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Authors: Laurelin Paige

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BOOK: Last Kiss
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“This isn’t my bed,” he said, not moving to either help me or stop me.

“It’s the best I can do right now.”

He’d gone commando, a sign that he’d likely tried to sleep as well, then had thrown his clothing on when he found the effort futile. I rubbed my hands together, heating them with friction before I reached in for his cock.

Just as I lowered my lips to his tip, he said, “That ‘right now’ insinuates that there will be a time that you can do more.”

I didn’t want to answer, afraid of giving too much of myself away. Afraid that he wouldn’t like my reasons for not being with him fully or that he’d try to talk me out of worrying about Amber’s place in all of this.

So I occupied my mouth in other ways that prevented talking.

I began, kissing his tip as I massaged his shaft. He wasn’t ready, but it was cold. For a few minutes I wondered if it were too cold, or if he were possibly resisting me. Whether he was or not, he was certainly not participating. He kept one arm on the back of the swing and the other at his side while I licked at his head. After several swipes of my tongue, I got more aggressive, sucking his crown then taking the whole of him, heating him up in the warm hollow of my mouth.

Soon he was fully erect and pulsing against the back of my throat.

I sucked him deep, stroked him hard. I knew him well enough to know he liked his blow jobs best if I suffered a bit while giving them. That was easier to achieve when he was in charge – when he pulled at my hair and pushed my head to take him at his tempo.

Without his directing, I concentrated on his pleasure and considered any discomfort I had as a bonus. The more I gagged, the more my legs tingled and ached underneath me, the harder it was for me to breathe, the better I knew it was for him. For both of us.

He remained silent while I worked him up. When my hand started to cramp, I gripped his thighs and used only my mouth, bobbing up and down, my lips pressing tightly down the length of him. The first clue I had that my efforts were succeeding was when his muscles tensed under my palms.

The second clue was when his hand left the back of the swing and squeezed the side of my breast.

“Ah,” I moaned, the sound reverberating against his shaft. He bucked up into my mouth in response. Selfishly, I fell to my side, letting the blanket fall off my shoulder to offer him better access to my tits.

He took my offer, crushing the heel of his hand into my ample flesh as he pinched at my nipple so hard that tears pricked my eyes. So hard that my moans turned to sobs. So hard that I was wet. Dripping.

Then his hand was no longer on my tit, but between my thighs. He nudged my top leg up and pushed away the cloth barrier of my panties and shoved several fingers into me at once. He wasn’t gentle as he probed me, viciously stroking against the sensitive inner wall of my pussy like my itch was his own. Almost immediately, I was tightening around him. He knew what I liked too.

Or, more likely, we just liked the same thing.

I fought against the pleasure, trying to keep my focus on him, on his cock in my mouth, his crown at the back of my throat, but the more I attempted to ignore what he was doing, the harder he fucked me. My orgasm pushed against my restraint, threatening to burst like the dark clouds of a spring storm.

Just when I thought I couldn’t hold back any longer, when my rhythm had begun to stutter and my concentration waned, he spoke, his voice rough and raw as he gave me permission to let go. “Do it.”

At his command, I surrendered, erupting over his hand in a flood. My jaw went slack as I yielded to the pleasure, as I tumbled into ecstasy.

I was still trembling and blissed out when Reeve gathered me into his lap, facing out.

“On your knees,” he said. I obeyed, putting a shaky hand out on the arm of the swing to balance myself as he tugged my panties down my thighs. He notched his cock at my hole, then roughly pulled me down, sheathing him completely.

I cried out at the sudden fullness. He gave me no time to adjust, immediately adopting a rapid tempo that inspired my waning orgasm to rebuild. Had it really only been a day since he’d been inside me? It felt like so much longer. Like I’d been hungry for him for weeks. Like I’d been starving and now I was easily filled, easily glutted.

I fell back against his chest and succumbed to the onslaught of sensation. Every nerve in my body was alight. The blanket had been abandoned in the shift of positions and the cold air felt sharp against my hot skin. My nipples burned, goose bumps covered every square inch of my exposed limbs, and the sweat on my forehead felt like melted ice.

Reeve was lost to his own lust. With a hand over my mouth and another on my hip, he pounded into me with a relentless drive. I felt his mouth on my neck, felt his thighs tighten under mine, felt the tip of his cock reach so deep inside me that I thought he’d tear me apart.

And then he did – he hit me in a spot that sent the second orgasm ripping through me, shredding me into so many pieces that I was sure there were parts of me I’d never recover.

“You feel me,” he said while my cunt clenched around him like a vice-grip. “Right now you feel me, Emily. That’s where I am – inside you. All the time, I’m there. No matter whose bed you sleep in.”

I let out a sob, muffled by the heel of his palm. It was a cry of both pleasure and pain, of both release and imprisonment. He’d let my body soar, let me take flight amid the stars. But then he’d anchored me, yanking me back to him with only a handful of sentences. Maybe it was selfish how he made sure that no matter how far I drifted, I would always be tied to him, but I liked it.

Reeve reached his own finish on the tail of his speech. His tempo grew ragged, then, with a final thrust, he let out a feral grunt and came.

After, we stayed unmoving, our breaths creating a small haze around our mouths as hot air expelled into near freezing night. The sting of the chill became more noticeable as I settled, as well as the tingle of my feet, which had fallen asleep in my bent position. But when I started to move off of him, Reeve wrapped his arms around me and held me tight, so tight that I could barely breathe. The gesture had both romantic overtones and an edge of desperation.

I was grateful to be facing away from him, so he couldn’t see the tears pricking at my eyes. So he couldn’t know how much he moved me, how much he always moved me.

We went into the house together, climbing the stairs in comfortable silence. At the top, when it was time to part to our separate rooms, we hesitated together. With his eyes he invited me again. No, it was more than an invitation. It was a strong tug at my invisible leash.

But I stood planted, and though it wouldn’t have taken much additional force to pull me with him, he dropped my lead with a nod and turned toward his door.

“Reeve,” I called out quietly, unable to let him leave without giving him something.

He paused, his expression masked. “Yes?”

“I didn’t sleep with Joe,” I said. “I’ve never kissed him or thought of him sexually, and I have no desire to in the future.”

He smiled, a smug, knowing smile that did wicked things to my insides. “Good.” Then, without any trace of humor he said, “Because otherwise I’d kill him.”

Without waiting for a response, he spun on his heels and disappeared behind his door, leaving me with a racing heart and the shuddering certainty that he’d meant what he said.

I woke to banging on my bedroom door.

With one lid still shut, I checked the bedside clock. It was just after nine. The banging began again.

“Just a minute,” I groaned. After giving myself ten seconds to blink the sleep out of my eyes, I threw the covers off and stumbled out of bed.

I cracked the door open and found Joe on the other side.

“I need to talk to you,” he said, his tone tense. “Can I come in?”

I was still wearing only a T-shirt, and, though I would have been comfortable in less in front of most anyone, I thought of Reeve and knew he wouldn’t approve. “Uh, give me five.”

Four minutes later, I’d donned a fresh shirt and leggings and had brushed both my teeth and hair. I opened the door, and Joe took a step as if to come in.

“It would be better out there.” I gestured to the hall. Reeve’s door was open, I noticed, which meant he was awake and likely wouldn’t ever know if Joe and I talked in my room.

But the security cameras. But the perception.

I’d learned not to make the same mistakes twice.

Joe’s expression said he would have preferred privacy, but he didn’t argue. “Something is going around the Internet today that I think you need to see.”

“Okay. What is it?”

He looked at the phone he clutched to his chest as if he had the article or post or tweet – whatever it was – loaded to show.

Before he handed it to me, though, he paused. “I need to preface. A week or so ago, Chris Blakely was blasting social media with insinuations that Reeve might have been involved with the mafia and possibly got off with murdering Missy Mataya. I’m not sure if you were aware.”

I grimaced. “I’m aware.”

“If any of his accusations are anywhere close to truth, he could get himself in big trouble with the likes of Vilanakis.”

“Right. But you know what? He’s on his own with that. I told him to keep his trap shut, and he couldn’t. Too bad for him.”

“Also, too bad for you.” He unlocked his phone and handed it to me. “Because now you’re involved too.”

With my brows pinched, I grabbed the cell from Joe’s hand and studied the screen. The picture at the top of the page was of Chris and me at an award show we’d both attended in January. The photographer had caught me midlaughter, which somehow made the photo look intimate even though we weren’t even standing close enough to touch. I remembered the night well. He’d been waiting for his fiancée to return from the bathroom, and, in between flirting with me, he’d told me about his connection with Missy.

The image was innocuous, but the headline that accompanied it was concerning.
Busted: Chris Blakely and NextGen Voice Star’s Torrid Affair!

“What the fuck?”

I scanned through the rather uninformative article that claimed Chris and I had been seeing each other on the sly. Rumors about Hollywood figures were common enough, and I was just about ready to dismiss the whole thing when my eyes landed on the final image of the post – a blurry photo that showed the two of us in an embrace outside his apartment. That picture had been taken only a couple of weeks prior. It was from the day that I’d seen him for information about Reeve and Missy. The day that Reeve had shown up at my house upset about the perception I was giving the public by being alone with Chris when I was in a relationship with him.

Suddenly I had a headache.

“Where did they even get this picture?” It wasn’t something that I thought Joe could answer. “And why is it only showing up now?”

He shrugged. “But if Vilanakis is connected to Missy’s death in any way,” Joe said, “and if he knows you’re connected to Reeve, well, he might finger you as the leak to Chris because of this.”

Reeve had assured me that he’d had nothing to do with Missy’s tragic end, but he’d never said anything that had cleared his family of responsibility. And if Joe was right – if Vilanakis
had
caused her death – this certainly did put a bad light on me.

More urgently, if Reeve believed the article’s claims, then that could mean trouble for both Chris and me.

I had to set the record straight. “Has Reeve seen this?”

“Not sure. But it’s all over the gossip sites. Twitter’s having a field day with it.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“His office, I believe.”

I handed his phone over, already in motion. Joe followed on my heels, as I bolted down the stairs and to Reeve’s office. The doors were closed when we got there, but I burst in without bothering to knock.

“It’s not true,” I said, without any preamble. If Joe had already found the article, I was certain Reeve had as well. The only mystery was why he hadn’t come to see me about it yet.

Reeve was sitting behind his desk, and he glanced up at our arrival before turning his attention back to his computer. “Good morning, Emily. Joe. Come right on in.” His tone was laced with annoyance that seemed more to do with our abrupt entrance than anything else.

Perplexed by his otherwise cool attitude, I repeated my claim of innocence. “I know you saw the article, and I’m telling you, it’s not true.”

Reeve sat back in his chair and looked from me to Joe then back to me again. Finally, he said, “I know.”

“You
know
?” I was happy that he believed me but more than a little surprised that I hadn’t had to convince him. “
How
do you know?”

“Because, first of all, you’re with me.” Maybe Reeve had learned a thing or two about me as well. Like, when I’m committed to a guy, I’m committed.

“Secondly,” he continued, “that picture in the article is one of mine. The embrace it’s depicting has already been explained as innocent.” He eyed me as he spoke the last part, his expression saying,
I trust you, even if you don’t trust me.

Warmth shot through me even as I recalled the spiteful manner in which he’d treated me when obtaining that explanation.

“What do you mean it’s yours?” Joe asked, but I had a feeling I already knew the answer.

“It was a picture that one of my men had taken.”

I’d thought I’d been followed that day. Then, when Reeve had shown up at my house in a rage over my afternoon with Chris, I’d
known
I’d been followed. He’d been jealous and mean, but, as embarrassing as it was to admit even to myself, I’d liked it.

I was pretty sure, though, that it wasn’t something Joe would understand.

“A bodyguard took the photo,” I said, covering for Reeve’s behavior.

Reeve, however, didn’t seem to think he needed me to protect him. “An investigator,” he corrected. “I’d had Emily followed. These were the pictures he’d taken and e-mailed me.”

Joe’s gaze narrowed. “Is that something you normally do – have your girlfriends followed?” His terse, accusing tone made my spine prickle.

Reeve was quick to respond. “When I know they’ve hired someone to investigate me first? Yes. I do.”

Just like that, Reeve had both defended his questionable actions and divulged that he’d known Joe had been hired to research him.
Impressive.
I lowered my head, hiding my grin.

“Emily is already aware of that, though,” Reeve went on, “so there’s no need to make it an issue now.”

Feeling Joe’s eyes on me, I looked up and gave him a reassuring smile.

Joe seemed hesitant, but he conceded. “No issue made. What I’m more concerned about is if this article is going to mean trouble for her.”

Reeve’s expression said he knew what sort of trouble Joe was referring to. “I’m handling it.”

“Thank you.” My gratitude was blotted with unease. Reeve’s version of
handling it
would likely lead to him discovering that I
had
slept with Chris. It had been long before Reeve, but after his numerous jealous outbursts, I wasn’t sure the timing of our fling would soothe him at all.

Which meant I needed to tell him myself, before he uncovered it. He might react poorly, but it would be better than waiting and worrying.

“‘Handling it,’”
Joe repeated. “Just out of curiosity, is that a euphemism?”

Reeve let a few seconds pass, which I guessed was to temper his response. “It means I’m looking into the source of the article as well as reasons it might have been released, besides for the purpose of mere fodder for the masses. I’m also feeling out my sources to see if anyone is up in arms over Blakely’s other recent revelations in the media.”

He glanced at me but then directed his next words solely to Joe. “But, as long as she’s with me, she’s safe, no matter what’s discovered from my research.”

Reeve’s possessive words hit all my hot buttons like a mallet glissando on a xylophone.

Joe raised a skeptical brow. “Are you sure? If this was one of your guy’s photos, how did someone else get ahold of it?”

“And why is this coming out now?” I added. The pictures were several weeks old, which was a lifetime in Hollywood.

“Those are exactly my questions. Either someone hacked my e-mail or my investigator’s. My guess is that the photo was an accidental find by someone searching for access to my bank accounts. The hacker likely saw it and recognized an opportunity to make a little money by selling the image to the paparazzi.”

Reeve’s supposition was very probable. Secure databases containing private e-mails were breached every day. I supposed even a control freak billionaire wasn’t immune to cybercriminal activity.

Joe was less willing to buy the theory. “Are you positive this man of yours is someone you can trust?”

“Anatolios has worked for me for over ten years and is the most faithful employee I have.” Reeve’s right-hand man was nothing if not loyal. “But, of course, I’m researching every possibility.”

Joe’s body remained tight and his expression uncertain. “I’m sure you’ll understand if I want to do some research of my own.”

“Of course I’ll understand.” Reeve’s smile was smug. “I appreciate that, actually, as well as your immediate response to something you recognized as a possible threat. It means a lot to me.”

Understandably, Joe didn’t seem to know how to take Reeve’s acknowledgment. “Yeah. No problem.”

Great
. Now there were two people digging into my relationship with Chris.

Joe shifted as though he were getting ready to leave, but he stopped when Reeve asked, “Emily, what’s wrong?”

I hadn’t realized my distress was so transparent. But perhaps it was a good thing to disclose my past in Joe’s presence. Reeve would have to control his temper then, wouldn’t he?

“Nothing’s wrong,” I said, slowly. “Exactly. Just, if both of you are going to be looking into Chris and me, then there’s something I should tell you.” I took a deep breath and forced my eyes to meet Reeve’s. “We’ve been friends for several years, and, in the past, the friendship did have a… uh, physical nature.”

A shadow fell over Reeve’s face, but he disciplined his features.

Joe was smart enough to recognize the tension. “How long ago in the past?” he asked cautiously.

“Before I was ever on
NextGen
. Before he got engaged.”
Before you,
I added silently, my gaze never leaving my lover. “He’s made comments that have implied he’d be willing to have more now, but I’ve refused him.”

Reeve’s brow rose slightly.

“Then this might be coming from Blakely directly,” Joe suggested. “A sort of attempt at wish fulfillment or a way to get back at you for turning him down.”

I let go of Reeve’s stare and looked to Joe. “I hadn’t considered that. But no, I don’t think so. Even though Chris wouldn’t mind cheating on his fiancée, he wouldn’t want that out in the open.”

“Is that why you refused him?” It was the first time Reeve had spoken since my confession. “Because he was attached?”

“Yes.” It had been the reason I’d refused him at the awards. “And then
I
was attached.” Now I’d admitted that my meeting with Chris the month before had met with a proposition. It might have been a detail I regretted divulging, but there was no way I’d ever be able to trust Reeve if I didn’t give him a chance to prove himself.

And also I wanted to give him a chance to really trust
me
. Wanted to see if he
could,
and there was no way that would happen if I weren’t completely honest.

“Besides,” I said, attempting to lighten the mood with more truth, “he never really did it for me, if you know what I mean.”

“Not quite as much information as I needed, but thank you for your candidness.” Joe turned to Reeve. “I’ll look into the possibility of that angle as well. It’s hard to guess what someone might reveal about himself if his ego has been bruised.” Joe’s insinuation that Reeve might behave in the same manner was thinly veiled.

Wisely, he decided that it was time to end the conversation. “Looks like I have work to do. I’ll get on it.” Without waiting a beat longer, he made his exit.

I turned to follow, but Reeve called after me. “Emily.” He waited until I twisted my head in his direction. “Shut the doors.”

My hands were shaking as I did what he asked, so I kept them behind me when I pivoted my body to face him.

He studied me. “Come here.”

I took a step forward, but then stopped, paralyzed by both my attraction to him and the delighted fear of what he might say or do next. Wringing my hands together at the base of my back, I ventured, “Are you… mad?”

“Well.” He leaned back in his chair and crossed his ankle over his knee. “I’m in a quandary about that, aren’t I? Your affair with Chris happened before you met me, so I suppose I have no grounds to be angry. Though, I am extremely unhappy – again – that you chose to meet with him, and now that I know he had openly declared his interest in bedding you, I have to question your judgment.”

He had a point. The problem was he didn’t understand what my motivation had been, and there wasn’t any good reason to keep that to myself anymore. “I met with him to see if I could get any leads on Amber. That’s the only reason why.”

His eyes widened in understanding. He nodded an acceptance. “And you’ve already promised to not be alone with him again, so I guess I have to swallow my jealousy and let it go, don’t I? If I want you to know that I believe you.”

BOOK: Last Kiss
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