Familiar Lovers

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Chapter Eight

“I just got a call from the east coast office,” Michaels said as he climbed into Jordan’s car. “Mario Vanzetti, one of Prescott’s partners, was fished out of the Delaware River. He had two bullets to the back of his head, and his pockets were filled with cash. We’re still looking for Bill Hunter.”

“So, Prescott is trying to make it look like the guy was behind the robbery?”

“We both know what kind of man Prescott is,” Michaels said. “I wouldn’t put it past him to think he could get away with it. We have men dragging the river, but so far there’s nothing. An interesting side note, the man had his shoes on the wrong feet.”

“What?” Jordan asked with a frown as he headed towards the freeway entrance. “How the hell did that happen?”

“An interesting question. We’ll have to ask Prescott when we see him.”

“This is going to be a busy weekend for the Kents,” Jordan said a few minutes later. “Between this wedding thing, the rehearsals, and the guests, we may need additional men to help keep an eye on everyone. If Prescott is here for his brother’s wedding, we should be able to trap him once the ceremony is over. I don’t want to cause Melanie’s sister any undue distress.”

“Let’s just hope we can keep the greasy slug in our sights. I don’t want a repeat of the last time we nearly had him.”

“I want that bastard’s wings clipped, once and for all,” Jordan growled, turning onto the onramp of I-15.


“Do you think I’m making a mistake?” Stephanie asked, looking thoughtfully at her sister sitting on the bed.

Melanie smiled and looked at her with love and admiration, as her little sister stood on a stool in front of a full-length mirror. Her long white gown and matching veil made Stephanie looked like an angel. The only thing missing was her wings and halo.

They went to Stephanie’s room to try on their gowns, talking like they once did, many long years ago. It seemed as if the years melted away as they talked about boys, weddings, hopes and dreams.

“Cory loves you and I know he will forever. You couldn’t have chosen a better man to spend your life with.”

“What about you? How do you feel about my marrying Donald’s little brother?”

“It’s your choice, not mine,” Melanie said with a nonchalant shrug.

“It bothers you though, doesn’t it?”

Melanie thought for a few seconds, before forcing herself to smile, hoping it looked genuine.

“Donald is a completely different person than Cory. His ideas and goals are so opposite of his brother’s, it makes them as different as night and day. Cory wants to make you happy, Donald wanted me to make him happy. He’s comfortable with the life he has and with the choices he’s made. Donald was never comfortable with anything except pretending to be rich. I think you and Cory are the perfect couple.”

“What about you, Mellie? Don’t you want to be happy? Wouldn’t you like to be married again?”

“If the chance presented itself, and the person was right, then yes, I probably would get married again. I liked belonging to someone and having a person in my life to love. But I’m not looking to settle down right now. I don’t want to get trapped in the same hell I was in before.”

“What about Jordan? He’s perfect and he really loves you, I can see it in his eyes. You should go for it. Catch him before someone else does.”

“Steph, we haven’t known each other long enough to discuss marriage. Besides, I think I like how things are going between us right now.”

“Are you sleeping with him?”

Stephanie stared at the color tinting Melanie’s cheeks and smiled. Her silence was the confirmation she was looking for.

“If you’ve gone that far, then go a little farther. It’s not like marriage is going to ruin it. It’s only going to get better.”

“I think this subject is over,” Melanie said as she stood up and tossed her little sister her jeans and shirt. “You’d better get dressed, unless you want Cory to see your gown before the wedding.”

Stephanie gasped and hurried out of her dress and veil, looking at the bedside clock. Melanie was relieved to have the current topic forgotten. Her emotions concerning Jordan were jumbled and churning in a massive tornado of confusion. But she had to admit, the thought of sharing her life with this familiar lover was intoxicating.

Melanie left her sister to clean up her dress and cope with her nervous dreams in solitude, then went downstairs. It was later then she thought, and she needed to let Jordan know she wasn’t coming back to Salt Lake. She picked up the phone in the narrow hallway and dialed Jordan’s cell number.

The phone rang several times, before it switched over to voicemail. Melanie frowned at the thought of Jordan not being there. It wasn’t like him to go off and not tell her, or at least let someone know when he’d be back. She checked her cell but there were no messages or missed calls from him. He knew she was spending the day at her parent’s home, so maybe he had called earlier and left a message with her mother.

She turned the corner into the kitchen, but it was empty. With a frustrating frown, she turned around and was about to leave the room when the sound of a car came into the drive. Stuffings began to bark, assuring everyone within a mile that they had company. She smiled to herself as she walked to the door. Jordan knew she would be there, so he came up to meet her. It was just like him to do something impetuous and unpredictable, she thought.

Melanie ran out the back door and hurried around the side of the house where she came to an abrupt halt. Instead of seeing Jordan’s handsome, smiling face, she saw another man. A man she had tried so many times to put out of her mind and only succeeded when Jordan entered into her life.

“Hello Darling,” Donald said, adjusting his tie and buttoning his expensive tailor-made suit coat. “Surprised to see me?”

“Donald,” she whispered softly, the word sticking in her throat like a morsel of rotten food.

The shock and fear of seeing this man again after so long, raked through her like claws ripping at her soul. She felt nervous, anxious, and a bit nauseated. He was just as suave and arrogant as the last time she saw him, only now, he was in very expensive clothes.

“Aren’t you even going to say hello, Melanie? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I have,” she answered, finding the strength of her voice returning. “An evil, despicable one.”

“Now, is that any way to speak to the man who loves you and gave you so much happiness?”

“When did you love me? I don’t remember you ever saying those words. You spent three years belittling me, criticizing my family, and then you ran out on me when I told you I was pregnant. What part of that do you justify as happy?”

“That really isn’t true, Darling. I told you every day, in everything I did.”

“Get off my father’s property before I call the police,” she demanded, turning to go back to the house.

Donald caught up with her in a split second, holding onto her arm so tight, she couldn’t break free. His touch was like ice, causing her blood to freeze in her veins.

“I came here to talk to you, Melanie, and I won’t be put off.”

“Take your hands off me or I’ll scream.”

Melanie wanted to yell for help, and she wanted Jordan to be there to knock that arrogant expression off his face. He smiled a sickening, seductive grin as his strong grip eased, then his free hand wrapped around her waist. A brief second later and Melanie found herself pressed against his scented chest.

“Scream if you can, Darling,” he whispered as his mouth captured hers, with ease.

Melanie felt the bile rise in her throat as she struggled to get out of his embrace. She knew she still had feelings for her ex-husband, but memories of the way he treated her, the way he condemned everything she did, came flooding back to her.

“Take your hands off me,” she growled, pushing at his chest.

He released her abruptly, as though he’d been burned, but replaced the confused look with a wicked grin.

“We need to talk, Darling,” he told her, a slight hint of emotion in his deep tone.

Melanie turned around quickly and hurried to the back porch, praying her family would be in the kitchen when she opened the door. She needed them to protect her from her hidden emotions, as well as from the man.

“Stop following me, or I’ll call for my brothers,” she snapped as she opened the door, finding the room empty.

“I will be happy to, if you stop trying to run away.”

“What do you want Donald?” Melanie snapped angrily, walking to a chair and standing behind it, keeping it between them.

“You,” he told her flatly.

Melanie’s eyes widened in surprise and disgust, as she tried to comprehend the man’s meaning.

“Have you lost your mind?”

“I’ve missed you Melanie and I want the chance to try again. I know things didn’t go very well before, but we can change all of that.”

“You are insane,” she gasped. “There’s no way in hell I’ll ever consider letting you back in my life.”

“What about our baby? Don’t you think he needs his father?”

Melanie’s eyes narrowed, and her jaw clenched, as she pointed to the door. The sound of her family’s cheerful voices echoed through the room and she knew they would be joining them in matter of moments.

“Get out of my parents’ house,” she ordered him in a stern voice.

“Where is he?” Donald asked, staring at the woman with an accusing eye. “Where’s my child?”

“Dead, thank God,” she told him bitterly. “I lost the baby when you left, so I don’t have it around to remind me of how much I despise you.”

“I’m sorry Darling,” he said at last. “I love you Mellie. You loved me once too, you know you did. All I’m asking is a chance to make up for the terrible things I did.”

“I want you to leave, now.”

The sound of footsteps on the wooden floor brought a premature end to their conversation. A second later Curtis entered the room, followed close behind by Justin and Tommy, who had spent the day helping their father in the fields. They stopped and stared blankly at the man standing across from Melanie.

“What the hell is he doing here?” Tommy demanded, taking a stance, between Justin and his father.

“He was just leaving,” Melanie said.

“It’s nice to see you again too, Thomas,” Donald said with venom. “I came to speak with my wife. I didn’t realize you would be here.”

The years had done little to ease the feelings of anger and hatred between the man and her family, and the emotion was turning hotter than anyone would have liked.

“She’s not your wife anymore,” Justin said before his brother could open his mouth. “You ran off with another woman and left her, remember?”

“Enough,” Curtis said, stopping his sons from heading towards the man. “You know you’re not welcome in this house, Donald. I suggest you leave before you cause any more trouble.”

“I didn’t come here for trouble, sir. I only wanted to speak with my wife,” he said again, using the title Melanie had long ago forgotten.

It had always been a habit of his to call her his wife instead of using her name. There was a point, after he left her, that she wondered if he even knew her name.

“Ex-wife,” Tommy snarled in his sister’s defense. “You abandoned her and lost the privilege to call her that.”

“Stop it!” Melanie snapped, turning to her brothers, then back to her unwanted visitor. “I don’t like being argued over like a calf heading to market. Donald, I want you to leave. There’s nothing I want to say, and even less I want to hear.”

“Mellie, have dinner with me tomorrow,” he begged. “I need to see you. Please?”

“No,” she told him with a frown, staring at the man as if he had just sprouted a second head.

“This is the number where I can be reached. I’ll be waiting for your call.”

Donald handed her a small white card, then looked back at the three men still standing in the doorway. He smiled the sickening smirk he always used whenever he thought he had the final word, then turned and left through the back door without another word.

Melanie glanced down at the card in her hand and read his name and phone number, as if he was too important to put anything else on the card.

“You’re not actually going to see that bastard, are you?” Tommy asked.

“Of course, I’m not,” Melanie insisted, ripping the card in half. “Even if I did decide to see him, it would be none of your business. I’m an adult, and I’ll make my own decisions in life.”

“None of my business?” Tommy growled, confronting his little sister with anger glowing in his blue eyes. “Just who the hell stood beside you when he left with that cheap blonde? I sat with you in the hospital, I held your hand through court and I listened to your tears at night. Don’t tell me I don’t have a right to protect you now.”

“Stop it, you two,” Curtis ordered, interrupting his children from ripping each other’s hair out by the roots. “I’m not going to let this man tear my family apart again.”

He went to the counter and took four clean glasses out of the dish drainer on the tiled top, then poured a generous amount of red punch into each one.

Justin looked at his sister thoughtfully. He too remembered the pain and the heartache she had endured on account of that man, who now pushed his presence back into the picture.

“What did he want, Mellie?” he asked her softly, reaching forward and touching her hand gently.

“He said he wanted to talk. He’s only here because of the wedding.”

“Are you really considering meeting with him?”

“No, I’m not, but if I wanted to…” the argument ended as the sound of footsteps echoed down the hall again, making the four sitting at the table turn in their direction.

Melanie felt a wave of relief wash over her when she saw the tall, handsome figure enter the room following close behind Vera. Jordan smiled and shook Curtis’ hand, then Tommy and Justin stood, and he greeted each in turn. He introduced Michaels to the small group gathered in the kitchen, then looked to Melanie who appeared upset. He could tell something was wrong, and for a moment, he wondered if she had finally put the missing pieces of the puzzle together.

“Melanie, this is my friend, Craig Michaels.”

“Hello,” she said weakly.

“Craig and I worked together in Washington,” Jordan explained, answering Curtis’ question of where the man was from, before looking back to Melanie and frowning.

“At the news station?” Vera asked as she took three more glasses out of the drainer and filled them with punch.

“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Michaels answered. “Jordan and I go back a long way.” He winked at the handsome man next to him, then quickly changed the subject. “So, Melanie, Jordan tells me you’re a school teacher. What exactly do teachers do once school is out?”

The people gathered around the table, looked at the dark-haired woman, waiting patiently for a reply.

“Mellie?” Jordan asked softly, putting his warm hand across hers. “You alright?”

Melanie looked up, noting the eyes that stared intently at her. She blinked several times, forcing back the tears of anger and frustration that flooded her clear blue eyes.

“Excuse me,” she said, rushing out of the room and up the stairs.

The kitchen was silent for several moments, until Jordan caught sight of the torn card on the table. He picked up the pieces and placed them together.

“Prescott,” he whispered, then looked to Curtis. “When was he here?”

Curtis knew from the tone in the man’s voice, he couldn’t deny the visit from his daughter’s ex-husband.

“He left a few minutes before you arrived.”

“Tell me the truth,” he began, authority echoing in his voice. “Did Melanie know he was in town before Stephanie told her the other day? Did she say anything about seeing him a few weeks ago?”

Curtis frowned at the man’s questions.

“Easy Jordan,” Michaels said softly, bringing even more strange looks to the man.

“Who exactly are you, Jordan?” Vera asked gently.

“I can’t explain just yet, but please believe me, I’m not here to hurt Melanie. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to. But I have to know, has she seen Prescott before today?”

“Not that we know of,” Curtis finally answered.

“I can guarantee she hasn’t,” Tommy said, coming to his sister’s defense again. “I saw the look on her face when he was here. He took her by surprise showing up here like he did.”

“Now what?” Michaels asked, ignoring the eyes that continued to stare at them.

“I think it’s time Melanie knew what her ex-husband has been up to.”

Jordan turned to follow Melanie but was stopped when Michaels grabbed his arm with his large hand.

“You can’t. Not yet.”

“Damn it Michaels, this is Melanie we’re talking about, not some kind of escaped con. I can’t just sit back and let him pull her under.”

“Don’t do it, Jordan. There isn’t enough evidence.”

“I want to know what’s going on, right now. Who the hell are you two?”

Curtis stood up and confronted the men, as he brought a halt to their arguing. Jordan stared at the older man studying his features closely before deciding to open up to him. But only to a point. If Prescott was dangerous, and he was certain he was, the Kent family could be in serious trouble.

“I’m everything I claimed to be and a little more,” he began, ignoring the look from Michaels as he pulled out his ID. “We’re with the F.B.I. A few years ago, I was researching a case the feds were working on. The next thing I know, I’m working with them. When I learned Melanie was Prescott’s ex-wife, I came to Utah and tried to get close to her.”

“What has Donald done, that caused the F.B.I. to get involved?” Justin asked, taking the ID his father passed around.

“We can’t tell you that. Just trust me, if Melanie has anything to do with this, or with him, she could be facing a prison sentence.”

“Oh Jordan, no,” Vera gasped.

“I promise, I’m doing everything possible to keep her out of this. I’ll protect her at any cost. On that you have my word.”

“You said when you found out Melanie was his ex-wife. How did you know Melanie before this?” Tommy stared at the man, waiting anxiously for an answer.

“I don’t think I can explain that right now. I want Melanie to remember on her own.”

“Remember what?” Curtis demanded.

“Listen, just trust me on this. I’m not going to hurt Melanie the way Prescott did, but I need your help. You’ve got to keep an eye on her and make certain she’s never alone with him. He’s a very dangerous man, and I’m afraid he won’t stop until he has his hands on her. I don’t know what his plans are, yet, but I won’t let him hurt her.”

“What do we do if he comes back?” Vera asked.

“He’ll be back, I guarantee it, and when he does, we’ll be here waiting for him,” Michaels said as he walked back to the door. “I’ll set up a tap on the phones and put a stakeout around the property.”

“No, don’t,” Jordan demanded. “I don’t want the Kents to be inconvenienced. Besides, if Melanie found out, she’d freak. She wouldn’t be able to act normal and Prescott will use her as a shield. We’ll just continue the way we’ve been going and keep a very close eye on her.”

“Prescott is a known...” Michaels began then glanced around the room at the faces that looked at him. “He could prove psychotic. We’ve got to corner him.”

“No,” Jordan growled. “Damn it, I’m in charge on this case and I won’t have her getting hurt. We’re going to do this thing my way.”

“Alright, but the risk is on your shoulders. I’ll do what I have to, but I won’t take responsibility if anything goes wrong.”

Michaels nodded his head, said goodbye and left the house by way of the living room.

“You’re not going to tell us what he did, are you?” Curtis asked.

“I’m sorry, I can’t. I just wish I knew for certain Melanie isn’t involved.”

Jordan excused himself and went up the stairs in search of the woman. He had to question her, to find out what she knew, if anything. But it wouldn’t be easy, not with his emotions guiding his actions. He loved Melanie, he hated Prescott and he worried about the Kent family. Anything might happen, even bloodshed.

Jordan lightly tapped on the only closed door in the hallway. When there was no answer, he turned the knob and slowly peaked around the corner. Melanie was laying on her side, her arms wrapped around an old worn teddy bear. Her eyes were shut to the light, and the sound of her breathing made Jordan aware she was asleep.

He leaned across her and brushed a tender kiss against her forehead, then pulled the knitted afghan up from the foot of the bed and covered her with its soft warmth. She had to be innocent to all of this, he told himself. He loved her too much to let her go to prison.

With a silent vow, he left the room, closing the door behind him again. He was not going to allow Prescott to take her away from him. He’d do whatever he had to in order to keep her safe, even if it meant Prescott’s death…or possibly his own.


Morning brought a number of surprises with it, none however, was the conversation Jordan had hoped to bring up with Melanie. It seemed near impossible for him to be alone with the woman. Every time he thought he had a moment of solitude with her, a family member would intercept them, and Melanie would be pulled away to help with yet another task of her sister’s wedding.

Curtis kept a close eye on his daughter, as did her three older brothers. They were all determined not to let Donald within ten feet of her. The prospect of her being involved with a possible criminal, was enough to control their actions. Vera had decided not to let the girls in on the topic surrounding the mystery of Donald, or Jordan’s involvement, knowing that Stephanie would tell Cory and possibly bring with her announcement a barrel full of trouble.

The day’s heat made the family change their previous plans of going out to lunch for the wedding party and put on a barbecue instead. This meant a hectic display of activity with salad making, tables and chairs to be set up, the market to go to, drinks to make and finally the meat to cook. All was going according to a fast-paced race, until Vera saw Cory arrive with Donald in the rented BMW. She hurried to find Jordan, who was helping Curtis with another load of folding chairs.

“He’s here,” she whispered, grabbing her husband by the arm.

“Who?” the older man asked, trying not to lose his grip on the chairs.

“Donald. He’s here with Cory. Oh Jordan, what are we going to do?”

“We’re going to have a barbecue, Vera, then we’re going to wish the happy couple luck and prosperity.”

Jordan seemed unaffected by the woman’s concern, even though his insides were exploding in a jealous rage.

“Jordan I’m being serious. What if he tries something? How are we going to stop him?”

“Vera, if you don’t calm down and act normal, Prescott’s going to suspect something’s up, and then there really will be trouble. The only thing we can do is keep an eye on him and try to keep Melanie too busy to speak with him.”

“That may be harder than we’d hoped,” Curtis said, looking at the man in question who was holding onto his daughter’s arm.

Jordan sat his chairs down and walked in the direction of the couple, ignoring his own advice. He couldn’t help the way he was feeling and something inside him seemed to snap.

“Jordan,” Michaels warned, catching up to the man. “Don’t start anything. You’ll scare him off. Just take it easy.”

Jordan looked at the man, unaware he was even there, then blinked several times. He was right. If he didn’t back off and just keep an eye on the situation, things could get ugly. He looked back towards the couple, just in time to see Melanie jerk her arm free then slapped her ex-husband across the face before turning on her heel. She was gone into the house a split second later, leaving her recent companion alone and looking bewildered.

“Get inside and see what happened,” Michaels suggested. “I’ll see if I can get anything out of Prescott.”

Jordan did as he was commanded and followed Melanie into the kitchen, where he caught her pacing the small confines of the room. She turned and angry eye on him as he walked in, then quickly softened her stare when she saw who it was.

“You alright?” he asked, stepping closer to her.

Melanie flung herself against the man’s chest and laid her ear against the steady beating of his heart. Several seconds passed by before she raised her head up and looked into his dark eyes.

“I’m sorry,” she sniffed, wiping away the tears that fell to her cheeks. “I guess the whole day is starting to get to me. I’m just sentimental, I suppose.”

“Is that it, or is it the guy you were talking with a few minutes ago? That’s your ex, isn’t it?”

Jordan eyed her gently, hoping to find some form of explanation in her eyes. Instead, he saw the deep anger she’d been suppressing all these years.

“Yes,” she answered with a deep breath. “He showed up yesterday with the excuse that he wanted to try again. I knew he’d have to be here for the wedding, but I had hoped I wouldn’t have to see him.”

“What did he say to you that made you slap him?”

“He asked me to go for a drive with him,” she said with a frown. “He said he’d always wanted to make love to me in the backseat of a car. Then he said…” she paused as her cheeks tinted again. “I told him no, and he asked if it was because I was enjoying fucking myself, instead of having a dick handy to take advantage of.”

“I’ll be happy to rearrange that arrogant face of his,” Jordan said with an angry glare. “Just say the word.”

Melanie smiled, then leaned closer to him and kissed his lips. There was something very enduring about the way he stood up for her, and she found herself embracing the feelings of protection.

“Have I ever told you I love you?” she asked with a wide grin.

“I think you’ve mentioned it a time or two,” he chuckled. “I have a suggestion. Why don’t you go for a ride with me instead? I stayed at the motel last night, and I’m not planning on checking out until after the wedding, when I can take you home and have my wicked way with you.”

“We have a lot of people coming over in a little while, and my parents need help.”

Jordan feigned frustration, causing her to laugh. He had anticipated her to be angry, upset, even depressed after her encounter a few minutes ago. Instead, he found her amorous and arousing. It made him wonder if it was him causing her to feel that way, or her ex-husband.

“I’ll bring you back in an hour,” he promised, pulling her closer to him.

“I’ll make you an agreement,” she told him. “If you can talk my parents into letting me out of working, I’ll go with you.”

“Don’t move a muscle,” he told her, kissing her lips briefly, then hurrying back outside, closing the door behind him.

Melanie hurried up to her room and quickly gathered her toothbrush, hairbrush, and a clean pair of panties. She stuffed them in an overnight bag, along with her jeans and a light green tee-shirt. She was back in the kitchen when the door opened again, watching the shocked expression Jordan gave her.

“What did they say?” she asked with a half grin.

“Your dad said to have you back by two o’clock. What’s all this?”

Melanie smiled as he pointed to the bag she had hanging across her shoulder and shrugged.

“I know my parents like you, and I knew you’re charming enough to get your way. I figured I’d need a few things for afterwards.”

“You’re a little smarty, aren’t you Miss Kent?” he asked, taking the bag from her and wrapping his arm around her.

“Not really. I just know how charming you can be.”

Jordan smiled as he kissed her lips, then walked out the door with her. He unlocked his blue car and held the door open for her, before tossing the bag in the trunk. He sat down behind the steering wheel and started the car, then lowered the top and fastened his seatbelt.

The car pulled away from the house and headed down the dirt road. Laughter echoed in the sunlight from Melanie’s siblings, who watched the couple leave, but it was the expression on Donald’s face that caught the eye of Michaels. He was angry, and he stared at the couple’s departure with a look of venom on his tanned face.

He had spent twenty minutes talking with Prescott about the wedding, where he was from, and trying to weasel information of his hometown, family, and past out of him. All he got was vague, brief answers. The only thing he did learn, was that he had tried to speak with his wife the day before but was interrupted by her family. In his arrogance, he assured Michaels he would have her back in his arms by nightfall.

Now, with everyone witnessing Jordan driving off with the woman, it was obvious the man was going to have to contemplate another avenue for whatever plans he had for the young beauty.


Jordan wrapped Melanie in his embrace again, pulling her blouse over her head in a fluid movement. They arrived at the motel in less than five minutes, and after securing the roof on the car, he swept her in his embrace and carried her across the threshold. Once the door was closed and locked, he walked the few steps to the bed. It took all of a heartbeat before she was beneath him.

His hands were warm and gentle against her tender flesh, as he removed her bra and eased her skirt down her legs. Seconds seemed like hours, before the barrier of clothing was gone, his joining hers on the carpet beside the bed. He covered her mouth with the urgent demand of his lips, as her legs wrapped around his waist. She was growing anxious, but his kisses were leisurely and relaxed, forcing her frustrations to grow.

Melanie growled as his hands continued to caress her, trying to inch him closer to her, but his restraint was stronger than hers. Jordan nipped and sucked the delicate flesh covering her throat, slowly moving down to her collarbone. She moaned softly as his hands cupped the firm flesh of her breasts, squeezing gently.

“You’re going to have to learn patience,” he whispered next to her ear. “If you can’t, I’ll be forced to restrain you.”

“Like you have so many nights since ripping my shirt?” she asked with a wicked grin.

“Exactly.”

“What if I demand you do just that?”

“You enjoy the darker side of playing, don’t you?” he asked, a curious smile across his full lips.

“Only if it’s with you.”

Jordan’s smile grew as he eased her legs off him and stood up off the bed. He walked to the dresser where he had placed his clothes for the rest of the week and removed a small leather satchel. He turned and walked back to her, sitting on the edge of the mattress.

“As a teacher, I’m sure you understand the importance of research,” he began. “Bondage, BDSM, toys, they are all a part of the dark side of seduction. In order to embrace the full passion of the moment, you have to be willing to surrender your fears and apprehensions to me. Can you do that?”

“Are you going to hurt me?” she asked with a slight frown.

“Only enough to help you experience the pleasure that goes along with it.”

“What do you plan on doing to me?”

“I’m going to bind your hands the way you like, and if you’re still willing to be brave, I’ll spank you. Once the party is over, I’ll bring you back here, and we’ll explore the depths of passion in private.”

“Will you use the vibrators?”

“Yes, as well as the beads.”

“Then I suppose I have no choice but to offer myself to you,” she smiled, relaxing under his gentle touch as he began caressing her inner thigh.

“It all starts with your submission and your trust that I won’t abuse you or cause you undue misery. You’ve enjoyed what we’ve done so far, and once you’ve given me your full trust, there’s no limits to what we do.”

“I do trust you, I’m just not crazy about being beaten.”

“No beatings, I promise, and once you say stop, I will.”

“Don’t I need a safe word, or something?”

“Do you want one?” he asked with a half grin, watching the goosebumps erupt across her flesh as he moved his fingers very slowly up her legs.

“I…I’m not sure,” she said hesitantly.

“Then let’s make our safe word stop. You say it, and I’ll do it.”

Melanie stared at the handcuffs he pulled out of the satchel and felt her heart skip and her stomach tighten. She trusted Jordan, nearly as much as she trusted her father, or brothers. She knew he wouldn’t hurt her, and she was confident he would bring her pleasure. She just had to be brave enough to try it his way.

“What if I don’t like being spanked?” she asked, her eyes locking with his.

“Then we’ll continue to play without it.”

“And someday, you’ll get bored with me, just like Donald did,” she said with a sadness in her voice that made Jordan’s heart ache.

“I will never get bored with you, and I will never leave you. Donald is a worthless bastard who didn’t know what he had. I do. I love you, and I will never let you regret our time together, and I will cherish every precious moment we have.”

“For a perverted Martian, you’re very romantic,” she said with a shy smile, feeling the moisture of tears that slid down her cheeks.

“You have a habit of bringing out that side of me,” he told her, gently wiping the tears away with the back of his knuckles.

Melanie drew a steady breath, feeling the excitement begin to jump inside her. She looked into his dark eyes and smiled.

“What do I do first?” she asked, watching his smile return.

“Sit up and put your hands in front of you,” he told her, watching her bend her legs as she sat next to him.

Jordan wrapped the cuffs around her wrists and secured them together. He stood off the bed again, taking her hands and helping her stand. He leaned into her and kissed her lips, his large warm hands moving gently down her spine to her buttocks. He caressed and massaged each firm mound before squeezing them gently.

Melanie’s breath was deep and slightly more rapid than a moment ago, as she slowly began panting. His touch was like fire on her flesh, and she found herself hungry for more.

“This is going to be brief since I promised to have you home by two. Tonight, I want you to stay with me, and let me show you the more intense side of orgasm.”

“Let’s just see how well this goes, before I agree to do it again,” she whispered, watching his smile grow.

Jordan turned around and sat down on the bed, his hands still caressing her backside. He moved her to stand between his legs, then leaned forward and kissed the soft patch of curls. She was wet and warm, and he knew she was just as excited as she was nervous.

Taking a deep breath, he eased her to his side, then gently pulled her forward until she was stretched out across his lap. Melanie drew a deep breath as she tried to steady her anxieties, but she found it difficult as she lay naked across his firm, hard thighs. She could feel her face burning with the embarrassment as fear inched its way up her neck and into her face. If anyone in her family knew she was doing this…she dreaded thinking about what they would say.

“I’m only going to give you four strikes,” he told her in a deep, husky voice. “Tonight, when we get serious, you will receive six, unless you ask for more.”

Melanie nodded silently.

“Are you ready?” he asked, again receiving a silent nod. “Mellie, I need to hear you tell me you’re ready. I won’t do this without your permission.”

“I’m ready,” she said in a soft whisper as she drew a deep breath.

Jordan began to gently massage her buttocks as she tensed beneath his touch. He caressed and tickled the soft flesh, nearly laughing as she tightened her cheeks. Slipping his fingers between her legs, he teased and played with her curls, listening to her soft moan.

Without warning, he raised his hand in the air and let it strike her with a firm, loud smack. Melanie gasped, the fingers of her hands intertwining as she fought to remain still. Before she could react, Jordan began to caress her bottom with one hand while his fingers of his free hand caressed and teased the inner folds of her labia.

A second strike took Melanie completely by surprise as she yelped softly, then moaned when he moved his fingers into her tight portal. A third strike ended in her lifted her bottom toward his hand, as two fingers moved inside her.

“Last one, baby,” he told her in a quiet growl. “When we’re finished, I’m going to cuff you to the bed and make you cum.”

Melanie opened her mouth to answer when his hand struck her the last time, making her bottom feel warm and tingly. She lifted her hips higher across his lap, silently begging him for more.

“I’ll answer your need tonight,” he told her as he helped her stand. “I promise, Darling, I’ll spank you until you cum.”

“Promise?” she whispered through a deep pant, causing him to laugh as he lifted her in his embrace then laid her across the mattress.

“I swear it.”

Jordan took her hands and raised them above her head. The headboard was more of an upholstered board against the wall, but there was a strip of wood, about the size of a 2x2, running along the bottom. He gingerly secured the cuffs to it, then moved off the bed.

“You have to concentrate very hard on not moving your hands, or you could break that board,” he told her, walking down to the foot of the bed.

Taking her legs, he gently pulled her down, then knelt on the mattress as he spread her wider. Slowly, he kissed his way up the inside of her calves to her knees, then higher up her thighs until he reached the dark curls. He knew their time was quickly running out, but he promised her an orgasm, and he wasn’t going to relent on that vow.

Moving his mouth across her, he gently slid his tongue between her labia, spreading her lips farther apart. He found her clitoris and smoothly began to play with it, teasing it and tickling it until she began moaning.

Jordan took the white and black wand from the bag and switched it on, then moved it slowly against her, smiling as she growled. He slid a long finger inside her as he caressed her labia with the vibrator. He could feel the muscles tighten around him and knew it wouldn’t take much for her to cum.

Placing the black head against her clitoris, Jordan began to torment her until the muscles clamped tightly around his finger. It took less than three gentle thrusts before she was writhing beneath him, her fingers wrapping around the board she was secured to. She cried out in the silence of the room, her legs spreading wider apart until she felt like she’d go insane.

As promised, her release was intense and deep, and she found herself begging Jordan to fuck her. She couldn’t think as he slowly moved his way above her, settling his lips on her breasts as he slipped the vibrator into her tight canal. Licking and suckling her nipples, Melanie soon found herself in the thralls of another pit of fire as she climaxed again.

Jordan allowed her to ride out the recent wave of passion before he at last relented his torment on her. He shut off the small device and removed it from her opening, then positioned himself between her legs. The tip of his arousal pressed against the wet, quivering entrance of her desire, and he swiftly pressed forward. One hard thrust and he was encased inside her, feeling the wet heat surround him. He knew his resistance was gone as he continued to thrust against her.

His mouth closed over hers, his tongue tormenting hers as he reached upwards, holding her hands against the board. He would allow her to experience the full depth of his passion before he released her.

Jordan had barely considered the thought before he felt the insanity of his own orgasm rise up in his loins. Taking a deep breath, he pushed into her, rocking her with the force of his release. Melanie felt the heat fill her, moments before feeling the tingle of yet another climax of her own.

The two lovers joined each other in a shared orgasm that left them sweaty and panting. Their bodies stayed intertwined, as her fingers stretched out and found his. The heat of the day outside, forced the cool breeze of the air conditioner inside to kick on with a loud thump.

“I think that’s our cue to get finished,” he told her, kissing her cheek before reaching up and removing the handcuffs from around her wrists.

“That was pretty…interesting,” she smiled a she wrapped her free arms around his neck.

“Did you enjoy it?” he asked, bracing himself up on his elbows.

“I’d like to say yes, but I’d hate to feed your ego.”

Melanie giggled as he began to tickle her sides, then rolled over and snuggled up to his chest as he stretched out across the mattress.

He knew the next week would prove interesting, especially with Prescott hanging around, but Jordan was determined to keep Melanie under a very watchful eye. She would be under constant supervision during the day, and his embrace at night. Once Prescott was in jail, he would arrange a trip to the bridal shop.

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