The next two weeks went by without further incident. Derek went to Joel’s home with David and
Phillip for their usual Friday night out. While they awaited Joel’s presence, Derek kept an eye out just in
case Dominique was lurking about. He was certain she knew they were there, and was surprised when
their foursome finally left without occasion. Although the atmosphere was strained between Joel and
Derek during the evening, none of the friends mentioned Dominique’s name aloud. Before the night was
over with, Joel and Derek seemed back to their normal camaraderie.
The following week Derek and Allison attended a ball, something he didn’t really want to go to, but
it was a coming out ball for a young cousin of Allison’s and she insisted that Derek go for the sake of
appearance. They were on the verge of being married after all, and it wouldn’t do for Derek to appear
unenthusiastic when it came to attending familial gatherings.
Family was indeed something Derek had longed for many years ago. Yet boring hours spent at a
stuffy ball with his fiancée’s family and uncountable friends was not the grounded feeling of family that
he had craved as a young boy. And he had long since given up the prospect of gaining such close ties
with anyone. It simply wasn’t meant to be for someone of his ilk.
Derek allowed that he would stay only the minimal time necessary to put in an appearance at the
ball, but promised nothing more. That seemed to satisfy Allison. The night of the gala arrived and once
they were there, Derek found himself looking suspiciously again for his stalker, the lovely Miss Harrison.
And she was ravishing, he hated to admit. She was not the kind of beautiful woman who flaunted her
looks or thought she was God’s gift to mankind. But he still didn’t trust her. He didn’t like her. And he
did not want to give her the chance to mess up his life.
Surprisingly, Dominique was nowhere in sight. Derek was certain he’d find her when he spotted
Joel during the evening, but as it turned out, Joel was with someone else, a pretty young redhead. One
of the debutantes of the ball, no doubt, and Joel would be more than happy to introduce her to new
heights of carnality before the evening was over with if given half a chance. It was that knowledge that
confused Derek about his friend’s relationship with Dominique.
Joel was normally as randy and raucous as any of them, yet when he was around Dominique, he
seemed to literally change into a different man. Joel became attentive and protective, smitten yet
cautious not to frighten Dominique off. The complete opposite of himself, Derek supposed, which was
probably very appealing to her. Especially if she was using Derek as a standard by which to judge other
men. Her first impression of passion had unfortunately not been the best for a young virgin, and Derek
was willing to accept the blame for that.
A flash of Dominique’s supple body lying naked beneath him came to mind. The sight of her
frightened eyes staring up at him while he plunged into her innocent body so deep and so hard that she
cried out. The sweet voice in his ears as she had asked him about his supposed illness.