Could This Be Love? (08)

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A Story by Deborah Benson

Diamond Dogs

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

At the sound of the elevator reaching the penthouse level Kimberly and John were reluctantly forced to part. The collar of John’s shirt hanging around his neck in a creased mess from Kim’s arms around his neck while her borrowed dress was now in desperate need of pressing from John’s hands roaming and grabbing at her body. The carefully applied lipstick Kimberly had been wearing was now smeared across John’s lips, highlighting the smug smile on his face as he helped Kimberly out of the elevator.

The pair could hardly keep themselves from laughing at the turn of events as John attempted to steal another kiss each time Kim slowed to adjust her heels before giving in and removing them completely. Kimberly had known kissing John was enjoyable, but she hadn’t expected him to be persistent to keep the kisses going as he was. Had she known she would have forgone wearing any lipstick at all.

“If you don’t hurry up I’ll be carrying you inside,” John said, easily placing a kiss on Kim’s forehead.

“It’s this dress!” Kim laughed as she pushed the taller man away, attempting to keep up to him as best she could. “Serena doesn’t go around running after men.”

“And what a shame for men everywhere,” John smirked, receiving a hard swat on his arm by Kimberly before moving over to pick her up by her waist easily.

Kim found herself giggling as John carried her into the penthouse, trying her best to slip out from his grasp without falling backwards.

The silk of the dress slipped around only to cause John to hold her tighter before placing her back on the ground. Her attempts to keep from tripping failing as the bunched up silk wrapped around her knees causing her to fall right back into john’s arms.

Taking advantage of the moment John stole another kiss, holding Kimberly’s hips as she returned the kiss with just as much fervor.

Kim could feel his hands pulling her closer against him as she moved her own up to run her fingers through his now messy blonde hair.

Had it not been for a need of air she doubted they would have parted, as John didn’t bother loosing his hold on her hips.

“I-is Mark awake?” Kim asked as she scrambled for a breath.

“I doubt he’s here.” John kissed across her jaw-line, managing to catch his breath between kisses. “If I don’t feed him he goes to find someone who will. He’s like a pet.”


“Fine, fine I’ll check.” Reluctantly John pulled away from his kisses, moving his head back away from Kimberly before belting loud enough to be heard by anyone walking through the hallway out side the penthouse. “Mark! “

Without a proper warning Kim winced from the power of his voice. She doubted covering her ears would have done much to soften the blow.

Had Mark been in the flat she doubted he could have ignored the call even if he was deep in sleep.

When no answer came John’s smug smile grew. His blue eyes dancing in the dim lighting cast throughout the living room from the large window as he looked back to Kim.

“Told you, he’ll be back tomorrow,” he said, his hands moving up to Kim’s waist. “Don’t you worry about him now.”

Finding herself enchanted by his gaze Kimberly reached up to hold onto the lapels of his jacket, her eyes lowering to admire the traces of her lipstick across his lips and cheek.

“And who should I be worried for then?”

“Mainly that dress, you’re practically spilling out of it.” John’s hands tracing across her back until he grasped onto the dress’s zipper. “We’ll have to fix that before it gets damaged.”

“Hmm, so thoughtful.” Kimberly couldn’t help but smile, turning around to allow John to undo her dress with ease.

The quick bite of cold air on her back soon replaced by the heat of John’s kisses trailing down the back of her neck to the crook of her spine. A sharp gasp escaping her lips as she felt him kiss the back of her neck harder as the dress slipped off, needing a tug to pass her hips before pooling up at her feet.

Kimberly turned to face John, allowing him to lift her out of the pool of silk as she wrapped her legs around his waist. His jacket and tie quickly joining the dress on the floor as he carried her toward the master bedroom. Kim’s fingers knotting themselves in his hair as they shared another kiss even more heated than the last.

John held her with ease as he kicked the door closed behind them in case Mark decided to return early. As quickly as the door had closed he moved her to the edge of his bed, freeing his arms to toss his shirt onto the floor as Kimberly worked his pants off just as quickly.

The clothes soon scattered around the bed as Kim pulled him up beside her.

On her knees she almost matched his height though she was still far from matching his size.

Her eyes transfixed on the way his toned muscles moved as he began to kiss her neck. His mutterings about Kimberly’s beauty barely reaching her ears before being drowned out by a quiet moan as he nipped a sweet spot on her neck.

Encouraged by the sound John began to kiss the spot harder, lowering Kim’s back against his bed with ease. His hands roaming across her body in an attempt to memorize her every curve, grabbing anywhere he can before pushing her legs apart without complaint. His lips trailing down from her neck across her collar bone, taking a moment to kiss any tender spot hard.

Before Kimberly could pull his lips back to his neck she felt his hand trailing down from her thigh to brush across her now heated center.

Her hands gripping his broad shoulders tight as he began to trace circles across the most sensitive spot on her body.

“Tease…” she said with a smirk, her fingers digging into his shoulder blades as he began to put more pressure on the one spot.

The longer John teased her the louder her moans became, her body aching for more than just his touch. Unable to stand being without him any longer she moved one hand from her shoulders to grab at his manhood gently to bring him towards her entrance. Her gentle coaxing more than enough to get her message across as John moved his hand to her wrist, placing her arm above her head as he pushed inside her.

A sharp gasp escaping her lips as she felt just how large he was quickly silenced by John’s lips on hers. Kissing him back heavily Kimberly only needed a moment to get used to him before moving her leg around his hips to encourage him to move.

Happily obliging John began to pick up his pace slowly at first before Kimberly began to move her own hips to increase their speed. The kiss breaking as he moaned over the feeling of her tight warmth around him. His moan quickly joined by Kim’s as she gripped his shoulders tighter, her nails digging into his skin as she felt a heat starting to build up from the pit of her stomach.

“J-jjohn…” she moaned, her back arching to press herself against him as the feeling grew until it covered her completely.

Gripping onto her hips John only continued to increase the pace, the feeling of Kim tightening around him only encouraging him.

With a kiss to her neck he felt her hands gripping even tighter against his back as she was pushed over the edge.

“O-oh…oh! Joh …!” The feeling hitting her body like a wave as nearly screamed his name in release to which Joh matched with just as much intensity.

The two clung to each other as their bodies started to relax. Neither seemed to want to move away from the other even when Kim sunk back down against the bed. Their shallow breathing mixed with light laughter in their post- orgasmic state.

Reluctantly John moved from above Kimberly to lie besides her, kissing her cheek sloppily only to elicit more breathless laughter.

“I should make you jealous more often…” she giggled, turning over to face John with a smile.

“As long as I’m whose name your screaming,” John said with a smirk.

Weakly giving his chest a shove Kim couldn’t help but smile as she moved closer to curl against his side, finding that she already missed the feeling of his arms around her. The two lay side by side in a blissful quiet for a moment as Kim rested her head on John’s chest. The rise and fall of his breath lulling her into a calm she couldn’t remember having felt beside someone else before.

“In that case,” she yawned, wrapping her arm across his chest comfortably. “You have nothing to worry about.”

And in that moment no amount of money could convince Kimberly she was wrong.

Bleep The hours after the dinner were not only a success for John and Kimberly but for Dakota as well. Luscious seemed so enchanted with her lead that after only mentioning how much would be needed to put Kim on stage he was ready to sign any contract passed to him.

Dakota had dealt with her fair share of men vying for Serena’s attention but never once did she see someone so ready to please a woman he had to pay to spend time with. She never asked him why he was so interested in Kim simply because it didn’t affect the contract, but if he was persistent enough to stick around and fund her shows then she could only see his enthusiasm as a good thing. As far as she could tell the man seemed to think he was already in a relationship with Kimberly after their dinner.

With luck she would have the two together enough to not even have to worry about Kimberly changing her mind.

She would have shared the good news with her new favorite at the book meeting the next day had she bothered to show up on time. The meeting wasn’t crucial for Kim as it only dealt with the story they wanted to use for their next show as her part would be determined mainly by Dakota but her absence was noted.

Too much money was on the line for Kimberly to start acting as though she made the rules.

Even Serena who had seemed glued to the girl’s side for the sole purpose of vexing Dakota had no idea as to what would be keeping their lead from showing up.

“She may have just slept in late,” Serena said to Kim’s defense. “She’ll show up.”

The rehearsal had been pushed past lunch to try and accommodate for whatever was holding her up but Dakota had dealt with enough inconveniences with Serena to be open to diva in her company. Just as her temper was close to boiling over the theater doors flung open as the small woman was ushered in with the help of the bartender.

“I’m so sorry! I lost my phone and my alarm didn’t go off and—”

“Quiet!” Dakota’s voice rang through the empty theater with an impressive clarity that caused the dancers around her to shrink back. “I understand you’re new to all this, but we do not tolerate absences once rehearsal begins.

Kimberly, you’re very important here. Do not think that means I’m against having you sleep from the cat walk if that’s what it takes to have you here on time.”

The smaller woman nodded, her hands pulling at the collar of her jacket to keep it as close to her neck as possible. Dakota vaguely noticed the small discoloring of the skin she was attempting to cover before Serena hurried to the side of her new ward. The old star fussing over the girl’s hair and clothes in such a manner that Dakota quickly lost interest. If the two were smart they would know better than to let whatever kept her from happening again.

“If we’re done with this little episode, I’d like to go over the show so we can begin the real work.” Dakota walked over to stand center stage, having the entire company’s attention fixed on her.

With a little assistance from the members of the company who had bothered to attend the earlier meeting Dakota began to gloss over their plans for the new story. To highlight Kimberly in the best light they chose to work with a setting in the burlesque club from the thirties.

Kimberly would be playing the role of the club’s lead singer with Sophia and Serena backing her, though Serena’s casting was only made to ensure Kim had someone to show her the ropes.

The story would follow the singer as she falls for the club’s owner, who one of the kinder men in the company named Paul had offered to play, as he ran out of money to support the joint. As a reprieve the owner would turn towards a mobster, who the company voted would best be played by Reed, that frequented the club in order to keep his business afloat. When the mobster spots the singer he would bargain to take her away from the club in exchange for his partnership. “At the moment we’re still debating on the ending. Either the signer will leave with the mobster for a better life, or she’ll stay with the club,” Dakota watched as the company began to debate for which version they preferred. “Our investor and Chris will be choosing the ending. You all will have to manage with which ever one they choose.”

A resounding groan came from the older members, knowing very well how fickle an investor’s attention could be. The groan silenced by a quick glare from Dakota before she turned the rehearsal over to the company’s choreographer.

Kimberly appeared to be paying attention after a quick nudge from Serena. The two had been spending quite a lengthy amount of time together and though Dakota wanted nothing more than to keep Kim under her control having someone around to teach her how the business worked was too useful to pass up.

Leaving the company in the hands of the choreographer Dakota left the theater in order to make a quick phone call. She had hoped to push the call off longer but considering the threat of future missed rehearsals and whatever Dakota would try to pull it became necessary to secure her investment in Kim as soon as possible.

” How can I help you? ” An older voice asked. “Owen, how are you?” Dakota smiled, knowing how to charm the doctor better than anyone. “I know we haven’t spoken for a while, but the girls have been keeping me busy.”

” They always do, ” the old man chuckled. “It keeps it interesting. Anyway we have a new girl with us, very talented even Serena knows so, but she isn’t used to performing so I was wondering if you could send over some of those pills we had given Serenafor her stage fright,” Dakota said sweetly.

” You know I’d rather not. It can be very harmful to the girls if they take too many. Poor Serena was almost dependant on them you had me sending so many.”

“It’s for the good of the show Owen, we’ll be much more careful this time. No more than two per show I swear.” Dakota smiled as she was almost convinced by her own lie. “She’s a healthy girl otherwise. It’s harmless I promise.”

The other end of the phone stayed quiet for a moment longer as the doctor considered the consequences. The pills he would prescribe were not meant to be taken unless absolutely necessary, as they were known to hold addictive properties. He had been in charge of the Grey family’s affairs for years now though, and refusing a seemingly harmless request from the ever-charming Dakota was more difficult than refusing Collins himself.

“Very well. I’ll have a bottle sent over to you by the end of the week. Just make sure she doesn’t take any additional medication. And it’s only to be used for a show!

Owen’s warnings had no affect on Dakota’s decision. If a confidence boosting drug had a habit of making her girls far more cooperative in some matters then the check dangling from Lusciou’s hands was more than enough to convince her of it’s necessity. When Serena felt uneasy about her first investor Dakota supplied her with a way to go on, and just to insure Kimberly continued down the path they started at the dinner she’d have as much ready as needed.

“Of course, my dear friend. Only to help the show.”


Mark returned to the penthouse the next day, having spent the night in a bar with a female bartender all too pleased to let him stay on her couch after drinking too much. From what he could remember he didn’t find the woman too attractive but he was not one to pass up another’s hospitality. Especially when he was too lazy to cook himself food.

As he expected on his return the flat was left in shambles, John’s clothes thrown about the living room floor as he could never be bothered to put them where they belonged. The kitchen looked as though it had been hit by a hurricane with pots, pans, and burnt pancake batter covering every available surface. The only thing that Mark wasn’t expecting had been the deep red chunk of silk lying near John’s jacket. He assumed it would happen sometime, but he hadn’t guessed he would be lucky enough to avoid trying to sleep through it all together.

“You still here Prince Charming?” Mark teased, picking the dress up from the ground, laying it across the couch to keep from wrinkling the fabric.

A groan from John’s bedroom answered his question. “I think the milk went bad.”

“That isn’t the milk you slowpoke, it was the fact you tried to eat your own cooking in the first place.” Collecting the clothes on the floor Mark walked into John’s room, throwing the clothes into the hamper to demonstrate their proper place. “So you and Kimberly then?”

John nodded, lying back on his bed to try and keep from loosing his late breakfast. Mark could only chuckle. Usually John would take this opportunity to brag to Mark about the woman he had been with or anything to bring up how Mark’s luck with women was far worse than his own. The fact he spoiled any chance to seem superior to Mark made spending a night on a strangers couch all the more worth it. “She had to go to her place before seeing Dakota. She couldn’t stay for breakfast.”

“Brunch. You never wake up in time for breakfast. And that’s all the better for her. I doubt throwing up on stage is a good thing,”

Mark said, going through the room in an attempt to tidy it up. “So… dare I ask how it went?”

Even in his pathetic state John still managed to smile at the memory. Mark could see the sickly color leave his cheeks for a moment as his eyes stared up to the ceiling as if it were covered in gold.

“No, don’t explain. I know that look well enough,” Mark said with a smile. “You’ve fallen for her hard haven’t you?”

“I don’t understand why I would, we’ve barely known each other that long.” John ran his hands through his hair, a wide smile plastered onto his face. “She just has this look in her eyes some of the time, and when she laughs it’s just… and her body I can’t begin to—” “Save it!” Mark laughed, picking up a red bag he could only assume belonged to Kim.

“You’re going to make me sick if you keep talking like that.”

Despite his stomach disagreeing with him John still managed enough energy to throw a pillow at Mark head. The hit causing him to lose his grip on the bag just enough for it to slip from his hands to fall on the ground with a quiet thud. A quiet jingle coming from within the bag as it fell beside the pillow.

Unable to with hold his curiosity Mark picked it back up, opening it to try and find what made the noise. With a quick scan he noticed a phone in need of a good charge, some cash, and a bright orange bottle with a white cap. Taking the bottle out Mark gave it one quick shake to determine it was the source of the jingle along with the fact it seemed to be missing more pills than the label indicated.

“What’s that?” John asked, coming down from his momentary bliss long enough to recognize what Mark was doing.

“Some sort of prescription pain pill. It’s made out to that Serena girl.” Mark shrugged, placing it back into the bag. “Woman things I’m sure. You can give this all back to Kim later.”

John nodded, his uneasiness now shifting away from his stomach to regard the pills he had seen earlier that week. He couldn’t help but feel as though something was going on he wasn’t aware of and Mark knew he wouldn’t be satisfied enough with allotting it to ‘woman things’.

“She’s a dancer right? Those shoes hurt your feet. I mean that’s what I’ve heard anyway. Try not to let it bother you too much. She still likes you so some Advil never hurt anything.”

Mark’s reassurances fell on deaf ears as john pulled himself out of bed to get dressed.

“I know, she’s smarter than to take something bad for her. I’m just not sure I like the idea of people working for Dakota slipping her things under the table.”

“She works for Dakota, John.”

“I know, Mark. ” His mind was already made up and Mark knew it. If he learned anything from his time around John it was that the one trait all Grey’s shared besides their money was their stubbornness.

“I just want to keep an eye on those people. I met a few last night at dinner and I don’t like the looks of them.”

“Well what are you going to do, spy on them?”

“Of course not you idiot. But I don’t think having a word with that Serena girl would hurt anything,” he said. “You keep an eye out for Kimberly while I’m gone alright?”

Mark groaned, knowing very well this meant he would be stuck cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. “Fine. Run off and play white knight without me. I’ll keep your girlfriend company.”

…to be continued

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