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The lovers secret, p.4
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       The Lover's Secret, p.4

           J. C. Reed
 
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  “As you can see it’s not quite public, but it’s the best I could come up with without breaking the rules,” he said.

  “Sort of,” I said. “People working in the other buildings can still see us.” It was a half-hearted protest. I knew he could brush it off easily by telling me they were too far away or that no one was working in the neighboring skyscrapers at that hour, but he didn’t.

  “Probably,” he said instead. Ever so slowly, he stepped closer to me and moved his hand around my waist, and then turned me around to face the city lights, my back pressed against his hard body. “They only have to look through their windows to see us.” His voice sent a delicious shiver through me. “Imagine it, Miss Stewart. People might see us, but nobody will know who we are.”

  My heart hammered harder.

  He wouldn’t, would he?

  Unfortunately, I could picture it too well, because he had a risk-taker look about him that screamed both trouble and danger.

  “You’re crazy,” I whispered, barely able to utter the words.

  “Thank you.”

  “It wasn’t a compliment,” I muttered.

  “Well, I’ll still take it as such.”

  His mouth lowered onto my shoulder, and his lips grazed my skin in countless slow but delicious kisses. Rolling my head back, I suppressed a low moan. As he started to unzip my dress from behind, the room began to spin slightly.

  “We can’t do this. Not here,” I whispered.

  “Who says we can’t? It’s perfectly legal.”

  Barely.

  His hot lips nibbled on my ear, intensifying the gathering hotness between my legs. And then, all too quickly, his mouth took its leave. I turned in protest when his hand forced my dress down my hips. I watched the fabric gather around my ankles in a messy heap.

  I was panty-less, my unmentionables covered by nothing but my bra and my hands. That certainly hadn’t been the plan.

  Legal wasn’t good enough. I wanted decent.

  “Well, in that case, forget what I said. I can’t do it here.” Even to me, the protest sounded feeble, the result of my weakness for him. In my mind, I knew I was taken—my love conquered and sealed. I just wasn’t ready to admit the little fact to him.

  “You wouldn’t be standing here if you didn’t want to,” he whispered. “You know, that dress you wore was a good choice. All the time, I’ve been thinking about ripping it off of your hot, little body.” He leaned in, and his lips found my skin again, kissing, sucking, and nibbling on me as he ignored my words.

  I could feel him everywhere: on my neck, on my shoulders, each kiss so soft it brought on a new set of delight.

  Sweet mercy!

  I knew I had to protest. I wanted to, but it was too late. His fingers began to fumble with the hook of my bra, and eventually it came loose. I pressed my bra against my breasts before he could snatch it away. The lacy, silky fabric was the only thing that preserved my modesty, and I had no intention to let it go so easily. Even in the dim light of the fire, I couldn’t allow my chest to be exposed to the whole world.

  As if sensing my internal struggle, Jett laughed against my skin and tugged at the stretchy fabric. When that didn’t work, he tickled me. With a scream, I let go and spun around furiously, my hands wandering up to cover my naked breasts, but he beat me to it. His hands grabbed mine, and he pulled me against his hard body. “You’re so cute when you’re like this.”

  “Give it back,” I said, demanding my bra.

  He shook his head slowly. “You said you’ve never had a one-night stand. Before I booked this place, you assured me I’d be able to do whatever I want and this is what I want, Brooke. So play nice.”

  It was true.

  While I knew he liked to test the boundaries, to see what made me tick, the truth was that I loved him being in control. His readiness to jump headfirst into adventure was infectious, but more than that, he knew how to send a wicked sensation through me and keep me hooked on his games.

  But could I admit that to him?

  Hell, no.

  “Not a chance,” I said, with enough determination to even fool myself.

  “Shush.” He pressed a finger to my lips and shook his head. “No talking. I’m going to give you what I promised—new things, new experiences, new sensations. All with me. But I won’t force you. If you want this, you’re going to have to ask.” His fingers brushed softly over the core between my naked thighs. “And you have to ask…nicely.”

  “I won’t,” I said decisively.

  He snorted. “Yes, you will.”

  “Try me.” I lifted my head and stuck out my chin.

  “I was hoping you’d say that.” He laughed softly in my ear.

  He raised my arms a little and commanded me to touch the glass. Pressing my hands against the cold surface, I held my breath in both anticipation and fear of what would come next.

  He inched closer to me and spun me around until the front of him was pressed firmly against my back. Heat spread in every direction as his hands moved down my arms, slowly but surely, while he continued to kiss my neck, moving further down. Then, in one quick motion, he spread my legs.

  Holy shit.

  My breath caught in my throat.

  His thumb began to rub my clit with an eagerness that would give me the blush of the week. I tried to fight him, at least in my mind. I really did, but my brain soon succumbed to his determination, and his thrusting became the source of both delicious pain and pure enjoyment coursing through me.

  “You’re so wet, baby,” he whispered and dipped one finger inside me while his thumb continued to circle my clit. When I moaned in response, he slid in a second finger, his movement becoming faster with each thrust. “I love knowing I’m the reason you’re so turned on.”

  “Thanks, Captain Obvious,” I whispered in mortification.

  “No, really. You’re doing a great job, Lady Hotass.” He licked my earlobe. “You’re about to get wetter.”

  Did he have to be so brutally honest all the time and point out the obvious? I swallowed down the embarrassment washing over me.

  It was no secret that I was like an open book to him, too easy to read, a part of me wishing my body wouldn’t give away the telltale signs of just how badly I wanted him. I felt ashamed, but the truth was: it didn’t really matter—at least not that much. My desire was bigger than my wish to hide my weaknesses from him. My need for gratification mattered more than my plan to play hard-to-get. And, frankly, I didn’t care if making out in front of a window was inappropriate because I felt as though I was exploding.

  The glass under my hands felt cold, a welcome distraction from the heat inside me. With Jett behind me and my legs spread apart to accommodate the slow but persistent thrusting of his fingers, I leaned into him, nearing my release. The pressure was building, and soon I would fall apart.

  “Please, Jett,” I whispered at last, when I thought I couldn’t bear it any longer.

  Inside, I was vibrating. My body was trembling. I was ready for him. There was so much want—for his touch, for him—that I was ready to beg some more, just so he’d finally give me the release I desperately craved. I expected endless asking and shameless pleading, but he stopped before I could ask again, and he pulled his fingers out of me.

  Ready to protest, I turned to face him. As our eyes connected, a stronger, deeper ache began to throb between my legs—the kind that just crashed on me. With shaky hands, I fumbled to unzip his pants, urging him to undress.

  Sweet mercy.

  He was horny and hard.

  It was then that I realized just how much I wanted him, how willing I was to do whatever it would take to have him inside me.

  Right now.

  As if sensing my desire, he pushed me against the window. The cold glass caressed my feverish skin as his hot mouth descended upon me, kissing me hard.

  “God, you smell so good. Are you even real?” he whispered as his hands cupped my ass. His hot tongue dipped into my mouth, intensi
fying the hotness and pulsating between my legs. “Not yet, baby,” Jett whispered hoarsely.

  But I had to have him inside me! I wasn’t going to wait a second longer.

  “I need you, Jett,” I said, barely able to speak. “I want you…now.” I wasn’t just asking; I was pleading, begging him to take me.

  Pressing my back against the glass, he entered me in one swift motion, pushing his entire length into me so fast that he almost made me come. I sucked in my lip as my sex welcomed his fast thrusts, each deeper than the previous, every one of them perfect, as if he and I were strung together as one musical instrument.

  Throbbing heat gathered in my core. I tensed in a futile attempt to prolong my pleasure, but it was too late for more. Between his fast moves, his quick breathing, the pulsing and rubbing inside, my being shattered, and I came undone. Distantly, I heard his deep, sexy moan. I felt his moisture spilling inside me, and a smile lit up my lips at how perfect that moment was.

  We were lying on the couch, my chin resting against his chest. The soft glow of the fireplace illuminated the room, turning our naked skin into a game of light and shadows.

  We’d performed three different sex positions in less than an hour, a number that wasn’t bad at all. We had done it against the window and the piano, and finally in front of the fireplace. To claim I was exhausted would have been an understatement; my core was still throbbing. I felt free, fulfilled, lost in the euphoric aftermath of my climax—a part of me wishing time would stop, holding us captive in that afterglow forever.

  So, when he stirred and got up, I propped myself on my elbows, confused.

  “Just stay put until I get back.”

  I frowned. “Why?”

  “I need to do something. It won’t take long.”

  I looked at him, my curiosity instantly piqued. “Okay.”

  He gave me a short kiss, and then he was gone.

  With a shrug, I leaned back, pondering what could be so important that I couldn’t go with him. By the time he returned, I had squeezed back into my black dress. There was no sense in running around naked.

  “Ready?” he asked, flashing unnaturally white teeth.

  I eyed him suspiciously. Something was going on, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was too late to ask anyway, because his hand settled on my back, nudging me to walk ahead of him. When we entered the dining room, my breath caught in my throat. Jett had lit candles and scattered rose petals on the hardwood floor.

  “I got us dessert,” he said, his voice giving away a hint of uncharacteristic nervousness.

  I turned to him in surprise, only to find his dark green eyes boring into me. He was so beautiful that it broke my heart.

  Scratch beautiful!

  He looked like he could steal one’s soul with just a glance and get away with it.

  Maybe it was the intoxicating scent of the candles, or maybe the way Jett kept watching me full of anticipation, but in that instant a strange thought entered my head—completely unrelated, and partly frightening:

  Oh, my god. Is he going to propose?

  It couldn’t be. Not Jett, not here. Or could it be?

  My breath hitched in my throat again and my heart started to race as I narrowed my eyes, really looking at him, my mind simultaneously ticking boxes:

  I was pregnant. Check. And we had something really good going on. Check. His suggestion to spend the night at one of the most expensive hotels had come out of the blue, and what a night it had been. Jett had told me he was in love with me weeks ago. So was that it, the big moment?

  Is he that serious? And will I say yes? Can I? Should I?

  My head was spinning. He had stolen my heart and soul to make me his. It would only be fair to steal his last name and make him mine. Slowly, I brushed my hair out of my face and curved my lips into a dazzling, encouraging smile. Then, all of a sudden, I was overcome with fear. I didn’t know how I’d react if he asked the question, but I sure knew the answer.

  “What?” he asked me, sensing my nervousness. A dimple appeared on his face.

  “Nothing. It’s just beautiful here,” I whispered and almost choked on my own thoughts.

  What if he asked me? Would I really say yes?

  Hell, yeah, I would.

  In the blink of an eye, with no hesitation, no fear.

  Thoughts continued to swirl around in my head, but I didn’t have to ask myself, to consider, to decide. I knew I wanted to marry him. Jett was so sexy and so bad that he was good. Plus, he could drive a car like he stole it.

  What woman in her right mind would refuse a ring from him, no matter how small the stone? Definitely not me.

  I groaned inwardly at my own weakness for him and promised myself that, if he asked me, if it ever happened, I’d force myself to pause. I would just hesitate for a tiny bit. Under no circumstances would I jump into his arms or scream with joy, saying yes over and over again, God knows how many times. I wouldn’t act like those silly girls in the movies, nor do anything that would make me sound too desperate. At twenty-three, I wasn’t desperate; I refused to be.

  No, I would act like a reasonable, elegant, and mature woman. I would nod, smile tenderly, act utterly surprised or maybe even shocked. I would say, “Are you sure?” or “Wait, is this a proposal?” and then answer in one word, “yes”, and dab my eyes with Kleenex to make sure my mascara wouldn’t smudge.

  I wouldn’t choke and squeal. I wouldn’t cry and certainly not scream. Nor would I grin like a fool.

  Oh my God, how wonderful would it be if he proposed?

  I squealed inwardly at the mere thought, but it was true. In every way, Jett was perfect. He was like the shore kissing the ocean, like facing the setting sun. I was blinded by him and taken in by his glory.

  Asking for my hand in marriage would be a dream come true. It would be an assurance that I’d always be the only woman in his life. Because, whether I wanted it or not, Jett was the man for me.

  As we sat down, my heart gave a little shudder, and I brushed my hair back in the hopes of accentuating my features. If Jett was about to propose, where was he hiding the ring? I eyed the dark chocolate mousse, decorated with roasted nuts, and hoped he hadn’t chosen to hide it inside the dessert; I didn’t want to do anything stupid like choking on a bite or a diamond. There was nothing particularly attractive about the Heimlich maneuver or about turning pale and blue while scaring your lover to death during what was supposed to be a special moment.

  “I thought we could have some romantic dessert,” Jett said, jerking me out of my thoughts.

  I looked up to meet his clouded gaze. His expression was serious, his eyes were misty, his mind elsewhere.

  And then his phone rang, but he didn’t seem to notice.

  “Don’t you want to pick that up?” I asked.

  He looked at the caller ID, then quickly stuffed the phone back in his pocket.

  “It can wait.” His tone darkened, mirroring the suddenly cold glint in his eyes.

  Wow.

  It had to be important, and he didn’t want to ruin or cut short our weekend together. Otherwise, why would he have brushed it off so briskly? I eyed him closely and couldn’t help thinking how complicated sometimes men were, changing from one extreme to another. I wanted to press the issue, since his mood seemed to have taken a complete nosedive into gloominess, but he cut me off before I could bring it up.

  “Let’s eat,” Jett said coldly.

  I peered at the dessert and took a bite. In spite of the rich chocolate color and hefty price tag, which probably gave away the hotel’s quality when it came to food, the mousse stuck to the back of my throat, and I could barely swallow it. It was hardly how I would have imagined a marriage proposal to go.

  That’s because it isn’t one, Stewart! my inner cynic cried, causing my heart to sink in my chest.

  No proposal, then. I tried to stifle a disappointed sigh…without much success.

  “I’m glad I didn’t let you go when you broke up with me the
first time,” Jett said, completely oblivious to my dismay.

  “What makes you say that?” I asked and frowned, thinking back to the first time we met. We had fought; we had loved, and then came the betrayal that eventually brought us back together and made us stronger than before.

  “I was just thinking about the circumstances that led to our breakup.” He looked back at me with an intensity that rendered me speechless. “When you walked away the first time, I thought about you every minute of the day, wishing I could turn back time and meet you under different circumstances.” He paused slightly, as though to choose his words carefully. “It made me realize how sorry I was for hurting you, and how differently I should have and could have handled that situation.”

  I remembered that day too well, because it was the first time someone broke my heart. Back then, after dating him for three weeks, I found out I had inherited a multi-million dollar estate in Italy, and Jett had targeted me because he wanted that property. Eventually, I allowed him to explain his motives, and I even forgave him for not being honest with me right from the beginning. Even though opening up to him and letting him back into my heart had been hard, I had been willing to give him a second chance.

  So far, I hadn’t regretted that decision, but I’d have been lying to myself if I claimed I had forgotten all about it or the feelings of betrayal it caused me. Or the realization of just how embarrassingly gullible I once was. It would have been all too easy for things to turn out differently; for instance, he could have easily used me for his own selfish motives rather than to save his father’s company, Mayfield Realties.

  “It happened a long time ago.” I looked away so he wouldn’t see the hurt in my eyes. Truth was, yes, it all happened a long time ago, but while time could heal all wounds, this one had gone a little deeper than the rest.

  “Yes, but…” Jett took a deep breath, taking his time to finish his thought.

 
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