I reached out and suddenly freed a nipple from its restraint. As the blood rushed back in, flooding her with sensation, she screamed and I took her into my mouth, my wet heat kissing, sucking and lapping at her. I freed the other, bucking into her, fingers hard into her ass cheeks as I sucked her sensitive nipple into my mouth.
She was so close, shuddering and quaking against me, around me. I growled in her ear, “Come for me.” Instantly, she shattered, undone, screaming as an orgasm ripped through her body. Shuddering, her pussy throbbed and squeezed around my cock. It brought me to the brink and I came deep inside of her, thrust after thrust shooting my come deep inside and filling her completely.
Panting, sweaty, Kara collapsed against my chest. I wrapped my arms around her, hands up along her back. She buried her face in the crook of my neck, nestling into me, naked and wonton and satisfied. I couldn’t imagine anything better.
“What’s frisée?” I whispered to Declan, looking up from a large, linen menu.
“Rich people’s lettuce,” he whispered back, conspiratorial.
“How about endive?”
He nodded. “Escarole, arugula, radicchio. It’s all salad.”
I cracked up. He’d taken me to a rooftop garden restaurant on the Upper East Side for brunch, our first day in New York City. Wisteria and lavender, crystal and china, this place was right out of a storybook. Without Declan, I would have felt like a servant snuck into the master’s quarters, about to be kicked out at any moment for using the wrong fork. With Declan, it felt like we were both in on the same joke and I loved every second of it.
Last night when we’d arrived late I’d been blown away. New York City. So far it hadn’t disappointed a bit. The hotel Declan had us staying in was so over-the-top it ought to be arrested for trying to impersonate Buckingham Palace. We’d rolled up in our limo to manicured shrubs in ornate planters and a lit awning with what looked like a royal crest emblazoned upon it. One man in a red jacket with golden epaulets and matching cap had rushed to open the door. Another hustled to the trunk to begin removing our luggage while yet another stood at the ready should I need assistance exiting the vehicle.
The entryway stairs were covered in red carpet. The elegant foyer had 50-foot high ceilings with marble and gold inlay and a crystal chandelier the size of a blue ribbon cow at the county fair. Declan had stayed as cool as James Bond at a casino table. We weren’t just tourists, we were VIP guests. He’d done some business with the owners. He’d led me up past more golden cherubs than I could count into a hotel suite with 10-foot tall windows and plush red velvet drapes framing a breathtaking view of New York City at night.
The view from the rooftop restaurant was incredible, too. The greenery of Central Park was framed by an impossibly packed, high wall of buildings. We enjoyed our brunch—a light salad for me, something seasonal and sustainably-raised for him which basically ended up being bacon and eggs. He entertained me talking about everything we could see in the city, 5th Avenue, Soho and Times Square which apparently was all cleaned up, not that I had much with which to compare it.
“Now, you have to play it cool, Kara,” Declan whispered from across the table. Then he nodded his head slightly to the left. “Nine o’clock.”
I looked over and saw a woman in a gigantic picture hat and sunglasses. You couldn’t see much of her face. She looked slender and pale next to an eager older man.
“Star of that new hit Netflix series,” he informed me.
“How do you know?”
Declan shrugged. “There are always celebrities around here. But in New York, you can’t look, can’t react. It’s all got to be on the down low.”
The patrons seated around me were like no people I’d ever seen before. The women seriously looked like large heads on top of skeletons. I’d never been that self-conscious about my body, not overweight seemed good enough. These women made me look like an overfed farm animal. But in my world, most of them wouldn’t even pass inspection with their bones sticking out like that. None of them looked like they’d make it through the winter.
“Do these women eat anything?” I whispered again, using the giant menu to partially hide my lips.
“I think it’s mostly frisée,” Declan agreed. “And gin and tonics.”
Next to me, I couldn’t stop glancing at a woman with perfectly clear, smooth skin, her blonde hair in a bun without a strand out of place. Both her skin and her hair were pulled up and back, tight. On a Tuesday morning in June she wore a midnight black wool Chanel suit, nylons and pumps. She might both weigh and be 95. I tried not to gawk, but I’d never seen anything like her.
“I think you’re safe,” Declan whispered over to me, seeing my fascination. “She only drinks virgin’s blood. And we know you’re not that.”
I would have balled up my napkin and thrown it at him, but I guessed this was the kind of place that didn’t cotton to that kind of juvenile behavior. I scrunched up my nose at him instead.
Looking around, I had to admit that I felt a moment of doubt. I definitely hadn’t gotten the color memo. “I should have bought more black clothes,” I murmured.
Declan dismissed my worry with a big hand. “Just be yourself.”
I laughed, easy for him to say, Mr. Big now with his real estate empire. I was still just a rancher from Montana.
“I’m serious,” Declan continued. “Here’s the secret: never let them make you feel less-than. You’
re not. In fact, they want what you have.”
“Open air. Free range. There’s nothing like the feel up on a Montana ranch.”
“I didn’t know you still felt that way.”
“Of course I do. It’s in my bones. I’ve just figured out how to sell it.”
Our moment, smiling at each other, recognizing our common ground, was interrupted by a long, blood-red manicured fingernail trailing along Declan’s shoulder.
“Declan!” A woman slunk up to his side. The way she said his name made it sound intimate, just the two of them. She bent down and air-kissed him on each cheek. My mouth popped open in surprise. And, OK, jealousy.
“Courtney.” Declan acknowledged her, cool as always.
“I’m so glad to see you here. It’s been forever. I’ve been so bored.” She emphasized random words when she spoke, so dramatic. Who was she to him?
“I’d like you to meet Kara Brooks.” Declan gestured to me. “She’s visiting from Montana.”
“Montana!” Her heavily-tweezed eyebrows shot up and she looked at me like I had a contagious disease.
“Hi, there.” I waved feebly, instantly transported back to the seventh grade lunchroom, tray in my hand, unsure where to sit.
“Listen, we have to talk about Saturday.” She turned her attention back on Declan. “It’s a disaster. The caterer quit last week. I’ve been scrambling.”
I narrowed my eyes. That woman wouldn’t know scrambling if it came up and hit her over the head with a baseball bat. She was wearing some sort of strapless one-piece black silk thing, fitted at the top and floating into wide-legged pants at the bottom, plus elaborately strapped, heeled sandals. I’d be willing to bet she’d never done a scrap of hard work in her whole life.