Tied to the TycoonBy: Chloe Cox
Instead he let the dress fall back over his hand, smoothed his palm over her hip, ran his thumb over the ridge of bone that flared out from her pubis. He savored it. Then he slipped his hand between her legs, and heard her groan.
“I know what I am now, Ava,” he said, running his fingers along the length of her. She was already so wet, before he’d even parted her lips. “And I know what you are. I can show you what you are, if you’ll let me.”
She shook her head, but lifted her hips and slid her leg up his, hooking it around him. She had spread herself for him, but it was like she didn’t know how to feel about it.
“You don’t have to think about it,” he said gruffly, slowly circling the entrance of her vagina with his finger. “You don’t even have to think at all, if you don’t want to. This whole week, I’ll be in charge. I’m in control. I’ll take care of you. You don’t have to think about what anyone else will think. No one else has to know…”
He realized he was pleading with her. He leaned his forehead into hers, silently begging, and drove two fingers deep into her. She gasped, and a little moan escaped her throat. She kept moaning, low and soft, and he suddenly needed to see her face while she did it. He reached back up, letting her hands free for the first time, and threaded his fingers through her expensive hairstyle. When he pulled her head back, her lips were parted and her eyes were wide, limpid pools that seemed to pulsate in time with his thrusts.
He curled his fingers then, stroking her from the inside. She quivered against him and her eyes half-closed.
“No,” he said, swirling his fingers and rubbing his palm into her clit. “Look at me.”
He jerked her head back again, gently, and said it again. “Look at me, Ava.”
She did. She looked desperate.
He almost hated to say it, but he had to. He had to make sure she knew. “You’re not the only one with regrets. You’re mine, Ava Barnett, whether you know it or not. I’m going to have you. You will come for me now, and you will come to me later, and you will submit.”
And then he curled his fingers around as far as they would go, his thumb rubbing her wet clit in fast, tight little circles, and twisted inside her until she came for him, quaking over his hand.
He kissed her again, and wished he could go on kissing her. Instead he waited until she was done shaking, until he was sure she could stand on her own two feet. Then he smoothed the hair on her head, kissed each closed eyelid once, and murmured, “One week, Ava. No strings.”
He gave her his card, and left.
Ava Barnett arrived home feeling like she didn’t know what. She had no frame of reference for something like this. Like she’d been in a boxing match, maybe? Twelve rounds or whatever it was. Maybe, but honestly, that seemed preferable right now to whatever this was. She felt drugged. Hypnotized.
She couldn’t decide on a metaphor. First had been the avalanche of memory and emotion upon seeing Jackson Reed again, right when she’d been trying her hardest to forget him. It had been like one of those great seismic events that moves giant slabs of earth and grit and mud around to reveal something unexpected and terrible buried underground. Then he’d just plowed right through her and turned her inside out. Like someone had broken into her house and emptied every single one of her drawers, then gone outside and unearthed something awful on her lawn.
Except that didn’t make any sense either. She was totally disoriented. She didn’t have a house, or a lawn. She had a crappy apartment in Alphabet City of dubious safety, the only place close to work where she could afford space for her secret painting studio. She did, however, feel that something terrible and frightening had been irrevocably revealed. That would be my stupid issues, she thought grimly, tossing her keys on the dining room table and kicking her high heels clear across the room. That’s what the bastard had unearthed. Every damn thing she’d been working hard to bury for the past ten years.
She didn’t really mean to call him a bastard. When she closed her eyes and concentrated, she could still feel him on her. And she didn’t want to shower, even though she should, because she knew she’d smell him on her skin.
It wasn’t just that Jackson Reed had reappeared out of nowhere; it was that he’d reappeared out of nowhere exactly as she’d always wanted him to: as a strong, sexy Dom. And apparently a wealthy one, too. How often did that happen? How often did someone actually rise beyond one’s expectations and meet one’s hopes?
Well, let’s not get carried away. If experience had taught Ava anything, it was not to trust people who were too good to be true.
She wished she could stop thinking about him. About what he’d said. You will come to me. You will submit.
Ava called her voicemail and put her phone on speaker. Three new messages. She got excited for a second before she remembered she hadn’t given Jackson her phone number; he’d given her his card. With an address.
Right, because she was coming to him.
The annoying, vaguely British robot lady recording droned on about voicemail from her phone as Ava slipped out of her dress. There had been a moment, when he’d pressed her against the window, when she’d thought he would rip it clear off. And she’d wanted him to.
She stood still for a second, stark naked in her bedroom, and let the ghost of that orgasm rush through her once more. Just thinking about it, about his hands on her, in her, she could almost…
“Ava, it is I, your favorite.” Her boss’s nasal voice intruded on her thoughts. Damn, she’d told Alain about the engagement party. He’d been very interested in such an exclusive event. “I am a little disappointed you did not call tonight, but I am sure you did well and got many new contacts, yes? I am out late, call. Perhaps we meet up.”
Ava grimaced. She spent almost as much energy deflecting Alain’s creepy advances as she did doing her actual job. She was beginning to suspect that he was demanding that she land a big new advertising account before the end of the year mostly as an excuse to give her another option when she failed to meet that impossible deadline: sleep with him.
As disgusted as she was with her boss, the thought of sex immediately brought her back to Jackson Reed. And what he could do with just his hands and a thick glass window. She still thought about that night they’d shared together, just before graduation. The one night. It had given her a totally unrealistic expectation of sex; before Jackson, she’d only ever slept with two guys—one in high school, who she’d more or less shanghai’d into the experience just to get it over with, and then Peter, who had been a cheating jerk and who had been her big reason for transferring for her senior year. Jackson made her think she’d just had bad luck. Jackson made sex make…sense. He’d made it seem like vital necessity, like a basic human right.
Maybe she’d only convinced herself that there would be more like him because it made it easier to walk away from him. Not walk, she reminded herself. Run. You ran away, and you hid.
Not her proudest moment.
Don’t think about it. She actually flinched, even though she was alone. It still made her feel ashamed, still made her feel small, all these years later.
“Second message,” the British robot lady voice intoned.
Ava immediately recognized her mother’s voice and leapt across the room to grab at her phone. She pressed madly at buttons until her mother’s voice stopped.
Thank God. If the memory of Jackson’s face could reliably make her feel ashamed, her mother’s voice could do a whole lot worse with a whole lot less. Her stress response was just instinctual. There was nothing to be done about it; she just had to stand there, waiting for it to filter through her system, waiting for the fear and anger to drain away.
Ava was so damn tired of being afraid. She’d been afraid of making the final leap into being submissive, and then Jackson had found her.