Crave for Me
by Rebecca Chase
Ebook ISBN: B01C28PQHY
[ Romantic Comedy, MF ]
Three standalone short stories. What happens when the man you’ve endlessly fantasised about offers you all that you’ve desired? Each story features different characters, including a military man, a workman and a teacher. With sex that will leave you craving more and romance that will make you green with envy.
Note: This title has no chapter breaks. Please enjoy the first scene.
“Get off! Get off, Chris!” Juliet screeched with laughter, jabbing her brother with a pointed elbow.
Curls of copper hair bounced around her face as she desperately tried to scream his tickles away.
“Chris, stop being a dick!” Annoyance was released in gasps, but laughter gave away her genuine amusement. She finally managed to fling him off with a swift kick to his balls. Only two years separated the siblings and it was obvious in the way they treated each other that they’d grown up like best friends as well as brother and sister.
“Oi, Jules! It’s my wedding tomorrow. You can’t be damaging my knackers. I’m going to need them to perform tomorrow night, if you get my meaning,” he boasted, with a cheeky wink.
“I always get your meaning.” Bright green eyes rolled of their own volition.
“Are we going out or are you two just going to mess around like kids for Chris’ last night of freedom? I’ve got some best man duties to complete don’t forget!” Phil, their elder brother, called out with all the petulance of the much adored firstborn.
It wasn’t the stag do; that drunken carnage had occurred weeks ago and, even though she was seen as one of the boys, Juliet hadn’t been welcome. “No girls allowed!” had been chanted by the odd collection of goons as they’d left for town.
But tonight was a night of fun in town for the Scott “kids”; Juliet, Chris and Phil. Chris at twenty-seven was the first of them to be getting hitched, although Phil, just past the age of thirty, wasn’t far behind. Phil and his fiancé were waiting for the imminent arrival of their second child before the planning began in earnest.
Juliet itched with the reminder of her permanently single status, something that didn’t look like it was going to change anytime soon. Being surrounded by couples tomorrow in that dreaded bridesmaid dress wasn’t a welcome notion either. Her future sister-in-law, Dawn, could have chosen a stunning emerald gown that cupped Juliet’s breasts and highlighted her small but still curvy waist; instead she’d picked out a dress that was less fitted than a burlap sack. Jules wasn’t one for dressing up but this seemed like the obvious time to embrace it: It’s not like I’m getting married myself any time soon. Still, as her mum reminded her, “It’s all about the bride, darling.”
More like bridezilla in Dawn’s case.
“Okay, I’ll get my shoes on,” Chris hollered, hunting down footwear. “Jules needs to get ready too, though.”
Reaching for her pumps she glanced quizzically at her ripped skinny jeans and shapeless woolly jumper combo. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing now?”
“You could at least change your top and do something with your hair. And don’t you dare wear those bloody trainers!” Phil challenged, whipping the pumps from her reach and tossing them across the room.
“Could you treat my place with a bit of respect?” The hard thump against the far wall irked Jules but not as much as the dirty brown skid mark left behind as the pumps slid behind her sofa. Her noisy demands were ignored as the brothers grabbed an arm each and hauled her towards her bedroom. “I know it’s a crappy rental but it’s all mine, now that Chris has left.”
“No one cares, Jules,” Phil replied, as he plonked her in front of her oak dressing table while Chris hunted through her wardrobe. “Now, make yourself look pretty. We haven’t got time for surgery but any make-up covering your troll face will be an improvement.”
Opening her mouth to protest, she saw Phil smirk from the reflection in the mirror. Her tongue protruded angrily from her mouth and she grabbed clumsily for her black mascara and eyeliner. Applicators were rolled in front of her hand and a hairbrush was dumped on the table. There’s no getting out of it.
“What’s the point? It’s just us three going into town,” she huffed.
Chris shoved a sparkly strappy top and a matching pair of silver four inch sandals in her direction.
“And heels won’t help. I can barely walk in those and I’m already taller than most men I meet!”
At five foot ten, Jules wasn’t kidding. I want to hide in the corner all night not be seen and laughed at by strangers for my gawky appearance. At times she longed to be the inconsequential and ignored teenager but the copper red curls and giant stature made it near impossible. Trainers and slobby jumpers would mean the eyes of horny men and the disdainful glares of women would pass over her. Why can’t Chris and Phil understand that?
Sadly her pleas and moans were ignored, and three bars and numerous shots later the Scott trio made it to a local club in town, The Funky Cavern, or as locals fondly called it, Fuca.
The dank club, where the smell of sweat and yeast festered, wasn’t classy in any way. If you broached the toilet corridor then musty was replaced with a urine smell that pierced the nostrils, unless you found yourself next to some overly-deodorised lothario. At least in my heels I’m less likely to get stuck to the floor, Juliet considered. The floor was still sticky from the night before and those grinding on the dancefloor looked bowlegged trying to lift their feet.
It was the sort of dive where a lucky punter could get five Jaeger Bombs for five pounds when the barman struck the cheap drinks’ bell. The ear bleeding ring seemed to echo around the walls and had every customer clamouring to drink the liquid that would be giving them the vomits or the shits the next day. Fuca may be the place fresh air and class come to die but Juliet had a weird fondness for the crap shack. It was comfortable and relaxed and there was no pressure to be wearing the most current and fashionable outfits, or to dance like a lady with a sultry secret and a stuck up nose.
I can barely think, she moaned to herself. Voices competed constantly with the thumping beats of the nineties classics that had her aching for her warm duvet and fleecy joggers.
Exasperation clawed at her skin. Through the flashes of the reds and blues of the disco lights she saw horny students sucking on each other’s faces while sozzled middle-aged guys swayed against the beat as they tried their luck with any women in their blurry eye line.
Juliet felt flushed with alcohol as she downed another shot. Her body quivered with sugar from the effect of too many sweet, powerful liquids rushing through her bloodstream. I need to keep some wits about me if I don’t want Bridezilla to rip me a new one! The tell-tale burn from the vodka had disappeared from her tongue and no longer seared her throat as it went down. I must be Fuca wasted, she giggled to herself, as alcohol seeped further into her body. There’d been enough reminders from Dawn to be at the hairdresser’s first thing tomorrow for the start of the laborious bridesmaid preparations. There was no reasoning with her and she’d even tried to sneak reminders onto her phone, as if Jules dared be late. The wrath was not worth it.
“I love you,” Chris slurred. “You’re more than family, you’re my best friends.”
Wobbly arms were tossed around their necks to yank them closer. It was as if he could only communicate his love through the way he gripped them tightly and squeezed the breath from their bodies. Based on the neck wrenching pain, he must adore them!
“And you’ve really come through for me again and again, Phil. I would have loved Joe to be my best man but having you instead is amazing,” he said, pressing his forehead forcibly against Phil’s.
Who knew that one utterance of his name could suck the air from her chest, as happy and sad memories collected in her brain? Joe Adams had been her first and only crush. I couldn’t be more relieved that he can’t be at the wedding, she thought, taking long, slow breaths. She’d managed to hide from him for seven years but this event would have been unavoidable. Thankfully the army needed him more than the wedding did right now. Although nothing and no one could pine for him as much as Jules did and always had.
Joe had been Chris’ best mate since they met at primary school, at the age of eight, when Joe had moved to town. Met was a very watered down version of what had actually happened. It had been an epic playground battle started over who supported the best football team. Joe had pledged his allegiance to Arsenal but Chris had always been a Manchester United fan, ever since he’d been taken by his grandpa to watch a match while still in his red toddler dungarees.
The fight had begun with some insults slung across the worn concrete that masqueraded as a playground during break. By the end of lunch it was all-out war. Thankfully, after several bruises and bloody noses they joined together at the end of the day in their mutual hatred of all things Liverpool and Chelsea. They were best friends as quickly as they’d been sworn enemies, only this time it lasted and the scruffy, blond haired urchin from London became an honourable member of the Scott family.
From the day that Jules realised boys were more than shitheads that fed your dolls to the dog or, to the amusement of everyone, pinged your first empty bra, she had adored Joe. In her early teens she started imagining their wedding, the mansion they’d live in and how many dogs they’d adopt. As she grew older, doing her exams and sneaking illegally into pubs with her brothers, she thought about how his lips tasted, if his hands were as hot as his moods and what she could do to make them brush against her cheeks.
But that was all it could ever be, something to imagine, because to Joe she was just a little sister. All Joe saw when he looked at her was an annoying sibling to be teased, laughed at and protected. There were days she’d stare at the unkempt lad and long for him to see her differently, but ultimately she knew that was all she was to him and all she’d ever be. He’d told her as much.
Despondency teased her mercilessly as she thought back to the day he took her out driving on a disused airfield. At sixteen, she wasn’t allowed to drive on normal roads and he was too young and inexperienced to be teaching her legally but they sneaked out anyway. It was minor compared to most teenage rebellions but she worshipped him for it. The jokes came thick and fast that day, all related to how he was grooming her to be their regular, trustworthy designated driver on the Scott boys’ drunken nights in town. There was something more to it though. She suspected he didn’t want her to rely on anyone and always remain in control, especially if she started dating teenage boys with big back seats and busy hands.
There were collective screams of laughter as her fumbling hands ground the gears and accidentally flipped on the indicators rather than the windscreen wipers to clear the squashed, dead bugs. A smile of pure joy shone from his lips as he lent across her barely growing chest to help her with the complex levers and switches. She’d felt something unexpected in that moment; something new, exciting and yet so terrifying she wasn’t sure if she ever wanted to experience it again. Being next to Joe in the confines of the tiny, battered Fiesta was akin to being on a rollercoaster that you were desperate to leave. Fingernails would claw at the seat every second you were on the ride and yet, when it was time to get off and the adrenaline dived, you ran to be the first in the queue for another shot at the thrill ride.
As the car flew around the airfield, the windows down and the speedometer inching higher, her happiness was painfully fleeting. His bold shout, above the roar of the engine, while the wind flipped her hair around her face, exclaimed, “I love you, Jules. You’re the little sister I never had.”
After that day, every moment was spent trying to avoid him. Jules would creep around the house when she glimpsed his car outside and eat dinner with a speed that guaranteed indigestion while the sound of shouting prostitutes or revved engines accompanied the playing of Grand Theft Auto in Chris’ bedroom.
But one of the many endearing problems with Joe was that he was impossible to ignore, and he knew it. Hands developing into those of a well-built man would rap repeatedly against her bedroom door until she opened up and he dived in so that he could stave off some boredom in her company. Massive, thudding footsteps would pursue her around the house while Chris was busy studying for university. Joe didn’t need to study to achieve the high grades, school came easy to him and, as a result, bored him to tears. That irresistible heart was persistent and attention seeking and there was no opportunity for her to achieve space from him or his regular joke and random fact text updates. Not that she really wanted it.
Joe’s tenacity was as impressive as his blue eyes that swirled with grey and resembled a faded storm.
Juliet was hooked on him; she wanted to be his first love, to lose her virginity to him and be with him forever. There had been a desperation growing inside her stomach, and there was no one to listen and offer advice as she shared her woes. All she had were Chris and Joe; everyone at her all-girl school ostracised her. She couldn’t fathom the reason for that either. Maybe it was because she looked like a gawky teenager that puberty had overlooked or maybe she wasn’t girlie enough with her passion for football. More than likely, it was because every school year had a bullied, lonely loser and, sadly, she was the chosen one for that year.
There was one other issue with Joe; one that made it clear he would never be boyfriend material. Joe was a bad boy. If he wasn’t getting into trouble and charming his way out of it, then he wasn’t breathing. High grades were awarded to him at college, even though he barely attended, and he performed well in every sport he turned the barest ounce of skill and energy to, even after a night of unrelenting drinking.
Juliet wasn’t the only one to notice him, either. Every female with a pulse that came in his vicinity were like maidens renouncing their will under a powerful spell. Even at eighteen, any woman he wanted he would have, just for one night, until he got bored. When Juliet went out with him and Chris, she’d watch him seduce and enrapture all females around him. Even those that dismissed him initially were grinning with adoration within minutes. No challenge was too big for him to overcome and Juliet watched with a breaking heart each time he left with a different woman. The next day she’d find him napping in Chris’ empty room or on her floor as she woke. She was the only female constant in his life and the only one he stayed with when morning came.
When all his friends went to university Joe stayed, hanging around her even more. The boy, who now wore the body of a gorgeous man, did odd jobs for his dad’s property management business and slept with any woman who caught his eye; but he was still bored. Boredom had always been his enemy and it got worse with age. School had offered no test for him and the women he slept with were only interesting when they offered a challenge. With Chris away at university, Joe only had Juliet and, too often, he’d climb through her bedroom window at 5am, reeking of sex and alcohol, waking her with his looming body and glinting eyes before sharing facts about the world and any random stories he’d read. Joyous giggles would normally follow. Eventually sleep would come and then at some point his dad would raise his weary body from the floor with a yell down the phone and he’d rush to work.
Then one day, not long after she’d turned eighteen, everything changed.
Maybe he found his calling or maybe he found the biggest challenge of his life. In middle of the night, her last night before she went to Romania to do charity work, she found Joe leaning over her. The smell of alcohol wasn’t as strong as normal and there was no stink of sweat and sex pressing at her nostrils.
“I’m leaving, Jules. I’ve found my future.”
“Shush, you’ll wake my parents. They have no idea you sleep here after your nights out,” she whispered, pushing with a struggle through the fog of sleep.
“Why would your parents care? It’s not like I’d try anything.” Simply put, but it was still like a knife to her belly. In seconds his trunk like legs had sprung onto her bed where they bounced with exuberance. “Fine, okay, I’ll whisper too. But that doesn’t stop how happy I am!”
Confusion had fermented into fear, as his drunk happiness overtook his balance and he smacked his head against her wall before toppling off the bed and dragging the duvet with him. Jules desperately grabbed for it, she didn’t want him catching her in her fluffy heart pyjamas. Unsurprisingly, her strength was pitiful compared to his and she tumbled after him, landing on top of his rock hard chest. His bear-like arms had wrapped around her, cocooning her and making it impossible to pull away. Had she wanted to?
Forearms of pulsating muscles pulled her close and tinges of alcohol, lingering on his breath, tickled her ear as he whispered, “I’m going to join the army. I’m going to be an officer… eventually. But still, it’s going to happen.”
“But…” she tried to reply but he’d fallen asleep on his last word.
The willowy body that had been her form for too long was stuck in his arms. Questions zipped around her head and she wondered if sleep would ever grant her rest again. He couldn’t be serious? He couldn’t be joining the army? He’d never mentioned it before. He couldn’t be leaving her?
Technically she was leaving him first. Romania would be beckoning in a couple of hours and then university was her chosen destination. First choice had been staying at home, being near him. Second choice was nearly two hundred miles away. Maybe it was time to change choices and get away sooner rather than later.
Eventually Joe had relaxed his grip, but she stayed locked in his arms, cuddling up to him, resting her head against his chest as it moved up and down rhythmically with every deep breath of sleep. The lingering notes of his citrus yet woody aftershave would be unforgettable, as would the touch of his rough hands against the slight curve of her hips. A couple of hours spent in this divine position hadn’t been enough and the climbing minutes on her digital clock reminded her that a shower was essential before her flight. Romania was an adventure, and embarking on it, even just for the eight weeks, was her only option. I can speak to him when I get back, before university and talk him out of the army then.
Once sunrise tapped at the window, Jules knew she had to leave his arms but her gaze still brushed across his face. A longing gripped her heart as her green eyes focused on his lips, but she ignored all the urges pushing her to taste him. An unearthly prediction that she might never see him again tied her thoughts into illogical knots.
It had taken mere moments to shower, dress and complete her packing but still he didn’t stir. Joe’s fluffy blond hair had flattened against the carpet and added a sweetness to his normally devilish face. The shirt he normally wore on nights out had risen slightly and, combined with the duvet that was low and resting at his stomach, she was reminded of the taut body she’d nestled against.
I should leave, she thought, but her desires drew her closer and she continued to inspect him. Joe was still asleep, resting and beautiful, with lips coaxing her to return and a rare softness that enticed her. This might be the only opportunity I’ll have to know how his mouth feels against mine. Can I resist? Who knows what might happen in the next eight weeks; he could fall in love, he could be in a car accident, he might get so drunk he falls out the window. It’s not that unlikely based on his behaviour.
I have to know what it would be like to peck my lips against his. Soft steps edged her closer as she wetted her plump lips briefly with her sweeping tongue. Surely they aren’t already swelling in anticipation? A tremble crept up her body when she knelt quietly next to him, scared he might wake and scared she’d never go through with what she’d dreamed about. As she delicately touched her lips against his, he responded with a mouth that latched tenderly onto hers, pushing his soft lips hard against her moistened skin. He tasted musky, with that early morning breath that drew her close to his core. Green eyes flicked open to find his closed and unmoving.
How is he doing this while asleep? What is he dreaming about? It didn’t matter; nothing else mattered because he was holding her tightly. They were the strong hands of a man, dragging her closer and cupping the back of her head to make sure she never left him. Every touch of his lips drew her in and she moved her mouth against his, licking and tasting, nearly moaning as her body started to react. There was a quivering of excitement as a soft throb between her legs had her aching for more. It was probably a chaste kiss by his experience but to her it meant everything. But still it wasn’t enough.
I want to straddle him, I want to be on top of him.
“Juliet, we need to get moving or we’ll miss the flight,” her mum shouted up the stairs, causing her to wrench her body away.
Jules left him asleep on the floor, his eyes still closed and a smile on his face. I expect he’s dreaming about one of his random future conquests she thought, dragging her bags down the stairs.
That was the last time she saw Joe.
Unexpectedly, he’d joined the army while she was in Romania, which partly explained why he hadn’t texted her. By the time she returned he was away training. He’d never said goodbye. That was when she decided she had to walk away from him and change her life. There had been the odd message from him once she got to university, nearly two hundred miles away, but she’d ignored them. Visits to her parents became rare and fleeting and if she heard from Chris that Joe might be going home on leave she always found another place to be. A fantastic addition to her new life was friends dotted around the country and a surge of love for travelling. When it beckoned, she accepted.
But it didn’t matter how much she tried to get away from him. That kiss, her first kiss, was permanently fixed in her memory. Jules knew she’d changed a lot mentally, emotionally and, more obviously, physically. Curves had finally graced her body not long after she went to university. Mates had taught her to tame her wild, unruly, copper curls so that they were eye catching and sexy. She’d also ditched the glasses for contacts. Apparently her green eyes “popped” now; endless travelling companions in Ecuador had gushed about how beautiful they were.
Joe was still permanently in her mind, even when she was diving in Egypt, climbing glaciers in Mongolia or standing in awe of the ruins at Petra. Everything about him was a feature of her life that couldn’t be forgotten, like a song you know every word to and sing subconsciously when it comes on the radio. It was as if her fingers could still feel his fluffy blond hair and her mouth could taste his kissable lips. Recalling endless facts, which had seemed impossible for a bored teenage Joe to know, was easy as were the corny jokes that used to have her in stitches. He was impossible to forget but the jokes and facts were just memories. Joe Adams, the adult, was unknown to her.
Seven years is a long time for someone to change, I’m testament to that. Physically and emotionally I probably wouldn’t recognise him anyway. A sigh of relief lifted from her lips at the knowledge that there would be no awkward, painful reunion at the wedding. Well, it was mostly relief and bit of longing too.
“Oi, fart face!” Chris slurred in her direction. “Earth to dog food features!”
She shook her head as if it would be enough to make the memory of Joe’s tender lips fall out of her head.
“What, numb nuts?”
It didn’t take much for them to revert back to the names they used as kids. Their bodies and knowledge may have changed but deep down they were kids that still thought comparing someone to animal food was the ultimate put down.
“Stop standing there like a brain dead loser,” Chris joked, his breath held fumes that could make Victorians rise from the grave and start a quest for vengeance.
“I was thinking that at least I don’t look like a brain dead loser all the time like you do.”
“Good comeback,” he replied, sarcastically. “Did you learn that one from mum?”
Chris was a complete tool but Jules still felt a wave of sadness wash over her. I’m going to miss that idiot when he gets married. The old adage often used in the father of the bride speeches depressed her. “Not losing a daughter but gaining a son” was a load of crap. Everything was about to change for the worse. Maybe the empty rucksack that called her name from the bottom of her wardrobe needed filling and taking to a new unknown destination.
When the second wave of sadness hit it she figured it was time to start sobering up.
“I’m going to get more shots,” and water, she added silently. “Go on the dancefloor and enjoy your last night of dancing like a douchebag. Dawn won’t let you get away with it once you’re married.”
Chris gave her the one finger salute as Phil dragged him back to the glowing squares that were masquerading as a dancefloor. Fuca was a charming dump.
The tear at the corner of her eye was subtly swept away while she ambled shakily to the bar. Sobering up is a must. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Dawn; she would make Chris a great wife. They’d been madly in love since meeting on their first day at work two years ago, but Jules didn’t like change and the thought of losing Chris was putting her into desolation mode. She’d already lost Phil and Joe. Stop kidding yourself, Joe was never yours to lose and your feelings for him were never brotherly.
Recalling the ache that had radiated through her body when she realised Joe had joined the army without even saying goodbye had her brushing soft fingertips against her lips absentmindedly. That had been a frequent gesture on the flight to Romania. That kiss had meant everything to her. It was a non-event to him. If he’d been conscious he probably would have put it in the regrets category. Besides he’d done a hell of a lot more with a shitload of women from town in those days. I want to forget about him, I need to forget about him. Why can’t I fucking forget about him?
Wobbly legs carried her tentatively towards the bar masking her fury that, once again, Joe had made a starring role in her head. She was so lost in the vague memory of his lips and hands that she didn’t realise there were collective stares in her direction until the familiar school nickname was screeched.