Free Me (Page 48)

Free Me (The Found Duet #1)(48)
Author: Laurelin Paige

Boyd’s questioning tone drew me back to the present conversation that I’d somehow managed to forget I was having. “What was that?” I asked, forcing myself to focus.

“Norma’s on the other line. Do you want me to leave her a message?”

“Actually, no. You were who I wanted to talk to. I’m meeting her for dinner at seven. Does she have anything scheduled right before that?” I held my breath as I waited for his answer.

“No. She’s done with her appointments for the day. Do you need me to schedule something?”

I didn’t want Norma to have any hint of the surprise, so I said, “No. Just wanted to make sure she wouldn’t be running from somewhere to our dinner reservation.”

“Got it.” After I thanked him, he added, “It really was nice hearing from you, Gwen. Don’t be such a stranger next time.”

Huh. Was Boyd flirting with me? Or was he simply trying to be an involved assistant? He had become Norma’s right-hand man, so he possibly thought connecting with her sister was part of his job.

Yeah, I was going with that.

I was running late when I got to Pierce Industries. Traffic had been a bitch and I cursed myself for thinking a cab would get me there at this hour of the day in any reasonable amount of time. Then again, there wasn’t a straight shot of the subway from our place to Norma’s office, so I was pretty much screwed no matter what.

I was checking my watch as I got off the elevator onto Norma’s floor—it was a quarter to six—so I didn’t see Hudson Pierce in front of me and bumped into him. We’d never met, but I knew who he was. It was the first time I’d seen him up close. He certainly was attractive, and I could see why my sister had fallen for him.

But his eyes—they were so empty. As though they were missing something. As though he were missing something. Something vital. That nothingness made him seem eerily cold, despite his polite smile as I delivered my apology and headed toward my sister’s office.

It was strange how I felt like I recognized that emptiness I’d seen in Hudson. Not like I’d seen something missing in my eyes, but I’d felt the missing thing inside. Like there was a hole in my chest that sat vacant. Waiting. Was that what JC saw when he looked at me? The same blank stare that I’d seen in Hudson? And if he did, how could I hope that he’d ever find any sort of connection with me?

Except, he did connect with me. I knew that. It wasn’t up for debate. I’d felt the surge of electricity pass between us, and it was vital and fierce. And when we did connect like that, I didn’t feel that hole. I didn’t feel empty. I didn’t feel unlovable. I felt…loved.

The thought stopped me in my steps. It was one thing to acknowledge that I was in love, but to imagine that JC might return the feeling was going too far. If I didn’t quit it now, I’d end up hurt.

I shook the notion off and continued down the hall.

Boyd’s desk was empty when I got there. It was after hours and the whole place felt like a ghost town, so that wasn’t unusual. But Norma’s door was closed too, which was a little odd. I worried for a moment that she’d had something come up last minute, but then I heard music coming from inside. Instrumental music. She’d spent the most time with Mom and had been the one to adopt her musical tastes. This particular piece was loud and vibrant. Carmina Burana, maybe. I wasn’t that good at identifying much besides Philip Glass. Whatever it was, she didn’t hear my knocking.

I tried the handle. It wasn’t locked. “Hey, I—”

My words cut off when I saw her. She was bent over her desk wearing nothing but a garter belt, stockings and heels with her ass front and center—bare. And red. Red with palm prints.

Boyd, stood behind her dressed only in his trousers. And he was spanking her. Not gently, either, but full-on slaps. They sounded like they had to hurt, but from the moans of pleasure that came with each swat of his hand and the way that Norma rubbed her thighs together, I had to guess she was enjoying it.

Boyd was too. Without a doubt. And from the evident bulge at his crotch, two other things became immediately evident—Boyd was hung and he was definitely not gay.

“Oh my God,” I gasped and immediately regretted it. Until then, they hadn’t seen me. I could have snuck out and they’d never have known I’d been there.

Now, they knew.

Both faces snapped to peer at me. “Gwen!” Norma cried, her face turning as red as her behind.

I couldn’t look away. Partly, I was processing. This was the first time I’d walked in on my sister doing anything sexual, shocking in its own right, and then to realize she was involved in kink?

It took a moment to regroup.

Apparently, they were as stunned as I was because neither of them moved from their positions. Finally, I came to my senses. “Um, sorry. I’m so sorry.” I closed my eyes, as if that could help at this point. As if I could un-see what I’d seen. “I’ll just…take your time. I’ll be out there. In the waiting area. No rush.”

I shuffled out as fast as I could with my face covered, and when the door was shut behind me, I practically fell against the wall.

What. The. Fuck.

Everything clicked into place. Why Norma bought the lingerie. Why she’d been working later recently. Why she no longer talked incessantly about Hudson Pierce. Why she’d been all pro love and relationships.

Why she seemed happier than I’d seen her in a long time.

But there were just as many questions that rolled in. Like, how long had this been going on? Why hadn’t she told me? Was it just sex? Or was it, as I strongly suspected, something more?

They were answers I wouldn’t have until I talked to her—and I was already planning a serious interrogation—so in the meantime, all I could cling onto was holy shit.

I stumbled to her waiting room armchair in a daze saying that over and over. Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy. Shit.

My phone rang, knocking me from my stupor. Suddenly remembering why I’d come to the office in the first place, I sat up and pushed the TALK button. “Ben?”

“Hey, big sis.”

“You’ll never believe what just happened to me.” The words came out in a rush but I didn’t wish them back. Because Ben was the only person who would understand how shocking the experience was. He was the one person I wanted to share it with more than any other. “I just walked in on Norma banging her assistant.”

“Oh my God.” His gasp sounded much like mine had.