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Authors: Jacob Chance

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BOOK: QUIVER (QUAKE Book 2)
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Chapter Nine

Janny

 

     
It’s hard to believe it’s already the beginning of September and I’m at the end of my second week at Morrison & Sons. It seems like so much longer, but only because I’m amazed at how quickly I fit in with my team of designers. All the unease from lack of knowledge I was feeling when I first started here has been replaced by joy. I love working here, I love everything about it.

      Rachel, the head of my team, has taken me under her wing and she’s already taught me so much. The other members of our group have all been a big help too. This place seems too good to be true, and like the skeptical bitch life has forced me to become, I’m waiting for something to go wrong. Surely the proverbial other shoe is about to drop; it’s only a matter of time.

      In honor of my two-week anniversary, my team and some other people from Morrison & Sons are going out for happy hour. There’s a bar called Cityscape that caters to business professionals and it’s only a block away from our building. A bunch of us walk there together and because we leave the office right at five, we’re able to find seating for all of us. Rachel orders shots of tequila in spite of my protests. I’m not really a fan of shots but I won’t be the boring girl tonight. My time in New York is about embracing new opportunities and trying new things. I’ve always been the uptight one, except for when I was with Kyle.

     
“Touch yourself. Slide your fingers through your wet pussy and make yourself come. I want to hear you.”

      He seemed to have a talent for getting me to do things I’d never done before. Life with him was exciting and I was willing to take chances I normally wouldn’t have. The thing about chances though is sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don’t. You never know which side of the coin you’re going to end up with.

      “Janny, drink up. What are you waiting for, girl?” Rachel’s voice snaps me out of my thoughts of Kyle. Why does he have to infiltrate my mind a hundred times a day?
Get out of my head Kyle McKenzie.
I pick up the shot glass filled with tequila and raise it in a silent toast.

      I wish I could forget you.

     
A few hours later when I’m leaving Cityscape, I realize I’ve left the keys to my apartment at work. It’s still light out and the sidewalks are crowded with business professionals leaving work for the weekend. It’s only a couple minutes before I’m back at Morrison & Sons and I’m hoping the doors won’t be locked when I get upstairs. My equilibrium feels off on the ride up to the sixtieth floor and I know it’s all the tequila I’ve just ingested. I really need to eat something so I don’t get sick. I place my hand on my stomach, breathe deep and exhale slowly, to calm the churning sensation inside. It doesn’t help. I’m grateful no one calls for this elevator and I’m able to make it upstairs quickly. I have some crackers at my workstation that might help absorb some of this alcohol. I’m not going to be able to walk home until I’m feeling better.

      The doors aren’t locked and the lights are still on; someone’s working late tonight. I head to the intern’s office, sit down and simultaneously grab the sleeve of crackers. I pop a whole one in my mouth and chew it up quickly. Crumbs are falling all over my shirt and lap, but I don’t care. There’s no one to witness my lack of manners right now. After I eat the third cracker my stomach starts to feel slightly better. I rest my head on the back of my office chair and close my eyes. I’m so tired from the tequila. I’m so tired from the events of the past month. I’m so tired of loving Kyle.

     
Why can’t I just move on to hating him?

      After all the pain he’s caused me it should be easy to despise him and never want to see him again. I should be looking forward, toward the rest of my life, instead of sitting here lost in memories of his strong arms wrapped around me and his tongue licking a hedonistic path up my neck.

 

***

 

      “Janny, wake up,” Kyle whispers in my ear while he caresses my cheek with his fingers. “Wake up gorgeous.” His deep voice sends chills through me.

      I can’t open my eyes. I know once I do I’ll lose this moment and I need to stay here in this fantasy for however long I can. I wrap my arms around his neck and lift my face for his kiss. His warm lips brush against mine before his tongue licks along the fullness of my bottom lip. His hands slide into my hair and my mouth opens on a sigh. My tongue slips out to meet his and he groans. I dig my fingernails into the back of his neck and he pulls me closer when our tongues wrap around each other. His warm palms softly caress my cheeks before he pulls away. My eyes lazily open to find Zack sitting in front of me. I gasp and cover my lips with my fingers when I realize the kiss I was dreaming about wasn’t a dream at all. I press myself against the back of my chair, placing some distance between us.

      “What’s wrong?” he asks, his brows drawn together.

      I bite on my bottom lip while I contemplate what to say. My parents taught me the truth is less painful than a lie. “I was dreaming about my ex and thought I was kissing him.”

       His eyes go wide for a second before his trademark grin is back in place again. “Damn, that’s not what I expected you to say. I think you should let me take you to dinner and make you forget all about him.”

      I smile at him and think about whether I should accept his invitation or not. His charming personality has me longing to spend more time with him. I’m not used to being around someone easy going. Kyle was so much more intense and intimidating.
Look how that worked out for you.
Maybe spending time with Zack would be good for me. I need to eat and he’d be great company. Maybe he’s just what I need to help me get over Kyle. God knows I’ve had enough complicated to last me a lifetime.

      After convincing myself to go and give it a shot, he takes me to a deli a couple blocks from M&S. I pass by this place every day on my way to and from work. We order sandwiches and find a vacant table in the corner.

      “I’ve never been here before.” I look around, taking in the black-framed caricature drawings of famous people hanging on the white and gray striped walls and the orange vinyl seats in the booths. This place has an offbeat feel to it and surprisingly, Zack seems like he fits right in.

      “This is one of my favorite places to eat. I usually end up having lunch or dinner here most days.”

      I don’t know why I thought he’d take me to some expensive restaurant, but assuming that was a huge disservice to him. He’s never given me any reason to think he’s a snob and I shouldn’t have judged him.

      “This place has a great vibe. I really like it. If the food is as good as you seem to think it is I might be in trouble. It’s not far from where I live.” My eyes scan the room again and when they call out the number for our order, Zack jumps up to get it. I watch him walk away from me, taking note of how well his black pants fit. His shoulders are broad in his white shirt; he has a lean muscular build similar to a swimmer or runner.

      He pays for our order, carries the tray over to where our table is and sets my corned beef sandwich down in front of me.

      “Geez. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sandwich that big before.” The meat alone is about two inches thick and I’ll be lucky if I can finish half of it. “I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow night.” I joke. 

      He places an order of French fries between us before taking a bite of his roast beef sandwich. I echo his movement, taking a bite of mine. My eyes close when the salty flavor hits my tongue and I hum with pleasure. When I open my eyes he’s watching me with an amused expression on his face.

      “What?” I ask, feeling self-conscious.

      “You’re a hummer.” He says before taking another bite of his sandwich.

      I snort. “I’m a what?”

      “You’re one of those people who enjoy what they’re eating so much they hum when they chew.”

      I’ve never really thought about it and no one has ever mentioned it to me before, but he’s right. I love to eat and I do make noises when I’m chewing. “Is this a bad thing?” I ask, wiping my mouth with my napkin. “Is it repulsive?” I set my napkin down in my lap and spread it out.

      He laughs and shakes his head. “No, not at all. It’s adorable actually and it makes me wonder what other things make you hum.”

      I gasp at his outrageous comment, ball my napkin up in my fist and throw it at him. It hits his chest and lands in his lap. He tosses it back over to me with a wink. My cheeks are hot with embarrassment. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” I say before taking a sip of soda.

      “I would like to know. I’m not going to lie and say I wouldn’t. I’m not going to pretend that staring at your sexy mouth doesn’t have me imagining one hundred different things it could do to me. I also wonder what kind of noises you’d make if my mouth was on your…”

      “Stop.” I cut him off. “Jesus, Zack. You can’t say this stuff to me. I’m not ready for someone to say these things to me.” I shake my head. “I know you’re just being you, but I think the full Zack effect might be too much for me to handle right now. The past six weeks have been difficult for me, more difficult than you could probably imagine.” The sting of tears burns my eyes and I battle against it. I don’t want to cry tonight. I don’t want to cry ever again. How I have any tears left at this point is a mystery to me.

      Zack places his hand on top of mine on the table. “Hey, I’m sorry. I’ll try to be less forthcoming with what I say to you from now on. This is the way I always am; I guess it never occurred to me that it might be too much for you to stomach.”

      “No, don’t change who you are for me, Zack. Honestly, I’m not worth it. I’m a mess and it doesn’t take a lot to upset me these days.”

      He squeezes my hand one final time before changing the subject. “How’s my uptight friend, Edwin, been treating you?”

 

***

 

      Zack insists on walking me home after dinner and I’m glad for the company. I’m still not used to walking around the city on my own and I haven’t gone anywhere alone after dark. He’s quiet along the way and his silence surprises me.

      We stop walking when we arrive at the front of my building. “This is me.” At a loss for what to do I shift the strap of my bag on my shoulder. My eyes scan all around us to avoid looking at him. This is starting to resemble the awkward goodbye of a first date.

      Zack must sense my unease and he places his hand on my arm. “Relax, Janny. I’m not expecting a kiss goodnight.”

      My face flushes, I’m embarrassed my thoughts are so transparent. When I look at him, the smile on his face immediately reassures me, removing all the awkwardness from the situation.

      “Thank you for dinner and making sure I got home safely. I had a great time.”

      He slides his hand down my arm and squeezes my fingers. “Can I take you out on a real date sometime? I know you said you’ve had a tough time lately, but I’m confident in my ability to keep your mind off whoever was dumb enough to let you get away.”

      I’m tempted to say yes. I
want
to say yes, but I can’t.

     “I’m flattered. You’ve been nothing but sweet to me and it’s only fair I’m completely honest with you. I’m still in love with my ex and I’m not looking to replace him, but I’d like to go out with you as friends, if that’s okay?”

      I left Zack on the sidewalk even though he asked if he could walk me to my door. I didn’t want to run the risk of having to deal with another awkward situation like the one we had only moments ago. I run a hand over my hair and shake my head annoyed with myself while I wait for the elevator.

      The nape of my neck tingles like someone is staring at me. I slowly cast my eyes to the right and don’t see anything out of the norm. I turn my head to the left and see the same maintenance man I saw coming out of my apartment when I first moved in. He continues to stare at me while I pray for the elevator to come as soon as possible. When the doors open in front of me I rush to step on and when I turn around facing front, I lock eyes with him. His stare is sinister and disturbing enough to make me shiver. I breathe a sigh of relief when the doors close; blocking me from his view.

 

***

 

     
Janny’s lying on her back, the comforter pushed aside. Her arms are stretched above her head. I watch her breasts while they hypnotically rise and fall with each slow breath she takes. She sleeps soundly. That’s something I’ve learned from watching her these past couple of weeks – she never stirs.

      Her tank top is bunched up, revealing a strip of smooth skin above the top of her dark panties. I can’t make out what color they are in the dim lighting, but I know from looking through the bureau drawers that she’s partial to white lace and black satin ones. I prefer the black ones, especially when they still have the sweet scent of her juices on them.

      I want to know if her pussy feels as soft as those panties do when I slide them back and forth on my cock until I come. I’ll be patient for now.

      Soon there will be no secrets between us.

Chapter Ten

Kyle

 

     
The walls of my condo are closing in on me more and more each day. I’m going fucking stir crazy. I need to get back to work; back to my normal everyday life. This sitting around doing nothing is driving me to drink – literally. The last two nights I’ve sat here watching TV, drowning my sorrows in a bottle of Jameson because I’ve lost the one person who meant the most to me. Ever since I had that dream about Janny, memories of her have been flooding my mind. I can remember it all now. Every single second we spent together is crystal clear and each night when I lie in bed I replay them all like some lovesick slideshow.
It’s the worst torture to think about her and it’s also my biggest pleasure.

      While I sit here at my kitchen table, drinking coffee, I’m lost in indecision about what I should do. Should I go to New York and apologize? Should I stay here and let her get on with her life? She’s probably better off without me; I know I’m not an easy man to be with. She deserves better than what I can give her, but I don’t think I can live without her. I love that girl with an intensity I can’t even explain.

      What if she meets someone else? What if she already has? 

      Fuck that.

      I drink back the rest of my coffee and jump up from my chair knowing exactly what needs to be done. I’m going to get my girl.

     
I hit the highway before I give Kenna a call to find out Janny’s address.

     
“Hello,” she answers, sounding sleepy.

     
“Kenny, are you awake?”

     
“No, this is a recording. What do you want Kyle?” She sounds annoyed. I smile and think about how happy she’s about to be.

     
“Can you give me Janny’s address in New York City?”

     
“You’re going after her?” she asks excitedly.

     
“I sure as hell am.”

 

***

 

      Three hours later I’m checking into a hotel located between her apartment and work. I take a quick shower and change into a clean pair of jeans and a black collared shirt. I’m anxious to see my girl. I’m curious what her reaction will be when she sees me. I hate how we ended things; how
I
ended things. Janny probably despises me now. I hate myself for what I did to her. She’s been through so much already in her young life and now I’ve added to it. I know I broke her heart. I could see it when she looked back at me before walking out of my hospital room.
The hurt reflected in her bright eyes made my stomach clench. I don’t know if I can ever make up for the damage I’ve done, but I’m going to try like hell.

     
It’s now noon, and I’m sitting in the lobby of Morrison & Sons Advertising waiting for Janny’s lunch break. I’ll sit here for the next couple of hours if I have to, and if she doesn’t come down I’ll return at five o’clock. I don’t care what I have to do to see her. I’ll do whatever it takes.

      The section of the lobby I’m sitting in provides me with a clear view of the elevators and the front doors to the building. There’s no way for me to miss her.

      I’m checking emails on my phone and taking care of some work correspondence when the sweetest laughter I’ve ever heard reaches me. I immediately stop what I’m doing. My eyes look up and narrow while Janny walks across the slick marble floor next to some dude. She’s smiling up at him and the way he’s looking at her has me fighting the urge to knock his teeth down his throat. I stand, shove my cell in my back pocket and walk toward the front door. I’m heading right at her, but she’s so involved in her conversation, she doesn’t even notice me.

      “Janny,” I call her name. She sees me when she’s about to pass by; her eyes go wide. She stops so abruptly, the guy she’s with walks by her. It takes a step or two to realize she’s not with him and when he glances over he notices me standing with her.

      “Janny,” I say, enjoying the way her name rolls off my tongue. Her name is my favorite word.

      “Kyle, what are you doing here?” She looks surprised and not happy at all. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

      “I came to see you.” She tucks her hair behind her ear like she always does when she’s nervous. I take it as a sign she still cares. I smile at her; I can’t hold it back. I’ve missed her so much. Her lips start to quirk up on the corners.

      “Janny, what’s going on?” The dude she left the elevator with steps closer to her, interrupting us. Her head snaps in his direction for a moment before she looks back at me.

      “This is Kyle, an old friend from Boston.” She smiles up at him. When she turns her head back toward me and her eyes connect with mine the smile disappears. “This is Zack, he’s a friend of mine.”

      My hands stay in my pockets when he reaches out to shake my hand. Fuck him. I’m not shaking his pretty-boy hand. I tip my chin up at him in acknowledgement, that’s all he’s getting.

      “I’m going to give you guys a couple minutes to talk.” Zack smiles at Janny and walks over, taking a seat on one of the chairs grouped around a glass coffee table.

      “What are you doing here Kyle?” She crosses her arms over her chest and lifts her adorable little chin in a look of defiance. I want to smile because I’m so happy to see her, but I know now is not the time.

      “I came to see you.” I step toward her, our bodies are almost touching, our eyes locked together. “I remember everything and I don’t want to be without you. I miss you.” I place my hands on her shoulders and rub back and forth with my thumbs while I study her. She stands there, arms still crossed with an air of indifference. The cold shoulder she’s giving me only makes me want to kiss her more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. The urge to feel her full lips on mine, my tongue teasing hers, is so powerful I have to clench my teeth. I want to suck and bite on her bottom lip until she’s begging me to kiss her. I want to kiss her until she’s begging me to fuck her. When she takes a step back my hands fall to my sides already missing the warmth of her skin.

      “I’m glad you got your memory back, but this changes nothing. You pushed me away like I meant nothing, and I’m not going to let you make me feel like that ever again.” Her eyes flash their anger at me while she takes another step backward. “I learn from my mistakes so I don’t ever repeat them.”

      I scowl at her. “You’re going to throw our relationship away out of spite?”

      She laughs. “No, I’m not throwing our relationship away at all. You already took care of that six weeks ago. There is no us anymore and there never will be. I’ve already been there, done that and have the t-shirt to prove it. Go back to Boston, Kyle.” She turns and walks away from me; I stand frozen in place, watching.

      Fuck. That conversation didn’t go like I planned. Zack stands and walks toward her. He affectionately rubs her arm and leans forward to listen to what she’s saying. He nods his head and they both move toward the door, their steps in sync. When he opens the door for her he flashes me a cocky grin. My fingers clench into fists and I close my eyes while I slowly breathe in and out to calm down. I need to get a grip on my anger right now, before I go after them and snatch Zack up by the scruff of his neck. I’d have the element of surprise working in my favor and before he knew what was going on my fist would be well acquainted with his face. I imagine feeling the crunch of his nose breaking while I picture it in my mind. The urge to fuck him up is calling to me and I don’t want to ignore it. If he thinks he’s going to take Janny from me, he’s going to have the fight of his life on his hands. I’ll do whatever I have to do to get my girl back. I’m not afraid to fight dirty, I smile to myself.
Dirty is what I’m best at.

     
I spend the next day exploring the streets of lower Manhattan. I love the chaos this city has to offer. I don’t think I’d ever want to live here, but it’s a great place to visit. It’s a different feel than Boston, which has a great energy to it, but it’s a more controlled chaos.

      I didn’t go back to see Janny last night, not after the cold reception she gave me. I meant it when I said I wasn’t giving up though. Leaning my shoulder against the brick front of Morrison & Sons, I wait so I can walk her home. It’s 5:30. I’ve watched people hustling through the automatic doors, spilling out like drones, for thirty minutes. I’m not moving until I see her.

      I catch a flash of golden blonde hair before I see her gorgeous face when she steps outside into the muggy evening air. She walks with purpose in the direction of her place. I follow behind her and wait until we’re out of the immediate crowd of people to call her name.

      “Janny.”

      She stops and looks around until her eyes rest on mine. She doesn’t answer me. She watches me as I move closer and closer. Her breaths increase in speed when I’m standing in front of her – close enough to make her want me – close enough to remind her how powerful the attraction between us still is.

      “Can I walk you home?” I ask. In her blue eyes I can see how much she wants to say yes, but the stubborn lift of her chin is a clue she won’t make it that easy for me.

      “Kyle, I don’t think this is a good idea. I told you yesterday, we’re over, for good. Why aren’t you back in Boston?” She shakes her head as if my presence annoys her.

     “You told me yesterday you learn from your mistakes, well you’re not the only one. Letting you go was the biggest mistake of my life and I can’t walk away from you again.” I smirk at her. “I guess you’re going to get used to seeing me around because I’m not going anywhere.”

      “I guess you’re going to have to get used to me telling you we’re over then.” She raises her eyebrows up at me, turns and walks away.
Damn I love this girl.

     
I sleep in the next morning and order room service for breakfast. After a quick shower I work on the computer for a few hours. I’ve resumed some of my duties at KD Investigations and it helps give me a sense of purpose. I’ve worked full time since I was twenty-two years old and the past two months when I couldn’t, were really trying for me.

      I wrap it all up and walk to Morrison & Sons in time to meet Janny when she finishes up. It’s only a couple of minutes after five when she walks out and thankfully she’s alone. She stops briefly to rifle through her red leather messenger bag and pulls out an iPod and earbuds. I make a mental note to fill her playlist with all the songs that remind me of her; show her everything she means to me. She doesn’t see me observing her. I wait for her to get a head start before I subtly blend in with the crowd moving along behind her. I pace my steps to match Janny’s and keep some people between us; she won’t notice me if she turns around. It’s a short walk to her apartment and when she’s entering the building I call out to her.

      “Janny, wait.” I walk up behind her, put my hand on her back and usher her inside before she can resist. I need to talk to her and I know I’ll stand a better chance of that happening, if we’re not standing on the sidewalk. She walks through the lobby, over to the bank of elevators, presses the button to call for one and turns to me. “You can come up with me. We’re going to talk and then you’re going to leave.”

      We ride up to her floor in complete silence and I take advantage of the opportunity, studying her. She stares straight in front of her like she can’t wait for the door to open. Her hair is up in a ponytail today and it’s all I can do to stop myself from trailing my lips along the delicate skin of her neck. I want to kiss below her ear and inhale her sweet scent forever. I have to make her see we belong together.

      The doors open on the thirtieth floor and I follow Janny down the hall, enjoying the way her ass looks in her knee-length skirt. She has heels on today and I’ve never seen her wear them before.
How many other things about her have changed in the past six weeks? 

      Once we’re inside her apartment my eyes scan around the room, noticing all the windows along the far wall. I’m thankful she’s on the thirtieth floor, and there’s no way for anyone to break in, aside from the front door.

      “Have a seat.” She disappears down a short hallway. The interior is comfortable and I can already see Janny’s personal touches here and there. Her red pillows are on the couch and I can see two of Josh’s colorful paintings hanging on the wall over the television. Seeing the plaid blanket, we used to cuddle under on my couch, now draped over the back of hers, makes my stomach clench. I know this distance between us, literally and figuratively is because of how much I hurt her. I pushed her away and she ran off at the first opportunity.

      I stand in front of the large windows and glance out at her impressive view. I’m amazed I can see the statue of liberty in the distance.

      “Do you want a beer? I have a couple left over from when Josh and Elle were here,” she asks pulling my attention back to the most amazing view of all. Her button-down shirt is now untucked and she’s barefoot, her tiny little toes painted red. I want to bite on each of those toes and work my teeth and tongue up each sexy as fuck inch of her body until I finally get to her lips. My dick is already hard like steel and I haven’t even touched her yet. Her eyes go wide when I stalk toward her, closing the space between us. I’m crazed with the need to taste her mouth – to swallow her gasps and make her tremble with every thrust.

BOOK: QUIVER (QUAKE Book 2)
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