Lana

Chapter 10

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I punched her again, in the head that time. Oww. That one definitely hurt my hand more than it hurt her head. I quickly resorted to hair pulling, my punching skills sorely lacking.

I gripped the top of her hair, trying to ignore what she was doing to my arm, even though it hurt like hell. I had a sudden spark of inspiration. My fists were a no go, but my knee might be hard enough to do some damage. I bent my injured elbow, pulling her a little closer, and raising my knee up into her stomach with the same motion.

Score! I thought. It knocked the breath out of her, and I did it again, just because my arm was wet with blood from her evil claws, and it still hurt like a motherfucker.

I was getting ready to knee her again when she was torn away from me. I met Akira’s frantic eyes as he grasped her around the middle, pulling her away from me. His eyes ran over me, widening when he saw the bloody scratches that covered my arm. He cursed as he pulled her farther from me.

Big arms wrapped around me from behind. I realized that it was some man who thought I was going to try to attack Milena even after she’d been pulled off me. I hadn’t even considered the idea. I saw Akira’s eyes as the man put hands on me. It was a scary sight. They went from frantic, straight to bat-shit crazy, his own crazy switch snapping on. Akira was about to blow. He spared one of the arms holding a furiously struggling Milena to point it at the man directly behind me. “Get your fucking hands off her!” he barked at him. The man released me instantly.

Akira eyed the crowded bar, his look a warning. “If anyone else lays so much as a fucking finger on her, I’m going to jail tonight!” Akira shouted to the room at-large before pulling his psycho ex out the door.

Akira came back inside less than five minutes later, looking positively volatile. His eyes were still wild as he approached me.

I was sitting in my same chair by the bar, Mari and Tutu hovering over me, carefully rolling up the sleeve of my scratched-up arm to see how bad it was. Other than a missing hunk of hair, it was the only part of my body she had managed to reach. I was kind of proud of the fact. So were Mari and Tutu, going by their excited chatter.

“Milena’s been in lots of fights, but I’d say you won, pretty girl,” Mari was saying, more concerned with establishing my victory than with the actual fight. I couldn’t help but smile at her enthusiasm.

Tutu nodded sagely. “I always knew it,” she said, as though she had predicted the whole thing and knew exactly how it would turn out. It was typical Tutu.

Mari and I shared an amused look.

Akira’s first good look at the deep gouges in my arm had him turning away. He strode to the nearest wall, pulled back his arm, and punched a hole in it. It was a very impressive display of both his rage and his strength. I wanted to tease him about it, but knew that it was too soon to try joking with him like that.

His eyes were less wild but just as agonized when he approached me again. “I’m so sorry, baby.” He squeezed in to embrace me, completely ignoring his mother and sister, who were both cursing him for taking their spots.

He kissed the top of my head. “Come on, Lana. You need to have those cleaned up at the hospital.”

I let him pull me gently to my feet by my good hand. Mari and Tutu shouted advice at him as he pulled me to the door.

“Get back to work,” he shouted back, ushering me outside.

He was very quiet in the car, using one hand to drive, the other one warmly gripping my knee. The touch was meant to be comforting, but it was still an instant turn-on for me. I used the hand of my uninjured arm to inch the loose skirt of my sundress up my legs, parting them as I did so. Akira shot me a stern look, but didn’t fight me when I slid his hand higher, onto my inner thigh. I worked the material of my dress high, until I was exposed enough to shove his hand just where I wanted it.

He stroked me with a soft touch, though his eyes were still hard as he gave me a censorious look. “You are incorrigible,” he told me, plunging a thick finger inside of me. He stopped the divine motion almost immediately, since we were already pulling into the hospital parking lot.

“I won the fight,” I told him proudly as he pulled me out of the car by my good hand. I wanted him to know that, in case he hadn’t noticed when he was breaking it up.

He glared at me. “You shouldn’t have been fighting in the first place,” he told me with his best lecturing tone.

I glared back. “You think I started that? I was just defending myself. Your ex is a psycho, but I still won.”

His face tightened harshly enough that I felt it pull at the strings on my heart. I could see, just from his face, that he was blaming himself for the whole sordid fiasco. “It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have left your side. I was so sure she wouldn’t show. I warned her that if she came to the bar while you were in town, or laid so much as a finger on you, that she’d lose her job. I thought surely that would be enough to keep her from trying to harm you, but she either didn’t believe me, or just didn’t care.”

I was shocked. “So you fired her?”

He nodded, his face hard. “And you need to press charges. She needs to know that she can’t touch you.”

I mulled it over. Our fight had been unwelcome, and my arm hurt like hell, but Milena losing her job over it seemed like enough of a punishment, to me. “I’m not going to. If you fired her, I think that’s enough of a punishment.”

He looked like he wanted to argue with me, but he stayed silent, pulling me to the hospital entrance. “I still hate her guts, though,” I continued. “I’m so jealous of her that I can barely stand it.”

He looked genuinely surprised by my confession. I couldn’t imagine why he’d be surprised by it. “Why on earth would you be jealous of her?” he asked.

“She told me she’d had a thousand nights with you, and I only got two. One and a half, rather. I hate her guts for that. And knowing you two, you’ll probably reconcile again in a week.”

He gave me a very annoyed look as he opened the door for me. “That’s ridiculous, Lana. We’ve been broken up for years. Though I guess you wouldn’t know it by how she still acts. I can’t understand why she can’t get over it. We were never good for each other, and over the years, we only got worse. She resented me for what I couldn’t feel for her, and if I’m brutally honest, I only stayed with her for so long because I thought that I didn’t deserve better. I ended it years ago, though, when I realized that I’d much rather be alone than with someone who brought out the worst in me. Milena is a bitter woman who can’t grow up enough to let go of the past. The very distant past, at that. You have nothing to be jealous of.”

I mulled that one over. She wasn’t the only woman who couldn’t let go of the very distant past. His assessment wounded me, because even though he’d been referring to Milena, I knew that I was no different. I wanted to let go, but I didn’t seem to have that ability. I wished to God that I did. Unwillingly, my mind wandered back to the past.

CHAPTER TEN

8 years ago

When Akira had asked me what I wanted him to get me for my eighteenth birthday, I hadn’t even had to think about it. I wanted him. Though I was smarter than to tell him that. Instead, I had asked him to spend the day with me. He agreed without hesitation, though he stubbornly insisted that I couldn’t call it a date.

He hadn’t had to ask me how I wanted to spend the morning. That one was a no-brainer. We spent it in the ocean, catching waves for endless hours. I had straddled my board a lot, practicing provocative poses, trying to tempt him, as I had taken to doing a lot recently. But today, it was different. I was a grown-up today, and there was no reason for Akira not to touch me now.

I arched my back when he looked at me, thrusting my full breasts forward in my tiny lavender bikini. It was literally the tiniest one I could find, barely covering the essentials. He gave me his stern, ‘knock it off’ look, and went back to studying the waves.

When he’d seen me walk out wearing the minuscule suit, he’d just raised his brows and said, “I guess you want to watch me get into some fights on your birthday.” His tone had been dark, his face forbidding, but I had beamed at him, taking it as a good sign.

He watched the waves for a good ten minutes after he’d given me ‘the look’, then finally, I’d resorted to drastic measures. I had gone to great lengths to assure that I didn’t have a tan line for tonight, wanting my body to look perfect for him. I’d been tanning naked in my back yard, so the feeling of the soft breeze on my bare chest was not all that foreign to me as I untied the top of my suit, letting it fall down to my waist. I studied the waves, as Akira did, pretending not to notice the slip.

I felt my breasts tighten the second that he saw what had happened. He started cursing. “Lana, your top!” he snapped at me.

I looked down at my chest, acting baffled, as though I couldn’t imagine what could have happened to it. He was still cursing as he straddled his own board, paddling over to me to fix it himself, since I was being too slow about it. I glanced around as he covered my breasts with the tiny triangles of material. I tried to look worried. “Do you think anyone saw?”

He glanced around, his face thunderous, ready to stare down, or possibly pound, any poor fool he caught looking. But there was no one. We were virtually alone, all of the other surfers far enough away that they couldn’t have gotten a good look.

“Will you tie it for me, Akira? I guess I didn’t tie it tightly enough.”

He tied it at my neck without a word. The triangles didn’t fall into place on their own though, so I was still exposed. I made no move to cover up, so he did that too, moving the thin material over my hard nipples, cursing all the while.

I didn’t bother with the trick again. It obviously hadn’t worked, so the rest of the morning was spent surfing and basking. I spent most of it watching Akira. He was so magnificent that I could have watched him forever.

We didn’t get back to his house until mid-afternoon. I used his tiny downstairs shower to wash off all of the sand and salt and sea, and Akira used his master bath upstairs to do the same. I had toyed with the idea of slipping into his shower with him and seducing him there, but decided against it. It didn’t seem fair to sneak in on him like that.

He was lounging on his back on his lived-in sofa when I re-emerged from the bathroom. He was wearing some soft athletic shorts, black with a white stripe down the side, and nothing else, his glorious chest bare. He didn’t glance up at me as I came to see what he was watching on TV. That was fortunate, since I might have lost my nerve if he had looked at what I was wearing, right at first.

I was wearing a micro-mini pleated red plaid skirt, and a small, short sleeved, white button down shirt with it. It was a naughty schoolgirl look that I had seen Milena wear a few times, and so figured Akira must like the look. Mine had a few extra naughty modifications, like no panties or bra, and all of the buttons undone on my top. It gaped open, exposing my full, tan breasts with their tiny, coral-colored nipples.

“What do you wanna do now, birthday girl?” Akira asked without looking up.

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