Authors: Mel Blue
Tags: #one night stand, #friends to lovers, #den of sin, #shamelessly taken, #short story, #interracial romance, #vignette, #erotic romance, #italian hero, #melissa blue, #contemporary romance
A Den of Sin Vignette
By Mel Blue
Published December 2013
All Rights Reserved.
is a work of complete fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictional or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
WARNING: this story contains adult situations including sex and strong language. It is not intended for consumption by minors (age of majority as specified by your territory of residence).
When the Beaudelaire Hotel turns into a Den of Sin for the New Year’s weekend, any and every fantasy can become a reality…
Layla Gunn booked a single night in the infamous hotel for a chance to remember what it’s like to be wanted and wanton. The last thing she expects is to come face to face with an old friend from college. Can she still live out her fantasy?
Christopher Trevino is ready to move past his grief, but he can’t seem to find comfort in just anyone’s arms. So when he walks into the hotel room and sees his former classmate, he can’t help but feel this meeting was destined.
One night turns into the next morning. Can they walk away or will they find more than a night filled with passion?
Layla Gunn threw open the French doors and tried not to hyperventilate. The winter air nipped at her exposed skin beneath the terry cloth robe. She stepped forward, her heels rasping over the smooth concrete, and gripped the antique black railing.
What am I doing here?
She made another attempt to steady her breath, but that didn’t work. Nothing likely would because just being at this hotel, during New Year’s Eve, was insane. She focused her gaze out into the night. Oaks stretched before her, bowing against the dark sky. Farther out she could see the lights of New Orleans. The Beaudelaire Hotel was set back far from the main road, discouraging any unexpected foot traffic.
She tried to take it in but all her mind could stick on was
what am I doing here?
A week ago she’d received an invitation to stay for the weekend. An exclusive event deemed the Den of Sin. She’d thought her sister had sent it as a joke. Hell, she’d needed laughter in her life, but when she called the phone number that came with an application and other official-looking documents, the woman on the other end sounded professional. The woman, Ms. Gibson, had been patient and dealt with her disbelief. Before Layla knew it she’d booked a night and had sent all the medical history they needed for her to participate in no-strings sex.
Where your most intimate fantasies can come to life
That had been the promise in the invitation.
This time when she inhaled, the scent of New Orleans soothed her. She could smell the water, the dormant honeysuckle that was trailed along the balcony, but there was something else she couldn’t quite put her finger on. A familiar fragrance that always made her stomach flip. No. Not the scent of New Orleans. The scent of a man. She gasped and turned toward the door. That man stood in the shadows. She hadn’t even heard the door open.
“Christopher Trevino?” Her voice was barely a whisper, but his gaze found her in the darkened room.
She’d only left the side table’s lamp on and hadn’t dared to sit on the sea-sized bed with a wide white canopy for fear of looking too eager for sex. She didn’t want to look too posed either so she vetoed the idea of sitting on the Victorian couch detailed with white stripes. She’d barely managed to scrounge up the courage to shower and get undressed.
But now…she tugged the belt on her robe tighter, feeling exposed and stupid for even being here. Curiosity got the better of her. She edged toward him to better see his face.
Six years had passed since graduation. His jawline jutted out in the same sharp, masculine curve she remembered. His dark brows furrowed, but an emotion she couldn’t pinpoint flickered behind his hazel eyes. The top three buttons on his crisp blue shirt were unbuttoned, revealing the hint of hard muscle beneath it. Six years, and still he radiated a quiet strength that drew her gaze to him and only him.
“Layla,” he said, his voice deep and husky. His tanned skin glowed beautifully in the dim light.
Her nipples peaked beneath the robe, but then Layla remembered why she was there. A month ago, her only fantasy involved walking down the aisle to her boyfriend of two years. She’d thought Raphael would finally pop the question and that they’d spend the rest of their lives together.
That fantasy had burned to cinders when she’d dropped by his office for a surprise, romantic picnic. Instead she’d found him with his pants around his ankles and his secretary spread-eagle on the desk.
So a few weeks later, when she had held the invitation, she’d known this was her chance to forget another failed relationship, the brunt of betrayal. For one night she could feel sexy and wanton and wanted. She could go back to her life and face the pity if for one night a faceless stranger looked at her with lust. But seeing Chris, here…she hadn’t signed up for someone she’d call a long-lost friend.
Heat suffused her cheeks. “I think they’ve made a mistake with your room,” she stammered and started for the phone on the side table. It was far away from where he stood, where he was taking up too much space in the luxurious hotel room. He grasped her arm before she could pass him. Her skin prickled with goosebumps and an achy warmth started between her legs.
“Look at me,” he demanded and shifted in front of her.
Her gaze clashed with his and she held her breath. Lust. Exactly what she’d craved to see in her lover for the night. Right there. Ripe for the taking. Had he ever looked at her like that before?
She brushed aside the memory before it could take hold. “We haven’t seen each other since graduating from CSU.”
He placed her hand on the solid wall of his chest. Her dark brown skin was such a contrast to his golden hue. “Too long,” he said. “Much too long. If this is a mistake, I’m not sorry for it.”
Right. This was Chris. Her study partner many nights in college. The old friend who had been there as a cheerleader when she’d wanted to give up business administration for the English degree that would make her qualified for only teaching positions for the rest of her life.
Some of her nerves fled. “What are you doing here?”
He blushed and she remembered they were at the Den of Sin. They were there to have some kind of sexual fantasy fulfilled. Her, yeah, not surprising. Her love life had never been anything to write home about, but the last she’d heard, he’d gotten married.
The heat filling her stomach was doused with that cold realization. She tugged her hand from beneath his when she noted the tan line along his ring finger.
Layla pulled the robe tighter across her breasts, putting more space between them. “Are you married?”
A deep, bottomless sadness flashed behind his eyes and then it was gone. He shook his head. “No.”
Her stomach dropped and she regretted moving away from him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
He sighed, stuffing his hands into his pockets. His black locks looked like he’d run his hands through them a lot. Despite the awkwardness, she smiled. Six years but some things hadn’t changed.
“It’s good to see you.” She meant it.
He nodded. “It is. This place, I heard about it. After talking to Ms. Gibson, I wouldn’t put it past her that she saw this as the perfect match.”
She swallowed, hoping they could have skipped right over the discussion about both of them being at The Beaudelaire. Yes, for one night she wanted to be shamelessly taken. She’d imagined some dark, dangerous stranger who made her heart kick.
She took him in. Well, Chris had dark hair. He was…fit. His thick, muscular thighs were clad in jeans. He hadn’t worn a jacket, but he’d rolled the sleeves of his dress shirt up his forearms. Thick and muscular there, too.
Not a stranger, but they’d gone down that road before with disastrous results and had agreed to stay friends. And then college ended and they went their separate ways. He’d left the US for some IT job across the seas.
Ms. Gibson seemed like she’d lift every rock you’d ever been under to find out everything about her guests. She probably did pair them and assumed there’d be fireworks. Layla wasn’t sure there’d be any fireworks. Ever.
“We can catch up,” she said slowly.
He strode forward until he was so close she could feel the heat radiating off him. He raised his hand and ran his thumb over her curve of her chin. “I’ve learned to never let an opportunity pass you by, because there’s no such thing as coincidence.”
Her heart kicked in her chest. “What are you saying?”
No, she wasn’t dumb or hard of hearing, but this was
. And a single touch had that ache turning into a need.
“We have some unfinished business.”
She should have backed up when he took another step, but his gaze had darkened and she felt captivated. “We do?”
He nodded and lifted his other hand to cup the back of her neck. “I haven’t slept with anyone since…” His voice caught and he cleared his throat. “I had hoped I could let myself be with someone. Then I realized how crazy that was so I planned to come in here to apologize and leave, but… No. This wasn’t a mistake.”
His body was flush against hers, and for the first time in a long time she knew what being desired felt like.
“But we tried this before,” she said.
He lowered his head and brushed his lips along her jawline. She gasped. Oh. “I see your point. Before was clumsy fumbling in the dark.”
His laugh rumbled in his chest. “Yes.” He nipped at the corner of her mouth.
Her breathing deepened. “And I shouldn’t hold that against you? Us?”
He worked his hands beneath her robe and worked the soft material over her shoulders. He trailed his tongue down to her neck. “Exactly what I’m saying.”
And then he sucked right between her collarbone and neck.
She grasped his shirt, moaning. This is what she’d wanted. No seduction or sweet words, just desire and need taking over anything. For once, Layla wanted to be the person ruled by passion and who didn’t give a shit about the fall out. She’d booked a night in this hotel to be wanton, to be anything other than the woman who was cheated on.
She’d already taken the first step by coming here. Was she brave enough to take the next one? To be taken, no questions or doubts?
Layla let go of his shirt, and loosened the belt on her robe, letting it fall to the floor.
She smelled of lavender. Her dark brown skin was the texture of silk. Chris drank her in and let his hands rove over her spine, down to her ass and cupped the lush flesh. She was pressed along his front, her breasts a soft, taunting cushion against his chest.
Ever since his wife died, he hadn’t been able to touch anyone else without feeling guilty, not feeling like an adulterer. He’d come here convinced something meaningless would push him past his reservations.
Doubts crept in as he checked in, showered. By the time he stood outside the door he’d known there was no way he could lay with someone, anyone else, but then he’d opened the door. There stood Layla, back lit by the distant city lights looking like a waking wet dream. Six years and the sharp contours of her body had curved. He’d known her when all she wore were tennis shoes to get across campus, but tonight she wore black, strappy high heels. The robe had parted and the soft curve of her hip peeked out.
Lust, need and a familiarity hit him right in the solar plexus. They’d tried sex before but she’d made him nervous. They’d both been nervous. What could have happened never did.
But not tonight. Tonight he’d get past guilt to touch her, give her whatever fantasy that had brought her to The Beaudelaire and back into his life. He wouldn’t be a widow but a man who had needs. He’d start feeding those primitive cravings with the curve of her ass beneath his palms.
He nipped the sensitive skin of her neck. She moaned again. His cock pressed against his jeans, begging for release. He raised his head. She’d put her hand on his chest and brought the other up to pluck open a button. Her fingers were trembling, fumbling over them.
“Look at me,” he demanded again. She did and his gut twisted. “Layla, close your eyes.” He smiled because she listened. Years and different life experiences filled a chasm between them but it was like being back in college. They were trusting each other, leaning into the other when they needed it most.
“Imagine we’re in the library,” he said. “I’ve just said something goofy and you snorted.”
She laughed, but kept her eyes close. “I’m trying to be all sexy.”
His laughed joined hers. “You are. Even after three hours straight of nothing but studying. You’ve taken your hair out of the ponytail.”
He ran his hands through her silken strands. Her hair was black as night but soft. He drew it in a fist. “Just like before, I leaned over…”
He hesitated and then brought his lips over hers. She tasted sweet and within seconds he felt punch drunk. He wrapped his arm around her waist, drawing her closer. Her hands were bound between them, but it didn’t stop her from unbuckling his belt.