Le Club Laurel Oak—Ocala, second Friday in May, 2013
Belinda Jones, a tiny looked out the window of the chauffeured black Lincoln limousine as it stopped briefly at the electronic gates and then rolled into the walled Laurel Oak Estate and up to the well-lit steps of a stunning, gingerbread-trimmed, white mansion. The Eden Creek folks had always treated Belinda like family, so she was not surprised to be invited to their private Kentucky Derby celebration dinner for family and friends. She had been surprised that it was to be held at the Laurel Oak Estate and that she would have to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to attend.
Her head was still reeling from the excitement of the Kentucky Derby last weekend. There was really nothing like blasting under the wire two full lengths ahead of the field and then trotting into the winner’s circle to have a blanket of hundreds of red roses draped across your lap while the stands roared and cameras flashed to the Dan Fogelberg tune “Run for the Roses” playing in the background.
The fact that she had also shut out Matt Jackson’s horse, Perfidy, was just the icing on the cake. Matt really made her nervous. She couldn’t put her finger on exactly why. The prior year he had tried to hire her away from Eden Creek Farm to ride for his stable, Jackson Stud, but she had not been interested in making a change. He had taken it well enough since he was basically a businessman and a gentleman, but she was sure he had not been expecting his blandishments to meet with any resistance. Guys like Matt Jackson were just used to getting their way.
As the limousine pulled up in front of the mansion, Belinda straightened the skirt of her sleek, black, Donna Karan sheath, fluffed out her mass of long, wavy, red hair which she usually wore in a French braid, picked up her clutch, and prepared to get out of the car. She swiveled her hips, and her shapely, well-muscled legs tipped with three-inch, black, spike heels were on the driveway as the handsome young chauffeur helped her out of the car. She stood up and looked straight into the eyes of Matt Jackson who stood on the porch smoking a cigar. Hot damn! What’s he doing here? He certainly wouldn’t be invited to the Hamilton’s Derby party.
Matt gave her one of his enigmatic smiles, nodded his head, and said, “Good evening, Belinda. You look lovely tonight. Congratulations on your wins last week. I hadn’t heard whether you enjoyed the roses I sent you.” He smiled wolfishly. It made her feel like prey on the open prairie with no place to hide. Matt Jackson was very good-looking in a rather harsh and ruthless way. His wasn’t a comfortable face, but it was compelling. He was tall and muscular with wavy, dark-auburn hair streaked with flashes of gold and dark evergreen eyes that looked almost black in the evening light.
“Thank you. The roses were lovely, but as you know, I received quite a few of them last week.” She brushed past him and into the lobby of the club. She was so shaken by seeing him unexpectedly that she barely took in the elegant décor of the lobby. She was normally not a rude woman, but something about that man rubbed her the wrong way and set her nerves on edge and her hormones flooding!
The desk clerk saw that she was disoriented and took her arm. “Let me get your signature on the paperwork, Ms. Jones, and then I can show you to the Hamilton table in the garden.”
Belinda gave the required confidentiality agreement a quick glance, signed it, and then she smiled at the desk clerk. She was grateful that he was grounding her and letting her focus on him and get her breath back before she had to join the party. “Thank you. I’m glad it worked out for everyone. I have to admit that I had a small wager myself,” she said with a grin. As the clerk guided her out on to the veranda and down the steps into the beautiful blooming garden, she caught her breath and began to calm down. I don’t know why he always affects me that way. He makes me feel like a mare in heat. It must be pheromones or something.
* * * *
Matt Jackson leaned back against the white railing, stretched out his long legs, and took another puff on his cigar before tossing it into the bushes. He knew his appearance was intimidating. His high cheek bones and hawkish nose harkened back to the Cherokee heritage a few generations back on his mother’s side and gave his face a slightly exotic, Native American cast. He smiled speculatively as he crossed his arms over his muscular chest and watched Belinda’s cute little backside as she walked away from him. Her butt has a nice sway but no jiggle. Too bad. I like a little jiggle. Her legs aren’t bad either, for a little redheaded spitfire of a woman. He didn’t know why he found the little jockey so fascinating. He couldn’t help yanking her chain every chance he got. She wasn’t even his type—not by a long shot. He liked a tall, statuesque blonde with a good rack and a great ass—an obedient one who made a lot of noise during sex. As one of the founding members of Le Club, he was known to be a strict Dom, although he did not think he was overly cruel. He grinned to himself. I wonder if she’s a screamer or a moaner? It could be interesting to find out.