I kiss her and nip her bottom lip. “I know what you need.” And what she needs is to know that she can trust me. That falls on me to show her that she can. And I’m going to do that, by proving to her that York doesn’t get to come to bed with us. I know her past, and I won’t punish her with it by treating her like she’s a delicate flower she fears I will.
I’m going to spank her.
It doesn’t come easily when you’ve been burned, hurt, even punished by someone you love. And Emma has been. By her family. By her ex.
For that reason, I could shelter her. I could make this spanking a barely-there experience for Emma, a small little moment that is here then gone, but that’s not what she needs. That’s not what we need. She needs control, and while that might not seem like it amounts to submission and a spanking, the truth is, it does for her. York drugged her. He invited others to help him gang-rape her. She’s terrified that me knowing means that I won’t be me with her. She’s terrified that she can never trust again, that he’ll always be here with us, a ghost of her past that won’t let us be free.
Which is exactly why she needs this to be about more than the spanking.
It needs to be about us. It needs to be about control.
What she wants.
I drag her mouth to mine and kiss her, my hands sliding over her body, molding her close. “Jax,” she whispers. “I want—”
“I know what you want, Emma.” I roll her to her back and pin her hands on either side of her head. “No means no. Stop means stop. You say those words, I stop. You have the control. Okay?”
“It’s okay to want to stop.”
“I know that.”
“No. You think it’s all or nothing, baby, and while that’s true about many things, including us, it’s not true when it comes to sex. A little.” I kiss her shoulder. “A lot.” My cheek presses to her cheek, my lips at her ear. “A taste.” She shivers, and I pull back. “It’s all good. It’s all right. It’s not all or nothing.”
“I want it all.”
“It doesn’t have to be now.”
“You aren’t going to do it, are you?”
“I am, Emma. I am going to spank you, but if you think a spanking is about a fast and hard punishment, then I don’t know why you’d even want it, aside from proving a point. We aren’t proving a point.”
“This is me trusting you, Jax, and I do not trust easily.”
“Trust is not submission. It’s about you knowing, absolutely knowing, I won’t take you any place you don’t want to go and that if I read you wrong, you know that I’ll listen if you say no, and I will stop. Because I don’t get to do anything you don’t let me do. And I don’t want to do anything, I won’t do anything, that isn’t for your pleasure. This is us. We define us.”
“Yes,” she whispers. “We define us.”
“Good. Don’t move your hands, or I will punish you.”
“Punish me?” She gives a nervous laugh. “How?”
“Spank me?” she asks, her raspy voice a sexy and somehow sweet play on my nerve endings. God, I want this woman. Over and over and fucking over.
“Or maybe I’ll just stop doing what you want me to keep doing. Don’t—”
“Move my hands.”
I study her a moment, searching her face in the dim light, ensuring she’s ready for this, that she wants this, that there’s no hesitation in her. Nerves, yes. I see those in her eyes. I feel those radiating off of her, but not fear or hesitation. I lean in and kiss her and then release her hands. Mine travel down her arms and slowly find her breasts, my fingers teasing her nipples until my tongue replaces them. She arches into each lick and suckle and I take my time, teasing her nipples, teasing her, because a spanking isn’t about the spanking. It’s about knowing it’s coming, the anticipation burning you alive. It’s about wanting it and dreading it and wanting it all over again.
“Jax,” she whispers, and then her hand is in my hair.
I catch it, and I press it back to the mattress. “I said don’t move. One warning. That’s all you get.”
“I want to touch you.”
“And you will. Soon. Don’t move, Emma. Because when you do, I will stop what I’m doing, turn you over and spank you now instead of later.” I kiss her, and it’s no gentle kiss. It’s rough and demanding, and when I tear my mouth from hers, a sound of frustration leaves her lips.
“Just spank me now.”
“Not a chance in hell, baby.”
I kiss her again, my lips lingering above hers. “What are you thinking about?”