The One Ch. 03byhoneywldcat©
One minute his hands and mouth were everywhere, the next....nothing. Slowly, Catherine opened her eyes. Daniel's breathing was heavy and he had his face against her stomach. She could feel him gripping her hips. Cat sifted her hands through his dark hair, "Daniel?"
He placed a gentle kiss to her navel, "If we don't stop now, we'll never make it to the dinner." Cat groaned and he chuckled, "Honey, when I finally get you alone tonight..." his voice went even deeper, "I promise it will be worth the wait."
"Tonight? But tonight is the bachelorette party. We can't."
Standing up so he could see her face, "Bachelor party, too. So, I'll pick you up after."
Picking up her towel, "I won't be back until after two in the morning, Daniel." She glanced at the clock, "Oh shit! I've got to get dressed!"
Laughing, he followed her down the hall. His laughter faded as he watched her pull on a peach lace thong. When she pulled out the matching bra he choked, "I'll never make it knowing you are wearing those."
Cat turned to Daniel, huskily she told him, "They make me feel sexy."
"You are sexy."
She rolled her eyes and walked to her closet. She loved that she knew he watched her every move. It wasn't the lingerie that made her fell sexy. It was him and the way he looked at her. Quickly, she picked out a burgundy silk dress that went to mid thigh. A pair of high heeled strappy sandals completed her outfit. She fluffed out her hair and put on minimal make-up. Daniel was leaning against her bedroom door.
"I don't think I've ever seen a woman get dressed that fast. You look amazing."
She couldn't stop the blush that stained her cheeks, "Thank you."
The drive to the dinner was filled with a tense silence. As Daniel parked the car he looked at Cat. Her hands were clasped so tightly that her knuckles were white. She jumped when his hand covered hers, "What's wrong?"
"I shouldn't have come with you." She murmured.
She said it so quietly that he barely heard her. Gently he grasped her chin and turned her face towards him, "Tell me why."
"I barely know you. Yes, we want each other. That's obvious. But, I shouldn't be introducing the man that I'm having an affair with to my family."
"Catherine, yes we will be lovers. But, you need to know one thing right now. I want more than an affair." He brushed his lips against hers, "A lot more."
He exited the car and came around to her side. Holding out his hand for her, he noticed the questions in her eyes. As she stood in front of him he framed her face with his hands and kissed her again. Daniel didn't think he'd ever get enough of her. A man cleared his throat behind them, "At least this one opens a door for a lady."
Daniel stiffened his back. Cat just groaned, "Hi, Dad."
Placing one arm around her back, he extended his right hand, "It's nice to meet you, sir."
Cocking an eyebrow as he shook Daniel's hand, "I'd say the same if my daughter had introduced us."
Cat rolled her eyes, "Dad, this is Daniel. Daniel, this is my father Jimmy."
Her dad merely nodded his head, "As usual, Joselyn is late."
"Daniel is Jake's best man. Is he here, yet?"
"No, he went to find her."
"I can call Jake to see how long they'll be." Daniel suggested.
"Let me grab your cell..."
Smiling, Daniel kissed her forehead, "That's your phone now, honey. I have another one."
Cat's father asked, "What happened to your phone?"
"I...well...I accidentally dropped it." At Daniel's short burst of laughter, she elbowed his ribs, "Because he irritated me."
Catherine watched her dad's face as he noticed their interaction. Daniel just squeezed her closer after the rib shot. When her father winked at her, she knew she was in trouble. She absolutely hated lying to her dad. Granted, she hadn't technically said anything about her and Daniel's relationship but it was a lie by omission. Contemplating telling her dad that she was only friends with Daniel wouldn't work. Hell, she couldn't even lie to herself about that. What sane woman would tell her father the truth? She could just imagine his face if she told him, "Oh Dad, by the way...I just met Daniel today and we are going to fuck tonight."
Daniel finished his call with Jake and said, "They'll be here shortly. Joselyn's car wouldn't start."
Cat asked, "Really?"
"That's what Jake said." He shrugged his shoulders.
Her dad grumbled, "I doubt that, but Joselyn always has some issue." Her dad looked at her, "Go find your mother and help her with the guests. We'll be in shortly."
Cat eyed her father, "Be nice, Dad." Turning to Daniel she went on tiptoes and kissed his cheek, "I'll see you inside."
Never had he been in this situation before. Actually, Daniel had always avoided this type of thing. Meeting the parents, just the thought of it made him cringe. Deliberately, Daniel stuffed his hands in his pockets and stared at Catherine's father. Neither man looked away, they were sizing each other up both of them knew it. At Jimmy's nod, he let out a breath that he didn't realize he'd been holding.
"I am only going to say this one time, so I suggest you listen."
Daniel noticed the look on Jimmy's face and silently cringed, "Yes, sir."
Jimmy held him with his gaze, "You hurt her and I'll kill you."
"You'll bring her to Sunday dinner, after church, so her mother and I can get to know you. Do you have a problem with that?" Jimmy raised one eyebrow and waited.
Daniel smiled, "I think I can manage that, if we get through tonight." When Jimmy looked at him questioningly, "I had to coerce her into bringing me tonight."
Jimmy's laugh bellowed around him, "Oh, son. Are you going to have your hands full!"
They started walking into the building chatting about the upcoming basketball games when Jimmy suddenly stopped. Daniel looked up to see some man talking to Catherine and he saw red. It was obvious that she didn't want the man touching her, but he did anyway. He watched as the man in question brushed his fingers over her hair. Jimmy cleared his throat.
Daniel shot him a sideways look, "Something I need to know?"
Nodding, "That would be her ex. We hate the bastard."
"He was the one who tried to control her, right?" Damien was seething he wanted to rip the man's arms off and beat him with them. When Jimmy nodded his head Damien told him, "Excuse me, sir."
Making haste, he approached Catherine and her ex in time to hear her say, "Why in the hell are you here?"
He shrugged his shoulders, "Jos invited me." He boldly stared her up and down, "Plus, I wanted to see you. You've put on weight, but that's okay. I'll take you back anyway."
Hell no! Damien cleared his throat and Catherine looked at him in relief, which made him feel moderately better. Her ex tried to put his arm around her and Damien growled, "Get your fucking hands off of my girlfriend."
Catherine stepped to Daniel and boldly kissed him, "Hi, honey."
He gripped her hip and dropped his voice, "You look gorgeous. Miss me, baby?"
She wrapped her arms around his neck, "Every second. Did you and Dad have a nice talk?"
He quirked his mouth at one corner, "We are to be at Sunday dinner." Glancing over her shoulder, he asked, "Who's he?"
Her body molded to his and she looked at him with so much heat that he wanted to fuck her right there. She kissed him deep and slow and he groaned. She asked, "Who's who?"
His laughter burst from his chest, "The dumbass with his mouth hanging wide open behind you."
Catherine turned in his arms and nestled her ass against his hard-on, "Daniel, this is J.J."
J.J. hissed, "I need to talk to you, Catherine."
"Anything you have to say to her, you can say it in front of me. Otherwise, you stay the fuck away from her." Daniel managed to keep his voice low and steady when he really wanted to grab the idiot and beat the hell out of him.
She told them both, "I have no desire to look at or speak to you, J.J." She clenched Daniel's hands on her hips, "Daniel, we really should go talk to my mom."
Daniel could feel the slight tremor run through her as J.J. said, "We will talk."
He squeezed her waist one more time, "Let's go find her, Cat." Looking at J.J. he pointed out, "You will stay away from her, or you deal with me."
Catherine knew she was trembling as they walked away from J.J., but there wasn't anything she could do about it. She knew that she'd never be free of him. He always found a way to get to her, like he did tonight.
Suddenly, she felt Daniel pin her against a wall and she gasped in outrage. Then it dawned on her, they were in a small storage room in the restaurant. She'd been so lost in her own thoughts and worried about what J.J. was going to try to do to her that she hadn't paid any attention to where Daniel was leading her. Fear was a very real and constant being in her life and it must have showed on her face. Please don't let him hurt me, too, she pleaded with fate.
Chancing a look, she glanced at Daniel and saw the concern in his eyes. He was trying to keep calm, but she could see how hard it was for him. It shocked her when he asked, "What did he do to you, Cat?"
His eyes pleaded with her to tell him, but she couldn't. She'd never told anyone what J.J. had done to her, and she certainly couldn't tell Daniel. She barely knew him. Even though, for some insane reason, she wanted to tell him. She wanted someone to understand. Her conscious railed at her, he wouldn't understand because he's just like him.
Straightening her shoulders, she looked through him, repeating what she told herself every day, "I'm fine."
Daniel looked at her, "I didn't ask how you were. I asked what he did." Realization dawned on him, "You will never tell me or anyone, will you? You plan to let it eat away at you, so no one will ever be able to help."
She tried to control her emotions, but failed. Tears were pooling in her eyes. She chanted to herself, I'm fine...I'm fine...I'm fine. She tried to pull away from him when he wrapped his arms around her. Catherine said shakily, "Don't, Daniel."
He ignored her and pulled her into his chest, "I won't let him near you again, I promise."
Daniel was trying hard not to lose control. He wanted Catherine to tell him what happened, but knew that was doubtful. She was still shaking and it damn near killed him. The thought of someone scaring her or hurting her ate away at him. Never in a million years did he plan to be with just one person, but now he knew. No matter what, even if she walked away from him, his soul would forever be hers.
She was stiff and unyielding in his arms, but he couldn't let her go. He needed to hold her, for himself just as much for her. He was trying hard to give her some kind of comfort, if she'd let him. Daniel felt her hands clutch at his shirt and he wanted to do something...anything that might help.
He heard her sniffle and felt wetness on his chest. He tried to ease back, to look at her face. Her hands grasped his waist, "Please, just hold me."
Her voice nearly killed him. It was so small and shaky, tearing through his heart. Kissing the top of her head, "Anytime, baby."
Daniel held her for at least ten minutes. The whole time his mind was racing. What can I do to help her? Will she even let me? For someone who always knew what to do in any given situation, it ate away at him. He heard someone say Catherine's name and felt her pull away from him. He hated that more than anything.
She drew a deep breath and asked him, "Do I look awful?"
Taking his time, he looked her up and down. He made sure she could see in his eyes the truth behind his words, "You could never look awful, baby." Bending down, he brushed his lips against hers, "You are beautiful."
For about ten seconds she stared at him, their faces inches apart. A sad smile crossed her features, "You need glasses." He held his breath as she went on tip toes to kiss him softly. Then she said three words that almost brought him to his knees. "Make me forget."
Daniel could care less about who was looking for Catherine. He just wanted to do exactly as she asked. Yes, he wanted to wipe away every bit of pain and hurt she has been through. Yet, there was still the underlying need to claim her as his. To know that no one would ever hurt her again.
Cupping her face, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers softly at first. Rapidly, the feel of her lips and the taste of her overtook every sense in his body. He tilted her face so he could devour her mouth, wishing he could fuse her mouth to his for all of eternity.
He growled against her lips, wanting her at home in his bed. To his immense shock and awe, she met him with just as much need and urgency in her kiss. Vaguely, he heard the door open and someone let out a shocked, "Wow."
Slowly, he broke the kiss. Brushing his thumb against her bottom lip, he smiled ruefully. He pulled Cat against his chest again, feeling her heart beat like a run away locomotive. He glanced to the door and saw Gabe staring at him. If he wasn't mistaken, there was a look of surprise with a hint of awe in Gabe's eyes.
Daniel cleared his throat, "Hey, Gabe. Need something?"
"After witnessing that, a cold shower would be good." Cat giggled into his chest and he smiled. Sighing Gabe told them, "Jos is looking for you, Cat. I'm the one who's gay, but that girl is the true drama queen."
Daniel laughed, "She is that."
Cat sighed, "I almost feel sorry for Jake, but he knows and still wants to marry her."
Looking at her, Daniel pointed out, "You can't help you love, baby." He cupped her face and kissed her lightly, "Want me to come with you?"
"I'm better now, I promise. Just meet me out there in a few minutes."
Watching her walk away was hard. He wanted to shield her, protect her from everyone and everything. Gabe broke into his musing, "You are already in love with her."
His declaration stole Daniel's breath. Daniel looked at the one person that might be able to tell him what happened to Catherine. Admitting, "Crazy, huh?"
"I don't know how anyone couldn't fall in love with her. It won't be easy. She has a lot of walls built up."
Daniel told him, "I'm stubborn and refuse to give up. I've never wanted anyone or anything like this."
"Believe it or not, she's not as strong as she portrays. Don't hurt her." The love for his friend was evident in Gabe's voice.
"Do you know what happened to her? What did J.J. do to her?"
Gabe looked down as he said, "She's going to kill me for this. If you prove me wrong about you, I'll have to kill you." He looked almost pained as he told him, "He smacked her around, degraded her, and made sure that she felt like she was nothing. Even though she won't admit it to me, I know he raped her the night he beat her to the point she was put in the hospital. She was trying to leave him."
"Fuck!" Daniel punched the wall. He barely registered the pain, "And no one did anything?"
Gabe explained, "None of us knew. She lived with him and was hardly ever around the two years she was with him. When I got the call from the hospital, they told me she had been in a car accident." Daniel watched as Gabe tried to control his emotions, "Cat didn't even tell me until three months ago. It happened almost a year ago, now."
Daniel watched Gabe turn and leave the room. It took him a few minutes to calm down enough to do the same. Being a master at hiding his emotions, Daniel made sure that no one could tell that he wanted to kill J.J.
Jake walked up to him and clapped his shoulder, "Can you believe I'm getting married tomorrow?"
Ignoring his question, Daniel asked one of his own, "Why in the hell did Jos invite Cat's ex?"
Jake shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know. Maybe Jos thought that Cat really wanted to be with him still. She never thought that you and Cat would..."
"Well, we are." Daniel cut him off. "I think you need to realize that your precious Joselyn is a vindictive bitch that wanted to hurt her sister. You better hope that J.J. stays away from us."
To be continued....
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