I was addicted to her, and there was no point in denying it anymore.
That morning, I called a man who I worked with on occasion. Stan Cullivan used to be a journalist, but now he spent his days finding out shit for rich people. Mostly women trying to find out whether their husband was having an affair. But I used him for background checks on the girls I fucked, and now, I had a new task for him.
“Good morning,” he answered his phone cheerily. “Another background check?”
“Not this time,” I replied, running a hand through my hair.
I risked a look through the window towards Lenora’s apartment, but she was nowhere in sight. Probably still asleep from the late night she’d had.
“I want you to follow someone around,” I said, letting the words hang out there in the open. “It’s a woman. She lives across the street from me. Her name is Lenora Dutch...”
“Got it,” Cullivan said simply. “What should I watch out for? Anything specific you need info on?”
“No,” I said curtly. “I just want to know what she does. Everything. And bring me some shit to look at. Photos—plenty of photos, and anything discarded, like receipts she left behind, that kind of thing.”
“You’ve got a deal.” I could see Cullivan smiling in my head.
All he saw was the hefty sum of money I’d let him have for helping me, but all I saw was the opportunity to get more of her. Technically all this was my work, but there was something about Lenora I just couldn’t pinpoint and now that she knew how I looked like, following her was definitely out of question.
More of Lenora. I needed so much more.
“I’ll see you tonight,” I said, ending the call.
I got off the sofa I was sitting on, pacing the room. The way Stan worked, he usually came to meet me in the evening to give me a roundup of everything he’d found. But he also sent me updates throughout the day, so I decided to keep my phone close, so I could see exactly what my Sleeping Beauty was up to.
But now, the day stretched out in front of me with nothing to do. I felt jittery and nervous in a way I wasn’t used to, and it worried me.
I just wanted information, I wanted to know what she was doing, what filled her days. I needed it like a fucking addict needed their drug, and I resented myself for not being able to track her myself.
I wanted to focus on Lenora.
What she ate for breakfast.
What kind of outfit she wore when she left her house.
Whether her hair was up, exposing that slender neck I wanted to bite into, or down, falling down her back.
How she held herself when she walked; how her tits bounced.
How she smiled at others.
What she ate for lunch. How often she pissed.
I wanted to know every fucking thing about her.
I paced the room restlessly, finally deciding I might as well do some work while I waited for Cullivan’s
Leaving the living room, I walked into the all-white room I used as a studio. There was a hidden door in the wall behind the bed, and it led into the room no one knew about.
The one space in the whole apartment I couldn’t let anyone see because they would finally know just how badly fucked up I really was.
I opened the hidden door, stared into the fucking mess, papers thrown around, clothes of the deceased hung up.
It was a tiny room, used for storage by the previous owners. There was only one small window to the outside, but that was grubby with grime, and the ceiling was so low I had to crouch to get in there.
And it was a fucking mess.
A terrible mess.
I walked inside calmly, to the small wooden desk that stood against the wall. I sat on the stool in front of it and leaned against the wall because the room was so small I could do that. And then I started thinking, with all the information lying around.
My phone vibrated, and I grabbed it from my pocket, desperately checking for a message.
It was from Lenora, and the moment I saw her name on my screen, my heart thumped a little louder in my chest.
I wish you’d talk to me when you weren’t just trying to make me come.
My fingers ached from wanting to reply so badly, but I made myself wait. Couldn’t look too eager, could I? Couldn’t let her know how badly I wanted her, how much I craved her.
The phone buzzed with another message, this one from Cullivan.
She’s been out for brunch. Three mimosas with it. She had Eggs Benedict.
It fucking hurt to read it, because it was the most normal thing in the world, and I knew I’d never be able to do it with her, because as much as I loved her beauty, I loathed what was inside, craved to end it.
I sat there until it got dark, so dark I couldn’t make out the objects in the room. Lenora’s room was dark, too.
And then my doorbell rang.
“It’s open,” I croaked.
“What do you have for me?” I asked him, flipping on a switch in the living room as if I hadn’t been sitting in the darkness for what was probably hours. “Anything interesting happen?”
“Well, she’s a party girl alright,” Cullivan chuckled, handing me a brown paper envelope.
My fingers shook as I got the contents out of it. A bunch of photos. I always asked for photos. I loved seeing my girls like that.
But she wasn’t my girl. Not like the others, not like any of them.
She was the girl, the only girl, the one I wanted to keep.
Too bad I couldn’t, not now, not ever.
“She’s had more drinks in the span of a few hours than I have in a month,” Cullivan muttered, shaking his head.
“She likes booze,” I muttered, going through the photos.
Lenora in a sweet little dress that was much too short to be modest despite the cute style. It made me smile to myself. Her hair was up, just like I’d hoped. Her neck was slender and very pale, and it made blood pulse towards my cock. She was a fucking vision, and in several photos, I noticed men in the street or the cafe she was in fucking staring at her. I wanted to strangle each and every one of them while she watched.
“What else did she do?” I asked, going through the photos.
“She was out most of the day,” Cullivan went on, handing me a bigger envelope. “I saved you the receipts like you asked. She went to brunch, then shopping. Dropped her stuff at home and got changed, then went out again with another girl. I think her name was Francine? Does that ring a bell?”
“Her friend, I think,” I said. “Did she notice you?”
“No, not once,” Cullivan smiled. “You’d be proud of me. I stayed in the shadows.”
I looked at all the receipts, grinning at her choice of groceries.
A shit ton of chocolate and energy drinks. And a head of lettuce. Such a weird girl.
“Oh, one more thing,” Cullivan said, reaching into his briefcase. “She dropped this at the brunch place. Thought you might want it.”
He handed me a piece of fabric.
I palmed the fabric as he handed it to me, the soft cashmere pleasant under my fingertips.
“Get out,” I growled at Cullivan.
He gave me an incredulous look.
“Don’t make me repeat myself,” I said, glaring at him. “Get the fuck out!”
He backed away and closed the door behind him.
I was left sitting on the couch, staring at the cashmere cardigan in my hands. It was light pink, and the buttons were little pearls. It was cute. It was hers. It smelled like her.
I raised it to my face and inhaled her sweet scent, groaning out loud. It was almost enough to make me fucking spill.
But through it all, I had to remember...
This was the closest I was ever going to get to having Lenora in my arms while still breathing.
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