Authors: J.D. Chase
Tags: #PART TWO OF THE PASSION NOIRE SERIES
Sometimes, I lie in bed and wonder whether the man has a heart at all. Oh, I know he has a physical heart—I’ve checked up on that on Veuve’s computer. But I don’t know how he can be so evil if he can feel as the rest of us feel. I think about turning the knife when it’s pierced his heart ... and chopping off his cock and balls ... then breaking each and every bone in his body. I’ll find a way to make him feel something. I can never make him feel enough to make up for all the pain and suffering he’s caused but if I can make him feel something, I’ll be satisfied. Then I’ll kill him.
‘Do you want to talk about it?’ Veuve whispers.
I shake my head, as always. I can’t bring myself to tell her my thoughts. I know she’d disapprove, probably insist that I start what she calls
with her so she can try to fix me.
But I don’t want to lose that anger. I need that to get him and to find my sister, my mum too. I have a streak of darkness inside me after all I’ve done. And right in the centre of that streak is a trickle of black ... the things that have been done to me. I don’t know whether I’ll ever lose that. Perhaps if I get to act out my fantasy and get my revenge, it will fade. But I doubt it.
Except for my mother and my sister—if they’re still alive and I have to believe that they are—nobody could love me. I’m tainted.
WHEN I FIND WHOEVER it was that pushed a smoke bomb through my letterbox, I’m going to break every single fucking finger of the offending hand. Seeing that photograph of Jones’ sister has topped off a traumatic day for The Kid. The fire was enough to stress him out, without encountering any triggers. Then, after a resultant nightmare, he wakes up in an unfamiliar bed in a strange room. He’d only been in bed for a short time too. Thank God I heard him cry out.
There’s a little voice in my head that says if it wasn’t for the fire, he wouldn’t have seen the photograph. And surely, if he is related to Jones, they both deserve to know. At nineteen years of age, give or take a year, that’s a hell of a lot of time to make up.
I understand Jones’ frustration. I understand his fear. But I know this needs careful handling. The Kid’s come a hell of a way in the past few months—Jones didn’t see him when I took him in. I can’t risk a backward step. I’m not having him revert to the petrified creature that curled up on his bed and screamed whenever I went near. It wouldn’t be fair to him and it would break my freaking heart.
‘Penny for them?’ Jones asks, softly.
We’re nursing our hot chocolates after The Kid made it clear that he’d rather be alone.
‘I’m thinking about The Kid and praying that the next step you take doesn’t trigger a relapse. I’m not being a bitch—I’m not having a dig. I understand how important this is to you ... to both of you. I’m just worried.’
We’d discussed the issue several times. Once when The Kid had dashed to the bathroom and again after he’d gone to bed. I’d managed to get a load of washing done that was now in the dryer so at least we’d have clean clothes for the morning. I’d just put a load of our underwear in on a rinse cycle—just to freshen it up. The thought of washing everything in my flat, to rid it of the smoke damage is quite daunting.
‘Tuppence for them?’ he says with a smile.
I sigh. ‘Sorry. I was trying to think of the most efficient way of tackling my flat so normality can be restored quickly.’
‘Are you always such a control freak?’ he asks, his eyes crinkling in the corners.
I laugh. ‘Yeah, pretty much. And don’t try to tell me you wouldn’t be doing exactly the same.’
His mouth twitches. ‘I’d probably be there now, scrubbing the walls ready to paint tomorrow. The washing machine would be going non-stop too.’
Nodding, I sigh again. ‘Yeah, that would be good. I can’t bear this feeling of displacement. And, don’t think I’m being ungrateful but the thought of sleeping on your sofa for a few nights doesn’t exactly thrill me. I’m knackered, truly exhausted. I’d kill for my bed. I’m not exactly a lightweight and I only sleep well on firm mattresses. It’s fucking typical that the bedrooms and the living room—the areas we spend most of our time—are the worst affected, except for the hall of course.’
Even as I’m speaking, my brain is working out whether I could send the bedding and curtains from both bedrooms away to be cleaned while I scrub the fuck out of the walls. I could get one of those carpet cleaning companies in too.
‘Veuve, there’s no way I’d let you sleep on the sofa. You’re a guest in my home. A reluctant guest but a guest all the same.’
It’s tempting but I don’t want to beholden to him any more than I already am. I’m wavering and he knows it.
‘Plus that sofa is a bastard to sleep on. The last time I fell asleep on there, I could barely walk upright for days. It’s so soft,’ he says, sealing his fate.
‘Okay, you’ve convinced me; I’ll take your bed. Thank you, Jones.’
He’s smiling. It’s a devious smile. He’s enjoying this. I guess that’s another one I owe him. Bugger it.
I hear the beep of the washing machine, signalling the end of the rinse cycle I’d started. I escape to liberate the underwear and then realise I’ve nowhere to dry it. I’ll have to wait for the tumble dryer and set it off on a delicate cycle.
A couple of minutes later and I’m joined by Jones. ‘Aren’t you ready for bed yet? I thought you were knackered.’
‘I am but I’ve nowhere to dry my undies. I’ll have to wait for the dryer.’
He shakes his head. ‘They shouldn’t be tumble dried surely. Plus, I don’t like leaving the dryer on overnight. I spoke to a fireman once who wouldn’t even let his wife have a dryer after all the fires he’s been to where appliances have malfunctioned. I think one fire today is quite enough. Besides, we don’t have a spare flat between us. Let’s pop them over the radiators—before you say anything, no the heating isn’t on but it’s so warm tonight your flimsy little things will dry in no time.’
Flimsy little things
... hasn’t he seen the size of me? I manage not to chuckle but he sees my grin.
‘What?’ he demands, reaching out and taking the basket of flimsy
not so little
things from my hands. He doesn’t wait for a reply but takes the basket into the hall. I follow and watch him carefully place items of mine and The Kid’s over the long radiator.
I’m prepared for sarky or saucy comments but there are none. He’s the perfect gentleman while I’m watching the muscles in his arms and shoulders bulging and rippling as he hangs up my laundry.
‘I appreciate that you don’t have anything to wear to bed that doesn’t smell smoky,’ he says when he’s done.
My first thought is that I don’t wear anything to bed. This is closely followed by second thoughts—if The Kid has another nightmare, I want to be able to dash in there quickly—I usually grab my robe from the back of my door. My final thought is that he’s playing the role of the perfect gent to perfection but he’s unlikely to have anything that will encase my tits. He likes to wear tight, form fitting tees—it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.
Before I can process those thoughts and formulate a reply, he’s putting the basket back in the kitchen and flicking off light switches. There are two lights in the hall and he leaves the one furthest from the bedrooms on. A thoughtful gesture when you have guests who may need the bathroom in the dead of night.
He heads into his bedroom and opens a wardrobe. I linger in the doorway, waiting for him to get whatever he needs. I think maybe he’s going to grab a tee for him to wear, since he’s going to sleep on the sofa.
He pulls out a white tee-shirt that doesn’t look as thick and tight as his usual style. It looks a little longer too. He holds it out to me. ‘That should cover your modesty.’
‘Thanks,’ I say as I walk inside and take it from his hand.
‘Feel free to take a shower,’ he says, his back to me. ‘I’m going to jump in now. I’ll only be a few minutes. I just want to rinse the summer heat from my body.’
Before I can respond, he reaches behind his neck and pulls off his tee in one fluid movement. One fluid movement that makes my breath catch in the back of my throat. I stand there for a second. I don’t know whether it’s the rippling muscles or the beautiful artwork. Both probably. Not to mention the deep bronze tan he has going on right now.
I see him begin to turn and I manage to look away before he catches me. I quickly attempt to perch on the bed but, in my rush, I misjudge it and almost fall. He reaches out a hand to steady me. It burns through my top, triggering memories of the night before.
When I’d sat on his face, he’d attempted to touch me with his hands. Several times. It wasn’t his fault—he’s a tactile lover, he’d said. I’d had to tie his wrists together with his belt in the end because he just kept trying. I’d relished the challenge. I haven’t trained a dominant male since Gabe. It made me realise it has been too long, that I’m itching to bring another alpha to his knees.
I make another attempt to sit on the bed and his steadying hand helps. When I’m sitting, his groin is right at my eye level. He’s unfastened his belt and his button fly. I swallow, wondering whether I should reach out and pull them down. Probably not the best idea with The Kid in the next room. Plus, we still haven’t discussed the ins and outs of what Jones wants from me exactly. He knows what I need from him.
He releases his hold on my arm and I put one leg over the other in order to gain access to the zip of my boot. Thank God we’d been on the recce of Thierri’s house today otherwise I might have been wearing a pair of my thigh highs. Imagine the looks on the faces of the emergency services’ staff, not to mention the patrons of Jones’ local. Instead, I have respectable, knee-length, gladiator-style black leather boots with lots of cut outs to keep my feet cool and they have the slimmest, metal heel possible.
Before I can grasp the zipper, Jones sinks to his knees making my breath hitch for the second time in as many minutes—well, almost. He takes the zipper and slides it all the way down before easing my heel out of the boot. Then he lifts the boot off my foot. His fingers feel good on my bare skin. He indicates for me to switch legs and then repeats the action, removing my other boot.
I begin to wish that I did have thigh highs on. It would take him a lot longer to unthread the laces ... and I’d get to look down on him, muscles working to make those tattoos dance. And on his knees, with his head bowed, I can’t see those eyes ... just as I didn’t notice them when I sat on his face last night, either because he’d squeezed them shut or because my head had been thrown back repeatedly. I’ll say this for him, he’s got one talented tongue. It makes me wonder what other talents he has ...
Maybe the challenge I need isn’t to bring any alpha to their knees. Maybe it’s this alpha. The nearest physical representation to my nemesis that I’ve ever seen or am likely to see. Irises the colour of iced aquamarine aren’t common. Neither is a body quite as fuckable as this one ... when his towel had fallen last night, I’d been half tempted to lower myself on to that erect vision of perfection. But the call to see how Jones would deal with the humiliation of queening had been strong. I don’t use the word perfection lightly. That cock should be the cock by which all others are measured. In terms of beauty, size (girth as well as length) and full on throbbing masculinity it is, quite simply, fucking perfect.
I push the memory of it away to enable me to think clearly. The biggest issue in my mind is timing. Until I know whether I’m still protected from my nemesis, I shouldn’t tackle something that’s going to rattle my little boxes. There’s also the complication of The Kid and Jones’ relationship and the fallout that could result from that. And don’t even mention all the Thierri shit.
Perhaps it would be better to avoid muddying the waters with Jones. I have Dean to train but I think I need to face up to the fact that he’s not committed enough to make a truly great sub. I’d thought initially that he might make it but he needs to sort his mother issues out. Then he’ll probably settle down with someone who’s not afraid to call the shots in bed ... and probably out of it as well. Yeah, I think it’s a waste of time to attempt to train him as a sub.