Authors: Shayla Black
Tags: #Embezzlement Investigation, #Kidnapping, #Brothers, #Contemporary, #General, #Romance, #Erotic Stories, #Erotic Fiction, #Erotica, #Fiction
Jason raked a hand through his hair. “Yeah, I just hate leaving you with this guy. It was one thing when I thought he was a passive computer nerd. But Dawson isn’t passive. And he upset you.”
“He just surprised me,” she protested. “I’ve got his number now. Please stop worrying about me.”
“You can still call the whole thing off, you know.”
Kerry shook her head, long ends of hair brushing the tips of her shoulders. “As you pointed out earlier, what are my more appealing options? Watching Mark go to prison so I can avoid a few hours of hanging around an attractive genius who happened to catch me at an off moment?”
Jason conceded the point with a reluctant nod and began retrieving Rafe’s belongings from the trunk. Kerry leaned in and grabbed her small suitcase. After a quick check to ensure their captive was still in dreamland, they made their way to the Love Shack. A wave of stifling air hit them as Jason unlocked the door and stepped into the small entryway. Muttering an apology, he pumped up the air-conditioning. Kerry followed.
Surprisingly, the Love Shack’s living room décor was not gaudy. A brick fireplace with a dark wood mantel dominated one corner. Across the small room, a blue sofa sat, dotted by nautical-themed pillows. A similarly styled rug graced the gleaming blond hardwood floors. Ahead of her, a kitchen with simple white cabinets attached to the living room.
Kerry wandered into the room, charmed, despite knowing that Dominating Dave liked to bring his girlfriends here—away from his wife’s prying eyes. The place was full of clean lines and warmth. She touched a red leather chair that sat near the sofa. Beyond that, she saw the hall, which led to two doors.
“The bedroom and adjacent bathroom are down here. The closet is across the hall,” Jason said as he disappeared down the opening and shoved open the first door.
Out of curiosity, Kerry peeked her head into the bathroom—and gasped. It was bigger than her bedroom. Complete with asunken Jacuzzi tub for two and a separate dual-headed shower stall tiled in shimmering shades of lapis and cream. Bright, fluffy towels graced the intricate gold rods on the
walls. A towering silk flower arrangement added color from its Grecian pedestal in the corner. Mirrors covered nearly every wall. Infamous Uncle Dave had himself a real lovers’ paradise.
Nerves stretched tighter than one of Anna Nicole Smith’s bras, Kerry turned and made her way out the lavish room’s other door, which led directly to the bedroom.
It didn’t look like a dominator’s pleasure den of leather and spikes, but rather like a tasteful New Orleans boudoir, complete with an elaborate iron bed. A soft wine-shaded comforter trimmed in some heinously expensive lace covered the massive bed. Mosquito netting fell softly over the scene. Candles of all colors and shapes lay in every corner of the room, waiting to be lit. The room looked like a version of every woman’s romantic fantasy. Not at all what she had expected from Dominating Dave.
“Nice, huh?” Jason said, setting Rafe’s luggage in the closet in the corner.
Kerry followed suit. “Yeah.”
“Don’t be fooled.” Jason grinned. “Wait here.”
Shrugging, Kerry took off her stiletto slut boots—she hated anything more binding than flip-flops—and strolled around the room, touching a soft cherry wood armoire, then filtering the netting over the bed between her fingers. The soft chenille rug cushioned her bare feet. Getting used to a place like this would be no hardship at all.
At least she thought so until five-foot-seven-inch Jason stumbled in, staggering as he carried Rafe, who was well over six feet, on his shoulder fireman style. The shade of her accomplice’s sweat-beaded face resembled the color of a very ripe grape.
“Oh, let me help!” She rushed over to Jason, just as he lumbered about and sagged against the bed, depositing Rafe across it.
No surprise that he dwarfed the bed.
Jason stood, panting. “Damn, he’s not light.”
“Next time, tell me you need help. I’m more than willing—”
“I know. I got it.” He stretched a muscle between his neck and shoulder. “I’m glad we’re nearly done situating ol’ Paul Bunyan here.”
“Done? He’s just lying across the bed. The minute he wakes up—What are you doing?”
As Jason removed Rafe’s shoes, socks, and tie, then dumped them beside the bed, Kerry watched with annoyance. Restraining an unconscious man—before he awoke—seemed far more important than seeing to his comfort. Then Jason started on Rafe’s shirt, one small white button at a time. And the view became . . . incredible. Firm. Taut. Muscled. Silky dark hair lightly dusted incredible pecs. Flat brown nipples taunted her. Real six-pack abs. Kerry’s eyes threatened to pop from her head.
“I’m situating him,” Jason said, as he swiped at the sweat running down his face. “Can you get me a bottle of water from the fridge?”
Had Jason spoken? Oh, Rafe had endless golden skin, yummy bulging shoulders, and—
“Kerry, water?” Jason prompted, annoyed. “Fridge.”
“Oh, yeah.” Kerry reluctantly peeled her eyes away and backtracked down the hall.
Inside the small kitchen brimming with New England charm, a white refrigerator gleamed. Yanking on the handle, Kerry opened the appliance to find water and a host of other staples. Apparently Dominating Dave liked to be well nourished when he tied up his girlfriends.
Grabbing two bottles of water, Kerry returned to the bedroom—and stopped.
Rafe lay completely, beautifully naked except for a scrap of sheet covering a distinct bulge just below his lean waist and above well-muscled thighs.
Jason grabbed his water from her nearly limp hand. Absently, Kerry brought hers to her mouth and swallowed deeply. Seeing the lust of your life damn near naked called for large quantities of Evian.
He shoved Rafe’s shirt, pants, and boxer-briefs into her hands, leaving his socks, shoes, and tie beside the bed. “Put these in the closet, where he can’t get to them.”
“W-why is Dawson naked?”
“A naked man is less likely to run down the road looking for help, don’t you think?”
And more likely to turn my mind to utter mush every time
we’re in the same room.
“I suppose.” Kerry glanced down at the pile on the floor beside the bed. “What about his socks, shoes, and tie?”
The mischievous grin Kerry knew well flashed across Jason’s face. “Leave them there. If he finds a way to escape, at least his feet are covered.”
“And the necktie?”
“A man’s got to have some dignity.”
Sometimes Kerry could only shake her head at Jason’s sense of humor. “Great. I thought you’d restrain him . . . or something. Not strip him. I don’t see how—”
“One set of restraints, coming up.” Jason paused. “If you really think you can handle him. If not, we’ll pack him back in the car and deliver him to his hotel.”
Couldn’t every twenty-three-year-old virgin handle a rich, sex-on-a-stick guy? “No problem.”
afe awoke—and wished he hadn’t. The painful gong of a pounding headache reverberated down to his toes. He groaned. Had the Yankees been using his head for batting practice? He grimaced as blinding sunlight stabbed his eyes through closed lids. No way was he ready to open them; that would be asking for torture. An ache gouged him lower as well. His bladder felt so full he swore he’d swallowed half the Atlantic. Fuzzy creatures had taken up residence on his tongue. His general misery reminded him of that raucous Pearl Jam concert during his college days where he’d cozied up to a bottle of tequila and a hot brunette.
No, on second thought, this felt worse.
What the hell had he done last night? One would hope that, despite nearing the age of thirty, he could remember the great party that had given him a hangover of mythic proportions. But only a flash of memory tantalized him: a blonde with dimples and to-die-for breasts wearing a barely legal outfit. Kerry with a K. His memory couldn’t grasp a damn thing beyond her.
Light footsteps echoed across the floor, drawing nearer.
Rafe struggled to open his eyes. A quick glance showed a blonde in denim shorts, face scrubbed clean. A golden ponytail of ringlets swirled between her shoulder blades. Kerry?
Sunlight slashed his skull more effectively than Freddy Kruger with his best pickax. Groaning once again, Rafe closed his eyes.
“I brought you some aspirin,” she whispered. “And water.”
Blindly, Rafe reached out and took them, grimacing as he swallowed. “How long have I been out?”
“Most of thirty-six hours. Just rest awhile. Wait for those to work.”
“Can’t.” His croaky voice sounded akin to a ninety-year-old with emphysema. “Bathroom?”
“Um . . . yeah. Need help?”
With what, holding it?
Eyes still closed, Rafe threw back the covers and stood. His ankles and wrists moved with him, but felt oddly tethered. Cool air assaulted him everywhere. Hangover and all, his eyes flew open.
About two seconds later, Rafe caught on to the fact he was totally naked and restrained by wrists and ankles. The line connected to his cuffs tied him directly to the bed.
Nothing like shock to catapult a man awake.
He glared at her, testing the pulley motion of his restraints. With a tug, he could create some slack in the line, but without effort, the slack quickly retracted. “What the hell—”
“I can explain!”
That voice. It wasn’t the phony purr from last night, but it sounded familiar. Where had he heard it? On the plane? No. Before that, recently. But when? A spike of pain stabbed his head, preventing any further thought.
He focused on the blonde and her wary stare instead. At least it was wary until her gaze fell, focusing on parts south that stood at rigid attention—the morning usual. As a blush stained her cheeks, she looked away.
Women still blushed? He’d never met one who did. Was she embarrassed? Odd, considering they’d had wild sex last night. Hadn’t they?
Rafe scowled, brain fuzzy, confused. “Kerry, right?”
“You remembered.” Surprise lit her green eyes as she returned his gaze.
Just as abruptly, the smile disappeared.
She looked way different from last night, so much so he would never have found her in a crowd. The sex siren had disappeared, replaced the red halter with a simple lavender T-shirt. Low-rise denim shorts hugged the smooth curves of her hips, baring firm, tanned thighs. Bare feet dotted with pink toenails peeked over the edge of a chenille throw rug. Today, Kerry looked clean and innocent enough to be someone’s teenaged sister . . . except for her come-hither hourglass figure.
Despite his hangover, he couldn’t forget her straddling his lap, her flushed nipples bare, as she said yes to more. With any luck there’d be lots more of that in their future . . . once he figured out why she sounded familiar and why he was strapped to a bed like a dizzy damsel in a bad B movie.
Pulling at the binds around his wrists again, he confirmed that they were retractable and set up on some sort of pulley system. Same with his ankles. “Is this your idea of kinky or something? If it is, I’ve got to tell you, I usually prefer to be on the other side.”
“Kinky?” Color rushed to her fair face. “No. I mean, I guess people do that, but I’ve never—” She shook her head, as if to clear it. “No, and I’m really, really sorry.”
Okay, so this wasn’t this her idea of kinky, which was a good thing . . . except that her voice sounded weirdly familiar and something about her apology signaled that her agenda wasn’t sexual. Even her stolen glances seemed more curious than lusty. That sucked because having Kerry completely, watching her pale face flush to orgasm—once his colossal headache abated—sounded mighty fine. And this time, damn it, he’d remember.
“Want to give me my clothes, untie me, and tell me why you’re sorry?”
“I can’t do the first two.” She bit her lip, gaze brushing over his morning erection again before leaping back to his face, eyes wide.
Rafe finally registered her very real skittishness and reached for the sheet to cover the essentials. He’d already guessed that Kerry wasn’t a wild, booty call kind of girl.
Today, she seemed downright shy, despite the fact they weren’t sexual strangers. Kerry sure as hell never had spent any time as a “hostess.” So why the ruse?
“Because . . . ?”
“I abducted you,” she blurted.
He couldn’t possibly have heard that right. “As in
?” At her nod, incredulity jolted him. “You kidnapped me?”
Had he landed in some alternate universe? Was he hallucinating? “Seriously?”
Kerry winced. “I’m afraid so. I really tried to talk to you, make you understand, but you—”
Her identity—the familiar voice—snapped into place. His jaw dropped. “You! The ditz on the phone!”
“Ditz?” She anchored her hands on her luscious hips and glared at him. “Maybe I was a little emotional that day. And nervous. Okay, a lot emotional and a lot nervous. But you have a lousy phone demeanor. You don’t listen. At all. I realized that to get you to actually hear me, I had to kidnap you.”
Kidnap. The word sank in, as did her attitude. She was serious. Why? Given her phone calls, he was sure he didn’t want to know. How long did she plan to keep him leashed like a yard dog? What did she want, a kidney to sell on the black market? No, that was an urban legend.
“Damn you!” he lunged at her.
She backed away, nearly out of the room, green eyes wide. Her pulse pounded at her throat. The little twit ought to be scared. When he got his hands on her . . .
Rafe raked his hands through his hair, cursing at the retracting restraints around his wrists. He had a job on the table. If he didn’t show up soon, Standard National might withdraw their very lucrative offer and tell him to screw himself. If that happened, he would fail to make five million by age thirty, fail to trump his bastard of a father. His business could suffer. Reputation was everything, and the economy was still recovering. What if he lost all he’d worked for?
He refused to be set back all those years. He refused to fail, since he knew too well where that path led. Failures crawled into a bottle of gin and pissed everything away.