Insatiable Part 12

Tyler’s mouth crushed hers, his tongue in her mouth, his hands rough on her body. Chloe’s head spun, dizzy with lust, burning with need. Why, why did he have this effect on her?
His teeth nipped at her bottom lip, then he feasted off her mouth in a kiss that was so consuming she could do nothing but sink into it, give herself up to it. He plunged his tongue into her mouth again and again. Heat spiraled through her, built inside her, every nerve ending throbbing.
She whimpered when he finally lifted his mouth from her.
“Chloe, Chloe, I’m so hungry for you,” he groaned, nibbling the side of her neck again. “I can’t help it, I want to taste you, eat you up...”
Even in her dazed state, amusement registered at how everything for Tyler related to oral pleasure. Her spinning head slowed and she grasped frantically at some control, some sense. With all her strength, she threw herself off his lap, stumbled backward, banged her back painfully on the balcony railing. She knocked the small table where the wineglasses sat, and they wobbled slowly. As she watched, the wineglasses teetered for a slow eternity then crashed to the balcony. Ruby red wine splattered everywhere, dripping down the white stucco wall.
She stared at the mess. Just like that night...
With a choked cry, she turned and darted into the hotel room, into the bathroom, falling against the door to close it. She leaned there for long moments measured out in thudding heartbeats. Scalding tears spilled out of her eyes and she grabbed a towel off the railing and wiped at her face, a whimper leaking from between trembling lips.
She saw her mother’s angry face, heard her screaming voice echoing in her ears. She’d been drunk, manically cleaning the kitchen in the middle of the night, and when Chloe’d tried to take her glass of red wine away from her and get her to go to bed, the glass had smashed, red wine splashed everywhere and her mother had been enraged.
Chloe gasped, chest heaving, emotions raw and painful. The white hotel towel now had dark smears on it from her eye makeup, and she stared at it blankly. She clutched the plush cloth in her hands, trying to get air into her tight lungs, trying to stop herself from shaking.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” she whispered. It had been years since she’d had this kind of reaction to anything. She prided herself on the control she had over her emotions. But Tyler’s attention had stretched her nerves taut. His persistence and his irresistible charm tested her fragile control and her helpless response to him.
She took a deep breath, then another, and pressed a hand to her stomach. A small tap on the door made her jump.
“Chloe?” Tyler called softly. “Are you okay?”
She breathed in.
“Chloe?” His voice was louder, concerned. “If you don’t answer me I’m going to break the door in.”
Oh God, he would probably do it, too. Trust him...Mr. Intensity.
Still holding the towel, she reached over and turned the knob on the door, popping the lock open. Tyler immediately thrust the door open, his big body filling the small bathroom.
She’d never seen such a look on his face, worried, distressed...scared. His dark eyes toured over her and his hands gripped her upper arms. His hands were so hot and she shivered, still trembling within.
“Are you okay?” he demanded again, studying her intently.
She nodded and dropped her head, lifted the towel to try to wipe beneath her eyes.
He tipped her chin up so he could see her face.
“I’m so sorry, Chloe,” he said. “I didn’t mean to push you that hard...I had no idea...”
She shook her head. “It’s not your fault,” she said in a choked voice. “You had no way of knowing...I just had a bit of a flashback, that’s all.”
He stared at her, his mind obviously churning. “Chloe, was it that bad?”
She pushed her hair back from her face. “You have no idea.”
“Tell me.”
She shook her head. “Please...I can’t. Not now. I’m done, totally done, Tyler. Please, I just want to be alone and go to sleep.”
He waited a moment, then said, “Will you unlock the door between our rooms?”
She was so wrecked, so emotionally exhausted, so crumbly she could barely summon the energy to protest. “Why, Tyler?”
He scowled. “I just want to make sure you’re safe! That’s all, I swear, Chloe. I won’t come in unless you need me for anything. I just...I’m just concerned about you. Truly.”
She nodded. “Okay.” He helped her unlock the door from her side, then after a gentle kiss to her forehead, he left her room and went into his own. A moment later, he opened the door from his side.
“Call me if you need anything,” he urged her, his eyes almost black with worry.
“I will.” She wouldn’t.
She changed and climbed into bed, lay there staring at the ceiling, embarrassed at having lost it in front of Tyler. She had worked so hard to maintain that image of calm composure, cool serenity. Tyler the chef was mixing her up, stirring things up, whisking up all the emotions she’d kept carefully locked up all these years.
And then slowly a sense of relief slid over her, lightened her. Why? Was she relieved that Tyler knew? Was she relieved that she had finally shown her feelings to someone?
And she felt something else. Underneath the oppressive memories and fear and embarrassment, she was tingling with sexual awareness. Tyler had awakened all these feelings and sensations within her, and now they were undeniably there, making themselves felt in her breasts, her womb, between her legs where she knew she was wet. She pressed a hand there, trying to ease the empty ache, and squeezed her eyes closed.
Damn him for doing this to her. She didn’t know why he was playing this game with her but he was driving her out her mind. She’d cruised along a smooth flat highway for years and he was turning it into a roller-coaster ride of hills and valleys. She didn’t like roller coasters. They scared her.

* * *

They were well into the second turn the next night when Tyler wandered out of the kitchen for a few moments to survey how things were going on the floor. Table six was eating his new appetizer special, the scallops with hazelnuts and watercress, and he wanted to see how they liked it.
As he passed the table and saw the empty plates he smiled.
Then he saw a familiar face...was that Michael?
He strode over to Lola, who wished some customers good night with her glamorous smile.
“Who’s that guy at table twelve?” he asked her in a low voice. She glanced over.
“It’s Michael,” she confirmed reluctantly. “I seated them.”
“Who’s he with?”
She shrugged, wrinkled her nose. “Some woman. I don’t know her.”
“Sister? Mother?”
“Uh...I don’t think so.” Lola looked their way again and Tyler’s gaze followed. He watched Michael pick up the hand of the attractive woman across from him and press his mouth to her fingers in a lingering kiss. Jesus, he thought he saw tongue.
A red haze crossed his vision. What the hell was that rat bastard doing with another woman? And he had the balls to come here, of all places, with her! Shit!
“Is Chloe here?” Tyler asked Lola urgently, voice still low.
“I don’t think so.”
“I don’t want her to see this,” he growled, watching Michael slobber over the woman.
“She should see this!” Lola hissed. “If he’s cheating on her, she needs to know it!”
That did it for Tyler. He strode over to table twelve. “Michael,” he said tersely.
Michael looked up and recognized him. “Tyler.” He gave him a phony smile. “Good to see you! The scallops were fantastic...”
“Can I speak to you for a moment in the kitchen?” Tyler interrupted him coldly.
Michael’s eyebrows rose, but he stood, dropped his napkin onto his chair and followed Tyler through the doors into the kitchen.
The moment the door had closed behind him, Tyler turned to him and drove his fist into Michael’s nose, dropping him to the floor with a stunned howl and a spurt of blood.