About Love the Way You Lie
Series: Stripped 1
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Erotica
The third room is the farthest from the main floor. The darkest. I can only make out a shadow seated in the chair. All I want is to get the hell out of here, but Blue is standing behind me, crowding me, and the only way to get space, the only place to go is inside.
I slip past the heavy velvet curtain and wait for my eyes to adjust. Even before they do, I know it will be him. Not safe, rule-following Charlie. It’s the other man. The new one. The one with the strange intensity in his stare.
I see the outline of his jacket first. And his boots, forming that same configuration—one leg shoved out, one under the chair. That’s the way he sits, almost sprawled on the uncomfortable wooden chair. He’s watching me. Of course he’s watching me. That’s what he paid to do.
“What’ll it be?” I ask.
“What’s on the menu?” he counters, and I know what he means. He means extra services. The same thing that Lola is doing now. More than just a dance. He looks out from the shadows like the Cheshire cat, all eyes and teeth and challenge. All he’s missing are purple stripes filling in.
And if he’s a cop, he can bust me just for offering it. Cops should have better things to do with their time. But I already know cops don’t do what they should. I know that too well.
I’m running from one.
“A dance, of course.” I run through the prices for fifteen minutes, thirty minutes. No one needs longer than that. They either go to the bathroom to jerk off or come in their pants.
“And if I want more than that?”
Now that my eyes have adjusted, now that I’m up close, I can see the tats at the base of his neck and on his wrists. They are probably along his arms and maybe his chest. There’s ink on his hands too, though I can’t make out what it says.
His black shirt is tight enough to show me his shape, the broad chest and flat abs. Underneath the shirt is a chain or necklace. I can only see the imprint, but it makes me want to pull up the fabric and find out what it is.
He wears his leathers like a second skin, like they’re armor and he’s a fighter. I can’t really imagine him walking through a precinct in a blue shirt. He’s not a cop. But there was that feeling, when I was onstage. I felt his interest, more than sexual. I felt his suspicion. I felt every instinct telling me he is there for more than a dance. I can’t afford not to listen.
“There’s no more than that,” I answer flatly.
He grunts, clearly displeased. But it doesn’t sound like he’s going to force the issue—or complain to Blue. “Then dance.”
Right. That’s why I’m here. That’s not disappointment, heavy in my gut. I don’t expect anything from men except to get paid. So I dance, starting slow, moving my hips, my arms, touching my breasts. I’m a million miles away like this. I’m lying on my back, feeling crisp grass underneath my legs, looking up at the night sky.
It almost works, except that I need to get close to him. I need to climb onto him, straddling his legs with mine, reaching for the back of the chair to shake my tits in his face. And when I do, I smell him. He smells…not like smoke. Not like sweat.
He smells like my daydream, like grass and earth and clean air.
I freeze above him, body crouched, my breasts still shivering with leftover momentum.
“Something wrong?” he asks.
And his voice. God, his voice. It’s gone rough and low, all the way to the ground. It slides along the creaky wood of the chair and the concrete floor and vibrates up my legs. It shimmers through the air and brushes over my skin, that voice. We’re not touching in any place, but I can feel him just the same.
I swallow hard. “Nothing’s wrong, sugar.”
“Then sit down.”
He means on his lap. Touching. It’s against the rules, officially.
Unofficially it’s one of the tamer things that happen in this room. “What if I don’t want to?”
One large shoulder lifts, making the leather sigh. “I won’t make you.”
I hear the unspoken word yet ring in the air.
I should probably refuse him. Whether he’s a cop or not, he’s throwing me off. That’s dangerous. And if there’s some other cop in the building? That’s even more dangerous.
But for some reason, I lower myself until I’m resting on his jeans, my posture awkward and off balance—until he shifts, and suddenly I’m sliding toward him, flush against him while I straddle his legs. Then his arms circle my body, trapping me. Any second now he’s going to grope me. Maybe take his dick out and fuck me like this. It wouldn’t be the first time.
But he just stays like that, arms firm but gentle. A hug. This is a hug.
Jesus. How long has it been since a man hugged me? Just that, without touching anywhere else, without his dick inside me? A long time.
Swoon Thursday is a sexy meme created by the ladies over at YaBound.
The Rafflecopter Giveaway is OVER. The winner(s) have been chosen and announced. Congratulations!