Categories
books fiction romance women

Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere is out now

A gripping tale of passion, redemption and secrets. 
John is a self-improvement coach giving a speech at a conference when he meets Andrea, an ambitious MMA fighter. When their passionate physical relationship leads to professional disaster for John, he finds a path to redemption through his involvement with Andrea and the training team she has built around her. When John’s past returns to wreak more havoc on the new life he’s built for himself, he must decide whether his love is enough to make him stand firm or run.

Out now in ebook and paperback. I hope you will enjoy this one. Please share and comment.

Categories
books romance women writing

Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere is out now in paperback

Out now in print, a gripping tale of passion, redemption and secrets.

John is a self-improvement coach giving a speech at a conference when he meets Andrea, an ambitious MMA fighter. When their passionate physical relationship leads to professional disaster for John, he finds a path to redemption through his involvement with Andrea and the training team she has built around her. When John’s past returns to wreak more havoc on the new life he’s built for himself, he must decide whether his love is enough to make him stand firm or run.

Categories
books fiction men writing

Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere

I have rebranded and amended the book to better reflect my ownership of it. It is unique and I feel reaching more people under my name rather than Dahlia would better serve it.

It will also be available in paperback and ebook.

A gripping tale of passion, redemption and secrets from the author of 51R and Lessons and Tests. 
John is a self-improvement coach giving a speech at a conference when he meets Andrea, an ambitious MMA fighter. When their passionate physical relationship leads to professional disaster for John, he finds a path to redemption through his involvement with Andrea and the training team she has built around her. When John’s past returns to wreak more havoc on the new life, he’s built for himself, he must decide whether his love is enough to make him stand firm or run.

I will post the link once its gone live.

Categories
books erotica women writing

My Books

My hope is you’ve enjoyed the stories and poems here and you’re interested in more of my work.

If you’re looking for where you can read my books, here are the links. I value your support and in return you’ll get stories which will entertain and engage you as a reader. If you’re a reviewer, get in touch and I will be happy to offer a copy of these in exchange for a review across the internet.

My first book

As Dahlia Bliss

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B089TWR21J/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_LAa4EbKXFYG00 In paperback now.

Categories
books erotica romance women writing

Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere

A gripping tale of passion, redemption and secrets from the author of 51R and Lessons and Tests.
John is a self-improvement coach giving a speech at a conference when he meets Andrea, an ambitious MMA fighter. When their passionate physical relationship leads to professional disaster for John, he finds a path to redemption through his involvement with Andrea and the training team she has built around her. When John’s past returns to wreak more havoc on the new life he’s built for himself, he must decide whether his love is enough to make him stand firm or run.

Categories
fiction short fiction

The Truth Of His Heart

1.
My reflection betrayed nothing in the pocket mirror, checking one last check before he arrived. It was my armour, my war paint. It was only eight a.m and already the heat had plucked at my reserve, gathering damp patches at the small of my back and underarms. He welcomed it, rubbing his bearded cheek against me when we made love. The thought tested me like the tropical heat.

Mateo’s car pulled up across the street, and one of his men came out and opened it. He stood up, adjusted the peak of his cap and glanced around him before he strode over whilst his man shut the door and stood by the side of the car. Mateo wore a light tan suit and white shirt, tailored to mask the bulge of the holster under his jacket. A man’s posture cannot hide who he is.  A lightness came to his steps as he drew closer. His face, a stoic mask, broke into a warm, gentle smile when he saw me. 

‘Cara Mia.’ he said. 

My hands went to his face, fingers running through his beard before our lips met. He smelled of fresh coffee and coconut oil. 

His eyes narrowed as he ran his fingers against my left wrist.I shuddered, betraying myself with a simple touch. I gave a slight cry, and his hand encircled my wrist. It excited and appalled me how small I felt in his presence. Not diminished but small, nestled against his broad, furred chest as he slept with his palm on my breast. During the night, he would reach between my thighs and cup me without stirring. 

‘Tell me.’ he said. 

He was sometimes clumsy. Once, he entertained purchasing a motorcycle and my appalled rejection of the idea wounded him, but he hid it well. There were moments of grace with him, but he’d also drop glasses and miss spots where he shaved his head. Yet, for his endearing clumsiness and earnestness, it would have been stupid to assume it was a weakness. 

‘Please sit down.’ 

A waiter approached. Mateo ordered tea for me and an espresso for him. When the waiter left, his attention returned patient but implacable. It was difficult to breathe. He leaned forward, took my hand and turned it over, pressed his fingers to my wrist and looked at me. 

‘You’re agitated but trying to control it. With some success, I might add, Esther.’ he said. 

It was difficult to meet his gaze. My news would change things between us, forever. There was the possibility it meant my never leaving this cafe, but there was a gentle light in his eyes with me. If my betrayal dimmed it, then it would justify his wrath. 

There were stories about him. He would never speak of his work beyond generalities. 

‘To speak of my work is to relive it.’ he said. 

Each breath burned in my chest. The heat needled me, and when the waiter brought our order, Mateo poured me a glass of ice water from the carafe between us. He spoke through his actions, and the care, the attention he paid me came home to roost as we sat there. 

Waiting for me to talk to him.

‘At three a.m, covert action teams will mount simultaneous strikes against tactical targets all over the city.’ 

Mateo picked up his espresso and looked at me over the rims of his spectacles, nodded for me to go on. 

I shuddered, revolted and relieved as I picked up my glass and gulped down half in one go. My mouth was arid and sore, but the water soothed me enough to continue. There was a faint mineral taste to it, but it was pleasant. A first act of the new government was investment in infink nowrastructure, private funding in return for preferential tax breaks for future industrial sites. 

The barracks at Costa Verde. 
The Presidential Palace. 
Casa De Secretos. 

It was our name for it. He grimaced and closed his eyes as he set his cup down. He retrieved a cigarette case and lit one with a lighter which had FUCK COMMUNISM painted on it. It had been his father’s; he told me. A veteran of Vietnam before he met his wife, Mateo’s mother and they moved to her homeland, away from a country spoiled and venal. 

‘Cara Mia. This news troubles me.’ 

He exhaled a slow plume of smoke and took my hand across the table. 

‘But it is not unexpected.’ he said. 

He squeezed my fingers, showing strength without violence. 

‘What do you mean?’

He took off his spectacles and peered into my eyes. 

‘Tell me what you see there, Esther. I know it is your real first name. They have advised you to mix them up, but it’s a tough habit to break because you shared concerns about a loss of identity to Dr Snyder back in April.’ 

It took an impressive deal of control to remain calm. 
The relief of confession had masked a seething nest of revelations, a misinterpretation of the situation which terrified me. 

‘Do you know my mother’s profession, Esther?’ he said

She was a veterinarian.

Mateo nodded as he unbuttoned his jacket. 

‘She taught me lessons which ran parallel with my father’s instructions. Their beliefs informed my perspectives on the world. A place free from the tyranny of kings and clergy, free and prosperous with the grace to stop and enjoy the fruits of its labours. ‘
He paused to smooth his beard with his fingertips, a gesture somewhere between contemplation and grooming.

‘Which was always my goal. My mother’s lesson was in understanding the principles of animal husbandry. My innovation was to apply it as a macro-political exercise. Neutering when necessary, keeping the organism healthy and secure from all threats, foreign and domestic.’ 

He smiled, but it did not reach his eyes.  

I am not a monster. My aim is to take my country to the pinnacle of its achievements, then disappear and enjoy it in the time left. I’ve done things to protect it and have prepared for such an event as this.
My thighs and stomach were taut with the effort to rein in my feelings. His voice was quiet, a little above a smooth whisper, but he had my attention without effort. 

‘You don’t have the penetration into our operation, Mateo. We’ve been able to establish supply chains, flown in military advisers to train the militia.’ I said. 
My voice sounded sharp, a smashed glass at a wake which drew everyone’s attention.  

‘Because, Esther, I allowed you to.’ he said

He pointed up at the sky.

‘That is C-7623, piloted on this shift by Private Cole Wilkins, 115th Engineers of Terre Haute. He enjoys his work, but he’s hoping to launch missiles when the opportunity arises. Some of his reports concern me, Esther, but you won’t have seen them.’ 

My disbelief fell on me like a roll of quarters swung against the back of my head. He smiled and gestured around him. 

‘I planned against the worst scenarios. I imagined the ultimate enemy and how my country could survive it. Weak men have taken your country, but they will not take mine.’

2. 

The first time I learned about Mateo Costas was at an event-shielded briefing before we flew into the country. 
They committed nothing to paper, no recording devices to ensure freedom of discussion and opinion. 

‘This is the guy. Mateo Costa.’
‘American father.’
‘Native Mother. Attended Oxford University on a scholarship then signed up for the US Navy followed by SEAL training which is where it got interesting,’ Ellis said. 

Ellis was on secondment from MI5, with the florid build of someone punished for every second in a country more than a few degrees above a tepid English spring. People wondered if this was a punishment for a previous failure, but he was an encyclopedia of the country’s politics and economy. He clapped his hands together. 

‘Costas took part in two SEAL missions. Notable ones. The rescue of Captain Phillips and then Operation Neptune Spear. Which is?’ 

I put my hand up.

‘Bin Laden.’ 

Ellis shot me with finger guns before he clapped his hands together. 

‘Now, he’s too dignified to confirm this, which means when it leaks, he looks stoic and humble. Now he returns home, joins the Crypteia and in three years, he’s running the entire operation.’ 

King, a former Delta Force operator who made the move into intelligence, put his hand up. 

‘I’ve read Keller’s report from last year, and he claims it was a committee which voted on supply requests.’ he said. 

Ellis winked at him.

‘ He requested investigatory powers, went through whatever police and career military survived the coup and trained them into his own unit. On paper, they’re civil servants or clerks, but they had commissariat authority. He turned it into a Tardis.’

‘Bigger on the inside than the outside.’ I said.

Ellis chuckled and shot me a wink. 

‘Democratic Socialism got a turn at the bat, Mateo came back after the coup, created his own little squad of trained and well-armed soldiers then -‘ he gestured to all of us.    

King leaned forwards before addressing the room.

‘He brings down the central committee in one night, held office for one year and then resigned before open elections in return for his old post with the Crypteia.’ he said. 

‘They disbanded it before he took office and didn’t exist on record at all. Like this meeting.’ I said. 

Ellis whistled under his breath and opened a bottle of water. His short-sleeved shirt hung from his thin shoulders like a damp flag. 

‘So, he de-stabilised a socialist government, didn’t stay in office long enough to steal anything.  Now he runs the secret service of a capitalist democratic government. It runs in secret, without oversight, and although the deputy director thinks his altruism is neutered, I think he presents a clear and present danger to our long-term economic interests.’ 

I put my hand up. 

‘Aren’t they our buds now?’ I said. 

Ellis chuckled and scratched the back of his neck. 

‘Facebook moved their HQ down here. Bezos has been here six times in the last year and there’s been fawning articles in the Washington Post about it. But they’re also not responding to the left about the atrocity claims, or the president’s comments about diversity. So there are optics to consider and the economic impact.’ he said. 

We were talking about overthrowing a country because it did a better job of being American than America did. 
Ellis worked in Psychological Operations, had embedded himself into the country’s social media and combed through metadata to establish a profile of a target as intimate and complete as a splendid marriage. 

‘ We’ve got candidates who favour a better deal with us.’ King said.

Ellis shook his head. 

‘He’s a righteous guy, tough and plain-spoken, but he’s not the man behind the wheel. Mr Costas, I believe and so does the Director, is the linchpin of his country’s government and development.’
What I said next, in a room shielded from observation or betrayal, came back to haunt me as I sat there looking into Mateo’s eyes, waiting to have my instinct and experience proved wrong. 

‘Then he’d need eliminating alongside whatever strategic sites you’ve accounted for at the same time.’ I said. 

Ellis frowned and ran the tip of his tongue against the philtrum of his upper lip. 

‘How do you suggest we do that, Esther?’ he said. 

I knew. 

3.

We met at a bookstore. It was one place where he spent his free time, casual and unrecognised. His recommendation of Olive Kitteridge surprised me, but he said his grandparents had the same stoicism of character and came from the book’s setting. He introduced himself without announcing his position and invited me to join him for coffee. 

When we met, his presence was electrifying. He had power without being stunted or calcified by it. It didn’t sit well with what they had told me about the efforts he took to keep his country from returning to a socialist government.  Professional concerns drove my actions, then later it came to stymie them. Ellis had told me, in his capacity as my handler, to accept dinner if he offered. Which he did. He did not instruct me to sleep with him, which was my choice. Perfect men bored me, and Mateo’s flaws were as embraceable as the rest of him. It did not blind me to the dangers of loving such a man, but there were reasons beyond the torrid rush of attraction.  Now, I saw the myth of him, the secret policeman who kept things in order. 

‘Were you sent to kill me?’ he said. 

I shook my head. 

‘No, I was to gather information on you. Relay it back for analysis.’ 

He grinned.

‘Was Ellis your handler?’ he said. 

A jolt of fear and surprise shot through me. He passed me the cigarette case and I took one. He lit it for me and watched me until I nodded.

‘How did you know his name?’ I said. 

‘He was from British Intelligence. Seconded to your CIA after eight years with psychological operations and a further five working for Deputy Director Prentiss. Wallace came to you from Delta Force. He has a fiancee. Her name is Shonda, and she’s eight weeks pregnant, but he doesn’t know yet.; 

His voice was soft, slow and conversational but he scattered his knowledge like he was sowing salt to kill the soil of my reality. 

‘What about me?’ I said.

He knew what connected the quinceanera of Don Rezillos niece and the attendant case of food poisoning caused by mal carne with the supply chains of the insurgents fighting along the coast.   His men were shadows, which rose and dragged people into the darkness. They disappeared, or had deaths explained by choice or random fate. I didn’t know which one faced me, but I hoped it would be quick. 

He asked the waiter to bring us more drinks. He looked at me and continued. 

‘When I arrived, infant mortality had gone up three hundred percent. People were shooting at farmers to steal their cattle. Their professors became their oppressors and turned my home into a fiefdom. My country, Esther, neutered and corrupted by those who believed they knew best. All under the baleful gaze of a government who saw everything and enriched themselves first,’ he said. 

Passion rose within him, lending his tone of voice a gruff thickness I found interesting. 

‘Why wouldn’t I seek to do something about it?  I’d read enough of the literature to speak the language, repeat the narrative and make myself useful without appearing to hold any personal ambitions. What surprised me was the level of incompetence in charge. None of them saw me coming until it was too late.’  

‘My country is not a place where children scream in the night. Our immigration controls, our trade deals are to protect and advance our interests. We always played ball with your country, Esther, but we grew too good at it, didn’t we?’ 

‘Much like Hussein, Gadaffi, Jung Un, we’ll be the latest enemy. I pulled the trigger on your country’s greatest enemies and when I did actual work; they sent you to betray me.’

I went to shake my head, but he raised his hand and I looked down at the table, ashamed and afraid. 

‘It doesn’t matter, cara mia. I accounted for such things. A man can never give the truth of his heart to his woman, not if he wants her to stay.’ he said. 

‘You never told me anything.’ 

He smiled and nodded. 

‘To discuss it is to relive it. My villa is a Faraday cage and no, I was frank about not discussing work with you. I didn’t give you the exact reason.’ 

I asked for another cigarette. He offered it and then lit another for himself. My eyes fell on the lighter and he smiled. 

‘What we must discuss is where you stand. Or rather, sit.’ 

My eyelids were heavy. The curls of grey smoke rose from the end of the cigarette. It was fragile and beautiful before it dissipated. A beam of sunlight struck through the carafe, fracturing the light into a rainbow of colours. The world took a deep, slow breath and my thoughts slowed down to a crawl. 

‘You’ve drugged me.’ I said.

Intoxication mauled the words as they left my mouth. Mateo plucked the cigarette from my fingers and placed his hands over mine. 

‘Cara Mia, you cannot choose between your heart and your duty. It is enthralling to practice tradecraft and strategy in matters of the heart. I honour our arrangement.’ he said. 

His voice was soft, gruff and melancholic as someone took my arms and helped me out of the chair as my legs went out from under me. 

4.

My tongue was a bloated slug in the cave of my mouth. Sunlight whipped across my eyes. I brought my hand up, felt the give of the lounger beneath me and sat up. The sea was blue, elegant and primal as I heard the crash of the waves. I stood up, saw I was on a platform overlooking the South Pacific, and turned to look at the villa. 

It was elegant,  with white adobe walls and warm wood beneath my feet. A small table had a carafe of ice water, a glass wrapped in a napkin and a small padded envelope. I looked down at myself, still wearing my clothes from the morning. I poured a glass of water and opened the envelope. A single sheet of paper, my phone and a small envelope. I unfolded the paper and read the note. 

You have a choice. 

Your phone is as you left it. If you switch it on, you will reconnect with your team and involve yourself in the outcome. By the time you read this, they have decided things, one way or the other, but it is your choice. I would not stop you from leaving. 

My other suggestion is in the second envelope.  

Neither of these choices is simple. You will see when you open the second envelope. 

There were other choices, but my heart spoke its truth, and so I give you space to consider how you would like to spend the rest of your life. 

Mateo.

I  turned the second envelope over. It was thick, and I felt a blunt edge at the ball of my thumb before I set it down. My phone sat there, its black screen capturing the planes of my face, like it were something emerging from the void, pale and sculpted. 

It was a passport, proof of citizenship, with my name and face. A credit card, in my name and a ring made from tropical wood, finished to a high shine. 

This is how I will deal with you. 

I looked out towards the ocean, playing with the ring but unable to avoid glancing at the phone. My head throbbed with the aftereffects of the sedative, but the dilemma had dug claws into my scalp. 

He knew everything and spared me. I knew anyone else in the field would not be so fortunate. The militia were gathering eight miles from here, and as I picked up the phone, I heard the sharp rush of missiles. 

I tossed the phone into the ocean. I had slipped the ring onto my finger and it rested there, rich and dark against the skin. A perfect fit, but it was no surprise. I watched the sea for a minute before the booming roar of artillery made me go inside. 

It was cool and dark inside. There was the click of the front door and I closed my eyes when Mateo said my name. 

‘No, not anymore.’ I said. 

Categories
books erotica women writing

My Books

My hope is you’ve enjoyed the stories and poems here and you’re interested in more of my work.

If you’re looking for where you can read my books, here are the links. I value your support and in return you’ll get stories which will entertain and engage you as a reader. If you’re a reviewer, get in touch and I will be happy to offer a copy of these in exchange for a review across the internet.

My first book

As Dahlia Bliss

Categories
books erotica women writing

My Books

If you’re looking for where you can read my books, here are the links. I value your support and in return you’ll get stories which will entertain and engage you as a reader. If you’re a reviewer, get in touch and I will be happy to offer a copy of these in exchange for a review across the internet.

My first book

As Dahlia Bliss

Categories
books erotica women writing

My Books

If you’re looking for where you can read my books, here are the links. I value your support and in return you’ll get stories which will entertain and engage you as a reader.

My first book

As Dahlia Bliss

Categories
erotic writing fiction lust romance women writing

Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere by Dahlia Bliss – Chapter 10 – 13. (NSFW)

Start here: https://mbblissett.com/2020/05/11/nothing-keeps-me-anywhere-by-dahlia-bliss/

If you’ve enjoyed these, then please look out for the ebook edition, coming soon.

CHAPTER 10

The lights went out and the roar that came to replace it made my ears ring and my heart pound in my chest.

Jennifer, the contender, came out first, rolling her shoulders as she got between the ropes. Cornrowed hair, the sheen of sweat and petroleum jelly and her mouth looked canine from the size of the gumshield. The lights threw her eyes into shadow as she bounced as she moved around the ring.

Andrea shook out her arms and then bowed to Jennifer before she went to her corner again.Jennifer strode forward as she swung punches but Andrea skipped backwards and brought her left leg up. She swung her shin into Jennifer’s left thigh and the smack cut through the roar with the force of the impact.

Jennifer came in, Andrea checked each advance with a kick to the left leg. Each time Jennifer would be a little slower, bitten by each blow until they flushed her left thigh with blood. A black bruise was visible above the knee, a slowly spreading stain that was poisoning her will to dominate.

The crowd did not seem to get the subtlety. Andrea saw nothing beyond the woman in front of her.

Then the bell rang and they returned to their corners.

Jennifer limped and Andrea walked.

Jennifer went into a takedown attempt and Andrea leapt to one side before she snapped out her left foot so it punched into her ribs as she landed on the canvas. Jennifer got to her feet and clutched her side before she came at Andrea again. Andrea did not move, but she brought her hands out and pulled her into a clinch.

As she clutched at her, Andrea threw her knees up, pumping them against Gennifer’s thighs and midsection. Jennifer struggled against her grip, but Andrea pulled her forward as she kept her off balance. The crowd howled around me as Gennifer fell over. Andrea followed her down, using her left hand to keep connected whilst she threw short, hard punches wherever she could land them.

Andrea positioned herself so she straddled Jennifer and threw punches until the referee pulled her away as she howled with her victory.. Her corner came out and lifted her up as Jennifer laid there, whilst the medical staff looked at her. She raised her shoulders off the canvas as she looked around in disbelief. Her face was purple and swollen and something glazed her eyes over with concussion and defeat.

Andrea glowed as she stood there, already surrounded by well-wishers as the announcer called out her name.

A woman came out, red hair and a lean, athletic came out, grimacing as she folded her arms around her chest.

‘She didn’t think you’d come.’

She looked pretty and tough, in a black sweatshirt and jeans.

‘I gave my word.’

She grimaced as she looked around.

‘She’s got someone here. She said she was sorry.’

I breathed through the disappointment that bloomed in me.

‘This is shitty. Fuck.’

My hand came up to interrupt her apology.

‘Tell her she fought well.’

I booked the room for two nights, but there was a flight I could catch.

My phone vibrated in my pocket. A cigarette tasted of self-pity, but the swim of nicotine felt pleasing to me as my thumb swiped across the screen to unlock it.

‘Don’t hang up.’

Her voice was bright and thin.

‘You could have told me.’.

She gave a heavy sigh as I took a deep drag of the cigarette. It suited my mood to feel the burn in my chest.

‘I wasn’t expecting you to fly out from England. I mean, come on, who does that?’

‘I do.’

She swore underneath her breath.

‘Then you can’t expect me to swoon and accept it, can you?’

Her tone cut, and a laugh escaped me as her words stopped me in my tracks.

‘You’re neglecting to mention that you had a boyfriend, Andrea.’

She sighed as I came to a stop.

‘I wanted you, and that’s separate from the rest of my life.’

I blew out through my nostrils.

‘My radar for bullshit can be a touch oversensitive.’

I swallowed as I kept my voice level.

‘OK,’

I let the cigarette fall to the ground and crushed it beneath the heel of my shoe.

‘John, please.’ she said. ‘He’s not my boyfriend.’

She swallowed and her voice was soft with need.

‘I’ll come see you. In fact, fuck it, come back. We’re going on somewhere.’

My irritation welled up, forcing me to press my tongue to the roof of my mouth, but the earnest need of her drew my attention.

‘Am I to be the funny story of the evening, because I’d sooner go read than endure feeling like a spare prick at a wedding?’

She laughed, and despite everything, it brought a smile.

I chuckled.

‘You should have told me, Andrea.’

‘It’s complicated.’

She came out, smiling despite her injuries.

Her hand rested on my shoulder. She looked exhausted. The surrounding skin of her left eye was tender and Elizabeth’s punches had split her lower lip in the middle, but she still made my heart thump in my chest. An oversized sweatshirt and long shorts.

‘Your feelings weren’t my priority, John.’

‘It doesn’t matter. I said I would come. I have. Now I am going.’

She clutched my shoulder.

‘Please. Where are you staying?’

She tried to hide the grin that came when I told her.

‘Jesus. What room?’

The silence hung between us until she welcomed my smile with a grin on her face as she touched the backs of my hands. I gave her my room number.

‘ I will see you in the morning.’

A finger pointed to my cheek as my eyes bore into her.

‘Congratulations.’

She darted her head forward and kissed me on the lips.

‘Thank you. I never thought you’d come.’

My eyes moved from the centre behind her, then fell onto her face again.

‘I will see you later. You should enjoy tonight, you earned it.’

She brought her mouth to my ear.

‘Stay in bed. I won’t need to knock.’

She turned and walked back to the centre with a slight hitch in her left leg.

The cab driver was listening to talk radio, a barking monologue about the economy, and the fear in the DJ’s voice could have been mistaken for rage. It passed the time.

A shower, then a knock at the door with my order of steak and spinach with an enormous glass of red wine and a pot of coffee. A slice of pecan pie followed that and a healthy dollop of double cream, dusted with cinnamon and chili powder.

A few chapters of the book made my eyes burn beneath the covers, staring at the ceiling, everything slipped away.

CHAPTER 11

‘Hey.’

Her whisper was loud in the room’s darkness.

She lifted the covers away. Her skin was bare and chilly at her calves and warm on her tight, lean thighs.

She squeezed me between her thighs. She ran her fingers over my scalp as she pulled back.My hands rested on her hips, but she stopped me and pushed me to the sheets.

She leaned back and whispered again.

‘I want you to throw me around. I want you to make me yours again.’

My hands found her wrists as she whimpered. She carried the scent of clean sweat and beneath that, arnica and lime blending together with her own musk to create something narcotic to me.

‘Get on your knees.’

. She laughed and reared back, which made me pull her down harder towards me.

‘Do as you’re told.’

She laughed again and pulled back with ease.

‘Make me, sir.’

My right hand shot up and my fingers closed around her throat.  She whimpered and stopped struggling.

‘Now, get on your knees.’

She gasped as my right hand reached to switch the lamp on.

Her hair was still in cornrows, and there was a livid bruise on her jaw and a slight cut over her left eyebrow. Her eyes shimmered as she looked at me. She ran her tongue over her lips, and the split on her bottom lip had opened up. She shook her head.

‘It’s ok, it doesn’t hurt like that.’

My right hand gripped her braids between my fingers.

‘Get on your hands and knees and keep your eyes closed,’

The belt came out of my luggage. I looped it around my hand and returned to the bed. I placed the belt beneath her nose.

‘Smell it.’

My voice sounded thick to my own ears as she pressed her nose against it and inhaled.

‘What are you going to do?’

I bent forward at the waist and whispered in her ear.

‘Punish you.’

She whimpered and went to pull away, but my grip on her was absolute and a shove pushed her face against the belt again.

‘Because the only ass I saw getting kicked in that fight wasn’t yours.’

She swore again and nodded her head quickly.

‘I’ve been so bad.’

Her right hand went between her legs. A gentle tap on her fingers made it retreat.

‘I decide when you do that.’

She nodded again and looked up at me with a beatific smile on her face.

‘That’s right, that’s why I came to you, sir.’

I smiled and pulled the belt away.

I let a foot of the belt hang from my fist. I swung it against her left buttock. She looked at me, her mouth hung open as she ran her tongue over her lips. She gave a choked grunt followed by a breathy sigh.

‘Too much?’

She laughed and shook her head.

‘Not enough.’

I brought the belt back and swung it down. She gasped and she grinned with pleasure.

‘Sir, can I touch myself?’

A nod was all the permission she needed. She lowered her shoulders to the bed and parted her thighs. She whisked her fingers in a cautious semi-circle around her clit before she found where she needed to be. It took only a few moments of knowing exploration. She shuddered and gave out a slight cry. Her hamstrings stood out against her skin as she arched her back. She settled down and rolled onto her back with her hand over her eyes, wiping away the tears as she smiled at me.

The belt fell from my fingers as we embraced on the bed.

‘I’m ok,’

She shifted down the bed and took me with her as she put her arm around me. She played with the hair on my back as we looked at one another.

She ran her hands down my back and cupped my backside as we kissed. She lifted herself, pushed her hips towards me, giving the gift of an awkward burst of friction that kept my erection urgent.

She pushed me onto my back. She touched my cock with her left hand as she smiled at it.

I looked at where her eyes had fallen as she gently rolled my cock between her fingers.

‘Thank you.’

I ran my tongue over my lips. My mouth was dry as she fixed me with a knowing, wanting look.

‘For what?’

‘It’s difficult to ask for the things you want. It grosses people out or they go too far with it.’

She bent forward and blew gently against the shaft.

‘I enjoy giving women what they want.’

Her fingers went to her mouth, and she licked them until they shone with saliva before she slid them around my shaft and changed her stroke, working my cock in a corkscrew motion.

‘What do you want?’

My eyes glanced down at my cock and she put me in her mouth. My head fell back as she took me in slowly. My erection throbbed as her lips and tongue fed the pressure that was pooling in my joints and muscles before she lifted her mouth away.

‘I want to feel you inside me.’

She took the condom from my fingers. She climbed on top of me as she went up into a squat as she guided me inside her. She was so hot and wet there that it felt like she breathed as she bore down on me.

It was slow for her as she rolled her hips around. She studied me as we found one another’s rhythms and she came quickly again. She arched her back and I felt the head of my cock press up against a point that made her eyes roll back in her head as she lost herself to the rhythm of her need.

Her body was a wonder to look upon, bruises and ink draped over muscle as she clutched at me. The lights were brighter; the shadows grew thicker with a force that came up from everything and she held onto me as she accepted all I offered her. The rush of my orgasm was pneumatic and her muscles clenched around me as every muscle charged and then sagged in the same moment.

 

 

CHAPTER 12

In sleep, her face had smoothed out into something softer and brighter as she laid there in the crook of my arm.

‘Good morning.’

A heavy blink. A smile. Her mouth was warm and soft against mine and her hair hung around her face in kinked waves from where she had undone the braids.

‘Good morning to you too.’ It was a little after nine. My arms came around her and she rubbed her nose against mine. My palm on her left buttock made her wince and she rolled onto her front for my inspection. There was an enormous round bruise that was spreading and blacken. My frown made her pat me on the cheek and wink at me.

‘No one will notice these.’

We wrapped ourselves around one another, but my hands were careful to avoid where the belt had left its mark.

She winked at me as she nuzzled my neck, which made me sigh with contentment.

‘Want to get some breakfast?’

She asked if we could stop at her place so she could change. She gestured to the pile of clothes on the floor and raised her eyebrows. We were tactile and attentive beneath the shower, working around the tender places on her skin.

Over breakfast, we talked about her situation.

I asked her when she hoped to fight full time and she shrugged smoothly as she frowned.

‘I have to make rent and eat.’ she said. ‘If you’ve any suggestions beyond having a job, then I would love to hear them.’

Thoughts turned over in my head until we were at her apartment. She changed and then came back out in a t-shirt and yoga pants that clung to her thighs and ass over engineer boots and a leather jacket. She had applied a splash of lipstick: coppery red and had run a brush through her hair.

CHAPTER 13

The diner was walking distance from her apartment, and when we walked in she waved to the old guy behind the counter and called him Costas. He grinned at her and we sat at the counter. She introduced me as her friend and told me that Costas made the best breakfast in the city. We shook hands. His palms were rough with calluses and his fingers were thick, tapering to points as he pressed my fingers in his. Andrea ordered for the both of us, speaking to Costas in stilted Greek as she pointed to the booth.

We sat there across from one another. The waitress brought over two cups of thick black coffee served in white china cups and set them down in front of us. Andrea smiled and thanked her in more of the Greek that she seemed, if not fluent, then practiced enough that they forgave her any mispronunciations she might have made.

‘So, why d’you ask about me fighting full time?’ she said.

A sip of my coffee and a sigh of appreciation at the taste was enough time to collect my thoughts. It was very strong, with enough caffeine that it made me shiver at the first sip.

‘Breakfast first, I can’t think straight when I’m hungry.’

She sat back against the chair as she shook her head.

‘It’s just that my radar for bullshit is a little sensitive, you know?’

My tongue ran over my lips as our eyes met.

‘OK,’

She leaned forward on her elbows as she brought the cup up again. Her eyes gleamed with curiosity, but she kept her face still as she drank her coffee. The coffee cup went back down onto the table and my fingers turned it around.

‘We can discuss it after breakfast. I’m just thinking aloud, but wanted to run it by you first.’

She frowned at that. She put her hand out and rested it atop mine as she stroked between the knuckles of my left hand.

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean that. I’m not rejecting the idea completely,’

She bit her lower lip and we were both grateful when our breakfast arrived. Eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, and she came back with a plate of whole wheat toast. It smelled thick and greasy and delicious.

‘He stirs cheese into the grits. Costas ruins me for breakfasts now.’ she said.

She grinned as she picked up her cutlery and tucked in.

We made light conversation as we ate. She leaned forward as she rested on her elbows and cocked her head to one side.

‘I’d like to hear your proposal.’ she said.

I swallowed a mouthful of coffee.

‘I watch MMA, I roll around a little so I know that fighting isn’t easy on anyone.’ I said.

I ran my tongue over my lips before I continued.

‘We all have our limits. Same as anyone.’ she said.

She looked down at the table and her brow furrowed before she looked up.

‘I take it one fight at a time.’ she said. ‘I worry little beyond the next one.’

I leaned on my elbows as I set my cup down and looked deep into her eyes.

‘I’m not telling you to do any such thing. Just that I think you’ve got a shot at more than convention centres.’

She frowned again.

‘Be careful. You’re starting to piss me off here.’ she said.

I did not raise my hands; I continued to look at her without withdrawing my gaze.

‘I don’t know what your trainers are like, they looked after you out there and you won. I can’t and won’t argue with that.’

I took a sip before I continued.

‘I want to provide you with the means to move to fighting and training full time. I want nothing for it other than repayment on terms that we would agree to.’

She flushed and I could see that her jaw was twitching as she kept her nerves in check. Her eyes were bright, but she kept darting around the room.

‘What do you want?’ she said.

I examined her over the rim of the cup.

‘I want to help you succeed on your own terms.’

She looked at me.

‘There’s nothing wrong with working to pay the bills. Lots of people do it.’

I nodded in agreement as I put my hand across the table.

‘More people should.’

She put her hand over mine, the lightest touch before she settled it there.

‘I don’t think any less of myself for doing it.’ she said.

I put my other hand atop hers.

‘I want to help you. I’m not buying anything or anyone.’

She cocked her head to one side.

‘So it’s a loan, right?’

I nodded and kept my hand on top of hers.

‘An investment and you can pay me back if it makes you feel better.’

She turned her hand over in mine.

I shrugged. It had stung, but it came to me I was as much relieved as regretful. I looked away because I was afraid that she might see it.

‘It’s done now.’

The waitress came over and refilled our cups before she took the plates from us. I smiled and said that the breakfast was exquisite. She blushed and looked at Andrea before she returned to me.

‘You didn’t come all this way for the food,’ she said.

She gave a wink before she exchanged another look with Andrea and then returned to the kitchen. I checked her out, and I felt Andrea’s hand tap mine lightly. I looked at her and started laughing.

She blew across the surface of her coffee as she looked at me carefully. We did not speak for a time as she tried to extricate something that she had between her teeth without me seeing her.

When I looked up, she was taking a sip of coffee, swallowing whatever was there.

‘What are your plans?’ I said.

She almost caught the wince.

‘Sleep.’ she said.

She looked away as she swallowed.

‘I thought you might have already.’ I said.

She shook her head slowly.

‘I was up from the fight.’ she said.

‘Plus I was thinking about you.’

I felt my cheeks grow warm as I drank my coffee. I swallowed, then lowered the cup to the table.

‘Thank you.’ I said.

I reached for my wallet. She shook her head.

‘No, I won last night. I’m always good for breakfast, John,’ she said.

She looked into her wallet and I watched her face.

It would be a cheque. It allows the promoter to post a profit for the accountants before they paid out.  I got up and paid Costas at the counter. He winked at me, gave a brief nod and then took an order from the couple next to me.

She blushed as she got up.

‘Did you want to watch me sleep?’ she said.

I smiled as I watched her eyes gleam.

‘We could hang out.’ she said.

She glanced down again. My right hand touched hers.

‘We could,’

She took my hand as we left. The sun was shining as we went outside and I shut my eyes against the light as we turned the corner and started walking.

Chapter 14

She sent a message from her phone as we stood in the hallway. She put it away, then leaned up to kiss me again. She groaned as she reached up and took the material of my shirt in her hands as she lowered her head.

‘You’d fuck me again if I wanted you to, wouldn’t you?’

I smoothed my hands up her sides.

She touched my face.

She changed into an oversized t-shirt with her legs bare, pale beneath the bruising, but I still enjoyed how the muscles played with each step. She had brushed out her hair then laid down next to me, on her back as we shifted down the futon so that my face was level with hers.

She giggled as she looked at me.

‘What’s the joke?’

She rolled onto her side as she gave a gentle smile and kissed me on the forehead.

‘This feels scarier than when you were hitting me with a belt.’

I touched her face as she smiled at me.

‘Let’s get some sleep.’

Her face relaxed by degrees as her breathing softened and deepened. We fell asleep in one another’s arms.

CHAPTER 15

It was about two in the afternoon that we awoke.

From sleep, it is a gradual process for us, but we found one another with our eyes closed. She rolled over and then her breath was at my cheek and her hand on my shoulder. Our skins were warm and the tang of our scent hung between us, blended and refined into something new.

Her kisses were sweet and we slipped around one another, her left thigh went over mine. My hand went under the hem of her t-shirt as my fingers brushed the skin over her hip. She murmured something as we turned our heads, trying out kisses from fresh angles until we found an angle that suited us both. Her fingers were in the hair on my chest and we lost ourselves in that state of quiet pleasure.

Her left thigh went higher on my hip as she tilted her pelvis towards me and the warmth of her pussy through her underwear felt like triumph against my thigh. I moved my right hand up and she winced when my fingers went over a point on her ribcage, but my touch had other places to go. She stroked my nipples before she touched the bars. My gasp made her stop.

She chuckled and took the bars between her fingers as she tugged at them lightly. I grunted as she darted her head forward and kissed me on the mouth again.

She kissed me again and my thoughts flew apart as she dragged her mouth over my cheek and then down the line of my neck.With an easy strength she used her left leg to roll herself on top of me.Pinned to the futon beneath her; she brought her hands up to my face and grinned.

‘Fuck, you’re gorgeous.’ she said.

She burst out laughing as she came in to kiss me again. She ground her hips against my crotch as she found my erection and moved against it. My hands rested on her hips as she ran her index finger over my lips.

‘How long have I got you?’

‘36 hours,’

She brushed her hair away from her face as she slid herself along the length of my cock.

‘I will not ask what it cost you to come see me.’

My wink made her move her hips in idle circles.

‘Is this you trying to persuade me to tell you?’

She shook her head slowly as she dipped her hips and her lips slightly through the crotch of her underwear. She gave a lazy grin and arched her back as my hands moved up under her t-shirt and she moved her hands to swat mine away.

‘You’ve had your turn.’

She lifted her t-shirt off and tossed it behind her.

The friction had given me an erection that ached to be free to play between her thighs. My fingers smoothed over her breasts and traced over her nipples, then pinched them between my thumb and forefinger. I drifted, committed every touch to memory until she leaned forward again.

She shut her eyes as she kissed me slowly. She took her time as her tongue and lips slipped over mine. She rubbed her nose against mine and she sighed as she danced against me. She trembled and she put her mouth against my ear.

‘I’m so fucking wet.’

I let my fingertips brush against the damp curls of her pubic hair and let them mingle in the moist heat of her pussy.

My index finger downwards between her lips and felt her suck my finger inside. She gasped and pushed against them.

‘Your. Fucking. Hands.’

Her eyelids fluttered and she rode my fingers for a moment.

‘My. Fucking. Hands. What?’

She hissed at me to shut up and I smiled as I kept my fingers still.

‘I will squirt all over your fingers.’ she said.

She clamped her thighs together and breathed in heavily. She restricted the motions of her hips to light stabs as she went away from everything but my touch.

She glowed with the effort; the perspiration beaded on her forehead as she leaned into it and put her hands either side of my head. She bit her lip and the look on her face made me want to come before I had even touched her.

The muscles in her face went slack as she rubbed herself, growing more urgent as each moment passed. She grew less gentle and her hands went up to my shoulders as she pressed her fingers into the meat of my shoulders.

She looked into my eyes as she drew my right hand between her legs. I used my fingers to open her and she shut her eyes as I found her clit and moved my fingers in a slow, petting motion that made her lean her head against my neck. She kissed along my neck as she took quick, excited breaths.

She groaned and she clung to me as she shuddered through to a state of bliss that made her press her face against the meat of my shoulder. Her cries vibrated through my bones and my fingers were soaked as she thrust herself against them. She jumped again, a series of slight shocks, and I pressed my palm against her pussy to ground her as she grew limp against me.

She chuckled with relief as she lifted her head and rubbed her face against mine.

She pulled back and looked at me as I brushed the hair back from her face with my left hand.

‘I’m glad I made the trip.’

She blushed and looked away as she shook her head.

‘Don’t.’

I brought her face to look at me again.

‘There’s nothing beyond the moment we’re in.’

She kissed me as she wrapped her left arm around me as her right hand circled around my cock.

‘I know you have to go. I should have said about – ‘

I shook my head as she stroked my cock.

‘No.’

I felt the blood pooling in my groin as I heard how rough and thick my voice sounded to my ears.

‘I’m over that. I expect nothing from you.’

She looked deep into my eyes as she considered me carefully. Her hand was still as she brought her left hand up to touch my face. She squeezed my cock with her fingers, which evoked a sigh of pleasure. Then she looked down and gave a wry smile.

She slid backwards as she lowered her head. Her lips wrapped around the head of my cock as her tongue laid over the head and then circled around it slowly. She sighed and the vibration of her mouth chased the thoughts out of my head with its power. It suspended me, an equal distance between vulnerability and power as each motion of her mouth built upon the last.

Every part of me reduced down to the warm power of her mouth. I gave into the authority of her mouth and surrendered with a roar as I struggled not to clutch at her. My pleasure wrenched through me as she gulped me down quickly.

She held me in her mouth until I had gone limp and then came back up to me as she swallowed whilst she looked into my eyes.

‘We have today and tonight, Andrea. What would you like to show me?’

She blushed as her eyes shone with anticipation. The smile she gave made my heart skip as she whispered her answer.

‘Everything.’