Heart of Fame, Book 10
Published 2016 by Book Boutiques.
Copyright © 2016, Lexxie Couper.
All rights reserved.
She was death on two long, sublime, sexy legs.
She was shattered dreams and sinful desires.
She was a career destroyer.
She was unobtainable.
Fuck, he wanted her.
Had for a long time. Years. Since the first time they’d come face to face, at a gala event honouring her father, Jed had wanted her.
She’d been twenty-one at the time. Already making a name for herself in the music world, although not the world he existed in. She’d looked incredible, her hair a mass of copper-red curls that hung to the middle of her back, her creamy skin flawless, her lips luscious and glossed with a candy-pink he immediately wanted to taste. Lick. Bite.
Chloe Blackthorne. The only daughter of Nick Blackthorne, a man who had once been the world’s hottest rock star. A man with more influence and clout in the music world than anyone else, even now.
A living phenomenon.
Her older brother, Josh—also rock royalty—had walked beside her along the red carpet leading into the Sydney Opera House, earning just as many squeals of adoration and delight as Nick, who’d flanked her other side, but Jed had only had eyes for Chloe.
Her smile for the cameras and the screaming fans of her father and brother had been sincere and warm.
Her body had been the stuff of sexual fantasies—nubile and encased in a shimmering, silvery slip of curve-hugging fabric that trailed behind her on the carpet and exposed her right thigh in a slit that stopped just below her hipbone.
Nick had jokingly tried to close that slit often when she posed for the cameras at various stages. Her mother had rolled her eyes every time.
Jed hadn’t been able to move.
He’d watched the slow progression up the steps, a distant part of him aware his name was being shouted by fans and photographers, that more than one of the camera flashes lighting up the dusk sky were illuminating his face.
He was, after all, if Rolling Stone magazine was to be believed, one of the “Hottest New Rockers of the Decade”.
He should have been acknowledging the fans, the cameras.
Instead, he’d watched Chloe mount the steps leading up to the Sydney Opera House with her family.
Their eyes had clashed when she’d reached the top.
Barely a few feet from where he’d stood, she’d looked his way. It was as if an invisible jolt of liquid electricity had sunk into his very existence.
She’d smiled back.
He’d stepped forward to introduce himself, to say hello to Nick—a man he’d spoken to a few times at various events…when he’d managed to pluck up the courage to do so, that was.
Nick had steered Chloe away. Had given Jed a quick glance as if to say, not a hope in fucking hell, dude.
He and Chloe had never been within speaking distance at the same time since. They’d been in the same city, the same hotel. He’d even gone to one of her performances, the one where she’d played his first single as her encore. She’d looked up from her cello during the performance and found him sitting in the second row. Their eyes had connected, and she’d gone back to playing.
They’d been on each other’s horizons for a long time, but never close enough to speak.
Four years later.
Four years of lusting after her from afar as their respective careers took off. Went stellar. In Chloe’s case, stratospheric.
She was not only recognized as the world’s best cellist, her music had been piped into outer space by the crew on the International Space Station.
The darling of the classical music world. The Untouchable.
If he spoke to her now, at the post-Grammys party hosted by her brother, would he wake up tomorrow to discover his career in tatters? That’s what her father had threatened last year. When Jed had asked of her at the Billboard Awards, Nick had looked him straight in the eyes, his smile relaxed, and said “Jed Brody, if you even think of coming near my daughter, I will make sure you never sign another record contract again.”
Protective-father vibes had radiated from him. A tsunami’s worth of them.
Jed understood. His reputation wasn’t exactly the kind fathers approved of; especially fathers who had lived the life Jed currently lived. Nick Blackthorne had existed in the world Jed existed in now. He knew exactly what that world was like, and Jed was known to live it large. Wild.
Sex, drugs, rock and roll.
Save for the drugs, that was Jed’s life. The drugs didn’t enter the equation, thanks to a mother who’d raised him to know what shit was good for him and what wasn’t. Drugs, all kinds, fell into the latter category. Fuck, he didn’t even drink coffee.
But that didn’t stop his reputation getting wilder and wilder. He was the epitome of a rock star. His agent made sure of it. With every Number One hit Jed released, the stories of his excesses and extravagances grew.
Some of them were true.
Most of them.
Some of them haunted him…
Through the writhing throng of partygoers, Jed watched Chloe kiss her brother on the cheek, her smile warm.
He saw her lips—just as luscious as the first time he’d seen them—form the words I’m heading off.
Jed’s gut knotted.
They’d circled each other all night, never speaking, but finding each other’s gazes often.
Enough for Jed to now find himself in a permanent state of semi-arousal. Enough for his date—some rom-com starlet his agent had suggested he take—to ask if he and Chloe wanted to get a room. “I’ll go down on her, if you like,” she’d offered.
Going. Chloe was going. Leaving.
And he hadn’t—
She turned away from her brother and looked at him.
Straight at him.
Eyes the colour of the ocean during a storm regarded him, an undeniable question in their grey depths: Well?
The knot in his gut twisted. His balls throbbed. His cock did the same.
Jesus fucking Christ, was Chloe Blackthorne giving him the—
A throaty laugh fell from Chloe’s curled lips, making its way to where Jed stood. She arched an eyebrow, raked a slow inspection over him, from head to toe and back to head again, and then turned to her right and began weaving her way through the party.
She didn’t look back at him. Not once.
A prickling sensation razed his face; an unerring sensation someone stared at him.
Dragging his gaze from Chloe, he looked back to where her brother stood.
Josh Blackthorne, lead singer of Synergy, four-time Grammy winner, studied him for a long moment and then, face as close to calm menace as Jed had ever seen, slowly shook his head.
Jed sucked in a sharp breath.
Like his father, Josh had a lot of pull in the industry. He was well respected, had contacts everywhere, and knew everyone.
Including Jed’s agent and manager.
Josh wasn’t someone you wanted to piss off.
Drawing in another breath, Jed tapped the brim of an invisible hat on his head, flashed Josh a grin, and made his way through the party. In the opposite direction Chloe had headed.
Fuck, what was he doing?
He wanted her so much his balls ached. So why was he not going after her?
Because she is the Untouchable.
He bit back a growl and kept weaving through the crowd, his cock—now fully engorged—straining against his jeans at an uncomfortable angle.
Named as such by the media due to her unparalleled, incomparable talent on the cello. Named so in Jed’s mind due to Nick’s threat to destroy his career if he even looked at her.
He wanted to do more than touch her.
He wanted to bury himself between her—
Warm, slim fingers curled around his wrist, tugging him to a halt.
Fuck. The starlet. I forgot. What’s her name again? Jed thought as he turned, fake smile in place.
“I think we’ve waited long enough,” Chloe Blackthorne said, closing the small distance between them in a single graceful step. “Don’t you?”
Hot lust flooded Jed, a heartbeat before she threaded her fingers into the hair at his nape and pulled his lips down to hers.
The kiss didn’t last long, barely a few seconds, but it was long enough to completely steal Jed’s sanity. And sense of decorum.
With a savage, hungry growl—fueled not just by his long-suppressed desire for Chloe, but shock at her unexpected action—he grabbed her arse and yanked her hard to his hips, taking full possession of her mouth.
He felt her laugh against his lips, felt her roll the curve of her sex against his trapped erection, and then she was pulling away from him.
Putting space between them.
Breath far choppier than it had been for quite some time, Jed studied her. “That’s it? After all this time?”
Her lips curled at his goading question. “I think we can firmly say no.”
He narrowed his eyes. His groin had turned into a throbbing world of impatient agony. “So, what makes tonight different? Why have we been waiting for four years?”
“Since the first time we first saw each other on the Sydney Opera House steps, you mean?”
“Since then, yes.”
Her smile grew wider. “At the big shindig to celebrate the awesomeness of my father?”
Jed nodded. Around them, the wild party continued. A part of him wanted to slide a look towards where her brother had last been standing, but the rest of him feared when he returned his attention to Chloe, she’d be gone.
“I was a good girl then,” she answered, a gleam in her eyes he suspected the devil would be jealous of.
It was her turn to nod.
Pulling in a slow breath, he deliberately raked a long, slow inspection over her. Turned the gaze into a visual, debauched undressing.
Let’s see if she’s still a good girl.
She didn’t squirm or fidget, despite the hungry way he looked at her.
His pulse kicked up a notch. His breath grew quicker. His balls…fuck, could they be any more swollen?
“And now?” he asked, closing the distance between them in a single step.
“Now I’m not.”
Jed held her stare. She didn’t blink.
“You’re playing with fire, Chloe,” he murmured.
She’s playing with fire? What happens if Josh sees this? If her father hears of it?
“I’m sure you’ve heard of my reputation,” he continued, drawing closer still. “And I’ve never been a good boy.”
That devilish glint danced in her stormy eyes again. “I call bullshit on your reputation. And I think good is the perfect word to describe you.”
Jed clenched his jaw. His pulse pounded in his throat.
Was she calling his bluff? Or did Chloe, a woman he’d never spoken to but whom he’d desired from afar, know him better than every other person in his life?
What the fuck?
Her low, throaty laugh played with his senses. “The Beverly Wilshire,” she said, slowly pivoting away from him, even as she still held his gaze. “Room 442. I’m checked in as Jessica Rabbit.”
Before Jed could raise his eyebrows at the name, she turned her back completely on him and walked away, her sublime hips undulating with sensuous rhythm.
He watched the party devour her, heart banging in his chest faster than any beat his drummer could pound out.
Did he…did he—
A hard hand clamped down on his shoulder and, much to his embarrassment, he let out a stunned shout.
“Don’t be fooled into thinking,” a familiar male voice sounded as he jerked around to the owner of the hand, “my sister is on the menu, Brody.”
Josh Blackthorne met Jed’s stare, his expression deceivingly relaxed. “Otherwise, I may have to show you what happens to those who are that stupid.”
Jed arched an eyebrow. A charged energy thrummed through him, an animalistic need to…to…crush anything standing in his way. “What happens, Blackthorne?” he asked, looking directly into Josh’s eyes. “You’ll challenge me to a rock-off? Write an insulting song about me?”
Josh threw back his head and laughed. It was so like his sister’s—a male version of the same sound, with the same level of devilment—it messed with Jed’s already messed-with head. “Dude, we’re both Aussie. Y’know what I’ll do.”
“Beat the crap out of me.”
Josh grinned at Jed’s statement. “Nah, better than that. I’ll ring up the Daily Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald, Who Weekly, and Zoo and tell them you’ve got a prick the size of a toothpick.”
Josh’s grip on his shoulder tightened. He drew his head closer to Jed’s, his grin growing wider. “And then I’ll beat the crap out of you. My sister is off-limits.”
“To anyone?” Jed gave him a curious look, one that—he hoped—conveyed a pray tell, what does one think of the current daisy crop attitude. “Or just me?”
Josh laughed again. Slapped Jed on the back and began to walk away. “Let’s just say I’ve got issues with a guy who has your issues sniffing around her.”
And just like Chloe, he was consumed by the party, gone from Jed’s sight.
Jed stood motionless and scanned the crowd. There were people in here he admired, people he hated, people he’d performed with, people he idolized. Josh Blackthorne fell firmly into two of those categories. During Jed’s meteoric rise, he’d cited Josh—and his father—as an influence more than once.
Now, all he could ponder was what it would be like to have one or both of his idols destroy him.
Issues. His issues. Issues that had helped his bad-boy rep take hold. Issues that helped cement his rock-star status in the early days of his career.
Room 442. Beverly Wilshire hotel. Jessica Rabbit.
He spun on his heel and made his way from the party.
People tried to stop him more than once. The various members of Broken, his band—a motley crew of Aussies who really did earn their reputations as bad boys—called out to him as he passed them.
He didn’t slow.
Five years he’d been at the top of the rock scene. Five years of having the world at his feet for doing something he loved to do.
Five incredible, amazing, awesome years.
And for four of those five years, he’d longed for Chloe Blackthorne from afar.
Well, tonight afar could go fuck itself.
Tonight, he was destroying afar. It might mean the destruction of his career as well, but hey, five years as a mega rock star was a good run. He couldn’t complain about that.
And if the God of Bad Boy Rock Stars was kind, Nick and Josh would never, ever learn of what was about to happen in Room 442 at the Beverly Wilshire.
Jed doubted, however, that the God of Bad Boy Rock Stars was ever kind.
If He was, Jed highly suspected he himself probably fell way down the list of those the deity favoured. Right at the fucking top, however…what were the odds Nick Blackthorne sat at the top? Or his son Josh?
“Be nice to me, dude,” he murmured to the heavens as he exited the party and flagged down a taxi. “Be nice.”
Chloe licked strawberry juice from her bottom lip as she gently bounced her right leg on her left knee.
Trawling through the insane number of channels on the hotel room’s television with the remote control and a disconnected interest, she drew an image of Jed Brody into her mind.
Of every man she’d ever shown any interest in, Jed was the only one her father had declared off-limits.
She loved her father to bits. More than she could explain or comprehend. He was perfect in every way. Even his over-protectiveness was perfect. It had kept her grounded in a world of possible excesses and indulgences. She’d grown up not the spoilt-brat daughter of a mega celebrity, but the well-adjusted daughter of a man who didn’t care how much money was in his bank account. When he said no to a request for a horse, or a new phone, or a sixteenth birthday party in Paris, he meant no.
She loved him for that. She would be grateful forever for that.
But when it came to her love life, Nick freaking Blackthorne had no right sticking his nose in.
Neither did her brother.
Sure, when she was a teenager, they’d had a say. And to be honest, that was a good thing. As a teenager, she’d had a thing for jocks with no brains and big muscles.
As a late teenager, jocks with no brains and big muscles had become bad boys with big muscles and even bigger motorbikes.
Her early twenties—when she was still a student at the Sydney Music Conservatory and her skill on the cello was garnering attention with startling strength and reach—her taste in men had mellowed somewhat. Muscles were still important, but she found she actually enjoyed having a conversation after all the activities that required muscles, or at least one particular muscle.
Musical nerds became her thing. It was during that time the nickname The Untouchable started to appear in articles and reports written about her.
Most people nowadays thought it came from her phenomenal skill playing the cello. Chloe knew it’d come from her ex-boyfriend—a double bass player—during her first year at the conservatory. He’d called her The Untouchable because, during a performance at the State Theatre when he’d tried to feel her up on stage between pieces, she’d shut him down with a withering look and a dismissive sniff and called an end to their relationship.
From that point onward, he’d attached #TheUntouchable to every Twitter and Instagram post he made that included her. It didn’t take long for the name to stick.
The irony of the intended slur was that, to the media, the fans (it still blew her mind she had fans) and her fellow musicians, Chloe Blackthorne came to be viewed as a talented, demure, sacrosanct virtuoso.
She’d been happy to let the reputation propagate. Men and dating ate into her practice time anyway.
And then, at a gala event celebrating her father, she’d locked eyes with Jed Brody.
Something had happened to her that night. Something…carnal. Something profound.
In the four years since then, her career had become ridiculous. She was a millionaire numerous times over, thanks to her love of the cello. She’d traveled the world just as many times, performing in sold-out concert after sold-out concert, and she’d released three albums that had all gone to Number One on iTunes before they were even available to download. Like her father and her brother, she’d become a cultural phenomenon.
And the whole time, she’d fantasized about Jed.
Every guy she took to her bed—always hers, never theirs, and never more than once—she imagined was the bad boy rock star.
Jed Brody, whom her father had asked that she stay away from. Asked, not told. Nick was not a prick, after all. Just overprotective.
Jed Brody, who favoured faded denim jeans and Game of Thrones T-shirts on stage, who had allegedly slept his way through a list of famous women longer than Chloe’s leg (an impressive thirty-one inches) and who was the epitome of sexual sin.
She’d yearned for him, fantasized about him, dreamed about him, and, according to her mother, talked about him in her sleep. That one was a tad embarrassing. Thank God it had been her mum and not her dad who’d overheard whatever she’d been mumbling. Her mother wouldn’t tell her exactly what she’d said while asleep, but whatever it was, Lauren’s cheeks had filled with pink heat at the recollection.
How debauched must it have been to embarrass a woman who had been in the decadent rock world with Nick for almost her entire life?
Four years and finally, finally, Chloe had pinned Jed down.
At Josh’s party, no less.
The second their eyes had met, Chloe knew everything she’d read about Jed was a lie.
He wasn’t anywhere near as immoral as the world, as her father and brother, thought he was. Which made her want him even more.
She wanted to filthy him up.
If only the bastard would hurry up and get here.
Plucking another strawberry from the plate beside her on the table, she bit into it, bouncing her right leg some more as she stared at the suite’s door.
If Josh had stopped Jed from following her, she was going to show her big brother exactly how painful a nipple-cripple could—
The suite’s phone rang.
Chloe launched herself from the chair, ran to it, snatched up the receiver, and pressed it to her ear. “Yep?”
“There is a gentleman here to see you, Ms. Rabbit. He says you invited him.”
Chloe wriggled about, her grin stretching wide. “What’s his name?”
The receptionist cleared his throat. “He says his name is Jedidiah Fucking Rabbit.”
Chloe closed her eyes and danced on the spot. Booyah.
“Please let Mr. Fucking Rabbit up,” she said, failing to make her voice sound as prim and proper as possible.
He was here. Jed Brody was here.
And there were no disapproving glowers from her father, no threatening glares from her brother. No bodyguards like the ones paid for by Nick or Josh to intervene at public events. No concert manager wanting her attention…
It was just her and Jed, and a luxurious hotel room with a massive four-poster bed.
“Booyah,” she murmured.
Knowing he was going to arrive at any moment, she ran to the suite’s bathroom and got herself ready. A spritz of No. 5 on her neck, tops of her shoulders, below her belly button. A quick swoosh of mouthwash. A quicker slick of gloss on her lips.
She risked the few seconds it took to freshen up her mascara. Thickened it until her eyes were framed by sooty blackness, making her grey pupils almost luminescent.
She was mussing up her hair when the knock came at the door.
Chloe stood motionless, studying herself in the mirror.
Hair, face, smell. All perfect.
She half-turned, checking out her reflection.
Her arse looked fucking awesome in her low-rise, cherry-red hot pants. The little tattoo of a treble clef that turned into a red heart at the base of her spine looked sexy. There wasn’t a sign of a zit on her back, left bare by the loose black halter top she wore.
Facing the mirror again, she pulled in a slow breath, ran her hands down her body, and smiled. “It’s time.”
Jed knocked on the door just as she reached it.
She curled her fingers around the doorknob, and then stopped, drew a slow, deep breath, held it as she counted to ten, and then exhaled just as slowly.
“Now it’s time,” she whispered, before opening the door.
Jed stood on the other side of the threshold, looking like every sexual fantasy she’d ever had.
His hair was a shaggy mess of dirty blond that fell around his dark blue eyes and wide shoulders. His jaw was dark with stubble Chloe couldn’t wait to experience scraping against her inner thighs. He wore his customary black, his jeans faded and well-worn, snug in all the appropriate places to make a girl’s imagination hunger for when said jeans were off him. He also wore a retro Blackthorne T-shirt.
She lifted an eyebrow at it. “Love the shirt.”
He grinned. “It’s a classic.”
“Classic pain in my arse,” she answered. “Think we need to take it off ASAP.”
He burst out laughing. “Because you can’t wait to get to the action? Or because you don’t want any thoughts of your father entering your head while we’re doing—”
She snagged the front of his T-shirt in a tight grip and yanked him into her suite. “Both,” she answered, a second before capturing his lips with hers.
She didn’t let him linger on the kiss. Just as she felt his passion really flare up, she released his lips and his shirt and almost skipped backward.
“You haven’t told me how hot I look,” she reproached with a playful grin as she continued to walk backwards away from him.
With a slow smile, Jed closed the door behind him, leant against it, and folded his arms across his broad chest, crossing one ankle over the other. “You look okay.”
She came to a halt and gasped in mock indignation. “Okay? That’s the best you can do?”
He lifted one shoulder in a shrug.
Chloe’s tummy gave a little flutter, not just because it was the sexiest shrug she’d ever seen, but because he was doing exactly what she’d hoped he would—having fun with her.
She was going to bonk him like crazy as soon as possible, but that didn’t mean she didn’t want to have some fun with him first. Foreplay was all the more enjoyable when it included playful flirting.
“Try harder,” she said, resuming her backward walk, her gaze holding his.
He raked a slow look over her and straightened from the door. “You look all right.”
His lips twitched as he began to walk towards her. Steady, modulated paces that matched her own. “You look good.”
“I like your pants.”
Chloe’s tummy fluttered again. Not so much at his opinion of her hot pants, but at the open hunger that flared in his eyes as he took them in. “Harder,” she repeated, watching him follow her.
“I’ll like them even more when they’re on the floor.”
It wasn’t just her tummy that clenched this time. Her pussy joined in, a tight throb of anticipation that made her want to press her thighs together.
“Just my pants?”
Jed did another one of those sexy shrugs. “We’ll see.”
She arched an eyebrow. “We’ll see?”
Before he could respond, she moved her hands to the concealed zipper of her hot pants and lowered it.
His gaze dropped to the newly exposed flesh of her lower belly, and the equally exposed, waxed-smooth flesh just below that.
He sucked in a slow breath. A breath that became a ragged groan when Chloe slipped her fingers between her open fly and the curve of her sex.
His jaw bunched. His Adam’s apple jerked up and down his throat.
“The lip gloss is nice.”
Chloe slowly trailed the tip of her tongue over her top lip. “It’s mango-coconut flavor. Wanna taste?”
His chest swelled with another breath. His stare tracked the path of her tongue as she licked her bottom lip.
“And I like these pants,” she said, lengthening her backward stride as she smoothed her hands over her hips. Down the curve of her backside.
Jed watched her hands, a feral intensity igniting in his eyes.
Chloe’s pussy contracted at the heat, at the hungry desire in their depths. Her heart quickened. Her breasts grew full with impatient anticipation.
Pivoting slowly on one heel, she presented him her back, rubbing her arse cheeks with splayed fingers as she smiled at him over her shoulder. “I think they fit me well. Show off my butt. What do you think? Do you like my butt?”
His nostrils flared. His stare jerked up to hers.
She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Well?”
“Your butt’s okay.”
The casual attitude of the declaration was undone by the strained tension in his voice. Chloe chuckled, smoothing her hands high enough on her backside to then slip her fingers between her skin and the waistband of her pants.
She slid her hands lower, over the curve of her butt cheeks, the action causing her pants to inch a little farther down her hips.
Jed’s stare moved to the treble clef tat for a second before returning to her backside.
“I’ve been told it’s very bitable,” she offered, sliding her hands out of her pants and slowly turning back to face him.
“Who’s told you that?” Something dark flickered in his eyes as he met her gaze. Was it jealousy? The desire to sink his teeth into her butt? The desire to smack the shit out of whomever may have done so before him? Whatever it was, it sent a flurry of excitement into Chloe’s core.
With a slow grin, she gave him back her own shrug.
His chest rose and fell with a deep breath. He hadn’t, she just realized, ceased walking when she had. He was almost on her.
So close she could smell the subtle scent of his cologne.
Licking her lips again, she resumed walking backward toward the suite’s bedroom. “But,” she said, sliding her palms up her waist, over her ribs, and then her breasts, “I’m not convinced about the top.”
“You’re not a fan?” Jed asked. She couldn’t help but notice he was walking faster, no longer matching her pace but drawing closer to her. She also couldn’t miss the very impressive bulge in his jeans. Nor the way his breath was growing shallower.
“Then do something about it.”
She hooked her fingers beneath the hemline of her halter top, and—without another word—pulled it up over her head.
“Fuck,” Jed moaned, the word low and guttural and thick with need.
She smiled, bunched the shimmery material into a ball, and tossed it to him.
He caught it, but only, Chloe suspected, by sheer reflex. He was too busy devouring what she’d revealed to him with his eyes. “That’s—”
“If you say all right,” she pointed a finger at him, “I will tie you up and spank you.”
She shook her head. “Oh, you are in so much—”
Jed destroyed the distance between them.
His lips took possession of hers, his hands buried into the wild mess of curls that was her hair.
She moaned her approval, the sound becoming a whimper as he pressed her to the doorjamb, the very impressive bulge in his jeans rubbing against the smooth curve of her sex with insistent pressure.
She rolled her hips and deepened the kiss, reveling in the thick steel of his erection.
He groaned into her mouth, one hand grabbing at her butt cheek to squeeze with ungentle urgency, the other smoothing up her rib cage to cup her breast.
Hot, tight need speared into her core and she arched into his touch, seeking out the button of his jeans with shaking fingers.
It popped open at her touch, no doubt helped by the force of his massive erection pushing against it.
Moaning in happiness and pure lust, she slipped her hand into his open jeans and wrapped her fingers around his length. His flesh was hot against her palm. It delighted her he wasn’t wearing boxers or briefs. Commando all the way, baby.
A raw growl vibrated through him at her touch and he tore his lips from hers. “Tell me, Chloe,” he ground out, face hovering but an inch from hers, his ragged breath hot on her moist lips. “Am I here because you’re rebelling against your father and brother? Or am I here because you really want me to fuck you?”
She gazed up into his eyes, her heart a crazy hammer in her throat. In her hand, his engorged cock pulsed. “Does it matter?”
An unreadable tension filled his eyes. His jaw bunched. “I can’t believe I’m saying this,” he said, confusion scratching at the words, “but it does.”
Chloe grew still at his answer. Her heart, already wild, thumped harder and faster. She swallowed, searching his eyes for…for…
Something to show he was kidding?
What had started four years ago as a piqued sexual interest—before transforming into a rebellious sexual longing—for Jed due to her father’s recommendation she stay away from him, had become something far more complex as the years passed.
Something that influenced not only the music she listened to, but also the music she played, the music she wrote. Something that influenced her work.
The biggest response she’d ever received from an audience had been the night she’d played Jed’s first Number One hit, ‘Storm Clouds’ during the encore of a concert in London. It had been totally unplanned.
They’d both been in the city at the same time. She’d known where he was staying, and she suspected he’d known where she was staying.
They’d spent four years doing things that way: appearing in cities the other one was in; eating at restaurants on opposite sides of the street from each other; leaving parties as the other arrived.
The night of the encore performance in London, she’d planned to play her father’s mega-hit ‘Whispers in the Night’ to end the concert. Instead, on utter impulse, she’d played ‘Storm Clouds’.
The audience had gone wild. She’d looked up during the crescendo and found Jed in the second row. There. Watching her. Their eyes had connected. She’d damn near had an orgasm right then. She’d killed her favourite bow.
When the piece had ended and the standing ovation had calmed down, Jed had been gone.
That had been two years ago. Nick had called fifteen minutes after she’d left the stage and asked her if there was something going on between her and Jed.
She’d answered no.
He’d responded with good.
That night, she’d masturbated herself to four mind-blowing orgasms to Jed’s album, thinking of him.
Had that raw power, that raw passion, been because of her father’s disapproval?
Was everything she felt for Jed, the lust, the desire to sexually enslave him, to make him hers—if only for one wild night—born from Nick’s wish that she stay away from him?
Or was it something more?
Something neither of them could fight?
Something beyond rebellious desire? Beyond carnal want?
“Has my father threatened to destroy you if you come near me?” she asked, studying his eyes.
“And yet, you’re here now?”
Jed drew his face closer to hers. “I’ve fought it for too fucking long, Chloe. I can’t fight it anymore. If my career dies after this, so be it. But I’ve wanted you, on every level, since the second I first saw you.”
Chloe’s breath caught in her tight throat. An invisible band wrapped her chest. Her tummy knotted.
“But,” he went on, his voice almost a whisper, his fist in her hair relaxing…a little, “before I lose myself to you, I need to know. Am I here because you want to piss off your father, or am I here because you want me to make you moan my name in pleasure?”
“My father has no fucking clue you’re here, Jed,” she answered truthfully. “And until the day you ask me to marry you, he never has to know.”
His eyebrow lifted at her words. His lips twitched. Delight danced in his eyes, along with a hunger she recognized as equal to her own. “In that case…”
He crushed her lips with his.
She kissed him back, rubbing her palm up and down the length of his erection.
He growled into her mouth, snared her wrist in a tight grip, and yanked her hand free of his cock. Slammed her wrist to the doorjamb above her head and deepened the kiss.
A gasp tore from her throat. Hot excitement shot through her. Her pussy throbbed. Maybe he was naughtier than she’d thought.
Holding her wrist harder to the doorframe, he moved his lips to her jaw, his other hand capturing her breast as he ground his erection to the curve of her sex.
She rolled her head, eager for the bruising suction on the side of her throat she suspected he was about to give her. She wanted him to brand her. Wanted him to mark her as his.
Instead, he scored a line of nipping bites up to her ear. Teased her earlobe for a moment with his teeth.
Chloe squirmed, an impatient want thrumming through her. Thrusting her hips forward, she pressed her pussy against the underside of his rigid length, fisted her hand in his hair, and yanked his head backward.
“I don’t want to play coy, Jed,” she said, holding his stare.
His chest swelled with a ragged breath. “What do you want then, Chloe?”
For an answer, she released his hair and shoved her hand down his jeans, closing her fingers around his cock again. “This. Slamming into me as hard as it can. Think you can do that?”
Another choppy breath fell from him. That animalistic hunger flared in his eyes once more.
“I can do that,” he said, his grip on her wrist tightening.
“Then hurry the fuck—”
She didn’t finish. Without warning, Jed pulled her wrist from the doorframe and in one fluid move, slung her over his shoulder, caveman style.
Chloe squealed, the sound splintering into giggles of surprised delight.
Wordlessly, Jed crossed to the massive bed and flung her onto it.
She landed on the soft mattress with a clicking of teeth and a very undignified and far-from-sexy oof. Jed didn’t seem to mind. Before she could settle herself, he yanked her hot pants from her body, grabbed her ankles, and pushed her legs wide.
Liquid heat pooled in her pussy at the rough play. She let out a gasping laugh. And then a strangled moan as he suddenly bent at the waist and ran his tongue up the length of her seam.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” she panted, arching her spine at the exquisite pleasure radiating through her. “That’s what I want you to—”
He shoved himself off the bed and strode away.
Just like that.
Out of the bedroom. Into the suite’s opulent bathroom.
“Hey,” she protested. “What the fuck?”
His low laughter floated back to her from the other room. “Haven’t you heard about the joys of delayed gratification, Ms. Blackthorne?”
“Haven’t you heard about the wrath of a woman scorned, Mr. Brody?”
He appeared in the bathroom’s doorway to lean against the frame, and for a split second Chloe forgot how to breathe.
Fuck, he was stunning.
He’d removed his shirt to reveal an upper body so sublime in its muscular perfection, her mouth filled with saliva and her pussy flooded with moisture. She devoured the beauty of his physical strength with an unabashed, greedy gaze.
Ink marked his smooth, bronzed skin; two very distinct tattoos. On his right pec was an intricate spider web with a redback spider so realistic, for a surreal moment, Chloe’s brain thought it was really there.
The other tat ran down the length of his left ribs and side: an ornate steel cross that seemed to be both bleeding and tearing free of his flesh.
Chloe licked her lips, something dark and wanton stirring in her at the sight of the artwork.
“Wow,” she murmured, shifting onto her knees on the bed as she continued her open inspection. “Wow.”
His cock jutted up from his open fly, thicker and larger than it had felt, its bulbous head resting against the flat plane of his stomach. From where she admired him, she could see a tiny bead of pre-come anointed its tip.
She wanted nothing more than to lick that bead away. To taste his desire as he had just tasted hers.
Smoothing a hand over the sculpted beauty of his abs, Jed levered off the doorjamb and turned away from her. “You are far from a woman scorned, Chloe,” he threw over his shoulder.
She caught a glimpse of another tattoo—a massive pair of what looked like beaten and bloody angel wings covering the broad expanse of his back—and then he disappeared from her sight again.