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I inhaled sharply.

“I’ve seen all the shit going on out there.” I said, tilting my head toward the door. “Like you really give a shit about illegal,” my breath shallow and quick.

“I don’t give a shit,” he said with a deep chuckle, “As a matter of fact, I’m hoping you are illegal.” He pressed his forearms against the wall on both sides of my head, caging me in with his massive frame, pressing his erection up against my stomach. “Cause I do illegal real fucking well.”

I gasped and my lungs felt heavy in my chest. I squirmed in his grip and couldn’t decide if I wanted to rub up against him to find the friction I now craved or slap the living shit out of him. He must have sensed my indecision because he looked me in the eyes and shook his head.

“Go ahead, pup. But I wouldn’t if I were you.” His expression stern, his eyes dark and dangerous, glimmering with a trace of amusement. He pressed his forehead to mine and sighed. “You and I could’ve had a lot of fun, Pup.” He shook his head and for the first time I noticed the dark circles under his eyes and the redness of his eye lids.

He looked tired. And not the kind of tired you feel after a long day, but the kind of tired that lingers no matter how much sleep you get or how much coffee you ingest. The kind of tired that is less about rest and more about unrest.

I knew this because I was the same kind of tired.

He released me and stepped back. The second his intimidating presence was gone from my personal space I felt the coldness of his absence.

He grabbed the bottle from the nightstand and headed for the door.

I was still frozen to the wall. My jaw firmly affixed to the floor.

What the hell just happened?

“You’re leaving?” I asked. My relief warring with some fucked-up misplaced sense of disappointment.

He cracked the door open and paused with his hand on the handle. The music filtered in through the opening, penetrating the silence, each heavy beat taking another footstep inside. “It’s been a long fucking day and you’ve caught me at a really weird time. As much as the innocent thing you’ve got going on makes my cock hard, I don’t do gentle, so you should be happy I’m walking away.” He took a swig from the bottle and cast one last confused glance toward me, taking in my body that was still pressed up against the wall. “Three years ago I would have fucked you into the middle of next week without thinking twice.”

Then he was gone.

What the fuck did that mean?

My stomach interrupted my thought by growling loudly. The twisting pain threatening to topple me over. I hugged myself in an attempt to soothe the ache. I’d looked around for some sort of food when I’d first arrived, but all the tables downstairs were covered with beer and liquor bottles. The coffee table had nothing on it but a mirror and a mound of blow, which was being cut into lines with a credit card by a man who looked old enough to be a grandfather.

A knock at the window made me jump. “Let me in, bitch!” Came a high-pitched voice from outside.


I scrambled over to the window to lift the latch. Nikki leapt up and stumbled into the room, falling onto the floor. Her greasy red hair was plastered to her forehead with sweat, her old faux-fur shawl that may have once been white, but was now an off gray color, was draped haphazardly over one shoulder.

“How did you know where I was?” I asked. I hadn’t seen Nikki since she took off on me hours ago when we first got to the party.

“That Bear guy told me. I totally wanted to sit on his face but he just took off on his bike with some Tyra Banks looking chick.”

There goes that option.

I helped Nikki up off the floor. “So how was it? How was he? I saw him downstairs earlier and holy hot man.” She adjusted the strap of her bag across her shoulder. “Did you do that thing with your tongue I told you to do?” She asked me with the same excitement as if she was asking if I rode the Ferris wheel at the carnival. “Did you make him come? Did he make you come? Tell me everything.”

I sighed, both defeated and relieved. “No. No one made anyone do anything. He just…left.”

Nikki looked me up and down, her expression turned from elation to annoyance. “No wonder he left. Have you seen what the fuck you look like? I should’ve never let you come up here looking like that.”

I looked down at the plain gray tank top that I’d tied in the back to make it appear more formfitting and the tattered, sequined skirt that was missing most of the sequins. I knew I didn’t look great, but I didn’t have the resources to look great.

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