For the first time in months, Jackie was staying home Sunday night. She needed to be alone.
Sipping her beer, she pointed the remote at the television and turned the sound up. Cheers filled her apartment, over scored only by the announcers’ halting sentences.
Cam had been a great fuck and the addition of his little girlfriend or whatever she was to him was interesting. Dramatic and sexy. But never had she felt more lonely than when she went home alone that night.
She hadn’t wanted Cam to walk her home. It wasn’t his place.
It was Washington’s.
Jackie took another long pull on her beer.
It was like she’d told her boss this morning. Business was fine, nothing more to do there. Nothing held her there. It was time for her to move.
Then maybe should could get Washington out of her head.
A knock at the door jarred her out of her stream of consciousness. Hardly knowing anyone in the city, she never got visitors.
Sighing, she heaved herself up from the couch and looked through the peephole.
Jackie rolled back from her tiptoes to her heels. What the hell was he doing out there?
“I know you saw me. The light cut out from the peephole for a second.” His voice carried through the door.
Was that really possible? Surely not. He was such an ass.
Biting back a smile, she opened the door.
Snow covered the ground and dusted the tops of cars lining the street behind him as he shoved his hands in the pockets of his coat. The cold bit through the open doorway, rushing over the bare skin of her chest.
She zipped up her sweatshirt and crossed her arms, fighting the freeze. “I’m sorry? Can I help you?”
He looked her over, from her socked feet to her fleece pants and her bulky sweatshirt, before finally meeting her eyes.
“You weren’t at the bar.” His deep voice was just a murmur.
“No.” She leaned against the door frame. “I was there last Monday though.”
His jaw clenched and his gaze dropped to her feet. “Did you stay home because of me?”
Jackie had never thought she’d see this expression on his face. Rueful? Ashamed? Worried? Whatever happened to make him feel like that, it was both endearing and something she wanted to fix.
A smile twitched at the corner of her mouth. “It’s not always about you, Washington.”
He met her eyes, his faltering grin throwing her off balance. “Then stop being so rude and invite me in.”
She stepped aside, letting him walk inside her apartment for the first time. Locking the door behind him, the irony of his request today versus his reaction last week wasn’t lost on her.
Washington was right in front of her when she turned. His green eyes watched her with an intensity that made her breath catch in her throat.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Why didn’t you go tonight?”
Her heart was racing. She swallowed.
His question was simple. The answers weren’t. Lying was an option, or skirting the truth, but she found she had the energy for neither.
“I need to change my life.” She played with the string on her hoodie. “First step, I guess.”
“What kind of change?”
“Starting with being around you.”
He sucked in a breath. “Ouch, Jack.”
“The truth hurts, Wash. Yours too.”
“Okay.” He nodded, his gaze catching on her lips. “You let me in your apartment so you don’t hate me. Why don’t you want to be around me?”
Sighing, Jackie pushed past him and walked in the living room. “I need a beer for this.”
His gravelly laugh rumbled behind her. She closed her eyes and let the sound wash over her. It was one of the sexiest and most comforting sounds in the world. Honest. Happy. Simple.
She turned in time to see Washington slip out from the kitchen, beer in hand. “Who said you can drink my beer?”
“Oh, sorry.” He popped the cap off. “Thought you mentioning it meant I needed one too. What kind of hostess are you?”
Jackie just stood in front of her couch, a smile on her face and a warm feeling in her chest as he sauntered toward her. Imagining him coming over to put his arms around her. How she’d lean against him. Kiss his smart ass mouth.
Taking a swig of beer, she sat down. Tried to push the fantasy away.
He sat next to her. “Okay. It’s not fun time.”
Running her fingers through her long black ponytail, Jackie looked up at him. “I like you. I haven’t liked someone like this in a long time. It’s not like I can turn it off. What’s worse is that I know you feel the same way but you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you’re some asshole.”
“I am.” His voice was sharp, promising.
“You’re not to me.”
“Aren’t I?” His eyes narrowed.
“No. You’re not.” She lifted her chin. “I don’t know what kinds of things you’ve done in the past or what your gimmick was when we first met, but you’ve never been a dick to me. For Christ’s sake, you pay for most of our drinks and walk me home every night without demanding anything in return.”
He pursed his lips. “You barely know me.”
“Bullshit. You barely know yourself.”
Washington blinked, cocking his head.
Jackie took a deep breath. “I don’t care what kind of asshole you used to be. We’ve all done shitty things in life. But the mistakes we’ve made don’t label us forever. Who we become does.”
“Really.” He took a sip of his beer and put it on the coffee table with a clunk, resting his elbows on his knees. “After Amber died, do you know what I did? I went out and got wasted with some friends. Then I took home some girl I didn’t know. That was the day of her fucking wake.”
The admission was like a slap in the face.
“I did it again after her funeral.”
She stared at him as he turned to face her.
“Thinking differently yet, Jackie?”
The blinking light of the television highlighted the fine lines around his eyes, shadowing the other half of his face. Like his dark side dared her to stand by what she’d said. Dared her to believe in him when he didn’t believe in himself.
She wouldn’t let herself get caught up in the past that he couldn’t let go. “You were grieving.”
“I have fucked so many women, I can’t even tell you the number anymore. I’ve used every line to get them in bed. I’m selfish and crude.”
“Not with me.”
“Hawk is there almost every time I pick someone up.”
The bartender. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“He’s Amber’s brother.”
Her fingers tingled, her body going cold. “What?”
“That’s how fucked up I am, Jackie. It’s what I’m trying to tell you. Even him being there doesn’t stop me. It almost spurs me on.”
Shaking her head, she looked at the game. Tried to get her mind together. She knew what he was trying to do. Distract her. Make her see everything bad about him until she threw him out of her life. But she knew she wasn’t wrong about him.
“You’re an idiot,” she said.
“Asshole,” he corrected.
“Not to me.”
“To you too.”
She took a deep breath and let it out. Another. “Have you done any of that since you met me?”
Cheers arose from the television as a player ran to a touchdown.
He was silent, the only sound the beer rushing through his bottle as he took a swig.
Jackie looked at him.
“You deserve someone better than me,” he said.
“Right.” Shaking her head again, she turned back to the game.
The player scored a touchdown, doing a chicken dance at the end zone. A replay echoed over the screen from two different angles, the sportscasters yammering about the run.
“I had sex with that blonde guy from the bar last week,” she said.
“Cam.” Washington’s voice was monotone as he stared at the television.
Jackie snuck a glance at him. “How do you know his name?”
“I grew up here. We’re friends. Did you enjoy yourself?”
He nodded, then slowly turned to face her again. “He’s been wanting to fuck you for awhile. You needed a lay. Did you enjoy it?”
“You...” Her mouth dropped open as she tried to formulate words. “Are you saying you told him to have sex with me?”
“Did he make you come?” His expression was impassive, his body rigid.
“Y-yes. What the fuck, Washington?”
“I didn’t tell him to fuck you, Jackie. You did. I just told him I wouldn’t be pissed at him.”
Hawk’s words came back to her, him urging her not to go home with Cam. He’d known, and she hadn’t listened.
“That doesn’t bother you?” she asked. “Seriously?”
He shrugged, looking down at his beer on the coffee table. “Not if it helped. You needed it.”
Jackie heaved a short laugh and covered her face with her hand.
“What?” he asked.
“Sex isn’t like Tylenol, Washington. It only would have helped if it were with... you.”
“Let it go,” he murmured.
She shut her eyes. Took a deep breath. “The meaningless sex thing doesn’t work for me anymore. Walking home that night was the loneliest I’ve ever felt.”
“You walked home alone?” His deep voice was tight, constrained.
“Of course I did,” she said, opening her eyes to look at him. “You weren’t there.”
Washington pursed his broad lips, turning back to the television. “He shouldn’t have let you do that.”
Her heart sank with every second of silence between them, waiting for him to say something. Do something. Anything.
“So I think I’m leaving.” The words were out of her mouth before she could think about voicing them.
Hands curling into fists, he stared at her. “Leaving? Where would you go?”
“Wherever my job needs me.” She shrugged.
His emerald green eyes seemed to pin her to the couch. “Trying to manipulate me, Jackie?”
The thought hadn’t actually crossed her mind. But now that he’d brought it up....
“Manipulate you into doing what?”
Washington didn’t reply. Just watched her face.
A smile worked into the curve of her mouth. “I didn’t know you could manipulate assholes.”
“You can,” he muttered. “You just may not be prepared for what you get.”
Even if she couldn’t have him the way she really wanted him, she’d settle for sex. It was true that one night didn’t mean the world, but she’d take what she could get from him.
“You’re not really moving, are you?” he asked.
“Talked to my boss about it this morning.”
“Right.” Jackie looked back at the game, butterflies in her stomach. Her heart beat a thousand times a minute. “What are you going to do to stop me?”
She didn’t answer. Just leaned back into the couch, staring straight ahead at the game and not paying any attention to it.
“Is... this a a definite thing?”
“This morning it was.” She rolled the empty beer bottle in her hands. “Now I’m not so sure.”
Jackie met his gaze. “You knocked on my door.”
“Me.” His lips turned down. “You would have moved if I hadn’t shown up? Do you know how crazy that sounds?”
“Oh, yeah, right.” She stood up, outrage pouring through her body as she tried to get a grip on herself. “It’s fucking crazy that I’d care about you at all.”
“After everything I just said to you? Yes. It is fucking crazy.”
She left him on the couch, walking into the kitchen with her head held high. Behind the thin wall between them, she put her empty bottle on the counter and closed her eyes.
What the hell was she doing? Even when she was a teenager, Jackie had never fought for a man. With that, she’d never envisioned herself fighting one as he fought against her.
“What the fuck?” she whispered, leaning her elbows on the counter and putting her face in her hands.
Madness. It was madness. Washington was right. She was out of her mind.
A shadow cast on the tile floor. She turned her head to see him standing in the entryway. Arms to his sides, the lines of his face blurred by the shadows of the kitchen.
“You’re fucking crazy to want someone like me in your life. As your lover, or anything else,” Washington murmured, stepping forward. “You should’ve just been happy with me as a bar friend and found someone better.”
Wetting her lips, she straightened.
“But I can’t just let you leave.” His palms met her cheeks, his fingers drifting down the curves of her face to cup her jaw. “Don’t leave.”
Intoxicated by his touch, she couldn’t say a word.
“Jacqueline,” he whispered.
Her name had never sounded more erotic than it did in the sweet caress of his husky voice.
“Kiss me,” she begged.
His hands moved to her scalp, tugging the elastic from her ponytail. It dropped on the counter behind her just as his fingers dug into her hair.
“I’m going to have to do a lot more than that.”
Washington tilted her head upward, looking over her face. Then he kissed her. It was soft, gentle, and over too soon.
“Promises, promises.” Jackie slipped her hands up the sides of his shirt, feeling the hard muscles underneath the fabric. “Kiss me like you mean it.”
“Oh fucking hell.”
He leaned over her, his mouth meeting hers, hard and insistent, pushing his tongue inside. One hand clutched the roots of her hair, the other tracing the curve of her body. Over her clothes, down her back, riding over the slope of her ass and clenching tight.
His thick cock pressed through his jeans and pushed at her belly as the countertop dug into the side of her hip. She felt like she was on fire, gasping for breath even as she nipped his bottom lip.
Washington broke away, pulled down the zipper of her sweatshirt and yanked it off her arms. The little metal pieces clinked against the floor as his warm lips descended on her neck, his stubble lightly scratching her smooth skin. One of his hands moved up to grope her breast while the other cupped the scorching heat of her damp crotch.
Propping her hands on the counter behind her, she let her head roll back with a moan.
As his fingers pressed into her sweatpants and onto her sensitive clit, her hips bucked. His fingers worked under the elastic of her pants and slipped under her cotton panties. “No sexy underwear today?”
“Bumming it,” she panted.
“Oh God, Jackie. Fuck this.” Without warning, he scooped her body into his arms. Her legs dangled over one forearm, her back leaning against the other. His smile melted the last ounce of her self control.
She haphazardly pointed.
Washington carried her through the hallway to the room, setting her down on the bed. With a grin, he pulled her legs to rest against the length of his body, her feet on his chest as he tugged off her fuzzy yellow and black socks.
“Bumming it?” he murmured.
Leaning down, he opened his mouth and moved his tongue to the heel of her foot, curved a wet trail into her sensitive arch, that to ended at her toes. Sucking two little digits at a time, his insistent tongue coaxed her nerve endings from the base of her toes to the tip.
Biting her lip, she pulled her feet away and crawled toward him to the side of the bed. Raising up on her knees, she slipped her hands under his shirt to feel the smooth skin of his muscled chest.
Her fingers bumped over his ribs, catching on a small imperfection. Another. Slanting right, Jackie followed a small bump along the curve of his ribs. A slash. A cut?
Washington’s nostrils flared, his arms at his sides as he watched her in the scarce light from the adjoining room. Uncomfortable with her exploration but never stopping her.
Scars, she realized. From bullets. Surgeries. The things that made him who he was. The things that had haunted him for years.
Her eyes still on his, she gripped the edge of his T-shirt and pulled it up.
Washington lowered his head, allowing her to pull it off of him. Then stood tall before her. Looking to the side of the bed as if allowing her to scan his body without acknowledgement from him.
There was so much to look at. The way his traps sloped into the length of his shoulders. His ample pecs and stacked abs. The dip of his pelvic bones and the veins that paved the way underneath his pants.
Jackie leaned forward. Licked up the line between his abs while her fingers travelled laterally up his body. Over the pocked marks and the long line. Ringing his shoulders as she pulled him down to her, his knees dipping into the side of the mattress.
“What are you doing to me?” he murmured.
“Mmm. I’m fully dressed,” she whispered, licking her lips. “What do you want to do to me?”
Hands gripping her ass, he looked her body over. “Are you sure you want to know? None of it’s good.”
She felt a hot drip down her inner thighs and squirmed. She quickly undid his pants and tore them to his knees, revealing one of the thickest cocks she’d seen. Gasping, she wrapped her hand around it, stroking his warm hardness from the shaven base to the smooth crested head.
“Take me off this pedestal you have me on, Wash. Because I’m not the good girl you think I am. In fact,” she whispered, briefly biting her lip and crouching down. “Sometimes a bad boy needs a bad girl.”
With that, her lips enveloped his dick. Tongue stroking the underside of his cock, her mouth engulfed him all the way to his abdomen.
“Oh fuck.” Washington’s head rolled back, his hands messing up her dark tresses as she worked her way up and down his thick dick. His fingers tightened at her scalp, pulling her hair and her mouth off of him.
Breathing hard, Jackie licked her lips and swallowed. “What are you doing?”
His hands slid to her shoulders, underneath her arms, guiding her backwards onto the bed as his gaze burned into hers. “I want to float through the embers of our orgasms into dreams. I want to wake up next to you and watch the day warm your naked flesh. I want to see your eyes flutter open when you wake up with my cock inside you.”
The words made her breath catch in her throat. Romance. This was what it was like. “When did you become so poetic, Wash?”
Washington tugged her legs up, reaching under her butt to pull her sweat pants off. Then her little yellow bikini underwear.
He licked his lips and smiled. “Jacqueline. I fuck just like I love.”
“How’s that?” she whispered, watching him pull off his pants.
Her nipples were taught and swollen. She could feel her wetness seeping down the crack of her ass as her legs lay open for him.
A grin still dancing over his lips, he lay between her inviting posture and dipped a finger through her wet folds. Moaning and arching her back, she clenched all around him before he pulled out.
“Deeply,” he answered, probing her pussy with the thick head of his dick before penetrating her. “Hard.”
She gripped his biceps and looked into his eyes as he fed his cock to her pussy. Inch by sliding inch, stretching her taut, until his warm testicles rested against the groove of her ass.
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as her body acclimated to his size.
He leaned down to kiss her lips and thrust shallowly into her. “You okay?”
“Fine,” Jackie whispered shakily, her fingers trailing up his sides. “Cock doesn’t scare me.”
Washington shook his head, brushing her hair from her face as he looked into her eyes. “I’ve split girls before. They needed stitches.”
Fully aware of how wide he was, the admission made her even wetter. Of course other girls couldn’t handle him. But she wasn’t made like them.
“Bitches get stitches.” She gave him a small smile and hooked her feet around the small of his back. “Don’t coddle me.”
He kissed her again, his tongue pushing through her lips. Caressing her own, back and forth, before he nipped her lower lip and let it slowly fall from his teeth. “Jackie, baby, I’ll never coddle you again. Not if you like it rough.”
Her breath caught in her throat, her pussy spasming around him.
“Hmm. That was nice,” Washington murmured with a harder thrust. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Yes,” she whispered.
His dick moved in and out of her, his eyes intent on hers. “Just tell me to stop if it’s too much.”
She smiled and nodded.
“Good.” Washington's voice changed, somehow became deeper. He yanked her arm, twisting her body to the side, and went to work at her bra clasp even as he shafted her. “Let’s get this fucking bra off so I can finally see those pretty tits.”
Pushed on her side, she knotted her fingers in the sheets as he fucked her even harder. Gasped each time the length of his big dick hit home.
He grasped her shoulder and shoved her straight out on her back as he disentangled the bra from arms and threw it over the side of the bed.
“It’s a pretty bra,” she protested weakly.
His hands cupped her breasts and squeezed. “I like the real thing.”
Thrusts slowing, he took her nipple in his mouth, sucking hard.
“Oh fuck,” she moaned.
“That’s right.” He moved to the other breast and repeated the action, adding a nibble before letting go. “Enough of your smart mouth. Unless I put my dick in it.”
She giggled between gasps. “Washington, you dirty talker. I had no idea.”
“That’s the thing, baby.” He grinned and pulled out of her. “You have no idea what you’re getting into when I get you naked.”
Her wetness trickled down her ass crack as he vacated. He made his way off the bed, reached forward, and gripped her thighs. Yanking her toward him, the bedspread underneath her acting as a sled, he stopped only when her ass hit the very the side of the bed.
He pulled her legs up to rest against his shoulders and looked down between them. Licking his lips, he stroked his cock before lining it up with her cunt and pushing in again.
“Oh my God,” she moaned as he filled her even deeper than before, bumping against her cervix.
“You like that, baby?” he prompted, pulling out just to slam into her. “You like my big cock inside you, fucking you deep?”
“Yes. Yes.” Gasping, her hands fluttered up and down his forearms, unable to find the strength to hold onto him.
“Fuck, I love watching you get off,” he whispered, picking up the pace of his assaulting dick. “But it’s so much better when my cock’s inside you to feel it.”
She tried to keep her eyes open, to stay on his, as her body threatened to implode.
Smiling, he shook his head just perceptively. He dragged his thumb over his tongue. One arm trapping her legs against him, he pounded harder and harder into her as his other hand slowly moved between the vertex of her thighs.
His thumb pushed against her clit.
Moans amplifying to screams, she came undone. She couldn’t see, couldn’t think. She was powerless to the sensation of his thick cock hammering into her. Her body shook with every thrust, an aftershock to the force of his fucking.
Then he slowed.
Her eyes cleared only for a moment, when she realized he was getting onto the foot of the bed.
He’d fucked her straight up the mattress.
“Fuck, I’m so close, baby,” he muttered.
He picked her up only to put her head down on the pillow. He stripped her legs from his chest and rolled her over onto her side. One hand circled her body, rubbing her clit. The other gripped her ass cheek hard, his thumb creeping lower and brushing her asshole with each thrust of his cock inside her.
Her orgasm kicked up again, the position making the fit of his cock feel tighter inside her even as he prodded her asshole. A current shot through her body, her hips jolting with his touch.
His words were like a growl in her ear. He held her tightly in place, strumming her clit, rimming her asshole, and pummeling her pussy until the room went blinding white. A scream hitched from her throat with every one of his thrusts, her body tightening, her pussy clenching down on him as she rode out the most intense orgasm of her life.
Washington grunted guttural obscenities. She felt his thick cock spasm, spraying thick jets of come deep inside her soaking cunt.
They lay consumed by the moment, before his hands finally moved. Out of her ass, tracing the curve of her body to the swell of her breasts. Away from her clit, leaving a wet trail to her stomach.
“Baby?” he said.
Words didn’t form on her lips. Her mind was blown, her body still tingling from her fingers to her toes. The most she could do was push back against him even as he softened inside her.
She nodded, sure her hair was piled up in a knot and didn’t care.
He kissed her shoulder. Her neck. Made his way up to her ear, his breath tantalizing. “I love you, Jackie.”
Her arm draped over his, her hand resting atop his own. Unable to open her eyes, her head rolled in his general direction. “Don’t leave.”
Such certainty. A promise. One she hoped he’d keep but knew she had no right to ask. Still, she received the comfort she wanted from his answer, his rough whisper the last thing she heard before sleep claimed her.
Jackie awoke at half past six in the morning. Alone in the bed. Warm. Lonely.
Washington was gone.
Why wouldn’t he be? It was just sex. Fucking, pure and simple. Except she’d felt attached to him. Permanent.
Sex was a powerful thing. Last night she’d been almost powerless. It was amazing and perfect, so good it was bad. She’d have to learn that she couldn’t relinquish control to anyone. Fucking had to be under her control. Or else she’d end up like this.
She rolled out of bed. Tugging on a T-shirt that fell to the top of her thighs, she made her way through the bedroom to lock the front door. And stopped dead.
The blinds of the long window across the living room were drawn, the beginning of the sunrise spilling into the room. Outside, water dripped from the icicles just outside the window.
He leaned against the far wall, clad only in his low slung jeans. Drinking coffee and looking outside.
“Wha--What are you doing?” she mumbled.
He turned to look at her and smiled. “The sunrise. I haven’t seen it in years. Not since Iraq. It’s beautiful.”
The pink sky outlined his face, rays of light splashing over the soft curves of muscles on his body. Highlighting the hair on his arms and the scattering just below his navel. Throwing shadows from his bullet and surgery scars. A beautiful summer in the living room, like a solarium in winter.
His expression was serene.
“You stayed.” She took a step toward him. Another.
Washington reached out, taking her hands and bringing her into the light. He let go only to tuck her hair behind her ears, his bright green eyes searching her own as his fingers lingered at her jawline. “I told you I wouldn’t leave.”
Putting her palm to his chest, her gaze dropped from his face to the back of her hand. Warmth flooded inside her, pumping through her blood with every beat of her heart.
“Jackie?” He put his hand over hers and paused until she met his gaze again. “I love you.”
She swallowed, staring into the deep green of his eyes. Letting his words reverberate inside her.
He let go of her. Stepped back.
“Washington?” she murmured.
“I understand if you don’t feel the same,” he muttered, glancing out the window.
“Oh shut up!” Jackie snapped.
Throwing her arms around his neck, she pulled his grinning face down to hers. Launched her lips at his. His hands wrapped around the small of her back, tugging her to his body before lifting her up off her feet, making her squeal.
Maybe she would stay in this cold city. At least for a little while.
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/solarium-in-winter-3-of-3.aspx">Solarium in Winter (3 of 3)</a>