Spencer’s thrilling demand instantly shocked me into submission, making it impossible to think about the consequences, for I was too far gone in my need to make us both feel good and forget. I spread myself across Malcolm’s desk, face down, arse up; baring myself for all to see. Thankfully, all the blinds were closed, gifting my desperation the privacy it desired. My body was met with careful attention in the form of electrifying touches, each one intensifying my arousal.
“You will have to be quiet, sweetheart,” he warned, pulling on my hips whilst lowering his fly. “Can you do that for me?”
“Yes, sir,” I whispered, resting my cheek on the surface of the hard wood.
Its smooth texture felt pleasant against my skin, cooling me in ways I knew would soon come in handy.
“Lift!” he instructed, positioning himself at my opening.
He effortlessly slid into me from behind, hissing through his initial pleasure. Both hands gripped at my waist as slam after slam was bestowed onto my body. Remaining silent was a near-enough impossibility and with Spencer expertly rubbing me in places I most required, I was as good as gone.
“That’s not quiet, Jess!” he scorned.
“Stop being so good then.”
He laughed at my reply and reached for my mouth, covering it with his smooth palm.
“I can’t help being good, baby. But if I need to gag you, so be it!”
He pressed his hand further into my mouth, muting all incoherent sounds, much to my relief. He continued his assault on my body and within seconds, I was on the verge, ready to dive head-first into my pool of bliss. It always shocked me how quickly he could get me to climax, though I certainly wasn’t complaining. He knew exactly what my body needed to reach its high and often used it to his advantage. On many occasion, he would keep me teetering on the edge, not quite enforcing enough stimulation to offer my body the finish it so desperately required. Instead, he’d tease. And my man was the king of teasing.
“Spen-cer!” I attempted, muffled by his hand.
“I know, baby,” he appeased, massaging my thighs.
In no time at all, he applied pressure exactly where I needed it, rendering me a complete mess. I succumbed to my intoxicating orgasm and struggled to hold back my need to scream. Thankfully, Spencer’s hand did a fantastic job, though the same could not be said for him. He huffed and barked his pleasure down my neck, clutching onto my waist the entire time he did so. Then, much like the gentleman he was, he proceeded to pull away and straightened me out, ensuring my appearance was acceptable. I recognised his actions as a distraction tactic. He knew I would succumb to the idea of being only his and that it would offer me a moment of peace. Whenever I was with him, I couldn’t think about much else and that was a gift in itself. Even if it did only last for a few earth-shattering minutes.
“You are good enough, Jess,” he whispered. “Good enough for me. For Leila.”
“Thank you,” I offered, falling backwards into his embrace. “I’m sorry I never told you. I just find that aspect of my life really difficult to talk about.”
“I mean it, Jessica. You’ve no reason to be sorry.”
“I’ve every reason if it costs you your daughter,” I argued, thoroughly on the defensive.
“It won’t cost me anything. They’re just trying to scare us,” he ensured, caressing my burning cheeks. “You and I are a team. We’ll get through this.”
“You think so?” I questioned, desperately wanting to believe him.
I was struggling to embody the same enthusiasm.
“I know so,” he smiled, locking his loving lips onto mine. “We just have to be clever.”
That, we did.
With limited options, I took to seeking help in the most unlikely of people, hoping that in doing so, I would gain perspective. I was hardly inundated with options and needed to choose my moves wisely if tonight I was to alert Spencer of Alister and his ‘shows’ of affection.
Note the fucking sarcasm.
I didn’t particularly like Isy but I was in tune with my surroundings enough to know when a woman was being backed into a corner and I couldn’t willingly let that happen. Someone needed to stick up for her. Then again, I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t doing this for personal reasons. Spencer and Leila were my everything and I would fight to my death if it meant ensuring their happiness.
“Jessica? What a lovely surprise!”
“Hi Karen, sorry to land on you unannounced,” I smiled. “Can I come in?”
Dad’s new girlfriend was far too pretty faced for a woman doing the housework. Full coverage paired with a precise blush made her cheeks strikingly fierce and not a single flaw could be detected. I admired her efforts.
“Of course! Ignore the mess.”
“I’m knee deep in housework!”
“Don’t worry,” I ensured, taking in the sights of her lovely home for the first time ever. “I got your address off Dad. I hope that was okay?”
Her walls were painted a daring blue and with abstract paintings decorating each one, her personal space really did scream class. She was a woman of her own thoughts and I suspected such a thing had been supressed for so long, being the victim of domestic abuse.
“That’s more than okay.”
She led me into her cosy kitchen and offered me a seat. Its lemon colour scheme and adorable furniture was the cherry on top her sweet natured ways, making me smile. I may have been taking my time warming to Karen but really, she was a nice woman.
“I was hoping to get your advice on something,” I admitted, feeling slightly out of place. “It’s quite personal, so by all means tell me to bugger off.”
She only laughed.
“Why don’t I put the kettle on and you can ask away?” she suggested, flicking the switch.
“It’s about your ex,” I blurted, perhaps too abruptly. “I have a friend, you see…”
How did I explain this without giving too much away?
“Hmm, I think her partner is abusing her.”
Karen’s complexion suddenly paled, forcing me to backtrack a little.
“Told you it was personal. Do you want me to stop talking?” I asked, fully prepared to leave it at that.
“No, I- I just wasn’t expecting it, that’s all,” she replied, carrying on like the true trooper she was. “What makes you think her partner is abusing her?”
The way in which she presented herself after my shocking question was impressive. Her past was something I was aware of but not in its entirety. I was in no position to go digging but found myself in need of her expertise, knowing of no one else who could offer me the same insight.
“She has marks on her body and he seems the forceful type,” I explained, aware of my vague response.
“Has she admitted anything to you? Because until she does, there’s not much you can do but offer your support,” she informed, pouring water into our mugs.
In went the milk, followed by a shit tonne of sugar.
“Not exactly. I just want to know what her options are. They’re not married so legally he has no hold over her,” I continued, remaining discreet.
“Like I said, until she admits there’s an issue, there’s not much you can do. She has to want out of the relationship,” she soothed, passing me my tea. “But there is plenty of help available. Support groups, you name it. Has she gone to the police?”
“No,” I replied, sipping my sweet concoction.
Karen kept her warm gaze on mine, seemingly reading my expression. Her eyes briefly flicked to my hands before returning to my face, as if prompted to do so by force.
“Is everything alright?” I asked.
“Fine!” she half smiled, half strained. “Is your tea okay?”
“It’s great, thanks,” LIE! “What made you want out of your relationship?” I asked, disregarding my drink by carefully placing it on the bench.
“It wasn’t some great epiphany. I just woke up one morning, having had enough.”
“And you just left him?” I questioned, inappropriately impressed.
“Not without a fight,” she sighed, clutching her mug. “He threatened to kill me if I left but you know what?”
She paused for dramatic effect. “I left and I’m still here to tell the tale.”
I smiled at her explanation, respecting her that much more for it and suddenly had the urge to hug her. I had no idea of the extremities her ex-partner went to in order to stop her from leaving. Sure, I knew he was abusive but to threaten her life? What a pathetic man.
“That’s pretty badass, Karen,” I smiled, offering up my true thoughts.
“Thanks. He was a clever bastard. As are most people who are responsible for toxic relationships. For years, Mark convinced me I deserved all my beatings and I truly believed him. Your friend might not even realise she’s being abused and only she can decide when to leave him. But when she does, she’ll need to be one step ahead of him at all times.”
“Have a plan, you mean?” I asked, hanging onto her every word.
“Yes. The element of surprise is in her favour. Little does she know, she has all the power in their relationship because all it takes is a moment of clarity for her to leave. And that terrifies him to the point of scaring her into staying.”
Everything she was saying made sense, confirming my earlier thoughts. We needed to be one step ahead of Alister at all times and if that meant tricking him into thinking he held all the reigns, so be it. As far as he was concerned, Spencer and I were pawns in his vindictive game and we were happy to play along. Little did he know, we were about to play dirty.
“For what?” she asked, momentarily confused.
“I’m just sorry this happened to you. You’re a good woman Karen. You didn’t deserve this.”
“No one does,” she insisted, sipping from her tea in tentative moves.
I had no idea how to respond to that. Karen was right. No one did, yet it still happened. More than we cared to admit. It wasn’t right and as much as I wanted to put an end to it, I couldn’t. I needed proof, stability and most of all, I needed a plan. I was done letting Alister control our next move. Spencer and I were innocent bystanders in this cruel situation. Neither one of us deserved to have our rights as parents questioned and made to feel inferior because of it. My previous life actions may have factored into my many downfalls but they certainly wouldn’t dictate my future. So I made a mistake when I was sixteen? I was twenty-fucking-five-years-old now and had grown a lot since then. I would not be made to feel ashamed about something I spent so long beating myself up over. Especially by someone like him. I’ll admit, my life had the potential to go down the wrong track but I didn’t let that happen. After Charlotte passed away, I picked myself up and kept my head down. I wasn’t perfect, nobody was, but I was damn proud of everything I had achieved since. Alister Branning would not take that away from me. He could dig his heel in as much as he wanted and it still wouldn’t do any good. As far as strategy went, I had my next step planned and boy was it a power move. It was just a case of getting Spencer onboard and happy with the logistics.
Simple, my arse!