Home > Driven (Driven #1)(4)

Driven (Driven #1)(4)
Author: K. Bromberg

“Who the hell do you think you are? Touching me like that? Taking advantage of me that way?” I spit at him, using anger to ward off the hurt I feel. I’m not sure if I’m more upset at myself for my willing submission to him or the fact that he took advantage of me in my frenetic state as a means of amusement while killing time. Or is it that I feel ashamed because I succumbed to his mind blowing kiss and skilled fingers without even knowing his name? Something that I would never do under normal circumstances.

The maddening fact is that I’m not sure who I’m more upset with, him or myself.

He continues to observe me, his anger simmering, eyes glowering. “Really?” he scoffs at me, cocking his head to the side and rubbing a hand over his condescending smirk. I can hear the rasp of his stubble as his hand chafes over it. “That’s how you’re going to play this? Were you not participating just now? Were you not just coming apart in my arms?” He laughs snidely. “Don’t fool your prim little self into thinking that you didn’t enjoy that. That you don’t want more.”

He takes a step closer to me, amusement and something darker blazing in the depths of his eyes. Raising a hand, he traces a finger down the line of my jaw. Despite flinching away, the heat from his touch reignites the smoldering craving deep in my belly. I silently castigate my body for its betrayal. “Let’s get one thing clear,” he growls at me. “I. Do. Not. Take. What’s. Not. Offered. And we both know, sweetheart, you offered,” he smirks. “Willingly.”

I jerk my chin away from his fingertips, wishing that I were one of those people who can say all the right things at all the right times. But I’m not. Instead, I think of them hours later and only wish that I’d said them. I know that I’ll be doing that later, for I can’t think of a single way to rebuke this overconfident yet completely correct man. He has reduced me to a mass of over stimulated nerves craving for him to touch me again.

“That poor defenseless crap may work with your boyfriend who treats you like china on a shelf, fragile and nice to look at. Rarely used.” he shrugs, “but admit it, sweetheart, that’s boring.”

“My boy—” I stutter, “I’m not fragile!”

“Really?” he chides, reaching up to hold my chin in place as he looks in my eyes. “You sure act that way.”

“Screw you!” I jerk my chin from his grasp.

“Ooooh, you’re a feisty little thing.” His arrogant smirk is irritating. “I like feisty, sweetheart. It only makes me want you that much more.”

Prick! I’m just about to make a retort about what a manwhore he obviously is. That I know about his “getting acquainted” with someone else down the hall not too long ago before moving onto me. I stare at him, the thought rattling around in the back of my head that he vaguely reminds me of someone, but I push it away. I’m just flustered, that’s all.

Just as I’m about to open my mouth, from behind me I hear Dane’s voice calling my name. Relief floods me as I turn to see him standing at the end of the hallway, looking at me oddly. Most likely perplexed at my disheveled state.

“Rylee? I really need those lists. Did you get them?”

“I got sidetracked,” I mumble. I glance back at Mr. Arrogant behind me. “I’m coming. I just … wait for me, okay?”

Dane nods at me as I turn to the open door of the storage closet and quickly grab scattered paddles off of the floor as gracefully as possible and shove them in the bag. I exit the closet and avoid meeting his eyes as I start to walk toward Dane. I exhale silently, glad to be heading toward more familiar ground when I hear his voice behind me. “This conversation isn’t over, Rylee.”

“Like hell it isn't, A.C.E.,” I toss over my shoulder, the thought fleeing through my mind how perfect the acronym fits him before continuing hastily down the hall, keeping my shoulders squared and head held high in an attempt to keep my pride intact.

I quickly reach Dane, my closest confidant and friend at work. Concern etches his boyish face as I loop my arm through his, tugging him back toward the party. Once we’re through the backstage door, I release the breath I didn’t know I was holding and lean back against the wall.

“What the hell happened to you, Rylee? You look like a hot mess!” He eyes me up and down, “And does it have anything to do with that Adonis back there?”

It has everything to do with the Adonis, I want to confide in Dane but for some reason hold back. “Don’t laugh,” I say, eying him warily. “The closet door jammed shut, and I was stuck on the inside.”

He stifles a laugh and looks toward the ceiling to contain it. “That would only happen to you!”

I push his shoulder in a friendly manner, relieved to be back on more familiar ground with someone. “Really, it’s not funny. I got panicked. Claustrophobic. The lights went out and it brought me back to the accident.“ Concern flashes in his eyes. “I freaked out, and that guy heard me yelling and let me out. That’s all.”

“That’s all?” He questions, his eyes narrowing at me in suspicion for he has known me for too long.

I nod. “Yes. I just really lost if for a minute.” I hate lying to him but for now, it’s my best course of action. The more adamant I am, the quicker he’ll drop it.

“Well, that’s too bad because damn, girl, he’s fine.” I laugh at him as he wraps his arm around me in a quick hug. “Go on and freshen up. Take a breather, then we need you back out to mingle and schmooze. We’re about thirty minutes out from the start of the date auction.”

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