Chapter 1 – East


“So will you pretend to have sex with me?”

“Excuse me?” I asked. The bar was loud enough where I thought she’d just asked me to pretend to have sex with her. This woman, in a flirty dress, jean jacket, and cowboy boots, was looking up at me with an equal mix of embarrassment and interest.

Even in the dim lighting, I couldn’t miss the hot flush to her cheeks. It was costing her to speak with me. She wasn’t out on the prowl. She wasn’t touching me, leaning and pressing her tits into my arm. Batting fake eyelashes. Offering a BJ. Wanting me to go home with her.

None of that.

She was gorgeous and I didn’t miss the way men looked at her. They took in her curvy frame, her shapely legs and tits that would spill over any man’s palms.

I got hard getting a good downward glimpse of those full swells.

I leaned down—she was at least six inches shorter—and spoke into her ear so she could hear me over the crowd that Monday night football brought in. I picked up hints of lemon over the tang of beer and hot wings. “You want me to pretend to have sex with you? That’s not remotely possible.”

I couldn’t help the way my mouth turned up in a smile because her request was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. And yet she was refreshing. Natural. Real.

She was actually serious. After the shit with Macon over the summer, his wake and the discovery that the asshole who’d made my life hell might not even be my father, I was jaded. Worse than that. Fucked up, for sure. I wasn’t used to someone so blatantly open and… guileless.

I grew up in a household of hatred and secrets. Of stoicism and damaged souls. Of threats and deals. Why she’d chosen me, I had no idea.

She closed her eyes for a moment, those red lashes fanning across her cheeks. “Yeah, nevermind. Forget I said anything.”

She spun on her heel and the hem of her dress swirled offering me—and every asshole in the place—the hope of seeing what color panties she wore. No luck though since it only rode to mid-thigh, but it still made me wonder.

I hooked her arm. No way was I letting her walk away. “Hold up, doll.”

She turned to face me, her chin tipped up again. I didn’t let go of my hold. Knowing now that she would bolt like a wild mustang, I needed to work this a little differently.

She huffed and yeah, I was as hard as a rock.


“I’m not an idiot, even though it may seem that way. My roommates are in the booth in the corner… no, don’t look,” she warned, giving her head a little shake. “It’s my birthday and as a present, they think I should get laid. A bathroom quickie or whatever. It’s not my thing but if I don’t do it, they’re going to pick a guy for me.”

The idea of this hot little thing lifting her dress for some rando—besides me—made me angry. No fucking way was she or her friends propositioning someone else. Just looking at her I knew she’d never done this before.

“Your friends are making you pick out your own guy, approach him and ask him to fuck you. They aren’t working too hard on that present. On top of that it’s fucking dangerous,” I said.

“I know,” she admitted, then sighed. “Seriously, I know. That’s why I wasn’t going to do it. Just pretend so they’d let it go. Hopefully forever.”

“Why me? I’d never hurt you, but how do you know I’m not an asshole or a serial killer?”

She glanced at the bar and bit her lip. “I’ve been watching you with the bartenders and the waitstaff. They know you and seem relaxed when talking with you. You’re known here.”

That was because I owned the bar. I was a silent partner since I was too busy at the university for anything more. I didn’t handle the day-to-day work of running the place, but if I was going out for a beer, I was getting it here.

“Although close up I have to wonder about that.” She pointed to my forehead where a butterfly bandage held the cut together that I got earlier in the ring. “Did you get in a fight or something?”

“Or something,” I murmured, touching the spot. It didn’t hurt all that much. Same went for my sore ribs, but the other guy was far worse. “You’ve been watching me?” I asked, getting us away from how I burned off my anger cage fighting to other, more interesting things. This night was getting better by the minute. A win in the ring and now her. I wasn’t ugly—besides the busted head—but hell, a stroke to the ego felt good. A stroke of her little hand on something else would be even better.

She glanced away. “I noticed you right away,” she admitted. “You’re pretty hot and my roommates would totally buy that I’d pick you. I had to make it believable.”

It was nice to know that I was considered fuckable.

“I… Like I said, my friends are a little drunk and pushy,” she added.

“Sounds like you need new friends,” I muttered. “They shouldn’t make you do shit like this if you don’t want to. Especially on your birthday. Whatever happened to buying you shots or a necklace or something?”

She didn’t look or act like she’d done a few rounds of tequila.

She shook her head and her long hair, all curly and wild over her shoulders, made me wonder how it would feel to grip and tug those silky strands while I fucked her. For real.

“They’re fine,” she replied, waving off the fact that her friends were pretty crappy. “Roommates, actually. I need to stay friendly with them since I can’t afford a place without splitting the rent.” She glanced around. “This isn’t my scene. I don’t have much free time, and this isn’t the first thing I’d pick to do. Again, they’re trying to be nice. I’m pretty introverted and all this noise and crowd pretty much drains my battery.”

I understood. As a professor, I had to deal with students and leading classes and small groups and tutor sessions and grant writing, unlike my twin, West, who talked to cows all day.

“If they’re really your friends, they’d know all that and take you bowling or to a bookstore or get pizza and watch Netflix.”

She shrugged. “Well, I’m here. I know this is a lot to ask, and definitely weird. If you can go with me into the back for a few minutes, let them think we’re doing it, then you’d really help me out. They’ll get off my back about it and I can just enjoy the rest of the night. You could read a book or something.”

A book?

I took her hand. As I did, I glanced over her shoulder toward the back corner. Three women tucked in a booth were watching us. I winked in their direction to let them know I was playing along, then tugged the chick my dick was hard for toward the bathrooms. I weaved around people and ducked into the office, shut the door. Locked it.

Her green eyes watched the action.

“I know the owner,” I said, not giving her more details, like the fact that I was the owner. I didn’t run the place. I was more a silent partner to my friend, Mike, but that wasn’t important. “And if I’ve got you tucked back here, I’m sure as shit not going to read a book.”

She bit her plump lip and eyed me. “Thank you for doing this. Like I said, it only needs to be for a few minutes.”

I laughed. “Don’t insult me, doll. Your friends will never think a fuck with me will take only a few minutes.”

She opened her mouth to speak, then shut it, catching on. I didn’t miss the interest in her eyes. Maybe that was the only way she’d been fucked before. Too fast to be satisfying.

“How are they going to know we actually went through with it?” I wondered. “I mean, if they’re crazy enough to push you to fuck a stranger in a bar, then they’re going to want proof.”

She looked away, stroked her finger along the edge of the desk. It was fairly neat, but a stack of invoices and receipts were in the middle.

“You show them my panties.”

I groaned. The sound slipped out before I could stop it. I had no fucking idea who this woman was or my luck that she’d chosen me out of a bar full of men. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to scold her friends, spank this woman’s ass for going along with something stupid, or revel in the moment.

I curled my fingers. “Hand them over, doll.”

Her eyes widened and she stared at me for a minute. “You’ll do it?”

I didn’t say anything, just waited. If she looked lower than my eyes, she’d see how fucking hard I was. My jeans were practically suffocating my dick.

With another pretty blush, she reached under the hem of her green dress—a deep emerald that matched her eyes—and shimmied a scrap of lavender lace down her legs and worked them over her cowboy boots.

She held them out and I crooked my finger again. I waited for her to step close, then took them from her. The little bit of material was warm from her body and a little damp.

Fuck me.

“What’s your name?” I asked, tucking a long tendril of her hair behind her ear. Based on the bright color, I thought it might be hot to the touch.


“Well, Ella, you have two choices.” She didn’t flinch or panic at the simple touch, so I set my hands on her waist and slid my thumbs back and forth. “We can stand here and stare at each other or we can actually fuck. If you’re going to hand over your panties to a stranger on your birthday, you might as well get an orgasm for it. Yeah?”

“But… but—”

I tucked her panties into my shirt pocket because I sure as shit wasn’t giving them back, then cupped her chin. Her skin was warm. Silky soft. Her eyes were wide, and I couldn’t miss the way her pupils dilated. She was into this. Nervous, but not afraid.

“The door’s right there.” I tipped my head toward it, keeping my palm on her, gentle and reassuring. And because I liked how she felt. “You can walk out now or any time. This is all your call. But knowing your pussy’s wet and bare right now has got me hard and wanting inside you.”

She flicked her gaze at the closed door, the one that muffled the sound of the music and the crowd. Mike was on a hunting trip and no one else had a key to his office. We weren’t going to be disturbed by some drunk searching for the bathroom.

No way would I expose her to that shit.

“Just this, right here, right now,” she said, outlining her boundaries, pointing a finger at me, then herself. “Nothing more, right?” She cocked her head to the side and tucked her hair back as it slid across her face. The red color reminded me of fall and crisp leaves. Maybe I’d been hit in the head harder than I thought for thinking that poetic shit.

But it was true.

I shook my head. “Nothing more.”

No strings was fine with me. I didn’t do relationships. Hell, I rarely did one-night stands either. I was getting too old for it, although this right here was different. Twenty-eight and picky, that was me. But Ella was gorgeous. Sweet. Curves that went on for miles. Between those lush tits, knowing her pussy was bare and the fact that we’d part ways once we left this office, she was the perfect woman.

If I was looking for one.

“Condom,” she said, then took a deep breath.

I grabbed my wallet from my back pocket as I kept my eyes on hers. I had no problem suiting up. I always did. I’d never gone without. Not once. And I always used my own protection, the ones I bought and kept. I had to be careful with getting trapped by a pregnancy and I had no interest in my dick falling off. While I didn’t think Ella was likely to catch me up in either, I appreciated a woman who protected herself. I held it up. She snagged it and her hands were on my belt buckle before I put my wallet back.

“Easy, tiger,” I murmured, smiling at her sudden eagerness.

Her tongue peeked out as she set about her task, undoing my jeans and pushing them along with my boxers over my hips.

My dick sprang free. I groaned. She gasped.

She stared at it. I watched her. Pre-cum seeped from the slit. It was possible I wasn’t going to last minutes after all and she hadn’t even touched it ye—

Her little hand gripped the base of the shaft and she began to stroke it.

“Fuck, doll.” My hips jerked into her hold.

I wanted to see more of her. A quickie didn’t mean fumbling in the dark. I pushed her jean jacket off her shoulders and she helped me, letting it drop to the floor. I went to work the thin straps of her dress off her shoulders and…

Fuuuucck.” I ran my hands through my hair, stunned by her. Curvy. Soft. Creamy skin that my fingers itched to caress and my mouth wanted to lick and suck.

She wasn’t wearing a bra because there was some kind of shelf or support system built in. God bless those technical clothing geniuses because those lush mounds were tipped with pink nipples that were hardening into perfect points while I watched.

Yeah, I couldn’t wait to get my mouth on one, so I lowered my head and sucked. Hard.

“Oh!” Her hand stilled on my dick as she arched her back.

I licked and kissed across the valley between her tits and worked the other nipple over until it was glossy and reddened as well.

I lifted my head, studied her blurry green gaze. She was right there with me.

It became a need to get her off. To watch her come. I cupped her and she was dripping wet. A gasp escaped those full lips.

My fingers slid over her slit, parted her. Her clit was hard and when I circled it, her hips bucked. She was swollen and wet and soft and hot and… my dick dripped even more.

“Shh,” I soothed, but it didn’t make a difference. She was primed and ready to go.

Fuck, yes. With the pad of my thumb, I gently worked her clit as I circled her entrance. Taunting, sure. But it didn’t matter.

She came just like that.

Her eyes flared wide and I saw it all. Saw into her, saw that she needed this, wanted it. The fact that she climaxed so easy from just my fingers, a stranger, was a fucking turn on. Because it showed how much she wanted me.

“Turn around and bend over the desk.”

Her breathing was ragged. The flush had spread down over her tits, hiding the spray of freckles, but she spun about and did as I said.

“Lift up that dress and show me how wet you are.”

Looking over her shoulder, her cheeks were as flushed as her nipples. Slowly, she reached back and tossed the short hem of her dress up and over her ass.

I stilled and stared. I’d never seen anything so fucking hot before. With the green dress scrunched around her waist, she was bare except for her cowboy boots. Her ass was wide and round. Grippable. Spankable. Her pussy peeked out, all swollen and very wet. I could see the hint of her fiery red hair. With her bent over, her tits dangled like ripe fruit. And the way she was looking at me, at my dick, I couldn’t wait a second longer.

She’d forgotten about the condom and I took it from her fingers which were pressed into Mike’s desk. I ripped it open and slipped it on, all the while wondering if I should lick that pussy before I fucked it.

When she wiggled her hips, I knew I had to get in her. I wasn’t going to last. She was too perfect.

I’d never been so hard before. Never been so into a quick fuck. Never been so close to coming and I hadn’t done more than suck on her nipples.

Stepping closer, I gripped the base of my dick and slid the latex-covered head through her wetness. She went up on her tiptoes and moaned at the contact.

“Yes, please. God. Yes.”

I could feel her scorching heat even through the barrier and her consent went right to my aching balls. She wanted me in her, and now.

Gripping her hip and squeezing that supple flesh, I thrust deep in one go.

Her back arched. She cried out and tossed her head back as she clenched around me like a fist. Like I was too big. Like she was…

“You okay?” I asked through gritted teeth.

She nodded, biting her lip. Her inner walls milked and rippled around me as she wiggled her hips.

It had either been a really long time for her, which I doubted was the case since I put her around twenty-two, or Ella was—or had been—a virgin.

And just like that, I’d made her mine.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked, holding myself still deep inside her.

She turned her head, looked at me with those eyes, a mix now of desire and worry. “I’ve never had sex before, that’s all. Tab A in Slot B and all that. It’s not a big deal and it’s done. I wanted to. With you. I still do, if you’d only move.”

I pulled out.

“What? Because I’m a virgin you’re not going to—”

I grabbed her hips and spun her around, then lifted her and sat her on the edge of Mike’s desk. Yeah, I wasn’t going to tell him about what we were doing to his workspace.

I cupped her cheek and made her eyes meet mine.

“Oh, we’re doing this. Just a little differently. Lean back.”

She set her palms on the desk behind her and I hooked a hand behind her right knee. She’d been wet before, but I checked now with my fingers. Her slick heat coated the tips.

She gasped.

“How much of a virgin are you?” I asked, letting my fingers play while my dick throbbed. I’d get back in her but it was about her right now.

“Meaning?” she countered, one auburn brow arching. She was disheveled and pretty much naked, wild and sprawled on Mike’s desk and yet the look she gave me was a cross between stop fucking around and fuck me.

“Meaning on a scale of one where you’ve never seen a dick before to a five of you’ve just never had a dick in you.”


I nodded. While I was caveman enough to wish I’d been the only man to touch her, I wasn’t a hypocrite. She deserved sex of any kind as much as anyone else.

I was ridiculously pleased I was the first one to get inside her, and ridiculously crazy for wanting to be the last. I didn’t do relationships and now I wanted one with this pussy.

I settled at her entrance again and slid in, this time slower and I was able to watch her face as I did so.

“Okay?” I asked once I was buried deep once again.

“Yes,” she breathed, wiggling her hips.

I pulled back, thrust home. Fuck, yes. She was tight. Hot.

And responsive because she cried out, thrust her tits up.

I sucked on one plump tip as I carefully fucked her. Testing what she liked, how she felt.

I shouldn’t have worried. She wasn’t a romance novel Highlander maiden. She was a little hellcat, wrapping her legs around me and lifting her hips thrust for thrust.

My thumb rubbed small circles around her clit. I wasn’t sure if she could come this first time, but I was going to try to get her there. I knew it was less about my prowess and more about her headspace. I was big and her pussy was like a vice. It was my job to please her.

Her eyes flew open, and I grinned. “Like that?”

She nodded and her arms gave way and she settled on her back on the desk. It didn’t take long for her eyes to fall closed and breathy sounds to escape her parted lips. One hand cupped her tit and the other landed on top of mine and she moved it over her clit how she liked.

My balls drew up knowing this woman owned her needs. I was just a tool to get her there now.

Watching her come was fucking incredible. I observed as a flush spread across her pale skin. Her pussy clenched down on me in tight ripples. I didn’t stand a chance. While she cried out her release, I thrust deep and unloaded in her, my hand slapping down on the desk.

It was like a freight train of pleasure.

I had no idea how long we took to recover. Eventually, I pulled back and took care of the condom. Ella slid off the desk and pulled up her dress, slipping the straps back over her shoulders. The hem fell back over her thighs. She looked my way with a shy smile, but had a satisfied gleam in her eyes.

“Wanna go back to my place for round two?” I asked. Once wasn’t enough and if she was this wild from her first time, I’d think she’d want more before she called it a night.

She licked her lips, watched as I tucked myself back in my jeans.

“Let me go to the ladies’ room and clean up.”

I nodded as she ducked out of the room, giving me one last glance.

I waited, like an idiot, for ten minutes.

Then I went to the women’s restroom to see if she was okay. Not there.

Then I went out to the main bar area to find her friends. Again, not there.

Then I realized I’d been ghosted.

By a gorgeous woman who gave me her name, her virginity and nothing else.

Except… I reached into my pocket and pulled out her panties. The only proof I had of her existence.








Vanessa Vale