Man Of Few Words
Marine Pilot John 'Duff' Duffy was always good at following orders, even when it meant having to leave the woman he loved. Her father, then his superior, dictated it was the best thing for Kirsten's future and Duff's career. Good soldiers followed orders, no matter what the heart felt. It had been for the best...back then. But when he sees her years later across a crowded bar, he has one burning desire--to have her back in his life and bed again.
With a new job and her father's estate to settle, Professor Kirsten Tanner wants a peaceful existence. The return of the handsome flight instructor who broke her heart and lit a fire to her desires challenges that. She's determined not to fall victim to his quiet charm again, but the need to show him she too can love him and leave him is much too tempting. But one touch from Duff and Kirsten begins to wonder if maybe they can have more than one night of ecstasy.
"He's an ex." Kirsten ignored the part about the earplugs. Their rooms were on opposite ends of the house.
"No." She sighed at the understatement. She'd been on the losing end of love 'em and leave 'em fast.
"Then get revenge by enjoying yourself with one of the young'uns. You can be a cougar for the night. Or, even better, show him how you've gotten over him with revenge sex. You're good at exorcising your demons that way. Maybe I'll be the one trying to drown out the sound." Suzy patted her shoulder and danced her way through the crowd.
Kirsten swallowed. She willed her feet to move. They stayed. Inside, she felt like a teenager, not the thirty-one-year-old assistant chemistry professor. With a wince, she considered Suzy's advice. Sex had been cathartic for her, a way to deal with roiling emotions. To say she needed that now was an understatement. She had to get these exploding emotions bottled back up. So she did the one thing that she couldn't have done when she first met Duff--get a drink. She dodged the dancers on the way to the polished oak bar with miniature hot air balloons hanging above it.
Right as the bartender moved her way, she felt a hand on her back. "She used to like banana daiquiris, but I'm thinking wine is more her thing now."
That voice. No mistaking the light Boston accent interlaced with the Southern drawl he'd acquired while living in Florida. She used to love hearing him telling her to come for him. "I want to hear you, baby. Let it out," he used to say.
Damn. Her mind was going in all the wrong directions. She didn't want to think of his chest lightly covered with light brown curls or of his tight ass. "Beer. Something on the dark side."
She ignored the man behind her, although her nipples were doing the opposite, tightening at the mere sound of his voice. Actual pain stabbed at her chest when she realized she'd become wet. She placed a hand over her heart. Soon enough, she'd have to turn around to say hello to John Duffy, the first man she'd loved and lost. She pushed back her hair and wished that she'd not let it become the darker blonde that age demanded. If she could only push back the hands of time to her sun-streaked hair from hours on the beach, back to the moments when she thought he loved her.
"Make that two."