With my debut novel dropping earlier this week, I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of support I’ve received! As a special thank you to readers and fans, I wanted to upload a scene from the cutting room floor.
This chapter didn’t make it into the final cut, but you can never have too much erotica out there, right? Originally, this chapter fell at the end of the book, immediately following Dante’s meeting with Jarrod and the big breakup. Earlier in this chapter, Ramona decided to follow her heart and attempt to save Dante.
Let me know what you think and be sure to follow me on Twitter!
My knuckles were already sore from wrapping against his door. With Dante vanishing, I was suddenly faced with the fact that I hardly knew anything about the man. After I drove by his favourite bar, and foolishly drove through the bakery district, I was back on his front porch. While it seemed idiotic to continue to knock after 15 minutes, there was still a part of me that thought I could will him into existence.
My mind flooded with thoughts of Dante’s body as a tortured and bloody mess after Al got through with him, just like in all of those pictures I had seen on Jarrod’s desk. I tried to keep them out of my mind, I tried to keep up my steady knock, but the morbid daydreams ate away at me. What was I supposed to do if he just vanished? What was I supposed to do if I ended up being the one who got Dante killed?
My heart leapt before I knew what pulled my attention away. My eyes darted towards the curtain in his front window. While there was no movement anymore, I could have sworn I saw something. Rushing over his railing and jumping into his bushes, I pressed my face to the glass. Through the thin curtains, I could almost make out the simple shapes of his living room. “Shoot,” I groaned in annoyance. Banging on the glass, I let out a pained shout.
“When someone doesn’t answer, it means go away.” His voice seemed almost angelic, pulling my attention upwards and bringing a stupid smile to my face. Dante leaned out his upstairs window, looking directly down on me with an unimpressed face. Despite everything, he seemed more concerned with the way I trampled his hostas than with the fact Harry was out for his head.
“Let me in!” His eyes darted over to his neighbor’s house— who’s bedroom light finally turned on. Dante’s face dropped as he looked back down on me.
“Harry’s looking for you.” Dante ran his fingers through his hair. “Please just let me in.” Dante shot me a look before disappearing back into his house. Rushing to the front door, I hopped back over his railing. At the sound of his lock clicking, my heart jumped into my throat.
As quickly as relief washed over me, dread took its place. The smile dropped off of my face as I smelt the scent of alcohol on his breath. Dante ushered me into the dark quickly, giving my eyes no chance of adjusting. My hands searched for him, and Dante’s fingers wrapped around my wrist. He led me towards the back of the house, to a small room that resembled more of a home office than anything else. There was a simple bookshelf, a desk, and an espresso-colored couch.
“What are you doing here?” His face was barely illuminated by the dim light of a nearby streetlamp, but I could still make out the displeasure.
“Harry’s looking for you,” I repeated in confusion.
“I know that. Why would you be looking for me?”
“If you know Harry’s looking for you, what are you doing here?” Dante’s eyes immediately avoided me, and my eyes narrowed in return. “You’re just waiting here for him? Dante, if he’s—”
“What are you doing here, Ramona?” My mouth snapped shut. Crossing my arms over my chest, I tried to think of the least embarrassing way I could explain my concern. Whether Dante was back to just being a friend or if he had never been a friend to begin with, I wasn’t sure how to treat him now. “We agreed you were going to stay away from me. I said I’d handle it. You don’t trust me now?”
“Of course I do,” I snapped. “I was worried. Harry showed up at my house and I didn’t think you’d—”
“What? Who was at your house?”
“H—Harry.” The name came off my tongue with more hesitation than it should have. Even in the dark I could see the way his shoulders fell. “He was, um…” I bit my cheek in concentration.
“Spit it out.”
“He was driving that same dark sedan.”
“Fuck me,” Dante growled, gripping his hair in his hands. “Fuck me! What did he say?”
“He was looking for you. I told him we broke up. He seemed kind of concerned.”
“You said we—” Dante cleared his throat, trying to concentrate. The man let out a hum of annoyance before bringing his focus back to me. “You should go.”
“I— what? I’m not going anywhere.” Dante’s hand was suddenly on my back, pushing me towards the door through the dark. “Dante, I’m not going anywhere.”
“It’s not a request.”
“Well, it’s not an option,” I stated as firmly as I could. Digging my heels into the ground, my back bumped into Dante’s hard chest and my face heated up. Just a few hours ago, I thought I’d never get to be so close to him again. Just a few hours ago, I thought he might be laying in a ditch somewhere.
“Ramona, you’re acting like a child.” The coldness in Dante’s voice sent a shiver through me.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Dante took his hand off of my back. Placing a gentle hand on my hip, he pulled his body closer to me. My body took in a sharp breath and refused to exhale. “I’m not going anywhere.” My voice shook, and his sigh signaled he noticed.
“I need you to go home.” I squared my jaw and shook my head. Attempting to seem as cool as I could, I crossed my arms over my chest against and pulled my hip out of his hand.
“I’m staying right here.”
“Dante, what are you—” When my stomach came in contact with his shoulder, I let out a yip. He picked me up easier than I expected he could, making an escape to his front door. “Put me down!” I growled. Latching onto anything I could find along his walls, I could feel his anger boiling up. “I’m not going— Would you stop!?” Finally, my fingers connected with a doorway and I hung on for dear life. As my body tugged back, his hand flew to my ass to get a better grip on me. Despite my embarrassment, my grip stayed firm.
“I’m staying here.”
“You’re being an idiot.” He gave another tug, but I wouldn’t budge. “Ramona—”
“You said we were going to do this together.” I felt his shoulders tense beneath me.
“I said if you wanted my help, we had to do things my way. This is my help.”
“Well, I don’t want your help anymore!” He tugged once more before reluctantly dropping me on the ground. My hand clung stupidly to his door frame as I tried to press my back into the wall. Dante looked about ready to knock a head off with a shovel, but I refused to back down. He was helping me. If he got killed, it would be my fault. The least I could do was see this through to the end.
“You think this is a game? Like he’s not going to hurt you just because you’re a woman? What is this all, Ramona?”
“I’m not leaving,” I repeated, weakly. “I don’t— I don’t care if you don’t love me back. None of that matters. I don’t care, but I’m not going to just run away anymore, all right?”
“I don’t want to hear it. Just…” My hands rested on my waist, and I looked down to my feet. “Just let me do this. Please, just let me do this.” I’d never felt so pathetic in my entire life as I stood before him. While Dante had been so willing to fight this head on, I was still somehow trying to keep up with everything, like I was running a race I shouldn’t even be competing in. He already told me he didn’t want me, and I was still back at his house begging to be let in.
“Look at me.” I bit the inside of my cheek. “Look at me.” My eyes darted up. All emotion wiped from his face. When his hands slammed against the space on either side of my head, I jumped in fear. “It’s not a request. Your brother’s going to come get you.” My body went rigid. Putting Jarrod in danger was the last thing I wanted. Moving forward, I placed a hand tentatively on his chest. His face stayed stoic.
“Please, Dante. I need to—”
“Get your hand off of me.” My chest tightened at his hostility, my hand recoiling as though it had been pricked. “We’re nothing, all right? I’m cleaning up this fuckin’ mess, and then we will never see each other again, all right?”
“I know that.” He ran his tongue over his teeth as he looked me up and down. Even in the low light, his eyes focused on my sweatshirt. “I just thought—”
“Why are you still wearing that fucking sweatshirt.” I moved to cross my arms over my chest, but his hands pinned me to the wall too quickly. My cheeks darkened at the thought of his touch.
“I don’t— what does that have to do with anything?”
“Take it off.” His demand sent shivers down my body.
“I can’t just—”
“Now.” My thighs squeezed together in anticipation. I could feel his hot breath on me as he released my arms. As slowly as I could, I reached down for the hem of my sweatshirt. His attention on me was addictive. Even just a few hours away from him felt like too much to bare, and for a single moment, I finally had his attention again. As I lifted my shirt up slowly, my body suddenly froze up. Tugging the sweatshirt back over my body, I kept the growing grin off of my face.
“No. If you don’t want—” As he pushed me back up against the wall, my breath flew out of me. His hands back on my body felt better than I could have imagined. “You can’t just—” Dante tugged the sweatshirt up my body in a single motion, forcing me to wriggle out of it in order to keep it in one piece. When his eyes scoured over my chest, I could almost see the excitement eating away at his body.
“You have to go,” he mumbled. His eyes stayed glued to the way my dark bra peeked through my thin tank top. “I’m sorry, Ramona. You have to leave.” He tried to place a hand on my side, but I expertly deflected him.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“You’re going to kick me out?” His eyes narrowed at my words. My face dropped of all emotion. “I’m not going anywhere, and you’re not going to force me out.”
“Why are you making this difficult?”
“You’re making this difficult,” I groaned in annoyance. “I’m trying to help. Just let me help.”
Dante scoffed at the thought. “You’re going to, what? Bake Harry a few biscottis?” I placed my hands on my hips in annoyance. At the first sight of my anger, Dante lit up like a kid at Christmas. “What? What the fuck is someone like you going to do?”
“I could…” I spat, but the words wouldn’t come out. Dante’s satisfied smirk filled my vision. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll figure it out.”
“You’ll go home is what you’ll fuckin’ do,” Dante growled. When he grabbed at my wrist, I tried to snatch it away from him. “Ramona.”
“I’m not going anywhere!” I stated again, this time firmer than before. “I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m not going anywhere. I need to be here. I need to be with you.” The words had started to come out jumbled, and the anger dropped from Dante’s face. Embarrassment ran through my blood. My hands dropped to my side, but I wouldn’t look away from him. “I’m here. I don’t care if you don’t want me anymore. I’m here. We’re going to figure this out together.”
We stood that way for an eternity. I refused to look away, and Dante looked as though he had been carved of stone. His breathing was steady, but I could feel his mind racing. I made my decision and I could only pray that Dante could accept that. If he didn’t want to be with me, that was fine: He wouldn’t die because I asked him to save my brother. We were a team. We had always been a team. We were going to finish this mess as a team.
The sensation of my back slamming against the wall was the first thing that woke my body up. Suddenly, his lips were against me, as hungry as they had ever been. Our hands explored each other’s bodies as though we were just horny teenagers in the backseat. His roughness pinned me against the wall once more and I let out a moan of pain. Dante pulled away quickly, tearing the thin shirt off of my body and immediately beginning to work on my jeans.
“Fuck,” he groaned in my ear, finally getting the denim over my ass and allowing me to wriggle free. As quickly as I could, I tore the bra off of my body. His hands were gripping my ass again, his rough movements surely leaving marks. My legs barely had time to wrap around him as he hiked me up against his body. When my sensitive clit brushed against his rock-hard member, my legs went weak. Dante placed me on top of an end table pressed against the wall of his hallway, taking little care as he knocked a series of meaningless knickknacks to the floor. He pulled away for a moment, allowing me time to draw a growl out of him by squeezing my thighs. The sound alone brought me closer to my edge, like some kind of animal desperate for validation.
I wanted to hear him cry my name; I wanted to be the one who brought him back to life; I wanted to be the one to make him cum. Mindlessly, his fingers were digging back into my thighs, as though he were trying to find some way to ground himself. That’s not going to happen. My hands gripped at the hem of his shirt, yanking it up as much as I could. Dante tried to pull away to finish the job, but my legs held him as close as they could. The grin he shot me was intoxicating.
“Be careful, Ramona,” he warned, cupping my face in his hands. I bit my lip to contain the growing smile. Another growl escaped him as my fingers looped under his waistband.
“Good luck with that.”
As his lips crashed into my own, my hand immediately wandered down to grab his hard cock through the stiff material of his jeans. His hands drifted to my hair and his grip on me tightened. I could feel the moans bubbling from his chest, and I was filled with a confidence I never knew I had. Suddenly, his hands tore mine off of his body, placing them on my own breasts. He pulled away for a moment, the sight of my fingers beginning to playfully tug at my nipples enough to make his heart race. As his fingers dug into my thighs once more, his lips drifting down to leave playful bites on my neck, I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Please, Dante,” I moaned. I could feel his hot breath against my skin. His body had stiffened for just a moment before his bites against my skin became even more intense. His lips placed sloppy kisses along my collar bone, finally pulling my hands away as he made his way towards my breasts. Taking one of my nipples between his teeth, his waist pulled away from my core. Finally, he worked to tug off his jeans exactly like I needed.
“Say it again.”
My lust filled brain couldn’t process my embarrassment any longer, and a wide grin took over. “Make me.”
He let out another growl. Dante looked up at me with narrowing eyes, but he couldn’t hide the grin on his face. “Make you?”
“Make me,” I challenged again. His eyes locked with my own as his fingers drifted down to my clit. I tried my hardest to suppress the moan building within me.
“Say it again,” he commanded. “I wanna know how much you need me, princess. Say it again.” My thighs clenched around him as the pad of his thumb brushed against my sensitive bud. I couldn’t contain the moan within me any longer. I tried weakly to shake my head, desperate to push him further, but the action only let Dante know how much my body craved his touch, his attention. His grin widened. “Say it again, princess.” As his two fingers dipped inside of me, I let out a cry.
“Please, Dante.” His hum of approval filled my ears.
“Say it again.”
“I need you.”
In an instant, his cock tore through me in a way I had never felt before. My thighs clenched around him, my ankles locked behind his back to draw him into me as deep as he could go. His fingers dug into my ass and his teeth sank teasingly into my neck, the only way Dante could hold in the growl that took over his body. As he slammed into me again, my hands flew to brace myself for the impact with the wall. His hips jerked in pleasure and sending me reeling.
“Please, Dante,” I begged, only egging him on further. “I need you so bad.” His right hand was tangled in my hair again, bringing me in for a surprisingly gentle kiss as he buried himself into me once more. As his hips rolled, I let out another cry of pleasure. “Please, please.”
“I can’t resist you, Ramona; do you understand?” My head nodded weakly, but my heart was beating as strong as it ever had. As his hips ground into me, his fingers snaked their way back to my clit. My body began to shake gently, and Dante placed a gentle kiss on my temple. I shuddered with pleasure when I felt his hot breath against my ear. “I’d give you anything you want. Hold on for me, and I promise, I’ll give you anything you want.”
“Dante,” I moaned. I opened my mouth to respond to him, but his drive had already returned. His fingers drove back to my ass as he began to drill into me. “Please.” His lips were back on my neck, drawing more moans from my lips. As my fingers dug into his back, finally staking my claim on his body, Dante drew another groan. “Fu—”
I could hardly finish my thoughts as his body switched speeds again. He pulled out of me in swift motion, tugging me off of the table once more. His hands were on my waist, spinning me in my place and forcing me back down onto the table. My hands braced against the wall and embarrassment shook over my body again. While I expected Dante to ram into me, a shiver ran through my body as he took a step back to appreciate the sight in front of him. Standing in front of him, I knew I had never been so exposed in my life. I could feel his cock press against my ass, his hands gripping lovingly at the soft flesh. His hands ran up my back soothingly, slowly drawing back down to run along my thighs. As I felt his cock line up with my entrance, it took everything in me not to scream out.
Except, nothing happened. With his head barely inside of me, Dante hands simply continued to appreciate the way my body shook with anticipation. Wiggling slightly in front of him, Dante let out a hum of pleasure. “Yes, princess?”
“You can’t just—”
His fingers dug into my waist and I suddenly felt Dante’s cock fill me up once more. When he brushed expertly against my g-spot, I thought I would black out. “Stay with me, princess,” he cooed soothingly. “I’m not done with you.” The thought alone made my nerves tingle. I needed him, and, for once, he needed me.
“Yes,” I responded, desperately. My hands were pressed so hard into the wall in front of me I thought I would chip the paint. As Dante’s body slammed into me, all I could do was hold on for dear life and try not to let myself cum around his thick cock. Pulling out as far as he could, he slammed into me once more. This time, a stinging sensation against my ass only made me tighten around him more. My attention turned back to him as I looked over my shoulder. Dante’s eyes were focused on my own as he delivered one more mischievous spank, making my body jolt beneath him.
“Fuck, Mona. You feel so fucking good,” he murmured, his grin taking over my world once again. Somehow, in that instant, everything felt right again. Like, as long as I had that grin in my life, everything would work out fine. As I felt him pull playfully out of me, he let out another groan. “I want you to cum for me, princess. I don’t—” He let out an exhausted chuckle. “I don’t think I can last much longer with you.”
I turned forward to hide the smile on my face, giving my ass a little wiggle as I did so. Driving his cock into my tight pussy once more, I ground my ass into him. Dante let out a lengthy groan and I felt his fingers dig into my hips in a feeble hope of controlling me. “Behave,” he breathed out, but the word only drove me further. There was something about knowing that I could make him cum so easily, that he needed someone like me to make him finish, that drove me up the wall.
I gasped as I felt his pace become feverish once more. Suddenly, the feeling of his cock rubbing against my g-spot had become too much. His gentle coos and compliments filled my ears as my world began to grow black. I could feel Dante bury himself inside of me, the action pushing me further into my own nirvana. My nerves lit up like fireworks, every inch of my body becoming covered in goosebumps. For the first time, I was grateful that he had left me facedown against this cold table. Otherwise, I was sure my legs would have given out and we’d both be a mess on the floor.
As Dante pulled out of me, I felt his arms wrap around my waist. With what little strength he had left, the man picked me up and tugged me down to the ground. Landing between his legs, my back on his chest, I let out a gentle laugh. I rested my head back on his shoulder, and Dante’s arms wrapped securely around my body. My eyes fluttered closed and I barely noticed the cold that nipped at our bodies. With another deep exhale, my body relaxed completely. Dante’s lips placed a gentle kiss on my head and I felt like I could fall asleep right there in his arms.
“You’re going to kill me,” Dante murmured against my skin. I tried to hide my grin. “Fuck me, princess.” I hummed in agreement. I drew a hand over my head, placing it gently against his cheek and offering some semblance of support. Suddenly, my attention jumped to the picture frames scattered around us.
“It’s fine,” he groaned, pulling me back into him.
“Well, I just—” I playfully tried to pull away again, but Dante’s arms held me in place. “I just hope we didn’t break anything.”
“It’s fine,” he murmured again. “I’ll clean it up when you go.”
My body tensed. “Pardon?” His head jerked to attention, and I tilted to the side to be able to read his expression.
“I’ll clean it up when you leave. Don’t worry about it.”
“I thought…” Dante’s brow furrowed, and then his expression fell. While he tried to pull me a bit tighter, my hands pried myself free. Sitting forward a few inches, I tuned myself forward. Suddenly, I was painstakingly aware that I was seated naked in front of him. Grabbing for his discarded tee beside us, I tugged it over my head, ignoring the sensation of his hand on my back.
“I already said you had to go home.” Crossing my legs in front of me, I pulled at the hem of Dante’s shirt nervously. I still had to leave?
“I already said I didn’t want to go.”
“I’m trying to do the right thing here, Ramona.” I scoffed at the idea.
“The right thing? Are you kidding me?” I felt my face heat up. As the anger and embarrassment pooled in my stomach, I felt like I could be sick. Jumping to my feet, I tried to think of something clever to say, something to make him understand what he did, but nothing would come. All my mind told me to do was leave.
Quickly grabbing for my discarded jeans, I stepped into them without a second thought about my panties. “Ramona, please don’t be this way,” he begged, quietly. The man stood behind me, pulling his boxers before he placed a gentle hand on my back.
“Don’t!” I shouted, harshly. When Dante wouldn’t remove his hand, I stepped away. “Don’t touch me.”
“I don’t want to hear it.” He scoffed at my tone and I shot the man a look. The look of bliss I left him with was gone, and now he wore the exact same annoyed expression he had when I first met him.
“You’re the one who showed up here. What the fuck was supposed to happen?”
“No,” he growled, grabbing my arm and making me face him. “I told you not to come here. I told you not to, and you couldn’t even do that!” I bit back a nasty response as I pulled out of his grip. The act alone seemed to piss him off even more.
“Doesn’t matter,” I stated, emotion slipping carelessly through my voice. “Doesn’t matter. I don’t care. I don’t want to hear it.”
“You threw yourself at me and expected it to change my mind about you.”
“Change your— Threw myself!?” My face heated as I turned to face him. For a moment, he looked almost guilty at his choice of words. “I threw myself at you? You have got to be joking. You were the one who wouldn’t leave me alone,” I shouted, poking a finger authoritatively in his chest. Dante’s jaw squared at the thought. “You were the one who followed me home. You were the one who wanted to help.”
“I am helping! You begged me to help—”
“You begged me to help your brother and I’m doing it, aren’t I? This is my help, Ramona. You don’t get to decide what it looks like.”
“Yeah.” I bit my tongue in anger. Releasing a huff of frustration, I spun on my heel. Marching over to my sweatshirt, I scooped it off of the floor. Tugging it over my head, I brushed a stray hair out of my face. “Well, forget about it.”
“Forget about— Ramona, don’t act like—” I felt his hand on my shoulder and I instantly recoiled. Slipping out of his grip, I tried to offer him my best ‘I’m totally fine with this’ smile.
“No. Forget about it. It’s done. Forget about it. I don’t want your help anymore.”
“Ramona.” His hand was on my shoulder again, but I was too busy marching towards his front door. I snatched my purse off of the ground and flung it across my body. I kneeled to pull on my shoes as quickly as I could, ignoring the heat of his body behind me.
“I’ll talk to Harry. You’re done. We’re done. Forget about it.”
“Ramona, I don’t want to— would you look at me when I speak to you?” He growled. I stood up once more to make my way out the door, but Dante’s arm flew out beside me, pinning the door closed. I gave the handle a tug but he was far too powerful for me. “Look at me,” he commanded.
“Let me leave. I’m going home.”
“Dante!” I shouted angrily. His hand faltered and I pulled the door handle out. Marching onto his front porch, I began to search my purse for his keys. Immediately, the cold wind blew through me. As I marched towards my car, I felt Dante’s hand on me again. The man, still dressed only in his boxers, had jumped in front of me, placing his hands on my shoulders and forcing me to look him in the eye. “I don’t want to hear it.”
“I don’t want to forget about it,” he admitted. The anger had left his face, but the only thing I could think of was the way his traitorous hands caressed my body just moments ago. “I’m helping you. This is all for you; don’t you see that?”
“Don’t do me any more favors, okay?”
“No! I don’t— what do you not understand? You wanted to never see each other again, let’s never see each other again; all right?” His jaw tightened.
“I didn’t mean—”
“It’s fine. Just forget about it. Forget about this whole mess.” I pushed past the man and made my way over to my car door. Tugging the driver’s side open, I quickly hopped down into my seat. All I could think of was getting as far away from this mess as possible. I was done. If that’s really what he thought, if that’s really how he wanted to treat me, then that was fine. But I’d have no part in it anymore. I already knew Harry was the killer. I’d go to Al myself with what I had in the morning, and I’d beg him to let me and my brother go. Dante didn’t need to have any more involvement.
As I tried to close my car door, Dante’s hand held it open. His body wedged itself between myself and the door, his head leaning down to look inside my car. While he tried to hide away his emotions, I could almost see the sadness beginning to peek through.
“Ramona, don’t—” As his eyes studied me once more, he stopped his plea. I tightened my jaw and crossed my arms over my chest. Dante released a hiss, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Don’t go to Al tonight; all right? Harry’s… Harry’s my friend. Let me at least talk to him tonight. In the morning, I’ll bring him in and this will all be over with.”
“Whatever.” I turned the ignition over, and Dante opened his mouth once more. “I have to leave.”
“Yeah,” he murmured. Angrily slamming his hand on the hood of my car, Dante pulled away from me. His hand closed the door beside me, and my foot was on the gas pedal in an instant.
All I knew was I needed to get as far away from this mess as possible.
I needed to get as far away from Dante as possible.