“It’s been a pretty basic week. I come home, eat dinner, watch a show with a glass of wine, and then head to bed where I think of you and masturbate.”
“So, fucking naughty.”
“Speaking of naughty,” I hedged, sipping my wine. “I had to settle for regular porn instead of going to the Twelve Naughty Nights at Voyeur.”
“Yeah.” Kent winced, already having heard how much I hated not being able to go. “And I’m sorry I wasn’t here, but even if I was, we couldn’t have gone because Daniel was hosting the night.”
“Yeah, I know,” I huffed like a petulant child.
As well as a hotel magnate, my husband also owned a private club called Voyeur, where you paid to watch performers act out your wildest fantasies in live porn. He owned that club with his business partner, Daniel.
His best friend.
Also, my uncle.
“Don’t pout, Olivia.”
“I’m not.” Despite my denial, I settled into the irritation. Not getting what I wanted because of someone else was something I could control and be mad at—it was safer than the other emotions lingering within.
I didn’t have to look over to know he had one brow arched high as he stared at me. “Olivia…”
“Okay,” I groaned. “I’m trying not to be pouty about it, but I wanted to go. Even if I was by myself to watch. Hell, even to see Oaklyn. I haven’t seen my best friend in forever, and we live in the same city. You know I hate missing out.”
“I know you do.”
“And I hate sounding immature.”
His patience only made my pouting all the more obvious, and I hated it, but I couldn’t seem to stop. It was as if I’d opened the gate to one emotion and others snuck out with it like a group of hype men, cheering the irritation on, adding fuel to the fire. It grew, sucking up the other feelings until it all swirled like an ocean in a storm barely contained in the box I tried to keep it in.
“No one thinks you sound immature.”
“Oaklyn called me a spoiled, whiny brat the other day.”
“Well, that’s because, one, she’s your best friend. I call Daniel shit all the time. And two, because you are.”
“What?” I shrieked. What the hell happened to my supportive husband, who always told me I was perfect the way I was despite what others said.
“You’re my spoiled brat, and I make sure to keep it that way,” he clarified with a devilish grin. When all I could muster was a half-smile, he turned serious, reaching across the table to rest his hand on mine. “Listen, we all handle our frustrations differently, and most of the time, you get what you want out of life because you’re so vocal about it—or whiny as you call it. But you go after what you want and voice your demands with no compromise. It’s an impressive trait, no matter what you call it. I mean, you got me that way.”
“I know. I just hate feeling like the kid of the group.”
“You are the youngest. This is what you get for marrying a man almost twice your age—older friends.”
Trying to relax the storm and catch my breath, I let out a slow even breath.
“Dammit,” I exclaimed with mock regret. “You distracted me with all your sex experience.”
“The orgasms will get you every time.”
“I welcome them when they do.”
He squeezed my hand in his. “Just because you’re the youngest doesn’t mean people see you as a child if you express your frustrations. You’re allowed to be upset you didn’t go to the event. Trust me, I wanted nothing more than to go with you and show you off. So, how about this? I’ll make it up to you.”
I sat up straighter. “Tonight?”
His wince hit harder than expected, knocking me down off my pedestal of hope even before I could fully stand up.
“I can’t do tonight. That’s why I flew back because I have to go into Voyeur to sign some forms and meet with the new business manager from the New York club. Then I’m flying back to Chicago tomorrow.”
“I could go with you tonight.”
I saw the answer before he even spoke. “I haven’t checked with Daniel, and you know we need to—”
“Schedule our time,” I snapped, finishing the sentence for him. “Yes, I know the agreement you both created without any input from me.”
A swell of emotion from the turbulent ocean smacked into me, which only spurred on another. Each wave pulled me under, building my frustration back up.
Why was I getting so worked up? I was Olivia Kent. I controlled my world around me and made it what I wanted. So, why couldn’t I calm myself down now? No, not just now. Why couldn’t I calm myself and take control over the past few months? And why did each month leave me with less of a grip on who I was and what I could handle?