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After Hurricane Nina, Reed's Resolution (Hot Hunks-Steamy Romance Collection Book 1) by Natalie Ann (17)

Trying to Impress


“A hot air balloon?” Taylor said when he pulled into the field and she could see what his plans had been.

“Have you ever been in one before?” he asked.

“Ah, no. Who does that? Isn’t that something men do when they’re trying to impress a woman or get in her pants?”

“Well yeah.” He turned to look at her shocked face and grinned.

“You already have my answer for that though,” she said.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to impress you.”

He’d had the week to think about this date and wondered why it was so hard to come up with a plan. Then it hit him. He’d never done this for another woman before. Ever.

If he took the last three years out of the equation, most of his dates consisted of dinner, a movie, a party, or hanging out somewhere at someone’s house. Maybe a concert or the beach or on a boat. He’d even gone on a few vacations when he’d been dating someone for a while.

But he’d never planned a special date for anyone. Nothing romantic at all.

Why Taylor?

Because he was sick of his life. He was sick of everything around him. And he realized it was time to snap out of it. To make a change. To grow up.

He’d always been happy before and Whitney’s lies turned him into a person he never thought he’d be.

He wanted to be the person he used to be. He wanted to find some happiness in his life that he’d always thought he’d have. He was sick of looking at other happy couples and wondering why it couldn’t be him. Why he lost out on that dream and future.

Aside from his family driving him insane or worrying about him, he was letting Whitney win and that was the last thing he wanted to do.

He’d made a promise to himself this weekend—one he wasn’t sharing with a soul—that he was going to try. He was going to turn his life around. He was going to stop being a womanizing SOB that only wanted to get his dick or face between a woman’s legs and instead he would try to get in her heart.

Many would think it was a strange turnaround, but it really wasn’t.

Six months he’d kept his jeans zipped because he was bored. But the truth was, he was more disgusted with himself.

But every time he said he wanted to try again, he’d find a woman that wanted something from him. That was after his money or after the good time he’d been promising everyone.

What he wanted was someone new and fresh who didn’t know him or his history. Who wasn’t judging him completely and who he felt would be completely honest with him. Honesty was the most important thing to him now. Next was wanting him for him and not a personal gain or career boost.

Yes, he had a lot of obstacles in the way with Taylor, but it was a start. A fresh start he needed and he hoped it was one she was willing to try with him. If he could get past the barriers she was putting up herself.

And when all those thoughts materialized in his brain, he knew he had to do something he’d never done before. He’d have to try to win her over. Because whatever had turned her sour in life might be something he couldn’t overcome. Just the thought of that was discouraging and he was using it as his motivation. To push harder than anything else he ever pushed for in his life.

“I just don’t know what to say,” she said to him, her eyes going to the landscape around. The tour guide that would be taking them up was getting everything ready.

“I hope it’s not that you’re afraid of heights.”

“Not at all. There isn’t much that I’m afraid of,” she said, then leaned over to kiss him softly on the lips.

“What was that for?” he asked, feeling like something was changing in her already. Or maybe it was just wishful thinking because it was something he wanted so badly. Not like when he wanted Whitney as a kid and she turned him down so much. This was different. They were adults. They were smarter and they were wiser. He knew going in to watch his back because he was positive Taylor was watching hers.

“No one has ever done anything like this for me before. Nothing even remotely close.”

“Then I’m glad I could be the one to do it.”

They made their way out of his truck and over to the basket on the ground. “Have you ever been in one before?” she asked.

“No. I never thought I’d want to be in one either, but I saw it on TV and thought why not?”

He’d been trying to figure out for days what to do and was thrilled when he saw it on TV. More thrilled when he was able to get it scheduled on this short notice and that the weather was cooperating. Like all the stars were lining up right for him when he’d felt they were exploding around him prior.

“Why not?” she said, laughing and throwing her arms out. “Of course not everyone can just call someone up and schedule this or even afford it.”

He brushed her comment off. She seemed so happy so he was just going to go with it. He didn’t picture her the type to be out with a guy for his money. She was more like the type that cared whether the guy was a douche or not. He was trying not to be one toward women anymore.

“We’ve got this trip for an hour, then we can go get a late lunch or early dinner.”

“That works for me,” she said, reaching for him and wrapping him up tight in a hug. That was more than a friend hug in his eyes, telling him maybe those barriers she had were crumbling down a bit too.




All the nervousness Taylor had been feeling was out the window. She was flying high right now.

Literally, she’d felt like she was flying through the sky like a bird earlier.

She’d had no idea how high they were in the sky and didn’t even ask. Just being up there like that, the peace and the quiet. The tranquility of it all.

And she shared it with Reed. A man that didn’t need to go the extra mile for this date. Sure, she’d said she didn’t want to feel cheap, but that didn’t mean she expected this either. She wondered what he did when he really was with a woman.

Then she pushed those thoughts out of her mind. They were friends. They were going to enjoy each other in the bedroom once in a while and outside the bedroom if the time allowed. Nothing more, nothing less.

Almost a means to an end. That was all both of them really wanted out of this arrangement. It was all she had in herself to give right now. Her heart couldn’t take another hit like it had before.

They were driving back to his house now deciding to order pizza in. He’d done enough that she didn’t want him to take her out on top of it. She was more of a pizza and wings type of girl as it was. When she’d told him that, he’d kissed her and said, “Thank God. I can’t tell you how long it’s taken me to find a woman that’d eat wings with me.”

She knew he was joking, but it was still nice to hear that maybe she was a tiny bit special or at least different than what he was drawn toward. Though he’d said it before, it could all just be lip service. She’d heard plenty of that in her life too.

But when they pulled back down his driveway, the nerves started to resurface. Maybe she should have shown up earlier and they could have stripped each other naked first and gotten it out of the way.

She was tough and she was brave and she was going to portray all of that until he gave her one hell of an orgasm. There was no doubt he could because she was so ready to jump him that it was actually pushing some of the uneasiness away. Or at least helping to distract her mind from her nerves.

They climbed out of his truck and entered the front door. He stood there looking at her, like he was waiting for her to make the first move. She finally said, “What?”

“You tell me what you want.”

“Seriously? You’re the one that had this idea.”

“You agreed. I don’t want to attack you.”

“Maybe I want you to,” she said, lifting her chin. Why not show some bravado?

“Taylor, you have no idea how much I’ve been trying to get control of my body. Give me the sign and you’re over my shoulder and up those stairs.”

“What sign would that be?” she asked, running her finger down his chest.

“That will do it,” he said, swinging her up, her chest hitting his shoulder with a thump, her head hanging down his back as he climbed the steps. She’d only been kidding but guess he wasn’t.

It was better this way. No time to think. No time to worry. Just time to enjoy.

And when his mouth slanted against hers the minute he pushed his bedroom door open with his foot and he shifted, cradling her, she knew beyond a doubt Reed Chapman was going to do more than give her something to enjoy.

He dropped her down on his bed, then came down right on top of her. The weight of a man’s body almost felt foreign and yet welcoming at the same time.

“Three years is a long time,” she said to him when he started to nibble around her collarbone. More than three years if she was really counting, but she wasn’t.

Yeah, she wanted to be pleasured, but she wanted it right now and she wanted it fast. It was best she made that known.

“So is six months. I’ll make it up to you. Or better yet, let me get right to it.”

She wasn’t sure what he meant, but before she could ask, her shorts were off and his finger was inside her deep, having just shifted her panties out of the way. Her head went back on the bed. The invasion was swift and it was plentiful. More so when he added another and started to move them in and out.

“Look at me, Taylor.” She fought the urge to close her eyes and looked into his dark ones. “I want to watch your face when you come. I want to see what you like.”

“Right now I like what you’re doing a whole lot,” she said, her voice catching when he went in even deeper, then stayed there, curled his fingers just right and found a spot she hadn’t known existed.

“Ah,” he said. “Right there, huh?”

There was no way she could answer. The feelings inside of her were coiled up tighter than a spring on an old mattress just waiting for the material to give way while it popped through and made its presence known.

She started to moan when he slipped his other hand down the front of the lace covering her and found her swollen bud begging for a touch. Her hips went up and she knew any minute she was going to go over the edge. Her own hands never felt this good on her body.

“I’ve got to taste you,” he said. She wasn’t sure she heard him correctly, but the next thing she knew, not only were those fingers inside of her curling more and moving in and out, but his lips were on her clit and he was sucking on her like she was the sweetest piece of candy he’d ever discovered.

“Holy shit!” Her head lifted up and pounded back on the bed, her hips went up and her hands went to his head to hold him there, threading through his thick mane of dark hair. The only regret she had was it was over with so fast when she’d been hoping for a longer ride.

“Now that is what I call letting go,” he said, leaning back.

She was taking in great gulps of air and struggling to push herself up to her elbows. There was a tiny wet spot in front of the budge in his jeans.

He wasn’t wasting any time undressing, so she joined right in and flung off the rest of her clothes. “When do I get my turn?” she asked.

“Later. Right now, I’ve got to be inside of you. Your tightness, the slickness, all of it has me right on the edge. If I don’t get in you now I’m going to come like an inexperienced teen.”

“Don’t you dare waste that,” she said, eying the steel cock that just sprang forth in front of her as he lowered his boxers. The moisture clinging to the tip was just making her own mouth water.

She’d scooted up the bed, spreading her legs wide like a welcome sign into the heat of her body.

A drawer opened, a condom came out and was slipped on, then he all but dove on the bed and slid into her, wrapping her up tight, his mouth going to hers.

The kiss was savage, their bodies slamming into each other looking for fortification they were hoping to bring each other. No, not hoping, knowing that only the two of them could give it to each other.

Their sweat-dampened bodies were sliding around, not hindering them, but messing up the rhythm she wanted to maintain.

Her nails were biting into his shoulders, her legs coming up and wrapping around his hips. “Harder. Bring me right there with you now.”

He slid his hands under her hips and held her in place as he slammed in and out of her, setting a pace that she was willing to let him control because he was leading her and she’d have it no other way.

She hadn’t felt like a woman in a long time, and right now, she felt like a queen getting ready to conquer the world and Reed was her trusty knight that was going to guide her there and show her the light.

All those muscles that were tightly wound in her had only released a little with her first orgasm, but right now, with his body in hers, making them one, that spring in the old mattress was ready to burst through.

“Now. That’s it.”

“Do it,” he said. “I want to feel every part of your body as you come. I want you to send me over the edge,” he said slightly out of breath.

There was nothing holding her back now. Her muscles started to pulse around him, his body tensed, and for the first time ever, she actually felt a man as he came inside of her. She’d never felt that before with another man, but she did with Reed and knew there was something special here that friends just didn’t share.