Good Men Found
Plus One Bonus Content
Enjoy these two bonus chapters from
Mae Wood's Plus One.
“Angostura bitters,” he said over his shoulder. “There was a shortage a few years a back, so I started making my own bitters.” I trailed him around the restaurant’s kitchen, a puppy in pursuit of a treat.
Ostensibly, I was here on a sales call, making my rounds at the downtown Memphis restaurants. Selling wine, taking orders, and moving on to the next restaurant or bar. But when Pig and Barley popped up on my iPad for today’s call list, I couldn’t help myself. Couldn’t help but dig around in my closet. No company-logo’ed polo shirt today.
A hint of lace.
I knew what he’d order.
And knew I’d take it.
Curving his tall frame over a chopping board, another vintage concert T-shirt thin with age stretched across his powerful shoulders, he crushed a star anise with the flat blade of a knife. The meat of his left palm quickly smacking the heavy blade he held still with his right hand. And I jumped. He’d never spanked me, and I’d never wanted it. Never wanted to play that way until now.
“Do you like Absinthe? Or Sambuca?” he asked, the smell of soft black licorice wafting from the crushed pod. “Because I’m going for a stripped-down version with this infusion and will then play around with it to make a bitter I can use in cocktails.”
Flipping the knife over in his palm, he used the back to scrape the crushed pod into a glass jar filled with a clear liquid.
“Vodka? Everclear?” I guessed.
“No. Good ol’ Tennessee moonshine. Don’t ask where I got it.”
“So many, many good things in Tennessee.”
He wiped his hands and knife on a neatly folded white towel and placed the knife to the side of the cutting board, parallel and just so. His deliberate moves were instinctual when he sought out pleasure, whether from his food, his cocktails, or from me.
“So this is a sales call?” he asked.
“Drennan,” he said with a smile while he folded his arms across his chest, drawing out my name like I was a naughty child. The three birds on his forearm fluttered from the muscle movement, and my hand ached to touch his inked flesh. “Who else are you calling on today?”
“Flight and a few other places.”
“Tight schedule?” he asked.
“I could work you in,” I replied, taking a step toward him and walking my fingertips along the top of the shiny steel work surface, trying to be cool while the heat built inside of me. Fighting to keep my itchy fingers to myself.
“Oh, you’ll make room.”
“Here?” I whispered, looking into his chocolate and caramel eyes. Even though it was the two of us in the kitchen, the restaurant’s general manager was working in the broom closet of an office just a few feet away.
“Uhm, did I not hear you say hi to Patti on your way back here? And she’s interviewing a couple potential new servers,” he said, quickly flicking his wrist to glance at his heavy silver dive watch, “about now, I think.”
I ran through options, scenarios, my brain fizzing from the thought of sliding my skin against his. “Just how big is the back seat in your monster of an SUV?”
“It’s still got my bike in in from yesterday. But hold on,” he said.
He pulled the phone out of his back pocket and tapped on the screen. I stepped closer to him, sliding my hands to my waist and then up, pressing my breasts together. His eyes fell on my cleavage, and his Adam’s apple worked in appreciation, his lips softening with want while his jaw tightened with need.
“Man, don’t ask any questions. Just say that I can borrow a conference room. I”ll be there in three minutes.” One hand shoved the phone back into his jeans and the other grabbed one of mine, lacing our fingers together, and he pulled me through the kitchen and the restaurant and onto the street.
“Conference room?” I asked, my legs spinning to match his long stride and quick pace as he tugged me down the bustling sidewalk.
“Yeah, be cool, okay?”
A few blocks later he blew through a glass door into a simple lobby. The Brannon Company shone in bold brass letters behind the receptionist desk.
“Mr. Forsythe?” asked a thin brunette from behind her
“Jenny, right? Trip said—“
“Yes, sir. We’ve got a conference room ready. Will anyone
else be joining you?”
He’s taking me to his friend’s office to fuck? At ten a.m. on
“Just us,” he said, not loosening his grip on my hand.
Jenny’s eyes moved to me. Taking me in from head to the tips of my nude heels and I felt my boldness begin to slip. I turned to Bert, to gauge his reaction. Yeah. No shame. His eyes fixed on the elevator bank ahead of us. The temperature of our frantic walk over pressed beneath this cool facade.
With a nod at me, Jenny lead the way to the conference room. Keeping up the charade that we were here on some sort of business, I sank into an overstuffed chair at the large oak table, my back to the wall of windows. I grabbed a notepad and pen from the table and began doodling.
“If you need anything, Mr. Forsythe, please call reception and ask for me.”
“Thanks, Jenny,” he said.
“Of course. Have a good meeting,” she replied. When the heavy door to the conference room clicked shut behind her, my laughter burst to the surface.
“You cool with this?” he asked, one eyebrow lifting in amusement, as he tugged his shirt over his head, exposing his lean body with Ganesh inked in black wrapping around his right side.
“Depends,” I answered, not looking up from my notes. “What did you have in mind?”
“What did you have in mind when you decided to wear that to my restaurant?”
“Wear what?” I said, tilting my head and slowly blinking my big blue eyes at him.
“Come on, Dren,” he begged, the exasperation at my little game eating away at his patience.
“That,” I said, using the pen to point to the hard ridge in his jeans. “I was planning on coming on that.”
“Were you now?” he said, the irritation vanished.
“Yes, in fact, here’s the agenda,” I said, tossing the notepad toward him where it landed on the table.
“Are you serious?” He blinked at me and I again looked away, enjoying playing coy for once.
“We’ve got like ten minutes tops before Trip breaks this up.”
“Well, I suggest we move right to the action items, then,” I said, pointing at the paper.
His eyes rolled to the ceiling before he snatched up the notepad. “This is a drawing of a dick.”
“Yeah, I know. The agenda’s really meaty,” I said, examining the pen I twirled between my fingers.
“Ten. Minutes,” he repeated, a solid tap on the notepad punctuating each word.
“Do I hear a motion from the floor? I bet they says things like that in here, don’t they?” I said, finally turning my attention to him.
“The only motion I want from you is your ass out of that chair.”
“All in favor?” I asked, scanning the empty room for a response.
“Christ,” he said, scrubbing a hand over his face and rounding the table toward me. “I”m in favor. Let’s get down to business.”
The chair spun and he leaned down in front of me, his hands dipping into my hair to bracket my head. “You want my dick?” he whispered in my ear, the scruff on his face abrading my cheek.
I nodded as best I could in response, my teeth tugging on my lip as I let loose a soft whimper of need.
My hands explored the muscles of his shoulders. My fingernails dug in, biting flesh, and my answer to his question escaping me in a slow hiss of desire. His belt and fly open, I leaned forward to shove his jeans and boxers over his hips, so I could get my hands on his bare ass. I loved the way the heels of my hands fit into the indentations at his hips while my fingers grasped firm muscle.
His hands shoved up my skirt, running his hands along the tops of my thighs with a friction that made me melt. Thumbs stroked in tandem at the hinge of my hips and I went to open for him, but was bound by the chair’s arms.
He pressed my hips into the chair. “Patience, patience.”
“Ten minutes,” I bit out.
“He’s not going to open the door,” he replied, his warm hands sliding between my exposed ass and the chair to scoop me up and place me on the cool tabletop. “No one is. We could have this room all day. But I want you now.”
His hands returned to reach underneath my skirt, and my panties were yanked down. I could feel soft pops as his impatient fingers shredded the lace. “Sorry,” he muttered into my neck.
“Only apologize if you stop,” I replied.
“Quick pause okay? Not a stop.” He backed up, fished a condom out of his wallet and returned to me suited up. Strong and hard and proud. I pulled my feet to rest on the table and dropped my knees open for him. Opened for all of the city of Memphis beyond the wall of windows that was behind him.
Shameless for him.
Ready for him.
Needy for him.
I reached for him and, with a push, he found me. His hands once again gripping my ass and lifting me, holding me close, as he continued to thrust from below. “Drennan, Drennan, Drennan.” I knew this chant, mumbled against my lips and neck. The simple incantation of my name so filled with need and promise. The words that reduced the world to me and him. To this moment.
Coolness the length of my back snapped me out of the trance. “The window?”
“You want that?” he asked, nuzzling his scruff along my jaw. “I’ll put it on the agenda for our next meeting. But I don’t trust any glass for how hard I’m going to pound into you.”
Then I heard it—a door, banging on its hinges. “You’re not going to get invited back,” I said.
“Like I give a fuck. Come back to me. Here. Now.” My fingers tugged at his hair, fusing his mouth with mine.
A deep dive and rock against my clit and I was gone again. So gone for this man.
Plus One in Vegas
The plane thumped onto the tarmac and I groaned at the pilot’s lack of skill in landing in the middle of a flat desert. Buckets pouring down from the Memphis sky meant that we were delayed on take off. And that meant I missed my connection in Dallas, so while I should be thankful that I was on any flight to Las Vegas tonight, I was pissed. The clock was ticking.
Drennan and I counted down the seconds until we could meet up and then scorned the laws of physics as time slipped through our fingers, leaving us with nothing but empty, aching chests as we boarded our respective flights home.
This sucked. But the other way? The way that involved never seeing her again? That wasn’t an option.
My heart wouldn’t have it. And neither would my dick.
My phone began to shimmy from the stream of text messages. My son, updating me and his mom on his plans, begging for extended curfew, swearing that he really was staying over at a friend’s house, promising us that even though he knew my house was empty that he wasn’t going there. And there, in the back and forth between him and his mom, was a location pin sent by Drennan.
I knew I was late and I wasn’t expecting her to be holed up in our hotel room, so when I saw it was for right near The Chandelier Bar, I smiled. That’s my girl, wasting no time in finding a party or making one of her own.
I dropped my carry-on with the bellman at the Mandarin, texted her that I was minutes away, and scooted my ass over to the Cosmopolitan, weaving through the packed sidewalk with determined step. My jeans and sneakers would have to do until I got her back to the hotel room and got us both naked.
Once inside the casino’s door, I kept my eyes trained forward, looking toward the three story high crystal chandelier with a bar inside. Vegas. I f’ing hated it. Crowds. Chefs that were celebrities more than actual chefs. But Drennan had insisted that we’d have a good time. Her family’s winery was partnering with the least dreadful celebrity chef for a winter wine promotion and it was the kick off. Chef’s table dinner with von Eck and Daniel Boulud.
“Bert!” At the sound of my name on her lips, my feet froze. Foot traffic swirled and eddied around me. “Bert!” Then I found her, standing out from the crowd as she does. In the doorway to a shop waving her hands above her head in a long-limbed and awkward semaphore.
Drennan. Her eyes crinkling in the corners from happiness and those red lips I’d missed so much pulled tight into a wide smile. A quick pivot on my heel and I was on my way to her. Pools of chatty tourists were no match as I waded through them to get to my girl. And once there, my feet stopped again.
Holy fuck. I mean, it’s Vegas. My brain knew that, but I wasn’t prepared for Drennan in Vegas.
My senior year in college, Brittany Spears crawled across the floor of the VMAs in some sort of skin colored sparkle outfit. Twenty years later I remember it perfectly. It was that good. But with the dress version in front of me, my brain couldn’t process it.
She’d figured out that I loved her in lace. That I loved peeks at her skin in areas that should be covered. But this was something else. Fucking magic or something draped those sparkles across her body and held them in place.
“Um, hey?” she ventured, waving hello at me as her smile began to fade in confusion. I snapped out of my haze.
Two steps and she was in my arms and my lips were on hers. “Let’s get to our room,” I muttered against her mouth.
“Okay, let me change,” she replied, a long promising lick across my lips before pulling back from me.
“Please don’t change out of that,” I begged her in a harsh whisper.
“Oh, you like?” she asked, with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh, I more than like.” I reached out and ran a finger along her decadent cleavage.
“Well, it kinda belongs to the store.” My head snapped away from her face and I realized that we were indeed on the threshold of a dress store.
“Oh, can it become yours?” I asked, letting my eyes savor the sight of her and forcing my hand to retreat while we were in public.
“Oh, everything’s already yours,” she said, her hands slowly sliding up her sides and back down to her hips where the performance ended with a little shimmy. Christ. Nearly a month without her and I craved her. Needed to be alone with her.
“Oh, really?” was my inarticulate response, as I imagined throwing my wallet at the sales clerk and shoving her into one of the velvet draped dressing rooms.
“O-M-G, Bert. Please stop with the Oh’s.”
“I never thought you’d ask me to stop with the Os.”
Her eyes went wide. “You stole my line! That should have been my line.”
“I guess you’re rubbing off on me,” I shrugged. “Now, the dress and me and you need some alone time.”
“Give me a minute.”
“Dren, we’ve got,” I flipped my wrist to look at my watch. “Like 30 hours. And I think you’re forcing me to sit through dinner for at least four of those.”
“I’ll make it worth your while.”
“Tick tock,” I replied, pointing at the dressing room.
I wish I could say that we were out of the store soon, but I can only say that eventually we left. Her in jeans, much to my sadness. I slung a bag of dresses over my shoulder and grasped her hand and pulled her out of the shop before she wasted all of our time taunting me with sexy dresses. She could taunt me all she wanted as long as she was naked.