Over the rhythmic click-clack of steel wheels against the train tracks, I could just make out Raleigh’s even breaths. Her head was tipped back and her mouth was slightly agape in sleep. Because of congested holiday travel we’d been unable to procure a sleeper car, so we were both stuck in the reserved coach area, but at least we’d been able to get two seats together.

I wet my lips as I admired the plump, parted lips and just the tip of her pink tongue. My gaze traveled down the long column of her unblemished neck. I wanted to spend countless hours sucking and kissing and biting the area as if only to reassure myself that Raleigh was mine and no one else’s. Neck gave way to collarbone that was on display in the opening of her v-neck top. She’d abandoned her usual dress and cardigan ensemble for a more casual T-shirt and jeans. The carved collarbones created an almost directional arrow, urging my attention lower to the swell of well-proportioned breasts that rose and fell beneath her top.

I didn’t consider myself a boob-girl, but that didn’t mean I didn’t fully appreciate Raleigh’s shapely breasts—just barely more than a handful, pale flesh and capped with dusty-rose nipples that were quick to tighten and harden from my attentions.

“See something you like?”

I jerked what I was sure was a lascivious stare away from Raleigh’s chest and raised my gaze to meet her amused face.

“I thought I saw a stain on your shirt,” I blurted out.

She flicked her eyes down to her clean shirt and then back to my flushed features. “Uh huh.” She stretched her arms above her head and her back arched off the chair as she roused herself from sleep. Traitors to my continued sanity, my eyes were once again drawn to Raleigh’s chest and the newly revealed sliver of skin at the bottom hem of her shirt.

“You really didn’t have to take the train back with me.”

“After everything you’ve been through the past few days there’s no way I was going to leave you on a train by yourself. Besides, I like trains,” she remarked. “Everything slows down.”

I hummed in agreement. It was a nice change of pace, especially compared to the chaotic bustle of a city like Chicago. I rested my hand on Raleigh’s thigh and rubbed small circles with the pad of my thumb even though I knew she couldn’t really feel it. It was more of a comfort to me than anything.

“And it’s way better than an airplane. There’s a dining car where you can get food whenever you want, not at the whim of a flight attendant,” she continued, “and instead of a monotonous view of blue sky and the tops of clouds, you really get the chance to see America. Plus, if you plan it right,” she noted with a waggle of her eyebrows, “you get a sleeper car and have all the train sex you want.”

I stilled my thumb and lightly slapped her leg. “You’re horrible,” I chided. I couldn’t help the smile that made it to my lips, however.

Raleigh grinned widely, displaying her deep dimples. She leaned across the armrest until her lips brushed against my jaw line, near my ear. “I bet a moving train vibrates just right.” She slowly drawled out the final two words.

I squeezed my thighs together, a movement not lost on the woman seated beside me.

Raleigh leaned closer and her mouth moved along my neck—warm, wet, and yet just barely there. Her lips delicately fluttered against the sensitive skin like a butterfly’s wings against fragile flower petals.

“Raleigh,” I quietly sighed. I didn’t know if I should stop her or beg for more.

“What is it, Harper?” She innocently and quietly breathed into my skin. “Do you need something?”

I bit down on my lower lip and sucked it into my mouth. It wasn’t fair. I could hardly hold hands without sweating. How could she expect me to … in public … and on a train?

“I wonder if these things have Call buttons if you need something,” she murmured, undeterred. “I’m sure our conductor would be more than eager to help out if there’s something you need.”

My eyes immediately snapped open at the reminder of where we were. Our cabin’s conductor was only a few rows away, handing out complimentary beverages to the riders seated at the front of the car. I felt a strong hand squeeze my knee and then travel north.

“Raleigh.” I said her name again, this time in a warning tone.

Ignoring me, she moved her hand farther up. I clamped my thighs together, pinning her hand in place. I looked worriedly between the hand still wiggling between the vice grip of my inner thighs and the complimentary beverage cart rolling steadily closer.

When I relaxed my leg muscles just for a moment, Raleigh’s hand shot between my thighs and connected hard against my yoga pants-covered sex. My breath hitched in my throat, and Raleigh’s eyes widened when she no doubt felt the damp heat radiating from my core. Something resembling a growl rattled in the back of her throat.

The squeak of wheels in need of lubrication came louder as the conductor rolled closer still.

Raleigh cupped me through my pants and pressed the heel of her palm hard against me, pulling a strangled whimper from my mouth. I drew in a sharp breath when her dexterous hand slipped beneath the waistband of my stretchy pants and immediately found my clit. She rubbed the sensitive nub in small circles with the tip of her middle finger.

I clamped down on Raleigh’s wrist and made a quiet, pathetic noise, but I couldn’t tell if I was begging her to stop or begging her for more. With her free hand, Raleigh unlatched the knobs that held our seat trays in an upright position. With gravity on their side, the trays noisily fell down, covering both of our laps and shielding them from the conductor’s view.

“Would you care for something to drink?” the cheerful man implored, setting two square napkins down on the seat trays.

“Diet Coke or whatever you’ve got,” Raleigh said without missing a beat.

I coughed sharply when she wiggled the fingers still inside the front of my pants.

“And you, ma’am?” the train worker asked after setting down a small plastic cup in front of Raleigh.

I was convinced my face was flushed red and my eyes were bulging. I felt Raleigh’s fingers move again against me, hard and determined. “N-n-nothing,” I stammered out, not trusting my own voice and wanting the conductor to move on to the next passengers as quickly as possible.

He bobbed his head and pushed the small trolley down the narrow train aisle.

Raleigh continued to slip along my folds. I couldn’t believe how impossibly wet I was, and she had barely touched me. I stared at the muscles in her forearm as they flexed and twitched as she continued her determined ministrations. I knew what was happening; she wasn’t going to stop until she’d made me cum.

Too close to orgasm to care about mass transportation propriety, I spread my legs as far as my narrow seat would allow.

“That’s my girl,” Raleigh murmured her approval. If possible, her words made me even wetter.

I felt a solid finger separate my folds and slip inside. I bit back another moan, disguising the noise as a short cough. I gripped onto the tray table as if needing something to stabilize me.

“You know, there’s something I’ve always wanted to try.”


“We should get a strap on, and you can ride me in my chair.”

“Oh God.” I bit down hard on my lower lip and my breath sounded haggard as I breathed in and out of my nose. When the initial wave of my orgasm washed over me, my body slumped forward.

Raleigh’s hand stilled and she slipped out of my yoga pants. She bought her fingers up to her mouth and licked at the tips, grinning with satisfaction. Then, she stretched her arms above her head and yawned. “Back to sleep,” she announced, almost cheerfully.

“Are you … are you serious?” I hissed.

She downed her small soda in two, long gulps before returning both of our trays to their original position. “You forget that I caught a Red Eye to Memphis. I need some sleep.” She tipped her head back, wiggled her shoulders, and closed her eyes.

I could only stare out the window and smile.

My key stuck in the lock to my apartment and I had to jiggle it just so to make the lock pop open. It had gotten noticeably more difficult to get into my own home over the past few weeks and I wondered if August Moreland had broken something inside the locking mechanism trying to get into the apartment.

I’d only been gone a few days, but it felt much longer.

“You should try to get some sleep,” Raleigh said, coming in behind me. “I’m an expert at this waking up in hospitals stuff.”

I shrugged out of my jacket and left my suitcase by the front door. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt more awake.”

“That’s the adrenaline talking. Just wait until you crash. You won’t ever want to get out of bed.”

“As long as you’re in bed with me,” I grinned, “I won’t complain.”

“Sweet talker,” she murmured. “Is this how you get all the girls to fall for you?”

“By getting hospitalized after fending off my brother when he tried to kill me?” Even now, days separated from the ordeal, I couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened. Even more unbelievable, I had to go back to school the next day as if none of it had happened. “Yes, that was my plan all along,” I deadpanned.

“Well, in case you were wondering, it worked.”

“Is your aunt expecting you back soon?” I asked.

“Define ‘soon’?”

“Can you stay the night?”


I kissed her before she could utter another word. She’d made me wait long enough, teasing me on the train and then on the taxi ride from Union Station back to my apartment. I think she’d broken me—or fixed me—because worrying about what other people thought was the last thing on my mind.

Raleigh pulled away from my eager embrace. “Bed?” she asked in a slightly breathless voice.

“Can’t wait.”

My hands went under her arms, and I lifted her out of her chair and sat her on the kitchen counter. She released a surprised noise, which quickly turned to a quiet moan. My mouth went to her neck while my hands stayed firm on her hips, pinning her to the countertop. I sucked on her neck and scraped my teeth against her pressure point, causing her to buck her hips off the counter.

I grinned into her skin. Even though she’d gotten me off, the train had still been a ruthless tease, and now I was finally getting my opportunity at payback. I released my hold on her hips and instead wandered up the front of her loose T-shirt.

Out of my view, she reached behind her back and beneath her shirt to unfasten her bra, which allowed my hands to travel freely and unencumbered. Her pert breasts filled my hands, and I could feel her hardening nipples rub against my palms. Raleigh’s breath was ragged in my ear as I firmly pulled and pinched at her jutting nipples. Shocks of sharp pain kept her on edge as I unmercifully handled her sensitive breasts.

My hands went to the front button of her jeans next.

“Lift your ass for me,” I breathed in her ear.

She immediately obeyed the command, using her arm strength to elevate her backside off the countertop. I grabbed the waistband and pulled her pants and underwear down her hips and legs in one smooth motion, leaving her naked from the waist down. She’d made me wait too long for this. I hunched over to bury my face between her thighs. She squeaked, perhaps surprised by my directness, but soon she was grabbing onto my loose hair when my tongue made contact with her clit.

She gasped when I tentatively pressed a finger at the base of her pussy. She moaned as I slowly inched the single digit the full length of her slit. I continued to stroke along her naked slit, pulling more and more arousal from her.

“I can’t wait to be inside you,” I growled.

Raleigh grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me up to her. Our mouths crashed together again while my finger continued to glide over her leaking slit. She moved her hips encouragingly on my hand. Her arousal leaked down the insides of her thighs and onto my hand.

“God, you’re making me so wet,” she panted into my mouth.

“Can you feel it?” I wondered aloud.

“Fuck, yes.”

I murmured my approval and buried my middle finger into her. I kept my finger still, letting her adjust to me while my thumb rotated on her slippery clit. I corkscrewed my finger inside of her tight insides and she groaned loudly.

I released a pained noise when I pushed a second finger into her. Her sex was wrapped so tight around my digits I might never get them out. “You feel so good,” I panted against her fragrant skin.

Raleigh moaned incoherently in reply, concentrating too hard on the feeling between her thighs to complete intelligible syllables.

I bent over once again as I continued to piston two fingers in and out of her tightening sex. I knew she was going to cum soon; she only needed a little push. I sucked her clit into my mouth, hoping to make her see stars. Her hands went to the back of my head. Her fingers tangled in my hair and her nails dug into my scalp. She squirmed against the counter and pulled my face deeper into her as her first orgasm hit. I finger-fucked her faster still while she whimpered shamelessly, readily losing herself.

When the pulsing around my digits ceased, I eased my saturated fingers out of her sex. I licked my fingers clean while she remained slumped on the counter, her thighs spread apart.

“Still with me?” I asked, a little concerned for her fragile consciousness.

She nodded wordlessly.

“Are you okay?” I couldn’t help the cocky smile tugging at the corners of my mouth. “I didn’t wear you out, did I?”

“No.” She gave me a tired, but satisfied grin. “And when I’ve caught my breath, it’s my turn.”

“I hate to break it to you, but you can’t call what we just did a ‘turn,’” I playfully mocked. “I barely touched you before you went off like a firecracker.”

Her lower lip stuck out. “Don’t make fun.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” I chuckled. I ran a tender hand along her cheek. “I’m just making sure you know that I’m not done with you yet.”

Raleigh’s smile was slow and lazy. “You know, when you’re not being competitive, you can be kind of sweet.”

“Well that must be never,” I quipped with a wry smile. “Because I always win.”

She made no complaint as I carried her the short distance to my bed. Her blonde hair fanned out on the pillow like a golden halo as she lay back in bed. I remained standing, admiring the view. She was so achingly beautiful. I couldn’t wait to lick and kiss and explore every inch of her body.

I was about to pin her body beneath mine when my phone’s ringtone blasted with an incoming call. I groaned at the interruption. Normally I would have ignored the call and let it go to voicemail, but I knew Jerret and Olive might check in on me. If I didn’t answer, they’d probably send in the National Guard. I was waiting on an update on Damien as well. He would survive the stab wound, but he might not the consequences. I’d given my statement to the Memphis police during my stay in the hospital, and they’d assured me Damien was no longer my problem.

I’d also called the Henderson’s to let them know what had happened, and Mr. Henderson was working in tandem with MPD to construct the case against my brother. Mr. Henderson would finally get to do some real police work I thought to myself with a rueful smile.

“I should probably get that.”

Raleigh stuck out her bottom lip in protest, but nodded her understanding. I was sure she sensed the phone call’s importance if it was distracting me from her half-naked form.

The number itself wasn’t familiar, but I recognized the Memphis area code. “Hello?”

“Harper!” My mother’s voice rang out on the other end of the phone. “I had to call and apologize.”

“Apologize? For what?”

“I was so rude the other day when you visited. I never asked how your dinner with the Spanish Ambassador went.”

I couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled up my throat.

Raleigh arched an eyebrow at me and my reaction.

“It’s my mom,” I told her.

The wistful, bittersweet smile she gave me practically had my heart exploding in my chest. There would be no more secrets between us, and it felt better than I ever could have expected.

“Dinner was good,” I told my mom. “I’ve got company over right now, but how about I give you a call later and tell you all about it?”

“Who’s your company?” my mom asked.

I locked eyes with Raleigh. “A really special girl, Mama. I hope you guys can meet really soon.”

“Maybe you could bring her to Christmas,” my mom suggested. “We’re practicing for a holiday concert. I’m in the band.”

“Yeah, maybe over Christmas.” My mouth curved into a genuine smile. “I’d like that.”

We ended the call and I flopped onto the bed beside Raleigh, fully intending to resume what my mother’s phone call had interrupted. But before I could resume kissing my girlfriend, my phone was buzzing with another incoming text message.

“Someone up there must not want you to get an orgasm,” she teased.

“Nuh uh. It’s still your turn,” I countered.

“Damn it.” Raleigh’s pout was adorable, and I nearly ignored the text to kiss it away.

I unlocked the screen on my phone to read the new text. I sat up in bed and whispered without meaning to: “No.”

“What’s wrong?” Raleigh asked from her place beside me.

My eyes scanned over the message again as if expecting it to have changed from the first time I’d read it.

 Maybe one more secret, Harper. Be seeing you!—R.