Free THE TOKEN by Tamara Blodgett

Book: THE TOKEN by Tamara Blodgett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tamara Blodgett
manifestation of fury it is.
    I feel Mick watching me, and I ignore him as I limp to the freight elevator. I move through the doors with one shoe on, ready to turn and send him off with a world-class death glare. I want Mick to disappear.
    I turn, and he's gone.
    So is my stiletto.

~ 11 ~
    Kiki rifles through my outfits as I lay on my bed, hands crossed over my stomach as I stare at my ceiling. The old beadboard ceiling has the original creamy paint, which has alligator crazing throughout. Kinda like my heart now.
    The days of what's left stretch before me like a black ribbon of road sinking into an uncaring horizon.
    “Gawd, you're a wet blanket, doll. Just sayin'.” Her full lips purse, and she gives me what I like to think of as the mom look.
    I don't put much stock in it. I have a mom. She's not really alive, but her presence is more powerful than it's ever been. It motivates and orders my steps each day.
    She tosses a deep bronze dress on the bed, eyes it critically, and says, “Come on, get up. Get out of this depressing funk or whatever the hell you're jonesing at.” Her dark eyes search mine. “No pity parties on my watch. Let's do this.”
    She's right. I can't tell Kiki everything. She knows enough already.
    I roll off my jammie bottoms and cami to slid on the second skin outfit she chose, my hair still damp from my shower. I move to the full-length mirror. I admit her choice is a good one. The deep bronze material shimmers as I turn, and it accentuates the slight caramel color my hair possesses.
    It color of the dress makes me think of Mick's hair.
    Mick the prick. I watch a sad little smile pop on my face like a weed that needs plucking.
    Kiki scrunches her nose. “Why do you look like you're gonna throw up in your fuck-me shoes?”
    Good question. I jump when the buzzer sounds.
    “I'll get it,” Kiki says.
    I nod . My eyes move back to my reflection. I know the outfit will be a real hit for the laps that await me tonight, like I care. I've already tabulated my earnings. My mind dismisses the emotional tally that keeps building.
    I don't know how much longer I can stomach the breast fondles, hand jobs, and other “extras” they want from me. Hanging onto my virginity isn't such an accomplishment when innocence is taken in increments.
    Chunks of who I am are stolen right from underneath my nose. My mind focuses on two nights ago.
    That night.
    That kiss.
    That wasn't thievery; it was consensual. It touched something in me that had never been caressed, awoken. I could dance on a thousand laps and never experience the tender assault of every sense I had from Mick.
    My head snaps to the front of my apartment, and I walk in there.
    I forget I'm wearing the costume for my set.
    Jared McKenna is standing in my living room.
    I suspect he's tired of me ignoring his texts and calls for the past forty-eight hours. Yeah... that's probably it.
    We regard each other for maybe three heartbeats while the late afternoon sun streams into the apartment, half of it cut by the tall building north of my own. It illuminates Mick, setting his hair on fire and shading his jaw, making the cleft at its center a deep pocket of shadow.
    His eyes don't meet my face.
    He's too busy looking at my outfit. What little there is.
    A hot flush rises to the surface of my skin. Mick's gaze lingers at the knot of material at my neck then sails to the deep v of the bodice and the almost-sheer straps that hardly cover my breasts. The thinness of the fabric doesn't hide the betrayal of my nipples. They harden at the sight of Mick, the memory of what he's awoken in my body an involuntary reaction I'm helpless to stop.
    His eyes take in my breasts. They move to where the skirt skims and cups my butt, the satin material clinging to my every curve.
    I know it will hitch up to reveal my panties when I straddle laps tonight.
    I swallow my nausea at the thought of being that close to anyone.
    But him.
    Then I remember what he thinks: I whore

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