Friday, July 25, 2014
Hard Heat: A Chronicles of Cashmere Series- Don't Listen
Harlow knew this wasn't the best idea. By all appearances she was at a work lunch with one of her new colleagues, Michael Dean. They were getting acquainted and discussing an account they were working on. "Getting acquainted' lunches were happening frequently with Michael, but Harlow had this feeling in her gut that he was seeking more. It was the same feeling she had about the woman who took over her position at Forte. A woman she met in London with Christaphor. A woman who couldn't keep her eyes off of him. A woman who seemed very much like Christaphor in that she was worldly and 'business oriented'. A woman who quit her job in London and moved to New York to work with the amazing Christaphor Halo.
Now Harlow was a seemingly sane woman who didn't believe the world was after she or her...boyfriend. Her lover. She didn't know how to define Christaphor, it was all so intense.
Harlow just had her gut feelings about things. Perhaps she was being a bit 'extra' because of the sudden breakup of her brother Gibson and Jacobi. They seemed perfect for each other, but out of the blue she says she is in love with someone and moving to Vermont.
Harlow is shaken from her thoughts as Michael touches her hand...
"I'm sorry I am boring you, going on and on. Please, tell me how your first month is going." He doesn't remove his hand so Harlow is unsure how to remove hers. She didn't want to seem rude, but she also didn't want to lead him on.
She laughs and slides her hand from under his immediately using it to fix her hair, "You were not boring me at all. I appreciate you making sure I am comfortable and getting settled. My month has been great; I am learning so much."
"Good. We are lucky to have you-"
"Michael Dean and Harlow Johns, what a surprise?" Harlow had to tell herself to breathe when she heard Christaphor's voice. Though it showed no wayward emotion, she just knew he was upset. When their eyes met, she swore she saw flames instead of his usual copper beauties.
"Le Pristine is the industry hot spot I guess..." Michael says, he winks at Harlow.
"Well I won't keep you, just wanted to stop by and say 'hello'." Christaphor smiles at the both of them and walks over to a table with four other people seated at, including 'the woman', Jennifer Haynes. Jennifer's blue eyes light up when Christaphor takes his seat next to her, she places a hand on his upper arm and leans close to his ear to tell him something. Harlow tries not to stare.
"Wow, that wasn't awkward... your old boss-" Michael says distracting Harlow from her staring and trying to mentally stab Jennifer.
"I left on good terms besides my replacement seems to be fitting in just fine." She quickly looks back at Christaphor and Jennifer, who has a hand on his shoulder and is laughing about something. Suddenly Harlow's phone vibrates. She looks down to see a text message from Christaphor.
"Take that...I have to go to the little boys room...b r b." Michael winks at Harlow again and heads for the back of the restaurant.
Harlow sighs and reads the text: If he touches you again I will make it so he is unable to touch anyone or anything again.
Christaphor Halo wasn't a crazed jealous man, but he was proprietary about what he considered his. Harlow was definitely no object, but in their month together he was in love with her, so much so he wanted them living together already. Harlow laughed at this. She had fallen for him as well, but all these 'fancy free feelings' were new to her and she didn't want to fall on her face.
Though Christaphor was everything she wanted, he still had his moments where she wanted to run and hide and forget this whole affair.
She quickly types back: Stop. If you want to play that game- is my replacement replacing me in all things?
She clicks send.
Harlow smiles satisfied that she hadn't totally lost her spunk, her brother makes fun of her for becoming a tamed kitten since meeting Christaphor.
The phone vibrates in her hand. Harlow's smile grows wider until she see's that Christaphor is no longer sitting at his table. She also notices that Michael is returning to their table.
Christaphor's text reads: I am in the unisex handicap bathroom. Come here. Now.
Harlow's eyes go wide. Her breath quickens. She tucks her phone into her purse and looks up at Michael, "My turn. Be right back."
He smiles and touches her shoulder as she passes his seat.
Harlow had no idea what kind of argument was awaiting her in this unisex bathroom, but she knew it would have to be a quick one because she had deadlines. She knocks on the door-then it was all like a whirlwind. She is pulled into the bathroom, her purse is taken and put on a counter- then Christaphor's eyes meet hers and there was a silent understanding about what was going to happen here.
He turns her around to face the faux marble wall and licks the shell of her ear, he then whispers, "I don't like being jealous, Harlow."
He slides her pencil skirt up her thighs and then begins to massage her warm, luscious flower with his two long fingers.
Harlow moans, "I don't like being jealous...either...Christaphor..." She gasps when he slides her delicate undergarments to the side. She hears his zipper and before she could fully comprehend that she was about to have sex in a public restroom- he was fully inside her, so deep she almost orgasmed that instant. She begins clawing at the smooth cool walls, one of his larger hands intertwines with hers while the other is holding her to him, a hand splayed on her tummy. He tugs her back with each deep thrust, one of Harlows hands moves to the back of his head and tugs at his close cropped hair.
His warm breath in her ear, "I love you."
Though she would rather be no where else, but here right now fucking Christaphor in a fancy New York City bathroom, Harlow wasn't sure this 'first time he said I love you' moment would be one she wanted to share with her grandchildren...or with anyone.
2- The Replacement
The rest of the day seemed like a blur for Harlow. She was so deep in her thoughts. Then a flash of what happened at Le Pristine would make her blush...then she would feel uneasy about it again. The unease came from how unaffected Christaphor seemed after their...intense interlude. Did he even know he said that he loved her or were all things forgotten when he came.
He went back to his table and cracked a joke that made everyone laugh, Jennifer laughed the loudest of course. While Harlow tried to say anything to Michael besides: I just fucked my boyfriend in the bathroom!
After a few meetings and thought clearing walks to Starbucks with her new co-workers, Harlow decided to email Christaphor. She felt writing to him would be far better than saying anything face to face...because more than likely there wouldn't be much speaking and just a lot of wonderful things that would make her forget why they needed to talk.
Sure she was an adult and enjoyed those wonderful things...these were real feelings that she was dealing with. Feelings she felt unfamiliar with as she had never been in love.
Harlow sat in her office for a bit contemplating how to begin her email. She didn't want it to be a novella about her feelings, Christaphor was a man of few words and she gathered he showed his feelings with his actions. The fact that he wanted to spend every waking moment with her when he wasn't working, should be enough.
She decides that fewer flowery words and getting straight to the point was the thing to do....
This afternoon-though wonderful (as always)- was very intense. I need time to process everything. I know you wanted to me join you in San Francisco this weekend for your conference, but I think we should use this time to really think about what we want.
She pressed 'send' and leaned back in her chair. This weekend she would not only process this whole 'relationship' thing, but catch up on work accounts. As she was about to send Michael an email to re-send some samples she needed, an email from Christaphor pops up.
I am a glad things were to your liking though not good enough to keep you from running away. You want space to 'process' the fact that I love you? You need to figure out if you feel the same or if this is just great sex. Take the weekend and get back to me when you have fully processed everything.
For a man of few words, Harlow felt when he was tapped, Christaphor could be quite the wordsmith. He overwhelmed her with how straight forward he was. There was no game- so why couldn't she just trust it. She felt a pang of hurt, but she wanted this. She wanted the space...she wanted to process...but oh she wanted him.
You know I feel the same I am just not used to feeling this way. Thank you for the... space.
It was weird for her to be alone in her apartment without anticipating Christaphor coming over to make dinner and for them to discuss their day. Harlow distracted herself with work until the urge to email Christaphor took over and she began an email to him. The twenty-four hours of no communication was long enough. He didn't even respond to the last email she sent to him. In this battle of wills, he was clearly in the lead.
As she opened her Gmail she sees an email from a former colleague and friend at Forte, Jillian Jacks.
Long time no see, bitch! When are we going for drinks? We can't this weekend because I am stuck here in San Francisco for this conference with the delicious CHRISTAphor Halo and that new British bimbo ass they hired to replace you. I don't know if its the Cali breezes but her skirts are shorter than the usual- anyways we have an office pool here going to see how long it take for those two to start banging. She is like what comes up when he types: date for tonight.
Enough about me. Let's get together soon so I can gossip with my favorite bitch!
Harlow wanted to take her laptop and toss it across the room. Instead, she paced in her living room trying to get thoughts of Christaphor and Jennifer together...out of her head. Wasn't the beginning of their...tryst...affair on a business trip?
Two knocks on her door, Harlow jumps a little. It was nine at night, who would be stopping by without calling first. She realized this wasn't the Victorian ages and that she just needed open the door and get over it. When she did she sees Christaphor with his elegant overnight bag. Harlow steps back in shock, he steps into the apartment and closes the door behind him.
3- The End?
Christaphor wasn't a fearful man. He wasn't a man who chased a woman or said 'I love you' at all. He told his mom he loved her, but that was his mom. This thing with Harlow took him out of his comfort zone and unlike most he enjoyed that. Especially because he knew the risk would be worth it.
He pulls her to him and leans in to kiss her, when their lips meet it was almost electrical. His bag drops to the floor and they make their way to the couch that they have 'christened' many times before. She begins pushing away from him though...
"Stop...please..." Harlow places a hand on Christaphor's broad chest. He looks at her with questioning eyes...and did she see fear flash in them for a second.
"Because this....isn't space." He let's go of her. It was almost as if she punched him in the gut. Harlow was a ball of emotions- she was elated he was there, she was angry about the Jennifer thing, she wanted him to leave, she wanted him to hold her...."I am glad you are here, I was just about to write you..."
He steps closer to her, "Good. I saved you the keystrokes." His arms are around her again, she slowly wraps her arms around his waist. "I tried giving you space and I figured I had given you enough."
She sighs and kisses his chin, he smiles. "I think we should break up..." Harlow didn't know why the words escaped her lips, but the fear of being so in love with Christaphor and then him leaving her for her 'replacement' wasn't something she could deal with. First loves are a bitch.
Christaphor had been staring at her this whole time, mouth open staring. Wordlessly, he gathers his elegant weekend bag and leaves Harlow standing in the middle of her now dim feeling living room, feeling lonely for the first time ever in her life. What did she just do?
The End...for now. We will catch up with Harlow and Christphor in Don't Let Go in a few weeks!!! #BeachReads