Handling Cynthia: A Second Chances Novella

Handling Cynthia

A Second Chances Novella


Andrea Dalling

Published by

Artesian Well Publishing


Learn more about
Andrea Dalling’s books

Andrea Dalling’s website


BDSM erotic
novella is intended for an
audience. It contains scenes of flirtation, hot kisses, erotic bowling, a spoiled sub, a demanding Dom, second thoughts, and second chances.


This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Handling Cynthia

© 2015 Andrea Dalling

ISBN 978-1-942198-01-7

First edition, April 2015


Cover stock image

© arturkurjan

Any person depicted on the cover is a model.


All Rights Reserved Worldwide

This ebook is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, and subject to criminal prosecution. An ebook format cannot legally be loaned or given to others. No portion of this literary work may be sold, manipulated, transmitted, copied, reproduced, or distributed, in any form or format, by any means or in any manner whatsoever, without the express written permission of the author, except for brief excerpts used for the purpose of review. To request written permission, contact Artesian Well Publishing at


All trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

Published in the United States of America


Chapter 1

Cynthia Darlington sashayed through the hotel corridor on her stilettos, determination fueling her steps. The pale green carpet muted the sound, while tangerine drapes framed the picture windows and the darkness beyond. The faint scent of jasmine laced the air.

A sign in front of the ballroom read "Chestnut Grove High School Five-Year Reunion." A small group chatted at the welcome table, dressed in suits and dresses and cheap fashion jewelry, but she didn't want to get roped into the conversation. She'd had enough of false friends in high school, people smiling to her face while calling her a princess behind her back.

Without making eye contact, she scanned the table for her name tag and found it. Her gaze then wandered to the end of the alphabet.
Trent Weber
. So he wasn't there yet.

If he didn't show, her plans would be ruined.

. If he didn't show, she'd hunt him down. She hadn't spent four hundred dollars for a little black dress at a boutique on Fifth Avenue so she could walk away from this party without getting the one thing she had come for. And she had come for Trent. In fact, she was looking forward to coming for him over and over tonight.

She tried to slip into the ballroom unnoticed by the women working registration, but she didn't quite make it. "Cyn, glad you're here!" said senior class president Denitra Washington. "Rick is inside."

She arched her brows. "You mean Rick Ferguson?"

"Who else, girlfriend? And he looks

Cyn wasn't surprised. Looking good was what Rick did best.

"I couldn't believe you two broke up after high school," Denitra continued. "The head cheerleader and the captain of the football team…you seemed like the perfect couple."

"We didn't want to be tied down while we were at college."
Tied down
. That was exactly what Cyn wanted to be. Only not with Rick. With a sly smile and a wave at her old friend, Cyn headed into the ballroom.

The bar was set up inside, to the right of the entrance.
Good choice
. A merlot would calm her nerves at being surrounded by people she barely knew—or knew just well enough to make the situation even more uncomfortable.

She stood waiting behind a guy whose name she couldn't remember. Linebacker in a bespoke suit cut to fit his massive shoulders, with a diamond-studded date hanging on his arm. He pocketed the change the bartender gave him without leaving a tip, and sauntered off.

Ordering her drink, she handed the bartender a twenty for the eight-dollar wine and told him to keep the change. His blue eyes shone, and a smile revealed his dimples.

She looked around the room, trying to recognize faces. The last time her high school friends had all gotten together had been at Trent's parents' house the weekend before she left for college. The night everything had changed.

She and Rick had been talking all summer about whether to see other people once she left for Columbia and him for Penn State. Ten minutes into the party, he'd said they should make a clean break. She didn't disagree, but still, it was a kick in the gut to get dumped by her boyfriend of three years.

Even if she'd fallen out of love with him months earlier. Even if his friend Trent had been looking damn good to her.

Trent had spent the evening taking care of her. She cried on his shoulder, and he snuck a half-empty bottle of wine out of the house for them to finish on the back deck. She was the last one to leave that night. As they stood by her Mustang in his driveway, they said goodbye, but she couldn't bring herself to get into the car.

The tension hung between them until he backed her against the door, pressing his mouth to hers. She stilled, too shocked to know how to react. His hands skimmed down her sides and she relaxed into the kiss. Her lips parted and his tongue swirled hers, tasting of zinfandel. His body pinned her to the Mustang. She felt his erection against her pelvis. He grabbed her wrists and held her palms flat against the car.

If Trent had asked, she would have felt too guilty to kiss him that way. Not so soon after her breakup with Rick. But she had no chance to think. He gave her body what it wanted from him, teeth nibbling lips, years of pent-up teenage desire surfacing.

All too soon, Trent stepped back. He shuffled his sneaker on the gravel driveway. "I'll miss you. Good luck at Columbia."

"Good luck at Delaware."

And that was that.

If she'd been smart, she'd have called him the next day. Told him she never should have stayed with Rick so long. Now that she was free, she and Trent could be together. They owed it to themselves to find out where this thing might lead.

But out of misplaced loyalty to Rick, she didn't see Trent again. She didn't want to hurt Rick, jumping into bed with his best friend as soon as they broke up. So this thing with Trent had remained unresolved.

They fell out of touch during college. She was too embarrassed and confused by what had happened to contact him. Apparently, he felt the same. For the past five years, their only communication had been comments on each other's Facebook status.

That would end tonight. Even if he didn't show. Even if she had to drive to Delaware and find the little apartment where he was living while getting his PhD. She would fuck Trent Weber tonight.


Trent entered the ballroom and looked around. The zing in his heart at the prospect of seeing Cyn twisted into a knot in his stomach. That old longing burned inside, but she'd humiliated him the last time he saw her. He wouldn't let that happen again.

She'd been nice enough to him on Facebook, but that was Cyn. She was nice to everyone, at least at a safe distance. Up close, she would be as aloof as she'd been after that kiss. She didn't want him—she had made that clear enough five years ago. If she could be cold, he could, too.

He skimmed his hand over the tailored suit his parents had bought him for interviews his senior year of college. He couldn't shake the memory of Cyn. Holding her against the car, immobile, and taking what he'd wanted—and she seemed to want it, too. Her body went soft at his touch, sweet moans escaping her throat. But when he broke the kiss, she smoothed her shirt and said good night, like the way her lips parted for him hadn't been surrender. Like the way her leg wrapped around his hadn't intertwined their souls.

Fuck that.
Forget Cyn and her poetry. Tonight he'd show her he wasn't that kid pining away for her anymore. 

It didn't take long to spot her. She'd been voted Best Dressed, and that hadn't changed. The black dress she wore clung to every curve. Even though he had more control over his erections now than he had at fifteen, Cyn's effect on him hadn't changed.

He sucked in a breath. A couple of hours and the first test would be over. If he could get through tonight, the rest of the weekend would be easy.
Be cordial, and don't think about what it would feel like to be inside her.

"Trent Weber!" a voice called. Bernadette Holt crossed his path.
. He'd been a tool to her after they'd split. Time to man up. Couldn't walk away like she didn't exist. Instead, he glued on a smile and kissed her cheek.

"You look great," he said. And she did. Auburn hair cut long, green eyes sparkling, even in the dim light. The red dress showed off her boobs—the first he'd had the pleasure of experiencing. "What are you up to these days?"

"Wharton Business School," she said in the raspy voice he remembered from late-night phone conversations or hurried fucks in the back of his parents' SUV. "I hear you're working on a PhD in chemistry."

"Mr. Banji wouldn't have believed it, the way I screwed around in high school chemistry."

"I remember you mixing random chemicals together to see what would happen."

"Blame that on my lab partner. Rick took the word 'experiment' literally."

She nodded. "Did you bring a date?"

"A few of us decided to come stag."

"Mine weaseled out at the last minute, the wuss."

Trent grinned, but his heart rate kicked up. He didn't come stag so he could hook up with Bernadette. They'd lost their virginity together, but he'd never been in love with her. He was too crazy in love with his best friend's girl.

He touched Bernie's arm. "I'd better find Rick. It was great seeing you."

Without looking back, he headed off to where he'd spotted Cyn and Rick talking. With a thrill in his stomach, he caught sight of her. She looked edible. Short dark hair, ivory shoulders he wanted to graze his teeth across. The old fantasies rushed back—fingers closed around her wrists, restraining her the way he had during that kiss. What would she think of him if she knew?

Moot point, because he'd never get that close to her again.
Fool me twice, shame on me
. He wouldn't be a fool for any woman. Not even Cyn.

As he got close, she stepped forward and hugged him. He breathed her perfume, like oranges at Christmas, and imagined himself taking a bite. She held him in a long embrace, her breasts against his chest, and he had to pivot away to keep his erection from pressing into her. A knot in his chest loosened and he held her close, then remembered his resolve. As he pulled back, the accidental glide of his palm down the silky bare skin of her arm shot heat into his groin.

His throat thickened. Ever since that decadent kiss, his fantasies of dominating her had grown stronger, darker. He wanted to make her obey, and punish her if she didn't. Her body, so pliant in his arms as he'd held her against the Mustang, had betrayed her submissive bent. But a middle-class kid from Chestnut Grove wasn't good enough for the CEO's daughter.

"I've missed you." The words spilled from his lips without intent.
Way to play it cool.

She stepped back and smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling. "I missed you, too."

With an effort to act normal, he turned and shook Rick's hand. His friend gripped hard in his usual show of strength. The rough flex of muscle cleared his head.

"What happened with you and Jessica?" he asked Rick, pasting on a smile. "One day your mom is posting photos of engagement rings on your Facebook wall, and the next your relationship status changes to Single."

Rick combed his fingers through his brown, wavy hair. "I'm twenty-three. I don't know why the fuck Mom is in a hurry."

Cyn smiled. "He doesn't want to talk about Jess."

"I get it. She dumped your ass."

"No. I realized she wasn't the one. End of story."

Obviously, there was much more to the story, but Trent didn't push.

"You stag, too?" he asked Cyn.

"We all agreed, didn't we?"

"Thought you might chicken out. Women don't like being dateless."

She narrowed her eyes. "You don't think I could find a date while I'm here?"

"In that dress, you'd have no trouble." Trent looked around. "Where's Jordan? It was his idea to come stag, and he's not even here."

"He's in the hotel," Rick said. "I saw him earlier."

"Probably found a hot guy in the bar and got sidetracked," Cyn said.

"That reminds me," Trent said, "I forgot to get a drink."

"I'll get it," Rick said. "I need a refill."

Trent started to protest, but Rick strode off. Trent's stomach tensed. He looked at Cyn, the muscles in his neck tightening. After five years, he was alone with her. He tried not to stare. She was still everything he wanted, and everything he couldn't have.

"It's weird how normal this feels." Cyn squeezed his arm. "When I saw Rick…it was such a thrill. None of that teenage pain. He looks fantastic." Her face paled. "I mean, I'm not interested in him that way anymore. The sex between us was never…" She blushed. "Well, I'm sure he gave you all the details."

Trent remembered. Every word. How Cyn had finally let Rick go all the way on her eighteenth birthday. How she'd gone down on him in the car while they waited for the Fourth of July fireworks. The pain had seared like hot iron in his gut.

"He talked a lot," Trent said. "Don't know how accurate it was."

She nodded. The sadness in her eyes sliced through him. He grabbed her arm, hoping to comfort her. But his hand on her wasn't gentle the way he intended. The possessiveness in him fought to the surface and took over.

She froze at his touch. It was like the night of his party, when he had clenched her wrists, aching to own her. Her eyes widened with some dark emotion—whether submissiveness or fear, he couldn't tell. 

He let her arm drop. His heart hammered his ribcage like a boxer whaling on a punching bag. He unbuttoned his suit jacket and shoved his hands into his pockets, clenching his fists to fight back the maddening rush of desire.

With all the women he'd dated, the raw need to dominate them had been an undercurrent. He'd even acted out that fantasy with one girlfriend his senior year in college. Nothing, though, had prepared him for this ferocious urge to possess Cyn.

He wanted to drag her by her hair to his hotel room and tie her to the bed, to fuck every inch of her and leave her begging for more. This beautiful girl, whom he'd worshipped since he was fifteen…Was he crazy? Could she want it rough with him, too?

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