Reckless eBook: Page2

Maya Banks (2008)

  The heat was ungodly. Hot air blew through her hair as she drove her convertible down the dusty drive of the Sweetwater Ranch. The sun scorched over her skin, leaving her feeling parched and dry. July in south Texas. Only an idiot would live here. And only an idiot would fall in love with a man who had no intention of ever leaving this Godforsaken place.

  Oh hello, my name is Nikki Durant, and I’m an idiot.

  She pulled up to the sprawling ranch and cut the ignition. How desperate did it make her to come all the way out here to enlist the aid of a girl who might very well tell her to get lost?

  With a resigned sigh, and the realization that she’d lost any and all pride when it came to J.T., she hauled herself out of her car and traipsed up to the front door. Right now she’d kill for air conditioning.

  She rang the doorbell, and a few seconds later, an older Hispanic lady answered. The lady smiled welcomingly.

  “Uh, hi,” Nikki said lamely. “Is Jasmine home?”

  The woman beamed at her. “I’m Carmen. Come in, come in. Jasmine is in the kitchen.”

  Nikki stepped inside and closed her eyes in absolute pleasure as the frigid air washed over her damp hair. Carmen pointed across the room and nodded.

  Nikki walked nervously toward the kitchen, or what she assumed was the kitchen since Carmen had disappeared. She heard distant voices and quickened her step. When she rounded the corner, however, she put the brakes on, and her mouth gaped open.

  Jasmine was in a lip lock with Seth, who was not her husband. He had her backed against the counter, and their bodies were molded tightly against each other.

  Oops didn’t even begin to cover it. Despite the fact that it was certainly none of her business, anger washed over Nikki. She liked Zane. Liked him a lot. He’d been her childhood hero when he’d stepped between her and three other kids who were determined to beat her into a pulp. And the fact that his wife was cheating on him with his brother pissed her off.

  “Uh, Jasmine, it appears we have company.”

  Seth’s voice, husky from passion, hit Nikki all wrong. Her eyes narrowed as she glared at Jasmine. Never mind that she’d come here to enlist her help with J.T. Right now she wanted to kick her ass.

  “By all means, don’t let me interrupt,” Nikki said dryly. “Just don’t expect me not to tell Zane his wife is fucking around on him with his brother.”

  To her surprise, Jasmine grinned and cast a sidelong glance at Seth who attempted to keep a straight face.

  “Some might say it’s none of your business,” Jasmine drawled.

  “Zane is my friend,” Nikki said fiercely.

  Seth’s eyes widened. “Nikki? Nikki Durant? Is that really you?”

  She nodded stiffly. Seth let out a whistle. “Damn, when did you go and grow up on me?”

  “Nice hair,” Jasmine said, and at first Nikki thought she was being a smartass, but Jasmine looked at the pink stripe with a very interested light in her eyes.

  “Don’t get any ideas, Jasmine,” Seth growled.

  Jasmine grinned innocently. “I like it. I was thinking maybe blue for my hair to match yours and Zane’s eyes.”

  Seth groaned and rolled his eyes. “First the belly ring. Then you asked to get a tattoo as a wedding present.”

  Nikki stared between them in confusion. For two people who should at most have a casual friendship, they certainly seemed to be on intimate terms.

  “Are you here to see Zane?” Jasmine asked softly. “He’s not here, but he should be back soon.”

  Nikki shifted uncomfortably. “No, actually I came to see you.”

  Jasmine’s brow lifted in surprise.

  “But uhm, maybe it’s not such a good idea. I should probably go.”

  Jasmine grinned. “You gonna go track Zane down and tell him his wife was cheating on him?”

  Seth smacked her on the ass. “Stop egging her on, Jasmine.”

  Nikki frowned. “I was here to talk to you about J.T.”

  “What about J.T.?” Zane asked as he strolled into the kitchen. His eyes lit up when he saw Nikki. “Nikki, girl! How you doing?”

  He swept her up in a bone crunching hug, lifted her off the floor and then plunked her down. He dropped a kiss on top of her head then backed away to look at her.

  “Holy hell in a bucket, no wonder J.T. is running scared,” he said in amusement.

  She frowned even harder. “What’s J.T. been saying to you about me?”

  Zane grinned then walked over to loop an arm over Jasmine. “Hey, Jaz. Missed you, babe.” He pulled her into his arms and gave her a long, lusty kiss that had Nikki turning three shades of green.

  Why couldn’t J.T. look at her like that? And then she glared at Jasmine as she remembered that not five minutes ago, she’d been kissing Seth just as fiercely as Zane was currently kissing her.

  Seth cleared his throat, and Zane pulled away. “Sorry,” Zane said in Nikki’s direction. “Got a little carried away.”

  “Not as carried away as Seth and Jasmine got awhile ago,” Nikki said acidly.

  Jasmine’s lips twitched, and Seth had the grace to look away. Zane looked between Seth and Jasmine and then over to Nikki who was still glaring openly at Jasmine.

  “Ah,” Zane said as if he’d been struck with sudden understanding. “Hell.”

  “Yeah,” Seth said. He cleared his throat. “Nikki is pretty pissed off on your behalf.” His lips twitched, and he broke into a grin. “I’d say right now she’s considering gutting your pretty little bride.”

  Jasmine swung her elbow into Seth’s stomach, and he doubled over in mock agony.

  Nikki stared between them all and wondered what the hell she was missing. They acted like it was some big joke.

  “Maybe you two should get lost,” Jasmine said pointedly. “She did come out to talk to me. She can catch up with you later,” she told Zane. “Maybe after she kicks my ass for cheating on you. You have quite the defender there, sweetums.”

  Zane grinned and reached out to chuck Nikki on the arm. “Glad someone loves me.”

  Jasmine rolled her eyes and made shooing motions. Seth and Zane both sauntered out with Seth chuckling the entire way.

  Jasmine motioned for her to sit down. “You want something to drink?”

  Nikki shook her head. She wasn’t going to ask. It was none of her business.

  “So, you wanted to talk about J.T.?” Jasmine prompted as she took a seat across the bar from Nikki.

  Nikki cleared her throat. “Well, yeah, but I’m not sure you’ll want to help me now that I’ve unsheathed my bitch claws.”

  Jasmine laughed and flipped her almost-black hair over one shoulder. Then she eyed the pink streak in Nikki’s hair. “I’m serious. I think a blue streak would be cool. I really like yours. It’s so noticeable.”

  Nikki blinked. “Well, uhm, sure, blue would look nice.”

  Jasmine stared at her for a long second, as if measuring her. Then she sighed. “I don’t know a lot about you. I mean I’ve heard Zane mention you once or twice, and J.T. talked about going to your graduation, but I know enough that you’ve suffered being the subject of talk in this town like I was when I was younger. So I’ll say this, hoping you’ll remember what it’s like to be the topic of gossip and won’t go spreading it around.”

  Nikki stared at her with a furrowed brow, not knowing whether to be insulted or not.

  “I’m married to Zane, but in my heart I’m married to both him and Seth. I’m with both of them. I love them both, and they both love me.”

  Nikki’s mouth fell open. Then she tried to close it. Damn.

  “Yeah,” Jasmine said with a half smile. “Shocking ain’t it? Now you know why I don’t want it to get around. I suspect some people know or at least think they know, but suspecting and having solid proof are two different things. At least now you won’t try to kick my ass for cheating on Zane. As much as I appreciate your apparent loyalty to my husband, I’d just as soon you not feel as though he needs protecting from me.

  “Oh damn,” Nikki muttered. “I just made a first-class ass of myself didn’t I?”

  Jasmine grinned. “Nah. You would have only made an ass of yourself if you tried to kick my ass in my own kitchen.”

  Nikki blew out her breath. “Well hell.”

  Jasmine waved her hand. “Okay, enough of that. Now tell me why on earth you’d want to come out here to talk about J.T.? Aren’t you two long-time friends?”

  “Not exactly,” Nikki said glumly. “He’s best friends with my brother. My older, very protective brother.”

  “Ahh. That explains a lot.”

  “He’s avoiding me, and I figure his next step is to hole up out here, seeing as how I’ve chased him down everywhere else, including getting myself arrested and taken to his jail last night.”

  Jasmine burst out laughing. She wiped her eyes with her palms. “Oh lord, now why didn’t I think of something like that when I was trying to lasso Seth and Zane?”

  “It didn’t work very well,” Nikki muttered. “Anyway, I was going to come out and appeal to Zane since he’s somewhat of an old friend and wrangle an invitation when J.T. retreats out here like the coward he is.”

  “Any idea why he’s avoiding you?” Jasmine asked delicately.

  Nikki made a face. “Pick your reason. If you listen to him, he’s twelve years older, my brother is his best friend, he promised to look after me for God’s sake, like I’m some two-year-old, and then there’s the fact that I’m so young and innocent and need protecting from myself.”

  Jasmine cracked up again. “Okay, despite the fact that you just wanted to kick my ass and the fact that my husband hugged you, I like you, Nikki. I like you a whole lot. I almost feel sorry for J.T.”

  Nikki grinned. “Oh you don’t have to feel sorry for him. I plan to treat him real nice.”

  Jasmine hopped up from her seat and reached for the cordless phone. She looked at Nikki and held a finger to her lips as she punched the numbers.

  “J.T., hey, it’s Jasmine. How’s it going?”

  She paused then grinned. “Hey, I thought you might want to come out for a swim since it’s so hot and you have shitty air conditioning in your office. From what I hear, you could use some sanctuary from a certain pretty young thing chasing you around town.”

  Nikki glared at Jasmine who just grinned and then broke into laughter.

  “Oh come on, J.T. Like anything stays secret in Barley? So you want to come out or not? We may or may not be around when you get here, but feel free to let yourself in. We’ll be back after awhile, and we can grill for dinner.”

  Jasmine winked at Nikki and gave her a thumbs-up.

  “Okay, J.T. See you later then.”

  She laid the phone down and grinned at Nikki. “He’s on his way out. Now I just need to round up Seth and Zane and give Carmen the rest of the day off. I can give you until dinner to work your magic. Of course you’re welcome to stay for steaks, but who knows if J.T. will have the guts to hang around. He seems to have developed a yellow streak where you’re concerned.”

  “Tell me about it,” Nikki muttered. “And hey, Jasmine,” she said as Jasmine started to walk out of the kitchen. Jasmine turned to look at Nikki. “Thanks. Really. You didn’t have to do this, but I appreciate it. Especially since I made a complete fool of myself.”

  Jasmine smiled. “I know what it’s like to want a man who resists you at every turn. Believe me when I say I do. I don’t know what it is about the men around here, but once they make up their minds that you’re off limits, it’s like cracking cement to get them to change them. J.T.’s a good man. The best. And I can see that you’re passionate and loyal about people you care about. J.T. needs someone like that. If you can be that person, then I’ll do whatever I can to help.”

  She started to go again but then stopped and turned around with a grin. “Just a thought, but if you want to properly ambush J.T. you might want to move your car around back so he doesn’t know you’re here when he drives up.”

  Chapter Three

  J.T. pulled to a stop in front of the ranch and wiped the sweat from his brow. He couldn’t wait to jump in the pool. There weren’t too many safe places left in Barley for him to hide, but he was safe here.

  He climbed out and strode to the house in his swim trunks, flip-flops and T-shirt. He knocked then rang the bell, but when no one answered, he opened the door and let himself in. Jasmine had said they might not be here. Which was fine with him. He could use the alone time to work off some serious sexual frustration.

  He made his way through the living room and to the glass patio doors. Beyond, the pool shimmered a sparkling blue, and he nearly groaned as he imagined how nice it was going to feel to immerse himself in its coolness.

  He shut the door behind him, kicked off his flip-flops and made a beeline for the deep end. But when he got there, his gaze drifted to the lawn chair situated just a foot from the diving board. And to the beautiful, naked woman stretched out, sunbathing.

  Fuck me. Fuck him. Fuck a duck.

  Nikki was laid out, butt-ass naked, her gorgeous tanned skin glistening in the sun. There wasn’t an inch of pale skin anywhere on her, which told him she was no stranger to tanning in the nude.

  Her slender legs were slightly bent at the knees and parted, just enough to give him a prime glance at her pussy. He groaned. Dear God, this was so unfair.

  His gaze drifted higher to her trim waist and the diamond teardrop ring at her belly button. It glittered in the sun and lay in the hollow of her taut belly. Then he settled on her pert breasts. Perfect. Just fucking perfect. Not too large but not small by any means. Just big enough that they stood erect. Not a bit of sag. If he didn’t know better, he’d say they were fake, but he’d been up close and personal, and they were way too soft, too fleshy to be silicone.

  Her nipples were dark, maybe from tanning, but they were mouthwateringly erect. Brown, darker than her skin. Puckered and pointed. He closed his eyes and tried to stop the inevitable meltdown.

  “I expected you a half hour ago,” she said lazily.

  His eyes flew open to see her watching him with hazy contentment.

  Jasmine. Hell. He’d been royally set up and screwed. So much for friendship. Damn women stuck together like thieves.

  “I’ll just be going,” he muttered. How the hell was he supposed to go for a swim with a woody the size of a tree trunk and her lying in the sun gloriously naked?

  “Coward,” she said bluntly.

  He blinked. “Excuse me?”

  She sat up, and he couldn’t help but watch the way her breasts swayed with her motion. Or the way he’d caught the most spectacular glimpse of her pussy when she’d spread her legs to put her feet down on either side of the lounger.

  She pushed herself up and walked to where he stood. His tongue flipped and tied itself into about thirty knots. He was so going to hell for this.

  “You. Are. A. Coward,” she said as she jabbed a finger into his chest.

  Before he could react, push her away or whimper like a girl, she slipped her hands down to his crotch and cupped him through the fabric of his swim trunks. Busted. He was so completely busted. There was no hiding that kind of erection from her.

  She glanced up at him, her eyes glinting in satisfaction. Then she worked her hands underneath the legs of his shorts, and he sucked in his breath as she found his balls.

  “Close your eyes, J.T.,” she said in her sweet, husky voice. “Work with me for a second.”

  Despite his vow to resist her at every turn, he found himself closing his eyes as her fingers kneaded his sac. Jesus that felt good.

  “Now imagine this. It’s hot. You head to the pool for a swim. Only when you get there, you see a woman sunbathing in the buff. She’s attractive. You wouldn’t mind getting some of her ass.”

  J.T. frowned. He didn’t like where she was going with this, even if she was dead-on.

  “The woman opens her eyes, and she sees this really gorgeous man staring a
t her. The man can see she wants him too. She gets up, and he watches her breasts. Imagines what they’d taste like. She’s imagining his mouth around her nipples, and she wants him. God, she wants him.”

  J.T. clenched his fists at his sides as her fingers brushed lightly over his dick.

  Her voice lowered to a whisper. “She walks over, wanting to touch him, needing him to touch her. She runs her hands up his trunks and feels his balls, so big and tight. And then his cock. Like an iron bar. So hard. So rigid. And she begins to fantasize about taking him inside her.”

  His chest swelled until he feared exploding. He’d never been so thoroughly seduced by a woman’s voice before.

  “Do you know what she does next?”

  “No,” he croaked. But he wished. Man, he wished.

  She pulled at his trunks, sliding them down his legs until his dick sprang free of the waistband. She knelt on the hard concrete and cupped him in her hands. Her mouth was close, so damn close he could feel her breath over the crown of his dick.

  “She takes him in her mouth,” she said just before her lips closed around him.

  His knees shook and wobbled like a newborn colt. He damn near went down as he slid into her mouth. Deep. Hot. Wet. The shock shot all the way up his spine and rebounded off the base of his skull.

  She cupped her hands over his ass and drew him deeper. She gave head like an expert. Never before had a woman deep-throated him the way Nikki was doing.

  Heat that had nothing to do with the burning sun prickled across his skin. Then all he could feel was her tongue as it glided over his cock. Slightly rough but oh so soft and sweet.

  His hand tangled in her hair, hesitated over that pink stripe, and then he touched it, drawn to the vivid color nestled amidst much darker hair. It was vibrant, like her, wild and untamed.

  He shouldn’t be doing this. But even as his mind screamed at him to stop, he knew he wouldn’t. He was too far gone. Drowning in indescribable pleasure.

  Yeah, he was a fucking hypocrite, and yeah, he’d do plenty of bitching at himself later, but right now he was going to come all over her mouth.

  He closed his eyes, rocked back on his heels and took her head in his hands. Her fingers dug deeper into his ass, and she pressed her face into his groin, sucking him down her throat.

  “Oh shit, honey, I’m going to come.”

  He thought to warn her in case she didn’t want him shooting his load down her throat, but she only clamped down on him harder, sucking and lapping hungrily at him.

  Fire gathered in his balls, squeezing, burning. Electric sensation shot up his cock, and he swelled larger in her mouth, grew harder until he thought he was going to burst.

  The first jet exploded from his cock, and he shouted hoarsely as he came all undone. His hands gripped her head, and he began fucking her mouth in earnest, no longer content to let her do the driving.

  Harder and faster he thrust as he filled her mouth with his cream. She swallowed, and it caused her throat to convulse around him, sending another spasm of pleasure rocketing up his dick.

  He rocked up on tiptoe as he strained to get further inside her. His legs trembled, and his ass cheeks clenched together until finally the last drop dribbled into her mouth.

  But still she slid her mouth up and down his cock, sucking and licking gently at his softening erection. Finally, she released him with a soft plop, and his dick sagged like a tired puppet.

  Then she leaned forward and swept her tongue over the top to snag one last drop of semen, and he groaned all over again.

  “Nikki, honey, get up off the concrete. Jesus, your knees.”

  He hoisted her up by her arms, frowning at the scrapes on her knees. He walked her backward until she bumped against the lounger, and he eased her down.

  “God, I’m such an ass.”

  “You have a very nice ass,” she said huskily.

  He winced and closed his eyes.

  “You know, I never pictured you for the selfish type.”