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Discovering Mr. X: Chapter 11

RACHEL

I’m at the new house getting set up for the day. It’s only eight in the morning, but there’s so much to do that I wanted to make an early start. At this rate, I will work all night too.

I won’t admit it to Tanner, but he was right; I would never get the entire house painted by myself in just a week. I can’t say I’m looking forward to spending an entire week with him, even if it means the house might be ready for us to move in at the weekend.

My phone beeps in my pocket with a message.

Megan: Is he there yet?

Me: No, Meg. It’s far too early. He’s probably still styling his hair!

I smirk at the thought before the mental image changes to my hands running through his thick, dark waves as his mouth explored my body that night.

Ugh!

Why can’t I forget about it? It’s not like I haven’t had meaningless sex before.

My phone beeps again.

Megan: I wonder if he’ll paint without a shirt on???

Me: You’re not helping!

Megan: Sorry. Have fun! I wish I could help, but they’re already pushing me for sketches I’m only halfway through.

Me: Honestly, I told you, don’t worry. It’ll be fine. It will all be done in time. You, me, and Nigel will be in our new home soon!

I can’t help but smile as I look at the paintbrushes and cans. I can’t believe I’m standing here, in my house. I never thought this day would come growing up, having something that is just for me, that no one can take away.

All those months of doing extra flights, saving my crew allowances, and of course, Mr. X was all worth it. He seemed strangely happy about it when I told him I was closing my website, Scent from Rachel. Although, saying that, I barely used it in the end. Mr. X contacted me within the first month and offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse—send everything on the website to him, and he would pay double for it, on the understanding that he was my only client.

I’m kind of sad that I won’t be emailing him anymore. He usually had something funny to say. The fact he wasn’t bothered about our arrangement ending probably means he has already moved on with someone else. When I spoke to Holly earlier, she said she thought it was for the best. New house, new start. I guess she’s right. Living in the past never gets you anywhere.

A knock at the door brings me back to reality. It’s not even eight-fifteen; surely that isn’t Tanner already?

As I open the door, a coffee cup is thrust into my hand.

“Your favorite.” Tanner smiles warmly as I take it from him.

“Thanks,” I say, my eyes taking him in. He’s wearing an old pair of black cargo pants and a slim-fitting pale grey t-shirt, the muscles in his chest clearly visible. Both are already covered in paint splashes of varying shades. I bite down on the inside of my cheek. Suits have always done it for me before but seeing him standing there right now sends my pulse racing. He looks like he’s stepped off some hot calendar shoot.

“Sorry I’m a bit late,” he says, watching me carefully. “I meant to be here by eight but wanted to bring you coffee, and the line was ridiculous.”

“Yeah, well, you’re here now, I suppose.” I stand back so he can pass me to come inside.

A hint of soap accompanies him. He smells like he just stepped out of the shower—clean, fresh skin mixed with a masculine edge. He smelled amazing that night at the whiskey tasting; some expensive cologne, no doubt. But this, his own unique scent, is something else. I shut my eyes briefly as I try to squash down my growing arousal.

“So where are we starting?” he asks, turning to look at me.

“In here.” I lead him into the lounge. “I did the bathroom yesterday, so we’ve just got in here, the dining room, and three bedrooms to do. I figured the kitchen doesn’t need it as it has just been re-modeled anyway, and the hallway I was going to keep white like it is.”

Tanner’s eyes scan the room, and I find myself mesmerized by his Adam’s apple moving in his muscular neck as he takes a drink of his coffee.

“Better get started then,” he says.

“Okay, you stir the paint.” I point to the can I picked up last night. “And I’ll put some music on.”

I head to the kitchen and pick up my speakers to plug my phone into. When I come back, I pause in the doorway, watching Tanner. He’s shaking his head, smiling to himself as he reads the label on the paint can. Midnight Lover.

“Problem?” I ask, feeling my stomach leap as his eyes meet mine.

“Nope,” he says smoothly, picking up a screwdriver.

I watch the muscles in his biceps as he levers the lid off with ease. It makes a satisfying “pop” before he looks up at me again, his eyes glinting.

“Don’t just stand there looking pretty, Snow. Grab a brush.”

That kind of smart-ass comment would usually earn a quick-witted remark, but I find myself picking up a brush and kneeling next to him, a hint of a smile on my lips.

“I didn’t have you down as a rock chick,” he says, as the speakers blast out a guitar solo from one of my favorite bands.

“You don’t know much about me at all,” I say matter-of-factly.

“Why don’t you tell me something then?” Tanner says, his brows pulled together in concentration as he pours the paint into a roller tray.

“I’m good,” I say as I pick up the tray.

“It’s going to be a long week if we don’t talk to each other.”

“I told you, I prefer you when you don’t talk,” I say with a straight face.

Tanner chuckles. “And I prefer you when you’re screaming my name. But we can’t always get what we want, can we?”

I snap my eyes up to his. I can’t believe he just said that. He’s looking at me darkly, a smile playing on his lips. And I know the bastard is remembering what I look like naked by the way his eyes drop to my breasts and back up again quickly.

He thinks I didn’t notice.

I huff, pretending to be bored with this little game already when, in reality, my pulse is throbbing between my legs at the way he just looked at me. He wants me, and he’s not afraid to admit it. Too bad for him; I don’t want seconds, despite my body’s reaction.

“Fine, what do you want to know?” I ask as I pick up a brush and dip it into the dark, inky paint.

He smiles as though he’s won a minor victory. “Why did you call Nigel, well, Nigel?”

I stare at him, possibly with my mouth wide open. “You can ask me anything, and you choose to ask me that?” I shake my head in disbelief as I cut in along the woodwork with my brush.

“You never said I could ask you anything.” He raises a brow at me. “But I will remember that for question two.” He smiles as he expertly runs his brush in one swift move along the edge of the doorframe, cutting in with a perfectly straight line. “I told you, I started as an apprentice,” he says when he sees me watching his progress. “I know my way around a paintbrush, Rachel.”

You know your way around a woman’s body too.

I shake the thought out of my head angrily. Now is not the time to get distracted. I glance back over at Tanner. The muscles in his shoulders and back ripple under his t-shirt as he paints higher up the wall.

“You still haven’t answered me,” he says, keeping his focus on his painting. His dark eyes narrow as he presses a new brush-load of paint to the wall. As he strokes it up the wall, a small look of satisfaction crosses his face. It’s sexy to watch. Shit. It’s an unnerving thought, admitting to myself that I find him sexy.

“He’s named after a politician.”

Tanner’s eyes break their focus and round on me. “You named your rabbit after a politician?”

“It was Megan’s idea.”

“Why would she suggest such a bizarre thing?”

“Because I have this thing where I dream about politicians when I’m aroused,” I say quickly, glancing at Tanner’s puzzled face.

He stays silent for a long time before turning his attention back to the paint. Hopefully, that’s the end of it.

I pick my brush back up to carry on.

Tanner clears his throat. “You know, as far as first questions go, I would say that was an excellent choice. What an insight into the inner workings of Rachel Jones’ mind,” he says, amusement clear in his voice.

I turn to look at him, and he’s wearing a stupid grin, no doubt delighted at my embarrassing confession.

“So, the night before our whisky date, did you, erm… dream about a full-on general election or something?” He winks.

I feel my blood boil. Who does he think he is?

“You’ve already had your question,” I snap. “My turn now.”

He shrugs his shoulders at me. “Bring it on.”

God, he’s so annoying and sure of himself.

“What are you doing here? Really? I’m sure there are loads of women who will fall for the hair and the car, and…,” I gesture up and down his body with my paintbrush, “… all this. So why do you keep turning up here like a bad smell when I think I’ve made it quite clear that the other night was a one-off?”

He turns and looks at me, cocking his head to one side, before walking over slowly, closing the distance between us.

“Was it? Was it a one-off?” he asks as he stops in front of me. He’s so close that I have to tilt my head back to look up into his burning gaze.

“Because, the way I see it,” he says huskily as he raises his paintbrush and holds it over my chest, “is that your body is telling me that night was only the beginning.”

He gently runs the brush over my t-shirt, where my hardened nipples are now straining against the fabric. The rough drag of the brush’s bristles sends a shiver down my spine.

“You did not just paint me,” I say, glaring up at him.

In case there was any doubt, he raises the brush again and slowly paints across my other nipple, his eyes blazing into mine, taunting me.

“You’re an asshole,” I say as my body takes over, reaching my hands up and digging them into his hair, pulling his head, so his mouth crashes down onto mine.

I kiss him hard, delving deep and pulling him against me. All the air leaves my lungs before I gasp as I pull away for a second. He pants, pressing his forehead against mine.

“If you need an asshole, Snow, then I’ll be one. I will be whatever you need,” he growls, wrapping an arm around my waist and pulling me back into the kiss. His tongue swirls against mine with the perfect pressure.

Fuck, can he kiss.

“Let me take that,” Tanner says, pulling back from our kiss to remove the brush from my hand. He places them down carefully in the roller tray. “We don’t want to get paint on the floor and give you any more reason to hate me, now do we?” His eyes flash with desire as he rises back to his feet.

I can’t tear my eyes away from his. He looks at me like he’s been starved, and I’m the most delicious thing he’s ever laid eyes on.

“No, don’t give me any more reasons,” I smirk.

“It’s like this t-shirt of yours that I’ve got paint all over,” he says as his warm fingers inch up underneath the fabric, exposing my stomach, “I should take it off before you notice just how ruined it is.”

I shudder as his fingers brush higher up the side of my ribs, and then the underside of my arms as I raise them in the air for him to pull it off over my head.

“So much better,” he murmurs as his hands come to my breasts, cupping them through the sheer fabric of my bra. He rolls my nipples between his thumbs and forefingers as he lets out a low, involuntarily moan of appreciation. “It’s cruel of you to keep these pretty tits from me for over a week, Rachel.” He reaches behind my back and effortlessly flicks the strap, so it comes undone.

I lean back against the wall as he lowers his mouth onto me, my nipple engulfed by his hot, wet lips. Fuck, it feels so good. A small whimper escapes my lips before I reign it back in.

I’m too late. He heard it.

“See, Rachel, you say you don’t want this, want me,” Tanner murmurs as he switches his attention to my other nipple, “but your fucking delicious body tells me otherwise,” he growls, nipping me between his teeth.

A rush of arousal soaks my panties, and it takes all my self-control not to grab his strong, thick fingers and force them inside my jeans to where I want them.

“So why don’t you tell me? Which should I believe?” he says, bringing his mouth to mine once again and catching my lips in a heated kiss.

“I think you’re deranged,” I pant between kisses. “The paint fumes must be getting to you.” He smirks against my lips as he presses his body against mine. I feel his erection pressing into me.

“I think you’re the one who’s fucking deranged, Rachel, if you can’t see just how good we can be together.” He spins me around, so my face is against the wall. His hands undo my jeans, and he slides them down to my ankles, dropping to his knees behind me. He plants one hand against my bum, holding me in place as the other slips my shoes off and helps me step out of my jeans.

“You know, I love these sexy panties you always wear,” he hisses.

He tugs and releases the fabric, and a sharp sting lands across my skin. I swallow hard as I try not to writhe back against his fingers. I don’t want him to know how much his words and touch are affecting me.

“I’ve got the last pair you left behind. They still smell like you,” he says darkly, his fingers kneading into my buttocks.

“I didn’t intentionally leave you a free gift.” I gasp as he pulls my cheeks apart and buries his face against the lace of my thong, soaking wet from my arousal. “I couldn’t find them in the morning.” I shudder as he pulls the fabric to one side, and the warmth of his tongue slides against my skin.

“A small price to pay for my disappointment at finding you gone when I woke up, then,” Tanner growls. He pulls his tongue back and moves one hand between my legs, sliding two fingers up deep inside me from behind.

I hiss at his roughness, although I can’t help my body screaming out for more as I grind back against his hand.

“Such a greedy little thing, aren’t you?” he says, pulling his fingers out and sliding my thong down my legs. “Spread your legs, Snow. Let me really taste you.”

“We’re back on the Snow thing, are we?” I smirk, but I do as he says and spread my legs as I lean against the wall, my hands on either side of my face and my bum pushed back on full display for him.

“Yes, we’re back on the Snow thing,” he growls as he pulls my cheeks apart again. “I’ll call you whatever the fuck I want when I’m drinking up your greedy little pussy’s orgasms.”

I smile at his words and let out a low moan as he leans forward and buries his mouth and tongue into me. I’m not used to someone calling me out on my shit. I know I have an attitude and can be a handful. Most guys just take it, but not Tanner. He loves to give it back, and fuck is he giving it back right now.

“Oh, yes, just like that,” I cry as his tongue speeds up, circling over my clit repeatedly. “Fuck, you do that so well,” I moan, pushing back into him.

His fingers reach around and take over, stroking my clit as his tongue slides up deep inside me.

“Oh, fuck yes! Give me more. I need more,” I plead, feeling the familiar pressure growing.

Tanner pinches my clit, and it’s the final push I need. I cry out as I come hard against him, his tongue swirling deep inside me, lapping it up. I hear a deep moan coming from his throat, but it sounds far away with all the blood that’s rushing in my ears.

“Tan,” I pant, “fuck! that was good.” I try to get my breath back as he stands up behind me, easing me back around, so I’m facing him.

His dark eyes look wild as he strokes one side of my face with the back of his hand. “You’re so fucking beautiful right after I’ve made you come.”

The intensity he’s looking at me with is too much, so I lower my eyes to his pants and unfasten them.

“I think it’s time we play fair for a bit, don’t you?” I say as I smile at him, pushing them down, along with his boxers. I move in front of him so that he can lean back against the wall.

“I think that sounds like a good idea,” he murmurs, pulling his t-shirt off over his head.

My eyes roam over his broad, muscular chest. He really is a fine example of a man.

I drop to my knees at his feet before looking back up at him from underneath my eyelashes. His cock hangs between his legs, a bead of wetness glistening on its tip.

“Fuck yes,” he whispers as he reaches down and rubs his thumb across my bottom lip before bringing his other hand down to my hair, gathering it gently away from my face. He looks like he’s lost in his own fantasy. His eyelids are heavy and his breathing deep, anticipating my next move.

I reach both hands out and run them up his thighs. He hisses, and his eyes darken as I wrap one hand around his smooth balls and the other around the base of his thick cock.

“Have you ever thought of me, kneeling in front of you like this, ready to suck on your cock?” I say in mock sweetness as I look up at him and lick my lips.

“Only since the first time I ever fucking saw you,” he says through gritted teeth, his voice strained.

“I guess I shouldn’t keep you waiting any longer, then?”

Tanner sucks in a breath and gently tugs my hair. I look up at him and watch his eyes widen as I extend my tongue and lick the bead of wetness off the end of his cock.

“Mmm, you taste good,” I say before leaning further forward and wrapping my lips around his smooth head.

I don’t dare tear my eyes away from him as I slowly sink down, relaxing my throat so I can take every inch of him in. He’s looking at me like I’m the only woman in existence, made especially for him. It’s so strong and territorial—like he’s claiming me as his.

I can’t get enough.

I moan deep in my throat as I pick up the pace, moving my hands onto his thighs so I can draw him in deeper each time before sucking right back to his tip. Twice, I lose him as I pull back, but his spare hand grabs the base, and he taps the end of his cock against my lips before feeding it back into my mouth again.

“You’re such a good girl, Snow, swallowing down my cock like that,” he says, his eyes glued to where my lips are wrapped around him. “You do not know how fucking hot you look right now, with me in your throat.”

I murmur around him and suck harder. “Fuck,” he hisses, “I don’t want to come yet. You need to stop.”

I increase my pace and hold his gaze.

“I said stop,” he growls, pulling away from me and grabbing both of my arms, pulling me to my feet. “God, woman, don’t you ever listen?”

But before I can answer, he’s kissing me again, his fingers sliding back up inside me and rubbing against my G-spot.

“Tan.” I shudder, feeling another orgasm building up. He’s in exactly the right spot.

“I love it when you say my name,” he growls, dipping his head to kiss and bite my neck.

My hands find his hair, and I run them through his thick, dark waves. Considering how much it irritated me seeing him run his hand through it when I first met him, I find myself not being able to stop doing the exact same thing.

“I want your next orgasm on my cock,” he growls, “I want to watch you ride me.”

He leans down to pull his shoes off, followed by his pants and boxers that are around his ankles. When he’s completely naked, he pulls me down on top of a pile of clean, folded-up dust sheets I’d brought over to cover the floor with during painting. He smiles at me as he lays back against them, lifting me easily and positioning me with one leg on either side of his hips.

There’s a deep pulsing between my legs, my arousal almost more than I can bear. No one has ever turned me on as much as him. What the hell is going on? The way he speaks to me, so commanding, not at all worried about challenging me, so he has a turn to be in charge. Fuck, it’s hot.

I look down at his expression, and he’s smiling to himself, one hand stroking his cock, the other gently running up and down over my waist and hip. “Give me what I want.” He smirks at me.

Oh, I’ll give it to you, baby.

I’ll wipe that smug smile right off his face until he’s begging me to stop.

He reaches one hand over to his pants and pulls a condom out of the pocket, expertly tearing the foil between his teeth and rolling it down onto himself. He’s obviously used to doing it, judging by his ease.

I don’t know why that bothers me.

I stare into his eyes as I rise over him. He holds the base of his cock, positioning it perfectly for me to slide down onto it in one smooth movement until he’s deep inside me, filling me completely.

He sucks his breath in. “Fuck, Rachel, you feel so good.”

Hell, he feels good too. No one has ever seemed to fit so perfectly with me before.

I rise slowly and sink back down onto him.

“You know, when you’re like this, you’re not nearly as annoying.” I sigh as I savor the fullness from him.

Tanner smiles up at me. “Better do all I can to maintain my winning streak then.”

He brings his hands up to cup my breasts. I arch my back and push them further into his large, warm hands, gasping as he squeezes my nipples. Wow, that feels so good. How can he make something that’s been done to me many times before feel so much more intense now? So much better, so much… more.

I drop my hands to his shoulders as I lean forward so I can really ride him hard. I slide up and down, finding my rhythm, my eyes fluttering closed as I get lost in my pleasure.

“Rach,” Tanner groans as he brings his legs up for leverage. His hands drop to my hips, and he digs his fingers into my skin as he drags me back and forth faster.

I can’t help but moan out loud with each delicious thrust—my senses overloaded with pleasure. I open my eyes and look down at Tanner, who bites his lip with a smile, holding my gaze as he pulls me back down onto his cock again and again. His pupils dilate as I stare back into his eyes.

“Come for me, baby,” he whispers, lifting his chin, his eyes delving right into my body, deep into my soul as though to extract my pleasure from deep within. I hate being told what to do, but somehow, I can’t deny his command; he’s got something over me. I don’t know what the hell it is, but I feel myself unravel under his intense gaze.

“Tan,” I moan, throwing my head back as the first intense wave rips through me.

It takes all my strength to keep riding him, each contraction grabbing my breath and threatening to force me to stop, the pleasure almost unbearable. I do, though. I keep sliding back down onto him, again and again, crying out as each fresh jolt of my orgasm hits me.

“Don’t,” pant, “fucking”, pant, “stop.” Tanner forces out each word as his grip on my hips tightens.

His eyes have left my face and are watching his cock sliding in and out of my body. I clench hard around him, and he loses control, coming hard, his arms shaking as they hold me tight.

“Fuck… Rachel,” he groans loudly, his eyes rolling back in his head.

With each strong pulse inside me, I feel whatever this thing is that he has over me growing stronger. It’s sinking teeth and claws into me, pulling me under.

It scares the hell out of me.

Our bodies slow down until, finally, we stop moving. I stay still, holding him inside my body as we catch our breath. Beads of sweat run down my back, and there’s a sheen of perspiration along Tanner’s hairline. His dark waves now perfecting a sexy, just-fucked style.

He locks his eyes onto mine, a sexy smile spreading across his lips as he tenderly strokes the now red skin on my hips.

“In answer to your question. I keep turning up, ‘like a bad smell’,” he raises his eyebrows at me, “because I’m a sucker for being insulted and then fucked better than ever before in my life.”

A pathetic sense of happiness creeps in hearing him say I’m the best sex of his life.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

But deep down, I already know the problem. He’s the best sex of mine too. He’s ruined any other men for me now. They could never compete with Tan.

I pull back from him, aching instantly from the loss of his body in mine, as I sit down beside him.

“That wasn’t meant to happen—again,” I say, not able to look him in the face.

The sound of him pulling the condom off and tying it into a knot echoes around the room before he sits up next to me.

“What if it was meant to?” he whispers.

He presses a gentle kiss to my shoulder, and my body stiffens as I stare straight ahead. He seems to sense not to push me.

“Here.” He reaches across the floor to our discarded clothes and hands me his t-shirt.

“That’s yours, not mine.”

“I know, but yours will still be wet. Wear mine until it dries.”

I turn and finally look back into his eyes, their beautiful amber flecks catching in the light. I nod and take his t-shirt gratefully, pulling it down over my head.

It smells of him.

Maybe accepting it wasn’t such a good idea.

“Thank you,” I whisper.

He says nothing, and I wonder if he heard me, but I know he must have.

I swallow the growing lump in my throat and watch as he stands and pulls his boxers and pants back on.

I never stay to cuddle. I’m always straight out the door after sex.

So why do I feel like I’ve just made a huge mistake?


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