Surrender To Me (Book One)

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Chapter 15: Meeting in the Middle

I wake sometime during the night. I don’t know what time it is. I don’t care enough to look. I lay in our bed satisfied and broken. However, I’m alone as Jackson is no longer with me. He’s probably off fighting bad guys. Fighting bad guys is great if that’s what he wants. I just wish, so badly, he’d trusted me enough to take me along, so to speak.

I begin to pray because I desperately need God’s comfort and guidance. His spirit comes to me as He always does when I cry out for Him. He fills my heart with His presence so that I know I’m not nearly as alone as I feel. He quiets my racing mind and calms me so I can hear Him as he speaks to me. Right now, we’re the only two in the room so I speak out loud to Him.

“What am I going to do God? Jackson made me say the words, but he can’t make me mean them. He doesn’t have that much power over me.” Instantly, scriptures regarding forgiveness flood my mind. Over and over God gently reminds me that if I’m to have any peace in this new life I’ve chosen, I have to forgive Jackson and I have to mean it.

He helps me understand that to pursue this duplicitous line of thinking will turn me into a liar. Saying one thing and doing something different will corrupt my character and erode my life with Jackson, as well as, my life of faith. If I allow that to happen, I’ll be no different than Jackson. God has been first in my life for as long as I can remember. He’s never let me down. Hearing what doesn’t particularly appeal to me won’t make me bail on Him now.

Next, God reminds me I made promises that night in the maze too. I told Jackson my feelings for him would never change even when he disappointed me. I told him I didn’t have the expectation of him being 100% perfect 100% of the time. Yet, here I am demanding perfection from him.

Jackson might have been born filthy rich, but the death of his dad at such an early age, as well as, the emotional distance of his mother, resulted in a hard life for Jackson and his brother. Jackson and Johnson were raised by a running string of nannies and boarding schools.

When I really pause to consider his past, I find it surprising he can function at all emotionally. To be honest, I knew all of this before I married him. As far as I know I’m up to speed on his childhood and am unaware if he’s kept anything from me.

God gently reminds me that I chose for myself a husband who doesn’t align his core values with mine. I’d known at the time that two conflicting worldviews could come back to bite me. Well, here I am. Because Jackson doesn’t accept his accountability to God he sees nothing wrong with keeping secrets from me and justifying their collateral damage in our lives.

Then again, it’s not like Christian husbands are without their flaws. I mean, having the same faith-based beliefs doesn’t make all the conflicts and problems inherent within marriage simply vanish. I know that from first-hand experience, 25 years of it to be exact.

I sit up in bed now, holding my Bible, and cry as I talk to God. “It breaks my heart, God, that Jackson used my body against me to get what he wanted. He’s broken my ability to trust him. God brings scriptures to remind me that the only time a husband and wife should be celibate is for a time of intense prayer and fasting.

Quietly, God speaks to me and tells me that by making Jackson wait for two weeks I used his need for me as a weapon against him. I’ve been so busy feeling sorry for myself it

didn’t occur to me that I’m guilty of the same thing of which I’m accusing Jackson.

As my husband, Jackson has every right to expect his need to be met, even if we are fighting. That’s part of the marriage deal. Otherwise, he’ll go looking somewhere else and that will bring on a whole new set of problems.

During the course of my prayer time, God shows me enough that I begin to feel pretty rough. Unfortunately, He isn’t finished with me yet. I can see in my mind’s eye the events that unfolded during our shower. I can see in Jackson’s words and tenderness a new strength I didn’t know he possessed.

Jackson has the strength to see past this period of hurt to see our future together. I didn’t have that strength. No way. No how. All I could do was hold onto my pain and disappointment. Jackson is strong enough to grasp that future by promising me he’ll do better now that he understands how badly he’s messed up. As his wife, I have to give him that chance. That’s what forgiveness is all about. That’s what marriage is.

After my hour of prayer and petition I’ve heard enough from God to know what I must do. My hurt, frenzied thoughts have been vanquished. My heart has new peace and a new resolve. I lay down again, thanking God for His faithfulness and soon I’m dreaming of lovely things.

It’s an odd dream. It’s very peaceful, but it makes no sense. I’m walking through a forest when I come to a meadow. I walk out into the meadow to enjoy the wildflowers. When my gaze returns to the forest’s edge, the trees have all turned pink and blue. The trees with blue trunks have pink leaves. The trees with pink trunks have blue leaves. It’s such a happy, peaceful place. I lay down to take a nap.

When I wake in the morning there is a hefty slice of my favorite pumpkin bread, a cup of fruit and a glass of OJ on the nightstand by my bed. Jackson leaves a note for me.

It reads: Good morning, Sweetheart. You missed dinner last night and I thought you might be hungry. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you with all my heart, Jackson.

He’s right. I am famished and quickly scarf all the goodies he’s left for me. I hurry to the bathroom to re-shower and shampoo. I have to find my husband as soon as possible, and I want to look beautiful for him when I do.

By ten a.m. I’m dressed and my hair is fixed. I choose a dress I’ve had for a number of years. I’m unaware as to why I don’t wear it more often. It’s a sundress, strapless with a ridiculously full, flirty skirt. It’s lavender, of course, and the material is covered in a field of delicate little flowers. I choose a pair of lavender pumps and my favorite diamond necklace to complete my look. I feel like a million bucks. My heart is so free. I feel like God has given me permission to breathe again.

I text Jackson: Hi! Where are you?

He replies: Where do you want me to be?

I text: Can you come home? Do you have time?

He replies: On my way. Be there in 15.

I know it’s the middle of the morning and Jackson is busy and its broad daylight outside, but I want candles. I rummage through the bathroom drawers until I find some, along with a lighter.

There’s a small table and three chairs located in our room in front of the bank of windows that faces the courtyard. I place my totally illogical arrangement of candles in the center of the table. I pull all the draperies shut and, while it doesn’t look like nighttime in the room, the ambience of the candles shines far brighter, thanks to my efforts.

Jackson will be here soon. My body quivers at the thought of his arrival. I can’t wait to tell him how sorry I am, show him how sorry I am. I decide to check my appearance one more time and wait just inside the bathroom door for his arrival. I spritz on a little extra perfume just in case I didn’t use enough the first time around.

Before long, I hear Jackson enter the bedroom and utter his surprise at the scene before him. “What the…” he exclaims as I step from the bathroom and walk toward him. “Ellie! You look so pretty!” He’s so surprised and thrilled that I fixed up for him. “And look at this room! You have candles in the daylight?”

“I know! Isn’t it great?!”

“Yes, yes, it is.” Jackson agrees, smiling broadly. His face is all lit up and his eyes are shining. He turns and closes the bedroom door, locking it behind him. He shaved this morning so I can see his incredibly handsome face without all that facial hair interfering.

I take his hand and lead him over to the table. We sit in the two chairs that are closest together.

Jackson has an amused look of expectation in his eyes. I’m not sure what the candlelight is doing for my complexion, but it makes Jackson look like an angel straight from heaven. He’s sitting there so handsome in his expensive suit, all buttoned up and professional looking. I’m gonna have to work on that. He’s still got this huge grin on his face and he seems so happy.

“I wanted you to come home so I could talk to you for a few minutes.”

“Oh? What kind of talking are we going to do?” he asks as his smile reaches his eyes, making them iridescent.

“The verbal kind,” I reply matter-of-factly.

“Okay, then.” He does a bodda-bump on the table with his fingers. “What’s up?”

He takes the shift in gears better than I would have.

“In a nutshell, I want to apologize to you, Jackson.”

He leans towards me, takes my hand in his and says with shock tainting his voice, “Ellie, why are you apologizing to me? What reason could you possibly have?”

I understand his questions, but I now understand my part in this as well. “Jackson, the last two weeks have been just awful. While I don’t like how you treated me by shutting me out like you did, I didn’t handle it very well. I’m sorry about that. I don’t want my words to sound like an excuse or an invalidation of my apology because all I really want is for you to understand what I was going through.”

Jackson is listening very intently. He seems anxious to hear what I have to say. “Bring it on, Ellie. I agree we need to deal with this, so it doesn’t stand between us.”

“Please remember,” I whisper as my eyes mist up. Traitor body. “I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, Jackson. I’m only sharing my own.”

Jackson takes both of my hands in his and begins rubbing circles. His comforting touch encourages me to continue.

“Jackson, the day that guy took me I thought I was going to die. When he had that gun to my head…”

“Yes, Ellie, I remember.”

“I mean, I’m ready to go when God calls me home. I’m not afraid of death. I know what waits for me, but in that moment when I knew it was all over, I was so sad about leaving you…”

“Ellie…” Jackson begins as he comes for me, kneels in front of my chair and wipes the tears from my cheeks.

“No, you have to let me finish.” Jackson reseats himself and returns to rubbing circles into my hands. “I mean, I didn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt me, still don’t I guess, but we’re just starting our life together and I want more of it before I leave this world.”

“Sweetheart,” Jackson interrupts again, “I can’t begin to imagine how scared you were. It’s not very often someone experiences something like that and lives through it, but we’ll figure out who’s behind it. I promise. He or she will pay for what they did to you. I promise that as well.”

Without warning, frustration rises to the surface of my tone and demeanor. “That’s great, Jackson but that’s not what this is about,” I counter him. Suddenly, the rate of my breathing increases quite rapidly. I can feel the increase in my heart rate as well. I try to stay calm. I told myself it was time to talk about this with Jackson, but now I find I’m not nearly as prepared for this conversation as I thought.

Jackson is frustrating me. He can’t, or won’t, let me talk. He refuses to let my heart express itself. I can’t keep fending off his interruptions. Why won’t he cooperate and let me speak? My breathing rate increases yet again. At this rate, I’ll be hyperventilating in no time. I thought I could do this, I really did. I really want to, but it’s not going to happen, not today, not like this.

Jackson sees my distress and draws me into his chest. He recognizes my panic attack and is alarmed about my emotional state. So am I.

With his fingertips Jackson lifts my chin and looks me in the eyes. “Ellie, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”

I wave my hands at my face. Why? I have no idea. It’s part of panic, I suppose. I need something to distract me.

“Got…to…slow…brea…thing,” I sputter. Jackson looks scared, really scared. His response isn’t calming me any, that’s for sure.

Next, Jackson does what only Jackson can do. He cradles my face and kisses me passionately. Once, twice, three, four deep core wrenching kisses. He pulls away from me and gauges the effect he’s had.

He looks deeply into my eyes as I return his focused gaze. It takes me a second to realize my breathing is as it should be.

“You okay, Ellie? Is your breathing back to normal?”

I take one deep breath, just because it feels so good, and shake my head slightly. “Well, I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but I’m not hyperventilating anymore,” I manage to say as I re-fan my face for an altogether different reason.

“Ellie, you scared me to death! What happened?” he wants to know without putting any effort into disguising his anxiety. “Do you do that often?”

“No,” I tell him, shaking my head. “That’s never happened before,” I answer honestly.

“Why now?” he asks, incredulous.

“Jackson, I need to, have to, explain myself to you, but you won’t let me talk. You keep hijacking the conversation.”

He begins to contradict me and then realizes I’m right, so he returns to his seat. “I’m sorry, Ellie.” He begins as he points at me with a vertical, open hand. “Please, say what you have to say.” He crosses his arms in front of his chest and sends every signal imaginable that he’s closed himself off from me. As far as I know, Jackson has never been angry with me.

I feel so defeated. I’ve lost my running start at getting everything off my chest, and, as a result, I’ve lost my confidence. All my plans for the next hour have been run over by a tank. A Jackson sized tank.

I’m not too proud to admit my defeat. “I don’t think so, Jackson. I had this all planned out and it just isn’t working. Maybe, we can have this talk some other time.”

I stand quickly, push my chair in under the table, and turn to blow out the candles. Evidently, my change of heart rips through Jackson’s offense. He reaches for me and pulls me into his arms. I sob into his chest while he strokes my hair.

“Ellie, you’ve gone to so much trouble here. Everything is just beautiful. You are beautiful. I’m the one who’s messed it up for you. This is all on me.”

“It’s okay, Jackson. We’ll try another time.”

“No, Ellie. We need to finish this,” Jackson insists. “I can see how important this is to you. I’m sorry I didn’t understand earlier. Please give me the chance to redeem myself. Seeing the pain and disappointment in your eyes, and knowing I’m responsible, puts a massive knot in my gut.”

Incredulity comes off me in waves. I step back out of his arms and look up at him. “Jackson, I don’t understand you sometimes.”

Now, Jackson looks surprised. He looks as if he doesn’t have a clue what he’s done. Truth be told, he probably doesn’t.

“What do you mean?” he asks as he takes another step backwards

“I did all this for you, for us. And for me too, I guess in a way,” I continue in an attempt to explain, “but you couldn’t or wouldn’t let me have a few minutes of your time on my terms.

Now, that I’ve decided I’m done throwing good effort and attention toward someone who’s really not interested in listening, you decide that nothing is more important than contradicting me again because it’s still about what you want. Now, all you care about is dealing with a knot in your gut, so you won’t feel so bad about hurting me.”

Jackson asks for clarification. “So, you’re saying I made your effort here today all about me?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying. Why is that, Jackson?”

Jackson purses his lips and takes one step toward me. “Ellie, I can tell you that I don’t know, but I think I do.”

Now, I pull away from him and cross my arms. I glare up at him. “Care to share?” I expect an answer and my attitude says it had better be a good one.

Jackson runs his hands back through his hair. Worry furrows his brow. “When you started talking and I saw where the conversation was headed it made me sick to think that you are going to take the blame for the last two weeks. I couldn’t stand to see you scared like that, Ellie, to relive the fear you experienced. It’s my job to protect you and it reminds me that I let you down. That’s on me. You shouldn’t be apologizing for it. I couldn’t bring myself to let that happen.”

“Well, Jackson, if you’d given me the chance to talk, I think you might have been surprised.”

“Really?” he asks with genuine surprise in his voice.

“Yeah,” I tell him sternly. “I’m more than willing to accept responsibility for my part of the last two weeks, but don’t think for one minute that I believe myself to be the reason we got into this mess. That is on you. You’re the one who lied. I’m not so desperate for attention that I’m taking a bunch of blame that I don’t deserve.

“Jackson, you are such a force of nature. You go to work, and you conquer the market. You conquer other companies in takeover bids. At night, you conquer the criminal element and corruption while you fight for people who live here. With me, you conquer my imagination, as well as, my body every single day, but you have to know when to turn it off and just be with me. You don’t need to conquer me every single minute I’m with you. I’m your wife. I’m already on your side. That being said, I’m also my own person and you don’t get to run roughshod over me because you’re uncomfortable about something.”

“As amazed as I am with your body, your physical prowess and your not-so-understandable devotion to me, there are going to be times when I need to connect with you emotionally. That’s what this whole time together was about. I learned something really important about myself and I wanted to share it with you.

“It’s like yesterday, in the shower, when you refused to take my body unless I gave you my heart. You wanted all of me, right?”

Jackson nods his head vigorously. “Right, it was just way too important.”

“Okay, but today I needed all of you and let’s face it Jackson, I’m not big enough to hold you captive while I coax agreement from your aching body.”

The lights come on. I can see the dawn of understanding flash in Jackson’s eyes.

“The only way I have of expressing my need to connect with you emotionally is to do what I did today: Ellie-ize it. You know, soften things up, a frilly dress, candles lighting a

drapery shrouded room, making myself more vulnerable to you as I apologize for my part in the last two weeks.”

Suddenly, repentance fills Jackson’s gaze. He comes for me and takes me in his arms. “Will I ever figure out this marriage thing? Will I ever learn what I need to know?”

My skin tingles because I recognize a slight element of disingenuousness in Jackson’s touch. He’s patronizing me in an attempt to get on my good side. I know it as sure as I’m standing here, but I’ll fight my battles at a time of my own choosing so, I answer his question. “Sure, you’ll get the hang of it. You just have to remember you’re not single anymore. You have to consider me when you make decisions, even decisions about when to interrupt me. It’s give and take, with the emphasis on give. We’ll spend the rest of our lives together fine-tuning the nuances of our communication because that’s how long it takes.”

“Okay, Ellie, whatever you need. I’m in it with you all the way.”

“Promise?” I ask for reassurance.

“Promise,” Jackson obliges me. “Now, what new insight did you want to share with me?”

“The insight doesn’t make sense without the back story, Jackson.”

“Okay, then let’s have it,” he says earnestly.

I look him directly in the eyes. I attempt to gauge his sincerity in telling me to go forward with my story. If he ambushes me again, it’s going to get ugly between us. All I see in his gaze, though, is sincere curiosity and an eagerness to please me. I step out in trust. Again.

I take a few seconds to re-organize my thoughts and continue. “That night in the maze, when you told me I was your newly discovered purpose in life…”

“Yes, I remember.”

“And I told you how it scared me to think that I was solely responsible for your happiness. I went on to tell you about another purpose, a God sized purpose, so all the weight of your world would not rest solely on my shoulders.”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Well, Jackson, don’t you see?”

Jackson looks at me like he’s cranking on a puzzle and he just doesn’t get the answer. Finally, he says, “See what, Ellie?”

“I’m standing there talking to you about a purpose in life and the entire time you’ve got this whole crime-fighting gig going on. You never said one word to me about it! Without even realizing it at the time, I’d given you the perfect opportunity to tell me the complete truth about yourself. You let it slide, Jackson. You let the moment pass and never said a word to me.”

Jackson drops his head in concession. “Guilty as charged, Ellie.”

“I just felt stupid for encouraging you to do something you were already doing. When I figured out it was you on the roof that day, I felt stupid again because you’d completely duped me. So, now I’m wondering if I even have a functioning brain in my head.

“The more I thought about my new reality the more gullible I felt because you were coming home with these bruises and wounds on your body without offering a believable explanation. When I’d ask you about them, you’d tell me things got intense down at the gym.

“I know how physical you are. I understand your need to express yourself athletically. I get that, I really do. But before I knew about your archery business, I assumed one of two things: First, you were involved in one of those underground fight clubs, which would explain the wounds on your body. Or you were involved with one of those sex clubs that uses whips, chains and lots of leather.

“From my perspective, Jackson we have a lot of sex, I mean, a lot of sex. You’re younger than me and so incredibly virile. I began to think that I wasn’t enough for you. That my all-out efforts, giving you everything I had, weren’t enough to keep you happy at home so you went looking elsewhere.

“Oh, my God, Ellie, all of this was going on in your head?!”

“Yeah, Jackson, it got pretty scary in here,” I say as I tap my right temple. “What was I supposed to think?

“Do you remember when I told you that secrets destroy marriages. I wasn’t kidding, Jackson.”

“I see what you mean, Ellie. I never meant for any of this to happen. I wasn’t aware you were thinking such things.”

“Anyway, when I identified you on the roof that day, I was incredibly relieved to understand what was really happening. Even so, I still felt incredibly stupid that you duped me, by hiding yourself from me and I felt stupid for doubting your fidelity even though you’d given me plenty of reasons to do so.

“My big insight is this, Jackson; other than acknowledging my part in this and apologizing for it, I’m finished with beating myself up over you. You have my heart and my body. If and when you lie to me, it’s not my fault. I’ll give you my best and when things get to the point that my best isn’t good enough for you, I guess were finished.”

“Ellie, your best will always be enough for me,” Jackson reassures me as he strokes the outsides of my upper arms. “I promise you there are no more secrets. There’s nothing more about me that I’ve kept from you.”

“I’m sorry, Jackson but I don’t automatically believe you anymore. That night in the maze when you told me I was your purpose in life and you saw how worried I was about it, by not admitting the truth to me right then and there, you lied to me and you let me believe that I had all of you. You lied to me about your purpose, the wounds on your body, and where you go at night. I can’t be certain that you’re telling me the truth right now. Only time will tell, I suppose.”

“Ellie, I’m so sorry I put you through all this. My plan of protecting you didn’t turn out so well did it.”

I shake my head at him. “It’s come at a pretty high cost, that’s for sure.”

Jackson lowers his hands down my arms until my hands are enclosed within his. He squeezes my hands gently. “I still don’t understand how you want to apologize for your part in this. You just made it pretty clear that this entire mess is on me,” he admits freely.

“My part is this, Jackson. I was so blinded by your lies and distrust in me that I wanted you to pay. On an emotional level, I held you hostage by making you wait two weeks for sex. Even more so, I made you fight for my heart yesterday instead of giving it to you. I’m sorry about that.”

“Ellie, I know how furious you were with me yesterday. The rage poured off you, but Ellie,” Jackson says as he cradles my face, “your heart is the engine that drives you. Your heart is your essence. Without your heart, all I’m left with is your body. While I love your body, Ellie, oh, dear God, how I love your body, without your heart, it’s just a shell. Part of you is not enough for me, Ellie.”

“You think part of you is enough for me, Jackson?”

Touché! The lights come on.

“You have to be willing to give as much as you expect, Jackson,” I explain to him.

Jackson nods his head, “Oh… okay, Ellie. I see what you’re saying. I’m so sorry. It never occurred to me that keeping a secret could cause you to misunderstand all of this so completely.”

I cock my head at him and give him my best ‘duh?’ look. “I didn’t misunderstand anything, Jackson,” I fuss at him. “When you withhold the truth and provide evidence that sends me in a different direction, it’s a lie.”

What is it with Jackson’s inability to accept ownership of his behavior?

Jackson collects himself and continues, “It’s totally understandable why you came to the conclusion you did. I did lie to you. You’re absolutely right.”

Well, maybe there’s hope after all. Now that he’s admitted the deceit he’s perpetrated Jackson drops his gaze. I don’t insist he look at me. I assume his ears are working even though his eyes aren’t engaged with mine.

“I don’t care about being right, Jackson. It’s just imperative that you understand me. You need to understand my pain, my thinking process, and now my forgiveness.”

Quickly, Jackson looks up at me with incredulity shining in his eyes. “After I put you through all this, you’re really going to forgive me, Ellie?”

“Yes, Jackson, I forgive you. I don’t like what you did. Forgiving you doesn’t mean I have to, but I will not let bitterness ruin my happiness. I won’t let your stupidity, deceit or distrust rob me of the joy in my life. Yes, I forgive you.”

Jackson pulls me into his chest and kisses the top of my head. “How’s that possible, Ellie?” he wants to know. “You make it sound so easy. You always do.”

“I had a huge talk with God last night and He reminded me of my part in this. Either I have the integrity to own it or I don’t. I’m a big believer in integrity. It’s not honest of me to ask of you what I’m not willing to give myself.”

Jackson walks us forward, takes a seat and pulls me into his lap. Now, I’m sitting astride him as my legs fall to the outside of his thighs. He cups my face and kisses me tenderly.

“Ellie, I can’t imagine that I’ve ever done anything to deserve you, but I thank God for you every single day.”

“You didn’t do anything to deserve me, Jackson. We chose each other and God, through His grace, will help us make it work if we trust Him and each other.

The butterfly kisses return to my face. Beneath me, Jackson’s building arousal is addressing my swelling labia. The two parts of our anatomies are yearning for each other. I place Jackson’s hands on my thighs. I take his face in my hands and I go way past butterfly kisses. I kiss him as hard and passionately as I ever have. Jackson meets the challenge, as he always does, and returns a kiss that’s equally passionate. I help him out of his coat, tie and shirt.

Jackson slides his hands up my thighs to my torso. With surprise ringing in his voice he breaks his kiss and says, “Ellie, you’re not wearing any panties.”

“I know. It’s my signature move.”

“I like it.”

“I thought you might.”

He cups my bottom and draws me into him. Firm, deep massages knead my behind and Jackson gives his attention to my right breast. He’s biting through the flimsy fabric of my dress. The kisses are nice, but I want suckles. The dress is no longer working for me.

“Jackson?”

“Yes, Ellie.”

“Take a step back and think for a moment.”

Jackson raises his needy gaze to meet mine. “I’m sorry, sweetheart, I don’t understand.”

I look at my chest and back up at him. His gaze follows me as I look back down at my chest.

“Easy access.” I prompt him.

Jackson emits an “Ahhh,” of understanding. He places his thumb and forefinger under each of my arms and tugs downward until my breasts pop forward, free of the fabric.

“Another signature move?”

“I’m thinking of adding it to my arsenal.”

“It would get my vote.”

“You sure about that?”

He dips his head forward and latches onto my nipple, sucking urgently. Oh, there it is. He palms my other breast and rotates it on its axis, his warm hand massaging my softness. Soon he switches breasts.

“I’ve got to give them equal treatment, Ellie?”

“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. Actually, I’d be devastated.”

“No room for devastation here,” he whispers between suckles.

I reach for Jackson. I wind my fingers into his golden wavy locks and bring his head harder into my breast. I moan at the resulting pressure. Jackson catches my hands and pulls them so that they are bent behind my head. This straightens my back and raises my breasts so he can better reach me. Over and over, he lavishes me with his attention.

Suddenly, I feel him at my clit. My body arches backward. Jackson is attached at both points and I groan intensely into the pleasure. The clit pressure increases slightly. He’s being very mindful that he’s rubbing me dry.

I free my hands, take hold of his neck and pull myself upright. Jackson understands my intention and forges my wetness. He brings his fingers forward and gives my clit the attention it craves.

I arc my body towards his pelvis. I’m so done with waiting. Breathlessly, I whisper, “Jackson, you have to do something about this. Please…”

Jackson backs me away from his groin long enough to unfasten his trousers and pull his throbbing shaft out into the open. It’s big and looks hungry. It lurches towards me as it throbs. Jackson’s seed clings to the tip of it, indicating his need is his great as my own. I reach for the dancing organ and marvel at the softness of the skin I find there. Leave it to God to make sure the part of Jackson that reaches the most delicate part of me is as tender as I am. Jackson closes his eyes and rolls his head backwards. I ride my hand the length of him once, twice… Jackson captures my hand to stop the motion.

“I only wanted to play…”

“Play with me all you want, sweetheart, please play. But if you imitate me pumping inside you this is going to be over before you’re ready.”

“Okay, sorry.”

“Are you kidding me?” Jackson asks, incredulous. “Don’t you ever apologize, Ellie,” he insists.

I make a ring out of my thumb and forefinger and wrap it around the base of Jackson’s tip. I tug slightly against it, putting pressure against the sensitive skin there. With my other hand I use my forefinger to spread Jackson’s seed all over the tip of his arousal, flicking his opening with my fingernail.

Jackson bucks beneath me. “Dear God, Ellie!” He picks me up and places my bottom over his erection. I use my hand to guide him into my opening. Jackson forges deeply into my center and forces me against him more fully by using his hands to push downward on my hips.

I fall against his shoulder and bear down hard against him. “Deeper, Jackson!” I whisper urgently into his ear.

He braces himself with his hands on the seat of the chair and uses his legs and torso to push himself higher and deeper into me. I hear the chair moan beneath our weight and exertion.

“Jackson, the chair is going to break!”

“Ellie, the chair is fine,” Jackson moans. Instinctively, I tense, waiting for the crash.

Jackson picks me up and extracts himself from me. Immediately, I go into defensive mode. “Put me back! You put me back, right now!” I demand.

“Ellie, we’re only changing locations. I want you focused on me and not worried you’re going to fall. I’m selfish that way.”

Jackson stands, picks me up and carries me to the bed. He throws back the covers and lays me gently in the middle. He quickly steps out of his remaining clothes and reaches to the nightstand for a condom. Jackson centers himself between my legs and drives into me. Once he’s inside me, buried to the hilt, he places my legs so that they lie on either side of his head.

“How does that feel for you, sweetheart?”

The pressure is incredible. “Let me have you, Jackson. Please, please let me have you.” Despite his need, Jackson keeps his climax at bay while I bring mine around. We finish

together, two writhing, bucking bodies finding release in a common bond. Jackson extracts himself from me, rolls over onto his side and pulls me into him.

“I’m pretty sure I’m a fan of makeup sex, Jackson.” I smile up at him showing how happy I am.

He agrees and smiles back at me. I snuggle close to him and give him a hug. I reach up and kiss his chin. I reach down and kiss his chest. “I love you, Jackson.”

“I’m crazy about you too, Ellie,” Jackson assures me.

I pull away from him and start towards the edge of the bed. “Hey, you, where you going?” he asks me.

“We’re finished. We’ve got to get you back to the office. You have an empire to run.”

“The empire can wait,” Jackson states as he catches my wrist and pulls me back into place alongside him. “I’m really afraid I’ve neglected something here, Ellie.”

I’m completely baffled. Thoughts are racing through my mind. I’m absolutely unable to come up with a single thing he’s left unattended.

Jackson whispers into my ear “Open your legs, Ellie. Let me have you.”

“Jackson, I had a perfectly nice climax. I’m good really.”

“Yes, Ellie, you are good, but I want more for you. Will you trust me?”

I pull back and look into his eyes. Jackson instantly understands my gaze and says, “Okay, too soon.” He regroups for a second and continues, “Let me ask you this. Have I ever asked you to trust me with your body and left you disappointed afterwards?”

Now, that’s an altogether different question.

“No, of course not,” I answer honestly.

“No precedent for disappointment has been set with regards to sex?”

“None, whatsoever,” I reply.

“Then open your legs, Ellie, and let me have you,” Jackson repeats his command.

I spread my legs. Slowly, Jackson inserts his large warm middle finger deep into my opening. He’s very gentle with me. He knows after I climax, I can get very tender until the next climax begins to build. There’s no thrusting in and out. He purposefully wags and rotates his finger inside me, like he’s trying to scope out every nook and cranny of my femininity.

I close my eyes and moan. He lowers his head and licks the nipple nearest him. He continues to lick and suck, all while I writhe and twitch beneath his touch. Very soon, the attention he offers the center of my body grows more intense. He reads my body’s response so well. He recognizes when I’m past the point of discomfort and the tension begins to build again.

Jackson brings my wetness forward to my clit. Suddenly, I understand what he meant when he said he’d neglected something. He wants no part of me unsated. You have to love a man like that. Thanks, God. The mysterious little nub responds to his careful attention.

Jackson’s efforts at my breasts increase in their aggression. Soon he’s pulling on my nipples, stretching them from my body until I raise my shoulders from the bed in order to alleviate the intensity of the stimulation. Jackson stays with me through four intermediate orgasms. The climaxes are nice as they release my body, but they aren’t connected to my brain. Soon, though, my head catches up. At first, it’s just a random stroke against my clit that feels exceedingly good. In just a few strokes, though, the randomness turns into succession.

Jackson whispers into my ear. “Enjoy me, Ellie. Focus on what I can give you. Feel the pressure, sweetheart.” I do feel the pressure and it is agonizingly good. The strokes that feel so incredible come one after another, faster and faster.

My breathing changes to short raspy efforts. The intensity of what’s coming intimidates me so I reach for Jackson’s wrist.

“No, Ellie,” comes Jackson’s authoritative voice. “Put your hands down. I don’t want you interfering.” I do as he wishes and remind myself that Jackson will take care of me. He always does.

I brace my arms against the bed and pulse my pelvis down into the bed, syncing my motion with the rhythm of Jackson’s lustful attentions.

Jackson suckles my breasts very aggressively. The sensation adds to a fire I’m already afraid to face. Suddenly, Jackson increases the frequency and intensity of the strokes against my clit. He adds another finger to the stimulus so that it is a relentless affair. Always slightly ahead of my brain, my body sends shockwaves of pleasure throughout my torso and into my extremities.

I expect the pleasure filled pulses to subside, but for some reason, Jackson keeps at the stimulus and my body just keeps reacting. My orgasm reaches a whole new level.

“Ride it, Ellie. Ride it hard,” Jackson encourages me. The orgasmic waves pummel my body. Oh, dear God! I didn’t know my body was capable of this.

Jackson stays with me while I writhe, thrust, and buck my way through my stellar climax. He never drops me, not for a single stroke.

After what seems like an absolutely ridiculous amount of time has passed, my body decides it’s contributed enough. Jackson understands what’s happening and ceases his attention. I collapse onto the bed and roll over next to him.

Tears stream from my eyes. I kiss Jackson’s hard, flat belly over and over. He rubs the tears from my cheek with his thumb while I shower him with affection.

“Jackson?” I speak breathlessly as my body reels from its incredible performance.

“What is it, sweetheart?”

“I have never had a climax that was so intense and soooo long. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” I accentuate each expression of gratitude with its own kiss on his chest and belly. He wraps me in his arms and pulls me atop him. I slide down the length of Jackson’s body so that my lips can reach his chest and nipples. Inadvertently, I back my bottom up against his erect shaft.

“How is that possible?” I ask him, incredulous.

“That,” he says as he nods at his throbbing member, “is what taking care of you does to me.”

“Seriously? Well then, let’s fix it!” I say with a grin.

In a movement so fluid and fast I don’t feel it, Jackson positions the two of us on our knees facing each other.

Jackson nimbly fingers my heat as he watches my face in order to gauge my readiness. He loves to play with me. When he sees me close my eyes and hears me moan in pleasure he says, “Okay, then.”

Jackson cradles my bottom in his hands and covers my lips with an aggressive hungry kiss. When I position his shaft at the entry point of my center, he effortlessly slides me the length of him and moans as he closes the gap between our bodies. He drives deep into me until the front of my pelvis makes contact with his. He pulls his hands tighter against my bottom and solidifies our union. Now, it’s my turn to moan.

“Are you ready for me, Ellie?” I’m certainly ready for more of him so I kiss him deeply and offer assurance that I can take what he’s prepared to give.

Jackson thrusts and drives into me harder and deeper with each pump. I’m caught between the force of his pelvis, which is powered by his huge thighs, glutes and back, and the backstop of his hands on my bottom, which are powered by his massive arms and shoulders. I’m absolutely trapped, and I can’t get enough.

All too soon, Jackson reaches the point of explosion.

“El…ie! Oh!...Dear… God!” He elicits each syllable with an individual thrust. As his semen leaves his body, Jackson is upright on his knees crushing my pelvis into him, basically holding me in midair. I pinch his nipples between my fingers and Jackson gives several small thrusts to ensure he’s given me every conceivable micro ounce of himself.

Breathing hard, Jackson gently sits me on the bed. I retrieve the tissues and clean my body. Jackson still wears an overloaded condom. He’ll have to clean up in the bathroom

“Man, I hate that that’s over,” he pouts.

“It was pretty incredible, wasn’t it?” I reply.

He pulls me into a tender, grateful caress and says, “Ellie, you are absolutely amazing.”

“Excuse me? I don’t think I’m the one who’s amazing here,” I counter.

“Okay. We’re not going to fight about this. How stupid would that be? You think I’m amazing. I’m convinced you’re amazing. Whatever works, right?”

“Absolutely,” I agree.

I smack him on his thigh and tell him he’s got to get back to work. “Someone has to bring home the bacon around here. Me? I’m just the wench who awaits your leisure.”

Sternly, Jackson pulls me into him and looks me straight in the eyes. I can tell by the look in his eyes he’s seriously concerned that he’s offended me “You don’t really feel that way, do you, Ellie?”

“Of course not, silly. I’m just messin’ with you.”

Jackson flips us over so that I’m on the bottom. His expression sobers as a solemn gravity settles over his demeanor. “Ellie, I don’t want to go to the office. I want to stay with you. We can stay here at home or we can find a museum and have a nice dinner out. I just want to spend the afternoon together.”

That sounds like an awesome idea, but I know the truth of our situation. “Jackson, don’t you have a Board of Directors meeting at 2:30?”

Jackson drops his gaze. I’m right about his busy afternoon and he knows it. Reluctantly, he admits, “Yes, I do and, after that, there’s one more appointment I really need to keep. That doesn’t count the two meetings scheduled prior to the board meeting.”

I look him in the eye and shrug my shoulders.

“Okay, okay. I hear what you’re saying, even if I don’t like it,” he acknowledges.

In an attempt to cheer him up I say, “I would love to spend the day with you, Jackson. We can do whatever you’d like.”

Jackson winks at me, indicating I just walked into his snare

I quickly qualify my statement by adding, “You know, museums whatever. Have Sarah clear your schedule later this week and we can do it then. It’ll be fun. I’ll look forward to it.”

Twenty minutes later finds Jackson put together and ready to depart for Dawes.

“You look so handsome in your dandy duds.” I say as I smile up at him.

“I’ll miss you, Ellie,” Jackson says to me earnestly while he pulls me in close to his large warm frame.

“I’ll miss you, too. I’ll be here waiting for you when you get home. Do what you have to do at the office. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

He kisses me deeply and then adds a kiss to my forehead for good measure. After he’s gone, I run to the kitchen for a sandwich, an apple and a glass of milk. I return to our room and eat hungrily.

Once my belly is full, I realize how tired and sleepy I am. I slip out of my dress and crawl under the covers where Jackson and I made new discoveries about each other. I quickly close my eyes and drift off. My last conscious thought is utter happiness regarding Jackson’s ability to wear me out.

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