Discovering Mr. X: Chapter 12

TANNER

I turn up at eight o’clock every morning for the rest of the week, always with Rachel’s double-shot caramel latte and my coffee. We’ve almost finished painting now, and the house is looking great. We’ve spent all week chatting about her flying and the places she’s been, about my mom and growing up, yet Rachel never mentions her past. She talks more about the fucking rabbit. I must meet him soon. I’ve heard more about him than anything else. She may not show her emotion to people easily, but it’s obvious she adores him.

Neither of us talks about the other day, how we just got dressed and carried on painting like nothing had happened, except I had no t-shirt on. Rachel wore it, and hell, she looked great in it. It swamped her and made her seem delicate and vulnerable. I wanted nothing more than to wrap her in my arms, but I know that’s not what she would have wanted.

My mom’s words keep repeating in my head.

It might take time to earn her trust, Tanner.

I’ve never wanted to invest time in someone else before, not romantically, not like I want to with Rachel. Most guys would have probably given up by now, but not me. I can’t keep away from her. It’s physically impossible. The more she pushes me away, the more determined I am that I will be the one she lets in.

She will let me in.

She has to.

“It looks great!” I say, meaning it as I stand back with my hands on my hips to admire our hard work.

“I can’t believe it’s actually finished.” Rachel smiles the easiest smile I’ve seen on her face this week, her eyes sparkling with joy.

She looks so beautiful.

“Someone,” I point at her, “thought she could do this all by herself.”

I pull my phone out of my pocket to look at the time.

“It’s ten past six in the evening, and it’s only just finished, with two of us going at it.” I emphasize the word two as she narrows her eyes at me.

“I could have finished it before midnight by myself.” She shrugs her shoulders, but there’s a small smile on her lips as she takes my brush from me and heads into the kitchen to wash the paint out at the sink.

“Of course, you could.” I smirk, following her and leaning against the doorframe as I watch her. “So, what’s the plan for tomorrow?”

She pauses from washing the brushes. “I’ve hired a small van for the day. I was going to move some furniture over, but we aren’t spending the night here until Sunday. I want to air it all out for a couple of days first.”

“Can I help?” I ask, noticing she’s scratching her wrist under the running tap water.

“There’s no need; you’ve helped enough,” she says quickly, not meeting my gaze.

Fucking hell, it’s like getting blood out of a stone, getting her to accept any assistance.

“Rachel,” I say sternly, “I’m here. I’m offering. Let me do something.”

She raises her eyes to meet mine, a frown on her face as she shakes her head. “Fine, you’ll probably just turn up, anyway.”

Yes, Snow. You know me so well.

“As if I’d do such a thing,” I retort, pretending to look outraged, “show up where I’m not wanted. I’d have to be a fool!”

“I can think of other things to call you.” Rachel smirks.

“Careful, everyone, she’s made a joke! Must be an imposter.” I smile at her.

“You’re…” she starts.

“I’m what?” I stare at her, a smile playing on my lips as I run a hand back through my hair. What insult is she going to throw at me? I love it when she’s feeling feisty; it’s when it leads on to the incredible…

“You’re hungry. I can hear your stomach rumbling from over here.” She arches an eyebrow at me.

Despite my disappointment that I’m not about to have a spectacular fucking session, I chuckle at her response.

“Guilty.” I hold my hands up in the air. “It’s my new female boss. Fucking slave driver, she is.”

“Enough,” Rachel says as she puts the clean brushes and rollers up on the draining board and dries her hands on a towel. “I’m not that cruel that I will watch a grown man starve. You can come back to our house. We can order takeout.”

I do a good job of hiding the surprise on my face. “Sounds good to me.”

“Come on, then.” She squeezes past me in the doorway.

Is it me, or did she just brush her breasts against me on purpose?

Either way, I’m not going to stand here and miss finding out.

“Right behind you,” I call as I follow her out of the house.


“Another bonus that the new house is only a couple of streets away is you get to keep your regular Thai restaurant. That was so good,” I say, putting my empty plate down on the coffee table and leaning back into the sofa.

“I know, nice, isn’t it?” Rachel says as she leans back next to me.

Well, I say next to me, but there’s a rather large rabbit spread out in-between us. If you can call him that. He’s a beast—the size of a fat cat. The fucker has been watching me with one beady eye the entire time. Plonked himself right down next to me as soon as I sat down, and he hasn’t moved since. I swear he’s cock-blocking me on purpose.

Rachel strokes her hand over him, and he closes his eyes; one back foot thumps as she hits his sweet spot. I see this as my moment and casually stretch my arms up, planning to drape one across the back of the sofa, closer to Rachel. It’s like the giant fur ball knows what I’m doing as his eyes snap back open, and he eyeballs me again. Rachel turns to look at her phone, and I point two fingers at my eyes, then back at Nigel.

Yeah, I’m watching you, fucker.

“Megan says she’s having a good night.” Rachel reads her text out loud. “I’m pleased the new team she’s working with seems friendly. I was worried she would get lonely when I’m away flying.”

“She’s a big girl. Maybe she has a different bloke here every night when you’re away,” I joke.

“You have met Megan, haven’t you? She would never do that. Her morals are far too high. She’s waiting for the guy who writes the hallmark greeting cards to sweep her off her feet,” Rachel says, stretching her feet up onto the coffee table. Her bright red toenails draw my gaze. Who knew feet could be so damn sexy?

I shrug. “Good for her. Passing the time with the wrong people isn’t for everyone,” I say casually, taking a drink of the whisky Rachel’s given me. I wish I could look over and gauge her reaction without it being obvious.

“It’s getting late. I better tidy up,” she says, rising to her feet and gathering up the take-away boxes and our plates.

“I can do that.” I sit forward and rise from the sofa.

“It’s fine, sit,” she instructs as she piles everything up.

“Ouch! What the fuck!” I shout, jumping up as pain spreads across one of my ass cheeks. I turn around and see Nigel staring at me. “That little fucker just bit my ass!” I shout, pointing at him as he stares back at me.

“What? Let me see?” Rachel abandons the plates and turns me around. “I can’t see anything.”

“I’m telling you, I felt it. Rabbit fucking stew tomorrow!” I glare at Nigel. I swear if he could stick a finger up to go with the way he’s looking at me, then he would.

“That’s not like him at all,” Rachel says, scooping the beast up into her arms and kissing his nose. “You must have sat on him, and he got scared.”

“I hadn’t even gotten fully out of the seat! He knew exactly what he was doing.” I scowl. Nigel looks at me smugly from his cozy place in Rachel’s arms.

Motherfucker.

“Nigel, that’s not how we treat our guests, is it? I think it’s time you went to bed. You get cranky when you’re tired.” She carries him over to a large beanbag-style cat bed and lays him down onto it, stroking him as she says goodnight.

I gather up our plates and follow Rachel out of the room, glaring at Nigel one last time before shutting the door behind us.

I help Rachel load the dishwasher before we talk again.

“See you in the morning, then. You can show me what you want to take over.”

“You’re leaving?” Rachel asks, sounding—dare I hope—disappointed?

It would be so easy to pull her into my arms right now, suck on that sweet bottom lip.

Fuck! Grant me strength, God.

I saw too easily this week how she pulls herself away. There’s no way I want to lose her again by thinking with my dick. No, the next time something happens, I want to know for definite she wants it as much as I do.

“Yeah, it’s late, and you’ve been working hard all week. You need a good rest if you want to cart furniture around all day tomorrow,” I say, my considerate friend hat firmly on.

“See you in the morning then,” she replies, her eyes holding mine long enough that I know she feels this between us.

There’s no denying it. Hell, I can practically hear the crackling in the air.

“Yep, see you tomorrow.” I smile.


“Can we just try it over there again?” Megan points across the room as I rest my hands on my knees, taking a break.

“Yeah, of course, never mind the fact that you’re killing me here,” I pant, wiping sweat off my brow with the back of my hand. “What the fuck is this thing made of?” I ask, reaching down to lug the grey mass to another corner of her bedroom for the third time.

“Oh, concrete. I made it on a sculpting course I took.” She looks at where I’ve placed it. “Great! Thanks, Tan. I think right there is good.”

Thank fuck for that.

“What’s it meant to be, anyway?” I tilt my head, hoping its true identity emerges. I got nothing, though. It just looks like a lump of concrete.

“It’s modern art. It’s supposed to be an expression of the changing seasons.”

I obviously don’t hide the look on my face very well as she giggles. “I know, it’s crap, but I like to keep it as it reminds me of one of the first arty things I did after leaving flying. My passion is drawing, but I thought I would try something different. It doesn’t always work out.” She shrugs good-naturedly.

“Hey, guys,” Rachel calls up the stairs, “I’m just going to head back quickly. I forgot to give Nigel a snack. He’ll be in a right mood later if I don’t.”

So, last night was him in his usual mood?

“I’ll do it,” I call back, surprising myself. Why the hell did I just say that?

There’s a pause before Rachel calls back, “Actually, Tan, yes, please, that would be great. It means I can finish what I’m doing down here.”

Tan, she called me Tan.

A sense of satisfaction settles over me. We’re getting there.

I jog down the stairs, picking up Rachel’s keys, which are on the bottom step, and glance into the living room where she’s drilling some shelves into the recesses on either side of the fireplace. She point-blank refused to let me do it. I smile; she’s doing a great job.

“Back soon,” I say.

She turns to face me as my eyes drop down her body. I can’t help myself. I am a man, after all, and she looks fucking edible in another tight t-shirt knotted up around her waist and a pair of slim-fitting jogging bottoms.

“There’s a special oat chew for him on the kitchen side and some spinach in the fridge. Just give him a handful.”

Christ, this rabbit is a spoiled little wanker.

“Sure.” I nod, glancing at Rachel’s lips one last time before I head out of the door.

I drive a couple of minutes to Rachel and Megan’s house and park up before heading to the front door, letting myself in.

“Daddy’s home,” I call sarcastically, instantly wondering why I’m calling out to a rabbit, for fuck’s sake.

I head into the kitchen and open the fridge, grabbing out a bag of spinach leaves before I pick up the oat bar in a wrapper. “Organically grown and ethically sourced,” I read off the label with a snort. “Nigel eats better than me.” I shake my head as I walk through the hallway and open the door into the living room.

He’s sitting on the carpet, already eyeballing me as I walk over to him.

“Now listen,” I say as I take a seat next to him on the floor. “You don’t like me, and I don’t like you.” I open the bag and pull out a spinach leaf, offering it to him. He eyes me warily before leaning forward and snatching it from my fingers, nibbling it down quickly. “But,” I continue as I hold him out another one, which he takes more gently, “we both like it when your mommy smiles, and I know that sometimes I’m good at making her smile.”

Nigel eyes me again, then slowly hops up onto my legs. I don’t dare move.

“You aren’t about to launch another attack on me with those teeth, are you?” His nose twitches, and he sniffs towards the other side of my legs where the treats are. “Oh, I get it, keeping your enemies close, eh? Especially when they have the food.” I chuckle as I hold the oat stick out to him, and he grabs it, nibbling enthusiastically in my lap. “Smart move Nigel, you’d make a good entrepreneur.”

Tentatively, I place a hand down on his back. He pauses, eating to look at me for a brief second, before continuing his attack on the oat stick. I stroke him gently. “You’re soft; what the hell do you wash in? I could do with some,” I joke.

Actually, this feels really relaxing and explains why therapy pets are a thing. My eyes close before my phone vibrates in my pocket with a message.

“Sorry, mate,” I say to Nigel as I reach into my pocket to get it. He hops off my lap, taking his treat with him.

Drew: Hey Tan, how’s all the moving going?

Me: Yeah, good. Almost done for the day. Just come to feed the rabbit.

Drew: What the fuck you talking about? Is that some new kinky shit?

Me: I wish. I’m feeding their house rabbit, Nigel.

Drew: She’s got you by the balls, man! Lol. Best fucking thing I’ve heard all week. Tan the man is getting all sappy over some chick’s rabbit.

Me: Fuck off!

Drew: Ha!

Me: You still okay for Sunday at the office? I want to go over those contracts again before I go to New York.

Drew: Sure thing, Dr. Doolittle.


We spend the rest of the day sorting things out at the new house. Rachel’s kept the van for tomorrow to move the beds and sofa and the last few items. She doesn’t know I’m planning on coming back again in the morning to help, but I doubt she will bother arguing now. She knows it won’t do any good. Megan’s nipped over to see a friend from work, so it’s just Rachel and me at the old house, packing up a couple of things before calling it quits for the day.

“Did you want to take a shower while you’re here?” Rachel asks as she bends over to tape up a box.

My eyes drop to her bum, and I run a hand through my hair.

“Sorry?” I ask, completely missing what she said.

“If you’re going to check out my bum, then at least make sure you’re listening to me, so it’s not so obvious,” she says with a hint of amusement in her voice as she glances back over her shoulder at me.

“As if I would do such a thing? Doesn’t that infringe your equal rights somehow?” I fire back.

I love it when she’s in a playful mood. She’s seemed closed off all week. Maybe the relief at getting the painting finished and most of the furniture moved has loosened her up.

She stands back up and turns to face me. “I said, do you want to take a shower while you’re here? You’ve got dust in your hair.” Her eyes glance up to my head as she smirks.

“I’ve got a shower at my house, you know?” I say, testing her invitation to see if it’s some roundabout way of asking me to stay the night.

She shrugs. “I just thought you might want to have one sooner rather than later.”

Bingo!

She could have just said “fine” and let me leave.

“Well, now that you mention it, it kind of makes sense. I might be too tired when I get back home.” I backtrack shamelessly. “I’ll just grab some clean clothes from my car.”

“You carry clean clothes around in your car? Is that just in case you don’t make it back to your own bed?” Rachel asks without looking at me.

I study her face as she busies herself with some post on the kitchen side. I’d say she’s trying not to sound interested when, really, I can practically hear the cogs turning in her head. She’s wondering just how often I spend the night in beds belonging to other people. Or other women, should I say? I hold back my smile—it bothers her.

“I went to the gym on the way to you this morning. I’ve got clean clothes and a gym kit in there.”

“Oh,” she murmurs.

Yes, oh. My Snow is getting jealous, and I fucking love it!

“Back in a minute.” I head out to my car to get my bag.

I went to the gym this morning. That wasn’t a lie, but this bag has been in my car all week, in the hopes that she may thaw out towards me. I grab it out of the boot and head back inside.

The sound of running water greets me as I enter the hallway.

“Rachel?”

No answer.

Either she’s started it running for me, or she’s in there waiting for me. I kick off my shoes and take the stairs two at a time, hoping it’s the latter.

As I reach the top, Rachel comes out of the bathroom. “I turned it on for you. Sometimes the hot water takes a minute to come through,” she says as she goes to walk past me.

I drop my bag at my feet. She’s not seriously going to leave it at that, is she? I know she wants more, else why ask me to shower here? I sense she’s teetering on the edge of admitting to herself that it’s no use fighting this attraction between us any longer. She just needs a little push to sway her.

As she passes, I gently grasp her arm, stroking over her soft skin with the pad of my thumb. She stops, and I hear her suck in her breath, but she doesn’t look at me. Leaning down so my breath will be felt on her neck, I whisper, “thank you,” before stroking her skin one last time and heading into the bathroom. I’m careful to leave the door open, so there’s an unobstructed view from the hallway.

My heart’s thumping in my chest as I keep my back to the door, peeling my t-shirt off over my head.

Will it work?

My dick twitches in anticipation. If it doesn’t, I’ll have no choice but to be a terrible guest and have a wank in her shower.

I lean down and pull my socks off, rising again to undo the button on my jeans. I can’t hear her; maybe she’s gone back downstairs. I slide my jeans and boxers off, dropping them in a pile on the floor on top of my t-shirt.

My shoulders sag.

It didn’t work.

“I know what you’re doing?” a sweet voice breaks into my moment of self-pity. I turn. Rachel is standing in the doorway, one eyebrow raised as she looks me straight in the eyes.

“What are you talking about?” I force my eyes to stay focused on her face. One look down at her in that tight t-shirt again, and my dick will surely give the game away about exactly what it is I’m thinking about right now.

She walks over to me slowly, stopping toe to toe with me before she raises her chin, her eyes bright with amusement.

“You didn’t shut the door on purpose, hoping I would see you get undressed and come in here, didn’t you?”

Well shit. There’s no getting anything past her. It worked, though. I hold back my smile.

“Why would I do a thing like that?” I ask seriously.

Her eyes gaze into mine before dropping to my lips. I run a hand back through my hair. Fuck, I love when she looks at me like that.

She smirks. “You just did that thing with your hair again. You do it when you’re turned on.”

Hang on, I do what?

“I think you hoped that you’d be able to persuade me to come in here and join you,” she continues, her eyes focused on mine in a silent challenge. “Tell me I’m right?”

I gaze into her eyes. “You’re wrong,” I murmur. “That is not what I wanted at all.”

Her brows pinch together.

“I’m not going to persuade you to do anything. I’m not even going to hint at it.” I take a breath and lean in closer, so my words are almost spoken against her lips. “I want you to do exactly whatever you want to do, Rachel.” I pull back slightly, my eyes searching hers.

Just say it, Snow, tell me you want this as much as I do. Stop. Fighting. Us.

She looks down, and I hold my breath.

Please…

Finally, she lifts her eyes to mine, and they’re dark with desire. She snakes her arms up around my neck, standing on her tiptoes, so her lips are close to mine. I can smell the perfume on her skin, mixed with the heat of her body. It takes over my fucking head as blood rushes to my cock. I still haven’t laid a finger on her. I won’t. Not until she tells me exactly what she wants.

“I,” she whispers against my mouth, her eyes never leaving mine, “want you.” She presses her body firmly against mine, and I clench my fists by my sides.

“You want me to what?” I ask, my voice strained.

She presses a light kiss against my lips. “I want you to make me scream out your name as you say the filthiest things to me you can bear. I want it fast, and I need it hard.”

Fucking Hell.

I groan like a tormented animal as I tear her t-shirt up over her head and reach around to unclasp her bra, pulling it off roughly, my hands grabbing her tits at the same time my mouth claims hers.

Fuck, she tastes so good.

My tongue dives deeper into her mouth, meeting her own as we drink each other up. I rub and squeeze her tits with both of my hands, her nipples rising into tight little peaks.

“I’m going to fuck these gorgeous tits of yours one day,” I growl against her lips.

Now is not that day, though. She said she wants it fast and needs it hard. Who am I to deprive her? I stop kissing her and reach down to my jeans on the floor to get a condom.

“Take the rest of your clothes off so I can fuck you just like you want it, naughty girl.”

Her eyes hold mine as she pulls her pants and panties down and stands in front of me, naked.

Fuck. I will never tire of this sight—her smooth skin, tiny waist, incredible tits, and light pink nipples.

She’s fucking sensational.

I roll the condom down onto my stiff cock, the brush of my hands causing my balls to tighten.

Hell, it is going to be fast.

I pull Rachel towards me, grabbing a fistful of her hair in one hand and tipping her head back so I can kiss and suck my way down her neck.

With one hand, I lightly slap across her nipples. She arches into me, sucking in her breath before letting out a moan that almost makes me blow my load on the spot.

“Turn around,” I say, twisting her hips, so her back is to me. I position her in front of the sink. Thank fuck they have a self-clearing mirror, and it’s not steamed up from the running shower.

“You want it fast and hard, baby,” I say through gritted teeth as I bend her forwards, so she’s gripping onto the sink, one hand on either side.

“No. I said I want it fast, and I need it hard.” She fires back, her eyes catching mine in the mirror.

My cock swells even more at her snarky attitude. My girl is back doing what she does best, and she said she wanted filth.

“You’re a cheeky bitch, aren’t you?” I say as I grip onto her hips and push deep inside her, circling my hips once I’ve sunk all the way in. She moans as I draw back. “Your greedy pussy is already pulling me back in,” I say, thrusting back inside her, so my balls hit her skin. “Admit it, you love me fucking you,” I hiss, drawing back and slamming back into her.

“Fuck you,” she says, looking at me in the glass.

“You’re going to regret saying that.” My eyes hold her gaze as I drive into her with such force she’s thrown forward towards the sink. I dig my fingers into her hips harder and drag her back down onto me, banging into her with relentless, punishing force.

“I know you love the feel of my cock deep inside you, filling you up, stretching you. Your pussy is mine now, don’t you fucking forget it,” I hiss as I pound into her.

“Fuck, Tan,” Rachel moans. Her eyes are half-closed, her mouth hangs open, and her tits bounce as I fuck her.

It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen.

“Come on, baby, show me what your greedy little pussy can do.”

She tenses around me in response.

“Fuck, yeah,” I groan loudly. “I know you want me to fill you up, don’t you? You want to feel my cock jerking as I blow my load inside you. Don’t you, baby?” I look at Rachel’s face, and her eyes hold mine. “Fucking say it, Rachel!” I shout, sucking in big, deep breaths.

“I—” She’s struggling to talk, her breath coming in ragged pants. “I want you to—Oh, fuck, Tan!” she cries. “I’m going to come.”

“That’s it, baby, come all over my cock. Your orgasm is mine. Squeeze me, baby, let me have it all,” I pant as she opens her mouth and screams, her cheeks flushed, her eyes wild.

She’s fucking beautiful.

“That’s it, Snow,” I say as I ride it out with her, feeling her contractions hug my cock. God, it feels so good.

“Tan!” she cries, screwing her face up, and her contractions quicken and intensify again.

Fuck yes! She’s coming again.

It’s more than I can bear, knowing what she’s doing, what I’m responsible for. My cock swells almost painfully, and I come violently, my balls slapping against her as I fuck out every drop.

Oh God, oh fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck!

I bite my lip as the last wave of pleasure rolls over me, and my body comes back down.

That was intense. I gently ease out of her and bring her upright, pulling her back against my chest, one hand turning her head to the side, so my lips graze hers in a kiss.

“Remember, I said I prefer you when you don’t talk?” she murmurs against my lips.

“Mmm.” I kiss her again, gently sucking her bottom lip, my fingers stroking her soft cheek.

“I think I like it even better when you talk to me like that,” she whispers, kissing me back deeply.

I chuckle. “You like a bit of filth, huh?”

“Only the talking kind.” She smirks as she slides her back against me, and the sweat we are both covered in makes our skin stick together.

“It’s a good job you heated the shower for us then, isn’t it?” I smile as I take her hand and lead her in under the hot spray with me, claiming her mouth again as I wrap her in my arms.

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