(#1 of Dirty Little Secrets)
Author: Alex Elliott
Genre: Contemporary Romance, BDSM, Erotica
Rating: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
What’s your dirty little secret?
For Xavia Kennedy it was freedom. Escape from a pastel painted life ruled by an American dynasty and headed by a formidable foe. One wanted to escape. Her family. X has a plan. Get serious and get the hell out of Bean Town. Away from the pretty people and boring as hell lives.
Then she met him. Smooth talking and gorgeous. All it took was a dim hall.
He called their hook-up a mistake.
No problem. She walked away without a name, just an impression. That was the hottest sex she’d had minus the actual sex. After one Nantucket party too many, Xavia ends up cutting bait and heading to D.C. She hops aboard the crazy train as the newest intern to Bennett Stone.
Or Senator Stone as he’s known on the Hill. He’s more than Cosmo’s sexiest congressman. He’s complicated. A mystery.
Ben doesn’t date. He’s got his own dirty secrets.
But where X is concerned, there’s one he’s willing to share.
If she agrees to his terms.
In his bed, it’s way. All she needs to do is learn to stop arguing.
Impossible when she finds out the connection they share runs too deep to put aside, and she begins to fear the secret under the secret that’s left unsaid.
Excerpt . . .
Everybody Uses Someone. AT THE CURB, I park and get out of my car, whistling and waving to Jon exiting South Station. “Hey oh! Let’s go. We’re running late.” We’re headed to Nantucket. A three-hour drive to my grandparents’ end of summer cookout before they close up their home and head back to Manhattan. As I go to move past him, he grabs me and crushes me within his arms. “Not too late for a hug!” I squeal and thump him on the back, scrunching my eyes shut at missing him so much. “You’re a nut.” “I miss you, Xavia. Terribly.” “Then why do you stay away so long? A train ride. Not too tough.”
“Girl, that rail runs in both directions,” he mocks me. “You need to come to D.C. more often. I’ve got a job. You’re the freewheeling student.”
“Student, yes. Free—not even close,” I retort, escaping from his grasp as I take shotgun. Jon flips me off as he stalks around the hood of my car, humming under his breath.
Once inside, he opens his messenger bag, and laughs devilishly. “Then help me, help you.” “What have you done?” I ask, eyeing him suspiciously, wearily. My best friend has a propensity to believe in the impossible and does the outlandish at the drop of a hat. “You’re welcome, Ms. Kennedy,” he says, handing me a manila envelope. There’s three copies, and a telephone number. Your contact is Nora Swan. Call her!” I shift my glance from him to the envelope, knitting my brow. I’ve got a contact? That you’ve arranged...dear mother of God.” “Follow through on this one and you’ll thank me. Fuck, will you thank me!” “Clearly, we see the world differently,” I mutter, opening the envelope and removing a stack of neatly stapled documents. “A U.S. Senate internship application? Ah no!” “Button your lips and read,” he commands me as he puts the car into gear.
I hate driving and when he’s in town, he’s behind the wheel,
but right now I’m rethinking that one. I want to do anything besides give this application an iota of my attention. I may not know what direction I want to take when I graduate and everyone’s good intentions, suggestions, connections...are
strangling me—regardless of how well-meant. “I’m so not going to D.C. Especially not to the part near Capitol Hill. It’s enough to have to deal with the political leeches
we’ll soon see at Gran’s.” “Oh but you are,” he replies. “This is ‘mission get your ass in
gear’ and get the hell out of Dodge. You’re drowning here and besides, I’ve got it going on. Just need my wingman.” “Correction. That’s wingwoman. I’ve got a vagina to prove it.” “Sweetheart, I’m not the one who needs reminding of that fact. Another of the myriad of issues we’ll address. One-by-one. I’ve got you in my sights. But back to the app you’re holding. Nora is expecting your call. She’s crazy, on the verge of bridge jumping with her boss. Bennett Stone.”
I glare at the application. Exhaling, I scan the page, and stop as stare at the photograph of the gorgeous and unforgettable man at the bottom of the page. “Shit!” I hiss. “What’s wrong?” Jon glances over at me. “Do you know him?” Yeah, I know the man or rather his mouth. Don’t forget his hands, his cock, and his ability to torment me for seven weeks, and two days. But who’s counting! “Know him?” I can’t find the words to admit this is the guy from the club. Back in June, I’d told Jon that I met someone—more than met; that I’d relapsed into my old ways. He didn’t crucify me-- we commiserated. But if he finds out...that guy was—is—a congressman... a senator! What will my friend think? He’s gone to all this trouble. “Hello?” he says, lowering the music. Steeling my features, I dodge diving back into the pool of my shame at having lost my head in a dark hall. Instead of coming out with my dirty little secret, I seal my lips, refusing to divulge the truth. For weeks, I was clueless about that wolf from the club, but now I know. This gig is for the world’s most incredible kisser, going by the name of Senator Bennett Stone.
My nightmare. An unforgettable mistake. “No. No. Of course, I don't know him!” It was true. I didn't actually know him. He was a drive-by suck my lips off kiss. The
guy I had the craziest, hottest sex with in my life. Minus the sex! “Great. Then take a look.” He fishes out a magazine as he drives. Now, it all makes sense. Why Stone seemed so familiar. I stare at the cover and mutter, “He’s that politician featured on the cover of Rolling Stone last spring.” “The very same brilliant hottie. Shit, if he was gay, I’d go intern for him.” “Okay Einstein, why would one of the hottest senators want me on his team? He’s a front runner, and probably has scads of interns—cough chicks—lined up to do his bidding. This seems like a... mistake.” The word pulsates inside my mouth and I recall what it was like to kiss Senator Stone pushed up against a wall with his fingers fisting my hair. Jon shakes his head. “The good senator isn’t like that. Stone is strictly business. So much, he just sent his team packing. This player is the real deal. Not only is he killer in the looks department, he’s a Harvard graduate, and the lowdown is the White House is fast-tracking him. And you have connections
from working on the Gazette that he can use. You two are alike. Stone was a little bit of a rebel rouser and stepped on some toes prior to law school.” “And Mr. Pretty Face needs my help?” I narrow my eyes at him. “Absolutely! Independents straddling the fence are prime targets. A Harvard camp you’ve got an in with, and one I put out feelers to—they’re also waiting for your call. All you need to do is
set the wheels in motion. Get him a student talk on campus.” “You mean like what Clinton pulled off? Are you on medication?”
It was true that I had a cache of connects from an internship I’d done at Harvard, writing a column for the Gazette, but I wasn’t into politics. “What’s so special about him—aside from being gorgeous, popular, privileged?” “That pretty face has got presidential candidate written all over his political agenda. And not just his. There’s talk coming from the Vice President’s office. She’s running next year. Looking for her own Veep, and there’s a huge betting pool at the Post that Stone will be her running mate.” So the man with panty-dropping looks any male model would kill for is more than a pretty face. I scan the application with his photograph and motto. ‘Get committed.’ Whoa, that sounds like double entendre. As I stare at the senator’s face, the skin over my body tightens. So much, a flash of heat doesn’t just creep up my neck—it flares. Stop acting ridiculous. Refocusing, I read the possible staff positions available on the subcommittees Stone chairs. A slew. Everything from war reform to the environment, education, and foreign trade. Jon has talked about getting me to D.C. as a Capitol Hill climbing fool, nonstop during the summer.
My last year at Boston College, and I’ve done my stint of resume padding internships already. “Another tuck-n-roll, and for Mr. Popularity. I don’t know. You do realize I’m still in school.” “Shut your pie hole. You’ve got enough credits to graduate and this will help you. Get your feet wet and then you can pick and choose where you want to be, come graduation. Need I remind you for the umpteenth time, it’s time to cut bait and run?Grace and Stan Stillman are just waiting to get their hooks in you. Are you going to let them?” “Fuck that noise! I’m not accepting my grandparents’ help. How can you even kid about that shit?” “Because if you don’t have a plan in place, they’ll turn you into Monica and Janice. Is that what you want?” “My cousins are idiots.” I shake my head, thinking about my family’s ability to put a strangle hold on my career choices. Being connected to the Kennedys and Stillmans is a fulltime task of warding them off. Overbearing brutes have nothing on Gran and Pops in how they try to commandeer everyone’s future. After entering Boston College, I’d sidestepped their entrapping attempt to tell me what to do and when to do it. Unlike my two cousins currently ensconced in Midtown banking. It wasn’t that Janice and Monica were vapid—they were brainiacs for all their suck-up ways. But categorically, they lacked
spine to chart their own course by falling into the fold. That fold being my grandmother’s archaic view of life as the Stillman matriarch along with her ability to meddle 24/7, and now my cousins were junior execs on Fifth Avenue with a choke collar around their necks. I shake the envelope like it’s the enemy. “And how is this any different? Instead of Gran’s meddling, I’ll be beholden to yours.” “Shush. I listen to what you say, when you talk about hightailing it out of here when you’re done with school. Someplace fun and exciting—someplace happening. You can’t argue that D.C. isn’t just up your alley. I get nothing in return except you being near me.” “Christ on a cracker,” I declare. “I’m not a political junkie like you!” “XS, c’mon.” He softens his voice. “You pretend not to like politics because of your grandparents but you do have an opinion. Why not learn what the hell goes on behind the scenes—isn’t that your thing? Don’t let your pride get in the way.”
He’s playing dirty. Using my obsolete nickname: X or worse ‘XS’ short for Xavia Stillman. A reminder I don’t need, tagging back to some of my high-flying days where I was one hot mess of excess. Rebellious with a razor sharp ‘R’ before graduating high school and I’d been close to stumbling into several dens of iniquity and catastrophe. Without asking, my grandparents stepped in, twisted a few arms, and had me accepted to Boston College, nixing my dream to attend UCLA. Far, far away from here. One call and my applications to UCLA, along with a slew of other schools were denied or waitlisted. Without a choice, I stayed in New England and vowed never again. Since entering BC, I got serious, taming my partying ways with one goal of graduating and leaving Bean Town. Yet going polar into the library stacks during grad school has been a trip into the land of oh-so-boring, and it’s the end of summer. The end of my little freelance grind at the Globe as a reporter, and I’m so cagey that I’m actually looking forward to the start of classes next month. But a backstage pass, a ticket to the behind the scenes...I’m not convinced. Skeptically, I shrug. “I don’t know. You’re really over-the-top on this one.” “Precisely. And it’s a good thing. What have you got to lose?” He looks over at me, quirking his eyebrow, and then abruptly ruffles my hair. Besides my mind—but, he’s got a point.
Groaning, I roll my eyes at him and exhale. “Fine. I’ll think about it. Operative word: think.” I read through the application and yeah, Jon’s recreated my college experience, and then I read the references he’s listed. Grace and Stan Stillman. Patrick Kennedy. “Name drop much? You’re nuts to put them down. What if Stone’s office calls my grandmother?” “It’s not crazy to mention your family. Besides, look at the telephone numbers.” I read the numbers and although I don’t recall my stepfather, Patrick’s number off the top of my head, the one listed for my grandparents is— “You listed your telephone number. Are you insane?” “Not in the least. I’m leveling the playing field. If Nora calls, I’ve got you covered and your family will be none the wiser.” “And for Pat? Whose number is this?” “Roderick’s. He’s ready.” “Your brother is going to pretend to be Patrick Kennedy?” His brother was a Marine and just returned from active duty with a case of PTSD so bad he was in rehab. “He’s good with it. Right now, Rod’s doing his program, so he’s got the time. It’ll give him something to do other than sit around the V.A., smoke pot, and do group therapy.” “This smells of all kinds of crazy,” I say, shoving the application back into the envelope. “And? Point?” “So it’s worked in your favor. I’m a little leery about mine. Luck I mean.” “An opportunity has nothing to do with luck! It’s about working your connections. You’ve got an untapped skill.” “Oh yeah and what’s that?” “Charisma. When you choose to use it. God, do you know how many people would kill to have your looks, your connections, and that elegant charm that you were born with?” I inhale. “It feels more like a curse, if you want to know the truth.” “Fuck, Xavia. Don’t squander what you’ve got. I work my tail off to get where I am. We could be closer and I wouldn’t have to keep coming back here to check up on you!” “I hear what you’re saying.” I grimace, looking at the one person who’s always been there when I needed him, but this is a dilemma and obviously, he doesn’t know how bad.
Down in D.C., Jon has worked a gig for the last few years as a hotshot journalist. And it’s true, he’d be free of babysitting me-- able to devote more time to his career. Yet unconvinced that I can dive headfirst into a Bennett Stone internship, I open the browser on my cell. Since I’m not about to tell Jon my secret, I’ll need some ammunition to argue my case, and start to google the senator with hot rough lips and demanding hands. During the drive to the island, Jon and I discuss D.C., Hill internships, his experiences being in close quarters with congress... Everything except what I’m not telling him—that I basically let the good senator feel me up against a wall. Exasperated and not able to out argue Jon, I ask, “How often would I have to see him?” He presses his fingers to his forehead. “I don’t know. Depends on if you’re in his inner circle. Given this is a short gig, I doubt much. When Stone calls a meeting, but there are scads of interns plus all his senate staff. I wouldn’t sweat it. Besides, you of all people have years of hanging with powerful men. What’s running through your head?" “Nothing!” I train my focus forward, wondering what the hell he’s about to drag me into as we pull up in front of my grandparents’ home.
"Just a kiss?" I ask. "Just a kiss," he promises and my heart batters within my chest.
Don't let that innocent sentence fool you. It is so much hotter than just a plain kiss, trust me. But that's it. One hot kiss. And then they part ways and you think they will never see each other again... until she becomes his intern ;) There is this undeniable chemistry between the two of them and Bennett is breaking all his rules to have a taste of her. Xavia isn't the usual woman Bennett meets. The two butt heads and she has a smart mouth that she uses to talk back and question him.
She tries hard to resist him. Xavia wants to break free from her family's hold and realises that this internship could help her do that.
That means I've got to seriously stow my emotions and be smooth as glass. Cold. Calculating to a fault. No more emotional breaks.
Yeah, good luck with that especially with Bennett around ;) The man is a force of nature. Incredibly dominating and possessive... it is about this time that Xavia realises that he is a Dom. And what a Dom he is...
"You will if I have to hoist you over my shoulder."
"Are you always going to be in 'dominating caveman' mode?"
"If that's what you require," he replies unfazed as we continue to gaze into each other's eyes. "Then yes."
He can be all caveman on me anytime ;) Especially with what happens next. Holy hotness!
Now Bennett is convinced that nothing and no one is going to get between them because well, she is his and you don't disagree with him :P But Xavia is more concerned about the repercussions and the potential pitfalls that could happen if they are exposed. She wants to accept his offer but is afraid to say yes.