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Page 49



He yanks me up to a standing position, unbuttons my jeans, and shoves his hand down the front of my pants. With one hand, he yanks my jeans down over my ass and buries the fingers of his other hand inside me, the movement rough, but aided by my wetness.

“Is this what you want?” He breathes the words into my ear. “You want my fingers in you, my cock inside you whenever you’re horny?”

Waves of pleasure rush over me, my body’s automatic response to his touch. I’ve missed his touch. I’ve longed for his touch. “No,” I whisper, shaking my head. “Yes. I’m not sure. That’s not it.”

He looks at me, his face screwed up in anger. “That’s exactly it, Kate.” Then he slides his fingers out and pushes me away, the void between my legs excruciating.

“You’re mad because you wouldn’t fuck me last night?” I ask. I don’t understand.

“Yeah, Kate,” he says. “That’s it. Or maybe it’s because you got all dressed up so you could go pick up other guys and then when no one put out, you came home and thought you'd screw your dear ol' step-brother."

“What the hell are you talking about?” I say, my voice going higher. I button my jeans, furious at myself for letting my guard down with him at all. He’s insane, I tell myself. He's hot and cold all the time. I don’t need this shit. “Some guy was rubbing up on me at a party and now you’re jealous? I'll wear what I want and go where I want.”

“Yeah, Kate,” he says. “I'm totally jealous. That must be why I didn’t screw you last night.”

“Why are you being such a jerk-off now?” I ask. “Last night, you were nice. That’s the thing about you -- one minute you act like you give a shit, and the next minute you don’t.”

“Of course I give a shit, Katherine,” he says. “You’re a nice piece of ass.”

It’s like he’s purposely trying to be a dick. “That’s all it is, then?” I ask, crossing my arms over my chest. “I’m just a nice piece of ass, then. Nothing more.”

“Oh, right, did you think I was going to be your Prince Charming or something?” he laughs. “We’re having a little fun, that’s all.”

“Get out,” I say. I bite down on my lower lip, because I think I might cry. It’s not like I’m in love with Caulter or anything remotely that stupid. But does he have to be such a jerk all the time? His mood swings, between nice guy and asshole, are exhausting. “Get the fuck out of my room.”

“Whatever you say, Princess.” He turns and leaves through the balcony, the way he came in, and I hear his glass door on the other side slam shut.

I sink into my chair, unable to hold back the tears that spill down my cheeks. I’m more angry than anything else.

It’s more than a few minutes later that I see my sketchpad lying on the desk, the one I usually keep carefully tucked under the mattress. Except for last night. Last night, I’d shoved it under the pillow when Jo had shown up in my room early. How could I have forgotten?

I’m so mortified I just want to crawl into a hole and hide. The thought of Caulter seeing the sketches of him...of his cock, holy shit, how many are there of his cock? It makes me want to vomit. He probably thinks I’m obsessed with him, some pathetic virgin who got laid and can't let go.

“Oh, darling, you look so elegant.” Ella says, her hand covering her mouth. “It’s a wonderful tuxedo. What do you think?”

“I think that it’s better than the leather pants I was forced to wear for the wedding with Nick, your tween lover,” I say, my voice bitter. Her wedding to the former boy band member was ridiculous.

It’s not even Ella that I’m irritated with. The thing with Kate has me so on edge. I’m completely avoiding being in the same room with Kate, except at dinner, when I sit in sullen silence. Ella thinks it’s because of the engagement party.

“You could see fit to muster up some kind of happiness for me,” she says.

“I’m thrilled that you’ve found someone to hitch your wagon to,” I say. “Your dreams of finally being legitimate might come true.”

I’m shocked when she slaps me across the face. Ella has done a lot of things, but she’s never actually slapped me. The stylist doing the fitting quickly exits the room, making an excuse about taking a call. “At some point, you have to grow up, Caulter, and stop acting like a spoiled little shit.”

“Well, you raised me, mother,” I say, rubbing my face. “I’m your son, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?”


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