Ignoring the commanding call behind her, Rena slipped in between two vendor stands setup in the center of the Atrium Mall. Located in the heart of the Loop, she’d been lucky to find this job so quickly after she’d left her last job with no job reference. It wasn’t like Jude wouldn’t have given her a stellar review – no, she knew he would - it was the idea of his partner knowing where she worked which scared her. She wouldn’t put it past Jackson to do exactly what he was doing right now; chasing her across the mall, making a huge scene, and all because he couldn’t accept the fact she just wasn’t meant to be his submissive despite the red hot chemistry they shared. Whether she truly believed her own B.S. or not was beside the point – she need this job to pay for her new unlisted apartment.
Too busy looking over her shoulder, she grunted when she suddenly slammed into the tall muscular body she’d been trying to avoid. Jackson must've ducked through the narrow aisles between the vendors to cut her off on the far side of phone kiosk. A muffled gasp escaped her as he pulled her up tight against his body, before spinning her around.
“Gotcha.” His blue eyes narrowed.
“I don’t think so, White Boy. Let me go. I’m trying to work here.” She was going to kill Keisha if her sister spilled the beans about where she worked. At least she knew her sister wouldn’t be able to tell anyone where she lived. She’d kept it a secret even from her family. She needed breathing room – from everything, everyone, loving family included. She had to get her head on straight before she did something stupid, like offering this particular man not only her body but her heart.
He sighed, holding her more firmly. She fought to ignore the familiar sparks of attraction flaring up between them. She couldn’t give into him – even if her body longed for it. There were simply too many unresolved issues between them. Ones which were caused by her past, but he’d have to torture them out of her before she’d admit how vulnerable he made her feel.
“Do you know what I’ve gone through to find you, Rena?” His voice was muffled against the crown of her head.
She gritted her teeth. “I can only imagine. I was very careful not to leave a paper trail. If Keisha hadn’t spilled the beans, you still wouldn’t know where I went.”
His finger lifted her chin. Gazing up into his face, she noticed for the first time the bags under his eyes, the haggard look on his face, even the appearance of a five o’clock shadow. For one as fair as he was, he had to have gone several days without shaving for his facial hair to even show. In short, he looked like hell warmed over. More than anything she wanted to take him home, tuck him into bed, and make him some of her momma’s homemade chicken soup. It was obvious he hadn’t quite recovered from the RSV which had laid him low nearly a month ago. But instead of acting on her urge to take care of him, she lashed out – anything to drive him away from her.
“What happened to you? Partying too hard or has your latest submissive been keeping you up all night trying to satisfy her?”
A low growl escaped Jackson. “That was completely uncalled for, and beneath you, Rena. If I look rundown, it’s because I’ve been tracking your sexy black ass all over Chicago, instead of getting my full eight hours of sleep a night.” Releasing her from his embrace, he wrapped a firm hand around her upper arm. “But I have the solution. I’m gonna chain your submissive little body to my bed – maybe then I’ll get more than four hours of sleep a night.”
©Dakota Trace All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.