Never Again

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Chapter 20

The inside of the house is so warm and inviting. An amazing metal art piece hangs in the large foyer and when I step a little closer, I notice that it’s a water fountain trickling water softly over the multicolored layered metal pieces. “This is beautiful,” I say reaching out and running my fingers gently through the water.

“Don’t look at me. My wife does all of the decorating.”

I turn and grin widely at Brock. His demeanor is so much more relaxed than Ronin. Ronin must be the older of the two—his uptight-control-the-world personality screams older sibling. Even though both of them had a horrible incident when they were younger, it seems that Ronin took the brunt of it. Ronin smiles at me and grabs my hand leading me into the foyer. I’m not sure if I should take my shoes off, but I notice Ronin keeps his on. That makes me feel a little more comfortable leaving mine on too.

I don’t want to be creepy and peek at other people’s things, but I can’t help myself. I sneak a quick peek in one of the first rooms we come to. I notice the large dark wood desk and books lining the walls—all the way to the ceiling on dark bookshelves built into the walls—and I’m guessing the ceiling is probably at least 13 feet high. There has to be thousands of books in there. I love to read, and I pause briefly at the door yearning with jealousy.

“Do you like libraries?” Ronin asks me quietly.

I nod my head and look at his face studying me. His smile is so full and it warms my heart. He tugs on my hand and I start to move slowly. Following him, I realize that Seth and Brock are already gone.

The pressure against my extremely wet pussy from the movement causes my breath to hitch and a light moan escapes my lips. Ronin knows all too well, why the change of my breathing, but he is an evil sexual predator and moves me along the hall smirking to himself along the way.

“Paybacks are a bitch,” I almost whisper.

“I’d be intrigued to see how you would punish me,” he says back ruefully.

The alluring smell of food waifs through the hallways reminding me why we’re here, you can do this, I coax myself. We round the corner and walk into a most absolute beautiful kitchen. The cabinets are a deep cherry color, smooth with no design, the countertops are granite in a light tan shade flecked with black and white shimmering pieces sparkling like stars, all the appliances are stainless steel, an island in the middle of the floor has a six burner gas stove with a flat grill and a giant hood vent hanging over the island. The counters are spacious and off to the left, one counter extends making a breakfast bar that could fit six people comfortably overlooking the casual dining area.

A small petite blonde woman in a black fitted dress is standing at the sink with her back to us. “Hey sis, it smells absolutely delicious in here.”

Ronin pulls me forward by the hand and walks over to the woman. He gives her a quick embrace and then turns back in my direction, “Mel, this is Treva Stone,” he introduces me so formally.

Mel looks at me and beams with delight, “welcome, Treva, we’re so happy to meet you!” Her smile is genuine and very reassuring. I wasn’t quite sure what kind of reception to be expecting.

“It’s nice to meet you too.” I try to calmly reply. Ronin sidles back beside me, and his warm strong arm reassures me as it wraps around my waist. I’m still carrying the flowers and the wine so I hand her the two objects, “I brought this to say thank you for the invitation. Thank you for having Seth and I over for dinner tonight.”

She takes the flowers and the wine from me, “Thanks! That’s very kind of you. Let me just get this on ice and get these flowers in some water.”

“Dinner smells delicious sis,” Ronin tells Mel and then leans forward, kissing me on the cheek.

I hadn’t noticed before that his facial hair has gotten longer than he normally wears it, scratching my face a little with the stubble. I detect his rugged and maybe slightly dangerous physique. Damn he is every bit man. Ronin has stopped time again for me and then I remember my manners. “Yes. The aroma is mouthwatering.” I say agreeing with Ronin.

“Well I hope everyone has brought their appetites because I have made a ton of food.”

“Uncle Ronin,” two boys buzz into the kitchen grabbing Ronin’s legs almost making me lose my balance. The kids are exploding with excitement. Ronin un-loops his arm from me and kneels down to the kids’ level and brings them both into his large strong arms squeezing them firmly.

They both are rambling on so excitedly it is hard to understand what they’re trying to say. I decipher. “You have to see this.” And then Ronin is upright again and being dragged off into a different direction. I smile after them until there is no line of sight left.

Noises behind me bring me back to reality and upon spinning around. I see Mel trying to pull out a large turkey from the oven. I rush to the stove to try to help, but when I get there, she has the large bird already out of the oven. I close the oven. “Is there anything I can help with?” I ask trying to busy myself with even a frivolous task, so I don’t feel useless.

“Most of it’s done, but you could take the rolls off the cookie sheet and put them in the basket. There’s a basket right over there on the counter.” She points to a basket on the counter lined with a red silk cloth.

“Of course,” I say without hesitation. I set off to the kitchen sink and wash my hands before I start peeling fresh made dinner rolls, which smell absolutely divine. “Your home is very beautiful.” I’ve only seen a minuscule amount of the large home, but I’m sure everything is top notch all the way through.

“Thank you, so, Treva. It is Treva right?”

“Yes, it’s Treva.”

“Do you live here in San Diego, and what kind of work do you do?”

“No, I don’t live here. I’m actually from Montana. I’m going to school there.”

“Oh ...” She says in a tone of surprise. “A student … and what are you studying?”

“Right now I’m in premed. I’m hoping when I get done with med-school I’ll be able to focus my studies towards orthopedics.”

“That’s very ambitious. Did Ronin mention that Brock is an orthopedic surgeon?” She raises her eyebrow at me suspiciously.

“Yeah he told me today. I was shocked to hear that. It must be amazing to be married to a surgeon.” I say with a glint of stardust euphoria in my daze.

“I guess I can’t complain too much. Some of the long hours can be grueling on me and the boys at times, but we make do.”

I have all of the dinner roles stacked neatly in the basket and rinse the sheet pan off. “Is there anything else I can help with?”

“I think we are pretty much set. I’m just finishing the gravy, so I guess you can help me with getting all of this to the table.” Mel has numerous silver platters laid out on the counter that all need to be transferred to the dining table. I’m a bit shocked she doesn’t have staff to help with dinner. I’m sure they can afford it. I look at my surroundings and as if on cue, “sorry we let our staff have Christmas off to spend with their families.”

Just as I suspected.

“I like to cook once in a while; I don’t want to forget how,” she gives me a huge bright smile.

I nod my head to let her know I understand. I reach down and pick up a tray of hors d’oeuvres that look like small pieces of lobster wrapped in prosciutto with some sort of cheese tucked between the lobster and prosciutto. It looks absolutely delicious. “Where would you like everything to go?”

“Walk straight past the refrigerator through those doors to the dining room, anywhere on the table should be just fine.” She says.

I follow her directions and find myself in a room with two entrances, the one I came through and another on an adjacent wall. A long large dark wood table with a beautiful red gold table runner extends the entire length of the table. A breakfast buffet is at the far wall that matches the wood dining table perfectly. A holiday infused centerpiece with four tapered candlesticks has been placed on the buffet. A painting of a basket of fruit and flowers hang just above the bar. Dangling from the center of the vaulted ceiling, directly over the dining table, is a crystal chandelier casting fragmented rays of light across the room … it’s breathtaking.

I place the tray of lobster rolls at the end of the table and notice a large throne like chair. Both ends are adorned with one of these massive chairs. It makes me think of a Renaissance fair that I had been fortunate enough to be dragged to by one of my friends—one who had decided she wanted to live in another time.

I quickly set the tray down to return to get the others. There’s broccoli with bacon bits, a unique twist on green bean casserole, cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, crab legs, gravy bowls, butter cut into intricate flower patterns and of course, the dinner roles. We pretty much have everything on the table … it looks so formal.

Seth and, Brock come into the kitchen just in time to carry the turkey and wine to the table. “Holy hell look at this spread,” Seth says, just loud enough so that no one hears but me.

“My stomach is just on the threshold of jumping out of my mouth and devouring it all.” He says.

“I know. This stuff looks amazing. We’re going to be eating like kings tonight. I think I could get used to this.” I say grinning.

I thought Seth and I were alone, but a feint voice behind me snidely says,” I bet you could.”

I turn around quickly and see Mel walking in with two more bottles of wine, one in each hand. She has a smile on her face, but I quickly see that it’s rather fake. A cold current shifts the atmosphere and catches me off guard. The smile I had been gleaming with is gone. I try to shake the bemused look on my face and push aside the insult, maybe I misheard her.

Ronin comes through the adjoining entrance and stops just inside the door with the two boys. In each of his large hands I see little fingers wrapped up in his. His beaming smile makes my heart skip a beat, and then it flutters rapidly. All memories of Mel’s odd comment disappear from my thoughts.

“Everything is all done; we can sit down now.” Mel says in a very kind sincere tone, a complete 360 from the comment a few minutes ago.

Bi-Polar is the only word that comes to my mind, which I quickly smack myself for even thinking, because that’s not something I should use in such a derogatory way.

Brock takes the massive throne like chair at the head of the table, and Seth reaches for the chair right in front of him.

“Uncle Ronin, sit by me.”

“No sit by me, Uncle Ronin.”

Ronin winks at me and kneels down to the boys, “see that pretty lady over there?” Both of the boys look in my direction at the same time, “she is very special to me and I would appreciate it if you would give me permission to sit next to her.” He hesitates for a minute, “Do you think that would be ok?”

The boys eye me suspiciously before the younger one says, “Is she your girlfriend uncle Ronin?”

I’m now staring at Ronin, along with everyone else, curious as to how he’ll answer that question knowing that our relationship is what I would call—just a casual fling—with no real chance of anything going any further or getting at all serious.

The corners of his lips turn up into a grin, “Yes Trystan, she is my girlfriend.”

My stomach instantly fills with the light fluttering feeling of velvety soft painted lady butterflies tickling the lining.

“Are you going to marry her?”

All those butterflies swarm up to my throat and I feel like I might choke. Leave it to children to say something so uncharacteristic. Thank god Mel interrupts before Ronin has to be thrown under the bus with such an on-the-spot question.

“Come on boys sit right here.” Mel pulls out two chairs and then she sits down next to Brock on his left.

Ronin walks around the table and sits in the chair on Brocks right hand side and I take the seat next to him and Seth sits to my right in the chair he had originally pulled out. Weird that he had figured out the seating arrangement before everyone else.

“I want to thank you guys for coming and joining us for our Christmas dinner. Our friends Antonio and Audrea are coming too, but they are running late; they said for us to start without them. I don’t think we should let this stuff spoil so lets dig in.” Brock’s easy going, uplifting attitude could be super addictive.

“Thank you for having us. I don’t think I can remember the last time I had a home cooked meal like this,” Seth says while reaching for the tray that contains the lobster rolls. He grabs the tongs and gets two for himself, and then puts two on my plate, before passing the tongs to Ronin.

“So Ronin, what happened with that deal you had in LA? Last time we were talking, you said you had some big corporation falling apart and they were begging you to consider merging with them, or something like that.”

I look at Ronin curious, because he never has talked about his business dealings with me. Ronin grabs lobster rolls and is reaching for some of the sliced turkey, “Oh yes, I remember that day very clearly.” Ronin slips his hand under the table and squeezes my thigh,” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day. The business trip was a flop, but another merger developed from that little trip.”

I know that Ronin is referring to that first day I was here and when I saw him at the airport. I still can’t believe I was able to gather up my confidence to tease him, the way I did. I didn’t even know him. I hear the clanking of plates and forks rattling in the background, but the only thing I notice is the tingling sensation in the shape of Ronin’s hand against my bare skin.

I lean up as close as I can, so only he can hear me whisper,” I want to slide under the table and wedge myself between your legs so I can taste the meat in your pants.” Ronin shifts in his seat and lets out a very low growl.

Ronin doesn’t take me up on my offer, thank god, but to distract myself from my growing need of the powerful attractive man next to me, I shove my face with delicious food … that’ll do for now.

“Treva, I heard about your interests in orthopedics; maybe you should stop by the hospital where I work and I’ll sneak you into a surgery.”

“Really?” is all I’m able to say. The idea of watching a procedure by a skilled orthopedic surgeon blows my mind. “That would be great!”

“How long will you be in town?” Someone, probably Seth, had told him I’m only here visiting.

“My classes start back up the second week of January, but I will need a week to re-coop from my vacation. I think after New Year’s I’ll need to head home.” Glancing out of the corner of my eye, I see the death grip Ronin has on his fork causing his knuckles to go white. I feel a little sickened by the thought of our irrevocable parting. Not only am I leaving a man I have found myself getting way too attached to, but I’m also walking into a scenario of a crazed man lurking and waiting for me at home. Who knows what that crazy ass son of a bitch might do to me? I get goose bumps just thinking about him.

“Is there a better day?” I struggle to say.

“Hmm … well, I do have a hip replacement on Thursday at seven in the morning, if you don’t mind getting up that early.”

“I’ll be there.” A hip replacement how absolutely amazing, I think to myself. I can’t hide my excitement with my cheesy grin plastered to my face.

A music chime begins playing throughout the house when we are about half-way through dinner.

“That must be our other guests. Please excuse me.” Mel pats her perfect pouty lips with her silk napkin and leaves the table. Moments later, I hear voices coming closer, getting louder as they approach.

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