SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t read Layers, beware!
For the longest moment my stare is fixated on some indistinct point at the window, but I’m not really seeing anything as my mind is in too much of a colossal mess. I'm trying to make some kind of logic out of the idea that if I just tap that sweet ass one last time I’ll get it out of my system. Who are you fucking kidding, Daniel. It's so much more than an itch to be scratched.
"Mr. Stark?" I shake off the clutter in my head and look at the men sitting in front of me. Takes me a few short seconds to get back with them.
"Are you here?" Ted, my head of Business Development, asks with a ghost of a smile.
I narrow my gaze at him and he flusters. Murmuring some lame excuse, he coughs and rephrases. "We were just discussing the encryption restrictions with the 64-bit and up solutions."
"Is there a problem with that, Thai wise?"
"Well, yes... we..."
"So sort it out." I grab the Viper’s keys and shove them in my front pocket. I need to clear my head, and the sooner I get it done the better. I can't do it here. I’m one person pissing me off away from losing it. As I make my way to the door, they gape at me. Oh, In the name of fuck.
“I don’t pay you to just look pretty.” I snap, and both men nod as though on cue.
"I'm out," I throw Anne’s way.
"Uhm, where will I be able to reach you?"
I send my eyes to the ceiling and grind my teeth so what I have on the tip of my tongue will remain there. I make a whole display of showing her the phone in my hand. I’m such a dick sometimes. But it’s as if some people just have to breathe to annoy me.
I take pity at the distress she emits, inhale deeply and flatly say, "At the track, if Rome is burning." I emphasize the latter, sarcasm dripping from my tone.
She affirms with a small bob, flushed, though her look turns curious. I return the gaze with my own none of your business stare.
Lurching the car to a roar, I phone Jones to let him know I'm on my way. I turn up the volume, Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” makes me snort. Where the hell is my mind?
Rolling into the entrance, I grab my gloves from the compartment and head to pay.
"Must be one hell of a mindfuck if you are here on a Friday morning and not at office, huh Stark?" Jones says, chewing his gum, eyeing the Viper with sheer reverence.
I send him a tight, warning smile.
“You need the wheels on the beauty checked?” He tilts his chin toward the beast.
"Then you are up in 5. And clear your head before you get up there, don’t need you dead on my watch..."
I slightly nod, my eyes on said beauty, flexing and bending my fingers.
"And wear a god damn helmet this time Stark. I mean it. There won’t be a next time if you don't."
I twist my mouth, disregarding his cries of attention, and caress the top of the Viper. This pent up energy I’ve been nesting will be shortly defused with a great adrenalin rush. I rest my arms stretched on the hood, tilting my head down between them. I close my eyes. And there she is, very vividly. It’s crazy. I can literally conjure her smell. She was there. Ready to be mine. I saw it in her eyes. I felt it in her touch, in the pull between us. I had her at my palm and pushed her away. I’d be surprised if she wants anything to do with me. I feel like kicking something. I feel like pounding the shit out of something. She really got deep inside.
I’m gonna see her tonight. I need to sort out what I want to do. Hell, what I want, period. Doesn’t look like if I screw it up this time I’ll have another chance. Besides having a sublime ass, she is also stubborn and kind of hot tempered. Hot, is the key word when it comes to Hayley, in every damn aspect of the word. I take another deep breath and put the gloves on. I flex and bend my fingers again. I have no idea what I want. The only thing that is more than evident is that I want to see her. I need to see her and try to clear things up. I release the stress in my neck, slightly tilting my head to one side first, then the other. I unbutton my dress shirt, shrugging it off. I tuck the white T into my jeans, and throw the button up to the back seat.
I roll my shoulders and lower to take my place behind the thick wheel. I adjust the seat, check the mirrors and drop my head back to the headrest, closing my eyes. Far from being an itch, it’s much more. Her face keeps showing up. Damn she is beautiful. The expression she had when she got mad and snapped at me for treating her the way I did was so fucking hot, I literally get hard thinking about it.
In the middle of the god damn track, Stark?
I shove my hand to adjust myself, take some few focus-filled breaths and instigate the engine. The familiar growl sends my heart to pace faster and for the exhilaration to start flowing through my veins. I stand the beast’s front wheels at the lane’s starting point. Turning the A/C to the max, I take one last glance at the rearview mirror and shake all prior thoughts from my head. I squeeze the pedal till it touches the floor. The familiar intoxicating adrenalin rush jolts through me and it’s beyond awesome. I’m concentrated, hyperaware of each and every moment of the drive. Melding with the car, feeling the road. I hold the steering wheel tight, the skin on my knuckles stretch under the gloves. I need to keep it smooth. I shouldn’t jerk the wheel when entering the next turn. I ease on the throttle, no slamming it down. My heart rate is running at the highest percentage of its maximum. It’s liberating. It’s plainly epic. It’s what I need.
Drying the last droplets from my skin, I toss the towel to the side and clear the fog off the glass. Heat is reflected from my eyes. I’m still restless. Even the boxing session didn’t calm me down. I thought that the combination of racing and pummeling the hell out of the bag would do the job, but no, I’m still fuckingrestless. I can’t believe what I’m feeling, when did this ever happened before?
My phone distracts me, hollering from somewhere in my room.
“Iris,” I answer.
“Hey son, how are you?”
“Fine, I’m about to leave for the event.”
“Again, I’m sorry I couldn’t be there tonight.”
“Don’t stress about it.”
“It’s such a great thing that you do. I’m so proud of you Daniel.”
I exhale, only mildly irritated.
“So, will she be there tonight?”
I still can’t believe I told Iris about Hayley. What the hell has gotten into me?It’s one thing to let that information slip, but discussing it like a damn chick was taking things too far. Not doing that again.
“I really got to go.”
“Okay, okay,” she laughs lightly. “Good luck.”
I button up the last three buttons of my white shirt, do my cuffs, and grab the jacket from the bed. I pass by the kitchen, down a much needed quick drink, and continue to the car. Everything Hayley is still making riots in my thoughts, her eyes, her superb body, even her voice. What in the name of everything fucked up am I going to do tonight? Time is running out, and this uncertainty drives me crazy.
“They did an impressive job with the place, don’t you think Mr. Stark?” says someone. I gaze around and meet my PA’s eyes. She immediately jumps my way and starts jotting down whatever comes out of my mouth. She's a good kid, stressed as hell, but still she’s okay.
The hotel’s PR manager sashays my way, accentuating her assets with every step. I twist my mouth at the inviting look in her eyes. Ain't gonna happen. Save it for someone who goes for cheap, someone who doesn't have a beautiful smartass all over his mind.
When she almost reaches me, I doge her quickly and unleash Anne on her. The last thing I want to do is be dragged to dull conversation with … that.
I get a glass of Jack from the bar, trying to subdue the buzz in my head, almost downing it all in one tip. When I turn back to the room, there are about half a dozen people eagerly waiting to get their hands on me. I try to stay calm, try to answer some questions. My patience level is equivalent to the amount of real breasts in this room, close to zero.
As soon as I see the look on Tim’s face as he hesitantly makes his way toward me, I know the seams preventing me from exploding are about to disintegrate. As soon as he starts giving me excuses why his team didn’t manage to complete the one task they were supposed to do, I clench my fists and take a long, deep breath. As I send my eyes to the side, making the last attempt at staying collected, they collide with the beautiful brown eyes that are intently staring at me. It feels like something has pressed into my chest. The fuck? And I freeze, looking at her. She is wearing the dress and damn, she looks absolutely incredible. She yanks her gaze away, flustered, caught. It makes my lips pull up.
The first thought that comes to my mind is that I need to talk to her. Right now. The next one is if anyone tries anything with her, I won’t be able to restrain myself and might end up spending a night in jail. Getting back to the people before me, the small smile on my lips stays intact. Tim and Anne observe me with dubious, nervous looks. Anne gets somewhat off-balance mumbling a question, still checking my face suspiciously. Okay enough, there’s somewhere else I need to be.
She is one step away. My eyes run over her bared tanned, back. It looks so smooth. I need to fight the urge to touch her, the need to really touch her.
Unable to stop myself, I rest my hand on her shoulder, and the warmth it transmit back through me, stirs something inside.
“Hello, Hayley,” I say next to her ear, taking a chance to breath in her incredible smell. She turns around, her eyes wide and there’s a hint of a flush on her beautiful face. It triggers my lips to quirk into a thin smile.
“Hi, Daniel,” she says. Her eyes subtly run over me, though subtly it’s not lost on me, and the little pull on my lips morphs into a smug smile. I try to somehow pacify it, but the attempt is futile. I boldly drink her head to toe. What a sublime work of art. Her tension, together with the color deepening on her cheeks, is so fucking adorable. She is affected, not in her lioness turn kitty way like the times before in which I made her blush, but in a pulse raising kind of way. She wants me too. It’s there on her face, loud and clear.
“You look absolutely breathtaking,” I whisper next to her ear. “I like the dress on you,” I tell her, thinking just how I’d like it so much more if I could rip it off her.
She cuts our light talk after I ask her to continue our conversation somewhere more private. Her voice takes a harsh tone when she dismisses the idea with some lame excuse that has to do with that friend of hers that works for me. She seems relieved when Anne disturbs us. Fuck, didn’t see that one coming.
“I’ll look for you later. Don’t run away,” I tell her, contemplating in the same breath firing my P.A on the spot.
She retorts a cheeky comeback about her shoes and smiles. That smile. Still very much holding myself back from throwing her over my shoulder, I take her by surprise and leave a lengthened, chaste kiss on the side of her lips. She’s so shaken I need to bite my lips again not to smirk. I leave her like that, not looking back. Looks good…
I want her, I’m still debating in which sense of the way, besides the very obvious one that is.
I go through all the usual, social formalities with the hospital’s representatives, bored as fuck. We discuss for some long moments more collaboration opportunities. I quickly dismiss their attempt to illustrate me like some kind of a saint, and thank them for letting us support them. Impatient, I tend to the papers Anne hands me, and with half an ear listen to the clown in the tux on stage.
When Adam my spokesperson starts to talk, I glance over the documents looking for Hayley. I’m almost done, and my next task is to get her alone, whether she likes it or not.
Oh, for fuck’s sake! Didn’t I tell him not to involve me in the circus? I shake my head annoyed and start making my way to the stage after Adam asks me to join him for some words. I push out an exhale and climb the few stairs.
Half way through my words, with a mind of their own, my eyes roam the audience, seeking her. At the find, I captivate her stare and in a matter of seconds she drowns out the crowed. Reluctantly, I break our charged connection to conclude my improvised speech. When Adam mentions my own contribution, I shrug. I truly dislike this part. I don’t do it for any recognition what so ever and would prefer keeping it private. But then my eyes retrace back to Hayley’s. Inexplicably so, her reaction matters. I’m taken aback by what her eyes echo to mine. This look she sends me completely disarms me. Lucky for Adam, I no longer find any will to lash at him. I remain on stage talking to him. The asshole has the audacity to tease me about bringing me on stage. We laugh it off. He is one of the few people I can more than tolerate. When he asks me next about my recent trip to Baja, we fall into conversation about his interest in also buying a property there.
Though I’m engaged in conversation my stare strays to where Hayley stands. There’s almost a palpable sparked collision when our eyes meet again. I can’t put my finger on the exact reaction it causes within me, but what I do know for sure is that I can’t stand being away from her for even one minute more.
Adam tells me there were some reporters at our door, asking for a confirmation on the rumors about business with foreign countries, asking me what I’m willing to disclose. When I take a moment to think, my stare yet again trails to a certain spot. A fierce jolt of possessiveness bleeds through me as I see some prick dancing with her, his arms around her, too close. My jaw tenses and my eyes taper gazing at them. I dismiss Adam, telling him that I’ll get back to him later and make my way off the stage, faster than I can say I’m-about-to-deprive-you-of-breathing.
An idea flings to my mind and I approach the D.J, asking him for a specific song. I can barely believe what’s going on in my head and the rate my heart reaches as I approach her. And she is there, consuming me with her eyes, making everything I feel take on a greater intensity.
I’m but one drink away from garroting the dickhead holding her. I end up just tapping his shoulder, probably harder than is appropriate. I’m pretty sure throttling him in front of her will not earn me any golden stars. “Can I cut in?”
His reaction as he realizes who I am amuses the jerk in me. Unable to look anywhere else, I bore into her brown eyes. Screw taking it easy on her. I literally pull her as close as possible, till her chest is tightly pressed against me. Her body molds with mine perfectly. I need to think about world hunger and foam salivating dogs with rabies not to get hard. And here dies my try…
I wrap her deeper into my arms. “Hayley, it wasn’t my intention to upset or hurt you in any way.” I don’t know what possessed me. I don’t know what to do, but I know I want you.
Her hands move slowly to my shoulders, my beat raises in tandem. “I like how I feel when I’m with you.” And I want more of it. The tips of her fingers touch my skin, sending a tremor to run within me. I breathe her in.
“You remembered,” she whispers about the song playing in the background.
As it seems I remember everything about you. My eyes drop to her mouth, with my stare set on her plump lips, all my thoughts channel into one. I need to taste them. Kiss them, bite them, own them.
Her eyes softly glow at me for a fleet moment. Yes baby, look closely, see just how much I want you. What’s with the look? Her expression turns confused, stressed. Where did she go? She burrows her face in my chest and presses against me so tight. Fuck it feels so great. But I want more, this is not enough.
“Hayley, look at me,” I demand in a low voice. She tilts her face to look at me under her lashes. She is faintly blushing and so damn beautiful. I tip my head slightly to reach closer, her sweet breath already blending with mine. It reaches to the very depth of me, causing some waves. I bend lower and finally touch the softness that is her mouth. When she leans into our connection, my claim becomes more fervent. In one sole moment everything that was riling tumultuously in me melts. We stop dancing and sink deeper into our intense union. I take every bit of what she offers. I taste her, hold her cheeks in my hands and pull her deeper. Sweet Jesus she tastes so good. Through our trance connection I realize that the music has stopped.
“Hayley, I think the music’s stopped,” I smirk, still lightly kissing her.
She blushes and I have to subordinate the shit eating grin that’s glowing inside of me from floating to my lips.
“Mr…” Anne appears out of thin air. Why did I not fire her earlier?
My eyes on her reflect exactly what I feel about the interruption.
“Somebody better be dying, Anne. For fuck's sake what now?”
“Well,” she murmurs, fiddling with her fingers. “The hotel’s manager requested to talk to you.” I stare at her in surprise that in matter of short seconds turns to fury.
“Please, tell me. You did not. Come all the way here. To interrupt me for that.” Some kind of a divine intervention in the form of Hayley’s touch on me prevents me from finally firing her.
“I will go check up on Tasha. I'll wait for you till you are done,” Hayley says, flexing on her feet to kiss me. I bend to level our stares, sliding my hand underneath her hair. I hold her neck. I tip her head up and bend to slowly take some more. But it’s not the least bit enough. It’s like an appetizer. And I need the whole fucking king’s feast. Reluctantly, I pull back.
My palms fist tightly as I follow Miss Employee of the Month. When she attempts to talk to me, I just shake my head. For her own sake, she’d better keep quiet. It’s better that I don’t speak now. For her own sake. And mine.
When I finally get back to Hayley, which is the only thing that seems to actually matter this evening, I tell her about the fact that I need to head home soon and ask her to come with me. This call with the Thai minister of defense, what terrible timing. I make myself inwardly chuckle thinking about calling the esteemed minister to ask to reschedule due to an urgent need to do some supreme ass. That should be a universal bro code for postponing any prior engagements.
Something has snapped inside of me today. I have a mad need to touch her. I’m psyched with the necessity to take her home. I need her there.
“Any chance you are coming with me?” I stare at her, willing her to say yes.
“Though that is one of the most tempting questions I’ve been asked lately, I think I will have to take a rain check.”
Try harder, that is not the correct answer sweetheart.
“Why is that?”
“I’m starting the new job tomorrow and I want to be fresh and alert, which I am pretty positive I will not be if I go home with you.”
You got that right.
“I can’t argue with that, I want to, but I won’t.” I sigh, combating my less considerate part to stop from pursuing her to come with me, and what a battle it is.
“So you got the job you wanted? At which magazine was it?”
Oh, the pun… There are so many ways you could work at me. I’d be more than fucking thrilled to show you, till you won’t be able to stand up straight.
“If only you could work at me…” I murmur.
Now that I got that settled comfortably in my mind, everything sex and her makes it hard to even think right.
“Go please,” she pulls back. “Before I change my mind,” she says and I want to argue that point, but don’t. I hold her chin and tip it to kiss her again. Sweet, fucking Jesus! How can I say goodbye to that. All I want is to take her home and watch her till she falls asleep. After making her scream my name or confuse it with the lord’s.
“Good night Hayley,” I say, smiling at her, giving her perfection of an existence one more lustful onceover. As I make my way to the Viper I think there is no way I can really hold seeing her again soon, very soon. What the fuck has happened to me?