IF A bicycle had a penis and eyes pleading for a blow job, the whole ordeal would be just like riding a bike. It’s one of those things a person never forgets how to do, no matter how much time has passed. But Bryn Harper hadn’t had sex with a living, breathing man in nearly two and a half years. The only sex she’d had involved rubber and vibrating replicas of manliness. So being in this position—nearly naked as she stepped into her dimly lit bedroom—felt far more difficult than pedaling around on two wheels.
“Hey.” Bryn managed a coy smile as she stood in the doorway connecting her bathroom to her bedroom.
“Wow. You look gorgeous,” Eli said, alleviating some of her anxiety.
She fidgeted with the lace hem of her see-through chemise. “Thanks.”
Bryn had been sort of dating Eli for a couple of months, and it was finally time to do the deed. She’d chosen him as her get-back-on-the-bike guy. Cute and polite, well mannered, with a smokin’ hot bod. He’d help her get it over with, make the fear go away.
They’d been friends for a while, having met at their kids’ school during Field Day. They’d bonded while serving hot dogs to ravenous elementary students. Casual coffees turned into dinner every other week. He was a nice guy to hang out with and he understood what she wanted—light and casual. Attempting to find love again was on her list, but not right now. Not yet. It was still too soon.
Bryn took a deep breath as she left the safety of her bathroom and stepped into the bedroom, illuminated by a half dozen candles. She kneeled on the bed and crawled to him, hoping it looked way sexier than it felt.
Eli’s ravenous gaze ripped off her transparent outfit and devoured her body. Wonder how long it’s been for him? He looked pretty damn hungry. He’d been divorced almost as long as Bryn had been widowed. But surely he had dated in that time. Divorcés were usually back on the bike much faster than widowed riders—the anger-bang, revenge sex.
Bryn would never forget the day her doorbell rang and she ran to answer it, three-year-old Cammie on her hip, her hair a mess, never expecting to find what she did. As soon as she saw the uniformed soldier on her porch, she knew. Her husband would never come home again.
After Johnny died, all Bryn had wanted to do was curl up in bed with her three kids and hold them close. She’d stayed there for days, maybe even weeks. And when she finally came out, life was measured one hour at a time. If she could make it that far without crying, that was progress. Then it was two hours, then three. When she’d made it a whole twelve hours, she’d rejoined society and gone back to work. Her kids needed some kind of normalcy after weeks of seeing her a bawling mess of misery.
But that’s as far as the normalcy in her life went. The only things that mattered were her store and the kids. Finding a companion—love—had been the furthest thing from her mind.
But here she was, two and a half years later, and it was getting really hard to be a single mom, especially to growing boys. Jaxson and Zachary needed a man in their lives, one they could relate to. Grandpa wasn’t really cutting it. Dating Eli was part one in giving her family what it needed.
And Bryn needed a man in her life, too. Not for financial support, protection, and overall dependency, but for companionship and, yeah, sex. Lots of sex. A real, live man to hold her, taste her, and caress her body. Dildos and vibrators were fun, but they didn’t whisper sweet nothings and dirty talk in her ear or press feather-light kisses along her spine.
Bryn focused on Eli, and damn, he looked good lying there. She scanned his seminaked body. For a guy in his late thirties, he had a fine physique. Mounded pecs and sculpted biceps, muscular thighs that made her yearn to be between them. No six-pack, but she wasn’t exactly model shape, either. Her eyes traveled south to his black boxer briefs, where a tent was already forming. Phew! There was a halfway-hard penis waiting for her, and the flow of moisture between her thighs told her she was more than ready for it. It gave her the courage to keep moving forward.
He sat up and pulled her toward him, kissing her far more passionately than they’d kissed before. Until this point, it had only been mini kisses after dinner on her porch, the kids peeking out the front window. But tonight they were blocks away at her parents’ house. No giggles. No interruptions.
Eli pressed her body to the bed with his and trailed a kiss across her neck to her earlobe. Bryn giggled. So much for no giggles.
“I’m sorry. That’s my ticklish spot.”
“It’s okay.” Eli smiled at her. He had a really nice smile. And eyes. He raised one eyebrow, his lips curling into a sinister grin. “I want to taste all your ticklish spots.”
That sounded fun. Bryn’s hunger was most definitely back. She lost her giggles and pulled his lips back to hers, raking her hands down his back, hesitating at the band of his underwear. This was it. A smidgen of fear crept back in, but she squashed it, reminding herself how much better an orgasm felt when performed by someone other than herself, or a vibrator, even the Ultra Vibe with its clit stimulator and rotating pleasure beads.
Time to get that body completely naked. As Bryn reached her hands inside the elastic, the phone rang. Intent on ignoring it, she rubbed down his smooth ass. A soft murmur emanated from Eli’s throat and he moved his lips to her chest, peeling the lace away from her breast before smothering it with his warmth.
The answering machine clicked on and echoed through the house. “Bryn, honey, it’s Mom. I just have a quick question about one of the kids. Call me when you get in.”
There was no better mood killer than the sound of her mother’s voice.
Eli stopped suckling and looked up at her. “Wanna call her?”
“No. She raised me and my brothers. She can manage.” Bryn pushed the underwear down exposing his firm behind, and he dove back into her breasts, taking her back to paradise.
But her cell phone started ringing on the nightstand next to her head. Is she trying to beaver block me?
“You better get that,” Eli said, laughing, as he pulled away from her nipple once again.
“I’m a dad. I know how it goes. And you won’t be able to relax until it’s out of your head.”
He was right. Bryn tucked her boob back in and reached for the phone. She couldn’t talk to her mother with it hanging out.
“What’s up,” she asked, hoping her mother would sense her irritation.
“Cammie had a few too many pieces of candy. You can blame your father for that. Should I give her an antacid or something?”
Did she forget how to be a mother? “That’s fine.”
“Okay. I just wanted to make sure.”
“Thanks, but for the rest of tonight, if there’s no significant blood loss, don’t call, ’kay?”
“So . . . you’re with that Eli guy tonight?”
“Yeah. We’re kinda in the middle of something right now. So I’m gonna let you go.”
“Oh. Well . . . have fun then.”
“That’s the plan.”
Bryn wondered if her mother had called on purpose. She’d made no attempt to hide the fact she thought it was too soon for Bryn to start dating. In her mother’s eyes, a widowed woman should stay in mourning for the rest of her life.
“Good night.” Bryn pulled the phone from her ear, ready to press end.
“Oh, Bryn, wait a minute.”
What now? She brought the phone back. “Yes?”
“What time are you picking the kids up tomorrow? Dad has a doctor’s appointment at eleven fifteen. He’s finally having that bunion looked at.”
Did she seriously just mention a bunion while Bryn had a mostly naked man lying on her lace-clad body? “I’ll be there in plenty of time. I’m hanging up now.” She quickly ended the call and tossed the phone onto the nightstand.
“Finally,” she said, and wrapped her arms back around Eli’s neck.
“Is it just me, or did that conversation take an hour?”
“So not just you. Felt like forever.”
“Let’s not waste any more time then.” The sexy smile was back.
Eli reached behind as he pressed his lips to hers and unhooked her bra, freeing her breasts from the scratchy lace, tossing it to the floor. Oh, that felt nice. Bryn forgot how wonderful it was to feel a powerful chest pressing against her naked breasts, nipples rubbing on manly chest hairs.
But he only let her enjoy it a few moments before leaving her to move south, his lips kissing a trail down her stomach. Could he be heading downtown already? This wasn’t happening. She couldn’t be lucky enough to get that right away.
As his tongue made circles around her belly button, she anticipated where it would be next. Some women relaxed with massages, but not Bryn. Give her some pussy licking any day. It was complete bliss, the perfect way to unwind. And Johnny had been so good at it.
Bryn tried to keep her eyes closed and concentrate on the fabulous things Eli was doing, but they popped open anyway, focusing on the ten-by-thirteen photo on her bedroom wall. Her and Johnny on their wedding day, gazing into each other’s eyes. It had been taken not even thirty minutes after they’d vowed to love each other until the end of time.
And here she was lying on the bed they’d shared, letting another man pleasure her and take her places only Johnny ever had.
“You have to stop,” Bryn said, tapping Eli’s shoulder.
His head popped up, pulling his lips from a spot just below her belly button. “Is everything okay? Am I doing something wrong?”
Poor guy. He looked so insecure. Maybe he’d been as nervous about their encounter as she had. “It’s good . . . great. I’m just not as ready as I thought.”
He crawled up to her and brought the comforter with him. He lay down and covered them, holding her to him. “Is there anything I can do?”
“This right here. Thank you.”
“HOW WAS the big night?” Mia asked the second Bryn walked into Classy ’n’ Sassy, the lingerie shop they’d started together more than a decade earlier.
“Fine. Until my deceased husband’s face popped into my brain.”
“So I’m guessing you didn’t do it?”
“That’s a big fat nope,” Bryn said as she joined Mia at the front counter. “He was about to go down on me, but I started thinking about Johnny. I saw our wedding picture on the wall and I just couldn’t do it. I guess it still feels like I’m cheating on him.”
“It’s been more than two years.”
“I know. It felt so good and so wrong at the same time. Just having Eli lay on me, ya know?”
Bryn picked up a pair of sexy boxer briefs from the new shipment Mia was adding price tags to. Cute. The shop had been only for the ladies until a couple months ago, stocking classy bras and underwear and sassy nighties and crotchless panties, but they’d made some changes recently to keep it from going under. They’d brainstormed how to save their baby and ventured not only into men’s items, but into an entire line of custom-made dildos and other various sex toys. Classy ’n’ Sassy Lingerie had become Classy ’n’ Sassy Lingerie and Love Shop.
“Oh yes,” Mia sighed, and looked like she had drifted off to somewhere else. She was still in the supersexy phase of her relationship with Oliver, the guy she’d met and fell in love with while interviewing models for their signature dildo line. “Is there anything more comforting than a man’s weight on you?”
There really wasn’t. Sometimes, if Bryn tried really hard, she could still remember the feel of Johnny’s body on her, next to her, wrapped around her. And now she could smile about it instead of melting into a puddle of tears.
“So what happened after that?”
“I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to stop.”
“Yeah. I felt awful.”
“What did he do?”
“He was wonderful, of course. He stopped immediately and crawled up next to me and just held me.” Bryn grabbed a handful of hangers and started clipping the sexy briefs into place. “After a while he left, probably to go home and jerk off. That’s certainly what I did the second the door closed behind him.”
“Okay. But this was good. Baby steps. Next time will be better.”
“I don’t know about a next time. How do I get myself to stop feeling like I’m cheating on my husband?”
Mia looked away before speaking again, concentrating on the lingerie on the counter in front of her. “Have you thought of taking down the pictures of Johnny? At least from your bedroom?”
How the hell can my supposed best friend even think of suggesting that? “Of course not.”
Mia turned to her, compassion in her eyes. “Please don’t be mad at me for suggesting it. But I think it might help. Just in your bedroom so you won’t feel so guilty.” She rubbed Bryn’s arm. “He would want you to be happy.”
“Yes, I’m sure he wants his beloved wife to fuck some other guy.”
“It’s not like that and you know it. You’re trying to move on with your life. You don’t need to forget him, but if not seeing Johnny’s face in the bedroom will help you move on, well, then I think you need to do that.”
Bryn turned away, back to her underwear and hangers. “You don’t understand what I’m going through right now.”
“No, I don’t. But I want to see you happy again.”
She couldn’t hold her tears back any longer. “I do want to be happy again.”
Mia pulled her into a hug. “You will be. But you won’t get there if you keep holding on to Johnny so tightly.”
She knew Mia was right. Johnny was gone and nothing was bringing him back. He would want her to find happiness again, right?
Mia pulled away. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Bryn swiped away her tears. “It’s just harder than I thought it would be.”
“Do you think you want to try again with Eli?”
“Maybe is good. Give it some time and I’m sure you’ll be ready.”
Bryn nodded, but she wasn’t convinced. She was so confused. She wanted Eli. Badly. But she still felt anchored to the past. Maybe Mia was right. Maybe removing the pictures from her bedroom would help. Maybe a whole change of scenery was necessary.
Bryn, co-owner of Classy ‘n’ Sassy Lingerie shop with her best friend Mia, is ready to get back out in the dating world after losing her husband to the war overseas. Diving into bad first dates, online set-ups, and guys who just can’t get the message, Bryn can’t stop thinking about Eli, the sexy neighborhood cop who’s also a great dad. But between Bryn’s dead husband and Eli’s messy divorce, will these two have what it takes to overcome their baggage and fan the flames between them?