Cursing Jack, Morgan tossed the phone onto the seat as she tightened her grip on the steering wheel with both hands. Why the hell wasn’t he answering? Didn’t he know she needed him?
The blinding snow rendered visibility impossible, but she had no choice but to keep pushing on. She had never been to Jack’s lodge in the Colorado Mountains, so she’d stopped for directions when she’d reached Denver.
Once again, she’d let her rashness get her into trouble, but this time she couldn’t get hold of Jack to bail her out. Not heeding the gas station attendant’s warning about a snowstorm heading their way hadn’t done her any good. She had been sure she could get to Jack’s lodge before the weather turned impassable. Shit, was she ever wrong.
Flipping the defroster on high, she slowed to a crawl as she struggled to keep her small BMW on the narrow two-lane road. With no sign of another vehicle since turning off the main highway onto this winding road, an eerie sense of isolation had unease slithering up her spine. Ice-covered trees veiled the rest of the mountain, obscuring her from the world.
According to her instructions, she should only be a few miles from the secluded Bear Creek Lodge. Why the hell he had to live so far off the main thoroughfare was beyond her, and Jack, who told her everything, had refused to divulge anything about his business.
As usual, she hadn’t stopped to think things through. After discovering Joel, her now ex-fiancé, in bed with another woman, and after having a bitter argument with her mother, she had thrown a few things in a bag and left. Her only thought had been to turn to the one person who had ever given a shit about her, and so she’d steered her car toward Colorado and Jack.
Morgan had been just seven years old when she’d first met Jack and he’d spent the summer working the grounds on her parents’ estate. At fifteen, he’d been big, hardworking, and gruff, but he was more tolerant of her wayward antics than her parents, who had continued to ignore her no matter what she did to get their attention. By the end of that summer, Morgan had idolized Jack and vowed to marry him some day. That promise had lasted through the next nine months after she returned to boarding school and it had been reinforced every summer over the next several years when she returned home and spent every available minute by his side.
When Jack turned eighteen, he’d joined the Army and had broken her fragile ten-year-old heart. For four years she hadn’t seen or heard a word from him. Devastated over his desertion, she’d coped with it much the same way as she had her parents’ indifference, by acting out.
With Jack gone, she wasted no time trying to gain her parents’ attention and failing with dismal regularity. By the time she turned fourteen and Jack returned from the Army and a tour in the Middle East, Morgan had been expelled from school five times for everything from smoking and drinking to vandalism, and her grades had gone from straight As to Ds.
When Jack returned, he immediately took up residence in their small guest house to work full time on her parents’ ten-acre estate as everything from head groundskeeper, plumber, and electrician to all-around handyman. Upon hearing of his return from their cook, Agatha, Morgan flew from the house down to the guest house, calling his name.
She’d never forget her first sight of him standing in the open doorway, a small grin on his face, his arms outstretched as he waited for her. Taking a flying leap, she threw herself into his arms as he enfolded her in a bear hug.
“Hello, princess,” he greeted her in his rough voice.
Morgan struggled to swallow past the tight lump lodged in her throat and squeezed her eyes to keep from crying at hearing his nickname for her. “I’ve missed you, you big jerk!”
“And I’ve missed you, brat.” Grasping her arms, he pulled her away from him and looked down at her. “Look at you, all grown up. What happened to the gangly kid with pigtails and skinned knees who I left?”
Morgan was secretly glad he’d noticed the changes in her. Much to her mother’s chagrin, she did not take after her. By the time she reached puberty, she already had a full figure and topped her mother’s petite five foot two by four inches. Not knowing how to respond, she pointed out the changes in Jack. “You’ve changed too, Jack. You’re even bigger! What did you do in the military?”
“Nothing suitable for young, impressionable girls to hear. But I am sorely disappointed in you, princess, if what I hear about you is true.”
She had never been ashamed of herself until that moment. When all she ever wanted was for someone to love her, it seemed all she could do was disappoint them. “You haven’t been back long enough to hear anything,” she had laughed to hide her unease.
“Hired help talks, kiddo. You know that. Kicked out of school, failing grades, and in need of an attitude adjustment, according to several sources. Your mom and dad must be fit to be tied.”
“My parents couldn’t care less about me and you know it, Jack.”
And here she was, she mused, thirteen years later, still running to Jack with her problems and insecurities, still wishing he would quit treating her like a kid sister and see her as a woman instead of that annoying child who followed him everywhere.
For three years, Jack had worked full time for her parents and for three years he had been the one she turned to whenever she needed anything. He never sounded put out with her when she’d call him from school to help her with math, or when she wanted to bitch about the snobs at school she didn’t seem to fit in with. He was the one who taught her to drive the summer she turned sixteen and the one who lectured her when she got so many tickets that her parents’ insurance threatened to drop her. It was his shoulder she cried on when she got stood up for her first date and his arms she sought comfort in when her parents forgot her birthday. Even though he still treated her as a kid sister, she never quit longing for more. Although they went their separate ways when he moved from Chicago to Denver right after her high school graduation and she went off to college, they kept in touch by email and phone. Over the years she kept waiting, hoping he would ask her to come see him, but he never did.
Now, as she continued to slowly maneuver her car through the snow, Morgan glanced at the silent phone again, praying it would ring. Even when she pissed him off or disappointed him in some way, Jack never stayed angry with her and he always promptly returned her calls. She grew warm as she recalled one night shortly after her high school graduation, the one time she had seen him truly angry with her. Her nipples beaded into tight pinpoints, her pussy dampening as she relived that scene.
Morgan didn’t have to sneak into the house even though it was after two a.m. Her parents wouldn’t be waiting up for her, even if they were home. She turned eighteen two months ago and they had informed her she was old enough to be responsible for her actions now. Tossing her purse toward the priceless antique table to the left of the massive double front door entrance of the Tomlinson mansion, she giggled when it missed and landed with a loud clunk on the marbled floor. She would have preferred going home with her best friend Tabitha after Tabitha’s father picked them up at a party of another friend, but he insisted on bringing her home so her parents wouldn’t worry. She would’ve scoffed at that if alcohol and Jack’s return hadn’t put her in such a good mood. Morgan hadn’t seen him since Christmas break and she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep until she did.
Oblivious to the late hour and not thinking he might be asleep, she ran out the back kitchen door, across the green expanse of lawn, and down to the guest house. It wasn’t until she saw the small Volkswagen sitting next to Jack’s truck she considered he might not be alone.
Youth and alcohol gave her the courage to move with quiet stealth up to the window where a bright light shone and she could hear a woman pleading for something. Apparently Jack didn’t care if anyone saw or heard them as the shade was up and the window open to allow the warm summer breeze in. Peeking over the window sill, Morgan drew in a shocked breath at the sight of a naked, attractive blonde draped over Jack’s lap, hands braced on the floor, ass in the air, legs spread and held apart by his large foot.
Morgan gaped, watching him swat her already bright red buttocks, eliciting a gasp from the beet-faced woman. When he moved his hand between her legs and his big finger slid with ease through her drenched folds, her own pussy dampened with need. Unable to pull her gaze away from the erotic sight, she spied on the couple, both awed by the woman’s eager response every time Jack smacked her ass and then fingered her pussy, and jealous over his obvious involvement with this woman.
Jack continued alternating his slaps with fingering her pussy, the woman’s squirming backside and the dampness coating her swollen folds obvious signs the heat and pain from the smacks were a huge turn-on. When the blonde screamed as she orgasmed, Morgan couldn’t help but cup the front of her jeans, rubbing her clit through the material. Picturing herself in the place of the woman, the thought of him treating her to the same pleasure/pain had her untried pussy clenching in need. She must have made some sound, because before she could duck down out of sight, Jack’s dark eyes switched from the wriggling red buttocks over his lap to land on her red face.
“God dammit!” he roared, making her cringe. Knowing it was useless to flee, she stood up and tried to put on a brave face as he came storming out the front door. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Morgan?”
At six foot four and over two hundred pounds, Jack was a big man, but Morgan had never feared him. Still feeling the effects from her heavy drinking, she gave him a cocky smile and sassy reply. “Sheesh, Jack, I didn’t know you were a kinky perv.”
“That is not funny, princess. What’re you doing out here so late?”
Feeling brave even though she had never seen him so angry, Morgan threw her arms around him and then went stock still when she felt his huge erection against her stomach. Looking up into his rigid face, she stated naively, “Jack? I’m eighteen now and…”
“Forget it.” Grasping her arms, he pulled her away from him. “You’ve been drinking and you don’t know what you’re saying. Come on, I’ll take you back up to the house.”
A perverse part of her couldn’t let it go and just had to egg him on. “Are you going to tuck me in?” she needled him, knowing she shouldn’t push him but not caring. She wanted what she wanted, and she wanted Jack.
“Morgan.” The dark warning in his tone told her she’d pushed him too far. He only called her by her name when he was really upset with her.
The memory of that night could still warm her. As angry as he had been, the next day he took her to lunch at her favorite restaurant and spent the afternoon goofing off with her, just like he always did on the first day she returned home from school for the summer. Neither of them had mentioned what happened the previous night, but over the years, they had joked about it often.
Shivering against the icy wind buffeting her small car, Morgan reached over to turn up the heat. Swirling snow made visibility and driving almost impossible now, forcing her to slow even more.
The last time Morgan had seen Jack, he had surprised her by attending her college graduation. Her parents, of course, had been somewhere in Europe and couldn’t be bothered to interrupt their trip to be there for her, but when she’d glimpsed Jack in the front row, a proud smile on his face, she’d walked across that stage giddy with pleasure.
As she continued to drive, Morgan grabbed her phone off the seat and once again tried calling him. Thankfully, she could still get a signal, but he didn’t answer. The snow now fell so heavily she could only inch along and hope she was headed in the right direction.
Just as she glimpsed a cabin amidst the trees and released a sigh of relief, she hit a slick spot. Even though she had barely been creeping along, the car went into a spin and ended up nose down in a snow bank, the passenger side smashed against a tree. Hands shaking, head aching, she began cursing up a storm while trying to back out, but it took just seconds for her to admit she wasn’t going anywhere. With the cabin still in sight, she knew she had no choice but to make her way to it and hope someone could get her the rest of the way to Jack’s lodge.
Thirty minutes later, cold to the bone and soaked to the skin, Morgan arrived at the cabin, her dress slacks, designer boots, and chic jacket no protection against the elements. There were no lights on, and dismay threatening her composure when she tried the door with frozen fingers and found it locked.
Relief warmed her when she spotted a huge log building several yards away, the front entrance lit up, faint strains of music breaking through the continuing onslaught of the storm. Praying it wasn’t further than it appeared, Morgan trudged as fast as the piling, blowing snow would allow. This had to be Jack’s lodge, she thought when she made it to the covered entry and grasped the frigid door handle with numb fingers. Blessed heat greeted her as she practically fell inside. Uncontrollable shivering racked her cold body, making her teeth chatter and her eyes water. Glancing around the roughhewn lobby, she wondered why no one was sitting behind the front desk to greet newcomers.
Approaching the desk, Morgan looked for a bell, but couldn’t find one. Her damp clothes kept her from gaining enough warmth to thaw out and her need to find Jack urged her forward toward the sound of music and voices coming from behind a pair of closed heavy doors. Unfamiliar sounds broke through her befuddled senses as she inched the door open. Pushing her damp hair out of her face, she peered into a large, dimly lit room. As her eyes adjusted to the surroundings, she stood transfixed in stunned awe and excitement at the tableau in front of her.
About thirty people filled the room, some lounging on plush chairs and sofas, and others kneeling at their feet. A small dance floor was off to her right, but it wasn’t the gyrating bodies that held her attention. Instead, her eyes moved to the far end of the cavernous room and landed on a naked woman bound on a cross, a man in tight jeans and tee shirt flicking her beaded nipples with a thin crop. The way the woman thrust her chest out told Morgan she actually wanted to feel that instrument of torture on her sensitive flesh. A few feet from the cross, another naked woman lay tied face down over a padded bench, her cries of ecstasy stating clearly that she was enjoying being fucked by the hefty man behind her.
“Are you okay, sweetie?”
Morgan tried not to gape at the leather-clad woman leading a topless girl by a leash. Like Alice in Wonderland, she wondered if she had just taken a spill into a strange new dimension.
“I’m looking for Jack.” Morgan couldn’t think of anything else to say.
A small smile tilted the other woman’s red lips before she turned and yelled, “Jack! You’ve got a visitor!”
Jack’s brows drew together in a frown as he set the flogger down and switched his attention from the sub chained in front of him to the front of the room where Maggie had called for him. Since his lodge was booked this weekend with a private group of BDSM players and since they’d all arrived, he wasn’t expecting anyone else. Still, the hunched, bedraggled figure standing in the doorway looked a little familiar.
Reaching up, he unclipped Sandy’s arms from the dangling chain and clasped her shaking, sweat-slick naked body. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I need to see to something. Go to the bar and wait for me there.”
“Yes, Master Jack.” Sandy looked up at him with adoring eyes before moving off toward the bar that ran the length of the side wall.
Frustrated at the untimely interruption and wondering why someone would be so foolish as to be out in this storm, he headed toward his uninvited guest. As he neared the doors, however, his frustration quickly turned to surprise followed swiftly by anger.
“Morgan?” Disbelief and irritation colored his tone as he recognized the curly sable hair and topaz eyes staring at him in relief.
“Jack! Thank God.”
As her eyes filled with tears, he reached out and enfolded her shivering, damp form. “Thank you, Maggie. I’ll take care of this. Could you ask Marc to cover for me?”
“Sure, no problem.”
As Maggie led her sub away, Jack ushered his unexpected and unwanted guest back into the lobby, shutting the doors to the playroom behind him. “Morgan, what the hell are you doing here and why are you so wet? You’re going to catch your death.”
“Jack, I’ve been trying to call you all day. Why haven’t you answered or called me back? You always call me back.” Her voice broke on the accusation, her brain still trying to play catch-up with what she’d seen going on in that big room, including finally spotting Jack standing behind a bound, naked woman, a flogger in his hand. That the woman was on the verge of climax had been obvious even from across the room.
“Don’t take that tone with me, princess. We’ve been swamped today with the arrival of this private party as well as the snowstorm. I haven’t had time to check my messages. Come on.” Grabbing her hand, he dragged her to the wide staircase and pulled her up behind him as they moved to the second story. “You need to get out of those wet clothes before we finish this conversation. How’d you get so wet anyway? What’d you do, walk here?”
“As a matter of fact, yes, right after my car ended up wedged against a tree and stuck in the snow.”
Jack stopped abruptly and turned to stare down at her in astonishment and growing anger. “Are you fucking telling me you were out in this storm dressed like that? Did you leave your common sense back in Chicago?”
“Jack Sinclair, don’t you yell at me! I’ve had an awful couple of days and went through hell to get here.”
As always, the sight of her golden eyes filling with tears was enough to cool his temper. The minx has been wrapping him around her finger since she was seven years old and it had taken all of his considerable self-control not to let her know that. “Come on,” he stated gruffly, tugging on her cold hand again. “Let’s get you warm and settled and you can tell me what this latest fiasco of yours is all about.”
Morgan let Jack haul her the rest of the way upstairs, with fatigue, hunger, and chills making it easy to let him take over. Instead of a hallway housing separate rooms, she stepped into a spacious, open loft overlooking the lobby below. A huge fireplace bracketed by floor-to-ceiling bookshelves took up one wall. Arranged in a semicircle facing the fireplace and entertainment center, large cream-colored leather sofas stood out against the dark hardwood floors. The vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows taking up the adjoining wall made the room look even bigger. A long granite-topped eating bar was the only thing dividing the living room from the kitchen. A gourmet chef would drool over the stainless steel appliances, matching dark blue granite counters and copper pots and pans hanging over the island.
“You live up here?” Morgan asked, loving the look of the place.
“Marc and I do. Come on. Let’s get you out of those wet clothes.”
Morgan giggled and couldn’t resist needling him. “I’ve been waiting to hear you say that for years.”
Jack spun around, pinning her against the wall, his dark eyes glaring down at her. “Don’t push me, brat. I’m sorely tempted to give you a spanking. And trust me, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as my date did when you had your nose poked where it didn’t belong.”
Morgan’s heart sped up and her pussy dampened with immediate lust. If he kept tantalizing her with hints of his taste in kinky passions, she wouldn’t need a hot bath to warm her up. All she’d need was him. “Are you sure I wouldn’t enjoy it?”
Jack clenched his jaw, struggling to get himself under control. The damn minx had no idea what she was pushing for and he refused to risk ruining their relationship by giving in to her. Morgan had always been a spoiled little kid acting out to get attention. When her parents, damn their sorry asses, didn’t comply, she had turned her efforts on him. Feeling sorry for the lonely little girl with the haunting topaz eyes, he had taken her under his wing. Having two wonderful, caring, and doting parents, he could never understand why the Tomlinsons refused to show their only child any affection. He would have much preferred growing up in a loving home with little money or amenities to the cold mansion and even colder mother and father Morgan had to endure. All the things their money could buy her weren’t worth her neglectful upbringing. If it hadn’t been for Agatha, the Tomlinsons’ cook, and himself, Morgan wouldn’t have had any loving adult influence.
It wasn’t until five years ago, when he had surprised her by showing up for her college graduation, he realized she was no longer a child, and the feelings that had started to change the summer of her eighteenth birthday from fondness to lust, had not lessened any with separation and time. Given his lifestyle, and not willing to risk hurting her or losing her, he has been keeping her at arm’s length ever since.
Now, looking down into her mischievous face and hearing her tease him, he knew he was in real trouble. Because, like it or not, she would be stuck here for the next few days and he knew the hard-on he was trying to ignore had nothing to do with the light flogging and anticipated fuck he had planned with Sandy.
“Dammit, Morgan, you’ve made me forget my obligations,” he growled, just now remembering ordering Sandy to sit naked at the bar like a good little sub and wait for him to return. “Come on.”
Jack pulled her into his room, but gave her no time to look around as he continued across the plush maroon carpet into the bathroom. “Strip,” he ordered, dropping her hand and turning to start filling the large Jacuzzi bathtub.
“Huh?” All flirting and teasing aside, Morgan knew she couldn’t just drop her sodden clothes in front of him, no matter how badly she wanted to get warm.
Steam billowed up from the faucets as Jack turned and placed his hands on his hips to glare at her. “I said, strip. Now’s not the time for modesty. You’ll be lucky if you don’t wake up with pneumonia tomorrow. I have to check on someone downstairs. Unless you need help, I’ll be back in a minute.” Turning, he stormed out of the bathroom.