Curtains: Sexual Awakenings #4, страница 1
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales are entirely co-incidental.
Text copyright © 2014 Angelica Chase
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or otherwise without written permission of the above author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short experts in a review.
Published by Angelica Chase, Independent Author
Cover Design by Juliana Cabrera, Jersey Girl Graphics
Editing by Edee M. Fallon, Mad Spark Editing
Interior Design and Formatting by Juliana Cabrera, Jersey Girl Graphics
THE COMPLETE SERIES
VOLUME ONE: THE WALTZ
VOLUME TWO: THE TANGO
VOLUME THREE: THE LAST DANCE
VOLUME FOUR: CURTAINS
LISTEN TO THE SEXUAL AWAKENINGS PLAYLIST ON
For my readers, I can't thank you enough.
Perfect, another damn sub gone due to my inability to emotionally commit. My reluctance to be more intimate had ruined yet another year of training. I'd had her just where I wanted her. She was completely responsive and obedient. Just as my time and patience were paying off, she insisted she wanted more.
"You won't even try with me, Rhys!" she cried as she buttoned her blouse.
"Jill, I told you everything up front, made absolutely sure you heard and understood me, did I not?"I couldn't hide the irritation in my voice. This scenario, along with the rest of the past year, had become routine, mundane, and unfulfilling.
I would have to handle this situation the same way I had with all the women before her. When they looked at me, they saw a challenge, like a pawn that could easily be taken in a chess game with the right move, behavior, or sexual act. I was an emotional conquest to them.
She wasn't the first to dismiss my firm stance that the relationship would only remain sexual in nature. It wasn't about my lack of affection. I would compliment them on their beauty, kiss them tenderly, comfort them when they were upset, dine them, and then fuck them senseless. It was always about those three fucking words. The power they felt it gave them. The power I refused to give.
Though a few of them had sometimes charmed their way into getting more than I usually would allow, I always caught myself quickly. It was a conscious choice I made with each partner. I had been fair to Jill. I had been a committed lover to her and her alone. I had given her everything I promised I would.
She swept her long auburn hair into her hand and fastenedit on top of her head as she walked toward me."All I wanted was a chance,"she whispered with pleading eyes, her tears falling down one by one."I'm in love with you, Rhys." Her eyes told me she believed what she was saying.
"I'm not the man you need,"I said quietly."I can't give you what you want."
She had mistaken my kindness and attentiveness for weakness, as a sign I harbored the same feelings. She had decided to make me her project. She'd made a big mistake.
"You have no heart?"she asked, cornering me as she tucked her blouse in her pants."You can't try or you won't? Why don't you need more?" She was beautiful, smart, a good sub, but I felt nothing real for her.
"It's just not who I am, Jill. Not right now."Her shoulders slumped as her body shook with emotion. Though I wanted to comfort her, I knew it would be a mistake. She would misinterpret it and I didn't want to drag this out."I won't ask you to stay, but I want you to," I lied as I pulled on my jacket.
She opened the door to walk out of the room then turned to me, regret clear in her posture.
"Just tell me what to do and I'll do it," she pleaded.
"Jill, I'm not the man you need. This doesn't have to end. We can continue—"
"I can't, Rhys. Goodbye."
Watching her walk out left me with a small sting. It was more out of resentment for the amount of time I spent with her. We'd never had a connection other than physical. Anything she was feeling was just due to the amount of time we'd spent together sexually. Of all my subs, she was the one I felt least strongly about. I was certain she was hoping I would go after her.
Once I'd situated my tie, I headed toward the door, but was stopped short by a beautiful woman filling the frame.
"It's a pity when they fall in love,"she said on a sigh."You know, fighting after fucking isa sign that you care for the person."
"I wasn't fighting," I admitted.
"No, you certainly weren't," she quickly replied with a smirk. We stood and stared at one another, both of us sizing each other up. It had been a long time since the sight of a woman made me hard. I appreciated that about her immediately. Her dark brown hair, closer to black, a sleek porcelain face and startling blue eyes made me want to fuck her right then. I imagined a few scenarios in my head as I perused her. She was far more beautiful than any sub I had ever had. Her body was made for sin and she was aware of it; her posture said as much with the way she leaned in the doorway confidently. This was a woman aware of her effect on men and comfortable with her sexuality. I liked her instantly.
"She looked like she was a lot of fun," she said, tilting her head quickly in the direction Jill left.
"Not today," I said, closing the distance between us. There was no denying the attraction we both felt in that moment. The air was filled with potential. She turned from me and opened the door at the opposite end of the hall. She looked back, catching my gaze then giving me a knowing smile, which I returned."Sandra," she answered my unspoken question before the door snapped shut.
It would not be our last encounter, of that I was sure.
Looking at my watch with a curse, I realized I had thirty minutes to get to dinner with my sister. I raced to the Olde Pink House, her favorite place to dine in Savannah. It was her birthday and she had just been released by her boyfriend, so I agreed to take his place. My dear sister Heidi was always throwing her heart out to the wrong suitor. I felt like a hypocrite stepping in, when I had just hurt Jill. I had a heart, but Jill would never be the woman to possess it. Letting Jill walk away was for the best.
The OldePink house was located in Reynolds Square. True to its name, it was an old, pale flamingo, Victorian mansion that had been converted into a restaurant. Authentic to its historic bones, the décor was reminiscent of the 1800's and the rooms were quaint, each unique in setting.
Arriving on time, I spent ten minutes circling the square looking for parking. When I finally made it up to the steps to the entrance, I received a text.
Heidi: Running late. Can you see if they can squeeze us in at the next available time?
Standing behind a couple waiting on the hostess, I was suddenly annoyed with my sister and her inability to be on time. I didn't want to be stuck in a romantic restaurant with my sister. I hoped they would nix the antique candlesticks on the table this time. I despised the bastard who had left her dateless and heartbroken on her birthday, and for the responsibility of salvaging her night. A night I was sure she had planned herself due to the type of man she usually adhered herself to.
I was definitely a hypocrite and this punishment was fitting. This punishment also reinforced the reasons why I didn't want to go further than sex when it came to a relationship. Clean lines were appealing; blurred lines were messy. End of story.
"It's perfect, thank you."The voice came from the woman who stood in front of me addressing her date and her sound instantly caught my attention. It was silky and raspy and her
What the fuck, Rhys?
It wasn't just her voice or beauty that captivated me. It was the way she looked at him. For just one moment in time, for one clarifying second of my life, I wished I was another man; the man who stood in front of me with the adoration of the woman next to him.
"I can see that," she said to him with a smile as I caught a small piece of their conversation. I felt the corners of my chest fold in painfully.
"Right this way,"the hostess said to the smiling couple. A feeling of loss came over me in that moment, although I couldn't understand why. It was a pain that shook me fiercely and I had to put my hand on the wall next to me to steady myself. The hostessgreeted meand I found my composure, though the ache in my chest lingered.
"Volz,"I forced out."The other half of my party is running late. Would you be able to get us in at seven?" I asked, my gaze still focused in the direction of the woman who left me breathless that was no longer there.
"Sure," she said, eyeing me appreciatively before scribbling in her guestbook.
"I'll be at the bar," I said, ignoring her exaggerated stare. I walked downstairs to the basement bar I frequented often. It had an eerie, but at the same time, inviting feel. Savannah was infamous for modern décor in historic space, but this bar seemed completely authentic to the era of the house. The walls were lined with exposed brick and wood. The faint and familiar stroke of keys being played on the piano could be heard over the hushed conversations. The stone fireplace was lit, welcoming me as I sat at the small formidable table next to it. I sipped two fingers of whiskey as I watched the red embers glow, thinking about the voice of the woman who had just unglued me in mere seconds. I had just fucked Jill for hours, and met a promising new prospect in Sandra. What I couldn't get my head around was the new crack in my once solid foundation. I was completely consumed by the way she regarded him. Did I want that? Why was I so envious?
Was Jill's outburst guilting me into wanting something more?
This had to be guilt, pure and simple.
I shook my head in dismissal, drained my tumbler then nodded a thank you to the waitress as she replaced my empty glass.
I texted Heidi to let her know that I was at the bar, but got a verbal reply.
"I see you, bonehead." She laughed as she joined me. Fresh martini in hand, she scrutinized me as she took her first sip.
"You look guilty. Whose heart did you break today?"she asked as she set her glass on the table. I studied my sister, whose eyes matched mine. One could easily tell we were family. She smiled at me, but I didn't let her question go unanswered.
"Another failed attempt at casual dating,"I said dryly."And I'm not sharing."Noticing the slight redness around her eyes, I realized the reason for her late arrival."Heidi, why do you insist on entertaining every man thatgives you a minute of attention? I told you this one was a total waste of time. I believe my words were,'If in the first few months you have to fight for his attention in any way, he is not interested.'Not in the way you want him to be."
"I know, I just..."She sipped her martini again, averting her eyes before meeting mine as she found her words."Don't you ever get tired of being alone, Rhys?"I opened my mouth to give my usual answer, the one I was forced to give at every family gathering for the last ten years, but the words wouldn't come. Twenty minutes ago, my answer would have been a definite no. Twenty minutes ago, I had no issue stating that I would never settle down. When I didn't give her an answer, she smirked."There is hope for you yet, brother."
"I'm rarely alone. I have girlfriends," I reminded her.
"You have dogs that bark and beg disguised as women. Really, Rhys, who the hell are you to give relationship advice?"She popped an olive into her mouth, her resentful stare showcasing her contempt for the harsh truth I just delivered. She didn't know about my lifestyle, but she had met a few of my subs and had realized quickly my relationship dynamics were different from others. Though I always treated my dates with nothing but the utmost care, it was easy to tell the relationship was purely sexual. Heidi was the only one I trusted to be social with that part of my life. I sipped my whiskey.
"I'm not in any position to give you advice, but since you decided to run to me with your issues instead of a more qualified girlfriend, I'll give you this. I'm honest. I tell them exactly what I want up front. Instead of planning your life around a kiss or a rare soft look they may gift you, why don't you try listening to them first? I'm pretty sure he was passive about dating. If he was more aggressive, we wouldn't be having this conversation."
"Rhys, just...let it go. I came for dinner not a lecture from my brother who hasn't had a steady girlfriend since grade school." She swallowed the contents of her glass, looking as if she would rather be anywhere but at a table with me.
"Heidi, I'm sorry you're upset,"I said, knowing I was being a dick."Listen to me, you are worth it,"I said, catching her eyes, hoping she would hear me."You are. A man's needs are simple and yours will always be complex. Wait for your aggressor."
Her eyes were now full of tears as she looked at me, a picture of fresh pain with a ghost of a smile haunting her face."How can you not want to experience this,Rhys? Doesn't it look like fun?" She laughed and I laughed with her as I ordered her a fresh drink for each hand.
After dinner, I watched my sister drive away, furious she hadn't let me call a cab or drive her home myself.
I was sure she was on her way to try and convince the object of her affection to reconsider.
Restless from the day's events, I made my way back to The Barracks, and gave pause when a pair of startling blue eyes greeted me at the bar. I sat next to her with a grin."Sandra."
"Violet, come hang your ornament,"my mother called to me from the living room as I stood in the kitchen staring at my phone."Can you just do it, Mom?" I asked, pouring my fourth cup of bourbon with a splash of eggnog.
"No, ma'am. Thirty-three years, it's tradition,"she said to me as I rolled my eyes."Don't you roll your eyes at me!"I shook my head, my cup halfway to my mouth, knowing she hadn't seen it. She was a damn freak of nature.
"Call Rhys and have him come over and bring the baby,"she said, walking into the kitchen and grabbing my eggnog out of my hand and capping the bourbon."What's the matter with you?"
"Nothing," I said, eyeing my father who was tinkering with a train piece from the set that toured the bottom floor of the house every Christmas.
My mother eyed me as I avoided answering her."Fine, I'll assume Rhys has planstonight. Come hang your ornament and stay out of your father's bourbon," she scolded.
"Here, here," my father replied, looking up at me through his glasses as he inspected his project closely.
Hmph, men and their toys.
"Fine, no booze, no boys. Let's party," I said dryly as my mother whisked me away to the tree. The house, as usual, looked incredible. My mother had always made it so during the holidays. But this year, I wanted no part of it.
"You want to tell me what stick has crawled up your butt? You usually love Christmas," she said, handing me my ornament. I stuck it on the nearest branch, my mother immediately catching it as it popped off.
"Whoops," I said under her heavy eye, hurt in her stare as she re-hung it carefully.
"What happened, damn it?" she asked in a harsh whisper, her hand on her hip.
I felt sick. Collapsing on the couch, I threw a pillow on my head to cover my face, feeling the burn move through me from the bourbon. I hiccupped as she pulled the pillow away.
"This is not how you act on a holiday, madam," she scorned, pushing me so I was forced to sit up then plopped down next to me.
"Mom, I'm thirty-three. I should have my own family now, not be bothering you two on Christmas Eve."
"That's the dumbest damn thing I have ever heard in my life,"she huffed."Even if you had a family of your own they would all be here. I'd make sure of it."
"Fine. True. Whatever. I sure hope I'm enough,"I said, throwing my own personal pity party. I knew for a fact my mother wouldn't put up with it for long. So much so, that when her back was turned, I carried my bourbnogup to my parent's guestroom—my old bedroom—and drank it until I felt comfortably numb. I stared at my phone, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't call Rhys when he was probably surrounded by family. What would I even say? What else was there to say? Tears fell heavy as I tossed and turned, thinking of how it had all played out.
At midnight, I sent him a text then passed out during my second viewing of A Christmas Story.
I sat on the couch at my parents'house on Christmas morning as my son screamed"Vi tet Da DAAA! Vi tet!"in delight at the TV. My sister Heidi heard him and came rushing in to see him wiggling back and forth as he watched the Christmas parade. The host did look a little similar to Violet, with long blonde hair and green eyes. My heart became heavier as his excitement grew with the thought it was her on screen hosting. She had invaded my every thought since the day I met her, and now she had my son's attention.
"ViTETTT!" He shook animatedly to the music as the dancers surrounding the Snoopy float dazzled the spectators.
"Vi tett...Violet."Heidi smiled as she caught on, averting her gaze from Bryce to me with a smug smile."I knew it, brother. You are a true ass for keeping this from me, you know that?"