Beautiful Player [Beautiful Series]


The flight attendant walked past, snapping the overhead bins shut with decisive clicks before bending to ask, “Orange juice or coffee?”

Will asked for coffee. I shook my head with a smile.

He patted my knee, palm up. “Give me your phone.”

I handed it over, but complained anyway: “Why do I need wireless? I’m going to be asleep the entire flight.” Never again would I let him book 6 a.m. flights from New York to the West Coast.

Will ignored me, entering some code into a tiny box on my phone’s Web browser.

“If you haven’t noticed, I’m sleepy. It’s someone’s fault that I was kept up all night,” I whispered, leaning into him.

He stopped what he was doing, turning to smolder at me. “Is that how it happened?”

A thrill ran from my chest, down my belly, and between my legs. “Yes.”

“You didn’t come over after lab, a little . . . worked up?”

“No,” I lied.

His eyebrow rose, a smile curling half of his mouth. “And you didn’t interrupt my preparation of the very romantic dinner I was planning for you?”

“Me? No.”

“And pull me down onto the couch asking me to ‘do that thing with my mouth’?”

I held my hand to my chest. “I would never.”

“It wasn’t you who then ignored the delicious smells coming from the stove and pulled me to the bedroom and asked for some very, very dirty things?”

I closed my eyes as he leaned close, grazing his teeth over my jaw and murmuring, “I love you so fucking much, my naughty, sweet Plum.”

Images from the night before pulled me deeper into the hungry, achy place I practically lived in anytime I was near Will. I remembered his rough hands, his commanding voice telling me exactly what he wanted me to do. I remembered those hands tugging my hair, his body moving over mine for hours, his voice finally low and begging for my teeth, my nails. I remembered the weight of him collapsing on me, sweaty and exhausted and falling asleep almost as soon as he found his release.

“Maybe that was me,” I admitted. “It was a long day working in the safety hood, what can I say? I had a lot of time to think about your magical mouth.”

He kissed me and then returned to my phone, smiling as he finished what he was doing and handing it back to me. “You’re all set.”

“I’m still going to sleep.”

“Well, at least if Chloe needs you, your phone is working.”

I slid my eyes to him, confused. “Why would she need me? I’m not in the wedding.”

“Have you met Chloe? She’s a fearsome general that could conscript you at a moment’s notice,” he said, gripping the back of his neck in the way he did when he was uncomfortable. “Whatever. Just sleep then.”

“I have a feeling about this trip,” I murmured, leaning into his shoulder. “Like a premonition.”

“How uncharacteristically spiritual of you.”

“I’m serious. I think it’s going to be amazing, but I also feel like we’re in a giant steel tube headed toward a week of insanity.”

“Technically airplanes are made of aluminum alloy.” Will looked over at me, bent to kiss my nose, and whispered, “But you knew that.”

“Do you ever have a feeling about something?”

He hummed, kissed me again. “Once or twice.”

I stared up at him—at the familiar dark lashes and deep blue eyes, at his five o’clock shadow at six in the morning, and at the goofy smile he’d been wearing since I woke him up—again—four hours ago with my mouth on his cock.

“Are you feeling sentimental, Dr. Sumner?”

He shrugged and blinked, clearing a bit of the lovestruck gleam in his eyes. “Just excited to go on vacation with you. Excited for the wedding. Excited that our little gang is having a baby soon.”

“I have a question about a rule,” I whispered.

He leaned in conspiratorially, whispering back, “I’m not your dating coach anymore. There are no rules, besides that no other guy touches you.”

“Still. You know about these things.”

With a smile he murmured, “Fine. Hit me.”

“We’ve only been together two months, and—”

“Four,” he corrected, always insisting I was his from that very first run.

“Fine. Have it your way, four. Is it bad form after only four months to tell you I think you’re my forever?”

His smile straightened, his eyes moving over my face in that way that felt like a caress. He kissed me once, and then again.

“I would say that’s incredibly good form.” He pulled back to look at me for a long, heavy beat. “Sleep, Plum.”

My phone buzzed on my lap, startling me awake. I straightened from where I’d been asleep on Will’s shoulder and blinked, looking down at my phone, where a text from him lit up my screen. Beside me, I could almost feel his smile.

I read the text: What are you wearing?

I squinted sleepily at my phone as I typed, A skirt and no panties. But don’t get any ideas, I’m a little sore from what my boyfriend did last night.

He made a sympathetic clucking noise beside me. That brute.

Why are you texting me?

He shook his head next to me, sighing with exaggerated weariness. Because I can. Because modern technology is amazing. Because we are 30,000 feet in the air and civilization has progressed to the point I can beam a filthy proposition to you from a satellite in space to a flying “steel tube.”

I turned to look at him, eyebrows raised. “You woke me up to ask me what I’m wearing?”

He shook his head, and kept typing. In my lap, my phone buzzed.

I love you.

“I love you, too,” I said. “I’m right here, you nerd. I’m not texting a reply.”

He smiled, but kept typing. You’re my forever, too.

I stared down at my phone, my chest suddenly so tight it was hard to breathe. I reached over my head, adjusting the airflow of the nozzle aimed at my seat.

And I might propose to you soon.

I stared at my phone, reading this line again, and again.

“Okay,” I whispered.

So give me a heads-up if you won’t say yes, because I’m mildly terrified.

I leaned back on his shoulder and he dropped his phone into his lap, wrapping his shaking hand around mine.

“Don’t be,” I whispered. “We’ve totally got this.”