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The lovers secret, p.7
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       The Lover's Secret, p.7

           J. C. Reed
 
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  The door opened, and Jett walked in with an amused look on his face as he regarded me. I swallowed, and not because he had just caught me in an awkward position—on all fours, with my butt pointed right at him. Wearing a black jacket, a tight, gray shirt, and sexy jeans that perfectly accentuated his broad shoulders and narrow waist, he looked so badass that I could have ripped his clothes right off his body. No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t think of anything to say.

  He was pure sexiness, and my body reacted to him like he was made of honey. In every sense, he was all I could focus on. His body, his eyes, his voice: it was as if he had been made to be glorified.

  “Like what you see?” Jett asked, drawing my attention back to his face.

  I rolled my eyes, cursing the fact that I was so weak for him. He was my very own addiction. I decided the only way to cure my body’s weakness for him was to deny that he had that kind of effect on me.

  “It requires a little more to impress me,” I said dryly. “I’m not all about muscles and a pretty face, you know.”

  Amusement glittered in his eyes as he curved his lips up in a sexy smile. “That’s a shame, Miss Stewart. You strike me as a meat person.”

  I opened my mouth to hit back with a snarky remark, but then he pointed to the trolley behind him, which I hadn’t noticed before. It took me a few seconds to realize the meaning of his words: he was talking about breakfast. And a big one at that. I stared at the carted feast in disbelief.

  Holy crap.

  Had Jett decided to raid the hotel’s kitchen?

  There were so many things to choose from, enough to cater to a small party, and make you feel like an idiot for not being able to name each food. My stomach churned as my eyes scanned the delicious-looking pastries and bagels, and the smoked salmon arranged around a vast selection of bacon and cheese, granola, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. A folded newspaper was arranged next to a narrow vase that held a single red rose. I stared in awe, barely able to contain my delight. I had never seen an omelet with lobster claws, and was that caviar? There was even a bowl full of strange-looking exotic fruits, some I’d never seen before.

  Talk about a variety worthy of a royal visit!

  Unwillingly, I peeled my eyes off the breakfast tray and turned my attention back to Jett. “Is this all for us?”

  “It’s part of the penthouse package,” he said. Pressing a sheet against my chest, I followed him into the living room and watched him as he grabbed a fork and frowned. “They didn’t include the Alma caviar though when they should have.”

  “Really? How rude.” My voice matched his disapproving tone, though I was unsure whether he was seriously complaining about fish eggs or just joking.

  “Gold caviar sells for thousands of dollars. I wanted to know if the price reflects the quality,” he continued, not taking the hint, and dipped a fork into the black layer covering half the omelet. “Let’s hope the alternative is as good as they claim it is.”

  Holy dang!

  He had paid thousands for some slimy, black goop that barely looked edible? Or was gold caviar made of gold? If it was, I could probably sell a spoonful of the stuff and pay my month’s rent, and still have spare change left. Mortified, I looked at the caviar omelet, not sure whether to laugh or be shocked. Was food even allowed to be that expensive? The idea that people would spend so much on a few morsels was beyond me. And frankly, fish eggs? Weren’t they like little fish droppings? I stared at the fork he was holding and realized they certainly looked the part.

  “Try it, Brooke.”

  “Do I have to?” I tried to suppress a scowl but failed. I had never really had a thing for caviar. I had tasted it once—probably the fake stuff—and found it disgusting.

  “You’ll like it.” His voice was barely more than a whisper, but there was enough force in it to convince me that he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

  Taking a bite, I forced myself to chew slowly, and leaned back, surprised. It tasted delicious, reminding me of the sea, with just a hint of lobster, olive oil, and herbs.

  “Not bad.”

  “See?” Laughing, he heaped some on the fork again and held it up to my lips.

  Maybe it was the baby talking, but I suddenly felt ravenous. I wanted to take another bite when Jett stepped in front of me—too close not to think about sex—and I noticed his lopsided smile.

  “I wouldn’t skimp on this either.” His voice came low and hoarse.

  Confused, I looked up at him, with no idea of what he was referring to. But there was no need to ask. His gaze dipped slowly from my eyes to my lips, finally settling on my breasts. As I looked down, I noticed that the covers had shifted, revealing more than was decent. Heat blushed my cheeks, and I quickly pulled up the sheet in a weak attempt to hide some of my skin. He stopped my hand before I could cover myself.

  “I don’t like you covered up.” He grinned. “In fact, you’re so sexy that you shouldn’t wear anything at all.”

  “I can’t do that,” I said, shocked at his preposterous suggestion.

  “Of course you can. In fact, as long as we stay here, I must insist that you run around naked.”

  I felt myself blushing even harder, probably turning a shade of crimson, as his hands pulled away the remaining fabric, exposing my body, naked from head to toe.

  Under his green, burning gaze, my body behaved as though it belonged to him, as if my soul had been touched and marked, and I just had to react whenever he was near. His hands stroked my shoulder, the gentle touch raising the hairs on my arm in anticipation. Slowly, his mouth dipped onto my skin, and his hot lips began to send delicious currents down my back.

  I leaned back, savoring his presence, until something cold brushed my neck. When I looked down, I noticed something sparkling. In his hand was the most beautiful necklace I had ever seen, a tiny stone dangling from a delicate chain. Even though the diamond was cut in a round shape, its mount was the form of a heart. I gasped in surprise, marveling at its beauty.

  “I hope you like it,” he whispered. “I got it for you while you were asleep.” Jett clasped it around my neck, then brushed my long hair aside. “When I saw it, I had to get it. I knew it would look perfect on you.”

  “Thank you.” My heart hammered hard as he pulled me in front of a mirror and stepped behind me. For a few moments, I gazed at the small gemstone, marveling at the way it seemed to enhance my collarbone. It was so small, so simple, yet it was so stunning that I could only stare. The more I looked at it, the more I was convinced that it had been expensive. Jett never went for the affordable stuff.

  “I understand that you can’t make any promises,” Jett said. “I have to admit, I don’t like that, but I want you to know that, like this diamond, what we have is rare and there’s nothing I would change about you. Don’t ever forget that, Brooke.”

  I touched the stone and slowly turned around, my voice failing me at the intensity in his green eyes.

  “It’s beautiful,” I whispered at last.

  “Not as beautiful as are you,” Jett said.

  I smiled tenderly, my pulse racing at the various thoughts spinning inside my head. We had gone through so much in the short period we had been together, but I simply wasn’t ready for the kind of assurance he expected of me.

  “You shouldn’t have, Jett. It’s lovely, but…I can’t accept this gift.” I lifted my arms to remove the necklace when Jett’s much stronger hand stopped me.

  “You have to. It’s what I want.” He paused, his gaze broody and dark. “You are mine, Brooke, and I want you to have nice things.”

  He kept looking at me with an intensity that made my heart flutter. I wanted to say so much more, to utter my thanks, my gratitude, anything to show him that I valued everything he’d done for me, when his fingertips brushed my lips and his mouth descended upon mine.

  In that instant, I realized something meaningful: words were futile. It’s said people spend their entire life thinking about love, searching for it, t
hinking they have found it. But there is no word that can express the magnitude of feeling love, of having one’s heart bursting with it at a mere smile. It wasn’t just Jett’s presence or his kindness that reached surreal proportions, but the fact that he reciprocated my feelings and that he tried so hard to express the way he felt. He really tried, as if his spoken words were true, as if he truly meant them, and he wanted to see me happy.

  Ever so slowly, his mouth descended upon mine in a tender kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him on top of me, my legs parting to accommodate his weight. Jett didn’t seem to need a wordy invitation. His tongue brushed past my lips to explore the cave of my mouth.

  Pinpoints of rapturous sensations traveled down my spine and gathered between my legs. I needed him down there more than I needed the air to breathe and I was ready to show him.

  I could have lingered in his embrace, lips on lips, forever, were it not for the knock on the door that drew our attention back to the world, to reality. When he let go of me, I realized that moment was lost forever, like a dream.

  My heart was beating a million times a minute from our kiss, and my body was still aching for him as I caught Jett’s reaction. I tried to read the thoughts he kept so well hidden, but I failed for the umpteenth time.

  “Who is it?” I asked, my voice low and thick with wariness. I hoped it was just someone knocking on the wrong door so we could get back to making out—anything that would distract Jett from his way-too-intense concentration.

  “Probably just the butler. There’s one assigned to every penthouse. Let me check,” Jett said. He let out an impatient sigh, and then kissed the top of my head. “I’ll be back in a second.” Without waiting for my reply, he crossed the living room in a few long strides and closed the door behind him.

  I turned to the mirror to stare at my reflection, unsure of what to do. I hated waiting, especially since the day had started out so perfectly, with Jett at my side, his strong arms on my thighs as we kissed on those silk sheets, and then his beautiful gift. The whole scene had been more than perfect, which is why I could forgive the small interruption—as long as he hurried to get back to me.

  Wearing a goofy smile, I resumed my seat on the sofa. As I did, I noticed Jett’s cell phone peering out of his jacket pocket, its screen illuminated with an incoming call or text message.

  For a moment, I considered pulling it out to answer it, in case it was important. The fact that Jett had switched off the sound only managed to fortify my idea of Jett as perfect boyfriend material. Obviously he didn’t want to know of any calls when he was with me.

  How many other guys had done that for me?

  None.

  Precisely.

  In today’s society, where phones were often regarded as essential for survival, Jett was in the minority. He wasn’t afraid to face total isolation with me, because he had no need for distraction. His attention was all mine. The thought of that made me warm all over.

  Leaning back against the soft cushions, I tried to ignore the flashing, but as the screen continued to light up, worry slowly set it. What if it was one of the company board members, who was trying to get in touch with Jett, because the stock was crashing and no one could get a hold of us?

  Jett happened to be the owner of a newly formed company called Townsend Properties, but as the son of one of the most prominent men in the United States, he also still acted as the CEO of Mayfield Realties, which in the last weeks had survived a series of scandals involving an international sex club. Against all odds, Jett had saved his father’s company from bankruptcy, all while focusing on his new company, killing two birds with one stone and making a name for himself. Some claimed the sex scandal was nothing but a marketing strategy to have the Mayfield name plastered across newspapers worldwide in order to attract attention to Jett’s new company, Townsend Properties. Others didn’t care. Only a few people, me included, knew the true secrets of what had really taken place in that sex club and the depravity of some of its famous members, who had chaired the Mayfield Realties board. I was the only one who knew how hard it had been for Jett to repair the mess and how difficult it had been to stop thinking about vengeance where he thought vengeance was due. After weeks of hard work to reform the old company and kick-start the new one, Jett wanted to focus more on our relationship, which was one of the reasons he insisted that we spent quality time together. Knowing he still had a job to do whilst on “vacation” with me, I couldn’t just ignore the real world.

  Without wasting another second, I retrieved the phone and peered at the screen. An unknown number had called numerous times, meaning it probably was important and Jett would have to call them back. Ready to dash after him, I picked up the phone and started to walk when my fingers brushed the envelope sign by mistake. The text message popped up instantly, and I couldn’t help but read it:

  The meeting will be no problem. Consider it done. TI

  As I stared at the message my cheeks caught fire, and instant shame burned through me for snooping around when it was clearly just a confirmation text.

  Talk about invading his privacy. How creepy or needy can you get, Stewart?

  “Shit,” I mumbled as I flicked through the phone settings for a button that might revert the text back to “unread.” There was none.

  Instead, another, earlier message popped open.

  The setting is fine. Where exactly do we meet? Ground floor or outside? TI

  Damn those freaking small buttons! Damn my clumsy fingers! Why had no one thought of inventing an application that double-checked if you actually wanted to read a message? Something that asked you to confirm it before it opened like:

  “Are you sure you want to read this message? Click here to confirm.”

  Then:

  “Last chance to avoid clicking this message and risk looking like a control freak.”

  Or something like that. And what kind of message was that, by the way? How hard could it be to show a little politeness by adding more words, like, “Hello? How are you? Sorry, I know it’s your day off, Mr. Mayfield, but I just wanted to let you know that the meeting you required will take place. Thanks. Have a nice day.”

  Some people were so uncommunicative it probably pained them to talk. Then again, it didn’t surprise me. Jett himself was as monosyllabic as one could get, so I figured the people who worked for him might just be inclined to pick up his bad habits.

  In the distance, a door slammed, and sure enough, Jett’s footsteps thudded down the hall. He was coming. I looked around in a panic.

  Crap!

  How was I supposed to explain to my boyfriend, who just so happened to be my boss as well, that I accidentally read his text messages without sounding like I had some major control issues? Would he even believe me? There was no way I could revert the message back to unread, and I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I delete it or just confess? Why did I have the feeling that telling the truth wouldn’t help me? If Jett thought I was snooping through his personal stuff, there was a possibility that our day would end in a fight.

  Scratch that.

  Knowing Jett and his alpha male tendencies, I was actually pretty sure of that. It didn’t even matter if he was the one who had logged into my email account seeing that I had no proof nor had I heard back from the legal firm.

  Women’s magazines always said that men couldn’t stand women with trust issues. At present, we had not yet built enough trust to the extent I was confident enough Jett would look kindly upon me going through his phone. That, combined with the fact that he was my boss, had me worried that our relationship might just be over if he found out.

  Without thinking, I pushed the phone back into the pocket of his jacket in the hope another text might arrive in the meantime and Jett wouldn’t notice that the previous one had already been read. I stormed out of the room, almost bumping into my surprised boyfriend as I headed for the one place where he wouldn’t see my shaking hands: the bathroom.

  Thank God, whoever inv
ented it.

  I closed the door, and sat down on the toilet seat, willing my heartbeat to calm down. At least I wouldn’t have to come up with a good excuse as to why I had almost run him over, because nobody in his right mind would bother to ask a pregnant woman that. And if he did, I’d just say that, yes, I had to visit the restroom what seemed like a hundred times a day. If that didn’t throw him off the trail, I could always blame my crazy hormones for making me act strange. And if even that wouldn’t work, I could play my ace in the hole. I could accuse him of deleting my email, and brace myself for a fight, knowing that I’d lose that argument. After all, it would be hard to prove it had been him who logged on since I never gave him my password. But Jett had friends who could hack into anyone’s private business if he so much as asked them for a favor, without anyone ever finding the connection. I had to take that into account, too.

  But as things currently stood, I wasn’t going to point the finger at him without having at least some solid proof.

  ***

  Jett looked distant when I returned. His tight gray shirt was gone, replaced by a tailored business suit, white shirt, and a dark blue, silk tie. I stared at him, and instant worry set in. He looked like he was getting ready to leave—again. I wondered if he’d read the text message? And, more importantly, I wondered if he was pissed at me, if he had discovered that I had read it?

  “I’m sorry,” he said when he noticed me standing in the doorway. “I know I promised you an entire weekend, but I have to run some errands.”

  “Why? What’s wrong?” I sat down beside him and intertwined my fingers in my lap.

  “Nothing major, I hope. The service personnel knocked to let me know I received a call from the Trump building. They said it’s urgent.” He barely looked up as he arranged his cufflinks. “Some idiot messed up a contract and now I have to run back to the office and get his work done for a job that was supposed to have gone through last week.”

 
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