Copyright © 2014 Lexxie Couper
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Hands still behind his head, Jax shifted in his seat, craning a look at the fleeing woman as she pulled the door close behind her.
“She’s cute,” he said when he turned back to Nat.
“She’s nine,” Nat stated, making her voice as flat and threatening as possible. “And dating a cellist.”
He raised his eyebrows. “I just said she was cute.”
“And I know what she’s cute translates as in Jaxon Campbell speak.”
He studied her, lips curled, eyes…ambiguous. “You know I never said you were cute, don’t you, Boxhead?”
Nat closed her eyes. “Please don’t call me Boxhead.”
He didn’t respond. Silence stretched between them, long enough for Nat to open her eyes and cast him a cautious look. Jax rarely passed up a chance to shoot off his famous mouth.
“Want to know what I said you were, Nat?” he asked when her gaze found his, not a hint of flippant jest in his voice. Ah, his voice. She could come over and over again just listening to his voice.
She pulled a breath, the knot in her stomach now a full-blown granny knot. “Gullible?”
“Mine,” he answered.
Goddamn it, where did all the air go in the room? Where did all the ants crawling all over her body come from? And more to the point, where the hell did Jaxon Campbell—the guy who stole not only her heart but also her rare, mint-condition, fully-signed AC/DC Back in Black vinyl LP—come off pretending what they’d had was anything more than sex to him? Huh? Huh?
Shoving aside the sudden and all-too-vivid memory of sex with Jax—hot, wild sex, explosive, exhibitionistic sex, slow, soul-melting sex, playful, let’s-include-toys sex—she rolled her eyes. “I think I prefer Boxhead.”
He grinned at her. “Of course you do.”
Another surreal stretch of silence claimed them. Nat couldn’t help but study him. It had been twenty-one years since she’d seen him. Not just on the TV or in a magazine, but actually seen him, in the flesh. He hadn’t lost his boyish sexiness, but the passing of time had left its mark on him. The laugh lines on either side of his eyes were distractingly wonderful, as was the faint crease between his eyebrows and the hint of silver in the stubble dusting his jaw and chin. He wasn’t as sinewy and lean as he’d been when they were together, which only transformed him, in Nat’s begrudging opinion, into a delicious mix of sculpted muscle and natural early forties strength.
Damn, she’d love to feel those muscles sliding under her palms again. Would dine out on his newness even as she indulged in the familiarity of his body, a body she’d never ever forgotten.
As frustratingly annoying as he’d been—and still was, if this brief encounter was anything to go by—he was still the most amazing, talented, no-holds-barred lover she’d ever had. And she was so missing amazing, talented, no-holds-barred sex. Nothing had come close to Jax in all the years since they’d parted.
He’s still the utterly sexy rock star though, Nat. That hasn’t changed.
Letting out a slow breath, and killing the very naughty notion of a for-old-time’s-sake tumble forming in her head, she leant forward and rested her elbows on her desk. Time to be the professional, aloft woman she was known to be. She was the Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, not a Jaxonfire. “What do you want, Jax?” she asked, holding his gaze. “I’ve got another appointment in a few moments and I’d like to be done with this reunion ASAP. Are you here to return my AC/DC record?”
Jax wriggled deeper into his chair, his eyes glinting. “Your next appointment is outside with his son. I’ve already said g’day.”
Nat blinked. “Nick Blackthorne is here already?”
Jax nodded. “I left him in the waiting room—nice ficus in the corner, by the way—chewing Josh a new one. That’s an angry father out there. And a disgruntled son.”
Before she could stop herself, Nat half-rose to her feet. Goddamn it, she was in here thinking about sex with Jax and the Con’s biggest financial benefactor was on the other side of the door?
Jax burst out laughing. “Geez, Nat, you really do have a thing for Nick. How did I miss this all those years ago?”
Dropping back into her seat, cheeks hot, she picked up a pen and glared at Jax. “I don’t have a thing for Blackthorne. It was only ever you, dickwad.”
So much for being professional.
The smile Jax gave her at her unplanned confession sent a flutter of traitorous suggestions through her body. Suggestions involving things like rope and whipped cream and handcuffs and open windows…
Nat squeezed her thighs together and ground her teeth. She had to get rid of him now. Before she did something stupid.
Just one for-old-time’s-sake bonk, Nat. Just one? Right here on your desk would be good.
“What are you doing here, Jaxon?” she asked, ignoring the increasing throb between her thighs. “And please, just a simple, straight-to-the-point, honest answer would be appreciated.”
He regarded her, an uncharacteristic seriousness falling over his face. Her heart pounded. Jax rarely was serious, but when he was…damn, he used to rock her world.
She fidgeted on her seat. “Jax?”
His Adam’s apple slid up and down his throat and then, like a burst of charged energy, he leant forward in his seat and pinned her with a wide grin. “I want you to find me someone better than Nick Blackthorne.”
Nat blinked. She hadn’t expected that.
But when she’d arrived at work this morning, she hadn’t expected to find herself sitting in her office having entirely dangerous thoughts about entirely unwise sex with Jaxon Campbell either, had she?
She frowned at her ex. “Excuse me?”
Jax’s grin grew wider. “We’re looking for a new lead singer. And by we, I mean me, Strings, Levi and Noah. You remember us, right? The band behind the man that is Blackthorne? Anyways, Levi got us a gig writing and recording the end-credit track to the next Chris Huntley movie, Dead Even 2, and we’ve spent the last few months trying to find someone to replace Nick with no success. The guys are about to give up and I said you’d be able to find us someone because you are incredible at recognising talent. Oh, the guys say hi, by the way. Damn, I’ve just realized something. I owe Noah ten grand.”
Nat stared at Jax, not sure what to say. “Why?” she croaked out, head spinning.
Jax flashed his teeth at her in one of those boyish grins that always led to them bonking like rabbits when they were together, no matter where they were. “Because he reckoned you’d deck me within five seconds of being in my presence.” He paused, cocking an eyebrow at her. “And you didn’t.”
She didn’t say a word. Once again, she really didn’t know what word she should say.
Jax’s grin grew more devilish. A debauched promise she remembered all too well danced in his eyes. “C’mon, Boxhead,” he murmured. “I’ll make it worth your while.”
The word blurted from her before her brain registered it had formed on her lips.
Jax’s eyebrows shot up his head. “What?”
“I’ll find you a replacement for Nick Blackthorne,” Nat said, her voice a raspy, rapid breath. It was as if she was having some surreal, out-of-body experience, except she suspected it was actually her body in charge of her brain and mouth and tongue and voice box. Her body, after all, had never forgotten what sex with Jax was like. And never forgave her for denying it more. “On the condition you give me—”
“Sex?” he cut her off, lips twitching.
Her belly fluttered. Damn, there was no backing out of this lunacy now. Now, all she could do was take the upper hand, take charge of the situation and make him suffer. And by suffer, she meant make him make her come more times than she could ever hope to count.
The way he used to.
“Not just sex, Jaxon,” she corrected, her brain slowly catching up with her body’s licentious intent. If she was doing this—and it appeared she was—she was doing it big. The bastard had stolen her AC/DC album, after all. It was high time she got something back. “Mind-blowing, earth-shattering sex. Let’s call them a series of sexual challenges, shall we? For each challenge you achieve, I’ll introduce you to a possible candidate to replace Blackthorne.”
Jax studied her, his expression ambiguous. But there, in his eyes, was that promise.
It all starts with sex under a desk…
Heart Of Fame, Book 7
Natalie Thorton, Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, is driven and professional and doesn’t have room in her schedule for relationships. She also knows everyone who’s anyone in Australia’s music industry, which is why Jaxon Campbell is sure she can help him and his band find a perfect new lead singer. Trouble is, the last time he saw her, he kind of broke her heart and stole her cherished, autographed AC/DC album.
Natalie doesn’t want to feel anything when Jaxon strides into her office after all these years, but she does. And if he’s going to ask something from her, well, she wants something from him. Orgasms. Lots of them.
How can Jax say no to that? He’s never forgotten Natalie, and it’s not like they’re going to fall in love. But just who’s playing who? And whose heart is going to fall first?
Each book in the Heart of Fame series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Love’s Rhythm
Book #2 Muscle for Hire
Book #3 Guarded Desires
Book #4 Steady Beat
Book #5 Lead Me On
Book #6 Blame it on the Bass
Book #7 Getting Played
Book #8 Blackthorne