Mark’s hands cover the leather, enclosing my hands. “Look at me, Crystal,” he says softly.

His tone pulls my gaze upward, and I’m instantly trapped in his spellbinding steel-gray eyes. “Stop thinking about the cuffs. Start thinking about me owning you. Me fucking you. Me licking you until you’re whimpering with pleasure. That’s what this is about.”

I shake my head. “No. It’s not. It’s about control that you have, and I don’t.”

“You’re right. I’m in control. The monster I know you’re fighting is not. And don’t tell me there isn’t a monster. I’ve seen it in your eyes.”

I try to remember what I’ve told him in the past, but I can’t think. Not naked and bound and staring into his eyes. “We all have monsters.”

“But not everyone has the kind of monsters that I do. And you do. I know, Crystal. It’s how we connected in the beginning. It’s what gave me the freedom to be man, and not Master, with you. So whatever your monster is, I’m not letting it have you. You need to own it—and tonight, I own you. But until I know your monster, I’m only going to push you so far.”

“No,” I say quickly. “No, I don’t want that. I want you to just make me stop thinking. Don’t coddle me. Don’t act like I can’t handle this. You don’t know my history. I do.”

“Exactly. I don’t know. And I’m not pushing you to tell me, any more than I’m pushing you somewhere you might not be ready to go.”

This is why I don’t do men like Mark. They want to decide for me. They want to control what I think I can handle. I cut my gaze, wishing I’d never gone down this path.

His fingers slide under my chin. “Whatever you’re thinking about, stop.”

“I’m thinking you’re like every controlling man I’ve ever known. You think you know better.”

“You aren’t going to goad me with that remark, little one. Not even close. One minute you’re afraid—”

“I’m not afraid.”

“—and one minute you’re not. We can always go deeper later. But we can’t come back from me taking you too far too fast, and you shutting me out.”

“I won’t.”

“All right. Then right now, you think only about what I give you permission to think about.” He lifts my arms and presses my hands and my bound wrists behind my head. With my breasts thrust high in the air, I am instantly in the moment, aware of the vulnerability I’ve allowed myself with him. He holds on to the cuffs, his eyes meeting mine. “Don’t move them unless I tell you to move them. Understand?”

There’s a strong tug on my sex, and it becomes clear that while being trapped is hell for me, being this man’s captive is more than a little sexy. “Yes,” I whisper. “I understand.”

“Good,” he says. “Now. Back to what you have permission to think about.” His gaze lowers, caressing my breasts, then lifts. “My tongue on your nipples. My tongue licking your clit. My fingers inside you. The many places my mouth can, and will, explore every part of you.” He leans in and nips my bottom lip, the bite making me yelp. “And,” he continues, his voice lowering to a velvety smooth seduction, “the many ways I can make your need for pleasure hurt so good. And I can, Crystal. I promise you, I can.”

I moan at that naughty little promise of what is to come, and then gasp as he plucks off the shells on my nipples. The throb is instant, and I reflexively begin to lower my hands.

“Don’t,” Mark warns, his hand catching my elbow. “I said not to move them.”

Inhaling, I force myself to fully reset my hands behind my head, and “Good girl” slides from those dangerous, provocative lips. My response isn’t the indignation I expect, but something unfamiliar and erotic. I am hot all over, so very, very hot, that I want to rub myself against him and force him to take me now.

“There’s a price for disobeying,” he reminds me, his tone low and absolute.

“What kind of price?” I ask, remembering the threat of him turning me over his knee.

His lips, oh those seductive lips, curl. “My creativity is endless.” He’s quick to shut me down, telling me, “Open your legs.”

I hesitate, swallowing hard at the command that will leave me fully exposed, then shocked when he suddenly twines a rough hand in my hair above the cuffs.

“Don’t hesitate. I say. You do. I reward you with pleasure. Understand?”

“Yes,” I whisper, aroused by the erotic tug of my hair in a way that the me I know would never feel.

“Yes, Master,” he corrects.

My reply is instant. “No. I’m not—”

“Ms. Smith—”

“No,” I repeat, my tone sharper this time. “I am not calling you Master. And don’t you dare force me to say it in some moment of near orgasm, or I swear I will punish you.”

He stares down at me, his face hard, unreadable, and my heart is beating so fast it might explode from my chest. Suddenly, he smiles and shocks me by kissing me, deeply, passionately, intensely. “Did you know,” he says when he lifts his mouth, leaving me gasping for more, “that when I’m playing dominant, I never kiss in a scene?”

Surprised at this admission, I want to ask why he kissed me, but he’s already moving on. “And ‘no’ is no. I told you that. You don’t have to call me Master.” His lips curve. “Just as long as you know I am Master.”

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Inside Out Romance