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Chapter Four

Audrey

 

“He kissed you?”

Of course I told my sister.

I told her as soon as she walked through the door. Mostly, because I wanted to be sure it wouldn’t be a surprise if Dylan said anything to her, but also because I shared everything with Sabrina.

Well, almost everything. I never talked actual sex with her, but that was because she had a vibe like a thirteen inch wall surrounding her when it came to the subject. It made her tense and agitated to talk about. I’d decided that meant she was either asexual or into some weird stuff in the bedroom. Not that I’d knock her either way.

“More like I kissed him,” I said, since I’d initiated the whole thing. I didn’t want her to get the wrong idea about the situation. Because there had been absolutely nothing wrong about that kiss at all--except that it had been too short.

Just remembering the way Dylan’s mouth fit so perfectly against mine brought a swarm of butterflies to my tummy.

“You kissed my boss?” Sabrina seemed to be having a hard time wrapping her head around the fact. Obviously she was stuck on her own relationship with the man.

But I’d already thought about that.

I kicked off my shoes and pulled my knees underneath me on the couch. “Dylan is not actually your boss. He’s more like your boss’s equal, if you want to be technical.” And, to be fair, she herself was sleeping with a different man who was her boss’s equal. If there wasn’t an issue there, why would there be an issue with me?

She dropped her coat and purse on the back of the sofa and put a stern fist on her hip -- one of the postures she took when she was assuming a motherly role with me. “If you want to be technical, he’s old enough to be your father.”

I rolled my eyes. “He is not. He’s just experienced and wise.” To be honest, I wasn’t actually sure of Dylan’s age.

“He’s twenty years older than you.”

Huh. I’d guessed more like fifteen. “Maybe I have a thing for dads.”  I didn’t, but I could. “Don’t knock my kink. I don’t knock yours.” I was possibly more defensive than I needed to be.

Sabrina’s jaw slammed shut and, she got that tense, agitated way she did when sex conversations turned to her.

So then definitely into some weird bedroom stuff. Interesting.

Finally, she sighed. “Fine. I won’t knock the age difference.” She came around to the front of the couch and sank down next to me. “I don’t actually care what you’re into anyway, as long as it’s consensual. I just don’t want you getting hurt. Dylan doesn’t seem into relationships. You get that, right? Not to mention that you live on entirely different continents.”

I had been defensive before, but now I was incensed. “It was just a kiss! God. I’m not planning to marry the guy.” I stretched my legs out in front of me and studied my toes so I didn’t have to look at her. She was being dramatic.

Even though it hadn’t been just a kiss.

It had been the best kiss. It had been grinding and thrusting and heavy petting. It had told me everything I needed to know about Dylan--that he was skilled and sensitive and seduceable. It had been the stars aligning, bringing a man who needed to be reminded to let his emotions loose together with me, a woman who needed practice getting physically loose.

But Sabrina was skeptical. “Just a kiss,” she repeated.

Did I mention she was being dramatic? Just because I’d fallen hard and fast for a few men that didn’t work out didn’t mean that I didn’t know how to protect myself. It didn’t mean that I wanted to change who I was, either. I was a girl who felt things. I knew who I was. I knew what I was made of--big emotions packed into a little body. And keeping all those feelings pent up in such a small space was impossible. I couldn’t stuff my passion into some dark corner of my soul the way Sabrina did. I lived from the heart. I loved with my entirety. I loved frequently and deeply, and if that meant I hurt sometimes - or a lot of times - so be it. My heartbreaks shaped me into who I was.

And I liked who I was.

All that being said, love wasn’t the reason I was drawn to Dylan. He was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.

Seeing how the conversation had gone so far, though, I really didn’t think Sabrina was in a place to understand the whole truth.

I settled for partial honesty, peering up at her with a sigh. “I felt bad for the guy. All that doom and gloom. ‘Love’s dead. Grump, grump.’ He needed something nice for a change.”

She narrowed her gaze. “So you thought you’d kiss him and that would show him. Make him magically believe in hearts and romance again?”

“Shut up.” Now she was just being mean. Would she always think of me as the little girl she had to parent? She wasn’t my mother. And little girls grew up eventually.

I slumped in my seat and pouted. “You think I’m naïve.”

She gave me a look that said she very much wanted to lecture me, but when she leaned toward me, it was just to kiss me on the head. “I think you’re amazing,” she said.

And I grinned at her. Not because she’d told me I was amazing--she was my sister; she was sort of obligated to think that--but because she was amazing. She’d basically been my mother since she was thirteen years old. I knew it took an effort for her to let me make my own choices, make my own mistakes. I was proud of her for fighting against her instincts.

Maybe her latest relationship was changing her for the good.

Which reminded me, she and I had parted this evening when she’d left with her “boyfriend,” and all we’d talked about since she’d gotten home was me.

I wasn’t amazing, after all.

I nudged her with my shoulder. “Hey. Tell me what happened with Donovan.”

We spent the next half an hour talking about her night and her kiss--seems I hadn’t been the only Lind girl to get some action from a Reach CEO. Then, after I’d convinced her to look on the bright side about her romantic situation, I said goodnight and slipped into her guest room.

It wasn’t even ten o’clock, still early, considering that I was used to staying up until two in the morning most nights with my graduate studies, but Sabrina had to work in the morning, and I didn’t want to be the reason she was dragging her feet come six am.

I was hardly tired, though. The buzz from the dinner’s wine had long ago worn off, and there was a new energy stirring in me. An excited energy. An energy that had me fidgeting and restless in the queen bed I had all to myself.

The excitement was over Dylan and the freaking insane way he knew how to use his mouth. I could imagine those lips elsewhere on my body--along the curve of my jaw, down my neck. Lower, lower. Lower still.

I’d had men go down on me, but I’d never had one give me an orgasm. I bet Dylan knew how to satisfy a woman that way. I could tell by how he controlled our kiss with his tongue. He was more alpha than he appeared, with his brooding British act. It was refreshing, considering how many guys I’d been with who had been all around nice guys, including under the covers. Too nice. So nice they didn’t know when to add a little pressure or another finger or even a hair tug.

Dylan was polite, but he wasn’t nice. He was respectful, but he was also aggressive. He’d practically had me coming just from our makeout session, and he hadn’t even gotten his fingers inside my panties.

I turned on my sexiest Spotify list, and replayed the memory, letting the heat and electricity rush through my body like it had when I had been with Dylan. My panties were damp again. The space between my thighs ached, and if I weren’t in a bed that didn’t belong to me, I would have put my hand down and rubbed the desire away.

Instead, I just held the feeling, held the buzz, let it gather within me until every part of my skin was humming and alive. It made for a restless sleep, even when I didn’t shut the lights out until hours later, after I’d taken a shower and sketched a bit in my notepad.

It would be worth it, though, I was sure of it. And it wouldn’t be long until I got relief, if everything went the way I hoped it would.

 

***

 

I waited until Sabrina had left before coming out of my room for breakfast. I didn’t want her to drill me about my plans for the day, and, boy, did I have plans.

First, I hustled over to a boutique lingerie shop nearby Sabrina’s Midtown apartment. They were on holiday schedule and opened early, so I got what I needed and was at the register well before ten.

With my purchases “in hand”, so to say, I finally pulled out my phone to get ahold of Dylan. Sure, I could have texted him before I’d gone shopping, but I didn’t want to seem desperate, contacting him before the sun had reached a decent place in the sky. Because I wasn’t desperate. I was eager. There was a difference, I was sure.

I had, however, composed my text the night before so it was ready to go with just a press of the send button.

Audrey: Happy Tuesday! Did U sleep OK?

Polite, harmless. A message that wouldn’t scare him off.

Still, he took his time answering. Almost seven whole minutes. Thankfully there was a Starbucks next door so I had a Venti chai tea and a place to sit by the time he responded.

Dylan: I slept well, thank you for asking. And you?

I giggled softly at his formality.

Audrey: Well enough.

If tossing and turning to a nightful of erotic dreams was considered well, anyway.

Audrey: What are your plans for today?

Dylan: I have an appointment with a realtor to look at an apartment.

I practically squealed. He’d mentioned at dinner that he was looking to buy a place in the city so he could visit his son more often, a place he could eventually give to his son, if he wanted it. But I hadn’t realized he would actually be looking today.

Audrey: Oh, goody! I’ll join you. Tell me where?

While he’d taken his time responding to each of my texts so far, this one came in almost immediately.

Dylan: Ah, no. I don’t think that’s a good idea.

I wasn’t at all discouraged. I was expecting his hesitation. He was a proper man, after all, and often times the things that happened in the dark seemed less than proper in the light of day.

Audrey: It’s an excellent idea! U can’t get a place w/out a 2nd opinion & I have very good taste.

Dylan: I’m sure you do, but I have this handled.

I sipped from my tea, considering what tactic to take next.

Audrey: Come on. Rn’t U curious about the kismet?

Dylan: Still playing that game, are you?

He hadn’t said no, which meant he was curious. How could he not be? I’d felt his curiosity poking at me last night while I straddled his lap.

This text had also come in right away. Which meant I was right about my assessment of Dylan Locke so far--the man responded well to taunting.

I could do taunting. I could do it very well.

Audrey: Find out.

Two little words. They’d do the trick.

Bingo.

Less than a minute later I had an address and a time to meet him. I knew I could do taunting. It was in other areas that I lacked expertise.

For the time being, anyway.

 

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Sweet Liar will be published in full in ebook, paperback and audio in March of 2019.  It will end without a cliffhanger, but there WILL be a part two, Sweet Fate, released in April of 2019 for those who want to continue with the story.