Near, but yet, so
The Exhale Series
by Leesha McCoy at Smashwords.
© 2017 Leesha McCoy www.leeshamccoy.com
book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, incidents and places
are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to any
persons, alive or dead and references to places and buildings are
rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including
photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods,
without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the
case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain
other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission
requests, E-mail the publisher at the following;
With thanks to,
Heather, Beverley Paul and Jen.
You, the readers xxx
I WAKE sweaty and
frustrated. Panting hard, I reach under my pillow for my vibrator and
make quick work of making myself come.
“Fuck!” I cry as
I explode around my toy, jerking against my bed. I need cock in my
life but this will just have to do. The last guy I was with was a…
I swallow hard, it’s not worth thinking about. I will have to
settle for rubber or plastic or whatever this thing is made of, for
I sigh heavily and
clench my eyes shut; these dreams about my neighbour are becoming
more and more intense. I just can't get him out of my damned mind.
Shaking my head, I quickly snap out of another day dream before
getting out of bed. Pulling on a robe, I make my way to the en-suite.
I need to get my ass moving or I’ll be late for my meeting with
Long story short,
I’ve liked a certain guy for a while now. I don’t know his name,
and I don’t know what he does for a living. What I do know though,
is that whenever I see him I can’t help but think about all the
unspeakable things I could to do to him, with him. I think about what
his type is, praying it's someone like me. Short, thick, long brown,
wavy hair and an olive complexion. I expect I’d know what his type
was if I could just find the bloody courage to approach him.
I’ve lived on his
street in the West End for two years now, but we’ve never once
spoken to each other. I don’t think he’s even noticed me. We live
in a street full of old, three-storey town houses. I know he leaves
his house usually around seven in the morning, always dressed in a
black suit. His short hair immaculately styled with gel or whatever
product he uses, and his shoes glimmer from the
He’s got money, everyone who lives around here has. He drives an
Audi R8, sometimes a Jag and occasionally I see a Limousine picking
him up. I rarely see him with a woman but when I do, they are just as
gorgeous as he is.
I’d say he’s
about five eleven, a medium build and fit like an athlete; his body
is built like a God. He runs in the evenings, late, around ten
o’clock. He doesn’t get home until about eight most nights. I
know what you’re thinking; that I’m a stalker but it’s not like
that, I swear. He’s just so stunningly good-looking; gorgeous
and his tanned skin makes you want to bite him just to find out what
he tastes like. Or
maybe that’s just me.
I love living in the
West End. My Mum and Dad are both solicitors, though they don’t
really practice any more. They ran a very successful Law firm in
central London and then opened branches in all the other major cities
for years until they decided to move to the Caribbean three years
ago. They helped me set up a beauty salon before they left and bought
me this house. I still had to work hard for it mind. I went to
college, got a job, studied business at university and then decided I
wanted to have my own business. I don’t like people telling me what
to do. I’m extremely independent and consider myself allergic to
people in authority.
I love my salon. I
treat my staff well and in return they work hard for me. I worked at
six different jobs during my school years and if there’s one thing
I learned, it was that if you treat your staff well, you’ll get ten
times more out of them. My parents knew that too, and they always
used to tell me, 'Don’t
be a bitch just because you come from money. No one likes a snob.'
twenty-seven and running my own business, I understand. Just because
I have money, doesn’t make me better than anyone, and it sure as
hell doesn’t mean I can treat people however I want. I know a lot
of people who think they can and I feel sorry for them. Why are
people so mean to each other? In what ‘guide to life’ is that
written in? Not mine, that’s for damned sure.
I sigh with
impatience whist standing in the queue in my local coffee shop. The
fresh scent of coffee fills my senses as I watch the steam from the
equipment behind the counter fill the air. I rushed to get here and
in return skipped my morning coffee. Anyone who knows me knows how
important morning coffee is to me. I idly wonder if the heated dreams
about my neighbour are the reason for my tiredness lately. Last
nights dream was particularly hot.
Shaking my explicit
thoughts away, I turn to face Karen, my salon manager to tell her
about my new business idea. Talking about my business always gets my
full attention and I’m grateful because I need to get that man out
of my head. “So I think we should consider setting up a partnership
with a fitness centre. Our customers are always asking what the best
gym is, and while we can do all treatments, it would be good to be
able to tell them where to go for the best workout facilities.”
“I agree, babe, it
could work well for both parties,” she replies enthusiastically.
Karen’s been with
me since I set the business up four years ago and not only is she my
employee, she’s my best friend.
“That’s what I’m
thinking. If we can set up a system that alerts the gym that we’ve
recommended them, they can give us a percentage of the membership
mumble as I reach the counter. “Two skinny Latte’s, please.”
We wait for our
drinks and then make our way over to a plum leather sofa at the back
of the coffee shop. We meet here every Friday morning before work to
discuss the business. We also talk about everything else in-between.
“So do you have
any fitness centres in mind?” Karen asks, flicking her long red
hair off her shoulder and relaxing into the corner of the sofa,
crossing her legs.
“Nah, I’m going
to check out the top five in the area next week. I’ll arrange to
meet the owner of whichever I like best. I’m not going to recommend
something I don’t like myself,” I say, blowing the smoke from my
latte and taking a sip.
“Oooh, so you’re
going to be a mystery shopper for the week, huh?”
“Uh-huh,” I nod,
“I’ll visit them in the mornings, so don’t expect me in until
“No problem. I
don’t know why you even bother to come in most days. It’s not
like you need to.”
“I know, but you
know I like to be involved as much as possible.” I can never
understand why people have businesses but aren't involved in them. I
like to know everything.
She smiles softly
and nods knowingly. Karen is beautiful. Pale flawless skin, big blue
eyes and long red hair. She’s tall and slender, looks like a
supermodel, always has her hair and nails done and is the perfect
representative for ‘Peaches’, my salon. It’s been in the top
five rated beauty salons in London for the past two years. She knows
I accept nothing but perfection and that's why we get on so well.
“So how did your
date go Saturday night?” I ask her a while later, looking around
the coffee shop and noticing how busy it's getting.
“Bloody awful. We
went to Sushi
and he kept spitting out everything he didn’t like, which was
basically everything he tried. He was such a baby. I couldn’t get
away from him fast enough. He’s called a few times since but I
haven’t answered. I’m surprised he expects me to after that.”
She cringes and then shudders. “Shame because I really liked him
but I need a real man, you-know? What the hell is wrong with men
“Yeah, I know what
you mean,” I answer dreamily, wondering what the guy from across
the street is really like. I hope he’s
“Why don’t you
just ask him out? I know people who could do some research on him.
Even find out his bank balance?”
I chuckle. “Are my
thinking about him? Yeah.” She nods. “You’re a beautiful girl,
Miah, you must know that from the amount of guys falling at your
“I wouldn’t say
men are falling at my feet,” I scoff. I’ve only dated a little
bit – and the last guy I dated... I’m not sure if there’s
something wrong with me or I’m just not looking in the right
places. I do get asked out regularly but I can’t be bothered. Give
me a bowl of ice cream and a hot, steamy book any night.
“They do, even
that guy that came on to you yesterday outside the shop, he was
gorgeous,” she gushes sarcastically.
I flinch at the
memory of the guy with the unwashed hair and smelly clothes outside
peaches yesterday. “Shut up, he was disgusting!” I scorn her,
slapping her knee.“And I’ve almost approached my neighbour plenty
of times actually but then I see him with a woman—”
excuses,” she sighs.
“Then let’s make
Oh no, Karen
loves bets… “What kind of bet?” I ask warily.
“By the end of the
month you must have at least spoken to him.” She raises her
eyebrows and takes a sip of her Latte.
“Uhh, I’m not…”
I stare at her
blankly for a few moments as her dare fully sinks in. I never say no
to a dare but that’s our
secret. Now, she’s using it against me.
“It’s for your
own good,” she adds, reading my expression well. “Just a hello
will do. I don’t want you to find out his life story. Come on,
Miah, two years you’ve liked him. Life is too short not to take
“I take chances
all the time,” I say defensively.
“Not with your
love life you don’t,” she answers back, just as firmly. “I know
that last guy was an ass hole but every guy isn't him.”
“I know that.”
“Well, then. Look,
if you don’t do it, then I want a raise.”
“I just gave you
one!” I admonish her.
“So talk to him
then,” she says as if it's that simple.
I narrow my eyes at
her and sigh. “Okay. I’ll talk to him, okay?”
days left,” she smirks.
Yeah, twenty one
days to make a complete idiot of myself.
MONDAY MORNING comes
around quickly, in fact, since Karen dared me the time seems to be
flying by... I down an espresso in one go, grab my keys off the
breakfast bar and make my way outside to the car. It’s raining
heavily so I run from the front door to my Aston Martin One-77,
unlocking it mid-run. I’ve only had her a few months but she’s my
baby. She’s a bit noisy, the exhaust roars but no one round here
seems to mind. Everyone drives flashy cars on Wyndham Street; this is
the west end after all.
I listen to Emeli
Sande’s album on the way to the first fitness centre on my list.
It’s only a short drive but the traffic at nine in the morning
makes the journey take ages.
As soon as I walk in
I hate it. I drag my way around the dull and dreary gym, and by the
time I’ve left, I know there's no way I’ll be recommending it.
The customer service for one isn’t up to my standards, and the
atmosphere just isn’t as welcoming as I would like for my
customers. Call me picky but I haven’t made my business as
successful as it is by not striving for perfection at every step.
“So how did the
first mystery shop go?” Karen asks as I walk into her office
situated at the back of the salon.
“No way.” I
grimace, shaking my head and joining her at her desk.
“That bad, huh?”
“It was dull and
uncoordinated and it didn’t feel right. The assistants weren’t up
to scratch either. Rude.”
“Oh, I can’t say
I’ve ever been to that one. Why don’t you try the one on Oxford
Street tomorrow? I’ve heard great things about that one,” she
encourages me enthusiastically.
check it out. How’s everything here?”
called in sick but the temp I got in has been fantastic. The
customers seem to like her and she pulls her weight. I had a chat
with her this morning and told her what I expect from her. She was
really excited to be temping here, said she’s applied for a job
every time we’ve posted an opening but we’ve never got back to
“Yeah, her name’s
Shanice, she qualified five years ago. She looks after herself and
she’s genuinely friendly. She’s good at her job, too, Miah, I
good,” she says as if surprised.
“Well if she’s
that good we can give her a trial for a few weeks. Carla’s absences
are becoming more and more frequent, it’ll be good for her to know
that she will be replaced if she keeps it up.”
“Good idea,” she
agrees, “I’ll talk to Shanice at the end of her shift.”
“Okay, great. Keep
me updated. On another note, the new Soprano
will be here in the morning, do you want to try it out after work
“Oh, hell yeah, I
need some work done on my bikini area if you could help me out with
“Yeah, fine, just
make sure you remember to shave this time. I’m not doing that
again,” I scorn her and we both laugh.
“I will, promise.”
The Laser came and
Karen loved it when I tested it on her, hardly hurt apparently so I
let her do my entire bikini area, and I had to agree with her – it
was brilliant, and well worth the money. The hair takes on average
ten days to fall out so there are no results now but the pain level
compared to my existing machine is exceptional. I hope the hair loss
results are as good. Laser hair removal is one of the treatments that
I indulge in myself every so often. I like to stick to the more
permanent hair treatments.
The next two fitness
centres I check out are, okay. The one Karen suggested is definitely
winning so far. Although I still don’t feel that it’s right for
us. I’m hoping to find a gem in the last two I visit.
As soon as I walk
into Carson’s Gym & Fitness on Thursday morning, I love it. I’m
welcomed by a perfectly groomed female assistant who doesn't have one
strand of her straight, blonde, glossy hair out of place. As I work
my way around the centre I notice that all of the assistants are as
equally perfect in their appearances. The high standards of their
employer certainly has to be admired. It makes such a good
impression. I briefly wonder if they already have some sort of set up
with another beautician. I very much hope not.
Maybe I could
sweeten the deal by offering the staff here discounts on treatments
if they use Peaches
instead? I don’t know how much the staff here get paid but it
probably won’t be enough to afford to use my salon without a
discount. It may work in my favour because the word-of-mouth
potential from here could be huge.
With a collection of
ideas circling in my mind, I inspect the rest of the premises. The
décor throughout is fresh, clean and contemporary, but without being
clinical. That’s another tick in the box. I feel comfortable here.
It has all the latest gym equipment, top
of the range,
and it shows in the membership prices. They start from fifty pounds a
month increasing to ninety-five, depending on the package you choose.
In my opinion it’s worth it, especially for the area we’re in. My
clients are all very wealthy so that won’t be a problem from my
After indulging in a
swim, sauna and steam session, I decide to hunt down the owner or
manager. I find the assistant manager who informs me that the owner
only comes in one day a week and it’s not today. Typical.
I leave my business card and a brief explanation of what I want to
discuss with him and by the assistant manager’s reaction, I can
tell she likes the idea. I just hope the owner does, too because I’m
not even going to look at the last gym I had on my list, I want this
one. Feeling a surge of disappointment at not pitching my idea today,
I leave the gym and head for Peaches.
“It’s just what
we want,” I gush to Karen, relaxing at her desk, “all the things
I was looking for, friendly staff that are well groomed, all the
latest high-tech equipment and it’s tastefully decorated. I
couldn’t find one thing that I didn’t like. I just hope to God
the owner wants to get on board.”
“I’m sure they
will, if not then you’ll just have to use your talent of
“Yeah, well, I
left my card with the assistant manager and she seemed to like the
idea so let’s just hope that the owner contacts me soon. I really
want to make this work.”
Karen nods her
agreement and focuses her attention back on the screen of her laptop.
up?” I ask, sensing some thing’s off.
“Carla called in
sick again this morning, I think we need to let her go. She’s well
aware of the terms of her contract, she has an obligation to her
clients that she isn’t fulfilling.
Karen, I trust you, do what you have to do. Is Shanice still
“Very much so. She
starts her two week trial period on Monday.”
“Okay, good. Do
you want me to fire Carla?”
“No, I’m fine
doing it. No point you having a salon manager if you still have to
get your hands dirty, hey?”
“True. Let me know
how it goes. I’m going home to a tub of ice cream and my new
I pick up my bag and check my appearance in the mirror. My natural,
full lips look on the dry side so I touch up my lip gloss and reapply
some eye shadow to my big, brown eyes.
“You got any news
on your neighbour yet?” Karen asks, looking up from her laptop.
“You don’t have that long left. I’m looking forward to my pay
rise.” She claps her hands.
“You ain't getting
another bloody pay rise. I’m on it, okay?” I shoot her a dirty
look. Cheeky cow!
she laughs. “See you tomorrow.”
I roll my eyes, smiling my goodbye.
DROPPING MY keys and
bag on the kitchen side, I race to my ringing home phone.
“Hey, Mum, How are
you and Dad?” I ask, relived that I haven't missed their call. I
pull out a stool from the marble and glass island and sit down.
My Mother, Susan and
my Dad, Oliver, are the rocks in my life. I don’t know what I’d
do without them. They’ve supported me through everything and
although they were both wildly driven they never once put their
businesses or successes before me. Every school play and every dance
competition I competed in as a child, they were there. Hardly any of
my friends parents gave their time to them like my parents did. Sure,
they had money and never wanted for anything but as a kid you want
your parents time more than anything else and they gave me that at
whatever cost. They love each other deeply and I thank God that they
are still together and most of all, happy.
baby girl, we’re coming to London next week. Are you free for a
“Of course Mum,
I’m always free for you two. Why are you coming? Is something
wrong. We have a charity dinner to attend and your Father is meeting
some associates. Your Father would like you to attend the dinner with
us and I thought we could have a girly day?” I can hear the hope in
her voice. My Mother loves to socialise, she always has. I remember
as a little girl being dressed up to attend functions and then being
taken home early while her and my Father would party until the early
hours, coming in and checking on me when they returned home. I still
enjoy those social events with them, but now I get to decide what
time I go home. Charity dinners are fun, lots of hot men in suits to
look at and I also like to give money to charity. I’m blessed that
I’m successful, I never forget that.
“No problem, Mum.
Tell Dad I’d love to go.”
“Oh, lovely, I’ll
tell him. He will be pleased, you know how much he misses you, baby
girl. Are you okay? Do you need anything?”
“No, Mum, I’m
good. Make sure you bring me some Wray and Nephew though, please.”
My favourite Rum.
picked you up a couple of bottles. I’ll call when we’re in
London. Love you.”
“Love you too,
I check my mobile
and after replying to a few work emails I settle down in my bedroom
with a bowl of ice cream and my Kindle. My bedroom is my favourite
room in the house. It’s decorated in creams and beige. My bed is a
queen sized sleigh bed that has a TV fitted into the foot of it that
slides up when you push a button on the remote. The wall opposite the
bed has fitted mirrored floor to ceiling wardrobes against it and
there is a single oak bedside table next to my side of the bed. My
lights are clap controlled and there is under floor heating under the
oak flooring throughout.
My house has five
bedrooms, all en suite which are divided over the top two floors with
my bedroom being on the second floor. I have a housekeeper that comes
in three days a week to help me do the cleaning, washing and a few
other things. I like to keep independent but my house is too big for
me to maintain myself, especially while running my business.
After finishing my
ice cream, it isn’t long before I hear the familiar sound of a R8’
pulling up outside. I creep out of bed and discreetly move to the
window, Mister Suit is walking up to his house. My heart races. I
don’t know how I’m going to manage to talk to that man. The
thought of saying hello to him gives me heart palpitations. I don't
know what it is about him that makes me so nervous. I don’t have
long left though and there is no way I’m paying Karen even more
money. Not that she isn’t worth it.
I kiss his neck
and he tastes like sweet honey. Slowly, I flick my tongue down his
hard chest and abs, heading for his boxers. He arches his back and
lets out a soft moan. The sound makes my insides clench tightly. I'm
so wet already and he hasn't even touched me yet. I grab the
waistband of his black boxers and he raises his hips to let me pull
them down. I gasp when he springs free.
“Do you like
what you see?”
“You want to
touch it, don’t you?”
“He takes my
hand and guides it to his stiff length. I curl my fingers around him
firmly and watch his facial expressions change. He closes his eyes
and parts his lips, groaning every so often when I hit a spot he
likes. I lean down and taste him. Oh, he tastes good. As I work him,
his moans become louder until he asks me to ride him.