As if knowing when it does, Chris moves the tails up to my knees, and lingers there until the same warmth forms. Then he moves to my thighs, and I’m suddenly more than warm. I’m hot, and aroused, and arching my back. I know what comes next, yet when it does, I gasp.

The tails swipe my clit, the swooshing motions biting at the delicate skin and sending a burst of arousal through my entire body. I’m panting, nearly begging for more, not even knowing what I want more of. I just want it.


The tails move up my body, over my stomach and higher.

Sizzling sensations roll through me and I tilt my head back, anticipating what comes next. When it does, I forget to breathe.

The silk slaps over my sensitized br**sts and then bites at my ni**les. For the irst time, I feel pain. Another slap immediately follows, and another, and the pain spirals into pleasure.

Suddenly I’m squeezing my thighs together, my sex clenching, so close to coming . . .

Chris’s hands come down on my waist, his c**k brushing my leg. “Oh, no you don’t,” he growls low in his throat. It’s sexy.

He’s sexy. I want him. “Not yet.”

“Yes!” I demand, but he turns me to face the desk, my hands on the glass.

“You come when I say you come. You know that rule.”

I heat at the memory of him spanking me for coming too soon. Please, yes. Spank me. “And if I don’t?” I taunt.

He nips my ear, and his c**k presses against my backside.

“Come with me, baby. We do things together, remember?”

I squeeze my eyes shut. “That is unfair. You know I can’t say no to that.”

“Punish me later.”

My eyes jerk open. “Chris—”

“I’m joking, Sara. But you punish me every time you put clothes on.” As he starts to pull away, I reach behind me and grab him. He surprises me by dropping the logger.

“Screw the logging,” he growls, lifting my h*ps as he presses the thick line of his shaft between my thighs. “You want me to f**k you now?”

“I wanted you to f**k me before you ever started logging me.”

He presses inside me. “You’re too damn demanding to be submissive.”

“You taught me what demanding is,” I pant as he thrusts hard into me, and then curls his body around mine.

“You were like this the night I met you,” he accuses, and suddenly his hands are under my knees and he’s lifting me of the ground, leaning me back so that he’s cradling me against his chest.

I gasp. “What are you doing?”

He sits on the couch with me on top of him, his face buried in my hair, his hands cupping my br**sts. “Fucking you. Isn’t that what you want?”

“Yes, I—” One of his hands presses on my stomach and his h*ps arch, his c**k pumping into me. “I, ah . . .” My head turns, seeking his mouth, and somehow we manage a kiss, a caress of tongues.

With that the mood shifts, and the passion turns into something living and breathing, a part of us with demands of its own.

Everything fades into the feel of his hands all over my body, the rhythms of our bodies moving together, the stroke of tongue against tongue. I escape.

And when we inally collapse together, lying side by side, he wraps around me from behind. I’m more at peace than I’ve ever been in my whole life. I’m no longer afraid of the parts of me I don’t understand or know.

Chris understands. He knows me. And I understand him.

Still Saturday, July 14, 2012

I’m in San Francisco. He’s not.

When I landed, I called his cell phone and he didn’t answer.

I rented a car and went to his house. He wasn’t home. I took a taxi to the gallery and called him from outside. He didn’t answer.

I can’t go inside the gallery, or even call there. Not until I decide if it’s a part of my life again. If he is.

So against my better judgment, I drag my bags inside Cup O’ Cafe next door and decide to wait here until the gallery closes.

I don’t like it here. She owns it. She, who was invited into our bed in the past, and hates me. I knew if she knew how to reach him, it meant that she was in his bed now. And she did know.

He’s on a plane to New York, on Riptide auction house business.

It’s a blow to discover that he’s gone. It’s a bigger blow to discover he’s still bringing her to his bed. I wonder if she’s signed an agreement with him. I wonder if she is his, and I am . . . not.

No. It can’t be. She’d have gloated, and he wouldn’t have asked me to come home, either. Is this home? I thought I had all the answers before I came here tonight. Now I’m about to head to a hotel alone.

I hate this feeling. I hate how she reminds me of what he can be and what he was with me. Am I fooling myself? Is our past a relection of who we’ll be in the future?

And if I’m evoking old pain this easily, do I really want to stay and ind out?

Twenty-Two

Tuesday morning starts with a workout and a long chat with Chris’s godmother. By midmorning I’ve muddled through the language barrier of meeting the housekeeper, Sophie. Shortly after, Chris heads to his studio to paint and I ind myself at the island in the kitchen with Chantal. Though the meeting with Sophie had motivated me for my morning lesson, after a rather terrible attempt at several “simple” French phrases—the simple part per Chantal (not me)—my brain is ready to explode. In need of an extra cafeine boost, I push of the stool to reill my mug and groan at the protest of my sex-sore body.

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