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Authors: N Isabelle Blanco

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BOOK: Allure Magnified
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I don’t know if it was the tone of my voice, or the look on my face, but he finally started talking. “She found out about us.”

“Obviously,” I said in a small voice. After all, we hadn’t been as careful as we should’ve been. God, it was my worst nightmare come to life.

“She’s going to tell everyone, or so she says.”

“What does she want in return for her silence?”

He let out a rough sound, and then leaned forward to grab my hands. He moved faster than I could predict, pulling me closer and not letting my hands go. “Look at me.”

His tone broached no room for argument and I didn’t really want to fight considering how fucked up I was inside. So, I made myself look up at him. I almost flinched when I saw the intensity of his stare.

“I’m trying to prepare you. That’s why I’m telling
you this. She’s throwing a damned fit. She found out you’re the reason I’m no longer interested in her. I don’t fucking understand where she’s coming from. She made it clear that I was ‘replaceable’ and it was supposed to be just sex—”

“She wanted you for herself.” I closed my eyes again, desperate to escape the image of Dorian having “just sex” with Monica. “What woman wouldn’t?”

“Damn it, Demi. Open your eyes and look at me.” He cupped my jaw. I tried to pull away but he tightened his hold. His other hand remained locked around mine. Hell, I could feel his legs pressing in on either side of my legs. “Demitra—”

“We have to end it, don’t we?”

Silence. Silence and a pause so tense, I almost went numb from the stress.

“Stop thinking that!”

I blinked in shock. Dorian used his hold on my jaw and dragged me right off the couch. Using his hold on my arms, he pulled me up until we were standing together. His hold was painful; the look on his face froze me in place.

“Do you want to leave me?” He actually shook me back and forth a bit before jerking me into him. “Answer me, Demi.”

I gasped, dumbfounded. “Dorian.”

“Do you, Demi? Do you
want
us to end?”

Something about the fierce look on his face made it clear that I didn’t really have a choice in the matter.

And that was the moment I came close to blurting out how much I loved him.

I fisted his shirt, hard, and locked stares with him. “No, Dorian.
No
.”

Relief flashed in his eyes. Then, just as quickly as it appeared it was gone, replaced by that desperate intensity once more. “Good.” He let go of my arms and slid his hands around my waist. “I’m not letting you go. Do you understand what that means?”

My thoughts were racing. I was aware that he was holding me so close that we were practically molded to each other. Our heartbeats hammered, echoing each other in a nearly frenzied way.

“Demi, you do know what that means, don’t you?”

“I—”

He interrupted me, holding my face. “How could you not know? It’s obvious, isn’t it? I’m a fucking mess because of
you
.”

I tried to step back enough to gain some space. “Dor—”

“I love you, Demitra. Damn me but I love you.”

To Be Continued…

Here’s a sneak peak of


Compulsive Fascinations”

The continuation of Livana and Calum’s story
due out Summer 2013. 

You get hurt once; you assume that’s the norm. You see others suffer; you assume that’s the norm, too. At least, that’s what Livana once did. One rough go around was enough for her. After that, she kept it simple, no strings attached. It was just easier, even necessary. Until she went out one night and met Calum Alexander, a man whose intensity broke through each of her defenses, leaving her vulnerable. Afraid to fall in love, she tries to keep some of her walls up around herself, even as Calum seems determined not to let her. Faced with a man that seems intent on possessing her, Liv knows it’s a mere matter of time before she no longer has a choice.

Eyes turned, their intent clear as they followed me. More than once, I avoided an inviting stare, not at all interested in any of the men present. Actually, I hadn’t been interested in anyone but Calum for the last four months. The thought alone was enough to inspire panic in me.
              I didn’t know what was worse: knowing that I’d become “cock-whipped”, or seeing
three
of my ex-lovers present and knowing that Calum was going to be meeting me there in a few.
              A waiter passed by, champagne tray in hand. He got me by one of the appetizer tables. Not wanting to be rude, I accepted a glass. Then I decided to hell with it and gulped the champagne down in two swallows.
              Liquid courage, my friends. Liquid courage.
              I placed my now empty glass on the table behind me, right in front of a lily and hibiscus arrangement. Cringing, I stepped away from the table. The last thing I needed was to swell up and break out in hives because of the hibiscus. Shit got me every time I so much as brushed up against it, and my situation was stressful enough as it is without adding a hospital visit to it.
             
This is all your fault for letting this go on so long.
             
Logic said that was the truth. My new
illogical
side, however, tried to smother that thought the moment it arose. There was simply no contemplating the end of my affair with Calum. Hormones, nerves, instincts, and foolish emotions combined refused to hear it.
              I’d fucking cleaved, my emotional claws sinking into Calum and refusing to let go. The one thing I’d thought would never happen had begun to happen. And faced with the idea of the “L” word, I realized just how much of a pussy I was. Because I’d loved once before and it’d been bad. That aside, all I saw was bad. I didn’t know one woman that was happy in her relationship.

Commitmentphobia? It was too far gone to be something that simple. The panic seemed almost hardwired into my DNA, unleashing with brutal efficiency whenever I so much as thought of being in another relationship.

Cue the inner tremors, the sweating palms, the palpitations that make it seem like your heart is hell bent on kicking your ass.

Fuck. The hives were definitely going to make an appearance if I didn’t stop thinking about this shit.

I pulled out my cell. There was a text from Calum, and seeing it had my nerves tripping in different directions. I wanted to fuck him as much as I wanted to hide from him. He’d gotten me to agree to come with him here, but I hadn’t seen him since we arrived the night before.

Thinking about the night before was making me twitch. Calum and I had gone out for a quick dinner right after arriving. Considering that everyone in the architectural design world was going to be here, I shouldn’t have been surprised when we bumped into one of my ex-lovers.

But we did. And Calum was making his way back toward me when Daniel swooped in with his enthusiasm, the truck load of “I still want you”, and arms that obviously didn’t know the meaning of  personal boundaries. I’d been face first into Daniel’s chest when Calum cleared his throat.

Awkward. Even worse, after the nearly painful introductions and small talk, Calum had gone stone-silent. The gears had been turning but God only knew what they were bringing up.

Talk about epic fail.

I had no feelings left for any of the men I’d been with…and Calum didn’t believe that. It hadn’t taken long for me to realize that he doubted me. He hadn’t really said anything, but he’d been odd the rest of the night. We hadn’t been able to sleep together due to some last minute details he had to take care of. Our communication had been reduced to four text messages throughout the day. Calum’s behavior scared me, but it also gave me hope. If he was jealous, then what we had meant more to him than I’d originally figured. Right?

Then again, bumping into three or four of my exes in one weekend might put a flip on the whole jealousy thing. Overkill doesn’t begin to describe it. I’d had five lovers in the last three years, none of them lasting more than a few weeks. If that.

They’d all been assholes, I’d known that from the beginning. They’d been perfect for a few nights of mutual exploitation. It’d just been easier for me to keep it strictly temporary. At least until Calum came into my life. Now I was needy, anxious, desperate for more and clueless about how to get it.

Oh, and about to piss off the one guy I couldn’t imagine being without because of the three guys that were currently present and that I’d do anything to forget.

Damn it, Liv. You’re such an emotionally stunted bitch.

Calum wanted me fiercely, there was no denying that, but that was physically speaking. Emotionally, he seemed to be intensity personified, every look slicing into me and owning me. But what did it mean? Was I being an idiot when I imagined that each of those looks claimed me? There was no way to tell where we were going and I was too chicken-shit to bring it up.

Not for the first time, the idea to run went through my mind. Just leave the situation; break free of Calum and his unnatural hold on me, get back the Liv I used to be and…

Oh, God.

All thoughts of fleeing Calum became less than nothing, disappearing as if they never materialized in the first place. I watched him as he walked in, his tall form dominating everything. His shoulders looked amazing beneath his black suit jacket. His thick black hair was brushed back but not slicked, leaving a few strands falling onto his forehead.

I swallowed the knot in my throat, my eyes riveted on his approaching form. Without looking, I could still catch the rapid rise and fall of my chest, my tits all but dancing beneath the white material of my dress. Lust infiltrated my thought processes, infecting me with single-minded purpose. I wanted to devour him in that suit, have him keep it on while he rammed into me and I held on, nails sinking into his blazer.

Licking suddenly dry lips, I let my gaze roam since I couldn’t move for the life of me. His intense, nearly golden stare was bouncing around the room, looking for something.

Me. His eyes landed on me. He came to a stop as our eyes locked. That easily, I was a puppet, dangling on a precarious string, aching for my master to make a move and bring me to life.

Calum’s eyes dropped down to my feet. I knew what he saw; I had gone through great pains to be extra beautiful for him tonight. And he liked. No, he loved. His eyes became more hooded the higher they went.

By the time they got to my chest, my nipples had mutated into diamond tips that were struggling to break through my dress. It felt like it’d been months since the last time that I’d had him. In reality, it’d only been about a day.

My lips parted, moving silently, mouthing his name. It set him in motion, step after step bringing him closer.

Until he paused, his eyes narrowing at something behind me. I wanted to turn; I already suspected what was there, but I didn’t get a chance. Irony of all motherfucking ironies. While I was sure one of my ex-lovers was mere steps behind me, I caught sight of a black haired woman.

A woman I recognized and a woman that had her eyes where they shouldn’t be.

On my man.

Ah, fuck.

I felt a tap on my shoulder just as Diana, Calum’s
ex-fiance,
put her hand on his. My brows tensed, mimicking the look I caught flittering across Calum’s face. Diana pulled on his arm, forcing his attention to her. They said something to each other, and then she stepped forward, her thin arms coming around his shoulders in a hug.  One he returned.

I didn’t even turn to see who was behind me. My heels clicked with each quick step as I made my way to them. Calum’s head was still turned toward Diana. Each second he looked at her was like an atomic bomb going off in my right temple. Irrationality and I had met before, but never like this.

Diana smiled up at Calum. Lifting one delicate hand, she placed it right on his chest.

Below his heart.

Closer to his lower abs than she was fucking allowed to be.

I swear to God, my red blood cells became acid, going off in my veins.

Calum turned to stare at where I’d been, his eyes moving back and forth. He turned and caught sight of me right as I stopped behind him. My heart sped up when his eyes landed on mine.

“Calum?”

Diana’s voice had my head turning. She locked eyes with me. It was a straight-up female pissing match, the look in her eyes telling me everything I needed to know.

The bitch was now married to an old and extremely rich man. Even though she’d left Calum for her husband, she still thought she had some claim over him.

Bitch had lost her God damned mind.

Calum wrapped his hand around my arm and yanked me into his side. “Liv—”

I let him envelope me, placing my hand on his chest. Yup, right where she’d just touched him. “Baby, I was wondering where you were.”
Liv, are you serious right now?
Not that it stopped me. I was going to ask him to introduce me and his ex, when I caught how Diana was staring at us.

The envy on her face made me sick.

I cupped Calum’s neck, inhaling his scent. His cologne made my hand clench. I forgot that we were surrounded by hundreds of people, that I knew many of them and they knew my dad. I forgot that just as many people knew Calum and his family. We had never spoken of making any official.

BOOK: Allure Magnified
8.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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