Theirs to cherish, p.10
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       Theirs to Cherish, p.10
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         Part #8 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
Page 10

 

  “Thorpe, don’t . . . You can’t—”

  He cut her off by working her clit expertly with two fingers devastating either side of the little bud, then alternately rubbing extra friction on top.

  “Yes, I can. I told you to look at me. Now,” he demanded. “Come!”

  Her eyes turned a dizzying blue, widening with every breath she hitched in, emphasized by the red flush of her cheeks. He didn’t give Callie permission, but she screamed anyway. The sound rang in his ears, echoed off the walls, and no doubt drifted down the hall. It went on and on as her body convulsed and her clit turned to stone under his touch, then pulsed brilliantly again and again.

  Callie tumbled into his eyes as the world fell away. Only she existed.

  God, she was stunning. When she surrendered, she did it absolutely.

  And the knowledge that he had to leave her now because he couldn’t trust himself not to strip off and fuck her was killing him.

  Closing his eyes, gathering his will, he kissed Callie on each hot cheek, brushed his lips over her damp forehead, then took her mouth in one last lingering press. He stayed there, struggling to drag in air. A moment, then another. He cherished each precious, irreplaceable second. Callie sobbed, and his chest shattered.

  Thorpe broke the kiss and pressed his forehead to hers, nuzzling her.

  “You promised you wouldn’t walk away,” she said through tears.

  “I said I wouldn’t before I gave you pleasure. You’re not getting away from me, pet. Don’t make me show you my ruthless side. ” He thumbed the wells of her eyes dry with a soft touch. Then he draped the comforter over her, found her purse, and rifled through it until he located her car keys. Pocketing them, he shrugged on his shirt, attached his cuff links, then grabbed his coat and her packed bags.

  “Damn it, Thorpe. You can’t undo me like that, then get up and leave. ”

  He headed for the door. “I’ll be back. ”

  ***

  THE second Thorpe let himself out, Kirkpatrick came stomping down the hall, barreling toward him like a man ready for a fight. How the hell had he gotten past Axel?

  “What the bloody hell are you doing to Callie? I can hear her screaming all over the club. ”

  “Do you think I hurt her?”

  Sean’s face turned red. “I think you put your fucking hands all over her. ”

  “Ding, ding, ding. Someone get the man a prize. ” He edged away from Sean, intent on reaching his office.

  Kirkpatrick jabbed him in the jaw, then followed up with a mean left hook to the gut. Thorpe hadn’t seen it coming . . . but he should have.

  He doubled over, and Sean took the opportunity to slam him against the wall. “How dare you touch my collared submissive? I’m bloody in love with Callie. I know you overheard me tell her. I made certain of it. ”

  Thorpe stared at his unwanted rival, trying to shove him off. Kirkpatrick wasn’t budging. Well, the guy had some game. Interesting note for future reference . . . But he wasn’t going to tell Sean that Callie might not be his collared submissive for long. Saying so was her place—even if he’d love to shove it in the bastard’s face.

  “For some reason I can’t comprehend, she has feelings for you, too. ”

  Sean snorted. “Not too many, I guess, if she decided to go straight from fucking me to you. ”

  As much as Thorpe would love to let Kirkpatrick believe the worst, he refused to give Sean a reason to punish Callie for his own actions. “I didn’t fuck her. ”

  “You wanted to,” Sean accused.

  “That goes without saying. Callie is a beautiful woman. As you’ve previously noted, I care for her. Why are we covering this well trampled ground again?”

  “Because it’s my right to know exactly what you did with her. ” He bounced Thorpe against the wall again.

  The fucker had punched him so hard, he almost felt queasy. But he refused to show weakness.

  “Get off me or I’ll have you arrested for assault. ” To make his point, Thorpe bent and shoved his shoulder into the Scot’s and, using the wall as leverage, heaved the other man off him. Then he whipped out his phone to text Axel and tapped out their code for “problem. ”

  “I don’t have time for you,” Thorpe said. “Let’s just say that Callie has feelings for us both, and she offered us the same good-bye. I got her attention, made a few things clear, and left her cuffed to her bed alone, all safe and sound. I even swiped her car keys. ” He withdrew them from his pocket and dangled them in front of Sean’s face.

  The Scot’s expression turned somewhere between sour and disbelieving. “I want to see her. ”

  “I’m sorry. I’m still not convinced that you’re in her best interest. ”

  “And you are?” Kirkpatrick scoffed.

  “No. Which is the only reason she wasn’t wearing a collar when you came sniffing around. If and when I decide you can see her, I’ll let you know. ”

  On cue, Axel charged down the hall with a couple of his staff in tow. Sean came out swinging, but the guards each grabbed one of his arms.

  Axel just shoved a hand in Kirkpatrick’s hair and yanked. “You had to pee, huh? Let’s go, motherfucker. ”

  Thorpe smiled. No one had ever accused Axel of playing nice.

  “Don’t call me; I’ll call you. ” Thorpe shouted as the men forcibly carried Sean, shouting and belligerent, from the club.

  “This isn’t over,” Sean yelled over his shoulder, still fighting them. “She’s mine!”

  “Fuck off,” he muttered under his breath, then extracted his phone again, making strides to his office.

  Once inside, he paused, then chose a course of action. Lance had been in the dungeon earlier. Perfect. Callie needed care, and she’d do her best to outsmart or wheedle another sub to get away right now. Thorpe had hoped that merely kindling the sexual fire between them might persuade her to stay, but . . . wishful thinking. It would have been smarter if he’d just fucked her since that had likely been his only opportunity. Damn it. Now he had to tear his thoughts from her pussy and act strategically. Lance wouldn’t take a lick of crap from her. He was a strong, clever Dom—and didn’t have a heterosexual bone in his body. Even better.

  Axel returned a few minutes later, winded and looking like he might have a shiner tomorrow. “Can I press assault charges?”

  Thorpe slanted the other Dom a glare. “We don’t need trouble here. Wouldn’t you rather meet him in a dark alley?”

  “Fuck, yeah. Is that option on the table, boss?”

  He shrugged. “Have fun. Don’t get caught. But before you go, would you ask Lance if he’d take care of Callie?”

  With a nod, Axel left. Minutes later, he escorted Lance down the hallway.

  Lance paused at Thorpe’s door. “Expecting trouble from our little vixen?”

  “Just constantly. ” Thorpe smiled faintly. “I have an urgent phone call to make, so I appreciate your assistance. ”

  “Always happy to help. ”

  When Lance disappeared, and Axel headed back to the dungeon, Thorpe indulged in one thing he never did during the club’s business hours. But in this case, he figured he was entitled. He poured himself a stiff scotch, plopped into his chair, and downed it. Then he broke his own rules again and called a client to beg.

  Logan Edgington answered his phone on the third ring, the noise from a television cluttering the background until he killed it. “Thorpe. ’Sup, man? It’s getting late. ”

  “I have a situation. I need some information. I’d like to speak with your wife, if that’s all right. ”

  The former SEAL hesitated for a moment. “Yeah. We were just watching a movie. Tara’s due in about two months and is having some problems with insomnia. If I don’t keep her occupied, she’ll be up ‘nesting’ half the night, which is code for moving furniture without consulting me or asking for help. ”

  “Hey,” he heard Tara protest in the background. “The twins are activ
e at night. I can’t sleep when I’m being constantly kicked. I said I was sorry. ”

  “Yeah, after I added another infraction to your quickly growing list for after these babies are born. You’re racking them up, Cherry. ” When his wife sighed noisily, Logan just laughed. “My brother’s wife, Kata, is five months behind her and still in the tired-all-the-time phase, so she conked out for the night. If you can occupy Tara’s brain right now, you’ll be my hero. ”

  “I’ve definitely got a winner,” Thorpe promised. “Are you sure she’s up to it?”

  Logan scoffed. “Her ankles may be swollen, but there’s nothing wrong with her mind. Here you go. ”

  After a quick scuffle, Tara’s voice sounded over the line. “Hi, Thorpe. ”

  “Hello, sweet girl. I’m sorry it’s so late, but I need your help. ”

  “Anything. Name it. ”

  “Do you still have contacts at the FBI from your analyst days?”

  “Absolutely. ” She shuffled in bed again. “Can’t find a comfortable position. Sorry. One second . . . There. What do you need?”

  “Background on someone new here at Dominion. He’s a potential problem. ”

  “So are you looking for his arrest record, criminal background . . . that kind of thing?”

  “Precisely,” Thorpe confirmed. “Anything you can find out, really. I’ve thought for some weeks that there’s something about him that seems off. His story checks out on the surface, but it feels awfully pat. I suspect he’s not who he claims. ” He hesitated. “He’s fixated on Callie. ”

  Tara grunted. “You’re calling me about her?”

  “I know she isn’t your favorite person. ”

  “Um, not exactly. She wanted my husband. ”

  “No. ” He didn’t want to divulge Callie’s secrets, but he needed to set Tara at ease so she’d provide answers. “Actually, I believe she was trying to get my attention with her brattiness and misbehavior. ”

  “Sounds like she got it. ”

  And then some. “She used Logan to reach me because she knew he wouldn’t be quiet about her antics. He was a big target. ”

  “He still is. ” Tara sighed. “All right, who is this guy?”

  “He uses the name Sean Kirkpatrick. I’ll send you a picture when we hang up. It’s not fabulous since it’s security footage. I don’t know much about him. Early thirties, says he’s from Scotland. Supposedly, he’s a freelance project manager who travels for a living. ” But he sure as hell had a mean left hook for a desk jockey.

  “Know where he went to school? When he came to the U. S. ?”

  “Sorry. ”

  “Send over the picture. I’ll see what I can do. ”

  “Thank you. Call me with anything, day or night. My time is short. I don’t trust this asshole. ”

  Tara hesitated. “Do you think he’d hurt her?”

  His gut said no. For all of Kirkpatrick’s faults, he seemed as fiercely protective of Callie as Thorpe himself. But would Sean separate her from him and steal her away from Dominion? Absolutely.

  “Let’s say I’m not taking any possibility off the table yet. ”

  “All right. Give me a few hours. I’ll see what I can dig up. ”

  “Thanks. ” Thorpe smiled into the phone. Taking action felt good.

  Facts would help him decide how to proceed with Kirkpatrick. Personally, Thorpe hoped the Scot had something dirty and blackmail-worthy in his past so he could hang it over Sean’s head to make him disappear from Callie’s life.

  Then . . . he’d set about figuring what to do once he had her all to himself again.

  ***

  SEAN paced the sterile corporate apartment he’d been forced to hang his hat in for the last eight months. The bland beige walls were closing in like a trash compactor about to squeeze the life out of him. He had unreturned messages and a boss who wanted to know what the fuck was going on.

  Getting screwed by the competition. How’s that for a goddamn update?

  Sighing, he stared at his phone, willing Callie to call him. He had a million questions for her, needed to hear what was in her head. Mostly, he wanted to know if she was all right. And what that son of a bitch, Mitchell Thorpe, had done to her.

  After stalking to the little desk that sat beside his bed, he sorted through a pile of file folders and came to the one he sought. Pulling it open, he scanned the information he already knew backward and forward. His nemesis was thirty-nine. His wife had divorced him and was now remarried with two kids. He came from a thoroughly upper-middle-class background. Good schools in Connecticut. Yacht club parents. Yale University graduate, then a stint as a stockbroker in New York City in his early twenties. Owner of Dominion for the last dozen years, with an interest in BDSM for even longer. But Sean read nothing in the paperwork that would tell him how to get the upper hand again.

 
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