“Slow,” I ordered. I was going to draw this out until we were both mad with the need to fuck.

She sighed, a sound full of relief and wanting, and lifted on her heels. Flicking her tongue lightly over the crown, she claimed her ground, a centimeter at a time. I would have closed my eyes, but I didn’t want to miss a second of her submission. I cursed inwardly at the painstaking pace I’d demanded. My instinct was to control her, tighten my grip on her hair, and move her over me in a series of firm thrusts that would take me over the edge. Fighting it, I loosened my hold and let her set the pace—one that was slowly driving me insane as I disappeared inside her warm, welcoming mouth.

Fuck. If it was possible to show tenderness this way, she was, with every tantalizing stroke of her tongue. Then she took me to the back of her throat, a blunt pause between the careful sheathing of my cock into her mouth. The sensation was electric, dizzying, and ignited a change in my own need—the need for something far from tender. Unable to hold back anymore, I gripped her hair, angling her, opening her farther so I could thrust. She moaned and I went deeper, quicker, until I was close. Too close for what I wanted tonight.

Today wouldn’t be erased this way. Simple release would only leave me hungry. I wanted to shatter her and let her tight little body shatter me too. Maybe somewhere in this fucked-up dance we could find some peace and sleep dreamless through the night. I needed to take her over the edge . . . with me . . . together.

I withdrew from her mouth. Her lips glistened, full and swollen. Her eyes were misty and heavy-lidded. Suddenly I was lost. Lost in the perfection of the woman before me. She was everything to me. Then a new and unwelcome thought began to haunt me.

God . . . what if they find a way to take me from her?

No—fuck no.

“Stand up,” I ordered softly.

She rose and I walked her to the bedpost at the foot of the bed.

“Lift your arms . . . higher.”

I helped her, hooking the small length of leather strap between her wrists to an obscured piece of hardware hidden at the top of the bedpost disguised as decoration. We were face-to-face, a breath apart. She lifted to her toes, her body stretched out beautifully in front me. I molded my palm to the ample curve of her breast. I skimmed down her rib cage, over her hip, and down her thigh. Admiring. Craving.

“It’s like someone carved your body out of my dreams. These . . .” Lowering my head, I took her nipple between my lips, flicking over the hard rosy tip with my tongue. I released her with a pop. “These are divine.”

With a breathy sigh, she bowed into the intimate kiss as much as her bonds would allow. I took more, sucking her harder, massaging the other until her sighs turned to moans. The hook that bound her above clanked. My little fighter . . . I loved her fight. Almost as much I loved breaking her down. Looping my arm around her waist, I drew her to me tightly. My teeth came down around her nipple while I twisted my fingertips firmly around the other.

She let out a small yelp, pressing her hips forward. The tortured groan that followed was an intoxicating mix. Pleasure and pain. I’d give her both tonight.

“I’m going to punish you now, sweetheart.”

She widened her eyes, her breathing growing rapid again. Her anxiety came in a flush of red across her cheeks.

“Not because you deserve it.” I paused, wondering how I could explain it—this game between us and what it really meant for me. I reached around her to the bed, picked up the blindfold I’d retrieved earlier, and positioned it over her eyes. “I can’t explain why, except that I need it.”

“Blake, it’s okay . . .”

She trapped her trembling lip between her teeth. My heart sped up at the sight. My sweetest gift, always so ready to accept this darkness inside me, to shine light on it until it became something different, something that was only ours. I thumbed her lip loose, covering her mouth with mine, taking her next breath for my own.

“How could I ever live without you?” I whispered against her.

“Blake.” Her voice was unsteady.

I squeezed my eyes shut, grateful she couldn’t see the pain inside me then. Fuck, I was losing control. That quickly, she’d brought the dominant in me to heel. Her willingness, her love.

I swallowed hard, backing away before I took her right then. Spinning her to face the post, I pulled her hard against me. She lifted, rubbing her ass against my cock. The smallest of touches made me crazy for her. I stifled a groan and returned to the drawer. Decisions had to be made, and I was hardly in a state to make a good one. Impulsively, I grabbed a flogger. The tails of this one were long and moderately heavy, designed to give her the pressure she’d been used to, which had never been especially light. We hadn’t toyed with this one yet, but I knew she could take it.

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