Not So Soft: Chapter Four

Elijah looked down at the page full of his scrawled handwriting with a sigh. He’d lingered after his lunch with Naima and brainstormed for a few hours, hoping to finally land on a name for his publishing company. He flipped his folio closed, still unsatisfied with anything he’d come up with. Maybe Weinstein Publishing wasn’t so bad, though he was loathe to put his father’s name on anything that was his.

Maybe he was just thinking about this too hard.

He scrubbed his face with both hands and glanced at his watch. It was nearly four o’ clock. Was Yves still at his place, in his bed? Hastily, he packed his messenger bag and left the coffee shop, smiling to himself as he thought of their night of drunken sex and her gorgeous, half naked, hungover presence in his kitchen that morning. Damn. He wanted that in his kitchen every morning. What was it going to take to get this woman to move in with him?

Outside on the street, he dialed her number.

“Hello, mi amor!” she chirped, picking up after the first ring.

“Well, you sound much better than you did when I left you this morning.”

“Yeah. I slept until almost noon.”

“Are you still at my place?”

“Nah. I ate a late lunch with Ava, but I’m heading back there now. How’d your day go?”

“Pretty okay, I guess.” He told her about the spaces Naima showed him, highlighting the one nearest her place. “You could walk to work every day.”

She sighed. “I’m not working for you, Elijah.”

“You wouldn’t be working for me. You’d be working with me.”

“Semantics. Did you like any of the places you saw?”

“No. Maybe…I don’t know.”

“Wow. You’re so indecisive about this whole thing. This isn’t like you.”

“I know. It’s fucking frustrating.”

“How about I meet you at your place? I know how to fix you when you get frustrated.”

He grinned thinking about the ways she liked to fix him. “Are you hungry?”

“We can go out later. I’ll meet you at home.”

“Okay. See you in a few.”

At home. He liked it when she called his place home.

Yves was right. He was being indecisive; he just couldn’t get to the root of why. He was usually very matter of fact about making decisions. He made a plan and followed through with it. Simple as that. But this publishing company idea seemed too big and unwieldy, and just when he thought he had a handle on it, something else would come up and knock him off balance. He wanted to get this right, but he kept discovering things he didn’t know.

“Hey!” Yves chirped when he came in. Her face lit up with a big smile for him.

He went to her, squatting down low in front of her so that she could pull him into her arms.

“Pobrecito,” she crooned rubbing his back in slow circles and kissing his neck. “That hard of a day, huh?”

Elijah nodded, burrowing his face into her hair and pressing her lips to her skin. Just being in her arms lifted his mood. She pulled back, creating a little space between them.

“You want to talk about it?”

“I…” He struggled for a moment to articulate what he was feeling then gave up and went with the truth. “I’m just feeling a little anxious about this whole publishing thing. I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. Like it’s going to fail. Maybe I should back off of this idea for a bit.”

Yves frowned. “You mean quit?”

“No, I just feel…”

“Overwhelmed,” she finished for him.

Elijah nodded. Overwhelmed. He hated words like that. It was dangerously close to vulnerable. He knew that Yves was the one person on this earth that he could be vulnerable with, but it didn’t make feeling those feelings any easier.

Yves slid her hand up the back of his neck and threaded her fingers through the hair at his nape. “Maybe you’re losing sight of why you wanted to do this in the first place.”

“Maybe.”

“Don’t give up on this dream. I know how much you want it. Maybe just…downsize it a little.”

“What do you mean?”

She sighed. “You’re doing all of these big things like looking for a space to work in when you should start with your love of books. We did some amazing brainstorming with Ava yesterday. You have a solid concept for your publishing brand. You know your focus and vision and what type of authors you want to attract. Start there. Start with the words.”

Elijah let that sink in, acknowledging to himself that he might have let this idea get too big. He did just wanted to find amazing new authors and publish good books. “You’re right.”

“I know I’m right,” Yves said with a grin.

“No, seriously. You are. And this is why we should work together.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re never going to give this up, are you?”

“Nope.”

Yves sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. “If I promise to give it some serious thought will you leave it alone?”

“Yes!” He grabbed her face in both his hands and smacked a wet, enthusiastic kiss on her lips. “But seriously think about it, okay?”

“Okay.”

“So what did you get into today?” he asked shifting gears.

“I napped, masturbated, ate some Pho and drank a few Bloody Marys with Ava,” she said with a smirk.

“Wait…what happened after the nap again?”

“Masturbation,” she repeated.

A smile twitched at the corners of Elijah’s lips as he thought of her making herself come in his bed. “So while I was out trudging the streets trying to find a workspace for this publishing company you were in my bed—”

“With my hand between my legs while I watched that video of you fucking me in the alley.”

“The video that guy sent you from last night?”

She nodded.

“Hmm. Let’s see this video again.”

Yves reached for her phone eagerly and cued up the video. Elijah moved to sit beside her. She curled against him, and he put his arm around her, drawing her even closer.

When he watched the video earlier, it was only to examine it to make sure their faces couldn’t be seen. Now he paid attention to the exchange between them—but more importantly, her responses to what she was seeing. The way her breath caught when he swatted her bottom. The soft moan she made when they kissed.

“And this is my favorite part,” she whispered secretively as she paused the video at the moment he grabbed his dick, aiming for the apex of her spread thighs. “Watch my face.”

The face she made the moment he slid inside of her was very familiar to him. It was one of his favorites. The way her brows knit together and her mouth went slack with wonder and pleasure at the feeling of their bodies joining. Yves uttered a soft little grunt, drawing Elijah’s attention to her. Her tongue dragged along her top lip, and her breath quickened. Watching the video was not nearly as arousing as watching her reaction to it.

He curled a finger under her chin, tipping her face upward so that he could get a taste of her mouth. The phone hit the couch between them with a thump as she grabbed a fistful of his shirt to pull him closer. Elijah stood slowly, lifting her into his arms to carry her to his bedroom.

“I loved seeing that from a different point of view.”

“Did you?”

“Yeah, I never realized how sexy we look together.”

Elijah grinned. “Call me biased but I think the sexiest part of this duo is you.”

“Well, call me biased but I think the sexiest part of this duo is you.”

“Well, maybe we should just fuck in front of the bedroom mirror so we can settle this dispute.”

Elijah set her down in front of the huge leaning mirror opposite the bed. He reached for the hem of her dress, pulled it over her head and tossed it to the side. Yves giggled as he turned her to face the mirror and her own giddy, aroused expression. A pair of tiny black panties were all that she wore under the soft cotton dress. He slid his hands around her waist, cupping them under her breasts.

“Look at you,” he said, recognizing the wonderment in his own voice. “You’re the most beautiful thing that’s ever been mine.”

Her mouth pulled into the sexy-dirty grin that he loved so much. “Ever?”

“Yes, the most beautiful thing in the history of ever.” He dropped kisses on her curve of her shoulder while pinching her dark nipples until she whimpered and squirmed.

“Okay, your turn,” she said and switched places with Elijah so that she stood behind him. Her hands came around his waist and when to his top button. “You have way too many clothes on.”

“This is a fact.”

“I’ll fix that.” Her nimble fingers made short work of shirt and slacks. She dropped both to the floor and kicked them aside. When she had him shirtless and standing in his boxer briefs, her hands skimmed over his chest and belly. “You wanna know what I thought when I first saw you that night at Burke’s Books the night we met?”

“What did you think?”

“That you were pretty enough to be an Abercrombie and Fitch model.”

He laughed, feeling the blood rush to his cheeks. Yves pressed her lips to his spine as her hand dove beyond the waistband of his briefs, making blood rush to a place further south.

“I wanted to fuck you immediately,” she said, her hand curling around his dick.

“Even when I called you exotic?”

“Even then,” she said on the heels of a soft laugh.

“I was so nervous,” he said shaking his head.

“I know. It was cute. Sexy. And apparently an absolute contradiction to the man you really are.”

“So I’m not sexy?” His eyes closed and he sighed softly as her hand drew up his length.

“Oh no. You’re definitely sexy. But that nervousness made me think you were like every other guy I’d been with. You are so far from that. So much more. And your mouth…gah. I had the dirtiest thoughts about your mouth.”

“I remember a certain blog post about that.” His focused on her hands; slightly mesmerized with the sight of what she was doing with the one in hidden in his briefs.

“Hmm, yes. I still have the filthiest daydreams about your mouth and the things that you do with it.” She peeked around his shoulder to meet his gaze in the mirror.

“You do?” he asked.

She nodded.

“Well, let’s make those daydreams a reality.”

Elijah turned to her, kissed her lips softly, then went down on his knees. Her breath quickened as he tugged her panties down and helped her step out of them. She was visibly shaking when he skimmed his hands over her hips and brought them around the back of her upper thighs.

“This feels strange.”

“What? Me kneeling in front of you?”

“Yes,” she answered breathlessly.

He grinned. “I’m not submitting to anything, but the desire put my mouth on you.”

Yves drew in a sharp breath as he brought one hand down the back of her leg and caught it behind the knee. He sat back on his heels to get the angle just right and brought that knee over his shoulder. A tiny kiss on her mound set her to shivering so hard that she grabbed his shoulder to hold herself steady.

“Is this one of the filthy things you want me to do with my mouth?” he asked then dragged his tongue between her lips; finally savoring the rich taste of her.

“Fuck, yes,” she said, her voice down in that low, raspy tone he loved. A sound like good whiskey and dirty sex that made him want to devour her whole.

So he did.

He knew every inch of her. Knew how to get her off quick or how to draw it out so that she was moaning and begging. Knew and craved the way she flooded his mouth as she came, clenching and shuddering, all while watching their reflections in the mirror. While she was still loose and malleable, he pulled her to the floor and drove into her. The silken clutch of her pussy stole his breath for a second. All at once he was nearly consumed with the desire to let the most ridiculous words spill out of his mouth like, Never leave me. I want you in my house, in my bed, always. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want you to have my children.… Instead, he turned her head toward the mirror.

“Look at you,” he murmured.

“Look at us,” she corrected, drawing her leg up along his side so that her knee tucked right under his arm, telling him with her body that she wanted him deeper. He obliged, grasped both of her legs and bringing them up to his shoulders. With his hands on her thighs, he sank into her again, and she clenched around him.

“Mmmm…yes,” she moaned. “I do like this view.”

He glanced at their reflection, catching the sight of his dick slipping out of her then in again, eliciting another of those moans. Their eyes met in the mirror. “Yes,” he agreed. “It is nice.”

Elijah fucked her like that for what felt like an hour. Slow and deep until she came hard, pulling him down into her orgasm with her. Afterward, he took her to the shower, soaped her up, and fucked her again, before dressing her and heading back out into the living room. They ordered a pizza and cued up House of Cards on Netflix. He wasn’t much of a tv watcher and neither was Yves, but both of them deeply addicted to the brilliantly manipulative Frank Underwood and his charming and ruthless wife, Claire. They were three episodes, a six pack, and half a pizza into their evening when Yves set her plate aside and turned to him. Elijah had no reason to feel wary, but the look in her eyes unsettled his stomach.

“I have something to tell you. Well…ask you.”

“What’s up?”

“The guy who sent the video…we chatted today.”

“Chatted?”

“Yeah, on iMessage and a really brief FaceTime call.”

“So now you know who he is.”

“Yeah.” Yves briefly explained how he came to have her phone number. “I was glad to find that out. I wanted to know his intentions, you know?”

Elijah nearly called her on her bullshit. That wasn’t all she wanted to know, but he held his peace, willing to hear her out. “And what are his intentions?”

“He said he recorded it for his own pleasure and sent it to me because he thought we might want to watch it together.”

“Hm. How thoughtful of him.”

“Yeah…so…” She pushed up into a seated position. “I kinda want to meet him. Like for coffee or something.”

“Wait…” Elijah frowned, slow to catch up to what she was saying. “You mean, like a date?”

“I…well, we’ve talked about me exploring my dominance, and I think that he might be right for this.”

“You haven’t even met the guy—”

“I know, but I think he might be right for it.” She reached for her phone and opened the message app so that he could see their conversation. “His name is Omar Solomon. When he called me on FaceTime to ask me out, I told him that I had to talk to you first. Then I asked him to do a thing for me.” She scrolled to the bottom of the messages.

Another video.

Tattooed across most of his visible body, the young man smiled shyly into the camera while he stroked his cock. The text message above it asked, Did I do good? He cringed inwardly at the poor grammar and hoped the kid typed that as a joke.

“Well, that escalated quickly,” Elijah muttered under his breath.

“I know. It just kinda…happened.” She gnawed on her top lip nervously.

This guy wasn’t her usually type. He knew the kind of guy she liked and they usually fell in the same spectrum as Julian or himself—or at least that was what he thought. He scrolled through the messages they had exchanged. They were a little flirty, but still respectful, and she acknowledged Elijah when asked. So why did he feel so murderously jealous?

“So…is it okay with you if I meet this guy?” she asked again.

A ragged sigh tore through him. “Let’s make an appointment to see Brahm first.”

CHAPTER FIVE