Someone to love, p.23

Someone to Love, page 23


Someone to Love

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  My stomach lurches. I scoot the hell back, knocking down easels like dominos and half the room erupts from the chaos.

  This is her?

  She never once said so, and yet she listened as I told her the intimate details of our relationship.

  I run out of the building.

  I never plan on going back.


  Caught a ride home with Lauren. xoxo

  Ride with Lauren? Huh. Maybe she’s not feeling good.

  I would have left early if she wanted. I’m all done with classes just logging the last few minutes of office hours.

  Strange. It’s usually me waiting for her. We’ve been driving together the past few weeks to save on gas. It won’t be the same leaving without her next to me. I actually miss her.

  I let out a little laugh. It looks like Ms. Jordan has me whipped after all. My how the mighty have fallen.

  A shadow darkens the doorway, and for a fleeting moment I’m convinced it’s Kenny. She’s probably going to tie me to the chair and make good use of this paper penitentiary.

  “Cruise?” A female voice scratches the air.

  My blood runs cold before I turn around.

  I recognize that sharp tone, that curt inflection. Blair. She never did say my name with an ounce of respect.

  My shoes dig in as I spin in my seat. I knew this was coming. Deep down inside, I never wanted to see her again, but her persistence, her stalker-like abilities ensured otherwise.

  “Can I help you?” I look right at her. Her bright red coat glares at me like some damn alarm that I wish I would have ran from all those years ago—her lying lips, those deceptive eyes. Now that I see her again in this new light called reality, she’s plain compared to Kenny—downright skeletal in contrast to my future bride’s well-placed curves. For sure she’s hideous on the inside where it counts.

  “What the hell do you want?” I say it low, to not stir the professors in their microcosms around me.

  “You’re to the point.” She slinks in and closes the door behind her.

  She thinks she’s caged me in, but I’m not above leaving.

  “Heard you put a ring on it.” She pulls her shoulders to her ears before taking a seat on the desk right next to me.

  It feels uncomfortable being this close to her, smelling that familiar perfume that unloads a truck full of bad memories.

  “Listen”—she pulls her head back—“I’m just here as a friend. I don’t know how it happened, but I sit next to her in art, call it kismet, fate, whatever the hell you want, but she tells me these wild things about other guys and I thought you should know.”

  “Really.” I used to buy whatever Blair sold by the gallon, but I stopped scooping her shit down my throat like ice cream once I discovered she was spoon-feeding me lies.

  “Yeah, really. She said she’s in training to be the town whore and that she’s ‘playing the player.’ Trying to get him to believe he’s actually falling in love.”

  My stomach bottoms out.

  “I don’t know what you’re talking about, nor do I want to. Why don’t you go back to Dartmouth, or didn’t they want you there either?” I didn’t need to say it. I could have picked up my briefcase and bolted for the door, but a part of me wanted to push in the dig to let her know I didn’t appreciate what she did. Although, in the end, I’m glad it happened. I don’t know what I would have done if Kenny walked into my life, and I was still serving time with Blair.

  “I’ve come back to you.” Her eyes widen like cesspools filled with malice and loathing. “I came back for us. We spent four years as a couple.”

  “Four years I’ll never get back.” I shut my laptop and slip it into my briefcase.

  “We had good times, Cruise. It doesn’t have to end like this. We could forget all about that guy and all about this silly girl. We could be Cruise and Blair again and spend the rest of our lives together. I won’t ever bring her up, I swear.”

  Blair spins her fantasies like a witch trying to cast an impotent spell, and a laugh gets caught in my throat. “You won’t bring up my fiancée because you won’t be around to do it. Kenny and I belong together, not you and me.” I stand, towering above her. “Sorry things didn’t work out for you and that, what was it? Basketball player?” I head to the door and turn around. “Heard you cheated on him just like you cheated on me. Looks like we both get what we deserve. I get true love, and you get screwed.” I head out of the building so fast my heart tries to detonate out of my chest.

  That felt good.

  Damn good.



  Chain Reaction

  Lauren was kind enough to pick up a pizza for Cruise and me, so we don’t need to worry about dinner. She thought it was awful what Blair did. She went as far as saying she was going to lay into her the next time she saw her. Of course I protested for like a second, but if Lauren is determined to kick some “white trash ass,” then who am I to stop her?

  After a quick shower, I wrap myself in my fuzzy Hello Kitty robe then reapply the mascara I cried off at the thought of Cruise ever wanting to marry someone as vindictive as Blair. At least he had the good sense to break it off with her. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out she’s driving the entire fucking crazy train.

  I try to hide the red patches all over my face with foundation in the event Cruise asks what’s wrong. That run-in with his ex is the last thing I want to talk about. I’m just not ready to go there. I’m too afraid that Cruise is keeping her under the cuff because maybe deep down inside he still has feelings for her. Anyway, Cruise isn’t a cheat. I can tell by the way he loves me.

  By the time I make my way back to the kitchen, the pizza is cold, so I heat up a slice. My foot snags on something under the microwave stand, and I pull out the human leash I spotted the first morning I was here.

  A dull laugh rattles through me at the sight of the kinky cord.

  I pluck the dust bunnies off and examine it. Long red and purple straps are interwoven throughout the chain. It looks strong enough to walk an elephant.

  Lavender feathers and spikes decorate the three cuffs that dangle from it. The steel collar flexes in my hand as if daring me to try it on for size.

  I look into my reflection in the black glass of the window and snap it over my neck until it clicks in the back.

  I guess it looks sexy, even if it does have bondage and discipline written all over it. I pluck at the collar to take it off and the latch jams. I head over to a mirror and twist it around and the buckle doesn’t seem to have release mechanism.

  “Crap,” I whimper. Surely there’s a key for this satanic contraption. I’m not going to wander through life with a leash dangling from my person. Am I? I’ll get wire cutters if I have to. People get jewelry sawed off their bodies all the time. Although, this is one solid sheet of steel, and it sort of looks impervious to getting hacked off without taking my head along as a causality.

  My phone vibrates, and I pick it up. It’s a text from Mom.

  At the airport. Andrew is picking me up. Will head straight to the bed and breakfast. See you in a little while. Can’t wait!

  My mother? I give the collar a hard yank, and it doesn’t loosen. In fact—it just cinched a little tighter, and now it’s getting difficult to breathe.

  Oh my God, I’m going to asphyxiate myself. Cruise will find my body, wearing nothing but this stupid contraption and my Hello Kitty robe. Then, of course, my mother will show up in time to see that I’ve strangled myself with a sex toy. Just perfect.

  A pair of familiar headlights flood the living room.


  Reflexively, I jump on the couch and pull his grandmother’s afghan clear up to my nose. I’m pretty sure she didn’t anticipate her grandson’s incompetent girlfriend needing it to hide sexual accessories.

  God—Cruise is going to think I’m such an idiot. He’ll probably trade me in for Blair by midnight.

  “Hey, beautiful.” He bursts
through the door with his right hand cleverly hidden behind his back and bolts on over. An iced tail of wind follows him through the opened door. “Surprise.” He reveals a giant bouquet of long-stemmed roses. They bring the entire room to life with their gorgeous tongues of crimson fire.

  “Oh—I love them!” I beam with the blanket still snug to my ears. “They’re perfect. Really, you shouldn’t have.” And I’m betting in less than a minute he’ll more than agree.

  He cocks his head to the side and examines me in this impractical semi-fetal position. Cruise looks resplendent with his dark coat, his pale blue shirt glowing from beneath.

  “You feeling okay?” His dimples depress with concern. He looks amazingly tall from this vantage point and impossibly gorgeous, per usual.

  “I feel great.” And lying to Cruise makes me feel like shit. “Well, not really great.” I hate this part because I’m totally going to have to do the big leash-thingy reveal.

  He backtracks and shuts the door.

  Cruise makes his way back, smoldering into me with a sexy as hell, rather stern expression. His chin dips. He’s hedging a maniacal smile like he suspects something is up, so I play along and pull down the blanket with a false air of confidence.

  “Holy shit, you started without me.” His eyes grow in amazement at my sexual misadventure. And, strangely, I think I’ve managed to arouse him in ways I’ve never imagined.

  “That’s right.” I swing the butter soft leather like I meant it all along. “Just waiting for you to catch up.”

  Cruise grabs a hold of the chain and gently lifts me off the couch. He reels me in and growls a laugh that echoes right down to my belly. “You do realize I have no idea where the key is.” His stomach vibrates against mine as he says it.

  “No idea?” I swallow hard at the thought of spending the rest of my days embellished with purple feathers.

  He dips his gaze. “I see you’re wearing a robe. How perceptive of you. Otherwise I’d have to cut your shirt off to undress you.”

  “No cutting.” It speeds from me in a flurry.

  Cruise licks his lips. He peels off my ode to Sanrio, leaving me naked and vulnerable, and suddenly all too aware of those cruel watts of electricity glaring down from the kitchen.

  Cruise leads me across the room with the leash—slow—never taking his magnetic gaze off me. He brazenly washes over my body with his eyes as though he were a cartographer mapping out the lay of the land.

  Heat rises to my face as he gives the hint of a smile. His eyes burn like gas flames, blue as the ocean. Cruise reels me in and turns me around. His warm fingers press into my waist like he were the potter and I were the clay—the perfect medium for him to indulge in, create whatever he liked out of me.

  With my luck my mother will magically burst through the door. I’m sure finding her only daughter naked, in a strange man’s living room, with a chain dangling from her neck is not what she’s expecting. She’ll most likely think I’m being held as a sex slave and call the police. The feds will haul Cruise out to a prison for the criminally insane. More like, insanely gorgeous. Regardless, I don’t want to think about my mother, nor do I want to think about bitchy ex-girlfriends. Right now, Cruise Elton is doing an incredible job of arousing the hell out of me without so much as laying a finger on my flesh.

  He takes up my wrists behind my back and binds them with one of the stray leather straps. I guess he’s forgoing the cuffs since we’re one key away from confining me to permanent restraints.

  “You like this, Kenny, don’t you?” It comes out low, almost chastising, and my insides throb at the sound of his voice.

  He double wraps the leash around his hand before giving a swift tug.

  Cruise leads me to the bedroom, and I don’t resist.

  It’s exhilarating like this, following my scorching hot boyfriend through the dimly lit hall, my hands tethered behind my back while at his complete sexual mercy.

  Cruise flips on the lights to the bedroom with a demonic grin blooming on his face.

  “No lights.” I have a feeling it could never be dark enough for what Cruise is about to do to me—and with my wrists bound together, I can only hope he’ll listen.

  “Lights.” He kisses the nape of my neck, and my body trembles for more.

  “Is it your birthday?” I slather on the sarcasm. “Because unless it’s your birthday, or a red-letter holiday, I’m pretty sure I’m not entertaining you with my pale ass.” There, I said it.

  He pushes a gentle laugh into the back of my neck. “You have the body of a goddess. I want to look at you.” He leans in close to my ear, and I can feel his erratic breathing as it creates a fire line down my back. “You’re the one being dominated, Kenny. You don’t have a choice.” He cinches the leashes until my hands are drawn tight and walks me to the bed. I try to take a seat, but he’s quick to lift me to my feet.

  Cruise pulls his cheek back with a smoldering look of seduction. His brows dip in a V, revealing the sinister intent brewing behind those blue topaz lenses.

  Every intimate part of me is quivering, cheering on my newfound carnal revolution, and now here I am, standing in front of the god of Garrison in the exact amount of clothing I was born in.

  “Down,” he instructs.

  I get on my knees, and he pulls my head back. Instinctively, I know this is going to hurt, and I want it to. I want to feel everything Cruise has to offer—all that he’s willing to thrust my way.

  He steps into me and unbuttons his jeans. He flicks at his zipper and gives the impression of a wicked grin.

  “With your teeth,” he commands.

  And I do.

  Cruise launches toward me, smooth and hard. I take him up in my mouth and feel a groan echo throughout his body. My lips move over his heated skin with my tongue pulling long strokes in obedience to his movements. He takes in a ragged breath, his body bowed back with pleasure. His fingers rake through my hair. His hips beg to sway with ecstasy, but I’ve bound him just like he’s bound me.

  Cruise and I were awakening in one another a new dimension of vulnerability—of trust. This dark corner of fantasy still holds the underpinnings of our affection, the lust inside us detonating on a cellular level. Cruise brought the gunpowder and I brought the matches. We’re varnishing a new layer of intimacy over our relationship as the room burns around us. This invisible fire rages through us—exhilarating, as if we had harnessed a chariot and rode through the sun.

  Cruise carefully pulls me up to him long before he trembles to completion.

  “Bend over.” He rasps it out as a simple demand, and I relax into him, already lost in a sensual haze. “Bend over.” He says it curt this time, a nefarious smile hedging on his lips. It comes out a strict order that might have consequences attached if I don’t comply, so I lie over the bed and feel the cool of the comforter glide against my chest, my stomach retracts from its touch.

  Cruise gently kicks out my feet until my legs are amply parted, and suddenly I’m regretting ever laying eyes on these demented chains. I imagine what I must look like with my body splayed out like this, him hovering from above with an eagle eye view, and I feel vulnerable—far more so than simply being naked could ever provide.

  Cruise slides his heated hands over my back, down my bare bottom, and between my thighs. He glides a finger in and out of my body as I writhe over the bed, leaving me uncontrollably aroused.

  “I’m going to make you come, Kenny.” He says it plain, as a fact. “What do you think about that?” He runs his thumb over the delicate folds and enlivens my pleasure points until my throat constricts.

  He leans in with his searing hot skin raking up against my thigh. He runs the pad of his fingers softly over me before plunging in again with dynamic force.

  “Do you want more?” His voice rumbles through me. It echoes through my bones as my body waits for that very thing.

  I let out a breath, unable to answer.

  Cruise spins out delicious circles over me until my breathi
ng grows erratic. With every writhing movement, he tightens the reins just enough until I let out a cry, and my body spasms uncontrollably. I spiral into a beautiful delirium that I never want to end. I try to cinch my legs, but he blocks me with his knees. Cruise guides his body into mine with a violent force that sends me choking for air. My mouth rakes against the bed from the brilliant shock of pleasure. He thrust inside me, over and over, pulling me back by the chain until my back arches into him. He slides his hand down over me again, and I explode, this time with Cruise—the two of us lost in ecstasy, perfectly in sync. He collapses over me, shaking and trembling, pressing himself in deeper until his breathing is restored.

  Cruise rolls next to me. His eyes shine like glass as he pulls me in.

  “You’re a little vixen, you know that?” He seals the sentiment with a careful kiss that dissolves any doubt that Blair may have tried to plant.

  A loud knock explodes over the front door, and a familiar female voice calls out my name.

  “Who the hell is that?” Cruise glances in the direction of the chaos with a slight look of alarm.

  “I believe that is my mother.”


  “Your mother?” I glance down at Kenny, locked in chains, looking more sex slave than angelic daughter. I send a 911 text to Molly to retrieve Kenny’s mom and walk her over to the big house while I try to unleash her daughter from her self-imposed stocks and chains.

  We make our way to the kitchen table as I work at freeing her from the device.

  “Nice,” I say, unhinging the last of the leashes from around the collar with a set of needle nose pliers. “And that’s all I can do.”

  “What am I supposed to tell my mom?” She clasps at the metal necklace still latched around her neck. Kenny looks pretty hot with a heavy metal choker, but I’m sure now’s not the time to point that out.

  “Tell her it’s a fad.” I give a bleak smile. “Or wear a turtleneck. I have one you can borrow.”

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