Completed: a Devoured novella
“Thank you for bringing me here. And I’m sorry for my mood lately,” I tell Lucas, catching his nearly naked reflection in the mirror that hangs on the back of our hotel door. It’s been two days since the disastrous Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m still apologizing, even as we prepare to head to the holiday party he asked me to go to this morning. The fact that he presented me with plane tickets to Atlanta immediately after I said yes told me he’d been planning to whisk me away from Nashville for at least a week. Not that I’m complaining. I welcome this escape from my mother, from the smug grin that flits across her face whenever she defends her decision to invite my ex to dinner.
I scowl at my reflection.
“Ugh, I need to stop letting my mom screw with me. I mean, I get to see Kylie tonight. And be alone with you later.”
Leaned against the front of the fully stocked minibar, Lucas releases a chuckle and shakes his head, his mess of wet dark hair falling in his beautiful face. As he strides toward me, he shoves his unruly locks back so our eyes lock. He stops once he’s behind me, skimming his hands from my waist to my hips and back up again.
“Don’t bring that woman in here with us,” he whispers, dropping his full lips to my temple. “In fact, if you mention her one more time—” Instead of telling me what he’ll do, he teasingly shows me, giving my ass a little smack that makes me gasp.
I swear, getting spanked shouldn’t feel so good.
“You’re getting me wet,” I manage to say through my breathlessness, and when his thick brows lift and his grin broadens, I quickly correct, “My dress, Mr. Wolfe. Your chest is wet and you’re getting it all over me.”
Giving me an appreciative look, he backs away from me and studies my backside before motioning for me to turn around to face him. I do, and he slowly drinks in the sight of the coral-colored bandage dress. It was another surprise from Lucas today—a designer that I’ve always wanted to wear—and I’m already attached to the sexy little number. “I want to tear it off you. God, the effect you have on me, Red…”
I rest my shoulders against the mirror behind me and shake my head. “If you even think about ripping this dress, I’ll—” But he tugs me to him, his strong hands on either side of my butt and his intense eyes staring down at me. “Don’t look at me like that.”
“Fuck, Red, I’ll always look at you like this.” His mouth moves over mine, tasting slowly. An agonizing, sensual dance. When he draws away, his eyes are squeezed closed. Taking my hand in his, he presses his cock against my palm, and my throat goes dry. “We show up, we mingle, and then you’re all mine.”
This is the second time we’ve been to a party in Atlanta—the first was several months ago—but this time instead of a night club, it’s being held at a swanky Buckhead house that Kylie tells me a few seconds after her brother and I arrive belongs to the CEO of the band’s record company. Hooking her arm through mine, she starts to drag me off, giving her brother a death glare when he tries to protest.
“Good god, Luke, you can go without her for five minutes. Go talk to Wyatt or find Cal,” she tells him over her shoulder.
He responds with a dark look that stomps all over the one she’s giving him, but she pulls me around the corner to where she grins at a bartender. I shoot her a worried glance. “Um, Kylie—”
“Oh, relax, I wouldn’t dream of it,” she says, rolling her chocolate brown eyes. To the bartender, she sweetly asks, “Can I get a virgin Bloody Mary with a ton of olives?”
After I ask for the same—but with a double shot—I turn to her. “How was Thanksgiving at the happiest place on earth?”
She tilts her face up to look at me, the corners of her eyes crinkling because she’s smiling so hard. “Really, really happy.”
“If you keep that up, you’re going to break your face.”
She drops the smile but then laughs in earnest. “Brenna had a good time, so that’s all that matters.” She spends the next couple minutes giving me the rundown on her mini-vacation with Wyatt and her stepdaughter. Once we have our drinks and as we walk to the pool—which seems to be the quietest part of the house—she finally says, “Your mom is on my shitlist.”
“Join the club,” I laugh bitterly. “Your parents probably think we’re all kinds of messed up.” Lucas had already mentioned visiting his parents tomorrow and I’m dreading it.
We sit side-by-side on teak lounge chairs. “Actually, my parents had nothing but good things to say about you. I wouldn’t have known what happened if Lucas hadn’t told me.”
I should feel relief at Kylie’s words, but it doesn’t change the awkward tension that hung over the entire table two nights ago. “He thinks Mom is jealous of me and Gram,” I say quietly.
She pops an olive in her mouth and nods. “Sometimes, he’s right. Believe it or not, this is one of those times I completely agree with him.”
“I just wish that—” But then I catch myself and rake my hands through my hair, probably ruining the loose red curls I worked hard to perfect tonight. “Not even an hour ago I promised Lucas I’d stop talking about that woman, and yet here I am—”
“Kylie Wolfe,” a voice calls out, interrupting me, and I bite the tip of my tongue at the instant recognition. Kylie and I both look up to see Cilla Craig coming our way. Like always, she looks beautiful with her black hair swept up in a high ponytail and her curves poured into a sexy black jumpsuit. I try to forget she and Lucas were briefly involved. Stopping right in front of us, she puts her hands on her hips and sweeps her blue-green eyes over me. “Didn’t realize you were coming, Pepper.”