This man, p.44
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       This Man, p.44

         Part #1 of This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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Page 44

  Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

  He huffs childishly, releasing my nipple. ‘I don’t suppose you can keep your mouth shut while I fuck some sense into you?’

  I raise my eyebrows. He knows that’s impossible.

  ‘For fucks sake. ’ he grumbles, pushing himself up, making a point of brushing his knee up the inside of my thigh and over my moist centre. The friction has me wanting to yank him back down to me. I don’t want him to go. He leans down and kisses me hard and purposefully. ‘I’ve got to go. When I call you tomorrow, you’ll answer the phone. ’

  ‘I will. ’ I confirm obediently. God help me if I don’t.

  He smiles darkly and grabs my hip. I squeal like a little girl and flip myself onto my front. Then I feel the sting of his palm meeting my backside.

  ‘Ouch!’

  ‘Sarcasm doesn’t suit you, lady. ’ The bed shifts as he gets up.

  When I turn over, his shirt is on his back and he’s working the buttons. ‘Will Sarah be at The Manor?’ I blurt, before my brain filters the stupid question.

  He pauses briefly before picking up his boxers and stepping into them. ‘I hope so, she works for me. ’

  What? ‘You said she was a friend. ’ I sound whinny. I mentally slap myself for it.

  He frowns. ‘Yes, she’s a friend and she works for me. ’

  Marvelous. I roll out of bed and find my vest and shorts. No wonder she’s always loitering about. Should I tell him that she’s warned me off? No, he probably wouldn’t appreciate immature, petty jealousies. God, I hate that woman. I yank my vest and shorts on, and turn to find Jesse pulling his suit jacket on. He’s watching me thoughtfully. Does he know what I’m thinking?

  ‘Are you going to put some clothes on?’ he asks, looking me up and down.

  I look down at my shorts and vest combo and back up to him. His eyebrows are raised. ‘I’m at home. ’

  ‘Yes, and Sam’s out there. ’

  ‘Sam doesn’t seem to think anything of walking around in his pants. At least I’m covered. ’

  ‘Sam’s an exhibitionist. ’ he grumbles, walking over to my wardrobe and flicking through the rails. ‘Here, put this on. ’ He hands me a chunky knit, oversized, cream jumper.

  ‘No!’ I splutter in disgust. I’ll pass out of overheating!

  He thrusts it closer to me with a determined, dirty look. ‘Put the jumper on. ’

  ‘No. ’ I say it slowly and concisely. He’s not dictating my wardrobe, especially not when I’m at home. I snatch the jumper from him and throw it on the bed, watching as he follows its path through the air. He looks at it sprawled on the bed, then slowly returns his eyes to mine. His teeth are going ten to the dozen, chewing his bottom lip.

  ‘Three,’ he grates.

  My eyes widen. ‘Are you winding me up?’

  He ignores me. ‘Two,’

  I still don’t know what happens at zero, but it looks like I’m going to find out. ‘I’m not putting the jumper on. ’

  ‘One,’ His lips press into a straight line of displeasure.

  ‘Do what you like, Jesse. I’m not putting that jumper on. ’

  His eyes narrow. ‘Zero,’

  We stand opposite each other, him with an expression of genuine fury mixed with a bit of delight, and me wondering what the hell he’s going to do now that he’s reached zero. I scan the room, looking for an escape, but there’s only one, and I have to get past Jesse to make it there. What are the chances of that?

  He shakes his head, exhaling a long, lung full of air, and then he makes his move. I dart across the bed to escape, getting caught up in the mountain of sheets and squealing when I feel his warm palm wrap around my ankle. He yanks me across the bed.

  ‘Jesse!’ I cry as he flips me over and straddles me, pinning my arms under his knees. ‘Get off!’ I blow my hair out of my face, finding him looking down at me, his face deadly serious.

  ‘Let’s clear something up. ’ He removes his jacket, throws it on the bed and picks up the jumper. ‘If you do what you’re told, our lives will be a lot easier. All this…’ He strokes his palms over my torso and pinches my nipples through my vest. I yelp. ‘is for my eyes only. ’ He moves his hands behind him and digs his fingers into the hollow above my hips bone.

  ‘NO!’ I scream. ‘Please, no!’ I start laughing. Oh God, I’ll pee myself!

  He continues with the digs and squeezes, sending me on a wild bucking mission. I can’t breathe. I’m between laughter and crying at the torturous assault, my bladder set to burst.

  ‘Jesse, I need the toilet!’ I half laugh, half cry. All I’m aware of is the agonising suffering he’s inflicting on me, the cruel bastard. And all because I won’t put a stupid jumper on?

  ‘That’s better. ’ I hear him say through my bucking frenzy. I feel my hair being brushed away from my face, then his lips pressed hard on mine. ‘You could have saved us both a lot of trouble if you’d have just put…the…fucking…jumper…on. ’

  I look up at him and scowl as he lifts his heavy weight from me and puts his jacket back on. I sit up, finding I’m wearing the stupid jumper. How did he manage that? I turn my fierceness onto him. He’s regarding me intently, not a hint of amusement on his face.

  ‘I’ll just take it off. ’ I spit.

  ‘No, you won’t. ’ he assures me, and he’s probably right.

  I get off the bed, heading for the bathroom in the ridiculous jumper. ‘You’re an unreasonable arse. ’ I mutter, slamming the door behind me.

  I go for a wee and make a mental note, never to let him get to zero again. That was my worst nightmare. I rub my poor abused hips, the sensitive flesh above my bones still tingling.

  When I’m done, I find Jesse in the kitchen with Sam and Kate, who both run their eyes over my jumper clad body. I shrug, pouring myself another wine.

  ‘Made up?’ Kate asks, perching on Sam’s lap. He separates his thighs, causing Kate to slip between his legs on a squeal. She playfully slaps him before looking at me for an answer.

  ‘No,’ I mutter, throwing Jesse a disgruntled look. ‘And if you’d like to know who has put a hole in your kitchen door, look no further. ’ I point my glass at Jesse. ‘He also smashed your wine glass. ’ I add, like the pathetic snitch I am.

  I watch as Jesse reaches in his pockets, palms off a pile of twenties and slaps them on the table in front of Kate. ‘Let me know if it’s anymore. ’ he says, keeping his eyes firmly on me. I look down at the table. There must be at least five hundred quid there. And I notice he didn’t apologise, the arrogant arse.

  Kate shrugs and scoops the money up. ‘That should cover it. ’

  Jesse shoves his hands back in his pockets, saunters over to me and bends so his face is level with mine. ‘I like your jumper. ’

  ‘Fuck off. ’ I mouth, before taking a huge swig of wine.

  He grins, kissing my nose. ‘Mouth,’ he warns. He grasps the back of my head, bunching my hair in his fist and pulls me forward so we’re nose to nose. ‘Don’t drink too much. ’ he orders, and then lands me with a searing hot kiss. I try to resist…a little.

  When I’m free from his lips and I’ve regained my senses, I scoff, taking another glug.

  He shakes his head mildly, inhaling deeply, before turning away from me. ‘My work here is done. ’ he says smugly as he leaves.

  ‘Bye. ’ Kate sings on a laugh. I throw her a filthy look.

  ‘My man,’ Sam holds his hand up on a grin. ‘Ava, where’s the love?’

  ‘Up his arse!’ I snap, discarding my wine glass and collecting my phone before storming out of the kitchen, back to my room. The man is impossible. I hear Sam and Kate laughing as I crawl into bed with my jumper on.

  I’m pretending the only reason I’m pissed is because Jesse has just manhandled me into a jumper. The fact that he’s on his way to The Manor, and a certain pouty lipped witch is sure be there, has nothing to do with my bad
mood – nothing at all.

  As I’m dozing off, my phone starts singing The Stone Roses, This is the One. I roll my eyes, reaching for it from my bedside table. I need to teach that man some phone manners.

  ‘What?’ I snap.

  ‘Who do you think you’re talking to, lady?’

  ‘An unreasonable arse!’

  ‘I’ll ignore that. Have you still got the jumper on?’

  I want to say no. ‘Yes. ’ I grumble. Would he come back and torture me some more if I did say no? ‘Is that all you rang for?’

  ‘No, I wanted to hear your voice. ’ he says softly. ‘I’m having Ava withdrawal. ’

  I melt a little on a sigh. He can be so domineering, bossy and unreasonable, and in the next breath, completely soppy and lovely. ‘You’ve been messing with my phone again. ’ I accuse.

  ‘You’re not going to hear me call if it’s on silent, are you?’

  ‘No, but how did you know it was on silent?’ I ask, although I already know. I need to put a PIN lock on it. ‘Anyway, it’s rude. And you need to apologise to Sally. ’

  ‘I’m sorry. Who’s Sally?’

  ‘No, you’re not. Sally is the waif like creature in my office who you verbally attacked. ’

  ‘Oh, I’ll take care of it. Make sure you dream of me. ’

  I smile. ‘I will. Goodnight. ’

  ‘Oh, Ava?’

  ‘What?’

  ‘You’re the one, baby. ’ He hangs up, and my heart jumps up into my throat. What is the one? Does he mean what I think he means? I start chewing my thumb nail and drift off to sleep considering his coded statement.

  Am I The One?

  Is he The One?

  Oh, hell. I really want him to be.

  Chapter 24

  I sit at my desk in a complete daydream, my mind racing with thoughts of The One and fuckings of various degrees. If – in my perfect little world – I end up in a relationship with Jesse, would this be how it is all of the time? Jesse making his commands and me who obeys? It’s that or receiving some sort of fuck, or being subjected to some kind of countdown and torture until I relent, or he manhandles me into complying. I’m not denying the certain element of fun in the fucking side of things, but there has to be give and take. And I’m not sure Jesse knows how to give – unless it’s one of his varying degrees of fucking. He’s so good at it, though. I bristle when I conclude that it is, undoubtedly, because he’s had plenty of practice. My pencil snaps in my hand. What? I look at the splintered wood in my grasp. Oh…dear.

  ‘Ava, you’re here early. ’ Sally walks into the office, and I immediately giggle to myself. I saw Sally in a different light yesterday.

  ‘Yes, I woke up early. ’ I say, wanting to add that it’s because a neurotic arse made me wear a winter jumper in bed, causing me to wake up in a pool of sweat.

  She settles herself at her desk. ‘I tried calling you yesterday after you left. ’

  ‘You did?’ I frown, but then realise that I probably cleared Sally’s missed call with the dozens of others from Jesse.

  ‘Yes, that angry man came into the office shortly after you left. ’

  ‘He did?’ I should have known.

  ‘He did. And his mood had not improved. ’ she says dryly.

  I can imagine. I smile. ‘Did you give him a cuddle?’

  Sally snorts, flopping back in her chair in another fit of laughter. I join her, laughing helplessly as I watch Sal fall apart all over her desk.

  Patrick walks in and looks at both of us in exasperation before making his way to his own office, shutting the door behind him.

  Oh, shit! ‘Was Patrick here?’ I ask.

  She takes her glasses off and starts cleaning them with the hem of her brown, polyester blouse. ‘What? When the lunatic came in? No, he was collecting Irene from the train station. ’
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