Wicked ties, p.25
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       Wicked Ties, p.25

         Part #1 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
Page 25


  Then he had to endure Deke’s teasing and flirtation with her. That just equaled wanting to rip the big blond giant’s head off.

  To top it all off, there was his desire… Jack swallowed against the need bubbling in his gut. He’d been inside Morgan less than four hours ago, and already he was like a starving man, panting, salivating. Ready to fight to taste her again. The need raged, like he had no control. It was unacceptable…and undeniable.

  “I don’t know,” Jack said finally. “It just… It’s not as simple as I thought. ”

  “Did you become her stalker to get her where you wanted her?”

  “You know me better than that. I wouldn’t have called you to profile a pretend stalker. I’d just planned to lure Morgan to Lafayette for an afternoon. Nail her enough to persuade her that Brandon wasn’t her one and only, then let her go. There’s a real stalker, and when he shot at her in a crowd in broad daylight, she was fucking terrified. I brought her here. ”

  “That makes sense, except this possessive thing. It’s not like you. In the past, we’ve shared—”

  “Don’t even think it,” Jack growled. “Morgan is very reserved. Besides, this is a woman running for her life, not some kitten one of us picked up in a sex club. ”

  “None of that has stopped you from fucking her, though, has it?”

  “Drop it, damn it. Now!”

  “Okey dokey. ” Deke heeded his warning growl with a tilted smile and held up his hands in a show of surrender. “All lascivious thoughts of the luscious redhead in the next room are gone. ”

  Jack rolled his shoulders, trying to release his tension. Damn, a night with Morgan had him completely tied up in knots and his head screwed on wrong. He wished he could banish his lascivious thought of her half as easily as Deke supposedly had. It wasn’t happening. He wanted more of Morgan. And he wanted her now.

  “My question is, why the jealous lover routine?” Deke skewered him with a piercing stare, as if he knew every damn thought screaming through his head. “Unless, of course, you really are jealous. ”

  Damn! The sad reality was that the green gremlin was feasting on his gut. No question about it. He had shared a few women with Deke before. Good times were had by all. Repeating that with Morgan… the thought conflicted him. An instinct told him that she would love a ménage—if she could wrap her mind around it. But he felt oddly proprietary about her. Allowing his buddy/business partner to get in on the action made him want to spit nails.

  There was something about Morgan that hit him squarely in the chest, so hard he couldn’t breathe. Jack was too experienced to play the denial game. His burning want for Brandon’s fiancée simply was, had little to do with revenge, and wishing otherwise wasn’t going to change it.

  It went deeper, though. Fucking Morgan for a whole night hadn’t satisfied his libido or his desire to betray Brandon. Rather, something about her had been so perfect. Jack didn’t remember ever…connecting with a woman so completely, as if he could see inside her, read her every desire. And he’d been physically inside her to the hilt, but that wasn’t enough. He wanted something more from Morgan, desired the right to give her whatever she needed, the freedom to tell him anything she felt or yearned for.

  Instead, she was holding back on him.

  Damn it, he didn’t want this. Aching for her wasn’t a part of his plan. Fuck her, plant seeds of doubt, encourage her to leave Brandon. Walk away. Simple, right?

  Not anymore. Jack didn’t just want her to leave Brandon to make his revenge complete. Reckless desperation gnawed at him. He wasn’t sure he could just let her go, walk away. Even though she’d cheated on Brandon. The knowledge didn’t set well with Jack. He’d thought he could steer clear of two-timing women when he divorced Kayla, but Morgan was so much…more than his exwife had ever been.

  The stupid, hormone-happy part of him wanted to earn Morgan’s trust, make her his to command. His hard-on demanded he claim her.

  There, he’d admitted it. Maybe owning up to it was the first step to recovering from his insanity and getting back to focusing on his revenge.

  Darting across the room, Jack paced, mind flying as if his brain had short-circuited. Surely just too much sex on too little sleep.

  But he knew himself too well. Something in his gut was shouting at him to abandon his revenge and grab the shimmering perfection of Morgan for himself. Treat her like a woman, teach her to respect her desires, care for her. Seize her and never let go.

  That something in his gut also told him emailing Brandon the video of him taking Morgan against the door had been a mistake. A big one.

  With a sigh, Jack sank into his desk chair. He shouldn’t be troubled at the thought of Brandon seeing him fuck Morgan. But like a stupid shmuck, he was. Damn it, he wished he hadn’t shared a single detail about their first time with anyone, much less a visual blow-by-blow.

  His regret didn’t make a damn lick of sense. Sending that video to Brandon had been half the point of his revenge! Despite that, Jack was uncomfortably aware that he’d sent something to Brandon that he wanted to keep between him and Morgan alone. What did that say about his feelings for her?

  Worse, if she found out, Morgan wouldn’t understand his revenge, just view his actions as a huge betrayal of her trust. One that could undermine any foundation he made with her. And if he wanted to touch her again, he was going to have to open up, take her into his care beyond the physical. He would have to show her that she mattered.

  Fuck. He was going to have to choose between Morgan and revenge because their uninhibited night together had not been enough to sate him. Not nearly enough. She’d only dug herself deeper into his psyche.

  How the hell could he just dismiss three years of fury, betrayal, hatred, and plotting?

  How the hell could he just let a sweet, submissive firecracker like Morgan go?

  “Oh. ” Deke laughed. “Morgan has you by the balls. You’re strung out on this woman. Bad. Not that I blame you. She looks like one sweet little fu—”

  “Shut up. Don’t put Morgan in the same gutter as your mouth,” Jack snarled.

  As soon as the words left his mouth, he realized he’d done nothing but confirm every one of Deke’s suspicions.


  Deke laughed.

  Jack did his best to unclench his rigid jaw. “Let’s talk shop. ”

  His buddy held in a wide grin. “Sure. We can do that. Who among our suspects do you think is Morgan’s stalker?”

  “Could be anyone. ” Jack shrugged, struggling to relax. “I doubt it’s the college boyfriend with the wife and kid. I tend to think she’s right about Brent Pherson. A pro football player on the road can’t be taking pictures of her at her house. So that leaves her former fiancé, her production assistant, or some random twisted fan. ”

  “I suspect ol’ Reggie has all the makings of a sicko. ”

  “He’s not as loyal as Morgan thinks. Hell, I paid him to get close to her, to pass my info and bio to her for the show. He took my money without asking questions and sent me her personal email address and IM info. But then he threatened me with everything short of castration if I so much as looked in her direction. ” Jack grimaced.

  “So he sold her out, then turned on you. Nice. ” Deke sighed. “Was he more jealous boyfriend than protective father?”

  “Hard to say over the phone. Could have been either. ”

  “He bears watching. In digging yesterday, I found out he managed to avoid prison time for sexual assault due to a technicality. ”

  Surprise ricocheted through Jack. “Really? Holy shit. ”

  “Yep. I wonder if Morgan knows about Reggie’s past. ”

  “I doubt it. She says he’s like a surrogate father to her. I don’t think she’d feel that way if she knew he might have a hobby as a rapist. But we also need to see if we can rule out any creepy neighbors and fans, just in case but—”

  “My gut tells me this is someone Morgan knows, s
omeone she trusts. That his identity is going to shock her to her toes. ”

  As he gripped the arms of his chair, concern for Morgan gnawed at Jack’s calm. This guy wasn’t patient, and Jack was sure it would be a whole lot scarier before they finally caught the bastard and put a stop to his shit.

  “Exactly. ”

  “So you have to stay close to Morgan, watch her twentyfour/seven,” Deke pointed out.

  Wasn’t that going to be a big help in unknotting his gut and getting his head screwed back on straight?

  “Yeah. ”

  With a toss of his head, Deke howled with laughter. “And you want her again so bad you can’t see straight. ”

  Jack sighed. He hated being a transparent as glass. “Yeah. ”

  The question was, revenge or Morgan? Which should he choose?

  “Take care, Morgan. ” Deke paused at the cottage’s front door late that afternoon.

  “Thanks,” she murmured.

  From his lofty height, he looked down, his unusual blue eyes swirling with concern. He cupped her shoulder gently. “I’m going to have these original photos examined for any forensic evidence we can find. In the meantime, Jack will take care of you. ”

  Morgan had liked Deke right away. His angular face softened up with a smile. He just seemed…nice. Definitely strong enough to protect. And he was easy to joke with. Probably easy to talk to, as well.

  Unlike some people.

  Morgan darted a glance to her right, at Jack. His gaze was fixed on Deke’s palm caressing her shoulder. His glower couldn’t be mistaken for anything else. What was up with him?

  “If Jack doesn’t take care of you, you walk over to that phone,” Deke pointed to the sleek black unit mounted on the wall, “and call me. I’m the second speed dial button. I’ll rush right out to give you whatever you need. ” He winked.

  Morgan wagged a chastising finger at him, but she couldn’t completely erase her smile. His teasing flirtation coaxed her. The man was a born flirt. He probably had women foaming at the mouth for his attention, but it was sweet of him to keep the mood light when both her safety and her sex life were weighing heavy on her mind.

  Another glance at Jack told her that he was not amused. Not in the least.

  “Thanks,” she murmured. “I’ll be eager to hear if you found any fingerprints on the photos. Or anything that might help. ”

  With another caress of her shoulder, Deke waggled his brows at her. “I’ll definitely keep in touch. ”

  Again, she laughed. Then he waved at Jack and made his way out to the sunset-drenched swamp.

  When the door shut, leaving her alone with Jack, sudden silence thrummed around her. Her smile died. In the distance, she heard Deke’s boat splash away from the little dock. Inside, her heartbeat picked up its pace. Tension wrapped around her. Morgan had no idea why, but she didn’t question the thick air.

  “Thank you for asking him to help. I’m grateful to have any extra assistance that might identify this stalker so I can have my life back. ”

  Jack paused a long time before answering. “Deke is smart and well-connected. If there’s any forensic evidence to be found on those photos, he’ll turn it up. ”

  “Good. ” She nodded.

  Then the awkward silence fell. She couldn’t read Jack’s expression, but she felt his displeasure churning the air. Morgan frowned, completely confused. Did he think her flirtation with Deke meant something? Would he care if it had? Or was he just annoyed with her presence now that she’d surrendered to his every whim last night? Maybe he just wished she’d go away.

  “And Deke seemed nice,” she murmured, hoping to lighten the tense atmosphere.

  Jack snorted. “Deke is a lot of things. Thinking he’s nice could be a costly mistake. ”

  Morgan hesitated, brow furrowed with confusion. “He’s your business partner. If he’s not honest—”

  “I didn’t say he wasn’t honest. He is, as the day is long. He’s trustworthy and brave and smart, with a never-say-die attitude. He’s everything the military wants in their elite forces. But where women are concerned, I wouldn’t call him nice. ”

  “It sounds like you’re warning me away from him,” she challenged. “Would it matter if I was interested?”

  Jack shifted, shoulders tensing. “If you’re having a hard time dealing with a few velvet ropes and silken commands, Deke would shatter your delicate sensibilities, cher. When it comes to sex, he plays seriously—but only if there are three people in the room. ”

  Three people? “He likes to watch?”

  The gravelly laugh Jack gave in response to her question took her aback. “Sex isn’t a spectator sport for Deke. ”

  Wow. The big German-descended warrior with the allAmerican smile actively engaged in the very French word ménage. Talk about a newsflash…

  A vision of Jack on one side, Deke on the other, both pleasuring her helplessly bound body—it flashed through her mind, framed in white heat and red sin. Moisture pooled between her legs. In an instant, she went from damp to nearly dripping. Her clit ached without mercy.

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