Someone to love, p.20

Someone to Love, page 20


Someone to Love

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  “He was totally resistive the last time we tried,” I say, trying to break it to her gently. “Besides, it felt like I was assaulting him.”

  “That’s because you were in public, and Ally works there. He knows I’m never that far from Ally. It extinguished his potential hard-on.”

  “No.” I shake my head.

  “One last time, I swear,” she pleads.

  I hate the thought of having her disappointed in me, but something about it doesn’t feel right.

  “Look,” I say, getting up to head to my English class, “I know a girl who has some unspoken vendetta against anyone with a spare appendage hanging between his legs. She’d probably be happy to do it. I need to run.”

  They offer anemic good-byes as I head out into the cold.

  It seems like everyone has a boyfriend, or husband, that cheats. Maybe Mom’s long line of ill-gotten suitors wasn’t such a fluke after all.

  Cruise is different. I can feel it.

  I wonder if my mother ever said that about any of her ex-husbands?

  Dear God, Cruise had better be different.

  In the evening, under a sterile bloom of moonlight, Cruise drives us over to an Italian restaurant called the, Della Argento. We round out the building and find a spot not too far from the entrance. It looks busy, but Cruise lets me know he made reservations. Strangely, the sheer mention of reservations makes me feel more adult than either living three thousand miles from my mother or copulating with him like a sexed-up bunny. Reservations require forethought and planning, a phone call—all of which my adolescent fast-food brain quantifies as a giant leap into adulthood.

  A large gift-wrapped box sits wedged behind his seat. I pretended not to see it when I climbed in. For all I know, it could be a birthday gift for maniacal Molly.

  “I have something for you.” The sweet kiss of moonlight pours in through the windshield, caressing his features. Its clean glow highlights the fact that Cruise is born of God’s own breath and beauty.

  What Cruise Elton ever sees in me I will never know. He reaches back and pulls the gift up front. The slick red box takes up the entire space between us. “It’s sort of a belated birthday gift.” His dimples implode, sending an entire riot of pleasure spasming through me. Soon, all I’ll have to do is look at Cruise, and I’ll have a spontaneous orgasm. That should make for an interesting hour during gender relations.

  “You already gave me the perfect gift for my birthday. It was you, remember?”

  “No, I don’t remember.” His cheek digs in with a naughty half-smile. “Maybe you can jog my memory.”

  I give a little laugh and unwrap the shiny crimson package. A glossy white box lies beneath. Even that feels expensive, something far too opulent for me to ever own. I lift the lid and pull back layers of tissue, revealing a dark wool coat. I extract it with care as I feel its heft, its warmth already radiating over my fingers. It’s so beautiful—charcoal grey with matte silver buttons, a svelte woolen sash attached at the hips.

  “Cruise.” I gasp as I pull it to my chest. “It’s gorgeous. You didn’t have to do this.” I happen to know these are damn expensive.

  “I wanted to.” He rounds out his gaze over me with a quiet stillness.

  Cruise bought me a gift. One he couldn’t really afford. I don’t think anyone has ever done anything so thoughtful for me before.

  “Besides,” he continues, “no matter how hot you look in that jean jacket of yours, it won’t stave off pneumonia. And, if you get sick, who am I going to do this with?” He leans over and indulges in a gentle kiss—the barely there flick of his tongue caressing mine. A soft moan squeezes out of his throat and drives me insane with pleasure. For a moment, I think of abandoning our dinner plans, but he went out of his way to call ahead, so I don’t say anything.

  Cruise comes around to my side and helps me put the jacket on. It stops just above my knees and warms me as proficient as a heater. I cinch the belt around my waist, and he groans while embracing me.

  “I didn’t think you could get any hotter.” He presses out a gorgeous smile and my insides cinch just like that first night we met. “But you are on fire, Kenny.”

  “Well, thank you.” I give his lips a slow seductive lick in lieu of a kiss.

  “And frisky.” He slips an arm around my waist while adjusting the hard-on in his pants. “You don’t even know what you’re doing to me.”

  The Della Argento is dimly lit with a romantic ambience sponsored mostly by an arsenal of candles strewn about. A lush red carpet rolls throughout the walkways, and replicas of oil paintings from the Renaissance period cover the walls. A false lattice stretches across the ceiling and rows of grapes hang overhead like a canopy. Bodies fill the tables as if they were giving away free booze while a moody instrumental hums throughout the speakers.

  A gorgeous blonde greets us with a pair of menus. Her hair is curled down to her waist, and her eyes sparkle a clear shade of green. One eyebrow is arched higher than the other, giving her that perennial vixen appeal.

  “Well, hello handsome.” She gives Cruise the exclusive greeting as she lunges her cleavage at him. “Is it snowing outside?” She offers a conciliatory glance in my direction. Her teeth shine like glass, so white against her perfect red lips. Just the sight of her turns my stomach. I’m not sure I like the idea of her smiling so wide at my boyfriend, let alone calling him handsome, even if he is.

  “Nope. Perfect night.” He glances over at me, and his dimples go off like sirens.

  She motions for us to follow her, but she keeps pace with Cruise, eyeing him every now and again even though he’s openly holding my hand.

  “I think I know you.” She bites her finger playfully while inspecting him. “That’s right, you were in Osborne’s class with me last year. I didn’t fare so well.” She stops shy of a table and lays our menus down. “I could really use someone who knows what they’re doing. You know, like a tutor.” She brushes her hip against his in a not so accidental manner, and my heart sinks like a brick.

  Cruise steps out of the way like a perfect gentleman.

  “Good luck with that.” He pulls me in and kisses the side of my cheek. I can feel the heat from his body envelop me like a cloud born of desire. I hope the bleached bimbo is physically and emotionally crushed from his outright disregard for her. But she’s beautiful—far more in his league than I can ever be.

  She disappears, and we take our seats. I’m sick over how blatantly she flirted with him. I’ll probably arrange for her to take a terrible fall at some point this evening because my immature and bitchy nature demands it. I never said I was above stretching my legs at an opportune moment.

  “Sorry about that.” He picks up my hand and kisses it.

  “Don’t apologize.” I take him in under the flicker of candlelight. I wouldn’t blame every woman in the vicinity for wanting to get on their knees for him, beg him to tutor them—hell, I did. “I guess it’s an occupational hazard.”

  He shakes his head. That budding lewd grin widens as he affixes his gaze over mine.

  “Kenny”—his eyes glaze over the way they do just before he pours out all of his lust for me—“you’re the only woman I see. I used to wonder if love existed. I thought I knew, but I had no idea. Before, I simply stepped off the ground, but with you—I’m in the stratosphere. You leave me breathless.” He needles me with a smoldering gaze, and I take off my coat, slow and seductive. I lean in and my chest bulges from the low-cut dress I specifically chose to entertain him with this evening.

  We place our orders, and Cruise never once looks up at the menu-wielding menace. She crimps her lips with disappointment and stalks off while he openly molests me with those sky-born eyes.

  “Come on.” He jumps to his feet and takes up my hand.

  “Are we going to steal kisses?” I pant, trying to keep up as he moves us toward the back in haste.

  “No. I’m going to fuck you.”


  The blackened hall of the De
lla Argento stretches out seamlessly like a tunnel void of reality, nothing but a dark arid space. I pull Kenny into a private alcove laden with spare tables rolled onto their sides, the entry partially covered with curtains.

  “You’re so damn beautiful,” I say before plunging my tongue down her throat, my hands running wild over her satin dress. The minute I set eyes on her tonight, she got me going. There was a second, back in the truck, when I thought of taking off, hell—taking off her clothes right then and there.

  I pull down the top of her dress and close my mouth over her nipple, flicking my tongue around it gently until it’s nice and hard.

  Kenny gasps and scratches at the back of my neck just enough to let me know it’s driving her insane.

  My hand slides up her dress and between her thighs.

  A dark laugh rumbles from me.

  “You’re not wearing underwear,” I whisper, already out of breath.

  Kenny doesn’t say a word. She simply unzips my pants, dips her hand into my boxers, and my dick extends like it’s ready for a handshake, more than happy to greet her.

  Kenny’s teeth shine in the dark. “Number seven on the revised syllabus clearly stipulates a carnal act in a public establishment is required to pass your class.” She offers a sarcastic sigh before lifting her dress and slipping me into her, hot and wet. A groan gets buried in my chest. “And I do plan on passing your class, Professor Elton.” Kenny hikes her legs around my waist, and I catch her by the thighs.

  Kenny runs her fingers through my hair, and I push in deep until she gives a small cry. She digs her nails into my back as I plunge in over and over with a primal ferocity.

  There’s a trans-species language reverberating between the two of us—one that resonates in a palace as easily as a zoo—and apparently the corridor of a hundred-dollar-a-plate restaurant as well.

  We’re drinking down the juice of our lust, satisfying the hunger of our flesh as we engage in the power exchange of a lifetime. But I’d give it all to Kenny willingly, kiss the ground she walks on just to be in her presence.

  Her head dips back, and the arch of her neck rises and falls in front of me. I watch captivated as she glows, riding high, crashing over me like a wave. Our movements hit a fevered pitch. I bury a kiss in her cleavage and tremble into her as I detonate with all of my love. Her legs begin to slip, and I hoist her over my hips with a husky laugh.

  Kenny bites down a smile, her eyes clouded over with lust. I slip my fingers in the beautiful warm slick between her thighs, pleasuring Kenny until her breathing becomes labored—until her face ignites with ecstasy. Kenny writhes in my arms, and I welcome it—running my lips over the landscape of her features.

  “Cruise…” She pants into my neck. “You didn’t wear a hat,” she whimpers.

  I give a little laugh and peel a heated kiss off her lips.

  “You’re so fucking cute.”

  Over the weekend, Kenny doesn’t get out of bed. She spends time in the bathroom retching, and I seriously entertain the fact that maybe the waitress I shut down poisoned her food.

  Molly said she’d handle things with Mom after I told her Kenny wasn’t feeling well. It’s kind of nice having both Mom and Molly know who Kenny is—to have seen her. All those girls that comprised my life before—it was as if they were phantoms—an entire invisible parade of entities that evaporated like smoke once I was through with them. It’s horrific knowing there were so many, and the fact I don’t remember most of them doesn’t sit well with me either. Some nights there was enough alcohol in my system to ensure I forgot who I was in the process. And right now, I wish they wouldn’t remember me. I wish every one of them would forget me and every intimate act I may have carried out with their bodies. That waitress had me rattled. For a split second, I wondered if I had her, if she were simply trying to come back for more. That’s the unwanted gift I’ve accidently given Kenny. Every girl she sees will be a possibility—someone who had slept with her husband.


  I keep trying it on for size.

  I’m going to ask Kenny to marry me. She’ll probably want a long engagement—that is if she says yes. Maybe after she graduates we’ll make it official. But I’m okay with right now if she wanted. I’d crawl down the aisle on all fours if she asked just to have her next to me until I’m no longer breathing.

  Kenny bolts from the bathroom and flops on the bed. I slide up next to her, wrapping an arm around her waist. Her hair is tangled, and the sharp smell of mouthwash plumes in the air.

  “That’s the third time you threw up today.” I run my fingers through her hair, soft as not to hurt her.

  “You keeping score?” She burrows her face in the pillow and moans like an injured dove.

  “Yes, I’m keeping score. Three strikes—you’re out. Come on.” I pull her up and throw a coat over her shoulders. “I’m taking you to see a doctor.”

  The only financial perk of being a student at Garrison is the fact they make sure your ass is covered with a solid-gold insurance policy.

  The medical facility is stark in nature. A few people sit in the waiting area, each a good couple feet away from one another in an effort to avoid brewing a microcosm of germs in the unaired room.

  I help Kenny fill out a mountain of forms, then let her lay over me with her hair splayed out over my chest in long dark ribbons.

  “Cruise?” She looks up at me with those watery baby blues and I wish with my entire being I could make this misery go away for her. “Do you think you could ever hate me?”

  “Hate you?” I give a small laugh into her delirium, and she rides up and down my chest with the effort. “Nope. Not happening.”

  “Just in case—don’t freak out or anything.” She nestles into me and sniffles. “I’m not the brightest bulb, you know. I’m human.” She says human like it’s an unfortunate condition. “I’m prone to making huge mistakes—like really big ones.” She sniffles again, and this time I’m pretty sure she’s crying.

  My insides turn to stone when she says the words huge mistake. Am I the huge mistake? Maybe I’m the one who’s making her sick.

  The nurse calls us back and I help Kenny into the small room.

  “You don’t have to stay.” She shakes her head a little too aggressively as her cheeks fill with color.

  “Relax. I’m not going anywhere. And you don’t have to feel embarrassed. I’ve participated in more public hurling sessions than I’d like to remember.” I stroke the hair away from her face and give a weak smile. “You’re family, Kenny. You couldn’t get rid of me if you tried.”

  “Family?” Her hand covers her lips. Her eyes explode in crimson tracks at the mention of such an intimate bond.

  A light knock erupts at the door followed by a giant beast of a man with a neck the size of a tree trunk.

  “Shit,” I mutter. His tag reads, Dr. Gaines.

  “I didn’t know they let the wrestling team play dress up,” I say it light, but damn, I mean it.

  “I am a wrestler.” He gives a slight bow.

  Kenny straightens. Her eyes widen at the sight of him. She’s probably scared to death he’s going to pin her to the ground. I bet she’s really glad I decided to stick around.

  “So, what’s going on?” He looks over the chart briefly before inspecting her.

  “She’s been sick, throwing up all weekend,” I offer.

  “Diarrhea?” He asks.

  Kenny averts her eyes and shakes her head. Not sure she would cop to it with me in the room. Maybe I shouldn’t be here.

  “Noro’s not going around,” he muses.

  “We ate the same thing for dinner the other night and I didn’t get sick.” I pull a bleak smile. “Maybe you could run some tests, and see if she ate something she’s allergic to—or something poisonous.” I had to go there. I was thinking it for God’s sake.

  He lets out a graveled laugh. “Let’s start with a few more obvious suspects. We want to capture all the horses before we start chasing zebras. I
’ll have the nurse run a blood panel—probably just the flu. Kendall—is there anything you suspect might be making you ill?” He gives a plain smile, his eyes dull out awaiting her response.

  “Yes,” she rasps. “And I’d like a pregnancy test to prove it.”



  Baby be Mine

  All of the color bleeds from Cruise’s face. He staggers a moment until Dr. Beefcake shoves some smelling salts under his nose and perks him back to startled attention.

  “You’d better take a seat, buddy.” Dr. Gaines tries shoving Cruise in a chair but he resists the effort.

  “I’m fine, really.”

  The doctor nods and leaves the room, sealing the door behind him.

  A rail of panic rips through me, and suddenly I want to be anywhere but in this over-bright room with, of all people, the unsuspecting father of my surprise pregnancy.

  “Pregnant?” His brows dip into a sharp V, and it makes him look undeniably provocative. Although, I’m pretty sure now’s not a good time to drool over his astonishing good looks, especially since committing a felony or two against me is clearly still on the table.

  “You’re going think this is funny.” I open my mouth to tell him all about my egregious oversight at the free clinic then remember his seventeen-year-old sister is tangled in that web as well. Speaking of which, I’m thrilled Dr. Muscles didn’t remember me from his rotation at said free clinic.

  “I’m going to think what’s funny?” He tilts his head because he so knows it’s not.

  “Oh, um… you see…” Fuck. Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck. This isn’t going to end well. Cruise is going to explode when he finds out I couldn’t figure out how to use a simple birth control pill. “I…” Words dam up in my throat, and I hesitate in spewing out a sea of lies.

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