“No thinking. Just do it.”

His tone is hard, sharp, even, and it’s as if he removes my options. I don’t know how or why it works for me, but it does, and I listen. I turn so that my knees rest against his jean-clad thigh, the muscle flexing beneath my palm where my hand rests on his leg.


He leans in and frames my face, drawing my gaze to his. “Have I ever hurt you?”

“No. No, of course not.”

“I’m not going to start now.” He runs his thumb over my lips, inching closer to rest his cheek against mine, his warm breath teasing my ear. “This position lets me hit certain spots that will please you.”

“And you know this because you—”

“Have experience,” he supplies, easing back to look at me.

“So you’ve done this to other women.” I know his past, and I try not to think about how I compare for fear it will drive me, and him, insane.

“I’m no Boy Scout, baby,” he reminds me. “You know that, but it’s different with you. Everything is different with you.”

It’s exactly what I need to hear and what, even in my most insecure moments, he’s made me feel. My hesitation evaporates, and with a deep breath, I lean into his lap, but Chris laces his fingers in my hair and drags my mouth to his. “You don’t have to do this.”

“I was just nervous. That’s all.”

“You’re sure?”

“Absolutely.”

He isn’t convinced, his eyes narrowing, probing. “I see fear in your eyes, Sara. I don’t like it.”

My fingers curl on his jaw. “Fear of being too vulnerable and needing you too much.”

“And my fear? It’s of you not needing me enough.”

His mouth lowers to mine, and I whisper, “Too late,” a moment before his tongue licks into my mouth with a long, drugging sweep that leaves me breathless, before he releases me, and I don’t hesitate to answer the question I see in his eyes.

I stretch over Chris’s lap, my elbows settling on the soft leather of the couch. My head tilts forward, allowing me the solace of my long, dark hair, though there is none for my bare backside. I am exposed in every possible way.

“Relax, baby,” Chris murmurs, his warm hand flattening on my lower back.

“I’m trying.”

“Take a deep breath and let it out.”

As I suck in air his hand begins stroking up and down my spine. Over and over, I feel the slow, gentle movements seducing me, softening my tense muscles. Time seems to stand still, and it could be seconds or minutes that pass, but the music begins to come back to me. Words meld with his touch, becoming soothingly erotic, almost hypnotic. Gradually his hand moves lower, over my backside, and still he continues the same back and forth motion. Sensations seduce me, draw me in, and I forget to think. Until his hand stills and his fingers flex against my cheek.

I jerk, trying to sit up, and Chris’s hand flattens on my back, holding me in place. “Stay, baby. I’ll warn you first.”

I pant, trying to slow my breathing. “Yes. No. I mean yes.”

“Easy, baby,” he murmurs again.

I force myself to relax, to sink against him and the couch, and close my eyes. I’m expecting the paddle any instant, but instead, he spreads my thighs and traces down the seam between my cheeks until his fingers slide into the slick, wet heat that defies my resistance and declares I am hot and aroused. And I am aroused, by how completely at his mercy I am. He reaches beneath me, his fingers stroking my clit in a deliciously, oh so right way, but one hand stays on my backside. One hand promises what is to come. But his fingers slide inside me, and the threat of that hand on my ass fades in the shameless lift of my hips, the pump of my hips against his hand.

Suddenly, though, his fingers are gone and I’m left gasping as his hand begins a gentle patting on my backside. I hold my breath, expecting this to be the warning before the sting, but his touch remains light, erotic. Over and over, he drums on me, the sensation an intoxicating vibration, and unbelievably, I’m on the edge again, my sex clenching, aching.

I feel Chris shift and reach for something, and then the music changes. “Listen to the song,” he orders. “Focus on the words.” The volume cranks to a roar and Muse’s “Hysteria” thunders around us. ’Cause I want it now. I want it nowwww. Give me your heart and your soul. And I’m not breaking down. I’m breaking out.

Adrenaline surges through me and the loud beat consumes my mind, and I know it’s my warning. I try to brace myself for what’s coming, but I can’t think beyond how loud the words are, and I jerk when the fur of the paddle becomes the soft patting on my backside. It becomes faster but not harder. The music lances my mind and every nerve ending is in overload, tingling with every touch of the paddle. A burn begins inside me, an ache for more, for whatever comes next. It’s no longer fear, it’s need, but he doesn’t give it to me.

The music punches into my mind, like it’s echoing my thoughts. I want it now. I want it now. I do. I want it. “Chris, I—”

His fingers slice into my hair and he tugs my head back. “Now, baby,” he warns. One hard blow comes down on my bottom and my back arches with the shock, but I don’t have the opportunity to process it, let alone object. Another blow comes down. And another. Four, I think. No, five. I don’t count. I can’t count. Then he stops, but he doesn’t let go of my hair or speak. He doesn’t move at all. I lie there, feeling the gentle pull of my hair, the warmth of my cheeks, but then there’s an odd sensation in my chest that I cannot escape. Suddenly, that sensation turns to a bubble of laughter. I have no idea why I’m laughing. I don’t feel amused; I feel overwhelmed and aroused, and I don’t know what else.

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