"One bite and all your dreams will come true.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
--- KNOX ---Metal teeth gnash together with a swift zip and I run my hand along the soft, French leather. The iconic monogram wraps the charcoal luggage in its trademark checkered pattern of silver LVs and four pointed stars. A special gift for the woman I love, I tuck the bag to the side with my own suitcase as I anxiously check the time.
He should be gone by now.
Maybe he decided to stay home.
...Maybe he found out we’re leaving.
“Shit... Shit, shit, shit,” I fret, pacing the sparsely furnished guest room. To be safe, I extract the Walther Q4 from my shoulder holster and attach the suppressor. If he’s discovered our plans - if he knows we’re together, then he’ll be coming for me and only one of us walks out of this room. I have too much to live for to let it be him.
It has to be me... for her sake.
“Goddammit! What is he waiting-” Footsteps echo in the foyer and I bolt into the hall, tiptoeing to the end of the corridor and the recognizable jingle of car keys. Lurking in the shadows, I glimpse the back of my former best friend as the front door shuts behind him. “Finally,” I sag in relief. Instantly, my focus swings to the landing atop the grand staircase. Eager to see her, I ascend the steps two at a time, rushing for the master suite and the lonely princess locked inside her tower.
The twin panels swing open, “E? Are you...” and I trail off at the sight of her lithe frame silhouetted in the window. A single beam of pearly light casts down, illuminating her glossy bob. It’s choppy locks jut out at odd angles, mussed from lying in bed. My gaze roams the gentle arch of her bare back to that sumptuous apple bottom and I clinch with longing... and a familiar twinge of jealousy. It’s no surprise she’s naked, Kole prefers to sleep that way, but seeing her like this - knowing he was sprawled against her only minutes ago twists the dagger of resentment that much deeper.
After tonight, he’ll never touch her again.
“He’s gone,” she whispers and my heart aches at the despair in her voice. Even now, after all he’s done - after all the cheating and lies - she still cares for him.
Give it time, Knox.
Eventually, she’ll learn to forget.
Crossing to her, I fold her in my arms, “We should go, too.” My mouth grazes the smooth skin of her shoulder, mapping the flawless line up the slope of her neck where I inhale the crisp fragrance of shampoo and vanilla. Her head rolls to my chest and my thumb brushes her bee-stung lips, “We have a long drive ahead of us, Princess.”
...and I want you as soon as possible.
Bright eyes glisten with trepidation, “You know he’ll come for us... for me. Dade can track our phones or... or Kole will get one of the cops on his payroll to-”
“Shhh...” I spin her to face me, cradling her dewy cheeks so I can thumb away her tears. “I promise, it’ll be okay. We’ll ditch the phones and the cops won’t do anything outside their jurisdiction. Once we put some distance between him and us, we’ll be fine. He’ll tire after a few days and...” gesturing, I swish my fingers, “...we’ll be free to live our lives.”
Her chin tips and those soulful eyes lock with mine, “How can you be so sure?”
Bowing my head, my mouth hovers centimeters above its mark, urging me to close the gap. A single gossamer strand of espresso silk dangles over her forehead. Sweeping it back, I murmur, “Because I know him. I know how he thinks and I know he doesn’t have the conviction to see it through. He’s too caught up in the bullshit to realize what he has in front of him.” Her breath hitches and I rush, “...but I’m not. I love you, Eden. You’re mine, now. I won’t let him hurt you anymore.”
Something shifts within her sharp irises. Determination flashes bold and confident as dainty fingers bat at the crystalline beads tumbling down her jawline, “That makes two of us.” She straightens, visibly bolstering her resolve, “Okay. Let’s do this.”
Such a simple acquiescence nearly flattens me with relief. At the same time, it lifts me and gives me strength I didn’t know I needed. Nudging my head at the closet, I direct, “I’ll pack the car. Go get ready.”
“What about the cameras? The guards?”
“What about ’em? For all they know we’re going out for gelato.” Nodding, she steps out of my embrace, “No, wait,” and immediately, I yank her to me - her perfect tits flush against my torso. “I’ve been thinking about this all day.” Earnest fingers thread the tresses at her nape, drawing her head back.
The corners of her lips curl in invitation, “I wondered when you’d get around to kissing me.”
“Does that mean you’ve been thinking about it, too?”
A brisk score of teeth on flesh, she snaps at my bottom lip, “Maybe... Maybe not. There’s only one way to find out.” She smiles impishly, peeking at me through her impossibly dense lashes, “Well? Clock’s ticking.”
“Yes, it is, Princess.”
Slow and searching, I claim her sensual mouth for my own. Instinctively - dare I say hungrily, her rosy gates of plush flesh part and our tongues race to meet, melting together in a piquant blend of cherry and Zinfandel. Stretching her elegant figure, her wrists hook behind my neck. In turn, my fingertips skim that same gentle arch to her sumptuous apple bottom and I’m rewarded with a handful of her peachy curves. In seconds, I’m hard and wanting and I groan, “Mmooooh... If we don’t stop, now...”
She simpers. A naughty little vixen, her gaze flits to, “Well, there’s a bed.” Peppering me with butterfly pecks, she teases, “We could make love all night... pass out... and laugh at the look on Kole’s face when he finds us naked... and tangled in his precious... Egyptian... cotton.”
Knotted with desire, I grin, “Woman, you’ll be the death of me.”
“Mmm.” Her head wags, “Probably...” Winking, she plants one final kiss, “...but what a way to go,” before releasing me and retreating to the walk-in. I leer after her, appreciating the way her flawless physique gleams under the rays of fragile moonlight.
Once she vanishes from view, I tug on my gloves and take off for the security booth at the rear of the compound. One by one, our soldiers crumple to the floor as I prowl the expansive grounds, silently eliminating each of my targets with, “Vincent...” and “...Jules,” being the last to fall - their brains painting the wall of monitors. All told, more than a dozen Venandi men lay scattered about with a bullet in their head. Easy enough when they think they’re greeting a friendly face.
Scanning the narrow office, my gaze lands on the clipboard containing shift schedules. Inspiration strikes, my mouth crooks in a halfcocked smirk, and I pluck the pad from its hook on the wall, scribbling a brief message in the middle of the blood-spattered grid.
“By the time you read this, I’ll be balls deep in paradise.
She belongs to me now, brother.”
When I’m finished, I deposit the bait next to Vincent’s lifeless body. Blank blue eyes gape at it like two milky arrows directing the recipient to their prize.
Fuck you, Kole.
The coffin nail, his pride will drive him to look for us. Of course, that was my plan all along. Despite what I told E, I refuse to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder. What Kole lacks in conviction he makes up for in arrogance and this parting gift will be the straw that sends him over. Once he’s exposed... Well, it’s easier to kill a king when he isn’t in his kingdom.
By the time I’m done loading the Escalade, Eden’s dressed and curled on the foot of the mattress. Head hung, she stares wistfully at something in her hands, “E? What’re you-” and the gilded chain glints under the dim, yellow glow of a nearby table lamp.
His necklace... Sonofabitch is fucking everywhere.
Red clouds of enmity blur my vision; my fingers flex and clench, involuntarily. “It’s time,” I spit, more forcefully than intended and her dark cap whips up.
Straightening, “S-Sorry...” she stammers, “I-I was just-ummm... saying goodbye,” as she hastily swats at the trickles of contrition.
Don’t start this on a bad note.
Sighing, “No, E... I’m sorry,” I crouch in front of her. “I know this is difficult for you. Honestly, it’s hard on me, too. This world is all I’ve ever known. Kole, Dade... they’re... uhem... they’re family...” Cupping her chin, I declare, “...but you’re everything. That makes it easier for me. If you can’t... I-If you don’t want to-”
“No! No, I want to. I need to.” Setting the trinket on the comforter, she mumbles, “I’m tired of being his doormat.” It’s so quiet, so filled with heartbreak, I shrink in defeat.
Equally quiet, I ask, “Is it all about him?”
Compassionate mocha softens with understanding and she folds her legs around my waist, anchoring to me, “I won’t lie to you, Knox. Leaving is about him...” Just as I did with her, she cups my chin, holding my gaze, “...but I’m choosing to go with you because I love you.”
Wait... Did she just say...
Beaming, “You know,” I drag her off the bed, “that’s the first time you’ve told me you love me.”
Giggling at my undeniably ridiculous expression, her chin dips, “So, it is,” and crushing my mouth to hers, I steal the song from her lips. Its effervescent joy is new life - pure and beautiful... like my princess.
“Say it again, baby.”
Emerald speckled mocha shimmers with emotion as she commits, “I love you, Knox Hartnett. Now... Whadayah say we blow this popsicle stand?”
“Princess, you can blow whatever you-Owww! You bit me!”
“Yes. Yes, I did.”
485 miles from Miami (via I-95 N)
The next evening...
Heavy with sleep, my lids flutter open to strange surroundings. The setting sun blankets the charming, boutique style room in a rich shade of orange igniting the red undertones of the mahogany against the blue and gold décor. On my left, I hear the unmistakable gush of running water followed by, “Ooooh... That’s the fucking spot,” and my chest puffs with satisfaction as memories from the night before come flooding back.
She loves me... She chose me.
“...and she’s naked in the shower,” I grin, tossing back the comforter. Black mesh and matching boxer briefs pool around my ankles, revealing the massive-
“Well, hello to you, too.”
A moth to the flame, my attention shifts to the temptress standing in the en-suite. Timid, chocolate saucers regard me with an alluring bashfulness, flicking up and down my body. Hesitantly, she discards the towel and I swell with craving. Misty, sun-kissed alabaster stretches on for days - pink and raw from the shower; her typically tousled, chin-length cut is slicked back unveiling the extent of her natural artistry. Something she frequently keeps hidden beneath her shaggy bob. “Eden, you’re...” At a loss, I rasp, “...Jesus.” She fidgets - so unsure of herself - and I stumble to reach her, “Whoa, shit,” tripping on the clothes at my feet.
Petite hands, dart out, steadying me. The slightest touch breaks my trance and I scoop her into my arms. Greedy lips collide, tongues enmesh, and with no clothes to shed it’s a whirlwind of fingers, damp skin and chiseled muscle. Half-in, half-out of the bathroom, we paw at each other. Her head lolls, granting access to my favorite spot below her ear. “Ooooh, Knox,” she pleads.
“Mmmm-fuck. Fuck the bed,” I grunt, hoisting her up.
“Wha-” Panicked, “What’s wrong?” I struggle to keep her in place as she wiggles loose.
“As much as I’d like you to fuck me against that door - and I do want you to fuck me against that door,” she proclaims, planting another one of her butterfly nips, “...I envisioned something else while I was stuck in that car for seven hours.”
Intrigued, my brow arches, “Oh, yeah?”
“Mmhmm...” Twirling, she glides several paces and climbs to the center of the raised platform - dwarfed by the king-size accommodation.
She’s such a small thing and yet... I could pick her out of any crowd.
Burning sepia, peers at me over the satin ridge of her shoulder. “Something like this.” With a subtle shimmy of her supple derriere, she crooks her pointer, beckoning me as she deliberately drops onto her hands and knees. That ass - that fucking ass - pushes up and out, begging to be spanked or bitten... or - fuck it - both. “I think your words were ‘so deep I wouldn’t remember my name.’”
“God, yes,” I groan, stroking myself.
Watching me, she provokes, “I wanna forget, Knox. Please, make me forget.”
“Sweetheart...” Kneeling on the edge, the pillow-top dips under my added weight, bringing her closer. I bend, “...when I’m done, the only thing running through that brilliant head of yours will be the way I feel inside you,” biting her left buttock... “I’ll take it all away, baby,” ...then the right. My tongue traces the folds of her honeyed slit...
So wet... She’s always so ready for me.
...and I vow, “No more pain, Eden. I swear.”
I nibble and suck on the soaked bundle of nerves, taunting her with my mouth as I wait with bated breath for, “Mm-mm.”
“That’s it. Fuck me, I love that sound.” Her sound. Nothing more than a tremor in her throat, it unleashes the devil in me. Rising, I slam into her.
“Aaah!” She cries out and I pause to allow her unbelievably tight walls to expand around me. Like being sucked into a vortex of liquid velour, there’s so many textures and sensations that each motion, each shiver or shift in position is another wave of crippling stimulation. Withdrawing, I plunge a second time and her generous backside swivels. “Mmmaaah... Harder,” she purrs.
Wicked and ravenous, I smile, “Yes, Princess.” Taking hold, my dominant hand fists in her soggy tendrils while my weak side skates up the planes of feminine sinew to clutch at her neck. As I jerk on my make-shift reins, I drill her from behind, mercilessly burying the full length of my solid shaft.
Over, “Yes,” and over, “Mmmm... Yes,” every thrust is more savage than the last, “Ooooh, Knox!” Her ecstatic moans are the only lyrics worth hearing. The rhythmic tempo of skin slapping skin is the only beat. Wrenching her by the hair, “Ughn. Fffffuck,” we plaster together - our hips gyrating in sync. Calloused grip floats over the delicate surface of her abdomen, drifting higher to her ample tits. Taut with arousal, her nipples tickle the flat of my palms as I cuddle and caress her perfect breasts. My teeth sink into the creamy crescent of her neckline and she shudders “Aaaah, shit!” dousing my cock in a ripple of nectar.
Poised next to her ear, I growl, “I had no idea you liked it rough. You enjoy the pain... don’t you, baby?”
Licking that enticing, cherry pout, she nods emphatically, “Mmhmm!”
“Do you want more?”
“With fucking pleasure.” I shove her forward so she’s suspended inches from the rumpled bedding. Held aloft by her elbows, her slender arms extend behind her like a puppet on a string. In an odd mix of power and subservience, I maintain complete control of her upper body while her lower half moves unencumbered and with staggering dexterity. I may reign over postureor speed, but it’s obvious I’m the one being used.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this fucking hard.
Grinding on my rigid cock, her pussy flexes and clings, her lush bottom serves as a cushion for each blow, and consumed by her, my lids clamp shut “Fuck, E... Give me this everyday and I’ll never need anything else.”
"Oooh... Nothing else, Knox. Just this... and pizza.”
“S’that right?” I snort. “Pizza?”
“Mmm. A girl’s gotta-Ooh! ...and cherry coke. I’m gonna need something to wash it down.”
Melted by her disarming whimsy, I gather her once more to my chest. The tips of my nails scrape lightly, descending at a leisurely crawl to the sultry apex between her thighs and a legion of goosebumps emerge at my command. Still buried inside her snug center, I toy with her clit, relishing in the way she writhes and oscillates. “I love how you come alive when I touch you.”
Her back arches, “So gooood.”
I nuzzle her velvet cheek, “It has me in ruins, Eden. I’ve given up everything...” Pumping her, I add, “...for this.”
...and there’s no going back.
Starry pools, brimming with affection, lift to meet my gaze. “Knox,” she whispers, “kiss me.”
“Yes, Princess.” An erotic entanglement of tongue and lips, our mouths unite in an unhurried dance. Below, our conjoined bodies move in a single orchestrated overture, propelling us to climax. What began as a carnal mission to fuck her senseless is now a seductive tango aided by the tender pressure of my middle digit. I feel what she feels. She tastes what I taste.
Glimmers of orgasm pulse in my blood and we quicken. Measured harmony intensifies, building into a turbulent surge of passion. Lips to lips, breath to breath, we shoot the edge. Her stance widens, opening - encouraging me to take more,“Rrrah! I love this pussy,” So, I take it all. Unyielding steel plunders, ”My fucking pussy.”
Nearly black nebulas dim, “Yeeees.”
...and svelte silk constricts, “So close, Princess. God, yes, you’re so close.” Ramming her, I coax, “Give in, baby... Grrrah, c’mon, E...”
“Knox!” Surrendering, her entire body bows, “Aaaahhh,” drenching me with her glorious release.
With a fervent thrust, “I love you,” I topple into her gravitational pull, tumbling through a universe of her making.
Three hours, two pizzas... and one broken bathroom door later, I lay staring at the ceiling, listening to the soothing lull of Eden’s steady light snoring. Nestled in the crook of my arm, her intoxicating fragrance of vanilla and shampoo combine with the lingering scent of our sex and I inhale, murmuring for the millionth time, “I love you.”
Straining, my fingers grab at the pair of jeans draped over the side of the adjacent wingback. They brush against the plastic object concealed within my back pocket. With a shake, it slides free, “Shit,” and I snag it before it clatters to the hardwood, “Gotcha.”
Eden stirs, whimpering, “No... Don’t-”
“Shhh... S’okay, I’m here,” I coo, kissing the top of her head, “Go back to sleep, baby.”
She snuggles to my side, “Mmmm... Love you.” Shortly after, her breathing returns to that deep cadence that accompanies heavy slumber. Redirecting my focus to the iPhone in my hand, it blinks on - the screen flaring to life... and a string of notifications pop up:
New Voicemail (1:18 AM)
Missed Call (62)
Text Message (147)
Missed Call (39)
Text Message (15)
Ignoring the voicemails, I open the texts from Kole. They range from the predictable...
Kole (1:18 AM)
Knox, you piece of shit!
I’m gonna rip your fucking heart out!
“Ha... You can try, asshole.”
...to the pathetic...
Kole (1:22 AM)
Please, Knox. Please, let me talk to her.
I just need to know she’s okay.
“Oh, wah. She’s fine. Shit, she’s better than fine,” I mutter, smugly. “In fact...” Extending my arm, “Why don’t you see for yourself?” I swipe open the camera, adjusting the angle until we’re both in the frame. Eden’s beautiful face rests peacefully on my chest and pressing my lips to her temple, I snap the shot. “Hehehe... Send.”
...and, 5... 4... 3... 2...
“So fucking predictable.” Punching the green phone icon, I raise the phone to my ear...
“Huh? What?” I jolt awake to the darkened cab of my Escalade and the annoying buzz of my mobile rattling in the passenger seat. Its polycarbonate case clanking the side of an empty bottle of Jack, “Shit... What the-Haaah... Fuck,” and the remnants of an incredible fantasy fade into bluish-white LED.
“Goddammit. What does he want?” Rubbing the fog from my eyes, I answer, “’Sup?”
His voice is cold and clipped, “I need you at the club. You have a mess to clean up.”
“Mess? What mess?” I grumble, groggily. The mechanical whirr of a motorcycle hums down the street and craning my neck, I scour the horizon for the source. Moments later, a compact bullet on a midnight blue Ducati Monster zooms into the driveway at 270 Adrasteia Lane. Straddling the bike, her back bends, pushing that ass up and out and visions of her being railed from behind - suspended by her elbows - play out like a porno on my windshield.
Tell me, Princess... Do you like it-
“Knox!” Kole barks.
“I said, get your ass down here!”
“Yeah, sure,” I grunt, absentmindedly as Eden dismounts, removing her helmet. “Huh, her hair’s blue.”
“What? What was that?”
“Nothing... Just-uhhh... Something on TV,” I scramble, mentally smacking my stupid mouth while I peep the naughty vixen trotting indoors. Again, visions of her nimble physique riding my dick like that fucking crotch rocket, threaten to shunt every conscious thought aside. Starved for her touch, I groan, “Can’t this wait until tomorrow?”
“No. It has to be dealt with tonight.”
“’Cause I fucking said so, Knox!”
Without another word, the line goes dead. Five fingers fold into a personal wrecking ball and I pummel the roof of my SUV in frustration, “Sonofabitch! I should’ve fucking killed you eight months ago! Rrrraaah! Goddammit!” Scowling forlornly at the luxury, beach front condo, I watch the porchlight blip off and my forehead plops to the steering wheel, “Shhhhit.”
Resigned to waiting another day to see my enchanting Princess, I jab the ignition. The V8 roars to life and I pull into traffic, dreaming of all that could be if she’d just given me one more night.
* Author’s Note *
- Welcome to the Darkverse -
About a year ago, I was toying with the idea of an alternate Syndicate reality in which both Chasing Eden and Violent Delights play out in a twisted version of the original story. For a number of reasons, I will probably never write those books in their entirety, but I really wanted to give you a taste of what this warped world would look like. Also, I’ve always wanted to write a full scene between Knox and Eden. After all, they did love each other and I thought it would be interesting to see them get to express that love. Enter, Poisyn Apple. Loosely inspired by Snow White and in keeping with the “Forbidden Fruit” theme, Poisyn Apple takes us through the opening act of Chasing Eden had she chosen to run away with Knox instead of taking off on her own.
The point at which the chapter switches out of a dream sequence and into the current Syndicate universe is the actual ending of the “Darkverse” chapter with the next one picking up from Kole’s POV as he arrives at the hotel where Knox and Eden are staying. Ultimately, I decided to kind of loop this storyline into Chasing Eden so you could get a sense of what’s going on with Knox in that timeline as well. The conversation with Kole at the end of the chapter is an extended script of their brief phone call in “Night Vision” (Chapter 20 of Chasing Eden). Thus tying the two episodes together and giving you an added perspective of Knox as a character.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this one-shot. Honestly, I loved writing it and I would absolutely love to see your thoughts on the Darkverse, Knox and Eden or The Syndicate Series. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to hit that star below.