Beneath This Man

Chapter 33

'Good morning, baby.'

I open my eyes wide in alarm. Morning? 'It's not, is it?'

'No, it's five o'clock. You've been asleep all afternoon. How does your back feel?' He crawls up the bed, completely naked, until he is lying flush with me. I marvel at the beads of water glimmering on his firm shoulders and chest. He's shaved. He smells divine.

I wriggle a little. 'It feels okay.' It's not massively uncomfortable, but that's not to say I would like to go through it again. 'I'm a lazy arse, wallowing in bed all afternoon on a work day.' I turn into his chest and get my fix of pure fresh water and mint.

'Just think, if you gave up work, you could do this every day. How perfect would that be?'

'For you,' I grumble. 'Perfect for you because you'll know where I am all the time.' I push my lips into his chest, contemplating that he might just get his way. I know Patrick well, but not well enough to be confident that he would send Mikael packing when I tell him what's going on.

'Exactly.' He threads his fingers through my hair. 'You could come to work with me and we would never have to be apart.'

'You would get sick of me.'

'Not possible. Are you going to let me take you out for dinner?'

'Or we could just stay right here.' I slide my hand over his stomach and brush over his scar.

'Nothing would please me more, but I would like to take you out. Do you mind?' he asks, rather reasonably.

That's not like him at all. And him turning down the opportunity to keep me in bed? I'm suspicious.

'But then again,' he whispers, 'I've not been inside you for way too long. That is not acceptable.' He eases me over onto my back gently. 'Baby, sleepy sex is off the menu for a while, so I'm just going to fuck you. Any objections?' He rests his body half on mine, his eyes instantly smoking out. That, mixed with his lurid words, has me whipped into a lustful frenzy. But he's even asking me if I mind him taking me, which, not surprisingly, I don't, but I prefer dominant Jesse taking what he wants.

'You're asking if you can fuck me?' I'm full of suspicion and you can tell.

His eyes dance with mischief as he kisses the corner of my mouth and then the other corner. 'Watch your mouth. I'm trying to be reasonable.' He circles his groin and hits just the right spot.

'Don't be!' I blurt.

He pulls back, his perfect frown line perfectly in place. He ponders my demand for a few seconds. 'You don't want me to be reasonable?'

'No.' I'm getting a little breathy. He knows exactly what he's doing.

'So, let me clarify this. I'm a little confused.' He rolls his hips into me, unearthing a persistent thump in my groin. 'You really don't want me to be reasonable?' he asks.



'I see.' He slip's his finger into the edge of my knickers and skims my tight bud of nerves lightly, sending me through the roof. 'Carte Blanche?' he asks.


'Well, now you're just giving me mixed signals.' he says, all controlled as he slips his thumb across my flesh. 'I love how wet you are for me.'

'Please, Jesse!' My back arches and all discomfort has been replaced with sexual anticipation. I'm bubbling.

He inserts one long finger and pushes up on the front wall of my entrance. 'Soft, hot and made just for me.' He yanks the cup of my bra down with his spare hand and flicks my already stiff nipple into a bullet. 'My mark is fading.' he muses to himself as he latches onto to my breast, biting and sucking. 'We don't want you forgetting who you belong to, do we?'

I moan as he replaces one finger with two. 'Ohhhhhh!'

'Do we, Ava?'

'No.' I breathe.

He clamps down on my nipple and scrapes his teeth over the end, sending shots of pleasure straight down to my core. 'I love how receptive you are to my touch. It gives me the power.' Two fingers turn into three, and with his back in such a mess, I resort to grasping the sheets. 'Does that feel good?' He works his fingers in and out of me, circling and thrusting as he watches me undulate under him.

'So good.' My voice is shaky. I really need this.

'Open your eyes, Ava. Let me see them when you come for me.'

I peel my eyes open and locate his gaze as he continues to work me up into a despairing mess. 'Kiss me.' I order, my hips meeting his hand thrusts. I'm going to fall apart and I need his mouth on me,

'Who has the power, Ava?' he asks under half hooded eyes. 'Tell me who has the power.'

'You do.'

'Good girl.' He lifts up and smashes his lips to mine, circling his thumb on my tight knot of nerves, prompting my hands to fly to his hair and grab on for dear life as he kisses me hard, working me to climax. His tongue rolls around my mouth, firm but slow, harsh but worshipfully.

He's making me remember.

His firm chest pressed into my side, his wonderful mouth all over mine and his long, talented fingers working me, has my body solidifying, my mind going blank and my soul reinstated. I'm complete again. A long rippling wave whips through me, and I gasp into his mouth, my body shaking uncontrollably as I hit my climax.

'Only for me.' He growls the words I know he absolutely means, his carnal possession of my body making me weak with lust. 'Only ever for me, do you understand?'

'Yes.' I sigh and go lax beneath him, the roaring blood starting to clear from my ears.

'Up you get.' He links my arms around his neck. 'Get those fabulous legs around my waist.'

I conform and wrap myself around him, letting him lift me from the bed. He strides towards the bedroom door. 'Where are we going?' I ask, hope blossoming at the potential of a Jesse style row.

'My office.'

Oh? 'Wait!' I shout abruptly.

He halts instantly. 'What's the matter?'

'Take me to the wardrobe.'


'Because we need a condom.'

'What?' He's shocked.

'We need a condom.' I repeat, even though I know damn well he heard me right.

'I don't have any.' he spits the words out.

Oh, he's so guilty. 'You do. In the wardrobe.' I should be flying off the handle at him; his tense body suggests he is fully expecting it. He knows that I know.

'Ava, I don't do condoms with you.'

'Then we don't have sex.' I shrug against him. He is so digging himself a hole.

'Excuse me?' He pulls back and hits me with a disgusted look.

I'm fighting to maintain a straight face when I should be furious at the potential of him hiding my pills, but I can't be. He's a fucking enigma, I don't think I'll ever work him out. 'You heard.' I say casually.

His disgusted look transforms into a mighty scowl. 'For fuck sake.' He makes for the wardrobe with me in his tight clinch, releasing one arm from me and immediately locating the condoms he claimed he didn't have while grumbling the whole time. He really does want me pregnant. I'll be fighting him hard on that matter, although it may already be too late. What will I do? I can't even think about it. All I can do is quietly hope.

'You know, my mark is fading too.' I say, looking down at his pec as he takes us from the bedroom.

His scowl disappears and he smirks at me 'It is?'

'It needs freshening up.' I raise my eyebrows and watch in lustful delight as his eyes darken further.

'My girl is possessive. Knock yourself out, baby.'

I grin and sink my teeth into his pec, a small moan escaping his lips as I'm carted downstairs and straight into his office.

'I want to take you right here so whenever I have to work, I will see you spread naked on my desk.' He lowers me onto his big wooden desk and chucks the box of condoms down before sinking himself into his leather office chair. It's all tidy in here too. Cathy must be wondering what's gone on.

He's completely naked and hard as steel, and my eyes are thrilled as I drag my stare down the full length of him. His fingers hook into the top of my knickers and I brace myself on the edge of the desk to lift my bum so he can draw them down my legs. He opens the top drawer of his desk and drops them in before shutting it again and returning his eyes to mine.

'You've just come all over them.' He rests his palms on my thighs. 'I want to be able to smell you too. Spread your legs.'

Oh good Lord!

I pull my thighs apart as far as I can, completely exposing myself to him. It's nothing he hasn't seen before, a million times, but like this, I feel completely laid bare. The chair rolls forward and he reaches behind me, gently unclasping my bra strap and pulling it down my arms. My breathing has quickened, I'm ready to go again, but I can tell from his mood and approach that this will be on his terms. He has the power and sat in that chair, entirely naked, his abdominals tight, his mammoth erection resting on his lower stomach, he looks mighty powerful too.

'Lean back on your hands.' He puts my matching bra in the drawer with my knickers and sits back in his chair.

I lean back, pushing my chest forward. I'm nervous, and I don't know why. He has taken me in all ways, shapes and forms, in every Jesse temperament I know, but today I'm a little uneasy. He runs his eyes from mine, slowly and leisurely down my body until he comes to rest on my sex. His eyes stay there and he sinks further into his chair, the reclining mechanism giving under his weight. He's making himself really comfortable.

Me? Not so much.

I'm sat here as naked as he is and my heart is beating out of my chest as I watch him stare at my cleft. He is utterly rapt.

'Why are you nervous?' he asks without lifting his eyes from between my thighs. His deep rolling voice does nothing to settle me.

'I'm not.' It's a feeble reply. I am. I feel wide-open and scrutinised which is ridiculous. There is not a part of me that hasn't had him on it, in it or over it. He owns me.

He lifts his eyes to mine and the hardness softens immediately. 'I love you.'

My entire being relaxes with those three words. 'I love you too.'

'Don't ever doubt it.'

'I won't. Have you finished with your observations?' I raise a sardonic eyebrow.

'No.' He reaches forward and re-spreads my thighs. I hadn't realised I had partly closed them. 'I'm evaluating my assets.' He sits back and resumes his viewing of my most private place.

'I'm an asset?'

'No, you're my asset.' He keeps his eyes right where they are, and I decide that I may as well drink in my own asset. His flawlessness still makes me salivate. 'Would you like to hear my verdict?' he asks.

'I would.'

Up come his eyes and the corner of his mouth lifts. 'I'm a very rich man.' He rolls his chair forward and picks up my legs by my ankles, resting the soles of my feet on his shoulders. If I was laid bare before, then I have no idea what I would be now. 'Don't hold back on me.' He chides me on a slight frown. He rests his palms over the tops of my feet and turns his lips onto my anklebone, the hot connection catapulting a pulse up my leg to settle deep in my core.

I small groan seeps from my mouth.

'Push your hair over your shoulders.' he commands quietly. I prop myself on one hand and gather my hair from my front, releasing it down my back. 'Better. Now I can see all of my assets.' He nips at my ankle.

I spasm.

'Seeing you turned on, and knowing it's me who makes you like this, is the most gratifying feeling.' He reaches his hand out and runs his middle finger up my centre, finishing with a light pressure at the top of my clit.

My lips part and tiny, shallow breaths slip from my mouth repeatedly. I shift with the overwhelming need to clamp my legs shut.

'Keep them open, Ava. I want to see your flesh pulsating under my touch when you come for me.' His throaty tone spikes my want of explosion under his intense touch and equally intense eyes.

He trades one finger for two and scissors my clit slowly. My head drops back. 'Ohhhhhhh.' I moan. I know I'm committing a massive transgression.

'Eyes, baby. Keep your eyes on me.'

'I'm close.' I whimper.

'I know, but I'll stop unless you get your eyes back on me. Listen to me, Ava. Show me those beautiful eyes.'

I pull my heavy head back up with a massive effort as I tremble under his touch. Our eyes lock and he increases his strokes. His lust filled greens, parted lips and relaxed body escalates my pleasure. He is still, but he is totally affected. The only movements coming from him are his fingers at my core gliding up and down, his pulsing cock and the sharp rise of his chest. And then he turns his lips onto my ankle and grazes his teeth across the surface.

I'm a goner.

I bite back a scream and push into Jesse's shoulders with my feet as I'm assaulted from every angle by a surge of pressure that explodes and turns my body into a non-responsive mass of twitching nerves.

'There it is,' he breathes, kissing my foot and sliding his finger up my cleft. 'Ava, you're throbbing. It's fucking perfect.'

My breasts are rising and falling, my skin clammy and my muscles are contracting harshly. He's watching me ride out my climax, sat back with his stare firmly in place at my entrance. The appreciation in his eyes is something else. How he is managing to keep his own hands from wrapping around his iron length is beyond me. I can see it throbbing where it rests.

'Come here.' He puts his hands out and I take them, releasing my feet from his shoulders, my legs folding under me as I straddle his lap and hold onto the back of the chair. 'Lift.' He speaks quietly.

'Condom.' I'm panting.

'Ava, don't ask me to wear a condom.' He's almost begging.

'Jesse, do you realise how lucky we are that I'm not already pregnant?' I know I possibly could be, but I pray to God that I'm not, and I also know that he's thinking it will be unlucky if I'm not. He must know that I could be - he's robbed my pills and knows that I've not replaced them. This is most definitely something I'll fight him on, the crazy man. Introducing a child into our relationship? That would qualify as beyond stupid, and we have plenty of shit to occupy ourselves with, like challenging and neurotic behaviour - except now we both probably qualify as neurotic freaks.

He shakes his head and pulls me down, positioning himself, but I tense up, trying my hardest to prevent him from entering me. He looks up at me and his eyes tell me everything I need to know. I push his hand away from under me and settle back down, minus one Jesse buried inside me. I keep my eyes on his, but they drop a little. He knows I've got him.

I turn and pick one of the foil packets from the box and then slide down until I'm kneeling on the floor between his thighs. He watches me rip the packet open and slide out the condom before I reach forward and gently grasp his cock, slipping it over his head and negotiating it down the full length of his shaft. We're both silent as I crawl back up his body and position myself back on his lap.

I raise myself, pushing forward so my breasts are within licking distance of his mouth. He takes full advantage, flashing me a knowing smile and swirling his hot tongue around each nipple before clamping his teeth on the ends in turn. I've had two roaring orgasms and with his teeth latched onto my nipple, there will be a third on the way soon. How does he do this to me?

I feel his hand under my backside and he positions himself under me, the strange sensation of latex skimming my thigh. 'Lower gently.' His short, sharp instruction is delivered in a voice that, no mistaking, holds all the power.

I do as I'm told and release my thigh muscles, sinking slowly down onto him. His steel rod of flesh finds my passage and slips past as he draws in a long, controlled breath. His head sinks back into the chair and mine drops onto his forehead, my eyes closed. I'm completely impaled by him. It doesn't feel the same, but it's still him inside me.

'Hold still,' His minty breath invades my nose as he speaks into my face and wraps his big palms around my waist.

I wait. I can feel him pulsing inside me and it takes every bit of strength I have not to contract around him. He needs a moment.

'You feel so perfect around me. How long do you think you could stand this without responding?' He pecks my lips and trails his tongue across my bottom lip. I wouldn't be able to hold back for long at all. I push my mouth to his, but he tuts and turns his face from me. 'Not long then.'

I pull my head back and he returns his forward again. 'You're denying me.' I say softly. It staggers me sometimes when he does this, given how terribly he reacts to being held back from me.

'It's a challenge.'

'You're a challenge,' I breathe and drop my face back down to try and claim him, but he turns his face again. I try to instigate some movement by rolling my hips, but he clamps his hands around my waist. It doesn't take much of his strength to hold me still. I pull back and he returns his face to the centre.

'You need me.' His voice is raspy, sexy as hell and doing me no favours as I work hard to control my breathing, his cock still jerking wildly inside me.

'I need you.' I know that these words mean more to him than I love you. His satisfied expression only confirms it. I lean forward to capture his lips, but he turns his face again. 'How would you feel if anyone stopped you from kissing me?' I ask.

'Deadly.' he states on a growl, returning his eyes to mine. He loosens his grip of my waist, and I take advantage of his lack of hold, bearing down on a moan. His eyes clench and re-open.

'Me too.' I say firmly, following it up with a grind against his hips.

His cheeks puff out and his hands shift to my hipbones, halting me in my tempting tactics. 'Who has the power, Ava?'


His eyes twinkle. 'Do you want me to fuck you?'


'Right answer.' He lifts my hips and rams upwards, yanking me down on a guttural bark. I scream and grab the back of the chair. 'Like that?' he asks as he withdraws and rams straight into me again.

'Oh, God, Yes!' My head rolls, my eyes close.

'Eyes!' he barks on another crash of our hips. 'Feel it, Ava. Do you feel it?'

I drag my eyes open, my vision blurred. The pure, carnal, possessive expression on his handsome face makes me feel like the most desired creature alive. 'I feel it.'

He groans and smashes upward over and over, lifting and yanking me back down to meet every punishing advance of his hips. A sheen of sweat invades his brow, his jaw muscles are locked and the vein in his neck is bulging. I grip tighter on the back of the chair, turning my knuckles white. I want to kiss him, but for one, he hasn't said I can, and secondly, our mouths will never stay joined. My core is twitching, the over used, overworked bud of nerves screaming for a break from such intensity, but I need one more - just one more.

'I'm close.' My desperate words are disconnected and hardly decipherable. 'Jesse, I'm close!'

'Wait!' he grates and smashes upward again. The grip he has on my hips is nearly painful. 'You'll wait.'

'I can't.' I cry, and he stops instantly, the lack of friction and rhythm chasing my orgasm away.

'You'll wait.' he pants. He's twitching like mad within me. How does he do that? His breathing is heavy and laboured. 'Control it, Ava.'

'I can't control anything with you.' I rest my head on his shoulder as the fire in my groin cools slightly.

'I know,' He turns his face into my hair and kisses me. 'I own you, so I'll control it.' He circles his hips gently, stirring my abandoned orgasm. I can't argue with that claim. He totally owns me and I'm under no illusion that he's talking only of my impending climax.

'I love you.' I murmur against his damp shoulder.

He sighs. 'I love you too, baby. Shall we come together?'


'Put those lips on me.'

I slide my lips across his neck, to his jaw, straight onto his mouth and he starts a lazy, languid rocking of my hips, back and forth as I drown in his mouths attention of mine.

Gentle Jesse; it's like I'm in a relationship with a dozen different men.

'Hmmm. You're delicious.' he says. I hum into his mouth and feel him smile. 'I can feel you tightening around me. It feels so good.' He guides my hips, grinding us together.

'You feel good.' I clench my thighs and move my hands to his hair to pull him closer.

'Come for me.' He delivers a few measured rotations, followed by a flick of his hips, and I roll gently over the edge on a long, satisfying groan into his mouth, my third release of the session not as body splitting, but no less earth moving or fulfilling. 'Oh, Jesus.' he garbles, his body going rigid. I can't feel the sensations of his hot cum flooding me, but all the other signs of his climax are there. He holds me still in his arms. 'You.are.amazing.'

I grab onto his jerking cock greedily and draw him into me. It's pleasure embodied. He is pleasure embodied. 'That was so good.' I say, lavishing his lips. He lets me have my way, holding me as close as he can get me and circling teasing, feathery strokes on my hipbones. 'It wasn't so bad, was it?' I ask.

'No, it wasn't, but it's still something between us.'

'You want to trample the condom.' I grin against his lips.

'I do.' He pulls back and smiles. 'You need to get ready or we'll be late.'

I resume smothering his face. 'Where are we going?' I could quite happily stay right where I am. 'I'm comfy.'

'For dinner. I made a reservation.' He laughs lightly and cups my cheeks in his hands, pulling my face away. 'Shower.'

'Let me love you.' I dip down and work my way to his ear, biting down gently.

'Ava.' he warns, pulling me from my nuzzling. His eyes flicker with mischief as he reaches forward and traces the edges of his mark on my boob. 'You'll always have this.' He looks up at me. 'Always.'

I reach forward and draw my own little circle around my mark on his pec. 'You should have your name tattooed on my forehead,' I grin. 'And then there will be no mistaking who I belong to.'

He raises his eyebrows and pouts slightly. He's probably considering it. 'Not a bad idea.' he says dead pan. 'I like it.' He stands with me in his arms, and I resume my customary baby chimp style hold of him.

He takes us back upstairs, maintaining our connection until he reaches the bed, slips out of me and lowers me gently to the sheets. He shakes his head on a disgusted snort and pulls the condom off, knotting it and chucking it into the bin.

'On your front so I can put some more cream on you.' He encourages me to turn over, smoothing his palms over both of my bum cheeks. I most certainly do not want to go out now. I want to lay here all night with Jesse astride my back rubbing his delectable hands all over me.

'I need a shower first.'

'I'll do it again after.'

I smile. 'You need cream.'

'I'm fine. It's all about you.' He settles himself on my bum and squirts some cream on my back.

I jump as the coolness stabs my back. 'Where was the warning?' I grumble.

'Sorry, this might be cold.' He laughs.

I crane my neck around and he dazzles me with his smile, which I know is reserved only for me. I return my head to rest on my forearms. 'You're so handsome.' I mumble dreamily, as he starts working the cream over every inch of my back. 'I think I'll keep you forever.'

'Okay.' he agrees, laughing again.

'Where are you hiding my pills?' I throw the question into the mix casually, and the sudden stilling of his hands tells me I'm so right. He's hiding them, I know he is.

'What are you talking about?'

'I'm talking about the fact that my contraceptive pills have recently been growing legs and running away and it's only been happening since I met you.'

'Why would I do that?' he asks, his hands moving in slow, cautious circles over my back.

Why would he do that? I don't know. Why does Jesse do many of the things he does? He's a fucking mystery, with his challenging ways and unreasonable demands. 'I'm not going anywhere, if that's what you're worried about.'

'No, you're not.' He laughs.

'It's fine. I'll go to the doctor's to replace them.' I say casually, and I'll be hiding them. I have no idea what I'm going to do if I am pregnant. Die on the spot, I think. His hands become firmer on my back, only reinforcing my suspicions. 'You'll just have to wear a condom until I can re-start my course.' I add.

'I don't like wearing condoms with you.' he strains the words out.

'We won't be having any sex then.' I conclude smugly. He is so hiding my pills.

'Watch your mouth!'

I laugh to myself. I don't know why. I should be raging, panicking, worrying. I can't even begin to imagine how he would be with me if I was carrying his child. Holy shit, it would be unbearable. He would wrap me in cotton wool, lock me in a padded cell and guard it for nine months. Jesus Christ. I really hope I'm not pregnant. My life would be over. And how would he be with his children if he's like this with me? Waiting for this period is going to be the longest time of my life.

'You okay?' he asks.

'Fine.' I answer quickly. 'How long has Cathy worked for you?' I ask, diverting the conversation from what is a completely pointless one. He'll never admit it, anyway.

'Nearly ten years.'

'She's fond of you.'

'She is.' he says quietly, and I know he feels the same way about Cathy. By his own admission he couldn't live without her.

'Does she know about The Manor? Ouch!'

'Baby, I'm sorry!' Oh, the fear in his voice. His lips fall straight on my back to kiss me better. 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'

'It's fine. I'm fine. Unravel your boxer shorts.' I feel him lift slightly and then the short, sharp connection on his hand across my arse. 'Hey!'

'Don't be clever.' he admonishes me and glides his palm over my cheek.

'Well?' I push.

'Well what?'

'Cathy. Does she know about The Manor?' I feel some cream land on my bum cheek and then his hand working it into the sting.

'Yes, she knows. It's not some secret society, Ava. There are no cloak and daggers. You're done. Up you get.'

'You kept it a secret from me.' I mutter indignantly, sitting myself on the edge of the bed.

'That's because I was falling hard and fast in love with you and it scared me to death to think you would run away from me if you found out.' One brow arches accusingly, and I know what's coming next. 'And you did.' he finishes.

'It was a bit of a shock.' I try to defend myself. The subsequent events after my discovery still make me shudder, and I want to point out that I came back to him after the whole Manor bombshell. It was the drinking that really made me run. 'I knew you were experienced, but I didn't anticipate it was because you owned a sex club that you utilised excessively.' I don't relish the reminder.

'Hey!' He closes in on me and lowers me to the bed dropping a kiss on my lips. 'Let's not re-visit old news. It's all about us, and now and tomorrow and the next day and then the rest of our lives.'

'Okay. Kiss me.' I grin.

'I'm sorry. Who has the power?' His lips are twitching as his eyes flick from mine to my lips.

'You do.'

'Good girl,' He drowns me in his mouth, giving me exactly what I want, but all too soon he pulls away. I express my annoyance with an audible grumble, and he narrows his eyes on me. 'I'm ignoring you. Wear your new cream dress.' He gets up and leaves me to shower and prepare for dinner.

I walk into the kitchen feeling very special in my new cream dress, narrow gold belt and new cream heels. My hair is swishing across my back and my make-up is light. I skid to a halt on my heels as I get my first eyeful of Jesse. He's on his phone, listening intently and he looks mouthwatering in his navy suit and pale pink shirt. My roving eyes work their way from his tan Grenson's, up his long, lean legs, past his firm, perfectly toned chest and to his clean shaven, devastating face. He's scowling.

I frown at him and his eyes soften as he perches on a stool and pats his thigh. I wander over and rest myself on his lap while I search through my bag to find my gloss. His face goes straight into my hair on an inhale and his arm snakes around my waist pulling me closer.

'So, what can you tell me other than that?' He's speaking with little civility.

I turn and give him a questioning look as I sweep my gloss wand across my lips. He ignores my obvious curiousness and kisses me lightly on the cheek.

'It's fucking convenient that the other camera is broken.' he says shortly. 'Have you checked the footage from outside the bar?'

Oh no!

He seems to take a relaxing breath. I squeeze his thigh and he looks at me, then kisses my forehead. 'Fine, let me know what you find.' He chucks his phone on the worktop and it slides a good few feet. 'It's a fucking joke.' he mutters.

'You think it was Mikael in the footage, don't you?'

'Yes, I do.'

I don't know why I feel shocked, I knew he thought it, but the confirmation makes me more on edge. 'Do you think that Mikael drugged me?' I spit the question out.

'I don't know, Ava.' He sounds completely deflated.

'It's a bit farfetched, isn't it?'

'He hates me, Ava. He knows you're my Achilles heel. He's been waiting for this.'

I stand, turning to face him. 'Should we go to the police?' I ask. Jesse's concern is really concerning me now.

'No,' He shakes his head. 'I'm dealing with it.'

'Okay,' I say quietly. I'm not arguing with him on this.

He sighs. 'I should be walking away from you. If I could bear it, I would.'

'What?' I recoil, feeling panicked that he would even suggest such a thing.

'I've upset a lot of people, Ava.'

'Shut up!' I'm feeling angry, 'Don't say things like that.'

'Ava, the drink, the women...'

'I said, don't!' I shout. 'I don't need a reminder that there have been other women since I've met you.' I'm really mad now.

'I'm sorry. I wish I could change everything, except you. You're the only right thing in my life and I'm even making that all wrong.' His head drops.

Tear start to build in my eyes. I know he's remorseful, I know he has regrets. Damn it, I know this. I grab his chin and bring his face up to mine. 'Don't.' I grind the words out.

He sighs, running his eyes all over me. 'I don't know what I've done to deserve you.'

'You reminded me.'

He smiles mildly, then narrows his eyes on me playfully. 'I like your dress.' His hand slides up the inside of my thigh and sweeps through the seam of my knickers.

'I like my dress too.' Damn, I'm panting again. My bag tumbles to the kitchen floor and I grab the front of his suit jacket.

He slips his finger out and brings it up to my mouth, wiping the wetness straight across my freshly glossed lips. 'I'm a very lucky man.' He pulls me onto his lap and tilts me back, pushing his lips against mine on a long, lingering, sensual kiss. When he's taken what he wants, he pulls back and flashes me his smile, reserved only for me.

I return it, running my thumb across his full bottom lip. 'That colour doesn't suit you.' I drag away the soft, nude sticky gloss/cum.

'No?' He pouts, and I laugh. He stands me up before grabbing the remote control for the sound system. 'I want to dance with you.'

'You do?'

'I do.'

I smile when Foster the People Pumped up Kicks fires from the speakers, very loudly. Oh, he really wants to dance. I'm yanked into his chest, his palm rests on my lower back and his spare hand grasps mine.

I place my other hand on his shoulder and look up at him on a smile. 'You make me so happy.'

His eyes twinkle, his luscious lips tipping at the corner. 'I'm going to make you happy for the rest of my life, baby. Let's dance.' He starts stepping backwards out of the kitchen and as soon as we're in the vast open space of the penthouse, I'm immediately twirled out and brought back in again before he starts guiding me around the room. I laugh, looking up into his shining pools of green pleasure as I'm weaved between the furniture, twirled around while he smiles down at me. I'm guided from one end of the penthouse to the other, out onto the terrace, around the decking before being taken back inside.

'What are we doing?' I ask as we circle the sofa again.

'I don't know. Something between a waltz and a quickstep, I think.' He grins at me as I continue to follow his lead. His eyes look like they could explode with happiness. 'I think I enjoy this just as much as being buried inside you.'

'Really?' I ask, completely shocked.

'No.' He frowns. 'That's probably the stupidest thing I've ever said.'

My head falls back on a laugh, and he leans down resting his lips on my throat as he directs me back into the kitchen. He lifts me up to his body, my legs curling around his tight hips, my hands finding his hair. I hold his gaze and he stops his movements, studying me closely before placing me gently on the counter.

His palms cup my cheeks, his stare seeping into my eyes. He really doesn't need to say anything, but I know he will. It's like he wants to demonstrate how good he is at his newfound talent. He talks to me now.

His thumbs smooth over my skin. 'Who has the power, Ava?'

I roll my eyes. 'You do.'

'You're wrong.'

'I am?' I blurt. He holds the power. He's made that perfectly clear.

'You are.' He smiles, and I frown. 'You're the one with the power, baby.'

'But you always insist it's you who holds the power.'

He shrugs. 'I like you stroking my ego.'

I start laughing. 'Are you joking?'


I stop laughing when he doesn't join me in my humour, even though it's pretty damn humorous. He definitely holds the powers. What's wrong with him?

He burns holes through me with his stunning eyes. 'I hold the power over your body, Ava. When those beautiful eyes are full of lust for me, that's when I hold the power.' He releases my cheeks and skates his palms up the insides of my thighs.

I tense, my mouth parting, my hands shooting up to clench his suit jacket in my fists.

He smiles, leaning in and placing his lips gently on mine. 'See.' he whispers, removing his hands from my thighs and prizing my grip from his chest. 'The power's yours again.'

I study him on a half-smile, completely getting it. 'That's why you fuck me senseless, give me the countdown and demand I kiss you when I'm mad.'

He smiles. 'Watch your mouth.'

'You've completely exposed yourself. I'm never going to let you touch me again!'

He laughs, really hard. His chest expands and he throws his head back. I think I already knew that. That's why I run at the start of the countdown. I know what he's capable of when he gets his hands on me. His head comes back down, his eyes scanning my face.

'Well, Mr Ward. Given how much sex we have, I'd say you're the majority shareholder of power in this relationship.'

I grin when he starts with the laughing again. It's a wonderful sight, the faint lines fanning his greens, making his eyes sparkle. 'Baby, we will never have enough sex.'

'That makes you a very powerful man then.'

'Oh Jesus, Ava.' He sweeps my hair away from my face and cups my cheeks. 'I love you so fucking much. Kiss me.'

'Feeling weak?'

He leans in. 'I am.' His lips brush gently over mine and I indulge him, handing him the control he craves, letting his tongue saturate my senses as he hums into my mouth and draws all of the power from me.

'Better?' I ask around his lips.

'Much. Come on, lady, we have a date.' He places me on my feet before turning the music off and scooping my clutch from the floor. 'Ready?'

'Oh, let me show you the message.' I take my bag and retrieve my phone. I had almost forgotten about that.

'What message?' he asks on a frown. He clearly has too.

'The one sent from John's phone.' I scroll through my phone, my heart beating nervously. This is it. This is the moment I get this off my chest. I have it plain and clear, so he can't possibly argue with it. John wouldn't do this. 'There.' I hold my phone up to him and he takes it. His frown line creeps across his brow as he reads the message, a thoughtful look plaguing his expression. His eyes flick to mine and back to the screen. He's really thinking about this.

After what seems like forever, with me tense and him staring at the screen, he starts nodding mildly. 'I'll be dealing with this.' He tosses my phone on the counter. He doesn't look very happy at all.

I sag a little in relief. I think I almost expected him to defend her or say that it must have been someone else, but who else would do that? I don't need to say anything more. He knows, and I'm so relieved.

My phone starts singing and I scoop it up from the counter, seeing Ruth Quinn's name flashing up on the screen. I let out a tired sigh and reject the call. She'll soon call the office and find out that I'm off work today.

'Who's that?' he asks.

'A new client. A pain in the arse new client.'

He takes my phone and slides it back on the worktop, then pulls me into his chest. 'No work today. Are you ready for our date?'

I nod into his chest. 'Yes.'

His lips press into the top of my head and he releases me, holding his arm out in a very gentlemanly manner. I smile, threading my arm through his. He winks and leads me out of the penthouse and to the elevator.

We reflect in all of the mirrors around us. Everywhere I look, I can see him in all of his beauty, and me with my hand slipped under his suit jacket, un-willing to let him go. He glances down at me out the corner of his eye. 'I should make you give me an apology fuck here and now.' he says in a low, quiet voice.

'Do I owe you an apology?'

'You do.' He returns his eyes forward, and I find them in the reflection of the doors.

'What for?' I quickly scan my mind for anything he might be referring to, and I come up with - in Jesse's world - way too much for him to hold against me. But this morning I've been compliant and he has been quite reasonable.

'You owe me an apology for making me wait too damn long for you.' His face is completely straight and his words full of meaning.

I smile and tuck myself into his side. I've not really had to wait very long for him at all, two crappy relationships aside. While he was battling numerous demons, I was blissfully unaware and going through the motions of any normal young woman. It's a strange thought.

The elevator door opens and his arm drapes gently around my shoulder as we walk through the foyer of Lusso. 'Clive.' Jesse nods at Clive, who nods brusquely in return before he continues with something that has his attention on his desk. He didn't even acknowledge me or ask how I am. I heard his concerned voice last night when Jesse carried me in. Have I upset him again?

We emerge into the cool, evening air and Jesse bleeps the DBS. 'Oh, Kate rang. You should probably call her back.' he says.

'You answered my phone again?' I ask, but he just shrugs off my accusation.

I sigh and open my bag to retrieve my phone, but after a little rummage, I discover no phone. 'Jesse, I've left my phone in the tower.'

He makes a long, exaggerated point of demonstrating the inconvenience I'm causing. 'Here.' He passes the keys. 'Hurry up or we'll be late for dinner.'

'I'll be quick.' I race off, back into the foyer of Lusso, throw a frown at Clive, who still ignores me, and press the code for the elevator. Why is it not on the ground floor still? I wait impatiently for it to return to base, then jump in.

I exit before the doors have completely opened and shove the key in the door, leaving it in the lock as I run into the kitchen. I skid to a halt on a shocked gasp when I see two people sat on barstools, both looking really very menacing.

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