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Hard Candy by Piper Kay (1)

Chapter 1

Everyone in the office is giddy and overjoyed with excitement as they hug and kiss under the mistletoe, sing choruses of ‘Jingle Bells’ and any other holiday themed tune known to mankind. I think I might just yack. Their holiday slash the business anniversary spirit is making me sick to my stomach and I can’t take it. Remembering last year clearly, I almost burst into tears and make a mad dash for the bathroom.

Me and celebrations clash like oil and water now. We share a no love, hate-hate connection and I’m not looking forward to this one. The last was a complete and utter disaster of a fucking twelve months. One I never saw coming and certainly can’t change now.

Long story short, Jordan and I were engaged. Everything was in perfect harmony in my world and our relationship was stronger than it had ever been. I loved him whole heartedly, proving it on a daily basis and he loved me too. He was a great man, an exquisite gentleman, and treated me like royalty. The perfect Prince Charming in my eyes. Jordan proposed to me just a week before our annual Christmas party and things were finally smooth sailing in my life. I had an awesome job that mixed so well with my incredible future as Jordan’s husband. I couldn’t wait for the two of us to become one, joined in the heart, mind and body. Soulmates.

The annual office party was all set and once it was over, he and I were to spend what would have been the first of our many celebrations together. I arrived at the party, showing off my beautiful new surprise ring to a few friends who worked in other departments. Most men don’t do engagement rings, but we felt it was a devotion of our love for each other so we broke the standard rules, making our own. I was one hundred percent happy, content, and fulfilled. I was devoted to him like no other before. There wasn’t a better word for us being together, than perfection.

Everyone there was thrilled for me, but they all insisted I blow off the remainder of the party and get home to my future husband and make happy memories to my new fiancé. I couldn’t have agreed more and took them up on it immediately.

After making my rounds and saying all my goodbyes to everyone, I left out, headed back home to the little apartment Jordan and I had been sharing for six months prior to our engagement. It was mine originally, but I had asked him to move in.

As for the night, I had it all planned out, including the perfect new leather studded wear outfit to make our first anniversary type together an unforgettable evening. Boy was it ever.

Jordan would be so surprised, he wasn’t expecting me until after midnight. Excited, I fumbled with the keys to unlock the door, and snuck in quietly. My heart was beating fast in anticipation of making this a night to always be remembered. I sure did hit that nail on the head with a hammer. Tiptoeing down the hallway to our bedroom, the light shone dimly from under the door and sounds from the TV were coming from within the room. I heard Jordan’s deep and raspy laugh, he must have been on the computer talking to friends or on the phone. I loved his laugh. It’s one that engrossed and held you hostage. It was addictive, as many things about him were.

Jordan stayed home from the company Christmas party because he’d had a really long work week, putting in overtime daily to wrap up for the extended weekend off, and our upcoming wedding shortly after that on New Year’s day. He was just too worn down and tired out to deal with it all. I understood but fulfilled my duties and went without him to keep up appearances and show off a bit about being a taken man. Not to mention it was also our annual office party for when our company was first formed. We were up and running more than we ever expected.

Our night was going to be special. With my hand on the doorknob, I turned it and opened the door with a huge grin on my face.

“Surprise baby,” I lowered my voice to a whisper. I didn’t want to scare him half to death.

The bag with my new fetish gear slipped loose from my fingers and quietly dropped to the floor. Tears immediately puddled in my eyes, blurring my vision. What I saw was nothing like what I had expected or would’ve ever imagined in this lifetime. I never want to witness it again, not in a million years. I stood frozen in my tracks, my mind played through piles of tricks trying to rearrange and piece together something or find some sense of normalcy in what I was seeing, but there was none. Nothing fit.

Jordan was in our bed, with the sheet partially draped over his right leg. I blinked in what seemed like slow motion, then shook my head from side to side in hopes of clearing the vision before me into something that made sense. What I saw… it made no sense whatsoever. Jordan was completely naked beneath the sheet and he… he wasn’t alone. Only days after proposing to me, a blond man was on top of him, and wore nothing more than a jingle bell braided necklace around his neck and a Santa hat. The long necklace jingled every time he moved to press his body down onto my Jordan.

At a loss for words, not sure if I was going to pass out. I reached out and grabbed the door jamb for balance. The man who was saddled across Jordan, my fiancé not his, like a brahma bull, started to buck his hips and sway his body against him not missing a thrust or pump, all the while Jordan’s hands grabbed and clawed down his back, leaving red marks as proof of his infidelity.

“Tell me how much you want me Jordan.” The man asked.

“Oh yeah baby, I want you so bad. I think about us all the time and miss us when we’re not together.” He threw his head back and bit into his bottom lip.

Jordan delivered his final thrust into him and let out a long uncontrollable groan, then opened his eyes and spotted me for the first time. Mystery slut man didn’t look away or break eye contact, instead he grinned. Jordan’s moans of pleasure and breaths of ecstasy echoed through the room, our bedroom. My stomach knotted up and the urge to vomit overwhelmed me.

When Jordan saw me, he quickly tried to hide the expended and spent look of rapture and intoxication. It was spread all over his face, buried behind pools of beaded sweat on his forehead from his participation in the actions that were being taken, and he pushed the stranger off of him. The man was so bold and hateful that he took his time as he climbed out of our bed, not even trying to cover himself, make an excuse, or anything. At least Jordan jumped up and wrapped the sheet around himself, pretending it mattered. That he cared about me. Not that it made a difference anymore, our lives were permanently blown to smithereens from that moment forward.

“Appreciate the borrow, he’s fiercely amazing.” Mr. No-name rattled off at me and my temperature spiked.

Under any normal circumstances, his voice box would have been snatched and then shredded from his throat, but instead, total and utter confusion overcame me. The pain was too much to bear and the anger overwhelmed me to a level I never knew I possessed. I had to get out of there. I shook my head in disbelief and ran down the hall. Jordan followed behind me, calling my name. It sounded disgusting coming from his lips. I turned my head just in time to see him almost trip on the sheet, I wish he had. Tears leaked down my cheeks and I gasped for air, trying not to hyperventilate.

“Ross, wait, please let me explain. It’s not what you think, I mean it was, but he doesn’t mean anything. It was just once, baby, please. I’m so sorry. Ross wait, I love you.” He spat lies worse than a demon.

“Ugh, screw you.” I took the ring from my finger and tossed it at him. “Get out, you have one day to be gone. And do not ever contact me again. This is my place, make it easy on yourself or the police will escort you at my request.” I turned on heel and got out of the apartment as fast as I could, practically diving into my car.

My hands shook so bad that I could hardly get the key in the ignition and I was so out of breath you would have thought I’d just ran a marathon. Everything inside squeezed me tight like a boa constrictor. My stomach wanted to crawl out through my mouth, my eyes almost yo-yo’d out of my head like one of those children toys, and my lungs we’re on the verge of combusting. I should’ve thrown the car in drive and run straight through the apartment or at minimum, wrapped and duct taped him into that sheet and beat him senseless with a cast iron skillet, along with that little whoring excuse for a man. Instead, I threw it in reverse, backing out. The tires smoked, and I squealed out of the apartment parking lot, as I headed for the only place I could think of. My office party, back to Amanda, my best friend.

The whole scene replayed through my mind like a cheap, middle of the night TV porn flick, as I sped off to the office. My brain kept clicking rewind, over and over, and all I could see was him thrusting up into this other man and the way they grinded together. The man riding Jordan. The expressions on their faces. The sounds they made together. I was ready to hurl.

I skid into the parking lot, screeched partially sideways between two spots and threw it in park, leaving the car running as I went running into the office. I needed to get to the bathroom before I puked all over the floor. I knew I was going to be sick and hurried as fast as I could. Amanda spotted me and ran in after me, knowing something was horribly wrong with the picture.

“What? Ross, what the hell is going on?” She’s frantic, her breaths began to gasp for air from chasing after me. She was terrified for me, I could read it from her face. We’ve been best friends for the last four years, she knows me better than I know myself most times. She never trusted Jordan.

My head attempted a nod before I lunged into a stall and vomited in the toilet. Once finished, I curled up against the side of the stall, and sat on the cold bathroom floor. I pulled my knees up to my chest and buried my head into them. Amanda beat on the door, over and over, so I finally reached around and unlocked the silver twist lock. She opened the door and bent down behind me. She wound her arms around me, and rocked back and forth, with me cradled in tight against her.

“Awe, hun, what’s wrong? What is going on? You have to tell me,” she pleaded, then rubbed against my shoulder.

“He-um-Jordan, he was...” It’s all I could get out before I felt sick again and pulled loose from her to hug the toilet.

She left the stall and I heard the water running. Amanda returned to me with a cold, wet paper towel. She placed it on my forehead and hugged me again. Finally, with the comfort of her arms around me, babying me like I was nothing more than a little child, I spoke.

“Amanda.” I burst into tears. “Jordan, he was with someone else. He’s been cheating on me,” I sobbed. Just having the words escape me made me queasy again.

“What? No way, he loves you. You must be mistaken, Ross.” She stroked through my long hair.

“I’m not. I saw it with my own eyes. I walked in on them.”

“He’s a dead man,” she growled. “I mean it.” She got very defensive and protective over me.

“Amanda, I was so excited to surprise him. I went home early from the party and this… this strange man was on top of him. Jordan was in total heaven, it was written across his face. The worst part is that when he turned and saw me, he couldn’t stifle the moans of pleasure. I swear to God.” I tried to scoot away from Amanda to see her face.

“Oh my God. Oh honey, I am so sorry. What are you going to do, Ross?”

“Spend my life in prison after I murder one the stranger and castrate the other most likely. No seriously, I don’t know. I tossed his ring at him and left. It’s over. I told him he had one day to get his stuff and get out. I may not be the most beautiful or perfect person in the world, but I didn’t deserve this. I didn’t do anything but love and trust him, Amanda.” I leaned into her, sobbing. “I’m also not a complete idiot and I know that once a cheater, always a cheater. I can’t and won’t ever work this through with him, in fact I never want to see him again, not ever.”

Amanda helped me get to my feet and I went to the basin to splash off my face and rinse out my mouth. I was trying to regain some sort of composure, searching for it actually, but in reality, all I wanted to do was crawl in a hole and die.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. Merry fucking Christmas to me, huh? We just got engaged, how could he do this?” I broke down in tears again.

“You’re coming home with me tonight and we’ll go by your place tomorrow. I’ll scratch his eyes out if he is there.”

“I’m not going to become a mooch and ruin your Christmas.” I told her and faked a smile the best I was capable of.

“Like I have family I celebrate with? My family and I celebrated last weekend, if you can call it that. It’s always more like a big burden with them. We exchanged a present then they trotted on out of town for their yearly vacation. Remember? My sister and her husband dropped by and that ended like usual. I have zero plans, but you and I can snuggle up under the blanket and do whatever we want.” She practically begged.

“Can we get out of here before anyone see’s me, I just didn’t know where else to go. Everyone I know is here.” I pushed her hair behind one ear. “I don’t want anyone seeing this weak side of me. They all think I’m a nerd anyway.”

“That is so not true, but it sounds like a plan, let’s ditch out and play hookie together. We can go to my apartment and get drunk.” She laughed.

“That sounds great. I love you, you know that right?” I hugged her.

So therein lies the reason that I don’t do holidays.

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