Tied to the Tycoon

By: Chloe Cox

She didn’t have an answer for that, either. At least, not a good one. His grey eyes wouldn’t let her look away, and wouldn’t let her hide.

“You can’t keep me prisoner,” she finally said, and wriggled beneath him, trying to rise. “I’m not—“

This time, he left no room for doubt. He grabbed her wrists and wrapped the long leather lead around them both, holding them above her head again. He wrapped one arm around the underside of her thigh and brought it close to her chest so she could feel her spread folds wet against him, and he kissed her again, that same melting kiss. He moved his mouth down her throat while she mumbled his name, kissing his way across her chest until he took her nipple in his mouth. He sucked on it until she groaned, then abruptly pulled away.

“Then say it,” he growled into her ear. “Use your safeword. Call the whole thing off, right now, and you’ll never have to see me again.”

Never see him again? She hadn’t thought of that, hadn’t wanted that. That wasn’t what she’d meant. It would be the safest thing to do, though. It would. That was obvious.

She couldn’t do it.

“That’s not fair,” she began.

“No, it’s not,” he said, and shifted his weight, rubbing himself against her again. She could feel herself soaking him. “It’s not fair that you walked out on me, either, and never gave me a chance to try to fix it. It’s not fair that you made a goddamn promise, and you’re trying to walk away from it again. A lot of things in life aren’t fair.”

Ava felt like she wanted to cry. She also felt like she wanted to fuck, like she wanted to let Jackson Reed take her each and every way he wanted her, like she could just live in this bed with him forever, and that completely and utterly terrified her. What would she be like at the end of a week of this? She wanted this, wanted to get to be a sub, couldn’t imagine it with anyone but Jackson. But what if the cost was too high?

Not that she could ever say that. She hoped he couldn’t see that far into her.

But he pressed the point, like he sensed weakness. “You have a good reason you shouldn’t honor the deal?”

Ava’s mind was running at a million miles a minute, coming up with reasons that didn’t involve revealing how she really felt. She was actually pretty good at that.

“Jackson, it’s not… A week? I have a job, you know, and family obligations, and…I’m supposed to have dinner with my mom and my sister, and—“

“You can be excused for that.”

Now it was her turn to raise an eyebrow. “‘Excused?’”

He smiled down at her, slid his hand down her raised thigh, and looked into her eyes. Nowhere to hide, Ava. She felt a chill as he shifted to give himself access to her. With one finger he began to trace the contours of her folds. In spite of herself, her hips moved. He smiled wider.

“What part of ‘mine’ didn’t you understand, Frida?”

That nickname again. Every time he said it, she went back to that night. Back to what he knew about her, to the person she used to be, to the person she had once thought she would become. It made her feel known and loved and also exposed and sad all at once.

His fingers made it impossible for her to articulate any of that. Not that she would have, anyway. None of that was the no-strings-sex they’d agreed on.

“Isn’t this what you want, Ava?” he whispered, tugging on the lead that held her wrists. The leather cut into her skin with a soft bite, and just the knowledge that she was bound sent a delicious current down the length of her body. She couldn’t deny it: she had always wanted this. Always wanted a chance…

“Yes,” she said. She almost wanted to sob, but instead arched up to his hand.

“Do you trust me for this?” he asked, and looked deep into her eyes.

He knew. That was the thing—he always knew. Somehow knew that this was hard for her, knew that she had things to overcome, even if he didn’t know why or what, and knew just as certainly that she needed to do this. Just as she knew now.

“Yes,” she breathed. He was the only one she could trust. She could do this, and it would be like getting a do-over of the past, and then she could finally put it behind her. She could move on, confident in what she wanted.

“Yes,” she said again, louder. “Yes.”

He grinned down at her, his smile flashing in the morning light.

“You need to make any phone calls?” he asked.


“You know, that job you have.”

Oh God. Alain. She’d just have to tell him she was going after that big account he wanted. Not what she’d want to tell Jackson, though. “I have vacation time coming up,” she lied.


It was just dawning on her what that meant. “Twenty-four hours a day?” she said in a small voice. “You mean…”

“Twenty-four hours a day.” He was smiling more now. “All access, all the time.”

She swallowed.

“But what about your business?”

“My company will be just fine,” he finally said. “We’ve got a big launch coming up, and I’ll announce an IPO in the new year, but I’ve done what I can. I’ve hired people for the rest.”

“You can just…do that?”

“I already have. I was wondering what I was gonna do this week. Now I’m gonna spend it with you.”

That’s right, she reminded herself, no strings. Their connection made it safe to do this, that was all. It didn’t mean anything else. There were no excuses. Fate had essentially swooped in out of nowhere and dropped her perfect fantasy—Jackson Reed as a Dom who wanted her—right on top of her from a great height.

So why was there this nervous tension coiled tight in her middle? Because she’d gotten so used to hiding herself away that being with someone who could really see her was terrifying?

Well, that’s a stupid reason.

Everything was so jumbled inside her that it was impossible to make sense of it all. She wanted to get to her studio, the tiny little half bedroom in her apartment where she still painted, furtively, in secret. That was usually when she figured things out and found a way to see the world clearly. But she couldn’t just say, Jackson, you mind if I go off to a secret place I don’t tell anyone about, and no, you can’t come.

“Hey,” she heard him say, and looked up again to find him staring into her face. “Where’d you go?”

Ava blinked, and a tear fell down the side of her face. That just made her mad. Crying? Seriously? How the hell was she supposed to explain actual tears without sounding like a crazy person?

But she didn’t have to. Jackson touched the side of her face and carefully wiped away the tear. Then he said, “You’re mine. It’s just a week, no strings. Let go.”

She took a big gulp of air and nodded.

He kissed her.

“Now open up,” he said, and spread her legs even wider. “You owe me an apology for trying to sneak out.”

That made her instantly wet. Wetter. He apparently felt it.

“I’m sorry,” she said softly, suppressing a smile.

“Oh no, Ava,” he said, and thrust into her in one bold, surprising stroke. She whimpered and arched her back into him, craving more, though she felt shockingly full. “That’s not good enough. You’re gonna scream it.”

chapter 7

It felt wrong. Necessary, but wrong.

Jackson hadn’t felt this jumpy since high school, hadn’t been this nervous ever. He had lied to Ava Barnett. It was for her own good—and his, too—but he’d still lied. And immediately he’d realized all the work he was going to have to do to cover his sorry ass, and that he was going to have to do it in private, which meant some alone time, as much as he wanted to spend every possible moment with a naked Ava. The first thing he’d done after fucking Ava properly was order her into the shower.

“You’re ordering me?” she’d said, rolling onto her side and propping her head up on one lovely hand. Her lovely breasts had been right there, too. Made it hard to concentrate.