His Every Desire (For His Pleasure, Book 7) (10 page)

BOOK: His Every Desire (For His Pleasure, Book 7)
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Feeling uncomfortable at being a witness to all of these private interactions, Kallie started to clean up the room a bit. She grabbed a bag nearby and started putting the loose wrapping paper and other assorted bits of trash in it, while the two women talked.

Meanwhile Red and Hunter were murmuring softly to one another, and Hunter was laughing, trying to keep his voice down.

“Sorry I’m being such a bitch,” Danielle told Nicole.

Nicole shook her head. “You’re not being a bitch, I just wanted to make sure everything’s all right.”

“I’m just annoyed. Really annoyed.”

“Why?”

Danielle sighed. She started folding the clothes that Nicole had just taken out of the box. “Well, I was online this morning, bored. And so I logged into Kane’s Facebook account, and he’d gotten a message from one of his ex-girlfriends.”

“Wait, you logged into Kane’s account?”

“Yeah, I have his password. He knows,” Danielle said, as if that explained everything.

“He knows and he’s okay with you spying on him?”

Red and Hunter were still whispering back and forth and giggling like teenage boys in science class.

“I’m not spying. I’m just—keeping an eye on things. And obviously it’s good that I do, because I wouldn’t have known about his little ex-tramp otherwise. She’s so obviously after him, and I got the sense they’d been talking recently, but Kane totally denies it.”

Nicole nodded empathetically.

Kallie had to give Nicole credit. She somehow put up with all the emotional dramatics of her friends. If Kallie had been listening to this, she probably would have told Danielle to stop being such a controlling, jealous wife. And that probably wouldn’t have gone over very well.

“What do you think, Kallie?” Nicole asked, suddenly.

Kallie hadn’t expected to be asked her opinion. She was busy tidying up the room like a good little doobie, and she felt like an unprepared student who suddenly gets called on by the teacher in front of the entire class.

“About being Facebook friends with an ex?” Kallie asked, stalling for time.

“No, about your husband talking with an ex who’s obviously trying to steal him away from you,” Danielle said, turning back to Nicole. “She’s not married like we are, Nic. She doesn’t understand.”

Kallie felt color rising in her cheeks. “No, I guess I’ll have to wait until I’ve been married a couple of months before I’m allowed to chime in.”

Nicole laughed. “She’s right about that, Danielle,” Nicole told her. “It’s not like either of us have been married for twenty years.”

Danielle gave Kallie a look, but continued. “The point is, Kane is being sneaky, and I have every right to be getting on his case about it—right Red?”

Red sighed, finally looking over at Nicole and Danielle with weariness. “Please, can we not do this right now?”

“Do what?” Danielle challenged him.

“Make me defend Kane while Nicole defends you,” he said.

“You shouldn’t defend his actions,” Danielle replied.

“You were spying on his Facebook account—“

“And Nicole never goes on your account?”

Red shrugged. “She trusts me.”

“Nicole—please tell me you have his password, at least.”

Nicole shook her head no. “Should I?”

“Are you kidding me? I of course you should. Hunter, please. Someone talk some sanity to these people.”

Hunter held his hands up. “I’m not getting in the middle of this.”

“And don’t put it in your article,” Red told him.

Kallie couldn’t tell if Red was joking or not, but then he looked at Nicole and gave a quick wink. She grinned back at him.

Their nonverbal communication was exactly what Kallie envied about Nicole and Red—the way they seemed to be able to sense what the other was thinking without even saying a word. That was the kind of relationship Kallie wanted with Hunter—she needed to remember to tell him that when they spoke again about the topic.

At that moment, Kane returned from wherever he’d been and everyone just stared at him. “What?” he asked.

Nobody said anything.

Red and Hunter decided to go down to the cafeteria to start their interview, and Kane and Danielle were gathering their things to go. “Kallie, can I talk to you in the hallway for a second?” Danielle said, after hugging Nicole goodbye.

“Oh—sure.”

Kane looked at his phone. “I’ve got to take this. I’ll meet you out front,” he told Danielle.

She rolled her eyes as he left in front of them.

Kallie felt suddenly apprehensive following Danielle into the hallway to talk.

Danielle led her far enough away from Nicole’s room that she wouldn’t be able to hear them. “So, I just wanted to have a quick chat with you,” Danielle said, trying to sound casual, but not really succeeding.

“Okay. What’s up?”

“Listen, I don’t mean to come off rude, but I need to tell you to watch your step.”

Kallie couldn’t keep the shock from showing on her face. “Watch my step? Are you serious right now?”

Danielle nodded. “It’s common knowledge that Hunter’s interested in you.

Maybe Red and Nicole are too caught up in their new baby to see why he’s hanging around, but Kane is friends with Hunter and he knows how Hunter likes to operate.”

Kallie folded her arms. She was angry—Danielle wasn’t a good enough friend to talk to her like this, even if she was jut trying to help. “There’s nothing going on between me and Hunter.”

Danielle raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

“Not that it’s any of your business.”

“It’s my business because I’m best friends with Nicole,” she said, emphasizing the word
best
. “And she’s in a very vulnerable place right now. The last thing she needs is a bunch of drama in her life.”

“I’m not bringing any drama to her life. I’m just doing my job.”

“Good.” Danielle sighed. “Look, I’m not trying to be a mean girl. I like you, Kallie. But I know there was some kind of mess with Brad Danvers. And how you’re caught up in something with Hunter Reardon. And as much as I might like Hunter, he’s really bad news. There’s things about him you don’t know.”

Kallie couldn’t help but ask. “Like what kind of things?”

“It’s not my place to say. But trust me—you should really stay away from him.”

“Well…thanks for the tip, I guess.”

“I should go,” Danielle said, shouldering her purse. She gave Kallie a quick, obligatory hug, and walked off.

Kallie stood there a long time after Danielle had gone, just thinking. She was partly angry at Danielle for giving her a lecture and talking down to her, but she was also sickened by the things Danielle had hinted about with Hunter.

Even with Danielle’s veiled warnings about him, Kallie couldn’t help but feel that she wanted to find out more about him. He was so mysterious and yet also, she sensed a trustworthiness and kindness about him. Kallie felt that his intentions with her really might be good at the core—but was it worth finding out that she’d been duped and he was just a jerky guy with a kinky sex life?

Kallie went back into the hospital room, where Nicole was still sitting up, having a cup of water and staring at the TV mounted on the wall.

When she saw Kallie, she smiled supportively. “Did Danielle give you a hard time just now?”

Kallie grinned sheepishly. “She’s a good friend to you.”

Nicole shook her head. “I don’t need her trying to run interference for me.”

“Is that what that was?”

“Come,” Nicole told her, pointing at the chair Red usually sat in—right next to her bed. “Sit. Tell me everything.”

Kallie was relieved to have someone finally just being nice to her, someone who didn’t have their own crazy agenda that she had to try and figure out. She flopped down in the chair and put her face in her hands. “I think I might be losing it.”

Nicole patted her shoulder. “You’re fine, honey. Believe me, you’re not losing it. You’ve just had a crazy few weeks, is all.”

Kallie looked up at her. “Can I talk to you about something personal?” she said.

Nicole grew serious. “Sure. Anything.”

Taking a deep breath, Kallie decided it was time to ask Nicole about what she’d seen in her dresser that morning. “I hope I’m not crossing the line. If I am, just tell me and I’ll never mention it again.”

“Okay. Now you’re making me nervous.”

“The other day, Red had me go and get you some clothes and things from the house.”

“I remember.”

“Well, when I was gathering some clothes for you, I happened to notice that you had like…a few toys in your drawer. You know?”

Nicole’s face grew pale. “Oh…that. That’s embarrassing.”

“No, it’s—“

“I’m so sorry, Kallie. I hope you weren’t offended. We should have been more careful—“

“Nicole, it’s totally fine, I wasn’t bothered.” Kallie put a hand out and touched Nicole’s wrist. “I swear, I didn’t care at all, other than I thought maybe you could help me.”

Nicole got a confused look on her face. “Help you?”

“With this guy problem I’m having.”

“Now I’m really confused,” Nicole said, putting her cup of water back on the tray and pushing the tray aside.

“There’s a man in my life who’s expressed an interest in me.”

“That’s a good thing, right?” Nicole laughed.

She nodded. “Yeah, and I really like him, too.”

“Is it Hunter?”

Kallie hesitated, and Nicole waved her hands. “Forget I asked that. Just, don’t even answer. Go on, go on.”

Kallie laughed. “Anyway, this guy that I like—he wants to be in a—well I guess it’s called a BDSM relationship.” She felt her cheeks flame from the admission.

Nicole’s eyes widened for a second, but then she gained control of her expression, and was more neutral. “How do you feel about it?”

“I don’t know much about it, that’s the problem. I’m a sheltered girl from Ohio, and I’ve never met someone who wanted to…that.”

Nicole nodded. “I know how you feel. And I guess you’re coming to me in part because of what you found in my drawer.”

Kallie sighed. “I hate to put you on the spot, Nicole. It’s just that I don’t have anyone else I can talk to about this.”

“It’s okay. I’m not mad. I’m glad you’re telling me.” She smiled. “And you came to the right person, because I know what it’s like to be where you are right now.

Confused, torn, skeptical, interested but afraid. All of those feelings—I was feeling those same things when I first started seeing Red.”

“But the two of you are so happy now,” Kallie said. “And you’re living an alternative lifestyle.”

At this, Nicole burst out laughing. “I’m sorry. Alternative lifestyle? Hardly. We play around a little bit, but I think we’re pretty humdrum at this point. If anything, I wish we’d spice things up a bit in that area.”

“So, you don’t have a very formal situation?”

Nicole’s brow furrowed. “I don’t know what you mean. Explain to me what you’re talking about.”

Kallie picked up a loose hair tie from the tray and began fiddling with it as she talked. She couldn’t even meet Nicole’s gaze. “This guy who likes me. He gave me a contract to sign.”

“A contract? What kind of contract?”

“I guess I assumed all the guys who are into this sort of thing gave the woman a contract to sign.” She looked up to see Nicole shaking her head no.

“Sorry, I never signed any contract.”

“It says all kinds of stuff. It says that I have to do everything he commands, that I have to wear exactly what he wants me to wear and I have to call him Master. It basically gives him total control of my life.”

“Wow. I don’t know, Kallie. That sounds extreme. Red never asked me to do anything quite like that.”

“I should tell him no, then.”

“I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you that you should be careful of getting involved with anything extreme. Also, I need to know that I can trust you to be putting your job and your duties with me and my family ahead of some guy who’s giving you orders on how to live your life. What if he orders you to do something that conflicts with something you’re doing for me? Who will you listen to?”

Kallie felt awful. She never should have brought this up to Nicole—her boss. It was putting both of them in a terribly awkward situation. “You’re so right. I need to forget about this guy and just focus on doing my job.”

“I didn’t say that. Listen, you can always come and talk to me if you have concerns or questions. About anything. You know that, right?”

“Yeah.” Kallie nodded her head, but couldn’t meet Nicole’s gaze.

“I’m not telling you what to do about this person in your life. I’m just suggesting that you tread very, very carefully. Things happened to work out between Red and me, but that doesn’t mean that it does for everyone who tries that kind of arrangement. Red also changed a lot for me. It wasn’t a one-way street.”

Kallie looked up at her. She was shocked at how wise Nicole was, for being only a year older than her. It was as if she’d already had a lifetime of romantic experience in just a little while.

And Kallie also realized that Nicole had hit the nail on the head. A real relationship meant that both people changed, both people made sacrifices. It couldn’t be only Kallie who was making all the changes in her life.

***

“Hunter, would you mind driving Kallie home?” Red asked, as they were preparing to leave the hospital for the night. “I’ve booked a hotel room nearby because I’ve got a bunch of work stuff going on tomorrow, and I also want to be back and forth to the hospital.”

“Sure, no problem,” Hunter said, glancing at Kallie.

Nicole was watching him closely, Kallie noticed. Nicole looked back at Kallie now. “Maybe you should drive her anyway, Red. Hunter’s probably tired.”

“Not at all,” Hunter said. “I’m happy to do it.”

“I don’t mind either,” Kallie smiled. She knew that Nicole was just trying to protect her, but the truth was, she wanted a little more time with Hunter.

Red gave them a relieved look. “Thanks, guys. I’m wiped out, myself. I really appreciate it, Hunter.”

They said their goodbyes then, and soon Kallie and Hunter were on their way to his car.

Neither of them said much for a while. Finally, when they got in Hunter’s car and he began driving, Kallie spoke. “Maybe we can go to your place?” she said, casually.

BOOK: His Every Desire (For His Pleasure, Book 7)
13.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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