Long, Slow Ride
an Oh, Yum!
Quickie by Mardi Ballou
from Ellora’s Cave
Also available in print in the Better with Age
anthology with five other great stories
an excerpt. Enjoy!
“Want to dance?”
Surprised, Lori Nelson looked up at the hot young guy holding his hand
out to her. Jeff, the only other unattached person at her table at the
wedding was doing the polite thing and offering to rescue her from wallflower
status. The fact that he was the bride and groom’s chauffeur shouldn’t
count against him, right?
“Uh, thanks. That’s really nice of you but not necessary.” Even though
the deejay was spinning Aretha’s “RESPECT,” one of her all-time favorites,
and she’d been drumming her fingers on the table and wiggling in her chair,
she figured she should act her age -- at least a decade older than Jeff
-- and sit it out.
He kinda leered at her. “I want to dance. You sure as hell look like
you do. I want to dance with you. End of story.” He half dragged her out
of her chair. Okay, so he didn’t have to drag too hard. Aretha was hard
to resist. So was Jeff.
A lot taller than her -- and buffer -- Jeff gave Lori a major workout
as they boogied. Luckily, she’d been extra conscientious about getting to
the gym since the break-up with Charlie. All the extra kickboxing she’d mentally
aimed at his pointed head helped her almost keep up.
The deejay segued from “RESPECT” to “Yesterday.” That was a low blow.
The last thing she wanted to think about was all her yesterdays with that
low-life scum Charlie. Luckily there was an open bar. Lori thanked Jeff and
was about to head there when he drew her back to him. “This one too, pretty
lady,” he whispered, giving her goose bumps with the sound of his voice and
the expression in his ocean gray eyes.
Heck, one slow dance with him would probably be better than the double
vodka that had been Plan A. Besides, she could have her drink after the
“The pleasure’s all mine,” he murmured, enveloping her in his very strong
Hmm, up close and personal, Jeff’s body was all hard planes and barely
contained energy -- emphasis on hard. In moments, his erection made its
presence known pressed against her belly. Ah, the pleasures of dancing with
a younger man. “How old are you, Jeff?” she whispered in his ear.
She swallowed hard. He was even younger than she’d thought. “Sure you
know what you’re doing? I’m thirty-six.”
“Cool.” He held her even tighter, which she wouldn’t have thought possible.
Cool definitely did not describe the way she felt in his arms. A pool of
warmth had gathered smack in her groin, spiraling waves of inappropriate
but not unwelcome desire from head to toe. Jeff was definitely cute -- okay,
hot -- but he was so not for her. Those spiraling waves had merged into one
gigantic tidal burst that threatened to pull her under.
“Yesterday” ended. Without breaking stride, they continued dancing to
“When I Fall in Love”. Of course, by this point, it didn’t really matter
what the deejay played. Jeff and Lori were locked in their embrace, barely
moving and just about oblivious to everyone and everything.
Too bad she couldn’t allow herself to linger in the delicious haze of
being with him. She snapped to alert and mentally smacked herself for what
she was thinking, trying -- not too hard -- to break away. Jeff’s crisp citrus
scent invited her to lick and then take a bite. The way he held her, she
suspected he wouldn’t mind. Heck, he’d probably lick and bite her right
back. She shuddered at the prospect of his full, sensuous lips parting so
he could take a taste. Her nipples beaded and she leaned into him even harder
because the perverse, bad girl side of herself wanted him to feel her reaction.
His groan expressed approval. So did his growing erection.
The proximity to his arousal practically had her whimpering with need.
So close but, in reality, way beyond reach. Cripes, she was on a public
dance floor with her work buddies all around her. They’d gathered for a
colleague’s wedding. No matter how much booze had flowed and how dim the
lights were, people would notice and talk.
“I hate to say this but,” he rasped in her ear, arching his hips so she
knew they were on the same track. “Duty calls. I’ve got to go now. Trust
me, I don’t want to leave you.”
So they wouldn’t even get to have the last dance together. She pulled
herself into polite, professional mode and cleared her throat. “Nice meeting
you, Jeff. Thanks for the dance -- er, dances.”
His eyes devoured her. “Uh-uh, this is not good-bye...”
2008 Mardi Ballou