Jordan was equal parts everything - tired, confused, turned on, happy. It was impossible not to be happy, sitting so close to Erin where no one was watching or cared if they took all night. His tired parts wanted to curl up with her - the same as his turned on parts, they only disagreed about how much energy he could muster. The confused part didn't know which impulse to hear over all the others shouting.
"Hey," she said. Jordan focused. "Lost you there for a second."
"Sorry," he mumbled and turned more to face her. Since when did he tune out a beautiful girl, cozied up at a private dinner? Since when did that kind of thing ever happen to him at all? Her sweater was clingy in all the right places and close as they were, he could smell the warm, enticing scent of her skin.
Exhausted or not, Jordan's imagination was awake.
"Sorry," he repeated. "What did you say?"
"I said, there were a few girls in Eberle jerseys at the game. I felt kinda special, knowing you." Erin gave him a big grin, willing him to cheer up. If he was this distracted after every loss she was in for a lot of bad dates.
But Jordan's mind was back at the table. "They were okay. You're much prettier."
"You didn't even see me!"
"I did." Jordan took a sip of his water. "You and Darcy by the glass, watching us and talking. Ryan was a little disappointed there was no sign."
Erin laughed. "Well we didn't see them leave, so Lord knows what they're up to now. In your room."
Jordan rolled his eyes. He knew he couldn't bring Erin to the hotel, but he could always have gone home alone if tonight came to that. Or not. If Ryan had a chance with a girl he already knew... well, he was a kid. He'd go where he could. And he couldn't get sexiled to Hall's room either, not with Amanda around. "Maybe they went to her house."
"Roommate," Erin shrugged. "Same as you."
"You know who doesn't have a roommate?" Jordan asked. The curious part of him was itching. It had been a long day since Erin was teasing him over breakfast but every word was stamped into his memory.
"Taylor," she said.
"You," Jordan corrected.
Erin pretended to just remember. "I guess I don't. Big empty apartment all to myself, just sittin' there empty waiting on someone to...."
Jordan kissed her. It was too easy to stop the flirting with the next best thing - a kiss. Erin smiled against his lips, her small victory in reigning him back from distraction. She tasted like the tomato sauce on her pasta.
Curiosity partially satisfied, Jordan steered the conversation to a new, less pulse-racing topic so he could concentrate. But even the non-suggestive discussion - about hockey, school, music - still involved Erin's mouth and hair and dimples. Jordan focused on her voice to keep from getting lost in the way her lips moved. It made him think about how they felt to kiss, the things they'd promised earlier and where they could go on his body, and soon his heartbeat was accelerating again.
"Jordan," Erin said again. "That's twice now."
"Sorry!" Jordan's cheeks went red, his risque train of thought leaving tracks across his face. "I.... sorry."
"You what?" Erin prompted.
"Nothing, sorry." He shook his head.
"Hmm," she purred. "If you blush like that over nothing, imagine if you knew what I was thinking."
His eyes went wide. If she guessed what he'd been imagining... he gulped. She raised one eyebrow as if daring him to tell the truth. He couldn't stutter out a word.
"My God," she collapsed into giggles. "You’re making me feel like a creep!"
"What are you thinking?" he managed to gurgle out.
Erin put her napkin across her empty plate. "I think we should go."
That reigned in Jordan's scattered mind. They were going somewhere. By process of elimination: Erin's apartment. That was all the info Jordan could handle - whatever happened next would have to wait till the first part of this mission was accomplished. He signaled the waitress and practically tossed a credit card at her, then left a tip big enough to make Erin sigh.
"A cute guys who tips well, the man of my dreams."
On the drive to her apartment, Erin sang along to the radio and looked out the window, much the way she had that first night when she took Jordan to the old drive in. What had she been thinking, letting a strange guy drive her off into the boonies? But he seemed harmless then, a handsome diversion with a great smile. Those innocent blue eyes had sealed the deal.
Now, less than two weeks later, they were driving to her house. Alone together. And the way she'd been talking, she had some promises to deliver on.
It's okay, she told herself. Darcy's words rang in her head - she'd feel like shit when Jordan left, regardless of what passed between them. It was already enough to hurt.
Any cut bleeds, Erin knew. Might as well be deep.
In truth, she had resigned herself to someday regretting this. Not what she'd done, but that it was all she got to do.
Jordan parked and they walked toward Erin’s door, like going to her place after a date was something they did all the time. He still wore his expensive suit, tie loose at his throat. In the door and up the stairs and there they were. She put her purse on the table. He stuffed his hands into his pockets. They stared at each other for a long, awkward moment, each thinking they were about to do something the other might not really want. The up and down energy of the night, the cheering and worrying, had settled uncomfortably in Erin’s stomach. Jordan chewed his bottom lip.
“Wine?” she asked.
It gave her something to do with her hands at least. Five minutes ago she’d been touching him easily. Now there seemed to be a force field between them. She propped the bottle on her thigh and wished he weren’t watching so closely as she twisted the screw and worked the cork free.
Jordan went for wine glasses in attempt to look anywhere else. They felt absurdly delicate in his clumsy hands, so he placed them carefully, one by one, onto the counter. Erin’s perfume was making his head spin. She was right there. All he had to do was reach out and brush the hair from her shoulder, put his lips to her neck. He knew she loved that. It would put this train on the right track and probably cost those wine glasses their lives. A valiant death.
But he didn’t. So she poured two quarter-glasses full and turned. “Let’s sit.”
In the living room, they settled onto the couch. Their legs touched. Each took a long sip of wine, like they were judging a contest. But they couldn’t hold it forever. Erin felt the heat from Jordan’s body through his clothes like a drug. His weight tipped her against him as the cushion sank beneath them. It wasn’t like her to be shy, not after she’d already made up her mind. And advertised it.
Just when she was about to ask why things were suddenly so tense, Jordan yawned. Big time.
Well he must be exhausted and maybe tonight’s not…, she was thinking as his arm came down around her shoulders.
It took a second. Then she burst out laughing. “Oh my God, did you really just do that?!”
Jordan was leaning back, wine in the other hand and a huge smile on his face. “Yeah. It was getting pretty weird there for a minute.”
“Definitely.” She was still cracking up. He looked so satisfied with his swag. “Wow. Did you practice that move on some girls in high school?”
Jordan shrugged, the picture of innocence. “Just practicing to meet you someday.”
All Erin could do was shake her head. The awkwardness between them evaporated, leaving only the same sexual tension they’d been tossing back and forth all day. Jordan had been the one to do it.
He must really want this, she thought. Thank God.
Jordan leaned forward to set his glass down, and turned toward her. Erin‘s mouth moved, lips slightly parted, as if expecting a kiss. He was about to say they didn’t have to do anything tonight, but the words dissolved on his tongue.
Erin kissed him back hungrily. Her hands raked into his hair, her back arched to push her breasts against his chest. Whatever part of him thought it could stop was drowned when Erin pulled him down on top. If she wanted it, Jordan wasn’t about to say no. He wrapped an arm under her thighs and lifted until she was in line with the couch. Then he poured himself the rest of the way over her body. She parted her knees and his thigh pushed between, right down till it could go no more. They both made a muffled sound on contact. Then Erin rolled her hips, grinding once against him. Jordan groaned and squeezed the handful of her breast.
Her fingers slipped under his coat, working it back off his shoulders. Jordan lifted slightly to shake his arms free, the sight of her smiling up sent an ache of desire spearing into his lap. Erin hooked two fingers behind the carefully knotted tie and pulled slowly, provocatively, back and forth a little at a time until the tie came open in her hand. Next, the buttons.
It wasn’t easy for her to go one at a time when she wanted to rip the shirt in half. But if it cost as much as the suit… well, the coat was tossed semi-straight onto the nearby chair. It would survive. She got four buttons open, stopping over the widest part of Jordan’s chest. He was flexing and she didn’t even make fun of him because it felt so good. Between that and the way he was kneeling up against her crotch, she was only torturing herself. Finally she reached his navel and untucked the shirt at his waist.
He peeled it off, shamelessly watching her eyes linger on his body. He wasn’t a big guy. He wasn’t small either. Jordan thought of himself as almost painfully average everywhere but on the ice. Erin had seen that – not in top form, but at least it was a game. Still she seemed more impressed with him here, in private. That was a very new experience. Jordan grabbed the hem of his white undershirt with both hands and did his best Baywatch pulling it off over his head.
Erin exhaled, like the sight of him made her weak. Which it did. Jordan dropped into a push up and stopped just shy of her body. If anyone here was getting faint, it should be him. Their lips touched first, then tongues, then he settled himself to one side and pushed his palm over her breast. Her fingers dug into the muscles of his back as if she couldn’t pull him close enough. Jordan thanked hockey for all those hours of upper body work. They made out on the couch like teenagers for ages, pressing together until they were breathless. It took Jordan so long to work up the nerve to go under her shirt that Erin giggled when he finally touched her skin. She forgot that she’d told him her secret. Jordan squeezed the narrowest part of her side and she jumped.
Pinned and helpless, she only got squeezed again. “You really are ticklish!” he said.
“Jordan!” she yelled. “I will kill you!”
But he was there, that place he’d thought about so many times: making Erin laugh and struggle, her skin soft against his workman’s hands. He couldn’t stop. Erin thrashed toward the outside of the couch, whipped herself from underneath Jordan and fell right to the floor, gasping. He reached for her again. She jumped up and whipped her sweater off over her head, long hair flying. Jordan fell still like he’d been shot.
“That’ll make you pay attention,” she smiled down. Then she climbed on top of Jordan the way he’d done to her: knee between his knees, thigh up high and tight between legs. Those gorgeous blue eyes struggled to take it all in. He closed them when she kissed him, and his hands knew right where to go. His fingers gently stroked the skin along the cups of her bra. That tickled too.
Erin knew she would have to lead if she wanted to take this farther. Jordan, for as deeply as he was kissing her, seemed content to be topless in the living room. Not that she objected to his strong hands and kisses all night. Maybe that was enough. She wasn’t easy, as girls went. Darcy’s words from before sounded different in her head now that Jordan was in her arms. Erin really liked him, and judging by the way he hadn’t even gone for the clasp on her bra, he really liked her too. Respected her. They could wait. It’s not like he was….
Oh wait. He could leave at any moment.
Erin levered herself up and reached back. The straps of her bra dropped down her shoulders. Jordan’s wide-eyed stare made her giggle as she held the bra to her chest with both hands, then one hand, before she let it fall away. When the straps were around her wrists, Erin dropped her bra right on Jordan’s face.
He reached for her waist, pulling her higher against his body. Her thigh drove against his crotch but his groan was muffled by a mouthful of her breast. Pushing her soft mounds together, he buried his face in them. One nipple after the other grew taut beneath his tongue, straining for him the way his body wanted her. Erin sighed in pleasure and Jordan thought Oklahoma wasn’t the only place he’d like to visit south of the border.
Erin was aware that posed over him with her ass in the air and arms extended, back arched dramatically, she looked like a porn star. If porn stars kept their jeans on. Below her, she was sure Jordan looked even better on his back. He caught her nipple between his teeth and tugged, hard enough to make her gasp. As a reflex, she twisted her hip and ground against his lap.
“Ohgod,” he said into the curve of her breast.
Wow, Erin thought at the same time. Their angle had been enough to tease, but that twist proved that Jordan’s body was almost ready for the main event. Maybe she wouldn’t have to do all the work after all. Erin rolled her hips again, working herself against his growing erection.
“Erin,” he groaned. “Fuck.”
She chuckled, a purring sound deep in her throat. Jordan wondered if prey animals heard that from a lioness right before she pounced. Erin simply tipped her head down, hair falling into his face. Jordan knew the next words out of her mouth would take them to bed, and once there he would be powerless to resist. There was no fooling around without going all the way tonight – Jordan felt drunk and stupid and absolutely on fire. It was all or nothing. So he caught her cheeks in his hands and spoke before she could.
“We don’t have to. If you want to wait.”
Please please please don’t want to wait, his brain whispered.
Erin’s heart stopped, paused for a long moment, then clunked to life again. A piece or two dropped out, hard and sharp, stabbing into scars left by guys who hadn’t been so careful. But not Jordan. Good thing Erin didn’t plan on stopping.
“Wait for what?” she asked quietly. “You to leave?”
“No, no,” Jordan touched her soft, curvy lip with his thumb. “But don’t rush for that either. Don’t be different. Be who you would if I were never leaving.”
Erin smiled sadly. This kid had a heart of gold, but couldn’t tell her he was scared too. “You’re not going to leave in the middle of the night, are you?”
If only she knew Jordan might never actually be able to leave this behind. He might drag the weight of it around long after it was gone, missing her the way he’d missed Julia. Only worse, because Erin wouldn’t even get the chance to hurt him. Jordan looked at up her, hovering in the half-light, and knew he’d see that vision when he lay alone in bed for a long time to come.
“No,” he said. “I’ll be here.”
She brushed his strong jaw with the back of her fingers. “Then it’s the first night I’m not scared to wake up and find you gone.”
As soon as they were kissing, they were struggling to their feet. Their hands never left each other. The confines of the couch had been wonderfully tight, but now as Jordan tumbled onto the mattress he relaxed for the first time all night. He’d offered - even asked - to wait. Erin didn’t want to.
She didn’t follow him. Instead she stopped at the edge of the bed and slowly undressed: button fly, growling zipper, hands slipping under denim and the long, revealing way down. He should have helped but he couldn’t move.
“You look at me like you’ve never seen a girl before,” Erin laughed, wondering how she could feel shy even as she stripped.
“There are no girls like you.” Jordan opened his own jeans, lifted his ass and wiggled them down. Erin’s display was much more interesting. He just wanted to be naked. She stepped free of her pants, then grabbed his cuffs and pulled from the ankles. Two minutes after he suggested they stop, Erin stood at the foot of the bed holding his pants in one hand.
She licked her lips. Jordan blushed, turning his head without taking his eyes off her nearly naked body. Her waist was slender, with lines etched along the sides of her abs as if to mark the ticklish spots. Perfect breasts, straight posture. The flat run of her stomach disappeared into black lacy panties that made his mouth dry as they stretched over the space between her legs.
Erin considered the sight before her: a hundred and eighty-five pounds of holy fucking hot. If you never saw Jordan smile or looked in his eyes, you might think he’d be full of himself. He certainly earned it. From his toes to his chin, Jordan was efficient, gorgeous muscle – not a model, but the kind of strong that knew how to use it. He was built like a car: meant to be driven. And maybe a little cocky, as he bent his arms up under his head for a full bicep display.
“I guarantee I can look at you for a lot longer that you can look at me,” he said, one eyebrow raised.
Erin turned like three-quarters like a model, showing him her backside in profile. “I already watched you play. That’s two and a half hours…,” she hooked one thumb into the side of her panties and lowered it slightly, “…of sweating…,” the other side now, “… and flexing…,” both sides, another inch to reveal the top of her ass, “… and wondering what you look like under all that gear.”
She halted, black lace taut over the perfect span of her backside. Out of sight, Jordan’s hands were fists. He willed himself to stay calm, but he was already sporting wood and by the time she came around he’d lose his shit on contact. It was enough that he’d laid back like a romance novel cover – Jordan couldn’t actually hold out. Not between the way she was looking at him and his promise to be here when the sun came up.
He cleared his throat. “So, now what do you think?”
Erin gave in. She moved on all fours until she was over top of Jordan, meeting his eyes. She meant it about all of him – every inch – but mostly she meant it about the parts of him that no one could see.
“I think those girls screaming your name at the rink don’t know the half of it.”