Devoured (CHAPTER THIRTEEN)

I spend the rest of the night alternating between tossing and turning and hating myself, and wishing Lucas was between the sheets with me. When the alarm on my phone goes off at 7am, I drag myself out of bed and pad into the bathroom. Stripping down, I climb into the shower, turn the water as hot as it will go, and stand under the stream with my head leaned against the tile wall. The heat is uncomfortable – in fact, it burns –  but it's helping the vomit-inducing headache beating the hell out of my skull. Today, I'll need my brain totally clear to deal with Lucas-fucking-Wolfe.

What the hell was I thinking when I asked him to put his hands on me last night? Frustrated, I bang my fist against the shower wall. Pain shoots through my hand. I ignore it. I'm more concerned at the way I'd melted in Lucas's hand – literally. And I hate my body for reacting to thoughts of Lucas right now. I'm wet and horny and I feel stupid for letting him fuck with my body and mind.

The water is running cold and the bathroom is a cloud of steam by time I finally step out of the shower. I'm wrapping a thick towel around my body when I notice my phone is blinking. There's a text message from Lucas. From 3 o'clock this morning.

Meetings all day. Wake me. 8 sharp.

It's 8:12 right now. Fuck my life. Groaning, I rush into my room and shrug on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt then speed walk upstairs to the room Lucas has been sleeping in. The door to his room is closed, and I can hear an old Seether and Amy Lee song playing softly on his iPod dock. It's fitting for how torn he makes me feel. Clenching the door knob, I linger for a moment and try to gather my bearings. I've only got five days left, and three those will be spent out of town on the go. If I can't hold it together for a week then I'm screwed all around.  

Every blanket is at the foot of the bed, in a black pool of fabric. He's sprawled across the mattress on his stomach. Completely naked. Holding my breath, I tiptoe to the bed. I'm standing over him like a creeper and his text explicitly said to wake him up over half an hour ago, but God, I can't get over how amazing he looks while he's sleeping.

I have a full view of the tattoos covering his back, and my hands drift over them as I study each one carefully. I decide my favorite is the stopwatch tattoo at the bottom of the piece – inside of the watch is a queen of hearts. I've never seen a tattoo like it, and I decide there must be a story behind it. A dare from a band mate, maybe, or something to remember a girl who broke up with him.

That'd explain why he's such a dick half the time.

Lucas groans into his pile of pillows and mumbles, "Keep your mouth right there – I'll roll over for you."

Startled, I bolt straight up, but he catches my wrists, pulls me onto the bed and on top of him. If I was hot before, I'm on the dangerous verge of spontaneously combusting right now. I'm sitting with his cock pressed against my bottom and it's as hard as it was last night in the piano room. The only difference is that now, he's not pushing me away. I feel my pulse in my throat, my body temperature rise. Lucas cradles my face between his hands and guides my face down until it's a mere inches away from his.

For what seems like an eternity we stay this way – staring into each other's eyes while I straddle his erection. Does he realize that I'm a hip grind away from breaking my oath? That now that he's touching me and his fingertips are entwined in my hair and his body is so warm against mine I can barely function?

I'd be a liar and a coward if I didn't admit to myself how good he feels.

"I was a shithead last night," he whispers. He traces his fingertips down the right side of my cheek, his stroke feather soft. The shape of an "L" – like he's branding me.

"Is this your way of begging for my forgiveness?"

"No." He groans, racing his large hands from my face, to my shoulders, and finally to the small of my back. This closes the little bit of space left between us, and when he shifts to get comfortable, I gasp. "Ugh, yes. I'm apologizing for being a douchebag. It's just – you fuck with my head, Si."

You fuck with my head, says the confusing man. I roll my eyes and start to call bullshit. He pulls my lower lip gently between his teeth.

"The next five days don't have to blow," he points out, cupping my ass cheeks.

I fight back the guttural moan building in my throat. I can think of several ways to keep our week civil and most of them involve us in this position – or similar – except there'd be no clothing between us. Only sweat.

"They will if you're doing that to me day in and day out," I murmur, referring to the events from last night. He chuckles. The expression sends a warm vibration through my whole body.

"You could just give in right now."

"Why not just sex? Why does it have to be complicated?"

He pushes me back gently, his hazel eyes burning into me. He lifts his head a little and his hair falls into his eyes. Automatically, I reach out and brush it back. He grabs my fingers and kisses them, one by one. "Because I want you to submit completely to me."

"Maybe I'm not a very good submissive," I murmur.

Cocking his head to one side, he gives me a funny look. His hair falls into his eyes again but this time I don't bother pushing it back. He gives my bottom a little squeeze and raises me off of him. "I've gotta be at the studio by 10, so get dressed."

Another order, but at least I won't be stuck in this house all day answering Lucas's fan mail. Yesterday had been a beast considering a good majority of his emails were frantic demands from fans about the chick he was filmed in the bar with.

Despite the tenderness of the last fifteen minutes, he's grinning like the Cheshire cat. I grit my teeth into a sugary smile. "Right on it, Mr. Wolfe."

"Your teeth," he warns in a low grow, and I stop grinding them. Just as I reach the door, he says, in a voice that has dropped an octave, "That thing you said about not being a very good submissive?"

"Yes?"

"You will be."

Lucas's words play like a song on repeat as I get dressed. Since he didn't specify what we're doing after the studio, I opt for a vintage-looking polka dot dress. It's cute and when I plucked it off the shelf a couple days ago, I instantly thought of Kylie. It's definitely more her style than mine, so I snap a picture of myself in the bathroom mirror and send her a text. Then I dab on minimum make up and leave my long red hair loose.

Not because Lucas always tells me to wear my hair down.

Of course not.

While I wait for Lucas to call for me, I check my Facebook.

There's a message from Tori. Okay, three messages from Tori. They all pretty much say the same thing – don't have sex with Lucas – but the last one makes me laugh. She's gone the extra mile and put her message into one of those eCards she sends me whenever Tomas is behaving badly at work. It's a picture of some Edwardian woman being groped and the caption reads:

May your attempts at having sex with me result in a guitar being smashed over your head. Which head is open for debate . . . .

Shaking my head, I shoot her back a quick message: Be nice. Hope you're being good. Miss you like crazy, you beautiful girl, and thanks again for listening to me yesterday. I move the mouse up to close out the page, but someone sends me an instant message. It's Kylie.

Kylie Martin: Loved the dress! I see Lucas made you go shopping. He treating you well?

Me: Besides bossing me around and being hell-bent on making me his submissive?

Kylie Martin: . . . I could've lived without knowing half of that.

I snort. She had asked how her brother was treating me. Did she really think I'd hold anything back considering she's already fully aware of all his vices?

Kylie Martin: Look on the bright side – 5 more days and I'll be back, your job will be done, AND you'll be able to give your grandmamma the deed to her place back. Easiest mega-chunk of change ever made, right?

No, wrong. Very, very wrong. How can anything be easy when being around Lucas makes my emotions feel like they're in a game of extreme tug of war? Was Lucas always so dominating or did it happen once he became famous? Was there ever a point in his life where he wasn't so dynamic? Regardless, I know one thing: Gram is the only person I would put myself out there like this for – I wouldn't have even agreed to this arrangement to save my own place because of all the physical and emotional turmoil involved.

And we've got five days left.

Me: Yeah, real simple.

Kylie Martin: Got to run. Tell Lucas I said be nice to you – well, as nice as he's capable of. Text me or call if you need anything! <3

She logs off before I can ask her about Lucas's obsession with being dominant over me, but even if I had asked her, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't answer. Kylie seems to stay as far away from her brother's kink as I do with my little brother's . . . everything.

I curl my toes at the thought of Seth, at the thought of confronting him after yesterday. I clutch my phone, considering whether or not I should call him. I get three-digits in and end up dialing my grandmother instead. The voicemail box picks up.

"Hey Gram . . . haven't talked to you in a few days. Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you and that I love you. See you soon, okay?"

Staring down at the phone, I sigh. Then, there's a knock at my door and Lucas yells, "Let's go, Red."

Because I'm feeling facetious, I return to the message Tori sent me of the eCard and email it to him.

Live rock is all dark lights and grit and sweaty bodies slicking against each other, but studio music is the total opposite. The Music Row studio is all ambient lighting and luxurious-technology. Lucas is the first of his band members to show. He tells the pretty blonde-haired assistant that we want to wait in a private room, and then she asks us if we'd like refreshments.

Lucas goes for a bottle of water and I order a Coke. From the way the size nothing assistant looks at me, I'm almost afraid she's never heard of caloried-drinks, but then she nods and sashays off. I hate Lucas's effect on other women just about as much as I hate the way he glances at her butt as she leaves. Reminds me of what a player he probably is.

"Nice," I say. He must hear the bitterness in my voice because he smiles. It's that lopsided one that always gets to me.

"Not really. But I'm a huge fan of your ass. I could write a song about your ass."

"You've never even seen it."

He cocks a dark eyebrow and gives me a wicked look. "Feeling is believing."

I smooth a bunched section of my dress down and ease into one of the plush leather seats. I cross my legs at the ankle. Stuffing his hands into the back pockets of his jeans, he follows my every movement. Every flinch. Every sigh. He's still looking at me like he wants to pull my panties off with his teeth when Size Nothing returns with our drinks. She hands me a Diet Coke and I start to accept it, but Lucas shakes his head.

"Ms. Jensen asked for a Coke," he says.

"But – "

He shakes his head, cutting Size Nothing off. She just stands there obediently, her hands clasped in front of her, waiting for him to speak. To give her an order. "Run to the grocery store if you have to."

She glares down at me like I'm scum under her 4-inch pumps and then casts a beaming smile at Lucas. "I'll get it ASAP, Mr. Wolfe." She leaves, but this time, he's not staring at her backside.

"Do you always have to be in control?" I hiss.

"That wasn't controlling, that was – "

"Asserting your dominance?"

"Don't be a sarcastic little shit, Sienna. You asked for a Coke, she brought you diet."

"I don't need you to speak for me."

"Then learn how to do it for yourself. God, you've had no problem telling me to fuck off from the start, but everyone else . . ."

He turns away from me, and I focus on a tiny piece of lint on the hem of my dress. My heart is beating erratically – faster than it was last night. I wait until it slows down and I catch my breath to say, "Because you scare me, Lucas."

His shoulders shake. He's laughing at me. "I scare you? Do you realize what you're doing to me, Sienna? What you did to me two years ago?" When I shake my head slowly because I don't know how to answer what he's asked of me, he continues, "Of course you wouldn't realize how dangerous you are for me."

I'm lucky his band members begin showing up shortly after he says this, because I'm at a loss for words. I follow him into the studio and he instructs me to wait with the sound engineer and the creator of the documentary that he's taking part of inside of the control room. Lucas raises his eyebrows like he's waiting for me to argue with this too, but I don't.

Where the hell else am I going to go while he makes music?

As Lucas steps through the glass doors leading to the live booth, I hear the drummer, Sinjin, say in a nasty voice, "Snap your fingers and she comes, huh?"

Lucas shoots Sinjin a dark look, jerks his guitar from its stand, and says something icily to the rest of the guys. The engineer flips the sound on in the booth in time for us to catch the tail end of what Lucas is saying.

" . . . her and I'll break your fucking fingers."

It's obvious the "her" Lucas is talking about is me, and that he's probably warned his band to stay away from him while they're here because there's a ripple of nervous laughter amongst them. I'm half expecting Lucas to drawl in a thick Southern accent, "Sienna is mine!" but he doesn't.

Apparently, I watch way too much cable TV.

Shrugging the strap of his bass guitar onto his shoulder, Wyatt McRae makes a soft tsking noise. "Not into redheads," he says, meeting my eyes. He's grinning like the damn cat that ate the canary and his head is tilted to one side. Suddenly, it feels like the entire band, minus Lucas, as well as the sound guy and the documentary creator are staring at me.

Waiting with baited breath for me to snap under the pressure.

Digging my fingernails into my palms, I decide I should go ahead and nip any snide remarks from the band in the bud right here, and right now. Being around these guys is awkward enough as it is without them making me feel like I'm just one of Lucas's fuck buddies. "Instead of trying to get a rise out of me, maybe you should focus on the music. After all, Mr. Wolfe's schedule is very, very busy."

Lucas smirks, and glances sideways at Wyatt. "Dude, I think Red just told you to fuck off. You heard her, let's do this."

The sound engineer asks if they're ready to begin. Lucas bobs his head, and the cameraman inside the booth with them gives him a thumbs up.  Holding my breath, I watch as he becomes the Lucas Wolfe I'd fallen all over myself for two years ago. He winks at me before gazing into the camera and saying, "This is Your Toxic Sequel and you're getting an exclusive first look at music from our fourth studio album. This is "Handcuffs".

And this is when I feel my body go numb. Maybe it's pretentious and silly of me, but I'm about 99% sure this song is about me, specifically the night I almost spent with Lucas. It's not rude and he's not saying anything fucked up, but I feel completely naked right now.

"Did you hear me, Ms. Jensen?" I hear a voice ask. Slowly, I tilt my face up toward it. The documentary maker's pockmarked face comes into focus. He's looking at me expectantly. "Would you like to comment on your relationship with Lucas Wolfe?"

"I'm standing in for his assistant while she's on vacation," I say.

The man gives me a smile that reminds me of the ones my mother gave me when she was tolerating something I had to say when I was a child. "I'm talking about your romantic relationship."

"There is no romantic relationship," I argue.

Another you-poor-stupid-girl smile. "I looked at your digital resume. You worked the video shoot for "All Over You" in 2010, right? And you're currently working on the set of Echo Falls, correct?" When I nod my head carefully, he wrinkles his nose. I decide I hate this guy because everything he does reminds me of my mom. "You'd skip out of work and come all the way out here to substitute for his assistant?"

"I – "

"You know, the people who are watching this movie would probably kill to get the inside scoop of how your relationship with Lucas went down."

I look toward the sound booth, but Lucas is still performing. His words from earlier haunt me, though. "Learn how to speak up for yourself," he'd said. Squaring my shoulders I give the documentary guy the steeliest look I can muster, "I'm from Nashville. Kylie Wolfe is a personal friend. And Lucas is paying me to work for him. If you can't figure out the correlation between those three then maybe you're in the wrong profession. If you want something for the people watching your movie, here it is: Lucas Wolfe is not my type. You think you can handle that?"

It's not until I exit the control room and step outside the studio into the brisk cold that I break into a nervous sweat.