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“Is this what you want?” he asked in a heated whisper when he broke the kiss.
I glared at him, angry with him and at myself for allowing him to get to me so easily. “Don’t toy with me.”
“I’m not toying with you. Do you think this is easy for me?”
My cheeks burned as he grabbed my breast and pinched my nipple. “You make me feel lonely. Like I’m unwanted. Can’t we be friends, at least?”
“I’m sorry. I was just trying to keep my distance.”
He didn’t seem to care about distance anymore. I gasped as he unzipped my pants and pulled my panties down. “Luke! They might be recording—we’re in an elevator for crissakes.” I looked at him in amazement. What had I done to get him so excited?
“So? I love that you’re so blunt. Straight to the point. You’re unlike any girl I’ve ever met.”
My emotions felt like a Ping-Pong match. How does he do this to me? He cupped my mound with his palm, which was soaking wet with my arousal. He dipped into me with his finger, watching my face transform with a satisfied smirk.
“That’s it,” he whispered. “I want to get you off.”
There were two fingers inside me now, pumping inside my wet walls. I clenched myself around him and seized Luke’s head, burying my tongue in his mouth. He kept the same steady rhythm, his fingers curling into the spot that made me moan out loud. It was increasing and I felt my stomach clench as Luke pushed me towards my breaking point. I cried out and felt my core contracting around his fingers as he plunged them in hard one last time.
The elevator doors opened to our floor and Luke slid his wet fingers out of me. I saw the bulge in front of his pants and knew that he wanted to bury himself inside me. But he wouldn’t. He shook his head.
“I can’t, Jessica, but I want to.”
* * *
Weeks passed and Luke’s father kept an unsettling silence. Returning from work one day, Luke paced the hotel suite, repeatedly asking me if anyone called. Things between us were tense lately due to the fact that Luke and I couldn’t have sex despite the fact that we desperately wanted it.
“Why hasn’t he called?” he repeated over and over as he loosened the tie from his neck and began unbuttoning his shirt.
I watched him anxiously, my eyes flicking from the toned skin peeking out from his shirt to his eyes. I didn’t know what to tell him. “He’ll call. Maybe he’s busy.” I knew that my assurances meant nothing to him, but I didn’t know what else to do.
Luke looked at me with a bit of heat in his gaze as he ripped off his shirt and threw it on the floor. “He’s busy harassing the nurses, I’m sure. This is just another way for him to screw with me.”
An ostentatiously loud ringing filled the hotel suite and Luke stood shock still. It was coming from the office. Wow, that’s creepy. He stared at me
“Well, answer it!” I yelled as the second ring jarred the air.
He sprinted towards the office and I followed swiftly, hanging awkwardly near the door, which Luke left ajar. Should I stay here?
“Luke Pardini,” he answered in a tight voice.
I peeked inside and saw Luke hunched over the desk, shirtless, looking as though he wanted to throw up. He saw me looking and pressed the speakerphone button.
“Hello, Luke,” said a wizened, male voice. “I see that you’ve been very busy this past few weeks. A new girlfriend and a drunken brawl already?”
“Hi Dad,” he said in a grim voice. “I wasn’t drunk. I was trying to help someone and—”
“I’m not interested in hearing your excuses. I’m more interested about the girl. She doesn’t look like the tarts you usually date.”
I yanked my necklace chain against my skin.
“Well, her name is Jessica.” Luke gave me a worried look. “She has a BA in English—”
“Useless degree. What else?”
A ripple of anger went through me. Useless? Well, I had heard it before.
“She—um, she volunteers at a soup kitchen every week and wants a job in editing.”
“How quaint.”
I was astounded at how demeaning he could sound in the few words that he spoke.
The speaker of the phone let out a garbled sigh. “Luke, I called because I’m removing you from VP of Acquisitions for a few weeks.”
Luke’s shout of rage was enough the make the walls tremble. “You’re what?”
“I can’t afford to get any more bad press on the company. You do know that you’re a magnet for it, right? I don’t know why you like to make my life so difficult.”
“Dad, you can’t believe everything you read in the press!”
The explosion of rage that erupted from the speaker made me back away.
“Do you think it matters to the shareholders? What about the board members? They see you as a loose cannon. You’ve attracted so much negative attention to the company and I do not want anything getting in the way of the Hilton merger. I am sick and tired of our name being dragged through the mud because you can’t fucking grow up!”
“Then you can say good-bye to the multi-million dollar deal I just made in San Francisco!”
The voice screaming through the speakerphone suddenly drew a sharp breath and began a violent coughing fit. When the voice recovered, his tone was shrewd.
“What deal?”
“I didn’t tell you, but I discovered a bed and breakfast chain in the city with high profit margins and cut them a deal. They’re all over California, and we have plans to expand to Oregon and Nevada. It will net us an annual thirty million dollars. I was going to tell you when it was finalized.”
I almost winced at the unspoken plea in Luke’s voice: I wanted to impress you, Dad.
“What will make me happy is having a son that doesn’t shame me and the name he was born into. When are you visiting me?”
Luke didn’t bother answering back. He smashed his fist down and ended the call, making the phone bounce off the table. He bent over and picked up the phone. He grunted as he hurled the machine at the glass, but the phone was one of those expensive, well-constructed, sleek models and it didn’t break.
“Luke, stop!”
He yelled at the fallen phone. His screams seemed to be a combination of insults and unintelligible outbursts of sheer rage.
I never saw him lose complete control like this. I tiptoed towards him, ripping back my hand as I approached him. I was scared that if I touched him, he would whirl around and unleash some of his rage on me. He kicked the phone across the room and paced in front of the glass, refusing to turn around.