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The lovers promise, p.5
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       The Lover's Promise, p.5

           J. C. Reed
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  He drew me closer. “Well, then we’ll have to change that.”

  There was a glimmer of amusement in those deep forest green eyes as his gaze locked onto my lips, signaling that he was about to kiss me. I wanted him to kiss me so much my skin prickled. My blood rushed fast at the thought of his tongue swirling around in my mouth, his breath on mine while he held me in his strong arms—and never let me go again. I hoped he’d made love to me in the countless ways only he knew.

  And yet I had to ask. Even though our problems felt like a million light years away, I had to free myself from those doubts, mainly about him keeping secrets in our relationship. If I didn’t, I would feel like I was being pulled under into the deepest quicksand, drowning with no escape.

  “Jett?” I asked softly and looked up, waiting to get his attention. His eyes met mine again, and for a second fear enveloped me. “Why didn’t you tell me about Nate?”

  “Not now.”


  “Hush.” He pressed a finger against my lips. “No but. Not now. Reality will catch up with us soon enough. For now, I don’t want anything to ruin this moment.”

  His hand pulled my hair back gently, sending another shiver through my spine, as his eyes kept looking at me with an intensity that sent waves of heat between my legs.

  I swallowed. If he kept looking at me like that, there was no way I’d ever learn how to control myself around him, not when my body kept missing him and my mind reminded me of all the good times we had shared. His sexy rumble together with his sexy body and expensive aftershave were a heady combination, doing all sorts of things to me. His arms pinned me to him, making me want to do crazy stuff with him. To him. If only my nagging doubts would disappear and let me enjoy the moment.

  “Don’t even dare to say no,” he whispered as if reading my thoughts. “We both know how much we need this. Spending so much time apart hasn’t done us any good.”

  “It’s barely been a few days,” I muttered even though I knew he was right.

  “A few days.” He cocked his sexy eyebrow. The hairs on the nape of my neck prickled as he leaned forward until feel his warm breath tickled my ear. “Way too many hours. We have to make up for lost time.”

  Without another word, he pulled off his shirt, revealing rows of hard muscles beneath taut bronze skin. I stared at his body, my heart slamming against my rib cage so hard it was competing with the throbbing between my legs.

  Everything from his slim hips and his broad shoulder was tight and defined. A black tribal tattoo circled his left arm and shoulder, emphasizing his bulging biceps. Beneath his jeans, he was already hard, the contours of his glorious erection clearly visible. The thought that he waited for me crossed my mind. There was no way he could be that horny if he already had sex with Tiffany.

  I moistened my lips, painfully aware of the telltale blush covering my cheeks, and ran my hands down his chiseled stomach with the sudden eagerness of a wolverine waiting for her mating partner.

  Maybe Jett was right. Maybe this was what we needed. Maybe this was the solution to all our problems. People always said that make-up sex was the best sex. That it could solve most relationship problems. I couldn’t wait to find out whether there was a grain of truth to the claims.

  My fingers unzipped his jeans and pulled them down together with his boxers, revealing his erection. Taking a step back, I held my breath. He was hard and impressive, pulsing with life, the glistening crown waiting to be touched. It looked even bigger than I remembered.

  “Like what you see?” Jett asked, drawing my attention back to his voice. I looked up to him. His impatience and lust were mirrored in his face.

  I smiled at his cockiness.

  “Maybe,” I said. “What’s in it for me?”

  He closed the space between us. In the silence of the room, he brushed my bathrobe aside, his cold hands instantly sending shivers down my spine. I stared up at him, naked and ready, my body yearning, pleading with him to fuck me. His mesmerizing eyes pierced through me, their intensity frightening.

  “You’re right,” he whispered hoarsely, his eyes never leaving my body. “There has to be something in it for you. How about you let me be in charge today and I’ll make sure you get what you deserve?”

  With a sudden move, he lifted me onto the desk and shifted between my legs. My heart beat faster than the wings of a bumblebee as his tongue crushed upon mine—wild and ravenous like the ocean kissing the shore. I tilted my head back, enjoying his lips on mine. His hands slid up my thighs and pushed them open until my legs were wide apart for him. I gasped at my vulnerability and the sudden thrill it gave me to be so exposed to him. His fingers parted my private lips, and with delicate strokes he began to rub my clit until it pulsated with enough sexual energy I thought it might just be about to explode.

  I wanted him everywhere. I wanted everything he had to give. His mouth, his lips, his fingers, his erection. If he didn’t enter me soon, I was sure I’d force him to get going. I threw my head back, savoring his touch as he sucked on each of my nipples, drawing the tender flesh into his mouth. The softness of his lips, the roughness of his hands, the smooth moves of his tongue, the way he sucked my skin with eagerness—those were all overpowering sensations that made me fear as though I might just come the second he thrust into me. If only he wouldn’t take his sweet time. If only I had some self-control and wasn’t so human and weak for him.

  “Jett,” I moaned in need of release. Lifting my head, my mouth searched his, but he retrieved. For a brief second, disappointment washed over me until he pulled my knees up and his erection brushed over my clit.

  There was no warning before he blasted his full length into me.

  I gasped, both shocked and delighted at the sudden impact, and my flesh tightened around his thick shaft, shuddering. Hot waves of pleasure rolled over me as my sex greedily accommodated the sudden attack on my body. My fingers clutched at his arms and a deep thunder rippled through me as he pulled out of me only to dive back into me.

  Cupping my ass, he rotated his hips and his hardness plunged deeper into my wet sex, nearly pushing me over the edge. I squirmed under him from pleasure, welcoming the sensation of coming undone. My hands grabbed his broad shoulders for support as he started to thrust faster, his hips grinding against my naked body. Pressing my hips into his, I could feel him deep inside my being, moving and pulsating. I arched my back and lifted my hips to welcome his expert thrusts as he rammed himself into me with powerful strokes.

  My mind began to spin, my breathing matching his. My insides clenched from the sheer painful pleasure, and from the way he seemed to stretch me when there was nothing left to stretch, boring into me as if my body had been created just for him. It was then that I heard him saying, “She liked it just as much, you know.”

  It was a simple statement, spoken with as much care as if it was a compliment.

  My heart skipped a beat and thick waves of shock traveled through me. Slowly realization kicked in and I understood the meaning of his words. My insides clenched at his next thrust, but this time the pleasure turned to instant pain.

  I winced and pulled back a few inches.

  “Stop, Jett.” I slammed my palm hard against his chest, urging him to get off me. He wasn’t quick enough, and I hit him again. He stopped immediately, his erection still inside me, his face gleaming with sweat.

  “What?” There was confusion on his beautiful face. As he took in my shock-ridden face, he pulled out of me. Wrinkles creased his forehead. “What’s wrong?” he asked again.

  He sounded so genuine I almost laughed.

  I stared at him in utter disbelief, waiting for him to clarify, for him to acknowledge what he had done wrong. But the words never came.

  “Just now you said something.” My voice trembled, and the blood rushed faster in my veins. “What did you say, Jett?”

  “Nothing.” Every muscle in his face tensed as he blinked once. Twice. “Why? What did you hear?” He made it sound lik
e I was making it up.

  Disgusted, I pushed him away, and walked past him. Suddenly, I noticed how dark the room had become, the only light radiating from the ceiling lamp above us barely penetrating the shadows around us. A glance outside showed the sun was long gone.

  “No, you said something.” I turned back to him, anger consuming me. “You said something about Ti.” I was ready to fight when my gaze fell on my hand. The skin was stained red. It looked like blood.

  “I don’t understand,” I whispered, spreading out my fingers to look at them. Shock crawled up my body as I noticed more blood trickling down my legs, and the realization hit me that someone was bleeding. And that someone was me. Jett must have damaged my cervix, causing it to open, and now I was bleeding from the inside. My hands touched my belly as if it could stop the blood flow.

  “My baby.” I looked up to Jett in shock. Tears started to run down my face at the thought that I might be having a miscarriage and lose our child. “What have you done? What have you—?” My voice died in my throat as my eyes fell on his awkward stance—the way he was clenching his stomach in unbearable pain. I strained to make sense of the shock on his face and the pain in those beautiful, green eyes. Jett wasn’t looking at me. Something felt wrong, so very wrong. And then he removed his hand from the wound.

  I sucked in a gasp of air as I peered at the flesh wound. Blood as thick as oil paint was pouring from it, and for a moment I just stared at it in disbelief. It was real blood, staining the floor, staining his hand, staining everything.

  My legs threatening to give under way, I brushed my fingers over it. It wasn’t my baby. The blood had to be Jett’s. I looked up at him.

  “No, Brooke.” He shook his head slowly, grimacing in pain, as he pressed his hands against the wound to stop the bleeding. “What have you done?”

  Confused, I followed his line of vision and realized I was holding a knife in my right hand. I gasped in shock and our eyes connected, dismay washing over me.

  I had stabbed him.

  With disgust, I threw the knife onto the floor.

  “Jett!” I screamed and rushed to his side. “Oh, my God. Please no.” Tears began to stream down my face. But it was too late. Jett’s naked body slumped onto the bloodstained floor, his mouth open, his face white, his blood gathering around him in a dark puddle. My bloodied hands touched his face, my heart shattering beyond repair. Somewhere a scream echoed, reminding me of an animal in agony. I recognized it as mine.


  New York City, 2 days earlier

  The gang’s residence was located on an industrial property with several three-story warehouses clustered around a big yard, their upper floors converted into generous living space for the members. The first time I saw it fourteen years ago, I was young, rebellious, and uncontrollable, with a fury only a sixteen-year-old could possess. A sixteen-year-old, whose bastard father had kicked him out, apparently unable to control him. When I arrived money and status didn’t matter. The gang had accumulated plenty through their expertise of cyber hacking and other illegal activities. The only currency was courage and a willingness to take risks, no matter how big. I took them all gladly: car races through the city, illegal underground fights—each one earning me a tattoo and the sense of belonging I desperately craved. Whatever I was instructed to do, I considered the task done. And what they prohibited, I still tried. Some said I was reckless, others claimed that I knew no fear. All rumors about me were true. If the stories weren’t enough to hint at my past and the kind of person I was, then the scars on my body could prove it. The benefits of being in a gang were big, the rewards—acceptance and a place I could call home—were even more satisfying. Friendship and loyalty had always meant everything to me, even more than my position as the CEO of Mayfield Realties. I had never valued superficial relationships and contacts. When I decided to marry Brooke, I was ready to leave the gang behind for a second time. This time for real. I was willing to exchange my somewhat chaotic life for something quiet and quaint. At the age of thirty-one, I loved my friends, but more than that I loved Brooke. I wanted to start a family and become a husband to Brooke and a father to our unborn child. But events took different turns. Brooke discovered my secrets and broke off our relationship. That she ended things didn’t surprise me. Sure it hurt like a bitch, but more so it angered me. As a man who had slept with hundreds of women and had enough money to buy anything I ever wanted, including women, my ego couldn’t take it. With a past like mine, I could control whatever came her way. I could punch every guy who so much as looked at her, hunt him down if he tried to hurt her, and seek revenge on those who had harmed her.

  But fuck, I couldn’t control her.

  I was used to getting things my way. When I asked for something, people bent backwards to please me. When I ordered anyone to jump, they did. Except Brooke. In life she was as stubborn and wild as she was in bed, which made her dangerous, if not stupid for not letting me carry out my plans. For the umpteenth time hot waves of anger washed over me.

  It was 5:32 p.m. when I walked into the gang’s community living room in desperate need of a retreat, and slammed the door.

  “How did it go?” A familiar voice snapped me out of my dark thoughts. My best friend Kenny was lying on the couch, his gaze fixed on the screen of a notebook. Except for us, the room was empty. I could only assume the others were working.

  The TV set was switched on and some indie rock band played in the background at a bearable level. It was hard to say whether Kenny was listening to the music or watching TV or doing both at the same time. Ever since his return from Atlanta, his arm in a plaster cast, he had been lounging around, though not taking life easy. Raised in a family of six and being the eldest child, he felt responsible for everyone, which was why he had always tried to be the best at everything including his “career” as a hacker. Obviously he was growing too old to use his youngest brother’s skateboard—an action he deeply regretted after tumbling down a slide that broke his wrist and put his illegal activities on hold for a few weeks.

  “Don’t fucking ask.” I slumped on the couch, ignoring his curious stares when I didn’t elaborate. A long moment passed during which I grabbed an unopened beer bottle from the table and knocked off the lid.

  “Trouble in paradise, huh?”

  I snorted and took a gulp. “I doubt you could call Brooke’s latest antics trouble.”

  “That bad?”

  I sensed some raised eyebrows, but didn’t peer in Kenny’s direction as I nodded. “It’s a fucking mess, if not a disaster. That woman’s unpredictable.”

  Kenny grabbed the remote control and the sound of the music died. The images across the TV set still continued to flicker in fast succession. The news, I realized, pictures of obliterating madness across the world. How fitting!

  I felt Kenny’s stare on me, taking in my reaction.

  “Was she mad that you proposed or was it the wrong ring?” The hint of amusement in Kenny’s voice was unmistakable. Ignoring him, I took a slow sip and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. The cold liquid felt welcome. Soothing, even. When Kenny continued to regard me, waiting for my reply, I stirred.

  “It was neither,” I said finally.

  Kenny’s lips twitched. “I told you, man. Women don’t get our pranks. Igniting her hope and then letting her wait for a day longer than necessary was a bad idea.”

  “It wasn’t a prank. I wanted it to be a surprise.” I grimaced and took another gulp of my beer.

  “What the fuck, Jett? It’s not a surprise if she suspects.”

  “Nothing wrong with that,” I mumbled.

  “Spreading rose petals on the floor one day before your intended proposal. Now that’s mean. Just saying.” Kenny grinned. “So I take it she said no?”

  “I didn’t even get to that part,” I said through gritted teeth.

  “Was that before or after the dessert?”

  I groaned at his sudden sordid curiosity. This wasn’t the time for jokes.
“Forget the fucking dessert. She didn’t come.” My grave tone shut Kenny up in an instant.

  Yes, Brooke had the nerve not to show up because she was busy walking the streets of New York City, I thought grimly. And visiting clubs. Already the next wave of anger coursed through me, this one more menacing than the last. The thought of her fucking another guy made me fume. I couldn’t bear the thought of another guy’s hands roaming over her body. “I swear that woman will be the end of me. If I wasn’t in love with her, I’d never go through all the fucking shit and the drama.”

  “So, why deal with it all?” The question came more out of duty than interest.

  “Because I love her.” I shrugged as though it wasn’t a big deal when it all came down to the three words that had changed everything in my life. “I just don’t understand why she can’t stop double questioning me. I’m fed up with all her fears.”

  He laughed, the sound suddenly grating on my nerves. “She’s pregnant, dude. All pregnant women are crazy. Wait until she’s had your kid, and then she’ll mellow down.” He raised his hand to high-five me. The anger came again, and I pressed my lips into a tight line. Kenny was one of my oldest friends, but now he was proving to be more of a pain in the ass than helpful. Kenny enjoyed any form of distraction from his own problems, and now that he was stuck indoors with his broken wrist, it was even more obvious than ever. It was either listening to other people’s drama or making fun of whoever came through the door. I wasn’t in the mood for either. He got the hint instantly from my lethal expression. The sound of his laughter died in his throat.

  “Okay, what happened?” He cleared his throat.

  I finished my beer, realizing it wasn’t strong enough to numb the anger inside me. I needed something stronger, something that would burn its way right into my mind and wipe out the last memory of our fight. Kenny watched me, his face betraying his worry. I knew I now had his attention but he kept quiet, waiting. He knew better than to pester me with questions.

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