Denied, p.14
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       Denied, p.14
 

         Part #2 of One Night series by Jodi Ellen Malpas

  it, Livy,’ he whispers hoarsely, performing an easy grind of his hips.

  I turn my heated face back outwards when I feel his lips at my ear and find dark lashes framing sparkling blue eyes. ‘I don’t want to take anything. I want you to give it to me.’

  He retreats slowly and pushes forward firmly, again and again, drawing constant moans of pleasure each and every time. ‘What do you want me to give you?’

  ‘What’s the most resilient part of you?’ I groan the words through an excruciatingly deep thrust.

  ‘My heart, Livy. My heart is the most resilient part of me.’ He loses control momentarily and bucks forward on a bark.

  My chest swells at his admission. ‘Let me see you.’ I wriggle under his body. ‘Please, I need to see you properly.’

  ‘Fucking hell,’ he curses, and quickly slips out of me, allowing me to spin over and grab at his shoulders before he quickly re-enters me, pounding forward uncontrolled. ‘Livy!’ he shouts, pushing his torso up on his arms. He holds still, panting and staring down at me. ‘I’m petrified of you.’

  I tilt my hips up, making him drop his chin to his chest, his waves falling forward as he does. ‘I’m scared of you, too,’ I whisper. ‘Terrified.’

  He lifts his eyes and circles his hips. ‘I’m an emotion virgin, Livy. You’re my first.’

  ‘What are you saying?’ I ask quietly.

  He goes to speak, then seems to think better of it, his eyes darting all over my face. ‘I’ve fallen, Olivia Taylor,’ he whispers.

  I bite down on my bottom lip to prevent a sob slipping free. That’s the only thing that matters. ‘You fascinate me,’ I counter. I’m reaffirming my feeling, making it known that nothing has changed. I’ve wasted too much precious time pushing him away – time that I could have been helping him and making myself stronger.

  He drops to his forearms and starts pumping his hips slowly, carrying me further into rapture. ‘Please don’t drop me,’ he breathes.

  I shake my head and feel the back of his head out, meeting each one of his advances with matching thrusts of my hips. I don’t know what’s happening, but I do know that my feelings are profound. And now they’ve only been strengthened.

  ‘I’ve been saved by a gorgeous, sweet girl,’ he whispers, gazing down at me. ‘She makes my heart quicken and my senses slow.’

  I close my eyes, letting him drive on, the perfection of this moment tearing at my soul.

  ‘I’m going to come,’ he gasps, ‘Olivia!’

  My eyes snap open, my body squirming under his hard physique. His pace has advanced, along with my pleasure. Our bodies are locked together, as are our eyes, and the connection remains intact until we both whimper as our climaxes take hold in unison and both of us go rigid, gasping into each other’s faces. A strange sensation floods me. Literally. My insides are warm, feeling good. Too good.

  ‘You’re not wearing a condom,’ I say quietly.

  Recognition dawns on his perfect face, his gentle drives halting too abruptly. He thinks hard for a few moments before he eventually speaks. ‘I guess I’m not the gentleman I claim to be.’

  I shouldn’t smile, given the serious situation, but I do. Miller’s unusual show of humour, even if it’s inappropriate, makes it impossible not to. ‘You have a dry humour.’

  He pushes into me, deep and high, his semi-hard-on stroking me, reminding me of the rightness of his bareness. ‘There’s nothing dry about our current condition.’

  I laugh. Miller Hart never ceases to amaze me. ‘That’s terrible!’

  ‘It feels pretty damn good to me.’ He flashes me a boyish grin and dips to bite my cheek. He’s right, it feels incredible, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.

  ‘I’ll need to visit my doctor.’ I push my face to his mouth and muster the strength required to hold him tightly.

  ‘I’ll take you. I accept full responsibility.’ Pulling back, he studies me closely. ‘It felt better than I ever imagined. It’ll be difficult to return to condoms.’

  I comprehend something immediately. ‘You knew, didn’t you? The whole time you were aware.’

  ‘It felt too good to stop.’ He kisses my startled face chastely. ‘Besides, we can ask the doctor to prescribe you the pill while we’re there.’

  ‘We can?’

  ‘Yes,’ he answers surely. ‘Now I’ve had you with nothing between us, I’m greedy for more.’

  I have nothing to say to that.

  ‘Would you mind if we slept on the sofa in my studio?’ he asks.

  ‘Why?’

  ‘It soothes me, and with you in my thing, too, I’m going to sleep extremely well.’

  ‘I’d love to.’

  ‘Good, not that you had a choice.’ He scoops me up and transports me back to his art studio, where I’m placed neatly on the old squidgy sofa before he mirrors me, pulling me back to his chest and resting his head on mine so we both have the stunning view in sight. The silence surrounding us gives me an opportunity to consider some of the answers I’m still to learn.

  ‘Why wouldn’t you let me kiss you?’ I whisper.

  I feel him stiffen behind me, and I don’t like it. ‘I’m reluctant to answer any more of your questions, Livy. I don’t want you to run away again.’

  I find his hand and bring it to my mouth, kissing it sweetly. ‘I won’t run.’

  ‘Promise me.’

  ‘I promise.’

  ‘Thank you.’ He tugs at me, helping me to turn around and face him. He wants eye contact while we’re conversing. ‘Kissing is a very intimate act,’ he says, pulling my face to his and giving me a long, slow, languid one, both of us humming contentedly.

  ‘So is sex.’

  ‘You’re wrong.’ He pulls away and scans my confused face. ‘There is only intimacy if there is feeling.’

  I absorb his words in an instant. ‘We have feeling.’

  He smiles and makes an elaborate gesture of feeling by coating my face in wet kisses. I don’t stop him. I let him stifle me completely. I drown in his affection until he decides that my face has been given enough intimacy. The knowledge of Miller’s rules, the no kissing or touching, sends a warm feeling of satisfaction deep into the very centre of me, alleviating the anguish that’s crippled me since my discovery. He allows me to kiss him and he allows me to touch and feel him. Those women missed out on something obscenely gratifying.

  ‘You haven’t slept with a woman since you met me?’

  He shakes his head.

  ‘Yet you’ve had’ – I pause, thinking what word I should use – ‘bookings?’

  ‘Dates,’ he corrects me. ‘Yes, I’ve had dates.’

  William’s curiosity gets the better of me. He wondered how Miller managed to uphold his dates without having sex with those women. If I hate my own curiosity, then I despise William’s. ‘If they pay to get the best fuck of their life, then how did you avoid giving it to them?’

  ‘It wasn’t without its difficulties.’ He brushes my hair from my face. ‘I’m not a fan of small talk.’

  ‘You talked?’ I ask, shocked.

  ‘I might have said the odd word when I was paying attention. Most of the time I was thinking of you.’

  ‘Oh.’

  ‘Are we done?’ he asks, clearly uncomfortable with the conversation, yet I’m not. I should be. I should be satisfied with his offered information, glad he’s opened up and enlightened me, glad there are no feelings involved. But I’m not. I’m too confused.

  ‘I don’t understand why those women want you like that.’ Good Lord, if they experienced what I have with Miller Hart, if they were worshipped, then I’m certain they would be bashing down the door to get to him.

  ‘I make them orgasm.’

  ‘Women pay thousands for an orgasm?’ I blurt. ‘That’s . . .’ I’m about to say obscene, but then I recall each of my own orgasms and Miller’s hint of a smile tells me he knows what I’m thinking. I deflate. ‘You make all women feel as good as I do when you have me in
bed.’

  He nods.

  ‘So there’s nothing special about me.’ I sound hurt. I am hurt.

  ‘I beg to differ,’ he argues, and I’m about to challenge him, but he hushes me with his glorious lips, sweeping his tongue through my mouth slowly. My senses scramble and I completely forget what I was going to say. ‘There’s something very special about you, Olivia.’

  ‘What?’ I ask, relishing his attention.

  ‘You make me feel as good as I know I make you feel – something that no one else has ever done or ever will. I had sex with women. Nothing about any of those encounters made my heart race.’

  ‘You said it was pleasurable,’ I remind him, keeping myself attached to him. ‘I didn’t get any pleasure when you took me like that. Did you?’ I definitely remember him climaxing.

  ‘I felt nothing but disgrace before, during, and after.’

  ‘Why?’

  ‘Because I swore on my own life that I’d never tarnish you with my dirty brush.’

  ‘Then why didn’t you stop?’

  ‘I blacked out.’ He drops my lips and shifts uncomfortably. ‘When that switch flicks, I don’t register anything except my own aim.’

  ‘How do these women get any satisfaction from it?’

  ‘They desire me. But I’m unobtainable. Everyone wants what they can’t have.’ He watches me closely, almost apprehensively.

  I sever our eye contact, trying to process all of this, but Miller interrupts my train of thought.

  ‘Do you know the statistics when it comes to women climaxing during penetrative sex?’

  My gaze lifts. ‘No.’

  ‘It’s incredibly rare. Every woman I fuck comes when I’m inside her. I don’t even have to try. That kind of makes me talented. And in demand.’

  I’m stunned into silence, astounded by his frankness. He’s explaining like it’s a burden. It might be. And exhausting. My poor, innocent mind is racing, and it homes right in on a little detail. My orgasm in the hotel room. I didn’t try for that one. I was shut off from my body. It came all by itself . . . but then my spiralling thoughts register something else. ‘You had to help me once,’ I breathe, remembering feeling so useless and frustrated. ‘You used your fingers.’

  He frowns. ‘That makes you even more special.’

  ‘I’ve buggered up your flawless track record.’

  He smiles at me, pulling one from me, too. It’s ridiculous that I’m mirroring his amusement, but the alternative is wretchedness. ‘Arrogance is a really ugly emotion,’ he whispers.

  My eyes widen. ‘Says you?’ I choke.

  He shrugs.

  ‘I might sell my story,’ I announce seriously, watching as his mild smile spreads into the rare, full-blown one I cherish seeing. ‘London’s most notorious male escort loses his touch.’ I remain serious, watching his eyes continue to twinkle and his mouth twitching.

  ‘What will it cost me for your silence?’ he asks.

  I look up to the ceiling and pout, feigning thinking hard about his question when I know exactly what I’m going to say, and I knew the moment he posed the question to me. I return my eyes to his. ‘A lifetime of worshipping.’

  ‘I hope you mean from me.’ Our lips reattach.

  ‘Exclusively. You owe me a thousand pounds,’ I mumble against his mouth, making him pull away on a puckered brow. ‘I paid for goods that I wasn’t satisfied with. I want my money back.’

  ‘You want a refund?’ He smiles, but it falls away in a second, being replaced with worry. ‘I left your money on the table.’

  ‘Oh.’ I sit up and straddle his lap, not matching his concern at all. I don’t want that money any more than I want the thousands that are stashed in the bank accounts where it came from. ‘I bought you dinner.’ I shrug.

  ‘Livy, oysters and wine do not cost a thousand pounds.’

  ‘Then I bought you dinner and left a very generous tip.’

  His lips press into a straight line in an obvious attempt to restrain his amusement. ‘Now you’re just being silly.’

  ‘And you are being uptight.’

  ‘I beg your pardon!’

  ‘Oh, lighten up!’ I collapse onto his chest and nuzzle into him.

  He scoffs at my insult but cuddles me fiercely. ‘Your request has been noted, Miss Taylor.’

  I grin into his skin, feeling an overwhelming sense of happiness. ‘Jolly good, Mr Hart.’

  ‘Cheeky.’

  ‘You love my sassy streak.’

  He sighs deeply and rests the side of his head on mine. ‘I do,’ he whispers. ‘If you’re sassy with me, I love it, most of the time.’

  His indirect declaration cements it for me. I’m utterly and completely in love with Miller Hart. He turns me away from his body and pulls my back into his chest. My head rests on his forearm and my hand finds his, our fingers intertwining in a silent message.

  Never let go.

  ‘Unobtainable,’ I whisper on a sigh.

  ‘I’m perfectly obtainable to you, Olivia Taylor.’ He constricts me, inhaling deeply before tenderly kissing the back of my head. ‘I’ve never made love to a woman in my life.’ I barely hear his words. ‘Only you.’

  His sobering confession sinks into my mind, shocking me. ‘Why me?’ I ask quietly, refraining from spinning over to see his eyes. I shouldn’t make a big deal of it, even though it’s a huge deal.

  He sinks his nose into my hair and breathes me into him. ‘Because when I look into those bottomless sparkling sapphires, I see freedom.’

  My body relaxes on a contented sigh. I would not have thought I could take my eyes from the stunning outlook of Miller’s squidgy sofa, but when he follows up his heartfelt words with his signature hum, I’m proven wrong. London slowly disappears before my eyes, and the horrid images I’ve fought and failed to remove from my mind’s eye for so long disappear with it.

  Chapter Twelve

  I come awake slowly, feeling safe and content, the hardness of Miller’s torso pushed into my back, his arms wrapped tightly around my waist and his face buried snugly in my neck. Smiling, I melt further into him, closing any space there may have been, gripping his hand on my tummy with mine. It’s early, the rising sun offering a hazy glow through the window, and I’m warm and cosy, but I’m also thirsty. Completely parched.

  Breaking away from Miller’s firm clench is close to unthinkable, but I can quickly find my place again once I’ve quenched my thirst. So I tentatively peel my body from his, detaching his arms from around my midriff and shifting towards the edge of the sofa, being sure not to disturb him. Then I quietly stand and study him for a while. His hair is everywhere, his dark lashes spread and his full lips slightly parted. He looks angelic, beautifully tangled up among the blankets. My emotionally impaired part-time gentleman.

  I could remain here motionless for an eternity, just watching him sleeping serenely. He looks peaceful. I feel peaceful. The air surrounding us is so peaceful.

  On a contented exhale, I take my naked self out to the corridor and follow my feet until I’m standing before one of Miller’s paintings. London Bridge. I cock my head, pouting while I ponder his perception of the landmark, the blur of paints sending my eyes crossed after a few moments of staring, making me see the bridge perfectly. Then I frown, uncrossing my eyes, making the painting a perfect mess of oil paints again. He’s taken a beautiful London landmark and made it almost unappealing – like he wants people to be averse to its actual beauty, and it’s in this moment I wonder if Miller Hart sees everything in his life as distorted and unclear. Does he see the whole world in this tainted manner? My neck retracts as another speculating moment descends on me abruptly. Does he see himself in this tainted manner? At a distance, the painting looks perfect, but get up close and beneath the surface, you find a wreck. A mess of colour – something ugly and confusing. I think he does see himself like this, and I think he goes all out to blur people’s perception of him, too. The sobering thought is paining but equally maddening. He’s be
autiful inside and out. But I may be the only person on this planet who knows that for sure.

  A distant chiming sends me on a startled jump and yanks me from my pondering, my hand flying up to my chest to put some pressure on
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