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Authors: N Isabelle Blanco

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BOOK: Allure Magnified
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I nibbled on my bottom lip. Guilt was blossoming, reminding me that he had in fact just returned from a business trip and that he needed to relax.

             
Why won’t he just tell me though?

             
He stepped up to me and gently tugged my lip free of my teeth. “Demi, please.”

             
“Okay.”

             
The relief that I could see on his face made my capitulation worth it. One thing was for sure, though: there was no way that I could simply lay back and spread my legs for him while he kept secrets from me.  It’s not that he didn’t have the power to make me want to do so. It is common knowledge that he did. I think he knew that I couldn’t handle that right then because he sighed and pulled me in for a hug before suggesting that we just relax and watch a movie.

             
The relief I felt was actually heartbreaking. Even more so was the fact that as the night went on, he made no move to open up to me about what was happening.

             
Over the next few days, the weight of his silence made it harder for me to maintain mine. He never got another of those odd calls again, but I didn’t stop thinking about it. Nor was I blind to the stress that he seemed to be under. Still, I was glad to have him back and starting an argument over it wasn’t on my list of things to do. So, I decided to convince myself that the issue was resolved and that it hadn’t really happened.

             
I almost succeeded, too.

 

6

I
t had been a little over a week since Dorian’s return and things were back to normal. Kind of. I hadn’t seen or heard of him getting any more weird calls, and although I hadn’t forgotten about it, I sure as hell pretended that I had. Business kept him busy during the day and school was kicking my ass.

It would have been nice to say we’d been able to see each other nonstop since his return, but that really wasn’t the case.  Therefore, I’d planned to have him over at my apartment that night, a fact that had my friend Ang in a fit.

Well, she didn’t know I was spending the night with a guy, only that I had plans. I hadn’t quite worked up the courage to break the news about Dorian to either her or Liv.

“What is so damned important that you can’t come out with me for drinks?”
             

I moved the phone to my other
shoulder. “Reminder: you and I aren’t legal, yet.” 

“That’s never stopped us before. You’ve got two weeks, I’ve got one.”

The more annoyed she got the more I could hear her French accent. Smiling, I reached into my drawer for my thigh highs. “I know but I really can’t make this one.”

“Who is he?”

I swear to God, I almost dropped my phone right there. “Excuse me?”

“Don’t act dumb with me,
demoiselle
. What else could be so important that you have to ditch me and Liv for the night?”             

I slipped on my thigh high, trying to think of the appropriate response to that. One that wouldn’t end with me giving myself away. “My name is not Liv, missy. I think you have me confused.”
And you’re going to hell for that one, Dem.
“It’s just a last minute family thing that my dad won’t let me back out of.”
Going to hell for that one, too.


Mm-hm.

Nothing in the world could convince me that Ang believed me. But, as long as she didn’t push it, I’d be happy. “I’m serious.” I slipped on my second thigh-high and stood to reach for the lingerie I’d set out on my bed.

“I believe you. Truly I do,” she said sarcastically.

My phone vibrated. I lowered it to check what had come through and saw the tiny text notification at the top of my screen. I put Ang on speaker. “Hold on, Ang. Give me a second.”

The text was from Dorian and what it said hit me like a cold snowball to the left tit.

‘Baby girl, I’m so sorry.  I got caught dealing with something. Won’t be able to make it tonight.’ –D.

The emotions his text sent through me were truly ridiculous. I sat down heavily on the bed, staring at the phone like it had lost its god damned mind. I didn’t even know what to say to that.

The age-old disappointment of having waxed, done my make-up, and picked out hot lingerie just to be left hanging…that shit is a bitch. A real, cruel bitch. The kind that walks up to you, back-hands you without apology, then walks away like it had every right to do so.

Understandably, anger was simmering inside me, beginning to boil.


Um
, Dem?”

I blinked. I had forgotten Ang was on the line. “Yeah…yeah. I’m still here.”

“Is everything okay? You went quiet.
Too quiet.
As in, all hell is about to burst free quiet.”

If she only knew. “Yeah, I’m okay. It’s just that…apparently, my plans for this evening were cancelled.”

“What do you mean?”

“I
just got a text from my…from my dad. He had some last minute things to take care of…at the office. Yeah.” And as I lied to my friend, I attempted to lie to myself, repeating in my head that that’s exactly why Dorian wasn’t going to make it.

“Well, that sucks. But you can come out with us now.”

I licked my too dry lips, wondering how the hell I was going to put on a smile and go out drinking with them when deep down I felt like shit.
Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale. Don’t imagine yourself giving him blueballs for the next month. I’m sure he has a really good reason for leaving you hanging like this…

He better have a good fucking reason for leaving me hanging like this.

I had to know. The need to hear what excuse he had blinded me. I wasn’t planning on going off on him, at all, but I needed to know why he would back out of seeing me when we’d agreed days ago.


Merde
, Dem. Are you coming or not?”

“Yeah, sure. Text me where to meet you. I’ll finish getting ready and head over. Sound good?”

“Finally. I’ll let Liv know.”

I hung up with Ang and had every intention to call Dorian right away. But instead of doing so, I sat there, naked except for my thigh-highs, and stared at my phone. Maybe I was being paranoid and idiotic, but the more I thought about it, the more I was sure that those calls he’d gotten last week had something to do with his not coming over now.

You’re going schizo. Just woman-up and dial him already.

The problem is that the moment I did, it went straight to freaking voicemail. Cue the deep breathing once more. I sent him a text asking what was going on then dropped my phone on the bed. If I held onto it for another moment, I was going to give into the irrational cunt inside me that was throwing a fit over being left hanging.

I walked straight to my closet and slid the doors open. I grabbed my gold and black lace, sleeveless dress and walked back to my bed. As I put on my lingerie, I literally felt my serotonin levels dropping. It’s sad how all it took to ruin my excitement was Dorian cancelling our plans. Everyone else would have most likely said that it was best if I put it out of my mind, went out, and partied my ass off with my friends.

Well, any girl that has ever looked forward to spending a night with a guy can tell you that being left hanging makes you want to curl into a pitiful ball and simply wait for him to at least call.

You’re becoming pathetic over him, Dem.

While I was applying my makeup, I tried to push it all out of mind. I’d just finished applying mascara when I heard my phone vibrate on the counter. The way my stomach felt like it flipped inside me was the only signal I needed. I caught a glimpse of my reflection as I reached for my phone.

The look on my face had me doubting my sanity.

I shook my head at myself then checked to see if the text was really from Dorian.

‘I’ll head over as soon as I’m done. Please tell me that’s okay.’ –D.

My heart melted even though I was still mad at him. I sent him a text asking why he wasn’t coming over. The phone vibrated with his reply almost immediately. As pitiful as I was, that was almost enough for me to fully forgive him.

‘Work. What else? Just wait for me. I might be late, but I’m definitely coming. Okay?’ –D.

I didn’t believe him. Not about the work thing. My gut was going off on full alert. I felt guilty that I didn’t believe him, but no matter what I told myself, I simply didn’t. When I asked him what time he’d be over, his response was that he didn’t know but
that it would be late.

It was Friday and I didn’t have any plans for tomorrow. Still, I’d be damned if I stayed at home waiting for him to come. I let him know that I was going out with my friends and left it at that. He could text me when it was time for us to meet up.

I finished getting ready. There was no way I could give into the sadness brewing inside me. Determined, I promised myself that no matter what I was going to have a good time with the girls. Letting Dorian have so much control over my emotional state wasn’t merely dangerous. Hell no. That shit was a warning. One that I couldn’t ignore because I knew what it meant.

I knew where I was heading.

***

             
The bar was starting to get packed by the time I got there. Although it was downtown, this spot rarely asked for I.D. if you looked old enough. A bad thing, in retrospect, but it was one of the reasons that this place was our favorite hang out spot.

             
Ang was waiting for me in one of the booths near the back. She saw me and stood up to wave me over, oblivious as to how most of the men around her turned to stare at her. Her long, thick, black hair fell down in waves down her back. Add her pouty lips, big green eyes, and the short red dress she was wearing, and there was no surprise that almost every male eye in the place was on her.

             
More than a few guys turned to stare at me as I passed, too. I felt bitchy for even being glad, but there was no denying that it made me feel better about my situation. I approached Ang and leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek. It was then that I realized that Liv was nowhere to be found.

             
“Where the hell is she? I thought she was supposed to be here?” I asked as we sat down.

             
Ang rolled her eyes. A cute, young waiter came up and took our drink order. He smiled at both Ang and me, a single dimple flashing above his upper lip. I mentally sighed, knowing that what was in front of me was too hot to ignore. Unfortunately, our waiter wasn’t Dorian. Which meant that he wasn’t doing anything for me. “All yours, Ang. Get ‘em girl.”             

             
“I am not your dog, bitch. Why aren’t you going for it? At least this once.”

             
“Not interested.” Hey, it was the truth.

             
“You’re never interested.” Ang shrugged. “Me neither.”

             
Now
that
was unexpected.  If there was one thing my friends were, it was men trapped in women’s bodies. They didn’t sleep with every hot guy they met, but they sure as hell scoped out every hot guy as if they intended to. Flirting was their favorite past-time.

             
My disbelief must have been showing on my face because Ang’s expression went flat. “So where’s Liv?”             

             
“She didn’t tell me.  She just said that she couldn’t make it. Let me tell you, I’m almost one-hundred percent sure the woman is fucking someone.”

             
Our waiter returned with our drinks. I didn’t even acknowledge him when he placed my White Russian in front of me. I was too busy staring at Ang and waiting for her to elaborate further.

             
“Don’t tell me you don’t suspect the same thing.”

             
I nodded. “I do, actually.”

             
She frowned and downed half of her drink in one swallow. “We have to find out who this guy is. It’s not typical of her not to brag in some way or form, especially if the guy is good in bed. Which he has to be if she’s kept him around for this long.”

             
I lowered my glass back onto the table. “Wait. How long have you been suspecting this?”

             
“A few months now.”

             
Damn. What else can I say? I didn’t even wonder why I’d missed the signs before now. I knew why. My mind had been sucked into the world of Dorian ever since we’d begun our affair. It was a damned miracle that my grades hadn’t plummeted considering how obsessed my mind had become.

Reminded of him, I took my cell out of my clutch, hoping to see a message. I don’t know how I managed to hide my disappointment when I saw none. Swallowing, I slipped my phone back into my clutch and turned back to my friend. “What made you start suspecting?”

              Ang had taken out her cell and was glaring fiercely at it. “I called her.” She didn’t continue, glaring at her IPhone.

BOOK: Allure Magnified
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