Authors: Megan Noelle
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica
I hated that I didn’t understand what was going on. Yet here I was, giving him every thought I had. Those dark smoldering eyes, the feel of his rough hands against my legs, our lips moving together. He intoxicated me with his
smell, his touch, his taste, and now I felt a hangover over him. I wished I could call him, see him, just be near him. And quite frankly, all I knew about him was that his name was Onyx.
For some reason though, none of that seemed to matter. The rest of that morning while I bathed in my slow dripping shower, applied a light layer of makeup, and searched for something to wear—he was in my mind. I must have replayed the scenes from my last night in my head so much that I was convinced my brain was going to shut down in protest.
It didn’t take long for me to see that I had to do something to occupy my time in order to think clearly. I slipped on a pair of white shorts, a black lacy cleavage revealing tank top, and a pair of gold goddess style flip flops. After I slid my white headband into my hair I slung my hemp purse across my shoulders and headed out for the day.
It was a beautiful late July day in Venice Beach
. Eighty degrees, sunny, with a refreshing ocean breeze flowing all around. This was the perfect day, allowing me to travel my journey by foot. I hadn’t bothered investing in a car, if I could walk, I did.
The first stop was a quaint little coffee shop. It was
privately owned and never had the hustle and bustle of a coffee chain. I wasn’t a regular by any means but if I was in the mood for something hot—this was my place. The bell on the door chimed as I entered. In the cramped little space of the dining area the divine scent of coffee beans warmed my senses. I loved being in here and some days if I just needed to fill the silence I’d spend the entire day here. Listening to the conversations going on around me, and watching from a distance. It had been a while since my last visit though.
“Hey Andie, haven’t seen you for a while.”
The familiar male voice of one of the regular baristas, Cliff, pulled me from my thoughts. My lips twitched up in my version of a smile, not coming close to the wide grin from him.
“Yeah, I’ve been busy lately.”
“Hopefully you’re doing well.” He asked, never looking away from my face. I knew this was his attempt to flirt with me. Cliff had asked me out a couple times but I said no instantly. It should have been the end of it but he seemed to take that as me simply resisting attraction.
“Same old, same old.”
“Would you like your usual?”
“Coming right up.” He said with a wink as he shouted out my order out to be made.
I only got as far as lifting the flap on my bag before he reached out and touched my arm. As an instinct reaction I jerked my hand away, my heart rate sped and I looked into his face as if I was staring at an attacker. Cliff misread all the signs as me being swooned by his touch.
“That’s on the house, sweetheart.”
I couldn’t even say thanks as I walked away from the front counter. My hand pressed against the middle of my chest, focusing on my rapidly beating heart I closed my eyes. Whenever this happened there was only one thing that could calm me back down. Slowly, I began counting in my head at the pace my heart should be. It took a few moments longer than usual but soon I was back under control.
When I opened my eyes I realized that as terrifying as a reaction that was, it was still normal to me. So why was it that I never flinched away from Onyx’s touch? And why did I crave him still?
The second my drink was finished I turned on my heel and booked it towards the door. I had almost made it back into the breathable air when I heard my name.
Cliff was running out with an unfailing grin on his face.
I’ve been talking to the owners and we are all in agreement that we need more art. Do you have any new art pieces you’ve been working on? There’s no one else we’d rather have painting for us.”
“Actually, yes. I finished a piece last night.”
He clapped his hands together with a nod. “Great! Name your price!”
I drifted away from the conversation and thought back to the onyx stone painting sitting in my room. The sense of serenity I had while working on it washed over me in waves all over again.
“Actually, this one isn’t for sale.”
“Oh, is that so?”
“Yeah, I’m sorry.”
e waved off my apology but closely scrutinized every inch of my face. “Oh no, don’t you be sorry about that. It is your art after all, but something tells me this is your best yet.”
I looked to
him with a questioning stare. “What makes you say that?”
“Well, because you have never had
look on your face when you talked about a painting before.”
“What look?” Immediately I pulled my face into an emotionless expression. No one saw anything I didn’t want them to. Yet I had just given something away that was definitely unintended.
“That look that says there was some true inspiration behind it. For that reason, if you ever choose to sell it, I’ll pay any price. Sight unseen. I’d hate to let that go.”
beginning to realize that I would hate letting it go just as much as Cliff. I just wish I knew
I sipped my coffee as I made my way down to the boardwalk. Tourists were in fine form today. As soon as I spotted an open bench I took a seat
, and let the people watching commence. Rollerbladers, joggers, families, teen girls wanting to be much older—Venice had it all. Being here provided hours of endless entertainment without keeping you locked up in the house all day. Not to mention all that Vitamin D was making it more enjoyable.
While in the middle of listening to a mother arguing with her daughter that couldn’t have been older than 13 I was distracted. At first I wasn’t sure what it was that took me from the moment, until I heard it again.
“Alexandria Hawkins.” A male voice called out from the direction my back was facing. My body froze,
called me by my full name. Not only that, it was rare for someone to even know my last name at all these days.
My neck inched over my shoulder, expecting a man with a knife waiting patiently. Heavy footsteps drew closer and stopped directly behind me. All at once I whipped my body around to catch the man before he could manage
In an instant my body went from fear to relief finally settling on shock. Staring at me with a bewildered expression in a plain tee and cargo shorts was Kayne. I recognized him right away since it was only last night that I saw him. What didn’t register in my brain though was how in the world did he know my real name?
“It is you!” He said, a smile breaking over his face.
I didn’t react, just stared up at him. Too many questions rolled through my mind that not a single one came out.
“Do you remember me?” The excitement in his voice felt extremely misplaced. Did he think that just because I stripped that I was too sloshed during the day to know which way was up?
“I just saw you last night.” My voice didn’t hide a single irritated syllable.
Kayne let out a wild laugh as if I was in the middle of a stand-up act. “No, no, I didn’t mean that. It’s me, Kayne Ramsey!” He held out his arms, and I blinked. Nothing about that first and last name sounded familiar.
He shook his head smiling. “We went to the same high school together. You were a cheerleader for the football team!”
The wheels started turning, this typical preppy frat boy from the club was indeed an old classmate. The memories started flooding in. Kayne played football every year I cheered. Although we had the same general crowd of friends, we hardly ever spoke. Our little circle of people were different and it wasn’t until right now that I recognized him. My stomach was sinking quickly as it registered that for the first time someone knew me as both Kandi and Alexandria.
“Yeah, I remember now.”
Kayne’s smile grew wider than I figured was humanly possible. He plopped himself on the bench next to me shifting much closer than I was comfortable with.
“We even went to the same college for freshman year. We were in the same class, I kept meaning to say hi
, but you always seemed preoccupied. Then you just disappeared after the summer.”
I looked away from
his face and stared forward to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.
“I transferred.” My words were short and firm. I didn’t want to reminisce about old times
, and I sure as hell didn’t want to answer questions about where I went. It was no one’s damn business but mine.
Crossing my arms over my chest and placing my leg over my thigh, I hoped Kayne quickly got the message. I wasn’t open to hanging out
, or having a conversation for that matter. I wanted the silent peace of my bubble that I had been in before Kayne came out of nowhere and ruined it.
“Did you? Man that is a lot less colorful than the rumors that were going around at the time.” Kayne slung his arm along the back of the bench. Out of the corner of my eye I watched his head shake back and forth as if he was hearing those rumors
all over again.
He snorted. “Yeah, that’s for sure. It was a bummer being at that school though the next year, at least for our group.”
I knew he was waiting for me to ask something but I didn’t.
“I was away that summer at a football camp. When I came back for school everything was different. All our friends that transferred to our school didn’t talk to one another anymore. I tried getting the gang together for a welcome back party and they all acted like we were strangers. It just never made sense.”
Yes, it did.
“It just means they were never real friends.”
Kayne nodded his head, deep in thought. If I would have got
ten up right now I doubt he would have noticed. Strangely enough though, my legs didn’t move. I didn’t take my chance to walk away and I had no doubt I’d regret it. Hearing anything about that summer was a shock to my system. I’d give anything to live in that sweet ignorance that Kayne was currently experiencing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be that lucky.
I knew what happened.
I knew why everyone changed.
It was the same event that turned my world upside down.
My stomach churned with nausea, that delicious coffee from earlier was beginning to burn in my throat. Goosebumps made my warm skin feel suddenly frigid and uncomfortable. I rubbed my hands up and down my arms to shake the sensation away. We needed to change the subject or I was going to get sick.
So, um, how was your birthday?”
I cast a glance his way but returned my focus to the wide open ocean.
“Well, last night was a lot of fun. After you left, me and my buddies got so drunk. I woke up at five this morning to go for a run to shake it off. I can’t drink like we used to apparently.”
It was curious to me the way he already referred to us like we were old pals. I knew my memory wasn’t mistaken, we were never friends before. I couldn’t help but wonder where it was coming from. Were things that bad between everyone when he went back sophomore year?
“Hmm,” was all I gave, yet it was still enough to keep him going.
“Yeah, I guess I got so wasted
that my boys called my uncle. They figured dropping me alone at my place probably wasn’t wise and my uncle has dealt with our drunken shit many times.”
His uncle. Onyx. Even though Kayne never said his name, my stomach was doing twists. My pulse
raced, my throat grew dry and I found myself craving more about Onyx.
Oh, your uncle was there?” I rolled my eyes at my own transparent question. I can’t even recall the last time I felt like a ditz over a guy.
Kayne let out a snort, not seeming to notice. “Yeah, he was the one you made out with.”
My cheeks burned instantly. Had Onyx told him what happened outside?
“What?” I questioned, hoping for some sort of clarification.
“Last night during the uh…dance.” Kayne’s eyes shifted from the sky to the ground. It was refreshing to see talking about it made him uncomfortable. The last thing I need is for the one person who knew me to blab about it to a ton of horny assholes. “You crawled across the table and made out with him.”
This wasn’t the kiss I was worried about him seeing. There was an easy explanation for this one, even if it felt like much more.
“Ah, that. It wasn’t a kiss, it was a shotgun.”
For the first time I looked over giving him my full attention. A smirk even surfaced over my lips. “You must not be a smoker.”
He smiled back, shaking his head. “Nope.”
“A shotgun means I inhaled the smoke he held in his mouth. It’s another way to smoke a cigarette. I was craving one so badly before I did your dance. When I saw him light up I couldn’t resist.”
“Ah, well that makes much more sense.” He nodded his head as my thoughts began to drift back to that moment.
“I kept watching whatever you guys were doing. All I kept thinking was man, my 50 year old uncle should not be getting more action than me. I figured I had to up my time at the gym if I’m losing my good lucks.” Kayne said with a teasing smirk.
Whatever response I may have had was gone. There was just one thing that continuously flashed in my mind, the number fifty. How in sam hell did a man
my age manage to leave me in an unsettled state of mind? I had slept with men older than me before but never
much older. And if I gave a lap dance to any man Onyx’s age they looked
like him. Wrinkles everywhere, white fuzzy chest and arm hair. The thought itself made me shiver in disgust. Onyx was the opposite of all of that and an unmeasurable amount more attractive than the other guys at the table.
“He looks good for his age.” I replied.
“Yeah, the men in my family age really well. My dad and him are brothers. Good genes, I just hope they passed through to me.”
“I would too.”
In a single twelve-hour period I had experienced emotions I hadn’t in years. Lust, desire, intrigue, and shock all over a man. Not to mention all that Kayne’s little walk down memory lane brought up. It was one of the first days I wanted to just go home and go back to sleep.
“I should probably get going.” I stood, clutching my bag tight to my chest.
“Wait!” Kayne jumped up to follow, placing a hand on my shoulder.
My shoulder burned with his touch, I was seconds from throwing my fist into his perfect smile. “Where are you going?”
My skin was crawling from the point of contact. I felt myself taking erratic breaths and I knew if I didn’t calm myself I was going to end up in a full blown panic attack.