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The Tower (The Tarot Series Book 1) by Rhylee Davidson (1)

Chapter One

Present Day

New York


“Surprise! Happy Birthday, Katrina,” her friends and family yell, as she walks through the front door of her parent’s Upper Eastside apartment, arm in arm with her high-school sweetheart, Derrick. “Thank you,” Katrina says with a start. She was expecting a quiet family dinner to celebrate her twenty-first birthday. Instead, the apartment is filled with friends and family and honored guests of her parents, many of whom she doesn’t even know. The apartment, which is beautifully decorated in deep rich tones of burgundy and blue, takes up the entire top floor of the high-rise. Leather couches and antique cherry furniture fill the room against walls that are painted an antique gold, accented with deep blue and gold window treatments. Lush area rugs lay beneath the furniture, pulling the room together, while large crystal chandeliers hang from twenty-foot ceilings, making the room bright and inviting.

Leaning into Derrick and placing her lips up to his ear, she whispers, “You knew about this, didn’t you?” It’s more of a statement than a question. “You know how I hate surprises. Why didn’t you give me a heads up?” Turning his head and nodding, he looks into her light blue eyes and chuckles.

“This was your parents’ idea and you know they don’t take no for an answer when they want something. My only choice was to keep my mouth shut and play along or end up back on their shit list for punching out the pretty boy your dad threatened to have escort you tonight. You know he already thinks I’m not good enough for you. I don’t come from money and I’m not some politician’s son who can help him get re-elected.” Before she can protest, Derrick whisks her through the crowded room and whispers, “Now, put a smile on that beautiful face, try to enjoy yourself and let’s get this over with.” Katrina grins and rolls her eyes at him.

A deliciously catered meal is served: jumbo sea scallops in lemon butter and wine sauce, medium-rare filet mignon smothered with sautéed mushrooms in burgundy wine sauce, grilled asparagus spears drizzled with olive oil and roasted garlic, and roasted red new potatoes with sweet paprika butter and parsley. Afterwards, silver serving platters make their way through the room on the hands of a very capable wait staff. Delicacies of every kind are loaded onto trays and an unending supply of champagne and drink is made available. A beautiful five-tier pink and white birthday cake with ballet slippers at the top sits in a place of honor on a large round table.

As the guest of honor, Katrina is kept busy talking to guests and being shuffled around by her father as he introduces her to those she doesn’t know. Her father is a New York Senator. Katrina Jameson has been the principal ballerina with the New York City Ballet since she turned seventeen. A Phenom, her father uses her as a prop in front of his honored guests at every high-society party, event, fundraiser, and campaign function they attend. Tonight is no different. All the new faces are somehow related to campaign money, influence, and power. They are ripe for the picking and Senator Jameson knows just how to use his family for schmoozing. This party isn’t really about her at all. It’s an excuse for him to win over more friends, money, and influence.

The party goes on until well after midnight. Watching her from across the room, Derrick can tell by the disappointment in her eyes and the phony smile plastered on her face, that Katrina has had enough. With long strides, he walks over to her, takes her hand, and excuses himself for the interruption while he slips his arm around her waist protectively and politely ushers her away. Leaning over and giving her a light kiss on the cheek, he asks, “Ready to get out of here?”

She gives her mother a hug and a kiss, thanks her for the party and says her goodbyes.

Derrick grabs her coat and holds it out for her to slip her arms into. He wraps it around her lean, muscled body and eagerly buttons it up. As she ties the belt around her waist, he slips into his jacket, holding open the front door. Once outside, they walk to his car, where he holds the door open and helps her inside. Bending down, he kisses her passionately on the lips and breathlessly whispers, “We’ll go to my place. I’ve been waiting until we were alone to give you your present.” He shuts the door, strolls around to the driver’s side, and climbs into the seat beside her. “Buckle up,” he exclaims as he slips the key in the ignition.

As he drives, she watches him. He is twenty-four and extremely handsome. His short brown hair is straight and stylish, but the focal point of his face is a pair of amazing light-brown eyes, shot with gold and framed by long lashes. He is tall and lean with long legs and an athletically built body. His soft ample lips and large hands make her burn with desire when they touch her. They met in high school and it was love at first sight. He was the star athlete of both the football and baseball teams. He loved sports and he loved to go fast. On the weekends he raced cars and learned to fly. But, he just couldn’t get enough danger and excitement, so after college he joined the military and became a pilot flying F-16’s for the Air Force. She hates it. He is gone for long periods of time and is always in danger, but loving him more than life itself, she respects his choices and accepts him for who he is.

Sitting in the car in front of his apartment, he shuts off the engine and slips the keys out of the ignition. He steps out of the car, walks around to the passenger side, and opens the door for her. Taking her by the hand, he helps her out of the seat. As they walk, she thinks about how that has always been one of the things she loves about him. He’s always such a gentleman…opening doors for her, helping her on with her coat, taking her keys and unlocking her front door, and always, always, holding her close when they walk.

Entering the apartment, he flips on the lights, strips her out of her coat, and pulls her into his arms. Running his fingers down her cheek, he lowers his head and follows them down with feather light kisses that linger at her jaw line. Softly at first, he kisses her lips, once, twice, three times. Using his tongue, he parts her lips and slips his tongue inside her mouth, probing and exploring. As the kiss becomes more demanding, she responds, touching her tongue to his and enveloping herself in his taste and touch. With a groan, he leads her to the couch. “If we keep this up, you’re never going to get your present.”

“I can wait.”

“Well, I can’t.”

As Derrick leaves the room, he calls out to her, “I’ll be right back.” Upon his return, he stands in front of Katrina and pulls a tiny package out of his front pocket. The package is wrapped in blue shiny paper with a silver ribbon tied in a bow at the top. Holding it in his palm, he extends it out to her. “Happy birthday, sweetheart.”

Smiling up at him, she takes the package out of his hand, unties the ribbon and tears open the paper. Inside is a tiny blue velvet box. As she opens it, Derrick gets down on one knee in front of her. Nestled inside is a two-carat, princess cut diamond ring set in platinum. She looks down into Derrick’s beautiful brown eyes and tears well up in her own. Reaching in, Derrick removes the ring from the box and smiles up at her. In a low voice he says, “Katrina, I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember. When we’re apart, I feel like a part of me is missing. I love you so much and I need you. Would you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

Her hands begin to shake as he removes the ring from the box and slips it on her finger.

“Marry me, Katrina.”

Derrick stands as she holds out her hand and gazes down at the ring, then back up at him. Throwing her arms around his neck, she squeals, “Yes, yes, yes! I will marry you. I love you, too, and want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

As they kiss, the passion between them rekindles. Derrick takes her hand and leads her to the bedroom. The rest of the night was spent in the throes of passion, moving together, looking deep into each other’s eyes, celebrating the future they would share together.

As the sun rises, streaming brightly colored light through the window, Derrick wraps his arms tightly around Katrina, pulling her close as his heart bursts with joy from inside. Waking her with a kiss, he confesses, “You have truly made me the happiest man on earth.” Turning her head, she smiles up at him. “But, there is something I need to tell you.”

“You can tell me anything. You know that,” she says, turning over on her back to look up at him.

“I know, but this is going to be difficult to hear after last night.”

A line of worry appears on her forehead as her stomach begins to roll. “What is it?”

Taking a deep breath, he shoots the words out of his mouth like automatic machine gun fire. “I received my orders. I ship out at the end of the week.”

“What? No! No! That can’t be! Please… tell me you’re joking.”

“I’m not joking, baby. I wish I was. We both knew it would only be a matter of time before I had to go back again, and my orders came through yesterday. I didn’t want to say anything last night, because…well, you know, I didn’t want to ruin your birthday. ”

“Where…where are they sending you this time? How long will you be gone?”

“They’re sending me to Afghanistan, where I’ll be flying top secret missions. I’ll be gone for a year.”

Tears well up in Katrina’s eyes and slowly begin falling down her cheeks. “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!” she yells.

“I know darlin’, but this is what I signed on for. They still have me for two more years and there’s nothing I can do about it. They promise, once this assignment is finished, my last year will be spent in the states, training new recruits to fly. I figure we can get married then. I mean…you’ll need time to plan right?” She doesn’t answer.

“Aw, come on now love, don’t do that. I can’t stand to see you cry.” But hot tears only come faster, while broken sobs escape her lips. “I don’t want you to go. I don’t know what I will do without you for an entire year.”

Wiping away the tears with his thumbs, he kisses her over and over again. He kisses her lids, her cheeks, her throat. “Don’t think about that now, Katrina. Just concentrate on me. I’ll make you forget…at least for a little while.” Running his tongue from her throat to her lips, he greedily takes her mouth. His soft lips and expert tongue devour and explore inside. She moans into his mouth as he cups her shapely breasts. Lowering his mouth to her, he flicks out his tongue, licking and circling her puckered nipple before roughly sucking it into his mouth. No longer remembering to cry, she drinks in his scent, marvels at his touch as her insides spark to life with heat and desire.

Like a whisper, he runs his teeth over the end of her nipple, sending currents of sensation pulsating through her body. He slips his hand into her panties, and finding the heat there, he uses his finger to circle around her clit. Her breath catches in her throat. Laughing, he breathes into her ear, “Are you ready for me baby, or are you waiting for me to slip my fingers inside you first? Are you still thinking about me leaving, or has the need that’s growing between your legs saturated your mind?” She whimpers, and with one swift motion he strips the tiny red piece of silk from between her legs. Dragging his hands along the soft skin of her inner thighs, he spreads her legs, parting her inner folds. Opening her up, he looks down at her femininity and whispers, “Beautiful,” as he runs a finger up and down her wetness. Staring into her eyes, he smiles and without warning, makes good on his threat, plunging his fingers deep inside her, shocking her senses.

Moaning softly, she arches her back, moving against his hand as he draws his fingers in and out and in and out of her. “Please Derrick…Please. I need you inside me, now,” she sighs.

“Not yet. You have to wait. I want to see you cum first. I’m going to make you cum over and over again. Don’t hold back sweetheart, cum for me, now! I love to see the look of ecstasy that comes over your face when you do.”

Sliding down between her legs, he spreads her wider. Using his tongue, he strokes her clit up and down and back again, driving her mad with his tongue and fingers. Katrina grinds against him faster and faster as he pleasures her, inside and out. “You taste so sweet, I can’t get enough of you,” he groans. He gently sucks her clit into his mouth, and she screams as an orgasm blasts through her system. Sensation shoots through her as her inner muscles tighten and quake on his fingers and tongue. A moan escapes her lips, and she collapses on the bed, shaken and exhausted.

Katrina is shuddering as Derrick withdraws his fingers, keeping her orgasm going by sliding his tongue up and down her slit. Passion lights his eyes, and he can feel his blood heating, racing through his body with an urgency he’s never known before. Grabbing a handful of hair, Katrina bends his head back. Looking up at her he growls, “What do you want?”

“Now, please Derrick…make love to me.”

His organ is large, throbbing, and swollen with need. He reaches down and lifts her hips, opening her to him while savagely taking her mouth. Placing himself above her, he rubs the head of his cock up and down the opening to her already swollen pussy, letting the sensation build. Bringing his lips up to her ear, he says in a rough voice he barely recognizes as his own, “Now…I need to be inside you.”

Half crazed, he plunges into her, impaling her onto his cock. The feeling of fullness was almost too much to bear. She gasps, looking up into his eyes. What she sees is a man starving and she knows she is the feast.

Thrusting deep inside of her, he growls, “You’re so hot and wet. I love the feel of my cock, slick with your juices, as I slide in and out of you.”

“Yes,” is her only response.

Filled with passion and desire, the musky scent of their passion clouds her thoughts, increasing her pleasure. Ready to give all of herself to him, she plants her feet into the mattress, lifts her hips, and meets each of his thrusts with a motion of her own. Running her hands down his muscular back to his tight bottom, she squeezes, and his cock tunnels deeper and deeper into her with each stroke. Electricity shoots through her into him and he moans with pleasure.

He isn’t gentle, and she doesn’t want him to be. He plunges and plunders with an urgent need he knows he can never fill. He brings them both to new heights of passion as he nips at her ears, her neck, her pebbled nipples. She thrashes wildly beneath him with each stroke as she takes and gives pleasure.

Driven to madness as he uses his hands, tongue, the head of his cock, Katrina reaches down with her hand and strokes his cock as he thrusts it in and out of her. Stroking him, she watches a bead of sweat roll down his cheek. Flicking out her tongue, she licks it. It tastes salty and erotic. Looking down at her with fire in his eyes, Derrick freezes.

“Why did you do that? You’re driving me mad!” Without giving her time to answer, he thrusts hard, driving his cock as deep as he can inside her, stopping only when he hits her pleasure zone.

Teetering on the edge, Katrina begs, “Please, please.”

“What do you want? Do you want me to make you cum? Tell me,” he demands. Looking into his eyes, heavy with desire and rage for the knowledge they would soon be separated for so long, she pants, “Yes…Please…Now! Harder, faster, make me cum.”

Reaching his hand down between their bodies, Derrick rubs her hard with his fingers, then lightly pinches her clit as he plunges deeper and deeper into her. Katrina screams, not able to hold back the sensation any longer, and her inner muscles begin to spasm in a flood of pleasure. Orgasm shoots through her system like a lightning bolt, dragging Derrick along with her as he thrashes harder and faster above her.

Raising himself high above her, he gathers all his strength and pushes hard, thrusting into her one last time, filling her. With their senses and bodies drained, he slips out of her, gently lowering himself on top of her.

When Derrick has enough strength to speak, his only words are, “I love you Katrina, never forget that.”

“I love you too, Derrick, and don’t you ever forget it either. While you’re away, I’ll plan our wedding.”

“I’d like that, my angel.”

They spend the rest of the day in bed together, getting a head start on making up for lost time.






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