EIGHT YEARS AGO
COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO
“I’m gonna stick it in now.”
Zach’s voice was rough and full of urgent need.
I smelled him all around me, sweaty and hungry and so beautiful I could die. After tonight he’d be mine for real. His hand reached down between us, guiding the round, rubbery head of his penis as it nudged my opening. It felt weird. He pushed at me and I guess he missed, because it hit me too high and—
“Ouch! Shit, Zach, that hurts. I think you’re doing it wrong.”
He stopped immediately and grinned down at me, the gap between his front teeth teasing. Holy crap, I loved that grin. I’d had the biggest crush on Zach since we were freshmen, but he never noticed me, not until a couple of months ago. My folks didn’t let me out much, but in July I’d managed to get permission to stay with Lyssa for a night and we’d snuck out to a party. Zach had homed in, and we’d been a couple ever since.
I’d gotten really good at sneaking out.
“Sorry, babe,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss me. I softened immediately, loving the feel of his lips ghosting across mine. He adjusted himself and started sliding into me again, slow and steady. This time he didn’t miss, and I stiffened as he stretched me open wide.
Then he hit a barrier and paused.
I opened my eyes and looked up at him. He looked back down at me and I knew right then and there I’d never love anyone half so much as I loved Zachary Barrett.
“Ready?” he whispered. I nodded.
He shoved into me and I squealed, pain ripping between my legs. Zach kept me pinned with his hips as I gasped, shocked. Then he pulled out and I tried to catch my breath. Before I could, though, he’d thrust back into me. Hard. Ouch.
“Holy shit, you’re tight,” he muttered. He pushed himself up on his hands, throwing his head back as he pumped into my body, over and over, eyes closed and face straining with hunger.
I don’t know what I’d expected.
I mean, I wasn’t stupid. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect the first time, no matter what the romance books said. And it didn’t hurt that much. But it sure as shit didn’t feel good, either.
Zach moved faster, and I turned my head on the couch to look across the small apartment. His brother’s, apparently. We had it for the night—it was supposed to be our special, perfect time together. I’d expected flowers or soft music and wine or something. Stupid. Zach had pizza and some beer from his brother’s fridge.
“Ouch,” I muttered again as he paused, face twisting.
“Shit, I’m gonna come,” he gasped. I felt his penis throb deep inside, almost twitching. It was weird. Really weird. And nothing like I’d seen in movies—not even a little bit.
Was that it?
“Oh, f**k that’s good.”
The apartment door opened as Zach collapsed between my legs, oblivious to the world. I couldn’t do anything but watch in horror as a man walked in.
I didn’t know him, but he couldn’t have been Zach’s brother. He didn’t look anything like Zach, who was taller than me, but not by a whole lot. This guy was really tall, and muscular in the way men who work with their hands get from heavy lifting on the job.
He wore a black leather vest with patches over a ratty T-shirt and jeans that had streaks of dark motor oil or grease or something. A half rack of beer dangled from one hand. His hair was short and dark. Almost military. His lip was pierced and he wore two rings in his left ear and one in his right, like a pirate. Eyebrow was pierced, too. His features were bluntly handsome, but nobody would ever call him pretty. Big black boots covered his feet, and the chain from his wallet hung low across his hip. One of his arms had a full-sleeve tattoo. The other had a skull with crossed blades behind it.
He stopped in the doorway and looked us over, slowly shaking his head.
“I told you what I’d do if you broke into my place again,” he said quietly. Zach popped up and his face went white. His entire body—with one notable exception—stiffened. I felt that exception slither out of me, along with some fluid, and realized we hadn’t even bothered to put a towel down or anything.
But how was I supposed to know we’d need a towel?
“Shit,” Zach said, his voice a tight squeak. “Ruger, I can explain—”
“Don’t f**kin’ explain,” Ruger said, pushing forward into the room. He slammed the door shut behind him and walked over to the couch. I tried to hide my head in Zach’s chest, more ashamed and embarrassed than I’d ever been in my life.
Flowers. Were flowers too much to ask?
“Jesus Christ, what is she? Twelve?” Ruger asked, giving the couch a kick. It shuddered under me, and Zach sat up, pulling away from my body. I shrieked and pushed my hands down between us, trying to cover myself from his brother’s gaze.
Then it got worse.
The brother—Rooger? whatever the hell kind of name that was—looked right at me as he leaned across my body, grabbing a folded blanket from the back of the couch.
He tossed it over my crotch.
I moaned and died a little inside. My legs were still spread wide, my skirt up high around my waist. He’d seen everything. Everything. This was supposed to be the most romantic night of my life and now I just wanted to go home and cry.
“I’m takin’ a shower and by the time I’m done, you need to be gone,” Ruger said, getting in Zach’s face. My boyfriend flinched. “And stay the f**k outta my apartment.”
With that, he walked down the hall to the bathroom, banging the door shut. Seconds later I heard the shower come on. Zach jumped up, muttering.
“Asshole. He’s such a goddamn ass**le.”
“Was that your brother?”
“Yeah. He’s a prick.”
I sat up and straightened my shirt. Thank God I hadn’t taken it off. Zach loved to touch my br**sts, but we’d actually moved pretty fast once we got started. I managed to get to my feet, holding the blanket in front of me while I pulled down my skirt. I had no idea where my panties had gone, but a quick look around didn’t reveal them. I leaned over the couch, digging in the pillows, hunting. No luck, but I managed to stick my hand in the disgusting wet spot we’d left behind.
I felt like such a whore.
“Fuck!” Zach yelled behind me. My head jerked up—how could things possibly get any worse? “Holy f**k, I cannot f**king believe this!”