Authors: Asrai Devin
Where She Belongs
2013 Asrai Devin
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wiped her palms on her pants. What the fuck was she doing here? She
shouldn't be here. She should have said good-night after dinner
together and let it go there. It was nice of him to call her while he
was in town.
was tired of being here. She knew she had an amazing opportunity to
go to one of the best schools in the country. She wondered why she
agreed to go so far from home. She missed familiar surroundings. And
seeing Gabriel Brande brought a piece of that.
help her, she even missed him. The way he teased her as a teenager,
helped her with homework, or allowed her to help around the office.
The way he smiled at her which had made her heart flutter. His eyes
were warm and compassionate with a hint of something that she hadn't
understood now. It was part of the reason she went so far away. He
was married, supposed to be starting a family of his own. Except once
she was away, she started talking to him more than ever; weekly,
sometimes more frequently.
eyes were staring at her now. He had opened the door. He had probably
even said something.
me, I was lost in thought."
surprised expression turned amused. "You always were flighty."
wrinkled her nose at him. "And you always were a pain in the
smiled and his hand lifted a little. Then his shoulders dropped. "Did
I forget something at dinner?"
I wanted to talk more. With you. If that's okay."
hesitated and glanced over his shoulder.
backed up. "Maybe I should go, I'll just go home. Forget―"
grabbed her wrist and they both froze. Had he felt the same sparks
shoot through him at the contact? He dropped her arm at the same time
she tried to pull away. "It's okay. I have papers spread on
every surface. And well... you are my boss' daughter― coming
into my room unsupervised. If your father ever found out ..."
won't tell him if you don't. At least this part." She stepped
past him, her back brushing against his chest as she barged into his
room. She felt him tense as she did so. Crappy. He was going to think
she did that on purpose. Well, maybe not. "Sorry," she
hand skimmed her lower back and he let the door fall shut. "It's
had his eyes closed and she wanted to sigh. She was really screwing
followed her into the main part of the room. “Give me a
moment," he said. He hadn't been kidding, he did have papers
everywhere. The television was on the news channel, but it was turned
so low, one could barely hear it. "I can't work in total quiet.
I'm used to the buzz of the office and factory." He stacked the
papers with care, moved them to the end table, then gestured to the
now empty sofa. "There you go, have a seat. I'd offer you a
drink, but all I have is ice water in a dirty cup."
you. I'm fine." She smiled at him. "Are you going to sit?"
was going to clean off the chair for me."
can sit with me on the sofa. I don't bite. You know me."
nodded, his jaw visibly clenched. He sat beside her, the fingers of
his left hand curled over the arm of the sofa. "Tell me what's
small talk then?" She tipped her head and focused her eyes on
did small talk at supper, and you said all was fine. You were passing
your classes, you were making friends."
have some friends, yes. Classes are going well." She worked her
mouth as she searched for the right words. "I miss home. I'm far
away and there's not a break for another couple weeks. I'm lonely
about your friends?"
groups, mainly. But not like my friends from home. People I've known
my entire life."
leaned back into the couch. "And the new schedule of short
classes and long study sessions is tiring."
nodded. "I'm feeling homesick I know. I'll get over it. But you
came and I was longing for a little more home while I could."
She swallowed hard.
smiled and patted her hand. "It's okay, Shanna. We can visit for
a while. I can't fill you in on town gossip, as I don't pay much
attention. But we can talk shop."
smiled and grabbed his hand. "I think you do know the local
gossip. I bet you are down at the coffee shop, eavesdropping like an
shook his head, but smiled at her. "Yes, well, you always knew
my weaknesses. I've started playing Friday night bingo as well."
squeezed his hand, wishing she could cuddle into his arms and feel
safe. She hadn’t hugged someone in a long, long time.
"Excellent. Settling into middle-age nicely then."
gaped at her open-mouthed. "I'm not that old, brat." He
pulled his hand from hers and tweaked her nose.
no longer a brat, old man." She moved back a little and readied
herself to dodge another nose tweak.
gathered her wrists into one hand, imprisoning her. While she
struggled to get free, he tickled her stomach until she giggled while
screeching for him to cease the attack. He joined in her laughter.
"Mercy, uncle, mercy, Gabe, please, mercy."
stopped and dropped her hands. She fell into him.
tensed. "I'm only stopping because I don't want to get a noise
complaint from your screaming."
was mean. She stuck her lower lip out as she stared up at him.
put his arms around her. "Will this make it better?"
snuggled into his warmth. "Yes. I haven't had a hug in weeks,
not since I flew out here after Christmas." She sighed and her
breath moved his hair behind his ear.
grunted as he shifted her and she found herself staring into his
face. Her heart skipped a beat as she looked up at him again. She'd
always thought he was handsome, always had a crush on him. Until
tonight, she’d always felt like an awkward teenager¨–
and he’d been married the last two years.
he wasn’t married now. He wasn’t divorced yet, but his
wife Lisa the Bitch, had left him a month ago. Her mother kept her
informed with any and all news from home. She asked Gabe about it
over dinner, but it was still a sore point. The bitch only moved out
this week. Shanna had dropped the topic quickly. She always hated
now sitting beside her, looking down at her, his fingers stroked her
cheek. He bent his head and his breath puffed against her face
gently, then caressed while he spoke. "You should not be without
hugs." He smiled at his double negative.
reached up and touched the stubble on his chin. "I forgot what
it was like when you relax. The last year or so, you've gotten so
been given a lot more responsibility in the plant. I need to show
your father I’m capable of handling that at all times."
would have to destroy the whole thing to disappoint my father. He
adores you. He wishes I was you. Sometimes I don’t love the
family business as much as everyone thinks. Sometimes, I think I'd
rather go out on my own, build things from the ground up." Her
confession rushed out of her. She ducked her head, hoping he wouldn’t
judge her too harshly.
wouldn't want to take over your family legacy?"
"I don't love the
business. I know it's important to the town, to the family. But I
it like he does. I want to make something of my own
to love." She traced his lips with her index finger.
playing with fire, Shanna," he said, trying to make her sit up.
sat up with his help, then turned over and straddled his legs. She
put one hand on his shoulder to steady herself, the other she trailed
over his cheekbones. Then she brushed the stubble on his chin again.
"Anything you do won't leave this room."
turned his head and captured one finger in his mouth. First he sucked
with gentle pressure, then he bathed it with his tongue until her
breath caught in her throat. "You're teasing a frustrated man."
you like it to be more than teasing?" She didn't give him a
chance to respond. She swept his lips up into a firm kiss. Her kiss
was merely her placing her lips against his. She heard the tick of
her watch as she waited for him to respond.
buried a hand in her blonde hair on the back of her head and pulled
her close. He forced her lips open. His tongue stabbed in to search
and lay claim to her mouth. It was a take-no-prisoner's kiss. She
wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. Her tongue
sparred with his, both of them seeking the unknown delights of the
took the pressure off her head, sure that she wouldn't turn away, and
he caressed her shoulders. She then slid down her chest. Her nipples
perked up at the gentle tease, and instantly sent shots of desire
through her body, centering in her core. He slid his hands over her
breasts and pinched her nipples, pulling the buds away from her body.
pulled from his mouth with a gasp and pressed heated kisses on his
neck. "Gabriel," she whispered. "Gabe." He
smelled as she remembered in her teenage years, he still wore the
same cologne after all these years. Every time she’d
encountered the scent in passing, he’d come to the forefront of
are you doing to me?" he asked.
could feel his arousal pressing up through his pants against her soft
vee between her legs where their bodies fit together.
you," she whispered.
fingers plucking at her nipple once more and came to rest on her
shoulder. "My self-control is at it's breaking, Shanna. I have
met his gaze. "Stop?"
can't touch you any further. No more. I have to walk away, or I'll
end up making love to you. Then I'll have to quit working for your
would you do something like that? He would never,
what happened between us."
couldn't face your father with that sort of secret between us. I'd
have to quit or tell him the truth and he would kick my ass across
the country. And I would be deserving."