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Chapter 9 – He Needs Her

Howie was amazed to find Cheyanne still resting peacefully against him when dawn broke against the windows of his cozy bedroom. In fact, so amazed, that he forced himself to muffle a loud yawn so that she wouldn’t stir just yet. At first he thought it had all been a simple dream, her sneaking to his bedroom in order to get away from the harsh realities of life. He had been her private oasis as she allowed him to curl his arms around her for safety, lulling her peacefully into a sleep she so richly deserved. Besides, he was so comfortable with her against him, lightly tracing his hand up the sleek curvature of her spine. She had shifted very little during the night, and, if she had moved any, it was only to get closer to his warm body. Her arms were still wrapped around him, as if she were hugging her favorite teddy bear in order to make the bad dreams disappear from existence. In fact, her head rested comfortably against his chest, her long honey curls draping a curtain of warmth over his bare skin as her warm breath offered a soft tickling sensation.

As he gazed down at the angelic expression on her face, she stirred, her lashes fluttering as she snuggled closer to him, sending a shiver down his spine. Her lips brushed his skin, causing him to bite back a moan. A groan escaped her, and she wrinkled her nose, pulling the covers up over her head. "I don't want to get up," she whined, burying her face against him.

“No one said you had to get up,” Howie chuckled, releasing a slow, noiseless breath to control any physical reactions to Cheyanne’s lips against his bare chest. He didn’t want to startle the younger woman, remembering how much Austin had emphasized her virginity. Though, he feared, if she kept sleeping with him during the lonely nights, he wouldn’t be able to hide his emotions much longer. But, he willed those thoughts away, not wanting her to leave his bed in the slightest.

“Good,” she chirped from underneath the covers, still curled close to him, resting against his stomach, her leg perched over his again. She poked him gently to emphasize her point, obviously not a morning person despite being a country-raised woman. “ ‘Cause I’m staying right here.”

Chuckling, he pulled the covers over his head so he could see her. Shifting slightly so she couldn't see his arousal. "Did you sleep well?" he asked, reaching to brush the hair from her face.

"Mm-hmm. Like a baby," Cheyanne murmured, trailing her finger over his bare abdomen. She felt his lean muscles tense slightly, and lowered her head, grateful he couldn't see her flushed cheeks as she brushed a kiss over his warm skin.

“Cheyanne,” Howie actually gasped, sucking in a hard breath to keep his emotions from exploding. His entire body was tense at the delight that rushed down his spine, centering a strong pull of burning desire in the very pit of his stomach. His hand tightened slightly against his hold on her curls as he willed himself to think of other thoughts. It had been so long since he felt the touch of a woman. A good woman for that matter. And, Cheyanne had such a powerful effect on him already that the other handful of women seemed pitiful compared to her.

“You taste sweet,” she coyly announced, continuing to trace her fingers lightly against his abdomen in the shape of hearts, unable to resist offering another kiss to his sweet flesh.

Oh, dear Lord… "Cheyanne," Howie whispered, his fingers tangling gently in her soft hair as her lips trailed up his chest. "Do you…"

"Hmm?" she asked innocently, resting her chin on his chest and gazing up at him. She couldn't believe she was doing this, but he was so sweet to her, so unbelievably kind and generous. Not to mention devastatingly handsome. Pushing the covers back over her head, she smiled impishly. "I suppose I should kiss you good morning, shouldn't I?"

“You…” Howie’s mouth was terribly dry as he stared down into the sapphire orbs that enchanted his dreams and bewitched his mind. She was filled with such youthful beauty that it was hard to even comprehend why she was treating him so magnificently. He could only imagine what kind of attention she had stirred in her University. The fraternities must have had been in a terrible panic to collect her digits. Yet, there she lay in her undergarments, fully open to his desires. Though, he couldn’t will himself to ask for such pleasure, not wanting to taint such a stunningly beautiful rose. He’d have to go to into private to relieve the tension unfortunately. “Chey… I… If you…”

“I want to,” she promised with a soft giggle, finally sitting up on the bed. Tucking the loose strands of honey behind her ears, she bent downward to meet Howie’s lips. She hesitated at first, but found herself yearning greatly for his taste and gradually continued. Tempting her emotions, she softly kissed his upper lip and then his bottom lip, nibbling with a quiet affection before drawing both lips together for a lovely morning kiss.

Just as Howie relaxed beneath her, his hands moving to cup her face, he instead jerked wildly as the door flew open with such force it banged against the wall. Cheyanne squeaked, scrambling to sit up as Kevin staggered into the room, scratching his bare chest absently. Normally, Howie would have been slightly pleased to see his friend, but this morning, however, he wished him to the Devil himself, reaching to pull the covers protectively over Cheyanne.

“D, I thought you’d be out cooking…” Kevin’s voice trailed in a peculiar surprise as his tired emerald eyes focused on the guilty party settled in the middle of the bed. Cheyanne looked as if she had been spooked by the boogie man; her face ashen white as Howie attempted to conceal her from Kevin’s critical glance. But, that was a useless aspect of the situation when Kevin noticed the flimsy straps of the camisole pushed away from her rounded shoulders and her curls mussed with what he would love to term as Howie’s ‘Latin passion.’ While his thick, wild brows furled, his lips curved into quite a pleased smile. “You are so dead, Howie…”

"Kev…" Howie trailed, glaring at him.

"It's not what you think," Cheyanne said feebly, pulling the blanket around her as she inched closer to Howie.

Smiling still, Kevin backed from the room, reaching to rub the recent marks of passion on the back of his neck. "I don't think I want to know," he drawled.

“Don’t even think about it!” Howie quickly warned, drawing Cheyanne into his embrace, fixing it to conceal her further, though he wished now she had come into the room in something other than her underwear. He unfortunately had that glimmer in his friend’s light emerald eyes. He had seen it a few times before, on rare occasions when Kevin considered himself to be in a playful mood. But, this attitude would only get Howie crucified and Cheyanne thrown into a metal chastity belt.

“Austin is sick with worry… She’s been looking for Cheyanne all morning…” Kevin trailed with a feeble shrug of his shoulders. Leaning on the frame of the door, he eagerly called to Austin, declaring he had finally located Cheyanne. If anything, she would attack Howie and Kevin could reap the benefits of her passion.

“You’re an asshole!” Howie seethed.

"Howie," Cheyanne said softly, worrying her bottom lip with her teeth. "Just let me up..."

Kevin turned in the doorway, blocking Austin's view of the bedroom as she barreled towards him. "Easy, Princess," he said with a smirk. Eyes the color of coffee warned him as she flashed him a glare, impatient hands pushing at him, the same hands that had grasped and clawed him with an insatiable hunger only hours before. "Don't I get a good morning kiss?" he drawled.

“The Hell you do,” Austin returned sharply, ducking underneath his cumbersome form to step inside Howie’s room. Only, when she straightened her petite height, she could hardly find the words to express the astonishment and sheer dismay she held for the situation. Howie still attempting to hold Cheyanne in bed as she furiously worked to unwrap his hands from her waist. When she seemed to get herself free, she stumbled off the bed to meet Austin’s height, immediately biting down hard on her bottom lip. She flushed with a terrible embarrassment as Austin eyed her lack of clothing, Kevin ducking out slightly to muffle his amused laughter. “What the Hell do you think you’re doing, Cheyanne Grace?”

“Waking up from a refreshing sleep?” Cheyanne tried, attempting to be quite sweet and endearing in hopes to ward off Austin’s toxic verbatim.

Austin's gaze flickered to Howie, taking in his lack of clothing as well. "What the fuck… Did you sleep here all night?" she asked. Without waiting for an answer, she turned her anger towards Howie. "How dare you? Who the fuck do you think you are, dragging--"

"Damnit, Austi! He didn't drag me in here!" Cheyanne erupted, unable to bear Howie taking the blame. Folding her arms over her chest, she stepped in front of Austin, shielding Howie behind her small frame. "For your information, I came in here to get away from the loud slamming of Kevin's headboard against my bedroom wall!"
The cabin grew deathly silent as Kevin poked his head in from the hallway; to assure himself that Cheyanne had indeed cursed at Austin. And, sure enough, Cheyanne stood quite defiantly in front of a shell-shocked Austin, hiding the slightly pale Howie. It looked as if Cheyanne had physically slapped Austin, her face contorted into a look of utter surprise. “Excuse me?”

“I hate sleeping alone and I figured I might as well try what you’ve been doing for the past how many days? Only, Howie was a complete gentleman unlike that caveman hiding in the hallway. He even asked to hold me, Austi. Asked to hold me. I’m the one that started kissing him. He didn’t provoke a damn thing. And I liked it. A lot. In fact, every night you go over to Kevin’s room, I’m coming straight to Howie’s room. Good Lord! Please, get off your high horse before you break your neck,” Cheyanne huffed, feeling the child inside her start to make its presence known as her stomach churned and her bladder ached.

Austin's full lips parted in surprise, her usual quick replies suddenly gone. Staring at her friend, she stepped aside mutely as Cheyanne brushed past her. A moment later the bathroom door slammed, echoing through the silent cabin. She continued to stand in Howie's bedroom, struggling to grasp the situation as Kevin and Howie looked at her. Taking a deep breath, she lifted her gaze to Howie, her lips forming the two hardest words. "I'm sorry." Turning, she rushed from the room, slapping Kevin's hand away when he reached for her. The last thing she needed at this time was his superior attitude. Grunting in frustration, she realized she still wore his Kentucky t-shirt. The one she'd slipped on after he'd ruined yet another camisole. Without bothering to go change, she charged outside, grabbing her cigarettes off the kitchen table, her body craving the nicotine as badly now as it had craved Kevin mere hours before.

*~*~*


“She really likes him, doesn’t she?” Austin announced out of no where, startling Kevin from his thoughts as he glanced sideways at the brooding woman in the passenger seat of his rented Ford Escape. She had been in quite the mood all day since Cheyanne had verbally attacked her and Kevin refused to tempt the sleeping beast when she requested he take her into town. He had simply gotten the keys from the table, telling Howie they would be back later. He had even managed to keep his cool when she lit her last cigarette in the rented car, knowing he’d have to pay the excess fee for that. But, he’d rather not tempt her at this point, not knowing how to take her silence. She seemed regretful of her decision to attack Howie so cruelly, especially when Cheyanne came to his defense. Kevin found it somewhat adorable, watching her stare out the window as she made sure to blow her plumes of smoke out the slightly cracked window.

"It would appear so," Kevin replied softly, returning his gaze to the road. "If it's any consolation, he really likes her too."

Austin sighed miserably, her free hand tugging at the hem of the t-shirt she wore. His t-shirt, she realized with a wistful smile. She had showered and returned to the bedroom to change, but was unable to resist pulling on the soft cotton that still retained his scent. It bothered her, how comforted she was by the tiniest reminder of him. Cracking the window further, she drew a final drag off her cigarette, tossing it out. Leaning her head against the cool glass, she glanced at Kevin. "I just don't want her to get hurt," she admitted.

“What makes you think that Howie’s going to hurt her?” he questioned, amazed at how easy the conversation came even though they weren’t bickering back and forth. Instead, both were quiet and willing to hear the other’s thoughts. In fact, anxious to hear the other’s thoughts. “I’ve known him forever. He’s a really great guy… He’d never do anything to hurt her… I think he’d sacrifice everything in this world just so she wouldn’t be hurt.”

“She doesn’t have the best judgment when it comes to this stuff… She has that golden heart and she just thinks there’s inherent good in every man on Earth. People seem to feed off that. Scumbags seem to feed off that,” Austin admitted with a heavy sigh, rubbing her temples furiously as she conjured an image of Cheyanne’s last boyfriend. Noah had been so sly and slick when it came to lying that he had even snuck past Austin’s radar. She blamed herself for when she came home one night, finding Noah attempting to coax Cheyanne into unthinkable acts. It had stunned her severely and made her vow to protect Cheyanne by any means necessary. “… Howie really likes her?”

"He said so yesterday. On the lake. Before… Well, you know," he said, pushing the memory of his unexpected cold swim away. When Austin dropped her hands to her lap, he took the opportunity to cover one with his, grateful when she didn't pull it away. "As for scumbags, well, Howie doesn't fall into that category. He's just as golden hearted as Cheyanne, and despite life's heartbreaks, continues to find good in people, even after they disappoint him." Twining his fingers with hers, he glanced down at the natural way their hands fit together. His gaze flickered to his other hand, and he clenched his hand around the wheel, not needing the pale reminder of his failed marriage. "I don't think you need to worry on that front," he assured her.

Austin nodded briefly, settling her other hand on top of his, gently stroking the back with her index finger. She knew she’d have to apologize to Cheyanne eventually and give in to letting Howie take Cheyanne’s heart. She may not have liked it, but she honestly didn’t have a choice in the matter. “If he hurts her, I’m going to slaughter him.”

“I have no doubt,” Kevin chuckled with appreciation, enjoying the spitfire as he ducked their car into a nearby dirt road tucked deeply within the lush forest. Parking, he took the opportunity to turn so he could cup her cheek in his hand. “But, Princess, you don’t have to worry about scumbags anymore, either, okay?”

Leaning against his hand, she met his eyes with hers. "Is that a promise, Kevin?" she asked, her heart tripping over his words, as well as the huskiness of his voice.

“A solid promise,” he confirmed, leaning forward to catch her lips in a sweetly stirring kiss. Something much less intimidating compared to their frequent romps in his bedroom, but twice as passionate. And, when they parted, he smiled at how her eyes fluttered just slightly as if he had touched her heart. But, then he exchanged the smile for a wicked grin. “But there’s no way in Hell I’m taking you to town for cigarettes.”

"And why the Hell not?" she pouted, turning completely to face him. "If you dragged me out here in the middle of the woods just for some hot afternoon sex--"
"You would have said yes in a heartbeat," he finished for her, unbuckling his seatbelt so he could lean closer, his desire for her so sudden he needed her. Soon, judging from the hot tightness of his jeans.

"You're full of yourself, you know that, Pretty Boy?" she asked with a smirk, meeting his lips in a gentle kiss.

“True, but you’re begging to be full of me, Princess,” Kevin bantered against her lips, easily sliding the seat back into the farthest position before pulling her to straddle his lap. He grinned with amusement as her brows arched in surprise, feeling the tightness of his jeans against her backside. She rolled her eyes nonetheless, but he didn’t much care. Tugging her mouth back down to his, he slipped his hand underneath her t-shirt, fingering the button of her jeans, and popping it quite easily. Slowly, his fingers eased inside, just underneath her hot pink thongs. He felt her shiver excitedly when his fingers slipped inside her delicate folds, releasing she was already ready for him. “And soon, huh?”

"As if you didn't know," she practically moaned, tugging impatiently on the green t-shirt tucked into his tight jeans. Just the memory of the passion he brought her to made her tremble in anticipation, and when her hands trailed up his chest she felt his moan against her lips. One hand skipped up to his neck, her fingers lightly tracing the marks there. Wriggling in his lap as his fingers continued their exploration, she turned her head, breathing in his intoxicating scent as her tongue darted over his earlobe.

God, I just like to hear you say it,” Kevin groaned hard, pulling his t-shirt away from her body to reveal her already bare breasts. He smiled with approval at that, loving the thought of only his t-shirt being allowed to touch her sensitive flesh. Dipping his head, he nibbled hard against her shoulder before trailing a force kiss down the center of her chest into the valley between her warm breasts. Removing his hand from within her, he started to pull her jeans and thong underwear away, anxious to be inside her warmth. To hear her cry his name.

"Kevin," she breathed, grunting in frustration when his shirt wouldn't comply with her tugging. "I want you inside me," she whispered hotly in his ear, her hands moving to unfasten his jeans. "Soon," she added, easing them over his hips. Stroking his arousal through the boxer-briefs, she nibbled at his ear, felt a tremor run through her body when his hands slid over her thighs. "Now."

“Okay, okay,” he hissed hotly, allowing her to release his erection from his boxer-briefs. Her demanding side seemed to rush the urgency of his need to relieve the tightness in his lower half. Her eyes seemed to glow with brilliance as she helped escort him toward the source of her frustrations. Easily gliding him into her, she whimpered loudly with ecstasy. She buried her face into the crook of his neck, biting down as she started to ride his hips, grinding hard against his lower half to push him deeper and deeper to her core. She continued to moan and pant with each deeper penetration and it thrilled him. He loved the sounds she made during their experiences, especially as she peaked in climax.

"Kevin," she ground out, her entire body aflame. His hands were everywhere; on her hips, guiding her movements as he matched them with his own, cupping her breasts, his thumbs grazing her exposed nipples. They responded to his light touch, as they always did. His low growls of satisfaction had her arching against him, her lips seeking his as her nails raked down his arms. His demanding hands returned to her hips, his fingers digging into her skin as he urged her to move faster, his moans corresponding with hers as she took him deeper.

“God, Austin, you’re perfect,” he breathed, arching his back slightly when her nails scraped against his back, telling him that she was close to peaking. She always became quite raw with aggression, biting down on his bottom lip between their hard kisses. He knew he was also reaching that point, inhaling the moist air of her breath as she panted against him. Waiting, just a moment longer, and she released a sharp scream of satisfaction, breaking over her climax as Kevin groaned loudly, allowing himself to release just a moment after. He had always been taught to allow ladies to go first. But, he couldn’t help grinning wickedly as Austin’s sweaty body collapsed against him, wheezing in his musky scent. Wryly, he kissed her damp locks before deciding. “But I’m still not buying you any cigarettes.”
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