Authors: Kenzi Costello
Text Copyright © 2012
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of
fiction. All events portrayed in this book are fictitious and any resemblance
to real people or events is purely coincidental. Please note that the beliefs
expressed in this book do not necessarily represent the beliefs held by the
Except for use in a review, no part of this book may be
reproduced, scanned or distributed, in any printed or electronic form, without
When Pru suspects that the boyfriend she adores is having an
affair, she spirals out of control. She wakes up in a hotel bed with an
almighty hangover, and little memory of the night’s events. More of a concern
is the deliciously-scented predicament lying beside her. She battles with her
conscience as she wistfully reminisces of when she and Ethan first met and the
sizzling heat they once shared. Why has he been acting so distant lately and
should she risk losing him completely for the illicit, indulgent lust that is
already overpowering her with each second that passes….?
,” the voice murmurs and startles me awake. As my eyes flicker
open, I recognise the voice as my own, uttering my boyfriend’s name in a dream.
I instinctively reach out to the sideboard to check my mobile phone. Instead I
pick up something that feels like a large plastic key-fob. Within seconds my
mind starts to race, my surroundings are shrouded in darkness but I figure I
must be in a hotel. My head feels heavy from dehydration as I frantically try
to piece together the previous night’s events.
having an almighty row with my boyfriend, Ethan, over accusations of his
supposed infidelity. Then, out of anger and frustration I had gone out with
friends with the sole intention of getting pissed on absurd amounts of liquor.
This was so out of character for me. When I was 16, my father had taken a video
of me muttering incoherently, with cider splattered through my dishevelled hair
and mascara smudged down my face. I had been so horrified by it’s ugliness that
I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol in thirteen years. Well, until now.
I start to
have flashbacks but most of the night is still a blur. The last thing I
remember is being helped into a car by two guys wearing matching wine-red
chinos. Actually, now I think about it, that was probably just the severe
double-vision. I do remember thinking that he seemed tall and oh so fit, with a
buzz-cut hairstyle and I’m pretty sure I threw myself at him. Oh God, the shame
of it, proof that I wanted to get my revenge on Ethan and a clue to how badly I
was hurting. After that I think I passed out on the back seat. As the panic
sets in of where I am, I hear an indistinct murmur from behind me, and then a
broad, muscly arm stretches lazily over to rest on my hip.
As much as I suspect Ethan has betrayed me, this is definitely not the
I freeze, too ashamed and
terrified to turn around. Although, with my panties still on, I feel safe,
strangely enough, as if they are my shield. I imagine that if I was in any
danger, I would have been exposed to it by now.
a first. Until now I’ve never had a one night stand; Ethan has been my only
lover. Let’s see what all my friends would make of this – maybe now they will
drop their affectionate but patronising “Prissy Pru” nickname for me.
believe, that for a split second, I feel quite proud of losing my conservative
status. Almost immediately feelings of guilt set in as my thoughts turn back to
Ethan. A jealousy swells inside me as I imagine the undoubted female attention
that he would have got last night dressed in naval uniform for his friend
Jonah’s, stag night.
Right now, I
hate and love Ethan with equal passion, hate because of the misery he’s caused
me and love, well, because my stubborn heart tells me so. Just recently I was
seeing less and less of him and when I did, he seemed too tired to get frisky.
What was more cause for concern was that he had even rejected my advances.
Ethan refuse sex? Anyone that knew Ethan would say that this was as likely as
Justin Bieber refusing a twitter follower – unheard of! How much longer would I
have to rely on my vibrating toys
enjoyment? It was a standing joke with my best friend that if I wanted an
orgasm, I’d have to buy batteries first.
There always seems to be other
distractions in his life, his work, his family, his friends, or
says, and now I was beginning to feel like a little-girl-lost, vying for his
attention. I dreaded life without him but my nightmare was becoming more real
If he ever
found out about my misdeed, there would be one of two outcomes; it would be the
nail in the coffin of our shaky relationship and an excuse for him to escape
from it, or, it would shock him into realising he didn’t want to lose me.
honesty, I couldn’t risk this getting out, for the health and safety of the
unwitting man lying beside me more than anything. I was well aware that Ethan
had a dangerous side. I’d never witnessed it personally because most of his
misdemeanours had been carried out as a juvenile delinquent. (He once quipped
that the only reason for never running away from a fight in his youth was
because his tattered trainers might fall apart if he did) I didn’t want to know
the details quite honestly because
Ethan was pure of heart, ok maybe
a little scorched around the edges but 24-carat all the same. I had only known
him to be overly-protective of me, and I believe this was instilled in him
through seeing his mother suffer years of abuse at the hand of his father. At
age 13, and during a particularly violent episode, Ethan jumped in between them
and knocked his father unconscious. Losing control of his actions that day had
frightened him and was the reason he now trivialised intense moments, something
which I could find exasperating, especially when I was itching for a row. This
impulsive act severed their relationship completely and his father died from
alcohol poisoning not long after. This was around the time that Ethan began his
slow decline down a reprehensible path, emotionally battle-scarred by his childhood.
nature as an adult was rather more selective, seen only in exceptional
circumstances. The only time I’d had proof of it was very early on in our
relationship. I had expressed to Ethan my fury at a colleague, from our parent
company, who had taken a drunken lunge to indecently grope me at a corporate
event. I re-call Ethan being disturbingly quiet. He clicked his neck to the
side, his eyes blinked rapidly and I could see his jawbone repeatedly
clenching. I had never seen him react like that before, and haven’t since,
thank goodness. I heard through the grapevine three weeks later, that my
colleague had been seen with black eyes and a broken nose but had refused to
report the incident further. I never challenged Ethan about it, I didn’t need to,
quickly learnt never to mention any
impropriety again, well not anything I could handle myself anyway.
I hold my
forehead, trying to stop my shrivelled brain from banging against my skull. I
certainly didn’t miss this part of getting smashed. I can safely say that being
tee-total is the way forward
Then I feel my heart sink as
notions of Ethan’s alleged affair begin to persecute my soul again.
11 Years Earlier
Pru had met the
notorious Ethan Cassidy when she was a wide-eyed 18yr old, and he, four years
older at 22. She was now 29 years old and more vibrant than ever but with Ethan
becoming strangely withdrawn, she had started to question whether the chemistry
was still there. It hadn’t always been like this. The hot-blooded attraction at
their first encounter was unmistakeable. However, at the time, Pru had needed
far more persuading than Ethan to act upon it…
It was the
summer of 2001 and Ethan was enjoying a few beers at a local wine-bar,
preparing for a boisterous Saturday night ahead with several
friends. Riley, his closest ally, was celebrating his 23rd birthday and their
plan was simple; spend as much money on their pub crawl and then win it all
back on the roulette table at
in the city. Riley reckoned
he had a fool-proof betting system and Ethan had bet the fool £20 that it
wouldn’t work; Riley never had been the smartest tool in the box. Ben, being
the youngest and unable to keep up with the others, had made other plans.
“Shit! I really have to go. I’m
supposed to be on a dinner date at
and I’m an hour late
already. Can someone remind me how to walk?” slurred Ben, his eyes glazing
over. His one knee would buckle every few seconds as if an invisible hand was
jabbing his leg from behind.
As his friends burst into
derisive laughter, Ethan smirked and knuckled his friends crew-cut head with
fondness. “You can’t even entertain a sensible thought right now Benny, let
alone a woman.”
An indignant Ben protested loudly
and slovenly. “Hey! I must be doing something right because this will be our
fifth date,” he said smugly, holding up four fingers. “I can charm the ladies
as much as the next man.”
James threw in a resentful
penny’s worth. “Unless the man next to you happens to be Ethan.”
Ben, however, continued to insist
upon his supposed allure. “Tell ‘em Ry, didn’t I have women falling all over me
“Only because you collapsed in
the doorway,” Riley remarked dryly as the men continued to jeer the apathetic
youngster, bonding over the affectionate ridicule of their easy target.
“Hang on Ethe, weren’t you
supposed to be giving up birds and booze?” asked Ben accusingly, hoping to turn
his friends’ aspersions elsewhere.
laughed dismissively. “I did, last week. It was the worst 30 minutes of my
life.” He recalled making the farcical resolution after waking up one morning
with a dreadful hangover and yet another infatuated girl clinging onto his arm.
merriment was interrupted abruptly as his attention was drawn to a young girl
entering the bar. He watched as she appeared to almost float through the
doorway, wearing a cute denim playsuit, evocative of a 50’s pin-up and looking
as pretty as a picture with her dark chestnut hair sleek and waved around her
shoulders. He had stopped mid-gulp of his
captivated by her air of un-assuming beauty. The girl glanced around as if
looking for someone, and then ambled over to the sniggering group of men, with
Ben appearing to be in her line of fire. What happened to Ethan next was quite
down around him and yet a thousand thoughts charged through his head. Turmoil
seized his body and magnified his senses. He could feel his heart beating in
his ears, the gasp from his mouth was deafening, and it appeared as though the
girl was striding in slow motion as he became more intrigued with her every
Ben languidly gestured an
embrace, spilling a few drops of his beer in doing so. “Oh hi babe, I was just
about to meet you.”
The young girl took the bottle
out of his hand, and with commendable coolness, poured the watery contents over
his head. She watched as the cold liquid dripped through his hair and down onto
his face, and then she flounced out without uttering a word. Ben, in his wasted
state, was slow to react but then spluttered and shook his head vigorously,
like a wet dog drying it’s fur. The whole bar erupted into thunderous clapping
and cheering. Ethan, however, became rather more solemn. Without knowing why, he
raced out after the girl.
She swung around swiftly on
hearing her name. He caught up with her, feeling baffled as to what he would do
next. His limbs appeared to be set on fast-forward with his mind struggling to
keep up, and although he was accustomed to his libido acting irrationally, he
wasn’t used to his heart behaving in the same way
“Well I’m guessing that you’re
Pru anyway, after that amusing assault on Ben.” He glanced down at the bottle
still gripped tightly in her hand and then quipped, “Or if you’re the new
barmaid here, shouldn’t you wait for the customer to finish
before you collect their empties?”
mood softened under his light-hearted manner and she placed the bottle on the
wall beside them. “No, I’m definitely Pru but let’s get one thing straight, Ben
Mills is no longer on my speed dial.”
This was where Ethan should have
jumped in to defend Ben’s poor behaviour, but on this occasion, the girl in front
of him took precedence over any of his friends, something he usually regarded
as extremely unethical. His nerves were making him fidgety and he hung his
hands loose and low from his jean pockets, out of a necessity to contain their
movement. “I have to say, I’m really disappointed with Ben”
Pru was glad of the moral
support. “Thank-you, it’s good to know that someone else thinks he’s been a
Feeling uncomfortable with this
alien attitude of reverence for a woman, his usual humour jumped in to displace
it. “No, I mean I’m disappointed that he let his beer go to waste. I’ve told
him to keep his mouth open if a lady ever pours a drink over him.”
She pursed her lips to indicate
her disapproval. “I see, so you like a drink or three as well then?”
could say I have an addictive personality. I get hooked on anything that gives
me a high. Drugs, alcohol, extreme sports,
..…name it, I’ll
try it,” he replied, raising an eyebrow teasingly.
had skipped at Ethan’s timely pause until she realised he was toying with her.
She wasn’t accustomed to interacting with his sort and she froze her face to
stifle a grin. With his sleeve tattoo, depicting a
nymph straddling a wolf in the glare
a full moon, she guessed he was the sort of rascal that her father had warned
“You know Ben told us you were
pretty. I don’t think I agree.”
Unsure as to how to handle this
misfit, she frowned in disbelief, and for a split second she even considered
giving him a beer shampoo as well. Unfortunately the nearest beer bottle had
already been emptied on the last bonehead.
“I mean you’re not just pretty
are you? You really are the most beautiful thing I’ve
Pru wouldn’t have appreciated the
rare sincerity that trickled through his words and she was quick to dismiss his
flattery. “So do you iron that tongue to make it so smooth?” she asked,
playfully kicking out at his feet and crinkling up her nose.
It was a
kittenish quirk that Ethan found most endearing and he casually sat back
against the top edge of the wall behind him, worried that if he didn’t his
knees would give way. “But it’s true. You should be illegal looking like that.”
As he spoke his eyes shamelessly swept over her body, perusing her well-formed
curves and lingering boorishly, for a millisecond too long, over her bountiful
breasts. His eyes continued their appraisal and finally rested intently on
hers, glinting with devilry. Pru felt her cheeks turn crimson, finding his
virtual un-dress rather crass, which couldn’t explain her compulsion to stay in
“I’m Ethan by the way, pleased to
He took hold
of her hand to shake it but felt compelled to weave her fingers between his,
subtly pulling her closer. An overpowering and unusual shiver catapulted up his
arm and deluged his body, flustering him somewhat.
‘What the hell was that?
And what am I doing seducing Ben’s girlfriend?!’
“Oh, it makes sense now,” she
observed, “aren’t you known as ‘Heathen’ to your friends?”
He hesitated to nod. “Aha, ‘Ethan
the Heathen’, yeh, that’s kinda stuck since college.”
loathe to admit that his body art did look rather splendid. Her eyes narrowed
as if she was scrutinising his every move and she discreetly untwined her hand
from his. “The pagan tattoo sums you up rather well then really.”
insight had left him feeling slightly outmanoeuvred and he quickly realised
that it was too late to back-track on his controversial lifestyle, which,
indeed it was. Pru had already had the low-down on
Ethan from Ben and knew all about his remarkable reputation in both of
his sporting passions, bare-knuckle boxing and women. Word had it that a bout
with Ethan was like facing a panther on speed, and as for his love-making, that
had been dulcetly phrased as ‘sailing to paradise on the ocean waves.’
“I hear you have magic hands…. in
in the bedroom,” she commented haughtily, summing him up
perfectly in just one sentence.
them up as if to study them, nodding proudly in approval. “Well, I don’t like
to brag, but yeh, I suppose they are. The only trick these hands can’t do is
pull a rabbit from a hat.”
smile melted away any signs of conceitedness and she was finding his phoney
arrogance highly amusing. She recalled being rather nauseated by Ben’s
admiration of Ethan’s antics, but experiencing him in the flesh had given his
character warmth and charisma. He knew he had to move fast and direct, with a
girl like Pru there was no benefit in playing it cool. “Listen, this may sound
a bit sudden but I’m having a few friends round tomorrow for drinks. Maybe
you’d like to come?”
She raised her eyebrows with
? And who exactly will be at this soiree?”
With blatant infatuation in his
eyes, he sniggered. “Ah…considering I’ve only invited stubborn guests with
attitude, I guess it’ll just be just you.”
Surprised by his inappropriate
invite, she frowned with astonishment. “You’re unbelievable. Wouldn’t that be
unfair to Ben?”
deflected all tricky questions in the only way he knew how, by playing ignorant.
“Nah, he wouldn’t want to come anyway, he prefers to stay in with a takeaway on
her head and threw him a peeved look. How flippant could he be? It was when he
added an audacious wink that the penny finally dropped. This oddball was
taking pleasure from baiting her.
His jovial swagger was, in
reality, concealing his fear of betraying Ben and committing the most
despicable of crimes between friends. However there was just something about
Pru that he couldn’t escape from.
turn, found herself enjoying his brazen attitude, despite her initial
apprehension. She even began to appreciate his tall, tanned body with the most
amazing arms she had ever seen, on the right side of being toned but not bulky.
She found herself sinking into his ocean-blue eyes and one ever-so-cute dimple
that all came to life when he smiled, and a mop of wavy hair that glistened
like iced-chocolate in the sunlight. She had never experienced an aphrodisiac
before but right now those glinting marbles of blue seemed to be snaring her
into a trance, making her tingle in the untouched, intimate areas of her body.
She imagined that he would taste rather yummy but as quickly as she
acknowledged her thought as being absurd, she reprimanded herself for being so
“Hmm, I’m not sure if that’s
wise, swapping a drunk for a womanising thug? I wouldn’t exactly be trading up
would I?” she argued, cocking her head to one side as if still sizing him up.
Ethan laughed, finding her frankness
very refreshing. “Touché Prudence, you know if you were my boxing opponent,
you’d be disqualified for a low-blow like that. But I still think you’d rather
have somebody that spends the night gazing into your pretty eyes than the
bottom of a shot glass.”
resist expelling a shot of air through her lips. “Oh purlease, did you buy that
line from the cheese counter?”
pitying chuckle didn’t dampen his persistence; it seemed the more she fought
against him, the more he wanted to fight for her. She was well aware that
players like Ethan took advantage of gullible young girls and she was
determined not to be one of them. He, on the other hand, thought a change in
tactic, from suave to self-deprecating, might break her down.
“That has to
be reason enough for a date then! Do you really want me putting these awful
moves on some other poor girl instead?” he asked candidly, opening out his arms
to exaggerate his ‘compassionate’ plea.
watched his mouth moving, she became deafened to his words, pondering how far
she could dip her tongue into his dimple. She startled herself once again,
confused as to where these ridiculous images were popping up from. She’d never
had the urge to lick Ben’s face, even though he too was considered to be a handsome
young man, on a sober day that is.
Much to her dismay, his disarming
manner was swaying her judgment and she considered it time for a reality check.
So on assuring herself that he was an undesirable, she turned her back on him,
leaving him with just a coquettish smile as a memento. “I’m sure I’ll live with
“You know I can wait Pru,” he
said aloud, very matter-of-factly.
back cuttingly, as she approached her car. “Fine. It’s a date. See you in the