Taken by Moonlight

By: Violette Dubrinsky

Her friend winked and Vivienne grinned.

Drew was right. She wasn’t big on dressing up, or making herself up for that matter. One, it took too much time and effort, and two, her job as a legal assistant didn’t exactly require she be a fashionista. Granted, she had to make her appearance decent, but slacks and a dress top were all that was needed on a good day. It wasn’t as if she were one of the attorneys and after completing a year as Arnold Hastings’ slave, for lack of more appropriate word, she highly doubted that she ever would be. If not for the fact that she’d told him this Saturday was her birthday months ago, she doubted she would have had the entire day off. Corporate attorneys were vicious and Arnold was among the very best.

“You’re probably—”

A low whistle sounded and both Vivienne and Drew turned to the source of the sound. Max leaned against the door frame, his eyes intently taking in the vision in red before him. Vivienne had met Maximilian Carter, better known as Max to all those who wanted to keep on his good side, on their college track team. His all-American-boy looks and easy charm had made him a quick favorite among the ladies but it was his humorous outlook on life that had really attracted Vivienne to him. As any heterosexual male and female would do, they’d tried dating but after a week, had found they were much better off as friends.

“Move over Beyoncé and the entire House of Dereon. Make way for Vivienne of the House of Bordeaux.” Because she couldn’t help it, Vivienne laughed. Max wasn’t finished, however. His eyes traveled the entire length of her body before he spoke again. “You are one sexy lady, Vivienne Bordeaux.”

She might have blushed, especially at his low and suggestive tone, but this was Max. Instead, she grinned and winked saucily at him.

“You’re not so shabby yourself. The women won’t be able to leave you alone.” For all the humor she’d interjected into her voice as she said it, they all knew it was true. Max was what one would call a metro-sexual, although not to his face if one wanted to keep one’s teeth. His hair was dark blond, highlighted with streaks of platinum, though he swore they were natural, and cut in a shaggy but even way that seemed to send out a call to all women standing within feet of him. Vivienne had been to parties with Max where she and Drew had simply sat in open-mouthed shock as female after female, give or take a male somewhere in there, solicited him in blatant invitations for rigorous after-hours activities.

“Seriously, Viv, are you trying to get me thrown out of the club for assaulting the first idiot who touches you?” he continued playfully, his smile widening as his hazel eyes left Vivienne and moved to where Drew sat at the edge of the bed. Her smooth mocha legs were crossed, her feet bare, and she stared at Max with a raised brow and a smirk that was in no way friendly.

As his eyes settled on her, she snorted, which caused Max to lift a challenging brow. “Is there something you wanted to add, Drew?”

The woman in question stood, pulling down the edges of the oversized and old blue T-shirt. Drew had yet to change for the trio’s evening out, as she’d spent the past hours transforming Vivienne. She approached Max with what appeared to be a smile on her face. Vivienne shook her head at their antics. Although she considered them both her close friends, she sometimes doubted they thought the same of each other.

Drew stopped directly before Max and replied, “I was merely going to say that any brawls of yours would more than likely be because of your inability to hold your alcohol and over your latest faux blonde bimbo. You’re blocking my exit.”

Max frowned before he shrugged and stepped away from the door.

“I was beginning to wonder if you were going to wear that. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had—just embarrassed for Vivienne.” It was said carelessly, like an afterthought, as he moved closer to Vivienne. Drew tossed a glare back over her shoulder but held her tongue as she left the room.

“Hey, don’t look at me like that. She started it,” Max immediately said, catching Vivienne’s raised eyebrows. He moved to stand behind her and looked at their reflections in the mirror. They cut a stark contrast but still fit. She was brown, her complexion easily described as golden-honey; he was pale, a result of the faded summer tan he still mourned. She, with her straightened black hair and vulnerable expression, and he, blond with the promise of sin in his eyes.

“You really need to stop taunting her like that, Max.”

“She doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, I think she likes it.”

“You mean like you like it?”

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