He’s about to take me to the edge. And I want to go with him.

Five


It’s warmer in the house than outside, but still a cool contrast to the heat burning inside me as I walk into the living room. Anticipation tingles along my nerve endings but my steps are slow, tentative. I do not know where Chris wants me to go or what he expects me to do, but I’m ready for anything.

“Stop,” Chris commands when I’m standing beside the couch. I do and he adds, “Face me.”

I turn to ind him standing on the other side of a six-foot-long, cream-colored, high-piled throw rug. He crosses his arms in front of his chest, the brightly colored dragon tattoo stretching with the lex of his muscle. “It represents power and wealth, two things as a very young man I knew I wanted,” he’d told me when I’d asked about the design. I burn to know what made him need those things. What he wants now.

“Undress.”

My gaze snaps from Chris’s arm to his handsome, unreadable face, searching there for what he is thinking and inding nothing but wicked demand. I’m not surprised by his command; Chris has a thing about getting me na**d while he remains fully clothed. It’s about power and submission. His power. My submission. I haven’t always given it to him willingly. Or maybe I have; maybe I simply haven’t admitted it to him, or even myself.

I toe of my shoes, like I’m playing strip poker and I’m discarding the least intimate article of clothing irst. I might be willing to be submissive, but that doesn’t mean Chris as a dominant isn’t a bit intimidating. And sexy. So damn sexy.

Next I reach for my jacket, and even now, as much as I want this, as much as I trust him, I feel vulnerable and exposed as I toss it aside. I want to understand why. But I’m also aroused by undressing for him. It seems that being vulnerable and exposed with Chris turns me on. On another occasion, undressing for him might be a seductive game to draw out, but this isn’t one of those times. I’m ready to have it over with and to know what comes next.

I don’t look at Chris as I quickly remove my T-shirt and then slip out of my velvet sweats. I’m left with a red bra and red panties, and I hesitate only a moment before I just go for it.

I unhook my bra and toss it aside. My panties go next, kicked away with a brush of my bare foot. And now things are as Chris intended. I am na**d and he is not.

His gaze does a slow, hot slide down my body, and I’m shaken by how intensely erotic it can be just having this man look at me. I’ve experienced it before, yet it’s no less explosive when it happens. I’m aroused beyond belief, na**d when he is not, and while this has bothered me in the past, it doesn’t now.

It’s part of his control, and he was right earlier. I not only like him being in control, I’m done trying to analyze why being at his command is almost a physical need. It simply is. And I like it.

“On your knees in the middle of the rug,” he orders.

I go from aroused and conident to a spike of nerves and a racing heart. On my knees? This is like nothing he’s ever asked, or rather commanded, of me.

I was completely at his mercy, na**d and on my knees, in the center of a soft wool rug. The similarity between Rebecca’s journal entry and this moment is striking, but it’s the diference between the two that twists me in knots. Rebecca was writing about Mark displaying her in front of the club, about how that had upset her. I’m here alone with Chris, who I’m certain would never do such a thing. She wanted what I have.

“Sara,” Chris prods softly, that tenderness back in his voice.

My gaze lifts from where it’s fallen to the rug, and the concern in his face echoes what I’ve just thought. Chris would never hurt me.

“I’m good,” I say, answering his silent question. “We’re good.” I step forward, letting the soft ibers twine in my toes and lead me to the center of the rug.

Chris’s expression turns hot and dominant again, and my ni**les tighten with his scorching gaze. Slowly, I lower myself, kneeling before him, his submissive in a way I have never been before this moment.

I’m certain whatever comes next will be some sort of dominant Master-type thing, like in Rebecca’s journals.

But Chris steps forward and kneels in front of me, his palm settling on my cheek, ingers caressing, and I blink at the afec-tion in his eyes.

I cover one of his hands with mine. “I thought you had no gentleness in you today.”

His lips curve slightly. “I guess you’re corrupting me.”

I smile at the reference to what I’d once said to him. “I like corrupting you.”

“As I do you.” Slowly, his ingers slide from my face, his palm caressing my bare shoulder. “Don’t move.”

Chris pushes to his feet and crosses to the curtain, where he removes a satin-like sash. My pulse leaps with the memory of the painting he’d done of me: naked, in the center of the loor, and tied up. My mouth goes dry. I know what he’s going to do with that sash.

The instant he turns back to me, I see the hunger in his eyes. Gentle Chris is gone. A darker, more predatory Chris is present, stalking the woman in his sights. And my breath hitches, just thinking about being that woman.

He squats in front of me and his gaze rakes over my br**sts.

The imaginary touch is like velvet rasping over my skin. My ni**les tighten with the invisible friction and I ache for the wild rush of his touch.

“Lace your ingers together in front of you.”

He expects my hesitation; I see it in his face. I give him none, doing as commanded. His expression is unreadable; he simply wraps the long sash around my wrists and hands several times, then ties it of, leaving a long piece of the silk dangling to the ground.

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