Well, here we are! Thanks so much for being patient as my designer and I worked on my new website. There are quite a few changes and things still to come. I am in the process of building a merch store and dropping in some sweet exclusives. Make sure you keep checking back, and as always let me know your thoughts.
To kick things off, I am letting you peek at the first (half) chapter of “His To Belong To.” I know, I know, you have been patiently waiting for this release, and it will definitely be this month. This story has taken me on a journey and a half. Once it’s out and you all have finished it, I will explain more. Writing is never boring, and when characters get ahold of you–let’s just say they chose their own paths.
So here we go– Meet Ayden!
The Surrey-Mark Hotel is famous for three things.
One- the opulent appointments of its guest rooms and private clubs. Situated in a hidden nook in the heart of Knightsbridge, the Nash-inspired architecture highlights the ultra-luxe decor, marked by pristine antiques, lush textiles, and warm lighting. Each of its fifty-five suites is filled daily with fresh flowers (personally chosen by each guest), beds made with the highest thread count available, and stocked with the rarest wine and spirits. The top three floors are a combination of privately owned lofts and leased apartments occupied by everything from a tech billionaire to a Middle-Eastern prince.
The second, is the Surrey’s stringent promise of absolute discretion. Employees are put through rigorous background checks, social media monitoring, and several non-disclosure agreements. So important is this vow of prudence, that some workers don’t even tell their families where they work. Guests can be assured that all of their deeds (good and bad) will be studiously ignored, making the hotel a favorite of visiting diplomats and the Hollywood elite.
Lastly is the ‘Campus’—a clubby bar with high-backed leather booths and a selective clientele. Billion-dollar deals and noble marriages have been arranged inside of its walls; it’s not unusual to hear plans for ending wars or the next electric car being spoken of in hushed tones. It’s not a place for the newbie: the Steward closely guards the entrance to the Campus- a position gained only by heredity or decree. In the two-hundred and thirty-five-year history of the hotel, only four families: The Soames, The Westons, The Mayerlys, and the Thackers have held that role- a source of pride and distinction. The current Steward- A Soames/Thacker offspring- is a veritable lion with his entree cocktail- simultaneously rejecting and granting admittance with a ruthless relish.
So you can understand my utter confusion when I overhear the absolute bullshit coming from the two knobs sitting behind me. I’m in the process of nursing my fifty-year scotch and debating on taking home the hot little blonde who’s been eye-fucking me the last hour, but I keep getting sidetracked by their nonsense. I’ve been halfway listening to these two idiots blathering about this and that for the past hour- and I’m tempted to have the Steward kick them straight to the street. I managed to block out most of what they were saying until I unwittingly tuned back in.
“It’s her. I would know those lips anywhere,” Arsehole Number One says excitedly. He has a flat American accent, along with a sickening tendency to form foamy spitballs at the corner of his mouth. The first time I turned around, he had two large ones sponging his lips together.
“No way, dude. She’s supposed to be what-five-ten or eleven? She’s a supermodel for chrissakes. This chick is nowhere near that tall,” Arsehole Number Two replies. “Plus, what would she be doing here? Chicks like that are like on the Riviera or Ibiza—not in an old ass hotel in London.”
Alright, first, he mispronounced Ibiza (as most Americans do), and second, did he call the Surrey-Mark an ‘old-ass hotel’? I glance/glare over my shoulder again, but they are both oblivious. Their attention is focused squarely on a booth to the left of all of us. I crane my neck to see who they are talking about, but all I see is the very top of a dark head of hair.
“I’m telling you she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I’m about to go over there and ask for her autograph,” Spitty is practically bouncing off of his stool. His top-shelf whiskey sloshing all over the tabletop, and the spitballs have returned. I can feel my top lip curling involuntarily as I take in his ill-fitting suit and sweat-stuck hair. The two fingers that are clutching his rock glass are stubbed with dirty fingernails, and ink stains his palm. His partner is no better with a shiny bald head and smarmy smirk glued to his face.
“You’re drunk, bro. That ain’t Melina M, and that chick is nowhere near as hot. Hey, maybe she’s an escort? I read an article about how hookers in Europe post up in tony places like this and look for rich men. That whole nerdy thing she has going on is probably just a front. Listen, how much cash do you have on you?” He pulls a pitiful stack of notes mixed with American dollars, and his friend does the same. They whisper loudly, predicting what kind of service their money can buy, while the object of their focus remains blissfully ignorant to the hell about to be unleashed upon her.
I take the last sip of my scotch and sigh deeply. There’s no way I can let this poor girl be subject to these two twats. I throw a few fifty-pound notes down and slide out of my chair. I know Melina M personally— she runs in the same fast circles that I do. There’s no way she would be caught dead in Campus. It’s too quiet, too cerebral for her. She prefers the flashy lights and stormy scenery in Chelsea, Mahiki in Mayfair, or Notting Hill. Areshole Number Two is partially correct, at least.
I slip past them to the right and make my way in a full circle, passing acquaintances and the hot blonde who I’m still taking with me. I give her a quick wink and a nod, and she squeals something to her friend. I’ll remember to have her repeat that sound when I’m stroking into her later.
Not-Melina’s booth is curved into a corner, almost facing the wall. As I round the curved seat, I see that her tousled dark head is bent over a laptop and that she is simultaneously typing and making notes onto a ratty pad of paper. She’s all dressed in black and utterly unaware of the fact that someone is standing in front of her. I clear my throat loudly and wait.
I clear it again and knock lightly on the table.
I lean over and see that she has headphones in her ears and can faintly hear the steady beat of a dance track. Her fingers are flying over the keyboard, and she whips a calculator out of nowhere, punching in numbers at a record pace. An accountant, perhaps? A student? I move closer to get a look at the writing on the pad, jostling the table a bit, and her head shoots up in surprise. Her eyes lock onto mine, and her mouth forms a soft “O” in shock.
Fuck me standing. She’s gorgeous.
I can see where the resemblance to Melina is causing spasms in the bloke at the bar. Melina is famous for her abundant pout and brilliant blue eyes. I can’t tell the exact color behind her thick glasses, but her pillowy and wide lips are the stuff of dreams. Her skin is like heavy cream, and even with the dim light, I can see a flush creep up her cheeks. Her thick dark hair is full of curls and bumps, spilling in wild abandon around her shoulders. I know I’m staring like a fool, and I mentally shake myself out of my inspection. I glance up and see the Twin Terrors about to make their way to her table.
“I don’t have time to explain, but trust me, just follow my lead,” I hurry and slide in close to her, draping my arm around her shoulders. She fits perfectly under my arm, and I feel her stiffen. Leaning in, I place my lips close to her lobe. The scent of her- heady vanilla mixed with fresh lavender tickles my nose. “There are two men who are headed this way- and trust me; you do not want to face them alone.” Her breath quickens, and she nods once. I keep my face buried in her fragrant hair as she quickly flips over her papers and shuts her laptop. She turns her body toward mine slightly and curls into me.
“Excuse me, are you Melina M?” Arsehole One asks without preamble. His friend is standing slightly behind him, that smarmy expression creasing his mouth. His eyes flit over us and lock onto me. He takes in my tailored suit and zeros in on my Rolex Daytona watch. His mouth opens slightly, and he takes a little step back. Smart man.
The vision in my arms turns her head slightly and gives the duo a hard look. “Excuse me?” Her voice is a bit raspy but sweet. The biggest surprise- she’s American.
“I said, are you Melina M? Ya know, the model. Are you her?” Spitty’s voice is grating and loud, and sure enough, a round spector of saliva is growing at the corner of his mouth. I can see her eyes zero in on it, and feel her spine stiffen in disgust.
“No. I’m not.” She turns back into my chest with a huff, but the two won’t leave.
“Are you sure? I mean, you look just like her,” the fool rambles while whipping out an outdated cell phone with a cracked screen, “See?” He shoves the phone close to her face, and I feel a growl crawl up my throat. The blurry picture is one of Melina—and yes, the resemblance is uncanny, but this sod is pissing me off with his rudeness. He’s pushing himself into what I consider her personal space, and any minute he’s going to be touching her. Fuck this.
“She said no, mate. I suggest you leave before I have you removed, or I will do it myself.” I grit out the last bit and lift my hand in a slight gesture. I see the Steward quickly take in the scene and lift his antique phone. After a few words, he nods at me, and I turn my eyes back to the soon-to-be-departed. “That wasn’t a request. She’s not who you think she is. Now kindly leave.” I lock eyes with his friend, and my threat is clear—I’m not one to be messed with. My eyes flit over his shoulder, and I watch as two hulking yet discreet security post themselves at the entrance. All I need to do is lift an eyebrow, and they will be tossed onto the street.
“C’mon Sid. It’s not her like I said.” Arsehole Two pulls at his friend’s arm and whispers something low. Spitty sniffs nastily and shoves his phone back into his pocket. “Nah, you’re not her. My bad.” His wet lip curls up, and they turn to amble drunkenly toward the exit. The two guards follow them at a distance while I once again meet eyes with the Steward. With a quirk of my mouth, I ensure they will never be allowed back.
The angel in my arms has pulled back from my tight embrace, peering up at me through her glasses. A thick strand of her hair has fallen over her cheek, and I unconsciously tuck it behind her ear. I take in her unbelievable features from a smooth forehead, down her slim, straight nose locking onto that mouth. Her lips are upturned with a dark pink color, a slight indent in the middle of the lower one. They look like cotton candy and wet dreams. I can already picture them wrapped around my cock, and it twitches hard with the mental image.
“Are you ok?”
Her rough little voice is puzzled as I shake myself and realize that I’ve not only been twirling her hair around my finger, but I’ve also been staring at her from a very short distance. I probably look like a complete lunatic.
“I’m fine, love. How are you? They didn’t frighten you too much, did they?” I find that I don’t like the idea of her being upset. At all.
She snorts, rather undaintily, and waves a slim hand. Her baggy black jumper slides around, and I see a tattoo of something on the inside of her wrist. “Nope. Guys like that are a dime a dozen back home. Just your normal dudebros. How did you know they were going to come over here?” Her glasses slide a bit down her nose, and she shoves them back up.
“I was sitting at the bar and overheard them. Do you often get mistaken for Melina?” I can’t believe that this is the first time. Though we are seated, I can tell that my new friend isn’t very tall compared to Melina’s stature, but that face… The resemblance is unreal.
She shakes her head, and her glasses slide down again. I reach out and slide them up myself. Her breath catches, and she clears her throat. “I don’t even know who that is, so no.”
“She’s a model—a rather famous one. We have mutual friends, so I can assure you that yes, you do look alike. I’m amazed that this is the first time someone has mistaken you.”
Her mouth is slightly open, and her eyes widen. “A model? Me?” A giggle bursts from her lips, and I watch as twin deep dimples pop out of her cheeks. Sweet fuck. This woman is lethal.
“I can barely walk across a room without tripping, let alone down a catwalk. Agh! I’m only five foot two. How can I be a model?” Her laughter is infectious, and I find myself chuckling along. “Well, you are outrageously beautiful. It’s not that hard to imagine.” I reach out and gently trace one of her dimples with my pinkie. Her smile widens, and her blush is delicious. “Bifid zygomaticus,” she blurts out, and I blink. “What?”
“Um, bifid zygomaticus. Dimples. A non-dominant genetic trait.” She points at her face; I laugh quietly. “I see. Well, I rather fancy your bifid…things. They only make you more gorgeous.”
“I don’t know about all of that, but thank you.” Her head dips, and she fiddles with the frame of her glasses. Talking about her looks makes her nervous. Interesting. I find that once you start complimenting a woman, she either preens or pretends modesty while transparently seeking more praise. But this quirky little bundle of beauty is genuinely embarrassed. I lift her chin with two of my fingers and meet her gaze. I wish the lighting was better so that I tell the exact color of her eyes; I want to see if they change with desire and pleasure. And I want to be the one to cause it.
“You don’t have to thank me for stating the obvious, love.” Her lips part and I can feel the little puff of her breath against my mouth. My tongue makes a brief appearance in response, and her breathing quickens. I slide the hand that is propping up her chin down her silky throat and around to the back of her neck. Her thick hair curls around my fingers and I tilt her head intending to devour her.
That is until a rather irate throat-clearing interrupts us.
We jump apart guiltily, both realizing how entwined we had been, and rather publicly. Campus is not the type of place for this level of intimacy, and I’m shocked at my behavior. I just met this woman, and I’m already trying to caveman stomp my way into her knickers.
“Hullo?” The throat clearing belongs to the blonde in the red dress that I had marked for the evening. Up close, she is more on the hard-looking side, but she would have made a suitable throwaway. Her arms are crossed her thin chest, and she is glaring at the woman sitting next to me. Any minute now, she is going to say something that I absolutely do not want her to say, so I head her off.
“Leave your direction with the Steward, sweetheart.” She perks up, the anger draining away immediately. I have no doubt she knows who I am, and all she wants is reassurance that she will get her turn. “Go on now.”
She bobs in some odd semblance of a curtsy and clatters off to the Stewards station. I can see her gesturing excitedly, while his genetically placid expression never changes. I turn back to the beauty in my arms, who is frowning at me. Fuck.
“Did you need to leave with her? I hope I’m not causing any problems for you?” She begins to nervously pack her computer and that ratty notebook, her face splotchy with what I can only deem as embarrassed anger. Her movements are jerky, and I can see that she is about to bolt. There is no fucking way I am letting her go anywhere.
“I don’t know her at all,” I tell her calmly. “I didn’t buy her a drink; I didn’t pay for her meal—I know nothing about her. She mistakenly thought that I was going to approach her, so I did what I thought was necessary to make her leave without causing a scene. Now, are you ready to leave?” I gesture to the coat she now has draped over her arm, and an ancient leather bag slung over her back.
She stares at me, her eyes darting over my face searching for honesty. I never lie to women, ever. I prefer my dalliances brief, true, but I am always brutal with my upfrontness—I find that it lessens the sting when I move onto to the next flower. Too, my mum always says that women can sniff out a lie faster than a bloodhound.
“You mean to leave with you?” She puts it right out there, so I see no reason to put up any pretense. “Yes.”
She blinks at my response, and I can see the wheels turning. “I…don’t …why?” She can’t be serious? I was about one minute away from stripping her down in front of everyone in this place.
“Why? Because we need privacy for what I want to do to you.” More honesty.
Her pupils dilate, and she gulps. “We just met like fifteen minutes ago.”
“True. But I knew in the first minute that I wanted you. And if we hadn’t just been interrupted, I’m quite sure everyone in here would have known it as well.”
I slide out of the booth and hold my hand out to her. “Come.” She stares at my hand, teeth nibbling violently on her bottom lip. She moves to stand without taking my offer, and I move closer. I tug her lip out from her teeth and ghost a kiss over the tortured mound. “Come, love. Let’s go.” I brush another kiss over her cheekbone, eyelid, and forehead. Her breath catches while she nods once. Slipping the surprisingly heavy leather bag from her shoulder, I drape it over my own while lacing her fingers with mine. We pass the Steward, who discreetly avoids eye contact and slip through a small hallway to a private elevator. I use my left hand and press a keycard against the rosewood panel. The doors slide open, and I board while pulling her behind me. “You live here?”
“Sometimes.” I touch the keycard to another console, and it lights up gently with the letter “P.” I peek at her from the corner of my eye and see that she is staring at the floor- her bottom lip retaking punishment. I reach over with my free hand and slowly stroke the side of her face. Her head snaps up, and her light-colored eyes focus on mine. We stare at each other in silence, a tight rope of desire-and something else I can’t name- tying us together. I barely hear the chime of the lift reaching our floor as the door opens to the spacious flat that I keep here. I flick a switch in the foyer, and the ample open space floods with light. Leading her like a small child, I drop her case onto the antique settee and turn toward her. She is standing still, arms still clutching her overcoat, body language screaming that she wants to run. Her precious face is turned away, eyes taking in the luxurious appointments before finally settling on me. Walking toward her slowly, I unbutton my jacket and reach up to remove her eyeglasses. I place them on the small table next to me and tug the coat off of her arm. Cupping her face in my hands, I tilt her head back and get a first look at her eyes. They are an unimaginable blue-green, the color morphing the longer I stare. She is truly a magnificent specimen, and the lust mixed with innocence shining from her warms me rapidly.
“I don’t normally do this,” she blurts out. “I mean I don’t meet men, and then just leave with them. Like never.” Her fresh breath dances across my lips, and I can’t wait any longer. Pulling her toward me, I nip first her top, then bottom lip, before slipping my tongue in between. Her plump mouth molds under mine and I twist and plunder inside of it, my hands tightening on her cheeks and pushing into her thick black hair. We kiss for long minutes before I pull back and answer her.
“You didn’t need to tell me that, love. I already knew.”