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Authors: Abby Green

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BOOK: Exquisite Revenge
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‘No,’ Jesse said brokenly, ‘because she’s
dead
. He killed her, let her die.’

Luc shook his head, trying to make sense of what she said. ‘Who killed her, Jesse?’

‘My father.’

Her voice scared him. It was so hard and flat.

Luc faintly remembered her saying that she didn’t know who her father was but clearly she
did
. He could feel her trembling turn into a violent shaking. Locking her into the room had obviously sent her back to some trauma in her life.

Luc cursed out loud, but Jesse was oblivious.

In one move, he stood and lifted her into his arms. He walked them both into the bathroom and put Jesse down for a moment, securing her limp body against him while he reached into the shower to turn it on. Soon steam was filling the room. He looked down at Jesse and saw how pale she was. He cursed again.

Without waiting, Luc put them both under the shower, and once under the powerful hot spray started to take off Jesse’s clothes and then his own. His heart ached in a peculiar way when he saw she was as unresisting as a child. When they were both naked he pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her, willing his body heat into her, stroking her head and back, saying nonsensical things.

He felt the moment she began to come back to herself. Tension came into her body—but a different kind of tension. She started to move, and Luc had to grit his jaw against the inevitable response in his own body. He was already as hard
as a rock, and trying to angle himself in such a way so as not to draw attention to that fact.

He pulled back and looked down at Jesse. She was blinking up into his face, and a sigh of relief moved through him at the sight of colour in her cheeks again. He tried valiantly to block out the view of water running in rivulets over her pert breasts.

Reaching out, he snagged a robe and then turned off the water. He wrapped the robe around Jesse, rubbing up and down her arms and back briskly.

He stopped for a moment and looked at her. ‘Are you okay?’

CHAPTER EIGHT

J
ESSE
looked up into Luc’s eyes. She had complete recollection of what had just happened, but it was as if it had happened to someone else. And in a way it had: to her child self.

Belatedly answering Luc’s question, she nodded abruptly. She was suddenly far too aware that she was standing in a steamy shower with a very naked Luc Sanchis. Praying that her legs would support her, she turned and stepped out of his hands into the bathroom, noticing their sodden clothes on the ground.

She found the holes for her arms in the robe and put them in, tying the belt securely around her. She felt raw, as if she’d been flayed. She heard Luc moving behind her and went into the bedroom to sit on the end of the bed. He was standing in the doorway to the bathroom with a towel around his hips. The light behind him was throwing his broad build into sharp relief, and Jesse felt that ever-present awareness curl into her belly.

He leant against the door and crossed his arms. ‘Do you want to explain what just happened?’

Jesse gulped and looked away. The strength of her reaction to being locked into the room scared her. She knew she’d always had a thing about it, but somehow here her past was reaching up to grip her around the neck with an ease that
terrified her. She felt a strong urge to articulate it—as if she knew that it might be the only way to stop it happening again.

She glanced back to Luc and saw the lines of his face, intent and serious. She looked down at her lap and plucked at a stray thread.

‘When I was nine I was locked into a room with my mother for a night. She was sick, and during the night she died … I couldn’t get out. No one could hear me. I was with her dead body until someone finally opened the door the next day.’

‘Hell …’

She heard Luc moving, the muffled sound of a chair being moved across the floor, and then he was sitting in front of her, taking her hands. Reluctantly she looked at him, and the expression on his face made her feel a swooping sensation in her belly.

‘How on earth could something like that happen?’

Jesse grimaced. ‘I knew she was very ill. She’d been sick for days but hadn’t gone to the doctor … I went to get help, but he wouldn’t listen to me.’

‘You mentioned your father just now … Was it your father you asked for help?’

Jesse nodded. She felt numb inside. ‘He was hosting a dinner party that night. He was drunk and didn’t want to be disturbed. He took me back to the bedroom and told me to stop bothering him. When I went after him again he locked me in …’

Jesse remembered her father lurching unsteadily over to her mother in the bed and feeling her clammy forehead before declaring, ‘She’s fine. It’s just a cold.’

She looked at Luc, needing to erase that memory of her father.

‘By the time morning came and someone opened the door she was dead—had been for hours …’

Luc frowned. ‘Where was your father?’

Jesse shrugged. ‘At work …’

Luc frowned, and then he said, ‘But earlier you locked the door to the study …’

Jesse blushed. ‘I just pretended to lock it.’

Luc’s mouth tipped up wryly. ‘I didn’t even think to test it.’

Something infinitely delicate seemed to stretch between them at that moment.

Luc gripped Jesse’s hands tighter. ‘I’m sorry for locking you in. If I’d had any idea—’

Jesse put her hand over his mouth, and took it away again quickly when his warm breath feathered against her palm. ‘You weren’t to know.
I
didn’t know I’d react like that.’ She ducked her head. ‘It’s embarrassing.’

Luc tipped up her chin and looked at her. ‘No, it’s not embarrassing. Your father was a monster, Jesse, to do that to you and your mother.’

‘Yes, he was.’

‘Is that why you told me you didn’t know who your father was? Because you don’t like to talk about him?’

Jesse felt guilty. ‘Something like that.’

To her surprise Luc stood up, and Jesse blushed when she registered what part of his anatomy her eyes were on a level with.

He stepped back and said lightly, ‘You must be tired. You should get some rest.’

Jesse stood up too, some of those tendrils of icy panic reaching out for her again at the prospect of Luc walking out. Without thinking she put out a hand, curling it around his wrist. It felt vital and alive beneath her palm. His pulse was strong and powerful. She suddenly knew that she needed this, needed him, as she’d never needed anything before in her life. Right in that moment she trusted him implicitly.

Huskily she said, ‘Please don’t leave me alone.’

He stopped and turned to face her directly. ‘What are you saying, Jesse?’

She looked up at him, feeling as if she was stepping out into a void. ‘Please stay with me tonight.’

Jesse could see Luc’s jaw clench.

Carefully he said, ‘If I stay with you we share a bed, and if we share a bed we won’t be doing much sleeping.’

Wild excitement rushed through her, obliterating the awful memories and the fear that had gripped her. She stepped closer to Luc, his wrist still in her hand. ‘That’s what I was hoping you’d say …’

In some dim and distant recess of her mind Jesse couldn’t believe she was being so forward, but for the first time in her life everything felt
right
. This man, this moment. The past few days, everything that had happened, the way he’d reacted just now and the moments when he’d shown her real gentleness—she had come to trust him on some very deep and vulnerable level, but she couldn’t really acknowledge that now. She could only act on it.

Luc said, ‘Are you sure?’

Jesse just said, ‘Stop talking, Sanchis …’ and dropped his wrist. She reached up and put her arms around his neck, funnelled her hands through his hair, urging his head down to hers. ‘Kiss me.’

Luc’s arms went around her waist, dragging her even closer. Jesse could feel the thrilling hard ridge of his arousal and moved against him.

He growled softly. ‘I thought I told you we’ve gone way beyond such formality …’

He lowered his head and pulled her up to meet him. Their mouths met and Jesse melted into a sea of raging hormones. They kissed for what felt like for ever, tongues tangling together in a languorous erotic dance. And then Jesse felt herself
being lowered onto her bed. She lay back and looked up at Luc, eyes drinking in his hard-boned form greedily.

He came down over her on his arms, not even touching her yet, tantalising her. Emboldened, Jesse moved her hands to her robe and undid the knot. She pulled the robe open and saw Luc’s eyes widen and flash with fire as his gaze dipped and dwelled on all her secrets and hollows.

Impatient, Jesse came up slightly and reached for his towel, tugging so that it came apart and fell to the floor. Her own eyes widened when she took in the sheer male perfection of his body. She’d seen him naked already, but she hadn’t seen him naked and aroused.

A little overwhelmed, she fell back onto the bed, unaware that her legs were parting instinctively. Luc smiled, and it was feral. He stroked a hand down Jesse’s body, over her collarbone and over one tip-tilted breast, dwelling there to squeeze her nipple gently, making her gasp. And then his hand continued to the cleft between her legs.

His fingers found where she was moist and aching. Jesse moved her hips against him. ‘Luc … please.’

Luc’s fingers moved against her, teasing her. Biting her lip, Jesse moved so that she could reach him and wrap one hand around his hard girth. She exulted in his own deeply drawn breath.

‘You’re playing with fire now …’

Jesse felt urgency building and stroked her hand up and down his shaft, wanting him to fill her. She tried to draw him closer, every muscle in her body crying out when she held the tip of him at her entrance.

A wave of sensation was already rolling through Jesse’s body. And, as if she’d finally pushed him too far, Luc gently prised her hand from him and balanced on his hands over her, then thrust deep into her clasping body.

Jesse was so ready and sensitised that she convulsed
around Luc immediately, countless waves of pleasure holding her suspended before diminishing and leaving her breathless. She felt the sweat on her skin, and tremors racked her body.

Embarrassed at the strength of her reaction, she ducked her head into Luc’s shoulder. ‘I’m sorry …’

He tipped up her chin. ‘Never be sorry for being so responsive.’

Jesse felt intensely gauche. ‘But I … You haven’t even …’

‘No,’ he agreed in thrillingly deep tones. ‘But I fully intend to.’

And with that he started to move slowly, in and out. Jesse was over-sensitive for a second, but then her body started to adjust and she could feel that urgency building all over again. She gripped his arms with her hands and wrapped her legs around his back, feeling him slide even deeper.

Soon Luc’s movements became harder and faster, and Jesse could feel herself climbing. She only half heard Luc’s guttural-sounding,
‘Damn …’
She was too intent on reaching that pinnacle of pleasure again.

And then she saw the tortured expression on his face. ‘What is it?’

Luc gritted out painfully, ‘No protection …’

But they were both too far gone. Jesse could feel her muscles start to clamp around him, urging him to completion. Luc threw his head back and shouted out, and at the last second, when everything in Jesse broke free of the delicious tension and soared even higher than before, Luc pulled free of her body and twisted away from her.

Despite the intensity of her climax Jesse felt bereft, as if she’d been cheated of something. She lay there panting, the sweat cooling on her body, and became aware that her arms weren’t even fully out of the robe. She shrugged out of it now and instinctively curled into Luc’s back. She tucked her legs
under his, breathed his scent in deep and welcomed a sweet oblivion she’d never tasted before.

Luc lay for a long time, staring into the middle distance as his body came down from the mind-bending crescendo it had just experienced. Jesse’s arm was around him like a vice and, contrary to what was usual for him, his first impulse wasn’t to get out of her embrace. Instead he found his hand coming up to hold hers against him.

He felt as if he’d just been turned inside out. He’d never,
ever
forgotten about protection before, was far too wary of unplanned pregnancies, and yet it had been the last thing on his mind right up until it had been too late. The only option left to him had been to withdraw and spill himself on the bed like a callow youth. For the
second
time that evening he’d been reduced to baser tendencies than he was used to.

But what was even more disconcerting was how right it had felt to thrust into Jesse’s tight, slick heat skin-to-skin, and how hard it had been to pull free as his climax had approached, robbing him of any remaining sanity. Even now he couldn’t be sure that they’d been entirely safe …

Luc shifted onto his back and Jesse snuggled sleepily into his chest, one leg coming up to rest over his thigh—disturbingly close to a far too sensitive part of his anatomy. The arm across his chest tightened. Her breasts pressed against his side. And Luc sighed deeply as the resurgence of desire rushed through his body …

What had happened in this room this evening posed far too many intriguing questions. The ease with which Luc had imagined rattling Jesse’s cage was almost laughable now. She was the one rattling
his
cage, and he didn’t like it one bit.

‘I thought I wasn’t any good at … sex.’

Jesse blushed against Luc’s chest. What on earth had made
her blurt that out? She felt Luc move, and then she was on her back and he was looming over her, looking deliciously tousled and with a dark shadow on his jaw.

They’d been in bed all day and most of the evening, after a brief hiatus at about seven that morning, when Luc had summarily carried her down to the kitchen for a delicious breakfast. By some unspoken agreement they’d spoken of nothing controversial—nothing beyond the island—to link to harsh reality. It was as if they’d silently mutually decided to embark on a tenuous truce.

‘Well, I can assert that you are
very
good at sex.’

Jesse blushed more now, and put her hands to her face.

Luc took them and pinned them over her head with one hand, before resting his other hand near the apex of her legs. It had an immediate effect on her breathing, and not for the first time in the last twenty-four hours did she welcome physical release over the clamour of voices in her head, urging her to stop and think about what was happening between them …

‘Whoever gave you the idea that you weren’t?’

Jesse squirmed, hating that the fact Luc was holding her hands captive sent such thrills of excitement through her body. ‘I was involved with someone briefly a few years ago. I tried to like it … but when he touched me I just felt cold inside. And yet with you I felt hot the first time you looked at me.’

Luc said, ‘Do you remember bumping into me at that function?’

Jesse nodded and bit her lip. She felt vulnerable now, remembering the way he’d thrust her away from him that night. Sudden doubt assailed her. The cacophony of inner voices became louder. Perhaps this was all part of his plan and even now he was playing her … pretending to desire her … forcing his body to respond.

‘I wanted you then.’

Jesse blurted out, ‘But you pushed me away from you …’

Luc grimaced, his hand tightening on hers fractionally. His other hand was touching the curls covering her sex. ‘I’d been watching you … wondering about you …’

All Jesse’s doubts melted away like traitors. ‘You had?’

He nodded. ‘And then you walked straight into my arms and looked up at me … and seemed to see right into me.’

Jesse felt scary emotion grip her. ‘That’s what I felt too …’

He bent his head to kiss her just as his hand reached for that sweet spot between her legs and Jesse’s back arched. She let emotion and doubt be swallowed up in the heat which rose around them again.

When Luc broke off the kiss he commanded her with a rough voice,
‘Don’t
take your hands down or I’ll tie them there.’

BOOK: Exquisite Revenge
9.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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