Tied to the Tycoon

By: Chloe Cox


So did her impertinent attitude. The Dom in him wanted to discipline her all damn morning. Instead, he’d just felt her up.

“You forget our arrangement already?”

She’d stuck her tongue out him. He’d had no choice but to drag her across the bed and over his knees. She’d let out a surprised laugh, like she couldn’t believe how good it felt to be manhandled like that. It was all he could do not to take her again.

“I should spank you red,” he’d said. “But I think you’d enjoy it too much. Get in the shower. I’ve got to see to plans for the rest of the day.”

“Plans?”

“Just you wait and see.”

“What about my clothes? I don’t have any, I have to go back to my apartment—”

“I’ll take care of all that,” he’d said. “Consider yourself lucky, too. I’m feeling generous. Otherwise, you’d be naked the whole week.”

He’d watched her beautiful, naked ass as she sauntered to his master bath, and he hadn’t missed the coy look she’d thrown over her shoulder, either. She thought she was back in control after that moment of raw vulnerability in bed. That was ok for the moment. He loved both Avas. He loved the charming mask she presented to the world just as much as the woman she was underneath, because both were part of her. He just needed to show her it was safe to be herself around him all the time.

Hell, he needed to her to be around him, period. Preferably for the rest of his life.

He waited to hear the shower turn on and allowed himself a moment of thinking about her, naked, with hot water dripping down her skin. Then he launched himself out of bed and hunted down his phone. He had to make a bunch of phone calls, but the first one was not about women’s clothing, or even about all the things he wanted to plan for Ava. This first phone call was not going to be fun.

“Hello, Jack.”

Lillian sounded like she expected to hear from him, and like she knew exactly how the conversation was going to go, the way she always did. Which was impossible; it was an affectation, like it always was. Jackson’s COO and former fling called herself a switch at Club Volare, but he’d never seen her be even a little bit submissive outside the club.

“Lillian, I need you to help me out.”

“I thought something might be amiss. Your inbox is piling up. Where are you?”

“I’m at home. And I won’t be coming in for the rest of the week.”

There was a pause.

“You’re joking.”

“Something important has come up, Lil. We’re just gonna have to work around it. It’s only the tail end stuff, anyway.”

Another pause.

When she spoke, Lillian’s voice was tight. “Is everything ok?”

Jackson honestly wasn’t sure what to make of that. Things had been chilly between them since they’d decided to keep things strictly professional. It had been a mutual decision, and it’d made sense, since they’d never actually been that good together—at Volare or elsewhere, outside of business. But Lillian had seemed pissed when he’d agreed too quickly.

“Everything’s fine. It’s a personal thing.”

“I guess that means it’s none of my business, then.”

“Christ, Lillian.”

Jackson thought he could actually hear her backpedaling.

“I didn’t mean it like that, Jack. You know what you want done, and I’ll send you a list of things I think can be easily delegated. I’m sure you’re right that we’ll find a way to manage the rest.”

He gritted his teeth. It was just like Lillian to make it sound like she was doing him a favor and fully expect him to be grateful.

“I know I’m right,” he said. “I’ll expect that list by close of business.”

“Of course.”

That smooth, placating tone. If Lillian weren’t the best, most competent chief operations officer in existence, he would have severed their relationship completely. He’d been a fool to get involved with her personally, though at the time it had seemed like a no-brainer—Lillian was experienced in the BDSM scene, and had offered to show him the ropes, help him get better as a Dom, no strings attached. One of his buddies had warned him that no strings always meant strings, but Jackson hadn’t listened.

With a start, he realized he’d just told the same lie to Ava. “No strings attached.” That was, of course, bullshit. There was every string imaginable. But Ava was different. Him and Ava were different. He’d tell her about those strings when she was good and ready.

“Lillian, I gotta go.”

He did. He had other things to attend to. If Jackson wanted to heal whatever damage he’d done to Ava Barnett and then win her over for life, he had a lot of work ahead of him. First and foremost was showing her not only how rewarding her life as a sub could be, but how much she enjoyed it.

He had another phone call to make.



~ ~ ~



Ava took long showers. It was a weakness—she knew it. And Jackson’s shower was like the shower of the gods: it had not one, not two, but three of those rainforest drenching shower heads, one directly overhead and another two on the sides, all encased in this warm tiled room that was almost as big as her secret art studio. There were actual bedrooms in New York that weren’t as big as this shower.

When she finally emerged, she realized that she had lost some time. She also realized that Jackson hadn’t joined her in his heavenly shower, which was probably considerate of him, but also left her with a stab of insecurity. Was he already tired of her? Maybe a whole week was just too much, and she should cut her losses and just call it off sooner rather than later. It would be devastating to have him just get bored of her. That wouldn’t be as bad as getting her heart broken, but it would be pretty humiliating.

It didn’t help that he appeared to be gone.

Nope, she was sure of it. She checked every spare bedroom—both of them, she noted, which, in New York terms, was just absurd—the double-height living room with the corner couch she’d noticed the night before, the open kitchen with its beautiful slate countertops and bronze fixtures, even the terrace. Which, again: he had a terrace. But Jackson was nowhere to be found.

“What the hell?”

Saying it out loud did not help.

Ava dug around in the all-purpose purse she’d brought with her until she found her phone. She had a new voicemail. She’d already dialed her voicemail number before she realized that she still hadn’t given Jackson her phone number. It was just another message from her boss, apparently left in the middle of the night.

“Ava, my Ava, my dear, I have some bad news,” Alain crooned. He sounded tipsy. “I have spoken to the board, and there are many cutbacks and expenses next year. Don’t tell anyone, yes? I don’t put this in an email!”

Ava stared at her phone. No shit you don’t put that in an email. That would make it evidence.

Alain’s voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper. “But I think I can save you, yes? If I tell them you are valuable, you bring in business, or something—whatever. Call me back, Ava, we’ll chat, ok?”

So now it was bring in a new account under an impossible deadline or lose her job, not just a promotion. Or the other option: “whatever.” Ava sat back on Jackson’s plush black couch, wrapped in his comfy bathrobe, and tried to figure out what she was feeling. It wasn’t easy. She blamed this on Jackson. He’d shaken her to her core, and now pretty much nothing looked the way it should. Like this sudden crisis with her job: she should be totally panicked. Part of her was totally panicked. She’d worked hard at her advertising career; she’d worked hard at becoming the sort of woman who fit in that career. And hell, she’d even told her mother that the promotion was a lock the last time they’d spoken, just to win the argument, and now she was probably going to lose the job entirely? Fantastic. That brought up all those familiar and expected feelings of dread and worthlessnes, but there was something else, too.

Something Ava couldn’t identify. But something…kind of good. A lightness. It made no sense, none at all.