Three days later, we go to Slattery’s Pub. It’s a local hangout in their neighborhood and it’s crowded, but Connor is acknowledged with a nod that says he can choose his spot. I wear a boysenberry-colored dress that dips in the front and plunges in the back. His palm is on my bare skin, making it tingle as we head up a back staircase. My heels click against the worn wood, which creaks underfoot.
Things are tense because I’ve been pushing to go home, and he’s not willing to let me leave his place.
“What if I stay somewhere else? At one of my friends’ places?”
“Sanders knows your friends. Frank probably does too.”
I scowl. “Dennis isn’t a threat to me. And Frank would be a lot less angry if I stayed with a friend than if I stayed with you.”
“When I know it’s safe for you to be out without protection, I’ll let you go wherever you want.”
“When will that be?” I demand.
“People have been asking where I am. I don’t like lying or evading their questions. It’s awkward.”
“Who’s been asking?” he asks.
I look away.
“What did Sanders say?”
“That he’s been by my place. That he wants to talk to me about something.” I put a hand on C’s arm. “I could meet him and help to settle this.”
“Why? He’s much more likely to confide in me than in Trick or Anvil.”
“No, he’s not.”
My eyes narrow. The only way he’d confide more in either of them would be if they threatened or hurt him. I don’t like thinking that they’ll do that. Dennis and I are close, and he’s been supportive when I’ve needed it while working on the show. That’s not to say that I think it’s okay for him to go around robbing C Crue or being present when one of their men is shot. I just believe that things might have gotten out of hand. Did the C Crue guys pull their guns? If Dennis was there, did he panic? Or did his partner? I sigh. I really, really wish I could stay out of the middle of this.
“I need some time to think, C. So this is the last night I’m staying at your place. Tomorrow I’m going home or to stay with a friend.”
He doesn’t answer, and I don’t know if that means he’s agreeing or just tired of talking about it. We reach the upstairs game room where Trick and Anvil are playing pool.
Connor’s hand rests on my ass. I have mixed feelings about it being there. On the one hand, deep down the possessive feel of it excites me. On the other, it signals what I am… a sex toy to be fondled in public. My cheeks flush.
“Hey, C,” Trick says. “You play pool, Zoe?”
This relaxes me, making me feel like I’m being invited into an inner circle, the way a girlfriend would be. Do these guys have girlfriends? They definitely get laid a lot, but I’ve never heard of them being linked to one girl. Still the friendly invitation makes me happy because at least he’s not looking at me like I might have knowledge about the van robbery.
“No, but I wouldn’t mind learning,” I say with a friendly smile.
“I’ll show you,” Connor says, giving my ass a slow squeeze.
“Go sit, Zoe.” C nods at the couch.
I retreat to a cozy corner, mostly because no other action makes sense.
The three men move into a tight circle, and I can’t make out what they’re saying in low voices. A minute later, Anvil sets his pool cue against the wall, and he and Trick leave.
“What was that about?”
Connor leans against the pool table, watching me. “Doesn’t concern you.”
He arches a brow.
“Because I have a right to know if it does.”
“Is that so?” He shakes his head, answering his own question. He drags his thumb over his stubble thoughtfully.
“I’m losing patience, C. Your business is your business, but my life is my business! If you’re not going to talk to me, I might as well leave now.”
“Come over here.” He sets his phone on the table next to him and starts a playlist, turning up the volume.
I walk over, and he pulls me against him, whispering low in my ear. “Are you sure you want to know more than you do? Do you want to hear that your redheaded boyfriend with his man-bun was at the theater with Frank and one of his captains? Do you want to hear that Sanders has been spending money he didn’t have last month? Or how about the fact that he’s lying low, not staying in his apartment, not going to the places he normally hangs out?”
My eyes widen. “He’s not staying at his place?”
“Hasn’t been there in days. So yeah, he’s suspect, and we’re looking for him. And until I get to the truth, I don’t want you meeting him or anywhere near him.”
“But he’s been to my place.”
“I know. He wants to get to you or the money he stashed or both. Now, are we done talking about this?”
After a beat, I nod.
“Good. Then go bend over that couch and raise your dress.”
“What?” I ask, my gaze darting around the room. We’re alone, but anyone could walk upstairs.
The corners of his mouth curve up. “Make me wait, and it’ll be my belt across that juicy ass of yours.”
“C, anyone could come up.”
“Then you’d better hurry before someone does.”
I stare at him, frozen for several moments. He points at the couch.
I shake my head.
“No one will come up. And if someone did, they’d never talk about what they saw. Trick owns this bar. People know me here.”
In other words, they’d know better than to gossip about the kingpin.
“I shouldn’t have raised my voice. I know you’re trying to resolve this.”
“Over the couch.”
“Can’t this wait until later when it could lead to other things? Wouldn’t that be more satisfying?”
He unbuckles his belt.
My heart races. I lick my lips as the belt slides free.
“The longer you wait, the harder the punishment.”
Reluctantly, I move to the couch, my heart already racing excitedly. Bending over it and presenting my ass immediately starts a hum in my body, my pussy tingling.
“Lift your dress out of the way.”
Very slowly, very hesitantly, I slide the silky fabric up to my waist. Now there’s only a thong.
Connor joins me, fondling the curvy globes. “I love your firm, round ass.”
My heart continues to thud so loudly it echoes in my ears.
“Some night, I may spank it for show,” he says, squeezing me slowly.
My face flames. “For show?”
“If you’re bad, I might bend you over and punish your ass in front of the guys.”
My breath catches and my pussy clenches, humiliation and arousal warring at the thought.
“You can’t do that!” I protest.
“I can’t, huh?” he asks, amusement in his voice. “You hate that idea? That’s why you push your ass up and out when I mention it?”
Even more embarrassed and now slightly pissed, I start to stand up.
He puts a hand on my back and pushes me back into position.
“Easy, beautiful. We’re not done yet.” He strokes the lowest part of my back, just above my ass. Then I feel his lips on my skin. The kiss is slow, his tongue trailing down. I shiver. “Gonna be a good girl?” he asks in a husky voice.
Mine is equally husky as I reply, “Yes.”
His palm comes down against my ass in slow, hard swats. Heat washes over me.
“God,” I whisper, unable to resist the sexy spiral I’m caught up in. How can I be half enjoying this?
He eases my panties down, and lust consumes me. I want him to touch me everywhere. I want some part of him inside me.
The slap of the belt makes my breath catch. I suck in air as the sting sinks in.
“Connor,” I groan.
“Hmm?” he asks, fingering the hot stripe from his belt.
“I’m not sure about this.”
His fingers dip into my pussy, which is weeping with pleasure. “I think you’re sure.” He slides his finger against my clit. My body vibrates with need, and I ease my legs wider apart. My mind hisses a protest, but my body ignores it.
He pulls his hand away. Then the belt whistles through the air and slaps my skin. I groan softly. He continues until the rhythm of the belt heats my skin to a feverish degree, and I edge away and rise up.
“I can’t,” I say, though my body’s still on the edge between pleasure and pain.
He drapes the belt over the back of the couch and unzips his fly. “Back over,” he says, tapping the couch cushion.
I drape my body next to his belt. He flips up my skirt. My underwear is still down around my thighs, which are damp with excitement.
He slides into me, his thick cock hard and unrelenting. “Mmm,” he says, squeezing my flaming ass.
I whimper, but push back, taking him all the way inside.
He grips my hips with callused hands and begins pumping into me. I’m breathless, my belly full of knots. How can I want it this way? But I do.
My backside is sore as he bangs into it. That drives me higher. I’m tight and wet at my core, and he seems to know just how to angle his thrusts.
“Connor,” I rasp.
He thrusts deep and pauses, holding me in place so my ass is pressed against his trousers, the cool fabric comforting my overheated skin.
“What, Zoe?” he asks. He shifts his weight, throbbing inside me.
I shake my head.
“Tell me. Pull out? Or keep going?”
“More,” I whisper.
“Good.” He withdraws and then pumps in harder.
My body melts, all sweet and soft and creamy for his cock. This is how he expects things to be. He’ll spank me and then take me, whenever and wherever he wants.
My mind rattles at the edges of protest, but I’m too far gone. My pussy clenches around him, and an orgasm rips through me. I gasp and dig my nails into the cushions while he continues to fuck my dripping pussy.
“C,” I husk, the sensations still rippling through me.
His grip tightens, but he slows, throbbing hard inside me. “In a minute,” he says, driving deep. “Lift that beautiful ass,” he says, giving it a hard swat.
I moan at the heat and the way his thick cock impales me. I raise my booty as commanded.
“That’s it. Gorgeous. I can’t wait to fuck your little hole. I’m gonna make you whimper and cry. You’re gonna learn to love taking me there.”
My pussy spasms, and another orgasm drags me into pleasure.
He groans as he spills his seed into me. “Feels so good.”
After a few harsh breaths, he pulls out and takes a step back. I hear him zip his trousers, and my face flames, remembering finally that we’re in a public place. There’s stickiness coating my thighs, and I wonder why I’m only becoming embarrassed now.
“Stand up,” he says, tugging my hair.
I rise and turn, not anxious to meet his eyes. He kisses me, his tongue invading my mouth, his body hard against mine.
When he lets me go, I know I’m a mess. My wild hair cascades over my shoulders, my dress is bunched around my waist, and my panties are still lowered as moisture drips down my thighs.
He smiles and kisses me again. “I love the way you look right now, dirty girl.” He cups my cheek with his palm. “But go get cleaned up.”
I step away, pulling my panties up and arranging myself in my dress before ducking into the bathroom.
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