Authors: Blakely Bennett
Tags: #Romance, #Erotica
ALSO BY BLAKELY BENNETT
Bound by Your Love Series
Stuck in Between
My Body Trilogy
My Body-His (Marcello)
The Demarcation of Jack
Copyright © 2015 by Blakely Bennett
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, character, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Cover design by Clarissa Yeo
Logo design by Olivia E. Bennett
Edited by Harper Jewel aka Suze
ISBN: 978-0-69236-702-5 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-94274-841-0 (eBook)
is as much about friendship as it is about love. “Blue” is dedicated to the girls that helped me survive and thrive in junior high school. Thank you Lauren S., Kim S., Lainie S., Karen S., and Helen H.
his is the third installment in the Bound by Your Love series that centers on the romantic lives of a close-knit group of friends. It’s not necessary to read the stories in order, but
Stuck in Between
is the first.
As you will see, each chapter is headed with a song title. The melody, title, and/or lyrics inspired me to choose each song for its corresponding chapters. If you’re into music like I am, I hope you enjoy the accompaniment.
Warning: This novel contains light bondage and discipline, with graphic sex scenes.
hank you to all my readers and fans who keep me motivated to write. Without you, there would be no point. As with each novel, it takes a team to get the book ready for you.
Harper Jewel aka Suze is my wonderful new editor and has made
sing. Clarissa continues to blow me away with her ability to get just what I want for my covers.
I could go on and on for days about my husband. His are the first eyes to read my work, and his suggestions and encouragement keep me grounded, just as his undying support and belief in my craft allows me to soar.
My test readers are my second helpers in making the book the best it can be. Warmest hugs to Tami C, Serena K., Ann P., Sara S., Kim L., Brenda L., Debbie R., and Danni.
A special thanks to my family, friends, and street team that provides me with the moral support necessary to continue chasing the dream. Love you all!
Bitter Sweet Symphony
by The Verve
he Chart House restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had a filled lobby and a line of waiting patrons out the door, which was typical for a Friday night. The ambience of the water and palm trees, along with a reputation for delicious seafood, brought a steady stream of customers, especially on the weekends.
As I walked through the crowd, I adjusted the collar of my long-sleeved, dark gray shirt, and noticed a guy in line staring at my covered cleavage as if he could unearth a view. Thankfully, I wasn’t in the red short-shorts and tight white T-shirt I had to wear at my previous job.
Please don’t let any sleazy men be seated at my tables tonight.
Although my tips weren’t as good at The Chart House, I felt far more comfortable looking like a professional and being modestly covered.
That night, I wore my dark auburn hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, with my bangs hanging just past my eyebrows. As always, I hoped the conservative clothes and hairstyle would discourage the steady stream of men from first leering, and then attempting to accost me as they had at my last job.
“Judy, can you pick up table eight?” Stan shouted over to me. He joined me at the side station as I changed out the coffee filter. “They’re friends of mine.” He dropped a creepy wink at the same time my stomach dropped, but I shook it off. He was my manager, after all, and I simply didn’t have the time or energy for an argument.
“Sure, Stan.” I peered around the partition through the crowd, and then filled up two water glasses. Outside on the patio, a warm, salty breeze greeted me as I approached the seating area.
Two big, burly men—my least favorite kind—occupied the brown, woven-back chairs around the circular, glass table that could seat four.
My five-foot, five-inch small stature left me feeling intimidated by most men. I had often wished I stood as statuesque as Lainie, a member of my group of friends. At least I was taller than Jacqs. Recently, they both had hooked up with members within our group, but that’s another long story, two actually, and for another time.
Steeling myself for the inevitable, I curved my shoulders inward in an effort to diminish the abundant size of my breasts. Boobs seemed a better term for them as they were much larger than necessary, which left me with no understanding or empathy for those who actually paid for boobs my size. My narrow waist didn’t help matters, as it accentuated my top-heavy frame.
My mother went on and on about how I should be grateful for my good fortune. According to her, I had inherited my large bosom and wide hips from my father’s side of the family, and from her side, a narrow waist and high-rounded butt. To her, this was a gift straight from the gods. If you ask me, it was hell-derived. What sixth grade girl would be happy with breasts already busting out of a DD-cup bra? None, I assure you. By thirty-one years of age, my voluminous mammaries hadn’t become any easier to deal with, and I would never share my current bra size with a soul, having cut all the tags out of mine.
As I slowly approached my boss’ friends, the man at the table with the thick, coarse, graying beard eyed me from head to toe.
“Well then! What do we have here?” he said, grinning to his friend.
Ignoring him, I placed the water glasses in front of them. “What can I get for you?”
“You, for starters,” the younger, clean-shaven man said as he reached out to touch the nametag situated above my left boob, “…Judy.”
I abruptly shifted to the side. “What would you like to drink?” Even though I knew alcohol would
help my current dilemma, I had to ask.
Damn, I need a new line of work!
“My name is Dick, and I’ll take a Bloody Bull,” the bearded man said to my chest. “Do they make you button up your shirt all the way like that?”
Brushing off the question, I turned toward the other man and held my pen at the ready.
“A dry Manhattan ... and it’s Keith.” He shook his head at Dick, appearing almost apologetic.
I had learned the hard way that the ones who seemed the nicest could be your worst nightmare. Walking away, I contemplated going back to college, for the umpteenth time, to finish my degree in creative writing. Maybe it was time to give up waiting tables and stick with just bartending. At least when I doled out drinks, I had a counter between the men I had to serve and me. Even in a nice establishment like The Chart House, I still felt vulnerable.
My phone vibrated in the pocket of my apron, prompting me to check on all my tables before placing the drink order. I scurried to the bathroom unseen and entered a stall to check my text.
I’m staying at the apartment tonight. Can you come by?
I typed back quickly.
I have to be at Babes in Tattooland early tomorrow to meet Cat.
Finally biting the bullet, huh?
Bring the tattoo design to show me and spend the night.
Come by after you get off from work. I’ll take a break and meet you upstairs.
Okay. I have to run.
I didn’t take the time to wait on his response. After washing my hands, I rushed out to serve a few meals and deliver the drinks to Dick and Keith.
“How long have you been working here?” Dick asked.
I held back what really shot through my mind,
One day too many
. Instead, I put on my server-smile and said, “A few months.”
“You’d make a lot more money doing something else.” The implication was crystal clear, but he elaborated anyway. “I could hook you up with a few clubs. You’d have to show more skin though,” he accentuated with an impish grin.
“No thank you. What would you like to order for dinner?” I asked, bristling and struggling to maintain a smile.
“A woman as beautiful as you, with your stunning proportions…” Keith interjected. “You could make a fortune.”
“The Applejack Sea Bass is very good,” I announced, fighting to keep it together. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but as the saying goes,
It Never Gets Old
for men like these. In my case, it never got any easier, either. I tilted my head to either side and stretched my neck. “If you’d rather have steak, then I recommend the prime rib.”
“Why are you so uptight?” Dick demanded.
Somehow, his parents knew what they were doing when they named him.
“If I told you the truth, I’d get fired. How about you place your orders and let me get back to my other tables?”
“How about not? I won’t say anything to Stan.” He reached out to grab my arm.
I swiftly sidestepped his attempt. “Right, well…” I contemplated for a brief second whether losing another job was worth being honest, and I decided, yes. Getting hired had never been a problem, the only perk my body granted me. I let it all spill out, “If men would stop assuming that my appearance means I want sex 24/7, life would be a heck of a lot easier for me. I have no desire to strip or to show off my body for anyone’s enjoyment other than my boyfriend’s or husband’s, that is if I can ever locate a decent man in South Florida. And those odds are looking more dismal every day.”
“You’re neglecting the gifts god gave you, young lady,” Dick declared.
“You and my mother would get along well,
,” I said, making sure to enunciate his name. “It seems you need more time to order. I’ll check on my other tables and be back in a few.” I stalked away before they had the chance to respond.
By the end of the night, I desperately needed a shower to wash away the grime and the never-ceasing emotional toll extracted for looking like a walking blue-eyed, dark-haired, voluptuous blowup doll.
My shotgun one-bedroom apartment had a narrow design plan with a tiny kitchen. The hardwood floors gave it some character and since moving in, I had slowly been making it my own by collecting art pieces and paintings when I could scrape up the money. Having a female roommate hadn’t worked out well for me, and living with a male seemed like an even worse option. I didn’t much care for living alone—particularly in this neighborhood—but it definitely beat the alternative. I fanatically kept my doors and windows locked at night.
The one mirror in my tiny apartment hung over the sink in the pink bathroom surrounded by yellow Post-It notes with positive affirmations.
Smile, it’s a new day.
I love and approve of myself. I trust myself. I am beautiful and smart and that’s how everyone sees me. I am safe and sound.
I have given up criticizing myself. I trust my inner wisdom.
Ignoring the rest of the yellow stickies and wiping the moisture off the mirror from the steamy shower, I applied blue eyeliner as I got ready to go over to Bond’s place. My long, thick eyelashes didn’t need any mascara. I threw on jeans, a bra that held me in tightly, and a blue tank. After slipping into a pair of sandals, I grabbed my overnight bag, wallet, and keys, and then headed out the door.
On my way over, I thought about Bond. Only his family called him by his real name, Mitchell. Maybe because he detested his given name, he had taken to doling out nicknames to all the people in our friendship circle. He had dubbed me “Sweet Judy Blue Eyes,” shortly after we met. He said it was because of my striking blue eyes. After a while, I became “Blue” to our group.
The guys in our friendship circle, Bond, Red, Stay, Kev, and Dawg didn’t intimidate me at all. They had taken the time to get to know me outside of my looks. Most men made horrible assumptions about me, even before learning my name.
Bond and I had been having sex on and off for years without the group’s knowledge, which had to be a feat of magic worthy of a Houdini illusion, as not much was held sacred within our group of friends. Our fuck-buddy status started shortly after Red and I briefly dated. I never could get past Red’s huge size, and he never could get past my dark needs and insecurities. With Bond and me, we had an understanding. We didn’t poke at each other’s vulnerabilities.
I can’t say I was happy when Jacqs began to date Red and continued seeing Bond, but recently, Bond and I had resumed our steamy, dark sex, so it was hard to care. Plus, unlike Red, he understood my insecurities and used them to his advantage.
After pulling into the parking lot of the CroBar Club, where Bond deejayed, I texted him, letting him know I had arrived.
I exited my aged, brown Corolla hatchback, making sure the driver’s side door closed all the way by knocking it with my hip. Bond lived in an apartment above the club, so I waited by the steps that led up to it.
“Hey,” he said as he approached.
“Hey yourself, handsome.”
He wore dark jeans, a fitted black dress shirt, and shiny black boots. The top of his long, brown hair was pulled back, highlighting his light brown eyes and making them as stunning as ever. He took my hand and led me up the steps.
My body responded, knowing what was to come as the thumping bass from CroBar’s vast stereo system followed us up the stairs.
“Don’t have much time now, but I’ll make up for it later.” He unlocked the door to his apartment.
“I’m sure you will, dude.” I smiled his way, and his face lit up in return.
Bond kept his place relatively neat, which always impressed me, considering the ‘bachelor-pad’ atmosphere. He led us over to the black leather couch sitting atop an oriental rug.
Although the space wasn’t much bigger than mine, the furnishings spoke of money that I certainly didn’t have. He received an income from a trust his grandparents had set up for him and his father controlled. Rumored amongst our group, Bond would be coming into a substantial inheritance in a few years. I never asked him about it directly, and it really didn’t matter to me. Unlike my mother who liked to use her attractive looks to garner perks from her latest conquest, I vowed to make my own way in life. Bond and I had never been in love, however, I did love him like family but with an outlandish, wild chemistry thrown in. To me, he was the most misunderstood of all of our friends. He would cut off his left arm for anyone in our circle and in some ways, he was as tenderhearted as I was, only he hid his softer side behind macho bravado.
Bond’s thumb stroked my palm, causing my body to vibrate. “How was work?” he asked.
“Oh, you know, the same old bullshit, but I did okay in tips.” I had to raise my voice so he could hear me over the music pounding through the floor. “Stan stuck me with friends of his who wanted to set me up as a stripper.”
“Sorry, Blue, that’s gotta suck. Did it remind you of the situation your father put you in?”
“Yeah, for a second, but let’s not go there. I’m not a fifteen-year-old girl anymore. Plus, your text came at the perfect time and cheered me up.” I scooted closer to him. If anyone could help distract me from my plight in life, it was Bond.
Sweeping me into his aura, he pulled me in close and kissed me deeply. After he sufficiently stole my breath, he clutched my hair in his fist and yanked my head back, then he bit his way down my neck.