Burning Down Montana – Chapter Six


Vesta stood on the porch of the ranch home of Grant Stone with a cup of coffee in her hands.    After being discharged from the hospital, she realized she didn’t want to necessarily just sit in a hotel room for the rest of her time in Montana.     She was never good at being stationary.    Moving from one job to the next was her thing, and she would normally have her cell phone in her hand right now, booking the next show.   Felix, had been a no show, and that wasn’t like him.     Vinny actually insisted that they go and see what the ranch was all about.

The wonderstruck look on her twin’s face screamed seven-year old and not their thirty-seven years of age.   She couldn’t resist.  Honestly, she was a little curious herself, the closest she’d been to a horse were the occasional mounted police on the Strip, but in her line of work, fireworks and animals don’t mix.

Brighton insisted on driving them over,  and it was two against one.  She had to admit, after a steak dinner surrounded by women she felt a kindred spirit with, she was glad she came.  Hearing the stories about how Samara and Layla came to the town captivated her.   They weren’t just some stay at home, kept women.  Samara, had been a top-notch financial analyst, but was the first to fall when cuts had to be made at her brokerage firm.    Layla’s tale of being a detective in one of America’s most dirty and corrupt cities reminded her so much of her own glass ceiling, wall, floor, door and every damn barrier she could think of when she went out for bids.   Although times have gotten better, it is indeed a grueling and slow climb to gain some measure of equality in what is deemed a typically male role.

However, here, it is almost as is this town was in some type of vortex.   The men, Chase, Grant, Brighton, Bradford all took care of the home, or the ranch, welcoming guests, and even cooking the meals while taking tours of the mountains.  Meanwhile,  Samara was elected to the town treasury not to mention advises the accounts of most of the stores in town.  Layla quickly became a deputy sheriff in town, and even the snarly Katrina, whose nickname “Wildcat” fit to a tee, was quickly escalating the ranks in the ATF.

Continue Reading – Click Here Burning Down Montana, Chapter Six

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Burning Down Montana – Chapter 5


He didn’t know what caused her  abrupt change of mood, or what made her start calling him Thorn,  but he wasn’t going to let her shut him out so easily.

“Come then, put some slippers on your feet.”  When you have a twin as cold as Bradford, he knew exactly how to get through her cool façade.  He could see right through her and he knew that it would be asking too much to have her develop feelings for him, but he could also tell that is exactly what she was trying to prevent.  How I adore challenges.

He watched her movements as she slipped into the hospital socks.  Making sure there was a comfortable distance between them, he led them through the small hospital to the lounge.  He’d seen there was a seat by the window that had a majestic view of the snow capped mountains.   He’d hoped that the stillness of the mountains would bring peace to her mind and not make her want to close her mind to him.

Watching her closely to make sure she didn’t hurt the bandaged shoulder, Brighton didn’t want to offer her too much help.  If there was anything he’d learned from being around  strong women like Layla and Samara, is that if he offered too much help, he was going to get his head bitten off.

“So tell me about you,” he said as he slid into the seat opposite of her.    It was early enough in the morning where the sun began to rise high above the mountain tops, casting a golden glow over her skin.   I would love the opportunity to sit across from her on more mornings like this.    The restless feeling he’d grown to live with eased when he was in her presence.

“There isn’t much to tell.    I was born outside of Vegas, and have pretty much remained there.   I travel for work, and Vin is a pilot.”

“Oh there is more to you than that.   I noticed you didn’t drink your coffee, you cherished it.  What’s your favorite blend?”

“French.”

“French, bah…” Rolling his eyes mockingly and clutched his heart, “I’ll have to forget you said that.  You strike me as someone who would enjoy a Sumatra or Ethiopian blend.  They have more character and flavor notes.”

“Normally, you would be right, but when I need a swift kick in the guts to get my ass in gear, French is the only option.”

“Yes, the French are like that.”   She grinned at him.  Her smile was astounding.  Her cheeks actually dimpled when she did.  He wondered if those were laugh lines or scowl marks around her full lips.  He couldn’t help but to think about sucking on the plump bottom lip she’d bitten trying to not laugh out loud.

“Alright, England, so what do you like to drink?”

“I grew up drinking tea with breakfast and lunch, but after being in Afghanistan and in America, I’ve come to enjoy the taste of coffee in the morning.  I suppose I would’ve gotten used to coffee if I lived in Vegas because I surely would never get a full night’s rest.”

“Mmmph, it was too quiet here, I barely slept all night.”  He watched as she moved her pawn forward.

“I can think of many ways to keep you up all night that would make you need sleep.” She crossed her arms in front of her and hitched her arched eyebrow at him.  “Hunting for nightcrawlers, counting stars, and crossing a desert come to mind.”

Continue Reading >>>>>  Burning Down Montana – Chapter 5

Burning Down Montana – Chapter Four


“So why did you have to thank me, England?”

“You’ve inspired me pet.  I’m here to sign up for the emergency responders.  According to Dr. Daniels, there’s an opening.” His smile, stretching from ear to ear, showed how enthused he was and his eyes danced with his announcement.   Boy he wears his emotions all over his face.  She couldn’t help but to be moved by his eagerness and returned his smile.

“So y’all have names for each other now?  She must really be grateful to you man, my twin doesn’t give out nicknames and she hates being called anything but Vesta.”   Vinny took a sip of his coffee without breaking eye contact with Brighton.    If Vinny had hair on his head, it would be standing up by now.   Her brother’s bald head was a beacon for determining what was going through his head, and right now, a vein was bulging on the right side of his dome.   I know that vein.  He’s going to strike first and ask questions later.    She knew she had to stop the standoff of male hormones or she was going to be in the middle of who knows what, but she knew family always stuck together, no matter what.

“Shut up Vin or I’ll let these strangers know what we called you when we were little.”  Turning her head back to Brighton, she noticed the twinkle of laughter in his eyes.  His eyes really are magnificent. 

Continue Reading Here Burning Down Montana – Chapter Four

Burning Down Montana – Chapter 3


Brighton put his hands in his pocket and began whistling on his way out of the hospital.   For the first time he’d felt like he’d found more of a purpose for his life than tactical maneuvers and killing.  He felt exhilaration at riding in the ambulance, and he hadn’t felt that in years.   While he was only thirty-seven, he’d felt like he was quickly falling into a mid-life crisis.  The explosion and the ill-tempered Vesta St. James made him think less of himself and helping someone else.

He couldn’t help but smile at her sailor tongue.  Hell, he knew some in the Royal Navy who couldn’t swear as well.  She’d managed to use every American swear word he was familiar with in a single sentence.   She wasn’t a weakling, and yet, Brighton felt her vulnerability when he’d carried her to the stretcher.  Vesta was a mysterious mix of sexy, sassy and innocent.  Her barbed tongue didn’t fool him for a moment.  He was going to make sure that while she was here, she would know he was right there with her.

He needed to make a call to his twin brother, Bradford, although he already knew what he was going to say.  It wasn’t a twin ‘sense’ Bradford was just predictably pessimistic.  As the phone rang, he prepared himself for his sibling’s tirade.

“You’re joking? No one goes back to school at thirty-seven.”  Bradford’s tone sounded bored as usual.

“It isn’t school.  I’m going to take a firefighter’s course and then an emergency responder course.  I need to be doing something.”

“We are doing something.  Chase helped us find the jobs at the ranch.”

“That isn’t helping people.”

“What do you call it when some kid falls off a horse? That’s helping.”  Brighton could hear the disgust in Bradford’s voice.  Even in their days at Scaitcliffe, school was never Bradord’s ‘thing’ as the Americans put it.

“Bradford, I’m going to do this.   I’m done wandering all over.  At some point, you have to stop wandering and find home.”

“Home is in England, lest you’ve forgotten, but neither one of us can go back there, now can we?”

“Not unless you want to be responsible and claim your title as the Earl of Feversham and sit pretty on Parliament.”

“Not for a million pounds dear brother. Do you plan on going back so your arranged marriage can take place?”

“Not for all the tea in England.”

Continue here>>>>>Burning Down Montana – Chapter Three

Burning Down Montana – Chapter Two


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – COPYRIGHT

Vesta could smell.   She could smell the bleach,  the aerosol of linen and the stench of awful hospital food.  Hospitals, plainly, sucked, and she hated them.  She immediately wanted out.  In her mind, she could feel herself turning to move, as if she could walk away from the smell and the hospital.   Her body, however, didn’t respond quite the way she had imagined.  Her arms and legs hit metal.  Well son of a bitch.

“Are you trying to go somewhere pet?”  Ah, she could hear too, and she could hear a man with an English accent calling a her a fucking pet? She tried to turn toward the direction of the voice only to have searing pain tear through her left side.   She couldn’t scream,  but the pain was enough to spring tears to her eyes and she felt the salty water run down hehr cheeks.

“Ahh pet, don’t cry.    Don’t move either, its going to hurt.”   She could hear the voice had gotten closer,  and she was in no condition to protest as she felt large,  warm fingers swipe away the tears from her cheeks.  There was an odd comfort in his touch,  he must have been a doctor, no one had ever touched her and made her feel safe.   She opened her eyes, not that it did her any good as she couldn’t see past the thin layer of guaze.  The blinding flourescnet lights overhead made the doctor look like a very big blur.

“Oh my, damnit Vesta!”   at the sound of her brother’s voice, she wanted to turn and smile, but she held back, remembering what the last attempt to move did to her.

“Doc, what happened?”

“I’m not the doctor.”….

Continue reading at the link below…

https://nevealane.wordpress.com/burning-down-montana-chapter-one/burning-down-montana-chapter-two/

 

 

Burning Down Montana (A Free Read – Continuing the Trilogy)


If you have not read Marked in Montana or Chased Through Montana, they are up for free under my username on Wattpad.
The reason I posted these works for free now is because after 7 years, a short story is a short story. There is no reason for you to pay or have to go to pirate sites to gain these little gems. As a writer I am more concerned with giving you my words now rather than how much I am going to get paid for it. So here are the links, but they are stand alones and do not need to be read in order to comprehend the new work coming up.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/88225116-marked-in-montana-bwwm-short-erotica-complete

https://www.wattpad.com/story/109803486-chased-through-montana-a-bwwm-erotic-romance

Now, this work will be unedited, so I don’t want to hear go get an editor! I am doing this for the joy of writing, not the joy of figuring out the oxford comma. So…. without much further ado…

Chapter One – Burning Down Montana (https://nevealane.wordpress.com/burning-down-montana-chapter-one/)

Excerpt –

The stage was set for the concert. A grand finale of fireworks was expected for the end of the county celebration. Vesta checked to make sure all of the wires were attached to the appropriate charges. When the popular band asked for a major pyrotechnic display for a grand finale at a Montana music festival, she’d been the one to land the job. Being a pyrotechnician, it was difficult to come by jobs, being a female pyrotechnic coordinator; it was ten times more difficult to land jobs because she had breasts. Whoever said the glass ceiling was being shattered everywhere by women never had a job involving blowing things up.

As she hopped down from the large outdoor platform, a spark coming from the end of the catwalk caught her attention. Quirking her eyebrow and pulling her braided hair into a ponytail at the nape of her neck, she walked toward the sparking blue light. She knew she’d cut off all power to the main battery, and this blue spark meant trouble. There could be no mistakes as there would be thousands of people at this festival tonight.

Picking up her walkie-talkie, Vesta checked in with her foreman, her second in command, Felix.

“Felix, did you cut the power for the main catwalk?”

“Course, why?” his response crackling through the speaker.

“ I got a spark at the end of walkway. Going to check it out.”

 

Time to Clean Up my Act (but not too clean)


*looks around the place* Seems abandoned, dusty, old, tired. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. This was a place for dreams, fantasies, world building and demon-slaying, now it looks like those abysmal abandoned buildings you see on those ‘Abandoned Series’ photos. I’ve done you all a disservice, perhaps I have done myself a disservice, but life happens. With that being said, life is about pursuing what makes you happy. Happiness, that is that elusive thing that we all chase. Whether it be in love or lust, what we are looking for is happiness. Which brings me to my point, this was supposed to a place of happiness, not looking a clip from Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams
So, for this short, little 140 word post, I am telling you, stay tuned and watch out. I am back.

Last Chapters and Conclusion to Interviewing the Italian


Chapter Ten – To Hell With It
It didn’t take me long to figure out that August was blind. Sexy, alpha, but blind. I think that his cousin and ex-fiancé just made him look like a jack-ass. Then I felt bad for him. I got off the bed and looked down at him. His face was itched in lines of worry and perhaps realization.
Despite his tendencies to be Alpha male one minute and vulnerable the next, I found myself getting to know him, perhaps even falling for him a little bit. Maybe it was just better to leave now and cut my losses. I never mixed business with pleasure, and from the kiss that I did share with Augostino Romani, I would soon be looking for pleasure and damn the business part of it. I had to get out.

Yet, instead of walking out of the room and leaving him to his thoughts, I made a ghastly mistake. As if I was in some type of trance, my hands found their way to his hands, which were still buried in his hair. I couldn’t pull them back if I wanted to. The silken strands felt cool to my touch and I became lost. Moonlight streaming in the large bay window caught his eyes. I was glad I couldn’t see what color they were. They looked like small lakes in the man’s head, shining in the moonbeams. I sat down on the edge of the bed, my thigh resting next to his abdomen. I could feel that he had stopped breathing. He was probably wondering, just like I was wondering, what the hell am I doing?
He pulled his hands from underneath mine. Grabbing my wrists he pulled my hands to his chest. I could feel his heart beating a tattoo rhythm and his breathing hitched. I knew, really I did, that I shouldn’t be doing this but I didn’t want to stop.

“August, I…” I didn’t know what to say. I could tell him the woman in side of me was screaming for release but that scared me. No, I didn’t want to say anything. I watched as his sat up, still clutching my hands.

“Yvonne, this wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t want it to happen, but ever since that interview, I can’t stop thinking about it happening. So before I go any further there are some things that I have to tell you.” August sighed and let go of my hands. I know that tone of voice. It was the same tone of voice my mother got when she had to tell me our father packed his bags and left. I wasn’t going to like what August was going to say. My gut was in a g-force dive into my feet and I couldn’t stop the sinking feeling overwhelming me.

“I’m all ears.” I still needed to abate my desire for this man, but I wanted answers first. I tried to put a clamp on my desire as August started talking.

“I figured that my own cousin was the leak. I just didn’t think that Lucy would be involved in it. Lucy knows something about me that could probably take me down and make me never show my face again. If she thought I was on to her being involved, she would blackmail me.” August leaned back and stared at the ceiling. I could tell his was frustrated from his tense posture. I could also tell from the way he was clinging to my hands.

“Go on…” I said, wiggling my fingers a bit. He let my hands go and I put them in my lap.

“You see, Lucy knows something about me that could change my life as I know it. Raphael my cousin already knows.”

“What is it!” I screamed. I was never one for the dramatic, or suspense.

“I am not Augostino Romani.” He said with a whisper. I stopped. Everything stopped moving. As far as I knew, there was only one Augostino Romani and this man in front of me was it. Now the stranger was telling me that he wasn’t August?

“Come again?” It was all I could say.

“My name is Augostino Conti. My mother had an affair with my father, a very rich man in Italy, and they had me. He didn’t want to have anything to do with me. That is until his real wife died giving birth to her second son. Mother and son both died in labor, but to make himself feel better, my father, Piero Romani, came and took me from my mother. He gave me his name and I haven’t seen her since.” He sounded choked up.

“How old were you?”

“I was four. Raphael is my mother’s nephew. My true cousin. He knows who I really am.” August’s voice cracked and I could tell he was in pain. That type of pain I could relate to. That type of pain was human.

“So if you make your cousin out to be the leak, then he would expose you?”

“I am sure of it. Raphael said he had information on my mother. Apparently Piero paid her off pretty well for her trouble of birthing me, and Raphael made it seem as though she still missed me. I wanted to find her. Raphael said he knew where she was, but he needed to get out from under my father’s business. So I brought him here.”

“Has he told you where she is or how to get a hold of her?” I pitied him. All of this time, I greatly admired him, and really what he needed was a supportive ear. I was no better than all the other women that have launched themselves at him. I felt like an ass.

“No, and he has been holding out. I doubt that he will after I punched him.”

“So, you think that Lucy and Raphael would take you down because of your last name?”

“Yes! I know it!” August began to yell. He bolted off the bed and began to pace. “The name Romani means power. I probably wouldn’t even have all of this if my last name wasn’t Romani. It opened doors for me, I got into the university because of this name. Everything that I have would be a lie.”

I hated agitation, but August’s lopsided view of things made me want to yell right back.

“Stop that.” I yelled. “You are not made of your last name. You did the work, you got the grades, you developed your brand, and it had nothing to do with your name.”

“You’re biased. You have been following Romani Enterprises for years.”

“So! Do you think your ideas would have been less brilliant if they were named Conti Enterprises? You are still his son, despite what your birth certificate says. Why would they blackmail you?”

“If it came out that I wasn’t his second son that really died in child birth, all of my inheritance would be forfeit. I am illegitimate. I used the inheritance as seed money to start the company.”

“I see.” I didn’t know what to think. If he paid them off, they would come back for more. If he didn’t his company would forfeit its name, his father’s indiscretions would be exposed and August would feel like he lost.

“I had to tell you now. I feel like I have involved you too much as it is…” His voice trailed off.

“Can I ask you something?” Since August was airing his dirt, I felt like I had to get sure answers.

“Yes. Please.” He said. His voice losing some of the hard edge I had grown accustomed to.

“Why the interview set up and why did you ask me to be your personal journalist?”

I heard him give a sigh and watched as he came to sit next to me on the bed.

“Because I knew that if anyone could expose me for the real me that I am, it would be you.” He chuckled as he said it. Did I miss a private joke?

“Come again?”

“Like I said, I suspected Raphael as the leak. I also know that Raphael reads just about anything that you particularly write. You should hear him go on about the great Savannah Martin. So I figured if you found out about my parentage and aired it, it would beat Raphael to it, thus no blackmail. Then I met you and spending the day with you, I didn’t want to go through with it.”
“You didn’t want to go through using me, you mean?” I said. It was a hell of a situation to be in; I couldn’t tell if I was mad or flattered. I was just floored.

“Using you, exposing myself, being attracted to you… all of it. I can’t play this game anymore.”

I didn’t see him move. I just felt his hands grab my shoulders and the warmth of his lips close to mine. The moment I took to gasp in shock was apparently the only moment August needed. His lips clamped down on mine and I felt him lean into me. His fingers stroked a fire up and down my arms and I knew I was a goner. There would be no running away from this kiss. I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to run. I just wanted more, more of the drunk feeling he was giving me and more of August the human and not August my idol.

Chapter Eleven – To Everything….

I kissed him as if it was going to be the last thing I did. I felt his warm tongue invade the cavern on my mouth. The tip of his tongue traced my teeth. I had never felt anything like that and I felt a jolt of heat fire through me. His kiss was every bit as intoxicating as it was the first time, only this time, I wasn’t running. I kissed him back with the intensity I felt. Drowning in the taste of his full lips, I finally let my tongue brush his. It was an exciting duel. His tongue tasted of cloves and mint, an erotic mix that caused moisture to pool in my clenched pussy. I ran my fingers through his hair, pulling him closer to me, angling myself so I could feel his body weight on top of me.

Feeling euphoric, I let out a moan. He froze. I opened my eyes and found him searching my face with a huge question in his eyes.

I put my index finger on his chin and traced his kiss swollen lips with my thumb. Then cupping his cheek, I stroked his short, dark stubble and waited.

“Are you sure you can do this Yvonne? I never meant to…” I put my fingers to August’s lips.

“I never meant to either. I don’t ever do this. I can do this and I want to do this August. Take me, I’m yours.”

That was all the encouragement August needed. His gaze met mine I witnessed his transformation from an unsure man to a hungry wolf. His pupils got round and I sucked in a breath. It isn’t that I had never been with anyone, but I had never been with a man like August. He was experienced, and from what I could tell, passionate. Yet, I knew I needed this moment, and I wasn’t going to run from it. His hands began to run down my sides, feeling for the bottom of my tank top. His touch was hot to my cool skin, sending jolts through me every time his fingers grazed my skin. His lips found mine and this time the kiss was leisurely, but still intense. His tongue traced my lips; his soft spoken Italian endearments came out in rasps. His nose nuzzled my neck and he started to kiss and lick my neck, my shoulders, my arms and then my finger tips. He pulled each digit into his mouth and sucked each one with the same care.

He pulled me towards his chest, until my legs wrapped around his torso. Looking into my eyes, August stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.

“Don’t flinch.” His low aroused voice shook me out of my stupor. Before I could even ask, August took his two hands and ripped the flimsy tank top in two down the center. My modest breasts poked out as if they had been caged.

“You know I could have taken that off right?” I chuckled. That chuckle quickly released into a groan as August dove in between my breasts. I didn’t see anything funny about the pleasurable torture he was administering to my breasts. He sucked a tip into his mouth, bit down gently, and then caressed the bitten nipple with his tongue. His alternating on each nipple and the pain of his bite combined with the pleasure of his soothing tongue sent me into orgasm. I let out a low moan as I felt the edges of the universe begin to fold in on me. I never thought that I would have an orgasm from someone playing with my breasts, but August did it and I couldn’t have felt more complete. We were just getting started, and that elusive orgasm was already out of the way. I had never ‘finished’ during sex in my past, but August brought me to the big O before we even had intercourse! I smiled to myself as I let his hands wander over my body. The intense feeling in the pit of my stomach began to build again. I needed to do something or I was going to pass out before we got t the good stuff. I began tugging at his shirt, pulling it over his torso and letting my fingertips graze his taught skin. I heard his sharp intake of breath and smiled. At least he was affected as much by this encounter as I was. After pulling the damn shirt over his head, we were finally chest to chest, making skin to skin contact. His heat was scorching my flesh, but I didn’t care. He was the only one that was going to soothe the fire in the pit of my belly.

I ran my fingers over his chest, down his abs and to his pants buckle. I didn’t want to wait. I unbuttoned his pants and he arched a little off the bed so I could get them off. I unlocked my legs from around him and the idea hit me. It wasn’t graceful sliding off his lap, but I finally got my long limbs into a kneeling position in between his spread legs. I kissed the lines of his torso, gentle tugging his pants down. As I got to the band of his boxer briefs, I took in a deep breath. Moving lower I spotted the target, rock hard and needing attention. Slowly, I began to blow on August’s marble like cock through the satin material of his underwear. It began to jerk towards my mouth, but I was not in a rush. I had never been so aroused and I wasn’t going to miss a single moment.

I let my tongue quickly lick the tip as I pulled his pants all the way off. It was time to get rid of the other barrier. I took a seam of his underwear and looked at him. I smiled, slow, seductively and his eyes got big.

“Don’t flinch,” I said my voice raspy as I tugged and tore his underwear from his body. I could feel his belly shake as he chuckled. You want be laughing long, Mr. Romani. I licked my lips and in one swift movement I had most of August’s length in my mouth, my tongue running circles around the sensitive ‘v’ underneath his head. Pursing my lips as if I was sucking on a straw, I tried to suck in as much of his gorgeous tan cock as I could. His hips bucked and arched off the bed. I let my tongue caress the bulging vein on the underside of his thick cock. The taste was sweet and salty, an inebriating mix of sex and male assaulted my nose and I thought for a moment I was about to catapult myself into another orgasm.
I felt his hands on my shoulders just as I was moving my head up and down his shaft.

“Dio, belissima, please stop. I won’t last.” He grabbed my head and gently pulled my head away from his throbbing cock. It came out of my mouth with a pop. Gently gripping my head, he pulled me up to his lips for a kiss. As our lips found each other again, August maneuvered so I was lying underneath him. I felt his fingers in the band of my shorts and I knew what was coming. I heard the rip and felt the fabric drop from my heated core.

Tearing my head away to gasp for air, I had to regain some sense.
“If we keep this up, we are going to need to buy a new wardrobe August.”

“Or you could just not wear any clothes around me for the rest of your life.” He growled in my neck. I was too far gone in passion for the brevity of August’s words to hit me at that moment. It was his three fingers caressing my nether lips that threw everything into a spiral. His index finger was teasing my clit like a pearl in oil while his middle digit worked in and out of my tight walls. My inner core sucked at his finger, pulling it deeper and his urgency taking me higher.

“You are so tight belissima,” August’s throaty baritone sounded far away. “How long has it been?”
My pussy walls clinched again as his fingers kept stoking the fire into a raging inferno. What did he even ask me? I smiled to myself as I remembered the question.

“Ahhhhhh…” I moaned bucking my hips under August’s touch. His pace was quickening and I was about to fall over the precipice again.

“How long?” His finger’s stilled as August asked me again.

“Around four years.” I panted, writhing as August’s fingers held perfectly still inside of my wet folds.

August groaned deep and positioned himself in between my legs. He leaned over me and my legs instinctively wrapped around his torso. He positioned his head at my entrance, my insides already clutching in anticipation of his nice cock invading the space.

Bracing himself on his arms, August began to push. The beginning was almost painful and I felt like a virgin again. The head of his cock was fully inside of me as he leaned closer to me. I could feel the warmth of his breath in my ear and I heard his soft whisper: “Forgive me belissima”.

His hips plunged forward and I felt a searing hot pain on my walls. His girth completely stretched my walls. I bit down on my bottom lip to keep from crying out. He held still for only a moment, and then he pulled slowly out. As slowly as he pulled out, his hips strained to go back in at the same lethargic pace. In an instant, I was on the precipice again. As I felt August’s chest rub against mine, I noticed that I was beginning to sweat in between my breasts. I needed release. I put my feet on the bed and arched my back to meet August’s slow thrusts with thrusts of my own. August reared up on the impact. He grabbed my hips and the leisurely pace was gone. He pulled me into him, matching our thrusts and finally pushing me over the edge.
“August, I’m going to…” I panted, trying desperately to catch a breath that seemed to elude my lungs.

“Yes, bellisima, come for me.” As if at his command, my pussy clinched around his dick and my juices flowed. I arched my back and let out a low howl as my orgasm crashed around me.
August pulled out completely and grabbed his cock. I watched as his large hands grasped his cock and one, two strokes and his seed began to shoot on my belly. White and stringy, several spurts landed side by side. He groaned and rolled to his side. I took my fingers and drew some circles in the semen he deposited on my stomach.

He was looking down at me, some of the dazed passion dulled by our orgasms.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know if you were on anything and I didn’t have a condom with me.” He kissed my forehead gingerly and went to the bathroom. I listened to the water running and it was lulling me to sleep. I jumped when I felt a steaming cloth touched my stomach. I watched August through half lidded eyes as he washed my stomach with gentle caresses and light touches. As he finished up and toss the cloth on the nightstand, I watched his movements. For the first time since I met him, he looked content. He gathered me into his arms, pressing my back into his chest. Pulling the covers over us and throwing his legs over mine, August snuggled in and began a rhythmic breathing sound. Listening to his breathing I realized that I was in love with August Romani.

Shit.

Conclusion

I didn’t have time to even think about sneaking out of the bed. August was up and out before my eyes opened. If it weren’t for the slight soreness I felt in between my legs, I would have thought that I dreamed about having sex with August. It wasn’t a dream. I knew it wasn’t a dream when I heard the door open and spied August coming into the room with jeans, sans shirt and a tray. I sat up, covering my naked form with the sheet and tried to get used to this different side of August. He was smiling. It was a crooked smile, almost a self conscience smile, with his upper lip hitched just a little, but it was a smile nonetheless, and I was captivated.
“Good morning sweetheart. Breakfast is served.” August voice sounded boyish, almost light. And it was the first time he hadn’t barked or growled. Then I remembered, he hadn’t had sex in two years. Having sex would take the bite out of any man. My ears reddened as I remembered our ‘coupling’ last night. I didn’t know what else to call it, it was more than just sex but it was less than a slow sensual encounter.

August placed the tray on my lap and sat across from me. I felt the journalistic itch of wanting to rattle off a million questions, but somehow, some part of me was content in just sipping the orange juice and staring at August as he watched me eat.

I quirked and eyebrow at him as I stabbed a piece of cantaloupe with a fork.

“Aren’t you hungry?” I held the juicy fruit to his mouth and watched as his pink lips wrapped around my fork. I smiled as he chewed the food thoughtfully, and I watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed. We sat in silence as I fed him bits and pieces of what was on the plate. I didn’t know what to say but I think we both knew that the dynamics of this ‘relationship’ had changed.
I finished eating and removed the tray. I grabbed a robe and sat up with my legs crossed.

“So, do you want to address the elephant in the room or should I?” I said, looking at August’s gaze.

“I love that about you.” I started at his statement. He held up his hand and shook his head. “Please, there is a lot to talk about and I think that you want to hear it before you decide on us.” He took a deep breath and I felt myself bracing again. Why did I feel like he was going to drop the elephant on me?

“It isn’t simple really. But I will try to make you understand. Yvonne, I think I have been following your career just as much as you have followed mine. I have read everything that you have published. I was determined to meet you sooner or later after reading your application to the scholarship foundation. It just wasn’t time yet. But I felt like I could tell you anything. When I set up that interview, I wanted to see if my gut was right.”

“As far as the leak, I was pretty sure that it was Raphael, but I figured it would be a good way to see if we were compatible. To see if you thought the same way I did, if I could trust you. So I set up the interview, the personal journalist thing right after I broke it off with Lucy. And the mistress thing, ” He paused. “I didn’t want to show up to the embassy dinner alone.”
“Can I ask one question August?” I asked, crossing my arms in front of me. I wasn’t sure if I should have been pissed or flattered. He nodded. “This business about your father, your last name, all that, is it true?”

“Yes, that is all true. Even Adriano doesn’t know that I am not that brother that died in childbirth. I am his brother, but by a different mother.” August looked pained at the admission. Maybe one day I could get him to tell Adriano.

“Ok, so tell me why your inheritance would be forfeit if you came out about your mother now?”

“Because the inheritance was set up by Adriano’s mother family. All the money that my father had at the time came from them. The name is power, but there was no money until my father married her. Piero Romani had the name, she had the money. If they were to find out they would make sure I would give the inheritance back. But I don’t want put them through that.”
That had my wheels churning, but I needed him to keep talking.

“So what about Lucy?”

“It was like I told you, I was never in love with Lucy. She didn’t demand too much and it was uncomplicated. But then I caught her with other men. And I knew that I didn’t love her. And the first thing I did was pick up a Savannah Martin article. Perhaps it is a family trait, but I think we, Adriano, Raphael, and myself all had a soft spot for you. Raphael thinks your brilliant and Adriano likes that you are straight to the point. But I fell in love with what wasn’t written in the lines. You had this passion about whatever you were writing about. After Lucy and I fell out, I told myself it was finally time to meet you. Lucky I had a leak at the time.” He smiled and I couldn’t help but to laugh.

“You know, a girl could let that go to her head.” He smiled and picked my hands up in his.

“I know it seems crazy. But there is something I have to do before we go any further.” He said, he voice dropping to a serious tone.

“Well do it.” I said. I didn’t think it could get any crazier. It did.

“You’re fired.” August said.

I started laughing. I couldn’t help it.

“I am glad you fired me August, because I was about to quit.”

****Months Later****

I closed the laptop on my manuscript. I was finally finished. I had written about August, but August Romani, the man, and not the myth; and I used my real name. After I sent the interview to my editor, I left the magazine. It was my last great interview. When my editor read it, he asked me if it was all true and if August was going to let me say anything about the leak, his broken engagement and his new love, Yvonne Mason.

I laughed and told him that August helped me write it. That was the truth. After August ‘fired’ me, I was free to really write about him as he wanted to be known. He really wasn’t the arrogant bastard that most of the press called him. He spent most of the time trying to keep people from knowing his secret of his birth.
At my urging, August finally told Adriano the truth, and the funny thing was, Adriano already knew. He said it didn’t change ‘a damn thing’. August set up a trust in the name of the deceased August Romani and told his father that it contained all the money from the inheritance and then some.

Piero Romani had a surprise my dear August. He had adopted him legally right after August hauled Raphael overseas to work for him. August was indeed, truly, in name Augostino Romani. I would like to think that Piero after 32 years grew a conscience and really made August his son. But I knew it was because I called him and told him that I was writing a book on August and threatened Piero that he would be portrayed as a horrible father if he didn’t do something to soothe August’s soul.

He had laughed at me then. When I started to pull the names of mistresses out of my hat, he stopped laughing. He told me I was a shark. I told him that I have been called worse.
I snapped out of my musings when I looked up and saw August standing up. He put a desk in his office for me to work while he was working. Possessive, maybe, but I didn’t want to be separated from him either. There was still much more to learn about the formidable Augostino Romani, but I was a fast learner. I smiled at him and he smiled back. It was the shyest most sincere smile I had seen from him; but from being around him, I knew that something was up.

I stood up and met him. His office was still huge even with the addition of my desk and a love seat. He took my hand and led me over to the couch. August took my heels off my feet and began to massage them. His blue eyes began their transformation to the stormy navy I had come to love.

“Yvonne, can I tell you something?” His voice was husky, gravely, and made my pulse race. I tried to sound nonchalant as I tipped my head to the side and nodded in answer to his question. August took a deep breath and sighed. “I love you.” I tensed. He hadn’t said it in three months. Even though I knew I was in love with him, and he sort of mentioned it after our first time together, he had never said it.

I felt the tears well up in my eyes and I bolted into August’s lap and began to shower his face with kisses.

“I love you too August.” Secretly I thanked my stars that I decided to wear my lucky sneakers. This turned out to be the best damn assignment I’d ever had.

Interviewing the Italian – Chapter Eight – From Absurd to Awkward


Chapter Eight

It was an awkward drive home. I sat on one side of the limo with my arms crossed looking out the window. August sat on the other side of limo, fuming. I knew he was fuming because his left jawbone had a constant tick. I understood that he was pissed; I would have been contemplating murder. The question remained, who was he pissed at more; his cousin or his ex-fiancé?

I looked at his right hand. It was red and swollen from where he had punched Raphael. It looked pretty nasty. Having been a tomboy, I knew that he wouldn’t be able to use his hand all day tomorrow if I didn’t get ice on it. Turning a little to my right, I saw the mini-bar. I poured August a drink of whatever the brown liquor was sitting in the crystal decanter. Placing a couple of ice cubes in a linen napkin, I eased over to August. Except for the track lighting inside the limo, it was dark. Handing him the drink, I waited until he took a long hard swallow of the stuff before I put the cloth to his hand. He let out a hiss, sounding more like a wounded jungle cat than a human being, and jerking his hand trying to escape my grasp.
I kept the napkin there, knowing that pulling away at the first sign of his temper was a sign of weakness; I am not a meek mouse. He stopped huffing and puffing and let me finish taking care of his hand.

“Grazie. “ It sounded if August almost choked on the words. Has he ever told anyone thank you before? I wondered as I nodded my acceptance. I still didn’t trust myself to even speak yet.

“I suppose you want to know why I hit my own cousin?” I shook my head no. To me, it was obvious.

“Why not?” Was he that blind to himself?

“Because if I was still in love with my ex, and I saw them making out with a family member, I would have killed them both.” I said simply. I could only imagine what he was feeling. Yet, despite me thinking August was suffering from a broken heart, he started to laugh. He laughed so hard that his whole body shook. What the hell was so funny?

“Ah, il mio cuore. I am not in love with her. I never was in love with her. It was merely a convenience.” He was still smiling; I could see his teeth glimmering in the moonlight streaming in from the windows. I pressed the now wet, cold cloth against his knuckles with a little more pressure. He let out a hiss again. It served August right. I didn’t see anything funny about any of this.

“If you say so, August. So tell me why you would attack Raphael? He isn’t as big as you and your brother. If you didn’t love her, why do you care who she dates?”

“My cousin, Raphael, is quite new to the states. Sure, we are not as close, but I brought him here to get away from mi famiglia. Signore Romani had Raphael doing some questionable things, but the signore, he was tough on him. I brought Raphael here to have a better life. I gave him a job at my company. And this is what he does to me?” His question was directed at the air more than it was to me. August’s accent was inflected and deep, as if he just learned English. Funny thing was, I found myself slipping into understanding him and speaking Italian back, well, the parts of it I remembered.

“Spiacente, I’m sorry August.” I didn’t know what else to say.

He shook his head and I busied myself with dispensing the napkin. The ice was gone and I could tell his hand had gone numb. As I leaned forward to toss the napkin on the ice bucket, I felt August’s warm hand touch the small of my back. It was a tentative caress, as if he was asking a question with his hands. I didn’t cringe, but I shuddered. His fingers scorched my skin, and made my stomach do strange flip-flops.

I straightened my back and turned around to face August. He had to know that he was touching my back. Didn’t he? Yet, he just stared at me; I could catch his gaze from the yellow track lights. He was looking at me as if he was a school boy that was caught doing something naughty.

I couldn’t resist. I picked up his bruised hand and brought it to my lips. And mimicking the first time we met, I placed a soft kiss on his knuckles. He let out a moan and that is when I knew that all the touches and innuendoes were real. August was attracted to me, and I hate to say it, but I was attracted to him.

I meant the kiss on his knuckles to be comforting, motherly. Right now, I was feeling anything but motherly. I knew he was going to kiss me and from the feral gleam in his eye. I also knew that nothing was going to stop him. When he leaned in, I caught a scent of his spicy after shave, and mingled with the taste of brandy on his breath, and I became intoxicated. It started gentle enough, his soft lips pressing butterfly kisses to my lips. I felt the tip of his tongue trace the outline of my top lip and then my lower one.

“Open your mouth,” he said. As if under a spell, I parted my lips slightly and his plundering started. His fingers slid up my back and into my hair. He pressed me closer into him and then it became a blur. What was that moaning? Oh my god, that is me! He deepened the kiss and I felt my knees starting to shake and quiver. Then his deep moan into my mouth made both of our eyes pop open. I pulled away from him and just stared. This was not good. I put my hand to my lips, feeling how kiss-swollen they were. I didn’t mean for that to happen. I had no intention of ever crossing that line.

“Yvonne, I…” I held up my hand, halting August in his speech. It was the first time I ever heard him sound unsure of himself, but I didn’t want him to apologize for something that I was not sorry for.

“August don’t. Don’t apologize for something neither one of us saw coming. While it was nice, it can’t happen again.” That was hard to say, considering the fact my gaze kept dropping to his mouth. It was “nice?” If I was going to be somewhat honest with myself, it was mind-blowing, but I couldn’t let my thoughts run with that. I was in control. I thought I was at least.

“Why not bellisima?” August’s voice was hoarse, raw almost, as if that one kiss put him in pain.

“You know why not. I can give you plenty of reasons. You were engaged until a month ago. You have wined, dined and dumped your fair share of women before that. Women fall over themselves to get to you…”
“You don’t,” He barked, with a sarcastic snort. “You don’t blush, you don’t swoon when I give you a compliment. What is with you?”

“The truth is I don’t drool over you because I don’t want to. Do you make my panties wet when I see you, yes, you are too sexy for words,” at my comment he straightened and looked at me. I held my hand up, “but, you are one, something like my employer, two involved me in some form of cat and mouse game, and three, you aren’t my type.”

I heard his sharp inhale of breath, and I know that I hurt his ego. That was the biggest lie I had ever told. I was attracted to him, but he couldn’t know that. I don’t mix business and pleasure. I couldn’t cross that line. I could not get involved with this man. Not only was he my employer, but he could very easily break my heart. I don’t think so.

“Augostino, seriously, you are my employer. The emotions are just high from tonight. I mean, you knew you would see her eventually, Lucy that is, and well to see her with you cousin, and it was just a long night. Let’s just forget about it.”

Just as I said the words, we pulled up to August’s estate. I leaped out of the limo, and I think it was still moving. I just had to get away from him. He was tense and I was tense and disturbed. Who was this man? What is it about him really, and why in the world did I get the feeling I don’t know the whole story about him. I just wanted to sleep. I will get myself together in the morning, but for tonight I needed space.

Chapter 7 – Interviewing the Italian (A Free Read)


I stayed in my room after that.  I had known last night that today was not a work day.  I spent most of the afternoon trying not to bite my nails. The idea that a dress was conveniently picked out for me made me feel like I was in one of those grocery store novels about the billionaire’s mistress.   I looked around as I took it out and laid it across my bed.   Shit, I guess I was in one of those novels.  I ran my hands across my face. I was restless, irritated, and, even though I wouldn’t admit it to August, I was scared.  I have never in my life been in this type of situation and was just plain scared. This was not a scared to get on a rollercoaster type thing. Oh no! This was full fear.   Perhaps the fear stemmed from having to be prim and proper and try to act natural in a dress that was as sheer as gossamer wings.  

I took a long leisurely shower, and got dressed in that barely there black dress. I wondered how had he known it would fit?  Then I scolded myself for not remembering that August had a complete file on me and knew how I liked my coffee, it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out what size I wore.  At this point in the game, did it matter? I took the time to spiral curl my shoulder length ebony tresses and let them freely fall about my face. Make-up applied, stilettos on, I gave myself another brief glance over my shoulder, blew a kiss from my burgundy stained lips and sashayed out of my room.  I made it to the foyer without slipping, skidding or falling in those damn shoes. I didn’t do thin heels, and for sure I didn’t do thin heels on highly polished marble floors.  August was already standing there with his back towards me, which gave me time to study his profile.  He was dress in a black suit, Armani no doubt; I didn’t think the man owned anything else. His shoulders filled out the jacket just enough to make it a snug fit.  I could smell his spicy but sweet scent. It was Kenneth Cole Black, I knew; I had spent enough time with my nose in magazines to have sniffed a few cologne samples.  I cleared my throat so I could get a look at the front of him. He turned and his eyes opened wide, and then a hint of a smile came to his gorgeous lips.  He looked like a lion about to attack a gazelle. I tried to meet his gaze and succeeding at staring at the top of his tussled hair. He looked like he never heard of a brush or hair product.  I put my hand on my hip and struck a sassy pose. I was trying to calm down enough to make it out the door. Yet, the dress he picked out for me made me feel like this charade was a fragile as a soap bubble and could pop at any moment. 

“You are right on time.” August said as he walked towards me with a black box. I could not help to think about Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the jewels type.  I had a frown on my face but when he opened the box, they weren’t jewels. Although one was a diamond looking broach and the other item looked a hearing aid. I looked up him with a quirked eyebrow.  What the hell was this? He smirked and seemed to read my mind.

“You have a right to look puzzled. This is my latest project.  The software thing from the interview, that was not what is really the top priority.  I am pinning you with a broach that is also a microphone and a mini recorder.  The other item goes in my ear. I will hear everything even if I am not next to you.” August said, matter-of-factly. Now here was the business like man I was accustomed to. When he wasn’t flirting or kissing my forehead or putting my hand where the sun doesn’t shine, he was sane.  

“Ok, so this is just embassy people? No technology people right?” My eyes were huge. I don’t know why I didn’t think that I could run into my peers if there were any ‘techies’ running around.

“No, just those with Italian ties in positions of wealth. Why?” He looked very concerned.

“Um hello, I am not some hermit, I have friends, colleagues, peers. If they saw me with you, my career, not to mention this sham is going to blow up in our faces.”  I said as I tapped my foot. I didn’t realize that he had started to hold my waist somewhere in my tirade.  How did his hands get there?

“Stop pulling away from me. No one is going to believe we are dating if you keep trying to get away from me.  Now, have you interviewed Lucy Reeves before?” His eyes darkened and I remembered seeing the same  look on a pit-bull once. It was right before the dog ripped the head off my baby doll. I tensed and shook my head no. I know attack mode when I see it, and August was definitely on the defensive.

“Um, if you don’t mind me asking, what does me interviewing her have to do with tonight? As far as I know, she is more of a socialite and not really an engineer. She has the title but doesn’t really do anything preen and pose.” His head snapped down and he glared at me. Shit, I put my foot in my mouth again. That was his fiancé, even if it was an ex-fiancé and I just called her a socialite airhead, loosely speaking.

Then he really confused me. He laughed. This man was a quack, a cute quack, but still a quack.

“You are right, she was quite a piece of work, but she will be there. That is the only one from our community you would have to worry about being there.” He offered his arm and I tucked my hand into his waiting elbow.  

As we walked to the waiting limo, I noticed that August had lost some of his arrogant stride. He actually seemed a little unsure of himself.  I patted his hand as if I was comforting a friend, and met his startled gaze.  He was jumpy but I didn’t blame him.   If it were me, relying on anyone wouldn’t have been an option, but he was relying on me.  

“It is ok, I am going to get through this and not embarrass you.” I said, offering him a gentle smile. It was trying to soothe a beast, I know, but I had to try.

“Just be on your guard. Please, I need you tonight.” He replied huskily. I suppressed a moan at the double meaning of his words and stared out of the tinted limo windows.   I wasn’t dead, hell any woman would be thinking with the wrong part of their anatomy if Augustino Romani had just told them that he ‘needed’ them.  My hand still clasped his, and his warmth was seeping into my bones and making my mind go blank. The scenery whizzed by, but I suddenly realized that we were pulling into the graveled driveway of the Italian embassy.  My nervousness turned on full power as he took my hand to guide me out of the limo.  August had his hand pressed into the small of my back and my elbow was tucked firmly next to his stomach.  

August plastered a fake smile on his face and we shook hands with people whose names I could not begin to pronounce, let alone remember. There was a Viscount and a Countessa in there somewhere, and maybe another far removed royalty, yet I couldn’t keep them all separated. I was too nervous which pissed me off. I am here, supposedly trying to help someone in need. Some help I was, standing, tongue tied with my stomach in knots. It didn’t matter that these people owned yachts; I was here to observe and report.  As August was chatting with some foreign dignitary, I swiped two glasses of champagne. I handed one to August and took a good sip of mine. I needed to focus on something. As I scrutinized the crowd, I noticed a raven haired, fair skinned female stalking through the sea of party goers, a false but deadly looking smile on her face. Her face was as white as a porcelain doll, her lips were blood red and she looked evil; evil like Morticia from the Addams Family.  She was touching all the men and giving the women a raised eyebrow, as if all women were beneath her.  Well wasn’t she just an ice queen? Then her gray gaze settled on August. I swore I saw her lick her lips. I gave August a subtle nudge in his side but I kept staring at wickedness personified walking towards us.  This one was trouble. She was dressed in a red gown that just stood out against her pale skin. Why in the world was she wearing red when everyone else was wearing black and white? August cleared his throat and I gave him another nudge. As his head tilted down towards mine, I merely gave a nod to the devil in the red dress.  I didn’t know that humans could let out a growl, but August growled, deep in his belly, but only I could hear it.

I looked up at him and did my best to smile. He pulled me close and whispered one word that chilled me to the core.

“Lucy.”

August was still growling like some animal trapped in a cage.  Whatever Lucy did to him, it scarred him.  

Somehow she managed to maneuver through the thrush of people and landed in front of us.  She was smiling a crooked smile.  August’s eyes had turned a stormy blue.  I knew from the feral gleam in his eyes that shit was going to hit the fan.  

The lady named Lucy walked like she had diamonds in her hips the way she swayed through the crowd. My first instinct was not to trust her.  I couldn’t fathom how August and this vamp were ever an item.   Yet, she was cold and calculating. She didn’t walk right up to August like the typical woman scorned.  Oh no, she tapped the man August was speaking with on the shoulder.    

“Signore Grimaldi,” her voice was low and catlike, “I didn’t expect to see you here.” Her cold gaze fell on August as she was talking. The short man gave her a wide smile, as he openly ogled her form. Ewww. The man was balding and had thick gray nose hairs that whistled tunes as he was talking.  She would have to do better if she was going to make August jealous; Signore Grimaldi was the exact opposite of everything that August was.  

“Lucy Reeves, such a pleasure seeing you here. Although it is unexpected.” He took her hand and raised it to his lips, perhaps lingering more than she wanted, I saw her lips curl in revulsion.  Yet, apparently, she wanted to still play the game. I quickly glanced at August and his eyes held the look of extreme boredom.  Lucy put her hand over the aging Signore Grimaldi’s hand and rubbed it seductively.

“Oh,” her voice pitched high just a little, as if she wasn’t supposed to be in attendance. “I had a previous invitation and I couldn’t let it go to waste.” That made me think, August seemed to know that she was going to be there. I wondered if he was her ‘previous invitation?’ Of course she would have wanted to come and rub some salt in August’s wounds. I didn’t think that fawning over this balding cherub of a man was going to hurt him. I began to scan the crowd, looking for what I would assume that vixen brought as a date.

Lucy extended her hand to me and smiled her fake smile. This woman could give Susan Lucci a run for her money with the soap opera theatrics she was pulling.

“I don’t believe we have had the pleasure. I am Lucy Reeves.”  I took her hand and gave it a good squeeze, my eyes briefly meeting hers before going back to scanning the crowd.   

“Yvonne Mason. Pleasure to meet you Ms. Reeves.”

“Pleasure is mine. I don’t think I would have seen anyone like you here.” Anyone like me? What the fuck was that supposed to mean? Oh, she was a condescending little witch.

“Mmmm, you shouldn’t think so much then. As they say, all roads lead to Rome. I am here with August.” I said through gritted teeth. Her eyes cut to August and a seductive smile graced her face.

“Hello Lucy,” August voice was just as cold as that bitch was.

 “August, darling, it has been some time.”  She held her hand up, perhaps expecting her to kiss it. This bitch was pissing me off good.   August left it there. Good for him.  I continue to scan the crowd and I caught a glimpse of two men that almost made me stumble.  They walked like August, they looked like August and if I wasn’t holding on to August, I would have thought they were his clones.  They were weaving through the crowd. The shorter ‘August’ looked upset and the taller, wider ‘August’ looked straight-up angry.

“Si, Lucy. It has been not long enough, I’m afraid.” At the sound of August’s voice, the razor edge to it, I turned my attention back to the conversation.

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your date?” She said that last word with a sneer.

“Why? She just told you her name.” August’s accent was getting thicker by the moment. I knew from that he was about to strike. I had to do something.

“August, baby,” I said, capturing his chin in my hand and tugging his head to meet my gaze. The motion caused August’s body to turn and I felt him turn stiff. I knew had had seen the ‘replicas’ of himself moving through the crowd; I could just sense it. I figured the bigger one would have been Adriano, August’s brother, but who was the shorter more wired one? I heard huffing behind me and Lucy gave out a small squeak.  August pulled me close and I felt his body tense, as if he was bracing for a fight. I turned in his arms to see what the commotion was all about.

“Adriano, Raphael.” August said his voice monotone.  Adriano I knew was his brother, but who is Raphael?

“August.” Said the bigger one, that must be Adriano. His voice sounded similar to the voice I heard on the phone in August’s office.  The shorter one, Raphael, looked as he belonged in the Romani family, but then he put his arm around Lucy and gave her a huge peck on the cheek.  I could hear August grinding his molars.  He couldn’t have been family, not kissing on August’s ex-fiance.

“You must be Yvonne,” Adriano said, extending his hand and giving me an assessing look.  I shook his hand, still eyeing the odd couple, trying to figure out why the leech they call Raphael was touching and simpering all over Lucy.  It was like watching an octopus get busy. 

“Pleasure to meet you finally Adriano. I knew you would be here.”  I smiled warmly. Adriano didn’t seem as nearly as dangerous as his brother, even though he was a good inch or two taller than August.

“Yes, unfortunately,” Adriano said, sparing a backward glance and Raphael and Lucy “I did not expect to find our cousin here. This isn’t the family reunion I had hoped for.”  

I felt August’s arm tightened around my waist. Oh shit, the leech was his cousin. His cousin was groping his ex-fiancé?

“Yes,” I said clearing my throat, I was speechless. I turned to August who had remained silent.  Silence wasn’t good.  I felt August move and I knew that I was already too late. Before Adriano or I knew what was happening, August walked up to his cousin and punched him in his eye. As I blinked, Raphael crumpled to the floor,  out cold.