Authors: J.D. Chase
Tags: #PART TWO OF THE PASSION NOIRE SERIES
She’s almost as pissed as me now. I want to get away from her, get out of the house and find some way of getting the anger that’s boiling inside me out of my system. But without shoving her out of the way, I’m trapped.
Instead, I whip off my sunglasses and look her in the eye. I see her recoil mentally, but the stubborn bitch stands her ground.
‘Cheap shot, Jones,’ she says, her tone flat, emotionless. Then she grits her teeth and leans in close to my face, staring into my angry, blue eyes that bother her so much. ‘You’re fucking better than this. This isn’t the way to handle this and you know it. You need to get a fucking grip on yourself. That Kid in there,’ she jerks her head towards the spare room, ‘he looks up to you. He fucking idolises you. He doesn’t even know you’re related, for fuck’s sake. Be strong for him. Be strong for his sister who’s still in that hell hole. Save your fury for those responsible.’
I know she’s right. Of course, she’s right but my anger has to go somewhere. Now. I can’t swallow it.
‘I can’t,’ I say. ‘It’s choking me.’
I see her eyes soften. ‘You were a Commando. You know discipline. You can control your anger. Don’t confuse what you’re feeling.’
She gives me a tight smile and I see pity. I feel the red mist start to descend.
‘That’s not anger,’ she says, her eyes boring into mine. ‘What you can’t control is grief. The knowledge that you’re never going to see your sister again. Don’t bottle that up, Jones—don’t allow it to be poisoned with anger. Keep your rage for those who deserve it. Keep your grief for your sister pure ... don’t let them taint your memories. Don’t let the bastards take them from you too.’
I don’t see it coming. I crumble. I mean, I’m fucking disintegrating right in front of her. Her arms are wrapping around me and she’s pulling me into her, holding me tightly. The anger is gone, replaced with such desolate sorrow. My sister is gone. Sandy is lost to me forever. And I’m giving in to something I never do. Something I can’t remember doing since Sandy was taken. I’m crying. No, I’m howling my fucking heart out into the crook of Veuve’s neck and she’s holding me so tightly that ... I don’t know, it just feels natural. It feels right.
Until I stop.
Now I feel a complete fucking pansy, with snot and tears all over my face. I lift my head and wipe my face then slip my sunglasses back on. I pull away from her stiffly, not sure what to say. She’s still blocking my exit. I need to escape just as much as before, although my anger has gone. I just cried in front of her. Any bit of respect she had for me will have evaporated the minute I started bawling like a fucking baby.
‘Stop that,’ she orders.
I look at her in confusion.
‘Stop ripping into yourself for being human. Grieving is not a weakness. I cried like a baby in your arms after I said goodbye to Dan—a kid I’d only met a few times. Tonight, you’ve not just lost your sister, you’ve lost her all over again. You lost her but held off grieving in the hope that she would be found. You’ve carried that burden for over twenty years. Give yourself a fucking break, Jones.’
I nod. Her words make sense but I feel like crap. I stand here, uselessly under her scrutiny. I feel exposed. Bare. Confused.
It’s like my tears washed the anger out of me. Now, I’m at a loss as to what I’m supposed to feel. I have no direction. Sandy is gone. I’m lost.
Her probing gaze intensifies, as does the aura of control that she’s projecting.
‘Don’t move,’ she says. She speaks softly but it’s an order.
She heads into The Kid’s room. My escape route is free ... but I no longer want to bolt. It’s like my feet are glued to the floor. Within moments, she comes back out and walks past me, her phone pressed to her ear. I work out that she’s calling a cab. She gives them my address while she rummages in a large shoulder bag.
She’s going out. She’s fucking off and leaving me to babysit The Kid. That’s not fair—he’s not a child and doesn’t need babysitting. I guess I’m just pissed that she’s been calling the shots, telling what to do and what to feel and now she’s heading out, presumably to Vouloir to see one of her clients. I’m going to be left here feeling ... fuck knows what I’m feeling. Feeling like shit.
She didn’t mention having to work tonight. Maybe she’s going for pleasure.
Maybe she’s going to find a good little sub and fuck his brains out.
That thought leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, like bile rising from my gut. It frees my feet. Fuck this—I’m gone. I’ll give Vouloir a miss but I’ll find another bed to sleep in tonight. I’m not having her crawling into my bed later, lying next to me covered in some other fucker’s cum. I stride down the hall and grab my keys. I’m out of here. Time to get pissed and then maybe get laid. I don’t feel like fucking some useless slut but it’s probably the price I’m going to have to pay for a bed for the night. There’s no way in hell I’m coming back here—my own fucking flat.
THE SLAM OF THE door makes my head whip around. Jones is no longer standing in the doorway. I’d been so preoccupied with my thoughts that I’d not noticed him leaving. Besides, my back was to him ... and he moves with ninja silence ... until he wants to be heard. The slam of the door, for example. He wants me to know he’s leaving—whether he’s aware of that or whether it’s a subconscious need, is anyone’s guess. His head is all over the place. Hardly surprising, I know, given what the past forty eight hours has thrown at him.
I was going to help him clear his head. Find focus. Take the first step on his submissive journey ... although I’m not sure it’s what he truly is. Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms that he will give it his all and that he’ll do all he can to succeed if it’s what he wants. I just ... you pick up a knack for these things ... a sub radar ... a Dom radar. And he set off my Dom radar when I first met him.
That doesn’t mean he’s a fully paid up Dom. It means that he’s naturally dominant and would probably make a good Dominant, with training, should he so desire. Assuming my radar’s not ballsed up, of course. Nobody’s perfect—especially not me.
Picking up my bag, I square my shoulders. It’s time to find out whether Mr Ninja Commando does in fact want me to follow him. I shout goodbye to The Kid, although there’s a very good chance he’s got his iPod blaring inside his skull, and descend the stairs. I reckon I’ve left it just long enough for him to be getting uncomfortable if he did expect me to go racing out after him. And, just long enough that if I’ve got it wrong and Jones has fucked off, I’m now locked out.
I find him leaning against the building about twenty feet from the entrance. His head’s tipped back, against the wall and one leg is bent at the knee, the sole of his shoe resting against the wall. It’s a casual pose but his muscles are taut and he’s radiating some sort of energy. He looks angry—not the rage I saw him fighting earlier, and let’s face it, if he wanted to go and beat somebody into the ground to relieve it, he wouldn’t be hanging around here, would he?
I’ve barely made a sound and his eyes are closed but he knows I’m here. Of course he does—even if I wasn’t wearing stiletto heels, he’d know. What I can’t figure out is why he’s angry but I have a feeling I’m about to find out. The door slam. The waiting around here. It’s all connected and it concerns me.
He doesn’t move and I see my taxi pull up in front of the building. I roll my eyes and head off down the path. I’m halfway to the taxi when I feel his presence. I don’t hear him—I definitely feel him—right behind me. Maybe his ninja skills are rubbing off on me. Just before I reach the cab, he speaks.
‘Where are you going? Vouloir, I suppose,’ he says, sounding as pissed off as I’d thought.
I turn and struggle to keep my expression relaxed. He’s seething with anger. Most of it’s directed at me but I can tell that he’s pissed with himself for being pissed with me. I get to him. He doesn’t like that. I can relate—he’s starting to get to me too and I’m not impressed with that revelation.
‘Yes,’ I say, flatly and then I wait for his anger to begin to bubble to the surface.
Oh yes, here it comes ... and he’s fighting it. He’s annoyed that I’m swanning off to the club. Maybe he’s resentful because he thinks I’m going to get laid and he’s not. I could tell him that I wasn’t planning on going to Vouloir, that I called the cab because of him ... because he needs a release and an opportunity to refocus. Because
needs to get laid. But I’m calling the shots now and I don’t owe him an explanation.
‘Get in the fucking cab, Jones,’ I demand as I pull the door open and slide inside. I know he’s going to hesitate. He’ll debate slamming the door and letting me go alone. He’s not used to anyone else having the upper hand. But he’s not stupid. He’s not going to spite himself. And he wants this ... or at least he thinks he does.
He gets in next to me but sits there, bristling with indignation and controlled frustration. We play this dance; him suppressing his need to be in control and me finding myself taking control when I’m not convinced it’s a good idea. He still rattles my little boxes. Sure, his shaved head and sunglasses help—I don’t get caught unawares by them now—but I know they’re there, that he’s hiding them from me. And, as much as it helps not to see those physical triggers, concealing them somehow makes them seem more sinister.
The journey to Vouloir is quiet. I’m keen to help him find some balance within himself but I must admit, I’m hoping that if I push him, he’ll quickly realise that female dominance isn’t what he’s looking for. Then he can either go down the Dom route or continue to fuck needy little whores until his cock rots. It’s not my problem. It will simply uncomplicate my life and God knows I could do with some of that.
The cabbie appears not to hear my request to drop us at the back door so I don’t tip him. We enter the club and walk through the heaving mass of pleasure seekers and to my consulting room out back. Jones looks apprehensive but he’s still radiating an odd energy. I can’t put my finger on it ... maybe it’s a mixture of different emotions. A little voice in the back of my head is telling me that it’s dangerous to play games when he’s so uptight, given that he’s entering uncharted waters. But a louder voice is telling it to shush because I know that he’s not the sort to lie on a shrink’s couch and spill his guts.
I fire off a text to Gabe, informing him that I’m here with Jones so he can bring us drinks. It’s also our covert code for him to keep an eye on me. I do that when I’m first getting to know a new client in a physical sense. I’m headstrong but I’m not stupid—if Gabe doesn’t hear from me for longer than thirty minutes, he’s to come and investigate. In between those times, he will keep an eye on a camera feed to which only he has access. It’s concealed in my room and streams live to Gabe. He keeps the tablet-style screen under the bar so he can monitor events in this room. No man will ever get the chance to abuse me again.
I turn the lights down low, knowing that the camera has some fancy, undetectable infrared light that enables Gabe to see what’s going on in here, even if it’s pitch dark. I usually keep the lights on but I want Jones to be able to remove his sunglasses and I don’t want to be caught out by those glacial irises at the wrong moment. This is a big deal for me, planning to get physical with a man whose physical appearance so closely resembles that of an evil monster but I’m determined to smash those little boxes, once and for all.
One day, I should be able to fuck anyone, regardless of build, hair and eye colour and their personality traits. By the time I reach that stage, Jones will be long gone and I’ll never encounter anyone with irises of that exact shade of ice blue. I sit in my chair and gesture for Jones to sit on the sofa. I think it would be wise to wait for Gabe to bring our drinks and see if I can’t get Jones to begin to unwind a little before we start. Not by trying to psychoanalyse him, just by having a drink together as ...
exactly? Therapist and client? Mentor and trainee? Friends?
Gabe interrupts my musings, bringing me my favoured JD and Coke and Jones a pint of draught beer. I feel his energy. He’s not happy. Not at all. I catch his eye and he glowers at me. I raise an eyebrow in silent enquiry and watch his eyes flick to the side. Towards Jones. He’s worried about me. He knows I steer clear of blonds. And he’s so perceptive ... he’ll have picked up Jones’ dominance the moment he set foot inside Vouloir for the first time. I can understand why he’s giving off vibes of concern and agitation.