Uncut: White Flame-4

A Fiery Kiss That Scorched the Heart

For the first time, Audrie was the last one to get downstairs.

In the past, whenever the Jacobs Family dines out, Audrie was always the one who got the car out of the garage because everyone’s still dressing up.

But she was wearing her usual attire then: jeans and blouse shirt.

Tonight, since she’s wearing the purple dress, she should also have some make-up on.

Her fingers shook and she couldn’t apply lipsticks properly.

In the end, she just wiped off any color from her lips.

She rubbed repeatedly until her lips went red and slightly puffed.

“Audrie? Gal, what are you doing up there? We’re all down here!”

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Her father’s voice sounded muffled from downstairs because the bathroom door was closed.

“Audrie, let’s go!” Aimee knocked loudly on the bedroom’s door. “Aren’t you ready yet?”

“I’m ready!” Audrie shouted back.

She shook her head disgustedly because she couldn’t control the tremor in her voice.

She rubbed her sweaty palms against the sides of dress’s tight skirt.

It seemed she grew at least 3 inches since the last time she wore the dress because the hem just covered her thighs!

“Mom and Dad are getting impatient — ” Aimee stopped talking when Audrie opened the bathroom’s door. “Wow! You got great legs, Audrie!”

“Should I wear tights?” She asked uncertainly, not taking the compliment seriously.

To her eyes, her legs are overly long and overly slim. Just like a pair of chopsticks.

“No need! Your skin’s perfect! What kind of shaver do you use?” Aimee seemed genuinely awed as she walked around Audrie.

“Or you’re having them waxed?”

“No shaver,” Audrie replied timidly. “I just have no hair,” she added, feeling abnormal.

“No hair? Not even in the underarm or…”

“Girls! Come down here! We’ll be late!” Their mother’s voice echoed from below.

“Yes, Mom!” Audrie snatched the clutch bag on the dressing table. It comes with the dress and made from purple leather.

“Let’s go, Aimee. Race you!”

The wooden planks of the stairway squeaked as two girls raced down. They were both breathing hard as they reached the front door at the same time.

“Goodness! Get inside the car. We only have 10 minutes!” Marie squealed as she saw the two daughters.

“Where’s Anne?” Aimee asked when she saw the vacant backseat.

“She’s on the phone, talking with her agent,” Marie replied irritably. “That agent is a slave driver!”

“He’s just concerned with Anne’s career, Mom,” Aimee reasoned quickly. “Sit beside me, Audrie.”

Audrie complied dutifully. Her left hand pulled at the skirt’s hem automatically. The darned skirt got even shorter and exposed more skin.

“I’ll call Anne.” Marie shut the car’s door forcefully before marching towards the far end of the dimly lit garden.

Anne and Mom appeared after several seconds. Both were oddly silent and seemed tense.

Anne yanked open the backseat door and sat beside Audrie with a hard bounce. She closed the door with more force than needed.

“Thank God, we’re all here!” Ron exclaimed as he opened the passenger door for his wife.

“Is there any problem, Anne?” Aimee whispered curiously.

“Mom wants me to quit my job,” Anne whispered back in a sullen tone. Her lovely eyes were flashing as she talked.

“But why?”

“Just because I’m getting married!”

“What does Sean say?”

Audrie remained silent and waited with bated breath for the answer. She hoped that Sean would also want Anne to stay.

“We haven’t discussed about my career yet. But I’m sure, he won’t be a killjoy.” Anne threw an irritable glance at the back of their mother’s head.

“You just have to explain your side to Mom. I’m sure she’ll understand the importance of your career,” Aimee said.

“Will you help me explain?” Anne asked hopefully.

“Sure!”

It never entered Audrie’s mind to speak even though she’s sandwiched between her elder sisters.

She’s quite accustomed to being treated as invisible.

Anne and Aimee were always closer to each other because they have the same personalities and they seemed to think alike.

Audrie was always treated more like a favorite cousin than the youngest sister.

Fortunately, Audrie has no jealous or competitive bones in her body.

She never liked being the center of attraction. She prefers to stay on the background.

And more importantly, she idolized her beautiful sisters.

She loved watching them walking on the catwalk and being the darlings of any crowd.

The drive to the Talbot Residence took only 6 minutes. The tall gate was already opened, obviously waiting for their arrival.

As the car was stopping in the middle of the circular driveway, Anne’s cell phone rang shrilly.

“I have to take this call,” she announced firmly, looking defiant at their mother.

“You’re old enough to know what’s wrong and what’s right,” Marie Jacobs replied stiffly before getting out of the car with a huff.

Aimee’s eyebrows disappeared beneath her fashionable bangs as she caught the meaning behind their mother’s loaded reply.

“She knew you’re leaving for New York tonight!” She squeaked a whisper to Anne.

“Yes. She heard me telling Jon about my nine o’clock flight tonight.”

Audrie was still sandwiched between her sisters so she couldn’t help but listen to every word they utter.

She almost said aloud: ‘Don’t go, Anne! Please, don’t leave Sean alone!’

“No wonder, Mom’s so mad at you,” Aimee said in a worried tone. “Does Sean know you’re leaving tonight?”

“Not yet.”

“You have to beat Mom from telling him first.”

“Yes,” Anne agreed. “But I really have to take this call first,” she added as her cell phone rang again.

“Ok, I’ll distract Mom,” Aimee offered.

“Please do that.” Anne sounded distracted already.

She punched a button on her cell phone as she got out of the car. Aimee opened the other door and got out, too.

Audrie felt relieved when she was left alone. She couldn’t breathe with so much tension.

“Audrie?” Her father called her. “Let’s go inside.”

“Yes, Dad,” she answered quickly.

“I can’t find my hanky. Please go ahead. I’ll be right behind you.”

Her voice was husky and shaky but her father did not notice anything amiss. He was busy unloading the ice cooler where the salad bowls were packed.

Feeling like a malfunctioning robot, Audrie forced her heavy limbs to move.

She had to get out of the car while her father was still looking.

Her heart was beating fast like a sonic train.

She quickly gulped gallons of the cool night air but it worked like a speed drug. Instead of getting calmed down, her whole body started tingling.

It was as if something was stopping her from coming inside the Talbot Residence…

“Don’t lock the car, Audrie,” her father instructed before joining her mother and Aimee.

“Please, fetch Anne, Audrie.” Her mother ordered suddenly. Her voice seemed laced with muted urgency.

“Yes, Mom,” she replied obediently, grateful for the extra time to be alone.

She needed to gather all her wits to survive the next few hours of torment.

Almost blindly, Audrie headed towards a row of flowering plants.

Anne’s soft voice was wafting from behind the fragrant blooms so she walked on that direction but she just plan to call out her sister’s name and go away.

The Talbot garden was larger than theirs but also dimly lit with only a few lights switched on.

She was watching her steps closely so she did not notice a tall silhouette that suddenly separated from the shadows.

A pair of warm hands grabbed at her cold and naked arms. Audrie gasped as she was turned around in one fluid motion.

Her body was imprisoned in a tight embrace while a masculine voice huskily whispered in her ears: “I missed you, sweetheart!”

Before Audrie could say anything, a hot mouth kissed her vulnerable lips.

The burning heat of that kiss seared her soul and scorched her heart. She didn’t see the man kissing her but she knew his voice.

Since she was a teenager discovering her first crush, Audrie had always dreamed of kissing Sean Talbot.

And now that he’s become her first kiss, she couldn’t help but record every nuance of the different sensations that his kiss and embrace created — even when she’s also turning into a slave…

UNCUT: WHITE FLAME-5

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