Authors: Rachel Dunning
WEST END BOYS
(NAÏVE MISTAKES - BOOK THREE)
By Rachel Dunning
Copyright © 2013 Rachel Dunning.
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
Cover Design Copyright © 2013 Rachel Dunning.
Cover Photo Copyright © 2013
Obtained from Shutterstock and used with permission.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Also by Rachel Dunning:
Naïve Mistakes Trilogy (New Adult)
West-End Boys, #3 Naïve Mistakes Trilogy
Girl-Nerds Like it... Series
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Are you reading this? Yes,
. Good, because this one's for you precisely. Not my uncle, your aunt, her grandmother, or that best friend of mine that you've never heard of and never will. But
. Because you're reading it, so who else should it be for?
All efforts have been made to make Book Three of the Naïve Mistakes
Trilogy stand on its own. However, it is highly recommended that you read at least Book Two for a deeper understanding of the characters' histories, and of the story itself.
If you're not going to read Book Two at least, then just know that when we talk of 'swimming' in this book, well, we're talking of, um,
Good then, as you were.
It took over a week before Conall and I could do any sort of swimming. Finally we did, in his room, to one of his magnificent playlists.
"I booked us a place in Switzerland," he said when we were done. "Three weeks from now."
"Why so long?"
"Just to be safe."
"The recommended waiting time for the pill is two weeks."
"Leora, in all honesty"—he rubbed my stomach—"I have
problem creating a child with you..."
Oh motherfucker, that just made me
hot and I have no idea why!
"...but part of our deal of you staying here is that you'll go to university next year. So, I'm not risking that."
I rolled my eyes. Heck, I
want a college education, but these things are so friggin hard to think of after a good, nose-diving
"It's 'college.' I told you that. Not 'university.'" OK, fine, maybe I was being a little childish.
"A college is a
of a university. You Americans have it all wrong."
"No, the English are wrong!" I put my hand down between his legs. Damn, he was ready for another round... "Conall, how
you do it?"
My phone buzzed. I ignored it. I started rubbing him, kissing him. It buzzed a second time.
Then it rang. "Damn it!"
"Just let it ring," said Conall.
"No, if it's Kayla I have to answer. That's our agreement."
Kayla. I sighed. Fine, I'd interrupted her in
Conall caressed my crotch as I answered the phone and I giggled. "Bad timing! I hope it's important!" I said.
Suddenly Conall's hand felt uncomfortable. I moved it away.
I fought myself to a sitting position. My ribs still hurt big-time.
"Bianca Henshaw, she's dead, Leora.
. They found her at Raphael's place. She'd been..." Kayla was frantic. We'd hated Bianca at school. And we'd tried to warn her about her drug-dealing scumbag of a boyfriend; Kayla's ex.
"I see... That's horrible."
"That's not the point, baby. Raphael's missing."
Well, good riddance.
"That means he's no longer Mr. 'I'm The Man For Drugs in NYC.' That was the only thing he was holding onto that kept him from coming to get you and Conall,
Brad. Leo, what if he's coming for us? No one can find him. What if he knows we're here?"
I lost all strength in my arm. "I—I see. Th—thanks, Kayla, I'll tell Conall."
I put the phone off. "Tell me what?" said Conall.
A floorboard creaked outside the bedroom.
In my mind, I screamed.
Sweat cooled on my brow as my eyes locked onto Conall's mahogany bedroom door.
"Leora?" he said again. "Leora!" once more, this time so I would hear him.
Blood pooled at my feet as I tried to hear outside the door again.
My breath caught.
The door occupied my mind as if it were a solar flare ready to explode in front of my eyes, nothing else left in the room but it, and me. Conall had long since disappeared to where he'd always been destined to go—away from me, away from us. Because hadn't that been the way of us? To be, somehow, separated by the gods or fate or whatever chose to get in our way?
"Leora!" His arms grabbed me by my shoulders as he cried my name so loud that I was sure the man, thing, criminal, outside the door had us now—
I rolled onto his bed and screamed like I'd never screamed before, hearing nothing but the shrill cry of my cracking voice as it bounced off the walls and screamed back at me, panic-stricken, unable to move.
Conall rolled my body over. And I waited for the killer to slam into the room, to ram through the door like some Samurai and take me, take Conall. And to kill him, kill him in front of my eyes—
"Leora, what? What is it!? Leora!?"
Conall's hands shook me and pulled me up and tugged at me and, in my mind, they were no longer his hands but the hands of Raphael, drug-dealing killer from NYC, and they were the fat man that had tried to bury his head in Kayla's skirt after she'd been drugged...
No. No. No...
Realization dawned on me. It was none of these men.
It was the Hungarian. The one who'd taken me only two weeks ago, strapped me to a chair and popped my shoulder out, dragged me through the ground by it and then, on a table, spread my legs wide, undid his pants—
"Baby, look at me. It's me, Leora!"
Conall's gemstone eyes pierced into my armor as he shook me by the shoulders so hard that my head jerked back and I saw that man's face—that horrible, ugly man—then I saw Conall's, then that man, then Conall...
"Leora..." He whispered now. "Leo, baby, it's OK. It's OK."
He spoke softer. I focused on his Maldives eyes, blue as the sky and deep as the Pacific, his raven-black mane curling about his ears and just touching the back of his neck like gentle fingers. I saw his steely chest, my name, tattooed above his waistline, for me,
I heard that I'd stopped screaming. I heard, as if I listened now to someone else, that I was breathing heavily, my face dripping, my skin cold.
My head shot back to the door, just one more moment of gut-ripping fear. Hard, solid, decorated with exquisite carved patterns that I'd looked on for hours before. But it was closed. The door was still closed.
I started to breathe more easily, coming back to the room, out of the terror of my mind. Seeing the door of this room and
the door of that warehouse.
"Baby, it was a flashback. Just a flashback."
In my mind, I believed him.
In my heart, there was a bogey-monster behind that door. And it was coming to get me. It was only a matter of time now.
"Come, baby. Come to bed. Let's sleep." Conall grabbed me around the shoulders, laid me down again, curled next to me, held me while I trembled.
I turned and held him in return, put my arm around his firm waist, but kept my eyes open. Kept my eyes wide open, all night, thinking, thinking...
Kayla's words played in my mind,
What if he knows we're here?
Then I did close my eyes, but I didn't sleep.
The pinching heat of burning cinders scraped my bare toes as I stretched out once again in the woody lounge of Conall's Swiss chalet. It had been yet another day of falling on my ass, knowing I wasn't born to ski, and probably would never learn to.
Our trip to Switzerland had taken on another hue:
Space, zhat is vhat she needs! Zhe space of zhe beautiful Sviss mountains!
Those had been Dr. Gehrig's thickly-accented words to Conall after my panic attack in his room two weeks earlier. He'd also insisted that I not be left alone and that I be put constantly under watch. Yeah, that hadn't made me feel self-conscious at all. Alex and Kayla had shared the job assignment for the week just before we'd left. Conall had been able to push up the reservations.
But he hadn't been able to leave right away. He'd been called urgently to the states on business. So we took the next best option, I packed Kayla (and Brad) and Alex into my bags and brought them to Switzerland with me! Of course, Conall wanted to pay for all of us, but I downright refused. So I put mom's divorce money to good use and paid at least for my friends. Conall finally accepted that I'd pay for myself while he wasn't with me.
Dr. Gehrig had been right. Each morning I'd stretch out on the balcony overseeing the quaint Swiss town, Zermatt. I'd look up at the May-Blue skies and the often cloud-covered Matterhorn Mountain, and just
. Two weeks of that, and I was starting to feel normal again. I was relaxing, easing out, forgetting the nightmare that had been only a little over a month before, in that warehouse...
I shook it from my mind now, sipped another scalding lick of Swiss Gluehwein, sweet and hot and just alcoholic enough to soothe my aching legs. Skiing, not my thing.
Kayla and Brad had taken to it wonderfully. Part of me even wondered if they didn't plan on moving up here permanently and working at one of the local hotels. I hoped they wouldn't, because it was still my secret plan that they move up to England where I had already decided I would move to permanently as soon as I could. Luckily, Alexandra was about as flatfooted as me on the slopes and we ended up chatting most of the time up at the Klein Matterhorn (another mountain), sitting on our asses, parka hoods and silver shades covering our eyes, feigning sprained ankles most times. I at least could blame my broken ribs... OK, they weren't broken anymore, but the instructor didn't need to know that.
Alex and I had become good friends, and not only because neither of us knew our gondolas from our funiculars. She and Kayla and I now shared a horrid past that silently bound us as sisters like no other experience could. I was only grateful that my suffering had not been taken as far as theirs had. Alex was more than a friend to me now. She was the pillar I clung to when thoughts of that night came to me.
We'd spoken a lot on those mountains, asses frozen harder than a Republican's stance on government funding. And we also hadn't spoken. Alex knew when to ask, and when to keep quiet. Yes, Dr. Gehrig had been very right. Send me out into the middle of nowhere, with the people I loved.
I couldn't wait for Conall to arrive. Tonight.
I'd found myself more distracted than usual on the slopes today.
The chalet he'd chosen had three rooms even though we only needed one. The main room had an en-suite bathroom with a rain-shower and russet tiles on the walls. The walls in the rest of the place were granite but paneled with weathered wood to give it a rustic feel. The place oozed luxury, smelled of conifers, and drenched me in a comfort I'd so desperately needed.
Kayla and Brad stayed in a separate chalet, equally as luxurious but in a different style, pine mostly. Alex was ensconced in the
, a five-star hotel.
Conall was due to arrive at about six P.M. I'd gone by a luxury lingerie store and bought a lace garter halter dress. Now that my feet were warm, I picked up the stockings and slid them on, tied up the garters.
I'd even cooked. The aroma of fresh roast in the oven wafted up and made my mouth water. I'd closed the drapes, turned down the lights.
And I waited.
When Conall finally arrived, it seems he'd had similar plans...
"In here, baby."
"My goodness, what is that heavenly smell?"
I said nothing, waited with stockinged feet up on the table, a glass of Merlot swirling in my hand. I pressed down the neckline of my halter-top
dress, felt the heat of the flames warm me up, and the heat of Conall's voice stroke my cheeks and thighs.
I'd missed him so much.
I closed my eyes.
Conall walked into the lounge, said nothing. I turned my head to him, opened my eyes, smiled seductively.
"L—L—Leora?" He swallowed. I crossed one leg over the other.
"Yes?" I said, husky and breathy.
And then his lips tugged up, just at the one side, and then the other. He loosened his silk tie, heaved in a breath. "Well,
. I see the trip's made you feel better." His eyes widened. I saw him swallow once. "I...bought you something," he said.
"Yes?" I kept my voice quiet, luring him in with it. I wanted to jump him, to wrap my arms around him and rub against him on the couch. But I lingered, my heart thumping like psychotic insects.
"Um, yes..." His eyes raked my body. I saw him begin to bulge underneath his slacks. He undid his top button. "But I don't think you'll need it." He took his jacket off, threw it on a one-seater behind him.
s it?" I asked.
"It's not important." Pause. "I missed you."
"I missed you, too. I thought I'd surprise you."
"And surprised I am."
He swooped down on me without warning, his manly scent overwhelming the smell of fresh roast in the air to make me itch and cringe for him so suddenly that my left hand shot to behind his back. I pulled him into me.
He kissed my neck.
"Lingerie," he whispered.
I was elsewhere, swimming, floating in his musk and hair and muscles and in the heat of the fire and the sultry air. "Ling— Huh?" I said, the words coming out like they'd been said by someone else.
"I bought you lingerie." He devoured my neck, eased his hands underneath my top and to my black panties, to the straps, playing with them, desperate for me, wanting me like a man who'd been denied water in the desert.
I dropped the wineglass on the floor and it smashed! "Damn it!"
I turned to look at it and Conall held me against the back of the couch, moved in between my legs and lifted them so my feet were on the seat and my legs wide open for him. "Leave it."
He kneeled down on the floor in front of me.
I gushed, my wetness below so warm and fast that it felt like my entire stomach had exploded, sending forth a waterfall of hot passion onto my drenched panties. Conall kissed me above my right breast, tugged me toward him from behind my back. I ran my hands through his heavenly hair.
"Have a good flight?" I asked.
He eased the crotch of my panties to the right, exposing me to him. He buried his tongue in me with no patience, no finesse, no measured approach. Just manly charge. He licked me. My butt lifted off the seat and I heard myself whimper—constant repetitive whimpers every time his tongue lapped my insides and scraped against the walls of my inner lips.
The thought of dinner came to me, my nether lips drenched and soaking and pulsing and—
"Dinner, Conall, I have to—"
"Fuck dinner. Let it burn." He slammed his tongue inside me again and my legs spasmed around his head and clutched him there, then relaxed, then contracted again. My feet fell to the ground as I stretched out for him, legs wide. My stomach clenched, moved up into my chest and I started to make sounds beyond my control and Conall licked and licked and licked and—
His two fingers went inside me so fast, so deep, then pulled up against the inside of my pubis so hard...that I started coming. Just like that. No warning!
I came with him laving me and fingering me and kneeling down below me at my crotch... Like I was his, like he'd waited a lifetime for me, like I meant more to him than anything or anyone, anywhere.
The groan began deep at my chest, constant and guttural. The tension exploded within me, blood
coursed through my legs and back and crotch and tingled my arms while a gentle breeze made the gauze curtains billow. Fire burned behind Conall's hot tongue. I screamed once, bit my finger as the pleasure rushed through me.
He held me, pulled his fingers from me and held my legs to his ears as my muscles fought and clamped and my toes curled. One garter broke away. I howled, so loud that the whole town heard it and the Matterhorn above echoed it back down. And then I screamed again, screamed for all the pleasure I felt now because of this beautiful man, kissing me, loving me, feeling me...
I breathed in deep, sweat trickling down my brow as Conall, slowly, gently, licked me more, the entire length of my vulva, up. I squeaked. He did it again. I eased, relaxed, felt my shoulders slump down against the back of the leather couch and felt my head loll to the left as my eyes closed and my lips tugged into a smile so hot that all the snow of the mountains could not cool the warmth of it. I eased my fingers through his wavy hair, felt its moisture, the moisture of our sweat, of the warmed room.
The fire crackled.
Even though I was done, Conall licked me still, side to side, my inner lips, inside, outside, up, down, slowly, lovingly, caring, passionate. Then he pecked me below, as if he were kissing me on the mouth, kissing the lips on my face, as if both were the same.
"I missed you so much," he said.
My legs melted. I shifted up, pushed him back by his shoulders, ignoring the smell of burning meat from the kitchen. I pulled my legs back up onto the couch, clutched his shirt with my fists and lifted his moist lips to mine. He hesitated only for a second.
And then I kissed him. I kissed him and our tongues caressed and greeted each other, two old friends who hadn't spoken in years, two kids rubbing their hands through each other's hair, taking a walk in the park. I eased him back onto the couch, feeling deadly sexy in black.
He lay back. I straddled him, my left knee on the couch, my right foot on the ground, our clothed crotches touching. Conall was hard as steel, pulsing, pushing and pressing against me so that the tension began anew in me, firing within my legs, tightening me down below, squeezing my insides so that I needed him again, now, right now, inside me, filling me,
making love to me
Because I couldn't wait anymore for him.
I bent down and kissed his lips, smelled the fresh apple-scent shampoo in his hair. That was Conall: always prepared, always thinking of everything. I grappled with his hair as his own breaths quickened, still needing release, still needing completion. He lifted his pelvis against me and I whimpered. "Tonight," I said to him. "Tonight." I kissed his ear, took off his tie and ripped his shirt so that
a button snapped, then another. Then I ripped all of them off. My hair covered my face, wet and matted.
I ground my crotch against him, heard myself groan again, felt myself engorge and tighten and I ground some more. The itch, the need, was there once more, strong and throbbing. "Tonight, Conall," I said again. Louder. Louder so that the words were no longer a suggestion but a demand, a desperate demand for the man I loved to take me, finally. Because I loved him. I loved him with everything I was. And I knew, as I had known from our first days, that he completely, and unconditionally, also loved me.
Conall rose, pushing his body up as I continued to ride him. He snapped his palm around my neck and pulled me down as I ground against him, faster and faster, fighting to satiate my own desires as much as his.
"Tonight," I kept saying, the words now a mantra, a chant, a rhythm and pulse every time I pushed down against him. "
I knew he knew what I meant. "OK," he said. "Tonight. Now."
He clutched at my waist, held me down so I wouldn't grind any further. My eyes, which had been shut and tight, shot open. Hot desire flushed on his beautiful face. I was momentarily caught in the dream of his chiseled jaw, his aquatic eyes.
He said nothing, lifted me off him gently, kissed me on the forehead, sat me back on the couch. My heart thumped, raced like wild buffalo across a plain. "One moment," he told me.
He walked out the room, his loafers crunching over the smashed wineglass of earlier. Then he came back, fluffy pink slippers in hand. "These were the only shoes I could find. So you can walk over this damn glass."
I felt myself go warm, looked coyly away. I took the slippers, slid my erotically covered toes into them. He held out his hand, his chest gleaming and heaving behind the ripped buttons of his shirt.
I looked once more at my name,
, inked forever on his waist.
, I thought. Because there was no night more perfect than tonight. There never would be a more perfect night. Chalet or not, sexy underwear or not. When two people love each other, it's always perfect. Real love.