Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Literature & Fiction
Contemporary erotic romantic comedy…
TAKEN BY STORM
Bad Boys Do It Good, Volume 2
Copyright 2013 by Jezelle
All rights reserved.
[Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.]
Taken by Storm
Cait Collier brushed the travel creases out of her suit while she stood on the marble stoop of her father’s mansion, waiting for Branston the butler to answer the damn doorbell and let her in. Cripes, the old fart was getting slow in his dotage.
She jumped as a pickup roared into the circular drive behind her. Big wheels ground to a sharp stop, a cab door opened and slammed shut, and a throaty bass-baritone chuckle—a sound like hot gravel—hit her square between the shoulder blades, stiffening her spine.
“Well, if it isn’t Miss Fancy Pants. A surprise visit? Sorry, but it’s no surprise. I expected to see you this weekend.”
No, he hadn’t, the liar. She lived in the city now and didn’t often leave it. Driving down to Daddy’s today had been a sudden wild whim. No one could have guessed she was coming; she hadn’t known it herself till the last minute. Cait had expected to see
, of course.
But not this soon.
Super. Just what I need.
Jackson had been raised by his uncle and aunt, who’d been Cait’s widower father’s gardener and cook, respectively—the latter also being Cait’s babysitter. His uncle had been a sweetie-pie, and his aunt still was, but their nephew…
Lord, give me strength.
Cait and Jackson had shared a mutual animosity for each other since the days they’d also shared a playpen in the kitchen. They had shared too much for too long, thanks to Daddy’s annoying proletariat streak.
No private academies for her, oh no. Granted, this was a posh community, so even in its public schools many of her classmates had been as upper crust as herself. But the rest of them were the children of the upper crust’s hired help—which meant she’d been stuck with this jerk from diaperdom all the way through high school graduation. She was still stuck with him whenever she came home, because he’d taken over the gardening duties when his uncle died.
Cait gritted her teeth into a snarl of a grin as she turned to face him. “And why should you expect to see me any weekend, Mr. Jock Itch?”
“Gee, I dunno. Because I’m a pessimist maybe?” His mouth curled up at one corner in the crooked smile he seemed to reserve for just her. Pure taunt. “I hope for the best, but I generally expect the worst.”
“Eat shit.” She punctuated the suggestion by raising her right hand and flicking her middle finger at him.
Amazing, wasn’t it, how quickly they fell into old patterns? She’d seen him only a few times in recent years, but already they were at it again. It never took more than two seconds in each other’s presence to regress them both into adolescent brats. Not that Jackson had ever looked much like an adolescent. Physically he’d jumped from boy to man almost overnight, had been six-foot in junior high and half a foot taller by the end of their senior year. And Cait had never been able to shake the feeling he’d done it deliberately to aggravate her.
“Actually”—his gaze raked her up and down, sending a prickle of warning through her—“I kind of figured you might be whizzing by for one of your hit-and-run visits, seeing it’s our class reunion today.”
It was? She did a quick mental calculation. Son of a bitch, he was right, they had graduated ten years ago this month.
“The big banquet’s not till tonight though,” he added, “so we’ve got plenty of time to talk before then.”
“Shall we call a time-out so we can visit like normal people?” he asked. But he didn’t mean it.
His dark eyes flashed fire. Open challenge. Muscles rippled under a tight black T-shirt and faded jeans as he sauntered forward, hips swinging, like an undulating slab of granite. All brawn, all arrogance. All insolent sizzle. Too rugged to be handsome—too obnoxious—but undeniably hot. Something was seriously wrong with a world that allowed such a jerk to look so down-and-dirty fuckable.
“No, I don’t want a ‘time-out.’ I want you out of my face.” She struggled to hold her ground under his advance, but her feet had other ideas. Each step he took pushed her back an inch. By the time he reached the stoop, her spine was pressed against the broad front door. He stopped less than a hand-span away, towering over her.
At five-ten, she was tall herself for a woman, but even in heels, couldn’t meet him eye-to-eye. He knew how she hated having to look up at him, knew damn well what an edge his size gave him. He loved to intimidate.
The big bully.
He didn’t intimidate her—much—but being Jackson, he always tried. It was all he knew. Brute force, whether he was brawling with the guys or balling the babes. As the captain of their high school football team, he’d lorded it over the other players and treated the girls of the cheerleading squad like they were his personal harem. All except the head cheerleader, of course. Her. His in-your-face sex appeal had never worked on Cait.
Well…yes, it had. But she was damned if she’d admit it. That was one old pattern into which they were
going to fall.
Where the devil was that senile butler? She needed an escape route, and the only one was behind her. And locked.
Branstonnn! Open the goddamned door!
Jackson grinned. A nasty grin, like he’d read her thoughts, the evil swine. He leaned in and flattened his palms on the wood, one on each side of her shoulders, caging her between his arms.
“I don’t have to leave. I live here, remember? And you don’t anymore. So maybe you’re the one who should move it.”
“Like hell. You’re just the gardener, buddy. This is
A hot house at the moment.
Unfortunately, the bulk of the heat came not from the balmy June weather but the muscular male body looming over her. She felt moisture beading her skin. Most undignified. Usually she managed to perspire, like a lady, but Jackson had a way of making her sweat like a whore. God, she despised him.
The thermostat rose as he leaned closer, lowered his head till their noses almost touched. “Yeah, well, that’s what we need to talk about. When I got up this morning I found the maids gone and Branston on his way out the door to visit his niece in Florida. He told me they’d all been given a two-week paid holiday. Want to know why?”
Not really. But no doubt he’d tell her, regardless. Her breath snagged in her throat while she waited. Whatever had happened, she wouldn’t like it. Jackson looked insufferably smug. If the news was good for him, it was certain to be bad for her.
“Because they won’t be needed until the newlyweds return from their honeymoon.”
“N-newlyweds?” Oh crap, she could smell it coming. After twenty-eight years of carrying a torch for the wife who’d died giving Cait life, Daddy had finally remarried.
“That’s what I said, sweetheart. But the best part is, your father is now my uncle. He eloped at dawn today with his cook.”
Jackson’s widowed aunt.
Aw no, no…
The marriage, she could understand—two lonely people looking for companionship. Daddy always had treated the Storms more like friends than servants. Hell, Martha had been the closest thing to a mother Cait had known.
I love her, myself.
Despite the woman’s intolerable nephew.
Who was now a lot more than the “hired help”…
Cait’s legs shook. “Don’t call me
,” was all she could strangle out before her knees buckled.
Jackson caught her under the arms and braced her back up against the door, held her upright with an iron grip. “Would you prefer ‘Coz’?”
The man had no idea how lucky he was she didn’t have a gun. Cait wondered if her expression looked as murderous to Jackson as it felt to her. If it did, he ignored it—or more probably enjoyed it. A wicked glint lit his eyes as his hands slid down to her waist. His grip on her tightened. Terrific. On top of everything else, he was wrinkling her designer suit! She squirmed in his hold, but squirmed more—inside—at the electric tingles his touch always sparked in her. Damn him.
“So, anyway,” he continued, as though they were chatting about the weather. Like they ever
about anything—hah! “With everyone off, it’ll be just the two of us here. A nice cozy little reunion, huh?” A sinful smile appeared on his face, and Cait realized, too late to even try to fight free, she was in deep shit. “Now why don’t you give your new ‘cousin’ a proper hello.”
His mouth ground down on hers, muffling her scream.
* * *
Jackson, you are making a big, big mistake.
The voice of his conscience, and probably right. Jackson knew that. What he couldn’t figure was why he kept on making it anyway.
He hadn’t really meant to kiss her—just pretend to because he’d known how royally it would piss off Her High and Mightiness. But feeling her shiver under his hands, seeing her eyes widen and glare at him like he was some kind of rabid beast… Hell, the urge to act like one—to prove her correct—had been too damn tempting to resist. Cait always had brought out the worst in him. They were like two live wires. Touch them together and the sparks never failed to fly.
She wriggled against him in a weak effort to resist. But too weak to be serious—he knew her well enough for that. In reality, her “resistance” pressed her closer. She moaned as his tongue invaded her mouth. At the throaty sound, naked lust slammed through him, and suddenly all he could think of was getting her naked, too.
Bad move, Jackson
, his conscience warned.
Yeah, real bad. So bad the zipper of his fly threatened to burst. His cock had its priorities straight even if confusion ruled the rest of him. How could one woman so infuriate and inflame him at the same time?
She’d filled out since he’d last seen her, but it looked good on her. Too good. God help him, it felt even better. Whoa, mama, what an armful of luscious curves. What fire and fury in the way she took his sensual assault and returned it with interest, straining up on her toes and squashing her breasts against his chest…her tongue dueling with his…her expensive manicure raking up his biceps, over his shoulders and down his back.
A big, beautiful blonde bombshell all set to explode.
How fast could he get her inside the house and out of her clothes?
You’ll be sorrrry—
Shut up, conscience.
In record time, and one-handed, he managed to unhook his keys from his belt, grope behind her, and blindly unlock the door. Speed was of the essence here because the more time he allowed for thinking, the greater the likelihood she’d stop him. Or he’d stop himself. From puberty onward they’d played this game, and it had always ended in a stalemate of steamy frustration.
The physical attraction was there in spades, but so was the personality conflict. Their contempt for one another had never let them get beyond kissing. The second either of them opened their mouth for anything else, the sexual bubble popped.
It almost popped now.
Cait came to her senses, slapped her palms against his chest and shoved away. “No! We’re not starting this shit. I—”
A heavy body hit the other side of the door, making a loud thud punctuated by a single bass woof.
She shot him a horrified look. “What the hell was that?”
Something that would drive her straight back into his arms and keep her there long enough to get her in bed, if he moved quickly. Maybe it was taking an unfair advantage, but all was fair in love and war—and with Cait it was always the latter, so a guy had to grab any edge he could.
With merciless intent, he shoved open the door.
“Just Sam. Your dad’s new burglar alarm,” he explained as a full-sized German shepherd bounded forth. “We got him from the police academy. He flunked out of attack-dog training for not showing the proper aggression. All bark and no bite. He’s really very friendly.”
Cait stifled a shriek behind her hand. She obviously didn’t believe the friendly part, but then, Jackson hadn’t expected her to. There were few things that rattled her, but large rowdy dogs were on the list—right after spiders and before him.
The shepherd stuck his nose in her crotch in a “Hi there, do I know you?” sniff, and she did what Jackson
expected. Shrieked again and plastered herself against him, hugging his neck in a strangle hold.