Page 10 of Black Lies

I wrapped my leg around him, pulled tighter. Felt his hand squeeze me in response. “Tell me about the escorts.” I didn’t know where that came from; it jumped from my lips without warning. Beneath me, I felt Brant’s body tighten a bit, his hand stopping the lazy exploration of my skin that it had started.

“What have you heard?”

“Hundreds. That they came here, not your home.”

“This is closer to the office. And… I have too many valuables at home, my work, my privacy. This worked better.”

I propped my chin on his chest and watched his face, his blue eyes coming to mine. “Hundreds?” I asked.

He frowned. “No. Over the last twenty years…” He shrugged. “There have probably been fifteen.”

I digested the number. On one hand, it was more than mine. On the other, it was less than I had expected. “And… why prostitutes?”

He blushed, something I had never seen from him. “Pleasing a woman… it’s important to me. I wanted to be taught, by a professional.”

“Taught?”

He moved a curl of hair from my cheek. Wrapped it around his finger before tucking it behind my ear. “I was young the first time. Seventeen. Had never even kissed a girl before, my whole world pretty much confined to the basement. I wanted to date, my hormones were going nuts, but Jillian and my parents didn’t want me running around town flagging down the first girl I saw.”

“So they ordered you a prostitute?” I pushed up off his chest, the motion causing my br**sts to move, his eyes dropping to them, a deep exhale easing from his chest as he took a moment, his hands sliding up my back and curving forward, cupping my br**sts with reverence. “Brant,” I said, trying to focus as he shifted total concentration to my chest. “Brant,” I repeated. “Your parents got you a prostitute?”

“No,” he mumbled, trying to pull me higher, his mouth coming up, kissing my neck and trying to make its way lower. “Jillian got me Bridget McCullen, an eighteen-year-old girl straight off the pages of my fantasies.”

“A prostitute,” I repeated, sliding lower, moving my br**sts farther away, the new position letting me feel exactly how much my body affected him. I grinned despite myself.

He finally looked up. “Well, I didn’t know she was a prostitute. Jillian had her knock on the door one day when I was home alone. The girl pretty much dragged me from the basement to my room. Gave me my first blow job and made me forget all about computers for a good three minutes.”

“Isn’t that… illegal? You were seventeen. She’s your aunt! That’s creepy in so many different ways I can’t even name them all.”

He laughed. “It was the best thing they could do for me at the time. And I didn’t want to leave the house, didn’t want…” He looked down, busying himself by pulling our sheet higher. “I understood them keeping me close. Protecting me. I didn’t know she was a prostitute. I thought she liked me, and had just moved in nearby. She hung around for two years. Took me from a boy to a man. Then… she was gone.”

“What happened?”

He shrugged. “Moved away, got a boyfriend? I don’t know. I was heartbroken. Was certain we were meant to be, ‘til Jillian had a heart-to-heart and told me everything. How the girl was interested in payment, nothing more. How I should concentrate on the good, what I had gotten from the relationship. I was pissed. Didn’t talk to her for a few days. I’d moved out by then, was living here. A few days passed, then she sent over a new girl. I understood the test. I couldn’t be pissed at her for giving me something I wanted. So I could turn away the girl, knowing she was a prostitute, or take her and accept the screwed up reality that was my life.” He looked at me. “So I f**ked her. And it was different than with Bridget. I understood the dynamic, and I could control the situation. So I focused on what I wanted—the ability to please a woman. And I figured, one day, I would have a woman worth using that ability on.”

I stared at him. Blinked. Stared some more. “You realize,” I said slowly, “that you shouldn’t be sharing all of this with me. This is the stuff that you’re supposed to keep secret. The skeletons that show your vulnerability.”

He laughed, his arms wrapping around me, rolling us over until he was on top, and his c**k was still there, still begging for attention. “Then there you have it. All of my skeletons. Will you still have me?” He nibbled a path along my neck, and I giggled beneath him, reaching a hand down and gripping the part of him I couldn’t get enough of. “Skeletons?” I mused. “Well, I do like a good bone.”

He groaned into my neck, thrusting into my hand. “That was so cheesy.”

I laughed. “Good cheesy?”

He shook his head against my curls. “Bad cheesy.”

“I like bad,” I whispered, my voice dropping, my hand tightening, his hips f**king his c**k into my grip.

“God, woman.” He reached forward, stretching across my body and yanking at the handle of the bedside table, his hands knocking over items in his haste. “I don’t know what to do with you.”

“Really?” I teased. “You don’t know what to do with me?”

“Correct that,” he rumbled, lifting off me just long enough to cover his cock, his hands slightly shaking in his urgency. “I know exactly what to do with you.”

Then he was back above me, and his c**k was inside of me, and he showed me exactly what his plans entailed.

Chapter 10

Jillian and I engaged in a silent battle, one where she pushed in every passive-aggressive way she could, campaigning with all her strength against the relationship that Brant and I were forming. A battle without words, but through the man she loved and I had fallen for.

I walked into the next roadblock on a Tuesday morning, my day dedicated to HYA. Pulling through the gates, I was greeted by a shiny new male specimen, complete with a genuine six-pack, blinding white smile, and rugged good looks that a Hilfiger model scout would trip over herself to snag. He jogged across the grass, lines of dirt smeared across the ripped muscles of his chest, a trio of kids tailing him, their arms fighting for the football he carried. I watched him run toward me and wondered who he was and what he was doing inside the sanctuary that was this property.

Employees and volunteers at HYA were carefully vetted. Background checks, drug tests, and references were required. We’d had the same staff, give or take, for the six years I’d been involved. A new face wasn’t often seen. I watched him, his head coming up as my convertible came to a halt, his hand raised in greeting.

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