Wicked ties, p.8
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       Wicked Ties, p.8

         Part #1 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
Page 8


  She didn’t doubt he could make a woman beg for anything, everything. If she wasn’t careful, didn’t keep her distance, she could quickly become another notch on his bedpost. Worse, he could open her psyche and expose all the hidden fantasies better left to the dark corners of her mind.

  Time for a change of subject. “Thank you for getting me out of Lafayette. I would have panicked and run when the bullets started flying. On my own, I would never have been able to concoct this disguise and…distract him. ”

  “That’s my job, Morgan. ”

  “You didn’t have to do it. ” Then, recalling the way his hands roamed her body in Alyssa’s bedroom, she shot him a suspicious look. “In fact, I think you did more than your job required. ”

  “Think what you want. ” Jack’s smile told Morgan that her assertion amused him.

  “I usually do. ” She gritted her teeth, wishing she knew how to wipe that smile off his face. “Where are we going?”

  “I’ve got a place. It’s safe. We can hide you there until we figure something out. ”

  The thought of being anywhere near Jack, even for just a few days rattled her. “Maybe I should rent a car and drive back to Houston. I’ve already imposed—”

  “He’ll catch on quick and follow you, Morgan. This guy isn’t stupid. Psycho, but not stupid. You want to be safe or dead? Besides, it’ll be a good opportunity for you to learn about Dominance and submission. I can ensure you’ll sound like an expert on your show. ”

  “I think I get the picture. ”

  “Cher, you haven’t even scratched the surface. ”

  “I don’t need you touching me anymore. ”

  His smile could have melted butter. “You may not think you need it, but I know better. You need it every bit as much as you want it. ”

  Morgan’s jaw dropped. “You are one arrogant bastard. ”

  “You’re submissive, and I’m arrogant. See how well we’re getting to know each other already?”

  His quip put her temper in a twist. “I am not— That’s it! Take me back to Lafayette. ”

  He sent her an amused glance. “Back to your friend’s car, the one your stalker probably has his pretty rifle trained on as we speak?”

  She bit her lip. Damn it. Why did he have to be right?

  “Or maybe I should drop you off at the police station,” he taunted. “They’re always so much help in stalker cases. ”

  Clenching her fists, Morgan said nothing, again knowing spoke the truth.

  “Or maybe, you could hop a plane back to L. A. How long do you think it would be before he stopped shooting pictures and tried again to shoot you between the eyes? You got a death wish?”

  “No. ” Her voice vibrated with the anger she felt coursing through her body. “You got an off button for your mouth?”

  Jack just smiled. “You’re too smart to want to face a killer more than your sexuality, Morgan. I’ll ask you the same question I asked before your stalker started shooting: What are you afraid of?”

  “I’m not having this conversation with you. ”

  He shrugged, as if he didn’t care about her response one way or the other. “Fine. It’s your life. Am I taking you back to Lafayette or are you going to stay safe with me?”

  God, she wanted to shock the bastard. Spit in his face and verbally cut off his balls by demanding he take her back to Brandon’s car so she could zoom back to Houston, far away from his challenging words and his wicked touch.

  But once again, damn it, he was right. Putting herself back in the path of a killer because Jack pushed a few of her sexual buttons was flat stupid. She had no place safe to go, and despite Brandon’s suggestion, she was not calling Senator Ross. He wouldn’t lift a finger to help her.

  “I’ll go with you,” she said through clenched teeth.

  “Good girl. We’ve got a few hours to travel and it’s getting late. Try getting some sleep. ”

  Morgan wasn’t sure she could. Being that vulnerable around a man like Jack, especially while she still had a stalker on her tail. “I’m fine. ”

  “It wasn’t a suggestion. We’re not being followed. No one is on this road for miles. ” He gestured to the open road and fields around them, completely devoid of headlights. “You’re safe and you’re going to need your strength later, cher, in case we haven’t lost your stalker for good. ”

  She sighed, then shot him a reluctant glance. Again, he was right.

  Morgan crossed her arms over her chest and shifted her body toward the passenger window. But soon the rhythmic motion of the car lulled her. She closed her eyes and drifted off.

  Two hours later, Jack stopped the truck at the water’s edge, in front of the boat waiting where he’d left it. After he scrambled aboard with a groggy Morgan, they cruised down the river for a while, Jack poling his way down the swamp with Morgan drifting in and out of sleep and shivering in the February air. He did his best to shelter her from the wind with his body. She unconsciously snuggled into him when he wrapped one arm around her.

  That gave him a hard-on so stiff it hurt.

  They reached their destination shortly before ten. Jack lifted a slumbering Morgan into his arms, settled her in his grasp, and headed for the dark cottage.

  He’d expected to have to talk fast in Lafayette, to hustle and sweet-talk her to a hotel room to get his revenge. Having her here, in his domain, was better—and worse. Her stalker had helped him maneuver Morgan right where he wanted her and never dreamed he’d have her. He would have Morgan to himself, on his turf, where he could devote hours to her seduction and his revenge. Sweet, yes.

  But Jack couldn’t pretend her sick stalker didn’t concern him. At least here, with him, he could protect her from the psycho who’d clearly decided that if he couldn’t have Morgan, no one else would. He would keep her safe; he owed her that much. Particularly since it was clear Morgan could no longer fend for herself and was exhausted beyond her endurance.

  But on a basic physical level, she trusted him. That trust shimmered through his body, both hardening his cock and softening his gut. Why fight it? He liked her, even if he hated her fiancé’s guts. She was by turns feisty and vulnerable, sharp and gullible. And for some reason so damned familiar, as if he’d seen her somewhere before…

  Shifting Morgan in his grasp, Jack shoved the key in the lock, then thrust open the door. Inside the little Craftsman cottage, clean lines and pine floors reminded him of his boyhood, of fishing with his grand-pere Brice. This place never failed to inspire great memories, even if the old family legends his grandfather told here made him laugh.

  “Ah, so you made it. ”

  Jack started—until he recognized the voice. “Holy shit, old man. You trying to scare me to death so you can have your fishing hole back?”

  Brice waved him away. “You wish. I wouldn’t have this place back for nothin’. Rat trap. ”

  Jack knew better, but Brice was too old to live out here, so far away from a hospital.

  “The place is stocked with food. The security cameras, they’s all on and the generator is running. Use it sparingly. ”

  “Thanks. I knew I could count on you. ”

  “This the girl you called about, the one runnin’ for her life?” Brice gestured to Morgan, whom Jack still held.

  “Yeah. ”

  With narrowed eyes, Brice peered closer and stared at Morgan. “You sure he’s not just out to bed her? She’s one jolie fille, but she dresses like a whore, that one. ”

  “It’s a disguise, Grand-pere. ”

  Brice frowned his gray head, disapproval still shadowing his strong features. Smiling to himself, Jack stepped around his grandfather and headed for the cottage’s lone bedroom. He set Morgan down on the bed, then bent to remove her black boots. If his grandfather weren’t watching, he’d pull off the rest of her clothes for the mere pleasure of looking at her…but Brice would both disapprove and get an eyeful that could damage his heart at eighty-two.
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  “You still been havin’ them dreams?” his grandfather asked suddenly.

  Jack rolled his eyes, ruing the day he’d said anything. “They don’t mean anything. ”

  “Boy, you been raised in the bayou, even if the army and big city spoiled you some. A curse is a curse. If you’re dreaming about a redheaded woman over and over, you’re about to meet her and she’s your heart’s mate. ”

  Here we go again with this bullshit, Jack thought with a sigh. If Brice wanted to use the legend to justify his marrying an underage girl sixty years ago, goody for him. As it was, Jack refused to believe that some faceless woman he’d seen in his dreams with red hair glinting across bare shoulders in dawn’s light was destined to be his one and only love. There was no such thing. The redhead was just a fantasy fuck his mind had conjured up.

  “Well, I haven’t met any redheads lately, so the whole point is moot. Dreams don’t mean a thing. ”

  “You keep tellin’ yourself that, boy. She’ll turn up. Won’t be long now. Didn’t you say you’d been having those dreams about five months?”

  Six, but who was counting? Jack shrugged.

  “She’ll make a believer out of you,” Brice contended.

  “Whatever you say, Grand-pere. ”

  The old man grunted, knowing that Jack was blowing off the famous family legend he loved so much. The dreams…they had to be coincidence, a byproduct of loneliness and the fact he hadn’t had a good lay in forever. Nothing else made sense.

  “Well, this old man is taking his body home and going to bed. Need anything else, boy?”

  “We’ll be fine. ”

  “Take care of ta jolie fille. ”

  Jack sighed. “She’s not my pretty girl. ”

  And for some damn reason, it annoyed him to admit that. Probably because she was wasted on an asshole like Brandon Ross.

  Laughter cackling with both amusement and age, Brice left. Jack heard the slam of the cottage door and returned to the bedroom.

  He turned on the kerosene lamp in the bedroom, which emitted a soft glow over Morgan. She looked uncomfortable, as he watched her twist and mutter in her sleep.

  He removed a pair of gaudy earrings he hadn’t noticed before and lay them on the side table. The purple leather…it wasn’t Morgan’s style, but would have to stay for now. Trying to take it off would surely wake her up. Shrugging, he realized he could only do one other thing to make her comfortable.

  Gently, Jack reached under the sleek blonde wig and extracted a pin here and there. She sighed in sleepy appreciation when he lifted the wig away and tossed it on the table next to the earrings.

  When Jack looked back, he frowned and lifted the lamp over Morgan.

  It couldn’t be. It couldn’t.

  But with mellow golden light shining down on her, there was no mistaking the glint of her fiery red hair.


  Morgan woke to an unfamiliar room pervaded by shadows. Mosquito netting draped the warm, well-used bed. Beyond that, an old-fashioned kerosene lamp on a nightstand with mission-style lines dimly lit the room. Where was she?

  Blinking, she sat up with a creak. She frowned when she saw purple leather stretched across her torso and hips. Purple leather? Her? It wasn’t uncomfortable…but had to be discomfiting to be seen in. Why the hell was she wearing it?

  Then she recalled. Her stalker shooting. Master J—no, Jack—to the rescue, his gaze eating up her flushed skin, his hands on her body.

  Still, she had to thank Alyssa for the shocking get up. It, along with Jack and his outrageous behavior, had gotten her out of Lafayette alive.

  A downy beige comforter warmed her legs. Black sheers floated at the room’s lone window, made transparent by the silvery moonlight. A stout dresser of warm, old cherrywood sprawled against most of the wall beside the window.

  Turning her head, Morgan skimmed the other half of the small bedroom. The open door led to beautiful hardwood floors, which gleamed in the dark, empty hallway.

  And in the chair wedged between the door and an armoire sat Jack, shirtless and tousled, alert—and focused on her.

  “Good morning, Morgan. ”

  Morning? His stare touched her through the moonlit inkiness of the room, caressing her cheek, sweeping over her mouth, gliding down her neck to the rise of her breasts above the leather bustier. With just a glance, heat bloomed inside her. Even eight feet away, the potency of his sexuality broadcast in blaring waves. Everything they had done in Alyssa’s bedroom came back to her in a rush…along with a tight, nagging ache between her legs.

  She remembered everything—the way he’d touched her, his kiss, his touch, the way he took control. His mysterious scent, his growled words—they’d intrigued her. Even after a few hours’ sleep, nothing had changed. Curiosity and desire gnawed at her as Jack stared, knowledge hot in his chocolate eyes. The ache knotting her body tightened.

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