Authors: Lauren Landish
Copyright © 2015 by Lauren Landish
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, Characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The following story contains mature themes, strong language and sexual situations. It is intended for mature readers.
All characters are 18+ years of age and all sexual acts are consensual.
Make sure to join my mailing list to be notified of new releases and for giveaways!
Medical student Sophie White is working two jobs to pay for her college tuition. But when she meets the handsome, dark and mysterious Mark, she is thrust into a world that she never knew existed.
A man of confidence, Mark exudes a quiet power and seductiveness, but who he is and how he acquired his wealth remains a mystery. When he meets the lovely Sophie White, he is smitten, and despite every fiber in his body telling him not to, he brings her into his dark world.
Mark turned to me, his eyes smoldering and powerful. "Sophie, if you want me to leave, all you have to do is ask. I can walk out that door, and Tuesday we'll have a very nice, very polite date."
"Or I can stay."
Mark's words were accompanied by a promise of something in his eyes, something I'd never felt before. Sensual, and utterly satisfying, his eyes said to me that if I let him stay, my life would never be the same again. Still, my hand reached for the doorknob, resting on it for a moment before falling away to hang by my side. I turned and walked towards him, putting my arms around his neck. It was so different than the kiss in the parking lot. Without my high heels on, he almost towered over me, looking down into my eyes. "You know, we never did finish that dance."
ome on Sophie
, you've been cooped up in your apartment for weeks now."
The needling voice in my ear belonged to Tabby Williams, my best friend. A relentless man chaser, she lived by the motto YOLO. Five foot five, a hundred and fifteen pounds, with auburn red hair and blue eyes, she could pretty much seduce any man she wanted.
How the two of us became friends is a mystery that really had a lot to do with luck more than anything else. Coming into a new city from high school, the two of us had been put together in the freshman dorms by pure random assignment of the computer. I had been sitting at my desk, trying to set up my computer when Tabby walked in, two jocks already following her, carrying some of her bags.
There should have been no reason for the two of us to hit it off as friends, but we did. When my 'freshman fifteen' ballooned into my 'freshman forty five,' it was Tabby who not only made sure that the idiots around campus didn't give me any crap, but also helped me work my way back down.
"It's all my fault anyway," she told me over and over again during my sophomore and junior years, "I'm the one who kept ordering the bargain double large pizzas and then only eating three slices."
You can see how it went. By the end of junior year, we were officially known among our social group as The Odd Couple, and did everything together. It was Tabby who convinced me to get a tattoo on my shoulder during senior year, and it was I who convinced Tabby not to just jump into marriage with Ted Bickerstaff, the frat boy she'd been dating who saw her more for her tight ass and perky tits than the young woman I called my friend.
"You came to college to get your MA, not your M-R-S," I told her. When Ted got caught cheating on his senior thesis and kicked out, she thanked me by taking me to the Bahamas for Spring Vacation.
Unfortunately, graduation caused us to drift apart some. Tabby went immediately to work on her MBA, while I had to pick up two jobs, one as an unpaid intern in a local emergency room as a way to get my foot in the door with the local healthcare providers, and another tending bar at a local Irish tavern. I didn't blame Tabby, her folks were able to pay for it, mine couldn't. But over the past two years, we'd gone from seeing each other every day to maybe three or four times a month.
Tonight was one of my few nights off, and I had originally planned to spend it doing some long overlooked cleaning of my apartment, and then crash. I had an early double shift at the ER the next morning, running files, doing admin stuff, and avoiding Dr. Green staring at my ass. He's a creepy bastard, plain and simple. When Tabby called at six thirty, I knew my plans were going out the window.
"Tabby, I've got a seven in the morning start down at the ER tomorrow," I said to her, trying to get out of it, not that it ever worked. "Seriously, can't we put this off until Saturday?"
"Are you kidding? DJ Manik is only in town through tonight. He's one of the best, and I was able to score tickets for three of us. So I invited you and Kelly. You know you two had fun the last time you went out with us. Besides, name the last time you had a Saturday night off. You're either slinging drinks down at the tavern, or down in the ER treating the same idiots you would have been serving any other night."
"I know, but you know what's going to happen. You're going to get drunk, Kelly's going to get picked up by at least two men, and possibly go home with both, and where does that leave me? Catching a cab home after midnight and maybe putting you to bed? You've got a strange idea of what to do on a Wednesday night."
hree hours later
, I could hear my words running through my head. After picking me up, and then spending twenty minutes harassing me to change into something sexier, Tabby, Kelly and I went to the club. I had to admit though, the DJ was pretty good. I'm not normally into remixed hip hop, but this guy was good, putting enough house beats into it that I thought it was pretty damn decent.
Still, as soon as we were in, both girls had drinks in their hands and men orbiting them like they had gravity wells or something. As the third wheel, I soon found myself alone at the bar, while Tabby and Kelly worked the dance floor. I looked on enviously as they had two super hot guys each, teasing and grinding until I was sure the guys were about ready to blow a load in their pants. The night was going exactly as I thought it'd go.
Sighing, I took my club soda and headed upstairs. The music was a bit quieter up there, and I could at least think for a moment. Looking down on the dance floor, I considered my options. It was kind of like those old
Tom & Jerry
cartoons I watched as a kid, when the devil would pop up on one shoulder while the angel popped up on the other. On one hand, I could go down to the floor and get myself my own guy. I mean, I'm nowhere near as hot as Tabby, but I considered myself at least average.
By now, I'd lost most of the weight Tabby had helped me put on in my early college days. At five foot seven, one hundred and forty nine pounds, green eyes and brown hair, I had gotten myself into a little better shape, and I'm sure I could find myself a guy to dance with down there. Still, I knew my stomach still had a bit of a pouch, but with the outfit I was wearing, it wasn't going to show. That was my first option, and perhaps the most fun.
The second option was the smarter one. Enjoy my drink, make sure that Tabby and Kelly were set for the night, maybe sit and enjoy the music for a few, and then head on home. It was a smart idea. I mean, I was in my last year of my Master's degree, and could look forward to becoming a physician's assistant within six months. I'd been volunteering in the ER to work on getting a reputation on top of my internship, and hopefully getting a letter of recommendation. Showing up with a hangover and sleep deprived was not the best way to do it.
I was still deciding which option to take when I saw him for the first time. The funny part was, he didn't look all that out of the ordinary. He was about six feet tall, maybe a hundred and seventy or eighty pounds, dirty blonde hair, and was wearing a black silk shirt with what looked like designer jeans. What caught my attention was the way he carried himself. The only thing I can think of is that he looked like a lion on one of those Animal Planet documentaries, relaxing amidst a savannah of prey. He exuded confidence, but not in that cocky way that I saw a lot of the posers in the club try and pretend to be. He didn't need to puff out his chest, and I didn't see him wearing any bling at all.
What caught my eye the most about him was that he was looking at me. I checked both left and right before I knew, but he was looking at me, that was for sure. He nodded to me and smiled, making his way through the crowd with lithe grace to approach me. "What's your name?"
It wasn't the most original opening line that a man has ever used on me, but there was something in his eyes that said
I don't need a come on, you're going to want to talk to me.
It was true, honestly. I wanted to talk with this man.
"My name's Sophie," I told him, giving him what I hoped was my best smile. "What's yours?"
"Mark," he said, offering his hand. I shook, and was pleased by what I felt. There was a restrained strength in his grip. I could tell he knew he could crush my hand, but he didn't feel the need to. He held my hand for a moment before letting go. "So you're a nurse."
His comment took me off guard. How in the hell did he know that? “Close, but not quite,” I replied, shaken. "I'm in school to become a physician's assistant. How'd you know that?"
"Your thumb and the tip of your forefinger is callused, like someone who has done a lot of injections or carried a knife. You could have been a chef, but your hands aren't built like a chef's. Also, you have skin on your hands that are really heavily lotioned. The only jobs I know that need that are either manual laborers who work with greasy tools, or medical professionals who are constantly washing your hands with chemical filled junk. I didn't say doctor because you're too young."
I was impressed. "Wow. Can you tell me what sort of hand cream I use, too?"
"Aveeno Oat Complex Cream," he replied with a grin. "The almost total lack of odor and no greasiness at all gives it away. It's a good choice, by the way. I like to use Nivea with CoQ10 myself in winter."
I couldn't help by laugh. He was dead on. "Wow, you're pretty observant. Just what do you do with all that observation skill?"
Mark smiled, and there was a hint of danger in his smile. More than ever, he reminded me of a predator, and I wondered for a moment if I was his prey. "I'm a freelance trouble shooter," he told me. "My clients contact me whenever there is an issue that they cannot take care of themselves. I go out and make sure their businesses are protected, and that they aren't going to have any problems."
"Interesting," I replied, smiling. Suddenly, a thought came to my head. "Listen, would you like to dance?"
Mark chuckled and shook his head. "Not really. I came down here tonight thinking it was R&B night, not dance-house. But, I needed to blow off some steam, so I stuck around. Glad I did, really."
Sophie long before she saw me. I had come to the club about two hours earlier to meet with a business associate of mine, who owned a partial stake in the club. In return for his investment, the club gave him a good place to conduct business where the police would find it hard to set up wiretaps or surveillance, and a decent return on his investment. After the meeting, I found three women who wanted to have some fun, typical club girls, but nothing too shabby. It actually was a pretty good club.
She carried herself like a woman who was still a bit unsure of her own attractiveness. Five-seven before her three inch heels, with a nice figure, but she hid it with a looseness to her blouse that was supposed to be sexy, but actually disguised the curviness of her body. I had almost dismissed her from my mind when I saw her peel off from her two girlfriends to come upstairs. Most of the third wheels I've seen in this club either end up getting themselves shitfaced, or just turn into some fratboy's slampig, neither of which I find sexy in the least.
This girl though, she looked like she had her head pretty well screwed on, other than her self-image. She wasn't downing alcohol for false courage, and she wasn't clinging to anybody who'd give her attention. I decided she was worth my time, and a hell of a lot more interesting than Tammy, Sunny, and whatever the other girl's name was.
"All right you three, go have some fun or something. I've got something to do," I said, disentangling them from my arms. What's-her-name had been pressing her newly enhanced breasts into my side, and gave me a pout. I rolled my eyes and looked at her. "Baby, you head downstairs and you'll have all the cock you want in about two minutes looking the way you do."
I hadn't meant it as a compliment, she was a dumb slut, but she took it that way anyway, and smiled. She pulled a business card of all things out of the edge of her bra and handed it to me. "Call me some time, sugar?"
I glanced at it, and noted that her name was Rachel, and she was a legal secretary. I momentarily wondered if she was sucking her attorney boss' cock or not. Then again, maybe her boss was a woman, and she could have been munching rug. Either way, she didn't look or act smart enough to be worthwhile to any business outside of a strip club. "Sure baby," I said, pretending to tuck the card into my pocket while secretly palming it. No way was I going to call her. "But go have fun for now."
Before the three could say anything, I disappeared into the crowd, working my way around in a large circle. The upper floor of the club is laid out in a large ring shape, with three staircases leading to the main floor. The VIP rooms are along the back wall, closest to my business associate's office, and I made my way past them, where the five bodyguards gave me a respectful berth. I kept my eyes on the tall woman and worked around until I was ready for her to notice me. My estimation of her increased when she noticed me more quickly than I had anticipated.
After introducing myself, we fell into easy conversation. Sophie was smart and funny, although I quickly could tell that she was overly self conscious about her appearance. Looking at the way she constantly did her best to twist her waist or hide her stomach, I assumed she was one of those girls who had lost a lot of weight, probably within the past three or four years. In any case, she was in my opinion sexy as hell.
"Listen, would you like to dance?" she asked me all of a sudden, biting her lip not in that intentional
I'm trying to be sexy
way, but instead as an unconscious expression of her want for me, and her own self doubt.
I hadn't came to dance, especially not to the music that was playing tonight, so I tried my best to decline politely.
"Oh," she said, only slightly dejected. She wanted to continue on with our conversation, but she didn't know what to do next. We were in a club, after all.
I decided to take her out of her misery. “I don’t particularly like this music. How about we get a VIP room, where we can control what we listen to? It'll be quieter."
Sophie gave me a sideways glance. "You must think I'm the sort of girl who does things in clubs often."
I threw back my head and laughed, honestly amused. "Sophie, that was the farthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to talk more and get to know you. Besides, like Chris Rock said, there's no sex in the champagne room."
Sophie returned my laughter, her tension now broken. I could tell by the way she carried herself that she wanted me, but she also wasn't the type of girl who slept with a man on the first night. "Okay. First, let me check on my friends. I don't need a guilt trip from them if they're looking for me."
"That's fine. I'm going to get something from the bar. Would you like something?"
about Mark's offer for a moment, then smiled. "One drink only, but nothing strong. I have an early shift at the ER tomorrow, and I can't afford to be hung over."
I had expected Mark to be resistant to the idea. Most men, when they offer me a drink, are looking for one thing. Most of them are upset when they realize that I'm not an easy lay. Mark took it in stride, his confident smile growing. I seemed to have gone up a notch in his eyes. "That's fine. How about a special mimosa?"
I don't know if Mark was lucky or just really observant, but he picked the one drink that I enjoy most. "What's so special about them?"
"I know it's going to sound weird, but the bar here has a special mimosa that mixes the orange juice part with another blend of juices. I like it, it has a bit more oomph to it taste wise than a normal mimosa."
I thought about it and nodded. "Sounds great. Meet you by the bar in a few minutes?"
Mark nodded and stood up, offering me his hand. When he helped me to my feet, I could feel his hand resting on my upper arm, his slightly callused hands sending tingles through my skin. His dark eyes looked into mine, and I could feel my heart speeding up another notch. "I'll have your drink ready," he said calmly.
Instead of escorting me to the stairs, he turned and almost melted through the crowd, leaving me to make my own way down to the floor. As I walked, I thought about him. I'm not the sort of woman who sleeps with a guy on the first meeting, but there was something about Mark that made me want to open up to him, to beg him to take me back to his place. It was an unfamiliar feeling, but admittedly, it felt perversely amazing.
It didn't take me long to find Tabby and Kelly. They were at one of the tables surrounding the dance floor with two guys. "Hey ladies, how's it going?"
"Ah, we're doing greaaat!" Tabby said, giving me a drunken giggle. She was already at least tipsy, if not fully drunk. "This is..... what's your name again?"
"John," the beefcake next to her said. He was a bit older than Tabby and I, probably getting close to thirty. He was fit, and I could tell he had money. Still, there was something about him that didn't do it for me, and I was confident that even a drunk Tabby could handle him. "How you doin'?"
Jesus, he sounded like a stereotypical refugee from the Jersey Shore. How'd he get to our town?
"Tabby, can I talk for a second?"
"Sure," she giggled, wiggling out of the booth. I had to give John credit, he didn't look too worried about it, although the way his eyes were fixed on Tabby's ass was something I didn't appreciate. Once we were a few feet away, she looked at me. "What's up?"
Tabby's lack of drunken slur in her voice made me do a momentary double take. "You doing okay?" I asked, looking into her eyes.
"I'm fine," she said, leaning in. "I'm just planning on cockteasing this guy for a while. Decent dancer, but not good enough for me."
I smiled and looked her over again. "Okay. So you're just acting a bit with him. Look.... I kind of met a guy upstairs. You good on getting home by yourself if you need to?"
Tabby smiled and squeezed my hands in glee. "Good. It's been too long for you. Go have some fun, and I hope it works out for you."
I was touched by the fact that not only did Tabby care enough about me to encourage me to have some fun, but also respected me enough to trust my judgment. "Thanks, Tabs. You and Kelly take care of yourselves. Stay safe."
"You know me, babe. Have fun."
I left Tabby, who twirled and giggled again in her 'drunken' state, her red hair whipping around to go back to the table. I found Mark by the bar, a special mimosa in his hand. "Here you are," he said. "My drink will be delivered up to the room in a few minutes. Shall we?"
I could barely control my breathing as I walked up the stairs to the second floor, and I could feel Mark's eyes look me over, especially my legs. I'm proud of them, they're well toned, but this time I felt nervous. He was a very sexy man with a silent confidence that I found seductive, and my mind kept thinking about him and his hands, running over my legs, cupping my ass. I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts before goosebumps broke out on my skin.