Series: Trevor’s Harem, #2
Publication date: February 16th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Good girls finish last.
The contest is heating up in every way imaginable.
Bridget still only wants one thing: the money she needs to sort out her life, and the lives of those who depend upon her. And so far, nothing has broken the boundaries of what she’ll do for that money—though that edge keeps pushing further and further each day.
But now, battle lines are being drawn. Kylie versus Bridget, and everyone else falling over themselves to choose a side.
Kylie’s convinced Bridget wants to win, no matter what Bridget tells her to the contrary. And Kylie is determined that the top spot will go to her, and to her alone.
And all the while, Daniel Rice lurks at the edges of the contest—an unforgettable, unforgivable thorn in Bridget’s side, a ghost haunting her steps, a desperate need in her yearning core.
They say the competition can only have one winner. But the way things are going, Bridget isn’t sure there will even be that many.
Choose a side in Inferno Falls’ sexiest adventure yet.
“Welcome to your first official day,” he says, crossing his arms. The small motion makes his chest swell enough to press into the fabric of his white shirt. “As we explained last night, you are here to participate in a competition with each other. The goal of the competition is to win the favor of your host, Trevor Stone, and eight weeks from now Mr. Stone will choose his wife from among you.”
I glance at Jessica. Kylie intercepts my eyes and gives me a level look. It’s not angry or confrontational or jaded or vengeful. Its sheer placidity is somehow more daunting than any negativity or hate she could throw my way, but now that I’ve had some time to process, I can handle it. She caught me off guard last night, but I’ve dealt with bullies and bitches plenty before. Oh yes, I can handle Kylie just fine.
“Many of you have taken full advantage of all this situation has to offer. Tony. Richard. Logan. Each other. Our many rooms and play sets.”
This time, I catch Roxy’s profile. She’s practically licking her lips. Practically rubbing herself. Gunning her internal engine, ready and all too willing to show Trevor and Daniel she can out-slut the rest of us.
“But what’s any competition without contests? So that’s where we begin today. I should reemphasize: Simply by staying, you’ll receive a stipend.” Daniel looks right at me, surely to remind me I won’t be receiving a stipend for several more days. But there’s more in his eyes than before, and I can’t put my finger on it. Gone is the softness I saw in the limousine. I know I’m being jittery and insecure, but I’d swear he’s back to being angry. Maybe he’s had time to reevaluate. Maybe he’s decided that if I can’t take a few insults without breaking down, I’m only worth pity — a word that Kylie’s already implied is the strongest bond between us. I’d argue, but does Daniel’s out-of-pocket payment to Jenny, for my mother, prove or disprove that? Does it strengthen Kylie’s accusation or dismiss it?
“It’s important that you understand,” Daniel says, taking a long, panning look at the women standing across from him in a horseshoe. “The stipends are yours regardless, for as long as you remain.”
I’m sharp enough to read between the lines. Daniel is Trevor’s right-hand man, and right-hand men handle so many things for their bosses: organizing affairs, hiring, firing, the delivery of news, both good and bad. They chastise when needed, direct when required. And in the case of sexfests like this one, they make things crystal clear to the participants:
You are paid for being here, not for what you do. You are being paid for your participation in a contest, and quite separately you may or may not choose to participate in rampant, primal sexual activity. In no way, shape, or form are you being paid for fucking, because that would be illegal.
Perhaps what you do with your own bodies, and ours — on your own — will weigh in our decision to keep you, but we’re not saying that at all.
Meaning that in theory, we could just hang out and they’d decide to keep us based solely on our personalities or Hula-hoop skills. Officially. Technically speaking. By the rules, as they’re written.
Wink fucking wink.
“During your time here, we’ve arranged contests, challenges, and other situations that will show us what kind of people you are, and whether you’re a fit for Trevor. At each round of elimination, we will look at your performance and other factors and decide whom to keep and who should go home. The first elimination will happen in two weeks and will reduce your number from twelve contestants to six. Those who stay receive a fifty thousand-dollar bonus in addition to their daily stipends, the weekly bonuses, and all you received before stepping through the door. The next, at five weeks, takes your group to two finalists, each of whom will receive a half-million dollars.”
I’m doing the math in my head. If I could somehow stay, I’d never have to worry again. Even Jenny’s most ridiculous ideas about Linda would become suddenly possible. But of course I’ll never make it that far. Daniel’s only indicated that first elimination at two weeks, so I sort of infer that barring something stupid like last night’s near-miss with Kylie, nobody will be kicked out before then. I earned a five-day stipend suspension, but beyond that I should start earning again. I could make a hundred grand here. It’s not enough to do much with Linda, so really, selfishly, I could probably keep it. I’ll help where I can, of course. But I could also move into a better apartment. Rent that studio I’ve been dreaming about, plus the professional mixer and mics that will get me producing for real. Make the move from being voice talent to an entrepreneur who hires it. And then, with the money I earn after that little parlay, who knows what might be possible?
I can make it two weeks. I haven’t heard anything in the rules about getting kicked out for not sucking every dick that presents itself, so I’m thinking I can slip through a loophole and milk this bullshit without getting dirty. How bad could the challenges be? If Daniel is being this careful with what he says about sex being an augment to this experience but not strictly necessary, then Trevor’s lawyers must be insisting. Even if the challenges are filthy, I can refuse to participate. If they won’t pay me as a result, I can threaten to sue. I’m sure I’ll come out scarred at the end of two weeks regardless, and surely get the axe, but who cares? What I told Jessica was true: I don’t want to marry a billionaire. And really, let’s be honest. I’m so fucked up already, a short stay in Sodom is hardly going to damage me much further.
“Right about now, I suppose you’re expecting me to tell you what we have in store for you today. But I’m afraid that would ruin all the fun.” Daniel smiles. But there’s something weird in that smile, and I imagine echoes of every odd little interaction we’ve had. He’s so mysterious. So guarded. I’m sure he’s trying to imply that it’s a surprising sex contest ahead, but somehow I doubt it. It’s not that he won’t tell us because he’s being playfully coy. For one reason or another, he’s not telling us because we aren’t allowed to know, like at all, ever.
Daniel walks forward. He moves to the far end of the arc of girls, standing in front of Blair. He touches her shoulder and says, “One.”
He touches Malory. “Two.”
Ruby, beside Malory, is “One” again, not three. And I realize: He’s counting us off into two groups, just like in grade school. Ones and twos, all the way down.
Daniel reaches me, and my heart accelerates. I look away, brush the hair from my face. I’ve been standing perfectly still, but all of a sudden I’m fidgeting like a restless little girl.
He tapped the other girls on the upper arm, but Daniel takes me by the wrist. Fingers tight, his eyes on me. He stays there until I look up and meet his gaze. I’m unsure what I see. It’s not quite pity or affection or compassion. It’s not quite irritation or anger. It’s almost blank, as if he’s holding something back.
“Two,” he tells me.
The hand squeezes my wrist.
Then he’s on to Ivy, who’s a One.
Erin, who’s a Two, like me.
Roxy is a One. She actually licks her lips at Daniel. He’s off limits, apparently, but that’s not stopping her from swinging his vote.
Looking down the line, I watch him touch Kat, next to Kylie, and say, “Two.”
Thank God. Kylie will be a One, so I won’t have to be in her group for whatever’s next.
But as Daniel touches Kylie, he says, “Two” again.