I’d like to tell you that I’m ok.
That the meaningless sex with countless women has somehow numbed the pain. That it’s deciphered the constant confusion in my head. Eased the self-hatred that sinks into my gut every time I look in the mirror.
I’d like to tell you that time heals all wounds.
That we evolve and grow into well-adjusted, stable adults, set on a path to right the world’s wrongs. That we are not our past…we are not our pain.
I want to tell you all those things. Hell, I want to believe all those things. But I’d be lying. I’m good at that. Living a lie is the only way I truly know how to survive.
But the day I saw her, I stopped surviving. I stopped existing. And for the first time in 24 years, I started living.
She brought me back to life. Set me free and sent my soul soaring. Made this useless shell of a man feel like…something. Something whole and real and good.
She saved me.
Although she believes I wasn’t even worth saving.
It was if my body had known what my soul needed to mend itself from the verbal assault that had left me open and bleeding. Sex was that healing balm for me. And this was exactly the place where I could find it.
None of the dancers here were prostitutes, and I never paid to get laid. Ever. They fucked me because they wanted me. And I fucked them because I needed them. It was an even trade.
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t stick my dick in just anything, and other than Cherri, had only been intimate with two other girls there: Skylar, a hot sophomore at UNC Charlotte, stripping her way through college, and Velvet, a tattooed, purple-haired vixen from England who fucked like a porn star and cursed like a sailor.
Right now, I needed Velvet. If anyone could make me forget the last twenty minutes, Raven’s razor-sharp words and myself, it was her.
My legs carried me inside, despite the numbness I felt. I didn’t want to be here, but I needed to be. And once I had the soft silkiness and warmth of a woman’s skin against me, I’d feel a helluva lot better. Luckily, Velvet was there for a day shift, working the lunch crowd in her usual getup of velvet and chains. Today she wore a cut-out thonged romper that left little to the imagination. And that was fine by me. I was tired of thinking anyway.
“Hey love,” she smiled as I approached. Her lips were painted a deep, dark eggplant purple that almost looked black. I’d have the color smeared all over me within the hour, most of it in places invisible to the public.
I didn’t waste any time. I didn’t have it in me to go through the motions and pretend I was here for anything other than sex. I leaned in close to her ear, letting my lips brush her earlobe in that sensual way I knew would get her hot, and whispered, “Back room in 10.” Then I quickly made my way to the bar to slam a shot of tequila.
She was there when I arrived, lounging on a plush loveseat with her heeled boots propped up on the arm. She looked at me with sin gleaming in her heavily lined eyes and gave me a slow, Cheshire grin. “Someone’s awfully anxious today.”
I was already loosening my tie as I stalked towards her and said, “Clothes off, boots on and get on your knees.”
If you read Fear Of Falling then you saw the hot, kind, flawed Dom as a best friend to Kami. He intrigued us all and S.L. has enlightened us on what makes him, him.
Dominic Trevino is loyal to a fault. Whether it be to his close friends Kami & Angel or his kids he mentors at the center.
The only thing he can’t commit to is one woman. It’s just not him for many reasons. Dom is a lady’s man and the ladies love them some of his man.
Enter Raven and her little brother Toby. She hates Dom with a determined passion for a crushing reason. But he is the only one to get through to her brother Toby. So she is “stuck” with him in her life.
S.L. created a wonderful world of Dominic Trevino. We see what has him so damaged, rightfully so. He might have his hang ups but he is a completely good man. He isn’t an ass to women he just enjoys them. He has taken his tragic childhood and spinned it in to a positive for most aspects of his life. Those aspects he cannot is a learned process for him when Raven enters his world, again.
There are obvious sparks and you just can’t stay mad at him even when he does his one asshole move. Trust me I tried at that point and couldn’t. Raven is exactly what he needs to keep him on his toes and see himself in a different light.
I was on edge with every page of this read, it was just to good to stop reading at any point. I wanted to know more and more of Dom and Raven.
Thank you S.L. For creating a refreshing read that shows us that we can reinvent ourselves from ashes and fly without fear.
I can’t remember the last time I felt completely safe. Security seemed more like a luxury to me, reserved for those who were fortunate enough to have picture perfect childhoods. For those who didn’t bear the ugly scars that keep me bound in constant, debilitating fear. I’ve run from that fear my entire life. But when I met him, for once, I couldn’t run anymore.
He scared the hell out of me in a way that excited every fiber of my being. It wasn’t the tattoos or the piercings. It wasn’t the warmth that seemed to radiate from his frame and blanket me whenever he was near. It was just…him. The scary beautiful man that threatened to alter 23 years of routine and rituals, and make me face my crippling fear.
My name is Kami and I am constantly afraid. And the thing that scares me the most is the very thing I want.
“Don’t worry,” he smiled, pulling me into the hard warmth of his chest. “I’ve got you. I’ll always catch you when you fall.”
And just like that, Blaine had staked his claim on the untouched part of me that no living soul had ever moved. He had captured every fear, every reservation, and crushed them in the palm of his inked hand.
S.L. Jennings is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance, reality TV junkie, obsessive coffee drinker and collector of crazy.