Authors: Avyn Pearl
© 2013 Avyn Pearl.
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored on any system or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic or otherwise—except for brief passages in critical reviews or articles, without prior written permission of the author.
Published in the United States of America by Avyn Pearl.
Publisher’s note: This book is a work of fiction and is derived entirely from the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual places or events is purely coincidental.
For my love.
Paulo is so close I can feel his breath on my neck. As he talks, I soak in the smell of sandalwood in his aftershave and the warmth of his muscular body. His husky voice drips of Portugal—the coast, deep, delicious espresso, the delicate pastries of the
in the city. I close my eyes for a second, imagining his lips like petals falling down my skin, kissing the prickly bumps that rise.
," he whispers excitedly. "So nice."
A smile crosses my lips,
one of obvious mischief. "Uh huh." I look down intently. A breeze reaches me from the window across the room and a few strands of my hair tickle my lower lip. I push them aside with neatly manicured pearl pink fingers. "It's huge."
Paulo is just as excited as I am. An urge creeps up from deep inside of me. This is more than I could have hoped for. I lean in to Paulo a little more. "
How much do you think this baby is worth?" I try to peek into the binocular microscope at the large, shiny diamond.
, millions. It's perfect."
Finally, I lie back on the couch in my small but
cozy studio apartment and grin.
"Hell yes!" I say this aloud, but it's really
a congratulatory word to me. This victory clearly established my mark and proves that I'm the best damned gem thief in the world. Paulo recognizes this fact at the same time because he immediately leans over to give me an awkward hug.
"You do it!" I smile again at Paulo's broken English. "You do it, Darlene! We call
"Yeah," I both reply and nod.
"We have to process this baby—a
nd get our money."
The smile on Paulo's face soon fades. "You know, gorgeous, we been working together sis' months already.
Time to break up, no?"
Sadly, I know it's true. I'm too pretty for jail. One of the reasons I'm so good is because I don't keep partners long and I move around a lot. It keeps me out of trouble. "Yes, Paulo, I'm afraid you're right." I slide a pink slim cigarette out of its case and fire it up with a
blinged out lighter. Yes, that's the type I am. I ask him, "Are you heading back to Portugal after this?"
Paulo shakes his head. He pulls a cigarette of his own out of the pocket on his open silk shirt and leans closer to me to light it from my own embers. He takes a few puffs, then exhales, enveloping us in a plume of carcinogens before speaking again. "I'm going to Italy. I have lady there." A sparkle dances in his eyes.
You've been holding out on me!" I laugh, as does my friend. He pats me on the knee, a sign of endearment, I know.
. You know, I think about settling down from this, start me some children."
For a second, I'm affected by this remark, a picture of Paulo with a beautiful Italian girl, and their beautifully dark-haired offspring. My mother would have wanted the same for me.
Except, of course, they'd be French Canadian, Haitian and Greek, and whatever DNA their father would share. But I'm not the housewife type. I've always been a free spirit. I tell myself I should call my mother tomorrow, though.
"That's a good thing, Paulo.
A very good thing."
"I don't know, Paulo. I miss San Diego. I think I'll go back there and see what I can get into."
Paulo grins. He knows that I'd only go somewhere if I were already thinking about a job. And I am.
. The gem show is there next week. Long enough time?" Paulo's eyebrows come together with genuine concern over whether I'll be able to pull off the job so quickly.
Of course, I'm no amateur. "Sure." I shrug. "Should we go?"
"Yes, my sweet." Paulo stands to clutch his messenger bag. He slips the huge diamond inside just before closing the tiny buttons on his shirt. We'll walk the few blocks to a corner store and pick up a throw-away mobile phone to call our friend, Hezzy. And in about twenty-four hours, I'll be on a plane to sunny SoCal.
In case you're slow, my name is Darlene. It's Darlene Roxelle Laurent, to be precise, but most people know me as Darlene Finch or Darlene Nordeman. Or by some of the other names I use. I was born in Victoria, British Columbia and raised all over. My half Greek, half Haitian mother is a professor of women's studies at the University of Chicago. My Canadian-born father is a prominent cardiologist in Chicagoland. I have a sister, Claudine, who's married to a lawyer. I went to the best schools, as did Claudine, who's a family therapist, by the way. Perhaps because our home was so happy growing up, Claudine feels like she needs to figure out why everyone else is so damn weird. I'm serious—we had a great life.
I'm twenty-nine. And no, I'm not panicking about hitting thirty. I'm living my best life. I have a bachelor
’s degree in economics from NYU and a master’s degree in international marketing from Yale. What? I needed something to do. My family thinks I work for a marketing firm based out of New York City, and that I travel all over (I needed something to explain all the postcards from all over the world, didn't I?) and I pull off this great, whopper of a sham with the help of my friend Priscilla Grulay. I affectionately call her Nelly, since her middle name is Janelle. Besides, if I'm ever caught talking to her by phone, no one would know who she is.
I'm a gem thief. And I'm good at it.
I sit at this nondescript corner café, like I have just about every Friday afternoon since I've been in Houston with Paulo. It took me three days to meet Peter, who's an environmental lawyer. I've fucked so many lawyers, I've lost count. Clearly Claudine and I have this in common—she used to hang around the University of Chicago Law School, flipping that long ass hair until she found one for the long term. And as I watch Peter approaching, joggling slightly as he jaywalks across the street, I feel a slight slipperiness between my thighs. It's a warm but breezy day, and the silk-blend shirtdress I'm wearing ripples slightly with the breeze. A pair of thongs is all I wear underneath. Luckily I'm blessed with great breasts. Okay, let me be honest: I
"Hey, beautiful," Peter says, kissing me on the cheek. "I missed you last week."
"I know." I was working, but I don't tell him. Peter thinks I'm a barista. I think that's hilarious. "Let's go."
Oooh," Peter smiles. "You're feisty today." He slips his arm in mine in that chivalrous way he has about him, escorting me down the street. A couple of women gawk as we walk by their table. I agree that I'm hot, but it's probably because they notice what I'm feeling: my nipples are as hard as rocks already thinking about the next frame in this beautiful movie. "Same place?" Peter reaches for my face, delicately skimming a finger across my chin.
I like that place."
We walk a few blocks and arrive at our spot. It's a cute boutique hotel we happened upon when the Westin was full on account of some stupid insurance conference. We love the beds, the rooms are spacious and the food is delicious. I sit in one of the oversized chairs in the lobby pretending to read a copy of
as Peter gets a room for us. As he moves toward the elevator, I follow. I'm pulsing between my thighs, anticipating what's to come. Peter's been away on business so I haven't had sex in over a week and I feel like I could die. I can tell Peter's anxious too, his footsteps are quicker today. Peter's married, of course. He's told me plenty about his kids, mostly because I ask, but very little about his wife, probably because I don't ask. I just know he's bored and feels unloved.
He can barely swing the door shut before we reach for one another. We hold
our embrace longer than usual. His slightly wet kisses start at my collarbone and move up toward my ear. He breathes in my scent. "Ummmmm," he murmurs, "you're wearing the Gucci I bought you."
"Yes," I whisper, gently tugging at his leather belt. "Peter …"
"Yes, I know," he responds. And he does know.
Peter's hands glide up my thighs, playfully pulling the rim of my thong just before he slips my dress over my head. "You're stunning." I smile, knowing he's turned on by the little things. He buries his head between my breasts, now full from anticipation, then gently draws a nipple into his mouth. Instinctively, my back arches, giving him full access. He cradles me in his arms, hungrily twirling my nipple in his mouth as we're wrapped up in one another for a moment.
Peter gently lays me across the bed as he unbuttons his shirt. "Do you want to make love or do you want to fuck, Darlene?"
I smirk. It's funny to see Peter, who is ordinarily so straight-laced, turn dominant in the bedroom. I try not to think about the fact that I have to tell him that I'm leaving tonight, but it does cross my mind. "Do you have to go back to work?" I ask, serious now.
Peter pauses, an expression of curiosity on his face. I've never asked him for anything other than a lunch before. "Not really, why?"
"I want both. I want more of you today."
He gives me a look, and I can tell my request gives him satisfaction. His shirt and pants now laying in a sloppy heap on the floor, Peter kneels between my thighs. I close my eyes, waiting for him to slide my wet panties down for his surprise. My last Brazilian was in the shape of a heart. Before you start thinking it, I'm not sentimental at all. But I am quite fond of Peter. It was the least I could do, because I know I'm going to break his heart.
Peter smiles as he looks up at me.
"Well, you asked for more hair." I giggle. "I decided to give you just a little bit."
"I love it," he whispers, just before his mouth swallows my glistening lips. Normally, Peter isn't this rushed, but I don't care. I want him just as much.
Mmmm," I groan when his tongue flicks across my wet spot. "I love that, baby. Don't stop."
And of course, he doesn't. Peter gently laps his tongue up and down until I'm soaked even more. I feel my own wetness saturating the sheets. Assertively, he pushes my legs apart, sucking me softly. "Yes, Peter," I encourage him, my voice getting louder, my tone more harsh. Like a rhythm, my hips begin to grind against his eager mouth and he moves with me. I pinch my nipples as I groan, knowing that surely, the occupants of the next room can hear me. I know because I heard them turn their television set down. Fucking perverts.
"Oh, baby … More!" I'm even louder now.
Peter grabs my hips in a futile attempt to regain some control and keep up
with my pumping. I'm so close. He knows, because just then, he teases me with one, long stroke with the tip of his tongue from the crack of my ass to the tip of my throbbing clit, and quickly flicks his tongue back and forth.