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Genre: Romance

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Chapter11 (v.1) - Salve

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 09, 2016

Reads: 1671

Comments: 7

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 09, 2016

A A A

A A A

Chapter 11- Salve

The sound of Cassie’s squeaky voice is like nails on a chalkboard. How could I have been so stupid as to call Brent in the middle of the night? What did I expect him to do anyways? It was a bad idea. Even if he did come over, he would have probed me with a thousand questions that I am in no way prepared or compliant enough to answer. For his sake as much as my own.

I keep the phone to my ear as he breathily repeats my name over and over. I’m too stunned to answer. Stunned at what exactly? Stunned that I had the nerve to call him to console me? Or stunned that he is sleeping with Cassie? We don’t have a relationship. Never did. He has the right to bed any woman he chooses. But it still hurts like hell.

“Chelsea, answer me damn it!” he demands.

The sharp bite of his tone breaks through my own reverie and brings me back to the here and now of my pathetic life. I take a deep breath and try to calm myself, not wanting to give any unspoken clues to Brent that I’m as much of a mess as I really am. “I’m fine. Sorry to call you so late. It was . . . rude. I’ll let you get back to your guest,” I tell him and I can hear him spewing profanities as I pull the phone away from my ear to end the call.

 I sit back on the couch and sip from my wine and light another cigarette. Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I think I have ever done in my life. And although I’m having a moment of weakness, I’m determined not to let this thin stick of cancer take hold of my life again. When I was a dancer, I had found that the nicotine and subconscious action of taking a puff helped to curb my appetite. These little things helped to keep my weight in check. But after being hit by that cab, I realized just how short and precious life really is.

My life was a disaster. I was in way over my head. I had a boyfriend who was on the blacklist of Public Enemy number one. He was an “enforcer” for the Di Salvo family. I always did have a thing for bad boys. And Alessandro Bartolomei is the baddest of the bad.

We met one night at a hole in the wall Italian restaurant a few blocks from the Grace studio. I was picking up a Caesar salad to take home for dinner and a table full of mob-types were huddled in a corner table. Exactly like they show in the movies. I must have caught Alessandro’s attention because as I was cashing out when he approached me. Told me things that every girl likes to hear. He said it was like taking a glimpse into the clouds of heaven the moment I strolled through the door. He was tall and extremely muscular, with a shaved head and thick dark beard. The straight lines of a tattoo peaked out just above the collar of his black button-down shirt and I ached to run my tongue along the dark ink and see just how low it went.

We were together for two years. Two years of my life were spent with a man who made his living by killing for sport. Don’t get me wrong, he was a bad guy but a fabulous lover and even better companion. He did everything he could to shield me from the dark recesses of the world he lived in. And I loved him. I loved him enough to willfully turn a blind eye to the illegal happenings of his occupation. But it was inevitable that my safe and artsy world would collide with his. And when it did, it did so in an exorbitant fashion.

After my “accident” I never heard from Alessandro again. Not when I was in the hospital or for the months it took for me to fully recover. I suppose it was all for the best. To this day the circumstances surrounding the incident remain a mystery. Perhaps it was a deal gone bad and I was a not-so-innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or perhaps it was a fluke of epic proportions. But since I never received so much as a phone call or flowers from my former boyfriend, my money is on the former.

Agent Peter Mills became my lifeline when he came to question me in the hospital the next day. He was kind and compassionate and didn’t judge me for my reckless actions. I told him the whole story. A story that haunts my dreams nearly every night. The cold eyes of death that stare at me and I know that I am the last image that man will ever see. Guilt is a bitch and I felt the need to confess my sins to a federal agent. He could have arrested me. He should have arrested me. But he didn’t. He said that my involvement in the situation was too minute in the big picture, said he didn’t want to ruin another life. We’ve stayed friends, always teetering on the edge of the possibility of something more. But I won’t let that happen. I told him as much when he kissed me for the first time. He deserves someone better than me. And honestly, I was in no position at the time for a relationship. It would be terrible to waste such a wonderful man on a rebound.

He took the rejection well and even offered me witness protection; I suppose I should have taken it. But I wanted to come home. Home to the family that I have missed desperately. And now I find myself drinking alone watching infomercials about home laser hair removal and hundred foot hoses that can fit in your pocket.

A hard thud of three raps against my front door. I know that knock anywhere. That is the knock of a cop. It makes a statement. It says: I’m polite and choosing to knock. But also conveys authority. I smash out the but of my cigarette next to the other butt and make my way to the front door, knowing full well who to expect. I swing the door open wide and stand with a defiant posture and a hard face. “I’m sure Cassie is lonely. You should go back and keep her warm,” I tell him as I walk away not willing to wait for a reply.

He steps in and slams the door shut, causing me halt and shudder from the clamor of pictures shaking on the wall. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” he grates out, his voice like ice. “You are the one who called me, practically in tears. Did you really think I wouldn’t drop everything to make sure that you’re okay?”

My shoulders slump and my head drops in defeat. He’s right. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have called. I just, I just . . .” I begin to stammer again not sure how to fill in the blanks.

Quickly, I find myself in Brent’s strong embrace. My face is smashed into the soft cotton of his t-shirt. “Hey, hey,” he says as he holds me tighter and rubs the back of my head. “It’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s okay. I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.”

And that’s it. I’m broken and the heavily reinforced cement wall that I have been working to erect for months finally crumbles to a million pieces. The tears begin to flow and the snorts of sobbing bubble from my mouth without my permission. I let it all come out. Every ounce of pain, heartache and worry that I have never been able to share with another living soul has made its exit strategy in the form of salty liquid leaking from the corners of my eyes. Brent guides me to the couch and positions me so that I am sitting on his lap, burying my face in the crook of his neck as he tries to soothe away all of my inner turmoil.

He rubs my back and my sobbing slowly turns to hiccups as the release of my pain begins to wane. I take and deep breath and revel in his scent of soap and Brent. It’s a nice salve to my wounds. Clasping my hand around his neck I give a slight peck to his collar bone and whisper, “I love you Brent McMahon.” What propelled me to make such an admission while I’m at my most vulnerable, I don’t think I will ever understand.

Brent lets out a shuddering breath at my declaration but keeps his hands firmly wrapped around my waist. “I love you too, Little One,” he replies as he drops a kiss to the crown of my head.

Gently, he lifts us both from the couch and carries me down the hall, turning left into the bathroom. With the lid closed, he sets me down on the toilet and starts the water in the tub. Assuring the temperature is just right, he flips the knob and the water pours down from the showerhead. “Is this your way of telling me I stink?” I joke.

A smile scrawls across his lips and then he has me stand. The brush of his fingertips along the hem of my dress shoots electricity through my blood. Swiftly, he pulls my dress up and off, leaving me exposed in just my floral print bra and panties. I stare into his beautiful azure eyes as his hands reach behind me and he deftly unclasps my bra, helping the garment slide down my arms and then tosses it into the hamper, next to my dress. He bends at the knee, but continues to maintain eye contact so strong that I don’t have the willpower to look away. His fingers skim along my ribs and he hooks his thumbs on the panties at my hips, then slowly pulls them down.

His nose is just mere inches from the V between my legs and he inhales deeply, “You smell like home,” he whispers and then stands. Reaching behind his shoulders, he tugs off his t-shirt and I stare at his finally sculpted chest. Then he kicks off his thong sandals and reaches for the button of his jeans.

“Stop,” I tell him as reach out for him arm, keeping him from taking this any further. I might not have the highest of moral values but I do have enough pride not take sloppy seconds. He can’t sleep with Cassie and me in one night.

His brow furrows in confusion. “Shit. I’m sorry. You’re vulnerable and I just thought . . . hell I don’t know what I thought. I just can’t stand to see you looking so defeated. I wanted to make things better for you. Even if it is only for one night.”

“That’s sweet, Brent. But that’s not really the problem. It’s Cassie.”

He lets out a ruckus laugh and even has the nerve to put his hand against the wall to steady himself as he laughs at my expense.

“Fuck you, Brent McMahon! I might not be an angel, but I have standards. One of them is that I don’t sleep with someone’s boyfriend.”

He stops laughing at my declaration and then takes a step, we’re so close my nipples are rubbing against the hair on his chest causing them to harden. Wrapping an arm around my waste he pulls me tight and slams his mouth onto mine as he sweeps his tongue inside, tasting me. So flush against his body am I that I can feel a bulge pressing into me at the seam of his pants. He pulls away and then cups my face, staring deeply into my eyes. “Cassie is not my girlfriend. She hasn’t been for a long time,” he informs me.

“But . . .”

Using his thumb and index finger he smooshes my lips together, not letting me speak a word. “Cassie called me tonight and she was drunk at some bar downtown. I picked her up and took her home. Then you called and now here I am. Trying to make all your hurt go away.”

He lets go of my lips and gives them a gentle peck and then as if he can see inside my mind he answers the question I’ve been dying to know. “And before you can ask, I haven’t been with anyone else in months before you came home.”

I don’t have anything to say to that. Well, I do, but I’m not in the mood to pick a fight. I just want the man in front of me to make it all better. I stand there and just stare at him as the bathroom fills with fog from the running shower. He unbuttons his pants and drops his boxers. Turning me around to face the shower, “Now let’s get you washed up before the water gets cold.”

Standing inside the tub, the water cascades over us. Brent uses his magical hands to thoroughly wash my hair and massage my scalp, sending shivers across my flesh. Grabbing the poof he liberally applies my melon scented body wash, rubbing every inch of me. When he reaches my breasts, he drops the poof in favor of his bare hands. He rubs and messages my breasts as he rains kisses down my neck, pulling ever so slightly at the tight buds.

I lean into his touch and his hand wanders to between my legs. Even with the water pouring down on us, my arousal is evident. The pad of his index finger traces my slit gathering moisture and then slides between my lips. With just the slightest bit of pressure to the bundle of nerves at the apex, my knees begin to wobble.

His mouth migrates from my neck to lips as he simultaneously pushes to thick fingers inside my entrance while he uses his thumb to rub my clit.

“You are the most amazing woman I have ever know, baby,” he coos as my impending orgasm begins to crest. “Being with you feels like the most natural thing in the world.”

I’m at my peak and I know I’m about crash over the edge as he continues to talk to me. “There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I would walk to hell and back just have these sweet lips on mine. Now come for me baby.”

And I do. I do come. My body is wracked with pleasure as I convulse in his arms and milks his fingers just as he inserts a third finger, sending me impossibly higher than I have ever been. “Fuck! That’s hot,” I barely hear him say as I fall lifelessly into his arms.


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