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Following the instructions on the map, it took Jessie about an hour to reach her destination. If she hadn’t been watching closely, she would have missed the turn off the main road, as dense as the trees were in the area. Coming around the bend, Jessie got her first glimpse of the vacation house, along with Cam’s Mustang parked in front. If she thought she had been nervous on her way up there, her heart skipped into double time mode now. Maneuvering her car alongside his, she turned off the engine and sat there for a couple of minutes. Resting her chin on her hands while gripping the steering wheel, she took in the view of the large home.
‘Well, you got one of two choices,’ she thought. ‘Either get out of the car and see what he has planned, or turn tail and get the hell outta Dodge.’
Taking a deep breath, Jessie reached over and grabbed her small duffel bag containing clothes and some personal essentials. Gathering what was left of her courage, she got out of the car.
‘Will you quit being such a chicken shit,’ she thought to herself as the gravel shifted beneath her boots, the sound of it seeming unnaturally loud to her. Glancing up at the porch as she stepped onto the first step, her stride faltered as she locked eyes with Cam, who at the moment was leaning casually against the door, watching her approach. She took in the faded blue jeans, dark shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and a look on his face that sent a shiver up her spine.
Ignoring the butterflies in her stomach, she continued climbing the steps until she was face to face with him. Mischief combined with a devil’s smile played across his features as he reached out and took her in his arms.
"Hey there," he said as he gave her a soft kiss.
"I was wondering if you were gonna show up."
"Yeah, well, I was kind of wondering that myself."
She felt the rumble of laughter in Cam’s chest as he tightened his arms around her and hugged her close.
"I’m glad you did." He kissed the top of her head. "Let’s go inside."
Jessie took a look around the main room while Cam put her bag away. It was definitely a warm and inviting space, with a large stone fireplace that dominated the living area, centered on a wall flanked by floor to ceiling windows. The furnishings were a bit on the rustic side, with plenty of stone, wood and leather throughout. The vaulted ceiling accentuated the open floor plan, with a clear view of a spacious kitchen at the opposite end of the room. A number of windows let in plenty of natural light, and with its remote location and towering trees, privacy was a given. In a word, the place was gorgeous.
"Have you eaten?"
Jessie gave him a sheepish grin. "No. I kinda had other things on my mind."
Cam chuckled. With a hand at the small of her back, he guided her over to the dining table. "Well, let’s take care of that right now. Can’t have you going without food…" He caught himself before saying anything else. She was definitely jumpy, and he didn’t want to scare the hell out of her.
Seating her at the table, he went into the kitchen and returned with what looked like a small appetizer platter. "If I remember right, this is that spinach crab stuff you like, and that’s some kind of artichoke something."
Jessie laughed. "You don’t remember what you got?"
He grinned back at her. "Well, I ordered that spinach dip because I know it’s your favorite. The other one was a sample thing they had at the deli. It tasted good, so I asked the lady to add it, too."
While Jessie started sampling the offerings on the platter, Cam went back into the kitchen, and in a couple of trips returned with two small glasses filled with ice, a bottle of Coke and a bottle of Jameson’s Irish whiskey. Noting Jessie’s raised eyebrow, he replied, "I was going to start with a bottle of wine, but I figured given the circumstances, you might prefer something with a little more of a kick to it."
"Planning on getting me drunk, are you?"
"Oh, no ma’am. Lightly lit, maybe, but not drunk."
Jessie tucked one foot underneath the opposite knee, working on putting something on her stomach to offset the alcohol, especially after seeing the healthy shot of whiskey Cam poured into her glass.
"So, you had doubts about coming up here?"
She glanced at him from beneath her eyelashes. "Maybe a little. Do you blame me?"
"Well, I guess I could see where a little trepidation might come into play."
Jessie picked up one of the crackers. "When did you find my paper?"
"While you were recuperating at home. You had gone in to take a nap, and I went to read in the library." Cam waited a moment. "Are you upset with me for reading it?"
"I’m not upset. Embarrassed, yes."
Cam stretched his foot out and hooked it behind her ankle, nudging it slightly. "You have nothing to be embarrassed about."
"Yeah, right." She took a sip from her glass, savoring the smoothness of the whiskey. "Normally I wouldn’t have gotten that…detailed, but the only person who was going to read it was the professor, and she had been giving me hell about my ‘self-imposed limitations’. I wanted an A, and I knew that was the only way I was going to get it."
"Oh, it was definitely worthy of an A." Cam laughed out loud when Jessie threw a cracker at him. "Hey!"
"I don’t suppose you have something similar for me to read, do you?"
"No. But I’m more than willing to share my fantasies with you. The thing is, you already know more than half of them—they’re in your report."
Jessie looked at him as she scooped up some of the spinach dip. "You willing to let me know which ones?"
"Sure. We can start with the one I’ve planned for tonight."
It took her a couple of seconds before she mustered up the courage to ask, "You’re saying this is one of your fantasies?"
Cam was quiet for a moment before he answered. "There’s nothing I enjoy more than making love with you, Jessie. There are times, though, when I like being in control, going in the direction I want to, especially when it’s under the guise of a forced seduction. You have to have a certain amount of skill in order to pull it off. Besides," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "I love to make you moan."
Jessie brought her hand to her forehead, peeking at him from between her fingers. "You’re terrible."
"Yeah, but you love me."
"Well, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. This is…new territory for me."
He tilted his head slightly as he looked at her. "You haven’t acted out a fantasy before?"
"Uh, no," she said emphatically.
"Well, it’s not hard—it just gives you the opportunity to play with different scenarios."
Jessie burst out laughing, and it took Cam a couple of seconds before realizing why. Reaching for her, he pulled her into his lap, half tickling her as he did so, making her laugh more.
"Hey!" she gasped, trying to grab his hands. "You’re the one who said it wasn’t hard! Wouldn’t that make it difficult getting anything accomplished?" She squealed as he zeroed in on her ribs, making her wiggle even more.
"I’ll show you hard," he said, grinning as he tickled her. As she tried to evade his fingers, he pinned her with his arms. Before she had a chance to react he captured her mouth, feeling her still as he slid his tongue between her lips. Cam savored that moment of surprise, the feel of her lips against his, the little shiver that raced through her body as he brushed her tongue with his. He loved the feel of her opening herself to him, the way her body responded to the touch of his hands and mouth. He hadn’t exaggerated when he said tonight was one of his fantasies; just the thought of seducing Jessie was a huge turn on for him.
By the time Cam raised his head, any nervousness Jessie had been feeling was replaced by pure desire. Damn. Looking into those baby blues and with that lazy smile playing across his lips, Jessie was fairly certain Mother Teresa would have laid aside her habit for this.
Cam brushed the tip of his nose against her own. "Better?" he asked huskily.
He kissed her softly before continuing. "There’s just one rule. If for whatever reason you ever feel uncomfortable, or scared, all you have to do is say my last name. Just think of last names as calling a time out."
With that he stood, and Jessie felt a tiny rush of adrenaline as Cam handed her glass to her. Taking her other hand, he led her down the hallway until they reached the first door on the right.
With his hands resting on her waist, he said, "I want you to go in there and take a hot bath, finish your drink, and get nice and relaxed. There’s a package on the counter that has your outfit in it."
That evil grin was back. "Uh huh. You’ll find I pay attention to the little details when we do stuff like this." Bending down, he whispered in a conspiratorial tone, "While I love the way your jeans hug your ass, I don’t think that’s what Lady Jessica would be wearing after being prepared to pleasure the warlord who’s captured her." Seeing her surprised look, Cam grinned. "Oh, believe me darlin’, I studied your books thoroughly."
He took a couple of steps back. "When you’re ready, just come on in," he said, indicating the door at the end of the hallway. He watched as she nodded, nervously biting her lower lip as she did so. "I love you, Jessie." With that, he turned and walked down the hall.
Jessie’s mind was racing as she stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. ‘Okay, just breathe,’ she thought, working on calming her nerves. Spying her bag by the door, she knelt down and unzipped it, pulling out the things she needed. Taking a moment to pin her hair up, she brushed her teeth while waiting for the tub to fill, having adjusted the temp to where it was warm enough to be relaxing. Given the buzz she was getting from the whiskey, she decided to forego her usual hot bath—passing out was not on the agenda for the evening. Stripping off her clothes, Jessie stepped into the water.
As she scooted down in the tub and let the water lap over her, Jessie began to mentally go through the books she had in her library. While some fit in with the fantasies she had written about, she couldn’t recall any one in particular involving a warlord. Where the hell had he gotten that idea from? Taking a sip of her drink, she leaned back and closed her eyes. The more she thought about it, the more she realized that none of her books had that theme. Well, there had been that one book she read a while back, ‘Passion’s Mystery’ by R.K. Harper, but it was Casey’s and she was positive she had given it back to her.
Jessie jerked upright suddenly, causing the water to slosh onto the edge of the tub. She knew Casey hadn’t had anything to do with what Cam was planning, but…no…he wouldn’t have…would he? Thinking back over the past few weeks, she began picking out the times she had seen Cam and Daniel together. Not that it was unusual, but coupled with Daniel’s distracted behavior around the same time...Jessie groaned. If Daniel had given Cam that book, she was in for a hell of a lot more than she had imagined.
Eyeing the package on the counter warily, Jessie drained the tub and grabbed a towel to dry off with. One thing she was certain of—being with Cam was definitely an adventure. She briefly thought of John, and rolled her eyes in response. He had been strictly a missionary position kind of guy, with no imagination beyond that. Something like what she was getting ready to do would have shocked the crap out of him. "Come to think of it, he was a selfish prick," she muttered to herself as she began opening the package.
Jessie wasn’t sure what she had been expecting, but it definitely wasn’t what she found inside. The first thing she pulled out was a long sleeved, white cotton chemise top that was elasticized at the elbow and neckline, with a tiny lace ruffle accenting the top edge. Next was a fawn-colored underbust cincher corset, and a long, full petal skirt with the fawn color on top, and white underneath. The last thing she found was two tortoiseshell hair sticks, and a note—‘To put your hair up; not to be used as a weapon.’ Jesus; what the hell was he planning? Looking closely at the costume, she realized it wasn’t cheaply made. The cotton fabric was one of the softest ones she had ever felt, and the corset was fully lined, double boned, and made from a very supple leather. The skirt was a combination of the soft cotton for the white layers, and lightweight suede for the fawn.
Hmmm. This was definitely…interesting. Slipping the chemise on, she found it was designed to be worn just off the shoulders. Leaving the ties undone in the front let the neckline form a slight V between her breasts. With the elastic in the sleeves hitting just above her elbow, the lower half flared out into a feminine bell shape halfway down her forearm. Jessie put the skirt on next, adjusting the drawstring tie and making sure the layers of the skirt were evenly spread out. Taking the corset in hand, she found it was already laced loosely, so she slid it over her head and down until it came to just beneath her breasts. Turning to where she could see the back, she adjusted the lacings until it was a snug fit.
Whoa. Okay, now she could see why Cam had chosen this. The corset by design was higher in back, and dipped in front. The snug leather caused one to stand naturally straighter, accentuating the swell of the breasts, and while they were demurely covered with the white cotton and lace, the tactile contrast between the leather and the lightweight chemise left her with the feeling of being exposed. The skirt had many panels, which provided more than adequate coverage, but they were only sewn together as far as the bottom curve of her hip, so easy access could be gained with a little exploration. Taking the clip from her hair, she brushed it until it was smooth, then twisted it up and secured it with the sticks, a couple of loose tendrils curling on either side of her face. A quick touch up of her makeup, and she was as ready as she was ever going to be.
Jessie stepped into the hallway. Recalling the description he had printed on the back of the novel, Jessie adjusted her mindset to that scenario. It didn’t take too much effort to envision Cam as a warrior; she had seen that reality firsthand. It was turning time back several hundred years and placing herself at his mercy that put a unique twist on things. Walking down to the bedroom door, she stood for a few seconds, listening, but there wasn’t a sound to be heard. Jessie looked at the knob for a moment before reaching out and opening the door.
Jessie made a mental note to ask Cam exactly who owned the house as she closed the door behind her. Whereas she had expected to step into an ordinary bedroom, instead she found herself entering a suite. She was at a loss for words to describe it, actually. It went beyond rustic. A stone fireplace similar to the one in the main room was present. A large, rough-hewn wooden table was set off to the side, along with a couple of heavy wood chairs on either side. Ornate bronze and copper lanterns provided the light in the room, as the windows were concealed by heavy tapestry drapes. Fur throws were draped across a huge bed in the corner of the room. The floor was covered with an incredibly thick, plush carpet, and her footsteps carried no sound as she walked over to the wall directly in front of her, her attention drawn to the medieval swords and shields on display, as well as other period-centric embellishments. If she wasn’t mistaken, those were authentic. It was a strange feeling; she could almost believe she had stepped back in time. Before she could form the thought of who the hell decorated their bedroom in such a fashion, a movement caught her eye, and she had to make a concentrated effort not to let her mouth fall open. Cam was leaning back in a rather large chair on the far side of the room, watching her. The thought that she was so totally fucked crossed her mind as she took in the dark brown leather trousers that fit him like a second skin, the sleeveless suede tunic that matched the color of her corset, along with dark brown leather gauntlets framing his forearms and the matching shoulder armor. It only took her a few seconds to realize she was in way over her head.
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