Page 6 of The Demon in Him

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I would also need to fuck more, something I craved to the point where I could almost feel the blood pulsing through my cock when I saw a human who aroused me, but again, I denied myself the temptation.

Mostly, the exceptionally rare one-night stand was required.

I didn’t want to risk losing control and hurt anyone.

Clearing my throat, I pulled my sleeves down to cover my wrists. Dante’s eyes followed the movement, and his expression softened. He knew I was covering the scars, scars that can only be left from a severed bonding.

“You have to understand I need the outlet,” I pleaded, but Dante was already leaning back in his chair, subconsciously removing himself from the conversation.

“I’m sorry,” he said, standing before finishing his coffee. “It’s not only my decision.”

He left before I could argue, but I wasn’t sure if I had the words to say anything anyway.


Every time I stepped into my father’s office, it was a reminder that he expected me to be seated behind that desk one day. Graduating with a business degree under my belt, majoring in finance, my photograph was right on his desk, angled slightly toward the door so it couldn’t be missed by anyone coming into his office.My son, my pride and joy.

And how could I let him down when he was so proud?

Timothy Macintyre, city planner working directly under the mayor, he liked to remind me that the city manager position would be coming available when Richard retired, and Dadknewpeople, so he could get in a good word for me. He was an honest man, and every smile I plastered on when we would talk about my future grated against me internally, much as my teeth ground together.

How could I tell him I had no interest in his business?

After school, I had done the degree simply because I didn’t know what else to do, and while I was adept at what I did and had worked as an accountant since, it was hardly something I was passionate about. Whenever Dad would have meetings that he felt wereexcitingenough to draw me into his work, he would invite me along under the guise of having an outside opinion on the financials. But the not-so-sly smiles he threw me weren’t fooling anyone.

Dammit, I wanted to make him proud.

But this life wasn’t for me.

Wasn’t that such a cliché? Wealthy family, only son who didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and would ultimately let him down when he left town tofollow his dreams.But it was a cliché I lived and breathed. My sisters had pursued their own career paths with little interference from Dad, but equal pride, and now he had a lawyer and a fashion designer. Their graduation pictures were displayed in his office too, but not pointed at the door.

Woe is me,right? I had no reason to complain, but every time I nodded and smiled at our weekly family dinner, telling Dad I’d love to come to his meetings, tours, or events was one more lie piled on top of the others, and eventually, it was going to break me.

Because in the garage I had rented out, separate from my small city loft apartment, was a convertible 1957 Ford T-Bird, and in my opinion, the sexiest fucking vehicle to ever exist. With a 312-V8 and over two hundred and forty horsepower behind it, I had actually down-sized the engine after discovering it would set off every car alarm in an underground parking lot if left to idle. While entertaining, it wasn’t what I needed. It was a cruiser, and I wasn’t out to make a statement—my car was for me only. Painted a deep green with ivory interior, the ’57 was the last year of release before they redesigned the line, and as far as I’m concerned, ruined the sleek appearance of the bird.

Thanks to the elderly gentleman who lived next door when I was growing up, John was pivotal in my passion for cars. He was Italian, had a thick accent, and was a mechanic from theold daysas he called them. He would roll up his shirt sleeves, exposing the gray hair on his tanned arms and a handful of tattoos that had faded and blurred with time, tilt his checkered cap to keep the sun from his eyes, and show me how to fix and maintain cars. Specializing, of course, in the classics, he wasn’t bad when it came to new cars, but he didn’t have the technology to hook them up and monitor the computer systems.

I didn’t want to be sitting at a desk, dealing with accounts or architecture or the mayor’s business, I wanted to be in the garage—mygarage. I wanted to own the business, built purely on my knowledge of cars and the connections I’d made through years of side-project restorations, and share the passion with everyone who walked through the front doors.

But a mechanic wasn’t a lawyer, a designer, a city planner, a doctor, or any other number of white-collar careers that would make my father swell with pride, hooking his thumbs in an almost comical fashion under his suspenders and bounce on his heels the way he did when he was particularly pleased.

Yet how long I could keep it a secret how miserable I was following this path was anyone’s guess.

Mine would be not much longer at all, because the garage called to me, and I was at my most content with my head stuck under the propped-open hood of a classic car and my hands were caked with grease and grime.

Dad slapped me on the back as I strolled into his office. “Hope you don’t mind giving up your lunch break to be here for this meeting.” There was an almost permanent smile plastered on his face, and sometimes I wondered how much he knew about the city we lived in. Sure, it was finehere, but head south, and things got real dark, really quick. Crime was rampant, and it was no secret that the underground crime rings ran most of the city, including much of the police department, and how much they were in politics was anyone’s guess. Yet here Dad was, working directly for the mayor with a constant smile, no worries in his eyes, and no cares beyond this office and the projects he had going.

I thought of my car and was at least thankful I could afford to keep her locked up at this end of the city, where she’s safer.

“Not a problem, Dad,” I said, returning his smile, albeit with less enthusiasm, and leaning against the edge of his desk. “What’s the project this time?”

“Another apartment complex, closer to the restaurant district.”

The restaurant district bordered between where the richest and poorest citizens lived. I wanted to ask him if such an apartment complex would have affordable rent to those south of the restaurant district. I didn’t.

“Blackman, Conner, and Associates,” Dad boomed, answering my unasked question of who the meeting was with today. Now that was a name I was familiar with. It was hard not to be. How many architecture firms do you know have billboards and plaster themselves across minor magazines as though they are some sort of B-grade celebrity? None I could think of, but it worked. The name came to mind almost straightaway when you thought of architecture, but I imagine that level of in-your-face advertising could only come from someone extremely arrogant.

And judging by what I’d seen of Frank Blackman, arrogance was one of his main traits—all dark hair and eyes and a grin that bordered on a smirk, promising that he’d take care of you in the business world.