The Bastard by Ann Jacobs

The Bastard (Bar C Legacy 2) by Ann Jacobs

The Bastard (Bar C Legacy 2) by Ann Jacobs

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Jack soon learns Liz is the submissive lover of his dreams--and that what he feels for her is a whole lot more than sexual attraction. More info →
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Chapter One

The only time he’d been here before, Jack Duval hadn’t fully noticed the unabashed opulence of the huge Bar C ranch house with its Grecian columns and manicured grounds, but then he’d been running herd on Marianne, who’d descended on his modest house to pay her respects to Four Caden’s wife who’d died back in early spring.

He’d still been in shock from his mother’s revelation that his father was none other than Four Caden and that she—Marianne—intended to take her rightful place as mistress of the Bar C following Mae Cayden’s death. Of course that hadn’t happened—Marianne had been a convenient mistress but had never been the Caden patriarch’s idea of a proper wife, even before she’d made an ass of herself in front of Bye and Deirdre as well as Jack himself.

Jack glanced around the garden area, which somebody had transformed into a flower-laden chapel complete with a canopy-draped altar. Covered caterers’ chairs had been arranged for the guests’ comfort. The pastor of the tiny church in Caden officiated in front of a crowd that included the Texas governor, various politicos, and the rich and well-connected from all over the Lone Star State. Gun-toting cowboys worked security, making sure that everyone who came on the grounds had his or her silky invitation in hand. That crowd would never have fit in the pastor’s tiny church, which made it a good thing Four had opened up the Bar C for his heir’s glittering nuptials.

His asshole father had obviously pulled out all the stops today to celebrate Bye’s marriage. This shindig was likely costing Byron Caden IV, or Four as his friends called him, more than the paltry trust fund the jerk had settled on Jack’s mother and him when he’d kissed them both off not long ago. The only time Jack had ever seen such a spectacle had been when he’d hired out to serve at the reception for one of the Kennedy family’s weddings during college.

Jack bet it had burned the elder Caden to invite him here today, but after all he did share a law office in town with his half-brother’s bride, and good manners had required that the engraved invitation be issued. Jack guessed he owed his knowledge of etiquette to his mother, who had passed along the niceties of gracious living through the jaundiced eye of one who’d lost her place in polite society at an early age.

Of course he’d have been here as Liz Wolfe’s date for the affair anyway, whether or not he’d had his own invitation. He made a point of taking Liz’s hand and squeezing it, and when he did she looked over at him and smiled. That smile was a shy but unmistakable invitation, and he was thinking it was past time for him to accept it.

Tempering his impatience, he reminded himself that Liz wasn’t one of his BDSM playmates and they’d only had a few dinner dates and seen a couple of movies together over the past few months. Jack did enjoy being with her though—a lot. She had a way of making him forget the reason he’d initially put the moves on her—and as he’d gotten to know her he’d begun to shake off the guilty feelings for having played a game of one upmanship with the old man who’d denied his existence for nearly thirty years and now refused to acknowledge their relationship..

Liz was a girl who looked best in jeans and a cowboy hat, with her thick, light-brown hair put up in a ponytail. Of course she’d looked pretty good last night in the black embroidered skirt and low-cut matching top she’d worn with black cowboy boots, when they’d danced and drunk some beer at The Corral. Today she seemed out of place, all dolled up in her wedding-guest finery. He didn’t much like her turned-under pageboy hairdo or the floppy pink wide-brimmed hat that shadowed her face, and the best thing he could think of doing with her insipid silky pink dress—obviously the pricey product of some designer’s collection—was to rip it off her tall, slender frame. Nope, the high-society look didn’t suit his rancher girlfriend. Not at all.

What turned Jack on the most about Liz was the needy, longing look in her big brown eyes. Jack was eager to cash in on that need and make her focus it on him.

Bye was kissing his bride now. Jack couldn’t help remembering the night when he’d played with the two of them at the Neon Lasso. Discovering their blood relationship had ended the possibility of him and Bye sharing any more pleasurable threesomes—not that Jack thought Bye would have shared Karen again once they’d begun to see each other as more than favorite playmates at the club. The two seemed positively, sickeningly attached at the hip, no longer interested in watching, much less playing with anybody except each other on the rare nights they went out for an evening at her cousin Buck’s Neon Lasso club.

“Look, Jack. Karen is just gorgeous, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bye looking quite so happy.”

Why wouldn’t Bye be over the moon? Jack wondered silently. He’d talked his old man into giving in and doing his part toward ending the century-old feud that had stood in the way of Bye getting the woman he wanted, without jeopardizing his ironclad claim on the Bar C and the billions that went with it. “Yeah, he’s a lucky guy all right. For a while there, nobody had believed Four would actually let his heir have anything to do with Slade Oakley’s daughter.”

“Yes, he surprised everybody. Mom mentioned just this morning that she’d never believed she’d live to see a Caden marry an Oakley. I’m glad for both of them.” Liz wiped a tear from the corner of her eye with a lace-edged hankie that seemed even more incongruous on her than her insipid pink dress.

Jack nodded. Karen was a beauty whether she had on white lace or nothing. Part of Jack wished Liz was the kind of woman strangers turned and stared at when she was at his side, but then he’d figured out years ago that most truly hot women weren’t as submissive as he needed a partner to be—if indeed he was ever to find one who wanted to share his lifestyle that was nothing like Bye’s bored, rich-boy pastime of BDSM play—play Bye had toned down once he found his match in Karen, and Jack imagined would be put into the past as soon as the two settled down to a conventional married life, probably complete with a passel of little Caden heirs..

Bye had a sappy grin on his face as he and Karen moved from the flower-draped, makeshift altar toward the porch, where Jack assumed they’d greet their guests. He didn’t intend to let any woman tie him up in knots, although he could be persuaded to hook up with one if she brought him not only pleasure in the sack but also an easy friendship outside the bedroom. Since he didn’t have the prospect of inheriting a fortune from his old man, a big pot of money would be icing on the cake.

Looking over at Liz, he squelched the guilt that popped up every time he considered her father had left her and her mother the Laughing Wolf, a spread abutting the section of the Bar C where Bye had built his wind farm. Nowhere near the size of Four’s huge holdings, Liz’s legacy still was nothing to sneeze at, for a small-town lawyer with nothing but a modest trust fund to his name—one that would be tied up as long as his mother lived, in order to provide her with the little luxuries she’d come to expect from Four over the years.

He smiled down at Liz, glad he’d found much more than he’d been seeking when he’d singled her out at The Corral. It just might be that she’d fill the bill. “Yeah. Karen and Bye look good together. Shall we make our way over to where they’ve set up for the reception?”

“We probably should. They may not have assigned places at the tables.”

If Karen—or the wedding planner she’d mentioned Four having hired to ease duties originally assigned to the housekeeper—had assigned places to all the guests, Jack figured he and Liz would be seated next to Liz’s mother and whoever she was paired up with, unless his old man had snagged the widowed Mavis Wolfe to be his partner at the head table. Jack herded Liz along the white-carpeted aisle.

“We’ll skip the receiving line if you don’t mind.” Jack had no desire to shake hands with Four and feel his barely concealed dislike.

Liz’s eyes widened. “We can’t do that. I have to say hello to Bye. We went to school together, from kindergarten through high school. And Karen was just a couple of years behind us.”

“All right.” It was a wonder Bye hadn’t latched on to Liz. Jack’s research into the Caden family history had revealed that Bye was the first Caden male to marry any woman who hadn’t brought with her a nice chunk of land adjacent to the Bar C. Of course Karen might eventually contribute a little acreage once her crazy, drunk old man passed on, but that was no sure thing considering the way Slade Oakley hated everybody named Caden.

Wondering how Slade was behaving, Jack glanced over at Karen’s father. The old reprobate seemed docile enough now, but Jack figured the rehab center attendants who’d come with him were keeping him zonked out of his gourd, or else he’d be shooting guns instead of shuffling along meekly between two burly guys wearing institutional-looking gray slacks and navy blazers. A nicely dressed woman—a shrink, probably—tailed them almost closer than was polite.

Forcing a neutral smile, Jack put his hand at the back of Liz’s waist and they took spots behind Slade and his entourage in the long line waiting to shake Bye’s hand and kiss the latest Bar C bride.

▪ ▪ ▪

Seeing Bye look at Karen as though she’d hung the moon made Liz yearn for Jack to look at her that way, but she doubted that would happen. She’d settle for the good companionship and mutual respect she’d found with him.

The hell she would. She wanted him to look at her with passion the way her good friend was gazing down on his bride. Occasionally Liz had thought for a fleeting moment that she saw desire in Jack’s dark eyes, but it hadn’t materialized into anything concrete. Not yet, at least.

She loved the way he held her when they danced, with total self-confidence. He had a way of making her feel possessed, cared for, his touch never tentative yet not overtly sexual either. Jack Duval acted the perfect gentleman—the conservative lawyer whose outer façade she wanted to strip away.

Once it was gone she sensed he’d become a different man—a lover neither conservative nor gentlemanly. She was anxious for that time to come when he’d show her the passion that so far he’d revealed only in occasional hints.

“Let’s go home now,” Jack suggested after they’d eaten and danced a few times— almost the moment after Bye and Karen had sneaked away to the Bar C’s airstrip to fly away on their honeymoon.

Liz didn’t mind. She didn’t know whether it had been the effect of the wedding itself or the equivalent of a bottle or so of French champagne she’d drunk in toast after toast to Bye and Karen, but her skin tingled everywhere Jack had touched her and even where he’d just brushed up against her when they’d danced.

She wanted him, and she wanted him to know it. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t at all sure his feelings for her went beyond mild affection—and possibly a desire to tap into the wealth of the Laughing Wolf, as her ranch foreman had suggested earlier, before Jack had picked her up for the wedding. She wanted him to take care of her in every way—including sexually. She was tired of acting prim and proper, the way her mother expected her to, and she was sick that her social life for the past few years had been confined to sharing a friendly beer or two with the Laughing Wolf’s cowboys after long days herding cattle and riding fences.

Jack’s body heat called out to her, so she answered by scrunching up as close to him as she could get. The center console of his Toyota Camry dug into her hip. So he couldn’t mistake her intentions, she rested her hand dangerously close to his crotch, wishing she had the nerve to come right out and ask to spend the night with him.

Apparently she didn’t need to say the words, because Jack reached over and stroked her inner thigh as he turned toward town instead of heading straight for the Laughing Wolf. “How about us stopping by my place for a nightcap?”

“I’d love to. Mm. That feels good.” Feeling daring, she moved her hand up to his crotch.

When her fingers grazed his sex through the tropical-weight wool of his suit pants, he chuckled. “You’re playing with fire, honey.”

She wanted to get burned, so she found his erection and wrapped her fingers around it. “I’m tired of being good. I can take the heat.”

“You sure? If you want to play with me, you’ll find yourself getting it six ways from Sunday. I’m not one of your vanilla boyfriends who’ll let you lead him around by the nose.” He paused, a thoughtful look on his face that was an eclectic mix of Anglo strength and dark Latino good looks. “If we’re going to play, you’ve got to change the limits. I want everything from a lover, not just the few kisses and hugs you’ve let me have so far. And not just a quick roll between the sheets either.”

Liz wanted it all, even though she wasn’t sure what “all” might entail. “Believe me. I want to be as happy as Karen looked tonight. All the limits are off, for you.”

Jack pulled into the driveway of the small, neat bungalow he’d bought shortly after setting up his practice here in Caden, within easy walking distance of his office and the courthouse. “All of them? Are you sure you know what you’re saying?”

“I know.” She might not know exactly what he meant, but she knew she wanted to break out of the safe, boring life she’d been leading for most of her twenty-eight years.

“What if I take a notion to tie you up and tickle you or spank you until your cute little butt turns red?” The light from his porch was pretty dim, but she saw the gleam in his eyes and noticed the hard set of his jaw.

The idea of some light BDSM play made her insides clench with anticipation. She’d heard about the Neon Lasso, knew the rumors that he played there on more than one occasion. “I trust you, Jack.” When he slid his hand up and cupped her mound, she spread her legs to give him better access.

“Then let’s go inside and play. But we have to talk first. You have to understand what I need from my lover. I’m not an easy sort of guy.”

▪ ▪ ▪

Liz didn’t understand why Jack had sat her down on the black leather sectional sofa that dominated his living room and immediately excused himself to fix snacks she doubted either of them could eat. She was stuffed from the sumptuous four-course meal they’d enjoyed at the wedding reception, and her head was still buzzing. No doubt she’d had too much of the free-flowing Moët champagne while repeatedly toasting Bye and his bride.

Like Jack himself, his living room seemed conventional and scholarly, much like his law office above The Corral. Off-white walls and golden oak floors contrasted with the black sofa and black-and-chrome furniture. The few splashes of blood red on a predominantly black abstract painting on one wall seemed out of character with the rest of the décor. The only other color was in a multicolored afghan draped over a lone, very old-looking straight chair against the wall.

Damn it to hell. She didn’t want Jack to be the dutiful host. She wanted him to take her to his bed and fuck her brains out.

It may have taken her a few dates to figure it out, but she knew now. She wanted the hot young lawyer who supposedly got his rocks off at the club called the Neon Lasso. She’d enjoy him as long as she could, even sensing he might be more than she could expect to hold on to for more than a brief affair.

When she looked in the large mirror on the far wall, she confirmed the likelihood that was true. A woman who wasn’t ugly but was certainly no beauty stared back at her, reinforcing what she’d first realized when she was twelve years old. At five-eight then, she’d towered over everybody in their middle school class except her friend, Bye Caden, who’d already been over six feet tall. Since then she’d stopped growing up, but she’d never really lost her lanky, colt-like body and was still too tall to wear stilettos around ninety percent of the men she knew.

Including Jack. From a distance he’d looked tall as well as hot as hell with his arresting almost black eyes, strong nose and stubborn jaw. She’d first singled him out at The Corral a year or so ago because he wore his nearly jet-black hair in what she thought was called a high-and-tight. Shaved down to nothing but a dark shadow, except for the horseshoe-shaped ring of crisp, slightly darker stubble around the crown of his perfectly shaped skull, his hair was as military-short as that of any Marine she’d ever seen on recruiting posters. She liked the no-nonsense, take-charge look of that haircut, which looked out of place with his conventional suits and ties, and the businesslike black briefcase he often carried. Tell the truth, she’d been itching ever since that day to feel that intriguing, dark stubble against her skin so she could learn if it felt smooth or scratchy.

Jack obviously hadn’t noticed her at all back then. He hadn’t paid her an ounce of attention until a few months ago, when he’d surprisingly come on to her at the local watering hole and barbecue joint that was the only place to get a beer or something to eat in tiny Caden.

When he’d come up and stood beside her at the bar, she’d realized he wasn’t nearly as big as he’d looked from a distance. He stood maybe half an inch below six feet, only the height of a pair of modest heels taller than she was. That hadn’t mattered though. He was still the hottest man she’d ever laid eyes on, and he’d made it clear that when he was with her he’d be the one in charge. She needed a man to take charge in a relationship. Always being the one in charge had gotten old, during the six years she’d been home from college and calling the shots at the Laughing Wolf.

Yes, Liz had known for a long time that in a relationship, she wanted her man to be the one running things. She just hadn’t found the right man yet—unless maybe it was Jack Duval.

She stared down at her pink ballet slippers. They didn’t look the least bit sexy. She’d chosen them instead of the Christian Louboutin sandals her mother had insisted went perfectly with her dress, so she could look up at Jack. Men were supposed to get turned on when they felt strong and protective. Of course they were also supposed to get hot over big boobs and hourglass shapes, and she didn’t have either. The nicest compliment she’d ever been given was that she should have become a runway model, and nobody in her right mind would think those bags of bones were sexy. Liz sighed, crossed and uncrossed her legs and wondered when the hell Jack was coming back in here to let her down.

It was obvious to her that he’d had second thoughts about taking her to bed. Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, she adjusted her pink chiffon skirt. It had looked so flirty on the model in the designer salon at Neiman Marcus when she’d bought it in Dallas last month, but had garnered her not one single compliment today.

 

“How about getting more comfortable? There’s a robe like this one on the hook in the powder room over there.” Jack had changed from his suit into a black silk kimono that reached halfway down muscular thighs dusted with short, black hair. It had red and gold embroidery on the back—a dragon, she thought.

She smiled when she noticed what looked like an impressive erection tenting the thin material. Her mouth watered and she wondered if he was wearing anything at all underneath the kimono. So much for worrying that he’d decided he didn’t want her.

She stood and started toward the door he’d indicated, but then she noticed the tray he’d set on the cocktail table held not conventional snacks but a couple of feathers, four neckties, a handful of wrapped condoms and a miscellaneous collection of bottles in various shapes and colors. One of the bottles caught her eye. It was a full honey bear with a red cap and a grin on its sassy, painted face. “What?”

“They’re flavor enhancers for the main course.” He sounded amused, as though he thought she might not have the vaguest idea what he meant by “main course.” She did, and her insides tingled when she imagined him lapping the honey from her intimate flesh.

Imagining how that honey might taste when she licked it off Jack’s sex, she smiled as she opened the bathroom door and saw the kimono he’d mentioned. “I’ll be right back.”

With trembling fingers, she unzipped her dress and let it drop to the floor. For a few seconds she hesitated, then she took off her bra and panties as well.

She belted the kimono around her waist and looked in the mirror. It barely covered her private parts, let alone anything lower. If she moved at all Jack would get an eyeful of her pubes. Oh well, he’d see them soon enough anyway. And her barely-there breasts. Sighing, she headed out of the bathroom, back to him.

Her fierce desire for him trumped her fear that she wasn’t woman enough to grab him and hold on.

▪ ▪ ▪

“Come here.” Jack patted the spot beside him on the sofa, not sure whether Liz would obey or make a beeline for the front door.

The tentative smile she gave him when she sat down told him better than words that she wasn’t too sure about this. He’d heard that submission could help to overcome inferiority complexes and social phobias, and he hoped that would prove true with Liz. She reminded him of the black-eyed Susan flowers that sprang up along Texas roadsides, sturdy on the surface yet with a stem that bent easily in the wind. He didn’t intend to snap that fragile foundation by going too fast.

He took her hand and laid it on his bare thigh. “What do you know about BDSM play?”

“Not a lot, other than what I’ve read in books.” She paused, as though considering whether to say more. “I’ve heard rumors that you play at the Neon Lasso.”

“One of the pitfalls of rural living, honey. Everybody within a hundred miles in any direction has a pretty good idea about what everyone else is doing. Have you heard I’m a sexual dominant?”

She looked over at him with those expressive dark-brown eyes. “Yes.”

“Do you know what that means?” Cupping her chin, he steadied her for a long, easy kiss. She tasted like champagne and mint and smelled of some light but incredibly erotic designer scent.

When she licked her lips after he broke the kiss, the simple gesture kicked up his arousal almost as much as if she’d bent down and sucked his dick. “I—I think so.”

“I don’t believe you do, but I’m going to tell you. Masters and mistresses—dominants come in both sexes—have a need to be in charge sexually speaking, and integrated with that need is a desire to push a sub’s limits and help the subs discover a sort of pleasure they can’t find as easily outside of that interaction. That’s a textbook definition, but the important part of it is that we’re driven by the need to push our partners to discover the ultimate in sexual pleasure.” He slid his hand higher and played with her soft pubic curls. “It’s been years since I felt a furry pussy. You’d enjoy having me eat you much more if you kept it shaved or waxed.”

“Really? I heard most submissive women shave down there to please their masters.”

He liked that she wasn’t afraid to dispute with him. “That too. You see, BDSM is a power exchange. The extent of the exchange is driven by limits set by the sub. You said you wouldn’t set limits with me, but honey, you’ve got to do it or I’ll eat you alive.”

She met his gaze, then smiled. “Maybe I’ve set too many limits on myself, so far in my life. Maybe I want to explore feelings I’ve only fantasized about.”

Alarms went off in Jack’s brain. “Please tell me you’re not a virgin.”

“Of course I’m not. I’m twenty-eight years old. Why on Earth would you ask me that? Do you think I’m so undesirable nobody has ever wanted me?” She looked and sounded righteously indignant, as if he’d insulted her.

He picked up a feather and rubbed it along the column of her tanned, slender throat. “Of course not. I asked because you said you want to experience things you’ve only fantasized about. If you’ve had sex, you’re not fantasizing about that, now are you?” He put his arms around her and pulled her over onto his lap, letting the feather drift along her thigh. “Do you dream about coming over and over, until you’re so drained you can’t think, just feel? Do you imagine all the different ways your lover might stimulate you sexually?”

She felt like putty in his hands, malleable and as desirable as any partner he’d played with in recent memory. He found he didn’t mind that she wasn’t voluptuous or a raving beauty, or even that she lacked the level of experience he usually demanded from his playmates. She got him hot and that was good. Really good.

When she sighed, her breath felt warm and damp against his chest. “I’ve dreamed about everything you just said.”

“Then let’s play. My job, as your dominant lover, will be to create a setting where we can both explore all your wildest fantasies. First you have to set limits, though. Tell me what you don’t dream about, what acts I might want to commit on your body you absolutely won’t allow, and which ones you don’t think you would like but you might under special conditions.”

She pulled back a little and met his gaze. “I don’t understand what you mean.”

“You’re a delightful little innocent.” He gathered her hair in a fist and tipped her head back. “You said before that you’d let me tie you up and tickle you or spank your backside. Would you give me oral sex and shave your pubes and let me have oral sex with me?”

“I—I think so.” She paused, a small frown knitting her brow. “Yes. Of course I would.”

“How about doing all those things in front of an audience?”

“I don’t know.” She hesitated again, as though considering his question pretty thoroughly. “I guess I would. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to play at the Neon Lasso.”

“If that’s what you want, I’ll take you there soon enough.” Reaching behind her, he found her puckered rear entrance and circled it with a finger. “Tell me, honey, would you let me take you here?”

“No!” She sounded horrified, which didn’t surprise him.

“Even if I told you that was one thing that gives me a lot of pleasure?” He circled the tightly closed bud again. “What if I persuaded you that if I were to come inside you here, it would feel incredibly good to you too?”

She looked doubtful. “Maybe someday.”

“Okay. That’s an example of a soft limit. You won’t do it now, but you might consider it under the right circumstances. What I want you to know is that if you’re sexually aroused, all kinds of stimulation can enhance that arousal, even things you might think of as being painful, such as flogging and serious restraint and sensual deprivation—blindfolding and muffling your hearing.”

“Is there anything that ought to be a hard limit?” She sounded thoughtful—and the friction of her slender thigh against his sex had him eager to be done with the talking and on to the play.

“Anything that’s likely to cause you permanent injury or death. Anything that seems crazy. Most important, anything you absolutely don’t want to do becomes a hard limit. BDSM is consensual. No sane Dom will force a sub to do anything that exceeds his or her limits. I like to believe I’m sane.”

For a long minute she seemed to consider what he’d said. Then, when she met his gaze, her soft, submissive expression made her look truly beautiful in his eyes. “I trust you, Jack. I’d like for you to be my lover. My master.”

“It will be my pleasure. And yours.”

▪ ▪ ▪

Half an hour later, Liz lay on Jack’s queen-sized bed, her legs spread while he sucked and licked honey off her inner thighs, nibbling every now and then on her clit and probing inside her with his tongue.

She stroked the sides and back of his head, fascinated by the softness and warmth beneath her fingers. The shadow of dark hair under his taut skin made it look as though his hair had been closely clipped a little shorter than the almost-black stubble on top, when in fact it was clean-shaven. She loved the smooth feel of his scalp against her fingers and knew then why she’d always thought the Marines on the recruiting posters looked so sexy. She’d fantasized about touching one of them this way, but the reality of exploring Jack was so much hotter.

She wished he’d take off his kimono, but he seemed in no hurry to uncover himself, even when he moved up her naked body and massaged fragrant, strawberry-scented oil into her nipples, pinching them until they hardened and elongated.

“Your nipples are incredibly sensitive. Maybe I’ll have these pierced,” he said, almost as though he was making a mental note. “Feel good?”

The oil heated her flesh practically to burning. It felt different but terribly arousing, especially when he licked it off her nipples and massaged it into her breasts with strong, agile fingers. “Oh yes.”

“Yes, sir.” The gruff reminder came with a hard pinch to first one nipple, then the other.

“Y-yes, sir.” When he lowered his head she noticed a tiny hole in his left earlobe. She’d never seen him wear an earring, but his earlobe had definitely been pierced at one time. “I didn’t know your ear was pierced. Sir.”

“You didn’t notice because I never wear an earring.” He lifted a hand to his ear. “My first BDSM lover gave me one thirteen years ago, when I was just eighteen. I don’t think I’d impress potential clients, much less juries and judges, so I put the hoop away permanently the week before I took the Texas bar.”

He straddled her then and drew her hand beneath his kimono. She cupped his smooth, full scrotum, weighing the firm, twin orbs inside as they shifted against her palm and enjoying the hot sensations that were beginning to course through her body. When she explored further, she realized he had on something hard, warm and metal that bit harshly into the base not only of his scrotum but also of his rigid, fully erect penis. “More jewelry?” she asked.

“It’s a cock ring. Haven’t you ever seen a man wear one before?”

“No. Doesn’t it hurt?”

He shifted enough to untie his kimono and spread the silk apart. “I’m used to it. I’ve worn one so often I like the way it feels. Not only that, it keeps me from shooting off too fast when I’m pleasuring a lover.”

He had a beautiful cock, long and thick with bulging veins and a purplish head that glistened with a pearly drop of lubrication. His scrotum was bright pink, plump and almost heart-shaped. His flesh looked as though it was straining to get free from the ring. She couldn’t help noticing that his entire groin felt as baby-soft as the sides of his head. “Oh!” she exclaimed when she saw his tattoo.

“Like it?”

It was a small, highly detailed, red-and-gold dagger etched into the flesh above his cock. Its point disappeared beneath the cock ring. Liz had never seen a tattoo up close before, and she couldn’t resist tracing it with her forefinger. “It feels just the same as the rest of your skin. I always wondered if a tattoo would feel…different.”

He covered her hand. “So do you like it? Would you like to lick it with your tongue, to make sure it’s really smooth?”

“Yes.” She couldn’t resist bending and sampling that intriguing, colorful tattoo that pointed to his impressive erection, or making a detour and tasting the drop of lubrication that glistened in its tip. “It is. Between this and your head and face, you must spend a lot of time shaving, Master.”

He laughed. “A little. I’m used to it though. I’ve been doing it for over thirteen years, ever since that first lover marked me. Until I started my law practice, I shaved my entire head every day as well. The bald look didn’t go with my professional persona any more than this earring, so I decided to go with the shortest hair I could get away with and still look professional for my job. I have the barber clean up my haircut twice a week now, since it’s hard to clip the top myself. It’s hell, having dark hair that grows as fast as mine.”

“Would you shave me, Master?” As she played with his velvety flesh and traced the dagger tattoo over and over, the idea of him getting rid of her pubic hair had her becoming intensely aroused. Just imagining how his tongue would feel on her highly sensitive flesh made her flush with anticipation.

“You want me to shave your head?” Grinning, he lifted her hair off her neck and used his fingers to mimic the blades of scissors. “Somehow I don’t think that would give you pleasure. Besides, I like having your hair to hold on to when you’re loving me with your mouth.”

“My—down there, sir. I’d like to feel you lick honey off me there.” Her cheeks felt so hot she knew they must be beet-red. “Please.”

He laughed, but the sound was kind, not derisive. “It’s okay to call it your pussy, babe. You’ll have to learn not to be shy about saying it as it is, at least when we’re in bed. I kind of like it that you save the sex talk for me alone.”

“I’m glad. I grew up on a ranch, you know, so I’ve heard plenty of barn language, but Mother cured me of using it by washing my mouth with soap a few too many times. Ivory soap doesn’t taste particularly good, unlike this honey.”

Jack gently tugged the hair on her mound. “I’ll shave you this one time, but we’ll do it in a scene. From now on though, I expect you to keep yourself as smooth as silk and ready for me to play, any time and any place. If you forget, I’ll punish you by taking you to the Neon Lasso. I’ll put you in cuffs and leg restraints and shave you in front of everybody who’s there, and then I’ll pour honey—the real sticky stuff, not the honey-flavored lubricant I’ve got in the honey bear—all over you and let the other members lick it off.”

Alarms went off in Liz’s head, but along with the inevitable discomfort she experienced a weird sort of anticipation. “I won’t forget, sir,” she said, knowing that maybe one day she’d get brave and invite his punishment.

“See that you don’t.” When Jack got up and shed his kimono, she saw the other tattoo, a larger replica of the one above his sex. This one began just above his left elbow and pointed upward almost to his shoulder. “Now you see why I always wear long-sleeved shirts.”

“I like it. It’s like knowing a secret not everybody shares about you.” It was as if Jack had shed his outer skin just for her, revealing a totally different man than the conventional, intellectual attorney she’d known slightly for over a year—practically ever since he’d come to Caden to take over Dan Merriman’s law practice. She wondered but didn’t feel right asking about the lover who’d marked him so long ago, or what the daggers meant. “Soon you’ll know a secret about me too.”

“You don’t plan to let all your friends know you shave your pubes? That’s hardly a worthy secret, honey. I plan to learn lots of secrets about you. Some you don’t even know about yourself. We’ll discover them together.” Bending over the bed, he positioned her and used the neckties she’d noticed on the tray to bind her limbs to each of the four sturdy bedposts. “I’ll be right back.”

The Bastard (Bar C Legacy 2) by Ann Jacobs
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