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Note: This is the third (and final) installment of Jamie and Shaie’s story, so some pre-reading is required. If you haven’t read Unbidden and Untethered yet, please do so (in that order) before reading this one. Thank you, and please feel free to leave comments as always.

Part One

“So what you’re saying is that there’s pretty much nothing else I can do?” I asked Diane Hoffram as I sat in her office on a Thursday afternoon.

Mid-forties with green eyes and pale blonde hair, the kind lawyer held a small, private practice on a third-floor condominium unit that Shaie had previously mistaken as my ex-girlfriend’s.

I had first hired Diane’s services a couple of years ago, when things with Joan had gotten so out of hand that I had felt the need to explore legal options just to get my ex to stop. Diane was the fourth lawyer I had approached at the time, but she was the first one who hadn’t looked at me funny as I was explaining to her my situation. She had not hesitated in helping me out either, even referring me to a really great therapist after our first meeting.

And now, I was back in her office because the last Temporary Restraining Order that I had been granted against Joan was about to expire.

“For now,” the older woman answered, shaking her head as she leaned back against her chair. “The thing is, Jamie, unless your ex actually does something illegal, filing for another TRO would be our best recourse.”

My shoulders sagged and Diane noted my reaction.

“Again, we can file charges against her for violating the current TRO, especially since you were able to get the security footage from your apartment building,” she continued as I sank into my own chair. “But you already said that’s not something you wanted to pursue.”

I sighed and nodded in acceptance. I didn’t want my ex to go to jail and possibly worsen things as a result of filing charges. I just wanted her to leave me alone for good.

Truth be told, I didn’t even know why Joan still did it. It wasn’t like the woman actually wanted me back. It had always been more that she liked seeing how she affected me every time she showed up out of the blue—at least until I learned to ignore her and her disruptions had become less and less frequent.

For a while there, it seemed like she had finally decided to stop and move on. I had five whole months of peace and quiet until I saw her again during my first date with Shaie. It was accidental that she also happened to be in the restaurant that night, I knew, but that was all it took to get Joan started again.

My only consolation now was that she had seemed to simmer back down and there hadn’t been another incident in the last three weeks. Still, I didn’t want to be forever looking over my shoulder, wondering when my ex was going to pop up and stir shit next.

“You can hire personal security or move again for added protection,” Diane offered kindly when I kept silent. “But even that won’t guarantee that she’ll stop trying.”

“Those are just two things I can’t afford to do right now,” I tried to smile as I shook my head. I straightened in my chair, having heard just about all that I needed to know on the matter. “Alright, thanks again, Ms. Hoffram. Are there any other documents you need from me for the restraining order?”

“No, I think we have everything we need,” Diane smiled. “The hearing is set two weeks from now, so unless something new comes up, I guess I’ll see you then.”

I thanked Diane once more before I left, truly grateful for all her help but not feeling any better than when I had come in.

I just felt so tired of it all. I suddenly felt trapped and frustrated, unable to believe how—two years after my breakup with Joan—I still had to go through all of this just to have any semblance of normalcy in my life.

I fished my phone out of my purse and dialed Shaie’s number as I stepped out of the building. If there was anyone who could make me feel like there was still some light at the end of this incredibly long tunnel, it was her.


“It’s time to wake up,” Shaie’s voice was soft against my right ear, piercing through my sleep.

I frowned. I was laying face-down on her soft bed but, even with my eyes still closed, I could tell that sunlight filled her bedroom and it was now Friday morning.

“Five more minutes,” I groaned and buried my face against the pillow. I heard Shaie laugh as she ran her hand lightly up and down my bare arm.

“You said that fifteen minutes ago.” She reminded. Then she sighed. “James, as much as I’d like to keep you naked in my bed all day, you asked me to wake you up at 7 because you have that big meeting at work today, remember?”

I had smiled as she spoke. I liked it whenever she called me James. While Shaie certainly wasn’t the first person to shorten my name that way, the way she said it always made it sound more like an endearment than a nickname. I was back to frowning, however, as soon as she mentioned work.

I turned my Betturkey head towards the sound of her voice and opened my eyes to see Shaie, fully dressed in her yoga outfit. She laid sideways on the bed towards me, the tanned skin on her face glowing against the sunlight with a slight sheen of sweat. Some of her dark curls fell softly against her forehead, and her amber eyes shone as her full lips curved into a sexy smile.

I still couldn’t believe my luck that I had been dating this amazingly gorgeous woman for the last couple of months.

“How are you always so happy in the morning?” I grumbled. I propped myself on my elbows, half-wincing at the soreness I felt on my lower back and half-smiling at the reminder of how Shaie had worked me the night before.

“How are you always so grumpy?” She grinned, her hand falling from my arm to my blanket-covered waist. And then she smacked my ass, laying on the cheeriness thickly. “Come on! Rise and shine! Now, move your butt!”

She gave me a quick kiss on the lips before she bounded off the bed, and my body followed her as she moved. I watched Shaie as she began rolling up her yoga mat, the toned muscles of her arms making me briefly—but very seriously—consider calling in sick.

“Keep looking at me like that and I just might keep you in bed after all, big meeting or not.” Shaie warned, grinning as she glanced at me.

With Shaie, what might start out as light teasing always had the tendency of building up into something we’d both eventually feel the urge to see through and, while that always excited me, I really did have to be at work today.

I sighed instead and fixed the blanket around me as I stood. Shaie caught me as I made my way to her bathroom, her arms wrapping around my stomach as she softly pulled me closer to her. I closed my eyes for a moment and rested the back of my head against her shoulder, my fingers reflexively reaching to touch her hair as she began placing gentle kisses on my neck.

“I can’t,” I groaned, pulling away when her mouth grew more urgent. Her arms loosened but her hands stayed on my waist as I turned towards her. “I still have to go back to my apartment and get ready. I’m running late as it is.”

I never kept a change of clothes at Shaie’s place, nor did she keep her clothes in mine. I did have my own toothbrush in her bathroom sink because… well, that was just good sense.

“I knew I shouldn’t have let you take all those ‘five more minutes.'” Shaie’s nose crinkled slightly in frustration but she was still smiling as her hands fell to her sides.

“But I’ll see you tonight at the launch, right?” I asked as I stepped away, smiling when she pretended to pout for a second.

“Yeah,” she smiled back, her hand reaching for mine and almost pulling me in again before deciding to let go. “I’ll go there as soon as I’m done at Floe. Now, go get ready so you can… go and get ready.”

I grinned and rolled my eyes at her before continuing on to the bathroom. I stood in front of the sink, smiling at how Shaie always kept my clothes in a neat pile on the counter before I surveyed myself in the mirror.

My long, dark brown curls were bedraggled, but my brown eyes were still shining after that exchange. I lifted my chin up and gasped at the trail of hickeys Shaie had placed all over my neck last night.

“Shaie!” I exclaimed, and the beautiful woman popped her head inside the bathroom after a short moment.

“What?” She said, trying to look innocent even as she grinned cheekily.

I turned towards her and pointed at my neck. “I mean, should I start investing on turtlenecks now, or…?”

Her grin only got wider as she carelessly shrugged. “You never had a problem using scarves before.” She said.

Shaie winked at me before she moved away, leaving me smiling after her as I began to fix myself up.


Three, please!” I smiled at the bartender, who acknowledged my order with a friendly nod. He was in the middle of fixing a few drinks and it’d probably be a short while before I got the beers I had asked for, but I didn’t mind waiting.

It was a quarter past 9 in the evening and Brad, Kayla, and I were in one of the most well-known clubs in the city. Our office handled the ad campaign for a local beer company and we had launched it tonight through a promotional event. Of course, the three of us were just there to make sure everything went smoothly with the event organizers at this point.

It was one of the better parts of my job, really. Once the program for this kind of events ended—like it did for this one just a few minutes ago—then we were mostly free to enjoy the rest of the night.

I relaxed against the bar and checked my phone for messages. There was one from Shaie telling me that she was on her way and I smiled, seeing that it had been sent about twenty minutes ago which meant that I should expect her to be here any moment now. As if on cue, I felt a hand wrap around my waist and Betturkey Giriş my smile started to widen as I turned around—only to disappear completely as soon as I saw who that hand belonged to.

I pushed the hand away immediately and stepped back, scowling at my ex-girlfriend, Joan, who smiled at me as if she hadn’t just done something incredibly inappropriate. The fear I always felt upon seeing her was instinctive, but I had gotten better at getting over it quickly and did so now.

“Were you expecting someone else?” She asked loud enough so that I could hear her through the music as I continued to glare at her. Her tone and demeanor were friendly, but the cold glint in her cobalt blue eyes told me something else. She really hated the fact that I was dating again.

It wasn’t that Joan was jealous or insecure of Shaie. In fact, I highly doubted that the woman had ever felt inferior to anyone her entire life. Joan was confident, successful, and stunning with her long, jet-black hair and striking blue eyes—some of the things that had attracted me to her in the first place—but I knew what was underneath that exterior well enough now to know that she didn’t actually want me back. She just didn’t think I should be able to move on from her. Ever.

Yeah, I never knew people like that existed until I met her either.

I took another step away from her and turned, instead of taking her bait. I could still see Brad and Kayla where I had left them on the dance floor as I headed towards the exit. I wasn’t trying to run away from Joan—I just knew full well that she wasn’t beyond causing a scene whenever she didn’t get her way, and I didn’t want that.

Besides, I figured it was safer outside where there were people from security I could ask assistance from.

Sure enough, Joan grabbed at my arm from behind just as I was about to approach the bouncer. She continued to walk, only stopping once we were at a safe distance from the few people that were outside the club. Her nails bit painfully against my bare skin, but I knew not to show her that as she placed herself between me and the entrance.

“You need to let go of me,” I looked straight into her eyes as I calmly spoke and Joan followed, lifting her hand in mock surrender.

“What? I’m not doing anything wrong.” She said, feigning innocence. “I just want to talk.”

“You’re in violation of a restraining order right now,” I pointed out. I stepped to the side so I could get past her but Joan was quick to block my way. I tried to appear unbothered but, God, I was so sick of this!

“Was I supposed to know you’d be here?” My ex scoffed. “Last I checked, this is a public place, and I have as much right to be here as you do.”

“As long as you stay 50 yards away from me,” I shrugged, once again making a move to get past her and once again being blocked. I placed my hands on my hips and looked at her squarely. “Step aside.”

She raised a dark eyebrow at me, her lips curling in a smile that mocked. “What’s this? You’re dating that sex-on-legs I saw you with, so now, you’re too good to talk to me all of a sudden?”

I really couldn’t believe the words that came out of Joan’s mouth sometimes, but I knew she was just trying to get a rise out of me.

“The TRO’s been in place for a year now, Joan,” I said, keeping my voice even. “Now, move, please.”

“What did I ever do to you?” She said. The woman actually had the gall to look hurt, and that just about did it for me.

“How about hitting me, lying to me, cheating on me repeatedly, for starters? I mean—,” I said before I caught myself.

Joan still looked very much like the victim she was playing to be but the subtle triumph in her eyes stopped me from completely playing into her hands. She might have succeeded in pushing my buttons, but I’d be damned if I let myself get sucked into this same conversation again.

“No, you know what?” I sighed in exasperation, and Joan glanced away for a second as I shook my head at her. “I don’t need thi—”

I had to step back quickly when Joan suddenly moved to kiss me, her hands reaching for my face as she tried to close the distance between us.

“Are you goddamned kidding me?!” I gasped in disbelief, holding my hand out while Joan just looked at me innocently. I stepped around her, this time pushing past her shoulders when she tried to block my way. “Just stay the fuck away.”

I kept walking until I was back inside the club and then, at the end of the short corridor—just right outside where the crowd started—I stopped and leaned against the wall.

I closed my eyes and shook my hands out, wanting to calm my nerves before I rejoined my friends. My legs felt weak and I tried to tamp down my anxiety by taking deep breaths. Dance music blared loudly while all the helplessness I had felt after leaving the lawyer’s office yesterday came rushing right back, threatening to overwhelm.

I couldn’t help but think of Shaie.

Things had been going so well with her these past two months and she had been just so… amazing, really, about this situation with my ex. She never pried, allowing me to open up to her in my own pace, and by my own choice. She never made me feel pressured or guilty, and she always managed to make me feel understood.

But how long could her patience last if stuff like this kept recurring? And could I really be okay with subjecting Shaie to the same seemingly endless cycle I was in, even if she was willing? I felt close to tears, just knowing that those questions would have to be answered eventually.

Not yet, I thought, and I didn’t know if it was a statement or a wish.


I opened my eyes to see Shaie in front of me, looking all kinds of wonderful with a simple dark shirt on over tight denims, and her curls framing her face. She had the softest look in her eyes as she gazed at me, and I immediately stepped into her arms. They wrapped around me in response and I hugged her tighter, feeling—now, more than ever—as if we were on borrowed time.

And wanting nothing else but to hold on to her for as long as I possibly still could.


Brad and Kayla found the two of us ten minutes later, back at our table, after their first round of dancing. They both knew Shaie already since our firm handled the ads for Shaie’s business, and greeted her warmly as they both sat down.

“So, this is why we never did get our beers,” Brad teased before asking Shaie how things were at Floe, and the two of them tried to make small talk over the noise.

I loved seeing Shaie interact with people. She was just so at ease, so comfortable in her own skin, and she had a certain way about her that just naturally draws people in. She had her arm around my waist, and I smiled at the way her fingers played with the hem of my white top as she talked engagingly with Brad.

Poor Kayla, though. She couldn’t really fully relax around Shaie since she was in charge of the Floe account. I could just imagine it being like partying with your boss—you’re expected to have fun but you can’t really let loose because… well, it’s your boss. I decided to give Kayla some reprieve by inviting Shaie to dance.

The two of us made our way to the dance floor, and even I could feel every pair of eyes that naturally gravitated towards Shaie as she passed. One thing Joan had gotten right was that Shaie was practically sex on legs, and never more so when she danced. The number of people that she automatically attracts never bothered me because Shaie always seemed oblivious to it and, right now, it seemed she only had eyes for me.

We danced to a couple of fast songs, laughing and generally just goofing around. But then a slower song with one of those sexy beats came on, and Shaie pulled me close. Her arms, which she had been holding up before the music changed, softly fell around me, her hands gently grazing the back of my shoulders and travelling down my sides before settling firmly on my waist.

I felt her body pressing onto mine as we swayed, and my nipples hardened underneath my bra at the barest contact. It didn’t surprise me anymore how Shaie could so easily spark my desires and I found myself leaning into it more and more quickly as of late.

My own hands made their way up her shoulders, settling on the soft curls at her nape. I smiled up into Shaie’s gaze, but what I saw in her eyes had me stopping all movement and catching my breath.

Her desire was there, making the amber orbs seem darker, but there was also something else. Some silent emotion that was both so gentle and intense, I couldn’t look away.

I felt my heart slam against my chest, leaving a soft little ache as it continued its beat and, for the briefest moment, I had the strongest urge to run away. I didn’t know how to handle that look and all the things it could possibly mean, so I closed my eyes and pulled Shaie’s head down for a kiss instead.

I fitted my lips firmly against hers, my tongue darting out slightly and coaxing her ready response. I concentrated on the feel of her tongue against my own, throwing myself into her kiss and letting it drive away the inexplicable fear that I was suddenly feeling. Shaie’s hands fell on the small of my back as her mouth repeatedly slashed across mine.

Soon, we were both lost, and when I finally drew my head back and looked into her eyes again, all I saw in them was a passion that was equal to my own.

“Take me home,” I breathed shakily.

I was sure that my words were swallowed up by the music, but Shaie didn’t need to hear them to know how much I wanted her at this moment. She smiled, taking my hand as she turned and began clearing a path out for both of us through the crowd.


We did our best to restrain ourselves on the short drive back to Shaie’s place, but we were back to kissing by the time we stepped into her unit, our mouths hungrier as we tore at each other’s clothes.

I lifted the hem of her grey shirt, my fingers lightly treading the bare skin at her waist before working on the button of her jeans. Shaie tugged at my top as she walked me towards her bedroom and I heard part of the fabric rip as she hastily pulled it off me, breaking our kiss for just the briefest second.

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