Happy Friday RA readers, thanks for joining us today! It’s a beautiful spring May Friday here and today our lovely Cared has a rec for you. Let’s get on with it…
Gemgirl65, the talented author of Massage Therapy, brings us her latest gem, The Agreement. Once again, this is one of those stories that are hard to do justice to in a short review. So far most of what this lovely enchanting story comprises is a boy, a girl, a hotel room, 15 hours and a truly wonderful tale filled with honest emotion. It’s my kind of story. You may wonder how 12 chapters with just two people in a confined space could be enthralling. Believe me, these charming and complex characters make it easy.
Summary for The Agreement:
“A virgin. An escort. A contract signed. But falling in love wasn’t part of the agreement… AH, E&B
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Drama – Chapters: 15 – Words: 46,330 – Reviews: 1143 – Updated: 5-1-12 – Published: 3-21-12 – Bella & Edward”
Bella is a 19-year-old college student. Following some pretty miserable experiences with the men – actually make that the boys, whom Bella has been unfortunate enough to know, she views her virginity as a burden. Bella decides losing it in style is worth depleting her bank account for. She contacts Renaissance Escorts in order to hire a handsome man for an evening of romance in a hotel suite. Bella chooses that location as she assumes there will be potential to have extra services provided by her chosen escort.
She had met a few boys who were adrift, too. She had chatted with them, made friends with them, even made out a little with them. She kept waiting to feel the spark. The passion that would push her over the edge and make her want to take the next step: to let this person into not just her head, but her heart and soul and body, too.
She never felt it. Not even with Jake this summer, when she really wished she would feel it. But after the way he ended up treating her, she was glad she didn’t give in.
She grimaced now at the memory. She wondered if something was wrong with her. She had never considered herself a romantic, and had prided herself on her practicality. But when it came to boys, the ordinary just didn’t seem to be enough. If it had been, then she would have done the deed by now. For this one major milestone in her life, she wanted something more than the mundane. She wanted to do more than settle. And if she had to use all her hard-earned summer job earnings to find the extraordinary, then so be it.
Edward Cullen certainly looked extraordinary in his profile picture, his pretty features assembled attractively over rugged, squared-off bones. The written description said he enjoyed reading, playing the piano and running on the beach. She figured that was a load of horseshit, but she didn’t care. She liked his eyes. They were large, blue-green and laden with a heavy-lidded intensity that seemed to project far beyond the confines of her computer screen. She didn’t even look at any other possible suitors after she found him.
He was the one who would deflower her.
She laughed out loud now as she thought of the old-fashioned phrase. It fit his Victorian, or rather Edwardian, name. And wasn’t that what she really wanted, anyway? Someone to take her maidenhood rather than pop her cherry? Even though he wouldn’t give a damn about anything more than the exorbitant fee she’d forked over, at least he, and all the trappings she had requested in her application, would give her the illusion that this was a special occasion.
Edward Cullen makes his living as an escort. He can provide company for a lonely soul, be eye-candy on his client’s arm at a public function, or if preferred, he can fulfill his contract in a more private setting. In these cases, he finds it useful to have some level of attraction to his client in order to perform with optimum results. I think you know what I mean ladies. However, kissing is performed only as and when necessary. Soon after meeting his latest client Isabella Swan, Edward is quite thrown by his growing desire to kiss her. That desire is just one of the many unexpected feelings, both physical and emotional, that takes root in him during the evening.
Room service is delivered to their hotel suite and over dinner the conversation between Edward and Bella takes an unexpected detour. It moves from the polite and banal route and takes a much more personal, private and less travelled road. Both of them ask tough and probing questions of the other. It becomes a night of firsts for more than one of them.
“Why are you here, Isabella?” he asked with abrupt candor. At this point, he figured he had nothing to lose.
A large bite of crab cake went down her gullet in a hasty gulp. “What do you mean?” she stalled. She hadn’t expected him to put her on the spot instead.
“You’re not my typical client. You’re young and beautiful. You could have your pick of eligible guys. Why do you think you need me?”
She stared into his serious gaze. Damn, he was good. She almost believed him.
“Look, I know you have to say those kinds of things because I paid you good money to,” she said. “But I’m letting you off the hook. You can cut the crap. I mean, I know the truth.”
He frowned, his thick eyebrows squeezing the bridge of his nose. “You don’t know anything,” he retorted. “Just because you don’t believe what I say doesn’t mean it’s not true. I don’t have to tell you you’re beautiful. If I didn’t find you attractive, I would just say that your dress is lovely, or your hair looks great, or you look amazing tonight. All of which is true, by the way. I don’t tell everyone they’re beautiful. Hardly anyone, in fact.”
He was being generous. He’d never told any client she was beautiful, ever. He had found all sorts of creative ways to get around that bit of dishonesty. From the start, he had decided that the only things he was obligated to prostitute were his body and his time. All else – his opinions, his preferences, his needs, his desires – were his and his alone, to bestow as he saw fit.
And as he sat across the table from Isabella Swan, watching the candle flames illuminate her porcelain skin and flicker in her deep brown eyes, he found her indisputably beautiful. The notion that she saw herself as anything less confounded and disturbed him…..
..…”What about you?” she countered, letting her curiosity – and the wine – make her brave. “Why are you here? Why do you need this?”
He stared at her blankly. Clients never asked him that. Well, some of the older ones did. They assumed it was the money, and they were mostly right. He liked to think he did it to stroke his ego a bit, too, except that he didn’t have one. But he was great at faking it.
“The pay is excellent and the perks are, well . . . ” He finished the thought by raking his eyes up and down her slight frame, pausing to stare provocatively at the bare expanse of flesh right above her breasts.
Her cheeks flamed hot, but she remained undaunted. “Besides that,” she pressed.
He shrugged dismissively. “There is nothing else. It’s easy money and I’m good at it. My friends always used to joke that I was so good at picking up women that I ought to get paid for it. One day I decided that maybe they were on to something.”
Her eyes narrowed. She was studying him again. He was used to appraisal, but not scrutiny. He squirmed uncomfortably and polished off the rest of his wine.
“That’s bullshit,” she finally declared with a shake of her head. “You like being used. You think that’s all you’re good for. That that’s all you deserve.”
He felt the impact of her words like a knife to the gut, piercing and deep, spilling his entrails out on the table before he ever felt the pain of the attack. It was too late to raise his shield, so he launched a counter offense.
“Let me guess – you’re a psych major,” he said with a withering sneer. “Is that why you came here? To psychoanalyze me and figure out why I’d make such a fucked-up career choice? Just don’t forget to turn the microscope back on yourself while you’re at it. I’d love to hear why a beautiful young girl would pay two months’ rent to be seduced by a complete stranger.”
She looked flummoxed, and he was glad. She would think twice before she left her glass house for another attack.
“You don’t have to tell me,” he continued. “I’m sure I can guess. Your boyfriend treats you like crap, or maybe he’s lousy in the sack, so you came here to find out if there’s something better out there. Or maybe it’s the opposite – he’s complaining about your lack of expertise, so you thought you’d get some from a professional before you lose him. Am I getting warm?”
The only thing warm was her face. She was livid. How dare he make such presumptions about her? Never mind that you just did that to him, her guilty conscience chided her.
“You’re ice cold,” she said, in a tone to match.
“Am I?” he challenged, his eyes boring into hers, searching for answers. “If things are so hunky-dory with your boyfriend, then why are you here?”
“There is no boyfriend, okay?” she exploded. “No boyfriend, no sex, no . . . nothing.” She bit her lip, cutting herself off too late. Her status as a loser was confirmed. Now he could gloat, and be arrogant, and fulfill all her worst fears about him. He was well on his way now, so he might as well finish the job.
But when she looked at his face, his expression was thoughtful, not judgmental. He slowly leaned forward and picked up the wine bottle, refilling her glass and then his own.
“Why are you in such a hurry?” he asked. “A girl like you will have those things before you know it. You don’t have to buy them.”
She let out a bitter laugh. “If you saw the guys at my school, you would beg to differ.”
His smile was wry. He wondered why she thought he was so different. It hadn’t been that long ago that he was one of those ordinary boys she scoffed at, looking for a girl like her. A girl who might actually make him feel something. A girl who could have kept him from walking down this path he’d chosen. He’d given up on the endeavor, and apparently, so had she.
He sipped his wine slowly as the truth sank in. Now he knew the real reason she was here. She was through waiting for clumsy college boys to figure out how to get it right, to make her want to take that last step with them, to go all the way. She wanted her first time to be with a handsome prince on a cloud of four-hundred-count percale sheets, not in the back seat of a rusted-out car or the squeaky bed of a cramped dorm room.
She did want the fairytale, even if she had to buy it.
He could almost see the logic in it, except that she had overlooked the most important part. How on earth could Isabella Swan, or whoever she was, think that paying for sex would make it special? Didn’t she understand that the exact opposite was true?
At times in this story the role reversals are quite startling and very refreshing. Edward, the seemingly confident gigolo, occasionally acts like he is the shy virgin, while Bella briefly becomes the confident one. It appears that already these two have had a very profound effect on each other, causing them to act out of character albeit very realistically so. They develop a mutual fascination and admiration not to mention a very strong sexual attraction. As the hour grows late both Edward and Bella become aware that the clock is ticking. Soon The Agreement will be null and void.
While I could easily use a dozen adjectives to describe the first 12 chapters of this charming story, if I was only allowed to use two, I would have to pick sad and hot. IKR (in my best Jessica voice), that sounds like an unusual combination. Allow me to explain my rationale. Sad because of what led Bella to take this rather dramatic decision in the first place. Sad because of what must have led Edward to choose to live such a life. Again, sad because of what Edward and Bella see and awaken in each other and the possibility of what could be if only they knew how to find it. Hot – there is no other way to say it – it’s hot because Gemgirl65 knows how to write a lemon.
His groan was louder than he expected when her mouth finally made contact. His eyes flew open in time to watch her tongue glide down the underside of his cock to the base, then back up again. She was poetry in motion, her mouth taking him in, swallowing him down, then letting him out again. Her hands picked up the slack, one after the other, and she seemed to make a game of it: mouth, left hand, right hand, repeat. By the time she advanced to sucking and stroking him simultaneously, nearly every breath that escaped him was infused with groaning appreciation.
“Why do you feel so fucking good?” he mumbled uselessly. She laughed, her breath tickling his dick and answering his unanswerable question. It was just her, for whatever reason. She was irresistible to him. He reached for her now, running his hand along the perfectly plump swell of her ass and down the curve of her thigh. He pulled at her gently, turning her so that he could see the parting of her legs and the soft, pink lips between them. He had to touch her, had to know if she was anywhere near as turned on as he was. He could be gentle. He would be, for her.
Her breath caught at the feel of his fingers, stroking and then probing gently. She paused and breathed heavily on his groin, which he seemed to enjoy. She felt her back arch and her legs part, marveling at her body’s instincts taking over. Her moan had teeth – a guttural reaction to his touch on her tender skin. But she didn’t move away. In fact, she found her hips mimicking the pace of his fingers as he dipped them into her opening and then back out again.
She was dripping, he noted with satisfaction. Utterly dripping wet. He spread the moisture up and down, smoothing it over her clitoris, massaging until she moaned again, her breath hot and heavy on his swollen cock. As he brought his sticky fingers to his lips to taste her, he realized that he could very likely make her come again without hurting her. Where his cock and fingers might bruise, his tongue could still give pleasure.
*Can someone open a window please? Fans self!
I should tell you that the recent Chapter 13, roughly the halfway stage, is a major turning point. It brings us the morning after the night before. Remember, this was not an ordinary date, the usual rules do not apply; it was an agreement, hence the fic title. Now that there is no longer a contract to bind them, will the feelings that developed between Edward and Bella in the contrived setting of the hotel room, survive in the real world? Being the hopeful romantic that I am, I admit to believing that neither Edward nor Bella are willing for this to be the end.
OMR, I’ve just thought of something, what if they do find the HEA that I’m praying for, how are they going to explain to their children the circumstances under which they met? LOL Hurry, read to catch up with me, and together we’ll find out what happens to this thoroughly delightful pair.
Remember – some rules are made to be broken.
I’d like to say a special THANK YOU to Cared for her wonderful recs and all her help with FanFiction Fridays, she is a treasured friend, and I really appreciate all she does for us here at Rob Attack. xx
Hope you all have a great week and please share what’s been owning you in the FanFic world this week.