Authors: Deborah Bladon
Pulse - Part Two
The Pulse Series, Volume 2
Published by Deborah Bladon, 2014.
First Original Edition, May 2014
Copyright © 2014 by Deborah Bladon
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and situations either are the product of the author's imagination or are used factiously.
All rights reserved. No parts of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written consent from the author.
The Obsessed Series
The Exposed Series
Dear Technology Gods, let’s hope this works...
here isn't a trap door in the floor of his apartment that's going to open up and drop me out of sight. I only have one choice. I have to turn around. I need to pretend that I don't know him even though last night I literally sat on his gorgeous face and had more orgasms than I can remember.
"Jess." Cassandra's tone is more insistent now. "Turn around."
I place the photograph of Nathan back onto the fireplace mantel before adjusting the collar of the chef's jacket that Cassandra gave me earlier.
"I want you to look professional for this, Jess. It's a very special occasion."
The words she spoke just a few hours ago ringing in my ears with more irony than she could have ever imagined. How is it even possible that the man I've been sleeping with is dating my boss? There are how many millions of people in Manhattan and I have to crawl into the bed of the one man I desperately should avoid? Idiot, Jessica. You are a grade A idiot.
I feel as though I'm moving in slow motion as I twist on my heel and spin around. I can't look at him. I'll just stare at her.
"Jess." She's motioning towards me with her hand. "Come over here."
My legs feel as though they're weighted with an extra ten pounds each as I drag my black flats across the hardwood floor.
"This is Jess." She wraps her arm around my shoulder pulling me into her body. "She's my chef."
"Jessica," Nathan says my name. The name he calls me when he's deep inside of me and I'm screaming out in pleasure. I wish I could pull my hands to my ears and block out his voice. I wish I could quit this job on the spot and tell Cassandra that her boyfriend spends every night at a club looking for someone to fuck.
"She likes to be called Jess." Her arm drops from me and she twirls around so she's facing him directly.
"Jessica," he ignores her correction." You're her chef?" The emphasis on the word
barrels through me like a freight train. Her, the woman he's dating. The woman he sees outside the hotel.
"Yes." Cassandra gives him a nod. "She's new. I wanted to tell you about her but..." her voice trails when the shrill sound of a phone ringing bites through the air. She fishes in her purse before pulling it out. "It's work. I need to take it."
"Go in the kitchen. It's private." He exhales in a rush.
"I'll be right back." She taps him lightly on the chest before she rushes down the hallway, chattering into the phone.
"Happy birthday," I drawl once I'm certain she's out of earshot. "You're how old now, thirty-one? That's how many in disgusting, cheating asshole years?"
"Stop it," he says huskily. "I'm not cheating on anyone."
"Your girlfriend would disagree with that." I shoot back. Does he seriously think I'm an idiot? Maybe he hasn't realized I have a brain since we haven't spent more than twenty minutes in total talking since we met.
"Cassie's not my girlfriend." His tone is clipped. "You don't know what you're talking about."
I squeeze my eyes shut at the mention of the endearment.
. He calls her Cassie. Of course he does. She's his girlfriend. She's not one of the random women he fucks in his hotel suite. She's not like me.
"You're a fucking liar," I seethe through clenched teeth. "She's a good person and you're a cheating bastard."
"Shut up," he hisses at me. "Listen to me..."
"I should tell her." I turn on my heel, indignation racing through me. "I'm going to tell her what an asshole you really are."
"You're not going anywhere," he growls as he pulls on my elbow.
I spin back around, my hand slapping him so hard across the face that his head snaps to the left.
"What the fuck?" His hand darts to his cheek. "How the hell did you end up inside my apartment with her?"
"Fuck you." I bite back in a hushed tone. "Maybe it's because there's only six degrees of separation between your cock and every woman in Manhattan."
I narrow my eyes at him. "There are more places to go to find a woman to fuck than just that club. You met her at that club, you met me there. You need to find a new place to pick up women." I feel sick to my stomach. I wish I hadn't stepped foot in that club.
"This is so fucked up," he says, his voice barely audible. "You've got it all wrong."
"Your girlfriend is my boss." I point out. "It's pretty simple."
"It's more complicated than that."
"I don't care what it is." I cross my arms over my chest. "All I care about is my job. I need to get out of this with my job." I had to. One lesson my past had taught me was that if you're the bearer of bad news, you always end up having to pay for it, in one way or another. If Cassandra found out from me that Nathan was a cheating son-of-a-bitch, she'd hate me as much as she'd hate him.
"What about us?" He grabs me by my shoulders, shaking me slightly.
I shove back away from him so harshly I almost lose my footing. He's so much more imposing when I'm not wearing heels. He's almost an entire foot taller than me. "Us?" I sneer." There is no us. I don't care about you. I care about my job. I need this job." I desperately need the job. Cassandra pays me so well that I can cover my expenses and save for culinary school.
"That was a waste of time." Cassandra's voice calls as she rounds the corner from the kitchen. "Jess, bring that box in here, now."
I move to pick up the heavy cardboard box I placed on the floor just a few minutes ago when we arrived. I squat down and pull it into my shaking arms. I have to calm down. I have to get through the next few hours. After tonight, I never have to see him again.
"What's this?" Nathan reaches to take it from me, scooping it into his left arm.
"We're cooking you dinner." The delight in her voice is grating on me. She's so happy. Why shouldn't she be? She met him at the same club as I did and she's his girlfriend. She has a key to his apartment and knows his birth date. She probably sleeps in his arms and hears stories about his day. She's oblivious to what he's doing at night. She has to be. There's no way she knows that he has a hotel suite that he uses just for sex.
"No. I don't want that," he says hoarsely. "You shouldn't have planned this."
"It's your birthday," she whines. "Your secretary said you'd be in court until six. It was supposed to be a surprise."
I feel his eyes bore into me but I don't shift my gaze from Cassandra's face. If I bolt right now and tell her I'm done, Rebecca will likely face the consequences of that too. My roommate needs her job as much as I need mine.
"Jessica." His voice is husky and strained. "I need a minute with Cassandra."
"For what?" She narrows her eyes at him. It's the same look she gives to Allie and Aaron when they're disobeying her.
"In the kitchen." He gestures over my head. "Now."
"No," she snaps. "Whatever you want to say, here is fine. Make it quick. Our guests are coming in a couple of hours and Jess needs to start cooking."
Shaking his head he starts down the hallway, the box still under his left arm. "You had no right coming here."
She pushes her hand into his chest stopping him in his tracks. "I have every right."
"We're on a break." There's a frustrated note in his tone. "We agreed to not see each other for a few weeks."
"It's your birthday, darling." The intimacy of her words jars me. I swallow hard to level my breathing.
"That doesn't make a difference," he says soberly. "We're not together right now."
"That's temporary." Her hands run up his chest. "Tonight is a new beginning for us."
I finally pull my eyes back to his face and he's staring directly at me. His right hand clenched into a fist by his side. "We should be having this discussion in private."
"What discussion?" She nuzzles her face into his neck. I know I should excuse myself and leave the room but I feel as though my feet are nailed to the floor. I can't move. I can only stand in stunned silence as I watch my boss fawn all over the man I've been fucking for the last few weeks.
"It's over." He pushes her away.
"What's over?" Her voice cracks before she clears her throat. "What are you talking about?"
"It's over," he repeats, his tone smooth and controlled. "Give me back my keys."
"You're just mad because I surprised you. We can talk about this," she's pleading.
"There's nothing to talk about." His gaze, clear and steady, is locked on my face. "I'm done."
"I'm not." Her mouth twitches. "You can't break up with me."
I pivot to face Cassandra. "I think I should go." The words come out of me with a shaky breath.
She turns her head to look at me. I wince at the sight of tears streaming down her face. "No," she whispers.
"I told you weeks ago I was done." He pushes past us both. "You didn't want to accept it then but it's over."
"Nathan. Don't do this," she says sniffling. "You can't."
"Stop prolonging the inevitable, Cassie." His tone is terse and decisive. "I met someone else."
"Are you fucking her?" The words tumble from her lips in a heated rush. I close my eyes pulling in all the strength I can find. I can't react. I can't let her know that it's me.
"Every chance I get," he says gruffly.
"You pig," she snaps. "I've been so torn up about us I haven't even gone on a date."
"Your loss," he quips in an even tone. "This is over. You need to leave now."
I stare at Cassandra as she walks past him; the only sound in the deafening silence the thud as she drops his apartment keys at his feet.
have to go, Nathan." I yank on the handle of the door knowing full well that it won't budge since his back is pressed against it. "She's going to come back looking for me."
"Cassandra?" He throws his head back with a chuckle. "She's too self-centered to remember she even brought you here."
"You're wrong." I take a step back. "She's been good to me."
"You're a status symbol to her." He reaches out to stroke a finger along the collar of my jacket. "You're the cook she can use to impress her friends."
"They're your friends too," I bite back. I take a determined step backwards so I'm just out of his reach.
"No. I don't know her that well."
"You're her boyfriend." My gaze narrows. "She invited the friends you share to your birthday celebration."
"She invited her friends." His jaw tightens. "She wanted them here so she could show off my view." He gestures out the expansive windows.
"I want to go." I stare at the floor. I need to go. I need to process everything that's just happened.
"You're not leaving." He leans forward suddenly to run his hand down my cheek. "I can't believe you're in my apartment."
I feel an instant ache flow through me at the first hint of his touch. I can't still want him. He's Cassandra's boyfriend. I need my job. I don't need him. I have to keep telling myself that.
"I need to leave." My tone is insistent and firm but I know he can see through it.
"It's my birthday." His finger runs slowly over my jaw. "A kiss, Jessica. One kiss for my birthday."
"No." I pull back causing his hand to drop. "We're not doing that anymore."
"Why not?" His eyes open fully and bore into me. "Fucking you is all I want."
"You fucked her." I wince when I say the words. Oh god. He fucked her. He touched her the same way he did me. He licked her. He made her scream his name when she came with him inside of her.