Authors: Layla Hagen
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College
"Can you get me one too?" Dani says, looking at him with hope.
"That's my girl." He puts one arm around her shoulders affectionately and the other one around mine as we watch the bartender make the drinks. "So, how come you never introduced me to your adorable friend before?"
"She didn't know her until today," a voice says from behind us.
Parker instantly stiffens and withdraws his arm.
Dani and Parker turn around, but I take my time. I wait for the bartender to hand me the drink, take a sip, and only then follow suit. I find James's gaze fixed on me.
"Then I can blame you for not introducing us earlier," Parker jokes, but his posture is far stiffer than it should be.
"Indeed," James says without taking his eyes off me. "Dani, I hope the drink behind you is for someone else."
A wave of warmth surges through me at such a blatant display of overprotectiveness toward his sister while Dani, understandably, scoffs.
"Would you mind if we finish our conversation?" James asks me.
The honest answer is yes, but he looks so determined I can't see how I can get out of this without causing a scene.
"Sure," I say and follow him, thinking it can't be worse than before with so many people around us who don't even have dancing to concentrate on anymore. My reassurance shatters when I realize the wooden wall behind the bar is a fake one, and the real wall is behind it. The room between the two of them is filled with empty tables and cabinets carrying every imaginable type of glass and porcelain plates. Unfortunately, there is plenty of space among the cabinets for two people to talk, sheltered from absolutely every guest's view.
"That wasn't polite," he says the second we're inside, and I can tell he's refraining from using a harsher word.
"I wanted to leave," I admit.
"And ended up at the bar?" he says with a laugh that feels forced. I wonder what wouldn't feel forced, what would alleviate the unbearable tension between us. As he stands with his back turned to me, inspecting—or pretending to inspect—one of the glass-filled cabinets, I have an inexplicable, almost frightening rush to close the distance between us and look him in the eyes, stroke him, touch him.
"What do you want from me?" I ask.
His intoxicating ocean-and-musk scent invades my senses a fraction of a second later, when he pushes me against one of the empty tables, his arms around my waist again, every inch of his body glued to mine. He breathes heavily against my neck, and each warm breath of his against my skin sends shudder after shudder through my body. I think I'm trembling, but I can't be sure. The only thing I am sure of is I don't want him to step away.
He doesn't step away. Instead, he takes off both our masks and kisses me.
A thousand icicles glide down my skin and I discover that I am truly trembling. Violently.
And now I know why I came. For this. For the touch of his lips and the stroke of his strong, warm hands that have the power to turn every icicle into a flaming spear. One of his hands is still on my waist, the other one is on my thigh, furiously pulling up the fabric, until it reaches my skin. We both moan at the same time.
And then, just as suddenly as he started it, he breaks the kiss and pulls away his hand, allowing the fabric to cover me again.
"Do you want to leave?" he mutters in my ear in a low voice.
"What?" I ask in alarm. Of all the things I want right now, leaving is not among them. "No."
He distances himself from me, just enough to be able to look me in the eyes. And I thought they were dark while we were dancing! That was nothing compared to the deep dark blue they are now.
"You wanted to leave not ten minutes ago. What's stopping you now?"
want me to leave, but don't know how to say it?"
"God, no," he says, digging his fingers deeper into my waist.
Our heavy breaths are the only things filling the silence between us for a few seconds.
"You just ended a long relationship. You're used to something I can't give you," he says.
"Maybe I want to try something different," I say and his eyebrows shoot up in the same bewildered surprise that overwhelms me.
I lean forward and kiss him without giving him the chance to utter one reason that could change my mind. There are so many of them. And I don't want to change my mind. I don't even want to think this through. I want to have fun.
I want to be reckless.
Just for once.
He gasps for breath a few seconds later and I feel his conceited smile form against my lips as he says, "Let's get out of here."
t is a good thing he remembers we are not really in a private space, because it completely slips my mind. He grabs my hand and opens a door between two cabinets that I hadn't noticed before. We step into a hallway similar to the one at the entrance, except there are no paintings in this one, and there are fewer doors.
He opens the door directly in front of us and pulls me in, flattening me against the door as soon as he closes it. We're in a library.
"Have you changed your mind?" He passes his thumb gently over my lips.
"Good." He leans in and starts perusing my neck with his lips, sending delicious little tingles down my spine. "Because I want you so badly."
A soft moan escapes my lips, triggered by his confession. It's not just his words. His whole body expresses a craving that mirrors mine.
He covers my mouth with a kiss, an even more hungry and passionate kiss than the ones before it. His hands travel up my back and the slightest spasm of panic shakes me when he unceremoniously rips the eyelets apart, allowing my dress to fall to the ground, leaving me completely naked except for my panties. One second later, they land on the floor as well.
He breaks off the kiss and steps back. His eyes travel slowly over my body, the blue in them getting darker and darker by the second. When they reach my chest I automatically move my hand in an attempt to cover my minuscule boobs, but he stops me midway and wraps me in his arms.
"You are so beautiful, Serena," he says in a low, raspy voice before kissing me again.
My desperate hands search for the buttons of his shirt, and I start undoing them one by one. I feel eighteen again, preparing for my first time. In many ways it is a first and it's even more nerve-wracking than the
first time. There was at least a bed involved, and a guy I had been dating for two years.
I press my fingers into his skin the second his shirt comes off, my touch leaving red marks on his perfectly toned body.
God, he's hot.
He lifts me in his arms and I wrap my legs around him as he carries me around, never ceasing to kiss him, never ceasing to touch him.
A spasm of panic returns as he places me on my back on the leather couch and leans over me.
"You're nervous," he whispers in my ear.
"A bit." I have no doubt the tremble in my voice reveals just how nervous I am. "You have an unfair advantage over me," I point to his pants.
"You think?" he asks and presses himself to me. His erection against my bare midriff wipes every wisp of nervousness from my mind, leaving only one thought.
I want him.
I unbuckle his belt as clumsily as I unbuttoned his shirt and take off his pants and boxer briefs at the same time. And then I touch him.
He is huge. Really huge.
"Fuck," he says in a husky voice, lowering his fingers to my thighs.
To my intense frustration, he breaks off a fraction of a second later, and bends over to one side, searching for something in the pocket of his trousers.
A condom. I didn’t stop taking birth control pills after breaking up with Michael, but say nothing. Given that I barely know him, using a condom is a good idea.
He places it between my breasts and commands, "Put it on."
I don't wait to be told again and rip off the cover with trembling hands. I look him in the eyes as I roll the thin condom over his erection, watching as his perfect face contorts in spasms of pleasure and frustration. It gives me immense pleasure to know I'm causing it. I arch my back, seeking to cut our prelude short.
"Not so fast," he teases and starts kissing my ear, descending painfully slowly on my neck and then my breasts. His tongue plays around one of my nipples while his fingers touch my sex.
"James, please," I beg when the tension in my body becomes almost painful.
The gentle touch disappears as he presses his palm over my clit and moves in circles over and over again, sending hot and cold spasms through my body.
I cannot control my moans and pleas or the wildness as I dig my nails into his back.
"I want you to come," he whispers in my ear.
And I do.
He covers my mouth with a kiss as my body succumbs to a thousand spasms of gratification and bliss in a way it never had before. I barely recover my breath when he thrusts inside me, filling me completely.
"Fuck, Serena," he moans and pulls my head into another kiss. Intense. Delicious. Rough.
Like his thrusts. I pick up his rhythm and move my hips against his faster and faster, in a wild dance that has me sweating and moaning with pleasure and torture at the same time. But no matter how fast we move, it isn't fast enough. It isn't hard enough. I want faster. I want more. I want everything.
The spasms start again when I feel him growing, his furious breath intensifying by the second.
"Fuck," he groans in my ear as the blissful explosion overtakes me again. Between my uncontrollable shaking and moaning, I hear him come too.
It takes a while before my breathing returns to its normal pattern and I can form clear thoughts again. James is still over me, his head buried in my neck. His breathing too, is calm and regular now. He's not inside me anymore and I feel a twinge of regret me because I can't remember when he pulled out. He slides over to one side and sits up on an elbow. His face contorts in a grimace and I immediately see why. There are four deep scratches on his left shoulder.
"You're a little beast," he teases, looking amused.
"You seemed to like it," I say, avoiding his gaze. Why am I always so defensive? Probably because he makes me say and do things I never did before… like scratching and biting.
"I never said I didn't," he says softly. "Did you like it? You're the important one."
I nod and turn to look him in the eyes. They are so bright now. I wonder if I'll ever have the opportunity to see them turn dark again, or if this was it.
His next move makes me think it’s the latter.
He gets up and pulls on his trousers in a heartbeat then disappears from my view only to return with my red dress a few seconds later.
"We're returning to the party?"
He takes my hand and helps me get up, then wraps me in his arms, holding me against his still damp body.
"There are thirty-seven rooms in this house," he says with a delicious smirk. "How about a tour?"
can't believe you had sex with him," Jess says for what must be the hundredth time. She drops her copy of the
Sixteenth Century Relics
on the coffee table and stares at me, then picks up her tablet, her attention focused on me.
Maybe it's time to change tactics. I've brushed off every single one of her previous questioning attempts with a laconic
I don't want to talk about it
, but one week later, she still isn't showing signs of wanting to let go of the matter.
"Isn't that the purpose of a rebound?" I ask.
"For normal people, yes," Jess says, looking both pleased and alarmed that she finally got some other reaction from me. "I honestly thought you wouldn't get beyond first base.
second if you were really drunk."
"Well, I wasn't the slightest bit drunk," I say, still not lifting my eyes from my laptop. I upload the spreadsheet and press send, relieved to be done with work for the week. Now I can concentrate on the oligopoly assignment for Monday. But instead of opening my assignments folder, I find myself browsing YouTube for mock job interview videos. They haven’t done much for my interview skills so far, but I feel more competent just by watching them.