Lost in each other, Jacob and Maddie didn't hear the door that slammed on the lower level of the house, and they didn't hear the pounding of Ryder's feet as he ran up the stairs.

Paused outside the door to the bathroom, Ryder listened to the hum of the water as it hit the floor of the shower, couldn't even imagine that Jacob might have Maddie in there with him. He thought about waiting to interrupt Jacob. His need to talk to him had held out during the two hour drive back from Kennebunkport; it could certainly hold until Jacob emerged from the shower.

The thought only lasted a moment before his fist connected with the hard wood of the door.

Maddie froze over Jacob. Her eyes, wide with shock, locked on his and her mouth dropped into a small frown before her lips formed the silent question, "Who?" It was a rhetorical question, and needed no answer. Who else could be in the house if she and Jacob, the only other people who shared the house with Ryder, were tangled together under the hot, steamy water of the shower? Who else would be so bold as to interrupt them?

Her eyes never left Jacob's as she waited for the next knock, and she didn't dare make a sound as she hoped that Ryder took their lack of response as a hint to leave them alone. Maddie and Jacob had much more pressing matters to attend to at the moment, and Ryder had a way of killing a mood; sometimes without even trying.

Seconds passed in silence, and felt like hours.

Leaning in close to Jacob, Maddie dusted her lips against the side of his neck and whispered, "I think we're alone now." She trailed the tip of her tongue along the edge of his ear; she lifted her hips away from him and then sank back down against his lap slowly. "The beating of our hearts is the only sound." She laughed softly before she pressed her lips against his. Again, she lifted her hips and sank back down against Jacob, settling back into their rhythm of a few moments earlier.

Jacob smiled at the lilt in her voice, at the gleam in her eyes, and glanced down to watch as Maddie moved over him, lifting and taking him in, over and over.

Ryder's fist pounded against the door once again, and the sound echoed in the small room. Maddie tensed in Jacob's arms and stifled a small, startled gasp, then looked away from him quickly. He ran his hands down her arms; his fingertips glided over her skin, slick under the water that still rained over them, to linger on her hips.

After a moment, Maddie met his eyes again. Hers now danced with a flash of playfulness, and her lips twisted into a mischievous smile.

"Madeline?" She frowned for a moment, but the playful gleam never left her eyes, and her smile returned quickly. "What are you thinking?" Suspicion had entered Jacob's voice, and his curiosity only grew as Maddie lifted herself from his lap and shifted, turning so that her back was to him as she hovered over his lap with her knees pressed into the floor of the shower.

"I'm thinking that Ryder needs to learn to take a hint," she mumbled as she leaned forward and turned off the water. She glanced over her shoulder with an innocent smile. "Do me a favor?"

"Anything," he replied. He would do anything she asked; it didn't matter what.

"Put your hands on me."

Jacob's hands gripped her waist, his fingertips pressed into her hips. Maddie clasped her hands over his, and laced her fingers through his. She pressed her back into his chest, and guided one of his hands across her stomach before she pushed it lower.

"Touch me. Make me moan… loudly."

"Maddie, you are so evil. I love it."

Jacob teased, but he needed no other direction; he slid his hand between her legs as he pressed his lips against her shoulder and trailed a line of soft kisses along her skin while his fingers stroked her sensitive skin in long, slow caresses. His other hand snaked up her body to cup one breast, then the other; Maddie sighed softly as he teased and pinched her nipples lightly, as his thumb drew circles over the pert buds, while his other hand moved between her legs.

Small, soft sighs quickly turned to breathy moans.

"In me," she sighed, her voice raspy with need, her breath coming in deep, ragged gulps. "I need you in me."

Jacob needed her every bit as much as she needed him; it was almost too much to bear. His hands moved to her hips and he guided her down over him. He slid into her slowly, filled her completely. For a moment, Jacob didn't move, only savored the tight warmth of her wrapped around his length, hugging him. When Maddie shifted on his lap, ground her hips against him, he moved with her; his hips pumped in tandem with hers, his rhythm matched hers.

The end came quickly.

Maddie was on the precipice and could already feel the heat building inside her, ready to bubble over at any moment. It started as a dull, achy throb deep inside her, clenching and unclenching deliciously with each deep thrust of Jacob's hips until at last the climax washed over her in a wave, leaving her shaky and breathless.

The euphoria didn't last long.


Ryder stood outside the bathroom door and just stared. He had heard everything; every slap of skin against skin; every stifled purr of bliss; every muffled grunt of pleasure. He couldn't pull himself away from the door, frozen in place, and he couldn't stop himself from knocking one last time; however pathetic that was.

He heard the curse, loud and female, when his fist connected with the door one last time, and the murmurs and giggles that followed

He still stood at the door when it pulled open and Maddie came into view. Surprised by her appearance in the doorway, Ryder found himself speechless. Her cheeks were flushed with color and her hair was tousled, wet and tangled; she combed her fingers through it carelessly as she watched him. Her eyes were still cloudy with an emotion Ryder knew too well; desire. Open, raw desire, undiluted, stared out at him, and he watched as it faded quickly. It killed him to know he hadn't put it there; killed him to know that Jacob had; pained him to know that he was the reason it was slipping away.

The lazy, sated smile Maddie regarded him with only made the reality of the situation that much worse.

Finally, he spoke. The words caught in his throat, and his embarrassment only grew. "Ma... Maddie," he stuttered.

"Ryder!" She exclaimed with false enthusiasm. "You... You're back. And so, so soon."

He nodded, but didn't speak; he didn't trust his voice not to crack again.

"Is something... Did you need something?"

"Jacob." He spoke bluntly, and didn't respond to Maddie's reaction.

Maddie regarded him with raised eyebrows and a curious smile. She pulled the towel she had wrapped around herself a bit tighter. "You need Jacob?"

Ryder nodded. "I need to speak to him. It's important."

"How funny! I need Jacob."

"Is he in there?" Ryder asked the question, though he knew the answer.

Maddie giggled. "Ryder! What are you suggesting?"

Again, she laughed, teasingly, and then licked her lips as she threw a glance towards the shower. When she turned back to Ryder, she was biting her bottom lip anxiously.

"Jacob isn't..."

She trailed off with a surprised laugh as an arm circled around her waist, and she was pulled away from the door.

Ryder could hear whispered words, but couldn't make out was being said. Maddie giggled again; the sound of it was enough to drive Ryder crazy. Like Jacob, he found it beguiling, and wished it was him eliciting it from her, not Jacob.

"Maddie!" Ryder exclaimed sharply, his voice tinged with anger.

She turned back to him with an apologetic smile. "Ryder," she replied, distractedly. "Sorry. I'm sorry. Can we talk about all this later? I'm a bit... busy right now."

With a squeal of surprise, Maddie was pulled away from the door before it slammed closed again, and the lock was turned.

For a few minutes after the door slammed in his face, Ryder stood there and watched the door; he told himself that Maddie would materialize again, that she wouldn't be so rude as to slam a door in his face. Jacob was a horrible influence on her.

The loud thud that came from inside the bathroom brought a scowl of disgust to his lips. Ryder knew that Maddie had succumbed to Jacob's wiles weeks ago, that she had been sharing his bed ever since the night before that one and only Sunday she had spent with him and only him. But in Ryder's mind, Jacob hadn't been a real threat until this afternoon when he'd had his and Maddie's relationship thrown in his face.

Another thud came from the bathroom, this time followed by Maddie's muffled laughter. With another scowl, Ryder turned away from the door and stomped back down stairs; he didn't care to be caught loitering outside the door when they finally emerged. Later, he would get Jacob away from Maddie and they could discuss what needed to be discussed, namely the tension present in the house ever since Maddie moved in and Jacob's dick move of stealing Maddie away from Ryder in front of his entire family.

Later, after Ryder was able to get the images of Maddie's body twisted around Jacob's in ways that he wanted his own body entwined with hers out of his mind, they would discuss Ryder's plan to get Jacob out of the house.


Maddie emerged from the bathroom first, and after a cursory glance that proved they were now alone, she walked out into the hall. Jacob followed, and mumbled something about needing a nap; after the last few days with Maddie, he was spent.

"Come lie down with me," Jacob said as they walked the few steps down the hallway that separated their bedrooms.

She only laughed at the suggestion, and turned to Jacob with a shake of her head and a smile.

"I don't think so," she cooed.

Maddie was anything but tired. Her body was still buzzing from the climax she had shared with Jacob only a few minutes earlier. That, coupled with Ryder's reaction to finding her and Jacob in the shower together, had Maddie ready for action.

"If you really want a nap, I mean," she added when his lips twisted into a frown. "I couldn't possibly sleep right now. That might turn out to be a problem for you."

"Just come lie down with me," Jacob repeated. "I'm not that tired." He took her hand in his, and pulled her towards the open door to his room.

Maddie yanked her hand free from Jacob's grasp and stepped over to her own bedroom door. They watched each other for a moment, neither one speaking a word. She gave him a stern look, her eyes narrowed, her lips in a thin line, while he regarded her with a raised eyebrow. The staring contest last only a few seconds before Maddie caved, and with a laugh she closed the space between them.

In front of Jacob, Maddie pressed up onto her toes, and rested one hand on his shoulder. Her other hand slid to the back of his neck; her fingers curled in the loose ends of his hair, still damp from their shower, as she drew him down to her.

Jacob's eyes fell shut as Maddie pressed into him, and he waited for her lips to press against his. His hands moved to her waist and he pulled her against him.

"Get your rest, Jacob," Maddie whispered as she backed away from him slowly, pushing his hands down and away as she did so. She turned and opened the door to her room, but then turned back to him. A smile played on her lips while her eyes sparkled playfully. "You're gonna need it; I promise."

She blew him a kiss before disappearing into her room.


Alone in his bedroom, Jacob let the towel he'd wrapped around his waist drop to the floor before sliding between the smooth, cool sheets of his bed, and closed his eyes.

It took him all of five minutes to realize that a nap just wasn't what he wanted. As much as he needed a few moments to himself, he didn't want to take them. And he wouldn't be able to, anyway. His mind drifted to Maddie constantly, and he'd rather waste the day with her, than waste it on his own.

He lay in bed, fighting the urge to get up, for as long as he could, but finally gave up and sat up after twenty minutes. With thoughts of what had transpired the last few days, and with thoughts of what would transpire in future days, Jacob climbed out of bed, hunted up a pair of shorts, and went to find Maddie.

Drawn to the kitchen by the smell of cinnamon, Jacob paused in the doorway. Maddie stood at the counter, her hand grasping the edge as she stared out the window that overlooked the back deck. Clearly lost in her thoughts and oblivious to his presence, Jacob watched as Maddie pressed up onto her toes before bending her knees in a deep plié. She came back up effortlessly, her upper body twisting and swaying gracefully as if floating on an invisible breeze.

Still en pointe, Maddie stretched her leg out behind her and raised it, forming a perfect arabesque as she hinged at the hips. Jacob's eyes trailed over the lines of her body, drifting from the tip of one toe to the tip of the other, admiring the way the bottom hem of she shirt she wore, his shirt, pooled around her waist as she lifted her leg and allowed him to view her perfect form.

Slowly, she dropped her leg and came down to flat feet before again pressing up onto her toes and turning in a slow pirouette. The cake timer that ticked on the counter went off; the shrill noise filled the room, and surprised, Maddie's heels crashed against the hard, tile floor and she tipped forward as she lost her balance.

Jacob's small chuckle drew her eyes up.

"Oh! Jacob!" She gave him a shy smile as her cheeks flushed. "How long have you been there?"

Jacob only shrugged. Maddie pulled open the oven and pulled out a tray, then replaced it with the one that sat on top of the oven.

"Whatcha doing?" he asked, eyeing the mess Maddie had made of the counter; bowls, bags of flour and sugar, and a hand mixer littered the space next to the oven.

"Baking cookies... for David."


Maddie laughed. She had heard that sound from Jacob before; it was his response when she showed interest in another man, no matter how innocent.

"Jealous, huh?"

"Of David?" She nodded. "No."


"I'm not."

"Okay," Maddie replied.

"I'm not jealous, Maddie."

"I believe you."

She tried, but couldn't contain the small laugh that escaped her. Jacob's eyes flashed with amusement.

"I might think that I should be the one getting a treat," Jacob told her, sulkily.

"You just did," Maddie said with another laugh, and a smirk. "In the shower. David doesn't get that kind of treat, you know."


Maddie turned to face Jacob, and held a hand out to him. He stepped forward and clasped her hand in his, and started to move towards her, but the sharp shake of Maddie's head had him pausing.

"Maddie? What...?"

He trailed off as she lifted her free hand above her head. Maddie pressed up onto her toes, and then slid the toe of her foot closest to Jacob up to her knee. She paused for only a moment, and then kicked out her foot as she lifted her leg, bringing it up so that it just barely touched the arm Jacob still held extended out her.

"So, the nap didn't work out for you?" She asked; her lips curved into an innocent smile as she leaned away from him, arching her back, letting her head fall back.

No, Jacob thought. The nap hadn't worked. Every time he had closed his eyes an image of Maddie had come to mind: her looking up at him as he pressed her into the grass of the park; Maddie leaning back against her elbows, a sheet draped around her waist; her straddling his lap, her hand fisted around his length.

"I told you, you should have joined me," he replied.

He kept his eyes glued to Maddie as she held the back bend, her arm extended overhead, and he couldn't help but think of Maddie, her head thrown back and her back arched in a similar fashion as she rode his lap.

Maddie's sharp intake of breath pulled Jacob out of his thoughts, and he moved with her, his hands moving instinctively to rest on either side of her waist as she pirouetted, turning so that she was now in his arms, facing away from him, but still en pointe with her leg extended towards the ceiling. Slowly, Jacob slid one hand down over her waist, running his fingers over the bare skin of her leg until they rested on her ankle.

"You're a natural," she whispered as she glanced over her shoulder, her eyes wide with surprise. "I had no idea."

"What was that?" Jacob asked as Maddie brought her leg down and returned to standing.

"The Sleeping Beauty... part of it." Maddie stepped away from Jacob, and walked over to the oven, bent over and peered through the glass before turning and resting her back against the edge of the counter. "My solo... what might have been my solo, I mean."

"Maddie, don't..."

She didn't let him finish before she interrupted.

"I haven't danced since I left Chicago. I've not even really thought about it, actually. I should get my toe shoes from my parent's house."

"It was beautiful, Maddie."

She didn't reply, only shrugged as she looked out the kitchen window, and seemed to get lost in whatever she saw. Jacob walked over to her, and placed his hands on her shoulders, then slid them down her arms. Maddie glanced up at him, blinking several times as if surprised to find him standing in front of her.

"I'm sorry... I just... I kind of drift away." Again, she blinked rapidly, and then shook her head.

"You okay?" Jacob asked.

"Sorry," she said, again. "Memories..."

She placed her hands on his chest and pushed him back a step, letting her eyes run up and down slowly, smiling as her eyes took in the nylon basketball shorts he wore and his bare chest.

"Going somewhere?" she asked after her eyes dropped again and found that he wore shoes.

"I'm gonna go for a run," he told her. "Can't believe it, but I still have some energy to burn."

"But we just took a shower."

"Maddie, that wasn't a shower. I'm pretty sure you left the bathroom dirtier and stickier than before you went into it."

He shouldn't have said it. The words only invoked an image of Maddie that he had been trying to banish from his mind, if only so he could function normally; the image of Maddie standing over him with her hands on her hips as she glared at the bathroom door, her inner thighs glistening with the mixture of his seed and her juices was one that Jacob would never forget.

"Maybe," she replied with a coy smile. "You could wait for me. It shouldn't be much longer. We both know how much I enjoy chasing you around town; how much I enjoy the taste of your skin when it's slick with sweat."

Maddie glanced up to find Jacob watching her, his eyes dark. She looked down again, unable to hold his gaze, and instead focused on the line of skin, paler than the rest of his skin, left uncovered by the shorts he wore low on his hips. Unable to pull her eyes away from that pale line, Maddie ran her finger along it slowly; a small tremor rocked through Jacob.

She dared to glance up again, licking her lips as she did so.

Jacob inhaled sharply when Maddie's fingers hooked into the waist of his shorts and pulled the fabric even lower on his hips. She pressed her lips against his chest in a trail of light, feathery kisses, slowly inching lower; his breathing turned to ragged gulps and his fingers curled in Maddie's hair, combing through the tangles; his strokes were smooth, loving, tender at first, but they quickly became rough and disjointed as Maddie dropped to her knees in front of him.

The cake timer buzzed behind them, but Maddie ignored it and continued nipping at Jacob's skin as she continued her way further down his body. She slid her palms over the slick material of his shorts, down to the bottom edge, and then paused and glanced up at him with a shy smile.

Ryder walked into the kitchen just as Maddie's fingers curled into the fabric covering Jacob and started to tug it downwards.

"Are you going to do something about that fucking timer?"

Maddie exhaled loudly, and sat back on her heels heavily as she ran her hands over her face.

"Just getting to it," she mumbled.

She took the hand Jacob offered and let him help her to standing.

"Sorry to interrupt." Ryder smirked as he said it, but then tried a light joke upon seeing Maddie roll her eyes. "I can't let you burn the house down, can I?"

Maddie fixed Ryder with a thin smile, and the smirk fell from Ryder's lips.

"Nope," she replied as she turned to the counter and picked up the timer and disengaged the shrill, incessant buzzing. She slammed it down on the countertop and grabbed an oven mitt.

In an exaggerated show, Maddie bent as she opened the oven, pushing her ass out and arching her back as she surveyed the contents of the cookie tray. Both Jacob and Ryder watched as she held the position for longer than necessary, both distracted by her suggestive posture and the way it had the t-shirt she wore clinging to her body.

"Is now a good time?" Jacob asked Ryder, attempting to get the man's attention off of Maddie.

Maddie returned to standing, dropped the cookie sheet on the stovetop, and stared down at the burnt cookies.

"Dammit!" She turned to Jacob with a smile. "Look what you made me do." A fake pout entered her voice, and she puckered her lips in mock sadness. "I burnt the cookies."

"Maybe you shouldn't play in the kitchen," Ryder said, sneering.

Maddie turned to him, biting her bottom lip, and smiled slowly. She took a step closer to him. Ryder's eyes widened in surprise as she bent towards him and, with her lips just barely touching his ear, whispered, "Don't you wish I would play with you?"

Ryder's eyes flashed with anger, and Maddie laughed.

"Is now a good time?" Jacob repeated.

Again, he was ignored by Ryder, and Maddie didn't reply either, too focused on the cookie dough she was scooping onto an empty cookie sheet, forcefully.

"Ryder? You said we needed to talk."

"Oh, yeah, right," Ryder replied, distractedly.

Jacob sighed as Maddie stuck her finger into the bowl of cookie dough and brought it to her lips; her tongue darted out and swirled around her finger. She was putting on a show for Ryder, he knew that, but Jacob wasn't in the mood to watch it or participate in fueling any fantasies for Ryder.

"Let's talk now," Jacob said, pulling Ryder's attention away from. "Out there?" He gestured towards the French doors that led out to the back of the house.

"Sure," Ryder replied.


Alone in the kitchen, Maddie went over to the kitchen window to watch Jacob and Ryder's conversation. With the window closed, she couldn't hear a word of it, but it didn't appear to be going well; Ryder paced the deck cagily, he gestured wildly, and there was a wild gleam in his eyes. He was the only one talking, that Maddie could tell; Jacob's back was to the window.

Maddie was just reaching out for the bottom rail of the window, unable to stand not knowing what Ryder needed to talk to Jacob about, pretty sure it was her, when the door that opened out onto the deck started to open, and Jacob started to walk back into the house.

He paused when Ryder spoke again. Maddie didn't hear what Ryder said, only heard a garbled command, but the frown Jacob wore deepened, and she knew it wasn't good.

"I heard you," Jacob replied. "I'm already gone."

He came back into the house, the door slamming behind him, and when he looked up his lips were drawn into a tight line and his eyes were dark with anger. He walked past her without a word.


Her hand clapped over her mouth. She hadn't meant to say anything, but his glaring dismissal of her had surprised her. Jacob stopped abruptly in the doorway and turned towards Maddie with a smile; one that didn't reach his eyes and seemed forced.

"What happened out there?" Maddie asked. She smiled tentatively, her tone light.

"Nothing, Mads. Nothing at all. Just Ryder being... well, Ryder."

"Oh, well..."

Maddie trailed off, unsure of what to say. Jacob couldn't stand still, and he looked everywhere in the room but at her. He wanted away from her, Maddie could see that, but he didn't, or wouldn't, tell her that.

"I'm going to go for that run now," Jacob finally said.

"Okay," Maddie replied quickly. "I'm almost done here. Give me about ten minutes."

Jacob let out a long sigh, and Maddie felt her stomach drop.

"I, um... I'm just gonna go on my own. I have a lot on my mind, stuff I need to figure out. You don't mind, do you?

He gave her an expectant look, and Maddie felt herself shaking her head in response, though she did mind. Something Ryder had said to Jacob had soured him towards her, Maddie could feel it all but radiating from him, but he surprised her by leaning forward and brushing his lips against her forehead.

Maddie shook her head again, and watched as Jacob smiled; a real smile, and one that broke her heart as she realized he was happy to get away from her.

"I knew you wouldn't," Jacob told her. "You're the best, Mads."

Maddie watched as Jacob turned quickly and walked out of the room. "Yeah," she said softly. "I know. I'm the best."