Unleashed volume 4 unlea.., p.13

Unleashed: Volume 4 (Unleashed #4), page 13


Unleashed: Volume 4 (Unleashed #4)

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  “It will be our little secret,” he continued, down now at my hips. Large fingers over my smooth skin, he worshipped my curves, feathering kisses down the insides of my thighs. My ankles were bound at either side to the bedpost. Suddenly shy at my complete and total exposure, I held my breath. I couldn’t move. I had nowhere to go, no way to hide my arousal. With his face down now at my pussy, he could see me dripping for him, my swollen clit aching with need, throbbing and begging for his attention.

  “Here in this cabin, you can let yourself go, Ana.” His words worked a dark, wicked spell around me, relaxing and surrendering me into the intensity of my pleasure. “Here, you can let me do all the things you’ve always wanted. Everything you’ve fantasized about.” He brought his fingers up, up my thighs, to finally, tormentingly, lightly graze my slick slit.

  I gasped at the contact, so eager, so close. “That’s it, Ana,” he coaxed me with his words and his fingers. “Show me how much you need it. It’s just you and me here. No one will ever know. You can be my little slut. You can scream and come and show me how much you want it, how much you’ll beg for it. No one will ever know.”

  “Yes,” I panted, beyond reason, almost beyond words. “Yes, please.” His lips were so close now, inches away from my sex. His tongue, so hot, so wicked, so near I could almost feel it, could imagine how good it would feel when he finally feasted on me.

  “Ana,” he exhaled in satisfaction, that gravelly voice that drove women wild caressing me intimately. “So wet.” Reverently, he swept his fingers down my slick sex, lightly sliding them along, exploring where I was spread for him, aching and ready. “Surrender to me, Ana. The way you know you want to.”

  My head bucked back, my throat bare. A raw groan escaped my parted lips.

  “Now I’m going to eat you, Ana. And you’re going to come for me, aren’t you?”

  “Yes!” I panted, wild with need.

  “Then I’m going to fuck you. I’m going to fuck you so hard you’re going to scream. You’re going to come when I slide deep inside you. And as hard as I slam into you, you’re going to beg for more. Aren’t you, Ana?”

  “Please! Please!” I couldn’t think anymore, couldn’t take any more teasing, coaxing, building me up. I needed to explode. And then, finally, just when I couldn’t take it anymore, he finally brought his mouth down, hot and full, on my drenched, exposed pussy.

  Chapter 1


  Aw, fuck. My head hurt like someone had cut it open with a broken bottle. Maybe someone had? I brought my hand up, tentative. Nope, everything intact. Just my skull in the grips of a massive, relentless hangover. Nothing new. Then why did I feel like something new had happened?

  With a groan, I shifted my weight on the bed and swung my legs over the side. Slow and steady, that’s how you won the race. Or moved your aching, hard-partying body the morning after an epic night of tearing through Vegas. Much like the night before and the night before that. People expected nothing less from hotter-than-hell rock god Ash Black. Trashed hotel rooms, run-ins with paparazzi, X-rated scenes with starlets, I did it all while strutting around in leather pants and no shirt, my world-famous muscles and tats on full display. I always delivered.

  But something else had happened last night. My mouth tasted like soot and my head felt stuffed with cotton balls, the scratchy, cheap kind. I couldn’t remember. What was it?

  Behind me, a feminine grunt emerged beneath wrinkled sheets. Strands of dark hair splayed across a pillow. Mandy Monroe, America’s sweetheart aka my plaything at the moment, had blonde hair. Huh. I thought we’d been hanging out last night.

  Like a goddamned chainsaw, my goddamned phone buzzed with an incoming call. All the goddamned way across the hotel room. No way was I going to make it that far.

  Down on the floor between my feet I spotted a tied-off used condom. So there was that. Wasted as I got, I used protection on autopilot. The world already had its hands full with just one Ash Black. No one needed any little Ashes running around. My cock got out and played each and every night, but procreation? Not going to happen.

  The mystery woman next to me snorted in her sleep. What was she doing still in my bed? I liked my fun over and out—as in out of the room by the time I woke up. I pulled the sheet down.

  Ah, yes, I remembered those tits, as big and gorgeous as only a plastic surgeon could shape them. I remembered them bouncing up and down as she rode me last night. I usually liked to dominate, play games of control, but last night I’d been too wasted to do more than let her climb on and ride me like a rodeo bull.

  Tugging the sheet down some more, I swatted her on the ass. “Up and out, Buttercup.”

  Groaning, she opened her eyes. Her mascara had smeared down like a Halloween costume of a zombie prom queen. “You got to get going.” I pointed toward the door. I didn’t even try to make up an excuse, something lame about needing to take care of something. I didn’t ask for her phone number as she fumbled around and found her skimpy dress, pulling it on and zipping into her thigh-high boots. I was Ash Fucking Black. I didn’t give out my digits.

  “So, thanks,” she mumbled. “If you ever want to, you know—”

  “Yeah.” I gave her my signature wink. Class dismissed. And what did she do when I was such an asshole? She giggled and blushed, like they all did.

  I could get away with anything. And I took full advantage of it. I was 26 now, but I’d been famous since I was 19 and my band charted its first number one hit. People called us the harder-driving, U.S. version of Coldplay. We had some Green Day in us, some Fun once you cranked them up. Some compared us to the Sex Pistols or Guns ‘n’ Roses. Whatever you called it or compared it to, we made music that made you jump up, dance your ass off and bang your head against the wall. No ballads, no whining, we made screw-the-consequences, fuck-it-all-I’m-going-for-it RAWCK.

  There were lots of benefits to my status. Touring the world, VIP access to anything anytime, but at the top of my list had to be the constant supply of pussy. It wasn’t as if I’d been hard-up before I’d gotten famous. My father was Richard Kavanaugh, billionaire real estate mogul and investor. I’d learned early that being rich and handsome opened up all kinds of doors and legs. But it was when I picked up a guitar as a teenager that girls really started getting crazy. Waiting for me naked in my bed. Texting me videos of them making out with their girlfriends or playing with themselves as they thought of me.

  By now, I’d gotten so used to the whole sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll routine it was almost boring. I was almost tired of it. Almost. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t playing a tiny violin of pity for myself. I was having the time of my life. Every night.

  That was it, though. With the exact same shit every different day, every now and then in the midst of the wild and crazy carnival I’d have a whisper of a doubt. I’d look around and think, is that all there is? Then I’d do a show and get wasted and fuck groupies and nothing would matter all over again.

  I’d been the bad boy for a long time now, my whole life really. I’d started off the black sheep in my family, doing nothing right in my father’s eyes, dark in my perfect older brother’s chip-off-the-old-block’s shadow. Then as the rocker, I’d become the poster boy for devil-may-care defiance. I’d spent years riding that long wave of adolescent rebellion while I proudly held up my middle finger.

  Sometimes I wondered what it would feel like to stop. Get off the crazy train. Be still and silent for even a moment.

  When media darling Mandy Monroe and I first got together a couple months ago, I’ll admit it, I’d been curious about her. Everyone knew her story, the daughter of a coal miner from West Virginia discovered on American Idol. Seventeen years old and singing her heart out with those big, brown eyes and long blonde hair, the world had fallen in love with her. I’d wondered, maybe it would be different with her? She’d certainly grown up outside the bubbles I’d lived in my whole life. Maybe she’d be real?

  I didn’t know what kind of person Mandy ha
d been at 17. But at 22, the Mandy I got to know was as vicious and shrewd as they came, always angling for the right PR shot, constantly scheming about how to stay on top of the headlines. It hadn’t taken me long to realize her sugary image had nothing to do with her sour reality. The only reason things had dragged on as long as they had between us was we were never in the same place at the same time. Until last night. We’d gone out to dinner here in Vegas. Hadn’t we?

  My phone buzzed again. With a deep down-to-the-bones groan, I stumbled across the room to retrieve it. I still didn’t get there in time to pick up. The screen announced that I had 15 missed calls, 10 from my agent, four from my PR firm, one from my older brother.

  Uh-oh. My big brother never called unless it was to give me shit. I’d done something to screw up. What was it?

  My phone rang again in my hand. My agent. With a sigh, I picked up.

  “Yeah?” My voice creaked out, gravelly and hung-over.

  If words came across visually, his would be bright red and all caps. “WHAT THE FUCK? YOU’VE FUCKED UP ROYALLY THIS TIME!”

  “Goddamn it, Joel, do you have to yell?” I rubbed my face with my hand. It was too early for this shit. Wait, what time was it anyway?


  “What are you talking about?”

  That made him pause. “You don’t know yet, do you?”

  Aw, shit. “What now?” I’d clearly been up to something, but it wasn’t the first time I’d gotten into hot water. That was why I employed a full team to keep the Ash Black show on schedule.

  “Watch it on YouTube. It’s already got two million hits.”

  “How do I—?”

  “Type in your name. It’ll come right up.”

  I sat down on a chair. I had a feeling it would be better to be sitting down when I saw this. But, again, it wasn’t the first time I’d had footage of me leaked doing something naughty. People might tsk and wag their fingers, but they loved it. It was all part of my persona. Right?

  My agent was correct, a video popped right up under the title “A**hole Ash Black”. Only 35 seconds long, someone had caught it on their camera phone, a perfect shot. Mandy Monroe and me in a fancy restaurant last night. Tears streamed down her lovely face. I looked shitfaced, shadows under my eyes, my black hair tufting out in crazy angles.

  Listing slightly to the left, I leered at her and asked, “What, are you gonna do? Cry?”

  Her lower lip wobbled, those famous big brown eyes brimming with tears. “Why, Ash? Why?” she pleaded.

  “You’re an idiot,” I slurred. “And what’s worse, you’re boring.”

  “But I thought…” Her voice trembled. She brought her shaking hand to her heart. “I thought you were the one.”

  I burst out with an evil villain’s laugh. Did I really laugh like that? More of a cackle, really.

  “I’m out of here,” I declared, standing up and kicking over my chair like a twit. “Go crying home to Mommy.” My sorry ass stumbled on out of the frame, leaving Mandy alone at the table for two with silent tears of pain traveling down her perfect face.

  The girl deserved an Oscar. It had been staged, all of it. I knew that the second I saw it. I’d been in the media spotlight long enough to know, no one held a camera phone that steady, at that perfect an angle, with the sound quality so excellent at exactly the right moment without it being a set up. It had all happened, that I knew as well, but she’d arranged the whole thing right down to having someone seated nearby to film it.

  “Have you seen it?” my agent asked. I’d forgotten he was still on the phone.


  “This is a disaster.”

  “It was a set up.”

  “You and I know that, but the rest of the world doesn’t. And don’t act like you didn’t say all that shit. You know you did.”

  Sure, I’d said all that. I remembered now, all of it. Mandy and I had had a rip-snorting fight earlier that evening. It had started out stupid, something about how I’d said she looked pretty in a dress instead of amazing or breathtaking or some over-the-top shit like a character out of a Harlequin romance novel. It had escalated into a tantrum over how I didn’t appreciate her enough. She’d thrown a glass vase against a wall, screaming that a miserable, washed-up hack like me was lucky to be with a bonafide superstar like her. No camera phone had caught that, though.

  It was genius, really. Mandy had obviously known I was going to break up with her. She’d realized she’d milked all of the press she could out of our relationship. So she’d decided to go out with a bang. She had a new album coming out filled with love songs and this would give her just the boost she needed to score a few out-of-the-gate chart-toppers. Hats off to her.

  “Mandy Monroe is America’s sweetheart,” my agent told me. Like it was news.

  “I know.” I rubbed my brow.

  “You just broke her heart.”


  “You tore it up and threw it in her face. And it’s all on video. This is bad, Ash.”

  “People love it when I’m bad.” I tried to defend myself, but even to me it sounded weak.

  “Not this kind of bad. This is not going to go over well.”

  I had nothing to say to that one. I could practically see Joel shaking his head in frustration.

  “You had to dump the coalminer’s daughter. On YouTube.”

  “Shit, you have to put it like that?”

  “Listen, there’s going to be backlash. It’s going to be big. We have to figure a way out of this one.”

  “That’s what I pay you the big bucks for, Joel.”

  “You can’t make a joke out of this, Ash. You fucked up good. Clean up, fly back and meet me at five o’clock.”

  “I’m supposed to head to New York today.”

  “Why? Your next show isn’t until next week and it’s in L.A.”

  “Family stuff.” This coming weekend I had my family’s huge holiday party. It wasn’t the kind of event I normally went in for. Black tie, so that was a big strike against it. Plus it involved my family, which guaranteed that it would suck. But my grandmother required mandatory attendance at the annual Kavanaugh holiday party. Even a rule-breaker like me had to comply. She might be the only person I really listened to. If you met her, you’d get it.

  “Well, come to S.F. today, go to New York tomorrow. We have to get a plan in play. I’ll have Lola and Nelson meet us and…aw shit.” His voice trailed off.


  “You’re the number one hashtag trending on Twitter.”

  This wasn’t going to be good. “What is it?”


  It wasn’t the first time I’d inspired my own personal hashtag. #DoMeAsh #HotAsh, #FuckMeAsh. I was used to those. But this, though? This was new. And it was blowing up.

  With a groan, I sank my head into my hands. I didn’t mind making messes so long as I didn’t have to clean them up. But now I stood with a sponge and a bucket and knew I’d have to get down on my hands and knees and scrub.

  Chapter 2


  “Is this the one where they fly? I really like it when they fly.” A little girl wearing a giant snowflake sweater and fairy wings looked up at me. She couldn’t be more than four years old and she couldn’t pronounce her ‘r’s so “really” came out “weely.” She was perfect.

  Kneeling down, I studied the book jacket. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. “Well, the reindeers fly, if that’s what you’re thinking about.”

  “Are they mean?” She turned to me with gravitas, the weight of the word “mean” filling her brown eyes.

  I could not tell a lie. I nodded. “At first, the other reindeer are mean to Rudolph.” She frowned in response. “But it ends happy.”

  After another moment of consideration, she grabbed it. “Yes,” she declared. “And the fuff-flies.” I’d also helped her find a book about a family of butterflies. She marched off in
her boots to a young woman engrossed in her cell phone. Her nanny, I assumed. In this part of SoHo I met a lot more nannies than parents coming into the children’s wing of the library. We were in an extremely affluent corner of the city, tucked into an amazing brownstone with gargoyles and lions sculpted into the edifice. Too bad our branch was so short on funds we were on the chopping block to close.

  I’d already been furious over the cutbacks on our hours. How could a library with a children’s wing not open until noon? Didn’t they know how early in the morning little kids woke up? They started their days at six, sometimes five a.m. The very latest we should open our doors was nine o’clock. Even by then, I bet we’d have a few exhausted caregivers standing outside with strollers desperate to come in and give the kids something to keep them entertained.

  But last week our boss had gathered all of us together to tell us that, no, we wouldn’t be getting end-of-year bonuses. And, surprise, due to lack of funds we’d been short-listed for closure. We’d find out for sure in January.

  You’d think in a city with this kind of money there’d be enough to keep the libraries open!

  I felt a small tug on my sweater. A little boy with short, black curly hair looked up at me.

  “Hello, may I help you find something?” I smiled down at him.

  “This is my truck.” He held up a green, plastic dump truck and demonstrated how it could move. “His name is Oscar the Truck.”

  I couldn’t stay grumpy, not for long. I loved this job. It paid nothing. I got little kids’ snot on me almost every day, especially now that it was December. I spent a lot of time engaged in nonsensical exchanges about random facts and made-up stories with preschoolers. But I loved it. At least one thing, and sometimes a whole lot of things, made me laugh every single day. And I never tired of seeing a little kid get engrossed in turning pages, cuddled up in the cozy corner of pillows I’d created, their little faces lighting up with delight.

  My career choice had left my parents underwhelmed. Here I was, 24 years old and already resigned to a lifetime of obscurity and penury. They’d raised me for much more, enduring great personal sacrifice, and they liked to remind me of it. Also, they liked to remind me of the millions of my ancestors who’d died under Stalin’s rule. But that was kind of a given for Russian immigrants, the references to the homeland, the starvation and freezing and hardship I’d never know because I was such an American.

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