Strung

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Chapter 25. - Morning Glory

I woke up, too warm, with a thick arm across my belly, pushing me thoroughly into the soft bed sheets. A smile played on the corners of my lips, even before I opened my eyes.

I woke up to Lukas LaBelle snuggling me.

He was spread out on top of the sheets, his naked body a vision of pure perfection, with tight, lean muscles bulging in all the right places, and intricate patterns creating moving art on his bronzed skin. His blonde curls were sprawled out on the pillow, covering half his face and tickling my shoulder that it was pressed up against.

My whole body was buzzing with awareness the moment my consciousness returned. Lukas was a magnet, pulling me to him, creating the perfect distraction from reality and beguiling me into this sex-crazed daze that I couldn’t seem to snap out of.

“Good morning!” He groaned, his lids fluttering, but not opening all the way, as if he felt my gaze on him.

“Good morning to you too.” I whispered, my hands finding his golden hair. “How did you sleep?” I asked while I started stroking his soft strands, my fingers intertwining with his perfect locks.

Lukas nodded, nuzzling his nose into my side. I let out a little giggle, feeling particularly ticklish in that spot. “I would say well, but I hardly slept at all.”

His comments made my cheeks flair, his naughty suggestion reminding me of the fact that we were up most of the night, making love.

I wanted to sigh in contentment, suddenly very aware of the delicious soreness between my legs. Instead, I wiggled my body lower, so that I could be face-to-face with him. “Are you complaining?” I teased, delighted when his golden eyes first opened and glanced at me. They were sparkling in the morning light – which was incredible due to his floor to ceiling windows. The entire room was cast in an orange glow, making this scene all the more artistic, and almost unearthly beautiful.

“Never!” Lukas grinned, his arm tightening around my waist. He pulled, yanking me under him as he rested his weight on his other elbow. “Are you too sore?” His voice was laced with concern, and my heart skipped a beat, basking in his attention.

I lifted a brow at him. “Too sore for what?” I questioned, and his haughty glance gave me all the answer I needed. “Never!” I mouthed, mimicking his earlier reply.

And just like that my cocky blonde lion was back, once again pulling me under his rock star magical cloud that I came to adore so much.


Sometime later, we were wrapped up in each other’s arms, enjoying the feeling of our naked skins touching, and exploring the other’s body in the glowing morning light. “If this was how every morning started, no one would complain about having to get up.” I said, voicing my thoughts out loud. The idyll of the entire situation, that weightless feeling I’ve had in his arms enveloped me like a warm blanket that I didn’t want to let go of. “You’re starting my Friday off on the right note.” I smiled, staring up at his ceiling – which I noted had some impressive art on it, the dents and beautifully placed cracks creating a vision of the sunrise.

“I agree, Chester.” He murmured, his long, skilled fingers drumming a pattern on my skin. “Except that it’s a Saturday.”

And just like that, my little piece of heaven was over.

I bolted up and out of the bed so quick, I didn’t have time to grab the sheet with me, so I ended up standing in front of Lukas LaBelle, naked as the day I was born, clutching the air. “It’s a fucking Saturday?!” I gasped, out of breath. “Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck…”

“You have a filthy mouth, Prague, has anyone ever told you that?” Lukas chuckled, sitting up so he could lean closer to me.

My eyes immediately zoned in on the impressive packs of his flat stomach, and the little golden trail that led to the real treasure. “Fuck!” I moaned, before quickly reminding myself of the whole reason I was freaking out. “No, it’s a Saturday!” I told him again like he was supposed to know what it meant. “I have breakfast with my parents.”

I rushed over toward the door, where my purse was tossed haphazardly, sometime last night.

“And I’m late!” I was really panicking now. “I have no car, no clean clothes, no-“ I trailed off, forcing myself to take a deep breath.

I felt Lukas come up behind me, his long arms wrapping around my middle. “First, your clean clothes were delivered earlier. They are downstairs.” He said, his voice calm as he flipped me around to face him. “And I can drive you. Wherever you need to go.”

I could’ve kissed him! Right then and there! And so I did… “Thank you!” I whispered, before stepping away and making a quick plan in my head on how to make myself look presentable in front of my parents.

First, I needed to take a shower. There was no way I didn’t smell like sex… And my mother would know. I just knew that she would! Adelaide Grey would take one good look at me, and she would be able to tell that her daughter was having mind-blowing, premarital sex all night. And then, she would ask me for all the details, so she would put it in her latest romance novel!

Then, I had to change into something sensible – in case there would remain some strange, invisible after-glow I couldn’t scrub off. Yes, that was a good plan.

While I hopped in the shower, Lukas brought my bag upstairs and laid out a few options on the bed for me. I sincerely hoped that Callie wasn’t in a particularly funny mood when she packed this, and she included some decent clothing and not nipple tassels.

Lukas joined me under the shower a few minutes later, but instead of offering to wash his back – something I really, really wanted to do – I made myself hop out, and get dressed.

Thank fuck, my best friend had the common decency, and packed my favorite pair of jeans, along with a strapless crop top I bought years ago, and never actually wore a lacy strapless bra, and a matching black thong.

Fuck. My cheeks were flaming when I thought about Lukas unpacking these, and laying them out nicely side-by-side on the bed. “Too bad, Grey. You gotta suck it up.” I told myself, taking a deep breath, before pulling everything on. To my surprise, the crop top wasn’t too bad. In fact, it accentuated what little curves I’ve had, and the jeans were high-waisted, covering up most of the naked skin in between.

And they made my ass look fantastic!

A low whistle sounded from behind me, making me swirl around. “Are you sure you have to go?” Lukas asked, leaning against the outside wall of his shower, with a white towel hanging dangerously low on his narrow waist. Droplets of water covered his tan skin, rushing straight down that v-line that led to-

“Yes!” I yelled, louder than I intended to. I heard his laughter from behind me as I turned around, and gathered my hair into a ponytail. “We do this every Saturday. It’s a family thing no one misses.”

“Got it.” I heard him walk toward his closet, and only when the silence has begun resonating around me did I realize what an insensible asshole I was for not remembering that Lukas had no such family occasion to attend. Ever.

He emerged a minute later, wearing light jeans and a white v-neck shirt that fit him like a second skin, and high-top white sneakers.

“Ready?” He asked, but I shook my head.

Walking up to him, I laced my arms around his waist. “I’m sorry about what I said earlier. Or rather, how I said it. I didn’t mean to be insensitive.”

One brow lifted, but he didn’t say anything.

So I went on. “I know I should be more considerate, because… Because of your mom.” I couldn’t look at him any longer, so my gaze drifted over his shoulder, to a random spot behind him.

I felt his fingers tighten around my chin, holding it until I looked at him. “I have a family, baby. We’re just not technically related.” Lukas said simply. “Don’t ever feel like you have to downplay the connection you have with yours, just because my mother was a fuckup. The two have nothing to do with each other.”

I nodded because he was so terribly logical. But his momentary politeness didn’t make me feel any better.

Then, because of some unknown force that possessed me, I said this next: “Would you like to join us?”


Lukas LaBelle looked damn near dangerous behind the wheel, and that fact had nothing to do with his driving. This beautiful, warm Saturday morning, he chose a dark green, vintage convertible from his impressive car collection, and if that wasn’t enough to turn heads, the driver surely did the trick.

Despite the car’s old age, the motor roared to life the moment Lukas turned the key, which he noted with a satisfied half-grin. I couldn’t help but marvel over the beauty of not only the ride and the scenery, but the man next to me.

Lukas was in his element behind the wheel, just as much as he was on stage. He looked just as comfortable operating the manual shift as he did playing the most complicated riffs on his electric guitar. And the way the wind ripped through my hair only added to the overall effect of having him next to me.

An image of myself reflected in his golden aviators as Lukas turned to me at a red light. “How are you feeling?”

Euphoric, I wanted to say. “This car is incredible. What is it?”

“A Jaguar xkss.” He said confidently, like that was supposed to mean anything to me. “It was a gift.”

“A gift?” My brows furrowed. “From who?!” I may not have known much about cars, but I could tell that this fully restored and updated baby we were riding in was no cheap rust bucket.

“Ash.” He shrugged and kicked the car into drive again as the traffic started rolling through. “In exchange for the Porsche I bought him, may I add, which he ended up having to return, because his mountainous ass couldn’t fit inside!” He chuckled over the memory, no doubt picturing his best friend trying to shove himself into a car designed for much smaller men who lived half a century ago.

“My father was never much into cars. Now land mowers…” I trailed off, winking at the blonde man who made my heart beat faster.

Then, it occurred to me. I forgot to let my family know!

Scrambling furiously, I tried to dig my phone out of my purse, dropping it twice in the process and cursing, as I made an even bigger mess than the one I began with.

“Hey.” Lukas’s large hand came to rest on my thigh. “Do they not know I’m coming?”

“Fuck!” I mumbled, glancing desperately down at the evil little device that was blinking at two percent. “It seems that I just cannot catch a fucking break.” I observed, shaking my head. “I guess you’ll just have to be a surprise for my family.” Like you were to me – I added in my head.

Lukas, unfazed, only shrugged. “Fine with me.”

“You’re probably used to meeting strangers.” I said, thinking out loud. “But I have to warn you. My family has heard a thing or two about you. And they have their opinions.”

Lukas turned to me, flashing me a million-dollar smile. “I’m not worried, Rio. I can be charming when I need to be.”

I nodded. That was exactly what started it all.

Ten minutes later, we pulled up to my childhood home. I guessed my family could heard us roaring down the street, thanks to Lukas’ vintage car, and all three of them were standing outside the front door as we parked the car on the driveway.

Lukas reached for his door handle, but before he could open it, I grabbed two fistfuls of his blonde curls and turned that handsome face toward me. “I just want to you to promise, before we go in there-“ I swallowed. “-that whatever happens won’t change the way you think about me.”

His lips quirked up into a half smile, golden eyes sparkling brightly as he regarded me with an openly amused expression. “I most definitely cannot promise you that, Bruges. But you just piqued my interest!”

And with a final wink, he opened the door, and got out of the safety of the car.

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