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Beautiful distraction, p.35
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       Beautiful Distraction, p.35

           J. C. Reed

  “You don’t have to answer if you’re not comfortable,” Jett continued slowly.

  “It’s pretty simple. I felt it was the right step.” I shrugged because that was all there really was to it. Working in real estate was the right step—at that time.

  Jett’s eyes glittered with amusement, and I got the feeling my explanation pleased him. “You joined the business out of interest, then.”

  I groaned inwardly. He wasn’t about to change the topic any time soon. I forced myself not to pull a face. “Yep.”

  “Did you know a lot about houses? Were you fascinated by them, by the people living inside?”

  He knew something was off.

  I don’t know why, but the thought hit me the moment he regarded me coolly—his eyes clouded as though to hide his thoughts and emotions. My heart thumped hard against my rib cage, threatening to burst out of my chest. My palms turned clammy, and a thin rivulet of sweat trickled down my spine.

  Stay calm, Stewart.

  I knew answering his question would lead to more questions, until there were no secrets left. I had never told anyone, and I sure wasn’t ready to share the dark sides of my past with Jett. My throat constricted with fear. I buried my fingers into the soft grass and ripped it out, barely acknowledging that the action was revealing more about me than a thousand words.

  I wasn’t ready to tell him the whole truth, so he had to make do with the little I could give him.

  “We moved a few times.” I cleared my throat, forcing the tremor away. “I’ve always liked the notion of having a stable family home. I figured by selling beautiful houses to people I might be helping them find stability in their lives. It was a stupid dream. About a week into the job, I realized the whole business was all about money.”

  His long fingers tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear. The movement was so natural, it felt as though he had done it—touched me—a hundred times before. “You still like your job though.”

  I nodded and smiled. “I do.”

  “Because you want to change the world,” he whispered as he moved closer, cupping my face with his hand and forcing me to look at him. “It wasn’t a stupid dream. You won’t be able to change the world, Brooke. But your example might just change the people entering your life.”

  His index finger traced the contours of my face, leaving a tingling sensation behind. The air was thick with the scent of wood and grass, but I all I could focus on was Jett. He was sitting so closely, I could smell his manly scent and take in every detail of his face and body. The barely visible laughter lines beneath his stunning eyes, the faded scar on his chin, the hard muscles of his arms. Those were all things that made him real. Beautiful. Perfect. I wanted to ask him about them so his memories would be mine.

  “Hey, did you ever play football in high school?” I asked cheekily and slightly out of breath as my gaze swept over his broad shoulders.

  “What?” He shot me a questioning glance. And then a deep chuckle rumbled in his throat as he probably caught on to my subtle implication. “As a matter of fact, I did. I’m glad you noticed it.”

  I rolled my eyes at the sudden onset of heat in my cheeks.

  Well done—inflating his oversized ego even more, Stewart.

  “I bet you were the book nerd who hung out with the whizz kids,” Jett said.

  “What makes you think I wasn’t the cheerleading type?” My brows shot up. He was spot on, but that didn’t please me. For some reason I wanted him to think me hot and desirable. I wanted him to think he might have competition.

  “Nah, you weren’t that boring.” His arms moved around my waist to pull me closer as his green, heated gaze descended into my eyes and heart, infiltrating me to the core. The way he was looking at me, I felt everything that mattered fade away. The only thing that existed was the moment we shared.

  Jett’s lips lowered onto mine, almost brushing them, but not quite. “You were clever and stunning, yet you didn’t know it.”

  “How do you know?” I breathed.

  “It’s not hard to guess. Girls like you keep boys at arm’s length. I think quite a few of the boys tried, but none succeeded because you didn’t realize just how gorgeous you were.”

  The guy certainly had a way with words. I blinked rapidly, intoxicated by the scent of his skin. He smelled of expensive aftershave and something else. Something manly. Something—


  My lips parted, begging him to stop torturing me by being so close. Begging him to kiss me.

  And he did, ever so gently. Like tiny butterflies brushing my skin with their soft wings. I groaned inwardly at the sheer torture. God, I wanted him so badly it hurt.

  “Some guys might be into cheerleaders and flaunted beauty. I’ve always liked a challenge, and you were the kind of girl I wanted but couldn’t have,” he whispered.

  He flicked his tongue over my bottom lip a moment before his mouth conquered mine in a long and heated kiss. He circled my tongue, sucking it deep into his mouth, as his hands roved over my body. I shuddered in his embrace, and my head fell back as I moaned with the storm rising within my abdomen. His hand tugged at my shirt, jerking it out of my slacks in one quick motion. The soft pressure of his calloused fingers undoing buttons set me on fire with the promise of what they might do to me.

  What the hell was I doing?

  This place wasn’t secluded. Anyone standing above us or on the other side of the lake could see us. I should walk away, not let him have me in a public place where everyone could see us. I wasn’t an exhibitionist, and doing it on a patch of grass with god-knows-what crawling up my skin wasn’t my thing either. But my physical needs were getting stronger, screaming for release. What would it be like to sleep with someone I really wanted?

  In an unexpected moment of lucidity, I poked a finger in his chest and tried to push him away, but my attempt was a feeble one.

  “Not here,” I mumbled.

  “Why not? No one’s here,” Jett whispered, not backing off. The pressure of his mouth on mine intensified. His fingers skimmed downward from my neck to the sheer material of my now exposed bra, circling the pink bud I’d dreamed he’d caress ever since meeting him. I arched my back against his rough hand, closing the space between us, vaguely aware that if he continued his delicious torture I’d be lost.

  “I want to know what you taste like,” he whispered, fingers fidgeting with the bra clasp.

  “Let me—”

  With a flick of my hand, I undid my bra and rolled it down my arms onto the green grass.

  My pale breasts spilled free into his open waiting palms.

  “You’re beautiful,” Jett said hoarsely, his eyes glued to my chest. As though to prove his point, he let out an appreciative moan and went about flicking his tongue across one hard nipple, then the other, sucking and licking in equal measures. He was sending me up in flames in a whirlwind of passion I never knew existed. Lowering myself onto the grass, my arms moved around the nape of his neck, pulling him on top of me in the hope he wouldn’t stop. But Jett didn’t need persuading.

  His tongue swirled a few more times, then sucked so hard a short ripple of pain rushed through me, followed by a cascade of pleasure that travelled right into my sex. And then he stopped.

  “No,” I whispered, my gaze begging him to continue.

  From under half-closed eyes I watched him place butterfly kisses down my abdomen, his hand already fumbling with the zip of my slacks.

  He hadn’t changed his mind. He was about to move on to the next step. Somewhere inside my brain, I could hear that tiny but annoying voice asking me what the hell this was, but for once I didn’t want to listen to reason. I wasn’t sure whether to be mortified that he was about to fully undress me in public, or excited at the outlook of more hot mouth action.

  It was too late for second thoughts anyway. Before I knew it, the slacks were off and Jett slipped a hand between my parted legs, tugging my panties to the side.

  Bloody hell.

sp; I was already damp for him, waiting to be touched.

  “Don’t stop,” I said.

  “I wasn’t going to.”

  Peeling off his jeans, he rubbed his shaft against my swollen clit until I lifted my hips to invite him in. My breathing came in short rasps. He opened my legs wide and moved two fingers over my clit, then slid them into my soft flesh. A deep thunder rippled through me, nearly pushing me over the edge, and then, as though sensing it, he pulled out.

  “Not yet,” he murmured, almost scolding.

  “No! Don’t stop.” I sat up on my elbow and our eyes connected. He looked sexy as hell with his dishevelled hair and that naughty smile. My clit twitched at the sight of his tongue flicking over his lips.

  “When I’m done with you you’ll be panting my name, begging for release,” Jett whispered.

  Not likely, but I didn’t want to shatter his illusion. Other men had never been able to get that particular response from me. Jett might be hot as hell with a body to drool over and a kiss to melt the Arctic, but in the end I doubted his dick could perform miracles.

  He pushed me down onto the grass and lowered his face between my thighs, cupping my ass as he soaked up my female scent, making me blush. Raising his gaze to meet mine, he let his tongue swirl between my folds, focusing on the tiny nub at the top. A tremble began to form somewhere deep inside me and spread through my whole body, gathering in my vagina. I moaned and arched my back, bringing my hips closer to his magic mouth. If he didn’t enter me soon I’d embarrass myself by begging him to take me on the spot.

  “Jett.” My voice dripped with want. He laughed briefly and continued his torture, swirling and licking. Quivering, I let out a broken moan and clawed at his shoulders. “I need you inside.” My voice sounded hoarse with demand, matching the deep, approving rumble in his throat.

  “Not yet, baby.”

  Holy mother of pearls, he was so good.

  I pushed my fingers through his hair, not quite able to decide whether to force him up or pin him down. I moaned louder as he trailed the tip of his tongue through my sensitive slit, devouring every drop of moisture.

  “Please,” I rocked my hips against him.

  His tongue continued to torture me, again and again, moving up to my clit, licking around it, causing a strangled scream of pleasure to form somewhere at the back of my throat.

  “You want me inside?” Jett said, suddenly sitting up. I whimpered as the soft breeze hit my sex, cooling down the heated sensation left by his mouth. I nodded, and a wicked grin flashed on his face. Slowly he pushed a finger into me, followed by another, his gaze never leaving me as he pulled his fingers out again. The next time he entered me deeper and faster, thrusting in and out. I moaned as he repeated the process moving gradually deeper and faster until his fingers were all the way in, stretching me, teasing me, torturing me.

  “Oh god.” My back arched. My hips lifted to meet his fingers, begging him for more. This wasn’t going according to plan. He wasn’t supposed to make me feel so much pleasure, and yet the even thrusts of his fingers pushed me past anything I ever experienced before.

  “A little bit more,” Jett whispered. His eyes remained glued to me as he dipped back down. Keeping his fingers impaled in me, his tongue flicked over my clit once, twice, sending the world before my eyes into a spinning carousel. Heat pooled between my legs, and a deep moan escaped my throat—then another—while my heart began to race. I bucked against him, driving his fingers deeper into me. More heat seared me, driving me insane. My vision blurred into darkness as my body tensed.

  “Let me see you come,” Jett ordered. His deep, sexy voice was the last caress I needed. My clit began to pound with a steady hard throb that turned into all-consuming heat. With a stifled cry, my hips jerked against him, and I came against Jett’s hot mouth. The world dissipated and I exploded in a million sensations that washed over me at once.


  I bit my lip hard as I peered at Jett’s relaxed features from the corners of my eyes. We didn’t sleep together on the shore of Lucazzone’s estate. For some reason he just adjusted my panties back in place and sat up, turning away from me as though to give me enough privacy to regain my composure. My hands shot up his strong back, massaging his lean muscles in the process, hopefully signaling just how much I wanted to go all the way.

  “Don’t,” Jett said, holding me off with a simple request. My hands jerked away, as though seared, and somehow his words burned more than fire. No man I ever slept with had behaved like this. If they went down, they would demand that I return the favor. Why didn’t Jett? Why wouldn’t he finish what we started right there and then?

  I couldn’t stop the sudden onset of feeling inadequate making me doubt myself. Had I done something wrong? Maybe it was the way I reacted to his touch that put him off sleeping with me.

  Even though I didn’t want to, my sex kept twitching at the sight of him. It wasn’t natural and certainly not something I ever experienced before. This dark, sultry, earth-shattering lust had to stop. I couldn’t deal with hot waves of wanting that made being around him—without touching him—unbearable. He was so close and yet so far. The attraction was palpable, and yet I didn’t feel confident enough to act on it. I was in this zone in which things were not black and white, but a blurred in-between shade where nothing made sense.

  Jett didn’t say a word as I shrugged back into my clothes and followed him up the path and back to his parked car. We kept silent as he helped me into the passenger side and loped around to the driver’s seat, put the car in gear, and drove all the way home.

  His home, I reminded myself, the beautiful house on the lake and the pretend normalcy of a work relationship that wasn’t. Ignoring the sting in my eyes, I peered out the window at the blurred countryside, no longer minding Jett’s dangerous driving. It seemed like an eternity passed before we finally reached his house. The moment the tires screeched to a halt, I jumped out of the car and only stopped as I reached the front door, my back turned to Jett as I waited for him to catch up.

  He unlocked the door and let me enter first, then closed it behind us. Avoiding his gaze I hesitated, unsure what to say. In the end, all I managed was a feeble, “Thanks.”

  His brows shot up, and a glint of irritation appeared in his eyes. “For what? The ride? My highly appreciated company?” A nerve twitched on his right temple.

  He was angry and I had no idea why. My mouth clamped shut. What the hell was wrong with him? How could he change from sensual and passionate to cold and calculated in the blink of an eye?

  “Or do you mean for going down on you?” He inched dangerously close. His fingers gripped my chin and forced my face up. His height intimidated me. Peering up his towering body into blazing eyes, I felt tiny and powerless against his caginess. Only he knew what went on inside his mind, and he certainly made no attempt to share it with me.

  “Thank you for what, Brooke?” His arm wrapped around my waist and turned me around, pushing me against the wall, his thigh parting my legs in the process. His palms moved up the front of my shirt as his teeth grated my earlobe.

  “The contract—I wanted to reciprocate,” I whispered. “You didn’t let me.” I don’t know why it was such a big deal, but for some reason it was. He had made me feel an intense pleasure I had never felt before, and I wanted to see whether I could make him feel the same way.

  I wanted to be as special to him as he was to me. I wanted him to surrender to me. To what I could give him.

  And where would that take you, Stewart?

  Probably nowhere.

  “Ah, the contract. You think it’s about giving and taking in equal measures.” He sighed impatiently. His hot breath on my neck made me shudder. “I play by my own rules, Brooke. As they say: sometimes it’s all about you, and sometimes it’s all about me.”

  I nodded slowly, wondering where he was going with this. His thumb brushed my cheek a moment before he moved away from me.

  “Go take a shower
and meet me in my office. I need you to prepare some paperwork for me.”

  What the hell?

  He was playing mind games or how else could I explain his constant changes? My breath came in ragged heaps as I hurried past him and up the stairs to my room, eager to escape him, if only for a brief time.


  The shower cleared my head a little. Unfortunately, it didn’t clear my confusion about Jett. I kept telling myself that I only knew him for a couple days, which wasn’t nearly enough to find out how a man ticked. My mother had taught me men were complex, but once you got to their core they weren’t that different from us. Based on my brief encounter with Jett, I begged to differ. In the end he was my boss and not some random guy I dated, I reminded myself. So I didn’t need to understand. All that mattered was doing my job well.

  Figuring I had wasted enough time, I tied my long brown hair in a high ponytail, put on clean underwear, a new shirt and slacks, and headed for Jett’s office, not knowing what to expect next.

  I found him sitting at his desk, engrossed in a mostly monosyllabic phone conversation with the prevalent words being ‘no’, ‘crap’, and ‘uh-huh’. He motioned for me to sit down on the padded chair opposite him and turned back to the notes in front of him, the frown on his forehead deepening. God, being serious suited him. I discarded the sudden memory flashes of his sexy mouth between my legs, and forced my mind back to reality. He didn’t even bother to look at me as he resumed his conversation. I sat there for a minute or two, trying hard not to tune in, but Jett’s anger was so palpable, it made focusing on anything else impossible.

  “Next time, don’t let anyone string us along. Either they sign or they don’t. Have I made myself clear?” Jett said a moment before he slammed down the phone.

  Bloody hell, he sure knew how to end a conversation. I definitely hoped I’d never have him on the other end of the line.

  “Everything okay?” I asked hesitantly.

  “Another fucked-up deal,” Jett replied, massaging his temples. “I swear, at times I’m thinking I might just have to do everything myself if I want this company to stay afloat. It’s hard finding reliable people.” Looking up he smiled, and I knew he was about to change the subject, as though he’d already said too much.

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