry about it." He attempted to play off her apology as if it were unnecessary, but deep down stirred something he hadn't felt in a long time--desire. This beautiful, generous creature with the perfect last name had piqued his interest. Shaking her from his thoughts wouldn't be easy by a long shot.
She picked up her water bottle and nodded to the hallway. "I'm going to head to bed. If you need anything, just knock."
Her now-nervous and jittery demeanor only made her sexier and that was the last thing he needed right now. "Thank you, but I think I'm good."
"Okay then. Well, good night."
"Good night, Jordan." He watched her disappear down the hallway and heard the soft click of her bedroom door. Derek folded the paper and set it on the end table, leaned up and turned off the lamp. The bed might be more comfortable than anything he'd slept on over the last year, but with his dick hard as steel and his balls now aching like someone had kicked him, there was no way he was going to get a good night's sleep.
Jordan leaned back against her bedroom door. How could she have kissed him? If he stayed long she knew there was no way she'd be able to hold out and stay loyal to Randy. Of course, she already knew Randy wasn't being faithful to her. Maybe she couldn't actually prove it, but deep down she knew he had other women on the side. Why else would he have demanded an open relationship? Still, she doubted Randy would accept her using his infidelity as an excuse to commit her own. She needed some advice.
The real question was, would Sonya be home. Depending on the man of the moment, it wasn't uncommon for Sonya not to be home for days at a time. Jordan sat on the side of the bed and pressed the numbers on the phone, hoping her friend would actually be there to talk. Five rings passed and Jordan was about to hang up when Sonya's voice reverberated in her ear.
"Didn't you get enough of me at work today?"
Her playful tone had an underlying snippiness to it, leading Jordan to believe she'd probably interrupted something. She did feel bad, but she still needed some advice and she couldn't count on both hands how many times Sonya had woken her out of a sound sleep to cry about her latest breakup. Surely, she could return the favor this one time. "I need your help."
"I kissed Derek."
"And I'm attracted to him." Boy, was that the understatement of the year.
"So why are you calling me?"
Jordan rolled her eyes as she plopped backward onto the mattress and stared up at the ceiling. Why did Sonya have to be so difficult? "Because I need advice."
"Advice? Honey, you want me to tell you it's okay for you to cheat on Randy and hump your soldier boy's brains out."
Jordan's brow creased at her friend's comment. Sonya knew what was on the line if Randy walked out, so why would she even say that? "No, I want you to remind me of all the reasons I have to stay faithful to Randy, before I do something that's going to screw up my life."
She couldn't miss the long sigh on the other end of the line. "We're best friends, right?"
"So don't take it the wrong way when I say that your life's already fucked up. Screwing Derek isn't going to change that fact. Besides, you said Randy told you to date other people if you wanted, so there's not really a faithful issue here."
"Sonya, you're not helping."
"I'm not trying to. You deserve to have a great orgasm on occasion and from what you tell me, Randy doesn't provide it. I say take the boy to bed and go at it like rabbits. It will do both of you good. I have to go, I have my own night of debauchery planned out and no offense, hon, but you're holding it up."
"Sorry. Tell Wayne I said hi." She gave up on getting the answer she hoped for.
"I will. Good night, Jordan."
"Good night, Sonya." She pushed the off button and set the cordless phone back on its charging station. As expected, Sonya was no help. Jordan glanced at the closed door and thought about Derek sleeping in the other room. Since he'd just returned from Iraq, she imagined it had probably been awhile since he'd had sex. It most likely wouldn't take much to get him going.
Mentally chastising herself, she turned out the bedside lamp and climbed beneath the covers. Maybe the feeling would wear off by morning. Yeah, right, and maybe goats will fly.
Jordan rolled over and faced the wall. Why did she always have to be so responsible?
* * * *
Derek opened his eyes and looked around. The morning light peeked through the crack in the blinds, helping to pull him further from his slumber. The dream he'd been having faded into memory as reality came rushing back. He sat up, swung his feet onto the floor and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Even though he'd slept better than he'd anticipated, an unsettled feeling tugged at his chest. Was it nothing more than his current living situation nagging at him, or something more sinister? Getting his life back in order would hopefully resolve most of his problems. Then there was the issue of Jordan.
Having her infiltrate his dreams was more than a little disconcerting. There was something about her, something he couldn't quite identify drawing him to her. Maybe it was her generous nature or the sadness in her eyes that remained even when she smiled. "Well, hell," he mumbled. Dreaming about her was still better than the nightmares he'd suffered since the explosion. He was sick of waking up in a cold sweat, sick of seeing the bloody faces of his friends whenever he closed his eyes.
Absently, Derek ran a hand over the scar on his chest. Despite the best efforts of the therapist, guilt still gnawed at his insides. Like his buddies, Derek had taken shrapnel from that car bomb. Only, while they were shipped home for proper burials, he'd spent two months in a German hospital recovering from his wounds, working to regain mobility in his shoulder and arm, and dealing with the loss. It was over, he'd served his country, done his part and now it was time to go back to living his life.
Derek shoved off the bed and pulled his duffel bag from the corner. After rooting through it for clean clothes, he headed to the bathroom for a much-needed shower. He had a lot to do today and the sooner he started the better.
Standing in the shower, the warm spray soothing away his tension, Derek made a mental list. Once the insurance office opened, he'd need to report the fire and find out if his renter's insurance would cover his losses. Then he needed to stop by his pal's garage and arrange to have his car removed from storage. He scooped up the bar of soap and began to lather his chest and arms. Of course, he'd need to go by the bank and then to the mall to buy some new clothes. He was sick of military garb and the colors green and brown.
Derek closed his eyes and shook his head. There was so much to do. He'd also need to check in with his business partner and have the office order him a new cell phone. Knowing he couldn't take the phone with him, he should have taken it back to the office before he'd shipped out. But saying goodbye had been hard enough the first time around. He didn't want to put his friends and employees through it a second time. Because of that decision, his phone had been reduced to melted plastic in the fire.
* * * *
Jordan slapped at the blaring alarm clock with enough force to knock it from the nightstand onto the floor. She opened one eye and scanned the room, hoping the light infiltrating her lids had been a lamp she'd forgotten to shut off and not the sun glaring through the windows. No such luck. Where had the night gone?
In a futile attempt to block out the day, she pulled the covers over her head. Several minutes passed before the guilt finally won out and she hauled herself from the warmth of her sheets. Yawning, she tugged the curtain back, peeked outside and squinted against the sun's glare bouncing off the fresh dusting of snow that covered the ground and most of the cars. "Great," she grumbled. Before she could go anywhere, she'd have to clean the annoying white stuff from her truck. Oh what she'd give to move somewhere warm.
She finished climbing from the bed and headed for the bathroom. Maybe a splash of cold water would help rid the fog inside her head. If she'd been on the ball last night, she would have set the coffeepot to brew this morning. No such luck. Without a good jolt of caffeine to wake her up, she'd have to shock her system instead. Pausing at the closed door, she cocked her head to one side. Funny, she didn't remember closing it before bed last night. Then, with Derek being here things had been a little distracting, so maybe she had and simply didn't remember. Jordan opened the door to step inside and stopped dead in her tracks. Derek stood naked, one foot on the side of the tub as he dried off. He froze. His eyes went wide as he saw her.
She couldn't move, couldn't tear her gaze away from the fine specimen of a man standing in front of her. Lean legs connected to solid, well-defined abs, not quite washboard, but damn close. Her gaze continued up, following his form. Light brown hair peppered his muscular chest. A large, angry red scar marred the perfect skin on his right shoulder. Most impressive of all was the fine set of equipment now hanging at half-mast between his legs. Damn if the man wasn't built.
"I ... I'm so sorry. I didn't realize you were in here." She tried to look away, but her eyes wouldn't follow commands.
"It's okay. I probably should have locked the door." He stared intently at her even as she watched him. When she licked her lips, he dropped the towel. She hadn't meant to do it, she'd wanted to turn and walk away, but her legs were lead weights, keeping her rooted in place.
He moved toward her and lifted his hand to her cheek. "Do you always watch your houseguests dry off after a shower?"
She skimmed her hand along his arm, feeling the hard muscle beneath tighten. "Not usually--then none of my house guests ever looked as good as you."
With his thumb, he angled her chin up, his lips now millimeters away from hers. "Does that mean you like what you see?"
Her confession pulled a low growl from him as his mouth came down over hers. Caught off balance, she stumbled backward and landed against the wall with his body pressed against hers. His damp skin smelled of fresh soap and every place he touched made Jordan's skin tingle. She slipped her tongue between his lips and felt him suck on it. This was wrong on so many levels, but need, raw and powerful, pulled at her pussy and pushed any arguments for stopping what she hoped was about to happen right out of her head. She couldn't remember the last time she'd wanted a man so badly.
His hand slid down her back and cupped her ass, angling her into him. The evidence of his interest pressed against her belly. God, what she wouldn't do to have that beautiful cock between her legs. She trailed her finger up his back and gripped at his shoulders, feeling his hard muscles flexing beneath her touch. She rocked her hips against him in response, hoping against hope he wouldn't back down now.
He broke their kiss and she opened her eyes to see him staring down at her. "Are you sure about this, Jordan?"
Her reply was to reach between them and wrap her fingers around his engorged shaft, squeezing gently. The truth was, she wasn't sure about anything other than trying to assuage the growing ache between her legs.
He pulled her hand away, nudged her from the wall and, with a hand in hers, led her across the hallway. Before his action had time to register, he'd already moved into her room and stood with her next to the bed. He slid his hands down her body and grabbed the hem of her tee-shirt, pulling it over her head. She watched his eyes widen with what she hoped was approval. "I thought I saw nipple rings beneath this shirt last night. Very sexy, Jordan."
His approval made her smile. "I'm glad you like."
"Oh I like, all right." He lowered his head and sucked gently on one nipple, his tongue rolling the tiny nub against the roof of his mouth. She gasped as ripples of pleasure raced through her body, sending another shot of juices down her already wet channel. She snaked her arm around his head, cradling it in the crook of her elbow while she played with his hair. When was the last time she'd had a man appreciate her breasts the way he was? Her brain slowly fogged over with desire, killing what was left of her thoughts. Running on sensation alone, she moaned and began backing to the bed.
She wanted nothing more than to feel him inside her, now. When he finally pulled away, she climbed onto the mattress and smiled as she rested on her knees. "Join me?" she asked, hearing the husky desire in her voice.
Without a word, Derek joined her and she felt the mattress sink beneath her as he also rested on his knees. "Tell me what you want," he whispered as he began planting slow drugged kisses along her neck and jaw. Overwhelmed by his tender touch, she sighed and let the sensation of his kisses take over. It had been so very long since the sex had been about her pleasure she couldn't help but relish the moment. Instead of answering him, she reached over and opened the nightstand drawer, retrieving a condom and a bottle of lube.
Derek took the condom and tossed the bottle back into the open drawer, causing her to frown. "What did you do that for?"
He mouthed along the edge of her ear, flicking his tongue over the lobe. "I'm all for being safe, honey. But I promise, by the time I'm done with you, we won't need the lube."