“And how is that?” he asked, pausing as if he were genuinely baffled that I would be angry at all. “How exactly am I upsetting you? Because I said I had to work rather than hike?”

I didn’t say anything, but that was answer enough for him.

“I have to work. I have a book deadline looming. I explained how hard I worked and how often when I interviewed you and you accepted—”

“Yes, I know! When I accepted this job. But that was before…”

“Before what?” Price asked, acting much more calmly and in control than I was. “Just because we have sex, doesn’t mean I can stop and play with you all the time. You knew this. I’m not the man who can give you the attention you clearly need. I warned you.”

“All your warnings were before we had sex. Before something more happened between us. Before we had a relationship… unless I’m the only fool who actually thought we had a relationship.” My stomach coiled and I almost wanted to throw up. What if he didn’t think there was anything more between us and I had just shown my cards. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter. But I’m due a day off, and I choose today. So, you have to go and get your own breakfast. I’m going out.”


Price stormed toward me and grabbed my arm firmly. “You are not going outside. So stop this nonsense before I take you over my knee and spank it right out of you.”

I snatched my arm away from him and took a few steps away. The pain in my gut nearly suffocated me when I realized that he didn’t even respond to my statement that something more had happened between us, nor did he say anything in regards to the relationship comment. It was what I feared. I was just a high-priced whore at his beck and call. That was what my job truly was.

“This isn’t working out. I’m not your whore. I’m not yours to just fuck and spank whenever you damn well please.”

“Tessa, take a deep breath and calm down.”

I was out of control. I could feel it. But I didn’t care anymore. My inner beast had been unleashed and she was wounded and bloody and wanted to flee.

“Don’t tell me what to do. You can’t tell me how to act, or what to say, or how to feel. You don’t own me. I’m not yours! I want to leave.”

“No.”

“You can’t just stand there and say no. I said I want to leave!” I shouted.

“And I said no.” Price never raised his voice once.

“Fine!” I stormed toward the door. “Then I will change my hike to a walk. I’ll walk into town and get home from there!”

“Do you realize how far it is?” he asked, almost mocking me.

“I don’t care if it takes me all fucking day! Anything is better than staying in this house like a captive at your beck and call.”

Without thinking, without looking back at Price, without grabbing a warm coat, or gloves, or boots, my temper and I stormed out of the cabin. I didn’t even have my pride.

Chapter Eleven

Price

I marched from one side of my office to the other in a frustrated fury. She’d gone against my wishes and refused to back down. Tessa. My sweet innocent and submissive Tessa. At least that’s what she was before feelings had gotten involved. Before we changed our dynamic of employer and employee. Now… well, now… she was just plain infuriating. She was a seductive, sensual, and stubborn woman. Not just a girl I’d hired to help me. Not just a girl I was fucking. There were emotions there. Relationship-type emotions.

I stopped at the memory of spanking and fucking her so many times by the fire, and ground my teeth, a futile attempt to fight back the craving, the desire, the need… the love. The girl I had hired had become a woman… whom I wanted more than anything. I wanted her even more than writing the words on paper that consumed me.

I paced the room again, fighting the urge to hit something. Why did she want us so badly? Why in the hell would she throw caution to the wind and still want me—knowing who I was and how I acted? She had no idea how much effort it would take to make a relationship work—if it was even possible with a workaholic like me.

I didn’t do relationships.

Fucked, yes.

Possessed, hell, yes.

Dominated, without a doubt.

But I did not do relationships.

Drawing my hands through my hair, I suddenly realized what it was that had me so upset.

She was hurt. I had hurt her, and her anger and outburst was due to that.

Fuck.

Fuck.

I stormed to the kitchen and grabbed a cup of cold coffee from earlier. Staring out the window, I sipped the sludge, wondering why I was so against the prospect of a future with her. If it were anyone else besides Tessa, would I just fuck her for now and have a good time? I knew the answer was yes. Why was I being such an ass and fighting her so hard on this? I wanted what she wanted too. And why the fuck had she left in a fit of rage because she didn’t like what I was saying or doing?

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