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.

Chapter26 (v.1) - The Audition

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 10, 2015

Reads: 952

Comments: 4

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 10, 2015

A A A

A A A

“I think I might wear an ugly Christmas sweater tonight.”

Andre’s hand stilled. “Why would you do that?”

“Sal bought it for me last year. We were supposed to go to an Ugly Sweater party, but then we, umm, didn’t. I saw it in my closet when I was packing my overnight bag and thought it might be fun.”

Andre resumed his gentle scrub of Imogen’s back. “Fun?”

She’d never put any thought into washing her back. She was sure it happened as part of the mindless showering ritual, but she’d never consciously thought, man, my back is dirty. I should scrub that. Sharing her shower time with Andre made it an essential, delightful step. “Or, I don’t have to. I, umm, brought other stuff, too.” She closed her eyes to better savor the sensation of the soap, the bath pouf, and Andre’s hands as they traveled down her back to give her rear some extra attention.

He nibbled her shoulder. “You should wear the ugly sweater.”

His hands returned to her waist. She leaned against him so he could reach around to her belly. “Do you have an ugly sweater?”

“Certainly not.” He guided her legs apart to slide the pouf between them. She grabbed his wrist, but not to stop him as she had their first few showers together. Now it was more of a safety net; he could wash her there as long as she was able to push him away if she needed to.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be careful,” he said softly. And he would be. He was always careful now, had been since his trip. It was nice, but she missed Hell. His family would spend the night tonight, but they wouldn’t stay late tomorrow. Hell sounded like a good way to spend a quiet Christmas. Well, maybe not so quiet.

She forced herself to exhale.

“There, all done.” He rewarded her with a sweet kiss on the lips that ran a pleasant tingle down her freshly washed back. Those little calming kisses had become a lot more frequent, too. She guessed it was because he knew how fragile she was this time of year, and she did appreciate that. She never thought she’d be someone who enjoyed playful touches or lingering gazes, but romance was a surprisingly powerful drug.

“Okay, your turn.” She took the pouf from him and poured fresh, manlier scented soap on it while they both spun around so she could wash his back.

“Exactly how ugly is this sweater?”

No, this was her favorite part of showering together. With Andre faced away, she could take her time appreciating his form, tracing the trails of soap as it cut through the ridges of his muscles, tensed from her light touch. “It lights up.”

“That sounds…festive.”

She smiled and followed the soap lower. She liked his bunda, too. “I’m in a festive mood.”

He grabbed one of her hands and squeezed it, and she felt her heart go squishy again. “I’m glad. I was worried you’d be completely fried by now.”

“Same. I don’t know, I think surviving the, umm, my family made me feel better.” She hated that she still had to think about it whenever she referred to the Zelenkas as her family, but she was practically an adult when they took her in. She had her own brother and sister out there, nieces and nephews, too. What little she knew of them wasn’t good, but it had always felt weird replacing them with a new family.

Andre turned to face her. His smile was warm and supportive, and how was that different from family? What the hell made one person family and another not if not genetics?

“Your family, the Zelenkas, are amazing. I feel like we’re about to have the exact same conversation we had at Thanksgiving, but you should visit them more. I’ll take you whenever you want to go.”

“Really? You didn’t seem…you were weird with my dad.” She hadn’t wanted to say anything at the time, but she’d never seen Andre so abrasive outside of Hell. It was so out of character she asked Regina if he was normally standoffish with his girlfriends’ families, but that went nowhere. It would have been embarrassing if the Zelenkas weren’t so happy she’d brought a date. They loved Sal, of course, but they understood the situation—two abused girls who had found a safe place to escape.

He tucked back a lock of hair the shower had pushed into her face. “We got off on the wrong foot is all. We bonded after you passed out on my lap.”

Imogen blushed. “Sorry about that.”

He grinned. “Don’t be. Michal said you used to fall asleep in his lap all the time.”

Which probably sounded like a toddler in a princess tiara after too much Disney fun, not a college girl freaking the fuck out because her family name had come up in Abnormal Psych. Neither interpretation made her feel better about being a grown woman who still passed out during family functions.

“Now, no more dawdling,” he told her. “My family’s gonna be here in a couple hours.”

Imogen bit her bottom lip. “Okay, let me just finish scrubbing you.”

He was quiet while she washed his chest, languid as she rubbed circles across his abdomen, unnaturally still as she took his relaxed member and rubbed the pouf up and down it.

And up and down it.

It twitched slightly in her hand.

“Ima…”

She slid down to her knees as she continued the gentle, coaxing massage.

“Imogen, they’re here in two hours.”

She rinsed the soap away. “Then I’ll make it fast.” She flicked her tongue around the head.

“No, if you’re gonna do it, do it right.”

“Yes, sir.”

 

~..~

Andre still felt a bit dopey when Branson arrived with his parents, Gina, and Cor in tow. He was used to a healthy chunk of downtime with Imogen after they played, but she’d laughed at him when he attempted to drag her into Heaven. No, she’d bolted upstairs—she was stubbornly refusing to move her things to Pretty Pretty Princess—the moment the water was off.

And everyone was so concerned she wasn’t standing next to Andre when they arrived they completely ignored him.

From Cor, “Where’s Gen?” and a hug so brief he blinked and missed it before she took off.

Ma and Gina were more subtle about it, but Gina shoved a shopping bag at him and then they were just a few steps behind Cor.

He glanced into the bag and saw a sweater with a department store tag still on it. Weird to be given an unwrapped present right off the bat, weirder still that Gina thought he’d wear it, but okay.

Dad stayed on the main floor, but he started with, “Did you watch the game last night? That was something,” to which Andre had no response, as he didn’t even know which sport Dad was talking about, and then said, “How are you and Imogen doing?  Your ma said you met her family, didn’t care to hear you were rude to her father. We didn’t raise you like that.”

Andre opened his mouth but didn’t know what to say. He hadn’t mentioned any of this to Ma, or anyone else. Shit, how often did Imogen talk to his family? And why the hell would she say that? “We’re fine,” he said finally. “Me and Imogen, and me and her dad. Just a misunderstanding.”

“Glad to hear it. Got the game on?” And then he was off, too, although he headed to the main floor den, whose TV was probably still set to ESPN from his last visit.

“Gonna help or what?” Branson yelled from the SUV parked in the driveway.

“What the hell just happened?” Andre grumbled while he grabbed a stack of presents from the back. “Everyone just ignored me except Dad, who chewed me out.”

Branson shrugged. “Imogen happened. You should go put that sweater on before you ruin the party.”

~..~

Best Christmas party ever.

Imogen hadn’t meant for it to turn into an Ugly Sweater party. She’d mentioned her sweater to Cordelia that afternoon—mostly to test whether it would go over with the Lachlans or not—and Cordelia had run with it. Apparently there’d been a Christmas Eve shopping frenzy in Macon for sweaters. Regina didn’t think they were quite ugly enough, so there’d also been a craft store run.

Which meant no matter what stage of the evening they were in, everyone was armed with glitter glue and puffy paint. Even Mr. Lachlan participated, tagging every single person on the back with a Rudolph sticker while he poured water at the dinner table.

The only dark cloud on the festivities was Andre, who groused all night about how itchy his sweater was, refused to participate in the destruction of anyone else’s sweater, and snapped at Imogen when she sprinkled the tiniest bit of glitter on his shoulder. Thankfully they were alone at the time—he’d pulled her to the side for a private conversation, but she never even found out what he had to say—and after he viciously berated her and she said she needed a minute alone, he didn’t try to follow her.

Not that she wanted him to, or if she did it wasn’t because she was pandering for an apology. But it was the first time she was clearly upset and Andre didn’t do anything to make her feel better. Imogen told herself it didn’t mean anything, but it burned worse than Andre’s crop.

In her room she called Sal, who was working but gave her a quick holiday blues pep talk. She sat on the bed for another minute before washing her face and returning to the family room, where everyone was waiting for her before exchanging gifts.

She sat next to Andre, but he didn’t acknowledge her. Sure, he was talking to his dad about college football--since when did he even care about football?—but not a single touch or glance her way. She tried to take his hand only for him to withdraw it. He grabbed a box and handed it to her, but that only masked the rejection from his family.

Cordelia distracted her with a second box. “Wait, open mine first!” she said happily, unaware of the chill between her father and his girlfriend.

Imogen forced a grin on her face and tore through the packaging. Inside was a new case for her cell phone—hot pink rhinestone leopard print, but Imogen didn’t hesitate to snap it on—and a handmade Save The Date card for a March event. It took a second for Imogen to understand what it was, but then she squealed and gave Cordelia the biggest hug ever.

That got Andre’s—and everyone else’s—attention. “What’s this about?” he asked.

“Okay, so please don’t be mad that I didn’t ask first,” Cordelia said quickly, barely able to contain her excitement, “but I wanted to try acting, and I know, I know, it’s gonna be a major time commitment and I probably won’t be any good at it, but I asked Imogen about it because her roommate’s an actor and she said I should audition for the Winter Musical and I promise the only reason I didn’t ask was, like, what if you did get excited but then I bombed the audition so but oh my god I got Belle. Like, Belle Belle. They’re gonna make me a gold dress and everything and oh my god Unka Dey I can do it, right?” Her hand gestures got more and more florid as she sped through until she ended with frantic jazz hands.

Andre stared blankly for a second, probably running the entire speech back through his brain at a slower speed and lower pitch, and then he gave Cordelia a hug that made Imogen’s limp in comparison. “Of course you can!” He laughed. “Why would I be mad at you?”

“Wait, don’t I get a say in this?” Branson asked.

Cordelia’s huge grin deflated. “Can I, Daddy B?”

“Well, yeah. I just thought I should get a say in this.”

With the distraction of everyone congratulating Cordelia, Imogen hazarded a glance at Andre. Whatever was wrong, this should fix it, right?

He looked really happy, but that faded slightly when their eyes met. “Thank you for encouraging her to audition,” he said, but it was stiff.

Imogen wanted to scream at him. She wanted to run to her room and slam the door. She wanted to beg him to…what, love her? No, but something kind of like that. But she couldn’t in front of everyone, so she handed him a small box. “This is from me.”

He opened it, but his disinterest in it was potent. “It’s a tie,” he commented dryly, staring at the length of chocolate colored silk.

Under the cover of the commotion over Cordelia’s announcement, Imogen said, “I thought it would look good on my wrists.” She’d practiced saying that a million times, and even the worst rehearsal sounded better than this.

Andre nodded and placed the lid back on the box. He set it down with the other gifts he’d already opened and resumed the football conversation with his dad.

Imogen felt a million miles away from the Lachlans as she unwrapped Andre’s present to her. She untied the bow carefully and peeled each piece of tape away, drawing out the process while she sank further into her own personal hell. She came up with dozens of reasons why he was mad at her, but nothing made any sense.

She was glad for the million miles of separation when she finally removed the paper and lifted the lid from the box.

It was lingerie. Not the ‘I want to wear something pretty to bed’ lingerie, either. This was something a stripper wouldn’t have to remove on stage. She would have killed Andre for giving this to her in front of his family if she didn’t already know how bad it would hurt to lose him.

~..~

Her breaking point was bedtime. The guests all went upstairs, Andre headed downstairs, and he gave no indication to Imogen of where he wanted her to go. She trudged upstairs and took only her sweater off before climbing into bed, but no. If she wasn’t with Andre right now, there was no reason to be in the house. And she couldn’t leave now.

She chased after him, nearly falling down the stairs and crashing into the Forest’s door.

“Fucking hell, Imogen,” Andre hissed as he stepped out from the Cave to investigate the commotion.

She tumbled onto her knees, collapsing into loud, ugly sobs.

Andre yanked her up by the waist and dragged her into the Forest, slamming the door behind them. “The fuck are you doing? They can hear you!”

She lay limply on the floor, wishing it would absorb her. “Why do you hate me?” she whispered.

“Ima…” He trailed off with a grunt of extreme irritation. “I don’t hate you. I’m just mad at you and I was trying to keep it together in front of everybody, so you had to antagonize me all fucking night.”

“They’re just ugly sweaters!”

“It’s not the goddamn sweaters!” he bellowed, yanking his off and throwing it down next to her. He took a deep breath and said more softly, “Why are you talking to my family behind my back?”

Imogen sniffled and struggled to sit up, doing her best to calm down as well. “I didn’t mean any harm. It’s just a school play!”

“What? No. I mean, I wish you’d said something to me bef—“

Imogen glanced up in alarm when his voice fell short.

He was walking toward his bed, his head cocked slightly. He reached out to touch the new quilt on it. “Is this…?”

She tried to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ just like she’d practiced, but barely got the M sound out before she completely broke down again.

Dr. Thorn was right: it was a horrible idea. It had been really difficult to make—emotionally; the physical skill had only needed a bit of a brush up—and there were several evenings she forced Sal to sit with her so she could get through it. She’d even made Sal spend four hours in a fabric shop so she could get the exact color palette and print patterns and quilt lay-out so it would match the rustic, lush décor of the bedroom.

And it seemed like it was worth it. When she finally finished, she felt really good, like she’d gotten over the hump and stitched away all the bad memories and was ready to make happier ones with her sewing machine. She’d even been excited to make the dresses for Ava.

And it was so goddamn stupid. It was just a fucking blanket, and he was probably going to get rid of it the moment she left because it didn’t fit his perfect life. For some reason, she no longer fit his life.

Her life didn’t fit anything.

His arms were around her then, lifting her up carefully, and she wanted to die.

“It’s beautiful. Thank you.”

Her head lolled over his arm. She didn’t breathe. Supposedly it was impossible to kill yourself by holding your breath, but it seemed easy enough.

“Ima? I got you, okay?”

It wasn’t the first time she’d tried to stop breathing, but she was older now. Wiser. She could do it this time.

“Hey, hey, hey. Look at me.”

She covered her ears to drown out his voice. It sounded almost like he cared, and she couldn’t believe that lie now. He didn’t care about her as anything more than a play toy. That was all she’d ever been good for.

He laid her down on the bed and eased her hands away. She closed her eyes tightly so she wouldn’t have to look up at him. “Jesus, Ima. You know I can’t stand when you don’t respond to me.” His voice trembled slightly.

“Let me die,” she croaked with the last of her breath, but it opened the passage for fresh air to rush in unbidden.

This time his arms crushed her when they wrapped around her, sweetly pushing the air from her lungs. “Oh, fuck. I’m so sorry, Ima. I don’t know what I’m doing here, and I fucked up. I’m such a fucking asshole.”

“I hate Christmas so much,” she moaned. She didn’t know where that came from, but once it started she couldn’t stop. “Daddy got me this doll. Mommy had all these dolls that I wanted to play with but I wasn’t allowed to, so I kept getting in trouble because I took them anyway. And Daddy got me one of my own for Christmas, and he said it was special, but it wasn’t. It was mean and it didn’t play with me and it wouldn’t let me tell anyone when Daddy—“

On her back again. Andre’s hand clamped over her mouth. He looked scared. She tried to keep talking, or she definitely kept talking but the words couldn’t get past his hand. And he kept shushing her, but it was impossible to stop. The calm, logical Imogen inside her, the one who told her she couldn’t run up to every stranger on the street and beg them to teach her how to be human, was glad Andre couldn’t hear her, but she couldn’t actually stop the words from spilling out until he lifted his hand away so he could press his lips to hers.

His hands slipped under her back. She grabbed his biceps and squeezed tightly, desperate for any anchor. And then he eased his weight down onto her, holding together her heart before it could burst. She wanted him to smother her, she wanted her last moment to be Andre and nothing else, but he didn’t stop kissing her until she let go of his arm to swipe furiously at her tears.

He boxed her cheeks between his hands and pressed their foreheads together. His breathing was as ragged as hers. “I’m so fucking stupid,” he whispered. “Give me another chance, okay?”

Imogen thought she was steady, but she said, “I don’t understand what’s happening,” and it came out a mess. “Why did you do that? What did I do?” And then she was fighting back her sobs and losing miserably.

Andre stroked her hair and kissed the trails of her tears. “Shh, deep breaths.”

She nodded adamantly, but quieting and breathing were both a challenge right now.

"You didn't do anything wrong," he swore. "Nothing to justify how much of a dick I was tonight. I just don't get why you would tell Ma I was rude to your dad."

That was all he needed to say. The story built in around it, and she wasn't sure if she was more furious at herself for completely breaking down—God, hopefully he didn't read too far into what she said, she definitely didn't want to deal with that now—or at him for being every bit the dick he said he was.

She laughed, which was still a little bit sob but that was okay. "I didn't tell her that, I swear. It wasn't even your mom. I just didn't know what to do about you and my dad. So I asked Regina if you had any issues with Cordelia's birth mother's family. Like, if that situation was bad, maybe you're just always weird with girlfriends' families. And as soon as I asked she kept prodding me until I told her why I was asking. And I didn't say you were rude, I swear! I think I said blunt or something."

Andre started laughing, too. "Fucking hell. Next time, promise me you'll talk to me first."

She nodded.

He nudged her chin with his nose so he could kiss her neck. "And I promise next time I'm mad about something, I'll talk to you instead of being a jackass all night."

She rubbed the back of his head. "Thank you."

He tugged the straps of her undershirt and bra away to nuzzle her shoulder. "And I don't ever want to hear you say anything about dying again."

She closed her eyes and nodded. It had been a long time since she’d seriously pondered suicide as a solution to her mess, but that didn't mean the thought wasn't always looming in the darkness.

"And I love the quilt. I want to make love on this quilt."

She squirmed, enjoying the sound of that. Make love. "I don't want to ruin it," she protested.

He gave her that look, the one which told her to stop thinking about laundry, but said, "I think the tie would look better over your eyes. If I did it right, you could still peek under it. I think you'd like that."

She blushed.

"There you are."

She sniffled and swiped her last tears away. "I can't believe you gave me lingerie in front of your family. What if your mom had seen it? Or Cordelia?"

"They would have gotten a big laugh about it. Sex isn't a secret in my family. I might not say anything about my, you know--"

"Sex dungeon?"

"Right, sex dungeon—oh, I have another present for you."

Thank God. Not that she expected a lot, but the first present wasn't really for her so much as it was for him.

He traced the line of her collarbone, kissed the hollow of her neck, and stood. "I'm gonna go get it."

"Where is it?"

Andre glanced toward the next room. It was a Hell night, and he'd planned to give it to her there.

Imogen stood on wobbly legs. "Let's go get it, then."

There was need to translate. "Absolutely not. We don't go in that room together if we're not both sober and rational and steady, remember?"

Imogen laced her hands behind his neck and met his beautiful eyes. "Look at me. This is steady. Maybe it's raw, but it's steady. I want you to give me my gift how you intended to, I want you to punish me for making a mess of tonight, and I...I need you to need me like I need you. Without ruining the quilt. Took me days to make."

He was silent too long before he nodded and said, "I'm going to need you as much as I always need you, because it would be impossible to need you more. And I'm going to punish you exactly how I want to punish you."


© Copyright 2017 chloecomplains. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

Comments

Other Content by chloecomplains

More Great Reading

Popular Tags