Sean takes me to his room. It’s the penthouse, located high above the city. The entire floor is ours. I’ve never seen such a place in person. Space is a commodity in the city and the vast size of the room is flaunting wealth.
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“Do all guys get this room?” I ask, looking around. I feel Sean’s eyes on me as I walk.
“I’d think not. It’d be a huge tip off. Plus the room cost more than the average services your company provides.”
My face flames red. I try to hide it, but Sean sees my blush. He walks toward me and takes my hands from my face.
I say, “I’ve not done this before.”
“I know,” he says, his voice deepening as he speaks. Sean keeps a hold on my hands and turns me from the window to meet his gaze. A light dusting of stubble lines his jaw. That dark hair that I want to touch so badly falls into his eyes. He tilts his head to the side and it falls back. “Tell me something. How is it that you’re a virgin? I wouldn’t have thought that could be possible.”
My gaze darts away from his, but he tilts my chin so that I can’t look away from him. My heart is pounding rapidly and I feel vulnerable. I want to jerk my face away. I want to run, but I don’t.
His voice is a whisper, “Tell me.”
“I never found the right guy,” I breathe.
Sean’s eyes devour me, raking over my face like he can’t get enough. Finally, he nods slowly. His hands drop from my body and I feel nervous again. I’m nervous when he touches me and more anxious when he’s not.
Sean sees the slight tremor of my hand. He says over his shoulder, “I won’t have sex with you, not unless you want it.”
What? I nearly fall over. Did he really say that? “I’m sorry?”
Sean sits at a desk and turns the chair toward me. I stand in front of him staring with my lips parted. “It’s the way I do things. I have no intention of forcing you. Actually, the whole thing is left up to you, really.”
I swallow hard and stare at him like he has two heads. “But, I thought. ”
“I know what you thought, but that doesn’t matter now. We need a new arrangement, since the old one won’t work anymore.”
“Why won’t it work?” I don’t understand what he’s thinking.
“Because I know you. It just can’t be the way I thought, so let’s come up with something new. I won’t lay a hand on you, unless you ask me to. I won’t have sex with you unless you want it. How’s that for starters?”
“Sean, I can’t change things that much. It isn’t right. You wanted something when you called for me. What did you want?”
He’s quiet for a moment. The fingers on his hands lace together between his knees as he leans forward. I think he’s going to answer me, but he doesn’t. “Listen, this week is hard for me, okay? I’m not usually here, in fact I do everything I can to steer clear of New York at this time of year. Business
didn’t work out that way this year. I need something to occupy my thoughts when I’m not at work, someone to be with. Since I know you can do that on some level, I want you around.”
When he speaks, I hear the hitch in his voice. Sean’s running from something, something he doesn’t want to remember and being here forces the memory forward. I nod slowly and walk toward him “So the arrangement is platonic? Not sexual?”
“Yes, if that’s what you want.”
My heart sinks. I look at him and I have no idea what I want. I thought I was going to have sex tonight. I nod, like I’m in shock. My gaze is lost, staring somewhere across the room when he speaks.
“That isn’t what you wanted, is it?”
“I—” my mouth hangs open and I have no idea what to say. I try to explain, but I can’t.
Sean looks surprised. “You wanted to do it, didn’t you?”
I shake my head, but Sean puts his hands on my waist and pulls me to him “You’re breaking your rule,” I say.
“I don’t care,” he says with a dark look in his eyes.
“Tell me what you want from this, what you want to learn?”
“Learn?” I squeak.
“Yeah, I’m assuming you felt safe with me and wanted to learn something. Isn’t that why you picked me from the file? I’m sure there’s more than one guy with a virgin fetish.”
My heart is pounding. I can barely focus. I nod, even though it’s not the truth. “Teach me,” I hear myself say, and wonder how much ether I’ve inhaled. I must have rotted my brain.
“Teach you what, Miss Smith?” He holds me close, warming me. His hands linger around my waist as his eyes hold my gaze. My heart beats harder, faster. My face warms as I think about his hands on me, about what he’s offering me. I wish I knew what he wanted originally, but I don’t. I look at his lips, wanting to taste them, wondering what it would be like to be with him
Smiling shyly at him, I breathe, “Everything.”
THE ARRANGEMENT SERIES
This story unfolds over the course of multiple short novels. Each one follows the continuing story of Avery Stanz and Sean Ferro.
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