Secret Section

Size Doesn't Matter: Chapter Two

The light spilling from the party inside highlighted the blush colouring Sophie’s cheeks and the straight white teeth sinking into her plush bottom lip. Her body’s innocent reaction to Jack’s thinly veiled innuendo made his cock twitch, and his need to touch her more thoroughly had him sliding his hand more fully against her generous hip.

Her gaze dipped for a moment and her ample chest heaved as she sucked in a breath, and when her dark brown eyes met his again he saw her hesitation.

“In truth,” she said, sighing softly, “I was supposed to meet someone tonight.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah.” She glanced away as though embarrassed. “But he ditched me for greener pastures.”

My brother is an idiot. “Greener pastures, huh?” Jack grinned, hiding his displeasure at Ethan’s callous stupidity. “That’s funny.”

Sophie’s brow scrunched and a little crease appeared just above her nose, but she sounded more curious than offended when she asked, “How is that funny?”

“Greener pastures,” he repeated, his grin broadening. “It sounds like you’re calling the other woman a cow without actually saying the word.”

Curiosity turned into delight as laughter exploded out of her, a throaty, sultry sound that coiled itself around him, drawing him closer. Or maybe that was him, slipping his free hand over her other hip and tugging her closer, gripping her tighter and sinking his fingers into all that softness and warmth. Pressing their bodies together in all the best places.

“I’ve never thought of it that way before,” she said, smiling and suddenly breathless, “but you’re right. It does kinda sound that way, doesn’t it?” Then her smile faded and she dropped her gaze again, pursed her lips as an odd combination of irritation and resignation clouded her pretty face. “And it was other women. Plural.”

Jack’s jaw clenched at the reminder of his brother’s thoughtless actions. If Ethan had no intention of spending the night with Sophie, why didn’t he just man the fuck up and tell her? Surely that would have been better than brazenly splashing his disregard for her all over social media for everyone to see?

But the look of consternation on Sophie’s face forced Jack to relax, made him want to make her laugh again and forget all about the dumb twat who’d stood her up. “So a herd of cows, then?”

Her expression softened into something resembling relief and one corner of her mouth lifted in a rueful smile. “I guess so.” Then she tilted her head slightly and stared at him, her lovely eyes considering, skating over his features and studying him in a way most people didn’t dare to. Looked at him as if he was more than David Martin’s youngest son, more than the uncompromising businessman he’d been groomed to be. More than Ethan Martin’s grim-faced younger half-brother. “You’re funny,” she said with a decisive nod, as though she’d made up her mind about him.

But Jack laughed at her observation, let loose a deep rumbling chuckle he almost didn’t recognise as his. “That’s not something I’m often accused of.”

She cocked one brow and grinned at him. “No?”

He shook his head. “Afraid not. And for the record,” he said, leaning in to whisper in her ear, “I’ve always found the grass is greener where you water it.”

Pulling back to stare at her, he noticed her breathing had grown heavy, stuttering in and out of her lungs as her gaze dropped to his mouth and back again. As she stared at him with those dark and penetrating eyes. “A wise philosophy,” she murmured.

Taking a chance, Jack angled his mouth over hers and leaned closer, loving how her height matched his, how well they fit against each other, and he wondered not for the first time how she’d feel stretched out beneath him, all of her soft curves and silky skin his to touch and devour. His to brand with his teeth and lips and the sharp sting of his palm. His fingers curled into her hips, eager, wanting. “God, you’re beautiful.”

But his words didn’t have the effect he’d anticipated and Sophie pulled away slightly, her lips pressed together in a thin smile. “Oh, and we were off to such a good start,” she said, her sigh slightly exaggerated.

Jack’s eyes narrowed, his curiosity piqued. “Did I say something wrong?”

She shook her head. “Not really, no.” When he cocked one brow in silent question, she elaborated. ‘It’s just that you’re the twenty-seventh man tonight to tell me I’m beautiful.”

“Oh,” he said, confused by her statement. Confusion wasn’t a state of being Jack enjoyed. He had to know things. “And that’s a bad thing?” He was going to need clarification on that point.

“When you know the only reason they’re saying it is because they think you’re a bobble-headed idiot and flattery is the quickest way to get in your pants, then yes, it’s a very bad thing.”

“I see your point,” Jack said, nodding sagely. “And in that case, I take it back. You’re hideous.” He shuddered and made a gagging noise. “Ugly as sin.”

The look of shock on Sophie’s face was thankfully followed by another burst of laughter, the sound vibrant and wonderful. “I told you you were funny.” Then she inclined her head and grinned at him and his odd compliment. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, matching her smile with one of his own. The unfamiliar action was beginning to feel more natural the more he did it, as though his face had suddenly remembered how to do it and was determined to imprint the action into his muscle memory so he wouldn’t forget again. His cheeks were going to hurt in the morning. “But tell me, do you always keep track of how many men tell you you’re beautiful?”

“Not always.” She lifted one shoulder in a small shrug. “Just when I’m with Anna.”

“Anna Valentine?”

She smiled and nodded, gave him an appraising look as though she was pleasantly surprised that he’d taken the time to learn her friend’s surname. But of course he knew who Anna was. Not just because she was one of Australia’s top models, but because she was Sophie Bennett’s best friend. Which was common knowledge for anyone who didn’t live under a rock and not at all weird or stalkery.

“Yes. We made a competition out of it years ago. Tally up how many times men tell us we’re beautiful, highest score wins.”

“Wins what?”

“Anything we want,” she said, then added with a laugh, “up to a value of ten dollars.”

“And what do buy with your ten dollars?”

Sophie cocked one brow. “You’re assuming I’ve won?”

Jack stepped back and very deliberately slid his gaze from her lovely face and stunning eyes to the tips of her sensible yet fashionable shoes and back again, taking in every inch of her statuesque beauty, every luscious curve of her hourglass figure. Watched every staggered rise and fall of her ample chest as she awaited his answer. “How could you lose?”

The way she suddenly dropped her gaze and sunk her teeth into her bottom lip in a show of bashful pleasure was like catnip to a man like him, the submissive gesture combined with the pale blush staining her cheeks making his cock as hard as a steel pipe. Making him want to pull her even closer and steal her breath with a hard kiss.

But before he could pull her close again, tilt his head and close the tiny distance that would bring his mouth crashing down on hers, a burst of excitement rose up from the party inside and the sound of people chanting, counting down the seconds to midnight filled the air. And ruined the moment.

Sophie turned her head to glance inside the ballroom. “Sounds like it’s time.”

“Yes,” he agreed, then lifted one hand from her hip to stroke his fingertips over her jaw, gently turning her to face him again. “May I kiss you, Sophie?”

Her attention focussed back on him, she smiled, seemingly surprised that he’d bothered to ask, then nodded. “Yes. Please.”

Jack slid his hand from her face to the nape of her neck, pulled her close and angled his mouth over hers. Inside, the revellers cried “Happy New Year” and began singing a drunken rendition of Auld Lang Syne, but when his lips met hers all sound disappeared into the background and there was only her. Only Sophie and the soft mewling she made as she pressed her body closer, slid her hands over his shoulders and wrapped her arms around his neck. Clung to him as he parted her lips and tasted crisp champagne on her tongue.

He had no idea how long they stayed like that—it could have been years for all Jack knew or cared. Time ceased to exist, faded into the ether along with everything that wasn’t her. Her warmth, her softness, the strong yet languid stroke of her silken tongue as it slid against his. These were the things that filled Jack’s world now, that consumed it.

And him.

He wanted—needed—more of her.

He needed all of her.

Not just a single kiss on a balcony on New Year’s Eve. He wanted her in his bed, stretched out under his body as he took his pleasure in her and made her scream. Or maybe she would moan his name instead, her heated breath quiet and soft in his ear as she came. He needed to know.

Jack tightened his grip on her neck, ensured she couldn’t escape him, then slid his other hand from her hip to her luscious arse and squeezed. Forced their bodies closer, pressed his aching cock against her soft belly.

Sophie’s mewling turned to moaning and her tongue lashed against his as their kiss grew more frenzied. Her fingers speared into the hair at his nape, her fingernails scoring his flesh. She tilted her hips and rocked her body against his creating the most erotic friction. It was torture. Sweet, heavenly torture.

But it still wasn’t enough.

Pulling his mouth away from hers, Jack dragged Sophie into the shadowy corner he’d occupied earlier. Away from the lights and the noise of the party, cocooning them in cosy darkness. “More,” he demanded, yanking her back into his arms as he leaned against the brick wall, protected her from the rough surface and thrust his knee between her legs, wedging them apart.

“Jack. Yes, more.”

Their mouths collided in another violent ballet of passionate, blissful indulgence, until the balcony doors flew open and more people spilled from the ballroom, splashing champagne over the decking and singing off key.

The interruption caused Sophie to break the kiss, snapping them both out of their tiny, intimate world full of endless possibility and back into the real world full of, well, reality. But no one said it had to stay that way. The night was young. The year was new.

Endless possibilities.

Wasn’t that what New Year’s was all about?

Jack watched, fascinated as Sophie touch her fingertips to the corners of her mouth, touching up her lipstick. He’d seen his mother do it often enough after his father had stolen a kiss to know that’s what she was doing. Her dress had hitched up a few inches too, the clingy red fabric barely covering that fantastic arse. Leaning down, he straightened the hem, tugged it down to its usual mid-thigh length then smoothed his hands over her hips. Let his gaze roam over her, making sure she looked as gorgeous and as unmolested as she had when she’d come out to the balcony.

When his eyes met hers again she was smiling. And laughing. Her body shaking with barely-there tremors as she reached out to straighten his shirt collar and smooth her hands over his shoulders and down his chest.

“This was fun,” she said, her eyes bright with light reflected from inside the ballroom. Then she lowered her gaze and her smile grew shy. “Thank you.”

She was thanking him. For what? For kissing her? For mauling her like a wild animal who hadn’t gotten laid in months?

For rescuing her from a night of solitude and loneliness?

Because that’s what she’d done for him.

As it was he still found it hard to believe she was even there, in his arms.

Sophie Bennett.

His celebrity crush.

Had willingly and eagerly kissed him.

It was ridiculous. He was a grown man for fuck’s sake. Known for his ruthlessness in the boardroom, and for those who knew him more intimately, his dominance in the bedroom. He’d outgrown crushing on girls a long time ago. And yet here he was, staring at the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on, the urge to say “You’re welcome” heavy on the tip of his tongue.

Gripping her hips tighter, he pulled her close again—close enough to let her feel his still rampant erection—then swallowed down his disbelief and said, “Thank you for what?”

Lifting her face, she pinched her lush bottom lip between her teeth before letting it slip free, gifting him with another one of those coy little smiles. “For the fireworks.”

Jack couldn’t restrain his grin as he stared at Sophie. Her words, simple as they were, made him feel ten feet tall and bulletproof. Invincible.

Bold. “May I walk you back to your room?” he asked, the devil on his shoulder filling him with hope.

Sophie’s eyes widened and one corner of her mouth hitched up, transforming her smile into a lopsided grin, as though she wasn’t sure if she was pleased by his question or not. Jack didn’t often ask questions he didn’t already know the answer to, so the fact Sophie didn’t answer him immediately made his teeth itch.

He hated uncertainty. Especially when it looked like things might not go his way.

But then Sophie wriggled against him and leaned in close. Close enough he could feel the heat of her lips brush over his. “No,” she said, decisively, crushing his new found hope. Then she cupped his cheek in one hand and his aching balls in the other. “But you can take me back to yours.”

mind the gap