Promised, p.19
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       Promised, p.19

         Part #1 of One Night series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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  up to my waist. ‘I’m doing what you’ve been begging me to do throughout dinner.’

  ‘I wasn’t begging.’ My voice has dropped to a husky whisper. I don’t recognise it.

  ‘Livy, you were most certainly begging. Lift yourself up,’ he orders, taking my hips, encouraging me.

  I put up no resistance, pushing on my knees and rising. ‘I thought you were waiting to put me back in your bed.’

  ‘I would have, had you not teased and tortured me for the past hour. There’s only so much I can take.’ A condom appears from nowhere and he takes it between his teeth before reaching down and unfastening his trousers. ‘I realise how cheap this is but I really cannot wait.’ His penis breaks free from his trousers, hard and ready, and he makes fast work of ripping the packet open with his teeth and rolling it on.

  I can’t find my breath. My hands are holding the seat on either side of his head and I’m completely rapt as I watch him sheathe himself. Fizzles of heat are stabbing at the pit of my belly, working their way down to my groin, and I’m mentally egging him on, wanting him to hurry. I’ve lost control and my impatience is evident, more so when I gaze up at him and find misty blue eyes and moist, parted lips.

  Pulling my cotton knickers aside, he guides himself to my opening, brushing the inside of my thigh, making me pull in a sharp breath. ‘Lower slowly,’ he whispers, replacing one hand on my hip.

  Trying to rein in the temptation to crash down, I slowly inch my way down, letting the air from my lungs gush from my mouth, my head falling back, my fingers digging into the leather on the seat behind him. ‘Miller!’

  ‘Good God!’ he barks, his hips shaking. ‘I’ve never felt anything like it. Stay where you are.’

  I’m completely impaled on him. I can feel the tip of his arousal in the deepest part of me, and I’m shaking like a leaf. Uncontrollable shakes. My body is alive, desperate to fly into action and instigate further pleasure. ‘Move.’ My head drops, finding Miller’s head resting back, his eyes low and staring into our laps. His hair is a wavy, damp mess, crying for me to feel it. So I do. I lace my fingers through his waves and play with it, stroking and pulling. ‘Please move.’

  ‘I’ll do whatever you want, Livy.’ He clenches my hips and grinds deeply, spiking a low, alluring moan from me. ‘Jesus, that damn sound you make.’

  ‘I can’t help it.’

  ‘I don’t want you to,’ he says, circling firmly, making me moan some more. ‘I could listen to it for the rest of my days.’

  I’m a fevered mess of longing. He even makes love precisely, each rotation, circle and grind a perfectly executed move, building me up perfectly. I’ll never get enough of this. ‘Miller,’ I pant, pushing short, uncontrolled breaths through my lips.

  ‘Tell me what you want.’ He lifts me and pulls me back down slowly, his eyes clenching shut. ‘Tell me how you want me, Livy.’

  I don’t care. Each time he’s worshipped me it has been perfectly perfect. He can do no wrong. ‘I want it all,’ I breathe, meaning so much more than just movement. I want to feel this good for ever, and I’m not sure that any other man will do it for me. ‘Kiss me,’ I beg as he slides me back up and guides me down, rotating his hips, grinding firmly. I’m losing my mind. My hands are tightening in his hair, my knees on his waist.

  His eyes lift, his hand finds its place on my nape, and I’m pulled forward slowly, accurately, with no rush or impatience. I don’t know how he’s doing it. ‘You’ve knocked me sideways, Olivia Taylor,’ he murmurs, claiming my lips gently. ‘You’re making me question everything I thought I knew.’

  I want to agree because I feel the same, but my mouth is too busy relishing the attention of his soft, worshipping lips. I do, however, note that his declaration can only be a good thing. Maybe he won’t let me walk away after our time is up. I’m hoping he won’t let me walk away because I’ve given myself up to him again, despite my better judgement. But saying no to Miller Hart doesn’t seem to be something I can do . . . or I simply won’t do.

  ‘Can you feel it, Livy?’ he asks between tentative, delicate circles of his tongue. ‘Doesn’t it feel like nothing else?’

  ‘Yes.’ I bite his lip and plunge my tongue back into his mouth, moaning and pushing my body into him, feeling twinges in the tip of my sex, the hints of an orgasm powering forward. It makes me harden our kiss as the desperation to nail it down derails my determination to follow his leisurely lead.

  ‘Calm,’ he moans. ‘Take it easy.’

  I try, but he’s starting to thump inside me, swelling and throbbing, pushing me on. I start shaking my head against his lips. ‘You feel too good.’

  ‘Hey.’ He breaks our kiss but maintains the flow of his body into mine, taking over completely to stop me hurrying things along. ‘Savour it.’

  My eyes close and my head rolls back on my shoulders as I try to gather the strength required to follow his guidance. I’m amazed by his self-control. Every piece of him is gushing with desperation to match mine – his eyes smoking, his body shaking, his sex throbbing, his face damp with sweat. Yet he seems to find it so easy to tolerate the painful pleasure that he inflicts on us both.

  ‘Shit, I wish I had you in my bed,’ he moans. ‘Don’t hide your beautiful face from me, Livy. Show me.’

  My body starts to spasm with an orgasm I couldn’t delay even if I wanted to. My hand flies out, my palm slapping against the window, but it instantly starts slipping all over the condensation on the glass, doing nothing to stabilise me.

  ‘Livy!’ He grabs my hair and yanks my head forward. Things are frantic, but his rhythm is still slow and exact. ‘When I ask you to look at me, you look at me!’ His hips thrust up, and I gulp back air as my hearing is flooded by the rush of roaring blood to my head, slightly distorting the music surrounding us. ‘Here it comes.’

  ‘Please, faster,’ I beg. ‘Make it happen.’

  ‘It’s happening.’ His grip tightens and he directs me back to his mouth, kissing me to my peak as I grapple with the sleeves of his shirt. My world implodes and every nerve ending pulses viciously as I groan, low and satisfied into his mouth while Miller throbs within me.

  ‘Another sixteen hours isn’t enough for me,’ I confess quietly, my intense physical feelings only enhancing my emotional state of mind. ‘You can’t do this to me.’ My overworked lips drag across his stubble until they’re glued to his neck, my head heavy, my body limp.

  ‘Have you considered what you’re doing to me?’ he asks quietly. ‘You seem to be under the impression that this is all very easy for me.’

  I remain with my face hiding in the crook of his neck, finding it easier to offload my thoughts when I don’t have to look at him. ‘I’m surrendering myself to you. I’m doing what you’ve asked of me.’ My voice is low and weak, a mixture of exhaustion and timidity.

  ‘Livy, I’m not going to pretend I know what’s happening.’ He pulls me from my hiding place and cups my hot cheeks in his hands. His face is serious and there’s unquestionably a hint of confusion. ‘But it’s happening and I think we’re both powerless to stop it.’

  ‘Are you going to walk away from me?’ I feel stupid asking this question of a man I’ve known for such a short time, but something is pulling us both together, and it’s not just his persistence. It’s something invisible, powerful and determined.

  He takes a long pull of breath and tugs me down to his chest, giving me his thing. His strong arms surrounding me easily put me in the safest place that I’ve ever been. ‘I’m going to take you home and worship you.’

  It’s not an answer, but it’s not a yes either. This is special, I’m sure. I’ve found it incredibly easy to avoid these feelings for so long, but I’m incapable of stopping myself from falling for Miller Hart, and even though I don’t quite understand him, I want to pursue this. I want to discover myself. But most of all, I want to discover him – all of him. The morsels he’s fed me so far have mostly irritated me or angered me, but there’s more than meets the
eye with this part-time gentleman.

  And I want to know it all.

  Breaking free of his chest, I slowly lift myself from his lap, his semi-erection slipping free as I do. That alone makes me feel half complete. I settle in the passenger seat and gaze out of the window to the murky, litter-crowded alleyway while he sorts himself out next to me and the music fades to nothing. A small part of my mind is willing me to walk away now before he has the opportunity to do just that to me, but I find it easy to ignore it. I’m not going to be walking anywhere unless I’m forced to. There’s only one thing that I’ve ever been determined to do, and that’s avoid putting myself in this situation. Now I find myself determined to stay here, no matter what the cost to my falling heart.

  Chapter 12

  I have the stamina to get to the seventh floor this time, before Miller carries me up the rest of the stairs. It’s no wonder his physique looks like it belongs to a mythical god.

  ‘Would you like a drink?’ He’s returned to sharp and formal, but his manners are still intact. The door is held open for me, and I slip in, immediately noticing a huge spray of fresh flowers on the round table.

  ‘No, thank you.’ I circle the table slowly and break the threshold into the lounge, glancing around at the paintings adorning the walls.

  ‘Water?’

  ‘No.’

  ‘Please, sit.’ He indicates the sofa. ‘I’ll just hang these,’ he says, holding up our jackets.

  ‘Okay.’ Things are strained, our honest words causing a friction that I want to be rid of. Then soft music is with me and I look around, wondering where it’s coming from while absorbing the calmness of the beats and the gentle tones of the male’s voice. I recognise it. It’s Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go’. My mind starts racing.

  Miller returns, his waistcoat and tie removed, his collar unbuttoned. He pours some dark liquid into a tumbler, and I notice the label this time. It’s Scotch. He takes a seat on the coffee table in front of me again and sips slowly, but then he almost frowns at the glass before tipping the neat alcohol down his throat and placing the glass on the table.

  As I knew he would, he tweaks the position then clasps his hands together, looking at me thoughtfully. I’m immediately wary of that look. ‘Why don’t you drink, Livy?’

  I was right to be worried. He keeps saying he doesn’t want to get personal, yet he has no problem asking me personal questions or invading my personal space, namely my home and my dinner table. I don’t say that, though, because what I actually want is for this to get really personal. I don’t just want to share my body with him. ‘I don’t trust myself.’

  His eyebrows jump up, surprised. ‘You don’t trust yourself?’

  I’m squirming, my eyes darting around the room, despite my desire to share this with him. It’s just finding the courage to form the words that I’ve refused to utter for so long.

  ‘Livy, how many times do we need to go through this? When I’m talking to you, you look at me. When I ask you a question, you answer.’ He takes my jaw gently and forces me to face him. ‘Why don’t you trust yourself?’

  ‘I’m a different person with alcohol in my system.’

  ‘I’m not sure I like the sound of that.’ He didn’t need to tell me that. His eyes are telling me all by themselves.

  I feel my face flush, probably heating the tips of his fingers. ‘It doesn’t agree with me.’

  ‘Elaborate,’ he demands harshly, his lips pursed.

  ‘It doesn’t matter.’ I try to pull my face from his grip, suddenly not so keen to share a part of my personal, his approach to my news the reason for my change of heart. I don’t need to feel any more ashamed.

  ‘That was a question, Livy.’

  ‘No, that was an order,’ I snap defensively, managing to break free from his hold. ‘One that I’m choosing not to elaborate on.’

  ‘You’re being cagey.’

  ‘You’re being intrusive.’

  He recoils a little but quickly gathers himself. ‘I’m being intuitive here, and I’m going to suggest that the only times you’ve had sex were when you were intoxicated.’

  My colour deepens. ‘Your instincts are correct,’ I mutter. ‘Is that all, or would you like a run-by-run account of who, what, where and when?’

  ‘There’s no need for insolence.’

  ‘With you, Miller, there is.’

  He narrows bright blues on me, but doesn’t scold me for my bad manners. ‘I want a run-by-run account.’

  ‘No, you don’t.’

  ‘Your mother.’ Those words make me instantly stiffen, and by the look on his face, he’s noticed. ‘When I was forced to hide in your room, your grandmother mentioned your mother’s history.’

  ‘It doesn’t matter.’

  ‘Yes, it does.’

  ‘She was a prostitute.’ The words fall from my mouth automatically, taking me by surprise, and I chance a glimpse at Miller to gauge his reaction.

  He goes to speak but only achieves a stunned rush of air. I’ve shocked him, as I knew I would, but I wish he’d at least say something . . . anything. He doesn’t, but I do.

  ‘She abandoned me. She dumped me on my grandparents in favour of a life of sex, alcohol and expensive gifts.’

  He’s watching me closely. I’m desperate to know what he’s thinking. I know it can’t be good. ‘Tell me what happened to her.’

  ‘I’ve told you.’

  He tweaks his glass again and returns his gaze to me. ‘All you’ve told me is that she accepted money in return for . . . entertainment.’

  ‘And that’s all there is to know.’

  ‘So where is she now?’

  ‘Dead, probably,’ I spit nastily. ‘I really don’t care.’

  ‘Dead?’ he gasps, showing more emotion. I’m pulling reactions from him left, right and centre now.

  ‘Probably,’ I shrug. ‘She chased a rainbow. Every man who had her fell for her, but no one was ever adequate, not even me.’

  His face softens, sympathy washing over his features. ‘What makes you think she’s dead?’

  I take a deep breath of confidence, ready to explain something that I’ve avoided explaining to anyone ever. ‘She fell into the wrong man’s hands too many times and I have a bank account loaded with years of earnings that hasn’t been touched since she’s been gone. I was only six, but I remember my grandparents constantly arguing over her.’ My mind is instantly bombarded by images of my granddad’s anguish and my nan crying. ‘She would disappear for days regularly, but then she didn’t come back. My granddad called the police after three days. They investigated, questioned her current beau and the many men before him, but with her history they closed the case. I was a little girl, I didn’t understand, but when I was seventeen I found her journal. It told me everything – in vivid detail.’

  ‘I . . .’ He clearly doesn’t know what to say, so I go on. I feel a sense of relief offloading it all, even if it means he’ll walk away from me.

  ‘I don’t want to be anything like my mother. I don’t want to drink and have sex with no feelings. It’s nothing, except degrading and meaningless.’ I realise what I’ve said the second it falls from my lips, but I’ve given Miller no reason to believe there are no feelings from my side. ‘She chose that lifestyle over her family.’ I surprise myself by keeping my voice steady and strong, even if hearing it aloud for the first time ever causes me physical pain.

  Miller’s cheeks puff, letting out a rush of air, and he takes his empty glass and frowns at it.

  ‘Shocked?’ I ask, thinking I could do with one of those shorts.

  He looks at me like I’m daft, then stands and paces back to the drinks cabinet, pouring more whisky into his tumbler, this time halfway as opposed to the usual two fingers. And then he surprises me by pouring another glass before resuming his position opposite me. He hands me the fresh glass. ‘Have a drink.’

  I’m a little stunned at the glass being waved under my nose. ‘I told you—’

 
Olivia, you can have a drink without getting mindlessly drunk.’

  Cautiously reaching forward, I take the glass. ‘Thank you.’

  ‘Welcome,’ he practically grunts before knocking back his drink. ‘Your father?’

  I have to stop myself from spilling a sardonic laugh and shrug my answer instead, making him exhale over the rim of his glass.

  ‘You don’t know?’

  I shake my head.

  ‘I hate your mother.’

  ‘What?’ I ask, shocked, considering I may have just misheard him.

  ‘I hate her,’ he repeats, venom dripping from his voice.

  ‘So do I.’

  ‘Good. Then we both hate your mother. I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.’

  Not knowing quite what to say, I sit quietly, watching him drift in and out of thought, taking breaths as if intending to say something, but thinking better of it. There’s nothing that he can say. It’s ugly, and no reassuring words will pretty it up. That’s my history. I can’t change who my mother was, what she did, and I can’t change how I’ve allowed it to impact on my life.

  He eventually speaks, but it’s not a question I expected. ‘So I’m your only sober lover?’

 
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