Promised, p.37
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       Promised, p.37

         Part #1 of One Night series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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  mistaken because a few further calls revealed that he was.’ She turns back to Miller and smiles seductively. ‘Bye for now.’ Her hand raises and waves before she turns a snide look on Cassie as she sashays out of Miller’s office, and once she has disappeared, I know Cassie’s cattish mood is about to be turned on me.

  She swings around and for the first time seems to register my presence. ‘What’s she doing here?’ she spits, looking to Miller for an answer. I recoil in shock, as does Miller.

  ‘Keep your nose out,’ Miller says calmly, taking her arm and leading her to the door.

  ‘I care about you,’ she argues, not putting up much of a fight, her words confirming my suspicions.

  ‘Don’t waste your energy, Cassie.’ He pushes her out gently and the door to his office slams shut, sending me a few centimetres back on a frightened jump. He said to trust him and I should have. He really has sent her on her way. He swings to face me, looking grumpy and harassed. ‘I’m stressed out,’ he proclaims on a bark, stating the obvious and sending me on another little jump across the carpet.

  ‘Would you like me to get you another drink?’ I ask, for the first time thinking that perhaps Miller drinks too much. Or has that just been since he met me?

  ‘I don’t need a drink, Livy.’ His tone has taken on a throaty edge, and his eyes have landed on me with a bang. ‘I think you know what I need.’

  My blood reheats under his primal stare, my whole sexual being becoming aware and responsive. God help me when he touches me. ‘De-stressing,’ I whisper, looking up through my lashes as he stalks slowly towards me.

  ‘You’re like therapy to me.’ He reaches me and swoops down, kissing me with purpose and meaning, moaning and mumbling into my mouth as his tongue works mine fluidly. My mind immediately scrambles. ‘I love kissing you.’

  We’re in his office. I don’t want to be in his office. I want to be in his bed. ‘Take me home.’

  ‘It’ll take too long. I need de-stressing now.’

  ‘Please.’ I rest my hands on his shoulders and pull away. ‘You make me feel stressed when you’re all uptight.’

  He sighs deeply and drops his head, letting loose the wayward curl. It calls for me to push it back from his forehead, so I do, taking the chance while I’m in the vicinity of his hair to feel all of it. I feel privileged that this complex man has designated me the role of de-stressing him, and I’ll relish doing it whenever need be, but I can see there are ways in which he can do this for himself.

  ‘I apologise,’ he murmurs. ‘Your request has been noted.’

  ‘Thank you. Take me to your bed.’

  ‘As you wish.’ He looks down at his suit, scowling at the few creases as he tries to smooth them out. He gives up on an exasperated sigh and cocks his head when he catches me smiling.

  ‘What’s so amusing?’

  ‘Nothing.’ I shrug nonchalantly and set about smoothing myself down. It’s a terribly sarcastic act, but when I glance up and see that Miller has pulled an ironing board from a concealed cupboard in the wall and is busy setting it up, my amusement soon abates. ‘You’re not?’

  He pauses and casts his eyes over to my bulging ones. ‘What?’

  ‘You’re going to iron your suit?’

  ‘It’s all creased.’ He’s horrified that I’m clearly stunned by this. ‘Someone distracted me before, so I’m going to look like a sack of potatoes in my picture.’

  ‘What about bed?’ I sigh, seeing a long stretch ahead while I wait for Miller to perfect on perfect.

  ‘As soon as I’m done.’ He turns and takes an iron out.

  ‘Miller . . .’ I halt when I detect the very subtle jumping of his shoulders, and totally intrigued, I pace quickly over and round him, finding the biggest boyish grin I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. My mouth drops open. I’m stunned and can’t even remember what I was going to say.

  ‘Your face!’ he laughs, folding the board and putting it back. Miller Hart, Mr Serious, my confounding, complex creature, is winding me up? Playing a joke? I think I might pass out.

  ‘It’s not even that funny,’ I mutter, pushing the cupboard door shut in a childish act of stroppiness.

  ‘I beg to differ,’ he laughs, straightening and knocking me sideways with that cheeky grin again. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

  ‘Beg all you like,’ I retort, then yelp when he picks me up and spins me around. ‘Miller!’

  ‘I’m not going to iron my suit because getting you into my bed is of paramount importance.’

  ‘More important than ironing your suit back to perfection?’ I ask, threading my fingers through his waves. ‘And more important than fixing your hair?’

  ‘Considerably.’ He drops me to my feet. ‘Ready?’

  ‘I was looking forward to you taking me for dinner.’

  ‘Dinner or bed?’ He scoffs. ‘Now you’re just being silly.’

  I smile. ‘What would one have to do to skip the club’s waiting list?’

  His eyes lose a little sparkle when they narrow, his lips straightening. He’s trying not to laugh. ‘One would need to know a member.’

  ‘I know the owner,’ I declare confidently, but very quickly remember his comment to Miss Low. Will he say the same to me? I know Miller, but does he agree?

  He nods thoughtfully and paces over to his desk, opening the drawer and pulling something out. Whatever it is gets swiped, bleeped, and scanned on a section of the flat-screen monitors before they disappear into the depths of white desk.

  ‘Here.’ He hands me a transparent credit card with one word engraved in small block capital letters through the centre.

  ICE

  Turning it over, I see a silver strip, but that’s all – nothing else. No details of the club or the member. I look up suspiciously. ‘This is a fake, isn’t it?’

  He laughs lightly and leads me out of the room and back up to the main club, but he doesn’t take his usual hold of my neck, instead draping his strong arm over my petite shoulders and hugging me into him. ‘It’s very real, Olivia.’

  Chapter 22

  As soon as he’s carried me up the stairs to his apartment and let us in, he runs a bath and strips us both down before cradling me in his arms, carrying me up the steps, and lowering us into the hot, bubbly water. It’s not his bed, but I don’t argue. I’m wrapped in his arms where I’m happiest. It’s more than good enough.

  I sigh, completely content, while he devotes our bath time to smothering me in his body, feeling me everywhere and squeezing me tightly. He’s humming that soft tune. It’s becoming very familiar to me now. I know when he’s going to draw breath and when the tone changes, and I know when a small pause is approaching, when he’s sure to take the brief silence as an opportunity to press his lips to the top of my head.

  My cheek is resting on his wet chest as I slowly circle his nipple with my fingertip and stare across the vast expanse of his skin. Relaxed and tranquil go nowhere near to describing how I’m feeling. It’s these moments when I feel like I’m experiencing the real Miller Hart, not the man who’s hiding behind fine three-piece suits and an impassive face. The serious Miller Hart, the man disguised as a gentleman, hides his inside beauty from the world, leaving it facing a man who seems hell-bent on repelling any friendliness he encounters or confusing people with his impeccable manners, which are always delivered with such aloofness, they snuff the fact that he is, in fact, well mannered.

  ‘Tell me about your family.’ I break the silence with my quiet question, almost certain he’ll brush my enquiry aside.

  ‘I don’t have any,’ he whispers simply and softly, kissing the top of my head again as my brow wrinkles into his chest.

  ‘None at all?’ I try not to sound disbelieving, but I fail. I haven’t a family, so to speak, just my nan, but the value of at least one family member is . . . well, invaluable.

  ‘Just me,’ he confirms, leaving me silently sympathetic and pondering the loneliness his admission signifies.
r />   ‘Just you?’

  ‘It doesn’t matter what way you say it, Livy. It’ll still just be me.’

  ‘You’ve got no one?’

  My body lifts and falls with his chest when he sighs. ‘That’s three. Shall we go for four?’ he asks gently. He’s not displaying exasperation or impatience, although I can tell if I try for that fourth he might do.

  I shouldn’t find it so hard to believe, given my own sparse family. I have Gregory, too, and George, but only one blood relative. One is more than none, and one is a piece of history. ‘Not a living soul?’ I wince as soon as the fourth slips from my lips and immediately apologise for it. ‘I’m sorry.’

  ‘You’ve no need to apologise.’

  ‘But no one?’

  ‘And we have number five.’ There’s humour in his voice, and hoping I might catch a glimpse of that rare smile, I lift from his chest, but all I find is his wet, impassive beauty.

  ‘Sorry.’ I smile.

  ‘Accepted.’ He manoeuvres me, taking me to the other end of the bath, and lays me on my back. My thighs are spread and he kneels between them, taking one of my legs and lifting my foot until my sole is resting on the middle of his chest. My tiny size five looks lost in the vast expanse of muscle, even smaller when his manly hand starts stroking over the top as he watches me thoughtfully.

  ‘What?’ My voice has been reduced to nothing more than a breath of air under the piercing passion of his blue gaze. Miller Hart has passion seeping from every pore of his striking body and even more through that purposeful blue stare. I’m hoping it’s special and kept only for me, but I know I’m hoping in vain. Perhaps Miller Hart only ever expresses himself and removes that mask when he has a woman to indulge in.

  ‘I’m just thinking how lovely you look in my bath,’ he muses, lifting my foot to his mouth and slowly, painfully slowly, licking from my toes, over the top of my foot until he’s at my shin, my knee . . . my thigh.

  The water ripples around me from my mild shift, and my hands splatter against the sides of the tub, slipping on the shiny porcelain. My skin is warm from the heat of the water and the steam in the bathroom, but with the heat of his tongue burning through my already heated flesh, I’m on fire. I’m quietly gasping. I’m closing my eyes and preparing myself to be worshipped, and when he reaches a point where my thigh meets the water, he slips his forearm under my lower back and lifts effortlessly, bringing me to his mouth, making the need to shift my hands essential if I’m going to stop myself from slipping under the water. I find the rim of the bath and grip as best I can, being gently guided into his realm of utter rapture – a place where the throes of passion are intense and where I fall deeper and deeper into the curious world of Miller Hart.

  His light nips over my clitoris are difficult to deal with. The light dashes of his tongue that follow each one of those nips are torturous. But when he slowly slips two fingers inside me and thrusts lazily in time to his nips and tongue dashes, I lose any hope that there was of maintaining the silent serenity surrounding us.

  I whimper and bow my back, the muscles of my arms that are holding me up instantly aching and my stomach muscles tensing in an attempt to control the sharp twinges sparking in my groin. My mounting desperation only encourages him, his thrusting fingers upholding his desired pace, but the strokes becoming firmer, more determined.

  ‘I don’t know how you do this to me,’ I mumble to my darkness, my head slowly shaking from side to side.

  ‘Do what?’ he whispers, blowing a cool stream of air across my pulsing core, the chill of his breath mixed with my flaming skin making me shudder.

  ‘This,’ I gasp, mindlessly grappling at the side of the bath and crying out when he punishes me with a precise set of soft nips with his teeth, slow rotations with his tongue and firm drives of his fingers. ‘And that!’ The power of the spasms bolting through me is sending my body into muscle meltdown as I try my hardest to remain relatively still in the water.

  My eyes open and I take a few moments to allow my vision to clear until my sight is distorted again, simply because of what I’m faced with: indescribable flawlessness – a pureness in his eyes that I only ever see when he’s worshipping me and his dark hair that’s on the verge of being too long, the soft flicks curling out from behind his ears.

  Despite my restrained fever, he’s cool, calm and collected as he gazes back at me, never ceasing the motions that bring me so much pleasure. ‘You mean like if this was for ever,’ he murmurs, ‘then you’d be happy with that.’

  I nod, hoping he’s agreeing with me and not just trying to vocalise my thoughts.

  He doesn’t confirm my silent wondering with words, instead returning his attention to the screaming nerves between my thighs. His face buried there and his eyes looking up at me is the most sensual vision I’m ever likely to see. Yet I can’t help closing my eyes as I prepare for the onslaught of pressure that’s set to blow my mind.

  ‘Don’t stop,’ I breathe, begging for more insane, torturous pleasure. He’s moving all of a sudden, the water splashing crazily around us as he crawls up my body and seals our mouths, his tongue caressing me in time to the wicked thrusts of his fingers, his thumb working firm circles on my throbbing clitoris.

  My hands grip his wet shoulders, holding on for dear life, his strength the only thing preventing me from slipping under the water. I’m a little fevered, but Miller keeps things steady and controlled, despite my moans of desperation.

  And then it happens.

  The explosion.

  The release of a million lightning bolts that force me to break our kiss and hide my face in his neck as my body tries to deal with the blitz of pleasure. He’s quiet as he helps my trembling body settle. His only movements are of his fingers circling deeply and his thumb resting lightly on my twitching mass of nerves, easing the persistent, sharp throbs.

  ‘I thought that I was supposed to de-stress you,’ I wheeze, not willing to release my hold – not ever.

  ‘Livy, you have.’

  ‘By you worshipping me?’

  ‘Yes, a little, but mostly by just letting me be with you.’ He sits up, taking me with him, and pulls me onto his lap. My heavy, wet hair is arranged just so, and his palms wrap around the tops of my arms, holding me firmly. ‘You’re so beautiful.’

  I feel my skin heat, and I drop my eyes, a little embarrassed.

  ‘I’m paying you a compliment, Livy,’ he whispers, pulling my eyes back up.

  ‘Thank you.’

  He smiles a little and shifts his hands to my waist, his eyes journeying over every visible part of my body. I watch him closely as he slowly drops his lips to my breast and kisses it tenderly, and then he starts trailing his finger over every part of me, so lightly I sometimes can’t feel it. He inhales a deep, thoughtful breath and lets it out, his head tilting a little to the side, adding to his thoughtfulness. ‘Every time I touch you,’ he whispers, ‘I feel I need to do it with the utmost care.’

  ‘Why?’ I ask quietly, a little perplexed.

  He takes another long pull of air and turns his eyes to me, blinking slowly. ‘Because I’m frightened you might turn to dust.’

  His admission chokes me. ‘I won’t turn to dust.’

  ‘You might,’ he murmurs. ‘What would I do?’ His eyes scan my face, and I’m shocked to see nothing but complete seriousness, maybe even a little fear.

  Guilt tells me I shouldn’t, but I can’t help feeling quietly happy by his question. He’s falling, too, just as hard as I am. I embrace his uncertainty and cuddle him tightly, locking my arms around his neck and my legs around his hips, like I’m trying to squeeze some reassurance into him. ‘I’m only going away if you send me,’ I say, because I think that’s what he means. I couldn’t possibly turn to dust.

  ‘There’s something I’d like to share with you.’

  ‘What?’ I ask, remaining where I am with my face stuck to his neck.

  ‘Let’s get washed and I’ll show you.’ He reaches behind his nec
k and pulls my arms away, forcing me to vacate my comfort zone. ‘You’ll be the first.’

  ‘First?’

  ‘The first person to see.’ He’s turning me in his arms, therefore turning my inquisitive face away, too.

  ‘See?’

  His chin rests on my shoulder. ‘I love your curiosity.’

  ‘You make me curious,’ I accuse, pushing my cheek onto his lips. ‘What are you going to show me?’

  ‘You’ll see,’ he teases, releasing me.

  I turn around and face him again, seeing him sliding down, dunking his head and rubbing some shampoo through it, before rinsing and following it up with some conditioner.

 
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