Trashed, p.22
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       Trashed, p.22

         Part #2 of Stripped series by Jasinda Wilder
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He doesn’t ask anything of me. Doesn’t demand I tell him how I feel or try to kiss me. He drags the blankets over us both and holds me. And this, it turns out, is the magical key to unlocking the gates. He holds me and the fear reflex, the instinct to protect myself from getting to close to anyone, fades into nothingness.

  Chapter 14

  We’re sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Adam is beside me, reading a magazine. I notice he’s been probing at his ribs every once in a while.

  “Adam?” He glances up at me. “How are your ribs?”

  He shrugs. “They’re fine,” he says. “They’ll heal. ”

  “Does it hurt?”

  He shakes his head. “Not really. Aches a little. ”

  “What was the stunt?”

  He closes his magazine. “Jumping from the roof of a warehouse to the top of a moving train. The director wanted the landing to look a certain way, and I kept messing it up. Well, on the last take, the train was moving too fast, so instead of my jump being timed to land in the middle of the car, I hit the back edge, caught it with my stomach. Some bruising, nothing I can’t handle. ” He’s obviously trying to make light of it.

  “Wait. You were jumping onto the roof of a moving train? Like, for real? Isn’t that dangerous?”

  He shrugs. “It’s what I do. ”

  “That’s crazy! You could’ve been killed!”

  “It’s all carefully orchestrated and planned out. And, honestly, if you think about it, it’s no less crazy than putting on some pads and letting other guys tackle you on the field. Playing football, you risk concussion and broken bones every single day. Every practice, every game, you risk injury. In acting, even the most dangerous stunts are planned down to the most minute detail. And this stunt, yeah, it went wrong, but that’s one scene out of hundreds. And that’s the most difficult one we’ll do on this project. It’s not a big deal. ”

  “Did we make it worse, last night?”

  He winks at me. “Babe, I didn’t even feel it. In college, I played injured several times. I played a full game with a sprained wrist once. Bruises like this were so commonplace you didn’t even mention them, honestly. A cracked rib would be a different story, but this is just some bruising. ”

  I’m focusing on him, rather than my nerves. We’re at a gynecologist to get me on birth control. Adam insisted on going with me, and on having Oliver drive us. Which meant avoiding Oliver’s knowing smirk. God. How embarrassing. Twenty-two, almost twenty-three, and I’m just now going on birth control for the first time. And I was driven to the appointment by a bodyguard, with my famous movie star boyfriend sitting beside me.

  Boyfriend? Is that what he is? Is this an actual thing between us? If he’s willing to sit in a gynecologist’s office with me, I’d guess so.

  I have a boyfriend.

  Holy shit. That excites me more than I’m comfortable admitting even to myself.

  Adam catches my giddy grin. “What?”

  I shrug and shake my head. “I just…I don’t know. It’s silly. I’ll tell you later. ”

  “Okay, then. ” He smiles and shrugs.

  The door between the waiting area and the exam rooms opens. A young woman with curly brown hair and dark green scrubs stands in the doorway, propping the door open with a foot, an iPad in her hand.

  She glances up. “Destiny Ross?”

  Adam frowns and looks at me. I blush and refuse to meet his confused gaze.

  The nurse looks at me. “Destiny Ross?” she repeats.

  I stand up. “That’s…that’s me. ” I move toward the nurse, saying, “I go by Des. ”

  “Des, then. Come on back, Dr. Guzman will see you now. ”

  I turn back to Adam, who has a puzzled frown on his face. I shrug at him, and then the door is closing behind me, and the nurse is having me step on a scale and measuring my height, noting the results in her iPad. And then I’m in an exam room, and the nurse is in the doorway.

  Her eyes are wide as she leans toward me. “Your boyfriend, is that—?”

  I nod, and can’t stop a wide, giddy grin from crossing my face. “Yeah. ”

  “Damn. You go, girl!”

  I wave her over. “But you can’t say anything to anyone, okay? Please?”

  She tugs on a brown ringlet. “Can I tell my roommate I met him, at least?”

  I shrug. “Sure. Just…don’t take any pictures or anything. He’s here privately, for me. It’s important. ”

  She nods. “No problem. ” She giggles and shakes her head. “I can’t believe you’re dating Adam Trenton. That’s so cool. ”

  “You have no idea. ” I’m blushing furiously now.

  She seems to realize what kind of office she works in and what the implications are, and her eyes widen. “Ohmygod. Is he as big—”

  I cut her off. “There’s no way in hell I’m answering that question. ”

  She ducks her head. “Of course not. Sorry. ” She smiles at me, and then offers a polite, formal smile. “Dr. Guzman will be in to see you in just a moment. ”

  “Thanks. ”

  “A moment” turns out to be fifteen minutes. And I thought it’d be a matter of just saying I wanted to get on birth control and get some pills, but it’s not that easy. Since I’ve never had any kind of medical insurance, I’ve never had a proper exam, so she insists on that, and then there’s the whole conversation of what kind of birth control I want. I decide on an IUD, because remembering to take a pill every day is never going to happen.

  When I leave the exam room, I hear the hubbub of voices raised in excitement. My heart stops as I push open the door to find Adam in the waiting room, surrounded by a crowd of women, some of them patients, some of them wearing scrubs. He’s got a Sharpie in his hand and he’s signing receipts and the backs of cell phones, and he’s got his public smile on, but it looks strained. I push through the women, grab Adam by the hand, snatch his Sharpie from him and cap it, and then stand in front of him, between him and the women, all of whom seem a little…rabid.

  “Excuse me,” I say, giving each one a glare. “That’s enough. ”

  Page 63


  “But hold on,” one woman says. “Can I just get one selfie with him?”

  Something has me in its claws. Jealousy? Protectiveness? Possessiveness? “No. You can’t have a selfie with him. We’re leaving. ”

  “Des, it’s fine—” Adam starts.

  “It’s not. This is a doctor’s office, not a fucking press junket. ”

  “Are you his girlfriend?” another woman asks, looking at me.

  Adam answers for me. “Yes. She is. ”

  I guess that answers that question.

  “Lucky bitch,” someone mumbles.

  “What’s so special about her?”

  “I’m prettier than her—”

  “Come home with me and I’ll show you what a real woman can do, Adam!”

  “We’re out of here,” Adam growls, and pushes me ahead of him, out the door and into the parking lot. The crowd of women follows us, but Oliver is waiting. The driver’s side door is open, the engine running. He flings open the rear passenger-side door, and then moves between us and the crowd, two massive arms spread out to form a barrier. Adam puts himself between me and the noise behind us, waiting until I’m in and buckling before sliding in himself.

  And then we’re off, the Rover’s smooth, powerful engine roaring.

  “Well, that was fun,” Oliver says.

  “Yeah,” I say, my voice bitter. “A real hoot. ”

  Adam lets out a breath. “God, Des. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. ”

  “Me? You shouldn’t have to worry about being mobbed at the goddamned gynecologist’s office. ”

  He shrugs easily. “Price of fame, I guess. I’m used to it, for the most part. ”

  “Where did they come from, though? The waiting room was empty when I went in for my appoi
ntment. ”

  Adam nods. “Yeah, well, the one girl in the waiting room sent a text, and a few minutes later three or four of her friends show up, and then the receptionist showed up, and then it was just a fucking circus. Whatever. It’s over now. ” He glances at me. “So, we covered?”

  I smile weakly. “Yep. ”

  He frowns and glances at Oliver in the rear-view mirror. “We left before I could pay the bill. Can you call and take care of that for me?”

  Oliver nods. “Sure thing, boss. Consider it done. ”

  And then Adam’s eyes are on me. “So. Destiny?”

  I sigh. “I hate that name. There’s a reason I go by ‘Des’. ”

  “Why? Destiny is a pretty name. I like it. ”

  I shake my head. “Yeah, I just…I’m weird about it, I guess. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the name itself, it’s just—I don’t know. ‘Destiny Ross’ just sounds like a stripper’s name or something. I figured I’ve got enough going against me that I don’t need to sound like a stripper on top of it. So I go by Des. ”

  “So can I call you Destiny?” Adam asks, a small grin on his lips.

  I glare at him. “Not if you want me to respond. ”

  He chuckles. “We’ll have to see about that,” he says with a mischievous smirk.

  I’m not sure I want to know what that smirk means.

  We stop for lunch at a Mexican place downtown, hiding in a corner booth in the back, Adam facing the wall so all anyone can see is me. We eat and chat idly, and then as we’re finishing, Adam glances at me.

  “So. What had you grinning so big back in the waiting room earlier?”

  I shrug and toy with the straw in my glass of Diet Coke. “It’s dumb. ”

  “So? Tell me anyway. ”

  “You’re my boyfriend. ” I glance at him. “Right?”

  His brows furrow. “I’d hope so, yeah. I mean, I said as much to that crowd at the doctor’s. ”

  “That’s why I was grinning. You’re my first. ”

  “You’ve never even had a boyfriend before?”

  I shake my head. “Adam, Ruth is the only person I ever clicked with. I don’t trust anyone. I’ve known Ruth since my freshman year of high school. As soon as we graduated, we got a place together. She’s my only friend, my only family. I’m a very…private…person. ” I poke at an ice cube with the end of the straw, watching it bob and pop back up. “I told you the other day. There was one guy. I had a few classes with him. He was nice, attractive. Seemed interested. We had coffee, he drove me back home and we made out in his car. That was my first kiss. I was okay with it, it felt nice, and I had no problems. But then he got a hand under my shirt and tried to unbutton my pants and I…wigged out. I had a panic attack. Not as bad as the one I had with you, but bad. That was the one and only time I tried dating, or anything close to it. After that, I just couldn’t bring myself to go out on dates. Guys would try to talk to me, and I’d just…freeze them out. So, yeah. You’re my first boyfriend. And that makes me smile. ”

  He just grins at me, happy, pleased with himself.

  Once it was out there, it didn’t sound as dumb as I’d worried about. Or maybe it’s just Adam and his ability to make me feel comfortable, to feel good about myself.

  * * *

  Dating a celebrity is never boring. I discover this over the next two months. Some days, I don’t see him at all. He films from sun-up to sundown, and I’ve got my classes and work. But then he’ll show up outside the school, a hat low over his eyes, or a hood pulled forward, and he’ll whisk me away for dinner somewhere, and we’ll end up back at his apartment and I’ll invariably be naked before he’s even got the door locked behind us.

  Ruth is giddy for me.

  I’m giddy for me.

  We get mobbed every once in awhile. Once, it was at the Somerset Mall, outside Nordstrom. Another time, it was at a Subway—turns out Adam has a slight addiction to Subway. He always handles the attention with aplomb and class. He never refuses to sign, rarely refuses a picture, and always keeps the focus of attention on himself, knowing I’m not entirely comfortable with it.

  We’re photographed together on several occasions. And the tabloids have a field day with it. Rumors abound. According to the tabloids, we’ve broken up at least once so far, probably based on a Photoshopped picture taken of me as I’m trying to peel hair out of my mouth and looking, accidentally, like I’m angry or shouting. In the picture Adam is on his phone and he’s walking away from me. We’d just said goodbye, he was going to set, and I was going to class. Moments before the picture was taken, we’d kissed rather passionately. But they didn’t put that photo in the magazine.

  Page 64


  He invites me to set to watch filming a few times, which is fun. He’s amazing to watch in action. I watch the filming of a big fight scene. Adam is empty-handed, fighting against the villain who has some kind of black stick with green dots running down the length of it. Someone nearby explains that the stick is a stand-in for what will later be a fiery sword created using CGI. Adam is all-explosive energy, backpedalling under the villain’s assault, crossed forearms blocking downward strikes, and then darting past and pummelling his opponent’s body with his fists. Even knowing it’s choreographed, Adam’s punches look vicious, and real. His expression is focused and furious. He’s bare from the waist up, wearing a pair of ripped blue jeans and combat boots, and pieces of leather wrapped around his forearms, the same green dots covering the leather. Obviously, some kind of special effects will be added to his forearms, presumably something that will explain how he could block a fiery sword.

  Each motion is graceful and powerful, and by the time the scene is finished, he’s covering in sweat and his chest is heaving, and my panties are wet with desire for him.

  The director calls “cut!” and Adam leads me by the hand to his trailer. He locks the door, pushes me up against the wall, jerks my jeans open and shoves them down. I’m fumbling at his jeans at the same time, and then he’s bending at the knees and thrusting up into me, and a whimper escapes me. He covers my mouth with his palm, his eyes burning into mine. He rests his forehead on mine and he thrusts into me until I’m coming and his hand is all that muffles my gasps of climax. And then he’s coming into me, his heat shooting into me, filling me, wet and thick.

  When we’re done, he goes into the small bathroom and comes out with a damp washcloth and cleans me. I wring the cloth out, wet it again, and clean him. And then he’s kissing me and we’re buttoning up, and he’s back to filming and I’m back to class.

  It’s our secret. Only, guessing by the smirks of certain crew members as Oliver escorts me to the Rover, it’s not such a secret.

  I don’t care.

  Okay, maybe deep down I’m equal parts embarrassed and thrilled. Knowing we’re fucking with hundreds of people just outside the walls of the trailer adds a layer of excitement to the whole thing.

  Another time, near the end of the filming, Adam surprises me at work. It’s the end of my shift, around one in the morning, and I’m exhausted. We didn’t get much sleep the night before…ahem…and I was up for class at seven thirty, and then at work by four that afternoon. So when I feel hands on my waist, I shriek in surprise. He pulls my ear buds out of my ear.

  “Hey. ” His mouth is at my throat and his hands are caressing me down to my ass.

  I grin, and set my mop aside. “Hey yourself. ”

  He lets me go, reaches for a small bag at his feet. “So I kind of hate that I can’t text you while we’re apart. So I got you a phone. ” He hands me the box to a white iPhone 6. “It’s got my number, Oliver’s, and Ruth’s programmed into it already. ”

  “Adam…” I start, but I’m not sure what to say.

  No one gives me gifts. Ruth and I have a standing agreement on the subject, since we’re both typically too broke to afford much. We usually just get tipsy together for whatever occasion w
ould require a gift.

  “This is a selfish thing I’m doing,” Adam says. “I need to be able to call you, or text you. I mean, I like just showing up and surprising you, but it’d be so much more effective if I could just text you and be like, ‘hey, I’m coming over to get you, so wear that sexy underwear I like. ’”

  I frown at him. “I don’t have any sexy underwear. ”

  He grins. “Exactly. Those. ”

  I blush. “Adam. I’m not not wearing underwear. That’s weird. ”

  “You should try it sometime. It’s fun. ”

  My gaze travels south. “Are you wearing underwear right now?”

  “Where’s the fun in telling you?”

  So I push him into the men’s room, into the handicap stall, and discover he’s commando when I unzip his jeans and his cock springs out, hardening under my gaze.

  It hardens further in my mouth. I’ve found out he has a thing for taking my hair out of the ponytail when I go down on him. He likes to bury his hands in my hair, hold it away from my face and ‘help’ me ever so gently, especially when he’s close.

  “If this is how you’re gonna react when I get you things, I might be giving you more gifts,” he jokes as I zip him back up.

  I rinse my mouth out and glance at him. “You don’t have to give me gifts for this, Adam. Just ask. ”

  He tilts his head. “Really? If I asked, you’d just—”

  I wink at him. “Try it, sometime. ”

  Now, I don’t precisely like going down on him, but I do enjoy it very much when he goes down on me—which he does regularly, and voraciously, and skillfully—and I also enjoy his reactions, and the way he thanks me.

  So, a few days after he gave me the phone—which I love and can’t seem to put down—we’re in his apartment, watching a movie. Aunt Flo is in town, shutting me down for business. So he asks, and I do, drawing it out as long as possible, making him go crazy until he’s nearly begging me to let him come. When he does, it’s a lot, and hard, and he’s gasping and he can’t seem to make coherent sentences for at least five minutes, and I feel very pleased with myself.

  The thing with Adam is, he always seems to get the last word.

  The credits to the movie are running, white text on a black background, electronic music pulsing. I’m lying on his lap, his jeans still unzipped and unbuttoned but pulled up, and his fingers trail through my hair.

  “So. We wrapped filming today,” he says. “Which means I’m heading back to L. A. at some point. ”

  I tense. “Oh. ”

  Hello, panic attack. How awful to see you again.

  But he’s not done, so I try to keep the looming panic attack at bay with some deep breathing.

  “Your semester is done when?”

  “Next week,” I manage.

  “And how many semesters do you have left before you get your degree?”

  “I have another year. Maybe a little less. ”

  He just nods, and is silent for a moment. I’m still close to panicking. “So Fulcrum 2 premieres in three weeks. ”

  “Okay. ” I’m not sure where he’s going with this, and I’m afraid to ask.

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