Ever wanted to get into Kevin’s head? Now you can! Here’s the first chapter Unclichéd, the story of Cliché from Kevin’s POV!
Unclichéd – Chapter 1
“Kevin, did you hear what I just said?”
I look up from where I’m staring unseeing at the script I’m supposed to be reading and try to focus on what Savannah’s saying. I’m distracted today and restless and the reason is that in less than an hour, I’ll be seeing Claire again. The last three months in Nepal felt like three years. Don’t get me wrong. The place is stunning but not being able to speak to Claire is its own form of hell. Three months is the longest we’ve ever been apart. Claire grounds me—she gives me a home, even though I live in California and she lives in South Africa, and when I’m away from her for too long, I get jittery.
I tell myself it’s because she’s the only person that gets me. And she is. Being an actor with my life constantly in the limelight has shown me just how important my friendship with Claire is. She’s the one person I can be myself with. Well, other than my brother, Brandon, and Claire’s Gran, but she gets me on a completely different level and for the next month, I’ll be “home” and I can’t fucking wait.
I realize I haven’t answered Savannah when she tilts her head and raises an eyebrow. The woman can say a thousand words with those damn eyebrows. “Sorry, what did you say?”
“I said I’ve arranged the press to be at the track on Saturday morning when you’re there with the boys. The coverage—”
I close the script and place it on the seat next to me. “Cancel it.”
She blinks. “What do you mean?”
“Cancel the press. I don’t want anyone there.”
Savannah leans back in her chair and starts twisting the cap of her pen round and round. I know from experience this means she’s about to start a debate, and I’m in too good a mood to get into an argument about this.
“I’m not talking about this, Savannah. This is time for me and the boys. Brandon is joining the house on Monday and I want this to be about the kids getting to know their new councilor, and having a chill day. They deserve a good time. It’s not some sort of publicity stunt.”
She shifts in her seat and crosses her legs. She’s dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt, her blond hair tied back, but her body language is far from relaxed as she gets ready to present her case. “I know you’re not doing it for the publicity, but Kevin, people should see this. You’ve been on the board of the Walter Forest Home for Boys for years. You spend a lot of time and money on the kids and this will raise awareness and—”
I lean forward, resting my arms on my knees. “Savannah, I appreciate what you’re trying to do here. I really do, but all those pics will achieve is people assuming I’m spending time with the boys for the coverage, and frankly, I don’t give a fuck about that sort of thing. Those kids have been through enough and the last thing they need is a bunch of strangers invading their space. I don’t want the press there—end of story.”
She purses her lips and I can tell she isn’t happy. “You’re way too modest, you know that? My job is to—”
“For the next month, your job is to relax and take it easy,” I interrupt. “I brought you along because we’re in negotiations for the next script, but I also want you to relax. You’re working too hard.”
She smiles. “Says the guy who works eighteen-hour days.”
I smile back. “Doing the job he loves.”
I shake my head, my smile growing. The reason I hired Savannah is because of her tenacity and the fact that she’s pretty cool. No pretenses—what you see is what you get. But that tenacity can be a pain in the ass at times.
“Mr. Peyton.” I look up to see Michael, a member of the cabin crew, standing in front of me with his hands clasped.
“Sir, we’ll be descending soon. Would you mind putting on your seatbelt?” He looks from me to Savannah and back. Once he’s satisfied we’re strapped in, he heads to the jumpseat. I pick up my script because I have to do something to keep myself busy and stop my leg from bouncing with excitement. I chew on my lip to stifle a smile. I wonder what Claire will think of the list of demands I sent her? No doubt she’ll roll her eyes at me. Even Savannah was surprised since it’s not something I’ve ever done, but I couldn’t resist.
Flying charter with Claire’s father’s company was a no brainer. I needed anonymity for returning to South Africa, especially now that I’d been nominated for an Oscar. I wanted to enjoy my time with Claire without being in the spotlight. I especially need to keep her out of it. The attention makes her uncomfortable, and my world is a brutal place I need to protect her from. Flying with Addington Air guarantees I get into South Africa with minimal fuss. Claire and her family work their asses off to ensure that their clients get to experience South Africa without the hassle of dealing with the press. Claire works her ass off, period. Her father is grooming her to take over the family business because God knows, Kim, her older sister, sure isn’t capable.
We touch down on the runway and taxi to a stop. It takes all my willpower not to open the doors and charge down the steps. I unbuckle my seatbelt and stand casually—at least I hope I looks casual—and gather my things.
“Want me to take those for you?”
Savannah eyes the script and pen.
“Thanks.” I hand them to her and slip my leather jacket over my white tee, then check the pocket to make sure my gift for Claire is still in there. I’m so sure I’m gonna get throat-punched for it, but I couldn’t resist.
Mike opens the doors. I slide my sunglasses in place and make my way to the aircraft steps. I spot Claire immediately and can’t stop the grin from spreading across my face. She looks incredible in a white blouse and navy skirt as she walks toward me, keeping her demeanor professional. Well, fuck that shit. I disembark, and as soon as I’m within arm’s reach, I grab her and scoop her off the ground.
“Damn, I’ve missed you.” The words come out in a groan and I don’t give a shit. Having Claire in my arms again is like being home, and I can’t resist the kiss I smack onto her lips. I’m pretty sure I squeeze all the air out of her before setting her back on the tarmac.
“I’ve missed you, too.”
I wrap my arm around her shoulders, not ready to let her go yet, and we head toward the charter lounge. Since I’ve pretty much grown up here at Addington Air, I know my way around.
“Ah, I see you got my list of demands.”
True to my prediction, Claire rolls her eyes. “We did. Are you that guy now?”
I take my glasses off and hook them onto my T-shirt. I think I’m going to wear out my cheek muscles with all the grinning I’m doing today. “Why am I doing all this if I can’t throw in a couple of demands every now and then?” I squeeze her tighter to me. “Besides, I know this gal who is crazy about tulips, Turkish Delights, and lime milkshakes, and I was hoping to butter her up so I can have a place to stay.”
She laughs. “You can afford a hotel room, Mr. Oscar-nominated actor.”
No matter how many times people call me that, it still feels weird. I can’t explain why. And now I’m fucking blushing like a teenage boy getting his first hard-on. I need to get the attention off me. “Yeah, but then I don’t get to spend time with my bestie. I brought you something.” I reach into my jacket pocket and produce a frog Beanie Baby.
She narrows her eyes and I wonder if I should cover my junk. “Haha, very funny.”
“C’mon, you have to admit he’s cute.” A mischievous smirk spreads over my face.
“I don’t care how cute he is. He’s still a frog.”
Frogs are Claire’s nemesis—a fear she’s lived with for as long as I’ve known her. I give her a ton of shit about it, but I know how terrified she is. I also know people don’t understand it. I think I’m the only one she tolerates the teasing from because despite my teasing, I get it.
Savannah has finally caught up with us after chatting with the crew and gifting them a weekend’s stay at Sudwala Lodge for themselves and their families. She extends her hand to Claire. “You must be Claire, I’m Savannah. We spoke over the phone.”
Claire takes her hand and we finally get around to introductions. There’s a girl with red curls who’s been standing next to Claire and I’m a little embarrassed that I’ve been so wrapped up that I didn’t do this earlier. I hope she doesn’t think I’m a dick. Even if I’ve been acting like one.
“Hi, Savannah, nice to finally meet you. This is my colleague, Alison.” Claire gestures to the red-headed girl. “Alison, this is Kevin Peyton and his personal assistant, Savannah.”
We all shake hands, and although I can tell Alison is nervous, she handles it like a pro.
“How was the trip?” Claire tries to extricate herself from my hold but I pull her in a little tighter and plant a kiss on her cheek.
“Perfect,” I say. “Just perfect. You did well, Claire-Bear.”
Alison’s raised eyebrows are shooting silent questions. Savannah looks just as curious. Savannah knows Claire is my best friend, but even I know this isn’t best-friend behavior right here.
“Kevin’s right, the entire trip was perfect.”
“I’m happy to hear that. We have a car waiting to take you to the hotel. Would you like to take a seat until your baggage is offloaded?”
“Thank you, that would be lovely.”
“Can I get you a drink?” Claire offers.
“Do you have sparkling water?” Savannah walks over to the dark leather seat and takes out a book to read.
Alison realizes that I’m not about to let go of Claire and she heads off to get Savannah’s water.
“What time do you get off?” I ask.
“As soon as Savannah is on her way to the hotel.”
“Indian or pizza?”
“If I can sleep on your couch?”
She smiles and it does things to me that I don’t want to consider right now.
“If you insist.”
* * *
This, sitting on Claire’s living-room floor, tucking into butter chicken and answering her thousands of questions is just what I need. Seeing the job, especially this one, through Claire’s eyes is refreshing. I acted in high school and later performed at the Civic Theatre, but I never took it that seriously until one of my performances made it onto YouTube and went viral when I was twenty-four. That’s a late start in this business by Hollywood standards, but I’ve been fortunate, filming six movies in five years, getting great roles and being able to work with some incredible people. But life on location in Nepal was different from anything I’ve experienced as an actor; different from anything in my life. We were cut off from the world—no technology, no frills—and it was humbling.
Claire takes a sip of her wine and places the glass back on the coffee table. She’s changed out of her work clothes into jeans and a pretty top. “So, what’s life like now that you’re an Oscar-nominated actor?”
I take a mouthful of chicken and chew, mulling over how I can answer this question because I don’t want to sound pissy about a life most people would kill to have. Once I swallow, I answer. “Things are different. It gets kinda lonely. Everyone around you is either being nice to you so you don’t see the knife they’re holding or they think you can get them places, y’know? I miss you when I’m away, Claire-Bear. You get me. They get who they want to see.” So much for not sounding whiny.
She nods, and I can tell she’s mulling over something. “Seeing anyone?”
I’m not surprised by the abrupt change of subject or the question. Claire and I have an arrangement that suits us perfectly. No-strings sex. Fucking incredible sex at that, and I can understand her wanting to know if things have changed since we last spoke. I feel my mouth pull into a smirk. “Seeing anyone or fucking anyone?”
She laughs, and fuck, I’ve missed that sound. “Aren’t they the same thing?”
“You of all people should know that’s not true.”
I watch her try to hide her smile behind a sip of wine. “Well? Are you seeing anyone?”
“No, you know how it is. You go on a couple of dates and women just expect you to become mutually exclusive. Even the ones who swear they’re not in it for the relationship always have a change of heart.” I’m not interested in anything permanent and if truth be told, Claire is everything I need and more. Everything between us is easy and fun. I don’t want the complication of a relationship.
“No, I don’t know. I don’t go on dates with women,” she teases. I’ve missed this too—her cheesy sense of humor—but I’ll never let her know this.
I roll up my paper napkin and lob it at her. “You know what I mean.”
“So you’re celibate now?”
My cock twitches and I cock a brow. “Yes. Let’s fix that!” I take a pull of my beer and set it down. “Come here.”
She scoots over to me and I tug her so she’s straddling my lap. My eyes rove over her body and I’m instantly hard. Suddenly impatient, I pull her hips into mine. Her pussy rubs against the seam of my jeans and a stifled moan pulls free from her throat. I’ll never grow tired of hearing Claire moan from my touch. I run my hands up her back and into her luscious dark hair and pull her in for a kiss. My lips touch hers, my tongue whispering over her bottom lip and I tug gently with my teeth. I feel her heat penetrate my jeans and, fuck me, but I want in her and I want in her now.
“Fuck, I’ve missed you,” I groan against her lips. My tongue pushes into her mouth and mashes with hers. These aren’t gentle kisses. My mouth is demanding. Her hips are rocking desperately against me and I’m almost sure she’s going to come.
“Lean back, I want to touch you.” She leans back, resting her hands on my legs as I slowly loosen the button of her jeans and slide the zipper down at an excruciatingly slow pace. My eyes never leave hers as I slip my hand into her jeans, teasing the top of her panties. My teeth graze my bottom lip. It’s taking everything I have not to rip her clothes off and fuck her fast, but she deserves for me to take my time with her. I slip my hand into her panties and hiss in a breath when I find her hot and wet for me. Sliding two fingers inside her pussy, I rub her clit with the pad of my thumb.
“Oh God,” Claire moans rocking her hips into my hand. God, she’s fucking hot. I crush my lips to hers, teeth clashing. She reaches for my belt, frantically trying to undress me. I slide my fingers from her heat and coat her lips with her juices. Her tongue darts out and she tastes herself. My head falls back and I groan and then my mouth is assaulting hers once more, desperate to taste her too. Claire moves off me and stands. I frown, but when she slides her jeans down her legs, my lips curl into a smile and my eyes burn into hers. She’s so fucking beautiful. Every single inch of her is gorgeous, inside and out, and I focus on branding her into my memory for when we’re apart again.
Claire’s jeans and panties are gone and she starts working on her top. I’m captivated by her slow striptease. When she’s left standing in her deep-purple demi bra, my tongue sweeps over my lips. She unclips the front clasp and I stand up, unable to take a minute more of this slow torture. She blinks in surprise. My fingers sweep the strap off her shoulder and I caress her arm in its wake. I brush her hair aside and suck gently on the sensitive skin. She reaches for the waistband of my jeans and tugs me to her. As she goes to work on the row of buttons on my Levi’s, I suddenly wish I’d gone with the zipper kind. I see the moment she realizes I’m not wearing any underwear; her eyes shoot to mine and I respond with a salacious grin. Cupping her face, I kiss softly along her jaw while she works to undress me. Once my jeans are in a discarded pile at my feet, I raise my hands over my head and Claire lifts the T-shirt as high as it will go. A chuckle escapes me as I realize she can’t reach, and I help her.
“Short shit.” She doesn’t respond to my tease—she’s too busy eye-fucking me.
Taking a step back, I sit on the couch. My cock is rock hard and I wrap my fingers around the shaft and slowly stroke it. Claire moves forward and, placing her knees on either side of me, lowers herself onto my cock, inch by torturous inch. She moans as I fill her and starts riding me with frantic need.
My mouth finds hers once more and my tongue plunges between her lips with the same punishing rhythm as she’s taking me into her. I feel her clench and cup her breasts, rolling her nipples between my thumb and forefinger. Her body bucks and trembles while she rocks into me. My hands rove her skin, worshiping her body while her orgasm tears through her. Fuck, I’m losing it here! My fingers dig into her hips and a groan ripples out of me as my stomach tightens, and I release into her. I lean forward and pull her body flush against mine. I need more of her. So much more.
Long moments pass while we attempt to catch our breath. I stroke her naked back with my fingers, punctuating the easy silence with gentle kisses on her neck. Eventually, Claire slides off my lap. I head to the bedroom to grab something more comfortable to wear, and when I come back, Claire has my shirt on. We still haven’t spoken; there’s no need for that, both of us completely at ease in each other’s company. I sit down and pat my leg, Claire scoots across the couch and lays her head in my lap. She sighs and the sound is peaceful. It isn’t long until she’s fast asleep. I stroke her hair before gently placing a kiss on her temple.