Wicked ties, p.10
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       Wicked Ties, p.10

         Part #1 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
 
Page 10

 

  “You said…?” Jack inched forward, crowding her personal space.

  “Yes. He was good-looking, cultured, connected, seemed intelligent, and funny. Why not?”

  He tensed—mouth, shoulders, abs. “When did it end?”

  “About ten months ago. ”

  “Because…?”

  Because Andrew’s male ego had been frustrated by her difficulty climaxing in the bedroom. He’d seemed so worldly, like a beacon of inner calm in a stormy life, she’d been sure he would be the man to unlock that something inside her that would set her body and heart free. He’d tried often…succeeded rarely. Finally, he coaxed her into revealing her deepest desires, the ones that involved her being bound and dominated. Thinking it would help them, she’d bared her soul and even revealed her most secret fantasy: being taken by two men at once. Not that she’d really do any of the things that spun in the deep recesses of her mind. They were just fantasies… A fact lost on Andrew.

  He’d called her depraved—and some other less flattering things that seared pain through her gut and a shame that boiled her temper every time she thought about it.

  She’d thrown his ring back at him. He’d taken it and quit the show. They hadn’t spoken since.

  And not for anything would she share a whisper of that with Jack.

  “It just wasn’t working out,” she hedged.

  “Why?”

  “We…just didn’t get along as well as we thought. ”

  “You’re holding out on me,” he growled, grabbing her wrist.

  Morgan jerked away from the electric heat of his touch. “That’s all you’re going to get. He left me, and I was happy to have him gone. As I’ve said, I doubt very much that he suddenly wants me back. ”

  “Until you tell me the truth, I can’t comment. ” He crossed his arms over his chest.

  “That’s all the truth you need. ”

  Jack’s thundercloud of an expression told Morgan he disagreed. “Time will tell. ” He took a step back. “Who is your ‘friend’ in Houston?”

  Knowing she hadn’t heard the last of Jack’s questions about her broken engagement with Andrew, Morgan took a bracing breath and answered, “His name is Brandon Ross. ”

  Jack’s jaw tightened. “Is he more than a friend?”

  She hesitated. No one knew she and Brandon were related. Keeping the secret had been part of her mother’s settlement with Senator Ross years ago. He would come after her with both barrels if she let the truth out. So she and Brandon had concocted the engagement hoax when she started staying with him.

  Maybe…maybe if she used it here, it would ease the temperature down between her and Jack.

  “Yes. He’s my fiancé. My—my current one. ”

  Jack’s mouth pressed into a grim line. “Where is he now?”

  “Out of the country for a few weeks. ”

  “While some off-kilter psycho is taking shots at your head. Sounds like a great guy. ”

  “He didn’t want to go,” she defended. “His job—”

  “Has anything else happened besides you receiving these pictures? Anyone break into your house?”

  “Yes, and…” Morgan swallowed, then whispered, “He masturbated on my bed. That’s when I got scared and left L. A. ”

  Sudden tears scalded her eyes, her cheeks, surprising her. She thought she was more together than that. Tears weren’t going to help this situation. But the reality of it all was hitting her hard.

  Jack sat beside her in a heartbeat, all hint of anger gone. Gently, he eased her back and leaned over her, brushing a gentle hand across her cheek, wiping tears away.

  Morgan stared at the man, the contradiction. Tenderness and compassion from a man who’d forced the truth from her, threw her arousal at his touch in her face? A man who bound his women?

  “You did the right thing, leaving L. A. and agreeing to stay here. This guy is fixated and dangerous, no question. ”

  Embarrassed by her tears and too conscious of Jack’s closeness, Morgan looked away. “I hate being afraid and having my life turned upside down. The sooner we get this over with, the better. ”

  “We’ll fix it,” he murmured. “Who knew where you went after you left L. A. ?”

  A furrow wrinkled her brow as she tried to recall. “Reggie, my production assistant. My neighbor, who’s watching my cat. Sabrina, who does my makeup for the show. I can’t remember. I left in a blur…”

  “Having some someone uninvited jack off on your bed would throw anyone for a loop. ”

  Jack took her hand, sandwiched it between his strong, calloused palms as he hovered over her in the shadowed moonlight. Holy cow, he was so good-looking he hurt her eyes. Strong jaw, chiseled mouth, two days’ growth roughening what might have been an otherwise pretty face. Wide, muscle-capped shoulders topped off a hard, six-packed torso any woman would drool over.

  Morgan wanted to be unmoved by him, his aura of power, his touch. It wasn’t in the cards. His gaze roved over her, part reassuring, part hot remembrance. God, she couldn’t forget either, his breath on her neck, his hands palming her breasts, his fingers buried inside her, nearly bringing her to orgasm. His mouth on hers.

  Survival first, pleasure later. Much later. And not with Jack.

  Yes, she wanted a self-possessed man, but this one…he was too much. Of everything that called to her, of everything she didn’t need at this point in her life. She had no business thinking about him. Jack possessed lethal power, barely concealed by careful restraint. The primal male animal lurked just under the surface of his skin, leashed by his control and air of authority—and a thin façade of civility.

  A woman didn’t handle a man like Jack. He had all the subtlety of a steamroller, and if Morgan gave him the slightest hint that his brand of domination interested her, she knew he’d roll over her fairly inexperienced body and leave her flat. No thanks.

  Now if only her lust-saturated thoughts would catch on. He was a business contact and the man trying to protect her. Her response to him needed to stop there. She was focused on expanding her career, not the need moistening her vagina.

  But she knew what Jack was and what he wanted from a woman. Curiosity could be almost as powerful as desire. And none of her admonishments could douse the arousal that seeped through her blood.

  Morgan took a deep breath. Okay, so he could bring her pleasure. Surely lots of other guys could, without all the domination and bondage. Without the frightening sense that he could control a woman’s body with little more than a stare, a stern word, and a naughty smile. True, Morgan hadn’t found such a man yet.

  She sighed at her circular logic. Nothing mattered now except that Jack could keep her safe. She needed that so badly— assurances that she wasn’t going to wind up dead in a ditch somewhere, that she could escape from the nightmare her life had become virtually overnight.

  Jack squeezed her hand. “After dawn, I’ll call a buddy of mine who has a lot of contacts inside the FBI and see if he can start a profile. ”

  “Thank you. ” She hoped Jack and his pal would get to the bottom of this soon so she could get on with her life and on with her show.

  “Why don’t you try to go back to sleep?”

  Tension rose up like quicksand, threatening to drown her. “I’m done sleeping. Too worried. Too wired. ”

  Jack leaned in and fondled a lock of her hair between his fingers and frowned. He turned dark chocolate eyes on her. The air between them turned so thick, Morgan couldn’t drag a lungful in. Heat radiated from him, warming her all the way to her bones. His scent hit her with the force of a battering ram—spice, sweat, swamp, and pure mystery.

  Damn it, she was so aware of him as a man…

  “Try. You’ve got to keep your strength up. ” He sent her a ghost of a smile. “You never know when you might need it. ” #

  Jack escaped the cottage into the emerging dawn, spitting a curse.

  Four lovers, two of them fiancé
s, including Brandon. Had the pansy-ass senator’s son ever told Morgan about him? His guess: no.

  As far as his revenge went, that was good news. Morgan had no idea who he was.

  And through her entire confessional, her blue eyes had eaten him up with hunger. Damn, he’d never gotten so hard from just a woman’s glance.

  He still wanted his pound of flesh, but revenge wasn’t all he wanted anymore. The shitty fact was, Morgan aroused him unbearably. Being in the same room with her and not touching the pale silk of her skin, or tasting the cinnamon spice of her kiss, the musky cream of her pussy, was making him hard enough to drill holes through steel. He barely restrained his impatience at being denied the opportunity to cuff her to his bed and coax her into submission. Need gnawed at him, demanding he clamp those pretty, pale nipples and toy with her clit until she begged for a hard ride. She nearly pushed him past sanity. He was dying to see just how submissive she was, taste her strength as he shoved his cock so far inside her, she’d never forget him.

  Damn it, he had to get control. Feeling more than the need for revenge was stupid.

  So why was he? The question plagued him like an annoying song he couldn’t get out of his head. He’d never been particularly hot for redheads. Or short women. Or women already claimed by another man. So why her?

  His grandfather’s matter-of-fact voice echoed in his head, If you’re dreaming about a redheaded woman over and over, you’re about to meet her and she’s your heart’s mate. He’d always thought the family “curse” utter bullshit, propagated by the colorful loons and romantics in his family who believed it because they wanted to.

  Now, it still didn’t make sense. He still didn’t believe it.

  But he couldn’t deny that he’d never responded to a woman this strongly.

  Muttering an even uglier curse than the last, he headed around the left side of the cabin and began walking the perimeter, the marshy soil soggy beneath his boots.

  He’d seduce Morgan, no question. Not even a blind man could miss the curiosity and awakening need in her eyes. He was far from blind. But he also sensed something holding her back. Latent affection for Brandon? Or a fear of being dominated, despite her curiosity and submissive nature? There was more to her past relationships than she was admitting, particularly her break-up with her former producer.

  Her reason for denying her desire to submit didn’t matter. He’d overcome it and have Morgan bound and hungrily accepting his every demand, gasping as he sank his cock into her mouth, her pussy, her ass. Give her things straight-laced Brandon Ross would never dream of.

  Would that be enough to make her leave Brandon in the end?

  Jack paused at the bedroom window and peered in. Empty. No Morgan in the bed or anywhere in the room. Damn it, she’d defied his good advice to rest. No doubt, she needed a strong man to heat up her ass to keep her in line.

  His palm itched at the thought, but he shoved the tempting idea away. After the last thirty minutes—hell, the last few hours of watching her sleep—his pike-hard cock was finally getting the clue that he wasn’t getting lucky. He welcomed a rest from having most of the blood in his body nowhere near his brain.

  In fact, he needed to get her some clothes. Preferably made of flannel and three sizes too big. If he watched her parade around in tight purple leather and stiletto boots for too long, he’d be too distracted by wanting to fuck her to protect her in case the worst happened. The fucking would happen, he reminded himself, but not yet. Not until he was sure she was safe. Not until he’d earned a bit more of her trust and figured out how to get under her skin.

  He’d need all that if he wanted her to completely surrender to him.

  He walked on, pulling his cell phone from his belt clip and dialed Brice. He’d get his grandfather to pick her up a few things. But after the sixth ring, he hung up with a curse. The old codger was probably having coffee with the “boys” at the local diner, playing Bourée, and solving all the ills of the world. Too bad he couldn’t convince Brice to buy an answering machine or a cell phone. He’d call back later… but that meant waiting to cover Morgan’s tempting form.

  At the back of the cabin, Jack paused, listening to the bayou, watching alligators slosh into the water and disappear beneath the murky surface. Cicadas sang the last of the night’s song as dawn approached. Even in the February chill, moist air clung to everything.

  This place had always represented peace to him. Not today. In the last few months since Brice had given the cabin to him, he’d made some modifications and upgrades—really made it his. It was the closest thing to a home he had. He rarely brought anyone here. He meant to…but in the end, he hid this place from submissives and all but his closest friends. So why had he brought Morgan here so readily?

  Not looking too hard for the answer, Jack peered at the video equipment well hidden by the trees and the eaves. Looked good, functional, as it scanned the area behind the cottage. Then he continued on, trudging around the corner of the little house.

 
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