Read An opportunity seized Online

Authors: Donna Gallagher

An opportunity seized

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Table of Contents

Legal Page

Title Page

Book Description

Dedication

Trademarks Acknowledgement

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Epilogue

New Excerpt

About the Author

Publishing Page

A Totally Bound Publication

An Opportunity Seized

ISBN #978-1-78430-418-8

©Copyright Donna Gallagher 2015

Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright January 2015

Edited by Sarah Smeaton

Totally Bound Publishing

 

This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.

 

Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorized or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.

 

The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.

 

Published in 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing,Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN

 

Totally Bound Publishing is a subsidiary of Totally Entwined Group Limited.

 

 

Warning:

 

This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has aheat ratingofTotally Sizzlingand aSexometerof3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haven Security

 

AN OPPORTUNITY SEIZED

 

 

Donna Gallagher

 

 

 

Book one in the Haven Security series

Two unforeseen moments in time— One brings them together, the other is a danger so real it could tear them apart.

Antoinette ‘Toni’ Grimaldi prefers to keep out of the spotlight, blend in with the crowd and experience life the same as the bulk of the population. Being a mining magnate’s daughter is a difficult persona for her to uphold. She just doesn’t fit in with high society standards, always managing to say something inappropriate or trip over her own feet at the worst possible moment, resulting in that look of disappointment and embarrassment her parents inevitably wear whenever she’s around.

Meeting a handsome stranger who comes to her rescue and asks her out on a date is so much more than Toni could have ever hoped for on her dream holiday—one she is surprised her parents have even permitted her to take alone. Her fairy-tale moment is short-lived, though, when Toni discovers the stranger has been hired by her family to follow her every move—under the guise of keeping her safe.

Jason finds he is drawn to Antoinette. She is nothing at all like the socialite he was expecting to shadow around London’s nightclubs. After an awkward first meeting, he convinces Toni that there is more to his interest in her than just as her bodyguard. To his surprise, his attraction for the soft-spoken, thoughtful woman grows, despite his usual reluctance to commit to any kind of relationship.

Then a disaster at one of the family-owned mines and a string of death threats force Toni to return home, and her need for a bodyguard becomes a life and death reality.

 

 

Dedication

 

 

My darling Luke, I’m sorry I broke my promise but it was just too good not to use,

love Mum

 

 

Trademarks Acknowledgement

 

 

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

 

Swiss Amy knife: Victorinox AG

Ibis: Accor S.A.

Manolo Blahnik: Manolo Blahnik

Diet Coke: The Coca-Cola Company

American Express: American Express Company

Botox: Allergan, Inc.

Glock 22: Glock Ges.m.b.H.

The Bodyguard: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Chapter One

 

 

 

As soon as she spotted the little kiosk, all Toni could think of was tucking into a cold ice cream. The weather in London had been outrageously hot for the few days she’d been here. It was just her luck that a heatwave would hit town at the same time she did. She wasn’t even going to feel guilty for the calories she was about to consume—well, maybe only a little.Surely after all the walking I’ve done today I deserve a little treat,she told herself as she waited to be served. It was such a pain having to worry about her weight—and she did have to keep an eye on her food intake. Toni had always thought it was so unfair that she took after her pudgy father and not her pencil thin mother in that regard.Stupid genetics,she thought, as she found a shady spot under the branches of a big plane tree in the grounds of St. James’s Park to sit and enjoy her treat.

The park was opposite Buckingham Palace, and Toni watched the crowds of people streaming down the path. The changing of the guard had just finished and the sightseers were all headed off to the next attraction, just like she would be, after her quick rest break. London was a fascinating place and one Toni had been looking forward to visiting for some time. She was finding it hard to believe that she’d actually made it here and all by herself—still surprised that her parents had relented and let her go in the first place. The thought of her parents made Toni giggle—how horrified her mother would be if she could see Toni now, sitting crossed-legged on the grass, not to mention the frown that would crease her mother’s perfect face at the sight of Toni eating such a fattening treat.

Toni knew her father would be horrified to think of his only daughter sightseeing like some common tourist. Her father had been invited inside the Palace, more than once, to attend some function or another, but those types of gathering were just not Toni’s cup of tea. She much preferred to keep out of the spotlight, blend in with the crowd and experience life the same as the bulk of the population. Being a mining magnate’s daughter was a difficult persona for Toni to uphold. She was plain, a little overweight and just didn’t fit in with high society standards—much to her mother’s disdain. She always managed to say something inappropriate or trip over her own feet at the worst possible moment, resulting in that look of disappointment and embarrassment her parents inevitably wore whenever she was around.

Just as she bit into the crisp cone Toni felt something hit her shoulder. At first she thought she’d been struck by a ball. That was until the wetness started seeping through her T-shirt. It felt like a warm sticky mass sat on her right shoulder and as she looked down, Toni gasped as she saw the green, gooey clumps that now covered her front.

Then the smell hit her.

“Eww!” she squealed as her stomach rolled. Nausea was threatening to bring her breakfast back up, and while she’d enjoyed the morning meal, revisiting it would not be pretty. What little of the ice cream she’d consumed also burned the back of her throat. The rest of the sweet treat was now melting and running down her right arm.What am I going to do?

The one small napkin she’d picked up at the kiosk was going to be of little or no use in trying to sop up the stinking, green lumpy mess, which had now made its way through her shirt to her skin. But if she didn’t do something and fast, she could add her own vomit to her hopeless plight.

“Goose.”

Toni heard the male voice, was shocked that anyone could be so mean as to call her that when she was in so much distress. She tilted her head up so she could at least see who it was that was making fun of her. Even in a strange town, Toni had managed to become the brunt of someone’s cruel taunt.

The stranger was standing directly in front of her, looking down at her. He wore a baseball style cap and those horrible reflective sunglasses that Toni hated.

“I think its goose poo,” the stranger added. “I’ve never really been a believer that a bird’s droppings mean good luck, but if it does, I figure you should probably buy a lottery ticket.”

 

Jason hadn’t meant to make contact with her yet, if at all. His job was to follow and protect the target—Antoinette Grimaldi. It had been made perfectly clear to Jason that he needed to fulfill that charter without her knowledge while she holidayed in Europe. Her father, an extremely wealthy—no, scrap that, and make it ridiculously, filthy rich—businessman from Australia had used the firm Jason worked for on many occasions. So when his boss had given him this assignment, while not thrilled, Jason had agreed to take it for the good of the firm.

He’d expected his target to be a rich, spoiled brat that he would probably be spending many late nights at clubs or standing outside some playboy’s apartment long into the early hours while she partied on to her heart’s content. Jason had been wrong. When he’d seen the filth hit her and the mess it had left, he hadn’t been able to stand by and do nothing. Just the look on her alluring face had torn at his heart.

Now she was looking up at him, her big brown eyes filling with tears.

“I think we need to do something about that mess real soon, luv, ’cause that smell ain’t gonna get any better,” he said, trying to keep his voice calm, project a soothing tone—the tears threatening to spill from her eyes making him panic slightly. Jason was not trained to deal with teary females.

“I thought you called me a goose.”

It took a moment for Jason to realize that Antoinette had spoken to him and for what she’d said to sink in.

“I don’t know what to do, how to get it off.” Her whispered voice sounded so defeated. Every protective instinct in Jason rose to the occasion, bringing with it an overwhelming need for him to help her, whatever the cost. Without a moment’s hesitation he unbuttoned the shirt he had on over his T-shirt and took it off, holding it out to her. “Take yours off and put this on.”

“But I will have to lift it over my head and the poo will get in my hair and on my face, plus I can’t take your shirt. I don’t even know you,” she replied sadly.

In the days Jason had been watching over Antoinette, he’d been shocked at the lack of care the girl had shown for her own safety. She’d never once looked over her shoulder to see if anyone was following her or given a second thought to wandering the streets of London alone, even at night, and now she was going to start worrying about the fact that she didn’t know him. “Well, your accent would suggest that you’re an Aussie, and so am I. My name is Jason and it would be my pleasure to assist a fellow countryman—or woman in this case—in her hour of need. I think your top is ruined so I could always cut it off you so you don’t have to pull it over your head.” Jason didn’t bother telling her that there were goose droppings in her hair too.


Page 2

“You have a knife?”

Way to go, idiot. Now she thinks you’re a knife-wielding stranger.“I have a Swiss Amy knife on my key ring that has a small pair of scissors.”

“Oh! I see…” she said, after a few seconds had ticked by.

Jason could almost hear the wheels grinding in her mind as Antoinette tried to work out whether to take his offer for help or not.

Finally, obviously having decided on her fate, she continued, “And yes, Jason, I am from Australia. I guess your plan is the only one I’ve got. I hope I don’t get arrested for undressing in public, though.”

The look on her face was priceless—she really was adorable and that was a word that Jason did not normally associate with women. Hot, fast or sexy were more the kind of words he liked to use when he thought of the opposite sex. Antoinette Grimaldi was sexy in her own way, he decided much to his own horror—the last thing he needed was to get emotionally involved with a client—especially one that was unaware of his employment. It was a major rule breaker in his line of work.

“I think we can pull this off without drawing any unwanted attention, luv. If you stand with your back to the tree trunk I can block the view from the front while we do the swap.” Jason hoped that his idea would make her feel a little better about shedding her top in public. He wasn’t a huge guy but he was big enough to block her small frame from passers-by.

“Well, if you’re sure you don’t mind lending me your shirt, I suppose it’ll be okay.” Jason could still hear the note of trepidation in her voice as she gingerly stood and started backing her way up to the tree. “Just try to make it quick and keep your eyes shut,” she added.

“I think it’s probably better if I keep my eyes open while I’m cutting off your clothes, honey. I wouldn’t want to hurt you.” If she didn’t smell so bad and look so miserable, the whole episode would have been funny. Jason took the Swiss Army knife out of his pocket and flipped it open. Pulling the neckline of her shirt away from her body with his other hand, he quickly cut the fabric right down the middle, being careful not to let the sharp blade come into contact with her skin.

As the material split in two and fell away, Jason was left staring at a view of her breasts. She was clad in a simple white bra. Two perfectly rounded swells of creamy flesh peeked over the top of the cups and all the humor he had been feeling prior to that moment fled. In its place was a heart-hammering burst of hunger. The reaction was so unexpected that Jason had to stop and reel in his own imagination, which had taken off on an erotic journey that involved touching and tasting the luscious bounty in his sights, while he pressed Antoinette back up against the tree. He’d only have to move a step or so closer—just lower his head and capture between his lips one of the berry-colored nipples that were pressed against the virginal white fabric of her bra. The idea certainly had Jason’s dick interested, as it swelled a little uncomfortably inside his jeans.

“Can I have the shirt now please…?”

Antoinette’s plea shook Jason back to his senses. He grabbed the shirt that he’d slung over his shoulder while he’d had both hands full and held it out to her. A mixture of relief and disappointment fought for supremacy inside his head as she slipped into his shirt and fastened the buttons, removing the vision of her body that had rocked him.

“I don’t know how to thank you enough for your help, Jason. Can I pay to replace your shirt?”

“Coffee, what do you say you buy me a cup of coffee?” Jason should have accepted Antoinette’s offer or declined and moved on quickly, but before common sense had had a chance to influence him, he’d replied. He didn’t really expect that the feeble attempt to stay in Antoinette’s company a little longer would work, but it was worth a try. Following her around had left him feeling like she could use a friend. Jason was used to being in his own company—preferred it most days—but he could not comprehend why such a lovely young woman would be traveling on her own by choice. Surely there was a list a mile long of available suitors that would have given their eyeteeth to spend some time with the heiress to a fortune. She was way out of his league but it was only a coffee invitation after all. He tried to convince himself as he waited for her reply.

“Umm… I’m not sure that’s a good idea…”

Antoinette’s rejection affected Jason more than it should have. He felt the weight of disappointment in his gut.

“Why is that, luv?”

“I smell pretty bad. I’m not sure I should inflict this aroma on you or anyone else, for that matter.”

Even though Antoinette had tried to laugh it off, Jason could tell that she was embarrassed. If he were honest with himself, he had to admit that the goose droppings stench was still very strong on her. But he didn’t want to say goodbye yet and resume the impersonal act of following her around undetected. A job made more difficult now that she would recognize him.

“I can smell that your point is a valid one,” Jason began, trying to add a jovial and friendly quality to his voice. “What say I accompany you back to your hotel and wait for you in the lobby while you get yourself cleaned up? Then we can have that coffee in comfort and without either of us having to shove a peg on our nose. I don’t think I have one of those on my Swiss Army knife.”

Jason waited, trying to portray an easy-going persona as Antoinette thought over his proposal. He’d pasted a friendly smile on his face to mask the desperation he was feeling. It was ridiculous. There had never been a time in Jason’s life that he could remember when he’d wanted anything as much as he did the chance to have a lousy coffee and the opportunity to get to know this girl better.

“My hotel is quite a long way away,” she finally replied. “I’m staying in Earls Court. I caught the bus here but I think I might need to catch a cab back. I can’t travel on public transport smelling like this. Maybe I can get your number and we can do coffee another time?”

There was no way Jason was letting her off the hook that easily. “Typical Aussie. We all stay in Earls Court. I’m at the Ibis. Where are you?” He knew she was also at the Ibis, had been surprised when given her itinerary that she’d booked such modest accommodation. The more he’d watched and trailed her, though, the more it had made sense. Antoinette Grimaldi did not advertise her wealthy upbringing.

“Seriously, the Ibis? That’s where I’m staying. But you must have had other plans for the day. I don’t want you to miss out on anything because of me. If we are both staying at the same hotel, I could meet you any time.”

Jason couldn’t miss the touch of pink that colored Antoinette’s face as she made her offer. She was just so gorgeous. So shy and unassuming, nothing like the prima donna he’d been expecting when first lumped with this assignment.

“It would be my utmost pleasure to share a ride back to the hotel with you. To be honest, I’d really love the chance to chat with a compatriot, I’ve been missing the Aussie accent and feeling a bit homesick. You’d be doing me a favor. But there is one thing I need from you right now…”

The look of apprehension was plain as day on Antoinette’s face, and Jason felt a little guilty as he watched her take a few steps away from him. Finally she looked up and faced him, those brown eyes of hers as big as saucers.

“And what would that be?” she asked him, her voice soft and sounding a little unsure.

Jason smiled broadly before he continued, “Your name, luv. You never told me what it was—I figure I deserve to know the name of the woman who takes the shirt off my back.”

The sound of Antoinette’s giggle was one of the most beautiful things Jason had ever heard. It wasn’t loud and embarrassing or high-pitched—the type of noise that grates on your nerves—it was sexy, and her eyes took on a shine he hadn’t noticed before. They sparkled back.

“Toni. My name is Toni, and I’m pleased to meet you, Jason.”

 

Chapter Two

 

 

 

Toni didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe Jason was right when he’d said being the recipient of a bird’s dropping was actually lucky because she was not in the habit of receiving attention from men that were so drop-dead gorgeous. Yes, she’d had invitations from men before, but they were the ones who knew about her family’s wealth. Toni had never been under the misconception that any interest directed her way from members of the opposite sex—or the same sex for that matter—were more about what she had to offer than how she looked or her personality. But Jason didn’t know her and yet he seemed to be interested in her. Yes, she was feeling lucky—it was a terrible shame she smelled like a septic tank.

And what were the chances they were both staying in the same hotel? Yes, Aussies tended to stay in and around Earls Court—she didn’t know why or when that had begun but it was fact. There were, of course, hundreds of hotels in this area, so it had to be a wonderful act of kismet, not just coincidence, that Jason was staying at the Ibis as well. Toni was not going to knock back this display of luck that had been sent her way.

“Okay, we share the cab fare back. I go up and wash away this poo… I know it’s in my hair and thank you for not mentioning it,” she said and smiled, before continuing. “Then after I’m all shiny clean and smelling like a human again, I buy you lunch in the restaurant.”

She was acting bold, forward even, but the excitement of what she was suggesting had Toni feeling empowered. She had just invited this sexy man—one she didn’t know from Adam—out to lunch and she had done this while covered in goose poo!Who knew I had it in me?Full of nervous anticipation, she waited for Jason to reply.

“That sounds like a plan. I’ve been looking forward to riding in a famous London black cab and I can’t think of a better excuse to mark that off my to-do list. Let’s go,” her sexy hero replied.

Relief washed over her as Jason agreed to her idea. She might have felt empowered by her boldness but she was still Toni, and opportunities like this didn’t happen to her. So, when Jason held his hand out to her again, she didn’t know what to do. This whole thing was starting to feel like some perfect dream come true. Handsome knight saves in-distress princess from disaster.What the heck! I might as well make the most of it. My good luck must have a time limit. That’s how it always goes in fairy tales.

Toni placed her hand into Jason’s, trying hard not to think about the fact that his height put his nose right above her smelly, goose poo perfumed hair, and headed off to locate a cab rank.

Jason’s hand felt warm and solid around hers. Toni fell into step beside him. The idea that she would follow him straight into hell if he asked crossed her mind as they made their way from the park to the main road. Squirrels ran across the path in front of them, unperturbed by their presence, reminding Toni of some sappy children’s movie with singing and dancing wildlife. She was being fanciful and she was enjoying every moment of it.

They found a cab on Buckingham Palace Road and Jason held the door for her as she climbed in. He sat opposite her in the back, facing her. As the driver wound his way through the congested roads of London, Toni couldn’t help thinking that for someone who had said they wanted to take a ride in a black cab, Jason did not take much time looking at the scenery or enjoying the ambience. Instead he chatted to her non-stop, their conversation easy and comfortable. He had a way of making Toni feel safe and like she was the full focus of his attention. This experience was new to her—in one short taxi ride, Toni felt more alive and comfortable being herself than she could remember feeling in a long time.

“I can’t believe we’re here already,” she said as the driver pulled the car up to the door of the hotel. “I don’t think I looked out of the window once.”

The sound of Jason’s deep, throaty laugh had her insides melting. It distracted her long enough that she didn’t have time to complain as he pushed the twenty pound note through the window to the driver saying, “Keep the change, mate.”

“I thought the plan was that we were to go halves on the fare?” Toni finally managed to say after her insides had solidified again, as Jason helped her from the taxi and ushered her toward the front door.

“I guess I’m just a chauvinist at heart.”

Toni laughed at the playful tone in Jason’s voice. But the cheeky grin on his face as he waited for her to respond to his comment was enough to make her go weak in the knees.

“Well, Mr. Chauvinist, I’ve been warned and won’t let you get the better of me again. I’m paying for lunch. Give me twenty minutes and I’ll meet you on level one.”

Toni didn’t look back or wait for a reply as she scurried toward the lifts. “Twenty minutes? What was I thinking?” she muttered, as she stabbed at the lift call button more than once. “And what the hell will I wear?” As the elevator doors opened, she was mentally going through the articles of clothing still sitting unpacked in her suitcase, wishing that she had hung at least some of them on hangers when she’d checked in a few days before instead of just living out of her suitcase like she usually did. “Shower, wash hair, dry hair and iron something to wear all in the space of twenty minutes—this is going to be a hell of an achievement.”

 

Jason watched her race away—he could see she was muttering to herself but he couldn’t quite catch what she was saying. He’d decided to let her go up alone—he wasn’t sure how she would react when she realized he had the room right next door.

Yes, there was such a thing as coincidence, but he figured that bit of news might push even that concept to its limits, so decided to take the stairs instead. It would be good for him to check out the stairwell one more time, and the exercise would do him good. Not to mention that being in such close proximity to Antoinette in the taxi had taken its toll on his self-control. He needed time to pull himself together.

The whole journey had been spent in a silent battle with his own desire. Her full lips, perfect for kissing, such a temptation. He’d tried distracting his war of wills by chatting about the places he’d visited. Of course, it had been a little unfair considering that Jason knew Toni had also visited them. He had followed her to each and every location—seen the points of interests she’d paused at the longest. But when he thought about it, they were also the places he would have been interested in if, in fact, this trip had been a vacation.


Page 3

You really should tell her the truth before this gets out of hand, said a voice of reason inside his head and he would, as soon as the right time presented itself. Maybe after sharing lunch, this infatuation—or whatever it was boiling his insides to molten lava—would be resolved and he could explain that he had been hired by her family to keep an eye on her, keep her safe. Of course that was not part of his job description—he was supposed to keep a low profile, not let the target know of his existence. That was a curly one. Jason wasn’t sure how he would get around it, but he did understand that keeping it a secret, usually his forte, was not going to work in this instance.

He reached the top floor and checked that Antoinette was not in the corridor before hurrying to his door and using the swipe key to gain entry, breathing a sigh of relief when the green light appeared on the first go. He’d already had to get the swipe card replaced owing to a malfunction and now would not have been a good time for a repeat problem. He needed to get in and out of his room then back to the first floor to meet Antoinette, without her discovering his secret before he had the chance to explain.

Any control he’d regained over his rampant sexual desires with the stair climb and corridor dash quickly returned when Jason realized he could hear the water running in the shower next door and with that thought, his mind filled with erotic images of Antoinette—or more precisely, a naked Antoinette in the shower. He could almost feel the texture of her skin under his fingertips, could see the water cascading over her rounded tits and down her body like a heavenly waterfall, tempting him to explore its exotic path.

For God’s sake, man, pull yourself together, he chastised his overstimulated mind, but it was of little use. He was rock-hard, his cock already leaking pre-cum thanks to his vivid imagination and the memory of those lush breasts confined by that modest bra he’d glimpsed as he’d cut the T-shirt from her body. Reminiscing over the sound of the ripping fabric was also not helping soothe his current state of arousal. There was only one thing he could do and as Jason stripped his clothes from his body and headed for his own shower, he had his hand firmly grasped around his erection, pumping vigorously.

“I need to take the edge off,” he said loudly, as if the empty room would be of interest to his thoughts or actions. Leaning forward with one hand against the bathroom tiles for stability and still pumping his cock with the other as the cool water rained down on his back, Jason let go—gave his imagination free rule.

He pictured them both together under the running water. Imagined Antoinette’s hands wrapped around his aching shaft, stroking him up and down until his balls were drawn tight and ready to explode. He gently pushed her to her knees and encouraged her to take him with her mouth.

The fantasy of her kneeling before him, lips parted, ready to take him into her mouth was enough stimulation to have him spurting cum onto the shower wall and spilling over the fingers he had gripped around his cock. Three more pumping strokes and he was spent.

Jason’s legs gave way and he let himself sink to the shower floor for a moment while he regained composure. It had been a while since he’d had sex, maybe a month or two, but he didn’t remember anything real or imagined that had resulted in him losing his load quite so quickly—or forcefully.

Finally sure that he would be able to use his legs again, Jason stood and turned off the stream of water. He grabbed a towel from the rack on the wall next to him and quickly dried himself off. Wrapping the smallish square of cloth around his hips, he gathered up the dirty clothes and tossed them out toward the chair in the next room singing out, “He shoots, he scores,” as the clothes hit the target.

It was only a few steps to get to the drawers beside his bed to find clean underwear. Jason grabbed a collared shirt from the wardrobe and a pair of jeans that lay strewn over his bag, as he tried to make sense of what he was about to do.

He was an experienced soldier, one of the select few who had made it through the demands of commando training. He’d had more than enough tours of duty in extremely high risk areas under his belt before he’d resigned his commission and joined Haven Security. He was not new to this kind of assignment—it should have been a piece of cake—and yet he had broken protocol.

Spending time with Antoinette Grimaldi was going to cause him problems—exciting and enjoyable complications, he was sure—but he understood that a whole heap of trouble was headed his way if he wasn’t very careful. The Grimaldi contract was an important one for the newly established Haven Security and he really should not have been doing anything that could risk it. But what was even more disturbing was that Jason had already decided that he couldn’t care less. He needed to meet Antoinette and share a meal with her at the very least. There was something about this woman that intrigued him, enticed him—and that was a situation Jason had not encountered for a very long time.

 

Chapter Three

 

 

 

Deciding on the floral A-line dress, Toni gave herself one last look over in the mirror. Even though she felt that the flare over her hips made her look a little bigger than she really was in that area, she loved the bright pattern and the fabric was cool to wear. She’d only just managed to get everything done in the tiny amount of time she had given herself. Her hair was nearly dry and hopefully would not frizz, her makeup was minimal, as usual, and her one concession to vanity and excess—the beautiful strappy, red Manolo Blahnik sandals—were comfortable on her feet.

It’s just lunch, no big deal.She had tried to convince herself more than once. But there was no hiding the feel of the thousand butterflies that had taken up lodgings in her stomach as she made her way back down the lift and headed for the restaurant.

Jason was standing by the entranceway and as Toni’s eyes met his, the butterflies stopped. A sense of peace descended over her. There was no explaining why this happened. It just did. Toni was not one to ignore a sign from the universe and with a smile now firmly planted on her face, she walked confidently toward him. “I hope I didn’t keep you waiting? I’m not sure what I was thinking giving myself only twenty minutes to shower and change.”

“No, perfect timing. I just arrived myself,” Jason replied. “And from where I’m standing, I’d say the timing was just right. You look gorgeous, Toni. Let’s get a table. Shall we?”

Toni took up the offer Jason had extended her, placing her arm through the crook of his, allowing him to escort them in.

“I did have just enough time before you arrived to get the waiter to save this table for us. I hope that’s okay,” Jason said, as he pulled out a chair and indicated for her to sit down.

The table was tucked away at the back of the restaurant, quite intimate and very private. Toni was pleased with the choice. She hated to be the center of attention and sitting with someone as handsome as Jason, she figured plenty of eyes would have been on them.

“This is fine, thank you, but I warn you, I’m paying for this lunch. Don’t you dare try and break our deal,” Toni replied as she sat down.

“I promise I will be a good boy, at least on this occasion.”

The waiter arrived before Toni could reply, but Jason’s comment about being a good boy did not correspond with the devilish look on his face. It had given Toni goosebumps thinking about him acting like a bad boy. Toni tried to control her emotions by taking a sip of the water the waiter had just poured.

“Are you ready to order?” the waiter asked.

“Give us a few minutes, would you, mate? We haven’t had a chance to look at the menu yet,” Jason answered. “That is, unless you’d like to order a drink first, Toni. I’m going to have something soft at this time of the day, but if you want something alcoholic, go right ahead. With the morning you’ve just had, I certainly couldn’t fault you for wanting something a little stronger, maybe, a nice green cocktail?” Jason gave a chuckle, and Toni’s tummy did a flip-flop at the sexy sound.

“No, I went off that color just recently. I think I will just get a Diet Coke for now,” she replied then could have kicked herself for ordering the diet variety in front of Jason.

“Goodo, then make that two Diet Cokes. We’ll order when you bring back the drinks,” Jason told the waiter.

Toni picked up the menu to give herself something to do other than stare at Jason. She couldn’t decide what to order. She really wanted to try the roast of the day with Yorkshire pudding and gravy but her subconscious was pointing to the salad offerings.

“Hmmm, I’m not sure what to try…” she said.

“I’m going for the roast with all the extras,” Jason replied quickly, putting the menu face down on the table. “Have you tried Yorkshire pudding yet?”

“Not in London, but I have had it in Australia. What I should be eating is a salad. Maybe a roast is a bit heavy for lunch. I should really be watching my weight.” Toni felt the heat on her cheeks the moment the words had left her mouth. What had possessed her to make such a comment in front of Jason?Seriously, the guy does not need to be reminded you’re fat, stupid. Way to go.She always managed to put her foot in it when she was out socially. It had been the bane of her life, her awkwardness. She couldn’t even bear to look Jason’s way. She was so embarrassed.

“Rubbish, luv. Take it from me…there is nothing worse than watching a woman push rabbit food around her plate when a bloke’s getting stuck into some good grub. Have the roast if that’s what takes your fancy. Maybe after lunch we can go and see some sights, walk off the food together, if it makes you feel better.”

He was so charming and such an Aussie, the way he spoke. Toni couldn’t help grinning at Jason’s comment about rabbit food. She really was not a fan of salad—give her a good meat dish and potatoes any day. She also really liked the idea of playing tourist with him. Yes it was fun being away from under her family’s influence, but it was a little lonely. So when the waiter returned, Toni did order the roast and was happy to see the smile and conspiring wink Jason gave her as she did.

“So what brings you to London, Jason? Are you holidaying or on business?”

 

It was crunch time. Jason had to make the decision to reveal his true reason for being in London or lie to Toni.

He’d been hoping this question would come up a little further into their lunch date or maybe even later—after he’d had the chance to figure out what it was about her that had him so tied up in knots. It was like his body recognized her, his mind already knew that she was meant for him, and this line of thinking currently rolling around his head had Jason stumped. He wasn’t a romantic man, did not believe in love at first sight. That was just something women read about in romance books to make them happy. But here he was, a grown man, a man with quite an extensive sexual history, and he was having happy-ever-after thoughts like some ditzy teenage girl, for a woman he hardly knew and who was way out of his league.

“A bit of both really,” he finally answered.

“Oh that sounds intriguing. What business are you in?”

“Security.” He wasn’t trying to sound mysterious but just couldn’t think of the best way to come clean.

“So how did you get into that line of work?”

Toni’s question gave him a bit of respite and Jason jumped on it immediately. If he could sidetrack her with stories from his past, maybe he could keep his secret for just a bit longer.

“I joined the Army straight out of school, spent ten years ‘serving our country’, as others like to put it. After a few stints in Afghanistan I decided it was time to bail. My mate Nathan had just started up Haven Security, and he offered me a job. It was a no-brainer really. Doing the sort of stuff I’d been trained for, thanks to the Australian Army. I’ve spent the last two years helping him build up his company.”

Jason saw it—the minute he mentioned the name of the company, Toni reacted. She sat up a little straighter, her eyes opened wider and she started biting at her bottom lip. She had heard of the security firm her father had on retainer to look out for his company and family interests.Of course she has, idiot. All the alarms installed in Toni’s family home have ‘Haven Security’ written on them.

He’d fucked up big time without even realizing it. She really had him operating off his game to have made that kind of rookie slip-up. Where was all that bloody training he’d just mentioned?

“Did you say Haven Security?”

Jason could hear the note of disbelief in her voice and wondered how long it would be until the penny dropped and she put two and two together. The fact that he’d just happened to be in the park at the same time as her, had come to her rescue, and the humdinger that they were both staying in the same hotel.

“Yes, Toni, I did.”

Toni had started tapping her finger on the table, a nervous kind of habit someone might unconsciously do when they were upset. At least his training still had him noticing things like that. Studying human nature and how a person reacts when dealing with stress could be helpful in figuring out truth from lies—something Jason had been very adept at doing, which had helped him stay ahead of trouble more than once. Jason reached out and gently placed his hand over Toni’s for two reasons—he hoped it would still her fingers and stop the tapping, and also prevent her from doing a runner on him.

“Please hear me out before you take aim at me… Before you jump to the wrong conclusion. You being here with me at this table is something I want for me. There is no ulterior motive in this lunch. I just want to get the chance to spend some time with a woman I’m finding hard to resist. The woman who has my stomach tied up in knots and my mind thinking things no respectable man should be thinking.”

“My father hired you…” Tears had started to escape from Toni’s eyes, and Jason wanted to punch himself in the head for being responsible for her sadness. Had she heard anything he’d just said?

“Please don’t cry, luv. I never meant to hurt you. Yes, I was hired to protect you—but from a distance. I was never supposed to make contact with you unless there was a good reason—if you were in imminent danger. But I couldn’t keep that charter. The more I followed you around, the more I wanted to get to know you, speak to you… My God, that sounds awful, like I’m some kind of stalker…”


Page 4

Jason knew he was making a hash of things. The words weren’t coming out like he wanted. He needed to explain that she meant more to him than some security detail—but that would sound even more desperate.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you back at the park but I wanted you to get a chance to get to know me a bit better,” Jason pleaded. “Maybe decide you liked what you saw. And then I was going to explain everything, probably starting off by admitting that I’m booked into the room adjacent to yours.”

 

My father hired him.

She was such a fool.

Not only had she, just hours ago, been reflecting on the fact that her mother and father had finally let her do something on her own, trusted her to be able to look after herself—but the man that she had thought, ridiculously, had come to her rescue and shown a bit of interest in her, was in fact being paid to watch her—more than likely reporting back to her controlling father her every movement. And even more humiliating, she’d had no idea it was all happening until Jason had spelled it out.

Yes, she had recognized the name of the company he worked for. Of course she had. Toni had met Nathan Haven many times in her father’s office at the family home. He’d even walked through the primary school where she taught… Just to make sure she was working in a safe environment—like teaching kindergarten kids was going to thrust her into the realms of danger.

But the way Jason is stroking my hand and the words coming from his mouth seem sincere.She was so confused, so upset. Her world had just been thrown off its axis and she didn’t know what to do next.

“Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding?”

The waiter’s question drew Toni back from her inner turmoil.

“Thank you,” she managed to squeak out. She pulled her hand back from Jason’s grasp and the waiter placed their plates in front of them.

“Is there anything else I can get you? Another drink, perhaps?” the waiter asked politely.

“Thanks, mate. I think we’re all good for now,” Jason replied while Toni was still trying to decide what she should do next.

Should I just get up and leave? Check out of the hotel and go somewhere else? Or should I stay and listen to what he has to say?How could someone as gorgeous as Jason really be interested in me? It’s because of my name, the money.Toni felt sick to her stomach and the aroma of the food was making it worse.So this is how I can lose weight—get a man to break my heart.The last thought pulled her up short. Why did she feel like Jason had broken her heart? She’d only just met him. He didn’t have that kind of power over her emotions—or shouldn’t. This was about her family—the fact that Eva and Frank Grimaldi would not give her any space—not the man sitting in front of her, looking at her with such genuine concern. He was not to blame for just doing what he had been hired to do.

“Come back to me, luv. You’re a million miles away… Say something. Please!”

Toni took a steadying breath then exhaled slowly, trying to calm down the maelstrom of emotion that was clouding her brain. “So, what you’re saying is that you weren’t supposed to make contact with me but you did? Why was that again? It’s not like being covered in goose poo is all that dangerous to my well-being. Smelly…yes. Uncomfortable…yes. But certainly not putting my life at risk.”

“I couldn’t just stand back and do nothing—not when you needed my help. I’d been wanting to talk to you for days. There were a few close calls when I only just managed to stop myself in time. Like when you went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, you spent so long reading about the history, I wanted to have a conversation with you. I love English history, have always been fascinated with the monarchy—not to mention the war and Britain’s involvement. You went everywhere that I would’ve gone if I’d been on holiday. That fascinated me about you. It appeared we had a lot in common, and it didn’t hurt that you happen to be the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen.”

She’d been following along up until the part where Jason had said he thought she was sexy. Toni couldn’t help it. She burst out laughing. “Me? Sexy? When was the last time you had your eyes checked, Mr. Security Man?” Toni managed to say when she had regained her composure.

“And that was before I saw you with your shirt off,” Jason replied cheekily, causing Toni’s face to burn with embarrassment at the memory. She didn’t miss the accompanying wink either as Jason once again held out his hand to her and she placed her own in his.

There was no denying the spark between them and the way just the feel of her hand in Jason’s made her heart race. She wanted to believe him because she was attracted to him like no other. “Well, you are definitely the hottest guy I’ve ever had give me his shirt.”

“Good to know. Now, can we finish our lunch and do some sightseeing? I think I’d like to take a look at London from The Eye and I’d like to do that with my arm around you, not hiding behind a tree or a pole.”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Bus, train or taxi? Your choice, Jason, but I warn you, if we catch a cab, you’re not paying all the fare.”

 

Chapter Four

 

 

 

“Look at the length of those queues. You sure you don’t want to buy the fast track tickets? We could be standing around all day otherwise.” Lunch had ended with Jason feeling like a weight had been removed from his shoulders. He still found it hard to believe Toni had forgiven him so quickly over his deception but he thanked heaven and earth that she had.

“What’s wrong, Jason? Scared to stand in a line and chat? I enjoy being one of the crowd, experiencing the growing anticipation as the queue moves along, until finally it’s my time to ride. Or are you worried I might find out a few secrets you’re not ready to share?”

“I’m not worried. I was a soldier. Part of my training was how to withstand all forms of interrogation—even from sexy woman. But I’d much rather talk about you.”

“Nice distraction technique but I’m not falling for it. Why don’t you line up and I’ll go grab the tickets.”

There wasn’t time for him to answer Toni before she trotted off toward the ticket sales window. He really shouldn’t have let her head off into the swarm of people alone and so Jason remained on high alert until he caught sight of her curly hair bouncing up and down over her shoulders as she headed back toward him. It took her a few moments to spot him, but when she did, the smile she gave him made his heart beat a little faster.

“Here you are. I was worried I’d lost you. There really are a lot of tourists here today.”

“Not much hope of that, luv. You’re stuck with me and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I must admit you’ve been a real surprise, though. When I was given this assignment, I thought I’d be following some spoiled rich heiress around the shops all day and shivering my nights away outside some playboy’s apartment. I guess I shouldn’t stereotype people before I know them.”

Jason was glad Toni didn’t take offense at his comments and, judging by her laughter, she found his fears amusing.

“I’m sorry I shattered your illusions but if it makes you feel any better, I think most of the people my parents would prefer me to hang out with would easily fit that description. I guess you got lucky then, Mr. Security Man. Although, now I think about it, maybe you deserve to follow me around the shops for a few hours. It would be my revenge on you for spying on me.”

Taking Toni’s hand in his, Jason brought it up to his lips and kissed her knuckles. “I’m not spying, luv. I’m protecting. Just think of me as Kevin and you can be Whitney.”

“Does that mean I get to sing? I’m not very good. Even my students cover their ears when I try to lead them in the school song.”

“I guess I could try to find a karaoke bar, but then I get to sweep you up in my arms and carry you off the stage.”

Jason laughed when Toni poked her tongue out at him. He really enjoyed chatting with her. It was easy. They were making slow progress toward the boarding area for the pods that would take them high into the sky, but Jason didn’t care how long it took them. He was enjoying himself. “What made you decide to become a teacher?”

“What made you decide to become a soldier?” she replied, quick as a flash.

“Isn’t it every boy’s dream to become a soldier and play with guns?”

“Really? Is that what all the little boys in my class want to be when they grow up? I was pretty sure some wanted to be firefighters or footy stars.”

“Well, aren’t you a feisty one?” He tapped his finger on her nose gently. “I play footy like you sing, so it wasn’t an option for me. So, Miss Grimaldi, what about teaching does it for you?”

Toni went from giggling to serious in a heartbeat. “I love everything about my job—all those eager young minds soaking up information at such a rapid pace. Seeing the joy in their faces when they succeed at something new. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. For a good chunk of the day, I am the center of their world and them, mine. Not that my parents can understand any of that. I think my choice of profession is a bit below their expectation. And worse, I teach at a local school, not some hoity-toity rich kid school. What made you leave the Army?”

“The senseless death. I did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq then joined the special commando unit and did some more time overseas. I saw too many buddies injured and worse. Got into a few close scrapes where I wasn’t sure I’d make it and I think I just burnt out.” Jason never spoke about his reasons for leaving the service but the words had just slipped from his lips before he had time to think. “Wow, so much for my anti-interrogation techniques.” Talking about the past brought back memories Jason tried not to relive. He hated how emotional he felt thinking about the horrors of war he’d experienced, the things he had done under orders. It made him feel weak but when Toni wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him, without a word, Jason could feel the pain in him ease a little.

“Look, we’re up next, luv. Ready to see London from the sky?”

“See? That didn’t take long at all. Don’t forget you promised to do it with your arm around me.”

Jason hadn’t forgotten and he was doubly pleased that Toni hadn’t either.

 

* * * *

 

Going around in the pod on The Eye had been more fun than Jason had imagined. The view of London was spectacular, but it was seeing and hearing Toni’s reactions that had made it even more so.

After returning to their hotel—this time jumping on and off London’s red double decker buses to get them there—they had shared a few drinks at the bar. Jason had decided that it was safe for him to relax a little, now that he knew Toni wouldn’t be heading out again. As much as he had enjoyed every moment they had shared, Jason was finding it harder and harder, literally, to keep his hands off Toni. His cock had been semi-erect all day and he suspected that his balls would be a shade of blue if he didn’t do something soon. But he didn’t want to rush her.

The old Jason would have been thinking about bedding his date, getting the woman naked so he could pleasure her against the wall, on the floor or in a bed—it wouldn’t have mattered just as long as they both orgasmed hard and were left sated and breathless. Then he’d take his leave.

Jason always made it clear that he wasn’t the settling down type of guy before things got too out of hand. He’d seen first-hand what being ‘in love’ or married did to a couple—had lived his life caught in between his parents’ constant battling. It had been the reason he’d joined the Army—deciding that if he were going to be in the middle of a war, he might as well be in one where he could be useful. But if a woman wanted some gratuitous sex then he was the guy for her—and he’d had plenty of action.

This thing with Toni—whatever it was—was different. Jason wanted more than just a quick romp in the sack. He wanted to hold her in his arms as they fell asleep, after a round or two of some mind-blowing sex, of course. Jason wanted Toni something bad, wanted to feel his cock push between the folds of her pussy. He wanted to hear Toni call his name as he licked and sucked her clit and drove her wild, until the resulting orgasm left her body quivering with satisfaction. Then he would enter her slowly, savoring every new sensation as his cock found space between those slick, wet walls of her cunt.

Even though he wanted this nearly more than he wanted his next breath, Jason had walked Toni to her door, and, after organizing a time for them to meet in the morning, he had kissed her lips gently then walked away. It had taken every ounce of his self-control to leave her there with her eyes burning a hole in his back as she’d watched him go.

As a result, Jason now sat in his room, calling himself every name under the sun for being such an idiot and not taking what he’d wanted—Toni naked and lying stretched out on his bed. All the while he ruthlessly pumped his hand up and down his cock to try to give his balls some relief.

He needed to clear his head so he could email the daily report of Toni’s movements to Nathan. Well, as detailed as he could without giving away the fact that he’d blown his cover and was now lying in bed imagining all the ways he wanted to pleasure the daughter of the firm’s biggest client. Yep, Nathan really did not need to read about any of that—his mate would go ballistic.

 

* * * *

 

Toni couldn’t sleep. Looking at the clock again and finding out that only a few minutes had passed, she kicked the sheets off her legs with exasperation. Her body was on fire, the sheets too heavy against her skin. She’d flung off her nightie twenty minutes ago as the fabric had abraded her sensitive nipples—nipples that had remained hard and wanting—or, more precisely, wanting Jason ever since he had left her at her door.This is ridiculous. I should just go bang on his door until he lets me in and gives me an orgasm so I can bloody sleep.What’s the point of knowing he’s next door if I can’t take advantage of it?It had been a bit of a shock at first when Jason had admitted to being in the room next to hers all along. Toni was convinced she had just invented a new form of torture.


Page 5

She wanted to feel Jason’s hands on her body so badly it hurt. As she unconsciously ground her pelvis against the mattress, imagining how it would feel to have his lips around her nipples with his hard body, heavy and warm, over hers, she’d been close to orgasm. It had taken Toni a few seconds to realize what she was doing. She’d been so busy imagining what it would feel like to have Jason touching her, she had lost control.

“Aaargh,” Toni groaned again as she punched the pillow repeatedly with her clenched fist.I’m going to look delightful in the morning, bags on bags, a bloody set of luggage under my eyes if I don’t get some sleep.

The bed linen felt like it was lined with barbed wire and ultimately won the war declared on her sexually frustrated and sensitized skin. She had suffered enough. Toni got up from the bed, then shook her head as she looked at the tangle of twisted sheets she’d left behind. She found her dressing gown and slipped her arms through the sleeve openings. The light and delicate fabric of her luxurious covering might as well have been a sheet of sandpaper rubbing against her body.

After tucking her room key into the pocket, she quietly opened her door, just enough to poke her head outside and check that the corridor was clear. Finding it empty and not hearing any sound of approaching footsteps, Toni pulled the door closed behind her until the sound of the lock clicked—a sound that in the still of the corridor seemed like the boom of a bass drum being struck.

She took the three steps that separated her room from Jason’s and, summoning up all the bravado she could muster, Toni knocked on the door. It was really more like a brush of her fingertips against the two inch thick wood, but it was the best she could manage, given that she was already trying to quell the sound of her heart pumping so loudly that it was probably making enough noise to wake the entire hotel.

For one short moment Toni imagined a squad of firemen, fully suited up, with hoses and axes at the ready, racing down the hallway searching for the source of the loud thumping horn that sounded like an alarm but was in fact her heart beating.If he doesn’t open the door by the time I count to ten, I’m going back to my room and will just have to deal with the sexual tension I’m feeling myself… One… Two…

 

Chapter Five

 

 

 

Jason had been able to hear Toni moving about her room. At first he’d suspected she was making a comfort trip to the bathroom but as he’d lain staring at the ceiling—something he’d been doing for the last hour or so as he’d tried, unsuccessfully, to make his mind and body relax so he could get some shut-eye—he’d heard the sound of her room door opening.

What the hell is she up to?

Was she making a run for it? Trying to escape from under his watch, have the holiday she thought she’d been having out from underneath her family’s scrutiny, her father’s control? Was his little sexy bird flying the coop while she thought he slept? Well, he had news for her. Maybe he would put her over his knee and paddle that ample and sexy butt of hers for the attempted break-out—or at least threaten to do it. He could hardly wait to see her reaction to his idea, his punishment.

Jason had sprung out of bed, dragged his jeans on and stormed over to the door, flinging it open so he could stop Toni before she had the chance to get down the hallway to the lifts.

What he hadn’t been expecting was to see Toni standing in front of his door. And what was more unexpected was that she was standing there before him in her sleepwear, a filmy material that did nothing to hide the roundness of her breasts or the curve of her hips. It was mesmerizing, tantalizing. One second Jason had been imagining the pleasure of bending her over his lap and the next he was doing all he could not to fall at her feet and beg for mercy.

“Toni, what’s wrong, luv?” he managed to croak out, trying to ignore the compulsion that was urging him to drag her into his arms and smother her lips with his own.

“I… I…couldn’t sleep,” she replied, her words coming out in a stuttering whisper that had Jason leaning in closer to make out what she was saying. It was a dangerous move on his part as the closer he came to her body, the more prominent the heady aroma of her scent teased his nose. His dick was now rock-hard and there was no way Jason could hide his reaction to having Toni so near.

“Why can’t you sleep? Has something frightened you? Do you want me to have a look around, maybe check your room again?”

“I’d rather come into your room…if that’s okay?”

Of all the things he’d thought she might say, that had not been one of them.Come into my room?How the hell would he be able to resist her when she was right there within his reach and wearing something so sexy?—nightwear that left little to the imagination, yet imagine was just what he was doing. The idea of him opening her robe, pushing it off her shoulders and sucking on her tits was in the forefront of his mind. But he had to get it together. For God’s sake he’d left her standing in his doorway, definitely not a secure position for her safety, and doubly so dressed like that.

“Sure, luv. Come in,” Jason finally managed to say, his speech distorted as he struggled to control a tongue that did not seem to fit in the confines of his mouth anymore. “There’s not much room in here. Just let me clear off the chair for you and you can sit and tell me what’s keeping you awake.”

As Toni stepped into his room, Jason closed the door behind her. He needed to clear his shit from the chair pronto. He’d never been the tidy type, much to the chagrin of his superiors in the force. Jason could not remember how many times he’d been written up and given extra duty for not having clean quarters. But the idea of Toni seeing his dirty jocks and socks was making his stomach roll.Fuck, I’m totally screwed.He made the dash for his undies.How the hell can she make me feel like this when the toughest and meanest the Army had to offer couldn’t?

 

Toni took a quick glance around the room. It was smaller than hers and there seemed to be clutter on every available surface. Then her eyes caught sight of his bed—the sheets and pillows resembled her own, tangled and strewn about. She wanted to be in that bed and she wanted to be in it with Jason.

“Don’t go to any trouble clearing off the chair, Jason, I think I’d be happy on the bed.” Her cheeks were red, she just knew it, but she had come this far so there was no reason to not just go for it. She’d seen the bulge at the front of his jeans and was pretty sure that she was the reason for it. She reached out her hand and stroked her finger up and over his biceps. His skin was warm to her touch. She wanted more, wanted to lean forward into the broad of his back but she waited to see his reaction to her bold words.

It felt like forever before he turned to her. Toni heard the sounds of her own shallow breaths as she waited, but finally Jason spoke. “Are you sure this is what you want, luv? ‘Cause, Toni…if I get you into my bed I’m not going to be able to control myself. I want you. I want to be buried deep inside you. I want to make you scream my name, as I make you come over and over until you beg for mercy and then maybe I might give you a moment’s rest before I start all over again. Be sure, honey. Please be sure.”

His voice was so deep, the sound of it made the hair on her arms stand up, just like when she heard a talented vocalist hit that perfect note.

She was so sure.

Had never been so certain of anything in her life.

With her pussy already wet and hot for him, she whispered, “I’m sure… Please, Jason, make love to me.”

“Oh, honey, I plan to,” was all Jason said before Toni felt his lips on hers.

His tongue probed for access inside her mouth and she capitulated, her lips shaping to his. The taste of him was amazing—better than any chocolate dessert Toni had ever consumed. Her tongue parried with his, as they discovered each other for the first time.

Jason tugged gently on her hair then he massaged her scalp, his strong fingers sending another wave of goosebumps racing over her skin. Toni had always thought the best thing about getting her hair done was the massage the hairdresser gave while spreading conditioner, but this was on a completely different level of pleasure. There was something incredibly erotic about the slight pain she felt from the pull of her hair followed by the soothing gentleness of Jason’s caress. She was melting under his touch and they’d hardly done anything yet. Toni wasn’t sure how she would cope when Jason moved his ministrations to her body, but she could not wait to find out.

It was delicious and even though Toni felt she could spend a lifetime kissing Jason just like this, she wanted more. Pulling her mouth away from his, she raised her hand to put a little space between them. “Can we get into bed now?” she purred.

 

Chapter Six

 

 

 

She was going to kill him. Her words, so simple and direct, had Jason’s head spinning. Kissing Toni was like nothing he had ever experienced, and Jason had kissed many women. There was a definite zing, like an electric charge, as their lips met.

Taking her to his bed was the best idea ever spoken. “I’m trying not to rush this, luv, but if you insist, I’d hate to disappoint you, honey.”

Jason was surprised by the gravelly tones of his voice. He was so used to being in complete control, yet Toni had him struggling to keep it together. Jason found himself dealing with a very uncharacteristic problem—he was nervous. He wasn’t sure how long he would last before his dick or balls—or both—exploded. He needed to be inside her ASAP but first he wanted to hear Toni call out his name in ecstasy as he brought her undone.

“That robe is not hiding much but I think it needs to go,” he said as he gently slid it from her body. “You’re so beautiful, all curves and womanly softness. I can’t wait to feel your skin against mine, honey.” He couldn’t resist the temptation of her full lush tits any longer and fell to his knees. One pink nipple now directly in line with his mouth, he licked the offering. The sound of her sighs spurred him on. Jason laved, nipped and sucked on the nub then repeated the same with the other breast. Fuck, he wanted to rub his cock between those two mounds of soft flesh and pump away until his cum covered them—just not yet. He needed to be buried inside her pussy this first time. But he would make the fantasy a reality sometime soon, he promised himself, as he concentrated on bringing Toni pleasure.

“I’m going to touch you now. My fingers are going to play with your pussy, tease your clit and make sure you are ready for me—hot and wet for my cock to slide into you.

“I’m ready for you now…” Her breathy reply.

“Oh, honey, that’s good to hear because I’m ready for you. That’s a fact.”

Toni hadn’t been kidding, Jason discovered. She was hot and slick, and he groaned at the pleasure of sliding his fingers between her soft cunt lips. “Oh, baby, you are so ready for me that you’re killing me. You feel so fucking good. So wet, so hot…” He needed to taste that cream. Time was running out for him. He wasn’t sure how long he could hold on to his load once his cock entered her wet cunt, but he’d be damned if he was going to miss this opportunity. He pushed her down onto the bed with his free hand, all the while delving and rolling the fingers of his other hand inside her pussy. She fell back onto the mattress, her legs opening a little wider as she lay back. Jason took the opportunity gladly and buried his head between them.

Her taste was heavenly, exotic. Jason had always enjoyed oral sex but this was something completely mind-blowing. Her taste was like nothing he’d experienced, nothing he could describe appropriately in words. He relaxed and enjoyed her erotic flavor.

It didn’t take long, though, for Toni’s body to start writhing and bucking in response to Jason’s attention. Jason took hold of Toni’s clit between his teeth and gently tugged. He tapped on her G-spot and within seconds he could feel her pussy walls tightening around his fingers, trying to claim the orgasm she had building inside her. He sucked a little harder, tapped a little more insistently, and was rewarded. The sound of her voice as she called his name, the rich tangy release that covered his tongue as he continued to ride her through her climax, was almost more than his poor, deprived cock could bear.

As Toni came down from her orgasm, Jason took the opportunity to grab a condom from his wallet. Scrambling out of his jeans—the movements not even close to smooth and controlled—he struggled to keep his balance while he fought with the denim to release its hold on his feet.

Finally rid of his clothes, Jason hurriedly donned the rubber then moved back into position between her legs. “I need to be in you now, honey, before I embarrass myself and come prematurely.”

 

She had just had the best orgasm of her life—not that Toni had too many to compare it with—but this was so far and beyond anything she’d ever felt that she knew Jason had spoiled it for anyone in her future. There was nothing and no one that could compare to that, she decided, as she luxuriated in the warmth her release had created.

She was so wrapped up in her own pleasure that she nearly didn’t notice Jason move from between her now lethargic legs. There was a moment of panic that crashed her back to reality when she thought he was leaving her. The pure relief she felt when she watched Jason roll the condom over his cock was short-lived as she spied the intimidating length and width. Her concern must have shown in her face as Jason soothed her, “It will be fine, luv, I’ll take it slow and you tell me if I hurt you, okay?”

After the pleasure he had just given her, there was no way in hell Toni would have stopped him. She wiggled her way up farther onto the bed, opened her legs in invitation and tried to relax. Jason knelt over her body and aligned the head of his cock with her pussy lips. There was a slight burning sensation that bordered more toward pleasure than pain as his thickness stretched her until he was seated fully inside her.

“Yes!” The sensual satisfaction of him filling her set off a new wave of delicious tingles over her sensitive nerve endings.


Page 6

“Am I hurting you? Do you want me to stop?” her knight in shining armor asked heroically.

She giggled at her own silliness before replying, “Stop and I may have to hurt you, Mr. Security Man.”

“Thank fuck for that, luv, I’m not sure I could have if I tried.” Jason was moving inside her as he spoke, his pumping rhythm managing to rub or touch every important or hungry nerve inside her.

Within moments Toni could feel another orgasm building. She drew her fingernails down the length of Jason’s back as she flew higher and higher.

Jason thrust his hips against hers, rapidly. The sound of his cock entering and exiting her pussy, the slap of skin making contact with skin and the hiss of oxygen bursting from their lungs were the only noises Toni could make out as she soared.

“Come with me, Toni…” Jason whispered into her ear. He gently nipped her earlobe as his body tensed and he thrust one last time. Toni flew over the edge. She climaxed so hard she thought she would never come back from it. She heard a scream and delighted moaning in the distance as her body spiraled out of control—every nerve pulsating with pleasure and not realizing at first the sounds of ecstasy she’d heard were, in fact, from her own mouth. Of course they were hers. How could she not moan from the sheer force of pleasure Jason had heaped on her?

 

* * * *

 

Jason was still lying over her, his body covering her own—he was heavy but she didn’t care. It was one of those perfect moments in time Toni knew she would never forget. She was tracing patterns over his back with her finger, spreading the moisture from the beads of sweat their lovemaking had produced into random shapes. It was when she realized that the shapes were in fact hearts that she stopped. She was getting ahead of herself. This was just sex, a night of pleasure that she had instigated. Hearts had no place in this. “Feels good… Touching my back… Relaxing,” Jason muttered, his voice muffled because his mouth was against her shoulder. “I need to move… Too heavy,” he continued, his lips brushing against her skin with every word.

It was an amazing sensation. It was turning her on. “You’re not too heavy,” she responded, and after a little giggle had escaped she added, “I’m enjoying having you flop all over me.”

“Aargh! I’m not sure how to take that,” Jason said as he lifted his weight from her, his bicep flexing as he moved. “I need to deal with the condom anyway. Stay put. I’ll be back in a flash.”

Toni didn’t think she could move if her life depended on it. Every inch of her was languid, reveling in the memory of what had just taken place. She heard the sound of the toilet flushing and enjoyed the sight of a very naked Jason as he walked back from the bathroom.

Jason was glorious. His body was sculpted with muscle, not bulky like a weightlifter but every muscle still prominent and very enjoyable to look at. His stomach was flat, a channel formed from each hip that led to his groin. Toni wanted to run her tongue in the groove. She had seen pictures of the male physique with those tempting little valleys but Toni had always thought they were airbrushed on for effect. She certainly had never seen a man’s body up close and in the flesh that resembled Jason’s. His cock was relaxed but as she lay there staring at his body, she saw it flex and move slightly.

“Honey, if you don’t stop looking at me like that, there will be a repeat performance of what we just did, very soon.”

She heard the growling threat but the wicked grin that Jason was giving her and the twinkle in his eye left her feeling powerful. She was turning him on. Overweight and socially awkward Toni Grimaldi had this hot as sin man looking at her like he wanted to eat her up. For the first time in her life, Toni felt sexy. She also was very keen on the idea of Jason eating her up, again.

“Promises, promises,” she replied. “Doesn’t look like you’ve got it in you,” she said as she brazenly reached out her hand and touched his cock. As her fingers made contact with his flesh, Jason hissed.

“Be careful, little lady. Don’t rile the sleeping beast.”

She burst out laughing. “Sleeping beast… That’s funny. Didn’t feel all that beastly to me. In fact it felt pretty damn good, if you ask me. What’s the opposite of beast?” she asked as she traced her fingers up and down his cock.

“I don’t know and if you keep touching me like that, I don’t really care,” Jason replied as he climbed back onto the bed.

She giggled again. For the life of her, Toni couldn’t remember being the giggly type but it seemed that she was where Jason was concerned.

They lay in each other’s arms for a while, caressing and stroking, each familiarizing themselves with the other’s body. Toni was euphoric. She had never felt so bold, so confident about her own sexuality. So close to someone.

“You okay, luv?”

“More than okay, Jason,” she replied, once again stroking her hand over Jason’s chin, enjoying the prickle of beard stubble under her fingertips.

“I’ve never felt better than I do at this moment.” The sigh escaping her lips was testament to the way she was feeling. “I’m glad you came to my rescue. Truth is, while I really was enjoying being on my own—or thinking I was—I was lonely. Today and tonight, sharing the sights, dinner and now this…” She waved her arm over the two of them. “It’s just so much better sharing.”

Toni was doing her best not to seem too desperate, keep things on the light side between her and Jason, but she was just so happy. She wanted to explain how much being with him meant to her.But how far should she go?

“I’ve had a pretty good day too, luv. You’re good company. I’m used to doing things solo—comes with the job—but why are you over here alone? I thought someone in your position would have plenty of friends who would jump at the chance of a holiday. Yet here you are, halfway across the world alone. If you were my woman, there’s no way I’d let you travel without me. It’s not safe.”

Just the thought of being Jason’s ‘woman’, as he put it, sent a tingle up her spine. Oh how she wished she could find someone like him to share her life with, but it was the ‘someone in your position’ that brought her crashing back down from her fantasy world.

What had he meant by that? Did he think just because her family had money that she was popular, spent her days floating from one social event to another? It was so far from her reality it was laughable. He obviously didn’t know her very well, hadn’t done a thorough background check on her very boring life—a life she had created for herself, since she had refused so many invitations that they’d stopped coming.

In reality, Toni had very little to do with the rich, young socialites her family had hoped she would join ranks with. There was no way she wanted her picture splashed across the gossip pages, especially with her looks. She didn’t fit in. She didn’t want to live in that world and the ‘normal’ world never let her forget the other. She was a misfit.

“Will you stay the night with me?” Jason asked her “Let me hold you while we grab some shut-eye. We have a busy day of sightseeing tomorrow. I need my beauty sleep.” Jason kissed her on the tip of her nose and she sighed.

Toni didn’t want to go to sleep. She wanted to enjoy this feeling for as long as she could. Having his arms wrapped around her made her feel safe, content. Eventually, her new-found lucky break would end and Jason would come to his senses. Someone as gorgeous as Jason should be partnered with a tall, leggy blonde—some model or actress. Toni could almost imagine the woman that was meant to be with him. It was certainly not her. If it hadn’t been for her father’s money, she probably wouldn’t have even registered on his radar, and soon this job would be over for him.

But for now, she was going to enjoy every second she had with her hero-turned-bodyguard. If he was hired to protect her for the length of her holiday, she had another glorious week to enjoy herself.

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

 

Jason had been watching Toni sleep for twenty minutes. He needed to take a piss, but was reluctant to disturb her by moving. She looked so beautiful lying next to him. Her breasts pushed up against his side, the softness and swell of her tempting cleavage not helping the morning wood he was sporting. Her curly hair was splayed out on the pillow, and Jason was playing with one of the springy locks as he took in her delicate features. Her eyelashes were long, her lips full and inviting, so kissable. She was small against his frame, her stomach and hips lush and curvy, just right for a man to cuddle into. His other arm was numb from having it wrapped around her body but he didn’t care. He wanted to hold onto this moment for as long as he could. Jason wasn’t sure what sort of reaction he was going to receive when Toni awoke.Will she be embarrassed from the previous night’s activities? Maybe regretful? Sorry that she’s slept with the hired help, even if it isn’t her that’s paying my wage?

He didn’t think she was the type for a one-night stand but really, how could he know for sure? He’d only known her for a short time. He didn’t really know Toni at all.

Why am I even thinking about this kinda shit?What does it matter how many blokes she’s fucked or how often she does it?You’re sounding like a lovestruck teenager, a fucking sensitive new age guy and you’re no SNAG, there is nothing sensitive about you, bucko. Fuck ’em and leave ’em. That’s the motto. Right?There’s no real future for us. Shit, I’ve never wanted a future before. Why the hell would I want to worry about one now?’Cause she’s different, dickhead,the voice inside his head added helpfully.

But what did that matter? Different, bloody perfect or sexy as all get out didn’t change the fact that she was the daughter of one of the richest, most powerful men in Australia. Like her father was going to let her hook up with an ex-soldier who came from nowhere and had very little to offer his only daughter.

“What’s got you all scowly, Mr. Security Man? I bet you’ve got a case of numb arm from me lying on it all night.”

The sound of Toni’s voice snapped him back to the real world. She was looking up at him, her big brown eyes still holding a hint of sleepiness. He didn’t know how long Toni had been awake or even how long he’d been lost in thought. What he did know was that Toni was moving her arm down his body, and that any moment now her hand would make contact with his dick and find it rock-hard. He really needed to take a piss before he could concentrate on anything else.

“Morning, luv. How’d you sleep?” Jason asked as he stalled her arm from its expedition with his own. “I need to take a leak. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.”

Jason dragged his body away from hers, feeling the immediate loss of her warmth as he stood, already trying to decide what part of Toni’s body he’d feast on after his trip to the bathroom.Maybe I could spend some time sucking on her tits, get her to straddle my cock and take a ride at the same time. Yeah, I could definitely see the promise in that. His fantasy was interrupted by the sound of her voice.

“…me too, and I am in desperate need of a shower and coffee. I just don’t function well without caffeine, lots of it… I didn’t think I’d fall asleep last night or this morning, whatever time it was. I planned to get up before you woke, go back to my own room and get ready for the day ahead.”

Okay, so that pulled him up short—he hadn’t caught all of what she’d said to him but from the bits he had registered, it sounded like Toni wasn’t interested in them going for another round this morning, and while that idea disappointed Jason, it was Toni admitting she’d wanted to escape before he awoke that really knocked his ego around. After all, that was usually his forte… The irony was not lost on him. Putting a cheery smile on his face or hoping he was, Jason turned back toward her.

The sight of her stretching out on the bed gloriously naked nearly floored him. Her arms were stretched toward the ceiling, her back arched and raised off the bed, pushing her breasts up. Her nipples were hard and pointing up to the heavens. It was the hottest thing he’d ever seen. If he wasn’t already sporting a hard-on—one that was now causing him a huge amount of discomfort—it would have given him another.Fuck me, gotta get a grip… Stop drooling andsay something, dickhead.

“Okay, game plan is. I’ll use the bathroom and then you can freshen up while I organize some coffee. White with one. Right?” he managed to stammer out as he spun away from the erotic view before him, then staggered into the bathroom before slamming the door shut behind him for good measure so he wouldn’t be tempted to go back to the bed and take Toni again.

 

Waking to see the scowl on Jason’s face had certainly shaken Toni’s bravado. She hadn’t meant to fall asleep and had been disorientated for a moment when her eyes had opened. When she’d seen his body next to hers, the memories had flooded back quickly. Remembering the night’s activities, it was no wonder she was feeling a little stiff. It was a glorious feeling and Toni had been enjoying the reminiscing, until she’d noticed his scowl.

He didn’t waste a second escaping from the bed either.She’d decided that as soon as Jason went into his bathroom she would jump up, grab her robe and go back to her room. She really didn’t want to face any excuses or regrets from him until after she was clean and full of coffee. When she heard the sound of the door bang shut, it startled her into action. Toni swung her legs over the edge of the mattress and got out of bed. Trying to be as quiet as she could, she put on her robe and crept from the room, the click of the door as it latched closed behind her a somber sign that her fantasy night was over. Safely back in the sanctuary of her own room, Toni took time to evaluate the situation. She boiled the little kettle the hotel supplied and made a coffee as she tried to decide how she would play it.

It was obvious that Jason had been annoyed that she was still in his bed—his actions had confirmed that when he’d stopped her from touching him and fled. Of course he probably wouldn’t say anything to her about it, given that he still had the job of shadowing her.Maybe he’ll ask someone else to take over?The thought put her into a panic.No, he’d need a good reason and it would take at least a day for someone to get here to replace him. Guess old Ma and Pa wouldn’t want me traipsing around without their spies. If I can convince him I meant to go back to my room… That I’m not looking for a repeat performance… Maybe he’ll hang around. I wonder if he really wants to do the whole sightseeing, touristy thing with me or retreat back to following me, hiding in the shadows?


Page 7

She was working herself into a frenzy trying to decide what to do. One-night stands or even relationships were not her field. She was flying blind and had no one to turn to for advice. Deciding that a shower was at least the first step needed, Toni quickly washed and dressed. Just as she was putting on her sandals, there was a knock at her door.

Hopping, one shoe on and the other dangling from her grasp, Toni opened the door.

“You didn’t even look through the peephole,” Jason growled at her. “Don’t you have any kind of self-preservation instincts? You never think of your own safety. I know, I’ve seen it first-hand over the last few days. For God’s sake, Toni, it’s written on the back of your door not to open without checking first who it is. And that is advice for everyday folk, not just bloody heiresses.” Jason pushed past her and stormed into her room.

He was so angry with her that Toni unconsciously took a step back, putting more space between them. She’d never been yelled at like that before and Jason was frightening her. All she’d done was open the door. Anyone would think, the way he was carrying on, that she’d walked into some gangster’s house with a loaded weapon and demanded their drug money. When he’d pointed out the heiress part, it was as if a barb had struck her heart. She didn’t want him to see her that way—ridiculous really, given that he was hired to protect her and all. Not that it really mattered what he thought anymore. It was clear her luck of the previous day had run out.

“Don’t yell at me,” she finally managed to blurt out. “I can open the door or shut the door however I like. I can do and go anywhere I decide too—without your permission or advice. You do not get to lecture me. I get lectured enough by my parents. I do not need to hear it from the person that was hired to follow me and, might I add, without my knowledge or my approval. And not counting the attentions of the low flying goose with a significant bowel condition yesterday, I’ve managed to remain free from the clutches of evil and chaos all on my own accord.”

The instant the words had spilled from her mouth, Toni wanted to capture them all and reel them back in, but it had been too late. She didn’t know what had got into her. She never argued or caused a scene. Hated confrontation. But for some reason Jason had caused her to erupt.

The change in Jason was immediate. Her words had scored a direct hit. It was obvious by the way he straightened to his full height, the way his eyes became cold. Eyes that Toni had gazed into, taken comfort and joy from the warmth they had shown her, were now looking like icy glaciers. There was no emotion apparent on his face. It was even scarier than him shouting at her, the change in him. Toni could almost feel the wave of cold indifference hit her as he stared her down.

“I’m sorry, Jason… I didn’t mean to—” she began to apologize.

“No, you’re right. This is why I should not have made contact with you. It’s crucial with the work I do not to get personally involved with a client. It can cloud your focus, your judgment. Be a distraction. I overstepped the boundaries. It’s my responsibility to see to your safety. I had no right to speak to you that way. In fact, I have no right to converse with you at all. It won’t happen again.” Jason’s reply was delivered without emotion, his voice flat and to the point.

Toni wanted to cry. This was not the way she had wanted today to go. She had been hoping that they could at least be friends, travel companions—that he could share in her excitement as they visited the many historical landmarks still on her itinerary.

Yes, she would have gladly fallen into his bed again but understood she had blown that opportunity. The idea that she had ruined any chance of their continued friendship was more than she could bear. Try as she might, Toni could not stop the flow of tears that were now rolling down her cheeks.

As he wrapped his arms around her shoulders, Jason guided her head to his chest, but still she could not stop blubbering.

“Shush, luv, don’t cry. I’m sorry, so sorry. Please stop the tears,” Jason pleaded as he rubbed the back of her neck. “I overreacted. I didn’t mean to upset you or come on so strong. It’s just when you’ve seen what I’ve seen, know what people can do, what sick sons of bitches roam this world… It makes you jumpy. I just don’t want to see you get hurt… Not doing so great with that so far…huh?”

Between the sensation of Jason’s fingers gently kneading her neck and the words he was whispering to her, Toni started to regain control. Her tears stopped, the joy of being held in this man’s arms taking hold of her emotions. It felt so good to lean against him. Her nose buried into his chest, she could smell his scent, strong, masculine. Toni wasn’t sure if it was Jason’s cologne or just him, but she liked it. He was so strong yet, at that very moment, tender toward her.

“I don’t regret for a minute that I let it get personal with you, luv. I really want to get the chance to know you, spend more time with you. The problem will be that it’s a new experience for me. I’ve never felt this way before. I might become a little overbearing. Can you handle that, Toni? Will you forgive me? Give me another chance? Last night was amazing, waking up and seeing you lying next to me, holding you in my arms… I want that again.” Jason paused for a moment.

Toni lifted her head from his chest, looked up. She saw the truth of his words reflected in the warmth of his eyes as he gazed down on her.

“Do you want that too, Toni? Can you see us spending time together? Or have I blown my chance? Am I relegated back to following you around in the background again?”

Toni’s head was spinning. She was so confused. She’d thought she’d driven him away, yet here he was begging her to give them another chance. She’d been prepared to work to retain Jason’s friendship. He was offering her more than that, talking about getting to know her and waking up with her in his arms. It was more than she could have wished for. But still a tiny voice in her head was telling her to slow down.Will he feel the same way when it’s time to go home or is this just a holiday fling for him?How will you cope when he says goodbye? You’re already head over heels for him.What will your parents think if they find out?

She didn’t care. Ignoring the voices forecasting doom inside her head, she reached for him, pulling his head down toward her so her lips could reach his. Toni kissed Jason for all she was worth, hoping her actions were answer enough to his questions.

Jason cupped her face with his large hands and a shiver went up her spine.

“Judging by the heat of that kiss, you want to spend more time with me too, luv.”

That was exactly what Toni wanted—more time with Jason in and out of his bed. She popped open the first button on his shirt.

“Let me show you just how much,” she said, as she pressed her palms against Jason’s chest, rubbing circles around his flattened, dark nipples with her finger.

“Mmm, I’m liking where this is headed,” he replied.

Toni loved the firm contours of Jason’s chest, the slight covering of hair that narrowed toward his hips leading a path to his cock. She wanted to get him naked, see his body in all its glory and worship it. He had other ideas, though.

Jason gripped the bottom of her T-shirt. “Let me help you with this, luv. You won’t be needing any clothes on for what I have in mind for you today,” he said, grinning wickedly.

Standing naked in front of Jason in the stark light of day was making Toni feel uncomfortable. Her hands involuntarily sought to cover her body from his view.

“Don’t hide from me. You are beautiful. I want you, need you,” Jason said, his voice gravelly as he pulled her hands away from her breasts. “Look at my cock if you need any proof. I’m as hard as a rock.”

He tipped her chin up and his lips reclaimed hers. He licked and nipped at her mouth until finally his tongue swept inside. It was so glorious Toni forgot her anxieties the second their bodies met. Mouth to mouth, skin to skin, every nerve in her came alive and sang out for Jason’s touch. He broke from their kiss and fell to his knees before her. “One day I will have you on your knees in front of me, just like this, as I feed my cock into the warmth of your mouth,” Jason said just before his lips made contact with her skin. He licked a trail around her belly button before journeying even lower across her hip bones.

It was as if time stood still, Toni aware of his every touch, her pussy, her clit throbbing with need. Jason’s words and actions both fueling her desire. Soon she was writhing and pushing her body against his.

“I need more…” she begged.

“Tell me what you need, Toni.”

There was no time to feel self-conscious. If Jason didn’t do something soon Toni feared she would lose her mind. “I need you to touch my clit. Make me come, Jason. Please.” Toni moved her left leg a step to the side, widening her stance, eager to feel the touch of Jason’s fingers enter her throbbing cunt.

He didn’t make her wait long.

The moment he rubbed over her clit, Toni’s pussy clenched and an orgasm swept over her hard and quick, like a tidal wave crashing over the earth. Her body shook from the force of her climax and her knees went weak. Jason did not relent. He continued to tease and rub her clit, not giving Toni a chance to recover. At first she tried to step away but Jason kept his hand firmly placed on her backside, keeping her locked into place and at his mercy.

“Come again for me, baby. I know you’ve got it in you.”

“No I can’t,” she cried, her head thrashing from side to side. “It’s too much.”

Just when Toni thought she would die from Jason’s unyielding, sensual torment, another orgasm began to build, the pleasure slowly growing inside her. Her toes curled as the yearning intensified. Once again she shattered, splintering into a million fragments of pure white light and paradise.

She was still recovering, basking in the pleasure she had just experienced as he lifted her onto the bed. Toni was vaguely aware of the sound of the condom packet being ripped open just before Jason positioned himself over her body, his cock nudging the lips of her channel. She wrapped her legs around his hips as he entered her in one quick thrust. Clinging to his shoulders, she reveled in the weight of his body on hers—a sensation that Toni had, only a few minutes before, feared she’d never experience again.

Jason’s cock rocked in and out of her pussy slowly, a maddening pace, but rubbing against all the good spots as it did. To her surprise, Toni felt the fluttering of another orgasm begin to grow, the familiar clenching of her pussy walls as she strove to climb that peak to ecstasy. She buried her head against Jason’s chest, her lips making contact with his nipple.

“God, you feel so fucking amazing, Toni. I could stay buried inside you all day and still not want to let you go, but I can’t hold on any longer. Come with me…”

Jason’s voice sounded strained but his words made Toni’s heart sing. She moved her hips in unison with Jason’s. She wanted him to feel the same pleasure that she was experiencing, enjoying. As her third orgasm in less than ten minutes hit and rocked her world, Jason’s body tensed and he thrust inside her one last time before he stilled, shouting her name as he found his own completion.

 

Chapter Eight

 

 

 

“Lincoln is so beautiful, Jason. I had no idea it was such a historic town. The castle was built in 1068 by William the Conqueror.”

Toni was so pleased they had decided to ditch her original itinerary. When she had made her travel plans, she’d decided on using bus tours to travel around the country. She’d felt a bit nervous at the thought of driving by herself. When Jason had brought up the option of hiring a car, not at all worried over the thought of taking on the unknown roads, she’d more than happily agreed. They’d set out on the M1 and headed north, stopping where and when they wanted.

“Neither did I, luv.” Jason stood in front of Lincoln Cathedral, reading a plaque on the wall. “Come and take a look at this, Toni. It’s a memorial to Sir Joseph Banks. He was born in the area.”

Toni walked over and slipped her hand in his. “This is amazing. I never knew that. I’m going to take some photos. Grade three students learn all about Captain Cook and theEndeavour. How our Great Southern Land was discovered and the coastline mapped. It will make it so much more interesting for the kids if I can say I’ve seen the memorial to the botanist that named so many of Australia’s flora and fauna.”

Jason laughed. “You think so, luv? Or are you just as excited to find something so linked to our Aussie history? I don’t think it would have made much of a difference to my interest in schoolwork when I was eight. Botanists were nerds. I would have wanted to be the captain and carry a sword as I went exploring the unknown.”

“Are you making fun of me, Jason Beck?”

“Maybe, sweetheart. But I do love seeing you get so excited by every castle, cathedral or Roman ruin we discover. Do you realize that you actually jump up and down and make these sexy little squealing kind of noises when you find some new piece of information that interests you?”

Toni tried to discount that Jason had just mentioned the word love in connection to her.It’s just a figure of speech. There is nothing more to it.Toni was falling in love with Jason, she had tried not to but every minute they spent together, he wormed his way into her heart more deeply. She hadn’t been able to get him to discuss their future. On more than one occasion over the last few days, she’d tried to talk to him about what would happen when they both returned home. Jason always changed the subject. He was gifted in the art of distraction and his aversion to speaking about anything to do with their future was frustrating Toni.

“I seem to recall discovering a few new things at night, Jason. Do I make the same kind of noises then? What did you call them…? Squeals?”

“No, they were more like sensual moans of pleasure, luv.”

She grabbed his butt and gave it a squeeze. “What say you take me back to our hotel and see if you can get me to make those sounds again and we can decide what to name them?”


Page 8

“Well, it is getting late and we have had a long day. Maybe that’s just what we need, to go to bed early.”

Jason was right about it being a long day. Each morning they had set off early, stopping frequently to roam hand in hand through historical points of interest, across meadows and moors, experiencing all they could in the short time frame they had. Toni had fallen asleep each night exhausted, not only from the day’s adventures but also from the enthusiastic and insatiable sexual appetite Jason displayed as he explored and discovered her needs and desires. There was not an inch of her body that Jason had not stroked, laved and kissed.

As they were walking back, Jason’s phone rang.

“Fuck, it’s Nathan. I need to get this. He probably wants a report on what you’ve been doing. Let’s just say I’ve not been all that forthcoming on the exact details of this trip.”

As Jason answered the call to the head of Haven Security, Toni walked to a nearby bench. She sat down and tried to let the view of the picturesque river that ran through the town distract her. At times she forgot Jason had been hired to watch over her. The reminder made her heart heavy. With their time coming to an end, Toni was feeling the strain.What if being with me is just a convenience for Jason? Now, not only is he getting paid for babysitting me, he’s getting a willing sexual partner as well. It’s a win-win situation for him.

The sight of Jason walking toward her and the smile on his handsome face was enough to launch a thousand butterflies in her tummy and replace her dark thoughts.

“Sorry about that, luv. I know it must be hard for you—reminded all the time about how we met and why.” Jason crouched down before her and placed his hands on either side of her face. “I’m happy I took this assignment. If I hadn’t, I’d never have had the chance to get to know you, Toni Grimaldi.” He touched his lips to hers briefly. “Let’s go in and I’ll make it up to you.”

They hurried through the foyer, hand in hand, the sexual tension building as they waited for the lift to take them to their floor.

The moment they closed the hotel room door, Jason had his hands all over her. He tore the clothes from her body and Toni forgot all about the phone call. The only thing on her mind was Jason.

“I need you inside me, Jason—to feel your cock filling my pussy.”

He groaned. ”I need that too but I want to taste you first, hear my name on your lips as I make you come.”

Toni lay on the bed. Spread her legs wide for him. Jason buried his face in her mound. He licked the length of her slit and Toni moaned in response to the pleasure. His tongue was pressed flat on her clit. Just the perfect amount of pressure. She thrashed her head from side to side. “Just there. That’s perfect. Don’t stop. Make me come, Jason.”

 

Jason could smell the aroma of Toni’s desire. He breathed the scent of her deep into his lungs, his longing for her overwhelming him. His cock was so hard with the promise of being buried deep in her wet cunt. He thrust two fingers into her pussy and finger-fucked her hard as he continued to tease her clit with his tongue. As her body arched, he changed the feathery-soft touch he’d been using to a prolonged pressure directly on her clit.

“Yes! I’m so close. More,” Toni pleaded.

Jason had discovered what would push Toni over the edge so she would moan his name in ecstasy. He loved the little noises and sighs that spilled from her lips as she orgasmed—the way Toni’s body shook as she was coming back down from her blissful high.

This time when he felt those telling little quakes, Jason climbed over her and buried his throbbing cock in her warm pussy, still pulsating from the strength of her orgasm.

“So tight. Your pussy is so tight… Feels so good wrapped around my cock.”

Jason gave in to his need. He thrust into Toni. “Fuck, this isn’t going to take long,” he moaned into her ear. “Come with me, luv.”

Her fingernails dug into his back. Her legs wrapped around his hips as Toni moved in sync with his frantic rhythm.

“I don’t think I can,” she whimpered.

He moved his hand between their joined bodies, found her clit and pressed down on the nub. Jason gave her what she needed to bring her to the brink with him.

He couldn’t hold on any longer, the pressure from his clenched balls urging him on. Thrust after thrust, Jason spilled into Toni. Pleasure so powerful ripped through him he had to grit his teeth to stop from roaring. Jason feared the top of his head would be blown clear off. His brain overloaded by the surge of sensation seemed unable to deal with the intensity as every nerve ending came alive, sizzling with pure bliss.

Toni coming with him made it so much more potent. He had to fight the primal urge to beat his chest with his fists and claim her as his own.

But Toni wasn’t his and never could be. He didn’t belong in her world. Nathan had warned him not to get emotionally attached to her. Jason had originally laughed at the thought, foolishly believing he would be able to walk away from her at the end of their trip and put Toni Grimaldi out of his mind—that he could go back to his normal way of life, not caring what the future might bring, just living each day as it came. Toni had changed that for him. Jason had already started to mourn the future he had no right to imagine.

 

* * * *

 

They were back in London. This was their last full night together and Toni was determined to get Jason to open up. Tomorrow, late in the evening, they would board the plane for home and she might not see him again. As Toni dressed for what could be their final dinner, she tried to decide on the best way to approach the subject of where this thing they shared—whatever it might be—was headed.

It’s time for us to talk, decide where this is all going—if it’s going anywhere.I need to tell him how I feel, how much he means to me. Point out all the things we have in common. Convince him we could work… Yeah right, we love history and sex. What else in common do we have? I teach primary school, a nice safe and boring job, while he leads an exciting and dangerous life protecting people.

Toni had been going back and forth like this for hours, one minute feeling confident that maybe there was a future for them, then just as quickly talking herself out of it. It was doing her head in. If only Jason had given her the slightest hint of his true feelings. Yes, he had made love to her each night, passionately making her feel like she was the most important person in his world, but Toni was still not one hundred percent sure that it wasn’t just her own wants and dreams projecting that sort of commitment.

That’s why I need to make it clear to him. Spell it out. Take a chance for once. Otherwise I’ll be living with regret, always wondering. So he makes it clear he’s not interested in moving this forward when we return home…and his contract is over. At least I’ll know where I stand. I will have tonight, I can make the most of this last time together.Content with the decisions she’d made, Toni applied a coat of ruby-red lipstick to her lips.

She was going all out tonight for Jason, trying to dress seductively—which was not an easy thing to achieve given that her one black dress now fitted quite snugly over her hips and stomach. A result she attributed to all the fish ‘n’ chips, Yorkshire pudding and pints of lager she had indulged in over the past few weeks.

I thought sex was a good way to lose weight. How come it’s not working for me?Toni’s cellphone began to ring as she was lamenting over the fact that life was not always fair, especially for the more cuddly-framed woman. She picked it up from the table and checked the screen to see who was calling.

Toni couldn’t even remember having programmed Charles Baker’s name into her phone. She wasn’t a fan of the pompous, butt-kissing, permanent attachment to her father’s side.What the hell would he want?

“Hello, this is Toni,” she said as she connected to the call.

“Antoinette, I’m so glad I’ve caught you,” Charles began immediately, ignoring the fact that Toni preferred not to use her given name. “I’m calling on behalf of your father, Antoinette. There has been an unfortunate incident at one of the family owned mines. It is causing the company a bit of bad publicity and your father believes that the Grimaldis need to show a united front to help deal with the issue. He wants you to return immediately. I’ve taken the liberty to book you on a flight leaving London Heathrow tonight and just this second emailed you the details. You need to get a car to take you to the airport in the next hour or so. Would you like me to organize that for you as well, Antoinette?”

What the…?Toni was still trying to understand what Charles was saying. “What sort of incident?” she finally asked.

“One of the mines had a cave-in or an explosion or something. We’re not sure on all of the details. It’s all quite a mess,” Charles replied.

“Oh no, this is horrible. Is it very bad, Charles? Was anyone hurt? Is anyone trapped? Why haven’t I heard about it over here?”

“It’s been a dreadful incident. The papers are trying to put the blame on your father, saying that the mines were not following the workplace safety standards set in place by the unionist bureaucrats. Like Mr. Grimaldi would be aware of everything that goes on… He’s a busy man.”

“How many people are injured?” Toni shouted into the phone.

“The numbers aren’t all in yet…”

“Charles, answer my damn question if you want any chance of me stepping foot on that plane…”

“Three dead, eleven injured and five still unaccounted for. Looks like the mine will be closed for months. There’s already talk of a long drawn out investigation into all Cardona’s operations and the possibility of the unions shutting down work on all Grimaldi interests.”

Toni felt sick. “What exactly is being done to find the trapped miners, Charles?”

“How would I know those sorts of details? I can report an endless number of engineers, police, firemen and rescuers asking for all sorts of blueprints and paperwork. It’s been quite time consuming, complying with their demands. You can see why I don’t have time to argue with you about this, Antoinette. Be on that plane. Your father needs you.”

Charles disconnected, much to Toni’s frustration.

As Toni was checking the email with her new travel plans, the door to her hotel room burst open. The look on Jason’s face as he stormed into her room foretold that he knew of the dramas going on back home.

“You need to get packed. We need to leave. I have to get you back home…” Jason began, his tone matching the ‘take no prisoners’ look in his stance and on his face. Toni wasn’t sure what to be more surprised at, the fact that Jason had managed to unlock her door and enter her room or that he had already been notified her father demanded her return.Then again,why wouldn’t he know? He is, after all, in my father’s employ.The thought made her already sickened stomach roll again.

“So you’ve heard then?”

“Just got off the phone from Nate. He says the threats to your family are to be taken seriously and I am to get you back home. We need extra manpower to keep you both safe, Toni. Emotions are running high over the accident. It’s times like this people take drastic measures…”

“Threats!” Toni gasped “Charles didn’t say anything about threats…”

It was too much for her to take in all at once. People were hurt, dead and missing, and now her father’s life was being threatened. Judging by the look on Jason’s face, a threat he was taking very seriously. Toni began to shake. Her knees gave way and she had to grip the edge of the table just to support her own weight.

Jason was beside her in an instant, wrapping his arms around her body, helping Toni stay upright. The heat from his body dispelled the cold that had seeped through her as she tried to come to terms with all the horrible developments.

“Oh, honey,” he whispered. “You didn’t know about the threats? I’m so sorry for scaring you… You look so beautiful, by the way. That dress… If we didn’t need to…”

She hadn’t even thought about their last night together, the fact that it was now defunct.I’m thinking about losing one night when so many families are dealing with so much pain and loss.Her emotions now in check, Toni broke away from Jason’s hold. She needed more details. “Tell me about the threat to my father, Jason. I need to know everything.”

The way Jason was staring at her gave her the chills. Toni could sense that he was trying to decide what to say to her. His face was blank. Toni couldn’t read any emotion from it or his eyes. It made Toni think back to one of their first conversations when Jason had joked about being trained to withstand interrogation.

“Please, Jason. I need the truth from you. I need to be able to trust that one person will tell me what’s going on. This is all so horrible, so many people hurt. There are still men trapped in the mine and I don’t even know what’s being done to rescue them. If my father is acting like a human being, for once, and putting the safety of the men and women who work for him before his own gain…”

Jason’s tough, all action exterior thawed, his eyes softened as he gazed down on her. “Toni, honey, I won’t lie to you, luv. This situation is bad. Nate’s already heard rumors that the mine had safety issues and there’s been some talk of bribes. Your family is going to be under the spotlight for months to come. If not worse… I’m with you all the way. I won’t let anything happen to you. You have my promise. The death threat was not aimed at your father, luv. The danger is specifically toward you and your mother. But I’ve got you, Toni.”

Jason had taken her hands in his own, as he’d spoken, moving his thumb over her skin in soothing motions as he’d explained the situation.

Her mind was running a million miles an hour.Why would I be threatened? I’ve never had anything to do with the family business. Never have, never wanted to. How is Mum dealing with this?“My mother…is she being protected? Where is the threat coming from? Who? Why us? We don’t have anything to do with the running of the mine—or any of Dad’s business dealings.”

Toni knew she was rambling. It was just so unbelievable, unexpected. Her father was always going on about her safety, her security or lack thereof. Even the ridiculousness of Jason following her on this holiday, Toni had put down to her father being such a control freak. And what did Jason mean by rumors? Why was the mine not safe? Her family was rich. Her father made so much money every day it was ridiculous. Why hadn’t he spent it on making sure people were safe?He must not have known about the issues? She quickly squashed and pushed that thought away, since she knew first-hand that her father made it his business to know everything about everything.


Page 9

Toni had never liked being a Grimaldi, had never felt like she fitted the mold of an heiress. Now she thoroughly despised her heritage. Just the idea that her family might have had anything, even slightly, to do with this disaster or in not preventing it, made her sick to her stomach.

 

Jason was doing his best to keep his anxiety in check. He should have been all over this. His job was protection. It was what he was trained for. But the bottom line was, ever since the phone call with Nate, Jason had felt a heavy weight on his shoulders and—more unsettling—his heart. Just the notion that Toni could be under threat had his blood pressure soaring. Being able to wrap his arms around her as she bravely dealt with what was going on—probably better than he was—was the only thing keeping Jason from coming apart. He’d tried so very hard not to fall for her, to try to maintain some sort of emotional barrier between them. He had failed. That fact never more clear to Jason than when Nate had spoken of the letters sent to the Grimaldi home. The direct threats to Toni’s well-being received on Grimaldi’s private phone. His blood had turned to ice, imagining her hurt or worse. He could not let anything happen to her. Jason didn’t think he could live with himself if even a hair on her precious head was harmed.

He’d already been struggling to come to terms with the inevitable—of living his life without Toni wrapped up in his arms, or having her in his bed again, before it had all gone to hell. But he’d understood that. That was his future—a future where Toni returned to her heiress lifestyle, and he returned to his one room apartment and back to his solitary life. That said, there was no way in hell Jason was going to let some nutcase get within a mile of her. Toni might not be his future but Jason was going to make damn sure she had a healthy one in her outlook—or die trying. “We need to get packed up and move. Just give me a few minutes to book another flight and we’ll get going. Give me your passport, luv, I’ll need it for the airline ticketing information.”

“Charles booked my flight already,” she said as she thrust her phone in Jason’s face. “See? It’s all in this email. Charles even had the hide to book me a first-class seat, despite all that’s going on at home.”

It sounded like the thought disgusted her, and while Jason couldn’t fault the fact that Grimaldi’s people got things done efficiently, it did leave him in an unacceptable predicament. How the hell was he going to pay the cost for a first-class seat? Yes, it could be recouped through expenses eventually, but he didn’t have that sort of credit available to him up front. Jason didn’t even know how much it would cost exactly but he figured over ten grand, easy—especially last minute. He’d already all but maxed out his credit card sharing the expenses with Toni over the last three weeks.

Toni must have picked up on his discomfort because she reached out her hand and stroked her fingers down his check. “What’s wrong, Jason?” she asked, her voice full of concern. Jason could have punched himself in the face—a habit he was getting into around Toni. She was the one with all the drama ahead of her and yet here she was trying to comfort his arse.Stop trying to be someone you’re not, dickhead. Now is not the time to let your pride get in the way. Tell her you don’t have the money to pay first class. She does. She’s a fucking millionairess.

It took all the strength he could muster to make the admission. Jason tried hard not to let the bitterness flow through in his voice with the embarrassment he felt having to ask the woman he had fucked every which way for the last few weeks to lend him money, but it had to be done. Her safety was more important than his male ego.

“I don’t have the funds available to pay for a ticket like yours and there is no way I’m letting you get on that plane without me. Either you can buy me a seat close to yours or we wait until Nate can organize it from his end.” Even though he felt like a fucking loser, Jason did not break eye contact with Toni as he made his humiliating confession.

“That’s no problem. We can use my American Express card. It’s empty. It’s the one my father insists I carry ‘for emergencies’,” Toni replied as she raised her hands in the air and made quotation mark signs with her fingers. “I figure this rates as an emergency and after all, it is Grimaldi money and at the moment, you are working for a Grimaldi.”

It was the first time Toni had not referred to Jason as working for her father, she had just said ‘a Grimaldi’. Was she now seeing him as her employee? He really didn’t have time to dwell on the ramifications or meanings of her words. Toni had already pressed the numbers on her phone that would connect her to the airline. “I’ll go get my passport,” he muttered, trying as best he could to sound natural. While deep inside his soul, in places Jason hadn’t known existed in him, he ached for the life he wished he could have shared with her.

 

Chapter Nine

 

 

 

Jason wished he could have enjoyed his first, and probably only, time traveling as a first-class passenger. The cabin was full of luxuries and the stewardesses more than attentive—in fact Jason had not missed the hints and flirtatious comments directed his way. What he hadn’t taken into consideration, as he’d stood silently beside Toni as she’d paid for his ticket, was that their seats would be so far away from one another. He couldn’t even see her at all now that she had reclined hers into the sleeping position.

Here he was cooped up in his own personal pod-like capsule, being afforded the best the airline had to give, and all Jason wanted was to be seated where he belonged, in the economy section of the plane—where the seats were so cramped that Toni would be snuggled in beside him, whether she wanted it that way or not. He couldn’t even take advantage of the deluxe sleeping conditions. There was no way he was falling asleep and leaving Toni unprotected. Not that Jason could foresee anything happening to her in this secluded and secured section of the plane. There was no chance the cabin crew would be letting any of the riff-raff traveling in the back of the plane get anywhere near the privacy of first class.

“Is there anything I can do for you, sir…? Anything at all?” the stewardess once again enquired, her smile wide on her Botox-filled lips and her eyes twinkling with the unstated, but obvious, proposition of a sexual tryst with Jason.

Bet she wouldn’t be so keen on me if she knew my bank balance.“No. I’m good. ’Thanks,” Jason replied for the umpteenth time.”

“Well, you let me know if you change your mind. We are here to meet your every need and make your travel more enjoyable for you any way we can,” she offered before wandering away.

“Sheesh,” Jason exclaimed loudly once the woman had moved out of earshot. She was laying it on thick with the suggestive comments and winks. He wondered if this was normal behavior or purposely aimed at him. He was so out of his league.

More disturbing was that a few weeks ago he would have happily joined the ranks of the mile-high club with the blonde, but now her forthright behavior was grating on his nerves. All he could think about was touching Toni. His hands itched to make contact with her. Fuck, his whole body did.Should I go see if she’s awake? Maybe we can just talk for a while? Take advantage of the bloody bar they have up here and have a drink together? Oh, man, you are really losing it.Jason rubbed a hand over his face, trying to stop the relentless conversation going on in his head. It was not helping.Relax, dude, watch a movie, get some shut-eye You’ll need it for when we land. You’ll need to be awake and alert if you plan to be of any use to her.Jason wasn’t even sure what plans Nate had put into place for Toni’s security detail.I’m probably persona non grata in Nate’s eyes anyway. Wouldn’t surprise me if my name’s been purposely omitted from any future work that involves the Grimaldi family.Doesn’t matter. I’m not trusting anyone else. Nate will just have to deal with it.

Things had definitely become a little strained between Jason and his boss of late. Whether Nate had guessed that things had become intimate between him and Toni was not clear. Nate had never asked and Jason had never said. He’d just filed his report about what Toni was up to each day, where she was staying, without making any reference to their shared accommodations. When Jason finally did his expense account, there was probably going to be a heated discussion but he didn’t care. What was the worst that could happen? Nate fire him? Unlikely. He would think twice before sending Jason on another bodyguard gig, though, Jason suspected, which was just fine by him. As long as it didn’t interfere with him keeping Toni safe, Nate could do as he saw fit.

 

* * * *

 

“Jason, are you awake? Jason…”

Jason woke to the sound of his name being called, felt someone tapping on his shoulder. It took him a few seconds to come fully awake.

He’d been dreaming of Toni, of the night they’d spent together in Durham. Reliving the feel of her lips wrapped around his cock as she’d taken him into her mouth, sucking the length of him until the tip of his dick had touched the back of her throat. The sight of her on her knees in front of him, naked, his dick going in and out of her mouth had had him so fucking enthralled that he’d lost his mind. Up until that night, he’d been gentle with Toni, always committed to making it good for her, bringing her pleasure before he even contemplated reaching his own. But that night he’d lost control. He’d started bucking his hips against her face, pushing his cock farther and farther into the moist heaven that was her mouth. Holding her head in place with his hands as he’d fucked her mouth. It was the most intense moment of his life. Jason had never experienced pleasure like it. And it wasn’t that Toni had used any special tricks—in fact it had been clear to Jason that she was not all that experienced giving head, the way she’d hesitated before she’d let her tongue explore the slit in his cock and the way she’d looked up at him. She’d actually asked him if she was doing it right. Fuck, if she’d done it any better, Jason might have died. As it was, he’d forgotten to warn her when he’d shot his load. It had gone down her throat, her eager lips and tongue licking every last drop of seed from his dick.

So at first he didn’t register the sound of Toni calling his name. When it did become clear, Jason sat bolt upright.

“What’s wrong…? Are you okay?” he asked as he pulled Toni down into his pod, so he could see past her, giving himself a clear line of vision to ascertain the possibility of any imminent threat. When Jason was satisfied all was as it should be, that there was no danger present in the empty aisle of the aircraft, his fight instinct subsided and another impulse took its place. His body began to react in response to Toni sitting in his lap.

“Umm, sorry to wake you, Jason, but I thought you’d want to know that Charles just called me. Who knew you could receive calls when you were flying? The buzzing scared the crap out of me.” Toni made a little noise that sounded like a stifled giggle.

Jason was surprised she hadn’t known about the technology.

“Anyway, he said that Haven Security will have a car waiting at the airport ready to pick me up. I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to mention you or not. Didn’t know if you told them I knew about you, if that would get you into trouble, but they will be picking you up too, right?”

He was having a hard time concentrating on what Toni was saying, her shapely, soft arse cheeks sitting so snug in his lap a distraction. His engorged cock in particular delighted in the new seating arrangements. “Of course I am, luv. I told you I’m going to be by your side until we get this situation under control.”If I can get my body parts back under control so I can think clearly, it would help.“As to your concern for me—I think Nate has picked up on our…” Jason was struggling to find the words to describe what he and Toni shared.What will I call it? A relationship…? Is it? A close friendship, maybe?

“I’m hoping the next word out of your mouth will be relationship, Jason. ‘Cause that’s how I see what we’ve just shared and I hope it will continue and even grow into something more when all this madness ends.

“I know this is probably not the right time for this sort of conversation, Jason. I’ve spent the last sixteen hours of the flight arguing with myself over whether I should, or should not have this conversation when so much is going wrong and so many are hurting, but I need to know. It’s more unsettling than the knowledge someone out there wants to hurt me, not being sure whether I’m ever going to spend time with you again, kiss you again. Make love… It was always more than just sex to me, much more than that.”

Toni’s bluntness took Jason by surprise—they were words he’d wanted to say, had been thinking. She was braver than him.

He could see how much his answer meant to her, there were tears rolling down her cheeks and falling from her chin. “I’m sorry. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry, no matter what your answer. I think I’m just tired. I just need to know if this is over between us now.”

He needed to answer her, but he didn’t know what to say.If I tell her the truth—that there’s nothing I want more than to see where this is headed—will that just cause more heartache later? She deserves so much more than I can offer her but am I selling her short? If she wants to give us a try, why shouldn’t we? I’m not ready to let this go, let her go.

“I want the same thing you do, luv. More than you’ll ever know. But I think us having a relationship, or trying to, might end up being a little more complicated than we imagine. Even though it’s what we think we want right now.” It was a total cop-out and Jason knew it.Why the hell can’t I just say ‘I love you, Toni’ and be done with it?Jason was stunned by his own admission, albeit a silent one. He waited for a feeling of panic to set in or that prickle he got between his shoulders when something was not right.

Nothing happened.

He felt calm. Well most of him did anyway—his dick was still rock-hard, enjoying the feel of Toni’s butt cheeks against it.I love her. Well, whaddya know? I’ve fallen for her and it’s not freaking me out at all. Who knew I had it in me?

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