Read Keep Me: A HERO Novella Online

Authors: Leighton Del Mia

Tags: #alpha male, #superhero, #fairy tales, #gothic, #wealthy, #action, #Suspense, #billionaires

Keep Me: A HERO Novella (5 page)

“I’ll stop the sessions,” I say. “I don’t want to come back.”

“No. You’ll continue with Dr. Adams because you need someone to talk to.”

“Then I’ll talk to you.”

“You know it doesn’t work like that.”

it work?
I want to ask. What are the rules when you’re in love with your enemy? To a psychologist like Dr. Adams, there’s no sense in Calvin and me. But I know we just are what we are. It can’t be explained or rationalized. I hope I never have to try.


I wake up to screaming—but when I open my eyes and bolt upright, there’s only quiet calm. Cataline is warm and breathing evenly next to me. If there was screaming, it didn’t pierce her slumber. The covers are too hot, so I get up and pace the tiny room, trying to silence the ringing in my ears. Bits and pieces of a dream try to puzzle themselves together. Tense and alert, I find my jeans on the floor and pull them on. Next I rummage for a sweatshirt in my small but growing shelf of things in her apartment.

Downstairs, I sniff in the cold night, walking briskly. I roam for hours, straining to hear for anything amiss, but all I get is a mob of rowdy college students. Even they are polite, nodding and smiling as I walk by.

It’s almost five in the morning when I return. The black sky is lightening to indigo, stars brightest before they disappear into dawn. The scuffle of shoes up ahead has me straightening my back and surveying the area. My loss of precise night vision is frustrating and puts me even more on edge. I pause in my tracks only a moment when I spot Cataline in her glowing white nightgown and slippers, treading a path in front of the building. My entire torso seems to swell as I charge toward her. “What are you doing out here?”

“Where have you been?” she cries, shoving her palms into my chest. “I was so worried!”

“I went for a walk. What the hell are you doing out here at this time?”

Looking for you.
” She swipes the back of her hand over both cheeks. “I didn’t know where you were. I th-thought . . .”

“This is not a safe neighborhood,” I say, scanning the space around us again. “I don’t want you down here in the middle of the night. You hear me?”

“Goddamn it, this isn’t about me.” Goose bumps cover her skin, and her nipples are two perfect points under thin satin. I pull her to me by her bicep, but she wrenches away and crosses her arms over herself. “Don’t.”

“We’ll finish this upstairs.”

“Where were you?”

“I told you, I went for a walk.”

I’ve seen all the faces of Cataline, and I know this one well. She’s not good at hiding her pain. That she’s upset is clear, but I have no idea why. I also don’t really care at the moment. “Get inside. You’re wearing a fucking nothing
in the middle of the street. Are you trying to get raped or taken? Again?”

“Fuck you, Calvin. You’re the one who did those things to me. You’re the one I should be afraid of.”

“I’m aware,” I say evenly. “I don’t think I need to be reminded of that.”

“So don’t tell me what to do. And don’t disappear in the middle of the night. Do you realize the scenarios that ran through my mind?”

“I’m fine as you can see. But I’m growing impatient. It’s cold, and anyone who passes by can see your tits, and almost,” I tilt my head until it’s at my shoulder, “your pussy.”

She takes a step backward and shivers. “I think you should leave.”


“Go home. I don’t want you here.” She spins away, disappearing back into the building. I’m completely lost, with no idea what the fuck her problem is. I sigh, rub my stubbly jaw with my palm, and follow her. Upstairs, I sit against the wall outside her apartment. All I can think about is what easy prey she was just now. Given my past, all the things I’ve seen inflicted on young, pretty girls run through my head. Each one leads back to the fact that I wasn’t here to keep her safe and that without my drugs and without Norman, I’m completely helpless.

When the early-morning sun rises, beaming through the hallway window and into my eyes, I stand up. I pull out my key, but the knob turns before I insert it. I inhale a deep breath, talking myself down from raging at her for being so careless as to leave the door unlocked.

The bedroom is empty, but the bathroom door is closed. I walk in to find her in the bathtub, eyes closed, head reclined against the ledge. The reek of the burning joint between her fingers hits me like a wall, something I normally would’ve smelled from the hallway and beyond.

“Still haven’t learned how to knock,” she mutters. With her eyes still closed, she takes a hit. My gaze wanders to her nipples, which just breach the water’s surface, and her feet propped up on the other end of the tub. Next to her ankles is a razor. Would she? I’ve seen her at the edge of sanity. What would it take to send her back there?

“I won’t,” she says. I meet her watered-down grey eyes. “As long as you’re here, I don’t need it anymore.”

I step into the bathroom, remove my tennis shoes and perch on the edge of the tub. “I’m here.”

“But you left.”

“Cataline, where do you think I went? I don’t know why you’re pissed off.”

“You left in the middle of the night. I was afraid you might not come back.”

I need to touch her, so I grasp her chin and make her look at me. “I’ve told you, I’m not going anywhere. I just went for a walk.”

“But why? Do you feel suffocated? Was it to see another woman? Was it to patrol? I thought all of that and more, but those are the three I decided were most likely. Honestly, I don’t know which one is the worst.”

“How could you think there’s anyone else?”

“Prostitutes count, Cal.”

Her accusation is so ridiculous that I laugh, and she jerks her chin out of my hand.

“This is what I get for dating someone in her twenties.”

She scowls and looks away before sucking on the joint again and smashing it into an ashtray.

“You want to know what it’s like to fuck someone other than you?” I ask.

She unsuccessfully attempts to hide her shock.

“It’s sex, so of course it feels good. The women I’m with, they let me do whatever I want.”

“You do whatever you want to me,” she mumbles, still avoiding my gaze.

“They suck my dick, ride me, let me in every hole, and it feels
. I don’t have to worry about anything but getting off.”

“Get out of my apartment. You’re such a prick.”

I laugh again. I can’t help it. She’s completely naked, at my disposal, and her infuriation is speaking right to my cock. I want to jam my fingers inside her and make her orgasm while I jerk myself off and come in her clean bathwater.

Her eyes narrow on me. “Should I tell you what it was like to make love with Grant?”

My smirk vanishes and just as quickly, my hand is around her throat. “Don’t say another word.”

Her eyes are locked on mine, defiant and completely devoid of fear.

“I could fuck every woman on this planet, and nothing would come close to you. I’d give everything up—I’ve
given everything up—just to have your legs open for me, to bury my cock in you. I’m selfish, I’m fucked in the head, I want only you, and I want you to only want me.” I lean forward while pulling her to me. “Talking to you, sleeping next to you, being in the same room with you is infinitely better than sex with another woman. Sex with you is ecstasy. I love you. There’s nobody but you. Do you get it?”

She nods.

“Answer me, Cataline. Do you understand? Don’t ever ask me about another woman again.”

“I understand,” she says. As I withdraw, she adds, “I love you too.”

I rest my elbows on my knees and rub my hands over my hair as I sigh. “And I’m not going anywhere. I’ll spend all my days trying to get you to see what you’re worth.” I look back down at her. “I left to patrol. I feel weak not doing anything.”

“You’re so good.” Her words send a tremor through me. I’m not good. I’m far from it. How far do I have to go to get her to see that? “But you can’t do that anymore,” she continues. “For one, you’re not equipped. If anything ever happened to you, I couldn’t take it. And it’s not your responsibility. It never was. Let the police do their job.”

“I don’t even need to hear that. I know you’re right. I won’t do it again. Just promise me you won’t pull that shit anymore, going out looking for me like that.”


“Promise me. I’m not the man I used to be. If something happens, I can’t be your hero.”

“You’re no less of a man now, Calvin.”

“Just promise,” I say, not recognizing the pleading in my voice. “Promise you’ll be careful.”

“I promise.” She sits forward with a small splash. “My bath is getting cold.”

The moment she’s on her feet, I sweep an arm under her knees and lift her out into my arms. “You’ll get wet,” she says through a giggle.

“That’ll make two of us.”

“Calvin,” she sighs as I set her ass on the counter. “I can’t.”

I suck the soapy dampness from her neck, kissing my way up behind her ear. “It’s called make-up sex, Sparrow.”

“I have to go to work. I’m already behind.”

“But you’re the boss,” I remind her as my fingers knead everything I can touch.

She pushes me off playfully. “Exactly. I have to set an example.”

I engulf her again, nipping her earlobe. “Maybe the boss never shows up for work. Maybe a madman locks her in her apartment and fucks her until they’re both senseless.”

She moans, her head falling back, and I look up to meet my own dark eyes in the mirror behind her.

“Been there, done that,” she says half-heartedly.

I chuckle and give her one last peck. “All right, I’ll leave you alone. But make-up sex is not off the table. It’s happening tonight.”

She grabs my forearm before I can turn away. Her eyes get big as her mouth parts to speak but nothing comes at first. Finally, she says, “These last two weeks have been like a dream. You’re everything I was missing. More than that—everything I need.”

“Okay,” I prompt.

“I like your idea. Maybe one night I could be your captive again.”

I pull away from her to cross my arms. Redness creeps up her exposed skin. “What do you mean?”

“I just—well, maybe we can try it. Pretend. Play a game.”

“Our time in the mansion was no game.”

She recoils. “I know that. Don’t you think I know that?”

I only glare back at her.

“I just want to see. Sometimes I dream about it, about the things you did to me.”

. I shift on my feet. “Dreaming and doing are two different things.”

“Sometimes I do more than dream, Calvin.”


“I replay the memories.”


“And they turn me on,” she admits.

“You think you’re ready for that?”

She nods ardently.

I don’t have to answer. Her gaze drops to the almost-painful erection pressing against my zipper.

She smiles coyly and hops off the counter. Her touch on my crotch is too gentle. “I’ll be your sparrow again.” She leaves the bathroom and I almost turn around to grab her, pull her to the floor, and thrust myself so deeply in her that I’ll be there forever. But that will have to wait until tonight.


Melinda nudges my arm. “Why’s Grant here?”

I close the folder in front of me and drop it in my desk drawer. My ex-boyfriend wears a tailored navy suit, carries a leather briefcase, and is pulling open the gallery door.

“Give us a minute?” I ask without looking at her. She leaves while he traverses the gallery, his eyes wandering over the latest exhibit. “What are you doing here?”

“Nice to see you too.”

“Sorry. I just wasn’t expecting you.”

He nods once behind me. “Is that the last piece?”

I look over my shoulder at the photograph. It’s my window in the mansion and that’s all. I’d framed it so there was only the windowsill below it and the molding around the nook. I’m not surprised it didn’t sell; the view is grey and wintry and there’s nothing exceptional about it. It could be a window in any home. But it means very much to me, which is why I’ve priced it too high. “From my showing, yes. Everything else sold.”

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