Frayed Page 4

’’I hear you.’’

He looks at me skeptically.

Glass in hand, I sip my drink and crunch on one of the ice cubes, thinking past wrongs and forbidden fruit none of that matters when I remember the night we shared. I also know that my insides hum with every move she makes. But I don\ say anything else to Caleb, because he\s right;going down that road won\ lead to any place I need to go.

•••

The night passes quickly with so many conversations with people I\ve never met. Beck left to pick his girlfriend, Ruby, up from work, and Kale followed him out, discussing whatever they are working on. Caleb was taking a red-eye back to wherever it is he goes, but said he\ll be back next month. And per his advice, I\ve gone out of my way to avoid S\elle, but it\s killing me to do it. I know there\s a huge chance she wouldn\ talk to me anyway after what happened this summer, but I also think there\s a chance she would and with Caleb\s words echoing in my ears, I\m not sure I should go there.

When my phone rings with a call from Aerie Daniels, I take the opportunity to slip away from the crowd. ’’Hello.’’

’’Hi, Ben. It\s Aerie.’’

I open a door marked EXIT and end up in a quiet service hallway. With no one around I lean against the cool stainless wall behind me.

’’Hey. Everything okay?’’ I ask.

Not only is Aerie my ex-fiancée\s best friend but she also works for me.

’’I just wanted to apologize for not being there tonight. I\m leaving in the morning for that quick trip to New York City I told you about and thought I should get everything together for the November issue and go through it one last time.’’

’’Aerie, it\s going to be fine. Don\ stress about it.’’

’’Are you sure you don\ need me to stay?’’

’’I\m sure. Stop stressing. It\s all set and there\s nothing to worry about.’’

’’Okay. It\s just I\ve never been out of the office on trigger day. My plane lands first thing in the morning, so if anything ’’

’’Let\s bring out the desserts all at once.’’

I hear a familiar sound soft and se*y nearby. Jerking my head to the right, I greedily take S\elle in. The way her body moves with each movement, I can\ suppress the memories that always surface when I see her. I remember everything about that night. Her perky tits that hardened the minute I caressed them, the way her mouth opened and her eyes closed when I touched her in the most intimate places, the feel of her hands seductively sliding over my body, the way she smelled, the raspy tone of her voice when she pleaded for more. My head begins to spin with fresh justification about why it\s okay to just talk to her. She exits the small space quickly, though, through the next set of doors, and again the hall is quiet once more.

’’You there?’’ Aerie\s voice calls through the phone.

’’I\m here.’’ I manage to make my own voice sound normal.

’’Okay, then. I\ll check in when we land.’’

’’Sounds like a plan. And, Aerie, for f**k\s sake, have fun.’’

She responds with a laugh, ’’Language, Ben, language,’’ and then she hangs up.

I shake my head and shove my phone in my pocket. Just as I\m about halfway to the door, it swings open again.

’’Ben,’’ she greets me in a velvety soft voice.

I can\ even tell whether I\m more startled or happy to see her there. But when a flush runs up her neck and her breathing steadily picks up, I want to think she\s as impacted by my presence as I am by hers. Her reaction surprises me, but I\m even more surprised to see warmth in her gaze. My eyes drink her in with a thirst her hot body, her beautiful stare. My nose catches a faint whiff of her lemony scent. She smells amazing and I almost spasm on the spot. Just as I open my mouth to speak, the door opens again.

’’Did you find the serving spoons?’’ a guy much too young to be in charge asks.

’’Grabbing them now,’’ she answers, chewing on her lip before moving across the hall to the counter and picking up a handful of silver ladles.

He holds the door open for her and she glances at me one last time before walking toward him. And as I watch her, the way her body moves with ease as she leaves, I can\ help thinking back to that night so long ago. The fantasy come to life that I\ve never been able to forget.

I filled my hands with her beautiful br**sts as I slammed into her from behind. Moans of passion that I weren\ sure if they were hers or mine. My body shaking, hers quivering. I had been drunk, but I felt completely sober when my hands roamed her body and my lips followed. Her pu**y was so sweet and I wanted more. Without any inhibitions, a string of my deepest darkest se*ual desires left my mouth. I saw her smile at my words. She whispered how she wanted to answer them. And as I stood, I grabbed her neck and brought her mouth to mine. I felt my kon*** throb and I wanted more.

The way I felt when I was inside her was unlike anything I had ever experienced. But I force myself to blink the thought away. It\s not how I should be thinking. But f**k, seeing her again makes me horny as hell and makes me think about things I know I shouldn\ .

As I head back to the party, I tell myself that I need to leave the past in the past. But the words just don\ feel right.

CHAPTER 2

Past Lives

Bell

At first glance he had me aching for him. Just one word from him and I was purring. He exuded passion I felt it the first time he touched me. If you met him, he would make you feel the same way too. I promise. Charming, elusive, full of se* appeal nothing has changed. One look from Ben Covington and I know what he wants, and it\s not as though I don\ want the same thing too. But I also know all too well the pleasure I would feel would only be followed by a stabbing pain in my heart. That\s just the way it is with him. The only way it can be after everything we\ve been through.


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