Page 14 of From Rags by

He thought it was ironic that he trained his mind to be alert and prepared for anything – how else would he handle a speeding car and be totally attuned to every movement? – and yet the reappearance of one person in his life had thrown him completely. During training seemed to be the only time that he was actually in control of his body; a body that craved Jaxx in a way that scared him. His theory was that if his body had been well worked, it wouldn’t be so unruly. So, yeah, he’d overworked himself a lot lately.

Nonetheless, whenever she crept into his thoughts his c*ck roared to life. How was it possible that he thought of Jaxx so much? But, then, how could he not think of her? How could he not think of Wednesday night? It had felt so good to be inside her. She had been so responsive to his touch. So hot and tight around him. So gorgeous as she came, screaming.

And then she had topped it off with ‘Not bad, McKenzie’.

Not bad, McKenzie?! It had been amazing, that’s what it had been. He’d never had a shag like that in his life.

Then she had scarpered like the hounds of hell were chasing her. Had that been regret? Or was it that what happened had meant so little to her? That he meant so little to her?

Christ, why was he stressing over this? He should be glad. She was his favourite kind of woman; she understood that sex didn’t mean the involvement of ‘feelings’, she didn’t have this need to bask in the bloody afterglow, and she didn’t put any pressure on him. She had just got her jollies and left, not even hinting for a compliment on her performance or if she was the best sex ever. The irony that this woman was the best sex he’d ever had wasn’t lost on him. He wondered if that meant it’d take longer for him to burn off his craving for her.

The chiming of his mobile phone stole him from his contemplations. The name on the screen of his Blackberry was ‘Warren’, an Olympic runner who had been a good mate of his over the years. “Hello.”

“Connor, you busy right now, mate?”

“Just got out of the shower. About to have a beer and wind down. What’s up?”

“Er…I’m at that new bar, ‘Frankie’s’, with Clive and Mick.”

That explained the background noise. “I’m not really in the mood for that tonight.”

“I think you might change your mind when I tell you who I’m looking at right now. Jaxxon Carter’s here, she’s with the really cute, leggy model who went to the charity event with her. And, er…”

Connor’s entire body tensed and his jaw locked.

“Well, that actor Luke Winston’s hovering around her.”

Little bastard.

She probably should have been politely concentrating on what Luke was saying, but Jaxxon was busy wondering if there was such a thing as Celebrity Fright Syndrome and if Anna suffered from it. She hadn’t said a word since the bloke had appeared at their table a half hour ago, just stared at him like he alone held the keys to the secrets of the universe. The bloke certainly held a secret…but Jaxxon had yet to figure out what.

Oh on the surface he seemed totally fine and the evening had so far been alright, if you discounted the fact that he had sat with them without waiting for an invite. He didn’t seem conceited, he hadn’t mentioned either of their careers, he hadn’t plowed her with extremely personal questions. They were just two people talking which was kind of refreshing. But there was just something not quite right. He was so nervous and couldn’t meet her eyes for very long. A few times already he had tried to get her to leave the bar with him. Also, he was trying to get her plastered. Poor thing didn’t know she’d worked in a pub for years and could handle her alcohol better than most blokes – not that she wasn’t the teensiest bit tipsy. The only reason she hadn’t sent him away with a kick up the arse was that she was certain he’d be plastered before she was and then maybe she could coax his big secret from him.

“Oh bugger.”

Jaxxon nearly jumped when Anna spoke. So she was alive then. “What’s wrong?”

“You’re not going to like this.”

As Jaxxon followed Anna’s gaze, she inhaled sharply. Connor and a cluster of blokes were stalking toward their table. He was in predator-mode, it would seem. “A wolf dressed in Armani clothing.” It had only taken a second of seeing him before the memory of Wednesday night was all over her. It didn’t help that he looked good in his grey shirt and black pants.

As he came to stand before Jaxxon, only the mahogany table between them, there was a wordless exchange between them. His tense posture, twist of the lips and raised brow asked if there was a reason why another bloke was so close to her that justified allowing him to live. Her shrug, casual swig of her drink and a twirl of her ankle said that she wasn’t affected by his crap and didn’t have to explain herself to him.

She watched as Connor’s eyes slammed down on Luke who was settled in the bulky armchair beside where he was standing, looking from her to Connor and back again. Luke hadn’t the missed the ‘f**k off’ blazing from Connor’s eyes, but he seemed to be waiting to see if Jaxxon would object to him going on his way. She didn’t. She knew it was in his best interests to be out of Connor’s sight. Something told her that Connor would be like this until he had tired of shagging her. She could only hope that she had burnt him out of her system before then.

Jaxxon had expected that Luke might shoot a snarl at her or Connor, but he had the oddest look in his eyes. She was sure she saw a flash of shock and also of betrayal, but the emotions weren’t directed at either her or Connor. What was with this bloke? Almost the second after Luke had vacated the seat, Connor flopped into it. This meant they were sat directly opposite each other as they stared the hell out of each other. Honestly she felt like a cowgirl about to have a showdown.

“It’s Anna, isn’t it?”

Following the male voice, Jaxxon turned her head and saw what she had never expected to see: a celebrity had seated himself next to Anna and she didn’t freeze.

“Yeah, hi,” she said a little shyly. “You’re Warren, right?” Of course Anna was faking her uncertainty. She knew exactly who this bloke was – he was a gold-medal winner for God’s sake! She had first seen him in the flesh at the charity event. He had smiled at her a few times but they had never got round to talking. Probably because she had made it her business to get drunk to distract Jaxxon from Connor’s antics.

“And you’re Jaxxon,” said Warren as he looked passed Anna at the woman who he had thought Connor was going to devour in the middle of the charity event. He didn’t know an awful lot of what, if anything, was going on between them, but he knew Connor. He’d seen how possessive his mate was of her and had figured it might be best to warn him that there was now another bloke coming onto her. Turned out he was right to do so. He handed Connor a Budweiser, noticing at the same time that it was what Jaxxon was drinking too.

Jaxxon nodded. “And you’re the one who snitched to Connor that I was here tonight.” There was no way that Connor was already here when he saw her. It was obvious by the frustration on his face that he had been stewing on his emotions for a while which suggested having dragged himself here from somewhere else.

Warren smiled at her astuteness. “What made you think it was me?”

“You’re finding way too much pleasure in this awkward little situation. Plus, it gave you an excuse to hang around Anna. Upset her, you’ll lose your bollocks.”

She said it so matter-of-factly that he laughed. “Fair enough. That ginger one there is Clive, the tubby one is Mick. Both my brothers-in-law.”

Jaxxon nodded at the blokes sat on either side of Connor. It was almost like they were flanking him. She smiled at that. Connor gave her a questioning look but she said nothing. There was a long silence at the table. She realised that Anna and Connor’s mates were all fixated on her and him, watching and waiting to see how this was going to play out: Was Jaxxon going to blow her fuse after Connor’s display of ownership? Was Connor going to pop a vein after seeing her with Luke? She considered warning them that there was likely to be unsuitable language from the outset and scenes that some people may find disturbing.

It seemed that over the years Connor had forgotten just how often he had had to chase idiots away from Jaxx. The problem was she had a body that made a bloke think sinful thoughts. It had always gotten her attention, and always the wrong kind of attention. Boys had seemed to automatically think that if she had a body so alluring she was some kind of seductress and was up for anything. Then there was the fact that her sister had been very loose with her body; boys tended to then reason that if Jaxx was Leah’s sister, she must be easy just like her.

From minute one Jaxx had brought out his primitive instinct to protect. It didn’t even matter if the boy seemed harmless. If he was a male and too close for Connor’s liking then that male needed to be on his way…because she brought out another primitive instinct in him too: to possess. Every wicked curve of her body called to any red-blooded male. She was edible. And he wanted another taste. He hadn’t thought of anything else since the second she drove away the other night. Having her again was the only thing that would calm the raging lust coursing through him, the only that’d feel right. He itched to touch her so much that he found himself tapping his restless fingers on the arms of the chair. He wanted to drag her out of there and f**k her to unconsciousness. Disliking the way she looked so unperturbed, he made sure he said something that would get him a response. “Oh there’s nothing quite like finding a randy bastard sniffing around your woman.”

Jaxxon looked at him with mock sympathy. “Oh Connor. How you do love to delude yourself. I’ll say this one more time: I belong to no one.” She was impressed at how steady her voice was given that her insides were coiling with a vicious hunger for the raw, carnal pleasure she knew he could give her. There was no denying that his body was designed for it. She could vividly recall the feel of him, thick and hard and long, inside her. And going by the way his lips were curved into his cocky smirk, he knew that she was recalling it.

“You felt like you were mine the other night.”

It probably should have bothered her that he had announced that for his mates to hear, but the world thought they were shagging anyway after what the tabloids had printed. “Sex doesn’t give you ownership rights.”

“My body owned yours the other night, and you know it.”

It nettled her the way he said that; like she was at his mercy, like her body was his to bloody command or something. “It’s so sad, Connor. The way you’re being all cocky and boastful you sound like a teenage boy who’s just finally popped his cherry. It was a quickie in the woods, no need to get carried away with yourself.”

“I’m getting carried away, am I? As I recall it, you were the one screaming.”

“If you think that makes me anything like the other women who follow you around like you’re the Pied Bleeding Piper then you’re very much mistaken. And you’re just as mistaken if you think I’ll tolerate your possessiveness.”

It was a struggle to keep his voice level. “And you’re very mistaken if you think I’ll ever be alright with another bloke being near you, let alone touching you. I see red every time.”

“Try to imagine how little I actually care.”

He couldn’t help smiling. She was pushing him but her ballsy responses and the frustration shimmering in her eyes only made his dick harder. It wasn’t easy reigning in his eagerness to have her when he could sense that she was just as affected by the sexual tension as he was. “Be as pissed off with me as you like. It won’t change the fact that Wednesday night will happen again. But you already know that, don’t you.”

There it was again: that insinuation that she had no control over things. Fair enough, she didn’t have much at all. But she knew that he wasn’t as in control as he liked to think. Maybe it was time to fight fire with fire. “You know, McKenzie, these games of yours – getting my private schedule, swooping in and scaring off other blokes, breaking into my apartment – are pretty annoying. I’m not usually a fan of game playing, but I’ve got a good mind to make an exception here.”

The calculating gleam in her eyes had him intrigued. “I’m up for it, Carter.”

“You don’t know what it is yet.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“So over-confident…” She sighed wistfully. “Anna, what time is it?”

After consulting her wrist-watch, she replied, “Eleven.”

Jaxxon fixed her eyes on Connor. “I’ll bet that you won’t last until half-past eleven to get me out of here.” There was no point in acting as though there wouldn’t be a repeat of the other night. They both wanted it. It would happen.

A crooked grin appeared on Connor’s face. She knew just how desperate he was to be inside her again just as she knew that turning down her challenge was as good as admitting aloud that desperation and that she had managed to splinter his iron control. She had cornered him good and proper. Pride wouldn’t let him admit his weakness. “Alright.”

Jaxxon shifted in her seat, leaning back until she was lounging in it and her pants were slightly sagging over her hipbones. Connor saw and his nostrils flared.

Anna looked at her curiously. “Comfy?”

“Oh yeah. I wouldn’t normally chance this position, it makes my thong ride up my arse, but since I’m going Commando…” Connor’s eyes darkened and she smiled inwardly.

Tags: Suzanne Wright Romance