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       Spin Devil, p.1

           Red Garnier
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Spin Devil

  An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication

  Spin Devil

  ISBN 9781419910838


  Spin Devil Copyright © 2007 Red Garnier

  Edited by Kelli Kwiatkowski

  Cover art by Syneca.

  Electronic book Publication May 2007

  This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.

  This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.

  Content Advisory:




  Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica™ reading entertainment: S (S-ensuous), E (E-rotic), and X (X-treme).

  The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. This story has been rated E–rotic.

  S-ensuous love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.

  E-rotic love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall word count. E-rated titles might contain material that some readers find objectionable—in other words, almost anything goes, sexually. E-rated titles are the most graphic titles we carry in terms of both sexual language and descriptiveness in these works of literature.

  X-treme titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline execution. Stories designated with the letter X tend to contain difficult or controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.

  Spin Devil

  Red Garnier

  Trademarks Acknowledgement

  The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

  Frisbee: Wham-O, Inc.

  Chapter One

  It had been four years.

  The six friends had parted ways after college with a last night of drinks, dancing and sex. Cleo Sonterra remembered the night full well, for it was the night she and David had made love after months of flirting, taunting and teasing. He’d made love to her in his dorm room, in a small rumpled bed, with the lights turned off. Cleo had expected him to be thorough and tender, but in reality he’d been shaky, clumsy and too drunk to think coherently. Her lack of enthusiasm hadn’t helped matters much, and that was only because she’d been thinking of someone else entirely—someone she shouldn’t have been thinking of at that moment.

  It was the first time Cleo and David had sex—and the last.

  It had been a night such as this, friends gathered out on the beach with a bonfire that blazed high and mighty toward the dark skies. Tonight there was no massive fire except for the flames blazing in the six pairs of eyes present, and that was merely a reflection of the flickering orange lights from the dozens of steel lanterns scattered over the sand.

  They sat in a circle on thick old blankets strewn around the sand, the lulling sound of the ocean’s waves crashing against the shore a very distant second to the loud sounds of their laughter. Several yards behind them stood the two-story contemporary beachfront house where Jason now lived. His home encompassed a good stretch of beach on the east coast of Florida.

  The six friends were playing an old college game, this time with a plush red devil—complete with pitchfork and tail—that Luella had brought from Los Angeles. It was a strange little toy, covered in smooth, shiny red satin and a bit too heavy for its size, with dark, beady eyes that seemed to stare right through you. Despite the toy’s strangely unsettling appearance, all of the friends had been more than willing to give it a spin.

  So the devil had replaced the bottle, and the truths and dares had become extreme and, yes, devilishly sinful. This was no longer a game played by college students. It was a game played by consenting adults who were very drunk…and maybe just a little horny.

  Personally, Cleo had had her reservations about attending the reunion. First and foremost because she had no desire to see their group “leader”, a man with absolutely no affection for her—and one with no scruples, either. Sebastian Russo cheated at cards, lied at his leisure, stole to prove that he could, smoked, drank, cursed and whored to his liking. He had always teased and taunted Cleo mercilessly for being what he considered a “damned prude”—as if he were an authority on the subject, when he had zero principles to speak of. He clearly couldn’t comprehend why Cleo preferred to cuddle at home with a book rather than get drunk every single day—like he usually did. And although her friends, Luella and Haley, didn’t drink that often either, Sebastian would only tease Cleo about it.

  Yet no matter how much she dreaded facing him, Cleo missed her friends as much as she missed her college years. Every moment they’d shared—the tender, the wild, the sad, the first and the last. Luella and Haley had even threatened to fly up to Seattle and haul her down to Florida if she didn’t get her butt down here to their reunion.

  “You have to come. We all want to see you, we really miss you, sweetie,” Luella had said on the phone a few weeks ago. “Even all the guys have been wanting to know if you’re coming…well, except Bas, but you know how he is.”

  Of course Cleo knew how he was, and just knowing he probably didn’t want her to go, because to him she was just a “damned prude” who would only spoil his fun, Cleo decided she had to go. She couldn’t—and wouldn’t—let the fear of facing one man keep her from enjoying a lovely reunion with the rest of her friends.

  When Cleo first arrived at Jason’s place, she’d felt awkward and shy, noting how each of her friends had grown during the past years. All of them looked more mature, the years gone by somehow etched in their brows, the spark of experience glimmering in their eyes. But now, hours later, she gazed at each of them while they drank and smoked and dared and laughed, and realized that time had not changed them. They were still the dear, reckless friends she’d known before.

  Jason was still as handsome as she remembered, with his tanned jock’s body and regal blond hair. He played professional golf now and she’d often seen his familiar face on TV, brow usually furrowed in concentration as he focused on his swing. Jason rarely found fault in anything, and his easygoing, carefree manner accounted for the dozens of times someone had pulled him aside to spill his or her guts to him, treating him like a shrink. Jason didn’t mind at all. In fact, he seemed to enjoy having an excuse to laze around quietly and do nothing more than nod.

  Being his complete opposite and a man who inspired nothing but shivers, Sebastian Russo was as dark as night, and as reckless and rude as ever. For some cruel reason the years had only enhanced his masculinity, something he seemed blatantly aware of—and which he used to his advantage. His eyes, those coal-black eyes, hawk-like and narrowed under the vicious slashes of his eyebrows, served as weapons to issue unspoken threats and bend his targets to his will—be they man or woman. There was strength in his face, in his brow, in the straightness of his nose and the firmness of jaw, as if he’d been cast in iron—which could account for his seeming inability to smile or grin or laugh.

  He wore his thick mass of silken black hair longer now, falling past his ears with a light curl at the ends. His hair and his luscious full lips were his mildest characteristics—though not necessarily the least threatening. The truth was, just by sitting there, Sebastian managed to engulf the space surrounding him like a black hole—consuming and overpowering everything around him. Cleo had no idea what he did for a living but she imagined it was something that fit his vicious black heart. Maybe even killing for hire.
r />   Then there was David—tall, distinguished-looking David, who was a man with ideals, with goals. A man known throughout college for his kindness and sensitivity as well as for his hard work and ambition. No matter how big a salary he was earning on Wall Street, he still looked every bit the studious, clean-cut frat guy Cleo had always known. Of course, he’d grown even more gorgeous during the years, his sculpted face now firmer, stronger, having lost some of the boyish qualities that Cleo had found so attractive when they’d met during their first year at college.

  Next was Luella, who’d highlighted her light brown hair with silky blonde streaks. Though she now looked every inch the bombshell with her new boobs, she was still the same foul-mouthed smoker Cleo knew so well. Enjoy life to its fullest was Luella’s motto. There was probably nothing she wouldn’t try and no feat too impossible for her to tackle. Even if it was impossible, she’d never let that keep her from trying. She worked in real estate now and she sometimes slept with her clients to celebrate a purchase, so she thought her job was “fucking great”.

  Then came the spirited, talkative Haley, a recently confessed fashion freak since she’d lost a few pounds. Now her body, although petite, was curvaceous and enticing, her long, wavy hair blazing red under the glow of the flickering lantern lights. She was a publicist at a tobacco company and had brought free smokes for them all—which had been, for the most part, consumed by Sebastian.

  And finally Cleo. Shy, sweet Cleo, who wore the same solid, conservative dresses she used to wear—the ones that hid her uncomfortable C-cup breasts rather well—and her shiny black hair in the usual neat bun at her nape.

  Unlike Haley and Luella, Cleo disliked colorful, revealing clothes, and because they were so uncomfortable and impractical, she religiously stayed away from high heels. She preferred flat, pretty sandals. Rather than wear heavy makeup, she used gloss on her lips and a natural blush to add color to her cheeks. Her face was too doll-like to accept much makeup anyway. Her lips were heart shaped, small and pouty, while her eyes were big, dark brown in color, framed by rows of eyelashes Luella and Haley had repeatedly sworn they’d kill for. Her hair was long, though she rarely wore it loose, and it was so dark it made her skin look even fairer, a porcelain white that was unfortunately much too sensitive to see the sun for long.

  None of her friends had ever been bothered by her plain appearance except him. His face had turned into a dark, unyielding mask of disapproval the moment she stepped on the beach. And if she thought she’d be able to see him again without being the least bit affected, she’d been sorely mistaken.

  She’d had two beers up until now, only because the occasion warranted she drink something, while the rest of her friends had had dozens, and it was hard to keep from smiling at their antics and their dares. The retirement home where she worked seemed worlds away from here, her drunken friends proving a stark contrast to the solemn, somber old people she looked after. When they misbehaved, the old people smuggled chocolates into the home and played harmless pranks on some of the nurses, while her friends…were another story.

  “Okay, spin it!” Luella called.

  Needing no more prodding, Jason took the devil between his thumb and forefinger and with a flick of his wrist sent it spinning over a large Frisbee they’d set on the sand in the center of the circle. It suddenly stopped, the pitchfork pointing straight at Sebastian, the tail at Cleo. Cheers erupted, yet Cleo couldn’t help but feel rather nervous.

  “Sebastian, it’s time to pay the rent, old boy,” Luella said with a wicked smile twitching her lips.

  “Come on, Cleo, give him a good one,” someone encouraged.

  Smiling shakily, Cleo looked into Sebastian’s deep black eyes. He sat with one leg folded and an arm resting on top of his knee, a cigarette clasped tightly between his thumb and forefinger. His blue jeans were old, faded white over his thighs, and his dark brown leather jacket was slightly torn at the elbows.

  Cleo was grateful that she was able to keep her voice steady, since she’d always seemed to have trouble speaking directly to him. “Truth or dare, Sebastian?”

  His smile was slow and lazy. “Dare. Of course.”

  Everyone laughed and Cleo glanced around the circle, her brain racing with thoughts. How did one dare a man who feared nothing? How did one dare a reckless, crazed man who acted like he had a death wish?

  The cigarette blazed bright red as Sebastian took a drag, his eyes narrowed above the billow of smoke. It was impossible to dare the devil himself, so she just said the first thing that came to mind. “I dare you to…kiss Luella. On the mouth.”

  His chest heaved when he grunted. “Is that the worst you can do, Cleo?” He flicked his cigarette into the air. He looked like the devil incarnate, and though they’d all been friends, Cleo had always been secretly afraid of him—because he had the power to hurt her. And he always did.

  David laughed beside her. “That really sucked, Cleo.”

  “Not for me it doesn’t suck! Thank you, sweetie!” Luella said excitedly, sinking the bottom of her beer into the sand before she turned to Sebastian next to her.

  Sebastian faced Luella with a wan, lazy smile, so sure of himself and his disgustingly potent sex appeal. He looked casual and confident, as if he did this sort of thing every day, which was probably a correct assumption.

  Cleo watched as his big tanned hands cupped Luella’s cheeks and he bent forward to kiss her. No matter how many times Cleo had watched Sebastian kiss someone—which at college had been more times than she’d cared to count—it never failed to shock her. His victims always unfailingly reacted the same way—in a way Cleo thought the feminists in the country would greatly disapprove.

  It was as if he hypnotized them, and within seconds they would be limp in his arms and breathing fast and furiously. He, on the other hand, would drop his hands as if he’d finished doing something as mundane as brushing his teeth, and look as unmoved as a mountain during a storm.

  Cleo had thought about this repeatedly during the years. Although Sebastian’s eyes were enough to send a woman running for cover, she wondered what it was about his mouth and those strong, powerful lips that could melt almost anything they touched.

  Luella was no exception to this power, and by the time the kiss ended she was limp and flushed and gasping for air. Cleo, meanwhile, fought with her own share of emotions, among the fiercest—one she hadn’t felt in exactly four years—was envy. The sick, green slime was slowly winding its way through her veins like poison.

  Sebastian turned to look at Cleo and she felt even more agitated by his stare. A winged black eyebrow rose in inquiry. “There. Does that suit you, Sister Cleo?” There was no mistaking the mockery in his voice.

  Everyone laughed at his words except Haley, who said, “You’re always such a jerk, Bas.”

  Luella was too busy struggling to breathe to even notice.

  While Cleo…she was used to his insults. And she had never been frontal about her defense.

  This was not the time to do things differently.

  She tried unsuccessfully to swallow back a lump of thick saliva stuck in her throat, rendering her speechless. At one point during her college years Cleo had wished she had the balls to tell Sebastian up front what she thought of him and his mockeries, but she was unfortunately a traditional woman, and she had no balls.

  “I need another vodka,” Luella mumbled, still visibly shaken by Sebastian’s kiss.

  Haley reached for the plush devil toy to spin it once again. Silence befell as they all watched it twirl around and then stop, the tail to Jason, the pitchfork to Haley.

  Jason chuckled wickedly, his eyes narrowing at her. “Truth or dare, babe?”

  “Dare!” Haley shouted in a burst of enthusiasm.

  “That’s what I’d hoped.” Jason took a swig of his beer and watched her through lowered lashes for several long, endless seconds. “I want you, Haley, very slowly…very gently…to pucker up those lips of yours…bend down…and kiss my ass, baby!”
  “Eeeew,” Haley said, her face contorted with disgust.

  Everyone hooted with laughter until Haley stood up and mumbled a curse on her way to where Jason was now standing, midway in the process of dropping his pants.

  “You are so gross, Jason,” Luella said, and yet out of sheer morbid curiosity, she kept her eyes glued to his pale white buttocks as Haley bent down to kiss them.

  The moment Haley pressed her lips to his butt, Jason made a lascivious face. “Oh yeah, yeah, lick it baby, suck it baby, yeah.” Haley smacked her hand on the side of his ass to silence him.

  Jason’s eyes widened. “Hey, I kinda liked that. Can you do it again?”

  “You’re so funny, Jason,” Haley said, all sarcasm as she pulled away from him and headed to sit next to Luella, glowering the whole time. Her cheeks were flushed and though she was scowling, there was an indisputable spark of heat in the depths of her eyes.

  “You can’t say you didn’t like it, Haley,” Jason said, the image of solemnity as he zipped up his pants.

  “I did not.” Haley brushed the back of her hand over her lips to prove it, making Jason laugh.

  “You did too.”

  “If I get to dare you, you’re going to have to kiss mine!” she threatened.

  “Gee, I would love to.”

  “Okay, let’s keep this shit moving,” Luella said, bored already, since she was the kind of person who got extremely bored when she wasn’t the center of attention. Before anyone could reply, she spun the devil once more. Cleo swallowed hard when it stopped—the pitchfork staring her in the face, the tail toward Sebastian.

  A rope of fear stretched in her insides and coiled around her heart like a noose.

  She didn’t dare lift her gaze.

  “Truth or dare, Cleo?” Sebastian’s voice was soft as the breeze itself.

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