“I—I’m not sure,” I said, but even as I spoke, I knew my words were only for form. I wasn’t tense—on the contrary, I felt loose. Warm. Even eager.

The cold fear I had expected was far, far away, replaced by a burning anticipation. Because I wanted the sensation of his hands upon me and the luxury of him looking at me.

“Not sure?” he said as he stood up, holding his wine. He moved to me, then dipped his finger in the liquid before dragging the pad gently over my lower lip. “I think you are, Sylvia.”

He trailed his finger gently down my neck, then traced my collarbone, making me shiver from the soft sensuality of his touch.

“I watched you in the car, remember? So bold. So wild. I told you what I wanted, and it made you hot. I told you what to do, and it made you wet.”

I pressed my lips together, forcing myself not to whimper.

“You want to give yourself over to me, Sylvia. You want to put the power for your pleasure in my hands.”

His words scared me. Not only because they were true, but because I didn’t understand why I so badly craved exactly what he was demanding. For years, my relationships with men had been few and far between. And when I did go out—when that pounding need for release and escape finally hit me with so much force that it drove me to action—then I was the one with the power. I was the one who set the terms and called the shots.

And on those rare times, I never felt anything more than the physical release of an orgasm and the hard burn of one hell of a cardio workout.

Most important, I was the one who walked away.

That was the way it worked, the way I protected myself.

And yet here I was, open and vulnerable.

And god help me, I was desperately, wildly, incredibly turned on.

“You want this as much as I do,” he said as he circled me, stopping so that he was behind me when he bent close to whisper in my ear. “I see it in the way you look at me. The way you respond to me. What was it you said in the car about my work? That it’s power and control? You were right. But that’s not just what I do. It’s who I am.”

He slid his arms around my waist and pulled me close, so that my back was against him. I could feel his erection against me and the corresponding tingle between my thighs. And in that moment, I regretted not having already done what he said, because I wanted nothing more than to be naked with his hands upon me.

He moved his hands up to cup my breasts. “It excites me to know that I hold the leash on your pleasure. That I can take you to the edge or not. That I hold your trust and your passion in my hand.” He released me then, and it was all I could do not to whimper.

“So tell me, Sylvia,” he said, as he moved back to the couch. “What do you want? Do you want to surrender? Or do you want me to leave?”

I didn’t answer in words. Instead, I slowly lifted my hands and once again unbuttoned my dress.

This time, however, I didn’t simply spread it open. Instead, I let it slip over my arms and off my body so that I stood before him in only my brand-new lingerie and shoes.

The shoes went next, even though I lost a good two inches of height and felt all the more vulnerable for it.

I needed to do the stockings next, and started to bend over to roll them down. But I lifted my head and the heat I saw in his eyes fueled my imagination. I took a step toward him, then another. Then I lifted my leg and put the ball of my foot on the edge of the couch, right between his thighs. And then, I very slowly started to roll down the stocking. When I reached my foot, I carefully eased off the silk. I rose slowly, letting the stocking dangle, and very casually let the wisp of silk play lightly over his crotch.

“Naughty,” he said, but the smile suggested that he liked naughty just fine.

At the moment, so did I.

I repeated the process with my other foot, only this time I extended my leg so that my foot wasn’t on the edge of the couch but on the cushion. Now, my toes brushed against his cock, straining against his jeans. And I knew that because of the way I stood with one leg up and the other leg down, the tiny thong was doing very little to hide how incredibly wet I was—and right then Jackson had a front-row seat with a view.

And then, because I wanted to make sure he didn’t miss a thing, I trailed my finger from my ankle to my sex. I moaned as I slipped a finger deep inside myself, and I kept my eyes on him, not wanting to miss even a single spark of passion that fired on his face.

“How do you taste?” he asked, and I slowly lifted my finger to my mouth, drew it in deep and let him watch as I sucked. “Sweet,” I finally said. “Do you like candy?”

“Oh, yes,” he said as he reached out and put his hands on my hips even as he slid off the couch to kneel in front of me. “Maybe just a little taste.” He leaned forward and closed his mouth over my sex, then licked and sucked with such intensity that I think I would have collapsed right there if he hadn’t been holding me up.


Tags: J. Kenner Stark International Trilogy Romance
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