All the rage, p.10
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       All the Rage, p.10

           T. M. Frazier
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  had accents I couldn’t quite place and were all too excited and oddly surprised to hear that Rage had a friend. When they asked me what we had been up to and wanted to hear all about it, I basically told them the truth. We’d just met.

  Her parents had just asked me if I was enjoying my time in Paris when I turned toward the movement in the corner of my eye.

  I dropped the phone.

  There was Rage. Wrapped in nothing but a fucking towel.

  Water drops fell from her hair and down the slim slope of her neck. Her hair was wet like it had been the first time I saw her, except now it was down around her shoulders, so long it skimmed her trim waist. And just like the first time I saw her, she was still fucking angry.

  Instantly, my cock was hard. I shifted to adjust, but there was no hiding it under my thin shorts.

  I didn’t fucking care. There was something primal this girl awakened in me that had me wanting to pull her by her hair and drag her around.

  I’d forgotten completely about the phone, about her parents, about fucking breathing. All my thoughts were on her, the curve of her tits peaking out from the top of the towel and the blood rushing to my throbbing hard on. Even with the pissed off look on her face, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to get her under me. What sounds she would make when she came.

  I bet I could angry fuck that scowl right off her beautiful face.

  Rage stormed up to me and leaned over. I held my breath. She paid no attention to the tent in my pants as she reached between my thigh and the couch to retrieve her phone. She paused for a second and took a breath. “Hello?” she said, bringing it up to her ear. Her voice didn’t even sound like her own. It was way too high-pitched and…friendly. “No Moe, he’s not my boyfriend. Va, no I’m still not a lesbian.” She dropped her face into her open palm and the towel slid down another inch. “He’s just a friend. No, no you can’t talk to him again.” Her eyes darted to me. “He’s really busy and we’re getting ready to…”

  I held out my hand and she swatted it away. Thank goodness she was short because I reached up and snatched it from her easily. “Hi again,” I said. Rage turned purple, her lips pursed, and if I looked close enough, I swore I could see a little fire coming from her ears.

  “Hi, Nolan. It’s so great to know that our girl has another American friend to talk to and help her out over there in Paris,” her mother said in some sort of accent I couldn’t place.

  “Paris?” I asked. Rage’s eyes went wide. Her anger vanished in a flash.

  “Please,” she mouthed, pleading with her beautiful blue-green eyes for me to go along with whatever lie she’d obviously led them to believe.

  “Yeah, Paris has been a blast. It was hard for me to adjust to being here at first but your daughter has been great. In fact, she’s the one who has been helping me.”

  Her parents went on and on. Babbling about dishes and soup. I never took my eyes off of Rage who looked downright petrified. She knelt down next to the couch and rested her chin on the arm rest, looking up at me like the saddest, most beautiful puppy dog I’d ever seen in my life. She barely flinched when Murray walked over the back of her calves like she wasn’t even there. Oh no. She dropped her forehead to the armrest, her hair shifted to the side where I caught a glimpse of the pink dagger tattoo on the back of her slender neck. Whatever was going on in her head. Whatever was happening inside of that brain of hers that had her looking that way needed to stop.

  Right fucking NOW.

  “You know what? I’m so sorry, but the reception here is really lousy. Is it okay if we call you—” I didn’t finish the sentence, ending the call abruptly and tossing the phone to the side. I wished I could stand. “Get off the fucking floor,” I demanded, the order tearing from my throat. It was harsher than I’d wanted, but it couldn’t be helped. I needed to get my point across.

  “What?” Rage asked, blinking rapidly. She leaned back off the couch, but remained on her knees.

  “Rage, if I could stand right now, I’d lift you up off the floor myself, but I can’t, so get the fuck up.” She stood, holding the towel tightly to her chest. “Good girl. I don’t ever want to see you like that again. You don’t go to the floor like that. You don’t cower for anyone. Not your parents, not anyone, Do you hear me?” I grabbed her forearm. “I don’t know what just happened there or where that strong girl just went but you don’t drop to your knees for anyone, ever.” I paused, my eyes following the smooth, creamy skin of her leg up her thigh to where the towel only had to move maybe an inch more for me to see all of her. The thought of her on her knees for me left me with barely any control. My voice was dark, deep, and laced with all of the filthy things I wanted to do to her. “Scratch that,” I amended. “You can drop to your knees for me. I’ll be the exception to that rule.”

  Rage looked at me as if she was trying to be angry but couldn’t. “You can’t talk to me like that. I don’t take orders,” she said, although she sounded more like she was trying to convince herself more than me. “That wasn’t part of this deal.”

  “You know what I think? I think you do like taking orders. I think you want me to tell you what to do.” To prove my point, I moved my hand from her arm and traced the outside of her thigh. The fear her parents had caused to go off in her was fading fast. Her shoulders fell and I could feel the tension leaving her muscles.

  I throbbed for this girl. Painfully aroused couldn’t begin to explain how much I wanted to burry myself deep inside her. “Why do you lie to your parents?” I asked.

  “It’s complicated,” she answered, inhaling sharply, watching my hand with a strange kind of curiosity. Following it as I slid it higher and higher up her leg. Her reluctance to answer my question only led to more questions. I found myself wondering if her asking about Talia earlier was a product of her naiveté, or maybe just from having been hurt before. Which led me to think about some asshole that could have hurt her. Which made me want to break this imaginary ex-boyfriend’s fucking neck with my bare hands. I let her get away with not telling me more about her parents, although I planned on asking her again.

  After all, I lied to her about my own parents.

  I was about to reach under her towel and feel to see if I was having the same effect on her she was having on me. I wondered how wet she was. How hot she was going to feel against my fingers. I thought about plunging my fingers inside of her when an echoing BOOM crashed through the living room, followed by a flash of blinding white light.

  Fireworks. Cock blocked by fucking fireworks. Although cock-blocked might not be the right term to use, because Rage wasn’t a girl I could just flash the dimple at and have my way with. No, Rage was complex and it was going to take more than feeling up her thigh to get her to give herself over to me completely.

  “I’ll take the couch,” I said to Rage who, much to my disappointment, had changed out of her towel and into actual clothes. What I wanted to do was rip it off of her and carry her to my bed. There was a look in her eyes. That was what stopped me. Confusion mixed with innocence. “You can have the bed. There are clean sheets in the closet,” I called out, preparing to spend the night on the couch.

  Rage came back out of the bathroom, dressed in another pair of shorts. These were white and even shorter than the denim ones from earlier. Her tiny, tight pink T-shirt read, FUCK OFF. THANK YOU. Her hair was piled on top of her head in a messy bun that had strands sticking out of it at all angles, some so long they passed her chin. “I don’t need it. I’m good.”

  “You’re here to help me. It’s the least I can do as a man to offer—”

  Rage cut me off, shaking her head. “When I said I didn’t need it, I meant it. I don’t sleep. It’s one of my…quirks.” She made air quotes around the word quirks, obviously quoting some idiot who’d made her feel bad about her eccentricities. Probably the ex-boyfriend who I was now not only going to strangle, but chop off his balls as well.

  “What do you mean you don’t sleep? Like you mean
you only sleep a few hours a night?” I asked.

  Rage bit the side of her thumb and looked away. “More like zero.”

  “How is that even possible?”

  “I don’t know. I mean, I zone out for a while sometimes, for maybe an hour or two at most. I’m fully conscious, though, just a little out of it.”

  “Come again?”

  Rage pressed her open palms together and pointed her fingers toward the ceiling like she was praying. She seemed to always be talking with her hands, acting out what she was trying to say as she spoke the words. “Think of it like meditating instead of sleeping, except I’m not actually meditating.”

  “Wow, I’ve never heard of such a thing. Are you ever tired?” I asked, curious as to how she could function without sleep.

  Rage shook her head. “Nope. Not really. Besides, you ever hear people complain about not having enough hours in the day?” she asked, a sly smile on her pink lips. “Well, that’s a complaint I don’t ever make.” It was then I realized that while I’d nodded off, she’d done more than just clean the fan. The floors were sparkling and so was every other surface in the house.

  “So you just stay up all night and clean?” I asked. She sat down next to me and curled her legs up underneath her as she’d done earlier. Her shorts rode up her legs, exposing the small patch of skin between her pussy and her inner thigh.


  “I keep busy” was her response.

  Despite my once again throbbing cock, I felt my eyes becoming heavier and heavier. I yawned. Rage watched me, her eyes on my mouth, the same wonderment written across her face she’d had when she was watching my hand move up her leg. “Well, mi casa es su casa,” I said, lifting myself off the couch. This time I grabbed the crutches off the floor instead of the wheelchair. “I guess I’ll see you in the morning.”

  “Night,” she said, not looking the least bit tired. I teetered my way into the hall, but before I turned the knob on the bedroom door, I leaned back and stole one last glance at the girl sitting on my living room couch. I pressed my lips together, not wanting her to hear me laughing, but when I saw what she was doing, I couldn’t not laugh.

  Rage was staring into the sliding glass doors, observing her reflection…as she practiced yawning. She opened her mouth wide and then closed it, inhaling deeply and stretching. The next time, she covered her mouth. The time after that is when she closed her eyes and did her fake yawn, ending with a long groan at the end of her stretch with her mouth.

  It was the same look I wanted to see on her face when I made her come.


  I forced myself to stop watching her and closed the bedroom door behind me, collapsing onto the bed with Rage’s potential orgasm face burned into my brain.

  I lay there for hours before finally drifting off with one last thought on my mind as I slipped into a deep sleep.

  This girl is going to fucking kill me.



  On a few occasions, usually over coffee in the morning or dinner out on the deck, Nolan shared more details with me about his parents, how they were never around when he was growing up, as well as more details about his life with them before he came to live with his grandparents. Every time I reported back to Smoke thinking I had enough, he asked for more. I was beginning to think he planned for me to move in permanently. I believed Nolan when he said he didn’t know where they were so it boggled my mind when Smoke kept ordering me to stay put.

  For over a week I’d been at the cottage, and with the exception of the pool, I’d cleaned every square inch of the place. Although it was still in need of a lot of repairs, it was really coming along, and I found that I enjoyed taking the time to make it shine again.

  I considered sanding and painting the kitchen cabinets and maybe pulling up the carpet in the bedroom to see what might be underneath. I pushed away those thoughts as soon as they came. I didn’t need to get attached, even if it was just to a house.

  When Nolan ordered me up off of my knees the week before, something inside me shifted. He may not have understood why I reacted the way I did, but the why wasn’t important to him¸ rather how I let the situation affect me. I was terrified that every ounce of work I’d put into the relationship I’d built with my parents over the last three years was going to unravel with one conversation with someone I’d just met. The truth of it was that even though my relationship with my parents was based on lies, I wasn’t ready to give them up entirely. Maybe it was selfish of me.

  When it hadn’t gone that route and Nolan hung up the phone, I kept replaying what could have happened over and over again in my mind, which was when I crumbled both mentally and physically until Nolan brought me back up to stand again.

  Nolan hadn’t tried to touch me again since that night.

  The confusing part was that it upset me that he hadn’t. Even worse was that I was asking myself why. The thought that kept crossing my mind, the one that had me the most worried was did I want him to?

  What I felt when he looked at me and when he placed his hand on my leg was a full body kind of heat. My skin tingled and came alive. My nipples stiffened and my breasts felt heavy and achy. Then, when he trailed his hand up between my legs, everything inside me tightened. Yes, I definitely wanted him to touch me again. I could spin it a million ways in my mind, but the truth was in the evidence, and since I was being honest with Nolan, as much as I could be anyway, I should probably be honest with myself, too.

  Even though I’d never felt it before, not even a tingle of it, I knew exactly what it was that was happening to me when I was around Nolan.

  I didn’t even need to look it up on WebMD.

  Although, I did.

  It had to stop. What I felt HAD TO STOP.

  No good could come of it. Which was why I had to spend more time with Nolan and get the information Smoke needed. Whatever the fuck that actually was remained a mystery, but I would do it, and then I’d finish the job like I always did and get the hell out.

  Easy peasy.


  In the meantime, I’d been making good on my fake agreement with Nolan. I cooked, I cleaned, and I cleaned some more. I baked too, making more muffins than the muffin man himself. Anything to distract myself from watching him do push ups on the back deck, which was what he was doing when I placed the third batch of muffins in the oven. By the time he strolled through the cottage using only one crutch, I’d already moved on to polishing his Gran’s silver spoon collection.

  His leg had been healing, and at his most recent doctor’s visit, they exchanged his cast for an even smaller one that just covered four inches or so above and below his knee. More and more frequently, he used only one crutch, and some times I caught him limping around with only one.

  Nolan disappeared into the bathroom and when he came out he was freshly showered, wearing a tight, black wife beater and a pair of black board shorts, his hair slicked back and wet. He smelled like the rain soap he kept in the shower. He approached me slowly, like a cat about to pounce. His hazel eyes shone mischievously as he grinned at me like he had a secret.

  You’re not the only one.

  The feeling in my stomach, the pull I felt as he stalked toward me, only confirmed what I already knew.

  I wanted him.

  I didn’t want to want him.

  I wanted to want to kill him.


  I’ve got it bad. I needed to fuck her more than I needed my next breath. I was trying to figure out how to crack the shell surrounding the ever-elusive Rage when I had an idea. An idea that I hoped would have her writhing under me sooner rather than later. “I’m taking you out tomorrow night,” I announced. Rage was sitting on the kitchen counter, swinging her tanned legs in the air, scrubbing my grandmother’s silver spoons with a rag.

  The house was so much lighter since she’d come crashing into my life. Not just because it was now dust free and spotless either, but because for the first time since my grandpar
ents passed, it felt more like a home and less like a tomb.

  “Where are we going?” she asked without looking up from what she was doing.

  Any other girl would’ve asked why I was taking her out. Any other girl would look for some sort of motive or intention behind my every action, and with good reason.

  Not her.

  I might have been under water the first time I saw her, but even then, I knew right away that Rage most definitely wasn’t like any other girl.



  One sink with a chipped Formica counter top, a yellow tub/shower combo, and a toilet hidden behind a half wall was all that made up the tiny bathroom. A narrow obscure window high up on the wall, muting the bright light of day. The Faded pink floral
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