I lift my chin. ‘I first heard that word in the playground when I was six years old. A mother had sat on one of the benches by the swings and described her toddler daughter as a ‘clever little cunt’. So I came home and used the word in front of my mother. She didn’t scold me or wash my mouth out with soap. “I have obviously failed in my duty as a mother that you feel comfortable to allow such a vile word to sit on your tongue. I will not eat until I realize where I have gone wrong,” she said. She put dinner on the table and refused to eat. “Of course you have to eat. You have done nothing wrong,” she told me. I had to sit there and finish all my food. She would not let me leave a single pea behind. She did it again at breakfast. By lunchtime I was so distraught I could not eat a single mouthful. I promised her I would never use the word again. And I haven’t until today.’
He steps away from me, as if knowing that little bit about me is poisonous to his sanity or well-being. ‘If you are ready we should leave now.’
Outside he remote unlocks a white Lamborghini. The wings lift upwards. It is the kind of flashy car I associate with the spoilt sons of Saudi Arabian oil sheiks. I settle in. ‘What happened to Aston?’
‘Wrapped it around a tree.’
I swing my head around. ‘With you in it?’
‘Yes, cracked a couple of ribs, but, as you can see, I emerged unscathed. It’s hard to hurt me.’
There is an edge to his voice. Of course. He is telling me I have hurt him.
The Fat Duck is the same as I remember it. Great service and divine food, but there is a large difference that I cannot not notice. Blake is drinking far more than he used to. He orders the obligatory bottle of wine that perfectly matches our meal, but hardly touches it. Instead, he goes for the whiskey. I have already counted seven.
‘You were completely drunk when you had your accident, weren’t you?’
‘Yup. Miss Marple solves yet another mystery.’
‘Didn’t they do you?’
The alcohol has relaxed his tense shoulders somewhat. He laughs and I want to press my mouth against those hard lips. ‘Have you forgotten everything I told you, Lana dear? The Barringtons are above the law. Cream always floats to the top.’
‘So does shit.’
He raises his glass and chuckles without mirth. ‘Let’s see how bright you can be when you are naked in my bed.’
‘Depends how full my mouth will be,’ I retort unwisely.
‘To bursting, darling.’
I feel my cheeks heat up. ‘Are you planning to drive home tonight?’
He picks up his glass and shoots it. ‘I wouldn’t risk your pretty face on my windshield for anything. Tom is coming to pick us up.’
In the car we do not touch each other. Our conversation is stilted and shallow, unsustainable.
What did you do today?
Billie came around with her baby.
Both of us are already thinking of the time we will be alone. When only our bodies will speak. There is something about this man that makes my hands itch to touch his skin, suck that firm mouth, meld with him…forever. Desire fogs my brain.
I pretend to drop my purse. He bends to retrieve it, but I reach out for it and brush his clothed thigh. Immediately I feel him tense.
‘Don’t push me, Lana. I am already on the edge,’ he warns.
We are like tinder and kindling.
In the lift I raise my eyes to meet his.
Fuck. What the hell?
The door whooshes open.
He takes my hand and drags me behind him. Opens the door and pulls me through, and leaning back against it tugs me to him so I fall smack onto him. My purse finds a quick path to the carpet, opens its guts, spills. His hot mouth finds mine. The kiss is rough, crazy intense, and full of urgent need. It is what I saw in his eyes. I go astray. I don’t want to come back from this. His hand locates the zip at the back of my neck. That hapless zip flies down and the nun’s habit pools around my shoes.
His hands expertly release the clasp on my bra. One tug and it is gone the way of the dress. I am so lost in the jaws of desire that I barely hear the sound of light lace tearing. Once again, I am naked and he is fully dressed.
For a moment he holds me at arm’s length simply looking at me, the way he used to do in the beginning. Then he takes me to the gilded mirror on the wall.
‘Look at you,’ he snarls. ‘Your pupils are searching for someone to pleasure you. Anyone would do.’
I want to back away from what I see. My eyes are glazed with lust. I look…hungry, feral…electrified. Yet he is wrong. Anyone would not do.
He strokes my heated cheeks then he bends his head and his strong white teeth nibble at my earlobes. ‘Cream and sugar and venom,’ he says and bites my neck.
In the mirror my eyes widen with shock and pleasure. The sensation is exquisite. The rush of it makes me feel reckless. He begins to gently suck my skin. I moan. His mouth moves to my nipple. The skilled precision of his mouth starts an aching that travels into my core. I am in a sex-induced frenzy thirsting for him to enter me. The taste of true desire is sweltering. I push my ass into the thick, hard snake between us and yearn for it driving inside me. He puts a finger on my lower lip and lets his finger enter my mouth.
I take the finger between my lips and suck it gently at first, and then harder. He starts to unbuckle his belt.
I get on my knees. The carpet digs into my skin. I open his fly, pull up his shirt, and kiss that hard, tight stomach. He becomes very still. My tongue flicks out. Tentative, but not for long. I lick the golden brown skin, find the line of fine hair and follow it all the way to the elasticized band of his shorts. My teeth grasp the material and pull. His c**k springs free and hovers, swollen and angry over my mouth. I take the throbbing ready meat in my hand. The head swells, surges, pulses, and comes alive in my hand.
I use both my hands to quickly pull the briefs down his thighs while my mouth takes in that gorgeous, rock-hard cock. I look up at him and watch him draw his breath sharply. Slowly, I move forward and let him witness every inch of his dick sliding between my lips. He pulses in my mouth and that pushes me into sucking greedily at the head of his erection. I devour him, taking him deeper and deeper into my mouth.
He thrusts his hips forward, jamming himself down my throat. It makes me gag, but it still feels right. His c**k should always be inside me. It is where it belongs. Anything else would be wrong. I am struck by the potency of my obsession.
‘Yes. Yes, like that… Exactly like that.’