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Manhattan Passion, First Five Chapters

Chapter 1

Riley walked over to her mother impatiently. “Mom, you’re going to miss your flight.” She started crossing her arms and tapping her foot on the ground impatiently. “For the third time, this club would be a good, already established business, to add into our hotels, it’ll be better than adding an unknown one and these clubs are some of the most well-known in the country. You’re going to make the club owner think we are flakey and he’s going to back out.”

“Riley what do you want me to do? They pushed my deadline up, I have to stay focused right now, Jerrod will understand.” Erin James returned, still staring intently at her laptop screen. “I can’t just send Sam, he and Mandy are on that trip for your father already.”

“Then I’ll go. I’m part of the family too. I know everything I need to know about our hotels and these clubs that is necessary, and they are going to bring in accountants anyway. Plus Sam and I did most of the work on the blueprints.” Riley contested.

“Ok, Ry, I will allow you to do this, but you do need to spend some time in that club, it’s called the Myer’s High Club. It’s in L.A. that way you can check it out and see if they might have faked any of the paperwork on it.” Her mother gave in.

Riley hid a smile. “Mom, that’s not part of the business deal.” She hid her excitement about her mother finally allowing her to go on a business deal. “I’m just supposed to go look at the statistics and see if it’s a good fit, not party like a sorority girl.”

“What better statistics than personal experience, my love?” Her mother returned. “I know you are gorgeous, but you will have your bodyguard with you, and the club has excessive amounts of those anyway, you’ll be fine. I’ll text Ronnie and have him get packed for you.”

“And what is your beloved Gerard going to think about this?” She didn’t even try to hide her disgust when she said his name.

“Sam told you then?” Erin questioned. “Look Gerard is my best friend’s son, The Moretti’s are well off, I thought you two would be a perfect fit. Plus you two dated in college for two years.”

“Mother!” Tears started streaming down her eyes. “I thought our happiness is more important than money to you. I’m not marrying him.”

“Riley, do you want to do this or not?” Her mother was obviously tired of the conversation.

“Yes, mother, I can fly out to L.A. But I will not, ever marry that creep.” She returned, her anger seething through her words.

“Enough Riley!” Erin yelled. “You are going to miss your flight.”

Riley ran out of her mother’s office, brushing the tears off her cheeks as she ran to her penthouse. She started packing her bags quickly her phone started buzzing, she put it on speaker. “Sam is this why you are with him all the time lately?” her frustration apparent in her voice.

“First off, Hi sis, we haven’t talked in forever, I miss you, and no, I don’t think you should marry Gerard, I don’t like him, I don’t trust him, and I have been hounding dad to cancel those plans with the Moretti’s. Ry, what’s going on?” Sam returned in his usual soft, protective voice he always had when they were talking.

“I offered to go to L.A. for mom, she wants me to spend some time in the nightclub, and I brought up Gerard, it didn’t end well. My flight leaves soon so I just have to hurry and pack my bags.” Riley answered honestly. She had always been really close to her brother so it was easy to talk to him about anything.

“Well, I called because I finished up the contracts early, I will be headed back the day after tomorrow. How about I book a flight with a layover in L.A. we can get brunch or something like that.” Sam returned.

“Sam I would appreciate that. We never get to see each other anymore. Dad’s always got you working.” Riley stated.

“The clubbing thing might not be so bad Riley, you can go have fun, and I assume mom will be sending Ronnie with you, plus nightclubs have a ton of bodyguards. Check out the scenery, enjoy yourself, you deserve it and you’ll have nothing to worry about, unless you find someone interesting.”

She giggled. “Sam you know, I’m not that type of girl.”

“But what would be wrong with being that type of girl, for one night. You need some fun, you’re always so serious and consumed in paperwork that mom still double checks after you’ve finished, lighten up a little sis.” Sam’s words stung a little but she knew he was right.

“Thanks, Sam. I got to go, bye.” She hung up, trying to ignore the fact that her brother basically just called her a stick in the mud. She finished packing and headed for the airport.

The first class seats were nothing out of the ordinary for her, or her bodyguard, but she had never been on a business trip before. She was anxious, giddy and frustrated at the same time. The only time she ever got to leave the hotels was when they all went together, or Sam snuck her out. Now she was finally on her own, minus the body guard. She slept most of the plane ride and the second she got off the plane Ronnie had her carry-on bags in his hand leading her to where they pick up the other luggage.

As usual her mother had a driver waiting to pick them up and drive them to the Manhattan that was located there in L.A. staring out the window, she was almost wishing she wasn’t the rich heiress to a pristine hotel line.

“Is everything alright back their Miss James?” Her bodyguard asked.

“Yes Ronnie, I am fine, just waking up, probably need some coffee.” She lied. She trusted Ronnie with her life, he had been her bodyguard since she was ten years old, but she hated always being followed.

“Well, Miss James, your mother booked me the room across the hall from yours, so if you need me at all.”

“I know, Ronnie, thank you, I appreciate it.” She returned. “You’re still sworn to secrecy right?”

“Yes ma’am, as long as it does not hurt you I have no obligation to tell anyone anything.” Ronnie returned.

“Well sometimes, I just wish I wasn’t me anymore, I need a break, not from work, but from life. I don’t want to be ‘The princess of Manhattan’ anymore.” Riley opened up for possibly the hundredth time to her bodyguard.

“I’m sorry Miss James, but we have arrived at the hotel.” Ronnie said getting out of the car and opening the back door for her. He carried her bags up to the room in silence.

He always got quiet when Riley said something that made him feel bad so it really wasn’t a surprise that he did it now. However instead of just dropping the bags at the door of the suite he just walked in. “We are sworn to secrecy right Riley?” He questioned as the door shut.

“Yes Ronnie, since I was sixteen.” She could see the sympathetic look in his eyes.

“I will stay behind tonight, but you have to promise me that you will keep your phone on all night so that I can track it, and the second I see you going anywhere besides the club and here I am coming to find you.” He suggested.

“Really, Ronnie, you’d really do that for me?” Her eyes were watering she was so touched by his kind gesture.

“I will text the driver and tell him we are just going to take a cab at around six, and you just have to bring a cab back.” Ronnie stated.

“But if mom and dad find out you’ll be fired.” She stated.

“I know, so just be careful, I know how safe nightclubs are.” Ronnie started. “Just call or text the second that things go bad.”

“I promise Ronnie.” She stated with a wide smile. “Thank you.”

He left the room with no other words said. She wondered if he knew how much this meant to her, she had never been without a bodyguard, all of her life, even through school, she had one with her unless she was in the hotel her parents owned. She started unpacking and getting ready for the night.

As she dressed for the club she couldn’t help but wish she had Sam or Mandy with her. She put on a purple halter top, pair of tight, light colored skinny jeans, black cowboy hat, and grey and purple cowboy boots. The boots, Sam had gotten her for Christmas one year, the halter top Mandy picked out when they went shopping together, and the cowboy hat, her mother always hated because it covered her face. If she was getting one night to be whoever she wanted she was going to do just that. Taking another quick look in the mirror she felt pleased with herself, then all of a sudden she got really nervous. She dialed Sam’s number, hoping to get some courage from him.

“Sam I don’t know if I can do this.” She stated, her nervous tone overcoming her usual calm demeanor. “I’ve always had you or Mandy with me when I go out.”

“Sis, you know that Mandy is with me, for reasons she doesn’t know yet. You’ll have plenty of fun without us.” Sam started.

“I don’t know Sam, my cleavage is showing, my ass looks huge in these pants.”

She was interrupted by Mandy’s voice then. “Ry, you look hot, Tonight is a chance for you to go have some fun, be your own woman.” Mandy’s was a happily welcomed opinion on this matter.

“Mandy, I need a wing woman.” Riley pouted into the phone.

“Ry, you don’t need a wing woman, you need extra body guards because you are smoking hot.” Mandy didn’t skip a beat as she said it. “Love you, have fun.” Just like that the call was ended.

She took a deep breath, hoping to calm her nerves a little bit more. She called a cab, just like Ronnie requested, and sent him a text that she was heading out. It was a short ride to club, and she was pleasantly surprised when she got there.

It was smaller than she imagined, in her opinion the perfect size for a night club. She loved the interior, modern with a little bit of western accents. She had a few drinks before going out onto the dancefloor by herself.

Just as she was starting to get annoyed with all the men that were trying hit on her the club doors swung open with a slight breeze that drew her attention over to him.

He was tall, dressed in some dark blue jeans and a navy button up shirt. His hair was slicked back, somewhere between spiked up and laid back, with a little bit of curl to it. He had a neatly trimmed beard and moustache. His hair was between blond and brown, as their eyes met, she was practically lost in the hypnotizing hazel green stare, she had to tear her gaze off of him forcefully. Her heart was racing, thundering so loudly she thought it might be louder than the music that was playing.

She tried to ignore it all, but she couldn’t help but wonder how she could manage to come up with a reason to go talk to that stunningly attractive man. She continued dancing, wondering if she should buy him a drink or if that looked desperate.

She had just barely decided to just go back to the hotel for the night when the waitress stopped her. “That man over there.” The waitress started, pointing at the jaw-dropping man that had caught her eye when he walked in. “He said you’re on fire and should simmer down.” She said handing her a rum and coke first, then a bottle of water. She chugged the rum and coke before thanking the waitress and putting the glass back on her tray. She needed liquid courage to go over and talk to him. Taking a deep breath she walked over.

Chapter 2

Jackson walked into his family’s night club, he was usually proud to look around and enjoy how business was going, but he had been here for two straight weeks waiting for a business meeting. He was irritated from the second he got sent away from home to go to the meeting but he had been blown off several times already. He ran his fingers through his hair before opening the door.

The club was the same as it was every other day he had been there, busy, maybe one hundred women alone, but this time one woman caught his attention and it was like she was the only person there. She was wearing a purple halter top, black cowboy hat, a pair of light blue skinny jeans, and a pair of light grey with purple accents cowboy boots, Her auburn red hair barely reached the bottom of her shoulder blades.

The way she danced was different, but enticing. Just the way she moved he could tell that she wasn’t from California, but damn did she look hot! Realizing that he was staring, he made his way over to the bar, still watching her as if she was the only woman dancing. He sat down and only looked away long enough to give the bartender a small smile.

“Mr. Myers, what should I get you tonight?” The bartender broke his concentration.

Turning his head quickly he smiled again. “Todd I’ll just have a shot of Jack Daniels for now, and what information you can get for me on that gorgeous redhead in the cowboy hat.”

“Jackson, you haven’t shown much interest in a woman since you started coming here two weeks ago. It’s probably not a good idea you have that meeting tomorrow. Won’t your father be pissed if you’re late?” Todd answered as he poured his shot.

“Todd, I think my dad sent me on a fool’s errand, I’ve been stuck here for two weeks and Erin James has been postponing last minute and she’s not even coming, she’s sending a lacky to do the work. I Think a one night stand is not going to hurt anything, considering that she is the one that has made us wait this long.” Jackson returned, a little frustrated.

Todd shook his head. “I don’t know her name but she’s drinking rum and coke, pushing away every guy that comes her way.” Todd answered.

“Have the waitress send her a water and a rum and coke, tell the waitress to tell her, She’s on fire and needs to simmer down.” Jackson requested.

“Jax that might be the weirdest pick up line I have ever heard.” Todd returned.

“Just do it.” Jackson demanded, frustrated at how hard he had to urge his favorite bartender to get him to do something.

Jackson had been there for over two weeks on this business trip and he was already irritated as all hell. His work at home was just piling up, besides the stuff he got on his laptop. He was told to come here and meet with Erin James herself and instead, she’s not even going to show up. He had been hit on at least half a dozen times since he got here and only a couple of women were even interesting enough for a one-nighter. He looked back to the dancefloor breaking himself from his insane irritation.

No longer than a minute after the waitress took her the drinks the gorgeous woman was walking in his direction. “I’m on fire?” Her voice was angelic, assertive, sexy. His heart thundered in his chest at the sound of it.

Jackson looked up from his empty shot glass. She was even more stunning up close. Her short red hair framed her face to where she had some strands that were ending just in the middle of her beautiful bright green eyes. Her lips were perfectly shaped, plump but not too big, a beautiful soft red shade. Her clothes showed every amazing curve on her perfect, slim body. He was finding it very hard not to stare at her.

“Hi.” Was all he could manage to say at that point because she completely left him speechless.

“That smooth, first pick up line and all you can manage to say is ‘Hi’?” She asked, with a smile forming on her lips.

“My name is Jax.” He introduced himself, with just his nickname.

“I’m Riley.” She answered.

Even her name was sexy to him, but he couldn’t help but feel like he had a reason to know that name. However, she broke him out of his thoughts quickly.

“So, I’ve never had a guy tell me to calm it down before.”

“Darlin’, I never said calm it down, I said simmer down, because you’re on fire.” He returned taking her hand and kissing her knuckles.

She giggled the cutest little laugh he had ever heard in his life. “You are so beautiful.” He said, almost embarrassed that the words had slipped, but not so much after she took the seat next to him.

“So do you live in L.A. or just visiting?” She asked, resting her cheek on her knuckles.

“I’m just here for business, I don’t live that far away though, I live in Laguna Beach.” He stated. “What about you?”

“Same, well, kind of. I’m here on business but I live in Manhattan.” She started signaling for another drink. “I’m standing in for my parents. They were both too busy to make it.”

“ Same here.” Jackson stated, knowing full well that his dad just didn’t want to come deal with the paperwork. “Having a wealthy family, I almost wish we were poor.” He shushed Todd, seeing the look in his bartender friend’s eye. “So, Ms. Riley, do you want another drink or do you just want to give me your phone number and we can get together sometime tomorrow?

“How about you buy me another drink, and we can set this club on fire together?” She returned.

“Sounds, intriguing, I’m in.” He answered, signaling Todd for more drinks.

She downed hers just as quickly as he did and grabbed his hand, leading him out to the dancefloor. He was completely enticed by this woman already. She wasn’t ashamed of the people that were staring at her, she wasn’t even bothered by it. Yeah most of them were men, but she didn’t even acknowledge them. The way she danced showed how confident she was and the way she swayed her hips, his body was responding quickly. He pulled her closer to him, swaying his body with hers as he tried to think about anything other than her ass rubbing against his hardening shaft.

He tested the waters, lightly kissing her neck, realizing he needed more than just a dance with this woman. When she didn’t push him away, he continued, loving the sweet, soft moans that were coming out of her red lips. “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid my eyes on.” He whispered in her ear, just loud enough for her to hear him over the music.

She turned her head to respond but he took the opportunity to take those plump, luscious red lips of hers in a deep, invigorating kiss that sent chills down his spine the second his lips touched hers. He pulled her closer again as their tongues entwined, doing their own little dance, ravaging each other. She was now flush against his body, and he was rock hard, but she continued kissing him even though he knew that she could feel his stiff member.

Finally pulling away from that life-changing kiss, he continued to trail soft kisses on her neck, rubbing her waist and hips with his hands as they continued to dance. Damn this woman was enticing. He wasn’t sure, who she was, but at this moment she was all he wanted.

“Do you want to take me back to my hotel room?” The words sounded like his saving grace coming from her, he was ready to explode if she had never said them.

Thank god. “I will do whatever you want me to.” He answered as he ran his hands over the front of her jeans.

She turned and kissed him, teasing the seam of his lips with her tongue. He bit at her lower lip lightly just before wrapping his arm around her waist and leading her out of the club.

He could easily tell that as he called for a cab she had gotten nervous. She told the cab what hotel to take them to without hesitation though. He pulled her close to him and started running his fingertips up and down her shoulder.

Jackson had no idea why he felt so obliged to touch every centimeter of her skin, but he did. He lightly moved his fingertips across the top of her breasts, and even down to the peaks that were barely tucked away in her shirt. He wondered how far she would let him take this, all though he hoped that she wouldn’t make him stop. Noticing that the driver was distracted on a phone call he slipped his hand inside her bra and tweaked her nipple until she flung forward and moaned into his neck.

That moan alone had his skin on fire. “Do you want me to stop darlin’?” He asked.

“No, I’m not sure what I want, but stopping right now is not one of them.” Her voice was lower and filled with desire, her bright green eyes shone with that exact same need. If he wasn’t rock hard before, he definitely was now.

She climbed onto his lap straddling him as she started kissing him. She was lightly biting and tugging on his bottom lip when the cab came to a stop at the front of the hotel. He continued to kiss her as she led him into the elevator and even to the door of her room. He pushed her up against the door, her legs wrapped around his waist as she struggled to unlock the door. Finally pushing it open, he noticed the couch in what seemed to be the living area of the suite.

He set her down on the arm of it, just long enough to strip her of her shirt and bra. He stared at her perky mounds for just long enough to appreciate their size and color, before taking one of the peaks into his mouth, sucking on it as he lifted her back up and headed for the bedroom. He laid her on the bed and practically tore his shirt off.

He could hear her hesitance as he worked her pants off of her. His heart was pounding in his chest at this point. He went back to kissing her lips as he pressed himself between her thighs, kneading one of her nipples between two of his fingers, enjoying the sounds that she couldn’t seem to hold back.

He slid his hand down her taught stomach down to the apex that connected her thighs. She let out a whimper as her fingers dug into his back. “Do you want me to stop, Darlin’?” He asked, feeling that her body had stiffened when his fingers lightly touched her folds.

She shook her head no so he continued lightly, taking it slow as he slid his fingers back and forth on her folds. Feeling her hesitance start to loosen up he slowly pushed a finger into her wet core. Feeling how tight she was he immediately knew that if she had ever done this before, it had been a long time ago.

“Are you sure about this, honey?” He questioned as he continued slowly, gently pushing in and out of her.

“Yes.” She moaned against his lips, kissing him after her answer.

“Let me know when you want me to stop.” He returned, eager to make this night memorable for her.

He kissed his way down her stomach. Glancing up just as he reached her core. Seeing her face full of pleasure and hearing the moans he lightly flicked his tongue across the bud of nerves. Her breath hitched in her throat and he glanced up to see if she was going to stop him, but she didn’t. He continued, pushing his finger in and out of her as he continued to suck on the bud of nerves. Her moans grew louder and her hips bucked up a little bit. He quickened his pace, knowing that she was getting ready to come, she was digging her nails into the headboard, arching her body, squirming and practically screaming.

He was ready for her to come, he knew she was going to, however he was not quite ready for her soaking his hand, face and most of his chest also. He was about as turned on as humanly possible.

“Holy shit, honey.” His voice was barely recognizable to him at that point he was so filled with desire.

Her face flushed red. “I’m sorry.” She turned her head to the side to hide her embarrassment.

“Don’t be.” He returned as he stripped his pants and boxers off. “That was the hottest thing I have ever seen. Last chance, Darlin’, are you sure? He asked as he rolled a condom on.

She nodded, and he pushed himself into her, hesitating when she gasped loudly. Going slowly, he gradually pushed himself all the way into her, seeing the tears form in her eyes. “Oh…My…God…” Her lips brushed against his neck with every word.

He took her lips in a sweet yet fiery kiss and he slowly continued, continuing slowly until her moans turned into pleasure instead of pain. She was so tightly wrapped around him he wasn’t sure how long he would be able to last. He wanted to last all night, but it wasn’t that long before he was exploding in his own land of ecstasy.

Chapter 3

Jackson barely had the time to open his eyes and enjoy the naked beauty sleeping next to him before his phone rang. He quickly silenced it so he wouldn’t wake her. Seeing that it was his father calling he quickly pulled on his clothes and left a note with his phone number. He slid it under her phone just enough so that it wouldn’t get knocked down, but enough of it hung out so that she would be able to see it.

He smiled as he took one last look at the beautiful woman. Feeling himself stiffening already he thought about going back to bed, ignoring his father’s call completely, but he knew his father wouldn’t stop calling until he answered. He let out a displeased grunt as his phone started ringing again. He very unhappily stepped out the door. “What dad?” He half whispered, half yelled.

He was irritated beyond all belief that his amazing encounter had to end with him bailing on that stunning woman, just because his father couldn’t stop calling.

“Jackson, I’ve been trying to call you all morning. You need to check into the Manhattan hotel today.” His dad’s voice was gruff, business like as usual.

Jackson made a mental note of the room number before walking away. “Was that so important that you couldn’t let me sleep an hour longer?” He knew he wouldn’t really have been sleeping much longer with the woman that was in that room but there was no need for his dad to know that, he was an adult after all.

“Jackson, you need to check out the hotel, before you sign the contract, even if it is only a couple of nights there.” He just ignored Jackson’s complaint as usual. “Not one of the suites either.”

He rolled his eyes as the elevator doors opened up into the lobby. “Fine Dad, but I still have to get to the meeting. I only have a couple hours to get ready.” Jackson returned sternly.

“What? Have you been out all night drinking at our club again?” His father’s tone was unrelenting.

“Well what do you expect, I’ve been stuck at this for two weeks, all because you had better things to do, of course I went and drank a little.” He returned.

He went up to the front desk with the mouth piece of his cell phone pressed into his chest. “Hi, would you have a large frappucino and your prettiest bouquet of flowers sent up to room 108?” He asked as he handed her a hundred dollar bill.

“Sir this is too much.” The concierge returned.

“Keep it.” He said as walked out the doors and placed the phone back up to his ear.

“Jackson, are you even listening to me, we could make billions off of this merger, you can’t be out all night screwing some hussy or getting to drunk to focus at your meeting.” His father was still nagging at him.

“Dad, everything is fine, I’m heading back to my hotel right now, I’ll get my clothes packed and check in at the Manhattan after the meeting.” He returned as he waved down the first taxi he saw and got in. “Myer’s High Club please.” He said to the cab driver.

“Jackson, you need to be careful what you do. I’m serious, not just about business either. You never know who you are taking to bed.” His father lectured.

“This was not like that dad.” Jackson defended himself.

“I know how you’ve been since your broken engagement with Monica, you can’t just keep running around and screwing the first girl that catches your eye.”

“Dad, this wasn’t like that, at all, I don’t want to think about Monica right now either, I just had the best night of my life and I’d much rather think about the woman that I just got out of bed with, than the one I caught you kissing.” Jackson hung up the phone, paid the driver and walked to the hotel across the street from the club.

His thoughts instantly went back to last night as he walked into his room. He couldn’t stop thinking about how sexy she was dancing on the floor and how easily she turned him on. Thinking about how soft her skin was, and the beautiful smell of vanilla and lavender that was in her hair.

Turning on the shower, he couldn’t help but think about the way she tasted and the way her moans sounded, the way his body reacted to her, the way hers reacted to him. He was broken from his thoughts by a ping on his cell.

He checked it seeing that it was an unknown number. ‘I was hoping for a proper goodbye, maybe a kiss but preferably one where you were on top of me’

Before he could reply another message came through. ‘Thanks for the coffee and flowers, although I would have rather of seen you.’

‘You will see me again soon, Darlin’, hopefully real soon.’

It took her a second to reply. ‘I hope so.’

‘Count on it honey, I will find you again, hopefully at the same club tonight.’

‘I’d bet on that one.’

He sent a winky face emoji as a reply and got in the shower, trying to think about anything else but her, he desperately needed to get this meeting over with and meet her. She was all he could think about.


Riley woke up to a knock on the door. Surprised she pulled on her silk black robe and answered the door, wondering where Jax had run off to. She answered the door, even more surprised to see the concierge there with a large coffee and a big beautiful bouquet of flowers. She saw Ronnie look out his door and wait until the concierge spoke. “Sorry Miss James, these were sent up to you, I didn’t know you were sleeping.”

“Thank you Ashley, It’s no problem, I needed to be up soon for a meeting anyway.” She smiled kindly at the woman.

She didn’t always know the hotel staff by their names, but they were all required to wear nametags. Just before the door closed she saw Ronnie’s disapproving, yet concerned look. She knew she was going to get lectured by him later but she also felt like maybe these were from her mother, trying to apologize for the argument they had before she left.

She set the bouquet of flowers down and took a sip of her coffee as she searched for a card on the flowers, but she couldn’t find one. A little disappointed she went to go check her phone but found a quickly yet still neat written note under it.

‘Sorry I had to run, I would have enjoyed waking up with you. I bet you look even more beautiful when you are stretching yourself awake in the morning. Or Maybe I could have made waking up a little better for you. I really hope to see you soon.


His phone number was written neatly under his name. Her heart started thundering in her chest as she took a couple more drinks of her coffee. She had no doubt now that the coffee and flowers were from him. She didn’t quite know what to say so she just typed up something and hit send.

‘I was hoping for a proper goodbye, maybe a kiss but preferably one where you were on top of me’

Her heart was thundering loudly as she waited for a reply, which seemed to be taking forever. ‘Thanks for the coffee and flowers, although I’d rather of seen you.’

‘You will see me again soon, Darlin’, hopefully real soon.’

Butterflies grew in her stomach and she smiled wildly as she read the message,

‘I hope so.’

‘Count on it honey, I will find you again, hopefully at the same club tonight.’

‘I’d bet on that one.’ She answered. Her heart was practically soaring in her chest as she saw the winky face he sent. She got in the shower and couldn’t stop from reminiscing about last night.

She was still really sore but she hoped that the warm water against her skin would help, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the way he made her feel as he touched and kissed her bare skin. Flashes of the memories came back in her mind as she tried to compose herself and get ready for the day.

She tried as hard as she could to stop smiling when Ronnie did his signature knock on the door. “Miss James, I don’t want to know what happened, I just want to know that you were safe.”

“Yes Ronnie, I told you I would call if anything happened.” She answered. “I’ll get ready to go down for breakfast and come get you.”

He nodded and stepped back into his own room. She finished doing her hair and light makeup before dialing Sam’s number.

“Did you get my text?” Sam asked, obviously excited.

“No I haven’t checked my messages yet.” She returned.

“You’re lying, but she said yes!” He was practically screaming into the phone. “But Sis what’s going on, you always check your messages right away?” he questioned.

“Sam I met the most amazing guy, but I did something I never do.” She answered.

“Oh my god, Ry, did you have a one night stand?” Mandy’s voice came over the phone.

Her cheeks flared red. “Sam do you have me on speaker?” She asked as she knocked on Ronnie’s door and they went down for breakfast.

“I feel like it may have been more than that though. He left a note with his phone number, and sent coffee and flowers.” She returned. “I texted him, I don’t really know what I got myself into with this guy.” She was obviously flustered as she bit into her bagel, she barely noticed Ronnie’s disapproving look.

“Sis it sounds like you like this guy a lot.” Sam answered. “What’s his name?”

“Jax, he’s so sweet and very attractive. I’m not really sure this is going to be just a one night stand Sam.” She ignored Ronnie’s stares.

“Riley, long distance relationships just don’t work out, there is no way you are thinking about that are you?” Mandy’s voice was almost frantic.

“No, Mandy, I’m not stupid, but maybe more than just one night.” Riley answered. “I am here for a few days.”

“Oh, I get it, so the sex was good.” Mandy returned.

“Mandy, I don’t want to hear that stuff about my sister.” Sam chimed in.

Riley thanked the waitress as she dropped off her hash browns, sausage, and eggs over medium. “Sis, we will be there tomorrow morning, but I’m afraid we can really only stay for brunch our lay-over isn’t that long and dad needs me back home for business.” Sam stated. “But you’re running late, so you better hurry with your breakfast.”

Riley checked the time. “Shit, Sam I need to go.” She hung up the phone and shoveled a few bites of food in her mouth, refusing to answer the questions that she knew that Ronnie had. “Is the driver outside?” She asked.

“Mhm…” He didn’t even show any emotion, he usually acted cold when she did something he didn’t like.

She stood up and rushed out, leaving a nice tip for the waitress. Ronnie was in tow close behind her. She hurried and got herself in the backseat, not allowing Ronnie the chance to get in the seat with her, she knew he would question her the whole way there.

Chapter 4

Jackson was getting more and more irritated with every minute that went by that he waited outside of the club. It was fifteen minutes after he was supposed to meet with Erin’s assistant, or whoever she was sending. The accountants were already seated at a booth inside, sipping on some fruity, barely alcoholic drink that they had Todd make for them.

The club wasn’t open yet, so he was strictly here for this deal that his dad pressured him not to screw up. He showed up early, just to make a good impression, but no, the bastard was late. He leant up against the wall, one foot pushed up against the wall, with his arms folded in discontent.

Watching the expensive town car pull up, he checked his watch, two weeks and twenty minutes late, he thought as he saw the passenger door open. It was some big, built guy in a black suit with slicked back black hair. He was a little surprised when he stepped to the back door and opened it.

As she stepped out of the car his breath hitched in his throat and his anger dissipated. She looked amazing in a mid-thigh black pencil-skirt with a black matching halter top that had white accents around the hems, clearly top-dollar designer clothes. Her black high-heeled boots came up to the bottom of her knees.

Her beautiful red hair was pulled up into a ponytail, except for the bangs that wouldn’t quite reach. His heart thundered just at the sight of her, but as her piercing green eyes met his, he felt like it would come right out of his chest.

“Hey, Darlin’” He started as she walked over to him, the man in the suit close behind her. “I thought we would be meeting later?”

She threw her head back in frustration, then pinched the bridge of her nose, shaking her head. “Jackson Myers.” She started. “I’m such an idiot.”

“Riley James then.” He returned raising a brow at her. “Now what on earth would Erin be thinking, sending the Manhattan Princess all the way across the country? To be honest I was expecting some old uptight man or some assistant, not her gorgeous daughter.”

“Oh, so you have heard of me then.” She smirked irritated. “This is Ronnie, My bodyguard. Terms of me leaving the hotel, at all.”

“Ouch. So this meeting just got so much more exciting.” He winked at her.

“I don’t sleep with people I work with.” She stated bluntly.

“Well, first off, you did, and you enjoyed it, second, it felt like you hadn’t slept with anybody, for a while.” He returned, raising a brow.

Her cheeks flared red as she noticed Ronnie looking away. “We need to get to work.” She turned and gestured toward the door of the night club.

They walked in and he led her over to the booth that had two older men sitting there. They both had briefcases and paperwork spread out on the table. “Miss James, nice of you to finally grace us with your presence.” One of them said in a grouchy, sarcastic tone. “We have other meetings lined up today, so we need to make this quick, I’ve laid out all the paperwork that is necessary for Erin to see and my client’s monthly bills versus their profits.” He gestured toward all the paperwork laid out.

Riley picked them up and started reading, barely noticing that Jackson had the bartender bring them drinks until she was sipping on it. “These are very good numbers, are these copies that I can send to my mother?” She questioned.

“Yes Miss, these are for you to keep.”

“Ok, well these show that your stats are as good as you told us, and if that was the case my mother and father were willing to build a night club in each of our hotels, all around the country first, then maybe overseas as well. We will start with the one in Manhattan first though, just so we can oversee the construction a little bit better at first and then we will spread it out from there like wildfire, as long as everything goes well.” Riley stated.

Jackson had to try as hard as he could not to stare at her like a love-sick puppy as she spoke. He had no idea that she was so intelligent and it made him want her even more. He tried hard to listen but he couldn’t stop staring at her rosy red lips as she spoke.

Finally she pulled out some blueprints and spread them across the table. She started pointing out the changes that would be added in. “We will have a VIP section up here on this high part of the floor, and underneath will just be some regular seating and we have some poles for paid dancers. Here’s the stage, the bar, the dancefloor, and the restrooms will be over here, we will have additional security placed by the restrooms and all the doorways, and we are willing to start it out at a sixty-forty split for the first two years.” He tried hard not to stare at her lips anymore.

“Sixty-forty split? Why so much? I mean we’ve all been to the Manhattan at least once before, we know you have the space down in your basement for this without much renovation, maybe knocking down a few walls but that’s it?” Jackson asked.

“Well, we are obviously going to have to sound proof that entire area, plus all the renovations we are trying to do on the inside, it’ll make it cheaper for you without having to pay a lease or buy a building.” She retorted, not used to be questioned.

“And these new blue-prints, these aren’t what we sent to Erin. What is this over here?” He asked pointing at the only addition she hadn’t addressed.

“My brother and I did the changes to the blue-prints, that there is a grill station, so they can order food, fresh if they want, That was Sam’s idea, I thought it was a good one.” She returned.

“And the VIP seating, the paid dancers, who came up with that?” Jackson asked.

“I did.” She answered bluntly.

“Well, Miss James, I think you should be in the business of nightclubs, not hotels.” Jackson returned.

Her cheeks flared red and he had to hold back a chuckle. He held eye contact for as long as she would allow it. Once she looked away he turned toward the accountants, who were already packing up their briefcases. “I myself, like it. What about you, gentlemen?” He questioned.

“We will get these sent over to Mr. Myers immediately, but we have other business to attend to, we are sure you can show the lady around and out Mr. Myers.” One of them answered as they left the booth.

Jackson only nodded and signaled Todd for more drinks. He noticed her bodyguard stepping closer to them but she signaled for him to remain where he was. The silence turned awkward as they sipped from their drinks. He cleared his throat.

“So do you do that every time?” He questioned.

She almost choked on her drink and her cheeks flared red again. “Umm... I’m sorry. But to be honest, no, I’ve never done that before last night, I’ve also never had someone do what you did last night.” She kept her voice hushed.

“No need to apologize, honey that would have been my favorite way to drown.” He returned with another wink as he took a big drink of his rum and coke.

Her blush seemed to cover her whole body at that point and her heart started thundering. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were Jackson Myers?” She questioned, obviously still agitated at the fact.

“You didn’t tell me either.” He returned.

“I gave you my real name, you gave me a nickname.” She retorted.

“What’s the big deal Riley?” He questioned, his voice raised to where her bodyguard stepped forward until she held her hand up to stop him.

“I don’t sleep with people that I work with.” She argued. “Now are you going to show me around or should I just show myself out?” She raised an eyebrow at him trying her hardest not to let her memories of last night flood her mind again.

Jackson tossed back his drink and put his hand out to help her out of the booth, he could tell that she was reluctant at first but did it anyways. He led her around the club, explaining all the security they had placed, and how the bar was set up for easy access for multiple bartenders to work at once. He showed her the codes that were required to get in and out of the back door for maximum security.

When the tour came to an end he checked his watch, it was barely after one. “Do you want to get lunch?” He questioned. He immediately saw her hesitance. “We could keep going over the stats of the clubs, I know that the accountants didn’t really tell you much, they were pissed that you were late.”

“It’s not a date, just business right?” She asked.

“Well, yeah.” He half lied, he just wanted to convince her that them working together was not a problem.

“Sure, there is a little diner down the road, it’s walking distance, I’ve been wanting to check it out since I got here.” She agreed, still a little bit unsure about it.

“Then we can just walk.” He stated as he walked her towards the door.

She signaled her bodyguard and he followed them out of the club, stopping just long enough to tell the driver where they were going.

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” She asked again continuing to walk down the street. She was not even trying to hide the fact that it had bothered her a lot.

He let out a sigh. “When most women hear my name it’s like they see me as a bank, like I am just worth it because of the money, so I just stopped, Jax is a nickname that I’m used to being called, my dad calls me it all the time, but it makes it easier to figure out who is just with me for the money.” He answered honestly. “You should see the things women are willing to do when they find out you’re rich. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Yeah, cause that’s easy to say, I’m Manhattan’s princess, worth billions of dollars and surrounded by bodyguards and one of the most eligible bachelorettes.” She rolled her eyes.

“Don’t forget to add brilliant and super sexy to that long list.” He said as he opened the diner door for her.

Her cheeks flared red again as they were seated and she started glancing at the menu. “Look, Jax...” She started.

“Before you finish that statement, I have some questions for you that aren’t work related. He asked trying to see how far away her bodyguard was sitting, he was two booths away, staring directly at them. He shrugged it off. “How long had it been before last night?”

“Jax.” She argued.

“Please just a few questions and I will leave it alone.” He begged.

She immediately felt embarrassed. “Three, maybe four years.” She made sure her face was covered by the menu.

“Why so long? You are sexy as hell and why me all of a sudden?”

Chapter 5

That question made Riley think back to the last time she was intimate with someone. Gerard was the pick of her family and for a while he did make her happy and she genuinely did believe that she loved him. They were kissing passionately on the bed in his fraternity house.

He started running his hands down her sides and then down her skirt until he started to pull it up. “Gerard I’m not sure I’m ready.”

“Come on baby, it won’t hurt.” He said, kissing her neck. “ Just let me try it.”

He pulled his pants down just enough and took her panties off leaving her skirt on. “I guess we...” before she could even finish her half approval he was pushing into her.

She felt pain, and he wasn’t even trying to be gentle. “No, Gerard I want to stop.” She said as a tear ran down her cheek.

“Just give it a second baby.”

She waited just a second before shoving him off of her. “No Gerard, that doesn’t feel good I don’t want to anymore.”

“You’re a fucking tease, Riley. It’s been two years what the fuck is wrong with you!” Gerard yelled at her.

She was in tears in the second that Ronnie came barging into the room. Eying up the situation. “It’s ok Ronnie, I told him we could try, but I just didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.” She answered. “Take me home please.”

Ronnie stared long and hard at Gerard, Riley was sure that he would beat the hell out of him. She knew he saw the bloody mess on his bed. “Take me home, now, please.” She left the room knowing that Ronnie would follow after her.

It took about ten minutes of the car ride for her to speak. “Ronnie, we’re sworn to secrecy right?” She questioned.

“Yes Riley, we always are when it comes to personal matters.” He answered glancing into the rearview mirror.

“I thought I wanted to, but it hurt so badly. I made him stop. I didn’t feel comfortable, He had no right to ask me to continue did he?” She asked.

Ronnie stayed quiet and just pulled over to the side of the road hearing the sobs she tried to hide as she spoke. He got in the backseat and pulled her into his arms. “You did nothing wrong Riley,” He continued to comfort her by smoothing her hair down her back. “I just don’t think Gerard is the right guy for you, I don’t understand why your parents do.”

“Thanks Ronnie.” She said when he finally let her go. She dried the tears that had fallen down her cheeks.

He got back in the driver seat and continued toward the hotel. “For the record, Miss James, I think you know the consequences if you tell Samuel what happened, but I think you should, or I am going to go back and beat the hell out of him myself.”

“Riley?” Jackson questioned pulling her from her thoughts.

“I guess I didn’t like it the first time.” She answered still in a daze, trying to pull herself from those memories. The adrenaline from that night was coursing through her veins so badly that she jumped when the waiter came to take their orders. She settled for the cheeseburger and onion rings that Jackson had ordered, knowing well that her voice would be really shaky.

He reached out and touched her hand as she stared off, making her jump again. “What happened Darlin’? At first you were just pissed off at me and now you’re jumpy, like you can’t trust anybody around you.

“I thought this lunch was supposed to be about business?” She questioned, raising a brow and turning back to her usual business like demeanor she had shown him today.

“Just one more, I beg you.” He started, waiting for her approval. “Can I take you to dinner tonight?” The look on his face showed his eagerness, “I mean we have to meet at the club anyways, why not let me take you out first.” He felt like he was blabbering on and couldn’t help but wonder why she made him feel this way.

“Jackson, I don’t sleep with co-workers.” She returned.

“Well, once again, you did and you enjoyed it, plus I’m asking you to dinner, not your bed. And maybe don’t think of me as a co-worker but a business partner.” He returned. “But I can see what’s on your mind.” He winked at her.

The waitress dropped off their food then. She was reluctant but finally answered, shaking her head. “What the hell, why not.” She answered. She took a bite of her burger.

“Really, I thought you were going to argue more than that?” He questioned.

“Do you want me to change my mind?” She returned, raising an eyebrow at him.

“Never.” He returned.

The rest of the lunch they ate in silence. And as they were waiting for the check they went over the rest of the revenue for the hotels and the nightclubs, it was one big business taking on another, so they had to be precise with everything or else they could all lose out on a ton of money. As he was walking her to her car he looked at her. “One more thing that’s not business related?” He questioned.

“What’s that?” She asked turning to face him.

He brought his lips crashing down on hers without any warning. He wrapped an arm around her back and pulled her closer as his tongue fought for entrance, which she gave him. She practically melted in his arms. Her bodyguard coughed which caused him to pull away. “I’ll pick you up at seven, Darlin’.” He stated, before pressing one more soft kiss to her red luscious lips.

She nodded, her fingers tracing her lips. She missed the feel of his lips against hers already. She got into the car and they drove away.

“Miss James?” Ronnie questioned.

“I know Ronnie, but you have no idea how he makes me feel.” She answered.

“I literally held you while you cried over Gerard, I want to know that you are alright.” His voice was stern, almost father like.

“Ronnie, it wasn’t like that this time, I would have shouted like I did last time.” She returned.

“Miss James, I am making sure you are alright, I know what you went through last time.” Ronnie retorted.

“It wasn’t the same, he kept asking me if I wanted him stop, instead of begging me to continue, he was gentle, he was more worried about how I felt.” Riley snapped. She knew that Ronnie was just looking out for her but she had all the red flags in her head now, she didn’t need him making it worse. “And I will not marry Gerard!”

“I don’t think you should even give him a second glance, Riley, but I am worried about this Jackson.” He stated, she nodded.

She pulled out her phone the second they got to her hotel. She dialed Mandy’s number on the way up to the suite she was staying in. Luckily by the time Mandy answered she was in her suite. “Mandy I’m in trouble.” She answered as she slid down the door sitting with her knees in her chest,

“What’s wrong?” Mandy asked sincerely, hearing the panic in Riley’s voice.

“Jax is Jackson Myers. The owner of the Myers high club’s franchises son.” She blurted out hoping that she wasn’t on speaker. “Mandy, I slept with him, like all the way, I took him to bed, I’m terrified.”

“Ry you need to let loose, I know you had a bad experience, but that doesn’t mean they are all going to bad.” Mandy replied, calm and honest at the same time.

“Mandy, I have feelings for him already, I don’t want to get hurt again.”

Just her saying that phrase brought her back. The day after she pushed Gerard off of her, she went back to his frat house to apologize, but when she got up to his room, He was on top of another girl, just enjoying himself. He didn’t seem like he felt guilty, but like this was her punishment for not letting it go even further than she was comfortable with.

She stared at him with the pretty blonde haired girl in his bed, she didn’t quite know what to feel, or what to say. She slammed the door roughly. She was even more upset than she was when she got there. She ran back out to the car. “Ronnie, he’s with another girl.” She said throwing herself into his comfortable embrace.

“Riley, you know I’ve always thought of you as my own. He doesn’t deserve you.” Ronnie said in his caring, father-like voice.

“It still hurts.” She sniffled against his chest.

It was only seconds later that Gerard came running out. “Riley, it’s not what it looks like. I just wanted one more time, before we get married. Ry, baby, Will you marry me?” He asked.

“No!” She screamed. “I don’t even want to be with you anymore. You’re a cheater.”

“Fuck you, you whore.” He yelled at her, making her tears fall even faster. “Your parents already agreed.”

“They don’t own me and I would never want to be with someone like you.” She screamed back.

Gerard lunged at her. “You dirty tramp!”

Ronnie stepped in front of him and with a loud thud he hit the ground. She didn’t see Ronnie throw the punch at all. “Get in the car Miss James, I think our business here is done.” He said as he opened the back door for her.

“Riley, are you still there?” Mandy’s voice brought her back from her thoughts.

“Yeah Mandy, I just think I should cancel tonight, business and relationships shouldn’t mix, it can get messy.

“No!” Both Sam and Mandy’s voice came through the phone a lot louder than before.

“Sis, look I know you want to stay professional and make mom and dad proud but I think you are having fun with this guy and I don’t think you should let your past with Gerard get in the way of that.” Sam started. “Plus I don’t see mom and dad making you marry Gerard if you’ve already fallen in love with someone.”

“So you want me to fall in love?” She questioned, raising a brow, even though he couldn’t see it.

“I think you already are.” Sam answered. “Ry, not everybody is going to be like Gerard, this is good for you, hopefully you will see that.”

“Fine, I will see how it goes.” She returned. “I’m going to lay down for a bit, I’ll see you tomorrow.” She hung up and went to her bed.

She laid there for what felt like hours thinking about Jackson and her past relationship. She wondered if Sam was right. She tried falling asleep but then a text came through on her phone. She smiled when she saw it was from Jackson.

‘As much as I try, and as much as you want me to, I cannot stop thinking about you.’

Her heart fluttered. ‘I can’t stop thinking about you either.’ She responded, she set an alarm and closed her eyes, ignoring all the other texts that came through.

She wondered if there was a way she could make it work with Jackson, if she decided that she wanted to. Her heart raced just at the thought of him, but it all kept her from falling asleep, and now she was more stressed now than she was when she got here.

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