Jill Lincoln has the hots for her stern, hunk of a boss, Jarrod Baine. With his piercing steel-gray-blue eyes, hair as black as coal, and a body to be enjoyed, she wonders what it would be like to be his woman. But she’s only one of many who would give her eye teeth to be in his bed.
The day Jarrod rescues her from a would-be assault by a young mail clerk; she finds that he is as attracted to her as she is to him. As the two begin a relationship, it becomes very apparent to Jarrod that Jill is a nervous, high-strung lady and he searches for the best way to ease her tensions. Together they begin to form a strong bond as they experiment with discipline.
As the couple realizes their feelings run much deeper than an office affair, Jarrod asks her to be his wife. As they enter into a hot, passionate marriage, complete with the discipline, by mutual consent, a deeper emotional bond is formed that continues to grow much stronger over time.
But when Jill suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage and Jarrod is not by her side, she retreats into a deep, dark depression, turning away from the one man who can save her.
Will their bond be severed forever?
On Saturday morning, Jarrod kept his word and phoned Jill to tell her he would pick her up at .
She flew around her apartment, straightening, fluffing pillows, and making sure everything was in place. Then she treated herself to a long soak in a cherry-blossom scented bubble bath before getting dressed for their date. She chose a green floral sundress and a pair of sandals. It was spring in
Tennessee and the weather had turned warm.
After her makeup and hair were near perfect, she sat on the couch waiting for
him to arrive.
At eleven-forty-five, her doorbell rang, she sprang from the couch and let him in.
“I’m early, I know, these are for you,” he said as he entered the room and handed her a bouquet of flowers.
“Flowers?” she asked, “Thank you.”
“Have you eaten?”
“No, I had a late breakfast,” she replied.
“Good, there’s a nice little Italian restaurant in the winery. I thought we could have lunch there before we do our wine tasting.”
“Oh, that sounds fantastic. I love Italian food.”
He grinned. “Are you ready to go?”
As he drove to the winery, she said, “I thought it would seem odd to be out with you, but it doesn’t. The other night at dinner was the only time we’ve been together outside the office.”
“It feels perfectly natural to me, Jill,” he replied as he cast a sideways glance in her direction.
She smiled and asked him about the music playing in his CD player.
When they reached the winery, he walked around and opened her car door, helped her out, and took her hand as they walked inside.
They sat at a corner table and as Jill looked around, she said, “This is nice. I like the atmosphere.”
“Romantic?” he teased.
She blushed and took a sip of her water.
“So after we finish touring the winery, what would you like to do?” he asked.
“You mean there’s more?” she asked with a smile.
“If you’d like; we can extend this afternoon date into an evening date. Do you dance?”
“I love it,” she replied.
As his hand reached across the table to caress hers gently, she shivered. As her gaze met his, she saw amusement in his eyes.
“Are you cold, sweetheart?” he asked with a sexy grin.
“Uh… no…” she stammered.
Their lunch arrived and the moment passed. As they made pleasant small talk and enjoyed their food, Jill found herself becoming aroused. The sound of his voice, the look in his eyes, and the touch of his hand made her nipples harden and heat to flow through her veins. She caught him watching her and she was sure he’d looked down at her breasts. She shivered again.
“Are you sure you’re not cold?” he asked again, the amused look back in his eyes.
“I’m really quite… warm,” she answered with her sweetest smile.
“I can see that,” he said in a low voice as he leaned across the table. “I think we should get started on our tour before you get any… warmer.”
She stood up and took the hand he offered. As they made their way to the winery, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, “You’re cute when you’re… bothered.”
“Bothered? What makes you think I’m bothered?” she asked.
“Your body betrays you, my dear,” he teased as he leaned over to kiss her.
They began their tour, tasting many of the different wines offered and finally Jill chose her favorite, a sweet red.
“We’ll save it for a special occasion,” he said as they walked to his car.
“Where are we going dancing?” she asked.
“Well, this is
Tennessee. Where else
but a good old country dance hall?” he asked.
“You… like country?” she asked in surprise.
“I’m an old-fashioned southern country boy at heart.”
“I never would have guessed that,” she said as he pulled out of the parking lot.
They arrived at one of the well-known bars in town and as they sat waiting for the band to begin playing, he asked if she was hungry.
“A little, how about you?” she replied.
“They have great wings here, how about it?”
“Sure, that sounds good.”
They talked some more about movies they’d like to see, books they’d read, and when their wings arrived, they ate, laughed, and talked some more. It was becoming more and more natural for her to be in his company. He really was quite different away from the office. There was still a commanding presence, but there was also a softer, more romantic side to Jarrod Baine.
“Oh, look, the band is ready to play,” she said as she looked up at the stage.
“And they’re starting with a slow song. Let’s go,” he said as he stood and took her hand.
As she was whisked into the arms of the man she’d spent months dreaming about, Jill melted. The moment he pulled her close to his chest, she knew there was nothing she wouldn’t do for this man. She was his. Whether he knew it yet or not, she would surrender to him, and she would love him for as long as he wanted her in his life.
She looked up at him and caught sight of the corners of his mouth turned slightly upward. His eyes danced as they gazed at her. She put her head on his shoulder and as he pulled her closer, he whispered, “I could stay like this all night.”
She nestled closer, letting her right hand tease the hair at the nape of his neck. Her body was on fire, as a warm wetness flowed from within. Her nipples were aching, begging for attention. Her left hand moved down his back.
“If you don’t stop that, I’m going to take you to the parking lot and have my way with you in the car,” he warned as he nibbled at her ear.
“In that case, I won’t stop,” she teased.
“Oh, you’ve got such sass… you know I owe you a spanking for putting yourself at risk, for staying late that night, and now with all the sass and teasing you’ve been throwing around, I think you’ve had your three strikes. You’re out, baby.” He spoke in a low, husky voice.
“Three strikes? I’m out?” she asked as she raised her face his.