Authors: Nicola Marsh
And just like that, her fury deflated courtesy of one of Jack’s candid zingers.
Weariness replaced her anger and she pointed at the door. “Leave.”
He didn’t budge, his tortured gaze a mix of turbulent emotion: regret, yearning, desire, sadness.
Not that it made her feel sorry for him but for a second she could empathize, because that’s exactly how she felt around him. Conflicted. Hopeful. Needy. Disappointed.
“Don’t you think you’ve humiliated me enough for one night?” She marched to the door and banged it with her fist. “How many more times do you need to be told to get the hell out?”
His lips tightened into a thin line as he stood, sexy lingerie falling off him like an oak shedding leaves. All but one piece that snagged on his belt buckle.
He unhooked it with his finger and held it up, cocking his head to one side, puzzled. “What’s this?”
“Blindfold.” She couldn’t resist one last barb, wishing he’d hurt half as much as she did. “Going to come in mighty handy tomorrow night when the pool boy gets to use it on me as he licks his way up my thigh toward the garter, then spreads my legs and—”
He was on her so fast she stumbled and would’ve fallen if he hadn’t pinned her up against the wall.
His mouth crashed down on hers in an unholy clash of tongues and teeth and lips. There was nothing remotely seductive or sexy in the kiss. It was a kiss to stake a claim. A kiss branding her as his.
Jess resisted, not wanting to make it easy for him. For despite wanting this, wanting him, more than life itself, he’d really hurt her with his continued rejection.
She wasn’t a fool. The only reason he was doing this was because the thought of another guy taking what he wanted was unpalatable. Typical macho idiot.
But as he ground his hips against her and softened the kiss, she knew prolonged resistance was futile.
She pushed against his chest and his mouth eased away. But he didn’t release her, his hands firmly anchoring her hips against his.
“Let me guess. You only want me because you can’t stand the thought of some other guy having me.”
He frowned. “Did you always talk this much? Because from what I remember, you were a quiet thing who wasn’t mouthy or ballsy.”
“And it got me exactly nowhere,” she said, tilting her head up to meet his gaze, hers defiant. “You rejected me back then and it hurt like hell, Jack. And you’ve done it again now. Just for the record—” her fingertip rested on his chest and pushed, “—you don’t get any more chances. Walk away now and I promise I won’t come after you again.”
Masterstroke, giving him an ultimatum. Until he walked out the door and left her wanting him more than ever, and unable to do anything about it.
“It’s not that simple,” he said, releasing her to stalk across the bedroom, kicking at random bits of lingerie.
“Yeah, it is.” She took a step to follow him then decided against it. Was difficult enough forming coherent words when he touched her and she needed a clear head for this conversation. “We have a week together on the island before guests start arriving for the wedding. We work together. We sleep together. That’s it.”
“Bullshit.” He swung back to face her, eyes blazing. “By your waterworks session, this means more than just sex to you.”
His probing stare dared her to deny it. But she couldn’t. He was in enough denial for the both of them.
“Maybe you’re right,” she said, her back sliding down the wall until her butt hit the floor. She wanted to hug her knees to her chest until she realized the view he’d cop. Time enough for that. Hopefully. “I’m not in the habit of having sex with guys I don’t feel something for.”
She shrugged. “I care about you. Big deal. Guess you kinda knew that by my declaration ten years ago.”
“That’s a lifetime ago.” He shook his head. “We’ve both changed. You’ve seen me for what? A week, and you suddenly have feelings again?”
“I don’t expect you to understand,” she said, proud when her voice didn’t quiver. “And I’m not going to make excuses for how I feel. I like you. I always have. Surely it stands to reason I have my post-engagement fling with a guy I respect and like than some jerk?”
“That’s all this would be to you? Sex on the island stays on the island?”
For the first time in the last half hour she allowed herself to acknowledge a tiny flicker of hope. “Absolutely. That’s all it ever could be. I have a new life to forge; you have a life back in Sydney. No strings. What could be more attractive to a guy than that?”
He stared at her for an eternity and warmth seeped into her limbs beneath that intense scrutiny, before he said the one word she’d been hoping to hear.
Burlesque Bombshell Basics
Idolize the 1950s, era of the true bombshell. Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield, Elizabeth Taylor. Women with true pizazz
Jack knew this was a bad idea. A royal fuck-up waiting to happen.
But as he strode toward Jess, closing the gap between them, he was done fighting.
It hadn’t been the sexy, heart-attack-inducing get-up she was wearing.
It hadn’t been her deliberate taunts or jibes.
It hadn’t been her tears.
No, none of that had made him change his mind.
But when she’d opened up to him, been completely honest about how much she cared, and revealed her vulnerability, he’d been a goner.
He could resist Jess at her sassy best. But he didn’t stand a chance in hell of holding her at bay when he read the devastating truth in her eyes.
She believed she wasn’t good enough.
It staggered him how someone inherently beautiful inside and out, could honestly think he didn’t want her because of some innate flaw.
Nothing could be further from the truth but with his repeated rejections, he could see how she could come to that conclusion.
Not anymore. He intended on proving just how much he wanted her. All frigging week long.
Would this mess with his head? Probably.
Would it ruin his friendship with Reid? Definitely.
But Jess was hurting and he couldn’t stand it any longer.
She didn’t deserve to hurt. Sounded like she’d had enough of that with her bastard ex.
It stopped right here, right now.
He’d prove to Jess how incredible she was and deal with the consequences later. And there’d be many. He wasn’t some young punk ruled by his cock. He knew the potential fallout from sex with Jess. Yet for all his bluster and self-talk to the contrary, he was now willing to take the risk.
When he reached her, he held out his hand. She stared up at him with wide-eyed wonder, making him feel ten feet tall when he didn’t deserve it.
This may be all about making her feel good tonight but he’d be lying to himself if he didn’t admit to being rocket hard and ready at the thought of his fantasy woman naked and warm and wet for him.
She placed her hand in his and he gently tugged her to her feet.
“You sure about this?”
Her fingers dug into his palm. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“I just want to make sure—” Her hand cupped his erection and he forgot the rest of his altruistic speech.
“I’m sure.” Mischief sparked her eyes, her lips curved in a seductive smile that made his chest as well as his balls ache.
“What happens on the island stays on the island?”
She gave him a gentle squeeze and his blood surged. “Did you always talk this much?”
He laughed. “Touché.”
“How about we drop that last little é and settle for touch.”
He didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed when her hand left his cock and slid upward, gliding along his abs, his chest, stopping to rest on his cheek.
“Just so you know, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m…uh…” she stared at his chest, unable to meet his eyes, “I’m not very good at this.”
A tiny frown worried her brow, making her nose crinkle adorably. “Sex.” She inhaled a breath and let it out in a rush. “I’m not very good at sex.”
Of all the things she’d said tonight, this shocked him the most.
She didn’t have to answer. He could guess.
“That useless prick.” He swore, long and hard, and she finally looked at him. “Let me guess. Your ex blamed his pathetic performance on you.”
She bit her lower lip and nodded. “Wasn’t all his fault. I just never felt super turned on when we did it.”
“His fault, not yours, sweetheart.” He released her hand to anchor her waist. “The guy had to be a frigging eunuch not to get you off.”
She blushed, and the innocence of the pink staining her cheeks against the raunchy satin corset making her tits pop was an exquisite erotic contrast.
“Considering how responsive you were in that alley, babe, I’d say the fault lay entirely with him.”
Hope sparked her eyes. “Really?”
If he ever got near her ex he’d kill the prick.
He winked. “Want me to show you?”
She surged against him and for the first time he welcomed her without hesitation, without qualms.
Her kisses were sweet and eager, but now he’d made up his mind, he wanted more. He wanted to deliver part of the fantasy she secretly craved by that stuff she’d thrown at him earlier.
Starting with the blindfold.
He captured her face in his hands and gentled their kisses until his lips grazed hers in a light, barely-there glide.
“Do you trust me?” he whispered against the side of her mouth, before moving lower to nuzzle her neck, the heady scent of lilacs making his memory receptors snap as hard as his libido.
“Then come with me.” His arm slid around her waist, anchoring her to him, and how perfectly they fit wasn’t lost on him. “I have a confession to make.”
“You can’t get it up?”
She giggled and he growled, tackling her onto the bed so he lay on top of her. “What do you think?” He ground his hard-on against her pussy, grinning when she whimpered.
“I was teasing,” she said, on a soft sigh. “But you can keep doing that if you like.”
“I like, but I have something else in mind.” He levered himself off her and she pouted. “Something to prove to you once and for all how damn sexual you are.”
Intrigued sparked her eyes. “What is it?”
“This.” He picked up the blindfold from the floor and dangled it out to her. “I want to drive you wild while you wear this.”
Her lips parted on a shocked ‘O’. “I only brought that stuff along to tease you into wanting me.”
“Already told you, babe, I’d want you if you were wearing a hessian sack. But this—” he swung the blindfold back and forth, and she watched it, almost hypnotized, “—will take your enjoyment to a whole new level.”
Indecision warred with excitement in her wide eyes.
“Just so you know, this is all about you.” He grimaced and patted the wallet in his back pocket. “No condoms.”
She sat up. “What?”
He chuckled at her indignant yelp. It meant she really wanted him, not that he was in any doubt.
“Unless you have some lying around?”
Her blush was adorable as she shook her head. “I took care of the props, the least you could do was provide protection.”
“But we weren’t supposed to be having sex, remember?”
An impish smile curved her lips as she reached for him. “Thank goodness you changed your mind.”
He sidestepped and knelt on the bed behind her. “The jury’s still out on the wisdom of that particular decision but for now, I get to show you how sexy you are.”
He half expected her to protest when he placed the blindfold over her eyes but apart from her spine stiffening, she allowed him to tie a knot in the black lace. “Comfortable?”
“Yeah,” she murmured, as if trying the blindfold and her agreement on for size. “What are you going to do?”
He nipped her ear in response and she moaned. “And spoil the surprise?”
“I’m not so good with surprises,” she said, her head turning to the right when he eased off the bed.
“Trust me, you’ll love this one.”
He knelt at her feet and waited, prolonging the tantalizing agony before the first touch.
“Right here, sweetheart.” His fingertips brushed her calves to prove it. But that’s where he stopped, despite the relentless urge to shove her legs apart and head for gold.
“You’ll stop if I tell you to, right?”
“This isn’t some kinky dom/sub thing,” he said, a little relieved she hadn’t pulled out the whips and spreader bars from her bag of tricks. He’d heard the guys talk at the restaurant. Apparently women were right into that stuff these days. Which made him a vanilla fan, straight up. “’Course you can stop me, but I don’t think you’ll want to.”
His tongue swirled behind her right knee to prove it and she writhed.
“I take your silence as approval to continue?”
“Smartass,” she said, her smile making him wish he’d packed a crate full of condoms.
“Is that any way to talk to a guy who does this?”
He eased her knees apart and splayed his fingers against the insides of her thighs, taking his time to enjoy the view.
The pale pink satin panties edged in black matched the corset. But that’s where the similarity ended, for while the corset covered her torso, the panties barely covered anything. A fact he was eternally grateful for.
He caressed the soft skin of her thighs in slow, deliberate sweeps that had her collapsing back on the bed to prop on her elbows.
Her skin pebbled beneath his fingers that grew lighter with each stroke until she squirmed.
“You’re driving me kinda crazy here.”
“That’s the whole idea.” His lips replaced his hand on her left thigh as he kissed his way upward.
He could smell her arousal the higher he went, and the fact she was so turned on made him want to make a run back to his villa for condoms.
When he reached the top of her thigh he swapped to the other, nipping at her skin, licking her until she was panting.
She wriggled, her hips arching off the bed and he decided enough was enough. He hooked his thumbs under the elastic of her panties and ripped.