And then he’s coming too, right behind me, his body trembling, his muscles tensing just before they go lax. A shout leaves him and he squeezes me tight, his cock deep, his hold firm, possessive.
It feels like a claiming.
The man who doesn’t want to put labels on us, who’s determined to ruin what we have before it naturally falls apart, is claiming me. Possessing me. His mouth is on my skin, his cock in my body, his hands everywhere, demanding my surrender.
And I give it to him.
“This is taking too long,” I say as I stare at my reflection in the mirror. My hair is still not done and time is ticking right on by. “You need to hurry up.”
“Oh my God, shut up. You’re so demanding,” Kelli mutters as she runs a curling iron through just the ends of my hair. After pouring through fashion magazines for the last twenty minutes while Kelli blew dry my hair—she’s always buying magazines so I asked her to bring over her latest collection—I found the hairstyle I wanted for tonight.
Now let’s just see if Kelli can replicate it.
“Your dress is going to send Tristan to his knees,” Kelli says as she releases a section of hair and it falls in the most perfect half curl ever. So relieved she can deliver. “It’s sweet and sexy, all at once.”
I blow out a breath, my gaze still fixed on my reflection. “Is my makeup too over the top? I think I went overboard with the eyeliner.” I’ve gotten good at perfecting the cat eye look but is it too much?
“Don’t you dare change it,” Kelli threatens, waving the curling iron at my reflection. “You look amazing.”
Standing straighter, I smooth my hand over the front of my dress, pressing my lips together. “The dress is too short.”
“I might flash my panties at someone.”
“Then don’t wear any.”
“Kelli.” My gaze meets hers in the mirror.
She shrugs, carrying on with the curling. “What? Tristan would love it.”
“One wrong move and every guy at the party will love it.” I rest my hand on my stomach, willing my nerves to calm. I’m scared to death to go to this party tonight. I’d been excited since he asked me—it felt like his request meant something, you know? Like he wants to show me off to his friends that I’m with him. But once reality set in and the date drew closer and closer, I started to dread going.
What if I’m making something out of nothing? This could be a casual thing. Tristan is the absolute king of casual things. And while he’s been attentive and sweet and we’ve spent a lot of time together these last few weeks, it could all come crumbling down with one wrong move.
Plus, I agonized over what to wear, which is so stupid. The dress I finally chose is two years old. And if a rich girl who stays on top of fashion is there, she’ll know it in an instant. I shouldn’t care, but old Alex is cringing at the idea of wearing something so out of fashion.
Though really, it’s not out of fashion at all. That’s just old Alex talking. Made out of soft black velvet, with little cap sleeves, a high, rounded collar and a flared skirt—a skirt that hits me high on my thigh, showcasing plenty of leg.
Probably too much leg but screw it. Tristan has told me time and again my legs are his favorite body part. May as well flaunt them while I can, even if it is thirty-five degrees outside, unusually cold for the California coast.
Kelli moves behind me, still curling my hair. “Steven is taking me out tonight.”
“Oh yeah?” I focus on my friend, tired of worrying about outfit woes. I’m focusing on the stuff I can control. It’s the easier route to take.
“Yeah. We’re going shopping for Christmas presents.”
I go still. “Sounds serious.”
“Not really. He just needs help picking out presents for his family, and I told him I pick out the best gifts ever. I know when I’m being used.” I laugh and she continues on. “Who am I to turn down a shopping date? It’ll be fun. Plus maybe I can hint around what I want for Christmas.”
“Are you getting him something?” I ask.
“I want to, but I’m not sure what. His favorite game is The Legend of Zelda. There’s this figurine he’s wanted since he was a kid but it’s so expensive. I saw one on eBay for over seven hundred bucks!” Kelli shakes her head.
“That’s nuts,” I agree, thinking it’s cute that she looked into it.
“How about you? Are you getting Tristan anything?”
I sigh. “I don’t know. I don’t want to make a big deal about the holiday.”
“Is he going back home this time?”
“Yeah. He even asked me to go home with him.”
Kelli sets the curling iron on the counter and turns to look at me. “Are you serious? That’s huge!”
“You think?” I’m not sure. He’s so hard to read and he made the offer so casually. I laughed like he was joking but his expression was solemn, his words carefully chosen.
“I want you to go with me,” he had said. “I don’t like thinking of you all by yourself during the holiday.”
I’d told him I was staying here over the month break from school and he couldn’t believe it. No one can believe it when I tell them and I’ve come close to confessing my pitiful story countless times.
But I could never make myself do it.
Part of my problem is I never feel like I’m on solid ground with Tristan. He’s still blissfully cruising along, pretending that what we share isn’t intense and mind blowing. Because it so is. There was a shift the night we had the talk, argument, whatever. To call it an argument is a bit of a stretch, though. More like the both of us having a minor fit.
I guess I shouldn’t try putting a label on what happened, right?
All I know is I feel closer to him. Does he feel the same? I keep catching him staring at me, this sort of lovesick look in his eyes. He covers it up fast, that mask he’s so good at wearing sliding into place when he realizes I’m watching him, but I saw it. And I recognize it too.
I’m feeling the same way he does.
My phone buzzes, vibrating across the tile counter and I grab it to find a text message from Tristan on the screen.
You ready? I’m leaving the house now.
“Tristan’s left his house,” I tell Kelli, sending Tristan a quick answer before I set my phone on the counter. “Hurry.”
“Bossy brat,” Kelli mumbles, whipping that curling iron through my hair fast. “There. What do you think?” She finger combs out the curls, loosening them up so they look effortless.
“Perfect. I love it. Thank you.” I turn to face her and smile. “I need to get my shoes on.”
I exit the bathroom and go to my room, sitting on the edge of the bed so I can slip on my classic black Louboutin heels. Kelli enters the room seconds later, her gaze dropping to my feet.
“How can you afford shoes like that? They cost as much as two months’ rent.” She sends a pointed look to my feet. “I’d recognize those red soles anywhere.”
Opening my mouth, the words just fly right out of me. “I grew up a rich girl. I had everything I could ever want all through high school. Until my parents were busted—they embezzled money from their clients. Now they’re in prison.” I clamp my lips shut, stunned that I revealed so much.