Fandom: One Tree Hill
Rating: Adult Rated
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing!
Spoilers/Warnings: None as it's AU. Story contains scenes and language of a sexual nature.
Word Count: 9,846
Summary: Haley James had been watching him for months. It was kind of hard not to. In all of the time they had worked together at the advertising agency she couldn't remember ever having seen him like this. Sure, he was still professional and took pride in his work but... it was almost as if he was just going through the motions. The flirty banter was gone and she even found herself missing that damn smirk of his which he was always flashing at her.
Author's Notes: This has been written for octoberwriting.
A massive thank you goes to Jen (motolid) for, once again, being an absolute star and helping me out by reading, beta-ing and reassuring me with this story. *hugs*
Although this fic is being posted here on the 1st, it was actually completed last night and posted at octoberwriting within the deadline.
Haley James had been watching him for months. It was kind of hard not to. In all of the time they had worked together at the advertising agency she couldn't remember ever having seen him like this. Sure, he was still professional and took pride in his work but... it was almost as if he was just going through the motions. The flirty banter was gone and she even found herself missing that damn smirk of his which he was always flashing at her.
The campaign their team had just completed had been a rousing success and whereas in the past he would be the life and soul of the celebrations at the bar their agency regularly frequented, this time he was nowhere to be seen. He'd said something about having other plans but she knew he would just be going home to his empty apartment and, most likely, drowning his sorrows.
She knew she should feel sorry about his engagement having been called off but while her heart went out to him, she couldn't lie... she was glad it was over. From the moment she had met the other woman at the agency's Christmas party two years ago Haley had known she was all wrong for him an—
“You look a million miles away.”
Haley looked up as her friend and colleague Lindsey Strauss approached. “I'm just thinking,” she replied, taking a sip of her Chardonnay.
“About what... or should that be whom?” she asked, raising a perfectly arched eyebrow.
“About the campaign,” Haley lied. “We did a great job.”
“Yeah, we did. Nathan's suggestions were terrific so it's a shame he decided not to come out with us tonight and celebrate.”
“Yeah,” she agreed, hoping the lighting in the bar was dim enough to hide the blush she could feel forming on her cheeks.
Nathan Scott... the object of her earlier thoughts as well as her late night fantasies.
“Did he say anything to you about why he wasn't coming?” Lindsey said, cutting into her friend's thoughts again.
The blonde shook her head. “All he said was that he had other plans.”
“Well, hopefully he'll be able to make it to the Halloween party I've heard rumors the agency will be throwing this year. What costume do you think you might get?”
“I don't know. Don't tell me you already know what you'll be wearing? It's like three months away.”
“Maybe,” Lindsey replied coyly.
“Well, I look forward to seeing it.” Checking her watch, she saw it was still early but, to be honest, she wasn't in the mood for a late night. “I think I'm going to head out, Linds. It's been a long week and I'm pretty tired.”
“I don't think I'll be far behind you.”
Rising from her seat, Haley grabbed her jacket from the back of her chair and slipped it on before picking up her purse. “See you Monday,” she told her friend before exchanging goodbyes with several of her other colleagues and then making her way out of the crowded bar.
The crisp night air hit her as soon as she was outside and she buttoned up her jacket as she headed over to the curb to hail a cab. The first two attempts were unlucky but the third was the charm and sliding into the vehicle, she gave the driver her address.
Looking out of the window, her thoughts returned to Nathan and she wondered what... or who he was doing right now; her stomach souring at the latter even though she was pretty sure he hadn't been with anyone since he and Louisa had called it a day. She didn't know exactly why their relationship had ended but going by how he had been at the time and what he was like all these months later, she was certain it had to have been pretty bad and that he'd been the one to call it a day.
When the cab drew up outside of her building, she paid the driver and climbed out of the car. Her thoughts were completely taken up by her colleague as she entered the foyer and, since the elevator was still out of service, began climbing the three flights of stairs which led up to her apartment.
As she pottered around the kitchen, making herself her favorite mac and cheese for dinner, she wondered what, if anything, she could do to help Nathan out of his funk. She missed the old him and she would do anything to see him smile again.
An idea of how she could help him popped into Haley's head late on Sunday night and her body practically overheated at the thought of actually going ahead with it. She knew she would be mortified if he turned down her proposal and she had a horrible vision of him laughing at her and then telling all of their co-workers about it afterwards.
No, she would have to come up with something else, she decided. Something less daring.
By Thursday, she still hadn't come up with anything else and, it was for that reason, that she was standing by the door to his office long after everyone else had left for the day. If she didn't do it now she knew she'd chicken out and wouldn't do it at all.
Seeing a shadow in the doorway, Nathan glanced up from the file he was reading and was surprised to see Haley standing there. “Hey, you're here late.”
“I could say the same thing about you.”
“Touché.” He smiled. “Was there something you wanted?”
It was on the tip of her tongue to say 'you' but she managed to stop herself. “I, uh... was just wondering if you'd like to grab a burger with me.”
“Oh... it's nice of you to ask but I've still got a ton of work to do. Thanks for the offer though.”
Haley felt a pool of disappointment settle in her stomach. Pursing her lips, she remained stock still before forcing herself to say the words. “What if I won't take no for an answer?”
“I-I miss you, Nathan... the old you. The one who would flirt shamelessly with me and every other woman who worked here; the one who would hang out with us after work to celebrate our successes or commiserate over the odd problem we encountered.”
“I want that guy back and... I think I might be able to help with that.”
Nathan's eyebrows raised at hearing her say that. “Oh really?” Leaning back in his chair, he folded his arms behind his head as he waited for her to respond.
“I know I'm speaking out of turn here so forgive me but... have you been with anyone since your, uh... engagement ended?” She could feel her face heating up and she cursed the fact that she blushed so damn easily.
His expression turned cold and angry. “That's none of your damn business. Who the fuck do you think you are?”
“I'm your friend and I care about you. Now, answer me.”
He shook his head. “How would you like it if I started questioning you about your sex life?”
Placing her hands on her hips, she said, “Ask away. What do you want to know?”
Nathan hadn't expected that and he swallowed. “Look, Haley, I... I don't know what you think talking about my sex life or lack of one is going to achieve here so—”
“I think you need to get laid,” she interrupted, surprised at herself for blurting it out like that.
His mouth dropped open and a burst of laughter escaped. “I-I'm sorry... what?”
Closing the door, Haley walked further into the room and perched her bottom on the edge of his desk so that she was sitting right in front of him. “I just think you need to release some of that pent-up tension and I'm offering to be the one to help you with that.”
“How selfless of you,” he said, the sarcasm dripping off of his tongue.
“Believe me, it would be my pleasure.” Her face was practically on fire now.
“And what exactly would you get out of this arrangement?”
Releasing a slow breath, she answered, “Sex. It's, uh, been a while for me, too... a long while and, well, I miss it.”
Nathan felt his pants beginning to tighten as a graphic image of Haley writhing beneath a faceless man, her fingers clawing at his back, suddenly popped into his head. “I-I'm not looking for a relationship.”
Crossing her fingers behind her back, she said, “Neither am I.”
Unconsciously, he licked his lips. “It would be just sex?”
“Yes. So, are you in?” she asked, a smile playing on her lips as she leaned forward and laid her hand on his shoulder.
Nathan looked her up and down, blatantly checking her out. There was no doubt that she was an attractive young woman and he would be lying if he said he'd never thought about what she looked like beneath the sharp business suits she wore. Her long hair was always tied back in either a neat bun or a ponytail and he wondered what she'd look like with it down and, in particular, after his hands had run through it.
“Yes,” he stated, “I'm in.”
“Good.” Her body sagged with relief. “So, I think we should set a few ground rules.”
He nodded. “Yeah, that's a good idea.”
“Firstly, this is our secret. I don't want anyone to know what we're doing, especially those we work with.”
“Agreed. Anything else?”
“I can't think of anything other than that and the fact we need to be discreet. Is there anything you want to add?”
Nathan shrugged. “My mind's drawing a blank right now but I guess we can always add more rules as they become necessary.”
“Yes,” she said, her fingers toying with the thin gold band she wore on her pinkie finger.
“When do you want to get started?” he asked several minutes later to break the semi-awkward silence that now filled the room.
A smile which could only be described as naughty curved her lips and curling her hand around the back of his neck, she raked her manicured nails along his skin. “There's no time like the present.” She couldn't believe how forward she was being... it was so unlike her.
His eyes widened and then darkened, bright blue turning into a shade as dark as midnight, as Haley's words registered. “You mean here... now?”
Waves of lust rolled through her and she squeezed her thighs together. “Yes, why not? Everyone's gone and the cleaning crew won't be here for another hour.”
Beads of sweat dotted Nathan's forehead while his erection pressed painfully against his zipper. Standing up from his chair, he took her face between his hands and looked down into her large chocolate brown eyes. “Are you sure you want to do this, Haley? If we cross that line... you know it'll change things between us.”
“I want this,” she told him. Slipping her hands between them, she placed her palm over the bulge tenting the front of his pants and began massaging him through the fabric. Slowly, she began lowering his zipper.
He urgently pressed his lips against hers, kissing her hungrily and moaning into her mouth when he felt her slender fingers wrap around his hardened length. It had been so long since he'd had someone touching him like this.
“Mm, you're so hard,” Haley whispered, grazing her teeth along his throat. Placing her hands on his shoulders, she gently pushed him backwards and hopped down from his desk. She pushed his pants and boxers down his hips until they were bunched just below his knees. “Sit down,” she commanded.
He instantly complied and made himself comfortable in his black leather chair; his stomach flip-flopping when she dropped to her knees in front of him. Their gazes locked as she leaned in and swiped the flat of her tongue along the underside of his cock before taking the head into her mouth and sucking on it. The fingers of one of his hands gripped his chair's armrest while the other gently cupped the back of her head.
After a few minutes had passed, the sight of her head bobbing up and down in his lap combined with the scorching heat of her mouth surrounding his aching flesh was too much for him and his eyes fell shut.
Nathan released a deep groan when her hand came into play and she began palming his balls. He felt them tighten and knew that the end was imminent. “Haley... y-you gotta stop.”
Haley's eyes met his as she took him deeper into her throat.
“Oh God...” Moments later, his hips bucked upwards as his orgasm ripped through him and he spilled himself into her mouth.
She swallowed everything he gave her before licking him clean. “Did you like that?” she asked, rubbing her hands up and down his upper thighs.
Smiling down at her, Nathan cupped the back of her head and drew her upwards as he leaned forward and captured her lips.
As she rose to her feet, Haley felt a thrill shoot through her at the eroticism of the situation. She'd felt so powerful and in control as she brought him to the brink and then tipped him over the edge. It was a heady sensation.
“I-I have to go,” she said, drawing back from him. The confused expression he wore was adorable and she almost laughed.
“What? But we... what about you? You haven't given me a chance to reciprocate,” Nathan told her, getting up out of his chair and tucking himself back into his pants.
“That's okay,” she said, “you can make it up to me.” Flashing him a sultry smile, she added, “That is if you're still happy to continue this.”
After what she had just done to him he had every intention of making good on their agreement. “I'm definitely happy to continue.”
“Good.” Pushing up onto her toes, she kissed his cheek. “I'll see you tomorrow morning. Sweet dreams.”
He watched the sway of her hips as she opened the door and exited his office. He stood there for a moment before dropping down into his chair and exhaling loudly, a smirk etched on his face. Haley had been right about one thing: he was definitely feeling a hell of a lot more relaxed now.
Lying in bed later that night, Haley couldn't sleep. All she could think about was Nathan and what they had done... or rather, what she had done to him. It had taken every ounce of her willpower to walk out of his office when all she had really wanted to do was hitch up her skirt and climb on top of him; to feel his rock hard cock sliding in and out of her.
As soon as she had arrived home, she'd reached for her vibrator and given herself the orgasm she had desperately wished she'd allowed him to give her. Even now, after a long soak in the bath, her body still felt on fire and she knew it'd be a while before she'd finally be able to drop off.
Shifting over onto her side, she stared out at the inky night through her window. Tomorrow, or rather tomorrow night, couldn't come quick enough for her and she was definitely going to have him make up for her stupidity. Her clit pulsed in anticipation at the thought of him buried deep inside of her and it was all she could do not to call him and beg him to come over.
Her main reason for leaving so soon tonight had been to make him believe that she was telling the truth about it being a purely sexual thing between them. If he at any point thought she wanted more than that from him, she knew he wouldn't have taken her up on her offer of relieving his—their, she corrected—sexual frustration. She needed to take her time and let things develop slowly and hopefully, in time, he would realize how great they could be together.
“Yesss... right there,” Haley directed, her fingers gripping the edge of the desk as his mouth practically devoured her. His tongue teased her entrance and she cooed happily when he speared it inside of her. Looking down at him between her legs, she grew even wetter when she caught him watching her and she witnessed the lust in his eyes.
She felt so wanton lying half-naked on his desk. Her burgundy skirt was gathered around her waist while her blouse was somewhere on the floor. Nathan had pulled down her bra, exposing her breasts to his hungry mouth. Her nipples were still tingling from his oral assault on them.
“I'm so close,” she murmured, one of her hands leaving the desk to hold the back of his head; her fingers sifting through his thick hair. Her orgasm, when it came, was explosive and even though she knew they were alone and the door was locked, she still sunk her teeth into her bottom lip in an attempt to stop herself from screaming his name.
Kissing his way up her body, Nathan suckled on each of her breasts in turn before arriving at her mouth. Slipping his tongue between her lips, he curled it around her own. Pulling at his belt, he grabbed the foil disc he'd placed in his back pocket before unzipping his pants and shucking them, along with his boxers, down his thighs. He only broke the kiss in order to put on the condom and as soon as he was sheathed in the thin latex, he thrust into her in one hard stroke; their lips fusing together once again.
Haley mewled into his mouth at the indescribable feeling of having him completely filling her. God, he felt so perfect. As the kiss deepened, her fingers blindly began unbuttoning his shirt. She desperately wanted to feel his bare chest against hers and, within seconds, her wish was granted.
“You feel so good,” he whispered hotly, his breath puffing against her damp skin.
“Uh huh,” she panted.
When Nathan felt her fingers clawing at his back, he was instantly reminded of the image that had popped into his head when she had first put her idea to him. He couldn't believe that had only taken place yesterday.
His fingertips curled into the wood either side of Haley's head as he repeatedly pounded into her. He watched with rapt attention as she slid her hand down her front between their bodies and began rubbing her clit. The visual, combined with the feel of her feminine muscles clenching around him, was almost too much to take and, burying his face in the crook of her shoulder, he bit down on her tender flesh just as his body seized up and he filled the condom with his warm seed.
The slight change in position caused his pubic bone to press harder against her clit and that was all she needed to fly over the edge and join him in blissful abandon. Rubbing her palms all over his back beneath his shirt, she asked, “Are you okay?”
“Mm,” he mumbled.
“That good, huh?”
Nathan chuckled. His bones felt like they had been liquified. “You were right before,” he told her. “I did need to get laid.”
Haley was scared to ask him the question that had pushed itself to the forefront of her mind and was on the tip of her tongue. “Oh, does that mean you want to stop now?”
Pushing himself up on his forearms, he looked down into her flushed face. “Why, do you?”
“No,” she replied, “but I'll understand if you do.”
He shook his head. “I don't want to stop... not yet, at least.” Flashing her a smirk, he said, “I think I need a few more sessions of stress relief.”
“Is that so?”
“Uh huh...” Lowering his head, he ran the flat of his tongue up her throat before fusing their lips together. “You want to get out of here and continue this somewhere more comfortable?”
“Your place or mine?” she asked, curling her fingers around his neck as he kissed his way down her throat and latched onto her neck.
“Yours,” he replied. Since moving into his new apartment, he'd made a deal with himself that he wouldn't take a woman there. After the acrimonious split with his former fiancée and what it had cost him emotionally, he wasn't about to jeopardize the one place where he had finally found some peace.
“Okay.” The thought of him in her home gave her goosebumps but in a good way... a really good way.
They quickly redressed and made themselves look as presentable as they could given the circumstances.
“Here's my address,” she said, handing him the piece of notepaper she had just written it on.
“Why can't we go together?”
“Remember when I said we needed to be discreet?” she reminded him.
“Yeah, but I figured that's for when other people are around. No one is here and the security guys downstairs will just think we've been working late and I'm giving you a ride home.”
“Come on,” he coaxed, “live a little. If you want, I'll even park in the next street so that anyone we know who might pass by won't wonder what my car's doing outside your building.”
“You have an answer for everything, don't you?”
He laughed. “Well, I do work in advertising. You kind of need to think on your feet... you should know that, Hales.”
Her stomach did a somersault his nickname for her. “Yeah, I guess I should.”
Settling his hands on her hips, he slid them around to cup her pert behind. “I can't wait to get you naked,” he told her, his voice a husky whisper.
Haley's fingers threaded through his hair as they kissed frantically; his words spurring her on. “Okay, okay, you win. We can drive to my place together.”
The following two months had been filled with pure, unadulterated sex and Nathan had to admit he was thoroughly enjoying himself. Whereas before his every waking thought was on work, now it was on Haley and her gorgeous body and, these days, he was actually finding it hard to concentrate on anything else.
In attempt to avoid being caught in a compromising position at work, they had decided to keep their... arrangement out of the office and were now using her apartment as the regular base for their sexcapades.
It seemed to be an unwritten rule that he wouldn't stay over and he was grateful that she never asked him to.
The sex was amazing... and each time was better than the last. He loved it when she took control but he could tell from her responses that she preferred it when he took the lead and he had no problem with that. His arousal cranked up several notches when he commanded her to do something and she would immediately comply.
Talk about a total turn-on.
He was brought out of his thoughts when his cell phone beeped and picking it up, he opened up the text message he'd just received from her. He grinned when he read what she had to say:
A friend of hers had turned up unexpectedly at her apartment and Haley had managed to get a hold of him before he'd headed over there. He knew they could have taken a rain-check and met up tomorrow night but neither of them had mentioned it.
It was funny; he'd gone months without sex and now... well, he couldn't seem to get enough.
As he grabbed his keys off the counter and headed out, he refused to even contemplate the fact it was her he couldn't get enough of.
Grabbing a sandwich from the cafeteria located on the first floor of her office building, Haley was just about to take it upstairs and eat at her desk when she spotted Lindsey waving her over. Walking over to her, she pulled out a chair and sat down. “Hey, what's up?”
“Nothing. I just thought we could have lunch together. It's been a while since we've caught up with each other.”
“Yeah, it has,” she agreed. “So, what's new with you?”
“Nothing much,” the strawberry-blonde replied. “Oh, except Greg and I might be moving in together.”
“Wow, that's great news. Congratulations.”
“Thanks,” Lindsay said, her smile stretching from ear to ear. “He asked me the other night although, I've got tell you, he had me worried. He was so nervous and lost for words that I was starting to think he was planning on breaking up with me.”
“Aw, the poor guy,” Haley said, trying not to laugh as she unwrapped her sandwich.
“Poor guy? What about poor me?” she teased.
“Well, all's well that ends well.”
“Yeah. So, uh, I actually wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Okay,” Haley said, tilting her head to the side. “What's up?”
“You know the upcoming Halloween party? Well, would you be interested in having Greg's brother as your date?”
She was just about to take a bite out of her chicken salad sandwich but dropped it when she heard her friend's question. “I'm sorry, what?”
“Jack's new in town and I thought it might be a nice way of introducing him to some new people. I figured since you mentioned you'll probably be coming alone that you might consider it.”
“Oh... well, I might be bringing someone with me now,” she said even though she knew it was highly unlikely. If she and Nathan attended the party together every single pair of eyes would be on them and that's the last thing either of them wanted or needed. She could just imagine the gossip.
“Who?” Lindsey asked before taking a sip of her diet soda.
“Just a friend of mine,” she replied.
“Okay. I hope you didn't mind me asking. I know it was kind of a strange request but I thought it was worth a shot, especially since I've noticed the late hours you've been putting in lately. I figured a fun night with a nice guy might be just what the doctor ordered.”
Haley swallowed. “Uh, what do you mean? About the late hours.”
“Oh, just that the other night Greg and I were on our way home from the movies and when we drove past we saw you exiting the building. It had to have been getting on for ten pm at least.”
“Right... yeah, I was just finishing up something and I didn't realize how late it was,” she explained, silently praying she wouldn't start blushing.
Thankfully, Lindsey didn't seem to notice her friend's skittishness and as she started talking about redecorating her boyfriend's apartment once she moved in with him, Haley tuned her out. She needed to make sure she and Nathan were more discreet in future.
Two weeks later...
Stretching languorously beside him, her toes rubbing along his calf, Haley felt completely relaxed. The sex tonight had been out of this world and her body was still thrumming with aftershocks. Pressing a kiss onto his cheek, she turned over and got out of her warm bed, grabbing her robe from her armchair before going into the bathroom.
After using the facilities, she washed her hands and then splashed some cold water onto her face. Her skin was still flushed thanks to their earlier exertions.
Heading out of the room, she was grateful to see that he was still lying in her bed. After the mind-melting orgasms he'd given her that night he deserved some rest, she thought to herself with a smile.
Making a quick pit-stop in the kitchen to grab two bottles of water from the fridge, she debated on what she should do. As much as she wanted him to stay over, she didn't want him to be angry or upset with her for not waking him.
In the end, her heart won out and walking over to her front door, she slid the bolt across and secured the safety chain before turning off the light.
Padding back to her room, she said a silent prayer that he wouldn't wake up and sneak out during the night.
Entering her bedroom the next morning carrying two mugs of coffee, Haley handed one over to Nathan and then took a seat beside him on the bed.
“Thanks,” he said, taking a sip of the hot black liquid.
She smiled at him. “So, what have you got planned for the weekend?”
“My brother's visiting so we'll probably try and see a basketball game. Oh, and I need to find a costume for this lame ass Halloween party that's coming up. I don't know why they've decided to throw one this year.”
“Wait, you're going?”
“I kind of have to since attendance is apparently compulsory. If it wasn't, you wouldn't see me there for dust,” he said, laughing. “Have you got your costume yet?”
Haley shook her head. “No. I was thinking of going as a femme fatale from an old Hollywood movie since I'm a big fan of film noir. It's probably a dumb idea though so—”
“I think that'd be perfect for you,” Nathan cut in. “You'll look seriously hot.” As his eyes roamed all over her, taking in her long, blonde curls that tumbled around her shoulders and halfway down her back combined with the fact she was dressed in his earlier discard shirt... well, she looked sexy as hell.
“Do you know what costume you might get?”
Her voice broke into his thoughts and he gave himself a mental shake. “Uh... no. I've left it pretty late so I probably won't have much to choose from.”
“If all else fails you can always just throw on a white sheet... just remember to cut out a couple of holes for your eyes,” she suggested.
Haley winked at him before taking a drink of her coffee. “I, uh, was going to make some breakfast. Would you like to have some or are you in a rush to leave?”
“Oh, uh, I'd better get going,” he told her, even though he wouldn't have minded staying a bit longer. While he hadn't meant to sleep over last night, he had to admit he'd enjoyed waking up with Haley in his arms; the apple scent of her shampoo filling his senses. “I'm not sure what time Lucas is arriving so I need to be there to let him in.” The excuse sounded lame to his own ears.
“Sure.. Feel free to take a shower while I'm in the kitchen. There are clean towels on the shelf.”
The only shower he wanted to take was with her but he didn't want to suggest it. Not after spending the night... it felt too personal. He'd made it clear he wasn't looking for a relationship and he'd meant it... then. All of the time they were spending together was beginning to make him rethink that.
When his relationship had ended, it had sent him reeling. Walking into the home he'd shared with his fiancée and finding her in their bed with her ex-boyfriend would do that. He'd sworn off women, figuring he was better off alone. Sure, he'd missed sex and the intimacy of the act but the fear of being hurt again far outweighed it. Work had been his savior and he had put all of his energies into that and tried to push everything else to the back of his mind. It had been working fine... until Haley had come along with her proposition.
As much as he knew he should've turned her down, he couldn't help being glad that he hadn't.
“Huh? Sorry, I kind of zoned out there for a minute. Thanks for the offer but, like I said, I'd better go. I'll just grab a shower when I get back to my place.”
“Okay.” Standing up, Haley took a final sip of her beverage before walking towards the door. “Well, um, I'll let you get dressed.”
“Thanks.” He watched her leave and once she was gone, he released a heavy sigh. Lying back amongst her pillows, he looked around her room which was so her. It was bright and sunny, having been decorated in pale shades of yellow and cream. There were a couple of photo frames on her dresser and, sitting up, he leaned forward to take a closer look. His lips curved at seeing her with a large group of people who, he assumed, to be her family. He immediately spotted her to the right of the shot, a big smile illuminating her face.
Nathan's smile faded and he felt a sudden heaviness in his chest. Deep down, he knew he still wasn't in a good place and as much as he enjoyed mak—having sex with Haley, he couldn't help feeling scared that one – or both of them – was going to get hurt.
Maybe it was time to call an end to this arrangement, he thought, as he threw back the covers and climbed out of her bed.
Having already been to the salon to get her hair styled in preparation for the Halloween party that night, Haley was now in the process of getting dressed. She had decided to go with a Hollywood femme fatale costume and, after a lot of searching, she had managed to find a stunning dress. It was a black silk and chiffon strapless number with a split on one side which went up to the middle of her thigh. To accompany the dress, she would be wearing a pair of long silk gloves which were trimmed with black marabou feathers.
Slipping her feet into her high heels, she walked over to the full length mirror on the back of her closet door and checked out her reflection. She looked so different. Thanks to the boning of the dress, her boobs were pushed up and she worried that maybe it was a bit too much. Still, she mused, she was sure to be seeing a variety of “slutty” Halloween costumes which left little to the imagination. This would surely be considered modest by comparison.
Grabbing the faux fur jacket she had found in a thrift store when she'd gone costume shopping, she pulled it on before grabbing her purse. Once she was satisfied she had everything she needed, she left the apartment.
On the cab ride to the hotel, Haley couldn't help wondering what Nathan would be wearing. With the exception of the office, she hadn't seen him since he'd left her apartment last weekend. At work, she hadn't failed to notice he was being slightly distant there, too and it was starting to worry her. While their arrangement hadn't been going on for very long, her body was already becoming accustomed to his every touch and she missed it... she missed him.
She loved that he'd felt so totally relaxed at her place that he'd fallen asleep and she had hoped it was a good sign that he hadn't disappeared during the early hours or rushed off the next morning. After he had gone, she'd wondered whether the domesticity of the situation with her offering him breakfast and a shower was the reason behind the distance now between them.
As the cab neared its destination, Haley felt swirls of anticipation in her stomach at the mere thought of seeing him. And maybe, just maybe, if she was lucky, she'd get another chance to see what was hidden beneath his clothes.
“Wow, girl, you look fantastic!” Lindsey exclaimed as she observed Haley's glamorous costume.
“Thanks, so you do,” she told her friend. “Slutty nurse?”
The other woman laughed. “No, just a regular nurse. I'll save the slutty part for when I get home.”
“Okay, too much information,” Haley replied, scrunching up her face. “So, where's Greg?”
“At work. One of the other doctors called in sick and so he had to cover for him.”
“Aw, that's a shame. You're here alone, too, then?”
Lindsay shook her head. “No, I brought Jack with me... you know, Greg's brother that I told you about. Luckily, they're about the same size so he just borrowed a pair of scrubs and a white coat from him.”
Just at the that moment, a tall blonde man sauntered over to them carrying two drinks. “Here you go, Linds.”
“Thanks.” Taking her glass of wine from him, she introduced him to Haley. “Jack, this is Haley; Haley, Jack.”
“It's nice to meet you,” she said, offering him her hand.
“You, too. So, you're the one Lindsey, here, tried to set me up with. Too bad you're already taken,” Jack said, looking her up and down. “You look terrific.”
Haley blushed, both at his words and his obvious perusal of her. “Thank you.”
“Speaking of being taken, where's the friend you came with?” Lindsey inquired, taking a sip of her drink.
“Oh, uh... he couldn't make it in the end. Something came up.”
“Yeah, you're welcome to hang out with us though, isn't she, Linds?” Jack offered.
“Of course... In fact, why don't you two go and dance while I go and powder my nose?”
“What? Um... I can't... I shou—”
“C'mon, you're not going to turn me down twice, are you?” Jack said, his brown eyes twinkling.
The last thing Haley wanted was to dance with him but she didn't want to be rude, especially since Lindsey was a good friend and this was possibly her future brother-in-law. “Okay,” she finally replied.
“Great! See you in a while,” Jack said, winking at his brother's girlfriend before handing his drink over for her to hold. Placing his hand on Haley's lower back, he directed her towards the dance floor.
The party was in full swing when Nathan arrived. As he entered the large ballroom where it was being held, his eyes scanned the room for any sign of Haley.
From what he could tell, several of their colleagues had brought their other halves with them and although he knew the two of them had agreed to be discreet and not let anyone know they were... hooking up, to put it bluntly, he kind of wished they could've come to this thing together.
Making his way to the other side of the room where the bar had been set up, he shook his head at some of the more outlandish costumes he came across. It made him more grateful for what he'd managed to put together with his brother's help.
When Haley had told him what she was thinking of wearing it hadn't crossed his mind but after visiting the costume hire shop and only finding outfits that included fricking tights, putting his own ensemble together seemed to be his only option.
Lucas had nodded his approval when he'd told him his ideas and it hadn't taken much work to track down the few items he needed.
Picking up the glass of scotch he'd ordered, Nathan turned to look out at the dance floor as he sipped the amber liquid and he almost choked when his eyes suddenly landed on Haley. God, she looked stunning. Her blonde curls were gone, having been replaced by soft waves, and the dress she wore fitted her like a glove; molding to her every curve. He was just about to go over to her when he saw some stranger put his hands on her back and pull her in close. What the fuck!
She hadn't told him she was coming to the party with someone. In fact, there had been a moment when he'd seen her earlier that he'd thought she was about to ask if he wanted to go together. Obviously not, he thought sourly.
Maybe it was just sex to her after all.
When their eyes had met across the dance floor, Haley had frozen. Even though she knew she and Nathan weren't in a relationship... at least not a “normal” one, she'd felt guilty at being caught in the arms of another man.
His choice of costume had surprised her. The dark brown fedora and the long trench coat he wore instantly reminded her of the private investigators featured in her favorite old black and white movies. She recalled their recent conversation when he'd asked her about her costume and she couldn't help but wonder if he'd deliberately chosen his based on what she'd told him.
Thankfully, the song had quickly come to an end and she had managed to make her excuses to Jack; telling him she had to use the ladies' room. She'd seen the flash of disappointment in his eyes but chose to ignore it. While he seemed like a nice guy, she wasn't interested in him in the slightest and she didn't want to lead him on.
Haley followed the route Nathan had taken and, before she knew what was happening, his fingers had circled her wrist and he was dragging her into one of the elevators. As soon as the doors had closed, he was on her; pressing her up against one of the paneled walls, his mouth on hers swallowing anything she'd been about to say. She was vaguely aware of his hat falling off.
His hands were everywhere and she could barely think. “Nathan... mm-mm... what are you... doing?” she asked between kisses.
He didn't answer her. Instead, he just kept on kissing her, his tongue licking the roof of her mouth.
When the elevator dinged a minute or so later and the doors had opened, he was again pulling her behind him. She saw him withdraw a key card from his jacket pocket and her eyes widened. He'd never mentioned anything to her about booking a room for them at the hotel.
Hanging the 'do not disturb' sign onto the outer handle, he shut the door and pushed her up against it.
Haley's eyes fluttered closed as the entire length of him pressed into her. Her fingers threaded through his hair and she gasped when after kissing along the column of her throat, he bit down on the base of her neck. “Oh God...”
She was so mindless with lust that she hadn't realized he'd unzipped her dress until she felt his large palm surrounding her bare breast; his thumb and forefinger pinching her nipple. The sensation traveled straight to her clit and she dug her nails into the back of his neck.
Nathan made fast work of stripping her out of her dress and his heated gaze raked all over her as she stood before him in just a black thong and thigh high stockings. “Fuck!”
Shrugging out of his trench coat and the suit jacket he wore beneath it, he let the garments fall onto the floor to join her dress. Slanting his mouth over hers, he kissed her again and again while his hands touched everywhere they could reach. He felt her pulling at his belt and as she worked on unzipping his pants, he grabbed his wallet from the back pocket and quickly retrieved the condom from inside of it.
While he sheathed himself with it, Haley unbuttoned his shirt and pulled the sides apart. He groaned as she peppered his feverish skin with hot, sucking kisses while her palms slid over and around his hips to cup his ass.
“I want you so much, Nathan,” she murmured before licking around the flat of his nipple.
Capturing her wrists in one hand, he brought her arms up and over her head and pinned them against the door while his other one caught her leg beneath the knee and he raised it. He watched her face as he ran the head of his cock along her wet heat. “Like that, huh?”
“Uh huh,” she panted, undulating her hips against him.
Thrusting into her, he savored her loud moan and the sound of his name falling from her plump lips. As he began to move his hips, the hand holding her knee up snaked around to squeeze her butt, effectively holding her in place as he repeatedly plunged into her.
“Let me touch you,” Haley begged.
He shook his head.
“Please... I-I need to feel you.”
Covering her mouth with his, Nathan swallowed her pleas. He knew it was crazy to be angry at her... even crazier not to tell her about it but he couldn't forget the image of that guy's hands all over her.
Considering how much anger and... jealousy he had coursing through his veins, he was surprised that he was able to climax so quickly. He was tempted to leave her hanging as some sort of fucked up punishment but he couldn't do it. Slipping his free hand between their sweat-slick bodies, he frantically rubbed her clit and, within moments, she was crying out his name as her orgasm suddenly struck.
He wanted nothing more than to lay her down on the nearby bed and spend the night making love to her but he couldn't. As he looked into her eyes, he suddenly felt ashamed of his behavior and he felt the urge to run.
Reluctantly withdrawing from the tight clutch of her body, he headed for the bathroom and hastily removed the condom, tossing it into the trash, before returning to the room and redressing.
“Nathan? Where are you going?”
Fastening the last button on his shirt, he tucked the tails into his pants and zipped up. Bending down, he grabbed his jacket and slipped that on. “I-I have to go.” Opening the door, he paused to briefly look at her. “I-I'm sorry,” he mumbled before fleeing, the door slamming behind him.
Haley stood there for long moments after Nathan had gone; too stunned to move. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, she stumbled into the adjacent bathroom and switched on the light. Her breath hitched in her throat when she saw the dark red patches decorating her skin where his teeth had bit and sucked at her neck and chest.
She looked longingly at the shower but decided against taking one. Right now, all she wanted to do was go home and curl into her own bed and have a good cry.
Splashing her face with water, she gently patted it with a soft towel before going back into the other room and getting dressed. She noticed that he'd left his trench coat behind and picking it up from the floor, she pulled it on and buttoned it up all the way, grateful that it covered the marks he'd left her with.
Retrieving her purse from where she'd dropped it, Haley opened the door and peered around it, silently praying she wouldn't bump into any of her co-workers on her way out of the hotel. She felt bad enough without any one of them spotting her and asking questions she really didn't want to answer.
Instead of taking the elevator, she decided to take the stairs and once she had made it outside without anyone she knew seeing her, she breathed a huge sigh of relief.
She was lucky that she didn't have to wait too long for a cab and once inside the vehicle, she felt her tears begin to fall.
Maybe this was her punishment for tricking him into being with her, she mused sadly.
Nathan hesitated for a split-second before he rapped his knuckles on the door to her apartment; tapping his foot as he waited for her to answer it. A moment later it swung open and she was standing in front of him wearing a pair of yoga pants and a tank top.
“Nathan? Wha-what are you doing here?”
He noticed that she pushed the door shut a little, almost like she didn't want him to see inside. “Am I interrupting something?”
“No,” Haley told him. “It's just... never mind. So, what do you want?” she asked coldly.
“I wanted to apologize for my behavior the other night.”
“Oh, you mean when you fucked me and then took off when you were done. Is that what you're referring to?”
He looked chagrined. “Yeah... I'm so sorry. It's just... I was angry and...”
“And what?” she prompted when he didn't continue.
“And I was jealous. I saw you dancing with that guy... his hands all over you and....”
Haley knew she should be angry but his words made her heart race. “I didn't come to the party with him, if that's what you were thinking. He's Lindsey's boyfriend's brother and he's new in town. She was the one who told him to dance with me.”
“When I saw the two of you together I just... I lost it.”
“You were... jealous?”
“Yes,” he said, running his hands through his hair. “And I shouldn't have been 'cause it was just supposed to be sex between us but now...”
Nathan swallowed past the lump that had formed in his throat. “Now, I want us to be more than that.”
Haley should have felt ecstatic at hearing him say that but, instead, a wave of guilt washed over her. Opening her front door wider, she gestured for him to enter which he did. She walked over to her favorite overstuffed armchair and dropped down into it.
“Hales?” Closing the door behind him, he followed her into the living room.
“You'll probably change your mind about that once you've heard what I'm about to tell you.”
Sitting down on her couch, he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “What are you talking about?”
Her fingers toyed with a loose thread from her top and she kept her eyes downcast as she spoke. “I-I took advantage of you,” she whispered.
Nathan frowned. “What?”
“I knew you were still hurting over your split and yet I still came to you with my proposal.” She sucked in a breath as she prepared to reveal her true feelings. “I wanted you... I've wanted you for a long time now, Nathan, but I pretended I just wanted us to use each other for sex.”
He stared at her, not knowing how to respond to her confession.
“I'm sorry... I'm so sorry. When you told me you weren't looking for a relationship, you know what I did? I crossed my fingers behind my back and lied to your face. I did want a relationship but if you knew that, then you wouldn't have agreed to the arrangement.” A single tear rolled down her cheek and she brushed it away with the back of her hand. Pushing up out of her chair, she kept her head down as she left the room for the sanctuary of her bedroom.
Nathan sat there for several minutes as he took in everything she had just told him. If he was being completely honest with himself, there had been a couple of occasions during the course of their arrangement when he'd wondered whether Haley had feelings for him. He'd catch her watching him when she thought he wasn't looking, a wistful expression on her face.
Getting up from the couch, he walked towards her bedroom. The door was ajar and what he saw as he pushed it open made his heart plummet. There was an open suitcase on her bed and there were clothes strewn all over the place. “What's going on?”
Haley paused in her packing and looked over at him. “I... I'm going home for a little while. I've accumulated a lot of vacation time and I've decided to use it.”
“I'm going to call and talk to Keith in the morning,” she said, referring to their boss, Keith Roe.
“How long will you be gone for?” he asked. Knowing how hard she worked and the fact she rarely ever took any time off, he had a feeling she would be gone for quite some time.
“A couple of months or so. I'm sorry to leave you with the Parker account bu—”
“I don't give a damn about the account,” he interjected. “Why are you leaving?”
“Because of what I did,” she said, her voice lowering to just above a whisper when she continued. “I was so scared you would get back together with Louisa that I... I came to you with my proposition when I should've let you deal with everything in your own time.”
Nathan threw his head back and laughed. “Get back with her? Are you kidding me? I never want to see her again.”
“Oh,” she replied, shocked. “I thought...”
“Well, you thought wrong. Do you want to know what happened?”
“Only if you want to tell me.”
“I walked in on her screwing her ex in our bed,” Nathan informed her. “I went nuts... dragging him off of her and I was just about to hit him when I saw this... I don't know, look of satisfaction on her face; almost like she was enjoying having two guys fighting over her.”
Haley's mouth dropped open. “I-I don't know what to say.”
“Weren't expecting that, huh?”
“I'm so sorry.”
“It's for the best,” he said. “I'd rather have found out what she's really like now than after we were married and, God forbid, had kids.”
“Yeah,” she agreed. “So, I'm curious to know, did you end up hitting him?”
Chuckling, he shook his head. “No. When I saw that look on her face I just turned my back on them and walked out. A friend of mine let me stay at his place while I sorted things out and found somewhere else to live. I only went back there to pick up my stuff.”
Sitting down on the corner of her bed, Haley wrung her hands together. “Have you seen her since then?”
“Yeah. She turned up at my friend's place all apologetic but I just didn't buy any of what she was saying. Maybe she was being genuine but... after what I'd seen, the trust I had in her was gone.”
“Everything you've told me doesn't excuse what I did,” she said after several minutes had passed. “I was wrong to—”
“Do you regret being with me?” he asked, stopping her mid-sentence. Crossing the room, he took a seat beside her. “Haley?”
“No,” she whispered. “I love being with you and I don't just mean when we're having sex.”
Covering her hands with one of his, he gave her fingers a light squeeze. “I... I feel the same,” he said softly. “I didn't expect to feel this way ever again.”
Haley's eyes widened. “Do you mean that? About feeling the same way about me?”
“Yes.” Slowly, he leaned in to her and covered her lips with his.
She whimpered into his mouth as she kissed him back; the kiss becoming increasingly more passionate the longer it went on.
“Go on a date with me,” Nathan said when they eventually drew back from one another and he'd caught his breath.
“Are you serious?”
“Uh huh... We've kind of done this ass backwards so maybe we should start from the beginning and see where it leads up. What do you say?”
“Yes,” she said, smiling shyly at him. “I'd love to go on a date with you.”
Kissing her again, his hand caressed her cheek. “Dinner and a movie sound good to you?”
“It sounds perfect.”
Nathan nodded. “Okay. So... uh, are you still going to take this leave of absence?” he asked.
Haley bit her lip. “I don't want to,” she admitted.
“Good 'cause I don't want you to go.”
She giggled against his lips when he swooped in for another kiss. “Guess it's a good thing I hadn't spoke to Keith yet. He'd think I was a total flake.”
He laughed along with her. “I think he'd have been okay... though he might've thought you were nuts,” he teased.
“Hey!” She played elbowed him. “It's just... I thought some time away might help.”
“I get that.” The thought of her not being around for the next two months left a sour taste in his mouth and he was even more thankful that he'd decided to come over and apologize before she'd had a chance to leave.
Playing with his fingers, Haley looked into his face and asked, “After our date, do you want to maybe stay over?” When he shook his head, she tried her best not to let her disappointment show.
“I thought maybe you'd want to come over to my place for a change,” he suggested. He knew he had done the right thing when her face lit up.
“Yeah?” She hadn't failed to notice that during their time together over the course of the past few months he'd never invited her over and she had been too reluctant to bring up the subject.
Brushing his lips over her mouth, Nathan rested his forehead against hers. “Yeah.”