Wicked ties, p.5
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       Wicked Ties, p.5

         Part #1 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
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Page 5


  Finally, she and Alyssa reached the top of the landing. The blonde led her through the door at the end of the hall, into a small but surprising luxurious suite.

  Alyssa shut the door behind them, blocking out the loudest of the music’s throb. The floor beneath them still shook. The sexy tempo resonated around her, stark in its suggestion.

  Morgan looked around the room. A large, rumpled bed lazed in the center, as a standing lamp cast muted golden light over the white sheets. Hardwood floors gleamed cherry beneath her feet. Soft beige walls accented flowing white sheers at the large window. Four black-and-white landscape photographs formed a grouping above the bed.

  “You were expecting a red bedroom with a stripper pole in the middle?” Alyssa asked with a cocked brow.

  Embarrassment stung Morgan. She had wondered… “I had no idea what to expect. This is lovely. ”

  Some of the starch bled out of Alyssa. “It’s peaceful. C’mon, let’s get you out of that ugly rag. ”

  Before she could ask for privacy and a bathrobe, Alyssa was unbuttoning Morgan’s coat and prying it off her shoulders.

  With a casual toss to the bed, the coat flew away. Like the mom of a toddler, Alyssa reached next for Morgan’s purse and subdued floral-print T-shirt. Before she could sputter a protest, the stripper had them over her head and tossed them on the floor.

  “If you’ll point me to a bathroom, I can undress—”

  Alyssa ignored her and plucked at the front clasp of her lacy white bra. With a drag and a tug, it was gone…and Morgan stood nude from the waist up before a total stranger.

  Alyssa studied Morgan’s breasts, lifting one in her hand to test its weight. “We can work with these. ”

  Morgan tensed, resisting the urge to cover herself like a self-conscious seventh grader in a locker room. “What are you doing?”

  “You don’t have anything I ain’t seen, honey. 34C. ” Another glance over the rest of her body, and Alyssa added, “You wear a size six. Right?”

  “How did you know?”

  She smiled. “It’s my business. Strip out of everything else and hang tight. ”

  Alyssa disappeared out the door, shutting it gently behind her. Morgan stared after her. Strip out of everything else? Like it was easy. Like she took her clothes off every day in front of people she’d never met. Well, Alyssa probably did, so it probably didn’t faze her in the least. And Morgan realized that if she wanted to get out of here without a bullet in the head, she’d better get over her modesty quickly.

  With a sigh, she took off her jeans and white cotton panties, folding them neatly and setting them on the edge of the bed. She looked around for a robe or spare blanket. A towel—anything to cover herself. Nothing. Morgan was not accustomed to prancing around without a stitch on. Clearly, that didn’t trouble Alyssa.

  The blonde returned with a black satin bra and a matching thong. With her teeth, she ripped the tags off, slipped a pair of gel inserts into the bra, and handed it all to Morgan.

  Before Morgan could ask for privacy, Alyssa disappeared again, this time into the suite’s adjoining bathroom. Grateful for the reprieve from the woman’s keen gaze, Morgan wriggled into the thong. Not comfortable—who wanted a string up their ass?— but a perfect fit.

  Alyssa emerged from the bathroom, carrying some very brief garments and her black high-heeled boots. In the doorway, the blonde paused, waiting. Morgan pretended not to notice her. Instead, she frowned at the gel inserts in the bra. The grown-up version of wadded-up tissues?

  When Morgan winced, Alyssa laughed. “You gotta do what you gotta do. They’re like an instant boob job. With clothes on, no one will know the difference. ”

  Releasing the breath she’d been holding, Morgan realized that was likely true. She had no business bemoaning the fact she wasn’t a D cup.

  Morgan began to don the bra, acutely aware of Alyssa watching her every move. It was damn uncomfortable. She’d kill to have Alyssa’s easy attitude about nudity, but she just hadn’t been raised that way. She had been nearly twenty-one before she’d worked up the nerve to masturbate. After all, with a born-again mother who’d sent her to an all-girls’ school, she’d heard little about sex before turning eighteen. Until she’d gone to college, Morgan hadn’t really known the difference between her cuticles and her clit.

  Pushing away the thought, Morgan fastened the bra and lifted her breasts into the cups—what there was of them. The bra was slung low on wire-thin straps. A slash of black lace barely covered each of her nipples. The gel inserts pushed the top swells of her breasts up and out on display. Instant cleavage.

  Alyssa whistled and shot her a saucy look. “I’ll give you a piece of advice: Don’t show Jack your tits unless you want to drive him insane with lust. ”

  The blonde turned away, heading back into the bathroom. Morgan stared at the woman’s slender back and silky blonde strands clinging to her shoulders.

  Centerfolds were less attractive than Alyssa. Though probably over thirty, she was still very striking. Morgan knew for a fact, based on Reggie’s extensive research, Jack wasn’t gay. Given those facts, it seemed logical that he and Alyssa were…involved. From the woman’s offhanded comment, it sounded like Alyssa didn’t care if she enticed Jack.

  Lord, she’d left Los Angeles, where she’d always thought of life as being somewhat surreal, and landed in Cajun country, a place she began to suspect was the south’s version of Oz.

  “I don’t plan to show Jack my breasts,” she said, adjusting the bra, wishing for more cover.

  “Maybe not, but ten bucks says he plans to see them. ”

  Morgan frowned. “Based on what? I was interviewing Jack for my show. And then, when the shooting started, he offered to protect me—”

  “And he will. He’s the best. But Jack Cole is a breast man, and you’ve got a great rack. ”

  As if she’d just announced something as mundane as night falling, Alyssa turned and lifted a makeup case off the counter. Setting the case aside, She studied Morgan’s face with nothing more than a mild case of impatience.

  “That doesn’t bother you?” Morgan couldn’t resist asking.

  Her gaze strayed to the bedding, looking too rumpled to be caused by mere sleep. Morgan wondered if Jack had been here before meeting her—and why the thought bothered her.

  “That Jack might fuck you?” She shrugged. “He’s not mine. ”

  Morgan frowned. Too weird. “Nothing’s going to happen between us. I have no intention of getting involved with Jack. ”

  “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” Alyssa shot back with a throaty laugh.

  Before Morgan could wade through her confusion and reply, the blonde switched topics again. “Let’s get your make-up on. ”

  Alyssa lifted a slender hand and took the straw hat and scarf from Morgan’s head.

  A moment later, she began her cosmetics frenzy. A thick foundation coated Morgan’s face. Concealer came next, and Morgan hoped it would cover the worst of the damage wrought from missing so much sleep. Next came the bright rosy blush, the siren-red lipstick painted on thickly with a brush. Dark eyeliner and eyeshadow was applied in a quick blur. Black mascara followed, lifting and separating her lashes. An eyebrow pencil and brown mascara hid the fact that her brows were not the same pale brown as the other woman’s.

  When Alyssa stepped away and prodded her into the bathroom before the mirror, Morgan only recognized her blue eyes and the basic oval of her face.

  “You look great. Hell, most everyone out there will probably be too drunk to notice whether you’re me or not. But just in case they’re not, the clothes I’ve picked out will ensure no man’s gaze gets above your tits. ”

  Morgan wanted to protest—the words lay on the tip of her tongue. She stilled them. If dressing like a stripper kept her alive, well…she could survive embarrassment much better than a bullet to the head.

  “Whatever works,” Morgan breathe

  “Let’s get this hair pinned up and the wig on. ”

  “I can manage. ” Morgan lifted her fingers to her head and rubbed.

  “Wigs can be such a bitch. Sorry you’ll have to wear one, but to pass for me, you have to look blonde. ”

  Morgan shrugged. The discomfort was a small price to pay to stay safe.

  “And make sure it’s on good. Jack will want to inspect you before you leave. He won’t let you set foot outside until he’s convinced you can pass the test. He takes protecting clients seriously. ”

  The idea of Jack inspecting her made her stomach jump. Jack was gorgeous, and the fact he was a dominant man only intrigued Morgan more, despite her wariness and fear.

  Securing the long blonde wig in place, Morgan pushed the thought away. She was just tired. Lord knew she was stressed. She would not be having sex with Jack, so his sexual preferences made absolutely no difference to her.

  Someone pounded on the door. Morgan started, her heart racing. Had the shooter managed to follow her here? She cut her gaze to the window, hoping it might prove to be an escape route.

  Then the door opened. Jack entered, wearing a ratty T-shirt and faded jeans, a backward baseball cap, and a false moustache. Those few external changes made him look considerably different. But she still couldn’t miss his pissed-off expression.

  “Damn it, what are you two doing in here, having a slumber party?”

  “Bite me, Jack. I worked as fast as I could since I need to get back to business,” Alyssa said with a smile, then kissed his cheek. “And good luck to you,” she threw back to Morgan.

  Then she exited, leaving Morgan alone with Jack.

  His gaze flew across the room and latched onto her. Black eyes scorched her, and a slow, sinful smile spread across his mouth. That look made her stomach clench. Quickly realizing she wore nothing but a revealing bra and thong, she glanced around for something—anything—to cover her.

  She darted across the room and reached for the white satin sheet draped off the bed. Jack ripped it out of her hand.

  “No time for modesty, cher,” he whispered in her ear, his voice inflected with a lilt that was decidedly Cajun French.

  His body buffeted her backside, legs glancing hers, chest brushing her shoulders. The heat he gave off warmed skin she hadn’t realized was chilled. Despite his heat, goose bumps multiplied their way across her skin and a shiver ran down her spine. Her nipples made a sudden, unwelcome appearance.

  She swallowed. He might be one of the good guys, but at the moment, his posture was pure predator.

  “I don’t need you in here while I get dressed. ”

  “Mais yeah, too bad for you I plan to supervise. We aren’t leaving here until I’m convinced you can pass for Alyssa. ”

  “I’ve been putting on my own clothes since I was three. I think I can manage alone. ”

  “True, but I use Alyssa as cover for cases. We walk around pretending we’re drunk on hurricanes and sex. People are used to seeing me touch her. Often. But you…” He snaked a hand around her and laid a palm flat on her belly.

  She jerked and gasped when his broad hand blanketed her bare midriff, his heat seeping under her skin, insidious, unstoppable.

  “You,” he murmured in her ear, “jump when I touch you. You do that in public, and people will know you’re not Alyssa. ”

  With every word, Jack made her more aware that he was male—all male—and she was female. He had the kind of personal power that drew her. Her stomach flipped when he spoke. Her breasts swelled. She felt jumpy, unsettled, when he stood too close. Morgan swallowed tension so thick she thought it might choke her and tried to ease away from him.

  Jack didn’t budge—or let her go.

  Gnashing her teeth, she said, “There must be another way out of here besides you pawing me. ”

  “I wouldn’t take that bet. You wanna make it out in one piece, cher, without your stalker recognizing you through your disguise, you’ve got to act right. We’ve got to look real. ”

  The hand on her stomach started inching slowly north.

  Morgan’s brain buzzed with the intimation in his words. He would touch her out in public, where complete strangers would see. Instantly, her breasts swelled again. Moisture gathered between her legs.

  This is impossible. She wasn’t into public displays. And Jack’s caveman tendencies shouldn’t be arousing her. Having such fantasies was one thing. Living them…that was completely different. Stupid to indulge, especially with a stranger.

  Jack interrupted her thoughts by cradling her breast between his thumb and fingers—and continuing to inch up.

  Until Morgan slapped her hand around his wrist to stop him. “I don’t believe you. You don’t need to touch me that intimately to get me out of here. ”

  He stopped the upward progress of his hand. “Less than an hour with me, and suddenly you’re the security expert?”

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