HOT EXCLUSIVE: Hayden POV from Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

HOT EXCLUSIVE: Hayden POV from Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Alternate POV 


Fifteen minutes before closing, I settled up with my final client of the night. I was antsy as hell. As soon as the doors to the shop locked, I was booking it to my apartment to shower, shave, and change. Then I was heading over to Tenley’s to hang out.

Hopefully, when I arrived she’d be decked out in her “bed” wear. Tenley didn’t own pajamas. Or if she did, I’d never seen her in a pair that would qualify as such. Tenley’s idea of comfy clothes/jammies consisted of either a tank top or a hoodie—depending on how warm her apartment was—athletic shorts that barely covered her ass cheeks and leg warmers. The leg warmers made her look as though she’d popped out of an eighties era dance video. Not that I was complaining. It actually upped the hotness factor for some reason. Usually, by the time I finished with her, she had the hair to match the outfit—except the outfit was missing.

My phone buzzed in my pocket. It was likely Tenley. I’d just sent her a message to let her know I’d be over shortly. I didn’t check to confirm though, since Chris was standing right beside me.

“You up for hitting the bar?” he asked.

“Nah, not tonight.” I flipped through the schedule for tomorrow.

I had two appointments booked, but the first didn’t start until two in the afternoon. Plus we had short hours on Sundays. That meant I’d have plenty of time to enjoy Tenley this evening and in the morning, if she was up for it.

“Come on, H. We haven’t been out in weeks. Not since the last time you ditched.”

“I didn’t ditch,” I lied. He was right, I’d totally ditched during our previous excursion to the bar, but only Lisa knew why. And maybe Jamie. He wouldn’t say anything to Chris, though. He’d let me have that conversation. When I felt like it. If I felt like it. “Besides, you don’t need me to pick up chicks.”

“Who said anything about picking up chicks?”

“Why else would you go to the bar?” The pounding music, the stench of sweat and the inevitable desperation weren’t much of a lure. In the past, I’d endured it because the end-of-night action was almost always a guarantee.

Chris’s eyes narrowed. “What’s up with you?”

“Nothing. I’m bagged and I’m not feeling the scene. I thought you were interested in that waitress at The Dollhouse. You giving up on that?”

I was aiming to distract him and I wasn’t above cheap shots if it got him off my ass. If Chris knew I was spending time with Tenley, he’d ask questions I didn’t feel compelled to answer.

“Sarah’s not working tonight, so there’s no point going there.”

“She tell you her schedule?”

“I asked Max.”

“Huh.” Chris was more into this chick than I’d originally thought.

A glassy-eyes Lisa came out of the back room with Jamie following close behind. He was grinning. Those two were anything but covert about the back-room nookie.

“You two up for a beer?” Chris asked, oblivious.

“Not tonight, my man.” Jamie slapped him on the back.

“You guys suck,” Chris grumbled and grabbed his jacket.

I almost felt bad. Not because of the bar. I couldn’t care less about that. I didn’t like lying to Chris, though it was necessary. When Chris calmed down about The Rule BS, things could go back to normal. But considering his initial reaction to my hanging with Tenley, I wasn’t holding my breath. So I had to keep what was going on between her and me on the DL.

Once we vacated the shop, I went up to my condo for a quick shower. I debated briefly whether or not I should rub one out before going to Tenley’s. That I debated at all was stupid. Of course, I should unload my gun. I had serious longevity issues when it came to her.

At first, I thought it was because it had been so damn long since I’d gotten action, but it happened every time I got inside her. It was embarrassing how fast the first round ended. Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be a need for recovery time; I could keep going without so much as a pause. Still, taking the edge off might help.

I was quick about the whole thing. It took me twenty minutes to shower, whack it, shave, get dressed, and get my ass over to her place. I let myself in the back entrance to her apartment. Cassie had given me the key a couple of years back so I could take care of things when she and Nate went away.

I had the key to Tenley’s apartment too, but I knocked and waited. I heard the chain latch slide and the lock turn. The door opened wide.

“Hey.” Tenley’s shy smile made an appearance as she came into view. I loved that little grin of hers. It made her look innocent and sexy, with a hint of mischief.

“Hey.” My eyes dropped briefly. I frowned. She wasn’t wearing her usual short-shorts business. Instead, she was fully outfitted in loose sweats and a hoodie that swallowed up her small frame.

“Are you coming in?” she asked uncertainly.

“Huh? Oh, yeah.” I stepped inside and locked the door behind me. My shoes went on the mat next to Tenley’s and I hung my coat on the hook beside hers.

When I turned around she was wringing her hands, her bottom lip pulled between her teeth.

“You feeling okay?” I asked.

“Yup. I’m fine. Good. I’m good.” She walked through the kitchen and opened the fridge. “Do you want a beer? How was your day?”

Her pitch was off. Like she was nervous, or uncomfortable. Shit. I hoped I hadn’t been presumptuous in inviting myself over. We’d been together every night since I first caved. Maybe I was wearing out my welcome. Maybe she was bored already. Maybe she was faking her orgasms.

Nah. That last one definitely wasn’t true. I could feel it when she came. Like my cock was getting a big old tight, wet hug—or my fingers, depending on the situation. I got hard just thinking about it. And that made me wonder if I was pushing it in my quest to take advantage of that loophole of hers. We had an awful lot of sex, which wasn’t an issue for me. But it could be for her.

I should back off tonight. I didn’t want her to think that was all I wanted. While I definitely enjoyed the sex, it wasn’t the only reason I came over. I liked hanging out with her; naked or clothed, it didn’t matter.

“Hayden?” Tenley held up a pair of beers.

“Right. Yeah.” I nodded. “Beer would be good.”

“Are you hungry?” she asked while she rummaged around in the silverware drawer for the bottle opener. “I have KD, and there might be a pizza in the freezer. Oh, and I made cupcakes.”

“I already ate dinner, but I’ll take cupcakes.” I came up behind her, opened the cupboard and retrieved a plate. “Are you having one, too?”

Her hair was in a ponytail. Her neck was right there. I bent down and breathed her in. She smelled fucking awesome. Like the cupcakes she made. She tensed when my lips brushed her skin.

“You sure you’re okay?” I asked, taking a step back.

“Mm hm.” She nodded a little too vigorously and thrust a beer at me.

Something was definitely up. She filled a plate with cupcakes and I followed her into the living room. Her apartment was one big open space, apart from the bedroom and bathroom. She curled up in the corner of the couch, sitting cross-legged, and hugged a pillow to her chest. TK came bounding down the hall and launched herself into my lap. She sniffed at the cupcakes and took a lick before I could move the plate out of reach.

“These aren’t for you,” I told her as she scaled my chest to my shoulder to get to them.

Tenley laughed and picked her up, disengaging her claws from my shirt. “Those are for Hayden, cutiepie.” She gave TK a kiss on the top of her head and nuzzled her. TK wasn’t interested in cuddling, though. She jumped out of Tenley’s arms and skittered across the room, swatting at a toy mouse lying under a chair.

“So your day was okay?” I peeled the wrapper off a cupcake and shoved half of it in my mouth.

“It was fine. I did some research, made some cupcakes, nothing exciting. What about you? What did you work on?”

I waited until I was done chewing before I answered.

“I outlined a full sleeve today. That was pretty cool.”

She asked more about that, so I explained the process to her, thinking it was good information for her to have, since we’d be starting her back piece in less than a week. I didn’t want to think too much about what it was going to be like when the loophole disappeared.

She was super fidgety while I talked, crossing and uncrossing her legs, playing with her ponytail. When I finished the cupcakes, she took the plate back to the kitchen and washed it right away. Something she never did.


She dried her hands on her sweats and glanced over at me. “Can I get you another beer?”

“Sure,” I said slowly.

Hers was still sitting on the coffee table, mostly-full.

I watched her as she retrieved one from the fridge and brought it to me; then she passed me the remote.

“I’ll be right back.” She rushed out of the room and disappeared down the hall. I heard a door close, so I assumed she was in the bathroom.

I wasn’t particularly interested in TV, but Tenley was obviously off tonight, so I scrolled through the music channels. There was a spotlight on a band I liked, so I palmed my beer and settled back against the cushions while I waited for Tenley to return. The longer she took, the more worried I became that I’d done something wrong. The show was half over by the time I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to find Tenley standing about three feet away.

“Hi.” She bit her bottom lip.

“Uh . . . hey.”

I set my beer down on the coffee table. My concern that I’d done something wrong, or worn out my welcome was blown the shit the second I laid eyes on her. So was my decision to keep my hands to myself, tonight. Tenley had changed. She was no longer decked out sweats and a hoodie.

She had a vast array of underwear in a variety of colors, prints and fabrics. The kitty-print ones she wore the night I broke were sweet and pretty and the reason I gave in. Mostly. Well, they were part of the reason. They were my excuse, anyway. Since then she’d been torturing me with everything from rainbow print cotton to pale satin. But what she was wearing right now, well, shit. They were something else.

These ones I’d never seen before. And they explained exactly why she’d been so nervous when I first arrived and why she’d been covered up in bulky clothes. Her usual attire wouldn’t have hidden all that sexy. Unlike the others I’d seen up until now, these were intentionally designed to seduce. They were red satin with a tiny black polka-dot pattern. A little black bow adorned each hip. The matching bra was even better. Made of the same fabric, there was a ruffle of black lace accentuating the swell of her breasts. With her hair pulled back the way it was, she looked like a pinup girl.

I scanned the room, checking to make sure the curtains were closed. If they hadn’t been, I would have tackled her to the floor. As it was, it took all of my very limited restraint to keep my ass planted on the couch.

Her fingers fluttered close to her mouth and her eyes dropped to the floor. Her toes curled, but not before I noticed they were painted a sparkly shade of red that matched her lingerie.

Damn it. I was just staring at her, saying nothing. “Come here, kitten.”

She gestured to the TV. “If you’d rather—”

“Like fucking hell.” I extended a hand. “Come. Here.”

That smile appeared again. I parted my legs to make room for her and she stepped between them. I took a deep breath as my palms swept from her hips down the outside of her thighs. When I reached her knees, I wrapped my hands around the back of them and pulled her even closer.

Her fingers drifting along the collar of my shirt, up the side of my neck, along the shell of my ear. When she ran them through my hair I closed my eyes and reveled in the sensation. Her short nails scratched my scalp.

“I love it when you do that.”

She did it again. “I’m glad you decided to come over tonight.”

“Where else would I be?”

She lifted one shoulder and let it fall, her bottom lip between her teeth.

“Let’s get one thing straight.” My grip tightened on the back of her legs. I dropped a kiss below her navel. “This is the only place I want to be right now.”

“With your face between my thighs?” She asked, batting her eyelashes. She sure could be cheeky when she wanted to be.

“Among other body parts.” I ran my palms up higher, skimming over the satin that barely covered half her ass until I met with what felt like a lacy ruffle. “Want to turn around for me?”

She gave me a coy grin and did as I requested, confirming what I suspected; the same ruffle that highlighted her breasts accentuated the curve of her ass, in triplicate. That she still managed to look innocent in something so sexy baffled the fuck out of me. She shuddered as I kissed along the waistband from her spine to her hip where the scars were. I wanted her however she came, with scars, with baggage, with whatever shit she was keeping from me.

“As sexy as these are, they’re in my way right now,” I said, giving her ass one last squeeze before I turned her to face me again.

I hooked my fingers into the satin and dragged it down. When it pooled around her ankles, she stepped out of it and kicked it to the side. I brought my lips back to her skin, traveling from her knee all the way to her hip, and then right past the cupcake tattoo to that sweet spot. I didn’t stop until she was moaning my name and no longer capable of standing.

Tenley’s knees hit the couch and I lifted her into my lap, wrapping her legs around my waist. She yanked my shirt over my head, then fused her mouth to mine while she fumbled with my belt. I helped her out, popping the button on my jeans, shoving them over my hips. They didn’t get past my knees.

When Tenley reached behind her to unhook her bra, I stopped her. “I like this, and you went to all that trouble to pick it out for me, so let’s leave it on.”

I ran my nose along the lacy edge, and then kissed my way up her chest. She arched, her head falling back as I nibbled and sucked my way across her jaw. By the time I reached her mouth, my cock was nestled between her thighs and she’d started up with the rocking. She braced herself on my shoulder with one hand and reached between us with the other. I had the vague notion that I should use my fingers first, just to get her ready for me, but I didn’t have time to voice the thought; everything lined up and she sank down, taking me inside.

I kept her close, moving her over me, taking it slowly. The second time I wasn’t quite so gentle and we ended up on the floor, halfway across the living room.

Later, after she fell asleep on the couch, I pilfered a page from one of her sketchbooks lying on the coffee table. Tenley was wrapped in a blanket, still wearing that bra and nothing else. I didn’t need to see it to be able to draw it, though. The image of her in that lingerie was burned into my brain. TK was curled up beside me as I sketched a pin-up version of Tenley in that pretty get-up. It gave me the new ink itch.

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BN Clipped Wings

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About the author

Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s putting her English degree to good use by writing popular fiction. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor

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