The Man I Thought I Trusted by E.L. Todd

1

Carson

I wokeup the next morning feeling the heat from the sunlight on my face. Last night, the window showed the thriving city outside, lights glimmering like beacons, but now it was a brilliant day and the lights from the buildings had dimmed. I arched my back and stretched my arms above my head, sighing as my body enjoyed the comfortable mattress and the high-end sheets that cuddled me all night long. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d slept so well, woke up in the morning and felt like I could do anything. Was it just the bedding? Or was it the man beside me?

I opened my eyes and looked at Dax. He was on his back with his head slightly tilted my way, his eyes closed and his jaw relaxed. With every breath he took, his chest rose slightly, his flat stomach chiseled even when he was unconscious. The sheets were loose around his waist as if he got hot during the night and pushed them away, and a bit of his happy trail was visible far below. Veins covered his tanned skin on his muscular arms and the abs below his belly button. Awake or not awake, this man was beautiful.

Yeah, it definitely wasn’t the bedding that made me sleep so long.

It was the man.

I shifted closer to him and pressed a kiss to his shoulder, my tongue taking a gentle swipe so I could taste him. Seeing his face first thing in the morning was more exhilarating than the view from his penthouse. His scruff was even thicker than it had been the night before, and I loved that masculine look.

My eyes glanced down to the sheets over his waist and noticed the distinct outline of his bulging cock.

Damn, I could get used to this.

I crawled over him and pulled back the sheets slightly so I could press a gentle kiss to the top of his dick.

He didn’t wake up, but an almost inaudible moan emerged from his closed lips.

I got out of bed and helped myself to his discarded shirt on the floor. I got a better look at his bedroom, the seventy-inch TV mounted on the wall, the high-end furniture, the armchair outside his closet where he sat to put shoes on every morning.

His bedroom was almost as big as my apartment.

I left the bedroom and walked down the hallway, seeing a whole other hallway emerge at an intersection in the corridor. I had no idea where it led, and I wasn’t nosy enough to find out. I kept going and headed to the main room where the kitchen was located.

Floor-to-ceiling windows took up the entire back wall, and it was an open room, with the dining table, kitchen, and living room all in the same area. It was perfect for entertaining, even though I wasn’t sure how much he hosted events.

Just this space alone was bigger than a single floor in my apartment building. That must mean every unit took up an entire floor of the building.

How could one person need this much space?

I walked into the kitchen and looked for the coffeepot. Of course, he didn’t have something basic. It was a big, shiny device that looked like it belonged on the counter of a coffee shop. It took some time to figure out how to work the stupid thing and make myself a cup of joe.

His wealth didn’t intimidate me, and it didn’t make me think higher of him either. It was just a part of who he was, and I’d have to get used to it. When he said I would’ve thought of him differently if I’d known he was a billionaire the night we met, he was right. I would’ve made unfair assumptions about who he was instead of seeing the man behind the wallet. I would have assumed he was arrogant, snobbish, egotistical…entitled. But he wasn’t a jerk like the other rich people I had to deal with, so I actually was grateful he’d deceived me.

Otherwise, this might never have happened.

I wouldn’t have found the man I was supposed to be with.

I took a seat at the dining table that was next to the window and drank my coffee as I looked at my emails on my phone.

A text message popped up from Charlie. So…you never came home last night.

I grinned. Nope.

Are you going to come home tonight?

Double nope.

Did you get that D?

Only all night…

Finally. Is Kat okay?

The mention of her immediately brought down my mood. She’s pretty down, honestly. But she’ll come around.

Charlie didn’t text me back.

The sound of footfalls came to my ears as Dax entered the kitchen. Barefoot and just in his sweatpants, he stood at the coffeemaker and made himself a cup before he took a drink and joined me at the dining table. “Morning, sweetheart.” He set his coffee mug on the table then leaned down to kiss me.

I tilted my head back and took his lips, exchanging a slow and seductive kiss that made me want to go straight back to the bedroom.

When he pulled away slightly, he gave me an affectionate look before he pulled out the chair and took a seat beside me. His eyes were heavy-lidded and sleepy, and his hair was messy from all the times I’d fisted it through the night. He gripped the mug by the handle and brought it to his lips for another drink.

I saw him sitting there shirtless with those broad shoulders and strong chest, and I knew I could stare at him like that every single day. The deep, emotional attachment was still there, but the physical lust had turned on as if a button had been pressed. I wanted this man—every chance I got.

He watched me stare at him, relaxing in the chair with slight affection in his gaze. “Did you tell Charlie?”

“He texted me a couple minutes ago. And yes, he was very happy that his best friend got laid.”

He chuckled. “Good. He’s gonna be happy pretty often, then.”

My eyes glanced over his body, giving him a seductive stare that showed how much I wanted him. “Hell yeah…”

He gave a slight smile before he sipped his coffee again.

“I told him I wouldn’t be home until tomorrow morning. If that’s okay…” I wanted to be in Dax’s arms every night. I never wanted to sleep in a bed alone when there was such a better alternative. Why be alone when I could have this perfect, gorgeous, wonderful man hold me through the night?

“You could move in, and I would say that’s okay.”

I chuckled before I grabbed my coffee and took a drink, not taking his words seriously.

But he just looked at me…like he was dead serious.

When he’d said those three little words last night, I hadn’t expected to hear them. And I also hadn’t expected my own reaction, to say them back, to hear the sincerity in my voice as well as feel it in my heart. It was natural, and for the first time, I didn’t overthink my actions. I just lived in the moment—with him.

With his fingers wrapped around the handle of his mug, he stared at me, like he was thinking about the same moment.

I didn’t have any regrets. It was the happiest I’d been in a really long time. Well, not that long, but it felt that way.

Now I was glad Evan had been in the bar that night just so Dax would kiss me. Who knew something so good could come out of that?

Steam rose from his cup, the black liquid frothy at the top from the way the beans were ground up in the machine. “What did you want to do today?”

“Oh, come on.” I released an uncontrollable snort at the stupid question.

“What?” He drank from his coffee.

“Don’t what me. You know exactly what I want to do. And I want to do it all day and all night…”

His eyes shifted away slightly, a handsome grin coming onto his lips like my desire was flattering to him. Women wanted to jump his bones all the time, but somehow my enthusiasm was special. “What about food?”

“Oh yeah.” Shit, I hadn’t thought of that, which was an important thing to consider, at least for me.

“I know my woman can’t go very long without eating.”

“Well, we can take a break for that. But that’s it.” I waved my index finger. “Nothing else.”

He took another drink of his coffee before he rose to his feet. “How about we make some breakfast, then?”

My eyes absorbed his muscled frame, immediately picturing that handsome face between my thighs, his scruff scratching me and turning me on. But my pussy and my stomach were at war with each other, because a loud grumbling sound filled the dining room.

He grinned before he turned away. “There’s my answer.”

* * *

I facedthe back of the couch with my hands gripping the edge, my back arched, tears glistening in the corners of my eyes as my body was thrust forward every time he pushed inside me. His hand gripped the back of my neck aggressively, while his other hand held my hip, his body working hard to hit me deep over and over. “God…yes.” My moans turned incoherent, and I started to scream as I came around his dick for the tenth time that weekend. “Fuck…yes.” The tears escaped the corners of my eyes and fell down my cheeks.

He groaned as he listened to me come, his fingers digging into the back of my neck even deeper.

The sex was so much better than it used to be, good, sweaty, aggressive…so damn unbelievable. When I finished my high, I lowered my neck to rest my forehead on the back of the couch, catching my breath as my tightness released his dick.

He wrapped his arm across my chest and pulled me against him, his chest against my back. He rocked inside me deeply, holding me tight with his face pressed into my neck. He breathed and groaned, about to come inside me with a potent release.

“Fuck that pussy…”

He made a loud groan as he released, his big, fat dick throbbing inside me as it gave me his seed. We’d been fucking like rabbits in spring, and he still wasn’t shooting blanks. White globs of arousal dripped from my entrance every single time.

He continued to thrust until he was completely finished. Then his arms squeezed me tightly as he panted into my ear, his sweaty chest rubbing against my soaked skin. He started to soften when he was finished, like his body couldn’t go anymore after the fuck-a-thon we’d had all weekend. His batteries were officially drained.

I loved making love to this man, but I loved the bomb-as-fuck sex too. God, it was so good. This man was so good.

He pulled out of me then stepped into the bathroom to clean up. He returned with a handful of tissues.

I took them to clean myself up. “What a gentleman.”

He grinned before he pulled on his sweatpants again and walked into the kitchen to make dinner.

I put on my underwear and his shirt before I joined him.

He opened the fridge and grabbed a couple things before leaving them on the counter.

I lifted myself onto the granite countertop so my legs could dangle over the edge. I leaned back against the cabinet, my eyes tired and heavy after all the good chemicals dumped into my blood. All this hot sex made me so happy and relaxed. My coochie had never been so satisfied. I watched him move around the kitchen, still wanting more…believe it or not.

How could I not? Look at that hunk of man.

He started to cook on the stove, letting everything sizzle in the oiled-up pans before he turned to look at me. “Really? Again?”

“Yep.” I was completely unapologetic about it.

He grabbed a spatula and stirred everything before he came close to me and stood in front of me.

My legs immediately circled his waist, and my ankles locked together. “Now, you can’t go anywhere.”

He brought his face close to mine and stared at my lips for a long time. “Like I’d want to.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to the corner of my mouth.

My hands touched his hard chest as we listened to our dinner sizzle in the hot pans. “I didn’t think the sex could get any better.”

His confident gaze was locked on to my face. “It’s always better when you’re in love.”

My eyes softened as I continued to feel his muscular chest, my legs pulling him in just a little bit closer.

His hands flattened on the granite on either side of me, and he brought himself even closer, his forehead resting on mine, our dinner abandoned. “You’re so beautiful when you let me in like this.”

I felt like a completely different woman now that I’d given him full access to my heart. Carefree, trusting, and deliriously happy, I gave him everything I had.

And it was so easy to do.

He pressed his face into my neck and gave me a few kisses before he pulled away and returned to making our food.

My knees came together automatically with his absence, and I pulled them to my chest as I watched him cook, his tight, muscular back glistening with sweat. “What made you decide to live in such a big place?”

He flipped the meat and added more oil to the veggies. “It wasn’t the size that attracted me. Rather, the building, the location, and the security. The other residents guard their privacy and keep to themselves, which is perfect for me because I’m the same way.”

“I guess that makes sense.”

He stood over the stove, sexy and shirtless, his body tight and chiseled whether he was tense or relaxed. He was so fit that he always looked strong.

“How long have you been here?”

“About seven years now.”

“Oh…”

He turned back to me, silently asking for an explanation for my less-than-positive remark.

“Does that mean you lived here with your ex-wife?”

He nodded. “It was one of the few things I got to keep in the divorce.”

For a split second, it made me feel weird to be in the same penthouse where she used to live, in the bedroom where she used to sleep, at the dining table where she used to eat, but then I realized it was a long time ago and it shouldn’t matter. She didn’t deserve him in the first place.

When the food was done, he plated everything then handed my dinner to me. He leaned against the opposite counter, facing me, and ate where he stood, holding the plate with one hand with his fork in the other.

“Ten thousand square feet in this place and you want to eat like this?” I teased.

He sliced his fork into his tender chicken and shrugged before he placed a bite in his mouth. “You look too cute to move.”

I liked that answer. “This is really good.” I took a few bites, my feet still dangling over the edge.

“Do I cook better than Charlie?”

I squirmed on the spot. “No comment…”

“Oh, come on. You can tell me.”

“You’re putting me in a really awkward position. If I say your cooking is better and he finds out about it…he’ll never cook for me again, which means I’ll starve. If I say he’s better, I might not get that bomb-as-fuck sex anymore.”

“Bomb as fuck?” he asked, his eyes down on his food.

“Yes, that’s the best description I can think of.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.” He grabbed a stalk of asparagus and took a bite of the first half, looking at me as he did it. “Can I ask you something personal?”

“Anything.”

He did a double take when he heard what I said, his chin rising slightly so he could focus on me once more. Then a gentle smile came over that handsome face. “I’m not asking from a place of jealousy. I’m just curious—”

“No.”

“No, what? You didn’t give me a chance to finish.”

“Nothing has ever happened with Charlie. Ever.” My lovers always asked me this question because they couldn’t understand our friendship. Dax had already asked me this before, but he must have wanted to ask again now that I was more vulnerable than I used to be.

He looked amused by my response. “You get that question a lot, then?”

I nodded. “And my answer has never changed. Why do you ask?”

He shrugged. “You guys just have a really deep connection. When we’re playing basketball together, you can communicate telepathically. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

I continued to eat. “You’ve never had a girl friend?”

He shook his head. “None that I haven’t slept with. I guess my only female friend would be my sister, but that doesn’t really count.” He finished his food quickly and left his plate on the counter beside him.

“Well, it happens. There’s never been any attraction between us. Even if there were, I would never jeopardize our relationship for anything.”

He crossed arms over his chest as he watched me. “I guess I find it hard to believe because it’s impossible not to be attracted to you, not to think you’re special, not to think you’re a bomb-as-fuck woman. How is it Charlie doesn’t see that? I have no idea.”

I looked down at my food because I didn’t know what to say. It was such a compliment, a really nice one coming from a man like him. “You know, a lot of men I meet think I’m a bitch. I’m ambitious, opinionated, independent—those aren’t exactly sexy traits to most people. You’re one of the few men who actually sees value in them. So, it’s not me—it’s you.” He was a perfect man for me, someone who admired my spunk and was man enough to handle it. “Charlie doesn’t like that kind of woman. Look at Denise. She’s very quiet, submissive. And that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m just not Charlie’s type.”

He stared at me for a long time with that absorbing gaze, pondering everything I said. Then he gave a slight nod. “I guess I can understand that.”

“Not everyone thinks I’m as special as you do.”

“Well, that worked out in my favor.” He gave a slight smile. “I’m man enough for you, and I know most men are boys, so that’s not surprising.” He grabbed his plate and carried it to the sink so he could rinse it off and leave it for his housekeeper.

It was nice to be in a relationship with someone who admired me so openly, who was excited for my accomplishments, who could handle my fire with his own inferno. I suddenly felt a jolt of fear, because I realized I had something really amazing…and I wouldn’t know what to do if I ever lost it.

* * *

When I walkedin the door to my apartment on Monday morning, Charlie was sitting at the dining table with a cup of coffee next to his laptop. After he sipped his coffee, he raised his eyes and looked at me for a few seconds. “Wow, you look totally different.”

I hadn’t worn makeup in several days because I didn’t bring any in my overnight bag, and I was wearing the exact outfit I’d been wearing on Friday night. It was the ultimate walk of shame. I threw my purse on the table and kicked off my heels. “That’s what a fuck-a-thon does to you.”

He chuckled. “Way to rub it in, man.”

I made myself a cup of coffee and sat across from him. “It’ll happen for you, Charlie.”

He didn’t look at his computer. Instead, he just stared at me. “It’s nice to see you happy.” The statement came out of nowhere, containing a noticeable level of affection that showed his sincerity.

I gave a smile. “Thanks…”

“Now I need you to move in with him or marry him so you’ll get out of my hair.” He turned back to his work and looked at his computer.

“Like you could afford this place without me.”

His eyes were back on me instantly. “I probably could if you didn’t eat half my lunch every day. That shit adds up.”

I rolled my eyes and took a drink from my mug. “I pay for all the groceries, alright? And I throw in free condoms too. You basically got your own Instacart worker over here.” I snapped my fingers and pointed at myself.

He chuckled. “Fuck, I hate condoms. I want to be in a real relationship again so I don’t have to wear them anymore…” He gave me a serious look, like he expected me to do something about that.

It was too early in the morning to talk about Kat. “Yeah, it is pretty great.” It was so sexy not to be separated by latex, to feel each other so intimately, to feel his seed every time he gave it to me.

He gave an irritated sigh. “Jealous.”

I smiled and brought my mug to my lips. “You should be.”