Out of the Past Pt. 04bymadam_noe©
She had forgotten just how opulent the Kellner world was. At school when she'd been sent away, the people she met wondered why she didn't revel in money the way they did, like bloated pigs at a never-ending troth. She hated the rich, and hated them because of every cruel lesson learned at the hands of Ferdinand and Michael Kellner, and the final, most painful lessons learned at the whim of Sebastian Kellner.
She glanced sideways at him now as the plane taxied up to the runway for liftoff. He didn't revel in his money, he seemed to bear it comfortably. Hell, he seemed to bear everything comfortably, everything but her.
She glanced out the window as the myriad of planes at O'Hare lined up. It had been years since she'd last been on a private plane, and that had been the Airstream in the Kellner fleet that had flown her the last time back to Stockholm for her final semester of graduate school. Back then she had wondered about, a free man of two years, knowing they were kept apart. There he sat, in the reclining leather swivel chair next to hers, not three feet away, and she was still wondering.
Claire could not bring herself to discuss Sharon. Not yet. The life she had carved out in Toronto was hers, Angela Johnson was hers, Sharon was hers. Whatever the hell was between her and Sebastian it would soon come to an end, it had to.
He'd asked her for this time and in a moment of weakness she had agreed. Weakness, it had to b that. The need she felt for him, the heat that seemed to burn them up whenever they were close...it was too much.
This was his world, a world of private jets and billion dollar cash flow issues. Her world was small, busy, and fit nicely into an anonymous condo in any large city in the world. Information was her real job, and so long as she had a computer she could work anywhere in the world.
This would be a test-drive of sorts, she thought. They were flying to a secure island. Sebastian had bought it two years earlier and according to him though the island was in the British Virgin Islands it held only five private residences and only residents and guests were allowed.
She would appear on no manifest and for the next week she would be safe. Claire almost snorted. Safe from a killer, sure, but what about... He looked up, those clear, bright, sharp eyes meeting hers. Claire jerked her attention back out the window as they took off, that rushing feeling of fear, excitement, and anticipation washing over her.
A burst of arousal broke through her, startling Claire into the realization of how similarly Sebastian made her feel. Watching the city fall beneath them as they headed out over Lake Michigan. After long, breathless minutes the plane leveled out.
Sebastian had dismissed the on-call staff keeping only the pilot and co-pilot. He unbuckled his seat belt and held his hand out to her. "Come with me."
"Where to?" Where they say was the main cabin and meeting room. The chairs swiveled and the floor panels could be moved to raise up legs that connected to the tabletop, not hung near the back doorway to the next cabin.
There was a galley, staff seating area, a small lounge with a permanent dining table, and behind that a bedroom for long flights. Sebastian led her to the galley where he grabbed a bottle and two glasses, and then grabbed her hand again and went to the bedroom.
It was small like a hotel room but richly appointed. There was a king size bed that looked soft and plush, a shade darker than the dark blue plush carpeting. The walls were hung in cream fabric and the painting was a real Magritte, from his early days. Claire had spent enough time in this world not to goggle, but she still felt out of place.
Sebastian closed the door behind her and set his bounty own on the small dresser. Why there needed to be a dresser on a plane, Claire couldn't say, but the mirror on top reflected them and the bed. He came up behind her and she felt her body stiffen, felt the desire to pull away.
He must have felt it too because there was a flash of anger across his face and then his lips were pressed against her neck. Claire closed her eyes and gave in to the sensation. This, of all things, felt right.
He held her from behind, his arms steel bands, his mouth furiously claiming every last nerve. The shimmer of anger and fear pulsed at her arousal, making Claire feel as if her body sizzled. The moment she relaxed, the second she began to melt against him Sebastian made a sound of victory that died on a heated moan.
His hands moved, skimming up her sides teasingly and hovering under her suddenly aching breasts. Claire couldn't stand the waiting and reached her own hands up, intending to cup his head and bring him lower.
"No," Sebastian soft softly yet firmly. "No." The second command was more a plea as he hefted the weight of her breasts and stoked Claire's stiff nipples through the fabric.
She knew what he wanted and suddenly Claire ached to give him her submission. All he wanted was to lead the dance, and it made him feel safe. She whimpered as he ground his hard erection into her bottom and knew in her heart the battle was lost. Truthfully, letting him take the lead made her safe too, so long as all decisions were momentarily out of her hands.
Just what did it mean?
It was like a modern fairy tale. The island was small, like a large hill of lush green rising from the ocean. The sand all around was pearl white and the ocean pooled into coves of perfect turquoise calm.
They had landed in Tortola and from there taken a boat to the private island. There were only a small handful of residences each with a private dock, and Sebastian had piloted the speedboat excellently. Here in the tropics he seemed a different man. His shirt was off and his tanned skin gleamed in the sun. His sunglasses were small, round, perfectly dark, and hid his eyes and he gave her sly smiles whenever he caught her admiring him.
Actually, he had seemed a looser man since their interlude on the plain. Without question she had followed where he lead, and it had brought them both to a furious climax of pure, raw desire. Even now she ached slightly and wanted more, craved his touch. It was as if he planned this, as if hiss little game extended beyond the bedroom. Frowning, Claire pushed the thought aside and studied the little slice of paradise that was to become their refuge.
The boat was parked inside a boathouse overlooking the private beach. A natural rocky outcropping of a peninsula on one side and a man-made built-up sand bar on the other made for a cove of calm waters.
Claire could not resist dipping her hand in and laughing at the warm ocean. Bora bora would be like this, but her smile faded when she realized it would be nothing like this. The large house awaiting them was richly appointed, stocked with food, private and secure. On her own in the tropics she would have to carry her money with her, sleep with one eye open, and keep moving.
Sebastian had sensed her thoughts and tugged her along to the house. There were five bedrooms and a large open floor plan on the first floor. The basement was a walk-out onto the sloping hill and was in effect a rumpus and entertainment room. This was all Sebastian, she knew, this was not a Kellner family holding, it was his own. It came as no surprise that the most modern and largest room was the kitchen.
She elected to lay by the small pool and chase a nap while he prepared a large lunch. He left a laptop out there, one from the house, not work, loaded with music that played for her as she soaked up the sun.
As Sebastian cooked he glanced out the window at her, and Claire began to feel playful. Two could play the power game. Grabbing her suntan lotion she stripped naked, slowly, well aware of his steely gaze fixed on her through the window ne floor up.
Just for him, heedless of her surroundings, she poured the warm lotion into her hands and began to smooth it over her body. Her nerves were still tingling from his touch and she closed her eyes, imagining it was his hands working the warm coconut lotion over her breasts, working the turgid nipples.
Claire had always been a watcher but somehow this felt right. She began to fantasize that he would climb up and kneel on the counter, completely visible to her, open his pants, and stroke himself.
Her hands slipped down over her soft belly and the curls between her legs. She was wet and aching. He looked so beautiful stroking his cock, and she remembered their first night together, how he made her watch, teasing her.
Was Sebastian feeling just as helpless, just as enthralled? Did he ache with wanting her the way she did him? One slim hand cupped a breast and the other parted her folds, stroking her clit and drawing white-hot sensation through her entire being.
Damn him, damn him for confusing her. Damn him for changing, damn him for bending her to his will, damn him for making her want him more than anything in the world. She imagined him, controlled, his strokes sure and even. Watching her even then Sebastian wouldn't lose control, never would he lose control. He would wait for her orgasm to claim her and then make her watch his. Cruelly he would smile, knowing he was depriving her even as the show rewarded her.
She began to frig herself fast, whimpering. Suddenly hands grabbed her and Claire let out a screech, eyes flying open. It was him, Sebastian was there, eyes blazing. He crushed her lips under his as one hand moved between them, fussing with something.
Then he grabbed her, lifting her and their lips broke. She stared down, shocked as he slid into her with one sure thrust and slammed her down against his hips. Instinct had her wrapping her legs around him even as she arched, luxuriating in being filled so completely.
"Damn you, damn you, damn you," he began to chant as he thrust into her again and again. She was too high to kiss him and threw her head back in surrender. This was what she wanted, he'd lost control, lost control to her.
She laughed and groaned, gasping when he mouth found a nipple and bit sharply. The pain threw her over the edge and Sebastian followed with a roar. Too late she realized there was no condom, no barrier between them as he filled her. Something dark and forbidden coursed through her and she felt her body quicken once more with it, screaming his name.
He carried her two staggering steps to her chaise lounge and fell to sit with her straddling his lap, amazing still inside her.
Claire fairly purred, delighting in her victory.
Sebastian pulled her down, pressing his lips to hers. "Don't ever do that again," he whispered against them. Suddenly without warning he jerked his arm and she felt his palm strike her butt.
"Naughty girls get punished," he growled, and kissed her. He slapped her again, a painful sting that quickly softened into warmth, only to be struck again and again. Inside of her she felt him hardening again and her body responded. Desperately, strangely she began to crave the slaps, pressing and rubbing against him even as he refused to move anything but his tongue and that hand.
Sebastian kept still, letting Claire feel full, but nothing else. His slaps were harder, faster now, jarring her against him, her nipples brushing his chest. One hand pinned her down and the other struck as he kissed her. Impossibly, Claire peaked again, the orgasm strange and violent, soul-shattering madness.
There were no more thoughts of power or victory, not when he gripped her aching, hot buttocks and began to move her. She rode him with desperate need, to hear his cries of pleasure and her own was all that filled Claire.
After exhaustion claimed her, the lethargy of seeking a nap that didn't come returned, but her body gave in quickly. He shifted her and withdrew and carried he, but Claire's eyes were already closed. When he laid her down on something soft in cool shade her butt cheeks winced with the warm aftermath, and all she could do was smile and fall into dreams.
Sebastian's hands shook as he chopped the fruit. He had a caretaker who stayed there on Cooper Island when he was away, her family back on Tortola, and she had filled the house with food, airing it out, making sure all was comfortable. She was gone now, it was just him and Claire, and it was like some kind of dream.
What would it be like to leave his life behind, the company he didn't truly want? What if this could be everyday, sunshine and surf, mad, passionate sex whenever they wanted?
The old fears came upon him then, what had kept every other encounter with a woman at a single night. Would they grow tired of one another? What if she never came to love him? What if he gave in, left his life, offered it to her, and she laughed in his face?
The knife slipped and he cut himself, citrus filling the wound with a sting.
Cursing he abandoned the fruit and looked out at Claire, still sleeping on the outdoor couch under the cabana, curled up almost innocently, except her lush body was on display. It had only been minutes since their last encounter and the side of those pale, oiled breasts pressed to the couch, her tousled golden hair over her face with lips still swollen threatened to make him hard again.
He cleaned the blood and juice from his hand and went to the computer in the office, needing the distance of a moment free from mad lust. Sitting down he began to search everything he could on the case that she was tangled up in. After an hour he sighed and saved a link for her to watch.
She hadn't told him. Her friend was dead, the latest victim of this killer, and Claire had said nothing. Was she so damn determined to go it alone, to not ask for help of any kind?
All her life she had been running. Forced into a family, tortured by them well into her adult years, and now...was he any better? Did she know how to live any other way?
Out of habit he turned to the family business and went over the reports. They were doing well, they always would, but lately the joy of acquisitions and mergers wasn't enough. He'd fallen prey to a strange restlessness that seemed to only abate when he was inside Claire.
His thoughts pulled in a thousand directions Sebastian made a quick decision and clicked on a video link, letting it load. He wrapped his hand in a fresh towel and grabbed a bathrobe, bringing it outside.
She was long and lithe, smelled of coconut oil and sex, and looked like a woman well and truly fucked. In that position, laying on her stomach, he could tease her for hours, make her beg, get her so damn wet her thighs would glisten. He swallowed the lump in his throat and gently touched her shoulder.
"Claire, wake up, I want to show you something."
Her eyes opened to slits and she shifted, moaning low in her throat. "Oh?" She fairly purred.
He clenched his fist and tossed the robe down onto her. "You need to see this. On the computer."
He turned and walked back to the house knowing if he stayed to watch her rise and slide the robe on, he'd get derailed and lose himself to her once more. Inside he poured two glasses of water and drank one down as he heard the sliding door close behind him.
Turning at last she wore the robe loosely, hinting at her curves. By itself the garment was plain but on her...he squeezed his hand on the glasses and picked the other up. "Drink this, you've been in the sun a while."
"What's going on? I thought we agreed to take a week and just...relax."
"Yes, but something came up I think you should see. It's about that friend of yours."
He watched her pale and bite her lip, debating telling him the truth. At last she nodded, waiting, and so he brought her to the office and sat her down in the chair. Pressing play, he stood back, and waited for her to see the announcement of her friend's murder.
Seconds ticked by and at last Claire turned, smoothing her golden hair back. "Stop it!" Her cry was soft, her voice shaken.
Sebastian's temper was near boiling. "You knew and you didn't tell me."
Her eyes were limpid and she looked fragile to him, but his anger was clouding his vision. She didn't trust him. All that he had risked for her and the damned fool didn't trust him, was keeping him out of her inner life, keeping her emotional bags packed, ready to leave at a moment.
She jumped. "We're safe here! This...monster...no one can get onto this island that doesn't live here."
He leaned down, grabbing the arms of her chair, catching her, forcing Claire's eyes to his. "You think that's it? Anyone with a goddamn boat can get here, it's an island, not a fortress! Yes, you've put me in danger without disclosing all the facts-"
Rage flashed in her eyes. "I wasn't the one who suggested coming here. I wasn't the one who lied about how long it would take to get my money! I didn't ask to be here!"
His vision cleared, but Sebastian refused to move. "Is that it? Do you want your money now? Want to get dressed, got back to Tortola, I give you a check, and you'll leave, is that it? And go where, do what!?"
"It doesn't matter! I'll be fine and you!"She took a deep breath and hid her face. "You'll be safe."
"You already dragged me into this. I'm not letting you go off into the wild world alone. God damn it, Claire, don't you trust me? At all?"
She shoved him back and he let her, standing back as she rose. She began to pace the small room, clutching the gaping top of the robe. Sebastian leaned against the printer counter and folded his arms, watching her closely.
"No." She stopped and faced him square, delicate chin stubbornly jutted. "No, and why should I? You knew about so much, not everything Michael and Ferdinand put me through, but so much. You saw the beatings, the cruelty, the basic denial of who I really was, the way they cut me off from any of my real family. You promised me you would leave with me, we'd go and never look back. I asked you to, I gave myself to you, and you turned your back on me!"
She must have seen the line cross in his eyes because suddenly she stopped trembling. He had the urge to comfort her and also slap the naiveté off her face. He kept his arms crossed, counting silently back from ten. Never before she had come back into his life had he lost his temper.
Sebastian knew his legend in the business world was built upon his cool façade and ability to remain as steady as a rock in the face of adversity. Now he'd sucker punched his uncle and wanted nothing more than go to the basement punching bag and bust up his knuckles.
"You, you, you. Do you think you were the only one being warped, twisted by the family? They beat you because they had no leverage. I'm not lessening what they did to you, I'd like to raise gramps from the dead and kill him myself, and I want nothing more than to return to Chicago and finish beating my uncle to a pulp for you," he emphasized those last two words.
Claire wrapped her arms around her body and kept her chin raised, her eyes still wet. Her temper was high but she was also afraid, and that part of that fear was for him made Sebastian curse himself.
"Claire, you didn't see it then, you don't see it now. My mother. I never knew who my father was. Like you she left, like you she was found by her brother and father, only eight months pregnant with me. They beat her trying to find out which tall redheaded S.O.B. it was and she never told. She lost her mind and they never told.
"I know now it was schizophrenia. They withheld her medication once I got old enough to defend her. She never told! It was the only revenge she ever had against them, and was her only defense.
"When you asked me to leave she was getting worse and worse. I couldn't. You and I had planned, just another two years. I would have come into my inheritance and had enough to get her help, you would have graduated. We could have seen her safe and I would have gone with you, but you couldn't wait."