knowing charlie's password was my downfall. i ordered shot after shot, until josiah announced that the palace was closing to all guests and the bar was shutting down. i was so wasted by that point, d.j. had to carry me to arabella's room, which was locked.
at some point in the night, i woke up in petra, arabella's assistant's, tiny bedroom. petra had the job of cleaning up and out arabella's things from the calabasas cottage, so she wouldn't be back for a few days. as i laid in her squeaky twin bed, all i could think about was how much i wanted to shower.
showers were my escape. they helped me to think. when i was a kid, i would spend hours upon hours in the shower just to get away from my family. i wandered out the door, down the hall, and up the service stairs. arabella's room was still "under construction," so i tried d.j.'s room. his door was locked. i sighed. i had one option left.
it was nearly three in the morning. charlie's room was unlocked and i could hear him snoring quietly. i glanced over my shoulder at his bed as i slowly opened the bathroom door. he was in his bed. alone.
i slunk into the bathroom and shut the door. i was still in my gown from the ball. it took a few seconds, but i finally finagled the zipper down and dropped my bright magenta dress into a heap on the ground. then, i yanked all of the bobby pins out of my hair, until my hair cascaded onto my shoulders.
the shower was steaming as i stepped in. the glass around me was completely fogged in. the hot water felt incredible on my skin, as all my stress melted away.
"what are you doing in here?" a sweet, sultry, but very groggy voice asked from behind me. i could feel his body heat all around me.
i turned around and gasped. there he was, stark naked, in the shower with me. "i was trying to relax," i snapped.
"i can help with that," he said in a sexy voice as he stepped toward me, craning his neck close to my face. he leaned into kiss me, but i turned my head away.
"didn't someone already help you with that?" i snapped.
charlie ran his hand across my cheek. "hey, hey, what does that mean?" he asked quietly.
"the black earring by the sink?" i quipped.
charlie shook his head. "it's blair's. she and jack were up here after the ball, she was smashed and she dropped it. what's wrong?"
"do i not mean anything to you?" i asked.
he sighed. "i- i just can't." he leaned in again, and this time, i let him kiss me. his hands cradled my face. i moved my body into his as the water ran across my back. charlie's tongue ran across my bottom lip, i let him in. our tongues moved in fluidity together.
then, i felt him, hard against my stomach. i let my head fall backward and he began kissing on my neck. the water was falling directly on my head, soaking my hair. i bit my lip and leaned my head into charlie's chest as he ran his fingers through my hair.
i turned around and shut off the water. my heart was pounding. i pushed passed charlie and stepped out of the shower. not even bothering to towel off, or say a word, i walked straight to his bed. more, i strutted. i laid down, feeling the cold air of his room against my naked body. charlie came out of the bathroom soon after i did.
i bit down, hard, on my lip as he sauntered toward me. my eyes took him in and chills ran across my body. he climbed on top of me, and continued to kiss my neck, that cold i had felt, suddenly turned to heat.
"are you still taking your pill?" he whispered.
charlie ground himself gently across my body and kissed me, deeply. then he went back to my neck, i let out a quiet moan as he found my sweet spot. he slid down and nibbled on my collarbone. i moaned louder.
"ready?" he whispered.
i nodded slowly.
i closed my eyes and waited for the pain i'd heard so much about. i heard charlie sigh and roll off of me. "god dammit," he whispered, "i can't do it."
i sat up, covering myself with the sheet. "what's wrong?"
he leaned his forehead on my shoulder. "it's not you, i swear to god. there's just something about you-"
"you just said it wasn't me-"
"there's just something about you that makes me want to make this special. not just for you, bu- but for me," his voice trailed off in embarrassment and his head dropped so i couldn't see his eyes. i lifted his head with my index finger so our eyes were even.
"what else?" i asked.
he sighed and sat up with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. "plus i keep thinking about my meeting with legal. i talked to that shawn guy, the new one, and he said, that you'll have to go to health exams here with the practitioner every month, and if you aren't... together," he said motioning toward my stomach, but i knew he meant lower, "that you could face major prosecution for breaking the loyalty code, even if it's with me."
i pulled him back into the pillows with me and laid my head on his chest. "can i at least sleep in here then? i think both of your siblings found friends at the ball and they dumped my drunk ass in petra's room."
charlie chuckled, "god, those mattresses will be the first thing i'm going to change when i get the crown."
i interlocked my fingers with his. "are you scared?"
he looked down at me, "to be king?"
"yeah," i said.
i felt him smile, "i'm more scared over this stupid engagement event weekend."
i swallowed hard. "did you meet anybody tonight that you would consider?"
he ran his fingers through my hair. "anybody that i would consider, i'd already met before."
"like the chick from the other night?" i asked quietly.
he thought for a minute, and then he realized i meant the strawberry blonde. "who? kara?" he asked. i didn't respond. "she's senator baker's granddaughter. he's got a big pull on whether d.j. becomes head of senate or not, so i thought i'd show his granddaughter a good time, get in good with the baker family." then he added, "don't tell d.j. though."
"so are you guys, like, dating?"
charlie laughed. "dear god, no. kara is more a good-time sally, a one-night-stand sarah. she just wanted to have drinks, have sex, and go home." we were both quiet for a minute, and then he asked, "are you ready to go to bed?"
i thought for a second, and then i sprung on top of him, so that i was straddling him. "not just yet," i smirked.
he chuckled and said, "you're going to be the death of me, kid."
YOU ARE READING
"oh, and, ladies, may i be the first to say, happy birthday," she said as she stood on the center of the stage. the girls around the auditorium, but i only cringed. of course my birthday would fall on loyalty weekend. what idiot came up with the...