This man, p.70
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       This Man, p.70

         Part #1 of This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
 
Page 70

  Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

  He engulfs me in his arms and inhales into my neck. ‘You didn’t say it. ’

  ‘What? That I won’t leave you? I won’t leave you. Happy?’

  ‘Yes, I am, but that’s not what I meant. ’

  ‘What did you mean?’

  He makes a meal of exhaling deeply into my ear. ‘Never mind, want to go again?’

  I splutter on a laboured breath. He’s joking, right? I know I won’t be able to say no – for a start, he won’t let me, but seriously? I feel the slight jerk of a hushed chuckle under me.

  ‘Absolutely, I can’t get enough of you. ’ I keep my voice steady and serious.

  He freezes under me, but then increases his vice hold on me. ‘I’m glad. I feel exactly the same. But my heart has been through enough in the last twenty four hours, what with your defiance and lack of obedience. I don’t know how much more it can take. ’

  There we are; lack of obedience. Control freak! ‘It must be your age. ’ I mutter.

  ‘Hey, lady,’ He rolls us over so I’m face down on the bathroom floor and he’s blanketing me. He bites my ear, blowing hot breath into it. ‘My age has nothing to do with it. ’ He chomps at my lobe a bit more as I writher under him. ‘It’s you!’ he says accusingly, grabbing my hip.

  ‘No!’ I scream, making a futile attempt to free myself. ‘Okay, I give in!’

  ‘I wish you fucking would. ’ he grumbles, releasing me.

  ‘Old man,’ I mutter on a grin.

  I’m hoofed to my feet in lightning speed and pushed up the wall, my arms pinned above my head. I purse my lips to suppress my laugh. He narrows his eyes fiercely. ‘I prefer God. ’ he notifies me, hitting me with a heart stopping kiss, thrusting his body against mine and pushing me up the wall.

  ‘You can be my God. ’

  ‘I really can’t get enough of you, lady. ’

  I smile. ‘Good. ’

  ‘You’re my ultimate temptress. ’ He swaths my face with his lips, and I sigh against him. ‘Are you hungry?’ he asks.

  ‘Yes. ’ I’m famished, actually.

  He picks me up and walks over to the vanity unit, placing me gently down. ‘I’ve fucked you, and now I’m going to feed you. ’

  My brow knits at his tactlessness. Why not, made love to me and make me a meal?

  He leaves me on the unit to turn the shower on. I fall into a daydream, just watching the muscles of his back ripple with his movements.

  ‘In you get. ’ He holds his hand out. I slide off the unit, taking his hand and letting him lead me into the shower. ‘It kills me to do this. ’ he sighs, taking the natural sponge.

  ‘What?’ I hold his shoulder as he kneels in front of me, working up my legs to the insides of my thighs in slow, soapy circles.

  ‘I hate washing myself off of you. ’ His face is sorrowful. He really means it?

  I stand, letting him clean all the traces of him away from me, working carefully, lovingly and flicking me small smiles when he catches me watching him. My hair is shampooed and conditioned, and I take the sponge to return the favour. It takes me a lot longer with his body being a lot bigger than mine, my task hindered further by my need to kiss every square inch of him. He lets me have my way, smiling down at me and squirting more shower gel on the sponge when I hold it out. As normal, I linger over his scar, hoping he will open up to me, but he doesn’t… again. One day, I tell myself – when, I don’t know. Perhaps this will all be over before I ever do know. The thought depresses me. I never want this to be over.

  I’m wrapped up in a soft, white towel, showered with light kisses all over my face before he tucks me under his arm and walks us into the bedroom.

  ‘Put lace on. ’ he says softly, making his way into the wardrobe and appearing a few minutes later in some green, striped lounge pants. I smile. I love him in sludgy green. ‘I’ll meet you in the kitchen. Deal?’

  ‘Deal,’ I confirm quietly. He winks, striding out of the bedroom, leaving me to find my lace. I was actually thinking more along the lines of big knickers and a cosy sweatshirt, but he’s in too good a mood to break it over such a minor detail. Where would my underwear be, anyway? And would Kate have packed lace?

  I look around the room for any signs of my bags, seeing nothing. Wandering into the wardrobe, I only find my dresses and shoes. He said a few days. There’s more than a few days’ worth of clothes in here, all hanging neatly in their own little space. I smile at the thought of Jesse making a little gap for me in his vast wardrobe. Did he unpack my things?

  I pad back out to one of the two chests of drawers I had made in Italy. Pulling open the first drawer, I find three neat piles of boxer shorts, in black, white and grey – all Armani. They look brand new. I work my way to the next drawer, finding dress socks. Does he have them ironed? I open another to discover belts – all coiled neatly, in every shade of black and brown leather you could imagine.

  He’s a neat freak. Oh, this is bad news! I’m shockingly untidy at home. I shut the drawer, opening the last one, but all I find are sports socks and various caps. I proceed to open every drawer on the other chest – all occupied with an array of running shorts and vests.

  Giving up and with my towel still wrapped around me, I make my way downstairs to the kitchen, finding Jesse with his head in the fridge.

  ‘I can’t find my stuff. ’ I inform the fridge door.

  His head pops up from behind the fridge, his eyes running up and down my towel clad body. ‘I’ll take naked. ’ he says, shutting the door and sauntering over to me with a jar of peanut butter. ‘Cathy’s off and the fridge is empty. I’ll order in, what do you fancy?’

  ‘You,’ I grin.

  He smiles, reaches forward and whips the towel off, throwing it to the side and running his appreciative gaze down my naked body. ‘Your God needs to feed his temptress. ’ He flashes his dancing eyes to mine. ‘The rest of your stuff is in that dirty great big wooden truck that you had dumped in my bedroom. What do you want to eat?’

  I ignore him and shrug. I could eat anything. ‘I’m easy. ’

  ‘I know, but what do you want to eat?’

  I must stop saying that. ‘I’m only easy with you. ’ I grumble. He thinks I’m easy?

  ‘You fucking better be. Now, tell me, what do you want to eat?’

  ‘I like anything, you choose. What time is it, anyway?’ I’ve lost all concept of time. In fact, I lose all concept of everything when I’m with him.

  ‘Seven, go and dry your hair before I abandon dinner and take you again. ’ He turns me around, smacking my backside to send me on my way.

  I take my naked body back up the stairs to fulfill his instructions. When I reach the top and take a left to the Master suite, I glance down and see Jesse stood by the archway to the kitchen, quietly watching me. I blow him a kiss as I disappear into the bedroom, just catching a glimpse of his knee trembling smile as he vanishes from view.

  Forty five minutes later, my hair’s received the blow-dry it deserves, I’ve cleansed, toned and moisturised, and I’ve got a clean set of lace underwear on. Kate’s forgotten to pack any comfy chill out clothes – of all the things she could forget. But then, Jesse did hijack her at some God forsaken hour this morning, so she probably just shoved in whatever she could lay her hands on. I have my new Thai fisherman pants but no top.

  I go to the wardrobe and grab a white shirt. I don’t pick the most expensive one this time, although I’m sure they’re all pretty costly.

  ‘I was just coming to find you. ’ He pauses from forking various dishes onto two plates. ‘I like your shirt. ’

  ‘Kate didn’t pack me any slobby clothes. ’

  ‘She didn’t?’ He raises an eyebrow, and I know instantly, Kate did pack me some slobby clothes. That or she didn’t pack at all – I suspect it’s the latter. ‘Where do you want to eat?’

  ‘I’m e…’ I snap my mouth shut o
n a shrug.

  ‘Only for me, yes?’ He grins, shoving a bottle of water under his arm and picking up the plates. ‘We’ll slum it on the sofa. ’ He leads me into the colossal open space and nods at the gigantic sofa. I sit in the corner section, accepting the plate he hands me. It smells delicious and it’s Chinese. Perfect.

  The doors on the massive television cabinet start sliding across, revealing the biggest, frameless, flat screen T. V I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

  ‘Do you want to watch television or would you prefer music and conversation?’ He looks at me on a small smile. My fork is hanging out of my mouth. I didn’t realise how hungry I was.

  I chew and swallow as soon as I can. ‘I’ll take music and conversation, please. ’ That was an easy choice. He nods, like he knew that would be my answer, and the next thing I know, the room is swamped in the calming tones of Mumford and Sons. This is a surprise. I cross my legs and sit back. I made a good choice with this sofa.

  ‘Good?’

  I glance over and find him facing me, one knee up and his arm resting on the back of the sofa holding his plate. ‘Very, you don’t cook?’

  ‘I don’t. ’

  I smile around my fork. ‘Why, Mr Ward, is that something you don’t do well?’

  ‘I can’t be amazing at everything. ’ he says, completely straight faced, studying me closely. He really is an over-confident arse.

  ‘Your housekeeper cooks for you?’

  ‘If I ask her to, but most of the time I eat at The Manor. ’

  I suppose it makes sense that he’d take advantage of the lovely food at his disposal. I know I would. ‘How old are you?’

  He pauses with his fork midway to his mouth. ‘Thirty-ish,’ He takes his forkful of food, watching me as he chews.

  ‘-ish,’ I mouth.

  ‘Yes, ish,’ A smile plays on the corners of his lips.

  I return to my food, not in the least bit bothered by his vague answer. I’ll keep asking; he’ll keep evading. Maybe I should try with my own versions of persuasion – maybe a truth fuck or a countdown? What would I do to him on zero? I drift into musing over exactly what I could do on zero, between mouthfuls of my Chinese dinner. I can think of plenty, but nothing I could carry out with ease. He’d overpower me, very easily. The countdown is off the menu, so it’s a truth fuck then. I need to invent the truth fuck. What could I do?

  ‘Ava?’

  I look up, finding Jesse and his frown line studying me. ‘Yes?’

  ‘Dreaming?’ he asks, his voice laced with concern.

  ‘Sorry. ’ I put my fork down. ‘I was miles away. ’

  ‘You were,’ He takes my plate and slides it onto the coffee table. ‘Where were you?’ He reaches over to pull me into his lap.

  I snuggle happily. ‘Nowhere. ’

  He shifts up the sofa, taking my place in the corner, positioning me under his arm. I rest my cheek on his bare chest, throw my leg over his groin and inhale him in his entire fresh water splendor. I sigh, letting the soft music and the feel of Jesse ease me into a peaceful rest.

  ‘I love having you here. ’ he says quietly, playing with a lock of my hair.

  I really love being here too, but not as a puppet. Would it always be like this? I could do exactly this, day in, day out – it’s been a lovely day. But could I live with the controlling, unreasonable side of him? I run my finger along the line of his scar.

  ‘I love being here too. ’ I whisper. I really do, especially when he’s like this.

  ‘Good. So you’ll stay?’

  What? Tonight? ‘Yes. Tell me how you got this. ’

  He reaches down, clasping my hand to prevent any further touching of the area. ‘Ava, I really don’t like talking about it. ’
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