Authors: Braxton Cole
All Wrapped Up
All Wrapped Up - The List Book 2
Copyright © 2013, Braxton Cole.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including recording, print-outs, information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author. eBooks are not transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
Editor: Andi Marquette (http://andimarquette.com)
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(The List Series Book One)
Instead of calming my nerves like I'd hoped, the wine was only making me drunk.
To hell with it.
I poured my fourth glass for the evening and topped off Rachel's as well. No point in being drunk alone when I could be drunk with a friend. She just needed to actually start drinking.
“So, tell me how this changes things for you.” Rachel had asked that question at least twelve times. The wording had been different each time, giving me a variation on a theme, but no actual break from the topic that had initially rattled my nerves. “I mean, it
change things, right? It has to.”
“Shut up and drink your wine.” I was done with asking her nicely to switch topics. She was like a damn dog gnawing on the bone that was my relationship with Luca.
“You like him. I know you do.”
I nodded and took another drink of wine. I had passed the sipping stage two glasses ago. I more than liked him, but that didn't mean I was ready to share an address with him. My phone whistled to tell me I had a text message. I silenced it without looking. The odds were high that it was Luca again. He'd been sending me sexy, sweet messages all week.
“I don't understand what the problem is.” Rachel sipped her wine and followed it with a bite of cheese. She was doing her part to savor the wine slowly, rather than jumping head first into a wine hangover like I was doing.
“Luca was supposed to be a fun distraction, not a relationship,” I tried to explain one more time. Rachel looked at me like I was brain damaged. Hell, maybe I was. We'd passed the point of a fun distraction months ago.
“Mari, it's not like you're some bitter, dried-up hag whose only option is to grow old with your ten cats. Yes, you went through a divorce. Are you really going to tell me that you are incapable of having a relationship because of it? Because that is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Luca is a good guy. You know this. Stop freaking out.” If she'd been sitting a little closer, she totally would have jabbed me with her finger. From the opposite side of the table, all she could do was gesture emphatically. I was grateful.
“I really like the way things are between us,” I said. Luca was fun and sexy and sweet and everything I wanted in a man. I had been terrified all that would change because we'd said out loud that we wanted to add strings after our initial meetings, which had involved lots of really hot sex. That’s supposedly the only thing both of us wanted in the beginning, but then things got a little more complicated. So far, change hadn't happened, but that didn't mean things wouldn't change the second we signed a joint lease.
“Who wouldn't? That man is. . .” Rachel fanned herself and smiled with a happy, faraway look in her eyes. She was enjoying my boyfriend a little too much for my comfort. “He’s like your very own Prince Charming.”
She nailed it with one dreamy comment. My relationship with Luca was straight out of an X-rated Disney movie. He was too perfect. So far we’d kept our relationship neatly contained to weekends only. What would happen if we expanded our time together to all day, everyday? I wasn’t ready to give up the fantasy.
“And he’s hot.” Rachel’s smile changed from dreamy to lewd.
“Stop lusting after my boyfriend.”
“You called him your boyfriend.” Rachel smiled and sipped her wine demurely.
I wanted to slap the glass out of her hands. I settled for glaring at her while I took a large drink from my own.
“I know.” Truthfully, it hadn't even felt weird. Luca and I fit together perfectly. It wasn't scary at all until I thought about what it all meant. Then my knee-jerk reaction was to gulp wine. Besides, I'd started calling him my boyfriend as soon as we got over that weird “how are we going to do this” stage. Rachel was just being a bitch about it.
“When do you see him again?”
My phone vibrated against the table. Apparently I fumbled the whole silencing thing and forgot to turn off notifications completely.
“Tomorrow night.” That was one thing that I had refused to change. I still needed to be able to focus on work during the week. I could play with Luca on the weekends. I had compromised slightly and agreed to see him Friday night instead of waiting until Saturday. So far, that had resulted in him picking me up on Friday evening and dropping me off at home late Sunday. I got completely caught up in him those two days and lost all track of time.
The phone buzzed again, increasingly difficult to ignore.
“You should just look at it.”
She was right, of course. Ignoring my phone wouldn't make my commitment issues go away. I found a missed call and three text messages from Luca. The first was him checking in, as was his habit each evening.
Can't wait to see you tomorrow, sexy girl.
When I didn't respond, he followed with:
Mari? Is everything okay, baby?
I couldn't blame him. Usually I answered right away. Then again, I usually hadn't blown through the majority of a bottle of wine by myself. Rachel refused to actually drink hers, satisfied, I guess, with sipping and watching me slip further down the road to drunk.
The third message got my attention.
If you don't answer, how can I tell you about the new toys I bought? I have plans for you.
I typed out a quick response. Rachel laughed at me the entire time.
Out with Rachel. Call you later and you can tell me all about it.
Rachel threw a grape at me at the same moment that I hit send. It bounced off my head and landed in the bottom of my nearly empty glass. I tipped it back and swallowed the last drops. The grape slid into my mouth and crunched nicely when I bit down. I refused to look at Rachel because she hadn't stopped smiling since I picked up my phone.
“You realize that you get this silly little smile on your face when you talk to him, right? It's adorable.”
I wished I'd saved the grape to throw back at her.
“Stop glaring at me. When are you going to trust that it's okay? I wish I could find someone like Luca.”
“I'm taking him to my mom's on Sunday.” My glass was empty and so was the bottle. Shit. There was no way I could justify ordering a second.
“So? He goes over there every week with you.” Rachel looked like she was thinking about confiscating my glass of wine. Pointless, since it was empty.
“He wants to announce that we're moving in together.” And there went my stomach again. Just like every other time I thought about living with Luca, my tummy dropped into my shoes, then launched itself at my throat.
“Oh. I thought you guys were just discussing it.”
“You know Luca. Everything is full speed ahead with him. Once he makes up his mind, he goes after it like his life depends on the outcome.” That determination was one of the things that made him such an amazing lover. If he fell short, he just kept trying until he perfected it. One weekend, he tied me to his bed and kept his tongue buried in my cunt for six hours straight. By the end, I was wrung out, starving, and a complete sopping mess. For his part, Luca was supremely satisfied with his expert ability to make me come with his tongue.
“Stop thinking about sex.” Rachel beaned me with another grape. I set this one on my napkin just in case I needed to throw it back at her.
“Sorry.” I shrugged like I wasn't sorry at all. “Luca has that effect.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Rachel glared at me. “Show a little respect for those of us who aren't dating a sex god.”
I gave her a wink. “My offer still stands.” One night, after far too much single malt whiskey, I'd asked Rachel if she'd like to join Luca and me some time. After listening to her complain about how awful her latest lover was, I just couldn't handle it any more. The poor girl deserved a decent orgasm. And a threesome was still on our list of things to try.
“You don't mean that.” Rachel's swallowed half her glass of wine in one go and her face flared red.
I smirked. “Sure I do.”
She stared at me. “You're drunk.”
Not really. Four glasses was enough to make me giggly, but not drunk. “No, but even if I was it wouldn't change anything.”
“You'd really do that? Let Luca fuck someone else?” Her face screwed up with this combination of intrigue and horror. Apparently she hadn't believed me when I told her all the things that were on our list.
I considered my answer. Would I let Luca sleep with whoever he wanted, whenever he wanted? Hell, no. I hadn't signed on for an open relationship. And he was far too loyal to even think about cheating on me. “Within reason, yes.” I held Rachel’s gaze. “If I were there to watch, maybe participate, it would be hot.”
“You're serious?” Rachel picked up her wine glass, but it was empty. So was the bottle. She stared into the glass for a moment with an intense expression, then set it back on the table.
“Of course.” I signaled to the waiter for a new bottle. Rachel had decided to join the drinking so I could replace the wine without feeling like a total lush.
“You really are a kinky bitch, aren't you?”
I laughed. “You have no idea.”
“So how would that work?” Rachel stared at the wall over my shoulder to avoid looking at me.
“You want details?” This whole conversation cracked me up. Rachel looked ready to pass out at any moment.
Rachel fanned her face with her napkin. “No, I mean where would we do it? When? That kind of thing.”
The waiter arrived with the new bottle of wine and filled both our glasses. Rachel drank hers down and held it out for him to refill. I sipped and watched her while trying not to laugh. Complete role reversal from earlier.
I waited for the waiter to leave before I responded. “Where? A hotel. When? We could probably do it this weekend if you want. Let me ask Luca.”
I picked up my phone carefully. I expected her to knock it out of my hand to stop me. Her face grew increasingly red, but she didn't move. I typed out a quick message while she watched with wide eyes.
Up for some company this weekend? Rachel wants to join us.
I showed the screen to Rachel before I hit send. She swallowed and nodded, her movements tight, but certain. I sent the message.
“Jesus.” Rachel drank more wine.
“You know, you don't have to do this.” I'd been teasing her when I brought it up, but the idea of seeing Luca with Rachel stirred excitement low in my belly. This would be a lot of fun. Providing Rachel didn't faint from the idea of it.
Join us for dinner? Or. . .
I smiled. Even though we'd talked about including other people, we'd both been reluctant to follow through. After the night he brought Richard to meet me, Luca hadn't wanted to push the issue. And I had simply been enjoying him.
We could have dinner first. Then I'd like you to fuck her while I watch.
I hit send and imagined Luca going instantly hard when he read my message. He was incredibly responsive to suggestion.
Rachel watched, but didn't ask what he said. Luca replied immediately.
The new toys can wait. I'll book a room.
I showed Rachel the screen. “Should I tell him to do it?”
Rachel hesitated, took a long drink of wine, then nodded slowly. “Yeah, I think so.”
I debated kissing Rachel then. It was total impulse and would have freaked her out even more, so I didn't. Instead I asked Luca to let me know which hotel after he'd made the reservation. This wasn't the outcome I'd expected from the evening, but I wasn't about to complain. The stress I'd felt for weeks about Luca's request to live together gave way to excitement.
“We're going to have so much fun.” I toasted Rachel. For the first time all night I really tasted the wine on my tongue. It was crisp and clear and full of promise.
Instead of dreading the weekend, now I couldn't wait for it to arrive.