The moon hangs low in the dark sky as I stare out my window. I’m not sure what I’m doing with Callan, but I can’t not be with him. The sexual tension between us is palpable. I know I shouldn’t even think about him, but my mind and body have other ideas.
My body still aches from being with him. Feeling him inside me. Each time I think about it, my core pulses wildly, needing the roughness he offered. I’d never felt so good yet so emotional before. The intensity of a scene was always something that scared me. I thought that perhaps being so close to someone, having them see your innermost needs and wants would hurt me emotionally, but it’s only given me more confidence.
There’s a strength in allowing someone to control you, to trust someone so implicitly with not only your body but your soul. It’s daunting, but beautiful.
Picking up my phone, I glance at the time. Five in the morning. Swiping over the screen to unlock the device, I scroll through Facebook, Instagram, but nothing keeps my interest. Nothing, because Callan isn’t on social media.
I suppose his job doesn’t allow time for friends.
The thought slams into my chest, causing an ache to form where my heart thuds violently against my ribs. I’m jealous of a man who has blatantly told me that we’ll be fuck buddies, nothing more.
Rising from the bed, I pad over to the patio door, pulling it open to inhale the fresh, early morning air. The gentle wind billows through the gap, licking at my skin, causing goose bumps to rise on every inch of my flesh.
Will Callan actually admit to caring for me?
Heading back inside, I pull off my skimpy nightdress and head into the bathroom attached to my bedroom. The spacious area is tiled with the most expensive designs from Italy, with ornate silver taps and glass imported from somewhere in London. Everything in this house screams money.
It’s opulence I find wasteful. I always have.
I’m a simple girl, living in a world that’s far too lavish for me. And that’s why I hide from the paparazzi. I don’t want to do the interviews Daddy schedules for me. But I do it because I love him.
As much as he rules my life in many ways, he’s also had to be pulled in three directions all my life. He’s had to be mother, father, as well as Senator. A man living in the public eye. And I have to be honest, I haven’t been the easiest daughter.
I lather my skin with the orange-scented body wash, the citrus smell mixed with a gentle hint of flowers makes it my favorite. It reminds me of my mother, how she would always smell of freshly cut flowers and the orange juice she’d squeeze for breakfast, that was long before she’d become a woman obsessed with money. When she was someone more loving than the cold-hearted bitch she’d turned into later in my life. And then she left.
Even in the spray of the water cascading down my body, tears trickle down my cheeks. I recall the day she left. When she walked out and never looked back. Since that day to this one, I felt it like a missing piece of who I am. My life had changed once more when my father became Senator, and I was thrown into a role I didn’t want.
I rinse off, reminding myself I’m lucky I have a home, a roof over my head, and the opportunities other children haven’t had. My father, on the other hand, he’s taken on more than he could’ve thought possible, and as the years passed, I saw him change. I watched as he became a man I no longer recognize.
The exhaustion of a sleepless night grips me tight in its hold, but I couldn’t sleep. I’m hyped up, so perhaps breakfast and a coffee will help. I have things to do today, and hopefully I don’t fall asleep during the meeting scheduled with a local charity.
“What the fu—”
“Morning, Blossom,” he smirks while allowing his heated gaze to hungrily trail over my naked, wet frame. He holds out a towel, which I snatch and wrap around me, but it’s pointless. He’s seen everything.
“I work for you. Or did you forget that little tidbit of information?” He settles himself against the doorjamb of my bathroom, watching me move into the closet. I pull out a pair of jeans and white, fitted T-shirt, along with underwear I pull on before heading back into the bedroom. I don’t know why I’m hiding from him, but in the light of day, it feels strange having him look at me.
“How could I forget?” I bite out in frustration. Turning to him once more, I pin him with a glare, which only earns me a chuckle. “You’re such an asshole.”
“Are you going to tell me that every time you see me, baby girl?” he quips, amusement lacing his tone.
“Let’s just forget you feel that way,” he says, stalking toward me.
“Those are such a pretty pair of tits. Does your boyfriend know how to tease them until you’re coming all over his dick like I can?” He doesn’t wait for my answer. Turning on his heel, he leaves me gaping at the closed door to my bedroom.
“Asshole!” I call out, hoping he can hear me. I drop the towel, smothering myself in orange blossom moisturizer. I ensure I’m scented like a citrus field before getting dressed.
Twenty minutes later, I make my way down the hall, noticing the sun is already high in the clear, blue sky. The number of windows and glass in our home makes it difficult to remain in the dark at times. The one thing I remember about my mother was her love of our old house. It was small, nothing like this place at all. A low-key home, with an old-style fireplace, almost like those old English manor houses. But as soon as we moved in here, she changed. Dad wanted to have an ostentatious place to host his dinner parties, and she decided to leave.
I turn to find Callan staring at me with a grin on his handsome face. His eyes are crinkled at the corners as he watches me with amusement.
“You seem to be making yourself at home,” I remark, stalking by him to find my glass of orange juice sitting on the counter beside a plate of toast in the kitchen.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll be here every day and every night, Blossom. Your Daddy is off on a trip to Washington, and I’ll be here to watch over his little girl.” He seems far too excited to be telling me. My father didn’t mention that he’d be gone for so long. And neither did Hudson.
“You’re not living in the same house as I am. We may have had one scene in the club, but you’re not my babysitter. I can take care of myself.”
He doesn’t seem perturbed by my order, but he should be because I will not sleep under the same roof as Callan. Especially when he knows how to make my toes curl and my body respond in ways I’d never felt before. It’s not safe. The closer he is, the more I’ll want him, and if that happens, I’ll feel more than I should. More than we agreed on.
“I’m serious,” I inform him, gulping down my juice as I watch him.
He closes the distance between the counter where I’m standing and himself. When he reaches it, he ignores me by not offering a response. Instead, he butters my toast and places grated cheese from a container on the bread. Shifting the plate over toward me, he glances my way.
“Eat. We’re leaving in ten minutes.”
He turns to walk out of the kitchen, and as much as I want to refuse him, I know the next time I’ll get a chance to have anything to eat will be for my late lunch with the women’s charity in town.
I quickly eat my breakfast, with my coffee still steaming beside my plate. I hate rushing, but it seems the sooner we’re on our way, the sooner I can get him off my back for a few hours. I know I’ll spend the day bored, thinking about him and what happened between us, but the farther away he is from me, the better.
At least that will keep me safe. There’s something about the way my mind convinces me that jumping him is a good idea. This is purely sex. Nothing more. But it’s when he offers me that cocky smirk that pushes me far over the limit. I can’t help myself when I’m around him, and I know it’s not that he can hurt me psychically that scares me. It’s that he can hurt me emotionally.
With meetings upon meetings to ensure the charities that are in need get the funding my father’s office promised them, there’s not been enough time for us to talk properly, and in the evenings, he heads to Sins, where he’s banned me from going. So, I’ve put on my professionalism like my father taught me, but deep down, it’s not my choice to race around, writing checks.
“Madison, I think your father’s team should set that up.” A voice drags me from the daydream of the silent drive that brought me here.
“Are you listening to me, dear?” Mrs. Garforth stares at me like I have two heads. The old woman dressed in her Sunday best is the head of the charity that collects money for abused and abandoned babies in the city. Her work is something I believe in, the one charity my father has pushed on me that I respect.
“Yes, I’m sorry. Dad’s away, and I’ve been busy with non-stop meetings to ensure all the charities are seen to. I’ll make a note for the ladies to set that up. I’ll have Theresa call you and make sure all the details are correct before sending out the press release,” I tell her, earning me a happy smile.
The more money we can bring in, the more they can put toward the shelter, which in turn means they can help more children. Orphans who have no one to care for them.
“You know it’s a pleasure,” I tell her, shoving my notebook, iPad, and pen back into the purse I carry to all meetings. When I stand, I find the door sliding open and Callan standing there dressed in a black suit and tie and a crisp, white shirt. He’s changed. This morning, he was in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt that hugged his muscled arms and chest.
“Is that your gentleman?” the old lady gasps.
“No, no, just my driver,” I tell her, hopefully not blushing in the process.
She casts another glance at him, then leans in to whisper conspiratorially in my ear, “Rather fetching for a driver, dear.”
“You know, Harold and I are fifteen years apart. Granted, he is an old fogey now, but he was quite a gentleman in his day.” She laughs. It’s a soft sound that reminds me of my gran before she passed away. That calming sound that holds you in its warmth.
It’s not something I’m used to. Not even Hudson shows it. My father hasn’t offered me any in years, so I’ve come to live without it. I grew up in a home where I’m meant to be strong. To be grown up before I could even fathom what was going on.
Even though my father made sure I was cared for, he wasn’t loving. There weren’t hugs and kisses. He may have made sure I got my bedtime stories and orange juice, but there was never an affectionate hug or cuddle.
When I fell and hurt my knee or scuffed my toe, I was told to breathe through the pain. So, I did. I breathed through losing all my family besides him.
“I’ll see you next week,” I tell the lady as tears sting my eyes.
“You go on; your man is waiting on you.” She smiles, and I shake my head.
“How was your meeting?” he questions, opening the back door of the SUV for me.
“Boring. They need more money, and I have to come up with it somewhere.”
He watches me for a moment before nodding and shutting the door. He rounds the front of the vehicle and slips into the driver’s seat.
He stops all movement. Glancing in the rearview mirror, he lifts his mouth into a sinful smirk. “Because I’d be distracted by your pretty legs, picturing them around my neck while I ate your sweet cunt. So, it’s best you sit back there.” He turns on the radio loud, and Linkin Park sings “Numb” so loud I can’t respond to his filthy words.