7.12 - Do It Right

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"Ohh, bossy. You know I get all tingly when you take control."

"Shut up. I'm coming."

"Already?"

"Will be if you don't shut up, you sexy little bitch. Your voice right now sounds so good I could fuck it."

"Careful, babe - don't think big bro wants to walk in on you using his home phone as a dildo..."

"Ew. I could be calling from a payphone now, for all you know."

"Nope. I can basically hear his enraged-alpha-male breathing in the background. Tell him I said hi and that I'm gonna fuck the shit out of you tonight and that you're gonna love it. Who's the alpha now."

The words were followed by a click as he hung up, leaving her speechless. Atria let the phone fall away from her ear as she turned around. Sure enough, there in the doorway to her guestroom was Eldor, the doorknob in his furious fist at risk of crumbling to pieces.

She cleared her throat, casually set the phone back in its place on the nightstand, then turned to face him, flashing an exaggerated pout. "What - am I grounded now? Mommy gonna give me a time-out?"

He glared at her, the utter opposite of amused and not afraid to show it. "Whatever happened to not being such a bitch?"

"Oh, that 'new leaf' shit?" Atria dismissed with a flick of her wrist. "Got old after about a minute. Did you really think I could do it?"

"I knew you could. You still can. I just didn't know if you would."

"Well, now we both know. I'm a bad girl, and I'm really not sorry to say that I like it that way, and plan to stay that way. For good."

She started toward the doorway, all set to brush forcefully past Eldor's towering form. He stopped her with a firm, gentle grip on her arm before she could. "Atria-"

"What?" she snarled. Something inside her had snapped, at his touch. He was... this was all just too much. "What do you fucking want from me, Eldor?"

His breath visibly caught in his chest. "Nothing, I just..."

"Exactly," she spat. "Nothing. So I'm giving you just that."

She yanked herself free from his grasp, feeling his fingers collapse in defeat as she slipped out into the hall and down the stairs, out the front door without looking back, relieved to be gone when she so clearly didn't belong. In his house or in his life. He wanted nothing from her, and if she was honest with herself, she wanted nothing from him either. Maybe there were some things that she needed from Eldor - comfort, safety, the only bond she'd ever known that felt even a little bit like family - but wants and needs were entirely different.

Both were dangerous, and she knew it, but she'd had a lot more practice with desire in her life, especially ever since Axel had walked into it. So she knew how to handle what she wanted. How to have it, hold it, even to control it. Whereas need... she could never control what she needed. That meant she couldn't let herself need anything.

Sometimes the line between wants and needs got a little blurry, though. Like right now. Approaching the hotel room where she knew Axel was waiting, Atria felt her hunger for him burn as strong as if his sex were something that she couldn't function, couldn't live, without.

He swung the door open before she even had to knock, and at the sight of him half-naked in her favorite pair of jeans, the scent of him, the stuff of dreams, she freaking pounced-

"Whoa, whoa," Axel murmured, both hands on her shoulders, smoothly resisting her advances down his throat. "So much for hello."

She blinked, tongue lolling loosely over her lower lip. "Huh?"

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