Chapter 1

Nerves raced in my stomach as I made my way to the interview. The sky was grey and it was drizzling slightly. A flash of lightning cracked the sky, followed by loud, ominous thunder. I swallowed hard as I made my way along the sidewalk, walking as quickly as I could in my stripper heels. Heels I would never have worn to my job at the law firm, but then this wasn’t a lawyer position.

I walked quickly into the building. I didn’t want to give myself time to change my mind and hobble back home like a nervous Nellie. The building surprised me as I looked around. It was unassuming and normal. There was nothing ostentatious about it. Nothing that screamed of money or class. There was nothing that screamed ‘private club’ about it at all.

“Are you here about the position?” An older lady looked me over in my short, tight dress and pointed me towards a door. “Go in there. He’s waiting for you.”

“He?” I looked at her uncertainly. “Can you tell me his name, please? I don’t want to go into the interview without knowing it.” I gave her a small smile. With narrowed eyes, she looked at me like I was crazy.“You don’t need to know his name. Just go and wait in there. He’ll come and get you.” She looked back down at her desk and started typing on her computer. I guessed that was my dismissal, and I walked quickly to the door she had pointed me towards.

I sat there waiting in the dark hallway, playing with my long red wig, wondering what the hell I was doing. I knew nothing about bartending, and frankly, I didn’t really even care to learn. I was still in shock that I’d been fired from my associate position at the law firm I’d worked so hard and tediously for. This was not a part of my life plan. I was supposed to be on a partner track, not a drinking-for-free track. I bit my lower lip as I tried to stop myself from laughing hysterically. I didn’t even know if I would be allowed to drink for free as a bartender. I jumped up, ready to leave, when a door opened.

“You here for the interview?” The voice was dark and mysterious. I looked up to see the man’s face, but it was hidden in the shadows. I shivered slightly as the cold air ran over my skin.

“Um, yes,” I managed to squeak out and walked towards the door.

“What’s your name?” he asked in a voice that was close to a growl.

“Jada.” I paused right in front of him and looked up slowly. “My name’s Jada.” I swallowed hard as I lied. I stared at the man in front of me. He was about six foot four, with dark blue eyes and dark blond hair. I stared at his muscles through his well-fitting white shirt. The crisp white of his shirt complemented his golden tan and his perfect white teeth. “What’s your name?” I gave him a small smile and waited for his answer. He stared at me blankly for a few seconds and then turned around and walked back into the office. I stood there uncertainly, not knowing what to do.

“Are you coming?” He looked back at me and I hurried in after him.

“Sorry, I didn’t know,” I mumbled and wanted to slap myself. You are a strong, smart, independent woman, Meg O’Riley, I lectured myself. You are a lawyer. Do not act like a punk.

“You didn’t know what?” He raised an eyebrow at me, and I felt my face flushing.

“Nothing.” I shook my head. “I’m just here for the bartending interview.”

“Bartending?” He stared at me for a second and laughed. His gaze fell down to my partially exposed chest and the long expanse of my legs. “Sure.”

“I am,” I protested too loudly. I stared at him again for a second. Something felt slightly off in this whole situation.

“Take your clothes off.” He sat down and started playing with some papers on his desk.

“What?” My voice was loud as my mouth fell open.

“I said, take your clothes off.” He looked back up at me. “Now.”

“I heard you.” This time my voice was firm. “What you heard wasn’t me asking you to repeat yourself, but more a vocal expression of my shock and anger.”

“Shock and anger.” He cocked his head and really looked at me then. His eyes studied my face and narrowed. “You’re not really here for a bartending gig, are you?”

“That’s what the advertisement said.”

“Hold on.” He picked his suddenly ringing phone up, but his eyes never left mine as he spoke. “This is Greyson Twining.”

I watched his lips as he spoke. Greyson. Nice name. He doesn’t look like a Greyson. He looks more like a Brody or a Josh. I looked around the room and started shivering as I realized he was still staring at me body. I knew that I should just run out of the building and leave, but my feet wouldn’t move.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Brandon. You can’t tell me who I can and can’t hire.” Greyson’s voice was harsh. “No cute blondes named Meg have come in today. I gotta go.” He hung up the phone and stood up again, walking over to me slowly. “So, Jada, tell me more about you.”

He stopped in front of me and leaned in towards me. I froze as his lips stopped a mere inch from mine. I didn’t know whether I should slap him across the face or close my eyes and wait for his kiss. For some reason, my body went with the latter, and I waited in sweet anticipation to feel his lips upon mine.

“So, Meg,” Greyson whispered in my ear lightly. “Tell me why Brandon Hastings just called me and told me not to hire you.” My eyes opened slowly and I swallowed hard as I saw my wig in his hands. I looked into his eyes and saw that he was laughing at me. I knew I should turn away. Brandon had warned me not to come here and had called Greyson and told him not to hire me. I knew that there had to be a reason. I looked at the door and debated with myself for about ten seconds.

“I think the more important question is do I have the job.” I ran my hands through my blond hair and shook it out. “Don’t you think?”

"Why did you lie about your name, Meg?" He looked at me curiously.

"Why didn't you tell me your name?" I raised an eyebrow at him, my brain working furiously. "What's really going on here?"

"Do you think that's a smart question?" His eyes darkened at me. "How do you know Brandon Hastings?"

"I don't. I met him once."

"And he wanted you and you turned him down?" He smiled wide. "He never did take rejection well."

"How do you know him?" I changed the subject. Who cared how he thought I knew Brandon? Let him think what he wanted. I didn’t have to tell him that Brandon was my best friend’s ex-boyfriend or current boyfriend. I wasn’t even sure what was going on with the two of them right now.

“The job’s yours if you want it.” He glanced at me and turned around. “I’m not sure why I’m offering it to you though. Every part of me is telling me not to offer it to you.”

“Every part of me is telling me not to take it.” My heart thudded as he turned to look at me. There was a dark glint in his eyes as he surveyed my face.

“You’ve got three days.”

“Three days for what?”

“You have three days to prove to me that you can do this job.” His eyes challenged me. “If, after three days, I don’t think you’re successful, then you are out.”

“Most jobs have a probationary period of 30 days to three months.” I frowned, my heart beating fast.

“This isn’t most jobs.”

“What is the job?”

“It’s whatever you want it to be.”

“That’s not a proper answer.”

“This isn’t a proper job.” His lips curled slightly and his eyes surveyed me expectantly, waiting for me to ask him to expand on the job definition.

“I’ll take it,” I said nonchalantly, pretending that my heart wasn’t racing in fear and worry.

“Good.” He nodded and then walked towards me. “Are they?”

“Are what what?” I frowned.

“Are they?” He smiled at stared into my eyes for a moment before dropping his gaze to my heaving breasts.

“That’s not a question.”

“Are they as juicy as they look?”

“Excuse me!” My voice rose as I blushed. “How dare you!”

“How dare I?” His baby blues twinkled at me. “I think you’ll find I dare a lot.”

“It’s rude to talk about a lady’s breasts,” I muttered.

“I was talking about your lips.” His fingers reached up and ran across my trembling lower lip. “They are so pink and juicy. I wondered if they tasted as sweet as they looked.”

“Oh,” I whispered, unable to move as he continued slowly caressing my lips. His fingers were both rough and gentle at the same time, and I could smell his salty musk close to me. It gave me a heady feeling, a feeling I’d never really felt before. Greyson Twining was the type of man I’d learned to avoid: sexy, arrogant, mysterious, and all-knowing. He was the sort of man you knew you could never really have. A man who would never give himself fully to a woman. And yet, he’d already intrigued me enough to influence my decisions. My brain was screaming at me to run out of this dark, secretive building and away from this charismatic man with the open yet closed blue eyes.

“I want to taste them.” He leaned towards me and I backed away quickly, tripping over my feet and crashing down to the floor. I sat there, staring up at him and his shuttered eyes, and shivered. He looked so tall and muscular standing above me. I swallowed hard, trying to ignore the voice in my brain that was screaming at me to pull him down with me to the floor.

He reached his hand down to me to help me up and I took it hesitantly. As soon as our fingers touched, I felt a shock of electricity course through me. His eyes looked at me in confusion for just one second as he pulled me up, but they quickly became guarded again.

He pulled me up and towards him and I stumbled into his arms. His hands circled my waist and he held me against him for two seconds before he leaned down. His teeth bit down on my lower lip and then I felt his lips sucking. I gasped and closed my eyes at the feel of him against me. His teeth were sharp and his lips were soft as he nibbled on my lip. He pulled away slowly and smiled at me.

“Strawberry gloss,” he stated casually. “And yes, they are as juicy as they look.”

“Don’t kiss me.” I pushed him away. “That’s sexual harassment.”

“Honey, that wasn’t a kiss.” He chuckled and licked his lips. “And trust me, you’ll know when it’s sexual.”

“I don’t want to know,” I lied, trying to hide the fact that my body was involuntarily trembling at the thought of knowing him on a deeper, more intimate level. I was ashamed of myself for wanting this man I didn’t even know. I’d never had such a base reaction to a man before. Greyson Twining intrigued me and attracted me. My loins ached to touch and be touched by him. The visceral reaction I had when I saw him made my blood boil over with heat.


“If you really think I’m a liar, then you shouldn’t hire me.”

“I don’t think I should hire you. You’re trouble. With a capital T.” His eyes darkened and his face stilled as he gazed at me thoughtfully.

A question suddenly struck me and I spoke my thought aloud. “How do you know Brandon?”

He laughed bitterly. “I’m not sure you want to know.”

“I want to know.” My heart raced in fear, and this time it wasn’t due to how he was making me feel. “Is he your friend?”

He shook his head. “I don’t do friends.”

“Is he your enemy, then?” I shivered to myself, remembering Brandon’s face when he had warned me not to come to this job interview. “You don’t like each other?”

“Like and dislike have nothing to do with it.”

“Then what?” I frowned. “How do you know him? Tell me!” I begged.

“Why should I tell you? Who do you think you are?” He frowned back at me. “Don’t forget your place, Meg. You work for me. Not the other way around.”

“I wasn’t trying to boss you around,” I protested, frustrated. I wanted to shake him and then myself. “I’m going to go now.”

“You can’t leave.” He shook his head. “Not if you want to pass probation.”

“Then I have to call my roommate.”

“You have a boyfriend?” His eyes glared at me.

“No.” I looked at him curiously. “Why?”

“I wasn’t sure if roommate was a code word for a boyfriend.”

“It’s not.”

“Don’t sleep with any members of the club.” His eyes bored into mine. “No matter how much money they offer you.”

“I wasn’t planning on it.”

“I’ll call Patsy. She’ll show you to your room.”

“Okay,” I said weakly, staring into his once again distant blue eyes. I knew that he was dismissing me, but I didn’t know what else to say. I couldn’t really ask him to let me stay and chat with him. How pathetic would I sound if I said that I didn’t want to leave his company just yet?

“Patsy, it’s Greyson. We have a new girl. She’s in my office. Come and get her, please.” His voice was gruff as he spoke into the phone and sat back down again. “You can go back into the hallway and wait. She’ll be along to collect you in a minute.”

“Okay.” I turned away, feeling embarrassed and rejected. Get a grip, Meg. You’re way too smart and secure for these teenage-girl feelings. It had been a long time since I had such an immediate reaction to a guy.

Tags: J.S. Cooper The Private Club Erotic