Endless Obsession: Episode 1 - 22 (Season 2)???? : TOPSTER STORIES

Endless Obsession – Episode 24

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Episode 24








I decide to hold off for now, and hope whoever sent the message has had their fun and moves on.



I back out of my messages, place my phone on my lap and answer. “Nothing.”



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He doesn’t believe me. I can see it in his eyes. I hold his stare, not backing down in hopes that he’ll drop it. Obviously, I have zero luck today.






“Give me your phone,” he demands, holding out his hand.






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I grab my phone and lean back a little in my seat, away from him.













“Because obviously something’s on there that has you upset. Your hands were shaking as you were reading whatever you were looking at. Now, hand me your phone.”






I inwardly cringe at the scowl marring his face. I don’t back down, though. It’s none of his business what’s on my phone. If I wanted him to know, I would have told him. I may be acting stubborn, but I’ve had enough of today. Asher already has my nerves on edge. It’s time I grow a backbone, and now seems like the perfect time.










He arches a brow, surprised at my blunt refusal. A second later, I let out a squeal when he reaches across me and snatches my phone from my hands. I don’t even try to grab it back, knowing it’s useless. So much for my backbone. It lasted all of two seconds. It’s obviously frail and brittle.






I’m pathetic.




I bite my lip as I watch Asher thump my screen to bring up my messages. Lord, please don’t let him open my conversation with Liv. This day has already been stressful enough. I’m not sure how much more I can take. I can’t see which one he’s reading, so I watch his face closely for clues. A tic forms on his jaw and when he turns to look at me, I shrink back in my seat at the unconcealed rage I see.






“Do you know who fu.cking sent this?” he growls, the timber of his voice causing me to quake in my seat. I’ve never seen this look on Asher before. It’s intense, and scary as hell.






I shake my head, then say for good measure, “No.”







My eyes flicker down at his hands. One’s balled into a fist sitting on his thigh, while the other is clutching my phone, gripping it so tight I’m surprised it’s still in one piece.







“Have you gotten any other messages like this?”





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Again, I shake my head. “That’s the first, but it has to be a joke, right? Someone’s just fooling around with me. They have to be. I know a handful of people, and that’s it. None of them would send me something like that.”






His eyes narrow slightly when he asks, “Do you really believe that?”






From the hardness of his jaw, he certainly doesn’t.







“I don’t know what to believe,” I tell him honestly, with a slight wobble in my voice.







“And you’re willing to take the chance this isn’t real?” he asks, but doesn’t give me the opportunity to answer. “What if it is? What if this person comes after you and does God knows what? What then, Poppy? You don’t take chances like that, ever.”







The fierceness of his words and the way his body is locked tight has my anxiety growing. His eyes blaze so hot there’s not much green left in them. He’s scaring



me, but I’m not sure if it’s from his reaction to the situation or the reality of it. I’ve watched TV shows and movies where the female disregards threats, thinking it’s fun and games for some asshole or young punk, then ends up being tortured or raped. You never think that it could happen to you, but some of those shows are based on real life stories.






All the color drains from my face when I realize I could be one of those women. I could be the next innocent female with her body found in a ditch somewhere. Then I think of Sterling, and the possibility of him being one of those men that does sick things to women. My chest gets tight at the thought. I don’t want to think of him like that, and I really don’t think he is, but in reality, there’s no way for me to know.






I drop my eyes from Asher’s intense green ones. My fingers are starting to cramp from twisting the strap on my purse. I loosen my grip and notice the leather now has creases in it. It’s a shame. This purse is one of my favorites. I try to smooth it out, but it doesn’t work.






Asher’s voice breaks into my unimportant thoughts.







“I’m texting you over a phone number and cell phone company name,” Asher says to whomever he’s talking to on his phone. “Break into the cell company’s system and see if you can find out who the last private number was from the last text message.” He’s silent for several seconds, listening.



Then, “I don’t give a fu.ck. Make it priority. I want this person’s info by this evening.”







He doesn’t say good-bye, just hangs up his phone and begins to fiddle with it, I assume sending the person my information, before setting it down on his jacket.







He’s quiet for several minutes as he looks forward. He’s grinding his teeth together and his nostrils flare each time he exhales. The hands that are on his thighs are still balled into tight fists. I can see the pulse in his neck hammering away.






I watch him, confused at his reaction. Why is he so upset about this? He looks like he’s having to physically restrain himself from losing control. I understand he may be worried; I’m his employee, after all. Any decent boss would be worried about their employee if they received a threatening message like I just did. But his reaction seems to be extreme and over-the-top. It’s also sending a warm feeling straight to my stomach. I like that he’s so concerned about me.






I take a calming breath before I ask him, “Who was that?”







The eyes that slide my way almost has me shrinking back further in my seat. He must sense my apprehension, because he takes control and relaxes his features. The look is still there, but not as profound. He closes his eyes for a second and opens them again.




“That was Eric. It may not seem like a big deal to you, Poppy, but I’m not taking that chance. We’ll find the ass who sent that message.” He pins me with a look. “And if you get anymore, you need to let me know.”







I shiver at the vehemence in his voice. This side of Asher appears dangerous. He’s not the controlled businessman sitting here in this car with me; this is a complete stranger. One that’s making my insides cringe while also making my body tingle. I thought businessman Asher was attractive, but this protective Asher is ten times more so.






And someone really needs to check my temperature, because I shouldn’t be having these thoughts under these circumstances. Or ever, really.






“Why do you care so much?” I ask, ignoring his demand. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll tell him if I get more. Dread seeps in at the thought of getting another.






For a split second, his eyes drop to my lips, and before I can stop myself, my tongue peeks out to lick them. He closes his eyes briefly and scrubs his hands down his face before looking at me again.






“I think you know the answer to that, Poppy.”



His voice is low and husky. I swear it feels like a caress every time he says my name. I love the way it sounds coming from his lips. I want to reach up and feel the vibrations in his throat when he says it.


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I shake my head, denying his claim. I don’t know the answer because he can’t be implying what I think he is. It’s not possible. I’m his assistant, and he’s never shown interest. Yes, I’ve noticed his appreciative eyes on me lately, but it’s never been anything more than that. For him to imply that there’s something more is preposterous.






However, the look in his eyes right now says otherwise. He looks like he’s undressing me in his mind and wants to devour every inch he reveals. The look is carnal and one I’ve never seen from him before. My body’s reaction to it says it wants to be part of whatever he’s fantasizing about—desperately. He has his elbow against the door and his thumb is rubbing back and forth on his bottom lip, which is currently quirked up into a smirk. I watch, mesmerized by the little action and wonder what that smirk would taste like.






The car jerks to a stop, bringing me out of the sexual haze he has me in. I force my gaze elsewhere when I remember Sterling, guilt eating away at me. I shouldn’t be thinking about another man, even if it is a man I’ve fantasized about before. I may not know Sterling and still harbor some doubts about him, but I do care about him in a way. I still feel loyal to him. He brings out a side of me I never knew existed, a side that I’m growing to like and wish to explore more of.






I don’t look when Asher hands me my phone. I’ve got too many emotions whirling around in my head, and I worry he’ll see them. When the door opens, he slides



from the car. I take my time slipping my phone in my purse, before a hand appears inside the car. I look at it a moment, swallow through my dry throat, and slide across the seat. The hairs on my arm stand up when I place my hand in Asher’s warm one and he helps me from the car.







I still don’t look at him. I turn toward the hotel as he speaks to the driver. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and much nicer than anything I’ve ever stayed in before. I look down at my clothes and wrinkle my nose. They may be nice, but not fancy like this hotel.







I feel a hand at my back right above my butt and I’m ushered forward. I sneak a glance at Asher and immediately look forward again when I see him doing the same. His hand at my back twitches, and I swear it moves down an inch.






I stumble, but before I can do a face-plant, Asher catches me.







“Everything all right?” he asks, watching me curiously.




“Yes,” I mumble with embarrassment. “It must be the heat getting to me.”







He stays quiet, but nods and guides me over a black and white checkered marble floor, past the elaborate check-in desk, and straight to a single elevator.




“Don’t we have to check in?”







He inserts a key card in the slot by the elevator doors. They open immediately, and I’m once again pushed forward.







“No. Once you called and made the reservation, they knew to have the suite ready. I’m a frequent visitor, so they always make the suite available when I need it.”













The ride is silent. I stand with my hands folded in front of me. Asher stays beside me, his hand still brushing my back, sending thousands of goosebumps over my arms. What feels like ten minutes later, but couldn’t have been more than a minute or two, the doors open. I’m in awe as I step into the biggest, most beautiful foyer I’ve ever seen. I didn’t realize hotel rooms had foyers. But then, this isn’t just any hotel. It’s one of the most expensive in Dallas. And we’re not just in a hotel room, we’re in the Presidential suite.






My purse strap falls from my shoulder and drops to the floor as I walk in a daze to the floor to ceiling windows. I barely notice the living room I walk through or the full kitchen I pass by. The view is stunning, and there’s no doubt we have to be on the top floor. We’re so high up I can’t even see the ground. It’s amazing, being surrounded by other tall buildings, but not be intimidated by them.







There’s a sliding glass door to my left, and my hand itches to open it and walk outside. I feel a presence at my side. In the reflection of the glass, I see Asher.




“It’s beautiful,” I say quietly, still amazed at the view. I reach out and place my palm flat against the warm glass.






“Breathtakingly gorgeous,” he says softly.







He’s not looking out the glass when he says it; he’s looking at me. I shift in my heels, feeling suddenly hot. My breath fogs the window in front of me with my now heavy breathing. My heart races in my chest so hard I can feel it in my ears. It’s so hard to stay still with him so close, his woodsy scent surrounding me. I have a sudden need to turn to him and step forward. This… thing, whatever it is that’s happening, has my brain scrambled. I don’t know what to think anymore. I want Asher, but I also want Sterling. Both men intrigue me and make my body heat in ways it never has before. But Asher has me confused. What exactly does he want from me? A one-night stand? That’s just something I can’t see myself doing. Or is it something more that he wants? And do I even want something at all with him?




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Pulling up my big girl panties and determined to find out what’s going on in his head, I turn to face him.













I’m interrupted when there’s a knock at the door. Asher looks at me so intently that I feel like I should move away, but he turns and stalks off to the door. It’s the bellman with our luggage. I watch with confusion as the bellman places both of our suitcases and my smaller travel bag just inside the door.






After Asher tips him, he closes the door.






“You’re staying in this suite too”? I ask, unsure how I feel about that.







“Yes,” he says. He picks up my suitcase


and bag and carries it over to a door I hadn’t noticed until now. I follow behind him and enter a room that’s twice as big as my bedroom at home. He sets my stuff down just outside another door and turns to face me. I’m stuck looking at the huge four poster queen size bed with a thick white bedspread. There’s a mountain of pillows in which no one would use and will end up on the settee. A small writing desk sits against one wall, and a tall dresser on the opposite wall. Beside the door where Asher set my belongings, there’s another one on the other side of the room. Bathroom? Closet?






“Why don’t you get settled. Shower, change, whatever you would like to do. This meeting won’t take long. I’ll be back in about two hours and we’ll do an early dinner.”




“Where are you staying?” I blurt out, needing this settled before he leaves. He never said anything about sharing a room.




I don’t realize I’m clenching my hands until he takes one and unbends my fingers. With my hand in his, he walks me out of the room and across the living room. It’s just as elaborate as the bedroom with its sleek cream colored couch, matching recliner chair, flat screen TV, another writing desk, coffee and end tables, and thick Persian carpet. Once we arrive at another door, he opens it and leads me inside to a bedroom just like mine, except this one has a king bed.






“This is my room. There is one other bedroom besides mine and yours.”







I don’t know if I’m disappointed at being so far away from him or relieved. I should be relieved. I shouldn’t want to share a bed with him, but I kind of do. I mentally slap myself for thinking like that.







“This is my room,” Asher says again and turns me to face him. There’s something in his eyes that has mine widening. It’s the same look he gave me in the car right before I licked my lips and he closed his eyes. I may not have much experience, but there’s no way I could mistake his look of desire for anything other than what it is, and he wants me to see it. He’s not trying to shield it at all. My heart jumps, my stomach drops, and every bit of moisture in my body heads south between my legs. I press them together, but it does nothing to help with the immediate ache I feel.



He takes a step closer to me and lowers his head. I hold my breath, thinking he’s going to kiss me. He stops inches from my lips and smiles an incredibly sexy smile, one I’ve never seen on his face before. I’m completely mesmerized. He moves another inch, and I close my eyes, preparing for the taste of his lips. God, I hate myself for wanting it so much. Sterling crosses my mind, but I push it back. I’m going to hell for this.






Instead of the feel of his lips, I feel his breath against my ear. “This is my room,” he breathes, sending a shiver all through me. I think I may even moan a little. “But you’ll be staying in here with me.”






With that, he kisses my cheek, steps back, turns on his heel, and leaves the room with me standing there in a complete daze. It takes me several seconds to snap out of it and realize what he said. I turn and quickly walk back into the living room, but he’s already gone. I cannot believe he said I would be staying with him in his room. And I can’t believe I almost let him kiss me. What in the hell is wrong with me? I have absolutely no excuse for my behavior, or lack thereof.






Still dazed, I walk over, grab my purse from the floor, and go back to my bedroom.


The room that I will be sleeping in, not Asher’s, I determinedly tell myself.







My hands run over the comforter on the bed. It’s so soft and fluffy. I’m almost too scared to sit on it, afraid I may mess it up somehow, but I do so anyway. The bed is high, so I have to give myself a little jumping boost. My heels fall to the floor, and I wiggle my toes to stretch them out. Pulling my phone from my purse, I scroll though my messages until I find the name I want, my eyes skipping over the



offending message from earlier. I need to hear Sterling’s voice. I need him to remind me of what we’re hopefully starting.







A line of worry creases my brow when I think about what I’m going to say to him if he asks how my trip has gone so far. I don’t feel right lying to him, but I also can’t tell him about Asher and his new behavior toward me. Then I think about Asher and his almost kiss and his unspoken promise of what’s to come.




I tap the green phone symbol next to Sterling’s name and wait impatiently for him to answer. The more I hear it ring, the more anxious I get to hear his voice. I don’t know what Sterling has done to me, but my chest physically hurts when the call goes to voicemail. I can’t even hear his voice from his voicemail because it’s the robotic automated kind.




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Frustrated and disappointed, I end the call without leaving a message. I sling myself back against the bed and stare up at the ceiling. My stomach aches and my head is beginning to pound. Grabbing my purse, I root around until I find a bottle of Tylenol and pour out two. I walk to the bathroom, grab the glass on the counter, and fill it with enough water to wash them down. Next, I walk back out to the bedroom and lay back on the bed.






I’m tired, but I also feel antsy, like I need


to do something, but my body won’t allow it. I grab my phone again, deciding to send Sterling a message.







Me: I miss you.







I press send and lay down on my stomach as I wait for him to message me back.


My body relaxes more on the bed and before I know it, I’m drifting off to sleep.








Endless Obsession





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