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Authors: N.M. Catalano

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BOOK: Black Ink
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Now I felt guilty for lying.  She’d read me like a book and I turned it around on her.

“Stop.  You tried.  I kept the door locked and wouldn’t let anyone in.  I’m at a better place now.”  I shrugged sheepishly.  “Better late than never.”

She put her arm around me and pulled me close, leading me to the kitchen.  “Come on, everyone’s waiting for you.”

“What do you mean
everyone?
” I asked a little nervous.

“You know what I mean, it’s family day.”

In the dining room, Gina’s husband Frankie was feeding the baby in the high chair, her other two boys were playing with their Matchbox cars on the floor, and Tony was there on the phone. 

I suddenly felt a little uneasy.

Tony jerked his head to the side, motioning for me to go to him and patted the empty chair at his side.  I followed Gina into the kitchen instead. 

I’d found myself going out of my way to be anywhere else but near Tony.  After dinner, he cornered me upstairs when I went up to get some diapers for Gina.

“What is wrong with you, Gem?”

“Nothing.”  My heart was pounding and I was feeling really uncomfortable, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. 

He came up behind me and put his hands on my hips as I bent over to take the diapers out of the baby’s dressing table.

“What are you doing, Tony?” I asked jumping.

“Nothing babe.  It’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too,” I backed away.  I was tense and wanted to get back downstairs.

“Show me.”  He got me in a corner and closed me in with his body, lowering his face to kiss me.

“Where’s your wife Tony?” 

If that wasn’t a cock blocker, nothing was.

“She’s at home where she belongs.” 

What an asshole.

He wrapped his hands around my arms and squeezed them tightly, bringing his mouth to mine again.  I jerked my face to the side and his lips landed on my cheek.

“Come on, babe, I know you’ve got to be lonely.  I’ll fix that.  It used to be good between us.”

“Stop Tony.  I’m not lonely.  And you’re a married man.”

“Who are you fucking Gemma?  Is it that slime ball Black?” 

You’ve got a lot of nerve, your hands are so filthy I don’t know how you can touch your kids!

He was making me feel dirty and cheap and it was pissing me off.


IF
I was fucking anyone, it wouldn’t be any of your business.  Now let me go.”

“Everything about you is my business now.  Remember the family is taking care of you.”

Something about the way he’d said it made me feel extremely uneasy.

“I appreciate it.  But Malcolm is in jail and there’s nothing else he can do to me so you don’t have to worry about me.  I don’t need any help.”

“Too late Gemma.  It’s already done.”

With the mob, that could mean so many things.  But my mind couldn’t apply that to me.  I didn’t ask for any help from them, so I felt I wasn’t indebted to them. 

The salvation of Gina’s voice came from downstairs.  “Hurry up, Gem!  The baby’s getting fidgety.”

“Gotta go Tony.”

“It’s not finished Gemma.  It hasn’t even started.”

Warning bells went off inside my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 CHAPTER

 

Gemma

I’d bought the biggest, blackest pair of sunglasses I could find to hide behind and study everyone I passed in obscurity.  All the men on the trains, on the platforms, the street, even at the coffee shop.  I was certain I’d know The Faceless Man if I saw him, how could I not after being so intimate?  There wasn’t a single man I could recall I’ve looked at with even the slightest interest, forget about attraction.  None but one.  I walk into the office behind my protection and look at that man, Alexander Black, very intently. 

Oh God...
he is too beautiful for words.  Today he is sleek in a light grey Armani double breasted suit, matching tie, and pink shirt.  His dark hair and skin color are stunning against the light colors, his ice blue eyes glowing with intensity

My body reacts to him of its own accord, heating and pulsing.  It’s even worse now since Friday night and The Faceless Man than before.  The power of the sexual energy between us hits me with such unexpected force my breath catches in my lungs, my breasts actually seem to quiver, and my loins tighten.  My body tingles with the memory of his touch, the places where he’d marked me with black ink seem strongest, like a branding.  My eyelids dip behind their protection recalling the intense arousal. I walk to my desk trying my damnedest to look nonchalant and unaffected.

It is these times early in the morning when Alexander and I are here alone before the world dumps on us and contaminates the electricity that surges between us that it’s the strongest.  It shines brightly with jolts of energy, sparks crackling threatening to burn us with its strength.  The air pulses with it.

Doing the same thing I’ve done every morning since I started with Black, I unload my things first, but today I slip my regular glasses on as well. I need to hind behind these barriers between me and the world.  I admit it.  I still feel raw and vulnerable.  I want nothing more than to be as bland as possible.  I head to the bathroom to make sure my reserved mask is believable.  When I return to my desk, I glance at Black in his office, worrying my lip between my teeth.

I have no reason to b
e
nervous.  No one knows and no one can see.  It’s your secret.

I’d fought with myself nonstop all weekend because I
didn’t want
to call the police and report the intrusion.  I’m still badgering myself about it.

What is wrong with me?  Am I so pathetic to have a man’s attention?  I didn’t fight him, I let him take me…I
wanted
him to take me.  Oh God, I wanted him to touch me, bite me, suck me, fuck me like he wanted to punish me. 

I rationalized it was because he said I knew him, but that was a convenient excuse I’d latched onto, a perfect alibi. 

And those black handprints he left on me should have horrified me.  But it was so…possessive, marking me, branding me.  And I loved it.  I’m so horrible!

The message scrawled across my abdomen in that same blank ink that said he’d be back should have had me running to change my locks and bar the windows.  Instead, my mind screamed in heated anticipation, “WHEN?”

I relished the knowledge I had his marks still on my flesh beneath my clothes.  I didn’t want them to disappear, I’d lain in my bed tracing the outlines reliving that dark erotic night, the feel of his touch still haunting my skin.  Sometimes I cried, sometimes I climaxed,  but every time my body ached for his touch, needing him, wanting him, begging him silently to please return.  With fear lacing that lust.

I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting dazed, staring at my computer, coffee and croissant untouched when the IM pings a message.

Are you ill Ms. Trudeau? 
Alexander Black

The sound jolted me from my memories battling with my feelings.

No Mr. Black, why? 
Gemma Trudeau

Because you’ve been sitting there for fifteen minutes deep in thought.  Was your weekend so memorable, you can’t leave it? 
Alexander Black

I feel my face flush with the rush of embarrassment overcoming me.

You are a professional, Gemma, get a grip and compose yourself. 

I don’t bring my personal life to work, Mr. Black. 
Gemma Trudeau

When you’re here, you belong to me.  I don’t want anything or anyone interfering.  Understood Ms. Trudeau? 
Alexander Black

Gemma the lawyer would have argued that he had nothing to do with me other than being my employer.  The still sex drugged me is in psychological and emotional turmoil.  The man I’d envisioned being The Faceless Man
was
Alexander Black.  Every swipe of his tongue, every pinch, bite, caress, thrust, everything was him.  It had been Black’s face I saw in the blackness.  To me those are his hands etched on my flesh.  The naked woman was bending to the voice in the dark, saying, “Yes, I belong to you.  My body is yours to do what you wish.” 

Fortunately, there is still some clarity in my sex drugged brain. 

Mr. Black, I assure you I am a professional.  When I am here Black Inc. is my only concern. 
Gemma Trudeau.

I am Black Inc., therefore, the only thing in that brilliant beautiful mind of yours is me. 
Alexander Black

Narcissist or not, Black has no idea how completely right he is. 

 

Alexander

I’d watched her struggle all weekend, torn between doing what she thought she should do and call the police, and reliving the dark night with her faceless man ravishing her. 

Me. 

She’d even picked up the phone and dialed it a few times, only to not connect the call.  Then other times she would touch herself, fuck herself, place her hands within the black handprint outlines I’d drawn, then scream out her release as tears slipped from her eyes.

It was evident she was having an internal battle.  On one side she wanted to follow her conscience and do what was supposedly morally correct, then put the incident away like a car accident:  horrible but something to overcome.  On the other hand, she allowed herself to admit the night and the man was almost everything she secretly desired, the taboo and the erotically forbidden. 

Almost.

She knew she wanted more, more darkness, more forbidden…more. 

I knew it too. 

I saw it all over her.  How her body had yielded to me, wet and hungry, begging to be taken, forced, fucked, used and submerged in ecstasy.

She’s trying to hide that sexual animal inside her, barricading herself in those demure clothes.  That plain tan dress does nothing to hide her passion, it oozes from her.  She’d even toned down her make-up opting for nude lipstick instead of the I-Want-To-Suck-Your-Cock red.  The only thing she allowed herself to indulge the sex goddess inside her are the six inch Please-Fuck-Me heels.  Her glasses?  They only make me want to have her on her knees in front of me while wearing them. 

I have no doubt if I stroked her succulent pussy lips, they’d be slick with need.   

First goal, make her want.

As she’d sat staring lost in thought, I knew she wanted.  More.

Second goal, make her need.

An individual would do practically anything when their need is powerful enough.

I’m going to make Gemma Trudeau need so badly, it will make her insane if she doesn’t get it.

 

Gemma

The copyright infringement case is pretty cut and dry.  Mostly time consuming research, mindless work swimming through miles and miles of information to confirm registrations. 

Exactly what I need. 

I didn’t need anything that would tip me over to one side of the precarious perch I’d established for myself on a ledge of ‘even keel’. 

“Gemma Trudeau, Miles Davis’ office,” I answer the phone.

“Mrs. Stevens,” a man’s voice replies smoothly.

Caution makes the hair stand up at the back of my neck.

“It’s Ms. Trudeau, how can I help you?” I answer flatly.

“You’re working for Black, how interesting,” he states lazily.

“Are you a client?” I force professionalism into my tone.

“You could say something like that,” he responds, sarcastic amusement dripping from his voice.

“What
exactly
would you say then?” I ask, holding back my impatience.

“More of an interested party, my dear,” he coos. 

“Interested for whom?” I ask, completely wary of this stranger.

“In due time, my lovely Gemma.”

The line goes dead.

I’m thoroughly perplexed by the strange phone call.

I know I’m not exactly non-existent to the public because of the publicity Malcom’s received, and all of it was bad.  But this call seemed to be something more than a curious individual.

The phone jars me again.

“Ms. Trudeau.”

“Yes.”  It’s Natasha, the stunning young receptionist that looks like a Nubian princess.

“You have a delivery here.  Shall I send someone back with them?” she asks excitedly.

Them?

“No thank you, Natasha.  No need to bother anyone.  I’ll be right up.”

“You don’t have to hurry.  I wish someone would send me something so beautiful,” she coos almost breathlessly.

Oh shit, now what?

“I’ll be right up,” I say hurriedly and rush to reception, forgetting about the phone call.

When I exit through the frosted main glass doors of Black Inc. into the reception area, I halt mid-stride.  I know Natasha is somewhere behind that huge black lacquered desk but I can’t see her behind the mountain of long stemmed red roses.

“No…,” I whisper shaking my head.

“Yes!” Natasha squeals.  “You are sooooooooo lucky.  Someone must really have it bad for you.  There must be four or five dozen here,” she adds giddily practically clapping her hands and jumping up and down like a little kid with a surprise.

Some of the girls I’m not acquainted with yet in the office come scurrying out.  Natasha must have called them, filling them in on the latest office gossip.

“Oh my God, Gemma, who are they from?”

“They’re beautiful!”

“Where can I get me a man that would send me those?”

I stand frozen in place, so many things running through my mind.  None of them good. 

“There’s a card, Gemma.  Open it!” Natasha squeals again, waving the little white envelope at me.

I’m so happy there’s no one waiting in reception as I approach the falsely innocent looking little piece of paper that has the capacity to be deadly.  I tentatively take it from Natasha’s clutches with the my fingertips as if it would combust on contact.  This innocuous two by three piece of paper has the ability to throw a bomb into the one thing in my life that could be good right now.

I cautiously slip my fingernail inside the tiny opening.

“Hurry up!” the girls say in unison.

Taking a deep breath, I tear it open.

Who are they from?  Tony or Malcolm?

The thought of either one of them makes my blood boil.

I pull the card from its enclosure.  It is a bright white heavy card stock, embossed and printed with the logo of the finest florist in Manhattan, La Vie en Rose.

I’m shocked.

I will see you again soon.  Very soon.  XOXO

The Faceless Man.

He knows where I work. 

“Who are they from?” Natasha asks impatiently.

“No one…,” I mumble.

“It’s obviously
someone
or they wouldn’t be sitting here.  Tell us Gemma, we’re dying!”

“Someone I…um…,” what Gemma?  “Someone I just met.”

“You
just
met him?  Like this weekend?”

“Yes, Friday…”

“How romantic, I am SO jealous.”

“Me too,” the others chime in.

Romance had absolutely nothing to do with it,
I laugh.

A warm feeling seeps through me followed by flashes of desire pulsing in my veins, igniting me all over again.

He sent me flowers.

I’m stunned.

“Okay, back to work ladies.  It’s no big deal,” I try to get some control over the Hallmark moment.


THOSE
are mostly certainly a big deal!”

I grab the massive arrangement from Natasha’s desk and go back to the door.  Unfortunately, I can’t open it.  The flowers are too big and too heavy.

“I got it,” one of the girls rush over to get it for me.

I walk stiffly back to my desk refusing to make eye contact with anyone.  Especially not with Alexander Black.

The strong perfume of the roses fills my senses and my space, followed by the scent of a man, a hint of sweat, a hint of soap, and his erotic muskiness in the throes of passion.  I breathe in deeply and close my eyes allowing myself a moment of weakness, and I moan softly. 

BOOK: Black Ink
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