Read A 21st Century Courtesan Online

Authors: Eden Bradley

A 21st Century Courtesan (7 page)

I'm nearly blushing now; another first in this decade. When I look up into his eyes they are steady, unblinking. Beautiful, his long, dark lashes.

“Tell me about your life, Valentine. Whatever you want to tell me. You decide.”

I nod my head. He understands me, in some strange way. And he's incredibly kind. I don't know what to think of him, this impossible man. Like something I dreamed up.

If only I could fuck him and get off like I do with my clients. But I don't want to think about that part now, that part which will mean an end to this lovely dream. By tomorrow I will have to wake up and understand it's over.

If that's the case, what does it matter if I let him in a little? My mind is reeling with the idea.

“I don't know where to start,” I tell him.

“Start with what you like, what interests you.”

I pause, thinking. My brain is whirling.

“I always loved going to school, from the time I was a kid, and later, in college. I took classes on every subject. I never earned a degree. I just… learned.”

He leans in closer. “What were your favorite classes?”

“History. Sociology. Cultural anthropology. If you put them all together, it's like a picture of the world. Of people.”

“I loved my sociology classes, too. And psychology. It all seems like such a long time ago, now. But it's come in handy in my business. Knowing how people tick. Or some of it, at least. People are a mystery to me on a lot of levels, which I find interesting. Fascinating.”

He pauses, takes a sip of his drink. The ice cubes rattle in his glass as he sets it back down on the table. His lower lip is left a bit damp, and it's all I can do not to reach out and taste that droplet of fine sake, just lick it off with my tongue.

“It's like a window letting you inside,” he goes on, “having these odd bits of knowledge. Being made to dissect the way we all think, how we function, what makes us do whatever it is we do.”

“Yes, exactly. But I thought you went to school for a business degree.”

“I did. But I had other interests. I was young, and I'm sure my dad saw it as lack of focus. But the world was too varied. I didn't want to do any one thing forever.”

“And now you've been running the family business forever,” I say quietly, then immediately regret it. It seems cruel of me to point that out.

He nods. “Yes.” He's quiet a moment, then, “When we're young the world is one big possibility. But then we have to grow up and face reality. This is my reality.”

“I never had that,” I tell him, realizing suddenly how true it is. “I never felt that sense of endless opportunity. I envy you.”

“What did you want to be? When you were a kid? When you were in college?”

I shake my head. “I don't really know. I don't remember
ever having any dreams for myself. It never occurred to me. Even now, recently, I've been taking art history courses just because I love art. There's no definitive end, no plan.”

A knot is rising in my chest. This is hitting too close to home.

“I remember we talked art at the opera the other night. But where did it all lead you, Valentine? Do you have a job, a career? I've just realized I don't know that about you.”

“I day trade from home,” I tell him, which isn't a lie, exactly. I've spent the last several years learning about the stock market and I dabble a bit, enough to make some extra cash. It was Louis who taught me. And it's my standard answer. But he doesn't have to know any of that.

I feel a little sick to my stomach.

“Ah, you're a risk-taker,” he says, smiling at me.

I'm not sure if being a call girl for the last nine years qualifies as being a risk-taker. I am as stuck in my job as any nine-to-five corporate hack, if for very different reasons.

I shrug, take a sip of my drink. “Maybe. I do like the thrill of it, the idea of losing all my money, but it's really all a big fake for me. I tend to play it fairly safe.”

“I'm surprised.” His tone lowers and he leans in a little closer, until I can smell the subtle fragrance of his cologne. That wood and citrus scent that filters into my body, finds an empty place right between my thighs, and I swear it strokes me, teases me. “You strike me more as an adventurer,” he says.

There is something distinctly sexual going on in the wicked gleam in his eyes. In the way he is stroking my palm again, in slow circles. The same way his tongue might dance around my clit. Oh, yes, something sexual in my response to his scent, his voice, his touch. The tone of our conversation has shifted with a hard, grinding lurch. I can't help but go
loose all over, hot and melting. I manage to smile at him. Actually, I can't help it. My mouth is suddenly not my own. I am about to do something entirely foolish.

I drop my voice. “In certain arenas, yes, I can be very adventurous.”

His slow smile spreads. God, his teeth are so strong and beautiful. The need to kiss him, to feel his tongue in my mouth, is nearly overwhelming. I squeeze my thighs together. I'm throbbing, hurting with the need for him to touch me.

He lets my hand go, pulling away slowly, inch by excruciating inch, like a long caress, his eyes never leaving mine. He clears his throat. “I think I need another drink.”

He motions to the waitress, orders for both of us while I try to pull myself together. But I am buzzing all over, lust as sharp as knife blades in my sex, my hardened nipples, on my skin. I want him too badly. Too much to handle, and I am about to blow it.

You cannot have this.

I need this. Need him.

God.

“I'm sorry. Please excuse me. I'll… I'll be back.” I grab my purse and rush downstairs to the ladies' room.

I ignore the attendant, a dark-eyed woman pointing out the perfume and breath mints on the counter, and push my way into the marble-lined stall, slamming the door behind me. My breath is coming in rough pants. I yank up the hem of my dress and press the heel of my hand over my aching mound. My silk panties are soaked. When I slip my fingers under that damp edge, into my cleft, I am as wet as the ocean, slick, needy.

I am absolutely burning. And my fingers are rough as I massage my engorged clitoris. Harder and faster. I need this,
need some release, even knowing I won't find it. Dropping my purse on the floor, I slip two fingers inside, pumping, thrusting, searching for my G-spot. I gasp when I find it. Joshua's scent is all over me. His face in front of my closed eyes.

Yes.

I tilt my hips, spread my legs, plunge deeper.

Yes, just fuck me, please …

Pressing harder, I circle my clit. I am so damn wet, so full of need, I'm going to explode.

Joshua.

Fuck me, please. Please, please, please … let me come. Make me come with your beautiful hands.

And I begin to, that lovely keen edge like a bomb about to go off. And just as quickly, it fizzles into nothing.

God damn it!

I slump against the door with a small sob.

What am I doing here? This is insane. I'm insane.

Joshua.

What is he thinking, left alone in the bar while I masturbate in the ladies' room?

I sit down and pee, get up and stand for a few moments in the stall while I catch my breath. Lust is a hard ache between my thighs still. Unsated. But it's not as if I expected anything more.

Finally, I go out to the lounge area, wash my hands, brush my hair, spray a little perfume on my neck, touch up my lipstick. I tip the dark-eyed attendant when she hands me a paper towel. But it's another minute or two before I can go back upstairs, face him.

He smiles at me when I get back to our table, sliding my drink across the smooth surface toward me. My body surges
with lust, a powerful tide. I could drown in this. And I understand now how dangerous this is. How close I am to doing something I'll regret. And drinking more is not going to help. I'm barely hanging on to any sense of control as it is.

“Joshua, I'm not feeling very well. I should go.” I hate lying to him. I feel
too
damn good, need desperately to feel better. To come.

Oh, God.

“I'm sorry. What can I do? Do you need me to drive you home?”

I shake my head. “No. Thank you. It's … just a headache. I'll be fine.”

No you won't.

“Let me ask the waitress for some aspirin.”

“No. That's not necessary. I just need to go home.”

I don't mean to sound so cold, it just comes out that way.

“Of course.”

That easy sense of intimacy is gone, or at least diminished, and it's my fault. But I can't go there with him, can I? Better to cut it off now.

He is all gentlemanly manners, walking me out with a hand at my waist, which I have to grit my teeth against. He gives the parking valet my ticket, insists on tipping him, then hands me into my car. I am so relieved that he is no longer touching me. And empty. Yearning.

“Call me, Valentine. I want to see you again. Hell, I'd like to see you tomorrow.”

He is too gorgeous in the silvery moonlight, the amber glow coming through the windows of the restaurant. His eyes are dark and mysterious, his smile sincere, his lips unbelievably lush. My sex gives a sharp squeeze.

Just go, get home.

“I'll… I'll give you a call,” I say, having no intention of doing so. “Thank you for the drink.”

“It was my pleasure.”

He reaches into the car, caresses my shoulder lightly, his hand whispering over my skin. I shiver. I want to take him home with me, feel that touch all over my body, fuck him in my bed all night.

You know what you have to do.

It's my heart that gives a hard squeeze now. I really like him.

Fuck.

“Joshua, I have to go.”

“Yes, of course.” His hand slips over my shoulder, down my arm. If I turn my head he will kiss me. I don't do it. Instead, I nod, give him a quick, pale, sideways smile, and shift my car, pull away.

When I glance in the rearview mirror, he is standing there watching me.

I feel as though I've survived some sort of test, and I am exhausted. But is this really any sort of triumph? Or am I nothing more than a coward?

Chapter Four

AT HOME
I
GO
immediately to my bedroom, kick my shoes off, tear my dress over my head. My bra comes next, and I fling it onto the bed. I'm angry. Horny. In need. And not all of it is physical, which is even worse. As if the lust ravaging my system isn't hard enough to deal with.

I glance at the clock. It's already after nine. But I grab my purse from where I threw it on the bed and pull out my cell phone, checking for messages, hoping for a client. I already checked at least three times on the way home. But I fucking
need
it tonight. And not being able to get myself off is excruciating.

Pathetic.

There are no more messages than there were when I checked five minutes ago. Tossing my cell phone down, I stalk into the bathroom, glare at my reflection in the big, brass-framed mirror. I look flushed. My bare breasts seem fuller than usual, the nipples two hard peaks of reddened flesh, begging to be touched, kissed, sucked.

Groaning, I bring my hands to my breasts, watch in the mirror as I caress the nipples, tease them. Groan again as I pinch them hard between my fingers. And my sex is absolutely burning.

I slide my panties off, feeling the damp silk as it glides over my legs. I'm soaked. Slipping a hand between my thighs, I touch just the tip of my clit. It's a hard little nub of flesh, a small, aching erection. Unbearable, to be in this much need.

Probing my slick flesh with my fingers, I arc into my searching hand. Playing with my swollen pussy lips with one hand, tweaking my nipple with the other. And my fevered gaze reflected back to me in the mirror: need and confusion and fury! I fuck myself with my fingers, driving harder, using the heel of my hand to grind against my clit. And it feels so damn good.

Joshua's hands would feel infinitely better.

Yes, Joshua.

“Make me come, Joshua,” I whisper into the quiet air.

Sensation builds, pleasure pouring through me, scalding hot. I spread my legs wide, watch my fingers moving in and out of my body, imagine it is his hand working my flesh. If I try hard enough, I can conjure up his scent. Imagine his hazel eyes staring back at me in the mirror. I can imagine his cock hardening as he watches me fuck myself.

Oh, yes …

I pull in a deep breath, and I can almost feel his warm hands on my skin.

Joshua …

I pump my fingers harder, deeper, hurting myself. But I don't care. He is there with me, fucking me. And pleasure is pouring through my body like an electric current, hot and
rich. I'm grating hard against my G-spot on the inside, and my clit on the outside. And I could almost come.

Please…

Oh, yes, Joshua. Fuck me. Yes. Make me come, into your hands. Into your mouth …

Almost there. And my gaze is locked on my image in the mirror. But it is him watching me, stroking his rigid cock now, thick and beautiful in his hand, the tip wet with pre-come. My mouth waters, I need to suck his flesh so badly, to suck his beautiful cock, to feel it slip between my thighs.

Joshua…

Closing my eyes, I see him before me, parting my pussy lips with his fingers, massaging them, massaging my clit. I press harder, faster. Pleasure builds, surging through me, small waves that grow, sharper, pounding through me. And I pause on that keen edge. It is painful. Exquisite.

Joshua, Joshua, Joshua …

And just like that, I tumble right over. And all the doubt and fear is washed away in Joshua's face, his scent. And I'm coming, hard, into my hand. Into his hands.

Joshua!

Coming so damn hard I am sobbing his name. Over and over. My legs go loose and I fall into the hard edge of the granite counter. But it doesn't matter. /
came.
And it was so good. For the moment I don't care about anything else.

I stand there, stunned, supporting myself on the cool granite, trying to catch my breath. When I look into the mirror again, my eyes are glittering, my cheeks bright, my mouth looks loose and red, as though someone has kissed me for hours.

Other books

OPERATION: DATE ESCAPE by Brookes, Lindsey
Zulu Hart by David, Saul
ZWD: King of an Empty City by Kroepfl, Thomas
The Alpine Menace by Mary Daheim
A Dark and Broken Heart by Ellory, R.J.
Hades by Candice Fox
Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid