Jacqueline Mowbray let herself into the oven that was masquerading as her apartment. Three days of the worst heatwave Sydney had ever endured had taken their toll on more than her hair. The city had hit crisis point this afternoon and now half the population was without power. Jac listened for the hum of her ancient refrigerator but heard only silence. With a sigh, she tossed her keys on the dining table on her way to the bathroom and a cold shower. Good thing she wasn’t after a hot shower or the lack of electricity would really top off her shitty day.
She stripped off her clothes as she went, leaving a trail of damp cotton in her wake. Work had sucked. Power had gone out around two but the boss, being her usual bitchy self, wouldn’t let them shut down until the dot of five. Fucking cow. Jac really needed to look for another job. She’d been Vanessa’s dogsbody for over a year and knew the reason the other woman was doing so well had nothing to do with Vanessa and everything to do with Jac.
If Jac had the cash, she would start up her own shop and give the bitch a run for her money. She smiled. The thought of snooty Vanessa helping women try on clothes was the funniest damn idea. She’d scare off buyers before they ever made it to a fitting room. It was a wonder the store hadn’t gone bust in the year prior to Jac’s employ.
Her feet connected with cool tiles, bringing blessed relief to her hot soles and she took a moment to curl and uncurl her toes to soothe them—and her mind. No more work. Well not for two days, anyway. Jac had never been more thankful for a weekend. She planned to spend it lazing around the house in her underwear, in part due to the unrelenting temperature and in part just because she could. Not even bothering with the hot water tap, Jac twisted the cold one all the way on. A draft of cool air caressed her naked body as the shower blasted against the tiled enclosure. Jac sighed as she stepped beneath the spray.
The water streamed over her short hair and down her back. Closing her eyes, Jac turned under the flow more fully and let the stress of the day wash away. In spite of the high heat and much-needed cooling-off, goosebumps broke out across her skin and a shiver skittered down her spine. She edged out of the flow and reached for the soap. After a quick lather, Jac rinsed, and once more let the cold water rush over her face before switching it off and getting out.
Tempted to air-dry, she thought about the carpet she didn’t own and grabbed a towel. The last thing she needed was to have to replace mouldy carpet. Her savings had already taken a hit from major car repairs she hadn’t counted on. She really should think about getting a new vehicle, but the hunk of metal in her parking spot out front held sentimental value. Jac had been so proud of herself when she’d bought the car. It was the first purchase her parents hadn’t made for her.
Of course Daddy had been a little upset and angry that she hadn’t accepted the brand-new BMW he’d wanted to give her but Jac had stood her ground and he’d finally—grudgingly—acknowledged her need for independence. Her car might not be the best model or the safest, flashiest ride in town, but it was all hers. He hadn’t stopped taking care of her over the years but she’d learned to pick her battles wisely and, other than a few small things, hadn’t allowed him to smother her with his well-intentioned love.
Jac wrapped the towel around her and tucked the end between her breasts. She scooped up her dirty clothes as she followed the trail down the hall to the living room. With the bundle in her arms she made her way through the kitchen to the tiny laundry. No electricity meant no washing, so she dropped the bundle on the floor and headed back to the kitchen and the fridge, where she debated whether or not to open the door. Her fingers curled around the handle just as someone knocked on her front door.
Hoping it wasn’t Mrs Jenkins from the ground floor with another complaint about noise, Jac went to answer the summons. When whoever it was knocked again, she smiled: it wasn’t her elderly neighbour. There was no way the woman had enough strength to bang that hard. Forgetting about her lack of attire, Jac threw the door open, the smile still tilting her mouth, and came face to face with her best friend—the star of her most recent fantasies and every woman’s wet dream.
Kyle’s temperature shot up ten degrees. The woman in front of him set him on simmer every day, but wrapped in a towel, damp from a recent shower, she set him to boil in an instant. He swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to remember why he was knocking on Jac’s door. Something about cooling off … He lowered his eyes, taking in every exposed inch of her, from her curly blonde hair to her red-painted toenails. Her legs were smooth and tanned, long and sleek, and an image of them wrapped around his hips flashed across his mind. A drum beat in his ears, a matching one took up in his balls, and his cock hardened, tenting the front of his shorts.
“Hey, Kyle. What’s up?” Did she sound breathless?
He brought his gaze up to meet hers. The bright blue of her eyes sparkled and he found himself thinking of swimming pools, which made him think of skinny-dipping. His cock throbbed harder, but he refused to answer the urge to readjust and find relief. The lust he’d spent years trying to ignore surged through his veins. Damn. This couldn’t end well.
“Kyle?” One of Jac’s finely sculpted brows rose.
“Fuck, woman, are you trying to fry my brain?”
“Huh?” Her smile disappeared.
“You can’t answer the door dressed like that and not find yourself slammed against the wall with my cock buried in your hot pussy.” He took a step towards her. She gasped and took a step back. “You’ve had me grinding my teeth and taking cold showers for years, Jac. No more.”
Kyle’s control snapped, taking every ounce of civility he possessed. He barged in, grabbed Jac’s shoulders and, kicking the door closed, spun around so he could shove her against it. His mouth landed on hers with raw hunger. No finesse, just pure unadulterated desire. She whimpered and for a split second he thought about pulling away. But then she softened—melted like the city had in the merciless heatwave. Her lips parted and he thrust his tongue inside.
She remained passive, let him touch and taste what he wanted. Kyle took advantage, brushed his tongue against hers, licked at her teeth and eased off to nip at her plump bottom lip. He ate at the fleshy curve, sucked and bit from one corner to the other. Jac moaned and he drove his tongue back into the dark recess of her mouth. Blood pumped through his veins, pounded in his ears, his groin. With each stroke his arousal soared higher, until it wasn’t enough just to have her mouth.
He tore his lips from hers, gasped for air and said, “Tell me no.”
“What?” Her chest heaved with each ragged breath she took and her towel had come untucked; the only thing holding it in place was his body pressed to hers. “I don’t want to say no.”
Kyle’s gaze darted up to meet hers. “You want me to fuck you?” Could the burning attraction he’d fought for years go both ways?
“God yes.” Her eyelids lowered, the fan of lashes hiding her eyes from him. “I’ve dreamed about it for months.”
He cupped her neck, pressed his thumb beneath her chin and pushed her head back until it rested on the door. “Don’t hide from me. You want me, you say it to my face. Eyes open.”
Jac gasped, her eyes rounding and meeting his. Her pink tongue darted out, sliding across her lips to leave a glistening trail behind. “I want you.”
Her words were a whisper but he could see the truth in her gaze, feel it in the way her body melted against his. Kyle grinned. She might be saying yes now but once he’d laid down a few rules she might change her mind. Shame he wasn’t about to let her back out.
“Say you’re mine.”
Jac’s eyes widened further, if that were possible, and her slender throat worked as she swallowed.
“If you’re saying yes, Jac, it means you’re mine. All of you. To do what I want when I want. No holds barred.”
She opened her mouth to speak and Kyle placed his thumb over her lips to stop her.
“Make very sure this is what you want, Jac. I’m not easy. I’ll demand and expect you to give.” He saw fear flash across her face and he stroked her mouth with the pad of his thumb to soothe her. “I won’t hurt you, ever, but I’ll push every boundary you have and then some. You need to know what you’re getting going in.”
“Are we talking a one-time deal?”
“Hell no! When we cross that line, honey, we ain’t coming back. I’m not after a one-night stand. I can get that at the local club. Besides, what I want from you can’t be satisfied in one night.”
Kyle smiled. She was starting to get it. Question was, once he’d given her a taste of what he liked would she like it too? “So are you in or am I out?”