This can't happen again...





Chapter 1

"This can't happen again."
"I agree."
Scarlette Jameson stopped rolling her fishnet stocking up her leg and looked over her shoulder at the gorgeous man sitting up in bed against the headboard with his hands clasped behind his head. 
Officer Marcus Harris oozed sex appeal like no other man Scarlette had met. If she were honest with herself, she was surprised that they had gone this long without having sex. 
They'd known each other for over a year now. Marcus' partner, Jaden and Scarlette's best friend, Valerie had just gotten married.
Which was how they'd ended up in Marcus' hotel suite, hours after the wedding reception.
Scarlette openly admired Marcus' chiseled body. Her eyes roamed across hard pecs, down to his tight abs and even further down to the sheet that covered the part of his body that had her screaming "Officer Harris" not even an hour ago. She watched as the sheet tented upward by his twitching erection.
The man was insatiable.
"You keep staring at it like that, I'm going to think you want to go another round."
Scarlette's eyes snapped back up to Marcus' face and she actually found herself blushing. It was very rare that a man could make Scarlette blush.
She turned back around and hooked her garter to her stocking, then slid her feet into her stiletto pumps.
"So what happens now?" Scarlette asked Marcus.
Marcus shrugged. "I don't see why anything has to change between us," Marcus replied.
"Right," Scarlette said. "It's just a little sex."
Scarlette had discovered early on that, like her, Marcus didn't do long term relationships. She figured that was the reason they got along so well. They had similar personalities and outlooks on life. Neither of them were looking to be tied down to anyone, they just wanted to enjoy life.
They occasionally hung out with each other when neither of them had plans or felt like going out. Or they would escort each other to events when they didn't feel like searching for a date. They always had a fun together.
Seems like we had a little too much fun tonight, Scarlette thought.
"Yeah, it's just sex," Marcus agreed.
Scarlette finished getting dressed then leaned down and picked up the handcuffs that were on the floor.
She wondered how many other women he'd used them on, then thought better of it. That wasn't something she cared about. She turned to face Marcus, giving him a saucy grin.
"You certainly don't want to forget these," Scarlette said, tossing the handcuffs in Marcus' direction. 
They sailed through the air and Marcus reached up, catching them with one hand.
"Nope, can't forget these," he said, his voice tempting her to climb back in the bed and put the cuffs to use again.
"They weren't too tight were they?" he asked, swinging them around one of his long fingers.
She wanted to tell him that she'd used handcuffs in the bedroom before, but thought that was too much information to be sharing at the moment. It may not have been her first time using cuffs, but it had certainly been her first time using them with a real officer of the law. There was something extra erotic about that fact.
It was on the tip of her tongue to say next time she'd have to put the cuffs on him. But she stopped herself. 
There wouldn't be a next time.
Like she'd said, it couldn't happen again. One night together was fine, they could write it off as just having a good time. One night was just sex like they'd said. But anything more than that went into murky territory, and then things got complicated. That was the last thing Scarlette wanted where Marcus was concerned.  
Marcus stood, letting the sheet fall to the ground. Scarlette's eyes drifted back down to below his waist, as he walked toward her.
"I had a great time tonight," Marcus said, stopping in front of Scarlette.
"I did too," Scarlette said, finally looking Marcus in the eye.
"So I guess I'll see you around?"
Scarlette nodded and smiled. "Definitely."
They stood there in silence for a heated moment, before Marcus reached out and grabbed Scarlette by the waist and yanked her against his body, then dropped his mouth down onto hers. She willingly opened her mouth under his and soon their tongues were dueling and mating. 
Scarlette finally broke the kiss, tearing her mouth from his and inhaling deeply to catch her breath. She backed away on wobbly legs, made even weaker by the sight of Marcus standing there in front of her, completely naked and completely confident. It was rare for a man to make her blush; it was even more rare to make her weak in the knees. 
"I'll see you around," Scarlette said, as she backed away. She hated the breathless sound of her voice, but she couldn't help herself. 
"You sure will," Marcus said, as side of his mouth tilted upward. 
Scarlette turned and headed toward the door. She didn't dare look back. All it would take was a hint of a smile and she knew she would be jumping back in the bed with him. He was clearly more than ready, willing and able to get things started again.

*******

Her scent lingered around him long after she was gone. It was everywhere. Of course, they'd made use of nearly every surface in his hotel suite, so it would stand to reason that her perfume would saturate the room. It was most potent in his bed. It filled his nostrils and his mind with flashbacks of their lovemaking.
He was surprised that sex with Scarlette had such a lasting effect on him. He'd had his share of women where he almost forgot about the experience before he was out the door. It wasn't that he never had exceptional bed partners; he just enjoyed it in the moment and once they were done he had no need to hang on to memories. He just moved on.
Like he was going to do now. Scarlette was right. They couldn't sleep together again. It didn't matter that the sex was great. 
Ok...
It was more than great. It was the best sex he'd ever had with a woman.
But over the last year, Marcus had developed a friendship with Scarlette. He felt like she was his equal in ways a lot of other people didn't understand, and he didn't have too many female friends. Often times he went to her for advice on other women. He wondered if that dynamic of their relationship would change now that they'd been intimate. He'd told her that he didn't see why things had to change and she'd agreed.
Scarlette wasn't looking to get involved seriously any more than he was. They could certainly spend one night together and then go back to just being friends. They'd been having fun. Friends had fun, he reasoned. 
Marcus slid underneath the covers and was once again assaulted by Scarlette's scent. He grew even harder and began to think that maybe he should have taken her one last time. He looked at his phone on the nightstand. He knew if he called her, he could probably convince her to come back for one more...
He shook his head. He'd never considered calling a one night stand back. And that's what he had to think of this as. He reminded himself that it was something they both agreed was best. 
Too bad he couldn't convince the lower part of his body to stop thinking of Scarlette.

After nearly an hour of tossing and turning, Marcus sat up in bed. He scrubbed his hand down his face and looked at his phone again. 
"To hell with it," he murmured before reached over and snatched up the phone off of the nightstand. He went to his favorites section of his contacts and clicked on her name. He smiled at the tiny picture of her smiling face. He couldn't even remember when he took the photo, but it was in a rare candid moment, when she'd been laughing in a carefree manner.
He warred with himself on whether or not he should go through with actually calling her. He tried to convince himself that since they were friends it would be ok to call and make sure she'd arrived at her apartment safely. They'd only gotten the room for their spontaneous tryst. He decided later he might as well stay since the room was paid for. Marcus had offered for Scarlette to stay as well, but she'd said she didn't feel like that was a good idea. 
He didn't know why he'd even suggested she spend the night when he was usually the one making a beeline for the door. But with Scarlette, spending the night with her just felt right. In fact, it felt too right. Which was why he was glad Scarlette had turned him down and brought him back to reality.
Marcus reasoned with himself that the real reason he wanted to hear Scarlette's voice was to make sure she'd made it home safe at such a late hour.
Finally, compromising, he began to send her a text.
You make it home ok?
He sat there for several minutes waiting for her response. Finally, his phone vibrated and he saw her response.
Scarlette: Yes. Safe and sound. All warm and comfy in my bed.
Marcus chuckled. 
You need some company?
It was nothing new for Marcus to ask Scarlette something like that. They'd shamelessly flirted with each other from the very beginning. Of course, they'd never acted on any of their come ons. 
Until tonight. 
It made him wonder how she would respond. Would the dynamic of their relationship change?
His question was answered several minutes later by the sound of his phone again. 
Scarlette: And let you miss out on spending the night in that luxurious suite?! I couldn't possibly let you waste your good money.
The offer still stands. You can come back and share the room with me ;-)
Scarlette: I'm going to bed now Marcus. You should too. Goodnight.
Marcus chuckled and typed out one final response.
Goodnight.
That was the normal way their texts ended; him offering a dirty little comment and her blowing him off. He put his phone away and laid back down in the bed.
Things would be fine. He would be back to normal in the morning.

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