Branded: you own me & the virgin's night out

Advertising Download Read Online


 

“Not want you?” he muttered against her mouth. “Are you blind?”

She tried to turn her head and he tangled a hand in her hair, yanked it back. Her pupils flared. “Give me your mouth, Lizzie,” he said and then, without waiting, he took it, thrusting his tongue deep.

She bit him and he responded by letting her wrists go and catching her hips, boosting her up with one arm while he used the other to swipe out against her desk, clearing it with one careless gesture. Lizzie worked her hands between them and although he didn’t break away from her mouth, part of him held his breath—waited.

When she reached up and tangled her hands in his hair, he snarled in savage satisfaction.

Lying her down on her desk, he broke away. Her hands clutched at him and he caught them, shifted her wrists to one hand and pushed them up over her head. Then, as he held her gaze, he reached down and freed the top button of the top she wore. With each successive button, he bared more and more skin, pale, pretty skin, lush curves, her breasts cupped by silk and lace and his brain almost exploded as he flicked a look from her face downward to study those ripe curves.

“My hands are shaking,” he said, struggling to keep his voice from doing the same as he trailed his fingers along the delicate lace design of her bra. “I’ve dreamed about touching you a thousand times. Now I am and my hands are shaking…”

Now he looked at her, watched her throat work as she swallowed.

“And you think I don’t want you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrandEd

You Own Me&The Virgin’s Night Out

 

Shiloh Walker

You Own Me Copyright 2014 Shiloh Walker

First Print Edition 2015

 

The Virgin’s Night Out Copyright 2015 Shiloh Walker

 

Excerpt from Busted, Copyright 2015 Copyright Shiloh Walker

 

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotation embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated with much love to my family.

 

 

Acknowledgments:

A huge thank you to my beta readers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Own Me ……………………………. 5

The Virgin’s Night Out …………………111

Chapter One

 

“…a sentence of no less than seven years…”

No. No. No. Elizabeth heard the word in her head, but she couldn’t say it. Couldn’t force it out.

Then she was screaming it, lunging forward and shouting at the man sitting behind the bench while everybody in there turned to stare. “No! You can’t do that to him! He—”

A hand closed around her waist, jerking her back. “Enough! Enough, Elizabeth.”

“Let me go!”

She drove her elbow back, hit hard.

But she couldn’t get to him.

He turned, though, and looked at her. Smiled, and the smile was completely and totally Decker. Calm and in control, while his blue eyes held her mesmerized. “Lizzie…Lizzie…calm down. Breathe. It’s going to be okay.”

Somebody was dragging her away. Away from him. They went to shut the doors. But they weren’t doors—they were bars. Bars slammed in front of her—separating them.

“No—”

 

Elizabeth Waters bolted upright in bed, sweating. The tank top and panties she’d worn to sleep in sticking to her, her heart slamming against her ribs while her mouth was so dry, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth.

The nightmare.

It was an old one.

Turning her head, she stared at the clock, the digits glowing in the darkness. With a groan, she dropped back onto the bed and curled up on her side, drawing one fist to her chest and closing her eyes.

It wasn’t a surprise that the nightmare had come today.

Ten years ago—they’d locked him away ten years ago.

That thing she never let herself think about. And not just because

it had caused her nightmares on its own, but because of everything that happened after.

How it had torn her family apart, how it had nearly cost her the friendship she held most dear—not to mention how it had nearly destroyed that friend.

It.

The memories swarmed too close and she shoved the sheets and blanket away. She wasn’t going to sleep.

Climbing out of bed, she made a half-hearted attempt to straighten the sheets before giving up.

Padding into the bathroom, she hit the lights and started to strip. If she couldn’t sleep, she’d just go into work. It was better than lying around thinking and brooding anyway.

Besides, the sooner day ended, the sooner the night would be here.

And while she dreaded this day every time it rolled around, for the past three years, she’d had a reason to almost look forward to it, as well.

This day might have marked the day her world had come to a crashing, screeching halt, but it also marked the day she’d gone out on her first date with Noel.

• • •

 

If the blood stained his nightmares, Decker Calhoun could live with it.

The worst of his nightmares were the echoes of terrified, muffled screams that he’d barely been able to hear.

And then the way she’d looked at him.

He’d never forget the way Lizzie had looked at him in the end, pale and scared.

Nor would he forget that it had been his fault she’d ended up there to begin with.

Yeah, couldn’t forget that.

So while the nightmares chased him, they weren’t any worse that day than at any other time when they crept up on him. Right then,

while the sun started to edge up in the sky and the majority of Williamsburg was still climbing out of their beds, he ran down the quiet streets while memories chased him.

They weren’t all nightmares.

They weren’t even all bad memories.

It was justher.

She pretty much dominated his life and had from the time he’d met her.

It wasn’t even a surprise for him to turn onto Duke of Gloucester Street and see the lights gleaming in the back of Blues and Brews, the coffee shop Lizzie had opened a few years back. It was nestled in between a candy shop and a general store—the general store wasn’t exactly that. It sold souvenirs and the like, just like so many other places here in Colonial Williamsburg.

His favorite spot here was Blues and Brews but most of that was probably because of Lizzie. He knew intimate details about the place. How much it had cost to start up. That she’d used the money left to her in her father’s will—how shocked she’d been to even bementionedin the will—and he knew all of the names she’d tossed around before she finally settled on one that played off her love of both coffee and music.

He knew how nervous she’d been the first few years…even though he hadn’t been there.

He’d been sitting in a cage a couple of hours away and the closest connection he had to her were the letters she wrote every week like clockwork, and the visits she paid him, twice a month. Visits that he’d depended on far more than he’d ever let her know.

The first thing he’d done when they’d let him out—after he’d hugged her, because she’d been the one to pick him up—was come here. She’d shown him the place she’d built from the ground up and he’d known nothing but pride for her.

Well, pride and the love that had all but choked him from the beginning.

He’d told her how proud he was of her.

And he’d kept quiet about everything else, because what else

could he do?

He was a year too late.

She was with somebody, and he knew about that, too. Knew all about the rich, slick banker boy she’d been seeing for the past three years.

She’d accepted the date because she couldn’t bear to be alone on that day and he didn’t blame her. He just wished he could have been the one she turned to.

He’d never thought the thing with Noel would last, but it had.

Slowing to a halt, he stood on the sidewalk in front of the shop, staring inside.

Three years, they’d been together.

Lizzie, with a man who made Decker’s lip curl. With a man who didn’t love her, but Lizzie couldn’t see that.

She came out of the back and for that brief moment before she saw him, he let himself stare, taking in the woman who’d stolen his heart almost from the first.

She was beautiful, although she didn’t see it. The lush, round body that she tried to control with diet and the sort of exercise she detested was the body that could still make him break out in a sweat. Sweet, round curves, hips that would cradle his and breasts that would fill even his big hands to overflowing. Her waist nipped in at the corners and as she bent to pick up something she’d dropped, his gaze fell to the round curve of her ass. Right on cue, his dick stood up and saluted. She straightened, stretching her arms overhead, obviously tired.

Her golden-blonde curls were secured in a high ponytail at the crown of her head. He had dreamed about those curls, about wrapping them around his fist as he kissed her. About seeing them spread across a pillow as she slept, curled up against his chest.

She tensed, and he clenched his jaw, watching the flicker of fear roll across her face only to be hidden as she straightened her shoulders and steeled herself.

Then she recognized him and a smile broke across her face.

He felt that smile inside him, spreading all through him. She

always did this to him, warmed pieces of him, and then he had to hide that from her. He could only let her see so much, because she only wanted to see so much.

When she came toward the door, he wished he’d turned the other way.

“So tonight’s a big deal.” Decker studied her, eyes intent.

• • •

 

They were in the alley out back. By herself, Elizabeth wouldn’t have lingered out there, not until more people were around. But with Decker around, she didn’t worry about it.

Some people looked at Decker and wanted to cross the road to get away from him. He was big, rough-looking, and tattoos covered much of his bare skin. Five o’clock shadow almost always darkened his cheeks and his red hair was almost always in need of a trim.

But it wasn’t the solid, muscled build that warned people away.

It wasn’t the tattoos or even the slightly menacing air he could exude the way some people oozed charm.

It was the look in his eyes.

It didn’t bother Lizzie, because she knew what lay behind his dark blue eyes, and she knew what had caused the grim cast to his features. She knew what lay below that rough exterior. He was her best friend, her savior. The one solid thing in her world, and he had been for the longest time.

No, being out in the pre-dawn morning didn’t bother her, as long as she was with him.

His comment, however,didbother her.

With a shrug, she looked away, buying time by taking a drink of her café au lait. It was perfection—she’d nailed the exact right way to make a great one, and it wasn’t a bad thing to linger over the sip. She really did make a great café au lait.

Feeling a heavy gaze on her, she bit back a grimace. He knew what she was doing.

Decker didn’t like Noel.

For that matter, hardlyanyof her friends liked her boyfriend.

And the feeling was mutual.

Lizzie figured the only thing that mattered was thatsheliked him.

They’d been together for three years. And while her friends didn’t turn cartwheels over the relationship, they didn’t try to chase him away, either.

“Yeah,” she said finally. “Big night. Three years together.”

Neither of them mentioned the other anniversary.

But Decker knew it was on her mind. She could tell by the way he reached out, curved a hand around her neck and then leaned in, resting his chin on her brow.

“Anything crazy planned?” he murmured after a minute. “You two eloping to Las Vegas? Taking off for parts unknown for a long weekend?”

She laughed. “Yeah, right. Like Noel would ever go for that.” Then she shrugged, tried not to think about how nice it would be for Noel to plan something crazy, something romantic…somethingspontaneous. “No. We’re going to dinner. He…ah…he mentioned he had something important he wanted to talk about.”

Decker tensed. She eased back and looked up at him.

“Really.” He reached out to brush her hair back from her face. “Sugar, if there’s a wedding coming up, do me a favor…don’t ask me to be a part of it. I can’t stand monkey suits.”

She made a face at him. “Don’t even think that way. A wedding?”

Leaning back against him, she tried to figure out why even theidealeft her so unsettled. Why it made her feeling like she wanted to back away, hard and fast. And hide. Preferably behind Decker.

Three years was a long time, right?

Long enough to prove they had something together…right? Why should marriage be so terrifying?

• • •

 

Maybe she shouldn’t have been so hasty.

Hours later, that was the one thought in her mind.

She shouldn’t have been so hasty. Marriage wasn’t a bad thing, right?

This was so, so much worse.

Come on…why are you surprised? You always knew he’d never stay, a quiet voice jeered from the back of her mind.

But he’s not breaking up!

She silenced both of those voices and concentrated on breathing.

Or so she’d thought.

But what did Elizabeth know? She’d only had one serious boyfriend—Noel.

Other than Noel, the onlyromanticexperience she could claim was one serious crush, and she wasn’t going to talk about that.

And then one serious mistake—and even thinking about that made her feel slightly ill, so yeah, not going there either.

Noel wasit, really.

Or so she’d thought.

So yeah, maybe the idea ofmarriageandweddingshad creeped her out earlier when Decker had mentioned it, butthis?

She hadn’t seen this coming.

Swallowing, she studied the man across the table for a long, tense moment. She’d met Noel Harris when he’d come into her coffee shop and although she’d noticed him right away, she’d never expected him to notice her.

But he had…and three years later…

I want to talk with you tonight, Elizabeth…it’s important.

A wedding. She’d been panicking that he might be ready to pop the question. What an utter joke.

Even thinking about it had made her nervous, so instead, she’d just gone into shut down mode and turned the shop over to her assistant manager and cut out early. She needed a special dress, a manicure, a pedicure…

Tonight was a big deal, after all. Special.

Special. No, it wasn’t special. It was awful.

Her stomach twisted as she stared at the glass of wine she’d ordered with her dinner. A measly, miserable salad, because she’d spent the past few years trying toslim down a little.Slim down, from a size eighteen to something more…healthy, as Noel had called it. And

appealing.

You’re beautiful, but you’d be so much more appealing if you lost some weight.

She’d never reallylovedher size-eighteen body but she’d been comfortable with herself. Comfortable, and even healthy. She walked four times a week, and in the winter she liked to ski and go ice skating. She’d been satisfied with who she was.

Until…well, until Noel. So she’d dropped to a size fourteen, had started doing cardio at the gym, although she hated it, and lived on so much green food, she thought she’d turn into a rabbit.

To please Noel.

“Liz?”

She looked up and met Noel’s gaze. He was watching her with gentle eyes, that patient smile on his face. “You haven’t said anything,” he said.

No. I haven’t, have I? That’s because I feel like crying. Or screaming.

“I’m just a little thrown,” she said, her voice steady enough.Yay, me. “You want to keep seeing each other, but you also want to…to what? Date other people?”

“That’s pretty much it. Look, Liz…open relationships are really common these days. It just requires understanding and commitment on both sides.” Noel continued to watch her, sharp green eyes all but pinning her in place.

Funny. I always thought serious relationships took commitment…to each other.There was a knot in her throat that was going to choke her, but she managed to speak around it as she asked, “And what if I don’twantan open relationship?”

“Well.” Noel spread his hands out on the table. When they’d first started dating, she’d loved those hands—smooth and elegant, the nails manicured. He so clearly took care of himself. It wasn’t a wonder that he’d wanted her to take better care of herself, too, was it?

And now he wanted to…

She slammed the door on those thoughts as he reached out and took her hand. “I care about you, Liz. You know that. But I need something…more. If you aren’t willing to try this, I guess we’ll have to

put the relationship on hold.”

“You’ll break up with me,” she said, pushing the words out.

“No. Just take a break—maybe we both need it.” He sighed and looked away. “You look so hurt and this isn’t about hurting you. It’s about my needs.”

What about mine? She almost shouted it, but instead, she tugged her hands free. “I need to think about this.”

“Of course. Take a day or two.” He leaned over and kissed her, but the heat she almost always felt with him was gone.

She just felt cold.

• • •

 

That lingering cold remained when he rolled off her that night. He didn’t even seem to notice—he’d come with a grunt and then pulled out, not saying anything.

And now…

Now…now he was snoring while she curled up on her side and tried to understand what she’d done wrong.

The silence of the room pressed in on her. The sound of his snores seemed to grate on her as she huddled in on herself, trying to disappear. With a groan, she clambered out of bed, letting her nightshirt fall down to cover her.

She’d go play around online.

Download a book.

Something.

But when she opened up the browser on the computer in Noel’s living room, she found the weight that had lingered in her chest expanding, threatening to crush her, choke her.

The browser had opened to the last website he’d been on and it was a punch, right to her gut.

Wanna Play. That was the header.

Below that, the site’s subtitle:

 

 

For those with tastes outside the ordinary

 

And the pictures…beautiful women. Slender. A message bubble popped up.

 

Noel…I thought you wouldn’t be around tonight.

 

The avatar was of a beautiful woman in black—black leather that cupped and lifted her breasts. Bare, perky little tits the likes of which Elizabeth hadn’t ever had. The woman was all willowy and slim.

Elizabeth didn’t thinkwillowyorslimhad ever been words used to describe her.Solid. Busty. Chubby. If somebody wanted to be kind, they could saycurvaceousorripe, although she didn’t know how accurate that had been.

The message box stayed empty.

After a minute, another question came up.

 

Noel, you there? I’m feeling kind of lonely…

 

“Yeah?” Elizabeth tried not to laugh. “Me, too.”

She exited the window and shut down the computer, moving over to the window and staring out over a rainy, wet Williamsburg. Noel lived in a beautiful old house not far from the colonial area and she usually loved staring outside, looking at the old places, thinking about how it must have been here a few hundred years ago.

Now, though…

She just felt isolated.

And trapped.

A desperate, sudden urge came over her and she crept back into Noel’s room, dressing in silence. Gathering her shoes, her bag, checking to make sure she had her phone.

And all the while, Noel just lay on the bed, snoring. As she slid out of his room, she felt a half-hysterical giggle rising in her throat.

She dressed in the hall, near the front door, her fingers clumsy, while some part of her worried he’d wake up. Once she was outside his house, she leaned against the rough brick and closed her eyes.

Then she pulled out her phone and dialed a number.

It was nearly midnight, but it didn’t matter.

Decker would answer.

He always did.

• • •

 

Back arched, Decker thrust his cock into the grip of his own

hand, sweat gleaming on his body, jaw locked as he worked himself closer and closer to orgasm.

A single, clear drop of fluid leaked out and he used his thumb, smearing it across the swollen head. In his mind, it wasn’t his hand working him closer to climax.

It was Lizzie, always Lizzie. It had been her for years. For always.

Her eyes, that wide, warm dark brown, lingered on his face, before running down his body, stopping…

Come on, sweet Lizzie…

The phone rang. He snarled, swore—grabbed the phone to throw it, but then he saw the image on the display. That face…it had Decker fighting conflicting, simultaneous urges.

Of course, Lizzie filled him with all sorts of conflicting, simultaneous urges and she had ever since…oh, hey, eleventh grade.

They were the most incongruous of friends, a fact he knew all too well. But the woman on the other end of the phone was his best friend, and the one thing he couldn’t do was ignore her call.

Even if it did come at an inconvenient time.

With his free hand, he grabbed the phone. The sound of her soft, almost too sweet voice was a mental caress, but all thoughts of heat and sex fled as the words tripped out of her. He gave his cock one more rough stroke and then let go.

“Deck…hey. I…um. Can you come get me? I need a ride home.”

He shoved himself off the bed, staring at the clock. “I thought you had your big anniversary thing tonight. What’s up?”

A watery laugh drifted over the line. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. Just…can you come?”

“Where are you?”

She told him and his hand tightened on the phone. Right outside the house of the asshole she was dating. And said asshole was behind the misery Decker heard in her voice, too. He knew that without asking.

Decker was a selfish bastard because he wanted, more than anything, to hear that she’d broken up with Noel.

He’d been a year too late…and he’d lost his chance.

He’d been counting down the time, looking forward to every letter she sent, looking forward to every visit, every phone call, but he hadn’t told her. It hadn’t seemed the time.

And then it was too late.

Just like always.

“Gimme fifteen minutes,” he said. “Call me if you have even a bit of trouble.”

“I will. Deck? Thank you.”

He grunted and hung up, the muscles in his big body going rock hard at the thought of seeing her. His semi-hard cock came to full attention and he shot it a dark look.

“You’re just going to have to wait.”

He’d been thinking about her—as always—which led to the typical reaction and now he was going to be in rough shape when he picked her up.

• • •

 

Of course, she was in even rougher shape, it looked like.

When he pulled up in front of the house, she darted toward the car, face ducked against the light rain coming down, but it didn’t take Decker any time to figure out fast that the moisture he saw gleaming in her eyes had nothing to do with rain.

“What happened?” he asked, keeping his voice flat. Yelling just made her shut down, and besides, he wasn’t mad at her anyway.

“Nothing.” She sniffed and shoved messy wet curls back from her face. “Just take me home, Deck. Okay? I can’t talk about it right now.”

Throwing his truck into drive, he nodded. “Okay, Lizzie.” Then

he reached over and caught her hand in his. “But we are going to talk about it. Something made you cry and you know I hate that.”

“Deck…Kleenex commercials make me cry,” she said, a weak laugh escaping her.

“Yep. And if it wouldn’t be a violation of my parole, I would have done some serious harm over some of those commercials, too.”

She undid her seatbelt and slid across the seat, using the one in

the middle so she could settle against him. It was both heaven and hell for him when she did that, but he’d always been into self-torture. Wrapping one arm around her, he hugged her in close.

“You’re crazy,” she murmured, sighing and relaxing against him. “Sometimes I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Instead of answering, he brushed his lips across the top of her head.

And for the twenty minutes it took to drive her home, he let himself just enjoy the feel of her in his arms.

These brief moments never lasted anyway.

• • •

 

An open relationship.

Even now, in the cold, clear, hard light of morning, the words were still ugly. Maybe not to others, but Elizabeth just couldn’t do it. Or she didn’t want to.

But she couldn’t lie in bed anymore either.

Her alarm had gone off and she had to get up and get moving. Saturdays weren’t her morning to open—she only had two mornings where she wasn’t at her coffee shop at the crack of dawn, but she did have to be there by nine and it was creeping up on eight now. Tomorrow, she could sleep in or have all day to brood, but for now, she’d have to brood on the go.

She slid out of bed, moving quietly. Decker might have collapsed on her couch. He did that sometimes, and she bit her lip as she darted a look into the living room.

Yep.

She gave herself one moment to stare.

Just that one.

He was her best friend and for the years he’d been practically out of reach, she’d missed him every day. Missed him and hated herself. Because no matter what he said, it was her fault.

Somebody made you cry…you know I hate that…

He’d said them mostly in jest, but she knew how serious he was under those light, easy words.

It was her fault, and that was why she only let herself have this one moment. It was a greedy thing and she was mostly over it—mostly, because how could anybody get over the beauty that was Decker Calhoun.

He’d been beautiful in high school, the poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks—he’d made his name when it was discovered he could throw a ball and girls had flocked to him. She hadn’t—exactly. He wouldn’t have noticed she existed if he hadn’t been failing math.

That was when their odd friendship started.

And here they were now, still friends, years later, and while he slept on her couch, she was drooling over him, and the long, wide muscled back left bare to her, inked with dark swirls.

Letters rode down his spine—far more elegantly scripted than she’d have expected prison tattoos to be.

 

No Regrets

 

Other books
double fault by sheila claydon
welcome home by emily mims
fiends of the rising sun by david bishop
artifacts by pete catalano
floating city by eric van lustbader
death's reckoning by will molinar