“I don’t like her. She talks a lot of shit about people for doing less messed-up shit than she does on a regular basis,” Judith added.
I tried to follow all of the shits in that sentence. I gave up as we got close enough for me to see the way Melissa’s hands were sneaking in little touches all over James.
She touched his arm, patted his back, reached way way up and squeezed his shoulder. And then ran her hand along his chest and stomach on it’s way back down. James took a little step back, avoiding her touch, but I still saw red. Red as in crimson. Crimson as in blood. Blood as in I was going to make the bitch bleed.
I moved between the two of them in an odd haze of temper, plastering myself to his side and pushing her roughly out of the way with my body. I ran my hand along the line of his chest and abdomen that she’d touched, as though my touch could erase hers.
I heard the ice cubes in her drink clink against her glass as she was jostled by my sudden movement.
She gasped in outrage.
I ignored her, looking up at James. “Why were you letting her touch you?” I asked him quietly.
He looked surprised, and half-amused. “I thought she was a friend of yours. I was trying not to be openly rude, but she was making it difficult. You have a drink while you were gone? You were gone for thirty minutes. Now you’re acting a little…differently.”
“You fucking bitch. You made me spill my drink on my dress,” Melissa was yelling behind me. It was easy to ignore her, for some reason.
I ran my hands up and down James’s torso again, using my fingertips to trace each muscle. He was unbelievably hard.
“Not one part of my body is this hard,” I mused aloud.
“Careful, Love. You can’t offer a starving man a feast and expect him not to take you up on it.”
I stroked his chest again, pausing at one of his nipples. “I want to see your skin,” I told him.
Now I’d done it. I’d gone and touched him, and it was worse than being drunk. I couldn’t seem to focus on anything but touching more of him.
“Fucking Bitch!” Melissa said louder. “Do you have any idea how much this dress is worth? It’s BCBG. Do you even know what that is, you skank?”
I saw James’s eyes widen just a second before he spun me around, putting his back to the crazy redhead.
I heard the sound of a drink being thrown, glass and all, against his rock-hard back.
It had been aimed at the back of my head, I realized, stunned. She was such a crazy bitch… “Fuck,” James said, glaring over his shoulder at a still fuming Melissa. “You need to get the fuck out of here, or security will be escorting you out. I think you’ve embarrassed yourself enough tonight, don’t you?” His tone was positively scathing.
Melissa cursed fluently as she stormed away.
Our group erupted into chatter as she walked away. The general consensus was, ‘Bitch is crazy’.
“Bitch be cray cray,” Murphy summed it up, as only Murphy could. Everyone laughed, breaking the last bit of tension.
I looked up at James, pursing my lips. “That was gentlemanly of you, taking the shot for me,” I told him.
He shook out his shirt, ice cubes still flying off of his back. I checked his back. His shirt was soaked.
Even his jeans were soaked. I was relieved to find, though, that the glass had broken on the ground, leaving him unscathed.
A waitress showed up with a bucket and mop and began to clean up the liquid and broken glass. We moved out of her way.
“It looks like you’re going to have to take off all of your clothes,” I told him with a smile.
He smiled back, but his smile was all heat. “I have a change of clothes in the car. Come with me?”
I leaned in closer to him, inhaling deeply. He smelled so good that I felt my eyelids drift closed with the pleasure of his scent. It was so good that I wanted to put a name to it, and bottle it up.
“Convince me,” I told him softly, as I forced my eyes back open to look at him.
He glanced around, running his tongue over those sexy as hell teeth. “Okay. Did you have something particular in mind, or do I get to pick how? I’m trying to play nice here, since I don’t want to scare you off again. You’re not making it easy, though.”
“Your shirt’s all wet. I want you to take it off. I want to see your skin.”
He gave me an appraising look. “That’s it? All I have to do to get you to my car is to take my shirt off?” He was whipping it off before he’d even finished his question.
Hoots and whistles were starting up around the lounge as people took in the spectacular sight of his naked torso.
I gasped at the sight of all of his bare skin. He had definitely bulked up in the month we’d been apart, his already impressive chest swollen attractively. It was distracting, to say the least.
“You’ve been lifting more weights,” I observed.
His smile was a little pained. “I needed a little more physical activity to adjust to the whole celibacy thing. I usually work out for two hours in the morning. I added two more in the evening, as well, as a sort of…sleep aid.”
I felt a strange stirring of guilt, and a not so strange thrill of joy at his mention of celibacy. I opened my mouth to say…something, but I couldn’t seem to hold a thought, with all of his bare skin in front of me.
My captivated gaze moved lower.
His jeans dipped low. I traced the skin just above his jeans. It was dangerous territory, dipping into a sharply defined V. An impressive and growing arousal was making his jeans more obscene by the second.
He gripped my hand. “Unless part of my convincing you was that you want to get fucked against the nearest wall, I’d start walking, Buttercup.”
He grabbed my hand and started walking.
“I need a new shirt,” James called in Stephan’s direction as we passed. Stephan gave him a wide-eyed look, but just nodded. “We’ll be back.”
“I want to have his babies,” someone muttered as we passed.
I sent a glare in their general direction. I couldn’t get real mad about it, though. I had made him bare the finest chest in the world to a room full of hungry flight attendants… And if anyone got a glance at his jeans, it certainly wouldn’t lessen their interest.
Clark met us at the entrance of the club, holding the door open, face impassive.
“Nice catch, Sir,” he said quietly.
I smiled at him, knowing he was referring to James moving to protect me from the thrown drink.
“Any paparazzi in the parking lot?” James asked brusquely.
“Max just did a sweep. Looks clean so far, Mr. Cavendish.”
James just nodded, almost dragging me through the small back parking lot.
Clark managed to get in front of us again to open the car door. “Your suitcase is already in there, and open.”
James nodded. “Very good,” he said, ushering me into the car first.
I sat down, then scooted across the seat to make room for James. He crowded in behind me without a pause, the door shutting behind him. I heard him take a few ragged breaths, and then he was on me.
He had me on my back between one breath and the next. He opened my legs wide, crawling between them. He unbuttoned his jeans, pulling his stiff erection out with a harsh groan.
“I wanted to take my time with you, when I finally got my hands on you again, but I can’t wait. Unbutton your blouse. I want to tear it too badly to touch it.” As he spoke, he was inching my skirt up over my hips. It was a little stretchy, luckily. I thought that he wouldn’t have hesitated to tear it if it wasn’t.
My panties weren’t so lucky. He gripped the lace in his hands and ripped both sides. I wriggled my lower half while working on the small buttons of my blouse. When I had released the last one, he was pushing my shirt open impatiently. His hands were already on the front clasp of my bra when what he saw made him freeze. My torso was still dotted with the last vestiges of what had been some truly heinous bruising. I saw his hands shake a little as he unclasped my bra. He brushed along the fading marks with just his fingertips.
“Over a month later, and it still looks like this?” His voice was deep with agitation.
I turned my face away. “I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve talked about it enough.”
He gripped my chin, turning my face back to him. His eyes were wild. “I couldn’t stand it if something were to happen to you. Do you understand that? I’ve never felt so powerless or terrified in my life as I did when I watched that ambulance driving away with you, having no clue what had happened, or even if you were alright. And then to find out that some monster had put his hands on you? I want to kill him. I need to protect you.”
I just set my mouth in a hard line. “That’s not what I want from you. And I don’t want to talk about it.”
He was kissing me suddenly. It was an angry, passionate kiss. I kissed him back with just as much passion. Just as much anger. He was thrusting into me so fast that I was filled before I knew his intent. I was wet and ready but I was so tight and he was so big that it still caused a delicious friction that bordered on pain.
I gasped, my head falling back, my eyes closing.
He gripped my chin, hard. “Look at me,” he ordered.
I did, watching the fervor in his eyes with a wistful pain that I felt deep in my chest. I would have given anything to have him feel the way he looked at me when he was deep inside of me. He looked at me like I was more dear than his next breath at times, and it was almost more than I could bear.
His hair trailed over his face and into mine as he leaned his face close. He held my wrists above my head, using his hands as shackles. He moved my wrists into one hand, the other moving to my jeweled collar, tugging at the ring roughly. His thrusts never let up or slowed. “You’re mine, Bianca. Say it.”
My words came out as a rough gasp. “I’m yours, James.”
“Come,” he ordered, thrusting so fast and hard that I sobbed as I came.
He groaned my name again and again as he poured into me.
Afterwards, he braced himself carefully on his elbows, protecting my still tender chest and ribs.
He grabbed a clean t-shirt from his open suitcase to wipe me, and then himself. I lay and watched him almost lazily as he changed into a new pair of boxer briefs, jeans, and a soft light gray V-neck shirt.
He crouched beside me once he’d changed, straightening my clothes almost tenderly.
“Did I hurt you?” he asked as he buttoned my shirt.
“Mmm, no,” I said. Anything that could be considered pain certainly hadn’t bothered me at the time.
“Not even your ribs?” He smoothed my shirt as he finished with the buttons.
I took a deep breath, but no, there was still no pain. “No, not at all. They finally aren’t bothering me so much. Breathing was a little rough there for awhile.”
His mouth tightened as he smoothed my skirt back down. “We don’t have to do any of the rough stuff, if you don’t want. I don’t just mean while you’re healing. I could give that stuff up completely, if it isn’t what you want anymore.”