Stud Unleashed: Barry
Author: Kylie Gilmore
Series: Clover Park STUDS
Publication Date: 24 February 2015
Each book in the Clover Park STUDS Series can be read as a stand-alone novel, or for more fun read them in order. Characters you’ve loved from past books frequently pop up in other books.
Successful, not-so-great-with-the-ladies, and all around nice guy Barry Furnukle can’t believe his luck when Amber Lewis agrees to date him. But when his attempt to woo her with the world’s most “awesome” date (birding and fro-yo) lands him in the friend zone, he wonders if a guy like him ever had a chance. On advice from his ladies’ man brother, Barry returns to his acting roots for a little confidence rehab. Suddenly he’s got more female attention than he knows what to do with. But will his new found popularity make him happy? Or will he finally release his inner stud to win the woman he can’t forget?
He was moving her now, kissing her and backing her up behind the vending machines, pressing her back into the wall, out of sight of the cafeteria doors.
And then his hands roamed everywhere as he kissed her, under her tunic and over the thin cotton of her leggings, drawing a moan from her, then he was lifting her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist, and sweet glory, they fit. The throbbing between her legs intensified as his erection pushed against her through the leggings.
The cafeteria door opened, and they froze.
“Amber?” a voice called.
It was Edith. She’d forgotten she was supposed to help her out with the costumes. She looked at Bare, eyes wide, and he shook his head. He wasn’t putting her down. She was afraid Edith was going to walk all the way in and catch her in this position.
She wiggled, and Bare pressed harder into her, sending a jolt of sensation through her core. His eyes burned into hers, and she barely breathed.
They heard footsteps, and then the door opened and closed again. She let out a breath. “That was a close one. I have to go. I was supposed to help her.”
He eased off her and let her slide slowly down his front. “I could use some help too.”
“What kind of—”
They both glanced down to where his jeans were bulging.
“Oh,” she said.
She gave him a small impish smile. “Sorry.”
She started to walk away, but he grabbed her and pulled her back flush against his body. “I’m not.”
He kissed her again, and the rush of sensation made her forget why in the world she was trying to leave. His tongue thrust in her mouth, and she responded with needy mewls asking for more. Her hands smoothed over his chest, feeling the hard planes. His hands were everywhere at once, overwhelming her, making her want to climb back up his body and wrap her legs around him again. Suddenly she found herself set a foot away from him.
“Why did you stop?” she asked. Her lips still tingled, her body still ached.
He closed his eyes. “You make me want. Too much. You’d better go.”
“Aren’t you going to look at me?”
“Amber, please. This isn’t where I want our first time.”
She bit her lip. His eyes were still closed. Did he actually think she wanted to sleep with him here? Then it hit her, what he’d said before about pushing his control, he was trying to control himself. He wanted her that much.
With that heady knowledge lodged deep in her heart, she turned on her heel and headed for the door. She stopped and looked over her shoulder. He’d turned away from her.
“I’m shaking my booty,” she called.
“You mean my booty,” he answered.
A hot rush ran through her. She headed resolutely out the door, her lips curved into a small smile.
“Bare?” she called.
He turned. “Amber?”
“What are you doing here?” they asked at the same time.
“I’m auditioning,” he said at the same time as she said, “I’m painting.”
He crossed to her, and she felt herself flush. The white shirt, open to the waist, gave her an eyeful of chest and abs. Wow. She forced her eyes up to meet his, which were sparkling with mischief.
“Speak again, m’lady, if you dare,” he growled. “Explain what ye do here.”
A thrill ran through her. She almost forgot it was Bare for a moment there. She licked her lips. “I paint the scenery.”
“Ah. Had me an audition for the Pirate King.”
“I know. You were amazing! I didn’t know you could sing.”
“Arrr, matey, sing, loot, pillage, fight with me sword.”
Sword. Her eyes dropped to his crotch hugged snugly by the breeches. She felt her face flame. What was wrong with her? He hadn’t meant that kind of sword!
She met his warm brown eyes again. “You don’t have to talk like a pirate.”
It was confusing her. Friendly and sexy were getting crossed. And wasn’t she mad at him for something?
He grinned devilishly. “Aye aye, me beauty.”
“Oh.” She giggled. “Have you done a lot of theater?”
“Aye, wench, but it’s been a while.” His voice, low and scraping, registered on a deep, throbbing level.
“Too long?” she asked. Only they weren’t talking about theater anymore.
He leered at her, letting his eyes trail up and down her body. “Saucy wench.”
She shook her head. “I can’t believe the way you just belted that song out.”
“Believe. Aye, truth is, me singing is a regular thing.” He stepped closer, and his voice rumbled close to her ear. “Me shower knows the tale.”
Her throat went dry as she pictured him naked in the shower. Stop that, you dirty brain. This was her friend and neighbor Bare. Regular old Bare. Good ole…Bare.
“So…okay,” she said, suddenly tongue-tied as their gazes collided. She had the strangest urge to step right into his arms and let him carry her off to his pirate ship and have his wicked way with her.
She cleared her throat. “I’d better get back to painting.” She gestured in the direction of the band room. “The pirate ship is huge. It’s going to need at least two coats of black.”
He gave her a rakish salute with a wink that left her speechless.
“Will ye be at rehearsal on Monday night, wench?” he asked.
“Absolutely,” she breathed. “I’ll be there.”
He gave her a slow smile, and it was like the sun had suddenly come out and shone its sexy good looks all over her body. “That be good news.”
“You want a list of reasons why I want to be with you?” Bare asked.
That was ridiculous. Insane. She was not that needy.
“Sure,” she said.
“Do you have a list of reasons why you want to be with me?” he asked.
“No, not right now, but I could make one.”
“Okay, I’ll make a list and you make a list, and then we’ll compare.”
“That sounds like the rational, brainy thing to do,” she said, biting back a smile.
“Mine will have a few equations.”
“Mine will be illustrated.”
“I look forward to it.”
“As do I.”
They took one look at each other and cracked up.
Amber changed the subject, embarrassed she’d ever brought up such a ridiculous topic. She wasn’t in competition with her sister. She didn’t need Bare to tell her why she was special. She asked him about working with Delilah, the older actress who played Ruth. Lately Delilah had spent a lot of time bitching and moaning to Amber backstage about some of the younger actresses.
Bare, being Bare, had no complaints. He seemed to always see the good in people. Seeing her stepmother again, hearing the three of them talk, had put her back in that awful place where she was the outsider. That stuff shouldn’t matter now. She lived on her own, supported herself. She was living the life she was meant to be living.
Bare parked the car at the high school and turned to her. “Look, I could write down equations for you. Compose a few equivalencies to prove the sum of us together is greater than the sum of our parts, but you and I both know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”
She did. But what did that mean exactly?
He cradled her face with one hand, and she waited for the kiss, the physical expression of why he wanted to be with her. It was why all men wanted her—her looks, her body. She closed her eyes.
His voice came out in a husky growl. “The short answer is I’m falling for you, not Kate.”
Her eyes flew open. She met his warm brown eyes and saw love shining back at her. She blinked away stinging hot tears, couldn’t even speak past the lump in her throat. She nodded.
“Now you know,” he said softly. His thumb brushed her cheek where a tear had leaked out. “I’d ask what you’d put in an illustration, but I’m afraid to know.”
She found her voice again. “Your big heart.”
He smiled. “My mother always says I’m a gem.”
His thumb stroked down her cheek. “I can’t wait to make you mine.”
“You already have,” she choked out.
He kissed her then, a tender kiss that she fell into slowly, inevitably, where she belonged.
Kylie Gilmore was lucky enough to discover romance novels at a young age as they were strewn all over the house (thanks, Mom!). She writes quirky, tender romance with a solid dose of humor. Her Clover Park series features the O'Hare brothers, three guys you'd definitely have a drink with and maybe a little more. The Clover Park STUDS series unleashes three adorable studs into the world--Barry, Dave, and Will. Look out, ladies! Kylie lives in New York with her family, two cats, and a nutso dog. When she's not writing, wrangling kids, or dutifully taking notes at writing conferences, you can find her flexing her muscles all the way to the high cabinet for her secret chocolate stash.