“I see right through you, princess,” he finally says. “And you can play games all you want, but you and I both know that you’re fighting. Well, guess what? I am, too. And I’m not accustomed to losing.”

He reaches out and ever so slowly undoes the top button of the dress.

“What are you doing?”

“What you’re letting me do.”


“You can stop me, princess. Just say the word.”

I lick my lips, but I do not move and I do not protest. I tell myself that I cannot back down—I cannot give up the resort.

But that isn’t the only truth, and I know it as well as he does.

The truth is I want this, too. And since I can’t willingly give it, then I will acquiesce to letting him take it.

“Good girl,” he says, as he flips open the second button, then the third to reveal the black lace of the demi-cup bra, the swell of my breasts, and my very erect, very sensitive, nipples.

“Like I said,” he murmurs, then bends close to take my nipple between his lips. He sucks, drawing it in, then grazing the tender flesh with his teeth and sending coils of red-hot desire spinning though me to throb with violent intensity between my legs. “You want this as much as I do.”

“You bastard,” I say, and he only laughs.

“Princess, you don’t even know the half of it.”

He returns his mouth to my breast, his lips skimming my cleavage as he moves to find my other nipple. “Why don’t you finish those buttons?” he murmurs, his lips never leaving my skin.

“What?” His words haven’t quite registered with me, at least not until he takes my hand and places it on the fourth button, then lets his own fingers trail up to tease the nipple that he’d abandoned, cool and tight and still wet from his tongue.

Oh, god.

His teeth nip me, and I arch in pleasure, understanding that this is not just a sensual tease but a silent demand.

And so help me, I comply, moving my fingers down the dress with slow, steady movements. I keep my back to the patio door, because what he is doing to my breasts is making me crazy, and I’m afraid that if I don’t have that support my legs will simply give out.

When I’m almost done with the buttons, he pulls back, remov ing his mouth from my breast and forcing me to bite back a whimper of protest.

“Don’t fight it, princess,” he says. “I see it on your face, in the flush of your skin. Even in your eyes, that you’re trying to keep so cool and hard. Don’t you know that I see what you want? That I feel what you need?”

My traitorous body aches with the desire for him to touch me, and I can only stand there frozen, unable and unwilling to give in to his games.

“Go ahead,” he says, as if reading my thoughts. “Touch yourself. Show me how you like it. Show me exactly how to put my hands on you.”

I shake my head. “Jackson. No.”

“My rules, princess, remember?” He reaches for the dress and eases me out of it. He tosses it backward so that it lands on the couch. And there I stand, clad only in the sexy underwear and fuck-me red heels.

“Christ, you’re gorgeous,” he says, and there’s such honest arousal in his voice that I’m overcome with a sense of déjà vu. I’ve stood like this before. Dressed like this—or, rather, undressed like this. Hot and wet and wanting, and Jackson’s eyes on me, so full of desire that I could drown in them.

But that night I’d wanted everything he had to give—and I hadn’t been afraid. Not then. The fear had come later.

Tonight—god help me—I want it, too. And that scares me to death.

“Go ahead, princess,” he says, lifting my hand and placing my palm against my stomach. “I want to watch you melt.”

I meet his eyes, expecting to see heat. But all I see is the mask of a man holding tight to his emotions.

Fuck that—if he’s going to force me to play, then I’m going to play to win.

“Is this what you want?” I ask, sliding my hand up to my breast and finding the nipple that he just abandoned. I close my hand over my breast, squeezing and teasing, then so slowly it is almost painful I trace my fingertip over my tight areola. “Or maybe this?” I ask as I roll my nipple between my thumb and forefinger. I suck in air, more turned on by my performance than I’d intended to be, but I see the flicker of heat in his eyes.


“Do you like to watch, Jackson?” I slide my other hand down my belly, all the way to the elastic band of the tiny thong panties and the little triangle of lace that barely covers my sex. Then lower and lower still. “Or do you want more? Is that it, Jackson? Do you want to touch me? Do you want to fuck me?”

Tags: J. Kenner Stark International Trilogy Romance
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