Chapter One: Suspicious Minds
Vail Russo stomped into the office, slamming the door behind her. Oliver Braun, her boyfriend, bristled. She halted in front of his desk and ground her fists into her hips to keep from hitting him. "Tell me it's not happening again, Oliver."
Oliver's mouth slouched open. A look something like apprehension intermingled with mock innocence glazed his eyes. "What's happening again?"
"Drop the act. You're not that stupid, Oliver." She swallowed hard, furious with herself for being so trusting. Her voice lowered almost to a growl. "Are you seeing her?"
Shrugging, he pursed his lips and gawked back at her with wide eyes. "Who?"
"If you weren't seeing anyone, wouldn't you just say no?"
Oliver sighed as if he were in the clear. He brushed his tie down against his chest. "Okay, Vail, I'm not seeing anyone."
She leaned forward as if to emphasize her next bomb. "I have friends in IT."
Turning his face to a sidelong angle, he splayed his hands as if waiting on a football pass. "And?"
"I'm through talking. Time for you to fess up."
He remained as still as a picture for a moment. A handsome man. Mid-forties. Tan. Bulldog neck. His hairline had receded so much you could have projected a movie on his forehead. He thumped his elbows on the desk behind which he sat and began kneading his temples. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"I'll just forward the emails. You need to get your things out of my house tonight."
"Not that I mind you seeing my emails, but they are private. And there's not a damn thing in them to suggest...an affair or whatever you're grasping for. Bring 'em on."
He had her.
She'd hoped that a bluff-and a surprise attack-would make him crumble. But if she knew anything about Oliver, it was that he usually stayed cool under pressure. It was one of the things that had attracted her to him. True to his nature, he continued lounging in front of her and raising his eyebrows as if to say: ball is in your court.
"Should have expected this." She felt vacant inside. If nothing else, she could not let him turn the tables. In her gut, she knew he'd slipped out on her. "You didn't tell me that Chelsea Myers was a part of your boy's night out last night."
"It didn't seem worth mentioning."
"You invited her. I saw the email."
"I invited a lot of people."
"She was the only woman."
The volleys of emails between Oliver and Chelsea that Vail's friend had snuck to her were suggestive at best. Vail had nothing except her intuition. However, her intuition had warned her about Oliver's first indiscretion. "All right...forget the emails. I just don't think this is working anymore."
Oliver lolled his head to one side and blinked slowly. "Why would I cheat? We're not married. I've..."
"Don't remind me. Three and half years, and you still can't commit."
"Vail, we've been through this."
"And I've been through this. Remember Candace?"
"I didn't know if you and I were really a couple back then. We only went out three times."
"No, you just used that as an excuse. You purposely fucked me twice and left me hanging."
"And then I realized that I wanted to be with you."
Her arms went limp. Debating with him was like pushing a boulder up a ladder. "Just hanging around at my house is not what I call being with me."
"I don't want to talk." She spun on her heels and headed for the door that she had just tried to tear off the hinges. If she didn't get out of there, he'd do that adorable thing where he bows his head and rolls his eyes up to look at her with a mischievous smile and eventually make her question herself. Damn his charm. "Get your things tonight."
As she barreled through the threshold, he kept calling after her.
Screw that. She wouldn't allow him to play damage control.
And who else would she pass on the way to the elevator except Chelsea Myers? The girl, barely out of college, thin as a pencil with pouty lips, just happened to be sauntering toward Oliver's office. Vail remembered her twenties and how thin she had been. Not that she didn't have it going on still. She knew that she could stun men with her olive skin and exotic eyes. And her twins always summoned sneak peeks. Over the past few years, her hips had filled out to a size nine regular. Vail loved her body, but she couldn't help but notice how men's eyes seemed to dart to the twigs. Chelseawouldn't return Vail's gaze. Instead, she made an awkward turn into a row of cubicles, bowing her head which stood out like a gold lighthouse. Vail grumbled before stomping onto the elevator.
Getting Oliver Braun out of her life would be like separating sweetness from sugar. The data storage company they both worked for was burgeoning. And she and Oliver, loved by the top executives, would have jobs for quite a while. Vail hit the lobby button and thought about how she would have to continue interacting with him. But now was the time for her to get him out of her life, if she wanted to do it on her own terms.
It crossed Vail's mind to take the rest of the day off. She had plenty of vacation, and her boss often gave her comp days because she was such a workaholic. Pride shut down that notion, however. An emotional day wasn't about to squeeze her out of her duties. A breather-one that allowed her to get outside for a good half hour-felt like a better option. Vail got off the elevator and exited through the main entrance.
She inhaled the sweet fresh spring air of Austin, Texas as it breezed past. Her company's building, located in a business park, overlooked a small pond and a jogging path. However, the park bustled from the scattered activities of a Dark Arts Festival. Booths and tents dotted the hillside. The sounds of wooden flutes whistling out some medieval composition flew by with the wind. Papier-mâché ghosts and goblins stared at the visitors. Vendors dressed in robes and capes tried to entice the onlookers. Vail had forgotten about the eccentric carnival. The pond would have been a great place for some meditation, otherwise.
With no other options, she decided to go down and browse the weirdness anyway. One of the things she loved about Austin was its rich culture. Cowboys, hippies, conservatives, liberals, white collars, blue collars-this city had so many walks of life, and they seemed to fit just right together.
As she strolled along the flower beds that led to the park, the thought of time wasted in her relationship with Oliver hurt the most. Three and a half years. She was thirty when she met him. In spite of his mediocre looks, he had a larger than life personality that could attract just about any woman. Classy, witty, ambitious, he had so much more going for him than the slackers she'd been with before. In a lot of ways, though, he was like a kid. Each day was like a ride in an amusement park to him, and it seemed he would never allow anyone to burst his bubble.
Vail began weaving through the crowd of the festival. Troubadours strolled around, playing lutes. Acrobats and entertainers gave free shows. Vail stopped by a mystic's tent and marveled for a moment as the heavy woman with pigtails read tarot cards for a Goth who kept popping his knuckles. Folding her arms across her chest, Vail broke away from the tent and snickered to herself. I wonder if she could tell me if Oliver will get the message.
If she hated Oliver, this breakup would be much easier. As the smell of onion rings triggered her hunger, Vail realized that she needed to make some kind of drastic change, so Oliver would really feel her new direction.
A thundering voice blared into her right ear. "Look at that beautiful lady!"
Vail turned to see a guy sitting on a stool controlling two puppets. This puppet master who looked like a teenager had such a genuine, twinkling smile that it almost took Vail aback. He had a Caesar cut and a long-sleeved navy T-shirt and jeans. The dummy on his right arm had exaggerated muscles in its chest and arms, and a square jaw with a brunette pompadour. The other puppet, a girl, had a librarian look: wig tied up in a bun, glasses, blushing face. The puppet master was front and center on a small stage flanked with rust curtains.
The librarian puppet eyed Vail up and down. "Yes...she looks very sad."
The female voice roaming out of the puppet master sounded so real and opposite of what could come out of a teenager. Vail's jaw dropped. "Just having a bad day." She studied the puppet master's face. Was he even over sixteen?
The buffed puppet-Vail kept thinking he looked like a caricature of Adonis-tilted its head and crooned, "What do you say we turn this day around for you? How about I buy you a drink?"
Vail realized that the beautiful lady comment had been the voice of Adonis. She laughed. "Sorry...but, uh...another guy is the last thing I need right now...especially a puppet."
"Oh..." The librarian reared her head back as if she'd been around the block a few times. "Man trouble. They're such swine, aren't they?"
"No...not really." Vail was astounded at the puppet master's command of voices. The Adonis had a bass register that would slide up seductively on certain words. The librarian had an airy flute sound with a staccato phrasing reminiscent of a British aristocracy. It was hard to believe that the kid could alternate between styles so easily. She also hadn't spotted his throat or lips moving one tiny bit. Vail looked the puppet master in his cheery blue eyes. "Hope you don't mind me saying this, but you're too good to be hanging out at a festival. You should be in Hollywood doing voice-overs or something."
Adonis said, "She's not having trouble with men. Look at her...she's hot."
The librarian leered at him. "Just because she can attract them doesn't mean they understand her."
Impressed with this kid's insightfulness, Vail gave him a coy grin. "You don't really fit in with the rest of the crowd, either. I mean..." She gestured around at the adjacent booths. "Everybody else is in wizard hats and Druid clothing. Why the plain old T-shirt?"
The librarian said, "Maybe he simply does what he likes, no matter what others think."
Without missing a beat, Adonis added, "Now, that's what I'm talking about." He leaned toward Vail again. The shadows grew long on the puppet's face, and it looked as if it raised an eyebrow. "How about you, pretty lady? Are you getting what you want out of life?"
A sensation like the rush of jumping off of a cliff overwhelmed Vail's nerves for split second. She didn't know if she'd just had a caffeine reaction, hunger craving, or small anxiety attack. Okay, this is getting too weird. The puppet's prompt and an odd tingling down her back suddenly made Vail want to take inventory of her desires. Stymied by the puppet's conundrum, Vail, for lack of any other response, smarted off, saying, "Hey, if you know a better way, sign me up." She flicked her fingers at the teenager in a half-hearted wave. "Remember what I said about Hollywood."
Navigating through the crowd, heading back towards her building, she heard the librarian call out, "It's all you, girl."
Vail snickered to the remark in a weak effort to forget the bizarre puppet encounter. For some reason, though, she felt as if she needed to prove the stupid little dummies wrong. She had conquered in her career and was damned proud of it. And that's all she could come up with. Making matters worse, the heat seemed to kick up a notch. The tingle down her back was growing in intensity. Like a cat, she had an overwhelming urge to brush up against something. A massage or a long bath sounded positively fabulous. For the first time in years, Vail didn't want to return to work. If her keys and purse weren't still in the office, she would have just gotten in her car and flown.
"Pay whatever it costs to have the roses delivered by noon," Oliver told his assistant through the phone.
A knock on his office door. Now what?
Chelsea Myers barely opened Oliver's door and slipped in. He admired her long legs for a moment, and then forced a smile as he met her eyes. "This isn't a good time, Chelsea."
She leaned against the door to latch it and studied him with zero expression.
Oliver sighed. With Vail's explosion that everyone all the way to the capital could hear, Chelsea no doubt cared less if this minute was convenient for him. She knew exactly how to get to the top.
With a tilt of her head and a snooty raise of her eyebrows, Chelsea asked, "Does she know?"
Shaking his head, he replied, "But the more you hang around, the more she'll suspect."
"She broke up with you."
Temporarily, Oliver thought. That probably wouldn't be the best response, though. He could accept Vail's ending the relationship if needed. After all, Chelsea, with legs up to her neck, tits like cantaloupes, and a luscious mouth, would probably stick around a while. But he did have a special bond with Vail, whether she felt it or not. And there was no need to limit his options. So he dismissed Chelsea's declaration. "It doesn't matter."
Keeping her hands behind her back, Chelseastalked forward. "That's what I'm worried about. If you have nothing to lose, that little favor I did for you last night isn't going to buy me much. I don't take dictation like that for just any guy."
"I don't forget the people that hook me up." This much was true. Loyalty had gotten Oliver to the executive director level. However, he wished Chelsea possessed a little more professionalism in tandem with her fellatio talents. "I'll start the buzz for your promotion. It's as good as done."
Look at all the man candy. Vail hadn't noticed before that many of the men she worked with were attractive in their own way. She clip-clopped in her high heels across the floor back to her office, smiling at several of the guys. Was this a new lease on life?
Jason Richards, her friend in IT, approached her. He had a neat short beard of stubble and a buzz cut. A few acne scars riddled his face and neck, but Vail thought they made him look rugged-or at least she was noticing this now. Jason shoved his hands in his pockets and matched her pace as they headed toward her doorway. "Are you all right?"
"Word on the street...is that you and Oliver..."
She beamed at Jason and patted his shoulder. "Aren't you a dear. I'm fine. Never been better." She noticed how taut Jason's shoulder felt. It was as if all her feelings were waking up. Why hadn't she inquired more about his private life before-whether or not he had a girlfriend-what clubs he frequented...if at all? All she really knew about him was that he could work the computers like a maestro. She stopped and gazed into his eyes deeply. "Hey...thanks for the heads up...and letting me see the messages. I owe you."
Jason smiled sheepishly. "Don't mention it...I mean...it was no big deal. Just seemed like the right thing to do."
She shot him the look that she used to tell men that she was interested. "What are you doing tonight?"
Clearly, Jason hadn't received too many of these signals. He looked at the floor and scratched his head. "Uh...I'm going with a friend...to...to the film noir festival."
"Oh? Who's the lucky girl?"
A high-pitched giggled erupted out of his throat. "It's nothing like that. He's my best friend from high school."
Vail stared at him with her mouth slightly open as if to clue him into to inviting her or ditching his buddy. Instead, he took a deep breath. "It's kind of a...tradition."
She nodded. Cute guy, but too afraid to take a woman. "Well, you have a good time. Let me know when I can buy you lunch."
As she strode into her office, she realized that was one thing she could say about Oliver-he knew how to fuck. Would all the guys she flirted with act like Jason? It made her heart skip to think so. She'd only had five boyfriends with whom she'd had sex. As she yanked the purse off of her desk and strapped it to her shoulder, the phone rang. The display showed her boss's cell phone number.
Evan! God, she just about walked out without even calling him. What the hell was she thinking? Good thing he called. She decided to sit down and blow out a lungful before answering. She picked up the receiver and stuck it to her ear. "Hey you."
"Hey yourself. Heard you're having a rough day."
"It...started that way."
"What are you doing for lunch?" Lots of static crunched through the earpiece.
She shook her head and then realized he couldn't see that. "Uh...I hadn't given it any thought. I was just about to..."
"Perfect. Let's go to Jose's."
"Now? It's only ten thirty. Where are you?"
"As a matter of fact, it needs to be a late lunch. Around one o'clock. I'm on my way to the airport. There's someone I want you to meet."
Oliver softly knocked on Vail's closed door. He opened it and poked his head through the narrow gap. "Can I come in?"
Vail looked as if she'd been daydreaming-something Oliver hadn't witnessed many times before. Her hands were empty, flattened on the desk top. Her face hung unreadable. Not the busy bee that he was used to seeing. Was she shaken up by dumping him?
Her breasts heaved as she took a deep breath. "You're already in."
A deeper appreciation for her beauty struck Oliver at that moment. He had found in past relationships that when he was on the brink of losing a girlfriend, they suddenly became goddesses. Vail had that going for her, anyway, with her Mediterranean characteristics. He loved her curves and cute full lips.
Oliver suppressed a smile. So far, so good. He edged the rest of his body past the door and slung out the dozen roses that had been hidden behind his back. "The emails were out of line. I admit it."
Her expression didn't change. Oliver expected that she would at least roll her eyes. Not good. He crept forward, brandishing the floral package. "No matter what happens, I'm sorry." He exhaled as if struggling to breathe-a technique he had practiced several times this afternoon. "Please just know this...I didn't do anything with Chelsea Myers." He gestured as if about to cue an orchestra. Dramatic hand sweeps were his specialty. "I was only playing matchmaker. Chelsea likes Brad, and I sprinkled a little fairy dust, and voila...now they're dating."
Still no reaction.
Venturing all the way to her desk, Oliver placed the roses on it. He backed away very delicately and stuck his hands up in the air as if under arrest. "I'll pick up my things if you want me to. I'll need some time to find a storage unit for the Harley, if you don't mind. Don't want to keep it out in the open by my apartment." Allowing his arms to settle by his sides, he nodded and gave her his devilish grin. "But I'd love to kiss your pussy one more time."
A crooked smile broke in Vail's face. Oliver didn't know what to make of it and eyed her suspiciously with a subtle turn of his head. It felt as if she were looking through him. Not something that slick Oliver was accustomed to-with anyone.
Vail allowed her eyes to travel leisurely over Oliver's thick body. One more romp? Seemed fair enough. Speaking of Harleys, her sexual appetite was screaming like a racing engine. If Oliver proved to be a problem with this breakup, she'd put her house up for sale. He'd never expect that. He didn't know how much she needed a change. She stood quickly. The shit-eating grin on Oliver's face fell away at once.
That almost made her smile outright. She was in charge now. It was her turn to use him. "Lock the door."
Oliver's face slackened as his cock expanded. It was her voice-the hurried, frenzied sound of a woman in heat-that aroused him. With a flick of his wrist, the door closed, and he pushed the nub like button to secure it.
His heart thumped as she emerged from behind the desk. Except for the sounds of their hissing breaths, the room was silent. He saw her dark eyes zero in on his bulge. Up close now, engaging him as he leaned against the door, she said, "Okay, go down on me."
He grabbed her, not hesitating to take the soft silk of her blouse between his eager fingers, and latched his mouth to hers. She groaned, seeming to savor the feel of his tongue as he expertly darted into the hot wetness of her mouth. Vail released something like a purr when she felt his hands move lower and remove the tail of the blouse from her tight, black skirt. With his hands on the bare flesh of her back, he kneaded the skin there.
She was actually going to let him fuck her here. At best, he'd figured that his tease would just break the dam so they could have dinner and segue to some make-up sex at the house. But right here with only a door between them and the rest of the company! He prayed he could hold back the flood that pounded in his dick long enough to put it in her.
Oliver's aching cock pressed through his tan slacks. He grabbed her hand and placed it on his erection. "See what you do to me? I'm about to fucking explode. No way could I fuck around on you. Your pussy is too hot." She moved her hands to cup and massage his erection. Pressed together, they moaned and vibrated into each other's bodies.
"Take it out," he whispered, slightly rocking from the feel of her touch.
She did, using her right hand to pull down the zipper, while her left hung in his belt loop. Her fingers darted through the opening in his pants, only to be blocked by the light cotton material of his boxers. Vail shimmied his pants with the underwear down to his ankles. The cool air nearly made Oliver lose his load. He wasn't sure if he could hold it back, once she squeezed his slab.
But Vail turned the tables on him. She backed away and started stripping. Unbuttoning her top, she said, "I want you to get a good look at what you're giving up."
Oliver felt a spike in his nervous system. Was she only teasing?
Vail shrugged out of her blouse and then slid her skirt off. Standing there in only a black bra, panties, hose, and stilettos, she began caressing her breasts. "I bet you'd like to do this."
"Fuck, yes." Even if Vail didn't plan to fuck him, he loved this. It took superhuman effort to keep his hands off his pole. If he touched it, he would ejaculate. And just the slim possibility that she would relent made him crazy.
With a torrid look on her face, Vail released her bra, and then perched on her desk and started grinding on her crotch with her palm. "Well...are you going to suck my clit, or what?"
Waddling across the carpet with his pants wrapped at his feet, Oliver thanked God that he was going to at least taste her juices. Vail stuck her heels into his chest right when he was about to pounce. "Wait." She let her foot slide down. "This is the last time you get to eat my pussy. Think about that."
Oliver couldn't come up with anything to say. His prick was bucking so much from the need to gush. He wanted to eat her pussy over and over.
Vail peeled her panties off slowly, taking her time to drag them down her legs.
Sex had never been like this with her before. Oliver couldn't think of fucking anyone but Vail from then on. He wanted to lick the backs of her thighs as the panties rolled to her ankles.
Then Vail's womanhood lay before him. Gleaming wet. Her finger grazing the clit. He thought about how soft the labia would feel to his kiss.
Vail repeated in a breathy voice, "The last time."
Oliver pounced. His mouth had been watering so much that when he licked her clit, his tongue glided easily, sensually. He beat his tongue back and forth over the nub and then sucked hard on it. He looked up at her face peeking at him from behind her breasts. "Great way to break up a Friday."
Vail clutched his hair in both hands. "Fuck me with your mouth!" She slammed his face deep into her sweet spot, hunching his head like a sex toy. Oliver gathered her in, palming her ass, blissfully accepting his mandate. He loved the fact that someone might have heard her shouting at him.
Then the come washed his face. Vail barked, "Keep sucking! Oh God!"
Oliver felt the waves continue. The collar of his shirt was wet. His hair gathered moisture from her slick thighs. He didn't know how he was going to clean up, but he didn't care, for the time being.
Vail pushed his head out of her crotch. "Stand up."
She sat up on the desk. "Now you're going to get sucked. And you'll never be able to forget it."
Down she slid, until she squatted in front of him. His thickened cock raged in her hot hands. Its purple head thrust at her mouth, aching to be mouthed. She parted her lips. He shuddered. She was going to swallow his tool right here in the office.
She gazed into his eyes dreamily as she breathed heavily on his wood. She worked the shaft up and down, and then licked her lips. "I bet that would taste good."
"Oh, there's plenty in this piñata." he groaned.
Then Vail smirked and released him. "Well, I don't know what you're going to do with it. I let you eat my pussy like you wanted. I'm thinking lunch now."
The pressure in Oliver's cock was relentless. He loved this game. His hands fell to her neck. "I want to be inside you." He tugged at her head, drawing her up until they were eye to eye. The smirk never left her face. "And if I don't get that pussy, I'll open the door. And we'll both go down...together."
The amused expression still glowed in Vail's face. She got up, set her butt on her desk and leaned back with her arms supporting her. "Go ahead."
"What?" He'd expected her to plead for her career or something. This almost knocked his erection down.
"I said go ahead. That doesn't faze me."
She was serious. This drove him wild. He went for her. "Get on top of the desk. Climb up."
Vail didn't move a muscle. "It'll mess up my desk."
"Get on top of the desk."
She still didn't budge.
Oliver grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her around. "Then I'll fuck you in the ass, if the whole world is going to see it."
"All right, all right." As if it were a major inconvenience for her, Vail sprawled across the desktop. Charts and papers crashed to the floor. But Oliver didn't care about that, because her sopping wet pussy promised him sweet climax. He grabbed the base of his cock and swept over her clit with the head. Rubbing the moisture made him even crazier.
"Uhhh," she whimpered.
With that, he plunged into the folds of her soft cunt. He pulled her legs over his shoulders and pumped her hard.
"Don't come in me," Vail warned between ragged breaths.
But Oliver's cock was frozen in ecstasy. Pulling out wasn't an option. When he came, it thrilled him to the bone and as if it went on for ages. As her breasts shook in front of him from his pounding, he pictured the loads of jizz that shot all over inside her. And that wicked, entertained look on her face...he hadn't been this hot for any woman as far back as he could remember. He yelled, "Fuck!" as the last wad shot from the depths of his balls. He bent over and kissed her passionately, running his fingers through her hair. "Please, let's give us another chance."