This Woman (This Man – The Story from Jesse #1) Read Online Jodi Ellen Malpas

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Angst, BDSM, Billionaire, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance Tags Authors: Series: This Man - The Story from Jesse Series by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Total pages in book: 204
Estimated words: 193115 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 966(@200wpm)___ 772(@250wpm)___ 644(@300wpm)

Jesse Ward has stumbled through life drinking and indulging himself within the rooms of his high-class sex club, The Manor, numbing himself to the pain, grief, and guilt of his wrongs. Pleasure and alcohol are his medicine. Hedonism is all he knows.

It’s how he copes.

How he survives.

Until Ava O’Shea strolls into his office and knocks him back with her breathtaking beauty, ambition, and drive. It only takes one look into her eyes, one touch of her skin, and one word murmured, before his heart is kick-started, offering him something he never thought possible. A distraction from his daily torment. A semblance of peace.

Women never reject Jesse Ward. They fall at his feet, melt from his charismatic, devious smile, and obey his every salacious command. All except the one woman who unwittingly becomes his obsession and the only thing that can keep him from the brink of self-destruction.

He needs Ava and will do anything to have her.

Even hide every last skeleton in his large closet.

Because the truth could destroy them both.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


May 1991

* * *

Numbers. Fucking numbers. I stare down at the mock exam paper, the equations, fractions, and percentages all blending and blurring into one. I hate numbers. I can hear Mum behind us stirring a pot of soup and Dad in the garden mowing the lawn. I look up at the clock. Five fifteen. I have another forty-five minutes to get this shit done before I can escape.

Glancing across to Jake, I find his head down, his pen darting across the paper—as if his brain is working too fast for his hand to keep up. Probably is, the brainy bastard. I slip down my chair and kick my leg out, catching him on the shin. He stops writing. Looks up at me. His green eyes, a perfect match to mine, stare at me tiredly. I grin, harder when I spy his killer smile, and take my pen to my mouth. Slip it between my teeth. Start thrusting it back and forth. His lips purse as he tries in vain to hold back his laughter. He fails, snorting over his math paper. Of course, Mum’s quick to whirl around, abandoning her soup, to find out what the disturbance is. And, of course, she’s quick to reach her conclusion, despite it being Jake falling apart in his chair.

“Jesse.” She clips me around the ear, and I flinch but smile wider. “Stop distracting your brother.”

“I had a tickle in my throat,” Jake says, fast to defend me as always. “It’s fine, Mum.”

“Sure you did.” She gives him a fond smile and goes back to her soup. “You’ve forty minutes left.”

I glance at Jake’s paper. He’s on the last page. Kicking him under the table again, I get his attention and then point to my own paper. The first page. Then I shrug. He shakes his head in despair, peeking across the kitchen cautiously. Mum’s in the pantry, out of sight and earshot. Jake knows I could do this shit if I put my mind to it. I just can’t be bothered; I have better things to do. And I want to get on and do them, for fuck’s sake. Jake turns his paper over, back to the first page, and I lean across to see.

“What are you doing?” Amalie whispers, appearing beside me. “Cheating?”

“No. Using my initiative.” I flip my little sister a wink and send her on her way after a quick peck on the cheek.

Thirty minutes later, I have all the answers I need. “Done,” I say, slapping my pen down on the table. Mum looks over her shoulder, her face suspicious.

“Done,” Jake mimics, refusing to look at her.

I jump up from my chair, keen to escape. “I’m going.” I’m out of the kitchen before Mum can protest, grabbing my jacket and shrugging it on as I jog down the hallway to the front door.

“Jesse,” she yells after me. “We have guests arriving.”

“Which is exactly why I’m going out,” I mumble to myself, not slowing my pace. I swing the door open.

And come face to face with our guests.

“Jesse.” Dad’s friend, Alan, thrusts his hand out to me, smiling his usual jolly smile. He’s a doctor. Thinks he’s superior to the fucking world.

“Hi, Alan.” I accept, because that’s the polite thing to do, and try my hardest to avoid, Lauren’s, his daughter’s, eyes. She makes me . . . uncomfortable. We would never work, no matter how much my parents try to convince me—and themselves—otherwise.

“Are you going out?” he asks as I smile my hello to his wife, still avoiding Lauren’s eyes.

“Meeting some friends.” I skirt past them and make my way toward the lane. “Good seeing you,” I call back, feeling untold guilt for leaving Jake at the mercy of our parents, their insufferable friends, and their daughter.

I pull out a pack of Marlboros, slowing to a stop when I hear Jake calling me. That’s a crisis call. He wants saving.

I turn . . .

And crash into my father. Fuck. It was a warning call.

Jake gives me apologetic eyes. “Get back in the house, Jake.” Dad’s voice is cold, stoic, and nearly a whisper. It pisses me off, and Dad knows it. My irritation only multiplies when Jake backs up, his silent apologies multiplying. He has nothing to be sorry about.

I pull a drag of my cigarette and exhale over my words. “I did the math paper. I helped Mum chop veg for her soup. I swept the patio. What more do you want?”

“I want a respectful son.”

“You have one,” I say, pointing over his shoulder to Jake’s retreating form. “Expecting two would be greedy.”

“Don’t give me your smart mouth, boy. You’ll be out on your arse faster than you can blink.”

I shake my head to myself and turn, getting on my way. He won’t throw me out. He’d never be able to face the questions posed by his equally arrogant friends at the country club. “I’m just meeting some friends.”