Chapter One

Sunday, March 7th, 2012

Dangerous.

For months I’ve had dreams and nightmares about how perfectly he personifies the word. Sleep-laden, alternate realities where I can vividly smell his musky male scent, feel his hard body against mine. Taste the sweet and sensuous flavor of him-–like milk chocolate with its silky demand that I indulge in one more bite. And another. So good I’d forgotten there’s a price for overindulgence. And there is a price. There is always a price. I was reminded of this life lesson on Saturday night. And I know now, no matter what he says, no matter what he does, I cannot--will not--see him again.

It started out as any other erotic adventure with him. Unpredictable. Exciting. I barely remember where it all went wrong. How it took such a dark turn.

He’d ordered me to undress and sit on the mattress, against the headboard, my legs spread wide for his viewing. Naked before him, open to him, I was vulnerable and quivering with need. Never in my life had I taken orders from a man; most certainly I had never thought I would quiver with anything. But I did for him.

If Saturday night proved anything, it was that once I was with him, under his spell, he could demand anything of me, and I’d comply. He could push me to the edge, to unbelievable places I’d never thought I would go. Exactly why I can’t see him again. He makes me feel possessed, and what is so disconcerting about this feeling is that I like it. I can hardly wrap my mind around allowing such a thing, though I burn for it. But when I saw him standing at the end of the bed Saturday night, all broad and thick with sinewy muscle, his c**k jutting forward, there was nothing but that need.

He was magnificent. Really, truly the most gorgeous man I’ve ever known. Instant lust exploded inside me. I wanted to feel him close to me, to feel him touch me. To touch him. But I know now not to touch him without his permission. And I know not to beg him to let me.

I’ve learned my lesson from past encounters. He enjoys the vulnerability of a plea far too much. Enjoys withholding his pleasures, until I am nearly quaking with the burn of my body. Until I am liquid heat and tears. He likes that power over me. He likes full control. I should hate him. Sometimes, I think I love him.

It was the blindfold that should have warned me I was headed toward a place of no return. Thinking back, I believe it did. He tossed it on the bed, a dare, and instantly a shiver chased a path up and down my spine. The idea of not being able to see what was happening to me should have aroused me-–it did arouse me. But for reasons I didn’t understand at the time, it also frightened me. I was scared and I hesitated.

This did not please him. He told me so, in that deep, rich, baritone voice that makes me quiver uncontrollably. The need to please him had been so compelling. I put on the blindfold.

I was rewarded by the shift of the mattress. He was coming to me. Soon, I knew I would come, too. His hands slid possessively up my calves, over my thighs. And damn him, stopped just before my place of need.

What came next was a shadowy whirlwind of sensation. He pulled me onto my back, flat against the mattress. I knew satisfaction was seconds away. Soon he would enter me. Soon I would have what I needed. But to my distress, he moved away.

It was then that I was sure I’d heard the click of a lock. It jolted me to a sitting position, and I called out his name, fearful he was leaving. Certain that I’d done something wrong. Then relieved when his hand flattened on my stomach. I’d imagined the sound of the lock. I must have. But I couldn’t shake the subtle shift in the air then, the raw lust and menace consuming the room that didn’t feel like him. It was a thought easily forgotten when he settled heavy between my thighs, his strong hands lifting my arms over my head, his breath warm on my neck--his body heavy, perfect.

Somehow, a silk tie wrapped around my wrists and my arms were tied to the bed frame. It never occurred to me that he could not have done this on his own. That he was on top of me, unable to manipulate my arms. But then, he was manipulating my body, my mind, and I was his willing victim.

He lifted his body from mine, and I whimpered, unable to reach for him. Again silence. And the whisk of fabric. More strange sounds. Long seconds ticked by, and I remember the chill that snaked across my skin. The feeling of dread that had balled in my stomach.

And then, the moment I know I will die remembering. The moment when the steel of a blade touched my lips. The moment that he promised there was pleasure in pain. The moment when the blade traveled along my skin with the proof he would be true to his words. And I knew then that I had been wrong. He was not dangerous. Nor was he chocolate. He was lethal, a drug, and I feared…

A knock on my apartment door jolts me from the seductive words of the journal I’ve been reading to the point I darn near toss the notebook over my shoulder. Guiltily, I slam it shut and set it back on the simple oak coffee table where it had been left by my neighbor and close friend, Ella Ferguson the night before. I hadn’t meant to read it. It was just...there. On my table. Absently, I’d opened it, and I’d been so shocked at what I found that I hadn’t believed it could really be my sweet, close friend Ella’s writing. So I’d kept reading. I couldn’t stop reading and I don’t know why. It makes no sense. I, Sara McMillan, am a high-school teacher, and I do not invade people’s privacy, nor do I enjoy this kind of reading. I’m still telling myself that as I reach the door, but I can’t ignore the burn low in my belly.

I pause before greeting my visitor, and rest my hands on my cheeks, certain they’re flaming red, hoping whoever is here will just go away. I promise myself if they do, I won’t read the journal again, but deep down, I know the temptation will be strong. Good Lord, I feel like Ella seemed to feel when living out the scene in the journal-–like I am the one hanging on for one more titillating moment and then another. Clearly, twenty-eight-year-old women are not supposed to go eighteen months without sex. The worst part is that I’ve invaded the privacy of someone I care about.

Source: www.StudyNovels.com