Make Me Yours
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by Marie Medina
Description: Susan is ready for the next part of her life to begin after becoming a widow at the age of thirty. She thinks the most exciting part of this next phase is going to be opening a bookstore with her two best friends from college, but life has other plans. Erik, an older man she was once "just friends" with, comes back into her life and sweeps her right off her feet. Susan remembers the overwhelming crush she had on him and how the sight of him used to make her heart race. She also remembers his reputation from years ago and cannot help wondering where their relationship will go. As he both seduces and perplexes her, she finds herself needing him more. When a friend questions Erik's intentions, Susan has to decide if the passion he's awakened inside her is worth the risk of giving herself to him completely.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: October 2011
9 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [195 KB]
Reading time: 131-184 min.
Susan sat across the kitchen table from Jeremiah and David as they both read the paper. Jeremiah picked up a pen and circled something as she got up to refill her coffee.
"Find something?" she asked. She peeked over his shoulder as she walked around the table.
"Maybe. It's the right size, and it's near Five Points. We'd get lots of traffic, and there isn't a bookstore anywhere downtown now."
Susan, David and Jeremiah had been friends since college, and a year earlier both Susan and David had lost their spouses in car accidents. The three of them had reconnected at that point and become close again. Susan and David had both needed change and purpose in their lives when Jeremiah inherited a house, a large sum of money and an overwhelming collection of books from his great-grandfather. Jeremiah's one in the morning text about them opening a bookstore together had been met with affirmatives within sixty seconds. Susan and David had both moved back to their hometown, and the temporary fix of the three of them living together had now become a permanent arrangement.
David leaned over and looked at the ad. "That's a decent lease price. The apartments across the street are pretty expensive."
"Yeah, they are," Jeremiah said. "It's probably so reasonable because the square footage is split between two floors. That's not practical for most businesses, but it could work for a bookstore, I think. Wanna go look at it this afternoon?"
"Sure," Susan said. She sat down at the table again and noticed that she'd received a text. "Damn it, I left my phone on silent." She took it off silent and went to the new message. She didn't recognize the number. "It's a seven three four area code."
"That's Michigan," David said. He and Jeremiah both shrugged.
She read the message.
Hi, it's Erik. Got your number from Heather at the library. Moved back recently and heard you had too. Would love to see you.
"It's Erik. From our history class."
David raised his eyebrows. "Erik? Really?"
Jeremiah thought for another minute. "You mean the med student?" he finally asked.
"Yeah," Susan said.
David grinned slowly. "The guy who had a major thing for you?"
Susan glanced at him briefly. "That was your opinion."
"I don't know. It was a widely held opinion. What does he say?"
"He just moved back here. He said he heard I was back in town and wants to see me." She put her phone down and tried to keep her expression neutral as she looked at her two grinning friends. "Either of you would have done the same if I'd moved back here without telling you."
"Does he know you're single?" David asked.
"He got my number from Heather, so he probably does."
"Invite him for the weekend. We'll fire up the grill and go fishing," Jeremiah said.
"You're jumping to conclusions," Susan said. She didn't want her second cup of coffee anymore. She got up and poured it out. "Make arrangements to go see this place. We'll do that this afternoon if we can."
"And you'll text Erik back...when?" David said as he eyed her phone.
She grabbed it off the table. "After I get out of the shower. Okay?"
"Okay," they both said.
She went up to her room, but she could hear them whispering. She held back a groan, not wanting to give them the satisfaction.
Jeremiah might have needed a moment to remember Erik, but Susan had never forgotten him. Erik had sat down next to her in a history class her freshman year, and he'd kept glancing at her until she'd finished talking to Jeremiah and turned her attention to him. Then he'd introduced himself and complimented her eyes, which had led to David two seats down, stifling a laugh, and Jeremiah poking her with a pen under the table. He was ten years older than them and about to graduate from the university's medical program, but he loved history and often audited or sat in on classes between his own and shifts at the hospital. The history teacher was his roommate. He'd said he only planned on stopping in a few times, but in the end he attended every class except the final exam.
Lots of people probably wondered why they never went out. David and Jeremiah had asked her several times, but she always said Erik never asked her out on a date. That had never been true. He'd asked her many times, but Susan had always had one objection: his reputation. He was charming and flirty, and based on the comments of his friend and his roommate, he'd slept with lots of women. He had always been a gentleman with her, and he'd never tried anything, but his eyes had always been saying so much more to her. At the age of nineteen, she hadn't been ready for that kind of relationship with a man approaching thirty. Every time he asked her out, he did so in a very teasing manner, and when she said no each time he always gave up without a fight. She'd never taken him seriously.
She had turned thirty a few weeks earlier, so that made Erik forty now. The ten years didn't seem to matter much at all anymore. Erik had written to her, called her and emailed her after he left Georgia to do his residency in Virginia. Now that she thought about it, he had mentioned a job in Michigan the last time they'd spoken. That had been the day she'd told him she was engaged. The phone calls every few months had faded to occasional emails and then to nothing until he sent her a condolence note. She'd written him a brief letter back, but he hadn't responded in any way. The text that morning had been their first contact since then. David and Jeremiah were right. Her being both single and nearby obviously had something to do with Erik contacting her.
She undressed and turned on the shower. What would he be like now? He had been tall with lightly tanned skin and dark red-brown hair. She'd always thought he was classically handsome. He would look right at home in a smoking jacket sipping brandy with Errol Flynn and Laurence Olivier. He could talk for hours on any subject, and he had an amazing way with words. He'd seemed so much more experienced than her, and so much more mature than most of the guys her own age, that she'd convinced herself that her feelings were simply a crush.
She rinsed the shampoo from her hair and rubbed her shoulders. They'd been very stiff lately. She needed to find a masseuse this week. As she rubbed, she thought about Erik giving her a massage. She definitely liked that idea. What would it have been like to lose her virginity to him? She sighed as the warm water ran down her body. Her breasts felt heavy as she rubbed them. She hadn't had sex since her husband's death, but she hadn't masturbated much either. She ran one hand down to her pussy as she leaned against the shower wall. She thought about Erik's voice, always husky and low. She adjusted the showerhead so the spray hit her breasts and ran down between her legs. She stroked her clit with one hand and slid her other hand over her breasts and down to her thigh before pushing two fingers into herself. She was very wet, and her pussy was clenching. It had been far too long and she needed to come. She massaged her fingers in and out and rubbed her clit in a circular motion. She thought about Erik catching her touching herself. What would he do? Would he watch? Would he join her? She imagined him crushing her body against his. Would he kiss her? Take her right then and there?
She whimpered with relief when she came. She rubbed her pussy as she trembled. Pleasure surged through her with surprising ferocity. The release felt so good. Her entire body tingled, and she even felt a little dizzy. She grabbed her shower gel and rewashed her hands and pussy. Her clit felt amazingly sensitive as she ran the lathered sponge over herself. She rinsed her body, and then turned the water off. The bathroom had filled with steam, but she still got goosebumps when the air hit her skin. She put her cushy bathrobe on and sat down to comb her hair.
She looked at her phone and put the comb back down. She sent a text back to Erik and said her schedule was very open right now and that he should call her sometime. The phone rang as soon as she put it down. It was Erik. Had he been waiting for her to text back? Was he that eager to see her? She felt her face flame red. Considering what thoughts of him had just done to her, she couldn't deny she wanted to see him as well. Should she answer it? She picked it up on the fourth ring because she guessed he would know she was still near her phone.
She shivered, and her pussy clenched in response. His voice hadn't changed. It was still deep and heart-stopping. "Hi, Erik. How are you?"
"I'm doing quite well. How are you, my dear? As happy as I was to hear you were living here again, I am sorry about the reason. I wish I could have done more when it happened."
"Thank you, Erik. It's been a year now. It's still hard, but I'm fine these days. Jeremiah and David and I are going to open a bookstore together."
"Ah, yes, Heather mentioned that. Sounds like an exciting venture."
"Yes, I think it will be fun. There'll be lots of hard work, but it will pay off in the end."
"I'm sure it will. Let me know if I can help you with anything."
"We will. Thank you."
Erik paused, and she shivered again when she heard him exhale. She held the phone away from her mouth so he wouldn't hear her breathing.
"I've thought about you a lot over the years. I hope I'm not too late to ask you out."
"No, you're not. I haven't dated at all yet, but no one has asked."
"So there's no one else in the picture?"
"I'll admit I'm pleased to hear that. I was a little worried I might have to compete with David or Jeremiah. I wasn't sure what you all living together might possibly mean."
"Oh no. I'm just friends with both of them. That's all we've ever been."
"Just checking. As men get older they begin to appreciate better qualities in a woman, and I couldn't help fearing I might have missed my chance." He sighed. "I've always regretted having to move away. Perhaps I could have convinced you to go out with me eventually. I always gave up too easily."
She couldn't believe how serious he was being. She'd expected him to flirt far more. He was still turning on the charm, but he definitely seemed different. She laughed, trying to lighten the tone. "Perhaps. I think I was intimidated by your reputation."
He paused for a long time. "Sometimes a person's reputation is only that. A reputation. But then again, sometimes it's deserved. Does it matter to you?"
"No, it doesn't. It mattered then, but I was so young."
"Ah, so I was just a dirty old man? Now I see why you always said no."
She laughed, glad he'd made a joke. "No, you weren't. I had quite the crush on you."
"Really? I always thought there was more to it than that." He sighed again, and she felt like he was doing it on purpose to torment her. "What are you doing right now?"
Her mind scrambled. How would he react if she told him the truth? Part of her really wanted to know, but instead she said, "I'm just getting ready to go out. The guys and I are going to try to go look at some property today. We think we've found a good spot for the bookstore."
"When will you be free?"
She would be free tonight, but did she want to say that?
"Are you free this evening? I'd love to see you." He chuckled. "I'm sure I've already made that clear."
"Yes, I am. Assuming we can see the place early, I'd be free tonight."
"Good. Call me when you're done, and we'll make plans."
"Okay. I will. Bye, Erik."
She hit the End button. "Oh boy."
"That's perfect! We're seeing this guy at one, so you'll have plenty of time to get ready. What are you guys gonna do?"
Susan sat down next to Jeremiah and put her hand on his leg. "I don't know yet, so don't get too excited."
"Should we wait up?" David asked.
She groaned. "This is probably why I don't have many female friends here. I don't need them. I've got you two."
"Hmmm. We could shift gears and go completely protective big brother on you here. We definitely have reason to believe seduction might be on this man's mind. Perhaps we should chaperone," David said.
She called his bluff. "That sounds wonderful! I'm sure he won't mind."
"Oh I'm sure he would," Jeremiah said. "I'm willing to bet someone had a hard time forgetting about you."
"We were really good friends. You two were always splitting on me, so he never got to know you guys as well."
"He liked you. He was always shooting daggers at us with his eyes," David said.
"He was not!"
"Yes, he was. We were trying to stay out of the way."
She feigned shock. "So you left innocent little me alone with him thinking he'd seduce me?"
Jeremiah laughed. "Hey, come on. Better him than Luke."
"Ugh. Let's not talk about that."
Luke was the guy she had eventually lost her virginity to. He was wonderful, but the third time they had sex he lost his erection. They had both been confused by this event, especially since they had been talking about getting engaged. Then Luke met a guy named Derek and found his spark again. She and Luke broke up, and though they remained friends, she had little desire to date after that. She dated some, but she never had any true interest until she met and fell in love with Mark. She sighed. Their marriage had only lasted two years, and she still missed him very much.
"Okay. Fine. I guess it could have been worse though, so you should probably count your blessings." David looked at her for a long time. "People don't often get second chances. There's no way I'm going to Five Points tonight and meet up with the blond I had a huge crush on in biology. Or that sexy goth girl who I could swear used to eye me in linguistics."
She laughed. "They might both still live here. We should all go out tonight. I'll have my date and you two can work the room."
"Look, he's right, you know," Jeremiah said. "It is too good to pass up."
"I'm not passing it up. We're going out tonight." She was getting just annoyed enough that she imagined telling them what she'd done in the shower so they'd quit with the annoying and overbearing encouragement. They'd probably stop prying altogether if she did, but of course they'd probably also not be able to look her in the eye for a month. She decided against it. "I'm very excited to see him."
"As you should be. You two will have a great time," Jeremiah said.
She smiled and nodded, wondering what the night would actually hold for them.
Susan looked out the window at the street below while David counted the bookshelves lining the room. The upper floor had been the office for the previous business, so the walls were lined with built-in bookshelves. A skylight let the warmth and light of the sun flow in while two ceiling fans kept the air circulating. The walls would need a fresh coat of paint, but the hardwood floors had been redone by the previous tenant and showed no scuffs at all. The stairs between the two floors were wide enough to let people going up and down pass each other easily. The ground floor had been repainted three months before, and it still looked fresh, so that would be one less thing they had to do.
"It seems perfect," she said. "We just need some paint up here and some bookshelves for the lower level. The bathroom only needs a little work. We could be up and running in a couple of months."
They turned when they heard footsteps and saw Jeremiah coming up the stairs.
"So, what do you guys think? It looks great inside. The shops on each side seem busy, so it's a good location."
David nodded. "I think we should go for it. The rent is reasonable, and we won't need to spend much to make the changes we need. Susan?"
"I agree. This looks like the place for us."
"Perfect. I'll go let the agents know. They said they can draw everything up by tomorrow and bring it around to us." He went back downstairs.
Susan looked at David. "Well, this has been pretty easy."
He gazed around the room and nodded again. "This is gonna be fun." He walked over to the window and looked up and down the street. "What should we call it?"
Susan thought for a minute, and then she laughed. "You know, I think that's the one thing we haven't considered."
"Hmmm. Something literary. Or something cutesy? Are we going to bring the cats in?"
David had a black cat named Socrates, and Susan had a black and white tuxedo cat named Shadow. "We might have to bring them in for a few hours and just see how it goes. I don't think they'd run outside, but they might knock books off the shelves." She shrugged. "They don't bother them at home, but a new environment might lead to new mischief."
David glanced at the stairs before asking, "So is there going to be mischief tonight? You know you always liked him."
"We're going to see how it goes. Okay? Why are you so interested?"
"I want to see you happy." He paused. "I know what it's like. I know how lonely I've been." He sighed and reached out to take her hand. "I couldn't imagine dating a stranger. I know I'm not ready for that, and maybe you wouldn't be either. Erik will be different. You'll feel safer because he's your friend. He cares about you and won't rush you."
She squeezed his hand. "I know he won't. To be honest, I'd much rather hear a guy say that he wants me than that he loves me. Does that make any sense?"
He held her gaze and nodded slowly. "It makes perfect sense. I'll bet he knows better than to rush anything. He's been waiting for his chance for so long I doubt he'll risk spoiling it. Second chances are hard to come by. He's probably going to make a big effort to get everything just right."
She let his hand slip from hers and gave him an affectionate punch on the arm. "Well, I'm so glad I have someone who knows exactly what's going on in my date's mind."
"I'm serious. I think he knows what he missed out on by not showing you he was serious all those years ago. This is a bona fide second chance."
"You keep saying that, and I agree, but you're going to make me nervous!"
"Oh, don't be! Now call him. You two need to make plans."
"I'll call him when we get back to the house."
"He said to call him when we were done."
"And we'll be 'done' when we get back home." She headed for the stairs, but David was right behind her.
"You just don't want to talk to him with us around."
He was right, but she wanted to prove him wrong. "Fine. I'll call him now." She got out her cell phone as they met up with Jeremiah and the leasing agents. They all shook hands and left, and she dialed Erik's number once she was seated in the car.
"What's going on?" Jeremiah asked. He started the engine and turned to look at the traffic on the street.
"She's calling Erik. I was just pushing her to get on with it."
Jeremiah grinned at her in the rearview mirror, but he didn't comment. She looked out the window as she waited for Erik to pick up.
"Erik? It's Susan. We got done pretty early, so I thought I'd give you a call back." She continued to look out the window because she suspected one or both of her friends would be staring at her or maybe even making faces at her.
"Wonderful. I'd love to take you out to dinner. Where would you like to go?"
"Oh, I'd be up for anything. What did you have in mind?"
He paused. "I haven't been out much since I moved back. Any new places you've tried? Any you want to check out?"
"Someplace quiet and laid-back maybe? We haven't seen each other in so long and we have a lot of catching up to do."
"I could come get you and make dinner for you at my house. We wouldn't be rushed by other people and we'd have the privacy to really catch up."
She blushed. She couldn't help it. He wasn't being suggestive or flirtatious, but the thought of being alone with him excited her. She cleared her throat and ignored the sound of David trying to hold back a laugh.
"That sounds nice. Can I bring anything? We're heading back to the cabin now and could stop for something. You remember where it is, right?"
"Yes, I dropped you off over there once. That's where you're living?"
"Yeah. Jeremiah inherited it a while back. It's very peaceful out by the lake."
"I bet it is. The ideal setting for starting over."
"Yes, I think so."
"I have everything I need. Do you have a drink preference?"
"Well, depends on the meal, but I'm fond of gin. Red wine is another favorite."
"I'll make sure I'm well stocked then. I'll come pick you up around five?"
"Perfect. See you then."
"Good-bye, Susan. Until then."
She turned toward the front of the car and jumped when she saw David turned around in his seat staring at her. She raised her phone in a threatening manner.
"Don't drink anything you didn't mix yourself. Who knows? Erik might have gone crazy up in the snow and ice in Michigan. He might want to perform bizarre experiments on you."
She laughed, as much as she wanted to hit him. "I don't think I need to worry about that too much. He might need to worry about me. I haven't had sex in a year. It might be dangerous for him once I get a drink or two in me."
David raised his eyebrows and Jeremiah laughed. "Maybe. I think you have more control than that," Jeremiah said. "Just call one of us if you need a ride back." He turned off the main road and looked at her in the rearview mirror. "Or if you're both drunk you just stay put and make a full night of it."
"Okay, you two, let's tone it down." She hesitated. "No, wait, get it out of your system now. I don't want you two acting like high school dweebs when he arrives."
"Dweebs? Really?" Jeremiah asked.
"It's not her fault. Her vocabulary is suffering because very little blood is making it to her brain." David pointed at the drugstore on the corner. "Need any condoms? Or do you like something else? Bethany used like five different kinds of birth control, and I didn't know what half of it actually was."
"Oh good grief, I'm fine on that end, and I really don't think that's going to happen tonight, but thanks for the concern."
David heaved a fake sigh. "You are no fun."
"I promise I will keep you both apprised of developments."
"Details?" Jeremiah asked.
"Hell no," she said with no hesitation.
They both laughed, but they finally did let up with the teasing and questions. Would she and Erik have sex tonight? She knew him well enough, and she had plenty of confidence it would be amazing, but would he be that forward? She hadn't seen him for years. Would he still find her attractive? She hadn't changed much, so she pushed that thought away. He was her friend first and foremost, and she knew nothing would change that. What would he look like? Would he have grown even handsomer the way some men did? Would he look the same? Or had he gained thirty pounds and lost three inches off his hairline? She would simply have to wait and see. If he was still as handsome as ever, she might have a hard time saying no to any of his advances. Part of her hoped for just such a dilemma.