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Possession: Explicitly Yours, #1

Possession: Explicitly Yours, #1

Possession: Explicitly Yours, #1

4/5 (59 ratings)
224 pages
3 hours
Nov 4, 2014


“Pretty Woman meets Indecent Proposal in Explicitly Yours, a seductive series that’ll leave your heart racing.”—Louise Bay, USA Today Bestselling Author

Lola Winters doesn’t think she can escape her life as a waitress—until she receives a shocking proposition from a sexy stranger. Wealthy businessman Beau Olivier wants Lola for a night, and in order to get her, he’s willing to make her dreams come true.

But Beau’s conditions are explicit. From sunset to sunrise, Lola must submit all of herself to him—body, mind, and soul. Because nothing is more important to Beau than maintaining control...especially over his possessions.

Sometimes, though, things don’t go according to plan. What if one night isn't enough? What if come sunrise, Beau isn’t ready to say goodbye?

Nov 4, 2014

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Possession - Jessica Hawkins


Each night started with the flip of a switch. Hey Joe’s neon OPEN sign flickered and hummed to life. Lola’s watch read 5:59 P.M., but time had no place on the Sunset Strip. Behind the wraparound bar, Johnny wiped down the surface with the efficiency of someone who did it more often than he brushed his own teeth .

Opening at goddamn six o’clock. Quartz, one of their regulars, shuffled in. You ever heard some people like to drink their lunch?

But if we opened earlier, you wouldn’t get to say that every night, Lola said.

Quartz’s whiskey on the rocks already sat in front of his stool. Bad enough you’re going to cut me off in eight hours. When’s Mitch going to wake up and open this place at a decent hour?

Don’t think he’ll be getting to that, Johnny muttered. Your tab’s hit its max, Quartz. Need you to pay that tonight.

But if I did, you’d never get to say that.

I’m serious. Johnny kept the whiskey in his hand, ready to refill Quartz’s glass. You see anybody walking through the door? This isn’t back in the day. Look around.

Quartz made a point of twisting on his seat. Looks like the same old trough I’ve been drinking out of since ’67.

The point is, Johnny continued, you want a bar to come to every night, need to help keep us in business.

Lola shook her head quickly at Johnny.

What? he asked, leaving the bottle on the bar to serve a customer. They’ll find out at some point.

Lola ducked under the hatch and came up behind the bar. Don’t listen to him, she said to Quartz, taking Johnny’s rag and picking up where he’d left off.

Quartz put the rest of his drink back with a jerk of his head. Never do. Figured out years ago that your boyfriend’s ponytail holder is cutting off the circulation to his brain.

He gets crabby when business is slow, Lola said. Mitch’s been breathing down his neck about bad sales.

Two more regulars came in and took their seats next to Quartz. Lola served them and stood back as they grumbled about their wives, bosses, and neighbors. At least, those were the typical topics. She wasn’t actually listening because she was watching Johnny at the opposite end of the bar. For the third night in a row, he checked the bulbs on a string of busted Christmas lights that’d been up for nine months.

Why don’t you just buy new lights? Lola asked.

Because these ones are fine, babe. There’s only one broken bulb. I just need to find it. The lights were even smaller in his sizeable hands. He raised his brows at her. You going to trade me in for a newer model the day you figure out my one flaw?

Lola smiled. After nine years, you must keep it pretty well hidden, whatever it is. Before she’d even finished the sentence, a car engine revved out front. And then another. An ear-splitting racket nearly shook the building.

Quartz swiveled around on his barstool. They trying to wake the dead?

Nah. Just get some attention, Johnny said. Ignore them.

Fumes seeped through the door, clouding the room. Lola spent five or more nights a week at Hey Joe, a place she considered her second home. The staff and the patrons were her family. So when a lone beer drinker in a corner booth started to cough, she felt responsible for putting a stop to the commotion.

People roamed down the Strip’s sidewalk in the semi-dark. The owner of an electric-blue Subaru parallel parked out front honked at her.

We’ve got customers inside, she called over the noise. Take it somewhere else.

He hit the gas again. Behind him sat a black Nissan with red rims and a matching spoiler. He turned his music up so loud the sidewalk vibrated.

Lola went to the curb. With a rag from her apron pocket, she waved away exhaust fumes. It took one well-placed, swift kick of her Converse to put a dent in the Subaru’s fender. I said get the fuck lost.

The driver jumped out, a skinny blond kid who couldn’t have been much older than eighteen. What the hell? he said as he came around the hood toward her.

Lola braced herself for an argument, but he stopped mid-step and looked up.

You heard the lady, Johnny said from behind her. Don’t make me call your mommy.

Look what she did to my car. The boy pointed at the dent. That’s a brand-new paint job.

She’s done worse to men twice your size, Johnny said. Some men near the bar snickered.


Look, kid, Johnny said. Something you should know about this little stretch of the Strip—we don’t call the cops. We handle our own business.

The boy flipped them off with both hands but returned to his car.

Johnny squeezed Lola’s shoulders. Can’t go around kicking people’s cars, babe.

She glanced back at him. He started it.

Even with affection in his brown, gold-flecked eyes, the look he gave her was louder than any words.

Aw, come on, Lola said. "I’m not the one who threatened to handle him."

Why do you say it like that? He tucked a loose strand of his long hair behind his ear and half-smiled. Think I can’t take a couple punks?

Oh, I know you could. I also know that you, Jonathan Pace, are all talk.

Johnny winked. Not when it comes to my lady.

With a kiss on the back of her head, he left Lola standing at the curb. She slung the towel over her shoulder. The two cars took the pavement in a fury of screech and burn, and what followed was a rare moment of silence. Sunset Strip was always busy, but every year the crowd at Hey Joe thinned a little more.

Lola turned to go back inside. Everyone had cleared the sidewalk except one man, who was watching her. He stood by the door—coming or going, she couldn’t tell. His long arms hung straight at his sides, as if something had stopped him in his tracks. Even in the dark, Lola was struck by his movie-star good looks—chocolate-colored hair styled into a neat wave and a jaw sharp enough to cut metal. He could’ve accidentally wandered over from a movie premiere on Hollywood Boulevard, except that he was too buttoned up.

You lost? she asked since he continued to stare at her.

He straightened his back. What gives you that impression?

If you’re looking for happy hour, she said, pointing west noncommittally, try a few blocks down.

There’s no happy hour here? He checked the lit, orange sign on the roof. At Hey Joe?

Not the kind you’re looking for.

He touched the square red knot of his tie. It’s the suit, isn’t it? I look out of place.

She moved closer, pulled by the deep lull of his voice. The LED beer logos in the window turned the lingering smoke multi-colored. His deep-set eyes were dark, his jaw abrupt in all its angles. She had to tilt her head back to look up at him.

His attractiveness sank its teeth in her, more obvious with every passing second. Not just the suit.

What then? He ran his fingers through his stiff, rusty-brown hair. He had so much of it that some strands stood on end. That better?

It was that he was too much—his green, almond-shaped, watchful eyes, and his tall, straight back. He didn’t match the carefree laughs and imperfect postures of the people inside the bar. He turned them into commoners, with their round faces, round eyes, round bellies. It was that until that moment, she’d thought she knew what it meant to get butterflies.

But she couldn’t say those things. We just don’t see a lot of suits at this end.

You work here? he asked.

Lola stuck her hands in the pockets of her apron. Not like I wear this thing to make a fashion statement.

His loud laugh almost startled her. When he stopped, it echoed. He looked from her neck down, everywhere and all at once, as if he might reach out and touch her. His perusal made her feel exposed, and she was glad her apron subdued the cropped T-shirt and leather pants underneath it.

You really did a number on that car, he said, his eyes back at her face.

Lola didn’t embarrass easily, but there was no denying the sudden warmth in her cheeks. Wherever this man came from, people didn’t kick cars there. You must think I’m a real class act.

Doesn’t matter what I think.

I guess that’s a yes then. She shrugged, because he was right—he was a stranger. She did things like that all the time in front of customers, new and old. Then again, none of them had ever given her butterflies.

He turned his head toward the door so his profile, as straight and clean as his suit, was backlit by the sign. A face as handsome as his almost seemed predatorily arranged to disarm prey. That was your boyfriend?

Who, Johnny?

He looked back at her. Ponytail and Zeppelin T-shirt. Big guy.

She shifted on her feet. How do you know he’s not my husband?

You aren’t wearing a ring.

She balled her hands, which were still in her apron. The man stared at her longer than was appropriate, but she wasn’t ready to look away. That was why she had to. I should get back to work.

He nodded. So should I.

She glanced around the block. There weren’t any offices nearby.

Before she could ask, he said, I was actually on my way in for a drink with some colleagues. I’m here on business.

Here? she asked. This bar?

He turned and pulled open the door. This very one. After you, Miss…?

Light slivered onto the sidewalk. From the bar came a soundtrack of snapping pool balls, glass bottoms on tabletops, men arguing. Lola, she said, then amended, Lola Winters because he looked like a man who dealt in last names.

Lola. He smiled up to his dusky-green eyes. Beau Olivier. Nice to meet you.

She didn’t move right away. She liked the closeness of him. Your name sounds French, but you don’t.

I’m not. My father was, he said. I grew up here.


He passed away.

I’m sorry, Lola said.

"It was a long time ago. C’est la vie."

C’est la vie, she repeated.

He looked at her expectantly. For a moment, she’d forgotten they were about to go inside. She cleared her throat and walked through the door. Hey Joe’s interior was booths mutilated by cigarette burns older than Lola and black and muddied-white checkered linoleum flooring. A neon-pink mud flap girl watched over the crowd from behind the stage. They were things Lola only thought about once in a while when she considered reupholstering, replacing or removing them. But she thought about them then.

What can I get you? she asked over her shoulder as she walked.

Scotch, neat.


Macallan if you’ve got it.

She stooped behind the bar. That isn’t on special, Beau, she teased.

He smiled again. I like the way you say my name.

Yeah, well. She stood with a bottle. So does Johnny.

Does he? Beau asked. And you like the way he says yours?

Because it wasn’t a question she’d expected, she hesitated. Did she like the way Johnny said her name? He’d been saying it so long, she’d never really thought about it.

Well? His voice low, Beau prompted her. Lola?

Goose bumps. That, she noticed—the way Beau said her name, and her body reacted. She didn’t respond, but the narrow of his eyes made it seem as if he already knew her answer. As if he’d known from the start that Johnny’s words alone hadn’t touched her skin in a while—maybe ever.

Beau left to join two other men at the bar—the ones who’d snickered at Lola’s antics on the sidewalk earlier. They were younger than Beau, younger than Lola even, in T-shirts and flannels, jeans and sneakers. She wouldn’t have looked twice at them if they’d come in without Beau.

Lola poured Beau’s Scotch, glancing at him from under her lashes. He’d loosened his tie. She noticed things about him she hadn’t in the dark—the early shadow of stubble forming on his cleft chin, fine lines around his eyes, dimples that hugged his smile like parentheses. He’d called Johnny big, but Beau likely surpassed him in height.

Beau walked back to her end of the bar where his drink waited.

Is it just me, or does alcohol taste better on a Friday? he asked.

See those guys? She nodded at Quartz and the others posted in their usual spot. Tastes the same every day of the week to them. She watched them as if looking through a window into her life. It didn’t matter the day, their conversations ran a loop of the same topics. That kind of thing was standard around there. Bottomless glasses, arguing about bullshit. I still don’t know how they function day to day when they’re here drinking four, five nights a week.

She turned back to Beau. He’d been staring at her profile and he flinched when she caught him, but he didn’t look away. He lowered his drink to the bar.

What? she asked, busying her hands by filling the sink with dirty glasses.


Not nothing. She turned on the faucet and squeezed dish soap into the water. I’ve seen that look before.

I don’t doubt that.

She glanced up. Looks like that lead to trouble.

Probably. I’m not good at keeping my opinion to myself, though.

She paused. Warm water rose up her forearms. Instinct told her to ignore the comment. She’d done a good job of staying out of trouble since coming to Hey Joe. It’d been a while since anyone besides Johnny had looked at her that way, though. With some hesitation, she asked, What’s your opinion?

He squinted at her. You move around this bar like you’ve been doing it for years. But something doesn’t quite click. I’m wondering how you got here.

That’s easy, she said. On two legs.

Then what keeps you here?

They stared at each other. He didn’t look as though he expected an answer, and that was good. She wasn’t going to give him one—it was none of his business.

You think you have me figured out in ten minutes? Lola asked.

That’s ten minutes longer than it takes me for most people. Beau kept his eyes on her face. And that has my attention.

Is it hard to get your attention?

It’s harder to keep it, he said, without even a threat in his voice that he might take his attention away. Even though neither of them moved, it was as if they were getting closer and closer. But you, Lola, you’re—

We’re low on change, Johnny said, turning the corner from the back office. Can you do a bank run Monday?

Lola plunged her hands deeper into the hot water and fumbled for the sponge. Sure, she said and wiped her brow with her forearm. Yeah. I have to make the deposit anyway.

Johnny looked from Lola to Beau.

This is Beau, she said. Apparently my little show out front made him thirsty.

Johnny nodded once and shook Beau’s hand. Johnny. Welcome.

This your bar?

Nah. I just manage it with Lola.

She’s modest, he said. She didn’t say she was a manager.

"Assistant manager to my boyfriend. She looked at Beau’s empty glass. Guess you needed that drink. Another?"

Beau reached inside his jacket and took out his wallet. Looks like it’ll be one of those nights. Let me guess…cash only?

Lola nodded and refilled his drink.

He put some bills on the bar and gestured toward the men he’d arrived with. For our first round. Everything they order goes on my tab.

Johnny blatantly stared at the cash-stuffed, dark leather wallet in Beau’s hand.

Do they work for you? Lola asked.

"Not yet.

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  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Absolutely loved the first of the series will be reading all the rest come what may

    1 person found this helpful