Black Jack

Scoundrels, Book 1

Mari Carr

Prologue

Oh yeah, baby doll. Touch yourself just like that. Fuck!”

At his command, the blonde moved her fingers faster against her plump pink clit, her face flushed as she brought herself closer to climax. He stroked his cock harder as the beautiful woman perched on the edge of his desk gave him one hell of show. Then his eyes traveled to the tableau outside the two-way mirror in his office.

Looking down from his bird’s-eye view above the club, he could see the couple fighting onstage. When the actress slapped the leading man, he felt his balls constrict.

“Shit. I’m coming. I’m gonna come,” the blonde cried out, her fingers plunging deeply inside her wet slit.

He doubled his efforts and increased his pace, rubbing his dick faster when she used her free hand to pinch her own turgid nipple. Obviously into pain, the blonde pulled the tight flesh hard, groaning loudly.

He swallowed heavily then let his gaze venture back to the stage. The actor tightened his grip on the actress’s arm as they continued to struggle. The intensity of the dual scenes was too much and his eyes drifted closed of their own accord as his come erupted in long, hard spurts he barely managed to catch in his palm. He kept extra clothes in his office, but he didn’t feel like changing. It was a simple thing to capture the sticky fluid in his hand and wash it away afterward.

The blonde—turned on by his response to her performance—came as well. When her climax subsided, she withdrew her fingers, licking each one clean. She blew him a kiss and then put her shirt back on.

He smiled at her. “Shame they don’t give Oscars for that.”

She laughed. “You always say that. You know you could have a lot more than the peep show if you wanted. Just say the word.” She ran a seductive hand over her breast, drawing his attention to the tight tip of her nipple, now poking through her Sick Puppies concert T-shirt.

He shook his head as he reached for a tissue to clean his hand. “Your shows just about kill me, darlin’. Don’t wanna think about what the whole kit and caboodle would do to me. Don’t think I’m up for it.” He hoped she’d buy his explanation. He’d never touch her sexually, never let her get any closer than the desk across the office from him. He looked back at the stage and felt his sated cock twitch again.

Glancing over his shoulder, she looked at the actors on the stage below. “You really get off on watching, don’t you?”

He shrugged noncommittally, grateful when she let the subject drop.

Rising, she straightened her skirt and fluffed her hair. “Unfortunately, I’m late. She’s gonna kill me.”

“Let me take care of the manager. In fact, why don’t you take the night off?” He picked up two tickets to the latest movie premiere from the table in front of him. They were prime seats and a gift from a movie director who regularly attended the fetish shows in his nightclub, but God knew he’d never use them. Big parties and flashing lights weren’t his thing.

When he handed them to her, she squealed gleefully. “Are you freaking kidding? You’re giving these to me? This is the hottest show in town.”

He nodded. “Find a guy and go have fun.”

The woman hesitated, looking at the stage once more. “What about—”

“Hey. No worries. I own this place, remember? Go out and enjoy yourself.”

She smiled, bending forward to kiss him on the cheek. “You’re the best.”

He accepted her gratitude and her kiss, though he didn’t want either one. “Do me a favor. Go out the back door.”

She nodded and left him alone once more. Rising, he pulled up his pants, refastening them as he watched the actors continue to fight. A grin crossed his face.

His plan was turning out better than he’d thought.

Chapter 1

Let go of me!”

“Take it easy, lass. Come peacefully and no one will be hurt.”

“No one will be hurt because I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Black Jack Carlysle tightened his grip on the young woman’s arm. He wasn’t accustomed to backtalk from any of his subordinates and he sure as hell wasn’t going to listen to it from a mere female.

“I don’t think you fully understand your position here. My men and I have taken over your ship. Now we’re seizing our reward.”

“Stealing is more like it. You haven’t earned anything on our ship. You’re a thief and a heathen and—Ouch! You’re hurting my arm!”

“I may be all you say and more, my dear, but the fact remains, I am the captain of this ship and you are part of the spoils of war.”

The haughty woman slapped him. Hard. “We’ll see about that.”

Jack was shocked momentarily. He heard a sharp gasp behind him and knew his men had witnessed her assault. He’d intended to take her below deck and lock her in the room next to his. He knew who she was. As daughter of the territorial governor, she’d fetch a fair price in ransom.

Her blow and fiery rage ignited his temper and his final destination changed as he pushed her toward the ladder that would take them to his cabin.

“You will pay for that, my lady. In my bedroom.”

His threat pulled her up short and her struggling ceased. “You can’t be serious. Do you know who I am?”

He chuckled mirthlessly. “I think the question that should be asked is, do you know who I am?”

Her gaze narrowed, drawing his attention to light blue eyes surrounded by thick, long black lashes. Her cheeks were flushed a lovely pink due to anger and exertion. Her breathing had accelerated, each hastily inhaled breath thrusting her full breasts forward. She’d fill his hands nicely.

No, Jack thought. It wouldn’t be a hardship bringing this hellion to heel.

“I know exactly who you are, Black Jack. And if you think I’ll quiver at the mere mention of your dreaded name like the rest of the fools on my father’s ship, then I fear you’re destined for disappointment.”

He grinned, pushing her harder than necessary toward the ladder. She stumbled slightly before catching herself. She was provoking him, daring the devil inside to come out to play. She’d struck him in front of his men. At that point, she’d lost the right to be treated with courtesy. Now he needed to make an example of her. Regardless of how much that idea rubbed against the grain.

He liked to consider himself a gentleman—usually beyond kind with the terrified women they’d kidnapped in the past. More than a few times, he’d had to gently convince the captive ladies to return home once their ransoms had been paid.

Clearly that wouldn’t be a problem this time.

She turned to face him once more, but before she could speak, he raised his finger. “Silence, woman!”

He didn’t intend to wage this battle in front of his men. It was high time she realized who she was dealing with.

“How dare you speak to me—”

Jack growled. Bending forward, he put his shoulder to the lady’s middle and lifted until her upper body hung upside down along his back.

“What the—”

“I’ve warned you more than once, my lady. Now you’re going to pay the piper.”

“Awesome,” Emma Potter said, wiggling loose from Jack’s hold. “That was perfect.”

Jack pulled the bandana off his head and stuffed it in the pocket of his jeans. “I feel like an ass.”

Emma laughed. “I owe you a big one for this, Smacker.”

Jack ignored her use of the annoying nickname. After years of friendship, she still persisted in calling him by the silly name. She’d given it to him after they’d gotten more than a bit tipsy at a bar the night Emma turned twenty-one. She’d tripped and spilled her strawberry daiquiri down the front of his shirt. He’d spent the evening smelling like a little girl’s tube of Bonne Bell lip gloss. Emma had teased him the entire night, calling him Lip Smacker. Sadly, fourteen years later, the shortened version of the name still stuck.

“I don’t think there’s a favor big enough in the world to repay me for this.” Jack leaned against the railing of the fake ship, looking out at the empty tables and chairs of the nightclub as he considered the fact they’d soon be filled with clubgoers, all watching his weak attempt at piracy.

“True that,” Emma conceded. “You’re a lifesaver, Jack. Really. I was at my wit’s end this morning. I bet I made at least fifty phone calls.”

“Glad to know I’m so high on your list,” he said sardonically, chuckling.

“Believe me, that call list isn’t one you want to be on top of.”

He looked around and shook his head. “Still find it hard to believe that you plan fetish fantasy shows for a nightclub. I’ve got to admit, when you were making your valedictory speech in high school, this wasn’t exactly where I pictured you ending up.”

“Maybe not, but I bet you knew I’d be organizing awesome parties attended by all the biggest names, right?”

Emma had been the queen of the social scene in high school. Jack thought it had probably surprised more than a few of their peers to discover she had such good grades, given her love of partying. Begrudgingly, he had to admit she was one of the most naturally intelligent people he’d ever met. She had a razor-sharp mind with a quick wit to match. Her photographic memory didn’t hurt either. Quite frankly, it had taken very little work for Emma to maintain her position at the top of their class. Not that it had been a very large class.

They’d both enrolled in USC and moved to Los Angeles from Bumfuck, North Dakota, determined to escape their small town. The third in their small gang of friends, Travis, had come along for the ride as well, mainly because he thought living in L.A. would be a lark. Little did Jack and Emma know their unmotivated, antisocial best friend would find his niche in the City of Angels.

“Yeah, I knew you’d plan awesome parties.” Jack reached up to rub his cheek. “Hey, did you have to slap me so hard?”

She rolled her eyes. “You big baby. It wasn’t that hard. Besides, the sound has to carry through the room to make it authentic.”

Jack crossed his arms. “I hope your actress doesn’t have your right hook or I’m likely to suffer a concussion.”

“Not my fault. If you’ll recall, it was you and Travis who taught me how to fight.”

“You were supposed to use those moves on the frat-boy assholes at college. Not me.”

Emma shrugged. “Looks like I got a bonus from my lessons.”

“Yeah, well, you try to lay another one of those bonuses on my face and I’m gonna return the smack. Only I won’t be aiming at the cheek on your face.”

“Promises, promises.”

Jack tried to ignore the way his cock twitched at her taunt. They weren’t strangers to sexy innuendos, but he’d been friends with her long enough to know they’d never follow through on the teasing.

“Speaking of actresses, where the hell is Jennifer?” Emma glanced at her watch for the twelfth time in an hour. “She’s not usually late.”

“Hey Em!”

Jack and Emma looked up toward the landing that overlooked the stage, where Travis kept his private offices. Jack had teased him more than once about the mafia-style two-way mirror that allowed Travis to watch the show and the audience without being seen.

“What?” Emma yelled.

Jack shook his head and marveled at the fact his friends were running L.A.’s number-one hotspot and not killing each other in the process. The only reason he could surmise for Em and Trav’s somewhat peaceful coexistence was that they had a shared goal. Emma had always been annoyed by Travis’ lack of ambition, while Travis envied Emma’s ability to fit into any social circle. Not that Jack had ever noticed Travis attempting to change his solitary existence. His friend seemed to prefer his safe sanctuary above the club, away from people, taking care of the business end of things from behind his magic mirror. He was more than happy to leave the managing of the club itself to Emma.

“Jen just called. She’s got that same damn stomach virus as Marshall. Looks like you’re out both leads tonight.”

“Fuck!” Emma cursed, turning to kick the mast of the fake ship.

“Hey, take it easy on the props,” Travis hollered. “Took me ages to find a carpenter who could build that thing well enough to please you.”

Emma threw Travis a dirty look, but didn’t reply.

Jack tried to calm the storm—a role he was accustomed to playing with his friends. “So we’ll just find someone else. How about we split that phone list of yours? Start at the top and work our way down. Bet we could knock it out in under an hour.”

She shook her head. “Too late for that now. We’ll never find anyone who can learn the part and get ready in just a few short hours.”

“It’s not like there are scripted lines, Em. Isn’t that what you told me? The woman would just have to fight the kidnapping pirate and allow herself to be ravished onstage in front of a horny audience.” Jack wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and ran his hand along his half-erect, jeans-clad cock. “Hell, you can’t give up now. You promised me a hot captive.”

She snorted. Jack enjoyed the familiar sound. “Christ, Carlysle. It’s not a fucking porno. All you have to do is pretend you’re doing it. Mimic the motions.”

Travis interrupted their conversation. “Doesn’t matter if Jack plays the part or not. Without an actress, we may as well cancel the show.”

Emma scowled. “It’s sold out. Do you know how much money we’d lose?”

Travis rubbed his chin irritably, indicating he knew exactly what they were facing. “Yeah, Em. I think even with my limited math skills, I can work out the equation on that.”

She sighed sadly. “I wasn’t insinuating that—”

“I know,” Travis interjected. His business acumen had taken both Jack and Emma by surprise. The guy was born to run a club—except for the lack of social skills. For that, he had Emma.

“Why don’t you do it?” Jack suggested. The words popped out before he could think better of them. He’d enjoyed practicing his role with Emma and he hadn’t exactly been looking forward to sharing the stage with a stranger.

Travis burst out laughing. “Holy shit. Now I’d pay to see that, and it’s my fucking club.”

Emma scowled at Travis. “Go back into your hole, little worm. Crunch numbers, think up all those grand schemes you’ll make me execute. I’ll deal with tonight’s show.”

Communicating through insults was standard operating procedure for all of them. Travis grinned. “Let me know if you decide to play the damsel in distress. I wanna make sure my video camera’s charged to get the footage.”

“No cameras allowed at Scoundrels,” Emma said.

Travis shrugged. “That’s the beauty of this mirror. You don’t have a clue what I’m doing behind it.”

“Eww. Gross,” Emma called out as Travis headed back into his office and closed the door behind him, leaving them alone once more. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Jack scowled. “Meaning?”

“Meaning there’s no way I’m going to dress up like some damn fool and scream my head off while you have your wicked pirate way with me.”

“I see. But it’s okay for me to make an ass of myself in front of God and everybody.”

Emma sighed. “That’s not what I’m saying. You don’t work here. You may come and have a drink occasionally and take in a show, but you don’t have to see these people day in and day out.”

“So you’re embarrassed about acting in front of the employees? The regulars?” Jack didn’t buy it. Emma had played the lead role in the school’s musical during their senior year. She’d been a natural. In fact, for a while, Jack suspected her decision to move to L.A. had been based on a secret desire to be an actress.

“I’m the manager here. Next to Travis, I’m the boss. I don’t think it would do my reputation any good if I got up onstage and pretended to be a submissive captive.”

Jack struggled not to laugh. “Emma, I really don’t think you have anything to worry about. Regardless of what you do on this stage, I find it hard to believe it will change the way your employees view you. You’re a force to be reckoned with and no one’s in danger of forgetting that.”

“Ha ha. You know, I’m not that hard to work for.”

She was a perfectionist with high standards and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit, both things that Jack respected. She also expected that same level of commitment in others, which he suspected was another reason the club was so successful. Those who could toe Emma’s line were driven, energetic, kindred spirits. Those who couldn’t hack it got out. As a result, Scoundrels had a staff most nightclubs would kill for.

“What’s the real reason you don’t want to do it, Em? I’m not buying this losing face line.”

She sighed. “I’m not sure I can pull off the role. You must admit, submissive isn’t very high on my list of personality traits.”

This time Jack did laugh. Loud and long. “Jesus, Em. It’s not on the list at all.”

She narrowed her eyes in annoyance.

“It’s called acting. You’re familiar with the premise. You managed to play Maria from The Sound of Music. Let’s face it. You aren’t exactly nun material either, but you pulled that off.”

“Fine. You want me to spell it out for you, Mr. Clueless? Then I will. We would have to imitate having sex onstage. You and me. Us,” she said, pointing at him and then herself for effect.

“No shit. Isn’t that sort of the point of the whole little fantasy scenario?”

She rolled her eyes. “You don’t think that would be a little awkward? No, strike that. You don’t think it would be a lot awkward?”

He shook his head. The question didn’t require a moment of thought. “No. I don’t.”

His confident answer took her aback and, if he wasn’t mistaken, seemed to hurt her feelings. “Oh.”

What the fuck was going on inside her head? “We’re friends, Em. We have been forever. I’d feel more comfortable acting out a fantasy onstage with you than with a stranger.”

She nodded, but he got a sense his words weren’t helping much. It was clear she was upset. However, this was Emma Potter. Nothing held her down for long. He watched her shake off whatever was bothering her in an instant. “Right. Well…”

She fell silent for a moment and he remained quiet. Emma was a thinker and nothing he could say or do at this point would change the fact she’d make the decision to participate—or not—on her own.

That didn’t stop him from hoping she’d agree. Even though they’d only played out a small part of the fantasy, he wasn’t going to pretend he didn’t like the idea of dominating Emma…a lot.

“Fine. I’ll do it. It’s a sold-out performance and there are going to be some big-name stars in the crowd. Canceling isn’t really an option I want to consider.”

Her love of the club won out. Jack knew it was foolish to be irritated that she was only participating for work. They were friends. Nothing more. Still…

“Great. Then I think we need to finish the rehearsal.” He was itching to get her beneath him.

She gave him a rueful grin. “You sure you don’t want to improvise? Might come across as fresh and realistic if we aren’t too rehearsed.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You aren’t seriously telling me you let your actors go onstage without running through the act. I know you too well.”

She shrugged, her silence giving her away.

“We’re practicing and that’s all there is to it.”

“Whatever. Let’s get this over with. I have a gazillion things to do before showtime.”

He smiled. “You can’t rush art.”

Emma snorted. “This isn’t art. It’s soft porn.”

“Thought you just said it wasn’t a porno?”

She shrugged. “You know what I mean.”

Jack took Emma by the hand and led her to the ladder. The fake ship was two levels with a narrow balcony that served as the deck. Climbing down the ladder put them on the main stage, which, in this instance, was the pirate captain’s private quarters. There was a large bed positioned sideways at center stage—making it the most important prop and providing the entire audience a perfect view.

Emma and Travis had worked hard on this particular set. Jack remembered stopping by many afternoons to lend his own advice and to watch as the ship was constructed. Typically, each fantasy show at Scoundrels ran for one month. Because it was unscripted, the show was never the same, featuring different actors each weekend for four weeks, who changed up the lines and actions to keep returning audience members entertained. The actors were given the bare-bones synopsis and told to interpret it however they wanted. So far, it seemed to be an award-winning combination, mainly because Emma only hired truly talented actors with strong improvisational abilities.

This was the last week of the pirate fantasy and Jack knew Emma and Travis had spent a small fortune on marketing, as well as saving their best actors for last. Marshall and Jennifer had a huge fan following and their performance nights never failed to sell out.

Jack gestured for Emma to climb down the ladder. He followed her. When they reached the main stage, he looked at the bed and felt the arousal he’d been holding at bay reappear. No point in trying to hide his emerging erection. She was going to feel it when he pressed against her. Not that he’d apologize for it. After all, the whole purpose of the show was to prompt sexual excitement. “Go lie on the bed.”

Emma gave him a strange look. “What the hell for?”

“I think we should practice the phony sex thing.”

“What about the rest of the show? My heroine is supposed to fight tooth and nail. She’s not going to just hop in the bed and say ‘have at it’.”

He laughed. Emma had more in common with the spunky heroine than she realized. They were both headstrong, stubborn women who wouldn’t bend to any man’s will. Jack’s cock thickened even more. Those attributes were hotter than hell.

“I know you’re going to fight. I can handle that part. The tricky part is going to be the simulated sex. We have to make it look real.”

“The lighting helps with that,” Emma said matter-of-factly. “We’ve got it set up so that certain areas of the bed are in shadow at the beginning. Once you start moving, there are a lot of flashing, colored lights that help enhance the scene until the climax.”

Jack grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

She smirked and slapped him on the arm, well aware of the dual meaning of her words. “I mean the climax of the story, you dork.”

“Get on the bed,” he repeated. He was pleased when she obeyed without kicking up a fuss. She really was determined to play this role.

She was wearing a short skirt with a soft cotton T-shirt. Emma was beautiful in a simple, unassuming way. Her clothing was never ostentatious or flamboyant. The best word he could think of to describe her was classic. She had light brown hair with natural blonde highlights thanks to the California sun, big blue eyes and the slightest smattering of freckles on her nose.

Tonight her outfit would consist of a blouse and long skirt. She’d shown him the costumes earlier. He was looking forward to ripping some of that clothing off her.

He felt certain Emma never would have dialed his number if she’d realized exactly how much he wanted to do this. Last month, he and Travis had finally had a heart-to-heart and come clean about their unusual sexual desires. While they’d been best friends forever, the subject of what they liked in the bedroom—and who they’d like in their bed—had never come up. After consuming a bottle of Jim Beam while watching the fetish show from Travis’ lofty tower office, Jack had confessed why he’d sent his latest love interest walking.

While it was little mystery to his friend that he was a serious dominant in the bedroom, there was one aspect of his nature he’d never shared with Travis. If he hadn’t been three sheets to the wind, he never would have revealed his penchant for sex with a twist at all. The truth was he’d harbored the secret desire to perform before an audience for a long time, but not as an actor. While Emma shone in the spotlight back at school, he’d been content to work in the wings. No, his need wasn’t to be yet another wannabe actor roaming Hollywood Boulevard.

Jack liked sex in public. Not all the time, but more than he realized most women were comfortable with.

Growing up, he’d felt like there was something wrong with him. In North Dakota, his desires would have gotten him drawn and quartered at dawn or committed to a mental hospital. However, in a city of sinners, he no longer felt it was wrong to experiment with that particular fetish and he’d indulged more than a few times with women who’d shared his interest—mainly actresses who thrived on attention. The problem was he’d yet to find a woman who could hold his attention outside the bedroom, unless he counted Emma. He’d never seriously pursued her sexually, though they’d flirted for years. There was a part of him that suspected she’d balk at his fetish. Besides, he valued their friendship too much to risk it.

As far as Jack was concerned, performing onstage at Scandals was an acceptable form of sex in public, even if it was simulated. Nearly perfect. Nearly as exciting.

Travis had understood and confided his own twisted fantasy. While Jack longed for the sexual spotlight, Travis liked to watch. He’d built his office and the club simply to fulfill his need for visual stimulation. Unfortunately, Travis hadn’t found anyone to share his peeping Tom pleasures with. Jack worried Travis would never find a companion. God knew he wouldn’t as long as he continued hiding behind the glass.

Travis had given him shit for hiding his feelings for Emma, calling him to task for wasting so much time. Truth was Jack had taken special care to hide his true nature from her. His deception wasn’t based on shame or anything like that. It was simply something he’d never felt comfortable telling her. Emma was as straight as they came, which made her agreement to participate in this show all the more surprising.

Emma climbed onto the bed, sitting in the center of the large mattress. Jack shook his head. “Lay down, Em. On your back.”

She narrowed her eyes and he knew she was irritated at being commanded to do anything. “This is pointless.”

“Not at all.” He walked to the bed and crawled on. He sensed Emma’s surprise when he continued moving, pushing her until she was caged beneath him. Once he had her where he wanted her, he froze, giving himself time to take stock of her response to his close proximity. Her breathing accelerated slightly and he could see the tiny pulse at her neck racing. Her nipples made an appearance, poking against the material of her T-shirt.

“I’ve watched the fetish shows before,” he said. “And you’re right. The lighting and sound effects are deceptive. Always made me wonder how much was real and how much was make-believe.”

She nodded and licked her lips. A nervous reaction? Or an invitation?

Jack decided he didn’t give a shit. He’d waited a lifetime to kiss her. He bent down and placed his lips on hers.

For a split second, Emma remained motionless. Then she responded. Reaching up, she wrapped her arms around his neck, accepting his kisses and his tongue as he invaded her mouth. He lowered until his forearms supported his upper body on the mattress. The switch in position pressed his body closer to hers, her breasts crushed against his chest.

Jack deepened the kiss, unwilling to break the spell. He’d never consciously let himself imagine kissing Emma, knowing he’d want it too bad. Now that his lips were on hers, he kicked himself for being a fool. Suddenly, all the years they’d spent floundering in mere friendship seemed like a huge waste of time.

Her tongue brushed his and he groaned. Lowering his waist, he ground his erection against Emma, letting her feel his arousal, his need.

Her response shook him to his core.

Reaching down, she lifted her skirt so she could raise her legs to wrap them around his waist. He pressed his cock against her panty-covered pussy, the heat he found there undeniable even through the denim of his jeans.

He shifted slightly, humping against her until she was panting. Jack wondered if he could bring her to orgasm with the simple motion and increased his speed. He wanted to see her come more than he wanted his next breath.

A slight shuffling sound from the landing above momentarily caught his attention but Jack blocked it out, not caring if Travis watched. The idea that his friend might be on the landing ramped up his efforts. He lifted his lips from Emma’s and moved away slightly. Her face was flushed, her eyes hungry. She blinked rapidly, confused by his sudden departure.

“I want to watch you come.”

She shook her head, no doubt trying to regain her wits. He refused to let her overanalyze his request.

“I need to know what it looks like.”

He reached down and shoved the thin material of her panties aside. Before Emma could protest, he pushed two fingers into her wet heat. Emma lurched beneath him and he figured out exactly how close she was to climaxing. Her pussy walls contracted around his fingers and, for the first time, he realized he was in danger of blowing too. Christ, he hadn’t come in his pants from simple foreplay since he was a teenager. Right now that reaction seemed like a foregone conclusion.

“God,” Emma cried. “Jack, please.”

He increased the speed and pressure of his thrusting fingers, relishing the tightness of Emma’s sheath. She was trembling as her hips writhed beneath him. She appeared to be oblivious to everything except his fingers in her body, driving her higher, harder.

“Goddamn it, Em. Come, baby. Let me feel your pretty pussy squeeze my fingers. Then think about what it’s going to feel like when I fill you with my hard cock.”

His words were the final nail in the coffin. Emma screamed her release. Jack gritted his teeth against the desire to join her in that bliss, but the idea of spending the rest of the afternoon in sticky jeans held him back—just barely.

As Emma’s climax subsided, he lay still. He hadn’t removed his fingers from her body. He wouldn’t do that—couldn’t. Not yet. He wanted to retain possession of her sweet cunt while they had the conversation that seemed imminent.

After several moments, Emma’s closed eyes began to open slowly. When she saw Jack hovering above her, she winced and shut them once more.

“Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything.”

“Sure it will,” Emma said, her eyes pressed shut. “I can pretend you’re someone else and we didn’t just make the biggest fucking mistake ever.”

“I’d hardly call what happened a mistake.” He wiggled his fingers inside her cunt and she gasped.

“Jesus. Get out of there,” she demanded.

He laughed. “No. I like it. It’s warm.”

Emma’s gaze rose to meet his, though her eyes remained narrowed, piercing him with a laser stare. He was glad to see his indomitable friend return. “We’re supposed to pretend to have sex. Not actually have it. You pull that shit tonight and we’re likely to lose our business license.”

“I know exactly what my role is, Em. You don’t need to worry about that.”

“Apparently I do. Dammit, Jack. What were you thinking? What was I thinking?”

He shrugged. “Sometimes it’s good to be spontaneous. Seems to me you think too fucking much.”

“And you don’t think enough.”

He brushed her clit with his thumb, enjoying her shocked intake of breath. “I think I like watching you come. I think I like the way your body feels under mine and I think I’m going to fuck you until we both pass out tonight after the show.”

She scowled. “Oh yeah? Well, think again.”

She reached down and gripped his wrist in an attempt to pull his fingers from her pussy.

Jack didn’t budge. “Stop trying to move my hand.”

“Then take it out,” she demanded.

He shook his head. “No. Now let go of my wrist and put your hands above your head.”

She wanted to deny him. Every particle of her being was itching to fight him. He could see it in the stiff set of her shoulders and the tenseness in her jaw.

“Do it now, Emma, or I’m going to flip you over onto your stomach and spank your ass until it glows bright red.”

Her face flushed a deeper pink and her breathing stuttered for a second. She recovered quickly from his threat. But not quickly enough…

He’d made a discovery about his friend—one that was shaking him to the core and sending even more blood pulsing to his already throbbing cock.

Emma was a closet submissive.

His powerhouse, take-no-prisoners pal was hiding a sexual skeleton in her own closet.

“You try to spank me and I think you’ll find yourself minus a body part or two by the time I’m finished with you.”

He grinned. “Idle threat. You and I both know it.”

His easygoing reply to her heated response threw her. He hadn’t pretended to be less than his dominant self with Emma. For years she’d seen that side of him, listened to his sex tales and teased him about his caveman antics in the bedroom. However, while she’d heard about it, she’d never been the recipient. Jack had foolishly marked her off the list, claiming the friendship was too important to risk on a roll in the hay. In all honesty, he’d never thought they’d be compatible in the bedroom despite the underlying attraction that had always simmered between them.

He’d been wrong.

Chapter 2

Let go of me, you buffoon,” Emma yelled, beating on the arrogant pirate’s back. Her blows were ineffectual as he stepped onto the top rung of the ladder.

“You may want to hold still,” he said menacingly. Her heart stopped as she looked down at the dark landing some fifteen feet below.

God, please don’t let him drop me, she thought, closing her eyes as the barbaric man descended.

Once they were safely on solid ground again, she began her struggles anew as he carried her to his cabin. “Put me down!”

For a moment, her world went topsy-turvy before she found herself standing on her own two feet, staring into the eyes of the very handsome, completely infuriating pirate captain.

“I demand to be put in the hold with the other captives.” She’d watched the pirate crew round up the sailors on her father’s ship and transport them to the brig. While the quarters would be cramped, at least she would be safe there until her father paid the ransom for her freedom, though the thought of her father handing over his hard-earned money to this scoundrel infuriated her.

“No.” His answer was simple but unsatisfactory.

“I said—”

“I know what you said, princess, but as I told you before, you’re mine. You’ll finish this journey in my cabin. In my bed.”

She scoffed at his response, though his words sent a shard of terror and—God help her—excitement through her body. “And where will you be sleeping? Because hell will freeze over before I share a bed with you!”

He gave her a cocky, smug grin. She raised her hand to slap him again. It had felt good to deliver that blow on deck. She wouldn’t mind an encore.

He caught her wrist before she could land her strike. “I warned you what would happen if you slapped me again.”

She felt dizzy as she recalled his exact words, his plans for retaliation. Before she could respond, he sat on the edge of the bed, dragging her with him. Within seconds, she was facing the floor once more, this time draped across the pirate’s lap. She tried to rise, but Black Jack kept a firm hand on her upper back while he raised her skirt with the other.

“Don’t you dare hit me!” she yelled, pounding her fists against his muscular leg. Her blows, like her demands, were ineffectual and soon she felt a cool breeze on her bare buttocks.

“No drawers,” he murmured.

She’d been a fool to dress the harlot beneath her prim, proper attire, but she couldn’t help it. There was something deliciously scandalous about being bare beneath her dress. She’d felt certain no one would ever discover her naughty secret. Once again, the pirate had uncovered more than she wanted him to see. It seemed he was determined to strip away every defense until she stood naked before him.

She tried to fight, tried to escape his impenetrable grip, but she was helpless in the face of his strength. When the first strike came, it shocked more than hurt. She froze as unfamiliar sensations battered her body—inside and out. With each blow, he increased the power. While it was painful, it wasn’t unbearable, and Emma found herself more fascinated with the different kind of ache making its presence known. An unusual flutter began at the bottom of her belly and she squirmed, trying to calm it. When his next blow fell, she actually rose up to meet it, inviting more of the forbidden deliciousness.

“Are you married?” The pirate’s words broke the silence.

“No.”

“Are you a virgin?”

She jerked slightly. “That’s none of your business!”

“Maybe not. But if you are, you won’t be for much longer.”

His words, spoken so matter-of-factly, should have infuriated her. She should be pummeling him, fighting him with everything she had. Instead, she was distracted by the twinge of need between her legs. It was an alien feeling, yet she couldn’t resist squeezing her legs together in an attempt to prolong it, to assuage it.

“Don’t.” Black Jack’s voice was deep, commanding, and it spoke to a side of her she didn’t know existed. “That’s my cunt for tonight. I’ll attend to it.”

His hand left her sore bum, pushing her thighs apart. She should be mortified to be so revealed, but all she could feel was relief.

Relief?

This was wrong. So, so wrong.

Emma looked out at the audience, every eye in the place focused on the stage. On her…and Jack. She trembled when she felt Jack’s fingers lightly graze the opening to her body. She tried to move toward the touch, to force them inside, but his hand pulled away, smoothing her skirt back over her ass.

He’d spanked her. Onstage. In front of God and everyone. And she’d loved it so much, she’d forgotten where the fuck she was and what she was doing. She pushed herself upright, relieved when she met with no resistance. One quick look at her friend’s cautious face told her Jack was giving her a second to catch her bearings. She needed to get a grip.

She rose slowly, proud to find her legs steady considering she felt like a Chihuahua on the inside, shaking uncontrollably. Jack had been turning her world on its ear all day and from the intense look on his face, she still had a long way to go before she could seek solace in her solitary bed. She’d been a bit hurt by his easy acquiescence in playing this role with her. While the idea of pretending to have sex bothered her—given she wished it was real—Jack’s feelings didn’t seem to be involved.

“Finished fighting? What’s going to happen tonight is inevitable.”

His voice was perfectly menacing. He was born to play the role of an arrogant pirate captain. No doubt it came from the fact he was accustomed to being the boss—running his security business with an iron fist and making his company’s services some of the most highly sought after in L.A.

However, if he meant his words to be a threat, they missed the mark. Her temper was triggered and she quirked a brow at him. She might be confused and out of her league at the moment, but she’d be damned if she’d let her cocky friend continue to hold the upper hand.

She stiffened her back and resumed her role.

“The only inevitability is the noose that’s going to mark the end of your wicked life.”

As soon as she finished speaking, she turned quickly and darted for the ladder. She knew she wouldn’t escape Jack. He’d always been the fastest runner in school. Freedom wasn’t her goal. All she wanted to do was make him work for the privilege of looking like he’d defeated her. The script called for the pirate to capture and ravish the heroine—that was a foregone conclusion. That didn’t mean she couldn’t inflict a bit of pain along the way as well. Her ass was on fire. Jack would pay for that.

She’d just reached for the ladder when strong hands engulfed her waist. She twisted, catching Jack off guard, and shoved him with all her might. His grip slipped and he stumbled back a few steps as she sprinted back toward center stage.

The audience appreciated her efforts and cheers of “run” and “fight” filled the room. She’d expected to be nervous performing such a provocative act in front of a crowd. Instead, their rapt attention drove her to loftier heights. Their energy and enthusiasm fed her exhilaration…and her arousal.

She’d never wanted to star in one of the fetish fantasies. Never considered the idea the least bit appealing, regardless of the fact she had a list as long as the phone book of unemployed actors chomping at the bit for the opportunity to participate. Some of them actually begged her for the chance on a regular basis. Now she understood. She was experiencing a rush like none other—and all of it seemed to be manifesting at the junction of her thighs.

Jack tackled her from behind and she fell face-forward onto the soft bed. She wriggled furiously beneath him, trying to fight her way loose. Teen years spent playfully wrestling with Jack should have told her to quit while she was ahead. Using his weight, he kept her pinned to the mattress and she twisted her head, trying to find air. All she’d managed to do with her lame attempts at retaliation was bury herself in the voluminous duvet.

“Stop,”

Jack demanded when she continued to squirm. Her efforts were becoming sloppy, tired.

Gasping for breath, she shook her head furiously.

“Never.”

Jack’s fingers tangled in her hair, gripping it tightly and pulling her head back. The slight pain caught her by surprise and she groaned as another bolt of arousal raced toward her pussy.

“Hold still.”

She ceased struggling as she tried to assimilate what was happening to her. She was more turned-on than she’d ever been in her life. Her body was on fire and she felt lightheaded from sheer horniness. Worst of all was the recognition Jack had done nothing more than spank her and pull her hair.

Shit. She’d worked in the fetish business for too long. A happily vanilla girl, she wondered when her tastes had changed so drastically.

Jack’s weight lifted slightly and he flipped her onto her back with very little effort. She was spent—physically and emotionally.

He straddled her hips as they lay in the center of the bed. The lighting dimmed and she knew they’d reached the moment of truth. Her libido was at critical mass and she suspected even pretending to have sex with Jack would probably be enough to push her over the edge. She wouldn’t be the first actress to have an orgasm during the fantasy show. She’d had several women confide to her in the past that their responses to the fake sex had been genuine.

Jack’s fingers lightly brushed her chin and then she heard a ripping sound. He’d torn her blouse apart, baring her lacy bra. The audience was suddenly silent and Emma imagined all the couples moving their chairs closer together, cuddling, touching, arousing each other under the tables as she and Jack performed for them. It was a heady experience—knowing she could command the sexual appetites of so many people.

She glanced up toward Travis’ office. Was he up there watching his two friends pretending to have sex?

She reconsidered her question. No. This wasn’t a pretense. What she and Jack were doing felt far too real.

Jack bent forward, sucking her lace-covered nipple into his mouth. She moaned. The sound carried in the too-quiet room and she heard a few soft murmurs of approval. It brought her to her senses and she put her hands on Jack’s shoulders, intent on pushing him away. She’d vowed to make him pay, but his lips felt like heaven.

Dammit. She needed to get a grip. Get the hell away from here. She shoved against him. Jack raised his head and narrowed his eyes.

“Put your hands beside your head on the pillow. I want you in a position of surrender when I take you.”

His words inflamed her anger…and her body. She hated arrogant, demanding men. Always had. So why was she crumbling like a cookie in Jack’s hand with each darkly spoken command?

She shook her head, unable to speak.

“Do it now, Emma.”

Swallowing heavily, she refused him again. Their roles and the audience disappeared. It was just her and Jack in the bed and she had to fight this, fight him before she completely lost the woman she’d always believed herself to be.

He stared at her intently for a few seconds more. His face told her exactly what she needed to know and her worst fears were realized.

This wasn’t a game for him either.

“So be it.”

He captured her wrists and before she realized his intentions, he tied them to the bindings secured at the center of the headboard. She’d forgotten about them, despite the fact she’d signed the purchase order to have them installed.

She struggled against the straps, but Jack knew his business. She was securely tied and at his mercy.

He reached for the hem of her skirt and the lighting dimmed more. A small spotlight came on, directed at her face. The heat it produced added to the rising temperature on the stage. Jack’s upper body was cast in the soft lighting as well, drawing her attention to how truly handsome he was. His dark hair, skin and eyes were indicative of the trace of Sioux heritage in his family.

His hand drifted beneath her skirt and she knew what was coming. She’d fallen apart under his talented hands this afternoon, but surely he wouldn’t touch her again, not now. She’d warned him. Told him he couldn’t let it go so far.

Jack bent forward and took her breast into his mouth once more. The spotlight followed his descent, leaving their lower bodies in shadow. Slowly moving the hand farthest from the audience, Jack’s fingers delved higher beneath her skirt until they grazed her clit. She sucked in a harsh breath, the spectators no doubt thinking her response was driven by Jack’s wicked lips at her breast.

“Please,” she whispered, certain only Jack could hear her plea. He raised his head for a moment and gave her a crooked grin.

She couldn’t help it. She returned it. She wasn’t sure what the hell was going on between them today, but his smile reassured her. They were friends. Nothing would change that.

Jack resumed his place at her breast as he moved her legs apart with his. The long skirt was hiked to her knees, the material and dim lighting shielding her private parts from the audience. While the spotlight continued to highlight Jack’s mouth, teasing and tormenting her budding nipples, his fingers stealthily attacked the part of her that needed him most. She was dripping wet and aching.

One touch had her squirming and silently begging for more.

Jack continued to distract the clubgoers—and her—with his lips as his hand left her pussy. She felt him reaching for something under the covers. She tried to focus on what he was up to, but he bit her nipple and she squealed. The audience cheered.

When Jack’s hand reappeared beneath her skirt, she knew she was in trouble. Biting her other nipple, he slowly pressed a dildo inside her.

“God!” she cried.

She could almost sense the spectators leaning forward, anticipating what would come next. They didn’t have a clue just how close she was to coming for real. Once the dildo was lodged to the hilt, Jack, the pirate captain, sat up and looked at her.

She was panting, sweat dripping down her brow. No one knew about the toy he’d just lodged inside her dripping cunt and she had a pretty good idea he intended to milk it for all it was worth.

Strike that. He was going to milk her for all she was worth.

He pretended to unlace his pants as he spoke.

“I’m going to stake my claim now, Emma. Going to bury myself so deep inside you, you’ll never be able to wash me away.”

She knew she was supposed to beg, cry, plead for mercy, but she couldn’t find the words.

Instead, she said,

“Do it!”

The crowd erupted into applause as Jack pressed his covered erection against her. The motion thrust the dildo deeper inside her and she cried out loudly.

“That takes care of the virginity part,”

Jack said, owning his character, playing him to perfection. Emma could almost imagine the women in the audience swooning at the thought of being ravished by the handsome pirate.

As Jack mimicked the act of fucking her, the lighting changed to red, then blue, then green—flashing slowly at first before changing more rapidly. Jack timed his motions to imitate the speed set by the lighting effects, but Emma was too spellbound by the sensations pounding her body to appreciate his efforts. Regardless of the fact he wasn’t inside her, Jack was taking her, claiming her. Each press of his cock against her clit thrust the dildo against her G-spot, sending her spiraling further out of control.

She was bound to a bed in front of a hundred people, yet the only thing in the world that mattered was Jack.

She screamed as she came, his name on her lips. Even as he untied her and the house lights slowly rose, the audience on their feet cheering loudly, all she could see, all she could say, was…

“Jack.”

~

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