Page 36 of Tight

“Liar,” he whispered. “Open your eyes, beautiful. Open your eyes and tell me why you are here.”

“I told you.”

“Yeah, you also told me you don’t want this.”

I opened my eyes, glared at him, the action muted by a push of his finger, my eyes dropping closed as I weakly tried to push against his hand, not even sure why I was bothering.

“You’re here because you don’t trust me.” He unzipped his pants, my eyes widening at the action.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m about to fuck you.”

“No.” I shoved against him. “I’m going upstairs, and I’m packing. You can fuck one of these sluts.”

His hand was hard when it palmed my cheek, holding me back, his legs straddling my feet and caging me into place. “Listen to me, Riley.” My struggle did nothing to stop the bare brush of his cock against my thighs. I clenched my legs for protection and avoided his eyes. “You think I’m here for them?” He tilted his head to the club. “I haven’t stopped thinking about you since I left the room. You’ve been the only thing on my mind since I saw you five months ago in that casino. I’m steps away from putting a ring on that perfect little finger just to convince you to move to me. I am not here to fuck anyone except you.”

I stared straight ahead and struggled to keep my face passive. “Let me go.”

“You don’t mean that,” he whispered, pressing closer to me, his mouth dropping to my neck, softly pressing kisses into the skin there. I blinked, tears hot on the edges of my eyes, stinging bits of weakness. I didn’t even know why I was crying. I didn’t have a good reason, didn’t even know what emotion to feel right now, just that I was one raw ball of nerves. I hugged him to me, wanting to hide the tears, the action pressing his pelvis tighter, his exposed cock pushing into the tight opening between my thighs. He hissed against my neck, gently grabbing the skin with his teeth as he rocked his hips once, sliding it out and then in. I clenched my thighs tighter and reached down, wrapping my hand around the length of him. I squeezed, his head coming off my neck, his hand brushing the hair away from my face, his mouth greedy as it found mine. I grabbed it a little tighter as he thrust against my grip, his breath puffing out in between our kisses.

There was something so untouchably hot about having him in my hand, in that hallway, the vibration of the club at my back, the chance of interruption, the forbidden kiss of a man who, apparently, didn’t give a damn.

We were quiet, no words to say, just the rustle of our clothes, the hard blows of his breath, the sounds of his breakage. He pulled his mouth off mine and leaned his forehead against the wall. “You won’t fuck me?” he panted.

“No,” I whispered, squeezing tighter, his hips continuing their thrust into my grip, the speed increasing, his breath growing ragged at my response.

“Then I’m about to fucking come everywhere.”

I debated stepping aside, letting him blow his load all over the club’s floor, considered parting my legs and letting him, for a few deep thrusts, push inside. Instead, I squatted, keeping my hand on his shaft, and covered his head with my mouth.

The sounds, as they ripped from his throat, the shake of his thigh underneath my hand...

It was beautiful and uncontrolled and all for me.

Brett didn’t do any more business after that. He rubbed sunscreen on my back, had roses delivered to the room, and woke me up with kisses. We didn’t discuss the club or our mini-fight. Looking back, I should have brought it up, should have pushed on that soft spot until my finger broke through to the truth. I could have, and our relationship would have survived, would have strengthened. But I didn’t. I rolled over in his bed, took his kisses and roses and I love yous and ignored it. I was too afraid of what I didn’t know. Too afraid that, if I thought about it hard enough, I’d find something wrong and I didn’t want to damage the first true love I had ever had. He had mentioned proposing. I didn’t know if he meant it, but I knew how I felt at the words. A hundred whatifs bounding through my mind and collecting bits of excitement and love along the way. This had become something—not a relationship to kick to the curb over paranoid suspicions. I needed to analyze it once I was back home. Make sure I was prepared for when the moment came, if the moment came. It’d only been five months; we weren’t naïve kids. I was thirty-two. He a thirty-seven year old man who’d never been married. I wasn’t expecting him to drop down on one knee after a few romantic escapades. But still.

My stick-my-head-in-the-sand bliss lasted until 4 AM, when I got up to pee, Brett’s body not stirring as I gently rolled out of bed and walked to the bathroom. The wood floors in the room squeaked, like tattletale elves, the noises unnoticeable during the day, thundering at night. I flushed, then washed my hands, a nightlight putting an upward glow on my face. A horrible angle, it highlighted every wrinkle, every bag. I looked fifty, my stringy hair hanging around my face like old curtains around a dirty window. Thirty-two. Still young, but God, I didn’t look it. Not right now, not right here. I looked down, at my hands, red from the hot water, my fingers gripping the edge of the sink. Why was he in that club? How many nights had I sat alone in hotel rooms thinking he was working? And what had he been doing instead? My eyes moved from my hands to the counter. To the white towel laid out, Brett’s items set neatly next to mine. I picked up his toothbrush, a silver electric one. It was heavy. Felt expensive, like every other thing in Brett’s life. I set it down. Moved to the electric razor. This was older, worn. I had joked with him about the razor, told him I finally knew what to buy him for Christmas. He’d shook his head. “That was my father’s. Invest in lingerie instead.” He’d smiled, kissed my cheek, and I’d understood. Now, I hefted it in my hand. Thought. Considered. At what point am I a patsy, and at what point am I paranoid? I set down the razor and leaned forward. Stared into my eyes. Closed them. Opened them. I sighed, settling back on my heels and reaching for my makeup bag. Pulled out a Ziploc bag and pulled out my Q-tips. Popped off the top of the razor and dumped the clippings into the bag. Zipped it shut and replaced the razor’s top. Set it down.

For a short time, I considered becoming a cop. It was over a decade ago, when I was still dating John, and we had this romantic notion that we would both go into law enforcement and work alongside my father, solving Quincy’s crimes and stealing kisses in between high-profile cases. I read some forensics books. Tagged along with Dad for a few weeks. Did some ride-alongs. Quickly realized that being a cop in Quincy was comparable to babysitting drunken toddlers. Changed my career path to psychology. Then ten more times before I settled on finance. It was over a decade ago, but I remembered reading about a murder investigation that was solved with DNA pulled from razor clippings. I hesitated, then grabbed the mini toothpaste tube with a Kleenex.