What I Did For Love - Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Love Me Or Leave Me!
 
Love doesn't make the world go round,
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
Elizabeth Browning
 
I sat in my cubby, chin in hand, and finished the final read through on the last background check of the day. As usual, I was looking for anything hinkey that might jump out at me, but this report was so squeaky clean and boring that I had to stifle a yawn. I shoved the file into a folder, tossed it into the 'Out' basket, and heaved a satisfied sigh. My 'In' box was empty, my desk was clear, it was Friday afternoon and I was ready for the weekend.
 
I had been back at RangeMan for about three months now, and everything was going great. Thanks to my 'sign on bonus' the heater in my car was fixed and all my bills were paid. I actually had money in the bank and food in the fridge. Ella was so thrilled I was here again that she sneaked me a steady supply of forbidden goodies and the Merry Men had welcomed me back with open arms. In fact, later on I was meeting some of the guys at Shorty's for a 'Pizza and Pool' night, so I even had a social life… kinda.
 
It was all good. As far as I could tell, I only had one real problem, and it wasn't work related. Well, I guess maybe it was, kinda sorta work related. In a way. Maybe. Oh, the problem? Sex. Or to be precise, the LACK of sex was getting to be a problem.
 
Now anybody who knows me knows that birthday cake and sex run neck and neck as my favorite things in life, and birthday cake only wins by a rose anyway. Let's face it, I could get all the birthday cake I wanted, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, so that wasn't the issue. It was the sex part that I seemed to be having trouble with.
 
I couldn't even remember the last time I had a date, much less a social ******. Hell, the only time I even came close was when Ranger and I attacked each other in my apartment. At the time, I had wondered what he meant when he said he was sorry, I guess now I know … Ranger was acting like it had never happened.
 
I mean, I saw Ranger every day, and he was pleasant and polite and professional … the perfect boss. Unfortunately for me, he was also sexy and gorgeous and smelled good and did I say sexy? But he never said a single word about that 'close call', not even when I brought back his clothes, all nice and washed and ironed. What? You thought I ironed them? Oh please! I went to my Mom and asked her to do it, but it's the thought that counts, right?
 
Anyway, for the three months that I've worked here, he's been acting really different. If I have to go into his office, he leaves the door open. If we're on the elevator together, he always leans against the far wall. If we pass in the hall, he nods and says, "Stephanie," in that deep, melted milk chocolate voice of his. But nothing else.
 
He's been treating me like a regular employee! Maybe he was afraid I'd yell sexual harassment, or that the Merry Men would think that there was something going on between us. I don't know his reasons. All I did know was that he's been keeping me at arm's length and it was really infuriating.
 
I admit it! I missed the touches and the stolen kisses and the double entendres, the playfulness we shared at the bonds office. I thought about it all the time and it made me hot and bothered. The feel of his hand on the back of my neck, his breath on my cheek, his tongue touching mine … It was all I could do not to jump his bones and demand some answers. While I rode him like Zorro, of course.
 
See? This is why a shower massager, even my new 6 speed turbo model, just wasn't cutting it anymore. It was fine when it supplemented my normal sex life, tiding me over until Joe got back in town, or his guys missed me, or I got horny. I had spent so much time with that particular appliance that we were on a first name basis … I called him Sam.
 
But now, I had no sex life at all and as my sole source of satisfaction, Sam the massager was a pretty poor substitute for what a real live man can do for you … and to you.
 
I mean think about it, no touches, no caresses, no hugs or kisses, no cuddling, no one to hold you at night, nobody to snuggle up with and watch TV, nobody to fall asleep with or wake up with. And at the risk of sounding like a real nympho, Sam really wasn't into foreplay. I'd say I was ******, but the real problem was that I wasn't … ******, that is.
 
Trying to figure out the cause of my sudden wanton desires was only making things worse. I couldn't figure out if I was this horny before I took the job, or was it the job that was making me this horny? I was like this tiny Estrogen Island in the middle of the Testosterone Sea.
 
So here I was, driving myself nuts working at RangeMan. Now sexually deprived little me was spending five days a week in an office surrounded by buff bodies in skin tight t-shirts and cargo pants that showcased all their best assets. I worked out in the gym and watched sweaty muscles ripple until my mouth went dry and my knees went weak. Just the smell of testosterone that hung in the air was overpowering. Did I just say hung? I needed to find a real live human male and I needed to find him fast!
 
I found myself ogling the Merry Men … now that's desperation! I mean, sure they were all ogle-worthy, but if anybody saw me, I was setting myself up for a major embarrassment here. Unfortunately, this was me we were talking about and I could only go so long without humiliating myself. So it was inevitable that I would get caught leering at a RangeMan, in this case, it was Bobby's *** that did me in.
 
Bobby had dropped off a couple of search requests for me and I had rolled my chair to the doorway of my cubby and leaned way back so I could watch Bobby's buns as he walked down the hall. I was so enthralled by the sight of those excellent muscles that I didn't even notice that Tank was standing right next to me, and Tank is pretty damned hard to miss. He must have said my name a couple of times, but when I didn't answer, he leaned down and blew in my ear. I probably went three feet straight up in the air, screamed, got tangled in the chair and went over backwards, chair and all, landing sprawled out in the hall for God and RangeMan to see.
 
Tank struggled to keep a straight face as he untangled my legs from the chair and picked me up off the floor. "You okay, Bombshell?" he choked out.
 
"Jeez, Tank, you gotta quit sneaking up on people! You trying to give me a heart attack?" I snarked at him as I rubbed my butt.
 
He stood looking down at me, his face breaking into a huge grin. Taking me by the shoulders, he made a big show of turning me around and looking me over.
 
"What are you looking for? Blood?" I got worried there for a minute.
 
"Naah! I'm looking for the wet spot. I figure you landed in that big puddle of drool you left on the floor while you were watching Bobby's ***!" Tank threw his head back and roared with laughter until tears rolled down his cheeks.
 
"Taaank!" I squealed as I hauled off and smacked him in the arm as hard as I could, "It's not that funny!" And then it hit me. "Oh My God! You have to promise me that you won't tell anybody … come on Tank, pleeeeeease?" I begged. If Tank knew, then he'd tell Bobby, and if Bobby knew, he'd tell Lester. And if Lester knew … well then the world knew. My humiliation would be complete … I could never hold my head up at RangeMan again. "Pleeeeeease!"
 
"Bombshell," Tank choked out as he mopped his eyes, "I won't tell a soul, but it won't make any difference." He pointed up, over my head.
 
I groaned when I saw the cameras for the internal monitoring system pointed at me. I covered my face with my hands and slunk back into my cubby, huddling in my chair. My fate was sealed; I would never be able to live it down.
 
Later, on my way to lunch, I passed the Control Room where Hal was working the monitors. I gave him a little finger wave and he gave me a wicked grin, then held up a tape. ****! Stephanie Plum starring in the latest episode of RangeMan's Funniest Home Videos. I just wanted to crawl under my desk and stay there. I guess Hal finally got his revenge on me for stunning him last year.
 
When I got back from lunch I found a new slideshow screensaver on my computer … naked butts … baby butts, pasty white butts, fat butts, skinny butts, hairy butts, wrinkled butts, a red baboon butt, and the last one, a picture of me, landing on my ***, with a caption that said, 'The Butt Stops Here!' Merry Man humor. Just friggin' swell!
 
As if that whole fiasco wasn't bad enough, I followed it up a week or so later with Act II in the gym. As per my contract with RangeMan, I was required to work out a minimum of three days a week. But it seemed that no matter when I showed up at the gym, and honest to God, I did try to avoid them, there were at least a couple of half naked Merry Men in there, working hard to keep their buff bodies buff.
 
I had the guys memorized. It got to the point that you could have shown me a picture of just body parts, like pecs or abs, and I could tell you who they belonged to. I was so distracted by these masses of male pulchritude that my body wasn't getting half the workout that my hormones were. Eight million Hungarian hormones were doing jumping jacks and I was walking into walls.
 
The treadmill that I always used was turned to face the wall. Unfortunately, that wall was entirely mirrored so I got a full view of the whole gym and let me tell ya that I didn't miss a thing. So early one morning I'm plodding along, not nearly enough caffeine flowing through my body, so my brain isn't exactly working at optimum efficiency. Ram and Cal strolled into the gym, gave me a wave and promptly ******** off their shirts. They started to warm up and my already lame brain just fogged over. Now my biggest problem was not stepping on my own tongue, which was hanging out because Ram and Cal have bodies so gorgeous that you could look at them and forget how to breathe.
 
So I upped the speed on the treadmill. I was better off concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other instead of concentrating on where I wanted to be putting my … um, never mind. Ram and Cal squared off on the mat and went at it. I have no idea what they were doing, but it looked like a combination of kickboxing and wrestling. They grappled and rolled around on the mat, first one on top and then the other and I was mesmerized by their rippling muscles and hot, sweaty bodies.
 
Anyway, just when I finally banished the image of being the happy filling in a RangeMan sandwich, who walked out of the locker room wearing nothing but a pair of shorts but Ranger, followed by Lester. By the time they finished their warm up, I was mouth breathing. In a moment of brilliance, I upped the incline on the treadmill thinking that I could work off some of my pent up frustrations. Ranger and Lester took their turn on the mat and I'm pretty sure that's when my brain disconnected from the rest of my body!
 
I couldn't have taken my eyes off Ranger if I had wanted to. The only time I had seen him naked had been on our one night together, but this was pretty damned close, and suddenly I had a flash of him sliding hard and deep inside me. I had to get out of there before my eyes rolled back in my head and I did a 'When Harry Met Sally' number and humiliated myself … again.
 
Oh, you already know what happened! I was staring at Ranger and I reached out to hit the Stop button and mashed the Speed button instead. Who knew that a treadmill could go from zero to sixty in .05 seconds? Not me! I shrieked at the top of my lungs as the mutant machine kicked into high gear and flung me off backwards.
 
I don't even remember landing. The next thing I knew, I was sprawled on my back with a circle of worried faces swimming above me. I vaguely remember being strapped onto a gurney and think I gave the guys a loopy grin and a finger wave right before they slid me into the ambulance and I slipped into La-La Land.
 
I woke up in the Emergency Room with Bobby bending over me. "How are you feeling, Steph?"
 
I groaned, and struggled to sit up. "I guess I'm okay. Unless you can die from terminal embarrassment. I did it again, huh?"
 
Bobby patted my shoulder. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about, Steph. It looks like that treadmill malfunctioned. Ranger's having it checked out now."
 
A snort escaped me. "Tell Ranger to save his money. I can pretty much guarantee that it was pilot error that caused my crash," I said dejectedly.
 
Bobby snickered. "Paying more attention to the scenery than the road again, were you?" Bobby joked with a smile.
 
I would have rolled my eyes at him if my head hadn't hurt so badly. "Can we please just get out of here? I've faced enough humiliation for one day."
 
Bobby got hold of the doctor and got me discharged with orders to take it easy for a couple of days, not to drive or operate any machinery. Wasn't that what got me into this mess in the first place?
 
You know how they say that trouble comes in threes? Well, 'they' were right! My third embarrassing episode was the worst, but at least it was private mortification.
 
There are no women's locker rooms or bathrooms at RangeMan. When I worked there before, and again now, a nice little 'Ladies' Room' sign magically appeared on the door of one rest rooms on the fifth floor. No problem, I had some privacy and the guys didn't mind, so it worked out fine. The problem was the locker room. I couldn't boot all the guys out when I wanted to shower and change, and I sure as hell wasn't gonna share it with them. So what to do?
 
Ranger solved the problem by letting me use his apartment. He was always up and out early, and didn't get back until late. I tried to get gym time in before I clocked in, so it all worked out great. Until a couple of days ago, that is.
 
I had mentioned that I needed to sharpen up my takedown skills and Cal had offered to help me. We decided to meet in the gym at lunch time when there would be fewer spectators. I have to admit that I was worried about being that up close and personal with Cal's body, especially in my current state of deprivation. I got over that the first time he tossed me over his shoulder and bounced me off the floor like a rubber ball. By the fifth time I went flying through the air, I was pissed. And by the time I finally got the hang of the technique Cal was trying to teach me, I was pretty sure they were gonna have to carry me out of there in a body bag.
 
I limped into Ranger's cool, calm, dimly lit apartment, red faced, soaked with sweat, and aching in places I didn't even know I owned. Dragging myself into the bathroom, I stood in the shower, under the pounding hot water, until I felt my muscles relax and I could breathe without my chest hurting. Unfortunately, being surrounded by the scent of Bulgari was like being wrapped in Ranger and created a whole different set of problems that I didn't dare do anything about. Not here, at least.
 
I hopped out of the shower … okay, so hopping was an exaggeration. I stepped out of the shower and turbaned my hair in a towel, using another for my body. I spent a minute or two slathering on body lotion so that I didn't have to smell like Ranger all day. I mean it was bad enough that he drove me nuts without me driving me nuts, too. Then I bent over to towel dry my hair.
 
I heard the clink as my little gold hoop earring hit the floor and skittered away. I looked around the floor, and finally tossed the towel onto the counter before I got down on my hands and knees to try and find it. I've been told that position is everything in life, but I don't think that this position was what they had in mind. There I was, stark naked, cheek pressed against the marble tiles, *** up in the air, when the bathroom door flew open and Ranger walked into the room. Please God, just let me die now.
 
I jerked up onto my knees, not that it helped any. Now I was stark naked and on my knees in front of Ranger, eye to eye with his crotch. He was barefoot and shirtless, his cargoes unbuttoned and half unzipped and suddenly I was praying to God for something else entirely.
 
Ranger's sharp intake of breath echoed in the room like a gunshot, still, I couldn't seem to raise my eyes to his face. I watched, hypnotized, as he hardened and his cargos got tight.
 
He growled, deep in his throat and ground out, "****!"
 
I licked my lips and breathed, "Oh God, Yes!" before I could stop myself.
 
Like lightening, his fingers twisted in my hair. He hauled my head back and he bent down, kissing me so hard I could feel my lip split. My hands slid up the back of his legs to steady myself as he ravaged my mouth, and the heat between us made me dizzy.
 
As quickly as he grabbed me, Ranger let me go and took a step back, his fists clinched at his sides. I felt my face flame, and I sank down onto the tiles, wrapping my arms around to cover myself. I still couldn't look in his face, but for a different reason now. "Get dressed, Stephanie!" he hissed as he backed out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
 
Oh My God! This was so bad! I'm a girl who should be used to embarrassing herself. I didn't even think it was possible for me to blush anymore and here my face was on fire. I mean, I've blown up cars, rolled in garbage, been head humped by dogs, attacked by geese, dragged in naked, Vaseline covered skips, and even tried to explain my jelly donut theory to Ranger, but nothing, NOTHING, had ever been this humiliating.
 
And really, this was beyond humiliation … I wasn't able to take my eyes off the man's crotch, for God's sake! And he says '****' and I say 'Yes'? What the hell is the matter with me? I was such a ****! I guess he was lucky I didn't just whip it out of his pants for him.
 
I didn't have to look at his face to tell how angry he was, those clinched fists and that slammed door were evidence enough. I threw my clothes on as fast as I could. I had to get downstairs before Ranger tossed me out a window or sent me to Lapland or Rwanda or one of those 'stan' countries that nobody could locate. I held my breath as I peeked out of the bathroom. Good! No Ranger in sight!
 
I hustled out of the apartment and down the stairs to the fifth floor. Yes, I took the stairs thankyouverymuch! I spent the rest of the afternoon looking over my shoulder, waiting for the axe to fall. I have to admit that I was pretty surprised that I was still employed at five o'clock when I left for the day.
 
The next morning when I got to RangeMan, nobody acted weird or looked at me funny, so I guessed that Ranger didn't say anything to anybody about our … encounter. I should have known he wouldn't; after all, he was such a private person. But still, he was a guy, and most of the guys I knew would have shared this little tid-bit with their buddies, complete with leering smiles and waggling eyebrows. Maybe that's what was wrong with the guys I knew.
 
When I got to my cubby, I found an envelope next to my computer. In it was my earring and a key to one of the efficiency apartments on the fourth floor. The key had a tag on it, 'Women's Locker Room.' Leave it to Ranger to find a solution to every problem. And me? I just kept my fingers crossed that my most embarrassing RangeMan moments were over with.
 
Saturday may be date night, but Friday night is RangeMan's Pizza and Pool night at Shorty's. We always had a designated driver who played chauffeur, and that night it was Hal. I knew it was only Shorty's, but I had to admit that I enjoyed dressing up a little bit. I spent extra time on my hair and makeup, and wore nicer clothes than my usual jeans and t-shirt, definitely more feminine than my RangeMan uniform. I wore a sapphire blue, long sleeved, cashmere wrap sweater. Since I wasn't the world's best pool player, I needed every advantage I could get. Between flashing my cleavage and the tight stovepipe pants I was wearing, I figured I was leveling the playing field, so to speak.
 
I always thought that I could put away pizza, but I was a slouch compared to the Merry Men. I couldn't tell you how many pizzas and pitchers of beer were served to our tables, but it was a very well fed and happy group that hit the back room and commandeered the pool tables. We each put ten bucks into the pot, drew lots and played elimination games. The last player standing took home the winnings.
 
I won my first couple of games, thanks to my cleavage, I'm sure. I had just leaned over to line up a shot when that old familiar tingle zipped down my spine … Ranger was here. He normally didn't show up for these little get-togethers, so I had to wonder what brought him out here tonight. I hadn't seen much of him since the incident in his bathroom, but let's face it, we had seen an awful lot of each other in those couple of minutes. I took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on the shot I had to make.
 
Despite Range watching, I won that game, but was eliminated in the next round, so I sat on the sidelines with the guys and watched as Hal wiped the floor with the competition and won the pot. Maybe it had something to do with him being the only player who wasn't drinking? As the guys cleaned up their bottles and mugs, I excused myself and went to the ladies' room. When I came out, all the guys had wandered back to the bar, and only Ranger and I were left in the pool room.
 
Ranger was at a table, racking the balls. "Game?" he asked without looking at me.
 
"I didn't know you played," I said as I chose a cue and chalked the tip. The waitress came in and handed us each a Corona with lime and I saluted Ranger with the bottle before I took a pull.
 
"Lot of things you don't know about me," he offered as he stepped back from the table.
 
I almost snorted."So what made you decide to join us tonight?" I lined up the cue ball and took the shot, scattering the balls on the table.
 
"Nice break. I came to see you." He concentrated on the table, watching me make an easy shot.
 
"About…?" I prodded.
 
"I should have knocked," he said matter of factly as he sank a couple of balls.
 
I knew that was as close to an apology as I'd ever get from him. "I should have locked the door," I said back, apology accepted.
 
"We okay now?" He looked at me for the first time.
 
I just nodded and we continued to play in silence that didn't seem at all awkward. When I blew another bank shot, I cursed under my breath.
 
"It's always that same shot that gets me!" I bitched.
 
"I noticed," he said. "You overcompensate."
 
"What?" I watched while he set up my shot again.
 
"Line up the shot," he told me, and I leaned over the table.
 
"So what am I doing wro …" My breath caught in my throat as Ranger bent over me, his arms over mine, my hands covered by his. I was trapped as the whole length of his body overlaid mine. I could feel his breath on my neck, his muscled chest against my back, my *** pressed into his lap and his thighs against the back of my legs. I was wrapped in Ranger and it was the most erotic thing I had ever known.
 
His heat soaked into me, and every nerve ending I had flared to life. My mouth went dry and my nipples contracted almost painfully. Lightening shot through my veins and the desire that coiled low in my belly made me dizzy. Ranger felt it too, and he groaned when I shuddered under him.
 
"Jesus, Babe," he breathed into my hair. He didn't move, but I could feel him harden and grow against my butt. I moved against him and his hands tightened on my wrists. His mouth found the side of my neck and I whimpered when he bit into the soft flesh. We were called back to reality when the lights flashed and Shorty bellowed, "Last call!"
 
Ranger straightened and stepped back from me. I dropped the cue on the table, "I have to go," I said without looking at him. I grabbed my bag and headed into the bar to catch my ride home. Only when I got out there, all the Merry Men were gone. I settled my tab and hurried out to the parking lot, but again, no Merry Men.
 
I was fishing my phone out of my purse to call a cab when a real rough looking guy on a Harley roared up so close in front of me that I had to step back. He got off his bike and literally backed me against the side of the building, bracing his hands on either side of me so that I couldn't escape. "I been watchin' you play pool, Sweetheart," he leered. "You got good hands. I can give ya a real piece of wood to play with." He leaned in, like he was going to try to kiss me.
 
I was just about to knee him in the balls, when the guy's smile faded and his eyes got wide. The Glock pressed against his temple probably had something to do with it. Ranger growled one word, "Mine!" The guy nodded and mumbled, "No offense, buddy." He ran to his bike and took off out of the lot, running the red light on the corner just to get away.
 
Ranger put the gun in his waistband and pulled his sweater down over it, then took my hand and led me to the Porsche.
 
"Thanks, but you really didn't need to rescue me," I told him as I buckled my seatbelt.
 
"I know," he said, arching an eyebrow, "I was rescuing him." I couldn't help but smile.
 
It was well after midnight when we got up to my apartment. Ranger took my keys and opened the door, made me wait in the hall while he did his walk through. No stalkers or boogey-men tonight, only killer dust bunnies under the bed. He dropped the keys in my hand and curled my fingers over them.
 
"Do you want to come in?" I asked as I dropped my keys in my bag.
 
He cupped my face in one hand and ran his thumb over my lips. "If I come in, Stephanie," he said softly, "I won't be leaving until after breakfast." He waited a long second. "But I can't offer you more than I already have."
 
My eyes snapped up to his glittering black ones and I saw heat and hunger there. I had about three seconds to make a decision. What was Ranger offering me anyway? Really, nothing different than what I'd had with Joe. I didn't say anything, just held my hand out to him and took a step back through my doorway.
 
"Are you sure that it's enough?" he asked, searching my eyes. I reached out and hooked my fingers into the waistband of his jeans, pulling him through the door. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I kissed him with everything I had in me. I had made my decision, and I wanted this man and whatever it was that he was offering, for as long as it lasted.
 
He lifted me around the waist, holding me tight against him, and carried me through foyer, only stopping to kick the door shut. He never broke the kiss, just took me into the bedroom and put me down next to the bed. This was nothing like our one night together; I had no nerves, only need. No fears, only desires.
 
I pushed his sweater up over his chest, and he reached over his shoulder to grab a fistful of fabric, hauling it over his head and tossing it aside. I reached for his belt buckle, opening it and pulling it out of the loops all the while feasting on his neck and grazing my teeth over his collarbones. The button and zipper on his jeans yielded to me and I breathed a sigh of triumph; he hissed in a sharp breath of pleasure as I stroked his hard, hot length with both hands.
 
Ranger opened the ties on my sweater and ran his hands under the material, peeling it off my shoulders and down my arms exposing my skin to his mouth. Everywhere his lips touched me, I burned. My eyes drifted closed when his fingertips whispered a trail of fire across the swell of my breasts and up to my shoulders, pulling down the black lace bra straps. In seconds he had the clasp open and the bra followed the sweater to the floor. His hot hands palmed my breasts, his thumbs brushing over my nipples, stealing my breath away.
 
I kicked off my boots and tore off my slacks as fast as Ranger shed the rest of his clothes and I stood there in a tiny scrap of satin and lace that masqueraded as panties, impatience skittering through me. He removed them with a single tug, and I was standing naked in front of him. No embarrassment like the other day; now, we were equals.
 
Wrapping his arms around me, he lifted me and followed me down onto my bed, his delicious weight pressing me into the mattress. He fisted his hands in my hair as he fused his lips to mine, his tongue exploring my mouth until I was dizzy. When the kiss broke, he used his hands, his mouth, his teeth and his tongue to inflame my body. I could feel him smile against my skin as he rediscovered each place that made me sigh or moan or gasp or writhe with pleasure.
 
I pushed him onto his back and straddled him, greedily returned the favor. My hands and mouth traced his muscled shoulders, his abs, nipped at his hipbones, touched everywhere, found all of his secret places. I moved down his body deliberately, feeling the rhythm of his heart change under my hands as I dipped my tongue into his navel. I watched his beautiful eyes close as I teased him with my lips and tongue, nuzzling that line of fine hair below his abs, making his hips arch when I took him in my mouth. I was pushing him closer to the edge, and I had never in my life felt such power.
 
He rolled on top of me, "My turn," he whispered and the sweet torture continued. He laved the spot where my neck met my shoulder, then sucked the skin into his mouth, marking me, hard and deep. He feathered kisses over my chest and between my breasts, circling my nipples with tiny kisses and little licks until I was all but sobbing. Finally, he took my nipple in his mouth and sucked hard. I felt the pull down through my belly, all the way to my toes. He kissed his way to my other breast, sucking until I thought I would go mad.
 
His fingers slipped between my folds and into me, first one, then another. They matched the rhythm of his mouth on my breast and I writhed against him, rocking my hips, looking for release. He slid down my body, grazing my belly with his teeth, his tongue flicking out to taste me. He was the Devil incarnate, bringing me to the edge and then backing off over and over until I was beyond pleading and was cursing him back to Hell, begging him to take me with him.
 
Finally he took pity on me. Spreading my legs with his hips, he slid into me in one single thrust, filling me, completing me, making me cry out because it felt so good, being filled with him, so hot and hard. He stilled, waiting for my body to adjust to him, and I could see from the corded muscles in his neck and his clenched jaw, just what that was costing him.
 
Then he started to move, pulling almost all the way out, before slowly sliding back in. I had let him play, torturing me. I knew that Ranger made love. But God help me, I didn't want slow and gentle. It was my turn, I wanted … no, I needed him, hard and fast and rough. I slid my feet up the bed, spreading my legs open wide, rocking my hips up hard to meet him. My fingers dug into him, pulling him closer, higher up inside me. I tightened my muscles around him and clawed at his back.
 
I leaned up and bit his shoulder until I tasted his blood. "**** me, Ranger!" I gasped out. "**** me!"
 
And, Oh God, he did. He narrowed his eyes ever so slightly, a smile, wild and feral, curved his mouth and a sudden jolt of fear shot through me, erotic and exciting. Sliding his arms under my back and curling his hands over my shoulders, his fingers bit into my flesh. He started to move, each thrust harder, faster, pounding into me until I had to reach back and brace my hands against the headboard. Ranger was giving me everything I had asked for, and more. I came screaming his name, and seconds later, he followed me over the edge into nirvana.
 
Ranger had said that if he came in, he wouldn't leave until after breakfast. He stayed for breakfast, and lunch, and dinner on Saturday night. When he left late Sunday morning I had a vague recollection of him chuckling because I couldn't move. He kissed my butt cheeks and the small of my back, between my shoulder blades and lastly, my mouth. I slept straight through to Monday morning.
 
I had to take three Advil just so I could move enough to get to work. Granted, Ranger was in much better shape than I was, but I wondered if he was even a little bit tired or sore. I had a bunch of background checks on new hires to give him, and decided that would give me the perfect excuse to check on him, just to see how he was doing, and to see if he still had that huge hickey I gave him on his neck. I tried to cover mine with makeup without much success. The Merry Men had teased me that morning, congratulating me that I finally had a love life. They never asked who it was, and if they knew that I had spent the weekend with Ranger, none of them was dumb enough to let on.
 
Armed with the files he had requested, I knocked on his office door and breezed in. "Hey Ran…" I stopped short when I realized the Tank was sitting behind Ranger's desk. The only time that Tank used this office was when Ranger was 'in the wind' for an extended period of time. I had a really bad feeling about this.
 
"Hey Bombshell! You have a good weekend? Yeah, guess you did! Nice hickey you're sporting there." His deep laugh boomed through the office.
 
"Um … Tank? Where's Ranger?" I was hoping against hope that I was wrong.
 
"Come on, Bomber. You know I can't tell you anything, but this is gonna keep him gone a long time. So any problems, just bring 'em to me."
 
I just nodded kind of numbly.
 
"Steph? What's the matter? You're pale." Tank got up and came over to me and bent down to look in my face and realization hit him. "Oh ****!"
 
Yeah! I though. 'Oh ****' just about nailed it! That dirty, no good, low down, rat bastard, son of a ***** did it to me … again! When the hell was I ever gonna learn?
StephanieManoso StephanieManoso
31-35, F
3 Responses May 16, 2012

Incredible writing that seems so much like Evanovich's! It was cute in the beginning, hotter as it went along, got scorching hot, then the big disenchanting moment we all know so well. First of all, you are a seriously terrific writer, your Stephanie is to die for and had I such a woman I'd give my life for her, and finally, she definitely has enough to get ANY guy back, or even any guy she wants. Can I have her phone # please? :)

Reading more later.....this is good.

This Chapter was kind of heartbreaking. Here Stephanie realizes that hormones can be so severe that they can wreck the love we have for each other. . "I knew that Ranger made love," she says, and he fulfills her request for "more" and leaves her high and dry. Will they ever let their love for each other surface? I ma assuming here that he loves her, and I think he does so far.