Conflict, p.5
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       Conflict, p.5

           M. S. Willis
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  His other hand grasped around my hip with such force that his fingers dug into the sensitive skin. He held me in place as he lightly trailed his lips over my shoulder and up along my neck. His teeth would softly nip at my skin and the slight sting of those bites sent tremors shooting through my body. I was effectively trapped between the shower wall and his body. I had no choice but to wait and see what he did next. The force of his hold was arousing and I leaned my forehead against the cool tiles while my breathing grew heavier and more erratic.

  My body acted of its own volition and I pressed my bottom outwards to feel the tightness of his soaked jeans. I was writhing from need of this contact, but he held me pinned as he nuzzled his head against me.

  His tongue ran a path along the outer rim of my ear and my head fell back as a soft moan escaped my lips. My body arched and awakened as my breasts pressed against the cool tile of the shower wall. Logical thought was replaced by carnal instincts and my skin became hypersensitive to every touch.

  His hand released my hip and slid down to rest against the silken material of my panties. When he fingers pressed against the small bundle of nerves at the apex of my thighs, I cried out from the pleasure that shot through me. His hand stilled and I wiggled against him to encourage him to keep going.

  The anticipation was killing me and I was reduced to begging for him to continue. “Please, Daemon. Please keep going.” My voice was breathless.

  Daemon’s mouth was pressed to my ear as he spoke. Between the heat of our bodies and the steam from the shower, I felt liquid and loose and I was thankful he had me pinned upright.

  “I’d love to keep going, Damsel. Just tell me what I need to hear and I’ll be sure to fuck you until you’re begging me to stop.” His voice was like pure silk wrapping itself around my body.

  When Daemon bit down on my earlobe, my knees literally gave way and he was the only thing holding me up at that point.

  What did he need to hear? That I was his? That there was no one else? I’d already told him those things that night at Tomb. I was frustrated to no end that he was making me think when my mind was uselessly saturated by the hormones coursing through my body. The English language was a foreign concept to me and the only words I could intelligently mutter at that moment were “please”, “now”, “faster”, and “harder”. Discussions of relationships and labels should be saved for when he doesn’t have his hand shoved between my thighs.

  “Daemon, please….just…please…more touching, less speaking. Please?!”

  He chuckled and his voice was husky as he responded. “I’ve said this to you before, Paige. I will not let you turn me into another Alex.”

  I flinched.

  What the hell was wrong with him? What normal, red blooded man wouldn’t keep going when he had a naked woman in a shower begging him not to stop?! My jaw clenched and my sexual euphoria instantly switched to righteous indignation.

  I jerked my arms down and turned. My hands came up and shoved Daemon away and I scooted around him to exit the shower. Daemon called to me but I ignored him while I grabbed a towel and marched back to my room. He was an arrogant asshole. That was all there was to it. How dare he get me all hot and bothered and then try to use that to manipulate me into defining whatever this was between us?! I knew he was fucking with my head, I knew it, and yet I still allowed him to turn me to jelly.

  “Paige, wait!” He moved to quickly get behind me. “Stop, Paige. Fucking STOP!”

  I stopped so abruptly his chest bumped into my back before he could react. He reached out to grab my shoulders, but I turned to jerk away and get out of reach.

  “What the hell is your problem?!” His eyes gave away the fact that he was on the verge of anger. I’m sure my face was turning red as I scowled up at him in return.

  My finger was in his face as I yelled, “YOU are my fucking problem, Daemon! What is with this twisted game you insist on playing with me? You keep making your comments, and doing your little ‘come hither’ swagger, and rubbing yourself all up on me; but when I react in any way, you pull away and demand that I apply some label to our relationship. Then you have the audacity to throw Alex in my face?! There is something seriously wrong with that!” I took a breath to calm myself down before I continued. “Why are you so adamant about a fucking label?!”

  And there’s the anger.

  Daemon’s face went blank except for the rage you could see burning in his eyes. His body was tense and his jaw was clenching, but his words were almost lethal in how calm they were.

  “Tell me something, Paige. When you introduce me to the next person, what will you tell them I am to you? Will I just be ‘Daemon’ then as well?”

  He was referring to when I introduced him to my mom at the hospital. I wasn’t able to come up with a word when I tried to explain our relationship, so I simply referred to him as ‘Daemon’. He was angry and walked out of the room, but never really directly talked to me about it until now. Sure, there’s been this stupid game we’ve been playing, but that linked back more to my roommate demand than it did to when I didn’t know what to call him.

  I had nothing to say. My head hung down and I refused to look him in the eye. I didn’t know what to do and I was uncomfortable and irritable. He stepped towards me and used a finger to lift my chin. Even though we faced each other, I kept my eyes trained to the side, refusing to look at him.

  “Paige, I’ve told you, I won’t do this with you unless I have all of you. You working so hard to keep yourself distant and refusing to acknowledge anything more than friendship is your fucked up way of keeping me separate. I want you to trust me, for once, trust someone. I know damn well that when you can’t admit what I am to you, than I don’t have every part of you. I wasn’t joking that I would demand to own you if I was with you.”

  I threw my hands up and almost lost my towel. I quickly grabbed it and wrapped it back around me before responding. “That’s fucked up, Daemon! Why do you have to own me? You had no problem screwing all those other women without it meaning anything. You should have no fucking problem doing the same thing with me!”

  “That was different, Paige, and you know it! Those women knew what they were getting themselves into. They knew I had no other intention other than to fuck them one night and forget who they were when they left the next morning. Hell! Some were even lucky to stay until the next morning, most didn’t get that much!” His words were grating against me. I could not stand the way he was so casually discussing the way he used those women.

  “So, why do you feel you have the right to constantly throw Alex in my face? He knew what he was getting himself into; I never lied to him or told him it was anything more than it was.”

  Daemon let go of my face and stepped away. I could see his muscles twitching in irritation with me.

  “I don’t bring up Alex for any other reason but as an example of how things will not be between us. However, if you still want an answer to your question, fine. Your arrangement with Alex was very different from what I was doing. I never kept those women around for longer than a handful of hours. There was never any time for them to build any types of feelings for me other than wanting in my pants. You, on the other hand, continued sleeping with a man who you knew was in love with you, without any intention to reciprocate the affection. You knew his heart was involved and yet never thought to stop what you were doing out of the simple respect for what the ending would do to him. I never gave those women the luxury of that type of hope. That’s the fucking difference.”

  His words pissed me off, but they were true. I wasn’t man enough to admit that to him, but I could admit that to myself.

  “Whatever, Daemon, you and I both know those women had hoped that they would be different. That you would give one of them the time of day after you were done getting what you wanted.”

  We stood staring at each other. I was so angry I couldn’t stand to be stuck in the same apartment as him. Even having separate bedrooms wasn’t far enough away. I was
so sick of this prisoner shit that I was living and this just pushed me over the edge.

  “Where are the keys to my bike, Daemon?”

  He instantly tensed at my question. “You’re not leaving here, Paige. It’s not safe.” His voice was low and menacing.

  “I’m leaving this apartment for a little while Daemon, I don’t want to be around you right now.”

  He stepped toward me and reached for me, but I stepped back out of his reach.

  “Paige, you can’t be running around town by yourself while Chris is still out there. He has targeted you and it would be stupid for you to think he would just give up.”

  “Fine.” My next words were most likely not the best idea, but at that moment I was desperate to get away from him. “I’ll call Alex and have him pick me up. He’s overpowered Chris before, I should be sufficiently safe in his company.”

  My body turned toward the bedroom and I didn’t look back to see Daemon’s reaction to what I’d said. I shut my bedroom door behind me and picked up my phone to call Alex.

  Chapter Four

  The intercom buzzer rang, letting me know Alex was in the garage waiting by the elevator. Without a key, he wouldn’t be able to call the elevator and I was back and forth on whether I should send the car down to him to bring him up, or just meet him down there. Daemon had been out of sight since our argument and I was too relieved at not seeing him to worry much about where he was hiding. I knew he was in the apartment somewhere and that he would never leave me here alone.

  My hand went to the button on the intercom and I buzzed down to tell Alex I would meet him down there. After he agreed, I turned to go back in my bedroom to gather my phone and bag.

  Alex was waiting by the elevator when I reached the garage. He had a baseball cap on, pulled low, hiding his hair and his beautifully unique silver eyes. His dark red button down shirt was pulled taut over his perfect form and he had his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He really was a sight to behold and I couldn’t get over how much I had missed him over the past couple of weeks.

  I threw myself at him in a giant hug and his large arms came around to squeeze me into him. A relaxed sigh huffed from my lips and I held onto him for a little too long. When I finally pulled myself away from him, he smiled shyly at me. “Good to see you too, Paige. Ready to get out of here? No offense, but it feels fucking weird to be picking you up from his place.”

  I nodded. Alex had a serious issue with Daemon. One part of that issue had to do with the fact that I stopped sleeping with Alex because of Daemon. The other had to do with Alex having overheard me telling David about Daemon’s demand for sexual control with me. Alex was convinced that Daemon was disrespecting me somehow by his sexual preferences, but I hated to admit that I enjoyed giving up control to Daemon. David was right, it was the only time in my life that I could completely hand everything over to someone else. A giant weight was lifted from me in those moments and I wanted nothing more than to experience it over and over again. I was slightly concerned when Daemon warned that he had gone easy on me and would show me real control the next time; but even with that veiled threat in the air, I was anxious to sleep with Daemon again. I mused over the possibility that I was irritable and pissed off because I hadn’t been given the release that I’ve grown to need. Although I’d been teased in every which way possible, and to a point of fucking tears; I’ve never been able to drop my guard since the incident with Chris. I had to get Daemon to end this aggravating game he was playing, but I couldn’t give him what he wanted. I wasn’t ready for a label, I never have been.

  “So, where would you like to go, Paige? You hungry? I haven’t eaten yet because the shop was busy.”

  I looked up at Alex and smiled. “Sure. Let’s go get us some grub.”

  Alex opened the passenger door of his truck and I hopped up into the seat. He went around to the driver’s side and climbed inside. Before he started the engine, he glanced over at me and took my hand into his. “I’m really happy to hang with you, Paige. You have no idea how absolutely boring life has been not having you around.”

  Once we were out of the garage, Alex blasted his radio all the way to the restaurant. I didn’t mind the noise. It was nice to get out of Daemon’s apartment with somebody other than Daemon. I wasn’t accustomed to spending so much time around one person and getting away helped me remember I had a life outside of Daemon Pierce. I missed my job, my bike, my apartment, my friends; everything. It was irritating that a psychopath like Chris could turn my life completely upside down. If he was smart, Chris would be far away from here by now, hiding out in some other state. Daemon wasn’t convinced of that and believed heavily that Chris was waiting for the right time to attack me again. My first instinct was to argue with him and pull a stealth mission to recover the keys to my bike. However, he had been right when he first warned me about Chris. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen and my roommates paid for it more than I did.

  Alex tore into the parking lot of the restaurant and I held tightly to the ‘oh shit’ handle. Alex’s driving has always been reckless. It had been a while since I’d ridden with him, so I was taken by surprise at the turn. It’s a miracle that he hasn’t overturned this truck, driving like he does.

  The hole-in-the-wall diner Alex chose was a perfect environment for the crappy mood I was in. The furniture was ragged, the staff was not talkative, and nobody had to act a certain away or care about being polite. I felt more at home in a place like this than I did at the swanky restaurant to which Daemon insisted on dragging me when I first moved in with him. I still was not sure just how wealthy Daemon was, but he had to be making decent money to afford the apartment he lives in and his expensive taste in everything else. The thought of him being ridiculously wealthy was intimidating to me. I’ve always lived a modest lifestyle and I wasn’t cut out to mingle with the upper class. Quite frankly, those people bored me to tears and, at times, I felt sorry for them. Sure, the money must be nice, but having to keep up appearances and having to conduct yourself with decorum at all times would be a nightmare. I’m very much the type of girl who can sit around playing video games while knocking back beers all day and I assume that type of behavior would be frowned upon in polite society. When Daemon dragged me to his haughty establishment, my energy was drained by the time we left.

  Alex and I were seated in a booth in the back corner of the diner. Alex picked up the flimsy, laminated menu and went through his usual routine of scanning all the choices before finally settling on a burger. I laughed every time he did it because we’ve only been to this place about a thousand times already. I memorized the menu years ago and knew exactly what I wanted. When Alex was done perusing the menu, he placed it to the side and looked up at me. His silver eyes were bright and he seemed genuinely pleased to be here with me. It felt so good to be sitting here with him. I was lazy in the comfort of his company and I reached over the table to take his hands into mine.

  “So, how have you been, big guy? I haven’t heard from you much in the past couple of weeks. Everything going okay at the shop?”

  Alex squeezed my hands in his and let go to lean back. He rested his arms on top of his head and I had to pull my eyes away from the bulge of his biceps. I knew that underneath the sleeves of his shirt, his muscular form was made into a work of art by the intricate tattoos that swirled over his arms. I used to love tracing the designs with my fingers and it made me oddly sad to think I wouldn’t be doing that again. Daemon was right when he accused me of being selfish in continuing to sleep with Alex. Although I loved him enough to know that I would do anything for him, I wasn’t in love with him. It was my loss that my heart didn’t react to him in that way because he was one hell of a good guy and his looks were enough to stun any girl silent. Alex had the ultimate bad boy look, but he was a perfect gentleman and had a heart of pure gold.

  “It’s been busy around the shop. I’ve been taking on longer hours and I’m in search of a new artist to help out. We have a large convention coming u
p in a couple of weeks and I’ve been working on some large pieces as examples of my work. Other than that, I haven’t really been up to much.”

  He looked at the table and I couldn’t see his expression because of the brim on his hat. When he looked back up, the smile he had plastered on his face was fake and contrived. “How have things been in prison?”

  I chuckled. Of course Alex would know that I was miserable being a kept woman. Whereas most women might fantasize about having all their needs met for them by a supremely gorgeous man, I was unaccustomed to not fending for myself. There were times where I was infuriated that I couldn’t hunt Chris down myself, just so I could hand him over the police and finally get to go home. I’m an investigator, dammit! I shouldn’t be sitting around hiding from danger. I should be out there hunting down that psychopath and delivering him to jail.

  “It sucks. Bad, but not because of Daemon. He’s actually been really great and he’s trying not to step on my toes too much, given the circumstances. I’m staying in one of the guest rooms and I’ve been trying to pay him rent, but he keeps refusing. Every time he does, I slip some cash in the books on his shelf and I plan on texting him to let him know to look for it once I return home.”

  Alex looked surprised by what I said. “You’re staying in a guest room? Why? I thought you two had some kind of screwed up master and servant thing going.”

  My eyebrows knitted together at Alex’s statement. “Master and servant? Um, no. Far from it actually. But, why in the hell would you think that?”

  Alex shrugged. “Just remembering what you told David that day in your apartment. Plus, after seeing the way you allowed Daemon to yell at you and order you around in the hospital, I just thought that he had somehow…I don’t fucking know…brainwashed you or some shit.”

  The waitress approached before I had a chance to respond and Alex barked out his order. It was apparent that he was losing his good mood from earlier. The haggard looking waitress didn’t even appear to notice his temperament and simply turned to me to take my order. When she left our table, I turned back to Alex who was looking anywhere but at me.

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