Home > Return All (Rebirth #2)

Return All (Rebirth #2)
Author: Eve Dangerfield

 

 

Dedication

 

 

To my brother. The funniest person I know. Sorry I can’t dedicate a less sexual book to you, but as you’d say—that’s life.

 

 

1

 

 

The man crushed his tattooed hand to Mara’s throat, his liquid-dark eyes boring into hers. “You’re mine, aren’t you?”

Mara opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She was naked, her back scraping against a brick wall.

The man shoved a hard thigh between her legs. “I asked you a question.”

To her shame, her nipples went hard as ice. Smirking, the man pinched one. “So, you are happy to see me?”

Mara gasped. “Please, stop!”

“And she speaks.” The hand tightened around her throat. “You gonna tell me what I want to hear, Little Miss?”

She shook her head, deathly afraid.

“Fine. I can wait.” He drove his knee upward, exposing the wet tenderness between her thighs. “You want to entertain me while I do it?”

“No,” she moaned.

He licked a hot line down her throat. “Say it, baby. Say you’re Daddy’s little girl.”

Mara woke, shivering. Sunlight fluttered across her eyelids and the tattooed man melted into nothingness. Derek always did. Yet her body remained as flushed as if her old boyfriend had thrown her against a wall and demanded she call him ‘Daddy’ again.

Ten years and it refused to know better.

Her wake-up playlist was already thrumming through her speakers. Mara lay listening to Glass Animals, her body fizzing like lemonade. She thought of grabbing her vibrator and calling Derek back from her dreams. But she knew if she waited, her desire would intensify throughout the day until she fell to her knees and took herself with the urgency of a man. It was as close as she wanted to come to being taken by a man—which meant she should wait. Besides, she had a big day ahead. Yawning, she padded to her en suite. The heated floors warmed her toes as she turned on her rainforest shower head. She heard Derek snarl as she stepped under the water. Say you’re Daddy’s little girl.

She washed him away with a natural wool loofah and Frédéric Malle shower cream. Getting rid of Derek was an impossibility, but he belonged in her dreams. Reality was for friends, fashion, her company, and Pan. She wrapped herself in an Egyptian sheet towel and descended the wooden staircase to what she called ‘Pan’s level.’ Her golden puppy was waiting inside her crate, tail thumping against the frame.

“Good morning, bubby. Did you miss mama? I missed you!”

She opened the crate and Pan bolted into her arms, frantically licking her chin and cheeks. She seemed to have developed a taste for expensive moisturiser. Mara ran her hands through Pan’s velvet fur. She’d been a dog mama for six months and she still couldn’t believe the joy Pan gave her. “Are you excited about our party, bubby?”

Pan nibbled her finger.

“Ah-ah-ah! No, Pan!”

Pan let go, her brown eyes remorseful.

“That’s okay, little one. Come on, breakfast time!”

Mara descended the second set of stairs, Pan yipping excitedly the whole way. It was a beautiful summer morning, bright with a brisk wind shaking the lemon trees outside her window. She mixed Pan a bowl of Premium kibble and set her outside before brewing herself a pot of mint tea. She carried her Wedgewood tea set to the window box and pulled her copy of ‘The Mists of Avalon’ from the hidden drawer. It had cost a fortune to expand the window and install the velvet lounge beneath it, but it had been worth every penny. Removing her towel, Mara lay down to read in the sun.

The morning passed in a delicious crawl. It was almost midday when Mara dumped her lukewarm tea down the sink and dressed in her yellow Enavant leggings and crop top.

“Ready, my sweet princess?” she asked as she bundled Pan into her Swarovski harness.

Pan wagged her tail so hard it looked like she was twerking.

She made it to the studio with plenty of time, even with Pan pooping right in front of the bank. She did that a great deal. Mara liked to think it was a doggy protest against capitalism. They raced up the wooden stairs and found Josie sitting at reception.

“Pan!” Josie screamed. “And you too, Mara. I’m glad you’re here.”

Mara smiled. “Are you sure you’re okay to watch her?”

Josie was already on her knees, kissing Pan. “Of course!”

Mara took her place at the front of Barre class. Today she stood beside a brunette model she’d once met at Richard Branson’s house. The model didn’t seem to remember her though, and Mara was too embarrassed to re-introduce herself. What would she even say? ‘Hi, I used to be someone you might have wanted to meet. How are you? Do you still do cocaine?’

A bubbly blonde instructor entered the room. “Morning, girls! We’ll be here for the next sixty minutes, let’s make every second count.”

An hour later, Mara left the room warm but not sweating. That was the good thing about Barre—it required no outfit changes. Josie was typing with Pan in her lap. Both looked uncomfortable but neither seemed willing to change their position. Mara laughed. “Jose, you don’t need to do that. She’s too big.”

“Oh, but I want to! And she was so good!”

“I’m glad. Thank you.” As Mara picked up Pan, she dropped twenty dollars into Josie’s open handbag. She couldn’t do it too often or Josie got annoyed.

“See you soon,” she called over her shoulder. “Thank you again.”

“Anytime!”

As Mara steered Pan toward Bentwood Café, a guy with a scrubby beard stopped in their path. “Cute dog. Spaniel?”

“Golden retriever-spaniel cross.”

The guy studied the front of Mara’s top. “She’s beautiful.”

She smiled and kept walking. Pan liked attention from strangers. She, not so much.

She found Chase at their usual table by the window. He was buried in his phone which always seemed wrong to her. With his crisp suit and neatly combed hair, he had the look of a man who read broadsheet newspapers while smoking cigarettes and contemplating ‘the servant problem.’

Mara slid into the seat across from him. “Good morning, Mr Hansen.”

“Ms Kennedy.” Chase’s blue eyes were serious. “What do you want to order? The staff are getting antsy.”

Mara stood. “I’ve got this. What do you want?”

“You don’t have to pay all the time.”

“And you don’t have to complain all the time, darling. So, what would you like?”

As usual, Chase asked for black coffee and an egg white omelette. As Mara waited in line to place their order, she recalled Derek’s hand like iron around her neck and pleasure spiraled through her.

Patience, Mara… Just keep waiting…

As always, her breakfast was placed in front of Chase—poached eggs, bacon and avocado, chocolate pancakes, and a tall latte.

Chase passed the plates over. “I will never understand how you eat so much.”

“And I will never understand how you drink black coffee. I know you’re American, but come on.” She sipped her milky latte. “What’s new at the office?”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Sweet Temptation
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Den of Vipers
» Angry God (All Saints High #3)
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Serpent & Dove(Serpent & Dove #1)
» ENEMIES
» Credence
» Archangel's War
» Fake It 'Til You Break It