Sighing, I relax. “Thank goodness.”

“All is well,” Mark assures me. “And since we have a little time . . .” He opens his desk drawer and reaches inside, shocking me when he sets a black pouch the size of his palm on the desk. “Come here, Ms. Smith.”

My fingers dig into the arms of the chair. “No.”

“Come here, Ms. Smith.”

“What are you going to do?”

His stare is a pure, white-hot challenge. “What do you want me to do?”

“That’s not the same bag as before.”

“This is one of the items from the bag. I’m going to show you the rest later.”

“Why?”

“Because I said.”

“That’s not a good reason.”

“It’s the only reason you’re getting. Come here.”

“Shouldn’t we be leaving? Just to be safe.”

“After you come here.”

There is something about dominant Mark that does funny things to my body. Heat rushes through me, and my skin warms all over. It’s arousing. And confusing. Why do I want to do what he demands? Can I take orders and still be my own form of alpha?

I study him, this man who affects me like no other, this man who is not my type at all.

I find myself standing without consciously deciding to do so, but I manage to delay my advancement. Pressing my fingers to the edge of the desk, I make darn sure we’re clear that I’m making this decision, not him. “I’m going to come over there—but only because you’re really sexy right now.”

He laughs, low and deep, and the sound is sin and sex. “Is that right?”

“Yes. It’s because I want you—and only because I want you.” With those final words of bravado and my pulse jumping like I’m skydiving without a proper parachute, I walk around the desk.

Mark rolls his chair back just enough to allow me to stand in front of him without touching him, then rolls forward, trapping my knees with his, his hands settling possessively on my hips. “No one talks to me the way you do.”

“No one tells you you’re sexy?”

“I don’t invite conversation with women. Or anyone, for that matter.”

“Like the way you don’t like to be touched?”

“That’s right. But every time I’m with you, Ms. Smith, you yank out another page of that rulebook.” He wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me sideways onto one leg. There’s something immensely erotic about sitting on his lap, how the delicious male scent of him surrounds me, and the thick ridge of his erection presses against my hip. He reaches up, his fingers caressing my cheek, then finding my hair, and a light tug leads my mouth to his. We breathe together and I don’t know what is happening to me with this man. He’s both night and day, good and bad, in all the ways every girl wants a man to be bad.

His lips brush mine, a soft caress. I feel him like hot sun blistering my skin in one moment, and a cool breeze soothing the burn the next. I feel him in every part of me. I want him next to me, inside me, everywhere. I need him everywhere.

“You,” he whispers, “are like a drug.”

“Is that good or bad?”

“Both, in all the right ways.” It’s as if he’s heard my thoughts about him.

I’ve never been so connected to a man, so in the same place, at the same time.

He strokes hair behind my ear, then drags the velvet bag to the edge of the desk. “Open it. There’s something for now, and something for later.”

My throat goes dry at the “later,” due to his warning that he wants more than a simple fuck. “This part of you makes me very nervous,” I tell him.

He frames my face with his hands and stares at me. “I’ll push you, but I will never, ever hurt you.” He scoops up the bag and hands it to me. “Open it.”

Nervous, but ridiculously aroused by this little game we’re playing, I open the bag and reach inside, my hand trembling a bit. I dump the contents onto my palm. Two small balls, about twice the size of a pencil eraser.

“What are they?”

He turns one over, showing me the opening on the back. “To cover your nipples.”

“Clamps?”

“No.” He rolls them in my palm. “These are soft plastic with no clamping. Just some suction.” He takes them from me and positions my backside against the desk, his hands returning in that possessive way to my hips. “All they’re going to do is remind you that I’m thinking about licking them, every second we’re not alone.”

My lashes lower with the rush of sensations his words create. “You probably shouldn’t talk to me like that.”

“Why is that?”

I look him in the eyes. “Because we have to leave.”

His sexy, sensual, so-damn-scrumptious mouth curves. “That’s the idea in doing this now.” He tugs down the zipper at the front of my dress to expose my lacy red bra, which he shoves down in a swift, easy move. His thumbs stroke my nipples and I have to press my hands to the desk to keep from touching him.

One of his hands cups my breast and he leans in and laps at the already stiff peak, making my sex spasm. I bite my lip and moan, already wet and aching, wishing he were inside me right now. He licks the little plastic ball and then places it on my nipple. I suck in a breath and there is pressure, but as he promised, no pain. His tongue flicks the plastic, sending darts of sizzling pleasure to all parts of my body.

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