VERY Short Romantic Story: Clean

This story doesn't have a lot of kinky sex (though I might take Sierra's story a little further later on) but I loved the strength involved in my female lead.  For those of you who have suffered drug/alcohol/sex addiction in the past...I applaud you.  If you're still living with addiction, please remember: it is never too late to get...


Sierra stumbled toward her apartment.  Another late night of too much partying.  When her next door neighbor swept into the hall, she couldn’t avoid a collision.  Strong hands came up to grip her arms, to steady her.  “You alright?” his asked abruptly. 

She nodded, unusually embarrassed.  She reeked of booze, smoke, and sweat.  Her reflection in his elegant glasses showed a woman who looked cheap and used up.  Dirty.  “I’m sorry, Max.”  He frowned and set her carefully away from him.

“No harm done.”  Locking his door, he nodded at her and said curtly, “Have a good day, Sierra.”  Then he was gone, a man in finely tailored business wear, a suit jacket over one arm.  Gorgeous.  She’d never heard him cuss, seen him less than perfectly turned out, or heard a single complaint about him from the other residents. 

No one could say the same about her.

She made it inside her apartment and stared at her reflection in the foyer mirror.  She looked like shit.  In a less-respectable neighborhood, she’d be mistaken for a prostitute.  Had she really dropped almost a grand over the last eight hours on a good time for her friends?  Yes, she had.  Her posse had no shame using her money. 

Her parents hadn’t raised her like this.  They were valued members of the community back in Tyler, Texas.  Her dad started on the rigs forty years ago and now ran one of the biggest drilling companies in North America.  Her mother gave as many hours to her charity work as a full-time job.  She considered it her duty.  They laughed and loved like no two people she’d ever known.

She had arrived in New York to attend college on her father’s dime.  She’d done well in her business classes until her first trust fund deposited when she was twenty-one.  She’d partied until she was thrown out of school.  She had slept all day and partied all night ever since. 

When was the last time she thought of someone other than herself?  How had it gotten so bad that she couldn’t look a nice male in the eye without shame?  If her parents showed up this minute, what would they think?

She was twenty-six.  She’d wasted years.  It had been so easy.  It wasn’t going to be so easy to stop.

Six months later…
No voicemails, no email, no texts.  Her phone battery lasted forever now that she wasn’t sending and receiving hundreds of inane messages daily.  She hadn’t talked to any of her old friends in months.  What fun was somebody who didn’t drink anything stronger than iced tea and called it a night when drugs appeared?  The first time she hadn’t picked up the tab had been the final nail in the coffin of her prior life. 

Her only attraction had been free-flowing cash and a laughing dismissal of all behavior, no matter how destructive.  She wasn’t that person anymore.  She no longer knew who she was…but she knew who she wasn’t.

Picking up her messenger bag, she headed out.  She was dressed in jeans, sweater, and boots to combat the chill fall weather.  Her hair was in a messy bun, a look the Sierra of six months ago would never have gone out in.  She wore no makeup.  Her only jewelry was the locket her mother had given her when she’d turned sixteen. 

It had taken her hours to find it, she hadn’t worn the necklace in years.  That day, she’d been shaking from the lack of booze and pills in her system.  She didn’t shake anymore.  AA meetings three nights a week had helped. 

Heading for the elevator, she passed Max in the hall and kept her eyes down, still unwilling to meet his eyes.  She had to get to class anyway.  Three credits and she’d have her business degree.  Screwing up her senior year had been the first of many stupid decisions.

Class, coffee, the library, picking up takeout, and checking her mail.  The day was tiring but productive.  Home would soothe her.  The new cleaning service would have been in earlier.  A nice soak before she put the finishing touches on her business ethics paper.

Moving everything to one hand, she worked to get her keys out of her bag.  Mail hit the floor, she almost dropped her dinner.  A large hand caught it, another scooped up the envelopes.  Lifting her gaze, she stared into dark green eyes.  “Max.  Hi.  Thanks.”  She opened her door and turned to take her things. 

“You look great, Sierra.”

Swallowing hard, she whispered, “Thank you.”  Her bag went on the foyer table.  She flipped a switch and soft lighting flared through the darkened rooms.  He handed her the mail but not the Chinese takeout.

“Do you eat out every night?”

“I don’t…I don’t have time to cook.”  Her words were self-conscious.  “Easier to get takeout.”

He blinked.  She focused on the wall behind him.  “Why won’t you look at me, Sierra?”  Her hazel eyes flickered but didn’t meet his. 

“Do you need to ask?” she asked him sharply.  “I know what you must think of me.”

He moved into her foyer, set the food down, closed the door.  He moved close, taller by several inches despite her boots.  “You know what I’m thinking when I look at you?”  He reached out and lifted her bag away, leaning it against the table on the floor.  She nodded stiffly.  “Hmm.  So you know I admire you?”  Sierra’s eyes shot to his in confusion, his finger stroked her jaw.  “That I watched the pain you went through to take back your life?”  Max leaned in, brushing his lips lightly over hers.  “How I think about kissing you?  That I imagine holding you naked?  Burying my cock deep inside you, making you mine?”  Both palms cupped her face.  “Even when you were lost, I saw you, Sierra.  I’m glad you finally did.”

“You…want me?”

“All of you.  Yes.  Since you moved in.  More since I watched you fight your demons alone.”  He brushed kisses over her eyes, nose, mouth and whispered, “You’re strong and smart.  Both attributes I find incredibly sexy.”

Her lips kicked up on one side.  “I don’t drink anymore but I still have attitude, like to dance, and wear risqué clothes when I need to feel better.”

“Excellent.  I work too much, tend to be bossy, and plan to fuck you until you scream my name.”  One brow lifted in arrogant male confidence as he moved his lips along her jaw to her neck. 

A soft moan and she whispered, “I’m not usually a screamer.  You’d best get started.” 

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