And with her arms crossed in front of her, she prepares to lift her shirt over her head, but I stand abruptly and stop her, gripping her wrists.

Her skin is hot to the touch.

“I want to do it,” I tell her softly. Slowly, she releases her grip on the hem and I circle her, taking my time to observe how the shirt, hitting just below her ass, is more tempting than I’m sure she thought it would be.

“You didn’t try to impress me, did you?” I ask, although the light in the room shines off her freshly shaved legs, smooth and glimmering.

“This is business, Cross,” she tells me and I simply nod.

“It is.”

Making sure not to touch her skin, I grip her hem and lift the shirt above her head, revealing one inch of skin at a time. The movement is achingly slow. Her body quivers as I let a single finger run along her side. The lone touch causes such a strong reaction in her, and it only makes me that much harder for her.

She doesn’t look at me; instead she stares straight ahead, but she doesn’t cover herself either.

She’s fucking beautiful. Every inch of her. From the freckle on her lower stomach, to the pale rose pink of her nipples. Her hips are wide enough to grip during a punishing fuck, and her ass begs me to smack those perfect curves.

Time ticks as I circle her one more time. “You’re beautiful,” I whisper and the small compliment does wonders in relaxing her stiff posture. “How long has it been since someone’s told you that?” I ask her, standing in front of her and allowing my gaze to roam to her hazel eyes.

She blinks and her lashes seem thicker, her lips fuller, her chestnut hair ready to be fisted as I kiss her. Everything about her is fuckable and desirable.

“I don’t know,” she whispers. Her eyes drift to the blanket and then look back to me. “It’s been a long time.”

I search her expression for an idea of just how long, but she doesn’t give an answer.

“Lie down on the blanket.”

Her shoulder brushes my arm as she obeys.

The blanket moves under her slightly, but her entire body is positioned in the center of it.

Using the longest section of the thin rope, I lift up her thighs, making her knees bend so I can lay the middle of the rope under her ass. I secure her hands with the remainder of the rope on either side of her with a simple bondage knot. I’m effectively making sure she won’t be able to reach up. Half the rope is knotted around her left wrist where it slips under her thighs, right below her plush ass and the other half is knotted around her right wrist. Perfect.

“I’m going to put a weighted blanket across your ankles,” I tell her as I pull it out of the bag, reaching past the sealed bottle of ethanol and one of the two candles.

“Why?” she asks, and I answer easily in an attempt to calm her nerves. “So you’ll have a resistance to lifting them up. It’ll make everything feel more intense.”

With the weighted blanket laying across her ankles, she’s bared to me, bound and somewhat calmer than I imagined.

“You fought very little tonight,” I note.

“Learning the ropes,” she answers softly, opening her eyes for the first time since she looked down and saw the rope twined around her wrists.

“You’re going to enjoy this,” I tell her, lightly brushing my fingers down her stomach. When I do, I hear the weighted blanket rustle, but her legs stay still, immobilized from the weight. Her shoulders shudder and her head lifts slightly before falling back down into a halo of brunette hair.

“I’m ready for you to answer my question,” she says confidently. As if we’re in an interview and she’s not bound on her living room floor, available for me to do whatever I’d like to her.

Her breasts are perky and full; taking them in my hand, I play with their weight and bend down to suck her nipple into my mouth. I moan around her nipple and then let my teeth drag up them. One, and then the other.

Bethany lets her back arch and her body sways to the side, moving further from me as she puts her weight on her left hip. Pushing her back down on the blanket, I blow across her nipple, chilling the moisture I left there and she sucks in a shuddered breath, her head falling back and a sweet sound of rapture leaving her lips.

“I’m going to take my time touching you, playing with you,” I say without acknowledging her earlier remark. “Does that scare you?”

“What are you going to use from the bag?” she asks me and a slight laugh slips from my lips.

W. Winters Books | Romance Books | Irresistible Attraction Series Books