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Poughkeepsie begins, p.21
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       Poughkeepsie Begins, p.21

           Debra Anastasia
 
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  Beckett’s fingertips around her throat made delicious things happen to her body. He was so incredibly confident as he pulled her into the hotel room. He kicked the door shut and slapped on a light like he’d promised so long ago. He would watch her come with the lights on. She shivered in anticipation. Soon she would find out exactly what that word meant to him—and for her.

  She briefly wondered if she was the first he’d brought here for this purpose, but his arms were around her and his kisses took her to a place of desire, nothing else. He had a way of moving his hands and lips that made her forget to be self-conscious. He tasted incredible. His lips were so soft, and he knew just what to do with his tongue. He unzipped the leather jacket slowly, looking deep into her eyes. And then he moved fast.

  Almost before she realized what was happening, her prom dress was just a fluffy pink circle on the floor. He stopped kissing her to hold out his hand. She took it and stepped out of her dress as if she were stepping from a boat to a dock.

  He steadied her. “Good girl.”

  The filthy, sexy things he began whispering started a fire in her. She didn’t know it could be like this. His hands seemed to be tasting her, touching places she didn’t even know should be touched.

  “Just feel,” he encouraged. Then he demanded. “Feel.”

  So she tossed her head back when he took off her bra, feeling him grab two handfuls of her. She looked down at his hands on her breasts.

  “You are sexy as fuck. Leave your heels on.” Beckett poured adoration on her nipples.

  Between his knowledgeable fingers and the tips of his teeth, she nearly lost herself. She’d forgotten she could touch him too. Of course. She started on him quickly, undressing him as if he were on fire.

  He smiled with full dimples and held out his arms like Christ on the cross. “Open it up, baby. Have at me.”

  When she had his chest bare, she touched every bit that rippled. He was a terrific surprise. She knew he was fit, but this…A tiny bit of his tongue peeked out between his lips. She kissed him, chest to chest, loving the bare skin.

  “You’re shaking. Are you scared?” She felt the tension along his biceps.

  “No, beautiful. I’m just having trouble going easy on you, slow for you.” He put his hands on her hips and dragged them across her stomach.

  “Don’t go easy. Teach me what I’m going to like.”

  “Shit.”

  And then she was in his arms. He had literally swept her off her feet. The bed bounced a bit when he dropped her on it, and when he eased down next to her, he didn’t have his pants on anymore. She was afraid to look.

  He acted like he wasn’t naked—speaking to her, telling her beautiful things, dirty things. When he had felt every bit of her, and she was panting, though not even totally sure what for, he slipped her panties off her hips. He kissed her stomach and her thighs and just when she was going to close her legs from an overwhelming bout of modesty, he held her open and kissed her. It took a few licks before she could even get her mind around the fact that he was there. Then the things he’d started doing registered with the rest of her.

  Her body knew what to do with sex, even if she didn’t. He added his touch to her nipples, a tiny bit of his fingers inside her, and whatever he was doing with his mouth, and something in her began to build, wave, come for him. She got it then. In that moment she knew what the word come meant. It was letting go of everything and having the sensation deliver her at her most vulnerable to him.

  She couldn’t stop her own filthy mouth and intermingled curses with his name.

  “That’s it. Right there. I love it.” Beckett pumped inside her with his finger, kissing her, inhaling his own name from her lips. The satin she’d worn was such a pretty pink—it now matched the flush on her cheeks and chest. He could watch her feel pleasure for days, the way her whole body clenched with each new wave. He’d badly wanted a bump to settle his nerves for the evening, but he was glad now he’d resisted. This scene needed no enhancement. He was thankful his mind was completely clear. He gently bit the tip of her nipple before giving her a full-tongue lick and a delicious suck. His hand moved so easily between her legs now; she was ready.

  He used one hand to keep her going as he slipped on a condom. She was so far gone, she wouldn’t even know to ask, so he had to protect her. He slipped between her legs, and she was just boneless, succumbing to a pleasure so intense that she could only take what he gave her with his fingers.

  When he put the tip in, she clenched around him, coming to life again. He kept pressure on her clit, never letting her forget that pleasure was the end game.

  “This is it? Now?”

  He nodded. “Right now.”

  “Okay.”

  She grew even more tense, her thighs clamping around him.

  He shook his head. “You want it? Open for me. Take a deep breath and feel. What did I say? Just feel.”

  He thumbed her into more pleasure, watching the firecrackers of sensation based on her panting breaths. With every new wave, he pushed farther into her. She was in another full-blown orgasm by the time he was completely inside her. He held steady, letting her go through her passion around him. When she was totally engulfed, he began to rock back and forth.

  She flinched. The pain that was precursor to the pleasure she would feel for the rest of her life had been inflicted.

  He stopped and stilled, leaning over her to kiss her. “Too bad?”

  She shook her head. “Just a shock. I was really having a good time there.”

  “I know.”

  She blushed again, and he swore his dick grew two sizes larger. “Can I finish?”

  She nodded. “I can take it.”

  He made sure she was panting again, touching parts of her that a lot of men twice his age wouldn’t even know mattered, as he began to pound into her. He released his safety and took what he needed from her sweet, luscious body. The tits, the ass, the amazing legs that would go anywhere he put them—it was heady.

  She did everything he wanted. He had her lost in the passion, the romance, and his goddamn talent. Once. Twice, Three times. He convinced her to let him shower with her. He memorized every inch of her, and tasted her before and after the water, loving it. Loving how greedy she was for his tongue.

  As she wrapped herself in a towel, he got the blanket from the bed. He picked her up after tossing it over her shoulders and carried her to the bed where he put her down and curled around her. Candy put her head on his chest and snuggled in, tossing the end of the covers over him as well.

  They stayed like that for a while. He twirled tendrils of her wet hair between his fingers.

  “Was that okay?” he finally asked. She hadn’t spoken, and he hoped her innocence had been ready for all he’d brought to her table tonight.

  “So okay.” She lingered on the word so to emphasize it.

  “Good. Happy birthday to my weakness. Sorry your present was late.”

  “My present was fantastic.” She tilted her face to him and puckered her lips. He leaned down and kissed them, and his lingering hope for his future slammed around in his chest. It got him when she looked at him. It made his heart trip a step, like the floor had dropped out beneath it.

  She touched his lips with her fingertips, then ran them up his cheek, smoothing out his brow where he hadn’t realized it was furrowed.

  “I love you, Beckett.”

  He exhaled, knowing she was gone for him. She was every minute of her eighteen years. She would be young for him, give him her body, her heart, pine for him. And he couldn’t let her. He hugged her closer, kissing her head.

  “You’re too beautiful for me. You need a glass case with a light above it, and you need to stay there.”

  He expected fighting. If she felt even half of what he felt for her, she would fight him now. Convince him now. Instead she was quiet again. She always seemed to do to opposite of what he predicted.

  “Okay.” She put her leg between his. “But I think
you could fit under a glass case too.”

  He pulled her to lay on top of him. He wanted her weight on him, to feel her good intentions over him like the blanket he’d wrapped her in. She was so soft. Their heartbeats seemed to sync up. Her wet hair was against his neck.

  He would never let her be his Doreen. But he was too far gone not to be everyone else’s supercharged Kick—and more.

  They lay like this until they fell asleep.

  Sometime later a door slammed in the hotel and woke them both. He instinctively pulled her off of him and put his body between hers and the door. But it was a false alarm. Just another guest being thoughtless of the time.

  The time!

  In the haze of it all, time had seemed to stop. But it hadn’t. Candy sat up to find the clock, and soon they were both horrified to see it was four in the morning.

  She looked to be a terrible combination of panicked, embarrassed, and scared as he helped her back into her dress. It was so, so wrong to have kept her out this late.

  The ride back to her house was for sure something out of her nightmares, good girl that she was. She barely said a word, just gripped his hand tightly.

  Her father waited in the driveway. Beckett didn’t get to say good-bye. He didn’t get to tell her that what they’d done tonight had to be the litmus test for her future lovers. They had to be as good as him or better.

  Her father was seconds from calling the cops; only Candy’s tearful pleas had stopped him, so there was no time to say anything.

  As he drove away, the ripping in his chest told him once again what maybe Candy still didn’t really know. They could never be together again.

  19

  Biggest Asshole

  STAYING AWAY FROM CANDY was fucking terrible. After four months of doing pretty well, he’d ripped the fucking Band-Aid off on prom night. Now he’d lost count of how many times he drove down her street over the last six weeks, half out of his mind, high as a fucking kite, drunk off his ass, or all of the above.

  It was a goddamn miracle that her gorgeous tits and beautiful pussy remained locked in the tower guarded by her dragon of a father. He could have had her on his arm, sitting next to him. But even toasted as fuck, he couldn’t do it to her.

  It would be so fucking selfish to beat the living piss out of grown men all day and all night and expect her to play happy housewife for him in the abandoned mall where he currently resided. The thought of her cleaning blood off his jacket, out of his clothes made him physically ill.

  Mouse was driving tonight, and he knew the drill. The drive-by was customary.

  “Slow up.”

  It was her. She stood near the window, silhouetted by a light on behind her. Did she know it was him? She put one hand on the glass, and he realized he was killing her. This stalking was giving the girl hope.

  Instead she needed college. She needed so much more than what he was currently offering.

  “Go. Let’s go,” he barked. “And no matter how fucking fucked up I am, never let me come back here. Promise me that.”

  Mouse was quiet but pulled away from the curb.

  “Promise,” Beckett commanded.

  His faithful friend refused.

  “If I come back here, shoot me. Holy shit, if I ruin this girl’s life I will be the biggest asshole that’s ever lived. Goddamn it. Please.” Beckett pounded his fist into the dashboard.

  Mouse was lit up by the red light where they’d stopped. Without taking his eyes from the road, he nodded once.

  It was done. He was done. He had to really, really let her go. It was time to be the man he was designing, get his brothers safe, let her have her life.

  He slouched down low in the passenger seat, closing his eyes. He was too hard to cry now. Too mean. But giving up on her felt like slamming a door he was afraid was the only thing keeping him worthy of love.

  20

  Graduating

  BLAKE TRIED TO TIE HIS TIE AGAIN, but without a mirror—well, who was he kidding? Even with one he was more likely to tie a noose than make anything normal around his neck. He’d been living in the woods a couple weeks now. As soon as classes were out for seniors, Blake packed up his box at Rick’s. Cole was already gone, mostly so Blake would have the courage to follow, he suspected. The last thing his foster father yelled to him was that he would cash the checks every damn time they were sent. Blake didn’t care. He had his shelters set up and was able to keep his stuff dry. Beckett had a shower at his new place in the old strip mall, so he was finally free.

  When he was able to spend whole days in the shade of his shelter, it took a weight off. He knew it wasn’t normal to be happier without a formal home, but he could trust trees and foliage far more than people.

  He hadn’t even been planning to go to the graduation ceremony, but the overcast sky was thick with protective clouds, so he knew Beckett would freak out if he wasn’t there.

  Why it mattered so much to Beckett he didn’t know, but he’d made sure Blake had the dress clothes he now struggled with. He finally just draped the silk around his shoulders and made his way to Beckett’s, where Cole was also living, though he wasn’t loving it.

  Mouse met him at the door and waved him over before he could be admitted to Beckett’s office. This was hilarious to begin with, and he and Cole had both teased Beckett a ton over it. Mouse threaded the tie for him and slipped the knot into something that made sense.

  “Thanks. It was not my…” He trailed off. He had no reason to know how to tie a tie, no father to be an example, nothing.

  Mouse nodded. “I grew up with my MeeMaw, and she insisted I know how to tie my own tie. She was a stickler for weird things. It’s all good. Happy graduation.”

  “And to you. Poughkeepsie West have a good one?”

  “It was quiet. MeeMaw passed away recently. Beckett came to it, though.”

  “I’m so sorry.” Blake gripped Mouse’s hand. “Glad Beckett could be there for you.”

  Mouse nodded before he turned to knock on and open Beckett’s door.

  “Hey, boss, you got company.”

  Blake walked in and saw that Cole was dressed and ready, if looking a bit tense.

  “You handsome motherfucker,” Beckett bellowed. “Get in here and give your brother a fucking kiss.”

  Beckett’s eyes were rimmed in red. He was using. Blake allowed the hug, but struggled against his brother’s persistent attempt to kiss him on the lips. He pretended to punch Beckett in the stomach.

  “All right, fine.” Beckett backed up and gave them both a low wolf whistle. “Nice work, you hot babies. Are you ready to roll? Wouldn’t want to be late.”

  Beckett led his brothers to a huge Hummer in the parking lot. Mouse took the driver’s seat, and Cole claimed the passenger seat by yelling shotgun!

  On the way over, Beckett cleared his throat. “Listen,” he began, “I want to do something, but only if you guys want to do it too. And if you don’t, that’s fine. No pressure.”

  Blake cracked a window and asked Beckett to spit it out already.

  Beckett pulled up his sleeve and slapped his forearm. “How about we all get the same tattoo right fucking here?”

  Cole nodded, a broad smile giving him a rare look of delight. Blake thought for a moment, but knew the proposal felt right as he rolled up his sleeve as well. “It’d be good to have ink here along with the glass,” he said quietly.

  Beckett grabbed his bicep and squeezed. “That’s right. Cole and I will be in there fighting too.”

  Cole turned in his seat. “I like that placement.”

  He didn’t say it, but Blake knew what he meant, and he was sure Beckett did too. A hand on the forearm had been their secret signal for “I’ve had enough” during Rick’s beatings. To have a shared mark there would make their bond last a lifetime.

  He nodded. “Yeah. When I’ve had enough, you guys are already there.”

  Beckett’s grin threatened to split his face. “Perfect. I can’t wait. But first, you graduate! I
’ll think on the design since I won’t be occupied with that.”

  And so it was settled. They would get ink together—something that represented all of them. Beckett reached up to clap Cole on the back, and Blake found himself looking at Mouse. The big bodyguard took his eyes from the road for a moment to study his own forearm, rubbing the blank space there.

  After Mouse dropped them off, Beckett went to the middle of the audience and had a seat. Cole had given him a ticket from the invitation he’d received on the last day of school. The seats were filling up. Beckett watched the sky warily. He needed to the clouds to stay put for Blake.

  He wanted to provide for them both, but Blake had taken to the woods immediately. The only thing Beckett couldn’t try to buy for Blake was a break from the fucking sun. He was happy to help Cole with a place to crash, but it made him uneasy that his brother was around all of the shit he had to do. He worried some of it might be a trigger for him. Not that he had anyone in fucking cages, but the strip mall was rapidly becoming the scariest place in town, and he was the fucking president.

  But this—making sure they walked across the stage and got their diplomas—he could force them to do this as best as he could.

  He opened the program and saw that this whole dog and pony show would likely take over an hour. He rubbed his temples and tapped his foot. He should’ve stopped raging earlier last night. He’d claimed a new territory from some freaking guy named Scorpion, even had his guys coming for work later.

  He was moving faster than even he had predicted. But the celebrating should have taken a backseat to not being a fucking junkie-ass dipshit here as he watched Cole and Blake graduate. He rubbed his fingertips hard on his scalp. Time took forever. He scoped out the crowd.

  He could tell himself he was looking for danger, but he really knew he was looking for her.

  He didn’t want to see her kissing some other lucky fucker, but he would like to fluster her a bit, maybe kiss her cheek to congratulate her. He really should just leave her alone. Cease to exist for her. He closed his eyes and pictured her naked body in front of him. He’d been with a lot of women since her prom, but when he wanted to create a little head porn, he always used her.

 
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