Play to Win
Book 1 in the Game Changers Series
Ethan Henley traded in his suit, tie and Secret Service badge to mix drinks at the Game Changers Sports Bar he now co-owns with his childhood friends. Returning to their hometown where they’d been branded the “bad boys” wasn’t part of their plan, but now that they’re back, they’re determined to prove everyone in town wrong. For Ethan, that means making amends with the girl who’s heart he’d unintentionally broken during high school.
Portia Merin left Providence and the awkward life she’d led there behind long ago. After a messy breakup and her retaliation leads to her unintended stardom as a sex instructor on YouTube, she decided to roll with it—despite her lack of actual experience on the subject—and is now on tour to promote her first instructional book. Life’s looking pretty good for Portia until the weather and the sale of her godmother’s house leave her stranded in Providence and her old high school crush shows up with a copy of her book.
Play to Win
A fifteen-year-old Ethan Henley would have thought he’d died and gone to sexual heaven. Thirty-one-year-old Ethan wasn’t far off that mark himself.
The sounds were distinctive. Oohs and ahhs that only came during the throes of pleasure. Or at least he was almost certain of that fact, as he walked down a wide hallway at the Regional Resort and Spa in Alexandria. It was Friday night and just a couple of hours ago, he’d been ready to leave Game Changers, the sports bar he co-owned with five of his closest friends, when a call from Rodney Hankin, a regular at the bar, came in. Rodney needed a favor. One that could lead to referrals from Rodney to other men having bachelor parties, to use Game Changers instead of the new upscale resort. That was the only reason Ethan agreed to drive just outside the town of Providence, Virginia, where he lived, to make this delivery.
This resort had opened just a few weeks ago and as far as he’d heard, was living up to all the grand hype they’d seen on television. That meant the resort was probably charging a small fortune for that huge conference room Rodney and twenty other guys were occupying right now.
If that were the case, he wondered how much whoever was in the room just ahead was paying to have sex in this new fancy facility.
Ethan’s booted feet were silent on the gold and blue carpet, his ears tuned to the now undeniable, “Yeah, baby!” he heard next.
Without further thought, he was already turning slightly to the right toward the partially open door with the sign that read “Blow Jobs 101”. His dick throbbed. The words, mixed with the sounds made him even more eager to get inside, but he was stopped before taking another step.
“Excuse me,” a woman’s voice said from behind.
The interruption wasn’t welcome, just as it wouldn’t have been if he’d actually been in the middle of a round of hot and sweaty sex. He was already thinking of the odds of making that very thing happen once he left here, because two months had obviously been way too long to go without. Frowning, he turned around.
“You look like you could use a massage, big guy.” To say the dark-haired woman standing before him was scantily dressed may have been an understatement.
He hadn’t noticed anyone in the hallway before, but now she was standing directly in front of him. She wore only a few strategically placed strings at her waist and between her legs, with stars pasted over her nipples, and she was rubbing her hands down his chest. She was right about one thing, Ethan was a big guy, standing at six feet three inches, two hundred and twenty pounds of sculpted muscle. He towered over the smaller-framed woman.
“No thanks.” He grasped her wrists before pushing her gently away from him. Horny or not, he’d never really warmed to the idea of having sex with strangers.
She winked. “They’re free until ten, if you change your mind.”
In the next seconds, she was gone, walking away from him to approach another man he saw coming through double doors of a space marked “Exhibition Hall”. This man was slim, wearing a hooded jacket and dark framed glasses. He smiled at the woman, who was only a few inches taller than him. This time her hands moved further down until she was openly gripping the man’s crotch. What the hell kind of event were they having here? This type of action was a definite no-go at Game Changers, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t interested in learning more about it. Turning his gaze from the couple, he pushed the door in front of him open. Whether he was interested in the woman or not, if he’d continued staring at the little show she and her new man were giving him, Ethan was certain he’d start mimicking some of the same sounds he’d heard coming from this room.
With that thought embarrassingly on his mind, he entered the room only to be surprised that it was full of people. He hadn’t known what to expect but it certainly wasn’t an audience. Closing the door quietly, he remained in the back. A quick glance around the room told him there were approximately fifty people sitting in chairs that faced the front. The door behind him was the only entrance or exit and there were no windows. Across the room was one hotel employee who was dusting a table that was obviously clean and empty, and a woman with long, curly hair and rose-tinted lips standing at the front. He shook his head as he reminded himself that he was no longer in the Secret Service. Surveying and analyzing who was in the room and the quickest route of escape was no longer necessary.
“This next technique is called the blizzard,” the woman standing at the front of the room with the sensual lips said. He couldn’t take his eyes off her lips and folded his arms over his chest while continuing to stare like everyone else in the room.
“This is pretty messy, but we all know there can be pleasure in the mess.” She smiled, and his gut clenched.
The room erupted in laughter and his gaze was momentarily snatched from her. A few guys in the audience were nodding, one woman in the front row even cheered.
“I’ll explain it and then I’ll demonstrate. You’re going to first fill your mouth with whipped cream.” Immediately his eyes were back on her, on the bottom lip which was fuller than the top and barest glimpse of her very pink tongue. Swallowing hard was an instinct, gliding his tongue along his bottom lip was a direct result of the images of where he’d like her to put those lips on him flashed in his mind. The crowd quieted, staring forward as if a million dollars were about to be up for grabs.
“Once your mouth is full, you’re going to grip the base of his penis. Rub along his balls for a second, just to get him more excited.”
She smiled and Ethan felt a quick punch in his gut. He cleared his throat in an effort to convince himself that he was imagining the sudden loss of breath. But as he watched her slim fingers fold around the bottom of a brown dildo, his dick hardened and pulsed.
“Now, once he’s squirming on the bed and begging you to hurry up and take him into your mouth, give him what he wants. Take him in completely, keeping one hand at his base. Then you’re going to blow out slightly so that the whipped cream leaves your mouth and covers his length. Pull your mouth away quickly and give him a good drizzle of saliva as you stare up at him. Eye contact is key. It says, ‘I know what you want and I’m here to give it to you.’ So do it. Give it to him,” she said, licking her lips.
A couple of men in the front row clapped, one in the back groaned. A few women nodded in agreement as they laughed. Ethan almost came in his jeans.
“Now, I’ll show you how it’s done.”
He didn’t know what he’d expected to find coming into this room. He’d only been here to make a beer delivery, not witness…what the hell was he about to witness? His dick was already pressing persistently against his zipper, his body on full alert and expecting some sort of pleasure in return. If this woman actually did what he thought she was about to do, he was definitely going to lose it! Damn, he hoped that wasn’t the case. At thirty-one years old, he was too damn old to come at the sight of a woman giving a blow job to a dildo, especially in a room full of people.
In one hand, the woman whose plump lips his gaze was once again fixated upon, retrieved a red can of whipped cream and tilted her head back to squirt some into her open mouth.
Someone from the crowd actually yelled, “Yes!”
Ethan didn’t bother looking to see who’d said what, his gaze was locked on her.
After setting the can back on the table, she looked out to the crowd and wiggled her brows—carefully arched brows that sat above expressive eyes. She was too far away for him to note the exact colors of those eyes, but it was still one of the sexiest gestures he’d ever seen. He swallowed hard, again and bit back a curse. Was this really happening and if it was, why the hell couldn’t he be in a room alone with this woman? There was no time for an answer because in the next seconds she was lowering her head, mouth open over the dildo. She made a sound, one that said she was totally enjoying what she was doing, and took the entire length of the dildo in, until her lips touched the fingers that were holding it at the base.
This time he blinked to be certain he was seeing exactly what he thought he was seeing. His over-aroused body was certain whatever was going on here was a good thing and pushed him to do something to make it even better.
She pulled back quickly, leaving the whipped cream to drip down the length of the dildo. Ethan sucked in a breath. His dick throbbed painfully, teeth and fingers closed into a tight fist to keep from groaning.
Her tongue twirled as she moved further away, and a trail of whipped cream-filled saliva dripped down onto the tip of the dildo. There was no way he could resist imagining that warm, wet mouth closing around him. He could see those desire-filled eyes staring up at him, plump lips smeared with whipped cream. He would drive his hands into her hair at that point, scraping his fingers along her scalp as he held tightly, guiding her mouth back down to his dick.
The immediate noise from the crowd yanked him from the blissful images in his mind. Everyone in the class came to their feet, clapping, smiling and totally appreciating the demonstration. When she lowered her head once more and took the dildo into her mouth, this time bobbing her head up and down, moaning with pleasure and creating a flurry of whipped cream flakes in the process, applause echoed throughout the room.
Ethan unclenched his fingers, moving one hand slowly and hopefully discreetly, over to cup his rock-hard erection. The action only made him want more. He either needed to find someone to give him head like this or allow him to plunge deep inside her while thinking about another woman. Then there was the most likely scenario, where he blew the speed limit trying to get home so that he could jerk off in a hot shower.
“Fuck!” He cursed quietly because he didn’t like any of his options.
But apparently it wasn’t as quiet as he thought because when he looked up the crowd had turned in his direction and the instructor—with the sexy lips who now looked strangely familiar—were all staring back at him.
Portia had seen him come in. His tall, broad frame dressed in all black looking like a complicated mix of somber and sexy was hard to miss. He was late. The class had started fifteen minutes ago. She’d had four sessions today and would return to this room at eight tomorrow morning to sign copies of her book, The Principles of Pleasure, which had been released a week ago. Her publisher-arranged book tour was starting off with a bang as she participated in the “F” is for Fetish Adult Entertainment Conference. Her schedule for the last two days had been intense, but Portia had to admit she was enjoying every second of it. Until he’d entered the room.
She moved slowly to set the now very messy dildo down on the table. Picking picked up a napkin, she wiped her hands and mouth, while silently praying her fingers didn’t tremble in front of the room full of people. She did all of this before chancing a second look at him.
“Would you like to join me?” she asked and then immediately clamped her lips shut.
That hadn’t sounded right.
A few women in the class began to applaud because obviously, it’d sounded just fine to them. Heat infused her cheeks and she struggled to maintain her composure, flashes of her very awkward teenage years appearing in her mind.
As for him—the guy with the great body and aqua green eyes—he slowly moved his hand from his crotch and replied, “No. Thank you.”
He continued to stare at her, similar to a time she recalled all too often that had taken place twelve years ago. She’d always loved when he looked at her even if she’d had no clue what to do about it back then. That heat from her cheeks transferred down to spread throughout her body alerting her to the pleasure she taught for profit, but routinely denied herself.
This wasn’t a foreign sensation to her. In fact, she was often aroused by her research and preparations for her classes. It was part of her occupation, just not a very active part of her real life. Yet, this time was different. This time the arousal was more intense, more urgent and much more intimate than any of her lessons and she knew why.
Ethan Henley. The guy who’d occupied all her teenage dreams until that fateful day when they’d come face-to-face, and he’d rejected her just as her parents and all the other kids in the pitiful town of Providence had done.
“Okay.” She paused and cleared her throat. “Let’s get back to class.”
Tearing her gaze away from him wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. She hadn’t come this far to be sidetracked by an attractive man, with an obvious bulge in his pants. Gazing out to the class centered her once more and she took a deep breath before speaking.
“Next, we’ll return to the earlier lecture portion of this class wherein I went over the principles of pleasure. As you know, pleasure will vary depending on the participants. For women, receiving the ultimate pleasure will depend on things like psychological history, sexual history, relationship history, and even her mother’s relationship and sexual history.”
He moved as she spoke, walking from where he’d originally stood at the door, to the other side of the room. She tried to focus her gaze on two women sitting in the center, but she could see him in her peripheral. She could feel the warmth of his gaze moving over her like an invisible cloak. And he was listening to her, hearing every word she spoke about pleasure and sex. The thought excited and frightened her.
She licked her lips.
“There are also factors that pertain to all of us, man and woman. Things that men will need to be aware of as they set out to pleasure their women and vice versa. The first of all pleasure principles is that it’s not simply about the physical. It’s about so much more.”
He’d moved closer and was now standing to her right now, about fifteen feet away. She should’ve been alarmed. In the five years since she’d been in the adult entertainment industry, she’d learned to keep her distance from students. A few of her colleagues had endured horrific experiences because they hadn’t been careful. But Portia didn’t feel fear at Ethan’s closeness. She felt anxious.
The unwanted sensations made her move quickly through the rest of the hour-long class and breathe a sigh of relief when the last student thanked her and left the room. But he was still there. She wasn’t surprised, throughout the rest of the class she’d felt the heat of his gaze on her, the pressure building between her legs at his proximity and the throbbing of her temples each time she mentally admonished herself for feeling anything where Ethan Henley was involved. Still, she couldn’t deny the feeling as if his mind and body were reaching out to hers. Maybe she was the only woman in the world who thought this way. She’d centered her instruction on mind and body. She’d also based her life—since leaving Providence when she was seventeen years old—on trusting her gut. Today, at this moment, her gut said to turn around and face him.
She did and saw quickly that they were now up close and very personal.
“Portia?” he asked, his brow furrowed.
He was everything she remembered and so much more. The scent of his cologne was spicy and woodsy tickling her nostrils until slithers of desire awakened a chorus of butterflies in her stomach. His shoulders were wider than she recalled, like a linebacker. His chest was muscular back when they were in high school, but was now more alluringly defined in the tight black t-shirt he wore. He was still much taller than her five-foot one-inch stature, the line of his jaw was strong. His complexion was a fawn hue, a mixture of his Black father and Caucasian mother. The color of his lightly trimmed beard and low-cut hair, was sandy brown, and the green eyes that were currently bearing down on her were full of brown flecks.
“Hello Ethan,” she said, her voice much stronger than she was actually feeling.
“You’re back.” He stated the obvious.
“I’m working.” Why she felt compelled to provide a reason, she wasn’t quite sure.
He raised a brow. “Your job is teaching Blow Jobs 101?”
She managed a smile at the incredulous look on his face. It was just like high school all over again. He still thought of her as Poor Plain Portia and she still looked at him like he was the Prince of Providence High and the star of the football team.
But that was then. This was now and Portia wasn’t that teenage girl anymore.
“I teach people how to find their pleasure,” she said, holding his gaze.
“Really?” She hated that his gaze still seemed to question her and was shocked when he touched a finger to her bottom lip. “Can you teach me?”