Home > The Will (Magdalene #1)(14)

The Will (Magdalene #1)(14)
Author: Kristen Ashley

And when he stood, the force of him invaded the entirety of the kitchen and this was no small feat. Gran’s kitchen was enormous.

“My name, Josie,” he started slowly, “is Jake.”

“All right,” I whispered.

“And I shouldn’t have asked you about where we’re goin’ from here because I don’t give a f**k about where you think we’re goin’.”

I said nothing to that.

He didn’t need me to. He kept speaking.

“You know her. You know that bullshit you pulled last night would piss her off.”

I detested this because he was right. It was clear Gran cared deeply for this man and if she knew I’d done what I’d done, she’d be angry.

Therefore, I admitted, “Yes.”

“And like I said, you know her. She said it straight up in that letter yesterday. The woman had a lot of love to give and she gave it freely. But the one person on this f**kin’ planet who had the most of that love, who she treasured above anyone, is you. And there is no way in f**k Lydie would feel that way about you and steer you wrong about me.”

It was then, I was again foolish.

And I was foolish by asking, “Did she know you own a strip club?”

The force of his presence expanded and heated to the point I felt it press against my flesh and burn in my lungs.

I retreated a step but it was only a step because I hit counter.

His voice was vibrating with anger when he shared, “Yeah, Josie, she did seein’ as she loaned me the money to buy it.”

I blinked. “She did?”

“Yeah, she f**kin’ did. I paid her back but she put it up so I could keep my gym and keep my kids in clothes and food and for once have the cake to give them a decent life.”

My voice had risen when I asked, “By owning a strip club?”

His eyes narrowed on me. “Fuckin’ hell, you ever show Lydie how far that stick was shoved up your ass?”


I never!

“Mr. Spear,” I threw out my hands and snapped, “You own a strip club.”

The instant I was done snapping, he leaned toward me and roared, “Jake!”

His behavior and this scene first thing in the morning so incensed me, very unusually (as in, I wasn’t certain it had ever happened before), I lost my control, leaned toward him too and shouted a word I’d never used in my life in that manner, “Whatever!” I leaned back and kept at him. “Your business is to subjugate women.”

“What the f**k?” he bit out.

“Subjugate. Oppress. Use women who are in dire straits to do something demeaning for money.”

“Babe, I need a dancer, I put an ad in the paper. I don’t go out on the street, kidnap them, jack them up with junk and force their asses on the stage.”

“You know what I mean,” I hissed.

“Yeah?” he asked, leaning back and throwing out his arms. “I do? Well f**k me. I’m an ass**le and I never would have thought it seein’ as the least talented of my girls makes five hundred dollars on a slow night. Must suck for my girls, walkin’ to their Corvettes after work wearin’ seven hundred dollar shoes.”

Five hundred dollars?

On a slow night?

I was stunned. That was quite a bit of money.

He kept speaking.

“My girls aren’t stupid. A guy thinks with his dick, using his money to do it, all they gotta do is dance around and take it from him. They feed their kids, got good furniture in their houses, nice cars to drive and live in good neighborhoods, depositing cash in their 401Ks and taking their vacations in the Bahamas. Not sure that’s oppression but figure they don’t think of it that way. But you wanna think narrow, not my job to stop you.”

I opened my mouth to say something but he wasn’t quite finished.

“And a woman’s body is beautiful, standin’, sittin’, lyin’ down, definitely dancin’. They know that, they use it, there’s not one f**kin’ thing wrong with it. Though, says a f**k of a lot about you that you look down your nose at it.”

I truly wished I didn’t have to admit it but he was not wrong. A woman’s body was beautiful.

And I’d never thought of exotic dancing like that.

I decided at that juncture not to admit that out loud and instead move us to a different subject.

Therefore, I asked, “Has it struck you as strange that you know me but I know nothing about you?”


“Why not?” I queried.

“I don’t know,” he answered sarcastically. “Maybe it has somethin’ to do with you bein’ a judgmental, stick up your ass bitch who’d react just the way you reacted about a minute ago if she told you about me.”

I glared at him, not altogether thrilled with his words and especially not his sarcasm. “Yes, perhaps you’re correct, as I might be a wee bit judgmental and react if she told me she was loaning a man money to buy a strip club, a man who’s been married three times.”

His arms crossed on his chest and his face got hard. “You been askin’ around about me?”

“No. A not-so-gentlemanly gentleman hit on me last night at Breeze Point and I’ve had a difficult few days, was not up to dealing with him, and unwisely used you as my pretend lover to get him to leave me alone. He then shared a good deal about you in a scathing way. The good news about this was, my ploy worked. He went away. The bad news was, he shared a good deal about you before he did.”

More pressure hit the room, making me press back into the counter before he asked, “Some dick hit on you last night?”

“That isn’t the point,” I informed him.

“And what is the point, Josie?” he asked and didn’t allow me to answer. “With this shit, you sayin’ you know me when you don’t. You got my ticket when you have no f**kin’ clue. You want me to piss off when your grandmother wanted me in your life. Is that what the point is?”

“I don’t know the point,” I returned. “I might know if it you didn’t break in and start berating me practically the moment I awoke and definitely before I had my first cup of coffee.”

“Berating?” he clipped.

“Rebuking,” I explained. His face got even harder and I correctly took that as a sign he didn’t understand that either so I snapped, “Scolding.”

“You know, babe, it’s cute, normally. And it’s real cute, you in that nightie,” he stated, throwing out a hand and sweeping it up to indicate what I was wearing.

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