Chapter 26: Desire Becomes Punishing
My body jolts against Red’s and together we go tumbling to the ground a meter from the impact zone. I turn back and look at the poll which— had I remained in my original position— would have pummelled me. Confused, I ignore my groaning muscles and glance back up to where I’d seen the shadowed figure. Nothing.
“Julia!” I feel my body being shaken and look up at Red. “Are you hurt?” He questions, scanning my body in a rush, “please, baby, answer me!” He looks beyond panicked.
I release a breath before responding, “I’m fine, Red. Calm down.” I look back over at where the poll landed, and that’s when I realise, it was never meant for my boss... Pushing away from Red, I stand up and step back from him.
He follows my actions bemused, moving to his own feet swiftly he attempts to grab on to me but I step back towards the end of the car in a hasty movement. “We should head home, Red and you need to contact security.” I blurt out, my mind racing. Why would someone want to hurt me? Maybe the stranger miss-judged the angle in which it’d fall. “Please Red, I don’t want to stay here.” I continue when he goes to make another move towards me.
Running a hand through his hair, he unlocks the vehicle and picks up his phone before slipping inside and waiting for me. I cautiously walk around the vehicle and slide inside. I’m unable to make eye contact with Red, despite the pointed glares in my direction.
We arrive outside his home and I pause, scanning the area before stepping out into the open. I head for the front door, with Red hot on my heels. It’s only once we’re inside his house that the tension in my back begins to ease. Before I can walk any further, Red’s large hand grabs onto my hip and draws me back against his front. “Stop,” he demands. He turns me to face him and pinches my chin, drawing my gaze to his, “what’s going on?”
“Nothing,” I replied almost too quickly.
I need time to think it through, at the moment I’m beyond confused. The newspaper was an attack on Red, that’s without a doubt. But, the current one, I’m sure that was on me. If I tell Red my concerns he’ll surely place me under lock and key. It’s obvious someone’s after us both, but who?
Red tightens his hold on my waist, gaining my attention once more, “lair.” He then pushes me back slightly still continuing to grip my figure. His eyes travel down my body, “are you hurt?” He asks once more.
I shake my head, “I’m fine, Red. Just tired.”
Silently, I pray for him to drop the subject. I feel drained. “This isn’t over, Julia. You’re keeping something from me,” he sighs. “But, you need rest.” He releases me and I thank the heavens above. Slipping away from him, I make my way upstairs and plan to take a quick shower before sleeping. Stripping out of his shirt and my boots, I step under the warm spray of the shower, instantly hissing as the water hits my wounds.
Carefully I wash my body before drying off and slipping into another shirt of his, I’m glad he had given me space and not invaded the bathroom while I was in it. I move under the covers of his bed and allow the day to sink in as darkness creeps over my shut eyes.
Groaning, I shift as heat travels up my legs and straight for my core. Cracking my eyes open, I look around the dark room and stop on a hunched figure at my legs. For a small moment, terror strikes my system, I then recognize the scent and relax. “Bandaging,” Red explains. “Go back to sleep,” he moves up to take my arm. As if I can go back to sleep with his arousing touch seeping into my bones.
“How long was I out?” I question, looking up at the skylight.
Red’s eyes flicker to mine before he returns to wrapping the bandage around my arm, “a while.” He seems angry, almost like there’s fury simmering just below the surface.
I sit up after he finishes and Red stands, looming over me in a ridiculously intimidating manner. “I need to see Daryl,” I whisper, hoping he contains the beast. Pushing the covers off my body completely, I begin to rise.
Red places his hand on my shoulder and pushes me down, hard enough to keep me seated. “No.” Cold and short, I cock my head to the side at his dismissal.
“No?” I question, trying to struggle out from under his dominating grip.
He nods, “no.” Placing his free hand on my right shoulder, Red forces me to lay back down. “You’re staying here, no more running around.” Red enforces his words by covering my body with the damn sheet.
“I need to see Daryl!” I snap.
He slams his hands down on the bed either side of my head, “no means bloody no, Julia! You’re staying right fucking here, end off. And I swear to god, if you ask to see another man one more time, I’ll really lose it...” His threat hangs in the air and I blink up at him shocked.
“Get off me, Red,” I mutter, annoyed. He doesn’t move, I press my hands against his chest and push him violently. “What the hell is wrong with you, let me up!” I demand when no success is made. I fight him more brutally.
He doesn’t even flinch, “I spoke with security and this place is covered, don’t try to leave... You’ll only be dragged back here.” Red leaves me with those final words.
“Fuck you!” I scream at his retreating form.
Sitting up, I slam my fists into the mattress. Is he fucking insane, he can’t keep me locked up here. He’s trying to keep you safe, the stupid little voice in my head adds. Maybe he should focus on keeping himself safe. I stand up and make my way towards the stairs, he can go fuck himself if he thinks he’s going to control where and when I sleep.
Descending the staircase, I instantly zero in on Red. He stands outside on the deck and seems to be having barking orders at the clean-cut brute beside him. I look around the backyard and slowly I locate the security detail Red had placed. five, at the back of the house, but I can’t be too sure with the darkened sky and bordering forest.
I ignore the men outside and head for the kitchen. I find my phone and bag on the counter. Picking up the small device I call Daryl, Rob, and Marisa. After telling them about my situation, they end up agreeing with Red. Go figure. “So you’ll come here?” I question.
′Yeah, I want to speak with your boss, either way.′ Daryl replies. ′We’ll see you in an hour.′ He ends the call and I place my phone back on the counter. My stomach grumbles and I decide to make dinner.
Sometime during the process, Red had entered the home once more. I ignore his presence and continue working on the stir fry at hand. I feel him move around the room, then he finally decides to enter the kitchen. He leans on the opposite counter and his eyes bore into my form. Goosebumps rise along my skin and once I’ve finished cooking I spin to face him.
“How long are you planning to ignore me?” Red questions, crossing his arms and ankles. Damn the fucking handsome man for standing in front of the cupboards, I send him a glare before moving around him to grab plates. Instantly his body crowds mine from behind. “Really baby?”
I keep my lips sealed. Childish, definitely. Satisfying, hundred and one fucking percent!
Red drops his head and scents my hair, one hand reaches down to cup my heat, while the other moves up and takes hold of my breast. I hold back a groan, glad that we’re not facing the big wall-length window. I did not need the men outside seeing Red’s curious hands, caress my form. “Don’t,” I moan out, cursing my traitorous tone. I clench my legs and refuse to allow him any access, still angry with his behavior.
“I’m angry with you, Julia. If anything I should be the one ignoring, you...” He squeezes my pussy and rolls my risen nipple between his fingers. “You wake and the first thing you ask for is someone other than I,” the words are said through clenched teeth. Forcing his hand between my thighs, Red strokes my leaking slit. “And, now you’re walking around the house, half naked. With a dozen men outside... Naughty little woman!” He mumbles just behind my ear. “I should take you over my knee, right here, show those men outside who you belong to.”
I gasp, is he serious. “Don’t even think about it, Red. I swear to God if you so much as try-
He pushes one blunt finger up into my core and my muscles clench around him, “try what?” I can practically feel his smirk behind my ear. Adding another, he begins to scissor my heat. Pushing me down on the count, Red spreads my legs and slips his fingers out of my cunt, before thrusting them back in from behind. His actions are rough and fast, he’s punishing me.
The pressure rises in my body and my hips roll against his fingers, begging for more. His other hand moves down from my breast and begins to play with my clit. In the back of my mind, I’m relieved to know Red’s large form covers mine completely, otherwise I don’t think I’d be able to live down the embarrassment of being caught in such a position. “Please, Red...” I moan out his name.
“No.” He replies. Slowing the brutal thrust, I thrash against him as he keeps me just on the brink of a mind-blowing orgasm.
He holds me there, taking from me leisurely. “Get off me, you bastard!” I shout, annoyed. I try to push off the counter, but Red is much stronger. He keeps me trapped beneath him.
He adds a third finger, “this is mine, Julia. It’s mine to tease, to fuck and to punish. Understand?” He jabbed into me once more. I bite my lower lip and close my eyes. “Don’t ask for other men, don’t walk around half-naked unless you want me to strip you completely and claim you in front of them and may the Lord help you if you try to leave when you know it’s fucking dangerous!” Red stops moving and allows my muscles to milk his fingers. “Understood?”
“Screw you, Red!” I fume.
He chuckles humourlessly, “don’t tempt me, babe.” With that, Red moves back. My core aches to feel him once more, but my dignity is stronger than my desires. I straighten up and turn to glare daggers into him. I think little of the arousal dripping down my leg, “try that once more and we’re done.” I leave him just as the buzzer goes off. I storm upstairs and head for the bathroom. I’m almost tempted to get myself off, but I don’t think my pride could handle Red finding me mid-climax. Using a washer, I clean off and drop the dirty items in the hamper just as my boss decides to grace me with his presence.
Red leans against the bathroom door and watches me, I instantly go to cover my naked body with a clenched jaw. “Don’t threaten me, Julia. Especially not with shit like that,” he returns my icy stare and drops a bag by his feet. “Get dressed.” For the second time that day, I find myself alone and frustrated.
Snapping into action, I shift through the items in the bag and slip into some sweats and a shirt. I pull my hair up into a bun and descend down to the first level. I find Daryl and Marisa setting up all his equipment on the dining table, while Rob sniffs around the kitchen. Red is once more on the deck and speaking with the same suited man.
As soon as my friends see me, they crowd around. “Idiot! How much are you hurt?” Marisa places her hands on her hips.
“I’m fine,” I repeat for the tenth time. “I’ve cooked, sit and eat. Then, we’ll figure all this shit out.” I push them away from the stairs and back to the kitchen. Plating up, I watch them as they slump down on Red’s sofa. My eyes meet his through the glass and I sigh, ′food’ I mouth to him and he nods.
Grabbing I dish for him and myself I join the group and wait for him to reach my side before I begin to eat. During the meal, Red and Daryl discuss the issue, he suggests speaking with his security team and together the men begin to come up with plans.
I hear my phone ring and place my plate down on the coffee table, lifting Red’s hand off my knee I stand up despite the tightening of his hold. Walking to my phone I swipe my thumb across the screen and greet the person on the other side of the line.
′Julia, we need to talk...′ The color leaves my face as a familiar voice comes through the speaker...