“Never say never, baby,” Chris replies and then turns the key, bringing the soft purr of an expensive engine to life.

I absorb those words, staring out of the window without really looking. Rebecca had done things she’d sworn she’d never do for her ‘Master’. I wonder if I could talk to her now, would she agree with Chris? Would she say never say never?

Chapter Fourteen

Chris maneuvers the 911 into the drive of a fancy high-rise building not more than four blocks from the gallery. Before I can question the fancy location being home to a ‘pizza joint’ as he’d called it, a valet is already opening my door.

“I’ll come around to get you,” Chris says with a touch on my arm. He doesn’t wait for a reply, climbing out of the vehicle and disappearing from full view.

I am both charmed and embarrassed at the prospect he believes the extra wine has made me a helpless lush. Worse, it wouldn’t be an assumption completely without merit and this night is exactly why I never let myself lose control. It always backfires.

I unsnap the seat belt about the same moment Chris appears at my door. Holding my skirt down, I slide my legs to the ground, all too aware of his scorching gaze on my legs.

His hand appears in front of me, and I hold my breath, preparing for the impact of his touch, as I press my palm to his. He pulls me to my feet, onto the sidewalk beneath an awning, his hand settling possessively on my hip. The rich sensation of desire spreads through my limbs. I have never in my life reacted to a man this intensely.

Behind me, I hear the car door shut, and the engine rev, before the 911 pulls away. “This doesn’t look like a place that serves pizza,” I comment but I am not looking at the building. It is Chris who has my full attention.

“Two blocks down,” he explains. “We can walk there if you want or we can go upstairs to my apartment.”

Chris lives here, at least when he’s in the States. The implications of our location are clear.

His long fingers curl around my neck, under my hair, and he lowers his mouth to my ear. “Be warned, Sara. I’m no saint. If I take you upstairs, I’m going to strip you na**d and f**k you the way I’ve wanted to since the moment we first met.”

The shockingly bold words ripple through me and I am instantly aroused, squeezing my thighs together. He has wanted to f**k me since we first met. I want him to f**k me. I want to f**k him. Yes. Fuck. I want to give myself permission to forget good, proper behavior and f**k and be f**ked. Wild, hot, uncontrollable passion, with no worries during and regrets in the aftermath. I’ve never let myself feel those things. When in my life have I ever experienced such a thing? When has any man ever made me think I could?

I press against his chest and lean back, my eyes seeking his. “If you’re trying to scare me off, it’s not working.”

“Not yet,” he says, dark certainty to his tone, to the lines etched in his handsome face. It is as if this is simply a seed already planted that cannot be stopped.

“Not at all,” I counter.

He doesn’t immediately respond, and his expression is a mask of hard lines, his jaw set, tense. Slowly, his fingers slide from my neck to caress a path down my arm until his fingers lace intimately with mine. “Never say never, Sara,” he murmurs and starts walking, pulling me with him.

Anticipation sizzles through me, as we walk toward the automatic doors to be greeted by a man in a dark suit with an earpiece and buzz-cut.

“Evening, Mr. Merit,” he says, and glances at me. “Evening, Miss.”

“Evening Jacob,” Chris replies. “Pizza coming our way. Don’t frisk the delivery guy.”

“Not unless he’s a delivery woman, sir,” Jacob comments, and I get the sense these two are familiar beyond the casual exchange.

I lift a tentative hand at Jacob. “Hi.”

“Ma’am,” he replies, and there is a slight shift in his gaze I’m certain he doesn’t intend for me to notice, but I do. I read it as surprise at my presence, and I can only assume I am far from Chris’s normal choice in women. It isn’t hard for me to imagine Chris being a blonde bombshell kind of man, and where I hadn’t felt insecure moments before, I suddenly do now. I am angry at myself for feeling such a thing when I’ve promised myself no more self-doubt. When I crave the escape, the freedom, I was so close to experiencing only moments before.

The elevator is right off of the fancy lobby and past a security booth. Chris punches the button and the doors open immediately. I follow him inside, and watch as he keys in a code. The doors shut and he pulls me hard against him.

My hands settle on his hard chest, inside the line of his jacket, and warmth spreads through me. “What just happened?” His hand brands my hip.

My br**sts are heavy, my ni**les aching. “I don’t know what you mean?”

“Yes. You do. Second thoughts, Sara?”

I scold myself for being so transparent. “Do you want me to have second thoughts?”

“No. What I want is to take you to my apartment and make you come and then do it all over again.”

Oh…yes please. “Okay,” I whisper, “but I think you should feed me first.”

His lips curve into a smile, his eyes dancing with gold specks of pure fire. “Then you can feed me.”

The bell dings and the doors begin to open. Chris wastes no time pulling me to the edge of the elevator, and I watch in surprise as a gorgeous living room appears before me, rather than a hallway. Chris has a private elevator and I am entering his private world, a world very unlike my own.


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