Riding Out the Storm

By: Emma Jay


He was smelling her on his skin. God. She hadn’t thought she could be turned on again so soon. Wait until he found out what she’d tucked in his pocket when they were straightening their clothes.

She felt another pair of eyes on her and looked up to see Zach watching her. Of course he’d know what she’d been doing in the supply room. Why had he been the one to come looking for her? She returned his gaze defiantly. She no longer had feelings for him, had fallen into a workable relationship, but the smug expression on his face gave her pause. Was he jealous?

Before she had time to reason it out, a movement from Ethan drew her gaze. His nostrils flared and when he raised his eyes to look at her, they were dark with desire, and a promise of retribution.

He’d found her panties in his pocket.





Chapter Two



March 18

To: [email protected]

From: [email protected]

Subject: Bouncing!

Get Mr. Strait to send you to the conference in Boulder with me! Will be perfect—hotel room, big bed, room service. Perfect way to celebrate my anniversary.

****

March 18

To: [email protected]

From: [email protected]

Subject: Re: Bouncing!

He’ll never go for it.

****

March 18

To: [email protected]

From: [email protected]

Subject: Re: Bouncing!

Holy crap, he went for it.

****

When the two of them had planned this weekend, Jill hadn’t taken a snowstorm into account. No, her plan was to get to the conference hotel in Boulder, go to Ethan’s room wearing a coat and the red lace bra and thong she wore right now, and screw him blind.

And then Mr. Strait had thrown a last minute wrench in when he announced that Zach Purser would be accompanying them. Her ex now sat in the back seat of their rental car as if they weren’t creeping along, hoping the windshield wipers didn’t give out.

She really wished she hadn’t told Ethan that she and Zach had slept together, because he was tense enough dealing with the weather. Meanwhile, Zach was his carefree self, which just seemed to make Ethan’s jaw clench tighter.

Two men couldn’t be more different. Quiet, serious Ethan was the taller and broader of the two, slower to smile, but when he did, dimples dented his cheeks. Zach was half a head shorter, with dark hair, a muscular body and a quick wit, though often he spoke before he thought.

Maybe part of Ethan’s appeal was that he was so different from Zach, who hadn’t exactly broken her heart so much as made her look at herself in the mirror and decide this wasn’t the life she wanted. She’d taken a year off so she could learn how to make good decisions, and she was pretty sure she’d learned how. Steady, sexy Ethan—that was what she wanted.

“We’re going to have to find a place to stay until this is over.” Ethan leaned forward as if that could help him see through the snow piling on the windshield. “Keep your eyes peeled, both of you.”

She shifted and her erect nipples rasped the lace of her new bra. Usually that would bother her, but she’d spent so many days anticipating tonight, planning for every outcome—except the blizzard—the sensation aroused her.

“There.” Zach leaned between the seats and pointing. “I see a sign.”

****

One room. Two beds. The three of them stood inside the door of the single remaining motel room, two double-sized beds with polyester bedspreads with what might have looked like Native American-inspired zigzags in eye-scorching colors. But the tasteless décor had nothing on the disappointment weighing in Jill’s belly, reflected on Ethan’s tight face. No sex tonight, not with Zach a few feet away, trapped with them. Poor Ethan. He’d been so patient.

Without looking at her, Ethan crossed to the heater and cranked it up, but the room was still frigid.

Zach sighed and dropped his bag on the dresser. “How are we going to do this?”

“Well, Jill should have her own bed,” Ethan said magnanimously.

“Dude.” Zach folded his arms over his chest. “I’m not sleeping with you in that little bed. You’re huge.”

Ethan looked over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. “We can put pillows in between, if you’re scared I’m going to make a move.”

Zach huffed a breath and hooked a thumb at the two flat pillows at the top of each bed. “Yeah. I don’t think so.”

“Did you ask if they had extra beds?”

Zach leaned back against the dresser. “Of course I asked.” He turned from Ethan to Jill. “Look, I know you two have a thing going on. You two take that bed and I’ll take this one.” He gestured to the one closest to the bathroom.

Jill’s nerves quivered. How hard would it be to sleep next to Ethan knowing they couldn’t do anything? And to sleep with Ethan in front of Zach? But she nodded, without a glance at Ethan to see his reaction. Maybe the storm wouldn’t last long. Maybe by this time tomorrow they’d be on their own and tearing each other’s clothes off. Was it wrong to pray for something so decadent?

Zach opened his bag, pulled out two shirts, then shrugged out of his coat and opened his shirt. Jill couldn’t help admiring the play of muscles in his arms and chest as he shrugged out of the shirt and pulled on a thermal shirt, then a sweatshirt. She’d clung to those shoulders many nights. But she wanted more than he’d been willing to give her, and she was ready to move on, hopefully to a real relationship with Ethan.