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Authors: N.M. Catalano

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BOOK: Black Ink
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“Gemma, baby, I need you to set up an estate for me and your mother,” he’d said to me one night at Sunday dinner.  I was there alone.

“What are you talking about dad?”  I was shocked.  Also, talking about my parent’s mortality gave me the creeps.

He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Setting his fork down on the table, he leaned his arms on the edge and turned his detective face on me. 

I knew I wasn’t going to like this.

“Malcolm is into something, I don’t know what it is, but it’s not good.  I want to protect you, Gemma, because he’s going to drag you down with him.  The problem is, I’m not sure it’s something you’ll be able to recover from.”  His tone was hard but his eyes were endearing.

Foreboding coursed through me because he’d just verbalized exactly what I’d been afraid to admit to myself.  I struggled with trying to convince him he was wrong, that his instincts that had always led him to solve cases was lying to him.  But I knew deep down inside, even back then, he wasn’t.

I looked down at my plate and cut into the roast beef.  “Okay.”

That was three years ago.  They’ve been dead a year, Malcolm was arrested six months ago, and now I’m living in their house, driving their car, and working for a man my husband had robbed. 

My father’s friends in the precinct have not stopped investigating the circumstances surrounding my parent’s deaths.  They couldn’t believe it was an accident. I knew they weren’t telling me everything.  I was more apt to get information from the guys my dad had run with in the neighborhood when he was a kid.  The ones who are connected.  Although they were on opposites sides of the law, they were family.  Tony, my dad’s best friend’s son, came to me when my parents had died and told me the family was watching out for me and if there was anything I needed, come to them first. 

Tony and I had history.  Wild, passionate, rough, hard, hot history.  He was the boy I’d given my virginity too.  Often times late at night as I laid in my bed over the years, I thought about Tony and wondered how it would be with him today, thinking about how good it had been when we were kids, how much better it would be now.  Would he pull my hair, leave marks on my body when he pounded into me roughly, making me cry out in pleasure?  The fantasies I’d survived on during the years had kept my desire for the bad boy in check.  I was a lawyer, I wasn’t supposed to be this sex crazed nympho who wanted things, very dirty things, things a good girl would never want. 

That’s the reason I’d chosen business law and stayed away from prosecution and defense litigation.  I didn’t trust myself not to drop to my knees if those bad boys commanded it. 

I head upstairs to kick off my Christian Louboutin’s, I refused to sacrifice my shoes for the interview, to change from my modest suit into yoga pants and a thermal.  My mind drifts to Malcom.  Nothing, I feel absolutely nothing.  Malcolm to me was a room temperature cup of tea, I drank him if I had to.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to stomach that anymore.  The only reason we aren’t divorced is because I’d never gotten around to it, I had worked too much. 

I’m so happy to be rid of him, the price I had to pay was almost worth it.  Almost.  What I hate the most is that other people, very important people, had to be dragged into my hell.  People like Alexander Black.

When I head back downstairs, my breasts bouncing braless beneath my shirt, the vision of Black makes them ache with longing. 

“Shit,” I mutter. 

Suddenly I’m grateful to have Miles Davis as a buffer between Alexander Black and I. 

That man is the baddest boy of all.  The way he’d looked at me sent erotic shivers up my spine and made me catch my breath…again.  He made me feel vulnerable, raw, empty, and very, very needy.  The intensity of carnal longing that floods me thinking of Black immobilizes me. I let it wash over me as I stand at the kitchen counter, holding on tightly, letting myself get lost in it.  If this is what a look from across the room does to me, I’m dreading, and looking forward to, the moment when his body is close to mine.  I take a deep breath and pull myself from the feelings.  I have work to do. 

I inhale some food then grab the file.  I can’t wait to submerge myself in the case. 

Work had been my lover, I was passionate about it, became familiar with all the minute details, giving all that I was to it.  It had rewarded me very well.  Malcolm had ripped it from me. 

Alexander Black is going to give it back.  I know he’s going to make me earn it.

I settle on the couch ready to become acquainted with my latest lover.  I’m determined to prove myself to the irresistibly dangerous Alexander Black.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Chapter

 

Gemma

It wasn’t horrendous commuting to Manhattan from Jersey City, just a Path train and a subway or bus ride to work.  I still decided to get in the city at eight wanting to avoid most of the commuter crowds.  There is a coffee shop around the corner from the Black Building so I grab a Daily News and have breakfast while I wait until a quarter to nine before heading to the top floor.  My new home away from home.

I feel a little foolish in the crowded elevator holding the desktop blotter with calendar, matching pen/pencil holder, post-it box, and other office accessories in matching black leather I’d stopped to buy.  My desk is glass and virtually see-through, the top smoky but still transparent, and it makes me feel extremely bare.  I need a barrier, the close proximity to Black’s office is bad enough.  The entire floor is decorated in modern minimalism in shades of grey, smoke, black, and some white.  Crisp, clean and no-nonsense, and very, very chic.  When I approach my desk, Davis isn’t in yet, I notice a stark white envelope on it with my name penned briskly across the front and the Black Inc. logo in the corner.  I set my things on the desk and place my purse on top of the black filing cabinet.  I organize the office supplies on the desk before opening the envelope.  I want to get settled before starting, and opening that envelope would be the beginning of my work day.  As I sit in my black leather chair, I dare a glance at Alexander in his office.  He’s on the phone, I can see the earpiece he’s wearing and he’s talking while pacing the floor between the televisions and his desk.  His silky dark hair is a bit ruffled, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and all the screens are blasting information at him.  His eyes are on me.  Choice of armor today is an impeccable navy suit, white shirt, and a pale blue tie.  His vest is buttoned but his jacket had been placed over the arm of the couch.  He’s obviously been in the office for a while.

The sight of him instantly heats me and makes my breath hitch. 

I jerk my direction away as he gives a slight nod of his head not breaking the stride of his conversation.  The door to his office is closed and the sound of his voice only a muffle, the only thing I can make out is its very deep and very sexy.

“Get to work Gemma,” I scold myself. 

I square my shoulders and open the envelope. 

In very strong masculine handwriting it reads:

 

Welcome to Black Inc. Ms. Trudeau.

The following is your log-in information for the computer.

I have personally loaded files for you.

Review the contents of the information.

I expect to have your thoughts on the company sent home

with you last night directly after lunch.

You should know it’s a hostile take-over.

I look forward to seeing what you can do for me.

Alexander Black

 

A tremor slithers up my spine as I glance back at Black.  He’s still on the phone but his complete attention is on me.  I nod, not showing how his intense gaze affects me.  It scorches me in the most intimate places and makes me sweat.  I have a job to do, my life depends on its success.  I have to separate myself from what my body feels.  And that can only be described as a hostile take-over as well. 

Black gives a slight dip to his head in acknowledgment then touches something on his desk and the glass begins to smoke, looking a lot like a magic trick.  I let out a sigh of relief.  On one hand I’m thankful for the removal of the distraction that is him, on the other I miss having the small gift of getting to glance at the dark beauty that he is. 

 

Alexander

Holy fuck!

I growl.  The woman is a stick of dynamite waiting to be set on fire.  When I light her fuse she’s going to blow.  So much woman packed into that lush petite body, all curves, all sin, all wrapped up in propriety.  I can’t wait until I get her dirty and undone and do very bad things to her.  

When I saw her on the monitor in that black pencil dress that fits her like a second skin, my dick swelled to throbbing.  I waited until she exited the elevator and saw her in the flesh to squeeze myself.  Her jet black hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail made my palm itch to wrap around it and pull, yanking her head back and watching her lips part, hearing her moan.  I envisioned it loose and cascading down her bare back, leading me to her pale round ass.  I want to bend her over, spank it and see my handprints all over her white skin, spread her wide and fuck her.  Hard.

International business is just wrapping up, the final call to London ending.  I talked to Hong Kong, Japan, India, and Switzerland already this morning. 

It’s time.

A knock on the door draws my attention back.  I know its Simon.  He always checks in with me when he arrives.  I appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism but mostly how he understands the importance of discretion.

“Good morning Mr. Black.  As you requested, your schedule is clear until noon.  Do you need a car this morning?”

“No, thank you Simon.  I’ll take care of it.”  I remove the earpiece and set it on the desk before unrolling my shirt sleeves and shrugging on my jacket.  

Simon would be a terrible gambler, he can’t hide anything from his face.  I know he’s shocked. 

I don’t acknowledge it as I continue.  “Send a message to Davis and tell him Trudeau is to submit her proposal directly to me today.  She knows I want it right after lunch.  Give her fifteen minutes.”  I pick up my cell phone and walk to the door.

“Yes sir.  Anything else sir?” he asks trying to keep up with my long strides.

“Let PR know I’ve already assigned Ms. Trudeau’s system information and she has them.”

Another surprised rise of Simon’s eyebrows.  “Yes sir.  And would you like lunch waiting for you when you get back?”

“No, I think I’ll make a pit-stop.”  I pull my office door open and walk to the elevator as my assistant follows.

“Very well Mr. Black.”

The elevator dings its arrival as I stand with my hands in my pockets.  I’ve been waiting for this morning ever since Gemma’s interview was scheduled.  Time to put things in motion.  The doors slide open and I step in, our eyes colliding as they close.

I walk the block to the public parking garage around the corner.  They don’t know me here.  I slip them a bill, enough for them to leave me alone, as I walk to the elevator.  I know where the van is parked, I don’t want any help.  A perk of wanting to own the world is when you have enough money you have everything you might need at your disposable.  I did whatever I had to do to make sure of that.  Today I need a maintenance van and a uniform, and one of the companies I own has supplied both.  The small commercial van is perfect with no windows in the back, allowing me privacy to change into the company uniform they also left waiting for me.  An hour later as I pull onto Gemma’s street in Jersey City, its nondescript appearance gives me the casual professional anonymity I need to get into her house.

The row house sits on a block in a typical neighborhood, all of them almost identical.  As I walk around to the back yard, the neatness and outdoor furniture along with an old tree swing make me slow my steps.  This is a home not a house and I wonder what Gemma was like as a little girl. 

Don’t turn into a pussy now, Black.

With a ladder under one arm and a toolbox in the other, I spy the basement door.  Just as I suspected, the only thing between me and the inside of her house is a padlock.  I pause and glance up, looking for motion detector lights.  There are none but there is a spotlight directed at the yard and another light just above the door.  The spotlight has to go.  I lean the ladder against the side of the house and climb to loosen the bulb.  I run my fingers along the wires so I appear to be looking for a short, just in case a nosy neighbor is watching.  After I climb down, I rest the ladder on its side against the house and turn my attention to picking the padlock on the cellar doors.  I’ve done so many of them in my youth, it pops open under a minute, it’s like riding a bike.  I open one door and step into the musty darkness.  Quietly easing the door shut above me, I turn on the flashlight and look around the large room.  It’s set up like a family room with an old couch, a throw rug on the floor and posters on the wall with the washer and dryer on the far wall below the steps that lead upstairs.  I glance up at the exposed rafters and a sadistic smile curves my lips.

“I know what we could do with those,” I murmur.

I walk across the room and ascend the stairs and try the door, not surprised it’s locked.  I pull out the small tool kit again and insert the thin instrument into the hole.  The knob clicks and the door swings open into the kitchen.  Looking around I see what I want.  Above the counter there are several hooks screwed in underneath the cabinet, one of them holds an extra set of keys.  I slide it off and toss it in the air a couple of times before pocketing it.  Following the hallway that leads to the front of the house, I enter the living room and move to a wall full of family photos. 

Gemma’s life is displayed in black and white and color.  The family looks so happy, a scene that is foreign to me.  As she gets older from the point of her college graduation, I notice there are some empty slots.

“Did you take yours and Malcolm’s pictures down?  Does that mean you weren’t a part of his schemes?  I didn’t think he was smart enough to get so far on his own, but it’s an interesting thought…highly unlikely but interesting none the less, little Gemma.”

The contempt I feel is evident in my voice.  It’s really not the money.  It’s the fact I was made a fool of.  It enrages me every time I think how that little piece of shit took me,
me,
and I didn’t see it coming.

“Well, I will find out just how much you were involved, and I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy every minute of it but not nearly as much as me.  The fact you are so stunning is a bonus I hadn’t anticipated.”

I study the pictures and sense a sadness in Gemma’s face in the more recent photos. 

“That little weasel was definitely not enough man for you, but there’s more to it than that, isn’t there Gemma?”

“Meow.”

The sound of a cat surprises me.

“You agree with me don’t you little pussy.  What other secrets do you know?”

“Meow.”

The cat saunters over and weaves itself through my legs as if it were perfectly normal for me to be in this house.

“So Gemma doesn’t have the only pussy that needs attention, is that right?” I ask the attention hungry animal.

“Meow.”

“Hah.  Come on, take me upstairs.”

I head to the second level and look for Gemma’s bedroom. 

“Not like that shithole I was at when that little prick made me who I am,” I growl, my voice cold and hard.

All these houses are set up the same way.  I spent the early part of my life in a lot of different ones but the one in particular I remember the most, the one I refuse to forget because it still fuels me, is the one that decided on the direction of my life and the man I would become, albeit it was a horror house.  The destruction started from the father and continued with the children, especially the sixteen year old son.

The hate I feel for him is as powerful as it was that day.

Gemma’s childhood bedroom is soft and feminine with pink floral wallpaper and a coverlet with English roses in the same color, and lots of white embroidered accent pillows. I’m filled with her scent.  It stirs me with primal hunger wanting more.  I walk to her dresser and study her things, then I pick up the bottle of Chanel 5 and inhale deeply.

“A classic.  So appropriate.”

Placing the bottle down, I open the top drawer and smile lasciviously when I see it filled with her panties and bras in shades of black with lace trim, pink, blue, red, and white.  Sliding a finger over the soft fabric I pick up the black thong with the cream embroidery.  I hold it to my face and inhale again, the hint of her musky scent makes my mouth water.  An image of her bald mound between her spread legs, pink wet lips, the same pink of her mouth, and swollen clit flash in my mind.  The desire to suck that nub and lick those folds overwhelms me and fills my shaft almost to the point of pain.  I place the underwear back in the drawer and shut it, resisting the temptation to put one in my pocket.  I move to the nightstand next to the bed and open the top drawer.  There are books and socks and a large Prada cashmere pouch, the kind the pocket books are shipped in.  It appears old and worn and the contents are wrapped up tightly.  Grabbing it, I immediately know what naughty little Gemma has at her side.  Inside are two vibrators, lube, and clothespins.

“Mmmm, I knew that little shit was no man for you.”  My cock is aching now with visions of sliding in to her velvet pussy as I have one of these in her luscious ass.

Putting the toys back, I turn my attention to what needs to be done.  I place the tool box on the floor and look around trying to find the best place for the surveillance device.  The vent on the wall across from the bed is perfect.  The cat stays with me and makes sure I do the job right.  I have to look for evidence linking her to Malcolm’s schemes and place camera’s throughout her house.

BOOK: Black Ink
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