I let go of the curtain I’d been gripping, whipped around, and ran out of the brothel back up the steep stairs. My legs shook with fear and heat. I heard him join me in the hall and looked behind me. My heel caught on the next stair, and I fell flat on my face. It was enough to give the man chasing me time to catch up. I turned around onto my back, my body awkwardly splayed on the staircase. My dress was riding up my legs, exposing my drenched panties. I wanted to move and adjust my dress, but I couldn’t. With his feet planted to the sides, he hovered above me, drinking me in from the bottom up. His figure blocked the light, shadowing my body in sexy darkness. He lowered himself, supporting his weight on his hands by my shoulders. His face was chiseled, and his chin and jaw were tantalizing with the two-day growth. The angry look I was expecting on his face was instead one filled with desire and confusion.
I looked right into his eyes. Their golden depths made me think of a desert at night, its beauty hidden beneath darkness. A hint of pain was reflected in the red light.
“What are you doing here?”
His sexy whisper reached me, seducing my ears. His breath held a hint of alcohol and chocolaty sweetness. I swept a glance over his right arm and the rose tattoo that covered it from the wrist all the way up to the hem of his black t-shirt. I wondered how far it stretched.
“My name is Trish,” I replied, shaking away the lusty thoughts of licking each rose petal with my tongue.
“What are you doing here?” he asked again. “Who sent you?”
“My name is Trish.”
“You said that already.”
I heard my heart’s repetitive pounding, as if there were a drum on the step above my head. He grasped my hand and helped me up. I smoothed my shaky palms over my dress, and when I looked back up, he was standing on one step lower, his height still dominating me.
The stranger pinned me against the wall, the full length of his body pressed to mine. I couldn’t breathe. The silk dress I was wearing felt like skin underneath his muscles. Both my hands were in his, our fingers twined as if we’d known each other for years. The pressure of his body, his full weight resting on me, was too much to handle. I couldn’t think or make any sense of what I was doing.
Where was I, anyway?
“Trish, I’m going to ask you one more time. What are you doing here?”
“I got lost.”
“And decided to walk the stairs to an unknown basement?”
“Ahm, I heard noises.”
“Noises?” he asked.
Like yours, right now.
“So, you like adventure?”
“Far from it.”
He shook his head. “Did you not like what you saw, downstairs?”
I held still as his hand slid down my thigh and scrunched my dress up, and his fingers traced up to my panties, drawing them to the side. I parted my legs willingly, wanting more of his hot fingers on me.
“You did like it,” he murmured into my ear.
I felt him grow against my belly, his erection stealing my focus.
“I… I have a boyfriend.” I remembered. Actually, he was my fiancé. Why did I keep forgetting that? I hadn’t really agreed to the marriage; it just happened. Like with everything else in my life, I had no strength to reject Brad.
“So? Obviously he’s not paying enough attention to you. If you were mine, I’d never let you wander off and watch others fuck. I’d make sure you were so satisfied, you’d never need to look at porn again.”
Was he looking for a girlfriend? Was that why his eyes nearly pierced my skin? He didn’t seem like the type. There was loneliness behind his eyes. It was almost too painful to keep our gazes locked, but I did, because what he was doing with his fingers between my legs kept the shock factor skyrocketing.
“Who were they?” I asked.
“Lonely people looking for a good time.”
I had a feeling they were much more than that.
“Are you lonely, Trish?”
I was, but instead of admitting the isolation I had succumbed to, I shook my head.
“Then why is such a beautiful woman like you alone?”
“I’m not alone. You’re here.”
Did I just flirt?
I felt drawn to this man like to no one else ever before, somehow feeling that our meeting here had been planned by a mysterious force. I could feel it around us, cocooning us, closing in, forcing us to touch, hold, and never let go.
“And what are you going to do about it?” he asked.
Was this my chance? For a few minutes, my only wish was to forget my life. I wanted to give in to the woman who was hidden beneath the black framed glasses, dyed crow-hair and Botox-injected lips. For one evening, I wanted to be me again — the same girl who’d died five years ago.
“You came to this strip club hoping to forget your troubles, didn’t you? Did you like what you saw downstairs? Do you want me to do that to you? Lick you and devour you? Or do you want me to fuck your mouth until you can’t talk and your pussy until you can’t stand on your legs? I can make you forget your troubles, Trish. I’ll make sure you remember tonight for weeks.”
His fingers were still at my panties, playing with the wetness covering me.
I lowered my hand to his stiff cock, curving my fingers over the fabric. “Do what you’re good at.”
With my permission, his hands took over. They were everywhere, searching, squeezing, and fondling as if I were a fruit at a market and he was testing whether I was ripe.
His mouth captured mine, hard and persistent; this man knew what he wanted and didn’t know the meaning of no. Actually, I was sure he’d leave me alone if I just asked him. But I would do no such silly thing.
I held onto his bulging biceps, smoothing my fingers over the skin underneath his shirtsleeves. He stilled at the touch, shifting. I sensed a change in his mood. He hesitated before resuming the deep kiss, darting his tongue inside my mouth, owning it, forcing me to succumb to his persistent strokes. It was as if he wanted to forget his past as badly as I did mine. This time between us, although fast, was as special to him as it was to me. We both needed to lose ourselves, even if it was for a measly few minutes. I shared the anger I felt vibrate in his chest with every breath. His pain was my pain, his sorrow was mine, and his growing need was absorbed by my body. My legs quivered, my pulse sped, and I didn’t even know if I was breathing. There was no way I’d lose a moment of his kiss to inhale.
In a swift motion I was lifted up, and I wrapped my legs around his waist. The narrow hall spun. The desperate sounds I’d heard earlier in the downstairs room were now my own. I breathed in his woodsy scent, mixed with a hint of scotch. He possessed me. The hard muscles on his body were my support, my need and my solace. I didn’t notice when he managed to lower his pants down to his knees or how my ripped panties ended up on the steps.
“Condom?” I managed to say into his mouth.
“Already on, baby.”
I was in a different world in this man’s arms. I’d never been this reckless before, but he drew me into the aura that was him with the power of a black hole. There was no stopping once you were within its grasp.
With one prod, he was deep inside me. Our foreheads connected as he stilled and breathed heavily, shaking his head.
Don’t stop now. You can’t.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“You’re…” He paused.
“I’m fine. And yes, I want this.”
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