Their Protector: An MC Outlaw Halloween Romance, page 45
He takes a cautious look around, as if someone could have possibly come into his office to eavesdrop on us without us knowing. I guess he really is worried about something.
“But apparently,” he continues, his voice dropping to nearly a whisper, “he’s not happy with Harlow’s treatment. There’s going to be some meeting about it and we’ll all know more soon. I probably shouldn’t even be telling you this much. But what I do know is that I’m to take over his treatment until this is all ironed out.”
“You’re to… take over his treatment? Lance. But why?”
Despite my best efforts, my eyes well up with tears. I had thought everything was going so well in every way possible, only to find out that the exact opposite is true. I should have known not to get my hopes up.
“I’ve done everything by the book. Harlow is excelling. I don’t understand…”
“It’s probably better this way anyway,” Lance says. “It’s never a good idea to be so emotionally invested in a client. And this way I can protect you from any allegations of incompetence.”
“ Incompetence ?”
“I’m not saying that there are allegations. I’m just saying that I know you do good work and I want you to do as well here as you possibly can. So if there’s a… problematic client… it’s best you stay out of that mess. Let a more experienced person with job security handle it, while you stay in safer pastures.”
I’m crushed. Here I was thinking that working with Harlow was an exciting challenge that was going to propel my career forward, when in fact it’s a ticking time bomb.
I can’t think of anything else to say, or at least anything I should say.
“It’s okay, love,” Lance says, patting me on the shoulder sympathetically, turning back into the boss and friend I know and love. “I know it’s difficult, but you’re just beginning to see bureaucracy in action.”
Well, okay. If that’s all it is.
I try to hold my head up high as I leave the office. But I can’t help feeling as if I’ve done something terribly wrong.
And I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever be able to see Harlow again.
I call Whitney after five, when I know she’ll be home from her internship. I’ve been waiting all day to hear her voice and I know she doesn’t keep her cell phone on at work.
This isn’t like me, but as I told Jensen, it wasn’t like me until it was. I just can’t explain it, not even to myself.
I begin to think she’s not going to answer, but she finally does after about six rings.
Her voice sounds hesitant.
“Well, that’s definitely not the greeting I was expecting. What’s wrong?”
I wait, but she doesn’t say anything further.
“I can’t talk to you.”
“You can’t… why not?”
It makes no sense. Unless I read it wrong, we had a great time yesterday. And I never read women wrong.
“I need to stay away.”
Oh, I get it.
This is one of those things where girls tell each other not to seem too into a guy. She’s playing hard to get. She’s not very good at it, but it’s cute. I’d almost be flattered, if I weren’t so annoyed.
“Okay, Whitney. But that doesn’t mean I need to stay away from you.”
Her voice sounds concerned. She doesn’t even get my joke. I’m beginning to wonder if I really am reading her wrong.
Does she really not want to see me?
“I was on my way home from work, and I’m near your house,” I tell her, determined to plunge ahead with the plan that I had thought was a good idea. “I was thinking of picking up some to-go food and dropping by. Do you like Chinese?”
“Harlow, I… you were at work? At Dr. Davis’?”
I don’t really understand the relevance of this question, but at least she’s talking to me. She hasn’t hung up. I still have a chance to try to figure out what’s going on with her.
“That’s so strange,” she says. “I called him to talk to him about your case, but I haven’t heard back, although I guess the clinic did hear back…”
She sounds shaken up. Maybe this is all work-related. Or maybe her awful ex-boyfriend has nosed his way back into her life and made some kind of threat.
“Look, I’ll be there soon.”
I bide time, trying to convince her not to hang up on me as I finish driving to her house. I should feel like a creepy stalker but I don’t.
I can sense there’s something bigger going on, that she and I can face together. She just has to let me help her. She has to let me in, physically into her house and metaphorically into her life.
She can’t hang up on me without hearing me out.
“We can talk about it, Whitney. We can deal with it. You and me. It will all be okay.”
She sniffles but says nothing.
There it is.
“I’ll be there in thirty. I’m assuming you like Kung Pao Chicken?”
When I get to Whitney’s house, she still seems standoffish.
She lets me in but walks over to the kitchen table and says, “feel free to sit,” as if I’m some formal guest.
I remove the Chinese take-out from its bag.
She says, “Thanks, but I’m not hungry.”
I shrug and take a bite of my eggroll.
“So talk to me. What’s going on?”
“I don’t even know, but it seems bad.”
“You know how I’m friends with my supervisor, Lance?”
“Sure. The guy your ex was so sure you were cheating on him with.”
“Ha.” That almost gets her to laugh. “Yeah, him. Well, he’s always super chill but today he told me to ‘be careful’ with you, and that Dr. Davis isn’t happy with how your treatment has been going.”
“That’s ridiculous,” I say, knowing for sure it must all be some sort of misunderstanding. “I’ll talk to him first thing in the morning and figure out what’s been going on.”
“No, don’t,” she says. “Or he’ll know I talked to you. Lance said he is taking over your treatment until we figure out what’s going on.”
“What?” I pound my fist on the table. “Sorry. But this has me upset.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“We work so well together,” I insist. “Of course there’s the chemistry but I’m talking about for physical therapy. Everything is going so well.”
“I know. I don’t get it. I have no idea what they think I could have done wrong, unless they don’t like that we’re… getting close.”
“Have they told you that?”
“No. Lance seemed to act as if he didn’t care, and didn’t want to know. And luckily I didn’t get the chance to tell him about last night. I usually would have, because we’re good friends, but it happened so fast, and I guess I had some kind of a clue that he might not approve.”
She gulps, as if not wanting to tell me something, but then she continues.
“When you were running laps, he mentioned something about the possibility of me losing my internship if you and I fooled around, or something, but I don’t know if he meant, like, at work, or after hours, or what. I really need to look at the employee handbook.”
She runs her hands through her pretty, dark hair, her beautiful eyes looking wide and distraught. I just want to comfort her and let her know everything will be okay. I’ve certainly been through a lot worse. But I don’t want to sound insensitive if she really thinks she could be losing her internship, her career. That is a big deal.
“I would think he would tell me if my internship was in immediate danger,” she says. “If he even knew. He seemed to be as in the dark as I am, but
She trails off, but I finish the sentence for her in my own mind.
We haven’t even fucked, unfortunately.
“That would be so fucking unfair,” I say.
“I know, right.”
She laughs, nervously, but I’m glad to hear it. Then she’s back to pacing and running her hands through her hair.
“But if it’s not that, then what else could it be?”
“Whenever I organically find out that you’ve been replaced as my assigned physical therapist, I’ll talk to Dr. Davis about it. He won’t make me work with someone I don’t want to work with.”
She nods, half hopeful, but half doubtful.
“Although maybe I shouldn’t,” I add, with a grin. “Because if you’re not my physical therapist then there’s nothing standing in the way of us consummating this relationship. In fact, let’s do it right now before they reassign you to my treatment.”
I laugh, but she doesn’t think it’s funny.
“Harlow, whenever I first saw Dr. Davis— at the conference where he presented your slide show but then he was presented with an award, even though you had done a lot of the work too, for your own recovery, and you didn’t get any award— I mean, that’s not the point, but, I don’t know, I had a funny feeling.”
She trails off, and it’s obvious that her mind is racing a million miles a minute.
“I don’t know why or what it’s about but I can’t help thinking now that I was right about him from the beginning,” she finishes. “Why doesn’t he want me working with you? Why does he disagree with the treatment model? When everything is going so well?”
“I guess we’ll find out in due time.”
Whitney is definitely one of those perpetually worrying types. I know the feeling, but now it’s time to comfort her rather than give into worry and fear myself. One of us has to be strong. I’m determined to be there for her. And I’m confident that I can work this out with Dr. Davis.
I shovel some of my entrée down my throat. “So do you want to watch a movie? I can cuddle you and make it all better.”
She picks at her eggroll but doesn’t really eat any of it.
“Harlow, I think you should just go,” she finally says.
“Are you serious?”
I’ve never been rejected by anyone before. And I’ve never even liked anyone before, except for her.
I guess this is why I never let myself get close to anyone, except for my fellow SEALs. It never ends up being worth it.
“I just think it’s safest to not see each other until we have this all straightened out.”
“Are you serious?”
I pack my food back up and stand up from the table.
“You are not the woman I thought you were.”
“What do you mean?” she asks, as I head toward the door.
You’re not the one for me, after all , I think. I guess I was right that there is no one for me .
But I just say, “I guess it makes perfect sense, though. I was blind to who you really are.”
I might as well lay it all out on the line now.
She’s not into me enough anyway, and I’m mad at myself for thinking that it could work out.
“And who is that?” she asks.
“You’re someone who never takes chances, never risks anything. You settle. You wanted to be a doctor but you settled for physical therapist. You wanted true love with a good man but you settled for Tony .”
I say his name in disgust, because I really can’t believe she was with him. And now that I think it all through, I’m not sure why I wanted to be with her, when this is her MO.
She just stares at me, blinking as if in shock.
“Have a good time excelling at the career that was your back-up plan,” I say, as I reach for the door. “It was nice getting to know you.”
I’m ready to leave, forever, but she grabs my arm. I’m not sure if she’s mad or sad or what.
“It certainly doesn’t sound like it,” she says, her eyes burning an accusatory hole into mine.
“Doesn’t sound like what?”
“Like you thought it was nice getting to know me. You think all these bad things about me. So what was so nice about it?”
Her words— and her actions— shock me, but I love it. I knew she wanted me just as badly as I want her. And now she’s proving it. I love this spitfire of anger and passion that she’s turning into, because of me, for me.
But I have to be careful. She was just acting like she wasn’t into me at all, when I was putting my own heart on the line for her. And now she’s acting like she is. I don’t know which one is real and which is fake. Although I’m used to taking risks in my career, I never do it in relationships; this is as close as I’ve come and I don’t want to get burnt.
“Oh I don’t know,” I say, not wanting to give too much away about how I feel— or, rather, make that felt — about her. “Your dedication. Your smile. Your laugh. Your eyes. Your ass. But I’m not going to go on and on, when we’re over before we could really start.”
It’s so stupid to be pouring my heart out to someone who isn’t interested. I open the door and take one step forward. But then she wraps her arms around me, and kisses me.
Now that’s what I’m fucking talking about.
I don’t know why I kissed him. I’m never this forward. But he was about to leave, and he was saying such nice things about me. And even the mean things he’d said before were kind of… true.
He returns my kiss and we stumble back inside where he pushes me up against my front door. His tongue plunges relentlessly into my mouth while his cock rises up against my hips.
“You’re right,” I tell him, gasping for air as he continues to kiss me and press himself into me. “I want you. I would be so dumb to not want you. I’ve wanted you since the first day I saw you.”
He spins me around and nudges me towards the bedroom. His hands trace the length of my spine as he walks behind me, just like mine did to his in the physical therapy room.
By the time we reach the entry of my room, he’s lifted the shirt above my head. I take it off and he’s quick to unsnap my bra.
“Turn around,” he orders, and I do, my bra falling to the floor as he stares at my breasts.
“They look even better than I imagined,” he says, pulling me to him and kissing me again as he presses my breasts together in his hand. “I love your body. It’s so beautiful.”
He gets down on his hands and knees and begins to kiss my neck and then my breasts. I feel none of the self-consciousness I’d always felt when I was with Tony, even years after being with him.
With every touch Harlow makes it obvious how much he really does love my body. He puts one of my nipples into his mouth and slowly licks and sucks on it, as he takes my other nipple in his fingers and lightly rubs it.
“Oh, my God. Harlow.”
I feel the excitement rising within me as he continues to lick and play with my nipples.
“I’m not officially your patient right now, am I?” he asks, as he looks me up and down.
“No. Unfortunately not.”
“Well good then,” he says, as he stands me up and begins unbuttoning my jeans. “Because I’ve heard this might be forbidden if I am. But, since I’m not, then I can do this.”
He removes my jeans— I’m grateful that I was barefoot when he came over— but leaves my panties on. I’m doubly grateful that I’m wearing a thong, and not ugly granny panties. He slowly traces his finger over my panties, lightly teasing me until I moan.
“I want to touch you,” he says, “and then I want to fuck you.”
He presses my ass into his clothed cock while he runs his hands up and down my ass.
“I overheard some
A chill runs down my spine and my pussy becomes soaking wet.
“That’s right,” I confess.
He begins sucking on my ear and I want to melt into him. I want his hands all over me, his cock inside me, his body on top of me.
“When was the last time you’ve had one?” he asks. “An orgasm?”
I stiffen a bit, embarrassed while still turned on.
“Never,” I admit, as he grabs hold of my ass— like he did last time, but with possessiveness this time, as if he never intends to let it go.
“Is that right?” he asks, obviously excited about my answer.
I feel his cock get even bigger and harder, which I thought was impossible.
“Well, I’m about to change that right now.”
A moan escapes my lips and I say, “Good.”
I want him. I need him. I’m dripping wet for him.
He peers over my shoulder and says, “My hands look so good on your ass.”
He pulls the strap of my thong to the side and runs his finger along my ass crack. Then he pulls himself away from me and slips his other hand into the front of my panties. Moving a finger along under my thong, he makes his way to the opening of my pussy.
“You’re so wet for me,” he says, as he traces my lips with his finger. “I can already feel it.”
He pushes a finger inside of me and I can’t help but moan his name.
“That’s right. This is Harlow’s pussy now. I’m going to claim it as my own. I’m going to make it come.”
He puts another finger inside me and pushes in and out while he rubs my clit with his other hand. My thong is now pulled back and I’m completely exposed to him as his hands do what they want to me.
“I love to see your pussy spread open wide for me, while I finger you,” he says, and I lean back onto his broad shoulders, already feeling a rising pressure within me, tingling sensations all over.
“I’m going to make you come standing up,” he tells me, as if it’s a physical therapy test he’s determined to pass.
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