The Arrangement (The Blankenships Book 9)

BOOK: The Arrangement (The Blankenships Book 9)
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, events, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

The Arrangement copyright @ 2015 by Evelyn Glass. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.

 

Book 9 of
The Blankenships
series

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

For the seventh morning in a row, Zoey woke up in cotton sheets that were so soft and fine that they felt like silk. She stretched slowly, feeling the slide of the cool fabric over her skin before she even opened her eyes—and then felt her toes brush against a firm leg in the bed beside her. She opened her eyes, feeling the smile on her face before she was even really looking. “Hi,” she murmured.

 

Alex was laying beside her, his head propped on his palm, and he studied her with a plainly interested gaze. She felt a blush creeping up her neck. Her instinct was to pull the sheets over her breasts, even after all this time. Instead, she stretched again, letting the cotton slide down to pool at her waist. Her nipples were tight and sharp already, anticipating his fingers following his gaze. The sheets were a deep, bright blue, and she was fairly sure that he’d artfully arranged them over the slim curve of his hip. She could see the outline of his erection under the sheet; he wasn’t fully erect, but he was thick, heavy.

 

“Penny for your thoughts,” he said. His voice was still harsh from sleep.

 

“Inflation,” she said. “Definitely costs a quarter now.”

 

His eyebrows climbed up just a little, and the corner of his mouth bent up in a twisted smile. “I’ll give you a shiny dollar.”

 

“I want one of those old fashioned Sacajawea ones. Not the stupid new ones with the dead Presidents.”

 

He reached out to her, and his hand hovered over her breast for a moment. Her skin yearned for him, reached for him, the tiny hairs on her arms standing up and desperately trying to be closer. “I will give you absolutely anything that you want.” Instead of cupping her breast or teasing her nipple, though, he reached down to twine his fingers through hers. She loved the way their fingers fit together, the soft skin of his fingers between hers. Sometimes, it seemed like the only part of him that was soft. “Anything.”

 

“It seems like I should be asking about your thoughts,” Zoey said. She considered for a moment; it wasn’t a thing she wanted to bring up, but she found herself needing to ask. “Did you have bad dreams again?”

 

It was the wrong question, and as soon as she’d said it, Zoey wished she could take the words back. Alex’s face didn’t so much freeze as simply go still. His fingers didn’t tighten on hers, but they didn’t precisely go slack either.

 

She was worried about him. She’d spent most of this past week enjoying delicious food, relaxing and reading, and falling into bed with Alex every chance they got. He’d followed her on every adventure, and he’d even smiled while he was doing it, but it was more than clear that his mind was full.

 

She knew he was having nightmares. He hadn’t talked about it, and he insisted that he was fine, but that wasn’t true. There was no way that it was true. A million tiny things told her something was off. It was the way he smiled a beat after her in every conversation, the way he would wander off into his own thoughts and take a long time to respond. But there was more to it than that.

 

He woke, sometimes several times a night, with a gasping breath, his hands fisting into claws on the sheets. His appetite was off. His moods were off. Everything was off. Even sex had been strange after that first night in the suite. It seemed like either he needed something from her, or he was desperately trying to give something to her, but either way, he wasn’t talking.

 

She knew he was grieving—God, who wouldn’t be—and it wasn’t her place to tell someone how to grieve. But at the same time, Leo had warned her about Alex’s history. She knew he’d made an appointment with his therapist before he’d left New York. It wasn’t like they’d been able to stay so that he could keep it. But now—without someone to talk to—well, she worried.

 

“Why do you think I’m having bad dreams?” He asked, in that precisely, carefully neutral voice she’d thought of his CEO voice, back when he’d first been fucking her on his desk. The voice warned her to proceed very carefully. As if she hadn’t known that much already.

 

“You wake up out of nowhere,” she said, trying to maintain the same clinical detachment he apparently had. “You breathe hard, and you cry out in your sleep. Sometimes you thrash around.”

 

He turned away from her sharply, pulling his hand free from hers. Naked, he sat up on the edge of the bed. He stared at the wall for a moment, and then leaned over slightly, letting his head fall into his hands.

 

She crossed her fingers and tried to believe that she was making the right move as she sat up, letting the sheet fall away from her entirely and moving across the bed on her knees. She stroked her hands up hands up either side of his spine, and when he didn’t brush her off, she let just a little bit of her weight fall onto his back. She didn’t want to knock him over, but she hoped it would feel comforting to know that she was there, close to him. “Hey,” she said, and his hands moved to brush over hers, where she’d wrapped them loosely around his shoulders. “I’m here. What can I do?”

 

“You really want to know?” he asked.

 

“Yeah.”

 

He moved so fast that it knocked her off center. In one swift movement, he went from holding himself together by the barest of grips to standing, pulling free of her hands, and turning to face her. He pulled her chin up, bringing his mouth down to hers, pressing his lips against her with bruising force. His other hand went to her breast, pulling it hard, twisting her nipple almost viciously between his fingers. She whimpered against him, and he growled into her throat. His fingers slapped at her breast once, almost experimentally. She whimpered again, feeling the heat starting to build between her thighs, and he did it again, harder. His cock came to heavy life between her thighs, jutting forward and pressing against her. He rocked his hips, teasing at her lower lips with the long, firm length of him, and she let out a more thorough, more complete sigh. “Are you going to hurt me?” She asked, her tone breathless and thin.

 

He didn’t stop the slow motion of his hips. “Yes. Yes, I’m pretty sure that I am. That okay with you?” His fingers pulled viciously at her nipple, bruising into the flesh of her breast, and she groaned into the pain and the depth of the sensation.

 

This was how it had been between them since that first night. Hard push or soft and sweet, never any mixing in between. She’d gone to sleep feeling loved and special and woken up feeling sore and stretched in the most delicious ways. But never at the same time. Never that moment of delicate connection as he brutalized her body and worshiped her heart. She wanted that connection.

 

But it wasn’t the time to demand it. She needed to let him grieve. She could choose how to be there with him during that process, and for now, there wasn’t anything to complain about. Hell, if anything, he’d become a more attentive lover. “Please,” she said, letting her eyes do the heavy lifting of telling him just how much she wanted to be taken by him, thoroughly and completely.

 

She’d learned not to try and anticipate him; there was no point in it, since she was hardly ever right. It was better to just ride the waves of sensation and enjoy what he did to her, matching him and enjoying his body just as thoroughly as he seemed to enjoy hers. He manipulated her almost like a doll, pushing her torso back to lie on the bed, pulling her knees down, and placing her feet on the floor, her ass on the edge of the bed, and her knees spread. He was hard, so hard, and her inner thighs were smeared with the first flushes of his arousal, but when he went to his knees, he didn’t press into her. No, he knelt before her, worshiping her, spreading her folds and blowing delicately over her heated, wet flesh. She cried out; they’d been athletic and vibrant in bed the night before, and she was still delicately aching from the way he’d lifted her hips up and fucked her there, driving into her so hard that she’d had to clutch his knees to keep balanced. The soft brush of air over her inflamed body woke her up in a way—as if she hadn’t realized she’d been sleeping—and she rocked up against nothing, seeking contact he wasn’t going to give her yet.

 

He closed his mouth over her pussy, rumbling with laughter that tickled through her and made her groan. His fingers dug into her thighs, hard enough that there would be bruises there by nightfall. She writhed under the firm touch, feeling safe and contained by the pressure, fully able to shift and move within it. By being bounded, she’d discovered, she could feel more completely, more thoroughly, than she ever had before.

 

He pressed into her more deeply with his mouth, dragging his teeth over her clit in a way that made her thrash and struggle to breathe. It danced the edge of too much, but it flared through her nerve endings, burning them with such liquid fire that the long slow burst of sound that came from her mouth made him laugh again.

 

And then he moved in with more dedication. He suckled her clit with serious, continuous intensity, and her body bowed in a wash of pleasure. She coasted it in an endless wave, skimming through the pleasure in a way that she hadn’t understood before him. She didn’t come, and she didn’t care; the pleasure was enough, even if it didn’t crescendo.

 

He sucked her until she was too sensitive, until it started to ache instead of soar, and he read the change in the small movements of her body before she had to tell him to stop. He rose up on his knees, his cock thick in his hand, and guided himself between her thighs. She was so wet and wide open that there was no moment where he had to draw back and shift forward again; he just slid into her, filling her to the hilt. Her hips lifted, meeting his, and she ached, she ached for him, for the release he’d deny her, for the soaring, delightful pleasure that she chased until it burned.

 

He slapped at her tits as he thrust into her, and she loved it. She loved the burn of it, the soreness of her tender flesh, and the degradation. It was insulting, and she knew she was supposed to hate it. She was supposed to think of it as the worst thing that had ever happened to her. But there was something—because she was allowing the degradation. Because if she said the word, he would have stopped, and the amazing thing was that he wouldn’t have thought any less of her for asking. He would have stopped, or moved on to something else. He wouldn’t have been pissed, or raged, or said that she was wrong. He would have kept right on loving her.

 

She loved how filthy he made her feel. She loved that he made her filthy and disgusting, everything she wasn’t supposed to be, and he still loved her. He didn’t think anything less of her for loving being slapped and hit.

 

“Yes,” he growled, their bodies slapping together viciously. He had one hand on her breast, twisting fiercely at her nipple, and the other reaching between them, slapping at her clit. Her hands fisted in the expensive cotton sheets, and she groaned again, too sensitive to come, too deliriously pleasured to explode.

 

He surged into her one last time, and she felt the muscles of his ass clench as he filled her, his cheeks tight, his eyes narrow. His grip on her breast was absolutely vicious, and she loved it. She loved it. She rocked against him, incredibly gently, and for just a moment, she saw the wall that he had built around himself crack. She saw the sadness he was locking away, the misery and fear he’d tamped down. She wanted to acknowledge it, but it would be beyond rude. Too much.

 

“I love you,” she said, and he rocked into her again, even as he softened, banking fires that once would have left her frustrated and distracted. Now, she had total faith that they’d find time later to take each other again. There was no more fear.

 

At least, not because of the sex.

 

His fingers brushed her cheek, but that was all. He drew back, pulling a cloth from the dressing table to clean himself, wiping his fluids from between her legs, then reaching down to draw her up to her feet. “Shower?”

 

“I think so, yes.”

 

When they got out of the shower—much, much later—Zhu was waiting in the suite’s living room.

 

BOOK: The Arrangement (The Blankenships Book 9)
2.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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