I stretch my arms out and realize that I’m all alone in the spare bedroom. I turn to look at the clock, not having any idea what time it is, 7:45. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve slept so long. It seems like only a matter of minutes since I snuggled up to Ronin. I kick the blankets off that I don’t remember having ever pulled up, and free my legs to swing off the bed. I need to use the bathroom. When I’m about to open the door of the bedroom, I stop when I hear men’s voices coming from down the hallway.
“Seth, how can I help? I feel so drawn to her, and I want to help her through this.“”
“Did she ever tell you what happened?” I hear Seth ask.
“No, not yet.” I can hear the strain in Ronin’s voice as he answers Seth’s question.
“Like I said before dude, it’s her story to share. Once she trusts you enough to tell you about it, then you will know you’ve won her heart.”
“Then Seth, how do I help, not knowing what I’m helping with? How can I do anything to help her when I don’t know what she needs? Throw me a bone here.”
“Ronin, I honestly don’t know how to help. All I can tell you is, Treva’s worst nightmare was released from prison a week ago … we all might lose her, now.”
“Over my dead body!” I hear the anger in Ronin’s voice, and a deep pain inside starts to ignite because I’ve hurt everybody.
I can’t bring myself to open the door to the bedroom, tears start pouring down my face, a gazillion thoughts push into my brain, remembering Eric. Will he come looking for me? Will I be safe in Helena? How could this have happened? He was supposed to be in prison for twenty-three more years. My phone bings and I’m scared to look at it. What if he knows my number? What if he knows I’m in California and he saw the pictures the paparazzi took of me and Ronin together? I edge closer to the end table to grab my phone. I fumble with it before I look at my screen. I take a deep breath in, and tell myself I’m being ridiculously paranoid before I look at the caller information.
Hey T I miss you tons
Come home soon!!!
Eric’s face flashes in the back of my mind, and the thought of him being on the loose twists at my guts. I lean forward and vomit in the small trash can Seth has in the room. He is looking for me. I know he is. What if he goes to the house and Becca is there alone? What would he do to her? I try to pull myself together thinking about Becca being all alone.
Don’t ask questions
GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE
Find a safe place to stay
I compose myself and go back to the door to join the men in the living room, when I hear Ronin’s strong authoritative voice—right beyond the door.
“Yes, Eric Manchester. No, I’m not sure yet … I might want to take care of this personally.” I hear a brief pause before he speaks again. “JUST FIND HIM, I DON’T CARE. Take the jet, drive, fly by flapping your arms. I don’t give a fuck just get it done, and contact me as soon as you have any leads.”
He must have hung up because I don’t hear him talking anymore. I’m not sure if it’s safe to open the door and I don’t want him to know I was listening in on his conversation. I hesitate when I hear something right at the bedroom door.
In a soft tone Ronin says, “Honey, what did that creep do to you?”
His soft voice brings more tears to my eyes. Finally, making me realize how much he cares about me. I hear soft foot steps walking away. I listen carefully to make sure the way is clear. I poke my head out of the hall and dart straight for the bathroom.
I look at myself through puffy red eyes and pinch my arm. Damn it, I’m not dreaming. This whole thing would make me laugh if it had all been just another one of my nightmares. It just doesn’t seem quite fair that certain people, no matter what they do, always seem to get the short end of the stick. Seriously … how the hell does someone like Eric; get out of prison after kidnapping and raping someone for two years repeatedly? I feel like I’m visiting hell again, and I’m not sure that I can survive another trip.
I pat my eyes with cool water to try to calm the inflammation and stiffen my shoulders. I don’t want Ronin to think I’m weak. I leave the bathroom and head for the kitchen. Before I’m even down the hallway, Ronin is collapsing into me—squeezing me tightly. “How did you sleep?”
“I think pretty well, until I woke up alone.” I pout at him with an exaggerated extended lip.
“You were sleeping so sound this morning, and I didn’t want to wake you. I wanted you to get as much sleep as possible.”
“Thanks,” I say.
“Are you hungry?”
I shake my head no, “Not yet, but I do need some coffee.”
The three of us sit on the couch comfortably all sipping on coffee. Neither of the guys are returning to the subject I had eavesdropped on earlier. I can feel the tension in the room though, and I am very sure they are well aware of it.
“Can you believe today is Christmas Eve? What do you think Seth, Santa going to bring you what you want? Or have you been a bad boy?” Ronin asks trying to lift our spirit.
“Actually, I got it. My favorite person in the whole world came to see me.” Seth smiles at me and warms my cold broken soul. “And you, Treva?” Seth nudges me softly with his elbow, “do you think Santa will bring you what you want?”
“I doubt it,” I say roughly. “I want that fuckers head on a platter.”
Ronin and Seth glance quickly back and forth between each other. Then I feel Ronin lean down and his warm lips kiss the top of my head.
“What do you guys have planned for this evening?”
Seth looks at Ronin and shrugs his shoulders and then looks at me curiously, “Any plans sis?”
I hadn’t thought too much about doing dinner on Christmas Eve, and I realize we didn’t or haven’t bought anything to fix a Christmas dinner. I just shake my head at Seth. “I’m sorry I didn’t make preparations for dinner.” I say ashamed for not thinking of it.
“You both are coming with me to my brother’s for dinner.”
“Oh, no we can’t impose like that.” I argue.
“You won’t be imposing my love. My family will love you. I wanted to introduce you to my brother anyway, he’s an orthopedic surgeon.”
“What? Really?” I ask in disbelief, hearing that his brother is in the exact field I want to get into.
I watch as Ronin pulls his phone from his pocket and pushes a few buttons. “Hey Brock, I’m bringing two guest for dinner tonight. One of them is very important to me and I want you and Mel and the boys to meet her.” His mouth curves into the sexiest smile as he stares down at me while rubbing his hand over my cheek soothingly. “Hope I’m not imposing.” Ronin lifts the receiver out so I am able to hear the other voice respond, “No problem; the more the merrier. Mel wants to do dinner about five o’clock so maybe if you want to show up about four.”
“Sounds perfect, we’ll be there.”
Ronin gives both Seth and I a smug look like he is saying … see I told you so, but he doesn’t need to say the words. He just wraps his arm around me pulling me for a big hug. “I might need some help wrapping those awesome gifts we bought the boys. I suck at wrapping presents.”
I have no idea what Ronin is doing, but I see that spark in his eyes indicating he is up to something mischievous. Most likely, it has to do with some sort of erotic sensual fantasies. Leave it to him to come up with some kind of side tracker.
“Bend over facing the wall and put your palms flat on the bed.”
Heat ascends in my face by his demanding manner. The silver dress I am wearing is so short, and it’s even shorter with the extra height from my five inch, bright red stilettos. The added height makes me have to bend over further to reach the bed, and when I do, the hemline of my dress rises revealing the cheeks of my ass.
“Spread your legs.”
His voice is even more commanding than before with just those three words. My legs quiver in anticipation not knowing what he has planned.
“MMM, you’re absolutely delicious Treva. I can’t take my eyes off you.”
My stomach flips from Ronin’s words. I feel like I’ve been bent over forever waiting, and my patience is growing thin. I feel Ronin push my overly short dress up and over the curve of my ass.
“SHIT TREVA, NO PANTIES?”
A devilish grin pulls at the corners of my lips remembering. I hadn’t put any on in case I had the opportunity to tease Ronin.
I groan when Ronin cups my very hot and ready sex. His fingers rub my hard nub and I reflexively push my hips back to meet his hand.
“Always so eager, Miss Stone.”
“MMM HMM,” is all I am able to get out.
I hear Ronin chuckle deeply and then he thrusts two fingers between my folds making my knees tremble from the pleasure. Instead of pulling them out, I feel his fingers twist and turn deep inside of me.
“I love your tight pussy, Treva. This …” He squeezes me, “pleases me so much. Don’t forget who it belongs to.” He says the last part aggressively, and pushes his fingers even deeper … possessing and claiming me.
“Who does this belong to?” Ronin asks predatorily.
“You,” I whimper.
“That’s right baby, Mine.”
Ronin’s magical fingers have me on the brink of a heavenly orgasm. He must realize it because he quickens his motion and rubs his thumb over my highly sensitive clit. “Does that feel good baby?”
“Yes Ronin, yes!” I think I’m agreeing with him, but I might be just saying yes because the pure pleasure is taking over all of my senses. “I am so close. RONIN!” I scream his name as my orgasm reaches its threshold, and explodes like firecrackers with residual sparks showering down.
I try to stand, but Ronin presses his hand to my back pinning me to my position. “Stay there,” he demands.
My legs are weak and wobbly from standing in this position and not to mention the mind blowing orgasm I just had … still leaking down the inside of my thighs. Ronin rustles with something while I continue to splay myself wide open, bent over the bed. I feel his warm hand touch my sensitive sex, and then I feel something cold pressing against my vulva. As quickly as I feel the cool hard object, it’s just as quickly inserted between my folds. Ronin’s warm hand leaves my wanting pussy and then again I feel it between my legs and another cold hard object pushes into me. Ronin abruptly smacks my wet pussy and I gasp from the erotic sting.
I try to push myself back from the bed—curious and hyper aware of my now very full pussy. Ronin grabs my waist and helps me up. I am very grateful, because every limb on my body feels numb. When I feel steady, I turn and look at Ronin waiting for an explanation, but he just smirks at me.
“Are you ready to go? We have a dinner we need to get to.” His smile widens even more as he announces our need to go.
Now, I am even more curious. I know that he slipped something into my ultra tenacious sex, but he is hiding something from me. I am pretty sure he is not going to give me an explanation. Unaware of some deep down secret he’s hiding, I turn to walk to the door. “OH,” I moan.
The second I begin to walk, a sensation I have never felt in my life tingles every nerve leading to my erotica zone, stimulating me to the very core. I take another step and feel whatever it is inside me gliding over every piece of soft tissue. I want to scream out … so loud. It’s almost too much to handle. Ronin must sense my apprehension and steps up behind me.
“You’re going to wear those all night,” he whispers into my ear.
“But Ronin, we’re having dinner …” I move slightly, and squirm against the amazing sensation buried deep inside of me … I am able to finish what I am saying. I see the amusement in his eyes. “You’re EVIL.” I hiss. “Maybe I should put panties on now. These things might plop out at dinner and then I’d be mortified.”
Ronin bursts out laughing, “It makes it more fun knowing you don’t have anything on under that lovely garment.”
“And what happens if I sneeze and something happens to fly out?”
“Treva, don’t be ridiculous those tight muscles you have will keep them nice and tightly stored.”
I can’t help myself, and I roll my eyes at him. I feel him behind me as I go into the living room, but I don’t want to let him know how much these things are affecting me. Walking just to the living room is a feat in itself. This is going to be a long night.
I can’t seem to make my body stop shaking from my hyped up nerves as we all sit in the back of the limo on our way to Ronin’s family’s home. All the presents for his nephews are wrapped and in the trunk, and Ronin seems to be on some super extreme high smiling broadly, obviously ecstatic to be on our way to see the kids.
I had decided to wear the silver sequined dress I had worn for Seth’s Christmas party, since Ronin hadn’t got to see it. We had been interrupted before I had the opportunity to find something else to wear for the second party we never attended. I’m starting to feel like my choice of clothing might have been the wrong one, however, as I sit here with the hem line ebbing up to almost indecency, and the material barely hiding a secret tucked deep between my folds.
“Just to let you know, that dress will only be worn again under my supervision. No wonder why Matt couldn’t keep away from you that night.”
My nerves are shot right now, probably due to these things bumping together in my sex keeping me on the verge of orgasm, but not quite bringing it all the way to head. The last thing I need is some over bearing man thinking he can control my wardrobe. I glare at him, “Weird I was just thinking I might have to add this to my weekly attire at school. I think some of my fellow students would highly appreciate it.” Ronin’s happy go lucky smile that he has been wearing all day quickly evaporates when he hears the words escape my lips. On the contrary, my smile widens.
“I bet they would,” he grumbles.
Ronin sits back and diverts his attention from me, looking out his window, and that stupid feeling of remorse slides down my throat like a thick black sludge making it hard to swallow. I shouldn’t be so harsh, I just hate being told what I can and can’t do. I know … I don’t know Ronin that well, but I do know well enough that he didn’t become Mr. Richie rich and all powerful by sitting back letting it come to him. No he took control. I should clarify … he takes control, and that’s not going to change with me either. I let out a deep sigh and slide my hand over his thigh. The warmth of his leg radiating through his trousers is comforting. “I’m sorry,” I whisper to him, “I won’t wear this outside your supervision.” I say complying with his wishes.
“Treva,” he says my name quietly and seductively causing goose bumps to jump to life. “You’re mine, and I don’t want any other creep to think he has the rights to gaze upon your perfect body. If anyone even thinks about looking at you, I’ll tear his eyes out.”
The way he says the last part sends a shiver of ice up my spine, knowing that he means every word he is saying.
“Yours huh?” I ask.
“We’re going to have to discuss this possessiveness at some point.” I say through a fake plastered smile trying to give the illusion that I am in a joking mood, but I’m not. I am dead serious about his controlling demeanor.
“There’s nothing to talk about. It’s all pretty cut and dry. You’re mine and no one else can have you … period.”
Not wanting to talk about this right now in front of Seth, or on the way to Ronin’s family’s house for a Christmas party, I let it go.
“WAIT!” It suddenly hits me that we are going to someone’s personal home for a meal, and I haven’t brought anything with. I was raised much better than that.
Both Ronin and Seth look at me—startled by my abrupt exclaim.
“We need to stop at a store so I can grab some flowers or wine for your sister-in-law.”
Ronin lifts his eyebrows at me and twists his lips into a half grin/ half grimace.
“It’s rude not to bring something as a guest.” I say.
“Fine, Malcolm will you please stop at Philippe’s Market?”
“Of course sir,” he responds.
The privacy barrier between the driver and us is down, and even though we are sitting on the farthest seat from him, I catch a glimpse of Malcolm winking at me in the rearview mirror.
The car comes to a stop and when Malcolm gets out and opens up the door, I see an older brick building maybe four stories high. It has an awning covering a door that’s cattycorner towards the streets. It’s just a little market, but it should be just fine to find something to take to dinner. I slide out of the car and Ronin starts to scoot across the bench seat to follow me. “I’ll be right back, no need for all of us to go in.” Ronin lets out a growl and I let out a laugh, “I promise I’ll be fine. It’ll only take me two seconds.”
I fly into the market, alone, as fast as I can with the five inch red stilettos hindering my fluid movement, and not to forget those objects pushing against me with every slight movement I make. The store surprisingly has a huge wine selection for it being so small. It dawns on me, and that’s probably why Ronin suggested this market. I look over all the bottles feeling less confident now. I thought I would only have to choose between a few selections, and now I’m flabbergasted by all of my choices. I don’t even know what I am looking for. I am the farthest away of ever being a wine connoisseur. I notice a nice looking older gentleman with a nice suit also browsing the wines.
I clear my throat with a less than attractive sound, “uh huh umm … sir.” I say bumbling with my words, “You look like a man that knows wine. Would you, or could you possibly recommend something for a girl who has to meet strangers that probably know a lot more about wine than she does?”
His eyes illuminate, and a brilliant smile shows his teeth. “Of course, anything to help an attractive lady.”
His compliment makes me blush, but I don’t turn away.
“Well, let’s see. Hmm.”
I watch him intently looking over the bottles and I see the flecks of grey hair lightly entwined near his temples. He is a very handsome man even though he is slightly older.
“Yeah, here we go. I would probably go with this,” he says.
The gentleman turns around and hands me a pale blush bottle with a gold label reading; Pinot Noir. I eye it not knowing the difference between this bottle now in my hand or a White zinfandel, Merlot or whatever else kind there is.
“Thank you so very much.”
“My pleasure Miss. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.” He adds.
I take the bottle and find a rack of fresh flowers where I am able to pick up a lovely bouquet with an assortment of flowers in green and red holiday colors. I wait patiently as another patron gets their items rung up, and I notice the novelty key chains displayed. I laugh when I see the whole collection is zombie themed; brains, bones, a full zombie body, and a heart that lights up and beats when you squeeze it. When I see the heart, it gives me an idea and I grab it. After I pay, I shove the keychain in my purse, before I get back into the car.
“That took you forever.” Ronin makes sure to say.
“Oh don’t exaggerate I’m sure you and Seth were just fine.”
Seth laughs and nods while lifting a glass of an amber colored drink at me.
“Already?” I mouth to him.
“So what did you get?” Ronin asks. I hand him the bottle and he lifts it to look at the label. He nods his head in approval, “Good choice.”
“To be honest I wish I could say I picked it out all on my own, but …” I look at Ronin’s searing eyes, “I had a little help.” Ronin’s eyebrows lift and he tilts his head to the side waiting for me to continue. “Yes a very kind gentleman was more than willing to give me his opinion.”
“You’re not allowed to go anywhere by yourself anymore.” He shifts, looking uncomfortable and then elbows me playfully, but I know he’s being dead serious.
“It’s not very becoming when you distort your face like that.” I point out.
Seth starts laughing and Ronin’s tense grimace lightens up. I like this Ronin, the playful relaxed Ronin. He is way too young to be so serious all of the time. I know that the life he was handed, when he was younger, wasn’t the kindest, and some deal with their demons in their own ways. Hell, look at me! I am far from the perfect trail of life. I jumped off and started forging ahead in my own direction; cutting, slashing and pushing anything down that stood or stands in my way. When are you ever going to learn to trust someone, Treva? I ask myself.
The light pressure of Ronin squeezing my hand it almost seems like he can read my mind, and that he knows exactly how I am feeling, giving me a silent reassurance of hope. My eyes trace every inch of his face. I want to remember every line, every minute marking; the way his nose flares lightly when he is relaxed—the perfect indent under his nose, those beautiful lips, the stubble growing over his perfectly chiseled cheeks, jaw and chin, and his eyes! I can’t forget those eyes. I have only a little over a week left here, and I make a mental drawing to imprint his beauty into my memory forever. I reach my hand out and touch his ear. His skin is so unbelievably soft. Ronin closes his eyes and leans into my touch, moaning softly.
“Whoa, now! I’m in the car, you know.”
I giggle, “I’m sorry Seth.”
“It just suddenly got real hot in here and I’d rather not see you guys losing any of your clothing to … cool off.”
I roll my eyes at him, and shift on the seat, immediately regretting it. I feel a twinge of heat boil up deep in my groin. My skin feels heated and I want to roll down the window to reprieve the burning skimming over my entire body.
“Just saying.” He says throwing his hands in the air.
I don’t make any quick come back, trying to focus my breathing from my arousal. I see Seth give me a bizarre look from his seat directly across from me. I try to sit still and not move, but every bump in the road is accentuated, and it makes me want to scream out in pleasure.
Ronin stays quiet as Seth and I banter back and forth. He just looks amused in his sexy black slacks and his white button down dress shirt. Of course, the top two buttons are undone. It’s making me come undone. I want to rip the rest of the buttons open and feel his gorgeously tight muscles flinch while I run my fingers over them. I have to pry my eyes away before clothes are flying. Looking out the window trying to find a distraction, I see that the scenery has changed. There is a lot more open space and the homes don’t seem to be right on top of each other. I see a few signs indicating Winery’s in various directions and see the fields of vineyards along the hillsides.
“That’s my brother’s house up there.” Ronin points to a beige stucco house that looks very moderate in size from our current location. The driveway we turn onto reminds me of Anne of Green Gables with huge trees lining both sides of the road giving the illusion of a gateway to heaven. Once through ‘The gateway’, it opens up revealing a beautiful home with the bottom half artfully done with stone and the top with the beige stucco I saw from the road below. Large picture windows look out over the valley we had just come from, and I imagine the view from inside is breath-taking. Malcolm drives around in the circular driveway coming to a stop just in front of the grand entrance. Two massive pillars are placed on either side of the doorway holding up a balcony that is probably extending from someone’s bedroom. I’m in complete awe from the home’s exquisiteness.
“Do you like their home?” Ronin chuckles in my ear.
“Is it that obvious?”
He nods his head with the stupidest grin on his face.
“Yeah, I guess its okay.” I say jokingly, when in fact I have never been to a house so magnificent.
“Come on.” Malcolm opens the back door and Ronin slides out and offers me his hand.
When I get out, I pull on my dress nervously and grab my stomach trying to calm the overactive butterflies making me nauseous from amped up anxiety. I’m not sure why I am so nervous to meet Ronin’s family, but I could bolt and run if I wasn’t wearing these death trap shoes.
“What’s the matter peanut?” Ronin is way too attuned and notices my fidgeting.
“What if they don’t like me?” I say, realizing my fear as I say it out loud.
“Treva, they will love you, now stop worrying.” I look at him not convinced or feeling any better. “All that really matters,” he continues, “is the fact that I like you.”
His arrogance makes me smile. He’s right though. I don’t need these people to like me. I don’t even live here. I live in Helena, Montana twelve hundred miles away, and I shouldn’t have to fear ever running into them again, since there is no chance in hell that we travel the same circles. I let my hands fall to my side, straighten my back so I am standing taller, and ready to face the family behind the door.
“Hey Trev, check that out.” I’m not sure what Seth is pointing at until I see a small frog figurine on the steps. I look at Seth and bust out laughing.
“No way! Do you remember how that old woman thought she was going crazy?”
“Hell yeah, that was hilarious. I would make sure to move it in the morning before school. Brian would move it somewhere else in the afternoon, and you and I would move it again in the evening.”
Seth is bent over laughing hysterically, and tears are almost ready to spill over my eyes when I notice Ronin staring at us like we are the ones who are crazy.
“Dude, this crazy old cantankerous woman lived down the street from us. She was obsessed with her frog figurine that looks identical to that one.” Seth points at the frog again, “and Treva and I made it our mission to make her crazy over the damn thing. We moved it all over her yard. One time I put it in her huge women undies she had hanging on the clothes line to dry. It was a blast. We did it until Treva was kidn …” Seth stops mid-sentence and looks at me with apologies written all over his face.
My face distorts and I know he didn’t mean to bring that up. I had endured terrible things with Eric, but it hadn’t just affected me when he kidnapped me. That bastard had taken something from Seth too. I place my hand on his shoulder lovingly, “its ok big brother. I wonder if the old bat still has that thing,” sweeping in with a comment to divert the awkwardness.
“The last time I was at mom’s I had thought about doing a little recon, but I forgot by the time I left.” Seth says menacingly.
“Ok next time you’re in Helena we have a mission to undertake.” I assure him.
The door flings open taking us by surprise, “I thought I heard voices out here.” A nice looking man with very similar features to Ronin opens the door.
“Brock!” Ronin reaches out and shakes his brother’s hand, “This is Treva, and I believe you have met Seth.”
Brock shakes Seth’s hand because he is closer and then he steps over the threshold and comes and gives me a very open armed hug. “Oh, hi,” I say.
“Welcome to our home, come on, come inside.” Ronin places his hand at the small of my back pushing me in the door behind his brother.