Scott Sebastian is a liar.
Fitting, since I'm a liar too.
Yet there's no place for me in his glittering world of half-truths.
With all our secrets in the open, I should stop trying. What I've learned should send me running far away. I can't keep pining for a man in love if I'm not the woman he's in love with.
But it's not that easy to escape the Sebastians. I already knew they owned this city.
Now I'll find out if they also own their son.
Release date: November 24, 2020
Publisher: Paige Press LLC
Reader says this book is...: emotionally riveting (2) entertaining story (3) high heat (2) strong chemistry (2) swoon-worthy (2) action-packed (1) happily ever after (2) heart touching (1) satisfying ending (1) sex scenes (2)
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Man in Love
“I have to cancel.” I lowered my voice as I said it so that Teyana wouldn’t overhear my disheartened tone and feel guilty.
On the other side of the phone call, Scott echoed my disappointment. “No! Why?”
As soon as I’d gotten in the apartment after he’d dropped me off earlier and I’d found Tey in the fetal position, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep our date for later. Still, I’d waited to tell him in case some miracle happened and she was feeling well enough for me to leave her alone.
Unfortunately, she’d only gotten worse. She’d thrown up twice and fainted every time she stood up, no matter how slowly she’d gone. The last time she’d gone to the bathroom, she’d hobbled, her body bent over itself from the excruciating pain in her ribs.
“Tey’s having a bad night,” I said. “Like, a really bad night.” She was always bad when she had her period, which because of the type of birth control she was on, only occurred once every three months. Her doctor had chosen that method in order to give her more relief from bad POTS episodes, but having known what she’d been like before, I wasn’t sure that quarterly PMS wasn’t somehow worse.
“As soon as I can get a flipping health care plan that will cover the cost, I’m getting my uterus removed,” she said for the five-hundredth time.
“Ah,” Scott said, obviously hearing her. “A woman’s thing.”
I could have left it there, but I didn’t want him to think I was bailing on him to simply nurse my friend’s bad cramps. “It’s a POTS thing, but the autonomic system is involved in women’s things so, yeah. But I hope it doesn’t come down to something as drastic as a hysterectomy, though I guess a lot of POTSies go that route.”
“I’m not ever having a baby myself,” she protested. “It would be way too hard on my body. So what’s the use in maintaining the misery?”
I turned my back so she wouldn’t see my expression. It was an old argument of ours. Me worrying about the permanence of the decision, her wanting to just feel better.
“Does she need help?” He didn’t have to say the word financial for me to know that was what he was offering.
I considered before responding. Selfishly, I was glad she couldn’t afford the procedure yet, since I was still holding out hope that she could get in with a specialist who could find an underlying cause or at least help her get her symptoms under control. And I wasn’t sure how I felt about accepting that kind of help from Scott anyway.
“What she needs is better doctors. Ones that take insurance and don’t have a waiting list that’s a mile long.” There was a knock on our apartment door. “Hey, Scott, can you hold on a sec? I think the medic is here.” I crossed to answer it while I waited for him to reply.
“IV therapy. A saline drip always makes her feel tons better.” Her doctor prescribed them for her usually, but when she’s really bad, we splurged and spent the hundred fifty dollars to have them come to our home. I peeked out the peephole and saw a guy in scrubs and a med pack. “Yeah, it’s him. Should I call you back?”
“The medic is a him? I’ll hold.”
I stifled a laugh. “Suit yourself.” With the phone pressed against my chest, I opened the door, greeted the tech who introduced himself as Bennie, and directed him over to Teyana on the couch.
“You’ll be okay if I…?” I asked her, nodding toward my bedroom.
“Please, go,” she said with as much drama as she could muster. “I feel sick enough without having to hear your disgusting gushing.”
I shot her a scowl. So maybe I’d been a bit smitten when I’d brought her up-to-date on my Scott weekend, but I’d told her the shitty parts too.
Okay, mostly I’d focused on the swoony parts. She was feeling ill, after all. I hadn’t wanted her to get worked up.
“Fine, I will,” I said with mock smugness, already heading down the hall.
“Good. Now I can have Bennie all to myself.” At least she was feeling well enough to banter.
I turned to give him a wink. “When you’re tired of her, Bennie, I’m here. Just holler.” I slipped into my bedroom and shut the door before bringing my phone to my ear. “You still there?”
“Did you just offer yourself to Bennie?”
I laughed. “I don’t think you have any place to be jealous, Mr. I’m-not-really-engaged.”
“Not jealous,” he protested too quickly. “Curious. What’s he look like? Is he attractive? Are you into him? Could you be into him?”
My body went warm from head to toe. I’d had plenty of experience being the one who asked those questions. The men I’d always fallen for were usually falling over multiple women themselves. This was the first time I could remember a man expressing jealousy over me.
“Bennie is…” I thought about the heavily tattooed hulk of a man currently sitting in my living room, wondering if I should try to drag this out a little longer. Remembering my own past pain, I decided to let Scott off the hook. “Not my type.”
“What’s wrong with him?”
“He isn’t you.” I felt vulnerable saying it, and it came out breathy.
Scott was silent for a beat, and I worried I’d been too forward. He’d said we were exclusive. He’d said he was my boyfriend. That meant I could say these things, right? Or had I been too presumptuous about what forward meant?
“I could come to you,” he said finally, and I realized the silence was just him being breathless too. “I’ll pack up all the tapas and bring them. I ordered more than enough for three of us.”
I wanted to say yes. It was tempting. Especially since I felt guilty that he’d already ordered dinner, and it would go to waste if I said no.
But it wasn’t fair to Tey, especially when she hated other people seeing her like this. “I’m sorry. I really need to be able to focus on Tey, and you’re too distracting.”
“Because you can’t be in a room with me without tearing my clothes off.”
“You can’t be in a room with me without tearing my clothes off, you mean.”
“Sure, sure. That too.”
The allusion to nakedness and the related activities made my belly hum low. “I suppose I should be grateful that I’ll get a good night’s sleep. After the last two nights, I probably need it.”
“Eh, sleep is boring. What a drab use for a bed.”
I chuckled and then groaned because, yeah. I would have much rather used my bed—or his, I wasn’t picky—for what he had in mind. “There will be other nights.”
With a sigh, I walked over to my bedroom window, drawn by the light streaming in. “The moon is beautiful tonight. It looks full.”
I heard movement and pictured him walking to his floor-to-ceiling windows to peer up at the sky. “It’s probably even prettier from your view.”
“Maybe. What do you see out your window? Are you looking now?”
“Well, I see the moon.” It was an attempt at light humor, which was maybe disingenuous because it didn’t feel like a moment to laugh. It felt romantic. Both of us in two different places, two different states even, looking up at the same night sky. Taking in the same bright moon.
“What else do you see? You already know what my view is. I want to know yours.”
My heart tripped in my chest. He was feeling it too, that magic thread of connection. Was this what falling in love with someone who was falling too felt like? It usually felt so lonely since I had the habit of picking men who were not at all interested in reciprocating emotions. This felt entirely different. An up feeling instead of a down. An embraced feeling instead of a smothered. A “we” feeling instead of an “I.”
I pulled my eyes from the sky to look at my surroundings. I’d seen them so many times and they were so impressionable that I had to really look in order to tell him. “The building next door, mostly. If I press my head against the glass, I can see down the block and just barely get a glimpse of Manhattan across the harbor.”
“The building next door—is it another apartment building?”
“An office building. All dark at this time of the night. Except, wait. There’s a light on a couple of floors down. Maybe a janitor. I can’t tell from here.”
“Is it close enough that you can see in the windows on your floor during the day?”
I’d never bothered to look. “I suppose I could.”
“What would I see if I were there right now?”
“If you were in my room? You’d see me pressed against the window trying to figure out if I can spy on the next-door office building.”
He let out a rumble of a laugh. His voice was low when he spoke. Seductive. “I mean if I were in that building, pressed up against the window, spying on you. What would I see?”
I got it. Kinky. What did men want to hear during phone sex? “You’d see me wearing nothing but a T-shirt and panties. White lace panties. No bra, and my T-shirt is tight so you can see the outline of my tits. It’s cold by the window so you can see my nipples perfectly.”
“Mm.” It was an appreciative sound. “You’re gorgeous,” he said, as though I were really dressed that way. As though he were really watching me. “What else do I see?”
“You see me trailing my hand down over my chest, between my breasts then lower. You see me slipping it under the waistband of my panties.”
“Don’t say it if it’s not real, Tessa.”
“Don’t tell me what you’re doing if you aren’t doing it. Tell me what I’m really seeing.”
Ah. Even kinkier.
I swept my eyes over the building to be sure there really was no one standing at a window looking at me, then I pushed down my yoga pants—awkwardly with one hand holding the phone—and stuck my hand down between my legs. “You see me in a baggy sweatshirt—no bra but you can’t tell that since the shirt is too loose. My pants are down around my knees, my hand down my blue lacy panties. I’m too needy to undress further because I’m on the phone with my boyfriend, and he’s making me all sorts of hot. Just the sound of his voice has me needing to touch myself.”
“What is he saying to you?”
“He’s saying he wishes he was my hand.”
“I wish I were your hand.” His breath sounded heavy. Thick. “What is your hand doing?”
“It’s rubbing my clit. In small, teasy circles. I want it to be harder, but if it were his hand, he’d be torturing me.”
“So you’re trying to make it feel like it’s him.”
Impossible. His hands were magic. I’d be on the verge of orgasm right now if it were really him.
Actually, I was already getting pretty close. “Yes. I’m trying to touch myself the way he does. He’s so good at touching me.”
“That’s what I see as I’m watching you, don’t I? I see your hand moving slowly through the fabric of your panties. I see the frustrated expression on your face.”
His reminder that I better really be doing what I said I was doing was unnecessary. “I’m so frustrated. It’s not enough. I’m begging for more. Give me more, Scott.”
I heard another rustle of movement followed by a zipper. “You’ve spread your legs and now your hand has moved down. You’ve put your fingers inside you.”
“Two to begin. Are you wet?”
“I’m soaked.” I paused so I could mirror the pose he’d asked me to take. Then I stuck two fingers inside me, stopping at the second knuckle so I could pull them out only to put them back in.
“Deeper, Tessa,” he said, as though he actually knew how shallow I’d been with my probe. “I want them as far as they can go. I want you stretched. I want you to ache. When I look at your face, is it aching?”
“Not yet.” It was a near lie. The dual roles he played, boyfriend and voyeur, had me turned on like I’d never been before. My desperation did indeed have me aching.
But I wasn’t aching like I would if he were actually there. I wasn’t stretched and spread and filled the way I would have been if it were his cock instead of my fingers. “I wish it were you inside me.”
“Put three fingers in, baby. Curve your hand so your thumb can rub your clit, and no more going slow. I want to see a steady pace. Can you hear this?”
I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be hearing at first. But then he seemed to move his phone and I could hear a distinct sound of rhythmic rubbing. Of skin against skin. His hand moving quickly up and down along the length of his shaft.
“I want to be your hand,” I said, acknowledging I could hear it. Acknowledging my intense need in the threadbare tone of my voice.
“That’s the tempo I want your fingers to be fucking you. Match that tempo.”
I did as he instructed, put three fingers in, moved them in at the rough speed he’d adopted, rubbed my clit furiously at the same time. “It’s too much.”
“Don’t slow down, Tessa,” he ordered. “I want to see you struggling.”
“I am. You do. You see me leaning my forehead. Against the glass. Because I can’t. Stand up on my own anymore.” My sentences came out short and choppy as my breath picked up. “You see my eyes closed. My face twisted. My mouth open.”
“I’m close,” he said, and I could picture him too—his eyes closed, his face twisted, his mouth open. “I’m going to come all over my hand. You’ve done that to me. I’m watching you and you’re so fucking hot and I’m going to make a mess all over myself because of you.”
“Put your phone on speaker and flash me your tits. I want to see your breasts pressed up against the glass.”
I didn’t hesitate. Didn’t even pause to check once more to be sure no one was watching. I just did as he said—hit the speaker, set the phone on the windowsill, and lifted up my shirt, wrestling with it one-handed until my breasts were bare. Then I pressed them against the window.
“Can you see them?” I asked. “The glass is cold. But I’m so hot. I’m going to come.”
“Your nipples look like daggers. They’re so hard.”
“They’re so hard,” I echoed shrilly.
“And I can tell you’re about to come. But you’re fighting it. You don’t slow down, but you’re waiting to release.”
I sawed my fingers in and out despite the clenching of my pussy, fought against my threatening orgasm despite being on the ragged edge. “What am I waiting for?” I cried, unsure I could hold off another moment.
“You’re waiting for your boyfriend to tell you that you can come.”
“He wants us to come together.”
“What does he need from me to get there?”
In the pause I could hear his hand moving along his cock, his tempo picking up to a furious pace. “Tell me how close you are. Tell me again what I see while I’m looking at you.”
“I’m so close. My legs are spread, my knees are buckled. My pants have fallen to my ankles. My tits are bare against the glass. My nipples are so taut they hurt. My fingers are jabbing inside of me. I’m so wet. So slick I can hear it. Oh my God. Oh my God, it’s so hot.”
“Come, Tessa. Come with me.” His voice tightened, and by the end of his sentence I knew he was already coming.
And I was coming with him. My entire body tensing as I rocked against the window, my hand frozen between my legs, too afraid the change in sensation would kill me if I moved it. There were stars in the night across my vision that weren’t there when I’d looked at the sky, and as much as I’d tried to hold my sound in, a jagged cry escaped me.
“Fuck, that was hot.” Scott sounded as destroyed as I was when he spoke.
“Oh my God the hottest,” I agreed, slumping to the floor, my pants still around my ankles. After wiping my hand on my shirt—I was not in a state to be concerned with whether or not that was gross—I picked up my phone and turned off the speaker before bringing it to my ear. “I wonder if Bennie and Tey heard me in the other room.”
“Shit, Tess. Are you trying to get me hard again?”
I let out a harsh laugh. “If you are, you’re on your own because I am nowhere near recovered.”
We fell silent. I was still trying to catch my breath, trying to steady my heartbeat. As I came down from the high, my brain kicked in. This thing with Scott had to be more than just sneaking around and phone sex. The kink was fun, but I’d reached a point in my life where I’d learned that the fun always fizzled eventually. That’s when the guy usually disappeared.
I didn’t want Scott to disappear.
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