“You know what’s heaven?” Mariana sat up on Scott’s lap and grabbed a small handful of grapes. She leaned against his knees and began feeding him.
Scott folded his arms behind his head as he admired a naked Mariana feeding him after a lengthy lovemaking session. “What’s heaven, baby?”
“This.” A slow smile spread across Mariana’s lips. “This is heaven.”
“Explain.” He replied.
“Is this a pop quiz?” She asked.
Scott’s hands caressed Mariana’s sweat-coated torso and traveled up to her breasts, where he gently twisted her nipples. Mariana squirmed in pleasure. “It just might be.”
“Everything. The romantic date at the park, the freedom of being myself, no holds barred with you. It’s not even the fancy jewelry, the car, and all of the other nice things, which I like, don’t get me wrong. It’s just… it’s just…”
“It’s just what, baby?”
Mariana leaned down and locked lips with her boyfriend. “You have made all of my dreams come true. And I can never thank you enough.”
“Baby girl, I’ll promise to give you everything and more.” His hands caressed her arms. “I never want you to feel unsafe with me.”
“I feel totally safe with you, honey.” Mariana smiles, her eyes beaming with joy. “I want to be with you forever.”
Scott briefly thought about the engagement ring stuck in his messenger bag. It would’ve been the perfect time to propose. It was the most romantic day in the year, with a romantic picnic in the park and topped off with an incredible lovemaking session.
He then thought about the current mood. They were both naked and entangled with each other. Was that a story he wanted Mariana to share with friends and family, hopefully omitting the BDSM session they just had? Mariana was such a hopeless romantic who believed in love; she was better than a naked and sweaty proposal. She deserved a proposal in Paris, a romantic journey in Italy, or a sightseeing tour in Spain.
Something other than both of them naked and their bodies still moistened from their last romp. Was she really going to share that with her mother? “How did Scott propose?” “Well, after he bound and gagged me and fucked me ten ways from Sunday, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his slave for life!”
“Honey?” Mariana studied his sharp green eyes, wondering where his mind went. “Is everything okay?”
Scott blinked quickly and smiled back at his girlfriend. Her long ebony hair was starting to frizz. Her skin was shiny and sticky, remnants of the sessions they just had. Her eyes, however, sparkled with love and trust. He’d never felt more sure that she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
He just thought of the perfect day to propose to her—her birthday. He was going to take Jeff’s advice and whisk Mariana away somewhere romantic and unforgettable. If he can only wait another month… “Yeah, baby, I’m fine.” He adjusted his position and slid inside Mariana once again. “But for now, let’s pick up from where we left off.”
“Ooh…” Mariana slid her body down Scott’s shaft. “This is shaping up to be my favorite Valentine’s ever.”
“I can always tell when you’re somewhere else,” Elissa’s voice snapped Scott out of his daydreaming, “because you get that glassy-eyed look, like a mannequin. Am I really that boring?”
“I was thinking about tonight,” he finally answered her.
It was a day Scott Reed hated.
There weren’t enough synonyms to describe how he truly felt about that particular day of the year.
Not his birthday. He loved celebrating his birthday. Getting drunk and getting head was always a great thing.
Not Christmas. He loved spending the holidays with his family back in Georgia.
It was a holiday that made no sense to him when he was younger and damn sure didn’t make any more sense when he was older.
Every year at McCormick, Reed, and Sheppard, Scott had to watch employees squeal in romantic delight over the flowers, chocolates, and other surprises their lovers had lined up. He had seen more than his fair share of proposals. He had witnessed one too many romantic gestures in the form of paid singers, unsigned rappers, and other hungry talent looking to make an impression with the recipient and McCormick executives.
So, it wasn’t all bad. Whatever leftover chocolate some employees had, they offered it to him. He had a smile on his face whenever an employee showed off her new engagement ring. When he overheard the ladies in the lunch room talking about their romantic evenings, he was proud that they found a great partner to share their lives with.
Still, the romantic day didn’t change Scott’s view that Valentine’s Day was a waste of time. Truth was he’d always had those feelings, with the only exception being the one he’d shared with his ex-girlfriend. The moment the relationship ended, however, those feelings resurrected in full force, along with a thick taste of bitterness and regret. “I was in deep thought,” he explained.
“You work too hard and you work too much,” Elissa replied.
Scott briefly glanced up at his assistant and cracked a small smile. “You always say that.”
“And lo and behold, I’m always right,” Elissa replied. “You have plans tonight?”
“Taking her to a nice dinner and maybe a drive up the coast,” Scott played with a pen, “nothing too special.”
Her. It was Scott’s new girlfriend, if he would call her that. She wasn’t his girlfriend and she knew it as well. They were in an arrangement, both sanctioned and approved by Sanora, only on the condition that Scott returned her in the same condition that Sanora loaned the woman to him.
Her name was Dove but Elissa had another nickname for her—Suicide Blonde, just like the song. There was something about her that seemed sweet yet sinister at the same time, as if she was trying to hide who and what she really was.
All Elissa knew was she didn’t particularly care for the young woman. She’d grown quite fond of Mariana and silently hoped the ex-couple would come to their senses and finally get back together. They acted like everything was normal and kosher, as they should at work.
But there was tension—yes, sexual tension that was thick and prominent between the pair, that neither could deny no matter how far apart they both sat in meetings. “You don’t sound overly excited about it,” Elissa picked up her boss’s tone, “that’s different.”
“Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday so the chocolatiers, florists, and restaurateurs can profit off poor and stupid saps trying to impress their girls by telling her, on that one day out of the entire fucking year, how special she is when they should be telling her that every single day.” Scott finally tossed the pen on the desk.
“Yes, I know your warped view of Valentine’s Day,” Elissa smiled, “I just remember last year a certain somebody didn’t think it was a fake holiday… maybe because he was celebrating with another certain somebody.”
Scott’s heart warmed up as he remembered the elaborate Valentine’s celebration he made for Mariana. He made a call to a close New York friend, Nick, and made arrangements to have flowers delivered from the floral shop his family owned. He paid Elissa’s relatives to serenade Mariachi songs. The evening ended with the two making love in every conceivable position by the fireplace at their home.
What a difference a year made. Though Mariana returned to McCormick, Reed, and Sheppard, the dynamic between the pair had drastically changed. Mariana was no longer Scott’s would-be fiancée and intern; now she was a paid employee and ex-girlfriend. They used to sneak off into his office for afternoon quickies. Now they avoided each other whenever possible, only speaking when they absolutely had to.
It made Scott sick to his stomach. It made him even sicker knowing that he was the cause behind it. “That was last year.” He spat.
“You can always change the course of the future if the past bothers you,” Elissa suggested.
“I’m in the process of doing that now,” Scott replied. Becoming a co-owner in EMK was one of the best business and personal decisions he had ever made. He could keep tabs on Mariana’s new boyfriend while increasing his fortune. It was a win-win.
Elissa read the sudden gleam in her boss’s eyes. She had worked for Scott when he was nothing and watched him gradually become the man every guy at work wanted to be and some desperately emulated in some form and fashion. She remembered the beat-up Lexus he once drove; now he drove a money-green Maserati. She remembered the suits he had to get re-sown over and over because he didn’t have enough money to get better ones. Now his closet boasted of the biggest fashion houses and his cheapest suit still cost more than her monthly mortgage payment.
She admired his determination and persistence, starting as a wet behind the ears employee and working his way up to partner. In other words, whatever plans Scott had for getting Mariana back had everything to do with him and absolutely nothing to do with her boyfriend. If Elissa didn’t know any better, she would assume that the poor sap was just merely in the way of Hurricane Scott. “You’re up to something. I feel it.”
“I need a favor from you,” Scott began over dinner with his Mistress.
“Ask and you shall receive,” Sanora circled her wine glass with an index finger.
“I need to prove a point.” Scott’s green eyes flickered. “I need someone to help me emphasize that point.”
“Mariana?” Sanora asked and Scott nodded. “It depends on what reaction you want,” Sanora lightly shrugged. “Do you want her to hate you or hate her?”
“Dove,” Sanora said pointedly. “By the way, Mariana doesn’t hate you.”
“Okay.” He replied without emotion.
“She doesn’t. I know Mariana and I know how women are. She doesn’t hate you.” Sanora took a sip of wine. “She might, however, after this stunt you’re about to pull.”
Scott smiled as the dinner conversation faded into the background. He closed his Macbook and stood up. “I’m always up to no-good. You should know that.”
In case some of you need a reminder how it came to be that Dove was in the picture…
I Need You is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and some select libraries. Check your local library.
Stronger than Pride, the next installment in the S&M series will be out sometime this month.