Eighteen-year-old Mandy dreams of graduating from high school and getting as far away from home as possible. Then a chance encounter leaves her deeply drawn to her gorgeous and mysterious neighbor. But Antek is no boy next door. He's a man with too many scars and self-destructive tendencies.
Their age difference alone makes them an unlikely pair, yet Mandy quickly finds herself pulled in to his world of hot nights and gourmet food. Can a high school senior really find love with a jaded restauranteur? And when Antek's past catches up with him and takes aim at Mandy, will either of them decide that falling in love is worth the risk?
Be Warned: anal sex, rape (not for titillation)
While we do the dishes together, he starts singing along to music and I join him. He’s actually pretty good at singing and imitating dance moves. We’re so incredibly silly. He splashes me with soap foam, and I retaliate with a huge splash to his face. He shakes his head dry. We’re both laughing hysterically. He’s definitely drunk. I can tell by the way he’s leaning against the counter for support and laughing uncontrollably into his hand. His cheeks are red, and there are tears in his eyes.
When the dishes are dry and put away, Antek cradles his glass of wine in his palm and heads back to the couch. He plops down and sighs with exhaustion.
“Come here,” he growls, holding his arms out to me. I’m feeling tipsy from the wine and climb onto his lap. He wraps his arms around my middle and nuzzles his nose into my neck, inhaling deeply. He holds me tight and I nestle into him, grateful for the heat of his body.
“Do you think you’ll stay at Rozana’s for a long time?”
He smiles against the side of my head. He no doubt finds my question naïve.
“I wouldn’t have a life without that place.”
“Do you ever think about starting your own restaurant?”
“I have. But leaving Rozana’s seems … unthinkable.”
I look down at his arms wrapped around me and gently turn his left forearm so I can see the inside of his wrist. I trace the tips of my fingers along his veins, which are thick and prominent, up to his elbow, where they appear darker in color. I linger over his track marks. I understand what they are from now. Leaning down, I place a kiss on one of his scars, brushing my lips slowly against its raised surface. Without thinking, I dart my tongue out. His skin is both sweet and salty. I press my mouth against his arm and kiss his markings more deeply, sucking on them as if by doing so I can relieve him of their poison and pain.
Antek lets out a low moan. He nudges his face into my cheek. I feel his lips grazing the corner of my mouth.
The wine and the smell of his body, like smoke and caramel, come to a heady mix that makes me woozy.
His head dips low and he presses a kiss, then another, against my throat. His soft brown hair tickles my jaw and chin.
I let out a breath as his kisses trail up my throat to my jaw. I turn into him and meet his soft mouth with mine. My lips part and his tongue, warm and moist, laps inside me. A surge of warmth pools in the pit of my stomach as I welcome the flavor of him. He tastes like cigarettes and honey.
His hand comes under my sweatshirt and slides up my ribs to my breast. When his fingers brush my nipple, I rasp out a breath against his mouth. He uses this opportunity to drive his tongue deeper inside me.
Antek lets out a grunt as he positions me back on his lap so that my back is pressed against his chest. He reaches between my thighs and starts to rub me roughly through the thin fabric of my sweatpants. I didn’t put on panties after my shower, and when he feels that I’m not wearing anything underneath, he slows down and fondles me gently, fingering the shape of my mound and stroking my lips.
I’m panting. I’m so wet. The way he expertly massages me, pressing his fingers and circling them in such a way that has me ready to come at any moment, shows me he knows exactly what to do to tease me to the brink.
“Does that feel good?” His soft breath tickles my ear.