Chapter 1 ~ Harley
Book five of The Outcasts Series.
Order to read; The Roommate, The Bartender, The Neighbour, The Dancer, The Nurse.
Chapter 1 ~ Harley
Murmured condolences swirl around me, sticking to my clothes and hair like the damp morning mist. The cloying scent of freshly dug soil hangs heavy in the air. I don’t remember a time when it didn’t fill my nostrils. When I wasn’t stood at this graveside.
“Harls?” A heavy hand on my suit-clad shoulder makes me start a little, and I look up into the grey-blue eyes of my friend, Hugo. I’d avoided eye contact all day, not wanting to see the looks of pity, but all I see in his eyes are worry. “You want to come back with us?”
I shake my head. The last thing I feel like doing after burying my sister, the last member of my family, was go and eat finger food and make awkward small talk with people at the wake my friend Rebecca had organised. Hugo pats my shoulder again, and I watch him join Becca and her boyfriend – his cousin – Max. The three of them give me sad looks as they traipse down the muddy slope of the cemetery and slide into the sleek black Jaguar with tinted windows and a hat wearing driver that Hugo had at his beck and call.
I’d brought Heather back home, to be buried next to our parents, and most of the mourners that had shown up were old friends of the family, but my friends had made the trip with me, and while I was grateful, I had their unwavering support, I really needed to be alone right now.
I stand for another few minutes alongside the granite headstone which had my parents’ names engraved in it, and the deep hole next to it which now housed my big sister. The cemetery workers were hovering nearby, trying to be respectful but I knew they wanted me to go so they could finish filling in the grave. I give them a wave, tucking my hands deep into the pockets of my borrowed black suit – some designer thing Hugo had loaned me – and trudge through the gravestones towards the wrought iron gates of the entrance.
Without much thought, I wander aimlessly for a while, until the mist turns into a drizzle, and I duck into a shitty looking bar. Ordering a double shot of some cheap-ass whiskey which burns my nose before I even get my lips to the edge of the glass, I sink onto a wobbly stool and start to drown my sorrows.
I was on my third glass when she walked in. A gorgeous blonde. Tight body, pouty lips and sky-blue eyes. She was wearing a tight burgundy pencil skirt and a cream blouse which made her porcelain skin look almost translucent. The black heels on her feet did crazy things to the defined calve muscles and peachy looking ass. The look of despair in those baby blues was one I recognised, even though I’d never seen her before.
“Vodka. Straight.” Her voice is rich, like her voice box is dipped in honey. While she waits for the bartender, her pale pink nails tap impatiently on the stained wooden bar.
“That’s mighty annoying, darlin’.” I scowl at her as I lean over and cover her hand with mine.
She gives me a scowl right back as she pulls her hand out from underneath mine, and grabs her drink, downing it without a wince, placing it down and tapping the edge to signal to the bartender to pour her another one. “I don’t give a fuck if you think it’s annoying, darling,” she pauses to shoot another vodka. “I’m having the shittiest day imaginable, and all I want to do it get drunk and forget about it all. Annoying some rich d-bag at a bar is the least of my worries. Now, be a good boy and buy me a drink.”
With one last withering glance my way, she grabs the bottle out of the bartender’s hand and sashays over to a booth. “I guess I’m paying tonight, huh.” As I hand over my credit card to the guy, he shrugs, smirking.
“So,” I start as I drop on the seat opposite hers. “Wanna trade war stories?” She gives me a questioning look over the edge of her glass. “I’ve had somewhat of a shitty day myself. Maybe wallowing in our combined grief would be cathartic.”
I grab the bottle off the table and take a generous swig straight from the bottle as she shakes her head. “I don’t want to talk. I’m not in the mood to have a heart to heart with anyone, especially not some stranger. If you want to stay and get drunk with me, fine, but don’t expect any deep and meaningful connection tonight.”
I feel the corner of my mouth rise a little – the first smile which has even been hinted at since Heather died – and clink the bottle against her glass. “Okay, darlin’, you got it. Tonight, we are drinking buddies, nothing more.”
Turns out, a bottle of vodka turns drinking buddies into fucking buddies.
I’m so fucked, my feet stumble over nothing as I lead blondie down the corridor of the hotel that I was staying in. One huge benefit of being best friends with a hotel mogul was the free hotel stays. Hugo’s hotels were luxurious without being too ostentatious.
I fumble the key card, dropping it twice to much amusement of my drunken new friend, before I finally get the door open, and we fall inside. She falls onto the bed with a sigh, the sad look which had started to disappear from her face over the course of our drinking slowly creeping back in.
“Nope,” I say, and she slowly rolls her head my way, her eyes unfocused with booze. “Tonight was about drinking to forget, so stop forgetting…I mean remembering to forget…I mean, I’m not sure where I was going with this…” She giggles with a playful roll of her eyes and reaches out her hand.
I take it, flopping onto the soft sheets next her and giving her a goofy grin. “Hey.”
“Hi,” she replies softly. We roll onto our sides, facing each other, and I tuck a stray strand of her hair behind her ear, gently tracing my thumb down her jaw, and over her lower lip. Her pink tongue runs slowly over the path my thumb just took, and I feel a twitching in my pants.
I lean forward, capturing her full lips with mine, our tongues dancing with each other against the soundtrack of racing hearts and heavy breathing. I sit back, looking down at her blushing face and swollen mouth. “You taste like sin and bad decisions, darlin’.”
She grabs the lapels of my suit and pulls me down into a searing kiss again. I lose myself to the familiar tussle of foreplay, the rustle of clothes being removed, the grasping of naked flesh. I grind my hard dick against the hot apex of her thighs, relishing in the moans which pour from her wicked lips. I reach down and wrestle a condom from my back pocket, rolling the rubber down my length and repositioning myself pressed back against her pussy.
She cups my face with her hands, her fingernails scratching lightly down my cheeks. Pressing a chaste kiss to my lips, she whispers, “Punish me.”
“I don’t do gentle, baby, so if you really want this, you’d better hold on damn tight.” I slide all the way up to the hilt in one thrust, and she gasps, clutching my biceps tightly, her back arching off the mattress.
By morning, she’s gone, the bed beside me cold, the room an echo of the small amount of time I let myself forget all the bullshit which my life has become over the past few weeks. I stretch out the kinks on my back, disturbing the gentle sweet scent of the girl I just spend the night inside of, the girl who I now realise I’d never even found out the name of. That’s low even for my whoring ass ways.
There’s a thump on my door, and Hugo’s voice drifts through the wood. “Harley? It’s time to go.”