This man, p.55
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       This Man, p.55

         Part #1 of This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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Page 55

  Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

  ‘Take the pins out your hair. ’ he orders, putting my pumps and my new taboo dress in my oversized work bag. I’m surprised he didn’t throw it to the ground and trample all over it.

  I reach up and start removing my grips. ‘Where are your leathers?’

  ‘I don’t need them. ’

  ‘Why, are you indestructible?’

  He holds the helmet above my head. ‘No, lady, self-destructible. ’

  Huh? ‘What does that mean?’

  ‘Nothing,’ He dismisses my question and pushes the helmet onto my head, effectively shutting me up. He starts adjusting the chin strap, leaving me feeling like my head’s been squeezed into a condom. I flex my neck from side to side, and he flips the visor up.

  ‘You should wear protective clothing. ’ I admonish him. ‘You’re making me. ’

  ‘I’m not prepared to take any risks with you. Anyway. . . ’ He smacks my arse, ‘you look fucking hot. ’ He lengthens the strap on my bag, putting it across my body and around my back. ‘When I’m on, put your left foot on the peg and swing your right leg over, okay?’

  I nod, and he puts his own helmet on. I watch, admiringly as he swings his long leg over, starts the bike and stands it up between his powerful thighs. I’m shitting myself. He looks at me as I stand on the pavement and nods his instruction for me to climb on. I reluctantly step forward, place my hand on his shoulder and follow through on his instructions, vaulting my right leg over, soon finding myself straddling his waist.

  ‘I feel too high. ’

  He turns his head. ‘You’re fine. Now, hold on around my waist but not too tight. When I lean, gently lean with me and don’t put your feet down when I stop. Keep them on the pegs. Clear?’

  I nod. ‘Okay. ’ Oh shit, what am I doing?

  ‘Put your visor down. ’ he orders, flipping his own into position.

  I do as I’m bid and lean forward, hugging my arms around his chest and squeezing my knees on either side of his hips. I feel like a national hunt jockey. My nerves are all over the place, but there’s a little excitement lingering somewhere.

  The vibrations of the engine travel through me as Jesse revs the engine, backing onto the road with his feet. Then slowly and smoothly, he pulls into the traffic. My heart is hammering in my chest, my thighs gripping his hips stupidly hard. I loosen my clench slightly when my arms and legs begin to ache. I’m not ignorant to the fact that he’s obviously taking it easy with me on board, and I love him all the more for it. He brakes lightly, takes corners smoothly and I find myself naturally mimicking the bikes movements. I love it. This is a complete surprise; I’ve always hated motorbikes.

  As we break the city limits, I have no idea where we’re going, but I don’t care. My arms and legs are wrapped around my solid hunk of male, and with the rush on air speeding past me, I feel completely exhilarated. Until I recognise the road leading to The Manor. My joy instantly dampens. After the day I’ve had, it would be just perfect for it to end on a helping of old pouty lips. I give myself a mental pep talk, telling myself to rise above her obvious jealousy and bitterness. What I would like to know most, though, is why she’s behaving like this? Has Jesse had a relationship with her?

  The iron gates at the entrance of the grounds open as Jesse pulls off of the main road and proceeds down the gravel driveway to The Manor, braking gently until we come to a stop.

  He flips his visor up. ‘Off you get. ’

  I swing my leg over, rather elegantly, and land on the gravel to the side of the bike. Jesse kicks the stand down and shuts the bike off before dismounting with complete ease and taking his helmet off, his blonde hair all rough and dishevelled from the friction. He runs his hands through it and places his helmet on the seat before taking mine off. He looks at me hesitantly when my face is revealed. He’s worried I didn’t like it. I grin, launching myself at him, wrapping my legs around his waist and my arms around his neck.

  He laughs. ‘There’s that grin. Did you enjoy that?’ He holds me with one arm, placing my helmet next to his, then clasps me with both hands.

  I lean back to get his face in my line of vision. ‘I want one. ’

  ‘Forget it! Not a fucking chance in Hell. Never, no way,’ He shakes his head, his expression pure dread. ‘Only ever with me. ’

  ‘I loved it. ’ I tighten my grip around his neck, pulling myself back into him and lowering my lips to his. He moans approvingly as I coax his mouth open, landing him with a deep, moist and passionate kiss. ‘Thank you. ’

  He bites lightly on my bottom lip. ‘Hmmm. You’re more than welcome, baby. ’

  I’ve completely lost sight of my doubts. When he’s like this, it kind of trumps his unreasonable, controlling ways. It’s crazy. ‘Why are we here?’ I ask. I can’t help the pang of disappointment at ending my amazing bike ride at The Manor.

  ‘I’ve got a few things to sort out. You can have something to eat while we’re here. ’ He lowers me to the ground. ‘Then I’m taking you home, lady. ’ He brushes my hair from my face.

  ‘I’ve got nothing with me. ’ I’ll need to shoot home and pick some things up.

  ‘Sam’s here. He brought some of your stuff from Kate’s. ’ He grabs my hand, pulling me towards The Manor. Sam brought my stuff? That was very forward thinking of him. Oh, please tell me that Kate packed it. The thought of Sam’s cheeky grin as he ploughs through my underwear drawer has me blushing on the spot.

  Jesse leads me up the steps, through the doors into the entrance hall. It sounds busy tonight, with laughter and chatter coming from the restaurant and bar. We bypass both, heading straight for Jesse’s office. I’m relieved. Avoiding a certain acid tongued pout is top of my list of things to achieve this evening.

  As we pass through the summer room, a few groups of people are gathered, relaxing on the plush sofas, drinks in hand. I’m not ignorant to the fact that all conversation halts as soon as they spot us. The men raise their drinks, and the women smooth their hair, straighten their backs and plaster ridiculous smiles on their faces. The smiles soon disappear when they direct their stares on me, fully clad in leather, being pulled behind him. I feel scrutinised. I’m placing my bets that The Manor is not every female’s preference simply because of the luxurious accommodation and surroundings.

  ‘Good evening. ’ Jesse nods as we pass swiftly.

  A chorus of greetings flood my ears, all of the men acknowledging me with a smile or a nod, but all of the women throwing suspicious glares. I feel like public enemy number one. What’s their problem?

  ‘Jesse,’ I hear Big John’s low rumble up ahead. I drag my eyes from the crowd of angry women, giving me the once over, to find John coming out of Jesse’s office. He nods at me, and I find myself nodding back. What role does he play here? He looks like the mafia personified.

  ‘Any problems?’ Jesse asks, leading me into his office.

  John follows and shuts the door behind him. ‘Small issue in the communal room, now resolved. ’ His deep voice is monotone. ‘Someone got a bit excited. ’

  I frown, looking at Jesse. What’s a communal room? I see Jesse mildly shake his head at John before flicking cautious eyes to me.

  ‘S’all good, I’ll be in the surveillance suite. ’ He turns and leaves.

  ‘What’s a communal room?’ I can’t keep the interest from my tone. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

  He yanks me towards him by the collar of my leather jacket and removes my bag, taking my mouth possessively, completely distracting me from my question. ‘I like you in leather,’ he muses as he unzips the jacket, pushing it down my arms slowly and chucking it on the sofa. ‘But I love you in lace. ’ He undoes the zipper of the leather trousers as he circles my nose with his. ‘Always in lace,’

  I watch his hands work the fastener, my pulse quickening. ‘I thought you have work to do. ’ I whisper.

  He picks me up, walks me o
ver to his big desk and places me on the edge. Both boots are removed and tossed on the sofa before he bends down, braces his hands on the edge and leans forward so our faces are close.

  His green pools of lust are penetrating me. ‘It can wait. ’ He snakes his arm around my waist and lowers me to the desk surface. ‘You drive me crazy, lady. ’ he says, reaching down and unbuttoning my white shirt as he stands between my open thighs.

  ‘You drive me crazy. ’ I breathe, arching my back when his hot touch skims my breast bone.

  He smiles darkly at me. ‘So, we’re made for each other. ’ He yanks the cups of my bra down, running his thumbs over my nipples, sparking endless shots of pleasure throughout me.

  Our eyes connect and lock. ‘Probably,’ I agree. I really want to be made for him.

  ‘Oh, there’s no probably about it. ’ He hooks his forearm under my waist and pulls me up from the desk, resting his mouth on my throat. Circling his tongue, he works his way up my jaw bone. I lace my fingers through his soft hair and exhale a contented lung full of air. Perfect. We’re making friends.

  The office door flies open, and Jesse yanks me into his chest protectively, and probably to conceal me too.

  ‘Oh, sorry. ’

  ‘For fucks sake, Sarah! Knock!’ he yells. I’m secretly delighted at the tone he’s taken with her. I might be half naked and sprawled across his desk, but Jesse is concealing me just fine. He doesn’t let me go as he shifts slightly so he can land Sarah with a filthy look. I catch a glimpse of her in the doorway. She’s wearing a red dress to match her lips, her sour face as plain as the obvious boob job.

  ‘Finally got her in leather then?’ she says on a sly smile, turning on her heels and leaving. The door shuts with a loud bang, and Jesse rolls his eyes in frustration. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked someone so much.

  ‘What did she mean?’ I ask, feeling like I’m the butt of a private joke.

  ‘Nothing, ignore her. She’s trying to be funny. ’ he grumbles. His mood has changed dramatically.

  Well, I don’t find her remotely funny, but his short, abrupt answer makes me think twice about pushing it. Damn, I want him to finish what he started.

  I’m lifted from the desk and placed me on my feet. Pulling the cups of my bra back over my breasts, he starts to button up my shirt and peel the leathers down my legs. I’m going to look like a crumpled mess. He fetches my bag from the floor, putting my pumps at my feet for me to step into. I start tucking my shirt in, trying to make myself more presentable, and watch as Jesse takes a seat in his huge, brown leather, swivel chair. He’s gone quiet. Resting his elbows on the arms and letting his fingertips meet in front of his lips, he watches me thoughtfully as I finish sorting myself out.

  ‘What?’ I ask. He looks deep in thought. What’s he thinking about?

  ‘Nothing. Are you hungry?’

  I shrug. ‘-ish,’

  A smile tickles the corner of his mouth. ‘-ish. ’ he counters. ‘The steak’s good. Do you want that?’ I nod. Yes, I could eat a little steak. He picks up his office phone and dials a few numbers. ‘Ava would like the steak,’ He puts the phone to his shoulder. ‘How do you like your steak?’

  ‘Medium, please,’

  He returns to the phone. ‘Medium, with new potatoes and a salad. ’ He looks at me with raised eyebrows. I nod again. ‘In my office…and bring some wine…Zinfandel. That’s all…yes…thank you. ’ He hangs up and dials again. ‘John…yes…I’m ready when you are. ’ He hangs up before picking up again. ‘Sarah…fine, don’t worry. Bring me the latest attendance figures. ’ He puts the phone down again. ‘Sit. ’ He points at the sofa in the window.

  Okay, I’m getting that uncomfortable feeling again, my small appetite fading fast. Damn it, I hate coming here. ‘I can go if you’re busy. ’
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