Masked Encounters (Intoxicating Passion #1)

BOOK: Masked Encounters (Intoxicating Passion #1)
13.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Masked Encounters


Intoxicating Passion #1


By Felicia Tatum


Publisher: Felicia Tatum

Media Creations

Image: Rene Folsom


This work is not to be reproduced, shared, or
copied without my permission.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, names,
and events are made up in my head.


Copyright 2013 Felicia Tatum


All rights reserved.

Writing Acknowledge

want to give Kyle Collins a HUGE thank you! Writing a male’s POV isn’t always
easy, especially a male like Dane. Kyle stepped up, reading the roughest of
rough words I put down, and guided me in developing him into a legit character.
I thank you, Kyle!


Chapter One-

slurped his drink entirely too loudly, making me
to rip the glass from his hands and throw the ice cold Coke in his face. I
didn’t, of course, but I imagined. A few times, actually. The liquid spraying
as it impacted his small, weasel-like expression. His eyes bulging as he
realized what happened. Yeah…I’d thought about it. Tonight was the worst date
of my life. I glanced at the clock, once again, hopeful enough time had passed
for it to be acceptable to leave.

is why I hated being set up on blind-dates, especially from the neighboring
frat house. I got creepy men who obviously never spoke to a girl before, or
slimy losers who saw me as another lay. It got old. My friend,
, insisted on setting me up, and who could resist her
adorable pout? Not me, obviously. So here I sat, poking the food around on my
plate, head sunk in hand not caring it squished my cheek in an unflattering
manner, while this weirdo droned on and on about who knows what. I quit
listening at least fifteen minutes ago.

The sudden silence from Mr. Talker caught my
attention, only to be skewered by his eager eyes. “I’m sorry, what?” I asked,
hoping I sounded as bored as I was.
all honesty, I didn’t even remember his name. John?
Josh? Or maybe it was Jacob. It was a J name.
I think.

He leaned closer, giving my slight cleavage a
hungry gaze. “I said,
way you look in that dress makes me want to
do things to you only Prince would sing about
,” he repeated, in what I
supposed was his seductive voice. It sounded more like a snake hissing, or a
balloon deflating…as I hoped his ego would be doing soon.

The urge to vomit was fairly strong at this
point. I pushed my plate away, took a pointed look at the clock, and pulled my
purse from the chair back. “Thank you, for that, I think. It’s time for me to
go. I have a bedtime, you know. I assume you’ll be paying?” I asked
rhetorically, not really interested in his answer. I stood, straightened my
dress, and sauntered out. The weight of his beady eyes followed me, no doubt
imagining my body beneath his, but I didn’t care. Perverse fantasy would be as
far as he ever got with me.


Slipping quietly into the apartment I shared
, I
slid my shoes off hoping they wouldn’t hear me enter. I turned the knob,
closing the door silently, before tiptoeing across the living area to my
bedroom. I was almost there, seconds from being free of interrogation, when I
heard my name.

sharply. She reminded me of a stern school teacher in 1950.

I turned, seeing her with hands on hips,
staring me down. Her long blond locks fell in curls around her shoulders, while
deep blue eyes quietly assessed me. She was in her last year, while I was only
in my second, so she embraced the big sister role with fervor. Holding my hair
while I threw up, helping me treat hangovers, giving me boy advice, etc. I
loved her immensely, but the jerk she set me up with tonight was not her best
choice. Judging from her stance and, blazing eyes, she’d already heard how I
left. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first bad blind-date I’d gone on, and they
always seemed to call her before I got home. It was pathetically annoying how
immature some boys were.

“Well?” she challenged.

I shrugged, smiling at her. “Well?” I mocked

“You just left him there! He was so embarrassed.
Poor, Zane,” she sympathized, trying to guilt me.

that was it.
I was all kinds of wrong about his name.
“Yeah…he said something that made me uncomfortable. So, I left.” Shifting my
weight to the right, I bent my left leg up to lightly scratch the back of my
calf. Finally starting to unwind from my difficult evening, I folded my arm
across my chest, standing with my purse dangling from my hand.

…I just want
you to be happy. Ever since Christopher…” she
her expression torn and sad.
captured her bottom
lip in her teeth, clenching her hands together before she hooked them behind
her back. She knew she’d gone too far.

I didn’t want her pity, nor did I need it
“I don’t want to talk about him,” my exasperation coming
through more clearly than I intended. Catching myself and knowing her concern
-meant, I sighed crossing my arms. “I don’t need a
man to be happy. You don’t have to keep setting me up. I’ll be fine. Now,
please, can we be done? I’m going to study.” For the second time in less than
an hour, I didn’t wait for an answer. Turning, I hurried to my bedroom,
ignoring her calling my name. My misery didn’t like company

Dating had never been kind to me, but
recently, my disastrous love life was on a completely different level of crazy.
Abusive relationships, level five stalkers, and desperate types who proposed after
two dates. I refused to deal with it anymore, not even wanting to bother with
romance because of all the torment which inevitably resulted. At nineteen years
old, I knew it was not normal to have this much drama.

I had friends who were married, some with
children already. I wasn’t ready for either of those responsibilities, but…why
couldn’t I find a decent guy? What was so wrong with me that I attracted all
the whacky ones?

I flopped on my oversized bed, sinking deep
into cotton covers and feathery pillows. Darkness settled in around me, the
only light a half-moon peeking through the curtains. Looking guiltily at my
desk, strewn with papers for my speech assignment, I groaned inwardly. Turning
to my side, I found Elle under the abundance of covers. Worn oversized ears,
trunk now bent at an awkward angle, she had been a source of comfort since I
was a little girl. Snuggling her to my chest, I drew my knees to my stomach. My
eyelids fluttered against the pillow before I fell into a restless sleep.


….” a sing-song voice called.

The world shook as I bounced around. Complete
dark surrounded me, the only sound a voice calling me by name. I slowly came to
consciousness. Peeling one eye open, I saw
ginormous face smiling down on me. “Good grief,” I groaned, burying my head
under the pillow, tucking Elle deep enough to avoid detection.

“Wake up,
! I
need to tell you some exciting news,” she exclaimed. The bed continued to move
under her weight as she thrashed about, jostling me to and fro.

“Go away,” I mumbled. The nightmares continued
to haunt me, causing sleepless nights and the unattractive dark circles under
my brown eyes. Thank goodness for make-up.

, we need to
go shopping,” she lured, teasing me with one of my favorite past-times.

I lifted the pillow cautiously exposing the
side of my face. Peering at her with one squinted eye, I raised a brow and
clarified, “Shopping?”

She nodded eagerly, finally standing and
relieving me of her weight
Yep. We have lots to

I eyed her suspiciously. “Such as…?”
despised shopping with me. I
took too long,
or I
tried on
or some other nonsense. She seemed miserable every time we went
Which meant she was up to something.
Probably something I wouldn’t like.

“A Halloween costume,” she shrugged in
feigned nonchalance before escaping out my door.

And there it was. I propped on my elbows, staring
at the spot where she had been standing. There was only one reason
would want me to have a Halloween costume and that
would be for a party. I’m no math major, but: Me + Parties = Disaster. I
propelled my body upward, still drowsy from sleep. Rubbing the crust from my
eyes, I turned, putting reluctant feet on the floor. Finally, I staggered
upright and shuffled into the common room. “Lee?”

“Yes, sleepyhead?” she sounded way too
chipper, her eyes twinkling in delight as she glanced up from her books strewn
over the coffee table.

“You have a party for us, don’t you?” I
accused, yawning.

“Did you not sleep enough?” She always
avoided questions I desperately wanted answers for.

“Don’t do that, Lee. Don’t tell me it’s more
frat guys?” I scoffed, rolling my eyes.

“Maybe,” she shrugged, picking up the pink
highlighter and fake studying.

I flopped down on the couch she leaned
against from her seat in the floor, rubbing my face vigorously with my hand.
“Come on, I told you I’m not interested in dating.” I was practically begging
at this point. After six months of her nagging, enough was enough.

“I’m not setting you up,
she stated, dropping the marker and angling her body to face me. Her shiny blue
eyes implored in a loving by determined way. “You don’t get out enough. I feel
like you’re stuck in this hole…I worry about you. You’re basically my little
sister, and it hurts me to see you like this. You mope around, refusing to give
any guys a chance…”

I interrupted, “If they weren’t losers or
assholes, I’d give them more of a chance.”

,” she
pleaded, taking my hand in hers. “You haven’t been the same since Christopher.
And I get it, totally, but you can’t withhold trust forever. Some time, at some
point, you have to give someone a chance.”

“No, I don’t,” I huffed. Her words were
correct, but I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t forget what he did to me, all the
trauma I endured. Trusting men was too risky.

“Then will you go for me? Be my date?” she
smiled. Her lower lip twitched, and I knew she would give me the pout if I
didn’t agree.

But I’m not
going for guys. I’m not dating anyone. I’m not even dancing with anyone,” I

She squealed, a high pitched sound that stung
my eardrums. “You are going to have
much fun! Go, go,
. Get ready! We are leaving after
I get us some breakfast,” she instructed, snatching her keys off the table.
“I’ll be back in a few!”

I sat there, glaring at the door, for longer
than I should have. She meant well, I knew, but that didn’t stop the sinking
feeling in my gut. Halloween was just days away…and this was so much more than
a party. Something was going down. I didn’t know if she planned it or not, but
I knew more than dancing and haunted houses would be happening on Halloween.

BOOK: Masked Encounters (Intoxicating Passion #1)
13.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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