Liv hadn’t been with another man since Scott. She hadn’t thought about it. Scott was the only man she’d ever had sex with. The truth was, she’d been too scared to let anyone close enough to share that part of herself again. The last time she opened herself up that way, her heart was broken into a million pieces.
All these years she believed if she kept her heart closed, she wouldn’t ever have to experience that gut-wrenching pain again. The only person she ever loved who hadn’t been taken away from her was Renie. And every day Liv prayed that God would keep her safe.
Liv didn’t know whether to thank Ben for awakening these feelings of desire in her, or curse him for it. This was different though, this wasn’t about her heart. If she had sex with Ben, it wouldn’t be about forever, not the way it was supposed to be with Scott. It would be a fling, a one night stand. Lots of people had sex with someone they’d never see again.
She stood, facing the bar, trying to decide whether to get Ben’s attention or head up to the room when his arms slid around her waist.
“There’s my girl. Oooh, you feel good.”
“Hi,” she whispered, turning to wrap her arms around him.
“Let’s get out of here. You ready?”
“Are you sure you can leave?”
“Yep. I can’t wait another minute to be alone with you. Come on, let’s go.”
He pulled her with him, heading to the bank of elevators in the opposite direction of hers. “I want you with me tonight, Liv. Please tell me you want the same thing.”
Liv took a deep breath. She needed to keep reminding herself, this wasn’t about her heart, it was sex. This time with him would give her memories she’d carry with her forever. They wouldn’t keep her warm at night back on her ranch, but at least she’d be able to say she’d done something a little wild, a little crazy, and maybe even had sex again after a twenty-one year dry spell.
He crowded her in the corner of the elevator, covering her mouth with his. Ben’s muscles tightened beneath when she put her hand under his shirt and touched his skin. He shifted so every inch of his long, hard body was up against hers.
“Liv,” he whispered her name, “you are so beautiful.”
“So are you,” she whispered back. Her hand slid down his belly toward his hip. Her heart thudded faster as she leaned into him, her body pressing close to his.
“You’re sure about this, Liv? Do you want me as much as I want you?”
“So much,” she groaned.
The elevator stopped, the door opened, and they twisted out, neither letting go.
They were still in the hallway when Ben covered her breasts with his hands.
“Wait,” she gasped. “Someone might see us.”
He cupped the perfect mounds of flesh and stroked her hardened nipples with his thumbs. “I don’t care.” He moved his hands to her bottom, and grabbed her, pressing against her.
Her back was to the door of the suite and when he opened it, she almost tumbled to the floor. He pulled her back against him, and pushed the door shut behind them.
“I can’t keep my hands off you,” he groaned. His lips trailed down her body. “I can’t keep my lips off you.” He reached for the zipper on her dress and pulled it down. It slid off her shoulders to the floor. He traced the lacy edge of her bra, his gaze riveted there.
“Your turn,” she murmured, tugging at his shirt. He grinned and reached behind him, pulling it off in one swoop.
“Now this.” His hand moved to her back to unfasten her bra with practiced ease. He removed the pale, pink lace and dropped it to the floor. “Beautiful,” he murmured. “Skin on skin. This is what I’ve been craving.”
Liv ran her hands over his firm pecs, his chiseled abs, and down to the waistband of his jeans. She reached for his belt, but he caught her hand.
“You first.” His hands moved to her panties, and pulled them over her hips as she shimmied out of them. She pressed her lips to his shoulder blade and ran her tongue over his skin.
His breath caught and his abs tightened beneath her exploring lips. “No more waiting,” she said, reaching for his belt. He unfastened it and jerked his pants off his own hips, let them fall to the floor, and stepped out of them.
He turned away from her, leading her by the hand. “Your suite is much bigger than ours,” she commented. “Must be a perk of being famous.”
“No talking.” He turned her around, walking her backward, belly-to-belly into the large open area of the suite. She looked up at him and he caught her mouth in a deep kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. He grabbed her bottom in both large hands and pressed her more securely against him.
He moved her backward again, not stopping until her legs came in contact with the bed. Ben eased her down onto the mattress, never taking his lips from hers.
He moved her where he wanted her. “I want to look at you, Liv. I need to.”
He sat next to her, his hip touching hers, and ran his fingers over her breasts, her belly and down across the heated flesh between her thighs.
“Ben.” She arched her back and swayed her hips, trying to position herself closer to him.
“Don’t rush me,” he said. “I’m still looking.”
“Less looking. More touching,” Liv groaned.
He moved so his body covered hers, wedging his knee between her thighs, opening her up to him.
“I can’t wait.”
She gasped and tried to stop him, then realized he already wore a condom. When had he put that on? Her thundering heart raced out of control. Who cared?
He moved so slowly at first, easing into her, waiting until her body adjusted to him being inside of her.
She’d forgotten the incredible feeling of fullness, of how complete her body felt. How had she gone so long without this? Why had she waited when Ben could’ve brought her to this nirvanic place yesterday?
She clenched around him, wanting to keep him there, a part of her, for as long as possible. Spasms of relief overtook her, spreading throughout her body as he moved over her, faster and faster, harder and harder, until she exploded.
“Again, Liv, let’s figure out what else you like,” he said as he trailed gentle kisses along her jaw.
Liv wrapped her arms and legs around him. The pressure began to build again inside her. Need engulfed her senses. Ben slowed, and looked into her eyes. “I want to take my time with you, sweetheart, but I’ve wanted you so bad, I’m struggling to go slow.”
Liv murmured and moved beneath him, slowly like he wanted, her mind memorizing how he felt against her, inside of her. When her pace quickened she watched as Ben’s expression changed.
“Now,” he growled, as he threw his head back and closed his eyes, the way he had on stage.
As his movements slowed, he brought his lips to hers. “Even better than I thought it would be, Liv.”
She kissed his temple as he murmured the sweetest sounds.
“Be right back.”
He slid into bed, and snuggled into her, pulling her closer so her back nestled against his front.
“I wish I wasn’t so tired,” he whispered. “I don’t want to miss a moment of being with you.”
“Mmm.” Her eyes closed, and she fell asleep before he did.
Ben blinked himself awake and tried to get his bearings. He lifted his head from the pillow and felt Liv’s body cuddled against his. When he shifted, she woke.
“Good morning, beautiful.” He kissed the top of her head. He liked waking up with her next to him.
“What time is it?” He shifted again, checking the clock on the nightstand. “Eleven.”
“What? Eleven? Again? I never sleep this late.” She snuggled back into him.
Her stomach rumbled, making him chuckle. “Hungry?”
“Yeah, I haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon.”
“Liv, are you kidding? You must be starving.” He lifted her off him and swung his legs over the side of the bed.
�� she protested. “Don’t go. Come back here.”
“I’m ordering food, then you’ll have my undivided attention. What do you want to eat?”
“Don’t care. Need nourishment.”
He called room service, and then he stretched his body out next to hers.
“What time’s your flight?” he asked, wishing he didn’t have to.
“Tomorrow morning. When’s yours?”
She let out a groan that sounded more like a stifled sob.
“I can change it. What time is your flight tomorrow? I’ll leave the same time you do.”
“No, don’t do that. You have to get home.”
He sat back up.
“Wait—you promised me your undivided attention.”
“I’ll change my flight time.”
“Don’t. It’s okay.”
“It isn’t a big deal, I can leave anytime I want to.” He snuggled back into her. “If I could I’d stay right here with you, and never leave. Are you trying to tell me you don’t want to spend another night with me?”
“That isn’t it.”
“What is it then, Liv?”
She couldn’t think when he trailed kisses from just below her ear, down over her shoulder. “Your boys,” she murmured. “You need to…um…see your…um…sons.”
“If that’s the only thing that’s worrying you, if you promise that’s it, I’m staying.” She started to speak and he put two fingers on her lips.
“If I left tonight, they’d be in bed long before I got home. And tomorrow is the day my boys hang with Grandma and Grandpa. Dad is not allowed to interfere with grandparent time. They’ll be up and gone by sunrise. By the time they get home, I will be too. And, I’ll get to spend another few hours with you.”
“Let go, Liv. Don’t worry so much, and just enjoy this time we have together.”
“It’s just that…”
“What, Liv? Don’t you like being with me? I sure like being with you.” Ben smiled, but she could see tension lingering beneath its surface.
“I have enjoyed being with you, Ben.” Liv got up and climbed into her panties, looking for her bra.
He walked over to her, bringing his hand up to caress the side of her face. He tucked her hair behind her ear. “Talk to me. Tell me what you’re thinking. Are you worried about Paige?”
“No. Paige travels all the time. She does her own thing. I don’t need to worry about her.”
“Then what is it?” He rubbed his head again. “We already determined you like the bald head. We discovered other things you like, too. Come on, give me somethin’ here. You ready to run away from me again, Liv?”
She maneuvered out of his arms and walked to the window. She stood to the side and looked out at the Las Vegas Strip. What could she say? The more time she spent with him the harder it would be to let him go.
If she left now, her pride would stay intact. She’d walk away, thank him for the wonderful memories, great sex, and ride off into the sunset, or at least to the elevator. If she said goodbye first, she might have more of a chance to keep her emotions in check, and not make a fool of herself.
Ben stood with his arms crossed, less than a foot from her. “Liv, tell me. I can see the wheels turning. Talk to me.”
“I have to go. It’s been great…a great couple of days.” What else had she planned to say? She couldn’t think. “It’s been, you know―fun. But it’s time to get back to real life.” She picked up her dress, and looked for her shoes and bag.
“No. This isn’t going down like this. You are not, I repeat, not running out of here. Even if I was leaving tonight, which I no longer am, I wouldn’t let you leave now. Who knows how long it will be before we see each other again? We haven’t even talked about that yet.”
“Sure, that works. See you then.” Liv ended the call.
She bit her lip. “I realize I said Paige is self-sufficient, but even as busy as she is, and as much as she has to do, she’d never do this to me.”
“Leave me with no one to hang out with while we were traveling together.”
“What did she say? Did she sound upset?”
“She said she wanted me to enjoy myself, more than anything, so…”
“What else did she say? So…what?”
“I wasn’t so damned grouchy when we got home.”
Ben’s head tilted back and he laughed, again. She loved his laugh—he did it with his whole body. His whole body experienced the joy of the moment. And it wasn’t just when he laughed, he did it all the time. On stage, and especially when they were having sex.
He pulled her back down on the bed and shifted so she was on top of him. “Skin on skin, baby. You know how much I like this.” His hands worked their way up and down her back, pressing her closer to him.
“Can you sleep on the plane?”
“What did you say?”
“If we stay up all night, can you sleep on the plane tomorrow?”
Ben hired a car to take them to McCarran. “Fly back with me. It won’t be a problem for us to fly into Centennial, drop you off, and then fly to Gunnison.”
“I didn’t realize you had your own plane when you said you were changing your flight.” Liv felt peevish.
“Well, it’s not mine, it’s the band’s, and we share time with my folks. My dad’s a pilot too.”
That got her attention. “My dad was a pilot. Air Force.”
“My father got his pilot’s license in his twenties, to ferry my grandfather back and forth from Denver. He was never a military guy.”
“You sound disappointed. Does it matter?”
No, it didn’t matter. But outside of their undeniable mutual attraction, how much did they really have in common?
Last night Ben insisted they talk about when they could see each other again. Liv had been purposely evasive. He didn’t think she believed that he’d want to see her again, did he? He didn’t need to placate her by promising he’d call. Did he think she wasn’t smart enough to recognize this for what it was?
“I thought we might have that in common,” she shrugged.
Ben looked at Paige, who shrugged too.
“Look, it’s a nice offer, but we’ve got a car at DIA. Flying into Centennial will complicate things. Let’s say goodbye here. It’ll be easier that way.”
Ben looked at Paige again. “I thought you said if I stayed another night she wouldn’t be as grouchy.”
Paige spit out her coffee as she laughed out loud.
“It isn’t funny.” Liv moved away from both of them. “I’ll be back in a minute.” She huffed off in the direction the ladies room.
“What…in…the…hell?” Ben looked at Paige. Granted, he might be used to getting his own way. Maybe he was a little stubborn, and perhaps a tad controlling, but this woman wouldn’t give an inch.
“Go easy on her, she’s w-a-a-a-y out of her comfort zone with you. Let her be pissy, but like her anyway. She’ll come around.” Paige hesitated. “As long as you do.”
“Is that it? She thinks I won’t come around again?”
“She doesn’t think it, she knows it. At least that’s what she’s convinced herself.”
“How do you know all this? Did she get up in the middle of the night and call you?”
“No. But I know her. When I say she’s out of her comfort zone, she isn’t even on the same planet as her comfort zone when it comes to you. Cut her a little slack, understand what the motivation is behind her behavior. As I said, she’ll come around as long as you do.”
“Ready, Paige?” Liv touched Ben’s arm, stood on her tiptoes, and kissed his cheek. “Bye, Ben. Thanks for everything. I had a lot of fun. Come on, Paige, let’s go.” Liv turned and was two feet away from him before he realized what she was doing.
ong strides later he grabbed Liv around the waist and spun her back to him. “Oh, no. We aren’t doing this again. Come here, baby.” Ben’s mouth covered hers. His hand held the back of her head close, so she couldn’t end their kiss until he was ready. His other arm came around and he squeezed her behind. And then he released her.
“I’ll talk to you later, Liv. Have a safe flight.” With that, he turned around and walked in the other direction.
Liv stood still, stunned, then looked at Paige. “Not. A. Word. Got it?”
“Got it.” Paige giggled.
“You okay?” asked Paige, twenty minutes into their flight.
“I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
“I’m not playing this game. You know why I asked. Now start talking…tell me about Ben, about what’s happened, about all of it.”
“I’m not playing games, Paige. When I say I’m fine, I mean it.”
“Not buyin’ it.”
“Why not? Look—I lived out every woman’s fantasy. I had a whirlwind romance with a guy completely out of my league. I had fantastic sex, and then he offered to fly me home on his private plane. Why wouldn’t I be fine?”
“Because you said goodbye to him.”
“What does that have to do anything? I went into this with my eyes wide open. Not the first day, but you pointed something out to me that I hadn’t considered. It changed my whole outlook.”
“That I hadn’t had sex since Scott died. Do you realize how messed up that is? It’s crazy abnormal in a freakishly weird way. If it wasn’t for Ben, who knows when, or if, I ever would’ve again. So, yeah, I’m fine.”
“No regrets, no self-doubts, no wondering when you’ll see him again?”
“None of the above. As far as seeing him again, I have no intention of allowing that to happen.”
Liv turned her face toward the window and closed her eyes. Every time she did, she saw Ben. Yes, she had an ache in her heart, but what good would it do to allow herself to get absorbed by it? Not one bit. Ben had an exciting, bigger-than-life life. She had her ranch, and she was lucky to have it. Other than that, and an amazing daughter who was out creating her own life independent of her mother, there wasn’t much more she brought to anyone’s table.
Fall for Me (Cowboys of Crested Butte Book 1) Page 5