Home > Scandalous 2 (Scandalous #2)(14)

Scandalous 2 (Scandalous #2)(14)
Author: H.M. Ward

"Say the name, Abby. Who else saw you nak*d?" When she doesn't answer, he tickles and spins faster.

Her hair is a streak of red, and her laughter fills the air. "Ahhh! I'm going to pee! Jack, stop!"

Breathless he looks down at the woman in his arms. Her face is bright red and she's still laughing. "Are you going to fork over that name now?"

"Are you planning on telling me every girl you saw nak*d?" she asks coyly.

"That wasn't an answer, Mrs. Gray." Jack takes off running, with Abby in his arms. He pushes through the back doors and runs toward the water.

"What are you doing? Ahhh!" Abby screams, clinging to him as Jack bounces down the beach toward the surf.

"Tossing you in," he replies, laughing.

"Let me go!" Abby digs her nails into his neck, like she intends to hold on. She kicks her feet wilding, but Jack just laughs more.

"Do it harder, baby. That just turns me on."

She laughs just as they reach the water. The cold wet sand clings to Jack's feet. It's cooler today than it has been. Breathing hard, Jack asks one last time. "A name please. Give me the name of the other man who has seen my sweet bride nak*d." Sucking in air, he looks down at her in his arms.

"You think there's just one?" She giggles with that sexy smirk on her face. "I can make you a list."

"You are so going in." Jack wants to drop her on the sand and make love to her until she screams his name. Instead, he steps into the water, wading in past the shallows and gets ready to throw her. "'I can make you a list,'" he mocks.

Jack swings her once. "Don't you dare," Abby warns, still thinking he won't do it. Then Jack swings her twice. "Jack," she says, her voice cracking this time. On the third swing, the time he intends to toss her, Abby cries out, "It was Jonathan Gray! He's this really sexy artist. I slept with him, Jack." She laughs hysterically. "He was the best I ever had."

"Good to know, but you're still going in."

"What?" she shrieks as Jack tosses her. Abby tries to cling to Jack, but he's too strong. She lifts from his arms and hits a wave. When she comes up, she's sputtering water and dripping like a wet dog.

"You are so going to pay for that!" She rushes toward Jack and jumps on him. Jack gets knocked off-balance and they both fall into the water.

When Jack comes up, they're both soaking wet. He reaches for Abby, and pulls her against his chest. She jumps on him, wrapping her legs around his waist, and takes his face between her hands and presses her mouth to his. Every fantasy Jack ever had about this girl comes rushing back; the way he used to think about her swimming with him, wrapping her body around his in the water, feeling her bare skin on the hot beach. Jack's body responds to the kiss, to Abby. The cold water isn't enough to stop it. Nothing could ever stop how he feels about her.

Breathing hard, Jack looks into her face, "You'll be my model, really?"

Abby nods. "I like being your muse, Jack." Her hair drips down her back and into her face.

Jack asks, "How did I get so lucky?"

"Oh, you're about to get very lucky, Mr. Gray." She winks at Jack with a killer smile.

Chapter 23-24

Chapter 23


When Jack asked me to be his model, I wanted to say yes, but I felt shy about other people seeing it. From the look on his face, I knew how much it meant to him. There's something about the way Jack works that makes it too appealing to resist. Last time I was his model, it tempted me beyond comprehension. While other models were all lines and curves, shadow and light - I wasn't.

I walk over to Jack and look into the large tubs of paint. "That is a lot of paint. Why do you need so much?"

He grins at me. "Because I have no idea how to do what I see in my mind. It has texture this time. I'm not sure if I want to use the paint or plaster to build up the texture." His glittering blue eyes return to the vat. He pours in more blue and mixes it by hand with a yardstick. The blue swirls in and disappears into the rich violet.

"Won't plaster crack?"

Jack looks up at me. "Probably, but I..." Jack's voice trails off as he gets a far-off look in his eyes. At the same time his mouth opens and I know he sees it. Jack grabs my hands and squeezes. "I know what I'm going to do. Go change."

"What? Now?" I squeak. Gus is still around. So is the new office girl. He's been showing her around. Linda didn't want to come back after everything that happened last year. She said she was way too old for that kind of drama, and I couldn't blame her.

"Yes." Jack laughed. "I'll shut the doors, Little Miss Prude."

"I am not a prude. I just don't want everyone watching, that's all. It's different." I stand there, stubbornly expressing that I'm right. My arms fold across my chest and I throw out my hip. Apparently I'm pouting a little bit, too, because when Jack walks over to me, I expect him to say something, but he doesn't. He just waltzes right up to me and nips my lip. I gasp and step back, startled.

"Prude's the right word. It's okay, Abby. I know you have a dirty streak when the time is right. It's like I married a sexy librarian." Jack grins at me and turns back to the paint. He lifts a container of white and mixes it in.

I want to huff more. My...I don't know what...is wounded. I don't really know how to react to being called not sexy and sexy in the same sentence. I finally say, "I don't get it."

"Get what?" Jack turns and looks at me. There's a playful look in his eye. I swallow hard, thinking that I'm going to regret this.

"The whole sexy thing."

He laughs so hard that I have to look away. Jack realizes his mistake and rushes at me. He grabs my arms and turns me toward him. "I'm sorry. I didn't expect that question, at all. It's the kind of thing kids ask, the kind of insecurity high school girls have." My eyes drift from his and I shrug, feeling stupid. He takes my chin and forces me to meet his gaze. "You are sexy in a completely understated way, which is the best way. You're beautiful, you're confident, you know who you are. Add in that sense of humor and your bedroom brain and, oh my God, I couldn't have dreamed up a sexier woman."

My heart flutters as he says it. I must have a funny look on my face, like I don't believe him, because he doesn't stop. "This curve here," he says, dropping his hand down to my waist and sliding it over my hip, cupping my butt, "this one is my favorite. It's full and soft. And this one right here," he continues, taking his finger and running it over my shoulder and down my chest. He presses lighting as he passes over my breast, grazing the tip of my nipple and continuing down to my waist. "This one is completely sinful. When you were wearing that red thing and the jewelry," Jack lets out a jagged breath, "I couldn't take my eyes off of you. I love this part." He sweeps his fingers under my br**sts, making my body react. Butterflies erupt inside of me. "Just talking about you like this makes me want to strip you and show you how sexy you are." He watches me for a moment and smiles. He takes a stray curl and tucks it behind my ear. "You have no idea what you do to me, how incredibly breathtaking you are." His eyes search mine. After a moment, he adds, "That's what makes you so undeniably sexy. And you're all mine."

"Jack," I say, and bury my face in his shoulder as he hugs me. A million thoughts rush through my mind. He really thinks I'm beautiful.

Jack pulls away and asks, "What about me? I've heard the ladies say that I have a nice ass." He turns and looks at it, which makes me giggle. "I don't really see what all the fuss is about."

I wrap my arms around his neck and look up into his face. Stubble lines his jaw, like always. Jack has this pristine messy look about him, like he was made for sex. His hair is always just a little messy, his sneakers are always covered in paint, and all the muscles in his chest and arms are so well defined that I want to lick them.

"You know how hot you are," I tease.

"Do I?" he asks, winking at me.

"Yes. Jack Gray has always turned heads. The entire time I've known you, it's been like that. It was Jack and his lackluster sidekick, Abby. I felt like a ragdoll next to you."

"You feel like a goddess under me." Jack grins wickedly at me and winks. The pit of my stomach falls as a broad smile stretches across my face. He turns me away from him and smacks my butt with his hand. "Go change, Mrs. Gray."

"What should I wear?"

"Nothing at all."

I walk away from Jack feeling happy. I hear Gus and the new girl enter the room. They speak with Jack as I change in the bathroom in the back. When they leave, I walk out in a robe. The back blinds are open. I pad to the back of the room and close them, making it darker, and flip on more lights.

Jack walks up behind me and tugs my robe. "This is totally in the way." He starts to untie the belt and push the shoulders back, but I hold onto it. Jack dips his head and presses his lips to my neck.

"Jack, what if they come back?" I ask, glancing at the door.

"I told them not to bother us. And I told Gus that if he comes back for any reason what so ever, that I'll punch him in the face and ask questions later. No one will bother us." Jack slips his fingers under the robe and it slips off and puddles around my ankles. "I'd like to tell you what I'm going to do."

I nod, feeling very nak*d. He takes my hand and leads me towards several large canvases rolled out on the floor. Pointing, he says, "I want to do what I usually do and make a stamp on that one. It'll be the backup in case what I want to do doesn't work. Then on this one, I want to make the real one." He's breathing hard as he looks me in the eye. "I want to paint a painting on you, then paint you onto the canvas, shoot it, and make a composite. The finished product will be part painting, part photograph."

I tense. "Jack, I thought - "

He cuts me off. "I know, but this way works so much better and it keeps you from having to pose over and over again. I knew I wanted to paint something on you, I just didn't know what I wanted to do or how I was going to pull it together." He smiles softly at me, pushing back my hair from my shoulder and says, "I see the worry in your eyes. Remember, this can be for us. We don't have to sell it. Do this for me, and then I'll let you decide what we do with it."

I nod. Nerves render me silent. The idea of a nak*d photograph of me freaks me out. Those images Jack took of me before we were married flash through my mind. Since I have no idea what he plans to paint, I just have to trust him. Jack pulls out a stool and I sit down. He starts to paint me with a translucent white hue. It makes my skin look like snow. Every inch of me is painted with that layer first. As Jack runs the brush over my body, I try to ignore how sensual this feels, but I can't. When Jack finishes the base coat, he looks at me and smiles.

"It is so hard to stand here with you and not throw you to the floor and have my way with you. Talk about something while I work. Tell me a secret that nobody knows." Jack goes back to his paints, this time sloshing huge amounts of violet, blue, and white across my hips. The paint is so cold, but I don't move. His question sent a memory surging forward.

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