Vandal (Ashes & Embers #2)

by Carian Cole


I’m balls deep in my latest blonde when my cell phone starts to vibrate, skidding across the nightstand beside my bed. I ignore it as I drive harder into her, her mile-long legs wrapping tightly around my waist, cherry-red nails digging into her palms, chains clanking against the mahogany headboard.

“Ignore it,” she hisses when I glance over at the buzzing device.

I should have gagged her too.

I might have ignored the call if I liked her more and if I didn’t hate being told what to do, but instead I stop moving, my dick still stuck deep inside her, and reach across her face to pick up my phone.

“What?” I say, holding the phone against my head, ignoring the writhing chick beneath me.

“You’re late.” Her voice in my ear is bitter and annoyed. As usual.

“Uh, I left you a voice mail hours ago saying I’d bring her home tomorrow. She was exhausted and cranky, so I just let her go to bed.”

“You know I never check my fucking voice mail. I’ve been out all day and then fell asleep. I only just realized what time it was.”

“She’s sleeping. Just let her stay here, and I’ll bring her back in the morning.”

Things crash and bang on the other end and I hold the phone away from my ear. “No, Vandal. You know the rules. You bring her back by eight o’clock. You don’t get to just extend your time whenever you feel like it. It’s after ten already.”

I shift my weight, my dick softening. Renee shakes her head at me with annoyance, pulling at her chained hands.

Join the club, honey.

“Deb, it’s late. She’s sleeping. I’m fucking flat-out exhausted. By the time I wake her up, deal with her crying because she doesn’t want to leave, and get her packed up and to your place it will be after midnight.”

Her voice is razor-bitch-sharp. “I don’t fucking care, Vandal! And don’t think I don’t hear metal chains in the background. I know exactly what you’re doing. I will call my lawyer right now and tell him you’re violating the agreement. I want my daughter home. Now. You’ve had her for a week.”

I narrow my eyes at the clanking chains and the bitch purposely making sure she was heard making them clink. I can’t go to court. Not again.

“So, what’s a few more hours? She’s asleep in her bed. She had a great day at the zoo, and she’s tired. Let her stay. I’ll take her for breakfast and have her home by nine. What’s the big fucking deal?”

“The big fucking deal is you don’t get what you want whenever you want it just because you’re a rock star. I want her here tonight or I’m calling my lawyer!”


I let out a long, aggravated breath and roll off of Renee.

“Seriously?” she asks as I release her hands from the shackles. “Tell me you are not giving in to her. We’re kinda in the middle of something.”

I swing my legs over the edge of the bed, toss my condom in the trash, and reach for our clothes on the floor, throwing hers over to her.

“I don’t have much of a fucking choice, do I? I can’t deal with any more lawyer-shit. I love seeing my kid; I can’t risk Deb getting her tits twisted and trying to take more visitation away from me.” It took me two years to pass enough drug and alcohol tests to get the visitation I have. I’m not fucking it up. “Put your clothes on,” I growl.

“Can’t I just stay here? I don’t feel like driving around all night.”

I stand, pulling my jeans up to my hips and zipping them, not bothering to button them.

“No. Last time I let you stay here alone you went through my shit. That privilege has been revoked.” I pause. “Unless I leave you chained to my bed while I’m gone.”

“Asshole,” she mutters under her breath as I leave the room. Ignoring her, I kick my boots on as I shuffle down the hallway to my daughter’s bedroom.

Katie, the one ray of sunshine in my life, is fast asleep in her bed, the pink comforter wrapped snug around her. I sit on the edge of the tiny mattress and turn on the small lamp above it.

I give her a gentle shake. “Wake up, baby girl.”

She stirs, hugging her teddy bear tightly to her chest. Her big brown eyes flutter open and stare at me sleepily.

“Come on, sweetheart. I have to take you home.”

She scrunches up her face. “Nooo, Daddy. I sleep here with you.”

I brush the dark curls off her face. “I know, sweetie, but Mommy misses you a lot and wants you to come home now.”

The tears start, cracking my heart in two. I hate that witch for making me do this.

My daughter clutches my hand. “Daddy, I don’t want to go.”

I pick her up and hold her close to me, and she immediately wraps her tiny arms around my neck. I breathe in her baby scent, knowing I’m not going to hold her for another two weeks. Every time I see her she’s bigger, talking more. I hate Deb, but I refuse to let my daughter have a fucked up childhood like I did, with a father who skipped out and never looked back. It’s bad enough she’s got a selfish bitch for a mother and a recovering addict father who’s in a rock band and likes to chain women up. I make sure that when she’s with me she gets tons of love and attention—no matter what.

“Don’t cry, Katie-bug. I’m going to see you real soon.” I wipe her tears with my thumb.

She pushes her favorite teddy bear into my face. “Teddy wants to stay with you, Daddy. He’ll take care of you.”

I laugh and take Teddy from her. “I’m going to let him sleep in your bed. He’ll be right here waiting for you when you come back,” I tell her, tucking Teddy under the comforter.

She gives me her best smile as I kiss her soft cheek. I carry her out to the living room where Renee is perched on the couch, clad in a mini skirt and high heels.

“Can we go so we can get back here and finish what we started?” Renee has a one-track mind, and willingly spreads for me like peanut butter. Any time. Anywhere. That’s something I like when I’m getting what I want, but she becomes annoying as all hell when I’m not screwing her.

Balancing Katie on my hip, I grab her duffel bag of clothes and my car keys. “Renee, I’m completely exhausted. I just want to sleep when I get home. Take it or leave it.”

Katie rests her head on my shoulder, already falling asleep again. The past few days have been crazy with visits to the zoo, a carnival, and two local hospitals, where Katie and I visited sick kids and brought them teddy bears. It’s something we started doing last year when a little girl in her daycare program had a long hospital stay. Last night, after putting Katie to bed, I stayed up all night, laying tracks for the band’s new CD. According to my quick math, I haven’t slept in more than twenty-six hours.

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