• Olivia Fox

Punishing Thirst, Rough Redemption Series, Chapter Two

Dante


“Just don't flex too hard if you like that shirt.” My cousin Carlos remarked as we got dressed at the gym that morning.

“Funny.” I had to say the word. It wasn't possible for my face to form an expression of amusement, or for my lips to curve into a smile.

My features had turned to stone on that day the cops came to my construction site and delivered news that shoved my heart so far beneath the ice it hadn’t yet defrosted.

So yeah, fuck it.

Carrot cake.

For the first time since forever, I remembered how much I loved the taste. Not like I needed to watch the calorie intake. I was in the best shape of my life.

“You still in construction?” Teresa asked, snapping me back to the present. I’d placed my order, and we were waiting on her helper in the back.

“I am.”

“Well, the hard work shows in your physique.” She looked as if she was trying to hide her appreciation of my biceps.

Hey, I take female recognition wherever I could get it, even if Teresa was a little out of my age range.

The days of being led around by my dick were long gone.

It was like the heat-seeking missile features of my cock were left out in the rain and rusted in place.

Until I saw her come around the corner looking like three servings of disaster on a platter. She blew a golden strand of hair off of her forehead. With one hand she shoved the thick black plastic glasses up her nose, and with the other held a cake above her head as she came way too fast around the corner. Sure enough, her foot slid out from under her and she went down.

I leapt towards her and stretched out my arms to catch her. At the last second, she caught herself on one foot, yanked away from me and crashed onto the floor, flat on her bottom. It had to hurt, but instead of crying, she held the cake stand level, extended over her head like an Olympic torch. The frosting covered prize was completely intact.

Which was more than I could say. My heart spiked a beat, and my mouth had gone dry.

And then I felt it.

The way this girl did seductive, dark things to me.

Inside me, something came to life. Like a bear that had been hibernating for many, many seasons. It stretched its stiff limbs, scented something edible in the air, and lumbered toward the delicious morsel. The wild thing felt in its belly it had not eaten for a very long time.

And it was ravenous.

Why her?

Why now?

The unexpected effect she had on me made me scold her, “You shouldn't be in such a hurry.”

It wasn't like this girl was making any overt attempt to get male attention, but like it or not she had mine.

Goofy glasses, her eyes opened wide as if I were going to lean down and puncture her neck with my incisors. She wore an enormous body camouflaging t-shirt with a kitten sitting on a stack of books. They all added up to one thing, and it practically glowed like a neon sign, “Don’t look at me.”

Everything about her was exactly the opposite of what attracted me. I preferred leggy red heads. And yet, my body was telling me otherwise. Her mouth was half open and swear to God I wanted to lean down and cover her lips with mine just to see what she tasted like.

She smelled like flowers, but not the kind from a bottle. It was the scent you breathed when you lowered your nose to a bouquet and took a whiff.

It didn't help one bit when she let out a breathy little groan as she tried to help herself up off the floor. Instead of letting her, I gave her my hand, and scowled down at her soft, pillowy body.

Suddenly, my rusty, neglected cock became unhinged, unfolding in my jeans and rising rigidly, perceptibly beneath my zipper.

Shit.

“You need to be more careful.” I snapped. It came out harsher than I intended, but the thought of her hurting herself, combined with the unfulfilled ache of my no longer slumbering dick, made me cranky as fuck.

“I didn't mean to. I don't know how I... I slipped on the floor even though I have my anti-skid shoes on.” She looked down and pulled the thick mane of her ponytail through her hand and rubbed the back of her neck.

The gesture caused a vision to whoosh across my imagination, me with one hand wrapped around her throat, the other shoved between her legs, while I whispered into her mouth, “Who do you belong to?”

I shook my head.

Later, of course it was always after the fact when you realized you'd pulled off something stupid, I asked myself what the hell I was doing.

The girl was so clearly not right for me, and she was Teresa's niece.

I wasn't right for anyone after what happened to Lilly… my heart shriveled like a walnut and this was nothing more than hormones talking after waking, for reasons unbeknownst to me, from their long period of inactivity.

It was getting awkward; me staring down at her. “Are you hurt?”

“I'm fine. I just slipped.”

Yep, all wrong for me.

Sassy.

Goofy.

Clumsy.

Which is why I asked myself later what the fuck I was doing when I returned to the front counter and said to Teresa, “I'll be by after work to take measurements for non-skid flooring in this corridor. I don't want another accident.”

That was it, I was making sure nobody got hurt around here.

This wasn’t about a suddenly twitchy palm, or my fantasies of punishing her across my lap until she learned to be more careful.

Or so I told myself.

Great. I was turning into the thing I hated the most.

A liar.


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