Elven, Book 4
by Willa Okati
[ Urban Fantasy Romance, MMF ]
Cullen and Declan kind of lose control when they’re lavishing affection on Jewel. They seem to have carried her away into a strange dream where the skies are silver and the trees are talking. Her men have a secret to share with her… if Jewel thinks she can handle the truth.
“– only five ninety-nine, can you believe it? I made out like a bandit –”
“– she is so sleeping with him. Come on! All the makeup in the world couldn’t hide that love bite on her neck. And the beard burn? Please. As if she thinks she’s fooling anyone –”
“– the dog goes insane whenever I bring a man home, it’s like he’s jealous of me or something –”
“– popcorn, yeah, but not that weird sugary kind, it’s got to have butter, a lot of butter. Oh, and it needs to be fresh –”
“– you behave yourself now, my friend. You know what we’re here for, so you just follow my lead, aye? Clear? And when she –”
“– my God, it’s going to be hot today!”
Jewel let the chatter of the crowd surrounding her drift in and out of her ears, not lingering on any particular conversation. The voices, everything from male bass to alto female to a crying child, blended together after a while and made her think of waves rushing in to shore.
She stood separate from the masses gathered around the bus stop where they all waited, letting the sounds wash over her in soothing waves while she lost herself in fantasies that parted her lips and drew wetness to her pussy.
The dog-eared paperback — her favorite — that she held loosely by her side had captured her attention once again. For fun, Jewel imagined herself taking the place of the story’s modern-day Cinderella in the City. The things that happened when her big, strong, sexy knight took her to bed filled Jewel’s head with excitement and flooded her body with a sensual satisfaction better than anything buzzy or battery-operated could offer.
A sexy book, a sunny morning, and a free pass to the Tri-County Artisan & Craftsman Carnival & Fair in her pocket. Jewel hummed to herself in anticipation of the sights, the sounds, the smells and the tastes that lay in her future.
It was going to be a good day.
Tilting her head back, Jewel let the warmth of the morning sunlight play over her face. The rays tickled her cheeks like the brush of a lover’s hair as he leaned in to kiss her — or at least she figured that was how it would feel. The only men who’d ever kissed her hadn’t been aiming for her lips, and they’d all had “sensible” short cuts besides.
She liked dreaming about what it would be like to have a man holding her, pulling her close, maybe running his thumb across her bottom lip, then tilting their heads just right so their mouths would fit together, and then… and then…
Jewel stifled a giggle. Twenty-seven and never seriously been kissed. It sounded like a made-for-TV movie, didn’t it? Not many folks knew. They didn’t think of her, good old Jewel, that way. No one ever had. She was the girl men came to for a beer and a laugh, not a kiss and a roll in the hay.
Oh, well. Jewel exhaled softly, not really sighing, as she turned to and fro to feel the light kissing eyelids, nose, and the base of her throat. I like my life anyway. Besides, someday, my prince will come.
Not that I’d mind kissing a few frogs along the way. The way I figure, you’d never know if you’d found Mr. Right if you weren’t willing to pucker up and dive in.
She laughed to herself.
“Excuse me. Miss?” Someone nudged Jewel in the ribs right beneath her breast. A gentle prod, meant to get her attention, not to hurt. “Are you all right, then?”
Oops. Dagnabit, she got into more trouble when she was so lost in her dreams that she forgot where she was and that people might be watching her. “Fine,” she reassured the speaker, too embarrassed to face him. “I’m — um — sky-gazing.”
“Impressive, seein’ as your eyes are closed,” the person teased. Male, his voice as deep as the bottom of a whiskey barrel or the rumble of thunder. He had a heavy accent, something she couldn’t quite place. Irish, maybe?
Curious, Jewel turned away from the sky to see what kind of person came along with a voice like this one. Oh. Oh, wow. She felt her mouth open slightly as she tried, in vain, not to stare. She’d never seen him before, and boy, had she been missing out.
Where did you come from? Can I keep you?
The man stood at least six inches taller than her, and she wasn’t short. Too tall for a woman, she usually thought. Too tall, too plentiful in the chest and too wide in the hips with a little belly she hid beneath loose blouses and tunics. She thought she might make up for her body with hair she thought was nice, all glossy and bright, the color of the setting sun. Her face, though… well, she was 99.9 percent “girl next door,” and she’d never be anything else.
She didn’t waste her time crying over not being Miss America. There was too much else to life.
She did get lonely sometimes, though.
“Forgive me if I’m intrudin’, but I had to be sure you weren’t taken ill.” The man tugged on the brim of his old cowboy hat. It barely fit over his thickly curled hair, the exact shade of maple sugar, threatening to burst out of its rough ponytail. He had a broad face with a generous mouth. Too off-beat to ever make the centerfold of GQ — did they even have centerfolds? — but he had something going for him that made Jewel go weak in the knees and fluttery in the stomach.
He tilted his head to the side for a searching look at her. “Seriously, are you all right, now? You’ve got the look of someone a million miles away.”
Oh, yeah. No doubt about it: Irish. Jewel felt herself getting wet. She’d always been super-responsive to suggestion and had a definite weakness for accents.
“I’m fine,” she said, hoping to wash away the concern she saw developing in the man’s eyes. Who was she to get worried about? “Scout’s honor.”
The man shifted his weight from one leg to the other, drawing Jewel’s attention to oh-my-God-sized thigh and calf muscles. What would legs like those feel like beneath me if I were sitting on his lap, or… or…
Her cheeks heated without any help from the sun.
Or if we were both naked and all alone somewhere, and I was on top of him. If he was hard for me and I was soaking for him — okay, so I already am — and I had my hands spread out on his chest, not touching his dick, not yet, making him wait for it, making him want me more than ever…
The man’s deep chuckle brought her out of her daydream. He wrapped a callused hand around her elbow and stroked the tender crook with his thumb. Tingles ran up and down her arm, spread to her chest to set her heart beating faster and made her catch a sudden breath. “You really are one for having your head in the clouds, aren’t you, then?” He didn’t sound as if he thought that was a bad thing. “Were they good dreams?”
Oh, lordy, were they ever. Not that I can tell you. Eep! Jewel parted her lips, knowing for sure she was going to stammer and get her tongue tangled up. “I — I — I — um. Yes?”
“Glad to hear it. A pretty lass deserves a good time.” Hazel eyes sparkled at her. “You’re too lovely to be left waiting by yourself in the heat of the day. What brings a fair miss like you to the festival, if I could ask? Here to see the sights or listen to the music or something else altogether?”
Jewel tried not to stare at the man, who turned her on more and more by the second every time he spoke. He sounded genuinely interested. In her. This is new, but… I could definitely get used to it. “It’s something to do. I guess you’re not from Stony Creek,” she said, referring to the one-stoplight burg she’d driven in from. It would have been nice to drive right up to the festival grounds, but all cars had to be parked a mile or so out in a grassy field. Probably something to do with blocking out modern sights, sounds and smells. So then it didn’t make too much sense to have a bus rumbling up every few minutes…
Jewel adjusted the heavy weight of her hand-woven twine carryall, keeping her fingers busy with that instead of giving in to the impulse to reach out and touch him. “There’s not much to do on the weekends except read or go for a walk or –”
“Stony Creek, no,” the man interrupted. He tugged at the brim of his hat a second time. Jewel followed the movement of his hand, big and square and solid. A working man’s hand. A working man’s hat, worn in after years of hard use. Not a weekend cowboy at all. If it wasn’t for the Irish lilt, she’d have sworn he came right from the heart of Texas.
Or maybe he did. Wow. Jewel’s wetness spread, dampening the curls between her legs, a pulse fluttering in her pussy. An Irish cowboy. Wow.
“When I’m at home, home’s beside a creek, aye.” His words rolled out lazy, slow, and tantalizing, his friendly smile broadening, making his eyes crinkle at their corners. “More of a river, actually. It’s wide enough across you’d need a boat and two strong arms to row if you wanted to get from one side to the other. Stony Creek, though, I think I’ve passed through. Struck me as –” He paused. “Not to speak ill of your home, but –”
“It’s as dry and brown as an old stick,” Jewel finished for him, not minding his judgment because it was the truth. “Don’t worry. I didn’t grow up in Stony Creek.”
“Really? Then what’s a diamond like you doing in the rough and not set somewhere you’d shine as you ought to?”
Mmm, what a pretty talker. Jewel resisted the urge to fan herself. Just being near the man was enough to make her body sing, wanting to do things she’d only ever read or dreamed about. Like dancing with him in a dark room, pressed so close together I’d be able to feel everything from that hard chest to… oh. Whoa.
A glance down, purely by instinct, brought her in visual range of a hardened dick outlined in the man’s jeans. Is that for me?
Her pussy clenched. A soft moan slipped from between Jewel’s lips, which she bit when the man’s grip tightened on her arm. She looked back up, knowing there was no way he’d miss what she was thinking and dreaming about — both of them in that darkened room, a bedroom, herself bold enough to drop to her knees, caressing the hard sinew of his muscles all the way down. Her fingers opening his zipper and fondling his dick, listening to him hiss in appreciation, and —
Was he laughing at her?
“Never stop dreaming, lass,” he said, tapping her nose with the forefinger of his free hand. “What’s your name, if I could ask?”
“Jewel,” she said without thinking, the word popping out. “Jewel McCree.”
“Ah! A name to match your face.” The man slid his hand down the length of her forearm and had raised her knuckles to his lips before she realized what he was doing. He pressed a kiss to them, flickering his tongue ever so quickly over her skin. “It’s my own pleasure to meet you, Jewel, and I hope I’ll be seeing you soon.”
“What?” The touch of his tongue, hot and wet, had catapulted Jewel into a fantasy about how that tongue would feel between her legs, teasing her pussy while his big hands pushed her thighs apart; about the way his words would buzz and his breath would inflame her pulsing clit while he teased her with promises of what he was going to do, and… “What?”
The man laughed. “I’m called Cullen.” He kissed her knuckles again with another tantalizing flick of his tongue that made her sizzle on the inside. “We will be seeing each other again soon, Jewel. Mark my words.”
We can’t see more of each other right now? she wanted to ask, and would have if she hadn’t registered the sound of a rumbling diesel engine and heavy tires crunching over gravel. Exhaust fumes tainted the air, making her realize that she’d been savoring the man’s scent. Smoke and rawhide and pine. She missed the smell now that it was gone.
“Aye. Our ride’s here.” Cullen squeezed Jewel’s fingers, then lowered her hand to her hip. “Until later, Diamond.”
Cullen turned to walk away, making for the back of the crowd instead of forward to the beat-up secondhand school bus, painted a shocking purple, that grumbled to a halt in front of the waiting throng of passengers.
“See you,” Jewel whispered, almost unconsciously touching her lips. He’d kissed her hand, but she could have sworn she felt the heat and pressure of his mouth on her own. Wow.
He was a prince right out of a fairy tale. And he’d called her a diamond. And he’d been hard. He’d wanted her. Maybe he’d been thinking the same things she had, but even better.
A delicious spasm rippled through Jewel’s pussy as cream trickled between her thighs. Talk about fun at the fair, Jewel exulted, riding the ebbing waves of her climax. Who’d have thought all those stories of men being able to get you off with just their voices were true?
She watched Cullen, wickedly checking out the way his firm ass moved inside his faded jeans, imagining how the solid muscle would feel to the touch. Who knew? Maybe she’d get a chance to find out for herself. Maybe —
She saw then the reason why Cullen had gone to the back instead of the front. It wasn’t manners or offering others a chance to find their seats first. Nope, he’d made a beeline to a long, tall drink of gorgeous who’d lit up like fireworks when he’d seen Cullen coming.
When the two men met, Cullen cozied into the second man’s opening arms and groped his ass. Long and Tall laughed at something Cullen said — Jewel couldn’t hear — and his own quirky features became a work of art. He pushed his fingers through the tangle of curls escaping from Cullen’s ponytail and pulled their heads together. Their lips joined in an easy kiss, Long and Tall’s eyes closing ecstatically as his hips shifted forward, pressing into Cullen’s.
Jewel wanted to look away, but couldn’t, stunned. What… what was all that about, if he already had someone? I thought he was for real. And the hard-on! What about the hard-on?
As she watched, the two men separated. Long and Tall wore an expression of complete satisfaction. He slapped Cullen’s cheek, a love tap, while his slightly swollen lips moved in the shape of a question. Cullen nodded, seeming to give a reply that drew Long and Tall’s interest in a big way.
Bracing his hands on Cullen’s biceps, he looked past Cullen — right at Jewel. His curious stare met her fascinated gaze and held her there despite her immediate instinct to look at something else — anything else. His irises were green as the bright moss that grew by forest lakes, the perfect match to the softly curling waves of honey-colored hair falling to his shoulders.
Jewel’s pussy clenched. Huh? Far from malicious or jealous or mocking, his expression sent out the unmistakable message that he was just as interested in her as Cullen had been. Maybe more. He traced his upper lip with the tip of his tongue and nodded to Jewel. One eyelid closed in an ungodly sexy wink.
When he spoke, she could read his lips: see you soon.
Jewel took a step forward, straw sandal scuffing in the gravel and almost tripping her up. She started to reach for the tall man, not knowing why, only knowing it was what she wanted, and then —
“Hey! Are you getting on the bus or not?”
Jewel flinched as the spell holding her and the two men together popped like a soap bubble. Looking back over her shoulder, she saw the haggard, sweaty bus driver drumming his fingers on the open doors. “I can’t wait all day,” he grouched. “Either you stay here and wait for the next bus or get on. I don’t care, lady, but make up your mind.”
“Sorry.” Jewel took one last look at Cullen and his — what? — lover, boyfriend? They had stepped away, not interested in the bus anymore. From the way they moved, groins rubbing together, they had something else on their mind.
Ooh. Another spasm of sensual high pulsed through Jewel’s pussy. She drew in a sharp breath, stumbling back until the edge of the bus door pressed against her shoulders.
What a time and place to discover a kink that went above and beyond her sexiest dreams!
“I’m coming.” Am I ever. Wow. Jewel summoned up a smile for the bus driver as she made her way up the worn treads of the steps. “Next stop, the fair?”
The driver grinned back — reluctantly, but he did, transforming him from tired to friendly. “What about those two guys?” he asked, pointing. “They coming too?”
“I’d bet good money they will be,” Jewel said without blinking. She headed for the first available seat she could find, hiding the laugh that wanted to bubble up and break free.
She knew she hadn’t seen the last of Cullen or his man. More than that, she had a feeling this was going to be a day to remember.
“Once upon a time,” she said to herself, under her breath, as she settled into the hot plastic seat. “Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, there were two princes…”
The older woman sitting next to Jewel threw her an alarmed look.
“It’s not the way stories usually start,” Jewel said, enjoying the way the words felt on her tongue and not caring what anyone thought about her, “but I believe I might just be up for something new.”