Bree gripped the banister as she struggled to make her way up the stairs. They seemed to go on forever, and as she finally reached the top step she stumbled onto the floor before her, leading to the hallway. Groaning, Bree struggled to get up but felt as if her body was far too heavy. Laying there on the hardwood floor she looked up just in time to catch Hauk leaving the bathroom she’d shown him earlier, wearing just a towel around his hips. The site of his damp hair and muscles slick from the steam had a flush creeping over her cheeks, and a heat growing somewhere deep inside.
Hauk turned and paused at the sight of Bree lying face down on the chestnut colored floor, with her rear up in the air, clad in pink lace panties. The hem of the long shirt she’d been wearing, that barely covered her to begin with, seemed to have ridden up as well. As his eyes wandered and his mind began to imagine certain scenarios, he caught her blush and when she turned her face away he took a step forward.
Gasping at his sudden movement, Bree shut her eyes tight.
“Wh- What are you doing?” she demanded.
Hauk lifted a brow at that and chuckled quietly. The dark rumbling sound made Bree’s toes curl.
“I should be asking you that. You’re the one on the floor,” he said watching that treacherous flush return.
“It’s my floor, I can do what I want on it,” she retorted with a drunken slur to her words.
She’s still got a fight left in her? Shaking his head, Hauk stepped forward and helped her up and she went crimson, turning away, but she didn’t move those hot hands of his from her, she was sure she’d fall if he didn’t hold her up.
“Wh-Why are you naked?” she asked cautiously. She’d obviously never seen a man in such a state.
“I’m not naked; I have a towel on see…?” His voice tugged at the towel around his waist; she squeaked and smacked his arm.
“Stop that! I-it’ll come-…” her voice trailed off as she suddenly passed out in his arms.
Shaking his head, Hauk lifted her up into her arms and walked down to the hallway. Unsure where her bedroom was, he went to the first room on his left in the hall opposite from the one in which his own room was. Pushing the door open with a foot, he carried her to the large plush bed in the middle of the room, carefully placing her upon it. As her body touched the plush covers of her bed, Bree curled onto her side her unconscious state. Sighing, Hauk looked down at her small form and wondered quietly what she must be dreaming of. As he thought of that, his eyes once again moved down her figure to the slight rise and fall of her breasts through the thin shirt. He felt his cock stiffen and groaned softly. God almighty, what have I gotten myself into… Unable to help himself, Hauk reached for the soft tresses that had fallen over her even softer cheek.
Slowly his hands began to lower, as if of their own accord, and soon he was cupping her shoulders, and then reaching towards the hardened tips of her breasts. So damn good... Feeling the beaded points graze his palm, he had to hold his towel up with his other hand. Moaning softly he flexed his fingers, and just as he started to wrap his fingers around them, she moaned in her drunken unconsciousness and turned fully towards him, eyes closed. As realization washed over him, he pulled away as if stung, and ran a hand over his face and rough chin. What are you thinking, man? Get the hell out of here!
With that thought in mind, Hauk turned and strode out of the bedroom closing the door behind him, and went to his own bedroom intending fully to pack and leave first thing in the morning. You need to get away from this damsel, man, right away.
Almost an hour later, Hauk was changed and packed. Lying back on the bed, he ran a shaking hand through his hair. He could still feel those hot tips against his palm, and his arousal twitched in disdain at him. Don’t think about her Hauk, just don’t… But as he closed his eyes to sleep all he could dream of were those damn breasts in his hands again.
Bree opened her eyes slowly and then promptly shut them tight as the pitter-patter outside the window became unbearably loud. She flopped onto her belly with a groan and pressed her face into the pillow. She could barely remember the night before and tried hard to recall what had taken place. Fighting the waves of nausea the pains in her head brought as she tried to remember, Bree gasped and sat up. He’s still here! The ra- er…guy. Just then her stomach turned and she stumbled into her bathroom to empty out the contents of her stomach.
Almost an hour later, after taking a long shower and brushing out the nasty taste in her mouth, Bree walked back into her bedroom. Pausing she looked around and frowned. She couldn’t remember how or when she got to her bedroom but shrugged her nagging thoughts away. Quickly slipping into a pale teal colored spring dress she peeked out her window at the heavy rain drenching the soft petals of her tulips. Sighing ruefully, she turned and pulled her damp hair up into a loose bun. The teal of the dress brought out the rich coloring of her eyes, and her natural peach undertones radiated in the dim grey light coming from her window.
After a quick inspection of herself Bree left her bedroom and made her way down the stairs. Upon reaching the kitchen she stared at the sight of the shirtless man standing by her coffee pot. The grey light did nothing to soften the hard edges of the well sculpted muscles and wrapped around his abdomen and arms. He wore a pair of dark blue jeans, and as he poured a cup of coffee for himself the ripple of his muscles dried her mouth. Dear god he’s so… realizing she must be staring she shook her head and cleared his throat. Brianne would not fall for another man again, they’re all pigs.
Hauk stiffened then turned slightly to look at her. His eyes seemed to drink her in and that sensuous mouth of his twitch ever so slightly. He cleared his throat and started to speak when Bree, once again, interrupted him.
“It’s rude to drink someone else’s coffee without their permission you know,” she said looking away.
“Well, I thought I deserved it. I mean especially after last night…” his voice trailed off as he turned towards her fully, and inspected her carefully.
“L-last night? What happened? What do you…” Bree’s voice trailed off at the playful glint in his eyes.
Heat crept over her cheeks and she stammered clutching the small locket at her throat, “W-we… I mean d-did… I-…”
The lost and utterly betrayed look on her face hit Hauk straight in the gut. Groaning he took a long swig of the coffee and shook his head.
“No,” he said, “nothing happened. I simply helped your drunken arse back to that room. I wasn’t sure where yours was so I took you to the closest one. Can I drink my coffee in peace now?”
He moved by the sink to look out of the window, and Bree walked past him with a frown to grab her own coffee. As she walked past him, her honey scent hit his sense and he stiffened. Looking up he saw her carefully open the cupboard and then stretch on to her tip-toes in pursuit of a coffee mug. The mugs were on a higher shelf in the cupboard, and as she stretched her dress also lifted and he groaned inwardly.
While she struggled, Bree cursed her height. Just as she was deciding on standing on the counter she felt him. His hot skin seemed to burn through her dress and she could feel him in her bones. Biting her bottom lip, she closed her eyes as he reached up past her and brought down a mug for her. Her proximity had Hauk’s mind reeling with the different things he’d kill to do to her. Feeling her soft body so close to his, he instinctively leaned forward a bit. The small gasp that escaped her lips after that snapped the last of his control.
Bree felt what she was sure was his arousal against her behind and couldn’t retain her startled gasp. She’d never in a million years imagined that that was what it would feel like. Heat suffused to her cheeks and as she started to protest those hot lips that came down on her neck. Her arguments lodged in her throat, Bree clutched the counter as his hips began to press in closer. His arms slowly came around her waist and held her close. Sighing softly at how good his arms felt she leaned into him and turned her head to face him.
As if of their own accord, Hauk’s lips found hers. When her sweet taste touched his lips he groaned and plunged his tongue into her. He explored her mouth while her own tongue apprehensively touched his. Clutching her to him, he turned her full to him and felt the full length of her figure cushioning his much harder and larger one, with her soft curves. He ran his hands up and down her back and pressed her as close as he could. She was so hot in his arms, and their heat combined felt like disaster, but he couldn’t stop himself. She tastes so good…
He feels so good… As those thoughts entered her head she stiffened from head to toe. Jerking away from him feverishly, she touched the side of her neck almost as if she was checking her pulse and looked up at him bewildered. Hauk returned her gaze as the realization of what just happened sank in. She turned away and mumbled a thank you as she grasped the coffee mug with shaking hands and poured some in for herself. As she did so, Hauk bit back the urge to steady her hands with his own, and turned away walking to the sink again.
H-He… Oh god what was I thnking…
Christ, man, no emotional women! What the hell were you thinking?
…I’m hung-over… that’s all… I’m not thinking straight, he’s got nothing on me!
She gave you a place to stay and then you try to take advantage of her? She’s still drunk I bet, otherwise she’d never let me do that… right?
I mean there can be no other reason why I-.. He… Why we… But, it felt so…
But she felt so good…
Bree somehow managed to carry herself to the kitchen table on wobbly legs. Sitting down she stared mutely into her coffee cup, and took a deep steadying breath. Then they both spoke at once.
“I think you should-”
“Maybe I shou-…”
They turned and stared at each other hopelessly, then averted their gaze.
“I-I’m hung-over…” she stated solemnly, as if it explained everything.
“Oh,” he wasn’t sure what else to say.
There was a long, stark silence as Hauk finished his coffee and washed out his mug. Bree stood up to wash her mug, but when she neared the sink he took the mug from her hands.
“I- I can do-…”
“I got it,” he spoke with a confidence that seemed misplaced amongst the dishes.
As she turned away he took a deep breath and snapped the faucet shut. Turning he leaned back against the counter, gripping the edges of the granite. It was all he could do not to reach out and touch her again. She just looks so damn soft… Running a hand through his hair before placing it carefully back onto the counter.
“Listen, I’m sorry for what just happened there,” he said in a gruff voice.
When she said nothing and just stood there he continued.
“I’ll probably be going today, I’m packed and I used your phone to call a cab. I really appreciate you letting me stay the night; I know it must be scary for a lady living all alone. Anyway, I’ll be out of your hair in no time…”
As he turned to leave he paused before saying one more thing over his shoulder,
“Oh, and thanks for the coffee.”
“No problem,” was the only thing she could think to say.
As he left to go back to his room Bree wondered why she didn’t feel as relieved as she wanted to feel.
“Oh, whatever, Bree; you’re probably still drunk. There’s no way that’d happen if you weren’t…”
Hauk looked at himself in the dresser mirror and rubbed a hand over his face. He didn’t know why he did it, and he couldn’t figure out why her scent still engulfed him. Shaking his head he grunted at the sappy thoughts going through his head.
“You just haven’t had a good woman to yourself in a long while… You’re a grown man, stop mooning over her,” he told himself.
Turning to the bed he opened up the suitcase and pulled out a button-down shirt. As he buttoned it up the front, and curse the small size of the buttons compared to his fingers, he heard the phone ringing. Instinctively he turned to the door, then stopped himself. Not your phone, man. As he zipped up his suit-case he took another deep breath through his nose and let it out through his lips. Despite the fact that he was on a completely different floor than her, Bree’s presence still affected him somehow.
As Hauk left the bedroom he wondered why he felt so bad about it.
“I’m telling you Hauk, you’re just being hormonal. Christ, get the hell out of here,” he told himself.
On his way downstairs he heard Bree’s voice in the kitchen. Assuming she was still on the phone he reached the front door and paused. It was then that he noticed the slightly panicked and upset tone to her voice. Frowning, Hauk couldn’t help himself, and went to check on her. He found her pacing the kitchen while on the phone. He listened, only imagining what was happening on the other end of the line.
“Wh- How do you know…? Greg, shut up! Just Sh-…”
There was a long deafening pause and she looked up and saw him watching her. She had tears in her eyes and she turned away clutching the phone to her ear.
“Listen, NO! YOU LISTEN TO ME! I hate you…. Yeah, yeah I do. You can’t do that! You can’t Greg! You…I-I’m the whore? I am?! Oh just shove it, Greg…”
Bree turned the phone off and slipped back into its cradle. Wiping her eyes with shaky fingers she turned around taking a deep breath and plastered on a wobbly smile as she looked up at him with watery eyes.
“I assume you’re on your way out then, is the cab here already?”
Hauk stared at her a moment, and a tick worked in his jaw. He did not like seeing her like this; damned if he knew why he felt that way, but he did.
“Who was that?” he asked.
“Who- No one… my ex. It’s no big deal, don’t worry about it…” she looked down at her hands to avoid his piercing gaze.
“What did he say?”
Bree stopped fiddling and her head snapped up as she looked at him.
“Excuse me?” she asked in a chilled voice.
“What. Did. He. Say?” he enunciated each word slowly.
Closing her eyes Bree took a deep breath. As she began to turn away Hauk took a small step forward.
“Brianne, what did he say?”
Her name sounded so sweet on his lips, but Greg made it sound like a dirty word. Shaking her head she refused to turn to look at him.
“He… He’s just angry, I think. I mean I know he’d never… that is he’s never-“
“Brianna,” his patience was slipping.
“H-He was just threatening me, okay? It’s fine…” she turned and walked towards the attached living room.
Despite her attempts to get out from under his searching gaze, she was once again trapped, as he followed her into the living room. Bree stood by the fireplace and looked at the pictures that lined the mantel. There were images of her as a child, her father, her sister. She picked up her favorite one; her father, her sister Anne, her brother Ray, and Bree were sitting on the leather couch behind her, holding each other and smiling happily. Touching the intricate frame gently she sighed and closed her eyes, wishing fondly that she could go back to that moment and live in it forever. With her back to him, Bree looked so small. Hauk saw her sigh and he felt a pang of sympathy for her.
“Bree…” he measured his tone and took one step closed.
Straightening her spine she took a deep breath and began to speak.
“My mother died when I was three years old, while she was having a baby… She was a beautiful little girl, but she didn’t survive either. My father, despite how hurt and broken by the loss he was, raised my brother, my sister and I. He never once let us feel like we had no mother. He was our mother and father, and not once did he give up and find someone else. I asked him when I was older; why he hadn’t found another wife for himself. He told me ‘Pumpkin, you only fall in love once…’ and that was that. My siblings and I grew up and moved out on our own, pursuing our dreams. Not once did we think of him, here, all alone, in this big old house. We visited on holidays, but every other day he was alone.”
Taking a deep, steadying breath, Bree wiped her tears weakly before she continued.
“He passed away two years ago, and Greg wasn’t there to console me. He was busy at a meeting. We’d been together for two years at that point, and instead of being there for me at night while I cried myself to sleep, he… he was with another woman. Another woman, Hauk. I had no idea; I had no idea and I believed him. But he came back when I called. I thought he came back because my voice was raspy with tears… He came back from his ‘business trip’ only because heard that I had gotten something in my father’s will.”
She let out a humorless laugh and shook her head, rage clear in her eyes as was the betrayal.
“When he found out that I had gotten this house, this bloody house, in the will he proposed to me a month later. He proposed and I was so happy. You see, he wanted to sell this property and take the small fortune my father had left behind along with it. I didn’t find out until after I caught him… here…in my kitchen… with her. I spent countless nights wondering why I wasn’t enough, what I had done wrong…”
Hauk clenched his jaw and took another step towards her,
Brianne raised a hand to silence him and shook her head before turning around and continuing with her story.
“No, don’t. Don’t say anything, Hauk. I know I’m not perfect, and I don’t care. Maybe this is just karma getting back at me for leaving my father, the one man that ever cared for me in my life, to live here all alone. Maybe I deserve this…”
With one long stride, Hauk stepped directly in front of her and grabbed her shoulders. Looking into her pained expression he tugged her close for a friendly, comforting hug. Pulling out a handkerchief from his back pocket he stepped back slowly and handed it to her. He watched as Bree took the square piece of trimmed fabric and sniffled into it. After waiting for her to finish he spoke carefully, as if measuring his words.
“What did Greg say… exactly?” he asked quietly.
Pausing momentarily she looked up at him, then sighed, as if she was giving up.
“He threatened to make my life miserable… He said he’d do anything to get what he wanted, and if that meant he’d have to end me… I-I’m sure he wouldn’t… He- He can’t…”
Hauk felt an odd need to find this Greg and cave his face in. Sighing, he rolled up his sleeves and straightened a bit,
“I’m staying Bree; I’m going to stay and we’re going to fix this…”
“Y-You don’t have to- I mean I’ve been so… It’s okay r-really… I’ll manage,” she protested.
He mirrored her humorless laughter and turned away making his way to where he placed his bag.
“Yeah, and possibly get harmed, or worse, in the process. I’m going to call in a couple of my buddies first. You don’t mind, right? We’ll end this guy’s plans before they start.”
Bree scurried after him, startled by this.
“F-friends? But, I-… But why would you…” her question trailed off as he turned around and gave her a strained expression.
Groaning inwardly, he spoke slowly,
Frowning, Brianne lifted a brow and put her hands on her hips stubbornly.
“I just gave you a briefing on my whole life, Hauk. If you want me to let you help, hell if you want me to let you stay, you’ll explain. I don’t care how complicated it is. I’m not that hung-over.”
Hauk took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Placing his hands on her shoulder he looked down into her eyes. Bree worried, her bottom lip between her teeth, and looked back into those grey-greens of his.
“Just trust me, Bree,” he said her name in that deep husky voice of his.
Eyeing him wearily she closed her eyes and turned away waving arms, as she made her way up the stairs.
“Oh, don’t give me the puppy look, I’m immune, you know! Well, go ahead then call your buddies,” she paused then called down, “you know where you’re staying, feel free to bring your bag back up.”
Chuckling, Hauk waited until he was sure she was out of ear-shot and pulled out his phone. Dialing a number he waited a moment before someone answered.
“’Ey, Rain, yeah it’s me… Yeah everything’s good but uh-… Look I need you to come to this place I’m at… Yeah, okay I’ll text you the address. Oh and Rain, bring the boys, I’ll explain everything when you get here…”
END TO PART 2