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Then there was You by Allie Faye (1)


Chapter 1

Joey

 

“Babe, I’m gonna be late,” I protest as my girlfriend begs me to come back to bed.

 Natalie went to pull the car around ten minutes ago. She will be knocking down the door, again, if I don’t get a move on. I lean down to kiss my love goodbye.

“Please, Joey. Give me five minutes and you won’t care.” Audrey sucks on my earlobe knowing I can’t resist. I’ve never been able to tell her no.

“If you want me to take you to that new sushi restaurant this weekend. I have to go to this meeting,” I tell her, trying to make her see reason.

She flops back against the feather filled pillows she insisted we just had to have. Kicking her long slender legs in the air she puffs up like a blowfish, puckering her precious lips into a puppy dog pout. “Fine,” she growls in defeat as I go in for that goodbye kiss. “But just think of this on your lips all day.” She takes her finger and runs it over her clit before rubbing it against my lips.

“Audrey,” I warn with a smile.

She pops up resting on her elbows. “I love you, Joey, and my pussy does too.”

“I love you most, your pussy too, but I have to go.”

“Go on and leave me here to play with myself, since you won’t do it,” she teases, throwing her head back. Her dark hair puddles on the pillow behind her.

“Baby,” I say, wavering between joining her or leaving.

“No, it’s okay,” she lies, looking away from me.

“I’ll see you for dinner.” I stand my ground and go over to the dresser. Straightening my tie, I watch my sexy as sin girlfriend’s reflection in the mirror.

She begins rubbing her fingers over her bare pussy lips, with her head still thrown back, as if I’m already gone. She knows how to play me. I watch as she touches herself. Her pretty pussy is glistening with slick heat. Goddamn, she’s gorgeous. Some days I still can’t believe she’s mine. Her lips are screwed into a perfect O as she starts to pant.

I swallow hard as she pushes her shirt up and teases at her dusty pink nipples. Really getting into her performance, she moans, squeezing her knees together, smashing her hand between her thighs, and blocking my view.

I let out a groan as my dick hardens from her performance.

She catches my eye in the mirror and smirks knowing she has me. I am the walking definition of pussy whipped and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Her thick lips part, and she licks her bottom lip before sinking her teeth into her skin.

“Fuck it,” I growl at her reflection. I have to have her, even if it is just for five minutes. I cross the small room swiftly, in three short strides. I loosen my newly straightened tie and run my hand up her t-shirt. Well technically, it’s my Guns and Roses t-shirt, but my girl loves sleeping in it. I’ve had the faded thing since college. I’ve had that shirt longer than I’ve been with Audrey.

She’s my sister’s best friend. We met when Natale was going through one of her many phases. The brat is always into something new. One week she was all about organic living, and the next she was all about some fancy leggings. The week they met she was into karaoke. It’s because of Natalie and Audrey that we started the bar. When our grandfather died he left Natalie, our brother Nate, and me four hundred thousand dollars. The only catch was we had to invest it in a business.

Audrey talked us into buying the hole in the wall dive bar she was working in. The place needed a lot of improvements. We had our work cut out for us, but we were able to move into the three apartments upstairs to save on money. Eventually, the little changes we made to spruce up the bar started to pay off.

Nate was already enlisted in the Army and overseas when grandpa had passed away. He left it to me and Nat to invest and give him his cut of the business. His apartment sits empty, waiting for him to return home. He calls when he can or emails, but he’s scheduled to be discharged in a few months and I can’t fucking wait. I’ve missed the shit out of him. I can’t wait for him to see what we’ve done with the place. I want to surprise him with the deal I’ve got in the works.

I can’t wait to show off Audrey to him either. But more than that I want him to have something to come home to that he can be proud of.       

This meeting I’m heading to could change everything. I’ve spent the past year building our business, Carwell’s Bar & Grill, with Audrey by my side. Natalie was approached by an investor who wants to open a second bar in Wheeling. He thinks we could become a franchise. This guy has big plans. Plans that could secure the life I want to give Audrey.

“Oh, baby,” she coos against my mouth. Her lips are so warm and inviting, tasting of honey and vanilla lip balm. She never goes a moment without wearing it, it’s her thing. She tugs my bottom lip between her teeth, nipping me, as I palm her breast.

“Fuck, you make me so damn hard.” My dick is growing harder, needing to be inside her. She is like sexual napalm.

“I love it when you talk dirty, Joey,” she says shoving my pants and boxer briefs down.

Audrey is the only person who calls me Joey. I am just Joe to most or Joe JR, named after my father, Big Joe.

 

However, when I met Audrey, she decided that I was her Joey. She was looking all cute in her black tube top, dark-denim mini skirt, and cowgirl boots.

I kept asking for her number and she kept telling me no. She said, if we were meant to see each other we’d cross paths again. There was no way I could leave it to fate, I just knew she was the one. There was a spark between us, an instant attraction, but I felt as if I had known her my whole life, she was so easy to talk to. It was more than flirtation and insta-lust.

“At least tell me your last name,” I yelled in her ear over the loud music and she giggled, looking so damn sexy. The girl caught me completely off guard. I wasn’t used to women dropping at my feet, but I had never had to work so hard just to get a girl to talk to me.

Every word she spoke was a challenge I had to complete to get to know her. I’ve never met another soul as wild, free, and pure as hers.

She took my beer from my hands and downed it before pulling me to the stage to sing a duet with her.

“I don’t sing, and I can’t dance,” I confessed.

“Oh, Joey, I have the perfect song. If you make me proud, I’ll tell you my last name.”

“You drive a hard bargain.” I groaned rubbing my hands over my face. I waited anxiously on the side of the stage as curious eyes stared at me from the audience.

Audrey smiled at me eagerly as Genesis, I Can’t Dance, played.

Awkwardly, I joined her for the song. She bumped and grinded against me, making me forget anyone was watching. It felt as if it were just the two of us in the room.

Needless to say, she was impressed with my effort, earning me her last name, and I later bargained for her number with a second performance.

 

“Give it to me. Fuck me, baby,” she whispers against my neck as I enter her sweet heat. I slam into her greedily as she bucks her hips, urging me to go deeper and harder.

Her body moves in sync with mine. We have been together for two years and I still can’t get my fill of making love to this woman. I can’t wait to see her stomach swollen with my child someday, sooner rather than later, I hope. I can’t wait to put a ring on her finger and give her my last name. I’d ask her to marry me right now if I had the time.

My cellphone buzzes on the nightstand.

“Ignore it,” Audrey whines, but I know I can’t. This morning is too important. Our future is riding on this meeting.

Stretching, I reach for the phone, knocking it to the floor.

“Harder,” Audrey pants. “Oh yes. Like that right there. Now faster, baby. Fuck me, Joey.”

“Ew. God, just stop. No, just no. I don’t need to hear this,” I hear my sister say through the speaker of my cellphone that is lying on the floor.

“Fuck,” I mutter, resting my forehead against Audrey’s.

“Hang up right now if you value our friendship,” Audrey growls. “I need him for five more minutes.”

“Shut it, bitch. Joe, you get your body parts away from my friend and get down here now.” She hangs up and I pull away from Audrey.

“Sorry, honey. She killed my mojo. I’ll make it up to you,” I vow, hoping like hell the next time I’m inside her she has my ring on her finger.

She glowers at me. “You owe me.”

I kiss her once more, savoring her taste. “I owe you,” I agree. Her tongue brushes against mine and I pull away with a growl, knowing if I don’t stop I’ll miss the meeting.

After a quick trip to the bathroom, I am on my way with thoughts of Audrey lingering in my mind.

She’s my everything.

I want to give her the world.

I think back on the day I asked her to move in with me. It was unexpected, and I couldn’t believe she said yes to living together. She was about to leave to move back home to her family in Kentucky. Things weren’t going the way she had hoped. Audrey couldn’t find a decent job to support her while the bar was shut down for renovations.

All I knew was I didn’t want her to get on that plane. I knew I had to act fast. If she got on that plane, I knew it would be the end of us. So, I put myself out there scared to death she would say no, that it was too much too soon.

“Baby, if you get on that plane, I might die. I love you and I really want you to stay with me. Be with me, forever.”

“What are you saying, Joey?”

“I’m saying come home with me. Let me take care of you—let me love you.”

She wrapped her arms around my neck and pecked my lips. “You mean it. You really want me to stay?” Her face was masked with a hopeful smile to hide her fear, but I knew she was just as terrified as I was. The trembling of her hands and fast beat of her heart gave her away.

“The rest of my life. I want wake up to you every damn day.”

“Oh, Joey. I’m going to make you so happy, baby.”

I can still remember the unshed tears in her eyes. Tears of joy. I’ve never regretted asking her to move in with me.

We’ve been together every single day since. Audrey wasn’t the settling down type when we started dating. She has never been career driven. Always just taking whatever job came her way. She was like a tumbleweed blowing in the desert, thirsty and with no idea of where she was headed. She still doesn’t know most days, but God do I love her.

She spends most of her time helping Nat and me with the bar and never gives herself enough credit. Her marketing skills are phenomenal. She has amazing ideas when it comes to attracting new customers. If it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t have taken off like we have. The woman, my woman, is an advertising genius. She doesn’t see herself the way the rest of the world does. Audrey is smart, beautiful, and talented, but she is so not an early riser. I know I will need to call her in an hour to make sure she helps Lewis open. If I know my girl at all, I know she has already fallen back asleep.

Nat reaches me a coffee as I scoot into my seat and buckle my seatbelt.

“I really could have gone without hearing you diddling Audrey,” she says scrunching up her nose as she pulls onto the street.

I grin. “Well thanks to you there wasn’t much diddling.”

“You are so lucky you are holding hot coffee.” She shakes her head, mirroring our mother. Her forehead crinkles in the middle exactly like Ma’s does when she is lecturing me about my lifestyle choices.

Our mother was none too pleased when she found out Audrey moved in with me over the bar. She is very old school when it comes to marriage, and she isn’t Audrey’s biggest fan.

“That girl isn’t right for you. She doesn’t have a real job and lives off you, Joe JR. When are you going to stop messing around and settle down with a good girl that will give me grand-babies,” she said when I asked her for grandma Mundie’s engagement ring. “Stop thinking with Lil’ Joe and find a nice girl to marry. I like Audrey, but you aren’t meant to be.”

“I know you and Audrey don’t get along, Ma, but she’s the one. I love her. You can either accept it or not, but she makes me happy. If you can’t support my love for Audrey, then you don’t love me as much as you say you do.” I looked her dead in the eyes when I said it and then I left. We haven’t spoken much since.

I haven’t popped the question yet, I was hoping Ma would come around and offer her support, but she hasn’t. That was six weeks ago. She just doesn’t like Audrey because she walked in on us having sex last year at Christmas.

My Ma has this thing for family traditions and she makes a big deal out of holidays. Christmas being the main one she goes gaga over. She goes all out with the food and decorations. Every year she insists that Nat, Nate, and me come home to spend both days with her. Last year I brought Audrey. I told Ma we come as a package. She wasn’t happy, but conceded, saying Audrey could sleep in my old room, while I could sleep in Nate’s room, since he was overseas and unable to come home.

I crept up the stairs in the middle of the night for just a kiss, but it didn’t end there. One kiss turned into burying myself balls deep in Audrey. Though in my defense one kiss is never enough. I guess my old bed squeaked louder than I remembered, and Ma and her rabbit ears heard us, bursting in the room. I don’t think she was prepared for seeing my bare bottom with the balls of Audrey’s feet digging in my ass cheeks.

“Hey, lover boy.” Natalie snaps her fingers in my face. “I’ve asked you like five questions.”

“Sorry, just nervous about everything. Today is a big day in many ways.”

She eyes me suspiciously, trying to read me.

“You’re hiding something from me. Spill it, Joe,” my sister demands. She might be Nate’s twin, but we share a close bond. Growing up everyone thought we were triplets. Ma got pregnant with Nat and Nate when I was around nine months old. So in a lot of ways we were a trio. 

“Not a word to Audrey, but tonight over dinner, I’m going to ask her to marry me.”

“Shut up!” She smacks my chest with a wide grin. “I’m so happy for you, Joe.” She pauses. “Audrey though, you think she is ready for it. I mean don’t get me wrong...I love her dearly, but that’s a big commitment.”

I roll my eyes. “Oh, I get it, sis, you’ve been talking to Ma.”

“That isn’t what I meant. You know I adore Audrey and love the two of you together.”

We are stopped at a red light near the restaurant we are meeting Kevin Stark at for brunch.

“Forget it, Nat. I don’t need your blessing and neither does Audrey.”

My hand is tight on the door handle and the light is getting ready to change.

“Joe…don’t be like this. I’m happy for you honest,” Natalie pleads but it’s too late. Her true feelings are out now, and she can’t take them back. I thought of all people she would be happy for me, for us—Audrey and me.

“I’ll meet you there, sis. I need some air.”

I get out of the car before the light changes and step onto the sidewalk.

The light changes and I wave my sister on. The car behind her honks their horn, and Nat throws her hands up as I cross the side street.

Suddenly I am struck hard, my body is catapulted, and I hit the hard fiberglass of a red sports car. My body feels like I am shattering from the inside out as I roll from the hood and under the wheels. The last thing I see before my world stops is Audrey’s smile from this morning. Her pink lips curved in a sexy grin—my heaven, amidst the hell that is dying.

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