“What time is he picking you up?” Sienna asks over the phone on Friday night.
I balance my phone between my cheek and my shoulder so I can free my hand and close my suitcase that I’ve just finished repacking. “We were supposed to leave at lunch, but Jessica called to change it and said he’d be here at five.”
“Is it weird that he’s late? Ashton doesn’t strike me as a man who would be late. Especially not for this.”
Her thoughts echo mine. It’s just after six now and I haven’t heard from him. The nerves that have been swimming in my belly all day are only intensifying with every minute he’s late. I finish zipping my suitcase closed and take hold of my phone again. “Yes, it’s weird. I tried to call him, but his phone has been engaged. Jessica’s phone has also been busy.”
“Something must have come up at work.”
“That’s what I’m thinking.” I pad into the lounge room and sink into the couch. “Tell me what you’ve got planned for the weekend.”
“I’m hanging out with Jack. He called me today after making me friend him on Facebook last night and then begging me for my phone number. We’re going to take a drive up to Nelson Bay tomorrow.”
“Is this like a date?”
“God, no. Jack might be hot, but he’s not a guy I want to date. I think he’ll be a lot of fun to hang out with, though.”
“Why wouldn’t you want to date him?”
“Are you serious, babe? Would you? The guy has some major baggage. I checked him out online last night and he’s into everything from what I can work out. Drugs, alcohol, women. No way would I go near all that. Plus, I don’t want to date a movie star that every damn woman in the world wants. And on a side note, do you know just how famous he is? I had no idea.”
“Well, I know he’s won a couple of Oscars.” Sienna and I don’t follow celebrity news. We could run into the most famous celebrity in the world and neither of us would know.
“He’s one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood at the moment. They paid him something like fifteen million for his last movie.”
Before I get a chance to reply, a knock sounds on my front door. I practically jump out of my seat. God, Ashton has me eating out of his hand. “I’ve gotta go, Sienna. Ashton’s here.”
“Go. Get your dirty on, and don’t forget to do that thing to him that I told you about.” I’d opened up to her this morning at work about feeling self-conscious with dirty talk. That led us to a conversation about sex, and Sienna had given me a heap of ideas on how to blow Ashton’s mind.
“Oh God, if I manage to pull that off, I’ll be the one who should get an Oscar.” I don’t consider myself a prude when it comes to sex, but the thought of doing what she’d suggested causes a rush of nervous energy to swell in my stomach. I’m not sure I have the confidence to pull it off with Ashton.
“Lorelei, that man is hot for you. He’s going to love anything you do to him. You’ve got this.”
I smile as I walk the short distance to the front door. “Have I told you today how much I love you?” She never fails to say just the right thing when I need it.
“No, I don’t believe you have.”
Laughing, I say, “I love you. But I need to hang up on you now.”
“Call me the minute you can and give me all the goss.” With that, she ends the call and I open the door to Ashton.
He stands on the other side staring at me through eyes that tell me he’s had a rough day. “Sorry I’m late,” he says, and in those words I hear just how rough his day has been. Ashton is off, and I suspect something is very wrong with him.
He doesn’t answer me straight away, but rather, rubs the back of his neck while keeping hold of my gaze. Then he says, “There’s been a fire at one of my building sites in Perth.” He pauses for a beat and when he continues, his voice is thick with emotion. “Three of my guys died in it.”
I swallow down the sick feeling his news causes and try to find the right words to say to him. Nothing comes, though, and I feel useless. In the end, I go with—“I’m so sorry, Ashton.”
“I have to cancel our plans for this weekend. I’m going to fly to Perth instead and get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
While I agree that this is the best thing he could do, disappointment floods me. I’m surprised by how deeply I feel it. I didn’t realise I was this attached to going away with him, but clearly I was. Nodding, I say, “What time do you fly out?”
He checks his watch. “In about four hours. It was the earliest we could charter a plane.”
Reaching for his hand, I gently pull him inside. “That means you have enough time for me to make you a coffee and to listen to whatever you need to talk about.”
He hesitates for a moment. It’s unusual to see Ashton hesitate, but then again, I’ve not seen him like this at all yet. Ashton is always sure of himself; this is a whole other side to him. Finally, he nods and allows me to lead him inside to my kitchen.
I busy myself with making coffee while Ashton remains silent next to me. I know his eyes are on me, because every time I glance his way, he’s watching. When he doesn’t speak, I stop what I’m doing and give him my full attention. “This has really shaken you up, hasn’t it?”
“Yes.” He rakes his fingers through his hair and blows out a long breath. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen on my developments. I hire the best construction crews and we have the best safety procedures in place. It shouldn’t have happened.” His words are a little disjointed, as if he’s trying to piece it all together in his mind as to how it could have happened.
“They haven’t been able to give you any answers yet?”
He shakes his head. “No. It’s why I want to head over to Perth now—so I can make sure they hurry up with those answers.” His voice softens when he adds, “And to speak to the men’s families.”
The fact he wants to see those families touches me. “I like that you want to do that.”
His forehead creases in a frown. “You sound surprised.”
I nod as I decide to go with complete honesty. “I’m only starting to learn all your little intricacies, Ashton. What I know of your business style so far is that you’re extremely driven to achieve your goals, you don’t seem to have a problem with pushing your way into a deal, and that you’re very arrogant about it all. This is a new side to you that I’m seeing tonight. One that I like.”
His face is impassive while he listens to what I say, to the point where I’m not sure how he’s taking it. But I’ve never held back with him, and I won’t start now. If we’ve got any chance at a relationship, we’re going to need full honesty.
When I finish speaking, he slowly moves in front of me. This brings back memories of the night he made me come in my kitchen, and a wave of desire unleashes through me. “Promise me you’ll never stop being so damn honest with me,” he says, his voice husky as hell.
My breathing grows shallow as his eyes drop to my chest. I never want the way he watches me to change. Ashton could spend a whole week with me without talking and I’d never beg him to utter a word so long as he looked at me the way he is right now.
I place a hand on his chest and slide it up his shirt towards his shoulder. He’s wearing another one of his suits. He seems to have so many of them. Today’s is a dark blue suit that he’s teamed with a white shirt. No tie, which I love, because his top button is undone, treating me to a glimpse of skin.
“Honesty is all I have for you, so it’s a good thing you like it so much,” I say as my hand slides over his shoulder.
He places his hand on my ass. Bending so his mouth is close to my ear, he says, “You wore a dress for me.”
Every inch of me sparks with lust. His voice guarantees that. When Ashton is pleased, it vibrates not only from his body, but also through his voice. I sway closer to him. “You told me to.”
His hand glides slowly down my bottom to my leg so he can take hold of it and wrap it around him. The red dress I’m wearing isn’t fitted, allowing him access to whatever he wants. He runs his hand back up my thigh and around to my ass again, at which point he shifts his face so our gazes lock again. Approval flashes in his eyes. “I should tell you to do things more often,” he growls as he lifts me up onto the kitchen counter. Spreading my legs and lifting my dress, he drops his heated gaze to my bare pussy. I knew that wearing no panties tonight would be a good idea; I just didn’t realise how good.
I grip the back of his neck. “You don’t need to get any bossier than you already are.”
His eyes flick back up to mine. “Lorelei, you have no idea how bossy I am going to get. I’ve been taking this far too slowly with you.”
My tummy somersaults in a million different directions. I’m not sure I want to know just how bossy he’s going to get. What I am sure of, though, is the fact I like the idea of him trying to boss me around more. And they are the most confusing thoughts I think I’ve ever had in my life.
Before I get a chance to say any of this, he lifts my dress over my head and drops it on the floor. “I didn’t come here to fuck you tonight,” he murmurs, his voice drifting off as his gaze traces my body.
Stilling, he finds my eyes again. “No. I was going to phone to cancel, but I couldn’t do that to you after making you wait for me. I only intended to stop by quickly to fill you in. To be honest, what happened at work killed the hard on I had all morning while I thought about you.” He catches my mouth in a kiss, and then adds, “I should have known I can never resist you. That it only takes one glance at you and I’m hard as hell even when I didn’t think it was possible.”
I curl my hands around his neck and pull his lips to mine. This kiss is much deeper than the previous one and lasts for so long I begin to wonder if we’ll ever stop.
I’m drowning in it.
Everything he says and does draws me further under the Ashton Scott spell.
Our kiss ends, but just gives way to another one soon after. Our desire turns into a desperate need, and while we frantically free his cock and find a condom, neither of us seem ready to let the other’s lips go.
When he’s ready for me, my arms and legs circle his body and hold on tight. Ashton growls out, “Fuck,” as he enters me, and I drop my head back while his cock slams into me over and over. Every muscle in my body works hard while I cling to him and fuck him back.
I’ve never had sex this rough.
It’s as if he’s lost himself in the act.
His mouth is all over my neck and then so are his teeth.
His pace picks up the closer we move to orgasm.
Our bodies slap together, but I hardly notice it. The only things I’m conscious of are his teeth sinking into my neck and the growls coming from his throat as he takes what he needs.
And then his fingers dig into my skin as his body tenses and he roars out my name. It sends me over the edge, tumbling into wave after wave of pleasure.
I’m the one lost now.
Lost in bliss.
I’m not sure I ever want to leave his arms again.
Ashton may have finally fucked everything out of me he ever wanted to.
“Lorelei,” he says as he cups the back of my head.
I find his gaze. My thoughts are a tangled mess, but I come up with—“You never told me you could fuck like that.”
His lips twitch. “If I knew you liked it rough, I would have given you that from the beginning.”
“Oh, God,” I mutter, trying to catch my breath.
He pulls out and helps me down from the counter. “Rough appears to bring out your dirty girl.”
I bite my lip as I stare up at him. Ashton’s the best looking man I’ve ever laid eyes on and I can’t help but stare at him sometimes. I wish he wasn’t leaving. I wish he could stay with me all weekend and fuck me like that over and over. “If only you knew the thoughts running through my mind right now.”
“You’re not going to tell me those thoughts, are you?”
I smile. “No. It’ll give you something to think about all weekend. When you come home, you’ll be so—”
He cuts me off as he spins me around so his body is pressed up hard against mine. With his arm around my waist, fingers digging into my flesh, and his mouth to my ear, he growls, “When I come home, I’ll be so fucking hard for you that I’ll take you over my lap and fucking spank those thoughts out of you.”
My legs turn weak.
He really does have me under his spell now.
“You should hurry home,” I whisper.
His fingers dig into my skin harder. “I will. And when I get back, you should be ready to block a day off in your diary for me. We’ll have a lot of catching up to do.”
Something Ashton doesn’t realise is that I would block as many days off for him that he wants. That’s how far under his spell I am.
Entering my hotel room after my mid-morning run, I kick my shoes off and collapse into a chair. Sucking back as much water as I can from my drink bottle, I take a few moments to catch my breath after taking the stairs rather than the elevator. The run did me good. Cleared my head after little sleep and a crappy meeting with the heads of my construction crew. They weren’t able to give me much information, so I’ve pushed them harder to find out what the hell happened.
Flicking my wrist, I check the time on my watch and convert it to Sydney time. It’s almost two-thirty there. Picking up the phone, I call Lorelei.
She takes so long to answer that I’m almost convinced she’s not going to. When she finally does answer, she’s breathless. “Shit,” she mutters, right before a loud clattering sound cuts her off.
Chuckling, I say, “Are you okay?”
Silence for a beat, and then in a cranky voice she grumbles, “Bloody hell, I just dropped my phone and the glass shattered.”
“I can have Jessica organise a new phone for you.”
She’s silent again for a moment. “Thank you,” she says softly.
“You don’t need to thank me, Lorelei.” She sounded so stressed. I’d do anything to take that stress away.
“No,” she says and then pauses briefly. “I’m not thanking you for offering to get me a new phone, which by the way I can organise myself, but I really appreciate the offer. I’m thanking you for not chastising me for dropping it in the first place or for not having it in a case to prevent it from breaking. I appreciate that even more.”
I sit up straight. “You’re clearly speaking from experience.” The thought of anyone chastising her irritates the hell out of me.
“Who?” I demand.
She exhales. “It doesn’t matter, Ashton. Can we forget I even said anything?”
“It matters to me. Who did that to you?”
“You’re not going to let this go, are you?”
“It was one of my exes, Dean. Don’t get me wrong, he was a good guy, but sometimes he made me feel useless. Like I was a woman who couldn’t fend for herself and who needed a man to swoop in and save me.”
My chest tightens with anger, but that’s probably more because this conversation is bringing up childhood memories I’d rather forget. My father treated my mother that way. I hated watching her shrink under his reprimands and belittling. I swore I’d never treat a woman that way, and I never have. And it angers me to think of anyone treating Lorelei like that.
“I hope to God I never meet that man,” I say as I grip my phone harder. “Promise me that if I ever say anything that makes you feel useless, you’ll tell me. I never want to make you feel less than the amazing woman you are.”
Silence again. And then—“Sometimes you just say the exact right thing, Ashton Scott. If you were with me right now, I’d have my hand in your pants, wrapped around your cock, and I’d be ready to do anything you want.”
“Fuck, woman,” I mutter as I stand. “Have you been practicing your dirty talk this morning?”
“What can I say, you inspire me.”
“How about I inspire you to Facetime me and show me what I’m missing?” My hand is already wrapped around my cock.
“Oh, God, no!”
“Because you need to give a girl notice about these kinds of things. My hair isn’t done, my face is a mess, I don’t have good clothes on—”
“Well, the clothes can come off, so that’s not an issue.”
“I don’t even know what underwear I’ve got on.”
I frowned. “Does it matter?”
“Yes, it matters! It’s Saturday and I’m having a lazy day at home with no chance of you swinging by, so I probably put on my everyday underwear. There’s no way I’m stripping for you with that on.”
I stroke my cock, closing my eyes as I grow harder. Hell, I don’t need to Facetime her to come; this conversation will get me there soon enough. Listening to Lorelei in a fluster over her underwear is like verbal porn.
“Did you just groan?” she asks.
I chuckle, not sure if I did or not because I was that carried away with thinking about blowing my load while she talked. “Possibly. I’m jerking off to your underwear talk so keep going.”
“Fuck,” she mutters. “I need to get in on this.”
This time I groan loudly. The thought of Lorelei touching herself almost makes me come on the spot, but I slow it down, wanting to continue getting myself off while she does the same thing. “Touch your clit, Lorelei, and tell me when you do.”
I hear her sharp intake of breath, and a moment later, she says, “I’m touching it.”
“Good girl. Now take that finger and suck it. And then rub it over your clit again. Over and over until I tell you to stop.”
I continue to stroke my cock, but I do it slowly, wanting to draw this out.
“Oh, God…” Lorelei’s voice filters through the phone, stirring my desire for her.
“Are you wet for me? Slide that finger through your pussy and tell me how wet you are.”
She’s practically panting when she says, “I am so wet that you could easily slide three fingers inside me, Ashton.”
Jesus fucking Christ.
I suck in a long breath and squeeze my cock hard as I sit back in my seat.
“Do it. Fuck yourself with three fingers.”
Her breaths are ragged now, too. I can hear them through the phone. Just as ragged as mine. She doesn’t speak again; the only sounds I can hear are her breaths coming faster and her moans as she brings herself closer to an orgasm.
“Are you fucking yourself?”
“Yes. Oh… fuck… I’m going to come,” she says breathlessly. “Oh, God…”
The sound of her orgasm fills my ears, and I pump my dick faster in an effort to come with her. A moment later, cum spurts over me and I groan loudly again.
I’ve had phone sex before, but I’ve never come so quickly from it in my life. This is fast becoming my experience with Lorelei—sex with her is better than I’ve ever had it with anyone.
“I think we should Facetime tonight,” she says, catching my attention again. “I’ll be ready for it then.”
I love her enthusiasm. “I’ve got a dinner to go to with some of my guys here, but I’ll make sure I’m back by nine. Be ready for then. And Lorelei?”
“Yes?” Her voice is so fucking sexy when she’s just come.
“Be ready for a long night.”
My back arches off the bed as I come for the third time that night. Gripping my phone with one hand and the sheet with the other, I say, “I need a break, Ashton. My vagina is so sensitive I think it might explode if I touch it again any time soon.”
We’ve been Facetiming for an hour and a half, mixing orgasms in between laughter and conversations about our lives. It’s been amazing, but I’m honestly not sure I can go on much longer. He’s wearing me out.
His smile appears on my phone and he says, “No more orgasms, but I’m not ready to hang up yet.”
I position one arm underneath my head on the pillow and hold my phone up in front of me with the other. “Okay, tell me how you’re going with the investigation into the fire. We haven’t talked about that yet tonight.”
His smile disappears. “I learnt some disturbing news today. It seems the three guys who died had been shooting up in the bathroom when the fire started, and that’s why they died. Everyone else followed standard safety procedures, but these guys weren’t where they should have been, so at first, the foreman didn’t realise they were still inside. It wasn’t until he was counting heads that he realised they were missing, but by the time the firemen got inside, they were dead.”
“Telling their families will be awful.”
I sit up and hold my phone in both hands. “You’re going to tell them? Wouldn’t that be the foreman’s job, or the police’s?”
He runs his fingers through his hair. “I’m going to do it. These men worked on my building; I feel a responsibility to their families.”
“You’re a good man, Ashton.”
He’s quiet for a moment, the mood still sombre. And then he says, “I’m just doing what any boss would do.”
I shake my head. “No, I’m not sure they would. I think a lot would pass the buck.”
His phone sounds with a text and I wonder who it could be at this time of night. It’s late in Perth, but super late in Sydney. One thirty in the morning here to be exact.
He checks his text and then says, “What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I haven’t got any plans. Why?”
“Alessandra could do with some company at a soccer game. You up for it?”
“Sure. Just text me the info and I’ll go hang out with her. I really like your sister.” I try to stifle a yawn, but he sees it.
“You should go to sleep, beautiful.”
My tummy flutters when he calls me that. I can’t deny that I like it. “Yeah, I should. I don’t want to, but I will.”
“I’ll be home tomorrow night. I’ll take you out to dinner.”
I smile sleepily. “Sounds good. Call me before you leave so I know what time to be ready for.”
We end the call and it doesn’t take me long to drift off. I’m fairly sure my dreams tonight will consist of Ashton doing dirty things to me, because it’s what I’m waiting for from him tomorrow.
Alessandra raises her glass and clinks it with mine. “Here’s to girlfriends who get you through hard times.” With that, she downs half her glass of wine.
It’s almost six on Sunday night and she’s been at my place for two hours drinking wine and laying her heart out for me. I arrived at soccer just after three thirty to find her and Malcolm arguing. He suggested I take her home, and I’d agreed, but on the way she said she didn’t want to go home. Instead, she purchased two bottles of wine and asked me to bring her here.
I sip my wine. I’m still on my second glass, because I really didn’t want to drink, but she’d insisted I should. “What time is Malcolm coming to pick you up?” I don’t mind her staying, but I’m concerned she’s going to write herself off before he arrives.
“He’ll be here around six thirty,” she says as she narrows her eyes at me. “You haven’t told me about your past boyfriends yet. You need to spill.”
“What do you want to know?”
Her eyes sparkle with mischief as she drinks more wine. “Everything! But I especially want to know if you always go for men like my brother.”
I laugh. “God, no. I’ve never dated a man like Ashton.”
“Okay, but you’ve dated, so tell me—who was your great love? The one who got away who you never thought would.”
This isn’t something I want to discuss, so I shrug and say, “None yet. I haven’t met my great love.” It’s not really a lie. I’m not sure I have met my great love yet.
Her forehead crinkles. “Really?”
“Really. I’ve met my fair share of assholes and guys who think they can get away with treating you like crap. And sure, there’s been some guys who I thought could become more, but none of those relationships eventuated into something amazing. So, I’m still looking.”
She lifts her glass to her mouth. “Don’t you think some days that life would be so much easier without men in it?”
Laughing, I nod. “Yeah, but then they take their dicks out and show us how good life is with them in it, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
She collapses in a fit of laughter and soon we’re both laughing so hard we start crying. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s the wine mostly. It’s at that point that there’s a knock on my front door.
I answer it to find Malcolm standing on the other side. He gives me a smile and I’m instantly reminded of how much I liked him this afternoon when we met at soccer. Although he and Alessandra spent a lot of that time arguing, I’d been impressed with the way he didn’t lose his cool with her. He fought fairly and when he knew they wouldn’t be able to resolve their differences, he’d made the suggestion that she go home. And he hadn’t made it with a nasty, belittling tone; he’d remained calm and treated her with respect.
“Lorelei,” he greets me.
I return his smile. “Hey, Malcolm. Come in.”
“I’ve got the kids in the car, so I won’t come in, but thank you.”
“Oh, of course,” I say, turning to call out for Alessandra. She’s right behind me, though, so I snap my mouth closed and step aside so she can exit. As she does, I don’t miss the way Malcolm watches her with devotion. Anyone can see how much the man adores his wife. I can’t understand why Alessandra even doubts it.
“You ready to leave?” he asks.
She nods before glancing at me. “Thank you for putting up with me this afternoon. We should do this again soon. There’s a new day spa opening next weekend and they sent me two invites. If you’re free, I’d love you to come.”
“I would love that.” And I truly mean it. I’ve loved spending time with Alessandra, and on top of that, day spas are one of my favourite places to go.
“Good. I’ll call you during the week to organise it.”
We all say our goodbyes and I watch as Malcolm places his hand protectively on the small of her back to guide her to the elevator. I truly hope they can sort out their problems, because I can tell they both love each other so much. From everything Alessandra told me that afternoon, I know she’ll be crushed if they can’t work through it.
Closing my apartment door behind me, I lean against it briefly. Partly to steady myself, because the wine I drank made me a little tipsy after drinking on an empty stomach. And partly because my heart hurts thinking about love and all the problems it can cause.
Pushing off the door, I leave those thoughts behind and head into the kitchen to grab a drink of water. Ashton will be here any minute to take me to dinner, so I need to hurry and find something to wear. I’d planned on taking my time getting ready for him, but now I’ll be lucky if I have ten minutes to spare.
A knock on the front door makes me curse. There goes my ten minutes.
I yank the door open and blurt out, “I know I’m not looking sexy yet, but if you give me—” I stop talking when I realise the man standing in front of me is not Ashton.
“Lorelei,” he says, and my heart starts beating rapidly at the voice I haven’t heard for five months.
The voice that used to wrap me in love.
The voice I thought I’d grow old with.
I sway a little and reach out to grip the door. My thoughts are a mess of confusion. Is it possible I’m imagining this? After months of not talking about him, I was just thinking about him during my conversation with Alessandra. Maybe I imagined him into existence.
When I don’t say anything, he steps forward. “Lorelei, are you okay?”
I stare into his beautiful green eyes. “What are you doing here, Boston?”
He can’t be here.
I can’t do this now.
Before he can answer me, a commanding voice speaks over us. “That’s what I’d like to know, too.” Ashton stands next to Boston, every inch of his body demanding an answer to his question. We’ve not talked about Boston yet, but knowing Ashton and his dedication to knowing everything about the people in his life, I wouldn’t hesitate to believe he knows exactly who Boston is to me.
Suddenly, I’m not sure if it’s the wine causing my light-headedness or the fact that there’s two men standing in front of me who both cause my heart to flutter and who both confuse the hell out of me because of my feelings for them.
EPISODE ELEVEN WILL BE LIVE ON THE 24TH OCTOBER