Winner Takes All

This erotic story excerpt from Playing by Her Rules by Amy Andrews is published with permission.

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They chatted about Stanford as they’d worked, and the tension in Matilda eased as she talked a little about her time in the U.S. It really had been am amazing time in her life.

“Yup. They look straight to me,” he said, his arms crossed as they both stood back a few feet on her shagpile rug and admired his work. “Whaddya reckon?”

Matilda angled her head from side to side, frowning. “I think the bottom middle is a little crooked.”

He shook his head. “It’s straight. The level doesn’t lie.”

“Yeah, but I reckon…” Matilda strode toward them, not breaking stride as she stepped up onto the low cabinet with relative ease to get a closer look. “I reckon this one definitely needs just a titch this way.”

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She fingered the bottom right-hand corner of the frame and gave it a slight tap. The painting moved a whisker, and she leaned back a little to check the position. “That’s better.” She nodded, looking over her shoulder at him. “Don’t you think?”

She caught his gaze on her legs before he switched his attention to the wall.

He narrowed his eyes as he moved closer. “I think it needs to go over a little bit more.”

Matilda turned quickly back to the painting as he pulled up about a foot behind and to one side of her. It was insane that she could be standing on a piece of furniture, a head above him for a change, and still feel dwarfed.

She was hyperaware of how close he was. He could reach out and touch her. If he wanted.

She gave the painting another tap to hide the leap in her pulse he’d caused with just his nearness. She went too far the other way, however, grimacing to herself as she switched sides and tried to compensate in the other direction.

“Yup, stop,” he said. “I think that’s it.”

She stopped at his instruction, inspecting her work. It looked better, but she leaned back a little to be sure. She was too close, though, for an accurate assessment so she half turned to climb down from the cabinet. Unfortunately, she had her eye on the painting and not her feet, and she misjudged the edge.

She cried out, her heart rate spiking as her foot slipped and she pitched inelegantly sideways, flailing her arms as she went down, groping madly for some purchase.

She found it in the form of Tanner Stone.


Tanner reached for her as she toppled into his chest, her feet tangling with his, tripping them both up, her glasses flying off her face as they landed in a heap on her thick rug. The landing was a lot softer than it would have been had it been on her hardwood floors, but it still knocked the breath out of her. And even if it hadn’t, Tanner, who had done his best to avoid landing on her with his full weight, still added to the jolt. He ended up partially sprawled on top of her, half of his torso and one muscled thigh pinning her to the floor as they both lay in stunned silence for long moments.

Matilda hauled air into her lungs, staring at the ceiling, too winded to do anything other than try and breathe. Tanner, his forehead pressed into the rug beside her head, seemed to be having difficulty catching his breath, too. She didn’t try to push him away or protest his position. She just lay there gradually recovering her ability to oxygenate her body.

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It probably wasn’t longer than ten or fifteen seconds before her breathing came easier, but that was soon secondary to other things. The solid wall of his chest. The hard heat of his thigh. The granite jut of his erection pressing into the bony crest of her hip bone.

Fuck. Matilda sucked in a ragged breath. He had a hard-on. For her. He was lying on top of her and he was…aroused. She could reach for him right now. Touch him. Reacquaint herself with that particular part of his anatomy.

Heat flooded her pelvis at the realisation, spreading south to tingle between her legs and burgeoning north to her breasts, her nipples hardening in their own blatant arousal.

Her heart thumped erratically—surely he could feel it? Every breath felt like soup, thick and laden with the scent of Tanner.

More chemistry than chemical now.

She remembered this.
Her body remembered this.
The glorious weight of him.

He’d always worried about how heavy he was compared to her but she’d revelled in the feel of him on top of her. The wild, feminine power of it. The sweet craving to feel his skin on hers. The drive to open up to him, to grant him possession, to take possession of him.

Apparently, as her heart practically punched out of her chest, and her body melted to liquid beneath him, not much had changed.

He shifted slightly and Matilda stiffened, dragging herself back from the abyss. She should be pushing him away. She should be objecting instead of lying here wallowing in the long lost feel of him.

“Are you okay?” he asked, easing back, holding the weight of his torso off her.

Matilda’s body lamented the absence, the urge to draw him down again a living, breathing demon on her shoulder. “Just a bit…winded.”

He nodded but didn’t move, his gaze drifting to her mouth then lower to her T-shirt. Her nipples were hard points against fabric that was now pulled taut against her, thanks to the fall. He stared for long moments, and Matilda’s insides quivered as if he’d lowered his head to one and sucked.

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She shut her eyes to block out the image. This was all kinds of madness. “Tanner.

Matilda opened her eyes at the sound of her voice. It was deep and ragged, almost a growl. Maybe a plea.

“Tanner, what?” he asked, his voice as husky as hers as he flicked his gaze to her face. “Tanner, stop? Tanner, leave?” He slid a hand low on her stomach, the muscles beneath tensing in anticipation. “Tanner, touch me?” A lazy finger stroked the skin just above the waistband of her boxers, the sensation coursing white-hot need straight between her legs.

“Tell me what you want, Tilly,” he murmured, his blue gaze earnest. “What you really want.”

Matilda couldn’t blame him for the confusion. She wasn’t sure if she’d said his name as a deterrent or an encouragement. All she knew was he was hard for her and she wanted to touch him.

She shouldn’t be feeling any of it. Wanting any of it. But she did. Her body remembered.

It craved.

She was at war with herself, her heartbeat pounding through her pulse points, roaring in her ears, driving lust and sex to every part of her body.

“This?” he demanded huskily, his hand finding the hem of her T-shirt and pushing under, sliding up her belly, coming to rest high on her rib cage, precariously close to a nipple screaming for attention.

Matilda sucked in a breath. “Tanner.”

“This?” He dropped his mouth to her neck and nuzzled all the way down her throat. “This?” His voice was muffled as his tongue teased the hollow at the base of her throat and his hand slid the last inch or so to claim her breast.

Matilda gasped, her eyes fluttering shut and her back arching as his fingers clamped around her nipple. It wasn’t painful, but it streaked like a burning arrow straight to her clit, hitting the target with an accuracy that stole the air from her lungs.

He was breathing hard when he lifted his head, his gaze roving her face, looking for God knew what.

Certainty? Permission? Surrender?

She didn’t know if he found it, only that he groaned, “Matilda,” all thick and needy, his control snapping, and he didn’t ask her anything more, just pushed her shirt all the way up to her neck and swooped his head down to claim the nipple his fingers were torturing.

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She arched her back again, still too stunned, too overwhelmed by the hot rush of lust to compute anything other than the pleasure coursing through her body. She didn’t care that her breasts were too small, or that they were on her floor, or that she shouldn’t be doing this.

With Tanner.

All she cared about was the hot suck of his mouth on her breast and the corresponding tug at her clit as if he was down there instead, as if there was a direct line from one to the other.

Christ, you smell good,” he groaned as he switched sides, and Matilda’s whole body shuddered in response, muscles deep inside clenching and unclenching at the potent stimulus. His teeth grazed the hard tip and she cried out.

It hurt so damn good.

But then he was gone, her taut, wet nipples left to air dry as he headed down, tracing a wet path with his tongue, inching lower and lower, stopping to swirl around her belly button a few times before heading relentlessly south. He didn’t even stop when he reached the band of her boxers. He simply tore them down, stripping them off her legs with his two big hands.

Matilda, who’d been somewhere out of her body, suddenly came back to it, her eyes flashing open, her head lifting to watch him as his hands spread her thighs, looking at her with complete carnal intent, his chest heaving in and out.

She was conscious of the fact that he was fully clothed and she was lying mostly naked spread before him. Conscious of the fact they’d never done this before. Not that he hadn’t wanted to. He had. But at seventeen, Matilda had found it kinda gross and hadn’t let him.

She hadn’t understood why anyone would want to.

Thankfully, with maturity, she’d let other lovers take her further, and she was a fully paid up, card-carrying member of the cunnilingus club. And even though tongue action alone generally wasn’t a consistent way to get her over the line, it felt fucking amazing and she never said no.

But she was acutely aware—shy even—that this was a first for them.

She needn’t have worried, Tanner barely drew breath before he muttered, “Oh yes,” and settled himself between her legs, his tongue hitting the jackpot immediately.


With her clit already fully aroused from the nipple stimulation, it was excruciatingly sensitive. In fact, it was almost too much and she tried to buck and twist away from the relentless action of his tongue but he just clamped a big hand down on the stretch of skin between her hip bones and held her there, held her to his tongue.

Jesus, Tilly,” he groaned, lifting his head briefly. “You taste good.”

And then he went back to it, his hands sliding to her nipples, lightly pinching and twisting their ruched peaks in time with every flick of his tongue against the hard nub of her clit, not deviating from his intent, not exploring anywhere else, just applying hard, unyielding pressure, both stimuli working in tandem to build her quickly, to push her over, ripples of pleasure swelling up from deep inside her belly, her buttocks, her thighs, pulsing hot and all-consuming from her clitoris, breaking over her in waves of intense release, ripping a cry from her throat and wringing the air from her lungs.

Matilda floated in a daze afterward, breathing erratically, her limbs too heavy to move.

She was torn between melting into a puddle of quivering goo and apologising for how quickly she’d come.

No man had ever gotten her off that fast with his tongue.

He must think she was some sex-starved spinster, lying there like a bloody starfish, shattering uncontrollably at what was—in her experience—fairly minimal tongue action.

But neither melting or apologising were physically possible at the moment, so she concentrated instead on calming her tripping heart, dragging her body back to earth, and pulling the jumble of thoughts in her head back into some coherent sequence.

Tanner shifted and Matilda glanced at him. He was sat back on his haunches between her legs, looking pretty damn pleased with himself.

“I always knew that’d be fucking amazing with you.”

Begging for more? You can buy Playing By Her Rules or find out more about Amy Andrews.


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