Tied to the Tycoon

By: Chloe Cox

A Club Volare Novel

A quick note…

I can’t seem to stop making my characters do these crazy things. I suppose that’s what fiction is for in a lot of ways, right? I told one of my friends what these two get up to in Chapters 16-17, and she said, “well, my reaction is a combination of ‘OMG lol’ and ‘um that’s really hot,’ so I definitely want to read about it.”

That pretty much sums up my thoughts, too. If you’re interested in ropes and rigging and such, this is maybe not totally realistic. At least if you don’t want to get arrested. Also! This stuff requires a lot of training and such, which I don’t really go into in the book. Jackson’s done that, been there. Ava doesn’t know how good she has it. ;)

About Jackson and Ava: I really, really love this couple. They are both more messed up than I thought they’d be, even though I know that makes little sense coming from the author. I just love that they try so hard for each other, no matter how dysfunctional or damaged or screwed up they are, they just…somehow find it easier to try for each other, and they come through because of it. I love them for that.

I hope you do, too. :)


chapter 1

Jackson Reed hadn’t always been a gambler. Well, maybe he had. But if so, it was just one of many parts of himself that he’d worked hard to hide from the rest of the world. In the past, he’d considered it his responsibility not to play with risk, not to toy with the emotional ups and downs that risk demanded. Not because he was afraid of what the world might do to him if he lost, but because he’d always been afraid of what he might do to the world.

Well, not anymore. And he had one person to thank for that.

He sipped his bourbon, rolling the fire on his tongue and savoring the burn. It helped to focus him. Not that he really needed it; when he got like this, Jackson had the specialized perfection of an apex predator. And he was at the end of a hunt. A long, long hunt. The rest of the world would fall away, and all that would be left would be…her.

He knew he was being antisocial, standing on the fringes of the great room at Volare NY, nursing a bourbon and simply watching. He also knew no one would care. A casino night-themed engagement party at Volare NY, where most of the table stakes were of the carnal variety, meant no one gave a damn what Jackson Reed or anyone not wagering their bodies or their services did. Besides, a casino night in the middle of Christmas party season was like an unexpected oasis of actual fun. So the hanging lanterns sparkled, the champagne flowed, the live orchestra played a few torch songs, and the women laughed while the men watched with hungry eyes.

Jackson smiled, shaking his head. He didn’t know many of these people very well, having cut down on his visits to Volare when his growing company demanded it. Which was why he’d had no idea that Stella Spencer had taken a job as a hostess, or that she’d fallen in love with one of the members and was apparently getting hitched. When he’d finally heard the news—where had he heard it? He didn’t pay much attention to that kind of thing; he guessed it had been Lillian who had told him—he’d recognized the name immediately, and it had meant only one thing to him. He wouldn’t have recognized Stella Spencer’s face, he couldn’t have told you anything about her at all, except for that one thing: she had been friends with her, in college. And so there was a chance that she would be here, at this engagement party, at a legendary sex club.

The woman he thought about every day. The woman he owed everything. The woman he hadn’t seen in the flesh in almost ten years.

That was all he’d needed to know.

He’d called his brand new publicist—the one everyone had insisted he needed ahead of his new product launch—and demanded that she get him an invite. “This is the only thing I’ll ask you to do, Arlene,” he’d said. “And if you can’t do it, find me someone who can.”

It hadn’t been a problem. Jackson Reed, founder and CEO of ArTech, artistic patron and tech wonder boy, now rated in the same social circles as the billionaire sheikh groom. Wasn’t that a scream? The publicist had made one call to Roman Casta at Volare and it was done. Jackson hadn’t told anyone the real reason for his interest, and he was surprised that Roman hadn’t asked—Roman had always been sharp. But fuck it. None of that mattered now. He didn’t give a damn if they threw him out, so long as he found her.

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