“I told you I wouldn’t be far.”
“Oh I’m sorry I didn’t realise that was code for ‘I’ll break into your apartment’.”
“At first I thought it was the wrong one, I had to double-check with that ever-so-responsive-to-flirting secretary of Miller. This place isn’t you, Jaxx. There’s not a hint of colour anywhere. Everything’s white or mauve. There’s not a single thing out of place. You are no Mary Poppins.”
“If you had a point, I missed it.”
Connor leant forward and clasped his hands together, exploring her with his eyes. That feral glare of hers stole his breath. He was itching to touch her, hold her, kiss her, drive himself into her. His c*ck was fully supportive of that idea. “You’re afraid to let yourself get comfortable somewhere.”
“Something tells me that you didn’t break in here to give me your opinion on the interior of the place.”
He rose and stalked over to where she stood at the edge of the living area. “Tell me why you ignored my message.”
Jaxxon crossed her arms over her chest, mimicking his confrontational stance. “It’s not obvious that I just didn’t have any interest in meeting up with you?”
“It’s more than that. Last night you treated me like a virtual stranger.”
“Aren’t you? It’s been a long time. Things change. People change.”
He shook his head. “You’ve clammed up a bit, I can see that. But you’re still you. You’re still my Jaxx,” he added softly.
Overcome with fury, she abruptly and forcefully swung one of her balled up fists into his gut – a move that he himself had taught her, a move that he was poorest at blocking. “Bastard,” she said through gritted teeth.
At the impact of her well-delivered punch his breath escaped him in a whoosh and his hands flew to his stomach. “Bloody hell, Jaxx.”
“I’m not your Jaxx. Never was. Now piss off out of here!” She stormed over to the kitchen area. The tap, kettle and mug bore the brunt of her anger as she made herself a coffee – she needed to be doing something while infuriation was riding her. Still my Jaxx? Cheeky sod. He honestly thought that a few years of looking out for her gave him any rights over her? Now that was some messed up logic.
A moment later her sideways version alerted her to the fact that Connor was leaning against the refrigerator watching her. It wasn’t until she took the first sip of her coffee that he spoke.
“I’m sorry I never went back to see you.”
He did sound genuinely contrite but Jaxxon ignored that.
“I had my reasons. None of them was that I didn’t care.”
She continued sipping her drink as she leant back against the kitchen counter, refusing to look at him. Because to look at him and that gorgeous face and those sleek muscles was to crave him. But she was kidding herself if she thought she could block out the animalistic magnetism that seeped from him, or how seductive and alluring his voice was, or how his raw masculinity was beating at her defenses. All that together with the sexual tension and her own anger swirling around her and she was about ready to boil. God make him go!
“You might as well talk to me, Jaxx, because I’m not leaving.”
Clearly she should have prayed louder.
He took a few steps but didn’t get too close. “Come on, don’t freeze me out.”
She snorted. “How can you be frozen out if you weren’t in?”
“We were always close.”
“Does your fiancée know you’re here?”
He arched a brow. “I have a fiancée?”
“Don’t muck about, Connor. I don’t read the papers but even I heard about the engagement.”
“You of all people should have known that was a rumour. I always said I’d never get married. So did you.”
“Fine. Your girlfriend then.”
“I don’t have one of those either.”
Exasperated, she gritted out her words. “Well then the woman you were with last night. Your bed buddy, I’m assuming.”
Connor exhaled a small laugh. “Miranda was nothing more than my guest for the evening. I took her straight home after the event and then I came here. You didn’t though, did you,” he added curtly. “Lucky for him you didn’t bring him back here.”
Jaxxon shot him a scowl as she plonked her half-empty mug on the counter. “What I do is my business. I don’t need a big brother anymore -”
“- and if you find the idea of your once-upon-a-time foster sister shagging someone a bit too much for your stomach then maybe you should keep your nose out.”
He spoke in a voice heavy with disbelief. “Is that what you think? Jesus, Jaxx, where the hell did you get the idea that I think of you as a sister?” His eyes glittered dangerously as he continued, “Oh and if you don’t want me to snap your ponce in half, don’t ever again mention you shagging him because I’m close to losing it.”
“You dare touch Bruno -”
“Bruno? He sounds like a St. Bernard or something.”
“- and I’ll kick the out of you. I don’t need you to protect me anymore, I’m twenty-two years old.”
“It was never about just protecting you.”
“Yes it was, Connor. You missed your sister and you used me as a replacement.” As Jaxxon watched every muscle in his body tighten she wondered if maybe she had gone too far by bringing up his deceased younger sister. The words had just popped out before she could stop them. But even as he advanced on her looking like a bulldog chewing a gasp she remained where she was; unflinching, back straight, chin up.
Connor placed a hand either side of her on the counter, imprisoning her. Then he pressed himself hard against her body, snuggling his painful erection between her thighs. She gasped, and he whispered against her neck, “Still think I think of you as a sister?”
Jaxxon, her eyes wide with shock, instinctively tensed and cringed at the contact in spite of how delicious it was. Connor noticed and pressed himself even closer then ground against her. She hated herself for the moan that escaped her but God the feel of him was so good; as good as his sensuality promised. The daring, unguarded part of her wanted to strip them both of their clothes and feel his skin against hers, feel him filling her – finally. God knew she’d envisioned it enough times. He ground himself against her again. “Stop.” No more words came to her disordered brain.
His lips trailed kisses up her throat over her jawline and up to the corner of her mouth. “Can’t,” he breathed. And he meant it. He breezed the pad of his thumb over her plump lower lip. He had always loved her mouth; so soft and plush and sensual. He thought it was strange just how much he wanted to kiss her. His breathing was becoming heavy just thinking about it. He had never been big on kissing, it was just a means to an end. Other than with Jaxx, never had he had this overwhelming urge to take someone’s lips. Once he kissed her, he would know for sure if she wanted him as he suspected she did, if she wanted him as much as he wanted her. He had to know.
Certain he was going to kiss her – at which point she’d lose what composure she had left – Jaxxon shoved at his chest. Unfazed and totally determined, Connor grabbed her wrists and pinned them behind her back as his lips ravished hers. She tried to resist but he was relentless, refusing to be denied what he wanted. He tugged her bottom lip with his teeth and then thrust his tongue inside her mouth, stroking her own. That was it for her; game over, willpower gone. In that moment, his lips and tongue absolutely owned her. Branded her. He kissed her with a terrible insistence and urgency as though he had been starved for her. All she could do was kiss him back.
Connor had always prided himself on his self-control. He might have slept with a number of women, though he wasn’t as bad as the tabloids made out, but that wasn’t because he had a weak will. If anything, he was choosy. A woman had to tick most if not all his boxes before they even had his interest. With Jaxx, there were no boxes or ticks because with Jaxx there was no choice. He needed to have her. Self-control…He had none at all where she was concerned. It scared the hell out of him. Finally releasing her mouth, his lips travelled down to her neck. Connor licked it then bit down hard. She shuddered. No, she wasn’t immune to him the way she wished she was, and she hadn’t ceased wanting him. If anything, her attraction to him was even stronger. “See – still my Jaxx.”
Well that snapped her out of it. Jaxxon struggled against his now lax grasp and managed to free her hands. She shoved at him again. Still he didn’t budge. “I belong to no one. Stop with this crap and get out.” She didn’t look at him, afraid he would see how unsettled she was by the urges and sensations attacking her.
“You expect me to believe you want me to go?”
“Why are you doing this? You don’t want a relationship, you don’t want anything even remotely resembling one, so what is the point in pushing this? You can’t be that hard up for sex that you’d harass someone who isn’t interested.”
He fisted a hand into her ringlets and tugged so she’d look up at him. “I have to have you, Jaxx. I want to f**k you so bad my c*ck actually f**king hurts. They might not be sweet, flowery, poetic words – the kind you’d laugh at – but that’s the truth. I have to know what it’s like to be deep inside you.” He felt the tremor that ran through her. “You think I can’t tell that you want me?” Before she could bark out a denial, he ground himself against her again and watched her bite back a moan. Then his arms were like steel bands around her and he was kissing her again; his tongue plundering her mouth, demanding a response…
…a response that Jaxxon just couldn’t give him. This was someone who had already devastated her once before, whether he knew it or not. She would be a complete idiot to set herself up for more hurt. But he wouldn’t be shoved away, wouldn’t free her mouth, hell he wouldn’t even remotely loosen his hold on her. Desperate to be free, Jaxxon played him at his own game. She slid her hand down his chest, down his belly, and down to his pulsing erection. He groaned and pushed into her hand, and that was when she squeezed hard and twisted, eliciting a sharp cry of pain from him.
“Jesus, Jaxx,” he coughed out as he staggered backwards and bent over, cupping his dick.
Her voice was deadly calm. “Playtime’s over. I advise you to piss off out of here and don’t even think about coming back.”
He straightened up and met her eyes. For a minute he was lost in the catlike gaze that speared him. Then he saw the apprehensiveness and uncertainty there. Clearly the whole thing unsettled her just as much as it did him. He wouldn’t push it. For now. But he still had questions. “You’ve yet to explain your sudden change of heart toward me.”
But that’s the problem, she thought, there’s been no change in the heart department at all. She forced a snort. “Sudden change? It’s been eight years, Connor. Not eight days.”
“But it’s been one hell of a change, wouldn’t you say? You went from caring about me to trying to freeze me out – which won’t work, by the way. Christ, Jaxx, if I’m supposed to have done something to hurt you just tell me!”
“You know, I’m pretty sure I’ve told you at least four times already to get out!”
Connor squeezed his eyes shut and massaged his temples, willing himself under control. It wasn’t just his temper she was prodding, it was his dick. The angrier she got the more she bloody aroused him. “Babe, you have absolutely no idea how close I am to the edge. Believe me when I say that if you keep pushing, my c*ck is just going to take over and I’ll f**k the answer right out of you.”
She laughed at the absurdity of his statement. “How you’ve even got a hard-on again after I near snapped it, I’ll never know.”
“I don’t think you understand, Jaxx, I’m deadly serious.”
“Yeah? Well if I were you I wouldn’t bank on getting very far, I’m a bit of an expert on fighting off overactive cocks.” He went very still, and Jaxxon realised what she had just blurted out. Shit.
“And why would you be an expert at it?” His words were coated with menace. “For you to be an expert at it, you’d have to have had practice. And for you to have had practice, some people must have tried to force themselves on you.” His gut clenched at the thought of it. Rage was practically steaming from him. He noticed that she was keeping her face carefully blank. “Jaxx, the time for holding back answers is over. Who hurt you?”
Jaxxon felt her face contort with anger. “Oh no, you don’t get to waltz back into my life and return to the role of protector. You weren’t even interested in my existence until I landed on Planet Celebrity. Well I hope you enjoyed the interlude in our lack of contact because this will be the last we ever see of each other. Now get out.”
If Connor hadn’t been so livid he might have argued her point or insisted on staying, but he knew that if he didn’t leave now he would end up pressing her over these memories that she obviously didn’t want to dreg up. His voice was barely controlled. “I’ll be in touch.” As he reached the door he yelled over his shoulder, “Oh and get rid of that ponce. If you want him to live, that is.” The slamming of the door gave extra emphasis to his threat.
For a long moment she just stood there trying to regain her sense of equilibrium and wondering how the hell things had gone from her finally being the dictator of the direction of her life to having that control snatched from under her. The man was like a force of nature, storming in and robbing her of her center with his kisses and his insistence on having her, even arrogantly expecting her to ditch her boyfriend – however non-existent he was – just to placate him! And for what, one shag? Maybe two? This was irrevocable evidence that blokes really were led around by their dicks.