Asking for it, p.6
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       Asking for It, p.6

         Part #1 of Asking for It series by Lilah Pace
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  Shay is so proud of this meal, too. I’m their first dinner guest in their new place—“trying to make a home of a rented house,” as the song says. She’s into comfort foods these days, learning to make old-fashioned, Grandma’s-house stuff like pot roast, pound cake, and tonight’s chicken pot pie. Apparently that’s a hipster thing, all the home-style recipes. This chicken pot pie is probably ironic. It’s also delicious, though, so yay for hipsters.

  We’re eating at a card table set up at the far end of the kitchen. Whatever money they have for furniture is going toward the nursery. For the rest of the house, Shay says they’ll decorate with Salvation Army and Goodwill stuff, or even dumpster diving. (That works better in a college town than it does most places. You wouldn’t believe the things that get thrown out by nineteen-year-olds who didn’t have to pay for it. ) So far the house looks pretty bare.

  Yet this place already feels like a home. It’s illuminated by the way Arturo and Shay care for each other, the hopes they have for the future. I feel more comfortable here than I’ve felt in my parents’ house—my childhood home—for a very long time.

  I would say as much to Carmen, if she were here. Supposedly she has a bunch of test papers to grade. My guess is that she’s still not ready to see Shay as the “woman of the house,” but surely she’s going to get over that soon.

  “Are you sure you’re all right?” Shay pats my shoulder. “I think you’re pushing yourself. Not taking enough time to rest. ”

  I try to put her at ease. “I’m in the heart of my research right now. It takes a lot of concentration. ”

  Page 21

  Which is true. Which is why it’s not exactly helpful to spend virtually every waking moment thinking about getting banged by Jonah Marks.

  “I know you have to work hard,” Arturo says as he returns to the table, putting Shay’s ginger ale in front of her. “But that just means you have to play hard, too. ”

  Did he just say—

  “Are you choking?” Shay thumps my back. “Gone down the wrong way, hasn’t it?”

  “I’m good,” I say, and I manage not to laugh.

  •   •   •

  By Friday night, I don’t feel like laughing.

  Whenever I let my mind rush ahead to the hotel room, my whole body trembles with fear and anticipation. I don’t know which emotion is stronger. Right now I hardly know which way is up.

  I’ve taken a couple of fail-safe steps. Carmen and I have made plans to go to the farmer’s market tomorrow morning. If I don’t show up at her place by ten A. M. , she’ll start looking for me immediately. I also scheduled an e-mail that will go out to her, Arturo, and Shay in three days, if I don’t delete it. The e-mail reads: If something has happened to me, the police should look for Jonah Marks.

  Of course I don’t think that’s going to be necessary. If I believed Jonah was definitely dangerous, I wouldn’t go to the hotel in the first place.

  . . . but he’s a little dangerous. Enough for the fear to feel very real.

  Rush hour. I drive against the traffic into the heart of downtown Austin, to the tallest hotel in the city, which is usually peopled by visiting celebrities, wealthy tourists, or corporate clients. Jonah didn’t skimp. He’s arranged an exquisite locale for his first attack.

  “We have you for one night?” the check-in clerk says brightly.

  “Yes. Just one key. ” How do I sound so calm? The role-playing has already begun.

  The room is luxurious in a sophisticated, minimalist sort of way—a broad bed with a white duvet and half a dozen pillows, a long desk of polished wood for the business guests, and soft mood lighting shining from sconces carefully placed on the cream-colored walls. It’s on one of the higher floors, and the windows look out over the cityscape. I admire the view while the sun sets, then close the curtains, so nobody can look in.

  Getting here three hours early was overkill. Although I try to watch TV, my mind refuses to focus on the lights and sounds in front of me. Finally I give up and start getting ready. Tonight I want to take my time with it—to carefully put myself together so Jonah can pull me apart.

  A long hot shower relaxes me slightly; the sugar scrub I brought softens my skin. I dry my hair upside down so that it will be bouncier and wilder than I usually wear it.

  I’d contemplated getting a bikini wax but ultimately decided against it. Better if I seem—unprepared. Still, I use the electric clippers to trim everything neatly. Then I step into a pair of white lace panties. No bra.

  For Christmas, my mother gave me this perfume she likes and I don’t. It’s one of those sultry, overpowering 1980s fragrances, the kind of thing that comes in a purple bottle. The scent might as well say fuck me out loud. Tonight is the first time I’ve ever worn it. I apply my makeup like my older sister Chloe taught me, the way I almost never bother with. Most days, powder, mascara, and tinted lip balm do the trick. Tonight, I go with a smoky eye and shimmery blush that contours my cheekbones. The lipstick I wear is dark glossy red.

  I bought this dress online last year, on impulse, goaded by the deep final-sale discount and the website’s red letters reading Only One Left! When it arrived, though, I realized it looked less glamorous, more trashy. The filmy, raspberry-colored fabric clings to every curve, and the hem barely covers my ass. Two slender straps hold it in place.

  Should be easy for Jonah to tear through those.

  Simple diamond stud earrings—anything dangly would just get in the way later. Finally I step into my silver strappy sandals. Done.

  I stand in front of the mirror, trying to see myself as Jonah will see me when he walks into the bar. Everything about me says sex. This is the kind of outfit that jackass rape apologists say means a woman is “asking for it. ”

  Tonight, I actually am. I’m asking for it.

  In the hotel bar, I feel conspicuous. Certainly I stand out among the various travelers, most of whom are wearing dark, comfortable stuff that packs well. As I slide onto my bar stool, I have to cross my legs to keep from flashing the entire room. The bartender gives me an up-and-down look before saying, “What can I do for you?” Probably he thinks I’m a hooker searching for clients.

  Page 22

  “I’ll have a cosmopolitan, please. ” Not my usual poison. It seems like the kind of thing a girl in a trashy pink dress would order.

  The bartender gets it to me quickly, just like he does the second one I order. I haven’t yet eaten dinner, so that’s more than enough to make my head swim. “Want another?” the bartender says.

  I start to shake my head no, but then a deep voice says, “She’ll have one more. On me. ”

  Jonah is here.

  How did he get in without my seeing him? Then I realize I’ve been staring at the way I came in—the entrance for hotel guests—and he walked through the door from the street. He’s dressed more casually than I am, in black jeans and a long-sleeved white shirt, cuffs pushed up nearly to his elbow. Jonah doesn’t look like a guy who’s here to cruise for women. He looks ready for action. Ready for anything.

  Am I ready? Now that he’s here next to me, I don’t know. Yet I stay where I am.

  He’s going to try to pick me up. My job is to shoot him down.

  “One more cosmo for the lady?” the bartender asks, obviously giving me a chance to turn Jonah down. I don’t say anything.

  Jonah answers for me. “One more. And bring me a scotch and soda. ”

  Once the bartender’s busy making our drinks, I speak to Jonah for the first time. “Thanks. ”

  He slides onto the bar stool next to mine. “You’re visiting town?”

  I didn’t plan out a story for being here, so I keep it simple. “Just passing through. ”

  “On your own?”

  “Mmm-hmm. ” I turn my head from Jonah to accept my third cosmo. I don’t dare drink much of it, but I lift the glass, clink it against his tumbler of scotch, and say, “Cheers.


  “Cheers. ” Jonah’s gaze rakes up and down my body, like he’s already claiming me for his own.

  The bartender hurries off to deal with other guests, which leaves us alone.

  “Hard to believe, a beautiful woman like you alone on a Friday night,” Jonah murmurs.

  I shrug. One of the straps of my dress slides nearer the edge of my shoulder. “Happens to everybody, once in a while. ”

  With two fingers, Jonah pushes the strap back into place. His touch is so hot it seems to burn. “You wouldn’t have to be alone any longer than you wanted. ”

  “Sometimes we all need to be alone. ”

  “I can think of something else you need. ”

  Arousal and fear both spike within me at once. My head reels. “I’m doing just fine. ”

  Jonah smirks. “You must get this a lot. Attention from men, guys trying to pick you up. I think you like it. ”

  “Why would you think that?”

  “That dress doesn’t say ‘leave me alone. ’” He looks down at my legs, exposed almost to my ass. “It gives a different message. ”

  “The only message is—good night. ” With that, I take my one sip of that last cosmo, then hop off the bar stool. Although the floor is slightly unsteady beneath my feet, I’m able to walk out smoothly, as if I’m paying no attention to Jonah behind me.

  But I can hear every footstep as he follows me out.

  My heart is pounding so hard that you can see it—the front of my dress rising and falling with my pulse. My cunt is so tight and hot that it almost hurts. This is it. This is really it.

  Then my brain suddenly wakes up and takes over, as if someone had thrown a glass of ice water in my face. Are you really doing this? This is dangerous. You hardly know this man. Do you realize how fast your fantasy could become a very ugly reality?

  I push the elevator button as Jonah comes to stand next to me. He smiles slowly. “Headed up to your room too, huh?”

  “Yeah. ” Nervously I tuck a lock of hair behind my ear. We’re the only ones who get on the elevator. After I push sixteen, I glance at Jonah again. “Your room is on the sixteenth floor too?”

  “They’ve got lots of rooms on the sixteenth floor. Right?”

  I don’t answer.

  Silver. Say silver. End it here and now. Jonah might be pissed off, but he’d walk away. Wouldn’t he? If he didn’t, at least people would be around. I could yell and scream, and somebody would call hotel security. I could pay him back for the room. It’s not too late to stop this. It’s not too late.

  We reach the sixteenth floor. I fish my key card out of my glittery evening clutch as I go to the door. Jonah walks right behind me, saying nothing.

  I slide the key card in and out. The light turns green. As I open the door, Jonah leans against the wall just beside me. “Looks like you really are on your own. ”

  Page 23

  It’s not too late—

  But it is. It’s been too late for me for a long time. This is who I am. This is what I want. It’s time to finally face it.

  “Excuse me. ” I walk inside. As I’d expected, Jonah follows me. He shuts the door hard behind us, and we’re alone. I ought to protest. I should keep playing my role. Instead all I can do is stare at him, standing between me and escape.

  Jonah stands there for a long moment, breathing hard. He’s completely turned on—completely ready to claim me—and yet he says nothing. I realize he’s giving me one more chance to speak up. One last out.

  I don’t take it.

  “What are you doing?” I manage to whisper.

  He grins, slow and hot. “Taking what’s mine. ”

  Eight

  Jonah backs me against the wall.

  “You like being a cocktease, don’t you?” He slams his hands on either side of me, so that I’m imprisoned by his arms. His muscular body is only inches from mine. “Dress like a whore, get guys to buy you drinks, and then leave them hanging. That’s your game. You’re not doing that to me. ”

  “Please—” I can’t think of anything else to say. I’ve almost never been this scared, and I know I’ve never been this turned on.

  “Shut up,” Jonah says. His voice is quiet, contemptuous. “You don’t talk. There are better things you can do with that mouth. ”

  This is what he wanted—my total silence, his total control. I surrender without a word.

  He grips my wrist. I can feel the pressure all the way through my flesh to my bones. A whimper escapes my lips; Jonah ignores it. He presses my palm against the erection that’s straining the fabric of his jeans, then rubs it up and down the length of his cock. His flesh is hot even through the denim. “Feel that? You did that. You got me hard, so now you have to get me off. ”

  Oh, my God, he’s huge. Can I even take that inside me?

  He’s going to rip me apart. I ought to be scared. Instead I’m so wet it’s slicking my thighs.

  “Take it out,” Jonah says. “Take my cock out of my pants. Do it. ”

  My hands shake as I fumble with the zipper, open the front of his boxers. His cock slips free, jutting into my palm. He’s thick, too.

  “Lick your lips. I want your lips wet when they’re on my cock. ”

  My lips are still sweet from the cosmopolitans. As my tongue traces around my mouth, Jonah breathes out, hard, like I’d just punched him in the gut.

  One of his hands fists in my hair. I wince, but Jonah just smiles. He pulls me down by the hair until I fall to my knees. His enormous dick is in my face.

  He growls, “Open your goddamned mouth. ”

  I have no choice. I have to obey.

  Jonah pushes forward. His girth forces me to open my jaw all the way; it’s all I can do even to get him inside my mouth. The velvety head is almost into my throat, and I feel like he could choke me like this. I can hardly breathe.

  “Suck it. ”

  I try. He’s so huge that I can hardly use my tongue, but I bob my head back and forth, doing the best I can.

  “Look at me. ” Jonah’s voice is low. “You look at my face when you suck my cock, do you hear me?”

  My eyes go up to his. He’s breathing hard and unbuttoning his shirt with his free hand. The white fabric falls aside, exposing the muscles of his powerful chest. His jaw is set, his lips curled in a mocking smile. The hand in my hair tightens further, until his grip borders on pain.

  “Harder. And use your fucking hands. Do me like you mean it. ”

  I suck harder. Salty pre-come slicks the inside of my mouth, moistens my lips. With one hand I brace myself against his leg—his thigh muscles rock-hard. With the other I start working him, twisting my fist around him with every stroke, pumping his cock. I can feel every vein, every throb.

  “I’m teaching you a lesson,” he says. “You don’t dress like a whore and go to bars unless you want to get fucked. ”

  Pre-come floods my mouth, and I think he’s going to finish any moment. Instead he pulls out, leaving me coughing and gasping for air. Jonah’s so hard it’s got to hurt—his cock swollen and dark—but he holds me there a few long seconds.

  He doesn’t want to come yet. That would be letting me off easy.

  “Pull your dress down,” he says. “I want to see those tits. ”

  I tug down the front of my dress, just enough to expose my nipples. With his free hand he slaps at my breast. The impact stings, and I flinch.

  Page 24

  Jonah laughs. “You don’t like that? You’re going to get a lot more than that before I’m through with you. ” He pushes his fingers between my lips, forcing them open again for his cock. “Now I’m going to fuck your mouth. ”

  His other hand cups the back of my head, and he starts thrusting. I can’t suck; I can’t do anything but take it. He’s so big that this almost hurts—makes my jaw ache. His cock fills me all the way to my throat. I gag around him, but he just keeps going.

 
You’ll think twice before you tease the next guy, won’t you?” Jonah thrusts in harder as he tugs my hair. “Next time a guy treats you nice, you’ll know how to behave. ”

  Just when I think I can’t take this one moment longer, he pulls out. As I gasp for breath, Jonah tows me upright by my hair. Once again I stand before him on shaky legs. My heavy makeup must be smeared all over my face.

  With one hand he palms my breast and squeezes so hard it makes me cry out. Then he reaches under my dress, into my panties. Jonah’s fingers push inside me, a touch meant to insult and bruise.

  “Thought you were too good to go to bed with me?” His smile has never looked fiercer. “Then you don’t get a fucking bed. ”

  He pushes me backward so hard I nearly fall. I stagger against the desk, and Jonah shoves my shoulders down so that I’m splayed on top of it. The wood is hard against my back. Both of his hands grip the top of my dress, and he tears it almost in two. Pink fabric slides down on either side of my body, exposing me completely to his contemptuous gaze.

  It only takes one hand to rip my panties apart.

  Jonah works so quickly that I only realize he’s putting on the condom when he’s done. His hands shove my knees apart, and then the head of his cock bumps against my cunt. I realize he’s teasing me with it. Making me more afraid. Making me want it.

  He whispers, “This is what you get, bitch. ” And then he thrusts inside, savagely hard.

  Oh, fuck. Fuck. He’s so big—enormous—he’s splitting me apart. The pain is greater than the pleasure, and I push ineffectually at his shoulders. Jonah just grabs my hands and pins them against the desk.

  Silver. The word floats up in my mind again, and I nearly say it. But that’s the moment when the pleasure eclipses the pain. Jonah’s cock feels so good inside me, filling me up completely, blotting out everything else in the world.

  He starts to move—slowly, at first. Still teasing me. My legs fall apart even wider; my whole body is giving in to him. Jonah owns me now.

  He’s speeding up, moment by moment. “You got what you deserved, didn’t you?” he pants. “Tell me. ”

  “I—I got what I deserved. ” My voice sounds dazed, drunk, like it’s not my own.

  “Thank me for teaching you a lesson. ”

  “—thank you—”

  Jonah laughs. It’s a sound of triumph. Then he lets go.

  I cry out again as he starts pounding into me, hard and fast and brutal. The desk shakes beneath me with each thrust. My breasts jiggle back and forth, and he stares down at them with undisguised satisfaction. The slap of his body against mine is as loud as it is savage.

 
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