Taking Chances, страница 18
“I was sorry I had to get up so early, Kirstin. I wish I could have joined you in bed after my chores,” he murmured against her lips.
“You should have left a note and told me to stay put, Doc. I was disappointed to find you missing from my side,” she confessed.
“I didn’t dare wake you at dawn.”
“Why not?” she challenged.
He looked at her as his hunger increased. “You needed your rest; you’re my patient and I have to take good care of you.”
“Like you did last night? I like your bedside manner, Doc. I hope it’s limited to special patients.”
His loins twitched. “You’re the first to test it. Should I make it a common practice?”
“Don’t you dare, Christopher; it wouldn’t be special anymore.”
“You’re a bossy female, aren’t you?” he charged with a roguish grin.
“Am I?” she quipped, and kissed him.
He threw back his head and groaned. “You’re a cruel one, too.”
“Me, cruel? I am not. Why would you say that?”
“I just told you we’re going out with John and Maria later, but you’re enticing me to carry you off to bed and make passionate love to you. You’re getting me all worked up and we. don’t have time to do it right.”
“I didn’t start this journey,” she said with feigned innocence, and kissed him again. “I was only following your lead, my tempting tour guide. You did volunteer to make my vacation here worthwhile, didn’t you?”
“Do you find me tempting, Kirstin?”
She was confused by his odd question; it should have been obvious to him. “I think you proved that last night. Why do you ask?”
“Just curious. The old male ego, I suppose.”
His flippant answer didn’t satisfy her curiosity, but she didn’t probe. “Do you also find me tempting, Doc?”
“As you said, ‘you proved that condition last night.’”
“Is this a male/female competition to see who has the greater appeal or willpower?” she speculated.
“In my opinion, Kirstin, our chemistries match to perfection. As to willpower, I hope we don’t need or want any.”
“We could both use some about now. You said we have plans for the day. A most distracting interruption, aren’t they?”
Christopher saw how surprised she was at herself at her words and behavior. He relished being the one to give her such courage. “Not for the next twenty to thirty minutes. That would leave us just enough time to eat lunch, shower, dress, and drive in. It isn’t much time to devote to “… enjoying ourselves, but I could lock the doors and try.”
“If you’re interested …” he murmured, his voice low and mellow.
“What woman wouldn’t be?”
“I’ll take that as a yes. Correct me if I’m wrong.”
Kirstin shook her head and returned his smile. She realized his strength when he came off the sofa with her in his arms and carried her to the guest room. “Do you always sweep women off their feet?” she teased.
As he peeled off his shirt, he said, “It’s the macho male in me. I’m a diehard romantic and chauvinist, or haven’t you noticed?”
Her fingers trailed over his chest. “Since you obviously hypnotized me at our first meeting, I can’t find anything wrong with you.” She hoped he comprehended she meant her words in all areas, including his disability.
“You don’t say,” he jested. When she began fumbling with the buttons on her blouse and her cheeks grew rosy, his gentle hands brushed her fingers aside and he entreated, “Let me do that, please. Unless it rankles to be dominated like this? Make you nervous to have a man in full control?”
“I’m rather enjoying it, for a temporary change. Besides, I call it pampering, not dominating.”
“Aha! That scientific mind’s showing, Kirstin. Examining the other side of the female liberation coin with your hidden microscope? This isn’t some research project with me as the specimen, is it?”
“If it is, Doc, it’s a stimulating and challenging one.”
“Then I’ll try not to disappoint you, Doctor Lowrey,” he murmured against her lips.
He pulled the blouse off her and unfastened her bra without removing it. He unfastened and unzipped her pants and removed them as she lifted one foot at a time to assist him, after kicking off her shoes. He kissed her knees and stroked her thighs. He rose with leisure as his hands trekked up her legs, over her hips and waist, and halted on her shoulders. His fingers drifted up and down her arms as he scrutinized her. “You’re an excellent specimen yourself, Kirstin Lowrey.”
“I’m glad you approve, Doctor Harrison,” she said, unbuttoning and unzipping his snug and faded jeans. She squatted to remove them but couldn’t because of his boots. With a laugh, she pushed him to a sitting position on the bed, knelt, and struggled until they were off and cast aside. She did the same with his jeans. “Whew, that was hard work.”
Christopher chuckled. “I would have used the boot jack in my room but the view was too good to miss.”
Kirstin followed his gaze to where her bra had fallen forward and her breasts were revealed. “You’re a dirty old man, Doc.” She pulled it off and tossed it atop her clothes. She removed her panties, lay down, and slid over to give him room to join her.
He was out of his underwear with haste and lying beside her on his stomach. Without delay, he was kissing and caressing her.
Christopher didn’t need to heighten his desire; he had been craving her since awakening this morning with her in his embrace. His lips visited her neck and breasts, and she moaned and wriggled in bliss. His fingers worked with devotion, while he only gave hers time and space to stroke his back, arms, and shoulders. It didn’t take long to have her fully aroused and squirming beneath him, coaxing him to join their bodies. Soon, his manhood was within her and he was riding her with zeal, and she matched his rhythm. He moved with diligence and delight, knowing time was short. His hips advanced and retreated, and he hoped he read her muffled signals right, that she was ready to be sated.
Colorful lights burst before her closed eyes as the potent release surged through her. Kirstin’s flesh tingled and her body burned from scorching desire. The act may have been rushed in his opinion, but it was magnificent, as splendid as he was. Urgent, fast sex was also wonderful. She was relieved to learn it not only was fantastic again, but it was even better than the first time. Surely it couldn’t bet even better? she wondered. She would be addicted to him soon!
Snuggled against him as their pounding hearts and ragged breathing returned to normal, Christopher’s right hand teased up and down her left arm. He savored the moment, then with reluctance, he propped on one elbow, gazed down at her, and said, “I have to grab a shower and dress. You, too, woman. Meet you in the kitchen for lunch in fifteen minutes.”
She nodded. Suddenly a frightening thought shot through her head. “Did you forget something in our rush?”
“Protection,” she murmured with pinkening cheeks.
“Nope. I took care of it while you were jumping into bed.”
She let out a sign of relief. “I didn’t notice. I just thought about it.” She sent him a strange look as she asked, “Do you go around prepared for … emergencies?”
He chuckled. “Nope. I just thought it wise to do so around you. I can’t ever tell when … something will come up and I wouldn’t want to spoil the mood by rushing to my room to rummage through my drawer.”
“What if someone sees them? What will they think?”
“Who’s going to see inside my pocket?”
“As tight as your jeans are, doesn’t it make a telltale circle?”
“Are you saying I need to buy a larger pair? Are mine indecent?”
She frowned at him. “Stop teasing, Christopher! I’m serious.”
“Don’t worry about your reputation, Mrs. Lowrey; I’ll protect it also.”
“Nope, I certainly don’t, because it wouldn’t be true. I’ll be careful.”
Kirstin believed his implied promise to prevent complications. After he was gone, she left the bed to get ready for their double date, wanting to look her best. She did a blood-sugar check and dropped some glucose tablets into a pocket. As she took a last peek in the mirror, she prayed his friends would like her, then wondered if that was what Christopher was testing this afternoon. She’d soon see …
As they left John and Maria Two-Fists’ driveway, Kirstin sat sideways in the car seat to chat with them. “Your children are precious, Maria, so well mannered and cheerful. I enjoyed spending time with them.”
The Mexican-American woman tucked straight, shoulder-length hair behind her ears and laughed. “They can be very rowdy when the mood strikes them. I’m glad they were on their best behavior for you. Ask Chris; he’s seen them wild as bucks.”
“Only when John and I get them overexcited with backrides and teasing. They’re great kids. The oldest boy and girl are already rodeo stars in their age category. If you come back to visit, you can see them perform.”
Kirstin’s heart fluttered. “Let me know the dates and I’ll try my best, if it’s on a weekend or a holiday. I can’t take time off from work so soon after beginning a new job.”
Maria’s dark eyes twinkled with mischief and humor as she murmured, “Sometimes I wish I had a job, for the rest. A house and kids, and husband,” she added with a laugh, “work me to exhaustion.”
“You wouldn’t go to work if a job was tossed in your lap, Tsine.”
Maria grinned at John, winked, and concurred, “I know, but I have to remind you once in a while how valuable I am.”
“I know how priceless you are, Tsine.”
“Is that her nickname?” Kirstin asked the officer, whose eyes glowed every time he looked at his lovely wife.
“It’s Apache for love or sweetheart.”
Kirstin liked how John explained the word without embarrassment. She enjoyed watching Christopher interact with other people, with friends, with his best friend as far as she could tell.
“You said you have children and grandchildren?” Maria hinted.
For a time, the women talked about families and Kirstin’s work. Then, the four chatted easily about local and national happenings, the sights nearby, and possible plans for future outings.
They purchased tickets, popcorn, and drinks at the theater located in the North Plains Mall. They took their seats only minutes before the movie began and silenced their conversation for two hours, except for brief whispers.
As they were leaving, they commented enthusiastically on the picture, all agreeing it was an excellent and authentic western.
“The cinematography and costumes were fantastic,” Kirstin remarked to Maria, whom she had learned was a bundle of energy and fun.
“Wait until you see the get-ups at the barbecue next Saturday. Chris said you’re staying over and going with us. We’ll have a great time.”
“I don’t have anything western to wear. Will I look out of place?”
Maria suggested, “Why don’t we find you an outfit now? They have a great store here.”
“I doubt the men want to hang around while we shop.”
“We don’t mind,” the two males said simultaneously.
The dark-haired woman pulled on Kirstin’s arm. “Come on, let’s do it. I can use something new and fancy, too.”
Maria guided them through the mall to the store she had in mind. The men sat on wooden benches outside to wait and chat while the women shopped.
It took only thirty minutes for them to find what they wanted and rejoin the men. Maria related information about their choices. “With luck, we’ll make a country-western woman out of her before she leaves.”
“I’ll get Christopher to teach me the Texas two-step before next weekend so I won’t embarrass him on the dance floor. If I don’t learn it, he’ll be dancing with every woman there except me.”
“I doubt that.” Maria tapped Kirstin’s shopping bag. “With this outfit on, he won’t notice anyone else. Of course, every man there will be breaking in on him to take a whirl with you. When the women see how Chris looks at you, none of them would dare break in except—How about an ice cream?” she asked in a rush to cover the near slip, licking her lips as they neared the specialty store and pretending that had distracted her.
Christopher shook his head. “Kirstin can’t have sugar; she’s diabetic. Why don’t we get a bite to eat? It’s time for her to refuel.”
Kirstin refuted, “You all can get an ice cream first; I don’t mind.”
“Supper can’t wait for you, woman,” Christopher protested.
“I can pop a glucose tablet or two so we can wait longer to eat.”
“No need. I’m starved. What sounds good to you guys?”
“Fred’s Barbecue?” John suggested.
“Too much protein and not enough carbohydrates there for her.”
Kirstin was embarrassed at being discussed this way and controlling their plans. “Not if I use bread to substitute for milk and fruit. They have cole slaw for a vegetable, don’t they?”
“Eat four pieces?” he pointed out. “You also need two starches.”
“I can fill in with glucose tables this one time, Doctor Harrison. Don’t make such a big deal of it.”
“It is a big deal, Kirstin, especially when you’ve been having trouble. That’s why you’re staying with me, remember? To get you balanced.”
While the two mildly argued, John and Maria went to a store window and looked inside and pretended to be interested in the items displayed.
“Please, Christopher, don’t spoil our day. We’re making John and Maria uncomfortable. My books and instructors told me exchanges are fine on rare occasions. Please.”
He saw that he was making her unhappy. “All right; we’ll do it your way this one time.”
She sent him a smile of gratitude. “Thanks.”
“Let’s go to Fred’s,” Christopher told the other couple.
As they passed the Nissan dealership, John asked Kirstin questions about her car repairs. In front of the RV Sales & Rentals, the policeman asked if she liked camping and Kirstin told him she’d never been.
“We love it and do it a lot. Ninety percent of the time, we take the kids with us. We have plenty of scenic spots nearby. I’ve got a great idea. I have Monday, the twentieth, off. Why don’t you rent a motor home, Chris, and we’ll take ours and go see Carlsbad and White Sands? That’s where Kirstin was headed before her accident. We might even tour the Mescalero Reservation if that sounds interesting to her. We could head out early Sunday morning after the Saturday barbecue.”
Stopped at a traffic light, Christopher looked at Kirstin and asked, “How does that sound? You game for roughing it for two days?”
Kirstin kept her face forward to prevent the couple in the backseat from seeing her expression. Travel and sleep together in a camper, she mused, with another couple along? What would they think of her?
As if reading the reason for her surprise and hesitation, Christopher added, “Most have a private bedroom plus a sofa bed in the sitting area. You can take one and me the other.”
“Say yes, Kirstin. We’ll have a wonderful time,” Maria coaxed.
“I … It’s sounds like fun, but …”
“If you’re worried about your reputation, you and Maria can use one camper and John and I will use the other at night. Okay?”
“I suppose that would be all right.”
“Of course it will be,” Maria concluded. “We’ll do it.”
Kirstin was sitting on the bed, a bottle of lotion in her hand, when Christopher entered the room that evening after his chores and checking his office answering machine. He flopped down beside her. She kept a bare foot prop
“I didn’t coerce you into accepting their invitation, did I?”
“No, I was just worried about what they’d think if we stayed together.”
“Always the lady, Mrs. Lowrey?” he teased.
She had straightened the bed, which had been left rumpled after their morning activity there and rush to leave the house. They hadn’t even taken time to pull down the covers, only leapt upon them and made urgent love. “Apparently not, considering our relationship.”
Christopher had noticed her expression and tone of voice during the day whenever she talked about her work and move: pride, joy, and love. He comprehended her need for independence, yet, that need would take her away from him soon. “Why do you think what we’re doing destroys that image?”
“I know times and people have changed, but I wasn’t reared to behave this way. Doing so takes some adjusting.”
“Do you think we’re wrong? Do you regret what we’ve done?”
“No, but that doesn’t mean I want to flaunt it before others. Something private and personal has happened between us. I wouldn’t want them to think I do this all the time, because I don’t.”
“I understand that, Kirstin. I’ll behave around them.” He took the bottle from her and looked at it.
She explained, “Dry skin; it goes with my condition, remember?”
He grinned. “Lie back and let me do this for you.”
She reached for the bottle, but he held it out of her arm’s length. “Christopher, you don’t want to touch my feet.”
“Afraid I have a foot fetish I want to sate on my guinea pig?”
“Don’t be silly. I just can’t imagine you wanting to grease my scaly smelly feet.”
“Will it make it easier if I grease you all over, sneaking in the feet?”
“Sometimes I don’t know what to think about you, Doc.”
“I know what I want you to think.”
“And what’s that?” she asked, trying not to sound as breathless and aroused as she felt.
“That I’m irresistible and you can’t say no to me about anything. Now strip, woman, and lie back.”