Authors: Blushing Violet [EC Exotica] (mobi)
Heat flared in her cheeks as she blushed. “Maybe.”
Bethany hooted. “Maybe? Darlin’, if a man sends you something like this there is no maybe about it.”
Looking closer, Jason glanced between her face and the box. “Nope. He likes you. No guy would pick out jewelry the exact color of your eyes if he didn’t like you.”
Bethany grinned at him. “Oh, you’re right!”
Stunned, Violet continued to run her hands over the jade. This was the color of her eyes? Could it be possible that they were pretty? The foundation of her world shifted as she considered the ramifications. Was it possible that all those years of putdowns by her sister had led her to actually change how she viewed herself? The thought made her feel sick and her stomach twisted into a hard knot.
“Earth to Violet. Your cell phone is beeping.”
“Huh?” She put the box down on the counter with a longing glance and fished her phone out. A text message was waiting for her.
Violet, I can’t wait to see you. I’ll be waiting for you at the fountain in front of Neiman Marcus in Troy at 5 p.m. Barney
“Oh crap.” Violet jammed her phone back into her white work pants and ran a hand through her braid, which was starting to come unraveled. Thank God her work was only a few minutes away in West Bloomfield. “Glad my last appointment canceled. Barney wants to meet me in front of Neiman Marcus in an hour. I thought I was supposed to meet him there at five thirty, but he wouldn’t say what we are doing. How am I supposed to dress for a date when I don’t know what to wear? Should I wear something nice? What if we go rock climbing? If I wear a pair of jeans and some sneakers we could end up at some fancy dance club and I’ll look like his ugly little sister. Not that I know if he even has a sister. What if he has a beautiful sister and I meet her and she thinks I’m ugly? Thank God I let you wax me because I never would have had time to shave and no one wants a prickly—”
Bethany shouted, “TMI!” while Jason stared at her. Even though he knew her well enough to be used to her vocal freak-outs, he certainly didn’t need to hear about her personal hygiene.
“Barney?” Jason asked and shut the jewelry box, tugging it away from Bethany and handing it to Violet. She took the jewelry and felt a sharp pang of guilt. What kind of woman was she that she accepted jewelry from one man that she had just had sex with before going out on a date with another man? True, Bethany was always telling her that sex didn’t equal love, and commitment took two people, but she couldn’t help hearing the mental voice of her mother chastising her for being a slut.
Bethany laughed and clapped her hands together, snapping her out of her morose thoughts. “I’m so excited for you!” Catching Violet’s look of panic she rolled her eyes and wrapped Violet’s hands around the jewelry box. “Go get your bag out of your car and bring it back in here. I’ll help you get dolled up, and you can go meet mystery man number two. Have a great time and don’t forget to call me when you get home. After my dating dry spell, your nights out have become the highlight of my life.”
“That is so sad on so many levels.”
“Tell me about it.” Bethany’s brown eyes sparkled as she herded Violet out the door and handed her her purse and keys. It never failed to astonish her how Bethany could move faster than the speed of light and get you to do what she wanted by sheer force of will.
Shaking her head, Violet headed out into the fading afternoon light and smiled.
* * * * *
Violet stood frozen in the middle of the crowded mall and became a rock, which the stream of people flowed around. In all of her most wild imagining she had never, ever predicted that Barney was one of her most naughty fantasies come to life.
With his shoulder-length blond hair pulled back into a black leather thong, he looked like a Viking in a thousand-dollar pearl-gray suit. It had to be custom made, nothing else would have fit his big body so well. Especially that thick neck and those impossibly broad shoulders. He leaned against the edge of a fountain displaying a massive marble ball seemingly rotating on its own axis like a planet.
A very fitting backdrop for a man who had the magnetic draw of the sun. Women hovered around him, shooting admiring glances and blatant come-hither looks his way. He ignored them all and scanned the crowd.
She quickly ducked behind a stand selling sunglasses and wiped her sweating palms on her brown suede skirt. It wasn’t the fact that he was devastatingly handsome that was causing her panic attack. She
him. Knew every inch of that perfect profile, but this was the first time she had seen it in anything but black and white.
Barney was one of the men from the BDSM photography book that she had listed on her profile. She was used to seeing him frozen in time, giving the woman on her feet before him a look of such dominance that it never failed to make her panties wet. She knew how good he looked with his shirt off, in a pair of black leather pants with that thick blond hair falling loose over his neck.
She had to get out of here right now. The humiliation of seeing his disappointment at the sight of her shriveled her stomach into a tight ball of misery. Dressed in her best skirt and cream angora sweater she had felt pretty when she left the spa. Now she felt fat, frumpy and hopelessly outclassed.
“Violet?” a deep voice rumbled from behind her and she jumped, scattering a bunch of sunglasses to the floor with a plastic clatter.
Her worst fears came true as she turned around and found Barney smiling at her. “That’s me,” she said in a squeak before dropping to her feet and picking up the sunglasses. When she looked up she found him beaming down at her and was reminded that they mirrored the position in the BDSM book. Heat seared through her veins and she gathered the sunglasses with shaking hands.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said in a soft voice as he crouched next to her and helped her return the sunglasses to the display. “I thought I saw you, then you vanished.”
She couldn’t think of anything to say that wouldn’t make her sound like an idiot. When his warm hand slipped into hers, she nearly hyperventilated. So big, his hand engulfed hers in rough heat.
“Morgan,” he said in a low voice as he tugged her back toward the fountain.
“What?” Being this near to him scrambled her senses until all she could do was stare up at him.
“My name is Morgan.” He gave her a wink that made her heart pound harder, if that was even possible.
“My name really is Violet,” she said in an embarrassingly breathless voice. “I’m named after my great-aunt Violet. She’s eighty-five years old and still makes my mom bring a monthly copy of
to her in the nursing home. She and the other old ladies all gather in her room together and the one with the best eyesight reads the erotic stories at the top of her lungs to the others, ’cause a lot of the ladies have hearing problems. You haven’t lived until you hear an old woman yelling about balls slapping off someone’s ass.”
Morgan stared at her and she wanted to die. Her runaway mouth didn’t help the situation. “I don’t have Tourette’s Syndrome. I just babble when I get nervous.”
To her shock, he threw back his head and roared with laughter, drawing startled gazes and answering smiles from the passing crowd. As his chuckles tapered off into wheezes she tried to pull her hand out of his. His grip tightened and the last of the laughter faded from his face. “Would you like to know what we’re going to do tonight?”
He still wanted to go out on a date with her? Confused, she wet her lips. “Sure.”
It must have been her imagination, because she swore his pupils dilated as he focused on her mouth. His voice was certainly deeper as he said, “Though you look delicious in that sweater, I’m going to take you shopping for a dress more appropriate for what I have planned for you.”
She frowned and tried to tug her hand away again. “I have my own money, you don’t—”
He tugged her closer until their bodies were separated by only the smallest of distances. She could actually feel the heat radiating off him and his cologne, sharp and masculine, filled her nose. “Please let me do this for you. I grew up dirt poor and always wished I could buy nice things for my mom and my sisters. I enjoy being able to spoil beautiful women.”
When he put it like that, how could she say anything but, “Okay.”
All the blood in Morgan’s body seemed to rush to his cock when Violet came out of the dressing room in the gown he had asked her to try on. Champagne-gold chiffon fell in a graceful wash of fabric around her full hips and his mouth watered at the way the top of the dress mounded her generous breasts together. The golden color brought out the deep auburn tones in her hair and it flowed down her back like a waterfall of burning embers.
She was walking sex, though she didn’t seem to be aware of it.
Fisting her hands at her sides, she darted a glance up at him then back down at the floor. The matronly store clerk beamed at her as Morgan tried to get his vocal chords to work. She was such a delicious blend of sass and softness. Her vulnerability tugged at every Dom instinct he had and he wanted nothing more than to take her into his arms and show her how beautiful she was. But they hadn’t reached that point…yet.
“You look amazing,” he growled and cleared his throat.
She laced her hands together in front of her and lifted her chin to meet his eyes. “Thank you.” Her natural voice was low and husky and he couldn’t wait to hear her call his name as she screamed her orgasm. A soft blush warmed her cheeks and he delighted in the effect he had on her.
It had been hard to pull her out of her shell at first. Only after asking her to try on increasingly hideous dresses had he finally been able to get her to look him in the eye and stand up for herself. While he liked submissive in the bedroom, he didn’t want a doormat of a woman. The fact that she only let him push her so far pleased him and he admired her all the more. Beneath all that softness she had some untapped strength that he wanted to help her explore.
“We’ll take it.”
“Excellent.” The clerk beamed at him and snipped off the price tag with a small pair of scissors. She kept Violet from seeing the price with a deft move and Morgan was thankful. Despite what Carlos had told him about Violet liking luxury, she had been highly uncomfortable while looking at the dresses. He had to turn on the charm and work at making her relax, but he didn’t miss how he physically affected her. When he had brushed aside a stray lock of her hair her cheeks had turned pink with a blush and her lips had softened as if for a kiss. It took all of his willpower not to pull her behind the rack of gowns and make her burn.
He stood and tugged his jacket down to hide his erection. Violet must have noticed because her full lips parted and she took in a quick breath. Her reaction pleased him and he held out his arm to her. “Shall we?”
She hesitated, then slipped her hand inside his elbow. “Where are we going?”
“To the opera at the Fox Theater.”
* * * * *
Violet slid into the waiting limousine, very aware of the envious looks of the women they passed and surprised by the appreciative glances she was receiving from the men. It had to be the gown, it was so beautiful and so beyond her budget. She internally winced at the thought of how much it cost, but the memory of the way Morgan’s eyes lit up when he saw her helped ease the guilt at such an extravagant purchase.
While they shopped he had talked about growing up in the ghetto of Detroit to a mother without an education and too many mouths to feed. Her heart had ached for him as he joked about having to wear two different shoes to football practice and how his coach had bought him the first brand new pair of sneakers he had ever owned in his entire life. When he mentioned his football scholarship playing for the University of Michigan she wondered if he knew her older sister, Penny, who had been a cheerleader for the team. It was hard to judge how old he was and she didn’t want to offend him by asking. She also didn’t want to bring up her gorgeous, vivacious sister who had a taste for football players before she married. The last thing she wanted to hear was that he had dated Penny.
He was so not what she expected. A barbarian with the manners of a prince. As she scooted over to make room for him, he pulled her closer until they rested hip to hip. Nerves had her fiddling with the soft falls of the dress more than necessary. He was so big and alive, it was impossible not to be aware of the heat of his body pressed to hers.
“So, uh, why did you sign up for the dating service? Women have to be throwing themselves at you everywhere you go.” She winced and avoided his gaze.
Way to go, nice job of reminding him that he could be with any number of elegant women instead of you.
He pulled her hand into his and she couldn’t help but notice how he kept touching her. Not that she minded in the least. Heady arousal zinged through her body with every brush of his fingers. “I wanted to find someone I could be myself with. Someone I could talk to and not have to stick to the topics of celebrity gossip and tiny dogs that some women seem to change out like purses.”
She blinked at him in surprise. “Oh.” The streetlights illuminated his face briefly and she was struck by the hunger in his gaze. That unnerved her and she tried to fill the silence. “I have a dog, he’s a big, fat lab named Adam. The only kind of accessory he could be is a steamer trunk.”
He laughed softly, and somehow even that sound tightened her nipples. A memory of his picture in the BDSM book seared through her mind and she licked her suddenly dry lips. He leaned closer, the heat of his body warming her skin as he said, “Violet, I’m going to kiss you now.”
Her heart slammed in her chest as he cupped her face in his hands. The way he studied her and slowly closed the distance between them had her trembling. He was so intense, so focused on her. When his lips pressed against hers a soft moan worked its way out of her throat and her pussy tightened. Strong and gentle, he kissed her as if he had all the time in the world. His thumbs stroked the side of her face and she relaxed into his touch, even as her body grew swollen with desire. He tasted like mint and his lips were so warm against hers.
And then he showed her why he was a Dom.
He opened her lips with his own and she trembled. The ruthless sweep of his tongue stroked against hers, demanding a response. She raised a tentative hand and stroked the side of his face. His kiss turned savage and she welcomed his strength. The car slowed to a stop and he broke the kiss, keeping his mouth right next to hers as he said, “Violet, I want you to do something for me.”
The brush of his lips against hers had her leaning in for another kiss. He made a low growl and gave her what she wanted, what she needed. As the car started to move again she trailed her fingers down the side of his face to his neck where his pulse pounded in a strong rhythm.
“Violet?” he asked with a soft chuckle.
“Hmmm?” She tried to pull him back in for another kiss but he smiled and held her back.
“I want you to wear something for me.”
His words penetrated the fog of lust surrounding her mind and she scolded herself for acting like a hussy. She practically threw herself on him, and to make it worse she had just had amazing sex the night before with a different man who she was still totally interested in seeing again. Here she was, kissing another man after spending last night with Carlos. Not at all what a proper woman would do. Her mother would be appalled. She flinched away from him and tried to look over his shoulder rather than into his eyes.
“What was that thought?”
She avoided his gaze and lowered her hand from his neck. “Aren’t I already wearing something for you?”
His hazel eyes examined her and she felt as if he could see right through her lie. After a tense moment, he opened the small bar on the side of the limo and pulled out a narrow black box from within. Her heart raced as she took the box with numb fingers and stared at it. Guilt pinged through her as she clutched it and remembered her joy at receiving Carlos’s gift earlier today.
“I would like you to wear this for me.”
She fumbled with the box and would have dropped it if it wasn’t on her lap already. Relief mixed with excitement and brought her breath out in a rush. Instead of jewelry, a small silver sex toy that she was intimately familiar with made her clit swell in anticipation. It was a long and narrow curved vibrator with a little black box with buttons next to it.
His hands stroked against her wrist as she stared at it and her nipples drew to aching points. “It’s remote-controlled. The vibrations are almost inaudible. I’d like you to wear it for me while we’re at the opera.”
Her jaw dropped as she stared at him. He took out the little black box and grinned at her with wicked delight. Instead of slipping the remote into his pocket, he pressed it into her palm. “You will be in control of how much stimulation you’re receiving.” He cupped her neck with his hand, his thumb stroking her collarbone. “But, if you would like to give me the controller at any point I promise you it will be worth it. Will you do this for me, my Violet?”
The dark tone of his words raced through her blood like a drug and she nodded at him. He took the box out of her unresisting hands and slowly gathered up her dress, lifting it up her legs. In the dim interior of the limo she hoped that he couldn’t see the dimples in her thighs, or the way she shook. None of that really seemed to matter when his finger stroked over her soaking-wet panties.
“So warm.” He used the tip of his fingernail to trace the outline of her clit. “Fantastic.”
She arched into his hand, the leather of the seat creaking as her body pleaded with him. He leaned back against the side of the limo and crossed his arms, his face unreadable in the shadows. Her heart raced in her chest as she slid over her panties just enough to slip the cool metal between the wet lips of her labia then pulled them back in place. The way the vibrator curved made it fit perfectly against her, pressing down on her clit. Even without it being on she shifted her hips at the pleasurable pressure. His fingers twitched and she felt a warm flair of satisfaction at the knowledge that she was affecting him.
“Thank you.” He glanced out the window behind him and turned back with a smile. “Almost there. I hope you like
The Marriage of Figaro
She desperately wished she had paid more attention during her high school music appreciation class. Her tastes tended to run more toward hard rock and pop. The soft gown fluttered back into place around her legs as she tugged it down. “To be honest, I’ve never been to an opera before. The only time I’ve been to the Fox has been for concerts and once to see
with my mom when I was a little girl.”
He frowned and shifted in his seat. Anger tightened his jaw but his gaze wasn’t focused on her. “You don’t like the opera?”
Great, here he was going to an obvious effort to make her happy and she sounded like an ungrateful bitch. “Oh no, I didn’t mean that. It’s just that I’ve never been to one before. I guess I’m more of a jeans and a beer kinda girl.” She cleared her throat and tried to think of something to say that would displace the sudden chill in the car. “I-I’m sorry. I really am excited to go to the opera with you.”
Miserable, she turned away from him as the limo shifted into park and the driver came around to their door. The red and gold lights of the Fox Theater gleamed beyond the darkness of the tinted windows and elegant couples strolled beneath the 1920’s marquee.
“Don’t be sorry. I’m sorry that I misjudged you.” He trailed a finger over her wrist and her body relaxed even if her mind was still yelling at her for messing this up. “Would it make you feel any better to know this is my first opera too? That I wouldn’t know who Figaro is even if I met him on the street and he was wearing a name tag?” He ran his hand through his hair, forgetting that it was still tied back and messed it up. “I wanted to impress you so I did an internet search about the opera this afternoon. It’s actually a really cool story.”
A giggle bubbled up in her throat and she leaned over, tugging at the black leather hair tie. Unable to help herself, she ran her fingers through his hair. Thick and soft, it felt wonderful and his rumbling growl tightened her nipples into hard points. His enthusiasm shone from his eyes and she realized that this was a man who led his life with gusto and she wished she had even a tiny portion of his confidence. “What’s it about?”
“It’s about a wedding, but not really. It’s more about a fickle count who wants a girl that he can’t have. At the center of the story is a woman named Susanna who two men want but only one man will have.” A dark look passed over his face and he pulled her against him, giving her a searing kiss that left her dizzy.
Before she could second-guess herself, she pressed the tiny remote control for the vibrator into his hand. “Then let’s make this more interesting for both of us.”
* * * * *
Later that night Violet was extremely thankful that the seat next to hers was empty. They sat in the front row of the balcony and the opera was into its third act. Below, the villagers were singing a song to the count, proclaiming his greatness for not enforcing the old pagan rule about having sex with his servant’s intended bride. She would have been laughing at the count’s obvious anger, if not for the subtle buzzing between her thighs.
Well-crafted, the vibrator made no discernable noise as it brought her closer to the edge of orgasm. Morgan kept his eyes on the opera, but he stroked the palm of her hand with his fingertips, his lips twitching into a smile as she startled when he ramped the speed up. If they had been anywhere else she would have been on her hands and knees by now, begging him to let her come.