I was one of these people.

* * *

Rational thought began to return, very slowly. Blake held me, caressed me. When he licked my arousal from his fingers, my body immediately responded. A sharp ache inside me demanded more. I wanted to please him, and I desperately wanted him to follow that mind-bending orgasm with several more.

Reaching down between us, I found his cock hard and bulging in his jeans. I moaned, brushing my breasts against his chest. I kissed him feverishly, tasting myself on his lips. I was so out of my mind with desire, I might have done anything. Limits seemed like a far away concept.

He closed his eyes, his jaw going tight as I massaged him and kissed him.

“I want you,” I whispered, nibbling along his jaw.

“Not here.”


He caught my wrist, stilling my torments. “Let’s get out of here.”

I drew in a deep breath, sobering myself. I eased myself from him and after a slight adjustment, Blake stood, bringing me with him. We went for the door, traveling the same path I’d taken going in. I was nearly running after him to keep up.


A woman’s voice rang out down the hall. The girl who’d taken my coat earlier ran toward us with the garment.

“Thank you,” Blake said, taking it from her.

“You’re welcome, Mr. Landon.”

She flashed a look to Blake and ducked her head demurely, hiding those stunning blue eyes. My nostrils flared. I didn’t like what I saw there. Something too familiar, like adoration.

The girl disappeared down the hall, and Blake held out my coat for me to put on. “Let’s go.”

We walked across the street where Blake’s Tesla was parked. I slid into the passenger seat, my thoughts suddenly an epic jumble. What had we just done? Who was the girl? What the hell was wrong with us?

Blake pulled out of the spot and began driving home. I stared out the window, unable to keep my curiosity in check.

“Do you know her?”


“That girl.”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

Maybe? A new surge of jealousy sent a wave of adrenaline through me. How many of these women had been with him? Blake reached for my hand.

I moved away, avoiding his touch. “Don’t touch me.”

His laugh was acid in my veins. “Really? Don’t touch you? You almost begged me to fuck you in the booth a few minutes ago. Now you don’t want me to touch you?”

I stared silently out the window. Go to hell. 

“Erica.” His voice was softer. “You came to a sex club I used to frequent and you expected me to be anonymous? You opened the door. Honestly, what did you expect would be on the other side of it?”

“I guess I wouldn’t know, since you never told me.”

Emotion was thick in my throat. He was right, and I was a fool.

“How many of those women have you had?” My voice cracked. I kept asking questions I didn’t really want answers to.

He stared toward the road. “I couldn’t tell you. I didn’t go there to remember. I went there to forget.”

My heart fell. “To forget Sophia?”

He paused. “Maybe at first.”

I was silent. I had tortured myself enough. I wasn’t going to coax out anything else that could hurt me tonight.

“Her needs appealed to a compulsion for control that I was still trying to get a handle on. When our relationship ended, the club was all that was left. A game. Going through the motions toward a foregone conclusion.”

“Is that what I was too? A foregone conclusion?”

He was quiet for a long time and my misery only grew. We parked in front of the apartment and ascended the stairs in continued silence. Tossing the keys down inside, he put his hands on the counter, seemingly lost in thought. After a moment, he straightened and faced me.

I lingered by the door, waiting for him to make the next move. This night had been twelve shades of messed up.

“This is going to hurt, but it seems like you’re on a quest for answers tonight, so I’m going to give them to you.” He drew in breath. “You’re not the first woman I’ve seduced, and you’re not the first woman I’ve fucked. I’m sure you already know this.”

I winced. I wanted to believe that we’d had nothing but love from the start, but I knew it wasn’t true. Not even for me. Lust, preoccupation, obsession. Somewhere in the tornado of all those things we’d found love. Still, I wasn’t sure I wanted the truth anymore. I was already hurting too much.

I walked past him into the bedroom. His footsteps followed behind me. I slowed in front of the bed and tore off the tight dress Alli had lent me.

“Are you going to listen to me?”

“No,” I answered brusquely. I went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. “I was a conquest, I get it. I don’t want to hear anymore about your sexual exploits, Blake. I think I’ve had enough eye-opening for one night. Clearly I’m way out of my depth.”

I was trembling again. My stomach knotted and tears threatened.

“Baby…” His fervency was fading. “Whatever you’re trying to find out about me is right here, wishing like hell you would just let us be us. Together, now. Fuck the past, and fuck the people we used to be and the people who made us that way.”

Tears stung behind my eyes. “Just leave me alone.” I stepped into the shower, shut the door, and let the too hot water scald my skin. When I opened my eyes under the stream, Blake had left.


Tension released in muscles I didn’t realize were holding any. I lathered up, eager to wash away the club. Remy’s touch. The air in the place, thick with sex and strangers. Christ, all I wanted was Blake and the comfort of his arms, and now I was pushing him away. All I’d wanted was the truth, and now I couldn’t stand to hear it. But Blake was my truth, even when it hurt. He was my home, the one person in my life who gave me a reason to stay still and keep faith that together we could be more than our pasts.

I hid in the shower for a few more minutes, determined to pull myself together when I emerged. I toweled dry and found the bedroom empty. I wandered into the living room. Blake sat on the couch, a tired and bleak expression on his face. I sat beside him, tucking the towel in place at my chest. He didn’t move to look at me.

“I’m sorry. For what it’s worth, it’s been a crazy day, and an even crazier night. Sophia sent me something.”

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