Verity released him and Jonas swore in dismay. He tried to reach for her to drag her close so that she could finish what she had begun. But the manacle chains went tight and Jonas opened his eyes, growling in frustration. What he saw nearly did him in.

Verity was unbuttoning her shirt. It quickly became obvious that she was not wearing a bra. She worked with tantalizing, excruciating slowness, letting the garment slowly open to reveal the soft curves of her br**sts. She didn't remove the shirt once she had it unbuttoned. She just let it hang free so that the fabric moved with her, alternately revealing, then concealing her rosy ni**les.

Jonas stared at her hungrily, wildly intrigued by the sight of the straining nipple that flirted with him from the shadows. She was as turned on as he was, he thought. That realization almost sent him over the edge.

But he couldn't let go yet, he told himself. This was too good to ruin with an early, unplanned climax. He wanted to see how far Verity would go. He had to find out just what she had in mind. When she reached for the soft whip in her pocket he shook his head wonderingly.

"You wouldn't dare," he whispered.

"Oh no?" She studied him closely, frowning in concentration. Then she extended the whip experimentally.

"I swear, Verity, if you try anything with that whip, I'll… Oh, Christ."

The velvet tassles trailed lovingly over his thigh and moved upward to tease his thrusting shaft. Jonas jerked backward in reaction. She dragged the tassles the other way, tangling his eager manhood in the little velvet strips. Jonas swelled to new heights.

"Not bad, for a psychic," she murmured with a small, teasing grin.

Jonas swallowed heavily and took another deep breath. "Verity, so help me, when I get free I'm going to make you pay for this."

"I warned you the night you tied me to the bedpost that one day I would get even."

She twirled the whip, letting it wrap him more tightly. Then she tugged gently and the tassles pulled briefly at Jonas before reluctantly uncurling.

"Verity, you don't know what you're doing." He could barely get the words out.

"Don't I?" She knelt in front of him and replaced the whip tassles with her hot, tight mouth. Jonas stared down at her head and waged a heroic battle for self-control. Every muscle in his body was strained with the effort. His whole world was filled with a flame-haired vixen who obviously considered him her private, personal property. He thought of his baby growing within her and he wanted to shout his triumph to the world. Just when he thought he would surely explode, Verity released him.

He breathed heavily, taking a step back from the edge and regaining a small measure of control. He watched Verity set down the silly little whip and unfasten her jeans. Jonas stared, hypnotized, as she shimmied out of the denims. She then stepped daintily out of her panties and Jonas gritted his teeth. He was going under fast.

When she moved away from him he gazed raptly at the sweet, sexy curves of her derriere. He could have studied the sight all day without growing bored.

But Verity had other plans. She was dragging the padded bench toward him.

"What the hell?" he demanded as she pushed the bench toward his legs.

"Open your legs," she ordered.

He did so reluctantly, uncertain what she had in mind. She maneuvered the bench between his thighs.

Jonas suddenly felt very vulnerable. He looked at her through narrowed lids. "Now what, Madam Torturer?"

"Sit down."

He obeyed slowly, discovering that there was just enough play in the manacle chains to allow him to sit on the padded bench. His legs were astride the seat. "Baby, you are going to be the death of me."

"You'll survive. Maybe." Her eyes were hot and shimmering with desire as she walked over to where he sat. She bent one knee and straddled the bench. She was only inches away from him.

Jonas inhaled the spicy, feminine scent of her arousal and thought he would go into orbit. Again he instinctively reached out to embrace her and pull her down onto him, but once more the manacles restrained him. He relaxed, swearing softly in frustration.

Verity settled herself carefully on his hips. She caught his shaft between gentle fingers, then she slowly eased him inside her softness. She took her time, allowing her body to adjust to the penetration at its own speed.

Jonas sucked in his breath and willed himself to endure the sweet torture. He could fee! the familiar, initial resistance, felt the soft, clinging folds clutch at him, and then he was all the way into the tight sheath.

He released the breath he had been holding deep in his lungs. Verity's fingers clamped onto his shoulders and her head tipped back as she began to move astride him.

Jonas was half-dazed. She looked so beautiful in her passion, he thought. Sweet and sexy and trembling with her desire for him.

She wanted him. Jonas had never been wanted or needed in his life the way Verity wanted and needed him.

" Verity." Jonas's voice was thick with need. He knew he would never last. She had him in her power and he was violently aroused, totally at her mercy. He didn't stand a chance. When her mouth came down on his, he thrust his tongue hungrily between her lips, searching out the hot darkness inside her mouth. He felt her tighten in that special way she did just before her climax. He heard the soft whimper in her throat, and his passionately tormented body gave up the battle for control.

Jonas didn't try to stifle the hoarse shout of satisfaction that accompanied his release. He gloried in the explosion that tore through him, pumping himself heavily into Verity's softness until he felt totally drained.

Verity collapsed against him, her head on his shoulder as she recovered her breath. There was a sheen of perspiration in the valley between her br**sts. Jonas relaxed deeply, enjoying the scent of her hair and the way the curls tickled his nostrils.

"So you love me, hmmm?" he drawled when he regained command of his voice.

"More than anything else in the world, Jonas." She didn't move.

"Not going to let any psychic groupie with hot pants get her hands on me?"

"You'd better not let yourself get into a compromising situation like that ever again," Verity warned fervently. But her eyes were gleaming with languid satisfaction as she raised her head to look down at him. "No telling how I might retaliate next time. Do you hear me, Jonas?"

"I hear you," he whispered. Then he tightened one hand into a fist and yanked hard on the manacle. The weak aluminum catch came apart with a snapping sound and his wrist was free. He repeated the action with the other hand.

Verity stared at his freed hands. She was outraged. "You were faking it. I thought I had you really chained. You could have gotten free anytime."

Jayne Ann Krentz Books | Suspense Books | Gift Series Books