Daydreams Chapters 1-4

This is your final warning. This is an erotic piece of writing and it comes with a responsibility to please give me some feedback. Lastly, remember that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit. Without further ado, here are the first four chapters of a fictional novel I’ve been having fun creating. Enjoy.

 

 

1

 

“Well then when the fuck is it going to be finished?!” His voice was well beyond intimidating, bordering frightening. He sounded enraged, betrayed even.

 

“Whoa! Boss, we’re doing the best we can, working as fast as possible. They sent the wrong marble and now we’re making the changes that Mrs. Gamble requested,” Jose said, holding his hands up, while quickly glancing at me with sincere apology in his eyes. He’d kind of thrown me under the bus, and Daniel had definitely noticed. He may have been the boss, but the wife always seemed to be in control of the decisions.

 

I looked away, truly afraid of his deathly stare. I chose to focus on the hazardous mess we were standing in. What had started out two years ago as a quick real estate flip, had become a complete disaster, and money funnel with no end date in site. The building was stunning, and the first time I saw it, I had to have it. I can still remember my excitement as I called Daniel over to see it.

 

From the outside it looked like an abandoned warehouse building, but once you got inside it was impeccable. Every level had a complete wall of floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city, taking full advantage of its hillside location. That was about all the levels shared though, as every was so different from the next that I’d chosen to name each one, in typical Emily fashion. My friends called me the hopeless romantic, always making everything fit to my whimsical ideas, but this building was a true dream, just waiting to come true.

 

The plan was to turn each floor into an independent loft style condo, making it the premiere building in the downtown LA real estate market. The lowest two levels contained a sixteen-car garage, leaving each unit with more than enough space for cars and storage, with the top four levels as living spaces. I dreamed of the final designs of these apartments every night, never doubting their potential, or compromising my vision.

 

I named the first loft Margaret, or Maggie for short. It was the smallest of all four units and had a dainty feel about it. Everything was white and shiny, very plain Jane I thought. I remember telling Daniel that Margaret was the kind of girl that didn’t say a word during sex, and did whatever her man told her to. Even more vividly, I remember the smirk that Daniel had made once I said it, as he looked towards the back of the loft, assuming I couldn’t see his face.

 

Most vividly, I remember feeling the ball of anxiety in my stomach, as I wondered if that was the kind of wife he wished he had. A blank canvas, ready to do any and everything he wanted. I was no Margaret, and our marriage was not filled with me taking orders or doing what I was told, in or out of the bedroom. I don’t know if either of us expected that in the beginning. I was always the princess of any relationship in my life and Daniel decided to follow suit while courting me. We’d wed in a fairy tale wedding 4-years prior, although he’d wanted a simple celebration, even once suggesting going to the courthouse, which he tried to pretend was a joke after seeing the look of disgust on my face. I knew what he was doing. He was changing his mind and his behavior to fit my vision, but I didn’t stop him. Instead, I encouraged it. I felt like I was training him.

 

The higher up you went in the lofts, the more luxurious they got, hence the lowest level getting such an ordinary name like Margaret. Bella was the second unit, named for her Parisian inspired finishes and French charm. Next up was Gia, which was simply the name that popped in my mind when I thought of a sexy, younger woman. Gia was filled with chrome finishes; she was the girl that played poker and didn’t call AAA when her car broke down. Gia was fucking hot, and the loft was perfect for a bachelor, a woman that oozed sex and watched sports, or a man that had found his sexy partner and locked her down. Now we were standing in Giovanna, the penthouse, named for glamour that bordered gaudy. Giovanna had more marble than any other surface, and she was the main selling point for me when I first saw the building.

 

What we didn’t know the day that we impulsively made an offer, after I refused to slow down and think about it, was that the area had not been zoned for residential space, and the previous owner had lost so much money on permits that it was on the market as a sign of defeat. It took us over a year, and 8-figures, to grease the right hands to finally get the correct zoning for individual sale. Even after that, we still had small renovations; because of course I wasn’t satisfied with the units as they were.

 

I watched Daniel grit his teeth during the entire first day of demolition, and I thought how good of a job I’d done training him when he didn’t say a word about me ruining perfectly good bathrooms and kitchens on two levels, simply because I thought they should be on the other end of the unit. A year later, and the last of every dollar we could save or borrow for the project, we were now to the final stage of picking finishing touches, although we were balancing this project with the biggest task we’d ever taken on – a divorce.

 

I liked to say that the stress of the real estate project ruined our marriage, but I knew that wasn’t the whole truth. Daniel never wanted the princess, he actually wanted to marry Emily, and I wasn’t wiling to fully give myself to him. I wouldn’t let him lead. But I manipulated my way to the head of the table with tantrums and puppy eyes. I knew he’d give me anything I wanted and I completely took advantage of his desire to see me happy. Daniel would never hurt me, and that was more a weakness than strength when dealing with a woman like me. He was the type to ask if he was hurting me during missionary sex, while cradling my head and proclaiming his love for me in my ear. I was the type to roll my eyes and stare at the ceiling, waiting for him to come.

 

“So fucking do what I tell you and stop fucking listening to her! She’s not the fucking boss!” Daniel’s outburst snapped me back into reality. For everything he wasn’t, Daniel was definitely sexy as hell. I could see his chiseled frame through his tailored suit, as his back muscles tensed while he barked orders at the crew. They all stared at him with fear in their eyes, surely they’d never seen him so upset. At 6’ 4” he towered over everyone in the room, and his five o’clock shadow, covering his flawless skin, accentuated his jawbone as he desperately tried to contain his rage. He’d only gotten into this project to please his perfect little wife who he now couldn’t stand, and his current and future financial health depended on its completion, which I continued to delay without so much as consulting him. Yeah, he was pissed.

 

Watching him take off his suit jacket, I couldn’t even think about how mad he was, or how much I deserved it. All I could see was his perfectly chiseled chest. It was like I could see his six-pack through his shirt. We’d been so pissed at each other that I hadn’t seen his bare chest in over a month, and before that it was only during peeks of him working out in our glassed in gym. I hadn’t felt his touch in 6-months, during our last pity fuck for my birthday. It was miserable and I think we both silently agreed that whatever we’d had was gone. Two weeks later I filed for divorce and he didn’t so much as text me once he received the papers. Now we were only communicating about the divorce through our lawyers, and living separate lives in the same home. Meeting at the site was the only time we were purposely in the same room, and the tension was always so thick that I felt sorry for the staff, since they constantly felt the wrath of both of us.

 

Today I didn’t feel sorry for anyone but myself, because I used to be able to fuck him and now I was watching him point and scowl, as desire pooled in between my legs, knowing that there would be no release in sight. Suddenly his face turned into a deep frown and he turned toward me, before dropping his jacket and storming in my direction. In the twenty seconds it took for him to reach me I prayed that he would pick me up and fuck me right there. I didn’t give a fuck if everyone saw it. I didn’t care about the divorce being called off; I just cared about him being inside of me. He was so fucking sexy.

 

“Why the – Why did you tell Luis to postpone painting the garage units?!” Daniel yelled, as he clenched his teeth so tight I could see new lines of his jaw. So he was definitely not coming over here to fuck me, but that didn’t dampen my desire in the least bit. He was so pissed, but he still refused to curse at me, even after cursing out every worker within earshot. “Em?! Answer me!” He interrupted my gaze.

 

Fuck this. He needed to fuck me as bad as I needed to be fucked.

 

I grabbed his wrist, because we were hand holders when we were happy. Everywhere we went we held hands, and that was actually what I missed most when we started this separate life. But this wasn’t that. He wasn’t the newlywed that used to look at me all googly eyed, and I definitely wasn’t the princess wife that he’d never raised his voice at.

 

I yanked him to the elevator before I even knew what I was doing, and I think the element of surprise caught him off guard because he was actually following me willingly. He probably assumed I was pissed too and was going to show him some proof, to justify my decision to further delay the completion of the project. He was wrong.

 

All the staff was working in Giovanna, so the elevator opened immediately when I pushed the call button, as it had been idly waiting there since it carried us in silence just 30-minutes prior. I knew the rest of the building was empty, so I chose the third floor, hitting the button much harder than I intended.

 

“What are you doing?” Daniel stood over me, his face a mix of a frown, laced with disgust, as he spit the words out. I felt naked; as if he knew what I wanted and was repulsed by the idea that I would even think he would fuck me. Without thinking, I smacked him hard across the right side of his face, as the elevator dinged and opened to Gia.

 

I stormed into the loft, which was still dimly lit from our check-up earlier, knowing that I no longer needed hold of his wrist, my slap would ensure that he’d be on my heels as I stormed towards the chrome kitchen island in the middle of the room. I pulled the string of my black wrap dress, effectively undressing myself in one quick motion, as Daniel grabbed my elbow, spinning me around.

 

Confusion covered his face as he took in my lingerie. I’d always been a lingerie fanatic, and Daniel had never really cared, claiming that he’d make love to me in cotton panties, because I was so beautiful. There was no cotton touching my body today. Over the past month I’d began spending more time picking out my lingerie than my actual outfits, as they were the only thing that still made me feel confident.

 

Today I wore a full black lace La Perla body suit, with halters that connected to the lace at the top of my thigh highs. Lingerie had become my armor to get through my career and life in general without the partner that had helped me navigate before everything fell apart. But looking my ex-partner in the face, he seemed more confused than seduced, and I was seconds away from breaking down and crying in a very typical Emily tantrum. Without taking his eyes off of my bodysuit, or softening his frown, Daniel formed his mouth to speak and I interrupted him, fearing the inevitable rejection.

 

I’m who you’re mad at. I’m what you need. So stop being mad at the world and just fuck me. That’s what you want.” I said, poking his chest, forcing my armor to embody the confidence I lacked. I was lying, well partially. Daniel was mad at me, but it was me that needed him. It was me that wanted to get fucked. So when I turned around, dropping my wrap dress on my way to the kitchen island, I wasn’t shocked when I didn’t hear his steps follow. I didn’t look back, because I couldn’t bear to see the confusion morph into frustration or even worse, annoyance. Instead, I just marched to the island and bent over the chrome countertop.

 

My right cheek was resting on the cold chrome, as I desperately tried to slow my breathing to hear Daniel. So far he hadn’t made a sound, and I waited to hear him storm off to the elevators, or mumble about me being a drama queen. Finally I closed my eyes and relaxed, sure that this was going to be a humiliating experience. Daniel wasn’t going to fuck me. He didn’t want that. He was probably wondering what the hell I’d been into the past 6-months that would lead me to even think he would do something so disrespectful to his wife, even if I were soon to be his ex-wife. Then I heard his breath, and the pull of some type of fabric, before his footsteps.

 

Oh my God. My heart sank further into my stomach with each of his footsteps, as he got closer and closer to the kitchen island. I closed my eyes and swallowed as the footsteps stopped, knowing that he was standing behind me, looking over my lace covered body, no doubt with pity.

 

Everything moved in slow motion. I felt his hand yank my hair as he bent over me, pushing his erection onto the lace covering my ass, to whisper in my ear through clenched teeth, “Don’t make a fucking sound.”

 

I inhaled sharply. Daniel cursed at me. And he was hard, so hard. His big dick was pressing into me causing a painful surge of desire between my legs. Holy fuck. This was happening.

 

“Do you hear me?” He was mad. He was serious. I had never been nervous before sex in my life, but now I could barely speak, as I felt his words on my ear, knowing that he was waiting for my response as he bent over me.

 

“Yes,” it was more of a breath than a word, but it must have sufficed. His hand was out of my hair, and tearing through the lace between my thighs, as I heard his zipper. I wanted to protest, as I would have done in the past. This was a $700 bodysuit, but words failed me as I felt him pull the lace with both hands, knowing it was being completely destroyed.

 

I reached around for the inch lip on each side of the island, preparing myself, when I felt his fingers at my opening. My husband didn’t use fingers during sex, because I hated them, but this wasn’t the Daniel I knew standing behind me. And my pussy was wetter than it had ever been, causing him to take a sharp breath when he felt me, most likely thinking that his wife didn’t get wet like that. But this wasn’t the Emily he knew bent over the kitchen island.

 

I heard a kissing, or sucking, sound, but didn’t feel anything. The realization that he’d sucked my juices off his fingers aroused me even further. Then he dug his thumbs into each side of my lower back, with his fingers lifting my hips to meet his pelvis, before ramming his dick into me without warning.

 

I gasped loudly, feeling as if the wind was knocked out of me. Daniel didn’t have the fun sized dick that you could just ram into someone without warning. He had the kind of length that had to be inched in, but he didn’t give a fuck. He lifted my hips, forcing me to take every piece of him, before tilting his body to the left to look at my face.

 

“Ay!?” was all he said and I knew it was because of my escaped gasp, so I nodded my head on the now warm chrome island, and gripped the sides for dear life.

 

He straightened his body and slid out of me so that just the tip of his dick remained inside. He teased me with it. I closed my eyes and listened to my breath quicken as I waited for him to sink back into me.

 

He surged his pelvis forward, while pulling my hips to meet him, and began to move quickly, in and out, in an abrasive rhythm. I scrunched my eyes closed and clenched my teeth, determined to stay silent, as the painful pleasure became too much to bear. Daniel kept pummeling me with his dick, and I was so wet it just slipped in and out, as he lifted my hips so high my feet no longer touched the ground.

 

Old Emily would have contested. I needed some leverage. I couldn’t even push back to meet him. I was helpless, powerless, lost in sensation. But instead I just held on to the island, contorting my face to stop from screaming his name, feeling my orgasm build inside me. The urge to pee came strong and swift, and I knew I was going to explode. Thinking of how loud I usually moaned when I came scared me, and I tried to hold my orgasm at bay, which only intensified the feeling.

 

Daniel kept pounding, moaning and groaning in ways I’d never heard him, which kept making me weaker and weaker in the fight to keep quiet. When I heard him mutter, “Oh my God”, I lost it. I bit down so hard, determined to stay quiet, as he’d told me to.

 

Without words, or leverage, as my feet dangled in the air, my orgasm took new levels. I scrunched my eyes closed and pulled my breast to the chrome island as my body vibrated from within in a way it never had before. I felt my juices dripping down my leg, as my orgasm ended and Daniel cursed behind me. His rhythm slowed before he rammed into me one last time, his body jerking as mine had just moments earlier.

 

I felt his dick spasm as he came and came again inside me, groaning loud and deeply. I opened my eyes to see my breath fogging the counter I’d purposely had built at waist height, which was ideal for women cooking. I thought to myself, this is also the perfect height for getting fucked in the kitchen.

 

He leaned his body over mine and whispered in my ear, “Who said you could come?”

 

I was speechless, and before I could even turn to look at him he gently kissed my ear, and stood up. I looked back to see him dig in his back pocket and kneel down before wiping my leg up to my sweet spot, gently dabbing, obviously aware of how sensitive I was after his rampage.

 

Once he finished he stood up, holding my wrap dress, and lifted me off the kitchen island by my waist. Keeping my back to him, he held out my dress as if he were helping me into a coat, and I slipped each arm into the sleeves before wrapping the belt around and tying a bow at my left hip. I pulled my hair to the front, trying to feel if it were completely disheveled, and looked over my shoulder to Daniel.

 

“After you,” was all he said as he nodded toward the elevator. Without second guessing him, I walked towards the elevator, which again immediately opened after I pushed the call button, as it had obediently waited for me to get fucked in the kitchen of Gia.

 

Daniel pushed the button for the garage, and I looked over to remind him of the workers waiting for our direction, “They’re still up in Giovanna.”

 

He casually nodded once and looked up to watch the numbers decline as we descended into the basement. At some point during our time in Gia he had loosened his tie and unbuttoned his top two buttons. Now he pulled the tie off completely, stuffing it in his back pocket without so much as glancing in my direction. The doors opened and as I went to step out, I felt his hand on my shoulder, then wrap around my neck, not tight enough to scare me but enough that I knew not to step forward. He tilted his head down and coldly said, “Go to the house.”

 

I started to turn my head toward him, but felt his grip tighten, so I kept my gaze forward and said, “I have to – “ as I attempted to tell him about my dinner date with my sister Victoria before he interrupted me.

 

“Go to the house.” This time he was even more stern and cold. I moved to walk forward and felt his grip loosen and then release as I exited the elevator. Was he going to follow me home? Did he want to fuck me again? Was he going to confront me about what I’d just instigated and what that meant for our marriage? I turned to him, not knowing which question I’d ask, and noticed he wasn’t beside me. I turned completely around to catch the slightest smirk on his face as the elevator closed, with him in it.

 

What the fuck? I felt my eyes building with tears as I watched the elevator climb to the top floor, my vision blurring as each level lit up. As the first tear dropped I wondered why I was even crying? Was it the after-shock of that earth shattering orgasm? I usually did cry after I came. Did I feel cheap because he’d left me? Daniel would never do anything like that to me. He hadn’t even checked to see if I was okay, or asked how it made me feel. Hell, he didn’t even let me speak during the sex!

 

My brother once told me that guys treated girls one of two ways, they either placed them on a pedestal or bent them over it. The literal translation in this moment was not lost on me. I felt debased. Devalued. And even worse, I wanted more of it. I knew I was going to go to our house, which had recently become a space for us to live as roommates, and pray that he came home to fuck me like that again.

 

After staring at the elevator for two minutes, as it remained in the penthouse, I was confident that he had definitely went back to work. I walked to my white G-Wagon and hopped in before texting Victoria.

 

Got fucked over at the construction site. Gotta cancel dinner. Sorry. –

 

I smirked at my lie smeared in truth as I pulled out of the garage and headed home. As I pulled onto the street, I hoped Daniel was watching me from the window of Giovanna. I was missing his annoying texts begging to know I made it home safely, but looking at my phone, there was nothing.

 

When I finally heard a ping as I pulled into the driveway of our house, I was relieved that he’d finally checked in on me, but it was my sister.

 

– Cool. I’m swamped anyway. Love ya.

 

I walked into our cold house, which was once so warm and inviting, and headed to the bedroom that I used to share with Daniel. He’d moved into a guestroom shortly after I filed for divorce, and I’d spent the last six months sleeping alone. I showered, wondering if we would sleep together tonight.

 

Feeling like I needed more time to think, I decided to wash my hair, as I replayed the past two hours of my life, smiling at my boldness and shuddering at how sexy Daniel had been. I realized that it was his taking control that put me over the edge – with the workers and then with me. It was a role I hadn’t conceded to him, or anyone else in my life, but it felt really good to be in his control.

 

As I washed the conditioner out of my hair, I decided that I wasn’t going to lead whatever was going to happen with us from this point on. I wasn’t going to question him or ask for clarity or closure. I had put him in control, relinquishing my power, and I couldn’t just take it back. He was leading, and I was following. Simple as that.

 

That thought made me anxious and I turned the water off, stopping the waterfall showerhead. I stepped out into our cream and gray marble bathroom and looked at my thin frame in the mirror. My hair had curled, bunching around my nipples, my copper skin missing its glow. I needed a tan. I absentmindedly thought of suggesting we take a trip to the islands and laughed at myself for not remaining in the backseat just two minutes after my declaration to follow Daniel’s lead.

 

I pulled my hair into two large braids and slipped on a silk nightgown before heading to the kitchen. Should I make dinner? Is he even coming home? Over the course of the past six months we’d digressed from knowing each other’s every move to sleeping apart, to not even telling each other about late nights or work trips. We were living separate lives and I didn’t want to pretend that sex in our disaster real estate investment changed all of that, despite how mind-blowing it was for me.

 

Then it occurred to me that the sex might not have even been amazing to him. I did say he needed to blow off steam, and by all accounts, he’d done just that and then went back to work. I’d been home for an hour, and he hadn’t so much as sent a text. The thought was unsettling, but unlikely. I thought of him moaning, and closed my eyes as I remembered him kissing my ear. I felt my nipples harden beneath my silk nightgown and forced my eyes open. If nothing else, I’d definitely gotten some great material for my normal morning routine of masturbation. And with that thought I grabbed a menu for our favorite Chinese restaurant from our drawer of menus, calling in to order my favorite. Just before hanging up I decided to order Daniel’s favorite as well. Hey, he wasn’t here to lead that decision.

 

I finished what I could of my sesame chicken dinner, and even had a little of Daniel’s shrimp lo mein, when I decided to turn it in for the night. I did everything slowly; hoping I would hear his car pull up, but nervous for our first interaction, post Gia-gate.

 

As I walked into our bedroom, I decided to sleep with the door open, maybe that would let him know that I was okay with him sleeping there if he wanted to. After mentally running through every possible scenario, I felt myself drifting off, just as Daniel pulled into the driveway. My heartbeat spiked, and I told myself to stay calm. I knew I was going to be a coward and pretend to be sleep, but I didn’t even know if he’d come to the room.

 

I listened as he entered the house, hearing him drop his keys on the end table in the foyer. His footsteps were the only sound in the entire house, as they loudly announced his presence. I listened as he kicked them off, and then strained to hear where he was headed. In a panic I decided to turn over and fake sleep on my stomach, so that my eyes wouldn’t flutter if he did come to check on me.

 

I heard him at the door of our bedroom and felt his presence as he stayed there. He must have watched me from the door for two minutes before gently walking to my side of the bed. I focused on my breathing as I felt him standing over me. I so badly wanted to open my eyes, to look at him, to tell him I loved him and beg him to fuck me again. But I stayed still, even when I felt his hand barely touch my braided hair. Then I heard him walk back to the door and pull it, leaving a crack rather than closing it completely.

 

As I heard the refrigerator open and the microwave start, I knew he’d found the Lo mein I ordered for him and wondered if he’d smiled. I debated going out to the kitchen to talk to him, but decided it best to just wait and see if he came to bed. I stayed in my fake sleep position, listening and guessing what he’d do next, until the sounds faded so that I could no longer hear him at all.

 

I awoke without even knowing I’d fallen asleep. I reached over to the empty side of our bed. He’d never come to sleep with me. I took a deep breath and looked over at the clock. It was 6:30, plenty of time before we left for work. Maybe I’d make us omelets or pancakes. I strolled down the hall, taking the long way to the kitchen so that I could pass the guest bedroom. The door was wide open, the bed perfectly made. Hmmm. I walked downstairs to see if he’d went to workout, but knew from the silence at the bottom step that he wasn’t there. I headed back upstairs and looked out the front window, his car was gone. He’d gone to work like nothing happened yesterday. Fuck.

 

2

 

I decided I wanted my armor to be more playful than aggressive today, so I went for a colorful lace set I’d recently picked up. The different colors swirled around white lace, the underwire lifting my already perky breasts in a way that made me look at myself for an extra moment while dressing. The matching panties were high cut and seamless, perfect to wear under a tight fitting skirt. For the first time in a long time I spent a while in our walk in closet picking out clothes. It was like the first day of school, or a new job. I felt strangely optimistic about today, despite Daniel’s less than warm reception to yesterday’s events. Although we’d spent the past six months living like strangers, I knew him well enough to doubt that he could not have been affected by that sex. There was nothing casual about it. And while I didn’t think it garnered calling off the divorce, I didn’t think it possible to pretend it never happened. More importantly, I hoped it wouldn’t be the only time I experienced it.

 

I decided on a red knee length pencil skirt, with a colorful chiffon blouse that buttoned at the top, giving the option for cleavage. I chose pink and red stilettos and switched my purses before settling at my vanity. After adding some bronzer, I filled in my eyebrows and unbraided my hair, creating big waves of my dark coarse hair that had not fully dried over night. Oh well.

 

I decided to just go into the office and eat there. The quicker I could get out of the house, the better. So when I walked in before 8 o’clock my assistant had to take a double take. I was known for not being a morning person, but her expression made me feel like I wasn’t supposed to be there at all.

 

“What’s wrong?” I asked, hoping that I didn’t have a breakfast meeting I’d forgotten about.

 

“Well, you’ve just been so black and navy recently, it’s a shock to see you in such bright colors. You look… vibrant, Boss Lady.” Crystal beamed, smiling from ear to ear. I’d hired her as a favor to a friend and she’s turned out to be a Godsend. She handled everything for me and had become so indispensible, I was a little nervous when she recently got engaged, hoping that it wouldn’t mean she’d quit to have children. I’m sure my face told my fears, because she’d actually told me not to worry, and assured me that she wouldn’t be quitting anytime soon.

 

“I felt vibrant when I woke up today,” I responded, which was the truth until I’d realized Daniel left.

 

“I put some things that came for you on your desk,” she grinned like a child holding back a secret. It was like she knew what had happened yesterday.

 

We went over my schedule and discussed plans for the week before I walked back to my office. I opened my door and stood in complete shock. There were three large glass vases full of about 50 roses each; one set was peach, another dark pink, and the last one red. Every rose was flawless, as if the florist had selected only the most perfect roses especially for me.

 

“Aren’t they beautiful?! I know Mr. Gamble has been very busy. Tracy said they’re closing some major deals over there, but he still found time to take care of his favorite girl! I don’t even know how he managed to get them here in time after seeing your outfit this morning. I guess he likes the vibrant Mrs. Gamble too!” Crystal was beside herself with glee. Like so many others, she idolized our marriage and saw it from a looking glass that altered the reality beyond recognition. She was very close with Tracy, Daniel’s assistant, since they both had to do so much coordinating with each other to ensure our schedules aligned.

 

Daniel and I had made a pact while dating to never share the intimate details of our relationship with anyone, so not even my nosey sisters had any idea about our impending divorce, let alone our assistants. But if there’s a reason men stereotypically sleep with their assistants, it’s because they play such a huge part in your life that its like you’re in an intimate relationship already. So I know Crystal noticed the change between us, and I’m sure she made note of the decrease in calls and vacations. It was very unlike us to go an entire 6-months without a trip abroad. Hell, she probably noticed I needed a tan well before I saw it last night.

 

“They are beautiful. He’s something else,” was all I could manage as I looked down to my colorful ensemble that reflected every shade displayed in the vases.

 

“I left the card on your desk. Do you want coffee?” Crystal asked as I leaned over my desk to smell the gorgeous flowers.

 

“Can you get me a blueberry muffin and a latte, please?” I asked without turning away from the roses.

 

“No problem. I’ll be right back.” Crystal talked as she walked down the hall.

 

I picked up the small white envelope and slid the card out.

 

I guess Gia was fitting.

 

I smiled remembering our argument about naming the third floor Gia. Daniel had never understood my need to name inanimate objects, but would always humor me with participation. Once I’d decided that the third loft was the sexy loft, I’d set out to pick a sexy name, going as far as Googling “Sexiest Female Names” before landing on Gia. Daniel thought Gia sounded like a grandma name, and even felt the loft was far from sexy, arguing it was more bare and bachelor-esque.

 

So he was affected. Our time in Gia started replaying in my mind as I thought of how sweet it was that he could fuck me so rough, and then send roses like a complete gentleman. The thought alone forced me to adjust my lace panties.

 

Should I call him and thank him for the flowers? Would I have regularly called him to thank him? What if he’d only sent these because he felt obligated? I mean, Daniel was an extreme sweetheart. He might have felt like an asshole after fucking me like that yesterday. Then I thought of that smirk on his face in the elevator. No, he definitely wasn’t feeling like an asshole.

 

I picked up my iPhone and dialed “Mr. Gamble”, the only listing in my favorites. A picture of him smoking a cigar in a hammock from our last trip to Thailand popped up and I felt a ting in my heart. I put the phone to my ear and instantly hoped he didn’t answer. After the second ring he picked up.

 

“Hey,” I instantly realized how I barely talked to him on the phone anymore. Did he always answer that way? Really I hadn’t talked to him at all over the past month, outside of arguments at the construction site.

 

“Thank you for the flowers,” I blurted out, and instantly cringed, closing my eyes, trying to will some finesse.

 

“I didn’t send you any flowers.” He sounded definite and serious.

 

What?! If he didn’t send the flowers, who could have? Did the workers hear us? Is this some kind of sick, creepy stalker shit from someone in the building? I was speechless in my thoughts until I heard him lightly laughing.

 

“Who else would have sent them, Em?” I could hear his light smile; the one that he used when he was playful. The one I hadn’t seen in months.

 

“Oh gosh. I thought we’d have to fire the staff.” I exhaled loudly.

 

“Well they definitely wouldn’t have heard you.” I’d missed his wit. He was always so quick on his toes, so much fun on the phone.

 

“Yeah, you made sure of that.” I could even hear my smile. It was then that I realized I was pacing my office.

 

“You talk too much,” he sounded so sexy. He was killing me on this banter. I had no wit about me, and I could feel how relaxed he was. He was definitely sitting at his desk, as I walked to every corner of my office, staring outside to will myself to calm down. I giggled and heard him smile.

 

“You left early this morning,” It was an honest observation and my way of not asking him any questions, a reminder I kept mentally repeating, not wanting to be the pushy version of myself.

 

“Technically you could say it was late. I had a video call during a dinner meeting for this deal in Tokyo. I had to come in at 2 to set up.”

 

“You’ve been at the office since 2?!” My concern shocked even myself. I’d spent so much time convincing myself I didn’t care what he had going on, and it was easy when I didn’t know, but now I had a million questions I was determined not to ask. Like, what deal was he working on? Had he eaten? When was he going to sleep? But I’d already asked more questions than I wanted.

 

“Yep. I’ll just leave early today.” was all he said.

 

“Are you coming home?” Shit. Another question. And this one was way more revealing. I wanted to know what was going on, but I wanted him to tell me on his own.

 

“Yep.” was all he said. A short breath of relief escaped my lips. “When have I ever not come home, Em?” I knew him well enough to know he was tilting his head and holding the phone between his ear and his shoulder. He was answering every question I hadn’t asked, in a question.

 

“I don’t know… Should I cook something?” I asked and immediately looked up to the ceiling. What the fuck was I saying? And what was with the questions. Gosh, play it cool, Emily!

 

“I guess it’s me that owes you dinner, don’t you think?” He asked with a smirk.

 

“Don’t start being a gentleman now,” I smirked back. Finally feeling my wit making an appearance.

 

“I’m always a gent – yeah, set them there. Make sure the conference room is ready.” He was authoritative and commandeering, as he’d always been in business. Now I was thinking of him commandeering me. The thought made me blush and desperately want off the phone.

 

“Oh, don’t worry if you’re busy. I just wanted to thank you for the roses.” I tried to sound casual.

 

“You’re welcome, baby.” My heart fluttered. During the course of this divorce I’d been Emily, even Em at times. When he was preoccupied he’d sometimes slip up and call me ‘E’, his nickname for me while we dated. But never – not one time in six months – had he called me baby. And hearing him say that, in conjunction with what he’d done to me yesterday, made me want to explode, right there in my office. “Yeah, Tracy, that’s fine.”

 

“OkaywellI’llseeyouathome,” It was one breathy word. I had lost my wit, my mind, my cool. It was all gone.

 

“I’ll have Tracy set up dinner with Crystal.” He still had his entire cool. Every drop of it.

 

“Okay. Bye.”

 

“Bye.” He said as he continued talking with people in his office before he hung the phone up. Was he just very busy, and accidentally called me baby? Did he just say it because everyone in his office didn’t know we were on the brinks of divorce? No, definitely not. He’d called me ‘Em’ hundreds of times to them, that wouldn’t have been strange. He felt different; he had to. And as awkward as that call was, I knew that dinner was going to be even more difficult this evening. I’d be squirming and nervous like I was on a first date. I wanted to look flawless.

 

Just as I began to regain my senses Crystal walked in holding a brown paper bag and a white cup.

 

“Clear my schedule for today and get me a nail and hair appointment. I need them asap. I’ll be out, so call me and let me know where I’m going as soon as the appointment is confirmed.” I grabbed my purse and took the latte and paper bag containing my blueberry muffin from Crystal as I walked out of my office. I used three different salons for times like this. I wasn’t going to dinner with these unreliable waves.

 

“Yes, ma’am.” She couldn’t hide her shock or confusion. But I didn’t care. He’d called me baby.

 

3

 

“So tell me what you want, but no chopping! You know I love your hair,” Sonja was a great stylist but she annoyed me with her love affair with my hair. Even her trims were stingy. It was like Daniel had gone behind my back, paying her extra to make sure she never cut my hair. He loved my hair long, and when I’d been pissed at him right before my birthday, I’d come to Sonja to chop it all off. He was away on business, and I thought it would crush him to come home to a bald wife. In retrospect, I’m glad she refused, but in the moment I cussed Sonja out. I mean, I literally paid her to do what I wanted.

 

Today wasn’t about cutting my hair; it was about making Daniel want to run his fingers through it. I wanted it to shine and shake whenever I even thought of moving my neck. I had no idea where he’d want to have dinner, but I knew we were going home together, and I prayed he would fuck me once we got there. Honestly, he could fuck me at the restaurant, in the car, or we could go back to Gia. I just wanted to get fucked.

 

I decided to lighten my hair a little, which I always did for the warmer months, as the sun gave my hair a natural streaking effect, which looked gorgeous across my skin when it was glowing with a tan. Whenever we vacationed to tropical destinations Daniel would promise that we’d one day move there, because I was an island girl in another life. Just thinking of my 30th birthday on Koh Phi Island in Thailand made me smile. We’d spent an entire day flying to get there, but the view as our speedboat arrived made it all worth it. Daniel was beaming as I jumped up and down awestruck by the beauty. He’d asked me where I wanted to celebrate my birthday months in advance and I knew he’d spent countless hours planning a flawless trip. Now, I can’t honestly say that I was grateful, the idea that I may have felt entitled to it left a bad taste in my mouth, as the nail technician brought me back to reality.

 

“Do you want me to round them or box?” She asked while holding my left hand in her hands, grazing her fingertips over my cuticle, feeling for any imperfections.

 

“Let’s do box,” I replied as my phone rung. Looking over I saw Daniel smoking a cigar. What was he doing calling? I thought Tracy was going to schedule our dinner. He must be cancelling. I felt a pit of disappointment in my stomach, as I answered the call.

 

“Hey,” I said, trying to sound casual, answering as he had earlier this morning.

 

“Hey. I forgot I had a lunch meeting with these guys over from Europe.” My heart sank. I felt like I was being stood up for senior prom. “You’re coming with me.” My eyes almost jumped out of my head. I used to be Daniel’s favorite sidekick at business meetings, but recently I didn’t even know what business dealings he was involved in.

 

“Oh, so you’re double booked and I just get shortchanged, huh?” I knew he could hear my excitement, but I didn’t care. I loved going to business meetings with him.

 

“I never said it was a date.” Ouch. I tried not to take that personal. Had I let on that I was disappointed? “But I am picking you up. I’ll scoop you from your office in about an hour. You’ll ride over with me.”

 

“Oh, I’m not at my office,” I responded absentmindedly as I approved the first coat of my fuchsia nail color.

 

“Well then you have an hour to get there. Just leave your car in the garage. I’ll let you know when I’m on my way.” He wasn’t taking any prisoners. I wanted to object. I had planned on going shopping for a new dress for our dinner, but without even thinking, I just went with his plan.

 

“I’ll be ready,” I shocked myself with my lack of pushback, and I must have caught Daniel off guard as well, because he took longer than normal to respond.

 

“Where are you? Crystal said you were out.”

 

“Just getting my nails done.”

 

“So you were getting cute for me?” He sounded so sexy. I wanted to ask if I’d be getting fucked tonight, but my wit spoke for me.

 

“You wish.” I smirked, trying to deflect the obvious. He’d see in an hour that I had obviously wanted to look good for our dinner, but if there was one thing neither of us could deny, we didn’t allow our pending divorce to be the reason we fell off. Even without my husband looking my way, I kept my upkeep routines, having my nails and hair done weekly. I still got a Brazilian wax every three weeks, and worked out three times a week. Daniel was even more rigid. It was as if our separation had made him more interested in his upkeep. He never missed his weekly haircut, sometimes having his barber come to the house midweek for a touch up. He worked out at least five times a week, which was when I tried to ask him anything I could think of to get a peek at his sweating body.

 

“Just be ready when I call.”

 

“I will,” We both lingered on the phone knowing that hanging up at this point was acceptable, courteous even in comparison to our recent interactions. But I didn’t want to hang up, and I sensed that he didn’t either.

 

“What’d you get – pink or red? Those are the only colors you ever choose.” He was flirting. It was undeniable and so cute.

 

“Fuchsia. It’s pretty. You’ll like it.” I felt sixteen, smiling in the salon, wishing I could just talk to him until it was time for him to pick me up.

 

“Sounds risqué,” I could hear him spinning in his chair. I imagined him in his office. “I’ll see you soon.”

 

“Bye.” I was proud of myself for ending the conversation. At the rate we were going it would never end.

 

“Bye.” He said it with a ting of disappointment, like he didn’t want the call to end either. And he didn’t hang up, instead he sighed into the phone. I closed my eyes and hung up.

 

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

 

I’d been back in my office for fifteen minutes, waiting for Daniel to call, when Crystal knocked on my door.

 

“Come in.”

 

“I just wanted to get these packed up and ready,” she mumbled as she grabbed the vase of peach roses from my desk, “Damn, these are heavy.”

 

“No, you can leave them. I like them in here.” I frowned, not wanting her to move my beautiful roses to a conference room.

 

“Well, Mr. Gamble said to have them sent to the house,” she said as she walked out. I looked up confused, and there he was in my doorway. Beyond handsome.

 

He was wearing a light gray suit with a white shirt underneath. Top two buttons undone, no tie. My favorite. His face was freshly shaved, his mustache perfectly shaped, and just a small patch of beard on the tip of his chin.

 

“Don’t worry. I can get you some more.” He smirked, knowing he had caught me. I would’ve never said that had I known he was watching. An unguarded smile spread across my face. I was so genuinely pleased to see him that I couldn’t find my poker face.

 

“You said you’d call when you were on your way.” I placed my hand on my hip, faking an attitude.

 

“You said you weren’t getting cute for me.” He raised his eyebrow. I was caught again.

 

“Let’s go.” I grabbed my purse and marched towards him, planning to head straight to the elevator, but he touched my shoulder, and then placed his four fingers on my throat, similar though less restricting to his gesture in the elevator yesterday. The memory was too vivid in my mind and I felt my body freeze, desire pooling between my legs. I could feel him watching me, and I knew that he was certain of the affect he’d had on me. He knew I wanted more. He was teasing me.

 

As if reading my mind, he let his hand drop from my neck, suddenly releasing me from his spell. I tried my best to walk straight, knowing he was undoubtedly watching as he followed me to Crystal’s desk.

 

“I’m leaving for the day,” I tried to sound casual.

 

“Yes, ma’am. See you tomorrow Mrs. Gamble. And I’ll be sure to speak with Tracy for the details, Mr. Gamble. I tried to look at him for understanding, but he just winked at Crystal and continued to the elevator. I reminded myself to limit my questions, trying to just go with the flow.

 

The elevator opened, and the four women already riding tried to shuffle to make room for the two of us. There was more than enough space; they were just clamoring, nervous. After four years or marriage, I was used to women losing their cool over him, but I wasn’t used to being one of those women. It was like we were going on our first date. Everything felt new. I was so nervous, as if I was hoping he liked me and would want to see me again.

 

Daniel let me in first, and then positioned himself behind me as we traveled from the 18th floor.

 

“You look very nice, Mrs. Gamble.” He whispered in my ear as we passed the tenth floor. The feeling of his breath on my skin made me shudder.

 

“Mrs. Gamble? You’re pretty formal aren’t you?” I asked over my shoulder. Daniel rarely referred to me as anything other than Mrs. Gamble for the entire first year of our marriage. I don’t think he could believe I’d actually taken his name. He’d told me he was fine with me hyphenating my last name, or going by my maiden name altogether, but I knew it would mean so much to him. I was shocked by how proud I was to be his wife, and began to prefer Mrs. Gamble to Emily.

 

“The last time I was in one of these with you I was slapped in the face. I figure it’s best to be on my best behavior,” he smirked in my ear and I laughed out loud, causing the other women to look over to us.

 

On the 8th floor the doors opened and a man with a large cart gave the awkward look from left to right, as if we could all shift to reveal an extra row of space behind us. If I were alone, I would’ve politely shaken my head, gesturing for him to wait for the next elevator. But I was Mrs. Gamble right now, and when Daniel placed his hand on my midsection, moving us to the corner behind the four women, I went without hesitation. The man pushed his cart into the elevator and nodded to Daniel, who nodded back.

 

When we arrived on the first level Daniel kept his hand near my waist, signaling for the man to take his cart out first. I barely felt his kiss below my left ear. It was so gentle, so delicate. I turned to look at him and he nodded toward the door for me to exit. I took a deep breath as I walked toward the valet stand, knowing Daniel had not used the self-park.

 

I smiled to myself as he handed the valet his ticket and made small talk about the recent change in ownership.

 

“So no more Jim, huh?” He asked looking around.

 

“No, Mr. Gamble. He decided to move down to Florida with his wife.” The valet said, giving his undivided attention to Daniel.

 

“Well, that’s too bad. I’ll see you later, Andy.” He extended his hand and smiled at the valet as they shook hands.

 

“Of course. That’s a beautiful car, Mr. Gamble,” Andy was mesmerized staring, which turned my attention to the red Maserati Gran Cabrio pulling up. Daniel didn’t drive this car regularly, and I knew he didn’t drive it to work today. He must have spent his day prepping for our meeting just as I had. He shook his head at the valet driver as he jumped out, indicating that he would open my door for me.

 

“It looks like I wasn’t the only one getting cute today,” I said with a smile, as I slipped onto the Italian leather. I watched him smile as he rounded the car, knowing he too had been caught.

 

“Top down okay?” He asked as he settled into his seat. I know he never rode with the top up on the Mas and I was grateful I’d spent the day at the salon. My hair was going to look fabulous in the spring wind.

 

“Yep. How do you always know the staff at my building better than me?” I questioned as he pulled into traffic. Daniel was the type to spark up a conversation with anyone, and later use that to build a connection. There was no doubt that Andy would receive a Christmas gift from us, probably a remote control Maserati.

 

He shrugged his shoulders, as he looked left to right, “That kid just likes driving my cars.”

 

Surprisingly he didn’t play any music. He always rode to music, and was secretly the reason I had no idea of any new releases from the past six months. I was eager to hear new artists, but instead I just relaxed in my seat and watched the city pass by.

 

The tension was rising, and for the first time in a long time, it was good tension. I wondered what this meeting was all about and if he’d want me to truly participate or just be arm candy. He hadn’t told me anything about the deal, so I didn’t know if I could be of any assistance. In previous circumstances I would have asked for all of the details as we made our way to the restaurant, but right now I didn’t care. I’d be whatever he wanted me to be with whatever he gave me. His phone started ringing throughout the car stereo system, with Tracy’s name popping on the home screen.

 

“Trace, what’s up?” He answered so casually. I always thought he was such a cool boss. I was more rigid and moody. Tracy loved him, but not more than her husband, so she was good in my book.

 

“Mr. Gamble, your lunch appointment was just cancelled. I’m sorry, they were very last minute, but I’ve changed your reservation to two if you still wanted to continue with Mrs. Gamble.” Daniel listened and looked over at me.

 

“Hi Tracy,” I said while smiling at Daniel.

 

“Oh, hi, Em! I didn’t know he’d already picked you up. The Sea Club has a fantastic crab cake, and their lemon merengue is to die for!”

 

“Oh yeah?” I asked, still staring at Daniel, as he raised his eyebrows, asking whether I wanted to go without saying a word. I nodded and he bit his lip to prevent a grin from creeping across his face.

 

“Yeah, Trace. I’m going to take Em, she hasn’t been. You can leave for the day, just forward the office calls to your Blackberry. But don’t call me unless you really need to. And if you really need to – “

 

“Don’t.” she finished his sentence. He had been saying this to her since he hired her two years ago. Daniel worked really hard, but when he wasn’t working he did not like to be disturbed. Like Crystal, Tracy was a great assistant and I often joked that she could do Daniel’s job for him. Her interrupting his personal time was very rare, and it got her great Christmas bonuses. He ended the call and quickly turned the corner in a maneuver I usually would have deemed too dangerous.

 

As Daniel rolled to a stoplight I felt his right hand caressing my left hand, circling the flawless diamond on my ring finger. I watched his fingers move between the creases of my fingers, before lifting my hand to his face. I thought he was going to kiss my hand, or my wedding ring, but instead he touched his cheek with the backside of my fingers. I felt him inhale deeply as he moved my knuckles across his full lips and I wondered what he was thinking. Throughout his entire hand massage, he never took his eye off the streetlight, occasionally looking left to right or out the rearview mirror. It was as if having my hand on his face was second nature, but I knew from his deep breaths he was enjoying my scent, remembering the smells of his wife.

 

As he moved my fingernails across his lips I poked my index finger into his mouth. Without hesitation he bit down with his front teeth and I inhaled sharply. It didn’t hurt, but it did shock me. I didn’t expect him to do that, and I definitely didn’t expect to like it. He kissed my index finger three times, and as if nothing happened, he continued watching the rearview mirror before pulling the wheel, moving to the far right lane.

 

“I hate this light. I know a shortcut,” he said before zipping right to cut through a parking lot. Then we were on a service road running parallel to the street we were just on. He swerved left and right dodging potholes, before turning into a beautiful driveway, with an arch of lights spelling out The Sea Club.

 

Pulling up to the valet, Daniel looked over at me and smiled. “Shall we eat?”

 

“I’d love to,” I smiled back.

 

4

 

“Mr. Gamble, how are you? Shall I set up your normal room?” the gorgeous hostess asked as she smiled up at Daniel with dreamy eyes.

 

“Hi, Amber. It’s just my wife today,” he said, while glancing down to me. I felt a little like a consolation prize. Who did he normally bring here and what the hell was his normal room?

 

“Of course. Good evening, Mrs. Gamble. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Please follow me.” Amber smiled at me and immediately turned to walk through the large dining area.

 

As if he could feel my uneasiness, Daniel reached for my right hand with his left before looking into my eyes and nodding in the direction that Amber had just taken off in. I walked through the maze of small tables, heads turning as Daniel followed behind me, our fingers interlocked behind my back. Women were looking at Daniel, then at me. Men were looking to me, and then to Daniel. As we approached the end of the sea of small tables, an older man’s eyes lit up once they landed on Daniel.

 

“Gamble! How are you?” he said excitedly, moving to stand. Daniel pulled me towards him with our intertwined fingers, until he could position his left arm around my body, placing his palm on my belly. His thumb touched the underwire between my breasts and the way he applied the pressure, I knew it was no accident.

 

“It’s good to see you, John,” Daniel said while extending his free right hand. They exchanged pleasantries, and at one point Daniel even introduced me, which required a polite smile and nod, which was all I could manage. I was so focused on his fingertips and their placement on my body. Through my chiffon shirt I could feel every move and I wanted to grab his other hand and place it on my body as well. I wanted to feel him all over. I was starving for his touch, lost in a daydream of him ending this torture and finally touching me, I didn’t even notice his conversation had ended until his lips were gently kissing below my ear, “Go head, baby”, he softly said in my ear, dropping his hand from my midsection, allowing it to subtly drift down my body to reclaim my hand. I resumed leading him through the enclosed dining area before stepping up into a quieter, and dimly lit room of tables more spread out for privacy. Amber was standing at the first table, and I was grateful to let go of Daniel’s hand. After six months of not being touched at all, then yesterday’s ravenous sex, it was as if a dam had been breached and any touch from him opened the floodgates.

 

I asked Amber for directions to the ladies room and excused myself before sitting. Looking in the mirror, I forced myself to take a deep breath and calm down before unbuttoning my top two buttons. It was time to bring out the big guns. If he wanted to play this teasing game, I was going to play too. I scooped each breast into my lace bra, so they peaked out of my blouse, then fluffed my hair and psyched myself up with a few, “you got this!” affirmations.

 

I strolled back to the table, approaching from behind, and gently ran my four fingernails across Daniel’s neck as I passed. He tried to hide his smile as I sat down across him.

 

“I ordered you a glass of Chianti,” he said as I settled into my seat.

 

“Ooh, great. So how do you know the hostess here?” I blurted out.

 

“I don’t.” was all he said.

 

“Well, you called her by her name when we first walked in,” I said with a shrug trying not to sound accusatory.

 

“She’s wearing a name tag, Em,” he responded with a slight frown, obviously wondering where my line of questioning was coming from. Honestly, I didn’t have an angle, but I knew I felt like a stranger in his world. All of these people knew him, and we used to be a package deal. If you knew him, you knew me. He didn’t have a favorite restaurant, we had a favorite restaurant. But here I was getting recommendations about the menu from his assistant, a clear indication that he must frequent this place often, and before today I’d never heard of it. The thought upset me.

 

“That guy seemed happy to see you. How did he know I was your wife?” Now I was pushing it and I knew it, but I wanted him to know I felt like an outsider.

 

“Emily. Who else would I be parading through a restaurant?” he cocked his head to the side, with a slight frown, as he asked this. I could tell it was half rhetorical, and half a warning. Was that what he was doing? Parading me? My stomach fluttered at the idea.

 

“Well, of course…” I trailed off as the waiter arrived, placing two glasses of white wine on our table before scurrying off with his tray. I placed both of my hands on the table and Daniel reached across to put his right hand over my left.

 

“Relax,” was all he said, but it seemed to take a load off of me and at that moment I decided to just enjoy myself.

 

The waiter returned, this time to take our orders. Daniel claimed to not be too hungry, and I seconded that, trying to rush through the meal altogether, dying to be in private with him. We decided to split a crab cake.

 

“I think the fuchsia looks really nice,” he said as he finally lifted his hand from mine. I’d forgotten it was there.

 

“Thank you. The girl convinced me it was thee color this spring.” I said, looking down at my hand but focusing more on my wedding ring than my polish. It was such a beautiful and flawless solitaire stone. The simplicity was so me, and the 6-carat diamond was so Daniel. He had been so proud of it and would personally clean it every other day during our first year of marriage.

 

“And you lightened your hair for the summer, huh?” He hid his smile behind his wine glass.

 

“Oh, yeah. You noticed…” I blushed as I touched my hair before pushing it behind my ears.

 

“Of course I noticed. I notice everything you do. You’re so beautiful, Emily.” He looked into my eyes so deeply, urging me to know that he meant what he said. His gaze was passionate, too passionate actually, and I turned away hoping to break his spell.

 

“Thank you. You don’t look too bad yourself. You know I love you in gray,” I raised an eyebrow as I said it.

 

“You may have mentioned it once or twice,” he smirked. He knew what I liked, and he definitely was dressed for me today.

 

The crab cake arrived and I was excited and disappointed. I was ready to get through the last step of this torturous waiting game so that we could finally go home, but it was the largest crab cake I’d ever seen. I was hoping to split a couple of bites and be out of there, but this was the kind of dish that came with side plates. Daniel cut off a piece for both of us and handed me a plate.

 

“This is amazing!” I closed my eyes as I chewed the first bite. It was more crab than cake, cooked and seasoned to perfection. Maybe this wouldn’t take too long to eat.

 

“Tracy said you were going to love it,” he smiled as he watched me shift in my seat. He always found it hilarious that I felt the need to dance whenever I loved food, but he’d grown to use it as a barometer because the food dance never lied.

 

“Well, Tracy needs a raise. She knows me well. How is she anyway?” I asked while finishing my last bite of crab cake.

 

“She’s good. I think I’m going to lose her soon though, she wants to do more, and she probably should, but I don’t want to move her.” He said while reaching for my plate to give me another serving of crab cake. After returning my plate, he leaned his head from one side to the other before rubbing the back of his neck. It was the first indicator that he was tired, and I instantly remembered that he had been at work since 2 in the morning.

 

“Daniel, you must be exhausted. I almost forgot you worked all day.” I put my fork down. “Did you sleep at all last night?”

 

“No, it would’ve been worse to tease myself with a couple of hours.”

 

“Yeah, teasing can be torturous,” I smirked and looked at him. The passion was still in his tired eyes, and as he picked up on my drift a grin spread across his face. He’d pretty much just confirmed that I was getting fucked tonight and after that, I wasn’t sitting in that restaurant for an extra second. As the waiter approached, I asked Daniel, “Would it be okay if we just packed this up and took it home?”

 

“You’d like me to package it, Mrs. Gamble?” The waiter asked.

 

“You don’t want to try the lemon merengue?” Daniel asked, looking a little disappointed.

 

“We could take some of that home too,” I said in a hopeful tone, praying he wouldn’t make me sit through any more small talk. I wanted to just ask to be taken home and fucked.

 

“Baby, I’m okay,” he said gently, trying to reassure me that he wasn’t too tired, but I wanted him to reserve his energy.

 

“No, it’s just that I’m not too hungry, but it is delicious, and I definitely want to try that merengue,” I said, more to the waiter than Daniel. When I looked across the table he was squinting at me, trying to read my motives. I tried my best to relax my shoulders and remove any longing from my face. I knew if he discovered I was only rushing through our meal to get him in bed he would extend his teasing game. The waiter looked from me to Daniel for the final decision.

 

“Whatever the lady wants,” he said, tilting his head to the side slightly, while reaching into the pocket of his suit jacket. As the waiter picked up our half eaten crab cake, Daniel handed him his black American Express card before mentioning something so low I couldn’t hear.

 

“Thank you, Mr. Gamble,” the waiter said before scurrying off.

 

“We’ll have to do this over. This isn’t the way I saw this going. I still owe you dinner,” he said, looking across the table at me. His eyes were darker, as his eyelids lowered a bit, narrowing in on me.

 

“Well, you said it wasn’t a date.” I said matter-of-factly, quoting his earlier reminder.

 

“No, Mrs. Gamble, this was definitely not a date. But now I owe you one.” His attention drifted as he watched the waiter approach from behind me with a large white bag. He signed a receipt and placed his credit card back in his pocket before standing up to take the bag and offer his hand to me. I took his hand and followed his lead as he escorted us all the way to the valet stand. I took the white bag with our dinner as he retrieved his valet ticket from his suit pocket.

 

It was still early, but the sun was no longer out, the sky had turned a light gray while we were inside. He spun me around so that I was facing him and there was no space between us, his left arm draped around my neck. “It looks like it’s going to rain,” I said, looking up at the sky.

 

“Nah, I’ll beat it,” he smirked, looking down at me. He raised his right hand, brushing my shirt aside before asking, “was this for me?” while outlining the cleavage of my left breast with his right index finger and thumb.

 

I looked up flushed, and touched the color of his shirt, “well you always undo your top two buttons,” I said with my best seductive smile.

 

“That I do,” he smirked and nodded before pulling me closer with and kissing my forehead. “That I do,” he repeated before signaling that the car was ready.

 

The minute we were back in the car the tension reappeared. It was as if being in public paused it, but the minute we were alone, it all came flooding back. Again we rode in silence, Daniel looking deep in thought, scanning left to right before checking his rearview mirror. He placed his right hand on the center console and I put my left hand on top of it. He looked over and smiled before lifting my hand to his face, repeating the same ritual as earlier. He was absentmindedly kissing the back of my fingers when his phone rang through the car stereo. Again it was Tracy. He gently placed my hand on his thigh and pushed a button on his steering wheel to answer the call.

 

“Trace! What’s up?” He asked while making a sharp left turn.

 

“Hey Boss! Just wanted to let you know I was holding your calls for the rest of the day and emailing over the day’s summary. Is there anything else I can do before I head out of the office?”

 

“That’s fine. I thought you left before I went in to lunch. Nothing’s changed, right?” He asked with a slight frown.

 

“Well, not really. But you know I think it would be better to be in person, Mr. Gamble. The schedule is getting even crazier, you’ll be living in a different time zone to make it happen.” She sounded sincerely concerned and I couldn’t help but wonder how many days he’d pulled this double duty, working through the night.

 

“Yeah, just send me the details and some possible schedule changes for both options. We’ll discuss it tomorrow.” He said in a tone that meant the debate was tabled.

 

“Yes, sir. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye, Mrs. Gamble!” She seemed so genuinely excited to know he was with me. I bet she noticed the schedule changes as much as Crystal.

 

“Bye Trace!” I said, while looking over at Daniel. He was deep in thought, and when he approached a stoplight I lost my restraint to not bother him with questions. “Is everything alright?” I asked, my head leaned back in my headrest, facing him.

 

“Yeah. Tracy just thinks I should go over to Tokyo to close this deal. I could get done in a few days what’s taking me all these video calls in the middle of the night.” He didn’t look at me when he spoke and I knew why.

 

Right before my birthday this year he went away on a business trip to close a deal. It was the last straw in our strained marriage. Time apart was the last thing we needed, but we both selfishly wanted a break from dealing with our problems. He’d went off and closed the deal, spending 10-days in Europe. I took a trip down to Miami with my sister, and it was the beginning of our separate lives.

 

I only talked to him once during his entire trip and even then it was short and unwanted. He’d come back with no plan for my birthday for the first time since I’d known him. We spent my entire birthday arguing as he kept asking me what I wanted to do, and I kept thinking he was joking, leading on to some extravagant plan he’d laid out. In the end there was no plan, and my 31st birthday went down as my worst ever, a fact I had reminded him of more times than I could count.

 

Over the past 6-months I imagine he had tried to retrace what went wrong as many times as I had, and although the list of fuckups was long, his trip away from me had to be at the top of the list. I didn’t know what we were doing now, I mean, we had only begun speaking to each other again yesterday. Technically today, as yesterday I couldn’t say a word. It was like we were on a first date, and I didn’t want to mess it up. I didn’t want to pause this for a business trip and hope that the feelings would remain once he returned. I knew now like I knew then, time apart was the last thing we needed, but this time it was also the last thing I wanted.

 

My whole body must have tensed up. He gently retrieved my hand from his lap and continued to kiss my fingers, resting his head on his headrest before turning to me and saying, “Just relax, baby,” without missing a beat in his worshipping of my fingers.

 

I nodded my head and tried my best to look optimistic, but I know he felt my worry. My anxiety was palpable, but I felt it unfair to demand I go with him, and forbidding him from going altogether was completely out of line. As we pulled into our garage, I felt all of the desire that had built up throughout the day begin to dissolve. I wasn’t on a first date; I was in the middle of a divorce. What the fuck was I thinking?

 

Together we walked to the door leading from our garage to our home, and I felt Daniel behind me. I turned the key and stepped through the door, immediately feeling his hands swooping my hair to the side. He kissed the nape of my neck in a way that made me drop the doggy bag and reach for the wall. His nose was in my hair, his wet lips kissed over my ear and down my neck, as his hands reached to unzip my skirt and push it down over my hips. I pushed my skirt down and kicked it off along with my stilettos before turning to face him, reaching up to put my arms around his neck. He placed his hands under my arms and lifted me with ease, never taking his mouth off of me.

 

I wrapped my legs around him and leaned my head back, granting him full access to my neck. He moved his lips up to my ear and grazed his teeth along my jaw before we were face to face. The passion was back in his eyes as he stared at me for what felt like an eternity. He grabbed my face, placing one hand on each cheek, and kissed me so deeply I couldn’t breathe. His hands wandered into my hair, pushing me further into his kiss, as his tongue owned my mouth. I felt the wall against my back and tilted my head back, panting as I tried to catch my breath. Gone was the tired man from The Sea Club. The man in front of me, staring into my soul, was energized and reinvigorated.

 

I grabbed his face and slammed my lips to his. I was so reckless I scraped my tongue on his teeth, causing a moan to escape from my mouth to his.

 

He pulled my hair back, ending the kiss, closing his eyes as he tilted his head back. “Fuck,” he muttered, before licking his lips, and I wondered what was wrong. He placed his hands on my colorful lace panties cupping my ass as he walked me through our house. He gently kissed my lips, moving back as I tried to deepen it. He did this over and over as I began to frown, wondering why he wouldn’t let me kiss him. He smirked and I realized why he’d cursed earlier. This was his show; he didn’t want my seduction, just my pleasure.

 

He walked to the edge of our bed and playfully tossed me onto the covers. I put my hands in my hair, pulling my chiffon top over my head before tossing it on the floor. I watched him take off his suit jacket before unbuttoning his shirt. By the time he was unscrewing his cuff links I was staring at the bulge in his pants, yearning for it. As if reading my mind, he put his hand over his dick and shook his head. I gazed up to see him smiling, as he watched what I’m sure looked like panic creep across my face. I didn’t want anymore teasing or waiting.

 

Grabbing my ankle, he pulled me to the edge of the bed, lifting my foot to his mouth. He kissed me so gently as he knelt down to the bed. His mouth was so wet and warm, my body melted with every kiss. I hadn’t been touched like this in longer than I could remember, the sensation shot all throughout my body and I gasped while arching my back as his kisses trailed up my leg until his face rested on my thigh. He tickled the sensitive skin of my inner thigh, running his nose along my panty line. I could feel him inhale deeply, and the thought of him smelling my sex made me squirm beneath him.

 

“Happy to see me?” He smirked while running his fingers along the lace between my thighs, soaked with my juices.

 

“Ecstatic,” I breathed, with every ounce of seduction my body contained.

 

“I like these,” he said, as he traced the colorful designs across my high-waist panties.

 

“Thank you,” I muttered as he flipped me over with one hand on my hip, and continued to trace the designs on my backside.

 

“But you might have ruined them, you know.” I could hear his smile as he slipped one finger into each side of my panties before pulling them down my hips. I lifted myself on my knees and wiggled to help him, then dropped back to on my belly, lifting my legs until I felt the lace reach my ankles. Still on my stomach, I heard him unzip his pants and knew from the clink of his belt that they had dropped to the floor. I felt him move his face up my legs, his breath alone making my shudder. He bit my ass as he made his way up my body, stopping at my bra. He unhooked it and I lifted each arm so that he could remove the straps. He kissed me from my ass crack up my spine, moving my hair to kiss the nape of my neck, before running his nose through my hair until I felt his breath on my ear. “I want to hear you today,” he whispered, and I nodded as my heart rate increased.

 

Placing his four fingers on my hipbone, he flipped me again, and I felt out of breath when I caught my first glimpse of his naked body as he was on his knees, near the foot of the bed. He was a God. His abs were so chiseled they begged to be touched, leading to that indent at his pelvis that made me bite me lip. His dick was standing at attention, and I wanted it so badly. Overflowing with desire, I looked up to his sculpted face and saw that passion in his eyes knowing that he was admiring my body as well. I smiled at him shyly and he returned the gesture, though his grin was more mischievous.

 

He leaned down, pushing my knees open, placing his head between my legs, as he flicked my clitoris with his tongue. I gasped loudly and arched my back. I felt his hand on my stomach as he pushed me back down to the bed while circling my clit with the flat of his tongue. I grabbed a pillow to mask my moan and he snatched it from my hand, throwing it off the bed.

 

“Let me hear,” he said while watching me, as he moved up the bed, kneeling at my hip, moving his finger around my clit. I nodded and he slid his two middle fingers inside me, pushing his palm against my clit. I moaned loudly, and clenched my eyes closed as I felt his mouth on my breast. He flicked his tongue and grazed his teeth around my hardened nipple, while continuously sliding his fingers in and out of me, tapping my clit with his palm in a steady rhythm.

 

I reached down to put my hand on his neck and he put my hand back near my head, shaking his head, before returning to my breasts, this time teasing my other nipple. I couldn’t touch him? What the fuck? I couldn’t focus on that right now, because the pleasure of his mouth and fingers was making me tighten. My legs began to vibrate, and I knew my orgasm was coming. He slowed his fingers and my orgasm stopped building, just maintaining a high level of pleasure. He leaned up beside me, pushing my knees open to look at my pussy, as his fingers slid in and out.

 

“I want to touch you, baby,” It was a whine more than anything.

 

“I know,” he said without looking at me. Suddenly he pulled his fingers out of me and knelt down until his face was fully between my legs. He pushed my legs in the air as wide as they would spread and barely grazed his teeth along my clitoris. I instantly erupted, coming so hard I felt like I was having an out of body experience, watching my legs shake in the air uncontrollably.

 

Now Daniel was on his knees between my legs, smiling with my juices all over his lips. He wiped his mouth on his palm and leaned down, falling into me before my orgasm even finished. I moaned loudly and he kissed me, shoving his tongue into my mouth. I tasted myself, something that would have repulsed me in the past, but now it seemed erotic as hell.

 

He grabbed my hands, interlocking our fingers, and raised them above my head as he slammed in and out of me, balancing himself on his knees. It made me think of the last time I’d seen him working out in the gym. As he rolled his core wheel over and over, I watched the muscles in his back flex while admiring how sexy he was. Now he was exercising inside of me, every push extending my orgasm. I began to wonder what was making so much noise and then I realized it was me. I was moaning so loudly it was embarrassing. Daniel kissed my neck, then my cheek, and then he whispered on my lips, “Let go, Baby,” and I felt a new orgasm building within me as I heard myself making a humming and moaning combination.

 

“Wrap your legs around me,” Daniel whispered, releasing my hands. Without thinking, I wrapped my arms and legs around him, and ran my nose along his neck. He didn’t stop me from touching him this time. I could feel him positioning his hands beneath me before he pulled my hair back, forcing me to look into his eyes.

 

“You’re about to come real hard. Are you ready?” His face was serious, and worrisome, like we were leading to the fall on a roller coaster.

 

I nodded, thinking to myself, I thought I did just come hard. With my arms and legs wrapped around him, Daniel leaned up on his knees, wrapping his arms around me as he began to push into me, while pulling my body onto his dick. The feeling was incredible, I was filled to my max; his dick was so deep from this position. Usually he would have asked if I was okay, but today he just picked up the pace and found his rhythm. In and out, in and out. The pleasure was building so quickly, I felt myself losing control. Daniel groaned in my ear and I tilted my head back, not needing any further push over the edge.

 

“Spread your legs,” he grunted over the sound of our colliding skin and my nonstop moaning. Without hesitation I released my legs from around him and spread them as wide as they would go. His right hand remained wrapped around my back, cradling my head from the nape of my neck, while his left moved down to my ass, holding me in place, allowing him to maintain his rhythm.

 

He adjusted his position, leaning more on his elbows pushing my ass toward his dick with every thrust. Again he increased his pace, falling into me, and now the angle made his pelvis push into my clitoris with every plunge. I could hold on no longer, sensation fell over me and the strongest orgasm I had ever experienced took over my body. I felt it in my toes, my shoulders, my breasts, my fingertips. I was speaking in tongues until my words became more like a chant, “I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you,” over and over.

 

Daniel grabbed my waist tight, and slammed into me three last times before stiffening and pulling my hair back as he buried his face in my neck. “Fuck, Emily… Baby… Baby,” he groaned. He kissed my neck over and over as his dick jumped inside of me. My body was spent. I couldn’t even feel my legs. He brought his face to mine, looking at me with such adoration, and wiped my eyes with his thumbs. I hadn’t even realized I was crying.

 

“I love you too, Em,” he smiled between kisses, and I melted into his arms.

 

To Be Continued…

 

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