April 16, 2015

Elizabeth's Story

by Jessica Knoll

ICYMI—Luckiest Girl Alive is going to be a movie, with Lionsgate backing and the brilliant Reese Witherspoon producing. Today, Reese is featured on TIME's 100 Most Influential People list, for her commitment to bringing more complicated, dynamic women to the screen via her production company, Pacific Standard, which produced Wild and Gone Girl over the last year. Wild is a powerful, heartbreaking story (cannot recommend this book/film enough) and Gone Girl is a sinister, sexy masterpiece that turned the idea of traditional gender roles on its head. Luckiest Girl Alive is dark and twisty, yes, but at its heart it's a commentary on modern womanhood, and the desires we are trained to want from birth. I'm beside myself that Reese Witherspoon agrees it's a story worth reading and bringing to the big screen.

Hopefully this is even more incentive to sign up for my newsletter, which you can do here (just scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see a prompt to sign up). This will automatically enter you into the running to win a free advanced copy of the book, signed by me! Winners will be selected tomorrow so don't dawdle. Beyond that, the newsletter is how I'll share content, updates about the movie/book, events I may be attending in your area, etc. It's a good way to keep in touch since I will be wrapping up Elizabeth's story soon! As I've said before, Elizabeth's story will end at the same time the book pubs, and that date is fast-approaching. Thursday, May 14th will be the last and final post (Zahra's last post will be Tuesday, May 5th, so Tuesday May 12th and Thursday May 14th will both be Elizabeth posts). The last post is two days after the book comes out, so hopefully you can go right from reading Elizabeth's final chapter to starting Ani FaNelli's first!

One last thing: the absolute best way you can support me, and the book, if you're so inclined, is to pre-order a copy, which you can do here. I never realized before becoming a published author, but pre-orders are incredibly important when it comes to stoking momentum of the book. It makes a HUGE difference to get those numbers up pre-publication. You are a powerful readership. I'm blown away by how many of you have signed up for the newsletter thus far, and from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

OKAY. Elizabeth says enough about this Ani bitch and back to her.



I was a shit student, as you know, but the one class I paid attention in was Natural Sciences. This was back before, when becoming a veterinarian was a silly, unattainable dream, but still a dream nonetheless. These days, it's nothing but a joke.

In any case, did you know boa constrictors are the slowest moving species of snake in the world? Rosy boas, in particular. Unable to pursue their prey, they spend their lives hidden under rocks and wedged into crevices, lying in wait for their prey. When a little bunny or mouse scurries into their vicinity, they strike with surprising speed. Then they suffocate, slowly but methodically. A recent study in Biology Letters (which yeah, maybe I subscribe to) indicated that boas feel every last heartbeat of their prey as they writhe and squeeze, releasing only when Thumper's little ticker ticks no more. It's an energy-conserving tactic, really. Suffocation is an exhausting procedure. Why go at it one millisecond longer than necessary?

I guess that's where me and the rosy boa differ. I could really get behind the whole biding my time thing, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. I could get behind being patient and strategic. But I would never understand not wanting to extend the kill for longer. There was a void in my life after Izzy left. Well, fled, really.

I had Biz to focus on, of course. But truth be told, I was going to be sad once I crushed her. Plotting her demise gave me a purpose. My asshole body refused to grow a baby. I'd turned thirty-one not too long ago, which thrust me into an existential panic. If I couldn't have a baby, if I couldn't have Campbell, what could I have?

My fury. I could have my fury. This I treated as a baby, this I treated as I would my relationship with Campbell if I could have been with him. I nursed it, doted on it, helped it grow.

Because it wasn't just what Izzy and Biz had done to me, it was what they had done to my family. The stress of Bridget's death had led to my parents' divorce, which had led to my mother's debilitating stroke. I blamed them for Campbell too. Yes, Campbell had dealt drugs of his own free will and was dealing with the consequences of that now. That wasn't what I blamed them for. I blamed them for even introducing Campbell into my life. It was agony not being with him. It was agony waking up to Peter every day, and not Campbell. I would have rather I never knew him. The whole can't miss what you never had concept.

And Biz, masquerading this whole time as my trusted confidante—oh, she would pay for that. In time. Biz and I went right back to being bosom buddies after Izzy was out of the picture. In Biz's mind, the culprit had been identified and brought to justice. She was the hero best friend for speaking up, and for helping to extradite Izzy from my life.

For that year following Izzy's exile, I like to think I was that rosy boa, cooling my belly on the damp earth beneath a rock. It wasn't just about finding the perfect time to strike either, it was about being mentally prepared for the ambush. Because once I did what I was planning on doing to Biz, everything would change. Everything.

Like a good best friend, I continued to coach Biz on her relationship with Brad. She was a thirty-one year old unmarried woman with a flatlining career and thickening middle, a perfume of desperation trailed her wherever she went.

First, I put her on a diet and paid for her to see my trainer four times a week. While I stretched out on a Pilates reformer, Biz huffed and puffed her way through a series of kettle ball swings, lunges, squats, crunches, and push ups. She would pant how much she hated me, but when all her clothes were falling off her a month later, she changed her tune.

Next, I threw out all her pastel knitwear and took her shopping at Barney's. Floor above Fred's, contemporary sportswear—I wasn't buying her any fucking Prada—but still, a vast improvement over the suburban mommy milieu she'd grown up emulating.

Once she was hot, I taught her the art of having a working back burner. I wasn't advocating she cheat on Brad, heaven's no! Just that she start shoring up on male companionship. Guys can sense that stuff, you know. Can tell when another man has been sniffing around you. Drives them nuts. Maybe it was why Peter was so obsessed with me despite how poorly I treated him. The scent of Campbell, forever lingering. Like catnip, it drew him to me, even though he hated how I made him act.

So Biz and I hit up Ulysses a lot and flirted with finance douchebags until midnight and Biz would collect a few numbers. I instructed her to leave her phone lying around when she went to the bathroom so in case one of them texted her Brad would see and get all caveman like and want to claim her for his own, which he finally did, about nine months into Project Get Biz Married.

I was the maid of honor of course. Technically matron of honor at that point but I told Biz if she referred to me as such on the programs I would burn the Boathouse down, which was where she was planning on getting married. I thought it was a wretched, pedestrian spot, but Biz wanted to get married in the city and the Boathouse in Central Park is one of the most affordable spots to do it (I mean, for New York).

Biz's family had upper middle class suburban money, and Brad, while on his way up, wasn't rolling in it yet. They were far from poor, but they were also far from rich. For that reason, I decided that as a wedding gift, I would foot the honeymoon bill. Two weeks, all expenses paid stay at the One & Only Reethi Rah, in the Maldives. Biz insisted I shouldn't—we shouldn't—that it was too much, but of course she didn't insist that hard. In her mind, I was paying her back for helping me exact my revenge on Izzy. I'm sure she had no problem convincing herself that she deserved it.

The night before her wedding, I hosted a sleepover at my apartment for Biz. Peter stayed with a friend, and I hired out the Red Door staff to give us facials and massages and a private chef to cook us some healthy late night snacks. It was nearly 1am when we climbed into my bed. We were exfoliated, buffed, rubbed, moisturized, and well-fed. Biz was finally getting what she wanted—a ring and a man to keep her, her mother off her back. She should have been ecstatic, but instead, she had been growing increasingly morose through out the evening.

"I really want to thank you for today," Biz said, after I shut off the lights. I had closed the curtains too, the room so dark that not even an outline of Biz's profile was visible.

"After all you've done for me?" I told her, smirking to myself. "It's nothing." I rolled over. "Goodnight, Biz."

"Night," Biz parroted back, quietly.

 I closed my eyes, nestling into my fury, which I had been doing every night since I found out Biz had betrayed me. After my brother died, I didn't think I would ever care about anyone like that again. Biz had changed that. And if you want the truth, the reason I slept with Pat Denson, the reason I betrayed Biz the way I did, was because I was scared. I was scared by how much I loved Biz. I loved my brother, and he was taken from me in a horrific collision of steel and oak. His face was so mangled we had no choice but to cremate him. Do you know what that's like? To realize the people you love are never safe?

Subconsciously, I was trying to sabotage my relationship with Biz. I know I was. We had become too close, too dependent on each other, and I had to do something to make her reject me, to force me out of her life. Sleeping with Pat would accomplish that.

I had tried to tell Biz about Pat. I had. But every time I brought it up—"Biz, there's something I have to tell you"—she brushed me off.

"But I already know everything there is to know about you," Biz would say, with a cute little grin.

"Elizabeth?"

I had been falling asleep, but now I started awake.

"Huh? Yeah?" I asked into the dark.

I heard Biz swallow. "There's something I have to tell you."

The silence stretched out for so long I thought Biz had maybe just been talking in her sleep, and then dozed off again. But then she spoke. "It's something I've been meaning to tell you for a long time."

I rolled over, so that I was facing her. "But I already know everything there is to know about you," I whispered.

Biz exhaled a wet breath. She was crying now, all stuffed up. "Really?"

"Really," I told her. I reached out and grabbed for her, finding a wrist, slick with tears. Biz wriggled her hand into mine and squeezed. "And I know that you, more than anyone, need a good night's sleep. Or you will be a beast tomorrow."

Biz laughed, phlegm crackling in her chest. We shut our eyes after that, and in the morning I woke up to find that we were still holding hands.

- -

The wedding was perfectly lovely. Yes we had to stomp through Central Park in our stilettos and pose for pictures like a bunch of fanny pack wearing tourists, but it was what Biz wanted, and that was all that mattered.

Biz and Brad left for their honeymoon early the next morning. For the next two weeks I did what I did best. Shopped, pampered myself, had some marginally good sex with Peter. I was feeling extra frisky so I made a trip to a sex store to pick up a few odds and ends, and that helped.

I also got some of my finances in order. I met with Bart, my father's lawyer, and now my own. I wanted to know about my assets—who owned what property, who was entitled to compensation, if any, what were the new parameters of my trust? My father had amended it after I got married to Peter. He viewed our union as proof I'd finally gotten my act together, and had edited the terms to be more favorable to me as a sort of reward for good behavior.

I knew Biz was back because she called me. They'd had an amazing time, she told me. Amazing food. Amazing beach. Amazing accommodations. Oh, thank you, she kept saying, over and over. It was all just so amazing.

Biz wanted to get together, show me all her amazing pictures, but she had promised her mom she'd go visit her in Pennsylvania once she was back. Could we put a date on the calendar next weekend?

Sure, sure, I told her. I can't wait to see you! I'm so happy to have my best friend back.

A few days later, Biz safely relegated to a 610 area code, I hopped in a cab and made my way ten blocks uptown. I could have walked, but I was wearing my highest fuck me heels, and they weren't exactly comfortable.

Brad, Biz's new husband, was surprised when he opened the door to find me on the other side. "Oh, just a little welcome back gift!" I told him, making my way into the apartment, waving a twenty-three year old bottle of Lagavulin in the air.

Brad said that someone had actually just sent them a pair of engraved scotch glasses, and what better way to christen them than with a pour from that? I agreed. Really, what better way?

One finger turned into two turned into three turned into me snaking my fuck me heel up Brad's ankle. Brad didn't pull away, but he did ask me what I was doing.

Oh, nothing, I purred at him, topping off our drinks.

Peter is my best friend, he told me. But he spoke it like a question—Peter is my best friend? And that was when I knew I had him. Brad was always such a scumbag. All those times Biz had been convinced he was cheating on her? Well, that's because he was.

Biz is mine, I countered, and I tilted my head as if to say, "So?" When I did, my silk top fell off one shoulder, and I watched Brad realize I wasn't wearing a bra.

Brad was a lousy lay, but I made sure he got it good. I wanted Biz to know that not only had her new husband fucked her best friend two weeks after their wedding, but that it was the best sex he would ever have. For the rest of her life, she'd know she could never measure up to me, that she would always have to wonder where Brad was and what—or who—he was doing. And this torment would last for the rest of her life—no way Biz was ever going to leave Brad.

And of course, after we were done, I also made sure to drop a pair of leopard print handcuffs—part of the odds and ends I'd picked up in the sex shop earlier that week—in Biz's lingerie drawer. An eye for an eye, my dearest, oldest friend. You break my heart. I break yours.




51 comments:

  1. I signed up for the newsletter, but it said I'd already signed up. I thought that was the case, but I haven't been getting anything in my email. Did I miss something, or have there not been any going out? Just making sure :)

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    1. I have not sent anything to my subscribers yet, so you have not missed anything. From this pool, we will select a winner for the advanced copy of the book tomorrow and be in touch with that person via email.

      But the subscriber list is how I will be in touch with news about the book, more fun giveaways, extra content, etc, etc. So it's a good way to stay abreast of all that is going on!

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    2. Oh OK, thanks :)

      Congrats on the presales and the movie deal by the way, that's amazing news!

      One more thing! Earlier on, Elizabeth mentioned the getting married by 30, then divorcing and finding an older guy who would worship her. Is that who Josie's boss (William, I wanna say?) was supposed to have been for Elizabeth?

      I lied, 2 more things (this occurred to me about 1.3 seconds after the ? on the last last thing...): PLEASE tell me we're going to hear about who the father of that baby is, and what that PDE (Public Display of Emotion) in Central Park was all about!

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    3. Without giving anything away, all will be wrapped up and you won't be disappointed.

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    4. Thanks for asking the newsletter question Phoenix. I was wondering the same thing and tried to re-sign up seeing I've already been put on the list. Crossing my fingers I'll win an advanced copy!

      Amazing post Jessica! I've been reading both yours and the other story and am just so in love with this blog. I can't wait for your book and congrats on the movie!! I'll be seeing that too! :)

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  2. Congratulations on the movie rights being sold! Any chance there will be another character we can follow on this blog after Tessa and Elizabeth?

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    1. Thank you! I cannot speak for what Zahra's plans are but after four years this is the end of my blogging run!

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  3. THIS WAS SO GOOD! I can't wait for the book, Jess! Pre-ordered on my Kindle :)

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  4. Congratulations!!!!!
    I must have missed the part about both the stories ending so soon. Guess I've been so enthralled by Elizabeth.
    I skipped ahead because I wanted to congratulate and wish you well. Can't wait to read the book and see the movie. Now.. back to Elizabeth!

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  5. Chris - @nylonlover69 on IG/TwitterApril 16, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    from Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Indiana: There's a big snake in the plane, Jock!
    Jock: Oh, that's just my pet snake Reggie.
    Indiana: I hate snakes, Jock! I hate 'em!
    Jock: Come on! Show a little backbone, will ya!

    And as you said, that's you, Elizabeth. A snake. A nasty effing snake!

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  6. Wow!! What a vindictive bitch! I'm embarrassed that I loved it! mum

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  7. Oh I'm being evil, but I hope Elizabeth has more in store for biz than just f$!*%#€ her new hubby!

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  8. Nooooo it can't end? I felt like we had another year at least.... So much stuff unfinished? How will it be done on time? But congrats in everything! I'm hoping zahra continues a blog or maybe even Tessa's story elsewhere....

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  9. Congrats on the movie!! That's so exciting. I'm on the list, and plan to preorder the book after my next paycheck! woo adulthood.

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    1. I once watched an interview with Madonna where she said that when she first moved to New York she was so poor she sometimes had to choose between buying a yogurt for dinner or Vogue, and she would always choose Vogue because she felt it "Fed her body and soul."

      Not advocating for forgoing meals, but this just reminded me of that :-)

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    2. I mean, that's not to say it's something I wouldn't consider!

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    3. Carrie Bradshaw totally said that too. :)

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  10. Congrats on the movie rights! I'm so sad that your no longer blogging Tuesday and Thursday will no longer be the same, but cant wait to read your next great work!

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  11. Holy shit congrats! Haven't read the story yet but that blurb about the book is so awesome!!! Congrats again!!!

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  12. Whoa I haven't even read but congratulations! I got goosebumps just reading the first line! I'm so happy and proud of you, I feel lucky to say I've been here since the Josie days! Good luck with everything and best wishes! Again, so amazing!! Congrats :) x

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  13. Congrats on everything going on with your writing, you definitely deserve it! I'll miss your blog... Especially after this post which was absolutely incredible! Can't wait to read your book!!!

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  14. Wow, congrats on the movie deal! So excited - can't wait to read the book! I am jealous of those in the book business who have gotten advance copies but hopefully there won't be a delay in getting the pre-ordered one when it publishes! I have really enjoyed your writing! Do you have any plans for what you will do next? A sequel to the book perhaps? Any plans for short stories that you can put online (not an ongoing blog but something shorter)? I am really going to miss your blog when it ends!!

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    1. I've been working on the second book for a few months (which is standalone, not a sequel) and now I will be adding the screenplay for the first book on top of that. And I only get four months, eek! And then there are revisions and edits and on and on. So that's what's on the docket for now!

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    2. I'm glad you're writing the screenplay as well...I feel like the best book-to-movie adaptations are when the writer of the book does both. :)

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    3. Thanks for responding! I can't tell you how much I love your writing and I feel better knowing there is a second book in the works! I am going to go into withdrawal when I finish the first lol! And so happy for all of your success!

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  15. I am so beyond excited to hear your great news. I have signed up for the newsletter & pre-ordered on my Kindle. Luckiest Girl Alive comes out on my birthday, so while we are saying goodbye to Elizabeth, I get an awesome birthday present :)

    After following you since your days at Cosmo, I feel uniquely bonded to your entire writing experience and I wish you the best of luck! It seriously feels as if someone I actually know has just received a movie deal! Can't wait to see how it all comes together!!!

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    1. Ah! How serendipitous. Happy almost birthday, and thank you for pre-ordering and signing up for newsletter!

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  16. I have read your blogs from day 1!! I'm excited for your future endeavors and will be sure to read your book!!! Congrats :)

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  17. Loving this. Though I do want to know exactly what happened to Campbell's sister and how Elizabeth was involved...

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    1. Elizabeth wasn't involved in Campbell's sister's death...it was a hazing gone wrong years before Elizabeth started at Smithson. But I believe Abby was.

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    2. Then why was Campbell out for revenge against Elizabeth? I thought that had to do something with his sister...

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    3. I think it was he didn't like her type..?

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    4. I'm not sure, but I think there is more to it than that. I thought Elizabeth was involved in Campbell's sister's death and that's why he helped kidnap her. Either way I would love to see Elizabeth confront him one last time now that she knows he was involved.

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  18. So Luckiest Girl Alive isn't even out yet and it's already being made into a movie??? WOW! Congratulations! mum

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  19. I heart your writing! Can't wait to read the book!

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  20. I've never commented, and probably should have. I just wanted to say I started following this blog way back when you wrote for Cosmo and wanted to see what happened to Josie and began here. I love your writhing and have just pre-ordered a copy of the book! Elizabeth is dark and twisted and I just love when an author can capture a perspective we don't normally think about. I'm excited to see what else you've got in store for us. I wish you the best of luck! I think it's amazing :) CONGRATULATIONS GIRL!!!!

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  21. I was just rereading, and I realized that when Peter said she'd cheated with his best friend, he was talking about Brad, not Campbell. O_O

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  22. Holy. Shit. Wow. congrats on the book turned movie and this blog post. Just wow. I loathed Elizabeth in Josie's story but it's so hard to hate her now. Just goes to show you really shouldn't judge people unless you've walked a mile in their shoes!

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    1. PS. What will I have to look forward to on Thursday now?? Once I get my hands on your book I will probably get through it as fast as I can. Gotta get in line for the 2nd book as well I guess. :)

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  23. that's an intersesting point someone raises…her sleeping with Brad will clearly get to her husband, Peter…not sure why that wouldn't be just as damaging as destroying someone else's' marriage. Also wanted to congratulate you. I wrote you an email for writing advice (career related) a while back and you gave some great suggestions. You're on your way to being a complete star so you must've been busier than I realized and you still took the time. Thank you! And thanks for this story, I don't have time to read for the most part but I stumbled upon you on cosmo and have been hooked to my tue/thu reading since then. can you please just give us one more campbell, elizabeth hot sex scene? those were the best! ;)

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  25. قصص سكس و صور نيك

    قصص سكس و نيك


    صور سكس و نيك

    نيك اختي .... و لا اروع


    قبول اختي سهام في الجامعة /محارم

    الولد الشقى واخته وهى نايمه (احلى سكس )

    عهد و اخيها انس قصة اخ واخته فى بلاد الغربة

    هيثم وريم اختة

    قصة الجناينى وست البيت

    قصة اللص الذي سرق البيت واغتصب المرأه المتزوجه


    ناك حبيبته المتزوجه فوق السطح


    قصص سكس و صور نيك

    قصص سكس و نيك


    صور سكس و نيك

    نيك اختي .... و لا اروع


    قبول اختي سهام في الجامعة /محارم

    الولد الشقى واخته وهى نايمه (احلى سكس )

    عهد و اخيها انس قصة اخ واخته فى بلاد الغربة

    هيثم وريم اختة

    قصة الجناينى وست البيت

    قصة اللص الذي سرق البيت واغتصب المرأه المتزوجه


    ناك حبيبته المتزوجه فوق السطح


    قصص سكس و صور نيك

    قصص سكس و نيك


    صور سكس و نيك

    نيك اختي .... و لا اروع


    قبول اختي سهام في الجامعة /محارم

    الولد الشقى واخته وهى نايمه (احلى سكس )

    عهد و اخيها انس قصة اخ واخته فى بلاد الغربة

    هيثم وريم اختة

    قصة الجناينى وست البيت

    قصة اللص الذي سرق البيت واغتصب المرأه المتزوجه


    ناك حبيبته المتزوجه فوق السطح

    ReplyDelete