I got dressed and tried my best to forget how I’d woken up.
We had breakfast. Kevin made a killer omelet. There didn’t seem to be a thing he was bad at.
“I got us tickets for that romantic comedy you wanted to see. Matinee tickets,” Kevin said as we were finishing up.
Kevin loved romantic comedies.
I had that tick again. Opposite.
We were leaving the house, headed to the show in Kevin’s car, which was parked at my front curb, when the strangest thing happened.
Deborah of the Dickhead Dillons, my least favorite neighbor, crossed the street and approached us. She was a small woman, thin, with a haggard face and eyes that seemed never to blink. Today her dark hair hung lank and oily around her face, clearly in need of a wash.
“Um, hey,” I said to her, awkwardly, because I’d stopped trying to greet her ages ago. She was one of those people that didn’t wave back. I’d never understood how you could do that, just ignore a wave or a greeting, but it seemed to be a consistent attribute for crazy people. I mean, how hard was it to stop pretending you didn’t see anyone around you and just wave? Why wouldn’t you want to be friendly in the most casual of waves with the people that lived next door to you?
She didn’t hey me back, just launched into one of the strangest speeches I’d ever heard in my life.
It was so disconnected and hard to make sense of that I didn’t catch what she was talking about for a solid two minutes.
And when I did, I raised a hand and stopped her. “Are you telling me that my ex is suing me?”
Eyes wide, she nodded.
“For money.” She said this part like it was obvious, which I suppose it was.
“But how does he think he’s going to sue me for money?” I tried.
“Remember when you beat him up, back when you first separated?”
I sighed and nodded.
“For that. Damages for that.”
Kevin had been silent for the duration of our strange exchange, but I felt his hand on my waist tense when she said that.
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked her. She was not the type to do anyone any favors without incentive. “What does any of it have to do with you?”
“Well, he came straight to my house the day you beat him. Did I ever tell you that?” I shook my head. She had not, because we never talked to each other.
“Well,” she continued, “he was bruised and bloody, and I saw him come out of your house that way. I’m part of the lawsuit. A witness, since I saw that it was clearly you that beat him up, since he came out of the house and only you and he were home.”
“That’s hearsay,” Kevin piped in quietly. “You weren’t there for the event, so nothing you have to add has any relevance, in court or in life. You have no idea who else was in that house.”
She glared at him and shrugged jerkily. “I guess we’ll see, won’t we?”
“Why are you telling me any of this?” I repeated, my tone very careful, as it usually was when I dealt with crazy people.
Her glare moved to me. “I’m telling you this because if you don’t want me to testify, I’ll be happy to stay silent . . . for a price.”
I barely managed not to roll my eyes. “Not interested, Deborah. You have a nice a day. We were just on our way out.”
“You’ll be sorry,” she said to my departing back. “I won’t make this offer to you again.”
I didn’t say anything snotty back. All she got from me was silence.
I figured Kevin would comment on that exchange, but he didn’t say a word, just drove us to the movies, pretending like it hadn’t happened.
I was fine with that.
I was dreaming.
I was in bed on my stomach. My lacy underwear were being pulled down my hips in slow, gentle tugs.
I squirmed a bit as they were freed past my thighs, down my knees, then poof, gone.
Hands started rubbing at my feet, running a big thumb up the soles, then knuckles ran down the arch. Special attention was spent working at the sensitive pad below my toes, knowing just where to target, lulling me with a rough, addictive touch.
I knew those big, skillful hands.
They were Heath’s, of course.
Who else would I be dreaming about?
I moaned into my pillow as he massaged his way up to my calves, digging deep into the muscle tissue.
When he reached my thighs, I pushed up on my elbows and knees, rising a few inches from the bed.
This was my dream, after all, and I was in the mood for more than a massage.
I felt his knees wedge between mine from behind, denim abrading against my bare skin, keying me up.
His chest pushed into my back as his hands snaked down under my shirt, fondling my breasts, his lips brushing lightly against my nape.
Desire hit my bloodstream like an opiate, overtaking my senses with one strong pull.
He didn’t take my top off, just wrenched it high on my collarbone and out of his way.
He palmed my tits roughly right as I felt his tip nudging my sex.
I arched my back, legs spreading wider, welcoming him, a willing lamb to the slaughter.
He bit down on my nape and shoved into me hard.
And that’s when I knew.
This wasn’t a dream.
But it was too late. I was too far gone for it to matter, one way or the other.
We rutted mindlessly, quick and savage.
I had my sheets in a death-grip while he surged into me, again and again, hips slamming against my ass with each downswing.
He made jarring direct contact, then pulled out, rubbing, dragging along my walls until only his tip remained, then slamming in again.
It was so good. I couldn’t form a coherent word, not in any language, but I didn’t need to. The cadence of begging was pretty universal.
He was still pumping into me, his pace relentless, when I lost it coming with loud cries.
He jarred deep, rooted there, and came in big, tangible spurts, my cunt milking each one of out him, our bodies in perfect sync.
The silence was punctuated only by our pounding hearts and gasping breaths for a good long while.
He stayed inside of me, his breath punching against one sensitive shoulder blade, his hands braced in fists on either side of me.
God, I wanted him again. The first time shouldn’t have happened, and here I was, ready to submit to a second.
I whimpered when he started to pull out. It was a protest.
He ignored it, dragging himself free even while my slick flesh tried to suck him back in.
“Miss me?” Heath’s voice was clear and sharp and right next to my ear. His tone was lethal, like he was delivering a blow.
Some vicious feeling tore through me. Something strange, an incongruous mix of rage and relief, of savage comfort.
“You said you wouldn’t be back.” My voice came out wrong, not how I’d intended. It was supposed to be accusatory, but instead was imploring and delicate in a way I found intolerable.
He had left. Left. I had nothing to feel guilty about.
“That’s not what I said. I said I didn’t know when I’d be back.” As he spoke he was climbing from the bed.
I dropped flat to my stomach as light flooded the room.
“We need to talk,” he growled at me.
I rolled onto my back just in time to watch him stride, still in his jeans, into my attached bathroom.
He peeled the condom off, dropping it into my little bathroom wastebasket.
I didn’t look away while he cleaned himself off and tucked his spent member back into his boxers.
At some point he’d taken his shirt off, and he didn’t bother to zip his jeans.
I enjoyed the view while he came back into the room and started to prowl.
But more than his spectacular body caught my attention as he moved around my room, shooting looks at me every few steps, like he couldn’t help himself.
He was off, more than usual off.
There was a darkness in his eyes, a great black void of it, that called to me, to some integral part of me, deep down inside the marrow of my bones, that I hadn’t even realized existed.
It was heady.
I was witnessing some new level of his rage, and it did nothing so much as draw me in further, even when I knew that all I should be doing was sending him away.
“You got rid of ’Tato,” he growled, moving out into the hallway, then back into my room again.
I sat up, drawing the sheets to me, covering my nakedness.
That caught his attention, and he stopped pacing, just in the doorway, his eyes on the sheets.
“He’s at Raf’s,” I said defensively. “He’s Raf’s dog as much as mine. It was his turn.” This was kind of the truth. Part of it, anyway. Raf loved that dog as much as I did, and he’d taken him without a qualm.
But the reason I’d sent him there, of course, I wouldn’t be sharing with Heath. ’Tato wouldn’t stop barking at this new guy I’m seeing, would not go over well, I knew.
He seemed to catch the hint of deceit instantly, though, going by the way his demeanor suddenly changed.