Monday, June 24, 2013

Chapter 13

Chapter 13


Derek rolled over, sleep evading him in the darkened room. Her message pushed him to change his mind, change the way he thought his life should run, and change the way he responded to her easy sensuality. But then the urge to run, to leave town until the club was complete, filled his head.

He never should’ve taken on her training. Mark was an ass and had no right to force the issue. Derek balled up the pillow and crammed it behind his head, propped up in the dark bedroom while he put off sleep.

What the hell had happened to his backbone when Mark insisted he train her? Snapping back and standing his ground would’ve been the best option. Now he was stuck.

Or was he?

Most of the work left to do at the club was minor. In the morning, he’d tell Mark he had an offer to assist in a club in Vegas and bail for a few weeks. Mark would finish Joanne’s training and when the club opened, she’d be ready and he could watch from the sidelines. Just like he had for the last few years.

He rolled over in bed and relaxed, his body sprawling in the cool sheets. The shadows moved in the hall, floorboards squeaking, night noises settling in for the duration. A breeze floated across his chest, warm, delicate, like the whisper of early spring in Galveston when the water heated and the sand began to bake. His body baked, too, ached with need, and unfulfilled desire.

Slipping into the room, her soft footsteps brought her to him.

Her hair was up, piled on her head, exposing the delicate column of her throat. Long bare legs were showcased by her standing submissive posture, her hips barely covered by the oversized shirt she wore.

His shirt, he realized. He must have left it in the club and she’d taken it home. Was she feeling the urges he had, the pull of attraction?

Did she want him as deeply as he craved her?

Her hands moved up her body, cupping what he knew to be full, rounded breasts, and his mouth watered with the need to taste, to suckle, and to nip until she cried out. He wanted her begging for more.

She shouldn’t be here chipping away at his reservations, his need to control his body and preserve his memories.  When her hands lifted to her hair and removed the combs, all the air in his chest left in a rush. Russet locks tumbled free and he was on his feet, ready for whatever she offered.

She moved to within inches of his chest and he reached for her hair, wrapping it around his fist and tugging her closer. The feel of her body against his fueled his need to possess.

“Remove the shirt.”

Her fingers went immediately to the buttons and in moments the shirt was a pool of gray on the floor. He cupped her breast, the feel of her nipple pressing against his palm a heady reminder of her submission at the club.

“Why are you here, Joanne?”

He had to hear the words, wanted her submission and her heart.

“I’m here for you, Master.”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Private Delights

Chapter 12

 It was early evening before Derek completed the paperwork for Joanne’s project. When she came in the next morning, he’d have contractors waiting to talk to her about materials and schedules. Budget in hand, he pushed through Mark’s waiting room and into his office.

“Thanks for ratting me out,” he told Mark, tossing the single sheet of paper onto the desk.

Mark didn’t skip a beat. “Joanne thought she was about to get fired and wasn’t sure what went wrong.”

“Ah, shit. Didn’t know I scared her that bad.”

 “I don’t know what happened. One minute we were laughing and talking, the next, Mary was asking for our order.”

“What?” Mark asked, leaning over his desk. “That’s not possible, we both know that. Tell me you know she’s gone, man.”

“I know,” Derek sighed. “Maureen has a new waitress, and when she walked up to the table, I saw…I thought I saw Mary.”

A few long minutes of silence rubbed at his ears before he heard Mark’s office chair squeak. Derek looked up to see a strange expression. Worse than concern or sympathy. Worry.

“Buddy, I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need to see someone.”

“I don’t need a damn shrink. It’s just grief. I’ll get over it.”

“It’s been three years. I watched you go through the process, but I haven’t seen you move on. Mary would—”

“Don’t tell me what she would want. I don’t need to hear it.”

Mark surged to his feet. “Dammit, man, you need to listen. It’s way past time for you to get back to the business of living. While you limp through a half-life, you’re leaving the people who care about you in a bloody wake.”

“You and Steve can handle it.”

“Sure,” Mark said, easing back into his chair. “but what about Joanne?”

“Fuck. I screwed up.” Derek dropped into one of the chairs in front of Mark’s desk and leaned back to stare at the ceiling. “I didn’t mean to hurt her.”

“Not completely done. It’s salvageable. She’s still speaking to you?”

“Hmm, yeah, she is.” He closed his eyes, knowing his buddy would get a kick out of the next little bit. Humility wasn’t Derek’s strong suit. “I apologized.”

“Good for you. How’d she take it?”

“She’s a decent woman. She accepted it and changed the subject.”

“Damn,” Mark laughed, “I could fall in love with her myself.”

“Don’t. She’s too good for you.”

“Helluva comment from the man who just screwed with her head,” Mark replied.