Girlfriend By The Hour

Girlfriend By The Hour

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Summary

When Imogen accidentally interviews to be the social companion of Andre Lachlan, she never imagines what the job will entail.

Summary

When Imogen accidentally interviews to be the social companion of Andre Lachlan, she never imagines what the job will entail.

Chapter25 (v.1) - The Zelenkas

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 08, 2015

Reads: 1057

Comments: 5

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 08, 2015

A A A

A A A

“Sit still, or I’m gonna mess this up,” Andre warned Imogen as he ran his thumb nail down her scalp to part her hair.

She sighed and tilted her head back for him. She’d hoped her performance in the shower would earn her copious snuggles, but Andre was all business once they’d dried off and adjourned to Heaven.

He separated her hair and flopped half of it over her shoulder, out of the way. The slight tugging of his fingers as he combed through the other half felt nice. “So how was work today?”

“Really? You’re asking about my day?”

He leaned in close. “That little move, when you put my balls in your—“

“Work was fine!” she squeaked. “It’s been a little rough switching over to PC, but…” Her voice trailed off. She shouldn’t have mentioned that; the switch wasn’t a good thing. They hadn’t yet finished the current round of testing on the console version of Dragynfyre but had been forced to abandon it temporarily. Andre didn’t tell her too much about it, but it had something to do with the theft at Midas’s home. “Oh! I think Volda sexually harassed me today.”

“I never said anything about your bunda,” Andre said too quickly.

“What? No. She said…well, it was in Spanish. Portuguese. Whatever. And it was you. She said…I don’t want to repeat it.”

“Ima.”

“Not because…” She cringed, wishing she hadn’t mentioned this either. “She asked if I liked…pipis negros grandes.

“Yeah? Do you like my grande—“

“It’s adequate,” she bristled.

“I like your bunda,” Andre said, reaching down between them to squeeze the subject of the conversation.

Imogen squirmed away, shooting him a glare to remind him to keep his hands away from anything currently covered by her panties.

He tilted her head to the side. “Why were you talking to Volda?”

“I think she’s trying to get to you through me. Was her computer one of the ones stolen on Thanksgiving?”

A quick tug at her hairline jolted her, followed by a rapid succession of pulls and twists. He was French braiding her hair. It felt tight on her scalp. “No, why?”

Imogen tightened her abdomen to keep still. This wasn’t playful weaving at all. This felt like professional styling. “She thinks it was. I mean, she doesn’t even know about that, but she kept saying her computer isn’t hers. Something about…I don’t know, I could barely understand her. I think she marked her case but the mark’s gone now.”

“Mmm.”

Imogen didn’t like that sound. It wasn’t a ‘mmm, that’s good coffee’ or ‘mmm, let’s do dirty things’ sound. It was a ‘mmm, I’m thinking serious thoughts that I won’t share with you’ mmm.

She stared down at her hands, not sure what to do with them. They were sitting in her lap, and it felt like they shouldn’t be. They should be occupied, filling the void left by Andre’s darkened mood.

“Don’t worry about it,” Andre told her, but his tone was gritty.

Again she kicked herself mentally. Their schedule was going to be screwed up the rest of the month. Tonight had been more than she could have hoped for, but that made it so much more important for her to end the night on a happy note.

Andre’s silence weighed down on her.

He twisted a band around the finished braid and wrapped his arms around her, guiding her back against him. She dug in, getting her snuggles while he combed through the other side. “Now what are you worrying about?” he asked after kissing her temple.

“Nothing, just thinking about the holidays.”

Andre’s biceps tightened around hers. “Are you going to be okay? If you think you’re going to have a panic attack, just say something and I’ll—“

She smiled. “No, no. I don’t mean that.” Although the anxiety she always had at holidays was there, too. “We’re gonna be so busy is all. You fly out tomorrow, then we have all those parties next week. Just not a lot of, umm, free time.” That wasn’t exactly what she wanted to say, but she didn’t want to come off as needy.

Andre let go of her hair to hug her properly. “Then we’ll make free time,” he promised. “Even if it’s just a quick shower and braiding your hair.”

She twisted in his arms so she could curl up between his legs. “You’re really good at it, by the way.”

He shrugged. “Someone had to cornrow Gina’s hair in high school.”

She giggled. “Did she cornrow your hair? It was the ‘90s. I know it was cornrowed.”

“I never had cornrows,” he said defensively. He tried to maintain his composure and failed. “I might have had a huge afro,” he admitted.

Imogen’s eyes lit up. She reached up and stroked his smooth, shaved head, trying to imagine how it would feel to dig into a soft, wild mess. “Oh my god, grow it out!”

“What? No. That’s a horrible idea.”

She pouted as dramatically as possible. “For me?”

“Tell you what, I’ll grow mine if you grow yours.”

She must have paled when she figured out what he meant because he guided her head down to his chest and rocked her gently while murmuring his apologies.

She couldn’t let that hair grow. It was forbidden. She covered her nose with her hand, telling herself it wouldn’t be broken again, that threat was long gone, but she felt it no less.

“Finish my hair,” she whispered. “I think I should go to bed soon.”

 

~..~

 

Over the weekend, Andre spent his free time looking for a gift for Imogen. Not a Christmas present—he’d already gotten her two—or a souvenir. Just something to brighten her day. At breakfast on Friday, she’d looked like she hadn’t gotten a moment’s rest. Her eyes had looked so sad that entire day, and Andre wasn’t so delusional he’d believe it was his trip that made her listless.

He had no idea what to buy her. Two months of formal dates and casual dinners and intense sessions in Hell and sweet kisses, and he had no idea what she liked. Was gaming her only hobby? No, she did outdoorsy stuff. She kayaked, but he never thought to ask if she hiked or camped. What did she do in the winter? He didn’t think she watched TV—sometimes they spent the evening on the sofa, but she didn’t seem any more or less interested in any of his selections—but did she read? She was really good at math; did that translate into any activities?

How did he not know any of this? And he didn’t want to risk stepping on another Imogen landmine, so he splurged on more Christmas gifts for Cor and got Imogen nothing. If she didn’t know he tried to get her a gift and failed, she wouldn’t be disappointed.

But then the gods pointed their middle fingers right at him and delayed his flight four hours due to thunderstorms in Atlanta. In December. Because if there was one irrefutable truth about north Georgia, it was that the weather did whatever the hell it wanted. He should have been home early enough for at least the shower and braiding before bed—technically it was a Hell night, but that was pushing it. Instead, it was past midnight by the time he jumped out of the car before Branson could even come to a stop. He scoured the house in search of Imogen, finally noticing his bedroom door was open. Buried beneath more blankets than he thought he owned was a shaking, Imogen sized ball.

Shit. He should have told Tina to stay up with her. Had Branson take her home, asked Sal to come spend the night so Imogen didn’t have to be driven anywhere like this.

He stripped out of his suit and lifted the blankets just enough so he could see her and slide himself into bed. She looked asleep, but her cheeks were streaked with tears. She was shivering despite the suffocating heat. He crawled in and tried to shift her just enough so he could hold her, and she cried out as though hurt.

“Where’s the picture?” she gasped, her eyes wide, wild, panicked. And blind. They focused on nothing. “Oh no, I gotta find the picture. Where’s the picture? Where’d I put it?”

He shook her gently. “Ima! Shhh, it’s just a nightmare. There’s no picture. The storm’s passed. You’re okay.”

Her eyes snapped to his. “Andre.”

He let out a relieved sigh.

“I can’t find the picture.” She said it so calmly, like it wasn’t a nightmare at all. “I put it in my jewelry box, just like he told me to. And then…they took…” Her brow pulled together in concentration. “My jewelry box. They took it, and the picture was inside. And if I don’t have it, he’ll—“

Whatever she was about to say was muffled as Andre pressed her face against his chest. “No more, Ima. Go back to sleep. It’s just a nightmare.” Even though he knew it wasn’t. She must have had a jewelry box that was stolen, a jewelry box with a photograph that she dreamt of but was absolutely real.

She inhaled deeply and tilted her head up to say, “You smell like airport.”

“Sorry.”

She crinkled her nose. “Your sheets smell better. They smell like you. You smell like airport.”

He grinned, holding back his laugh over this little confession. “Are you awake?” he asked, sure she’d never say that if she was lucid.

“I should go to sleep.” She squirmed happily when he kissed her forehead, but then her brows pulled together. “If I don’t find that photo, daddy’s gonna kill me. Just like that little girl.”

What—

She gave a weak half-shrug of resignation, dropped her head back down on his chest, exhaled, and fell asleep.

No. No, no no no no. No way she’d just said that. Nope. He must have misunderstood this entire thing, because there was no way that wasn’t dream babble.

Not if he was meeting her father on Saturday.

 

~..~

 

He tried to get out of it. The week was just as crazy as he’d predicted, and Imogen was in a mood the whole time. Not grumpy so much, no attitude—the best behaved she’d ever been, in fact, and they didn’t even have time for Hell—just…quiet. Withdrawn. She smiled sadly and said she was fine with whatever he wanted to do and sometimes stared at her computer for long minutes without actually doing anything. She was at his place more than she was with Sal, and when she was with Sal he couldn’t resist checking in on her. But Sal reminded him this was how she was at holidays, and she’d come back to life after the New Year.

When he told Sal he wanted to talk Imogen out of going to her family’s Christmas party, Sal said absolutely not. He considered that Imogen hadn’t told Sal about her past, either, but Sal was also slightly broken. They had an inexplicable relationship and she didn’t like to be touched. But she wanted Imogen to see her family.

So maybe he’d heard her wrong, or it was just a dream after all. But he couldn’t shake it, and by Saturday his mood was as sour as Imogen’s was somber. On the drive into the city, he took her hand and squeezed it. “I can turn the car right back around if you’re not up for it,” he offered, a last-ditch effort to avoid a potential confrontation. If he got any vibe, anything at all that made him think her father was the man who had hurt her, he would absolutely lose it.

“What? No, of course not.” She smiled at him, and it was as sad as it had been all week but there was a warmth he hadn’t seen much of lately. “I should visit them more than I do. They’re so close but…it’s hard for me sometimes. But they know I come back every Christmas.”

Her tone was pleasant enough, but her words dug right into that bad spot. “Why is it hard for you?”

She shrugged, her gaze turning back to the window. “Bad memories. Seeing my, umm, my family can be painful.”

This was not going to be good.

He pulled up to a small, well-maintained ranch with a driveway that circled around to the back, where there was a fire pit and an old swing set. An older white couple walked out of the garage to greet them. She had skin leathered from too much sun, box-dyed brown hair with gray roots, bright blue eyes and a huge smile. He was taller with naturally fair skin and gray hair, crinkles at the corners of his brown eyes, and a stoic expression cultivated from years as a cop. He didn’t look like a bad man, though. In fact, he looked like one of the cops Andre would have joked with in his youth rather than shy away from for fear of profiling.

The man walked right up to Andre and stuck his hand out while the woman scurried around to the other side to drag Imogen out of the car. “Andre, right?” he said with a faint eastern European accent. “Michal Zelenka. Thanks for bringing Gen down.”

Then he looked at Imogen and smiled. Andre scrutinized the look, but there was nothing suspicious about it. Would there be? The man was a captain for Atlanta PD. It wasn’t like all bad men had maniacal laughs and mustaches they could twirl when hatching horrible schemes. Not all predators drove vans advertising free candy.

“I should get everything out of the trunk,” Andre muttered.

Michal quirked his head slightly but then shook away his alarm over Andre’s gruff attitude. “Right. Let me help. Gen always goes a little nuts with the gifts.” He followed Andre to the trunk and chuckled when Andre unlocked it and revealed the bounty. “Yeah, that’s Gen right there. She said she’s making good money now. With your company, right? And the two of you are also…?”

If nothing else, this was apparently who she got her habit of trailing off from. Andre nodded silently.

“That’s good.” He looked up, and Andre followed his gaze. The woman was talking to Imogen, babbling rapidly and casting glances back at Andre before saying something to Imogen which made her blush and also look to Andre.

She was happy. She was sad, but she was happy. Whatever else was happening here, Imogen needed her mom.

Michal grabbed as many boxes as he could. “Gonna be an hour before Sheila lets me get a word in. Why don’t you come in, meet the rest of the family, have a beer?”

The family included three siblings Imogen had never mentioned, a niece and a nephew she’d never mentioned, and Sheila’s parents—also never mentioned. And they were all really excited that she was home, but no one reprimanded her for not coming by enough like Andre’s family did. They were just really happy to see her when they could.

And at the first chance to detach from her mother, Imogen clung to Andre as though he was a life raft. He watched her carefully, trying to pinpoint the source of her stress, and it didn’t seem like Michal. In fact, she was more relaxed with him than with the toddler who kept latching onto her leg.

The evening went smoothly. Dinner was eaten, games were played, presents were unwrapped. Despite the claim that Imogen went overboard, she’d clearly picked the habit up from Sheila. There was a whole work-casual wardrobe, including at least six cardigans, undershirts, and more of the boycut underwear she liked. There was also a coffee cup, hiking shoes, and a selection of colorful cotton fabric.

“What’s this?” Imogen asked.

“I ran into Sal the other day,” her sister said. “She mentioned you were quilting again. I thought you’d like these.”

For the first time that evening, Imogen was the one who reached out to hug. “They’re awesome, Molly, thank you. Do you want me to make you some dresses for Ava?” She nodded to the toddler in a cookie coma under the tree.

So now Andre knew. She quilted in the winter. That sounded cozy. He could set her up a little craft nook in the Meadow. There were still a couple days before Christmas. One of his aunts sewed, she could probably tell him what to get her so she’d be all set—

What was he thinking? Sure, she’d been around a lot lately, but she wasn’t moving in. She was adamant about staying with Sal, and he wouldn’t push it.

Presents were followed by coffee and hot chocolate for the little ones. Andre helped Sheila with the service, and when he returned he found Imogen in a quiet corner, talking with Michal. He really hadn’t gotten any negative vibes from the man all night, but he immediately sat next to Imogen and put his arm around her.

Imogen leaned in and took the coffee gratefully. “Ooh, speaking of the Hooch,” she said to Michal, “I took this big dummy kayaking over Thanksgiving.”

“Did she scare the piss out of you?” he asked Andre.

He nodded without any shame whatsoever.

“That’s my girl.”

“He taught me to kayak,” Imogen explained. “Used to go every Saturday until, what, six years ago? When that bullet clipped your—oh. Uhh, hi Ava,” she said to the little girl who had just flung herself at Imogen’s calf.

“Mama says you’re gonna make me a pretty dress!” Ava yelled. “Can you make me two pretty dresses?”

“Uhh, I guess,” Imogen said stiffly.

“Ava, you should go play with your brother,” Michal said. The little girl stumbled away, and Michal squeezed Imogen’s hand. “You’re doing good, honey.”

She rested her head on Andre’s shoulder. “Thank you,” she responded automatically.

Michal downed the rest of the beer he’d been nursing and patted Imogen's knee. Immediately, Andre was suspicious of him again. "Why don't you crack open that scotch Andre brought and pour us a couple glasses—small ones. I'm old and Andre's driving you home."

"Of course." She pecked Andre on the lips and headed to the kitchen. Completely normal.

Once she was out of the room, Michal said, "How's my girl doing?"

"Fine," Andre said shortly, suspicious of this obvious ploy for a private conversation.

"Is she? I know she can be difficult at the holidays, but she seems happier."

This was happier? "She's fine," Andre repeated.

"And the two of you—I’m sorry, I don't want to pry. We don't get to see her much and she doesn't open up to us. I'm hoping you'll—“

"She's fine," Andre snapped loudly enough that her brother, Jacob, looked up.

Michal shook his head and Jacob looked away.

"No panic attacks? Or nightmares? Or are you two not..." He chuckled. "No man wants this conversation with his daughter's boyfriend, no matter how old she is."

Andre did his best to reign in his temper, but if this man was the reason Imogen had so many fears, to even bring up her intimate life made Andre nauseous. He had to say something, and he chose his words deliberately. "Sometimes she says 'daddy' in her sleep."

"Everyone says weird—.” Michal's hand went to his forehead. "Oh. Man, I had no idea why you—no offense, I figured you might have had some difficulties with cops. And I didn't want to run you off but...that explains everything."

"I'm glad you get it, because I sure as hell don't."

Michal patted Andre's knee. It wasn't creepy, it was fatherly. "Andre, I'm not Imogen's dad. Or, not biologically. We adopted her when she was 15."

Andre felt blindsided. This wasn't a big deal, not really, except the background check on his companions was incredibly thorough, right down to the birth certificate and any previous names. It wouldn't have changed anything, but he would have remembered if she wasn't born Imogen Zelenka. And who adopted a fifteen year old? Not that it wasn’t completely awesome that these people had given their name to an orphaned teenager, but it was so much work for someone so close to the age of majority.

Michal smiled warmly. "Imogen is an amazing girl, but I'm sure you know her life's been rough, and I think you've got a good idea of what happened before we were blessed with her."

"What happened?" Andre blurted out.

"You know I can't tell you that. And I wasn't exaggerating when I said she looked happy. With you. And I see how protective you are of her. She won't let me protect her anymore, so thank you. And…don’t let on that you know. I shouldn’t be talking about it, but I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea about the situation here."


© Copyright 2017 chloecomplains. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

Other Content by chloecomplains

More Great Reading

Popular Tags