CHAPTER 11

The trip back is a bit of a blur. As we fly through the streets of Philadelphia all I can think about is the expression on Jackson's face when he told me that we were going back to his apartment.

So I can fuck you nice and slow.

There was a look in his eye. He seemed excited and most definitely aroused, but there was something else there, just below the surface.

We pull up at his apartment and ride into the basement garage. I never realised just how many cars he has down here. I count over eight in total, all shiny and expensive looking. Over in the corner there is one sitting under a silver cover. My mind boggles at just how special this one must be if it has its own cover.

Jackson walks towards the elevator and waits for me to follow.

"You have a lot of cars here."

Jackson shrugs, "they're just toys."

I shake my head. "Do all of your toys have to have such a hefty price tag?"

Jackson stops and stares at me, his eyes glinting in the light of the elevator. He is just about to say something but seems to change his mind. "What can I say? I like beautiful things."

I step into the elevator and can feel Jackson close behind me.

"You really like to have an opinion on things don't you?" he whispers in my ear.

"Well…" I begin to protest but I feel Jackson grip either side of my shoulders. Pushing me up against the side of the elevator he says quietly, "I don't want to have to gag you." I try to move but he has pinned my arms down.

God he's strong.

I try and wiggle out from under his grip but his hands hold me firmly. He lets me go and I spin around to face him.

What have I got myself into?

"So…" I begin nervously. "You're into that kind of stuff are you?"

"What kind of stuff?" Jackson has a smirk on his face.

"You're not going to take me into your red room of pain are you?" I joke.

He looks at me confused. "Red room of pain?"

I shake my head, "never mind."

He raises his eyebrows. "Pain can make for an intense sexual experience." He leans in and kisses me, his lips gently sucking mine. I kiss him back feeling his tongue running over my lips. God I love kissing him. Just feeling his lips on mine is enough to make my knees go weak. Jackson begins to suck on my lips a little harder exerting more pressure. Suddenly I feel a sting as he bites down on my lips. I cry out.

What the fuck?

"Why did you do that?" I rub my lips.

"I don't mind a bit of pain." Jackson tilts my face up to his and rubs my smarting lips. "But I'm all about the pleasure." He leans in and gently kisses me.

The doors open and Jackson walks into the kitchen. I follow him in a bit of a daze.

What the hell was that just about?

"You want a drink?" Jackson reaches into his fridge and pulls out a bottle of champagne.

"Sure." I wander over and pick up the bottle. It has a lovely ornate label.

Bollinger Blanc de Noirs 1997.

1997? I know enough about champagne that the older the better.

Suddenly Jackson curses. Looking up I see he is engrossed in something on his cell. As I stare at him standing there frowning slightly I can't help but think he is simply the sexiest man I have ever seen. His jeans fit his body snug without being too tight and I can see just a hint of his muscles through his white t-shirt. Just looking at him makes my heart begin to race. I want him. I want him more than I have wanted anything else in my life.

"I have to make a phone call" and with that Jackson turns and abruptly leaves the room.

I take off my sandals and survey the kitchen. It doesn't look like this is ever used to cook in - the stainless steel appliances look to be in mint condition. I open the fridge to reveal a dozen bottles of Evian water, a carton of eggs and some milk.

Suddenly a pair of arms wrap around my waist. I close my eyes as I feel the warmth of Jackson's breath on my neck. The smell of his cologne makes me go instantly weak at the knees. I inhale deeply, letting the scent of his masculinity envelop me. I turn around to face him, my lips finding his. Jackson pushes me up against the fridge and presses against me. I can feel the bulge in his pants pressing against my leg.

"Let's take this upstairs." He pulls away and smiles.

I nod, a little breathless from the intensity of our kissing.

He picks up the champagne bucket and takes me by the hand, leading me across the soft plush rug and up a set of stairs. As he leads me into the bedroom I can't help but exclaim. Just like the living room, one whole wall of his room is glass. Even though I have seen this view before, the twinkling lights of Philadelphia still take my breath away.

I walk over and press my forehead to the glass. "How do you ever sleep with this view? I think I would stay awake all night just to watch the sun come up."

"It is pretty spectacular." He comes up behind me and wraps his arms around my waist. "You know what else is spectacular?" he begins nibbling my ear, "this neck of yours." His lips brush across my skin sending shivers up and down my spine.

I arch my neck, feeling his lips trail down across the top of my back.

"Mmmm…what do we have here?" I feel him tug on the back of my dress. "It appears that our outdoor excursion has put a hole in your dress."

"Really?" I crane my neck to have a look.

Jackson holds up the back folds of my dress to reveal a large tear.

I shrug, "That's ok, I don't wear this much." Frankly, I would have let Jackson rip my dress off if he had wanted to.

"Really?" He traces the line of the dress down my back. "You should. It looks amazing on you."

I smile, feeling myself melt under the lightness of his touch. He runs his hands up under my dress and before I know it has pulled my underwear down.

"However," he undoes the neck tie of my dress. "I think you would look even more amazing without it on."

He peels down my dress and lets it fall in a heap around my feet.

I inhale sharply, acutely aware of my nakedness. Standing there, illuminated only by a lamp, I can see my reflection in the window, all breasts and hips. Normally I would die rather than be so overtly exposed, but somehow with Jackson I feel okay about it.

"Much better." He whispers in my ear.

His hands come up and begin to rub my nipples gently. In an instant they stiffen and I feel the familiar throbbing begin between my legs. He rubs his hands over my stomach and settles between my legs, gently rubbing the outside.

I inhale deeply, aware of the intense pleasure that this small action causes.

I turn around and face Jackson. Somehow standing here in this room I feel a yearning like never before. I want to lie naked with him, taste him, feel close to him and be transported to a place that I know only he can take me.

Hooking my fingers into his shirt I lift it over his head.

God he has the most amazing looking chest.

I trace my fingers along the definitions of his muscles and note with a smile as he flinches ever so slightly under my touch. I can see his shaft pressing against his pants and I think back to him naked on the couch. Even though I have already seen him without clothes, I feel as though this is the first time.

I follow the faint strip of hair which disappears under his belt with my finger, feeling the heat of his skin under my touch. I can feel Jackson watching me intently as I begin to undo the buckle of his belt.

God I want him so bad I can barely control myself.

I unzip his jeans and grasp his erection in my hands. He groans and pulls me into him, kissing me fervently as I begin to stroke him. I have had very little experience with sex and men in general but somehow it is as if my body is reading what his body wants.

I stroke his shaft a little faster, feeling it harden in my hand.

"Oh god," Jackson groans in my ear. "I want you. Now."

He steps out of his jeans and pulls me onto the bed. Flipping me onto my back he pushes my legs open, revealing just how wet I am. Pushing my legs up over my head, he begins to lick me - long firm licks along the entire length of my sex. I groan at the intensity of the sensation that Jackson's tongue caressing me at this angle creates. He kneels in front of me, letting his shoulders take the weight of my legs. Sliding his arms under my back, he lifts my lower half off the bed pulling me towards his mouth.

God this feels fucking incredible.

My clitoris is throbbing so strongly now that I don't think I can take much more of it. I can feel my orgasm surging inside, a swell of sensation that is building and building. I grab Jackson's head and feel the rhythm of his licking. I look down and can see that he is watching me intently, seeing the ecstasy that his mouth creates. Seeing his tongue disappearing inside me knocks me over the edge and I come loudly, crying out as he pushes deeper inside me.

As I lie there writhing with the force of my orgasm I can feel a warmth moving up and down my body.

Jackson gets up and walks over to the side table next to the bed. Opening the draw he pulls out a foil packet. As I lie there, trying to catch my breath, I watch him open the packet and roll the condom down the length of his shaft.

He slides a finger inside me and expertly finds the right spot. He rubs me gently and I gasp at how deliciously sensitive I feel. His thumb finds my clitoris and he softly begins to press on it. In an instant I feel the sensations begin to swell. I lie back and lift my hips off the bed. I so desperately want to feel him inside me, to feel the weight of him on top of me.

As if reading my bodies desire I feel Jackson kneel between my legs and push them wider. As soon as he pushes the tip of his shaft inside me, he groans. Hearing the desire in his voice makes me want to push him deeper inside me. A sharp pain shoots through me as he enters me with one strong thrust. I cry out as the pain quickly turns into the most intense sensation of arousal.

Holy fuck this feels incredible.

I can't believe how good Jackson feels inside me. It is as if there are all these points of arousal that have never been touched before and are beginning to awaken. He thrusts inside me again, groaning even louder.

"Oh my god…" he pants in my ear. "You feel fucking incredible."

I can feel the length of his shaft deep inside of me. I have never experienced such a delicious mixture of pain and ecstasy. I wrap my arms around his back, savouring the smell of his cologne mixed with something earthier. As I run my hands down his body I can feel his muscles flexing as he rhythmically moves inside me.

I can feel the pressure building as everything begins to pulse. I have never orgasmed from sex before, but I have also never felt these kinds of sensations. It is as if Jackson's body intuits what I need before I ever know it myself.

I let out a moan as I feel my orgasm beginning to build. As if in response, Jackson begins to thrust a little quicker. By now our bodies are slippery with sweat and the smell of arousal fills the air.

"Hook your legs around my body," he orders.

I obey as Jackson lifts himself on top of my body. The change in angle makes me cry out in ecstasy and I can feel myself gripping him as my climax builds.

Jackson groans even louder, "it feels so good when you grip me."

I can feel a shift in him as his body flexes under my legs. I am panting loudly now and in response Jackson keeps moving rhythmically bringing me closer to the edge. My moans crescendo as my body matches his movements. Suddenly I climax, crying out as I spasm beneath him. I cling to his body as I convulse with the intensity of my orgasm. Suddenly Jackson's voice takes on a different tone, a more guttural animalistic cry as his body spasms on top of me. My arms and legs pull him close and I can feel his body quivering. We lie there, sweaty and panting, our bodies radiating heat from the exertion.

He kisses my neck, his teeth grazing my flesh. I feel the weight of him move as he withdraws carefully.

I lie there, feeling a little dazed, watching him as he carefully rolls off the condom. I've always found guys to be all embarrassed and awkward when it comes to using condoms, giving all sorts of reasons as to why they don't want to use them, but Jackson seems perfectly comfortable. He tosses it in the bin and walks over to the champagne bucket. I can't help but watch him as he pads across the room naked. He moves with both strength and grace, almost like a panther.

Popping the cork he pours two glasses and comes back to bed. Propping myself up on a pillow I gratefully take a glass feeling the bubbles tickle my nose.

"Well…" he grins and takes a sip. "That was something."

Something? I'm not sure what that means but I'm too dazed to care.

We lie on the bed in a comfortable silence - the only noise is the fizzing of the champagne bubbles.

"How are things at Sanctuary Grove?" he asks finally breaking the silence.

"I've had two weeks off. I'm meant to be preparing for an exhibition."

"How's the painting coming along?"

"Ok," I shrug. "I've been lacking a little in the inspiration department."

"Being an artist is like all other professions. You have to go to work." He says refilling his glass.

"I do work - at Sanctuary." I say a little confused.

"No. I mean you have to go to work as an artist. When you say lacking in the inspiration department, what you really mean is in the discipline department."

Is he saying I'm lazy?

"I am disciplined." I say defensively.

"Don't get defensive. It's an issue that all self-employed people face. Trust me, I know. One can't wait for inspiration. Start and the inspiration will follow."

I sit back in silence. I hate to admit it, but he's right.

He looks at me and smirks. "You don't take advice well do you?"

"Yes I do!" as soon as I hear the shrill tone in my voice I know he is right.

He refills my glass and kisses me on the lips.

"Have you seen Iris lately?" I ask taking a sip.

"Not for a little while. I've been so busy lately."

"How do you know her again?" I ask casually. I so desperately want to learn more about Jackson.

"She's an old family friend."

There plain and simple. Enough of an answer, yet I still feel as if he isn't telling me everything. He leans back against the bedhead and watches me, a smile playing on his lips.

"What?" I suddenly feel self-conscious.

"I was just thinking about how enjoyable that was."

"Oh" I feel my face redden. Somehow I feel a little less bold now that we aren't in the heat of the moment.

Jackson leans across me and I catch sight of the scar along his chin.

"How did you get that?" I ask running my finger along the length of his lightly stubbled jaw.

"I was in an accident." He looks at me, his face unreadable.

"Really? That's horrible," I say pretending that I didn't already know that.

He doesn't say anything else, but heaviness has suddenly descended in the room.

"So…" I continue probing, "What happened?"

He sighs and leans back against the bedhead.

"I was travelling through Venezuela and the car went down an embankment."

"That's terrible." I now feel bad for asking about something that I can clearly see causes him pain.

"To be honest, I don't really remember much of it."

I take a sip of champagne. I so desperately want to ask about what happened to his friend, David. But then I would have to admit that I was reading up on him, which I know he wouldn't be impressed with.

"So was it just you or…" I trail off. Jackson's jaw tightens and he turns and directly looks at me, his eyes boring into mine.

He knows I know.

"No." He says his voice low. "I was with a friend. He was killed."

Even though I already know that, the words, filled with sorrow and regret hang in the air.

"Oh," I stammer. I should never have pryed. I reach out and take his hand. "I'm so so sorry Jackson."

He looks at me, his green eyes which only a moment ago had been filled with pain, are now impassive.

"I prefer not to talk about it Kaitlin."

He gets up off the bed and walks out of the room. I sit there watching his back disappear down the stairs.

What the fuck have I done? I knew about the accident so why did I feel the need to pry? Because I want to get close to Jackson and every time I try it's as if there is a sheet of steel just below the surface keeping everything and everyone at bay.

I lie back in the bed and stare at the ceiling. Now I have ruined everything by sticking my big nose in it.

I get out of bed. It is probably best that I go. I rummage around on the floor trying to find my dress.

"Where are you going?"

Jackson is standing in the doorway with a quizzical look on his face.

"I…uh…thought that perhaps I should go. It's getting late...I mean early." I lower my eyes to the floor.

"No you're not." Jackson raises an eyebrow. "I haven't had my five hours of you yet." He walks across the room. "Close your eyes." He orders.

I obey wondering where this is heading.

"Open your mouth."

I tentatively open my mouth.

"Wider."

I can hear that he is right in front of me. I open my mouth a little wider and feel something round in my mouth. I am suddenly aware of the sweet heady aroma.

"Strawberries," he whispers in my ear, gently biting my earlobe.

I open my eyes to see him holding a large bowl of them, luscious like little jewels.

"Thought you might want something to eat." He walks over to the bed. "Unless of course you want to go?"

As I stare at Jackson standing there, his perfectly sculpted body bathed in a soft half-light I am overcome with desire for him.

I shake my head and walk back over to the bed. I'm acutely aware of his eyes following my naked form across the room.

"I'm really sorry about before. I didn't mean…"

"Kaitlin, I said I prefer not to talk about it."

I nod. I can see that no matter how rich or successful Jackson is he will always carry the scar. No amount of money can protect you from the pain of loss.

I reach out and touch his face, feeling the spikes of his stubble under my fingers. He has such a beautiful face, so strong and defined.

I lean over and kiss him tenderly on the lips. He responds, opening his mouth a little, allowing my tongue to probe and explore. Before long our gentle kisses become more fervent as our bodies entwine.

Jackson pulls away and rolls me into my back. Taking a sip of his champagne he leans over me and takes one of my nipples is his mouth.

I gasp at the sensation of the champagne bubbles in his mouth as he begins to suck. It feels as if there are a thousand needles pricking my skin, yet it is one of the most arousing sensations I have ever experienced. Jackson leans over and picks up his glass and begins to dribble champagne over my breasts. I squeal at the cold sensation against my flushed skin. Without taking his eyes off me he leans down and begins to hungrily lick it off my body.

The sensation of his wet tongue languorously moving over my breasts makes me instantly wet. He reaches my other nipple and begins to suck and nibble it, sending a jolt of electricity up my spine.

I close my eyes and surrender to the waves of desire that are flooding through my body. I groan loudly as the throbbing between my legs begins again. I have never experienced anything like this before. It is as if I have some insatiable hunger that can only be satisfied by Jackson himself.

I run my hands through his damp hair feeling the coarseness of it between my fingers. He kneels next to me and I can see immediately just how aroused he is. Reaching over he picks up a condom as I eye the length of his shaft hungrily, anticipating the pleasure that having him inside me will create.

"Here," he whispers picking up a strawberry. "I want you to put this in your mouth but don't bite down on it until you come."

I look at him surprised. What the fuck? Is this some kind of kinky asphyxiation thing? I've read about this and I'm not sure I'm into it.

"Trust me." He grins at me.

I open my mouth and taste the sweetness of the ripe fruit.

He rubs a hand down across my navel and brushes over my clitoris. I arch my back and moan in response. God I am so wet, I can feel how sticky the inside of my thighs are.

"Don't bite down on it yet." He orders.

He pushes my legs open and enters me with one swift thrust.

I moan loudly and nearly choke on the strawberry.

"Focus on your breath." He says as he slowly begins to flex his hips.

Oh God this feels so good.

Jackson groans as he enters me again. "Baby you are so wet."

I moan again, trying not to bite down on the strawberry. Jackson holds himself above me, rocking his pelvis rhythmically. My hips move quickly with the motions of his thrusts and I can feel a climax building – Jackson has brought me to the edge so quickly I can feel I'm about to come. As the waves build, Jackson continues to move rhythmically, building the pressure. He places his thumb onto my clitoris and lightly presses.

Holy Fuck.

I suddenly come so quickly that it surprises me. I yelp as my orgasm shoots through me and inadvertently clamp my teeth down on the strawberry. Sweet juice floods my mouth as my body shudders and spasms under the weight of him.

As of in response his pace quickens and his breathing becomes heavy. Still writhing with the intensity I can sense Jackson's climax nearing. I open my eyes and watch him above me, arms tensed with the exertion, chest shining with sweat. Suddenly he cries out and his body spasms above me. I wrap my arms around him and feel all of his muscles flex as he orgasms.

Lying there panting, feeling the sweat of our heated bodies, Jackson exhales and moves off me slowly.

"What are you doing to me Ms Moore?" he asks lying down next to me.

"Me?" I murmur exhausted from the sheer physical exertion of the last couple of hours.

"I was only doing what I was told." I can feel myself smiling in the dark.

I can hear Jackson get off the bed but my eyes are growing heavy and within ten minutes I am asleep.

. . . .

I awake to find the pearly grey light of dawn bathing the bedroom. I look to my side but I am alone. I reach out but the bed is cold. I sit up, feeling my body ache from our lovemaking. I lean across to the bedside table to find among spent condom wrappers and strawberry husks Jackson's wrist watch. It reads 5.10am. Turning it over in my hand I'm surprised to see that it is quite plain. It is a worn brown leather band with a simple Roman numeral face. Turning it over in my hand I catch sight of an inscription engraved in the back.

To R.O with love J.S

Who is R.O or J.S for that matter? The watch obviously holds some personal significance but to whom? I place the watch back on the bedside table and climb out of bed. I look for my dress but it is nowhere to be found so I end up putting on Jackson's shirt which has been casually flung over a chair.

I pad down the carpeted stairs only to find the apartment is empty. I wander into what must be Jackson's study. A large mahogany polished table sits in front of the window with a high backed leather chair. Scanning the room it appears that this is as used as little as the kitchen. There aren't any In-trays piled up with papers, used coffee cups or anything that gives any indication that he does in fact use this room.

I walk behind the desk to a series of shelves in search for anything that will give me an insight to Jackson as a person. Anything personal – photos or cards, however a scan of the shelves reveals nothing but a few business books, the odd novel and some object d'art.

"Looking for something?"

I jump in surprise and whirl around to see Jackson standing in the doorway.

"Jesus! You scared me."

He is standing in the doorway in a pair of navy shorts with no shirt and a towel slung over his shoulder. Even though I just spent the whole night with him, the sight of him still makes my heart race.

"Were you in the shower?" I ask noticing his hair is wet.

He shakes his head. "I went for a swim."

"Oh," I say surprised, "is there a pool nearby?" There is something in the way that Jackson is staring at me that is making me nervous.

He points above him, "on the roof."

Of course there is. How stupid for me to think that someone like Jackson would go to a local gym like a normal person.

"I was just looking for you and thought you might be in here." I feel as if I have been caught trespassing.

Jackson continues to just stand there, staring at me, his expression unreadable.

"I couldn't find my dress…" I begin hesitantly. "So I put this on…" I feel so uncomfortable, as if I shouldn't be in here.

"Your dress is hanging in the closet."

I nod and follow Jackson out into the living room.

"There is a fresh towel on the bed for you." And with that he turns and disappears out of the room.

I quickly shower and change into my dress. I can't believe that less than twelve hours ago I was with Lila. It feels like a lifetime ago.

I go downstairs to find Jackson, dressed in a suit, standing in the kitchen.

"Miguel is going to drive you home."

I nod, unsure of what to say. Jackson seems to be a cold and distant, but perhaps he is just preoccupied. I don't know him well enough to tell the difference. As if reading my mind, he lightly grabs me on the elbow and pulls me toward him.

"Thank you for a most enjoyable night." He grins and leans into my ear, "apologies for your dress. Would you like me to get it mended?"

"No. Honestly that's fine, I can do it." I'm relieved that he appears to be acting normal again. Perhaps this is what Jackson is like when he is in work mode - I certainly can't imagine the stress of running a billion dollar corporation, but somehow I can't shake the feeling that there was something else at play.

"Well, goodbye Ms Moore. Until we meet again." He smiles and kisses me lightly on the lips.

I smile weakly and follow Miguel into the elevator. The last vision I have as the doors close is of Jackson standing there, a silhouette against the first ray of morning light.

. . . .

After Miguel drops me home I open my cell to see six missed calls from Lila. Obviously Blake must have told her about seeing me outside the club with Jackson. I don't have the energy to listen to the voicemail messages she left as I can imagine what they probably entail. Kat! I can't believe you lied to me etcSo I turn my cell off and crawl into bed.

I awake a while later to find the sun streaming through my curtains. I roll over in bed, groaning at how stiff and sore my body feels. My bedside clock reads 12.30pm. God! I can't believe I have been asleep for six hours. I climb out of bed to find three more missed calls from Lila. I know I should call her but somehow I can't bring myself to do it.

I spend the rest of the day in a bit of a daze. I try to work on my canvas but I can't seem to find my groove. Dan is overseas on a work trip again so I have the apartment to myself. I'm packing up my paints when my cell beeps. My heart jumps with excitement at the possibility of it being Jackson but it is Lila.

Where are u?

I don't have the headspace to deal with Lila and her questions so I text back.

Not feeling well. Call u 2moro.

She doesn't respond so I know she is probably pissed off with me. Too bad, I can't spend my life at her beck and call.

I spend the evening watching re runs of True Blood and checking my cell for a message from Jackson. By 11pm I have come to the conclusion that he is not going to message me so I decide to go to bed.

As I'm lying there, staring at the ceiling, I can't help but wonder what he is doing at the moment. I close my eyes and think back to last night. It all feels as if it was a dream – a fantasy created by my imagination.

Is he thinking about me? Is he wondering what I am doing? Is he with another woman? As soon as that thought enters my mind I feel a pit form in the bottom of my stomach.

I close my eyes and can see Jackson, standing in the kitchen, staring at me, his beautiful face bathed in early morning light. What was that expression? Sorrow? Pity? Relief?

As I drift into an uneasy sleep I can't help but think that I am in way over my head. God what am I doing? I'm playing a game and I don't even know the rules.

. . . .

A huge thank you to everyone who has reviewed and sent me such lovely messages - I appreciate it so much. It is all of you who totally inspire me to keep writing. I hope this chapter was worth the wait!

Eve x