Authors: Deborah Bladon
Clive's face twists at the vulgarity of her words. "That's a disgusting thing to say."
"It's true," she tosses back flippantly. "Alec gave her that job because he wants to fuck her. It's the same reason you gave her a job."
He charges towards her, grabbing her shoulders with both of his hands. "Shut up, Allison. You need to shut up."
"You're not stupid enough to believe that Alec doesn’t want a taste of that, are you?"
"Don't talk about her like that." He shakes her gently. "You don't know what you're talking about."
"I was there." She pokes her index finger into the white dress shirt that is covering his rock hard chest. "I was at the media event. Alec was practically drooling over her picture. If he hasn't fucked her yet, he's going to."
I'm tempted to march over and pull her hair back so hard her neck snaps. I don't move though. I can't. She's lost all control and every vile thing that is flying out of her dark red lips is pushing her deeper into the hole she's digging for herself.
"Alec is getting married," Clive points out. "He didn't hire Lilly so he could fuck her."
"You're not as smart as you think you are." She pats his bearded chin. "You can't put a young thing like that in front of a man like Alec and expect him to stay faithful."
"Alec doesn't see me like that," I finally interject. "You're wrong about him."
"Alec jumped into bed with a girl your age when he was fucking me." She states that random fact back to me with pride. "I caught him feasting on her pussy on his desk in his office. I saw it with my own two eyes."
Those are details I didn't need to know. I've sat right in front of that desk. I hope I didn't touch it.
"You've put my entire career at risk." I feel a desperate need to change the subject. "You need to be held accountable for that."
Her head rolls back in laughter. "Do you honestly think anyone in their right mind would believe that I would do anything to hurt you?"
I stare at her, marveling in how oblivious she is to what she's done to my life. "I believe they'd have to. I have proof that you did it."
"You have the word of a woman who has accomplished next to nothing in her life," she pauses before she continues. "My word trumps Cheryl's word any day of the week."
I can't argue that point because it's true. Allison is on the board of virtually every major charity event in the city. She volunteers her time to help people all over the state and half of the proceeds of the sale of her art, goes directly into a fund that provides scholarships for at risk teens. The woman is a saint in the eyes of the press.
"If Lilly's picture shows up anywhere online, I'll tell Luther." Clive's voice is deep and measured. "I will tell him who you've been fucking and I'll give him enough ammunition that your shared custody agreement will change dramatically."
"You're threatening me with my children?"
"You rarely see them as it is, Allison." He darts his finger into the air so it hovers near her face. "That's by your choice. If you don’t clean up this mess you've made, I'll have no choice but to go to your husband and tell him everything."
In my quest to find every detail I could about Allison Mitchell, I'd been bombarded with information about her husband. He is older, very accomplished and very devoted to her. His face beamed as he stared at her in every photograph of the two of them I ran across. Luther Mitchell is clearly a man in love with a woman he can't tame.
"I'll see to it that Lilly's picture disappears." She runs her long fingers through her hair. "If anyone prints it, I'll handle it."
"There's a question sitting right there." He leans forward to brush his full, soft lips over mine. "Ask me, Lilly."
I instantly taste the bourbon. He'd downed a half glass of it after he'd sent Allison on her way. I'd watched in silence as she tried to embrace him but he'd held her off with his hands on her shoulders, telling her that Bruce would handle any meetings related to charities in the future. He essentially cut her off and all she could do was stand there and accept it.
"Did you sleep with her after I left your office that night?"
His left brow cocks up. "You mean that night I touched you? The night you came on my hand?"
I nod. I remember the casual way they sat together on the couch as I was leaving. The fact that she dropped her hand onto his thigh seemed flirtatious at the time. Now, with the added knowledge of their past, it seems like it was a prelude to something more.
"I haven't fucked another woman since I saw you in Boston at the bistro."
"She still wanted you when she came to your office that night." I blow out a puff of air in an exaggerated effort to calm down. "I saw how she touched you."
"She wanted more." He nods in agreement as he scoops my hand into his. "I wanted nothing to do with her."
I believe him. I don't doubt anything he's telling me. "I was just wondering."
"Sit with me for a minute." He gestures towards the couch. "I want to tell you something."
I follow without any resistance at all. I finally feel as though I can breathe for the first time in days. My thoughts are no longer the muddled mess they've been. I know, without any question, that the words he's said to me in the past have been grounded in truth.
I sit down on the couch, crossing my legs carefully. "What do you want to tell me?"
"I'm very impressed by what you did, Lilly." He rests his hand on my knee. "I don't know how to explain it but I'll try."
I stare at his face as my hand wanders to my chest. I trace my fingers over the skin of my neck. I stare at his mouth waiting for him to speak and wanting desperately for him to kiss me again.
He pulls my hand back into his, resting it on his thigh. "You used to wear a necklace, didn’t you?"
I close my eyes briefly. "How do you know that?"
"You reach for it all the time." His tone is warm. "I also saw a picture in your office at Hughes this morning. It's a picture of you and your mother."
After Alec had given me my own office, I'd taken a few things there to make it more personal. It was a corporate corner that essentially belonged to me and I wanted to be reminded of that every day when I arrived at work. The picture of my mother and I had been taken on my fourteenth birthday. She was beaming as she stood next to me and I proudly wore the chain and pendant she had custom made just for me. In the chaos of the night my family was taken from me, the necklace had been pulled from my neck when the paramedics were trying to control the bleeding. I searched frantically for it when I was released from the hospital, but it was nowhere to be found.
"You were at my office today?" I ask, turning my head to look at him.
"I wanted to see you," he confesses tenderly. "I was desperate to see you. After you walked out of my place on Saturday, I was aching to be near you."
He'd called me a few times yesterday but I'd ignored them all. Part of it was my immersion in trying to identify who broadcast my picture but the bigger, and more honest part of it, was something entirely different. I was pissed at him. He wouldn't tell me her name when I demanded it.
"Why wouldn't you tell me it was Allison?" I twist my body around so I'm facing him directly. "You were protecting her."
It's more accusatory than I want it to be. The words may sound bitter but the emotion behind them is grounded in something else. I'm not jealous of Allison. She fucked Clive and in the big picture of his world, she's just one woman who crawled into his bed and his life for a time. I'm hurt that when my life was spinning out of my control, Clive didn't trust me with the name of the person he suspected set me into that turmoil. He effectively chose her over me and any argument he tosses my way can't justify what he did.
"I was protecting her children," he corrects me and silences my questions all in one short sentence. "Allison is a horrible mother. Her children deserve better."
"I can see your point, Clive." I push my shoulders back. "But did you really think I was going to rush over to her place and out her in front of her kids?"
"No." He dips his chin towards me. "I know you better than that. You'd never compromise a child for any reason."
He's right. It's not something I'd do to Allison's children or anyone's. "Why then? All you had to do was tell me her name. I don't think you know how much that would have helped me."
"I do know. I also know that you're concerned about how the fiasco with your picture is going to impact Alec's business."
"I am," I agree. "I'm very worried about that."
"I knew that if I told you about Allison that there was a very good chance you'd talk to Alec about it." He reaches to run his fingers over my bare knee. "Alec has no self-control. I had some concern that someone from his organization would decide the best approach would be to call Allison out in public."
"Alec's shameless. He's reckless." He gestures with his chin towards his smartphone on the table near us. "He sent out a mass email once when he caught one of his employees stealing from petty cash. He fired the guy and made his life a living hell."
I can't say that I'm that surprised by any of it. Alec is bold and brash and judging by the success of his business, his approach hasn't failed him yet.
"You're very strong, Lilly." He chuckles slightly. "It's the truth but it's an understatement."
I'm touched by the compliment but I don't want it to derail the conversation. "You should have told me about her. We could have talked about whether I needed to tell Alec."
"Part of why I'm crazy about you is your vulnerability." He touches his chest. "You feel everything so deeply. You've lived through so much and it hasn't made you jaded at all. You're not like me in that sense."
I can't argue with that. Clive can shift from loving and caring with me to brutal businessman with others on the turn of a dime. He's ruthless and calculating. Those aren't qualities I aspire to. I never want to be like him in those ways. "I don't need to be like you in that way."
"You're right about that." He winks at me. "If I would have given you Allison's name, you would have confronted her on your own without me or Alec there."
"You're right," I agree with a brisk nod of my head. "I would have called her out on her bullshit."
"I know that." His mouth slides into a sly grin. "I absolutely know that but the woman is pure evil. She would have said things to you. She would have lashed out and hurt you. I didn't want that. I couldn't stomach the thought of that."
I should be at least mildly offended by the fact that he didn’t view me as strong enough to go face-to-face with Allison. That's not what I feel at all. I feel treasured and adored. He was trying to protect me. "I can stand up for myself, Clive."
"You don't have to convince me of that." He runs his hand over his chin. "Remind me never to mess with you in the future."
"Please don't take my choices away like that again." I cross my arms over my chest. "I had a right to deal with this on my own. It's my picture and I'm the one who set everything in motion when I sent it to Parker."
He slides his body closer to mine. "I'm sorry. I didn’t see it that way at all. I thought I was protecting you. I didn't want you hurt any more than you had been."
"Tell me that you get that I can handle stuff on my own." The words themselves may sound bratty and impetuous, but they are grounded in something more than that. "I need to take care of myself. It's just how I am."
He scratches his finger alongside his nose. "I've never doubted that for a minute, Lilly. I want you to know that and understand it. I didn't try and control the situation because of my own needs. I just didn't want you hurt."
Arguing against his need to care for me seems foolish. It's what I've craved since I understood that not all relationships between a man and a woman were built on a foundation of anger, violence and animosity. "I'm going to get hurt sometimes."
"Not if I have my way." He pulls me closer. "I'll destroy anyone who tries to hurt you."
I lean into his chest, knowing that every word he speaks is the absolute truth.
"We can't do that in your office." I push against his chest in vain. "I don't think we should do that here."
"I locked the door, Lilly." He pushes my dress from my shoulders. "No one will interrupt us."
"We can wait and do it tonight." I straighten my arms so the dress can fall to the floor beside where he's already tossed my panties.
"We're going to do this again tonight." His lips chart a most path over my shoulder from behind. "Tonight you're going to wrap that beautiful mouth of yours around my cock until I blow my load all over your face."
My sex clenches at the promise of a taste of him again. "I can do it now."
"No." His hand snakes around me, landing on the front clasp of the black lace bra I'm wearing. "Now, I'm going to lick your pretty wet cunt."
"Oh, God," I say as I look down to see him snapping the clasp open.
"Your breasts are so beautiful." He brings both hands to them, kneading the tender flesh before he pulls softly on the nipples. "They're so sensitive."
They are. Just the touch of his fingers on the swollen buds is making me aroused. I know that the moment I feel his tongue on my core, that my body will rock into an intense orgasm. "I want you to fuck me."
"You can feel my cock, can't you?" His voice is deep and rich. "You can feel how hard it is."
I gasp when I hear the unmistakable sound of his zipper being pulled down. I moan loudly when he pushes me forward so he can glide the lush swollen head over my pussy. "Please, just do it."
"Sit down, Lilly." His hand dips to my wetness and he flicks my clit with a quick touch of his index finger. "I'm going to lick this."
I practically fall out of my heels as I lunge towards the couch. I spin around, opening my legs as an invitation as he lowers himself to his knees. His large, erect cock bobs up and down through his open pants. I can see the vein that snakes up the side. I want to run my tongue over it. I want to pull it into my mouth and taste his release.
"This is mine." He lazily runs his tongue over my folds and I flinch. "This is all just for me."
"Yes," I whisper as I weave my fingers into his hair. "It's all yours."
"Tell me how badly you want it." He licks the entire length of my sex, stopping to press his tongue into me. "Tell me now."
"I want it so much." The words escape in a moan. I pull harder on his hair, desperately trying to guide his mouth to me. "Just do it."
"You taste so good." He lowers his mouth again, using his tongue to circle the swollen center of my pleasure. I arch my back and push my hips off the couch to feel more.
"You're so greedy." He licks his index finger before sliding it into my channel. "I can feel how badly you want to come."
My hips rock against his hand. "I need to come."
His eyes catch mine for a brief second before he pulls my clit between his lips. He sucks on it hard. I buck under him, everything disappearing except my desperate need to find my release. I call out his name, not caring if anyone can hear. I can't contain any of this.
He sucks harder, his finger sliding in and out with expert precision. I grind myself into his face, pulling on his hair, pushing against him.
"Lilly, Christ, I love this."
I come when I hear the words. I cry out his name over and over as I fall into the orgasm. I cling to his hair, my hand racing down his cheek to cup his moist chin. I want him to stop. I need him inside of me.
"Please, fuck me, please." The words drip with all the wanton pleasure I feel.
He's on his feet in an instant, rounding his desk to open a drawer. I watch his every move, memorized by the fluidity of his body. His eyes never leave mine as he sheds the rest of his clothes and sheathes his thick cock.
He pulls my legs into the air, positioning himself above me. "You're so fucking tight. You take me so deep."
I reach up, wanting to grab hold of him in any way I can.
He senses my need and leans forward." I need you, Lilly. You don't know how badly I need you."
I nod. My voice is lost. I want to give in to it all. I want to express what I feel too. "Please, Clive. Please."
He pushes his lips into mine, his tongue darting into my mouth as his cock slides into me slowly, painfully and fully.
I bury my scream into his breath. I cling tightly to him as he rocks his hips into me. "I love fucking you. I love it."
I moan loudly when he ups the tempo. His cock pounds harder into me with each thrust. "It's so good," I cry out.
"Lilly." My name falls from his lips in a heated whisper. "Christ, Lilly."
I close my eyes as he pushes his hand under my ass to curve my body into his. The friction only spurs me on more. I grind my hips up and into his with each heated plunge.
"I'll never let you go," he whispers the words into my cheek. "I can't let you go."
I move my head to catch his lips with mine. "Never, "I whisper back.
He pulls back, slamming his cock into me over and over again. My back arches when I feel my body nearing its edge. I cling to his hips, crying out because it feels so good.
I writhe beneath him as the orgasm washes over me. He pumps through it, groaning as he feels my sex clench around him.
"Yes," he calls gently into the air between us. He grinds his hips into me fiercely as slides into his own release.