On the Brink/C4 Chapter 04
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On the Brink/C4 Chapter 04
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C4 Chapter 04


I was thinking about Gina Martinez all the way home. She was beautiful, smart and, on top of everything else, I remembered she was a pole dance instructor. I had seen Sasha in action in my own apartment, but I suspected that Gina’s moves on the pole could easily blow me away. Sasha mentioned that Gina had been in this business for years, and I was looking forward to seeing her perform.

A few other big names were interested in my new app. I invested a lot in production and distribution. My time was valuable, but I decided to skip going to the office today and head over to the Tyndall household. It was a wild ride and I enjoyed being my own boss. My assistant, India, knew what she had to do when I wasn’t around.

I rubbed my eyes when the car stopped at the traffic lights. The tension in my shoulders was unbearable, and I knew that I was going to have a headache later on. My uncle had told me many times that I was wasting my time with parties. He kept telling me that I should have settled down by now. But I still had flashbacks and occasional outbursts of anger over the years, fucking with my head. There was no point dragging another human being into it. That’s why I only saw women who weren’t expecting anything from me. I wasn’t able to commit to anything long term, but I truly wanted to.

I called Dexter as soon as I was done with my meeting at Digital Box; he’d asked me to pop in. He was home with his daughter, and Sasha was on her way home from work. Maybe this wasn’t the best approach, but there was something special about Gina. I was instantly attracted to her, and I knew she liked me. Sex with Crystal was becoming a problem. She had me wrapped around her little finger. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with her.

My life was complicated. I admired that Dexter had sorted himself out. We were never alike—he was loud, and at times, difficult, but my own issues were much more complex, thanks to my time in the military.

The roads were clear as soon as I left the city. The weather hadn’t improved; it was cold and grey outside.

Forty minutes later, I parked the car in the driveway of their detached house in the countryside, several miles away from the city. I hesitated, wondering if this was really such a good idea. As far as I remembered, Gina was Sasha’s friend, but it had been more than five years since she had gone to that party for Sasha and Dex. I had no idea if they were still in touch. I stood there debating, and finally decided to satisfy this odd desperation I felt when I thought of her.

Dexter opened the door when I locked the car. The house was unique, modern, and I suspected that Dex had spent a fortune on the interior. He had visited me with his daughter, Josie, a few times, so I knew she would remember me. The handsome bastard hadn’t changed much, but he was now a family man. He wasn’t sleeping around anymore, and I wasn’t surprised. Sasha was a keeper.

“Harry, you old git. What the hell happened that you finally decided to visit us?” he asked. We hugged, and he slapped me on the back a few times.

“It’s been too long since I’ve seen your sexy wife,” I said. Dexter was so possessive over his precious Sasha, and I liked winding him up.

“Watch out, mate, that shit ain’t funny anymore,” he snapped.

“All right, all right. I get it, she’s yours.” I chuckled, squeezing his shoulders playfully.

Dexter walked me into a large open-plan living room with an enormous fireplace. Sasha was sitting at the table, talking to little Josie who couldn’t have been more than four now. I felt a little guilty that I hadn’t visited them earlier. I had no excuse; we used to be friends.

“Harry, how nice to see you. Dexter and I were just talking about you,” Sasha said, walking up to me. She hugged me tightly before her jealous husband could say anything. She’d cut her hair, but she still looked incredible.

“I meant to call, there was nothing stopping me,” I muttered, and a moment later, I picked up little Josie and spun her around.

“And how are you, princess?” I asked her when she stopped giggling. I couldn’t believe she was the spitting image of Dexter.

“I’m fine, Uncle Harry,” she shouted. “I’m doing homework for school. This is very important.”

“Right, sorry, love. I didn’t mean to distract you,” I said, and Sasha laughed.

“The poor little bugger not only looks like her dad, but she inherited his cheeky character, too,” I pointed out, and Dexter glared at me.

“Mate, you’re pushing it!”

“Oh, yes, the little madam is definitely Daddy’s girl.” Sasha chuckled, stroking Josie’s hair. “Come on to the kitchen. I’ll make you a cup of tea. Dexter mentioned that you wanted to talk to me about something?”

“Yes, we need to talk,” I told her.

Dexter sat down next to Josie and we went to the kitchen. I missed the moody bastard. Once Sasha got pregnant, they bought this house and moved out of the Grange. The apartment complex hadn’t been the same since then.

The kitchen was large and spacious, with an old wooden farm table situated in the corner. We started talking while Sasha puttered around the kitchen. I didn’t want to ask about Gina straight away. I had no idea if Sasha was keeping in touch with her. It’d been almost five years since she became Dex’s wife.

“Yes, so everything is good, but I do miss the Grange and the sea,” Sasha admitted after she gave me an update on Josie’s progress at school and her traumas with Josie’s tantrums. Well, Dexter was an even bigger pain in the arse, so that was to be expected.

“You guys can always visit me. The apartment is huge, so there is plenty of space,” I told her.

“That would be great. Josie loves the sea and there are so many great walks around there,” she said. “So, what did you want to talk about? Dex said that it was pretty urgent.”

I cleared my throat and tapped my fingers on the edge of the table. Normally I didn’t do stuff like this. If I liked a girl, I asked her out. There was no nonsense, but Gina wasn’t my usual type.

“Yes, well, I was wondering if you still keep in touch with your friend Gina?”

I wanted to sound casual, but my slightly nervous tone gave me away. Sasha glanced at me with that mysterious smile. She already knew I was more than interested.

“Gina, no. We lost touch when Josie was born and, you know, life got in the way. Why?” she asked, leaning over the cooker. I shifted in the chair, imagining having Gina in my bed.

This was getting out of control. I hadn’t even asked her out on a date yet.

“Well, I’ve started this new business venture, and she is my new campaign manager,” I explained. I couldn’t just tell Sasha that I wanted to have my way with her friend. Besides, Dex had his family, and I wasn’t planning to drag him back into the world where casual sex with other people was accepted.

Sasha gave me a look that told me I wasn’t finished confessing.

“Okay, yes, I’m interested in her—very interested—and I wanted you to tell me everything there is to know about her,” I said quite bluntly, scratching my jaw.

Sasha sipped her tea and then placed it on the table.

“She was always very private, but over time, I managed to find out a few things about her.”

Gina had confirmed that she didn’t have a boyfriend. She looked like the sort of woman who wouldn’t get involved with one-night stands, too. That would have been all right, except I didn’t date. It was one of the rules that I developed after Louisa.

“I have no doubt that we’re both attracted to each other,” I said, knowing only Sasha could tell me if I had a chance with her.

“Wow, she must have made an impression on you if you’ve come all this way to ask about her. I thought you didn’t do relationships?” she asked, sending me a wink.

“I didn’t say I wanted to jump into a relationship. We could see each other for fun from time to time,” I said, pushing the image of Crystal away from my racing mind. I came here planning not to make a big deal out of it. Unfortunately, Sasha was already planning our future. I was telling myself that this wasn’t going to happen, but deep down, I was secretly wishing that it might. Normality was attractive. I wanted to have someone in my life, someone who could understand me.

Louisa had told me that I didn’t have a heart, and maybe back then, it was true. But now things were different; I had grown up a bit. Maybe this was a second chance for me.

“Come on, tell me what you know,” I pressed.

“Her parents died when she was eighteen, and from that moment on, she had to become an adult. She started working in order to pay the bills and take care of the family. She did this because she didn’t want to lose her siblings to foster care. Then, she studied nights to finish her degree.”

I stared at Sasha trying to figure out if she was fucking with me. Gina had baggage, so no wonder she seemed so determined and down to Earth.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting that,” I admitted. That was impressive, and if a young girl like her could move past such a trauma, then there was nothing stopping me from sorting out my own life. Gina made me sound pathetic.

“Of course you weren’t.”

“Anything else?”

“She is bright, determined, and driven. Doesn’t have time for me and doesn’t trust men,” Sasha added. “This won’t work if you’re just planning to sleep with her or bring her to one of your parties.”

Sasha placed her hands on her hips. It was obvious that she didn’t want me to use Gina.

“Don’t stress, pretty. Gina will have a good time. When we met, the chemistry between us was off the charts,” I assured her, but she wasn’t buying it. Maybe she was right. I needed to start thinking about something long term.

“Gina has always been private. I know she’s very well educated. Has like, two degrees, or something. When we used to hang out, she never talked about any guys that she dated. You have to really impress her if you want a shot with her.”

What Sasha was saying made sense. Gina had mentioned that her parents were dead and there was no boyfriend. And she’d been all-business at our meeting.

“Any previous long-term relationships?”

“I don’t know. As I mentioned, she doesn’t trust men. She told me to toss Dexter away, so go figure.”

“Anything else?”

“Gina is sweet, determined, and self-sufficient. She won’t be interested in your parties. I’m sorry, Harry, but I don’t think you would be a good match for her. You’re not looking to settle down, right?” she asked, biting her lip.

“No, no, I’m not,” I replied, although I was lying to myself. I wanted to change, to settle down with a beautiful and non-crazy woman, but I was too afraid to mess things up.

Right, maybe I’d made a mistake by coming here. Gina sounded like a normal, hardworking girl. She wouldn’t just sleep with me.

At the same time, I couldn’t stop picturing her in my head.

I thanked Sasha, cutting the conversation short, and went over to Dexter for a chat, still thinking about smart Gina and her red lips wrapped around my cock. Even then, I didn’t want to back away from my plan.


It was a long day, and I was heading home, thinking about dinner. Patrick was eating for two now, and all of his trousers were too short for him. He was fifteen. On top of everything going on at work, I needed to have a chat with Nina. I went for a parents’ evening yesterday, and apparently her grades had been slipping. Her English teacher mentioned that she had a lot of potential, but she lacked focus.

I presumed it was her teenage hormones. She’d snapped at me a lot lately, but in the past, she’d always been able to focus on school. I felt a little guilty because I hadn’t spent a lot of time at home recently.

I had been looking after my sister and two brothers since I turned eighteen. It was hard at times, especially when I had to work in the day and study at night. Our parents died during a car accident in the Highlands. For ten years, I had worked my arse off to provide for them, while doing an Open University course at night. I didn’t have many friends outside my pole dancing business, and my love life was nonexistent.

Nina was sixteen now, and Josh twenty-one. People always told me that I should be proud of myself; after all, I didn’t let social services take them away.

That was why I didn’t have time for men or relationships. My siblings always came first. But today something shifted inside me. Harry Erskine showed up at my job. Mr. H: the guy who got me so aroused that I couldn’t forget him. The guy I witnessed fucking my boss’s wife last night.

Although the attraction was there, I knew I had to stay away from him. That man was trouble. And the sooner I could be done with his campaign, the quicker I could be done with him.

It was after seven and it was already pitch black. I took the groceries out of the boot and started carrying them to the house. My siblings and I lived in one of the decent neighbourhoods in the city. I was lucky that Nina and Patrick hadn’t gotten into any trouble in the past. Josh had been problematic, but he had sorted himself out. They all did well in school, and I thought I had brought them up well.

I walked through the door and dropped the bags in the kitchen, then headed over to check on Nina.

“Hey, my lesson was cancel—”

I stopped mid-sentence, seeing that she wasn’t alone in her room. There was a boy sitting on the floor, and it looked like I had just interrupted a serious kissing session.

“Gina, maybe you should’ve knocked first,” my sister shouted, and I stood there completely paralysed, now knowing why she had been acting so odd lately. It turned out that my sixteen-year-old sister had a boyfriend.

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