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French Kissing: Season Two (EBOOK)

French Kissing: Season Two (EBOOK)

Four weeks after the end of French Kissing: Season One...

Hearts will be broken and mended, new intrigues will come to the fore, ghosts from the past will wreak havoc on even the best of intentions, and mistakes will have to be rectified—in and out of the bedroom.

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Full description

Paris… City of lights, City of love… City of drama!

The ladies’ lives have gone back to normal four weeks after the news about Dominique and Steph’s affair broke. This, however, doesn’t mean that everything is going swimmingly.

Nadia and Juliette are engaged, but will they ever find time in their busy schedules to get married?

Claire and Margot are giving their relationship another go, but can all the emotional events that came before be swept under the rug?

And how has Steph and Dominique’s affair progressed now that it has been brutally thrust into the limelight?

Find out in Season Two of French Kissing!

Hearts will be broken and mended, new intrigues will come to the fore, ghosts from the past will wreak havoc on even the best of intentions, and mistakes will have to be rectified—in and out of the bedroom.

Warning: This title contains sensual language, ladies making love, broken hearts, sore backsides, and a cliffhanger or two.

Themes and tropes

  • Age gap
  • Workplace romance
  • Long term couple
  • Political intrigue

Chapter One Look Inside

Steph

Steph closed her eyes and, instantly, images of Dominique popped up on the back of her eyelids. A tongue lapped at her clit, and she opened her eyes, unable to face the memory of Dominique’s smile in this moment. The woman bestowing her oral services upon Steph couldn’t be more different from Dominique, although Steph could be wrong. She wasn’t in the public eye, though. If this woman, with her short cropped dark hair, were a politician—or anyone else who would pay good money for PR advice—she wouldn’t be on her knees at Le Noir right now.

The promise of a climax had lightly stirred her a few times since the woman had dipped down in front of her, her tongue anything but lazy and displaying an expert touch, but Steph felt the possibility slip away altogether now that she had allowed the briefest thought of Dominique to penetrate her mind.

“Hey.” Steph lightly touched her palms to the woman’s temples. “Come here.” She made a gentle upward motion with her hands.

The woman looked up at her. It was dark around them, but her eyes shone, and Steph could see a determination in them she didn’t have the strength to battle with tonight.

“What’s wrong?” Her voice was husky and if she experienced any disappointment at Steph stopping her she didn’t show it.

What’s not? Steph thought, but she hadn’t come here to feel sorry for herself. She’d come for a quick, brainless climax. Not the first mistake she’d made in the past few weeks.

“It’s not going to happen. Sorry. It’s not you—”

“Oh, I know it’s not me, baby.” The woman pushed herself upward. Upright, she was a few inches taller than Steph. Her eyes were an odd kind of blue—almost teal—when she looked at Steph. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Steph believed she had chosen well. She’d bided her time after entering the club, had not gone off with the first woman who had moderately pleased her. She knew she needed someone who would display a certain amount of power, and who would assert it easily—as though it were a given, no other options in play. This nameless woman had not disappointed—and Steph could at least pride herself in having good judgement when it came to matters like this—but she wasn’t Dominique.

“This place is not for talking.” Maybe if she turned the tables? Maybe that would get her juices flowing sufficiently or, at least, remind her of a time when she wasn’t like this. A shadow of her former self. The sort of lonely she always knew she would be if she let herself get too involved. There was a reason why Stéphanie Mathis kept her distance. She’d allowed Dominique to come way too close for comfort. And now it was too late.

Steph grabbed the woman by the back of the neck. “What’s your name?”

“This place is not for sharing names either.” Their faces were a mere inch removed from each other. Steph could feel the woman’s breath on her skin, could smell herself on her. “What’s yours?”

“You’re right. It doesn’t matter.” Steph pulled the woman close and kissed her. She couldn’t recall ever kissing anyone at Le Noir. It wasn’t a place for kissing either—not for her anyway. But she needed to feel someone’s lips on her. Needed them so close their face faded into darkness and they could be anyone. When Steph’s tongue slipped into the woman’s mouth, in her mind, she transformed into Dominique Laroche. Still, after all that had happened, the poster child of the MLR. Because Steph had advised her well. That was her job, after all. And look where it had got her: jonesing for anonymous pussy at a secret sex club. If she knew only one thing in that moment, when she surrendered her mouth—and a little bit more of herself than she wanted—to this stranger, it was that she had made the right decision. Stéphanie Mathis and Dominique Laroche could never work as a couple, not after what had happened. Not before either, but then they had been too stupid to see. Steph had allowed herself to fall in love and, as result, had ended up on the front page of Le Matin.

When they broke from the kiss and Steph gazed into those strange blue eyes again, the woman tilted her head and painted a wicked grin on her face. “My name is Yasmine. No need to tell me yours. I know who you are.”

Anger flared in Steph’s gut. She hadn’t gone back to Les Pêches since the news had broken. That place always teemed with gossip and the last thing Steph wanted was to be the centre of that sort of attention. And now, this dark, private place wasn’t safe anymore either?

“You know nothing about me,” Steph hissed, pushed herself away from the wall she was leaning against, and spun on her heels, turning Yasmine around with her. “Not another word.” She pressed her lips to Yasmine’s roughly, only briefly wondering what she was doing. She needed some kind of release now. If she couldn’t have her own orgasm, she’d damn well make Yasmine come. “Spread your legs,” she said, looking Yasmine deep in the eyes. Damn, but those eyes were mesmerising. To her own, shocking surprise, Steph had to fight the urge to ask this woman to go home with her. To be there when she woke up in the morning when everything was the hardest to deal with.

Yasmine quickly obliged and, while still gazing into her eyes, Steph slipped a finger through her wetness. It triggered a massive onslaught of images of Dominique. How she looked at Steph when gauging how wet she was for her, that amused, slightly smug look on her face. Because she knew that no one else did that to Steph. Not more than once or twice in a row, anyway. Steph pushed the images as far back as she could, fell to her knees, and buried her tongue in Yasmine’s pussy.

She tasted nothing like Dominique, but then again, she did a little bit, in that universal tangy way, the way every woman she had ever slept with had notes of the same scent between her legs. Yasmine delved her fingers into Steph’s hair, pulling hard. Steph had pegged her for the type. Even when receiving, she needed to be in charge.

“Fuck me,” the woman hissed, and now it was Steph’s turn to oblige. She brought two fingers to where her mouth was, and pushed them inside without further ado. But oh, how good it felt to be inside another woman again. To take herself outside of the pain she’d been wallowing in. It felt more like home, like the Steph she used to be, than she could have imagined.

She fucked Yasmine with sure, deep strokes, while trilling her tongue over her clit, and while doing so, Steph felt a layer of hurt peel off. She felt more like herself than she’d done since meeting Dominique. Because there were no strings attached here. It was just fun, just pleasure. There was no love here. No hearts would be broken. This was still a safe place, no matter if someone recognised her. There were rules here. The instant Steph had bent through her knees, she’d ceased to be the woman on the front page. She’d become Stéphanie Mathis again.

“Oh, baby, yes,” Yasmine groaned, pressing her fingertips hard into Steph’s scalp.

Steph curled her fingers and she knew it was a done deal. The blatant arrogance she could feel because of this, because of making this stranger come at her hands, filled her with a pride she used to thrive on. Like an addict returning to a drug of choice. For an instant, the joy obliterated the pain that had been consuming her, and she sighed with Yasmine as the walls of her pussy clenched around Steph’s fingers.

Yasmine’s grip on her hair loosened, but Steph remained on her knees for a while longer. The rush soon escaped her, but it didn’t leave her system completely. She felt her own clit throb between her legs, but no one would be touching her there for a while. She could take care of her own orgasms. It wasn’t even about her own climax, because it faded into nothing compared to how making another woman come made her feel. Strong. In control. Capable.

Once, during an extreme moment of weakness, she’d told Dominique more about her past than she’d initially intended to. But they were lovers, and they shared things, so she had shared. She’d tried to explain that thrill, that shiver chasing up her spine when she felt in utter control like that, and Dominique had looked at her with something akin to pity in her glance.

“There’s so much more to sex,” she’d said, toppling Steph onto her back. And she had shown her. Back then, Steph believed every word of what Dominique had to say. Then Steph had made Dominique believe what she had to say, and expelled her from her life.

“Good god, Stéphanie Mathis,” the woman said, pulling Steph from her reverie. “I may not know you, but you sure do know how to make a woman come.”

Steph rose and met Yasmine’s gaze. “I’ve had a lot of practice.” She tried to make the statement sound as aloof and soulless as possible.

“I take it you and the politician are no longer together?” Yasmine slumped against the wall.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s really none of your business.” Steph searched for her towel, eager to cover her naked body. Did she have to worry about this? Was Sybille still stalking her, trying to find more dirt? But Steph had distanced herself from Dominique for a reason. She didn’t want to implicate her. A conservative députée could not survive in the harsh world of politics with someone like Steph by her side. Claire and Juliette could twist and turn it anyway they wanted. It was the truth, a harsh one, but true nonetheless.

“Point taken.” Yasmine stretched out her arm and caressed Steph’s cheek with the back of her fingers. “You seem sad,” she said.

You have no fucking idea, Steph thought. She just shook her head and—against the instinct of wanting to rub herself against the woman’s caress—ducked down to pick up her discarded towel. This encounter was over. At least Pierrot would be waiting for her at home.

Claire

“What now?” Margot asked with that edge of impatience in her voice Claire was starting to get used to.

Claire rolled over, away from Margot, and simply sighed. Was it her fault now? Margot was the doctor, she should know that Claire couldn’t control her body’s reactions.

“Hey, hey, hey,” Margot rolled behind her, throwing an arm over her torso. “None of that, baby.” She pressed her lips onto Claire’s neck. “Please, don’t sulk.”

“I’m not sulking, I’m just—” Claire didn’t really know what she was doing. She only knew that everything felt off. Maybe Inez coming back had been a sign. Maybe she and Margot were not meant to be together, after all. But they’d had that conversation a million times. It felt like a million times, although having certain conversations with Margot felt more like pulling teeth. “I’m not like you, Margot.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Margot had been good-natured about it in the beginning. Patient. Listening with her head tipped to the side. Nothing but understanding in her eyes. But if this, the very thing that had drawn Claire to Margot from the start, wasn’t working anymore, then how could they build their relationship further?

“I need a little more than a flick along my clit and a finger up my cunt.” The words coming from Claire’s lips sounded harsh. She wanted them to sound vile. How else could she express the turmoil going on inside of her?

Margot fell back onto the mattress, ungluing herself from Claire. Bam. Conversation over. Claire had become an expert at that as well.

“I know what you need,” Margot said with a small voice.

Trust. They both knew it all too well. Claire could not surrender to Margot if she couldn’t trust her. She had tried, but it wasn’t as easy as she had expected. She wanted for Margot to tie her up, and blindfold her, and take her there, but once she found herself in the position—once Margot had performed the action of slipping handcuffs around her wrists—she couldn’t let go. She couldn’t forget about Inez. Against her better judgement, Claire had made Margot tell her all the details about her sexual encounter with Inez. Margot had painted the scene in broad strokes, but Claire had had no trouble filling in the blanks.

“Maybe you should go back to your place tonight.” A fist tightened around Claire’s heart as she spoke the words. In every other aspect, Margot still rocked her world. She was still that intelligent, quiet, stubborn, handsome doctor she’d fallen for.

“Really?” Claire felt Margot shift behind her. “Let’s not do this, Claire. I want to stay.”

“Then stay.” Claire’s heart sank as she let her legs slip off the bed and pushed her body up. “I’m going to watch some TV.”

The first few months—heck, the first few years even—of a relationship are not meant to be filled with doubt, and inability to let go, Claire thought as she exited the bedroom. Not when it was all passion and butterflies and total—and wholly unexpected—surrender at first.

Claire didn’t look back at Margot on the bed. The sight of her pained face would be too much. There would be tears again. And silent reproach. They weren’t the type to embark on huge, loud fights, but silence could hurt just as much.

She slunk down into the sofa, switched on the TV, not caring one bit which channel was showing, and gazed out in front of her. Sitting there, she really did wish Margot would leave. It was just easier to not have her around and to not have to deal with the fallout of Inez’s short but devastating appearance in their lives. Claire had been raring to give Margot a second chance once she’d finally been able to make the decision, on that evening filled with love when Juliette had gone down on one knee for Nadia. But that was four long weeks ago. It seemed more like four months.

She’d been able to reach orgasm exactly once. And she’d been the one on top. Sort of. The words she’d spoken to Margot in Juliette and Nadia’s kitchen that night still rang so clear in her ears. This is not the woman I fell for. Claire hadn’t been able to find the same Margot again. Not that Margot didn’t do everything in her power to show up, but Claire didn’t let her.

And this wasn’t about orgasms and disappointing sex, anyway. It was about realising that something fundamental had been broken between them, that they were not actors in a silly romantic comedy with a happy ending. This was real life pain, and real life doubt, and it couldn’t be shaken off so easily.

“Hey.” Margot’s voice drifted from the doorway, which she leaned against with one shoulder. She’d slipped into her jeans, but wore no other pieces of clothing. “Do you really want me to go?”

Claire was, once again, struck by her beauty. It only made her feel more foolish. How could she kick someone like Margot out of her bed and out of her flat? People came back for a woman like her. Inez had fought tooth and nail to get her back. Maybe Claire should have just retreated when she had the chance, sucked up the pain and allowed for two other people to share some happiness. Now here she sat and everyone was miserable.

“I don’t know.” She shook her head. “I don’t know what to do.”

Margot approached her, her small breasts lifting and falling slightly with every step she took. “If it’s space you need, I can give you that, Claire. But I’m not giving up on us.”

“Us?” Even though she’d wanted Margot to leave earlier, now the mention of being given space rubbed her up the wrong way and Claire automatically went on the defensive. “Is there even an us?” Most of all, Claire had lost herself in this mess.

“Look.” Margot inched closer, sitting down in the opposite corner of the couch. “Maybe we should see someone. Someone with an outside view on all of this.”

“A shrink?” Claire huffed. And share this humiliation with yet another person? “I don’t need someone else to tell me what’s wrong with us.” She put extra emphasis on the last word. “I can’t stomach that you chose your ex over me. And that you fucked her in a way that—” Here, Claire stalled. She didn’t have words to properly convey how she felt about that. Her body did all the disapproving.

“I didn’t choose her, Claire. I chose you.”

“Fine, then you just fucked her.” Claire sighed. “That makes me feel so much better.”

Margot echoed Claire’s sigh. “Maybe we should just not try to have sex for a little while. Just go on a few dates. See if you even still like me at all.”

Like you? I bloody love you. That’s what makes this whole thing so unbearable.”

“If you love me, and I love you, then why is this so difficult?” Margot rubbed her palms on her jeans. She was getting antsy, Claire could tell. She was getting ready to blow, in her own insufferable Margot way. Quiet and distant. Unreachable.

“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I do need space. Give me a few days. I’ll call you to ‘set up a date.’” The coldness in her voice even surprised Claire. This was not a person she wanted to be. But none of this was her fault, yet she was suffering the most.

Margot sucked in a deep breath. Claire could barely look at her. She dreaded the moment the door would fall into the lock behind Margot already, but at least the tension would drain from the room.

“Sure, Claire. Why don’t you call me when you’re ready.” Margot was not very good at displaying irony in her voice. She simply wasn’t that kind of person, despite Claire having given her a crash course over the past four weeks. After rising from the sofa, she stood there staring at Claire for a few moments longer. “I’m sorry for what I did. You know that. If you can’t get past it, we need to draw some conclusions.” Margot delivered the words in her typical matter-of-fact fashion, not letting any emotion taint her tone. “I’m sick of us hurting each other like this.”

That fist was back around Claire’s heart, squeezing tightly. If this really was the woman of her dreams, why was it so hard to forgive her? Claire believed she had forgiven her. That the worst was behind them and they could start over. Until they’d ended up in bed. Then resentment had taken over.

“Don’t leave like this.” Claire stretched out her hand. “Please, come here.” Because there was still so much comfort to be found in the warmth of Margot’s skin, to disappear in her arms and pretend that Inez had never come back.

Margot stepped closer, took Claire’s hand in hers and squatted next to her. “I’m here for you, babe. I really am. But you can’t keep shutting me out like this. I can’t take it for much longer.”

Claire looked into Margot’s black eyes. She’d been on the verge of meeting her parents. Margot had wooed her under the bloody Eiffel Tower. Everything had been perfect. And now they had become this.

“Nadia told me something a while ago. She said I shouldn’t expect myself to be more perfect than anyone else. I made a mistake, Claire. I hurt you and that’s something I’m going to have to accept. But I’ve learned from my mistake, and I can guarantee you, without a single doubt in my mind, that I will never hurt you like that again. You have my word.”

Claire felt tears sting behind her eyes. Another out of the ordinary experience that had become a regular occurrence of late. “Sometimes,” she took a breath before continuing because she wasn’t sure she should be saying this, “I think I could deal with it better if I got even.” She held up her free hand in self-defence. “I know it’s a destructive, silly thought, but it’s there.”

Margot gazed into her eyes, that unshakeable look etched on her face. “If that’s how you feel, then maybe you should.”

“Seriously?” Claire didn’t know if she should be offended or relieved.

“An eye for an eye.” Margot squeezed Claire’s palm very hard between her thumb and index finger. “If you believe that’s what you need.”

“Nu-huh. You’re not a game player, Margot de Hay. And I’m not buying this.”

“I’m at the end of my tether here. I don’t know how to solve this, so why would I automatically dismiss your idea?”

“Erm, because I’d be cheating on you.” Claire had trouble keeping up with the absurd route their conversation had taken, even if she had instigated it herself.

“No, you’d be getting even.” A glimmer of hurt shone in Margot’s eyes, and it touched Claire more than anything. What had she expected—or desired? For Margot to put her foot down? To lay down the law? “Maybe you should give that pilot a call.” With that, Margot pressed herself up on Claire’s knees, let Claire’s hand drop from hers, and covered her chest. “Why don’t you take the space I’m about to give you to figure it out.”

Claire knew she’d pushed it too far. She’d been pushing it too far for too long now, still, she couldn’t drum up the courage—or the fearlessness—to get up and go after Margot. What would they do if she did? Kiss and make up?

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