Her breath caught as he studied her, ignoring the excited squealing from across the table as her best friend made the proper introduction. A taloned hand reached out to hers and her fingers quaked as she shook it, trying her best to pretend she wasn’t seeing this.
Nonali let go of the hand after one shake, almost like she’d been stung, and gulped down what remained in her glass, grimacing at the taste.
The monster sat down next to Vee with a pensive look on his face, deep in thought as her best friend prattled on about this and that. Nonali had trouble paying attention, swallowing hard, and forcing herself to look at her menu.
When the server came back everyone was ready to order. Both she and the monster—Ezra, she was loathe to call him—ordered steak.
She shuddered when he told the server he liked his bloody.
“I’m so happy we could do this. You’re my best friend! I really want you two to get along.” Vee smiled softly. With dawning horror, Nonali realized her innocent friend might actually be in love with this guy.
“You look pale, are you all right?” His deep voice vibrated her bones.
“Oh, she’s always pale, her complexion is practically porcelain!”
Vanessa’s laughter forced a fake smile to Nonali’s face. It was tight and uncomfortable but it was there. She would sit out this dinner and then warn Vee to run as far away from this man as she could get.
He radiated danger and Nonali wondered how much will it took to brush off that feeling like her best friend was clearly doing. She locked eyes with Ezra and the world seemed to spin, gravity became nonexistent, and she was breathless. Under thick lashes, his own coal eyes seemed unfocused, yet fixated on her own.
She wrenched her gaze from his after what felt like an endless moment. The server set the food down in front of them.
Vee continued to babble on, but Nonali couldn’t find it in her to pay attention, only giving half-hearted nods andhmms of validation as she hurriedly picked apart her meal. Ezra took part in the conversation though he was fixed on her with a new sort of interest. She could tell he wanted her to look at him.
“—Do you want to Nonali?”
She looked up at her with a mouth full of food, realizing she was caught not paying attention by the wicked grin on Vee’s face.
“Sure, that would be great!” Nonali said.
She smiled, completely unaware of what she agreed to, but instantly regretted it when a smirk pulled at the corner of the demon’s lips, and a small squeak of excitement floated from across the table.
“Great, I’ll call and let you know the details closer to the actual date,” Vee announced with an unhidden glee. Nonali groaned inwardly, wondering what mess she agreed to.
They’d moved on to dessert when she felt it.
A foot nudging hers under the table.
She looked at Vee with a question in her eyes, that was answered with a look of confusion. Realization caused her to pull her foot back and cross it over her other one under her chair, heart hammering.
She shook her head and scooped up the last of her cheesecake and plopped it into her mouth. How annoying that she was so on edge, she had barely tasted this fantastic food.
“Well, it’s been lovely meeting you, thanks for dinner Vee, I really should be getting home, it’s late and I’ve got work bright and early,” she babbled, desperately trying to remove herself.
“I was thinking we could come over?”
Oh hell no. She did not want this monster to know where she lived.
“I have to be in the office early, the boss man has a meeting at the ass crack of dawn that I’m supposed to take notes for,” she lied. Ezra’s brow lifted marginally as she stood to leave.
“See you for lunch tomorrow!” Vee called after Nonali’s retreating form. Dread nipped at her heels and her heart pounded all the way back to her car.
She had never been happier to leave a place.
After Nonali undressed and laid down for the night, she begged sleep to take her, trying to push Ezra from her mind.
She tossed and turned, rolling to and fro in frustration. When she finally drifted off, she dreamed of her office.
Everett was sitting at his desk, shirt unbuttoned, tie hanging haphazardly, looking every bit as edible as he always did in these dreams.
“Can we not do this tonight?” she groaned. She was too mentally exhausted to be physically exhausted tomorrow.
“Do what?” he asked, clearly confused by her words. Normally she never talked, only bent over and let him pleasure her to his satisfaction.
“I’m really not in the mood to have kinky dream sex, I’ve had a really long day.”
The blunt phrasing threw him off, but he chuckled and slid across the room in fluid movements.
Everett slid his hands up her sides, gracefully and sensually along her ribcage, and she realized that she was in her usual work attire, only it had been altered. Shorter, tighter, with buttons undone.
The distraction of assessing her clothes allowed him to pin her arms above her head with one hand, using the other to tilt her face to his. His smoldering red eyes conveyed his desire for her.
“You’re beautiful,” he murmured, pressing his forehead to hers in a way that had her holding her breath, panties dampening a little at the closeness.
He pressed his chest to hers and his free hand slid down to caress her thigh.
“You still don’t want me? Because I can feel how much you want me,” he all but purred, catching her lips in a breathtaking kiss that had her following him as he pulled away. She groaned when he refuses her and leaned her head back against the wall.
“I’m going to be so fucking tired tomorrow,” she sighed in resignation, ignoring the look of shock briefly flitting across his face.
He dove in for her exposed neck, peppering it with kisses and bites. She moaned softly at the feeling of him sucking roughly at one particularly sensitive spot.
“Don’t worry, darling, I’ll make sure that the exhaustion is worth it,” he sighed into her ear, nibbling the lobe.
“You always do you fiend,” she pressed her body against his roaming hand, wanting him to touch her more intimately. He laughed against the column of her throat, and squeezed a breast roughly, drawing a soft sigh from her.
She needed more.
As if sensing her need—which, let’s be honest, he probably did—he slipped a finger into her panties to rub at the soft wet warmth, hiking her skirt up above her hips.
He was teasing her. Never putting enough pressure where she needed it. Rubbing small, infuriating circles, just shy of enough. She thought his cruelty would never end.
“Since when do sex demons pussy-foot around?!” she growled.
Astonished, Everett pulled his fingers from inside of her, along with the hand holding her wrists.
Nonali realized too late that her legs were weak and he had been the only thing holding her up.
He opened his mouth as if to speak, but everything became blurry and unfocused. She could hear the repetition of her alarm and knew she was waking up.
With a small groan of frustration, Nonali rubbed at her tired eyes and glared at the alarm, both grateful and extremely pissed off at the neon numbers glowing at her cheerfully from the darkness of her room. She’d seriously fucked up.
She was tempted to call in sick to work, unable to face her boss after admitting to her knowledge of his being, but if there was even the slightest chance she could pretend not to know about the dream and play it off, she had to take it.
Once at work, she went about organizing as always, preparing her boss’s day as she usually did before he arrived.
She smiled at Mr. Norse and handed him his coffee when he finally came in thirty minutes later, as usual. He hesitated as he took it but smiled back and retreated behind the door of his office.
She couldn’t help the small shudder of relief that went through her.
Her morning passed by uneventfully, thankfully, Callum was ignoring her, for which she was also grateful.
It wasn’t until lunch time arrived and she was turning off her computer to go on break that Mr. Norse called her into his office.
Too exhausted to insist otherwise, Nonali begrudgingly followed him through the door.
Everett looked much like he had in her dream last night: his shirt unbuttoned, tie undone, suit jacket hanging over the back of his chair. All her pent-up sexual frustration came back in an instant.
He took a delicate sniff and she knew he could smell her desire. “Don’t you look cozy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so laid-back Mr. Norse,” she teased playfully, desperately hoping she gave no sign she recalled last night.
“Oh?” His brow raised. He stood up out of his leaned position against his desk and backed her into the door, caging her in with his arms.
She could only swallow. “You look exhausted Non-a-li,” he purred out, breath fanning across her face in a wave of mint as he emphasized her name.
“Sir, this is hardly appropriate,” she muttered breathily, cursing herself at the unsteadiness of her words.
He grinned and let her go.
“You’re right, I’m terribly sorry, I was just trying to get a better look at you. You’ve got dark circles under your eyes,” he lied, turning around to cover his widening smile.
“Go to lunch,” he continued, “when you get back leave any reports and my schedule on my desk and go home. Wouldn’t want you to pass out from exhaustion, what kind of boss would that make me?” She only nodded and fled his office.
Nonali arrived at the café before Vee and chose a corner booth, ordering a sweet and some coffee for herself and a hot chocolate for her companion. She would talk to Vee about leaving that demon she was with, Ezra, today.
She waited in silent contemplation before that same sense of dread filled her as it had the night before, only this time she knew who caused it.
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