I was screwed, totally screwed. Watching Jay talking to a pretty blonde and wanting to scratch her eyes out? That wasn’t part of the ‘friends with benefits’ plan. Watching the clock tick closer to midnight and knowing I wasn’t going to be the one kissing him and hating it? That wasn’t part of the plan either. He’d already broken my ‘no cuddling’ and ‘no sleepovers’ rules so what was one more? No jealousy? Not just broken, shattered into a million pieces.

Like me. After my second encounter with Jay. The first had been devastating enough. I’d thought if I controlled the how and the when, I could control my feelings. Turned out I was completely wrong. And when it came to Jay, not particularly smart either. Because I should have ended it there. But when he sent me a text nearly a week later asking if he could come over, I should have said no. But what kind of friend with benefits was that? So I said yes, and had no sooner sent my ‘Yes. How soon will be here?’ reply when he had knocked on the door.

“Hey baby.” His grin was loose as he stood, propped in my door.

“And what would you have done if I’d said no?” I asked with a shake of my head.

He shrugged and I waved him inside then leaned against the closed door as he prowled around my apartment. He went into the kitchen and I expected to hear water running but he came out a moment later and peered into my bedroom then came back to stand in front of me.

Had he just searched my apartment? “Looking for something?” I said incredulously.

“Just making sure we’re alone,” he said, completely unrepentant and my mouth dropped open in shock.

“I wouldn’t -” ‘have said yes’ went unheard as he kissed me, his tongue sliding between my lips and stealing my words and my outrage. Because the man could kiss. Lips soft but firm with just the right amount of suction, and he tasted faintly of alcohol as our tongues tangled. His fingers pushed into my hair, tugging gently and my head fell back as he broke the kiss to drag him mouth down my throat.

“Stubble, against your neck,” he mumbled as he rubbed against me. His clever hands slid around my waist under my cotton tank and in one swift move he pulled it over my head. “Your breasts.” I groaned and my hands found his hair as he sucked one nipple hard for a brief moment then dropped to his knees. “Your thighs.”

“Jay,” I begged as he nuzzled my thighs, pushing them apart, then pressed his open mouth over my cotton covered mound and bit down gently.

“Great party!”

I blinked out of my reverie and smiled at the man standing next to me.

“Sure is,” I agreed with a nod then turned away. I smiled and stopped to say hello to people I knew as I made my way to the kitchen. I was trying to remember why I had come when a muscular arm wrapped around my waist and I was pulled against a hard body.

“Here she is!” Adrian hugged me then Tam was there for her hug. The reasons why. Their first party since moving in together.

“This is amazing you two!” I smiled at them both, gesturing to the balloons floating around the ceiling, the dessert table, all the beautiful people. “Real wow factors!”

“Isn’t is great?” Tam was beaming, whether from the success of the party or because of the rock she now sported on her left hand, I wasn’t sure.

Shaking my head in amazement I grabbed her hand yet again. “Still can’t believe this!” I arched a brow at Adrian who looked like he’d just discovered fire he was so proud and happy, yet had the touch of panicked confusion.

“Believe what?” Jay slid his arm around my waist and pulled me to his side for a hug then let go to hug Tam. “That she said yes? Yeah, we’re all not believing that,” he said with a grin then he mock whispered to Tam. “If he’s forcing you to stay here, blink once.”

Tam laughed and Adrian pulled her to his side even as he reached out quick as lightning to smack Jay in the back of the head.

“Hey!” he laughed, rubbing his head and stepping behind me. His hands clamped onto my hips as he pulled me flush against him. I knew he was joking around, using me a human shield but my traitorous body recognised his and I melted against him.

I couldn’t help but think about his hands on my body…

His fingers tucked into the sides on my underwear and I pressed my hands over his, stopping him. I needed to take back control, show him this was about sex, not about seduction. Jay on his knees, looking at me with lust in his eyes, his cheeks flushed, his tongue making a slow sweep across his lower lip, was pure temptation.

“Come on,” I stepped to the side and turned towards my bedroom, looking at him over my shoulder I crooked a finger at him then walked away. I made it to my bed and stripped out of my underwear before Jay appeared in the doorway. He’d taken the time to take off his shoes and socks and had his shirt half unbuttoned.

“Someone’s eager,” he said, his voice a low rumble as he made short work of the rest of his buttons.

“That’s why you’re here, right?” I taunted as I pulled back the sheets then sat on the bed. I felt exposed under his gaze so I pulled my knees to my chest and hugged them while I watched Jay undress. His body was gorgeous, with lightly sculpted muscles and the hint of a six pack. I knew in summer he got leaner and more cut, as he loved to swim. The rest of the year he trained with Adrian when he could, but he wasn’t a muscle bound gym junkie. Whatever he did, it worked though and my mouth was watering just looking at him.

His pants hit the floor with a dull thud and for a moment I wondered where he’d been before he called. On a date? The bitter thought didn’t have time to settle as I stared at him in all his naked glory, his well shaped feet, the long muscled length of his legs, his cock jutting out, reaching almost to his naval. My perusal stopped there as he wrapped a hand around his erection.

“Keep staring at it like that and this will be over before it begins.” His warning drew my gaze to his face, his familiar grin making me smile and relax.

“Well we don’t want that to happen,” I shot back, mentally reminding myself it was just sex, just two friends scratching an itch. “Come here and fuck me already,” I invited, my voice husky with desire, not tight with hidden feelings at all.

Jay stared at me for a long moment so I moved to lay on my side, propped up n one elbow to watch him. He shook his head at me then looked down and I realised he had his wallet in his hand.

“Fuck. I’m out.” He dropped the leather on his pants and looked at me. “Condoms?”

“In the drawer.” I pointed and he slid it open.

My smile faded as he held up the box and tipped it over. “Anywhere else baby?” he asked a laugh in his voice and I glared at him.

How could he find this funny? “No,” I sighed and collapsed onto my back, throwing my arm across my eyes dramatically.

Then his weight had come down over me, his hips pushing between my thighs, his chest over mine and he said, “Don’t worry baby, I’ve got you.”

Past and present blended as Jay started to walk backwards, away from Adrian who was pretending to reach for him.

“Don’t worry baby, I’ve got you,” Jay’s voice was low, his breath soft against my ear as he manoeuvred us into the empty kitchen.

“Let me go,” I said with a laugh, tapping at Jay’s hands but he just snaked his arms around my waist and pulled me closer while he nuzzled my ear.

Someone yelled out, “Two minutes!” and a cheer went up.

“Jay.” I meant to warn him to stop, not sigh and tilt my head. “Shouldn’t you be lining up your new year’s kiss with that blonde?” I asked in a desperate attempt to remind us both we were crossing a line here.

“There’s only one person I want to kiss baby.” He matched actions to words, his lips brushing my neck then he was turning me in his arms.

“This isn’t a good idea,” I protested weakly as my hands slid up his chest because I was going to push him away. Any second now.

“It’s the best fucking idea I’ve had all year,” Jay disagreed as his fingers slid into my hair, cradling my head.

“Ten! Nine!”

“Jay,” I breathed against his mouth.

“Eight! Seven!”

“No one will see Dee.”

“Six! Five!”

“No one will know.”

“Four! Three! Two!”

“Jay?” I looked into his eyes and was lost.

“One! Happy new year!”

My “I don’t care,” was lost as he kissed me.

So many broken rules.