Skin of the Night

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Chapter 18: You're Doomed

At our favourite restaurant the same day, Olivia spouted her sip of white wine, shocked. After wiping her mouth with her white serviette, she exclaimed, “He’s your boss?!”

As I sobbed tearlessly in comic despair, I collected my head in my hands and nodded depressed. “What am I supposed to do, Livy?”

“Christ, Cara! Is Jason aware?!”

“Of course not,” I grumbled. “I wouldn’t dream to tell him. How do you reckon he’d react? He’d be awkward every time he was around the both of us, if it ever happens. Had it been serious between Will and I, of course I would’ve told him, but forgive me if I’m not inclined to tell my best friend, and flatmate, that I completely sexually exploited his elder brother.”

She brushed a lock of hair behind her small ear and nodded her head. “Yeah, don’t tell Jason. I wouldn’t want to know, if I were him.”

“Right?”

“But blimey, Cara. What are you going to do? How did William react when he saw you?”

After giving her the scoop of my day, she drained the remainder of her wine. “Shit. You’re in it now, aren’t you?”

“Livy,” I whined, “do you realise what a clusterfuck of a situation I’ve got on my shoulders? The bastard brought himself to invite me for dinner before I left today! After I’d signed and he’d promised to behave!”

“Honey, wasn’t he the best lay you’ve ever had?” She pursed her lips at me.

In response, I narrowed my eyes at her. “What are you getting at?”

She struggled to repress her arriving smile. “Well, you’re quite livid right now. It’s not like you. You usually brush men off with utter nonchalance, so I’m curious. What makes Will push your buttons? Pun intended, too.”

“Did you not just hear what I said?”

“So he asked you out for dinner to get to know you better. Where’s the harm in that?” she replied bewildered.

For a moment, I wondered if she’d flushed her brain in the toilet this morning. “Olivia, I cannot go on a date with my boss.”

“Hah!” she uttered and pointed her finger at me. Startled, I leaned back in my chair. “Freudian slip, pet,” she stated through a smug smirk. “You called it a date. It might only have been a work-related dinner, but you interpreted it as a date. That speaks volumes. You fancy him, don’t you? Why else would you be behaving like this?”

I glared at her, furious with how well she read me. “I do not.”

She shrugged her shoulders and searched for our waiter with her eyes. “Whatever makes you sleep at night, I suppose.”

“Livy!” I admonished.

“What?” She sighed. “I’m obviously very sorry for you, but at the same time, it is what it is, Cara. You’ve fucked your boss. You’ll just have to deal with it. The true question is, do you want to do it again? If you do, that’s something worth moaning about. Again, pun intended.”

I gaped at her. I couldn’t bring myself to reply, because anything other than ‘yes’ would be a lie, and I was not in the habit of lying to my friends. I could attempt diverging her attention, but she’d catch onto that. She was too perceptive, and she knew me too well.

Since I failed to reply, she ceased her search for our waiter. Instead, her warm brown eyes met mine, and they were wide with disbelief. “Oh, my God, you do!”

“This is the most futile conversation I’ve ever had,” I muttered and glared away from her. Folding my arms together, I resorted to a severe pout.

“How do you plan to proceed? Regarding Will, I mean,” she asked, grossly curious.

“As though nothing’s ever happened between us, of course! What do you expect me to do? Having sex with him again is out of the question, Livy. He’s my boss, he’s Jason’s brother, and – you know – I’m scared of growing attached to him! I’ve barely managed to keep my head on my shoulders all day – he’s wildly distracting. If I grow attached to him, I might as well wave my degree goodbye! I can’t think straight when he’s in my life.

“Do you know what I had to do after I watched him have a meeting with some clients today? I had to go to the loo and sort out my drenched knickers! In all likelihood, I’ve got to bring spares from now on!”

She burst out laughing, which was not the reaction I’d been hoping for. “Oh, my God, Cara... Cara, Cara, Cara.”

“‘Cara’ what?” I snapped annoyed.

“You’re doomed,” she declared. “If you go on rejecting him, you’ll still be thinking about him nonstop, and if you sleep with him again, you will still be thinking about him nonstop. I’m sorry, love, but why not secure a few orgasms while you’re at it? It’s a lost case, Cara. You’re infatuated. You can’t control your feelings, and your feelings want Will.”

“I might not be able to control my feelings, but my actions are still mine to define, and I do not intend to let them cave in to him. There’s Jason to consider, too. Besides, I’ve only got to last three months. After that, I’ll be off to continue my LLM, and – provided enough time – I’ll forget all about Will. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.”

She arched her brow at me. I didn’t need to hear her thoughts in order to know what they were. She did not agree. In her opinion, I was unlikely to recover from the powerful force that was William Night anytime soon.

A small voice whispered in my head that she was completely right, but I stowed it away into oblivion.

“If you have sex with him, maybe you’ll grow bored, eventually,” she then suggested.

My head tilted. That was an alternative idea. “Fuck him out of my system, you mean?”

She shrugged her shoulders again. “You tend to get bored with men very easily. I’m surprised you still hold on to Robby, but I gather that’s because he’s genuinely your friend.”

“But Jason–”

“Yeah, there’s Jason,” she interrupted and wrinkled her nose. “Sorry, Cara. I wish I could be of more help, but I’ve honestly got no idea what to say. It’s a clusterfuck, indeed, of epic proportions.”

I sighed. “Well, I appreciate the moral support.”

“It’s the least I can do. I feel like you’ve been my acting psychologist for the past three years. About time I return the favour.”


I had decided to walk home from the restaurant. Before I faced Jason, I had to muster every hint of courage remaining within my bones. To look him in the eye, while knowing how his brother performed in bed – as well as against the wall, or on the dining table – wasn’t something I looked forward to. However, I would have to.

Slight panic grabbed hold of me when I unlocked the front door to find him right behind it. Drenched in sweat, his tall figure turned toward me, blinking from surprise.

“Cara?”

“No, it’s Santa,” I teased.

While smirking, he dragged his t-shirt off his muscular body, right in front of me. “Then I’ll have you know I’ve been a good boy.”

“I already know. Firsthand experience. Gym with Stephen?” I asked while I closed the door behind me.

“Yeah. Staying in shape this summer. Got little else to do.”

All of the sudden, a wicked smile claimed his mouth. With a mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes – eyes that looked insufferably similar to his brother’s – he met mine. “How was your first day?”

Apart from my intense blush, I managed to keep my reaction in check. “It went well.”

His eyes widened when he laid notice to my blush. “How come you’re blushing? I’ve never seen you blush this much before.”

“Nothing,” I peeped and dropped my purse to the floor. “It was just a bit embarrassing at certain points. I felt out of practice. Dumb.”

He scoffed at me. “Christ, Cara. It was your first day. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll make me depressed.”

“Sorry.”

“Did you meet my brother, then?”

My blush intensified, so I rushed past him. While stalking down the hall toward my bedroom, I said, “I did. Impressive man.”

He laughed behind me. “Impressive, was he? Perhaps I should have warned you, but he can be a bit of a dick. You get used to it, though. And if anyone can hold their own, it would be you.”

I nearly shuddered. After entering my bedroom, I replied, “He does bark a wee bit, but I managed. You don’t look very similar. Why is your hair dirty blonde, and not his? And why are you so gentle, while he isn’t?”

“We’re not twins, Cara, and my mum’s blonde. Suppose I inherited it from her.”

“Right.”

“Did he tell you to say hi? I’ve told him you’re my flatmate.”

“He did, yes,” I mumbled and shut the door between us. Leaning against it, I sank down to the floor with a heavy breath. What a day. It was tempting to never leave my bedroom again. At least here, I was safe.

Or were I? With Jason as my best friend, would I ever truly be ridden of William? I had a feeling he’d always be around, looming in the shadows.

“Fuck,” I groaned and rested my weary head in my hands. I was in need of my bed. Perhaps after slumber, I’d feel better.

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