Torrid - Book Two(2)

By: Jayne Blue

Then it was time for Seth to take me out on the floor for our first dance as husband and wife. I found it was a relief. I could concentrate on the simple choreography of a box step. It was normal and natural for a bride to worry about tripping in her high heels.

“I think it’s going well, don’t you? Did you hear how much the Hellers said they’d donate to the campaign?” Seth said against my ear. I smiled and nodded.

“That’s wonderful, baby. See? I told you everything would be all right.” Seth’s hand felt hot where he pressed it against the small of my back.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “But I’ve made the arrangements for our honeymoon at Smith Mountain Lake. We leave in a week. It’s during the Legacy Foundation’s annual retreat. Most of the party elite will be there. It’s perfect.”

Perfect. Should I pout? What would a regular bride do upon being told her honeymoon would double as a campaign fundraiser? I smiled and kissed my husband on the cheek as the song came to an end. The crowd applauded politely as we stepped out of our embrace.

More couples took to the dance floor and I was passed off to the arms of Judge Ramer as the band struck up a waltz. Judge Ramer told me the things that my “husband” should have. That I looked lovely. That I was the most beautiful bride he’d ever seen.

When that song ended Judge Ramer turned me into the arms of my next partner and I found myself face to face with Jack. My step faltered, just a little. No one else noticed but Jack’s arms came around me and he pulled me close as the band struck up a cover of “The Way You Look Tonight.”

My heart beat like a trapped butterfly as Jack invaded my senses. The stiff brocade of my bodice seemed paper thin as my breasts pressed against Jack’s strong chest. My head filled with his heady scent of soap, his own musk and the slightest hint of the secret we shared. Jack still smelled like sex which meant I must too.

He leaned down and kissed me on the temple, his lips lingering a fraction of a second too long, sending a flash of heat to my core.

“I want to talk to you,” he whispered against me. “Alone.”

“We’ve been alone together one too many times today, Jack,” I said through my mask of a smile. “There’s no good way to make an exit. Even for a few minutes.”

His soft laughter at my ear sent goose flesh straight down the center of my back. “Sounds like you’ve been puzzling it out though.”

I rolled my eyes at him. “Don’t make fun of me.”

He swung me around as the tempo of the song quickened. “I’m not. I’m just glad.”

“I’m serious,” I said.

“So am I. When the song ends, you’re going to go over there and give your groom a nice peck on the cheek and ask him if it’s okay if you go back to the house for a few minutes to freshen up your make-up or whatever girlie things brides do. Then you’re going to meet me at our favorite spot.”

I couldn’t help it. He made me blush. I knew he meant Miranda’s study. The scene of my crime the first time I fucked him. “You need to know. Miranda’s housekeeper ... Mary ... the one that looks like Andre the Giant in a dress ... she’s not my biggest fan. She’ll notice.”

“Handled,” Jack said. “R.J.’s keeping a look out.”

I reared back, almost stepping out of Jack’s embrace? “R.J.?” I whisper-shouted. “The same R.J. who just last night called me a gold-digging whore that you should stay away from. That R.J.?”

“Relax,” Jack said. “He may not be on your side but he’s on mine. If he wanted to blow your secret, he would have done it already.”

Then the song ended and Jack stepped back and turned to applaud the band. I stood at his shoulder and added my claps to his to cover our conversation. “Right. What could possibly go wrong?”

Jack nudged my shoulder with his. “Tora, you’re not in this alone anymore, okay? I know you don’t like that but it’s the truth. Now, either you give me five minutes or I’m gonna grab your ass and kiss you right here.”

He did it on purpose. He knew it would bring the blush straight into my cheeks when I turned to face him. I clenched my teeth and gave him serious side-eye. He gave it right back.

Truth was, I really did need a few minutes away from the fish bowl of this reception and Jack was the only one who knew it. He was the only one who knew a lot of things. So, I did as I was told and walked over to Seth. He gave me a lazy-eyed stare as I bent down to talk. He had another nearly empty martini in his hand and at this rate, he’d likely pass out by midnight. I was counting on it. I didn’t think I had it in me to fake my way through our wedding night on top of everything else.

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