Caught in The Act
Hopefully, by tomorrow I will post the last chapters of book one. You can expect one more chapter later today day since it's already almost finished. Thank you so much for all your encouragement. It means so much and it's what keeps me writing this story.
The doors to the elevator barely shut them away from the rest of the world before Lucas begins kissing Alaine with urgency.
His hands move swiftly to bring down the zipper at the front of her dress and he follows it down with clusters of kisses all the way to her navel.
Her little sighs and gasps are all the encouragement that he needs.
Impatience flushes his skin and makes his breathing rough as he pushes her against the wall behind them. His hand slips beneath her dress to explore the wetness he'd drawn from her body.
All the way home, he'd petted and teased her in the backseat of the SUV. Having at his mercy like that has him in a delirious lust craze. He wants her. He needs her in so many ways. But right now it’s the primal burn of lust that needs to be quenched he focuses on.
Before he can think it over or stop himself, Lucas pulls hard on her lace underwear.
The soft sound of it ripping fills the air around them.
Bewildered by his own actions and expecting to be reprimanded for it, he stops to look down at Alaine and waits for the rebuke to come.
What he sees is the initial shock in her eyes morphing into something that makes his jeans even more restrictive. He gives her a cocky smirk and presses his teeth into his bottom lip.
He is so handsome and knowing that she is responsible for the ravenous look in his eyes, makes Alaine bolder. She widens her stance and arches into his touch when his fingers glide through her bare flesh.
Lucas growls his approval. To keep her eyes on him, he grips her chin in his free hand and revels in the unmistakable pleasure growing rapidly in her green and gold pools.
The last grain of his self-control clings to a thin, fraying thread. He’s afraid it may snap before the elevator completes it’s climb to the apartment.
With only one more floor standing between them and the ultimate levels of bliss, he lifts her up suddenly so she can wrap her legs around him
It’s all he can do not to free himself and impale her right there. He manages to keep it together until he stumbles into the apartment with Alaine’s lips attacking his.
He topples her onto the sofa before settling between her legs and goes right back to kissing her. Slipping his hand between their bodies, he makes quick work of his belt, button, and zipper before shoving his pants and boxers down below his butt.
“I need you,” Lucas growls against her lips.
That’s all the warning she gets before he is seated all the way inside her.
Alaine’s hoarse cry harmonizes with his loud groan of appreciation. She is deliciously filled and her warmth hugs him snugly.
Once he recovers from the lightheadedness entering her so quickly swirled around his head, Lucas claims her with quick thrusts, plunging deeply with none of the finesse he’d treated her with last night.
His choice words, gasps, groans, and grunts fill her ears and the apartment, urging her to meet each of his upward movements with a downward swivel of her own.
They’re lost in sensation. So much so, neither of them remember that they're not alone. Jackie freezes and blushes when she enters the living room.
Oblivious, Lucas misses his housekeeper's appearance and hasty retreat. He can feel himself already climbing towards the edge. As much as he would love to prolong this he knows it's pointless and he won't go alone. He wants Alaine there with him so he fits his hand between her lugs to nudge her there.
"Come with me, baby," he pleads.
Obediently, her body begins to pulse around him, her grip so impossibly tight it vacuums the air out of his lungs. He swears softly and clenches every muscle in his body to stave off his own release to allow her to go first.
A thought clicks in his mind. Jackie should be somewhere in the apartment. He clamps his lips over Alaine's to smother the sound of his name torn from her throat when her body begins to shake beneath him.
Then he pulls out of her hastily and uses his hand to bring himself to completion. When he hides his face in her neck, a mouthful of her loose hair helps to moderate the volume of his own vocalization of the pleasure sweeping him into an orgasm that blurs everything around him.
As he floats back into his body, Lucas presses butterfly kisses across Alaine's collar bone. He holds himself up long enough to look down into her smiling face and place a soft kiss on her lips before going limp in her arms.
She soothes him by running her fingers through his hair and over his back.
He hadn’t meant to be this rough or impatient with her. At least not this soon.
“I’m sorry,” Lucas whispers.
“What for?” Alaine asks. When he rolls off of her, she protests, “I like to feel you there.”
“I’ll crush you,” he tells her. Then he explains, "for being...rough? Was I? Did I hurt you?"
The feel of her small palm stroking his cheek takes Lucas completely by surprise. He catches her hand and brings it to his lips.
“You weren’t,” she assures him and he smiles at the sated look in her eyes.
“I’ll be right back,” Lucas tells her.
He scoots off the sectional, disappears up the stairs and comes face to face with Jackie in his bedroom. A yelp leaps from her throat. The laundry basket in her hand tumbles to the floor and the redness in her face is a telltale sign of what she’d seen and heard.
For a while, she stammers incoherently, her eyes wide as saucers. That is not a way she wants to imagine her employer but now that she’s seen it, the scene seems branded onto her retinas.
“Am I fired?” is the only cogent thought she can articulate.
“Please, let’s just...” Lucas says but pauses. “You’re not fired,” he assures her. “Just try not to...Just give us a minute before you come back to the living room,” he requests.
Forgoing the attempt at awkward conversation, Lucas walks around her and heads to his bathroom.
He finds Alaine just as he left her with her zipper down and her dress hiked up to her hips when he returns to the sofa. Looking behind him to ensure that Jackie heeded his instructions, he sets the blanket in his hand aside then moves to fix her clothes and rid her of her torn underwear.
“I have a question,” Lucas says when he resettles beside her. “Does it bother you when I...?” he begins but trails off.
“When you what?” she asks curiously.
"This," he says pointing to his fluids drying on her thighs. Using the wet washcloth he'd gotten on his trip upstairs, he cleans her skin with reverent strokes.
“You’re suddenly shy?” Alaine questions.
“No,” he answers. “But you are. So does it bother you?”
“No,” she responds honestly.
“Good,” he says. “Because sex, minus the prophylactic is a revelation.”
“You’ve never done it without one?” she enquires.
After a thoughtful moment, Lucas shakes his head. He doesn’t want to have this conversation. Not with Alaine. The consequences could be detrimental to whatever it is between them.
Unfortunately, she continues to look at him with innocent curiosity, urging him silently to expound.
“You really want to hear about this?” he asks.
“Why not?” she replies.
Taking a deep breath, Lucas throws his head back against the sofa and say, “my first time was just oral sex from this girl. I didn’t even know it was going to happen. I didn’t really know about condoms. So just that one time; which was only oral,” he reiterates. “I didn’t use one. I have every other time and I’ve been tested many times since then.”
Ignoring everything else he revealed, Alaine asks. “What was her name?”
Lucas frowns and replies, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” she asks incredulously. “That seems like something you should remember. Poor girl.”
“I didn’t know her name, Ali,” he snaps, his guilt making him sound angry. "I didn't ask," he adds but leaves out that he'd been too traumatized to do so.
“Sorry,” Alaine mumbles while her brain tries to make sense of what he just said.
Lucas conveys his regret for snapping at her by tightening his arms around her and placing a kiss against her hair.
“She was an unwanted fifteenth birthday present from my stepfather,” he concedes to try to make up for the sting of his harshness. But that confession only reminds him how he’s tainted her innocence.
Unable to look at her, he closes his eyes against the guilt beating against his conscience like a battering ram and says, “I don’t want to talk about this with you, Alaine.”
You’ll hate me if I do, he thinks.
The plea in his voice and the sudden sullenness in his mood makes her agree quickly.
“Okay,” she replies.
Although it's hard to just pretend like he hadn't just said what he said, his sadness breaks her heart. She wants to pull him back into their bubble of bliss. So she leans up to catch his lips with hers.
It’s tender and sweet but it's also everything Lucas needs to temporarily escape into an alternate reality. In a world where just the two of them exist and his past is so far removed it is of zero consequence. In that world, he can believe that Alaine will look beyond all his flaws.
She breaks away from him and looks at his face. “We won’t talk about it if you don't want to,” she tells him. “I can always get on birth control,” she offers. “But you can’t be with anyone else, Lucas,” she adds sternly.
“No one else,” he agrees with his eyes locked with hers. “Will you stay with me tonight?” he asks.
“I can’t,” she replies regretfully. “I have to work at the restaurant this weekend. With the shop gone, I no longer have a steady income. But I would have loved to otherwise,” she assures him.
“But I am paying...” Lucas begins to say.
“I don’t want the money, Lucas,” Alaine interjects. “Not after this. If I accept payment, then what does that make me?”
“I’m not paying you for sex,” Lucas deadpans. “We have an agreement.”
Alaine sighs. His words are another painful reminder of what they really are. They’ve already blurred the lines enough. Fortifying her spirit with a deep breath, she tells herself that she should be grateful that he tries to keep her on the right side of things. She will hold on to his little cues that keep her tethered to reality.
“I still don’t want it,” she tells him.
Knowing that it’s not an argument he is going to win, Lucas locks the topic into the vault in his mind of things he has to revisit. Later he will think of another way to get her to accept the money. In the meantime, he tells her, “what time do you have to be at work?”
“Five,” Alaine informs him. “And I leave at midnight.”
The idea of her being out so late by herself, especially considering his suspicions about Angus, makes him worry.
“Okay,” Lucas tells her. “I will have Seth drop you off and I will be there waiting to pick you up.”
“That’s not necessary,” she says. “Or part of our arrangement.”
“You may not believe so,” Lucas argues. “But I’m doing it anyway. The streets aren’t safe during the day and they’re worse at night.”
Because he’s right and she hates traversing the dark corners on her own, Alaine accepts the generous offer.
“You’re too kind,” she says before placing a kiss on his chest.
“Don’t let anybody hear you saying that,” Lucas jokes. “You will ruin my reputation.”
She chuckles and they fall into content silence with Lucas stroking her bare skin wherever he can find it.
With the A/C cooling the sweat on their skin and the silence of the afternoon, Alaine drifts off in slumber. Lucas watches her until his own eyelids grow heavy. He throws the blanket over them and eases down her body to rest his head against her breast. Memorizing the pattern of her breathing and the beat of her heart, he wraps his arms around her to snuggle closer. With the rhythmic thumping in his ear, his sated body, exhausted from their lovemaking, gives in to something he’s never done before -- an afternoon nap.
When Lucas' eyes flutter open again, he’s shocked to find the sun dipping closer to the west. He brushes his lips over Alaine’s to rouse her.
“Hi,” she smiles sleepily only to find her mouth consumed by his kisses.
If there was enough time, he’d make love to her again. It’s already climbing up to four. The thought of her leaving makes him feel empty and he battles back the temptation to ask her to stay again.
“I’ll call Seth,” he says when he pulls away from her. “You need to get ready.”
Movement in Alaine's periphery as she sits up draws her attention to Jackie tiptoeing across the living room.
“I’ll be going now,” the housekeeper mumbles but avoids eye contact with both of them.
Alaine turns to Lucas with shock and accusation on her face.
As soon as the elevator closes with his housekeeper inside, she turns to him and hisses, “she was here all this time?”
Embarrassment makes her groan and she pulls the blanket Lucas had covered her with over her head. “I need a black hole to open up and swallow me, now,” she gripes.
“Ali, it’s not a big deal,” Lucas tries to comfort her.
“Not a big deal?” she repeats. “She could have heard,” she gasps. “She could have seen. I’m so embarrassed.”
“You’re embarrassed about sleeping with me?” Lucas questions.
“No. I am embarrassed about being seen sleeping with you,” she corrects. “There’s a big difference.”
“She’s bound to know, Ali, whether or not she sees,” Lucas reasons.
Another of Alaine's long, whimpery groans -- louder this time -- fills the apartment. It’s guaranteed that she will never recover from this level of humiliation. How is she ever to face his housekeeper again?
“I can’t come back here after this,” she tells him.
“Babe, honestly, I didn’t remember she was here,” Lucas explains. “Ali,” he prompts when she remains quiet.
He does his best to tug the blanket still covering her from head to toe away without hurting her but she has it in a vice grip.
Still absolutely mortified, Alaine muses loudly, “I’m just going to stay here and die.”
Lucas' uncontrollable laughter makes her huff in exasperation.
“People have sex, Alaine,” he tells her.
He inches down her feet and pushes his head under the blanket and he kisses his way up her body.
“That’s your argument?” Alaine asks but the fight leaves her with a sigh as she gives herself over the magic in his lips.
“I don’t want us to hide, Alaine,” Lucas tells her. “You just have to get over it because I’m not sneaking around in hotels with you. That’s not what this is.”
“Does it matter where?” she asks him. “I can’t face her after that.”
“I want you here with me,” he argues defiantly. “And Jackie is here every day, except Sunday and Monday, so she will see and hear and know a lot.”
“Well, maybe I will only visit on Sundays and Mondays,” Alaine posits.
Lucas finally pries the blanket out of her hands and off her body and pins her beneath him.
“I like having you here,” he informs her. “So that’s not an option,” he declares. "And she washed the sheets by the way," he teases.
Her deep scowl and wide eyes make him laugh again.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” Lucas says. “I like that she knows that I am your first and not some easy lay.”
The topic of Jackie is moot now, Alaine realizes. It's also clear that Lucas feels no shame about them being caught. There's no point in keeping the argument going and doing so is not going to make her any less uncomfortable.
“Have you had a lot of those?" she asks to change the subject. "Easy lays?”
He sighs heavily and admits “a few, but that’s done with," he promises. “I want you and only you. I promise.”
Smiling at the contrition in his eyes, Alaine takes his face in her hands and kisses him languorously. “I should get ready,” she says.
Unable to help himself, Lucas whispers, “stay.”
Though it’s a tempting invitation, she replies, “I can’t. Can I use your bathroom to freshen up?"
"You don't need to ask," Lucas informs her as he leans in to place another kiss on her lips.
A short while later, she comes back downstairs and meets Lucas ending a call on his phone.
"Seth's meeting you downstairs," he tells her and walks across to hit the call button for the elevator.
While they wait for it for it to make it's way back to the top floor, Lucas takes the time to relearn the shape of her lips and her body. He squeezes her butt firmly when she sags against him.
“If you don’t go now, I’m not letting you out of this building,” he threatens.
Alaine looks up at him and sees the seriousness of his words in his eyes. The doors open behind her. The misery she feels stepping out of Lucas' arms has her wanting to jump right back between them. Instead, she steps into the metal cage and gives him a little wave.
“I’ll pick you up at midnight,” he promises before pushing the button for the lobby.
After she is gone, the apartment feels empty. Lucas turns from the elevator surveying the wide space. He has so many things. Expensive things that bring a sense of accomplishment but nothing else. He likes that he has money but the billions do nothing to alleviate the loneliness that lives inside him.
Living here alone, it's no wonder why he can't escape his demons. In his life of solitude, he’d always drowned them out with work and meaningless sex. In any other setting, ones in which his mind isn't occupied, they become overwhelming.
But with Alaine, her presence makes the difference.
He walks slowly into the apartment and decides to occupy himself with the package that was sent up from the lobby. He steps into his office and eyes the brown, unmarked envelope with a sinking feeling in his gut.
Seth lounges against the wall beside the elevator in the lobby. He watches as the light above the door announces the impending arrival of his charge. Whenever Alaine is around there's always tension knotting his insides.
He pushes off the wall when the doors open and she steps outside. As he expected, she ignores his presence and storms off toward the door.
Silently, he follows her.
What surprises him is that she's actually listening to Lucas in allowing him to drive her home.
"It's going to be an uncomfortable ride," he mutters to himself. “You can seat up front you know,” she offers when she opens the door to the backseat of the SUV.
“No thanks, I like it back here,” Alaine responds to the suggestion. “There are no traitors or cowards.”
Climbing into the driver's seat, Seth sighs heavily and regrets his next set of words as soon as they leave his mouth.
“You know, you didn’t exactly say anything either,” he accuses.
Alaine gawks at him.
“You have some nerve,” she spits. “I’d lost my memory, you ass."
That's the extent of their conversation. The same tension that was formerly knotted in Seth's stomach seems to burrow it's way out of him and weave itself in the air around them.
They ride the rest of the way in silence but Alaine has to harden her heart to the strain and obvious anguish and sorrow in the furtive glances he keeps casting her way in the rearview mirror.
When he pulls up beside her apartment, she sighs with relief.
“Where are you going Seth?” she asks when he gets out of the car with her.
“Your boyfriend instructed me to wait for you. So I will be waiting for you but not in the car,” he says as they cross the street together.
“Well I’m saying that you don’t need to,” she answers defiantly.
“But he pays me, so...”
“And he’s not my boyfriend,” she interrupts.
“Isn’t he though?” Seth questions. “The are hickeys the size of quarters on either side of your neck that say he is.”
Seth chuckles at her open-mouthed reaction as she clamps her hand up to cover her neck.
“You’re a grown woman, Alaine,” he tells her. “It’s good to see you living. Just don’t get too attached too quickly,” he cautions.
She narrows her eyes to show him that she doesn’t need his advice but while she hates to admit it, Seth's words strike a chord in her. It’s only been two weeks and she’s already humping Lucas like a rabbit. What must he really think of her?
The words easy lay make her cringe and she hurries away from Seth’s all-seeing eyes to get up to her apartment.
If only life came with a map, she thinks as she flings open the door.
“What is going on?” Delah asks when she reads the panic in Alaine’s eyes.
“I need your help, now!” Alaine announces and grabs her sister’s hand dragging her to the bathroom.
“What? What is it?” Delah asks with mounting concern.
Pointing to the bright red spots on her neck, Alaine says, “these.”
Delah blinks at them then laughs.
“Damn,” she chimes. “That must have been some really good fu...uuunnn,” she alters when Isabella walks into the bathroom behind them.
“Shut up,” Alaine mumbles. “Just use your make up magic and get rid of them,” she mutters under her breath. “I have to be at work in a little while.”
Delah does her best to hide Alaine’s indiscretions under layers of concealer and face powder. Satisfied that no one looking for the marks will see them, Alaine leaves the apartment and finds Seth waiting dutifully on the landing.
She’ll give him points for his ability to follow instructions.
Rolling her eyes at him she follows him down to the street and climbs into the backseat when he opens the door for her.