TITLE: Sweetness, He Said
AUTHOR: Jude Starr
PUBLICATION: March 26, 2015
COVER DESIGNER: JC Clarke
When the people you love betray and humiliate you, how do you learn to trust again?
Fleeing this very heartache, Iris leaves her Florida home to attend Columbia University. While she makes friends, works, and enjoys her classes, Iris is not in a rush to fall in love; that is, until a certain sexy someone finds her. Suddenly, Iris' boring holiday takes a sizzling turn. But will the heat of passion lead to a holiday fling, or finally melt her frozen heart
Dealing with a tainted past, Calvin makes building his company his priority. He's busy enjoying the single life until a blonde skatergirl becomes the focus of his attention
Can Iris help her man let go of his past guilt and show him how to love unconditionally?
I put on a red mini skirt with a black top which flattered me in all the right places and paired the clothing with knee-length black leather boots. The weather here had been one of the hardest things to adjust to. December brought cold weather and my thin jacket clearly didn't do enough to keep me warm anymore. With my next paycheck, a winter jacket was going to be a priority. If only I made more money, it would make my life a lot easier. Christmas was coming and I was going to stay at the dorm alone, with no money available to afford the trip home. It sucked, my parents were angry at first when I told them I wouldn’t be coming, but they’d eventually come to terms with my decision.
"Sugar!" Zach entered my room, he stared at me, practically drooling.
"Hey lucky." I blushed. "I'm ready."
He stepped closer, his blue eyes filling with desire.
"I’ve change my mind. What about staying here for the night?"
I knew what he was suggesting, but there was no way I would cancel my night out. It represented my only Christmas celebration. The only fun I expected to have until the beginning of January when he would return to the residence. "I want what you want, lucky, but we have to go out. I want to have some fun. A crazy fun-filled night is ahead of us."
He took me prisoner in his arms and his lips found mine. God! Tingles overwhelmed my body. I had to stop him, now, while I could still think.
"Zach, stop, not now, okay?" He looked down at me, lust plastering his eyes. "I feel it too. Whatever this is that we have… but Krystal is waiting, and I really need a drink." Lame excuses, Iris.
"Later, then." He kissed me one last time, making me regret stopping him in the first place. All part of a game I was meant to lose.
Krystal waited at the end of the hall, all dolled up and looking sexy. She had no partner for tonight. She was on her own, living the good life, she said.
"If the party sucks, I know a place where we could have a good time." Krystal had some connections here in New York. Her cousin was into the nightlife scene in a big way and always kept Krystal on speed dial if an opportunity presented itself.
"Will your cousin be there?" Zach asked, inevitably, because he liked her. At the time, he hadn’t specified how much he liked her, but I knew he thought she was hot.
I rolled my eyes at him. "I’m hungry, I forgot to grab something to eat before leaving. I was distracted."
"Do you want to stop by work before we go out, then we can use our discount," Krystal proposed, since we were both short on money.
"Okay, let’s go." I didn’t think Zach's love of fast food would ever die. Walking with heels on a cold night, and with a short skirt, soon proved to be a bad idea. I missed both my sneakers and my skateboard.
The warmth of the restaurant was welcome and the smell had me convinced I was starving. My coworkers eyed Krystal and I as if we had just arrived from a different planet. "Hey guys." Krys broke the silence. "We'll have three number ones with Diet Coke." With our discount, it came down to almost nothing cost wise.
We sat at a table by the front window and ate in silence. My brain couldn't process anything other than eating. I was famished and half way through my meal when Zach spoke. "Come on, girls. I don't want to get there after everyone is already wasted." I took a last sip of my Diet Coke before throwing it into the garbage disposal. With a full stomach, I was ready to party the night away. We entered the house where the party was taking place. There was people everywhere. The house was crowded to the point that I feared for our safety. What if something happened?
Zach grabbed three beers from the counter and offered us one. We stood face-to-face unable to move in the sea of people. The night wasn’t turning out as I had imagined. No dance area, no place to sit, just a big mass of people drinking and sweating. After five minutes, I wanted to leave. The parties in Florida were a lot more fun to be honest, and I’d expected the opposite.
"What about we finish our beer and get the hell out of here?" Zach proposed.
"Good idea. I got our names on the guest list for the grand opening of the Whiskey Bar & Lounge at the Health and Fitness Tower."
"Is there a place to dance?" I asked.
"Probably." Krystal didn't seem certain but I was willing to take the risk. It couldn't be as bad as this party.
"I heard this place is huge, different sections and all."
I drank the remainder of my beer and hurried outside, needing some fresh air. The brisk wind hit me head on. God, how I missed home and the warm weather.
We got into a taxi, warming up before attending what seemed like the ultimate event. A valet was waiting for the cars as they arrived. Although we had arrived in a taxi, the valet opened the door for us and let us out taking Krystal’s and then my hand to steady us as we stepped out. We were escorted by a tall man at the entrance and Krys was telling him about the invitation we’d received. He confirmed all three of us were on the guest list. Our jackets were taken to the cloak room and we were offered a small glass of whiskey. It tasted like no other whiskey I had ever tried before. So much flavour and I felt the warm liquid trickle all the way to my stomach. If I could afford it, I would have bought a second one, but I doubted I could afford the price.
"Now, we're talking." Zach licked his lips, confirming he loved it, too. "I think I'm going to like this place. It’s cozy, and it has class." He glanced around the bar, looking satisfied with our decision to come.
"Only you could afford it." I chuckled. "Working in a fast food restaurant doesn't exactly give us that possibility."
Zach had no issues, financially. His father was one of the busiest real estate agents in New Jersey. Once every two or three months, Zach had to give his father a hand with all the paperwork, but otherwise, he didn't need to work to afford the dorm experience. It never made sense to me, why he was living in the dorms if he could stay in the family residence. He said when I questioned him that he didn't like to live alone.
"Iris, isn't it?" A voice spoke from behind me. It didn't sound familiar. Before spinning around, I noticed Krystal's jaw dropping to the floor and her eyes were round like a couple of lollipops.
Oh my God. It’s him. The guy who flirted with me, at work. "Hi." I barely manage to get a word out, I’m so stunned.
"Here, I got you another one of those." He smiled and his charm hits me, making every inch of my skin shiver. I took the glass of whiskey from his outstretched hand and when our fingers touched, something strange happened. My eyes met his and… and… what was that? Something happened in my chest, as if my heart had stopped beating for an instant.
"Thank you." I flushed.
"You and your friends can have anything you want. It’s on me."
I shook my head in disagreement. "I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t accept that."
"You certainly will. Julia here, will make sure you guys have everything you need."
His generosity left me speechless, but it wasn't in my nature to accept anything that was handed to me with no good reason. Even more so, when it came from a complete stranger. "Why?"
He stared at me as if I was missing something important. "Because I own this place, and I want to make sure you're having a good time."
"Thank you." Krystal accepted his offer for us and I mentally beheaded her.
He startled me when he placed his hand on my forearm, I was still deeply focused, hating on Krys. He clutched my forearm for a second with his fingers and then left. What was that all about? I didn't know his name, or the reason behind his attention. I had only met him for the first time today and nothing had happened between us, other than him flirting a little. At the time, I thought it was innocent, but doubt was starting to make me rethink the whole situation.
"I think he wants something from you." Zach said, sounding unhappy.
Krystal chuckled. "Clearly. His name is Calvin Banks. He owns this, the gym upstairs and most of the building, if not all. He is big into health, sport and everything in between. He used to play football professionally. I knew I’d seen him somewhere before."
"Okay, so? Why are you telling me all this now?" I asked nervously.
"I hadn't figured it out this afternoon. Now, though, he’s making it obvious – he wants you in his bed."
Zach tensed beside me. "He's too old for you."
"I don't think he's even thirty yet," Krys announced, giving Zach one more reason to worry.
I had no idea who he was. I only knew his name because Krys had told me. He didn't even have the decency to properly introduce himself, when he decided to offer me a drink. Calvin obviously had money, that much was clear, but he didn't interest me.
Jude Starr is a pseudonym for an Amazon Bestselling Author of five previous books. This is her debut erotica novel.
Jude Starr is an author who writes from the heart, and reads with passion and devotion. Jude enjoys stories of drama, true love, tattoos, and everything in between. While writing is her therapy, reading is her solace. Life doesn’t get better than books and chocolate, and maybe a little bit of shopping.
A romance lover, Jude writes about love, pain, heartbreak and matters that will challenge your heart. A book can tell an unexpected story, no matter which directions it takes. Jude embraces words that have haunted her for years.
Jude is a working mom who dedicates her time to a law firm and writing books. She has an energetic five-year old superhero son, and a supportive boyfriend of thirteen years. Her family is her rock; she could not survive without them. Born a country girl, she transformed into a city woman who now lives in Montreal, Canada. Although French is her first language, Jude decided to write in English because she liked the challenge.