Misadventures of a Backup Bride by Shayla Black

  She doesn’t play coy. “You. What would happen as soon as we came through the door. How good it would feel.”

  I arch my hips, nudging her ass with my hard cock. “I’ve been thinking the same thing. I want you now, Ella.”

  She pants, her head falling back against me. Her eyes close as she writhes under my touch. God, she’s so beautiful without knowing it, so sensual without being aware of her own feminine power.


  “Do you want to come on my fingers or with me buried inside you?” I nip at her lobe, smiling slightly as she trembles in my arms.

  “I have to choose?”

  “Don’t be greedy,” I scold, suppressing a laugh. “Tell me how you want to come.”

  “With you inside me,” she gasps out.

  Her answer thrills me. I’d like that, too. I won’t deny I’d like to simply watch her in the throes of ecstasy for the sheer visual enjoyment, but I’m not sure my patience will allow that.

  Regretfully, I step away and release Ella, holding out my hand to her. “Come with me.”

  She sets her palm on mine without hesitation. Our eyes meet. The thread of connection between us thickens, strengthens. It’s a completely new experience, yet I have no doubt that’s what this feeling is.

  With an absent flip of the lock on the door, I lead her through the bedroom and into the bathroom. I have a giant soaking tub I’ve never used. And suddenly I want to inaugurate it the right way.

  In the middle of the room, I grip her hips. “Stop.”

  Ella does without hesitation, and my head swims with all the possible demands I could make of her body. She would undoubtedly surrender to them, to me. That notion is heady. I’ve always liked to be in control in bed, but with her the need has ratcheted up to a whole new level.

  I turn her to face me. Our eyes meet. The moment is a profound thrill. The gravity of connecting the first time we’ve acknowledged our feelings mixes with pure sexual hunger to concoct a dizzying desire I doubt will end with our orgasms.

  “Up you go, sweetheart.” I lift her onto the counter.

  She settles herself on the marble and spreads her legs to me in invitation. I’m never going to turn that down.

  “Wait here.” I press a kiss onto her forehead. I don’t dare take her mouth now. If I do, I won’t let her go until we’ve both found climax.

  “Hurry,” she breathes as she leans back onto the bathroom mirror, skimming her fingertips along the insides of her splayed thighs.

  Yeah, with a visual like that, you bet I will.

  I brush my hand over her knee as I make my way out of the bathroom, tearing through the bedroom, and into the home office down the hall. I pick up the rolling stool, then approach my bed again, stopping at the nightstand to retrieve a foil packet from the box inside.

  When I return to the bathroom, Ella sends me a questioning stare. “I understand what the condom is for, but the stool?”

  I don’t reply, merely smile as I set the rolling contraption in the middle of the room, start the tub, then adjust the tap until the water is the right temperature. Once it is, I plug up the drain, leaving the water trickling in the background.

  Then I lower myself onto the padded stool and roll my way between Ella’s delicious thighs. Without preamble, I grip her knees in my hands, dangle her calves down my back, and fasten my mouth over her pussy. Her flavor is an addiction. So are her responses—immediate and without filter. She loves being worshipped, and I’m more than happy to make her feel like a goddess.

  Within moments, she threads her fingers through my hair and tries to pull me deeper. She gasps, groans, whimpers, the sounds a beautiful symphony of pleasure filling my ears.

  “Carson?” She sounds almost panicked.

  Yes, she feels me. She wants this. She’s only moments away. Granted, this isn’t the mutual orgasm we discussed earlier…but I don’t hear her complaining.

  To help her find satisfaction now, I plunge a pair of fingers into her, relishing the feel of her flesh clinging to my digits because she’s yearning to be filled, desperate for the friction. I find the smooth skin along her front wall and rub slowly, methodically, unrelentingly.

  Within seconds, she’s scratching at me, begging with her grasping hands and unintelligible pleas. Her clit swells on my tongue. Her pussy grips my fingers mercilessly. I moan against her flesh.

  She explodes.

  Her back arches as she growls out a climax like I’ve never heard from her—deep, wrenching, and endless. The sounds mimic the crescendo of pleasure that builds inside her, rising to a loud cacophony of cries that echo off the walls.

  I hold in a smile as I lap and suck and stimulate her until her entire body goes limp.

  “You’re insatiable,” she manages to say weakly, but she’s wearing a loopy little grin that tells me she’s not at all unhappy about that fact.

  “You’re welcome,” I quip as I roll across the floor to kill the tap to the tub.

  The water level looks perfect, and gentle tendrils of steam rise up invitingly.

  She eyes the tub. “Are we cleaning up already?”

  “No, sweetheart. I’m definitely going to dirty you up some more.”

  “If that’s the case, you’re overdressed.”

  My tux is wrinkled, and my shirt feels limp after a full night of festivities and a few minutes in the humid bathroom. I’m ready to ditch it all.

  “You’re right.” I stand and tug at my bow tie, then shed my shoes, jacket, pants, and once stiffly starched shirt… Finally, I stand before her, every bit as naked as she is, then I help her off the counter and into my arms.

  With a hand in her soft, dark tresses, I guide her mouth to mine and feast on her tongue, going deep, letting her taste herself and feel my passion that’s been simmering and stewing while I sent her into a spinning climax. She clings to me, not quite steady on her feet as she gives me every part of herself, settling her breasts on my chest, gripping my neck, caressing the side of my leg with her calf.

  She’s perfect against me and about to take me deep into her body. I’ve never felt a certainty that a woman is meant to be meaningful to me. Sure, I might have wanted another date—or a second dance of the mattress tango—to test the chemistry. But this need isn’t stemming from my libido.

  Reluctantly, I release her and step into the tub I’ve intentionally only half filled. As the warm water encloses my feet and the lower part of my legs, I help her in, too, wrapping my arms around her to dust kisses along the graceful slope of her shoulder. Everything about this woman fascinates me.

  “It’s a big tub, but I don’t think we’re both going to get clean in here,” she teases.

  “Totally not the point.” I don’t give her time to ask questions before I sit in the shimmering water, bracing myself against the sloped back and donning my condom as she watches with an unblinking stare as water laps around my hips. “Straddle me.”

  The light bulb illuminates in her head, and her entire face brightens as she positions her feet on either side of my thighs and sinks to her knees. I hold my cock by the base, pointing straight up at her as she settles the crest at her opening and begins to sink down with a sigh of pleasure.

  “I’ve wanted to do this,” she admits.

  “Make love in a bathtub?”

  Ella shakes her head. “No, but I like that, too. What I’ve really wanted is to be on top. You’re always so in control of me during sex. I wanted to, um…return the favor.”

  As she sinks down to the hilt, her breath becomes a long moan. I hiss between my teeth at the bliss of having her wrapped around me, her flesh swollen after her recent peak, yet eager for more. I take her by the hips and guide her back up my aching cock.

  I need her. And I need her now.

  “Not so fast.” She stops me, grinding down on my length. “It’s my turn.”

  I think of all the times I’ve teased and tormented her, dragging out her pleasure, denying her orgasm, holding her just outside the rea
ch of the sensation that would send her toppling into the abyss of satisfaction. I’m sure if she has the chance, she’ll repay me.

  The water sloshes as she rises up, then sinks back down, one protracted inch at a time, awakening every one of my nerve endings to the feel of her encasing me and the ecstasy to come. Yeah, she’s going to undo me thoroughly, and I’m okay with that—eventually.

  But I’m not going down easily or alone.

  I tug on her shoulders and send her toppling against me before cradling a breast and lifting it to my mouth. “Then ride me.”

  She does as I torment her nipples, gently sucking, nipping, gnawing until I know she’s feeling me. Her skin turns rosy again. Her pussy tightens. Her pace quickens.

  “Carson…” Her protest is almost a mewl. She wriggles like the ache is growing too much too fast.

  “Sweetheart?” When she doesn’t say anything for a long moment, I wonder if it’s because she can’t string her thoughts together…or if she’s plotting something. “Let me help you.”

  “No.” She shakes her head as she thrusts down on me again, this time a bit faster. Water splashes around us, the displacement growing with every movement. “No.”

  Since she’s panting her denial, I grip her hips. “But I insist.”

  Then I bend my knees, brace my feet on the bottom of the tub, and shove my way up inside her, owning her tight depths, plunging deeper than I’ve ever been. My cock nudges the spot along her inner wall that I worked with my fingers. It should be hypersensitive now.

  “Oh, my god.” Her eyes flash wide and she looks at me, mouth gaping in astonishment. “Yes!”

  Ella wails out her assent as she grabs my shoulders, fingernails digging into my skin, forearms braced on my chest.

  I repeat the motion, fucking her thoroughly from beneath. In the next thrust, she joins the rhythm. Her whole body falls into it—head tossed back, hips flowing with me. After another roll through the water together, we’re in sync and scaling our way to mutual satisfaction. I don’t care about the water spilling onto the tile floor. I don’t care that my neighbors might be hearing the loud, high-pitched sounds of her need pinging throughout the room. I only give a damn about her and giving her the most pleasure possible. I can’t deepen our commitment when I’m technically engaged to someone else, but I can drench her in orgasmic bliss. I can use my body as an expression of my devotion.

  We move with common purpose wordlessly, linked by our need. I imagine an alternate universe where I’m free of Gregory Shaw and my obligation to marry Kendra. Where I’ve slid a ring on Ella’s finger and we’ve spoken sweet, solemn vows. I’ve come home from work, and she’s spent the day doing whatever makes her happy and contributes to her dream coming true. We’re settled and ready for the future, and I’m not wearing this damn strangling condom because we’re eager to start the next generation, fueled by the love and passion filling us now.

  That, and her breasts bouncing near my mouth, is all it takes for me to zoom up to the zenith of pleasure. I manage to catch her nipple between my lips and suckle it until she’s hissing and crying out and clamping down, heading for completion. As the feeling picks up steam, I fight through a haze of desire to keep plying her with sensation.

  This is going to fucking ruin me.

  “I’m close,” I growl.

  “Me, too,” she keens out. “I’m there. I…” Her strangled scream of satisfaction swallows the rest.

  I bury my face against her skin as the need converges into a thick knot of desperate ache. When I slam up inside Ella with the next thrust, it unravels. I lose all control. We collide again as the rapture takes over. I empty my body, soul, and heart into this woman in a way I never have. I suspect I never will again.

  I’m still panting and holding her close when that realization smacks me witless, along with the dawning recognition that I’m in love for the first—and last—time in my life.

  I have no idea what to do next.

  “Wow,” she manages to murmur weakly as she pushes the hair away from her face.

  “Wow.” I’m still winded and sweating and bowled over.

  She looks over the edge of the tub. “The floor is soaked. I’ll get some towels.”

  When she makes to disconnect our bodies and rise, I hold her fast against me. “Just a minute.”

  Ella settles against me and meets my gaze, gnawing on her bottom lip. “Everything’s changed, hasn’t it?”

  “Yes.” I sigh. “And yet nothing has.”

  “I love you.” She kisses me softly, with an air of mourning.

  She knows we’re on a countdown to goodbye unless something drastic changes or one of us gives up everything we hold dear.

  Still, logic doesn’t stop me from telling her exactly how I feel. “I love you, too.”

  “I wish I knew how to fix our mess,” she says almost absently, knowing neither of us can, yet believing deep down there must be a solution because the world can’t be that unfair.

  I’m already sure it can be.

  “Me, too, sweetheart. We have about two weeks to figure it out. Maybe it’s time for a really honest conversation about what we both can live with…and can’t live without.”

  Ella wriggles free and rises from the tub in another splash, gleaming beautifully in the warm overhead light. “We have and it still looks hopeless.”

  Wrapping a towel around herself, she avoids looking at me. Tears well in her eyes. I want to hold her more than anything. I want to be a part of the solution.

  But I already know I’m the problem. I’ve created this. Somehow, I’ll have to fix it.

  Chapter Seven


  Saturday dawns lazily. Carson and I spent the night in each other’s arms, talking, kissing, making love. I don’t think we ever slept, merely dozed for short stretches until the need to be close woke us again.

  With a sleepy smile, I stretch, languid bliss filling every muscle from the tips of my fingers to the bottoms of my toes. Beside me, Carson snores lightly. Sunlight streams through his bedroom window, the sun appearing high in the sky. I glance at the clock and blink. How is it almost noon?

  After a quick brush of my teeth and a shower, I step out of the stall, dripping and surprisingly refreshed—if sore—when I hear a pounding on the door. I stick my head out of the bathroom to see Carson rising, disoriented, and reaching for his robe with a scowl.

  “Are you expecting anyone?”

  He shakes his head as he belts his robe around his middle. “I usually get some quiet work done on weekends while vegging on my sofa. No one ever interrupts my weekends.”

  I shrug. I don’t have any idea who could possibly be demanding admittance.

  With a curse, he exits the bedroom. “Wait here.”

  After he shuts the door behind him, I hurry into a pair of shorts and a tank top. Summer in the South is no joke. Today promises to be another scorcher. I toss my hair into a ponytail, then creep across the bedroom, pressing my ear to the door, hoping to hear what’s going on in the living room. I can make out two men’s garbled voices.

  Carson might have told me to wait, but I’m desperately curious. And I need coffee.

  When I crack open the door, I see him pouring himself a mug, and Gregory Shaw, of all people, is watching him from a stool at the breakfast bar, sipping on his own cup of brew. When I step into the room, they both turn at the sound of my entrance.

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