Dark Designs

Contemporary Erotic Romance: (M/M/F)

DARK DESIGNS
Published by Virgin, Black Lace
ISBN #  0352340754
November, 2006

As the designer for an opulent gothic wedding, Remy Davies is under pressure. There’s the over-stressed bride, a trinity of vampire-obsessed bridesmaids, a wayward groom, and then there’s the best man… Silk looks as if he was drawn by a manga artist; beautiful, exotic, and with a predatory sexuality. She has to have him, in her bed, and between the pages of her new catalogue. Remy is about to launch herself into the alternative fashion world, and Silk is going sell it for her whether he know it or not. But Silk is nobody’s toy, and for all his androgyny, he’s determinedly heterosexual. Pity, since Remy’s biggest fantasy is to see him making out with her sometime-boyfriend, Japanese biker, Takeshi.

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Reviews

‘Deep, dark, multi-layered… powerfully erotic… and deliciously arousing.’ – Ashley Lister, for the Erotica Readers & Writers Association

Winner of the Scarlet Magzine Best Male-Male Sex Award 2007

CHAPTER TWO:

Where was he? God help him when she found him. And she would find him.

Remy Davies peered down the alleyway at the back of the tiny comic shop, then sprinted past the bins towards the thrum of the evening traffic.  No idiot stole her bag and got away with it. She could hardly credit his audacity. He’d simply lifted it straight off the counter while she was returning her bankcard to her wallet. Of course, it meant she’d had a good look at him: angular, Oriental, about five foot ten, with incredibly dark eyes and glacial blue hair. She wasn’t likely to forget that bit. It made him look as if he’d walked straight out of one of the graphic novels she’d just paid for. Reason enough to be interested in pursuing him even without the extraordinary circumstances. However, exotically gorgeous or not, she was still going to wring his neck when she caught him.

The high street was a dreary grey. Remy slowed to a fast walk and joined the other shoppers. It had been one of the wettest Aprils on record, and the pavement was dotted with oily puddles and soggy pastry crumbs. Even the spring collections in the shop window seemed to have had all their vibrancy washed out of them by the constant rain. Not that she was much for pinks and pastels anyway. She’d much rather see a dramatic blood red, or midnight blue. Something striking and stylish that engaged the senses. Something like the fantasy image on the back of the biker jacket ahead – a curvy flame-haired temptress, provocatively dressed in bottle green with thorns growing up her arms.

It was him.

It took a moment for her brain to register the pale silver-blue hair grazing the leather collar. Well, nobody had ever said that thieves couldn’t be stylish too. Better yet, he still had her bag.

Relief and adrenaline surged through Remy’s chest, spurring her on between the huddles of umbrella wielding die-hards. It was gratifying to know that her precious comics weren’t floating in a puddle – the victims of failed opportunism by some X-dweeb who thought he was completing his collection. Still, the sooner she had them back in her hands the happier she’d be.

It had taken six weeks for her four carefully packaged manga translations to arrive from Japan. She’d only glimpsed them through the protective plastic covers before he’d swiped them, but the vividly rendered cover drawings promised so much. One particularly exquisite image of a blond haired, green eyed sex god had especially caught her attention. Right now, she should have been on her way home to an Irish coffee and an hour of indulgence, not chasing a thief in the rain.

He reached the main road ahead of her, stepped out behind a bus, and cut across the traffic. Remy more sensibly waited for the lights to change, trying to keep one eye on him and another on the traffic. To her dismay, he disappeared through the park gates just as she left the crossing.

‘Hell, not the park!’

Chasing him through the centre of town where there were plenty of witnesses was one thing, but a lonely confrontation in the shrubbery… Who knew what sort of weirdo he was? He’d already shown a lack of morals and a willingness to take risks.

Remy paused at the gates. She wasn’t afraid of taking chances either, but was it worth the risk for forty quids worth of books?  Not that money was the real issue here. Those comics were her bit of escapism as she tried to get her life back on track, and the fictional men between their pages, her muses.

She needed the inspiration. Her fledgling fashion design business was barely off the drawing board yet. She had one paying client on which everything was riding, her start-up capital had gone on materials and sequins and if things didn’t come right soon, it’d be back to the factory-based pattern-cutting job she’d quit in January. The memory of her former life in Leeds was all the incentive it took. It would be the work of minutes to nip along the path and see if he was out in the open. It wasn’t as if she was pursuing him into the undergrowth.

There was nobody in sight along the main park thoroughfare or by the swings, the normal collection of families and layabouts apparently chased away by the rain. Remy pushed her damp hair back off her face and breathed out hard. It was over. He was gone and so were her books.

Just then, the drizzle turned into a downpour. She turned around and began retracing her steps towards the gate. Within seconds her hair was plastered to her head and her prized replica Black Brunswicker’s jacket was losing the battle to keep her dry. She needed shelter and fast, or she was going to make a drowned rat look stylish.

The gent’s loo was just ahead, off to the left behind a sprawling rhododendron. Shelter. Presumably, it’d be as deserted as the rest of the park, but even if it wasn’t she was still going in.

Remy shoved the graffiti-riddled door and stepped inside. Her nose immediately wrinkled at the ingrained reek of men and caustic cleaning fluids. It was dry and almost warm though, and she could sit on the counter by the sinks and curse the prick who’d stolen her comics.

Who, as luck would have it, had taken refuge too.

The girl on his jacket seemed to wink at her – a trick of the blue light, which flickered overhead and hummed like an electric flytrap. He was standing with his back to her at one of the urinals. Remy’s image rippled across the warped mirror as she marched up behind him and clamped a hand on his leather-clad shoulder.

‘I want my stuff back.’

She’d expected him to jump, to protest, and perhaps mutter a denial. Instead, he made a single sharp exhalation, which, like a yogic breathing exercise, drained all the tension from his body.

‘Give me a moment. I’m nearly done here.’

‘Now.’ She paused as she caught a glimpse of colour over his shoulder. Horrified, she shoved him sideways. He had one of her precious comics precariously balanced on top of the white ceramic urinal. It was open at the centre spread: a three frame image showing the pretty blond she’d noticed earlier impaled on the cock of a second man with long dark straight hair.

As her eyes feasted on the image, it also dawned on her that he wasn’t just having a piss.

‘You’re wanking over my comic,’ she screeched, lashing out at him. ‘You fucking wanker!’

‘I’m not hurting it.’ He crossed his arms in front of his face to ward her off.

‘You’re disgusting.’

‘You’re the one who buys this stuff. I don’t suppose you get it just to admire the artistry. And it certainly isn’t for the story.’

Yama nashi, imi nashi, ochi nashi, thought Remy, recalling the phrase from which the yaoi genre derived its name. No climax, no meaning, no resolution. Although some jokers insisted it was actually an acronym for ‘Yamette! Oshiri, itai!’ ‘Stop it! My arse! Ow!’ Exactly how this bastard would be feeling, if he didn’t hand her comic back. She reached out to take it, but he stepped back in front of her, his palm spread over the explicit image.

‘Get out of my way.’ She tore at his arm, although she doubted he felt it through the thick leather.

He clasped her upper arms in response and swung her about. Remy’s insides lurched like they did on the Waltzer at a fairground. Sticky, nervous heat seeped from between her thighs. A second heart seemed to have taken up residence in her stomach. The sudden movement ended, their eyes level, mouths only inches apart. He had her pinned between himself and the row of cubicles behind. ‘You’re awfully familiar with those hands.’ He stroked the line of her jaw where the red ends of her wet hair shaped her face.

Remy couldn’t breath. Close up, his eyes were like dark rum, seductive and laced with the forbidden. He looked right into her as if he could see all the things that made her tick and knew how best to use the knowledge. His mouth set in a tightly pursed line, making her feel guilty and apologetic, even though he was the thief. The words of an apology sat on her tongue, making her throat thick. Hesitantly, she looked down. His fly was still undone, and his erect cock poked from the elastic of his designer shorts to brush the hem of his tightly fitted T-shirt. It lay between them like a bargain waiting to be struck.

Remy anxiously raised her gaze. The corners of his mouth turned up into a sly smile. ‘Want to do something about it?’ he asked.

‘You what?’ The exclamation broke through the thickness in her throat.

‘You heard.’

‘You’re crazy if you think I’m going to let you come anywhere near me with that.’

He was a thief. A crazy, good for nothing thief, who had no right to demand anything of her. But even as she thought it, her gaze slipped down to his crotch again. Above the elastic of his shorts, there was tantalising glimpse of toned stomach and a fine smattering of short dark hairs – a hint at his real hair colour.

‘In here.’ He pushed her into the nearest cubical and followed her in. Remy backed up against the toilet, while he kicked the door shut behind them and slid the bolt. The sharp snap it made seemed to announce the crossing of a boundary.

‘Let me out.’

He put his back to the door and folded his arms. She stretched forward to slide back the bolt, but instead her hand closed over his open palm. His fingers immediately laced with hers.

Remy jerked backward as if she’d just touched a hot plate. He moved with her. ‘Too pushy,’ she growled, trying to twist free. Instead of escaping, she found herself wrapped up in his embrace facing the cistern with his hard cock branding her arse through the seat of her cropped jeans.

‘Something tells me you like pushy.’ His breath was warm as it whispered against her ear. His lips alighted near the pulse point in her throat, gently brushing the exposed skin. Remy’s heart was thundering now. She felt as skittish as a racehorse. Instinct told her to lash out, to bring her elbow back hard into his ribs or his stomach, but something about the gentle brush of his lips was enthralling. It seemed to light nerves elsewhere in her body that had no right to be connected. She felt his lips part and the trace of his tongue. Then he was sucking and the sensation was too exquisite, too incredibly sweet to pull away from. A strange eddy of fear and excitement fizzled inside her chest. It tingled through her nipples and shot electric arrows down towards her cunt. She didn’t want to pull away, but she didn’t want to be overcome so easily either.

One of his arms slipped around her bared midriff. A single digit toyed with the piercing through her navel – a stem of blood red stones. ‘Enough.’ She twisted out of his grip, grasped both his wrists and pinned him against the door. ‘Let’s see how you like it.’

‘Like to be in charge, do you?’ He jerked his wrists as if to check her hold. ‘Regular Amazon, aren’t you? What’s the plan? The door’s behind me.’

Remy looked into his almond-shaped eyes, and saw her image reflected in his pupils. She wasn’t exactly sure what to do with him. Her focus had been the retrieval of her property. She certainly hadn’t anticipated ending up locked in a toilet cubical cottaging with a guy, his attitude, and an impressive erection, which was currently bruising her thigh. It appeared to have grown since her first glimpse of it. She wondered how much more it would thicken with her palm curled around it, her lips nuzzling the flare around the head. Dangerous thoughts, she chastened herself, only to find her breath coming faster and her hips moving unconsciously against his loins.

‘Still want to escape?’

There was warmth in the brown depths of his eyes as well as humour when he spoke, which hinted at the same sensuality he’d already displayed with his kiss. There was also a tight stubborn turn to his mouth that plumped his lower lip, and made her long to taste him.

‘I don’t lip kiss,’ he said, as she closed in on him.

‘Yeah, well I do.’

She pressed up against him; in her boots, he was only a fraction taller. For someone who didn’t kiss he didn’t resist. She suspected he’d just said it to sound cool, because his lips whispered over the surface of hers, rekindling the earlier sparks. They tingled in her throat, and along her jaw. His erection nuzzled against her stomach. Heaven, she thought, as their mouths finally locked in an exotic sparring dance.

Remy slowly released her hold on one of his wrists, and slipped a hand inside his jacket. Beneath the cold leather and tight-fitting T-shirt his body was firm. Not gym muscled, but lean and wiry. She stroked her palm down across his skin, following the sparse dark hairs towards his cock, which jerked eagerly as if begging for contact.

Smooth and hard, his cock-head fit neatly into the palm of her hand. She rubbed the shiny helm, drawing pre-come down over the shaft for lubrication. His free hand closed over her bottom – squeezed.

Remy took a step back, breaking off the lengthy kiss. They were both breathing hard. There was a rosy sheen high up on his cheekbones. It would be easy to throw caution to the wind and let him slide deep, fill her molten core and ease the longing and madness she felt, but that wasn’t her way.

‘Punishing me?’ he asked.

‘Wondering what the hell I’m doing, actually.’

Living the fantasy. Isn’t that obvious?’ He twisted her around and pulled her close again so that his cock pressed against her bottom. ‘Let me show you how it’s done.’ He popped the top two buttons of her fly and wriggled his fingers into the front of her pants.

Remy groaned. She was wet, embarrassingly so, slick and eager for his touch. One digit brushed her clit; another slid lower into her cleft. This was ridiculous. She could hear the rain drumming on the corrugated roof. She tried to focus on its music, to keep herself from succumbing to the magic of his fingertips, but the rhythmic patter seemed to match the slip and slide of his hand, lulling her into complicity while heightening the depth of her response.

He was a common thief, a criminal, regardless of his pretty boy looks. Why was she letting him get away with this?

He unfastened the last button of her jeans, and they slid off her hips only to cling to her legs. Undeterred, he pulled them lower and slid his cock between her bared thighs.

The heat in his shaft rushed straight to Remy’s cheeks, colouring them an animated rose-pink. His tongue traced the curve of her ear. ‘Think of the blond,’ he whispered. She couldn’t help it. She did.

There had been both uncertainty and ecstasy in his eyes as he’d peered up from the centre-spread. He was exquisite, clearly tortured by the nearness of his Seme, his Dom. Still, there was a stubborn defiance about the way he crooked his chin upward as the male hands gripped his bottom, and the hard hot cock of his lover dipped inside him. She could almost hear him as he came, sighing in time with each buck of his master’s hips and exhaling with a startled ‘Aaahh!’ as his own penis jerked.

The sound was also her own. She stretched out her arms, bracing herself against the cubical walls as her bottom slapped against the thief’s loins. He was slippery and hard between her closed thighs, his pacing bordering on frantic, an urgency that translated into the less than subtle rub of his fingers over her clit. He was almost there, and he was going to take her with him. She felt so close now, each brush, each caress felt like a nettle sting. The prickly heat it caused made her long for him to slip upward rather than forward, so that he’d sink in deep. She wanted him to take her hard, pump into her and drive away the crazy itch. She wanted more – more than just a quickie, more than just a hand job.

Quite suddenly the bubble burst, jerking her backward into his arms, panting and cursing as he continued to pet her until the fire in her clit started to fade. It was only when she felt the nip of his teeth that she realised she was drifting and that he was supporting her weight.

Remy peeled herself away from his grasp. Her cheeks were burning, and probably clashing with her hair. He’d come between her thighs, leaving an opalescent puddle on the tiled floor. She was sticky with sweat and their combined moisture. She leant against the cistern, trying to find a sense of balance. Who was this guy? What was she doing here?

The cubical walls were etched with names. Cartoons, both gaudy and crude jeered down at her. Someone had replaced the toilet chain with a leather belt, and even that hadn’t escaped the graffiti.

‘What’s your name?’ he asked, from behind her.

‘Remy.’ She hitched her pants and trousers and turned to face him. ‘Yours?’

‘Takeshi.’ He pointed upward with a pen, to the head of a list he was adding her name to in purple marker. Remy stared at the column of names feeling slightly sickened. ‘All the rest are men.’

‘It’s a gent’s loo.’  He shot the bolt.

‘So what, you’re part time gay?’

‘I’m opportunistic. Men are just easier to pick up, easier to fuck and don’t give you a twenty question follow-up.’

‘I’ve only asked two.’

She followed him out of the cubical. Uncertain what else to do, she reclaimed her book from the top of the urinal. It seemed to have survived unscathed, unlike her neck. She stared at her flushed image in the mirror.

‘You marked me.’

He nodded, retrieved her stolen carrier bag from beneath the end basin and handed it to her. ‘It’d be cheaper to get these off the net you know.’

‘Maybe if you can read Japanese, which I don’t. Besides, I don’t have time to wade through all the crap to get to the good stuff.’ She couldn’t prevent a touch of animosity from creeping into her voice, but he merely smiled at her outburst. His good humour only made her feel more irritable.

‘Busy schedule?’

‘Yes, actually. I’m starting my own business.’

‘Whoa!’

Remy’s grip on the carrier bag tightened. She was tempted to hit him with it, except it would likely do more damage to her books than his smug expression. ‘All right, Mr Cool, what do you do that’s so impressive? Just doss about?’

‘I trade on eBay. And before you knock it, how much did you earn last week?’

Remy shrugged. Nothing. She wouldn’t get her first pay cheque until Chelsea’s wedding dress was finished. Her first commission was also her first piece of haute couture. Everything was riding on it. The wedding was going to be a big affair. Her friend was planning a midnight ceremony, and had invited something approaching two hundred guests, all of whom were potential clients for her gothic and fetish-wear inspired designs. She’d had some business cards printed, but still needed photos for her catalogue, and she couldn’t afford to pay even a mediocre model. Chances were it’d have to be her and a few mates.

‘Well?’ Takeshi prompted.

‘How much did you make?’ she countered. ‘And if it’s so much, why did you need to nick my bag?’

He stiffened almost imperceptibly, then combed his fingers through his spiky silver-blue hair. ‘Maybe I was trying to attract your attention.’

‘Bullshit!’

‘It worked, didn’t it?’

‘You could have just introduced yourself.’

Takeshi zipped his jacket. There was a metal Kumadori mask pinned to the lapel. He fondly brushed a finger across the grimacing visage of the Kabuki theatre character. ‘I thought about it, but this seemed so much more dramatic. I know you goths like your theatrics, so I figured what the hell.’

Remy slapped her palm onto the counter by the sinks. ‘One, I’m not a goth. I just hang out with them. Two, a high street chase and a gent’s loo aren’t my idea of theatre, and three-’ she hitched the collar of her braided jacket, ‘-you had no way of knowing that I’d chase you. You’d have been stuffed if I’d called the police.’

‘I figured it was worth the risk. I had a good feeling about you.’

‘Did you now?’

‘Yes, and it was right.’

‘I suppose you’ll be claiming you’re psychic next.’

He shook his head, a broad smile on his lips. ‘No, just intuitive.’ He drew his marker pen from his pocket again and plucked off the lid.

‘Another list to add to?’ she asked scathingly. She was too old to be acting as lookout for someone scrawling their name on a toilet door. There was no longer any point to her being here. She had her stuff. It was time to get out before she did anything else stupid.

Takeshi’s smile widened into a grin that crinkled the skin around his eyes and showed his teeth. ‘Actually, I thought you might be needing this.’ He stepped forward and before she even thought of stopping him, he lifted her short jacket and top and scrawled his phone number across her midriff.

‘Excuse me.’ She pulled her clothing down. ‘As if I’m going to call you.’

‘You’ll call.’ There was a certainty in his voice that was unnerving.

‘I won’t.’

‘You will, and before the week’s out. Who else are you going to indulge your yaoi fantasies with?’

Remy pushed her shoulders up and her chin high. It was true. He could have been a yaoi model. But he was far too confident, far too full of himself, and she didn’t like the way he made assumptions about her, even if his guesses were accurate. ‘I don’t need to indulge them,’ she snapped. ‘Not with you, anyway.’

He laughed in response, his voice sharp and high. ‘So why did you?’ He was still laughing as he left the building.

Remy sprinted to the door after him, but he’d already vanished into the undergrowth of the rain-drenched park.

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