One Hot Fall Term
I’m Mia Reynolds, 19 years old, and I have to leave the guy I love to go to the college of my dreams.
When my mom and I came to Milltown to live, it was like starting all over again. I pretended my past abuse didn’t exist. And by some miracle I found something I thought I’d never find, something I believed I was too screwed up to ever have: an amazing, sweet, decent, gorgeous guy.
Ryan Taylor has survived a tough past too. It has made him into the most honorable guy I’ve ever known. But to build our futures, Ryan and I have to split up and go to colleges on opposite sides of the country. I fear our last night together may be the end of our relationship. I’m determined to give up my vow to be good and seduce Ryan. I want one night of passion with the guy I love.
But after the hottest, most incredible night I can imagine, Ryan and I promise to make a long distance relationship work.
Then, at Yardley College I meet Jonathon Powell, the wild, arrogant, powerful son of a billionaire. He pursues me and I fight to resist temptation because I love Ryan. Jonathon becomes my best friend, but I keep wondering if he still wants more…
Then everything changes. Ryan goes “AWOL” from his college and comes to see me. I know I have to make him go back, but it’s too tempting to be with him—even just for one white-hot, wicked weekend. As Jonathon helps me cope with my past, he tries to make me see that he and I should be together. I would never give Ryan up, but when Ryan begins to discover the secrets I’ve kept from him, will I lose him forever?
(This story is intended for readers 18 years of age and older.)
Read an Excerpt
This excerpt contains explicit sexual material and is intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
It’s only the first weekend in September, but it’s cold out here on the dock. I undo my jeans and wriggle to push them down, exposing my butt in thong underwear to the frigid night air. I can see my breath, even though last week it was still summer. Goosebumps race over my bared butt cheeks. They already sprinkle my arms and chest, since I’ve stripped down to my bra and my t-shirt is lying on the planks of the dock, on top of my shoes.
I stop and rub my arms, trying to warm up. Am I covered in bumps because I’m cold or because I’m nervous? When I’m finally naked, I’m supposed to jump into the lake. And that rippling, black water looks freezing. Waves slap against the side of the dock. The smell of smoke from the cabin’s fireplace fills the crisp air. Music sounds faintly from the cabin and laughter spills off the deck. The sounds of an end of summer party and I have to bite my lip because tears are burning in the corners of my eyes. I’m nostalgic sometimes, and this weekend—my last before I leave for college—is killing me. In so many ways.
I have my back to Ryan, but I peek over my shoulder. In the pitch dark—clouds cover the sliver of moon—I can barely see him. I hear the boards creak under his feet and his fly unzip, and I hear his breathing. Ryan runs ten miles every morning and evening, and he never seems to be out of breath when he’s finished. But tonight, his breathing sounds fast and furious.
Just like mine.
“Whoa Jesus, that’s cold.”
I take another peek and hear his footsteps as he walks to the end of the dock, out of my field of vision. I suppose I can’t ogle him until I get everything off and let him get a look at me.
I’ve never seen Ryan naked. That’s funny and strange, coming from me, but I promised I was going to be different—everything was going to be different when mom and I came here to Milltown to live. It was like starting over again. And by some miracle I found something I thought I’d never find, something I was too screwed up to ever have.
An amazing, sweet, decent—not to mention uber gorgeous—guy. When Ryan went west to do his tour of his future military college in the summer, he sent me a rose. A single, perfect red rose in a crystal vase, delivered to my front door by courier. Why? Because he was going to be away from me for two days and he missed me.
Even remembering it, standing freezing on the dock, I start blinking. Damn, the tears are starting. I promised I would get through this one night without crying. I’ve got lots of time to cry on the trip to Yardley College—two days to do nothing but think about Ryan.
Tonight I get to see him. I’m not going to screw that up by being sad a couple of days early. Tonight I know exactly what I’m going to do. This is probably it for Ryan and I—he’s going to be in the state of Washington at a military school, I’m going to be at Yardley College in New Hampshire. For tonight, I’ve decided to ditch the good girl thing.
I’m going to make love to Ryan for the first and basically only time.
I’ve got one night to throw away all my promises to be sweet and good—the exact opposite of what I really am. I’ve thought about sex with Ryan for months now, and I’ve restrained myself. But I don’t want to go the rest of my life wishing I’d taken the chance to make love to a guy I love.
So I commit. I shove down my jeans and kick them aside. Undies next or bra? I guess the bra, and it’s a fight to unhook it. Bras are my addiction. This one is candy pink with white lace and even though it’s dark, the bra practically glows. My breasts bounce as it comes off and tighten as a wave of goosebumps wash over them. My nipples go hard at once and I cup my boobs with my hands in a desperate attempt to warm them.
Why—so the shock of the water hurts more?
I have to release my breasts anyway to ditch the thong. At least I can see my bra, shining like a beacon in the night—like a lighthouse for crazy females about to skinny dip in frigid water. I know where to toss my undies.
Clouds part above me and shafts of silver-blue moonlight fall on us and the water.
“Mia—” Ryan’s voice, deep and sexy and low, stops abruptly. Nineteen—like me—Ryan possesses the hottest vocals of any guy at Hubert J. Rory High. Baritone tones and a deep, throaty laugh. The first time I heard him read a section of Shakespeare in English class, I swear I almost had a climax on the spot. And that was for MacBeth.
I turn quickly. A spike of fear—this is going to be it. We’re going to be a thousand miles apart. He’s going to break up with—
I forgot I’m naked. My breasts swing, nipples perky, the curves limned with silver. But I’m staring at Ryan. Seriously, I’ve seen David Beckham’s underwear ads, and Becks didn’t begin to look as good as Ryan. Bulging muscle defines his straight shoulders, and his chest is broad and bronzed from the sun. A tattoo of a dragon perches on his left pectoral muscle. Just looking at his arm muscles makes me feel a tug deep inside. A hard, visceral tug telling me how much I want to wrap myself around him and take him deep inside me.
It is more intense when you’re in love. Now I know. The jolt of desire is so strong my legs shake. My gaze coasts down his amazing gut. His stomach is a flat plane, with an eight-pack instead of a six. Who knew there were that many muscles?
I let my eyes go a little lower—
“Mia, you’re beautiful.” Awe fills his voice. Awe that wraps around my heart and makes it feel warm and soft, like it did when I signed for my perfect rose.
He laughs. A rough, totally masculine chuckle that sends shivers through me.
“I—I’m freezing. You, however, are completely gorgeous.” It’s on the tip of my tongue to compliment him more. To say he’s huge. To gasp, or take another furtive look between his legs and marvel as though I’ve never seen a guy’s cock before.
I’ve never seen one like Ryan’s, I have to admit. It’s perfectly straight and points toward his navel. Blond hair skims down his stomach in an arrow then cuddles the hilts his erection with crisp curls.
He laughs, then sobers. “Do you really want to do this?”
I don’t know what he means. Get naked? We’ve just done it. Have sex? Oh God, yes I do. After all the times I’ve shut my eyes and pretended things weren’t happening, this time I want to open my eyes wide and savor every wonderful moment with Ryan.
“Are you sure you want to go swimming?”
Swimming. Oh yeah, almost forgot about that. “You did dare me,” I hedge. “I never turn down a dare.”
“That was something I never expected about you,” he says. “You look too serious and smart to give a crap about dares. But you’re crazier than me.” He grins, showing his dimples. “So you aren’t going to back down?”
“If you don’t want to jump and you want to let me win, I’m good with that.”
He holds out his hand. “No way, babe. We’re in this together.”
My heart gets utterly squeezed. Every girl loves Ryan’s hair, which is now buzz-cut short since he’s going to military college. It looks soft as velvet and every female in senior year wants to find out for herself by stroking it. I can’t resist, standing on tiptoe to try to run my palm over it now.
That lifts my breasts upward and he groans.
“I think I’m going to need to hit that cold water.”
No, I want to say, you don’t.
Ryan is like no guy I’ve ever known. We’re standing in front of each other naked, and he still is not completely certain this is going to lead to sex.
Sometimes I used to cry myself to sleep. I used to think: what if I meet a nice guy, the kind of guy who would be wonderful and romantic and who you’d want to be married to forever? How can I have that nice, perfect, beautiful guy after what I’ve done?
Now I think I can—as long as I don’t ever tell the truth.
Standing beside Ryan, I stretch and dip my toe in the water off the edge of the dock. I scream. “Oh my god, it’s freezing.”
I try to haul my toe out fast and I’m so stiff with cold I lose my balance. My arms flail. My heart stops beating—as if in preparation for the pain I’m about to endure. Ryan grabs for me. His fingers graze my arm and he tries to catch my wrist but my arms swing wildly, out of his reach.
For a moment, I hang in space, then icy water slaps my back, wraps around my arms and legs, and sucks me into the cold, black depths. God, it feels like my lungs seized and my heart really did stop, and I suck in water in a silent scream.
A splash beside me and a rush of bubbles. Strong arms wrap around me and I’m being lifted to the surface. It’s Ryan; he jumped in after me. I can swim, but when I hit the cold, it was like I forgot how to do it.
We burst through the surface. Ryan treads water, drawing me against him, my back to his chest, so I can cough out water and breathe again. “Thank you.” He jumped in after me, into icy water, without even thinking about it. That thought warms me. Also, my extremities are going numb.
There’s a parting in the dark grey clouds, letting moonlight spill down.
His arm is around me, strong and secure. “Are you okay, Mia?”
I tread water too. My ass bumps his cock, which is soft now. I imagine his balls must be sucked up tight in this cold. He leans back, pulling me with him. Powerful kicks glide us through the water to the ladder that hangs down the dock. My fingers are so numb I can barely make them curl around the sides. I start pulling myself out. A breeze rushes past. My nipples tighten so fast they almost jump off and run away.
Ryan’s hand is at my waist, helping me up. Then he cups my butt, giving me a push. “Stop pushing,” I say. “You know what we forgot?”
“Our brains?” Ryan asks. “I did a polar bear swim up here one drunken night in February and I swear the water was warmer than this. Come on, Mia. Get up the ladder and let me out of here.”
“We forgot towels.”
He curses, something Ryan almost never does. Unlike most guys, who swear in front of females because they believe it makes them sound cool (really, they should hear my mom when she’s stuck in traffic), Ryan refuses to use what he calls ‘profane language’ in front of a woman.
He swims to the side of the ladder, puts both hands on the dock and pushes himself out of the water and onto his knee on the boards in one smooth, efficient motion. This makes his triceps bulge—he has amazing, huge triceps. They are bigger than my biceps, far bigger. His hips come out of the water, then his tight butt. Water runs down him, making him look as sleek as a seal. His short hair is plastered down, a caramel color in the darkness.
Two fast strides take him to his pile of clothes. He picks up his plaid shirt and he comes back to me. Taking my hand, he literally hauls me out of the water and he wraps his shirt around me.
“Ryan, I can’t take this. I’m soaking it. Anyway, what about you?”
But I pad over, half hunched over to desperately use any body heat I have. I pick up my t-shirt and pull it on. It’s tight and sticks to my wet body. I hand Ryan his now wet shirt and he puts it on. I cuddle up against him, trying to warm him up. It’s a way of thanking him. The top of my head reaches his collar bones and I lick the cold water off his smooth pecs with my tongue. His shirt is open and he closes it around me. We’re sharing warmth—or we would be if we had any actual heat to share.
“You know what we should do to warm up?” I tip my head up and whisper it. Not brilliant, but I can’t think of a smart way to ask for sex.
“I can run up to the cabin and get you a towel,” he says.
He’s amazing, still not getting what I’m talking about. With his muscled body—he’s incredibly well developed for nineteen—his gorgeous face (a sensitive, stunning Orlando Bloom sort of face)—he could get laid anytime he wanted just by smiling. Almost any female would follow him home. Yet he’s not like that.
“I was thinking of something else.” I don’t know what to say. I tend to be shy and trip over my tongue or not be able to think of anything brilliant to express all the emotion in my head and my heart. That’s happening now. So I have to act. I peel off my t-shirt. I press against his body, my bare breasts pushing against his chest. I put my mouth—hopefully warm—to his pecs. Planting a kiss there, I stick out my tongue, then lick him, tasting the wet saltiness and Ryan-flavor of him, savoring the velvety texture of his skin against my tongue.