Fear of Heights ( Book 2)
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Heights of Desire ( Book 1)
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About the Author
I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic. I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela and Bikram Yoga enthusiast. I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.
What are you willing to sacrifice for love? Your family? Your freedom? What about your life? She’s a wealthy, forty-three-year-old Upper East Sider with a PhD – He’s a twenty-three-year-old Dominican drug dealer from Washington Heights. Kate Champion always did exactly what was expected of her. She was the perfect wife, the perfect mother – until the day she met Jaylee Inoa. Their journey travels a path riddled with danger, deceit, scandal and loss – where nothing is at it seems. Yet Kate and Jaylee’s passion for one another remains nearly unstoppable. Will this daring pair of lovers from two different worlds triumph over circumstance? Can they deny the past in their quest to be together? Or is fear the ultimate navigator - a force more powerful than love? Warning: Fear of Heights is not a standalone novel and must be read as book two in the Heightsbound series, after Heights of Desire. This book contains descriptions of: gang activity, graphic sex, violence, dubious consent, unprotected sex, infidelity, infidelity and more infidelity, questionable parenting and some dialogue in Spanish without translation.
But I’m strangely immune to everything in this moment except for this man, the recognition in his face—and his base and unconcealed need for me. My own desire is sweet and delicious, seeping into my bloodstream, blocking out everything else, offering me precious relief. I know I didn’t come for sex—but now I can’t remember what I came for. All I feel is honeyed desire that promises to drown me and suffocate the hurt, and oh, how I long to be drowned! If each breath hurts, I no longer want to breathe. But if you make love to me, maybe then I can just be. His hand slides down from my waist to the curve of my hip, signaling his intentions. He pulls me into the building, away from the street, but just a few feet from where the corner boys were gathered. He speaks to me, his voice echoing throughout the foyer and its grubby glass. He’s asking questions. I don’t bother to answer. Please. We don’t have to speak. I register nothing but his greedy hands all over me, his mouth converging with mine. In his kiss I search deeply for some delicate connection to Jaylee. A thin thread of memory, because once, this man bore witness to our love. “I saw you were missing on the neighborhood fliers. Now it’s your sister on the news.” This almost pulls me out. But I won’t let it; I’m too far-gone to let go of my one single chance at oblivion. “I don’t want you to talk to me, please. I just want you to take me. Make it hurt if you can—maybe it will help me—stop me from hurting.” I don’t care if he thinks I’m crazy. I look into his eyes pleadingly. His are afire but they grow distant at this. The distance signals to me that this man is in control. That’s what I want; it’s precisely what I need. He pulls me into a small, dingy elevator and I place my hands on his shoulders and bury my face in his neck. I definitely don’t want to look at him. His hands are rough; he’s grabbing my ass, and begins biting and sucking on my neck. I want him to stop, but deep inside I’ve already given him permission. Knowing how quickly I surrendered, the victory cannot taste very sweet. He smells so unfamiliar to me, like a complete stranger, and it spikes my adrenaline higher. His hand slips inside my pants; he brushes his fingertips along my sex, and I quake involuntarily against him. I’m ashamed of how wet I already am. I gasp for air as soon as we leave the elevator. He pulls me down a long corridor to the very last apartment, and digs deep into his jeans pocket until he comes up with keys. He opens the door into a wide living room that smells strongly of fresh paint. There is an elderly man perched on a plastic-covered sofa, wearing only boxers and an undershirt, staring vacantly at a television. “Papá,” says the young man from the park-house, “Te va’ a morir de frío.” He quietly covers him with a faded fleece blanket from the back of the couch, tucking it around his legs to make sure it won’t slip off. This display of compassion is too much for me; I don’t want to be this person who’s so full of need. The old man slowly moves his gaze from the muted television screen to me and mouths the word, “Buenas,” his lower lip trembling with age. I shouldn’t have come here. A sob escapes me and I fall to my knees. Ideal swoops in and grabs me gruffly, lifting me like a package over his shoulder. He’s likely determined not to lose this fragile fuck that is quickly deteriorating over unforeseen events. “Let me go!” I shout. He kicks open a door and tosses me onto a low bed, and my body bounces and jerks in weak protest. “I don’t want you. I want to die,” I wail, swallowed by misery. “Shut the fuck up. I remember you. I know what you need,” he answers, stripping down. I pull my knees to my chest and look away out the window toward the fire escape. The sky is dark. The pigeons are asleep. I’m not sure I can go through with this. I don’t really know sex without love. I’ve fought to get back so many times now. It makes no sense to be seeking out places from which I can never return. Dark, dark places. Slow, slow burn. “Hey,” he calls gently. And I reluctantly turn my head to look at him. He’s naked and magnificent, his hard cock gripped ruthlessly in his hand. I do want his hands on me. I especially want his mouth. But I don’t know how to ask for it, and I am so incredibly ashamed. I roll onto my stomach and groan. He reaches down and grabs me roughly underneath the armpits, pulling me until I’m kneeling on the bed, his stunning erection hot against my cheek. I press my body into his in desperation and he guides my mouth to exactly where he wants it to go. I can lose myself in this. I can easily forget. His hands are rough, and they tug wildly in my hair. He pulls and yanks my head as he takes my mouth fast and hard. I shouldn’t like it, but I do. Something about the harshness and urgency speaks to the depths of me—it communicates with my own raw, emotional state. I suck and lave and take him as deeply as I can, trying to syphon some drop of my own pleasure from his pleasure. This is reckless abandon. I suddenly and profoundly understand what that means. He drags me up along his body and smashes his mouth into mine. It’s hot and foreign to me, kissing a stranger. I kiss him back with a longing that borders on pathology. I seek in the depths of this kiss some remote and ephemeral connection to Jaylee. A thin silver thread. Anything it could possibly mean to have this man bear witness to our love—to have shared it, in some way. If what he retains is no more than a momentary snapshot I’ll take it. I’ll take absolutely anything I can get. He pulls my hair back and bites into the tender flesh of my neck, right below my ear. His hands find the clasp of my jeans and he undoes them and pushes them down to my knees. His hands capture my ass possessively and his breath comes heavy on my neck. “Get on your stomach and stick your ass in the air,” he says. I do as I’m told. He doesn’t even bother with my breasts. That’s fine with me. I’m not here for romance; I am here in hopelessness. I’m here in a furious desperation, to rid myself of this need. “You look fucking hot like that. I can’t blame Inoa for getting hooked when I see you like that.” I flip around, almost falling because my knees are tethered together with my jeans. I sit up quickly and slam the base of my palm straight into his chin. “Fuck!” he bellows, reeling back and gripping his chin defensively. His gaze on me intensifies. He likes the fight. His erection swells more, his desire heightened by my reaction. Then he’s on me like lightning, and I’m flailing, my arms hitting at the air as much as they’re hitting him. He crushes me down onto the mattress and pins both of my arms at my sides, my face millimeters from his. “¡Shit, Diablo, Mami! ¿Tú quiere’ o no?” “Don’t talk about him. Don’t even say his name!” I’m crying and choking and sobbing, all the while still bucking against his body and trying to wrestle free from his weight. “Dime que tú no quiere’ y te suelto!” he says. But I can’t tell him no, because the truth is that I do want him. I need him. And despite trying to throw him off, my hips are grinding against his, and I’m soaked with my own contemptible desire. Drowning in my own ghastly need. I relax my body for an instant and he lays his mouth on mine. I respond all too eagerly to his kiss. I take his tongue and thrust mine just as deeply into his hungry mouth. I hate him and I want him and I hate myself for wanting him. I will destroy his body with mine. I angrily tear away my own clothing, frantically wanting him inside me. I long to feel something—anything. I want him to fuck away the pain. Perhaps I can find some sad solace in the pure physical functioning of my own stupid body. I guide him inside me senselessly with one hand, but push him away with the other. His chest feels solid and comforting under the palm of my hand. What a contradiction—that it’s his heart that comforts me. He’s big and deep, and he wastes no time in crushing my hips into an anxious rhythm. I keep my hand positioned firmly on his strong chest, as if the gesture could equate to some symbolic distance between us. An inch of space that represents a great emotional divide. I squeeze my eyes shut and allow this need to become my sole, minute point of focus in my universe, so saturated with loss. I’ll just allow myself to feel his body connected with my body and nothing else. “You got a thing for Dominican guys?” he asks breathlessly, breaking my concentration and my momentary escape. “Don’t talk!” I scream, banging my fists into his face, his neck, his shoulders, any spot I can reach. I try to wriggle my hips away from his, but his weight is crushing. Grounding. He answers by yanking my arms above my head and kissing me fervently. I wish I didn’t want his kiss but it magically stops my thoughts from racing—the endless barrage of rumination, the regret, the pain, the philosophical bleed. I kiss him back with passion, because I know intuitively that some aspect of sex is purifying, renewing. And this is all that I seek in the contact of his flesh. His hipbones slam into mine; he is fit and hard, offering not much in the way of padding. His mouth too smashes against mine in a violent union. His stubble tears into the tender skin on my face. All my soft flesh is ravaged by this man, my mouth, my breasts, and most of all, my sex. “Did you want me that day?” he asks. And again he removes me from my meditation, demanding consciousness and communication—neither of which have I any use for. I yearn only to be devoured, to be fucked into submission and silence, and possibly all the way to redemption. “You wanted me in your mouth. You wanted to fuck us both, didn’t you?” I answer him by rearing back and pulling away. I shove him down by the shoulders so that he lies on his back, and then I take him in my mouth, tasting my own desire that has completely saturated him. There’s the evidence. Proof of my weakness, my imperfection, my undeniable greed. I suck him with abandon in an attempt to satisfy his wish for it to have been him coming in my mouth that day. In this contact I search for an answer to my own demise. If it’s so bad, then why do we all want it? And what, if anything, do we receive from restraint? “Come in my mouth,” I whisper around his swollen cock. He surprises me by pushing me away and quickly flipping me over. I oblige because I’ll do anything. Whatever he wants, he can take from me. I surrender completely, my body, my spirit, all of what’s left of me. “I want to come in your pussy,” he says, grabbing my hips and slamming mercilessly into me from behind. And I’ll let him come inside me. Why? Because I’m empty. I’m actively inviting ruin. I am taking this to the very extreme. After he’s done he tosses a towel to me before searching for another to use on himself. Then he goes above and beyond by bringing me a baby wipe from the bathroom. This is five-star service compared to my first encounter with Jaylee. I look down between my legs and see the milky white semen leaking out of me onto his bed. I stare at it in silence. I’ve been in this mind-state before. “¿Tú te siente’ mejor?” Like he’s a doctor providing services. He wants to know if his brand of painkiller worked. “Sí,” I nod and look up at him, wondering about the reach of what I’ve just done. It’s not the cheating on Robert—that scenario has already played out. It’s not the cheating on Jaylee—this was sex, not love. I’m a cheater, an adulteress, whatever, it’s all been said before. What scares me now is the limitlessness of my desire to do anything to be connected to Jaylee. That I just attempted to fuck the Jaylee out of a perfect stranger. That I will forever be chasing that high. I no longer recognize a breaking point, no morals, no bounds. “Ven, te acompaño a casa,” he says, placing a humid hand on my shoulder. Despite our sudden intimacy, it’s still the hand of a stranger. “No!” I bat it off and rise to my feet. I don’t need to be walked home as some pathetic compensation for sexual favors. He did me the favor. I wasn’t coerced into doing what I’ve done. I pull my clothes on over my naked body, leaving my now-tainted bra on his bed and my underwear on the floor. “It looks better if we leave together, Kate. Believe me, you don’t want to walk by those guys alone.” “What’s your real name?” I ask him, ignoring his attempt to defend my virtue. “Everybody call me Ideal.” Why do our paths keep intersecting? He must have known that it was me from the beginning when we were talking on the phone. I had no idea who he was. I wonder if I would have handled myself differently had I known. “Did—did you like that?” I ask him tentatively. He appears to be examining dry skin on his elbow, but what I think he’s actually aiming at is flexing his bicep for me. “What?” he asks absentmindedly. “My name—or fucking you just now?” I widen my eyes at him in response. “Yeah, I liked it.” He shrugs. “Want to do it again?’ “What? Like right this second?” He’s startled at the idea that I might demand an immediate erection—another round so soon after the knockout. “No, not right now, but whenever you want to.” “I thought you were all hung up on Inoa and shit. But yeah, whatever, I’ll call you.” Booty-call me. “I don’t expect a relationship, Ideal. This is purely business. But I do need help finding my sister. Someone on the inside, who the cops don’t know. Someone who knows the neighborhood and what’s really going on.” And, if I’m being honest, I need help just surviving, and you’re an easy way for me to get out of my head. The way he crosses his arms and looks down at me makes me think he knows something. Then he sighs and lifts his two perfectly arched eyebrows at me. He reaches out his hands to me almost affectionately, and I take them. He pulls me up to standing, and keeping my left hand grasped in his right, he shakes it firmly. “You fucking crazy, you know that? For real. But yeah, you got yourself a deal.”