Devoured (CHAPTER EIGHTEEN)

Lucas's 7am wakeup rule flies out of the window the next morning because we both oversleep. The sound of the hotel room's telephone shrilling in our ears is what drags us out of bed at a little after nine. I answer the phone, and I'm greeted by a chilly female voice.

"Kylie, put Lucas on the phone, it's Sam."

Sam. I try to remember where I've heard the name and then I realize this is the person Lucas's mother had mentioned yesterday, the person who made him tense up in anger. And she's a woman. I bite my bottom lip, clutching the phone until I feel like I'm seconds away from shattering it.

"I'm sorry you – "

"Don't you dare try that I'm sorry you've reached the wrong room act with me. I talked to your mom, so put him on the goddamn phone."

Lucas is sitting up in bed now, staring down at the receiver with a blank expression on his face. "It's Sam," I say, hoping to elicit some kind of reaction from him. Nothing happens and a chill turns my blood to ice.

He takes the phone from my hands, grasping it as tight as I had only moments before. "Leave," he says. There's no cruelty behind it or any emotion at all, for that matter, but I feel numb as I slide off the bed. Leave the room. Draw the door closed behind me.

I sit in the living room, hugging my knees to my chest. I try to focus on watching television – some trashy talk show about a woman and the six men who were possibly her "baby's daddy" – but I can still hear bits and pieces of Lucas's conversation with Sam. Every snippet that reaches my ears only intensifies the cramps in my chest.

" . . . you can't keep doing this to me," he yells.

Then there's silence for a little while. I pretend like I'm interested in the woman on the giant, flat-screen TV weeping at another negative test result. I pretend like I'm not at all spying on Lucas.

". . . it's nobody, just – " He pauses, and I can hear a guttural noise rip from his throat. "I'm sending you money. I'll send you whatever you want, but you can't expect me to do this with you for the rest of my life."

I flinch. Is Lucas in some sort of trouble with Sam? And then, a more frightening thought comes to me: is Lucas involved with drugs, just like Sinjin? I wipe sweaty palms on the hem of the t-shirt I'm wearing, Lucas's shirt.

And then, I hear him say something that makes me shudder.

"You psycho bitch, sometimes I wish you would just go to them and get it over with."

Go to whom? Get what over with?

I hear the sound of something slamming repeatedly followed by the pipes in the bathroom turning on. When Lucas comes out of the shower nearly an hour later, there's a blood-stained towel wrapped around his knuckles.

"Lucas . . . is everything alright?" I whisper, hesitantly.

He gives me a strained smile and then motions me to him. "Come here," he says, pulling him to me.

He covers my lips with his mouth, drowning out all the questions I have. He kisses me like I'm his last meal, like he's never tasted me before, even though he had me many, many times last night. He pulls me into his lap and slides his finger into my mouth, between our lips. I nibble on the tip of it.

A moment later he stands, with me straddling him, and carries me back to the bedroom. There, he keeps his promise of eating strawberries and me. There, he finally gets the chance to cuff me, turning me over on my stomach and sliding his cock in and out of my body until I'm sobbing.

And it's there that I come to terms with the fact that I've fallen in love with Lucas Wolfe.

My dress for Cilla's birthday party is the sexiest piece of clothing I've ever owned. It's short and black, made of scalloped lace with a cutout back. When Lucas sees me in it, his eyes darken and he promises me that tonight, my dress will become binds for each of the four posters of the bed.

I get wet just thinking about it.

Cilla's party is being held at a swanky night club, and I immediately recognize several of her guests from Fuse TV and my iPod playlists. Any other person would be star struck but I'm not. I only have eyes for Lucas. I play my part well, standing by his side as his personal assistant, but wanting him more than anything.

When nobody's looking, he drags me into a corner with him, kissing me deeply and sucking on my ear. He wiggles his fingers inside of me, causing me to almost lose control on the spot.

"Soon," he promises.

When Cilla's boyfriend, the bass guitarist for an up and coming band from Ohio, seeks Lucas out, I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. As I'm passing an empty lounge, a long-nailed hand closes around my wrist, slamming me up against a wall. I expect to see Cilla – she's been prancing around drunk off her ass most of the bight – so I'm surprised when a different face hovers in front of me.

A woman with henna red hair and gray eyes. She's beautiful, but so are most of the women here tonight. What really strikes me about this particular woman are her eyes. They're unfocused and wild. Scary. "So you're Luke's little bitch?" she demands between clenched teeth, pressing all of her body weight – which isn't very much considering she's short and skinny – against me.

"I'm his personal assistant," I say. But even then, the word doesn't sound quite right or believable.

She opens her mouth to say something but then her face changes from furious to a look of understanding. "That wasn't Kylie this morning, was it?"

I suck in a deep breath through my nose. "Sam?" I blurt out.

Her lips curl up into a sneer, and she bobs her head. "If you go near him again, I swear to God I'll ruin you," she says. "I swear to God I'll – "

"You'll what?" I demand, shoving her away from me. "And just who are you anyway?"

"I'll ruin him," she promises, choosing not to answer my second question.

That feeling of dread that I felt when Lucas was on the phone with this woman comes back to me, hitting me hard, and it's impossible to get it to go away this time. Who the hell is she? And what does she have on Lucas that lets her provoke such a nasty response from him? That gives her enough courage to threaten me?

"Stay the fuck away from me," I warn, brushing her aside so I can leave. She grabs my arm again, this time, raking her nails into my skin. This time, I slam her up against the wall. So hard that the back of her head makes a loud thumping noise.

She laughs like a crazy person, shaking her head from side to side, and saying, "You have no idea who you're talking to, slut."

"Hey!" a voice shouts out. Both of our heads snap to see Cilla standing in the doorway, her eyes squinted and a shot glass in each hand. "What the fuck are you doing in here?" She touches the earpiece that she's wearing, hissing "Security!"

I almost expect Cilla to have me escorted away by the two bouncers who come back just moments after they're called, but instead, it's Sam she tells to literally fuck off and burn in hell. Sam gives me one last look, shrugs off the bouncers, and stalks off.

I rub my hand across the spot on my arm her fingers clawed. "You alright?" Cilla asks me, and I shake my head.

"You know, I'm not your biggest fan because you're with Luke, but nobody deserves to have to deal with people like Samantha," she says.

"Who is she to him?"

Cilla's beautiful face is suddenly surprised, but she recovers quickly. "His ex-wife."

Lucas doesn't waste any time taking me back to the hotel. It's another one of those painfully quiet car rides. As we ride the elevator up to our suite, a horrible feeling slinks its way through my chest. As soon as we enter the room, he tells me to sit on the couch. I obey, wringing my hands together.

"Sienna . . . I can't – " He heaves a sigh and glances away from my face at the marble flooring in the foyer. "You've got to go."

I feel everything inside of me shut down, as he refuses to look into my eyes. "What the fuck are you talking about?" I demand at last.

"I'm dismissing you. You've fulfilled the terms of our contract," he says.

I come up out of my seat, rushing across the room to stand in front of him. "No. No. I've got two days left. Lucas, tell me what's going on?" I plead.

He drags his hands through his thick dark hair and makes a low, violent noise. "God, Sienna . . . just fucking go, okay? The house is yours. You're done – just go before I call security on you."

He doesn't sound like the Lucas I know. He doesn't sound like anyone I've ever known. My heart is beating wildly as I take another tentative step in his direction. He backs up, shaking his head.

"So, that's it?" I demand, tears rolling down my cheeks, singeing my skin. "No explanation, no . . . nothing."

"I've given you a house. I don't fucking owe you anything else," he says, his voice cold. I start to argue with him more but he turns his back to me. Clenches his hands – the same hands that touched me so intimately hours before – into tight fists. "Concierge is taking care of your flight to Nashville. Be out before I return tomorrow."

I'm shaking so hard that's it's impossible for me to speak. I hold myself close, wheezing. When the words do come to me, it's too late.

He's already left, slamming the door behind him.

Slamming the door on us.