The whole performance had been amazing. Admittedly, Jen didn’t get out much, but this was enthralling. The only time she’d taken her eyes off the stage was during Drew’s dance. It was harder than she thought to see her man nude on stage. They had used the lighting to cleverly make their nudity to look artistic and not revealing. And yet, she could feel her face heat up, and her fingernails had dug crescent shapes into her palms as she watched. Dashar Voo’s excessive touching of his skin hadn’t helped her. She reminded herself that it was all for show, but she was glad it was over.
This was the only one of the three performances that she would have to watch from the audience. The other performances were sold-out, and they hadn’t been allocated tickets. Of course, Drew would probably still want her to attend, but watching from backstage would be easier than this.
She followed Belinda to the foyer after the curtain went down. It was here where the patrons were mingling, and drinks were being handed out by a team of waiters. Nobody looked in a hurry to leave, and the clink of glassware could be heard over the talking and laughing. She felt uncomfortable. She and Belinda stood together and, despite wishing she was invisible, she couldn’t keep her head down as her eyes sought the staircase where she knew the cast would emerge from. She couldn’t stop looking for him.
She chose to ignore the waiters offering drinks and the attempts at conversation from a group of men standing next to them. Most of the comments were sent Belinda’s way. She looked amazing in her lipstick red sleeveless dress with the long flowing skirt. The guys in the group obviously appreciated it. But not all attention was directed at Belinda. There was a short, persistent man who was standing too close to her and seemed intent on telling her what he did and how much he earnt.
“Please, leave me alone,” she huffed when he ignored her gentle hints and polite requests where ignored, “My fiancé will be getting back soon, and he won’t appreciate how rude you’re being.”
“Fiancé?” the guy lifted his eyebrows, “Where’s the ring?”
“The diamond kept getting caught on the dress’s beading,” she glared at him, “But that’s none of your business. Please leave.”
“Hey, I’m just being friendly,” the guy edged closer, “He must be a lame guy to leave a woman like you alone without a drink? What sort of man does that?”
“That would be me,” the voice came from behind her, “Sorry, I’m late, Honey.”
The guy’s head jerked upwards, and his complexion paled considerably, his hand still holding the drink he’d been trying to force onto her for the past half-an-hour.
“Is this guy causing you problems?” the growl came from the other side and sounded like Mark.
“Groomsman duty includes taking out the trash, right Mark?” came Sam’s voice from the other side.
“I was just leaving,” the guy looked like he was about to pee his pants as he backed off, away from the wall of angry men standing behind her as he disappeared into the crowd.
“Storm warning,” Drews’ voice shook.
She turned in his arms and both arms wrapped around his waist as she hugged him. He was wearing the tux he’d arrived in, and he smelt like he’d just showered. She clung on to him and closed her eyes.
“Missed you,” she whispered.
“When’s the Wedding?” Mark asked from behind where they were standing, “Why didn’t you tell us? You are inviting us, right?”
“What a dick,” Sam was standing at Drews’ shoulder growling his words under his breath, “Can I kick his ass for you, Jen?”
“If anyone’s kicking,” Drew started to say but Jen tightened her hold around his waist when he started to move in the direction the idiot had gone in.
“No,” she said loud enough for him to hear, “Stay with me.”
She could feel his head turning to look down at her then swinging back to look through the crowd for the guy.
“Downgrade your weather warning,” she continued when he didn’t relax, “I was dealing with him. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate you turning up at the right time, but I was about to put the pointy end of my shoe somewhere it didn’t belong if he didn’t leave.”
“I know this isn’t the best timing,” Sam’s voice was in the background, “But part of our contract requires us to mingle. And Mark, mingle doesn’t mean seduce. Belinda, you’re in charge of Jay, make sure he doesn’t go AWOL. Drew, try not to punch out anyone as you and Jen go left, I’ll go right, and Mark, Jay and Belinda work towards the centre. Got it?”
The replying ‘yes’ came in varying degrees of enthusiasm.
“Do you want to meet some celebrities?” Drew released a long breath, “Wife-to-be, or do we have a wedding to get to? Sam might agree to give us a Hall-Pass if you agree to marry me right now?”
“Ha, ha, very funny,” she released her hold of him and took his hand instead, “I couldn’t care less about celebrities, but as long as you don’t let go of my hand, I’ll be polite.”
They turned to the left and edged their way through the crowds. Drew never let go of her hand and always introduced her at the start of every greeting. He knew most of the guests either by face, reputation or personally. She was astounded by how friendly some of the big-names were with him. She would have never expected that he’d be so connected, but then again, he was Drey Anders and he had been a celebrity for a long time. Despite this, she never felt overwhelmed or left out. He was very attentive to her and included her in conversation with people who shouldn’t be interested in someone like her.
The weather warning system worked well. He used the rain forecast more than once, mostly when men got too touchy-feely or when they tried to steer the conversation around to what she was doing tomorrow night. Each time she was able to step back and make it obvious to all that she was his partner, which meant that the forecast never progressed past the torrential rain stage. It made the whole situation much easier and manageable for them both.
By the end of the night, she felt like she was walking on air. They hadn’t touched an alcoholic drink, but she still felt drunk. This wasn’t like the only other party she’d been to, and Drew was nothing like Troy. He had made her feel confident, interesting, beautiful and worthy of being in that place. She’d felt his devotion to her and so did everyone that had been introduced to her. It was intoxicating.
It was just before 11pm when Sam nodded his approval for them to depart. They had talked about the charity to enough people that they could leave with their obligations concluded. She was relieved. Even though she felt like her body was floating, her feet didn’t share the sensation. The shoes were killing her. She wanted to pull them off her feet and walk around barefoot and would have if Belinda had let her.
Instead, Belinda had discreetly reminded her about her role in all of this. She didn’t say the words, but she’d still let Jen know that she was representing the Charity and the Four Horsemen as much as the men were, and shedding clothing or footwear off-stage wasn’t part of the image they needed to portray. Surprisingly that didn’t upset her. It made her feel part of something and included in Drew’s world.
She was quiet in the taxi on the way back to the apartment. It had been a long night, but she wasn’t tired. He was still holding her hand. She glanced at Drew as he fiddled with one of the beads on the skirt of her dress.
“You looked beautiful tonight,” he breathed the words, “You always look beautiful, but tonight you were amazing. Thank you.”
“What for?” she asked.
“For being there with me,” he shrugged, “I know that you stepped out of your comfort zone to do this and I appreciate it.”
She smiled at him but didn’t answer him, she could feel the blush on her cheeks. She didn’t know why she was embarrassed, but she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He’d done everything right tonight. He’d used the weather forecast to let her know how he was feeling, even though he’d previously laughed at her suggestion. And he’d dotted on her all night. She felt special.
They took the elevator up in silence, and he opened the apartment door without saying anything. Then he took off his coat and jacket as she pulled off her stilettos. She watched him pull his bow tie loose. He was gorgeous, and she was starting to accept that he was hers. They had a long way to go, but her heart was beating its appreciation for the road that they were on. She was falling for him. She wanted this man more than she’d wanted anything before.
She left her shoes at the door as she walked over to him. He lifted his eyes to her and watched her without moving. She ran her hands up his white cotton shirt until she got to the top button. Using both hands, she undid it and moved down to the next.
“Jen,” he whispered, his voice rough.
She didn’t let him say anything more. Upon her toes, she lifted her lips to him and found him. His lips kissed her as his arms secured her, lifting her off her feet as he carried her back towards the benchtop. He perched her there as he kissed her. Sitting allowed her hands to come back to the buttons on his shirt. His fingers fiddled with the beads on the dress as he searched in vain for the hidden zipper. The shirt was gone when he groaned and started to bunch the dress up in his fists.
“Don’t rip it,” she pulled her mouth from his, “Do you have any idea how much it cost?”
“Don’t care,” was his only response.
She laughed softly as she lifted her arm and unfastened the dress using the zipper down the left side hidden under her arm. He stood back slightly as the beads fell off her body. Then she lifted herself off the bench and swept the dress onto the floor so that she was sitting there in nothing but a small pair of lace underwear and her stockings. Inhaling deeply, his eyes drank her in, and his body showed its appreciation for what it was seeing.
“Jen,” his voice was pained, “I said that I wouldn’t do this. I don’t want you to think that I’m only interested in sex. I want more than that.”
“I know,” she whispered back as she undid the button and then the zipper on his trousers and let them fall from his hips to the floor.
“I told you that if we do this, it would be making love, not having sex,” his voice growled as his muscles tighten giving her a stunning view of his abs, “If we start this, I’m not going to be able to stop.”
“I know,” she whispered, answering both with one response, as she ran her fingertips over the thing that was tenting out his boxer shorts.
“Jen,” his breathing was rapid, “You should stop me now.”
“No,” she pulled him back towards her, closing the gap, and positioning him where she needed him. She ground her hips against the rod that was shielded from her by the only item of clothing he was still wearing, his cotton boxers.
“Jen,” he groaned as his lips found her skin, “Say the words.”
She moaned as his erection rubbed the lace of her underwear into her sensitive parts. She didn’t know what he wanted her to say but, right now, she didn’t care. She needed this man. He’d dismantled the last barrier in her. Tonight, he’d shown her that he wasn’t manipulating her for sex like Troy had done, and he really did want her in his life. He’d introduced her to his friends and was proud of her being his girlfriend. He wanted her and not just for sex. This beautiful man wanted her.
“Say the words,” he repeated as he pulled his lips from hers, “I need you to say them.”
She didn’t want the interruption, and she wrapped her legs around his waist to prove the point. It had been almost a week since she had been denying herself this. She didn’t want to wait any longer.
“Jen,” he pulled himself free, stepping backwards and out of her grip, and with laboured words he made her listen, “I’m not doing this unless I know.”
“Know what?” she tried to distract him by pulling her underwear off and rolling her stockings down her legs, letting them fall to the floor.
“Jen, you’re not making this easy for me,” he groaned, “It will kill me, but I’ll stop this now unless you say the words.”
“What words?” she brought her eyes up to his face as she realised that he was serious and that he was actually prepared to put a stop to this.
“I’m not interested in you waking up in the morning and regretting this,” he snarled, “I want you to acknowledge that you love me.”
“I don’t know,” the words fell from her mouth.
He took another step away from her as the pain swept over his face.
“I mean,” she took a deep breath, “I think I’m falling for you. I want you and I can’t stop thinking about you, but I don’t know if that’s love or not. I’ve never been in love.”
“If I do this,” his eyes focused on her, “I will be making love to you. I’ll want more from you than just a casual fling. Are you prepared for that? Will you give me that?”
“Isn’t that what we are doing?” she asked, “I thought tonight was all about me being introduced as your girlfriend?”
“Yes,” he nodded, “But I’m going to want more. Will you give me your heart?”
“I think so,” she whispered, “All I know is that I won’t regret doing this.”
“Then say the words that I need to hear,” he edged in closer, “Tell me that you love me.”
“I think,” she swallowed as his body moved towards hers, “That I love you.”
His lips dropped down on hers as the last word was said. He kissed her desperately. His hands came down to her hips as he held them still. He didn’t do more than that. Her hands were around his shoulders, and in his hair, she couldn’t move them downwards to remove his underwear. She tried to shift her hips to rub herself against him, but he held her just out of her reach.
He kissed her but was denying her anything else. The ache inside her was swelling, and she wanted to impale herself on the only remedy for this pain. She yearned for him. Pushing her hips forward she meet with resistance from his hold. He wasn’t giving in to her.
She kissed him back, hoping to convince him by matching his intensity as their tongues lashed each other. Their lips pushed for more contact as her fingers dug into his skin and massaged his hair follicles. She couldn’t breathe, her heart was pounding, and her skin was on fire. There was no piece of her, that didn’t need him right now.
“Please,” she whimpered as she drew breath.
“Say it, again,” he growled as one hand came down between her legs.
She couldn’t say anything as his thumb pad eased down her wet crevasse, his palm and fingers keeping her from moving as he passed over her sensitive parts causing her to jolt with sudden shock. He settled the pad of his thumb over the nob that gave her the most immediate pleasure and started to move it in small rotations. It was applied at the perfect pleasure, and she found that she was fighting his hold as she wanted more of what he was giving. She wanted him inside her, whatever part of him that he was willing to give her.
“Say it,” he repeated as she pushed herself, rocking her hips, against the hands that held her at bay.
“I want you,” she cried out.
“Not good enough,” he snarled as he rubbed his thumb up and down with hard sweeping motions, “You know the words I need to hear.”
“Love you,” came out between the gasps for air.
“Again,” he kissed her down her neck, his hand coming between them, and his fingers finding her entrance.
“Love,” she moaned as two fingers entered her, “You.”
His hand pumped in and out hard as she leaned back and lifted her hips to meet his ramming action. She couldn’t do anything as the onslaught of his jabbing fingers became faster and as they twisted and spread themselves inside her. She had no idea what he was doing, but it felt amazing. No one had ever touched her like this. It was erotic to know he was labouring on her pleasure, but at the same time, she knew that this was a selfish act and he wasn’t benefiting from it. She wanted more, but at the same time, she wanted him to stop and fill her with his erection instead.
She was just starting to contemplate telling him to stop when he added another finger and pushed deep into her rotating and pushing her walls outward. She tensed, her body bucked against the sudden stimulus, as something inside her broke. A dam of moisture was released, and she felt herself cry out as she peaked. The wave of pleasure crashed over her as she slumped, his fingers still dancing slowly inside her.
“I love you too,” he whispered as he withdrew his fingers.
She whimpered at the loss but also yearned for what was coming next. She needed him now, and his body was just as eager. She made small pleading sounds as he watched her writhe.