Authors: Sarah Michelle Lynch
“Oh, god yeah!”
You took the words out of my mouth
. I laughed. “They clearly work hard but they love it. I know the type… I am the type.”
I laughed and was tipsy enough by then to reach out and touch his knee. That was conservative. I wasn’t loathe to befriend anyone who’d listen, so long as they were willing to put up with my foul mouth and liking for the occasional heavy drinking session.
However, he flinched at my touch. His bulk visibly recoiled… it wasn’t as if he could hide himself. He looked away and tried to cover his reaction but I felt so offended, hurt. Mainly because I liked him. Yet, a warning bell reminded me he was younger—despite seeming older. I knew I should be the administrator of this little social occasion so I stroked his fingers with mine and soothed him, “It’s okay. Whatever it is. I’m just friendly. It’s how I am.”
“I’m not being a dick… I just… have problems with physical contact.”
Alarm bells! I should’ve dashed out of there right then. Made my apologies and left him to his wealthy, privileged lifestyle. When I thought about it, it was like he had been stalking me all day.
What happened next stunned the life out of me.
He moved forward with catlike speed and with the gentlest of touches, he kissed my cheek. His stubble bristled against my skin and I judged the faintest smile mingled with his kiss. With that one brush of his lips, I envisaged us making love. I ached for him to kiss my mouth, to give me a taste of him to keep me going through the night.
When he bloody pulled away and ran his hand through my hair, he gave me a longing look that made me rub my thighs together.
“I’m sorry but I gotta go. Sorry.”
Then he left! His Stella mostly left intact on the table!
. I drank my drink, then the rest of his, and started walking.
I got back to Kayla’s place on Portobello Road and groaned when I finally got my shoes off.
I found a note on her fridge:
Gone for the night. Don’t wait up!
Part of the reason why Kayla was letting me stay with her was that her boyfriend Rob was a bastard who refused to make any commitment—even after more than ten years together. So, her bedsit was fairly unlived in and I was kind of a sitter. Which made no sense, I know. I should have made myself at home on her bed but I was lumped with the uneven sofa in the living space, only yards from the infinitely more comfortable double she usually slept on.
I looked around at all the crud stacked up and honestly decided it could go to the dogs. I was too tired to clean up her trash shack.
I started stripping, heading straight for the bath with a glass in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other.
. I’d had a shit day. What had I accomplished? Sod all.
I immersed myself in the warm waters and tilted my head back. I knew immediately, I’d fall asleep if I didn’t keep myself awake. Shutting my eyes, all I saw was Kincaid and his cute grin, blue eyes and wonderful, exotic colouring. To have such deep-blue eyes matched with dark features was spellbinding. He was one of those guys you passed and looked at twice—just to make sure he was real and not some figment.
The crisp bite of the cool white wine eased some of my tension and slid down my throat easily. I tried to think how long it’d been since I last had a good man. Honestly, when I thought, I couldn’t say. I’d been having a fling with Klaus but that was nothing, just a bit of fun. If you knew Klaus, you’d understand what I meant by that—he was entirely married to his job and fair play to him—he’d found what he wanted to do with his life.
While I got lost thinking about Cai, I said his name out loud and the sound sent shivers down my spine. My breasts covered in goose pimples and the nipples, solid pebbles, I put the wine glass on the side and lay back, relaxing. Taking my time.
I thought of him slowly sliding his tongue down my body, from my breasts to between my thighs. His lips coursing over my trembling stomach until he dipped inside me, his hands holding my buttocks so I was offered up to his tongue.
In the bath, my hand caressed my belly and I imagined his digits were mine, fluttering over my soft curves and contours. I envisioned his expression of lust as he watched while I pleasured myself.
I slid a finger through my cleft, taking myself slowly, my hips riding my fingers as though it was his weight forcing me open, not them.
I came so fast, I nearly did pass out. Fatigue, hunger and stress were responsible. I left the bath, fed myself some microwave meal, and crawled into my sofa bed. It didn’t matter how shitty it was. I was shattered and was dreaming as soon as I pulled the blanket up around my shoulders.
SIX A.M. I rolled over and smacked my hand down on my phone to stop the bleating alarm tearing holes through my mind.
. How unfeasible of me to think that I’d be as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I was my first day. That was a one-off—from then on I was going to fuck ’em all to hell.
I rubbed my eyes clean and checked for messages. Having turned in early the previous night, I found a dozen or so from various people.
Will see you Tues night, babe. Improvement with Rob.x
Keep in touch, don’t be a stranger, I am so jealous…
Hope you are behaving…?
The rest of the messages were from colleagues back home, one old boyfriend who never could stop attempting booty calls, and only one message I deemed important enough to reply to immediately:
Proud of you.
She’d always believed in me, told me I could do it, had hugged me every time I passed an exam or got a promotion. Reminded me to never walk out the door without lipstick and a pair of good shoes on my feet. Taught me to be proud of my curvy body. Her faith was unwavering and I always felt it, despite all the distance and despite all those absent years. I just wished I didn’t have
words always counteracting hers.
When I fleetingly looked at my work phone which sat next to my personal one, I saw three messages on that too!
Got your number from the employee directory. Just thought to say goodnight.
Oh, it’s Cai by the way.
My cheeks scorched, a big smile giving me face ache. Only my first day and I’d embarrassed myself stupidly and found a guy who thought I was beautiful. Nothing about it seemed real. That was when FaceTime launched into action on my work phone and I saw it was Klaus.
How in the hell
I answered, my voice scornful, “Checking up on me, eh?”
“No, petal, no,” he replied, in his posh German accent. “Just wanted to check you haven’t been mugged, spat or pissed on yet?”
“None of the above,” I replied with a regal air to match his.
I could equal him if I wanted to.
“How’d the first day go?” His tone was inoffensive yet irritating.
“Not bad. Still don’t know why I’m here. Really can’t understand it at all. They all fucking hate me.” I shuffled on the uncomfortable sofa bed and wondered why I’d given up my comfy two-bed flat on Ecclesall Road.
“Seen Perez Hilton yet?” He grinned with a glint in his dark eye I didn’t like.
“Why the fuck would I?” Yet the smug look on his handsome face made me shut my trap.
I quickly reached for my iPad and got it set up. The front page of that website had an image of me and Kincaid at the pub, some happy snapper having caught him kissing my cheek. The caption read: ‘HEIR FINDS MATCH?’
Kincaid had mentioned connections, but…? A couple of taps on Google revealed he was due to inherit his late mother’s estate, if only he married. In the background I ignored Klaus’s amused expression as he continued to eat his continental breakfast. Of course, they were an hour or two ahead in Europe.
“Why did you put me forward for this job, Klaus?” I growled through clenched teeth, watching him slurp coffee and chew through cheese and ham. In the background was his Swiss Alps getaway, only pine trees dulling the panorama of his lush, glass house.
“Still doubting yourself? What have I told you about that?” The bloody ass tittered. “Just be mindful. Kincaid has a lot of gossip surrounding him.”
Why did I feel I wasn’t in control of my fate anymore? Was I a talking point for some PR stunt? What the fuck was going on?
“I’ll tell everyone you’re a filthster if I discover you’ve been underhand. You know I never wanted this job. You know that.” It was true, to some extent. I never would have gone for it otherwise. I’d gotten it so easily—they’d even let me do the interview over Skype. It was brief, too. Very brief. All because Klaus told his friend Ash that he absolutely had to hire me. “I don’t feel comfortable. I am out of my depth.”
“Now, Chloe. Have more faith. You’re running still… just stop. Be the woman you know you are.” He giggled excitedly, but I frowned. “Have a good day now, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”
He hung up.
I did some more internet searching only to discover that in the US, Kincaid was a target for gossip. Not only because of his moneyed family—but because his aunt was the editor of one very famous fashion magazine. I got bored of the ‘IS HE GAY?’ gossip columns… yet wanted to hit something.
ON the walk to work many sick, twisted little thoughts disturbed my mind. I almost broke into a sprint to stop myself getting too irate. Klaus headed up an umbrella media and communications company called Häuser Publications and was constantly absorbing lots of smaller ventures to expand his larger one. I met him during a meet-and-greet back at the
, when he’d been sniffing around while considering a potential takeover bid—which he’d eventually won, of course. The downside was that the
had become an online-only publication and many were made redundant or given completely new job titles.
Anyway, Klaus somehow got my number and texted me occasionally before inviting me to a luxury hotel in the Peak District (which he apparently owned). I’d gone a few times, maybe only six in total, but he’d made me super aware of the fact that sex between men and women wasn’t cut and dry.
Klaus mentioned I should go for this job at Media Solutions and I’d asked him not to bother putting in a good word for me. In fact I felt uncomfortable to be put forward for the job, by him. I knew how it’d look. Klaus was known for womanizing—and well.
As I strode through the parks on the way to work that morning, what bothered me most was that guy, Kincaid. He had some stories to tell, I felt sure of it. Why hadn’t he made a move to give me a proper kiss in the pub? Also, why was I so fucked off about it even though I’d only known him one day?! I’d only worked there for one day, too, and was already planning my resignation as if it were an annulment… a declaration along the lines of, ‘We’ve yet to really consummate this relationship so never mind, I’ll just go.’
I was literally terrified of commitment. I couldn’t even tell you the reasons why. It would mean committing to a response on that matter.
In the back of my mind, quitting meant going back home. Starting, again. Crawling back on my hands and knees when I was finally where I wanted to be, or so I convinced myself. I would have to give it my best shot. I’d have to just remind myself,
fuck it, fuck it, fuck it
The day began, anyway, when I strode through reception in a very different outfit to the one I’d worn the day before. I wore cartoon tights collaged with Paris street scenes, and over those a denim skirt. To match my Madonna t-shirt, I wore a pretty significant gold cross around my neck and several matching bracelets, a soft black leather jacket with the sleeves rolled to my elbows, collar turned up of course. I tied my strawberry-blonde hair to the side in one, big mess; my make-up was concealer, mascara and gloss, and my shoes were flat, patent brogues.