“If I was there with you right now, what would you want me to do to you, Finnley?” I ask quietly, cutting off her laugh.

“Touch me,” she replies quickly.

I smile to myself and realize I’m going to have to work a little harder to pull the information I want out of her.

“Would you want me to fuck you with my fingers?”

She moans and my cock jerks against my palm.

“Yes. I want your fingers inside me, Collin.”

The sound of her sighing my name has me pushing my hand inside my boxer briefs and wrapping it around my cock.

“Touch yourself, Finnley. You’re wet, aren’t you? So fucking hot and wet I bet your fingers are just slipping through your pussy,” I moan as I slide my hand up and down my cock slowly.

“Oh, my God,” she whispers through the line.

I close my eyes and picture her delicate fingers circling her clit and then pushing inside of her body.

“Fuck, you have no idea the things I want to do to you,” I mutter as I grip my cock harder and move my hand faster.

“Tell me,” she murmurs through the line.

“I want your fingers inside of you first. Close your eyes and push them inside your pussy and imagine it’s my cock filling you.”

She whimpers and I immediately know she’s done as I ask.

“I want to tie you to the bed and fuck you so hard you scream my name,” I tell her through a groan as I squeeze the tip of my cock.

“Yes,” she breathes through a sigh.

“I can picture you with your arms above your head and your back arched, trying to pull free from the bindings as I slam my cock into you.”

She whimpers again and I move my fist faster up and down my cock as I listen to her touch herself.

“I want it all, baby. If I were there with you right now I’d flip you over and fuck you from behind. I’d drag my fingers through your pussy and get them nice and wet, then I’d slowly push them in your ass while I fucked you.”

I can tell my gut instinct about her wanting to push the boundaries of sex are spot on when she hears the words I’ve spoken.

“Oh, God,” she breathes with a hitch of excitement in her throat.

My hand moves faster on my cock as I think about taking her in every way possible. I think about how tight she’d be around my cock if I inched myself inside her ass.

“Would you let me take you like that, Lee? Would you let me fuck your ass with my cock instead of my fingers?”

She lets out a low, throaty moan and my excitement builds when I know she’s on board and just as turned on as I am.

“Yes, Collin. Fuck, yes.”

My balls tighten with the need to come when I hear the conviction in her voice.

“Rub your clit, baby. Bring those wet fingers up and circle them around you,” I demand.

My hips move in time with the jerk of my hand on my cock as I think about her lying in bed with her eyes closed, legs spread wide while her fingers slip through her pussy.

“I’m going to fuck your pussy with my fingers while I take your ass. I’m going to feel you come against my hand as I push into you, baby.”

The sound of her panting and gasping for breath as she fingers herself is the hottest thing I’ve ever heard and I couldn’t stop my orgasm now if I tried. Every single thought in my head is filled with Finnley and the things I want to do to her.

“Fuck! I’m gonna come, Lee. I need you to come with me,” I groan, my hands gripping my cock so tight I’m afraid I might rip it right off my body.

I can hear the wet sounds of her fingers thrusting into her pussy and when she shouts a moment later, my orgasm explodes out of me.

“I’m coming! Oh fuck, Collin, I’m coming!”

My dick pulses and twitches in my hand and come shoots out in thick streams against my stomach as I moan Finnley’s name through my release.

A few minutes later, with the phone still tightly clutched against my ear in one hand, my other hand slides out of my boxers, reaching over to the nightstand to grab a tissue and clean myself up.

“I think I just died,” Finnley mumbles a few seconds later.

I laugh into the line. “Well, rest up. When I see you tomorrow, you’re going to need your strength.”

I end the call after rattling off my address and fall asleep thinking about the surprise I have in store for her when I see her again.

I want to make all of her fantasies come true.

First, I need to remind her of her dreams.

Chapter 17—Explosions

“STOP BEING DIFFICULT and just keep your eyes closed,” Collin laughs in my ear as he holds his hands over my eyes, walking behind me as he guides me through his house.

I wanted a tour of his four-bedroom ranch, but he covered my eyes as soon as he opened the door to me, telling me only that he had a surprise.

After what happened on the phone last night, I fully expected to be overcome with mortification the minute I laid eyes on Collin. I’m willing to admit that I’ve thought about anal sex many times over the years. Jordan even broached the topic once, trying to convince me to spice up our sex life. The thing is, there’s an incredible amount of trust involved in the act, and I never trusted my husband enough to guide us through it. If how fast I came and how loudly I moaned last night at the very mention of him taking my ass are any indication, I have no such misgivings about Collin. As a matter of fact, it’s all I’ve been able to think about since the moment he smiled down at me at the front door.

I hear the swoosh of a sliding glass door and I feel the grass beneath my feet as he leads me into what must be his back yard.

He comes to a stop, turning me around as he removes his hands from my eyes. When I start to open them, he quickly scolds me.

“Nope, keep them closed.”

I huff and cross my arms in front of me. “I hate surprises.”

“Yes, you’ve mentioned that three times already. Stop being a brat,” he chuckles.

I hear him rustling around with something and the slide of what sounds like plastic against concrete.

“Okay, open your eyes.”

I blink them open and see him squatting down on his patio next to a large, blue plastic tote.

Looking between him and the tote in confusion, he jerks his chin towards the covered box. “Go ahead. Open it.”

With a sigh, I bend down and lift the lid. When I see what’s inside, my hands start to shake and my heart thumps erratically inside my chest.

This can’t be what I think it is.

Swallowing thickly, I slowly reach my hand into the tote and wrap it around a folded piece of Japanese hemp paper and pull it out, holding my breath as I unfold the poster-size piece of paper and lift it up in front of me. My eyes fill with tears as I look at the gunpowder design I created the day Collin and I met in my parent’s backyard. It’s one that I had been working on for weeks and it had never come out right until that very moment. I gaze at my rendition of a Japanese pagoda in a garden, completely caught up in the past.

Shaking off my memories without a word, I set the paper down on the concrete and begin pulling out page after page of hemp paper filled with every single design I created over the two years Collin and I were together. They are the exact same ones he wallpapered his old bedroom with, the ones I always assumed he trashed after he broke up with me. I never thought I’d see them again or feel this incredible sense of longing until right this moment. My fingers itch with the need to play in a pile of black powder and my heart swells with the notion that Collin kept my work for all these years.

“I can’t believe you kept these,” I whisper as a tear rolls down my cheek when I get to the bottom of the tote and pull out the one that I was most proud of. It was a silhouette of Collin standing in front of the town fire station like he’d done so many times when we were together.

“Of course I kept them,” he says, standing up in front of me. “They’re brilliant and I always expected to see ones just like them hanging in a gallery one day.”

I swallow down the embarrassment I feel over never mustering the strength to follow through with my dreams like he did. When we broke up, it was just easier to push them aside. Every time I looked at the pile of hemp paper and the bucket of gunpowder my parents stored in their garage for me, it reminded me of him and I could never bring myself to create another one. A few years after Jordan and I got married, my parents brought over a truckload of my old things when they cleaned out their garage. When Jordan asked about my art supplies and I tried to explain to him how it all worked, his eyes glazed over in boredom. A week later, he had thrown everything away because it was taking up too much space in our garage.

“Why didn’t you do it, Lee? Why didn’t you go to art school and pursue this?”

He’s asked me a few times about my art during the phone conversations we’ve had, but I always changed the subject. I wasn’t ready to look that deeply inside of myself and tell him how much of a coward I was back then. I also didn’t want him to feel bad that he was one of the reasons I let that dream fade away.

“Because some jerk broke my heart when I was seventeen,” I joke.

Collin stands up and takes the last piece of paper out of my hands and lets it flutter back down inside the tote. “That guy was a total asshole and had no idea what he was letting go. But that shouldn’t have had any bearing on your dreams.”

He rests his hands on my hips and I place my palms against his chest. “Well, it kind of did. You were my fire, Collin. I lost the desire to play with it when you left.”

He closes his eyes and sighs and I can tell he’s going to start blaming himself. He needs to know that there were so many other factors that contributed to my not pursing a career in art.

“I took a few art classes in college and quickly realized that my unusual skill would never pay the bills as an adult. When I took an internship at a marketing firm, I really enjoyed the work. Not as much as art, but enough. I switched majors and when I graduated, I was offered a good job with the firm in town as a marketing manager. Jordan and I were already living together by then and the bills were starting to pile up. It was good money and I couldn’t turn that down regardless of the fact that I knew I wanted to be doing something else.”

Collin shakes his head sadly. “You were so talented, Finnley. Didn’t Jordan see that? Didn’t he encourage you to do what you’d always dreamed of doing?”

“I tried to talk to him about it a few times, but he wasn’t really interested in my work. He was too busy trying to become an artist himself. He always told me that he wanted one of us to have steady employment and when he was established in his own tattoo shop, it would be my turn. Since his dream never came true, he probably thought mine shouldn’t either. Now that I look back on it, I think he was jealous. He’d heard my parents mention how talented I was several times and I don’t think he wanted to compete with me.”

Collin pulls me into his body and wraps his arms around my waist, holding me tight.

“I would have sacrificed everything to make your dreams come true, Lee,” he tells me softly.

Another tear slides down my cheek as I rest my head against his chest, so overcome with emotion that I can’t find the words to tell him how much it all means to me.

With one last tight squeeze, Collin steps back and smiles down at me. “Don’t be mad, but I have one other surprise. Although, after what you just told me, you might not like it very much.”

Before I can tell him that I don’t need anything else from him, he grasps my shoulders and turns me around to face the backyard.

When I see the set-up at the back of his property line, my hand flies to my mouth and I let out a gasp.

There in the grass is a large sheet of blank hemp paper, held down by rocks at each corner and a few scattered through the middle. Next to the paper is the largest bucket of gunpowder I’ve ever seen.

“Watching you work on one of your designs was always the most amazing thing to witness,” he speaks softly behind me. “You’d get this fierce look of concentration on your face and everything else around you would disappear. Considering my current profession and the way I was so obsessed with fire back then, you would think lighting the fuse and watching the explosion would have been the best part. You had so much talent, Finnley. It should never, ever have been stifled.”

I look back over my shoulder at him and he uses his thumb to wipe away my tears. “Will you make something for me? I want a new Finnley Morgan original to hang in my living room.”

I shake my head at him and turn back around to face him. “What am I going to do with you, Collin McDaniels? You make me want things I haven’t thought about in years. You make me dream things I never thought possible.”

He shrugs and uses the tips of his fingers to brush my bangs out of my eyes. “It’s never too late to live your dreams. You just have to want them enough to make them come true.”

Collin takes my hand and pulls me to the edge of his yard, lifting the top off of the gunpowder and sliding the bucket closer to me before silently moving away to give me time to myself. I can feel him watching me from the other side of the yard as an image immediately takes hold in my mind and I can picture exactly what I need to do to make it come to life.

Slipping off my shoes, I sink down into the soft grass and dip my hand into the bucket, letting the soft black powder coat my hands and slide through my fingers. Dipping my fingers back inside, I bring out a handful of powder and begin sprinkling it all over the paper, working quickly as I allow the image in my mind to take shape. Art must truly be instinctual, as I feel every single trick I used seventeen years ago come back to me while I run my palms and my fingers through the black powder on the paper so fast that my hands are a blur of movement.




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