Can’t buy love

This erotic sex story from Explosive by Leah Ashton is published with permission.

Erotic sexy story from Explosive by Leah Ashton

This was supposed to be the dream, wasn’t it?

Even the ring was perfect. A simple platinum band and a single, stunning emerald. Not a diamond, because she loved colourful things, and Seth knew that.

It was really early, but there was enough dawn light to paint her room in pink and orange tones. Combined with the white of their sheets and the gold of Seth’s skin, it was like an Instagram photo – some famous influencer’s curated ideal of a marriage proposal.

“Lauren?” Seth prompted.

She couldn’t meet his gaze, instead she stared at the ring, nestled in its little velvet lined box.

It was beautiful.

Her gaze drifted, skating across Seth’s strong fingers and up the solid lines of his arms. He wasn’t wearing anything, so she got to take in every gorgeous line of his body: from forearm, to muscular bicep, heavy shoulders, defined pectorals and the hard corrugation of his stomach. There her journey ended in the puddle of sheets around his waist.

She wasn’t naked. She slept in knickers and one of Seth’s old WASP t-shirts, one that had his surname printed just above her heart.

She’d only just woken up. She’d literally just rolled over, opened her eyes, and there he’d been: Seth Langdon, gorgeous and naked with a ring in his hands.

Like a dream, right?

But – no.

It didn’t feel like that at all.

But if not a dream, what was it?

She didn’t want to work it out: the hollowness in her stomach, the tightness in her throat, the prickle behind her eyes.

“You’re leaving me hanging here, babe,” Seth said, and finally she lifted her eyes to meet his – seeing the confusion there despite his grin which she suspected he wore simply by habit – because that was Seth. Seth with the sparkling green eyes, the easy smile. Seth who made her laugh and her heart flip over.

And also the Seth who she loved.


He knew that. She’d told him that. Three times, to be exact. And it would’ve been more, so much more – if he’d ever told her he loved her back.

But he hadn’t.

And so all those I love yous had been choked and stifled inside her, waiting, waiting, waiting for when she knew he loved her too.


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Because she couldn’t keep doing that to herself. Loving him so much when he didn’t love her back.

She sat up, attempting to smooth her hair back from her face before instantly giving up – her dark hair never behaved in the mornings, and Seth never seemed to care. She shuffled forward on her knees, a little closer to him, holding his gaze – and ignoring that ring between them.

He was going to say something again, but she didn’t want that, so she hooked her fingers in her t-shirt and pulled it over her head – a tried and true method of distraction.

“Fuck, Lauren,” he breathed, his gaze on her breasts and belly.

The way he looked at her – it always, always took her breath away.

She had never felt more beautiful than she did when she was with him. She’d never felt beautiful, ever, really, before. But since Seth – since the night they’d met at The Alibi, a bar between WASP headquarters and her office – she’d begun to believe she was. For him, anyway. For Seth, it was like every curve and bump and imperfection was irresistible. And that first night she had been – they’d practically had sex in an alley, too impatient for a taxi, too caught up in each other. She would’ve done it too, because in the moment she hadn’t cared about anything but him. But he’d been insistent she deserved a bed, and that he wanted to see all of her – with her hair spread out on his pillows.

That’s what he did – he made her feel perfect and like she deserved better than… well, than what, she was never sure.

She reached forward, grabbing that damn ring box and snapping it shut, tossing it towards the end of the bed to be lost amongst the rainbow colours of the quilt shoved to the end of the bed and unneeded in the middle of a warm Perth autumn.

“Lauren –“ he began.

But she kissed him to shut him up.

You’d think after eighteen months kissing him would feel normal. Familiar. But it didn’t, and it wasn’t.

It was familiar only in the way it made her belly heat, and her heart accelerate, and how it made her near frantic to get as close to him as possible.  His lips were firm, his tongue a delicious sensation against hers.  She loved kissing him. She could kiss him forever, exploring his mouth, the nip of his teeth, the taste of him. Her hands slid into his hair, pulling him closer when he gripped her waist and turning her, pushing her back against the sheets.

Their legs tangled as he settled on top of her, his cock already hard against her knickers. She slid her legs around his hips to tug him closer, harder against her, as his kiss became harder too.

His hands were greedy, sliding up to cup her breasts, his thumbs rubbing against her nipples. She shivered when he kissed his way along her jaw, and as he murmured husky praise against her skin – how hot he thought she was, how perfect, how much he loved fucking her.

She probably should’ve stopped there, at that reminder of love amongst her fog of lust.

And she probably did pause, but for not even a millisecond, as by then he’d slid a hand between them to rub his hand against her clit through the satin of her underwear, and well, she didn’t want him to stop. Not at all.

Not this one last time.

His hand was inside her knickers now, sliding through her wetness and then up to circle her clit, and she moaned as he touched her just the way she liked it.

He smiled against her skin, because he loved how she responded to him, and she loved it too – how he made her feel, but also what she could do to him. She scraped her nails across his shoulders, then down the valley of his spine. Maybe a bit harder than usual, maybe to leave a mark – a memory, a temporary reminder of her touch after she was gone.

She turned her head, impatient for his mouth on her again, and he complied, kissing her hard and deep and it was fucking wonderful. They kissed and kissed and kissed, as his clever fingers made her body shiver and undulate beneath him, building and building, closer and closer.

She pulled her mouth away from his. “I want you inside me when I come,” she whispered.

He grinned. “You can do both,” he said – but she shook her head against the pillow.

“No,” she insisted. “I need you, now – “

His gaze shifted – she saw it. He already knew, she supposed, when she’d tossed that ring aside, but he’d been caught up in what they were doing, his brain lagging behind his dick in what was going on.

“Lauren,” he said, his hands going still, but she was having none of that.

She wasn’t having a conversation about this. Not now, maybe not ever.

Her hands slid up his back, pulling his mouth down to hers again. She kissed away his questions, and then spoke against his lips. “Take my knickers off, Seth, please.”

He groaned as she arched against him, pressing her breasts against his chest, and rubbing her core against his hardness. Damn he felt so good, so big and perfect between her thighs.

“We need to talk –“ he said, but in response she pushed against his shoulders, and when he immediately sat up, she came up on her knees and wiggled her underwear down her hips, getting impatient now.

He reached for her wrist. “I don’t know what’s going on here, Lauren. Talk to me, please.”

But she shook her head. “Later,” she said. “After.”

It was probably the first time she’d lied to him. If she excluded every time she’d swallowed the words I love you. But then, that was a lie of omission. A necessary omission, just as this was a necessary lie. Because, she needed this. Needed him, so badly. This one last time.

Totally naked now, she pushed again against his shoulders. “Lay down,” she said.

He was still unsure, she could tell. But he also wanted her as badly as she wanted him, and when she reached for his cock, curling her fingers around his width, his gaze went hot. Determined.

Yeah, there’d be no more talking now.

He rolled onto his back, grabbing her hips as he went, pulling her over him so that she straddled him, his dick just beneath where she ached for him.

She leant forward, resting her hands on his shoulders as she kissed him, sliding her folds against his hardness but not pushing him inside her. Not yet.


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One of his big hands cupped her butt, the other slid up the inside of her thigh, and his fingers rubbed against her clit again, winding her body tighter again.

She closed her eyes as he kissed her, reveling in the touch of his hands on her body, the heat of him beneath her, the way he made her feel: powerful and sexy and wanted. She needed to remember this, needed to remember this closeness, this intimacy, and just the damn sexiness of it all. Being naked with Seth Langdon. Being the closest she was sure she’d ever be to being loved by him.

She broke their kiss as she sat up on him, reaching between their bodies to grasp his hardness.

She caught his gaze as she slid herself onto him, and as both their breaths caught as she took all of him inside her.

She rocked on him, against the fingers he still held at her clit, and her eyes slid closed again. She felt so good like this, like she was all full up, her body tight around him, her belly liquid with sparks and sensation. She rocked again, and again, until they found the rhythm they both knew so well, his hand on her arse guiding her, his fingers at her clit so clever as she slid him in and out of her body.

“You are so beautiful,” he said.

Her eyes snapped open, and she met his heavy lidded gaze. His eyes a dark emerald, looking deep into her soul.

She’d wanted this, this intimacy, this closeness. But, now she had it, it was… too much. Too perfect. Too much to walk away from.

She moved, lifting herself from him, and then onto her hands and knees. “Like this,” she said, “please.”

And because he knew she liked him behind her, he did what she asked, and his big hands lightly pushed her shoulders and breasts into the mattress, and her cheek against the sheets, her hair covering her face.

His hands slid back up along her spine, making her shiver, and then they were firm and gentle all at once on the curve of her bottom. He gripped her hips, dragging them even higher, as her own hand worked at her slippery clit. She was mad with anticipation, mad with wanting him. Needing him. And then he shoved inside her.

It was so intense like this, so deep, so good, and she moaned as he slid into her harder the next time, then harder again.

“Yes,” she said, against the sheets. “Like that. Harder.” He complied. “Fuck me hard, please…”

She loved this, loved the strength of him, the power, and how good it made her feel. Rubbing, plunging, sliding, making her grow even hotter, tighter, as sparks and tingles began to ripple through her body.

This was what she wanted. Sex. Fucking. A physical act, nothing more – like what they’d started with in that alley way, before they’d known each other, and it had been only about hormones and pheromones as they’d had no damn idea about who they each were as people – and hadn’t cared.

She came then, hard and long, her orgasm making her cry out and her body shudder with wave after wave of enveloping heat and sensation.

But when she would’ve collapsed on the bed, he gathered her up in his arms, and rolled her onto her back. He kissed her, long and deep, his hands moving all over her, tracing her shape, and making her tremble. He was still hard, and she realised he hadn’t come. She opened her legs for him, hooked her ankles around his waist, and met his gaze this one last time he pressed into her body.

His eyes were dark, intense – and knowing.

Because he knew her now. They were no longer strangers who wanted to fuck in an alley. They were Lauren and Seth, and they’d spent nearly every night together for a year and a half and they knew each other. Or at least, Seth knew her, because long ago she’d dropped every wall between them. But he’d never done that for her, not completely. She knew enough to know she loved him. She loved his humour, his perfectionism, his determination. But there was more, she knew it. And he didn’t trust her enough – love her enough – to reveal it to her. To reveal all of himself to her.

He moved faster now, and she tilted her hips to take him deeper as he held her gaze. He reached between them, rubbing her still sensitive clit with his thumb, and just like that – it wasn’t just fucking any more. It never had been, not really. Not even at the beginning in that alley way, but certainly not now. As he touched her, as he fucked her, fast and hard and intense – it wasn’t just about their bodies and how good this felt, it was about them. This was intimacy and passion and… and – love. It felt like love, like it should be love.

She came again, sudden and perfect, and so did he, burying his mouth against her neck as he groaned his release.

For a minute, they just lay there, and Lauren traced swirls and shapes on his shoulders with her fingertips, his breath hot against her skin.

But then, he levered himself up, resting his weight on his forearms as he looked down at her.

His gaze sketched her features, taking in her lips, her nose, her cheeks – her eyes. There, his gaze held, and it was impossible to look away.

“Will you marry me, Lauren?” he asked.

But he knew her – because of course he did – and she could see in the tension in his jaw, and the way his dark eyebrows were just slightly drawn together – that he already knew her answer.

He’d known what all this was, what it all had been. That it was all leading up to what she was going to say next.

“I love you, Seth,” she said.

And she meant it with everything she had. Every cell in her body. In every breath. Every heartbeat.

And that heartbeat thumped against her chest as she waited. And waited.

Hoping like hell she was wrong. That she didn’t know Seth as well as she thought. That he wouldn’t do what she knew – what she knew – he would do next.

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Lauren,” he said. “Isn’t that enough?”

She shook her head and pushed him away, rolling from the bed and walking a handful of steps away, her back to him. She hugged herself as tight as she could, her fingernails digging into her arms.

“I need to get ready for work,” she said.

“Lauren –“ he began, but she shook her head again.

I need you to love me.

But she didn’t say the words, because he already knew that.

He knew that, but he couldn’t do anything to fix it. He couldn’t say what she needed to hear, because he didn’t feel that way. He didn’t love her.

So, when she returned to her room ten minutes later, wrapped in a towel, Seth wasn’t there.

The ring was, though, left on her bedside table.

She tried to ignore it as she got dressed, but that was hopeless, and eventually she caved and sat on the bed that Seth had neatly made as she’d been in the shower. She flipped the box open, and stared at the ring that was supposed to be the dream.

That was supposed to be a symbol of their love.

But instead it was a symbol of what she’d never have.

And the nightmare that was loving a man who couldn’t love her back.


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RITA® Award-winning author Leah Ashton writes fast-paced romantic suspense. Her thrilling WASP team books feature elite police officers, strong heroines, deliciously heroic heroes and swoon worthy happily ever afters. You can follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook or give her five stars on Goodreads.


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