“We have a lot to talk about, don’t we?” he asks, breaking the spell. His tone is low, and the rasp of anger in his voice is impossible to miss. It jolts me back to reality. He showed up at my client’s house and he’s angry with me?

My temper overpowers all other emotions in me and I reach for the key. His hand closes over mine and heat races up my arm and over my chest. “Don’t do what you did tonight ever again, Sara.”

The sharp command in his voice hits a bull’s-eye on every physiological male dominance issue I own, of which there are many. I try to pull my hand back but I am captive to his grip, leaving me with words as my only weapon. “Ditto to you, Chris. And yeah. We have a lot to talk about—somewhere other than my client’s front yard.”

His green eyes glint fire a moment before he releases my hand and helps me to my feet. There is a possessiveness to his touch that has me leaning into him when I should be shoving him away. He notices, too; I see it in the slight narrowing of his eyes, the gleam of satisfaction in their depths that I both hunger for and reject.

“I’ll follow you to my place,” he informs me.

“I have no doubt you will.” I click the key clicker to unlock the 911. I’m about to open the door when his hand comes down on it, and he leans close, so close his breath is warm on my neck and ear. That woodsy scent of him, which I could luxuriate in for a lifetime, permeates my senses, tearing down my already weak defenses.

His hip nudges mine. “Don’t think for a minute that when we pull up to my apartment, you’re going to ask for your car and leave.”

It is all I can do to fight him when he touches me. Purposely, I do not look at him, certain all my resolve to distance myself from him will crumble. “If I decide to leave, you can’t stop me.”

“Try me, baby. You’re coming up to my apartment.”

I whirl on him. “I don’t want—”

“I do,” he vows, and before I know his intent, his fingers twine into my hair and he pulls me into his arms, against his hard, warm body.

“Let go,” I hiss, my hand flattening on his chest. I intend to push him away, but the heat of his body seeps through my palm, radiating up my arm. My elbow softens, and I am instantly closer but not close enough.

“Not a chance,” he promises, his mouth closing on mine, firm with demand. His tongue licks into my mouth with one brutal, commanding swipe followed by another, and I have no resistance left. I’m weak, so very weak, for this man. As always with Chris, he demands my response and I helplessly respond. I am instantly wet and wanting, my ni**les tight points of aching need.

I try to resist the lure that is Chris, but the taste of him, familiar and almost brutally male, mixes with his anger and mine, and the effect is explosively passionate. I want to shout at him, push him away, pull him close, strip away his clothes, and punish him for what he is doing to me, what he takes from me. What he makes me need.

When his lips part from mine, too soon and not soon enough, I barely fight the urge to pull him back. “Was that for the cameras, Chris?” I pant at him, furious at myself for such weakness.

“That was because you scared the shit out of me when you didn’t answer your phone. I don’t give a damn about the cameras.” His mouth comes down on mine again, and his hand slides under my jacket, over my backside, pulling me flush against his thick erection.

I whimper, impossibly aroused, and my hands slip beneath the thick leather of his jacket, wrapping his waist. His hand caresses up my back, molding me tighter to him, branding me with heat and fire and sizzling passion that threaten to steal all the reason I possess. No man has ever made me forget where I am, forget why I should care.

“That,” he says roughly, when he pulls back again, “was for the past twelve hours that I should have been thinking about business. Instead, I was incessantly thinking about pink paddles, butterfly nipple clamps, and all the places I’m going to lick, kiss, and now, you can bet, punish you when we get home.”

I almost moan again from his words and have no idea how I manage enough coherent thought to issue a warning, but somehow I do. “If you think sex is going to make this argument go away, you’re wrong.”

“You couldn’t be more right, but it’s a good place to start and end the enlightening conversation you can bet your sweet little ass we’re going to have.” He sets me back from him and away from the door enough to open it. “Let’s go home where I can f**k what you’ve made me feel out of my system and you can do the same.”

Staring up at him, a million things I might say or do are wiped out by the word home replaying in my head. He keeps using that word, and it affects me when he does; it affects me in a deep, painfully real way that leaves me raw and vulnerable. He leaves me raw and vulnerable.

When I don’t move, he pulls me close again, caresses my hair, and gives me a quick kiss on the lips. “Get in the car, Sara,” he orders softly, and as always—though I’m fairly certain he’d disagree—I do as he tells me.

• • •

When I pull up to Chris’s building ten minutes later, I’m still practically panting from his hot assault, but I’ve managed small pieces of reasonable thought. I am calmer and the understanding that Chris was truly, sincerely worried about me is as much an aphrodisiac as the taste of him lingering on my lips and tongue. There is no question that I gave Jacob reason to worry about me. Add the storage unit incident to my failure to answer calls, and Chris had every reason to be concerned. I can accept that. But Chris is a control freak in every possible way, and while I’ve found that in private giving him that control has almost become a physical burn, outside the bedroom I need my freedom. And I’m not sure Chris is capable of giving me that.


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