Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Reluctant, .

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Tara doesn't know why she was so tired at night. She couldn't understand why she woke up as tired as when she slept and where did the money come from that she found daily on the nightstand of her bed. Chance couldn't understand her either. But he was willing to help. Maybe he could catch her when she started sleepwalking. Tara didn't know. She was only glad that Chance was willing to spend the night with her so that he could see where she was going.

The dark spoke to her.

It whispered and giggled, surrounding her and not letting her rest. It seduced her, calling her to come from the safety of her room, to join with it and to play in its silky caresses until the first hint of dawn chased it away and she would crawl back to her room, climbing into her bed to sleep until her alarm would go off and she'd have to drag herself to work.

She did things she didn't remember. The darkness covered her, blocking out memories of events that should be important. She could feel them, buried deeply inside herself as if a wall, an insurmountable wall, covered them and refused to let her see.

It terrified her, that knowledge that she couldn't remember everything she did. Did she kill people, hunt them down while darkness covered her footsteps, silencing their screams? Did she rob innocent people? Could she be selling herself?

She found money sitting on the front table near the door almost every morning when she was leaving for work, money that she didn't know where it came from. And if it had only been a few dollars, she could have probably shrugged her shoulders and laughed it off. But it wasn't, only this morning she had found six $100 bills, brand new and still crisp laying in a perfect fan on the glossy surface of the table.

She'd taken to scanning the newspapers, searching for articles of robbery or murder. She subscribed to all the daily local papers, after all, with the money she was finding almost every night, she really didn't have to worry about her finances.

Now, though, she stared in frustrated oblivion at the figures that were on her computer screen. Her head ached from her many thwarted attempts to reassemble her movements of the night before. She remembered going to bed, determined to spend the entire night in much needed sleep. But it had seemed as if she'd only just closed her eyes when she'd heard it again, that ghostly whisper of seduction that seemed impossible to resist. An eerie and compelling voice, breathlessly calling her name ... Tara, Tara...


She jerked and sat up, looking up at her supervisor, Mrs. Beaks, who scowled down at her in disgust.

"Wake up, girl. Maybe if you didn't spend every night partying, you'd be able to do the work that's assigned to you." The harsh older lady thumped her fist down on the stack of files next to Tara's computer that still needed entering into the system. "I expect these done by lunch time, girl."

"Yes, Mrs. Beaks," Tara McKenna said quietly. But inside a voice raged impotently, bitter old crow, you need to get laid. She turned back to her computer and her fingers flew over the keyboard, inputting data as fast as she could.

She could see the supervisor's shadow still standing over her and didn't look up until it moved away. "Bitch," she hissed almost silently.

The deep voice behind her startled her. "I heard that."

She gasped and whirled in her chair, the wheels creaking as it moved. "Dammit, Chance, don't scare me like that. I'm already in enough trouble, I don't need more."

Chance Matthews was devilishly good looking with dark hair that shone with gold lights in the sun and eyes that looked like a cat's, amber yellow and mysterious. The smile that crossed his face creased dimples into his lean cheeks that seemed eternally tanned. A slight five o'clock shadow of whiskers darkened his jaw, adding to the air of bad boy that seemed to follow him wherever he went.

Tara knew that when he stood up, he would tower over her petite frame, standing just a little above six feet three inches in his stocking feet. His body was muscled and taut, more from being an athlete then any attempts at weights or body building. He played basketball and football, ran four miles every morning and loved rock climbing. He also worked two jobs, this one, doing grunt work for Corp America Banks, inputting information into their data processing system and another as an orderly at a nursing home, downtown.

Women followed Chance with their eyes, offering themselves with teasing smiles and lust in their hearts. Tara had seen him walk to the cafeteria at break and watched the female heads turn, eyes zeroing in on his backside. She couldn't actually blame them, he definitely had a memorable butt.

"So what has you so jumpy tonight, Princess?" he asked in that voice that could send shivers down a woman's spine.

"Nothing, I just ... didn't sleep well last night." She couldn't tell him, no matter how close they had become since he'd started working at CAB, having been given the computer behind her.

"You know, Tara, I could help you with that." He stared at the petite red head, wishing she knew how much he wished she would take him up on that offer.

There wasn't much of Tara, but what was there packed a huge punch in a guy's libido. She was tiny, barely reaching his chest, but curved in all the right places. Her breasts were round and full and pushed at the fabric of the thin tee shirts she wore, making him wish he could see exactly how well they would fit his palms. Her hips and butt filled out a pair of jeans in ways that made his dick twitch and come to life in his pants.

With that deep auburn hair that curved under in a perfect swing to caress her shoulders, dark gray eyes that almost seemed stormy, and a spattering of freckles across her tip turned nose, she captivated him. When she smiled, which she didn't do enough of, her face lit up taking a pretty face and making it beautiful.

She scoffed and turned quickly, feeling the evil eyes of Mrs. Beaks combing the room for slackers. Over her shoulder, she hissed one last comment before they got back to work. "You wish."

Oh the things he thought of to say, things that he wanted to do to her. But she would be shocked, he knew that. She treated him like a friend or an older brother, laughing at his attempts at flirtation with her. He didn't know if she thought he was kidding when he said these things or not. He knew he wasn't but how to make her see it, he shook his head sadly.

She was ruining him for other women. He'd had a date last night, a beautiful blonde with huge ... assets, that had been more than willing to let him check out her portfolio. And he hadn't been able to do it. The instant she opened her mouth and started some inane babble, his brain had switched to autopilot. He managed to nod at the right time and to interject the appropriate yes or no when necessary. She hadn't seemed to need him to do anything else, keeping up a steady, if annoying, chatter that lasted all evening.

And in the cab, on the way back to her apartment, her red tipped dagger shaped nails had scored lightly down his jacket sleeve, her big blue eyes shining seductively, her lush lips pursed in a tempting pout, she'd invited him up, for coffee and breakfast, she'd said.

He hadn't believed it when he'd heard his voice declining an offer that any man with a pulse would have leapt at. "I have an early morning tomorrow. Maybe next time?"

Maybe next time?! What the fuck was wrong with him?

The blonde, her name Ingrid or Helga or something Scandinavian, had glared through eyes that had turned to icy slits. Her fingers had curved into talons and he could see the disbelief she felt turning to rage. He'd managed to get her up to her door, planting a fleeting kiss upon one perfectly rouged cheek before beating a hasty retreat.

Her voice, shrill with her ire, had followed him down the long hallway. "Lose my number, asshole."

He'd been happy to.

But then, on the cab ride home, he'd glanced across at the park as they passed, his eyes roaming disinterestedly at the women walking the streets that hollered at him, offering him the use of their bodies for a price. He saw the homeless, a vagrant on a park bench, sleeping off his bottle of liquor which was still held tightly to his chest in its plain brown paper bag. And out of the corner of his eye, he'd seen a flash of red. It caught his attention and he watched as a tiny redhead that reminded him so much of Tara, ran down the sidewalk, wending her way through the night people around her with an uncanny instinct. She jumped a leg thrown out to try and trip her up, flashing someone the bird without missing a step.

He was about to turn when he saw her glance his way and his heart stopped. It was Tara, but a Tara he'd never seen before. She was wearing leather in a gray that was as deep and stormy as her eyes. It fit her slender body as if made specifically for her, doing amazing things to her breasts that filled the low necked vest with beautiful cleavage. It traced down to a waist that never seemed so tiny in the baggy slacks she wore to work. Her feet seemed to fly on slim legs encased in leather.

He had his hand up, his mouth opened to stop the cabby when she turned into one of the many entrances of the park and disappeared into the shadows. The only reason he didn't stop was he knew her apartment was back that way, and the shock of seeing her like that had him somewhat stymied.

Now he couldn't wait until lunch time to get his hands on her and ask her what was going on. He wouldn't believe that she was selling her body like common street sluts. She seemed too shy and reserved, too prim was the only word he could think of.

When the clock hit lunch time, there was a mad exodus from the room. Smokers headed for the front doors to go out and around the building to imbibe it their habits before hurrying back in for lunch. Chance grabbed Tara's arm as soon as she stood from pulling her sack lunch from the big carryall she always brought to work.

"I've got to talk to you," he said quietly, steering her down the wide aisle.

She got in line to buy her normal yogurt while he loaded a tray with junk food, topping it off with a large slice of chocolate cake.

"Okay, so talk," she said, staring enviously at the cake. The problem with being so short, five extra pounds looked like twenty and always went to her hips.

He paid for her yogurt, the closest thing to taking her to dinner that he'd been able to manage and then found an empty table in a quiet corner of the cafeteria.

She dumped her lunch on the table, a cut up apple to go with the yogurt and half a turkey sandwich. A bottle of water she hadn't seen him buy was sat in front of her, and she smiled her thanks.

She opened it and took a long sip.

"I saw you last night."

Tara choked, barely keeping from spitting the water all over him. She coughed, and he pounded her back until she held her hand up in surrender. "Okay, I'm fine," she gasped. "What do you mean, you saw me last night?"

"I was on my way back from my date with Gertrude and saw you running into the park."

"I thought her name was Inga and I wasn't at the park last night, you must have just thought you saw me."

"Inga," he slapped a palm against his forehead, "that's right." He chuckled, causing more than a few female heads to turn his way. "And if that wasn't you, Tara, you've got a doppelganger."

"A what?" She stared at him in confusion.

"An evil twin, looks just like you but likes to play on the dark side."

Those words, the dark side, sent a shiver up her spine. He couldn't know how close he was coming to the truth. She had to change the subject.

"You were probably still in a sex induced haze," she tried to laugh but it fell short of being convincing.

"Couldn't have been, Tara. I just dropped her off at her apartment." He could feel his face turning a little red as she looked at him in disbelief.

"Just dropped her off? We are talking about the same Inga, right? The one with the massive..." she held her hands up in front of her, cupping them about six inches away from her own breasts. "No, you wouldn't have let those go to waste." She laughed as she realized she'd embarrassed him.

"Can we change the subject please?"

"Okay," she sighed dramatically. "But I'd really like to know how you turned that down."

"It wasn't hard." He turned even redder when he heard the double meaning behind his words and she choked once more on her water. He slapped her back, until she got herself under control. "That's not what I meant and you know it," he hissed at her, feeling all eyes on them as she continued to giggle. "That's it, tomorrow I find someone else to eat with." He sat back, a very male pout on his handsome features.

She reached out and wrapped her hand around his arm, marveling as always at its firm muscled texture, and leaned her head against it. "I'm sorry, Chance, really. But you have to admit, it was funny."

"I don't have to admit anything, and this isn't helping your case any." Though he did like how it felt when she touched him. He looked down to see her face so close to his own, looking up at him. It would be so easy to move forward those few inches, to get just a taste of those sweet lips that glistened so invitingly. He seemed unable to look away.

"Well, you two are causing quite the scene today, tongues will be wagging for a week over this. Chance, if you're going to kiss her, just do it dammit." A tray banged down, a chair was slid out and a long legged, lithe body plopped down in it.

Tara blushed and moved away while Chance glared at the intruder who peeled off the plastic wrap over her sandwich and took a healthy bite.

"Phoebe," he growled, "you sure know how to make an entrance."

She shrugged but continued to chew. "I'm not the one that's got the entire female population in here today, drooling down their nappies. I'm telling you, Chance, let me stud you out to these," she gestured around the room with her black tipped fingers, "uptight cows and I wouldn't need to work here anymore."

Phoebe Fischer was the third in their tiny group of friends and was as different from Tara as, well, night and day. She was long and lean, with just hints of curves. Her hair was cut short and spiked up in blonde ridges. The tips were usually dyed different colors, today's color of choice was black to match her outfit, tight black tank with a fishnet shirt under it, black hip hugger jeans that left a good three inch of bare stomach to show under the fishnet. The outfit flaunted dress code, coming so close to breaking rules that Mrs. Beaks had been staring at her all night.

But this was the one person in the shift that wasn't impressed by Mrs. Beaks and her seemingly iron fist. Phoebe did her work, always on time, and usually with some to spare. She never missed a day, was never late a minute, and was just under Mrs. Beaks herself in seniority. She'd taken Tara under her wing and then Chance when he'd started following Tara around.

"Phoebe, you know my heart belongs to you, only to you," he said, his normal reply to her semi serious offer.

"Then how come I can't get into your pants either?" She took another bite, chewed as she stared at him with blue eyes ringed with heavy dark kohl.

"Because your girlfriend would cut off my dick and nail it to your door." Chance sat forward, getting into the verbal play.

Tara was happy that the attention was off of her. But she knew these two, if someone didn't stop them, they'd be at it all night long. "Okay, you two. I know the drill." She turned to Phoebe, saying in a voice amazingly like Phoebe's own, "She'd need to find it first."

Then she turned to Chance, "Yeah, cuz it would be buried in your..." she started in a deep voice that almost sounded like his. Chance slapped his hand over her mouth before she could say where it would be buried and they all started laughing.

They finished their lunches, talk returning to normal things and off of Tara's midnight activities. Even when she returned to her desk she couldn't stop thinking about it. Chance had seen her, he'd actually seen her. God, what was she doing at night? Did she prostitute herself?

Her mind elsewhere, her fingers moved automatically on the keys, working her way through the files as she worked her way through her doubts. She'd know if she were having sex, she'd have to know. She didn't feel any differently, no afterglow or sore muscles. It'd been long enough since she'd last had sex, she knew she'd be sore afterwards. She didn't feel that.

So okay, no prostitution. That was one major worry from her mind. Where did the money come from? She needed to tell someone, she had to let someone know, and maybe that someone could follow her and let her know what she was doing.

But who could she tell who wouldn't consider her a complete and total loon?

She glanced back at the only person in the world that would keep her secret. He looked up and gifted her with one of his devastating smiles making her heart race. And then his looked turned quizzical as she seemed to be studying him.

"You okay?"

She nodded and made her decision. The not knowing was driving her crazy. "Can I buy you dinner tonight?"

Chance's heart leapt and then pounded for a second in his chest before slowing down. "Ahh, sure."

"Good," she smiled on her sigh. "I need to ask you a favor. What time you done downtown?"

A fist thumped down again on her desk, startling her. She turned quickly to meet the beady eyes of Mrs. Beaks. With a strangled gulp, she scooted back up to her computer and started working once more.

When quitting time came, she was given a note by one of the supervisor's henchmen asking that she come up to the office. With a heavy sigh, she waved good-bye to Chance and Phoebe and headed up.

The dressing down took all of fifteen minutes and by the time she was done, second shift was hard at work. She grabbed her stuff and walked out the door, shaking her head and griping under her breath. There was a note left under the windshield wiper of her beaten up clunker and she unfolded it quickly.

"Hope you told the hag off. I get off work at 9:30 if that's not too late. Call my cell, Chance."

Tara drove home trying to make a decision. Should she call? Shouldn't she call? God, he's going to think she's a complete loon in need of a rubber room when she told him what's been going on. Still trying to decide, she pulled into the parking garage that was a block away from her apartment and then hoofed it the rest of the way there, hurrying through the thickening crowds of people who were getting off of work and heading home the same as her.

She unlocked the six locks on her door, three brand new that needed a key from the inside to unlock them. She thought if she could lock herself in, hide the keys from her nighttime self then maybe she wouldn't do anything stupid. But still, she woke in the morning as tired as she was when she went to bed, her hair windblown, sometimes wet. The door was always locked, her keys were always in the same place and she always found the money sitting on the table by the entryway. Always.

Seeing the money there now made her make her decision. She called Chance's phone and left a message for him to meet her at a diner not far from the nursing home when he got off of work.

Knowing she had a few hours, she went upstairs and pulled off her clothes, letting them lay on the floor as she collapsed into bed naked. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.

The dream sucked her in, a strange feeling. She was watching herself, but not herself. This girl was tough, she was no nonsense. She didn't take any shit. She wore leather, something Tara would never let herself do. And she smoked. Tara watched as she exhaled a long trail of smoke curling around her head to disappear in the wind.

The wind, Tara looked around. They were outside, surrounded by trees. It would have to be a park. How had she gotten there?

There was a man and a woman, older and rich looking, the woman in furs with diamonds on her ears, wrist and fingers. The shoes she was wearing looked like they would kill so they had to be expensive. He was wearing designer from the cut of his coat to the tips of his shiny black shoes. She'd bet his underwear was silk. What were they doing in the park at this time of night?

Tara's attention was drawn back to her other self when she heard her speak. "Okay, let's just do this nice and easy now. Hand it over and no one will get hurt." It was her voice, but it wasn't. It was a husky, throatier sound then she had, and she couldn't help but think how much sexier this other self sounded.

"That's it, Pops. Hand it over and I won't have to stick you or the missus."

Stick? She looked down and saw the butterfly knife held loosely in the hand of the "dark" Tara. She was playing with it, opening and spinning it, then flipping it closed with an expert move only to start over. It was almost as if she were showing off.

"No, I don't want your fucking credit cards. Just the cash." Dark Tara took the money and shoved it into the deep cleavage her breasts made pressed against the dark leather. She pulled her hand out slowly, watching the old man's eyes as he followed her every move. "Like that, Pops? Too bad I don't have more time or we could have some fun, your old lady could watch."

The lady in questioned let out a small shriek and pulled herself up, offended. "Why, I've..."

"Oh come on, lady," she urged insolently, "say you've never and then I can show you how it feels to."

Tara couldn't believe the crass language, the foul behavior coming from the girl that looked so much like herself. She tried to step forward to intervene and realized she couldn't move. She opened her mouth and nothing came out. All she could do was watch what was happening.

But it seemed her struggles were noted somehow by Dark Tara. The girl lifted her head, her nose to the air as if she were scenting danger. She tipped a last sarcastic smile at the couple and took off at a run, flying through the trees and past other people with a speed that was amazing.

She ducked down an alley, stopping only to slam open a metal door. It was a club, dark and noisy, smelling of cigarettes and beer. She ducked behind the bar, slamming down a shot glass and grabbing a bottle off the back wall, tipping it and expertly pouring a shot, all the while Tara watched, bemused by how she was still with this woman who was her but not her.

She noted the differences, the hair that was fuller, teased higher and left messy in a way that gave her a seductive look of just getting out of bed. Her eyes seemed stormier, darker, but that could have been the heavy make up around them. She wore that leather, pants that fit like a second skin, rounding over her butt and giving it a high toned look none of the clothes Tara wore ever had. The top was a vest, square necked and tight, pushing up her breasts. They sure looked bigger than Tara's average size B cup. She sighed in disgust as she felt a spurt of envy.

But, there, the tiny heart shaped mole right on the inner curve of her right breast. That was Tara's mole. How could this girl have her mole? And the spattering of freckles on her nose, those were Tara's freckles. She stared at them everyday in the mirror, they'd taunted her in high school, eliciting many of her boyfriends to say, "Awww, aren't they cute."

She watched as her double slammed down the shot and then headed for a back room, patting the bartender on the back as she went. "Things go okay tonight, Rayne?"

"Ducky, Pete. I'll be..." she jerked her thumb.

"I'll get you when they show up."

She nodded and kept going. There were catcalls and whistles, all of which were responded to by a finger flipped negligently behind her as she entered the room. There was a sink and a cot, a small chest stood in a corner. She went to the sink and stared into the mirror.

"You don't understand," Rayne said quietly, staring at her reflection in the mirror. Behind the leather clad beauty, Tara stood, dressed in a plain white tee shirt and blue jeans. Rayne glanced over at her in the mirror. "I know you don't," she said, a single tear hanging on her thick lashes.

"I ... I don't understand what?" Tara asked, startled.

"You will, just wait."

There was a pounding on the door of the room and Rayne jumped, startled, turning towards the noise...

Tara jerked awake.

The pounding came again from the door of her apartment. Tara got up, her thoughts in an uproar. Rayne? Who was she?

She grabbed her robe off the back of her door and slid into its warmth, drawing it close around her as she felt a shiver grip her. The pounding came again, this time with a voice. "Dammit, Tara, you were supposed to meet me half an hour ago. You'd better be in there. Tara!"

She opened the door to a disturbed Chance who had his hand raised to pound again. Pushing her hair out of her face, she held it open and invited him in with a wave of her hand.

"Sorry," she mumbled distractedly.

"Sorry?" He walked into her living room with the familiarity of being there before. Plopping down on her old couch, he crossed his ankle over his knee and glared at her. "I've been waiting at that diner for half an hour, Tara."

"I think I fell asleep," she said, sinking into an ancient rocking chair she'd picked up outside in someone's trash. It squeaked horribly when rocked but it was comfortable and Tara didn't mind the noise.

"You don't know?" His ankle slipped off his knee and he sat forward resting his hands between his legs. "How could you not know, Tara?"

"I ... Oh God, Chance, you're going to think I'm certifiable." She buried her face in her hands, rubbing her palms against her cheeks. "I think I might be crazy."

"Tara, you're one of the sanest and most capable people I know." He watched as she leaned back in the rocker, letting her head rest against the high wooden back. Her face was pale, the freckles he longed to count standing out against her skin. She looked worried. "What's going on, Princess?"

She looked at him and laughed at the endearment. She was certainly no princess if what she saw tonight was anything to go by. "Something is wrong with me, Chance. I think I'm sleepwalking or maybe I'm just crazy. I think I was at the park last night."

"I knew that was you," he said, reaching forward and letting his hand rest on her leg. "What were you doing out there in the park that late at night, Tara? Do you have any idea how dangerous it is?"

"What was I doing?" She got up, pushing his hand off of her leg and went to the table, picking up the money that still lay there. She came back in and threw it at him, watching as he grabbed a bill and held it up, bemused. "I find this, this money, sitting on the table every morning when I leave for work."

Chance stared at her, visibly shaken. Anger pulsed through him, quickly followed by a pain he wasn't sure he wanted to diagnose. "If you needed money, Tara, I'd have helped you. You didn't need to ... to prostitute yourself."

"I'm not. At least, I don't think I am. I'm stealing this money, Chance." She sank back down into the chair, watching him carefully.

Relief flashed through him, then disbelief. "Tara ... I just can't believe that. There has to be another explanation."

"That's why I wanted to talk to you. I need help, I need your help." She sank back down in the chair and waited for his reaction.

"Of course, I'll help, Tara. But I can't believe you'd steal money." He picked up and smoothed each bill, holding them up to the light. "Is it always this much?"

"No, sometimes it's a lot less. That was the most I've found."

"What makes you think you're stealing it?" He sat the neat stack down on the battered coffee table in front of him and turned to look at her. She was holding her bathrobe tightly against her throat, her hand fisted in the soft material. Her other hand pleated the soft fabric at her knee. Her hair was mussed from sleep and her eye were a deep cloudy gray. He could almost see her thinking from the expressions that crossed her face. Fright, anger, disbelief and then a kind of tired acceptance and an uneasy wariness as if she didn't think he'd believe what she was about to tell him finally settled there.

"Will you listen and not ask any questions until I'm done?" She laughed before he could answer. "As if asking them would do you any good. I can't even answer the questions I have myself." She waited until she saw his nod and then told him about her dream.

"She said I'd understand. But I don't. I don't even know where this bar is at, only that I seemed to be familiar with every inch of it and the bartender. Though he seemed to treat me more like a daughter than anything else."

Chance didn't say anything, just sat staring at her. "You really aren't kidding about all of this are you?" he gestured towards the money. "Something really is going on?"

"That's what I've been trying to tell you. I'm scared, Chance. If I'm breaking the law, it won't be long before I'm caught. I mean, there could be APBs or bulletins or whatever the hell they use to track criminals out there. They could have my picture. Maybe it's already up in the post offices." She jumped up and started pacing the floor.

"Whoa, whoa," he held his hands out in front of him. "Settle down. I don't think you've made the FBI's top ten most wanted yet."

Tara whirled around, her robe flying open at the bottom and granting him a glance of pale creamy thigh. "The FBI? Do you think they've gotten involved?"

He jumped up and grabbed her arm, making her sit down on the couch next to him. Then he wrapped her in his arms and felt her snuggle in even as part of her stayed tightly wound. "No, I don't think they've been called. Serial killers, kidnappings, bank robbery crossing state lines, yeah, but you. No, I think you're safe there." He could smell the shampoo she used in her hair, something rich and fruity smelling. It tickled his senses. Her body was soft and warm under the robe she wore and he found his hands stroking her back, comforting her, but teasing the hell out of himself.

"God, Chance, I've been so scared. I don't know what to do." She grabbed the collar of his shirt and pressed her face against his neck, smelling the clean scent of his cologne, something male and spicy. His hard body next to hers offered more than just comfort and she felt herself relaxing into his stroking hands, wanting to purr in contentment.

He could feel her breasts against his chest, those tempting treasures separated from his skin by the thin material of her robe and his shirt. It would be so easy to pull on her tie, to let the robe fall open and finally see what had been tormenting his dreams for weeks. She'd been in his thoughts constantly since the first time she'd smiled at him on his first day at CAB.

His hands went to her waist, tightened just a little, feeling the bottommost curve of her rib with his thumbs. "Tara..."

She looked up into his face, misreading the tightness of his features, the rigid way he was holding himself as unease instead of what it really was, frustrated desire. Tara pulled herself up, straightening her bathrobe with a jerk, pulling it tighter around her tiny frame. She combed her fingers through her hair and turned to confront Chance. "So, will you help me?"

"Of course, Princess. You should have come to me right away." He managed to keep his voice even though he wanted to howl in repressed emotion. He shifted a little, hiding the evidence of his desire behind a bent knee. "What do you want me to do?"

"I need you to sleep with me."

She could have knocked him over with a feather, the shock on his face at her words priceless and almost enough to start her giggling. If this weren't such a serous matter and she weren't so desperate, she might have.

"Uh ... Tara?"

"No, not like that," though in her heart she knew she'd have loved that too, what woman could resist him? Which was the exact reason why she so desperately tried to. Chance was dangerous to any woman's piece of mind. She knew there'd always be women who wanted him for his looks, for his animal magnetism. She was surprised when he actually worked two jobs to make a living, knowing he could be a rich woman's boy toy in a heart beat. Or a model, which in the end added up to one and the same.

"I need you to keep an eye on me, to watch me so that when I get up at night you can follow me and let me know what I'm doing."

"You want to have a sleep over?" he asked, half joking, trying to lighten up the tension in the room some.

"Yeah." She smiled at him, relief evident in her eyes that changed from a dark stormy color to one more resembling a summer's mist. "We can stay up late, watch MTV, eat pizza and tell all about our love lives. And if you're nice to me, I'll forget about the makeover part of the evening."

"Gosh, thanks," he said, sarcasm dripping sweetly from the words. "But one question. Why me? Why not Phoebe or your boyfriend?" The part of him that wanted her couldn't help but dig a little for information. She never talked about her dates, never 'kissed and told' about any nights out on the town.

"I don't have a boyfriend," she said quickly and without really thinking. "And can you imagine Phoebe's reaction if I told her something like this. She'd be getting out the black candles and her Ouija board and wanting to hold séances. Definitely not where I want to take this whole madness."

"So when do you want to do this?" He sat forward and picked up the money again, running it through his hands.

"Tonight?" she asked almost hesitantly. Now that he'd agreed, she was getting nervous. And not only about what would he could find out about her other self. How would she react to having a gorgeous, red-blooded man sleeping in her apartment?

"We have to work tomorrow," he said hesitatingly. "I mean, that's fine with me, but..."

"No, let's do it tonight. I've gone so long without knowing, Chance. It's driving me crazy." She sank back down on the couch and took his hands. "Please, will you do this for me?"

How could he say no to that? "Let me go and grab my bag."

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Reluctant /