The Arrangement (An Alternative Love Romance)

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The Act Begins

While the next couple of weeks were relatively uneventful, the pair had decided the first event they would attend where they were certain media and paparazzo would be present. It was the last event before Halloween, and it was a charity fundraiser to provide money for the local children’s hospital. Rachel arranged for a private showing of gowns for the event, where she sat with Nick and Selene to select a few dresses that would be appropriate for this type of thing. Since Selene was barely over 5’ tall, it was already known they would likely require alterations.

Rachel already had a seamstress ready to handle everything, having measured Selene extensively to ensure she could make all the gowns would fit her perfectly.

With the gowns, Rachel made sure she had heels that would go with them, all with 4” or higher heels. Selene had to practice walking in the at home, and Nick was struggling to hide how sexy he thought she looked. It had required a lot of willpower, but he’d managed not to get too forward with her. There had been a few make out sessions, though, leaving Nick playing fantasies in his head while he masturbated in the shower. He inwardly cursed Rachel, while also thanking her for everything she was doing for Selene.

Selene, meanwhile, was focused on learning what she needed to know when she wasn’t working. She seemed oblivious to the way Nick looked at her, and remained convinced that other men only wanted her for sex. Perhaps due to her past trauma, she seemed unable to comprehend the idea someone might actually be interested in her for her. It was almost like it was a completely foreign concept.

Nick spent a significant amount of time learning everything he could about PTSD, child sex abuse, and what helped to control or relieve symptoms. What he found sometimes broke his heart enough to bring him to tears. He was introduced to a few survivors in the BDSM community who offered similar advice and a number of things to watch out for. While he was o expert, by the time the night came, he felt better prepared.

The worse thing he’d learned, though, had him feeling extra protective. Victims were often repeatedly victimized, especially those who’d suffered in childhood. It was like they wore a sign for other predators, one sub told him. Because of conditioning, she would likely not report it or discuss it and suffer in silence. While he couldn’t control her, he was determined to keep his eyes out for any potential danger. From what he’d been told, anyone could be a predator – even the ones who seemed to be the least likely. Young, old, preacher, cop – it could literally be anyone. He was understanding more and more why Selene kept everyone at arm’s length.

God only knew who all had abused her before. It tore at his heart.

However nervous she might have been, when Selene stepped out in the gown, she showed nothing but confidence. Nick felt as if the breath had been knocked out of him.

She was wearing an emerald colored dress that practically glowed against her cinnamon-toned skin. With silver trimming and beadwork, the halter dress was the perfect match to her eyes, causing them to stand out. The cosmetics enhanced her natural appearance, the colors just enough to give her a glamorous look. Her long hair had been pulled up and made into dozens of small braids that looped and twisted around each other in a complex style that looked like it took a number of hours to arrange just so. She was wearing minimal jewelry, but she didn’t need more than the white gold earrings and bracelet.

“Wow,” he whispered, finding himself unable to say anything else.

Selene looked up and smiled shyly at his expression.

“You like it?”

Nick blew out a harsh breath. “You look so… you’re so… breathtaking,” he finally managed. “You are going to be the most beautiful woman there.”

Selene laughed at that, shaking her head after she’d stopped. “That’s ridiculous.”

“No, it’s not,” Rachel told her as she stepped out of Selene’s room. “You really are stunning. You may not see it, but trust me when I say you will be drawing plenty of eyes.”

Selene looked a bit nervous, glancing between them. Nick reached out and took her hand, giving it a squeeze.

“I won’t leave your side all night,” he reassured her. “I promise you’ll be safe.”

“And, I’m your back-up,” Rachel told her. “I will keep an eye on things and give you tips when you need them. We will make sure tonight goes good for you.”

“Ok, so we have to play like we’re in love, right,” Selene asked Nick. “So, hand-holding, kissing, staying close to each other – anything else?”

Nick wasn’t sure why he felt a bit deflated by what she said. It was just an act for the public. He’d almost forgotten that in her eyes, they were ‘just friends’. He nodded slowly, looking away from her for a minute.

“I will probably keep an arm around your waist or on your back,” he said as he pushed his feelings aside. This was not the time.

“Look at him adoringly from time to time, too,” Rachel instructed her. “Try to talk him up, like he’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a man and you can’t remember being so happy.”

“Well, that lat part is easy. I won’t have to pretend to be happy. This is the best life has ever been for me.”

Rachel smirked as she noticed Nick perk back up. She could see the way he looked at her and the pain when she mentioned the act. Rachel decided right then and there that she was going to try to help things along with them. Nick clearly adored her and from what she’d seen thus far, Selene needed Nick. There was more there, but Selene was very reserved with her feelings and could be very hard to read. Still, she was convinced that if anyone was going to win her over, it would be Nick. She is also the first person she felt was truly deserving of her long-time friend.

“Alright you two, let’s get going. I am anxious for free champagne and those little hors d’oeuvres that they serve,” Rachel said with a grin.

Nick laughed while Selene simply rolled her eyes.

“Hey, I have a fondness for food and free alcohol,” Rachel protested with a pat to her stomach. “Besides, Bess planned it and she knows the best caterers.”

While in the limo, Nick and Rachel kept things mellow with Selene, though they prepared her with the final details of what she should expect and what to do on the walk into the building. The cameras would be on them and questions would be asked. While they didn’t tell her what to answer, they made sure she understood she didn’t have to answer anything she didn’t wish to. With her customer service training, they both were relatively confident she could handle it. Still, they were there for support as she made her first steps into the world of the rich and sometimes famous.

When the limousine pulled up into the line, Selene became noticeably tense. Rachel looked at Nick and gave a sly smile, before she opened the door next to her.

“I think I saw a friend’s limo. I’m going to go say hi,” Rachel said as she began to climb out. “Help her relax, Nick. I’ll be back in a few minutes!”

The door was closed before either could respond, but Nick was more focused on Selene. Granted the opportunity by his dear friend, he pulled Selene closer and lowered his head so that his lips brushed against her ear. She tensed at first and opened her mouth to speak, but once he began speaking, the tension almost immediately fled and her lips closed.

“Oh, my sweet little Selene. You look so incredibly beautiful tonight. I want to take you home and rip off that dress and do some very not just friends kind of things to you,” he said lowly in her ear before he began to nip along the side of her neck. “I want to slide my hand up under your skirt and find that little nub of flesh so I can make you cum on my hand,” he continued, allowing his hands to wander up and down her sides, occasionally gripping her hips. “I want to hear the sounds you make when you cum, Selene,” he said.

Selene had all but melted into his touch, her long lashes lowered and her lips parted. Nick slid a hand up to cup a breast, his other hand sliding low into her lap. She reached down and put her hand over his, but she wasn’t pulling it away. Instead, he began to feel her hips move and her body press closer, so he continued.

“I want to make you feel so good and cum over and over before I ever take my pants off. I want to see you writhing in pleasure as you cry out with orgasm after orgasm.” Nick’s breath was growing heavier as Selene began to make those soft whimpering noises again. He began kissing back up to her ear. “I want you so badly, Selene. I want you every single day. One of these days soon I’ll get you off – when you’re ready to let me go that far. I want to watch your face as I plunge my finger in and out of you. I want to see your mouth open and hear those lovely sounds. I want to touch and kiss every last inch of you. Only then, my sweet Selene, will I take my cock and bury it deep inside you and show you what real pleasure is like.”

Selene was all but putty in his hand, and it was so tempting to pull up her skirt and slip his hands between her thighs to get her off now. Her squirming against him only made it worse, and his cock had become so hard he ached to put it inside of her.

“God, Nick, it feels so good,” she gasped as he pinched her nipple and rubbed just above her clit through the dress.

Nick swore quietly and closed his eyes. “Fuck, Selene, I want to hear you cum.”

“I… can’t – I, oh,” she moaned when Nick twisted her nipple gently, pinching it at the same time he pressed his fingers harder against her groin.

“Are you wearing panties,” he asked her, biting her at the base of her neck.

“Ye-yes,” she managed in between gasps and soft moans.

“Selene, can I put my hand up your dress,” he asked thickly, the idea of touching her so arousing he could feel his cock leaking.

She nodded jerkily, shifting so he could get access to that spot between her thighs. The moment her rubbed his finger along her slit, she moaned deeply, one hand gripping the arm as he began to touch her through the silky material. There was far less than he’d been expecting, allowing him quick access to his prize. Selene was practically riding his hand at just playing with her clit and her nipples.

He watched her face from the side as he slid his finger down to her hole, gently pressing into the center just enough she could feel his finger there. It didn’t last long, though, because her head fell back and her eyes rolled up at just the pressure and he got greedy for more. Slowly and carefully, he began to slide his finger inside of her. Selene released a low, shuddering moan when he’d fully sunk in. He began to move his finger in and out of her in slow thrusts.

“Selene, you are so hot when you’re making those sounds. I love hearing them. One of these days, I’m going to make you moan all night. I want you to see what it’s really like to be pleased by a man who adores you,” he murmured in her ear. “Someday, I want to take you into the shower and wash you all over before I finger your pussy until you can hardly stand. Then, I’ll take you to the bed and lick you until you can barely move.”

As he spoke, Selene was pushed higher and higher in a state of arousal like she’d never experienced. She’d cum before, even aroused, but what Nick was doing to her had her her floating in a sea of need and want that was completely foreign. All she could do was make noises and hold onto his arms as he took her higher and higher.

“That’s my sweet Selene. There you go. That’s it, baby, let the pleasure fill you up. Let it consume you,” he breathed in her ear. “Let me make you cum. I want so badly to bring you to orgasm. Please, give me that orgasm, baby.”

It was only moments later when she tensed and he could feel her walls tighten. Then, she cried out and he felt her orgasm hit. It was hard enough he nearly came himself just feeling it.

“There we go,” he moaned. “Fuck, you are so beautiful. You came so hard – I’m so happy to know you thoroughly enjoyed that,” he said as he slowly withdrew his finger. “Don’t move. I’ve got wipes here to clean you up,” he told her.

He reached over and opened a cabinet, pulling out the damp wipes. Carefully, he wiped her clean, as well as his finger, though he wanted to taste her. Afterward. He helped her straighten her dress then made sure her pasties were hiding her nipples. He had been surprised at how sensitive they were in spite of the coverings. As badly as he wanted them bared, now wasn’t the time. Rachel would be back soon and then they would be getting out in front of the cameras not long after.

“Feeling more relaxed now,” he questioned as she leaned back into him.

“Mmhmmm,” she hummed, bringing a smile to his lips.

“Good. Glad I could help.”

Selene’s eyes snapped open and she twisted to eye him. “Was that all just to get me to relax?”

Nick pressed a kiss to her brow. “As much as I’d like to say yes, the answer is no. It was for me, too. Seeing you cum is something I’ve been wanting to do. But I knew it would relax you, too,” he explained. “Which was my primary, less selfish reason.”

“Oh, my god,” Rachel exclaimed as she opened the door and slid back in, “Troy Sever has lost his mind,” she finished as the door slammed shut. “So, better,” she asked, looking between the two of them.

Selene lowered her eyes and looked away, but Nick nodded with a devilish grin. He kissed Selene on the temple.

“We are all good and ready to go, I believe,” he answered. “You ready, Selene?”

She cleared her throat and sat up, smoothing the dress down in the front. “Yes, I think I can do this,” she responded, shooting Nick a dirty look.

“Excellent,” Rachel said. “I’m glad Nick could help you relax.”

Nick chuckled, causing Selene to elbow him.

“Behave,” she chided, giving him a meaningful look, though her eyes were twinkling in amusement.

Nick leaned so he could bit her neck. “If I behave, no one will believe I’m madly in love with you,” he told her. “They’ll be expecting me to have my hands all over you.”

Selene’s cheeks picked up a flush, but whether it was his words or the hot breath blowing over her flesh, even she couldn’t be sure. She gripped the hand he had resting on her upper thigh.

“You do realize that she can tease you back, Nick,” Rachel remarked with a secretive smile. “And no matter how bad she does, you can do nothing about it.”

“I can try to convince her,” Nick retorted, sliding his free fingers up and down her side. “I know some of her weak spots,” he added with a wink at Selene, who was looking up at him.

She rolled her eyes, but Nick’s next whisper in her ear sent a shiver down her spine. “You’ve only just had the slightest taste of what I can do.”

“Nick, now don’t get too lusty before we even get there,” Rachel admonished. “Selene can’t stand in front of you to hide your boner all night.”

Selene’s jaw dropped in shock at Rachel’s audacity. Nick could only shrug with a smirk.

“A bit late for that. Selene seems to push all my buttons,” he said as justification.

Selene was still in shock, but she’d managed to close her mouth.

“You’ll find that there isn’t much that embarrasses me and I’m pretty open about everything,” Rachel explained with a grin and a wink. “I’ve seen and done almost everything, so I’m an open book.”

“So I see,” Selene finally managed, now that the shock had worn off. “I wasn’t expecting that, I have to admit,” she said slowly.

“Surprise,” Rachel exclaimed with her wide, happy smile. “You will get used to me eventually. I can be a bit of an… acquired taste,” she admitted.

“More like intimidating,” Nick corrected. “People are terrified of you.”

“Why?”

Nick smirked. “Rachel, you are a nearly 6-foot tall red-head with a list of exes miles long, millions in the bank, and have never been any sort of shy.”

Selene nodded slowly. “I can see it.””Really? Ugh,” she exclaimed just moments before the door opened and revealed the carpeted walkway.

Rachel looked at Selene and grinned. “Showtime,” she said quietly before she slid out of the car in the way of someone who was well-practiced, with the assistance of a mysterious hand that appeared.

Nick followed after her, standing tall before he turned and reached to take Selene’s hand. With care, he helped her out, all the while the flashes exploded along the sides of the walkway. The moment she stepped out, it seemed to Nick as if the Earth had paused. There was no sound as he stood there, holding her hand, looking down into her eyes. Then the flashes went off, the questions came, and the moment was spoiled.

Well, not completely. He’d caught that hard to detect flush to her face and it made him smile. He pulled her closer before wrapping an arm around her and stepping away from the car to take their turn playing to the press.

“Mr. Saber, is this your new girlfriend,” they heard a reporter ask.

Nick looked down at her before nodding. He turned his gaze straight toward the cameras and gave his best charming smile. “Yes, she is. Aren’t I lucky?”

“She’s gorgeous!”

“Where’d you meet?”

“How long have you been seeing each other?”

“What do you do, honey?”

“What’s her name?”

Nick took control, giving Selene a gentle squeeze on the side. “Her name is Selene Acres, I met her at a restaurant, and a few months now.”

“So what do you do, Selene? Aspiring model? Actress?”

Selene couldn’t help but laugh in spite of, or perhaps because of, her anxiety at being under the spotlight. As wracked with fear at being judged as she was, she pushed it back and turned on professional mode “I work at Paul’s as his night manager,” she explained, barely paying attention to the variety of looks from the various people around.

The barrage of questions, requests for poses, and flashing bulbs continued until they reached the other side of the doors. Not all of the questions had been very nice – once they’d heard she worked in a restaurant, there had been a few cracks about her climbing the ladder or looking for a sugar daddy. Of course, their age difference had earned a few barbed comments Nick’s way, but they held their own. Selene had to bite back a snarky reply twice.

“Oh, this is going to suck,” she muttered under her breath as they walked over to join Rachel. She could see the eyes on her and it made her want to slid under one of these lovely rugs.

“That was amazing. You did great,” Nick whispered to her, flashing her a smile. “Just like out there, consider yourself a small fish in a big tank of starving sharks and you’ll be ok.,” he added with a chuckle.

Selene nudged him with the elbow near his side. “Be nice. I’m sure it won’t be that bad.”

“Don’t underestimate them, Selene. Some of these are good people, but many of them are always looking to one-up anyone else they encounter,” he warned her quietly.

Selene nodded, pausing in her steps to look up at him. She reached up and cupped his cheek. “I have survived worse,” she reminded him, lifting on her tiptoes to press a light kiss to his cheek. “You are with me and Rachel is close. I should be fine.”

Nick barely registered anyone else in the lobby, for as soon as he could feel her breath on his skin, both hands wrapped around her hips. Before she could pull away, he pressed his lips to hers while pinning her hips against his own. Anyone watching would assume they were lovers, but it was the catch in her breath that Nick noticed. He was acutely aware of her proximity and warmth, almost forgetting himself enough to make the kiss a far more intimate one. When he pulled back he smiled down at her as she looked back up at him with half-lidded eyes.

“You’ll be fine. Just stay with me or Rachel, ok? I don’t want one of these shady assholes cornering you alone,” he told her quietly. “I don’t trust them with you.”

Selene laughed softly and pecked his lips again. “Consider me your Siamese twin for the night, then,” she said reassuringly. “I feel safer with you, anyways.”

Once again, Nick wrapped an arm behind her and lead her into the main room, where the majority of the party goers mingled. Nick lead her around the room, introducing her to various acquaintances and business associates, their wives or girlfriends, as well as others who came up to speak with him. Selene, for her part, remained steadfastly at his side. She was polite and charming, showing nothing but confidence to the various strangers.

In spite of what she showed, her nerves were fraying the longer the night dragged on. She could see the looks, the change in tone, and the way she was disregarded y some people once they found out about her employment status. Some were almost blatantly rude.

“Where are you from? The middle east?”

“It’s amazing the way they can match foundation to other skin tones these days.”

Then there were the ‘exotic’ comments. Some even praised Nick for finding such a ‘unique’ creature. How ‘unusual’ her features were, and the like. A few even asked Nick about her wildness in the sack. As much as she wanted to scream, she was sadly used to these things – she’d just never been assaulted by so much ignorance in such a short amount of time. To Nick’s credit, he was all ut steaming from the ears himself.

Then, her night made a huge turnaround.

From seemingly out of nowhere, the widow, Mrs. Robinson appeared almost out of nowhere. She walked straight up to Selene, along with a few other older ladies and one bemused older gentleman.

“Oh, it’s true. Selene, my dear, it’s so good to see you,” she exclaimed. “And in good company, I might add,” she remarked with a nod and approving glance at Nick. “He’s not had the best taste in women thus far, but let’s hope you can straighten him out,” she added with a sparkle in her eyes. “Now, I would like to introduce you to some friends of mine,” she said with a wave toward her comrades.

Nick watched in both amusement and awe as the group welcomed her warmly and engaged her in conversation, showing genuine interest in her. His heart lost some of the weight from the way she’d been treated by many. Mrs. Robinson’s acceptance with her friends had Selene all but glowing and she had the chance to shine. Nick was included, though he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. When she laughed and smiled, he could hardly think.

“You be good to that girl,” Mrs. Robinson said to him quietly, drawing his attention. “She’s a smart girl, and a tough one. I know someone who’s been through hell though,” she added, “so I will take person offense if you hurt her.”

Nick looked at her, taken aback by the woman’s protectiveness.

“I only want what’s best for her and for her to be happy,” Nick admitted. “Whatever that takes; even if that means letting her go.”

Mrs. Robinson studied his eyes a moment before nodding to herself as if she’d come to a decision. “I hope that’s true. I was fortunate to meet the love of my life at a young age. He was a bit older than me, but he always said that he needed to grow up a bit before he was ready for me. Perhaps you also needed that time to grow up, too.”

Nick mulled this over a few moments. While he didn’t believe in fate or destiny, he had to wonder if there wasn’t some merit to what she said. Even five years ago, Selene would have hardly made a blip on his radar. She would have just been another pretty waitress.

“That’s very possible,” he finally acknowledged, looking back at Selene.

Mrs. Robinson gave his arm a squeeze. “It’s hard work, but love can help heal the greatest hurts. Trust me on that,” she said with a twist to her mouth that indicated the subject was a deeply personal one.

With that, she turned to Selene. “Now, darling, please tell me I will still see you at Paul’s. I have to admit I do look forward to our weekly banter and I would sorely miss it.”

“We should have her over for tea,” a woman named Agnes suggested.

Mrs. Robinson rolled her eyes. “The girl’s too young to hang out with a bunch of old windbags, Agnes. We’d probably bore her.”

“You’ll give us a shot, won’t you, dear,” Agnes asked Selene. “We might be old, but we’re not dead, you know,” she added with a smirk at Mrs. Robinson.

“Do you like flowers, dear? I have a wonderful solarium with some rare plants,” another woman asked. “Denise also has a gorgeous garden.”

“Yes, I do,” Selene answered with a broad smile. “I would love to see either or both.”

“Well then,” Mrs. Robinson said with a look of pleasant surprise, “we’ll have to areange for you to come. It would be a joy to have you join us.”

Nick noticed something else when he scanned the room. The approval from Mrs. Robinson had changed some of the looks around to curiosity and there were fewer disapproving looks. That was when he saw the woman scanning the room with a scrutinizing look. Silently thanking her, he realized the older woman’s move had been highly strategic. For whatever reason, she’d given a show of approval that would affect how some would respond to her. Selene may not have realized it, but between the half dozen older people around her, they were worth more than the state’s entire GDP for several year. Mrs. Robinson herself was worth well over ten billion alone, when you counted all her assets.

She couldn’t have won over a group of more powerful friends anywhere in the state. A mixture of pride and relief filled him. He’d not realized how hard it might be for her, so tonight had been a wake-up call. While everyone here wasn’t white, there was more bigotry than he’d realized still alive and well. Mrs. Robinson was old money, though, and many would fall in line if for no other reason than for the sake of appearances. After all, you don’t piss off a woman who can claim truthfully that she had friends in nearly every governmental office in the state and beyond, as well as the wealthy and influential from around the world. She could ruin almost anyone with a simple phone call, should she choose to.

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