on July 28, 2014
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Step right up and meet Jay Fields: Illusionist. Mentalist. Trickster.
I think in triangles. You think in straight lines.
I show you a table and make you believe it’s a chair.
Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, misdirection. I trick and deceive.
But most of all, I put on a good show.
The world thinks I killed a man, but I didn’t. Bear with me. It’s all a part of the plan.
Revenge is what I want. I want it for me and I want it for her.
I want it for all six of us.
She doesn’t remember me, but she’s the reason for everything. She’ll be my prize at the end of all this – if I can hold onto my willpower, that is. Maybe I’ll slip up a little, have a taste, just a small one.
So go ahead and pick a card. Come inside and see the show. Look at my hands, look so closely that you can’t see what’s happening while you’re so focused on looking. I’ll be destroying your world from right here in the spotlight.
You’ll never see me coming until it’s too late.
I’ve only got one heart, and after I’ve pulled off my grand deception I’ll hand it right to her.
So, sit back, relax, and let my girl tell you our story. You’re in for one hell of a ride.
When famed illusionist Jay Fields walks into her father’s law practice, Matilda Brandon has a hard time keeping her heart from pounding. With a non-existent love life, she wonders if she could ever have a chance with a man this sexy and charismatic. She knows she’ll never meet someone like him on her online dating site, that’s for sure.
Jay wants to sue a newspaper, however, he leaves with a new landlord and a rather smitten housemate instead. As the two form a bond, Matilda finds herself becoming a part of Jay’s crazy world of illusion and mentalism, where underground magic shows, casino gambling and secret vendettas abound.
Jay has a dark history, and Matilda isn’t sure if she should open herself up to such an enigma of a man. Is he really who he claims to be? And why does he keep so many secrets?
She doesn’t know it yet, but they share a common past. Jay has set a plan in motion and whether she likes it or not, claiming her heart has always been his ultimate goal.
We LOVE this book BIG TIME! And we wanted more of Jay Fields and Mathilda and L.H. Cosway has delivered. DO NOT CONTINUE if you have not read the book as this is Jay’s POV from one of the scenes from the book and there are SPOILERS. It’s long and satisfying so ENJOY!
There is a giveaway too! Good luck!!!
Author’s note: This passage takes place during chapters twenty and twenty-one of Six of Hearts. Jay and Matilda are attending Jessie’s birthday party, and Matilda has invited Owen along. Enjoy!
All right, so I’m a fuckin’ asshole for being jealous. I have no right to be. I put a stop to things with Matilda because I’m trying to be the good guy. Saying that, I still want to punch this smug fuck sitting in the back of my car square in the face.
He brought her a bread basket. I’m not sure why that pisses me off more than if he brought her flowers, but it does. I’m the only one who should get to feed her. It’s a messed-up sentiment, but I’m owning it, okay?
You know what, I’m almost willing him to look at me the wrong way so that I can start something. The problem is, right now he only has eyes for my girl, and that just riles me up even more. He’s looking at her with those dumb puppy eyes like she’s the prettiest thing he’s ever seen. Hell, I can say without a doubt that she’s the prettiest thing any of us have ever seen, which makes me want to blind him just for looking.
It’s times like these I wish I couldn’t read people so well, because the fact he wants to fuck her is glaringly obvious. Something rumbles deep in my chest, something ugly and possessive.
So yeah, I have some issues with anger.
Tightening my fists around the steering wheel, I feel the blood pumping through my veins like molten lava.
I swallow hard and try to tamper down my temper. Even when I’m pissed I’ve still got those badass alliteration skillz. You know it. My mind races as I drive us toward Jessie’s place, trying to come up with some clever and enterprising way in which to ruin this little date night. It would be wrong, so wrong, but I’m kind of considering doing some sneaky hypnosis to make him look bad. It’d be pretty easy to make him think he’s a chicken and go clucking around the apartment like a complete tool.
But that kind of trickery would have my name stamped all over it.
So no, I’m gonna take the higher ground on this. I don’t want to upset my girl. Besides, lately I’ve been trying to only use my “powers” for good. Let’s just hope my ability to stay in control holds out until the end of the night.
Speaking of my girl, she’s wearing this killer red dress that’s giving me a hard time thinking straight. A real hard fuckin’ time. I park the car and let my eyes trail down her body, lingering on the sexy as hell heels she has on that make me want to lick and bite my way up her curvy legs. The crest of her bosom moves up and down with her breathing. It’s a little mesmerising.
Shit, maybe I’m the one who’s been hypnotised.
“Can I leave this here?” she asks in that sweet, gorgeous voice.
I blink at her, drawing my gaze away from her soft, luscious chest and up to meet her pale blue eyes. It takes me a second to realise she’s talking about the God damn bread basket. I’ve never been so angry about bread in my life.
“Whatever happened to buying chicks a bunch of flowers?” I snap at her. I don’t mean to, in fact, it kills me to talk to her this way. It’s just that the idea of another man touching her makes me want to commit GBH. Never let it be said that I don’t have my headcase moments.
“I think it’s nice. I like bread. And anyway, what’s your problem?” she asks back, narrowing her eyes at me. God, it turns me on something fierce when she challenges me.
Grabbing the basket from her, I shove it into the back seat and swallow hard. I need to chill the fuck out. Then I give her a real stellar line when I say, “You like bread,” staring at her long and hard. My eyes move back and forth between hers in assessment. Having seen the way she interacts with Owen, it’s pretty obvious that she thinks of him about as platonically as if they were brother and sister. Which begs the question, why did she ask him here in the first place?
“I’m sorry. I’ll try to be nice,” I tell her softly.
“Thank you,” she whispers.
All through the elevator ride up to Jessie’s apartment I have to restrain myself from attacking her with my mouth. My girl is so damn edible it’s unbearable. Those lips.
And that dress. That motherfucker of a dress.
She glances at me from under her lashes as we ascend and it almost does me in. I bite hard on the inside of my mouth, almost drawing blood. The elevator doors ping open and I can’t help but to place my hand to the curve of her lower back as I usher her out. She sucks in a tiny breath at the contact, and I like that the heat of my hand is affecting her.
I wonder if she’s just a little bit wet right now. I wonder if I slipped my hand beneath her dress would I find her hot and aching for me.
Damn. I need to stop those thoughts right there. So not what I need to be thinking about. When we get to Jessie’s, Matilda looks all around, her wide eyes taking it all in. The apartment is pretty impressive, and I love watching her when she’s experiencing new places and things. Sometimes she can be so completely open and full of curiosity.
The perfect audience of one, in my opinion.
I think I might be a little addicted to dazzling her with my tricks.
“This place is amazing,” she says while I study her profile. “How the hell can she afford this working in a casino?”
I press my hand harder into the base of her spine and answer, “She plays poker on and off. She does even better than I do most of the time. The winnings helped her to buy this place. There was a time when Jessie didn’t have a home. Her family cast her out, so owning somewhere that’s hers is a big deal.”
“Oh,” she replies, air whooshing out of her and empathy in her expression. “You didn’t have a home at one time, either. Is it a big deal for you, too?”
God, I seriously can’t take it when she looks at me like that; she doesn’t even know it, but she’s burrowing her way right under my skin. What am I saying? She’s already there, in way too deep.
I swallow, staring down at her. “More important than anything. But home for me isn’t about a roof and four walls — it’s about people. My real family is dead, so I’ve got to make my own.”
I say home is about people, but really it’s about one person. Her. Every moment I get to spend with her feels like finally being where I was always meant to be – which is probably why her bringing a date tonight has turned me into the green eyed monster (extreme edition.) I keep on looking at her, breathing in the subtle scent of her perfume, when Jessie appears in front of us. The big stupid birthday smile on her face and the 94 year old badge tells me she’s already had a shot, or seven.
I pull her into a hug and shove her present into her hand. “Happy birthday, Jess.”
“Yeah,” says Matilda. “Happy birthday. I had no idea you were so old.”
“The surgeons can work wonders these days,” Jessie replies, then continues while patting me on the shoulder. “Glad you both are on speaking terms again.”
And with that she takes her leave.
Oh yeah, she might be my best friend, but she’s a shit stirrer, too. She knew exactly what she was doing by saying that.
“You told her what happened?” Matilda turns to me and asks, seeming a little annoyed.
I cock an eyebrow at her, while silently planning on getting Jessie back in some clever and unexpected way. I knew I should have gotten her the penis shaped birthday cake when I’d seen it in the bakery. Apparently, they sell them for hen nights. Anyway…
“Like you didn’t tell Michelle,” I counter.
Matilda folds her arms and tilts her hip, emphasising her curves, and gives me a tepid, “Fine,” then struts away. And yeah, I watch her sexy ass saunter all the way to the balcony to join Michelle and the douche chef.
I seriously can’t take watching her give him the time of day, so I head for the fridge and grab a beer. Then I get talking to some people. One chick wants to see me do a card trick, so I whip out a deck and start shuffling, all flash and charm, cards flyin’ all over the place like a silent symphony in paper. I barely concentrate on the trick, because my brain is too busy showing me images of Owen with his hands all over my girl.
I’ve done this one so many times, though, that it’s second nature. I barely have to think about it. A lot of the sleight of hand stuff I do is really all about practice. If you repeat something a thousand times, you’ll get so quick at it no one will ever see you sliding their watch from their wrist or slipping their wallet from the inside of their jacket as you stand right in front of them. It’s all about the two D’s: dexterity and distraction. Add a touch of speed and a splash of confidence and you’re flying.
Take my pick pocketing days on the streets as an example. When it comes to stealing, it’s always best to work in pairs. I used to hang out with this real piece of work named Don from Charlestown. The guy couldn’t have been any more than seventeen, but he had the look in his eye of a soon-to-be cold blooded killer. Me and Don had our routine down pat. We’d target all the busiest shopping and tourist districts because they were rife with easy marks and we were hungry, desperate kids. We might spot some flashy prick in a suit, waving his phone around like he had more money than sense. Don would do the whole bump into him and express how sorry he was thing (the distraction), while I sauntered past and alleviated him of his wallet and whatever else was on his person (the dexterity). And quick as a flash we’d be on our merry way.
You see, simple.
The group around me clap when I finish my bit and I give them a grin, my eyes instinctively seeking out Matilda. She’s still on the balcony with Owen, and he’s touching her hand.
He’s. Touching. Her. Hand.
Okay, I think it’s time I put an end to this once and for all. Taking my beer with me, I march outside with purpose. They’re sitting together at a table now. Real cosy. I take the liberty of joining them, pulling out the seat across from Matilda and sitting my ass down. I don’t say a word, just pull a smoke from my pocket and light up. I inhale, exhale, all the while eyeballing Owen like I’m looking for trouble. The douche misinterprets it as me wanting a conversation.
“Hey, I saw you doing card tricks in there. Is that a hobby of yours?” he asks.
Wearing no expression at all, I reply, “Nah, not a hobby. It’s my living.”
“Oh, wow, really. That’s great. Do you get much work out of it?”
“A bit.” I turn my neck from side to side and roll my shoulders. This shit is giving me tension like you wouldn’t believe. Owen swallows, shooting me a confused look before turning to my girl.
“You know, Matilda, I really love your dress. Did I tell you how amazing you look tonight?”
I resist the urge to snicker. That dress wasn’t worn for his benefit. She wore that dress for me and I know it. She wore that dress to torture me, which makes me want to bend her over the nearest table and teach her a lesson. I shake my head and drink some beer, trying to think calming thoughts.
Matilda blushes. “Thank you. I made it myself, actually.”
“Really? I’m impressed. You know, I was so happy that you wanted to see me again. I was beginning to lose hope.”
Jesus H. Christ. I can’t help but to sigh loudly and say under my breath, “You could have called her.”
The second I say it, Matilda brings her attention to me, her blue eyes glowing with her rising temper. Is it wrong that I’m pleased I’m getting to her?
“What was that?” she asks sharply.
Oh, this is going to be FUN. Failing to suppress a smirk, I say casually, “Nothing. Did I say something?”
“Yeah. I think you did.”
Now we’re getting somewhere. I lean forward and keep goading her. “Well, I think you’re mistaken.”
It doesn’t work though, as she makes the split second decision to ignore me and talk to Owen. They chat and I do my best to be a prick about it, interrupting and being a general asshole. I can tell it’s pissing her off, and I’m loving every moment. A second later she rises swiftly from her seat, eyes blazing and shoving her chair back.
“You’re…you’re being a dickhead,” she yells at me, takes Owen’s hand and storms off. I finish my smoke and work my jaw as I watch them walk through the apartment together. A minute or two later, I see her returning, which pleases me. I light up another cigarette and wait for her to reach me.
“The douche chef gone already?” I ask in a cheery voice, smiling wide and blowing out smoke.
“Yeah, no thanks to you. What the hell were you playing at? You were so…so mean. It’s not like you at all.”
Okay, so now I do feel a little bad. I don’t like how she’s looking at me. I want her to look at me how she did after I made her come in her bedroom, all lazy and adoring. I want her to look at me like that forever. I can’t think of a single thing to say, so I say nothing.
Matilda continues talking. “You hurt his feelings, and he was nothing but nice to you. I don’t like this side of you, Jay. What’s gotten into you?”
Glancing away for a moment, I draw my mouth into a thin line and try not to feel guilty. I really shouldn’t have allowed myself to get this close to her so quickly. It’s screwing with my head and taking my attention away from the long game I’m playing. Finally, I put my cigarette out and lean closer to her, deciding honesty is the best policy.
“I don’t like him,” I grunt.
“He’s done nothing to you.”
“Oh, I beg to differ,” I say and laugh harshly.
The next few seconds are a staring contest, and within those few seconds I see myself throwing her over my shoulder and taking her into Jessie’s spare bedroom to not talk. Every single part of me is dying to show her my feelings with my body.
The moment is broken when Michelle interrupts us. “Is everything okay?”
“Owen’s gone home,” says Matilda, her eyes leaving mine and I instantly want them back.
“Oh. Well, not to worry. He was probably just tired.”
“Nope. Jay was acting like a right arsehole. That’s why he left,” she bursts, her fire returning as she storms away and back inside the apartment.
Michelle levels her cool stare on me.
“I hope you’re not playing games with my friend,” she says sharply, folding her arms across her chest.
“My intentions are pure, so you can stand down,” I reply flippantly, jonesing for another smoke and I’ve already had two in a row. This night, I swear to God it’s gonna send me over the edge.
Michelle gives me a wry look. “I’d wonder if you ever had a pure thought in your head when it comes to Matilda. Every time you so much as look at her I can practically smell the sex in the room.”
Well, never let it be said this girl isn’t a straight shooter. I almost grin. “I’m not trying to hurt her, okay?”
“Yeah, you better not be. Otherwise, you’ll have me to deal with, and I’ve been known to use the spikey end of my high heels as a weapon,” she threatens while sassily lifting her shoe for me to see.
I whistle. “I don’t doubt that.”
She leaves me then and I go in search of more beer. A little while later my earlier state of irritation sky-rockets and transforms into pure, unadulterated rage. Some new shithead is dancing with my girl, dancing and putting his hands all over her. I barely remember my movements, but the next thing I know I’m ripping him away from her and punching the fucker in the face.
We square off and Matilda rushes away, upset. Yeah, I’ve really screwed up now. A couple of minutes later I find her in my old room, lying on her back, her hands covering her face. I close the door softly and step inside. I allow my eyes to trail over her sexy body with abandon, seizing the rare moment to soak her in while she’s unaware. Moving towards the bed, my mind is already racing with ways in which I can get her beneath me and panting for more. She removes her hands and opens her eyes, startling a little when she sees how close I’ve gotten. I hover over her, biting on my own lip in order to drum up some willpower.
How on earth did I ever believe willpower would get me through this? I need her like I need air to breathe.
“I don’t want to see you right now,” she tells me in a quiet, whispery voice, her throat catching a little. Jesus, I hate knowing I’m the reason she’s upset.
Of their own accord, my eyes trail down her body again, lingering on the flare of her hips.
“Why not?” I question.
Swiftly, she rises to a sitting position, her features growing hard. “You just punched Stuart for no reason! What the hell was that about? Do you have anger-management issues?”
Oh, shit. I can feel the blood pumping through my veins, my temper flaring when I bite back, “Oh, it’s ‘Stuart,’ is it? Your date just left, and you’ve already moved on to someone else? That’s real classy, Watson.”
Yeah, I regret the words even as I’m saying them. Her eyes grow fierce with passion as she argues, “Are you serious? I’m the classless one? You started all this with your snide behaviour toward Owen, so let’s not pretend this is my fault.”
“I told you I don’t like him. And I don’t like that Stuart guy, either. You need to be more selective about who you let put their hands all over you.”
She hops off the bed now and comes charging towards me. It actually takes me off guard and I move backwards. She points a finger into my chest, and what she says next cuts me deep.
“You shouldn’t care about that, Jason! You only want me to be your friend, remember?”
I stare down at her, my chest rising and falling as my breathing quickens. She’s so close that I can feel the heat radiating from her body. I take her finger, the one pointing me in the chest, and hold it in my grasp before I turn the tables and move towards her, backing her into a wall so that there’s no escape.
“I care,” I admit, almost painfully. “Friends care about their friends.”
Her eyes tilt down at the ends and she frowns. “That’s all it is? A friend looking out for another friend?”
“Yes,” I answer, swallowing and then immediately changing my mind. “No. Fuck. I didn’t think this would be so difficult.”
Within one second and the next, I make a decision. I can’t hold back any longer, and there’s something about this night that’s made me need to stake my claim. I need her to know what I feel, that she’s everything to me.
“I don’t want you to date Owen,” I admit and she sucks in a tiny gasp.
“I don’t want you dancing with fucks like Stuart, either.”
Leaning in closer, I watch as she licks her lips and I have detailed visions of exploring that mouth of hers for hours. I take up every last inch of her personal space, my flat, hard chest pressing flush against her soft, round one. Instantly, I’m hard for her. I see her notice, squirm a little, and that just makes me harder.
“Why?” she whispers, the very sound the most seductive thing I’ve ever heard.
Fuck, why does she have to make me so weak? A quick, violent burst of frustration rushes through me as I slam my hands down into the wall on either side of her head. She jumps and I tilt my head down, my breath whispering over her face as I finally admit what’s been on my mind for a while now.
“Because you’re mine.”
The way she gasps at my declaration speeds me into action and I’m on her, my mouth claiming her soft, gorgeous lips, my tongue sliding into her hot, welcoming mouth. I need to be inside of her, feel what she feels like wrapped tight around me.
Yeah, so much for playing the long game.
Tonight, my body and my heart is charge, and for once I’m going to let myself have the thing I’ve wanted for so long. She makes my burden feel less heavy, and losing myself in her light lessens a little of the darkness and need for revenge that consumes me.