Badd to the bone, p.7
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       Badd to the Bone, p.7

         Part #3 of Badd Brothers series by Jasinda Wilder
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  She stripped naked and climbed into the bed and pulled the covers up to her ears, lying on her side. I stood in the doorway of the bedroom for a long moment, watching her, wondering what I should do, and how I should comfort her.

  "Brock?" Her voice was tiny, soft.

  "Yeah, baby."

  A quiet pause, and she twisted under the blankets just enough to glance at me with one eye. "Can you...will you hold me? Skin to skin. Just...hold me." Her voice shook.

  "Yes, of course."

  I shed my clothes and slipped into the bed behind her, wrapping my arm around her midsection. She tucked her butt against me, and wriggled her shoulders against my chest.

  A long, long silence. I thought she'd fallen asleep, but her breathing never quite slowed enough for that. Eventually, I heard her whisper.

  "I didn't mean it."

  "Mean what, honey?"

  "When I said I forgave him, I didn't mean it. I just...I only said it because I felt like I had to."

  I wasn't sure what to say to that. "Claire, I--"

  "I think that probably makes me a terrible person, but I'm not going to lie to you. He's dead, and I can't cry about it. I don't know if I'm even sad. I watched him take his last breath, and I just--I feel numb."

  "It's a lot to process," I said.

  She rolled a shoulder. "Probably." She turned to look at me. "I notice you didn't deny that I'm a terrible person."

  "Don't be stupid, Claire--of course you're not a terrible person. You can't undo the kind of anger and the feelings of betrayal that you have for your dad overnight, after one conversation, or even just because he got sick and died. It's too much to expect to think you could just...erase it all, or to let it go that easily."

  "Do you...are you disappointed that I can't forgive him?"

  "Disappointed?" I searched myself. "No, I'm not. After hearing the whole story, I...I'm having trouble with what he did, too. I don't know how anyone could behave that way. If I found my worst enemy bleeding in a bathroom, I'd still probably try to help."

  "Well, that's because you're a genuinely good person, Brock." She sighed. "I'm...not."

  "Yes, you are, Claire. Stop berating yourself."

  "I'm really not, Brock. I'm just being realistic and honest about who I am. I've turned into a callous person. I feel absolutely no sympathy for my mother because she never protected me. I know I'm supposed to be sad for her that she lost her husband. They were together for thirty-two years. They met when they were sixteen, in primary school in County Clare, Ireland. She was with Dad her whole adult life. He loved her, she loved him, and I--I know those things, the love they had--I know it was real. But why didn't they love me? They treated Tab and Hayley different than they ever treated me, they could do no wrong."

  Claire swallowed hard. "If I got a C, I got grounded for a week. If they got a C, they got a mild talking-to and a hug, and were told 'I know you can do better.' If I came home past curfew, I couldn't go out again for a month. Tab once didn't come home until the next morning, on a school day, and they didn't even bat an eye. And she was fucking sixteen. I was eighteen and still had an eleven o'clock curfew. It's never made sense to me."

  A thought occurred to me, which I wasn't sure I should even share, not now. Maybe not ever. But it struck me, and wouldn't let go.

  "What?" Claire asked. "What is it?"

  "What do you mean?"

  She shrugged. "You tensed. It feels like you thought of something. I don't know. I'm just getting a weird vibe from you."

  I let out a breath. "I'm not sure I should even say anything."

  "Well now you have to." She rolled over, pushed against my chest until I lay on my back, and then she settled her head on my arm, her hand on my diaphragm; she wasn't exactly a cuddle-bug, so this was unusual for her. "Out with it, Brock."

  "Well, it's just conjecture, okay? Just my own observations and nothing else."

  "Quit stalling."

  I brushed a lock of her short silver-blonde hair behind her ear. "You don't look anything like your dad," I said. "You've got your mother's eyes, her hair, her cheekbones, her build. I can see your fierce attitude and independence and all that coming from your dad, but that's not...that stuff isn't necessarily genetic. Nature versus nurture, you know?"

  Claire froze, to the point that I wasn't sure she was even breathing until she spoke. "What are you saying, Brock?"

  I considered my words with extreme care. "Nothing, for certain. Just...suggesting the possibility that there might be some things in your parents' past that you don't know about, which might help explain the disparity in parenting styles."

  She was quiet a while. "I never thought about that, but you're right. Tab has Mom's eyes and her hair is a little of both of them, kind of brown and kind of blonde. Hayley has Dad's eyes and Mom's hair. I'm all Mom, only Mom." She blew out a breath. "Holy shit, Brock. Tab and Hayley also both have a birthmark only Dad has, a little splotch of red on their left side, just above their hips. I don't have that."

  "It could be nothing, Claire. Genetics are weird, and there's always the possibility of some weird genetic fluke where your mom's DNA just won out over your dad's. It's just a thought that struck me when I first met everyone. It doesn't necessarily mean anything."

  She shook her head. "No, it makes perfect sense. Except the fact that they've been married for so long, and I just can't imagine Mom cheating on Dad."

  "It could be nothing, like I said."

  "Or it could be everything."

  "Are you going to ask her?"

  Claire didn't answer right away. "I can't ask her at Dad's funeral, but yeah, I'm gonna ask. I have to know."

  "Are you sure?"

  "Absolutely. I have to know, now. I'll go crazy until I do." She sighed. "Fuck. I didn't need any of this."

  "I'm sorry, Claire."

  She tilted to look up at me, and then shook her head. "What are you sorry for? You're the only reason I'm even halfway sane right now, let alone sober."

  "I just mean my speculation probably isn't helping anything."

  "Oh. Well, no. But you know me, I'd always rather have the messy, painful truth than a bullshit lie to spare my feelings."

  "Me too."

  She let out another breath. "You okay if I take a little nap? I woke up too early and I'm exhausted."

  "Of course." I kissed her shoulder. "I might get in my own workout after you're asleep."

  A minute or so passed before she answered. "You don't have to...wait for fall asleep."

  She rolled away, curling into a ball, and was soon snoring softly, an adorably girlish little snurk...sigh sound that made my heart twist in a weird, possessive, protective way. I tucked the blankets higher around her shoulders, and found myself staring down at her face, soaking in her beauty. Just...staring at her, feeling so damn lucky that I had met her, and that we were together. I was so proud of her for doing what she did and, deep down, I was sure that things would only get better for Claire. If anyone deserved to feel happy and safe and loved, it was Claire.

  I changed into workout clothes and headed down to the gym, where I worked my way through my regular routine, starting with some light barbell lifts to get warmed up; it felt good to push myself and sweat out some of the stress.

  My thoughts turned to Claire, and even though we'd only been together for about four months, my feelings for her only grew stronger with each day. She was so smart, and during her time as a combat nurse she had seen some pretty tough stuff so it was no surprise she'd left nursing to work in programming. She'd taken a few courses in Seattle after leaving the Army and had ended up loving it. The Badd brothers' business ventures were going so well that I knew we could use someone with Claire's skills to keep the business side of things organized. Of course, that would mean she would have to move to Ketchikan...

  And I had to admit it would be so great to have her there on a permanent basis. We could do lots of fishing and flying--she'd said she'd like to learn to fly, and it
'd be fun to teach her the basics Soaring above the clouds, feeling beautifully alone in the world, no noise except for the faint drone of the propeller muffled by headsets. I let that image play out in my head as I powered through three sets of twelve double kettlebell cleans, until my arms were jelly and I was gasping. A quick break, and then I knelt on the weight bench and braced one hand on it while rowing with the other, and tried to pull up the image of flying again.

  Except now Claire was in the plane with me, giggling as I did a long, wide barrel roll. Of course, thinking about Claire in the plane with me only led me to remembering that time on the way up to Ketchikan from Seattle, when she'd taken off her shirt and told me to put it on autopilot. I'd informed her that the airplane I was flying didn't have autopilot, and she'd then told me to just make sure I didn't kill us...and had set about opening my jeans and spending a solid fifteen minutes going down on me.

  Fuck, that had been a day to remember.

  I wiped down the handles of the kettlebells I'd used, put them away, and turned on the treadmill, trying in vain to banish thoughts of Claire and her mouth as I did a few sets of interval sprints.

  Proof positive that a guy can take damn near anything and make it sexual: the interval sprints made me think about when we'd gone hiking together outside Seattle, and she'd pulled me off the trail a good quarter of a mile in and I'd bent her over a fallen tree and fucked her from behind, and her screams of orgasm had shaken birds free from the branches above us.

  Damn it, damn it, damn it--we'd already fucked once this morning, and I was raging for round two. What the hell was wrong with me? I'd always had a more-than-healthy libido, but something about Claire just left me constantly horny, always ready to take her again.

  I finished my interval sprints and went gasping and heaving back up to our room, sweating, sore, and still rocking a semi. Claire was still asleep, so I hopped in the shower. I had barely started lathering shampoo into my hair when the shower door opened, and Claire stepped in.

  "Thought you were napping?" I asked.

  "I was."

  "Did I wake you up?"

  She shook her head. "Nah. I woke up thinking about you, heard the shower, and..." She shrugged, reaching for my cock, which had finally subsided a little. Not all the way though. "Looks like you were thinking about me, too."

  I grinned. "Damn straight I was. Made it hard to work out. Kept thinking about you, so I had to cut my workout short and come back here for a shower."

  "All roads lead to Claire, huh?"

  "Pretty much."

  I rinsed my hair and started washing my body, watching as Claire stroked me.

  She knelt down in front of me, the spray hitting my back so only errant droplets touched her, just enough to dampen her hair and bead on her naked chest.

  "You're so sexy, Claire."

  She shrugged a shoulder in a cutesy, sarcastic gesture. "You're just saying that because I'm on my knees with your dick in my hands."

  "Well, I'm not gonna lie, you're extra hot like this, naked and wet, but you're always sexy, babe."

  She only smiled up at me again, and then grabbed the small bottle of complimentary conditioner, tapped a glob into her palm and rubbed it on both hands, and then slathered it along my shaft, so her sliding strokes were slick and slippery, squishing and squelching. I braced a hand on the wall to my left and watched, chest heaving as I felt the pressure build in my balls. I couldn't hold still, had to move, had to thrust into her hands.

  I tugged at her arms. "Stand up and face the wall, Claire."

  She made a sassy face. "No."


  She shook her head. "Nope. I'm staying right here, just like this."

  "I can't hold out much longer."


  I growled as I struggled to push back the need to come. "What are you after, Claire?"

  "I said I wouldn't mind a shower, Brock." She tilted my cock away from my body, toward herself. "Maybe I wasn't talking about the water."


  There was a shadow behind her eyes, though. A hardness to her features, an element of seduction and distraction to this. Her father had just died. Why was she doing this? What was she really after?


  Her eyes met mine, searched me, and then narrowed. "Don't, Brock. Quit fucking analyzing me."

  Her fists moved in a blur, and I was pivoting at the hips helplessly, her touch slick and hot and firm, and I felt the urge to release become too much to resist.

  "I'm not analyzing you, Claire."

  "Yes, you are. You have that look, the one that says you're trying to figure me out."


  "So what if I don't want to be figured out right now? What if I don't want to cope? What if I just want this?"

  "This being what?"

  "This being you. This being this..." she slicked her fists in a tight sliding squeeze around my crown down to my root, "--your big hard cock."

  "You can have me whenever you want, babe, you know that. But it doesn't have to be like this."

  She stared up at me, her expression revealing only lust, her thoughts inscrutable. "It doesn't have to be, no. But it's how I want it right now."

  I growled again. "Fuck, Claire. Jesus, I'm gonna come."

  She slowed her strokes and switched to a slow hand over hand motion, and my hips flexed forward and locked like that as my orgasm tore through me. "Give it to me, Brock," she murmured, angling my cock toward herself with one hand around the head and stroking my shaft with the other. "Make a mess all over me. You were right, before, you know. I do love it when you come on my tits."

  "That's what you want right now? My come on your hot little titties?"

  "Fuck yeah, Brock." She shifted closer, kneeling right underneath me, angling me at her chest. "Come on me. Right now, all over me."

  I groaned, thrusting forward, barely able to keep my eyes open as come blasted out of me. It shot in a thick white ribbon all over her chest, and she bit her lower lip, watching raptly as I growled and snarled and thrust into her jerking fist. And then she leaned even closer, shifting downward and opening her mouth, resting the tip of my cock on her chin as she stroked me hard and fast at the base; I squirted another stream of come, this time a web of liquid white lace burst all over her upturned face. It coated her from chin to forehead, and she kept caressing me as I gasped through the last of my orgasm. She laughed, grinning, as my come dripped down her face, on her lips and tongue and nose and cheeks, blinking it out of her eyes...

  "Jesus, Claire."

  She swiped a finger across her tits and popped it in her mouth, remaining on her knees in front of me, my come still all over her face. "Did you like that, Brock?" She twisted and swayed in a sultry dance, still clutching my cock in one hand. "Watching yourself shoot your hot load all over my face and tits?"

  I felt conflicted, is what I felt. Mixed up and unsure. On the one hand, fuck yeah, it was hot. The whole thing was hot, the way she entered the shower and grabbed my cock and jerked me off all over her face and breasts, yeah, that was hot as hell. I'd actually jerked off to that exact image, when I was stuck working in Ketchikan and Claire was stuck working in Seattle. I'd never have done it, though, and honestly, when I'd imagined it, I'd felt guilty afterward for even mentally using Claire like that, to come on her face.

  It was a common thing in porn, obviously, but it wasn't something I'd ever done in real life. Porn wasn't real life. Nothing about it was real, or believable, or realistic. It was dumb. Once I was inside Claire, I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay buried as deep inside her as I could get, for as long as I could stay there. I didn't want to pull out for anything. I wanted to bury myself deep and come inside her.

  But this, what she'd just done...fuck yeah, it was hot. But I wasn't sure if I liked it. I enjoyed it, yeah, but did I like it? The two weren't necessarily the same thing. She'd done it of her own volition...but why? It's not like I'd shoved her to her knees and jizzed on her face without warni
ng. She'd come into the shower with the purpose of doing exactly what she'd done.

  Was it for me? Or was it for her? What enjoyment did she get out of it? But then, maybe it wasn't enjoyment she was after...

  All that flashed through my head in the space of a few seconds; the water was still beating hot on my back, and Claire was still kneeling on the marble shower floor in front of me, her face covered in my come. She was smearing it around her chest with one hand, and then wiping it off her face with her other forefinger and licking it off. We'd done some freaky, dirty stuff together, but this was the freakiest, by far.

  I lifted her to her feet without answering, grabbed a washcloth off the rack, got it wet and wrung it out, and then wiped her face clean, starting at her forehead and wiping around her eyes, down her nose, her cheeks, her lips, her chin, then down to her breasts, and I wrung the washcloth out again before gently and lovingly wiping her breasts clean. When I was finished, she was staring up at me with an expression I couldn't quite fathom on her face. It was a combination of anger and confusion, mixed with tenderness and the love we both knew was building between us, but which neither of us had expressed yet. There was so much in that expression, and I wasn't sure what any of it meant.

  "What, Claire?" I whispered. "What does that look mean?"

  The water was soaking into her hair now, strands sticking to her cheeks. Her skin was pebbled with goosebumps, so I pivoted us until she was beneath the hot water. She leaned up against me, her erect nipples poking against my chest, and she clutched my ass, staring up at me still.

  "I just don't get you."

  "Why? What don't you get?"

  She leaned away, took the washcloth from me and scrubbed soap onto it, then used it to scrub my skin, starting at my chest and working around to the rest of me at a leisurely pace. "I just...I thought that would make you crazy. I thought you'd like that. But you...I don't know. It doesn't seem like you want me like that."

  "The hell are you talking about, Claire?" I took the soapy cloth from her and scrubbed her breasts. "It was hot."

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