She heard a soft knock, and as she’d already opened the door in anticipation of his arrival, all she had to do was turn slightly to see him standing there in the doorway. As he walked purposefully towards her, the briefcase she knew cost more than she made in several months thudded carelessly onto the well-worn carpet, mid-stride, as if his fingers simply couldn’t bear to hold it for one more second.
“Damn, you’re gorgeous,” he breathed as his mouth took hers and those now empty fingers delved into her carefully coifed hair, making her want to cringe away from him, considering how long it had taken her to tame her curls into the sophisticated up do, but she already knew better than to give in to that impulse.
Besides, it was much too late to save her masterpiece as pins gave way to the pressure of his hand—much like the rest of her did, letting him bend her back over his arm, forcing her to arch herself into him whether she wanted to or not as he deliberately kept her off balance in more ways than one.
Suddenly, he withdrew his arms and grabbed her hand, reached back to close the door he’d left open in one smooth move, then tugged her into her room to sit her on the edge of her tiny bed. She couldn’t keep the surprised look from her face when he took a knee before her and reached for her foot.
“No heels,” he said in a tone barely above a warning as he peeled the straps away from her delicate foot. “At best, you look like a little girl playing dress up in her mother’s shoes. At worst, they make you look like a hoo-ahh.”
She almost dared to crack a smile at his Sopranos reference, but then thought better of it. She was never quite sure how a lighthearted response would be received when he was like this.
Although she mourned the loss of a pair of bright red, delicately revealing Jimmy Choo’s she’d found in—of all places—the Salvation Army, feet had never been much of an arousal point for her. But the warmth of his always sure, steady hands radiated up the insides of her calves to thighs that were already much too willing to part for him at his merest suggestion, that deep ache settling between them, adding an almost distressing level of anguish to an area that had been perpetually and embarrassingly moist since she’d first set eyes on him.
And he wasn’t even her type! She went for big, muscular, powerfully built guys and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being physically outmatched and overwhelmed in bed. It added something for her that she’d not wanted to explore too deeply. Luckily, that exact brand of man was quite thick on the ground—and thick in general, unfortunately—so that she rarely lacked for companionship when she wanted it.
Until Jack. He was built like the majority of men she saw every day and dismissed as potential lovers without a second thought—about five ten or eleven or so, with short black hair, a hundred and eighty pounds or so. Nothing spectacular. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to attract her. Or so she thought.
He had come into the little coffee shop where she worked and sat down at one of her tables. She’d been flitting around filling coffee cups here, removing dishes there, being her usual warm, cheerful self. But when she’d looked up from grabbing her order pad out of the pocket of her deeply ‘fugly’ polyester uniform and her eyes collided with his, all of the breath drained out of her body and all of her blood headed south, swelling her lady bits to the point where she thought she might have an orgasm right then and there, in front of God and her regulars—and this man, who seemed to be the cause of it all. Trying to gather her wits didn’t get her much of anywhere, so she took the coward’s way out, flashing him a brief, distracted smile and talking to the page she was writing on.
“Wh-what,” she cleared her throat and began again, to no avail. “Wh-what can I get you?”
He’d said nothing, as if she hadn’t spoken.
After a long pause, during which she willed herself not to look up or repeat her question, she lost the battle and peeped over the top of her pad at him, regretting it immediately when she saw that he was staring back at her with a slightly censorious look in those striking blue eyes, as if he knew how gregarious she usually was and was silently chiding her for not treating him in the same cheerful, welcoming fashion.
But that would have been an impossibility. Her heart was beating so hard within her chest she thought it was going to explode, she felt faint, and the only thing she could think about—the only appropriate thing—was that she wanted to get his order as quickly as humanly possible, then run—no, flee—to the kitchen and made Maddie—the other waitress who was on duty this afternoon—switch stations with her.
But if he refused to speak to her, she was trapped, standing there in front of him like a schoolgirl waiting to be disciplined by her headmaster.
That thought inspired visions she tried and failed miserably to banish as she felt the flames of a hot blush creep up from her breasts to spread over her entire face, and, to top off her pure mortification, she could feel her nipples blossoming into tight peaks that were clearly revealed by her obscenely clinging uniform.
After another long beat, he murmured softly, while staring directly at her breasts to let her know exactly to what he was referring, “My, my. That’s quite a reaction.”
She nearly fell to the floor and kissed his feet when he turned to peruse the menu for a quick second, then said, “I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger, well done, with fries and a lemonade, please.” He handed her the menu. “And make sure the fries are fresh. There’s very little else in this world that’s as bad as an old French fry.”
The words that fell automatically out of her mouth at his no-nonsense tone were as alien to her as if they had been Swahili. “Yes, sir.” But she couldn’t dwell on it now—she was too busy scurrying away from him and into the relative safety of the kitchen.
“Maddie!” she hissed fretfully at the other waitress, who she knew would be back here, chatting up the cook, on whom she had an embarrassingly blatant crush.
“Take table fifteen for me, will you, please? I’ll take your next overnight shift.”
It was the wrong approach, letting the catty young woman know something was definitely up, since Colleen was an early bird and detested third shift, avoiding it like plague when she could. Maddie immediately turned to peer through the pass, craning and straining herself trying to get a good look at the customer her colleague was so all fired eager to foist off on her, figuring he was some smelly, homeless or butt ugly guy. Or all three wrapped into one, which wasn’t nearly as uncommon as someone in the service industry would prefer.
But she was flat out wrong. He looked like a normal, average guy—possibly a business man or a politician. Since this was D.C., there was no way to avoid either type. This one seemed very nicely dressed, but nothing about him screamed money in any way—unless one looked a lot more closely than most would. His hair was ruthlessly trimmed, bespeaking a military background, perhaps, or just old white money. His suit was hand tailored—nothing off the rack would have fit as obscenely well—and his shoes and briefcase were both outwardly unremarkable, unless one knew about these things, and Maddie definitely did. She knew neither item had a label, because they were both—like his suit—custom made. If she had to guess, she would say that the shoes were made by John Hunter Lobb in London—who also made shoes for the Prince of Whales. She had no idea where the case originated from, but the shoes told her all she needed to know about this man.
But she wasn’t about to tip her hand to Colleen. Sensing her advantage and not one to let anything go easily, Maddie countered with, “Take my next two and you got a deal.”
Colleen sighed, knowing Maddie had her over a barrel, but she nodded.
Maddie filled a glass with ice and lemonade as Colleen gave the rest of the order to Eddie and headed out to deliver the beverage, wondering what the heck her co-worker found wrong with the man and absolutely certain that, by the time she handed him the bill, he’d be begging for her number.
Seconds later, she returned, glass in hand and a look that would bring Godzilla to his knees. Colleen was still in the kitchen, and Maddie held out the glass to her as if it contained sulfuric acid. “He doesn’t want me; he wants you.”
Colleen was just as stunned to hear it as Maddie had been. Her heartbeat had just begun to slow, but now her pulse was working on matching the national debt.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
Maddie shrugged, still holding out the glass. “I don’t know. When I got to the table, he asked me where you were.” Her tone conveyed just how incredulous she thought that idea. “I told him in the kitchen. He asked if you were sick or something and I said no, and then he said that, in that case, he expected you to finish serving him and not try to pawn him off on someone else.” Maddie sank onto one of the stools near Eddie. “Nasty bastard. But you still owe me two night shifts, Colleen Donovan. Don’t think he’s going to get you off the hook.”
But her debt to Maddie—however odious—was the last thing on her mind. “Son of a bitch,” Colleen muttered under her breath, leaving both Maddie and Eddie with shocked looks on their faces, since she almost never swore. “Eddie, I don’t suppose—” she began to wheedle, but Eddie put a stop to that—and to her avoidance of that particular customer quickly.
“No. And don’t keep him waiting. From what I’ve heard, he sounds rich. Don’t piss him off and maybe he’ll come back with some friends.”
Colleen rolled her eyes at that idea—shuddering when she thought of serving a table full of men she reacted to like this. Then she plastered what she hoped was a pleasant expression on her face and brought him his drink.
“I hope I haven’t caused you any upset,” he said, leaving no doubt that was the least of his concerns. His gaze settling onto her in an uncomfortably familiar way, as if he knew what she looked like naked.
Colleen had had her share of smarmy men to deal with in this profession, but none of them had caused such a violent, virulent reaction within her person. And he hadn’t really even said or done anything untoward. He hadn’t played grab ass. He hadn’t told her she probably couldn’t count to two without taking her shirt off. Damn him, he hadn’t even called her “honey” or “sweetie”, which she detested almost as much as she did the outright fondling.
He’d been downright circumspect—except for the remark about her nipples, which was mostly her fault for not keeping them under control.
“No, of course not.” It was in her head to say more, but she clamped her teeth shut. The less she interacted with him, the less blatantly aroused she would be, she hoped.
He gave her a look that said he thoroughly doubted her answer but turned to his paper dismissively, and, seeing an opportunity to escape, she turned away to see to the rest of her customers, although she would swear she could feel him watching her avidly.
Luckily, the others were long standing regulars, and she became her usual solicitous, friendly self with them, despite her unease at his continued scrutiny.
Meanwhile, although she knew he was still watching her, Colleen did her best to give herself a mental shake, reminding herself that he was just another customer, no threat to her at all, so that when she glided by his table the next time, she felt much more poised and in control of herself, even her errant heartbeat.
Until he chided softly, not even looking up from his newspaper, “Are you usually in the habit of foisting your customers off on your coworkers, Colleen?”
Panic nearly set in when she realized he knew her name, but then, it was right there on her plastic tag for everyone to see.
Instead of answering him, she reached for his glass. “Looks like you need a refill. I’ll be right back.”
She knew she was the only person in the restaurant who heard his low, sly, “Chicken.”
She was proud of the fact that it only caused the slightest hesitation in her walk, but then, she also knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had caught it anyway.
She waited to bring his drink back until Eddie was finished fixing his burger, so as to avoid having to make a second trip, knowing as she did so that she was proving him right.
Colleen put his plate down in front of him from the left, as she had been taught by her first boss. “Cheeseburger, well done, and fresh fries. Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”
“I believe I asked for a bacon cheeseburger, Colleen.” Although still quiet and low, she almost flinched at the censorious tone. She hated doing anything wrong for any reason and would have been thoroughly mortified even if he had been a bum off the street for not having gotten his order right. But this man—she felt her heart touch the tops of her feet then bounce violently back up, nearly bringing her stomach up with it.
“My apologies, sir. I’ll be right back.”
He snatched a fry from the plate, saying, as she walked away, “I’d like a new order of fries, too, please, for the wait.”
She wasn’t so far gone that the demand—and it was a demand—didn’t have her rolling her eyes, but then, she had been in the wrong, and he was going to have to wait, so she did exactly as he’d asked.
It didn’t help that Eddie pointed out that she’d written the order wrong, and he had just done exactly what she had written.
In as few minutes as was humanly possible, she found herself at his side again with the corrected burger and the insanely hot from the fryer fries. “Can I get you ketchup or mustard, sir?” she asked, for some reason intent on making him happy—or at least not unhappy—with her service, despite her error, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of getting a big tip from him. She might only be a waitress, but she took pride in what she did, and although Eddie had never yelled at her for getting something wrong, she did enough self-flagellation without anyone else’s help when she made the occasional error.
“This looks wonderful, Colleen. Thank you.”
Inordinately pleased at having finally gotten things right for him, she beamed, turning from him to check on her other tables with an unexplained spring in her step. She only checked on him once more, to ask how his meal was and if he would like anything else. He gave her a knowing smile, as if he knew she was trying to hustle him out of there, but declined dessert. Colleen put his slip on the table, face down, telling him to have a nice day and doing her best to be dismissive of him, not looking at him again but feeling his eyes following her around the floor as if his hand was on her waist, guiding her every step.
When she finally deigned to notice him again, long after she knew he would have left, she whisked his ticket off the table and gasped when she realized that he hadn’t done what she expected him to do—leave her no tip or a penny to make a point. Instead, there was a crisp, new hundred-dollar bill, along with his card.
Jackson Powell, CEO/Owner of some technology firm she’d never heard of, and despite the fact that she’d tried to dodge him and had screwed up his order, he had left her upwards of an eighty-dollar tip!
* * *
“Colleen! Where are you?”
Jack hadn’t become any more patient with her since they’d begun dating—just the opposite. She snapped out of her reverie to realize that he hadn’t stopped at her shoes and the entire lower half of her body was now naked. Her expensive—well, expensive for her—dress was bunched just below her armpits, revealing the lacy pink demi-bra she’d chosen very carefully, hoping to entice him to rip it off her at some point during the evening, but then Jack rarely did what she expected him to.
Instead, he reached up almost delicately to release the front catch, dragging the cups slowly out of his way, over her distended nipples, knowing the rough lace was going to scratch that delicate flesh and make them swell even further, making her arch and lift them, aching for his touch but unlikely to receive it any time soon.
He was still on his knees before her—for a man who seemed so naturally dominant, he never hesitated to assume a worshipful position like this, with his face inches from being buried in her pussy as her own juices trailed down onto the frayed chenille bedspread while he made her wait interminably.
Unlike most of her lovers, who preferred to have a completely nude playing field to work with, he refused to allow her to shave. It had been one of his first rules for her. She had protested, thoroughly enjoying feeling somehow cleaner down there when she was all slick and bare, and her simple, pouting, “I don’t wanna not shave,” had garnered her a first real punishment from him, too.
Thinking about it now—how he’d reached for the ruler she kept on her desk without breaking the horrible rhythm of his swats in the least, replacing the comparatively mild swats of his hand on her behind for the much louder, crisper sounds of rigid wood forcibly connecting with stinging, contracting flesh of her backside as she lay over his lap—had her legs making an abortive try at closing while she knew he was staring at her most secret parts. And worried that he would guess why her body had suddenly wanted to shield itself from him.
But she knew better to think that he would let that go by without comment. He liked rummaging around in her mind, getting to know her needs and desires almost too well. “What are you thinking about?” Moist, hot breath flowed over her clit then up over her mons and lower belly, a velvety, vaporous, voluptuous touch that she knew would not be followed by his hand, and that only made that all-consuming ache blossom almost painfully within her, following the trail of his breath up to her breasts, swelling every bit of them instead of just the tips, then up her neck, causing a hot red sex rash to appear as her face flushed all the way to the roots of her hair.
And he hadn’t even touched her yet.
She bit her upper lip, not wanting to tell him what it was, and knowing that, if she fibbed, he would catch her out somehow. He always did.
He wouldn’t ask again, and Colleen knew she was pushing the envelope of what there was of his patience, which wasn’t much.
Writhing now under his watchful gaze, she surrendered even her thoughts to him, feeling frighteningly powerless against him, yet constantly drawn to that very feeling. “I was thinking about the first time you punished me,” she confessed, her blush brightening at having been caught dwelling on something that hadn’t been a very pleasurable experience while it was happening, yet her mind returned to it—and the other times he had taken his hand or whatever implement was nearest—to her behind.
Her eyes flitted past his on the way to the ceiling, but she caught the look of satisfaction there and knew she was the cause—and she wasn’t exactly sure whether she was happy about that or not.
“Tell me exactly what you were thinking.” The fact that it was a whisper didn’t make it any less of a command. With him, there would be no concealing or dismissing the most intimate of her thoughts. He wanted to know every single thing she thought about and how she felt about it, as well.
His mouth was centimeters closer, she could tell. She could almost feel the same rumbling over her privates that she heard when she was in his arms with her ear to his chest as he spoke.
“I was thinking about how much it hurt,” she responded baldly.
“Good. What else?” He waited half a beat, then cautioned, “You know I don’t like to have to drag these things out of you.”
“I remember thinking that I wished I had put my ruler away that morning after I’d used it.”
“I would have found something else equally as appropriate, like a wooden spoon, or a spatula or the rod from your blinds,” he said almost absently as he reached up to tug each arm down in turn, putting the pink tips of her fingers at her own lips, not saying a word because he knew he didn’t have to as she slowly spread herself even more obscenely open for him, so that she was a thousand times more exposed that she had been just seconds before. He didn’t like her hiding anything about herself, least of all her arousal, no matter what caused it.
She could feel him staring at her—at all of her—and knew she was seconds away from an orgasm she had not yet received permission for and began to try to throttle herself back, although it was a dicey proposition at best. Especially when she knew he wouldn’t let her off the hook that easily and that he expected her to continue to talk to him about her fantasy.
“I hadn’t thought it would hurt that much, somehow.”
Tiny, toothy clamps found their way to her nipples, making her whimper as he applied them and completely ignored her distress, still having managed not to touch her in the process.
As much as she protested, the pain was exactly what she needed to latch onto in order to back herself down from that unacceptable peak of arousal she had been hurtling towards.
“Just hurt? Nothing else?”
She thought for a moment, then replied, “Just pain, until afterwards.”
He nodded, resuming his intimate position. Only this time, he touched her, but not in the method she would have chosen. He bowling balled her, using her own slickness to press his thick thumb into her bottom while rudely shoving two fingers up into her quim. And before she had a chance to adjust to his unexpected invasions, he sealed his entire mouth over her clit and began to worry it determinedly with the tip of his tongue.