Unconventional, p.1

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  The Vault

  Aleatha Romig

  Edited by Printed Matter Editing

  Cover Art by Dana Leah Designs by Dana

  Formatting by Romig Works LLC

  Romig Works LLC




  Author's Note



  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Books by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig

  About the Author


  The Vault


  New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author

  Aleatha Romig



  Copyright © 2017 Romig Works, LLC

  Published by Romig Works, LLC

  2017 Edition

  ISBN e-book: 978-1-947189-12-6

  Cover art: Dana Leah – Designs by Dana

  Editing: Printed Matter Editing

  Formatting: Romig Works, LLC

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  This book is available in print from most online retailers

  2017 Edition License

  This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment. This e-book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the appropriate retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  Author's Note

  Over a year ago my friend Georgia Cates and I decided to start an adventure: writing stories that were outside of our brand. Our endeavor was successful on many counts. It opened a world of possibilities and let us shake off the chains of expectation. Though we each wrote different titles, we ventured into that new world under one name.

  While that pen name no longer exists, it helped us to expand our horizons and try new things.

  The story you're about to read started as a short and sexy, predictable novella written by me as Jade Sinner and entitled HIS TO HAVE, a darker Jade Sinner novella.

  If any part of this story seems familiar, it could be because you read the 12K-word short novella. That was just the beginning.

  Now, doubled in length, UNCONVENTIONAL is more!

  For THE VAULT, I expanded Victor and Erika’s story, giving it more angst and emotion with an even more fun and exciting twist.

  I hope you enjoy UNCOVENTIONAL!


  This book contains situations involving dubious consent and physical restraint. These situations can be triggers for some readers and erotic for others. If you're willing to refrain from judging these characters until you've finished their story, I promise to make the ending worth your time.

  Enjoy at your own risk. You have been warned.



  Erika Ellis is available to everyone, each night, on their TV—news at five-thirty and again at six o’clock. Viewers think they know her.

  They don’t, not like I do.

  I’ve watched her—closer than the others—not only on the news, but at all hours of the day and night. I’ve taken my time and learned her routines and her secrets. I know what she needs.

  I’ll bring her fantasies to life, even the ones she’s yet to realize. I’ll be the one to teach her that in submission there is power. She’ll understand that she doesn’t need accolades from her viewers or the world. She doesn’t need to be primped and primed. My praise is what she’ll live for. Bound and helpless is where her freedom will be found.

  The truth behind the stage makeup and faux laugh is that she is mine—nothing she can do or say will change that.

  She doesn’t know my unconventional plans.

  That’s okay.

  She will.

  It’s time to make my move.

  I’m Victor Cross, the only man for the job.

  From New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a fun, lighter story with a classic Aleatha darker twist, Unconventional.

  Have you been Aleatha’d?

  **There is no cheating in this book. Sit back, enjoy, and please withhold judgment until the very end. You won’t be sorry.

  To everyone with secret submission fantasies...I promise not to tell

  Chapter One


  People try to keep their private information secret, but they don't succeed.

  She didn't.

  She's in the public eye, available to everyone with the flip of a switch. Turn on the TV and there she is—Erika fucking Ellis. Her face, her legs, her entire body there in UHD in everyone’s living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Being in the public eye, she should have known better, been more careful. She should have taken precautions.

  She didn't.

  Her carelessness pisses me off, infuriates me. Yet without it, where would we be?

  She let down her guard and spoke without thinking. She isn’t the only one who has, but she’s the one I’ve been watching. She’s the one who matters.

  Obtaining bits and pieces of her life story takes time, but as my mind fills with the possibilities for our future, I know the patience will be worth the reward. The process isn't difficult. It's as simple as standing near her in the coffee shop line.

  She concentrates on the menu or the screen of her phone, acting as if I’m not there. But I am, taking it all in.

  “Name for the order?” the barista asks.

  Close enough to smell her sweet perfume, I hang on her every word.

  Suddenly her name is not only announced, but written across her cup.

  “Telephone number?” the man at the dry cleaners asks.

  A room full of customers and she speaks loud enough for the elderly man to hear.

  There it is.

  Ten digits that open a wealth of information.

  The rest is easy. An Internet search, not even one as comprehensive as done by law enforcement, and much of her information is at my fingertips, just like her hard nipples will soon be.

  I dig for more.

  Her passwords aren’t difficult. The name of her first pet. The dog was mentioned in a personal interview posted by her news station: Get to Know Erika Ellis.

  That’s my plan.

  “Ma'am, can you confirm your date of birth?” With a slight change to my voice, I become an account specialist, in need of clarifying her order. “Why, yes, we have this order scheduled for delivery on Tuesday. Will you be available to sign? ...No ...Is there anyone else over the age of eighteen at your residence...?”

  Simple questions that in her preoccupied world she answers without thought. Her recklessness is her downfall, and while I appreciate it for
the success of my plan, I plan to punish her for it. If I could learn her life secrets, so could anyone, someone, another man. That thought fills me with rage, propelling my blood downward, away from rational thought and straight to my dick. It's painfully hard with the need to take her, mark her, and make her mine. After all, she is. She always has been. I’ve known it for some time. It’s time she accepts it—all of it.

  It’s difficult to hide my erection as I patiently plan, day after day, week after week, following, listening, and paying attention. Like in the coffee shop, most of the time she doesn't even notice me. Like the song ‘Mr. Cellophane,’ it’s as if she looks right through me, walks right past me. Doesn’t even know I’m there.

  She’s too busy—too preoccupied—to comprehend that I’m her future, present, and past. Nevertheless, I’m not deterred. I listen to every word, seize every opportunity. I’m paying attention and learning even when she’s unaware. Of course, those times she takes for herself, in her apartment, lost in an erotic novel, she doesn’t realize I’m watching. She’s too lost in the story. At work, she’s too busy meeting everyone’s demands. Her priorities are skewed, and it’s my job to show her the wrongs of her ways.

  Then again, there are other times when she smiles and even says a word or two to me. Times that she’s close enough to touch, that our skin brushes over one another’s. I live for moments such as those, knowing there will be so many more in our future.

  There isn't any question in my mind. With every fiber of my body, I know she wants me too. When our eyes meet or as she brushes past me in a crowded diner, I feel her desire. The connection, no matter how small, is like lightning, radiating off of her like heat from the sun, warming the air and stoking my desire.

  In one such encounter, we stand face-to-face, and her pink tongue darts to her lips. Her blue eyes disappear as her lids grow heavy with desire. I hear her message loud and clear. I understand what she doesn’t allow her words to say. It's her silent acceptance of what will be—what our future holds. Soon, that pink tongue will dance with mine. Soon, it will beg for my attention as she kneels at my feet.

  I know her wants and needs. With those same passwords on every account and every device, I’ve taken my time to insert myself in her private world. I know the books she reads and the videos she watches on her Tumblr account. No wonder she sometimes seems aloof. She has desires and fantasies that have gone unfulfilled, ones she hasn’t shared even with her husband.

  Her loneliness is about to end. But like everything in our future, the timing is up to me. I'm the only man for the job.

  She's a public figure, and it fucking pisses me off to think that she stars in other men's wet dreams. It's part of the game she plays for the station—perceived availability. It boosts the ratings, but it’s fiction. Her availability isn’t real. She doesn't belong to them, not to any of them.

  She’s mine, all mine. I’ll be the one who fulfills her desires. I'll be the one to bind and control her. No one else will take my woman to ecstasy. No one else will bring her desires to life—no one but me.

  The first day she looked my way and spoke to me—the day our connection forged—I knew we were meant to be together. I've worked my way into her predictable world, and yet she has no idea of my plans, of our future. Her combination of ignorance and arrogance fuels my desire. Erika thinks she has control, she thinks she calls the shots, but just like her appearance of availability on the evening news, her power in our relationship is a delusion, one I’ve allowed to fester for too long.

  I’m a man who needs control. I’ve allowed her misconception to run its course, but now it’s over. My entire body quakes as I imagine the scene: Erika fucking Ellis on her knees, tears falling from her beautiful eyes as she relinquishes her illusion and embraces our new reality.

  Staring through the lens at the screen before me, I watch her tits bounce and her perfect white teeth shine. Her lips are full, glossy, and red as they part with laughter.

  How am I supposed to keep this camera steady as her giggles ring through the air? Even with my headset covering my ears, the pitch of her laughter can’t be missed. The man in makeup with slicked-back hair beside her is a prick. He doesn't deserve her laughter or her words.

  It isn't a real laugh that I’m hearing, I reassure myself. It's part of her act, part of her TV personality. It's simply for the cameras, for the audience. Her real rings of laughter, moans of desire, and screams of pain are for my ears only.

  My chest fills with pride to know that I'm the only one to hear those, the only one to love her. Let the chorus begin.

  Chapter Two


  I sigh as I look across the table at my best friend. Jenn’s the one who has always been there for me, through thick and thin, through rejection and success. She’s my one friend who I feel I can show the true Erika, not the one the cameras see, but the real person under the makeup and hair spray.

  The dining room of the restaurant around us is mostly empty. It’s nearly three o’clock, late for the lunch crowd and too early for dinner. I’m due at the station in an hour for makeup, but I need this reprieve. I need my best friend, and as always, she’s here.

  “Babe,” Jenn says softly. “A sigh isn’t an answer.”

  “I just don’t think I have an answer.”

  “Do you love him?”

  I shrug in a noncommittal way. “I did. When he proposed, I did. When we were married, I did. I think I do. He’s like that sweatshirt you’ve had for so long, the one that keeps you warm and is always there, but it’s also different than when you first got it.” I tilt my head. “The shine is gone. I mean, after all this time, the spark is supposed to die out, right?”


  “Oh, come on,” I say, lifting my brows. “You’re telling me that you and Paul still have the hots for one another, the same as when you first started dating?”

  “Not the same. Better. We know each other. I know what he likes and vice versa.”

  “Yeah, I get that, but it’s routine. Like tacos on Tuesday.”

  Jenn laughs. “Really, Erika, when’s the last time you ate a taco?”

  I look down at my Greek salad, complete with feta cheese, olives, and pine nuts. Even with a few slices of grilled chicken, the calorie count with the red vinegar dressing doesn’t exceed four hundred, and I only used a small part of the dressing. After the two-hour workout I had this morning with my trainer, preceded by a two-mile run with my husband, I should be hungrier. However, the mind is a powerful thing. Every ounce on my body looks like ten pounds on the television screen.

  Damn high definition is the devil.

  “Okay,” I admit. “So I don’t have tacos on Tuesday, but you know what I mean.”

  “Mix it up. You could have fish tacos.”

  I scrunch my nose. “I don’t think we’re really talking tacos. And truthfully, I don’t know if I have the energy.”

  “To have sex with your handsome, supportive husband?”

  “To have the desire to have sex. I’m not sure either of us is willing to try anymore.” I sigh again as I use my fork to separate the pine nuts from the lettuce. “It’s like there’s so much happening, too much to make our relationship a priority.” I look up as my pitch rises. “There’s a rumor that a local Chicago affiliate is looking for a new anchor. It’s the early morning slot, but it’s a step closer to a bigger market. It’s a giant market compared to Milwaukee. Just imagine a national affiliate. Erika Ellis...” I lift my hands as I say my name. “...bringing you the news from Chicago or New York. The news networks are where it’s at. I could have my own show...the Erika Ellis hour on MSNBC or CNN or CBS.”

  “You know I love you, right?”

  “Yes,” I answer with a sense of heaviness. This is why I called Jenn. The truth hurts, but sometimes pain is the best medicine.

  “You’re running away and not facing the real issue. It’s a diversionary tactic that can only work for so long.”

  “Maybe that’s
it. The time has expired.”


  I drop my fork and look around. No one is close enough to hear us. Nevertheless, I lean forward and speak in a low voice. “The real issue is that I’ve worked my ass off to be a success in this business. Literally!” I twist my body to look at my own ass, and back to my friend. “I work out. I research. I smile at the damn cameras and show off my stupid legs. Do you know that the damn number crunchers have my skirt length to the millimeter? To the damn millimeter! Too long and we lose ratings. Too short and we lose ratings. Need to keep the men happy and not upset the jealous women.”

  “I think you’re concentrating on your career instead of your marriage.”

  “We ran together this morning. It’s the first time in a week that our schedules have allowed it.”

  Jenn nods. “Okay. Did you talk?”

  “No. I mean we spoke, but we didn’t talk. It was only two miles, but I had the audible rundown of tonight’s headlines to listen to.”

  “Twice a week, Paul and I go out to dinner.”

  I humph. “Seriously. It’s hard. Someone always recognizes me. It’s not like we can be alone.”

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