Valentina Bound - Book 1

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Meet the Brooks

Tommy meeting my family means now I need to meet his. Knowing that this would be one of the results of me asking him to be honest about where he is when he isn’t with me, I am accepting of this inevitable moment. A part of me avoided all of this because until a few weeks ago, I still placed Tommy in a temporary category. Is it wrong that we all half expect Tommy not to last long enough to bother? I know, my mind can be twisted at times. I keep hearing Benji’s voice, “one day at a time, enjoy this moment in your life”, says the philosopher.

Unlike my excitement of Tommy getting to know my family, he isn’t as thrilled. Once I got the guts to tell my parents about him, the perspective of us spending more time with my clan became intriguing. Yes, I admit that I was as reluctant as he is now to move to this point in our relationship. For me it was my need to come to terms with the fact that I was falling in love with him. I am still not good at being in a relationship, but for us, I am trying my best.

“It’s not that I don’t want them to meet you, it’s the other way around.” Is his answer when I ask about his parents. “I am not worried about what they will think about you, it’s more of what you will think of them.”

“They made you, how bad can they be?”

“Bad is not the issue, my parents are incredible people. But after meeting the Perottis, let’s just say we are completely opposite of you guys.”

“Of course you are, we have known that from the first day we met. As you can recall, I am the one that kept pointing out the different sides of the track we live on.”

“I don’t see us that way. My parents however are snobs. This I can own. My father is an incredible man and my mother is an amazing women. In society, they are an it couple. Every one of their friends wants to be them.”

Picturing the wealthy Larrabee family from Sabrina in my mind, I can see how Tommy isn’t too sure of this meeting. All my life I have been an odd one, my skin is thick to the words of others. My insecurities are my own doing. My parents do everything they can to make me feel like the greatest girl alive. My friends from college constantly praise me and my accolades speak for themselves.

“As an only child, I have overwhelming responsibilities towards my parents. Being all that they have, they give me too much attention and expect even more from me. Being here with you is my escape from all of that. I am just saying that I want to soak up more of this beautiful utopia you are before letting them break it down.”

“And I am saying it makes me feel like a dirty little secret.”

“Never think that, you are the best part of my life right now. Although I do love the dirty little things we do at times.”

Tommy starts to kiss me. This is how Tommy avoids conflict, with humor and sex. Until now I have been avoiding all of this along side of him. Now that we are here, I want to leap forward before I change my mind. It’s so easy to get lost in his kiss.

“Wouldn’t you rather be doing this all weekend with me down in Big Sur, cuddled in our suite at Post Ranch Inn? Making love to the sound of the waves crashing into the rocks?”

His voice purrs at my neck as he speaks. This man is smoldering hot and if I don’t stop this now, we will be naked in bed avoiding the matter at hand.

“Nice try babe. You need to tell your parents about us. Let’s start there.”

I pull away from Tommy and walk towards the door. If I let him stay, it will be another week before we have this discussion again. It’s kind of a now or never moment. I know that sounds extreme but Tommy and I groove. Which is amazing for the most part. Long term, we can easily stick to a rhythm and forget to deal with this issue. Trust me, I am not excited to hear about what his parents will have to say.

“Now?”

“No better time then the present.”

“Can’t we finish what we started first?” Oh those puppy dog eyes, damn them.

“What you started. All of this is you chasing after me back in December. If not to get to this point, then why didn’t you just leave me be after winter break?”

“Because I can’t stand a second without you in my life.”

“Great, tell that to your parents. Then we can pick up where we left off.”

A few hours after he leaves, I get a text. “Told my parents. Too exhausted, going to bed. All good.”

That can’t be good. But what is necessary has been done. Telling myself it’s irrelevant what they think of us, all that matters is that we are happy and we move forward hand-in-hand. As long as we stand by one another and stand up for one another, we can move mountains. So I keep telling myself in an attempt to calm this growing insecurity inside of me. It’s bewildering how someone can do that to another person. I haven’t even met his parents yet, but my gut says they already have a preconceived notion about me.

Tommy and I are invited to spend this weekend with his parents in Sausalito. We both agree that this is not going to turn into a weekly event. Which should be easy as I am working as many weekends as I possibly can so that I can save money for my big move, wherever that destination may be.

We have yet to spend the night together. That fateful night when he crashed in my bed is the closest we have gotten. Tommy respects my discomfort in it all and I promise to work on why. It’s hard to work on an issue you don’t quite understand yourself.

“I took the liberty of booking you a hotel room. We can see them for lunch on Saturday, dinner Saturday night, head to the hotel, and say good-bye with a Sunday brunch. At any moment that you want to end the weekend short, you say so.”

“You know I would never do that. My parents raised me to be polite and respectful.”

“I know that. Maybe I am offering it as an out for myself at any point.” He has this silly chuckle when he is making fun of an uncomfortable situation.

“Funny.”

“Look, I am not going to let this get uncomfortable for either of us. The Brooks are who they are, growing up with them all my life, I know how to handle them.”

“I am starting to feel like I am Shannen Doherty and you are Luke Perry and this is going to be one of those Beverly Hills 90210 moments where I get put in my place and you are made to choose between your rich world and mine.”

“You clearly watch too much television. For someone that is so focused on school, how do you have time to know pop culture to a point where you reference it all the time?”

“Not all the time, only when I am nervous or needing to prove a point. Plus not all of us had the opportunity to have a mom stay home and entertain us, so yes, I did spend a lot of time in front of the television. As you can see, I turned out just fine.”

“I'm sorry, babe, I didn't mean to sound like I was judging. If it helps, I am always nervous about dining with my parents. Trust me, if they pick at anyone it will be me. You, they will be trying to impress.”

Just the process of getting to his parents, I witness a change in Tommy. He is one to tease me lovingly but not one to take jabs at me. Muscle memory is a funny thing. My aunt Francesca always tells my parents to watch what they say or do in front of us girls, children are always watching. No doubt every bit of who I am is from observing all the adults around me. My aunt Francesca was one to talk, she is why I feel so guilty about everything I do as it relates to fun. My aunt Teresa taught me to be afraid of how others see me. My uncle Marcello made me suspicious of men period.

My uncle Luciano is the one that tries his hardest to erase it all from my memory. He is the one uncle that bothers to know me. Always telling me to this day not to listen to the frumpy ones in the family and to just live from my heart. Trying so hard to convince me that I am born good so I can only do good. Instructing me that there is no good and evil, just people doing right or not perfectly right. Sadly it was three against one so the others take over my behavior more often then he does. Like my mom, his sister, he is a musician and artist. This is who got me into drawing and painting. His girlfriend, Isabella, introduced me to dance. They were the two that would always offer to man the bar on Sundays to avoid church. So often they would try and convince my parents to let me stay and hang out with them, proclaiming they wanted alone time with me. Which in part they did, but at the bottom of it, they didn’t like the idea of me being taught such shaming and strict dogma.

“You are an only child. Your mom’s only baby boy. Maybe you were right, this is a bad idea.”

“How do you manage to talk yourself out of everything before even trying?”

“Keeps me from failing.”

“Keeps you from living.”

“I like the life I am living.”

“I like the life I am living with you in it.”

“So why fix what ain’t broken, then?”

“This is your bright idea remember? You pushed me into telling them. What did you expect? Of course now they want to meet you..”

“How did we get here?”

“It’s called the progression of life, of relationships. This is just one of many milestones, rites of passage, that we all eventually go through as we grow up.”

“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys’R’Us kid!” I sing, another thing I do when I am nervous. “Tommy, we have been moving through these past few months, one-day-at-a-time. We haven’t discussed what will happen to us after graduation. Or that I want to move to New York City. Shouldn’t we figure all of that stuff out before I meet your parents? I mean, why bother if I we aren't together after graduation?”

Okay, so maybe right now isn’t the best time for me to all of a sudden tap into all these crazy thoughts I have been having since dinner at my parents. Tommy looks at me and shakes his head.

“Valentina, you trust me right?”

“Yes.”

“Then trust that I got you and me, and the rest of the world is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. I am madly in love with you. And we will figure things out as we go along, together.”

Well, he took that bomb better than I expected. Should this concern me? Let it go Val, you already have too many worries about it all, don’t add another one.

“Don’t play like you aren’t madly in love with me too. You have to be. It’s all so amazing between us, in every way. People dream of finding their soulmate, and I really believe that you are mine and I am yours. So let’s get this weekend over with so we can start discussing the rest of our life together. Oh, and don’t think I am not coming back to your moment of diarrhea of the mouth just then.”

I can’t say anything because I can’t deny how I feel about him. I may try to fight it, but when confronted with it, I know I am completely in love with Tommy. How can I not? He is practically perfect in every way.

“It’s just that I have never met anyone’s parents before. Not even a friend’s parents. All my social skills are barstool friendly. I don’t know how to sit at a table where all eyes are on me. I don’t like all that attention.”

“Says the girl that dances on bars,” Tommy teases.

“That’s different, and that’s also another form of barstool society. That’s my comfort zone.”

“Well, if you want I can just invite my parents to hang out with us at Triple Rock.”

“You wouldn’t dare!”

“You have to meet them eventually. This is a quiet and easy way to do so.”

“I am regretting this already.”

I confess as I hand Tommy my overnight bag. I also noticed a few shopping bags in the back of his car. Like this doesn’t justify my worries about not being good enough through the eyes of his parents.

“What’s with the bags?”

“They are a few things I picked up, just in case.”

“Just in case I didn’t bring anything presentable?”

“No silly, in case you didn’t pack a swim suit, or tennis outfit.”

“If I didn’t pack it, it’s because I ain’t doing it.” How is it that when he goes stuffy, I go ghetto fabulous.

“Like I said, just in case. If not, I will return them. I left the price tag on and everything. Or they will come with us to our beach vacation.”

The bags in the back seat only make me regret all of this even more. What kind of people am I meeting where their son needs to shop for me in order to have back-up clothes just in case I don’t own what it takes?

The drive to Sausalito is quiet. I can’t talk or else I will have a full anxiety attack. Tommy holds my hand and lets me stare out the window. We check into The Inn Above Tide just a few hours before lunch. The view is amazing and the salt air is calming. Even with all of this set-up, I am still not ready to meet the parents. I know this is all a result of me pushing him to tell his parents. A part of me was secretly hoping they were so distraught that they would choose to pretend I didn’t exist. Or maybe come and try to pay me off like Linus Larrabee does to Sabrina. Either of these scenarios is more pleasing to me than the one at hand. As if reading my mind, Tommy calls his dad to cancel lunch, claiming he is stuck in a study group and won’t make it on time. I think they can hear me exhale from the other end of the line.

“Why don’t I run a bath for you and open up some champagne?”

“Thank you, Tommy, for being so patient with me.”

“Valentina, I am the one who is grateful that you are making this trip. Even though your insistence in me telling them is why we are here.” There is that jab thing again that he does when he is Thomas Brook. “The reality is if we want us to move things beyond the bedroom, we need to do this.”

As I soak in the tub and sip my champagne, I try to picture Tommy and I moving beyond the place we are at. It’s hard to see because I am not even sure how we got this far. Parts of us work so naturally together that I don’t remember what it was like without Tommy. Yet moments such as this make me realize how different we are from one another. I worry that the Tommy that is taking me to meet his parents is not the same Tommy I am in love with. He moves easily between both worlds but once we finish school and enter the real world, which Tommy do I get?

“Why don’t you go ahead and have lunch with your parents?” I suggest as I emerge from the bath. “I wouldn’t mind taking a nap.”

“How about I nap with you?”

“I wouldn’t mind being alone, if that’s okay. Don’t worry, I won’t run away. I just need me time.”

“If that’s what you want.”

The sleep makes all the difference in the world. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until my head hit the pillow. Between school, working most weekends and spending any free time with Tommy, I am burning the candle from both ends. I also realize that Tommy and I might be spending the night together. I usually spend the night in my own bed and wake up on my own. Am I ready to wake up in his arms? He offers me the choice but I know what he is hoping for. As he should. Jodi and Wynn spend almost every night together and have been since day one.

Tommy tries not to wake me as he returns from lunch with his parents. I pretend that I am still asleep. With so much swirling in my mind, I am not ready to use my words. I can hear him studying and realize I should be doing the same, but instead I pull the covers over my head and try to drift back to sleep.

“Hey, babe, it’s time to wake up and get ready for dinner.” Tommy tries to wake me.

“Hi, how long have I been sleeping?”

“Most of the day; you needed the rest. I am glad you slept.”

“Me, too. Thank you for that.”

“I just realized that I have never had the chance to wake you up, or watch you sleep. You snore really loud when you sleep.”

Again, it sounds like he is trying to tease me and lighten the mood but it feels sharp on my skin.

“I guess I don’t know that; I have always slept on my own.” Trying to play this off because it’s actually one reason that I don’t stay the night. The other is my morning bathroom time. The rest is just undiscovered issues. “Jodi says that I snores like a bear but I am always asleep when it happens so I deny it to this day. But this does bring up something I need to talk to you about.”

“Something tells me I may not like the sound of this.”

“We have never stayed the night together.”

“No, I guess we haven’t. You have a way of sneaking off in the middle of the night.”

“It’s just that playing house isn’t my thing. There is something about waking up next to someone that feels like, I don’t know, so permanent.”

“If you want, I can sleep at my parents’ tonight. They may find that nice and old fashioned.” He smiles, teasing me a bit.

“Let’s see how the evening goes. I know it’s hard to understand and I am not sure where that funny rule comes from. I just don’t want to feel weird later so I wanted to at least put my silly anxieties out in the open.”

“This is not a silly anxiety. This is you having certain moral boundaries. I respect that. I have told you from day one, I won’t push. There isn’t a morning yet that I have not missed you something terrible. I know this really matters to you, and I won’t ask you to stay the night with me until you are ready. In the meantime, we need to get a move on. My parents are sticklers about punctuality.”

I moan as I roll out of bed and head to the bathroom to get ready. I brought a simple black dress that I have worn often when Tommy and I do anything fancy, like attend the ballet. He is always offering to take me shopping but I like that I take care of certain things on my own. Which is why seeing the shopping bags in his car hit me in a weird place. Tommy pays for so much, and I am grateful for the luxuries he has afforded me, but I need to still know that I can hold my own. My mom gave Stella and me a set of pearls for our sixteenth birthday, and during moments like this, I am thankful that she did so. And of course, I have yet to take off the charm bracelet that Tommy gave me for Christmas. Simple and elegant, that’s the way I roll. Tommy on the other hand, has on a beautiful Hugo Boss suit. I do enjoy it when he dresses up, he is so handsome.

“You always clean up so nicely,” I compliment.

“You make everything look amazing, even me.”

“I bet you say that to all the girls.”

“Valentina.”

“Yes?”

“I love you.”

“I love you too baby.”

It’s weird driving up to the house. I have been in it so many times, but never as a guest to dinner with his parents. The house looks and feels different with their presence.

“You must be Valentina.” Mrs. Brooks greets me with a not-so-huggable hug.

“I must. It’s nice to finally meet you Mrs. Brooks.”

“Oh call me Delores.” She says as she leads me to the sitting room. She is beautiful and elegant, not a hair out of place.

“Delores, don’t hog all her attention.” A very commanding voice enters the room. “It is nice to finally meet the young lady that has kept our son occupied these last few months. And I can see why. You are even more stunning than he described.”

I have never met anyone’s parents let alone have their father “check me out,” not in a sexual way of course, but it still feels awkward. Suddenly I am self-conscious. Before my obvious discomfort makes us all uneasy, a man appears at the door leading to the dining room and announces that dinner is ready. Another difference between the time that Tommy and I have spent here alone versus now. I am also finding it hard because I can’t stop picturing all the ways Tommy and I have enjoyed this house intimately. Without realizing it, I let out a little chuckle.

“Are you okay?” Tommy whispers in my ears, grateful he is the only one that hears the chuckle.

“Sorry, I just find it a bit comedic considering what happened the last time we sat at the dinner table.” For the first time ever I see Tommy blush. Which only makes me giggle further. Tommy however has an uncomfortable look now.

Tommy and his father are at one end of the table discussing business and his mother is sharing childhood stories of Tommy. Tommy blushes or looks up and shakes his head at times in disagreement from time to time. Clearly eavesdropping so his mother can't embarrass him too much.

"These new tech startups are tough investments because it's hard to gauge their true potential." Mr. Brooks states. “Not everyone can be Apple.”

"With the rapid pace in which technology is growing, you can't go wrong in investing in these companies. But if you want, I can write research for you to help define the different sub-sectors in technology as well as the companies and trends we are predicting to grow. That would help determine which companies you should be focused on. It would also be a fun senior project."

Mr. Brooks looks up as if to notice me at the table for the first time since we sat down and Mrs. Brooks is suddenly uncomfortable. The obvious children are seen not heard generational mentality shows in their reaction. As a child, my parents often tease their older friends about their theory that children are not to speak up against adults. They, on the other hand, encouraged us always to speak our minds. Lots of great debates in my household growing up. My mom likes to say left if you say right and vice versa. She claims she wants to challenge our minds. It often felt like she just likes to pick quarrels.

“You should really talk to Valentina about how she can help your IT division as well, she is at the top of her Computer Science class at Berkeley.” Tommy offers proudly.

“There are so many ways that we are helping businesses like yours by developing portals and websites that allow your customers to access research that your firm writes, some are even allowing smaller investors to do day trading on their own. There are companies developing apps in respect to all of this as well.” I get excited about technology, because this is my wheelhouse.

“Well, thank you my dear, but you see, I am very old fashioned. I don’t believe that one can predict the market without really studying it the way we do. Day trading is more like gambling on line.” Mr. Brooks responds, and I am put in my place. “Do you enjoy Computer Science?”

“I do! Initially I started because it came easy to me,” I reply.

And the fact that the guy I was lusting after at the time majored in Computer Science, I giggle to myself. Recovering from the shock that he is still talking to me the way he just put me in my place.

“I really enjoy that it allows me to utilize my creative passions, as well. Designing and writing dialogue for websites as well as writing code fills me in almost the same way that my drawing or dance classes used to.”

“Do you like art?” Mrs. Brooks attempts to draw my attention back to her and away from the men.

“Does she? You should see how she loses herself at galleries. You should also see her work. She is an impressive artist in the making.” I smile at how Tommy speaks about me. He is almost bragging.

“Maybe we can visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art one afternoon together. It would be nice to see art from the perspective of an artist. Tommy’s ex-girlfriend and I spent every weekend together expanding our cultural palette.”

Let the games begin. I was wondering when these remarks would hit the conversation. As I said earlier, Thomas gets his knife skills from somewhere. Looks like Delores takes the lead here. Let’s see if Mr. Brooks is in the running.

“I would like that, although Tommy may be exaggerating a bit when he says I am an artist. I mainly doodle when I am thinking.”

Don’t let them see you sweat. Ignore any such remarks, channel your inner Uncle Luciano and rise above all this non-sense. Just have fun and know you are born good so you are nothing but good.

“Mom, don’t let her sell herself short, she is quite impressive. I would love to join the two of you when you make this field trip.” I try not to exhale so loudly, relieved at not having to spend an entire day alone with his mom.

“Well sooner or later you are going to have to share this lovely young lady of yours with my ladies and me.”

“Sorry mom, she is a devoted student and doesn’t give me enough hours as it is. I am going to be selfish of her time for awhile.”

I feel even more relieved because the thought of being surrounded by Delores and her friends for hours is even worse then being with her alone. I am sure they are all wonderful people, just not my comfort zone.

“Well, you all can debate who gets to go to the museum with Valentina another time. Right now we should retire to the drawing room for an after dinner drink,” Mr. Brooks interrupts.

“Valentina, how about a game of gin rummy? Do you play?”

Jodi to the rescue, she drives me crazy when she insists that I join in on her card games. Gin rummy or bridge with her girlfriends and often poker with Wynn and his gang. She really sucks at cards so I know she isn’t wanting quality time with me, she wants someone to beat.

“That would be nice, Mrs. Brooks.”

“Oh please do call me Delores. Mrs. Brooks makes me feel so old.”

“I didn’t mean to imply…”

“It’s quite okay, dear,” Delores laughs. “I was just fishing for a compliment.”

“Well, you are perfectly stunning and I hope that I age as amazingly as you have. Especially with a son who must have been so stressful to rear.” We laugh at Tommy’s expense.

“Funny, on that note I hope my mom beats you at gin.”

“Thomas, that’s not nice of you to say, but I hope I win as well. The other ladies always win when I play them.”

Oh look, it’s Jodi all over again. There is a very strong competitive side of me that I hold back when it comes to gin or bridge. With poker, I get to win more often, Jodi is usually out of money rather quickly and beating the boys may piss them off but it doesn’t hurt their feelings.

“Well, I will warn you, Valentina may seem sweet but her competitive side is rather primal.”

“So Valentina, what do you think about cars driving themselves?” Mr. Brooks inquires, lighting his cigar, Nate’s face flashes before me.

Wow, he is asking my advice? And about cars? Maybe I jumped to the wrong conclusion about his rather sexist demeanor.

“There are a lot of companies in the race for that technology but we are currently questioning the moral inequity of it all. So I wouldn’t necessary invest in those companies without knowing a bit more about each of them. Same with robotics. The speed in which all of this is advancing impressively from the stand point of a Scientist, but from the human’s rights side of things, hopefully there will be a lot of debate.”

“I see. Well, thank you for the education.” Tommy smiles at me proudly, letting me know that his father is hard to impress or advise, even when he is asking for it. “ So you would consider yourself a Scientist?”

And there it went, that feeling of approval. It’s a simple question, but in the tone it was asked, well, not so complimentary.

I decide to turn myself back to the card game. Some battles are not worth engaging and silence speaks louder at times. Delores continues to tell me stories about Tommy and a little gossip about her friends that she is eager to introduce me to. Mr. Brooks doesn’t seem phased with my irritated body language, instead he sips his scotch and puffs on his cigar. I could really agitate him by commenting on the cigar he is smoking. Nothing like a Cuban friend to teach me everything I need to know about cigars.

As promised, Tommy remains next to me all night, rescuing me whenever his mother got a little too gossipy or nosey. His father rambles on and on about this investment and that investment, mostly talking to himself. Very different from my household. As a bartender I have mastered the art of pretending to listen as people ramble on and on to me about their day. Tommy’s family is very sweet and exactly what I pictured their lives to be. The question is, how much of this life do I want to incorporate into my life?

“Okay, Mom and Dad, I love you both, but I really want to get my beautiful Valentina back to her hotel room. Dad, you and I can keep talking when I get back.”

“Oh, you aren’t staying with her?”

“No Mom, she is an old-fashioned girl.” I blush and smile.

“Thank you,” I say as Tommy opens the car door and helps me into my seat.

“For what?”

“Rescuing me, and for taking me back to the hotel.”

“Oh, don’t give me so much credit, you are incredible so singing your praises is easy to do. As for taking you back to the hotel, I want nothing more than to get you naked and play with you all night, but I respect that you may be a bit exhausted. My parents can be a bit overwhelming. But they mean well and I love them dearly.”

“You figure I would be used to people talking in my ears all night. I am rather exhausted. So if it’s okay, I would rather retire alone.”

“You will get used to knowing when to pay attention to my parent’s chatter and when not to.”

I don’t know if I can, I think to myself. Then I can hear them all in my ear, relationships take sacrifice and compromise. Is this working on our relationship or offering myself to torture. Now this isn’t nice of me, maybe sleep will help me see them more like how Tommy does.

“Let’s be real about all this. You and I are so different. You were brought up skiing; my parents taught me how to surf. You grew up sailing boats; I grew up riding motorcycles. You play tennis; I hate tennis. In what version of the real world do you see us working out?”

“In my version. The one that I see in my head every day when I think of you, of us. I have never been so happy as when I am with you. And yes, there are so many things that can go wrong here, but look at all that has gone right. You can’t tell me that you haven’t been over the moon these last few months. Or that you don’t see how we bring out so much good in each other. And when our worlds mesh well, like at the ballet or when we shop for art, our minds bind impressively. You need to stop overthinking and start living. How can a girl who surfs and rides motorbikes not take a risk in love? And why all of a sudden all these doubts about us? We are so great, can’t you just sit back and enjoy?”

“Risking my life seems easier than risking my heart. I do hate that you make me so happy.”

Tommy is at his wit’s end with me at this point. So non compassionate of me to bring up a fight right now. We both are exhausted, I should have left well enough a lone. My impatience makes me pick fights in the most inopportune times. I can see he doesn’t need this right now.

“Sorry.” I offer.

“Brunch tomorrow is at the Sausalito Yacht Club; I will swing by in the morning. Sleep and have sweet dreams of me.”

I turn down Tommy’s offer to walk me to my room, only because I can not resist him. And despite our little quarrel, he is even sexier to me now that he has been standing up for me all night. I have a feeling I need to recharge and regroup. I will finish the bottle of champagne and tuck myself in. Champagne always gives me sweet dreams.

I wake up early feeling rested but a bit uneasy. I love that New York is three hours ahead so Nate will be awake and able to cheer me up.

"¡Hola, mi amor! ¿Cómo estás?" Nate answers.

"Sto bene, grazie. Come stai?" I love that Spanish and Italian are similar enough that Nate and I can catch up in our native tongues.

"So, to what do I owe the honor so early in the morning? Are you just getting home? And where are you calling from? I don't recognize the number on caller I.D. as Triple Rock or your parent's."

"I am at a hotel in Sausalito."

"Alone?"

"Technically. I am alone at the moment but expecting Tommy soon."

“What happened?”

"Oh, Nate! I don't know how I got here?"

"To Sausalito or are you speaking of your emotional state?"

"My emotional one."

“Okay, why don't you fill me in a little bit of why you are in Sausalito, in a hotel room, without your boyfriend.”

"I met his parents last night."

"That's a big step."

"I don't think I am ready for this but yet I feel that the entire situation is completely out of my control.”

"That's usually what happens when you fall for someone. The need to be with them is greater than what your brain can manage. And you, my darling, like to over manage everything in your life. I am happy to hear you are loosing a little control. My question is, where is he? Did he not stay with you?"

"No. You know me and my Catholic guilt, I can't stay the night with a man without hearing my aunts lecturing me."

"I get it babe, I was raised with the same Dogma, but at some point you can't let that be an excuse for you not to let someone in. This guys seems to really have a hold on you. Let go and let love happen.”

“Thank you so much for always being my voice of reason.”

“Thank you for keeping my life distracted.”

“Speaking of, how are you?”

“Living one day at a time love. Most days are good, grateful to be alive and all. Others, well, feels like I have a big hole in my heart and my life. I do have a new found appreciation for everything my mother handled when she was alive. My dad is a handful, and I am sure I was too. Speaking of which, I need to get him to church. I will pray for your soul while I am there.”

“Very funny! I love you!”

“Te amo también.”

“Te amo mas! Besos.”

As I hang up and cuddle myself back into bed, I can hear Tommy trying to sneak into my room. My body immediately responds to the sounds of him disrobing. I play like I need space from him, but we all know better. My body misses him when he is away. And the wetness dripping between my legs speaks volumes of how excited my body gets when it knows his is close. Tommy slides into bed and wraps his body around mine. I can feel his eagerness towards me as he presses firmly against my ass. He nuzzles into my neck as his fingers play at my clit. I moan with pleasure. There is no sleeping through this man's play.

At this moment, I want his determination to fill me. I reach down to guide him inside of me. Tommy stops me and takes my wrists above my head and ties them to the bed post. There is a moment in one’s relationship when you are able to give completely into trust. You are never truly sure when that might be, but I am sure it is this moment. Yes, we have restrained each other in the past, but this time, I give completely because I feel entrusted and provocative. His knees spread my legs apart and guide me into a squat so that I am almost sitting on his lap. With me lying on my right side he spreads my knees far apart, the breeze coming through my window tickles my pussy. His shaft moves along my drenched lips; teasing and taunting. I move my hips in hopes to guide his cock into me but Tommy has me pinned and spread in a way that doesn't allow for any wiggle room.

"The more you try to take control, the longer I will tease you." Tommy threatens.

Willingly I find myself giving in and enjoying his right hand working on my breasts and nipples, showing them no mercy. His grip massages and pulls at my breasts, testing their allowance. His fingers flicker, pinch and pull at my nipples. I cry out in pleasure and beg for more. His left hand goes to work on my pussy and fingers massage and play at my clit, delving in and out of me, trying to work as many fingers into me as I can stand. My pussy orgasms and drips into his fingers. Tommy takes his lubricated fingers and begins to tease and rim me.

“Please, Tommy."

“Please, what?"

"I need you inside."

"Like this?" As he slides a finger into my ass but only allowed the top of his cock into my pussy.

“More, baby!" I pant.

"How is this?" He slides his cock in a little further.

"All of it, I want all of it now!" I command.

"Your wish," and in one single motion his cock drives deep into my pussy and his fingers into my ass.

He lifts me so that he can slide underneath me. With my back to his chest, his hips and hands control our depth and rhythm. I can feel pleasure tingling throughout my entire body down to my cells. The taking of such primal lust. Giving completely into pleasure; no conscious guilt or prudence. Trusting my body to know its limits and wants. Trusting Tommy to take complete care in my sensuality. I allow every muscle in my body to release control and for carnal desire to infect my bloodstream.

"Let go and let me love you completely."

“Yes, Tommy, I am completely yours. "

As I give myself completely to Tommy, he gives wholly into his orgasm, making me come along with him.

It's when you completely let go of control that you gain what you want. If only I can trust this outside of the bedroom.

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