“I’m not angry, Valentina. I’m numb. However, you disobeyed me.”
“I explained why, Diavolo. Maybe I just reacted to seeing the puppy almost getting crushed, but it was natural. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be kidnapped in the middle of broad daylight. I thought we were safe.” I moved closer, struggling to find words that might comfort him.
“Yet you were almost taken,” he huffed. His jaw was clenched and with every shake of his head, I could tell he was losing sense of who he was. Maybe I didn’t know him well enough. Maybe he’d been hiding the darkness from a stranger.
“Yes. I understand that now. You’re right. I underestimated your enemy. I won’t allow that to happen again.”
As he turned to face me, there was a spark in his eyes. “I’m going to help you remember and you’re going to ask me for it.”
I opened my mouth, a nervous laugh escaping. “Why would I do that?”
“Because you know you need it.”
A strange series of sensations coursed through me that I couldn’t explain or understand. Was I seriously debating that I needed punishment? I had no easy answer. What I did know is that he was teetering on a precipice, incapable of shifting from one side of his personality to the other. He’d chosen a side.
The dark one.
The seductive hunk I’d fallen hard for had shifted into the kind of man who’d remained in my nightmares for years.
“You will soon learn that I am as ruthless as my father because that’s what needs to occur. However, I am not cruel. My intention will never be to hurt you, at least not in the way you seem to fear. I’m not the monster you believe me to be and I’m not the asshole who hurt you all those years ago. I hope you can trust me enough to believe that.”
“I do. You’re right. I don’t live in this kind of world.” Why was he telling me this?
“There are rules to follow, ones that help keep both you and me alive. In truth, I believe you understand that more than most people.”
“I thought there were no rulebooks.”
He lifted his eyebrows as he walked closer. “You know exactly what I’m talking about.”
What was he insinuating? A lump formed in my throat. This wasn’t entirely about what had occurred outside the café.
“Meaning you studied the law. Right versus wrong. Good versus evil,” Diavolo said, his tone more dominating than before.
“Yes, that’s true. I just…” I debated what to do. This wasn’t as much about punishing me as it was making certain I knew how much danger I was in.
“Then ask for what you need, Valentina.” While his voice had softened, his expression was still stern. “I don’t want you hurt. I refuse to allow anything to happen to you.”
“Like it did to someone else.”
A split second of surprise mixed with a hint of fury slid into his eyes. Then it was gone. “That has nothing to do with this.”
Why did I feel like this was some strange turning point? All the emotions that I’d seen in him had been shoved aside. This was his method of healing, of protecting himself, not just me. Whoever he’d lost had kept the anger and darkness deep inside all these years. “Your father did something horrible that pushed you away permanently. Didn’t he?”
“Leave it alone, Valentina. Do not change the subject.”
We’d both been driven into a world that held little chance for a real future for either one of us. However, there was no denying the connection we shared, the longing to be together. I wanted to please him but more important, I wanted to feel the same intensity of freedom that he’d encouraged for as long as possible. “You’re right. I need to be punished.” As soon as I issued the words, a tiny thrill coursed through me, an entirely different set of electric jolts.
“Then ask.” As he reached for his belt buckle, his eyes sparked with lust. His nostrils flared as he allowed his gaze to fall to my feet, cocking his head slowly. “Ask.”
I felt ridiculous doing so, a bad little girl forced to admit her bad deeds, but the excitement of it continued to surge through me. “Please. Spank me.”
“One more time.” As he started to pull the leather strap through the loops, that’s all I could concentrate on, my mouth suddenly dry. He stopped, waiting until I lifted my gaze.
“Please. Would you spank me? I’ve been a very bad girl.” Shivers skated down my spine.
“It would be my honor. Remove your clothes and lie on the bed on your stomach.” Even his commanding voice was enticing, sending several small tremors through my system.
My fingers fumbled as I shifted the dress, pulling it over my head. I kicked off my sandals, noticing that he was watching me intently. I returned my attention to the thick leather strap, trying to control my breathing. Until Diavolo, I’d never craved something like painful discipline. With him, everything was entirely different.
I laid the dress on the chair, suddenly feeling more naked than before even though I had on lacy panties.
He pointed to them almost immediately. “Take them off. I’m going to spank you on your bare bottom.”
Shuddering, I closed my eyes, shimmying the thin material down my legs. The dull ache in my stomach had shifted to a flutter once again, but as soon as I lowered my panties, I realized just how damp they were. Everything about the man aroused me, even now. When I was fully undressed, I moved toward the bed, following his orders. This was crazy. There could be enemy soldiers prepared to surround the property and he was insisting on spanking me.
He walked closer, taking several scattered breaths before shoving a pillow under my stomach. I bit back a laugh as I realized just how many spankings I’d depicted in my books. While I’d tried to describe the series of emotions, the slight nausea from anticipation, I was beginning to doubt I’d managed to depict the actuality very well. I was terrified and elated, struggling to breathe while my heart raced.
Diavolo brushed the tip of a single finger down my spine, slowly allowing it to fall along the crack of my ass. The dichotomy of his emotions, the difference in who he’d been and what he’d been forced to become only added to the kind of desire that shoved me close to an edge I wasn’t able to grasp onto. If I wasn’t careful, I’ll fall off the edge. Or maybe I’d already done that. The worry I’d felt, the tumultuous emotions had only made me realize how much I cared about him.
No, how much I already loved him. I hadn’t been prepared for the depravity of my feelings or the seriousness of what that would mean.
I closed my eyes, wrapping my fingers around the comforter, pressing my face into the material. He pressed my legs apart, allowing his fingers to dip between my thighs. The second he flicked the tip back and forth against my clit, I wiggled my hips.
“You’re already so wet, mi belleza. I think you’re enjoying this. In fact, I think you’ve hungered for my firm hand since your last spanking.”
How could I lie?
But that was the only pleasure I’d receive until he was finished. When I heard the snap of his wrist, the whooshing sound as the belt was sliced through the air, I took a deep breath. The sting was slight, barely registering, but I took several shallow breaths, surprised the pain wasn’t more intensified.
He didn’t hold back, cracking the strap four times in rapid succession. The shift from a light discomfort to raw anguish rolling through me took my breath away. I kicked out, twisting my hands around the comforter, trying to keep from screaming.
When he pressed my legs down, tapping my bottom with his hand, I bit down on the material, refusing to allow anyone to hear anything or I’d become completely humiliated. He caressed my bottom tenderly before resuming, cracking the belt with such rapid precision that my breath was stolen.
I jerked up, rolling all the way over, panting like a crazed animal. “That hurts. You bastard.”
Diavolo lifted a single eyebrow and I’d be damned if he didn’t have a hint of amusement in his eyes.
“I thought you understood by now that harsh punishments are supposed to hurt. How else can they be used as a training method?”
“You’re a bastard.”
For a split second, the horrific tension faded away, his dark chuckle sending shivers down my spine. He forced me back into position, using his hand to smack my butt several times.
“If you move again, I will start over. Fifteen more.”
Fifteen? It might as well be fifty. As he snapped his wrist again, a moan escaped. I concentrated on keeping my mouth shut and my body following my mental orders, shocked as the blinding pain kept me overheated, so wet my pussy was quivering. There was no way I was enjoying this.
But I was.
I buried my face in the comforter, realizing after three more strikes that I’d opened my legs even wider, as if begging him to discipline me. This was sensuous and intimate, a rush unlike our other moments of passion.
As he eased his hand between my legs once again, I felt the tension releasing from inside, pushing away if only for a little while.
“I’m going to fuck you.” His statement did exactly as it had before, sending a thrill through me, every inch of my skin on fire. He slipped several fingers past my swollen folds, flexing them open as he pumped in a rapid rhythm. How the man knew exactly where my G-spot was I had no idea, but as I fell into a dreamy state, panting like a wild animal, nothing else mattered.
I writhed on the bed, twisting and turning as he continued thrusting, forgetting we were in the middle of a perilous situation.
When he pulled away before I climaxed, I whipped around, gasping for air, ready to launch into him. Yet as he peeled away his shirt, exposing his chiseled abs, all I could do was suck in my breath. He’d already tossed the belt, his eyes never blinking as he stared at me. There was such ferocity in his gaze, his hunger off the charts.
I rolled over and pitched the pillow away, crawling backward as my mouth began to water. It was difficult not to take gasping breaths from the sight of the deep V. He was tormenting me, taking his time pushing his trousers past his thighs, kicking them aside. No man should be built with such precision, every muscle toned to utter perfection. With the brightness of the afternoon sun, I was able to study the intricate ink covering his arms and chest.
The art made him look entirely dangerous, as if he could crush a man with his bare hands. Maybe he could, the photographs of the opponents who’d lost in a boxing match highlighting his abilities and strengths. Maybe he was a killing machine after all.
When he was fully undressed, I tried to crawl off the other side of the bed, teasing him as he’d just done to me. His massive hand was around my ankle in a split second, yanking me all the way to the other side. Without a hitch, he crawled on top, straddling my waist and dragging my arms over my head.
“You know you can’t get away from me,” he said in a low, husky, and ultra-sensuous voice.
“You might be surprised. I have many talents.”
“Hmm… Then I guess I’ll need to keep you locked in a cage. That would suit me just fine.”
“If you think a cage can hold me, buster, you have another think coming.”
He allowed me to see his moment of amusement before his eyes darkened once again. He wrapped both my wrists with his large hand, holding me in place as he shifted between my legs. The weight of his body was almost crushing, but I wanted him there. I needed to feel the hard ridges of his body. I longed to be able to touch him, holding him for hours.
As he rolled his hips back and forth, his thick cock pressing against my stomach, I issued several scattered moans.
He held me tightly, a sense of urgency flowing through him. There was something almost desperate about his increasing hunger, enough so he branded my skin with his fingertips. There was such a crude, primal expression on his face that I was taken aback. My core pulsed, the burning heat searing every nerve ending, tiny bottle rockets still going off in my brain.
He continued to hold my arms captive as he kissed me hungrily, allowing his fingers to roam up and down my chest and stomach. There was a new roughness to him, a dire need that I hadn’t felt before. As he pinched my nipple, twisting until I moaned into the kiss, the throbbing beat between my legs cascaded into an eruption of desire.
I wrapped my leg around his thigh, the shift allowing the friction we shared to increase exponentially. He pulled away from the kiss, growling as he rolled his lips to my jaw, sliding them back and forth before nipping my lower lip. Then he continued his exploration, shifting his hand to my stomach, rolling the tip of his finger around my belly button.
“Are you hungry for me?” he whispered as he dared to slide his fingertip around my clit just once before pulling it away.
“I can’t tell, mi belleza.” He repeated the action, swirling it around my tender tissue three times before yanking his hand away.
“God. Yes. Please.”
“Still not enough.” He thrust a single finger into my pussy, wiggling it back and forth as my muscles clamped down.
“Oh, God. Please. Just fuck me. Just fuck me.”
The heat became more combustible, the hard thrust of his hand pulling me into the sweetest bliss. I bucked hard against him, panting freely as the pleasure becomes so intense I was forced to bite back a scream. My stomach muscles were coiling, my heart racing to the point I couldn’t hear anything but my ragged pulse as blood rushed through my veins.
Diavolo continued taunting me, driving his finger in with such ferocity I could no longer breathe. “Do you want to come for me?”
“And you’ll be a good girl?”
At this moment I would promise him I’d lasso the moon if he would allow me to experience the sheer indulgence of bliss.
“Yes. I’ll do anything. Everything. I don’t care.”
He chuckled, adding two more fingers, purposefully driving me to the crazed heights of pleasure. The moment he rolled his thumb around my clit, I lost it, the orgasm slamming against me like a Mack truck.
I was lost, floating in time and space, uncertain whether I was screaming or whimpering. Lights flashed in front of my eyes, flickering in such wild colors I was forced to clamp them shut.
Gasping, I tried to jerk up from the bed, but his hold was too strong. He continued pumping for a full minute until I whimpered from the sensitivity. When he rolled his slickened fingers across my lips, I opened my mouth without being asked.
He pushed them inside, chuckling darkly as he finger-fucked my mouth. “Do you taste how wet I make you?”
When I managed to open my eyes, everything remained hazy, but there was no denying his carnal expression. There was more as well, an emotion that I was unable to read but one that was so powerful, I was locked into his soul for a brief few seconds. He lifted my leg, bending my knee, pushing it against the comforter. Then he positioned the tip of his cock against my wetness.
Once in position, he cupped my chin, holding my head in place as he thrust his cock inside, my muscles struggling to accept his huge girth.
“Oh, yes. Yes…” Panting, I writhed in his hold, trying desperately to free my arms. As he pulled out, I moaned from the loss, dragging my tongue across my parched lips. The taste of my cum lingered as well as his heated kiss. Everything about the man was intoxicating, pulling me into a heightened level of pleasure. As he thrust in and out, I swore the man never blinked, longing not to miss a single thing.
I couldn’t seem to get enough air in my lungs, moaning every few seconds as he became more forceful. He finally released his hold on my arms, shifting onto his elbow. The switch in the angle drove me close to another orgasm. The bed rocked from the force he used, matching the vibrations dancing through me.
He was so intense, his muscles tensing. I was pushed into the sweetest nirvana, his actions playing me like a fiddle. I was tossed into another raging orgasm, pushed to the limits, my core shattered as the most unimaginable pleasure rolled through me. The moment was perfect, the heavy jolts of electricity becoming all consuming.
There was no way to hold back, the orgasm stealing my breath, my vision completely blurry.
“Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Every thrust was brutal, skin slapping against skin. As one climax shifted into a second, I felt weightless, unable to think clearly. I ached all over, the pleasure unimaginable.
When I sensed he was about to come, I squeezed my muscles, rewarded with the raucous sound of his intense growl as he threw his head back.
There was danger all around us, soldiers that he could never place his trust in, his family lost to a vicious game, yet in each other’s arms, we could pretend the rest of the world didn’t exist.
For a few precious minutes.
Being lost in his arms was special, the only place I wanted to be, but I was no fool. There was no chance at the perfect little HEA I provided in my stories, no running off into the sunset after killing the bad guy. This was real. This was frightening.
This was deadly.
Diavolo slowed, resting his forehead against mine, beads of his sweat trickling down onto my face. I close my eyes briefly until I realized I no longer felt the weight of his body.
“Don’t forget, mi belleza, you belong to me. And don’t worry, my sweet flower. We’re just getting started.”