Denied, p.37
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       Denied, p.37

         Part #2 of One Night series by Jodi Ellen Malpas

  ‘Don’t tell me.’ He turns away from me. ‘I’m likely to kill.’

  My eyes dart all over the bathroom, mentally thanking every god in existence for Miller’s initiative in turning the cameras off. I hate that I reacted that way, and I hate that he predicted it. In an attempt to divert my guilt and Miller’s thinking, I prepare my next question. ‘And Cassie?’

  ‘I convinced them to bring her with me.’

  I want to resent him requesting that, but compassion halts it in its tracks.

  ‘Being the Special One gives me clout.’ He sighs. ‘I choose my clients, arrange dates to suit me, and make my own rules. The no touching was a given. They don’t need to touch me to achieve their aim, and I was sick of being used as an object. Kissing is intimate.’ He detaches my snaked legs from his body and leisurely turns over so he’s spread front forward on my torso and looking up at me. My hand reaching out and brushing his stray curl off his forehead is natural. ‘Tasting someone is intimate.’ He slides up my body and plunges his tongue into my mouth, moaning and biting gently at my lips. ‘Once I’d tasted you, I knew I was getting into something I shouldn’t. But you taste so fucking good.’ My legs rewrap around his tight waist and my desire rockets, the feel of him locked securely between my thighs making me wonder if I can ever bear releasing him. I think I understand him a little more now. Discounting our awful encounter in the hotel, he’s done nothing but worship me. He lets me touch and kiss him. He wants intimacy with me.

  ‘Who are “they”?’ I ask into his mouth. Tony’s confounding riddles are suddenly very clear. He knows. He knows who ‘they’ are.

  ‘I’ll die before I expose you to them.’ He bites my lip and lets it drag through his grip. ‘Which is why I need you to trust me while I figure this out.’ His eyes are pleading. ‘Can you do that for me?’

  ‘What’s to figure out?’ I don’t like the sound of this.

  ‘So much. Please, I beg you, don’t give up on me. I want to be with you. For ever. Just me and you. Us. It’s all I see now, Olivia. It’s all I want. But I know they’ll do anything to stop me from having you.’ Reaching up, he smooths down my cheek with a fingertip and runs his thumb across my bottom lip. He’s answerable to someone – someone unpleasant. ‘I owe them.’

  ‘What do you owe them?’ That’s stupid!

  ‘They took me off the streets, Livy. To them, I owe them my life. I make them a lot of money.’

  I have no idea what to say, and I certainly can’t fathom how ‘they’, whoever they are, can keep him in this world for ever. A lifetime debt is plain unreasonable. They can’t expect that.

  ‘I haven’t had sex with anyone since I met you, Olivia. Tell me you believe that.’

  ‘I believe you.’ I don’t hesitate. I trust him.

  ‘I know these women. I can’t have people asking questions. I can’t let them find out about you.’

  Realisation dawns as things begin to make sense, and panic settles deep. ‘What about that woman in Quaglino’s?’ I remember her face, the shock, the delight, and then the smugness. She said she wasn’t a gossip. I don’t believe her.

  ‘I have too much dirt on Crystal and she knows it. I have nothing to worry about there.’

  I’m not even going to ask what dirt that is. I don’t want to know. ‘Tony and Cassie,’ I remind him. I don’t trust Cassie, not one little bit.

  ‘I don’t have to worry.’ He’s adamant, and I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse. Tied? Chained? He’ll die before he exposes me to these people? Cassie and Tony know these people and they know the consequences of our relationship.

  But how many people have seen us together? We’ve been at the club, shopping, in the park. My eyes are darting everywhere. ‘Anyone could have seen us.’ I sound worried, which is just fine because I am.

  ‘I’ve taken damage control where necessary.’

  ‘Wait!’ I shoot my stare back to Miller. ‘That time you found me at the hospital.’

  He recalls, and I know it because discomfort riddles his wet face, yet I don’t bother giving him the chance to either confirm or deny it.

  ‘We were being followed, weren’t we? You abandoned your car and took us down to the Tube because we were being followed.’ How many times have we been followed? How many times have I been followed? ‘Do they already know about me?’

  Miller sighs. ‘There are signs. I was careless. I’ve exposed you. I thought . . .’ He takes a few moments and comes up with no thoughts.

  Signs? I don’t need clarification. My innocent mind is spinning.

  ‘I’ve dealt with anyone who may have been an issue.’


  ‘Don’t ask, Olivia.’

  My lips straighten, jilted. ‘That woman saw me in your apartment.’

  ‘I know.’

  ‘So what have you told her?’

  He’s suddenly evading my eyes, so I yank his chin to me and purse my lips. ‘I told her you were paying.’

  ‘What?’ I gasp. ‘You told her I’m a client?’

  ‘I had nothing else, Olivia.’

  I shake my head, not believing what he’s telling me. Do I look like I would pay for sex? I wince when images of a thousand pounds scattered on a dining table jump all over my tortured mind. ‘What happened after Sophia left last night? Why the change from coming back to bed to waking this morning?’ He totally imploded, with no warning or reason.

  ‘She said some things. Made me overthink.’ He looks ashamed, and he bloody well should be when I’ve been repeatedly chastised for doing exactly that. ‘She pointed out my obligations.’

  Obligations? My fucking brain is in a whirlwind. ‘And what happened today?’ This I have to know. There seems like too many obvious cover-breakers to me, yet Miller seems confident of their silence.

  He drops his eyes. ‘I frightened myself.’


  ‘If I was punishing with these women before, then now I could be dangerous. I could hurt them.’

  I frown, wrestling his face up and seeing fear in his eyes, which only serves to escalate mine. ‘Why?’

  He takes a long, controlled breath of air and lets it all breeze out with his words. ‘Because when I look at any one of them, I see a reason why I can’t have my sweet girl.’ He lets me absorb his words for a few moments. I know what he means. ‘I see interferers.’

  I clamp my lips together, tears stinging the backs of my sore eyes.

  ‘I can’t risk taking them when all I’m seeing is that. They’ll end up dead. But more importantly, I can’t do it to us.’

  A small sob escapes me and he pushes himself into my body, coating me everywhere, my arms locking around his wet back in a vice grip. ‘You need to hide me,’ I sob, hating the cold reality that Miller’s life signifies.

  ‘I don’t want to.’ His mouth pushes into my neck and sucks softly. ‘But they’re going to make this difficult and I have to protect you. I’ve tried to walk away from you, I know I should walk away, but I’m too fascinated by you.’

  I smile through my sadness. ‘I’m too fascinated by you to let you.’

  ‘I’m going to fix this, Olivia. Don’t give up on me.’

  I’m feeling strong and determined and I’m going to transfer some of that into Miller. ‘Never. I’m going to worship you now,’ I declare, turning my face into his. I don’t know what lies ahead and that scares me, but a life without Miller terrifies me. I have no choice but to trust him and trust he’s doing what he thinks is right. He knows these people. It’s not just the women I need to worry about. ‘Savoured, not rushed,’ I whisper.

  His face slowly moves towards mine. ‘Thank you,’ he murmurs, and then he swallows me up with a long, unhurried, delicate kiss, our tongues swirling dreamily as he rises and pulls me to his kneeling lap.

  ‘I want to worship you,’ I mumble against his mouth, feeling him taking over with his worshipping ways.

  ‘Your request has been noted,’ he assures me, but doesn’t rel
ent on the kiss that he has complete control over, his hands running over every square inch of my back. ‘And ignored.’ He lifts from the water, taking me with him, holding me firmly against him as he negotiates the stairs and carries me across his bathroom, blindly collecting a condom from the cupboard before he heads into his bedroom. But he bypasses the bed, making me frown while he keeps up the delicious pace of his tongue. We’re in the hallway briefly before Miller opens the door to his studio and carries me in. I smile, the disorder and chaos of the room warming me. He picks up a black device while holding me and presses a few buttons, and I nearly break down when Imagine Dragons’s ‘Demons’ begins to seep from somewhere.

  ‘Oh Jesus, Miller,’ I sob against his mouth, letting the words settle into the deepest part of me.

  ‘Let’s paint perfect,’ he breathes, resting my wet bum on the edge of the table that’s running the length of a wall. I feel my body collide with things, sending them scattering across the surface, but there’s no gasp of horror or rush to replace them.

  Our kiss is broken, leaving me wheezing in his face as his lips part and he pushes me down to the cold table. The chilliness of the hard surface barely registers over my wet, blazing skin. I’m burning up. Spreading my thighs, he positions himself between them. ‘Shall we?’ he asks, reaching forward and circling a nipple, sending a thrilling surge of blood to the tip of my sex. He really is the Special One. I could climax now.

  I nod, pulling in a sharp breath when he tweaks one of my tingling nubs, only gently, but my breasts are sensitive, hungry for his touch.

  ‘I’ve asked once.’ His voice is rough, his question serious as he removes the condom and slides it on, his jaw tense.

  My back arches and my heels push into his arse, pulling him into me. ‘Please,’ I beg, forgetting all plans of me worshipping him. My hands grip the edge of the table, my eyes clenching shut.

  ‘You’re depriving me, Olivia.’ My nipple is taken and twirled between his thumb and forefinger gently. ‘You know how that makes me feel.’

  I do, but he’s sucking all of the reason out of me. My head starts shaking and my hands leave the edge of the table, delving into my sopping wet hair. I’m losing my mind, and when his hand shifts down to the inside of my thigh and strokes a teasing circle close to my pulsing centre, I make my despair known. ‘Miller!’ My stomach muscles contract, pulling my shoulders from the table, and my arms fly out to the side, knocking pots of brushes and trays of paint everywhere. I’m too sidetracked to be bothered and Miller is most unconcerned by the added mess, his eyes glinting, oozing victory. I’m reduced to a convulsing mess of twitching muscles and erratic breaths. And he hasn’t even touched me in my most sensitive place yet. It’s all too much – his touch, my thoughts . . . the profound lyrics.

  ‘I make you feel alive.’ He drives two fingers into me, his action pushing all breath from my lungs. I collapse back down to the table, looking up at his straight face. I might be mindless with the pleasure he inflicts on me, but nothing would distort the vision of penetrating blue eyes as they watch me writhe under his touch. They are hooded, but each blink is executed as slowly as ever, taking an eternity to close before being drawn back open. ‘I make you wonder how you’ll survive without my attention to this exquisite body.’ Pulling his fingers slowly out, he circles his thumb over my twitching bud before surging forward again. ‘Scream my name, Olivia,’ he orders.

  It’s almost impossible not to close my eyes, but it is impossible to bite back my scream. I climax. My body goes into shock, my hands grappling at nothing on the table as all air rushes from my mouth on a loud, piercing wail of his name in hopeless pleasure. He watches me, his face remaining impassive and his eyes remaining victorious, while I ride out the throbs and contract persistently around the fingers he’s holding within me, deep and high. He keeps them there and lowers his torso over me, getting his face close to mine. ‘And I constantly wonder how I’d ever survive without the privilege of giving you this attention.’ He kisses me sweetly on the lips. ‘Especially this part.’ I let him devour me while he gently thrusts his fingers in and out, slowly helping me down from my high, leisurely working my mouth on constant hums of appreciation.

  I could never worship him this well. I’m sure I couldn’t make him feel this good and safe and secure.

  ‘I’m going to take my time making love to you now.’ He nuzzles into my hair and peels his torso from mine, exposing my wet skin to the cool air of his studio. ‘I’m going to show you just how much you fascinate me.’

  My eyes follow him up and we regard each other while he withdraws his fingers and wipes them across his bottom lip. Then he licks them slowly. Then he just gazes at me. For a long, long time. His close scrutiny doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable but, as always, it makes me wonder what’s running through that multilayered mind of his.

  ‘What are you thinking?’ I ask quietly, not resisting a little brush of my fingertip down the rippling muscles of his stomach.

  He follows its path, letting me feel him for a time before taking my hand and lifting it to his lips. Each fingertip is kissed, my palm flattened, and my hand placed gently on my breast. ‘I’m thinking how lovely you look on my paint table.’

  I smile mildly, and he starts to move my hand, encouraging me to follow his guidance and mould my breast. A moan trickles past my lips and I sigh, long and peacefully.

  ‘You look lovely everywhere.’ He moves his free hand down to his groin, gasping a little when he wraps his palm around the girth of his arousal. His jaw sharpens. ‘You’re just too fucking lovely.’ Looking down, he guides himself to my opening and brushes across my entrance. I start to pant, motivating him to deliver another teasing, feathery tickle. It’s too much.

  ‘No!’ I shock myself with my little outburst and Miller’s eyes flying to mine display his alarm, too. ‘Don’t drive me crazy, please!’

  His stunned eyes drift into knowing.

  ‘I know it delights you, but please don’t torture me.’ I’m a desperate wreck and entirely unbothered by it. After today and everything that has happened, I don’t need to be tormented or teased.

  He says nothing and slowly pushes into me, transferring his hands to my hips and lifting me slightly. My worry diminishes, being replaced immediately with a serene, blissful sensation of calmness. Taking my other breast, I relax and let him carry me to ecstasy – that place where our troubles and challenges don’t exist. That place I want to lose myself in for ever with Miller Hart. His worshipping. His mouth. His eyes. His thing.

  His tall, powerful body pumps lazily into me, controlled, measured, his muscles rolling with each rotation of his hips, his lips parting as he watches me. There’s no strain right now, nothing but easy pleasure, but his talent for delivering such exquisite gratification will quickly send me delirious, the heaviness in my groin already beginning to fight its way to my epicentre. I want this to last. I want to go on and on, so I clench my teeth and squeeze my muscles to try and halt the inevitable, or at least delay it somewhat.

  His concentrated gaze isn’t helping. Neither is the sight of the cut perfection of his body. Alone, each of Miller’s addictive qualities is powerful. Combined, they are deadly. ‘I love seeing this body trying to fight off the inescapable.’ His palm releases my waist and splays across my throat, slowly dragging down the centre of my chest to my stomach. I moan my pleasure, arching my back, as he continues to flow into me, seeming to find it easy to maintain his steady pace, whereas I’m on the brink of giving up fighting it off. ‘I love how every muscle tightens.’ He strokes soft circles over the tense muscles of my tummy, and I whimper, battling to keep my eyes on him when I want to throw my head back and scream his name. ‘Especially here.’ He pulls out and re-enters firmly, shifting his hand to my hip again and pausing while I rein in my shouts. He’s panting, too, now, his wavy hair damp with sweat. ‘Is it working, Livy?’ he asks cockily, knowing the answer.

  ‘Nothing works.’ I wriggle under his hold, my hands leavi
ng my breasts and beginning to flail to the side. I hit something again, but this time I feel a new wetness and I glance to the side to see my hand covered in paint and a pot of water tipped on its side, the murky paint-stained solution trickling down the table towards me. ‘Oh God! Miller!’ I throw my hands up and brace them on his forearms, digging my nails into his flesh. His jaw tightens, his face distorting, his head dropping back. But his eyes don’t shift. I hold my breath, the sparks winning and fighting their way to my core.

  I get rewarded with his continued, neat rhythm. Lazy advances. Lazy retreats. Lazy grinds. Everything is slow and so purposeful.

  ‘How?’ I cry, the mystery spiking annoyance in my wanton state. ‘How can you remain so controlled?’

  He moves, shifting his feet to gain more stability, and takes my hands, threading his fingers through mine and clamping down. ‘Because of you.’ His arms are used as leverage, pulling my body up slightly with each smooth thrust. I bite down on my lip, accepting drive after drive. ‘I want to treasure every moment I get to spend with you.’ His strong arms pull hard and hurl me up, sending him deeper on a shout, me on a cry. Our chests collide and he stills, letting me adjust to the inconceivably deep penetration. He breathes in my face, shallow, laboured, pleasure-filled gasps. ‘I taste you and I want to relish in every moment I get to indulge in you.’ His lips capture mine in a ravenous kiss, his groin swivelling, finding its earlier tempo. ‘Jesus, Olivia, I wish I could devote every moment of the day and night to worshipping you.’ The softness of his luscious mouth loses a bit of tenderness when he pushes further into me, his kiss now carnal.

  My craving for my confounding part-time gentleman intensifies. But our reality dulls it. He can’t devote every moment of the day and night to me. He’s chained, and it makes me feel so incredibly helpless. ‘One day,’ I push the words through our sensual kiss, moving my mouth and biting at his lip before plunging my tongue back in, pushing my breasts into his chest.

  ‘Soon,’ he says, nudging my head to the side, homing in on my throat and sucking on my clammy skin. ‘I promise you. I won’t let you down,’ he whispers into the crook of my neck, kissing softly before encouraging me to pull away from the security of his chest. He gazes at me, filling me with determination and strength. ‘I won’t let us down.’

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