An Old Enough to Love You Novella
by Julie Raust
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotica
Just when Tess — widowed, pushing forty and carrying a few extra pounds — becomes resigned to her nonexistent sex life, her hunky young landlord makes his interest known. Tess would give anything to take Chase up on his offer for a one-night stand, but she’s afraid of ruining their friendship. She has a choice to make – one mind-blowing night with Chase or a lifetime of wondering ‘what if’.
Chase has wanted Tess for the last two years. Hell, he is head-over-heels in love with her, but she doesn’t take him seriously. Chase is livid when he assumes someone else has been fulfilling Tess’s needs. He wants her to see him as more than just a friend, even if it means playing down-and-dirty to prove it. But just how far will Chase go to win Tess’s heart forever?
He's a hunky yet misunderstood alpha male hero. She's a beautiful independent but gun-shy heroine. This book’s spicy sex scenes include toys, masturbation, dirty talk and lots more — all in the name of love.
The Naughty Store
The young, female, eager-to-please clerk offered, “That one’s our bestseller. It even has a money-back guarantee if you don’t — well, you know — in under a minute.”
“Have an orgasm?” Tess asked.
“An orgasm?” The clerk laughed. “Nah, this baby is guaranteed to give you multiple back-to-back orgasms or a full refund. Trust me, there’s a reason it’s our bestseller. Shall I ring it up for you?”
“Sure. Why not?” Tess agreed.
After accepting payment for the item, the helpful salesgirl handed Tess a plain brown paper bag containing her purchase. “Here,” she said as she gave it to Tess. “We have special logo-free bags for customers like you.”
“Like me?” Tess asked.
“First and last timers. You know, not our regular crowd,” she advised with a wink.
Tess childishly avoided Chase for several days, missing her best friend the whole time. She missed chatting with Chase when he finished work and hanging out with him in the garage while he restored his classic old car. Most of all she missed the way he teased her and made her laugh.
Tess realized how dependent she’d become on those daily doses of Chase once she didn’t have them. They needed to talk.
Gathering her nerve, she found him in the garage working on his car.
“Hi,” she said, startling Chase as he hovered over his massive stainless-steel toolbox. She could tell he was still setting up, because his hands lacked the usual grease that coated them when working on his hobby.
“Hi,” he replied with genuine affection.
For several moments they silently drank in the sight of each other, as if it’d been months rather than days since they’d last laid eyes on one another.
Chase finally broke the silence. “I guess you expect an apology,” he said, though not actually offering one.
“No, not really,” Tess admitted, and she could tell that her answer surprised him.
“You probably deserve one, Tess. I mean, you were drunk, and I took advantage of the situation. It was wrong, and I’m sorry. I would have apologized to you sooner but…” He left the rest unsaid.
“Yeah, I know. I haven’t been around much lately,” she replied. It was Tess’s way of admitting she’d been avoiding him. “It was childish, but I just didn’t want to admit that you were right. I do to need to relax. I’ve been on edge for a while now, and I need an outlet. It’s just that your offer took me by surprise.”
“It shouldn’t have, Tess,” he solemnly replied.
“You’re right. At my age it’s a little hard to admit when you’re sex-starved and that it’s making you act like a bitch around your closest friends.”
He chuckled. “I never said you were bitchy.”
She laughed too. “No, you didn’t, but Roxi didn’t have any problem saying it.”
“Some friend, huh?” he joked.
“One of my best friends,” she confirmed. “And so are you. Thanks for helping me see what I’ve been missing.And you’ll be glad to know that I’ve rectified the situation. No more testy sex-starved Tess. I’m back to my old happy-go-lucky stress-free self,” she stated cheerily.
Once the full meaning of her statement registered, Chase’s expression changed in the blink of an eye — from cheerful and relaxed to utter disbelief. “You had sex?”
The angry edge to his voice took Tess by surprise, compelling her to take a step back. He followed, planting himself directly in front of her.
“You let some other guy fuck you?” he asked forcefully.
Tess blinked when she realized her apology had gone astray. A second ago they were laughing, and now Chase seemed angry — really angry. She’d never seen Chase this upset before. Even when they’d fought a few nights ago, he'd appeared more frustrated with her than angry. She shook her head in confusion.
“You came all the way out here to tell me you had sex with someone else, and you actually think I’d be happy to hear about it?“ Chase asked incredulously.
“Honestly? I thought you’d at least be a little pleased,” she admitted, not bothering to correct his assumption. “Especially after Wednesday night when Roxi and Gage pointed out that I’ve been so uptight lately. Plus, you were the one who said I needed to relax and get laid. So yeah, I’m a little lost as to why you’re angry right now.”
“I’m not angry, Tess, I’m fuckin’ pissed!” He paced in front of her and ran a frustrated hand through his wavy, chocolate brown locks. “I remember exactly what I said a few nights ago. I said we should have sex.” He waved a finger between the two of them. “You and me, Tess. I wanted to be the one to make you feel better, to make you come. Me, Tess. Only me. No one else. I can’t believe you let some other guy touch you, fuck you, when I’m right here.”
Realizing he was mad because he thought she had sex with another man, Tess did a little internal happy dance. Hallelujah! Chase's jealousy meant that maybe he cared for her more than she’d hoped. Unfortunately, now it seemed like she’d have to tell him the truth, which was even more embarrassing than admitting she was sex-starved.
“I didn’t,” she said, avoiding eye contact. “I mean…I do feel much better, but there was no other guy.” Tess hoped her vague confession would reign in his anger without him actually realizing what she was admitting to.
“What do you mean there was no other guy? You just told me you had sex,” his tone was slightly less angry now.
“When I said I don’t do casual affairs, I meant it, Chase. I didn’t have sex with anyone.”
He shook his head in confusion. “Okay, you’re gonna have to help me out here ‘cause I just don’t get it. First you say you had sex, and now you say you didn’t. I don’t like lies, Tess. If you’re not giddy because you got some then, why? What’s brought the old Tess back to life?”
She sighed heavily, knowing that the inevitable was coming. “Can’t we just say I finally managed to relax and leave it at that?” she hedged.
He brought his strong calloused hand to her chin and gently lifted her head up, forcing her eyes to lock with his. “Not good enough, Tess. You’ve got that I just got fucked glow radiating off of you, so sue me for thinking you came hard sometime this week.”
She didn’t respond, but a full blush stole a path from the bottom of her neck to the tip of her hair line. A surefire sign to Chase that he’d hit the mark.
Still slightly baffled, Chase continued, "So you’re telling me you did relax but there wasn’t a man involved.” It was a deductive statement, not a question; Tess didn’t bother with a response. “Was it another woman then?” he asked with mock seriousness.
She shook her head vigorously, “No!”
A sly smile spread across his face as he began to put all the pieces together. Releasing her jaw, Chase let his hand slowly travel south to the curved swell of her breasts. “So no one touched you here?” he asked, as he used a knuckle to gently caress the cleavage above the collar of her shirt. She inhaled sharply and shook her head slowly this time. “But when you said you finally relaxed, you meant you came, didn’t you?”
His touch was playing havoc on her senses, tightening her nipples and causing liquid to dampen her panties. She had difficulty following his line of questioning.
“Tess?” his tone was much softer than before. He waited for her to look at him, and when she did, he could see desire clouding her gaze. “Are you trying to tell me that you pleasured yourself?”
If Chase hadn't been watching her so closely he would have missed her slight nod before she tried to back away and turn out of his grasp. “I just wanted us to start speaking again,” she confessed. “I don’t like it when we fight. I figured it’d make us both happier.”
“Oh, I’m happy, babe, but that still doesn’t answer my question,” he stated, waiting patiently for her to finally admit that she’d masturbated. “I’m right, aren’t I?” he repeated, needing to know if he was on the right track, while dipping his hand lower still, nearing but not quite reaching her hardened tips.
Tess was a grown woman. She should be able to have an adult discussion about sex and not feel embarrassed by her actions. She took a fortifying breath before answering, “Fine. If you must know, yes, I saw to my own needs.” She lifted her chin in defiance. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” she stated defensively.
A relaxed smiled spanned Chase’s face, revealing his perfect white teeth. “Sweetheart, I didn’t say there was. Actually, I think it’s fucking hot. The thought of you touching yourself, fingering that wet, tight pussy until you come is one of my all-time fantasies. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t there to watch you or, at the very least, help lick your fingers clean.”
She gasped at the image his statement brought to mind. “But I used a…” she managed to stop her runaway tongue before she could blurt out any further embarrassing details. “Um… never mind.”
The sound of a diesel engine and large tires rolling up the gravel drive saved Tess from continuing. Or so she hoped. “That sounds like Gage’s truck,” she offered, trying to redirect the conversation while moving to pull out of his grasp.
Chase didn’t glance around to confirm her assumption, and his hold remained firm. “No, you don’t. A what, Tess?” His interest now focused entirely on her last unfinished statement. “What were you going to say?”
“I…I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she denied unconvincingly.
“Oh, yeah you do, babe. I wanna know.”
“Chase, please. Gage’ll be here any second.” She could hear the truck shift into park.
“Then he’ll get an eyeful — and an earful — if you don’t tell me right now.”
Damn, the man was nothing if not persistent. Tess weighed her options: either fess up and give Chase the answer he wanted now, or play dumb and risk having Gage walk in on Chase touching her and hearing their conversation. Could she handle the embarrassment of both men learning about her recent sexual activities? No.
“Fine,” she caved. “I had a little battery-operated help, okay? That’s it. Now please, let go.”
There was no mistaking the look of surprise, then arousal that crossed Chase’s face.
“We’re not through with this, babe. Not by a long shot,” he promised, just before his lips met hers in a kiss — a kiss too quick for her to respond. As he released her, she heard the crunch of Gage’s boots on the gravel drive.
Not wanting their friend to notice her flushed appearance, Tess gave Gage a quick wave and ran towards her second floor apartment like it was on fire.
“You two still fighting?” Gage asked Chase.
The smile on Chase’s face couldn’t be removed. “Nope. Actually, I think things might finally be looking up.”
Gage clapped his buddy on the shoulder. “I’m happy for you, man. At least one of us is making progress on the female front.”
“Don’t tell me the Great and Powerful Gage needs some pointers. What’s the world coming to?”
“Asshole,” his friend teased. “I’ll ask you for pointers right after you have sex with Tess.”
Chase chuckled, “Then get ready for an earful of pointers tomorrow.”
“You sound pretty confident for a man who’s waited almost two years for the lady to finally notice him.”
“What can I say? Good things come to those who wait; I’m betting if I play my cards right, tonight’s the night.”
“No shit? Care to make it interesting?
“Sure, why not? This is one bet I don’t intend to lose…”
ABOUT AUTHOR............Julie Raust
Julie Raust lives on a quiet street in the suburbs of Toronto. When she’s not reading or writing she’s a full time referee and problem solver for three crazy awesome kids. Julie loves a happily ever after and was lucky enough to find one of her own with her husband / best friend. Her favorite books include, sexy alpha heroes, blue collar men, shifters, wolves, cowboys and lots and lots of sexy dialog.
I was given an ARC for a review by the author. (Thank you)
As far as Novellas go, it got to the punch without dragging on. Light Erotica, but just enough sizzle.
The story-line revolves between Chase and Tess.
I enjoyed the fact that Tess is a young 40 year old with a gorgeous younger man (Chase) into her. As the classic saying goes: "I am Woman, hear me Roar!"