Chapter 23 – Updated 1/3/17

Court’s breathing down Ashley’s neck, “Okay, Coop, if you got a new plan, we need to start now.”I fake dribble forward and back again, with Jesse on me. She’s tired and breathing heavily, the result of playing some very tough defense using her entire body to slap, slam, bump, grind, edge, and get all up on me, “I don’t have a new plan, damn it. Just don’t let her score. That’s the fucking plan.”

Ashley laughs, “I think we’re getting the best of ’em, Mayze.”

“What do you think, Cooper?” I wipe a drop of sweat off my nose, “Have we gotten the best of you?”

She watches my hands and answers, “I’m not going to lie, Sara. You’re about to kill us.”

I press forward, not prepared for her to plant her feet, and put up a desperate toss that happens to fall through. But not before I flatten Jesse and fall on top of her, “Oh, shit!”

She wraps her arms around me and laughs between gasping breaths, “I’m fine.” She swallows, “Just please don’t make me get up right this moment. Please let me rest one second. I beg you.”

I laugh and, without thinking, lay my head on her chest, “No problem. Second granted.”  I feel her hand on my back and her thumb is softly rubbing back and forth. I can hear her heartbeat and I close my eyes, trying to memorize it.

Ashley and Courtney stand over us as Ashley chastises, “You two should be ashamed. You both should be hitting the gym and working on that stamina. Really, girls.” She looks up at Court, “Would you like a drink?”

“Sure,” the girl shrugs. “Looks like the game is over anyway.”

When she hears the door to Ashley’s room shut, Jesse begins laughing. I pick my head up, “What are you laughing at?”

She wipes sweat out of the corner of her eye, “That wasn’t a game! That was the worst sex ever with a basketball!”

The fight against laughing is lost from the moment she stops talking. I roll off her and we lie flat on our backs for a moment, just laughing. As the laughter subsides, I joke, “Well, it wasn’t the worst in the history of ever.”

She rolls onto her side, dangerously close to me, and asks, “No? Who had the worst sex in the history of ever?”

I consider the question, “Mary, the mother of Jesus.”

Totally shocked, she asks the logical question, “Why do you say that?”

“Well,” I roll over to face her, “she had a boy to raise who thought he was God’s gift and she didn’t even get an orgasm out of it.”

For a second she just blinks at me. Then a smile spreads over her face. When she starts to giggle, she shakes her head, “I love you.” She takes a breath, “You can come up wit-” my lips cut her off. She moans and pulls me against her.

I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t care. If we weren’t in the middle of the 3rd floor hall, I’d make love to her right here and now. My hands and arms pull her onto me, I want to feel the weight of her. She feels, smells, tastes, sounds… so good. When she picks her head up and looks at me, I know what she wants. I brush the stray hairs out of her eyes and smile at her, “I love you, too, Jesse.”

Her eyes widen in a mixture of shock and happiness. She whispers, “Say it again.”

I take a line from her, “Damn, Coop, you gonna make me say it again?” She laughs and I let her. When she quiets, I steal another line, “Okay, for you, I’ll say it again.” I pick my head up, to be as close to her as she was to me, “I love you, too, Jesse Cooper.”

Her jaw, which had clenched tight when I picked my head up, releases and her bottom lip trembles, “Oh, God, Sara.” She slides a hand under my head and kisses me softly.

When I feel a drip on my face, I open my eyes and use my hands to push her head back for me to get a look at her, “Why are you crying?”

“They’re good tears. Happy ones.” She smiles and has never looked more beautiful, “I love you.”

I shift my weight too fast for her to react and flip us over. I push my upper body off hers as she laughs, “I got you now!” I give a fake cackle and bury my head in her neck. Her arms wrap around me and I whisper in her ear, causing her whole body to break out with goosebumps, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”  I lean down and kiss the corners of her eyes, “No more tears.”

Nodding, she agrees, “Okay.”

“Okay, our second is up,” I smile and roll off her, “We have to stop being lazy.” I get up off the floor and pull her up.

She presses me against the wall, “I know you have to take care of whatever it is you have with Sam. But when you’re done with that, whenever that is…” she drags her thumb over my bottom lip, “I’d like to take you out.” My tongue slips out and flicks the pad of her thumb. She swallows hard and closes her eyes, “Dear little sweet baby Jesus born in a barn, please, make it soon.”

I laugh loudly and she smiles brightly at me, “Dear little sweet baby Jesus born in a barn? Where did that come from?”

“I dunno,” she shrugs, “maybe I’m just that clever. I do have some skills, you know.”

“Really?” I pretend to be shocked and slide out of her grip. I walk slowly backwards, towards Ashley’s room, “You have skills? Name one.”

Her eyes narrow and she tosses the little basketball from hand to hand. She gives me a wicked smile, “I know how to handle soft things.”

“Oh yeah?” I smirk and challenge her, “What else?”

She licks her lips, “I have excellent taste.”

The look she gives me makes me bite my own lip, “Okay. What else?” I back myself against the wall right by Ashley’s door.

She takes the bait and leans against me, “I’m pretty good at basketball.”

I pretend to scoff, “Ha! Prove it.”

Leaning into me and kissing me in a way that can only be described as fucking me with only her mouth, she tosses the basketball towards the hoop. When it swishes through, I sigh against her.

She pulls away from me and smiles, “How about that?”

I lean into her and look at her lip, “What happened to your lip?”

To my utter surprise, she blushes red all over and her eyes no longer look into mine, “Nothing.” She starts to back away from me, but I hold her against me.

“What is it? Did you bite your lip?”

She giggles this vulnerable, girly giggle that is so cute I can barely stand myself, “Maybe.”

“Why did you bite your own…” the light bulb goes off and, for some reason, I blush! I clear my throat in an effort to clear my mind of the image of her doing that… alone… in the dark… but it doesn’t work.

“Yeah,” she pokes me in the abs. “You got any more questions, smart ass?”

I grab her and pull her to me, “Yeah. Did you think of me?”

She doesn’t hesitate, and the answer is breathed more than it’s spoken, “Hell yes. Every single time.”

“Did you…” I break eye contact to gain the courage to finish. I look back into her eyes, “Did you do it last night?”

Her face turns beet red before she answers in a whisper, “Yes. That’s when I hurt my lip.”

“I have to tell you something,” I sigh.

She shakes her head, “You don’t have to tell me anything.”

“Yes,” I nod, “I do.” I stroke her cheek softly, “I don’t want this to hurt you but it might. Last night Sam and I,” she puts her finger over my mouth, I pull it away, “had sex.”

Jesse’s jaw clenches and releases a couple of times, “Okay.”

“But…” I take a slow breath, “in my mind,” I look into her eyes, “I was with you the entire time. I was making love to you, hearing you, touching you. When I came, I wanted to say your name. Scream or groan or sigh, it didn’t matter.. if I’d said any name at all, it would have been yours.” My eyes drop from her face, “And when it was over, I went into the bathroom and cried for a long, long time. I wanted you. I still do.”

“Oh baby,” she hugs me, “I was thinking of you, too. I figured I probably played a big role in her finally making a move. So, knowing that you were probably…” she takes a ragged breath “having sex, I thought that I could somehow get into your mind and be there with you in my mind. And as I got closer and closer I tried harder and harder to send you thoughts of us.”

I smile at her, “It worked!”

Smiling that cocky, Jesse Cooper smile, she makes me tingle all over, “I told you I got skills, mama.”

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