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Pandora. After the concert, the guys are, once again, determined to party
After the concert, the guys are, once again, determined to party. Mackenna leads me into the bar and hunts down one of the waiters. “What do you want to drink?” he asks me.
“I’ll have whatever you’re having.”
I hear him order for us, and then I’m once again being casually steered toward a booth in the back. “Shame on me for expecting Crack Bikini to party somewhere tamer,” I say, glancing at the bar/disco place.
“This is tame, babe, but don’t worry—we’ll get the fun started soon enough.”
He’s directing me to the darkest booth in the darkest corner of the club when he’s stopped by two guys about his age, who both call him “the bomb!” as in, “You’re the fucking bomb, dude!”
As they high-five, swear, and do generally ridiculous boy handshakes, I watch the Crack Bikini dancers jiggle and dance their way toward a dance floor flickering with lights. The music reverberates everywhere in the room. Under my feet. Under my seat.
Some girls separate from their flocks and fly over to Mackenna and the two men still nearly praying to him, and the moment they reach them, they start dancing around him.
“Dance with us, Kenna!”
He slides an arm around each of their waists and immediately moves his body to theirs, all while still talking to the other guys. He is a great dancer. A great singer. A lover of life. Of fun. Games.
I drop my gaze to the tabletop. You’re such an idiot, I swear to myself.
This is just a game to him. A challenge. Like The Taming of the Shrew.
“What’s up, pussycat?” Lex drops into the booth beside me, jerking my face back up with a fist under my chin.
“Not much. You sound drunk,” I say.
“That may be because I am?” He laughs and nods toward Mackenna. “It’s because of you he makes good music, you know. Every song.”
“Your number one hit is the worst song I’ve ever heard in my life, FYI.”
“No, it’s not, and that’s not the only song he wrote about you. Maybe it’s not a bad thing you broke his goddamn heart.”
“Me?” I sputter.
“Oh, please! You think you didn’t? He’s never done more than fuck a passing girl ever since you, and it’s all because of the way you burned him.”
“Me?” I cry in outrage, completely disbelieving.
“This jerk bothering you, Stone?” Mackenna asks as he sets my drink down and slides in next to me.
I smirk playfully. “He can’t help it, I guess.”
“Dude, I was just telling her what a great catch you are,” Lex tells him. “Trust me, you want me to talk to her.”
Mackenna slides an arm along the back of the seat behind me and leans in. The gesture is casual in nature, but I’m not deceived. He takes a sip of his drink. “Uh-huh,” he says, nodding in a way that says, “Suck my dick.”
“She doesn’t care that you like wearing pink hair during your concerts. She likes that it matches her skunk-look,” Lex continues. “She also doesn’t care that you talk like hell in the morning. She doesn’t care your ten-inch dick can rip her in half. She’s all for you, man.”
“Tell me something I don’t know—like why your ass is parked right next to her?”
“Keeping her warm.”
“Get out of here, Lex.”
“Dude, I’m tired as fuck, chill.” He eases away from the booth, though, and I feel a hand on my thigh. My eyes flick up to meet silver ones, and Mackenna smiles at me.
Danger . . .
My heart starts to pound.
I can’t fall for him again. I can’t.
But you are. You are. You are!
“Your hand going somewhere?” I ask breathlessly, sounding amused even though I’m more alarmed than amused. And excited. I’m more excited than anything else.
“Yes,” he says as he slides his fingers higher, his eyes shining with something. Challenge? Lust? His head ducks, and my stomach dips as I feel his lips, his breath, on my ear. “I can’t keep my eyes off you, and I want my hands on you, my lips on you. Really, I’m developing a serious problem with sharing you, even for the night.”
I laugh nervously. “Do these lines usually work for you?”
“Remember our first time?” he continues, ignoring me, his seductive whisper caressing my ear as his fingers stroke up my side, beneath my top, as though . . . as though he really likes to touch my skin.
He snakes his hand around my waist and settles there, on the side of my rib cage, his thumb only a hairsbreadth away from the underside of my breast.
“No, I don’t remember,” I lie through uneven breaths. “It’s all that Diet Coke offing my brain cells.”
But my brain contradicts me, and as he presses a less-than-innocent kiss to my temple, I’m transported back seven years, to a booth like this one, hands like these, lips like these. Back to a time when I was confused about who I was, and who I wanted to be, but never confused about this boy.
They’ll see us, Kenna . . .
What’s wrong if they see? Why, are you fucking ashamed of me?
He’s a man now. Hard. His hard thigh against mine. His hand curling tighter around my ribs. He used to be frustrated and pained because I wouldn’t allow my mother to know about us. I knew she’d take him away. But in the end it didn’t matter. He left all on his own.
“You do remember. I can see in your eyes that you do,” he says softly.
I close my eyes as he presses another kiss, this one a soft, seductive flutter, against the corner of my lips. “I don’t like to remember either, Pink. It’s the worst form of torture, to think of the way you used to look at me. To think you won’t ever look at me like that again,” he whispers.
I force my eyes open and look at his face, so close my hand itches to curve around his skull. Leaning closer, my teeth tug and play with the diamond earring on his ear, and he holds his breath, as if barely holding himself together.
When I edge back, his gaze is so intense and I feel so drugged by my own effect on him, I start closing my eyes. He stops me. “Don’t. Don’t fucking close them.”
I keep them open and his jaw flexes, his eyes dark as twilight, his pupils dilated, and I’m scared. Scared of everything. Of the heat of his body on mine. Of his gaze holding me. I’m scared of how close he feels, how close we are . . . emotionally.
He smiles, but it’s a smile that’s not quite the cocky smirk I’m used to. It’s tender, so tender. I’m confused as he rubs his silver thumb ring over my jawline, his wolf’s eyes staring deep into mine. “I swear you took something from me, but I’ve never been able to figure out what.”
I loved you, you idiot. And you loved me too. And it scared you—like it scared me—and so you left!
The reminder makes me squirm. I try to put some distance between us. To put up my walls. I jerk my head around to stare blindly at the dance floor. “I stole your heart, of course. I chewed it up and spat it out. It’s why you don’t feel anything now.”
“There’s my man-eater.” The laughter that follows doesn’t sound merry, though. He’s just following my lead, but I know he doesn’t really find the comment funny.
He tugs playfully on the pink strand of my hair. “Okay, Pink,” he says, conceding me this one, “so if you won’t walk with me down Memory Lane, then at least talk to me.”
I don’t know what to say, and I find myself using silly words to deflect his attention, like I used to with my mother when I was young. With Mackenna, when we had long, comfortable silences and I felt like breaking it—or when he felt like making me laugh.
“Circumcision,” I blurt out.
He bursts out laughing, and this time it’s real, and it’s a sound I love. “Bad girl.”
“Liposuction,” I continue, smiling now.
“Ah, babe, you know how to skip the small talk, don’t you.”
“Tyrotoxism!” I laugh.
He lifts his eyebrows. “Poisoned by cheese?”
“Yup. Sternutation!” I continue, catching my breath when he pulls me to his chest. He squeezes me to him, and emotion squeezes in my heart when he kisses the top of my ear.
“God, I love that laugh,” he whispers, smiling down at me. “Dance with me now.”
“Come on, dude. Dance with me.”
“The answer is no. And I don’t answer to ‘dude.’ Or ‘Pink.’ Or ‘gorgeous.’ ”
“How about ‘Darth Vader,’ hmm?” Smiling, he tips my head back and teases me.
“Why? Do you have a thing for men in masks?” I tease in return.
“I have a thing for you.” He sighs. “Why is that I can have any girl out there and forget about her the moment I come, but you . . . ? Once just isn’t enough. I want to come in you, again and again. I want to watch you come. I’m a selfish prick who fucks girls to feel good. So, why is it with you I want to make you feel good? Explain that to me.”
“Then dance with me.” He stands, and he stretches his large, beautiful hand with the silver ring on his thumb out for me.
Danger . . .
Oh, shut it, brain!
Mackenna offers his lean, corded arm the same way he offered it to me when we were locked in the closet, but this is the first time I get to watch my own hand stretch out and slip into his. The mixture of peace and anxiety I experience at the contact disconcerts me. He leads me to the dance floor.
All are instructions from my brain to my body, but I cease to hear them when his arms slide around me.
There’s sweat everywhere, the music is hot, loud, high. It’s okay to have sex. Impersonal sex. But there’s nothing impersonal about what we’re doing now. Nothing impersonal in the way he presses his lips to the top of my head and drags them to my temple, his hands cupping my ass so he can rock his body to mine, grinding against me. His body is both lean and flexible, and the way he moves means I feel every muscle—including his erection.
“I want to gorge on you, stuff my face with you.” He slides his tongue into my ear, then retreats, the passion between us singeing me, shuddering through me. “God, Pandora, the things I want to do to you—”
“Kenna . . .”
“I’m obsessed. I’m fucking mental about you. If you’d only let me in, Pink. Let me in, once and for all . . .”
The stupid internal struggle I’m faced with exhausts me. The constant push and pull between my brain, my heart, and my stupid horny body. I push him away, my voice wavering. “So you can break my every dream? So you can walk away without even a goodbye?”
He blinks as if I just threw a left hook from out of nowhere. “I didn’t want to . . . you think I enjoyed . . .” He’s stopped moving, and when he finally seems to take command of his baffled thoughts, his voice is edged with frustration. Taking my elbow and pulling me back to him, he growls, “Fuck! You were the one—”
“I what? I couldn’t say I loved you, so you left to punish me. That’s what you did!”
“Is that what you think of me?” He may as well have been slammed by a torpedo—that’s how stricken he looks. “You think I’d punish you? Pandora, the day I walked away from you was the day I fucking ripped my own heart out!”
“Hey, chill, both of you!” Lex and Jax gather around us, and Lex pulls me back against him while Jax sets a hand on Mackenna’s shoulder with a look that says he doesn’t think now is the right time for us to be discussing this.
Angrily, Mackenna shoulders free and takes one step forward, dragging one angry hand over his sexy round scalp as he studies me. Everyone else is dancing, but we stand here, both of us about a word away from unraveling.
He doesn’t like seeing Lex touch me, I realize, for he reaches out and jerks me back to him. “Let’s go, Pink,” he growls.
“Kenna, we’ve grown attached to Pink here—” Lex begins.
He pushes him aside. “Stay out of this, both of you.”
♥ ♥ ♥
REALISTICALLY SPEAKING, THE talk was long overdue.
Maybe neither of us wanted to venture there. Maybe we both pretended we hadn’t cared. That it hadn’t hurt. That we were over it.
When we get back into the little cocoon of our hotel—separate from the band’s at his insistence—he asks, “Why did you go to the concert that night? Why slap me in the face with the first thing you could find?”
“Because I wanted to. Because I thought it would feel good. I wanted to make you hurt, even if it was just a tenth of the hurt you caused me.”
“I’m hurting now,” he says gruffly, then he comes close, looking down at me intensely. “Does it give you pleasure? To hurt me?”
“No,” I admit meekly, dropping my eyes in a way I rarely do. But, god, looking into his eyes right now is too much to ask. Too much, when my emotions are in a roil, and the emotions he’s stirring in me are overtaking everything else.
“Then why stay when Leo asked you to? Why stay and torture me, Pink?”
“I already told you, I wanted the money,” I argue.
“What do you want it for?”
“Saving it.” I move toward the window, stiff with dignity, staring blindly at the city lights. “For me, and for Magnolia. For independence.”
“I would’ve paid you double to leave me alone.”
I stop breathing, then turn around and look at him. He’s pacing the length of the room, restless, looking about as unsteady as I feel. My pride prickles as I realize that, of course, he would have paid me. He left. He walked away once before, determined not to see me again. “Why didn’t you?” I demand, my hurt and anger rising once again.
“Apparently I’m a fucking masochist. When I saw you . . .” He tugs on his diamond earring and sighs as he lifts his head to me. Our gazes meet. His eyes are darkened with emotion. Dirty silver. Haunted somehow.
“If you can’t stand me, then why did you agree to this too?” I ask in a suffocated whisper, my chest clutching in pain as I anticipate his reply.
“I agreed to it in exchange for a time out—away from the band.” He waits for a moment, and then he quirks one mocking eyebrow. “You look surprised.”
“Well, what do you mean ‘a time out’? You’ve dreamed about this. You had big dreams, Mackenna, and this . . . this is your dream.”
“It’s not how I dreamed it would be,” he says, propping a shoulder negligently against the wall and tapping his fingers restlessly against his thigh. “All I wanted was to make music. I never wanted or imagined everything else. I never really wanted all of this.”
“Why create such a big band, then?”
He hikes up one shoulder. “The guys needed a lead, and I needed to get away.”
“Because of your dad?”
He pushes away from the wall and starts crossing the room, his laugh soft and bitter. “Because of you, Pandora.”
The words stun me.
His continuing approach unsettles me, causing little ripples in my tummy.
“I tried to be good enough for you, Pandora,” he says darkly, and with every step he takes, my heart grips harder, more painfully. “I tried to make you happy. I tried to make up for my shitty dad. But I was never good enough to be taken home to meet my girl’s family. Nothing I did could ever prove myself to you.”
“I never made you prove yourself to me!” I gasp.
But his face is grim now, a frown of remembrance flitting across his features as he stops a good three feet away from me. “You wouldn’t walk next to me on the street. By the time I left town, you were determined that nobody know I’d been with you.”
“Because my mother would have my head! It had nothing to do with you not being good enough. I thought you were . . .” My words are choked with anxiety. “I thought you were the most amazing human being I’d ever met, Kenna. You had goals, you knew who you were, and who you wanted to be. And what was I? Mourning, confused . . . unwanted.”
“You were wanted by me. Yet you walked next to any fucking guy you knew except me. Even though I was yours.” The brilliant pain in his eyes nearly bowls me over with its intensity.
“I didn’t want it to be them, I wanted it to be you!” I cry.
“It was me!” he shoots back. “But you wouldn’t have it.” He openly studies me, the muscle ticking in his jaw betraying his frustrations. “Even when you gave yourself to me, you still held back. You gave me your body, your time, but not you. Never you.”
His gaze claws into me as if he can find me—the real me—inside here somewhere, and when he reaches out to take my hand in his hand, my emotions rage at the gentle squeeze he gives me. “I loved you, Pandora. I loved you so fucking hard.”
Oh, how wrong I was to think you could hurt someone so much and ever find real closure. It just hurts more, and more, and more. “But that’s over now,” I whisper.
He swears and reaches out for me, but I edge back. “Don’t. I’ll never forgive myself if I cry right now,” I warn.
“I cried for you, Pandora. Drunk and sober, I cried for you, and I’m not ashamed to say it.”
“Don’t! Stop, Kenna!” I spin around and blink rapidly, and thankfully, he doesn’t touch me when he walks up to the window, stopping an inch to my right.
He sighs, dragging his hand through his hair as we both stare outside.
“Look, this is over in a week. Let’s just try and be friends. I don’t want to hate you, Mackenna. Hating you makes me miserable.”
He turns me around to face him. His eyes are brilliant, and if my gaze weren’t blurry, maybe I’d see the pain I can hear in his voice. “Whatever you want.”
He leans forward and kisses my forehead.
The lump in my throat grows.
Framing my face with his big, wide hands, he kisses the tip of my nose, my chin, my forehead.
“Kenna . . . ,” I whisper. “I think I’m ready to go home. This wasn’t how I imagined it either.”
He keeps kissing me.
My throat hurts. Like all my sins and mistakes are trapped in me, like everything else. Trapped like my love for him, and anything good I have to give. He rains kisses on my face, gently, as if he truly cares about me, bringing all the things that I’m feeling just under the surface of my skin to bloom in full view. For anyone and everyone to see.
Every touch feels multiplied in intensity. My breath’s suddenly hitching. His voice in my ear says, “Are you planning my murder behind those eyelids?”
I open them. “No,” I gasp. “I don’t hate you anymore, I—”
“Then look into my eyes.” His eyes keep holding mine as he lays me on the bed, my hair falling behind me. He flicks open the button of my jeans.
Our gazes remain locked.
My fingers anxiously work at his pants. What starts out slow begins moving faster. I hear the rasp of our zippers. The pound of my heart. Our breaths. My soft gasp when he shoves his long fingers into my panties and cups my sex. His groan when I shove my hand into his briefs and curl my fingers around his erection. I stroke him lightly, finding the tip already wet.
When he hands me over a condom, I stroke him lovingly while I roll it on his length. He sinks his free hand into my hair and secures the back of my head as he takes my lips with his, roughly, deeply, his tongue darting into my mouth as his finger enters me. A gasp leaves me. His mouth is not apologetic. It never is.
I squeeze his cock and rub the heel of my palm against his balls, wrapping my tongue around his. “Fuck me. Fuck me hard,” I whisper.
And as he lifts me up and centers me on the bed, I curl my legs around his body, and then he pins my hands at my sides, lacing his fingers through mine.
“I said don’t stop looking at me,” he commands.
So I don’t.
♥ ♥ ♥
I WAKE UP to feel him stroking my hair, and for a moment I’m too groggy to wonder what alternate reality this is. A reality where I get to feel a man’s arms holding me close, like he desperately wants me there. His hands in my hair like he’s obsessed with the feel of it. Maybe he wants to send an e-mail to the makers of my shampoo, commending them for leaving my hair with such a pleasant smell. Such silkiness.
I wake up feeling . . . the opposite of angry.
“Hey.” He brushes his lips to mine, then catches my eyes open and he’s smiling. He wiggles his brows to the cart of food in the living room. “Hungry?”
“Whaaa—? Where did that come from?”
“A button I found on this thing here called a phone. It read, Room Service.”
“I didn’t hear them knock.”
“You slept like a log, and I was only too happy to be the one opening the door. I didn’t want anyone getting an eyeful of that tush.”
I look down at my nakedness.
And I gasp when I see my pussy.
“What happ— What the—?”
“You asked me to shave your sweet little pussy.” He grins. “I could never deny you. You look edible, Pink. Now, you’re really pink . . . all over.”
“Ohmigod, give me something to cover up. I feel so bare. I can’t believe what you do to my whoremones. I thought I’d dreamed it, you idiot!”
He tosses me my panties from the floor. “That sweet little pussy’s extra red today because of how long I kissed it for.” He grins as I slip into my panties. When he tosses me his T-shirt, I slide it on.
“At least it wasn’t something permanent, like a tattoo,” I say.
“You were ready for one that said, ‘Kenna Kums on my Kunt.’ ”
“Pfft, you’re such a boy.” I dive into the cereal as he pours us both a coffee and grabs his guitar, strumming a little tune and writing down words. I watch him.
“I feel funny. Down there. Please don’t shave anything else on me, okay?” I warn direly, adding sliced bananas to my cereal bowl.
He lifts his hand in mock innocence. “Babe, you begged me to. I liked your landing strip just fine. But you were being adventurous. Those drinks you had really got to your head. You kept telling me how much I bring out your adventurous side. Asking me how it’d feel to have me tongue you while every part of you was smooth and silky wet.”
I groan, remembering in a haze what we did. How delicious it was. And fun. I remember laughing, squirming as he went. Easy, now, I don’t want to cut you, part your legs and stay still . . .
Okay . . .
Panting. Panting and fighting the urge not to squirm.
Look down and watch me, let it get you wet. The second I soap this up and clean you up, my tongue’s coming next . . .
“You’re a dangerous man, Wolf,” I chide, smiling when he just shoots me a smile and continues writing down some sort of song.
I love this. I love this moment so much. I feel comfortable, relaxed, the atmosphere full of fun memories of last night and naughtiness and lots of this man, playing with me like he plays with his guitar.
“Mackenna,” I whisper.
He lifts his head.
It’s in this moment, me watching him work, wearing his T-shirt, I feel that we’re as intimate as we’ve ever been in our lives. It’s the kind of intimacy I’ve never felt. Only with him. So long ago, that too feels like a dream all the time. “I had a good time last night,” I finally admit.
His smile comes in a flash, and it is so adorable, he could be seventeen again. Seventeen and in love with me. Ready to take me away.
“Me too. Just like old times.”
♥ ♥ ♥
THE NEW ORLEANS concert is incredible. Huge crowds, excellent sound, excellent performance. That night, rather than party with the band, Kenna and I go our own separate way onto Frenchmen Street. A thousand smells hit me as we walk down the crowded sidewalks. Bars line up, side by side. People are scattered throughout, drinking, making out, singing. The scent of sea salt, crawfish, beer, and sweat mingle to create a very distinct aroma. “Smells like sin,” Mackenna tells me with a grin.
I think I manage to do the impossible—groan and smile at the same time. “You think about sex all the time.”
He links his fingers with mine and tugs me toward one of the bars. “Want to bar hop?”
I think I’m smiling. Really and truly smiling. Like, ear-to-ear kind of smiling. I feel bubbles in my chest, the kind I haven’t felt in a while.
“All right, Pink. So take your pick. There’s a jazz bar, a rock bar—”
“I’ve got a rockstar right here, so let’s do the rock bar,” I say.
We step into a different world. Rock music from the ’80s blaring. Guitars on the wall. Images of rock gods everywhere.
But we don’t last two minutes. Even with his aviators, people start doing double takes, and within forty-eight seconds, one screams, “It’s Mackenna Jones from Crack Bikini!”
He groans in my ear but keeps it together and straightens, lifting up his palms to ward them off. “All right, I’m trying to chill out with my girl, guys.”
“Don’t pay attention to him, I’m not his girl. But we are trying to chill out,” I say.
“Sing something for us!” one shouts.
“Not tonight. I’m resting my vocal cords.”
A chorus begins as a group gathers around us. “Sing! Sing! Sing! SING!”
He rolls his eyes, laughing at them as he slides out of the booth. He shakes his head and placates them with his hands. “All right, all right. But if I go up there and sing, you leave me to cuddle up to Pandora over here.”
When he jerks his chin in my direction, several dozen eyes stare at me and I mumble, “Thanks, asshole.”
He laughs and leans over to whisper near my ear, “This is so they know how important you are to me.”
“Important enough to dump after a fuck.”
His smile doesn’t falter as he meets my gaze. “Important enough that I write most of my songs about her.”
He pushes through the crowd. He’s taller than most people here. His skull looks so deliciously round today, and I sit in the booth and watch him take the stage. His magnetism takes over every room we’re in. I swear, he was completely deluding himself thinking he wouldn’t be recognized. And so was I.
But the people’s faces? Their expressions? They look beyond thrilled—like this is the best day of their lives. How must it feel for him to have this effect on others? How must it feel to sing a song and make a difference in someone’s life? To make them feel less lonely, feel . . . understood.
He taps the mic and laughs. “Testing, testing,” he says. People roar, and the clown laughs again. He loves it, and despite myself, I’m grinning. God, he’s completely beyond repair, isn’t he?
He starts a song. Not one from Crack Bikini, one I’ve heard on the radio from Secondhand Serenade.
“You really Pandora?” A guy slides next to me and sets a drink before me, nodding to it. “On me.”
“Nah, thanks, I’m good.”
“Really. I’d like to buy you a drink.” He’s looking at me like he might have slipped something into the drink. You can never be too paranoid.
“I’m with him.” I jab my thumb in the direction of Mackenna.
“Yeah, I heard. But you’re not really with him, are you? Are you really Pandora?”
“Damn right she is.”
Mackenna has completely dropped the song and headed over. He’s looming over me and the guy. He plants a threatening hand on the table, then leans forward. “You’re sitting in my spot, at my table, next to my girl, so as you can imagine, I have a bit of a problem with that.”
“Hey, I just wanted a chat with her. Chillax, Gru.”
“I don’t even know what the fuck that means.” Mackenna drops down next to me and shoots me a look of both amusement and disgust as the guy vanishes into the crowd. “Must you have to break hearts every second I leave you alone?”
“I don’t have to, but it’s fun,” I lie.
“Not for me. One day you’re going to lure a guy the size of a truck to you, and I’ll have to fight dirty to get him away.”
“I thought you liked dirty. You have a dirty mouth, a dirty mind, you love dirty sex—”
“Jesus.” He pulls me to him and says, “Say ‘dirty’ one more time and I’m sucking the word right out of you.”
We kiss. The kiss is sloppy and wild and delicious, and it lasts a whole intense minute.
When we peel our lips apart, he grins and pushes the pink strand of my hair behind my face. “What’s the deal with this pink on your hair?”
“Melanie. She thinks I’m bitter and suggested a little color might spruce up my mood.”
“Did it help?”
“No, but she dared me, so I’m stuck with it for a while.”
“I like it. It makes you girly.”
“Is that supposed to mean I look like a man, otherwise?”
He grabs my hand and sets it on his erection. “Do you think I’d have feelings like these for a man?”
“Who knows what perversions you harbor.”
“I’ll be happy to experiment with you all you like.”
My cheeks flare when I remember how I spread my legs and let him shave the small airstrip I usually have on my pussy. It turned him on, and it turned me on, and even remembering something so intimate makes me blush beet red.
“You’re a world of contrasts, aren’t you?” The words are spoken reverently as he eases his fingers into my hair. We’re in our own little world. Rock music plays in the background. We may be in a booth, in the middle of a club, but right now, there’s no one but us. “Pink hair on a set of black. Innocent bad girl. Sarcastic but sweet. Is it any wonder I could never forget you?”
My heart trips, and I turn my head away as I feel an awkward blush rise up my neck. “Kenna . . . don’t.”
He turns my head to his with the back of one knuckle, like we’re a couple, and the gesture keeps making me feel weak at the knees. “It’s the truth, Pandora,” he repeats.
My body throbs in response, and I hate that he can hear the huskiness in my voice when I say, “Let’s not confuse what we’re doing here.”
He laughs and leans back on the seat, studying me. “What are we doing here?”
I draw in a deep, steadying breath to calm myself. “Having fun. We’re . . . getting each other out of our systems. Doing what we maybe would’ve done as teens if you hadn’t left.”
“I would’ve done much more to you, woman.” He signals for a drink and sets the drink the other guy bought on a passing tray. “I can’t fuck you fast or hard enough to make up for all the days I fucked you in my head, or had another woman in my bed.”
I turn away, blushing beet red. “Kenna.”
He turns me back to him. “It’s the truth. There have been others—tens, hundreds, who even knows.”
“Stop it.” I’m getting angry and push him away.
“Don’t,” he says, gripping me close to him. “I’m trying to be honest with you.”
“I don’t want you to. It’s too late for that.”
“Why the fuck is it too late?”
“I don’t want you to open up, because it makes me feel like I should too, and I can’t.” I stare at him. “I won’t.”
He looks at me, battling with something in his head.
Then he presses his lips to the crook of my neck. “You’re so lovely,” he whispers. “Even when you’re not smiling, you’re so fucking lovely, Pink,” and the whisper is almost a song. I’ve never heard it before, but the feel of his breath as he murmurs into my skin sparks me up like nothing ever has. “Let me in. Tell me what to do so you can let me in—”
“You lied to me,” I say.
“It wasn’t a lie. I’ve never lied to you. I can lie about you—you taught me to lie about you when you wouldn’t let anyone know I was yours—but I never lied to you, Pink.”
He presses a finger to my lips, his expression pleading with me not to fight with him. “It’s all right. I wasn’t good enough then, but I’m good enough now,” he says.
“Oh, really? Because you have fame and money?” I smirk.
“Because I’m a man, Pink, not a foolish little boy. Because I weathered shit, and I still grew and made something of myself. Because I’m here now, with you, and I won’t be driven away. You cast me aside before, but I won’t let you do that again. That’s why I’m good enough now.”
“You really mean that?” I ask, both puzzled and strangely warm in my chest area.
“Oh, I mean it.”
Suddenly I feel it’s important to clear up the fact that I did not cast him aside—at least, not willingly. “It wasn’t you, Kenna. My mother would never have understood,” I explain, almost apologizing. Before I say anything more, I grab my glass and drain my cosmo.
Then sign for another.
♥ ♥ ♥
THREE HOURS LATER we’re drunk. As we stumble into the room, Mackenna pulls my shirt up and my bra down, and suddenly his mouth surrounds the tip of my breast. I feel him jerk on his jeans, and his mouth only leaves my tits for the length of time it takes for him to get his shirt off.
“Fucking god, just look at you.” He dips his finger into my jeans and runs his mouth along my throat. I love it so much, I impulsively drag my lips over his jaw, running my hands over that sexy buzz cut hair.
“You drunk? Hmm? You drunk?”
“You’re drunk as fuck,” I tell him.
“Yeah, but the kind of drunk that can fuck you like you want.”
He goes and gets naked, then lights a cigarette.
He looks lickable.
The tattoo on his forearm peeks out as he takes a hit of the cigarette, the tip glowing as he does.
“What does that mean?”
He passes the cigarette over and I give it a hit, watching the smoke leave my lips.
“I tried quitting, you know,” I say.
“Yeah, I can’t quit for more than a few days. Especially touring. I get a fucking headache, and the only thing that quits is my good mood. Come here.”
“Hmm. Most I’ve lasted was, well, there was this one year where I didn’t smoke anything but e-cigarettes, but then I started up again. My only rule is to never smoke at home. Or in front of Mags.”
“Nice.” He’s now referring to my body as he peels off my layers of clothing, and he looks at me as if he’s branding the image of me naked into his mind.
My nipples are puckered as though begging for his mouth. My pussy feels damp and his eyes snag there. “So pink and shiny, this shaven little pussy.”
He drags a finger over it, leading to my pink clit and lips.
“Fuck,” he says, rubbing that finger over my lips. “I’m salivating here, babe. You’re so beautiful.” He lifts his gaze and watches my expression as he slides a finger over my sex again. I tremble.
“Stop saying ‘babe,’ Mackenna.”
“Shh,” he says, heading for the bathroom in all his naked glory, returning with a condom.
“We haven’t even kissed and you’re hard. You’re always hard.”
“You assume your perfect tits and that sweet pussy won’t get me like this?” My eyes drop to his huge erection, and I lick my lips, knowing how much I want it. He takes my face in one hand, his eyes devouring me. “There’s something innocent and alluring about you. Some innocence you don’t hide. I want to feed myself into your mouth, baby, and I want to watch you feast on me.”
He rolls a condom over his cock, and I groan in hunger and drop to my knees, his hands cupping the back of my head. “Come here,” he coaxes, pulling my head toward his straining cock. “Come here and open your mouth.”
“I want you, but not with a condom.”
“It’s flavored just for you, Pink.”
I unroll it and his eyes darken dangerously. I smile drunkenly up at him, then I open my mouth around him, and the flick of my tongue seems to catapult his desire, because he groans and fists my hair as he starts pumping. “Oh, baby. Oh, sweetheart. Ahh, Christ, Jesus, don’t stop, Pink. Don’t fucking stop until I’m dry. You like that cock? You wanted nothing between your perfect tongue and my fucking cock? Are you going to swallow me, Pink? Tell me how badly you want to fucking swallow me.”
Quaking with need, I nod and work him slow. Curling my fingers around the base. Sucking the head. Savoring the drops gathering at the tip, and when he shoots off, he groans. When he’s done I grin, because for this moment, I have him right where I want him.
Until he recovers.
And when he slides down on the bed and tells me to sit on his face, he ends up having me right where he wants me.
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