Poles apart, p.7
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       Poles Apart, p.7
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           Kirsty Moseley

  mine slowly before he pulled back.

  “Mmm, cherry flavour. Nice. I guess I’m gonna need to buy some of those when I get your germs,” he teased, digging me in the ribs with one finger. I giggled and squirmed under him while he just laughed. He stopped tickling me and brushed my hair back from my forehead before he just stared into my eyes with a hopeful expression on his face. “You really don’t go into the backroom with anyone else but me?” he asked quietly.

  I shook my head. “It’s only ever been you there.” That was the truth. He was the second person I had ever been with intimately, my first time being the one and only time I had ever been with anyone other than him. I couldn’t see that changing anytime soon, either. I would never sleep with someone else while I was in love with Carson, and I just couldn’t see myself falling out of love with the stupid guy.

  His face broke into a beautiful grin before he bent his head and traced his nose up the side of my face, kissing my cheek lightly. “Okay, good. So, getting back to what we were talking about before I stole your germs.” He pulled back, hovering above me as he continued. “With a dance on top of your wages, you earn, on average, about £100 a night. That’s what you would have probably earned tonight and the same again tomorrow, right?” he asked, looking at me seriously.

  I nodded, unsure as to where he was going with this. “Mmm hmm.”

  “Right. Well, then you’ve already earned enough to take the night off tomorrow,” he replied, rolling off me and lying against my side. I looked at him, confused. How could I have done that? That didn’t make sense at all. He smiled. “I paid you more than that for the backroom tonight. You earned more tonight than you would normally earn over two nights. So, that means you can afford to call in sick tomorrow.”

  I frowned at that. He’d overpaid me again; the stupid boy really did like to throw his money at me sometimes! “Carson, you didn’t overpay me again, did you?” I closed my eyes and shook my head; he really needed to stop doing that.

  He laughed. “Just a little. But on the plus side, you can now take the night off tomorrow and you’ll still be up on what you would have earned.” He kissed my cheek, his hand tracing down my arm, cupping my elbow before sliding down my wrist and interlacing our fingers. “Please, take the night off and just get yourself better.”

  I thought it through. I would love to have an early night for a change, to wake up on a Monday morning for university and have had more than four hours sleep the night before. That would be a totally new experience for me. I smiled at the thought of just chilling out, sitting around in a pair of thick socks and a hoodie, watching bad movies with Rory. “Okay, I will. Thank you, baby.”

  He smiled and kissed me again, stealing my breath and making my heart rate increase. This time, I managed to keep hold of my sweet. He pulled out of the kiss and put his forehead to mine.

  “I guess I’d better go see what’s left of my bike,” he said, chuckling to himself.

  I groaned as he mentioned his bike. “If you’re expecting it to still be there then I think you’re gonna be really disappointed.” I looked at him apologetically.

  He just laughed and shrugged. “The coffee was worth it, don’t worry.” He kissed my forehead again before pushing himself off me. “I won’t bother coming to the club tomorrow then, seeing as you’re not going to be there.” He looked at me sternly and I did a mock salute, giggling. “So, I guess I’ll see you the weekend after next. I’m racing next weekend in Italy so I won’t see you then. Wanna do the interview thing again?” he asked, raising one eyebrow, pulling me to my feet.

  I grinned. “Sure. How about you get the word ‘fluffy’ in there somewhere?” I offered, laughing at his horrified expression.

  “That’s not a very macho word. Fluffy. Really?” he scoffed.

  I rolled my eyes and pushed on his chest. “Get out of my place so I can go to sleep!” I ordered playfully.

  His hand closed over mine as he tugged me to the door with him. He pulled it open and then turned back to me, pressing his lips against mine again for a couple of seconds before walking off without another word. I sighed dreamily and traced my finger over my lips, watching until I couldn’t see him anymore. Then I practically ran back to the lounge, looking out the window down toward the square where he’d parked his bike. He came out of the building moments later and walked over to his bike, which, surprisingly, was still there and still had both wheels. I watched him roar out of the car park, and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face as I skipped to my bedroom, tucking the covers around Sasha and falling asleep with a smile on my face for a change.

  AS IT TURNS OUT, Carson did get sick. It was splashed all over the papers – how he was sick and his team was worried if he was going to be well enough to race on Saturday. I felt incredibly guilty, but it wasn’t entirely my fault. He was the one who kissed me¸ after all, not the other way around.

  Despite the illness, he still did well in his race, coming in first and breaking his own record, upping it to twelve straight wins. When he did his interview after, he barely spoke, and when he did he sounded so husky and raspy it made me wince. He, of course, managed to work the word ‘fluffy’ into the conversation, which made me smile even though he looked a little worse for wear.

  I was seriously on easy street moneywise. It turns out Carson had paid me £1,000 to go to the backroom with him all night, so I almost had enough money to completely pay off my overdrafts with the bank, which I had never done in my life.

  Everything was going great. I was feeling completely better; I was almost breaking even with money - if you ignored my £3,600 credit card bill - and tomorrow was my nineteenth birthday. Tonight, I was working, but tomorrow I had arranged to go out with Lucie to celebrate. We were going to dinner and then meeting a few of my friends from Uni in a bar. It was going to be fun, and I hadn’t been out in what felt like forever. I didn’t usually have the money to waste on things for myself, but Rory and Lucie had convinced me I needed to treat myself for a change.

  I was even looking forward to working tonight because Carson said he’d be here. Because I’d been ill last time I saw him, it had been over a month since I had any physical attention. Just the thought of him was sending little sparks of electricity flowing around my body. I could barely keep still as I watched the door, waiting for him to arrive.

  Just after half past eleven he walked in, on his own for a change. He grinned at me and headed over to the bar where I was standing. “So, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” he teased.

  “I’m not a nice girl,” I replied, raising my eyebrows suggestively.

  He narrowed his eyes playfully. “No, you’re not. You’re a disease-ridden little temptress. I had antibiotics for a week because of your germs, you know!”

  I laughed and patted his chest, leaving my hand there, feeling his heart beating under my palm. “Aww, poor baby. Did you catch a little sore throat?” I teased, running my fingertip over his Adam’s apple.

  He nodded, pouting. “And I had no one to kiss mine better and rub my feet for me. I had to suffer all alone.” His hands gripped my hips, pulling me closer to him. His smell surrounded me, making my mouth water. Is it too early to ask him if he wants to go to the backroom? I could barely breathe through my excitement.

  I flicked my eyes behind him, waiting for his friends to walk in; he never came here on his own. “Where’s your entourage?” I joked, rubbing myself against him teasingly, making his fingers dig into my skin.

  “I’m on my own. They don’t know I’m here. I only came for an hour then I need to drive back to Dorset. I have a meeting tomorrow morning with my sponsors, so I have to leave soon. I just need to wait until after midnight.” He shrugged and traced his hand up and down my back, making goosebumps erupt on my skin.

  “You have to drive to Dorset for a meeting tomorrow? What time does it start?” I questioned. Dorset was where his team were based so he usually spent a lot of time there, probably about half of the we
ek, at least from what he’d told me.

  “Nine.”

  I frowned. “Isn’t it like a two-and-a-half-hour drive from here to Dorset?”

  He nodded. “Just under,” he confirmed, taking my hand and pulling me toward the last empty table in my section. “That’s why I’m late. I wanted to get here for ten so I could see you, but my time trials ran late and then I had a meeting with the engineers. Then there was an accident on the motorway so I got stuck there for over an hour. I’ve had a damn nightmare day. It’s always like that when you want to get somewhere.”

  Time trials? “You were driving today?” I asked. He smiled and nodded, pulling me down onto his lap. “In Dorset?” I probed. He nodded again. My brain tried to make sense of what he was saying. “So, you drove from Dorset to London, then you’re leaving just after midnight to go back to Dorset again? Why are you making a five-hour round trip?”

  Has this boy gone crazy?

  He laughed and pushed me off his lap. “Go get me a drink, Em. I’ll have a Pepsi.”

  Still confused, I gave him a curtsey. “Yes, Mr Matthews,” I said sarcastically. As I headed over to the bar, my mind was still trying to work out why he would do that. Driving all that way for an hour, it just seemed like such a waste of time.

  The night was busy. I barely got to spend time with Carson because all my tables were full, so I was flitting about here, there and everywhere. When I finally did get a few minutes free, I headed over to him straightaway. Setting another Pepsi down in front of him, I looked at him apologetically. “Sorry, baby. It’s manic tonight.” I motioned around a little helplessly at my busy tables, which all seemed momentarily satisfied.

  He took my hand, pulling me down onto the little velvet seat next to him. When he looked at his watch, his smile grew more pronounced. “Happy birthday, Emma.”

  Happy birthday? I glanced at his watch to see it was ten past twelve. Technically, it was now my birthday; he was right. I laughed, a little taken aback. How does he always remember my birthday? Every freaking year he remembers! “Thanks.”

  He stood and shoved his hand in his pocket before sitting back down and holding his hand out to me. “It’s after midnight, so it’s officially your birthday. Therefore, you’re allowed to have this.”

  In his hand sat a little box about the size of his palm. It was a black leather box – obviously jewellery. My heart sped at the adorability of him. He remembered my birthday every year and always got me something. His blue eyes were burning into mine as he moved his hand closer to me, signalling for me to take the gift… but I couldn’t move. I was overcome with emotions all because the love of my life had remembered something I told him only once, three years ago.

  “You don’t want your present?”

  I bit my lip and nodded. Of course, I wanted it, it was from him! “You didn’t need to get me anything,” I whispered, not really trusting my voice to speak properly.

  He laughed and rolled his eyes. “Just open it.” He took my wrist, turning it over and setting the little box into my hand.

  I gulped and raised the lid, and when I did my chest constricted. Nestled into the black silk was the most beautiful necklace I had ever seen in my life. There was a charm on it, a delicate-looking white-gold butterfly. Set into the wings in symmetrical patterns were three stones – a blue one, a green one and a clear one. It was beautiful, about an inch in diameter, and attached to a thin white-gold chain.

  It was perfect and so special I couldn’t stop the tear which leaked from my eye. He had put so much thought into it. I had a thing for butterflies, always had, and this was one of the most beautiful ones I had ever seen. I stroked it lightly with one finger, feeling the cold, hard gems under my fingertip. Now I would be able to wear that and always have a little something of Carson’s with me every day, even when Sasha wasn’t with me.

  Suddenly, the happy smile fell from my face as realisation dawned on me. “Those stones aren’t real, are they?” I whispered, looking at them with wide eyes. They had to be fake. There’s no way he would give me – a lap dancer – a piece of jewellery which had what looked like two diamonds, two emeralds and two sapphires in it.

  Carson laughed, taking the box from my hand. “I’m not going to answer that question, Em.” He pulled the little cushion out of the box and removed the necklace, unclasping it and looking at me expectantly.

  I couldn’t move. I felt like I was going to pass out. He wasn’t answering the question because they were real. “Carson, those aren’t real, are they?” I choked out, needing an answer.

  He smiled weakly. “If I say no, will you let me put it on you?”

  Holy shit, they really are!

  I gasped and shook my head, pushing his hands back towards the box. I couldn’t accept it, it was too much. “Carson, I can’t take that. Thank you for buying it for me, but that’s just too much! You need to take that back and get your money back. Damn it, that’s way too much!” I cried, shaking my head in disbelief.

  He groaned, his shoulders slumping. “You don’t like it? I knew I should have gone for something more generic. I’m sorry, Emma.”

  Oh, my God, is he kidding me? It was beautiful! How could any girl – even one who didn’t have a thing for butterflies – not think it was the most beautiful necklace she’d ever seen? “Carson, baby, it’s beautiful, but it’s just too much. Please, take it back and get your money back. I’d be happy with a cheap card; you don’t need to spend your money on me.”

  He seemed to relax a little and smirked at me, raising one eyebrow, managing to look beautiful, sexy and cocky all rolled into one. “I can’t take it back. It’s a custom-made necklace, an original. I designed it myself. Well, kinda, I told the guy you liked butterflies and then I chose the stones to put in it…” he trailed off, laughing.

  I closed my eyes and willed myself to not faint. So much thought. He’s put so much effort into my birthday. So. Damn. Sweet.

  “You did?” I asked, swiping at the tear, which trickled down my cheek.

  He nodded and scooted closer to me on the little love seat. “Yep, I wanted something as beautiful as you but I couldn’t even get it close, so I went for this instead.”

  My heart melted into a puddle. “Aww, Carson, that’s adorable! That’s such a sweet thing to say!” I gasped, awed.

  He laughed wickedly. “I’m just trying to charm you into bed, Emma.”

  I giggled. “Well, it’s definitely working, baby. I’m very grateful; you’re in for a good night!”

  He laughed and brushed my hair over my shoulder. “I need to leave in a couple of minutes. But I’ll take that gratefulness for another night.” He smirked at me and nodded to my neck. “Hold your hair up for me.”

  I looked at him pleadingly, begging him with my eyes to take it back. I hated the thought of him spending money on me. I didn’t need his money. But another part of me wanted that necklace so very badly, just because it was from him. “Carsonnnnnn…” I whined.

  “Emmaaaaaa…” he mocked, grinning.

  I sighed in defeat; I could see on his face there was no way I was getting away with not accepting it. Looking back at the beautiful thing in his hands, my heart swelled. “Thank you so much. It’s so beautiful. Thank you,” I gushed. Taking hold of my hair, I lifted it and turned on the seat so he could put the necklace around my neck. Once it was on, his hands brushed against my shoulders, his touch causing my skin break out in goose bumps. He kissed the back of my neck and I traced my finger over the cold little charm which now rested against my chest.

  “Happy birthday,” he whispered, his hot breath blowing across my skin, making me shiver.

  “Thanks. Are you sure you don’t want to come to the backroom with me and I’ll thank you properly?” I offered, turning in my seat to look at his face, praying he would say yes.

  He looked a little pained as he shook his head. “I can’t, Em. I need to get back so I can get a couple hours of sleep. I have a really long day tomorrow.” He brushed his hand a
cross my cheek lightly, wiping my last tear away with his fingertip.

  I nodded and bit my lip, swallowing my disappointment. It had now been a month without any real form of sexual contact at all – the longest time it had been since I left the club when I was pregnant.

  He sighed and stood up. “I really need to go. What are you doing tomorrow? Are you working? I can drive back tomorrow and see you if you’re working,” he offered.

  I smiled weakly and shook my head. “I’m actually going out tomorrow. I’m going to dinner with one of the girls who works here. Then I’m going drinking with my Uni friends. I’ve got the night off for a change.” Although I had actually been looking forward to going out on my birthday, now that I knew he would come here, I didn’t want to go out. I would definitely rather spend my birthday with Carson.

  He smiled, seeming pleased with my plans. “That’s good; sounds like you’ll have a nice night. I’m glad you’re not working on your birthday.” He straightened my necklace against my chest. “That definitely suits you.” He dipped his head and kissed my forehead for a couple of seconds, making me grip the front of his shirt and close my eyes, savouring the feel of it.

  “Thank you so much, Carson. I really love it,” I said honestly.

  He smiled and nodded. “Good. Right then, I’m back next week so I’ll see you then. Have fun tomorrow.” I gripped his hand as I walked him to the exit, stopping just inside the door as he kissed my forehead again. “You know, nineteen definitely suits you. You seem to get more beautiful the older you get,” he teased, smirking at me. I giggled and he turned and walked out the door, leaving me standing there, biting my lip and holding the little butterfly around my neck.

  I sighed dreamily and immediately skipped over to Lucie, showing her my necklace. She gasped as soon as she saw it, her eyes wide and shocked. “Holy shit, that’s beautiful! He said he had that made for you?”

  I nodded, grinning excitedly. “Yep. He’s so incredible.” I grinned and tried to ignore the vibrating of the music as ‘Petal’ started doing her routine on stage. Not even a half-naked stripper was going to bring me down from my Carson-high tonight.

  “That must have cost him a fortune. For goodness’ sake, don’t lose it! Hey, maybe you should get it appraised or something, get it insured in case you do lose it,” she suggested, nodding enthusiastically.

  As soon as she mentioned losing it, I suddenly started to get worried. I gripped it protectively in my hand. Now I was scared to
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