“Define strange,” I breathe.
He’s abandoned his wine bottle somewhere. And I don’t even care to search for it. “Not normal to society’s traditional standards.”
Yes, my fantasy is definitely abnormal. I’ve thought about it a few times before, and I have no idea why it aroused me. “I shouldn’t be turned on by it.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.” He brushes my hair out of my face again, his gaze steadily and slowly skimming every inch of me, heating me up more than the alcohol now.
“I think my fantasy is weird, even for your standards.”
He stops stroking me and his eyebrow arches, pure curiosity pouring through his gaze. “Now you have to tell me.”
“I picture you.” My vocal cords freeze.
“Good. Keep going.”
I smack his arm.
“I picture you as well,” he says. “I have since I was seventeen.”
“It wasn’t fair to the other people I was with, but you’ve been the most fascinating person to me. And no one could really compare in my mind.”
I rephrase his words and hear I love you. Even if he won’t ever say them. This proclamation inflates my courage. And I sit up a little straighter on his lap. I lick my lips and continue, “I picture you and me.”
“We’re getting somewhere close, I suspect.”
I glare. “We can move on if you don’t want to hear it.”
“Rose,” he says affectionately, “I would sit here for eighty more years and listen to you talk. I love the sound of your voice and every meaning behind your words.”
“So you love my voice but you don’t love me?”
He grips my butt hard, and a gasp catches in my throat. “Maybe you should be labeled smartass after we fuck.”
I actually laugh.
He smiles with me. “Tell me,” he whispers, his lips tickling my ear. “N’ai pas peur.” Don’t be afraid.
I swallow. “I may not like it, even though I’ve imagined it.”
He groans, half in frustration, the other half in arousal. He breathes more heavily than before. “You’re killing me.”
He hardens beneath me. I really, really love that power. “Maybe I should draw out the suspense then and never tell you.”
“No.” He cups my face in a strong hand. “If you could live inside my mind right now, you’d realize how crazy you’re making me.”
“I want to be in your mind,” I say honestly, the alcohol doing its trick as I run my hands across his chest, popping the buttons of his white shirt.
“You’re almost all the way there.”
That does it. I take a deep breath and I tell him. “I’m always sleeping when it happens.” I don’t break his gaze. I stay strong. I can tell him my fantasy. I can do this without balking like a coward. “And I wake up to you inside of me…thrusting…” I trail off as I try to read his expression that stays blank.
I can’t tell whether he thinks I’m weird or not.
His hand rises from my neck to the back of my head, and he kisses my unmoving, frightened lips before he whispers, “I’ve done much stranger things, Rose.” I hear the smile in his words, and I immediately relax. “Your turn,” he says. And just like that, he brushes it off so I don’t keep fretting.
It felt good to share that, to be more open sexually. I think I could do this more often with him. It’s not so hard. “Truth or dare?” I ask, my knuckles whitening as I grip the bottle of my Patron, pent up the longer he touches me.
“What rouses you more, my body or my brain?”
His eyes drift to the tops of my br**sts while one hand slides up my nightgown, settling on my bottom above my panties. “Both, equally.”
If I wasn’t so intoxicated by his presence and the liquor, I would make him give me a definitive answer, but I let it slide.
“Truth or dare?” he asks.
The last truth was difficult, and I know he won’t make it any easier. So I say, “Dare.”
He exhales deeply, so very aroused. Places in my body are clenching that have never clenched before. “I dare you,” he says, “to let me take off your nightgown.”
Before I even nod, his hands slip all the way beneath the silk, and he slowly lifts the fabric over my head, my br**sts visible for his intense, heady gaze. My n**ples already stand at attention.
I love the way he’s staring at me. It makes me feel more than just beautiful. I feel like I’m his. Like no one else could possibly compare to me. He doesn’t even have to say the words. I see it in his eyes. I can practically read it in his mind.
I sit on his lap, only in black panties, while he’s fully clothed. I want to strip him, but when I try to take off his unbuttoned shirt, he grips my wrists hard in disapproval. Right, we’re still playing the game. “Truth or dare?” I ask him.
My eyes narrow. “You were supposed to pick dare.” I’d love to see his c*ck again, but it stays hidden in his pants. Just staring at the large bulge makes me wet.
“But I didn’t.”
“Fine. If you could cut off any part of my body and store it in a jar, what would it be?”
“Your eyes.” He doesn’t miss a beat.
“And they’d look at me just like that.” His fingers glide across my hip, but he stays away from my br**sts on purpose. I’ve never wanted him to press against me so badly. “Truth or dare?”
“Dare.” I’ll do anything.
“Let me play with you for…” He checks his charcoal Rolex. “…ten minutes.” It’s as ambiguous as he wants it to be. And before I can ask or accept (which I would have), he has me pinned flat on my back.
His lips touch mine in a big inhale, causing my body to buck up and meet his.
And then his hand descends towards my belly, his mouth trailing my jaw to my br**sts. He sucks my nipple and bites the bud, the pressure grasping my throat.
I want more force on my neck, but I can’t speak to ask for it.
I’m lost in these feelings.
He sits up for a second, on his knees. And then he splits my legs open. In one swift motion, he slides me forcibly towards him, my heat digging into the hardness beneath his slacks.
I don’t want to shut my eyes, but my lids flutter with each rupturing nerve. His hand disappears beneath my panties, and he slips two large fingers inside of me, pulsing them with mastered speed.
“You’re incredibly wet, darling,” he says with a heavy breath. “You’ve been a bad girl, not giving your body what it craves.” He lifts me a little higher and rocks against me while he’s fully clothed. The force feels so damn good. He slaps the side of my thigh.
My limbs are tight in his clutch, and it’s everything I can do not to scream. All the noises just lock tight in my chest. I think I’ve spent so much time holding in sounds when I touch myself that it’s hard to let go.
“Let me hear you.”
He rocks harder. I wish his pants were off. I wish I could see his ass that tightens as he pounds into me, in sync with his fingers.
He slaps me again, more towards my ass this time. I let out a wrangled cry that even surprises me.
“You liked that,” he says.
“God’s not in this bedroom, Rose.”
My arm covers my eyes. I barely hear his words. “Fuck…” My lips part in a silent scream. I clench my comforter, and a wetness seeps beneath my ass. I look up and see the tequila spilt all over the bed.
And I don’t even care.
“Connor,” I breathe. “…Connor…harder.”
I see his lips lift before my lids close again. And he obliges by quickening the movement of his fingers and slamming into me. Then his hand finds the length of my neck. I open my eyes as he wraps his fingers around my throat and squeezes so tight.
I can’t breathe.
All the blood rushes to my head. He chokes me, not hard enough to hurt me, but enough to be lightheaded. This is what I wanted only minutes earlier. The fact that he understood this without me asking—it drives me to a new point, a new cli**x that I have never, ever experienced before.
I come in a turbulent, blissful wave. I can feel myself contract around his fingers as he keeps them inside of me. A thin layer of sweat coats my body, and when he pulls out his fingers, he grips my chin, forcing me to look at him.
He makes me watch as he puts his fingers in his mouth, licking off the wetness from between my legs. The image kick-starts my sluggish breathing into a rapid-fire pattern.
When he takes his hand out, he says, “Just as I thought.”
“I love the taste of you.” He leans over me and slips those same two fingers into my mouth. He licked most of me clean, and I taste mostly him—his mouthwash and minty breath. I suspect he knew I’d taste more of him than myself.
He checks his watch. “Three more minutes.” His lips skim my neck and he whispers, “What I could do to you in that time…”
And just as he slips his tongue into my mouth, a huge crash bangs against the wall. I jump in fright, accidentally biting him. Shit.
Connor places a hand on my collar, keeping my back to the mattress while he sits up. “I’m fine,” he assures me.
But I taste the bitter iron of blood. And I know it’s his. Before I can inspect his tongue, something else slams behind us again.
I flinch, but I glance back at him. “Let me see your tongue.”
“No.” In a single word he reminds me that I can’t push him around. “And my tongue is fine. You barely sliced it.”
The next crash in the wall comes with muffled yelling.
Connor stands from the bed, no longer hard. As he changes pants and underwear quickly, I realize he came too. I hadn’t even noticed. I was too enamored with my own cli**x.
“It’s probably just Lily and Loren screwing,” I tell him.
His eyes narrow at me. “I must have fingered the brains out of you.”
“That’s Daisy’s room.”
I bolt upright and spring off the bed, grabbing a black silk robe. I slip it on and knot the tie at my waist. Another bang hits the wall hard. My heart leaps to my throat.
“You should stay here,” he tells me, zipping his black slacks.
“It was worth a try.” He places a hand on the small of my back. “After you.”
* * *
The moment I reach the door frame with Connor, we find Scott standing here, watching the scene with crossed arms. Not doing a damn thing to stop whatever’s happening.
And then I look, and my jaw hits the floor.
A glass lamp is shattered on the ground, a bookshelf toppled over, any fragile knickknacks destroyed on the hardwood.
Ryke wrestles a medium-built guy in the center of the room. I discern his age quickly. Forties. Red hair that sticks up from being pummeled. His lip is busted, and he manages to put up a good fight against Ryke, who’s shirtless in a pair of track pants. The man shoves Ryke back and flings two punches, one connecting with Ryke’s jaw.
“Get the f**k off me!” the guy yells.
And then Ryke socks him right in the gut. The man crumples forward, coughing.
Daisy is in the corner, smashing something on the ground, hidden behind her bed. I give Scott a long agonizing glare for being a horrible human being and just standing here. And I go to my sister’s aid while Connor tries to separate the guys.
“You motherf**king pervert,” Ryke sneers, grabbing him around the throat. He’s about to slam his head into the ground, but Connor grips Ryke’s wrist hard and throws him off.
All I can think is that Ryke found Daisy’s boyfriend. Who’s a gross older man. That’s my first assumption.
“Don’t wake up Lily and Lo,” Connor says in a hushed voice. “Calm down.”
Ryke’s features are so dark. He’s almost hard to look at.
And then the man tries to escape, about to sprint out the door, but Connor snatches him by the shirt and drags him in front of his body. The man struggles in Connor’s forceful grip.
Right when I reach Daisy, I realize what she’s smashing.
Now on her knees, she slams the device repeatedly on the ground, little plastic pieces flying in every direction. She screams furiously each time the mangled lens meets the floor.
“Daisy,” I whisper, but I grab her arms before she hurts herself with the sharp debris.
She drops the remains of the broken camera and slowly sits, shivering in my arms. It wasn’t her boyfriend in her room, I realize now. It had to have been the paparazzi—what looks to be a stupid one, a loser who obviously has no concept of the law. I glance over my shoulder at Connor and Ryke.
Connor has his phone pressed to his ear while he grips the man’s shirt. Every time he struggles, Connor throttles him with one hand. Composed, tall and strong. He speaks quietly to someone on the other line.