I realized that I forgot one important book to my childhood, Anne of Green Gables. I started out with a large-sized abridged edition with absolutely gorgeous color paintings throughout, and I loved Anne because she was a daydreaming, imaginative, story-telling, hot-tempered, REDHEAD. Not, as she always lamented, auburn, but CARROTS. Just like me. She even got in trouble for hitting boys who teased her, like I did. (I seem to recall I wasn't even aware of it being set in Canada at the time.) Later when I discovered what the word "abridged" meant and read the complete novel, it was rather like discovering a whole new book, but the pictures have stayed in my head all my life (I'd love to find that edition again; I have no clue what happened to it over the years).
Mostly character stuff, though. With sex. (Second drafty, never beta'd. Just fluff.)
The rare sound of his wife's voice raised in anger made Matt turn from his desk. Outside it looked cool, but Matt knew that was just a false perception, caused by the tinted glass doors and the air-conditioned interior; it was broiling out there, and the hot afternoon sun glared off the sparkling blue water of the pool with a near-lethal intensity. Matt barely had a chance to see his wife and oldest son arguing before Matthew disappeared in a splash when Cody shoved him into the pool.
Matthew O'Connor climbed out of the water sputtering. He was the first O'Connor boy in five generations who was going to top out at less than six-foot-one; at sixteen the top of his head barely reached Matt's shoulder. With his freckled face and reddish hair, he was pure Cameron in appearance. His temper, on the other hand, was one-hundred-percent O'Connor. He glared at his mother as he tossed his wet hair out of his eyes, and for a moment, barely a heartbeat, his hands drew back. There was a flash around his fingers, the distinct sparkle of magic that made Matt start to rise from his chair, but Matthew seemed to suddenly realize what he was doing. He glared at his mother a moment before he turned and stomped away instead, dripping everywhere.
Matt settled back, grinning to himself, watching his wife throw one of the pool balls after their son, bouncing it harmlessly off one of the eaves. She turned to the door, squinting a little as she peered at the glass. Matt knew she couldn't see into the room from out there, not with the bright sunlight turning the Arcadia door into a mirror, and he watched her with a smile as she walked toward the house. That sway in her walk was all natural, he knew.
Cody slid the door open. "Ah, you are in here," she said, coming inside. "Your son is desperately aggravating."
"He's my son when he's being annoying, then?" Matt asked, grinning again. He liked watching her walk. She leaned over him and kissed him on the forehead, then she moved to straddle his lap, forcing him to shift away from the deck. The chair creaked, but he wasn't worried. Their furniture was largely custom-made not only to fit his large, muscled frame, but also to accommodate two athletic people who really enjoyed each other's company. "What'd he do this time?"
"He wants to have 'some friends' over when we're in Las Vegas next week. I told him no, because it'll turn into a party. He promised, swore over and over it wouldn't, and I still said no. Things went south from there. I shoved him in the pool to cool him down." She twisted her lips, mild irritation giving way to her more usual sunny expression. "Still, he didn't use magic on me, and I think he was tempted."
Matt nodded, running his hands up and down her thighs. "Yeah, I saw that. That would have made me step in."
Cody sobered. "If he takes your temper and his ability to translocate, we're going to be spending a fortune flying home from Minnesota."
Matt chuckled. "I guess it's a good thing we've never taken him out of the country." Matt understood magic, but wasn't a mage himself. It sometimes alarmed him that his oldest son had that much power, but even a great translocator could only open doors to places they'd actually been, and Matthew was still young and training. The furthest he'd ever sent anyone was to his great-grandfather's house in Chickamaw Beach, Minnesota. Fortunately for all them, said great-grandfather was an even more powerful translocator, and usually could clean up after Matthew's temper tantrums. "I suppose someday we'll have to let him spread his wings."
"Last time we were out of town and he had some of those kids over, someone locked Justin in the upstairs closet, remember," Cody reminded him. Matt nodded. "I reminded him he should be a good example to his little brothers, but that certainly didn't fly. Then he pulled the 'Blythe gets to have friends over when you're out of town' card."
"Blythe and her friends are responsible," said Matt with a shrug.
"'But it's not FAIR, MOM,'" she whined in a fair approximation of their son's voice.
Matt laughed. "Okay, so he is my son," he admitted. He wrapped his arms around his wife's waist, slipping his hands under her tank top. After nearly seventeen years of marriage and five children, he was still endlessly, hopelessly in love with her, and could never keep his hands off if given half a chance to touch her. She smiled at him, putting her hands on both sides of his face.
"Yes, yes, he is," she said, then leaned forward, lightly brushing his nose with the tip of her tongue. Cody loved touching him as much as he loved to touch her. She wound her fingers in his sideburns and kissed him. It was a passionate kiss, her tongue delving into his mouth to stroke the insides of his cheeks and run along his teeth, stoking a fire in him that never really went out. He groaned a little and pressed her closer, returning her kiss. "But I forgive you," she breathed when their lips parted.
Matt tightened his arms around her. "Thanks. At least we know the magic didn't come from me." His mouth found hers again. Her fingers twined in his hair.
Cody's lips moved from his mouth to travel slowly along his jaw to his ear, where she caressed him with her tongue and whispered, "Go down on me," in a voice already rough with passion.
She didn't need to ask him that one twice. He shoved her tank top up, unhooking her bra with practiced fingers. Unfortunately it was one of those annoying ones with the straps criss-crossed in the back, so it didn't automatically release her extremely impressive rack. He pushed the whole shebang up and over her head, then filled his hands with her glorious tits.
Never once had Matt denied that one of the first things he'd seen when he first laid eyes on Cody was the fact she was stacked, not that anyone would have believed him if he had. Of course, with Cody, he'd also been able to look past a figure that just wouldn't quit into eyes he could drown in and a laugh that made him warm all over. Cody had completed him in ways he could never describe and he could never, ever get enough of her.
He ran his hands over her, cupping her breasts and lifting them, closing his mouth over one eager nipple. She was all soft, satin flesh over firm muscle, her yoga instructor's body supple and almost as strong as he was. Cody sighed and arched her back, forcing him to support her with one arm while he fondled one breast and continued to suckle the other. Her fingers curled in the shoulders of his t-shirt and tugged. He eased them both back so she could pull it off over his head. She tossed it carelessly to the floor and ran her hands down his neck and over his shoulders, caressing him before leaning into him and running her lips along the same trail her hands had traced, deliberately teasing his chest with her taut nipples. He cupped them again, leaning back in the chair to ease the sudden tightness of his jeans. She knew his cock was at full attention, sliding one hand over the bulge and making him groan deep in his throat. She unbuckled his belt and tugged the button open, and that was as far as they could go in the chair.
Matt heaved them both up, supporting her weight with one arm as he attempted to assist her with his jeans. She straightened her legs, unbuttoning her shorts and slipping them off her generous hips. Matt peeled off his jeans and gathered her close again.
Skin to skin, their bodies merged as they settled onto the carpet, shoving the coffee table out of the way. Their lips met again, even hungrier, devouring each other with an intensity undimmed by the years. Matt slid his mouth down her throat and returned to her breasts, free now to fondle and suckle as he would, his hands moving over the curves of her waist and hips. Her thighs parted, one long leg easing up over his shoulder, guiding him down the expanse of inviting flesh to the warmth of her sweet pussy. His questing tongue delved into her, making her sigh and squirm, her strong thighs wrapping around his head. She could crush him like a walnut. What a way to go.
He cupped her ass in his hands and lifted her slightly, drawing her clit between his teeth and sucking it hard, making her gasp. She gripped his hair, pulling it, forcing him closer, moaning deep in her throat. Matt slid his tongue unto her, tasting, teasing, feeling her writhe in his hands, that sense of satisfaction and power coming over him as it always did when he brought her to orgasm. Any guy could get himself off, but to satisfy a woman like Cody? That took a real man. Matt eased two fingers into her, lifting her a little further off the carpet, and heard her whimper as her back arched. Her clit hardened between his teeth, swelling with her first climax, and she let out a low, long groan.
Cody pulled at his hair, her legs falling away from his shoulders. She was trembling, but she sat up and tugged him closer, commanding his mouth with hers again, her tongue threatening to engulf his tonsils before she gave him a light, playful kiss on the nose and said, "Your turn." She shoved him back and ran her hands down his sides to his hips before she tenderly drew his aching cock away from his belly where it had strained upward toward his navel before she ran her tongue up the shaft from his nuts to the tip, then wrapped her glorious lips around him. It was his turn, indeed, to groan with intense pleasure as she pulled him deep into her hungry mouth and sucked hard so her cheeks tightened around his cock. Matt's head lolled back, his breath coming in short gasps as Cody slowly slid one hand up his belly, fingers tightening in the hairs that curled there and tugging, just enough to make his abs jump, while her other hand fondled his balls, pushing and pulling with just exactly enough pressure. He was sure he was going to explode.
Finally, too soon and not soon enough, she eased back and crawled up his body, her face reddened and her breathing coming as fast as his. Her beautiful eyes were shining with her desire and without a word, she guided his hard, swollen cock inside her. She sat slowly upright, pulling him deep inside, then let out a long sigh and began to ride him in earnest, her hips grinding back and forth, her thighs tightening on his hips as she squeezed his shaft inside of her. Matt gripped her hips and slowed her down a little, watching her through narrowed eyes as she arched backward, her hands on his thighs. Her breasts shook, trembling with each thrust. Matt watched her for as long as he was able to keep his eyes focused, then gave in to the powerful sensations that always swept him away when he made love to Cody, his eyes sliding closed.
They moved together, a harmony that had been a part of their lovemaking since the very first time. Matt could hear his own voice, coming from a long way off, loud and animal, but he never tried to keep quiet. He groaned, shaking, and climaxed. His hands almost convulsed as they gripped on Cody's hips. She tightened around him again, squeezing, a little painful but so, so very good, he could only whimper a little, heaving his hips up and lifting her off the floor, keeping them connected even as his body gave its all. He collapsed first, then Cody slowly eased down to rest on his chest with a long, happy sigh of contentment.
Matt lay there for a while, drifting a little, almost asleep. Cody rested her chin on her crossed arms over his chest, planting a light kiss on his chin. They both jumped when something slammed and a girl's voice shouted, "Mom!"
Cody reached up and grabbed the afghan off the sofa, dragging it down over them both as the door to the office burst open. Matthew's twin sister, Blythe, stood there. She stopped when she saw them, then let out a dramatic sigh, rolling her eyes as only a teenage girl can do. "Honestly, don't you two ever stop?" she asked.
"What's up, little girl?" drawled Matt, ignoring her commentary. They'd raised their children in a very open manner. Cody was just this side of being a nudist, and was certainly a naturalist. Sex was as natural in this household as breathing.
"Matthew's locked himself in our bathroom and he won't come out."
"I didn't even know that room could lock," said Cody, resting her cheek against Matt's chest.
"Magic, Mom," said Blythe in a long-suffering tone. "He used magic. He's not supposed to do that."
"He must have learned that trick from his Aunt Liz," Cody replied, lifting her head and leaning on her hand. Matt winced as her elbow dug into his shoulder. "I didn't know he could do that."
"There are five bathrooms in this house, little girl," said Matt, shifting Cody's arm.
Blythe threw up her hands. "My STUFF is in THAT bathroom," she emphasized. Matt felt Cody chuckle.
"All right, honey, I'll be right there."
"Thank you," said Blythe. She closed the door to let them get dressed. Cody eased herself off Matt, letting cold air between them, almost freezing the sweat on their bellies. She grabbed her shorts and tank, yanking them on without her bra, which she left where it had fallen.
Matt continued to lay on the floor a while after the door closed again behind her, listening to the rise and fall of voices outside the office, his arms tucked behind his head.