Read VIP (Rock & Release, Act I) Online

Authors: Riley Edgewood

VIP (Rock & Release, Act I) (5 page)

BOOK: VIP (Rock & Release, Act I)
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He stopped us last night
.
 

More specifically, he stopped me.
 

I was so drunk. I was so reckless, so sloppy.
 

I cringe and curl into a ball on my side and wait for the fully charged volts of embarrassment to pass.
 

When I can breathe again, I look for my skirt. I need to get out of here. I lean over one side of the bed, there's my shirt, but no skirt. It's not on the other side, either. I twist through the covers, my fingers searching for the cotton fabric with no luck.
 

Shit.

I can't just walk out of here in yesterday's underwear. I slowly, gingerly, sit up and roll forward onto my hands and knees, to search under the covers, sliding all the way to the foot of the bed. Relief floods me when my fingers close around my skirt, balled between the mattress and the footboard.
 

It's nice beneath the sheets. Dark, and comfortable. Maybe I'll just hide here for the rest of my life. Except I really, really need to find a toothbrush. My breath is ricocheting around my face, trapped with me under the covers and…just…gross. I wiggle backwards out of the covers, holding my breath until my ass hits the headboard, and I shove the sheets off my head, exhaling so hard I fear I may throw up. I close my eyes and rest my forehead on the sheets between my hands, breathing deeply again.
 

"You do seem to love that position."

My eyes fly open, and I freeze, mortification pinpricking every inch of my skin.

Gage.
 

Standing in front of me.
 

While I'm on my hands and knees wearing nothing but underwear.

Fuck my life. Seriously.

I push back onto my heels, clutching the sheets to my chest. My brain bounces back and forth in my head from the sudden movement and a small moan of pain escapes from my mouth. "I didn't hear…I mean, I'm not…"
 

What is it with my inability to finish sentences with this guy?
 

"Thought you might want some coffee." He has a mug in his hand, but I look right past it, at his chest. It's bare and toned, and I know exactly how it feels pressed against my skin. His pants are unbuttoned at the top and hanging low at his waist showing the slightest hint of happy trail, pointing like an arrow down beneath the line of his boxer briefs.
 

"Oh, God." Broken bits of memories slam against my conscious, weaving me from one scene to the next as though connected by pieces of twisted, fraying string.
 

His tongue against my skin. His mouth on my neck. His fingers trailing. Every. Single. Inch of me…

Nope. Not going there. Not finishing this line of thought. Get it together, Cassidy
.

"A toothbrush would be even better." I cover my mouth while I speak.
 

He pulls one, still packaged, out of his back pocket. "We thought you might want one of those, too."

He walks around the bed toward me, feet padding softly on the carpet, and holds it out. I take it—and manage to rein in my sigh of gratitude before it leaves my mouth and strikes him dead. But… "We?"

"Vera and I."

"Vera's here?"
 

He smiles the little half smile that pulled me into this mess in the first place. "This is her place."

Relief trickles through me. That explains the necklaces. "Are you roommates?"

He shakes his head. "Actually, this is her room."
 

That
really
explains the necklaces. I bury my face in my hands. It's bad enough I invited myself to Vera's house, now that I remember that part, but I stole her room? This girl I've literally known less than twenty-four hours? "Does she hate me?"

He laughs. "No. She even made you eggs out in the kitchen, if you're hungry. But…" He waits until I look at him. "She did ask that we strip her bed. You know, on account of what we did in it last night."

His words hang in the air between us.
 

I can't move.

I can't.

This is so embarrassing.
 

And who knew it was possible to feel aroused through the dredges of a hangover?

"I never realized it could be so enjoyable to make someone blush." He reaches out and brushes a piece of hair away from my forehead.
 

Maybe I should flirt back. Pat the space next to me and say something provocative. Pick up where we left off last night. But I'm too chicken, too hungover. I just want to disappear. From him, from this room, from the graphic flashbacks of last night that continue to pulse through my mind.
 

And I really need to do something about my breath.
 

I wrap myself more securely in a sheet and slide off the bed with it, escaping past him and into the bathroom. I close the door behind me, leaning on it for a second to fight the swirl of nausea and embarrassment. I find toothpaste on the counter and take my time brushing my teeth in front of the glitzed-out mirror over Vera's sink, pausing to frown at my reflection—the smears of mascara under my eyes, the all-over-the-place hair, the slightest stain of a bruise at the base of my neck.

Uh, wait.

"Is that a hickey?" I spit out toothpaste and lean in for a closer look. Yep. It is. "What is this, eighth grade?"

I almost storm back out to the bedroom to give Gage a hard time about it, but first of all that'd mean bringing up last night again, which means I'll continue reliving it, which just doesn't go well together with being this hungover. And second, I've got to do something about the makeup running down my face.
 

I swipe a pump of face wash and splash some water over my skin. Vera's countertop is stocked with lotions and perfumes and more makeup than I've ever seen in one spot, but as much as I'd love to freshen up a little further, I don't know her well enough to just use all of her things without asking. Wish I'd thought to bring my purse in with me, at least there's some lip gloss in there. And a hairbrush. I shove the disheveled tangle of my hair into a messy bun, tying it into itself since I'm sans ponytail holder. It'll have to do. Oh, but it shows my neck and the mark Gage left. On second thought, I steal the tiniest amount of concealer from Vera's collection, smoothing it over the hickey. It's a shade much lighter than what I'd usually use, but it helps to hide the purpled shadow darkening my skin—almost completely, but it's still there if you know what to look for.
 

Though having a love bite is the least of my worries right now.

I should go back out there. I have to leave the bathroom. I have to face reality, to go home—but that thought brings on a fresh wave of nausea… Maybe I'll just take a small rest first. I sit on the edge of the tub, holding my head in my hands and using my fingers to put pressure against all the places currently throbbing around my skull. Vera must have Tylenol somewhere around here, but I'm not going to snoop her cabinets for it. I've invaded her home way too much already.
 

But that means I have to leave the security of the bathroom. I have to face Gage.

I take a few more deep breaths, both to ease my nausea and prepare myself for the real world, and then rewrap myself in the sheet and open the bathroom door.

CHAPTER SIX

Gage has his shirt on and is sitting at the foot of the bed, my skirt and shirt in his hands. When I step into the room, he holds them out to me and turns his head away as I slip into them.

"Okay, well… I should go." It dawns on me, though, I have no idea how I'm going to get anywhere. Call a cab, I guess.
 

"Listen," he says, waiting for me to look at him. "I feel like an asshole."
 

Did something happen I don't remember? I hesitate to ask, "Why?"
 

"You had a lot to drink last night."

"Wouldn't that make me the asshole?"
 

He cracks a smile. "I didn't act very responsibly."

"Um, we didn't…" Ugh, I don't want to say it. "We didn't, you know,
do it
—which is all thanks to you."

"We probably shouldn't have done anything," he says, a hint of regret passing through his warm, amber eyes. "I shouldn't have teased you this morning. I made you uncomfortable, and…well, I feel like an asshole."

"I'm uncomfortable because I don't think I've ever been this hungover in my entire life." I sit opposite him on the bed, leaning against the headboard. I clutch a pillow against my lap. "Last night was…" I stop for a moment as it hits me. Last night was the first night I've had in ages where I didn't feel sad. Or anxious. Or tense. Though it's all flowing back now. I do my best to stem it and force myself to keep eye contact with Gage. "I don't regret last night—not a single part of it."

"Maybe not right now, but—"

"I wouldn't regret it even if you hadn't stopped us from going further." I rub the fabric of the pillowcase between my fingers. So much for not talking about it. But he feels so bad, I can't let him think he made any sort of mistake. But I also can't look at him with my next words. "I wanted you to…touch me. Long before I got so drunk."
 

The sharp tug in my belly—cutting through the nausea and blossoming hunger—makes me realize just how much I'd like him to touch me again.
 

"Really?" He sounds relieved, and I risk a glance at his face. Worry in his expression's been replaced with a wicked little glint. "Does that mean I can see you again?"

"I think I'd like that." I know I would.

"We can try sober next time, with dinner instead of drinks."

"Oh, I see. Somewhere public then? You don't want me back in bed?" The happiness flushing through me brings out my flirty side. He wants to see me again. This wasn't just a one-night stand. Or whatever a non-sex one-nighter is called. Even if I can have one more night with him—one more night like last, where all I have to care about is having fun and the way Gage's lips feel, the way his mouth tastes. His gorgeous, nimble fingers… Sign me right on up.
 

"It didn't seem to me that public places really stop you." He's grinning now, and my lips curve up to mirror his expression.
 

"Then we'll definitely need drinks with that dinner."

"No. If I'm going to take advantage of your ridiculous body, I want those pretty green eyes clear while you watch." He stands, holding a hand out. "And, in case that didn't spell it out enough, sweetheart, I want you back in bed."
 

I lace my fingers in his, hesitating a moment to enjoy the glow blooming between my ribs. "If I wasn't so hungover—and if I wasn't so mortified that we stole Vera's bed—I'd pull you back in here and give you your chance right now."

"If I hadn't heard your stomach rumbling for the past five minutes, I might have taken it."
 

Oh damn. Stupid hunger noises.
 

He yanks me up and leans in close, whispering, "And if you keep talking that way, you'll force me to sit through a very uncomfortable breakfast."

I work my very hardest to ignore the current his words send zipping along my skin.
Focus on the need more easily fulfilled right now
. I swallow the extra saliva flooding my mouth. "Did you say something about eggs? Because I might be willing to murder someone for breakfast right now."

"There's toast, too."
 

"You should've led with that!" I step toward the door, suddenly ravenous for the salty dryness of toast in my alcohol-heavy stomach.

He doesn't let go of my hand, instead pulling me back to him until we're less than an inch apart. My nose is level with the top of his chest. He bends his head lower, until his mouth is barely a breath away from mine. "And miss this conversation? That's exactly why I didn't lead with the toast. I know what hangovers feel like—you would've been out of here in an instant."

Which, for some reason, reminds me, "Do you also know what giving a hickey feels like?"

He doesn't say anything, so I tilt my head, extending my neck for him to see. A second later he laughs, minty breath drifting across my face. "It's your own fault."
 

I straighten, and our mouths are so, so close again. "How's that?"
 

"Your skin shouldn't taste," his mouth is on mine, the lightest of touches… "so," and again, "good."
 

And again.

And again.
 

His lips are smooth and soft against mine. I press myself into him, thinking I could go on like this forever—but my stomach has other ideas and gurgles so loudly, I wouldn't be surprised if the people three apartments down think it was an earthquake.
 

He laughs and takes my hand again, which he'd released to cup my face (so hot). "Come on."
 

"Yeah. Give me eggs and toast or give me death."
 

"A little Abe Lincoln to start the day?"

"Patrick Henry, actually." I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, but it kind of comes out that way. "I mean, not that he actually said that about breakfast." Now I just sound like an idiot. Great.

"I know." He grins, wolfishly again. "I was just testing you."

"
Sure
you were." I grin right back.

We step out of the bedroom into an apartment more spacious than I remember. Okay, well, I don't really remember it at all, to be honest. Everything is very open, and the walls are painted in subtly varied coffee-colored tones. Framed fashion posters hang on the walls, mixed with smaller abstracts, all pinks and whites and golds. Vera's sitting in the living room in a navy and white striped overstuffed armchair, flipping through a gossip magazine. Her hair is perfectly styled, and her face is flawless—though she didn't have access to her bathroom. She's in pajama bottoms and a tank top, still somehow managing to look completely put together. She glances up when she hears us. "Hey."
 

"Hi." I lift my fingers in a small half-wave. "I… uh… Sorry for stealing your bed."

BOOK: VIP (Rock & Release, Act I)
7.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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