The Book Club
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Chapter 9.2
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The Book Club
Author :KanyeInterruptedMe
© Webnovel

Chapter 9.2

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9: In Which She Wears Black [Part II]
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“No offence, but Erin was a freak,” Prince remarked. He quickly looked skyward. “A gorgeous one, rest in peace.”

“Shut it, Prince,” I cautioned, shoving a whole shelf of sex toys into a big black refuse bag I’d mentally labelled ‘RUBBISH’. Who would want second-hand dildos?

“Jan, if you don’t mind my asking... why isn’t her family packing her stuff up?”

“Because I’m her family,” I snapped, losing my patience with him. If he didn’t want to help me pack up Erin’s place, why did he come?

I should’ve just called Stephen, I thought, then dispelled the thought with a shake of my head.

Our relationship, whatever it was, was already extremely compromised. I didn’t need to be further complicating things by having him present for something so personal.

Prince, fortunately, got the hint and began to pack things up in silence. Maybe I shouldn’t have invited him either. I knew for a fact that Erin didn’t particularly like him and would probably be rolling in her grave watching him touch her underwear. The thought gave me a giggle. Prince looked up from a box he was sealing, arching a brow.

I turned my attention to Erin’s bookshelf. She’d always been a reader, especially in college, although her interest – much to my dismay – was mainly in Mills & Boon novels, books I’d abandoned in high school. Even now, I spotted a few well-thumbed erotica books in her reading list. The sight brought a smile to my face.

“Jan? Uh, I think you should see this...” Prince’s voice trailed off.

“What?” I strode around the bed and peeked at what he was holding. “You shouldn’t be digging in –”

“Shut up; I wasn’t digging.” He shoved the pamphlet into my hand. “I was trying to empty this drawer.”

Adopting from Russia: What Single Parents Should Know

“She didn’t mention this to you?” Prince asked me.

I squeezed my eyes shut. “Her lifestyle wasn’t exactly child-friendly.”

“You might have to consider the fact that you probably didn’t know her,” Prince said softly, closing the drawer.

“Thanks,” I whispered, knowing how true his words were. “Thanks for making me feel so much better.”

There was something I had to do.

*

It was time to read the coroner’s report and when I finally did, there was absolutely no closure. Accidental overdose, they said. Accidental? Erin had accidentally taken one too many sleeping pills? How did they know that? Were they there the evening she’d decided to dip into her stash of pills?

But perhaps that was what I needed to quell the overwhelming guilt I felt inside – confirmation that she hadn’t wanted to go. This guilt was only heightened when I made dialled the number at the back of the Russian orphanage’s brochure. A woman called Sasha Romanov confirmed that yes, Erin Thomas had been interested in adopting; had even been planning a trip to Moscow very soon. I’d had the displeasure of informing her of Erin’s untimely demise.


“That is awful,” Sasha had said in a heavily-accented voice. “We’d never met, of course, but she sounded so...so vivacious. I could tell that she was desperate for a child. I am sorry for your loss, Miss Jones.”

How could Erin not have told me something major like that? Was I that horrid a friend?
Prince was right. I hadn’t known her at all. I wished I had.

*

“Janelle! Hi!” Tonight, Fiona was almost completely nude. “You look...you look...great.”

“The theme is stupid,” I muttered as she led me downstairs.

“Yes, well, it was suggested reading material.” She giggled. “I think even we grown-ups want to believe in magic.”

You’ve got that right, I thought, shaking my head at the sound of several ‘I’m coming, Harry! Oh shít, yes, yes, yes! Avada Kedavra my pússy!’ wails.

Fiona scuttled away like a horny field mouse. I licked my lips, praying that Stephen wouldn’t make an appearance and make this any more awkward than it had to be. Whatever he thought I was to him, he certainly didn’t own me. We weren’t exclusive.

“You certainly know how to make an appearance,” a familiar voice said from behind me.

I rolled my eyes and turned around. “Uh-oh, you can see me? Cheap fúcking Invisibility Cloaks. Screw up every time.”

Luc let out a bellow of laughter. “Chérie, your sense of humour is satisfying.” Leaning forward, he whispered: “But your complete nudity is distracting.”

I fully pushed away the thought that he was married and that I knew now. “Where’s your brother?” I asked, a smile spreading across my face.

“You think we are a package deal?” Luc scoffed, his hands eagerly stroking the skin of my stomach. “Trust me, chérie, I am twice the man for you.”

“And are you supposed to be a tall, bright and handsome version of Hagrid?” I teased, while he moved forward and pinched one of my nipples.

“I kind of...didn’t get the memo that we were supposed to dress up as characters from a kids’ book.” Judging from the casual jeans and T-shirt he was in, I could only agree. He tilted my chin upwards. “I don’t recall any nudity.” He brought his lips to mine. I parted them for his tongue to enter. “You taste of...wine,” he breathed. “Are you drunk, my darling?”

“Don’t be silly. Just touch me.” I grabbed his hand and placed it against my pússy. “No screwing, just this.”

He shrugged, parting my pússylips. “If you say so.”

“Oh, I say so,” I purred, holding on to him for dear life.

He began to rub my clít in circular motions, slowly at first, which annoyed me. However, as he picked up the pace, I felt my body instantly respond; the need to release was so great it engulfed me.

Amazing. His fingers really are magical.

Stephen’s face flashed before my eyes.

Just like that, I crashed back down to earth again and Luc felt it.

“What’s the matter?” he asked curiously, his fingers still inside me.

“Stop. Please,” I replied, and he obliged, but not before giving me a piece of his mind.

“Merde! Just a few seconds ago you were practically begging me to finger-fúck you and now you want me to stop?”

“I was doing this for a friend,” I said in a quiet voice. It sounded stupid when I said it aloud.
“For a friend,” Luc repeated, frowning. “You are clearly not all there.”

“I’m sorry. I have to go.”

“Sure, sure. Cock-tease.”

I ignored him and made the humiliating walk back upstairs. What was I thinking? Was going to the library butt-naked a tribute to my best friend?

Yes, a voice said in my head. With a start, I realised that it was Erin’s voice.

“I’m glad you can find humour in this, Er,” I whispered, pulling open my car door and sliding in. I pulled my clothes back on in record time and started the car, flicking the radio on.

There was only one person I wanted to see at that moment.

*

Naturally, Stephen lived in a house and not an apartment. I didn’t know why I’d expected him to live in a shabby flat with a dirty roommate that called him ‘bro’ – but I did, which was presumptuous of me. Stella had given me the address, keeping a great distance between us as she did so. I’d thought about apologising about my STD outburst but decided that there was nothing to be sorry for.

And now I was sitting outside Stephen’s house like a predator.

Do I really want to know where he lives? What happened to our boundaries?

“Fúck this,” I hissed, grabbing my bag and getting out the car. I looked up at the starlit sky. “Erin, I hope you’re watching. I love you.” I chose the biggest, brightest and most ostentatious star and decided that that was her. It comforted me.

Stephen’s neighbourhood was one of the fanciest but their security was almost nonexistent. Most of the houses didn’t even have fences or gates, although they looked like they cost a thick wad. Weren’t they afraid of thieves literally just walking up to their front door?

Stop analysing household security.

I took a deep breath and knocked on the front door, taking an expectant step back.

Almost instantly, footsteps resounded and the door was wrenched open.

“Janelle?” Stephen stared at me in disbelief. “Is everything OK?”

“Yeah. May I come in? Please.”

He stepped aside, letting me pass. “Excuse my poor manners. I was just...in the middle of something.” The door was closed behind me. “Follow me.”

My eyes were glued to his rear in his low-slung black jeans.

“I’m sorry for randomly dropping by but...you weren’t at Plaisir so Stella told me –”

“Janelle, relax. You don’t have to explain yourself,” Stephen interjected, motioning for me to sit down. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“I already had some wine so maybe...water?”

“You were drinking?”

“Just a glass,” I lied. More like half a bottle. I shouldn’t even have been driving.

“Sure. Be right back.” Stephen disappeared.

I sat back in the couch and took in the living room. It wasn’t quite what I expected. Men were usually bland when it came to decorating and making a house a home. As a bachelor, Stephen definitely knew how to decorate – or knew someone who knew how to decorate.

Landscape paintings dotted the ash-white walls. I recognised Monet-style oil paintings; the rest went over my head. Old black-and-white photos of people I assumed were his family sat proudly on the mantelpiece above the red brick fireplace.
I glanced at the coffee table. The usual, expected literature – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall, FHM, NAG – and a few cookbooks by Jamie Oliver. A smile tore across my face when I noticed the comic books underneath all the ‘mature’ reading material. Apparently, Stephen was into Archie and Tintin comic books.

“You weren’t supposed to see those.”

I looked up with a start. Stephen set a tray of coffee and biscuits on the table, beside his books.

“It’s cute,” I said truthfully. There were a lot of things about this man that were just that. “You know, water was just fine.”

“You look like you could use some caffeine.”

“Huh. Thanks.”

“I’m not insulting you.” He laughed, taking a seat beside me. “You’ve just been through a lot lately.”

I met his eye. “Thank you. For, you know, being there for me.”

“Anytime.” He cleared his throat. A look of horror crossed his face. “I don’t mean that I hope there are more tragedies for me to –”

I placed a reassuring hand on his arm. “I know what you mean.” Retracting my hand, I looked away. “What were you in the middle of?”

“Stupid football match,” he mumbled.

I gave him a curious look. “Oh? Who’s playing?”

“Uh...it’s FIFA ’13.” He got up and grabbed his console, reddening. “I’m just going to turn it off.”

I let out a laugh. “Are you seriously embarrassed that I caught you playing on your PlayStation?”

“I don’t want you to think I’m more of an idiot than you already think I am.”

“Where would you get that idea?”

Stephen’s brow furrowed. “You know, I get that this is just about sex to you but for the love of God, Janelle, why do you keep sending me mixed signals?”

I felt heat stain my cheeks. “Mixed signals? Come on, Stephen. Grow the fúck up.”

He cursed under his breath. “This is why I didn’t want to say anything.”

“Well, you’ve said it!” I snapped. Before it could go any further, I bit my bottom lip and apologised.

Stephen shrugged, staring at the black screen. “Whatever.”

“I don’t want you mad at me,” I whispered, stroking his arm.

He turned to me. “I’m not mad at you.”

“Good.” Screw coffee and cookies. I moved to straddle him, tightening my thighs around his. “Can I make it up to you anyway?”

Stephen reached up and brushed a strand of hair out of my face. “You can do whatever you want. I won’t stop you.”

I bent down and placed a kiss on his exposed collarbone.

“I’m too far gone for this,” Stephen muttered. Without any warning, he threw me onto my back on the couch, positioning himself between my thighs. “Why did you come over?” he queried, unbuttoning my blouse.

“To seduce you?” My breathing was becoming ragged. His touch scorched my skin.

“I doubt that.” His lips were on my uncovered belly. “Sweet Janelle, were you at book club tonight, by any chance?”

I tensed. “What?”
Stephen chuckled, tracing a finger around my navel. “I’m just asking.”

“For a little while,” I confessed, huffing out a breath. “But there was no point.”

“What do you mean?” he asked quietly.

“Why didn’t you come?”

“I was busy, remember?” he countered, his hand stilling. “So you fúcked someone else and now you want seconds?”

“Excuse me?” I screeched. “I didn’t fúck anyone tonight. Are you so fúcking dense that you can’t see that the only guy I want is you?”

What the hell did you just say? I chastised myself, breathing heavily. It was the closest thing I’d gotten to saying the three words I absolutely refused to say to him.

“Clearly,” Stephen replied after a moment of silence passed. He smiled down at me. “Aren’t you going to ask me how I knew you were there?” He casually unhooked my bra.

I shook my head in response. “What matters is that I’m here, right?”

“Right,” he replied, and then his hot mouth was on my breast.

He took my nipple into his hot mouth, sucking on it like a baby. I let out a moan, my hands threading his thick hair. With deft hands, he pulled my jeans off, rubbing his bulge against me when they were off. His hands brushed my inner thigh and I reacted immediately, trembling and clenching my cúnt.

His mouth gave the same attention to my other breast, his teeth grazing the already hardened nub. It was unbelievable that Luc, whose hand had been in my cúnt just over an hour ago, hadn’t been able to get me off but Stephen, who was only sucking my tits, was pushing me towards the edge.

He raised his head and kissed my collarbone. “Bedroom?”

Warning bells rang in my head. Going into Stephen’s room would be so…so intimate.

But he’s been in yours. You want intimacy.

I nodded, watching him get off me. He reached down and took my hand in his, pulling me to my feet and leading me to his room.

It was gorgeous, but I didn’t have time to admire the little Nate Berkus in him. He slammed me against the wall, pressing himself against me for a passionate kiss. Looping my arms around his neck, I wanted him to take me then and there; my desire for him was so intense I couldn’t think straight.

He scooped me up and gripped my hips, allowing me to wrap my legs around him and clench. I felt his body respond beneath me and when he gently lowered me onto his bed, a wave of unwanted emotions passed over me.

You love him, Erin’s voice said in my head. She was always there now, both a comfort and a nuisance.

Stephen tugged his T-shirt off and unzipped his jeans, standing over me. He arched a brow. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” I murmured in response.

He shook his head once, getting onto the bed. “Nothing. Just kiss me.”

I closed the space between us and did as he wanted, sucking on his bottom lip. He settled himself in between my thighs, feeling my wetness. “Much better than FIFA,” he whispered, making me laugh.

The laughter turned into a hiss of pleasure when he suddenly pushed against my opening, hard and insistent. I knew it was more than sex when his lips brushed my earlobe. “I love your laugh,” he murmured, thrusting into me. “I love your smile.”

“Stop it,” I breathed, my nails digging into his shoulder blades. “Just stop.”
“Fúck it, Janelle,” he growled, slowing the tempo of his strokes. “I love you.” He flipped me over so that I was on top and grasped my waist. “Punish me for admitting it.”

I was going to explode any minute and he knew it. I couldn’t even admit that his little “I love your this-and-that” was what was making me all fuzzy inside.

The sex ended up being better than I’d ever thought it could be. Climaxing together, we were completely out of breath when he wrapped his arms around me post-coital. At the back of my mind, something was telling me that there was a big difference between ‘having sex’ and ‘making love’. Stephen had just shown me that.

***

Oh, shít.

“Stephen?” I called out, squinting in the sunlight. I kicked the stifling covers off and slipped out the bed, grabbing the nearest piece of clothing I could get my hands on – Stephen’s T-shirt from the previous night. It still reeked of his cologne.

“Morning, Jay.” He stepped out the bathroom, dripping wet with a towel around his waist. “How’d you sleep?”

“Fine,” I replied, rubbing at my temples with my index fingers. “Why didn’t you wake me up?” I complained as he approached me. “I wasn’t supposed to spend the night.”

“You weren’t?” he said, his eyes dancing. “Funny. You could’ve fooled me.” He leaned in to kiss me but I backed away, horrified.

“You can’t!” I hissed. “I haven’t brushed my teeth.”

Stephen rolled his eyes at me. “Spare toothbrush in the bathroom. Knock yourself out.”

“Oh, you just have a few spares for when women stay over, huh?” I muttered, pushing past him and going into the bathroom.

“Really, Janelle? This early in the morning?”

I let out a heavy sigh, wiping a hand across the steamed-up mirror over the sink. “Sorry. I’m not a morning person.” I grabbed what I figured was the ‘spare’ toothbrush and squirted a blob of toothpaste onto it.

Stephen came up behind me, winding his arms around my waist. “Just a night freak,” he teased, kissing the nape of my neck.

His erection was pressing into the small of my back.

“Again?” I blurted out in disbelief before running the brush through my mouth.

When I bent down to spit, Stephen pulled up the shirt I was wearing.

“Shower,” I said huskily, now unable to ignore the stirring in my abdomen. “And please, don’t drop the soap.”

He laughed, spinning me around. “Oh, I won’t – but you will.”

*

“Where the hell were you?” Prince exploded when I finally walked through our front door.

“What did I do?” I asked, genuinely confused.

Prince was in a ridiculous-looking turquoise suit, his hair gelled and flattened to his skull. “I had a wedding to get to but oh no, only about a dozen randoms wanted to see the apartment so I couldn’t go,” he spat.

“You could’ve gone,” I told him, heading into the kitchen. He followed me.

“I was supposed to be out last month,” Prince whined, his anger evaporating. He could never stay mad at me. “Nothing’s going my way…so if you still want me out, please – just break it down to me.”

I was in the middle of slurping down the remainder of the mango juice we had in our fridge, straight from the carton. I knew Prince found that particular habit of mine disgusting but at that moment, I couldn’t care less.

“Babe, I don’t want you out. I would miss you, despite how you annoy the hell out of me sometimes,” I said, giving him a real smile. This was true. I was learning how important friendship was. “I know things have been rocky between us since the whole Chlamydia episode but now we can laugh about it, right?”

“Ha-ha?” Prince offered, giving me a strange look. “Why do you look like the cat that got all the jizz and cream?”

“Meow.”

“Okay, now my interest is piqued. Were you at a certain lakeside shag-buddy’s house last night?” He leaned forward expectantly, waiting for my answer.

“Lakeside shag-buddy!” I exclaimed, giggling. “You’re hilarious!”

“Well?”

“I think I need to take a nap for a thousand years,” I replied, pushing past him and skipping to my bedroom. “Goodnight, sweetie!”

“It’s four in the fúcking afternoon, Janelle!” he called after me.

Is it? I thought, wincing when I rolled onto my bed, my poor strained muscles crying out.

Erin would’ve been proud of me.
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