Love, English Style (Chapter Fourteen)
Caroline Woodson


The rain had continued all through the night, at times fierce and thundering, and then pouring down with a soft, comforting sound. Their lovemaking had seemed to ebb and flow right along with the storm outside.

Jared awoke with Hannah’s bottom snuggled into his side. Images of what happened the night before assailed him. Looking at the ceiling he grinned to himself. The vision of Hannah sprawled naked on the hood of his ‘Vette with the rain pouring over her was the culmination of a fantasy he hadn’t even known he had. Damn that was hot. His body stirred as he remembered the many other ways they’d pleased one another once they’d finally made it inside. Then his grin faded and tightness filled his chest. Condoms. They hadn’t used a single condom all night. Shit! How could he have been so irresponsible? How could he have gotten that carried away? Jared rubbed his chest trying to ease some of the pressure. He sighed and smiled, remembering the slumberous, sated look in Hannah’s expressive eyes before they drifted off into an exhausted sleep. Jared slid quietly out of bed and immediately missed Hannah’s warmth. He walked naked to the window and peered through the rain dripping off the roof of the house. He’d lain awake for a few minutes after Hannah dozed off, her head on his chest. He’d never felt such bone deep satisfaction as he did laying there holding her in his arms. He refused however to even entertain the idea that he might be falling in love. He looked again at the woman sleeping in his bed, her sweet curves covered only by the thin sheet. He’d touched and tasted every one of those curves and now, standing there he found he wanted her again. He started back to the bed then stopped and headed for the bathroom and the condoms he’d stashed there. He nearly tripped over Hannah’s purse where she’d thrown it to the floor last night in their hurry to get to the bed. He bent to pick it up, spilling some of the contents onto the floor. As he put the things back into the purse his eye caught sight of a little pink packet. He slipped it out of the purse and breathed a sight of relief. Hannah was on the pill. He still wasn’t happy with himself for losing control to the point that he’d forgotten protection. He rubbed his hand over his face and decided he’d shower and shave before he rejoined Hannah for more incredible lovemaking. Whistling under his breath, he headed for the shower.
  Hannah awoke, stretching languorously, some of her muscles protesting the unusual workout they’d gotten the night before. She slowly became aware of her surroundings and couldn’t keep the satisfied smile from spreading across her face. Nor could she keep the flood of memories from taking her back to the incredible feelings she’d experienced last night. She heard Jared singing off key in the shower and a laugh bubbled from her throat. Hannah pulled the covers up to her chin and felt a blush cover her whole body. Oh the things Jared had done to her. Things that had made her beg him for release. But what he’d done to her body was nothing compared to what he’d done to her heart. He’d stolen it. She didn’t know how or exactly when but she knew for a certainty her heart was no longer hers. The thought terrified her. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How foolish she had been to think she could have a physical relationship without her feelings getting in the way. Hannah sighed in resignation. She just wasn’t a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of girl. Damn! Hurriedly she jumped out of bed and into her clothes. She had to get out of there before Jared finished his shower. She couldn’t face him right now. She knew her eyes would give away her love for him and she couldn’t bear the rejection and pity she was sure she’d see in his. Without looking back she ran from the room.
That evening Jared’s brother and very pregnant sister-in-law came by to invite him to Ramey’s for a night out. Jared had flatly refused at first but then Dianne had plopped herself down on the couch saying she couldn’t possibly enjoy herself knowing that her brother-in-law was sitting home alone. Jason hadn’t been so nice about it telling Jared to “get the burr out of your butt and come on.” So here he was staring morosely at the dance floor where he’d held Hannah in his arms just a week ago. Jared had been shocked when he’d found Hannah gone after the night they’d spent together. He’d had plans to spend all of today and possibly tonight in bed with Hannah. Shock had turned to hurt and the hurt to anger in a matter of minutes. The anger had been feeding on itself all day and now Jared was royally pissed. He felt used and found he didn’t like the feeling one bit. Suddenly a woman sat down in the chair across from Jared. “You look like you could use some company cowboy,” she said, her speech slightly slurred. Jared studied the woman through narrowed eyes and tried to remember what her name was. He knew she worked for James Earl and he vaguely recalled seeing her at the party and that she’d flirted outrageously with him the few times he’d visited James Earl at his auto body shop. He just couldn’t seem to get his memory together enough to latch onto her name so he sent her a little smile across the table, tilted his chair back on its legs said, “Well now, company may be just what I need.” The woman smiled and leaned closer putting her elbows on the table and giving Jared a bird’s eye view of a very impressive cleavage. She continued her come-on by staring into Jared’s eyes as she began peeling the label off the long neck bottle she held. Jared sat there watching her hands move up and down the neck of that bottle and tried to concentrate on the blatant message she was sending him. But all Jared’s mind could conjure up was the picture of Hannah lying on the hood of his car screaming her pleasure into the falling rain. Shit! Jared dropped the chair back onto all four legs and shook his head in disgust. Sensing Jared was already losing interest the woman moved into the chair beside him and slid her hand up his thigh stopping just short of cupping him through his jeans. She squeezed lightly and giving Jared a coy smile whispered in his ear, “I gotta go take a pee honey, but when I get back we’ll go out to your truck and I’ll take care of you real good.” She chuckled huskily and wobbled drunkenly toward the lighted hall where the bathrooms were. Jared watched her go and couldn’t help admiring what a great body she had and wondering how she’d poured herself into those jeans when he noticed her name etched onto the back of her belt. Cindee. Jared groaned softly. Oh hell, now he remembered who the woman was and knew he didn’t want to become involved with her even for a mindless one-night stand. He was beginning to realize that no one was going to be able to blot the memory of Hannah and their lovemaking from his mind and he didn’t know what he was going to do about it. This wasn’t a situation he’d ever been in before. He’d had great sex before of course, but with Hannah it was the way he’d felt while making love to her that had his gut tied in knots.

Jared looked up to see Dianne walking toward him holding her very pregnant belly. Her face was flushed but she was smiling. Jared stood and pulled the chair next to his out for her. When they were seated Jared smiled at her, “Well do you think you’re gonna be able to coax the little one into making’ an appearance tonight?” Dianne laughed, “probably not but I’m sure having’ fun trying’. What about you? I haven’t seen you dance with anyone since we’ve been here.” Jared gave her a big smile. The smile. The one with the dimples that knocked any woman from 18 to 88 on her butt. “Well since Jason’s got the prettiest girl out on the floor I figured it just wasn’t worth it.” Dianne smiled even as she rolled her eyes. She nudged his arm playfully, “You’re full of horse hockey. Besides I saw you and Cindee getting kind of cozy over here a few minutes ago.” Jared looked up just in time to see Cindee making her way quickly back to the table looking very much like a woman on a mission. She’d applied even more blood red lipstick to her too large mouth and teased her hair up so high she looked like a really bad Dolly Parton impersonator. She stood behind Jared’s chair and after saying a quick hi to Dianne, slid her arms around Jared’s neck, pressing her breasts against his back. “I’m ready whenever you are baby.” Jared cleared his throat, unwound her hands from his neck and was about to make up some excuse about having to get up early tomorrow morning when Dianne interrupted saying excitedly, “Hey Jared there’s Hannah Tate and her cousins. I haven’t seen her since she moved into her grandparent’s old house. It’s the one right next to yours isn’t it? I’m gonna go over and say hello.” Dianne excused herself and waddled over to join in the girl talk.

Jared stood and met Hannah’s shocked gaze and everything else just fell away. He knew Cindee was speaking to him, could almost feel her hand sliding over his chest and her breast against his arm. From across the room he could see the uncertainty, even fear in Hannah’s hazel eyes. He could tell Hannah was holding her breath. Jared’s blood ran hot and fast through his veins. Jared knew he was still angry but was honest enough with himself to know that lust and desire were there in equal amounts as well. Then he saw Hannah’s gaze slide down to the woman plastered to his side and the hurt he saw in her eyes squeezed at his heart. Hannah’s gaze slid back to his and this time all he saw was disgust and anger. Fury at what he considered Hannah’s judgment of him seared through his brain and he wanted nothing more than to shout at her that she was the one who’d run from their lovemaking, not him. That she was the reason he was allowing Cindee to crawl all over him. But he wouldn’t give her that satisfaction. He touched the tip of his finger to the brim of his hat in a mocking salute before heading for the door, his arm slung loosely around Cindee’s neck, his fingers just brushing the top of her breast. They’d just passed Hannah and were almost out the door when he heard someone scream Jason’s name. He stopped and a few seconds later he could hear his brother yelling for him. He shoved Cindee away and got to Jason’s side just in time to see him lower Dianne to the floor. Jason, his face gone pale looked at Jared and said, “It’s the baby, call an ambulance!”



Copyright © 2005 Caroline Woodson
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