Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.
New Year’s With Beck and Kenna
(From OFF BASE: Beck and Kenna)
Beck paced the floor of the living room, waiting for Kenna to emerge from the bedroom. His heavy tread creaked the wooden floor, the smell of pine from their Christmas tree filling the air. He’d been tasked with carrying it outside two days ago, but hadn’t found the heart just yet. Didn’t like throwing away any symbol of their first Christmas together. Maybe tomorrow. Or next week.
He heard the tap of Kenna’s hairbrush land on the sink and his abdomen went tight as a drum, a low groan climbing up his throat. She had a ritual when getting ready and it included traversing their bedroom in her usual skimpy underwear, back and forth from the closet to the bathroom, her bad girl tits bouncing up and down to test his God-given will. Beck usually watched from the bed, stroking her smooth skin whenever she ventured close enough. Stroking himself, when his starvation reached a fever pitch. The way it did now. Unfortunately, tonight was New Year’s Eve and they were having dinner with his parents in half an hour. At their house, a twenty minute drive away.
The bedroom door opened and Beck’s hands fisted in anticipation of seeing Kenna. She’d still been in the barn working on a sculpture when he returned from the orchard. Heck, they’d barely managed a kiss, passing in the bathroom as Beck handed off the shower. He wouldn’t have minded having her alone tonight. No, sir. According to the schedule she’d been given by the doctor…some time between tonight and tomorrow, Kenna would start ovulating. It would last up to five days but he never made it longer than five minutes, truth be told. Something about knowing his woman was ripe to make his child…it turned him into a frantic man.
Kenna brought the tests with them everywhere, as she would tonight. So if a positive result meant excusing them from his parents’ dinner table tonight to bring Kenna to the guest room, so be it. He’d pump her full while the ancient bed creaked loud enough for the whole house to hear. No one told him when he could and couldn’t have his woman. And nothing he felt compelled to do with Kenna was wrong. She never stopped reminding him of that.
His line of thought having wreaked havoc inside his boxers, Beck turned toward the bedroom—and stopped. Kenna—his Kenna—in loose pants and a turtleneck. “Why are you dressed like that, darlin'?”
She breathed out a laugh, Christmas lights from the tree reflected in her beautiful eyes. Eyes that wouldn’t quite meet his. “Not the reaction I was going for.”
Regret over his impolite question was heavy in Beck’s throat, but something about her demeanor wouldn’t let him simply apologize and dismiss the unexpected change in her appearance. “You could wear anything, Kenna, and turn me into a mess. You know that.” He took a step closer. “What’s going on?”
“I just…” She tugged on the sleeves of her turtleneck. “I just noticed how everyone else was dressed on Christmas Day…and—”
Alarmed to hear the hitch in her voice, Beck eliminated the distance between them and took Kenna’s chin, tilting it up. “And what?”
“And I wondered why you should have the odd one out,” she blurted. “It sounds stupid, right?” Her gaze darted to the side. “Well…I work with a blowtorch for a living. Shit gets mangled in production sometimes.”
Inside Beck’s chest, fierce love bled together with irritation. Toward himself. If his woman was insecure about anything, he’d dropped the ball somewhere along the way. He wouldn’t breathe properly until whatever had been broken was repaired. By his hand.
Beck scooped Kenna into his arms and made for the closet, lust blooming in his bloodstream when the scent of her shower and perfume hit him. God, he would love nothing more than to manacle her wrists in his hands, weigh her down into the mattress and grind on her clit until she remembered that nothing else mattered but the love between them. The heat. The freedom between them to be exactly who they were meant to be…and have the other accept it, full measure. Before the night was over, he would undoubtedly take her body. His appetite still grew on a daily basis, along with Kenna’s, thank God. But right now, she needed words, too.
A rumbling storm brewed in Kenna’s middle, traveling lower as she watched Beck browse through her hanging clothes, his incredible brawn stretching the shoulders of his dress shirt. He’ll pop another button. Just like he’d done on Christmas Day, simply by passing the stuffing. She’d sewn it back on the following morning—her first attempt with a needle and thread—while Beck watched over her shoulder, his erection prodding her bottom. Acting the merry homemaker a year ago would have given her a rash, but knowing how those little displays—woman doing for her man—called to something ancient, masculine seed planted inside Beck…she performed the tasks quite happily.
Because look at him now. Picking her out an outfit, his dark blond brows drawn in concentration. All because she’d had a moment of insecurity. Okay, more than a few. Anyone would, having spent Christmas with Beck’s conservative, Rudolph-sweater-wearing family. Not that there was anything wrong with Beck’s gracious family. Or Rudolph, for that matter. The red-nosed asshole just made Kenna look like a lady of the night in comparison. So she’d decided to try something new for one night. No big deal.
Only, it kind of was, because she’d felt like someone else in that turtleneck from hell. How did anyone breathe in those things?
When Beck picked the purple leather skirt and fitted, low-cut body suit—which she’d paired on a hanger in deference to Beck’s preference for the combo—Kenna held up both hands. “Oh no. Leather pants is one thing, looking like I’m hitting the club after dinner is another.”
Without hurry, Beck draped the clothing over the easy chair he’d thoughtfully positioned in the giant closet. He came closer—whoa, super…deliciously close—until she could count every member of his five o’clock shadow…and then he ripped her turtleneck down the front, leaving it to fall in tatters down her arms. “If the pants are still on in five seconds,” he explained patiently. “They’re next.”
Good. God. How was she supposed to remove the pants when her thighs were clenched together so tightly? “But, wait. I—”
Fast as she could manage, Kenna undid the button and zipper, the pants loose enough to pool at her feet with zero urging. She was left in the matching pink bra and panty set Beck had given her for Christmas, but hadn’t had a chance to take off her yet. Desire crawled up Kenna’s bare thighs like ivy, slithering into the silk of her underwear until she was a trembling, wet bundle of need. Without even being touched.
“I won’t have you trying to…tone yourself down, Kenna. I won’t have it.” Beck’s jaw tick-tocked like a clock as he perused her, head to toe, forearms resting against the closet wall on opposite sides of her head. “You’ve never asked me to tone myself down. Not the things I say to you.” He leaned down and growled into the crook of her neck. “Not the things I do to you, either.”
Kenna moaned. Just moaned. Because the liquid lightening stealing through her blood cells demanded an outlet. More than one, because her legs were wobbling, stomach going concave, before shuddering back out and twisting in loops, to boot. “I love everything you do and say,” she managed.
His wet mouth found her ear, exploiting its sensitivity. “I thank God for that blessing every day. Thank God for your agreeing to become my wife. Soon.” One work-roughened hand fell from the wall to smooth down Kenna’s side, raking against her hips, forward and back, rocking her into the wall. “And God knows, I’m proud of what’s already mine. Proud of her spirit. Proud of going out every day and working until I’m exhausted, so I can deserve her.” His voice fell to a dangerous level. “Proud of her body, as much of it as she wants to show. Because everything on display ends up beneath me every night. And everyone knows it. Those reasons are why I toil, Kenna. So you’re going to shine as bright as you always have, in your way. I love your way.”
“I love your way, too,” Kenna whispered, eyelids fluttering as he bit into her neck gently. Then again, harder. “Beck…”
Beck’s mouth traced back up, his choppy breath echoing in her ear. “You know the other reason what you wear makes me happy, Kenna?” Both of his hands were off the wall now, free to seize her bottom, squeezing the mounds with a distinct lack of mercy, his big chest heaving, the way a bull’s might, after a rodeo. “Daddy likes skirts. Isn’t that right?”
A shudder sailed through Kenna, so powerful she could barely speak. “Y-yes.” Scenes flashed in her mind, impatient hands yanking at the hems of various skirts, wrenching it up to gain access to…her. In the barn. In the orchard. Once, even, outside the church during a service. “He does.”
Sweat was beginning to seep through Beck’s dress shirt, his erection straining against her womanhood, pleading for entry. “Put on the skirt and…” He tried to clear the animal lust from his voice and failed. “He’ll show you how much he likes them later.”
Kenna gave a jerky nod. “Okay.” Neither one of them moved. And that hesitation spurred Kenna’s increasing bad intentions. “Are you…sure you want me to get dressed…” She cupped her breasts, lifted them. “…daddy?” His strangled groan and accompanying hip thrust stole Kenna’s sanity, her logic. But her next words were truthful, even if they suited her purpose perfectly. And her purpose was Beck. Always Beck. “Take me to bed,” she whispered. “I’m…I checked. And the calendar was right. It’s happening now.”
His roar made her ear drums ache, but she reveled in the ringing, which only got louder a minute later when he threw Kenna face down on their bed, took out his aroused length…and drove into his future wife’s ready body, mating her, as across down in another house, people sat down for a quiet dinner.
New York Times bestselling authors Tessa Bailey and Sophie Jordan team up for a collaboration featuring two sexy contemporary romance novellas. Total combined pages: 285 pages.OFF BASE: Kenna and BeckBy Tessa BaileyA welcome home he never expected...and will never forget...When Kenna Sutton is tasked with driving home newly returned Beck “True Blue” Collier, she expects the strategic Army mastermind to be a pasty number cruncher. Never at a loss for words, Kenna is nonetheless rendered speechless by the gorgeous, inexperienced and tightly-wound Army major that lands in her passenger seat. Outraged by Beck’s lack of a welcome home after seven long years overseas, Kenna takes matters into her own hands, giving Beck something he’s only ever fantasized about in his bunk.Beck has never shied away from a test of will and Kenna gives new meaning to the word challenge. One problem? Kenna’s father is the lieutenant general presenting Beck with the Silver Star and Beck is determined to treat Kenna with the respect she deserves, even if her eyes beg Beck to act out his most secret desires with her. Desires he's always been told were the work of the devil. But how long can one lonely, starving man hope to resist the woman he craves?OFF BASE: Huntley and CullenBy Sophie JordanBeing a good girl has its drawbacks...Huntley Collier, an emergency room nurse and all-around do-gooder, is tired of living in the friend zone. Cullen Brooks was given the job of babysitting Huntley when her brother – his best friend – deployed. But their friendly coffeehouse hangouts and TV marathons leave her wanting more. When one crazy night leads to too many drinks and an explosion of long-denied lust, Huntley's dreams become a reality. And reality is one hot, wild place she never wants to leave.But only a good girl can bring down a bad boy...Known as Sullen Cullen around Black Rock, Cullen Brooks doesn’t have many friends, but Huntley is one of them … and despite his decidedly unfriendly fantasies of the curvy blonde, she is far too sweet for his darker tastes. Keeping his hands off is easier said than done, however, when demure, little Huntley responds to his touch like the wildcat he never expected...and can't stop pursuing, despite his better judgment. But when Cullen suddenly faces losing her, will this bad boy risk it all to keep his good girl?
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