Authors: Serena Akeroyd
Tags: #romance, #erotica, #chick lit, #menage, #international, #love triangle, #wealthy
Rather than reply he nods and, beaming at
him, I turn and grab my purse, widening my eyes, fluttering the
lashes to indicate my excitement at my two friends. I might
have looked insane, but I don’t give a damn. Marina and Eddie
seem to understand the message. Their grins are so wide they
might as well be Cheshire cats.
Scuttling off the
barstool, I beam another smile at him as he automatically reaches
for my arm to help me down. Maybe this
Heathcliff come to life?
I’d thought chivalry was dead. Apparently not, if this
guy is anything to go by.
He lets me walk in front
of him and I’m conscious of every movement, every sway of my hips.
It’s as if I’m in the center of a spotlight and all eyes are on
me. But in this case, only one set matters.
Instant attraction has never been my
thing. I’ve never felt that click of chemistry that my
friends gush about. Never felt on fire for somebody before,
not even my ex. But this, this is different. I don’t
understand it, certainly can’t explain it, but boy, this feels
My blood is pumping through my veins at a
mile a minute. I feel alive. Vibrant with energy and
it’s all for this stranger.
Working my way over to the
bar, I can feel the brush of him at my back. The club’s
packed. People litter every inch. Not quiet people,
either. Not like the sort at a cheese and wine party.
But the kind who are quite happy to jump up and down to a beat I
can’t understand; one that doesn’t get me going. Prior to
meeting this man, I was bored, restless and wanting, no,
to go home.
Now, home is the last thing on my
mind. He’s taken center stage.
We reach the bar and I turn to him,
shouting, “What do you want to drink?”
A Bud will be fine.” His
eyes are on me, but he’s speaking to the bartender who just
Something that in itself
is a miracle.
Getting service is notoriously difficult
here, as the staff are always overworked and there are never enough
of them to attend to the crowds that pack this place out every
Cranberry juice,” I croak
out, feeling very overwhelmed at being in the center of this man’s
My fingers fumble as I work at the clasp of
my purse, knowing that the drinks will be there any second.
Before I can, two twenty dollar bills are passed before my eyes to
be snapped up by the bartender. My knight in black chinos
grabs our drinks and as I’m trying to get my mouth to work a
protest, he swoops low and whispers in my ear, “Meet you in the
Nodding dumbly, it’s my turn to follow
The garden, as this place terms it, is
nothing more than a forty feet by forty feet yard. They’ve
put modern furniture in, trying to make it look like a chill out
lounge, but it’s really only for the smokers and as there is no
music piped outside, it’s always dead.
I’d prefer to sit out here on my infrequent
visits to this place with Marina and Eddie, but they won’t let
Amused at the thought, I
tread through the crowd, carefully ignoring waved-about arms and
grinding bodies. This is so not my scene, but it is that of
my friends and if they like to get felt up on the dance floor then
that’s their prerogative.
Walking through the
doorway into the fresh, cooler air outside; at least, as cool as
New York does it in high summer during a heat wave, I suck in a
breath. Even the musty humidity is better than the recycled
air con of inside; something which is never strong enough to deal
with the mass of body heat.
As soon as the door swoops
closed behind me and I can finally speak like a normal person, I
immediately say, “I wanted to buy
a drink. As a thank
The garden is more
illuminated than the club. That means I can see this guy who
has my heart beating like a drum in perfect clarity. And he’s
even better than I first thought.
My inbuilt teachings don’t let me wince at
the blasphemy, because if anything, I’m entirely floored by how
attracted I am to this man. My palms are sweaty and I feel
more flushed than I would be after leaving an air-conditioned club
and entering nearly one hundred degrees of sweltering
My mama would clip me
around the ear, if I let a lady pay for my drinks.”
The southern drawl in his voice does things
to my insides that I didn’t think possible. I hadn’t heard
that twang back in the club, and I’m ecstatic that I had the balls
to ask him for a drink and that I eventually got to hear it.
His attraction level just shoots up another notch.
Even if you already acted
the gentleman by saving me from making a fool of myself in
He smiles at me and God, that smile is
lethal. “Just doing what anyone would have done.”
it. It’s more likely that
would have filmed it and
uploaded it on to the net.”
His lips twitch. “Yeah, well, maybe
I’m a tad different, then.”
If your mama taught you
to treat a lady kindly, then didn’t she tell you it’s impolite to
fail to introduce yourself?”
ma’am. Pleasure to meet you.” He almost salutes. “And
shouldn’t a good southern lady like yourself also do me the honor
of an introduction?”
You can take the girl out
of Georgia but not the drawl.” Chuckling, I smile up at him.
“It’s still there, even though I left a long time ago. I’m
Simone. Simone Barranquet.”
No. My father has
some Spanish blood in him. It goes a long way back,
What finds you in the Big
What teen doesn’t dream
of the city that never sleeps? Especially one tucked away in a
backwater?” I shrug, but throw the question back at him. “And
you? My twang is still there, just, but yours is thicker than
grits. You here on vacation?”
You could say that.
It’s a working vacation.”
A working vacation?” I
ask, curious. “What kind?”
I’m a writer. I’m
on the PR trail.”
A writer? That’s
awesome. What do you write?”
He shrugs and for the first time, I can see
he’s been knocked out of his self-assurance. “This and
Tell me. I’d like
to know. The minute the bookstores open, I’ll go and buy one
of your books. Then I can show my friends and say, this is
the guy who saved my butt.”
I’d appreciate the boost
of sales, but really, it’s not necessary.” He takes a sip of his
beer as though that’s the last he has to say on that matter, and
that sup just finalizes
Ha. As if.
Please. I’d like to
Now, his smile’s odd. A quirk of the
lips that holds no amusement; not exactly embarrassment but
discomfort more than anything else.
With a jerk of his
shoulder that says ‘what the hell’, he mutters, “This last book is
Devil May Have
And you write under Zane
Matthews? You don’t have a pseudonym?”
He shakes his head and, once again, looks
I’ll look forward to
Licking my lips, I take a
sip of my cranberry juice and with this man at my side, begin to
enjoy the sultry heat of a New York night. Perfumed with
Zane’s aftershave, it’s even hotter. My senses feel
feel alive and for the first time in a long while, I’ve been
driven out of my apathy.
I’m not being bigheaded
when I say that I can
his eyes on the movement of my tongue as it tries
to catch a lingering drop of juice on my lips.
That his awareness of me is as augmented as
mine is of him, I let my own gaze drift up to his and whisper, “How
long are you here for?”
A few months.”
Then you go back down
Another shake of the head. “No.
I live up north now. Near Maine.”
We’re real traitors to
our Confederate ancestors, aren’t we?”
Yes, ma’am. But it
suits me. My family and I, we don’t get on all that
As soon as he utters the words, I can tell
he’s surprised that he mentioned it. Rather than pounce on
something he hadn’t meant to say, I murmur for no other reason than
to talk loudly would spoil the moment; “How come you’re here
for so long?”
I have other business
That he’s here for a prolonged stay
shouldn’t make me feel so urgent. It’s not like he’s leaving
tomorrow and I might never see him again. If I play my cards
right, invite him out for a meal tomorrow, then he can, if he has
an opening in his schedule.
But somehow, I
It’s riding me like I want to ride him.
The thought makes me flush and I know that
he can see my reaction. It doesn’t embarrass me, if anything,
it encourages me. Gives me the courage I need to ask, “Are
I’d have liked to tag
my courage doesn’t take me that far.
He nods at the question and as silent as it
was, I know he’s answered it too. There’s a heat in his gaze;
a shimmering light that tells me I’m not alone in this peculiar
need I feel for him. He shares it and that gives me such a
rush, I feel as though I’ve just leapt out of a plane and am
skydiving toward the ground.
Would you like to go for
something to eat?”
I’d like that.” The
rippling melody of his voice is raked with gravel and every part of
me reacts to the sound. I don’t think there’s one part of me
that isn’t turned on by this man.
You would?” I’m almost
embarrassed by the squeak of my voice, but hell, when faced with a
man who makes male models look butt ugly and who would like to go
on a spur-of-the-minute date; I think anyone would be shocked.
Especially when I’m not model material!
I’ll just let my friends
know. Otherwise they’ll worry.” Rather than battle my way
through the dancing crowds again, I dig out my cell phone from my
purse and send a text.
Going to eat with sex god. Will call
later. Wish me luck.
Two seconds later, before I even have the
chance to put my phone away, the receiver beeps:
Aren’t you glad we made you wear THAT
dress? Go get laid. Love you. E & M.
They’re not wrong. I’m super relieved
that I’m wearing the dress I am. Earlier on, when I’d come
out of my bedroom dressed in a shirtwaist dress and low heels,
they’d frog-marched me into my room and forced me to wear an outfit
that had been moldering away in the back of my closet since last
year’s Black Friday sales. Marina had bought it for me as a
gift; knowing that I couldn’t justify the cost of a dress into my
budget. She’d guilt-tripped me into wearing it tonight.
Using crocodile tears to get me into the dress that revealed more
than it hid.
Fortunately, I’ve lost
weight since Thanksgiving. It seems that worrying about
have its advantages.
I can remember my mother;
even as far back as being a young child, she never had to worry
about bills. My father handled all that, but even so, we were
relatively well to do. Now, I’ve sunk down to the levels of
the blue-collar class. Nothing to be ashamed of, at least,
not to my mind. If my parents knew, they’d be even more
embarrassed about their outcast of a daughter than they already
Sighing at the thought, I
brush it away and congratulate myself for having trimmed
down. The dress that had only just fit, now sits nicely on my
shape. It’s amazing the difference a couple of pounds can
make. The waist cutouts no longer have blobs of fat popping
out of them, but display peeps of porcelain flesh, which seem even
paler against the burnt orange of the silk blend. It cups my
hips and thighs, the curve of my behind as well as my
breasts. It’s a simple dress; pencil skirt,
boat-neckline. The only decoration comes from those bared
expanses of flesh.
To say I’m relieved I’m wearing this dress
is like a mountain climber being content at reaching Everest’s
I might just kiss Marina the next time I see
So, is there anything in
particular you want to eat?” Zane asks me, as I slip my phone back
into my clutch purse.
I would love to say
something risqué, but let’s face it, Rome was
built in a day. I need to
take this nice and slow. This is the first time I’ve ever
come on to someone! In the past, my dates have all asked
. Few those
occasions might have been, but that doesn’t change the fact that
tonight, I’ve shown more guts than I have in a long
I’d be happy with a