Authors: Annabel Fanning
Copyright © Annabel Fanning 2015
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior permission from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner.
a hotel in the south of France which was supposably the inspiration for Gemima’s favourite book, but it is not called Beaux Rêves. For copyright reasons the real hotel is not named.
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Trademarked names/brands appear throughout this book purely in admiration. No intention of infringement of the respective owner’s trademark(s) is intended.
First published in October 2015, by Annabel Fanning.
Cover Design © 2015. Louisa Maggio at LM CREATIONS
Find Annabel online at:
Table of Contents
1. Kill Of The Night
he bar is noisy, dark, and bustling with Friday night activity. A large crowd of people stands between me, in the doorway, and the bar itself — my destination. I’m motionless on my sky-high heels, observing the scene. Then I sway a little unsteadily, no doubt due to the copious amount of wine that I drank at dinner. I flatten my dress, straighten my posture, lift my head high and demand my usual composure to resume. OK, so
might be too strong a word to describe my usual state. But tonight I’m not myself; I am, quite literally, being someone else.
Don’t fuck this up
, I tell myself, as nerves unexpectedly take ahold of me. It doesn’t help that I’ve never played the type of game that I’m about to play…
Just do it how they do it in the movies
I peer through the mass of people and spot
, sitting alone at the far end of the bar, waiting. Then I start walking, parting the crowded room as I go, batting my eyelashes at those I pass, smiling cordially, getting myself into the appropriate mindset for the game ahead.
It feels good in here; the other visitors are lively, and upbeat, and happy. On the other side of the crowd the room seems somehow quieter. I can hear the music playing from speakers above (an old-fashioned jazz tune), and for a few moments my attention is taken by the splendour of the decor. It is to
for: art-deco everything, just as advertised. I observe the bay windows, beyond which the dark night conceals the view of the ocean that I’ve waited years to see.
, I think. Right now I have another, more urgent thing to attend to.
My eyes fix on the man sitting alone at the bar. My target, my game plan, my kill of the night. My stomach jolts.
, he’s gorgeous,
he’s dressed in accordance with the style of the room: smart black suit pants contain his long legs, a crisp white shirt accentuates his taut, muscular torso, black suspenders hug his body in a way that I’m envious of, and a light pink bow tie sits under his stubbled neck and jaw and just so happens to match the colour of my dress.
. His medium-blonde hair is slicked back, completing the look. He is breathtaking, a flawless mix of classically handsome and modernly sexy.
He looks up at me for the briefest of moments, then looks away, and
does a double take. I’ve captured his attention. Good, I think.
good! He looks me up and down, openly, brazenly, and my nerves make themselves known once more.
, I warn myself.
You can do this
, I give myself a pep talk.
t break character first
The man’s engaging pale-green eyes are alight as he surveys me; I can see within them the same desire that I feel within myself.
, I think again. We’re both here for the same reason — to pick up.
My nerves somewhat calmed, I continue walking until I’m two seats away from him and I pull out a barstool. His eyes widen slightly.
, did he think I was going to sit next to him? Did he think I was going to make it that easy? I smile to myself, tearing my eyes away from his beautiful face. Instead I sit, and turn my attention towards the barman.
“Votre spécial pour la soirée, s’il vous plaît,” I smile.
Your special for the evening, please
He nods and goes about getting my drink. On my left I can feel the man’s eyes on me, he’s piercing me with his gaze, so much so that I’m drawn, like a moth to a flame, to look at him. When I do he smiles at me, dimples becoming pronounced in his chiseled cheeks, and I feel a current of carnal longing head straight for my groin. Him…and I…oh, this is going to be a good night!
He leans forward across the vacant seat between us, to ask me, “Would you like to play a game?”
I can’t help but smile back.
I thought we already were
, I say in my mind. Out loud, I answer with a nonchalant shrug, “Sure.”
His smile broadens slightly, drawing my eyes to look at his full, pink lips. “Say
I like cops
without your lips touching.”
Immediately I do as he asks, but my words come out as
I like cocks
, causing both of us to burst into immature giggles. I roll my eyes at him.
The ice broken, the man points to the empty seat between us. “May I?” he asks.
“Sure,” I say again, this time a little more warmly.
He moves over to sit next to me and a sudden, exciting, electrical charge begins to build between us. It’s potent right from the off, and makes my heart hammer in my chest. We look at each other, both of us feeling it, both of us instinctively knowing where our night is headed.
“What’s your name?” he wants to know.
“Let’s not,” I say immediately, shaking my head. “Let’s keep that a mystery,” I request.
He nods his agreement, a smile playing on the edge of his lips. Then the bartender delivers my drink, and my late-night rendezvous raises his own glass up to toast mine.
“Cheers,” I say as seductively as I can.
We both take a drink, never taking our eyes off of one another. The charge keeps building. It’s hot and steamy inside this bubble we’re in.
“Miss. No-Name, you look phenomenal,” the stranger coos, his voice full of allure, the tips of his fingers teasing my knee.
I shift out of his reach.
I can tease him too
, I think slyly. “Thank you,” I grin at him. “Do you like my dress? It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” My knee-length, light-pink dress with intricate black-bead detailing might just be the most special garment I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. It fits over my five-foot-seven, svelte hour-glass frame in a confidence-boosting manner.
“Very,” he compliments. “Much like its inhabitant,” he says.
I ignore his latter comment. “My boyfriend bought it for me,” I tell him, proudly.
“Your—your boyfriend?” he stammers, looking surprised. “Where is he tonight?” he asks, looking around the crowded room.
“Upstairs. In our room,” I explain quickly. “He’s…working,” I lie. “We just had a late dinner, during which he partially pleasured me under the table,” I overshare.
is that how you speak to a stranger
Move right along
, I order myself. “Now he’s working.”
?” the stranger seems perturbed. The look in his eyes tells me that he’d like nothing more than to remedy my situation. “I don’t like the sound of your boyfriend. No wonder you’re down here, prowling,” he says, his eyes gleaming.
My heart hammers even harder in my chest. “I wasn’t going to let a good night go to waste,” I shrug, attempting to be nonchalant once more.
“Just as well,” he smiles at me; a smile that I feel all over my body. He sucks on his bottom lip in that unconscious way he does…
! I shake my head.
You don’t know this man
, I remind myself.
Refocussing myself, I ask, “And you, stranger? Are you here with someone?”
“No,” he shakes his head quickly. “I’m here alone.” He lifts his glass to take another swig. I smell that he’s drinking whiskey, straight, and I revel in knowing that I’ll taste it on his tongue soon.
I can’t keep a smile from forming on my lips. “I was hoping that might be the case,” I confess. Then, bravely, I lean in and press my lips against his for a brief moment before forcing his mouth open with my tongue and brushing it against his.
, he tastes delicious. Our eyes are open and locked on each other the whole time. I brush my tongue slowly against his again, smiling at the same time, before I pull back and suck on my own bottom lip, whispering, “I like whiskey.”
His face lights up. Oh, this is
“That was very forward of you,” he says, amused. I take in his features which are filled with mirth. He is so appealing.
appealing that I can’t help but be forward, hoping to move our night onwards to its inevitable end.
“I like being forward,” I pick up my own drink and sip it. “I like men who are forward, too,” I let him know.
“Really?” he chuckles, and for a minute I think he might break character, but he composes himself quickly. “So, have there been many men, then?” he asks me, looking intrigued.
My blue eyes widen.
, have there? In this fictional world I can say whatever I like. “Hundreds,” I tell him and he chuckles again. “What about you?” I giggle.
“Me? Oh, thousands,” he professes.
“Thousands of men?” I laugh. “My goodness!”
“No, no!” he’s quick to rectify his error. “I meant women.”
“I see,” I nod, still laughing. “So, you’re not gay, then?”
eyes widen. “No, not gay,” he confirms. “In fact,” he leans in close and lowers his voice as he continues, “I had an enchantingly beautiful woman coming all over my face just this morning…”
I feel heat rush through me. My body wants to groan at his words, but my mind is on high alert: I know what he’s doing — he’s trying to coax me into breaking character.
Two can play that game
. With a smirk and an eyebrow raised, I ask, “And where is the lucky bitch now?”
My words do the trick. His brow furrows and he stares at the bar top for a long moment.
To falter or not to falter
Finally he looks up. “She’s not here,” he says, his cool facade back in place.
And so the game continues.
, I think, smiling at the stranger. “So you
“If you want me to be,” he tells me, resting his hand firmly on my knee. This time I don’t shift out of his reach.
interested,” I say, referring to whatever is brewing between us, and stating my comment as a hard fact.
“Incredibly so,” he agrees, with a smile that seduces me entirely. “Especially because I’ve had a very hard day. Literally. I’ve been
. All day.”
“Would that have anything to do with the woman from this morning?” I enquire, becoming more turned on with every passing second. I’ve never spoken so candidly to anyone before.
to do with her…”
For a long moment we sit in silence, locked in our sensual bubble of unspoken desires. Oh, the things I long to do to him…the things I
do to him before the night is over. Another smile spreads across my face just thinking about it. The stranger blinks, tearing his eyes away from mine, as though one more moment of such heightened silent flirting might just unhinge him.