• • •
I’m on the second level of the house, sitting at the kitchen island with a coffee in my hand when Chris walks up the stairs, looking dark and dangerously intense in black jeans and a black T-shirt with skulls on it that I suspect fits right in with his mood. I’m certain I’m right when he stops beside me, locking me in a smoldering stare. His hand covers mine on my cup handle and he brings it to his lips and drinks, swallowing with slow seductiveness. “I always like my lips on your lips.”
And just that easily, his lips might as well be on every intimate part of me, because I’m wet and wanting, and I can’t remember what I was worried about seconds before. “Chris,” I whisper.
He sets the cup aside. “Right here, baby,” he says, and before I know what he intends, he pulls me to my feet and tugs his shirt, the only thing I have on, over my head. A moment later he sets me on the island and spreads my legs, his hungry gaze sliding over my breasts, then lifting to my mouth. “Which lips do I want first, is the question. Why don’t I let you decide? Which comes first, Sara, baby? Your mouth, or that sweet spot right here”—his fingers slide between my thighs—“that I know will make you moan.”
My lashes lower for two beats and lift. “Both are very good choices,” I manage to choke out.
“Lean back,” he orders. “Hands behind you.”
Dark Chris is back. Commanding, dominant, sexy, troubled Chris. I like this part of him. I like it a lot. I do as he bids, leaning back, my nipples thrust into the air by the new position, and he is quick to tug me forward just enough to ensure that I’ll fall if I dare to move. He squats between my legs, his thumbs feathering over my inner knees, back and forth, with excruciating deliberateness. Back and forth. When I think I can’t stand it anymore, he leans in and kisses the delicate skin he was just touching, following his lips with his tongue.
I moan, just as he’s declared I will, and his lips hint at a smile before he leans in and blows on my clit.
I swallow hard, arching toward the touch he denies me, trembling when his tongue just barely flicks my nub. “Chris,” I pant; his name a demand that only assures I will wait longer.
He teases me again with another flick of his tongue. Just one before he’s blowing on me again, taunting me. I lift my leg to his shoulder, trying to drag him to me. He punishes me in that way that is so Chris, doing the opposite of my silent commands, standing just enough to hold my leg in place and lean over me.
“I decide when, Sara,” he reminds me. “You know that.” His lips brush mine, teeth nipping at my bottom lip. “I decide.” He drags his lips across my cheek, down my neck, then back up to whisper, “I love how you smell when you’re aroused.”
I moan again. “That would be almost always with you, Chris Merit. Stop teasing me.”
“What will you give me if I do?”
“What do you want?”
“You have it.”
He pulls back, staring down at me. “We both know that’s not true.”
Confusion furrows my brow. “Yes, you do.”
“No. But I will, Sara. I will.” He doesn’t give me time to ask what that means, sliding back between my thighs, lifting my other leg to his shoulders.
“Chris,” I whisper, and his name is both a question and another plea for his mouth on that sweet spot he’d teased.
He doesn’t deny me. He suckles my nub, drawing on the sensitive flesh softly but oh so deeply; two fingers sliding inside me. That’s all it takes and I am lost to the sensations, so ridiculously ready to come that as he begins to lick me in every intimate way possible, I am arching into him, pumping against his fingers, and spasming in barely a minute. I lose space and time, shivering and shaking with the intensity of my release, finally coming back to earth as Chris slides his fingers out of me, his hands bracing my hips, lips pressing to my belly. He lingers there a moment, his head down, his mouth on my skin, and I sense a struggle within him.
“Chris,” I whisper, imploring him to use me to take the edge off. My voice or his name seems to jolt him and he moves, lowering my legs. I think he’ll undress now and bury his emotion in me, but he shocks me by setting me on the floor.
His hands settle on my shoulders, and he leans into me. “Go get dressed. We need to leave.”
My eyes shut with the certainty that he wants to fuck me, but he won’t. This is about the control Chris believed he’d established over the painful loss of Amber, only to have Tristan rip it away. And I want him to feel in control. I want him to feel he can find peace right here with me, not across town with Isabel and a whip.
I attempt to snatch his shirt from the floor but he intercepts, grabbing it first. “No shirt. I like you naked.”
Crazily, as many places as I have been with Chris, nerves flutter in my belly at the idea of this gorgeous, dominant man watching me walk out of here naked. And I’m mad at myself for the instant ache in my sex, where I want him more in this moment than the one before.
“You’re evil, Chris Merit,” I accuse, trying to garner the courage to move forward.
“And for reasons neither of us quite understand, that’s just how you like me, baby.” He smacks my backside just hard enough to cause a little sting.
I yelp and launch into action, reaching the stairs and grabbing the hand rail, feeling Chris’s stare every step of the way. Just as I feel the pain beneath the surface of my hot, dominant soon-to-be husband. And I’ll spend a lifetime, if I have to, trying to make it go away.