Blackmailing the Virgin

By: Alexa Riley

I feel a snap between my fingers and look to see the stem of my wine glass has broken in two. A server comes over and takes the broken glass out of my hand, passing me a clean towel. There only seem to be a few minor cuts, so I wave him off.

When I look over at Felicity, I see her gazing over at me with concern on her face. Is she worried I’m going to tell her father what happened upstairs? Because that would be the last thing I’d want to do. She should be more worried about me going over there and pushing that guy away from her and pinning her in that corner with the lower half of my body.

Gritting my teeth, I grab another glass of wine, careful this time not to crack it in my hand. I also try—unsuccessfully—to not stare at Felicity. I keep my eyes on her, watching as she blushes and nods, hardly speaking a few words to the man. She’s so shy that I can see it from across the room. This doesn't jibe with her father’s words. As the man leaves, I take a step forward and then think better of it. Keeping myself rooted to the spot, I chant over and over in my head that I must not go to her. No matter how much my body wants it.

I see her eyes light up, and she starts to take a step, only to be cornered by another man. This time I want to smash my wine glass on the floor and scream obscenities until I blow the roof off this place. I want to scream that she’s mine, but she’s not. I don’t even know where these barbaric and crazy ideas come from.

She gives the new man a smile, and I stifle the rage in me at the gesture. Why do I even care that she’s smiling at someone? It’s no business of mine. Except for the fact that I’ve marked her mouth and now I feel as if I own it. How dare she use what I own to make other men happy? That mouth is mine and should only be used for my desires.

‘’Calder, are you okay?”

Looking to my left, I see Sidney walk up and put her hand on my shoulder. It’s not the hand I want. The one I want is on the other side of the room, and I hate it.

I nod, accepting her comfort, and try not to be so obvious about my newfound obsession with my attorney’s daughter.

“Are you ready to go? I think I made the rounds for us, and I’m dying to get home. My feet are killing me in these shoes.” She leans on me a little, lifting one and giving it a squeeze. “But they’re so pretty I couldn’t bear not to wear them.”

I just hum as I sneak another look at Felicity. I feel heat flood my bloodstream when I see her with a big smile on her face as she leans into the man in front of her. I guess her father was right. Maybe she is just like her mother, always needing attention. No matter who it’s from. I’m bitter, and I can’t look at the scene much longer.

I take Sidney’s hand and pull her out of the living room. “I’m ready,” I grit out as we exit the penthouse.

When we get downstairs, my car is waiting at the curb. My driver helps Sidney in, and I go around, nearly slamming my door as I get in.

“Calder? What happened?”

Sidney and I have known one another since the fourth grade. She was allergic to peanuts and so was I, so we had to share a lunch table. There was a big sign above the table that declared we had allergies, and it was really embarrassing at the time. So we ended up bonding over it and became best friends.

People always assume we are a couple, and we’ve used that to our advantage. It’s helped me out with social climbers and keeping out of the single spotlight, and it’s helped Sidney keep her sexual orientation from her family. They’re strict Catholics, and having a lesbian for a daughter would be the end of the world to them. So instead, Sidney tells them we’re an item and I just won’t commit. I’m fine with being the asshole to her family and taking all the shit they dish out at the holidays. I’d walk through fire for her, and I know she’d do the same for me.

“Nothing. I’m okay.” I take a deep breath and try to clear my head. Maybe now that I’m not around her, this need will dissipate. “I’m good. Just have work on my mind. Are you staying at Lori’s tonight?”

I try to change the subject to her girlfriend, knowing this will pull her attention away from me.

She sighs and leans back in the seat, and for a second I feel bad about bringing it up.

“No. She told me last week that if I went to another event with you as your girlfriend, then she wanted to break up. I told her that we work together and it’s complicated, but she knows it’s bullshit. She’s asking for something I can’t give her.

I nod, thinking about exactly that—wanting what I can’t have. I look out the window, holding my fist to my mouth as I try to quell the growing desire for Felicity. It’s as if the farther away I get from her, the stronger the urge is.

“Richard, drop me off at my place,” Sidney says, and I look over at her.

“You’re not coming over?”

We’d agreed before the night started that she’d come over and play the new Madden with me. She’s one of my closest friends, but she’s also a badass when it comes to playing football.

She looks over at me and raises an eyebrow. In that one look, I can see everything she’s not saying. That look is telling me I know you’re full of shit and you’re hiding something. I know you need the night to yourself. So unless you want to talk about it, I’m going home.