“Well then, I’m relieved you weren’t leaving already,” he comments, the words spoken lowly as he stops right in front of me.
The air between us crackles like a roaring fire.
How does he do this to me?
“I like it better when you’re an asshole,” I speak without thinking. I’m rewarded with a charming smile, and a deep rough chuckle.
“I’ll remember that, cailín tine.” Holding out his hand, he commands me, “Come.”
As I reach for my purse, Jase leans down, grabbing the handle before I can. His blanket is in plain sight on top and before I can speak, he comments, “You could have kept it with you; it may help you sleep.”
One step in front of the other I follow him, with only the sounds of our footsteps keeping us company while I try not to think too much about what he said and why.
He doesn’t care about my sleep.
He doesn’t care about how I’m feeling.
He wants to get his dick wet. He wants to tie me up and do with me what he wishes.
All of this is simply to keep me amenable.
Jase Cross may have the upper hand, but I’m doing this for me.
The echoes of my footsteps get louder in the narrow corridor as I think, I’m doing this for Jenny.
One step, one beat of my heart, one tick of the clock.
I have my questions lined up in a pretty row. Without warning, Jase halts and unlocks a door, but how? I don’t know. It simply clicks the moment he stops in front of it and with a flick of the handle, it opens.
I’ve never seen wealth like this before. And I imagine it shows in my expression, judging by the smug look on Jase’s face when he opens the door wider and says, “After you.”
“Where would you like me?” I ask him the moment he opens the door and I step in before taking a look. “Oh,” I murmur, and the word leaves my lips without my conscious consent.
The click of the door closing behind me is followed by a dull thud of a lock, some sort of lock, moving into place.
My belly flips in a way I don’t understand. Almost like when you’re driving down a hill too fast, or on a roller coaster. The anticipation of the fall, the sudden drop of reality making your stomach somersault.
As I spot the table in the middle of the room, that’s exactly what I feel. Followed by the same exact cold prickling I remember so well from three nights ago traveling along my skin.
“What do you think?” Jase asks me, and at the same time he reaches up to my shoulders to take my coat. I anticipate the feel of his fingers trailing along my skin as he does, but he’s careful not to touch me. I think he does it on purpose.
I think he does more things with intent than I first realized.
“It’s not at all like your foyer,” I comment and then drag my eyes back to the wooden bench in the middle of the room. It’s at odds with the large plush carpet that takes up most of the space. I have to look out further to the edge to note that under it is a barn wood floor, or something like it. A darker wood, with wide planks. The cream rug is the brightest thing in here, and thank goodness it’s large. Even with the three chandeliers at varying heights with a mix of iron and wood, the room has a soft, airy feeling. Dim and romantic even.
As my coat falls off my shoulders, I take a half step forward and touch the wall. It’s a thick wallpaper in a damask cream, but it’s darkened by the blood-red pattern within it.
Besides the bench and a matching dresser, there’s a whiskey-colored leather chaise lounge and a white crystal fireplace that would certainly be the focus, if not for the wooden bench dead smack in the center of it all.
With the flick of a switch from behind me, I hear the gas turn on and the fireplace roars to life. Jase’s hand is still on the switch when I peek behind my shoulder.
I dare to step forward and touch the edge of the wooden bench, noting it’s lined with padding upholstered in a soft black leather.
“It’s beautiful. It’s primitive and raw. Elegant, yet seductive in a way that borders on decadence.”
He doesn’t respond to my comment, although his eyes never leave me as I walk around the table. “The wood won’t catch on fire?” I ask him, remembering how the flames felt like they consumed everything. I’ve never felt so alive.
“It’s for fucking, not fire play.” Jase’s words come with authority and a heat that could match that raging from the fireplace behind me.
My lungs still as I’m pinned by his gaze. “Is that what you think you’ll be doing today?”