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Authors: Alison Tyler

Tags: #Fiction, #Erotica, #General, #Romance

Dark Secret Love (18 page)

BOOK: Dark Secret Love
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Chapter Twenty-Four:
Show Me

You can’t break up with someone you’re not going out with. That’s what I told myself, anyway. Jack had a second car in the garage of his building, a silver Range Rover, and I assured him that all of my belongings would barely fill the back seat.

But my misgivings were overflowing.

I felt ill at the thought of the look on Nate’s face when I explained what was going on. I’d known the two boys for only a short time. And I was certain Nate would tell me I was acting like a human pinball, ricocheting from one man to another. Or maybe that was my own private fear.

What the hell was I doing? Did moving in with Jack actually make sense? He didn’t say a word on the drive, aside from asking me where to turn as we headed up the twisting roads. When we pulled in front of the triplex, I remained in the car.

“What’s the problem?”

“Nothing.”

He gripped onto my thigh, and I looked into his eyes. “I’m not lying,” I assured him, understanding the expression on his face. “I feel odd.”

“You don’t want to leave here?”

“That’s not it.”

He waited.

“Nate’s going to tell me that I’m making a foolish decision.” There. I’d said it out loud.

“Did I have you over my lap this morning?” Jack asked, and his voice was lighthearted, teasing. “I could have sworn I paddled your bare ass only hours ago for caring what another man thought.”

I nodded. But he’d asked me what I was thinking. And I’d told him honestly. Was he going to punish me for that?

“You don’t have to answer to anyone else,” Jack said. “You don’t have to do what anyone else says. You simply say you made a decision. You’re moving in with me. There are no explanations that need to follow that statement.”

He walked around the car and opened my door, helped me out, led me to the apartment. Garrett was the only one inside, and for some reason, he didn’t look at all surprised when I explained what was going on. In fact, he laughed. “This place is crazy,” he said. “We’ve had about sixteen roommates in the last two years.”

I was thrilled with the way he responded and headed to my bedroom to start packing, leaving Jack and Garrett in the living room, talking about the weather.

I hadn’t actually fully unpacked after collecting my things from Byron. So it didn’t take me long to gather my belongings once more, to set them in the hallway. Garrett actually helped us heft the bags and boxes outside. When I returned to the room to do a once-over, he came in.

“You going to leave a note for Nate?”

I shook my head. I was sure Jack wouldn’t stand for it.

“You ought to. Seriously. He acts tough, but he … I think he really liked you, and Nate doesn’t actually like girls all that much.”

He didn’t mean Nate was gay. I understood that. Nate took out his aggression on women. He used them. Had I managed to affect him in some way?

I hesitated, and then grabbed my floppy discs from the desk and stuck them into my purse. Jack entered the room and looked around. “Almost ready?”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “I’m just checking over the computer. Make sure I didn’t leave any stories on the hard drive.”

He nodded and grabbed the last box.

Quickly, I opened a fresh file and typed: To Nate.

And then stopped. I’ll say it again: How can you break up with someone you weren’t going out with?

I looked at the letter.

To Nate. I’m sorry
.

I’m just sorry
.

Samantha

Pathetic.

Jack was waiting. I closed down the machine, turned off the light, and shut the door.

“You’re conflicted,” Jack said as we headed back to his place.

“Not about you,” I said instantly.

“Good answer.”

“I hate disappointing people.”

“You didn’t leave them in the lurch, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

I stared at him, confused.

“I gave Garrett rent money until they can find someone new.”

“Thanks,” I said, wondering why I felt as if I’d somehow just been paid for.

“Don’t worry so much, Samantha,” Jack said, “you can’t please everyone. It’s not possible.”

I nodded.

“From now on, you only have to worry about one thing—pleasing me.”

He parked us in the garage, but didn’t get out of the car. “I’ll have one of the guys bring your stuff up in the morning,” he said.

“The guys?”

“Maintenance crew,” he explained, “they’re always interested in making a couple of bucks. Tonight, let’s go somewhere. Let’s relax and have fun.”

I waited. Jack’s idea of fun was something new to me. Besides, I felt tired. I’d changed at the apartment into jeans and a thin T-shirt, finally losing the high heels in favor of one of my classic pairs of shiny penny loafers. But the only thing I really wanted to do was climb into the bathtub and luxuriate in a candle-filled room.

“Come on,” Jack insisted, and he led me from the Rover to his Jag, parked at the side.

We didn’t drive far. Jack took us down to the curve of Santa Monica Boulevard, to a famous sex toy store. I’d admired the window displays in this fetish boutique for years. Now, we were actually going inside, and I felt both excited and nervous. The place was filled with outfits and toys and implements of pleasure and pain. Jack watched me wander through this fantasy emporium. He didn’t give me any instructions. He simply followed me, as if wanting
to see where my own desires might lead.

“Anything you want,” Jack said, “anything at all.”

I walked slowly through the large store, my fingertips stroking different leathers, lustrous fabrics. My eyes were huge.

What did I want?

I ended up in front of the bondage equipment, the paddles, the quirts and crops and canes.

Jack stood right behind me, and I could feel the strength of him, the heat of him. He didn’t know why I’d come to this wall. He didn’t know about my letter to Nate. About the fact that I already felt guilty for having a secret from him. Day two together, and I’d disobeyed one of the few laws he’d laid out.

“What do you want, baby?” Jack asked, his hands on my shoulders.

I pointed. Jack nodded, no questions asked, grabbed the weapon of my choice, and headed to the front of the store to pay.

“Tell me,” Jack said. I’d found myself in what now felt like a familiar position in the center of his bed. Was it “our” bed? No. Not yet.

I was quiet, waiting. Tell him what? I needed more information.

“Tell me what you wrote to Nate.”

Oh fucking god. How did he know?

“Come on, kid, I’m not stupid.”

I’d broken one of the first real rules he’d given me. Broken it within twenty-four hours, and after he’d disciplined me for this very infraction, as well. After he’d warmed my ass with a serious, over-the-knee paddling. And after he’d given me a verbal warning in the car.

“Nothing,” I said softly.

“I told you not to lie to me,” Jack said, “and I told you that I wouldn’t stand for you caring what other men thought.”

“I didn’t write anything important. I simply said—” I was babbling.

“Sorry,” he spat. Mimicking me cruelly. “You said ‘sorry.’”

Was he going to kick me out? Was I destined to be homeless all over again?

I squeezed my eyes closed tightly. I had nothing to say in my defense. Clearly, when Jack had gone back in to give Garrett a check, he’d opened up the computer. He’d seen my damning note.

“Are you sorry?” Jack asked. “Sorry you’re not with Nathan?”

“No, Sir.”

“Then why did you write that?”

I hesitated, but only for a moment. “Because I felt as if I was letting him down.”

“And you gave a shit about what he thought.”

I nodded.

“All right,” Jack nodded. “Fair enough.” And then suddenly my wrists were free and Jack was undoing the bindings on my ankles. I didn’t move. I was petrified.

“Go,” he said. “Go.”

“Jack, please …”

“If you want to be with him, I won’t stop you.”

“Please, Jack …”

He stood there, looking at me. I sat up on the bed, wrapped my arms around my naked body, curled as tightly into a ball as I could possibly get, as cold as I’d been naked in the night air on Jack’s balcony.

“I’m sure he’ll take you back.”

“I don’t want to go.”

Jack stared at me in silence, and I wondered which one of us would speak first. But I shouldn’t have. Of course, it would be me. “Please, Jack.” I got off the bed and bent down in front of him. “Please, Jack. I’m sorry.”

“That’s what you said to Nate.”

Ah, fuck me.

“I had to say something.”

“No, you didn’t. You could have left. He’d have understood that message perfectly.”

I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t get any lower on the floor than I was. I couldn’t get any more stripped down. I was entirely naked and crying, and all I could imagine was Jack pushing me outside into the hallway and leaving me there.

“You want to stay with me?” he finally asked.

“Yes, yes,” babbling again. “Yes, Sir. Please, Sir.”

“Then show me.”

I didn’t immediately know what he meant, what he wanted. I was already groveling. Nude. Begging. But then inspiration hit, and I climbed back on the bed and put my hands over my head, wrists together. Everything seemed clear to me. Show him. I’d asked him to buy the cane. I’d picked the thing out myself. And now I would take the punishment. Without needing to be tied. Without having to be bound.

Jack made me wait. Yes, he made me wait.

But for the first time, I was ready.

Chapter Twenty-Five:
Three-AM Wake-Up Call

It took several days before I remembered I’d left my car outside the bar. Yes, I’m ditzy, but this was different. There hadn’t been a need for me to drive, and there hadn’t been a moment for me to worry. Jack had arranged the week so that we both had time off, and he chauffeured us wherever we needed to go. But this was one of those three-AM revelations, when I sat up in bed, waking Jack, then flipped on the light on the nightstand.

“What’s wrong?”

“My car,” I told him. “It’s probably been impounded and towed away by now.”

Jack started to laugh, pulling me back down under the covers with him. “Don’t worry, Sam. I took care of it.”

“How?”

He looked at me in that casual way, appraising. “You don’t have faith in me yet, do you?”

I always seemed to walk into things with Jack. I thought we’d been talking about my car. Suddenly, we
were talking about the two of us. I knew by now to weigh my words carefully, to consider my response.

“Yes, I have faith,” I told him.

“Then why do you think I’d let your car get impounded?”

I waited to see where he was going with this.

“It’s at my place in Malibu. I had my assistant drive it there the first night you stayed over.”

“How?” I started. “How did you know?”

Jack shrugged. “I told you, Samantha. At the restaurant, I told you what you wanted. I told you I could give you everything you needed. I wasn’t going to take a second chance and let you get away.” He pulled me into his arms while I thought about what he’d said. Somehow he’d gotten the keys to my car—from my purse? Or had he called AAA? He’d gotten my car, one way or another. Before he’d even asked me to move in with him, he’d already known what my answer would be. Was that always the case? Were the questions he asked me out of politeness alone? Did I ever actually have a choice?

I could still feel Jack looking at me, and I wondered whether he could guess what I was thinking. He was good at this game. Sometimes he understood my concerns, my worries, before I even did myself.

“I would have had your car delivered to you,” he said. “I would have let you go, no questions asked, no hard feelings.”

“But now …” I said. We’d had a frivolous couple of days, with Jack taking me shopping, buying me high-heeled shoes and armfuls of lingerie, collars, leashes, toys. He had gone easy on me since we’d returned from the boys’ apartment, and although I still wore the bruises
from the cane like badges of honor, he hadn’t done more than spank me.

“Do you want to leave?”

“No, Sir.”

“Then what’s the problem, Sam?”

BOOK: Dark Secret Love
6.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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