Official Website of USA Today bestselling author Tawdra Kandle
The First Classman SPECIAL BONUS CHAPTER
“So this is what the upstairs of the Thayer Hotel looks like.” Dean gazed around, taking in the vintage-looking carpet, the cherry sleigh bed with its monogrammed linen, and the view of the Hudson River—or at least a view of the lights from the hotel on the water, dancing in the dark. “I have to say, it does not disappoint.”
From where I lay on the bed, my shoes kicked off and my feet up, I couldn’t disagree. Only the view I appreciated was my new husband, dressed in only his uniform trousers and a white T-shirt that fit him just fine. He’d shed his jacket after he’d carried me over the threshold, both of us laughing, and now, with just a hint of five o’clock shadow on his jaw, he was mouthwateringly tempting.
I sighed and settled myself on the mounds of pillows behind me. “You know, when we came here the first time and sat in the lobby, I didn’t quite buy it when you told me that cadets couldn’t go above the mezzanine level. I thought . . . sure, it’s the rule, but who’s enforcing it?” I tossed up my hands. “But it’s true, isn’t it? You never came up here.”
“Not once,” Dean affirmed. “This is my first time.”
I smirked. “What every bride wants to hear on her wedding night.”
My husband raised one eyebrow and let his gaze wander down me. “Sweetheart, by the time this night is over, you won’t have any worries that this is my first time. Believe me.”
“Ha!” I burst out laughing. “That little bit of seductive talk would be a hell of a lot more effective if we didn’t have an almost-three-month-old baby, pal. And also if we hadn’t been living together down in Georgia since mid-July.”
“Yeah, I guess you might be right,” he conceded, sitting down on the settee to take off his shoes. “But as I recall, you didn’t have any complaints on our real first night—exactly one year ago.”
“I don’t think I did,” I agreed. “I don’t think you did, either.”
“Only that the night didn’t last nearly long enough.” Dean smiled at me, and my heart skipped a beat, the same way it had since the moment we’d met.
“Well, I’ll tell you something now that I’ve never admitted before.” I sat up and wrapped my arms around my legs. “Even though I made you promise not to fall in love with me, I was getting pretty weak in the knees myself after we met on that porch. If you hadn’t made your move once we got to the house, when we were sitting in the car together, I might have—”
“Wait a minute. Wait just one minute.” Dean lifted his hand, holding it palm-out toward me. “What are you talking about—if I hadn’t made my move? I didn’t. I definitely did not make a move on you that night. Not sitting in the car, anyway. And most certainly not before you did.”
I frowned. “Oh, yes, you did. I distinctly remember it. You were first.”
“I was not, and I know this because I spent the whole car ride watching you drive my sweet baby, my Thunderbird, and thinking that the way you handled her was the sexiest thing I’d ever seen. But I kept telling myself that there was no way anything could come of that thought because you’d made it clear that you only wanted a ride, and that was it. So when you did do it . . . “
“But I didn’t!” I cried indignantly, and then I stopped, considering. “Well, I mean, I did something, but it was because of what you did first.”
“Me?” Dean flattened one hand against his chest. “What did I do? I was a perfect gentleman.”
“Yeeees,” I said grudgingly. “At least, you made a good show of it.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” His forehead puckered.
“You did the thing.” I rolled my hand. “You know, the thing. We were sitting there in the car, in front of Cindy and Vi’s house, and we were laughing at something, I can’t remember what. But then we both stopped, and it was quiet—totally silent. We were staring at each other, and you did the thing.”
“Again, I don’t know what thing I did. Allegedly.”
Shaking my head, I rose up on my knees until I could see all of Dean. And then, with hooded eyelids, I raked my gaze over him . . . slowly. Deliberately. Making sure he knew what I was doing.
Just like what had happened one year ago tonight . . .
One year before: THE night
“ . . . and then when the ghost comes out of the stacks after them, and Bill Murray says, ‘That was your plan? GET HER!!’” I giggled, holding my sides. “I can’t help it. It just makes me crack up every single time I see that movie.”
“I know!” Dean ran his hand through his short hair. “I love when Rick Moranis gets turned into the Key Master, and he talks to the horse in Central Park? I always think of that whenever I see a horse and carriage.”
“Yes!” We both laughed, the way we’d been laughing and talking for the past twenty minutes since I’d eased Dean’s gorgeous Thunderbird up to the curb in front of Cindy and Violet’s house and put her into park.
It was kind of crazy, the way that we’d never run out of things to say to each other during the drive. There hadn’t been any kind of awkward silence, just exclamations as we found that we had more and more in common.
But now, there was silence in the car . . . but it still wasn’t awkward. No, instead it was—heavy. Deep. Filled with meaning.
By the dim light of the dashboard, I saw Dean’s throat work as he swallowed and licked his lips, and then I felt the heat of his eyes roving over me . . . slowly. So slowly.
As we’d made the drive from the party to my friends’ house, the wind blowing through my hair had felt just the tiniest bit chilly from the damp of the evening air. But now, I felt nothing but heat.
So much heat.
I was a modern woman, and I knew there was nothing wrong with a woman making the first move. I loved the idea, actually. But I’d never done it before, not even once in my eight years of dating guys.
Tonight, all of that changed.
Without giving myself time to second-guess and debate the pros and cons, I lifted my arms and reached for Dean.
It was possible that I didn’t make the first move after all—possible that, in fact, both of us leaned in simultaneously. I didn’t care at that moment; all that mattered was that Dean had cupped my face in his hands and was kissing me like I’d never been kissed before.
He made it into some kind of art. I’d been kissed by guys who’d gone in for the kill right away, who’d come at me with an open mouth and tongue trying to tickle my tonsils. I’d also experienced kisses that were too dry or those where it felt as though my lips were being mashed against the front of my teeth.
I didn’t like any of those kisses. I didn’t end up going on other dates with the guys who’d given them to me, either. Not that I didn’t believe people could improve, but did I have time to teach a teenager how to up his game? I did not. Who did?
And sitting here now in this car, being kissed by a man who most definitely knew what he was doing, I didn’t have one regret about deciding not to waste time with boys who didn’t.
His lips were firm against mine without crushing them. He gave us both a minute to get used to each other, to figure out how we fit together, and then he swept the tip of his tongue against my upper lip, teasing, tempting, and requesting that I open for him.
I did, without hesitation.
And then our tongues were twisting together, stroking and discovering. Dean’s hands drifted down the sides of my neck and settled on my shoulders. My arms were still twined around him, my fingers somehow stroking the short hair at the back of his head.
“Willow.” He murmured my name against my lips. “This is okay, right? Isn’t it?”
I laughed softly, letting my head fall back as Dean’s mouth made a slow and leisurely journey down my neck.
“Oh, yes. It’s very okay.” I lifted my face to his again and dropped small kisses along his jaw. “I mean . . .” I pulled back just a little. “We’re both thinking the same thing, right? Fun, but nothing . . .” I lifted one shoulder. “You seem like a really wonderful person, Dean, but I’m definitely not looking for anything, um, involved.”
“We’re thinking the same thing.” One of his hands slid down, brushing over my breast, and I gave a little gasp. “I can’t do long-term or serious, Willow. Not at this point in my life.”
“Perfect.” I circled his wrist with my fingers, urging him to be bolder. “But God, I could use . . . this. Just to let off some steam, you know? To shake off everything.”
“Mmmmhmmm.” Dean didn’t need much encouragement. His palm pressed into my already hard nipple. “Jesus, you taste sweet, Willow.” He took my mouth again, and this time, the kiss wasn’t so gentle.
“I want to feel you against me,” I mumbled. I had unbuckled my seat belt as soon as I’d turned to face Dean after we’d stopped the car, but now, I reached between my legs to let the chair slide backward. I wanted—needed—to be closer to him.
As if he understood without me saying a word, Dean reached for me, hauling me over the console between us and settling me on top of him.
“Does this work?” he asked with a grin.
“It does.” I straddled his lap so that my center pressed against the hard ridge under his khaki shorts. “Oh, damn, it really does.”
“Perfect,” Dean breathed, canting his hips to fit us even more closely together. His hands slid up my front to cup both of my breasts. “You are perfect, Willow.”
I bent my head to kiss him, my mouth open and seeking. But it still wasn’t enough. I couldn’t move enough to get into the rhythm I craved.
And even as wrapped up as I was in Dean and this incredible, impossible need between us, I hadn’t forgotten that we were parked in front of my friends’ house, in a neighborhood where anyone could shine headlights over the convertible and not have to think very hard to figure out what we were doing.
“Hey.” I shook back my hair. “Um, I don’t want to assume anything or push you, but if we want—I mean, we can’t do what I think we both want to do—out here.”
“Right. Yeah, you’re right.” Dean’s voice was strained. “I’m—I don’t have anywhere for us to go unless you want to try the motel at the edge of town.”
“No. Not there. We’d have to drive, and—no.” I ran the tip of my tongue between my lips. “Let’s go inside. Cindy and Vi aren’t home, and they probably won’t be for a while.” The intense desire made me brave and reckless. “And even if they are, I’m sleeping in a room with a door, and neither of them—well, it’s none of their business.”
Dean raised one eyebrow. “So we’re going inside?”
I nodded my head. “Yeah.”
* * *
“This is my room. I mean, at least for tonight.” I stood with my back to the closed door, suddenly and inexplicably shy.“Sorry that it’s not . . . much. I’ve just been staying here for about a week, and this was all they had.” I pointed at the ceiling. “Cindy and Violet borrowed the futon from their upstairs neighbor. “So it’s not much.”
“It’s fine. It’s enough.” Dean smiled at me, and all of my nervousness melted away. “C’mere, Willow.”
I pushed off the door and moved toward the futon, kicking off my shoes. “Why don’t you meet me here?”
“That’s a great idea.” He walked over and took one of my hands. “Are you still okay with this, Willow?”
Mutely, I nodded. Gently releasing his hand, I reached for the hem of my pretty top, the one I’d bought in Belgium, and I peeled it off, tossing it to the side of the room.
“You’re gorgeous.” Dean exhaled. “God, Willow, you’re just . . . exquisite.”
I managed a smile. “Thanks.” Taking a deep breath, I flicked open the button on my jeans and wriggled them off, standing before Dean in just my underwear, a black bra of sheer lace and matching bikini panties.
This time, he didn’t speak, but his wide eyes and the movement of his throat told me everything I needed to know.
“So.” I tilted my head. “There’s so much I want to do, and only this one night.” I lowered my fingers to the button of Dean’s shorts. “How about I start . . . here?”
I dropped to my knees, taking his shorts and boxers with me. His erection made me pause for only a moment as I admired his length and girth before taking it into both of my hands.
“Fuck.” The word was strangled on his lips. “Holy fuck, Willow.”
“Hmmm.” I caressed his length slowly and then took him into my mouth. He was warm, almost hot on my tongue, and I hummed a little more in pleasure.
Dean’s fingers knotted in my hair, urging me to move faster. I braced one hand on his thigh, loving the feel of his hard, tensed muscles under my palm. I slid my other hand up to cup his balls, matching the movement with the bobbing of my head.
“Willow.” Dean’s voice was tensed, harsh. “Wait a minute. I don’t want to come in your mouth. Not when we have—I want to come inside you. With you.”
I sat back on my heels, keeping my fingers wrapped around his length. “It’s tempting to see if I could make you rethink that idea.”
“Hey.” He used two fingers to lift my chin. “You could definitely tempt me. But I hope you won’t. Do you have condoms?”
“Of course.” I rose to my feet, tossing Dean a saucy glance over my shoulder. “I never travel without a stash. A girl can’t be sure when a golden opportunity is going to come along.”
“I don’t know whether to be relieved or a little concerned,” Dean replied. I could hear his humor as he yanked off his shirt and sat down on the creaky futon.
“Well.” I joined him on the futon, tossing a handful of condoms between us. “If it makes you feel any better, I haven’t used any of my supply in a long time. I’ve been too busy—” I stopped speaking abruptly, remembering our promise about not sharing too much of ourselves.
“I wasn’t trying to say—shit.” Dean reached for me and pulled me close. “I didn’t mean it to sound that way. I was just making a joke. Guess it wasn’t very funny.” He ducked his head, brushing kisses over my lips as his fingers slid into one side of my bra.
“I didn’t take it that way.” I groped for the hooks in the back, but Dean knocked my hands away.
“Let me. Lay down and let me . . . enjoy you.”
What woman in her right mind could turn down an offer like that?
I rolled to my stomach, closing my eyes and sighing as Dean drew one finger lightly down my spine. He traced the top of my panties, slipping his hand under the lace to palm my ass.
And then his mouth was on my back, dropping shiver-inducing kisses on my skin until his lips reached the base of my spine. I felt him gently pinch the lace of my panties away from my hips and ease them down to my feet. Then, parting my legs, he eased up between my thighs and parted me with his fingers.
“I want to taste you,” he rasped. “I want to feel you come hard on my tongue, with your legs wrapped around my neck. I want to hear you moaning my name when I make you come again and again until you’re too boneless to move.”
My heart was pounding so hard that I could barely manage to answer.
“Good.” Dean stretched one hand up to flick open my bra. He flipped me over so suddenly that I gasped.
“You are so fucking gorgeous, Willow. So incredibly beautiful.”
He gripped my thighs to make room for himself, draping my legs over his shoulders and lowering his mouth to my waiting, aching core.
I sucked in one long breath, my hips rising on their own to meet his relentless onslaught. Mimicking Dean’s early actions, I raked my fingers through his short hair.
“So sweet. So perfect.” His eyes meet mine. “I can’t wait to be inside you.”
“Me, neither.” My voice was high and trilling. “Don’t wait.”
“Got a few things to do first. Like this.” He slid one finger and then two inside me. “Come for me, Willow. Come for me, and let me hear you do it.”
As though my body had just been waiting to hear the order, everything within me exploded into pleasure. I arched my back, my legs tensing and my mouth going round before I called out Dean’s name.
“God, that was—“ I began when I could breathe.
“Not over yet,” he cut in. “Give me another, sweetheart.” His fingers continued to move inside me, and his thumb pressed my clit. “Feel me inside you. Feel me touching you . . .” His tongue darted over my slippery folds. “Tasting you.”
I didn’t think it was possible, but then I was soaring again. “Dean! Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod—”
“I’ve got to be in you.” Dean rose to his knees and grabbed for a condom, ripping open the package. “I can’t wait another minute.”
I wanted to help him roll the rubber over his cock, which had somehow grown longer and harder. But I didn’t have the energy to lift my hands.
“Willow.” Dean held himself over me. “You’re good with this? It’s okay?”
With a sound that was a mix between a groan and a laugh, I nodded. “Get that magnificent cock inside me and fuck me hard, Dean. I want to feel deep inside me. Now.”
My inner channels were still pulsing, making Dean grunt as he thrust inside me.
“So tight,” he muttered, his face drawn with concentration. “I want this to last longer. I want to have you every way I can think of—one night means I need to do everything I want.” His fingers reached between us to roll my nipple.
That touch detonated me again, and as he stroked within me, hitting a spot that no man had ever found before, I wrapped my arms around Dean’s back and my legs around his hips.
“Harder!” I cried out. “Take me harder. Don’t slow down. I’m going to—I’m coming—”
Dean swore under his breath, frowning as he drew back and plunged again and again—
Lights of every color and intensity kaleidoscoped behind my eyelids. My fingers gripped his back and pulled him as close as he could get.
“Willow—” Dean groaned my name, grinding hard into me as he came. “Oh, God, Willow—”
The futon squeaked and complained as we both collapsed back onto the thin mattress. Dean was breathing hard, but he managed to pull me close to him, pressing a kiss to the top of my head and rubbing my back.
The silence between us was soft and comfortable, the sound of our breaths mingling. Dean stroked my hair, his touch oddly intimate after we’d just been as connected as two people could be.
“We said just one night,” he whispered, twining a strand of hair around his finger. “Just tonight. Just for fun. Right?”
“Yes,” I responded, even though something inside me was squirming and unhappy. “Just tonight. Just fun.”
“All right.” Dean rolled so that I lay on top of him. “Then I’m going to need a few minutes . . . before I get to work on the rest of my plans for you.”
I nuzzled his neck. “You’re an ambitious man, Dean.”
He chuckled. “Oh, sweetheart, you have no idea.”
“ . . . and that’s how it happened,” I finished. “You gave me the look. What I did only happened because of what you did.”
Dean gazed at me unblinking. “The look, huh?”
I nodded. “Mmmhmm.”
“Okay, then.” Dean stalked over to the bed. “It wouldn’t be prudent of a man on his wedding night to disagree with his bride, and since I’m usually pretty smart, I guess I’ll have to admit that you’re right.” He leaned down until his face was level with mine. “But if I do, you’ll have to promise that every time I do that—the look—you’ll respond in the same way that you did that night. That perfect, crazy, incredible, life-changing night. And you’ll do it for the rest of our lives. What do you say?”
My lips curled into a smile, and I reached up to link my hands behind my husband’s neck.