He'll help her get lucky…and promises to deliver a whole lot more!
With her fertility issues, it's now or never for Romy Allen. Thankfully, her friend Matt Carter will help her research her options. But then the deliciously sexy entrepreneur tears up her IVF paperwork and presents a counteroffer – the old–fashioned way or nothing! How can she refuse? Especially when multiple orgasms are offered as a tempting bonus!
Romy rang the doorbell, and a few seconds later, heard a “Coooomiiiing,” from somewhere inside.
It was hard to believe that this house—or was mansion the correct word for Russian Hill?—was Matt’s. To say it was a departure from his usual student-like accommodation was a whopping understatement.
An inside door slammed. A closer, “Gotta find the keys,” was called out, followed by an even closer, much louder, “Fuck!”
Okay, it was definitely Matt’s place.
She ran a neatening hand over her hair while she waited for him. Unbuttoned her overcoat. Brushed at the flared skirt of her new red dress.
Stupid, really. Matt never noticed what her hair looked like or what she was wearing. He saved such observations for women he wanted to have sex with—and Romy had come to terms with not being one of those women ten years ago.
Still, her natural inclination was to look immaculate-but-fashionable for business discussions, and the deal she’d made with Matt on the phone two weeks ago was definitely in that category, despite the chaos of that crazy call. Serious enough to warrant a flight from London to San Francisco to dot every i and cross every t.
Footsteps on floorboards. A fumble at the lock. Another “Fuck” that had her battling a giggle, because it was so typical of Matt to be impatient with a door that didn’t open fast enough. A click, a swoosh…and there he was.
Six feet three of lean, hard muscle looking rebelliously casual in just-snug-enough jeans and a just-tight-enough T-shirt; hold the footwear because he never wore shoes unless he had to. Good-looking in a boy-next-door-meets-fallen-angel way. Thick waves of red-blond hair, sharply alert green eyes, incongruously olive skin. Tick, tick, tick, tick and tick—Matthew Carter was a prime genetic specimen.
“Good evening, Mr. Carter,” Romy said, tamping down another giggle at the absurdity of assessing Matt’s attributes like he was breeding stock. “I’m here to discuss your sperm.”
Matt gave her a censorious tsk-tsk at odds with the twinkle in his eyes. “I hope you don’t say that to all the boys, Ms. Allen!”
“Only the ones with a really big—Matt!”—as he yanked her over the threshold and into a fierce hug.
“A really big what?” he asked, digging his chin into the top of her head. “Go on, I dare you to say it.”
“Cup, you pervert,” she said, dissolving into laughter even though her bottom lip was suddenly trembling from the emotional toll of being on the cusp of something momentous with him. “A really big cup!”
“Cup?” he scoffed. “More like a bucket! We’re talking serious size and don’t you forget it!” He released her, looking down at her with a grin that promptly faded. “Uh-oh, do not cry! You know you look like a troll when you cry!”
“Trying not to,” she said shakily. “It’s just…you’re just…you’re going to hate me for saying it again, but you really are my—Hey!” as he dragged her in for another hug.
“If you call me your fucking hero one more fucking time I’ll squeeze you hard enough to crack a fucking rib!”
“Okay, okay!” Watery chuckle. “Enough fucking!”
“There’s never enough fucking to suit me, you know that.” And as she chuckled again, “But I mean it, Romy. It’s one hybrid kid. Not like we’re spawning a dynasty of Targaryens to rule the Seven Kingdoms.”
“Except I feel like I’m carrying the iron throne in my briefcase,” she said, wrapping her arms around his waist. “Weighs a ton.”
“Briefcase?” He half and half laugh/groaned. “Tonight is going to suck sooo badly.”
“A briefcase which you made me drop. Serve you right if it gouged a hole in your floorboards. And you’re squeezing me hard enough to crack two fucking ribs, by the way.”
He dug his chin into the crown of her head again. “Keep complaining and I’ll bench-press you!”
“You’ll give yourself a hernia.”
“I’ve been working out—I can take you.”
“You haven’t seen my backside lately! It’s expanded. Way bigger than anything you’re used to.”
“I’ll look at it if you want me to, but as an expert in all things posterior I usually start by copping a feel,” he said.
“Hmm, well I’ve eaten enough to feed an army in the past two days and I’m fit to burst out of my clothes, so maybe just take my word for it. I wouldn’t want to shock you.”
“You always eat enough for an army, so don’t try using that as an excuse for your butt—or for not cooking the paella you promised me, if that’s where you’re heading.”
She choked up again, because paella was a pathetically inadequate thank-you for what he was doing. She searched for words to express her gratitude more eloquently, but she knew he wouldn’t let her say them—he never let his friends thank him, always brushed them off, said it was easy, he was doing it for himself, no big deal, anything to shut them up—so she simply rested her cheek against his chest and…ahhh…breathed. In, then out, in, out.
“It’ll be all right, Romy, I promise,” he murmured into her hair.
“You always say that,” she said huskily.
“Because it’s true.”
Romy smiled against his chest. Matt’s It’ll be all right, I promise had become a group slogan in their Capitol University days.
He’d said those words to her, Rafael, Veronica, Artie when he couldn’t run away fast enough, and even the older and more rational Teague, whenever he was trying to convince them to do something off-the-wall. Skydiving, bungee jumping, that outrageous sex-in-a-public-place challenge, the horrendous pub crawl during a near blizzard, flying all the way to Sydney, Australia for a weekend to support Frankie the Aussie barmaid when her bastard ex got married, skateboarding down Lombard Street the time they’d all come to San Francisco to hear Matt speak at that tech conference and he needed to release some energy. An endless stream of dares that had them following Matt like lemmings off a cliff because whenever he said It’ll be all right, I promise, they believed him. And even though such adventures mostly didn’t end up all right in the end, they’d lemminged after him the next time anyway, because Matt was invincible.
But this time, this dare, the consequences were forever. And while Romy wasn’t so much willing to embrace those consequences as desperate to do so now the carrot had been dangled in front of her, she couldn’t bear the thought that this might be the one time Matt wound up regretting something.
Already, though, she was ready to believe things would be as all right as Matt promised. That was the effect he had on her, probably because he was always picking up her pieces, whether they were fully broken, slightly chipped, or just a little bit scratched.
She closed her eyes, blocking out everything except the smell of the arctic pine soap he always used, the feel of his chest rising and falling with his breaths, the well-washed texture of his T-shirt beneath her cheek, his hand pressing between her shoulder blades, bringing her closer. So close her heart felt bruised against his hardness. No…not bruised, squeezed. Squeezed until it was pounding. Pounding until she was dizzy.
And then she realized Matt’s heart was pounding too, and the world tilted. A rush, a swirl, a blaze of heat, and she was in territory that was both familiar and unfamiliar—like she’d been pitched into a color-saturated virtual reality. A picture darted into her head. The two of them chest to chest and hip to hip against the wall, Matt’s mouth on hers, his hand fumbling her skirt up out of the way, his fingers tugging at her underwear, and then… Oh God, God, he was big and hard and sliding into her until she was full of him, stretched and throbbing and wildly wanting. You want my sperm, then take it, Romy, as much as you need, take it all, but take it like this. Her legs wrapping around him, jerking in time with his thrusts. Yes, please Matt, please.
“Matt, please!” she whispered, tilting her hips into his as though what she saw in her head was hers for the asking, for the taking.
Matt went perfectly still, and so did she as reality clubbed her back to her senses.
Long moment of nothing but hectic heartbeats and held breaths. And then he let her go so suddenly she stumbled back and almost fell over her briefcase. He grabbed her arm, righted her, released her abruptly again.
Romy, frantically replaying that fantasy in her head, knew how that breathy Matt, please must have sounded—like a woman on heat. Nothing new for Matt, who’d been beating women off with the proverbial stick ever since she’d known him, but definitely new between the two of them. And Matt’s holy-fuck-help-me expression was telling her their status quo wasn’t about to change.
“Sorry, jet lag,” she said—the first excuse she could think of. “It kicked in last night, and I barely slept so I’ve been feeling lightheaded all day. I guess when you squeezed me like that, it made me a little…a little woozy. A little…breathless…?”
Okaaay, best case scenario would be for Matt to grab her in a headlock, rub his knuckles against her scalp and tell her to stop bullshitting him, because she’d been flying between the UK and the USA for ten years without suffering from jet lag, so she should just confess—ha-ha-ha—that she’d thrust her hips at him like a nymphomaniac because she wanted his body. To which she’d respond—ha-ha-ha—that being part of a harem wasn’t her style and he should stop wanking over himself. The same comedy routine they’d been doing since the night they’d met to ward off any vaguely sexual frisson that might oscillate between them.
Worst case scenario would be… Hmm, well, that would be what he was doing now. Closing his eyes, then bolt-opening them as though he’d seen something horrific behind his eyelids. Smiling like he was trying not to throw up. Agreeing with her, “Yeah, jet lag’s a bitch.” And then reaching past her to close the door with the air of a guy who’d dislocate his own arm if necessary to avoid contact with her.
About the only good thing to be said for such a response was that he was obviously intent on ignoring her momentary lapse into oversexed insanity—praise the Lord!
She bent to fiddle with the clasp on her briefcase, buying herself a minute to recover, reassuring herself that all she really had to do to get past this episode of utter mortification was not thrust her hips at him like a nymphomaniac again. Should be easy enough: she’d had ten years’ practice pretending not to lust after him.
Fixing a smile on her face, she took her briefcase by the handle and straightened—and if she was daunted to find that Matt had taken himself out of touching range, presumably for his own safety, at least she had enough self-control to keep smiling.
“We’ll talk in the library,” Matt said, looking at her right eyebrow. “Through here.” And he opened a door to the left of the entrance hall and fled.
Romy dropped her briefcase again—and her smile with it—covering her face with her hands to trap the groan she just couldn’t keep inside. She wasn’t sure she’d cope if he started addressing all his remarks to her eyebrows. Deep breaths. More deep breaths. Phew. She slowly lowered her hands—and then drew in a few more deep breaths as she finally noticed the grandeur of her surroundings, which were definitely in the mansion-not-a-house category.
The floors were a chocolatey-dark wood, the walls painted low-sheen gold. Two impressive staircases curved their way to an upper floor. Behind and between the staircases were two massively proportioned doors, closing off what she presumed was the living area. To the right was a door matching the one Matt had gone through to get to the library.
She tilted back her head expecting to find a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and even when that was exactly what she found, she couldn’t quite believe it. All that was missing was a gigantic vase of exotic flowers on a marble table and Matt’s entrance hall would rival the lobby of the five-star hotel she was staying in. Her entire flat, with its jammed-together living, dining and kitchen areas, would fit into this one space.
She tried to imagine the library, using this as an example, and decided she couldn’t actually get past the fact that Matt had a library. He only read ebooks! How did an e-reader require an entire room?
Of course, Matt had only moved in a week ago; the first she’d heard he was even looking for a place was when he’d emailed her three days after her fateful phone call, asking what he’d need to set up his new kitchen. So the library was probably just an empty room waiting to be repurposed. Or maybe it was nothing but a grandly named study housing a desk, a couple of chairs and his computer paraphernalia. Because libraries weren’t Matt’s style. Libraries were what the Teague Hamiltons and Veronica Johnsons of the world had in their homes. And not because Teague and Veronica were any more loaded than Matt—by his twenty-seventh birthday last year Matt had made a fortune selling the online payment software he and Artie (his partner in all things geek) had built while still at college. It was more that where Teague and Veronica carried the suggestion of the bred-in-the-bone wealth that went with stately homes, self-made Matt was just Matt. He still drove a beaten-up Toyota, still wore Levi’s, T-shirts and Vans when barefoot wasn’t an option, still drank Sam Adams.
A curse floated out to her through the doorway on the left, followed by a thud.
Ha! And he still swore like a sailor and had the patience of a gnat.
She reached up a hand to pat at her hair. Took off her overcoat and gave her dress a more thorough brush down. Adjusted the silicon-lined band at the top of one of her thick black thigh-high socks, which had slid down half an inch. Re-pasted her smile. Picked up her briefcase.