“I love your hair.” The first words Jesse ever spoken to Eve Thompson had caused the warm spot centered between her light sienna thighs to tingle with anticipation of his next syllable.
Although it was over a year ago, she remembered the instant the man with the cropped honey blond hair and muscular arms that bulged from beneath a sleeveless white tee moved through the lecture hall doors and closed in on her like a circling hunter that had spotted its next prey. Jesse Dawson. The moment he stepped into the half empty classroom, she had been immediately intimidated by the piercing and ethereal color of his haunting gray eyes. Jesse had spotted Eve and pinned her to her seat with one glance and she had become helpless to do anything but follow his every step from door to chair, completely transfixed by the regal angles of his intoxicatingly handsome face.
His gaze had never wavered from hers as he folded his soaring height and athletic body into the seat beside her. When Jesse had looped one long and thick index finger around the curled ends of several of Eve’s thin cocoa brown micro-braids and uttered that first sentence, she belonged to him mind and body from that moment forth. Even if he had no clue of the magnetic hold he possessed over her, there would never be another man who could ever enrapture Eve in this way. Jesse’s bold charisma was genuine and one enchanting glance was all that was needed to seduce Eve’s heart.
On that initial meeting, after only one glimpse into his eyes, a fascinating mix of smoked ice and gathering storm clouds, and Eve had become hopelessly infatuated with Jesse. Her problem, both then and now, was that she was too terrified of his rejection to make an attempt at confessing her burning feelings for him. Could a man who was destined to be added to the pages of some sports hall of fame and who could steal a woman’s heart with one enticing stare ever return her love?
Standing here today, after making a mad dash up the NJ Turnpike in her roommate Tiffany’s mustard yellow beetle shaped two door car, and watching Jesse bring home an inevitable win for his team, she wondered would there ever be a time when he desired more from her than simple companionship. Despite some of his flirtatious ways, he had never pushed to move there deepening relationship beyond the strict limits of a platonic friendship, and maybe he never would. The question Eve was starting to pose to herself, more often now than ever, was if a casual pairing with Jesse was enough anymore?
With each new day that passed, and whenever their bodies were even within an inch of one another, Eve’s palms itched – even ached sometimes – to lay playful and nimble fingertips over the plentiful expanse of Jesse’s pounds and pounds of heavy and hard muscle. One sign, one syllable uttered from his perfectly kissable pink lips to confirm his desire for her existed was all Eve was panting for. And if that day ever arrived, she wouldn’t be able to hold back the bank of burgeoning and lusty affections that swam through her mind every second of the day for Jesse.
With her eyes trained on Jesse, who was standing like a mighty goliath at the pitcher’s mound, Eve could make out the shine coming off of his toasted peach skin. Another pause inched by and then Jesse centered his attention to the players ahead of him. He dipped his head, blew out a few breaths and then brought his hidden eyes level with the batter and the catcher behind him.
Eve’s attention was glued to the tense scene playing out before her. Anthony Rio was a massive man and had been Jesse’s archrival for their three years of competitions against one another. When he was ready, he nodded and lined up his hardened body into his best form. A solid stance, an elongated pause, and then he fired his shot down the line and toward Eli.
Eve listened to the crackle of the microphone as the announcer called the play second by second. When she saw Anthony’s long and muscled arms twist and his bat reach out to claim the ball, her lungs ceased to move. Not one gasp of air passed through her body until she was sure that Jesse’s fastball had completely zipped by Rio’s aim.
She and Tiffany cried out together as the announcer called the game. 8-7 for the Red Lions. Eve hugged her friend and then turned her sights back to center field where Jesse’s teammates stampeded over to thrust him up onto their huddled shoulders.
After a few seconds, he was climbing down from the heap of players and forcing his way through the massive throng of spectators. The closer his long legs pushed toward her, the more she recognized the feral look on his face. It was the same as when they had first met.
She bit her bottom lip. Eve was completely spellbound as Jesse maneuvered past fans and well-wishers who had spilled out on the field. Those smoky gray eyes had only one target and Eve found that she was at its center, frozen in place. The expansive field could have been empty of anyone else and neither she nor Jesse would have noticed. As he sliced a path directly through the swell of fans and toward Eve, his handsome face neither grinned at folks who patted his back as he passed by nor uttered one word of thank you to those who congratulated him on the win. The closer he moved toward her, the tighter Eve’s chest became with heated anticipation.
When he finally reached Eve and positioned his herculean physique in front of her, a long and sensual shiver ran down her spine, forcing her nipples to pebble beneath her lavender halter top. The perspiration on his tanned face, from a long day of playing hard ball out in the hazy heat, made him appear ruggedly gorgeous. An urgent need to run through the tendrils of the soaked blond hair hanging from beneath his cap made the fingers on her right hand twitch. Under her denim shorts, a spot of hot moisture puddled inside of her white panties. Even under the shade of the hat, his sparkling gray eyes danced with life and pulsed with magical charm.
If she had even a pinch of the courage she pretended to hold, Eve would have be able to easily tell this man her true feelings for him. She parted her lips to say something, to cut the cloak of tension that was hanging between them while she stood silently admiring the man who had stolen her heart long ago. Her intent was to keep her burning confession simple – congratulations, good job, great play…I love you. Yet, all she could manage to utter was one simple sentence to ask if he was all right.
To her pleasant surprise, his fingers reached out and coiled themselves securely into the twists of her braided hair. With a heart-melting amount of tenderness that caused Eve’s legs to wobble slightly off balance, Jesse placed one heavy hand on her right cheek. Instantly, at first the first gentle touch, her stomach was filled with the fluttering of soft butterfly wings. The sensation of his sizzling palm on her skin was electrifying and a low moan escaped from her throat. While Eve basked in the protective feel of his careful embrace, Jesse leaned forward and laid his warm mouth over hers and caressed her slightly parted lips with his own.
As patrons carried on the merriment all around them, Eve opened her mouth to eagerly receive Jesse’s ravenous kiss. Such a sweet surprise was already enough for her to release her full weight into his arms but when he inserted his wet tongue smoothly into her mouth, she very nearly launched herself into his brawny arms and wrapped her legs around him in a feral hold. Only the thin cord of modesty from her subconscious kept her feet planted to the withering grass. If the pair had been alone, far away from the bustling crowd, Eve made no guarantees that the end result of keeping her cool under such fiery pressure would have turned out the same.
It had taken one year, four months, and three days for Jesse to work up to this point. Now, standing here, holding Eve’s beautiful face in his grasp and tasting her sweet lips returning his heated affection for her, every second of that time all seemed to be well worth the extended wait. By the way Eve pressed her velvety lips against his and wiggled her nimble tongue during the length of their passionate kiss, Jesse could sense that she shared in his delight that this encounter had finally come to pass.
Jesse held a mighty strength in hands but he wanted Eve to only know of his most delicate touch while he had her wrapped in his arms. He poured out every tortuous moment of his yearning to touch her in this way from within his body and through hers. He kept his eyes open during the kiss. The need to memorize every detail was far too great. He wanted to lock every flutter of Eve’s lashes and every nearly imperceptible moan that escaped from deep within her into his memory forever.
Reluctantly, Jesse slowly pulled his lips away from Eve so they each could draw in a breath of air. He watched as Eve’s eyes flickered open. Circling the dark pupils at the center of her light brown irises was the smallest splash of gold. Her tempting and exotic features silently beckoned to Jesse, urging him to draw her in ever closer against his overheated body and stirring his manhood beneath the uniform pants. If he didn’t control himself, Eve would most certainly start to feel his hardness pushing deeper into her belly.
Though his hands were less than two inches from her ample ass, he held them in place at the inward curve of her lower back. Jesse wanted to indulge himself in her flavor once more but was nearing the point of no return. One more sensual kiss and he might find himself throwing Eve over his shoulder and sprinting toward his car. There would be a time and a place for that intimate touch, far away from spying and prying eyes. Eve was his good girl, his precious lady, and she deserved more than a backseat test drive. He stepped back just enough to add a sliver of space to separate their two anxious bodies but made sure to keep the tips of their noses and their brows joined together. He couldn’t be completely separated from his Evie, not when he had waited so long to have her pressed this close to him.
“You made it.” Jesse breathed out his excitement across her moistened toffee shaded lips.
“Of course I did. This is the only place I need to be…with you,” Eve whispered into his mouth and Jesse couldn’t help but to graze his lips across hers once more.
She pushed herself up on her toes and her small hands wrapped themselves around the back of his neck. Jessie felt her little fingers slip through the wet strands of hair that hung from the back of his cap. After a moment of teasing play, the digits moved down to stroke the sensitive spot between his two sore shoulder blades, driving the heat surging through his core up to a dizzying temperature.
Jesse’s bent down further and laid his chin on her bare shoulder. He kissed that warm spot then settled his face at the crook of her neck.
“I thought you weren’t going to show.”
“You know I would never miss this game. I’m your number one fan.”
The unison of their laughter prompted Jesse to hug Eve tighter. Although his attraction to Eve had escalated from arousal to explicit lust over the past year, Jesse wanted Eve to know that he desired more than merely her body. He was devotedly in love with every minute detail about her and her very presence in his life meant more than words could express.
On the day he walked into the lecture hall Eve was sitting in, Jesse had been following her around like a silly school boy. He had spent most of that afternoon trying to figure out an excuse or find an opportunity to introduce himself to her. Back then he couldn’t admit how instantly infatuated he had become with her but now his need to have her as his lover was spurring on the admission he was about to make. Eve deserved to know how much she meant to him today because tomorrow wasn’t promised to either of them.
“I shouldn’t have waited this long to say this to you, Eve.” He stroked her flushed cheek with the pad of his thumb while he spoke into her glowing skin. “I want you to be mine, Evie. I have since the first day I saw you walking across campus. I had a tiny crush on you then but you mean so much more to me now. I need you in my life.”
“Jesse,” she gasped a little when she said his name and leaned away slightly to stare up into his eyes. “I always assumed friendship was as far as you wanted to take this relationship.”
“Sweetheart, all I want is for you to say that you feel the same for me.”
“Of course, I do.”
Eve tightened her hold around his torso and Jesse became a prisoner in her mesmerizing gaze. He loved how it seemed as if she was reluctant to let go of him because his attachment to her was equally as powerful. It was a link that would make their hearts inseparable from this moment on and forever afterward.
He crooked his fingers under Eve’s chin and angled her face upward. This time Jesse closed his eyes while he tasted her sweet lips against his.
As if on cue, a female’s curt voice cut the connection short.
“I leave you alone for five minutes and look what you’re already up to, missy.”
Unwilling to release his embrace from around his lady, Jesse eased his eyes toward the speaker. He had no choice but to grin at the spunkiness of Ms. Tiffany Arthur, who was standing there, arms crossed over her bosom, with an expression similar to that of a mother hen who was just now catching up with one her wayward babies.
He felt movement within his hands. Jesse didn’t want to let Eve slip away from him but he understood her sudden flash of shyness at having one of her girlfriends standing so close by and inspecting their every move.
“Hey Tiff,” Eve sputtered the words out, “I was looking for you.”
A dark crimson blush was spreading like a wildfire over her cocoa cheeks. A nervous middle finger ran over the long lengths of the tiny braids that had spilled down the front of her halter top. Eve’s natural hairstyle and earthy beauty were only a quick pair from a long list of reasons why Jesse had fallen so insanely in love with this woman.
“I am so sure that you were,” Tiffany said as an easy grin slipped up her full cheeks. “Glad to see that my pal Jesse here was able to keep your company while you hunted high and low for me. I can see that you guys were searching everywhere that included this one spot.”
He smirked when Eve’s light eyes widened as she clamped back a giggle.
“Hi, Tiff, how are you?”
“Well, hello, Jesse. I’m wonderful and feeling more loved now that you finally noticed me standing here.”
As Eve attempted to collect her composure – a ball of laughter still threatened to spill from her pretty lips – Tiffany turned her perceptive sights back on him. Jesse and Tiffany had known one another for years. As far as Jesse was aware, his childhood friend from their hometown of Arnott Plains, PA had kept his crush on Eve a secret; however, she had no hesitation about frequently voicing to him how much she was looking forward to the day when her two closest friends finally coupled up.
A shuffling of feet over the dry blades of yellowish grass drew the trio’s attention to the arrival of Eli as he jogged toward them from the other side of the field.
“Hey, Jess, are you coming? We’re all ready to go.”
One glance in Eli’s direction and Jesse didn’t even bother to reply. It was easy to see that Eli’s full attention had quickly been stolen away. His emerald green eyes floated over and landed on Tiffany. He followed up his obvious delight by flashing a wide grin in her direction. After he came to a stop only inches away from her, an eager arm darted out and snaked its way around the midsection of Tiffany’s form fitting yellow summer dress.
“Tiffany, baby,” her name trickled from Eli’s slick grin like a delicious treat, “You look mouth watering today.”
Eli was laying it on heavy but from the entranced look on Tiffany’s cocoa face, she was feeding into his smooth machismo.
“Well, thank you, sweetie…as do you,” she returned the favor with her own impish glare. “Sorry we missed your game, but it looks like you managed to work out somehow without us.”
“Tiff, you already know I could never make a win without you here. Jesse and I were waiting for you and Eve to get here so we could show off for you before we won the game.” He winked one of his sparkling green jewels after he spoke and it was Tiffany’s turn to blush. “Listen, we’re all gonna’ go over to a little after party at a house a few miles up I-95. I know my lovely lady is gonna’ come and spend some quality time with me, right?”
Eli had never made it a secret that he had a lusty eye aimed at Tiffany once he had seen what a curvy and full figured woman she had become since high school. Old habits die hard and Tiffany had become a temptation that Eli seemed reluctant to break. His attempts at trying to entice her into a steamy affair had thus far been unsuccessful. Ms. Tiffany seemed pleased with playing this perpetual game of raunchy cat and flirtatious mouse. The poor guy had been dangling from her string for years and seemed to be enjoying every heartbreaking moment.
Jesse shook his head in baffled amusement. While Eli drew Tiffany closer into a more private conversation and showed no signs of attempting to separate himself from her side, Jesse was finally able to return his attention back to Eve. He eliminated the tiny gap of space that separated them and intertwined his right hand with Eve’s smaller left one. He brought her fingers up to his lips to lay a kiss at the center of her folded knuckles, and then he raised his face to kiss her forehead. Now that their passion for one another had been revealed it would become an impossible task to hold back his hands from constantly seeking to touch her soft skin or from trying to explore every part of her body.
The nagging feeling that his time with Eve was racing against an unseen clock was still crawling at the back of his mind. Without speaking, still holding Eve’s hand with a firm grip, Jesse turned and moved them through the humid afternoon air, past the thinning crowd, and back toward his scarlet red sports car parked at the back of the lot.
Jesse had made the snap decision that tonight he would have Eve all to himself. There would be no more barriers to keep them apart. Before the night was done, he was going to make sure that Eve would know and feel every detail about his burning desire to satisfy her in every way imaginable.
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