Unconventional (The Manhattanites #4), page 10
Aside from being a mental health doctor, Nonno was always a bit of a self-taught holistic practitioner. The neighbors called him a witch doctor. Either way, that was just Nonno.
I stepped up to the cashier and asked, “Which one works the best?”
“Hard to say. Try these two. They have a ninety-eight percent accuracy.” Her acrylic nails pushed them to the front.
I paid and head back to the hotel where I found Jemma drying herself off in the bathroom. Her wavy hair blew back and forth as she combed it. Kissed by the sun in Ibiza, it was golden in some areas. Beautiful.
Luigi was in a robe and drinking espresso. He sat at the table in the room’s living area with a focused expression set on his features. He didn’t speak but his eyes, hazel and brilliant, always said enough to me. We were both on edge.
“Jemma, I got you the test.” I placed two boxes next to the sink.
“I’m not taking it,” she stated and continued getting herself dressed.
“Of course you’re taking them,” I argued and crossed my arms in the doorway.
“Do you two really want this?” Her eyes became glassy.
Trying to relax, I wrapped her in my arms and shushed her.
“Why are you getting upset, Jemma? It’s just a test,” Luigi said as he came into the bathroom.
“Answer my question. Do you two want this?”
“A bambino?” I clarified.
Glaring at Luigi, I hoped he’d say what I wanted to hear.
“Sì,” he replied. “I want us to be a family. Whatever that looks like for us.”
“We already are. We don’t need a child to define that for us.” Jemma wouldn’t let up.
“For me, Jemma, take the test. If it comes out you’re not pregnant, we’ll forget we ever brought this up and make our way to the airport.”
Our flight back to Italy was leaving in a few hours.
“Listen, fellas. I get you’re both sad our holiday is coming to an end. Berlin. Paris. Moscow. We’ve had fun. But I have to get back to work.” She tossed the pregnancy tests in the trash.
Luigi reached down and pulled them back out. Jemma could always say no to me but to Luigi, not so much. He stepped forward and I pulled back, giving him space. He kissed her on the lips, shoved the boxes in her hands and then said, “Jemma. Damn you. Take the test. Now.”
“Fine. Get out. Let me pee.” She pushed us out of the bathroom.
I heard the boxes being opened and the rummaging of the instructions.
“Do you want us to help you?” I asked through the crack in the door.
“Grazie. No. Give me two minutes.”
Two minutes later, she opened the door. “I can’t look at the sticks. You look and tell me.”
“Okay.” I went to go into the bathroom but she stepped out and closed the door.
“Before you go in there…I want to ask you both something and you better be honest with me here.”
“Sì, of course,” I agreed.
“Let’s assume I am indeed pregnant. Are we going to get the kid tested to see which of you is the padre when he or she is born?”
“I dunno.” I hadn’t thought that far ahead.
“One of you is the padre. One of you isn’t. Will that change the love you have for the baby if you aren’t?”
I drew a quick breath. “No. Not in the slightest.”
“Luigi?” She eyed him, waiting for an answer.
“I assumed if you got pregnant, Rocco would stay home with the bambino until it goes off to school.”
“Right,” I said. “Just as we’d talked about.”
“And that we’d raise the child with the understanding that it has two daddies. Not just one.”
“I don’t think we should ever get the baby tested to see who he or she is related to. It won’t make a difference. We’re going to love this baby like our own because it will be ours.” Tears streaked my face.
“Bueno,” Jemma said, and she opened the door.
My heart lurched into my throat as I rushed in and grabbed the stick. “How do you read this thing?” I shouted.
She leaned up against the door. Luigi came up behind her. I held it out to both of them and asked, “What does this symbol mean?”
“Silly, I’m pregnant.” She smiled.
Huge hugs to my family George, Pauline, and Adam for loving me. Thank you to my friends Shane, Julie, Sara, Kelly, Shari, Edward, Manuel, Brenda, Holly, Pat, Michele, John, Ron, Nicole, Nackie, Bailee, Hector, and Lynn for not taking it personally when I’m locked up in my cave writing.
Fashionista praise to Jennifer, Christine, Joe, Adam, and Lesly for helping with my fashion show references.
Author love to my beta-readers Nicole and Miss Diamond. And much praise to Kristin and Becky at Hot Tree for editing this novel.
New York Times bestselling author Avery Aster pens The Manhattanites, a contemporary erotic romance series of full-length, stand-alone novels, and the naughty new adult prequel companion series The Undergrad Years. As a resident of New York’s Upper East Side and a graduate from New York University, Avery gives readers an inside look at the city’s glitzy nightlife, socialite sexcapades and tall tales of the über-rich and ultra-famous.
Add Avery’s Releases to Your Goodreads TBR List
The Undergrad Years
Yours Truly, Taddy
Always & Forever, Vive
Read part of Avery Aster’s upcoming stand-alone, male/female/male erotic ménage romance Unique (The Manhattanites) http://averyaster.com/unique/
(Content Warning: The abduction of a Utah virgin by two British thieves who just happen to be identical twins leads to forced submission, D/s, spanking, ménage, voyeurism, and major cray cray!)
Dumped by Europe’s hottest disc jockey, Kiki Izatt jumps into her career, taking New York society by storm. In charge of Brill Inc.’s jewelry client, Paloma Gems, she’s ready to show the industry who sparkles.
Superstar DJ Dejon had no choice but to cut ties. If Kiki blew his techno-spin cover by discovering his real intentions to hijack The Style Gala, she’d ruin his crusade to return the blood diamonds to his West African people. Dejon couldn’t go back on his word to his brother Dash, even if it meant not marrying Kiki.
When Dash Turay accidently shoots and injures Kiki while stealing Paloma’s most valuable stone, he’s taken with her. Dash wants her. He must have her! So what if Kiki is from Utah and promised her virginity to Dejon? Dash will find a way to get her in his bed, with or without Dejon’s approval.
Familiar with Sister Wives, Kiki wonders if it’s time to try her hand at Brother Husbands!
Hello, Gorgeous Reader,
OMFG! I have a free ebook for you when you join my newsletter http://www.eepurl.com/CQ665
While all of The Manhattanites novels may be read as stand-alone and an HEA for every couple, there is a returning cast of characters, such as Taddy Brill. When I wrote her virgin assistant from Utah in Unscrupulous, I shit you not, I received a gazillion emails.
Readers adored Kiki’s innocence. She
Similar to many young women, who leave their hometown in pursuit of self-discovery, Kiki yearns to make her mark on the world. Indeed relatable, I had no effin’ clue how Kiki’s innocence fit into this erotic soap opera. Did you? Yet, her voice kept begging to be told, saying, “Pop my cherry, Avery Aster.”
My creative juices jonesed for a smut-tastic novel for Kiki with her current boyfriend Dejon and his hawt twin brother Dash. A ménage! While plotting this story, I’d become fascinated by Europe’s elite jewelry thieves, The Pink Panthers, known for the $105 million diamond heist in Paris at Harry Winston. Thus…Kiki’s drama began.
Just as you found Kiki in Unscrupulous, she’s at the center of another scandal, causing her to question herself and everyone around her, all in the name of love. After reading her story, be sure to add Uncensored, Vive’s romance, to your reading list. Miss Farnworth, the liquor heiress, is drying out at a tomato farm in The Hamptons.
Feels Like Forever,
I Love Kiki Izatt
“We sure didn’t have ‘Keep Sweet’ girls like her back home in London. I’d met Kiki Izatt online and knew in a second, she was unique. Capturing my interest with her butterscotch-blonde hair and electric blue eyes, I lost count of the number of times I…uhhh…got off staring at the tasty photos she’d sent me.
“As she began to tell me more about herself, my suspicions grew. Perhaps this girl had been a prank, set up by my wanker of a brother, Dash. Who’d ever heard of a twenty-something, virgin Manhattanite, looking as beautiful as she did, who didn’t drink or party? Not me!
“Blimy. After we’d met and spent that weekend together at the Cannes Film Festival, the one where she’d refused to even let me see her in her knickers…I had to be with her. Two years later, I got up enough courage (and her father’s blessing) and asked her to marry me. Kiki said YES! I love you, babe.” —Dejon Turay, globetrotting disc jockey to the stars.
Time: Present Day
Location: Held Hostage Somewhere Stinky
Oh, my gosh. I died. I must have.
Dang that Style Gala. Who knew that job promotion was gonna be the death of me? This has to be Heaven. It sure don’t smell like a jar of Marshmallow Fluff as I’d imagined. It reeks in here. God doesn’t send virgins to Hell. Does he?
Well, God, if you’re tapping my thoughts, you cannot punish me by counting anal play, cunnilingus and a blow job as full-blown premarital sex—can you? And I only did it once.
Kiki tried to open her eyes. Wait. They were taped shut. A momentary flush of panic caught up with her brain. She attempted to call out for help. Hardly able to move her tongue, something tasting cottony stuffed her mouth.
She went to yank out whatever was wedged between her teeth and peel the tape off her eyes, but her arms, they wouldn’t budge. No! They were tied behind her back. This isn’t real. Wake up. Her ankles felt fastened to the legs of whatever she sat on.
Awake. Kiki wasn’t dreaming. A horrific realization rocketed through every fiber of her body. She’d worked the jewelry industry’s most prestigious event, the Style Gala in Manhattan, and gotten herself abducted. Rich, black fear greeted her consciousness. As she tried to take it all in, a freakish sound stole her attention, just as someone had taken her freedom.
The metal humming sound of something being cut came from a nearby room.
Uh-oh. She’d heard that dreaded noise before, when Kiki’s older sisters had made her watch her first and last horror flick, Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Growing up conservative, her mother, Hannahette, hadn’t allowed them to see anything other than G-rated movies. At that moment, she knew why. I am not sticking around to see if that’s Leatherface making this racket.
Pressing her heels to the floor, she pushed up with her legs to hop in whatever she was attached to. Perhaps a wooden chair—that’s what it felt like under her butt.
It squeaked then slid an inch or so.
Unfamiliar with wearing platform stilettos, she had barely been able to walk in them earlier that night from the limo to the party, let alone leap in them. Mad at herself for taking them from the Easton Essentials showroom, she’d only worn them at the request of her client, Lex Easton. Her job at Brill, Inc. was to get glam, although that day, the close-to-six-inch heel might’ve cost Kiki her life.
“Gurl, dig those Easton pumps into the linoleum, keep it movin’.” In her head, she heard her roommate, co-worker and best friend, Duckie Capri, telling her what to do. “Kick it up. Go!” Exactly what Duckie would’ve said if he’d been beside her right then.
Breasts bouncing, she scooted but came to an abrupt stop from the pain. Why did her head hurt so badly? I fell when the bullet hit me. A man in a mask…picked me up…after he shot me. Throbbing jolts of fire tore through her left shoulder, making her whimper. That’s where she’d been struck. Her entire body ached.
“She’s awake,” someone behind her shouted.
The sawing halted.
Startled, Kiki straightened. She’d heard that voice before. A man, one she knew, but who?
He shushed her.
A hot, fed-up tear ran down her left cheek. Another streaked her right.
“Don’t cry.” He removed her hoop earrings. Rubbing her lobes, he told her not to get upset.
Sounds of running water, maybe from a faucet, not too far in front of her, reached her. It distracted her from figuring out who this was, and onto who else was in the room.
More apprehension waved through her. There must’ve been two people with her. Then the water seemed to quit. She tried to listen for others, but didn’t detect any.
“Here,” the second guy ordered. “Wash her.” A splash of something sprinkled her arms. Had he sat a bucket on the floor next to her?
A squeak, similar to what her chair had made moments before, came toward her. Sitting, the first guy caressed her face. “You’re all right.” Wet hands came up, dripping soapy-scented droplets on her face and neck.
The water ran down her blouse, past her navel, through her skirt and then stopped between her legs.
Normally the sensation would’ve tickled. At that moment, it was nothing shy of utter torture. A small puddle collected at her cunt.
He wiped her face, hard, maybe removing dirt. What felt to be his lips pressed against her forehead…kissing her. An exhale of his breath intimately warmed her face. Kiki swore she could hear his heart beating louder than her own. Then he mumbled to himself.
She couldn’t make out what he said, but this kidnapped, tied-up, saw-cutting, hand-bathing thing wasn’t good.
Horrible thoughts raced through her mind, flashing images of what might happen next. I’m gonna be sick. Acid came up from her insides, hitting the back of her throat. She swallowed—as best she could—and pushed her disgust back down.
No one she knew or loved would do this to her. Would they? Kiki didn’t have any enemies. She barely had any friends. Almost everyone had been with her at the Style Gala mingling. Then suddenly, the screams had started when the guns had gone off.
His unwelcomed hands, smoothly, effortlessly unbuttoned her blouse.
Thick as a foot of snow, the room’s cold air came over her nakedness. Her nipples distended.
Screw this. She sunk the soles of her feet into her stilettos and rocked herself, back and forth, hard and fast, in the chair. Go away. Kiki didn’t want him to touch her. I saved myself for my wedding night.
“Don’t—” With force, he held down her seat just as it was about to tip over.
Catching her breath, she inhaled through her nose, taking in a familiar citrus scent. The guy didn’t stink like this room. How could a guy who smelled so go
There was a tug at her waist.
He unzipped the back of her skirt.
The man lifted her butt up. Shanking the tweed fabric over her legs, it rested at whatever was used to tie her ankles together.
Something moist—it felt to be a sponge—cleansed her neck and décolletage. Washing never seemed so dirty. He removed the necklace Dejon’s—her ex-fiancé—mother had given her at her bridal shower. She brought her chin up, hoping he’d stop there and leave her be. Let me have my pride.
Humiliation engulfed her.
The sponge came down over each mound of flesh. Her nipples pebbled. Aroused? No. More like totally outraged!
Tight, she clenched her entire body. Tighter, trying not to feel anything, nothing! Tightest, about to snap, and she would if he touched her there.
The sponge dipped under each fold of her breast then wiped her arms, repeating the movement before moving on. Rewetting the sponge, he cleaned her shoulder, tracing the flesh around the wound. It was as if he knew the unbearable suffering about to come.
Biting down on the gag to take the pain, she braced herself. And yelled—in her mind—as he dug at the hole in her skin. Had there been a bullet lodged in her shoulder? Did they take it out while she’d been unconscious?
“Block it! Escape. Think about your family.” That’s what Duckie would tell her to do. It was the only thing she could do.
Her ex-fiancé came to mind. I’m still in love with you, Dejon. I don’t know why you broke off our engagement. I’ll always be your girl. You were the best thing that ever happened to me.
Her family in Utah, had they heard about the shooting in Manhattan? Kiki’s mom had warned she’d get herself shot if she moved to New York. Why was Hannahette always right?
Other author's books:
- UnsaidCall Me, PoppyThe Lost YearAlways & Forever, ViveA Manhattanite's ChristmasUndressedXO, BlakeLove, Lex
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