Wicked ties, p.42
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       Wicked Ties, p.42

         Part #1 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
 
Page 42

 

  But she had to take care of a few things first.

  Dragging her laptop out, Morgan hunkered down in the plush king-sized bed and dashed off an email to Brandon. She explained about the damage to his house and promised to return to Houston and get the repairs started. She told him she was alive and safe, that Jack had been watching over her. She sent him the name of her hotel tonight in case he could contact her—and not much more. How could she possibly explain to ultra-responsible Brandon that she had fallen for a stranger in a handful of days? Then, after beseeching him to stay safe in Iraq, she grabbed her phone. She’d read on the Internet that sometimes confronting your stalker with a firm no could make them go away. Maybe that tactic would work with Reggie. But one glance at her phone told her there’d be no calling Reggie tonight. Her phone was deader than dead. Damn!

  Resigned that everything would wait until tomorrow, she headed for the blissful steam of a shower.

  Twenty minutes and two travel sized-bottles of shampoo later, Morgan emerged from the charming pedastal-sinked bathroom.

  Only she wasn’t alone anymore.

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN

  “J—Jack?” Her stomach clenched into a tight ball, then fell to her knees.

  He stood just outside the bathroom door, big and broad and tense with fight, completely blocking her in and covering both her exits. Morgan licked suddenly dry lips. Most people might mistake that expression on his face for flat. Uh-huh, she knew better. And she shivered.

  “How did you…?”

  She glanced at the clock visible on the wall just above his shoulder. Deke had told her Jack would probably catch up with her in forty-five minutes. He’d done it in thirty-seven.

  All while maintaining tight control over his anger—barely. The clenching fists, the thick veins roping his forearms, his taut jaw, the inky slashes of his brows over reproving dark eyes, she could hardly miss all that.

  Nor could she miss the raging erection pushing against the front of his jeans. But it was in her best interest to try like hell.

  Jack reached for her purse, dumped it upside down, scattering the contents all over a little round table. He extracted a little black one-by-one inch plastic device. The little gray letters GPS on the back told her everything she needed to know.

  Damn! Deke had slipped that into her purse, probably when she’d dumped its contents everywhere after he’d “accidentally” bumped her and he’d “helped” pick it all back up. Morgan made a mental note to slap him silly when— No, she wouldn’t see him again.

  “He gave you the means to hunt me down,” she spat.

  “I would have found you, no matter how long it took. No matter what I had to do. Deke just made it easier. I wasn’t far behind you, anyway. ”

  Morgan muttered an impossible wish under her breath.

  “No, I won’t leave you the hell alone. In fact, I have a question: Are you out of your fucking mind?”

  “For wanting to get away from you after your mortifying exit earlier this evening? Gee, I must be. ”

  He flinched. Oh, it was subtle, but she knew Jack well enough to catch it.

  “Fuck!” He raked a hand through dark hair and stalked closer. “Alyssa called me when you left the club and told me about the pictures and the note. Deke confirmed. What the hell were you thinking? Or were you hoping your dangerous admirer would just pack it up and go home?”

  “He couldn’t have any way to follow me here. I’m safe for a night or two. After that…” She shrugged. “You’re not the only person on the planet capable of helping me stay safe. ”

  Apparently not liking that answer, Jack stepped closer, looking big and dominant and worried as hell under all that anger.

  “Know someone else who’s a qualified bodyguard? Who you gonna let protect you?”

  “I don’t think it’s any of your business anymore. ”

  “Why, because I behaved like an ass earlier tonight? Don’t look shocked. I was wrong and I’m saying so. I’m sorry. ”

  Jack apologizing, just like that? No. It was too simple. There had to be a catch…“You’re only willing to apologize so I’ll be a good little girl, come back, and let you tear me down again. ”

  “I’m willing to apologize so I don’t lose you. But whether you forgive me or not, I’m not letting this sick bastard anywhere near you. ”

  Morgan gestured around the otherwise uninhabited room. “As you can see, all’s clear. No psychos here ready to kill me. You can go now. ”

  A muscle in his jaw ticked. “I’m not going anywhere. It’s possible this asshole followed you here from Alyssa’s. He could have been watching the club, just waiting for you. You don’t know. ”

  She hated to admit that he could be right…but in this case, he could be. Damn it, she had to start thinking smart, with the brain God gave her, not with her weeping heart.

  “And you may think we’re done,” Jack went on, advancing, closer, closer, larger and more insistent with every step. “Think again. I don’t want to lose you to this stalker; that’s a given. But I don’t want to lose you. Period. ”

  Morgan rolled her eyes. “Lose me, how? As a…little fuck toy. That’s all I am to you. You enjoyed every minute of tearing away all my misconceptions about myself. Congratulations for convincing me I’m submissive. Now get the hell out of my life. ” She whirled away.

  Jack snagged her around the waist and hauled her back against his chest. It didn’t take more than a second to feel the steelinspired cock prodding the small of her back. The knowledge shouldn’t matter, shouldn’t make her sex clench with need, shouldn’t make her ache to latch onto him, to surrender everything to him.

  Shouldn’ts weren’t her reality. Morgan did want him, with a desperate craving that made her body tight and achy, a condition she feared only he could ease.

  “A fuck toy?” he growled in her ear. “No. A fuck toy I could have put back in a box and forgotten. I could have sent one of those away without another thought. A fuck toy wouldn’t have me hard every time I hear your voice, or worried when I see you cry. Or feeling ready to hand you my heart on a platter every time you do nothing more than fucking smile. ”

  Morgan’s breath caught. He didn’t mean it. Impossible after the way he’d treated her tonight. “Let go. ”

  Her demand fell on deaf ears. Instead, he growled in her ear, “When I put that collar around your neck tonight, that meant something. That dangling heart represented something. I know you get it. The symbolism can’t be lost on you. ”

  His heart? No… “It meant so much that you cursed at me and stormed out. You’re the one pushing, pushing, encouraging me to open up, let loose, promising me that it’s okay. Yeah, it’s okay as long as it’s some fantasy you’ve been harboring, but when I—”

  “My ex-wife cheated on me,” Jack cut in, panting in her ear, once, twice. “I learned she was fucking my then best friend when I found their homemade video. ”

  Gasping, Morgan’s jaw dropped. Her tirade stuck in her throat. He’d actually seen his wife and his best friend together? Not just heard gossip about them. Not just listened to their confession. He’d witnessed it in a way he could replay it over and over.

  To a strong, proud man like Jack that would be the ultimate slap in the face.

  Morgan risked a glance over her shoulder. Defenses stripped, Jack’s gaze seethed anger and begged her forgiveness all at once. “We weren’t…close. I tried to give her what she needed— money, health insurance, time, and space after she miscarried. I was faithful, but…”

  It wasn’t enough. He hadn’t known what else to do. His burning eyes and painful silence told her that.

  Jack turned her to face him and released her. “Knowing that she let another man fuck her ate me alive. She begged him to touch her. ” He swallowed. “She could barely stand to be in the same room with me. And then she left me. For him. ”

  The rest of the message shone clear in his tortured gaze. Morgan matter
ed, and he wasn’t letting her go. He wasn’t hiding his intention to have her again.

  And she’d staggered him with the fact that she’d fantasized about having two hungry cocks command and possess her at once. He fought the knowledge that she ached for Jack to share her.

  Another man screwing his ex-wife had pissed him off, hurt his pride. The hot drill of his stare told Morgan that another man touching her had the power to turn Jack into a red-hazed, fullfledged postal maniac. She could bring him to his knees.

  Oh, God. He hadn’t stormed out of the playroom because he was shocked; he’d done it because he was scared. Of losing her.

  Because he cared.

  “I kept wondering what my ex needed that I didn’t give her. ” His voice cracked. He cleared his throat, closed his eyes. Looked away. “In ten months of marriage, she never told me she loved me. On that video, she told him three times in eight minutes. Ever since, I’ve wondered if maybe…maybe I don’t have that something a woman needs in order to be happy. ”

  The way his intense gaze gripped hers made her breath catch. In those dark eyes, lurked the fear that she could never love him. Of all the things she’d expected, this would have been dead last on the list.

  Warm, gooey feelings exploded in Morgan’s chest. She cupped his stubble-rough cheek in her hand, thumb caressing the hard thrust of his cheekbone. His vulnerable frown tore at her heart as he kissed the inside of her palm and watched her with a gaze scraped raw by need.

  “Have you ever told anybody else about your ex-wife?”

  “No. ” His tight voice sounded somewhere between a whisper and a mutter, then he cracked a pained smile. “Well, I told Deke after one too many hurricanes. ”

  This proud, dominant man had just laid bare his fear and pain. For her. To help her understand why he’d walked out.

  “You have everything necessary to make a woman love you. ” Her voice shook. “After all, I’ve been fighting the dangerous urge to fall in love with you for three days. ”

  Jack’s eyes widened, heated. He stalked closer, against her, greedy fingers curling into her hair, hungry gaze eating her up. “Did you succeed?”

  Morgan hesitated. Answering this question gave him so much power… Yet, intertwined with a ragged catch of emotion, she heard that subtle command in this voice, the one that never failed to rouse both her body and her instinct to submit. She saw apprehension tighten his bold features. And couldn’t stay silent.

  “Not well enough for my peace of mind. ”

  A smile broke across his face, white teeth flashing in Cajun-dark skin. Chocolate eyes melted. That expression…so brilliant, so happy. “Good. I shouldn’t be in this alone. ”

  Then he covered her mouth with his, a soft urge for entry with a hint of demand beneath. Tender control. Silken mastery. Her cold lips warmed under his touch, quick as a whip’s lash. Her body melted, heated, ached. The brush of his lips, the sensual dance of his tongue, and suddenly her head swam with everything Jack—his scent, the hard breadth of his chest, the flavor of his mouth, the way he held her, as if she was…everything.

  Breathing harsh, he pressed a light kiss to the corner of her lips and backed away. “This fantasy of yours, it’s important to you, isn’t it?”

  She could do without it, couldn’t she? It wasn’t that important. After all, she’d been doing without it for years. Why pursue it if was going to cause him more distress? Why risk hurting him, a man who’d already known pain?

  “The truth, Morgan. Not what you think I want to hear. ”

  If she lied, even for the sake of his feelings, there would be hell to pay. That message wouldn’t have been any more obvious if he’d paid to put it on a neon billboard.

  Morgan crossed her arms over her chest. How important was it? Blowing out a breath, she tried to sort out the tangle.

  Well, she’d had nothing but miserable relationships since she discovered men. And Jack had known why by looking at her the first time they met: She hadn’t been listening to her needs, giving her psyche what it required to unlock the key to her pleasure. No denying she’d sacrificed her wants, burying her desires, for the greater good of those lousy relationships. Instead, ignoring her submissive nature had killed those relationships.

  Big admission for her, and she had Jack to thank. He’d taught her not to hide, forced her to face the fact it was impossible to build happiness on a lie.

  And the truth was, of all her wicked midnight fantasies, the idea of two men taking her, at once, had been the most explosive. And yes, she might be able to renounce it now, for a while. But how long before denying her desire caught up with them?

  “I—I wish I could just make it go away. But I’m afraid I’ll never feel truly…settled and satisfied until I have it, at least once. ”

  He frowned, nodded, turned, and paced to the other side of the room.

 
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