Blurred (Connections #3.5)


Silence occupies the line for a few moments too long, but I can hear her breathing. “I’ve been in LA for a while.”

“How long is a while?”

“I actually got a job here.”

“That’s f**king fantastic news. What are you doing?”

“Managing Sound Music Magazine.”

I turn around on the stool and almost fall off. “Aerie Daniels’s job?”

“No, I work with her. I moved here in January to prep the new launch. I’ll be managing the entertainment news side. We publish our first edition this summer.”

“So why are you just getting around to calling me?”

“Shitty day. Was looking for someone to have a drink with me and your name popped into my mind.”

“Where are you staying?” I ask in a low whisper.

“I’m in Marina Del Ray at the Palazzo Apt 310.”

I clear my throat. “Can I come over?”

“Yes.” Her voice sounds familiar and wanting.

“I’ll be there soon.”

I head back to where I parked. The night air assaults me as I mount my bike and I feel instantly sobered. I eye the traffic ahead. Red taillights glow for miles. I turn onto Fairfax a little too sharply and almost lose my balance. Maybe I shouldn’t be driving? I keep the speed low throughout the short ten-mile ride making the ride easy and manageable. When I come to a screeching halt at a light, I think about Kimberly—how I felt about her. I really did have feelings for her, but I lost sight of them when I thought I’d have Dahl again. Yeah, it was shitty of me.

A sudden twinge of guilt floods me for all the women I’ve been with since I’ve seen her last. I swallow it down and try not to think about it as I enter the elevator of her swanky Mediterranean-style apartment building. But when I knock on the door the guilt returns. The moment she opens it, I forget about everything. She looks f**king beautiful. A slinky dress, no shoes, hair down—gorgeous.

I grin at her as I lean against the door.

She stares at me for a long while with a blank expression on her face and a glass of Sangria in her hand. I bow my head, wondering if she’s going to invite me in.

“Hi,” she says very softly.

My eyes snap to hers. “Hi, yourself. You look amazing.”

I take her hand and kiss it and her smile widens.

“Are you going to stand out there all night or do you want to come in?” she asks.

“I was just waiting to make sure I was welcome.”

She moves to the side and I figure out she’s not wearing a dress, but a silky nightgown. Her tits protrude against the tight fabric and I’m instantly aroused. I step in and when she crosses in front of me to close the door, I lean down and kiss her cheek. When I do I smell the lemon slice wedged on the side of her glass. She doesn’t pull away, so I slide my mouth to hers and lock our lips together. I taste the sweet flavor of sangria on her lips and I pull her closer to me. A sudden surge to devour her overtakes me. She feels so soft and tastes so good.

Lifting my head, I glance around. We’re standing in her living room and a large purple sofa is only a few feet away. Soft music and candles surround us as the feeling of seduction fills the air. With my hands on her hips, I walk her backward and her free hand tangles in my hair. We reach the sitting area, and with my eyes locked on hers, I can tell her pupils are dilated. I look around and see a bottle of wine, a plate of oranges and lemons, and a clear glass pitcher with a small amount of red liquid left inside it.

“Are you sure I should be here?”


I grin at her and she smiles back. She circles her fingers around the rim of her glass and picks up the lemon wedge. She sucks on it and drops it inside. My dick throbs at the sight. I take the glass from her and set it down on the table. She watches me with labored breaths—her stare capturing mine. As I straighten, I notice her lips part and, unable to hold back, I seize her mouth so that I can taste her sweetness, practically wanting to devour her.

When I flop us down on the sofa she breaks free of my lips.

“You’ve been drinking,” she remarks, pulling away. But her tone is anything but accusatory.

“So have you.” I point to the bar.

She smirks. “I have. Do you want one?”

“No, I’ll just taste it from your lips,” I answer, and let my mouth find the sweet spots down her neck I remember she always liked me to kiss.

“I’m in a really bad place right now,” she breathes.

“That makes two of us.”

She dips her head back. “Then maybe we can help each other out.”

“Ummmhmm . . .”

“I know about everything that happened to you. Why didn’t you ever tell me about it?”

Her words are mumbled as we grope each other, but I understand them. I pull away and lift her drink from the table for a sip. But when the lemon hits my lips I hand it back to her. “Finish it.”

She downs the rest of the liquid and then stands. She tips her chin toward the bar and moves that way. Watching her, I can see through the thinness of the fabric covering her body that she’s n*ked underneath. A sparkling black counter separates the kitchen from the living room. Her apartment is entirely her—upscale and modern. Oak cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and a fireplace now blazing with flames. I suspect there is even a private terrace but the blinds are closed and I can’t tell for sure.

“You live here alone?”

“No, with my sister. She moved to LA with me.”

I nod. “Is she here?”

“No, it’s just the two of us.”

“Make us both a drink and show me your bedroom.”

Her gaze takes me in and her eyes stop at the tent forming in my pants. The corners of her mouth tip up. “My, aren’t you bossy.”

She comes back into the living room and turns to make us both a drink. I move closer to her so I can swipe her hair to the side and kiss her neck. I breathe in deeply, smelling the lemon she’s squeezing into the sangria. When she rounds the glass with it, my teeth tug at the thin strap on her shoulder. “Take this off.”

Her breath catches as she sets the wine bottle down. She twists in my arms and does as instructed. I step back so I can watch her as she slips her negligee down her shoulder and lets it fall to the ground. She stands n*ked before me, and when she turns to hand me my drink, I cup her ass. We both gulp our drinks in silence until the desire for her overwhelms me. Setting my glass down, I take hers. She licks her lips and I can see the pulse in her neck throbbing. “Forget the bedroom.”

I slam my mouth to hers, then slide them down to her breast and suck on one of her ni**les. She moans and her hands go to the fly of my pants. She unzips them. “Maybe we should talk first,” she moans.

But her hands are already stroking me—we’re way past the time for talking. I try to focus, but I’m seeing two of her and I don’t want to discuss anything right now. “Talk is for later, gorgeous.”

Her hands continue their magic and mine roam her body. My fingers travel down over her h*ps and to her clean-shaven pu**y. I always loved that about her. I stroke my thumb back and forth over her cl*t and she purrs. I insert one finger inside her to find that she’s already soaking wet. A moan escapes her lips and I know she’s ready. I dip my head to kiss her and the smell of the lemon intoxicates me. In that moment the dynamics between us shift.

“Turn around,” I order through gritted teeth.

She turns and braces her palms on the counter and I reach into my pocket for my wallet and pull out a condom. I roll it on quickly and just as hastily push into her. I watch myself in the reflection of the microwave door as I slam in and out. Blonde hair turns into red and I lose myself back in time in a moment—in a fantasy come alive that I’ve never been able to forget.

She moans out in pleasure and I come fast and hard, not waiting for her. I crave the release and I can’t hold on. And the words slip out without intention. “Fuck, S’belle, you feel so good.” An instant later she’s pushed away from me. I look at her and she has tears in her eyes. “Kimberly, I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that.”

She turns around, grabs her nightgown, and heads out of the room. She stops at the doorway leading to a hallway and looks at me. “I don’t know who S’belle is, but just so you know I was thinking about someone else too while you were f**king me. I just didn’t call you by his name.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Her hand swipes the room. “This wasn’t set up for you. So don’t worry about it.”

I ignore her jab and zip my pants up. The pain that never stays away for long comes rushing back worse than ever. Guilt assaults me. It was wrong of me to say someone else’s name with her. I respect this girl too much to be such a prick to her. It’s just everything that happened today has me all f**ked up.

I follow the hallway and see a light on under a door. I knock lightly. “Kimberly, I’m sorry.”

With a small sobbing voice she says, “I go by Kay now. Kimberly is long gone.”

I rub my hands over my face and try to figure out what to say to make this better. Nothing sounds right in my head so I do what she asks and leave, knowing this is just another relationship I have managed to f**k up.

Chapter 11

Rock Bottom

I’m flying down the road, seeking quiet. I’m almost at my destination when flashing lights appear in my rearview mirror. I glance at my speedometer. Fifty-five. Fuck, what’s the speed limit? Thirty up here, maybe? Fuck, f**k, f**k. The police car catches up with me just as I pass the overlook and I pull to the side of the road. I kill the engine and remove my helmet. Cool air rushes over me, but sweat pours from my brow.

A flashlight beam hits my eyes as the officer stands at a safe distance.

“Dismount the vehicle,” he calls.

I toss my leg over the bike. “I was going too fast, wasn’t I?”

The officer approaches and shines the light in my face and just stares for a few short seconds. “Have you been drinking?”

I contemplate lying, but I’m pretty sure I was swerving a little too much. “Yes, I have.” When I say those words, all that runs through my head is how f**king stupid I am to have put myself in this situation.

“Stand with your heels together and raise your arms to your sides,” he says.

“Now raise your left leg six inches from the ground while counting out loud to ten,” he instructs me, and I try, but by the time I get to five, I have to hop to keep my balance and by the time I get to eight I have to set my foot down. Shit, I don’t even think I could do that sober.

He’s conducting a field sobriety test. I’ve seen them on TV a million times. I’ve also heard they do nothing in terms of affirming or disproving one’s state, but I do what he asks. I already admitted to drinking. What more does he want—a formal confirmation? Fine.

“Touch your finger to your nose,” he says next, not saying a word about my inability to stand on one leg.

I think I manage that, though I’m not sure.

He has me complete two other tests and I have no f**king idea whether I pass either one. All I can hear is the sound of his pen scratching the surface of his clipboard. He looks up at me to ask, “Will you agree to a Breathalyzer?”

“Yes.” I’m scared shitless at this point and just want this to end. I breathe in and then blow into the plastic tube. Fuck, the gauge indicates my blood alcohol level is 0.079. And with that final result, I’m promptly arrested, cuffed, and escorted into the back of the police car. I stay silent during the ride to the station. My pulse is pounding and my ears are ringing. Fuck, what have I done?

Once we arrive, I am formally charged with driving while intoxicated. My photo is snapped and I’m moved to sit at a chair near a desk. Within a few minutes my belongings are confiscated—they say they’ll be returned upon release. I’m shoved into a holding area with at least ten other drunk men—derelicts, winos, scum, bottom of the earth. Fuck—I’m not like them! I’m not! My nerves get the better of me and I sit on the wooden bench with my head hung low just wanting to get out of here.