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Smoke and Mirrors: (Fire and Fury Book Two) by Avery Kingston (1)



Tori laughed as she reached for the edge of the pool table. “This is possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” Scott’s body leaned against her back, positioning her to line up the shot. “I’m not gonna hit a damn thing.” She may have kicked his ass at pool in the old days, but without her sight the chances of her winning were poor.

“I wouldn’t say the stupidest thing.” He snorted as he copped a feel of her ass. She reciprocated by elbowing him in the gut.

“Ow!” He yelped. “I know that you’re competitive, but there’s no reason to get violent.”

“You gonna talk me through this, or be a smartass all night?”

“The cue is right in front of you, just pull back and let it go, baby.”

Tori steadied her breath and took the shot. Crack! The balls hit and scattered across the table, followed by a ker-plunk. “Did I get one?”

“Yeah.” Scott’s laugh bounced off the walls. “One of mine. I may have a chance at winning this time.”

Tori doubled over in laughter, pool stick in hand, head spinning from the liquor. “Oh, Scott Harris, I love you.” The words were out before it even registered that it was the first time she’d muttered them.

“You love me?”

She let out a breath and lifted her chin. She pounded the pool stick on the ground like a queen with her staff.

“Yes. I, Victoria Johnson, declare to all the patrons in this shit-hole that I love you.”

Scott wrapped his arms around her. “Then marry me.”

Her smile faded and she patted his chest. “You’re drunk. You have no idea what you’re saying right now.”

“Come on,” he slurred and squeezed her tighter. “You think I drug you to this bar to play pool?”

Yes, this was about the goddamn most romantic gesture anyone had ever done. Ten years ago in this bar, they’d met. She’d kicked his ass in a game of pool and stuffed her panties in his pocket, telling him to find her and he’d get rewarded. Tori had expected a typical one-night stand, but what she’d ended up getting was a best friend with benefits. For years she’d made it a lengthy game, turning her panties into a calling card. No panties, no reward. But tonight he’d turned the tables, left his boxers and a few clues. It was her turn to find him. And she did.

It took him losing his leg, her losing her vision and many mistakes over the past several years for them to get to this point of commitment, but she was done with games.

“I’m dead serious. Marry me,” he asked again. “This is what I want. You and me, forever and ever.”

Tori’s heart squeezed. She wanted to say yes. Everything inside her screamed yes, but there was a big problem. One, he was drunk as a skunk. Two, he knew the hella fun, sexy Tori. The Tori that whisked him off to Amsterdam years ago for an anything goes week. The Tori that blew him in the dressing room at Nordstrom. He knew the Tori that she presented to the world; the girl that hid behind the walls of her sexuality. He had no clue who the real Tori was. Hell, neither did she ever since she’d lost her vision.

“How are you certain you want to be with me forever?” she asked coyly. “There’s still a lot more you haven't learned about me. I’m an enigma.” She lifted her chin in a show of pride.

Reality was, she was terrified.

“I know all I need to know; the rest I’ll learn.” He squeezed her hand. “I don’t want to waste any more time. I love you, Tori. I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember.”

“How about this.” Tori rubbed his chest. “Ask me again when you’re sober.” She leaned in and gave him a kiss and ran her fingers through his hair.

“Ok; so tomorrow it is…”

“And when you have a ring,” she kissed him again, “and after I’ve met your folks. I know your mamma raised you to be a proper southern gentleman.”

Knowing his family lived over a thousand miles away it was a safe bet that wasn’t happening soon.

That will buy me time.

He sucked in a heavy breath. “Fine, but your unmarried days are numbered, woman.”

“Are they now?” She dropped the pool stick to the ground, wrapped her arms around him and pulled his face in close, pressing her lips to his. She was ready to devour him. “I need you. Now,” she rasped as she pawed at him.

“Now is not good enough. I want forever.” He growled into her ear. “Can you at least promise me forever?”

“You won the game. Those were the stakes.”

“Tori, I’m serious.”

“Scott Harris, you’re the only man who's ever had my heart and the only one I'll ever trust with it. I promise, if you’ll have me, I’ll give you forever. Now, enough talk about marriage. We have more important matters to attend to. My pussy needs attention, STAT.”

“We’ll probably catch gonorrhea if we do it here.” He chuckled.

She was teetering between total slut and drunken mess. She’d never make it home awake. She rubbed her hands over his crotch. “Take me to Keith’s; he’s not there.”

“How do you know he’s not there?”

She’d shown up on her best friend’s doorstep just a few hours ago after fighting with Scott, sporting two black eyes no less. When trying to yank her overstuffed suitcase out of the overhead bin earlier that day Scott’s elbow had met her square in the face, thus causing said argument.

“No worries, love. I’ll just move the party to his place,” Keith had devilishly whispered in her ear after she profusely apologized for crashing his date.

Yeah, he wasn’t home. “Trust me.” She rolled her tongue across his neck, causing a low growl to escape his lips.

“You got it.”



As they stumbled the few blocks to the old townhouse in Georgetown, Scott’s mind drifted. He hadn’t been to Keith’s since he’d lived there six years ago for recovery after losing his leg.

That porch. Those damn stairs.

The first time he’d climbed those stairs he’d just gotten his prosthetic and only had it on about two hours.

He stopped and stared, remembering the humiliation he felt trying to tackle such a seemingly simple task. Those three steps may as well have been Mount Everest years ago.

“You’ve got this, just like your physical therapist said. Lead with your good leg first,” Tori had told him as he balanced on his crutches. “I won’t let you fall,” she’d promised, grabbing him by the waist from behind. And she hadn’t.

Smugly, Scott swept Tori up in his arms and took the three steps now with ease. He set her down at the doorway, lifted the potted plant that had the spare key hidden under it, and unlocked the door.

“Keith!” he yelled. Silence. Only his and Tori’s footsteps echoed through the empty house.

The furnishings were new, but it was all still in Keith’s modern European sleek style. He loved Keith, but hated his decor. It was too cold for his taste. The sofa had been replaced with one that was white leather with a low back. It looked damn uncomfortable to sit on. Made sense. Keith wasn’t known to pick his furniture based on comfort. He snorted at the large artistic photograph of a very naked man behind the couch. That wasn’t exactly the thing to get him going.

He was glad Tori didn’t share the same taste as Keith. Her place, although it was girly, eclectic, and smelled like a sultan’s boudoir from her incense, had a warmth to it. Because behind her tough exterior, underneath all her bullshit, she was soft and warm. Her home reflected that.

He slung his backpack onto the low, shiny, square, grey coffee table and focused his gaze on Tori.

“Told you he wasn’t here,” she said as she stripped off her top and dropped it to the floor.

Holy hell. She was so damn fine standing there in her hot pink, lacy bra. He grabbed his shirt, pulled it off with one swift yank, then lunged toward her.

His mouth crushed hers as he drank her in. The taste of her lips was intoxicating. Even after all the booze, her lips were still sweet. He ripped her bra off cupping her breast into his calloused hand, giving it a firm squeeze. He bent over, taking her perfect pink nipple into his mouth, rolling his tongue around. A low, raspy moan slipped past her lips. That throaty little purr of hers alone could make him cum in his damn pants.

The liquor coursing through his veins doubled his testosterone level. He wanted her naked, now. He yanked down her jeans and pushed her toward the stairs. She plopped her ass down and he discarded her pants before grabbing her knees, yanking her legs apart and going in for the kill. He blew his hot breath onto her lacy crotch and tugged her panties to the side.

His fingers slid over her soft pussy. “How in the hell are you always so damn smooth?”

She gave a throaty chuckle. “Money buys all kinds of nice things, including laser hair removal.”

“I love it,” he growled as he licked her folds. “God, you taste good,” he groaned between laps.

Her dark red fingertips laced through his chocolate locks as her hips rocked underneath him. “Oh baby,” she breathed.

He curled his lips into a circle and suckled her clit as one greedy hand explored her naked breast. His other went into her dripping wet pussy—finger fucking her into a frenzy.

Her legs clenched around his neck and her squirming intensified as she drew close. “I want your cock,” she panted.

He finished her off; her screams filling the empty house. Moments later, she sat there breathless on the stairs, running her fingers through her hair in satisfaction.

“You ready for more?” he asked.

“God yes,” she purred.

“Good.” He yanked her panties off and tossed them on the floor, flipping her around so her ass was even with his crotch. She gripped the staircase for leverage as he dropped his shorts to his ankles and pulled apart her cheeks, admiring his view.

Note to self: get a house with stairs.

He grabbed hold of his aching cock and slid it inside her. Tori was the only one he'd ever gone bare with. Her warm, wet pussy felt so damn good. She was always tight right after she came, and his dick appreciated it. Pulling her by the waist he thrust her hips into his. Her ass rapped against his thighs and with each pulse her cries grew louder.

He slowed for a moment and trailed his fingertips up her spine, admiring her toned back. Scott shifted his weight to his right side, stifled a groan as his hip cramped, and winced as a tingling sensation hit his left leg. It was like needles stabbing toes that weren't there. He rarely got phantom pains anymore, but when he did, they were a fucking bitch.

Shit; not now.

He closed his eyes. Maybe his brain was psyching him out being in the house again, or it was possible he was only tired, but this was all too familiar. He tried thrusting again, doing his best to push past the pain.

She pulled away from him and scrambled up the stairs.

“Where are you going, beautiful?” he shouted.

“Moving to the bedroom!” she hollered back. He yanked off his shoes and his shorts and followed her up to the guest room they used to share.

“This place looks different.” Scott eyed Keith’s updated furnishings. He knew better than to expect Tori’s wild curtains or floor cluttered with clothing, but that’s all he could recall. It was strange to see it any other way.

“I don’t give a shit what the room looks like.” She chuckled. “Get your sweet ass over here. Take the leg off. Get comfortable.” She patted the white bedspread.

Scott lay on the bed, yanked off his prosthetic, and sighed in sweet relief. It should have come off hours ago after they got off the plane because the altitude always caused it to swell. His mood soured. He was exhausted with their disabilities spoiling the evening.

Tori didn’t say a word as she straddled him. She pulled off his liner and sock, massaging his sore stump. He tensed. “Tori you—”

“Stop. I can tell when you’re hurting. Don’t be a tough guy. Close your eyes. Visualize curling your left toes. Ball them up then release them. We'll get back to business in a minute.”

He did as she said and the nerve pain faded. She knew exactly what to do because she’d done it a dozen times before in this very room—and every damn time she’d got him past it. She’d saved him back then, and she was saving him now. Tori was the only woman he could be this vulnerable with. His eyes welled up with tears. Stupid emotions.

His thighs relaxed as her hands soothed away the last bit of tension. Afterward, she crawled up him, pressing her body on top of his, her nipples grazing his chest. She rubbed her hands down his arms, intertwining her fingertips with his.

“Better?” She tilted her head up, resting her chin on his peck.

“Yes.” He released her hand and threaded his fingers through her tousled, platinum locks. “Thank you.”

“Good.” She smiled and kissed his chest, planting sweet kisses all over him as if nothing had happened. Her tongue lapped across his nipple rotating in soft, circular motions.

His unease faded, and a low growl hummed in his throat as his dick began to rouse. A wicked grin tugged at her lips and she gave his nipple a nibble, then with a flick of the tongue continued downward, her soft kisses showering him along the way.

Her hands wrapped around his cock, giving it a tug, stroking it back to life. She bent over, tucked her wavy hair behind her ear, parted her lips and drew him in. The force of her suck made him quickly grow hard.

“I can taste my pussy on your cock,” she said as she came up for air, giving him a throaty chuckle.

Holy hell.

If he hadn’t already been hard that filthy mouth of hers would’ve done the trick. She went back down on him, taking all of him in. God damn the woman was a professional cocksucker. Her tongue rolled around him in circles and danced along his shaft. Up and down she worked him, paying close attention to his sensitive tip. She grabbed his sack with her hands—and lord have mercy he almost died when she took it into her mouth, going for the kill.

“Oh, my fucking God!” His fists gripped the sheets as his eyes rolled back. It felt so damn good, it was all he could do to not cum straight into the air.

“You like that, do ya?” Her brow arched high as she straddled him, sliding her pussy onto his cock. She ground against him with slow, methodical focus, inching him across the finish line, drawing it out. He was putty in her hands.

She pushed her breasts up against him and lapped her tongue across his neck, sending him over the edge. He came violently, his body quaking and jerking underneath her soft curves. He gripped her shoulders, savoring the last few moments of his orgasm as he spilled every last drop inside of her.

She rolled over and curled into the crook of his arm.

She fit there so perfect. He kissed her on the forehead and gave her a squeeze.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

“For what? The sex, humph. Thank you!”

“No, that's not what I mean. Thank you for saving me, tonight…years ago, just for being you.”

“Scott Harris, I believe it’s safe to say we’ve saved each other.” She nestled into him.



“You’re shitting me, right?” Keith shrieked, stopping dead in the doorway eying the sight in his spare bedroom. “You two slept here?”

Tori yawned and stretched. “There wasn’t much sleeping.” She giggled. “I thought you were staying at Jonathan's last night?”

“I was! I came home to change clothes for work and instead found a rabbit trail of clothing leading up the stairs to my spare room!” He tried to collect his thoughts. How had the two of them wound up at his place when the last he saw of her pitiful ass was in front of her building at nine the night before?

Scott yawned and rolled over, exposing not only his stump but his entire package.

Damn. The man was hung like a horse.

How does that even work with the two of them? Vic the teeny little thing she is…

“Fuuuuuck, my head,” Scott groaned, cracking his eyes open. “You got any aspirin, Keith?”

“I’m sorry, did guest services at Hotel Nielsen not leave that on the pillow for you?” Keith scowled. “Ok, seriously you two, do I even want to know why you broke into my house?”

“We were really drunk…and I seem to have lost my clothes.” Tori giggled as she climbed out of bed. She ran her hands across the ground. “We used the spare key.”

“Well, that, I gathered.” Keith rolled his eyes watching her struggle. “Jesus, lay back down. I’ll get your clothes, Vic.”

He retreated downstairs, collected their scattered clothing, and marched back up, tossing them next to her. “Here you go.”

Scott was sitting on the edge of the bed putting on his prosthetic. “Seriously, aspirin? Please?” He grinned sheepishly at Keith.

Keith growled. “Fine. Meet me downstairs.” With that, he stomped out of the room.

Keith went and freshened up then headed downstairs. Scott came down not long after, fully dressed. “Aspirin’s on the counter.” Keith nodded to the water glass with the pills lying next to it.

“Thanks, man.” He downed them.

“Where’s Vic?”

“Puking.” Scott’s eyes flicked upward.

“Jesus, I should’ve figured. She can’t handle her liquor.” Keith leaned on the kitchen counter. “So, do you want to explain how you ended up here?”

“Dude, I would, but I’ve got to get into the office.” He walked over to the coffee table and grabbed his backpack.

Keith turned as he heard Vic’s footsteps coming down the stairs. “Hey, princess, how are you feeling?” Keith said a little louder than normal, just to be a brat.

“Like shit.” She rubbed her temple. “My head is pounding, and my nose feels double its size. How bad does it look?” She lifted her chin.

Scott blanched, making it obvious to Keith he still hadn’t forgiven himself for that one.

“Not as bad as you'd imagine,” Keith interjected quickly, hoping to make him feel better.

“You ready? I got us an Uber.”

“I have to go to my condo to grab a change of clothes then get to the office.”

Your Uber has arrived. Her VoiceOver blared out of her phone speaker.

“Scott, why don’t you roll to the city with me. I’ll drop you by your place and we can all meet up for lunch? Say noon?” Keith suggested.

“Sounds good.” Scott gave Tori a quick kiss. “I love you, Tori.”

Keith’s jaw dropped. Did he actually say the L word? It wasn’t like Keith didn’t know it, but the fact that they were admitting it aloud was a huge leap for these two. Warmth seeped into his chest.

“Right back at ya.” Vic grinned wide. “You boys have fun.”

“Well, it’s just me and you, mister.” Keith said as he grabbed his keys.

“You’re not gonna get all frisky in the car on me are ya? I saw you eyeing my junk this morning.” Scott winked at him as he opened the front door.

“You were the one flapping it for display. Really though, don’t flatter yourself. I was strictly looking for artistic purposes. Did you see the photograph in my living room?” Keith asked proudly as they hopped into his black Prius.

“Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice the large, naked man on your wall when I walked in.” Scott laughed as he shut the door.

“Did you see that he was blind?” Keith started the engine and backed away from the curb. If Scott had taken the time to look, he would have noticed hauntingly beautiful blue, hazy eyes.

Scott chuckled. “No, I wasn’t really looking at his eyes when his junk was staring me in the face.”

“Well, between knowing you and Vic and all her current projects going on, it inspired me to think about how the world views the differently abled.”

Scott groaned. “Differently abled? God, that phrase is even too gay for you.”

Keith slugged Scott in the shoulder. Ok, the man had a point, he was too politically correct at times. He’d learned a lot from being around Scott so much. They may not always see eye-to-eye, but Scott was a good man. He didn’t have a homophobic bone in his body. Scott poked at him in much the same way Keith teased Vic for her blindness.

“Anyhow, you know photography has always been my area of expertise,” Keith began. “I’m running a fun little side project. Imagine an erotic coffee-table book or calendar featuring people with disabilities. I want to show the beauty and sexuality of it rather than the stigma.”

Scott scratched his beard and raised his brow. “Not a bad idea.”

“You should pose for me.”

Scott curled his nose. “Yeah, that’s not happening.”

“Oh, come on, you’re a total stud!”

“Have we met?” Scott’s brown eyes bore into Keith’s skull with a you-have-to-be-kidding-me glare. “What makes you think that I’d ever do something like that?”

Keith sighed. Yes; Scott was a private person. “I forget that Vic is the exhibitionist in your relationship.”

Scott’s gaze softened as he grinned. “Yeah, she is.”

“So, about this relationship.” Keith slapped him on the thigh. “How long until you finally ask her to marry you?”

“I did. Last night.” Scott shifted in his seat.

“Well, about damn time, mister!” A huge grin broke out on Keith’s face. As different as Vic and Scott were, they were made for each other. He’d been dreaming of this for years.

Scott frowned. “She said no.”

“She flat out said no?” Keith wasn’t buying that. If Scott came to Vic and asked for help to bury a body, she’d start packing shovels. Keith knew beyond a doubt that she loved the man.

“Well, not really. I think she was worried I was too wasted to know what I was doing.” He regaled Keith with the story of last night. “Granted, I was drunk, I didn’t get down on one knee, and I didn’t have a ring. Yeah, maybe I should’ve thought it through.” Scott rubbed the back of his neck and grimaced. “She freaked out. She wants to meet my family first and have a proper proposal.” Scott waved his hand mimicking Vicky. “I was trying to be romantic and impulsive. It backfired.”

Keith snorted.

“What?” Scott said.

“Vicky never wants to meet the family. As soon as any of her flings would mention meeting the parents, she’d call it quits. She loves you, mister. She’s gonna say yes. You need to give her time and get a ring, dammit. You know her, she’s like a baby deer—come at her too quick and she'll run for the hills,” Keith said as he pulled up to Scott’s building.

“Thankfully, I'm an excellent hunter.” Scott flashed a wicked grin. “Thanks for the ride, man. I’ll see ya in a few hours.”

“Hey, Scott,” Keith stopped him. Scott poked his head back into the car. “It’s good to have you home.”

Scott patted the roof, smiled, and shut the door.