Cat Grant is at the bitter end of a terrible day. She gazes out the window of The Peninsula, National City’s most exclusive hotel, and all she sees is the one thing no longer there.
Carter left this morning to go live with his father, and the day has been spiraling out of her control ever since.
“It’s just for a little while, mom. Just a year,” he said. “I just want to know, you know?”
And Cat gets it. She does. Carter’s father is exactly the type of person that everyone just wants to know. But he’s also a cypher, never in one place long enough to allow anyone to master his code.
Cat tried. Valiantly. It’s one of the few failures she’s forgiven herself because while Josh traveled around from war zone to war zone providing medical care for those in desperate need, he never forgot a birthday, a holiday, or a scheduled Skype call even when bombs were falling in the distance. He’s a good man who believes every kid, not just his kid, deserves his best. And the truth is, Cat’s always had a secret soft spot for unequivocally good hearts.
Now Josh has been sidelined for a year, recovering from injuries sustained while throwing himself over a child who was too sick to move as the surrounding city was in was attacked by rebels. For a vacation, he’s working with NASA in an effort to set up a space triage program for that one day when humans finally land on another planet.
Of course Carter wants to spend time with him. What kid wouldn’t? But that still leaves Cat at the tail end of a terrible day with her son halfway across the country and nothing but an empty home waiting for her.
The last thing Cat wants is to be alone tonight. While she has acquaintances that will happily entertain her with drinks and barbed commentary, she finds she wants something a bit more bracing. A bit more filling. Something that allows her brain a respite from thinking about the things she doesn’t have and the things she can’t currently be. To fill the void, she dialed a number known only by the most elite in the country and ordered relief delivered to her door.
When it arrives, it’s with a knock that’s deliberate. Three succinct taps.
Cat opens the door and doesn’t quite know what to make of what she finds on the other side: a beautiful young woman with blonde hair wearing a yellow button down, tailored black tuxedo pants, and a bright blinding smile so full of innocence, Cat wants to gag.
“You’re Keira?” Cat sneers, and the young woman nods. “I asked for the best,” Cat says.
“Yes, Miss Grant, you did.”
Cat narrows her eyes, studies the girl from head to toe and finds her extremely lacking.
“You can leave.” Cat turns around, and walks back into the room, hearing the door close behind her. She heads back to the window and gazes out. It makes sense that even this can’t go right today. That she’d start the day with heartbreak and finish it thoroughly dissatisfied with every second that passed.
“I like to stare at the stars too.”
The soft voice startles Cat. “What are you still doing here?” she snaps, turning her head to see Keira standing just behind her.
“I just want to help you, Miss Grant. Will you allow me to do that?” Keira asks.
Cat turns around as Keira slowly unbuttons her shirt. She reveals rock hard abs and a lacy yellow bra that seems at odds with one another and yet Cat’s eyes are stuck there.
“And how are you going to help me?” Cat asks, pulling her eyes up.
“By filling you up,” Keira says with sincere intensity.
Cat clenches at the words and the sudden onslaught of desire running through her body is destructive.
Cat Grant wants lots of things. Some mundane like coffee at the perfect temperature. Like Clooney to stop lauding the fact that she actually loves his godforsaken tequila over her. Some important, like providing Carter with a life full of all the things she missed as a child: warmth, happiness, security. Some outrageous like running for president just because she can.
Cat is always hungry. Always chasing the next big thing. Success. Accolade. Rinse and repeat. It’s all so easy, when all she really wants is a challenge.
And now here’s this young woman, with blond hair and bright eyes, and a smile that’s too innocent for the life she’s leading, telling Cat she wants to fill her up.
“And how will you do that?” Cat asks.
Keira hasn’t removed anymore clothing. She still stands there in her yellow bra and opened shirt. “I can’t know that until I touch you. I have to learn you first.”
Cat throbs and barely keeps herself from making a sound, but it must show in her eyes because Keira walks closer until Cat can feel the open shirt graze against her.
“May I kiss you here?” Keira asks, fingers hovering just over the pulse point on Cat’s neck.
Cat wants to say no. Because she pegged this woman as not worth her time, and one of Cat’s favorite things to be is right. But the one person Cat never lies to is herself, and she needs what Keira is offering more than she needs to be right tonight.
“Yes,” Cat whispers.
Keira leans in slowly. The distance to Cat’s neck is a lifetime counted in seconds. The first touch is soft. More abstract than actual pressure. The second is firmer. A brush stroke meant to lay the foundation and provide an outline of what’s to come. The third adds the soft glide of Keira’s tongue. The fourth, the pressure of her lips sucking gently and Cat gasping loudly.
“May I continue, Miss Grant?”
Cat nods because she doesn’t trust her voice to come out without sounding breathless and needy. When Keira descends on her neck again, replacing the softness with bruising intensity, Cat releases a deep and wet reservoir of need that steals her breath. Keira presses her up against the wall length window and drinks from Cat’s neck like she’s suffered through years of drought. Cat can only grasp onto her shoulders and squeeze her fingers in rhythm with the movements of Keira’s mouth.
They stay that way, suspended in the push and pull of lips against tender flesh, until the only thing holding Cat’s desperation at bay is her pride. She is so wet. And so swollen. And so ready to grab Keira’s hands and place them where she needs them to be.
No sooner than the thought enters Cat’s mind, does Keira pull away completely and leave Cat breathing heavily in the otherwise silent room.
Keira buttons up her shirt. The yellow bra slowly disappears from view. She tucks her shirt back in and looks the picture of innocence once again.
“If you touch yourself, I’ll know, and I won’t come back when you call.” And with that, Keira walks out.
Cat stands at the window dripping and breathing heavily for long after the door to her suite clicks shut.
Her thoughts cycle between fury and desire.
How dare she?
Who does she think she is?
Cat Grant doesn’t get denied. Not in business. Not in life. Certainly not in bed.
If you touch yourself, I’ll know.
The words repeat in Cat’s mind, and she clenches with each of them.
She unbuckles her belt, unzips her pants, and lays down on the massive California King in the center of the room. She slides her hand down her stomach and inches her fingers closer to her heat until the tips are coated with wetness.
If you touch yourself, I’ll know.
Cat’s breath hitches in her throat, her fingers stop moving, and her soaked center remains just out of reach.
Cat does not enjoy games, but she does relish a challenge. And Keira has issued her one in explicit detail.