Love Me Ella
No girlfriend. No desire for permanent attachment.
Drew is the perfect partner for a one night fling with no strings.
Fresh out of a bad relationship, Ella is ready to blow off some steam. What she’s not ready for is another serious relationship. Not when her heart is still raw and battered from the last one. Especially not when she is about to launch her career in the pediatric department of a major hospital.
When she meets Drew at a local pub, she’s ready to break free of her inhibitions and invites the sexy man back to her place. He doesn’t disappoint, the heat between them burning into an inferno of passion. Everything seems perfect.
Perfect that is, until Ella arrives for her first day of residency, coming face to face with Dr. Drew Bellamy. Working with the man after the night they shared might put their professional lives, and Ella’s heart, in jeopardy.
Applause thundered in Ella’s ears as she hugged Jess, relieved their karaoke duet was over. She didn’t love being in the spotlight, but tonight was all about breaking out of the box. Freeing herself from the rut. Or so said Jess, her best friend and staunchest supporter.
Ella stepped from the stage, acutely aware of the dark-haired hottie leaning against the bar. She added a saucy sway to her hips as she wound her way back to their table.
“Go talk to him.” Jess nudged Ella with her elbow. “You can’t peel your eyes away.”
“I dunno.” She shrugged. “Maybe it’s too soon. It’s too soon, right?”
Jess waggled a hand at the server, motioning for another round of cocktails. “It’s never too soon. Remember, the best way to get over one man is—”
“Get under another one,” Ella said, rolling her eyes. “Such a cliché.”
“Yet, it’s always worked for me. Anyway, Jason’s already been on someone else, so what are you waiting for?”
“He wasn’t on her. She was on him.” She grimaced, wishing to forget the awful, painful morning in late June when she’d come home early. The stream of dirty talk and moaning had reached her ears, followed by the permanent scorching of her psyche; a woman circling and grinding, her dark waves of hair curling over writhing hips, her double d’s kneaded between splayed fingers.
Every painful second reflected back at Ella from a multitude of mirror angles, including the shocked expression on her pale face.
Jason’s lame apologies lapsed into the predictable blame game and a tearful blur of screaming recriminations.
“Sue me for tapping a wet and eager pussy. When was the last time we fucked like that? Yeah, that’s right. Never.”
The final insult landed as his finger slapped against the signature line of the lease. “My apartment. Mine! Get the fuck out.”
The tiny studio apartment she’d found wasn’t perfect, but she couldn’t afford to be choosy. Not unless she wanted to couch surf or crowd into Jess’s already overcrowded hovel. She missed the space of the one bedroom walk up, but her new place was private with no roomies and no rats, so she supposed she was lucky. Cheating boyfriend aside, of course.
Still, she wasn’t homeless, and she’d matched to an incredible pediatric residency program, so there was a silver lining to the dark cloud hanging over her.
Jess preened, sweeping her silky black locks over slim shoulders. “Mister Hot-n’-Sexy is looking this way.”
“Maybe you should jump him.” Ella nodded her thanks as the server set another Cosmo in front of her. “You’re much hotter than me. Why go for my barely b’s when he could have your full c’s?” She glanced down, wishing she’d worn the sexy push-up bra that gave her girls a boost. Tiny tits wouldn’t catch a guy like Mister Hot-n’-Sexy.
“Uh-uh. That was a test, and he passed, because he didn’t even spare me a cursory glance. Damn, I need a cold shower just looking at him.”
Ella tipped her chin, letting her thick curtain of wavy hair obscure her face as she checked him out, practically melting when he winked. “Annnnnd he knows he’s hot.” Yet she couldn’t stop staring. His dark hair, blue eyes, and killer sexy scruff made him a welcome opposite to her blondish snowboarder ex-boyfriend. “Not sure he’s my type.”
“You enjoy cock, so he’s your type.” Jess snickered. “Admit it. Your panties are damp just from looking at him. He’s top pick of the night. No ring, and he has huge hands.”
Ella looked toward the bar, her gaze meeting Hot-n’-Sexy’s, a feeling like an electric shock zipping through her when he smiled.
“Ohh, he gave you the ‘panty dropper.’” Jess giggled. “Ah, those hands. You know what they say about huge hands, right?”
“Huge gloves, right?”
“Nix on those PG thoughts. Huge hands, massive cock,” Jess said in a low voice. “That man is primed to bang the memory of cheating asshole right out you if you give him the chance.”
Ella squirmed. It had been far too long.
Her friend’s brows rose. “Forget douchebag Jason and treat yourself to a romp”—she fluttered her fingers—“with Hot-n’-Sexy.”
“Why would Mister Hot-n’-Sexy want me when he could have any woman here?” Unbidden, a picture of a woman’s wild curls flowing down her back as her hips circled formed in her mind, and she shuddered. “What if I really am lame in bed?”
“No. Just no.” Jess glared. “Don’t you dare blame yourself. You need a real man to rev up your mojo. Clearly, dickwad Jason is a miserable failure in the bedroom, so time to move on. You wore your sexiest, naughtiest bits, right?”
“Such as they are. I can’t afford much right now, with my student loan payments and moving expenses.” Ella tipped back the Cosmo, draining the last drop. Hot-n’-Sexy’s lips twitched as her empty glass thumped onto the table. “Maybe you have a point.”
“I absolutely do. When was the last time you enjoyed a little bump and grind?”
Ella drew her brows together, searching for the last time she’d been truly satisfied.
“That long?” Jess looked alarmed. “Yikes.”
The man at the bar looked in their direction, then turned away, motioning to the bartender.
“Not sure he’s interested,” Ella said with a sigh. “He’s probably got a girlfriend. Guys like that usually do. I bet she’s tall and blonde, with big boobs and a tiny waist. A total swimsuit model.”
“Blah. Swimsuit models are overrated. Quit making excuses.”
Ella lifted a hand. “Still, I call girlfriend.”
“Only one way to find out. Get off that fine ass and introduce yourself.”
“Don’t we have an early morning? What time are rounds? Six? Maybe I should skip it and go over my notes. Unpack some boxes. That’s a better use of my time.”
“There’s no better use of your time than mattress wrestling with him.” Her friend tapped Ella’s wrist. “It’s one night. You’ll never see the guy again, so get your freak on.”
“What if my freak scares him off?” Ella muttered, earning a stern look from her friend.
Moments later, the server set a fresh drink in front of Ella.
“What’s this?” Ella asked.
“A Grey Goose martini from your admirer.” The server jutted her chin toward the bar, and then continued to the next table, delivering more drinks.
Jess grinned. “See? Interested.” She slid from the booth. “I’ll go, but first, promise you won’t talk about that cheating douchebag. Guys never want to hear woeful, tearful tales about the ex. Ta!” As she walked away, she waved over her shoulder.
Ella frowned at her friend’s retreating back. Yes, maybe she needed to move on, but she wasn’t sure her battered, raw heart could take any more criticism. Too late, though, as Hot-n’-Sexy was approaching, the seconds before first contact ticking steadily downward.
Maybe she should just go with it. One night, no strings attached, didn’t sound so bad. Especially with a guy who looked like that, with his broad shoulders and olive skin. Under those clothes he probably looked like a Greek God, buffed and toned and tanned.
She couldn’t look. What if he wasn’t coming to see her at all?
“You look lonely sitting by yourself.”
Ella looked up, startled by the voice, which seemed too high-pitched for such a big man.
“Oh, ummm.” Her eyes widened at the sight of the slight blond guy who’d joined her in the booth. “No, I’m—”
“You’re good at karaoke. Do you want to join me for a song?”
She glanced toward the bar, her heart skipping a beat. Hot-n’-Sexy was only inches away.
“Excuse me,” Hot-n’-Sexy said in a wonderfully deep voice. “You’re in my seat.”
“Hey, dude. I got here first.” Jerry crossed his arms.
She squinted at the blond man. “Hey, dude. I’m not an island where the first arrival plants a flag.” Flicking her hands, she motioned for Jerry to leave. “You’re in his seat.”
The blond man huffed as he dragged himself from the booth, glaring before he jostled through the crowd.
“He got one thing right. You were great up there.” Hot-n’-Sexy motioned to the stage, an adorable dimple appearing in his left cheek as he slid into the seat vacated by Jess.
“Thanks. When’s your turn?”
“Never?” His hearty laugh and the baritone of his voice sent a shiver down her spine. “I’m a horrendous singer. People pay me to not get on stage and torture the masses. Did you have fun?”
“Surprisingly, yes. I usually hate being the centre of attention.” She traced a fingertip around the rim of her glass. “Thanks for the martini.”
“You’re welcome for the much-needed rescue from the nineties.”
“What, you mean the Cosmos?” At his nod, she scrunched her nose. “Don’t hate on my favourite cocktail. Cosmopolitans are classic.”
“If you say so.” His eyes sparkled, the broad grin disarming her completely. “If you don’t like the martini, I’ll make it up to you on the next round.” His brows rose as the server arrived with a glass of dark ale and another martini, setting them on the table.
“Ahhh, I see what you’re doing.” Ella wagged a finger at him, fighting a smile. “Settling in all comfortable. Plying me with martinis. Planning the next drink order …”
“Someone had to take the initiative,” he said, sweeping his long fingers through jet-black hair. “Couldn’t let you walk out of here without an introduction. I’m Drew.” He reached toward her.
“Ella,” she said, a shiver running through her as he raised her fingers to his mouth. The soft, gentle pressure of his full lips caused a frisson of desire in her belly.
Goosebumps popped up on her arms as he smiled and ran his thumb across her palm. She stared, transfixed and totally unable to let go.
Mmmm. His hands were rather large and wonderfully masculine, strong with tidy nails, not rough and calloused. Everything about this man spoke to a cushy office job, right from his artfully messy hair to his dark-washed jeans and cobalt shirt.
Down girl. She blinked hard and took a sip of her martini, swallowing hard. “This is pretty good.”
“Glad you like it.”
“What are you drinking?”
“A Winter Ale.”
“Yeah, they’re really that good. Want to try?” He slid his glass toward her.
She eyed the ale, but took a sip, rolling the creamy liquid over her tongue. “I’m not much of a beer drinker, but that’s nice. Dark, spicy, with a hint of orange.”
“Good palate,” he said, retrieving the glass.
She tilted her head, studying him as she said, “I don’t see a ring. You’re single, I hope, considering the blatant flirting.”
He chuckled. “Yup, totally unattached. You? Or do I need to ask?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, your interesting song choice. Such enthusiasm for the lyrics. You’re showing a vindictive streak. Should I guard the family jewels?”
“Not a bit.”
“Good. Your jewels are perfectly safe with me, and since the jerk doesn’t own a car, I guess he’s safe for now.”
“Should he be?”
“After screwing some random chick in our bed? Probably not.” No need to mention that the woman had served them dinner last Valentine’s Day. Jason had taken an extraordinary amount of time retrieving their coats after much hurtful flirting, so maybe he’d started his affair with a coatroom quickie. Cheaters also tended to be liars, so she took his denials for what they were worth. “I’m allowed to be angry.”
“Yes, you are.” He nodded. “I’m sorry.”
“Are you? Why?”
“Nobody deserves that, Ella,” he said. “When?”
She bowed her head. “A few days ago. I moved into my own place.” It’s really over. I’m single, and everyone in here sees it.
He slid a little closer. “Are you okay?”
“I will be,” she said, fighting the tremble in her voice. “It’s been done for a while. I’m not good at failure.” As she spoke, she knew these words to be true. The burst of initial passion had faded like Jason’s cheap Valentine’s bouquet, wearing into drudgery over the final months, yet she’d been powerless to end it. “Is this a good time to say I’m not looking for anything serious?”
He pressed her hand gently between both of his. “It seems we’re on the same page. I’m not in the market for a long-term relationship either.”
“Career stuff keeping you busy?”
He nodded. “Please don’t ask what I do.”
“Is it illegal? You’re not a hit man or something, are you?”
“I’m only mildly dangerous, I promise.”
Between her legs, a delicious tingle blossomed, her panties dampening as he smiled. Ha. That dimple and those blue eyes were plenty dangerous.
“When I go out, it’s to blow off stress and have fun.”
“Makes sense.” Ella bit her lip. “Is that why you came over?”
Drew lifted one shoulder. “Is it wrong to show interest in a sexy, single woman?” His lips twitched. “You caught my attention the moment you came through that door. The attraction seems mutual. Am I wrong?”
She shook her head. “I’m not good at this.”
“Flirting.” She sucked in her bottom lip, nibbling it as she peered at him from under lowered lids. “Inviting men back to my place.”
“Am I invited?” His eyes darkened. “You ready to blow off a little stress?”
The tingle between her legs turned into an ache, and she itched to run her fingers though his perfectly imperfect hair. “My stress level is over the top.”
He moved closer, his rock-solid thigh pressing against hers. His warm breath wafted across her cheek as he whispered, “Mine too. Your place?”
She closed her eyes, picturing the piles of cardboard cartons and the half-made bed. “It’s a disaster. Boxes everywhere. The bed’s not even made.”
“Doesn’t matter,” he said, “when the plan is to tangle up those sheets anyway.”
Ella contained the moan and shudder as she pictured him naked and entangled in her rumpled bedding. If this man’s voice practically took me over the edge, how would it feel to be with him? To enjoy his touch, his kisses, the weight of his body on mine? To be held and wanted in a way I missed with overwhelming intensity?
Drew rose and held out his hand. “Ready?”
Ella grabbed her purse from the bench, and entwined her fingers with his, following him through the crowd and out the door.
Once on the street, he pulled her against him, wrapping his fingers in her hair and kissing her, long, deep, and slow.
Ella sighed, opening her mouth and welcoming his sweet tongue, enjoying his gentle touch as he caressed her cheek. No girlfriend. No desire for permanent attachment. The heat between us threatening to burst into a flaming inferno at any moment. I couldn’t wait to get him home.
The moment she closed the door of her dimly lit apartment, she launched herself into his arms and covered him with fierce, heated kisses, clawing at his shirt.
Drew cursed under his breath as they stumbled into a stack of boxes. He grasped her shoulders, stilling her. “Whoa. Slow down.”
Ella stepped back. She leaned against the counter, cursing her over-eager reaction to the thought of naked Drew in her bed. “Have I ruined it?” She twirled a curl of hair around her finger. “I’ve ruined it. I’m nervous and out of practice.”
The man’s brow wrinkled.
“I probably suck in bed. He always wanted to watch porn. That’s what I thought he was doing, watching porn and … you know?” She made a looping motion with her hand. “I did hear porn, but it was also them.”
Drew’s frown deepened.
“Them, on our bed, with porn while they …” Ella looked away, her cheeks flushing. “Shut up, shut up,” she muttered.
He observed her from under lowered lids.
“What? Loving the spectacle? Meltdown Ella, that’s me.”
“Adorable Ella,” he said, stepping forward and spanning her waist with those glorious hands. “Take a breath.”
Ella sucked for air, her breath rasping down her throat in a so-not-sexy way. She pressed a palm against his firm chest. “Still happy you took the initiative?”
“Absolutely,” he said.
“You wanted to blow off steam. This is hardly that, with me fumbling and panicking.”
“Oh, that’s still happening.”
Ella eyed him, then plucked at the buttons of his shirt. “Take this off.”
Without blinking, he undid the first button, then another, his movements slow and steady.
“Torturing me?” she asked as he paused.
“Slow release is much more satisfying than an explosive geyser.” He reached the last button, revealing a glimpse of his toned chest and tight stomach.
“Even better than I imagined.” She ran her fingertips over his abs, fully satisfied at the ripple of muscle as she traveled upwards to his pecs. “You stay active.”
His shirt slid off of his shoulders easily, leaving him all fine and shirtless before her. Drew grazed a finger over her lips, followed by the softest of kisses. He moved closer, stroking her back and nuzzling her neck in a way that almost made her forget everything.
He cupped her face, then caught her lower lip and sucked gently. “Ella, sweet and soft, with her irresistibly kissable mouth.”
“Drew, with the dangerously sexy dimple,” she whispered, her head swimming in the masculine scent of him. “Kiss me again.”
His gentle caresses, tiny nips and nibbles to each lip deepened into a knee-weakening onslaught that tore a moan from her throat.
Ella sank against him, wrapping her tongue around his, thrilled at the warmth of his touch as he slid his hand up her back.
He worked her shirt over her head, and with practiced ease, unhooked her bra, sliding the straps aside. He cupped one of her pert breasts. “So perfect.” The brush of his thumb tightened her nipples.
Ella played with the silky strands of his hair as he plied butterfly kisses to her neck, then turned his attention to her breasts.
His gentle suction, rolling, and sucking of her nipples sent desire streaking through her belly. When he dropped to his knees and unbuttoned her jeans, she tipped her head back and supported herself against the counter.
The hotness of his breath against her navel raised goosebumps on her bare flesh, the kiss against her lacy black panties loosening another long moan. She pushed her hips toward his mouth, longing to feel that talented tongue lapping at her sensitive flesh.
“You smell incredible,” he muttered, working the lace aside and using one finger to spread her wetness, rubbing in agonizingly gentle strokes. “Tell me what you need.”
Ella ran her fingers though his hair, guiding him closer, aching for his touch.
He slid a finger inside her. “Tell me.” His magical finger slid out, circling her clit.
“Taste me,” she whispered, sagging against the counter.
Darkened eyes peered up at her, the tip of his tongue flicking over her as he slid his finger inside her again. “Mmmm.” He licked his lips, then covered her completely with his mouth, sucking her sensitive nub of flesh.
“Ohhh.” Ella clutched his hair, pleasure shooting through her. “There, ohhh.” She dragged him closer, her knees twitching. Yanking harder on his hair, she propped a hand on his shoulder, fighting the urge to collapse into a quivering heap.
“Bed, before we finish this on the floor.” Drew rose, scooping her up as if she was a feather.
Her chest heaved as he laid her out, his fingers skimming down her legs as he removed her panties. Ella rubbed her palms across the smooth sheets, captivated by the pure desire in his expression. She squirmed, eager to have him join her, yet wanting this to last.
He lifted the damp scrap of lace to his nose and inhaled deeply, his eyes half closed. “You smell as good as you taste.”
“Get naked.” Ella licked her lips, focused on Drew. Watching this half-naked man was a thing of beauty, the trail of hair leading into the waistband of his jeans making her quiver. The hard ridge of his cock against the dark-washed denim a tantalizing tease that sent flutters through her belly.
“Soon.” He kneeled beside the bed and grasped her ankles, dragging her to the edge of the mattress and looping her calves over his shoulders. Licking his lips, he leaned forward and parted her thighs.
Ella crammed her fist against her mouth, biting her fingers to stifle the loud moan building in her throat.
He rubbed up and down her legs, then, starting at her knees, planted tiny kisses and nibbled as he moved upward.
She writhed and plunged one hand into his hair, tugging him. “Stop teasing.”
He barely looked up, kissing her inner thighs, moving closer and closer, but not nearly fast enough.
She moaned, the hotness of his breath making her wet and needy.
“You want to come?” he asked in that sexy baritone.
“Please.” She nodded and pulled his hair, willing him closer.
“Beg harder.” He bent his head again.
“Please, Drew, make me come.”
Drew looked up at her, then buried his face between her legs, his sucking and licking sending her into spasms of delight.
Holy crap. She writhed, bucking her hips against him and caressing his soft hair as he stroked her inside and out. “Men. Can’t. Spell. G-spot.” She shuddered as his chuckle vibrated through her. “More.” She gasped as the sensations built, turning her into a senseless pile of aching need, unable to control her high squeaks and guttural moans.
“Let it out, gorgeous.” The pace and pressure of his fingers and tongue increased.
Ella gasped, circling her hips, loving the slide of his fingers. She yanked at his silky hair, and he looked up at her. “Please. Please.”
With a satisfied smile, he covered her with his mouth, and she broke, the exquisite sensation shaking her entire body. Drew groaned, his gentle licks relaying his pleasure as her pussy pulsed and gushed around his fingers.
She sighed as the heat of his mouth left her, shuddering at the cool wash of air combined with hot hands grasping her hips. Warm breath tickled her navel, followed by warm kisses caressing her belly, that magical tongue now teasing her nipples, then grazing over her heated flesh.
Ella watched from under heavy lids as he stripped off his jeans, her breath catching at the sight of his complete naked glory. “I could come just looking at you.”
“Uh uh. Wait for me.” He kissed her, pushing his tongue into her mouth, sharing her sweet, salty taste as he settled between her thighs.
Ella ached for him, longed to feel the pressure of his hard cock filling her completely. “Condom?”
“Always,” he murmured against her hair, holding up the square package. “Touch me, first.”
Ella slid her hand between them and stroked him, thrilled with his pleasured grunts and the way he pushed his thick cock against her encircling fingers. The man was rock hard and ready and completely gorgeous. “Mmm, silky and perfect.” She took the package and ripped it open, rolling the condom over him, torn between her eagerness to have him inside her and the need to pleasure him.
Drew bit her bottom lip, reaching down to caress her, causing another gush of wetness. “All sweet and wet and ready,” he muttered against her mouth, then kissing her again as she stroked his cock. “You’re sexy as hell.” He rose up and buried himself deep inside her with a long, slow thrust. He paused to kiss her before rocking his hips against hers, taking up a steady rhythm. He looked down between them. “Ahh, so fucking good.” An almost rapturous look appeared, soft grunts accompanying puffs of warm breath against her neck.
Ella dug her fingers into his back, the rub of their bodies creating a light sheen of perspiration between their bellies. Tiny squeaks and ohs escaped as she circled her hips, the sensations building as he rocked harder and faster, his gasps and grunts low and musical to her ears. She wrapped her legs around him, drawing him closer and clutching his ass wishing she could drag him deeper inside her.
“Oh, fuck, yeah,” he muttered, his body slapping against hers at a frenzied pace.
Ella pressed her cheek against the scruff on his jaw, the roughness adding another level of pleasure, her senses reeling as he reached between them and rubbed her clit, causing another rush of wetness.
“Come for me.” He gritted his teeth. “Can’t wait.”
Ella pressed her hand over his, desperate for the tingle to grow into a full-on orgasm before the man lost control and exploded. She guided his finger, pressing, pressing, moaning loudly into his hair. “Ahhh!” Her toes curled, her pussy pulsing around his cock with an explosion of wetness accompanied by a satisfied groan from Drew.
His hips bucked hard against her, then he collapsed on top of her, his supporting arm trembling as he pressed his face into her hair, panting heavily. “Fuck. Me,” he murmured when he finally rolled to the side and pulled the sheet over their sweaty bodies. He blew out a stream of air, grinning as he twirled a lock of her damp hair around his fingertip. “Mission accomplished. Steam released.” Propping himself on an elbow, he placed a long, tender kiss on her lips. “You, Ella, are one crazy, sexy woman.”
“Crazy sexy? Or crazy, yet sexy?”
“The first one. Those sounds when you come drive me insane.”
Ella wrinkled her nose. “My weird squeaks? How can rabid chipmunk squeals turn you on?”
His deep laughter shook her to the core. Damn, this man was sexy in every possible way.
“More like a naughty squirrel.” He grinned as she swatted his shoulder. “Kidding, kidding. You were wonderfully vocal. Never hold back, Ella. It’s part of the crazy sexy package.” He sat, swinging his feet to the floor, giving her a view of his broad back.
She eyed the line of red, nail-shaped crescents embedded in his skin. “Jeez, sorry,” she whispered, running a finger over the marks. “Does it hurt?”
“Didn’t even notice.” He chuckled and rose from the bed, revealing a tight, firm butt. “I should clean up. Can I bring you some water?”
“Please.” Ella smiled and flopped back against the pillow, totally exhausted. She drifted in a cloud of bliss, the soft sounds of running water followed by the clink of glassware oddly soothing. By the time he returned and settled in the sheets beside her, a sleepy lethargy had overtaken her.
Drew cradled her against his chest and stroked her hair. “Mind if I stay?”
“That would be nice. Hold me while I fall asleep?”
“Exactly like this.” Ella rubbed his arm. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had held her. Even her ex hadn’t treated her with such tenderness.
Drew kissed her temple, his continued touch lulling her into the sweet oblivion of sleep.
A Steamy Romance from the Love Me Collection.