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Reckless (Chestnut Springs Book 4): Chapter 23


I’ve often thought about that night with Theo. Okay, I’ve obsessed over it. And I was certain I imagined how much he enjoyed going down on me. At first, I felt guilty.

“It’s okay, you don’t need to,” I said, while grabbing at his hair, trying to pull him back up.

He laughed, a deep rumble that I felt against my core. Eyes sparking, he stared up at me from between my legs. “I know I don’t need to, Tink. But I really, really want to.”

I’d never felt as naked as I did with his eyes fixed on the most private part of me.

I haven’t been with many men. I was too busy with school and then work.

And I definitely haven’t been with any men who ate my pussy with a smile. Which is what he did.

I had my first orgasm that night, with Theo Silva’s manicured stubble rasping against my inner thighs. I should be sad it took me twenty-eight years to have that moment, and yet, I’m not.

There was something poetic about it. Unforgettable. And right now, I’m taken back to that exact spot as Theo yanks my leggings from my body like he can’t wait another second.

“I just worked out,” I huff out before I internally berate myself for trying to sabotage this moment when I know how good it feels. How badly I want it.

Theo’s deep, amused chuckle is what I get in return. He spreads my legs and stares down at me. The bright halogen lights leave me nowhere to hide. “You barely broke a sweat. Which means I didn’t work you hard enough. But I will now.”

The pads of his fingers trail over the inside of my thighs, leaving gooseflesh in their wake.

“Someone could walk in,” I say again.

I hate myself. Why can’t I just shut up and enjoy good things?

He nods as he leans forward and drags his tongue over the length of my pussy. A deep, satisfied, “Mmm,” crests his lips. “I hope they do, Winter. I hope we have a whole fucking audience to watch how hard I’m going to make you come.”

My heart beats so fast I swear I can feel my sternum vibrating. Why does that sound so good? Why is this man so feral in so many ways? And then so fucking sweet? I can’t keep up with it.

There’s nothing polite or clinical about the way he lifts my legs and props one foot on each of his shoulders. “The only way I’m not eating this pussy is if you tell me to stop, Winter.”

I stare at him. Pulse thrumming. Chest heaving. Lips parted.

And I don’t say a single thing.

I nod.

And just like all those months ago, he grins against my core and then latches on like he needs me more than the air he breathes.

There are no tentative tongue strokes, no holding back. He devours me, and the edges of my vision go blurry. My hands reach above my head, gripping the bench to hold myself back.

Theo suffers from no such concern. His hands roam all over my body. Stroking. Squeezing. He doesn’t hold back with me. Doesn’t treat me like I’m breakable, or like I need breaking.

He treats me like I’m perfect. Irresistible. Worthy.

With one hand clamped around my shaking thigh, he brings the other to my center and guides two fingers into me with an aching slowness. His tongue makes unhurried swipes at my clit, like he has nowhere else to be. Like his mind isn’t in a million other places.

I’m anticipating the slow stretch, the fullness that drives me wild. The patient kisses he presses to my thighs, to my stomach.

“Fuck, Theo.”

“How does that feel, Winter?”

I respond with a whimpery hum as I dig my fingers into the tacky seat. I’m holding on for dear life, like I’m on the precipice of something that terrifies me. My brain is too full, my heart too confused. All this sensation muddles me. It pulls me apart until I’m just a puddle for Theo to play with.

His fingers drag out and I can feel my wetness as he spreads it over my lips. “Not good enough?” he murmurs. “Guess I need to step up my game.”

My back arches and I cry out as he pushes back in with a third finger, or a fourth. I don’t even know, and I’m not about to look. All I know is it feels like a lot.

“How does it feel now?”

“So fucking good.” The words rush from my lips. “Don’t stop.”

I hear his pleased growl but keep my eyes fixed on the ceiling beams and the hanging industrial lights. Making eye contact with him right now might make me combust.

“How could I stop when I’m loving the way you look with my fingers stuffed inside you?”

Heat scorches my cheeks, and my hips buck toward him. Involuntarily. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

My brain has left the building. It’s only my body now. And my body wants Theo Silva. I give in and let go of the bench, reaching for him. My fingers tangle in his thick hair.

And just like before, my body lights up for him. I grind into his mouth, and he meets my thrusts with equal fervor.

He spears me with his tongue, fucks me with his fingers, and takes the odd bite of my oversensitive flesh any time I get close to tipping over the edge. My body soars when he takes a long, firm pull on my clit while shoving his fingers into me roughly.

“Theo.” I tug his hair. “Theo, I’m going to come.”

He pulls back for a beat, and I finally meet his dark, wild eyes, full of lust. “Nah. You don’t come, remember?”

He looks so smug.

“Keep going.” I ignore his jab, whining and trying to pull his face down. Acting as desperate as I feel.

“Admit it.” His fingers move again.

My head lowers back down on the bench. “Admit wh-what?” I stutter when he curls his fingers inside me and hits a spot that makes me see stars.

“That you only come for me. And that you fucking love it. All that snarling. All that unaffected nail-gazing. All those scowls. They all disappear when you have my face between your legs. I can fuck you happy, can’t I, Winter?”

“I hate you.” I glare at him, but there’s no malice. How can there be when he’s right?

His fingers push and twist and my body bows toward him like the deceitful little hussy it is.

“Admit it. Then I’ll let you come. Tell me what I need to hear.”

What he needs to hear? I’m panting, body pulled tight. I’m wound up to the point where I could burst.

So I admit it, as much to him as to myself.

“Theo, I only come for you and—”

He doesn’t let me finish before he’s back to devouring me, and within seconds, I burst. Just like I predicted.

A hot wave rolls through my body, and I give myself over to it. Thrashing in the heat. Relishing in the feel of a man who likes making me come, likes watching me fall apart for him.

He doesn’t push me too far. He doesn’t pull away too soon. He is so damn good at this.

So damn good to me.

I don’t just come. I come apart. I feel like I could break forever, over and over again, under the worshipping hands of Theo Silva.

Which is a terrifying prospect, because I’ve broken before.

And no one has ever helped me pick up the pieces.

I expected more after he went down on me. But he picked up my pants and carefully bunched them up over my ankles like he was dressing a child. I watched him, deft hands, veined forearms—one that should probably still be in a sling—and a look of satisfied concentration on his face.

“Don’t you want me to . . .” I trail off, rolling my wrist to explain my train of thought and realizing I feel a little shy. A little lost for words. A little out of my element.

What he did? The things he said? They shouldn’t have felt so momentous, but they did. And it terrified me. He isn’t just some hot one-night stand anymore. He’s the father of our little girl. I’ll be connected to him for the rest of my life, whether or not I want to be.

Whether or not he wants me.

This could be everything. Or it could be the biggest disaster of my life.

So when he smirks, rakes his eyes over me as I fix my fucked-up ponytail, and says, “Nah. I’m good,” my mind goes crazy.

He grips my chin and presses a hard kiss to my mouth before turning away to finish closing the gym. I taste myself, but all I can focus on are those two words echoing in my head.

I’m good.

As in, it satisfied him too?

Or like Ew, no thanks?

He spent countless minutes divulging all the things he likes about me. It seems unlikely he wouldn’t want to do more. And yet, that’s where my brain is trained to go.

My dad chose someone else.

My husband chose someone else. He chose my sister.

And I don’t resent her for it. I resent myself, because what is it about me that is so profoundly unlovable? I feel like I’m on a constant mission to figure that one thing out. I’m not offended by it. I just need to know what it is so I can fix it.

“Ready?” Theo’s voice startles me. My head snaps up to him from where I sit on the bench, lost in thought. His eyes lick up and down over me and my traitor body shivers in response.

I offer back a nod, which makes the annoying dimple pop up on Theo’s cheek. He’s biting back the smirk, but he still winks.

My stomach flips. Every time he does that, I remember him pumping gas the night I met him. He was hot then, but with another couple of years on him, he’s changed again. At twenty-eight he’s more man than boy. His shoulders seem wider. He’s more angular, more chiseled, more . . . overwhelming. And he’s got a maturity about him, a wise streak I find comforting. He’s playful but not flighty. Fun but dependable.

If I had to fuck a stranger and get knocked up, I picked a good one. If nothing else, Vivienne will have a great dad in her life.

“Did I kill some brain cells, Doctor Hamilton?”

I realize I’m just standing in the now darkened gym, staring at Theo like it’s my default mode.

Theo reaches for my hand, and I take it. My body moves toward him without me even thinking about it. Without me even admitting I want to.

His warm palm is calloused, proof of the years spent hanging on to a bull rope every weekend and lifting weights during the week. His thumb grazes the top of my hand as he sets the alarm system and leads me into the warm summer night.

With only the crunching of our feet on the loose gravel in the back lane, I finally say what I’ve been thinking. “I feel like I owe you.”

“Owe me what?” His voice is smooth and velvety tonight, and it brushes up against my skin. It soothes me.

“Sex, or something.”

“Or something? Now that part has me interested. What is the ‘or something’?” He cracks the joke, not realizing the way my mind can take it, spin it, and twist into something he never meant for it to be. Like he wouldn’t want the sex.

“Funny.” I glance down at our hands as he takes his fingers and threads them through mine.

“Hey.” His tone is less playful now, and I can’t meet his eyes. “Don’t drop your head like that. Stop thinking whatever you’re thinking, because I guarantee it’s wrong.”

He stops, tugging me to face him, and lifts my chin with a bent knuckle. “Winter.”

Inky eyes and hair, golden skin; the darkness of the night gives him an edge.

I lick my lips. “Theo.”

“Yeah, Tink?”

“I don’t understand what’s happening here. The things you say. The things you do. Everything that’s happened. It doesn’t make sense. I can’t figure it out.”

He tilts his head, as if he’s trying to figure me out from a different perspective. “What’s happening is Miss Independent met the treat-her-like-a-princess guy, and she’s freaking out.”

I roll my eyes. “That’s ridiculous.”

“You only think you owe me something because you’ve spent too long dating assholes who are terrible lays. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Stop overthinking it. Plus, my face is the ride.” His lips twitch and I mirror the motion.

“You’re insane.” I pull away, trying to hide my laughter. But I don’t let go of his hand as we round the end of the block, heading back toward our respective houses.

“But it’s a nice face, isn’t it? If you had to ride one?”

Laughter bubbles up in me. It fills my chest and clogs my throat. It bursts from me like a song I can’t resist singing. It sounds foreign to me, light and musical.

God. Am I giggling?

His fingers pulse in mine, and then he tugs me back and kisses me. His mouth slants over mine and he swallows my laughter like he wants to keep it for himself.

He created it, so I suppose it’s only fair I give it back to him. Our fingers stay linked and his opposite hand dusts over my jaw with a light tremor.

Soft lips. Soft hair. Soft sighs. It’s not a long kiss, but it’s a heart-rending one. Natural, as though he couldn’t help himself.

And not for the first time tonight, I feel wanted.

When he pulls away, I leave my eyes shut for a moment, letting this feeling warm me. Because it’s fleeting and I want to remember it.

My eyes are still closed when he leans in and says, “Next time, you ride my face. You’re going to ask for it. Beg for it. Work for it even. You will tell me exactly what you want, and I will give it to you. But this isn’t happening again until that time. Until you know what you want. Because I want you, Winter. And not just for one night.”

With that, he takes my breath and pulls me along with him down the quiet, tree-lined street. My brain goes from freaking out about Theo to freaking out about the woman sitting on his front step.

I know I shouldn’t.

He says I’ve been part of his plan. But I’m terrified to believe it.


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