I feel his hand wrap around the top of my arm. I brusquely yank it out of his grasp, carrying on with getting my underwear, jeans and top on.
‘I don’t want you to leave.’ His voice has softened.
‘Don’t be stupid, Jesse. You can’t keep me here as a sex slave. You’ve got many willing women falling at your feet, go and busy yourself with one of them.’ I can’t believe how harsh I sound. The thought of him with another woman makes me want to attack.
I catch his eyes in the mirror. They are narrowed right on me, burning my skin. ‘I don’t want other women. I want you.’
I pause, mid cream application. ‘Haven’t you had me enough?’ I ask, a massive part of me wanting him to say no, but knowing it’s only going to end badly if he does.
He reaches up, brushing his knuckles down my cheek. I unconsciously nuzzle into it, closing my eyes.
‘I’m sorry,’ he says softly. He wraps his spare arm around my waist, pulling me to his chest, resting his lips against my ear. ‘Forgive me.’
Oh God, what am I doing? This man is a magnet. He sucks all rationality right out of me. I turn my face to his, letting him take my mouth gently and hesitantly, his hand moving from my cheek to the back of my head, his fingers threading through my wet hair. He strokes my tongue and skims my lips worshipfully. I’m lost in him again - completely lost.
He releases my mouth. ‘That’s better.’ He plants a chaste kiss on my nose. ‘Do you still want a ride?’
I raise my eyebrows on a grin. ‘To my car?’
He presses his lips to mine and hums. ‘Cheeky. Give me ten minutes.’ He turns the shower back on and grabs a fresh towel from the warmer.
‘Can I get some water?’ I ask.
‘Knock yourself out, baby.’ He slaps my bum and jumps in the shower.
I’m on my knees, gingerly plucking up pieces of glass from the kitchen floor, when Jesse strolls in from the bedroom. I glance up. Oh, that gait of his. He rocks up to me wearing heavy, beige board shorts, a white Ralph Lauren Polo shirt – collar turned up – and blue converse. The blonde hairs on his muscled legs are bleached, highlighted by his slight tan. He’s not shaved, but his blonde stubble doesn’t conceal his handsome features. I’m on my knees, lips parted, looking deprived. He stops in front of me, looking down with a grin on his face. He looks younger.
‘I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage.’ I tease.
His eyes sparkle with delight as he squats in front of me. ‘It would seem your disadvantage would be my complete advantage.’ he winks.
I want to jump him, but with a hand full of glass shards, us both fully dressed and late, I shall resist.
‘Here,’ He holds both his hands out in front of him for me to transfer the glass. ‘You should have left it, you could have cut yourself.’ he moans at me. I tip the glass into his palms and heave myself up from the floor, while he empties his hands, tipping the glass into the sink. ‘I’ll sort it later.’ He slips his Wayfarer’s on, collects his keys and my bags, before grabbing my hand to lead me to the door.
‘Are you working today?’ I ask.
‘No, not much goes on at The Manor during the day.’ He winks at me. I melt. He’s all roguish, and I love it.
He opens the door and we’re immediately met by a couple of scruffy looking men with clipboards, wearing blue overalls. The embroidered print on their uniforms reads, “B&C Removals”.
‘Mr Ward?’ The one that looks like a trucker asks, his yellow teeth indicating at least fifty cigarettes and twenty cups of coffee a day.
‘The boxes in the spare room go first. My housekeeper will be here shortly to assist with the rest.’ He pulls me through the corridor, leaving the trucker type and his lanky apprentice to get on with things. ‘Be careful with the ski and bike equipment.’ he yells behind him.
‘You have a housekeeper?’ I ask, completely stunned. I don’t know why. The man’s brought the penthouse at Lusso for a cool ten million. Why is this only just sinking in? He’s really rich.
‘She’s the only woman I couldn’t live without,’ he replies flippantly. ‘She’s off to Ireland next week to visit her family. It’ll all fall apart then.’
I make it to my car in record time, after Jesse dipped and weaved through the early morning traffic. Fellow drivers seem to be more accommodating to an Aston Martin and a few hand gestures. He loads my bags into the back of my car, while I check my phone. Ten past eight. Okay, I’m late. I fire a quick text to Kate to tell her I’m on my way and look up, finding him staring at me. Even through his Wayfarer’s – which he looks tremendous in – I can feel that potent, green gaze blazing my skin.
I open the driver’s door of my Mini, jump in and start the engine. Jesse is crouched down by my side before I can close the door.
‘I’ll take you for lunch.’ he informs me.
‘I told you, I’ve got stacks to get done.’ I’m not being sidetracked by roguish Jesse, although he is very distracting.
‘I’ll ring you later.’ I’ve spent the whole night with him, he’s f**ked me into oblivion, and I need some recovery time.
His shoulders sag and he scowls heavily. ‘Are you refusing me?’
‘No, I’ll call you later.’ I say on a frown.
‘Fine,’ he snaps. ‘Make sure you do.’ He leans in, resting his palm on my jean clad thigh, and plants a deliberately scorching hot kiss on my lips. He knows what he’s doing. He pulls back, leaving me slightly breathless. ‘I’ll wait for your call.’ he says, strolling away, enhancing that bloody gait. That was a look-what-your-missing kiss. It worked.