“...her best book yet...written in true Loren fashion: hot, sexy, and un-put-down-able.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers book review blog
NOTHING BETWEEN US
Book 7 - Loving on the Edge
From the New York Times bestselling author of Need You Tonight comes a steamy Loving on the Edge novel that proves watching is only half the fun…
Unlike the heroine of her popular thriller series, Georgia Delaune can’t afford to take risks or push sexual boundaries—unless you count spying through her neighbor’s bedroom window, and never missing a single move he makes.
Colby Wilkes is more than willing to put on a show for the alluring woman next door. But his dominant side aches to show her the pleasures of submission up close. As a counselor, Colby is sensitive to Georgia’s fears. As a Dom at The Ranch, a private BDSM retreat, he’s the perfect teacher to unleash her passion.
But just as Georgia lowers her emotional barriers, an unexpected complication arrives: a bad boy musician from Colby’s past who adds fuel to her heated imagination. Now, the lonely author has two gorgeous men eager to fulfill every fantasy she’s ever written—and one she’s never dared to dream…
Released: January 2015
READ CHAPTER 1
Copyrighted Material Roni Loren 2015 - All Rights Reserved Berkley Publishing Group
*18 and over only*
Georgia Delaune had never been particularly drawn to illegal activity. Or taking risks. Or, okay, fine—sexually deviant behavior. She was woman enough to admit what this was. So finding herself hiding in the dark, peering around the curtains of her second-story window with a set of binoculars, should’ve tipped her off that she was officially losing her shit.
But since moving into the house on Fallen Oaks Lane six months earlier, she’d known this moment was coming. Before now, she’d convinced herself that she’d only been catching inadvertent peeks and unintentional glimpses. Her neighbor would surely shut his curtains if he didn’t want to risk being seen, right?
She groaned, lowered the binoculars, and pressed her forehead to the window frame. God, now she was blaming the victim. He gets naked in the confines of his own home. A home that’s on a treed corner lot with tons of privacy and a seven-foot-tall fence. How dare he!
This was so screwed up. What if he saw her? He could call the cops, and she’d be slapped with some Peeping Tom charge—or Peeping Tammy, as the case may be. That’d be an epic disaster. Especially when the cops found no information on a Georgia Delaune. Plus, afterward, she’d have to move because there’d be no facing her neighbor again. Not after he knew what she did at night. And there was no way in hell she was moving. It had taken too much time, effort, and planning to find this spot, to finally feel even a smidgen of security and safety. These walls were her only haven, and she had no intention of leaving them.
But despite knowing the risks, when she saw a lamp flick on and light glow in the window of Colby Wilkes’s bedroom, she found herself dragging a chair over to the window and lifting the binoculars to her eyes. It took a second to adjust the focus, but when the lenses cleared, the broad, wet shoulders of her dark-haired neighbor filled the view. Her stomach dipped in anticipation.
He wasn’t alone.
She’d known he had friends over. She’d seen the group going in when she’d closed her living room blinds earlier that night. Two women and three guys, plus Colby. Later, she’d heard water splashing and the murmuring of voices, so she’d gone into her backyard for a while to listen to the distant sounds of life and laughter. That world seemed so foreign to her now. Being surrounded by people, having friends over, relaxing by the pool. She couldn’t see anything from her backyard. Colby’s pool area was blocked by the house and bordered by trees. So she’d lain in her lounge chair out back, closed her eyes, and had imagined she was a guest at his party, that she was part of that laughter. And she’d also found herself wondering what would happen afterward.
Now she knew. Colby had stepped into his bedroom, obviously fresh from the pool with his dark hair wet and only a towel knotted around his waist. And he had company with him. One of Colby’s friends, a tall blond guy who was also sporting a towel, had followed him in. And then there was a woman. She wore nothing at all. Georgia’s lip tucked between her teeth, heat creeping into her face. She so shouldn’t be watching this. But she couldn’t turn away. She’d learned rather quickly that her dear neighbor, despite his affable grin, Southern-boy charm, and straitlaced job, was a freak in the bedroom. Threesomes were only part of it. The man was dominant to the core. Considering her last relationship, that alone should’ve turned her off, sent her running. Guys who wanted control. Fuck, no.
But the first time she’d caught sight of Colby bringing a flogger down on a lover’s back, Georgia had been transfixed. She’d been completely stuck on her latest writing project at the time. But after watching Colby drive a woman into a writhing, begging state, Georgia had gone into her office, opened a new document, and written until the sun had broken through the curtains the next morning. Before she knew it, her thriller-in-progress had taken a decidedly erotic turn. Thankfully, her editor had loved the new direction. So now Georgia, in her guiltiest moments, told herself these stolen moments at the window were all in the name of book research.
Yeah. Even her sleep-deprived brain didn’t buy that one.
The guilt wasn’t enough to make her stop, though. Especially now when Colby was grabbing for the knot on his towel. She held her breath. The terry cloth fell to the floor at Colby’s feet, and everything inside Georgia went tight. Holy heaven above. She’d watched—oh, how she’d watched—but never before had she been able to see everything in such intimate detail. The binoculars transported her, took her by the hand and dragged her into that room with those strangers. Colby was right there in front of her—strong, beautiful, aroused. His hand wrapped around his cock and stroked ever so slowly, taunting her with unashamed confidence. No, not her. The woman. God, Georgia should look away. But need rolled through her like thunder from an oncoming storm, her fingers tightening around the binoculars.
The other man had stripped, too, and although he was gorgeous in his own right with his polished, camera-ready good looks, Georgia was drawn to the rough-around-the-edges brawn of her neighbor. Every part of Colby hinted at the wildness he hid beneath his surface—dark wavy hair that was a little too long, the close-cropped beard that shadowed his jaw, and a body that looked like he could bench-press a Buick. He was the opposite of the pressed and creased, Armani-clad businessmen she’d been attracted to in her former life. He was the guy you’d be wary of on first glance if you ran into him in a dark alley—the cowboy whose hat color you couldn’t quite determine straight away.
Perhaps that was why she was so fascinated with him, despite the fact that he was a man who wanted what she could never give. She’d learned that danger often hid behind the gloss of an urbane smile and perfectly executed Windsor knot. Colby was none of that. But regardless of the reason for her mixed-up attraction, she couldn’t stem the crackle of jealousy that went through as the other man laced his fingers in the woman’s hair and guided her to take Colby into her mouth.
The view of Colby’s erection disappearing between the lips of some other woman was erotic. There was no denying that. But it also made Georgia’s jaw clench a little too hard. She could tell, even from the brief moments she’d been watching, that this woman belonged to Colby’s friend. They were a couple and Colby the third party. But it still activated Georgia’s He’s mine, bitch! reflex.
Georgia sniffed at her ridiculous, territorial reaction, and tried to loosen the tension gathering in her neck. Sure, he’s yours, girl. You can’t walk down the street without swallowing a pill first, much less start something if he were even interested in the weird, spying chick next door.
But she shoved the thought away. She didn’t want anything tainting these few precious minutes. This wasn’t about finding a hookup. Only when she stood at this window did she feel even a glimmer of her former self trying to break through. This was her gossamer-thin lifeline to who she used to be, to the capable and confident woman who would’ve never hidden in the dark.
Before long, the blond man eased the woman away from Colby and guided her toward himself, taking his turn. Georgia tilted the binoculars upward, finding Colby’s face instead of focusing on the scene between the other man and his woman. What she found lurking in his expression wasn’t what she expected. There was heat in Colby’s eyes, interest for sure, but as she stared longer, she sensed a distance in those hazel depths. Like he was there with them but other . . . separate. Alone.
It probably was only because the other two were a couple. Or maybe it was Georgia’s mind slapping labels on things to make herself feel better. But regardless, it made her chest constrict with recognition. She didn’t know what was going on in his head. Or how seeing his friends together made him feel. But she knew loneliness. And for those few seconds, she was convinced Colby did, too. She pressed her fingertip against the cool glass of the window, tracing the outline of Colby’s face. Needing to touch . . . something.
The glass might as well have been made of steel, the yards between the houses made of miles.
But she couldn’t walk away. The night went on and there she sat, watching the three lovers move to the bed, the woman being cuffed to the headboard. The two men lavished her with hands and mouths and tongues. It was like watching a silent symphony, the arching of the woman’s back the only thing Georgia needed to see to know exactly how these men were affecting their willing captive. The melancholy feelings that had stirred earlier had quickly been surpassed by ones much more base and primal. Georgia’s body was growing hot and restless, her panties going damp.
When Colby braced himself between the woman’s thighs and entered her, Georgia trained the binoculars on his face, unable to handle the image of him having sex with another woman. Her mind was developing quite the ability to focus on the fantasy and block out the unwanted parts. She only had a view of Colby’s profile, but she watched with rapt attention as his jaw worked and his skin went slick with sweat instead of pool water.
Without giving it too much thought, she braced one elbow on the window ledge to hold the binoculars steady and let her other hand drift downward. Her cotton nightgown slid up her thighs easily. Somewhere her brain protested that this was wrong—sick and sad. She had a perfectly functioning vibrator in her bedside drawer. She had an imagination strong enough to fuel an orgasm without doing this, without watching the man next door screw another woman. But her starved libido didn’t seem to give a damn about morals or ethics or pride right now. There was need. And a solution. Simple as that.
As Colby’s lips parted with a sound she could only imagine, Georgia’s fingers found the edge of her panties and slipped beneath the material. Her body tightened at the touch and the little gasp she made reverberated in the dead silence of the guest bedroom. Colby’s head dipped between his shoulders, and Georgia imagined it was her he was whispering passionate words to. That deep Texas drawl telling her how good it felt to be inside her, how sexy she was, how he was going to make her come. He would be a dirty talker, she had no doubt. No sweet nothings from Colby Wilkes.
She closed her eyes for a moment as she moved her fingers in the rhythm of Colby’s thrust—long, languid strokes that had a fire building from her center and radiating heat outward. It wouldn’t take long. Her body was already singing with sensation, release hurtling toward her. But she wouldn’t go over alone. She forced her eyes open, the binoculars still in her grip, and found Colby again. His dark hair was curling against his neck, sweat glistening at his temples. He had to be close, too. Every muscle in his shoulders and back had tensed. All of her attention zeroed in on him, and in her mind, the touch of her own fingers morphed into his—his hands and body moving against her, inside her.
Every molecule in her being seemed to contract, preparing for the burst of energy to come. Her breath quickened, her heartbeat pulsing in her ears. And right as she was about to close her eyes and go over, Colby jerked his head to the side toward the window. His heated gaze collided with hers through the binoculars—a dead-on eye lock that reached inside Georgia and flipped her inside out. He knows.
But she was too far gone for the shock to derail her. Orgasm careened through her with a force that made the chair scrape back across the wood floor. She moaned into the quiet, the binoculars slipping from her hand and jerking the strap around her neck. The part in the curtains fell shut, but she didn’t notice. Everything was too bright behind her eyelids, too good, to worry about anything else but the way she felt in those long seconds. Enjoy. Don’t think. Just feel. The words whispered through her as her fingers kept moving, her body determined to eke out every ounce of sensation she could manage.
But, of course, the blissful, mindless moments couldn’t last forever. Chilly reality made a swift reappearance as her gown slipped back down her thighs and sweat cooled on her skin. She sat there, staring at the closed curtain and listening to her thumping heart. Colby couldn’t know, right? His gaze had felt intense and knowing because the binoculars had made him seem so close. But her window was dark, her curtains darker, and the moon was throwing off enough light that it would make the glass simply reflect back the glow.
But her chest felt like a hundred hummingbirds had roosted there, beating their wings against her ribs. She wet her lips and swallowed past the constriction in her throat. She had to look. Would her neighbor be striding over here to demand what was going on? Would he be disgusted? Embarrassed? Angry?
God, she didn’t even want to think about it. She wanted to turn around, go to her bedroom, and hide under the covers. But that was all her life had turned into now—hiding. And though she couldn’t fix that situation, she refused to create another one. So she forced herself to lean forward and peel the curtains back one more time, leaving the binoculars hanging around her neck.
What she saw made the hummingbirds thrash more. Colby wasn’t in the room anymore. His friend was now with the woman in the bed, and both seemed totally absorbed in each other. Did that mean that Colby had left and was heading this way to confront her? She was about to go downstairs to check the yard but then paused when she realized nothing had changed about the view. Nothing at all. If Colby had been concerned about a nosy neighbor, he hadn’t bothered to close the curtains or warn his friends. Surely he would’ve done that.
She sat there, debating and worrying, but soon Colby returned to the bedroom. The man and woman had finished. Colby had on a pair of boxers and had brought clean towels in for everyone. He didn’t look concerned. He didn’t glance over at the window. He seemed perfectly relaxed as he helped untie the woman’s hands, kissed her forehead in a friendly gesture, and then left his friends to sleep alone.
Georgia let out a long breath, sagging in the chair.
He didn’t know.
She should stop taking this risk—throw away the binoculars, put a bookcase in front of this damn window, and stop while she was ahead.
But she knew she wouldn’t. She would find herself here again.
Because if she didn’t have her secret nights with Colby Wilkes, what was left?
Four walls, long days, and fear.
She needed this. She just had to made sure he never found out.