Copyright © 2012 Cathryn Fox
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Sean’s cock hurt.
It hurt so goddamn much he didn’t even know what to do with himself anymore. Taking matters into his own hands did little to ease the tension inside him, or keep his blood pressure from rising to dangerous proportions. In fact, it only made him want her that much more.
Her, as in…Madison Kelly.
Christ, what he’d do to feel Madison’s soft, sensuous body writhing beneath his, to kiss his way down that long sensuous neck of hers until he reached her gorgeous breasts, her flat stomach—the sweet spot between her legs. What he’d do to open her pretty pink lips with the soft blade of his tongue and lick her sex until she begged him for more.
Oh, what he’d do to make her beg.
Everything from the way she moved to the way she crinkled that cute little nose of hers consumed his thoughts and had him wild with the need to fuck her, to bring her to never-before-known heights of excitement. He ached to drive his aching shaft into her, to slam her sweet pussy so hard and so deep that it drove every sane thought from her head. Maybe if he rendered her senseless, then she’d forget why she hated him so much.
Frustrated and uncomfortable from the pressure brewing deep in his groin, he shifted uneasily in his seat and rolled his tongue around a suddenly dry mouth. Reaching for his beer, he took a long pull, but the only thing that could quench his real thirst was a night with Madison. Groaning with need, he slammed the empty bottle down on the table with much more force than necessary and shot a glance around Harry’s Pool Hall.
“Something on your mind?” his best friend Cole Landon asked.
Instead of answering, Sean grunted under his breath and peered through the rambunctious Friday night crowd until his gaze settled on Madison. Goddammit, she’d said she was on duty and there she was laughing and having drinks with her friends. She’d clearly blown him off and he damn well didn’t like it. The truth was Sean was used to women throwing themselves at him. Most wanted the fantasy from him, treating him like he was an object. While he was happy to oblige, he knew those women didn’t want him for who he really was. They simply wanted to have sex with a firefighter, someone they considered a hero.
Honestly, Sean would love to settle down, but he’d yet to find a woman who saw the man beneath the uniform. That thought had his mind darting to Madison. She was the only one who’d taken note of his uneasy state on the boat, and even though she was on duty and it was her job to oversee his safety, the way she’d cared for him belowdecks had proved she was a woman of depth, a woman who saw below the surface.
He took a moment to peruse her as she worked her way around the pool table. She’d changed out of her work clothes and now wore tight jeans that showcased curvy hips and a lush ass. Then again, it didn’t matter what she wore, he even found her starched security uniform both provocative and arousing. His attention drifted to her pink T-shirt and he took in the words, Pirates of the Caribbean, emblazed across the front. The shirt not only brought out the warmth in her cheeks, but it hugged her full breasts in the most delicious ways. Ways that teased his hunger for her and had his throbbing cock rising to the occasion.
Not that he’d ever get the chance to sate that hunger.
Sean cursed under his breath and leaned back on his chair, unable to figure out why she refused to have drinks with him tonight, or why she always ran in the opposite direction whenever she saw him coming.
Cole gestured for the waitress to bring two more beers then planted his elbows on the table. He arched a brow and said, “Well, well. I never thought I’d see that day.”
Sean glared at Cole and curled his fingers, ready to knock that crooked grin off his best friend’s face. “What the fuck are you talking about?” Sean grunted.
Cole propped his leg onto a chair, adjusted his pants around the hard, fiberglass cast protecting his ankle, and gave a slow shake of his head before saying, “You got it bad, pal.” He let loose a low whistle and added, “You got it real bad.”
Okay, so maybe Cole was right. Maybe he did have it bad. And maybe the fact that he had it bad for the one girl in town who wouldn’t give him a chance had him acting completely out of character.
So what the hell was he going to do about it?
Sean ran through his options but still couldn’t come up with a solid plan. How could he get her to notice him if she continually avoided him on a personal level? He pushed shaky fingers through his mussed hair as his good friend, Officer Carter James, dropped into the chair next to him.
“What’s up?” Carter asked when he spotted the distressed scowl on Sean’s face.
Grinning like the bad ass, son of a bitch he was, Cole gestured toward Madison, who was currently walking around the pool table with her two best friends, Allison Cooper—Carter’s girl—and Haley Jones, a “good girl” Cole had been crazy over since high school, but had been too chicken shit to do anything about.
Cole tipped his bottle toward Sean. “What’s up is that our man here has finally met his match.”
Carter followed Sean’s gaze, then shook his head, perplexed. “So what are you doing sitting here with us then? Go get her, for Christ’s sake.”
Sean scrubbed his hands over his face. “It’s not like that with her.”
“Want to enlighten me?” Carter asked, arching a curious brow.
Cole glanced at Carter and shook his head. “Sean can have any girl in this place.” He grinned and added, “Hell, he probably already has. So why do you think he’s going after the one he can’t have?”
Because he didn’t want just any girl, goddammit.
He wanted one. And the fact that she didn’t want him in return had his stomach knotting, his heart pounding and his cock refusing to settle for anything less.
But what the hell could he do about it?
Honestly, Sean had no idea what he’d done to make her hate him. They didn’t run in the same circles and he’d never really taken notice of her before. Last year’s accident had changed everything for him, and in no time at all he found himself wanting to get to know her. When he’d visited her in the hospital and had seen the depth of her strength and the breadth of her courage during a difficult recovery, it didn’t take him long to discover she was different from any other woman he knew, and it was that difference that held his attention, and quite frankly fascinated him.
“Maybe he likes the challenge,” Carter piped in. “You know what they say—you want what you can’t have.”
Sean watched Cole’s glance drift to Haley. Unfettered want passed over his eyes before he quickly blinked it away and raised his bottle in salute. “Yeah, here’s to wanting what we can’t have.”
As Carter turned his attention to Cole’s leg, and the two began talking about the recent soccer injury that cut Cole’s professional season short and brought him back to their small town for the remainder of the year, Sean turned his focus back to Madison.
When she bent over the pool table, his mind went on an erotic journey and there was nothing he could do to tame his hard-on. Christ, he wanted her. Wanted her so badly he could barely think straight.
As her sensuous body held his attention, awareness and frustration flared through him and he took a moment to think more about the sexy security specialist who, on a personal level, refused to give him the time of day. Hell, maybe Carter was right. Maybe he only wanted her because he couldn’t have her. Or maybe he wanted more.
Either way, he knew he had to find out.
Sweat collected on his brow as he continued to watch her, watch the way she moved around the crowd, unaware of his observations. What he’d long ago discovered was that beneath that tough exterior there was another side of Madison. A side she kept hidden from everyone, including herself. He’d seen that side in her earlier tonight when she was gazing out over the ocean, her gorgeous brown eyes full of warmth and longing.
What he noticed the most was that beneath her guard, Madison was soft and sensitive, full of heat and passion and goddammit, he wanted to be the guy to peel away the layer and ignite the fire beneath the ice.
If only she’d let him.
As he entertained the idea, a low rumble sounded in his throat and he decided then and there it was damn well time to find out what she had against him.