Authors: Nicola Marsh
“Caveman.” She laughed and the sound of her enjoyment made him want to hold her close.
“Wait ‘til you see my club.”
“Promises, promises…” Her giggles quieted as he pushed her legs apart again and this time, he could’ve sworn his heart stopped.
To see Jess exposed, slick with desire, glistening for him, made every erotic fantasy he’d ever had about her pale in comparison.
He admired her for letting him get this far. Her trust proved more than anything she’d said that she cared about him.
Spreading her legs wide, he gritted his teeth against the insistent throb in his cock.
He leaned forward and insinuated his tongue between her folds, sweeping upward with a firm lick that had her arching off the bed.
Holding her hips down, he licked again, savoring her taste on his tongue. He grazed her clit repeatedly but never lingered, teasing her to fever pitch, until she writhed side to side, begging for release.
“Please, Jack…oh God…”
Only then did he circle her clit with the tip of his tongue. Slow, generous sweeps to titillate. And she fell apart on a scream that would’ve had the neighbors calling the cops if they’d been in suburbia.
Smug, and with a severe case of blue balls that would probably cripple him for life, Jack crawled onto the bed alongside Jess and snuggled up to her.
“Ready for round two yet?” he whispered in her ear, licking the tender skin behind and blowing on it.
Her unintelligible grunt made him laugh.
He undid the blindfold, wanting to see her eyes, wanting to see her look at him with that post-orgasmic haze.
When she rolled her head his way, what he saw blew his mind. Gratitude. Wonder. And frigging tears.
“Nothing.” She sniffled and swiped the tears away, her inane grin confusing the hell out of him. “That was freaking unbelievable!”
“Then why the tears?”
“Because I’m happy, you dufus.” She whacked him on the chest. “What you just did down there…I’ve never…I mean…wow.”
Incredulous, he captured her chin so she had no option but to look at him. “You’ve never had head?”
“Son of a bitch.” He released her chin, but only because he thought he might crush her at the surge of fury directed at her ex. Not only was the dickhead a dud root, he was selfish to boot.
“Hey, let’s not waste time dwelling on my past,” she said, rolling on top of him in a swift move that made the breath whoosh out of his chest. Or was that the admiration in her eyes making him feel like a sexual giant among men? “Let’s concentrate on the future instead, starting with what you’re going to do for an encore.”
Burlesque Bombshell Basics
The eyes tell all. Thick, long, dark lashes essential. Lined with black liquid kohl, the cat’s eye shape will have men riveted by the windows to your soul
Jess wasn’t in the mood to Skype the bride-to-be. She’d rather spend the morning mooning around like a goofball, reminiscing about last night and how many inventive ways Jack had made her come.
She’d lost count of orgasms around number five. She’d also wished a pox on Max. The arrogant bastard had blamed her for their lackluster sex life and she’d believed him.
Thank God for Jack.
She couldn’t have picked a better guy to awaken her sensual side. And technically they hadn’t even had sex yet.
But she had plans to change all that. Tonight.
“Well, well, well. Someone looks mighty satisfied.”
Jess poked her tongue out as Zazz appeared on the laptop screen. “That’s because your wedding plans are gelling nicely. Wait ‘til you see—”
“Have you and Jack done it yet?” Chantal’s head popped up behind Zazz in the right corner of the screen, with Adele’s on the left.
“Don’t you people have work to do?”
“No,” they yelled in unison.
Jess waggled a finger. “I’m not discussing my sex life with you.”
“I knew it! You shagged him,” Chantal said, with a smirk.
“Shag’s Aussie speak for bonk, in case you didn’t know,” Adele said, grinning.
“Thanks for the cultural lesson,” Jess said, unable to stop a giggle bubbling up. “You three are unbelievable.”
“So did you?” Zazz tapped the screen with a ruby fingernail.
him, you mean?” Jess mimed zipping her lips.
“Come on, Cuz, you’ve got one woman on the shelf here about to be shackled for life so her sex life is over, and two other dateless, single gals living vicariously through you.” Chantal pointed at Adele. “It’s been so long since she’s had sex it’s probably grown over.”
Jess wrinkled her nose. “Euw. You’re gross.”
“Chantal may have a point.” Adele didn’t appear as freaked out as she should be. “So are you going to spill the goss or not?”
Jess knew she’d have to give them something otherwise she’d never get any work done. And that may mean she’d be working late tonight and missing out on important Jack time.
“Fine. You want to know? We haven’t shagged.” Disappointment clouded three faces, so she added, “Yet.”
Zazz squealed and clapped her hands. “Good attitude.”
“Have you used the samples?”
Trust Chantal to hone in on what Jess hadn’t said rather than what she had.
“Yeah,” Jess said, reluctant to discuss how magically incredible last night had been.
“And?” Chantal wiggled her fingers, asking for more details.
“They made a suitable impression.”
This time, three pairs of eyes widened. “He saw your underwear? But that must mean…” Chantal trailed off, and Adele added, “Good for you.”
“So you haven’t scored a home run yet but you’re covering all the bases, right?” Predictable that Zazz, the baseball fiend, would come up with that analogy.
Unable to contain her excitement any longer, Jess nodded. “Let’s just say I’m a well satisfied woman today.”
“Oral, huh?” said Chantal, blunt as ever, but Jess wouldn’t give any more details.
“Unless you want to prevent me from hitting a home run/shagging him senseless/bonking/whatever because I’ll be working late tonight, how about we get started on discussing this wedding?”
“Spoilsport,” Chantal muttered, as Zazz elbowed her in the ribs and jerked a thumb at the door.
“Sorry, Jess, I’ll get rid of these two and we can discuss plans, okay?”
“Have fun, Cuz, and do exactly what I’d do,” Chantal said, as Adele waved and they vanished from the screen.
Zazz shook her head. “I don’t think you want to know what Chantal would do.”
Jess smiled. “Actually, I really admire her. She’s confident and bold and knows what she wants out of life.”
“But she’s still single.”
“That’s by choice. Do you honestly think Chantal couldn’t have any guy she wanted falling at her feet?”
“True.” Zazz nodded, thoughtful.
Jess had never met another woman as poised and sassy and business-savvy as her cousin. She’d envied her for years, since Chantal had been gutsy enough to leave Craye Canyon behind and head to Vegas to follow her dream.
Chantal was legendary in the small town where they grew up; the cute little girl who excelled at ballet ending up a Vegas showgirl. Even though she’d worked her butt off, invested wisely, amassed a small fortune and opened Burlesque Bombshells, townsfolk still talked. Her notoriety grew and every time Jess heard some narrow-minded gossip malign her cousin, she’d give them a verbal spray.
Not surprisingly, her mom idolized Chantal and thought Jess should be more like her cousin. Considering Jess’s metamorphosis since she’d been in Vegas, wouldn’t mommy dearest be pleased?
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Jess snapped back to the present. “About what?”
Jess couldn’t suppress a goofy grin. “Not really.”
Zazz chuckled. “That look on your face says it all. I’m happy for you.”
Zazz paused and glanced away, a tiny frown creasing her brow. “Though you know he’s not a keeper, right?”
“’Course,” Jess scoffed, well aware Jack would be the last guy to settle down. “That’s the beauty of this. The fact he won’t stick around gives me the confidence to play, to try things I wouldn’t normally.”
“Really? Because Chantal said…” Zazz shook her head.
“Chantal said what?”
“Damn,” Zazz muttered under her breath. “I shouldn’t have said anything, but you’ve been amazing with this wedding, stepping in to take over from Pam, and I care about you.”
Jess would’ve preened under the praise for her wedding planning skills if she weren’t dying to hear what Chantal had said about her relationship with Jack.
“That’s sweet, but what did my verbose cuz say?”
Zazz swiped a hand over her face and sighed. “She said you don’t do casual, that to sleep with Jack you’d have feelings for him, and that ultimately he’d break your heart when he walked.”
Jess wanted to refute her cousin’s astute observation. But she couldn’t. Because everything Chantal had said was true. Except for the latter. Her heart wouldn’t break because it wasn’t part of the deal. She was savvier than that now, knew how to protect herself better. At least she could be grateful to that asshole Max for that.
“Chantal’s right, I do have feelings for Jack. Had a huge crush on him ten years ago, but he rejected me then and I’m not stupid enough to think what we have now is anything beyond a fun fling.” Jess shrugged. “My heart won’t break because I’m smarter this time around. I’m using him to explore a side of me I never knew existed. That’s it.”
“If you say so.” By Zazz’s doubtful expression, the bride-to-be didn’t buy her spiel. “Just be careful, okay? Because guys like Jack have heartbreaker written all over them.”
Didn’t Jess know it.
As Jack slid the slow-baked pork spare ribs in a sweet and sour tamarind broth out of the oven, his forearm brushed the scorching hot door.
“Son of a bitch.” He only just managed to dump the tray on the bench before dropping the lot.
As he ran the cold water on full blast and doused his burning arm under it, this latest mishap pretty much encapsulated his day.
Made him wish he’d taken the selfish option last night and agreed to Jess’s offer of a blowjob, because it sure as hell would’ve taken the edge off. Instead, he’d stuck to his principles that last night had been all about pleasuring her, and ended up grumpy and moody because of it.
Jerking off in the shower after he’d returned to his villa last night hadn’t helped, and after a sleepless night filled with erotic images of her naked and glistening and coming, a repeat whack off this morning did little too.
He’d hoped cooking might take his mind off the relentless urge to head back to her villa and finish what he started last night, so he’d spent eight hours in the kitchen instead, experimenting with various dishes for the wedding. After he’d given strict instructions to resort staff not to be disturbed. Last thing he needed was for Jess to waltz into the kitchen and he take her up against the fridge. Or wall. Or spread across the island bench.
Frigging great. Hard again.
Cursing under his breath, he adjusted his crotch, washed his hands and turned off the water.
With a growl, he surveyed the mess before him.
He’d trialed a variety of main courses today, from venison loin served on sweet potato smothered in a berry jus, to freshly caught shrimp in a champagne reduction. From sweet basil chicken breasts to chargrilled lamb cutlets served on a couscous and ratatouille base.
He’d tried whipping up new accompaniments, like a crumbed eggplant, spinach and goat cheese roulade. And gnocchi smothered in blue cheese and walnuts. Polenta salad with Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and crushed cashews.
Every dish fell short of his usual standard and it contributed to his foul mood.
He braced against the bench and hung his head. If he stared at his disastrous experiments one more second he was likely to sweep the lot onto the floor.
Stupid to be this wound up over a few dishes that would come good with a spice here, a herb there. He’d done it before, discovering his signature dishes by gleeful experimentation. He was damn good at what he did. It’s what made Cookie’s the best fusion restaurant in Sydney—what had made him a household name in Australia and beyond. And yeah, the irony wasn’t lost on him that he’d named his premier restaurant after the nickname Jess had given him on the cattle station.
But it wasn’t the food that had him ready to punch something and he knew it.
He’d taken a huge step last night…the first step on the road to hell.
For that’s what getting involved with Jess meant.
Ironic. He’d been able to resist her when she’d kissed him, come for him in that alley and dressed up like a sex goddess. But one glimpse of vulnerability and he’d been a goner.
And that’s what had him rattled most. That this thing with Jess went beyond the physical.
If it were just sex, he would’ve had few qualms in rooting Reid’s sister and gone ahead and done it. They could’ve kept their mouths shut and Reid would’ve never known. End of the week, they could’ve reverted to friends at the wedding and no one would’ve been the wiser.
But the moment Jack allowed himself to
for Jess, everything changed.
It’s why he didn’t let her get him off last night. It’s why it had all been about her.
Because it had skewered him straight through the heart when he’d seen how susceptible she’d been about her sexuality.
No woman should be made to feel inadequate in the bedroom and that’s what her prick of an ex had done. Shredded her self-confidence and filled her with doubt.
He’d been determined to prove otherwise. Not because of some he-man heroic streak, out to prove he was the better man, but because Jess was special and she deserved better.
He’d done the right thing in eradicating her uncertainties, but he hadn’t banked on feeling this…this…off kilter.
If he didn’t know any better he could’ve sworn he was starting to feel things for Jess he shouldn’t. Things that went beyond respect and friendship. Things that had no place in his busy life and her new life.