Five years had passed since she’d ordered Brian Macovney, aka Speedy Gonzales, out of her hotel suite following the most suck-tacular round of sex and confidence-jarring words ever. Five long years that felt like an instant the moment Brian’s picture materialized on Taryn James’s computer monitor.
Instant hurt and horniness went to battle inside her. Horniness won.
Taryn grumbled in acknowledgment of her tingling pussy. If she could look away, she’d be fine. But, damn it to hell, she couldn’t pull her attention from his sexy-as-sin smile. With his thick, dark hair, vibrant green eyes, and five o’clock shadow that had a habit of showing up shortly after noon, he was everything she went for in a guy -- lookswise. Personality-wise, he was an ass.
“Quit thinking about that prick and finish filling out the form,” Sarah Langendor, Taryn’s best friend and co-owner of the Michigan-based Lasting Impressions promotional firm, ordered from the desk to Taryn’s left.
The form in question was the last step in registering for the annual Sugar Foot Island Songwriters Conference. Taryn had waited years for an invitation to the event. Considered it nothing short of a miracle that she’d finally gotten invited. Now, because of Brian’s role as a conference sponsor, she had to turn it down.
“Don’t make me come over there and fill that form out,” Sarah warned. “I guarantee you won’t like what I put in the ‘other information’ area. How does closet submissive in search of a dominant, whip-yielding bad boy sound?”
Taryn snorted. How it sounded was polar opposite of reality. She swiveled in her black leather chair to face her friend. “I just realized how much we have going on the third week of February. There’s no way I can make the conference.”
“Yeah, and I just realized how full of crap you are.” Sarah rolled her eyes. Between their powder blue shade, her long blonde hair, and big boobs, she looked like the quintessential Barbie doll.
Apparently, Barbie never went out of style. Sarah had gone through no less than three guys this year, and it was still January. Not that going through men like they were chocolate on a high PMS day was a bad thing, but Taryn was still at a perfect zero for the year.
Or not so perfect, considering a mere glance at Brian’s picture was enough to have her every hormone spiking with want.
He might not be dynamite in bed, but the man knew all the right moves to get a woman there. The way he kissed, with his whole mouth and that magical tongue... She shivered as sensual warmth zinged through her.
“C’mon, Tare. Don’t even think
about telling me you’re going to let a guy who one” -- Sarah raised the first finger of her left hand, flashing a French manicure and a heavily stoned ring -- “never deserved you” -- she raised a second adorned finger -- “and two, sucks in the sack, destroy your dream.”
“My making it in the songwriting industry doesn’t depend on this conference. And Brian didn’t suck, he was...abrupt.” Right. And she’d just taken a fast trip to Fantasy Land.
“Maybe this isn’t a do-or-let-your-dreams-die event, but it could be the chance to get your foot in the door. Not only do you have like a hundred songs that rock, but some of the biggest names in the recording industry are going to be there. You’ve said so yourself. Fifty times in the last two days, I might add.”
Taryn’s belly turned with the truth in her friend’s words. No matter what she might pretend, Taryn wanted to attend the conference so badly she could taste it.
But was the cost worth the potential benefit?
The reason she disliked Brian wasn’t because he was speedy in bed, or even that he hurt her emotionally, the way she’d led Sarah to believe. He hurt her in a much more lasting way. After getting off himself while leaving her hot and on the edge of orgasm, Brian told her she would never make it in the songwriting industry because she didn’t come close to having what it took to write music. Then he backed that berating up with the biggest coup de grâce of them all. He claimed the words had come from his rock diva mother -- Taryn’s lifelong idol. Taryn had told herself he was full of shit. That he’d lied about his mother’s words. Still that hadn’t stopped the sting, then or now, as the hurt resurfaced to vanquish all trace of horniness.
“I want to go,” Taryn admitted. “I just don’t know if I’ll be able to give my all when Brian’s around.” The ass would probably start laughing the minute he heard her lyrics. “Sugar Foot is not a big island. It’s also only accessible by air or water. That means once my flight lands, I won’t be able to leave without waiting for the next plane or boat out.”
Sarah smiled knowingly. “You mean run, don’t you?”
Taryn wanted to shout the words and knock the perceptive look off Sarah’s face. She couldn’t, because running was exactly what she’d meant. And that was just not right. She was no more insecure than she was a runner. But then, she also wasn’t a woman who dwelled on one night of passion gone wrong. So why did that far from spectacular night with Brian continue to haunt her?
Was it just his claim of those cruel words coming from her idol, or was the attraction between her and Brian to blame?
While his stamina needed a megaboost, the sexual chemistry between them had been hot enough to set the snow falling outside the office windows on fire. The memory of his big fingers sinking inside her wet body came to her in a flash. A hot flash that left her panties damp and her pussy clenching.
Taryn puffed out a breath with the resurgence of desire. She was in serious need of a lay. “I can’t do this. I’m not ready to put my songs out there.” Unless... She turned an imploring smile on Sarah. Surely, she could handle facing any self-doubt Brian dredged up with the right moral support. “Will you go?”
“And push your songs? Ha-ha. Nice try, but I don’t have enough talent to even attempt to get them to come across the way you mean them. No way could I win a contract for you.”
“Not for me, with me. I’ll buy your plane ticket. Pay for your room.”
“I wish I could,” Sarah said sympathetically. “But you’re right about that week being busy. Not to mention the Wiccan Emporium has its grand opening the following Monday. Knowing how freaked out Laurel is about being accepted by this bass-ackwards, stuck-in-the-fifties community, we don’t dare both take off.”
As loud and attention grabbing as Laurel was, with her black Goth wardrobe and makeup and hair to match, Taryn had somehow managed to forget about her. The Wiccan could be the answer to her problems. Laurel had to know a spell to help Taryn breeze through the conference. Then again, if she knew spells that actually worked, why was she relying on a promotional firm to help her business take off?
Whatever the reason, it was the excuse Taryn had been looking for. “Told you that week’s crazy. It’s the absolute worst time I could be gone.”
Sarah smiled in a way that said I know what you’re up to, girl, and it’s not going to work
. “I never said it was crazy, just a little on the busy side. Even with juggling Laurel’s freak-out sessions and the rest of the accounts, the workload’s nothing I can’t handle for a few days. If I need to, I’ll get a temp.
“I can’t go to Sugar Foot, but you
can,” Sarah asserted. “And you are
going, Tare. There’s no way, as your best friend and the person who has to save you from overdosing on Chocolate Cashew Heaven ice cream every year when you don’t get an invitation to the conference, I’m going to let you miss it.” She nodded at Taryn’s computer monitor. “Finish filling out the registration form and hit the Submit button. You have thirty seconds, starting now.”
“I’ll have you know ice cream contains calcium, an essential part of the food pyramid.” Besides, the layered look was a must for the winter months, and she always lost the weight she gained from OD’ing by swimsuit season. Well, all but the inches from her hips. Nothing could shrink the ax-handle size of those things. She knew; she’d tried every fix imaginable.
Taryn once more met with Brian’s smile. Heat coiled in her belly. The kind of wickedly salacious heat that said the only safe thing to do was stay home. Pangs of disappointment shot through her as she closed the Internet browser window. “I can’t go. I’m not.”
Sarah gasped. “Taryn! I cannot believe you! You are one of the ballsiest people I know, and you’re acting like a big chickenshit.”
Big chickenshit, was it? Well, she always did believe in the phrase if the shoe fits... “What can I say, but...bawk. Bawk, bawk, bawk...
* * * * *
Taryn sank back in Sugar Foot’s version of a taxi, which looked more like an open-sided golf cart. Sarah’s chickenshit analogy had brought her here. Taryn could accept she was running scared in private. Sarah’s pointing it out aloud had been too much to tolerate. She was a woman who loved a challenge. If facing her past and getting over Brian’s hurtful words once and for all wasn’t a challenge, nothing was.
Hey, maybe she would get lucky and their reunion would last the same length of time as their first and last full-on sexual encounter -- approximately one and a half minutes.
Smiling over the thought, Taryn took in the surroundings. The island was fifteen square miles with a plethora of white sand beaches. More than one of those beaches was clothing optional, and since she’d arrived two days early in the hopes of dealing with Brian preconference, she planned to pay at least one of them a visit.
Hopefully in the process of browning her buns, she would find a candidate for a week-long fling with which to break her recent dry spell. Or maybe she would find that candidate at one of the local clubs tonight. The sun already dipped low on the horizon, bathing the myriad tropical vegetation and the rolling sand cliffs in an orange-red glow.
The twin towers of the Seaside, the hotel that would house the conference, came into sight ahead, and Taryn leaned her head outside the taxi for a better view. The conference registration brochure called the hotel the ideal meeting place for business. The travel brochures she’d come across made it sound more like the ideal place for a torrid, steamy affair.
Along with queen-size beds and spacious bathrooms, rooms were equipped with a Jacuzzi and a waterside balcony. Tropical-themed balcony sex was a thrill Taryn had yet to experience...and too much not to fantasize over.
As the taxi continued onward, the sultry breeze toyed with her hair, pulling the silky black strands from her hairclip much the same way they would be lifted and carried on the breeze out on her balcony. She imagined herself seated there while some surfer boy toy devoured her with the heat of his eyes.
Darkness settled in. The wind picked up, grew cooler.
His gaze sizzled into her, coursing liquid longing through her veins to nestle decadently between her thighs. His attention drifted to her breasts, lingering as a visual caress, and her nipples stiffened to aching points. With featherlight touch, she stroked the straining tips through her black halter-style dress. A moan tugged from deep down to gasp from her lips. His eyes dilated, lips licking hungrily as she turned her fingers on the tie holding up the snug dress.
The knot gave way. The material fell, gathering at her ample hips and exposing the barest hint of pubic hair.
No panties? His green eyes sparkled sexily with the unasked question.
Responding only with a naughty smile, she returned her fingers to her breasts. Wind licked at the bare, sensitized flesh, heightening her pleasure, wreaking wondrous havoc on her nerves. A brush of her thumbs against the swollen pink points of her nipples careened erotic sensation to her core. This moan erupted loud and low, echoing into the night as her sex grew heavy with cream.
Voice thick with need, he demanded, “Take it all off. Let me see you.”
Taryn’s blood hummed, seemed to singe right through her veins. Hungry urgency crashed over her. She pushed from the railing and eased the dress from her hips. His gaze fastened on the slight hair covering her mound. The smugness of his luscious grin said he was pleased with her decision to forgo panties. Then he was right there, his big hands on her body, lifting her onto the railing. Her ass settled against the coolness of the wrought iron, a delicious contrast against her hot flesh. Then a hotter connection as he bent his head and sucked her nipple into his mouth.
He bit down on the crown, twisted to the point where pleasure bordered on pain. Shoving her fingers into his hair, she writhed on the railing. Silently pleaded to feel his lips lower, his short, dark stubble chafing her most intimate places.
That want didn’t go unanswered.
Within seconds he released her nipple to trail his tongue down her belly, into the dip of her navel, around the damp hollow. A heated whimper left her as he separated the folds of her sex with his thumbs. A moment’s hesitation to devour her slick opening with the intensity of his eyes and the hot whisper of his breath, and he sank his tongue inside her pussy.
Taryn’s belly tightened as the slow fucking of his tongue turned to long, hard magnificent strokes.
Ah, God! So good. Exactly what she needed.
Gripping his hair, she tossed back her head and gave herself to his every desire, every succulent secret that waited in the darkness of night.
Juices of arousal leaked down her thighs, mixing with the briny tang of the ocean. Shamelessly, she parted her legs farther and panted out a demand for more. His eyes reflecting a wicked gleam, he worked his tongue faster, in and out of her dripping sex. Electrifying pressure built deep within her core. Her heart stampeded, slamming against her rib cage near painfully. Threatening to burst from her chest.
“We’ve reached the Seaside,” a man said in a thick island accent devoid of sensuality.
Taryn’s heart didn’t burst, but her fantasy did.
She opened her eyes on a daze of confusion. The sight of the taxi’s driver eyeing her as if she’d lost her mind quickly brought things back into focus. On the tail of that focus came disgust. She’d been fantasizing about the last man she planned to allow near her balcony, let alone her body.
Mentally dousing her frustration, Taryn climbed from the taxi. A gray-haired hotel concierge, in casual white shorts and a light blue polo shirt with the hotel’s white and navy crest on its pocket, loaded her suitcase and carry-on bag onto a wheeled cart. He followed her into the hotel and through a spacious sitting area decorated in cool blues and tans and populated with chatting hotel guests to the registration desk.
A young, tanned, smiling brunette came to the counter. “Welcome to the Seaside, Sugar Foot’s premier vacation and meeting place. How may I help you?”
Noting the woman’s name tag, Taryn returned her smile. “Hi, Ginny. I’m here for the songwriters’ conference.”
Ginny’s smile lost its professional edge to turn conspiratorial. “Let me guess, you came early to take in the island’s sights.” Before Taryn could respond, she continued in an exuberant tone, “I don’t blame you. I moved here a couple months ago, right after graduation. Mom about had a kitten over me moving so far away, but it was sooo
worth it. This place has a ton to offer.” She looked at the computer screen on her left. “To get you checked in, I’ll just need your name and the credit card you reserved your room under.”
“Great. My name’s Taryn James.” Taryn retrieved a credit card from her purse. “I’d like to check out the local nightlife. Any place in particular you’d suggest?” Preferably somewhere the men are talented in bed and easy to get there.
“Definitely. Check out the Strobe on the other side of the island. It’s totally happening and, since I don’t see a guy with you, where all the hotties hang out.”
Perfect. A quick check-in, shower and clothes change, and she would be on her way to a long overdue lay. Her sex tingled with unbridled anticipation. She fought the urge to rub her hand over her crotch.
Mmm... Might have to add a pre-Strobe fingering to the mix. A little masturbation daycap.
The too-memorable male voice sneaked up from behind Taryn so fast, for a moment she thought she’d imagined it. Then Brian’s unmistakable scent registered, and her smile vanished while her pussy ached for a much bigger, stronger finger.
Jodi Lynn Copeland