Dating the Devil

Dating the Devil

Lia Romeo

February 2013 $11.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-252-1

He's Mr. Right Times Ten. Sophisticated, wealthy, sexy, and completely devoted to her, body and soul. So what's her problem?

Can't she handle dating the Devil?

 
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He’s a Hell of a great boyfriend.

Lucy O’Neill is a plain-Jane New York PR assistant with a tiny apartment, a dead-end job, and a pair of annoyingly perfect roommates. Nothing exciting ever happens to her, until one night at a neighborhood pub...

Lewis Mephisto is tall, handsome, and hot. Very hot. He meets her gaze through the crowd, a wicked grin on his lips, an irresistible invitation in his eyes.

He’s Mr. Right Times Ten. Sophisticated, wealthy, sexy, and completely devoted to her, body and soul. So what’s her problem?

Can’t she handle dating the Devil?*

Lewis looks at me hard for a moment in the darkness, then nods. "So you’ve figured the whole thing out,” he says ruefully.

"You’re—”

"Yeah,” he says.

"Say it,” I say in a trembling voice. "I want you to say it.”

He reaches over and switches his bedside lamp on, and suddenly the room is flooded with warm light. Then he looks back at me and shrugs. "I’m Satan,” he says.

He looks so boyishly vulnerable, sitting there shirtless amidst the rumpled sheets, one sock on and one off, blinking sleep out of his blue eyes, that I want to laugh. Of course, I also want to cry. I can feel the tears welling up in the corners of my eyes, but I manage to keep my voice steady. "And you’ve been—all this time, you’ve been—trying to steal my soul?”

"Not steal it, exactly,” he says. "Just . . . lead you into temptation.”

Lia Romeo is a playwright, novelist, and author of the highly-praised humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About. Dating the Devil is her first novel.


Reviews

"The plot is interesting and has several scenes where I found myself laughing a lot." -- Vania Nunes, Aborboletaquele


Excerpt

 

– 1 –

MY FRIENDS and I play a game sometimes called "What’s Your Personal Hell?”

If there were a Hell... and you were unfortunate enough to end up there... and the punishments were designed to be the worst possible thing for each particular person... what would yours be? What’s the worst thing you could imagine suffering for all eternity?

For my friend Natalie, it would be a world without men.

Natalie likes meeting men almost as much as she likes crushing their dreams of settling down in a cute little house and making babies... dreams which she seems to inspire in every man she meets, though she has no intention of doing any such thing.

She’s stunning—over six feet in her perpetual three-inch heels, with green eyes, black hair, and a wardrobe of minis and micro-minis and even-smaller-than-micro-minis by obscure Italian designers. Plus, she’s what they call "independently wealthy”... meaning she doesn’t really have to have a job. She does a bit of modeling, but mostly devotes herself to seducing the city’s most eligible bachelors—and the city’s least eligible bachelors—and pretty much all the bachelors in between. I’d definitely hate her if she weren’t my best friend.

For my other best friend, Melissa, her personal Hell would be a messy apartment that never got clean.

Melissa was the valedictorian of our graduating class at Cornell, earned her MBA at Columbia, and now works as a management consultant. She puts in eighty hour weeks, and still manages to find time to keep the apartment we all share spotless (Natalie and I tend to throw our clothes on the floor and leave half-empty containers of Haagen-Dazs melting on the kitchen counters), train for the New York City Marathon—oh, and spend time with Brandon, whom she met in the MBA program. He’s now a V.P. at a successful software company, and he recently put a sparkling three carat diamond on her perfectly manicured finger.

Mel’s beautiful too—blonde and petite and impeccably put together, from her pencil skirts to her blazers to the string of pearls that never leaves her neck. Needless to say, when the three of us go out, I don’t get a lot of attention.

Me? My personal Hell would be spending eternity dating in New York.

When I first moved to the city after college, I had things all figured out. I had the perfect job as an account executive at a boutique public relations firm, and the perfect adorable apartment in Chelsea with my perfect boyfriend, Ben.

Ben was tall, with blond curls and ruddy cheeks, and we’d been together since freshman year of college. We’d met on a volunteer trip over spring break, building houses for Habitat for Humanity down in Georgia. He looked good swinging a shovel, and even better over beers at the dive bar we used our fake IDs to sneak into that night. He was the first boy I ever loved, the first boy I ever slept with, the first... everything.

A year and a half after we moved to New York, he dumped me.

He was too young to be in such a committed relationship, he was trying to find himself, he was feeling like he needed to concentrate on his friends and his work. He was also, I found out later, sleeping with one of his coworkers at his hedge fund.

After the breakup, I couldn’t afford our apartment on my own... and Ben could, so he stayed there. Me? I moved in with Mel and Nat. They were sharing a Murray Hill two bedroom which happened to have a giant walk-in closet in the front hallway... so out went Nat’s designer outfits, and in went a full-size bed, an IKEA lamp... and me.

Two years later, I’m still here. My makeshift "room” lacks certain amenities, like, say, windows, or the ability to get out the door without climbing over the bed... but I’m only paying five hundred dollars a month, which allows me to afford cute clothes and bar tabs on a PR girl’s salary. And thanks to Mel’s cleaning habits and Nat’s West Elm addiction, the rest of the apartment is beautiful, decorated with tasteful modern furniture in soft browns and tans. I spend a lot of time hanging out in the living room.

And I spend a lot of time out. Dating. Or at least I have been, though I’m pretty much ready to give up at this point.

After Ben and I broke up, Nat and Mel took me out to our local wine bar, treated me to bruschetta and a bottle of pinot grigio, and told me I needed to be single for a while. They said I needed to focus on my work, spend time with my friends, concentrate on my hobbies, and give myself time to heal. I told them they were totally right.

I signed up for Match.com the next day.

And eHarmony... and OkCupid... and J-Date, even though I’m not Jewish. I placed a personal ad on Craigslist, in which I described myself as "newly single and looking to have some fun,” and received three hundred pictures of penises within the next twenty minutes. Apparently, "fun” on Craigslist is code for sex. I’d been thinking more in terms of afternoons at the museum and evenings at wine bars.

And I dated. I dated Chris from Craigslist—one of the few respondents who hadn’t sent me a picture of his penis. I found out three dates later that this was probably because he didn’t have one... Chris, née Christine, was a pre-op transsexual. I wanted to be open-minded, but I had to confess that a penis was on my list of non-negotiable requirements.

I dated Sam from Match. Sam asked me to dinner, then back to his Park Avenue apartment... which, it turned out, was actually his parents’ Park Avenue apartment. In which he liked to have threesomes. Which included his dad.

I dated Stu from eHarmony, who (despite the fact that his name was Stu) I actually thought had potential. We went for coffee and had such a nice time that we decided to go for dinner, at which we had such a nice time that we decided to go for after-dinner drinks. He kissed me goodnight and texted me the next day to ask me to come over and watch a movie. So I did... and it was porn. Gay porn. And after insisting for a while that gay porn just helped to get him in the mood, Stu finally allowed me to stammer my excuses and make my escape.

And I dated Josh and Alex and Mike and Roger and John 1 and John 2 and Evan and Geoffrey and Steve and Ryan and Greg. Some of them I met online, some I met out at bars, some in bookstores or coffee shops or even on the subway... but we never managed to make it beyond the third date. And now I’m finally thinking it’s time to give up on the whole thing for a while.

Nat approves. She’s never had any trouble meeting guys—it’s more that she has trouble getting rid of them—so she doesn’t understand why I’m trying so hard to find someone to date. She wants me to go out to the bars with her every weekend. Even though when I do, she always ends up making out with someone, and I end up sitting at the bar by myself or standing outside bumming cigarettes from the bouncer.

Ever since Mel got engaged, though, she’s decided that everyone else should too... she’s tried setting me up with three or four of Brandon’s friends already. She tells me that I can find the perfect guy and be just as happy as she is, but I’ve started thinking maybe I don’t believe her.

I’ve started thinking maybe it really isimpossible to find the perfect guy in New York... at least for a girl from Kansas with brown hair and chubby cheeks and pants from Gap, not Gucci. I’ve started thinking it’s time to stop trying for a while.

And of course... as soon as I decide to stop trying, I meet Lewis.

– 2 –

IT’S A SATURDAY night in September. Mel’s fiancé is out of town, and Nat’s finally managed to ditch the latest guy who’s been calling and texting and leaving flowers with our doorman. And because of my new plan—giving up on all the losers in New York and being a strong, single woman—I haven’t scheduled any dates for this weekend, so we decide to have a girls’ night.

Not only that, but we decide to have a girls’ night at the first bar the three of us ever went to together. It’s a dive in the Village called the Peculier Pub. When we were freshmen in college, Nat’s cousin was a junior at NYU, so one fall weekend the three of us packed our duffel bags full of our skimpiest outfits and took the five-hour bus ride from Cornell down to the city.

Nat’s cousin Jason, who Mel and I decided was secretly in love with her (but who wasn’t?), told us he’d take us out that night, but first we had to get some fake IDs. They didn’t have to be good, especially since we were girls... we just had to show the bouncers something. He took us to a souvenir shop in Times Square, where we ducked down a narrow flight of stairs into the basement, and had our pictures taken and plastered onto "state identification cards” that declared that we were twenty-two years old and from Ohio. Then we each put on about four pounds of makeup (I didn’t usually wear any, but Mel and Nat convinced me that it would help me look older) and headed out to the bars.

Our first stop was a Union Square lounge called Lemon, where the bouncer took one look at my fake ID, made a shooing motion and shook his head. Then Jason took us to Peculier Pub.

It was a dark, wooden dive packed with bodies and pulsing music. In high school, I’d been first chair violinist of the local youth symphony and spent all my spare time practicing, so I’d hardly even gone to any parties. Now my violin was tucked away neatly on a shelf in my parents’ house in Kansas, and I was determined to turn myself into a worldly college vixen. The faint smell of vomit wafting from the open doorway suggested that this would be a perfect place to start.

We made sure Nat stood in line first this time. She was wearing a deep red V-neck shirt that showed off cleavage that could easily belong to a twenty-two-year-old. The bouncer hardly even glanced at her ID, he was so busy staring at her breasts, and once he let her in he waved the rest of us in after her.

It was Fleet Week, and sailors started buying us shots, and pretty soon Mel and I were dancing on top of one of the wooden tables while Nat was wearing one of the sailors’ hats and making out with another one in the corner, Jason watching her with a look of equal parts irritation and longing.

That night I smoked my first cigarette and kissed my first stranger. I’d kissed my high school boyfriend, a sweet Chinese boy named Charlie Yang who was a flutist. We’d even indulged in some cautious groping over the summer, reaching furtively up each other’s shirts in the back seat of his parents’ Volvo, parked on dark streets far away from both his house and mine.

He was going to the University of Kansas, and when I left for Cornell, we’d promised to stay together, but after a month he’d sent me an email saying he was dating Anna Barnett, the pianist who’d beaten me out to win the Lawrence Concerto Competition by one vote the previous year. My resulting despair was part of the motivation for our New York weekend.

But now Mel and I were up on the table, shaking our hips to AC/DC, and there were boys all around us, and one of them was grabbing my hand and pushing his hips against mine. He leaned in close and shouted in my ear that his name was Philip, and I shouted that mine was Lucy, and then he was shaking a pack of cigarettes in my face, saying "Do you smoke?”

I didn’t, of course, but I said I did, and then we were outside, and instead of giving me a cigarette he was leaning towards me and putting his tongue in my mouth. We kissed for a while, there on the sidewalk, and then we shared a cigarette, me taking tiny puffs so I wouldn’t cough, and then we kissed some more and he put his hands on my waist under my black silk halter (borrowed from Nat) and told me I was beautiful. And then it was four a.m. and Mel and Nat and I were walking down the street arm in arm, singing "Oh What a Night” at the top of our lungs, and Jason was trailing behind us, looking like he wished he could put us back on the bus to Cornell right that minute.

I don’t think we’d been back to the Peculier Pub since then. The next time we were all in the city together was after we were legal, so we could pick places to go without worrying about how strict they were about fake IDs. And after college, when we moved to Manhattan, Mel decided she didn’t go to dive bars anymore, so we usually ended up sipping saketinis or champagne cocktails at places with vaguely Asian names and leather banquettes.

But tonight we’d ordered Chinese food and a couple of bottles of wine to go with it (I’ve got my share of problems with living in New York, but being able to have a bottle of wine delivered to your door makes up for a lot), and ended up mostly ignoring the Moo Shu in favor of the pinot. So by ten p.m., when Nat said, "You know what’d be fun?” even Mel was tipsy enough to agree with her.

Now our cab is making its slow way through the giggling hordes of drunken NYU students on Bleecker Street, and I’m starting to have second thoughts. I’ll be twenty-seven in a couple of months, and most of these girls look like they haven’t even cracked the big two-oh yet. They have blonde streaks in their hair and glitter on their eyelids and it’s clear that no one has ever broken their hearts.

But I’m wearing a short black Marc Jacobs dress which had been Mel’s until she got tired of it, and which has the remarkable effect of pushing my stomach in while pushing my breasts out, and a necklace of bright coral beads I bought from a street vendor. I’ve blow dried my shoulder length brown hair straight, even bothered to use Mel’s flatiron to smooth the ends of it, and Nat’s lent me her coral lipstick, which matches my necklace. I don’t normally wear lipstick, but I have to admit I like the way it turns my mouth from a very ordinary thing, a thing to use for chewing a pen or taking a bite of a sandwich, into a vivid slash of color meant for kissing or pursing seductively around a cigarette. I look good.

Of course, not compared to my friends I don’t. Mel wears a short, charcoal grey pencil skirt and a ruffled ivory blouse, her shoulder-length blonde hair straight and shiny, her signature strand of pearls around her neck, and a tiny Louis Vuitton bag that would cost me a month’s salary casually slung over her shoulder. As usual, she’s spent an hour on her makeup, and as usual it’s perfect... creamy skin, smoky eyes, flawless red lips. Minutes before we left, Nat shimmied into a deep green mini-dress, dabbed on some sparkly silver shadow and fuchsia lipstick, and tossed her keys and her credit card into a black fringed leather clutch, and despite the fact that she’s hardly spent any time she still looks better than either of us.

The bouncer gives us a puzzled look when we come in the door. The three of us, in our designer dresses (hand-me-down, in my case, but still), are a far cry from the jeans and t-shirts crowd packed three deep waiting for beers at the bar. We’ve barely set foot in the place and we’re already getting appreciative glances from guys, at least Mel and Nat are, and pretty soon we’re sharing a booth with a group of investment bankers and they’ve put a round of shots on the table in front of us.

An hour and several rounds later, Natalie and one of the bankers are whispering seductively in each other’s ears on the other side of the table, and Mel and another one have disappeared into the alcove beside the bathroom. Something I forgot to mention about Mel is that, despite having a perfect fiancé, she cheats on him from time to time.

It’s never anything serious. She’ll get a little too close to a guy at a bar while they’re dancing, and they’ll kiss. Or she’ll come back from a party that Brandon couldn’t go to with a story about making out with somebody in the bathroom. She’s never actually gone home with anyone, or if she has, she’s been back in her bed by early the next morning. And she always feels bad afterwards, though never bad enough not to do it again.

I don’t actually know that she’s kissing the banker—who’s very cute, six feet tall with short brown hair and a blue button-down shirt that matches his eyes—in the tiny alcove next to the bathroom that used to hold a telephone. I don’t really want to know, which is why even though I’ve had to pee for the last twenty minutes I’ve been holding it.

I don’t like Brandon that much—he was born and raised in New York, went to NYU and Columbia, and definitely sees the rest of the country as flyover territory. And he has a habit of looking at my handbag (usually cheap) and my shoes (usually cheaper), as though he’s measuring my worth by what I’m wearing. Until I met him, I thought only salespeople in snooty boutiques did that.

But despite being kind of a snob, he doesn’t deserve what Mel’s doing—and if I see it, I’m going to feel like I have to pull her aside and tell her so. We’ve had these conversations before, and they always end with her crying and telling me I’m right, and then the next time she gets drunk going out and doing it again.

I’m making half-hearted conversation with the banker on my side of the table. He’s clearly The Friend That’s Not Cute—he’s short and bald and wears wire-rimmed glasses. Which would be fine, if he had anything interesting to say, but he’s talking about derivatives... and even if I knew what derivatives were, I doubt I’d find them all that entertaining.

Also, he’s got his arm around my shoulder, and his fingers are inching down towards my breast. So before he can actually grope me I jump up and with my brightest smile I tell him I’m going to the bathroom. If I see Mel, I’ll just have to ignore her, that’s all.

But I don’t see Mel. In fact, I forget all about Mel, because I see Lewis.

Of course, I don’t know he’s Lewis yet. But I know he’s got to be someone. He’s standing against the wall, next to the jukebox. He’s mostly in shadow, but the red and blue flashing lights from the jukebox are playing across his face. He’s tall and dark-haired, and he’s wearing a suit... a navy jacket and pants, and a white shirt, untucked, with the top two buttons undone so I get just a glimpse of his smooth, muscled chest.

But the thing I really notice is how stillhe is. Everyone else in the bar is in constant motion, sipping drinks, twirling hair, rocking back and forth to the beat. But he’s standing perfectly motionless. There’s a cocktail glass in his hand but he isn’t drinking. Just standing... and looking.

Looking at me.

Really? I look over my shoulder. Maybe he’s looking at Natalie. She’s straddling the banker in the booth and they’re kissing... definitely a spectacle worth looking at, but I don’t think he could see them from where he’s standing. I look behind me, to see if he’s checking out one of the blonde coeds. But when I look back, he raises one eyebrow, and he smiles.

It isn’t a very nice smile. It isn’t the kind of smile that says, I’d like to get to know you, take you out to dinner, come home and make out on the couch, and then give you money for a taxi. It’s the kind of smile that says, I’m going to eat you. And you’re going to like it.

I don’t usually go for the dangerous type. Nat goes crazy for them, and I know if she spots this guy it’ll be goodbye banker, hello bad boy. And of course, if he spots her, he’ll stop looking at me this way, and I suddenly, desperately don’t want that to happen. Those shadowed eyes... that predatory smile. But Grandmother, what big teeth you have! The line from "Little Red Riding Hood” comes suddenly and inanely into my head.

He extends one finger and beckons. Who, me? I must have mouthed the question, because he nods and beckons again. I walk a few steps slowly towards him, my heels sticking to the wooden floor.

"You look like a lady who needs a drink,” he says in a low, sexy voice.

I’m pretty sure that’s the last thing I look like, seeing as I’ve had three? four? of the disgusting shots that the bankers were calling SoCo and vodka. ("Isn’t SoCo supposed to go with lime?—not... vodka?” I’d asked The Friend That’s Not Cute. He’d just shrugged.) I’m pretty sure my cheeks are flushed and my hair is sticking to my face, and I might just be wobbling a little. But his lips are so sexy, forming the shapes of the words, that all I can do is nod.

And suddenly, there are two drinks in his hands. I could have sworn there was only one before. He extends one of them towards me and the ice tinkles invitingly. I take a sip of the dark brown liquid, and despite the fact that I’m already tipsy I already am it burns all the way down.

"What is that?” I gasp when I can speak again.

"Scotch,” he says, as though drinking scotch at a dive bar were the most natural thing in the world. "Very good scotch,” he adds.

I try another small sip, and it goes down smoother this time. "Thank you,” I manage.

"I take it you’re not a scotch drinker.”

"I usually drink wine.”

"What kind?” he asks.

"White. Sauvignon blanc or pinot.”

"Ah.” He sips at his scotch, nodding as though he’s got me all figured out.

"What do you mean, ah?”

"I have a theory,” he says. "I spend a lot of time in bars. And I believe you can tell a lot about a person based on their libation of choice.”

Libation? Who says libation? "So what can you tell about me?”

"White wine drinkers are usually cautious. They don’t have adventurous tastes, but they want to seem worldly. They like wearing black. They go to the museum and the theater and the symphony a few times a year, but more because they feel like they’re supposed to than because they really enjoy it.”

"Hmm.” He’s mostly right. Despite the hundreds of good restaurants in our neighborhood, I tend to go the same few places all the time. I wear black every time I go out, mostly because it’s slimming. And I would love to seem worldly, though I’ve pretty much realized it’s a lost cause. I do genuinely love the New York Philharmonic, though. I go whenever I can afford a ticket—mostly by myself, though Nat’s been known to go as an excuse to wear her dramatic black silk opera gloves. I’ve tried to tell her that they’re supposed to be for the opera, not the symphony, but she doesn’t care.

"So what about scotch drinkers?” I ask him.

"Complicated. Masochistic. Intelligent. Loyal.”

"That kind of sounds like a sheepdog.”

He laughs, throwing his head back, showing his white teeth, and his brooding, serious face is totally transformed. Making him laugh feels like the greatest accomplishment of my night—of my week, actually.

"I like you,” he says.

"Even though I don’t have adventurous tastes?”

"I think you might have more adventurous tastes than you realize. Maybe you just haven’t found the perfect drink yet.”

I take a big gulp of scotch to avoid meeting his eyes, then cough and sputter as it burns my throat. "Nope. Still terrible,” I manage to choke out.

He smiles and takes a pack of cigarettes out of his suit pocket. "Smoke?”

I nod—I never smoke in the daytime, but I do occasionally when I go out—and he sets our glasses down on top of the jukebox, then takes my hand, pulling me through the crowd towards the front door. His hand is hot, and all of the nerves in my body seem to be concentrated in my fingers where they’re touching his.

Outside, he takes a cigarette out of the pack, and leans forward to place it between my lips. "Want to see a party trick?” he says. He touches the tip of the cigarette with his index finger, and it flares into light.

"How did you...?”

He just smiles and lights his own cigarette the same way. We smoke for a moment in silence, watching women in bright cocktail dresses and men in dark suits, women with purple hair and men in leather pants go in and out of bars, climb in and out of cabs, disappear into the subway.

"You know what I love about New York?” he says.

"What?”

"How everyone’s lost, but they all look like they know exactly where they’re going.”

"Do I look like I know where I’m going?” I ask him.

"No,” he says. "But I bet you haven’t been here very long. Have you?”

"Four years,” I say. "How long have you been here?”

He smiles. "Forever.”

ANOTHER CIGARETTE later, he’s kissing my neck in the back seat of a cab headed downtown to his apartment.

Now I should say, first of all, that I’m not the kind of girl who normally lets strange men kiss my neck in the back seat of cabs. I’m not even the kind of girl who normally lets strange men take me home.

I had a couple of one night stands shortly after Ben and I broke up, woke up hung over and feeling bad about myself, and spent the next week hoping they’d call to make me feel better. They didn’t. After that I decided sleeping with strangers just wasn’t "me,” and I’d only sleep with men I’d been dating for a while. Meaning I haven’t had sex with anyone in almost two years.

But he kissed me outside the bar, while I was waiting for a taxi, and my knees literally buckled. I’d never experienced a truly remarkable kiss before. I’d enjoyed kissing, but more as proof that someone wanted to kiss me than as a sexual act.

But this.

It wasn’t a kiss, it was a revelation. I was standing on the curb, about to stick my arm out, and he tipped my chin back with one finger, then leaned in and lightly brushed his lips against mine. My lips tingled. Then he leaned closer, gently biting my lip with his teeth and letting his tongue brush against my tongue, and my tongue was alive, electric, twisting eagerly around his. And then my knees went weak, and I was leaning against him, into him, as our lips, tongues, teeth met, parted, met again, and when a taxi finally drew alongside us he pulled me into the back seat and told the driver to go to Broadway and Rector Street.

And now his lips are on my neck and tongues of flame are licking up towards my hairline, and I’m biting my lip to keep myself from gasping and running my hands over his thigh muscles under the (very good quality) wool of his suit. I don’t want the cab ride to end, because I don’t want him to stop kissing me like this, but I also want to feel his tongue against my stomach, my thighs, my...

Finally, we pull up in front of a huge, old-fashioned apartment building in the financial district, tumble out of the cab, and make our way up the steps. Before he opens the door, he grabs my hair and crushes me against him, kissing me hard for a moment, and then we separate and walk with perfect decorum through the lobby. At least, he does. He even manages to nod cordially at the doorman. As for me, my face is flushed, and I’m still breathing heavily.

He presses the up arrow for the elevator, and as soon as the doors open and close behind us he’s pressing me against the wall, kissing my collarbone and running his hands over my breasts under the tight fabric of the dress I’m wearing. I know we’re on camera, but I don’t care, I’m pulling the neckline of my dress down lower to feel his rough, hot hands on my skin. And then he pulls away, says "Wait,” and the two of us stare at each other, faces inches apart, breathing hard, as the elevator moves slowly upwards towards the thirteenth floor. His eyes are deep blue, almost black. A single drop of sweat rolls down his forehead.

When the elevator doors open he fumbles in his pocket for keys, gets his door open and then pushes me up against the back of it. He hasn’t bothered to turn on the lights, and the whites of his eyes gleam in the darkness. With one hand he’s holding my shoulders against the door, while with the other he’s pulling up my dress and pulling down my thong, and I’m fumbling frantically at his belt buckle. Finally, he lets me go for a minute and undoes it himself, letting his pants drop and pool around his ankles.

Then he quickly unwraps and unrolls a condom and pushes into me, and the heat spreads upwards through my entire body as he starts to move. My hands are clutching his shoulders, and I’m biting my lip to keep from screaming as the heat builds and builds until I feel as if I am literally combusting from the inside. And then I am screaming, and then we’re finished and my knees are buckling and I’m sagging to the ground, still leaning against the door, and he’s picking me up and carrying me into the bedroom, where we do it all again—twice, as a matter of fact—before finally falling into an exhausted sleep at five in the morning.

And there’s one thing that’s odd—very odd, actually, though I’m too drunk and dazed with lust to pay a lot of attention. The entire time, he refuses to take off his socks.


 

 


 


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