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The lovers promise, p.14
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       The Lover's Promise, p.14

           J. C. Reed
 
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  I should have seen it coming, but it still took me by surprise when he entered me. It was slow and tender as he pushed inside my core, into my being. His gaze looked at me with a depth that equaled the way he penetrated me—demanding, possessive—just the way I needed it. Maybe it was the gentleness of a usually primitive act, or that there was nothing dirty in it, but it felt right, like two beings trapped in a cocoon. With the heat flooding over my body, I let out a deep moan, and lifted my hips against his in need for more, closing my eyes to enjoy the moment.

  “Look at me,” Jett whispered. His voice sounded hoarse and I opened my eyes, my breath coming heavy. My heart skipped a beat as I peered into his green eyes and noticed that his mouth had softened as his thick shaft moved inside me, stretching me, filling every last corner. And yet something felt different.

  “Do you love me?” he asked at last.

  I drew a long breath. Here I was, in the middle of an argument, lying on the mat, with him moving inside me, and he was asking if I loved him.

  I swallowed hard. How was I supposed to answer that? With my body so exposed and open for him I was barely able to think straight as every slow thrust sent a new wave of pleasure through me, announcing my imminent release. My hands grabbed his shoulders, my fingers dug into his skin. That was the only answer I could give him.

  Anytime now the thrusts would send me over the edge. As though sensing my impending orgasm, Jett replaced his slow thrust with even slower moves—painfully slow moves that sent the whole room spinning and my insides clenching for more. My breath was barely more than a shudder. I could feel every rub, every motion, every drop of moisture of him inside me. He pulled out, only to push in deeper, his thrust hitting my core. His eyes never left mine as he continued to slowly thrust inside me, his body moving against me. I moaned, shifting my hips to let him slide in just a little bit deeper. Hot waves of fire shook my abdomen as he impaled my flesh and I lifted my hips to give him deeper access when he suddenly pulled out again, only to let the slick head of his erection nudge my entrance. Ever so slowly he plunged in and stopped until I could feel nothing but him pulsating inside me, waiting…waiting for what?

  Right. For my answer.

  “What kind of stupid question is that?” I asked.

  “Just be honest.”

  “It’s not like you are.”

  “Well, I try to be.” He moistened his lips. His beautiful kissable seductive lips. I swallowed, both intimidated by the question and the rising need inside me. “If I love you?”

  He nodded. “Yeah.”

  His intent gaze landed on me again and for a few seconds there was silence between us. At last, he stirred again,

  “Do you, Brooke?” he probed. “Do you love me?”

  I looked up. His eyes peered intently at me, waiting, watching. Doubting. It felt as though the question was different. It felt anxious. Careful. Uncertain. Almost as if he had started to believe my lies at some point.

  All those years I had the unprecedented and unspoken belief that even the most sparkling stone of a relationship would become dull. Not so with Jett. He was a multi-faceted diamond that blinded me with its brilliance and hardness. And right now, he was cutting me into the core, his eyes resting on me, and his hardness teasing me mercilessly by staying lodged deep inside me without moving. I quivered beneath him, my body pleading for more.

  “I do,” I whispered. “Sadly. Maybe even too much.”

  “Then tell me you’re mine.”

  “You’re killing me,” I whispered, feeling like I was about to cry from sheer pleasure. “Can’t it wait until later?”

  He grinned. “That’s just the start of the punishment I’m about to give you.” Wedging himself between my knees and lifting my legs a little higher, he forced his shaft deeper inside me, filling every inch so slowly I felt like helping myself to get the release I so desperately craved.

  Damn.

  I should have seen it coming. He was going to make me beg and plead. He was going to torture by filling me, impaling me, building up my orgasm without letting me come. A stroke of passion rushed up my spine like lightening.

  Damn him.

  I was so damn near and yet he stalled.

  He carried a weapon more dangerous than a gun. And right now this weapon stretched me, giving me the feeling of being invaded. Now I understood what La petite mort meant. If Jett kept going like this, I would experience the little death and it wouldn’t be pretty.

  “Jett, please. Don’t make me plead.”

  His lips twitched. “You’ll have to do better than that.”

  His erection plunged another inch into me, building a bigger, growing momentum until I felt I might just be about to pass out.

  “Say you’re mine, Brooke.” His hands grabbed my wrists and pulled them above my head until I could do nothing but look at him. His breath brushed my mouth, stealing my air, my oxygen, my soul. There was no him and me, only two hearts.

  “I’m yours,” I moaned. Pleased with my answer, he started to move. Slow, deliberate, painful moves.

  “You forgot to call my name.” He laughed hoarsely.

  It was in that moment that our eyes connected with a depth that made me tremble like music did to my soul. As he kept moving inside me, dissolving my sensitive flesh, his breath on my face, there was nothing but him and the hardness of his spear penetrating me. He kissed me with a passion as if his lips had always belonged on mine. Or maybe it was I who had always belonged to him.

  “Mine,” he whispered. “You’ll always be mine, Brooke. As I will be yours. And that’s my promise.”

  His tongue sucked mine deep into his mouth and he slammed harder into me until our bodies began to tremble, ripe with orgasm. I closed my eyes and let myself melt into him, savoring the sensation in the knowledge that everything was right.

  Everything was okay. I was safe.

  I could feel it.

  With my heart pounding against my chest I could feel myself falling into one special place—where passion and tension collided to create a color so beautiful it took my breath away. Jett shuddered, his hot moisture spilling deep inside me as an orgasm rippled through him, pouring his essence into me, and then I came.

  We were lying on the floor, side by side—on our backs, staring up at the ceiling. The passion was gone, leaving us in the darkness of something ominous that threatened to destroy the sanctuary we had built through lovemaking. Seconds passed, which turned into minutes with us both afraid to speak first. It was then that I realized if I wanted answers, I had to be careful with Jett. If neither of us took the plunge, then there would always be a misunderstanding and poison would eventually seep into our relationship, staining it, damaging it beyond repair. I didn’t want to go back to that cold, dark place of insecurities, a world filled with secrets and words unspoken. Conversely, if we began to communicate there was always the small possibility of another fight, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that.

  So what will it be, Stewart? Fight or silence? Anger or resentment?

  One wrong word, one wrong action, and it all might just go down the drain. Sex brought us together, but any sort of tension could easily tear us apart. From what I understood, Jett’s issue was his fear that I might be dating other men, which were fears very similar to mine, except my problem with him was a lot bigger. A lot more dangerous. Deciding to speak out, I swallowed the lump in my throat.

  "Back at the hotel, I felt like you went behind my back when you visited Nate. And then, at the bar, seeing you with another woman, broke me,” I started, not daring to look at him. “I wanted to get back at you. Hurt you as much as you hurt me in the hope that another guy would help me make this even. That’s why I went out that night.” My gaze scanned his face for clues to what he was thinking. He continued to look at the ceiling, his arms crossed under his head, but his breathing had become quiet. “But even with Check, I still kept seeing you. When I closed my eyes that night, I still wished it was you who was making love to me. And
it was still you, who turned me on in my thoughts.”

  Silence ensued for a moment and then Jett turned to face me. He glanced at me with a depth that made my skin tremble. “So does it mean you’re not over me?” he asked quietly. A soft smile lit up his gorgeous lips and I almost choked on my emotions.

  “I’m not over you,” I whispered. “And I’d be lying if I said that I wanted things to be over. But—” I paused, struggling for words, as the images of Gina’s face popped into my mind. “I just feel that your secrets are destroying our relationship. I can’t deal with them anymore. I’m so sick of us not knowing what’s going on in the other’s life.”

  He propped up on one elbow and inched closer until I could almost feel his breath on my skin. And suddenly his lips curled upward in a sexy smile. After all the drama and the fighting, being in his arms again seemed unreal and unrealistic, and his smile wasn’t the reaction I expected.

  I frowned at him, unsure if he was making fun of me.

  “What’s so funny?” I asked, confused.

  “What you just said. Sounds like Check wasn’t successful in making you forget me. Yesterday you claimed we were over. Today you want to make this relationship work. That tells me you want to be with me. Truly be with me.”

  “Well, I never wanted it to end,” I admitted, regarding him. When he continued smiling at me, I brushed my hair out of my eyes, considering my words. “Jett, our relationship’s not what bothers me. It’s all the secrets you’re keeping that destroy us. I feel like I can never trust you fully if you keep things hidden from me.”

  He looked at me blankly. His smile disappeared, and I felt a hint of disappointment at the fact that he was bottling up again.

  I wanted for him to open up to me, not to ignore me, to spill whatever he was hiding in his mind. Good or bad. It didn’t even matter. Bad wasn’t even that bad. I could get accustomed to it. I would have tried to understand what I otherwise couldn’t.

  “Don’t you have anything to tell me?” I prompted when he didn’t reply.

  “I told you already. I have my reasons, Brooke.” His voice was still quiet, but there was a hint of authority behind it that didn’t allow room for questioning.

  I wet my lips nervously, considering my words carefully. When they came out, they sounded vulnerable and shaky. “Why is it so hard for you to tell me? You can trust me. You know that, don’t you?”

  “I do, but I can’t tell you. It’s not possible.”

  “Why not?”

  “Because it’s not that simple.” He let out a deep breath. “I know you have questions.” He paused and took a deep breath. “But like I said, it’s complicated. I’m not sure you’d understand and I’m not willing to risk it.”

  My shoulders dropped. After everything, we were back to square one. He still wouldn’t confide in me. Or wanted to. I was far from getting the answers I needed. The knowledge that he was leaving me in the dark again was tearing me apart.

  “It’s more complicated than being a primary murder suspect, you mean?” The words left my mouth before I could stop them.

  He grimaced. “A murder…what?” Every muscle in his face tensed, but his lips belied his shock.

  “I was there,” I said matter-of-factly.

  “Where?”

  “In your apartment.”

  There was a stunned silence. I couldn’t believe I had blurted that out in desperation. He stared at me. I could see his surprise, his thoughts processing my words.

  “I saw her things,” I whispered. “It bothers me that you didn’t tell me that the police is looking for evidence to find Gina’s killer. Why all this secrecy and—”

  “Hold on,” he cut me short, his eyes narrowing me. “Just hold on. What are you talking about?”

  “You don’t know what I’m talking about?” My voice came out louder than intended. “The girl you talked to in the coffee shop and was killed later that day.”

  He continued to stare at me. I could almost hear his nervousness, which turned me instantly anxious.

  “What girl, Brooke?”

  I looked at him in sheer disbelief, my voice failing me.

  Stay calm, Stewart. Play it cool. He might be playing clueless, but you know better than to trust blindly.

  I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “The detective said he took you in for questioning, Jett. There’s no reason for you to pretend that you don’t know what I’m talking about.”

  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” His voice dropped to an icy whisper. “What detective?”

  Oh, God.

  He was good.

  I pressed my mouth into a tight line. Now that my thoughts had become my nightmares and my fears my pursuers, he just couldn’t see how important his honesty was.

  “How can you still lie to me?” My voice was barely more than a croak. “I saw the pictures, Jett. Don’t you get it?” I got up and furiously buttoned up my dress. Eventually I grabbed my bag and coat from where I had left them on the floor, ready to walk out. “I’m going. There’s no point in me staying if you can’t even admit the truth.” From the periphery of my eyes, I watched Jett get up, pull up his slacks, and then head for me. He reached me in two long strides, his height both intimidating and arousing me.

  “Brooke, please!” He grabbed my arm, but his grip was tender, begging me to listen rather than gluing me to the spot. “I swear I’m telling you the truth. I have no clue.”

  “You have no clue?” I turned to him, my face ablaze. “What about your brother? Will you pretend you don’t know about him either?”

  “I can explain that.” He sighed and wiped his palm over his face. “You’ll see there’s a perfect explanation.”

  I yanked my arm away. “I don’t want to hear your perfect explanations about Nate. I want the truth about everything, which you so obviously can’t give.”

  He touched my arm again.

  “Please.” He never said please like that. “Let’s talk about this. Give me a chance to explain about Nate.”

  “You’ll answer all of my questions?” I asked doubtfully, my gaze scanning his face for any signs that he was bluffing.

  “If you listen and stay, then yes, I will.”

  I drew a sharp breath and let it out slowly. Crossing my arms over my chest, I stared him down. “Okay. You have one minute. Spill.”

  “That’s all I need.” He wet his lips, taking his time to reply. “Do you remember when I said that the ETNAD club has many powerful and famous people involved and they are fanatic to keep their identities protected? That in order to hide their identity from the outside world they go to great length by hiring the best lawyers and worse?”

  “Yeah, but what’s that to do with you?”

  He held up his hand, silencing me. “Just listen.” When I nodded, he continued, “The only reason I visited Nate in prison is because they need him for a set-up. The evidence the police impounded is not enough to get each and every member behind bars. Some of them are high-ranked politicians and, and with their reputations at stake, let’s say they’re more than happy to pay for certain privileges, like making evidence disappear. So, my brother agreed to work with police to expose the remaining members of his elite club in exchange for having his sentence reduced.” Jett paused, letting the words sink in. “In the eyes of the public, including the elite members, he’s a free man, but he’s not. Nate’s simply cooperating with the police.”

  I stared at him, feeling an ice-cold knot twisting inside my stomach.

  “Oh, God,” I murmured at last. “What if he runs away?”

  And kills me, I wanted to add but didn’t.

  “Brooke, they are keeping him on surveillance. It won’t happen.”

  “You mean he’s wearing wires and an ankle monitor and all?”

  Jett nodded.

  I eyed him wearily. “He’s cooperating?”

  He nodded again. “Trust me, Brooke. I don’t like it either. But I don’t have a say in the matter. The only reas
on I visited him was because I wanted to know what he’s doing, where he’s going, who he’s talking to. I had to make sure he stays the hell away from you.”

  “How long will he be out for?”

  “I don’t know. Two weeks, one month, I guess,” Jett said.

  I swallowed the thick lump in my throat.

  Jett’s brother had been involved in an illegal elite club that kidnapped, raped and killed for fun. It was the same club that had kidnapped me when Nate wanted to kill me to get his hands on the Italian estate I had inherited. Having his sentence reduced wasn’t what I had hoped for.

  “How long have you known?” I asked.

  Jett looked down, evading my questioning gaze. “Longer than I wanted,” he whispered. “Like I said, sadly, there was not enough evidence to tie them all down, which is where Nate’s supposed to come in.”

  “And you trust that he’ll do as requested of him?”

  He cocked his head to the side. “I know my brother. He’ll want the shortest sentence, even if that means betraying his friends. It doesn’t, however, mean that he’s a changed man.”

  My heart slammed against my chest. “If you’ve known for a long time, why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

  His jaw set and he hesitated, probably considering his words. “I didn’t want you to get involved.”

  “Involved in what?”

  “Nate and all the shit that surrounds him,” Jett said. I could understand that, but still.

  I narrowed my eyes. “Jett, you could have told me. You know that, don’t you?”

  “It was a mistake that I didn’t. I know it now.” He smiled gently. “I did something stupid, and I’m sorry. Now you know the truth why I kept this from you.”

  I didn’t return his smile, unconvinced by his words. Instead, I kept looking at him, challenging him, waiting for him to spill the beans but he stayed as tightlipped as before.

  “What about the other secrets, Jett?” I asked. “Do you have anything else to tell? Anything at all?”

  He froze, his grimace signaling that he might just be about to blast me off. “Yeah, that’s the thing, what other things, Brooke?”

 
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