Lost In You



Chapter 1


“Hey Tony, give me the usual.” Jensa said by way of greeting as soon as she entered her favorite bar.


Sliding on one of the stools, she crossed one smooth tanned leg over the other.  Long honey blonde hair pooled down her back in waves, curling at the ends, while deep blue eyes studied the surroundings.  Her outfit was a simple strapless blue dress that went to mid-thigh, though it still left plenty to the imagination and matching open toed heels adorned her feet.


“Thanks.” She murmured quietly, sipping her wine in thought.


“Jensa...” The slick voice of her ex-boyfriend, Randy Orton, greeted from behind her.  He slid onto the stool next to her, automatically procuring a cigarette seemingly out of nowhere and lit it, studying her attentively. “Were you waiting on me or just barhopping?” He made what was actually a scathing question sound so sweet, tone polite and warm, however his eyes were pure ice.


“Randy 'I like to fuck anything with 2 legs' Orton, how are you darling?” Jensa sweetly retorted, though it didn’t touch her tone or eyes.


She’d lit up her own cigarette at the bar while sipping her wine, smiling.  Jensa waved Tony off when he came over, letting him know everything was fine.  Randy always harassed her and, as usual, Jensa put him in his place with the utmost icy kindness.


“I'm peachy keen, precious.  How're you?” Randy used the same tone of voice with her as she did him. “And that wasn't very nice, I don't fuck just ANYTHING.” He exhaled smoke right in her face, all the while flashing a charming smile.  Randy looked so sweet and innocent, until one got to know him.  Then...all bets were off. “What are you doing here?” He asked again. “Waiting for your flavor of the night?”


Jensa blew smoke right back at him, setting her drink down and uncrossed her legs briefly to switch them, blue eyes never leaving his. “Actually, I decided I wanted to come here for a drink.  Unlike YOU, I don't have flavors of the night, I don't need them.” She smirked when he bit back a scowl, taking a long swig of her wine and flicked cigarette embers in the ashtray. “And you're just bitter because my 'flavor of the night' isn't you.”


His calm facade was interrupted by a flicker of anger and annoyance passing over his handsome features. “Well, that could change very easily.” Randy said after a moment, tapping his cigarette in the ashtray, nodding when a beer was placed in front of him. “You used to LIKE being my flavor.” He purred seductively, reaching out to run a hand up her thigh.


“That was before I found out about all of your other flavors.”


Jensa turned her stool to where she faced the bar, his hand falling from her thigh at once.  Jensa wasn't a fighter unless the situation called for it.  She drained the rest of her glass and requested a refill, biting back laughter at the look Tony shot Randy.


“Now go away and find your flavor because it's not me, Orton.  I'm done playing with you; you need to move on, sweet cheeks.”


Growling angrily, Randy slid off the barstool.  Instead of disappearing like she probably hoped for, he moved his hands onto her shoulders, squeezing gently but firmly. “Now Jen, is that anyway to treat the guy you admitted you loved at one time?” He purred, bending down so his hot breath hit her ear and slid his hands down around her neck.


Jensa tensed, though she tried fighting it, not wanting him to know just how bothered she was by his words.  Still, she took the drink from Tony, blue eyes telling him not to do anything because Randy was a dangerous man and could drop him like a bad habit. “You were a toy to me, sweetheart, didn't you know?  I used you, Orton, for my own amusement and made you THINK I actually gave a damn about you.  The dick wasn't bad, but I've had better.” She chuckled ruefully, stubbing her cigarette out, blowing smoke out slowly. “In case you didn’t hear me before, let me repeat myself: I'm done playing with you.”


Dangerous was right and Jensa had just pissed him off.  A sneer formed on his sensual yet cruel lips as Randy wrapped one massive hand around her throat, squeezing hard enough to let her know she was igniting his explosive temper.


“Boy, get your hands off the woman.” A deep dangerous baritone rumbled from behind. 


Taker had just stepped in for a drink, without getting knocked over by one of the punk band mates, and what did he get to see?  Some moron with a bad crew-cut trying to assault a lady.  He had heard the woman's put down and mentally cringed, feeling like his own boys were about to be sliced off or something just from being so close.  When the boy turned around, with a fist flying no less, Taker caught it, acid green eyes narrowing.


Jensa clutched her throat with wide blue eyes, having been whipped around on the barstool.  Randy had released her abruptly and currently lay on the floor with a broken nose.  She heard the crunch, a satisfying sound to her ears after the dick put his hands on her.  Trying to learn how to breathe and slow her racing heart, Randy deserved what Jensa said after everything he put her through.


“I'm fine Tony, can I have some water?” She asked quietly when he rushed over to her from behind the bar.




Taker shrugged once, resting his heavy boot on the kid's stomach. “Be grateful that's not all I broke.” He advised wickedly. “Apologize.”


“Are you FUCKING kidding me?” Randy groaned, cupping his broken bleeding nose and howled in pain.  A second later he was screaming when the heel of that heavy boot actually pressed down.


Jensa couldn't believe what was happening, finally looking at her...savior...swallowing hard.   The man was HUGE and towered over anyone in the bar, especially her 5’8 petite frame.  Though hearing Randy howl in pain was worth it as Jensa rubbed her neck, thick blue and black bruises already forming, marring her beautiful skin.


'Taker glanced her way, assessing her quickly, noting those bruises.  He was a lot of things himself, but a woman abuser was not one of them.  Scowling, he bent down and grabbed Randy by HIS throat, literally jerking him to his feet roughly.


“Apologize.” He repeated gravely.




“And mean it.” Taker brought his knee up, kneeing Randy in his backside so hard Randy yelped like a dog.




Eyes narrowing, Jensa stared at him for a long while and finally nodded stiffly, taking the ice pack Tony handed her, pressing it to her neck. “If you EVER lay a hand on me again, Orton, I will make sure your fingers are permanently broken.” She slid from the stool and slapped the taste out of his mouth, the sound resonating around the bar and spit in his face for good measure. “Apology NOT accepted, asshole.” She threw the ice pack at him and stormed out, heels clicking violently.


Smirking, Taker dragged Randy through the bar out the back door and hurled him headfirst into a dumpster.  After shutting and locking the door behind him, he stepped back into the bar.  Well, so much for gratitude, the woman had taken off.  Shaking his head, he took her spot at the bar, nodding when Tony slid a beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels his way.


“Jensa wait!” Natalie came after her before she could walk out while Taker took care of Randy, eyes wide. “Honey, you've been drinking remember?”


“I wasn't planning on driving, Nat.” Jensa sighed when she was dragged back into the bar, rolling her eyes.  She didn't want to be here right now, knowing she wouldn't be able to talk tomorrow because of Randy’s assault and took a fresh ice pack from Tony. “Thanks...”


“I told you if he...”


“Tony, not now okay?”


“Yeah, she's been through hell already.  That Orton has a lot of balls for doing that shit in here!  He's banned!” Natalie was the owner of the bar.


Jensa actually cracked a smile and hugged Natalie, thanking her.


Taker just sat there and took a shot from the bottle, wondering just how many times Orton ‘The Pussy’ had been banned.  Apparently he had pulled this before on Jensa, now that was a name a person didn't hear every day.  He grunted when he spotted the two women hugging from the corner of his eye, now that was a delicious visual.


“Don't thank ME!” Natalie gestured to the man sitting a few stools down, grey eyes narrowing slightly. “He's the one you should be thanking for putting that fucker in his place.”


Jensa's blue eyes moved from Natalie to the man that saved her from Randy doing further damage, nodding. “You are right.” Sliding off of her stool that Natalie forced her in, Jensa walked over to the man, extending her small hand. “I want to thank you for what you did, sir.  May I buy your drinks for the evening?” It was the least she could do, flashing a beautiful smile, the lighting above causing the golden specks in her hair to glisten somewhat. 


Taker didn't even bat an eyebrow, knowing they were now talking about him.  Or at least the exuberant one was, nodding when a second beer was placed in front of him.  It took quite a bit to get him drunk.  He turned when Jensa appeared behind him, taking her hand in his briefly.  Damn, she was a tiny thing.


“Pleasure was all mine.” He said, grinning briefly before shaking his head, his black as ink hair moving with the gesture. “I can drink a lot.” He said by way of explanation, trying not to sound amused.


“Drink as much as you want, I have it covered.” Jensa assured him softly, winking and slowly slipped her hand out of his, claiming her stool beside him. 


Natalie was busy prepping a salve to get rid of her bruises, knowing Jensa hated being marked up.  She was a picture of beauty and sometimes used it to her advantage.  She wasn't vain, though when it came to Randy, that was a completely different story.


“Nat...” Jensa groaned when the stool turned around to face Natalie, letting the woman patch her up, rolling her eyes. “Is this really necessary?”


“Woman, those bruises are BAD, yes.”


Jensa sighed and just sat there, crossing her arms in front of her chest, scowling.  Taker shifted on his stool to openly watch them, arching an eyebrow when Natalie shot one back.  Most people didn't say anything to him because of his size, his long black hair and the tattoos that covered his arms from shoulder to wrist.  Or maybe it was the black jeans and black vest...Or perhaps just the way he carried himself since Taker exuded danger.


“That happen a lot?”


“No, Randy normally just harasses her for a bit and then moves on.  I don't know what got into him tonight...”


“Maybe because of what I said.” Jensa didn’t sound the least bit sorry as Natalie finished, thanking her with a nod and turned back around on her stool. “He deserved it, the prick.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder, crossing one leg over the other. “He ruined a perfectly good evening for me, I hope he never recovers.” Her voice turned icy along with her eyes.  Tony handed her another drink, but Jensa just waved him off. “I'm going to decline, Tony.  It's been a hell of a night.  I think I'm just going to go home.”


“Your cab is outside waiting for you, honey.”


“Thanks.” She turned to the man that saved her, extending her hand again as she slid from the stool. “Thank you once again for everything you did, sir.  Good evening.” She slid her hand out of his after briefly shaking it again, heading for the exit.


Taker arched an eyebrow, wondering if she planned on driving, knowing she had been drinking.  How much, that he didn't know, but...she was beautiful and he was intrigued.  Not to mention he didn’t hear what Natalie said about the cab outside.  He got up and gently caught her hand, turning her around.


“Need a ride?” He asked huskily.


Damn he had a voice that could melt ice instantly, Jensa thought, her eyes locking on his, clearing her throat since it was still sore. “Natalie called me a cab.” Maybe the man had selective hearing, like most of them did, and Jensa merely let a smile curve her glossy lips. “You've helped me enough for one night, sir.  Enjoy the free drinks.” Winking, Jensa slid her hand out of his slowly, feeling the electricity rush up her arm and headed out of the bar, the night air assaulting her.


She felt that, the rush of electricity between them, Taker knew she did.  He ALMOST went after her, almost.  But Taker usually did not chase women, they came to him.  Considering what that moron boy had put her through, she'd probably assume he was out for 'sex as a reward' or something of that nature.  He was patient, she'd probably be back in a night or so as it seemed she frequented this place.


He managed to gain a few points when he didn't chase after her, which amused Jensa to no end.  She felt the spark between them, knowing if they went to bed together, it would be explosive.  Still, Jensa did NOT chase after men, they came to her.  She didn't sleep around like a common whore though, Jensa had standards.  They had to be tall, dark and handsome.  So far, her savior matched every one of those qualities.  Smiling, Jensa slid inside her awaiting cab and told him the address, which took her to her expensive condo on the other side of town.


Jensa inherited a lot of money from her deceased grandmother she used to take care of, so she didn't need to work.  She did anyway though, as a local writer for the newspaper.  Nothing big and she had a different name, not wanting people to know it was her.  Sighing, Jensa walked into her Park Avenue condo and threw her keys on the table before kicking her heels off, the soft plush blue carpeting squishing between her toes.  What a night!  She changed into a black nightgown, sliding into bed with her window open, and instantly drifted off to sleep with thoughts of her savior.


After finishing off his whiskey and leaving a tip that surpassed the bill, Taker called it a night.  Walking just fine, not even buzzing, he strolled out of the bar and headed for his Harley Davidson.  Sadly, his mind was STILL on Jensa...and the way her pert backside swayed with each step she took.


Chapter 2


“Jensa, answer your phone.” Tabitha sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose, hating it when she got the answering machine. “Jensa...there's a new tattoo parlor I want to check out and I need someone with a level head to go with me.” She pleaded excitedly. “Answer the phone!”


Great, what did Tabitha want now?  Jensa sighed as she picked up the phone, only half paying attention to the message, but couldn't ignore the urgency in her voice. “What do you want chica?” She demanded, working on her latest project for the newspaper and raised a slow eyebrow as Tabitha explained about a tattoo parlor she wanted to check out someone told her about. “You know that's not my scene...” She sighed, why was she ever friends with this woman?  Reluctantly nodding, Jensa didn’t have a choice. “Fine-fine, I'll go.  Give me an hour to get ready.”


She hung up and went to change, wondering what a person of her stature wore to a tattoo parlor.  Deciding on a jean skirt and blue shimmery tank top, Jensa went to shower, knowing Tabitha would be there shortly.  Tabitha was soon there looking like the punk she was, grinning broadly.


“You know you love me.” She teased when Jensa opened the door, ignoring her friend's exasperated sigh. “LOOK, it is run by some guy who's supposedly very good and a bit scary and I don't wanna go by myself!” She stuck out her lower lip. “So...”


“So you call your rich bitch friend?”


Jensa laughed when she began pouting, draping an arm around her shoulders, shaking her head.  In truth, Jensa was as down to earth as most people and hid her wealth well.  Her white tennis shoes clomped on the marble flooring as they headed outside, after taking the elevator, since she was on the top floor.  She slid into Tabitha's Ford Focus and they were off toward the new tattoo parlor.


“Oh joy, oh rapture!”


“I know, right?” Tabitha shouted, cranking up the music, which was an alternative rock band, driving like the madwoman she was. “So, you should consider getting one, you know?” She glanced at her hand, where she had written down the directions to this joint. “Deadman?  Who the hell calls themself that?”


“No idea, sounds morbid and NO THANK YOU.”


There was no way in hell Jensa would ink herself.  Was Tabitha out of her mind? Jensa was scared to death of needles, only having her naval and ears pierced because she got drunk and let one of her friends in college do it for her.  NEVER AGAIN.


“No, you stick with your tattooing and just let me tagalong okay?” She patted Tabitha's hand, smiling when they arrived. “Here goes nothing.” They stepped out and headed inside.


“Wow, this place is...wow.” Tabitha said, looking around and actually gasped when she spotted the man behind the counter. 


He sat on a stool with one leg propped on a rung.  While that wasn't anything special, his size and look was.  He had long black hair that spilled over his bare shoulders and tattoos from sleeve to wrist on both arms.  Tabitha’s eyes shot open, trying to examine them all from a distance.  When he stood up, she blinked again nudging Jensa.  He was sexy in a dangerous sort of way and, the fact he wasn't wearing a shirt, only a pair of skintight black jeans didn't help.


“Did I say wow?”


Taker almost smiled.


Jensa felt her breath catch in her throat at the sight of her savior, not believing he was a tattoo artist.  Then again, it wasn't all surprising since he was inked heavily.  Damn, he had an incredible body with muscles in places she'd never noticed on any man before, those jeans hugging him like a second skin.  She could already tell he had a great backside too.

“Well hello there again.” Jensa finally greeted with a soft smile, seeing Tabitha's jaw drop. “I met him last night.  He's the one who beat Randy's ass.”


Taker did smile, nodding at her, before examining her friend.  If they were here for a tattoo, he guessed the punk was his customer. “Ladies, what can I do for you?” He asked, propping an elbow on the counter, green eyes moving back onto Jensa.  Or what he could do to her, he mentally added, stroking his goatee thoughtfully.  Taker wasn’t stupid to say it aloud.


Jensa grinned back at Tabitha, who still gaped at the man and nudged her. “Come back to earth, Tabby.  The man just asked you a question and it's rude not to answer.”


Jensa walked over to a chair and sat down, the skirt she wore falling two inches above the knee as she crossed one leg over the other.  Tabitha stammered out what she thought about getting on her lower back, which made Jensa smirk.  Why the woman tortured herself for decoration was beyond her.  Jensa took one of the biker magazines, beginning to sift through it impassively.


Tabitha shot Jensa looks that said 'go to hell', gesturing her friend to follow because, while the guy was sexy, he was also scary.  Her source hadn’t lied about that part, not at all.  Swallowing, she stepped back into the hallway, arching an eyebrow when she spotted a bald guy who was sexy in a less scary way.


“Steve, feel up to...What the fuck are you doing, cue ball?” Taker demanded, growling.


“Remodelin', jackass.” Steve grunted in return.


Jensa raised a slow eyebrow when Tabitha practically came over and DRAGGED her out of the chair, pulling her toward the big men. “Tabitha, if you don't release me I'll stick my foot up your ass, sweetheart.” She threatened in a deceptively sweet voice, smiling when the woman loosened her grip. “He's not going to bite you, that wouldn't be good for business.” Chuckling, Jensa rolled her eyes when Tabitha scowled at her. “Are you getting inked or wasting his time?”


“Wastin' Taker's time?” Steve snorted, ducking a jab to his shoulder. “Try that again, jackass, and I'll hit you so damn hard your grandmother's gonna feel it.”


Taker wondered why the hell he kept Steve around and inwardly rolled his eyes. “Don't you have work to do?” He inquired, keeping his voice even.




He folded his arms over his chest, arching a black eyebrow.


“On how much you’re payin' me.”


“2 cases of beer and a day without me beating the shit out of you.”


Jensa ignored their bickering, both her and Tabitha looking over a tattoo that was sort of punkish, knowing that's what she wanted.  It would require a LOT of pink, but that was Tabitha’s style.  As long as her friend was happy, that’s all that mattered to Jensa.  She smiled and wrapped her arm around Tabitha's shoulders, knowing she was nervous.


“Tell you what sweetie, consider this your birthday gift.”


Tabitha gaped. “Really?!  Jen, you don't-”


“I can and am.  Now we just have to wait for these 2 gentlemen stop their antics.”


“Did you decide yet?” Taker asked Tabitha, snorting when Steve smirked and smacked his friend upside his bald head. “Enough with that.  Back to work.  I'll handle this.”


“Bet you will.” Steve chuckled, appraising both women, trying to figure out which one Taker was interested in.  He rarely took on annoying customers and he had a feeling the honey blonde was...interesting.


Jensa simply smiled amiably, patting Tabitha on the back encouragingly. “Get anything you want, I got it.” She winked and Tabitha looked down at the paper, pointing out the pink skull with a black rose wrapped around it, totally Tabitha's style.  Jensa grinned as Taker nodded, guiding them both to the back. “Happy early birthday, honey.”


“Jen you are the BEST!” Tabitha was ecstatic, eyes sparkling. “I want it on my left shoulder.”


“Do I seriously have to watch this?”


“Yes, pretty please?”

“Fine and if I faint, it's on you.”


Pink, she wanted pink.  Well...he'd just have Steve do that.  Steve was better at filling in, while Taker's expertise was detailing, something Steve couldn't do very well.


“Sit down.” He grunted, muscles flexing as he rolled his shoulders, glancing at Jensa.


Jensa could feel the heat radiating from his eyes as they seared through her, but didn't show it.  She was a master at hiding how she felt and simply took a seat beside Tabitha, who hesitantly laid down on the sterilized bedding.  She made sure to bring the magazine with to look at something, instead of undressing this man with her eyes.  Jensa could only imagine what his name was and flicked through the magazine while he prepped the instruments.


“Any second thoughts?” She teased, laughing when Tabitha stuck her tongue out. “How very 5th grade of you.”


“So...I heard you were, um…good.” Tabitha said, glancing over her shoulder at Taker then back to Jensa, wiggling her eyebrows.


Taker did not miss the way her shoulders moved, like she was laughing. “Been told I'm the best.” He replied with a straight face, voice going husky.


Tabitha groaned and hid her face.  Jensa tried so hard not to laugh, but it was nearly impossible.  She buried her face in the magazine while Tabitha did the same to the bedding.


“Just shoot me right now.”


“Now why would I do that when you amuse me so much?” Jensa laughed when Tabitha's jaw dropped, giggling, trying to stop. “You know I love you chica.”


“Yeah, sure...”


Steve walked in, arching an eyebrow. “Threesome?”


“Just stop talking before you put your foot in your mouth.”


“Foursome, if you count yourself.  Was there something you wanted?”


“Just wonderin' who dared to laugh in your personal domain, Satan.”


Taker narrowed his eyes, pulling on a pair of gloves. “You are now down to a case and a half, Austin.”


Jensa needed a new change of panties due to this man’s voice.  Of course, he didn't know that, but somehow she could just tell he knew how it affected women.  Tabitha looked like she was about ready to crawl in a hole and die while Steve snorted.  Jensa simply buried her face in the magazine again, arching a brow when Tabitha reached her hand out.


“I'm not holding your hand by the way, Tabby.”


“I didn't ask you to.”


“Good, you want the pain, you're going through it.”


“Yeah-yeah bite me.” Tabitha snorted, rolling her eyes.


“I would honey, but your ass is too boney.”


Steve looked like he was caught between a rock and a hard place, groaning when they kept bantering.  When the blonde said, 'bite me', again, he nipped her backside, hearing her squeal. “Now stop teasing.” He growled, walking out.


Taker snorted, trying not to find that amusing and lowered his head, knowing he couldn't work until he was done trying not to laugh.


“He bit your ass literally!!” Jensa rolled with laughter, trying not to fall out of the chair as she held her stomach, doubled over. “Oh my god, I'm crying!!  Damn it, my makeup is going to smear, you bitch!!” Tears fell from her blue eyes from laughing so hard.


Tabitha was red in the face from the top of her head down to her toes, wishing she could disappear at that moment. “He bit my ass...”


“Literally!  Damn I should've taken a picture!”


“Shut the hell up before I come in there and bite you next!” Steve bellowed, sounding amused.


Taker got up, slammed the door shut and locked it just in case, sighing. “Whenever you're ready.”


“Just...don't bite my ass.”


He slapped it instead.


Jensa completely lost it, unlocking the door and ran out, needing air before she ended up dying back there.  Tabitha was insane!  She found the restroom to do some business and then went outside for a smoke, still laughing.  Oh the irony, Taker was doing her best friend's tattoo.  Jensa flicked ash away and knew Tabitha was probably cringing right about now.


Tabitha had actually chatted him up and found out quickly Taker wasn't having it.  However, that didn't do anything to dissuade her.  Though, when the needle dug into her back a little bit, Tabitha clamped her mouth shut and waited for Jensa to return and rescue her.  Jensa walked in 20 minutes later, needing two cigarettes and to get over her laughter.  The bald man Taker referred to as Austin busied trying to do the remodeling, only to end up smacking his thumb with a hammer.  That had sent Jensa into another fit of giggles, which in turn made her smoke a second cigarette.  Knocking, Jensa walked back in, seeing Tabitha clinging to the bedding and took her seat, not saying a word.


Taker didn't glance up when Jensa came in, though he was well aware she had because her scent for one.  The electricity had also filtered the air and Taker knew it had nothing to do with his tattoo gun.  On the bright side, her friend had quieted and gotten the message that he wasn't interested.


The tattoo took 3 hours.  Jensa knew her backside was probably bruised from the hard chair she sat in, having taken several smoke breaks because Taker lit her body on fire with just his presence.  She found out from Tabitha that was his name.  Morbid yet very sexy at the same time, Jensa thought, and it suited him.  Tabitha was in a lot of pain as she walked out while Jensa paid at the register with a smile.


Steve grinned, having done the shading and watched as Taker pulled on a vest, ringing Jensa up. “Going out?”


“Visiting your mother.”


Steve rolled his eyes, looking at Jensa. “Gotta love his sense of humor.”


“Indeed.” Jensa took her credit card back from him, placing it back in her wallet, nodding when Tabitha hugged and thanked her again, grinning. “Not a problem chica, its chump change.” She just dropped nearly $600 dollars on a tattoo.  Jensa was well-off thanks to her grandmother and had EARNED every penny left to her. “You ready to go, Tabby?”


“Chump change?” Steve echoed, almost spitting out his beer and glanced at Taker, who just shrugged. “Woman...” He trailed off, deciding not to say anything and just cleared his throat.


Taker was going to have to put a muzzle on Steve, next sliding on his riding gloves.


Tabitha giggled softly and winced, trying to look over her shoulder. “How does it look?”


“Painful.” Jensa replied wryly, taking out her cigarette and lighter, needing another smoke. “Come woman, I'm starving.” She pulled Tabitha gently toward the door, nodding back at the guys. “Thanks for everything.  Have a good one.” They walked out and Jensa allowed the air to assault her.  It was surprisingly cool in New York in the middle of Indian summer. “Do you regret it?”


“Not in the slightest.”


“Okay,” Tabitha froze and looked at Jensa. “You need to go back in there and try getting Taker's number.  He's gorgeous, hot, sexy, dangerous and…and…and…he's right behind me, isn't he?”


“My number is on the business card you got with the receipt.”


Chapter 3


Jensa laughed softly as Tabitha turned the color of a strawberry, mumbling something under her breath and vacated to the car.  Jensa turned around to stare at him, heart pounding furiously in her chest.  The sun made her lips glisten from the clear gloss she wore and Jensa had to stop herself from devouring him visually.  Lighting her cigarette up, Jensa took a drag and slid her shades on.


“You enjoy embarrassing her, don't you?”


“She sets herself up for it.” Taker replied with a one shouldered shrug, the left corner of his mouth turning up into the hint of a smile, but it quickly vanished. “You don't have any body art?” He asked softly, having noticed the way she reacted to the suggestion of being inked.  That's what tattoos were to him: Art.


“No, definitely not.  Not my style.” Jensa slowly exhaled, blowing the smoke out away from him, being polite. “You did an incredible job on her tattoo though if it's any consolation.”


This man was definitely different from her, but Jensa still found him incredibly sexy.  The tattoos just added to the mysterious mystique he possessed and the danger he naturally exuded.  Though, somehow, Jensa wasn't afraid of him.


“Well I better get going before Tabitha has my ass.”


She walked around him, heading to the car, trying to stop her racing heart.  Taker reached out and stopped her, much like he had the night before.  Only this time, he slid something into her hand and just let go.


“See you around.” He said softly, acid eyes piercing hers briefly and walked away.


Jensa watched him walk away before looking down at her hand, arching an eyebrow.  Did he just give her his cell number?  The receipt had the number to the business on it, but not Taker’s personal contact information.  Jensa heard a motorcycle roar in the distance, knowing it was him and bit her bottom lip, sliding the piece of paper in her jean skirt pocket.


“What the hell did he do?” Tabitha demanded, having been watching from the car as soon as Jensa slid inside.


“Nothing, drive.” Now the question was: Did Jensa call him or let him come to her?  She honestly didn't know what the hell to do.  Tabitha drove her home, Jensa deciding she would just eat there since her friend had a date that night.


“You do realize,” Tabitha said before Jensa could get out of the car, pausing. “Taker isn't the kinda guy to come looking for a woman...” She gave Jensa a meaningful onceover. “So I'd call him, unless of course, those sparks I felt were just the electrical shit in the room.” She winked at her friend, nudging Jensa out of the car and sped away, leaving her with that thought.


Jensa scoffed as she stood on the sidewalk, rolling her eyes and walked into her condo, wondering if Tabitha was right.  She wasn't the type to chase after a man, so this was a problem indeed.  Maybe she would call him, maybe she wouldn't.  Though, the more she thought about that bare chest, those strong tattooed sleeved arms, his long ebony hair and deep dark green eyes...Jensa fanned herself as she walked in her condo, cranking the air-conditioning up full blast and made some barbeque chicken wings for lunch.


Taker figured Jensa wasn't the type of woman to be calling or hunting down a guy, which was a little thorn in his side, considering he didn't call or hunt down women as a general rule.  However, given the sparks between them, he might change that.  Might.  He let the wind cool down his boiling blood, trying not to think about her in case he crashed and destroyed his motorcycle.




Jensa decided she would go out again that night, dressed in a black cocktail dress that was spaghetti strapped, hair swept up on top of her head with minimum hairspray and curls.  Clear gloss painted her lips, black eyeliner bringing out the blue in her eyes.  She wasn't calling Taker.  Jensa was stubborn on top of everything else.  If he didn't want to make the effort, even with as gorgeous as he was, then she wouldn’t either.  Diamonds adorned her neck, wrists and ears as she took one last look in the mirror before walking out.  Smiling at the bellhop, Jensa slid in her black Jaguar, taking off.


Against his usual rules, he had peeked at the address on file and watched as she drove off.  She was a rich bitch.  Taker definitely wasn’t chasing her down.  Just on principal, he knew that type.  They wouldn't go after anyone and expected people to come to them.  Even then...He shook his head.


Jensa decided to go to Tony's knowing Randy wouldn't show up and slid on her usual stool, ordering a strawberry daiquiri.  Jensa made small chatter with Tony and Natalie, telling them she was feeling a lot better.  They were the ONLY ones, besides Tabitha, that knew about her writing for the local paper.  When someone asked Jensa to dance, she declined politely, not able to get her mind off of a certain tattoo artist.


“Where's the mystery man tonight?” Natalie asked, setting a fresh drink before Jensa, smiling innocently when she got a look. “We found Orton outside this morning, still knocked out by the way.  That should make your night.”


Chuckling softly, Jensa shrugged her shoulders and stirred her drink with a straw.  Why did he affect her so much?  Jensa suddenly excused herself and walked out of the bar, the cool night air blowing through her hair as she let it down by taking the clip out, biting her bottom lip.  Digging in her purse for her phone and the piece of paper, Jensa began pacing back and forth, troubled over what to do.  What if she made this call?  Would that automatically tell him she wanted to screw his brains out?  Did it matter?  Taking a deep breath, Jensa pressed the phone to her forehead, heels clicking softly on the sidewalk.


Taker spent a lot of time riding around aimlessly, mood dark.  He could not get that woman out of his head and knew he wasn't going to be at the shop for a while, simply because he wouldn't be able to tolerate Steve's mouth.  The man would be going on about the women for a while just because it wasn't often he got ladies of that...class in there.


Her heart pounded furiously in her chest as Jensa made the call and put the phone to her ear, pursing her lips tightly together, closing her eyes.  If he didn't answer, Jensa would feel like a fool for making the attempt.  She felt her heart nearly leap in her throat when he answered on the third ring, wondering if she should say something.


“Hello Taker.” Her soft voice resonated through the phone, not believing how nervous she was and nearly melted as soon as he spoke.


“Jensa.” His mood went from dark to something else entirely, tone automatically changing to a low seductive pitch. “Where are you?” Taker tried his hardest not to make it a demand, though it did come out that way. “I want to take you for a ride.” He had wanted to take her a ride since he first laid eyes on her, but Taker actually meant a motorcycle ride…to start things off.


Dear god his voice did things to her body that Jensa couldn't even describe and all she could do was nod. “The place we first met.  I'm standing outside.” She had a feeling he meant a motorcycle ride, but it sounded so seductive Jensa couldn’t decipher it. “I'll be waiting.” She clicked her phone shut and leaned against the wall, grinning.




Taker made excellent time getting there and probably pissed off several cops in the process.  He was actually grinning when he roared to a halt, extending a hand to her.  He had a rush going currently and didn't want to waste it, knowing it would probably get worse, or better depending on how one looked at it, with her behind him.


Jensa never did anything like this before and the exhilaration she felt was incredible, out of this world.  She couldn't ignore it and slowly slipped her hand into his, feeling him draw her against him as their eyes locked.  With his help, Jensa straddled the bike, glad the dress was long enough to where she wouldn't flash anyone when he took off.  Her entire body melted when he rumbled for her to hold on and Jensa instinctively wrapped her arms around his waist, both of them taking off moments later into the night.


The feel of Jensa holding onto him, her body pressed against his, was enough to set his blood to boiling again.  Not in a bad way at all, more like a burning to claim her in every way possible, which Taker considered.  He had no idea what it was about Jensa that drew him in, but was determined to find out.  Jensa couldn't stop smiling to save her life and slowly lifted her head, closing her eyes as the air flowed through her. 


This was insane and crazy...but also exciting and a moment she never wanted to end.  Jensa scooted forward, snuggling against him as she pressed her cheek to his back, sighing in contentment.  What was it about this man that intrigued her so much?  After a few minutes, Taker pulled over and reached around to catch her arm.  A brief moment of situating later, Jensa now straddled his lap with her legs draped around his hips, facing him.


“Much better.” He murmured, bending down to brush his lips against hers before taking off again.


Jensa gasped when he did that, not believing how strong he was.  He lifted her to sit in front of him like she was a feather.  That kiss sent shocks throughout her entire body as Jensa clung to him for dear life, her face buried in his bare chest since he wore a black leather vest, nothing else.  This man in leather made her panties soak and Jensa could only hope she didn't stain his beautiful motorcycle.


The feel of the Harley rumbling beneath them, the wind in his face and her clinging to him was enough to almost overwhelm his senses.  Almost.  With her face right against his chest, Taker was in hell.  When he felt Jensa’s hot breath against his skin, he groaned, the sound low, but she probably could feel it and was thankful he’d worn tight jeans.


Scooting closer to him until her legs firmly wrapped around his waist, Jensa’s dress bunched around her thighs.  Jensa inhaled his scent, loving the feel of leather against her fingertips, not caring how forward she currently was.  He was gorgeous in every way, she thought, wondering if it was legal for a man like him to walk the earth.  How could he not have a girlfriend?  Or maybe he did and he just wanted a good time?  Whatever it was, Jensa was surrendering and closed her eyes, shivering.


“You're killing me...” Taker groaned, the wind carrying his words away and knew he had to find a relatively safe place to park soon. 


He turned down a street, unable to keep from inhaling sharply when her fingers strayed from leather to flesh, wondering if Jensa knew what the hell she was doing to him.  She somehow heard that over the roaring motorcycle, a smile curving her lips and Jensa continued exploring, massaging his chest feather lightly.  Jensa wanted him to pull over so she could do more exploring...so she could do more to him period.


“You're killing me too.” She whispered, knowing he couldn't hear her and pressed a soft kiss to his bare chest.


That was the last straw.  Ride was over.  The moment he felt her lips on his chest, Taker came to a halt.  Parking the bike on the side of the road, he pulled her off of it and into his arms, drawing her legs around his waist.


“You're driving me insane.” He growled, claiming her lips.


Jensa moaned, instantly melting and wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing herself fully against him.  She wanted to be molded to him, his taste so wonderful along with his heavenly scent.  The man would be the death of her.  Jensa felt his hands slide her dress up to where it was fully bunched around her hips.  Their heads moved from side to side, the kiss deepening and Jensa reluctantly broke it when she couldn't breathe anymore.


“S-So are you, Taker...”


“Not yet.” He promised darkly, carrying her up over a lawn. 


Soon they were inside a house and Taker carted her up the stairs without dropping her or letting her change her position.  He liked having her legs locked around his waist and planned on keeping them there for the rest of the night.  Jensa clung to him, brushing her lips against his every few seconds and could feel the sheer power exuding from his massive frame, taking her breath away.


“Do you want me?” He demanded in between kisses, halting at the foot of the bed.


“W-Where are we?” She moaned when he kissed her again, cupping his face in her hands while their tongues entwined together  Jensa pulled back, staring up in his dark forest green eyes. “Y-Yes, yes I want you...”


Oh did she want him, what kind of question was that?  Jensa wanted him more than anything in this universe.  Her back hit the soft comfortable huge bed, having a feeling they were at his place.  Jensa didn’t care at this point, any place would do. 


Honey blonde hair splayed all around her as Jensa slid his vest from his shoulders down his arms, moaning uncontrollably.  He didn't tell her where they were because Taker was fairly certain this was one of the houses he owned, but didn't know which one.  He usually rented the places out, but this one had been standing empty, furnished.


“Mmm...” Taker rumbled, bending down to run his tongue along her pulse point, chuckling darkly at how fast it raced.


Her hand slid up his bare back, nails gently grazing skin and felt his muscles ripple.  Burying it in his hair while he assaulted her neck, Jensa arched herself up against him.  He knew exactly which spots made her quiver and Jensa hissed at the feeling of his fingers brushing against silk black panties.


“Taker...” She breathed, crying out when his fingers slid the material aside to probe her, testing the waters so to speak.


For a moment, he wasn't sure if he had gotten past the silk fabric then smirked, it was her.  Growling huskily, Taker brought his fingers to his mouth, letting her watch as he licked them clean.  He made a low, purring noise from the back of his throat, her essence pure ambrosia.


“Undress for me.” He ordered softly, pulling her up so Jensa rested on her knees.


Her eyes had darkened to a midnight blue clouded over with desire and lust for him.  Jensa nodded while licking her glossy lips and slowly crawled from the bed, turning her back to him.  The straps fell after Jensa unzipped her dress, letting the material fall from her body.  She didn't care if it was Prada, she could afford almost anything in this world and winked over her shoulder at him.  Just a black bra and panties clung to her body as Jensa glided her hands up and down her sides teasingly.


“I could use a little help with this...” She snapped the back of her bra against her skin, the sound resonating around the room, craving to feel his touch again.


Chapter 4


Taker arched one black eyebrow, ready to shed his own clothes, mainly the jeans, his erection straining against the material painfully.  He considered Jensa and moved over to stand behind her, placing his large calloused hands on her shoulders.  Stroking them down her arms, up her sides and finally to her back, Taker traced the bra clasp thoughtfully.  With a wicked grin, he lowered his head, beginning to kiss and nip her shoulders while he removed it, his hands moving around to cup her breasts as the bra fell away.


Letting out a half hiss half moan, Jensa rested her head back against his shoulder, her hand reaching behind to run through his beautiful hair.  She gasped when Taker suddenly spun her around, their bare chests clashing together.  His eyes were nearly black and that just made Jensa more breathless as he captured her lips again.  Only when they both needed air to breathe did the kiss break, only for Taker to spin her around back around to bend her over the bed.  Jensa was in heaven and gripped the comforter, ready for anything Taker would do.


Taker didn't bother removing his jeans.  He just unfastened and shoved them down past his hips, giving himself some breathing room and sighed at the relief.  He took in the beautiful sight before him, licking his lips as he reached out to place his hand on her hip.  With the other, he guided began running the head of his cock up and down Jensa’s wet slit.  Just feeling his pulsating cock, Jensa knew he was a lot bigger than any man she'd been with, taking a deep breath.  Jensa trusted him, drenched by now and nearly cried out when he slammed inside of her.  Filling her to the core, her nails dug into the comforter as Jensa accepted all of him.


“Yes, oh yes!!” She whipped her hair back, getting lost in the sensations coursing through her body and let Taker set the pace, letting him completely dominate her. “Taker please, oh please!!”


Taker held onto her hips, pulling Jensa back to meet each and every one of his thrusts, loving the way she cried out his name.  He could feel her cumming in waves already and knew she was in for a very long night.  Jensa felt good wrapped around him and Taker flicked his head back, tossing his hair from his face as he began pounding in her harder.


“Cum for me, Jensa.” He ordered hoarsely.


“Right there...don't stop...” She moaned out, feeling his hand bury in her hair and yanked her up until her back smacked against his chest. 


It wasn’t hard enough to hurt her.  Taker’s cock plummeted in and out of her at a fast pace, her head tilting back as his mouth crashed on hers.  Jensa cried out against them when his finger began playing with her clit as Taker pushed her back down, increasing his powerful thrusts.




After making her release several more times, Taker pulled away, a fine sheen of sweat glistening on his body.  Standing, he finally divested the rest of his clothing and devoured her visually.  There was plenty of light to see her streaming through the window as green eyes took in her flushed and quivering body.  With the look of a predator, he kneeled on the bed and crawled towards Jensa, catching her ankles and drug her beneath him.


Jensa breathed heavily, her body glistening with perspiration and felt her legs wrap around his waist again, their lips clashing in another heated passionate kiss.  Moaning, Jensa didn’t want to be anywhere else except in his strong tattoo sleeved arms.  Gasping when he filled her to the core again, Taker began skyrocketing her to the heights only they could reach together. 


In the morning, Jensa would definitely have no voice from all the screaming, not to mention her body would be very sore.  All of it was worth it though as she moved in time with him, feeling as though they were made specifically for each other.  Taker wasn't thinking ahead to the morning, just enjoying the moment and having her in his arms.  He rolled onto his back, careful not to hurt her and ran his hands up her sides.


“Ride me.” He whispered huskily, running his thumbs over her rosy nipples and groaned when she rolled her hips against him.


Moans spilled from her swollen lips as Jensa ran her hands up and down his chest.  Nails left small scratches in his skin as she rode Taker as hard as she possibly could.  Whipping her head back as his hands massaged her breasts, her own moved from his chest and arms to her hair, Jensa cried out as his hips snapped up, meeting thrust for powerful thrust.


“That's right...Like that, Jensa...” He hissed through gritted teeth, propelling his hips up to meet her. 


Taker suddenly sat upright, feeling her legs drape around his hips while his hands moved down to her waist.  Guiding her on him as their lips collided, Taker knew he was almost there and lost count of how many times she shattered against him.  Jensa lost count after 20, her head spinning and ignored how sore her thighs and inner walls were.  She kissed him back with an equal amount of hunger, body still lit on fire and begged him to end both of their agony. 


Pulling back as their fingers laced together, they slammed into each other as hard, fast, quick and penetrating as they possibly could.  Taker's end finally came as he exploded inside of her, sinking his cock deep inside, growling her name.  She bellowed his hoarsely, both of them completely spent as they fell back on the bed with Jensa collapsing on his chest, hardly able to breathe or move.


Normally, when Taker was done, he was gone.  As it was, he barely had the strength to get up, even if so inclined.  Sighing contently, he wrapped his arms around her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.  If Jensa thought she was leaving...well, he'd change her mind.  He wasn't done with her just yet, just needing a breather.


They had countless sex until the sun rose over the horizon, falling asleep in each other's arms, curled and tangled up.  Around noon, Jensa slowly opened her eyes, seeing Taker was already gone.  He didn't leave a note, nothing.  Scowling darkly and feeling tears sting her eyes, Jensa ripped the comforter from her body and quickly dressed, slipping her heels back on and stormed out of there.  Luckily she had her cell phone and flipped it open, calling her driver, explaining the location.  Within 20 minutes, Jensa was in her limo and headed back to her condo, tears streaming down her face, not believing Taker actually used her. 


What did Jensa honestly expect though?


Taker pulled up into the drive 10 minutes after she had left and walked into the house, groaning when he approached the bedroom door.  The scent of sex and Jensa assaulted him instantly. “Jensa?” He pushed it open and frowned, temper rapidly going through the roof when he realized she left.


The sun rose over the horizon and luckily there wasn't a lot of tenants out as Jensa slid from the limo, thanking her driver.  She didn't want people seeing her like this and hurried inside her condo, slamming the door shut.  Stripping out of her clothes, Jensa first took a shower, scrubbing her skin until it was raw under hot sprays and crying at the same time.  Why did it hurt so badly?  Jensa didn't nor wanted to understand it and shut the sprays off, wrapping herself in a towel collapsing in bed, instantly falling asleep.




Steve looked up when Taker stormed through the door, arching a pale eyebrow. “Who the fuck-” He swallowed the words when he noticed the venom in his friend's gaze.  He bit his tongue, watching Taker storm to the back and winced when he heard something break.




Later that night, instead of going out and getting herself into trouble again, Jensa decided to stay at home in her lavish condo, vegging out on empty calories that would later be worked out.  Her head snapped to the side at the sound of her cell phone and Jensa slowly picked it up, chewing her bottom lip at the sight of Taker’s name flashing on the caller ID.  Silencing it, Jensa went to pop in a movie, not wanting to talk to him about what happened and went to work on her article that was due tomorrow. 


Why was he trying to call her?  Oh yes, because Taker had ingested a 5th of Jack Daniels...and Southern Comfort...and a case of beer.  He wanted to know why the hell she had taken off without even leaving a note!


The next day, Steve reached his boiling point with Taker when a customer actually ran out after Taker growled at them for wanting a heart tattoo. “Look, you’re scarin' off the damn customers.  Go AWAY and let me handle the business.” Steve ordered, keeping the counter between him and Taker, having no idea what the deal behind the man's mood was and honestly didn’t want to know.


Taker snarled and took the suggestion, storming out of the shop.


Meanwhile, Jensa walked inside the newspaper building, wearing a pinstriped blue and black skirt suit.  She had one in every color, hair swept up in a smooth ponytail, the usual makeup on her face.  Jensa handed her article in and sat down while he looked over it, nodding when he approved and walked out after receiving her check.  Sliding her black sunglasses on, Jensa headed outside to her Jaguar, deciding some shopping was in order.  After all, she saw some recent movies she wanted.


After nearly buying out Best Buy, Jensa decided to go to the mall, humming softly as she walked.  She had all the money in the world, but didn't know what to do with it all.  Sighing, Jensa spotted a St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital fundraiser going on, immediately whipping her checkbook out.  It took $1,000,000 dollars a DAY to keep this place running, so she was giving them a year’s supply.  Not only did she have all the money in the world, but Jensa hardly splurged.  She walked over, dropping the check in the box without a second glance.  It was her favorite charity and was worth $365,000,000 dollars.


“JENNIE!” Tabitha shrieked, running and tackling Jensa, grinning when her best friend shot her a dark look and shrugged. “My bad.  What's up, chicky?  Like?” She twirled, showing off her newest plaid skirt. “I SO killed my other one.  What’cha up too?”


“I don't want to know.  I'm just shopping, bored out of my mind.” Thinking of Taker for the millionth time that day caused Jensa to sigh. “It's nothing, Tabby.” When her friend didn't believe her and pulled her aside into a women's bathroom, Jensa knew she wasn't getting out of this without spilling her guts. “I fucked Taker last night, your tattoo artist.” She stated bluntly. “Can I go now?”


“You...fucked...Taker...” Tabitha repeated slowly, trying not to think about that one. “Well...” She cleared her throat, eyebrows darting together for a moment then grinned. “How the hell was it?  He's not REALLY, you know, dead is he?”


Jensa's cheeks burned as the memory swept her away, lowering her head. “No, he's definitely not dead...” She murmured, trying to calm down and actually had to walk over to the sink to splash cold water on her face. “Look, we fucked and when I woke up, he was gone.  No note, nothing.  So I left and went back to my condo, end of story.  Now I really have to go.” She walked out before Tabitha could get another word in, not wanting to show the tears filling her eyes.


“Whoa-whoa-whoa…” Tabitha followed, grabbing Jensa by her arm and grew serious when she seen the look on her friend's face. “It happens.” She said softly. “Fuck him, he's a moron.  Move on.” She sighed and shook her head then perked up. “I know you need a GNO!”


How the hell had Jensa ever let Tabitha talk her into this?


She couldn't believe she was doing this, staring in the full length mirror of her condo while Tabitha happily teased her hair in curls.  And why the hell had she agreed to let Tabitha dress her?  Jensa currently sported a black tank dress that went two inches above the knee along with fishnet stockings.  The dress had purple hem lacing throughout it to give it style, zipping in the back. 


Two inch knee high boots on that had buckles on them for style adorned her feet and if that wasn’t bad enough, Tabitha had done her makeup.  It consisted of deep dark purple lipstick with thick black eyeliner and dark eye shadow, making her blue eyes smoky.  Jensa had a black and purple choker around her neck and her French manicured nails were painted black as well.  Her honey blonde hair was half up half down curled in a wicked hair style that she wished she'd never agreed to.


“Dear god I look like a gothic whore...”


“You look sexy as hell and, if I had a dick, I'd fuck you.” Tabitha said bluntly, looking her usual punk self, adjusting her lip ring with her tongue. “We're going out to a place of my choice and you're going to have a good time, trust me.  A change in scenery and pace will do you some good.”


Why did Jensa highly doubt that?


She signed resignedly as Tabitha tugged her out the door, black purse in hand, trying not to stumble in the boots.  This was the LAST time Jensa allowed Tabitha to 'dress her up'.  Jensa snorted under her breath as they headed toward the limo because, if they were drinking, they were NOT driving.


“Thank you, William, and DON'T say a word.”


William bit his bottom lip hard, shutting the door and drove off moments later toward Miss Tabitha's destination of choice.


Tabitha's choice was a cross between a bar and a club.  It was sort of like a place for 'Goths', bikers and anyone in between.  It was awesome.  She adored it and that's where she had met her boyfriend at so...Once they arrived, she caught the astonished expression on Jensa's face and waited until William had opened the door, dragging her friend out.


“You promised you'd TRY it.” She reminded in a grin.


“Yeah-yeah-yeah...” Jensa grumbled good-naturedly, flashing a smile, though she was scared out of her mind. 


This place looked wild and...freaky.  She fit right in with the outfit she wore, thanks to Tabitha.  Biting back a scowl, they headed inside and Jensa couldn’t help looking back at William in a 'HELP ME' glance, the music instantly pounding around her, vibrating the floor.  This place was HUGE and there were dozens of people dancing.


“I need a drink!!” She shouted in Tabitha's ear.


“Yes, you do!  Try the Alien Secretion!” Tabitha shouted back over the music, pulling Jensa away from the bar she had been about to head toward. “No, you want that one!” She pointed across the dance floor where bodies were thrashing about to the heavy music and led the way into the 'pit'.


Chapter 5


She was going to die in this place.  Jensa tried not to bump into anyone, but that was impossible.  What the hell had Tabitha been thinking bringing her here and why were they going through the wall of people that wouldn't stop and nearly bowled them over?  Snorting, Jensa was surprised they made it unscathed after being shoved halfway through the crowd.  Finally landing at the bar Tabitha pointed to, Jensa letting her order the drinks while scanning the place.


Soon, a glass of something tinted green was set before each woman followed by two cans of 7up and a pack of Starburst.  Tabitha automatically handed over an apple flavored one, nudging the glass towards Jensa.  Popping a candy into her own mouth, she took a drink, made a face and washed it down with the soda, shivering.  There was no way Jensa was drinking that and promptly shoved it away, shaking her head.


“I draw the line there, chica.” Jensa stated evenly and instead ordered a glass of Tequila on the rocks, crossing one leg over the other. 


She took a few sips of it, ignoring Tabitha's muttering about 'being a pussy' and was dragged on the dance floor as the strobe lights came on.  Come hell or high water, Jensa was going to have a good time even if Tabitha had to kill someone to do it.  She knew this wasn't Jensa's scene, but the girl honestly had to do something different, other than have sex with mysteriously sexy and totally dangerous men and mix it up a bit.


The only reason Taker tolerated this place was because, on the rare occasion, he got amusement from it.  Occasionally.  Tonight, he was there because nobody knew him and he was being left alone, acid gaze taking in the people dancing.


Once she loosened up a little and had a few shots of Tequila inside her, Jensa began having a good time like Tabitha wanted, jumping up and down, getting lost in the music.  Maybe this wasn't so bad.  She laughed when Tabitha began grinding playfully against her, bumping hips before going back to their normal dancing.  Jensa laughed when Tabitha shouted in her ear if this was fun and Jensa nodded, truly meaning it. 


This is exactly what the doctor ordered.


By this time, Taker had spotted her.  At first, he had been tempted to go out onto that dance floor and drag Jensa away by her thin throat then throttle her somewhere privately.  When she had started dancing with her friend...He remained seated and watched, eyes darkening with each move she did.


Jensa didn't see him and laughed as Tabitha dragged her off the dance floor to get some much needed water.  A thin sheen of perspiration covered her neck, arms and face, though the makeup remained intact surprisingly.  Tabitha excused herself to use the bathroom, leaving Jensa alone at the bar.  She took another shot of Tequila, feeling a nice buzz going on, but was still coherent.  She would be cutting herself off soon and fanned herself, trying to cool down from dancing.


“Hey there, honey.  Hot, isn't it?”


Steve smiled down at the woman next to him.  He had come here looking for Taker to try to kick the man in the backside and get him out of his PMS, but hadn't found him.  On the bright side, whoever this woman was, she was pretty good looking and could definitely dance.


Taker decided right then and there he'd be working alone after tonight because Steve would be having a horrible accident.


Steve from the tattoo parlor.  Jensa remembered him and smiled, chuckling softly. “You probably don't remember me, but I came in with my friend, Tabitha, to get a tattoo a few days ago.” When Steve's blue eyes shot open, Jensa started giggling uncontrollably, patting his shoulder. “I normally don't dress like this, but Tabitha begged me to let her do my look for tonight.” When Steve picked his jaw up from the floor, Jensa switched legs. “So what brings you here?”


Steve decided not to go with the truth and just shrugged, nodding when the beer he had ordered was placed in front of him. “New settin'.” He said finally, reaching for her hand and smiled when she hesitantly took it.  He twirled her around once, whistling in approval and let go. “You sure as hell...” He cleared his throat, fairly certain she wouldn't appreciate the comment he'd been about to say. “You look damn good, honey.” He finished, not noticing that they were being watched by glittering green eyes that were currently spitting venom.


Jensa felt her cheeks flush, smiling and looked down at the outfit, wondering if she could get used to dressing this way.  Hell no! “Well, don't get used to it...” She chastised playfully, winking and sipped more of her drink, noticing for the first time how handsome this man was.  He was bald with beautiful blue eyes and muscular, though nothing like Taker. “You don't look so bad yourself, Steve.”


“You’re going to make me blush, honey.” Steve chuckled, running a hand over his bald head and grinned at her, eyes doing another onceover of her just to make sure this was the woman from the other day.  ‘DAMN!’ Was all he could think, knowing he was going to have to rub this in Taker's face just a little bit. “Want to dance?” He asked when a moderately understandable song came on.


Her blue eyes glittered back at him through the smoky makeup, nodding. “I'd love too.”


He was incredibly handsome and sweet, something Jensa wasn't used to and slipped her hand into his as he guided her to the dance floor.  It was a moderately slow song and Jensa felt Steve's arm wrap around her waist, her hands wrapping around his neck.  The boots made her taller than she really was, adding a few inches.


“This doesn't seem to be your type of atmosphere, Steve.”


“It's not, but then again it doesn't seem to be yours either, honey.”


Steve gazed down at her and wished the lights would stop flickering colors so he could determine what color her eyes were.  Taker was now up and on the prowl, green eyes narrowing to dangerous slits.  Steve was NOT dancing with Jensa, not unless it was over Taker’s dead body.


“You're right, this isn't my type of scene, but Tabitha dragged me here to get me to try something new.” She rolled her eyes playfully as they slowly swayed back and forth, his hands on her hips, glad he wasn't trying to cop a feel.  Jensa would hate to hurt him since he seemed like a really nice man. “So how did you get in the tattoo business?”


“I'm still not entirely sure, honey.  Met Taker in a fight, him trying to knock my head off.” He grinned. “We stopped scrappin’ in order to have a beer, got to talkin' and one thing led to another.  He does the detailin’; I do the shadin’ and put up with his moody ass.  What do you do?”


Steve was really going to die as Taker was close enough to catch some of their conversation.


Jensa chuckled softly, finding that amusing, though the fighting part didn't surprise her when it came to Taker. “That sounds...interesting.  I'm a writer actually.  I write for the local newspaper, an article a week.


She left it at that.  Nobody had to know she inherited a lot of money from her grandmother that set not only her for life, but generations after her financially well.  They continued moving slowly to the music and Jensa rested her head on his shoulder.  Steve didn't pry because her tone indicated it wasn’t up for discussion and just changed the subject.  He was an laid-back man, easy to get along with.


“Whew, this place is hotter than hell!” He shouted when the song changed to something he definitely couldn't dance to and smiled when she nodded.  He felt a hand on his shoulder and sighed, turning. “Oh...hi.”


Taker promptly punched him.  Jensa's eyes widened as Steve hit the floor like a sack of potatoes, blinking and looked up at a dangerous looking Taker, noting the deadly intentions in his eyes.  She immediately bent down to check on Steve, eyebrows furrowed together.


“What did you do that for?!” She shouted furiously.  Steve had only danced with her innocently, nothing more! “Steve, are you alright?”


Jensa groaned when she felt Taker's hand wrap around her upper arm, yanking her up.  Scowling, she yanked it out of his grasp and disappeared through the crowd.  Following her wasn't that hard to do as he stood near 7 feet tall, 6’9 actually, and had a sight advantage.  Getting through the crowd wasn't difficult either. 


Taker just moved people aside if they weren't smart enough to do it themselves.  He let Jensa make it as far as the door before grabbing her again, spinning her around to stare down at her.  He was torn between throttling and kissing her.  Jensa was terrified by now and refused to show it, swallowing past the lump that formed in her throat, eyes narrowed.


“Let go of me!” She ordered gravely, managing to free her wrist, but that was until they were outside, the cool night air assaulting her heated body.  Jensa felt him grab her wrist again and resignedly stood there, eyes lowering to the sidewalk. “What do you want?”


Good question, before seeing Jensa, it had been an easy answer: Her head.  Now that she was here, in the flesh, it wasn't so clear cut. “You.” Taker said finally, bending down to kiss her and felt her fists on his chest trying to push him away.  He knew what would come next, a knee to his genitals.


No!  Jensa couldn't let this happen again!  She couldn't let him use her!  Her body reacted differently, ignoring her screaming brain reminding her of what he did and the flying fists slowly stopped until she melted his arms.  Jensa wanted him too and couldn't deny it, wondering how Taker managed to spot her in out of all the people in the place.  When he broke the kiss, Jensa could barely speak, knees growing weak while those smoldering green eyes penetrated her.


Now that he had gotten THAT out of the way, Taker was back to business. “Why'd you leave?” He demanded, unable to keep the husky note out of his voice and mentally cursed, not tearing his eyes from hers, needing to know.




“Man, you broke my goddamn nose...” Steve came stumbling out after Tabitha, wincing and looked at Jensa. “You alright, honey?”


Jensa opened and closed her mouth, hearing Tabitha behind her and turned around to face her friend with swollen purple smeared lips, raking a hand through her hair. “I should be asking you the same thing.” Jensa was still angry at Taker for doing that to his partner and started walking toward Steve, but Taker instantly stopped her. “I just want to check his damn nose, stop it!” She ordered, shoving his hand from her shoulder and rushed over, taking the paper towel Tabitha handed her. “Tilt your head back, Steve, and hold this to your nose.  You need to get that checked out at the hospital.”


“It's broken, honey, I know just how to-” Steve groaned when he seen Taker's hand in his line of vision and clenched his eyes shut.


Tabitha vomited when she heard the snap.


Taker just turned to look at Jensa, arching an eyebrow and silently asked if they could leave now.  Well her night was officially ruined.  Jensa scowled darkly back at him through narrowed blue eyes.  They had to talk, big time, so she reluctantly nodded, turning to Tabitha.


“Chica, I'm leaving with Taker.  I'll talk to you later.  You going to be alright?” She smiled when Steve offered to take care of her, holding her hair and wondered what would happen if they hooked up.  Sighing, Jensa allowed Taker to guide her away toward his motorcycle, shaking her head. “If you think for a SECOND I'm jumping into another night of sex with you, think again.”


“Why not?  You practically dived into the first.” He sneered, not amused with her attitude.


When Jensa opened her mouth, he silenced her with another kiss.  Feeling her melting against him again, Taker growled against her lips, inhaling her intoxicating scent.  This woman was going to drive him insane, he was already teetering on the edge as it was and didn't need her help falling. 


Jensa whimpered helplessly, not believing he was forcing her into submission, trying to find some kind of resistance, anything!  There was none and his own scent had engulfed her.  Jensa couldn't just jump into bed with him again, not after he left her high and dry.  She felt him pull back, staring into his eyes, and took a step back to regain her composure, pushing him away when he went to touch her again.


“Stop, I can't think when you're doing that!”


“Why the hell do you want to think?” Taker growled, reaching for her again and smirked when she held out a hand as if to stop him.  Solemnity crept back and, yet again, he felt his temper flare.  Forcing it back, he knew if he harmed Jensa in any way, he would regret it. “Why'd you leave?” He commanded again.


“Because you did first.” Her voice was softer, low, trying like hell to hide the hurt clear as day in her tone. “It’s fine, I get it.  I woke up and didn't see you anywhere, no note, nothing.  So I left...and now we're here again.” Jensa was confused, pulling the clip out of her hair as it cascaded down her back in a ton of curls, sighing. “So why are we crossing paths again if we've already had our passion filled night?  And don't touch me...” She backed away again. “I can't think when you touch me.” Jensa was not proud to admit that, but it was the truth.


“I left to go run an errand, I came right back and you were gone.” He spat, not amused with her 'why are we crossing paths' comment.


Slowly backing her up until her body rested against the brick building, Jensa felt her heart skip a beat and couldn’t tear her eyes from his.  Planting his forearms on either side of her head, Taker’s eyes searched hers intently, not touching her.  Her knees grew weak, big blue eyes staring back into acid green.  What was she supposed to say now?  He didn't leave a note or anything, how the hell was Jensa supposed to know?


“Usually, when a person leaves and plans on coming back, they leave a note.  I didn't know.  I'm not apologizing for going with my instinct.”


Given that Jensa didn't have a vehicle and had ridden with him, that didn't say much of her opinion about Taker outside the bedroom.  What kind of man left a woman stranded at a strange house with nothing except what she came with?  What kind of men did she normally date?  Snorting, Taker bent down and kissed her once more, intent on screwing up her thinking.


Jensa knew she should've pushed him away, but his lips felt too wonderful against hers, her mind growing fuzzy again.  What was it about this man that turned her on to the point where Jensa couldn't think rationally?  That never happened to her...until now.  Jensa felt Taker pull her from the wall, wrapping his arms around her waist, their bodies pressed together and slowly broke the kiss when she couldn't breathe.


“Y-You're making this very hard for me, Taker...”


“You're not walking or running from me again, Jensa.” He informed her sinisterly, lifting her up until her feet left the ground.  Feeling her legs automatically wrap around his waist, Taker groaned, his eyes closing briefly. “You want me just as much as I want you.” He murmured huskily. “Admit it, Jen.”


Chapter 6


Her heart thundered in her chest and Jensa hoped he didn't hear it, licking her dry lips.  He kissed her softer this time, hoping she wasn't flashing anyone with the dress she wore. “Of course I want you.” She whispered knowingly, biting back a snort. “I didn't know what to think when I woke up and you were gone.  I thought you just wanted a one nightstand with me or something...” Her eyes lowered, clearing her throat. “Not that I have a lot of them because I don't...”


“I don't care about what you did before me, but...” He cupped her chin, gently but firmly raising Jensa's head so she stared back at him. “Now it is JUST me.”


Taker didn't know what it was about her, but his possessive streak had already kicked in and she would be his.  Jensa already was, it seemed she just didn't know it yet.  The look in his eyes made her insides quack and Jensa had to wonder if she could be tied down to someone.  Jensa nodded before she could stop herself, seeing just how staid he was.


“Only if the same goes for you.  I won’t be the woman on the side or something of that magnitude, Taker.”


That was Jensa’s only stipulation, their eyes never leaving one another's.  For a brief moment, he smirked.  Taker had an extremely arrogant side that threatened to present itself, but somehow he managed to keep it in check.  Especially when he saw how serious she was, Taker tilted his head to the side, considering it.  Truth be told, he had never been a one woman only kind of man, but...for her he'd change and finally nodded.


“You don't seem so sure of yourself.  Why don't you think it over, weigh the pros and cons?” Jensa suggested, pressing her finger to his lips when he went to speak, shaking her head. “Don't answer me now and I won't answer you now.  We'll both think about it, take a week, when we both have clear heads.”


This was a monumental step, a huge thing to ask of each other and Jensa didn't just want to jump into this without thinking about it first.  Was she screwing with him?  Taker regarded her for a moment and shook his head, pulling her right back into his arms.  Ignoring her attempts to speak, he kissed her senseless again.


“I don't NEED a week to decide.” He rumbled against her lips.


Her head whirled and Jensa couldn’t think clearly.  She needed a week because she wasn't sure if she could be tied down to a man like this.  The way her body melted against him, there was no doubt they connected physically, but what about emotionally and mentally?  Jensa kissed him back like her life depended on it, moaning uncontrollably and buried her fingers in his hair, finally breaking it for oxygen.


“Taker, I can't think...” He kissed her again, this time deeper and full of hunger.


Tearing his lips from hers, Taker forced himself to take a step back, eyes glittering in the darkness. “You have ONE week.” He informed her, voice harsh with passion he tried keeping under control. “When you know...” He reached out to trail a finger down the side of her face, watching her eyes close. “Find me.”




She felt his finger press against her lips, the purple lipstick gone from how much kissing they'd done and locking eyes with him.  Abruptly, Taker turned and walked away, leaving her standing there in the street, knowing William was still waiting for her.  She had a week to decide. 


One week.  What the hell was she going to do?  The distance roar of a motorcycle penetrated through her as Jensa closed her eyes, inhaling the air, his scent barely lingering and headed to her limo.  This was going to be one hellacious week.




“You look like the cat that ate the damn canary.” Steve grunted the next morning by way of greeting, looking like hell.  He had black eyes and a bruised nose. “You owe me, by the way.”


“For what?”


Steve rolled his eyes, pointing at his nose.


Taker bent over to examine it, finally snorting and tweaked Steve's nose. “There, it was crooked.”




Jensa made the decision, now she just had to figure out a way to tell Taker, chewing her bottom lip.  Did he just want her because of her looks and wealth or was there something deeper?  It didn't matter, she wanted him and knew it the moment he walked away that night. 


She spent the entire night crying herself to sleep, begging for his arms to be around her, to inhale his scent.  Did she do this face to face, over the phone...She looked at the clock, seeing it was nearly 10 o’clock.  Jensa wouldn't even know where to begin looking either so she whipped her phone out and made the call.


Taker had been hoping she'd leave her castle in the sky and come hunting him up, but had also been expecting the phone call.  After the 3rd ring, he answered, fairly certain he could feel her hesitation seeping through the line. “Well?” He demanded gruffly.


“I want to do this face to face.” Jensa chewed her thumbnail thoughtfully, pacing back and forth in her 'castle', rolling her eyes. “I would've come to you, but I don't know where you are right now since I know the shop is closed.  So where are you?” She asked, already dressed in a black skirt with a wine colored halter top with her hair down curled at the ends, minimum makeup on her face.


“The shop.” Taker said promptly, sitting in his office in nothing but a pair of black jeans, his feet resting on his desk.  When she sighed exasperatedly, he chuckled. “I practically live here.” He informed her, licking his lips. “I want to see you, Jensa.” He purred into the phone.


Her entire body flooded with warmth, eyes drifting shut momentarily. “I want to see you too.  I'm on my way.  Don't leave.”


Jensa clicked her phone shut, a bright smile on her face and grabbed her purse, rushing out of there in two inch black heels.  She walked out in the parking garage and slid in her Jaguar, firing it up and peeled out of there heading for Taker's tattoo shop.  Her heart pounded furiously in her chest like a rapidly beating drum, trying to calm down.  It'd been a week and she missed him more than words could say.


Knowing she was on her way, Taker pushed away from his desk and walked out to the front, unlocking the door.  He didn't keep it locked, Steve did it on his way out every night.  Nobody in their right mind would mess with him and Taker knew it.  It wasn't bragging or being arrogant, just a simple fact of life.  Rolling his shoulders, Taker let a smile flit across his lips briefly.


20 minutes later, a midnight blue Jaguar pulled up to the tattoo shop, parking in the street.  Jensa checked herself one final time, having redid her lip gloss, thin black eyeliner outlining her blue eyes.  She looked nothing like she had at the club, refusing to ever titivate that look again.  Taking a deep breath, Jensa cut the ignition and stepped out, locking her car.  Hesitantly pushing open the door to the tattoo shop, a small bell rang overhead and Jensa frowned, not seeing anyone.


He heard the bell, not moving from his spot against the wall, hidden in the darkness.  His eyes were well adjusted to it, the street lights offering some relief from the shadows inside. “You're beautiful.” Taker said quietly, watching in amusement as she spun around.  He liked this look on her much better than the Goth one.


“Damn it...” Jensa held her chest, having jumped a foot in the air and tried spotting him through the darkness.  Her cheeks flushed from his comment. “A little warning would be nice, Taker.” She replied softly, not moving from her spot just yet. “Thank you...”


He watched as her head moved from side to side, obviously trying to spot him and slowly moved, silent as the dead.  He laughed inwardly at his joke, finally resting his hands on Jensa's curvy hips.  Stopping her from jumping, Taker pulled her back so she leaned back into his chest.


“Miss me?” He murmured, bending down to inhale her scent.


A shiver rushed through her body, though Jensa managed to barely contain it.  His hands seared through the halter top and skirt she wore, trying to keep her restraint. “That depends,” Her voice was barely above a whisper and Jensa stared straight ahead, feeling his bare skin through her top as the heat rippled. “Did you miss me?”


“Mmm...” He murmured, letting her think he was considering it and smirked, kissing the side of her head. “Yes.” Taker answered simply, moving a hand around to caress her abdomen through her shirt. “Now, answer me.”


“Yes, I missed you very much, Taker.” She murmured, hearing a satisfactory growl escape him, though she still hadn't given him her answer. “Yes to everything.”


Jensa sighed in contentment when his arms wrapped around her waist, his nose and mouth burying in her neck, instantly melting.  They were complete opposites.  Somehow, someway, Jensa knew they completed each other and she turned her head to where their eyes locked, smiling.  Taker, of course, had already known what her answer would be.  Simply because, if Jensa hadn't wanted anything to do with him, she would have either not called or hunted him down at all.  Or stuck with just a phone call.


“Come on.”


Taker took her hand, leading the way down the hallway that led to the back, going past the rooms they worked in.  Jensa surveyed her surroundings until they were in what looked like a bedroom, blinking.  Taker truly did live at his shop.  It was his style too, all black with a tint of dark purple.  He lived on the dark side, she observed, not minding it.  God, they were so different, how was this going to work out?  Jensa couldn't stop smiling as he pulled her slowly over to the bed, the carpet feeling good against her toes and removed her heels so she could feel it fully.


Taker watched as she took in his bedroom, knowing she probably hadn't believed him when he said he lived at his shop.  He had no reason to live in a house and couldn't stand the idea of living in an apartment.  This suited his needs.  He sat down on the edge of the bed, pulling Jensa so she stood between his open legs, staring at her intently.


Jensa noticed even with him sitting down Taker STILL towered over her.  She felt his forehead press against hers and closed her eyes, hands gently resting on his broad muscular shoulders.  What was it about this man that drew her in unlike no other?  She probably would never fully know the answer to that question and softly kissed his lips, just a gentle caress, nothing rushed or too forward.


“What're you thinking about?”


“Surrealism.” He said instantly, turning his head to meet her questioning gaze. “This, us, it is surreal.”


Taker chuckled softly, as if at some private joke.  She was obviously from a very different class then him.  They were the kind of couple that happened usually when some rich bitch wanted to feel dirty and cheap for one night only, a walk on the wild side she could brag to her friends about later.  That wasn't who Jensa was though, she was something entirely.


“Yes it is, but...” Jensa sighed softly, lowering her head, chewing her bottom lip nervously.  She had to tell him, there was no way out of it. “I'm not who everything thinks I am, Taker.” She extracted herself from his arms and walked over to stare out the only window in the room, taking a deep breath. “I'm sure you're aware by now I have a lot of money and I know you're not with me because of that, but I feel I owe you an explanation with how I acquired it.  You see, since I was 15 years old, my grandmother was the one who took care of me.  My mother and father were killed in a drug raiding.  They were cokeheads, useless beings.” She snorted, not looking back at him. “I took care of my grandmother because she had a lot of health problems, she could barely walk.  When I was 19, she passed away and left me everything.  She said I deserved it most because, no matter how much she complained and bitched at me, I took it with a grain of salt.  It's enough money to insure generations after me in my family will be set, but I've already given nearly half of the fortune to charities and whatnot.  And I work.  I write for the local newspaper because I refuse to sit around and just spend all this money my grandmother left me.  I'm not a squanderer.”


Taker sat there and thought about all that, idly wondering why she assumed she owed him an explanation.  He had taken her as he found her, hoping she would do the same for him. “It changes nothing.” He said finally, getting to his feet and turning her around to face him, staring down at her intently. “I still want you and your...fortune means absolutely nothing to me.  It is YOU I want.”


“I still don't understand that one.” Jensa murmured quietly, wondering why she actually went into that whole explanation about her past and searched his acid pools for truth, for something.  As soon as his hands caressed her arms, Jensa couldn't think as she slowly stepped back, only for him to take one forward. “I can't think when you do that.” Why was that so hard for him to understand?  Her mind went fuzzy whenever he touched her.  That was scary and she just agreed to be with him. “I just didn't want you thinking of me like everyone else does, as a spoiled rich bitch that only cares about herself when that's far from the truth.”


“It's obvious that being a spoiled rich pampered bitch is far from who you are.” As far as the stereotypes went anyway, he smirked, keeping his hands to himself.  Lying back on the bed, Taker folded his hands beneath his head and studied her. “What exactly are you trying to figure out, Jensa?”


“Nothing, absolutely nothing.” She smiled and slowly walked over to the bed, biting her bottom lip. “You bring feelings out in me that I've never felt before and I don't understand it.  It freaks me out, make me wonder and question everything.  Maybe I'm just overanalyzing it.” Jensa slowly began crawling from the foot of the bed until she straddled him, skirt riding up on her thighs and leaned forward to brush her lips against his. “So what now?”


“Well, if you keep that up...” He drawled, reaching down to rest his hands on her hips. “Then what now will be me fucking you senseless.”


Taker didn't pull any punches and definitely did not sugarcoat, saying what he wanted, thought and felt.  As if to drive the point home, he arched his hips, letting her feel what she was doing to him.  Jensa giggled softly, finding this amusing and shifted purposefully against him.  Gasping when he bolted upright to where her legs wrapped around his waist, his lips claimed hers and Jensa immediately returned it. 


Clothes flew everywhere, including ripped garments that Jensa cared less about.  For hours on end, Taker made sweet passionate love to her, making her feel like no other woman on the planet.  They finally fell asleep in each other's arms, both promising to be there when they woke up in the morning.


Chapter 7


“Deadman, you- What the fuck?”


Steve regretted not knocking, but usually Taker was up and about before anyone arrived.  Well, he regretted not knocking as far as seeing Taker's naked backside lying on top of the blankets.  Seeing Jensa's sprawled on top of Taker...He cocked his head to the side.


Jensa's eyes slowly fluttered open, entire body aching deliciously from the hours upon hours of lovemaking, screwing, whatever one wanted to call it.  A slow smile crossed her lips, feeling Taker’s rock hard body below her and buried her face in his neck with a sigh.  She didn't hear or notice Steve, feeling Taker's arms wrap around her and knew this is where she belonged, no matter how hard Jensa tried fighting it.  Even though he was loving to her, Taker's acid green eyes were fastened on Steve, promising a painful death if the man did not remove his eyes from Jensa.  Pointedly, he ran his hands down her back and onto her backside, covering it from view.


“Alright-alright you greedy son of a bitch.” Steve muttered, walking out.


Her eyes FLEW open when she heard Steve's voice and Jensa immediately rolled off of Taker, landing on the floor, groaning since it was wooden not carpeted. “Oww...” She grumbled, looking up when Taker looked over the bed, peering down at her through those dark green eyes. “Reflex.” She muttered, cheeks flaming and snatched her shirt that lay beside her.


“I'm going to unload my reflexes in his face.”


Taker wondered if his...friend...had a death wish.  Obviously, the man did, gawking at her in that way.  Growling under his breath, Taker reluctantly got out of bed and stood up, stretching his arms over his head, not bothered with his own nudity in the slightest.


“He didn't know I was here, Taker.  Just let him slide this once...please?” Jensa batted her beautiful blue eyes at him, long lashes making them even more irresistible.  She giggled when he growled and yanked her up on her feet after Jensa pulled her skirt on, kissing her breathlessly. “I know you have work to do, so...call me when you're done.  Maybe you could come over tonight and see my place?”




“That's fine.” 'Taker said, knowing as soon as she left, he was going to tattoo ‘The Deadman's Bitch’ on Steve's bald head in big bold lettering. 


Hell, Taker would add a cock and some balls if he had too.  When Jensa was as close to decent as she could get, minus the panties and bra since they were ripped to shreds, they walked out together.  A smile spread on her face, cheeks growing hot at the sight of Steve.


“I'll see you later.  Behave.” She squeezed Taker's hand and rushed out of the parlor, heading to her Jaguar, checking her voicemail messages.


Steve smirked, shifting smugly on his stool as Taker turned to him. “Your first appointment is in the back waitin’.” He said in a falsely sweet voice.


“You're dead.”


Steve groaned when he was kicked off the stool, falling backwards into the wall with a crash.


Arriving at her condo, Jensa walked inside and instantly stripped out of her clothes.  She gawked at all the love bites and marks all over her body, shaking her head, knowing Taker got a little carried away.  Sighing happily, Jensa went to take a shower before beginning her article, hoping Taker didn't commit murder by killing Steve.  That wouldn't be a great way to start off a relationship with him in prison.


“Miss Talverson?” William called through the intercom when she answered the buzzer. “There's a man down here from St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital who would like to speak with you.  Shall I let him in or...?” He trailed off, refusing to let anyone into the building that didn't belong there and had verified this all BEFORE calling her.


“Please find out what their name is.” She called through the intercom, hair pinned up with a few tendrils framing her face. 


It wasn't Taker.  The man would probably knock the doorman down if he even TRIED being stopped from seeing her.  Jensa slipped her black flip-flops on, wondering who was here from St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital, knowing it had to pertain to her very generous donation.


After finding out the man's name and relaying it back to Jensa, the gentleman in question was finally admitted up to her floor. “Just wait here.” William instructed, glancing at her door. “She knows you're here and will be out in a moment.”


Jensa walked over to the door when she heard knocking, saving her work and shut her laptop down, opening it with a smile. “Thank you William.” Not only was he her personal driver, but also a bodyguard, which would explain how buff he looked in his black suit, black shades over his eyes. “How can I help you, sir?”


“Mr. Anderson.” Ken held out his hand, wearing a light grey suit, though he preferred jeans and buttoned up shirts.  When he had been informed of whom he had to go see and why, he knew a suit was in the works.  Ken smiled at her, having even forgone his usual chewing gum. “It's very nice to finally meet you, Miss Talverson.”


“It's nice meeting you too, sir.  Please come in and make yourself comfortable.” Jensa shut the door, nodding once at William, knowing he would be just outside the door in case this man tried anything.  She was in black cotton shorts with a white and black tank top that had a swirled design on it, face free of makeup except gloss. “Do you want anything to drink?”


Nodding, Ken glanced back at the bodyguard, knowing damn well this guy would probably beat him if he happened to scratch himself wrong and made a face.  Adjusting his tie, he followed her inside. “No, thank you.” He said politely, trying not to gawk and fiddled with the briefcase he carried.


The place was something out of a movie it seemed, lavish in every way.  Black leather furniture with midnight blue carpeting and white walls, she was obsessed with blue, cobalt in particular, so her entire place was decorated in it.  After grabbing herself some water, Jensa took a seat, the smile never leaving her face.


“So what can I do for you, Mr. Anderson?”


Ken focused his attention right back on her, which wasn't hard to do as she was extremely easy on the eyes and he found himself smiling warmly at her, brown eyes crinkling at the corners. “Well, St. Jude's is having their annual fundraiser dinner and we would like you to be our Guest of Honor.” He pulled out an invitation from the briefcase, extending it to her.


Jensa’s eyes lit up as she took the invitation from him, treating it like gold, tears stinging her eyes. “I'm honored.” She whispered, delicately opening it and began reading, the smile growing wider until she simply grinned, nodding. “I graciously accept.  Anything to help out this wonderful organization.  Thank you Mr. Anderson.” Jensa blinked the tears away, knowing this would be a formal affair with cocktails and class. “You came all the way here just to give me this?”


Ken rubbed the back of his neck still smiling, but now it was sheepish. “Well, Miss Talverson, when I saw how much you had donated, I just had to meet the woman behind the generosity.  I've been working in the PR department for a while and that...amount, how much you donated...is just STAGGERING.  You have a very kind heart.” He said sincerely.


“Yes well, this is the only charity I will donate to because it really gives kids a chance to survive horrible diseases.  It takes $1,000,000 dollars to keep that place open for a day.  So I decided they had to be covered for at least a year to help as many kids as they can.” Her voice was nothing but sincere and warm, eyes sparkling as Jensa leaned back in her comfy chair, crossing one leg over the other. “I just wish I could do more for this organization.”


Ken smiled at her, not bothered with the fact that she had just told him everything he already knew.  He did work with the hospital after all.  It was his passion. “You did more for those kids in one day then...” He shook his head, looking down at the carpet for a moment, at a loss for words.


Reaching over, Jensa took his hand and gently squeezed it, nodding. “Just the mere fact that at least one child is living because of that wonderful place is enough for me, Mr. Anderson.  The Children’s are the future, that's the way I look at it and we have to do everything we can to help them prosper.”


He returned the squeeze, feeling like he could very easily fall in love with this woman.  She was just...wow. “You are...a beautiful person.” He had been about to say beautiful, but caught himself.  Smiling again, Ken stood up, feeling her hand slide out of his. “The invitation is for 2, so...you can bring a date.  Formal attire is strictly enforced.” He almost made a face.


“I understand, thank you.  This is...amazing.”


Jensa was very touched as they both stood up, walking him to the door with the invitation still in her grasp.  The Guest of Honor - that was the greatest gift St Jude's could possibly give her besides healing more Children’s.  Ken turned at the door to smile down at her, brown eyes searching her face and knew she was way out of his league.


“I look forward to seeing you again, Miss Talverson.” He said, making a half bow before flashing another one of his charming smiles. 


Glancing at William and clearing his throat, Ken once more adjusted his collar.  That man was a bit...frightening.  Jensa smiled back at him sweetly, nodding at William, letting him know everything was alright and closed the door behind her, staring down at the invitation.


“St. Jude's Guest of Honor...”


Tears slipped down her cheeks as Jensa held the invitation against her chest and walked over, grabbing a frame she had on hand.  Placing it in there, it was right on top of the coffee table in the center.  Sighing, Jensa knew she had a problem and he was around 7 feet tall with tattoo sleeved arms, black hair and incredible dark green eyes...who did NOT dress formally.


“Damn, what am I going to do?”




“You are going...WHERE?”


“To her place.”


“This is also on the side of town you usually don’t venture.” Taker shrugged, causing Steve to frown. “Because you can't stand-”


“You.  Now shut the fuck up.”




Jensa made sure to inform William, in detail, of the man who would be frequenting her place from now on while she getting ready.  She called Taker after the shop closed, telling him the address, having a feeling he already knew.  That didn't bother her...too much.  Smiling, Jensa dressed in a pale blue tank dress that went 2 inches above the knee, hair done and curled at the ends, staying barefoot.  She'd had a fabulous caterer make them dinner and was currently waiting for him.  The dinner consisted of steak and lobster and Jensa hoped that wasn't TOO over the top.


‘God, we are from different worlds, but I can't stop myself from wanting him.’ She thought, lighting the long stemmed candles, deciding they would be eating out on her veranda under the stars and full lit moon with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi attached.


William cringed when he spotted the Harley Davidson, especially when he heard it almost squeal, before being cut off and flinched at the sight of the man that had been on it dismount.  He almost didn't let the guy in, wondering if Miss Talverson had lost her mind and swallowed hard.  He wasn't a small man or easily intimidated by any means, but...When the 'evil biker' removed his shades and William seen slits of green acid, he opened the door.


Jensa's heart nearly lunged in her throat when she heard a knock, knowing who it was and took a deep breath, padding over to answer it.  Standing before her was a specimen unlike no other.  God could he get anymore gorgeous, Jensa thought, smiling with blue eyes sparkling.


“Hi.” She murmured, stepping back to let him inside, the door closing behind him. “Dinner is ready whenever you are.”


After looking her over, Taker almost said forget dinner he was in the mood for dessert.  Then he noticed the sight of her trying to impose a 'mood' with them and knew better.  Nodding, he bent down to kiss her, eyes wandering over her home.


“Nice.” He said dismissively, his gaze returning to her.


“I know it's probably a little bright for you, but I have an obsession with blue.” She giggled softly, feeling her lips tingle and laced their fingers together.  She guided him on the veranda, inhaling the warm night air.  It was perfect. “I hope this isn't too over the top.” Jensa bit her bottom lip, incredibly nervous and moaned when he kissed her a little deeper, letting her know everything was fine. “I hope you like steak and lobster.”


Steak and lobster?  He was a mental snark and wondered if she cooked it herself or ordered out, unable to stop himself and just nodded.  Seeing how nice her place was, Taker took his heavy boots off at the door, arching an eyebrow when she looked at him.


“You don't have to do that.  That's why I have dark carpeting.”


Jensa winked and waved him off when he scowled, hoping it was playful.  Her eyes were glittering, barely containing her excitement with the news Mr. Anderson gave her earlier that day.  The table was glass with a gothic style to it, round and huge.  Jensa popped the top on the wine bottle, pouring each of them a glass.


“How was your day?”


Taker ALMOST laughed at that question, wondering if they were about to become a normal couple and then dismissed it instantly.  There was nothing normal about them.  They were from extremely different worlds and were extremely different people.


“It was entertaining.” He answered, green eyes sparkling with the recollection of what he had done to Steve.


They were different in every way and Taker would probably laugh at her for mentioning the banquet for St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital. ‘Maybe I shouldn't mention it to him and go by myself.’ She thought, smiling at him, hiding her thoughts expertly and placed the napkin on her lap. “That's good, at least it wasn't boring.” Jensa took the lid from her plate and set it aside, beginning to prepare her meal with the sour cream, steak sauce, butter…the works. “I was extended perhaps the greatest invitation today.” Why not tell him?  He'd find out anyway. “I donated a rather...large sum of money to the St Jude's Children’s Research Hospital and they're throwing a banquet with me as the Guest of Honor.” Her blue eyes lit up as Jensa talked about it, still not believing it was actually happening. “The invitation says I can bring a date, Taker...” She felt him stop preparing his own plate, eyes locking with his. “You can decline if you want, but I'm extending it to you and its formal attire.”


Chapter 8


Taker considered that, slowly cutting a piece of steak and then swirling it in steak sauce, chewing quietly.  Formal attire for the St. Jude's banquet, that meant a tuxedo...and probably less of a goatee so he didn't startle anyone.  This wasn't something he could make a split decision on.


“I'll... consider it.” He said finally, looking at her intently. 


Jensa was shocked that he would consider going with her, nodding, a grin spreading on her face. “Thank you for at least thinking it over, Taker.”


She truly meant that and began cutting into her own steak, dipping a piece of lobster in the hot butter, sighing happily.  This banquet would be the greatest night of her life, aside from meeting Taker.  Witnessing him shatter Randy's nose would always rank the top of her list.  They ate in companionable silence, though one thing was nagging on his mind.  It wasn't important in the sense that Taker would die if he didn't know, just him being curious.


“How much did you donate for them to extend this invitation to you?” He asked, setting his plate to the side and stared at her.


“$365,000,000 dollars.” Jensa cringed when the glass slipped from his grip and smashed to the marble flooring of the veranda.  She swallowed hard, blue eyes widening as he stared at her bewildered. “It takes $1,000,000 to keep that place running for a day so I gave them enough to keep it running for a full year.” Her voice was low and quiet as Jensa stood up from the table, furrowing her eyebrows together.


Taker would probably faint if he knew how much Jensa inherited from her grandmother.  Taker suddenly wondered if she was out of her mind or insanely rich.  Perhaps both as they usually went hand in hand.  After a moment to recompose himself, as well as pick up the shards of glass off the floor, he stood up.  Well now he knew why she was such a fox in bed, he thought, lips curving into a sensual smirk.  Her pussy was gold-plated.


Already helping him clean it up, Jensa was not concerned with dinner anymore and bit her bottom lip.  Jensa wasn't ashamed, she was proud of herself and knew her grandmother would be too.  She finished, gesturing to the table and dumped the broken shards in the trashcan, rejoining Taker at the table, sliding a piece of meat in her mouth.  She didn't know what else to say, the silence between them tense.


Taker didn't know what to say to that honestly, which was amazing as he was usually never at a loss for words.  Anything he said would pale in that huge shadow.  Though...He moved off his chair and gently slid her away from the table, stopping Jensa from getting up and crouched down before her.  A second later her tank dress was riding up her hips and bunched at her waist.  He was going to find out about that gold plating.  Blinking, Jensa gasped as his finger probed her, ripping her pale blue panties right off of her, swallowing hard.


“W-What are you-Ohhh...” She moaned out, hissing, feeling his mouth devour her.


She leaned back against the chair, spreading her beautiful thighs wider for him.  Her fingers buried in his long black hair as Jensa’s eyes drifted shut.  God they were so different in every way except their sexual chemistry.  Well, Taker would give her this, she had more room at her place for exploration then he did.  And he planned on using every inch of space, his experienced tongue bringing Jensa to the edge repeatedly.  Though, Taker didn't let her cum, wanting to hear her beg for him to let her release.


“Mmm...” He purred, looking up at her almost evilly.


Every inch of her place was christened with their sexual escapades, including the Jacuzzi before finally arriving in her master bedroom.  Jensa was nearly dead by the time Taker finished with her.  All she could do was breathe heavily, her eyes drifting shut.  Jensa tried to stay awake, but for the life of her Taker had drained all of her energy.  Not to mention it was early in the morning when they finally did fall asleep.  How could totally different people have incredible mind-blowing sex like them?  With that thought in mind, snuggling against him, Jensa drifted off into a deep slumber.


Taker stayed awake, just holding her and felt a contentment washing through him that he could honestly say he wasn't used to.  Jensa was so different from him and she was, sadly, also out of his league as much as he hated to admit it.  Inwardly groaning, Taker bent down to kiss the top of her head, letting himself fall asleep.


Jensa wasn't in anyone's league, she was a regular person and that would never change.  She just wanted to be loved for who she was, not what she was or had.  Taker was that man, she simply knew it.  Jensa woke up sometime later that day, hearing Taker in the shower, sighing.  What if they didn't work out?  What if all they were good for to each other was sex?  The thought saddened her as Jensa slipped her robe on before going to get something to drink, parched.


Taker was in love with her shower.  Oh yes!  He had to actually have his own bathroom remodeled just so he could fit in his shower.  Hers was like a cathedral.  Taker could have probably made his baritone echo in here repeatedly.  Sighing, he reluctantly vacated, wondering how much something like this cost to live in monthly.  Money was something he didn't worry about as he had enough to satisfy his needs, but this had to cost a pretty penny.


He wasn't the only one in love with her see-through glass shower, which had its own temperature and three different sprays.  One in the ceiling, two on the walls, it hit the person from all directions.  It was incredible, but none of that mattered to Jensa.  She sipped her coffee thoughtfully while sitting at the kitchen island, hair tousled, smiling when Taker stepped out towel drying his hair.  Damn he looked spectacular in nothing except a black towel, blue eyes devouring him visually.


“Good morning.”


“Morning.” Taker actually smiled at her, flipping his hair over his head, hunched in her kitchen as he toweled his hair. “I'm moving into your shower.” He informed her in a...happy...mood, which wasn't his usual at all.  He flicked his semidry hair back over his shoulders, straightening up and lazily hitched his towel back in place.


Giggling, Jensa rolled her eyes playfully, expecting to hear that as she stood up and poured him a cup of coffee, the sugar and cream right in front of him on the island. “I'm glad you enjoyed it.”


She wore a dark blue mid-thigh robe that tied since she wore nothing else underneath.  Jensa would be taking a shower after her cup of java.  Taker eyed her robe, walking over to stand in front of her and toyed with the ties.  When Jensa actually swatted his hands away, he snorted and backed off.


“Wore you out, hmm?” He teased, green eyes sparkling lewdly.


“To put it mildly, yes!”


She was sore from the top of her head to the tip of her toes.  Jensa needed a break.  That's all they did was have sex, which made her revert back to her earlier worry.  Sliding off the stool, Jensa stood on her tiptoes and kissed him softly, running a finger down his cheek.


“I'm going to take a shower now, help yourself to anything.”


Jensa walked out and waited until she was in the bathroom, disrobing, not wanting to give him ANY reason to join her.  Setting the temperature of her shower, she stepped inside and let out a satisfied groan, letting the sprays pound away the aches in her body.  Taker shook his head, knowing he sexed her up just a little bit too much and sighed.  Was it HIS fault she was amazing in the sack?  No.  He retreated to the bedroom to pull back on his clothing, groaning as he sank down onto the bed.


After a nice hot shower to soothe her, Jensa stepped out wrapping a towel around her body and proceeded to brush her hair and teeth.  She clipped it back to let it dry while doing her makeup, knowing she had to go shopping for an evening gown for her upcoming banquet with St. Jude's.  She still couldn't believe that was happening, grinning while applying foundation, blue eyeliner with clear gloss. 


More than likely, Taker had to head back to the shop soon, knowing he wouldn't be caught dead in a mall.  When Jensa finished with her makeup, she took the clip out of her hair and flipped it forward than back, brushing it out again.  Straightening it, she curled the ends to give it bounce.  When she was satisfied, Jensa finally stepped out, smiling at Taker while going to her closet to pick out something to wear.  Taker had finger comb his hair, making it manageable enough to braid and then hid it away under a black bandana, knowing he'd have to go back home for clothes.  He had some down in the saddlebags of his Harley, but hadn't felt like trekking all the way out there.


“What're you doing today?” He asked, next dropping down to pull on his black fingerless gloves, watching as she sorted through her wardrobe.


“Going shopping for a gown for the benefit.” Jensa answered, tapping her chin in thought, knowing she would be trying on dress after dress today until she found the right one. 


So what would be the easiest thing to wear?  She finally pulled out a red tank top with a dark blue jean skirt, knowing that would be easy enough to slip in and out of.  She placed the clothes at her vanity and grabbed new garments, slipping them on beneath the towel.  Jensa didn't need to engage in another physical session with Taker after doing her hair and makeup.


“What about you?”


“Work.” He sounded amused, watching openly as she dressed beneath the towel and had a sneaking suspicion he knew exactly why she did it that way.  Chuckling, he stood up and walked over to gently kiss her forehead. “I'll leave you to your day then, Jen.” He murmured, the amusement gleaming in his green orbs.


“Will I see you later on?” Jensa smiled when he nodded, stopping him from leaving, staring deep into those hypnotic orbs. “Just...let me know what your decision is if you're going with me or not to the benefit.  No pressure, its 2 months away.”


She kissed him again, watching him walk out of her bedroom and heard the front door close moments later, sighing while she finished dressing.  Flip-flops were a definite today because they were also easy to slip out of.  Jensa was shopping for a dress, shoes, jewelry, everything for this benefit, wanting it to be absolutely perfect.




“So, how it did go?” Steve asked when 'Taker finally had the grace to haul his big carcass through the doorway, having been running the shop by himself.


“Don't you ever shut up?”


“I just wanted to know if you enjoyed your visit at the fairy princess's castle.”


Taker cracked his knuckles, beginning to smirk as he approached the other man.




Jensa was losing hope as she tried on at least 3 dozen dresses, none of them quite standing out, until she walked into a dress shop in the mall and found it.  It was perfect, exactly what she'd been looking for.  Jensa quickly bought it, making sure it was placed in a leather zip up bag to prevent ANYTHING happening to it. 


The dress in itself cost $20,000 dollars, but it well worth it.  Now Jensa had to find jewelry and shoes.  Grinning, Jensa went into her favorite jewelry store and found what she was looking for again.  It was almost called out to her and then finally went to pick out shoes. 


Once she had everything, Jensa went back to her condo to put everything away securely.  She was going to look absolutely stunning at the benefit, deciding to get her hair professionally done, maybe even call in a makeup artist.  Jensa also had to get her nails and toes done since the heels were open toed.




Luckily, all Taker had done was broken one of Steve's fingers, the pinky.  He just snapped it back in place and put some ice on it.  Steve didn't use his pinky much anyway.  It was his middle fingers he was worried about.  Teasing the man had a price, but boy was it worth it and he usually dished out as much punishment as he took anyway.


“So, let me get this straight, she wants you to wear a tux and go to some fancy ass dinner?”


“Something like that.” Taker murmured, bent over a young woman's back, giving her a 'tramp stamp'.  Though, instead of the usual fairies or butterflies, she had asked for a graveyard scene.  This had been good, otherwise he would have thrown her out of the shop.


“Damn, well what're you gonna do?”


When Taker just shot Steve a look that told him to drop it, Steve reluctantly did, shaking his head.  He had a feeling this type of thing would happen a lot, that just came with the territory for rich people.  Appearances and whatnot, though Jensa was a nice woman with a heart full of gold.


“So, what's this benefit for anyway?” When Taker told him St Jude's Children’s Research Hospital and the amount she donated, he actually dropped the tattoo gun, jaw hanging open. “$365,000,000 DOLLARS?!”


The young woman arched an eyebrow and raised her head off the table, glancing back at Taker, who had stopped the tattoo in order to murder Steve with his eyes. “Your old lady dropped over $300 mill on a charity in one day?” She demanded, clearly not believing Steve.


“Cass, I'll put ‘Taker was Here’ on the edge of this.” He threatened, glancing back at Steve. “You...go put $200 in the till.  Those guns aren't cheap.”


“Neither is your woman.” Steve quipped, bolting.


Jensa decided to meet Taker at the tattoo shop later that night, after it closed, smiling upon seeing him.  She gasped when he pulled her into his arms, kissing her breathless and began guiding her towards the door.  This wasn't happening, Jensa was still sore from the night before.


“‘Taker wait...stop.” She ordered, breaking the kiss, gripping his arms, trembling a little while staring up at him. “This is all we've done since getting together.  It's been wonderful, don't get me wrong, but I don't want this ALL to be about sex.”


Taker considered that for a moment and nodded, raking a hand through his loose black hair and let go of her.  Feeling her trembling, he sincerely hoped that was from unwanted passion opposed to fear. “What would you like to do then?” He asked huskily, knowing she was right.  Damn if he could stop himself though.  When he seen Jensa, Taker wanted her and couldn't help it.


“Well, we could go for a walk through a park I saw down the street and actually talk?  I want to know everything about you that you're willing to tell me.  I feel like I'm dating a stranger and, while it's incredibly mysterious, it's also a little unsettling.” Jensa wasn't scared of him by any means because she trusted him, but also knew if they were going to work this out, they had to know each other's backgrounds. “I want to know where you're from, how you got in the tattoo business, your favorite food, drink, movie, music, everything.”


Chapter 9


Jensa had to be kidding.


One look at her face told Taker she wasn't.  While he wanted to know more about her, Taker wasn't all that keen on discussing himself.  A man didn't exactly tell an upper-class lady his favorite pastime was busting heads and violence.


“Alright.” Taker agreed then hesitated. “The park down the road?” When she nodded, he looked her over. “You'll have to put on one of my shirts, a lot of young punks like to hang out there and harass women.” Of course, if they were ballsy enough to do it in HIS presence, they deserved the beating they'd very likely get.


“No need.”


Jensa walked over to her Jaguar and unlocked it, pulling out a leather jacket since it was cool outside tonight, glad she'd changed into a pair of blue jeans and slipped it on.  She smiled when Taker's eyes darkened, cheeks flushing crimson and walked back over to join him as their lips softly touched, letting him guide her over to his bike.  Jensa didn't mind now that she was properly dressed for his motorcycle, wearing white tennis shoes since she already planned on asking him to go for a walk with her.  After Taker helped her on the back, Jensa wrapped her arms around his waist as he fired up the motorcycle and peeled out of there.


Well, it wasn't quite the same as having her wearing a dress and wrapped around him, but...this also meant less eyes to rip out for goggling her too.  Half grinning half smirking, Taker pulled away from the curb, glad she had had the foresight to dress for riding.  Soon they flew down the road, though Taker remembered he had a passenger and abided traffic laws, not too keen on getting her in trouble if by chance a cop finally got lucky enough to catch him.


When they arrived, Jensa dismounted the bike with Taker's help, loving to ride.  It was exhilarating, though nothing would ever top her first ride with Taker.  Jensa slipped her hand into his and looked up at the moon shining down on them, stars glistening, giving them just enough light to walk through the park.  Together, they began walking, silence reigning between them until Jensa could no longer stand it.


“So, what are your limitations as far as talking?  What topics should I steer clear of?”


“Previous relationships?” He said then smiled quickly to make sure she knew he was joking. “You can ask me anything, Jensa.” He said finally, knowing if they were going to have more than just a relationship based on sex, they couldn't limit themselves to what were obvious safe zones.  He squeezed her hand reassuringly. “What do you want to know?”


Jensa decided to start with the family history, knowing they had all night to do this and it was wonderful.  Just the two of them taking a stroll was magical and Jensa noticed the leaves were slowly changing.  Fall was rapidly approaching and the Indian Summer days would disappear before long.


Taker didn't usually talk about himself.  In fact, outside of Steve, he generally didn't talk period.  He never saw any reason to.  But after a little bit, he found himself quietly telling Jensa little pieces of his life.  Like how he had been born and raised in Texas, but preferred New York, the city that never slept agreed with his lifestyle and attitude.


“I want to know more about you.” Taker said after a while, stopping in the middle of a bridge to look down at the river that wound beneath them.


Jensa nodded as she leaned against the bridge ledge, looking out at the water with a sigh.  So many things she could tell him, where did Jensa begin honestly? “Well, I'm a purebred New Yorker, born and raised.  When I was around 6, I was sent by the state to live with my grandmother since my parents weren't fit to do it.  She raised me, but got sick when I turned 14, like I told you.  I basically spent my teen years caring for her, running errands, doing anything she needed even if it meant bathing her or clipping her nails.  It didn't matter, I was the only one she had since my...mother...was her only daughter and overdosed on drugs along with my sperm donor.  My grandmother was my parents and all I had.  When she died and left me everything she had, I vowed then and there to help anyone out I could, to make her proud.  She was the only family I ever knew, my rock and it took a long time to get over her death.  But eventually I realized that I had to move on and live my life, to continue on my journey.  She helped me realize that life is too damn short to fear and taught me that taking risks sometimes benefits a person.” Jensa wiped a few tears away as she talked about her grandmother, still missing her to this day and it'd been 4 years since her death. “Do you ever see your parents?”


“Don't know'em.” Taker said thoughtfully, shrugging when she looked at him, catching the expression on her face. “I lived with a bunch of other kids for some guy that ran a cockfighting ring.  This, at the time, wasn’t too illegal.” Now he was amused, knowing how most people thought it was disgusting, raising birds up nice and fat only to set them loose on each other to die, but...It had been the life he'd known. “I ran around with some of the guys, taking bets for folks and all that.  Rural America, country upbringing.” They were so different, the fact they even managed to meet was astonishing.


Wow...that had been something Jensa wasn't expecting to hear, having prepared for virtually anything...just not that.  He was brought up in a tough environment, border lining survival.  No wonder Taker dressed and acted the way he did, though she had no problem with it.  The man probably didn't know what part of the country he was born in or what happened to his mother because, generally in those circumstances, the parents sold their kid.  How disgusting!  She wanted to change the subject, deciding on another route.


“Alright, now that we got the family history out of the way, how many relationships have you had?”


Taker got the general idea that his upbringing disgusted her, though, truth be told, he wouldn't have had it any other way.  Sure, it was tough and he had to learn to either fight or get beaten.  How to do several technically illegal or unethical things, but it had also shown him early on that life was not a fairytale, that if a person wanted something they worked for it.  If a person couldn't get it by honest work, well...then there were other options.  Not that Taker had explored those other options since leaving Texas because he had gotten everything he had now, which was a considerable amount, above the table. 




“Define relationship.”


“Girlfriends, like what we are right now.”


Jensa didn't want to think about all the crazy and illegal things Taker probably had to go through in his childhood, her heart breaking at the mere thought.  Granted, she had been dropped with a lot of money, but at the same time she had worked for it by helping her grandmother.  It wasn’t just handed to her.  Jensa deserved it and still worked even though she didn't have to, giving back as much as she possibly could.  Taker probably didn't understand that though, especially after hearing about how he was raised and brought up.


“I've had 5, you're my 6th.” She confessed, closing her eyes and waited for another bomb to be dropped on her.


“You are my 2nd serious girlfriend.” Taker admitted after several long minutes of silence, clearing his throat gruffly. 


She'd either laugh and call him a liar or just gape, he wasn't looking down to see which one it was.  He had numerous flings, one nightstands, but that was not something he told the woman he seriously dated…ever.  Taker had known that from the get-go and the lesson had been reinforced when he witnessed Steve drunkenly spill his guts to his ex, who had promptly smacked him and stormed out, never coming back.  He'd pass.


Her jaw dropped and Jensa gaped at him, wondering if he was serious or just pulling her leg.  How in the hell could a man like him only have one other serious girlfriend besides her?  He was gorgeous, intimidating and scary at times, but the man dripped sexuality, his voice having the ability to melt ice.


“You're serious.” When he nodded, Jensa lowered her eyes, biting her bottom lip.  He had to have had a LOT of one nightstands then and, after finding out how he was brought up, that wasn't surprising. “Why me?” She suddenly asked, looking back up at him. “Why, out of all the women in this city, do you want to be with me?” Taker could literally have his pick of any woman in this city, women who were in his league because she certainly wasn't.  They were complete opposites in every way, shape and form, except when it came to sex.


“Simply because I COULD have any other woman in the city, but I WANT you.” He said evenly, folding his arms over his chest as he regarded her, admiring the way the light breeze played with a strand of her hair, teasing it into her eyes. “You could have your pick of men who are in your class, why me?” He turned the tables on her.


“Because you're different and unlike any man I've ever met or dated for that matter.  Because I...really like you and you make me weak in the knees with just a look.  No man has ever affected me the way you do, Taker.” Jensa brushed the strand of hair away that was annoying her, eyes narrowing slightly. “And what do you mean 'my class'?  I am no different than any other woman walking the streets!  Just because I have a lot of money and live in a nice condo?  What is my class exactly, Taker?  Because let me tell you something, I'm NOT a rich bitch.  I'm a regular normal woman who happened to have a generous grandmother.”


He was smirking by the time she finished her impromptu rant, loving the way her eyes had lit on fire and the oh-so-obvious attitude in her voice. “Jen, you just donated over $3,000,000 dollars to charity.  You work even though you're so wealthy your children's children won't have to work and, yet, you do act like any woman off the street.  You hear class and think poor, middle and rich.  When I say class, I mean a person's character.”


“What makes you think you're not in my class, Taker?  You're a good, true, hardworking man who has earned everything you have.  You have a heart, whether you want to admit it or not.  You think you're rough around the edges and this badass, but deep inside, you're just like me.  You want someone to hold and love, someone who will be there for you no matter what, who wants to grow old with you and all that jazz.  Or am I completely deluded and wrong?  Am I making all this up in my mind?  Because, so far, all you've shown me is passion and kindness, you haven't hurt me once.”


Considering they hadn't been together officially but a few days shy of 2 weeks, she was a very trusting and naive woman.  However, Taker overlooked those flaws and, in his world, they were flaws because he already deeply cared for her.  Instead of answering her with words, he just reached out to pull Jensa into his arms, holding her tightly and rested his head on top of hers.


Jensa already knew she loved this man with every fiber of her being and would give anything to have him in her life.  She hugged him back tightly, burying her face in his chest, inhaling his scent with a sigh.  Everything felt right when she was in his arms, no matter how different they were.  It didn't matter, opposites attracted all the time.  The truth was, Taker was in her class and they complimented each other well, even though their styles were like oil and water.


“Now I meant what I said, mister, I want to know everything.” Jensa pulled back, a beautiful smile on her face, eyes sparkling up at him. “What's your favorite kind of music?  Mine's mostly country and rock, but every now and then I'll throw it some R&B and rap.” She giggled when he made a face, trying to stifle it. “There's nothing wrong with having a variety.”


“Variety is the spice of life and often the cause of indigestion.” He tossed back with a slight grin, wrapping his arm around her once more as they set off walking.  The night had gotten a bit colder and Taker knew they'd soon be making their way back to his motorcycle. “I like jazz, and blues.” He said after a moment. “Some rock, old rock, the classic stuff.  And I don't listen to rap at all.” He shook his head, growling playfully when she giggled again. “Woman...”


“You said variety is the spice of life.” She quipped with a smirk, laughing when he began tickling her sides, shaking her head. “Don't even think about it!” Jensa squealed when he lifted her up over his shoulder with one arm, looking down with a raised eyebrow. “Wow, has anyone ever told you that you have a nice ass?” Jensa laughed when he froze, grinning from ear to ear as he looked back at her before being set down on her feet. “Okay, favorite food?  I'm going to assume your favorite color is black so we'll skip that one.”


“I don't have a particular favorite food.” Taker growled, not amused with her in the slightest.  Or, at least, he tried not to be. “And what makes you think black is my favorite color?” He taunted, reaching out to push her head gently, laughing out loud when she ducked his hand. “My favorite color is green.” He informed her. “But...I prefer to wear black because it means I never have to think about what I'm going to wear.”


“Green, really?” Jensa felt embarrassed for assuming anything, but that smile never left her face. “If you can't guess my favorite color, then you seriously need to have your eyes checked.  When he grunted 'blue', she did the thumbs up with a grin, nodding. “Correct.  My favorite food is seafood, though I can't stand anything with tentacles.  I like lobster, crab, shrimp, oyster Rockefeller, things like that.  I'm also an Italian food junky.” Jensa made a mental note to buy him something green to go in his room at the shop, wanting him to have something to remember her by whenever they weren't together. “Let's see, what else?  What are you into as far as interests go?”


Now Taker was definitely amused, holding out both arms, which were bare as always thanks to his black leather vest. “Tattoos.” He drawled, a hint of an accent creeping into his tone, shaking his head. “Motorcycles.  Occasionally, I go to watch boxing matches and things like that.” He wondered what Jensa would say if he invited her to one, knowing that would mean he'd have to go out and rent a tuxedo for her benefit. 


That was still up in the air.


Chapter 10


“I'm into anything cobalt blue, I kind of collect it.  Though my interests include anything dark and fascinating, like wizards and medieval things.” Jensa shrugged, having quite the collection, knowing there were some things about herself that would surprise Taker. “Though I don't dress like it, I am fascinated with the darker part of life.  My ex-best friend is Wiccan and we don’t speak anymore.” She shrugged, refusing to let it bother her. “When you gain a lot of money, you find out who your TRUE friends are and I'll leave it at that.”


Storing that nugget for a later day, Taker let her continue talking, now guiding her back around the park towards where they left his motorcycle.  He sighed when some young punks came strolling along the path and Taker could already hearing the catcalls. “This is exactly what I was telling you about earlier, darlin'.” He said, gesturing at them, having absolutely no fear of any of them.  They were all scrawny half men with pubic hair on their chins they tried passing off as facial hair. “You boys best keep on moving.” He cautioned, his entire demeanor going from relaxed to deadly in seconds. 


Though Taker never removed his arm from Jensa, still keeping the casual stance.  Jensa swallowed hard, trying not to be scared since she was with Taker.  These guys were half his size for crying out loud, but it was 4 against 1.  This wasn't good, Jensa felt sick as she slunk back behind Taker, slowly moving when he did, feeling him grab her hand as their fingers laced together.  They were having such a great time, why did these jerks have to ruin it?


Taker was old and experienced enough to know one simple thing.  All he had to do was hurt one of them enough to scare the others away.  So when of the young idiots got too close, he wrapped a hand around the kid's pencil neck throat and raised him up into the air with an almost frightening ease.


“See, when you frighten my lady friend, I tend to get...annoyed.” He said easily, squeezing ever so slightly.


When the giant literally tossed their friend into a nearby bush, they bolted.


Point proven.


Jensa's eyes widened to the size of saucers, hand covering her mouth as she watched in fascinating horror as Taker handled that guy like he was a mere child.  She stumbled back when he turned around to face her, swallowing hard.  The slightest hint of fear shined in her blue eyes, though Jensa tried hiding it.


“I'm fine.” She whispered reassuringly, taking his offered hand and trembled slightly as they headed back to the motorcycle, trying to keep the tears at bay. 


It was all from fear of what COULD'VE happened and seeing the brute strength her boyfriend had.  What Taker wasn't admitting to anyone, and especially not her, was that wasn't something he wanted to do on a nightly basis.  Lifting someone and just holding them in the air like that, making it look easy on top of things, was basically all for show.  His arm actually hurt from holding that punk before tossing him.  However, Taker would rather make an impressive demonstration and scare them off rather than fight all of them and possibly risk Jensa being harmed.


“Thank you.” She whispered in his ear once they were back on his motorcycle and wrapped her arms around his waist to show him she wasn't afraid. 


She had no reason to fear this man, who had been nothing except kind to her since they met.  Jensa was falling for him fast and she didn't know how to stop it.  Taker nodded once and fired the engine up, peeling out of there moments later.  At least she knew some things about him and, overtime, Jensa hoped to learn more.


Once they had reached his shop, Taker helped her dismount and let her lead the way inside, rolling his arm. “You're not afraid of me, are you?” He asked softly, that was the last thing in the world that he wanted.  He would never, could never, hurt her. “Jensa...” Taker murmured, reaching out to run his finger down her cheek, knowing that entire incident had frightened her in general.


“No, of course not.” She murmured softly, meaning it and frowned as he favored his arm.  Maybe Taker wasn’t as strong as she thought, Jensa’s eyebrows furrowing together. “You're hurt.”


She noticed he tried to hide it and took his hand, leading him back to where he slept.  The man really had to get his own place, but somehow Jensa knew he loved it here.  Tattooing was his passion that was for sure.


“Sit down.” She ordered gently but firmly, crawling behind him and began massaging his shoulder, pressing a soft kiss to the back of his neck.


He had to admit, she was very good at this and, lifting that kid had definitely been worth it, just to feel her fingers easing away the pain.  After a moment, Taker began explaining why he had lifted and then thrown the young man onto a bush, how it was just easier to scare them away opposed to fighting.  Contrary to his image, he didn't like to fight, unless it was Steve.  However, Taker didn't back away from them either.  He had even made sure the kid landed in a bush so he wasn't too banged up.


He really was a survivor at heart and that just made Jensa fall for him harder. “I understand, Taker.  Don't worry, I'm not scared of you.  I know you will never hurt me.”


Jensa smiled when he pulled her to where she straddled his lap with his good arm, still working on the sore one.  Stopping briefly to stare into his eyes, her blue eyes shined with truth and admiration.  She kissed him softly, tenderly, before continuing the task, wanting him to feel better.  Jensa hated seeing Taker in pain and had taken up massage therapy in college as a minor for her degree.  Her major was, of course, journalism.


When the ache was pretty much nothing but a fading memory, Taker wrapped both his arms around her.  Forcing her to stop, he bent forward so his head pressed against hers, closing his eyes.  Taker could already see himself falling in love with this woman, if he wasn't there already.  He still had a hard time believing Jensa was meant for him, that she was there with him.  It was like someone had given him a million Christmas's in one beautiful package.




Over the next 2 months, Jensa spent as much time with Taker as she possibly could, growing closer to him with each passing day.  She declined, several times, to get a tattoo from him for obvious reasons, mainly because she was terrified of needles.  They bounced back and forth between each other's places, though Taker was starting to stay at hers more often than his due to her shower.  He absolutely loved it and Jensa wished he could have one like that. 


The ONE time she brought up him moving into a new apartment or condo away from the tattoo shop, he gave her the cold shoulder and Jensa never mentioned it again.  They had little tiffs, but nothing major and makeup sex became Jensa's favorite thing with him it seemed, besides talking.  Taker was a great listener, very smart and funny at times.  All in all, this relationship was everything Jensa had been dreaming and hoping for.


Taker figured this was as close to heaven as he was ever going to get and hell, he'd take Jensa over heaven any day.  She was everything he had given up looking for in a woman.  Funny, smart, active, sexy as hell and knew her way around the bedroom.  Add in her heart of gold...She was also his complete opposite, which garnered a lot of wisecracks from Steve and looks from people they passed.  It was sort of Beauty and the Beast, he supposed.  Him being the Beast, which made him smirk.  But she filled the void in his life, the void he hadn't been aware he had until she walked into it.  Oh...and her shower was an added bonus.


The night of the banquet finally arrived and Jensa was excited as she stepped out of the shower, her straightener, curling iron, blow-dryer…everything set out.  Her hair and makeup lady, Susan, waited for her.  Jensa wanted to look absolutely perfect for tonight and she only had 3 hours to get ready.  Brushing her teeth and hair, Jensa stepped out and sat down while Susan got to work.


“I think I'm going to do your hair in banana curls, leaving it down with a sapphire clip on one side, what do you think?”


“I trust your judgment, do what you want.” Jensa closed her eyes and leaned back, allowing the transformation to take place, straightening her honey locks being the first thing to happen.


“So where is your date?”


“Oh...he had some last minute things to do at work.  I understand, this isn't his type of atmosphere.”


In truth, when Taker told Jensa he wasn't going with her it really hurt, but she understood.  This was the most important night of her life to date and he wasn't going to be there, but she would survive.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, would ruin her night.  Susan finished straightening her hair before beginning the curls, using hairspray to keep them in place.


“Wow, sounds like a loser to me.”


“No, he's not a loser, he just had important business to attend to tonight.” Jensa sighed heavily, closing her eyes. “I don't want to talk about this anymore.”


Nodding, Susan didn't mention another word about it.  She picked up the silver clip that had real sapphires in it, combing her hair back placing it strategically.  The right side had curls framing her face while the other was bare, making her look stunning.


“Now for the makeup…”


Dark blue outlined her eyes, bringing them out along with shimmery silver eye shadow that matched her gown's color.  Her lashes were full and beautiful, bringing out her eyes more.  Foundation covered up any blemishes, which Jensa had none and clear gloss painted her full lips. 


Once that was completed, Susan helped her clip on the jewelry, which was silver with sapphire stones in the shape of teardrops outlining it.  It looked like a butterfly type design in the front sparkling and would bring the dress out along with matching earrings and a bracelet.  Finally, it was time to put the gown on, Jensa's legs would be completely covered so there was no need for nylons, thankfully. 


The pure silver gown had a scalloped sweetheart neckline that topped the strapless bodice made of pure satin.  It was shaped with full-length princess seams and a flared A-line skirt that swept to a short train at the back.  The dress showed her bare back to the middle of it before wrapping around, hugging her curves and flaring out at the knees.


“Wow...” Whoever her boyfriend was, he would be kicking himself for not taking her to this banquet.  Jensa was stunning. “Okay shoes!  You look...incredible.” Susan knew that wasn't a strong enough word for it, but it was the best compliment she could come up with at the moment.


“Jensa, the limo is here.” William's voice sounded through the condo from the intercom, causing her to nod.  Glancing one last time in the full length mirror, she hugged Susan lightly and handed her an envelope.


“Thank you for all you've done.”


She grabbed her black fur coat since it was chilly outside before exiting, ready for a red carpet appearance, grinning from ear to ear.  William's eyes widened at the sight of her, swallowing hard and bowed, opening the door for her.  Giggling softly, Jensa nodded and bowed in return.


“Thank you William, you know where to go.” She slipped in, the door closing moments later, not hearing Susan's scream.  Jensa had given the woman a fair amount of money that would insure she wouldn't have to worry about finances for a good long while.


Being a PR for St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital usually meant Ken dressed up, casually, in blue jeans that were pressed and a white dress shirt.  It also meant he got to put together events like this and make sure it was well promoted.  He was very good at his job.  Considering they had a special Guest of Honor who had donated a mindboggling sum, Ken made sure this was covered by every network he could find. 


Radio would be covering certain parts of it and he had the internet on his side as well.  The amount alone would make headlines and it would all be used for good to help St. Jude’s.  He glanced over his hair in the men's restroom and then straightened the lapels on his tuxedo, nodding.


William pulled up 20 minutes later at one of the most luxurious banquet halls in town and Jensa’s eyes glittered, feeling her heart pounding furiously.  She took a deep breath, glancing down at herself to make sure nothing was out of sorts.  Nails were perfectly manicured and clear with sapphire blue tips, her toes the same thing and the heels were the same color as her jewelry.  Stepping out taking William's hand, Jensa saw the press was alive and well as cameras flashed, an actual red carpet rolled out. 




“You're NOT going?”


Steve had been so sure Taker would, considering he had seen the guy actually using the work computer to browse tuxedos.  Taker and computers just did not mix.  It was the 3rd one they had to buy this year.


“I go in there with her and they're all going to think she's on drugs or something, or that I'm her bodyguard.” Taker replied, calmly sipping his beer.  Instead, he sat at the counter with a ledger doing the monthly finances, just to occupy himself. “She understands.”


“Course she does, she's a sweetheart who has a shit for a boyfriend.”


Taker felt bad enough without Steve badgering him, knowing how important this was to Jensa.  The event was a charity dinner, another fundraiser, basically.  But they were announcing her as the Guest of Honor and presenting her with some kind of award or plaque for her extremely charitable donation. 


He sometimes still had to stop and pinch himself whenever he remembered just how much she had donated.  Not so much the amount but the casualty of it.  She had just DONE it out of the blue without batting an eyelash.  That kind of money and power was somewhat intimidating, not that Taker would EVER admit that to anyone, especially Steve.


“You chicken shit son of a bitch!” Steve chortled, downing the rest of his beer and crushed the can in his hand, tossing it into the garbage bin. “Well, I'm goin' home to my current woman.  You have fun sittin' here and squirmin' about bein' a coward.” He waved as he walked out, making sure to move fast before his bald ass got snatched up.


Taker glanced up at the clock, knowing Jensa would probably be heading out to the event any moment now and wondered just how much hurt and anger she hid for his refusal to go.  He hadn't been mean about it, he had just flat out told her it wasn't his thing and had some work related business he planned on doing.  Looking back, Taker sounded like an uncaring asshole.  Jensa...was changing him.  Before her, he wouldn't have cared about hurting someone's feelings and now…now he was sitting here contemplating it instead of handling his business.


“Christ on the cross...” He muttered, pushing away the untouched ledger.


Chapter 11


After being interviewed several times, Jensa entered the banquet hall and slipped her coat off hanging it up, not believing how beautiful the décor was.  Lights streamed and hung and a beautiful staircase lead down to hundreds of tables.  Smiling, Jensa slowly began descending, lifting her gown a little so she didn't trip on it.  Boy wouldn't THAT be embarrassing.  When Ken spotted Jensa Talverson, he excused himself from the reporter he conversed with and quickly made his way to her.


“Miss Talverson.” He greeted, extending his hand to help her down the last few steps and raised hers to his mouth, pressing a kiss to the back of it. “You look...exquisite.” He said, taking in her dress, jewelry, hair and makeup.  She was almost underdressed, but the elegance and unassuming beauty she possessed made her the crown jewel of the night.


“Mr. Anderson, how lovely seeing you again.” A blush crept in her cheeks when he kissed her hand again as a breathtaking smile crossed Jensa’s lips.  She looked around the banquet in sheer reverence. “No, this place is exquisite.” She corrected softly, giving him a quick onceover and instantly missed Taker more than anything.  Jensa hid it well though. “You don't clean up so bad yourself.”


“I have my moments.” Ken smiled, ducking his head almost shyly before looking back up at her.  He didn't see a date with her and a tiny frown creased his brow. “Did you...bring a guest?” He asked tentatively, inwardly sighing when she quickly shook her head, wondering why not because she was stunning.  Jensa probably had men lining up to...He let that thought slide and extended his arm to her. “May I escort you around?” He asked hesitantly. “Maybe introduce you to some people?”


Her blue eyes glittered back at him and Jensa nodded, taking his extended arm deciding it wouldn't hurt anything.  It's not like she would go to bed with Mr. Anderson.  He was just showing her around since she did not have a date.


“Thank you.”


Jensa proceeded to meet everyone involved with the St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital, shaking hands and whatnot.  She glided across the floor, used to wearing heels, everyone telling her how incredibly generous she was for donating that amount of money.  Jensa waved them off dismissively and thanked them, stating repeatedly it was for the children.


Ken made sure to introduce her to the right people, also making sure the amount she had donated wasn't allowed to come up.  That would be announced later in the evening when everyone was seated, knowing it would be one hell of a story.  Jensa handled everything so graciously, not faltering once under any of the questions or the flattery heaped on her.   If she wasn't definitely out of his league, Ken might’ve made a play for her.  He was about to relinquish her when his name was called, gently turning her around.


“Smile!” The photographer chirped.


After the flash went off and the photographer was on his way, Ken started blinking rapidly.  Jensa blinked a few times as well, not expecting that as the photographer went on his way, snapping pictures left and right.  She was introduced to a few more people before it was time to be seated.  Seated at the front at her own table, causing a blush to creep in her cheeks, Jensa sat down with ease, sipping some champagne Mr. Anderson had been kind enough bring her.


“Welcome ladies and gentleman to the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Charity Ball!” The announcer boomed throughout the banquet, everyone clapping. “Now then, before we begin the festivities, we have a very special guest among us this evening.  Her name is Jensa Talverson and this lovely young lady donated an unprecedented amount of money to this wonderful organization.  $365,000,000 dollars!!  Miss Talverson, please come up onstage and say a few words.”


A spotlight lit her up as everyone began clapping thunderously, causing her to stand up to bow her head, the brightest smile on her face, even though it was nothing to her.  Nodding, Jensa left her table and walked up the stairs slowly, lifting her gown a little so she didn’t trip.  Standing at the podium, Jensa looked out at the massive crowd, the smile never leaving her face.


“Thank you.” She softly said in the microphone, feeling her heart ready to leap out of her chest at any given moment.


Taker had actually gone out and bought a suit.  Not a tuxedo simply because he knew he would look like a fool in one.  It was a black suit with a black undershirt and a black tie.  Knowing he was going to be extremely late, he had showered and shaved.  Well, he actually trimmed his goatee off until it was just on his chin, sighing ruefully, pulling his hair back into a low sleek tail.  At the moment, he stood against a pillar just off of the stairs, not wanting to interrupt the proceedings or draw attention to himself and get kicked out.  He watched as she made her way to the podium, his heart doing a funny leap in his chest when he saw just how beautiful she was tonight.


Before Jensa could open her mouth to continue, something caught the corner of her eye as 3 children came walking up, 2 girls and a little boy.  They couldn't have been any more than between the ages of five and seven.  The boy was in a crisp black tuxedo, looking absolutely adorable with a bald head and blue eyes.  The girls were in citrine gowns, both of them bald as well, one with warm brown eyes, the other grey.


“Children, don't you have something to give Miss Talverson for her generosity?”


The little boy took a deep breath, holding the plaque and stepped forward, looking at the beautiful lady before him. “Miss Talverson,” He said into the microphone, his sweet voice carrying. “We are from St. Jude's and would like to give you this and say thank you.”


Tears filled her eyes as Jensa bent down to where she was level with them, smiling from ear to ear. “Thank you.”


She couldn't even find the words and hugged all of them, trying not to let the tears fall as they stung her eyes.  The children were escorted offstage and back to their table.  Dabbing her cheek with her finger sniffling, Jensa finally stood back up, holding the plaque and looked out at the crowd, quickly composing herself.


“I would like to dedicate this award to my deceased grandmother, Willow Talverson because, without her, none of this would be possible.  Please keep donating and helping this wonderful organization because the children are indeed the future.  Thank you.” It was short, sweet and to the point.


The crowd erupted in applause as Jensa walked down the steps, looking at her plaque and decided it was going in her living room, wiping a few more stray tears away.  Keeping to the shadows as the master of ceremonies began listing off the night's events and performers, Taker recognized several famous names.  This was definitely not his scene, but...Jensa was here, which made all the difference. 


Sticking as close to the wall and out of people's way the best he could, Taker made his way to her.  Coming to a halt at her side, he carefully crouched down since she was now back at her table.  He knew her well enough to know she was struggling to hold back tears, indeed a few had even fallen and reached out to grasp her hand, squeezing gently. 


Jensa had been so lost in thought staring at her award that she didn't see someone creeping up to her, until she felt a hand grasp hers.  Jumping slightly, Jensa's head whipped up, blue eyes widening at the sight of Taker.  He was actually there in the flesh.  Jensa’s jaw dropped, covering her mouth with her hand as the tears began falling and felt her heart fill with unconditional love for him.


“You came.” She whispered, leaning into his soft touch as he cupped her face, placing her own over his. 


Setting the award on the table, Jensa hugged him tightly around the neck clinging to him.  Taker held her tightly against him, not caring who watched and pressed his lips to her hair, careful not to damage her.  Finally, he gently disengaged her arms from around his neck and moved to the empty chair, knowing it had been meant for her guest.  Him, who had been a jackass and not come with her from the get-go like he should've.  However, Taker was here now and better late than never, he hoped.


“You were beautiful up there.” He murmured raising her hand to his lips, planting a lingering kiss to it, his eyes locked with hers.


“Thank you, god I'm so glad you're here.” Her eyes shined, not able to stop smiling now and gave him a onceover.  Taker looked delicious in all black and Jensa could not believe he was here with her. “You have no idea how much this means to me.”


He was late, but the important thing was he came and watched her accept the award from 3 of the sweetest kids she'd ever met in her life.  Jensa knew right then and there she loved Taker more than anything, more than the air she breathed.  He showed her just how much he cared about her by showing up.


Now Ken knew he definitely didn't have a shot at her and smiled, having known he never really did either.  So, her date had just been running late and, truth be told, -the public relation's professional in him suddenly surfacing- Ken mentally sighed in relief that the guy HADN'T been with her for the first part of the program.  He just wasn't photogenic in the sense that was needed for tonight's atmosphere.


Because Taker loved her, -he admitted it to himself- he had come and out of love, he was going to stay and try to enjoy himself.  Well, he would enjoy himself as far as the company went simply because it was Jensa.  Her eyes were only for Taker, nobody else, and Jensa blinked when he asked her to dance, a song flowing through the speakers that fit her feelings for him perfectly.  Standing up, Jensa allowed Taker to guide her to the dance floor, feeling his strong arms wrap around her waist, arms reaching up to wrap around his neck, never taking her eyes from his.  Matt Kearney was one of the performers for tonight as he began singing 'All I Need'.  Taker was all Jensa needed and wanted, sighing in contentment.


That was simply disgusting.  She had actually gotten with that big burly biker who had the audacity to...Randy rubbed his nose, still harboring anger over that.  He was here; naturally, he was wealthy.  He had donated of course, but not because he cared all that much.  Sure, it went for a good cause and all, but he was more interested in the tax break he'd get as well as the praise for 'being so generous'.  Over $300,000,000 dollars, so THAT'S what his darling ex was worth.  And to think, he had let her get away.  Maybe it was time to renew their relationship.  Not tonight of course, no, that would be bad considering all the press.


Jensa was totally lost in the song as Taker twirled her around expertly, wondering where on earth he learned to dance, not questioning it.  When he dipped her, her heart lodged in her throat and moaned as his lips softly caressed hers, pulling her back up with flushing cheeks.  After the song was through, Taker and Jensa went back to her table for a breather, laughing when he pulled her to sit sideways on his lap.


“So, what do you think of my dress?” She asked in his ear, giggling when he growled, tightening his arms around her and leaned her head on his shoulder. 


Jensa wanted to tell him she loved him, but not yet.  She would wait a little longer and shut her eyes briefly, hoping the bubble didn't burst between them.  After a moment, he held her out at arm's length, gently nudging her into a standing position between his legs, his emerald green eyes sweeping her over.  Slowly.  She looked astonishing, by far the most beautiful woman in the room, but Taker also knew he was very biased.


“You're gorgeous, Jen.” He said softly, pulling her back down onto his lap and wrapped his arms around her once more, smiling when he felt her head once more rest on his shoulder.


“So are you, Taker.” She murmured softly, snuggling, just wanting to be with him and nobody else. 


This night was perfect after all and that made her smile.  They stayed for a few hours, dancing and talking to people.  Mostly Jensa did the talking, introducing Taker as her boyfriend, refusing to leave him out in the cold.  People took to him easy enough and Jensa was astounded by how smooth Taker was with everyone.  Jensa finally bid everyone good night before walking up the stairs, arm in arm with Taker and her plaque in the other.


Taker had brought a cab, which was something he never wanted to repeat, ever.  So the sight of her limousine was a welcome sight indeed.  A motorcycle simply wasn't a good deal in a suit, not if he wanted to keep the suit in perfect condition.  Taker knew she'd of never managed it unless Jensa removed the dress, which he then thought wasn't a bad idea at all.


“Happy?” He asked as they walked out of the building, welcoming the fresh air and inhaled deeply.


“Immensely, I know this wasn't easy for you, Taker.” Jensa stopped, turning to face him, eyes shimmering under the full lit moon and stars, their eyes locked. “Thank you so much for coming.” Standing on her tiptoes, Jensa hugged him close before passionately kissing him, pouring every feeling into it she could muster up and only broke it when both of them were breathless. “Come on, I want to make it up to you.”


Taker blinked, not expecting that and kissed her forehead. “You don't have anything to make up to me, Jen.” He rumbled, a laugh in his tone unable to hide it. “I do, I should've came with you instead of pussyfooting and then showing up at the last minute.  That was wrong of me, especially on such an important night in your life.  Forgive me?” He stared down at her intently, resting his forehead against hers.


“There's nothing to forgive, Taker.  You showed up, that's what matters and means most to me.  You were there for me...” She sighed gently, caressing his face with the back of her hand. “You got up the courage to come here even though you weren't comfortable with this atmosphere...for me.  You did this for me, do you have any idea how incredible that is?” Jensa cupped his face in her hands and brought his lips to hers, brushing them softly. “You didn't have to come, but you did.  Now come on, I want to get out of this dress and I know you're dying to get out of that suit.”


Chapter 12


“I'll survive it.” Taker teased, green eyes lighting up with wicked intentions. “I'm more interested in getting you out of that dress.” He wiggled his eyebrows, leaving absolutely no room for doubt as to what he meant and genuinely laughed when she smacked his arm.


His upper lip curved into a sneer as the sickeningly happy and totally odd couple got into the waiting limousine.  Snorting, Randy took a long drag from his cigarette before tossing it down the stone steps, watching as it rolled onto the sidewalk and stepped out of the shadows.  Jensa would be his soon enough and their happy relationship would be nothing more than a dust in the wind.


They never saw those dangerous cold blue eyes of Randy Orton's as the limousine pulled away, Jensa too busy trying to keep Taker from devouring her.  She lost count how many times she had to smack Taker's hands away, glad when they finally arrived at her condo.  Taker slid out as she took his hand, guiding him inside after bidding William good night, walking inside.


“Home sweet home.”


Jensa barely dropped her keys and purse when Taker's arms wrapped around her from behind, lips attacking her neck.  Instantly moaning, Jensa pulled the clip from her hair, the rest of her locks pooling down her back and over her shoulders.  Taker wanted to try out her shower with her for a while now so...he helped her out of her coat, restraining himself from attacking her long enough to scoop her up into his arms.  It was big enough for them both and everything he planned on doing to her.  He set Jensa down on the sink counter and kneeled in front of her, reaching under her dress in order to run his hands down her calves to her shoes, green eyes twinkling mischievously.


Her heart pounded as Jensa felt his warm muscular hands remove her heels, their eyes never leaving each other's as Taker slowly stood up.  Taking his tie, Jensa removed it with ease before shoving the suit coat from his shoulders, licking her lips hungrily, eyes darkening along with his.  She wanted him and knew the feeling was more than mutual, beginning to unbutton it.  Jensa gasped when he ripped it open, buttons flying everywhere and captured her lips, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck.  His hand reached behind to unzip her gown, feeling it loosen with each second that passed.


William did what he did best, making sure nobody bothered Miss Talverson.  Especially since he knew she had her boyfriend up there and wouldn't take being interrupted all that well.  As a matter of fact, Taker wouldn't either.  So when he seen a car he did not recognize come on the security camera, he arched an eyebrow and stood up. 


A second later the fire alarms blared, followed by the sounds of glass breaking.  Cursing, he hit the 'panic' button which would automatically alert the police.  William looked towards the main entrance, wincing when he seen someone had set something rather big on fire and hurled it into the building.


Jensa heard the fire alarms going off and immediately broke the kiss, eyes widening, sitting in her bra and panties on the sink. “What the hell?”


Taker wondered the same thing and Jensa knew she had to go check it out, especially when she heard William's voice sounding throughout the condo.  Pulling her ankle length blue silk robe on and tying it, glad Taker was still in his dress pants, they rushed out of the condo to see what happened.  Taker held Jensa close to him once they were outside, watching as the fire department and police swarmed the place, not surprised at the response time. 


This was Jensa Talverson after all.  Luckily, it seemed the damage was minimal, but it was the FACT that someone had done this.  Of course, it would happen on this night of all nights.  But then again, it HAD been announced how much Jensa had donated and this was probably a hate crime of some kind.


“Are you okay?” Taker whispered softly in her ear.


“I-I'm fine, just a little shook up.” She quietly replied, raking a hand through her honey curled locks, tears forming in her eyes.


“Miss Talverson, you will need to find another place to stay until we can have the remodeling finished.”


“Did my condo-”


“No ma'am, but the elevator shaft was caught on fire in the lobby, along with the stairs.  There is significant damage on the lower floor so there's no way upstairs until the damage is fixed.”


“Jesus...” She nodded, thankful she had grabbed her purse and keys on the way down, clutching them like a lifeline.  At least nothing was destroyed in her condo, that would've shattered her. “William?”


“I will bring around the limousine, Jensa.”


“Thank you.”


She looked up at Taker, tears shining in her eyes and buried her face in his chest, shoulders shaking.  Taker was pissed off by the time they reached his place, carrying Jensa in through the back and automatically took her into his bedroom, gently laying her down on the bed.  He wasn't angry with her, it was at whoever had done this to her.  The woman had never gone out of her way to harm anyone, quite the opposite in fact and some hateful son of a bitch, or bitches, wanted to harm her?  Someone had set fire to her home.  Jensa could’ve been severely harmed or dead.  Oh yeah, his temper was boiling and Taker was going to explode, just not in front of her.  He had every intention of finding out who had done this and killing them outright.  Screw the police, he had his own brand of justice…a slow and painful death. 


There was another spare bedroom in the shop for William as Jensa laid there, wondering who could've done this.  Who wanted to hurt her by setting her home ablaze?  She didn't care about the money, the donation, because it was all from her heart.  Jensa sniffled as Taker joined her in bed, wrapping his arms around her waist, letting her know everything was going to be fine.  She turned and buried her face in his chest, tears soaking it, gripping his arms and shoulders while he crooned soothingly in her ear, rubbing her back.  This scared her to death and, somehow, Jensa knew it was far from over.


“Someone did WHAT?” Steve growled the next morning, sipping a mug of coffee at a table in the corner of the shop, blue eyes narrowed. 


He had wondered why the shop was still closed when he came in, now he knew.  Taker looked...dangerous.  He was dressed, hair loose, but it was the feral gleam in his eyes, the cruel and cold expression on his face that gave him that look.


“I'm going to find out who.” Taker said calmly, having let Jensa sleep in, knowing she deserved it after her beautiful night had turned into a hellacious nightmare.




“Bury the fucker alive.”


When Jensa woke up and was informed that Taker had gone out for the day, hunting as Steve put it, she decided to go rent a hotel room right down the street from the shop.  She made sure Steve would tell Taker and went shopping, changing into the clothes she bought, jeans and a magenta baby t-shirt.  She walked out and slipped inside the limousine as it pulled away, heading for the hotel.  Jensa wasn't hungry and knew she would have to get William his own room, not minding.


Steve did not want to be the one to tell Taker that Jensa had opted to rent a hotel room opposed to staying with him.  No, not with the mood Taker was currently in.  HELL NO!  So…he wrote a note and tacked it to the case of beer in the fridge, knowing his friend would find it.  Then he shut everything down and headed home, knowing if something blew up over that way it would probably be on the evening news.


“Hellfire 'n brimstone...” He muttered, shaking his head as he stepped out onto the sidewalk, looking up when it began raining. “Aww hell.”


The only reason Jensa left was because she knew business had to be taken care of and felt uncomfortable at the shop.  There was no reason for Taker to be upset.  She would go back there whenever he returned.  Sighing, Jensa sat in her hotel suite, looking out the window as the rain poured, lightning streaking across the sky.  Where was he?  He wasn't answering his cell phone, which made it even worse.  Jensa was scared as she wrapped her arms around herself and pressed her forehead to the cool glass window, hoping Taker made it back safely.


Taker was gone for most of the night as well, finally walking into the shop around 4 AM.  His boots thudded heavily as he crossed the floor, going for a beer, needing one.  The refrigerator light illuminated his bloody raw knuckles and he flexed his hand, sighing.  Pointless.  Going out had been absolutely pointless. There wasn't any word on the street or whoever had done it was paying out good money for these morons to withstand the beatings he had inflicted tonight.  Taker had scoured every place he knew that dealt with all types of underhanded illegal crap and came up with nothing.


Over the next several weeks, attacks kept happening wherever Jensa went.  She was nearly ran over with a car, the builders remodeling her condo building were attacked, Tabitha was nearly raped and Steve got in a car accident!  Everyone close to Jensa was being hurt and she didn't understand why.  Jensa was terrified Taker would be next and wondered if being with him was such a good idea. 


Taker forced her to stay with him in the shop with everything going on around them and Jensa was going stir crazy.  She wanted out of her; she wanted to go shopping and have her life back.  She felt trapped, secluded, the only person having come to visit her was Tabitha and that's only because Taker trusted the woman.


“You need to tell him to let you out.” Tabitha said during one of the visits. 


She wasn't too pleased with that fact that some scummy son of a bitch off the street had actually tried raping her and had been told she could thank her 'rich bitch' friend.  She had just BARELY gotten away, having cococked the mother fucker with a brick.  Tabitha just had minor cuts and bruises from the attack, but nothing that would slow her hyper backside down.


“We could go upstate or something, Jen.  What do you think?”


Truth be told, that sounded great, but there was no way Taker would let Jensa go without him.  He had a life here with his shop and couldn’t leave it behind because all Steve did was the shading.  Jensa buried her head in her hands, feeling Tabitha rubbing her back and looked up at her through terrified watery blue eyes.


“I'm going to talk to him tonight about it.  This has to stop.  People are being hurt because of me and there's NO leads whatsoever on who's doing it.” Jensa was truly scared for her life and the people who were closest to her. “I'm sorry, I'm just so damn frustrated with this whole situation.”


“Don't apologize to me, this isn't your fault, Jensa.” Tabitha soothed, rubbing between her shoulder blades. “Some asshole out there is just...” She didn't know.  Tabitha didn't know why someone would do this to Jensa. Why would someone WANT to? The woman was an angel, she was just... “Taker has to understand that you're a woman who's expected to be seen at least once a freaking month. How long has he kept you locked-”


Taker had leaned in the doorway, one black eyebrow arched as Tabitha continued on her little tirade.


“He hasn't kept me locked up anywhere!” Jensa didn't notice Taker as she stood up from the bed, wearing black cotton shorts with a matching tank top, wrapping her arms around herself. “I'm not his prisoner, I'm no one's prisoner!  I've chosen to stay here of my own volition, I want to get that straight right now!” When Tabitha snapped her mouth shut, Jensa kept going, pressing her hand against the wall. “I'm my own person, no man controls me...EVER.  I make my own decisions and tonight, I'm not asking, I'm TELLING him that I'm leaving and going out tomorrow, whether it be shopping, eating, anything.  I just have to get out and get some damn fresh air before I suffocate.”


“Okay, okay!” Tabitha grinned, glad to see some spunk flaring in Jensa. “You go right up to that old bastard and TELL him you're going OUT and there ain't a goddamn thing anyone can do.  You're your own woman!”


Taker actually found this all mildly amusing though he wasn't showing it, keeping his face composed in an expressionless state.


“He is not an old bastard by ANY means, Tabitha.  He's quite alive and young with a heart of gold.  He doesn't like showing it, but he's a great man and I'm lucky to have him.  But I also need space, air to breathe.  It's not healthy for us to always be together like this all the time, we're going to get sick of each other and...” Jensa sighed, closing her eyes briefly. “I just need some air, just for a few hours and I hope he'll give it to me without making a fuss.  Either way, I AM walking out tomorrow while the shop is running.”


Tabitha smiled brightly, bouncing on the soles of her feet. “You know something, you should go shopping.  It'd make you feel better, honey.  Buy a new pair of shoes, that always works for me.  And make them spiked heels, this way if Taker DOES give you an issue, you can kick him right in the nuts.”


He crossed his eyes and covered his face. “I'd rather she didn't.” He rumbled huskily.




Jensa whipped around, gaping at Taker while Tabitha covered her mouth with her hand, both women knowing he overheard the entire conversation. “Tabitha, I think it's time for you to leave...now.” She ordered, eyes locked on Taker, waving her friend off when Tabitha went to speak, shaking her head. “Please leave.” She waited until Tabitha was gone, the door shutting behind her, before her eyes iced over. “How much of that did you eavesdrop on?”


“Darlin', eavesdropping implies hiding somewhere and listening.  I stood right here.” He was STILL leaning in the open doorway, trying and failing not to look amused. “It's not my fault you were planning your liberation that you didn't notice me.” He made a face. “All I ask if that you DON'T kick me with spiked high heels.”


“I never said I was buying them to begin with, Tabitha did.” Jensa muttered, not amused in the slightest and bit her bottom lip nervously. “I was going to wait until tonight to talk to you about this, but...Taker, I can't stand being cooped up anymore.  You know I love being with you, but this is too much.  I need AIR and space.  Just a few hours, I want to go to the mall, maybe get something to eat.  I'm not asking either, I'm informing you that tomorrow I am leaving for the day, while the shop is open.”


Jensa had never been so scared in her life, feeling her stomach twisting violently, but she had to stand up to Taker and tell him what she was doing.  No man would ever control her.  That wasn't going to change now.


Chapter 13


Taker studied her thoughtfully, stroking his chin attentively.  He had even been keeping the goatee trimmed, figuring growing it out again was just a waste of time if he ever had to shave it off again.  Jensa was a well-known figure in the city and she was always being invited to functions.


“Fine.” He said after a moment, not fighting with her and nodded. “It'd do you some good to get out, Jen.”


Blinking in surprise, Jensa stared back at him, not believing he wasn't putting up a fight with her.  For weeks, since the attack, Taker had been on her like white on rice.  If she mentioned going out, Taker somehow dissuaded her from doing so, usually in a sexual nature.


“Really?” When he nodded, Jensa smiled genuinely and closed the distance between them, reaching up to brush her lips against his softly. “Thank you, Taker.”


“You're welcome darlin’.” He murmured against her lips;, wrapping his arms around her and pulled her tightly against him in a hug. “Just enjoy yourself and BE careful.” He snorted when she groaned, looking down to find her head buried in his chest and chuckled. “You knew it was coming.” He laughed softly, shaking his head.


“I know, I know.” She grumbled more affably and pulled back, wondering what she would do tomorrow. 


New panties were a must since Taker ripped them off of her every time they went for a round.  Not like she couldn't afford it, but Jensa was running low on them.  Not to mention she knew Taker stole the pairs he didn't rip off of her for his ‘collection’.


“I really hope they find this asshole soon, so I can go back home.  No offense, honey, I love it here, but there's no place like your own bed, your own room, you know?”


“Darlin’, I understand, really I do.  But have you noticed nobody fucks with you while you're IN here?” He asked gently. “No, they don't.  I know you want to go home, I understand it and don't blame you.  I'd probably go nuts if the situation was reversed.  But the fact is, whoever did this isn't afraid to attack you on your own turf.” Apparently they were scared to bring it to Taker's.  The chicken shit was running around now doing sneak attacks on them all, but not actually coming there directly.


Jensa groaned, knowing he was right, nodding. “I know I'm safe here, but the fact is whoever is doing this WILL come here eventually when you're not expecting it.  I'm afraid they'll hurt you, whoever it is, Taker.  I'm-”


She was cut off as his finger pressed to her lips, hushing her and replaced it moments later with his lips.  They had this conversation before and Taker told her flat out he would go through hell to be with her.  He wouldn’t leave her side or let her run away to 'save' him.  Jensa sighed against him and slowly pulled back, narrowing her eyes slightly.


“I hate it when you do that.  Now I can't remember what I was going to say.”


“That's why I do it.”


He smirked, catching her hand before she could smack him.  Granted, it wasn't an actual smack, playful if anything and it amused Taker nonetheless.  Grinning at her, he brought Jensa’s hand up and kissed her palm, moving it so she cupped his face.


“Darlin’, there aren't many folks out there moronic enough to bring their...issues...here.  Whoever this is, is a coward and they'll be waiting OUTSIDE my door, not in it.”


Jensa wanted to believe that, running her thumb across his cheek back and forth.  This was the time to tell him.  The words erupted in her throat, but Jensa swallowed them back down.  Jensa hadn't told Taker she loved him, knowing with everything going on it wasn’t appropriate.  Not to mention Taker hadn’t said it yet either.  She refused to put her heart on the line again, to wear it on her sleeve.  Pulling her hand away from his face, Jensa sank down on the bed, knowing the shop was still open so Taker had to get back to work.


“You know, you don't HAVE to stay back here during business hours.” Taker told her, moving to crouch down between her legs, taking her hands in his. “You can come out there and keep Steve company, lord knows the man has too much damn-”


“Hey Taker, did you know you have an email account with over 1,000 messages?  You’re a dipshit!”


“Free time.”


“His computer could crash!” Jensa stood up and walked past Taker out the door, a frown marring her features when she seen a MACINTOSH standing before her. “Oh no…no this will not do.  Do you have any idea how OLD this is?” Jensa decided she would buy the shop brand new equipment and upgrade their technology, though Taker didn't need to know at the moment. “May I?” She asked softly, smiling when Steve nodded and proceeded to start cleaning out Taker's email box, shaking her head. “You need to make sure any kind of junk mail you get is phished out or else it will keep coming.  Do you have anti-virus software on here?”


Taker actually scratched the top of his head, a confused expression on his face.  He knew a lot of things.  He knew ABOUT a lot of things, but the most he could do on the computer was play solitaire.  Even then, he somehow screwed that up.


“Um, what?”


Steve slapped his face, shaking his head. “She means, you moron, you need to learn the basics.”


“I know the basics of kicking your ass.”


“You’re a shit.”


Jensa giggled softly, trying hard not to, and shook her head as she continued deleting the files. “Taker, sweetheart, you need a new computer.” She held her hand up when he went to protest, shaking her head. “I don't want any arguments.  This computer is about ready to crash and not even the most brilliant technologist can fix it.” She sighed when it shut down, trying to turn it back on and jumped back when it literally fried before her. “Well, I definitely called that one.”


Steve held up his hands when Taker shot him a look. “Hey man, I've been tellin' you for ages you needed a new PC.”


Taker ran a hand down his face, green eyes rolling into the back of his head in exasperation.


“And as if you needed anymore tellin', it decided to say 'fuck you, I quit'.”


“You really want me to hurt you, don’t you?”


“Well,” Steve caressed his mustache thoughtfully. “I suppose it just wouldn't be the same if you didn't so…” He turned and bent over. “If you really must.”


Taker walked away before he actually kicked Steve right through the wall.  Jensa laughed so hard tears were in her eyes as she bent over, holding her stomach while Steve actually wiggled his ass in Taker's direction.  She slid off of the stool, catching herself, only to laugh harder.  It took her a good 5 minutes to calm down, but the sparkle was back in her eyes that had diminished weeks ago when she was first attacked.


“Now then, I need to make a list on all you'll need.” Jensa held her hand up when Taker went to protest. “Shut it, I'm doing this.  I have all the money in the world and I want to do this for you.  Oh dear god, do you have any idea how old this fax machine is?” That was going too and Steve handed her a notepad with paper. “Steve, what else does this shop need to be brought into the 20th century?”


“Oh honey, sugar, darlin’...”


Steve shook his head, taking up his post again on his stool, the vivacity in his blue eyes clearly saying he was more than amused.  But he knew better than to laugh.  She could get away with it, he might wind up at the ICU for it.


“His printer died off a long time ago, let's see...” He began listing off everything. But, on the bright side, when it came to the actual trade tools those were all PERFECT. “Oh you know what, Taker, at least this calculator works right?” Steve held it up and pressed the on button, frowning when nothing happened. “Or not...”


Jensa wrote down everything that had to be replaced, which consisted of: 2 computers, a fax machine, a cordless phone, a calculator and a new table since there was a crack in the one the Macintosh currently sat on.  Just as Jensa walked past it, the damn thing cracked and literally IMPLODED, blue eyes widening.




Taker had been trying, really honestly trying, not to 'bust a vein' as Steve would say, but when she walked past the table and it...broke...He was ready to go drink himself silly or break something else. “Everything was FINE UNTIL TODAY!”


“Actually boss, it wasn't fine and I've been tryin' to tell you that for months, but you've been busy...” Steve coughed. “So...”


Jensa shook her head almost sadly, surveying the other table and blinked when Taker pulled her away from it. “Are you afraid I'm going to jinx it or something?” She smacked him with the clipboard when he nodded, rolling her eyes. “Ridiculous honestly.” She tapped the pen against her chin as she walked around more, adding a few more items to the list and finally turned to face them. “I'll have this all ordered and shipped here by tomorrow.” Without another word, Jensa walked past them to the back, knowing Taker was about ready to either lose his temper or come after her.


“Hey Jennie, you should also bring in an interior decorator 'n shit!  This place is so dark and dank that people are scared to come in!” Steve called after her, dodging when Taker finally snapped and threw a punch at his head.


“Good point, jackass.  I'm thinking we start the remodel off with a 6 inch hole in your goddamn head!”




“Hmm...You do have a point, Stevie.”


Jensa winked when he blushed, giggling and decided it wouldn't hurt to brighten this place up a little.  If anything, Taker should have covered the walls with his artwork so the customers could see all he had to offer.  While Taker and Steve were bickering back and forth, Jensa was on her cell phone buying the equipment and anything else she felt was needed for the shop.


Now if Steve hadn't been a total and complete jackass about it, Taker would have been calm and thought this through.  In truth, having Jensa...doing whatever the hell she was doing -he flinched just thinking about it- felt a bit like charity when he definitely did not need it.  It would have felt like Jensa was joining him in the business and he could have offered her something to do, knowing she was bored.  However, since Steve HAD been a jackass, Steve was going to suffer his wrath.


It wasn't anything big, just a few appliances that HAD to be replaced along with a new table and some redecorating.  She was sticking with the black and purple, having a surprise for her boyfriend.  She was having a huge sign with his tattoo shop's name on it.  It was a T with an X through it, she noticed the symbol all over the shop.  Deciding they would gain more revenue if there was a flashy sign outside, Jensa would make sure it was tastefully done.  His style.  Jensa finally finished and lay down on the bed, feeling satisfied that she helped someone else and closed her eyes.


Taker was avoiding the topic altogether, not wanting to know if Jensa would take Steve's advice and redecorate, groaning at the thought.  It was a tattoo shop.  It wasn't supposed to look like some boutique!  He was one day just going to snap and cheerfully murder Steve.  Hell, while Taker did it, he would grin and whistle some Disney song in time to snapping Steve's bones.


The following morning, Jensa was up earlier than usual, deciding she was taking the ENTIRE day to go out and enjoy her time.  She looked in the mirror, wearing a pair of black dress pants with a turquoise short sleeved dress top, hair down curled at the ends to give it bounce.  Black eyeliner and clear gloss brought the beauty out in her face and there were black boots on her feet.  William would be driving her around since he was her bodyguard.  She smiled at Taker in the reflection, seeing the worry in his eyes.


“I'm going to be fine.  It's just for a day.  I'll be back when the shop is closed.” Jensa assured him softly, feeling his arms wrap around her waist and leaned back against him. “You'll be so busy you won't even notice I'm gone.”


“Yeah, Steve purposefully booked some people who wanted very detailed tattoos for today.” Taker informed her with a chuckle, shaking his head when he heard Steve laughing from the front of the shop and sighed.  It was going to be a long day and it hadn't even started yet.  Hell, it wasn't even because of Jensa, it was that jackass out front. “Just be careful.” He reminded for the umpteenth time, knowing she was sick of hearing it and didn’t care.


“I will be fine and be nice to Steve.  He's a good guy and your best friend.” She waved him off when Taker scowled, rolling her eyes and fluffed her hair out before grabbing her purse, winking at him over her shoulder. “Stop worrying, I'll be in a crowded mall with William.  Nothing will go wrong.” Jensa smiled when he drew her into his strong arms, staring into those deep green eyes and sighed as his lips softly caressed hers, reluctantly releasing her moments later. “Have fun.” She waved to Steve on her way out of the shop to the limousine with William, starting her day off.


“So you're really gonna have her followed?” Steve asked, watching through the big front windows as the limousine pulled away from the curb.


“Matt knows to keep out of sight.”


“You're havin' her followed...by a sneakin' thief.” Steve shook his head, trying and failing to look amused.


“He owes me.” Taker grunted, flexing his hands when their first customer walked in.


William waited until Jensa was securely in the limousine and glanced to his right, seeing a figure dressed in all black, nodding once.  Taker had come to him, letting him know he was having them followed for extra precaution.  In truth, William agreed with Taker's method, though if Jensa ever found out...William shuddered, not wanting to think about it.  He only saw Jensa angry once and that was quite enough to last him a lifetime.  Sighing, hoping this asshole attacking her was caught soon, William slid in the driver's seat and drove away from the shop, noticing a black car tailing them moments later.


Chapter 14


Matt Hardy was known as New York's 'go to' guy.  Meaning, if there was someone a person wanted tailed, he could do it.  If there was something a person wanted stolen, he could do that even better.  Not the most honest of ways to make a living, but...He slept a solid 8 hours every night regardless.


He just didn't steal from actual poor people, people who were working jobs for dick and still keeping straight.  He respected them.  Now the 'poor' people living off of welfare and not trying to better themselves, they were up for grabs along with the rich.  So when Taker had contacted him about this job, he had been dubious.  Tailing a rich woman around town, Taker had filled him in on the situation.  Matt had said no.  He was into self-preservation.  Then Taker had threatened him with dismemberment and Matt had jumped aboard.


The first stop was to get some coffee and a bagel from Panera Bread, one of Jensa's favorite places.  After that, the mall called her name.  New panties were the first thing on her list so she ventured inside Victoria's Secret, walking out 2 hours later with a bag full of them along with matching bras and some negligees to wear for Taker in the bedroom.  She sighed happily, glad he hadn't fought her with going out for the day. 


It felt great as Jensa continued walking, spotting a few more stores she enjoyed.  After spending nearly $5,000, it was time to get something to eat, knowing William had to be starving.  She treated him to a special lunch at TGI Friday's before doing more shopping, this time at Best Buy.  Jensa would have to leave most of this stuff in the limousine when she returned to the shop, sighing, missing her condo.


Considering Matt had spent 2 hours watching her sort through undergarments at Victoria's Secret, he wasn't amused.  Jensa was a beautiful woman, most definitely out of his league to be sure.  Seeing the wicked smirk on her 'kiss me' lips while she had been selecting lingerie hadn't been conducive to him thinking her as just a 'job'.  Now Jensa was a job and a potential screw, or would be, if she wasn't shacking up with the Taker.  On the other hand...Matt knew what she had bought and, while she had lunch, called to torment Taker, giving the big guy a quick rundown of her day thus far.


Steve raised an eyebrow when Taker's cell phone rang at the shop, wondering who it was while he finished up some shading.  He couldn’t help overhearing the conversation, blue eyes widening. “Whoa...lace panties?  What the hell are you into now, Rigamortis?” He demanded, trying hard not to laugh when Taker shot him a deadly glare.


Taker was trying not to explode, honestly he was.  Matt was good at what he did, he was valuable.  But if he didn't stop running his mouth, he was going to become expendable.


“I'm telling you,” Matt drawled with wicked amusement in his tone as he surveyed Jensa and William through binoculars, a cigarette dangling from his lower lip.  He was parked out across the street on a roof, watching them through the windows. “She was sorting through these teddies and mmm...I can actually SEE her in them, you know?  That fine mama has got an ass on her that I would love to get behind.”


“Boy, you are-”


“And her lips...they're begging for attention, you know?”


Taker had to stop himself from snapping the cell in half.  When Taker actually snapped his cell phone shut with authority, Steve immediately dodged a fist that came directly at his head.  Instead, Taker's fist went through the wall, leaving a nice hole in it.


“Nice one, moron.” He grunted, dodging another one groaning.


“Excuse me, is this Deadman's?” A soft voice sounded from behind, causing both men to turn around, staring at a drop dead gorgeous blonde petite bombshell with warm brown eyes and a stunning smile.


“It most certainly is, honey.” Steve walked over, entranced by the beauty before him and took her hand as he pressed a soft kiss to the back of it. “And you are?”


“My name is Trish Stratus, I'm the interior designer.”


Steve made a mental note to get down on his hands and knees and kiss Jensa's feet when he saw her again.  Taker took one look at this woman, threw his hands up in the air, and stormed to the back. “Don't mind him, honey.” Steve said quickly, now planning on murdering the big guy.  Especially when he heard 'let's just turn the place into a fucking salon while we're at it', and mentally smacked his face. “He's going through menopause.”


“I'm not going to turn a tattoo shop into a salon, honestly.”


Trish rolled her eyes and started surveying the place, nodding.  She was an expert, one of the best who had decorated Jensa's place from top to bottom.  Trish already had layout plans, the colors being stuck to black and purple per the request of her favorite client.


“If you gentlemen trust me, I promise you'll like the end result and it won't be a salon.” When Steve nodded, Trish flashed him a heart stopping smile before handing over her card. “I will be back first thing in the morning to start the remodeling.” She walked out, blonde hair bouncing with every movement.


Steve stared down at the card and sighed, actually bringing it to his nose and inhaled, groaning. “Taker man, I'm in love.” He called out, hearing Taker grunt a 'good for you' and walked back, wincing when he seen the massive tattoo he was doing on a guy's back. “Or at least in lust.”


“Working, Steve.”


“Think she'd date a bald guy?”


“Maybe if we give her a lobotomy first.”


After lunch finished, Jensa decided to go to the park and write for a while, even though her editor told her not to worry about the deadlines until this lunatic was caught.  She didn't want to let the newspaper down, refusing to let her personal life get in the way of her job.  Sitting down on her favorite bench with a strawberry mango smoothie, Jensa opened her laptop and proceeded to start writing, letting the day carry her away with William not far off.


“Well this is fucking boring.”


Matt sighed from his spot, staying out of sight and rolled his eyes.  She led one INTERESTING life…not.  He was actually hoping for an attack or something, maybe liven up his day a bit and decided he was going to politely ask for a raise.  Providing Matt lived long enough to get out the words.


For hours, Jensa sat there typing, letting the day slip by her, though it did her some good.  She knew all the new equipment had arrived for the shop and got a phone call from Trish.  She wasn't happy to hear about Taker's attitude, but that was honestly to be expected.  The man thought this was charity when all Jensa wanted was to do something great for him to show how much she loved him. 


Of course, she didn't have the courage to tell him and wondered if she ever would.  When the sun descended and her watch struck 9 o'clock, it was time to leave.  The shop would close and Taker would be expecting her back.  Emailing her editor the latest article, after reading it over several times, Jensa slid in the limousine as William drove away.


“She's on her way back, lingerie included.  Hey, did I tell you about the black racy piece she picked up?  You should snap some pictures for me to beat off to the next time she decides to go to a fucking park for hours on end.”


Taker knew just by the irritation in Matt's voice that he tried to irritate him as well, but didn't rise to the bait.  He calmly sipped his beer, going over the day's accounts and smirked. “Let your imagination do the trick, son.  No problems today?”


“Besides me almost dying from boredom?  Nope.”




Pulling up to the shop, Jensa stepped out while William retrieved the bags, knowing she would have to go through everything.  Leaving everything she bought from Best Buy in the trunk, Jensa made the exception for one thing.  Taker didn't have a television in his room so she rectified that.  If Jensa was stuck here and hardly able to go out, she needed something to occupy her time.  Walking inside, the bell dung overhead as she sighed, knowing Taker was near the back.


“Just leave them there, I'll grab them.” She instructed William softly with a smile before venturing down the hall, tapping lightly at Taker's door opening it.


“Did you buy the entire mall?” Taker asked after she walked in, poking his head out into the hall to watch as William brought in what seemed like bag after bag, arching an eyebrow. “Steve's still here.  He has a few questions about your...friend, Miss Stratus.” He snickered, sounding amused.


“Don't be talkin' shit about the future Mrs. Austin!” Steve growled from a chair in the room, the two men having been playing cards.


Taker arched an eyebrow and shook his head.


“I bought enough panties to last me a year because every time we have sex, they seem to disappear.” She stated bluntly, giggling when Steve snorted beer out of his nose, chewing her bottom lip. “And I bought some other things...” Jensa ignored Taker's incredulous look when a nice sized television was carried inside by William, setting it in the corner along with an entertainment center, DVD and Blu-ray player, among other things. “Before you even say anything, this is for BOTH of us.  I'm not going to sit in here all day bored out of my mind while you work, so I decided to get a few things to help with the situation.  When I can go back to my condo, if you want, I'll take it with me.” She kicked her boots off, sighing gently.


Steve shot Taker an 'are you kidding’ look and rushed over to kiss the top of the television. “Can you imagine watching football on this?” He said in a hushed whisper.


“Just hump the damn thing and get it out of your system.” Taker sighed, his lips curving upwards into a half grin.


“Well I WOULD, but I'm kinda wantin' to um...”


“Hump a certain...”


Steve looked at Jensa and cleared his throat.  Jensa laughed so hard she could barely breathe, curled up in a tight ball on the bed.  These men were too much sometimes and could’ve been a comedy team without trying.  She sat up, wiping her tears away, shaking her head.


“Steve, if you want her number, you're going to have to ask her.  I'm not going to be a messenger.” She held her hand up when he went to speak, blue eyes glittering impishly. “Though I will inform you on one fact...” When he leaned forward all interested, actually on his knees, Jensa rolled her eyes. “She is single and currently looking.”


She covered her ears when Steve let out an ear-splitting 'YES'.  When Steve actually began jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store, Taker had enough.  He grabbed Steve by the back of his neck, walked over to the door and threw him out into the hallway.


“Go home and be an asshole.” He grunted, shutting the door in his friend's face and didn't turn around, shoulders shaking with repressed laughter.


“But-but-but,” Steve scratched at the door. “The TV...”




Jensa completely lost it and fell back on the bed, laughing uncontrollably while Taker tried restraining himself.  She settled down after a little while and finally heard the bell, signaling Steve left. “I'll have to buy him a TV just so he has one.” She giggled when Taker shot her a look, chewing her bottom lip. “How was your day?” She asked in a softer tone, knowing the TV wouldn't be hooked up tonight, which was fine.  Jensa was exhausted from her day out.


“Besides Steve annoying the ever living hell out of me after Miss Stratus left?” He snorted, dropping down onto the bed with a groan. “Alright, we kept busy.” And of course, there were the oh so delightful calls from Matt he had gotten, always a pleasure.  He made a mental note to kill the little bastard after this was all over, when he didn't need Matt anymore. “How was yours?  Everything go alright?”


“Yes, not one problem occurred.  It was nice getting out and just enjoying the day.  I went shopping, obviously, and then took William out to lunch at Friday's before going to the park to write on my newest article.”


Jensa shrugged since it was a normal day for her, though she didn't do nearly as much shopping as she did today because she had televisions at her condo.  The TV was a 52” Sony LCD, top of the line.  Jensa smiled back at him, a single strand of hair falling across her cheek and Taker brushed it away.


“Thank you for trusting me to go out.  It meant a lot to me, Taker.”


He nodded, feeling the briefest twinges of guilt.  Brief.  It was gone as quickly as it had come, the justification being that, while she needed to get out and away, she also needed to be safe.  Jensa got her wish and he got his way without making her feel crowded or anything.


“Any plans for tomorrow?” He asked casually, running his fingertips down her arm.


“No, I'm staying here tomorrow.  There is a lot to be done.  Don't worry, the revisions won't be girly or a salon.” She smirked when Taker lowered his eyes, chuckling. “Trish is magnificent at what she does.  Whatever you want done, tell her and it will be done.  This is your shop after all...” Maybe she pushed all of this on him too fast, which caused Jensa to sigh and she closed her eyes briefly. “I'm sorry about the appliances and everything, I should've asked you first.  You've just done so much for me that I wanted to give back somehow, someway.  I just don't want you thinking its charity because that's not the case at all.  It's not charity when I deeply care for the person and they are a huge part of my life.”


Taker didn't know what to say to that.  All day long he had been mentally practicing a speech that went something along the lines of: Thanks but no, he had his own money and if he needed to replace something, he’d pay for it.  However, he had a feeling he would smash her heart right if he said any of that and nodded, bending down to cup Jensa’s face in both hands, leaning in to kiss her gently.


“Thank you, darlin’.” He murmured huskily.


Blue eyes sparkled when he said those words, a bright smile crossing her lips and Jensa kissed him back, giving him a huge hug, sighing with relief. “No need to thank me, I'm happy to do it.”


Her eyes closed, feeling his warm strong hands run up and down her back, caressing her lovingly.  God she wanted to tell him how she felt, the words once again bubbling inside of her, but couldn't.  She couldn't do it, not yet.  When she pulled back and Taker kissed her deeper, Jensa lost all sense of reality and thought as he slowly undressed her.  They made love and fell asleep in each other's arms with content expressions on their faces.


Chapter 15


The next few days were straight hell for Taker.  He had to basically close down the shop while the 'remodeling' happened, which meant he lost money.  Not that he minded that too much.  Taker was set and he had a wealthy girlfriend who insisted on lavishing it on him.  Another thought he didn't like dwelling on.  Steve was there needlessly since he wasn't being paid to visit and only because Trish was around.  She had Steve wrapped around her dainty little fingers, putting him to work and everything.  The quicker they found out who the hell was behind all these attacks, the better off things would be.


In the end, the shop looked immaculate from what it used to be.  The artwork hung, the walls painted black with purple woodwork and trim.  The floor was onyx stone, smooth to walk over and the new counters and office area were in the same colors.  Jensa was thrilled with how it turned out, ignoring Steve's grumbling and knew Taker loved it, though he wouldn't say so. 


Before they knew it, another month had passed and Jensa went out 3 times a week for air, shopping, whatever came to mind.  Most of her time was spent in the park writing, having sent William home until the remodeling of her building was finished.  She drug her Jaguar out and went out alone, not believing Taker trusted her this much and it did her heart good.


Matt had fallen into a routine.  He would follow Jensa wherever she went, usually drooling over her Jaguar, mentally promising himself he'd be 'borrowing' it sometime in the near future just for a few hours, and watched her do her thing.  He had gotten into the habit of sending pictures of her to Taker's cell phone, just to piss the big guy off.


“Heya mister, nice coat!”


“Go away kid.” Matt muttered, shooing the boy away.


“Geez man, I was just-”


“Seriously, go play in traffic or something.”




A frown marred Jensa's features, turning her head from the laptop and spotted a man dressed in all black trying to look inconspicuous.  Who the hell did he think he was treating a child like that?  Scowling, Jensa stood from the bench, after shutting her laptop down and pulled something out of her pocket, heading over in his direction.


“Excuse me?” She tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned around, he got a face full of mace for his troubles, satisfied at the screams that spilled from his mouth.  Jensa got a bad vibe from this man and looked back at the little boy, nodding with a smile. “Go on honey, he won't bother you anymore.”


“Thanks lady!” The kid grinned before taking off on his skateboard.


“Are you the prick who's been following me around and trying to destroy everything?” Jensa demanded, kicking him with her steel toed boots, wearing blue jeans and a long sleeved yellow shirt, holding the mace threateningly. “I'm giving you to the count of 5 and then I'm blinding you PERMANENTLY.”


“YOU FUCKING BITCH!” Matt howled, using his coat sleeve to wipe at his eyes, the burning pain pure agony. “WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR DAMAGE, LADY?” He turned his back to her, fumbling for the nearby water fountain and used it to wash his eyes out.  When he turned around, he could see somewhat and his eyes were severely red and swollen. “You fucking bitch, you're not even WORTH this shit!” He growled angrily, throwing his hands up into the air.


Her eyes narrowed upon hearing that, still holding the mace like a lifeline, glowering. “What do you mean I'm not WORTH this?”


Jensa's heart raced while the man washed his eyes out more, trying to will the tears to stay in her eyes.  She couldn't start shaking, not now.  She would wait until after hearing what this man had to say, though her hand trembled violently.


“TELL ME!  WHO SENT YOU?” She exploded, the fear overtaking all sense of rationality, feeling as if she’d lost her mind.  Maybe she did.  No, he said she wasn't worth this, which meant one thing: Someone sent him. “Please...” Jensa whispered, barely able to breathe. “Please tell me so I can put an end to this.  I'll give you anything if you tell me who's doing this to me...” Tears slipped down her cheeks as Jensa stared back at him helplessly. “I have all the money in the world, whatever you want.  Just tell me, please.”


“Christ lady, if I fucking knew, I wouldn't be here.” Matt grumbled, not caring anymore he was supposed to be following her, that she wasn't supposed to know he was there or who had sent her.  Screw that!  She just MACED him!  Taker could deal with her issues without his help. “Jesus...Do you ALWAYS mace strangers?”


“Do you always attack small children who simply give you a compliment?” She shot back defensively, wiping the tears away from her eyes, knowing she couldn't snap at him.  He had answers, Jensa knew it and lowered the mace as she took a step forward. “Look, you said that I'm not worth this, which means you were sent to follow me.  Who sent you?” When he hesitated, Jensa fished in her purse and pulled out her checkbook, cutting him a nice amount. “Please tell me who sent you.”


“Dear god lady, put that fucking thing away.  You can't buy everything and everyone you know.” He snarled, shoving the check away when she held it out. “That kid was interfering with a job, fuck him.” He rubbed his eyes again, blinking. “CHRIST!” He shouted, beginning to walk away. “Fucking take this shit up with your fucking boyfriend and make sure he knows to mail me my goddamn money.”


Tears instantly poured down her face as Jensa stood there, dumbfounded, not believing what she just heard.  It was Taker?!  Taker sent him to follow her?  Whatever happened to trusting her?  Not saying a single word, Jensa walked over to the bench numbly, grabbing her bag and headed back to the Jaguar, sliding behind the wheel.  Jensa was almost in a trance, squeezing the wheel tighter and tighter until her knuckles turned ghostly white.  So Taker didn't trust her after all.


“I can't do this anymore.” She whispered painfully, putting the car in reverse and sped away toward the shop.


When Matt calmed down, and that took quite a while because he was so pissed about that rich bitch macing him, Matt figured shooting off at the mouth the way he had wasn't such a good idea.  Not because she now knew her darling boyfriend had had her followed, but because he had called her a bitch several times and shouted at her like she was a common whore.  He then decided he was taking a vacation, maybe in Miami.


The Jaguar screeched to a halt 20 minutes later and Jensa could only see COMPLETE red.  She could not believe Taker went behind her back and had someone follow her!  Stepping out of the Jaguar, leaving her purse and keys inside since she wouldn't be staying long, Jensa didn't walk inside the shop.  Oh no, that would construe as her not being pissed off.  She KICKED the door open, eyes burning with rage and seen Steve's eyes widen in shock.


“Get out.” She ordered, voice deadly, honey locks frazzled, face tear streaked with a tightened jaw.  Everything spilled out as soon as she seen Taker, wanting to rip him to shreds repeatedly, not caring why he had that man follow her. “YOU STUPID FUCKING BASTARD!” She shrieked, the sound ear-splitting and picked a stapler up hurling it at him. “YOU SENT A COMPLETE FUCKING STRANGER AFTER ME!!  YOU NEVER TRUSTED ME!!  YOU LIED TO ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!  THANKS TO YOU, I MACED HIM IN THE DAMN PARK!!” Jensa wasn't rational at the moment, tears streaking down her cheeks and dared anyone to come near her.  She would fight tooth and nail. “I came here to tell you I'm DONE with this!!  I'm DONE with the overprotectiveness and your overbearing ways!  You couldn't even come to me face to face and tell me what you were doing!  You had to sneak around like a goddamn thief in the night and completely obliterated my trust!!  I want NOTHING to do with you ever again, do you hear me Taker? NOTHING!!  So you don't have to worry about protecting me or looking over my shoulder because, guess what, our relationship is OVER!!” Jensa stormed out, slamming the door so hard the glass shattered and ran to her Jaguar as her heart shattered.


All Taker could do was stare at the door, somewhat not believing she had just thrown a stapler at his head and turned to numbly stare at the dent in the wall where it had landed.  Snapping out of it, he took off after Jensa, stopping her from opening the door and wasn’t surprised in the least when she tried to elbow him.  Though, he drew a line when Jensa actually went for his balls.


“Goddamn it Jen, will you just calm down and hear me out!”


“No!!  I don't want to hear anything you have to say!!  You lied to me for the past MONTH, saying how much you trusted me, when the truth is you only trusted who you could hire to WATCH me!!  What the fuck did you think I was going to do, Taker, go try and find the damn lunatic MYSELF?” She was so angry, and so much adrenaline coursed through her veins, that Jensa actually shoved him a few feet away from her, vision blinded by tears. “After everything I said to you...” Jensa knew she had to end this with him, no matter how hard it would be because she couldn't live like this anymore. “I can't do this anymore...I can't live sheltered and in fear.  It's no way to live, life is too damn short.  I can't handle your domineering ways and overprotectiveness.  I've tried, but I can't do it.  What you did was the lowest thing anyone's ever done to me.” Her voice had dropped to a mere whisper now and Jensa ripped her arm out of his grasp when he went to touch her. “DON'T.”


“I do trust YOU, it's whoever out there wanting to hurt you I don't trust.” He snarled, grabbing her arms again, trying to get her to just look at him. “Jensa, I trust you darlin'’, I do.  But if you think for a second I'm leaving your life to fate, you're dead wrong.” Taker said firmly. “You wanted to go out and live again, fine, but damn it you think I was going to sit here worrying if that cocksucker had finally finished the job?”


She wasn't hearing him though, the heartbreak too much to listen to reason as she fought against him. “You lied to me...you broke MY trust for you, Taker!  Trust is the one thing a relationship needs to flourish or it's NOTHING.  Let go of me.” Jensa ordered gravely, eyes flashing coldly and shoved him away for the final time. “Do yourself a favor and find a woman who can handle your overbearing ass.  I'm done playing games.” She slid inside her Jaguar while Taker stood there, refusing to look at him because Jensa knew if she did she would crumble to pieces.  Shakily, Jensa put the car in reverse and pulled out of there, peeling down the road, finally allowing the pain and heartache to completely wash over her. “Goodbye Taker.”


Taker stared at the road long after she had disappeared, feeling several emotions welling up inside of him; all of them begging to be released in a very violent explosion.  Sadness and heartache competed with rage and frustration.  He clenched and unclenched his fists, green eyes flashing pure acid and finally threw his head back, an unearthly howl escaping him. 


Matt Hardy was a dead man walking.


Chapter 16


Blue eyes slowly fluttered open as Jensa groaned, head feeling like a weight was on it.  Every part of her body was sore from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.  Jensa finally managed to pry her eyeballs open, the sun streaming through the window of a hotel room from the looks of it.  A bottle of Jack Daniels lay beside her and Jensa instantly put the pieces together.  She felt an arm wrap around her waist and smiled, closing her eyes, leaning back sighing in contentment.


“Mmm good morning Taker...” She murmured softly, knowing their fight was one just a horrible nightmare.


“No, not Taker.” Randy's hurt voice replied, a hint of sarcasm in it as he nuzzled her neck.  When her eyes flew open, he automatically tightened his grip on her so she couldn't break away, snorting when Jensa actually said 'let me go'. “Now-now darling, after the night we had is that any way to treat me?” He taunted gently, biting her earlobe. “You were screaming MY name all night long, my beautiful precious...wife.”


The color drained out of Jensa's face and chanced a look at her left hand, seeing the diamond ring sparkling back at her.  No...No it couldn't be! “LET GO OF ME!” She shrieked, shoving him away from her as she rolled out of the bed.  Pulling the blanket with her, tears instantly spilled down her cheeks as Jensa hastily covered herself up. “W-What are you talking about?” Her head pounded something fierce and Jensa trembled from head to toe. “I-I would NEVER marry you!!” She took the ring off and hurled it at him.


“Actually, Princess, you did.” Randy replied calmly, pulling himself out of the comfortably warm bed and smiled sweetly at her. “You were so heartbroken by what Taker did to you.  Not trusting you is what you said, that...well,” He shrugged, smile still deceptively warm and gentle. “We got married.  It was YOUR idea to fly here, you know.  The receipts are in the drawer, check them, it's your signature or was.  Now it's Jensa Orton.”


Jensa couldn't breathe, feeling sick to her stomach and pulled the trashcan over to vomit, tears pouring down her face like two rapid streams.  How the hell could she do something like this?!  When there was nothing left in her stomach, Jensa shoved the trashcan away, her back pressed against the wall and refused to look at the receipts.


“I don't give a damn what happened, I'm getting it annulled.” She stated, watching Randy freeze, eyes narrowed. “It was you, wasn't it?” That wasn't a question as Jensa shakily stood up, clutching the blanket tightly to herself in a vise grip. “It was YOU who attacked my building, nearly had Tabitha raped, forced Taker to crash on his motorcycle and caused Steve to get into an accident, wasn't it?  WASN'T IT?!”


“I have no idea what you're talking about, darling.” Randy said, reaching down for his silver cigarette case, lighting up one of his cigarettes and took a deep drag from it, blowing smoke at her. “I've been in Los Angeles for a while now on business.  And I can prove it.” He informed her, blue eyes glimmering maliciously. “I'm sorry to hear you've been having such horrible luck.  That'll all change though now that you've come to your senses.  Oh...by the way...Princess, it CAN'T be annulled.  We consummated the marriage several times very thoroughly.”


“Then I'm divorcing your ass, whatever it takes.  I have all the money in the world, Orton.  I'll have this done so fast it'll make your goddamn head spin!” Jensa snapped, ignoring the pounding in her head and stormed over to where a white cocktail dress lay along with garments, feeling sicker as she yanked them up. “I'm leaving, I'm going back to MY life in New York.”


She began walking inside the bathroom, needing a shower to scrub his dirty nasty filthy prints off of her.  Sighing, Randy walked around the bed and sent her flying with one firm thrust of the hand right between her shoulder blades.  He watched as she went flying into the bathroom, landing on the floor with a thud.


“You tripped.” He informed her, leaning in the doorway, smoking casually as if he hadn't just sent her reeling. “And no, there won't be a divorce, Jensa.  That would just be DEVASTATING, really.  I don't know WHAT I would do if you left me, baby.  I just don't.” He shook his head, sighing, eyes flashing dangerously. “Or who I might hurt.”


Jensa struggled to get up, not expecting Randy to actually strike her and managed to scramble back as he began to slowly stalk her.  She could see the pure malice in his blue eyes as more tears fell. “W-What are you talking about?” Her heart lurched painfully, already knowing the answer to that question.  Taker, Tabitha, Steve...the list was endless.  Could Randy be capable of hurting them? “I don't care what you say or do to me, I'm STILL divorcing your ass, Orton!  I hate you!!”


“See Jensa, this is why you shouldn't drink, you just don't think straight.”


He sighed exasperatedly, crouching down and reached out to poke her shoulder with a finger.  Doing it quite hard, the cigarette now dangled from his lower lip.  When she actually cowered, he snorted and blew smoke in her face, standing upright again.


“I won't do anything to you.  It's your friends or, more specifically, Taker.  He's not superman, one Teflon coated bullet from a sniper and...” He trailed off.


“No!!” Jensa cried out, shaking her head frantically, seeing the pure ice in Randy's eyes and knew he would do it. “Randy, please don't!  Don't hurt him!”


She grabbed his arm, tears falling continuously, not believing this was happening.  It was Randy all along screwing with her life.  Like a snake, when Jensa was at her worst, he struck and took advantage of her vulnerability.


“Please, don't kill him.  Don't hurt them...” Jensa pleaded, swallowing hard when he slowly began backing her up toward the shower.


“That's all in your hands, Jensa. What happens to them is up to you.” Randy informed her coldly, lifting her up and into the shower, reaching for the spray. “You are MY wife and that will not change.  Do you understand me?” He demanded, slamming his hand against the tiled wall right beside her head, when she didn't answer. “DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”


“Y-Yes...” She breathed out, scared to death, not believing he did this to her. 


What had she ever done to deserve this?  Randy had broken her heart when she caught him sleeping with someone else and now he expected her to stay married to him?  Jensa had no choice though, trembling from head to toe as he yanked the blanket away from her, not able to stop the tears.


“Why are you doing this to me?” Jensa whispered, squeaking out in fear when he slammed his other hand on the other side of her head, scaring her to death. “P-Please don't hurt me, Randy...”


“Why are you doing this to me?” He mimicked nastily, sliding his hands down the wall and moved them to her hips.  Forcibly, Randy jerked her against him, aligning their bodies and dug his hips against her. “Please don't hurt me Randy...Well then, Jennie, give me a reason not to.” He murmured, bending down to lick along her pulse point, having flicked the cigarette quite some time ago.


Jensa would've rather burned in all 8 circles of hell than do this, but she had no choice.  He would hurt Taker, possibly kill him, if she didn't comply with this.  Closing her eyes, Jensa shakily held her left hand out as Randy slid her ring on, having been holding onto it since she chucked it at him, the diamond sparkling.  Jensa knew she was stuck with this man as her husband, feeling sick to her stomach when his lips practically crushed hers. 


Instantly growing numb, no matter how hot the shower sprays were, Jensa gave herself to Randy willingly, but felt absolutely nothing.  The only person she thought of was Taker, but didn't dare scream his name out when her climax forcibly hit.  Randy dropped her after he was done and Jensa just cried her heart and soul out, not believing the mess she'd gotten herself into.  Never again would she see Taker's beautiful green eyes or feel his strong secure arms around her.  Now she was literally in a forced marriage with his life on the line if she screwed up once.  Numbly, Jensa finally pulled herself out of the shower and headed out, the life in her eyes gone.


Meanwhile, Taker was losing his mind.  After giving her a few days to cool down, he had gone after Jensa.  Only to find she had left town.  Her manservant and bodyguard, William, was confused as hell as she had actually given him his walking papers.  That made NO sense to Taker, she adored William.  Jensa had relinquished her condo and just left, all on the same night she had left him.  So now Taker was trying to track her down with very little luck.


A week later, the newspapers were out and on the cover was a picture of Jensa and Randy Orton, the newlywed couple in New York.  Randy's arms were wrapped around her while Jensa just stared in the camera, smiling, but there was no sparkle in her eyes.  The diamond ring on her left hand could clearly be shown too and there was an article that was written with Randy answering all of the questions in the interview.


After arriving back from Vegas, Jensa was forced to give up her condo and gave William his walking papers, which broke her heart.  She hated Randy so much, but knew whatever he wanted she had to do.  Though there was one perk in this marriage: He couldn't touch her money.  Only Jensa was allowed access to her fortune, thanks to her grandmother's specific and strict instructions.  Jensa wouldn't hand over a dime to Randy either, though he didn't really need it.  So now she sat in a pure white Park Avenue condo while Randy was out doing errands and whatever else he could think of to torment her.  It'd been a month and Jensa had hardly been out, except when she was with Randy.  Knowing this was a huge risk to take, but not able to stand it any longer, Jensa left the condo.


“Darling, I'm home!” Randy's voiced echoed throughout their Park Avenue apartment, his footsteps purposefully heavy. “And I have WONDERFUL news.”


His tone was fairly excited, a hint of pure evil in it as he hunted her down, finally halting before finally realizing she had left.  Oh that bitch, was she in some trouble.  Sighing, Randy dropped down behind his desk, pouring himself a healthy shot of bourbon and lit up a cigarette.  She had exactly an hour.


Jensa walked inside the condo 45 minutes later, throwing her keys on the nearby table and fluffed her honey locks out, taking her glasses off.  She froze, hearing a clicking coming in her direction and braced herself for what came next.  The next thing Jensa saw was stars as she crumbled to the pure white carpeting, holding her burning cheek, tears stinging her eyes.  Her eyes felt like they would explode with how hard he struck her, though it hadn't been the first time.  Randy loved to beat and rape her repeatedly.  Jensa didn't even beg him to stop, shrieking when he planted his boot right