Unleashed Ch. 06bycassandraharper©
"Why aren't you talking?" Jessica demanded staring up at Eithne with a mixture of anger and relief. She had convinced herself that she had scared him away last night. And if there was no Eithne, there was no way to contact his father for her money...that and there would be no more sex. But if Jessica was really being honest with herself, she would have admitted that she was more afraid of Eithne's departure because he was growing on her.
Eithne remained on his haunches, watching Jessica rant and rave at him while he thought about how to breach the topic of her rape. His bravado was rapidly failing as he stared at her beautiful face while she continued to tell him off. Who would want to hurt such a woman? He had the good sense to know that Jessica was a completely different person before that horrible night...hell, all three of them had been. How should he go about making them trust him?
"Then you just drag me in here and now you sit there staring a hole into my face! You're not even listening to me!" Jessica shouted when she realized that she was talking to a brick wall. "What are you doing?" she asked uncertainly after Eithne caressed her cheek with a deep sigh. She had expected him to get saucy with her not gentle.
"I'm sorry about last night," Eithne told her quietly. "But, damn it, Jessica, you weren't honest with me," he said, his handsome face now wearing a frown.
"What are you talking about?"
Eithne looked down at her brown legs then back at her face. There was no need for an explanation. Jessica took the hint, standing to her feet in disbelief.
"Who told you?"
"No one," Eithne replied truthfully.
"Then how do you know?"
"It's called reading, Hellion."
Jessica's neck snapped in Eithne's direction faster than the speed of light. "Liar," she accused watching as he too stood to his feet to tower over her. "Was it one of the girls? Is that why you feel the need to be so nice to me? Well, I don't need or want your kindness."
"Have I ever told you anything except the truth? Who has been the one withholding information from me from the very beginning? Why would you willing agree to have sex with someone when you're not ready? Am I such a despicable man that you imagined that I would force you to sleep with me?" asked Eithne with growing irritation. "I'll let you know that I'm not one who has to beg for attention."
"You know what? You can go straight to hell with all of that arrogance," she spat challenging him with a stern glare even though she jumped when he suddenly grabbed her shoulders and held them tightly.
"I'm warning you now, stop with the defensiveness. If anyone should be angry, it should be me yet here I am trying to appease you and attempting to have a genuine discussion as to what in the hell you were thinking for not being forthright with me from the beginning. Cool it."
Jessica felt like a child, unable to meet his burning hazel stare she averted her eyes to the floor. He was right. "What difference would it have made if I were to tell you about the rape? It happened a long time ago and I'm over it. It's water under the bridge."
"We sure as hell wouldn't always be at each other's throats, for one," Eithne said on a chuckle. "And no, you're not completely over it. You might have been able to convince yourself that, but it was painfully obvious last night that you weren't. Stop blocking it out and talk about it."
"I do talk about it," Jessica snapped. "I can talk about it, alright? There's nothing wrong with me telling people. I've even given rape counseling. Does that make you happy now?"
"Then why were you so panicked when I touched you, Hellion? I only wanted to give you pleasure, instead I scared the shite out of you and went to bed feeling like a complete failure."
"So this is about your pride?" she questioned, looking for a reason to argue.
"Damn it, Jessica, no! What it's about is turning the woman who you want to be wrapped up in your arms away from you. Is that how you saw the night ending between us? Because I pictured something much different and you clawing at me to get off of you wasn't a part of that picture. Talk to me, Hellion."
"About what? There's nothing to be said."
"Was I the first man that you've slept with since the death of your father?"
That hurt. She may have been over her rape...or so she'd like to think, but the pain from losing her father was still very present. "No, I've been with other men."
"Except on your terms," Eithne said shaking his head. "That can't be considered sleeping with someone if you're the one doing all of the work and not allowing your partner to participate." His thumbs were unconsciously toying with her shoulders, massaging her soft skin beneath them. "Have you ever allowed another man to do the things that he truly wanted to you? To kiss you, and tease your body? To make you experience a real, up close and personal orgasm that includes your body and mind instead of you getting yourself off then walking away? Have you ever allowed him to caress your back until you fall asleep on his chest and hold you into the morning? Has he ever kissed your sleeping lips and made love to you until you awaken? Don't you want to experience all of that, Hellion?"
Jessica bit down on her bottom lip in deep thought. She understood perfectly well what Eithne was asking her: didn't she want true intimacy in her life. However, intimacy was foreign to her. Being raped as a virgin takes away any desire to have a spiritual connection with anyone in a sexual relationship. It takes time to let yourself go and trust your partner to achieve such a strong, unbreakable bond. She wasn't sure if she could do that.
"Don't you want to be cherished?"
"As if you would cherish me," she retorted cynically. "Sex has nothing to do with intimacy and all the bull crap that you're talking about. You get in, get it done, then get out. It's purely based on lust and carnality not love, Eithne."
"I'm sorry," Eithne told her with remorse in his eyes.
"That you never got the chance to experience physical and spiritual closeness with someone who you could consider a lover. I'm sorry for what happened to you so long ago, but Jessica, blocking yourself off because of what happened in the past will only hinder your present and future."
"I don't need your sympathy or your pity so stop looking at me that way."
Why was this woman so stubborn and determined to argue with him? He growled in frustration a he lifted her off of her feet to make her look down at him. "When did I ever tell you that I was pitying you or saying things to make you feel better? Why don't you tell me how you really feel, Hellion?"
"Would you stop calling me that! And put me down or I'll make you do it," she threatened as she rubbed her leg against his crotch. Eithne called her bluff, lifting her even higher and smiling, in spite of the tension between them, when she squirmed and gave him a look that could kill. Jessica realized that Eithne's eyes changed with his mood. They were a mellow brown when he was calm and relaxed, a neutral hazel when he was happy, but a bright green when he was angry or aroused. It confused her to find that he was much more complex than she had originally thought him to be.
"So what do you want? Are you going to ask me to let your father go if you agree to help me get my revenge? Is that why we're here having this ridiculous talk?"
"What?" Eithne asked slowly bringing Jessica's feet back to the ground. Nowhere in his mind was he even thinking about such an arrangement. As much as he loved his old man—at times, the guy deserved to learn a lesson so it was safe to say that he was on his own. As for him helping Jessica get revenge...did he really want to get tangled up in her affairs? Yes, he was extremely furious that any man would think to hurt a woman much less rape them and steal their dignity especially at such a young and tender age. Because of those bastards, this beautiful woman had lost her ability to trust and possibly to love. So maybe he would get involved. He would seriously have to sit down and think about his motives. He wasn't the type of man to start something without a solid reason. Even though he and Jessica were at each other's throats more than they actually got along, he respected her and could even admit that he considered her a friend...perhaps even more than so.
"You heard me. You're expecting me to let your father off of the hook now that you know my deep dark secret."
"I never said that. Teach me old man a lesson. Hell, I'll help you string im up meself."
"You are such a loyal son," Jessica said sarcastically. "I can truly feel the love burning inside of you when you think about your father."
"All that concerns me is what is going on between us right now. If you want things to continue, then you need to tell me what you need. I can't touch you if you're going to react to me the same as last night. You do understand that, don't you?"
"Alright," Eithne echoed releasing her from his tight hold and moving away.
"That's it?" Jessica asked confused. "Aren't you going to ask more questions and interrogate me?"
"Why should I? All I've ever hoped for was to understand you and now I do—all of you. Besides, the newspapers have already answered any possible questions that I could ever have. Is there anything else that I should know?"
Jessica thought for a few more seconds then shook her head in the negative. "Then you're completely aware of what I'm involved in?"
"I've had my suspicions from the very beginning so yes; I do know that you're a mafia boss..."
"What?" she asked when he only stared at her in silence.
"Nothing. I've never seen a female mafia boss before—it's kinda sexy." He gave her a devilish grin that had her heart pounding in her chest.
"Whatever. I just want to remind you that you stay put until I have your father. Otherwise, you don't have anything to worry about. I won't bother you or interfere in your life as long as you show me the same type of courtesy."
Eithne snorted, "It's far too late for me to pretend to be oblivious to the goings on around me especially after what took place at that club."
"Then what, do you want money to shut you up?"
"Don't insult me, Jessica," Eithne told her. "Let it be known that if I really wanted to get out of here, nothing you or any of your sisters do could keep me behind these walls. You shouldn't underestimate me because I'm a gentleman." He gave her a smile that actually had chills running down her back.
Jessica hid her momentary show of weakness, squaring off with Eithne for the second time that day. "Sure you are, sweetheart. I'm not the type to take threats lightly so you should think before you speak."
"I never said that it was a threat," Eithne corrected, reaching out to caress her bottom lip. "And Jessica, I don't break my promises. As for my father, do with him as you wish, however, if you hurt one hair on his head..." He purposefully didn't complete his phrase because he wanted to make her sweat. Like he said, he didn't pose threats; everything that he said was a promise and he was a man of his word. If he told someone that he would go to the moon for them, then he'd do his damn near hardest to get it done.
Of course, since Jessica was not one to back down, she gave him a serene regard that did not disguise her own seriousness, "Let's not get too carried away with the newfound liberties that I have given you, Irish leprechaun." She turned to walk away, stopping when he called her that infernal nickname of his.
"Regardless of last night's events, I hope that you know our agreement is still in effect."
She did an about face with a look of confusion marring her beautiful visage. "What?"
"Did you think that I would give up so easily? If anything, your fear of me only makes me want to try harder until I'm able to break away at your barriers."
"I never said that I was afraid of you," Jessica told him with attitude.
"Sometimes it's best to admit defeat," Eithne advised going to the door to pull it open to catch Dasha and Grecko pretending as if they weren't trying to eavesdrop. "But I hope that you'll remember those exact words the next time my hands are all over you," he whispered in her ear before she crossed the threshold of his bedroom.
"Is everything okay?" Grecko asked, her eyes dancing from her sister back to Eithne.
"It's fine. What are you still doing here? I thought that you were going out with Marc?"
"Oh that," Grecko replied waving away her concern. "Marc and I rescheduled."
"No, you two have been planning this date for two weeks now and you've already called a babysitter. Go. Dasha, you too. I know that you had plans with Chun Li."
"We do not have plans," Dasha denied as she lifted her nose in the air. "She only wants me to accompany her to some boring dinner party that her parents are throwing."
"Then go and stop acting like the two of you aren't dating," Jessica said as she walked into her room to take off her jewelry. She needed to take a quick shower before she ran out the door again.
"Didn't I tell you that I'm going with you to Ashley's engagement dinner?" Dasha reminded her while unzipping her dress. This was an important event that they couldn't miss. Ashley Ventura was the daughter of Big Man Forrester's closest confidant, Duke Ventura. He had taken them under his wing after their father's death and taught them all that they had needed to know about the underworld. He was an influential man who didn't make any decisions unless it was with the counsel of his wife, Maria Ventura. She was even more so influential than her husband because everyone in the underworld considered her the motherly type. She had connections that Jessica and her sisters needed to get close to voice number two. Even though the girls knew Duke for years, they weren't particularly close with his family, but if by some miracle, Jessica could obtain Maria's trust, she would finally be able to put an end to this cycle of blood.
"I'll go with her," Eithne volunteered.
Dasha and Grecko gave him suspicious looks as if to ask why.
"I'm tired of being inside all the time."
"Give the guy an inch and he takes a mile," Dasha muttered as she began walking off. "If anything happens to Jessie while we're gone, it's your ass."
Eithne smiled nodding his head in approval then turned to a disapproving Jessica. "What?"
"I told them that I would go alone. I'm more than capable of taking care of myself."
"I won't deny that," he said turning to go back into his room.
"Then why are you coming? Didn't we just have a discussion about neither of us interfering in the other's life? I don't need or want your help."
"Hellion," Eithne said turning abruptly to look at her. She ran into his chest, staring up at him with dissatisfaction. "I'm going and that's that. Now go get ready or I'll be dragging you into my room to do just that...with my help."
Jessica stormed away, grumbling to herself until she was dressed in a simple, long pink chiffon dress with matching straps. The material seemed to float about her when she moved, giving her an unreal appearance as if she was some kind of spiritual being roaming the earth. Her thick, long hair was drawn into a simple bun on the top of her head, bringing attention to the sleekness of her lovely neck. Eithne had to admit that he was itching to kiss it. The question was would she let him?
"Nice suit," Jessica compliment, grabbing her clutch and keys to walk out the door. He followed, opening the driver's door of the car for her then allowing her to drive in peace until they were pulling up to a very expensive looking country club overflowing with expensive cars, two large water fountains on the extensive, finely cut green grass and massive Greek style columns holding up the pristinely white building. The sound of an orchestra rang out clearly once they descended from the car and gave their keys to the valet.
Eithne didn't miss the opportunity to place a protective and very possessive hand on the small of Jessica's back as he led her through the large garden towards the dinner party.
"I don't know what you're up to, but stop it," Jessica told him with a serene smile that could fool the naked eye, but Eithne knew that she was doing it for show. As far as the other guests were concerned, she was just plain old Jessica Whitaker, the wedding coordinator who had come as an invited guest and not Jessica Whitaker the mob boss looking for an in.
"I'm only being the perfect date."
"Well, you don't have to be. You're only a friend with free time who wanted to get out of the house. Don't get it wrong."
"So beautiful yet so harsh."
"If you don't—"
"Jessica, is that you?"
Jessica plastered on a gorgeous smile as she extended her hand to an old client. "Wesley, how nice it is to see you after so long?"
Eithne couldn't hide the look of astonishment on his face as Jessica literally transformed from a hardcore hard ass to a bubbly attractive woman who didn't know how to stop smiling. False or not, this new Jessica had Eithne just as enraptured as the old man named Wesley who was steadily drooling all over her bare shoulders as he walked beside them. He looked hungry, but definitely not for food.
"I spoke to your daughter the other day and she is still thanking me for her wedding. I'm just happy that my sisters and I were able to make such an important day magical for her," Jessica said in a voice as soft as silk.
Eithne snorted, tempted to blow her façade out of the water because of his growing jealousy. If this old sack of bones don't stop rubbing his wrinkly old hands up and down Jessica's arm, he was going to get what was coming to him.
"Oh, please forgive me," Jessica apologized turning her attention to Eithne with a look that told him to be nice. "Wesley, this is my friend Eithne Forrester. Eithne Forrester, this is my old client Wesley Goodwin."
"It's nice to meet you," Wesley replied with an extended hand. From the way he had said that little statement, Eithne knew that he meant the exact opposite. The man had ignored his existence for the past five minutes which was another reason why Eithne didn't believe a word coming out of his mouth.
"The sentiment is likewise," Eithne said purposefully increasing the inflection of his brogue to confuse the man.
"Are you Scottish?"
"Nay lad, Irish. You know leprechauns and pots of gold! They're always after me treasure!"
Jessica wanted to groan. Why was he being obnoxious? "Eithne, dear, would you like to grab something to eat? I think that the buffet is open."
"O be jaysus! Are there potatoes and cabbage?! Me is wanting a thick slab of bacon too!"
Jessica was embarrassed and quickly snatched Eithne away after offering up a horrible excuse of an apology to Wesley. Good. At least now the man would think that he was crazy and wouldn't want to get too close to Jessica whenever he was around, which would be for the entire damn dinner.
"What the hell is your problem?" Jessica demanded once they had fine china plates in their hands and were staring at the smorgasbord of food on the buffet table. "You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?"
Eithne's rueful smile was enough to answer her question and she glared up at him in anger, but to him she looked adorable and he would be seconds away from kissing her if she didn't stop her pouting. "I know that you're not one to be talking. What's up with that fake voice of yours? And that smile, where did that come from? I thought the only thing you knew how to do was look bored or angry?"
"Don't you push me, Eithne. I'm this close to snapping," Jessica fiercely whispered as she held up her thumb and pointer finger to show him the extent of her aggravation with him.
"Don't be upset because I'm embarrassing you on purpose," he admitted with a grin. Damn him for looking so sexy!