Tease Me: Prequel
Sex fucked up everything. It caused blisters on my toes from ridiculously high heels. It forced me into a tight black dress that made breathing an inconvenience and dragged me out to a club the night before a major paper was due. But it reminded me how much I loved my best friend as I held her hair back while she heaved up her heartbreak.
“Why?” Tory’s sobs cracked my chest with each of her choking gasps.
I brushed my fingers through her golden locks and held them back from the porcelain bowl. When we started the night, sexy ringlets curled down her back, sleek like her blood-red lips and the tight black dress clinging to her hips. Her entire outfit shouted “Fuck you."
Less than two hours later her hair hung limply over her shoulders and her lipstick was smeared in red lines across her cheeks. "Fuck you" had been overthrown by images of Thomas screwing his way through the Caribbean.
She threw her phone on the tiled floor. “I need to unfriend that asshole.”
My shoulders hunched as I waited for the crack. It landed face up, scratch-free, the screen displaying an image of Thomas's tongue stroking another girl’s neck. Relief washed over me. At least with Thomas away, there was no chance of him witnessing Tory’s breakdown. He didn't deserve her love, and he sure as hell didn't deserve to see Tory’s devastation. “He's an arrogant twenty-year-old and thinks you'll be waiting with open arms to take him back.”
Tory snorted through her tears, eyes puffy and raw. “Like fuck I will.” Even devastated, she was beautiful and defiant.
“That's my girl.”
Her tiny frame slumped against the door, and she flopped her head back with a gentle thud. “I feel like shit.”
I grabbed the toilet roll and ripped off a square, clearing the makeup and snot from her face with every wipe. “You're gorgeous.”
Tory rolled her eyes, but her lips pulled up on one side and puffed her cheek. She flopped her wrists above her head and moaned. “You're lying. But I appreciate it. Now help.”
My grin widened for my best friend, a beautiful wreck, and I tugged her to her feet. We flattened ourselves against the wall of the tiny stall. Metal rattled, and the door groaned, but we wobbled out and met at the sink. Tory took one look at her reflection and sighed. “Maybe I should go home.”
Best friend duty meant making the night as painless as possible. If that included letting her pass out on my couch, I would accommodate. A selfish excitement blossomed in my thoughts. Maybe I could get some of my paper done. “I'll book a car.”
Tory’s throat bobbed, and her voice trembled. “How many girls do you think he fucked?" She swallowed her breath. "Is fucking?”
Her eyes shimmered with unshed tears. I dropped the phone into my bag and wrapped my arms around her. “It doesn't matter."
Her smoky blue gaze caught mine in the mirror, and I winked. “Because this dress makes your tits look huge. At least a dozen guys noticed when you walked in.” Black rayon curved into my palms as I pushed, causing her breast to spill out of the side.
Tory shook her head, but a laugh cracked through her quiet sobs. I kissed her cheek and released her, my hip leaning against the bench as my best friend pulled herself together.
She ruffled her hair between her fingers, turning the sullen locks into a sexy tussle. Two fingers blended the tear-streaked eyeliner around her lashes, making the smudge look intentional. “You're right. Thomas doesn’t matter. If he can fuck around, so can I.”
A flutter of unease tightened my chest. “You're going to pick up someone?”
Tory spun toward me and wobbled, her face draining of color as she gripped the basin to steady herself. Her white-knuckled grip was the only reason she hadn't dropped to the floor. “Why not? Someone has to appreciate this."
She tugged the strap of her dress down, revealing the black bra with ruby-red bows pinned to the edges.
Pain slashed across her face, and my heart broke a little more for her. We went shopping for that bra together when Tory thought the Caribbean trip was for two. Her jaw tightened, and I could see her push Thomas out of her thoughts. Her blue eyes widened, and she grabbed my wrist. “You should too.”
My eyes matched hers, except it was panic, not excitement that widened them. I shook my head. The idea of sleeping with a stranger was foreign to me. I had one relationship that began and ended in high school. Studying to become a doctor had been my top priority the last few years. “Not interested.”
“Come on,” Tory whined. “You must be full of cobwebs by now.”
“Tory!” I hissed, my cheeks hot.
Tory grinned. “If you're not using a toy then you need a boy.”
I ran my fingers under the cold water from the faucet and pressed them to my skin. I ignored her teasing and shook my head. “Going home alone is a good idea for both of us.”
Tory licked her lips and folded her arms across her chest. Her eyes roamed over the walls and dropped to the floor. A heavy sigh slumped her shoulders. “I can't go home to an empty bed and think about Thomas.”
She looked so broken and defeated. The girl standing before me was not the carefree wildcat who never took the same guy home twice. She was a heartbroken girl who’d opened herself up to love for the first time in her twenty-three years and was ruined because of it.
Seeing her devastation made me even more determined to avoid dating. I had too many plans, and I couldn't afford any distractions, but I could give Tory my attention for one night. She needed a friend, and my paper could wait.
My throat thickened and I resisted the urge to rub the ache in my chest that hurt for my best friend. Thomas was a dick. “Let’s dance and figure out the rest later.”
Tory clapped her hands and squealed, then stopped and gripped the bench again. A bucket was the only thing that was going to warm Tory’s bed tonight.
Drums thumped and guitars strummed in the far corner. A crowd gathered around, writhing on the dance floor. Familiar faces were scattered around the bar. It was the local college haunt, so it made sense to see them here, but they had the same paper due tomorrow. Was I the only one who hadn't finished?
Anxiety twisted in my gut but I pushed it aside. The paper wasn’t due until five p.m. I still had time.
Tory's hips swayed to the beat, all signs of the inebriated, toilet-hugging wreck gone. She could handle her liquor better than I thought. She reached for me; and our bodies moved in sync, the heat of our skin pressing together. Tory’s lips curled, and her eyes floated through the crowd, prowling. She was sexy and confident, more than Thomas ever deserved. She wouldn't be single for long.
I dipped with Tory and laughed at our synchronized hair flip. Going out with her always made me feel sexy and feminine. It reminded me that two years was a long time to not feel another body beneath me or on top of me. It had been too long since I’d felt something besides my own fingers. Maybe I should get a toy?
I sighed. Two more years of school and then maybe I could focus on dating again. Oh, wait. I have a residency after that. I threw my head back and groaned. Did I really want to be a doctor?
I felt that tiny bubble of happiness war with an old ache of sorrow whenever I thought about my future. Dad never said much, but I could see the pride in his soft smile when I was offered a place in the residency program at the same hospital where he worked. He had already started on the plans for the pediatric clinic we were going to open together. The builders had been scheduled to begin at the end of the year, but then his heart stopped.
My jaw tingled and the corners of my eyes burned. I blinked the emotion away. I would be opening the clinic on my own. It would be a long, hard climb, but yes, I did want to be a doctor and make our dream a reality.
Tory's lips brushed my ear. “That honey by the bar has been eye-fucking you since we started dancing.”
Heat prickled up my spine and caused a flutter in my chest. My thighs locked in place and a sick feeling churned in my stomach. I was conscious of every jerk of my waist and flap of my arms. “I'm here to dance with you, not perform for someone else. He can look all he wants. I'm not interested.”
A smile curled Tory’s lips, and her teeth tugged on the bottom one. Her eyes lingered on the stranger for a moment longer. “You don't see what I do. He looks capable of working you over enough in one night to last you through the rest of school.”
A flicker of curiosity pulsed through my veins but I shrugged. “Not interested.”
Tory waggled her eyebrows. “Well, I plan on getting laid tonight.”
I frowned and scanned her eyes. The glassiness was fading and she was moving again with ease.
“I'm all right,” she moaned. “I appreciate the concern. But I'm not spending the night in an empty bed while Thomas is off fucking everything that moves.”
Her voice hitched at the end, and she blinked, but the tears didn't come. I nodded. Tonight was about helping my friend forget her asshole ex. “Then you should talk to Mr. Capable.”
Tory grinned. “Mr. Capable. I like that.” Her gaze flicked over my shoulder. Both eyebrows raised and she barked out a laugh. “That's not going to happen.”
Minty breath fanned across my shoulder. A stranger's lips brushed against the skin beneath my ear. Sparks splintered like lightning through my veins, boiling my blood and thundering in my ears. My jaw dropped open. Was this Mr. Capable?
Tory fluttered her eyelashes. “Well, hello, handsome.”
The stranger chuckled; the sound rumbled down my spine and curled low in my belly. I sucked in a breath and his woodsy aftershave enveloped me. Masculine and sweet, mixed with a hint of salty sweat. My stomach flipped and my chest clenched. His scent was intoxicating.
My eyes closed and the muscles in my back relaxed, softening my body. I resisted the urge to sink into this strange man and press my back against his chest. God, I hope he looks as good as he smells.
“Can I dance with you?” a thick, gravelly sound purred in my ear. It was too quiet for anyone else to hear, but with his mouth so close to my ear, the murmur was as loud as my own heartbeat.
Tory grinned and winked at me. “I'll grab some waters.”
Golden locks weaved their way through the crowd, leaving me on the dance floor with a complete stranger. Traitor.
My body wrestled between extrication and coalescence. I had a paper due and a medical degree to finish. I didn’t have time to get distracted by sexy-smelling strangers, even for one night. I blew out a slow breath, trying to calm the pulse racing in my neck. It’s just a dance; it’s not like he asked you to bear his children.
I nodded. One dance, that was it, then it was back to finding someone for Tory and going home to bury my brain in medical books.
Mr Capable’s palms flattened against my waist, and his fingers curled, holding my body in a gentle grip. The tiny bud between my thighs pulsed, waking from two years of celibacy and screaming at me for more. I bit my lip and clenched my legs together.
Solid lines of abdominal muscles rocked against my back, hot and hard. He slid both hands over my hips and splayed them across my stomach, pressing me tight against his chest. His nose dragged a line from my neck to my ear. “Mmmm. I hope you taste as good as you smell.”
I gasped and stiffened my back, but I couldn’t stop the involuntary tingle that tightened my nipples. “I'm not going home with you.”
The words tumbled off my tongue in a stuttered mess.
His lips curled against my neck, and one hand slipped down the front of my dress, sitting dangerously low. His fingers flared out, brushing across that place I ached. “Are you sure?”
My throat contracted, and the moan rolled up before I could stop it. I bit my lip and felt my hips rock against him, betraying every rational thought in my fogged brain.
The stranger groaned against my throat and thrust his pelvis into my ass. His fingers stroked and curled. The sensation was light, but close enough to my aching clit to make it pulse in anticipation.
My eyes rolled, and part of me craved to give in, but I could feel the rational panic bubble to the surface. He was a stranger. Avril Miller didn’t rub her body shamelessly against unknown persons, especially when she didn’t even know what they looked like.
His fingers bit into my skin and pushed, spinning me in place. Strands of hair whipped at my cheek and tangled around my neck. My palms flattened against the hard lines of his chest then clenched to steady myself.
My gaze lifted, past full lips that curled around perfectly white teeth and up. Long, black lashes framed, soft, penetrating green eyes. They held mine, and he smiled. “Hey.”
“Hey.” The whisper was automatic, like my body was programmed to respond to him.
Adrenaline flooded my veins and every reason I had for sleeping alone vanished. There was no way to escape it. I was going home with Mr. Capable.