Addicted to Santino - Amarie Avant


Gina Galloway

“Is it Christmas already?” I whimper, my entire body shutting down. Complaining isn’t my customary MO. I’m dominant. On occasion, my Manolos might walk all over an employee. But only after I’ve issued the same command and that person’s screwup has cost tens of thousands of dollars. People call me a she-devil behind my back. While I prefer any sentiment, regardless of how spiteful, is said straight to my face.

But I’m not standing before someone for whom I sign a paycheck. Instead, my expensive suede booties drown in wet cement. It’s a warm day in Manhattan as I slowly descend into the unfortified pavement on the sidewalk. A boutique store has captured all of my attention. The windows are designed with frosted edges. A painting of a cheerful snowman, with a midsection rounder than Saint Nick, grins back at me. It’s as if he knows how unlucky I am during the holidays.

I’m not ready . . .

My assistant replies in my earbud, “Gina . . .? Gi—”

Someone grabs my waist from behind—the picturesque window with Christmas memorabilia disappears.

Manicured fingers curl around my designer handbag, I slap the perpetrator. Now, I’m not the tiniest woman on the block. I applauded my weight loss from the beginning of summer until now—I went from a size sixteen to a fourteen. Still, someone has lifted me with firm, gentle hands like I’m a feather. A slimy squishy sound irritates my ears as I ascend from the cement abyss. Only a fraction of an inch of my booties around the ankle have retained their Persian rose coloring.

Yet, my mouth goes dry as my eyes slither up and down the stranger, and not because of my shoes. Stop it, Gina. You are a Galloway. You don’t eat men with your eyes! I’ve never taken a second glance at his type. He could be splayed across one of those muscley calendars for horny women, each page parading a diverse fetish. This one’s a construction worker.

At well over six feet tall, the caramel-coated man is enormous. A white shirt stretches across his rippling chest and abdominals. His imposing shoulders extend from here to Starbucks across the street! Again, I remind myself I’m not that type of female. I prefer a lean man, incapable of flipping and tossing me around in bed like a fucking baton!

There’ll be no flushing with embarrassment. One mustn’t admit mistakes, no matter if the proof is all over their expensive heels. Squaring off my shoulders, I snort, “What are you doing? Stop touching me!”

For a second, the stranger drinks in my shock with a satisfied grin.

Again, I pop his meaty bicep with my purse.

“C’mon,” he coaxes in a hypnotic tone. Alright, that Italian accent made me cream a little. His dark, piercing eyes warm my core as he adds, “Sweetheart, I was just helping you.”

My nipples harden into pebbles as the Italian’s hands clutch my waist, holding me close. Can the stranger feel my tiny hard nipples fighting against him? I doubt it because the gigantic erection in his pants is fighting back.

Raising my purse, I whack at his dense bicep, again arguing about him touching me.

The Italian flashes a white grin, resembling the type of trouble I'll never need in my life but secretly desire. In his native language, he’s calling me all sorts of crazy and has the nerve to smile. Hmmm, he doesn’t know I can understand every-single-word.

As if mesmerized, my plush lips open just slightly. I lay on a star-struck grin and wait for him to finish bashing me.

Once complete, I blink. “So, you speak in that seductive language? You run those dark eyes all over a woman’s body. In response, women drop their panties, regardless of the words coming out of your filthy mouth?”

The look on the dirty Italian’s face reads that our encounter has yet to transition into debauchery. “What’s your name, sweetheart?”

“First name, Crazy; last name, Conceited,” I reply. “Or was my name ‘ridiculously beautiful with a stick up her ass’? That’s what you referred to me as, right? Please confirm, am I ungrateful?”

Though he realizes I understood him, he clears his throat. He raises a hand to his chest. In a mesmeric tone, he says, “I’d never say such a thing to you, sweetheart.”

“Well, I’m fluent in Italian and Spanish. I beg to differ. However, I pay assholes to assist with consultations in Mandarin. So what was with, ‘amore a prima vista’?” I clear my throat, glancing down at my pleated skirt. Fingers toying with the