“Well, this matter actually concerns me and, by association, it affects you.” His legs shifted before he continued on. “My family wants me to marry a family friend.”
And? I thought impatiently. Fucking hell.
“As I have stated to you years back, I don’t intend to marry anyone. Besides, I’m already married to you, therefore it’s not really an option either way,” Callum calmly stated, clearing his throat and, I knew, watching my every move. “I’m calling in a favor, if you will. I need you to be my pretend fiancée for the time being. I need to reassure you that this engagement will be under wraps, so you need not worry about the media finding out.”
Like I’d decline it. I was more than willing to be his pretend whatever. “Of course I’d help you, Cal. Come on, you’ve done so much for me. This is the least I could do.” On top of other things… here’s a window for you, Stella, grab onto it.
I was half a second away from blurting out a question when he interrupted me. Drat.
“I was recently informed that you’re dating a man named Derek? Is he treating you well?” Callum looked at me directly, those razor-sharp, dark eyes pinned me on the spot.
Derek. Huh. Where did I even begin with Derek? I could lie, I thought wretchedly. “Well, no. Derek actually broke up with me because—” Dot. Dot… Dot… And dot.
Hell! Shitty, mother hell.
This was humiliating. I bit my lip before looking away, contemplating. Oh, for fuck’s sakes, this is Callum Kensington! I was sure nothing was bound to shock this man.
“I’m a virgin and he couldn’t wait any longer. So, uh-huh, I’m better off. Who needs a man like him, really?” I bit my lip, trying to stop my rambling. God knew what else could come out of this loosened mouth of mine.
“A virgin, you say?” Callum asked, flabbergasted. “Huh.” He blinked at me a few times before shaking his head. “I didn’t know such things still existed.”
Yeah, in your world perhaps they didn’t, but they sure did in mine, mister.
Blushing, I tried to ignore the heated look he was giving me. It was as if I was a space alien that had landed on earth; unusual, extrinsic and strange. “Well, you’re looking at one. So I would appreciate it if you don’t ever repeat it again.” I was highly embarrassed, knowing how inexperienced I must look to him. Even though I wanted to be rid of it, I couldn’t—for the life of me—break the promise I had made to my mother.
“Apologies. I wasn’t trying to mock your vaginal purity.”
Seriously, shut up, Callum! Vaginal purity? Fuckity-fuck. “Please, just drop the subject.” Before I die of blushing and embarrassment, I silently added.
“Don’t let men like Derek hide you from yourself. You know better than that.”
Oh bugger! I bet now he was probably feeling sorry for me. Well, I was done with that complication. “Since we are on the subject of favors, I was hoping you could do me one as well.” I peered at his stoic form. “I’d like for you to take it… erm, pop my cherry.” Blasted fuck. How in the world did I just utter those words? Pop my cherry? How embarrassing.
Callum’s frown deepened as he shifted in his seat again before he cleared his throat and gave me a sexy smirk whilst shaking his head. “How much alcohol have you had for lunch?”
“None.” He leaned forward, scrutinizing me further. “I’m sober, Cal. Not to mention, one hundred percent serious about this.”
“Hold on a second. Walk me through this. I mean—” He scratched his barely-there stubble, looking confused as ever. “You know my reputation, don’t you? I date women for six weeks only, Stella. From that fact alone, I sure as hell am out of the running for taking someone’s innocence. Besides, you should wait for a worthy man, like your husband-to-be. I’m sure he’d appreciate that… that is, if he was into innocent women.”
Goodness, I was practically offering him sex, but he was putting me down mildly. WTF! I was not a little girl anymore. I craved to be in a committed relationship more than anything, however how the heck did I go about it when I couldn’t go all the way through? I mean, there’s only so much hand and blowjobs one could do before it became a dull, tedious chore.
“Let me clear something up for you, okay? I would’ve let any of my boyfriends take it. Heck, I’ve been in so many close calls and there is nothing more that I want right now than to be rid of it. As much as I want to get it over and done with, I can’t for the life of me break a promise.” I licked my lips, looking at him to see if he was getting my drift. Sure enough, he was waiting for me to go on. “Mom gave me the whole safe sex spiel when I started asking questions about when I could start dating. I wasn’t sure what prompted her, but she made me promise that it’ll be my husband who I gave it to.” I sighed, remembering that memory. “She died two months after, so I hope you understand. If this were the last thing I could do to keep that promise, I’d stick to it. So, now I hope you understand my position. I’m sure it’s easy, Cal. I mean, if it’s me in particular, then I wouldn’t mind doing it in the dark.”
“I’ll think about it,” he finally rasped at me, eyes intense.
Sex with Callum…
“I’ll think about it,” I heard myself say. Was I truly losing my mind here? Richard would torch me alive if he saw where my mind was taking me right now.
But Christ! Could anyone blame me? Stella came in here, looking like an uptight executive with the tight matching skirt suit outlining everything. She stood there, whilst I stared, half hoping she’d rip her clothes off and seduce me with some thigh-high stockings and bustier.
My reaction to her was normal, but still, it wasn’t a good thing. I wasn’t going to take her as I’d usually done with the women I dated and ravished on sight. I could go with the detached, somewhat clinical route; awkward and uninteresting. Or maybe I could even go in, break it open and then that would be it.
Surely this problem wouldn’t be such a big deal, right? Then why was I sweating profusely when I thought of her underneath me, writhing… legs hooked on my hips…
Really, I needed to think this through before I let my dick decide for me. I mean, it had done a lot of the deciding in the past, yet in this instance, I needed my top brain functioning properly. This was Stella and I’d cut my finger off first before I hurt her.
If this was what she wished in order to have a better chance at healthy intimacy with her boyfriend, then surely I was doing it for a good cause?
“I’ll let you know my decision this weekend. I also forgot to mention that we’re to leave this Friday afternoon and won’t be back until a week after.”
“A week?” Stella squeaked.
“Tell your friend that I’d be more than happy to find a replacement in your absence. This was, after all, unplanned and I don’t want to jeopardize anything for you. You worked hard to get where you are.” I genuinely smiled at her, eyes roaming appreciatively. “I’m proud of you, Stella.”
“That’s very sweet of you, Cal. Thank you. That really means a lot to me.” She slowly stood up, purse in hand. “I’ll let Luciana know about your offer as well as looking into whether I can take some of my work with me. What time will you be picking me up?”
“I’ll be there around four,” I responded before getting up from my chair and moving towards her. “And Stella, I need you to pretend that we’re madly in love. So, expect that I will be practically glued to your side.”
Stella nervously smiled. “Yeah, I sort of knew that. You know, newly engaged and all; so it’ll going to be a lark,” she rambled, blushing more with every word that came out of her lips “Shit, Cal. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m nervous. Blaming coffee here; I had over three already.”
I arched my brow at her, amused at her reaction. “You sure it’s not because you’d be spending a week with me?”
“Love the sense of humor, Cal.”
Stella, you are far too lovely for your own good. “See you in two days.” I softly brushed my lips against her cheek and then delicately whispered into her ear, “We’ll be sharing a room together. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of things to discuss.”
Stella didn’t even say a thing, but instead, she bit into her lip and tried as calmly as possible to leave my office.
“Stella is off-limits, you worthless swine!” I muttered, half hoping that I’d get this under control in two days time.
Clinical route it was. It was the only way possible.
Sexual thoughts in regards to her should be vanished. I wasn’t going to succumb to my body’s reaction. Heck, I might need to have a healthy dose of a warm woman’s body before I leave in two days. This had to stop and I was damn well going to do it.