Adonis in the Flesh Ch. 03byelle137©
*Apologies for the wait! Ellena and Gabe's story has been bothering me for a while now, so I took a break and started a new project. I'm back to these two stubborn mules though. There's no sex, again. I know some people may be annoyed by that, but the chapters are pretty short and the story has been writing itself and these two just don't want to go there yet! I promise, it will be well worth the wait. Please leave comments, vote and send me feedback. I spend hours writing, fretting over every little detail. I love hearing any critiques people have to improve the story or quality of writing!*
Ch. 03 The Art of Persuasion
Jenna threw herself onto her bed with a huge puff. She was exhausted. Between beginning to plan the wedding, work and helping Gabriel try and woo over Ellena for the past month, she hadn't been sleeping, or eating much for that matter. All she wanted right now was to curl up with Eric, maybe even have a warm bath if she could muster the energy to move.
"Am I dreaming or is my fiancé actually home before I've gone to bed!" Eric said, his voice teasing as he wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Mmm baby, I missed you."
"Oh yeah? How much? It seems you're spending more time with Gabe than me."
"If I didn't know better I'd think you were a little jealous Mr. Williams."
"I'm jealous of anyone who takes my woman away from me, even if he is after Ellena. You know, maybe you're working too hard with the wrong person. She's the one that needs convincing not Gabe."
Jenna stared incredulously at him. He knew how stubborn Ellena could get. Once she dug her heels into the dirt it would take a miracle to move her! It seemed Ellena was resisting everyone at the moment.
"Easier said than done, baby."
"What, exactly, are you two up to? You know Ellena hates surprises."
There was no way she was telling Eric anything. He'd spill everything to Ellena the first chance he got. He had become so protective of her over the years, like a big brother. "Enough work talk. I'm going to run a bath, care to join me?" she winked at him over her shoulder as she made her way to the en suite bathroom.
Eric watched her walk slowly to the bathroom, her hips swaying in the most delicious way. He hopped off the bed like a cat tempted by a mouse. Jenna had the water running to fill up the tub and had begun stripping out of her clothes. Eric simply watched from the doorway admiring her toned body, as his fiancé gave him a little striptease. He had to be the luckiest man alive, he thought, as his eyes raked over her full breasts, her pink nipples hard against the cold air, then down to her flat stomach and round hips, which led to her beautiful long limbs.
Eric walked over to her when she finally stood completely naked in front of him, and wrapped his arms around her waist. She tilted her head up towards him and he came down for a soft kiss. His hands trailed up her back as they explored each other's mouths. Jenna let out a low moan as he bit her lower lip lightly before tracing it with his tongue. She could feel his hardness pressed against her naked skin. His hand came up to the nape of her neck cradling her head as he deepened the kiss, his desire becoming more evident by the second. Maybe skip the bath, she thought, smiling slightly.
Just then she heard her phone ringing. She stiffened a bit in Eric's arms. "Leave it," he practically growled, "you can call back later, whoever it is." She was about to take his advice before she realized no one would call her this late except for Elle. She broke their embrace, much to Eric's disappointment. She could hear him groan, as she made her way towards her purse. She felt Eric behind her, pressed against her back, as she pulled her phone out of her purse and pressed the answer button.
"Jenna Marie Carlton, what the HELL do you think you're playing at?" Ellena's voice shrieked through the phone. Jenna had to pull it away from her ear slightly.
"What exactly are you referring to Ellena?" she replied calmly, trying not to moan as Eric wrapped his arms around her and nibbled on her earlobe. Her obvious lack of concern only seemed to anger the other girl further.
"You know bloody well what I'm referring to! You gave him my number and my work address!" her voice rising in octaves.
"Who?" she asked sweetly, knowing full well who Ellena was referring to.
"Don't play stupid with me Jenna! You gave Gabe my number and he won't stop calling! He's even called my office! He's been sending flowers there for the past two days! It looks like a fucking florist shop! What are you two planning, exactly? Or should I say three, I know Toni is involved somehow!"
Jenna had to bite her lip to keep from laughing, her friend sounded hysterical, and all over a couple of phone calls. She knew Ellena wouldn't be pleased with her once she found out she'd given Gabe her number. He'd only been asking her for it the last month. However, Jenna knew the only way to get Ellena out of her little cocoon was to overwhelm her and take some decisions out of her hands. It seemed Gabe was taking that lesson and putting it to good use. It seemed Eric was applying a similar tactic at the moment, as his hands stroked her soft breasts, teasing her nipples to a painfully hard state from behind, causing her to bite her lip hard to keep from moaning. He wasn't taking no for an answer, either. She elbowed him lightly, turning to make a face at him.
"Do you realize how annoying it is, hm Jenna?" she continued, not waiting for an answer, "to be at work and getting phone calls almost every hour! To have my superiors question the ridiculous amounts of flowers which keep showing up! Then to go home and find at LEAST twenty messages! THEN to try and relax only to hear the damn trilling of this fucking phone over and over! I was about to throw it at the wall before I realized I wouldn't be able to call and tell you THANK YOU! Thank you for making my day so fan-fucking-tastic!"
She couldn't hold it in anymore and she burst into peals of laughter at her friend's ridiculous anger.
"Damn it Jenna, this isn't funny!" she practically whined, but she could hear the slight smile in Ellena's voice.
"You're welcome," she said in between giggles as her laughter died down a bit. "You know if you would just answer the poor guy, you wouldn't have to hear the – what was it? Damn trilling of the fucking phone over and over."
She heard a heavy sigh on the other end, but nothing else. "You know Ellena, its ok for you to want to be happy. You can't go on living your life the way you are. Gabe is a good place to start, he really genuinely likes you."
"Jen, I think that's been made abundantly clear already, but it's not the issue. I refuse to endanger –"
"Ellena, stop right there. It's been seven years and nothing has happened. Not a word or sighting of him. I think it's safe to say he won't be bothering you anymore. So, please stop using it as an excuse! You're scared I get it, but just...live a little."
There was a long silence, in which Jenna thought she may have gotten through before she heard a resounding "no" on the other end. Jenna groaned at her friend's stubbornness. She could give a bull a run for its money, she thought. Before she could say anymore, Eric grabbed the phone out of her hands.
"Ellena, I love you but stop being so fucking stubborn and go out with the guy, please? I'm trying to make love to my beautiful fiancé here, and I can't do that when she's worrying about you the entire time."
"Eric, I – sorry," she mumbled, clearly mortified she had interrupted such a private moment between them. "I shouldn't have called this late."
Jenna grabbed the phone back, giving Eric another admonishing glare before turning her attention to her friend.
"Ellena, don't listen to him, you know I'm here for you whenever you need me, so is Eric. "
"I'm going to try and get to bed," she finally stated, "I'm unplugging my phone too. Please Jenna, no more matchmaking. Between you and Toni...it scares me to think of the things you'll concoct!"
Jenna hung up, turning to tell off her future husband for being so rude, but before she could say anything he had her in an iron grip and was kissing her until she couldn't breathe.
"Now, where were we before we were interrupted?"
Ellena hung up with Jenna, slightly ashamed at her outburst. She knew Jenna meant well, but sometimes she meddled a bit too much! She briefly considered changing her number, but knowing Jenna she'd just give Gabe the new one. It was a moot point anyways, she couldn't change jobs, and he would just bombard her with more calls at work. She thought back to what her friend had just said. It had been seven years. Had she just become so comfortable in the lifestyle she had built for herself that she was too scared to venture outside of it? The amount of time that had gone by without so much as a word from Jared Whitmore seemed to be a good sign, but she had quelled the urge to feel any hope a long time ago. Trying to bring it back to the forefront of her emotions now was a more difficult task than she thought it would be.
She used to be so carefree, the first to jump at the opportunity to try something new. She used to be the first on the dance floor, when she went out with friends and the last to leave. Now she barely made it to work and straight back to her apartment. When did she become so damn boring? When everyone you ever cared about ended up dead, a voice said in the back of her head. Her stomach twisted in pain at the thought.
Did she dare break out of her cocoon? If she knew anything about Jared, it was that he was extremely patient. He would wait idly by until someone presented him the opportunity to take what was his, yet she found herself questioning if he would wait years for her to slip up. No one could be that dedicated or obsessed towards a cause, she thought, not even Jared. If Jared had known where she was, he would have come looking a long time ago. He'd been a huge mistake in her life, one he made sure she would never forget, but maybe Jenna was right. I should just throw caution to the wind and go out with Gabriel, she thought.
Even if he had acted like an ass the last few times she saw him, it couldn't hurt to see what he really had to offer. He'd been at every damn social event she went to in the last month anyways, Toni and Jenna's doing of course. Each time he'd showed up, she found herself getting angry, wanting to hit him again, but keeping herself in check. It was like they were both a walking contradiction. He was charming and a perfect gentleman when he wanted, yet he had a teasing persona that always got under her skin. She found herself missing him when he wasn't around, yet wanting to hit him when they finally came face to face. They'd both be lucky if they didn't wring each other's necks in public.
She was lost deep in her thoughts when the phone rang, startling her a bit. She sighed, suddenly making a decision. Jared had taken many things from her, but she wouldn't allow him to take away anymore from her life. It was time to move on, have a little fun. One date couldn't hurt, and it would end all of Gabe's ridiculous attempts to get her attention. She decided to at least give it a shot. Glad she hadn't actually thrown her phone at the wall, she picked it up on the third ring, knowing Gabe would be on the other end.
"You know Gabe, you could make a hell of a career as a debt collector," she said in an annoyed voice, before he could say anything.
She heard a deep husky laugh at the other end, "How did you know it was me?"
"Oh, lucky guess I suppose, a woman's intuition," she joked, her irritation melting away as she heard his laugh.
"So tell me, following me all over town isn't enough, you have to call me over fifty times in one day? I'm beginning to think you're stalking me Di Sisto."
She heard a booming laugh at the other end, just as there was a knock at her door, startling her a bit. Who would be here so late? She made her way to the door, looking through the peephole and barely contained a groan. Damn it Jenna, I'm going to kill you, she thought. She unlocked her door and swung it open, glaring at Gabriel Di Sisto, standing in her doorway nonchalantly, leaning against the door frame, one leg crossed over the other with that smile she had gotten to know so well.
"Am I that obvious?" he laughed his eyes twinkling, "You can thank Jenna for my 'stalking' as you call it."
"Trust me, she got an earful already before you called," she grumbled, resignedly stepping aside to let him in. She couldn't be rude, after all and have him standing in the hallway. No, that wouldn't do.
He stepped in and looked around her small apartment. It was nicely designed and laid out. He noticed the numerous amounts of flowers he had sent her spread around her apartment, filling it with their sweet floral scent. Her living room was a mixture of modern and classic pieces of furniture. She had a whole wall of shelves spilling over to the brim with books and baubles from antique markets. This woman obviously had great taste. She had various shades of warm earthy tones around the apartment, making it feel cozy. Just off the living room was a small, yet sleek kitchen. Across from it was a small hallway, which he guessed led to her bedroom. He found himself wondering what it looked like in there, fighting down a smile. He turned to find her staring at him, her hands at her hips, and eyebrow cocked questioningly. Did women have no other stance when they were pissed off?
"I'd ask you what you're doing here, and how you even know where I live, but I'm guessing the answer is Jenna."
"Actually, you're wrong," he grinned as her expression turned from annoyed to shock, "The correct answer is Toni."
She snorted and rolled her eyes while making her way to the sofa, mumbling, "In my world, that's essentially the same thing."
"Nice flowers," he said, fighting down his laughter.
"Thank you," she replied curtly, "I suppose if you must stalk, you do it in style."
She was a little apprehensive at having him in her home. This was her little hideout, an escape from the world, which not many people were privy to entering. The fact that Toni knew that angered her further. She'd definitely give her friend a few choice words on the subject. On top of all of that, she was a little worried about Gabriel's actions.
He was pursuing her, in every sense of the word. The calls, the flowers, showing up everywhere she went, the absolute certainty in his eyes when he said he would see her again the first time they met. He wasn't giving her a chance to breathe, and it all reminded her of the one other man who did almost the same exact things to woo her over. Gabe is different, she thought. The fact he was related to Toni, whether by blood or not, spoke volumes, she would trust that man with her life. Well, maybe not her love life, she thought wryly.
She sat at the far end of her sofa and gestured for him to sit as well. He sat on the opposite end and simply gazed at her pensively. He was silent for so long, she opened her mouth to finally say something but he spoke first.
"To answer your previous question, no, it's not enough to call you and see you at the occasional function. The fact is that I can't get you off of my mind and I want to take you out to dinner." He slid further down the sofa, edging his way closer to her.
"However, we seem to be at an impasse. I've asked you out twice now, called you endlessly, and all to no avail." He continued sliding down the sofa.
"The only option left for me was to come see you in person, away from everyone else. You can't keep ignoring me Ellena," he said in a low husky voice, as he finally closed the distance between them, "give me the chance to change your frustratingly stubborn mind."
Her breath hitched as she took in the sight of him. He was so close to her no w she could feel his body heat, his face mere inches from her. She was still a little shocked he was in her apartment looking absolutely delicious as always. How could this man affect her so? She didn't even care he was here anymore, although she would never let him know it. She hadn't been able to get him off her mind either, even if he had let her. She felt his hand trail along her cheek leaving a blazing trail on her skin, his eyes boring into hers as he leaned in closer. He smelled divine, a mixture of natural musk and spice notes. It was so purely male; it was assaulting all her senses, fogging up her brain.
"So, Miss Cavalieri? Is that a yes or a no?"
"Yes," she breathed before she could stop herself. He leaned in the last few inches; his lips meeting hers in what he had originally intended to be a light kiss. He couldn't help himself though, once he tasted her sweet soft mouth he wanted more. His tongue began tracing her lower lip, as she moaned lightly opening her mouth to allow him to delve deeper, to taste her sweet essence. Ellena was vaguely aware of the fact that she wasn't even putting up a fight, the man seemed to know how to get through to her with a simple touch.
His arms wrapped around her back pressing her closer to him, as he trailed one hand lightly up and down her spine. He deepened the kiss, leaving no part of her mouth unexplored. His kiss was sending warm shocks through her body, straight to her core; their tongues dueled for what felt an eternity before he pulled back a bit, nibbling her the tender flesh of her lips again, ending it with a small peck on her now swollen, red mouth. His forehead was leaning against hers, both their breathing heavy.
"I'm sorry, what was that? I couldn't quite hear you," he teased. He'd heard her perfectly well.
"I said yes, you smug ass," she growled as she pushed against his chest to put some distance between them. She found herself standing, and mentally cursing herself for letting him kiss her again. It irked her that he was in her domain yet he seemed to be in complete control of the situation, knocking down brick after brick of her perfectly constructed walls with one small touch. Her body had taken pleasure in every sweet second of it, screaming for more. She was mad at Jenna and Toni for encouraging this entire situation, at Gabe for stumbling into her world and knocking her right off her feet, but mostly herself for actually liking it – for wanting more.
"Pick me up Friday at eight thirty," she managed in a steady voice. She didn't feel as calm as she sounded. If one date would get him to leave her alone, she would gladly endure it. "Now, get out, before I change my mind."
He suddenly burst into laughter at the sight of her. She looked so pissed and confused, yet determined. He knew she wasn't trying to be rude by kicking him out; he had definitely overstepped the boundaries. It seemed however, that was the only way through to this unbelievably hard headed minx in front of him.
"Now, Ellena, is that any way to talk to your date?" He dodged the pillow that was now flying at his face.
She stood pointing her finger at the door, glaring down at him. Yes he had definitely gone too far. He stood, making his way to the door, chuckling to himself.
"You definitely kissed me back this time. See you Friday, sugar lips." He was vaguely aware of the sound of something heavy– a shoe? – hitting the door with a heavy thud as he closed it.
Gabe was walking up to Ellena's apartment, a little early but he had been restless waiting at home for the clock to strike eight thirty. He couldn't quite believe she'd finally agreed to this date. After a month of endless attempts to get her to open up just a bit, he'd been just about ready to give up. Ellena had cast a spell on him, and he couldn't seem to think about anything else. If he was a superstitious man, he would have thought her a witch. A really sexy witch. His frustration had reached critical mass at her last rejection, when she had "accidently" spilled her drink all over his suit, after he had cornered her. He and Toni were sitting in the study at their parent's home only a week ago, one of the few times Gabriel had made it to their family night, discussing her, when Toni suggested going to visit her at her apartment.