Delight Me: A Stark Ever After Collection and StoryJ. Kenner
A Stark Celebration
A Love Note from Damien
Possess. Have. Hold.
Did you touch yourself?
My property, my soul, my heart.
At the Ocean
Do you know what passion is?
Another sexy text
Damien text messages to Nikki
Delight Me: A Stark Celebration
Frame or fuck?
Stark World Books!
About the Author
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Delight Me is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously; they are not real, and any resemblance to events, establishments or persons (living or dead or undead) is entirely coincidental.
Delight Me Copyright © 2019 by Julie Kenner
The Getaway Copyright © 2016 by Julie Kenner
At The Ocean Copyright © 2016, 2017 by Julie Kenner
Cover design by Michele Catalano, Catalano Creative
Cover image by crystalstock
Digital ISBN: 978-1-949925-59-3
Print ISBN: 978-1-949925-60-9
Published by Martini & Olive Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or establishments is solely coincidental.
For Denise H - thank you for loving Damien & Nikki.
In 2012, I sat on my couch talking on the phone with a friend in New York about a hero for whom I was sitting down to write a proposal. I could picture him, larger than life, hair dark, body lean, attitude … well, this was a guy who pretty much owned the world. The question was … why?
I expected to spend days thinking about that, but the truth is that Damien Stark popped into my head almost fully formed. I wanted him to have a dark background with lots of secrets. He needed to be athletic, but in a long and lean sort of way, and I knew he was a tennis player. I wanted him wealthy (obviously!) but how? Soon enough, I realized he’d parlayed his tennis career into his love of science, thus launching him on a massively successful entrepreneurial career.
A man who knew power and wealth. Who’d come from a hellacious past and now craved control over his world.
I could see a lot of women falling for him. But him connecting with them? Well, for that, I needed a woman who could hold her own, but who had her own wounds and weaknesses. A woman who fit into all of Damien’s craggy, rough places. Who healed him, even as he healed her.
And that, of course, was Nikki.
I never expected the success of the Stark Saga. The first book, Release Me, was my first to hit the New York Times list. Then it went off the next week, as usually happens for first-timers. But then it came back on the following week because the response from readers was so positive. And it stayed on that list and the USA Today list for many weeks, with the second and third books in the trilogy both hitting the #2 spot of the New York Times.
Their story continued after the HEA both because I wanted the books and because Stark fans did, too.
As of this writing, there are six Nikki & Damien novels (and — not yet announced officially, so shhhh!— there is another full-length Nikki & Damien book coming in 2021). There are also twelve novellas counting this one and the holiday novella coming in 2020.
There are multiple spin-offs, including Damien’s half-brother’s trilogy (starting with Say My Name), Jamie and Ryan’s books (starting with Tame Me), the Stark Security series, the S.I.N. series, and several Stark World standalone novels with more to come. (A full list is included at the end of this book.)
I’ll keep writing in this world for as long as there are stories to tell and readers to read them. But there are other worlds—and heroes!—too. And I’m thrilled to let readers of this book be among the very first to know that in 2020 I’m launching a scorching hot trilogy with one of the sexiest, most damaged and dangerous heroes I’ve ever written. If you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter do it now (I’ll wait) because you do not want to miss this! Just click here.
Now dive in and enjoy the bonus content, fun quotes, and an all-new holiday novella!
Love to you all,
You are my heart.
You are my soul.
You are the love of my life.
Some of you may remember the scene in Say My Name that takes place at Nikki and Damien’s Malibu house. During that scene, Damien tells Sylvia that he’s sweeping Nikki away for a surprise trip to New York to see a play before they head on to Brussels to a digital conference related to Nikki’s work. But since Say My Name was Jackson and Sylvia’s story, we never saw what happened in New York with Damien and Nikki … or the events that led up to it!
This short story fills that gap, and it was previously published only as bonus content in my newsletter and in my Facebook Fan Group, the J. Kenner Krew!
I’ve edited the content only lightly for this release!
(Don’t miss out on more bonus content! Subscribe or join the Krew now!)
I stand in the open front doorway, looking out at the lush green Malibu hills and the string of cars now curving through them as they disappear down our long driveway. All in all, the party was a success, I think. But then again, why wouldn’t it be? It was hosted by Damien Stark. And although I might be a teensy bit biased—what with being married to him and all—I don’t think there’s anything that man does that he doesn’t accomplish with superlative skill.
This afternoon, we’d hosted a small cocktail party to celebrate the Resort at Cortez, a Stark Vacation Property project that is back on track after the loss of its original architect. He’d been replaced with Jackson Steele, a world-renowned architect who also happened to be Damien’s first pick for a similar resort—and who’d soundly refused to sign on when Damien offered him that project.
I’m not entirely sure why he’d changed his mind, but considering the way he was looking at Sylvia—my friend and Damien’s assistant—I have a pretty good guess.
I consider that possibi
lity as I watch them drive off in Jackson’s sleek, black Porsche, then continue to linger in the doorway as I wait for Damien to return. He’d walked Evelyn out to her car, wanting to discuss something about the PR plan.
I can’t see them from where I stand—Evelyn had parked around the side of the house—but after a few moments, I see her Mercedes convertible pull into view. She waves at me, but doesn’t slow as she continues down the long drive to the property gate.
A few moments pass, and I consider going back inside. But I can’t bring myself to do it. All day we’ve been surrounded by people, and now that it is just the two of us, I want to wallow in the pleasure of having claimed this man. I want to watch him rounding the side of the house. I want to see the possessiveness with which he approaches it, knowing full well that he owns the property, the house, and everything inside it.
I want to see the heat that will flare in his eyes when he sees that I’m waiting for him, and I want to feel the brush of his lips on mine when he kisses me.
I want it—and Damien doesn’t disappoint.
The moment I see him, I feel the breath catch in my throat, his impact upon me no less intense after having been married now for years. He walks with a casual confidence, his body straight and strong, his chin high. He radiates power and control, but at the same time there is an easiness to him. A weekend quality that suggests that even though he can command a boardroom, he is equally skilled on a tennis court or the ski slopes.
Or in a bedroom.
I shiver, thinking about his particular skills in that area, and when his eyes meet mine and he flashes that slow, easy smile, I’m certain he knows exactly what I’m thinking.
“Why, Mrs. Stark,” he says, sliding one hand around my waist and pulling me to him. “You look like a woman with something on your mind.”
“I am,” I admit. I’m breathless now, my skin tingling in response to his touch.
“Whatever could you be thinking about?”
“You,” I admit, then rise onto my toes to meet his mouth. The kiss is deep, claiming, and I melt against him, more than willing to surrender to his touch.
I want to simply let go. To lose myself and the rest of this afternoon in his arms. But unfortunately, I can’t. I’ve started my own business and I have a proposal due tomorrow for a company I’m meeting with in Brussels in just a few days. I took time out for the cocktail party since it was for Damien’s work, and I’ll take a few minutes to spend time with him, but then I have to get back to it. If I don’t, my nerves will get the better of me.
When he releases me, I sigh. “A glass of wine by the pool?” I suggest. “And then I have to get back to work. That proposal is kicking my ass.”
He chuckles and I eye him sideways. He lifts his hands in mock surrender. “Just thinking about what an extraordinary ass it is.”
My lips twitch, but I bite back a retort. Still, I can’t help but think about his palm on my rear, and I wish I’d said nothing at all. Now I’m really going to have a hell of a time concentrating on work.
He leads me back into the house, and we move through the first floor living area to the pool deck. There’s an outdoor bar there, and he pours us each a glass of wine, and we go sit with our feet in the hot tub.
“I think there’s something going on between Jackson and Sylvia,” I say.
His mouth curves down. “Yeah, I think you may be right.”
“You really don’t like him? Why? Because he turned us down when you asked him to work on the other island project over Valentine’s Day?”
Damien shakes his head. “Honestly, I’m not sure. There’s something about him I don’t trust. He’s keeping secrets.”
I look purposefully at him. “Everyone has secrets.”
“True.” His eyes skim over me, heating every part of me. “What secrets do you still have, Mrs. Stark?”
“None from you,” I say honestly.
He takes my hand, then strokes my fingers lightly. “Not even that you’re worried about Brussels?”
I grimace. “It’s hardly a secret if you see it so clearly.”
“Fair enough. Do you want me to take a look at your proposal?”
I do. Desperately. But I also want to know that I can build this business on my own. Damien, of course, sees that clearly, too.
“Doing it on your own doesn’t mean doing everything on your own. It’s perfectly reasonable for an entrepreneur to pay for a consultation.”
I tilt my head. “Pay? And just how much do you charge, Mr. Stark?”
His smile is slow, easy and full of promise. “The price is steep, Ms. Fairchild,” he says. “But I promise you it will be worth it…”
“I don’t know, Mr. Stark,” I say, as Damien’s finger trails down between my breasts, leaving a trail of heat in its wake. As always, his touch has taken my breath away, and it’s all I can do not to tilt my head back, sigh, and give in completely.
That, however, is not the game. And so I strive to hide the tremor of excitement in my voice. “Mine’s a start-up business. I have to be very careful with my investments. How do I know your consultation will be worth the price?”
“A very good question, Ms. Fairchild.” I’m wearing a flowing blue sleeveless dress, with a low-cut bodice, and though the night is warm, right now I am shivering. “Let me take you point by point through the kind of detailed and in-depth study I’d make of your proposal.”
As he speaks, he’s inching my skirt higher. I’d held it up when we put our feet in the hot tub so as to not get the hem wet. Now he slides it up my legs, the usually mundane brush of material against skin now wildly sensual.
“First, I’d examine every aspect of your documentation,” he says, his fingertip now following the path of the skirt, so that it trails up my now-bare leg. I whimper a little as he shifts toward my inner thigh, then eases higher and higher, my pulse rising with each glorious millimeter.
“I understand how important it is for you to be confident in my thoroughness,” he murmurs. He shifts as he speaks, moving into the hot tub where our feet have been resting. I gasp a little in surprise—after all, he’s fully clothed in khaki slacks and a button down shirt, but my surprise soon fades against the power of the arousal that courses through me when he maneuvers in front of me and puts his hand on my bare knees. “And I promise to be very, very thorough,” he adds as he eases my legs apart then slowly slides both of his hands up, up, up my inner thighs.
I groan, my breasts aching, my sex throbbing, as I crave the touch I’m certain is coming. A moment later, I feel his fingertip tease the edge of my panties, the touch so close—and yet not nearly close enough.
He eases forward, his lips brushing the side of my knee. “I’m detail oriented, Ms. Fairchild,” he murmurs, as he trails soft kisses up my thigh. “And customer satisfaction is my number one concern.”
My skin is on fire, my pulse pounding. “Damien,” I whisper, but my voice is barely a moan, and I’m not certain he hears me since instead of responding he instructs me to lie back. I obey, lowering myself until my back is on the pool deck and my gaze is on the sky.
Between my legs, Damien eases the crotch of my panties aside. He’s moved closer, and I feel his breath on my sex, and sparks of electricity ricochet through me. My mouth is dry. My nipples hard against the thin material of my dress. And when he closes his mouth on me, I arch up, gasping and needy. “Please,” I murmur. “Damien, please.”
He doesn’t answer. Not with words, anyway. But his tongue laves me, his fingers thrusting deep inside me. I arch up, wanting more. Wanting him to strip me naked and take me hard right there. I want to demand it, but I’m so overwhelmed by the sensation of his mouth on my clit and his fingers deep in my core that I can barely remember my name.
I grind against him, aroused by the scratch of his beard stubble against my tender skin and by the soft sounds of satisfaction he makes. He pulls his mouth away for just an instant to whisper, �
��As I said, I’m very thorough, Ms. Fairchild. Now come for me, baby. I want to taste you when you come.”
His words are like the final caress, pushing me over the edge. I explode, shattering beneath the stars, my body wracked by a pleasure so intense it mimics pain. And when it passes—when I glide gently down to earth—Damien is on top of me, his body wet from the hot tub, his mouth on mine.
He kisses me deeply, and I cling to him, sated and yet wanting more. With Damien, I always want more.
“Take me inside,” I whisper.
“Why Ms. Fairchild,” he replies, his dual-colored eyes dancing. “I believe we have a business transaction. Assuming you find my services satisfactory?”
His grin is slow and very sexy. “In that case, let’s go take a look at your proposal. And then, my dear Mrs. Stark, I want my payment in full.”