Blurred (Connections #3.5)


“No, just answer the question.”

“Um, yeah, what guy doesn’t?”

She snorts and takes one last hit. “My fiancé, that’s who.”

My eyes meet hers. “Well, baby, shame on him.”

And as if what I said was the cue for a scene she’s been rehearsing, she unties her robe and lazily reclines back on the arm of the couch. I watch her with amusement. What the f**k world am I in? Of all the things I expected from this crazy job, this was the last thing I envisioned happening. She pulls her knees up and spreads her legs. I can see she isn’t wearing anything underneath her robe. I haven’t gotten any in a while and the sight of her slick bare flesh makes me harden on the spot.

Raising her brows as if she’s daring me, she runs her tongue over her lip. I don’t move a muscle toward her, yet I can’t help but stare. I try not to, I really do, but skinny or not, she’s got a hot body and looking at her pu**y is an absolute turn-on. I shouldn’t even be thinking what I’m thinking. What she’s offering should never happen on the job. Plus she’s engaged for Christ sake. I know all of this—but I’m only human.

A quick fifteen minutes later, I leave her suite. She closes the door behind me and I lean against it. My stomach is in a knot again. My first interview and I let the bride-to-be blow me. Fuck me, I can’t believe I just did that. What the hell is wrong with me?

I’m mentally scolding myself when the elevator doors slide open and I lift my bowed head. Needing to look twice, I can’t believe who’s walking my way. Her h*ps sway in her tight little dress and she walks like a runway model in those high heels. My heart pounds at the mere sight of her. I prop a foot up against the door and watch her slow her pace. She fumbles around in her purse and when I clear my throat she looks up. Our eyes meet, but she quickly drops her gaze. Keeping her head down, she continues to walk in my direction. I catch her peek up a few times from under the curtain of red hair now shielding her face. I stifle a laugh. She knows I’m watching her, there’s no way she can’t. When she walks past me I consider putting a foot out to stop her, but she takes a step back and pauses right in front of me. She doesn’t look at me, but her lips straighten into a thin line. I can’t help but grin. “Can I help you?” I ask.

Her mouth falls open, but no words escape. She immediately closes it. Crossing my arms over my chest, I have to drop my head to stop from laughing at her pouty lips. She tucks a lock of that long red hair, no longer wild, but smooth and straight, behind her ear and when she looks up her emerald green eyes bore into mine. The hallway is so quiet I can hear her breathing, or maybe it’s mine. She points to the door I’m leaning against and asks, “Is that room 1516?” Her voice is mildly shaky.

I swivel my head to look at the number, even though I already knew it was. I shove my hands in my pockets and tilt my gaze to hers. “I believe it is, S’belle Wilde.”

She bites her lip and I can’t tell if she’s flirting with me or in deep contemplation.

Her eyes narrow. “It’s Bell, actually, and you’re in my way.”

I can safely tell by her tone now that she’s not flirting. She shuffles her feet back and forth and I realize she might be nervous. But when she scrunches her nose and huffs like she’s annoyed with me, I have to laugh.

“Hmmm . . . I like S’belle myself,” I tell her, and for a second I think she might actually clock me.

She huffs again and adds an eye roll. “Whatever.”

I have to turn my head to stifle another laugh.

“Do you mind?” she asks, placing one hand on her hip, the other pointing to the door. Does she think she’s intimidating me? Because all I can think about is how cute she looks in that pose.

She starts to turn a little red and I don’t want to piss her off so I stand up straight and move to the side.

I place my hand on my stomach and bow slightly, extending my hand, “It’s all yours, Bell.” I stress Bell to show her I paid attention.

Her face goes blank. Now what did I do? She turns away as quickly as she can and just as she’s about to knock, she pauses and looks over at me again. “What are you doing lurking outside of Sloan Bennett’s door, anyway?”

Her tone is so sassy that I can’t help but grin. “I just interviewed her for the society page. What are you doing, may I ask, lurking in the hallways of her hotel?”

Her jaw drops. “You write for the wedding column?” Then she mocks me with a laugh.

I feign offense because that’s all I can do—something in the universe isn’t right if this is now my job. I grab my heart. “You wound me with your mockery.” I want to show her that I can laugh at myself.

She glances at her wrist as if checking the time and ignores the fact that she’s not wearing a watch. She stands even straighter. “Well, I’m Sloan’s wedding planner and I’m late.” She turns around and knocks on the door.

I don’t say anything as the door opens, and I watch her walk inside. She doesn’t give me a second glance, but I give her one. I stand there and breathe in the scent of lemon left in the air. Then once the door is closed, I walk toward the elevator and remember that smell from another time.

I smelled her sweet scent the first time she approached me in the library, although I wasn’t sure what it was. The next time we ran into each other I knew for sure she smelled of lemon. Yellow, juicy, ripe lemons like I’d pick from the trees in my mother’s yard so she could make fresh lemonade. Her scent drove me crazy. It created urges in me no other girl should have been able to provoke. Seeing her made me feel like the devil was really trying to f**k with me. Especially when it seemed everywhere I went she was there—the library, the campus coffee shop, and even my own frat house. I did enjoy talking to her but knew our conversations would never be contained to a strictly friends level. I did my best to minimize our contact. I knew she wanted more than I could give—it was in her tone every time we spoke and the way she flirted with me. I had a girl that I loved so I walked away every time . . . until the night came I no longer could.

At the sight of the elevator doors opening to let me enter, I let go of the memory of how she used to watch me, like she knew me, like she got me. And instead I think about how her sexy little walk caught my attention—I liked it. And I still do.

Chapter 7

If I Never See Your Face Again

Long hair drapes over me, tickling my chin, my chest, my legs as she moves down my body—silky red locks that I could twist my fingers around. Soft flawless flesh, warm to the touch, that smells so delicious I wanted to taste her. Bright green eyes, like emeralds, peek up at me from under thick, long lashes—eyes I could get lost in. Lush full lips sear my skin with each kiss, so wet, so full, and always eager—a mouth that commands, demands.

Fuck. I wake up in a cold sweat. I’ve been dreaming of her, of our one night together in college, ever since I saw her in the hotel. It was a night full of passion, of my darkest desires being met, but I was in love with Dahl. I never should have slept with someone else while I was in a relationship. So why did I let her tempt me? Why had I given in to her? The simple truth was I wanted her beyond my willpower to fight that urge. For years I had tried to expunge that memory because I was committed to Dahl. But it was a night I could never completely erase from my mind and now it’s back.

The first half of rush night my senior year will always be a blur but the last part I’ll never be able to forget.

It was a wild party with kegs lining the room and bowls of food overflowing on every available surface. Easy girls made their way around talking to new pledges. Rush night—for a brother it was unlike any other night of the year.

“Pledging f**king sucks,” one new recruit had the nerve to say out loud as I passed by.

I turned on my heels. “Oh yeah. Why?”

“Dick sucking,” he said matter-of-factly, obviously not having any clue who I was.

I almost spit my beer out. “Dick sucking?”

“Well, not literally.”

I held my empty cup out for him but he didn’t catch on.

Someone grabbed it except it wasn’t the cocksucker I wanted to refill it.

“I’ve been assigned as your little sister,” the cute voice said gleefully.

My eyes went right to her chest. She was wearing a see-through top that drew my attention. But I quickly reverted my attention to the poor sap who should have walked away the minute he opened his trap. He stood there opened-mouthed, now ready to fulfill his role.

She disappeared and we both watched her ass in that tight skirt. I turned to him and clapped my hand on his shoulder. “I think it’s time for you to head out.”

He swallowed before trying to respond.

I moved my hands toward my pants and made as if I was unzipping them. “Unless you’d like to,” I dipped my chin.

He shook his head looking like he might vomit.

I laughed hysterically. “Hit it and come back when you have your sexual orientation under control.”

When I turned she was staring at me. “What?”

“That’s not really a part of hazing is it?”

“Fuck, no. I was just busting his balls.” I grabbed my beer. “Thank you. . . .”

“S’belle,” she finished for me.

“I know your name,” I said and then I excused myself to talk to some other potential pledges.

She refilled my beer so many times I lost count and before I knew it the night was over and I was sending the new boys out on a scavenger hunt to find a pair of pink lace panties. The house was unusually empty. It was just her and me and a few others. By that point I was so wasted I could barely see straight. I had propped myself against the wall, leaning forward with my legs crossed at the ankles to keep my balance. I’d just called Dahl and told her not to come over, that I was headed to my room to pass out. As soon as I slid my cell in my pocket she was standing in front of me taking my cup.

“I’m good.” I put my hand out.

She batted her eyelashes and I had to laugh. I knew the other girls must have given her tips on how to behave. I found it f**king ridiculous when girls started molding themselves to what you wanted them to be, but the other guys loved it.

With slightly slurred words she asked me, “Did you have fun tonight?”

“What’s not fun about naïve college freshmen?” My words were even more slurred than hers. I laughed. “What about you?”

“I’ve had more.”

I raised a brow. “Oh, yeah? Do tell.”

“I spent my freshman year in France and the nude beaches were always full of fun.”

My eyes may have been unfocused, but I straightened my stance as my c**k swelled. Her voice was sultry, her words seductive, and her body language deliberate. My mouth quirked and I found myself responding without thinking. “When you went to the beach did you do the American thing and wear your bathing suit?”

She leaned in closer and her breath rushed over my skin. “No, I didn’t even bring one to France.”

I’m sure my eyes widened and I tried to compose myself, pressing my back against the wall to stop myself from f**king her right there in the living room, although I was pretty sure that was what she wanted. My pulse was throbbing at the base of my neck and my heart was pounding. She glanced down at my jeans and I know she saw the bulge there. When she bit her lip I averted my gaze. Fuck was she hot. Her show went on as she graphically painted me a mental picture of life on the Riviera. I tried to avoid staring at her. But when she smiled, I couldn’t help but smile back and the urge to take her right there was stronger than ever. I knew I had to get out of there. So before she could finish, I abruptly interrupted. “Excuse me, I forgot I have something I have to do.” I turned and walked away without even glancing back.