Brandon did not know what to do. He had four minutes before he had to leave for his hotel shift but Caroline was still asleep on his bed and he had this horrible, gut-wrenching feeling that if he left her alone, she’d be gone when he returned. He didn’t have the heart to wake her. She looked so at peace; knees curled up to her chest, hair splayed out across the pillow, with her smudged makeup giving her a smoky morning-after kind of appeal.
He moved silently around the tiny bedsit, showering and changing his clothes, and completely unsure of what to do. A knock on the door disturbed the peaceful stillness and Jay’s voice, bright and cheerful, came through.
“WAKE UP BRANDON! GET UP! GET UP! GET UP!”
He sounded like an incendiary device going off in a library. Brandon froze, and squeezed his eyes shut tight.
“I’m awake!” he whispered loudly. “Go away!”
“WHAT? I CANNOT HEAR A WORD YOU’RE SAYING. ARE YOU SLEEPTALKING?”
“No!” Brandon went over to the door and opened it a crack. “I’m up, okay? Give me two minutes.”
“Sure.” Jay tried to look past him into the room. “What’s going on? You on the phone?”
Caroline’s sleepy voice piped up. “My head fucking kills.”
Jay’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Hands free,” Brandon said by way of explanation, and he shut the door before Jay could reply.
“Who was that?”
“The police. They wanted to know what happened to the drunken sex addict who was lurking around here last night. Don’t worry, I covered for you.”
She didn’t look like she got the joke as she sat up and tried to comb through her hair with her fingers.
“My God, I feel like shit.”
“If it’s any consolation, you don’t look
“Basically, you got drunk.” He checked his watch. “Look, I have to go. Why don’t you sleep it off? I’ll be back in like… ten hours. Just stay here, okay?”
She groaned and screwed her eyes shut. “My head hurts.”
Brandon walked the few steps to the kitchen and made a cup of strong instant coffee.
He took it to her. “Bad, huh?”
She gazed up at him with a pained expression as she took the cup. “I feel sweaty, nauseous and like I was in a car crash. My god, I will never ever drink again.”
“If I had a dollar for every hung-over person who said that…”
Brandon ’s feet hurt. Despite Jay’s advice, he’d stuck to cheap shoes while working at the hotel and only after having destroyed and replaced four pairs, had he finally invested in an expensive leather alternative. The only problem was that he hadn’t broken the new ones in and now his feet hated him with an aching vengeance. And there was no time to give them a break. He was walking around continuously; lobby to elevator, elevator to room, back to elevator, hovering invisibly in the foyer, heading outside to get a cab for a guest… it went on and on.
He’d already escorted three hookers to separate rooms. He would have been more understanding if it was night-time on a Saturday but it was eleven in the morning on a Monday. He’d had his ass ‘accidentally’ grabbed by some cougar who carried a tiny but incredibly vicious dog in her hand. The dog gave him evils as the woman sank her fingers into his butt and when he instinctively jerked away, she just laughed. And the worst thing was that she’d checked in for a week’s stay. He made a mental note to stay very far away from room two three six.
Then he had to head outside to help a seventeen year old newbie who couldn’t cram thirteen suitcases into a taxi trunk designed for five.
“It’s just like Tetris, boys.” said the fat, cheerful guest who seemed to enjoy watching them struggle with the cases. They gave him bright smiles although dropping the bags onto his feet was a real temptation. To Brandon, it felt like the luggage held nothing but cast iron and it was a relief when the cab finally struggled off with its heavy load.
Monday was the day after big weekends and the gamblers were either tipping like movie stars or wandering around with a lost, defeated look in their eyes. Brandon tried to avoid the second kind, preferring to listen to the winners’ gleeful stories as he helped them with their luggage. He carried one guy’s bags towards a cab only to have a hung-over loser stumble past them muttering about how his wife was going to kill him. Polar opposites; one guy on top of the world, the other wishing he were dead.
Bags moved, bags vibrated, and bags were sometimes snatched from him urgently without so much as an explanation before the owner rifled through them to check everything was intact. And then the bag was tossed back at him and he had to catch it or whatever the hell was in there could get smashed on the marble floor. To some, it would have been annoying. But to Brandon, all it meant was a satisfied guest and a ten dollar tip which was enough to keep him going as he tapped his uncomfortable feet and wondered whether he could run home and back during his five minute break.
She’d be gone, he knew she would. He found himself wishing he’d given her sleeping pills so she wouldn’t be alert enough to leave. God, he was starting to think like some kind of psychopath. It was the guests. They were beginning to make him feel like insanity was normal.
The day went on, and he successfully avoided Ms Cougar’s second blatant attempt to grab his ass as she headed out with the dog from hell in her arms. She made him fucking nervous. And the dog made him even more nervous. He imagined her setting it loose on him if he brushed off another of her inappropriate advances and shuddered at the notion.
It felt like days before his shift finally ended. He ran home, dragging so hard on his cigarette that it lasted half the time it usually did. It was stupid to be so desperate but he genuinely could not help himself. He raced up the stairs in record time and paused momentarily outside his front door, forcing his feet to stay still. He took a deep breath and went in.
The room looked odd and he realised the bed was made.
There was nothing. He stuck his head around the bathroom door and then looked in the kitchen. Nada. Nothing. Not a damn thing. No sign of her. Everything looked oddly clean and tidy and he felt like screwing it all up, simply because he was so fucking disappointed. But he didn’t have the energy. He sank down on his bed and lay there looking at the ceiling through unfocused eyes. Again.
He’d let it happen again. Oh my god
. Utter, utter, stupidity. Senseless hopes and dreams. He needed to get over these fucking fantasies since they clearly had no hope in hell of coming true. He felt sick. He wanted to break something, but he had nothing dispensable. Instead he clenched his fists and paced around the bedsit, thinking of all the cruel home truths he’d tell her next time she showed up for a fuck. You’re pathetic, and vain, and materialistic, and a heart-breaking nightmare. You turn into a slut when you’re drunk. I hate you. A lot. Almost as much as I love you.
He was trying to think of more when the door opened. He spun around and Caroline walked in, like there was nothing wrong.
She smiled brightly at him, looking enviably radiant. “Hey. You’re back. God, I must have drunk like ten litres of vodka last night.”
“Really?” Brandon croaked.
“No. I’m exaggerating.” she said, frowning at him in concern. “What’s wrong?”
He leaned against the wall, and gazed at her incredulously. “I thought you’d gone.”
“I had,” she said. “Did you know that you had no food in this place? Well, aside from one bottle of milk.”
“Huh.” Brandon watched as she walked into the kitchen.
“So I went and picked some stuff up.”
“I don’t get it.” Brandon said perplexedly. “What are you doing here?”
She turned and looked at him like he was crazy. “You asked me to stay. And I said I would. So here I am.”
“But you left,” Brandon said. “The other day. You went and you never even told me why. You didn’t even call.”
“I had to go. I had to break it off with James. You can’t do a thing like that over the phone.” She looked at him nervously. “I guess I should have told you but I thought you’d figure it out.”
Brandon sat on the windowsill and lit a cigarette, cranking open the window to let the smoke out.
“What did he say? James, I mean.”
She shrugged, looking vaguely unsettled. “He said a lot. Most of it is stuff I wouldn’t want to repeat.” Her forced laugh was distressing.
Brandon said nothing. He took a deep drag on his cigarette, watching the people and cars pass by on the street below.
He blew out a perfect ring of smoke and turned to look at her. “What?”
She stepped forward uncertainly. “What’s wrong?”
He sighed. “I guess I just feel like we’re going around in circles. I mean, one day you’re here, one day you’re gone. It’s not fair. I can’t relax because I have no idea whether you’ll even be here in the morning. I just… wish you would make your choice and stick with it.”
She frowned. “I have made my choice. You. Us. I don’t know what else you want.”
The tension hung in the air between them. Brandon didn’t want to hurt her but then he didn’t want to get hurt himself. He felt the warm fire burning inside, like it always did when he saw her, and right now it was calm. But he knew that sooner or later she’d burn him.
He sighed deeply. “Look, Caroline. I want this, okay? But you… I feel like once the novelty of being with me wears off, you’ll be gone. It won’t be fun anymore in a couple of weeks; it’ll all be grey and boring. You’ll probably regret everything and I don’t want to get rejected when that happens. You can’t possibly know how much you hurt me.”
There was a long pause and then,
“God, you really think very little of me, don’t you?” Caroline said softly. “Don’t you understand? I came here for you, to be with you for every single day of my life. It’s like you have no faith in me.”
“I wouldn’t be talking like this if you hadn’t just disappeared.”
She sat down opposite him, her eyes searching his face until he turned to look at her.
“What if I told you I’d never leave again?”
“I’d want to believe you.”
She reached forward and took his hand. “Believe me, then. Brandon, you make me happy. I’m not here because you want me to be. I’m here because I
want to be here. How can I make you believe that?”
Even as he sat there, he could feel the cracks in his resolve begin to widen as hope seeped out of them.
Her eyes were wide and anxious and beautiful. “What do you want me to do?”
He gazed out of the window for a long moment and then he turned to her and said, “Marry me.”
She paused. Smiled uncertainly, like she thought he was joking. “Oka-y.” she said slowly.
“I’m serious,” he said, and his expression echoed his words. “You want to prove that you’re committed to this? So marry me. You say you want to be with me for the rest of your life so I don’t know why you’d even want to think about it.”
She swallowed hard, but her eyes held his gaze unflinchingly. “I just cancelled one wedding. You know, those things take a lot of planning.”
Brandon raised an eyebrow. “Even a super low-key Vegas wedding? You know, it could just be us. We could go tonight and get married in jeans.”
She giggled. “I’m not getting married in jeans.”
He tilted his head to the side. “Is that a yes then?”
Her eyes flicked away from his as she considered it and then she met his gaze and said, “I guess it is, so long as it makes you happy.”
“Does it make you happy?”
She thought about it for a couple of seconds and then said, “Yes. It does.”
“Then it makes me happy.”
And he finally smiled.
“You know, we could do this for like, two hundred bucks. Chapel hire, flowers, license, couple of photos. And you know, if we get ‘just married’ t-shirts, we’ll definitely get free drinks if we go out afterwards.”
Caroline laughed. “God, you’re a cheapskate! Besides, I’m never going to drink again.”
“Good. You’re… not yourself when you’re drunk.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to ask about last night. You’ll just embarrass me.” And then she changed the subject. “So I think a few days wait would be best. We’ll have to get rings and cake and all that.”
“Yeah. That’ll probably push us over the two hundred.”
“You know, people spend like millions on weddings.”
“But we’re not just people. We’re… different, aren’t we?”
She gazed at him for a second. “We are. I can’t believe we’re doing this.”
His smile was wide. “Me neither.”
He felt like all his dreams had rolled into one and suddenly became true. Half of him didn’t dare to believe any of it, but he knew, instinctively, that this time they were in it for life. The realisation didn’t seem to sink in at first. He just sat there gazing at her, unable to conjure up words for all the magical feelings in his head. This type of reality felt surreal. They were in love. Not he was in love with her, or she was in love with him; they were in love with each other.
All he’d ever wanted was to make her his and now she was
his and it seemed almost too perfect. All the months of pain and uncertainty had ended in the best way possible, as if he’d been rewarded for enduring all the heartache. He thought of the times he’d lain alone in his bed and craved a future. And now Caroline was his future and he couldn’t have dreamt of anything better than waking up next to her every morning.
Love. It was a word he’d never quite understood until meeting her. It had just seemed like something you professed to a girl to make her drop her guard and kiss you. He’d never quite thought he’d be one of those men who felt the sentiment literally pumping around their veins. His blood warmed and his heart pounded every time he saw her. To him, she exemplified perfection.
During their times apart, he’d often tried to invoke the same feelings with other girls but he never could. Despite how beautiful or intelligent all the women who crossed his path were, they simply didn’t have the same effect on him. He could talk to them and laugh with them but there was something missing. It wasn’t something he could explain. All he knew was that he felt like he was more important and meaningful when he was in Caroline’s company.
She made him feel like he was worthy of her and being worthy of the most beautiful woman in the world was an immeasurable compliment. When he was with her, he forgot all the bad memories of the past and lost himself in her beauty and intelligence. Sure, she had her faults but what weight did they hold to her abundance of qualities? And who didn’t have faults? He’d probably sinned more than the average bad man but for her to know all that and still be willing to seal their souls together was just… magical.
Before Caroline, he’d never made a real effort with women. They seemed like a different species almost, full of weird ideologies about how men should act and how women deserved to be treated. And he’d entertained them and played out to their fantasies before fucking them and leaving with the money. He’d never quite understood where they were coming from or what they even wanted from life, and he didn’t particularly want
to understand. But he understood Caroline, even with all the crazy fantasies and bad decisions. Their attraction felt impulsive and meaningful.
She moved towards him and stroked her fingers down his cheek.
“I don’t know how I could have been so stupid,” she murmured. “I almost lost you altogether.”
“You didn’t,” Brandon said wryly. “I’m a fool. I couldn’t have stayed away from you for long.”
“You’re not a fool,” she said and he believed her, because in that moment he would have believed anything she said.
Her face came closer to his and she kissed him softly.
“I love you, Brandon.”
Four small words. Words he hadn’t heard in years. Words that made the emotions gush freely from the broken dam of his restraint. He pulled her close and kissed her hard, crushing her mouth beneath his.
They parted for breath and gazed at each other momentarily.
“God, I need you,” Brandon murmured, his hands resting on the place just below the narrowness of her waist.
“I need you more,” Caroline whispered and her hands were quick and eager as they sought out his zipper and tugged at it urgently.
He pulled her into his arms, moving over to the bed and dropping her down onto it as he hurriedly undressed. She watched impatiently, and then he moved above her, pressing the length of his body against hers, his erection pushing urgently against the flat of her stomach. Caroline’s hips rose up automatically to meet his and the movement made something inside him groan with desire.
He grasped her hands in one of his, holding them down as he let his fingers trail under her dress and disappear into her panties. His eyes held her gaze as his finger furtively explored her warmth.
“You’re so wet,” he whispered and he let his thumb circle her clit, loving the way her eyes drifted closed and her lips parted as she tried to control her breathing.
“Put it in,” she murmured. “I want to feel you.”
He let go of her hands and dragged her underwear off, dropping it somewhere on the floor. He hovered above her, wondering whether life could get any sweeter than this. She nudged closer to him, inviting him in, and he took his cock in his hand, feeling the hot hardness as he lined it up to her waiting entrance.
She opened her eyes then, and looked at him so wantonly that his heart felt like it flipped over completely.
His eyes darkened, and his smile disappeared, as he slammed into her hard, feeling the walls of her wet pussy adjust to his length. It felt utterly sublime. He pulled back, letting his breath come out through clenched teeth as her hands reached up to caress his face. Her fingertips moved gently across his forehead, pushing his hair back, and tracing over every line and bone as if she was trying to commit it to memory.
He gritted his teeth and plunged again, watching her mouth drop open as he bottomed out deep inside her. She felt so tight and welcoming. He grasped her hips, lifting them up to meet his thrusts as he moved faster, listening to her soft moans as he slid in and out of her passage. One hand reached up to squeeze her breast through thin layers of material and he marvelled at how perfect her body felt to him. Nothing was unnecessary or surplus.
He pushed her hair from her face and watched her expression alter as he changed the angle of his thrusts, fucking her deeper and harder. She moaned out loud and arched her body, pushing it up towards him. He felt like he owned her entirely, just like she owned him; willing slaves to one another.
Grasping her waist, he pulled her around so she was on top as he sank back onto the bed, still holding tight to her body. She leaned down to kiss him and he let his hands tangle in her long hair as their tongues collided and danced in a perfect rhythm.
“Fuck me, Caroline,” he gasped, and she pulled herself into a sitting position, her eyes holding his gaze as she slowly lifted off him before moving back down.
Brandon ’s eyes closed for one precious second. His heart was beating fast and he let out a groan of longing as she leaned her palms on his chest and moved up and down. Her long dark hair hung down around them, and he lifted his hips to push her back up each time his cock disappeared inside her depths.
His breathing was coming out raggedly and his eyes locked onto hers as he held her tight and controlled the pace, pushing up and making her go faster and faster, as the sweat broke out across his body.
Her voice was breathy and needy as his cock slicked back and forth, and he flipped her over onto her back again, supporting his weight on his hands as he gave it to her hard. He gazed deep into her eyes, and recognised the animalistic desire there as she tugged at his hair. She moved with him in perfect tandem, her hips slamming against his every time he drove into her. She was everything he wanted and more.
The wet sounds of sex merged with her moans and he had to fight to control himself and stop it all from being over too quickly. Times like these were what she’d possessed him with in the first place. The raw, unspoken emotions all came out when they fucked and it spurred him on to give it to her harder and make her feel just as good as he felt.
He grasped her legs, lifting them from the bed as he swore between his teeth and slammed into her mercilessly, his balls smacking against her ass each time he thrust deep inside her. She clung on tight as he tried to hold out on his orgasm. She shuddered beneath him, her body shaking as she came hard and fast, clenching around him and kissing him hard, almost encouraging him to let go. He let it happen then; let the waves of ecstasy consume him as he jerked inside her tight passage and let himself relax.
Her arms wrapped around him and she held him close. Her voice was in his ear, telling him something he couldn’t understand in his orgasmic haze. It took a while for the fog of pleasure to lift. He gently extricated himself from her hold and rolled beside her onto his back, as the sweat cooled on his body.
There was a long silence as he tried to think of something to say.
“Have you ever felt like this before?” he asked eventually. “About anyone else?”
He knew it was a blunt question but he felt like he had to know. All this was new to him and he desperately hoped she felt the same way.
“No.” she murmured. “And I’m not just saying that. There’ve been a lot of guys and I never really felt a connection to them. I felt like I had too many secrets and I put up all these walls around myself so that they wouldn’t see what I really was.”
“And I know that they tried to get through, tried to break through the walls but they couldn’t. It just seemed so ugly and forceful. But then it was like you found a door in one of the walls and you got through to me. I never expected to feel anything and I guess that’s why I did end up feeling something. You caught me off guard. You found the key to the door and came in before I could stop you.”
“God, you’re fucking smart,” Brandon said wide-eyed. “The door symbolises your heart, right?”
She laughed. “I guess so. The outside of the heart. When you came through, you were inside my heart.”
“Yeah, exactly. Wow.”
“I feel like I don’t deserve this,” Brandon said, finally letting go of the haunting thought. “I feel like you’re worth so much more. You could have so much and I have nothing.”
“Don’t ever say that.” Caroline’s voice was soft. “Everything is meaningless without you. I could have the world and I’d still be incomplete. We all have a right to be loved and you deserve me just as much as I deserve you. More, even. Tell me you believe that.”
“I believe everything you tell me.” Brandon said, and he meant it.
The sun shone through the window, slanting shadows across the room and Brandon knew he had to get ready for his shift at the bar. For the first time, he didn’t feel nervous about leaving her. He showered and changed as she sat up on the bed watching him, her eyes taking him in like she couldn’t get enough.
“If I were a drink, what kind do you think I’d be?” she asked. “Any drink. Not just alcoholic.”
Brandon grinned. “Water. Plain and simple, that’s what you are.”
She pouted at him. “No. Really.”
He paused with his hand on the door, thinking it through, trying to come up with something that would represent all her best qualities. Finally, he said, “Champagne. Classy, expensive, and too much is never enough.”
“Really. What about me?”
She smirked. “A seriously dirty vodka martini.”
He laughed, feeling light-hearted for the first time in what seemed like years. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
There were four guests at the wedding. Brandon was sweating and the cake was melting in the stifling Vegas heat as he and Caroline kissed to the cheers of Jay, Sam, and Caroline’s parents. It was simple and picture-perfect, and everyone seemed to understand that no matter how the two of them had arrived at this stage, they deserved to be there. Questions were deflected, jokes were told and cake was eaten. It all went by in one beautiful blur and the ring on Brandon’s finger felt weightless, like it was clear that no part of his marriage would ever be burdensome.
Soon enough, they were left alone and then they went out. They danced ecstatically, like they were high up in the sky, surrounded by the beautiful inky darkness of night, with the stars as companions that shone all the brighter at their joy. It felt simple and magical and pure; their bodies pressed together like there was some unconscious attraction between their souls.
Brandon felt higher than ever before, in some place where nothing had to be explained or justified; it all made sense even through the haze of pleasure. He felt drunk on his dreams. The disbelief, ecstasy and hope created a cloud of happiness which he was perfectly happy to hang onto for the rest of his life.
When he held her in his arms it was as if nobody existed but the two of them. He felt like they were isolated in a solitary bubble that even fate could not be cruel enough to burst. She was his oasis in the vast desert of life and after starting out as nothing more than a mirage, she’d finally turned into something tangible that he could touch and connect with.
The day he married her was the best day of his life.
And when it was over and he looked into her eyes in the uncertain blackness of night, wondering whether his happiness would be short-lived, she took his hand in hers and he felt the press of her wedding band against his palm as she whispered, “I’ll never leave you.”
And she never did.
*** Author’s Note: Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this series! I did kind of struggle to keep the inspiration going at times but your comments and messages made it all the easier. You guys are the best! :) Emilia x
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/straight-sex/dance-for-me-chapter-ten-ending.aspx">Dance for Me - Chapter Ten (Ending)</a>