Chapter One

“Rena, you’re turning into a stuffy old woman.”

“Thirty-two isn’t old and I’m not stuffy.”

“You could’ve fooled me.”

“Dee, I don’t want to mix and mingle tonight and I definitely don’t want to pick up men. Even hot men from your job.”

“So you just flirt with them, Rena. How will you meet Mr. Right sitting at home?”

“I have to go, Dee. Talk to you later.” Rena hit the end call button on her phone like it offended her when she was really mad at her best friend.

Dee didn’t understand. How could she understand something Rena herself still didn’t understand? She was simply tired of it. She wanted something different, someone different, but that wasn’t going to happen. She felt like she’d stepped back in time, where everyone had to hold up certain appearances and no one was really free. Free love. Free sex, when really everyone was trying to one up the other person. Few people, in her opinion ever felt free enough to be themselves, even with the one they said they loved.

Dee wanted her to go to a company party. They could meet up with some of the men from the departments Dee had not yet had time to explore. Maybe hook up with someone. Another night of boring sex didn’t excite her. She wanted to tell Dee, but how could she tell her best friend something like that.

Sighing in frustration, she grabbed her purse making sure she had her keys and her cell phone then walked out of her apartment. She would just wander around a while, maybe hit a bar and pretend to get drunk. That might take her mind off her problems.

She had plenty of problems. There was word going around that they may be downsizing at her company, another reason not to jump in bed with anyone from Dee’s company. She may have to look for a job there. If the prospect of losing her job was her major worry, she would be ok. Yeah, downsizing sucked, but she had a stash and had been paying some bills in advance.  She was in much better financial shape than some of the people she worked with.

Right now her job didn’t matter. It was her life that was bothering her. She was thirty-two and lived alone—no boyfriend, fiancé or husband. Was she butt ugly? No, not even close. She wasn’t a model or beauty queen either. True, she was a little bigger, maybe a smidge bigger than she liked to admit, but she could twerk with the best of them.  So why didn’t she have a man? She liked sex just like everyone else.

Well, she thought she liked sex as much the next person. Therein lies the issue. She’d never had sex. Well, good sex. Yes, she’d been with men before who thought she was so adorable, they touched her like she was going to break. Maybe some people liked that stuff, but she was a big girl. Big girls liked to be touched. They liked to feel their men thrusting hard inside of them. She wouldn’t break, but for some reason men thought she would. Rena, the sensitive. Please, give her a break!

So in the end it had led to this, her life of fantasy and a refusal to have one more man, who had no idea how to please her, sweating over her. Who needed a man; she had her toys. Ok, so she would prefer the right man.

The sound of a car horn tore her away from her thoughts and back to her surroundings.

She’d only managed to walk about two blocks up her tree lined street when the red dodge charger slowed down and Dee blew the horn. Her friend had a thing for muscle cars.

“Thought I’d find you wandering the streets like no one loved you.” Dee smiled at her as if she’d just spouted the last words of wisdom ever to be said.

“Leave it to you to track me down.” She had to smile at Dee. They had been friends for years, and she always seemed to be there when needed. Rena never had to ask.

“So am I going to take you back to your place so you can change before we go to the party or am I going to follow you in slow motion like a horrible stalker movie for the rest of the night?”

She would vote for the stalker movie. Unfortunately, Dee would ditch the party and actually follow her. “Sounds like a change of clothes and a party is in order.”

She slid into the car and listened to a new Ed Sheeran song pumping through the stereo. She tried not to sing along. Rena was a closet Sheeran fan. That was the other secret she kept from Dee.

“You might as well sing, girl. I know you like him.”

She got out the car laughing and was still laughing when she entered her apartment.

“You might as well sit. I’m going to be a few.”

“I’ll sit, but you know you’re not as bad as I am when it comes to getting ready.”

Rena took a quick shower and then bumped the curls in her hair. She usually wore a ponytail, but had decided to do her hair earlier in the day. She was a minimalist when it came to makeup. She looked good in less and liked it that way. Not too bad on time. Now all she had to do was find something to wear. It was a company party, but she’d seen pictures of them on Dee’s phone. They dressed rather sexy for a company function.

She pulled out a formal black number and discarded it. It wasn’t her company party. Then she pulled out a beautiful sea green dress that screamed do me now, so not the message she wanted to send. Standing before her closet, she tried one more time.

“Hey girl, what’s taking you so long?” Dee called from her living room.

“Looking for a dress.” She was surprised her best friend hadn’t waltzed into the bedroom yet. It’s not like she hadn’t done it in the past.

“Looks like I’m going to have to save the day. Move away from that closet. I Love your clothes. If we were the same size borrows would be on.”

Dee brought out a red dress Rena just recently purchased. Why? Not because she needed it. Just because when she felt bad, she shopped. The dress had spaghetti straps of delicate gold chains at the shoulder, and then flowed down into a short skirt that moved when she walked. There was a beautiful sash around the waist.

“What do you think?”

“I think you look hot.” They laughed as they headed for the party.

“Thanks Dee, but no one will notice me when they get a look at you in that number.” Dee wore a blue dress that would drive the guys crazy. It moved over her like a second skin. Every now and then, Rena wished she looked like her.

   

***

 

Aran watched as the all too breakable human focused on him. She was slowly working the floor as if she was just aimlessly wandering, but he knew better. She was coming for him. Her breasts were on display for all to see and her arousal screamed for him to do something about it. She was petite with golden skin and ruby red lips and she wanted a man tonight. Correction, she wanted him.

Why was it that he seemed to attract every fragile female ever born? He watched as she gathered enough courage to approach him.

“Hi, I’m Sally.” She gave him a bright smile and offered her hand in greeting.

“Aran,” he said, introducing himself. Taking the hand she offered up he raised it to his lips while giving her wrist a small squeeze.

He watched the small look of pain on her face as he barely squeezed her wrist and acknowledged again that he wouldn’t be getting laid tonight. He could imagine her under him, her blonde hair spread out over the pillow, her ruby red lips swollen from his kiss, her nipples a dark color because they had been pinched and sucked and bitten too hard. Her body would be twisted like a limp rag doll because she’d been unable to accept the force of his thrust when he lost control. He’d contain his need to sink into soft, willing flesh and she would live a normal life. It was a win for everyone involved.

She’d been talking, but he hadn’t been listening. “Excuse me, Sally. I need to go see my partner.”

He walked away and left her to the very human male who approached her the minute he deemed it safe.

“Sergey.”

“Aran. She’s a pretty number.”

“Yes she is and she will stay that way.”

“The harder we look, the further we get from the one thing each of us needs.”

Aran looked around the floor. The room was filled with beautiful women, many of whom didn’t work for them. That was part of the reason for the parties, to meet females who may be potential mates. Unfortunately, each new party was a disappointment.

“We can hit an underground club after this affair is over.”

Sergey nodded, but they both knew neither of them wanted what those clubs offered. He scanned the room again, this time looking for the rest of his brothers. They worked for the company posing as simple employees, but they were family. They had followed him here, looking for a better life. If they didn’t find what they needed in this city soon, he’d relocate them to a more female friendly city.

 

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