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Chapter Four: Taking the bait

1st September.

“Welcome home,” Jordan said, as Carrie walked in followed by Sinclair. He’d never quite gotten used to the fact that they were a couple now, and had been for several months. Carrie continued to reassure him that it was all part of the plan, but Jordan could see their relationship becoming more than just a means to an end for both of them. He began contemplating if he would have to step in at the end and finish the job himself to extricate her from Sinclair’s jet-setting world.

“Thanks,” Carrie sighed, dropping the large carry-all on the table and walking into the kitchen to get a coffee. She was beyond tired. Her whole world had been turned upside down and inside out over the last two months. She had never felt so out of control before she had begun a relationship with Sinclair Mansvelt, and, as soon as she had agreed to live with him for at least a year, he had been swift in taking over her life, both professionally and personally.

Sinclair had a long-standing friendship and business relationship with the director of the Museum she worked at, and the day after agreeing to live with him on a trial basis she had been promoted and given the responsibility of curating the Mansvelt collection in order to put together an exhibition the following year. She had been given a week to put together a small trustworthy team and organise the secure vault within the museum to start collecting and cataloguing items for the exhibition.

To her surprise, he had a variety of treasures in a number of locations worldwide, and, while it was true that he didn’t have a London house, he did have a manor house on the west coast of Ireland. Carrie and her team had spent two weeks there together, finding a great deal of historical information in the form of log books from captured ships in the golden age of privateering and piracy.

Carrie had also been surprised that much of the information and artefacts stored there focused on the Viking raids and slaves they took with them to their northern lands or bonded to their clans as they settled in the UK. She was pleased, however, to find a large section of the library dedicated to one of the few acknowledged women pirates from the era, Grace O’Malley. She’d been fascinated since her early teens by the strong independent woman who lived in a time where women were not encouraged to be free thinkers, and she spent a great deal of time exploring the documents she found in Sinclair’s collection there.

While there was a distinct lack of artefacts in terms of gold or jewels, the library was an immense treasure on its own, and, along with her team, Carrie had spent most of the time in Ireland working in the temperature controlled environment. Sinclair had seemed not to mind, as he dealt with his business associates in the area and got up to speed on the day to day running of the manor and its income.

She had been introduced to the husband of Sinclair’s assistant, Debbie, there. When Sinclair wasn’t in the United Kingdom, she and her family resided in the Manor house as caretakers and were assumed to be the owners by the surrounding villages. Carrie had wondered why this hadn’t come up in any of her searches, but found that the house was owned by Sinclair Mansfield. She had been so focused on Treasure Island in the South Pacific she had put little energy into any other aliases or residences, and none had been mentioned by Robyn in the plan.

Jordan had found that Sinclair had used variations of his name after receiving the burn phone, and had informed her only after she had agreed to move in with him. Carrie felt foolish for relying so heavily on the information Robyn and her grandmother had gathered over the past decades about the association and the men who made up its numbers. There had been alias’s listed for some other the Hats, but not with Sinclair, and she hadn’t thought to consider that Robyn’s information may have been out of date, despite her illness limiting her work.

Sinclair’s move into her home and life had altered her world considerably following the house party she agreed to attend as his official girlfriend. She’d enjoyed the weekend meeting some of his friends, and had been pleasantly surprised to find no other Hats in attendance at the party. Still, there was so much about Sinclair she didn’t know, and, as they grew closer in their relationship, he had begun trusting her with snippets of information about himself that both teased and tantalised her.

The visit to his home in Cameroon the following month had been eye opening, in that his family had a large collection centred around the Blackbirding slave trade from the West African nations to the Caribbean and Americas. The artefacts there were beautiful and valuable in their own right, but once again lacked the pirate hoard quality she had been expecting from the Mansvelt family.

She hadn’t been surprised to find his Mansion in Ireland had a large household staff, but, bahis firmaları at his home in Cameroon, the staff seemed odd to her. It was as if the slavery she read about in the provenance of each artefact and journal had been pressed upon the people who worked to keep the mansion beautifully maintained in the equatorial climate. She had been glad to leave after two weeks, the strangeness of the mansion and its staff, as well as the collection housed there, had an unsettling effect on her.

“You look beat,” Jordan commented, as she poured the freshly brewed coffee into a large mug.

“Flying overnight sucks, even in a private jet,” she came around the table with coffee for both herself and Sinclair and sat down beside Jordan. “How’ve things been here?”

“Same old, same old. We had a job come in I thought you might like to do with him,” he said, glancing to Sinclair, who came back into the room after taking their luggage upstairs. “If he’s still willing to help with our business, that is.”

“Sure, I’ve been good for far too long. It will give me a chance to brush up my skills,” he grinned. He took a chair at the table and picked up the steaming mug of coffee Carrie had poured for him. “Thanks,” he turned his smile on Carrie and leant over to kiss her.

“Great, I’ll run you through it after work,” Jordan said, rising from his chair and taking his breakfast dishes into the kitchen.

“I need to go to the museum for a few hours, but I’ll be home tonight,” Carrie agreed.

“Don’t you have a doctor’s appointment?” Sinclair frowned.

“No, I said I’d call and make a doctor’s appointment today!” Carrie said heatedly.

“Everything okay?” Jordan asked in concern.

“Just need another Depo Provera injection,” she tapped her arm.

“I’m with Sin, don’t put that off,” Jordan nodded and grabbed his keys and phone. “See you both tonight,” he said, and left them to their coffee.

“I better get ready for work too,” Carrie said, taking a large mouthful of her coffee.

“You don’t have to go in today; they will survive without you for one more day. Take some time to rest and see the doctor. You look worn out, and I’m starting to get worried about you,” Sinclair said softly, knowing that she would argue with him about taking the day off work. “We’ve only just got back, and it was a long flight.”

“Well, maybe if someone would let me sleep during the flight I wouldn’t look so worn out!” she shot back, but there was a teasing note in her voice.

“Fine, I have no self-control where you’re concerned,” he admitted with a chuckle. “It’s not like you were innocent. As I remember it, you started that marathon session. You know it doesn’t always have to be a challenge to see who can come out on top.”

“Doesn’t it?” she asked, giving him an incredulous look. He was the one always wanting to assert his dominance over her, and she was not going to just roll over and play the submissive little woman to his macho dominance.

“No, you could just give in to me and save yourself the pain,” he smirked, knowing that was half the reason she always fought his dominance during sex.

“I’m hardly the lap dog type who will fetch and beg and obey commands,” she rolled her eyes. “You knew that from the beginning.”

“I did, but it could be interesting to change it up now and then.”

“That’s a great idea! How about you obey my commands and fetch and beg for me?” She suggested with a perfectly straight face.

“Or we could meet as equals now and then,” he chuckled.

“We always meet as equals, you just haven’t realised it yet because I let you win so often,” she returned his smirk.

“You let me win?” he asked in a controlled, measured way, and Carrie realised she had possibly pushed a little too far.

“I need to shower after that flight,” she said, changing the subject slightly, and stood with her coffee cup, walking to the kitchen and rinsing it out in the sink.

“The flight where you let me win?” Sinclair asked ominously.

“Someone has to give in eventually, Sin. We’d kill each other otherwise,” she explained as if it was perfectly logical. “I need a shower, and then I’ll call the doctor, though, with the bruises you’ve left on me lately, I’m not sure what he’ll say,” she gave a soft laugh, but her meaning was clear about why she had wanted to delay the visit.

“He’ll say I’m one lucky guy,” he smirked, taking her meaning, though still not believing it for a minute. Over the last two months he had battered at the walls she had built up around herself and had made very little headway into getting to know the real woman beneath the personas she had carefully in place. While he admired the professional museum mouse, who had an incredible work ethic and brilliant mind, and enjoyed the sex kitten more than any of his past relationships, he knew the real Carrington Wordsworth Ward was buried somewhere beneath the two, and he just needed to find the key to unlocking her.

“He’ll think I’ve kaçak iddaa been training at the gym far too often again,” she shook her head, dispelling the innuendo that she looked like a battered woman.

“You have a gym? A trainer as well, I assume?” Sinclair asked. “You haven’t been once since I moved in here that I know of,” he frowned.

“Sex with you is as good as any workout I got from Jerome,” she said lightly, not hearing the undercurrent in his voice.

“Jerome? Your trainer?” he questioned, and the undercurrent that was in his voice became clearer.

“Yes,” she admitted, and, realising he wasn’t going to let it go, filled in all of the blanks before he asked. “We also had a no strings casual thing going on as well. Since you moved in I haven’t needed to go to the gym,” she said, a soft blush colouring her cheeks, despite not caring if he knew she had several lovers before him, including Diego and Jerome.

“Lucky for me then,” he said with a smile. “So tell me about Jerome, does he know why you haven’t been to the gym?”

“Depends on your point of view,” she paused and added, “About being lucky or not,” she walked toward him slowly, ignoring his question about Jerome. “I imagine you have a few bruises of your own that need to heal.” She bent down and kissed him, stroking his neck. “I’m going upstairs to shower; you can use the bathroom down here if you like.”

Sinclair said nothing as she left the room, taking his cup to the kitchen and rinsing it out before following her upstairs, taking them two at a time. He’d never felt jealousy over a woman before. If he was honest, he’d never cared enough about the women he’d been with to worry about them leaving him for someone else. Of course, that had never happened, but he didn’t believe it would have bothered him in the slightest if they had have called off the casual affair before he did when they had wanted to become more serious with him. He knew his looks and wealth put him in the most eligible bachelor category, but, until this relationship with Carrie, he’d never lived with a woman full time that he didn’t consider as family. All of his relationships had been short lived and purely sexual.

He walked into the bedroom and looked at her. “You didn’t answer my question, although I enjoyed your technique for distracting me a lot.” He let the lazy smirk he knew irritated her play over his mouth.

“Yes, I did. I doubt Jerome feels unlucky, because, like you, he has women falling all over themselves to gain his attention every day who don’t hand out kicks and punches as foreplay. It’s all a matter of perspective,” she explained.

“Foreplay doesn’t have to be like that all the time, at least, not between us,” he said in a softer voice.

“You don’t fool me, Sin. You enjoy the challenge, even if we don’t fight on the mats there is always a battle going on to get the upper hand,” she turned away from his smirk, feeling herself on dangerous ground here. The harsh, demanding Sinclair was easy to deal with, and she enjoyed the challenge, but the softer side that she’d seen emerge more and more recently made her feel unsure of herself and her feelings as they spent more time together and got to know each other on a deeper level.

“I know how strong you are and how skilled you are. You have nothing to prove to me anymore, so it doesn’t always have to be a battle of wills between us,” he reiterated, realising this was yet another wall she had placed between them that he needed to take down rapidly before it became cemented in place.

“So, you want me just to roll over and give you the dominance you need in the bedroom?” she accused.

“I don’t think you heard me when I suggested we were equals,” Sinclair said in an ominously low voice, moving close to her and looking down into her face, making her feel his larger looming presence. He pulled her to him and unzipped the back of her dress. “Just relax, and for once don’t fight me, just close your eyes and give into the sensations. Don’t question it, just breathe and accept it.”

With her face pressed against his chest, Carrie closed her eyes and inhaled the scent of him. The soft silk of his shirt caressed her cheek, and she found herself matching his breathing. He turned her then to face the floor to ceiling mirror that hid the built-in closet, and she watched as he slowly eased the dress from her shoulders. It fell into a pool around her feet. Sinclair pressed himself against her back and nuzzled his cheek against her as his hands glided over her soft curves.

Carrie gazed at Sinclair in the mirror, watching his every move. Maybe she thought if she gave in just this once he would realise that he was as addicted to the challenge of subduing her as she was to putting up a fight. She breathed deeply, willing her body to relax against his.

His hands ran down over her hips and he flicked the elastic of the panties, “I thought we had already gotten rid of these on the plane,” he murmured teasingly in kaçak bahis her ear. His hands pulled at the lace and thin elastic until the side ripped and let them fall to the floor with her dress. Sinclair brought his hands back up and, with practised skill, dropped her bra to the floor with the other clothes and pulled her back against him, once more letting her feel his arousal at the sight of her naked body in the mirror before them.

Carrie watched, mesmerised as his hands caressed her body, as if watching and feeling were one in the same. He pinched at her nipples, pulling her breasts up and out from her body, making her whimper in pain and pleasure for him before he released them, enjoying the sight of the firm flesh bouncing back into shape. His hands stroked down her arms, pulling them behind her to wedge between their bodies against his cock as he lowered his head once more to bite at her shoulder and begin exploring her gorgeous body again.

A hand dipped between her legs and he pushed at her thighs, making her widen her stance for him. With one large hand sending tingles of painful pleasure into her breasts, the other began stroking her. His thumb rested on her clit as his fingers once again sought out the entrance to her hot wet pussy.

“You’re always so wet and ready for me, it’s one of the things I love about you. This little pussy of yours is insatiable, isn’t it?” Sinclair tried a different approach with her and was satisfied when she froze in his arms. He slapped lightly at her breast and murmured, “You know you love it, just as much as I do? We are perfectly in sync during sex. That’s why you don’t need to go to the gym or Diego’s anymore.”

Carrie’s head spun with the sensations that rolled through her body at his words, “One of the things he loved about her.” She knew he didn’t love her. Men desired her, wanted to use her, but they didn’t love her, not in the true sense of the word. Still, she couldn’t deny her insatiable libido as her body trembled with desire and need at his touch.

Slapping lightly at her breast again, Sinclair growled, “You need to start answering my questions, or you won’t like the alternative!” His fingers stopped moving within her as if to prove his point. Her hips humped at his hand, seeking sensation and failing until she finally bent to his will.

“Yes! I need it! I want it! We are a perfect fit in the bedroom! Please, Sinclair!” she spat grudgingly. “I don’t need anyone else while you are here!” she said breathlessly, giving him the answers he asked for and wanted to hear. His hand began to move again, and Carrie rocked her hips, urging him to give her more until she arched back against him, crying out her orgasm as she stared at the naked girl in the mirror who displayed immense pleasure at being used by the well-dressed man behind her.

A single word drifted into Carrie’s mind, ravished. That’s what was happening to her. That’s what Sinclair was doing. That’s what happened to the women in the silly romance novels her grandmother enjoyed reading. Rather than describe the sex, the book would substitute a single word for what happened to the female lead; she was ravished. Carrie supposed the word was used so faint-hearted housewives could substitute their own meaning. What Sinclair was doing fit Carrie’s fevered imagination of what the word meant. She recognised what was happening to the girl in the mirror without recognition ruining a single moment of the pleasure of it. Sinclair was taking her. He was bending her to his will. Yes, pleasure awaited her, but it would be on his terms unless she fought his dominance.

She’d done as he asked and had remained passive as he played with her body. She’d revelled in the sensations, and even his words, which were degrading on some level, but the slut in the mirror, naked and climaxing for a man who remained fully dressed and in control, was not her, and she spun in his arms, determined to wrestle some small amount of control from him.

She cupped his bulging manhood beneath her hand. “Now I want this, please,” she cooed softly, still playing the submissive before placing her hand on his neck and pulling his face to hers. It was the first kiss since he had walked into the bedroom, and Sinclair had not given it to her, Carrie had taken it. Carrie had insisted on kissing the same way her hand insisted on rubbing his cock. She bit his bottom lip, her teeth pulling it away from his mouth before she kissed away the gesture with a deep, hungry meeting of mouths.

He recognised the same eagerness, as always, as she turned the tables on him and tried to wrestle control of their lovemaking back from him. In the end, though, he knew she wanted his dominance as much as he needed it. He kept his eyes open and on the mirror as they kissed and admired her sexy frame pressed against his body. He buried his fingers in the supple flesh of her cheeks, kneading the firm flesh of her pert, bare ass for a moment longer before putting her back in her place.

He grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her face away from his. He held her away from him and gazed deeply into the wet pools of her blue eyes. “Tell me what you want, what you need!” he growled.

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