Stark Ever After Novella 5
From New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner comes an electrifying holiday eBook novella. In Unwrap Me, fan favorites Damien Stark and Nikki Fairchild get ready for Christmas— and this year they’re both on the very naughty list.
Includes a special preview of Dirtiest Secret, the provocative first novel in J. Kenner’s highly anticipated new trilogy!
Damien Stark is my greatest Christmas wish come true. Immensely powerful and devastatingly sexy, he can undo me with the slightest touch, and with just one glance, he can see straight into my soul.
We both have dark secrets, twisted pieces of our pasts that only the other one understands. Though our fierce love and passion keeps me alive, sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if Damien and I hadn’t met in exactly the way we did.
How would my life have been different? Would another man have laid claim to my body and my heart? Or were Damien and I destined to be together no matter the cost?
Unwrap Me is intended for mature audiences.
Unwrap Me is Story # 3.5 in the Stark Saga - Damien & Nikki series.
Unwrap Me - Buy Now
About this StoryPublication Date 11/24/2015 Story Type Novella Primary Characters Nichole "Nikki" Fairchild (Stark) Damien Stark Secondary Characters Jamie Archer Jackson Steele Eleanor "Sylvia" Brooks Ryan Hunter Orlando "Ollie" McKee Series Stark Saga - Damien & Nikki Place in Series Story #3.5 Genre Contemporary Romance
“You could get him that,” my best friend, Jamie Archer, says, pointing at a sculpture displayed in the window of one of Rodeo Drive’s most renowned art galleries.
I glance from the sculpture to Jamie and then back to the sculpture. I’m not entirely sure what it’s supposed to be, but with the bronze cylinder thrusting upward from a rounded pewter base, it looks like a giant penis. Considering its resemblance to Jamie’s favorite part of the male anatomy, I’m not surprised it caught her eye. I, however, am not inclined to buy it as a Christmas gift for my husband.
“I don’t think it’s Damien’s style,” I say. “Besides, he’s already got a much better one.”
I say the last dryly, and it takes Jamie a second to get it, then she grins. “Yeah, I don’t need to buy it, either. Ryan’s all set in that department as well.”
“Which makes us both very lucky women,” I say as we turn away from the gallery and fall back in step together. “But it’s not much help with Christmas shopping.”
It’s December 23, and I honestly didn’t mean to leave my shopping to the last minute. But my husband is Damien Stark, a man who pretty much owns one of everything in the known universe, and that makes shopping for him a frustrating, stressful process.
“I thought you bought him a pocket watch,” Jamie says.
“I did. And I think he’ll like it.” It’s an antique gold watch that I had a local watchmaker repair and polish, and then I added a sweet inscription to the inside of the cover. He’s mentioned liking the look of pocket watches before, and I was shocked to realize that he doesn’t own one. Since I think there’s something sexy about a man with a pocket watch, it seemed like the perfect gift. Now, though…
Well, now it just doesn’t feel quite personal enough. And even though the watch is already wrapped and ready to go—disguised somewhat by the giant box I put it in—I’m on a quest for something else. Something more personal, something cleverer.
Something that is not a giant bronze penis.
To be honest, I know that Damien has the same problem. He can buy me the world; coming up with something unique and heartfelt is more difficult.
“Well, duh,” Jamie says when I fill her in on my thinking. “You guys are always getting each other wonderful presents. If you’d just hold off once in a while, you wouldn’t be fresh out of ideas come the holidays.”
I have to laugh—maybe she has a point.
“What about the app you were designing?” she asks.
“Got sidelined,” I admit. I’d come up with the idea for a lovers’ scavenger hunt app when Damien sent me on a romantic Valentine’s Day treasure hunt. “Honestly, it’s Damien’s fault. He’s the one who suggested that I submit a proposal to do the website and apps for The Resort at Cortez.”
The resort is one of many under the Stark International umbrella, and since I’ve always been leery about getting preferential treatment as Damien’s wife, I submitted my proposal blind. I’d been thrilled when Sylvia Brooks, the project manager, selected my company to do the work. The upside has been a lucrative contract which involves working closely with a woman who is both my friend and my sister-in-law.
The downside is that all of my spec projects have been pushed to the side. But the resort officially opened in September, so things have started to calm down on my end.
I still can’t turn my full attention to the scavenger hunt app, though. I’ve been alternating work on the resort with an app design for Sykes Department Stores, which is another gig that I got through Damien, after he introduced me to Dallas Sykes, one of the investors in the resort and a man with a reputation for fucking around. To put it politely.
In fact, now that I think about it, most of my major clients have come to me through some connection to Damien. Even the small app that my friend Evelyn Dodge commissioned to show off her boyfriend Blaine’s art came to me tangentially through my relationship with Damien.
For that matter, his friend Lisa was instrumental in getting me my office space. And I sure can’t forget that even my start-up capital came straight from the million dollars that Damien paid me to pose nude for him, way back when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fuck him or run from him. Or both.
And, yeah, I know that I’m doing the actual work on my own—and goodness knows I work my tail off—but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I’d ever have managed to get my business off the ground if it weren’t for my husband’s help.
“You’re frowning,” Jamie announces. “Holiday stress? Is it time for a wine break?”
She asks the last part so eagerly that my frown transforms to a laugh. “Might be,” I admit.
“Oh! I know! There’s a new coffee shop just one block over, and they have the best brownies. And I saw an ad for their hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. Doesn’t get more Christmasy than that.”
“Schnapps is Christmasy?”
“Duh. All alcohol is. Why do you think people say ‘cheers’? Because of all the holiday cheer.”
Her logic leaves a lot to be desired. But at the same time, I’m all about getting into the holiday spirit. It’s a balmy seventy-one today, and I’m wearing a light red sweater with green embroidery at the cuffs just so that I can feel festive. The whole city is like that, actually, with Rodeo Drive being the most decked out. There’s holly climbing the stairs at Via Rodeo, and a beautifully trimmed tree centered on the landing. Along Rodeo Drive itself, the palm trees are wrapped in red Christmas lights and the leafless trees are decked out in sparkling white ones.
Despite the bright California sun, it looks pretty. At night, when the lights are on and the street glows, it’s magical.
“So Ryan and I should show up around ten tomorrow morning, right?”
“That’s perfect,” I say.
Damien and I are having friends and family over to the Lake Arrowhead house on Christmas Eve so that we can all be together on Christmas Day. The house is nestled in the San Bernadino Mountains, about two hours from our Malibu house. Damien designed and built it before we were together, and to me it’s like a five-star resort, with its sweeping balcony and stunning view of the lake.
Not only that, but Lake Arrowhead Village is sure to be decked out in fabulous holiday style, too, if we want to take a stroll on Christmas Eve or on Boxing Day.
“Are you driving up with Jackson and Sylvia?” I ask.
“They’re coming on their own,” Jamie replies. “We offered, but Jackson said it’s easier with Ronnie if they take their own car. Plus, Sylvia’s over her morning sickness, but driving in cars still gets to her, so they’ll probably be stopping a lot along the way.”
Sylvia is five months pregnant with her and Jackson’s first child, though Syl is already a mommy to Ronnie, who she adopted right after she and Jackson got married. Since Jackson is Damien’s half-brother, that makes me an aunt. I adore Ronnie, and I can’t wait to meet the new baby. After my sister’s suicide, I thought I’d never be an aunt—never feel like I had a sister again. So seeing these kids—and growing closer to Syl—is both wonderful and bittersweet.
“Who else is on the guest list?” Jamie asks. “Did Ollie bail?”
I shake my head. “No, he’s actually coming.”
I nod my agreement. I’d been surprised when Ollie’d accepted the invitation. For that matter, I’d been surprised when Damien suggested we invite him. Ollie is one of my oldest friends, and to say that he and Damien have had their ups and downs is an understatement.
For a while, Ollie had been living in New York, but he’s back in Los Angeles now. And although I know that Damien would be just fine never seeing Ollie again, I love Damien all the more for understanding that I don’t want to lose the friendship that I’d depended on for so much of my life.
“Will that be weird for you and Ryan?” I ask.
Jamie shakes her head. “He knows I screwed around. And now he knows there’s only one guy for me,” she adds with a wide, happy grin. “So who else?”
I laugh. “Isn’t that enough?” I’d actually invited three more couples, but Evelyn and Blaine are in Paris, Lisa and Preston are visiting family in Ohio, and Syl’s best friend, Cass, and her girlfriend, Siobhan, are in Munich for some sort of tattoo festival.
“I’m kind of bummed Lisa can’t make it,” I admit. “The guy who owns my building is turning it into office condos, and I’m thinking about buying my unit. I was hoping to talk to her more about that.” Lisa had helped me find the space originally, and she’s told me that if I want to buy, this is a good opportunity. I’ve actually been working on my business finances, trying to maneuver my assets so that purchasing makes sense financially, and I’m excited that’s it’s actually—almost—feasible.
“Honestly, I’m surprised you want anyone over. I mean, Damien’s been gone for what? A week now?”
“Eight long days,” I confirm. He’s been away for business—some new classified project for Stark Applied Technology—and since I had so much of my own work to do, I decided not to travel with him. It’s the longest we’ve been apart since we got married, and I absolutely can’t wait to see him again.
“He’s meeting me at the Arrowhead house tonight,” I tell her. “We’re going to make up for lost time. In fact, if you don’t mind, I want to pop into one more store before cocoa and brownies.”
I tug her to a stop in front of Marilyn’s Lounge, a high-end, German-based lingerie boutique that recently opened in Beverly Hills.
Jamie glances at the very sexy, very revealing items in the window, then raises a brow. “Plan to give Damien his Christmas present tonight?”
“Absolutely,” I say, pushing the door open and stepping inside. “After all, this is the kind of gift that just keeps giving.”
I’m pulling my car through the gated entry to the Alpine-style mountain home when Damien texts.
About fifteen minutes behind you.
I shake my head in amusement as I pull my car into the garage. Of course he knows that I’ve just arrived. He’s either tracking my cellphone or my car or he gets a notification whenever anyone uses the gate code to any of our homes. It used to annoy me. Now it makes me feel safe.
I kill the engine and text back: That’s eight days and fifteen minutes too long without you.
His reply makes me tingle with anticipation: I want you naked, baby. I don’t want to waste any time.
I bite my lip. Naked and wet and waiting.
The reply comes back at the speed of light. Christ, Nikki.
I don’t reply; I just grin.
A moment later, my phone dings again. How often have you touched yourself while I’ve been gone?
You know, I reply. And he does. Sort of, anyway. We’ve had phone sex, Skype sex. I even texted him a few naughty photos. And, of course, there were other times, too, when I was alone and missing him.
His reply makes my cheeks burn. Do I? Or did you touch yourself without me on the phone? Without my voice in your ear? Did you think of me and make yourself come? Did you deny me the pleasure of hearing you moan? Of hearing you call my name as you go over? Tell me, Nikki. Did you slide your fingers into your sweet cunt and imagine it was me?
I lean against the car door as I read the message, but I don’t feel the least bit guilty. Instead, his words heat my already sensitive skin, and just the pressure of my jeans against my clit is making me a little crazy.
Are you touching yourself now?
I shake my head as I quickly reply: No.
But you want to.
Oh, god, how I want to.
I don’t text a reply, but it doesn’t matter. He knows me well.
Hell, he knows me intimately.
Naughty girl, he says.
Maybe I like naughty.
I imagine his cocky smile. Maybe I like it, too. Soon, baby. I’ll be there soon. Until then, imagine me, touching you.
I draw in a ragged breath as I wonder how much time I have left. I can’t be sure, and I want to be ready, so I grab my shopping bags from the backseat and hurry into the house. It’s empty, but clean and fresh. The caretaker and his wife live on the property, and although they’ve gone to Victorville to visit their daughter for the holidays, they aired out the house and even set up a huge Christmas tree in the vaulted living room. It’s lit, but there are no other decorations on it. That is something that Damien and I will do with our friends.
I take a quick look around and put Damien’s present under the tree, but otherwise I don’t waste any time. He may want me naked, but I have other plans, and I hurry to the bedroom with my bags—one from Marilyn’s Lounge and another from the Target I popped into during my drive.
By the time I hear the telltale beep that signals the front door opening, I’m on the sofa in the great room. The sun is setting outside, and I can see the glow of the sunset on the hills through the glass doors. The white lights on the tree twinkle, and it’s magical. I’m looking forward to seeing it decked out with presents and ornaments tomorrow night.
Right now, though, it’s not the tree I’m thinking about. Instead, I lean back against the cushions and close my eyes. There are two glasses of wine on the coffee table. Mine is already half empty, and I can feel the warmth of the alcohol flowing through me, heating my already overheated body even more.
I hear his footsteps, and like Pavlov’s dog, I respond simply to the proximity of this man I love. My skin tingling. My breasts tightening. I desperately want to slide my hand down between my legs and ease the ache, but I don’t. Instead, I have one hand resting on the seat cushion, another on the back of the sofa. And I wait. I simply wait.
“Someone really is a naughty girl.” He is right above me, and I think he must have taken off his shoes to cross so silently. I breathe in a quick, startled breath as I sit up straight, longing for him even though I had told myself I would play it cool and simply stay here.
His fingertip brushes my hairline, then my lips, then down to lightly stroke my collarbone.
“Very naughty,” he repeats as he reaches the neckline of the very boring, very unsexy quilted robe I’d picked up at Target.
I open my eyes and smile at him, then bite back a moan when I see the wicked heat in his eyes and the stern expression on his face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Stark.”
“Mmm.” He says nothing else, but he walks around the couch to stand in front of me. He’s still wearing a charcoal gray suit, his waistcoat still buttoned and his tie still knotted neatly at his neck. He looks confident and in control. He looks like a man who could command a boardroom as easily as he can command me.
He looks like the man he is—Damien Stark, and I know that when I disobey I am playing with fire.
Frankly, I can’t wait to get burned.
“Stand up,” he says, and I don’t hesitate. He glances down, and I see the slightest twitch at the corner of his lips when he notices the ugly fuzzy slippers I’ve got on my feet.
He makes a rough noise in the back of his throat, then moves to sit on the couch, his feet on the floor and his knees slightly apart. He pats the edge of the couch cushion between his legs. “Put your right foot here.”
I comply, then close my eyes again when he slowly strokes the tip of his finger around my exposed skin before pulling the ugly slipper off. He tosses it aside, then turns his attention to my foot again, moving his finger slowly along the instep, then over my heel and up the back of my calf until I’m whimpering from the pressure building between my legs.
He feels it, too. I can see his erection bulging against the suit material, and as I meet his eyes, I move my foot inward, closer to his crotch. And then, very gently, I press the arch of my foot over his erection and am rewarded with his low, deep groan of pleasure.
“The robe,” he says, his voice a growl. “Take it off.”
I move to comply, tugging down the ugly plastic zipper and then throwing the quilted monstrosity onto the floor. I know that he expects me to be naked underneath, but I’m not. I’m wearing a black and red underbust corset with tiny, frilly panties that are both crotchless and backless.
Frankly, that would be more than enough to surprise my husband, but I’d grabbed one more thing from his closet before I’d left for the mountains—a set of nipple rings attached with a silver chain. The chain hangs down over the corset and the clamps on the rings are just tight enough so that the weight of the chain and the brush of that robe against my nipples has kept me in a constant state of pain, pleasure, and arousal.
“Christ, Nikki.” I hear the passion in his voice, and beneath my foot, his cock has hardened to steel. I see the subtle working of his jaw as he tries to cling to control. Since I’m determined that he will lose that battle, I slide my hand down between my legs, over the satin that seems to cover my crotch, and then slowly—very slowly—slip my fingers into myself.
“Oh, fuck, baby. That is so damn hot.” He closes his hand over my foot and guides me, rubbing my arch against his growing erection. “Tell me what you want,” he demands, his voice hoarse with need.
“I haven’t seen you in eight days,” I say, then pull my foot free. “I think you can guess what I want.”
I slide out of the other slipper, then climb on the couch to straddle him, grinding my cunt against him and probably ruining a perfectly good suit because I’m so damn wet.
I take the chain and tug on it, adding pressure to my nipples, and then I grin and put it in Damien’s mouth. I’m in control now, and I’m enjoying it, but I know my husband well enough to know that this won’t last. More, I don’t want it to. I lean back so that the pressure on the chain from his mouth to my nipples makes them tight and hot.
I keep grinding as I’m leaning back, my body at an angle because of the corset. Then I gasp when he slides his hands around to cup my ass before slipping one finger inside my anus. “I want that,” I whisper in answer to his question, as his finger dips even deeper into me.
I bite my lip as my entire body trembles, then I reach for his fly and unzip his slacks to free his cock. “And this,” I say as I rise up, then position his cock so that I can impale myself on him, hard and fast just the way I want. And I close my eyes and lose myself in pleasure as I slam myself down so that he fills me completely, then I cry out when his cock pounds against my cervix even as his finger slides deeper into my ass.
“You’ve been gone for eight days,” I say again, forcing the words out between groans, as I ride him. As I fuck him and he fucks me and I finger my clit and lean back so that my nipples are tight and hot and I’m so incredibly turned on.
“Eight days,” I repeat. “I want everything. I want your mouth. I want your cock. I want you to punish me. I want you to fuck me. I want you, Damien. I want you every way possible. Now, Damien. Please, please, now.”
As if my last word is an incantation, he explodes inside me, and I hold one hand tight around the back of his neck and feel the tremors that run through his entire body. I’m so close, too, and I can tell that he realizes that, but he releases his grip on my ass cheek, slides his finger free, and then tugs my hand away from my clit. “Not for you,” he murmurs, letting the chain fall from his mouth. “Not yet.”
I make a small noise of protest, but he only looks smug. “Punishment,” he says, and I can’t help it—I lick my lips in anticipation even as my vagina contracts around his still hard cock in anticipation of everything yet to come.
“Off,” he demands, moving me even as I shift my weight to comply. He stands, too, then roughly pushes me forward so that my feet are on the ground and the front of my shins are brushing the couch. He bends me forward at the waist, then tells me to hold on to the back of the sofa.
I do, then feel the first smack of his palm against the circle of my ass that’s exposed by the cutaway panties. “Tell me you like that,” he says after another smack, followed by the soft rubbing of his palm on my tender skin.
“You know I do. Harder, Damien. Please.”
He knows I sometimes need the pain. But what I crave tonight isn’t because of need. This is desire. I want to feel the heat between us. I want him to take me. To claim and use me. I want it rough and wild, because I’ve missed this man, and I need to experience everything right now. I need to explode. I need to feel every single thing that he can make me feel. I’m greedy—so damn greedy. I want it right now, I want it all.
Damien understands that, because Damien understands me, and this time when he spanks me with one hand, he thrusts two fingers inside me with the other. He doesn’t soothe between spanks, and I close my eyes as he finger-fucks me, the rhythmic thrusts alternating with the smack of his palm against my ass. “You’re so damn sexy,” he says. “Your skin is so pink. So sensitive. Tell me, Nikki. Tell me what you want.”
“You.” The word is a plea. “All of you.”
I hear him fumbling for something, and for a second I think he’s undressing. Then I realize that he was just getting something out of his pocket. I turn my head, and see that it’s a small pocketknife. For a moment I’m confused. Then he reaches up, and in one quick motion slices through the laces at the back of my corset. It falls to the couch, leaving me fully naked except for the panties and nipple jewelry.
My body thrums from the sudden release of pressure, and even as that warmth is washing over me, he slides his hand from my cunt to my ass, teasing me. Lubing me. And when I feel the head of his cock there, I take slow breaths, trying to relax even as I bite my lower lip in anticipation of the sweet sting that I know is coming.
This is what I want. Rough. Wild. Raw. And I suck in air as he enters me, then thrust my hips back to meet him as he slowly fills me, fucking me slowly at first to get me ready, then hard and deep as passion builds. He’s still fully clothed, and I look like a plaything, and the thought turns me on even more, making me wetter and wilder. “Harder,” I demand.
“Oh, baby.” His voice is raw and I know he’s on the edge, but he reaches around and takes the chain, holding on to it as he thrusts deeper, so that there is an invisible connection from my breasts to my clit to my cunt to my ass.
My whole body is on fire, and when he orders me to touch myself, I’m so damn grateful. My clit is swollen and so wet, and as he fills me, I finger myself. The growing pleasure sparks through me, making my muscles contract around him, my body tighten. Making everything wilder and deeper and hotter and sweeter.
And I’m so close—so incredibly close—and I can tell that he is as well. And when he tugs on the chain—when he orders me to “come with me, baby, come with me now”—it’s as if everything inside me goes supernova and I explode into a billion pieces, and the only thing that saves me from flying off into space and getting lost forever is the feel of Damien’s arms around me. Tight and warm and safe and so full of love.
We are both breathing hard when he goes to the bathroom and returns with a damp washcloth and a towel with which to clean us up. I have to smile at him, still in his suit, his tie still knotted, his waistcoat still buttoned. “So very corporate, Mr. Stark.” I ease up and press my body hard against him. I’ve taken off the nipple clamps, and my sensitive breasts tingle from the friction against his suit. “I like it,” I add, then tilt my head back for a kiss.
“And I like my welcome home,” he says as he pulls me down onto the couch with him. He stretches out and I snuggle against him, feeling warm and safe and loved and used.
“You’re welcome,” I murmur. “But don’t get any ideas about going away more often just to get an enthusiastic greeting when you return.”
I feel more than hear his soft chuckle. “I wouldn’t dream of it,” he says. And as I’m closing my eyes and starting to drift, his next words echo all through me. “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Stark. As far as presents go, you’re the best one ever.”