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The cabin was toasty warm. We'd spent the last few hours exploring one another's bodies and indulging in hot, sweaty sex. The kind that I'd always dreamed of having. It was raw and uncomplicated. And I wanted more of it.
I rolled onto my side and studied her back, resisting the urge to touch her. I listened intently to her breathing, trying to determine if she'd drifted off.
"What?" Her voice sounded wistful and far away.
"I bet you say that to all the girls you save."
"Only the ones that swallow."
She pushed back against me. It was probably meant as a sign of reproach but my dick thought it encouraging. It was semi-hard and slipped right between the cleft of her ass.
"I should let you sleep," I murmured, gently kissing her shoulder.
"You should sleep too."
"Can't. Too many thoughts going through my head."
She rolled over.
"What are you thinking about?" She ran the tips of her fingers across my forehead as if she were trying to smooth out the rough spots in my psyche.
"Doesn't matter, go to sleep."
"It's none of my business," I added.
"It's keeping you awake." She kissed me, softly on the mouth. "Ask."
"Tell me about your marriage, about your divorce. You said you had baggage. I want to understand."
"Because I like you. I want to see more of you."
She smiled. "I'm pretty sure that you've already seen all that there is of me, Dallas."
I slipped my hand behind her neck. "The name's Jake."
"I know your name."
I threaded my fingers through her hair at the base of her skull and looked her in the eye, my gaze steady and unwavering. "I want to know everything about you," I confessed.
She nodded and licked her lips. "You might not like everything about me."
"You haven't disappointed me yet."
She turned onto her back and sighed. "Suddenly I feel like I could use a drink."
I climbed out of bed, walked over to the kitchen area, pulled a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label out of one of the cupboards, and grabbed two glasses.
Allison sat up in bed. "You had scotch and you didn't use it to try to get me drunk and in the sack earlier?"
"That wouldn't have been very honorable." I poured each one of us a generous glass on the way back to the bed. I set the bottle down on the floor by my side, crawled back into the bed, then handed Allison her glass.
"Do men still think of things like honor?"
"Have you ever been in love, Dallas?"
"Can't say that I have."
"So you've never had your heart broken?"
"No. Not the way you mean. My mother died a couple years ago. That was hard. We were close. I miss her"still."
I shrugged. There wasn't really anymore to say.
We laid next to one another for a bit, sipping scotch in silence and looking out the window. The snow was still coming down, hard and heavy, and in the moonlight we could see it.
"When Gavin proposed, it was summer here," she began. "It was beautiful. Have you ever been here during the summer?"
"A few times."
"We'd met the year before. His practice offered one internship slot. It was quite coveted. I was thrilled when I was offered the position. I hadn't thought that the woman who'd interviewed me cared for me at all. It was only after we were married that Gavin confirmed she hadn't. But that didn't matter. He'd watched the interview from behind the mirror and at the time he'd liked what he'd seen.�
"Forensic Psychologist. He makes a living assisting with jury selection, being an expert witness, that sort of thing. His practice was...is enormous."
"That's what you do too?"
"Not any more." She took a sip of her scotch and swallowed. "Now I teach. I couldn't continue to work with him. Not after... I enjoy teaching. I enjoy standing on my own. Gavin casts a pretty big shadow."
"You're so full of light," I said, thinking out loud. "It's hard to imagine you living in anyone's shadow."
"I was young and naïve. He was polished and confident. Oh, was he confident." She studied me for a moment. "You're confident."
"About some things. Wouldn't say I'm polished though," I added, kicking back the remainder of the scotch in my glass then smacking my lips together.
"Anyways, things were good in the beginning."
"I grew up. The stars in my eyes faded. Gavin didn't love me. I don't think he's capable. What Gavin loved was that I was so in love with him."
"You deserve better."
She shook her head. "Dallas, how can you say that? You don't even know me."
"Anyone would have deserved better." I reached for the bottle, poured myself a bit more, and offered some to Allison.
"No thanks. I'm good," she said.
"To love and be loved. Isn't that what marriage is all about? The day that my mother died my father said to me, 'Son, for over twenty years I've woken up every morning certain of one thing, that I was about to fall in love with that woman all over again. What the hell am I gonna do tomorrow?'"
"What did you say?" she asked, her eyes misting over with tears.
"I said, 'Let's go duck hunting'."
Allison gasped. "You shot at ducks? With guns?"
"No. We threw rocks at them," I teased. "Of course we used guns."
"I was just about to accuse you of being romantic."
"You don't think a man can be a hunter and be romantic?" I asked before climbing out of bed to throw another log on the fire.
That was the question, wasn't it? The one that even I, myself, had been struggling with on some level.
"Maybe," she mused. "But could they be good at both? I don't know. Romance is about connecting. Hunting is about dominating, conquering..."
"Going in for the kill," I finished as I reached for the edge of the covers and pulled them off the bed, leaving Allison bare and exposed.
"Jake!" she yelped, folding one arm across her breasts, lowering her other so that her hand covered the mound between her legs. Her pulse quickened. Her heart started to race. Her pupils dilated. It was intoxicatingly arousing.
"Allison," I said, softly, grabbing hold of her ankles, separating her legs, and tugging so that she slid another six inches down the bed.
She started to move, to protest, but then my eyes connected with hers and she froze in place. For several long moments I found myself wondering why, wondering what she'd seen in my gaze. Was it the beast or the man? Were they even separate any longer?
"You're move, Dallas," she finally said.
I climbed slowly, steadily, and with assurance up the length of her body, peppering kissing along the way, nuzzling into the hollow of her hipbone, nibbling, licking, breathing in deeply the musky smell of her sex, scenting traces of myself along the way. The canvas of her skin already becoming familiar to me, familiar in a way that was comforting, soothing.
A sigh escaped her lips and she arched into me, her hips lifting slightly off the mattress.
"We should eat," I murmured. Resting my chin on the soft pillow of her stomach, I gazed up into her warm, brown eyes.
"Starving," I admitted, rolling off of Allison so that my back was to the wall. I gave her a little nudge. "Go fetch me some stew, woman."
"Fetch you some stew? What's in it for me, Dallas?"
"Feed me now. I'll fuck you later."
Allison's cheeks burned red. "I can't believe you just said that."
I smiled, feeling more content and satisfied than I'd remembered in months.