Holly, Present day
Ian was done with Paris. Completely done, and he made sure to tell me this over and over. I nodded along and tried to appear happy for him, but inside I had spent the past two days obsessing about his article. I had no idea what to tell Blanche or how to approach Adrien about the matter. Nothing says, ‘I missed you’ like telling someone: ‘hey, my boss - that I introduced you to - is trying to ruin your reputation and I’m powerless to stop it’. Mya couldn’t help me with anything as she was heading to L.A. for a conference, and I was a chicken who couldn’t tell my mother that I was seeing someone that lived on another continent. This was largely because I hadn’t ever told her about Adrien in the first place, which was a problem that I created and therefore was not allowed to complain about. One bright spot was that Adrien and I had spoken about the party at his parents’ home, and I was now going to be his date. When he said the word ‘date’ I tackled him to the bed and refused to let either of us out of it until I kissed, or licked, every inch of him, and he seemed more than happy with that. However, tonight Adrien and I weren’t able to get together, and Ian was more than happy to monopolize on my time. We were going out to a dive bar with a bunch of other journalists, in some celebration that I didn’t quite understand - not that it mattered, I didn’t mind an excuse to drink.
I stood in front of the full-length mirror in the bathroom, checking myself out, and I thought I looked pretty hot. I had pulled out my faux leather leggings, paired them with my metallic gold tank top, and black platforms. I straightened my hair again as well but left it down so it hung to my lower back, and my makeup was done for the gods - not an inch of skin was naked, it was either contoured, blushed, or highlighted, and my lips were a deep maroon color for contrast. I made a face at myself in the mirror and giggled as I went to grab my purse. Ian was texting me repeatedly, apparently, he was already in the cab and ready to go. I rushed down to him and actually felt myself getting excited for a night out with no strings attached.
He surveyed me for a second. “I guess that’s why you’re late?” Ian asked, only half-seriously.
I checked my phone pointedly. “I’m two minutes early, thank you very much.”
He chuckled but didn’t reply. He looked good, a deep green V neck paired with well fitted distressed denim, and his light brown hair was messily swept back. I don’t know why it always took me by surprise that he looked good, it wasn’t uncommon for him, but there was something different about him dressing up to go out versus dressing up to make connections. We chatted happily on the way to the bar, surprising, considering my unease about his article, but it was lighthearted banter that I found pretty fun. The bar itself really was a dive bar, run down and grungy, but it was right next to the canal with a wide-open patio, great music and a lot of nice people. Ian and I did shots with a couple journalists from the NY Times, and some indie outlet from Los Angeles, afterward I dragged a cute woman named Janessa to the dance floor. She was pretty, with warm dark skin, startling pale blue eyes, and an updo consisting of twisted braids dyed bright purple. Ian found us at a table later in the evening and brought a pitcher of in-house brew with him.
“Glad I dragged you out, Mitchell?”
I took a long swig from my glass before I answered, “I have to admit, I didn’t think it would be this fun.”
“Are you guys coming to the after-party on Saturday? We all get together one last time to celebrate getting this shit over with.” Janessa said, her words slurring slightly and a wide smile on her face.
Ian raised an eyebrow at me. “Well? Do you want to go or are you going to be a party-pooper?”
I shrugged. “Every party needs one, right? I have plans to get together with my friends one last time before we leave, but I mean you can obviously still go.”
Janessa glanced at me in confusion. “You have friends in Paris?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I met them when I did my sophomore year abroad - it’s been amazing to reconnect.” Truly, a lot of fun.
Ian smiled. “You can always invite them if you wanted.”
I turned him down and we sat there talking for a long while, the three of us went through another two pitchers, and I was long past tipsy. Janessa wished us a good night and I saw her discreetly pass Ian her number, which he was more than happy to accept. He pulled me onto the dance floor as the bar started to empty out, a slow song with a deep-voiced male singer filled the air, and I found myself closing my eyes as I rested against his shoulder.
“This has been such a good trip,” I mumbled happily.
“I’m glad you had fun, maybe I can take you on my next trip - if the article does well Camille wants me to take on bigger pieces.” His voice was soft and close to my ear.
I tried not to flinch away from him, but it was difficult when he was trying to be so intimate. “The article, what exactly did you write about Blanche?” I don’t know if it was the beer or my sudden irritation, but something gave me the balls to finally confront him.
I felt him shrug carelessly. “That she’s closing her doors, her son is a mooch that doesn’t give a shit about the family business, and she’s screwing over countless companies by giving them such little notice.”
I pulled back, unable to disguise my horror. “How could you write that? Adrien isn’t required to step into her shoes, not to mention that that’s my friend Ian. I introduced you to them, how am I supposed to look him in the eye when this goes public?” My words came out at a rapid-fire pace, word vomit, and I didn’t know how to stop it. And if my anger didn’t stop making the room spin it was going to turn to real vomit.
Ian narrowed his eyes at me. “Him? Do you mean her because, really, it’s an issue with Blanche? And stop worrying so much about it anyway, if she didn’t want me to write something, she should not have been telling me about it.”
Oh shit. ”Him too, you’re including Adrien in the article - so yeah it’s going to affect him.”
Ian rolled his eyes and I detached myself from him as the song ended. “We should head back soon; I’ll call a cab...” He said, with some mild irritation.
I agreed and excused myself to the bathroom before we left, wanting to call Adrien before I got back to the hotel. Maybe I could convince him to come over for late-night shenanigans. The bathroom was just as grimy as the rest of the bar and I found it weirdly comforting like I was back home in New York - somewhere I was starting to miss. Adrien answered almost immediately, his deep, sleepy voice greeting me with my favorite pet name, ma amour, my love.
I put on a breathy voice as I leaned against the door, “Are you at the apartment?”
“Of course, is there something you need?”
I shivered as his voice took on a more sensual tone. “Plenty m-mon cher, can you meet me at the hotel?” I giggled as I stumbled over my French.
There was a long pause before he replied, “Have you been drinking?”
“Maybe, does it change how much you want to come over?” My heart sank a bit, wishing I hadn’t drunk as much.
He chuckled. ”Ma chere, nothing could make me want to stay away from you. How about I grab us something to eat and we can watch a movie?”
I accepted his offer happily, thrilled that he wanted to come over, and even more so that he was bringing snacks and to watch a movie. He’s so sweet. I was bubbly as I headed to the car, high on the feeling of butterflies and alcohol-induced brain fog. I couldn’t stop bouncing my leg in the taxi or hide the dumb smile on my face, which Ian took great amusement in.
“What got into you?” he asked, in a gentle teasing tone.
I shook my head as I ran my tongue across my teeth. “It’s just been such a good night, honestly. Thanks for bringing me out.”
He smiled and rubbed my knee. I couldn’t help myself and kept babbling endlessly about how much I enjoyed the trip, repeating myself often, and stumbling over my words more and more. As we rode the elevator up Ian’s hand brushed mine lightly, and then he pushed my hair over my shoulder. I shrugged him away and tried to laugh it off.
“What are you doing?” I asked, trying to keep my tone light.
“Nothing, you just have nice hair is all,” he murmured, his warm brown eyes staring at me intently.
I looked away as we made our way down the hall, trying to keep my hands close to my body and refusing to meet his intense gaze. I fumbled for my key card and Ian grabbed my elbow, forcing me to turn and look at him. “What are you doing?” I snapped at him.
“We had such a good night,” he whispered, leaning down to me.
I backed up and felt the door trapping me between him and it, his hold on my elbow tightened and his other hand came up to grip my chin. My stomach twisted in knots and I suddenly felt cold as Ian’s mouth pressed against mine. I pushed at him, trying to put even a small amount of distance between us. He released my chin and clutched my wrist tightly, forcing my other arm back. He pulled away slightly, and I turned my head to the side just as he came in for another kiss.
“Don’t be like that,” he warned.
“Get off of me, let me go--” I jerked my wrist free and shoved him hard.
Ian stumbled backwards and narrowed his eyes at me, his jaw clenched. “You’re such a fucking tease, you act flirty, and prance around half-naked and this is the attitude you have? Christ, Mitchell, I guess you only like guys in the newsroom.” His voice was harsh and angry, trying to hurt me.
It worked, my lips parted slightly as I took in the full force of his words. “What do you mean by that?” My voice shook and my confidence was starting to crack, I was dreading what he might say.
“You can’t be that stupid, every guy there has a story about you.” He paused, assessing my horrified face. “You’ve seriously never heard the rumors? All about how fast you’ll put out and the weird shit you’re into, everybody knows you’ve fucked your way through the office.”
My lip trembled as I felt tears welling up, and my throat constricting. There are rumors about me. Mya’s words played through my mind again, along with my conversation with Adrien, and made my heart lurch. How was I supposed to go back to work knowing this? How many people gossiped about me? Did Ian pull strings to get me as his assistant? My chest started rising and falling faster. I desperately wanted the floor to swallow me up rather than standing here, pinned to my spot under Ian’s gaze as he watched the tears starting to run down my cheek.
I turned and saw Adrien approaching down the hall, his concern obvious as he jogged over to me. No, no, no, no. Please, not now. My heart sunk and I couldn’t say anything as he reached out to stroke my arm, Ian stood back and watched, his brow furrowed.
“Can we go back to the apartment, please?” I whispered, trying to will the tears away.
Adrien’s concerned gaze moved between me and Ian, trying to piece together what might have happened. “What did you do?” Adrien snarled, glaring at Ian.
I reached out and grasped Adrien’s arm tightly, trying to urge him away. “Please Adrien, I want to go--”
“Oh, so you’re fucking the son, that’s fantastic. We’ve been here a goddamn week and you’re screwing the locals, no wonder you like traveling so much,” Ian said sourly, his face contorting into a nasty sneer.
Adrien froze and I wiped my face as he turned back to Ian. “Is there a problem here, trou du cul?”
A new batch of tears flowed as I pulled desperately at Adrien’s arm. “Please mon amour,” I choked out. “Please, let’s go.”
Adrien turned back to me, green eyes warm and concerned. “Of course, ma amour, come on.” He murmured, gently taking my hand in his.
Ian snorted and started to reply as I pulled Adrien away, trying to deescalate the situation before he did something he would regret. Ian said something I didn’t catch, Adrien lunged towards him. I cried out as Adrien shoved Ian hard, making him trip and stumble to the ground. I yelled Adrien’s name and he turned back to me, his face changed from an angry sneer to regretful sadness as he came back and clutched me to his chest. I kept begging him to leave, sobbing against him. He moved us swiftly down to the lobby and rubbed my back as we waited for the Maybach. I clutched the lapels of his soft navy blue peacoat, and briefly, I wished I had tissues so I wouldn’t ruin his jacket.
I was thankful when the car pulled up and I sunk into the dark leather seat. Adrien handed me some tissues, I tried to clean the mess of running mascara, and the tear-streaked foundation. I couldn’t look at him, couldn’t meet his eyes, or face him after what Ian said.
Adrien’s voice was soft and urging, “Holly, please look at me.”
I sniffed and forced myself to turn to him, glancing up at him before I fixated on my clutched hands.
“Holly,” he murmured, cupping my chin. “It’s going to be alright; we can come back in the morning for your belongings, or I can if it would be easier for you.”
“There are rumors in the office about me Adrien,” I whispered, my voice hoarse and strained. “I don’t know how many people think about me like that, I don’t know how long they’ve been talking about me like that.”
He pulled me across the seat into his lap, I wrapped my arms around his neck and tucked my head under his chin. He smelled so nice and calming, like lavender and something musky. His hand rubbed my back and he hummed quietly. I thought back to the countless nights I had relied on this, on him, to be my emotional crutch - to calm me down when life was too much. Mya was right, the relationship fucked me up, and I couldn’t remember the last time I dealt with something emotionally taxing that didn’t result in me seeking out physical intimacy, or sex, afterward. I guess that meant Ian was right too. I could see the sky starting to lighten as the sun was coming up, I closed my eyes and tried to forget Ian, letting myself drift off in Adrien’s arms.
Morning or afternoon came slowly and unwanted. My head was pounding, and I had about one blissful minute where I didn’t remember anything about the night before. When it came crashing back, I rolled onto my stomach and tried to bury myself under the gray silk pillow.
"Ma chere, good morning.”
I peeked out from under the pillow to see Adrien lounging on the bay window seat. One window was open, and he had his knee propped up, his arm resting on it and a trail of smoke coming from the cigarette in hand. He was shirtless, wearing only a pair of plaid flannel pajama bottoms.
“You look like a stereotype,” I mumbled against the sheets. “It’s kinda hot.”
He laughed and I pushed myself up, stumbling off the bed to his arms. He smiled at me as I kneeled between his spread legs, my hands braced on his chest.
“I’m sorry about last night,” I said softly.
He kissed my forehead. “You don’t need to apologize to me, I’ll go later and get your things. Is that alright?”
“Of course,” I said and turned around so I was resting against him.
His free hand pulled up the front of my shirt - his shirt - and his fingers swirled lightly across my stomach. The touch was so soft and fleeting, creating sparks that spread throughout my body. I wanted to enjoy it, to encourage him, but I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things Ian had said.
“I don’t know what to do,” I said, lolling my head to look up at him.
“You’re going to file a report with HR, after that, I’m not sure what to tell you.” He was matter of fact but not rude.
I sighed. “I wish I knew.” I let my eyes flutter shut as his hand moved higher, I had to get it out in the open sooner rather than later. “What he said...” I trailed off, unsure what to say. That’s why you’re supposed to think before you talk.
“Doesn’t matter,” he said softly. There was a long pause and his hand moved away. “Does it bother you when I call you names? Because you can tell me, I don’t want to hurt you like that and--”
“Adrien,” I interrupted. “It’s different, I don’t know how to really explain it, but it’s different. You aren’t trying to hurt me when you say it, you aren’t trying to use it as some fucked up justification for your behavior.” I reached up and kissed his jaw, the only place I could reach in this position.
He shifted, putting out his cigarette and wrapping both arms around my waist. His hands pushed my shirt up, so it was just covering my breasts, his palms stroking up and down my torso as I kissed his neck. He pulled me upwards suddenly, so I was level with him, I smiled and pulled him to my mouth. The taste was back, the smokiness, stronger but still not unpleasant, along with mint and I giggled against his lips as I realized he had brushed his teeth.
“Are you laughing at me?” he teased.
“If I am does that mean I’ll have to be punished?” I cooed, sliding my hands up his thighs to his groin.
He growled and he grasped my tits tightly, kneading the sensitive flesh with his fingers. “I have half a mind to spank you until you’re a sopping mess.”
I moaned and arched into his touch as I dug my nails into his thigh, he hissed and released my breast. I wanted this so much, the emotional release, for him to help me forget the pain Ian’s words caused. His hand pushed into my shorts and his fingers quickly found my clit. I panted as he rubbed the sensitive nub gently, the muscles in my pelvis tightening, and I felt myself getting wet under his administrations. Hot silky pleasure coiled low in my belly, Adrien’s digits moving faster as his other hand pinched and twisted my nipple lightly. My hips flexed against him and I started to pant as my orgasm was building. He stopped suddenly and I groaned, looking up at him in desperation.
“Go get the chest from the closet, put it on the bed,” he ordered, his voice firm and deep.
I jumped to my feet eagerly, stopping to wiggle out of the shorts in front of him, then rushed to the closet. A large steel chest sat in the corner, a fire safe box that he had bought for the toys he kept in his own room. I brought it back to the bed and turned to him expectantly, pushing my chest out and holding my hands behind my back as I smiled coyly at him.
Adrien chuckled. “Bring the red one over here.”
Yes, Sir! I dug through and found the red dildo at the bottom in a black satin bag. It was an exact replica, a toy we had made together, twice since the first one didn’t turn out, and I ran my tongue along my lips as I gazed at it. The raised veins, the wide head and the thicker base, a perfect copy, and my mouth watered slightly as I imagined him using it on me. I brought it over to the window and resumed my position, my back to his chest as I was braced between his legs.
Adrien held the toy tightly in one hand and gripped a fist full of my hair in the other. “Suck,” he demanded and pushed the rubber cock against my lips.
I opened happily, accepting the dildo deep into my mouth. I moaned around it, the soft squishy material pressing firmly against my tongue. He fucked my throat slowly, pushing it further each time and slowly getting faster. Saliva built up around my lips, and I couldn’t stop the drool from dripping down my chin and onto my shirt. I could feel Adrien getting hard, his erection pushing insistently against my lower back. He pulled the dildo out suddenly, a long ling of spit connected me to the tip. I panted heavily, thankful to get a deep breath. He moved the fake cock down to my pussy, running the head along my slit in painful slowness.
I whimpered and Adrien jerked my head back, making me look up at him. “What do you do want, chaton?”
I gazed up at him in longing and lifted my hips. “Please fuck me, Master. Please fuck my pussy,” I begged.
He pushed the dildo against my opening and I clenched my teeth, the wide head stretched me, almost painfully. My breath caught in my throat as he drove the toy into me completely, the sudden fullness making me dig my nails into him once more.
“I should fuck your ass and leave this toy in your cunt,” he whispered, his breath hot on my ear and his voice sending chills up my spine. “Just imagine how tight it would be chaton, and having your mouth filled with the gag so you can choke and cry while I use you over, and over again.”
I cried out as he started fucking me with the toy, quickly driving it in and out. It bottomed out against me repeatedly, and my mouth hung open in shock as I squeezed my eyes shut. The tip hit my g-spot with every thrust, and quickly my wetness began coating his hand and dripping onto the seat. He pulled it out completely and I protested loudly, begging him to keep going.
“Let’s take this to the shower,” he said, grazing his teeth on my ear.