Kasen didn’t know what to think. He wouldn’t even dare to breathe. Of course, he couldn’t have heard Marise correctly. It must be his flights of fantasy working again. He had always wanted to hear Marise utter his name, and he would’ve never thought that the innocent way that she’d shortened it would have turned him on as much as it did. Now, he was stuck. Stuck between trying to be a good friend to Marise, realizing that she was just in need after having her world dumped upside down, or giving in to his baser nature and succumbing to the temptation that was before him.
* * * * *
Marise knew that she was laying all her cards on the table, and had Kasen been Darryl, Darryl would have already been plundering her body with his cock and not even asked if she was sure. Kasen, however, held back and it made Marise nervous. Had she said too much? Was he going to think of her as a whore? After all, he did catch her shaking her ass for a buck. Mortified at what he must think of her, Marise snapped out of her trance.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. Damn, you must think…” Kasen held up his warm fingers to her lips. He could make out the outline of Marise’s round face in the moonlight. She was beautiful, and Kasen would never see her as anything but virtue, despite her circumstances.
“I don’t think anything but the truth Marise. I think that you are a beautiful, sexy yet innocent woman who has more strength than some men I know. I think that you are intelligent and have a lot of mixed up emotions. I think that I made a mistake by leading you on to believe that what I feel for you is strictly platonic.” His words were nothing but a whisper, but the truth behind them were loud and clear.
Shocked into silence, Marise just stared. Kasen had been nothing but nice to her since she started working there. Sure, sometimes he had a temper, but that was understandable in his line of work. He has sent her flowers for her birthday, he gave her this job so she didn’t have to dance on a pole. With that thought, the light came on for Marise. In all of his actions, the small gifts, the understanding, his smiles, Kasen had put himself in a position of a suitor who knew that he had no chance in hell because of her marriage. Tears welled in Marise’s eyes when the magnitude of Kasen’s statement hit her. He wanted more, and always has.
“Kasen, I…” Marise would have went into a beautiful speech if she had not seen the tick in Kasen’s jaw. She knew well that the ticking in his jaw meant that he was holding back, that he was using his insane sense control to keep him from making a mistake. And that is when Marise’s heart took a plunge. She could not have described the moment to anyone, but the smell in the air changed, the atmosphere seemed to clear, and Marise knew exactly what to say. “Kasen, this, us, here now, is not a mistake. You are not some rebound thing, and I am not all that distraught. I know, you might think that I am making excuses for my body losing control, but my body knew a long time before my brain did. I want you Kasen. I am not worried about tomorrow. I am not worried about the next few hours, I just want to lose control with you. Please, let’s lose control together.” As soon as she said it, she knew that she had hit a soft spot for Kasen. His eyes became wider and she could see the full circle of his irises.
* * * * *
“Marise, I can’t. You don’t understand.”
Kasen sat up in the bed and took a few deep breaths. Never had he let someone push his buttons as much as Marise did. She was always there, always soft, and even in the midst of a traumatic shift in her life, she was still looking out for him. What was he going to do with her? He knew what he wanted to do. Kasen wanted to make love to Marise with the fierceness of his love for her. It was his desire to make her feel the very effect that she has on him. Could he let his guard down long enough to let her see the real Kasen Montgomery, uncontrolled?
Marise watched as Kasen clenched and unclenched his fists. He was taking in huge amounts of air again.
“Help me understand you Kas. I want to know you. Why must you have so much control all the time?”
“Control means that all successes as well as all mistakes lead back to you. It means that you don’t have to worry about people blaming you because you already assumed that role when you take control.”
“Yes, but has control brought you happiness?”
Marise raised her hand to the side of his face and caressed his jaw line. He was such a strong man, but when would he realize that strength sometimes came in the form of appearing weak?
Marise wanted his mind. She was thirsting for someone else’s thoughts besides her own now. She knew there was so much to this man who sat across from her, but she wanted to know him for the man he was, not her savior, or not her boss. Just as a man.
“Control and happiness do not always go hand and hand Marise. Control has made me lose more things than gained, but I will not lose control with you.”
Marise’s heart dropped, but she was determined more than ever to get Kasen to drop his guard. Gone was the euphoric feeling of being touched by him; it was now replaced with the need to touch him emotionally. Marise had never allowed herself to become emotionally engaged with anyone, but for him, she was willing to try.
“Do you know what it is like to lose control Kas?” Marise scooted across the bed to him. She laid her hand on his thigh and her thumb swirled absent-mindedly on his warm skin. His blond hair was very fine on his legs, feeling like silk in her fingers. Marise knew she had never even bothered to notice if Darryl had hair on his thighs or not.
“No.” Kasen said through gritted teeth.
* * * * *
Marise could not possibly know what she was doing. She was driving him insane, but he would not forget all of those lessons that his father had taught him. Giving up control means losing your balls, son. Never give up control. Claire had walked out on him for not giving up control. He would never allow his ex to ride him during sex. He even introduced hand cuffs as a part of their ‘normal’ routine. Now that Kasen thought about it, perhaps it did seem real strange that he would never allow Claire to seduce him. It was always in his terms on his time.
Now, Marise sat and rubbed his leg, after telling him to rub her. Marise had taken control of the night. Marise was dangerous to Kasen. She made Kasen give up his precious control.
Kasen pushed from the bed and looked at the startled expression on Marise’s face. He would not and could not give up his control. Not for anyone and especially not for Marise who didn’t know what she wanted.
“Kasen?” Marise looked at him and wondered if she had gone too far. She grabbed the crumpled sheets and pulled them around her body. It was insanity. Kasen had seen her in more states of undress in the past four months than her husband and she felt indecent now?
“Marise I don’t think that you know what it is that you want. You would be under duress.”
“Under duress? Kasen, what do you think I am doing?”
“You don’t want me, you couldn’t. You are still married and you are just distraught.” Kasen was backing out of the room.
“What does me being married have to do with you opening up?”
“You just want to be comforted.” Kasen was barking at her. Marise, for the first time in years felt her temper raise its head.
“Comforted? You think that me asking about you is going to comfort me? Then you are wrong, I don’t need that type of comfort. If I wanted that type of comfort, then I would have tried to fuck you the first time I came here. After all, I haven’t had sex for almost a year, and only had it twice in the past two. You don’t know what I would be under. Lust, perhaps, but duress? Shit Kasen, do you think I want to be your on the side fling? Never mind, I was just trying to talk to you.”
Marise got up and shoved him out the door and closed it behind it her. Sliding down the other side of the wall, she finally let go and cried. Not hard tears, not even a sob. They were the quiet tears of a woman caught in limbo.