“Undress,” Cruz said quietly, as if the statement was to be expected.
“Why?” I purposely allowed the odd question regarding death to drift away.
“Because I told you to. And because I need a muse. You’re the only person capable of providing the inspiration for my art.”
When I didn’t respond right away, he closed the distance, raking his fingers through my strands of hair. “I don’t know if I can do that,” I told him, feeling more self-conscious than I ever had before.
“You can do anything you want, Eden. If you don’t follow my order, there will be consequences.”
His choice of words triggered another bad memory, but his husky voice brought me down from the rails, the tingling sensations returning. He kept the camera in his hand, taking a few shots. I immediately placed my hands over my face, embarrassed at what he was doing. I’d always shied away from the camera even when I was young. Now the thought of being dissected left me with another fear entirely.
I closed my eyes, willing the impromptu session would end. Then I sensed his presence. I slowly lowered one hand then the other, easing hair from my face. When he lifted my chin with a single finger, the sparkle of his mesmerizing eyes pulled me into the moment.
“You’re beautiful, Eden. Without a doubt the most stunning woman I’ve ever seen. Just relax.” There was utter sincerity in his eyes and for a few seconds, I was sucked into a vacuum of believing him.
“I’m not a model.”
“I’m no photographer, but I have a keen eye for beauty.” He tipped his head over his shoulder, drawing my attention to the painting he was working on. I had to admit that he’d captured a reverent expression that glowed from his masterful artistry. He took a step away, snapping several additional pictures.
I knew I couldn’t hide or get away. After I made several funny faces, he gave me a stern look. Then he moved toward a bookshelf in the room. I had no idea what he was doing but when I heard ‘When I’m Gone’ by Katy Perry, I burst into laughter.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, resuming his task.
“I thought you more of a Frank Sinatra kind of man.”
“That will cost you, lady,” he growled. “Dance for me. Just relax.”
I’d stalled as long as I could. As I started moving, the dance beat was exactly what I’d needed. I started to move, finally closing my eyes, following the rhythm. As I shifted in circles, getting more and more into the music, a funny thought crept into my mind.
Maybe the ballet classes had come in handy after all.
I studied the room as I twirled, curious as to what it had been before he’d turned it into a studio. There were blank canvases lined up, hundreds of paints that had yet to be used. Thick drop cloths covered the entire floor, but only a few splotches of paint had marred their pristine condition. The man was fastidious in everything he did.
As one song turned into a second, I realized I was enjoying myself more than I expected. I knew he was continually taking photographs and when he issued his command a second time, I didn’t freeze in fear.
“Undress.” The single word was huskier, the tone creating a series of shivers.
I tried to pretend I was a stripper, taking my time twirling around him, blowing him several kisses. He laughed a few times, which encouraged me to continue. I kicked off my shoes then slid one strap of the dress off my shoulder then the other.
“That’s it. Perfect,” he murmured.
After a few more seconds, I was lost in the moment, enjoying the odd freedom more than I’d thought I would. I turned around the other way, shimmying until the dress began to slide down to my waist. When I threw my head over my shoulder, I realized he’d returned to his painting, constantly tossing glances in my direction.
I tugged on the silky material, easing it over my hips. As gravity took it to the floor, I bent over, grasping it between two fingers. There was such delight in his expression, taking away every aspect of his dangerous persona. I crossed my arms over my breasts before turning around, taking a few seconds to study the painting.
His skill level was extraordinary, the speed at which he was adding lines and colors unlike anything I’d seen. I couldn’t help but move closer, my heart skipping several beats.
He took a deep breath then turned his head toward me, his expression growing more carnal. “Finish the dance, Eden. Panties off.”
A tiny thrill coursed through me from the ragged sound of his voice. He was commanding in all things, determined to have his way. I swayed my hips back and forth as I slipped my fingers under the thin elastic, shifting to face the other direction as heat crested along my jaw. There was no reason to be embarrassed around him, but with him remaining fully dressed, the setting was even more provocative.
I slipped the thong down my hips and thighs, realizing just how wet they’d remained after he’d licked me. The scent of my release as well as the building desire assaulted my senses, creating another flutter in my heart. When I was fully naked, I didn’t have a chance to turn around before I felt the heat of his body rushing into mine.
He said nothing as he brushed a single finger down my neck to my shoulder, trailing it all the way down my arm.
“Do you trust me, Eden?”
The question seemed loaded. I cocked my head to the side, surprised the answer came so easily. “Yes.”
“Good.” He bent his head, nipping my shoulder as he continued to caress my skin. “You will need to.”
“Because I’m not a traditional artist.” He laughed as he backed away, but not before smacking me once on the bottom.
When I turned around, his back was to me. When he shifted back in my direction, I was shocked by what he had in his hand. A gallon of paint.
“I suggest you move,” he said as he gave me a wry smile.
I did so just in time before he splashed the entire can on the drop cloths.
“What are you doing?”
“Body paint, my beautiful girl. Lie down for me.”
“You’re crazy.” I glared at the turquoise paint and took a step away, noticing my feet were already covered.
“Oh, yes, I am. Humor me. I promise I’ll permit you to take a shower afterwards.” His grin could only be described as mischievous, another layer to the man.
“Hmmm…” I glared at the bubbling paint, biting my lower lip then crouching down.
“Lie on your back with your hair splayed out for me.”
“Very much so.”
As I eased onto my back as requested, I couldn’t seem to stop laughing. The substance was cold, my nipples immediately hardening. When I was in position, he straddled my legs, careful to avoid getting his feet wet.
Then he backed away, returning within seconds with another palette of paint, all fluorescent in color.
“I was beginning to think you were colorblind,” I half whispered as he knelt beside me.
“Only for certain things, mi diosa.”
“Did you live in Spain?” I asked after he selected a paint color, shuddering as he drew the soft bristle down the length of my stomach. I was guessing given his perfect Spanish accent. There was a subtle yet powerful difference that had allowed me to come to the conclusion.
“Yes, for several years.”
“Do you miss it?”
He hesitated only long enough to slide gaze to my eyes briefly. “At times. No more talking.”
I did my best not to make a sound, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him as he worked, finally getting me to sit up after at least thirty minutes. There was a gentleness about him, but I sensed it was as if he was a caged lion, prepared to break through the steel bars locking him away.
The crackle of electricity was stronger than ever, my heart racing as he painted every inch of my body. His hot breath trickled my skin, his eyes piercing mine as he swirled the brush around my nipples.
“No puedo esperar para follarte,” he half whispered.
“What did you say?”
He eased back, inhaling deeply. “I said I can’t wait to fuck you.”
His words stimulated me even more, keeping my nipples fully aroused.
“You can stand up now.” He backed away and I was amazed there wasn’t a speck of paint on his skin or clothes.
He positioned a light only a few feet away, flicking it on then switching off the rest. I hadn’t realized what he was doing. The fluorescent paint was electrified under a black light. I stood slowly, trying to keep from slipping on the canvas. As I moved, I realized most of the paint adorning my body had already dried. He turned on another dance song, shifting from one side to the other, snapping dozens if not hundreds of photographs.
While the moment of our passion had been freeing, there was nothing quite like dancing under a black light, completely able to be something I wasn’t.
I felt like I was floating, escaping the harsh confines of my past, all the fears and anxiety slipping away. In that period of time he captured my essence, I felt more alive than I’d ever imagined being able to experience.
“On your knees,” he commanded, and I instantly dropped, tossing my hair from side to side.
“Goddamn it, you’re beautiful.”
Every compliment he gave me, the brusque sound of his voice continued to keep my body and my pussy quivering. I struck pose after pose, opening my legs wider as I rolled my hands down to my breasts. When I pinched my nipples, the biting pain sent another rapture of explosion into every cell and muscle.
“Yes,” he growled more than once. Even over the music I was able to hear him panting, his needs reaching the boiling point.
I reached for him then jerked back, arching my back as I bent backwards. He captured every move, shifting all around me. When he’d moved to the front, I dropped to my hands and knees, baring my teeth as I crawled toward him, one hand after the other.
His chest heaved and after taking several additional shots, he lowered his camera. The look on his face was more savage than I’d seen, the black light accentuating his features, shadowing half his face. Yet there remained an eerie glow around him, encapsulating the man in an entirely different way.
He was unpredictable, which made him more exciting than any man I’d ever been with, but there was a draw to him that continued to terrify me. My growing affection wouldn’t just drive me into acting out the darkest sins. It would plunge me into madness just before dragging me into the fires of hell.
I knew that with as much certainty as anything else in my life.
And yet I wanted more.
I craved all the danger and the filth, yearning for the lust to take over every scrap of common sense.
When he put his camera aside, I reached for him again. This time, he rose to his feet, flicking another switch on the black light. As it started to strobe, I reared onto my knees, acting as if I was trying to claw him.
“You think you’re a bad girl, don’t you?” he asked as he jerked off his shirt.
“I know I am,” I said, issuing a series of purrs.
“You do know what bad girls receive. Don’t you?” He tugged off his boots, pitching them aside.
He said nothing as he stripped off the rest of his clothes. I continued to tease him, rubbing my nipples, blinking from the way the strobe became hypnotizing. The scent of sex was in the air, our raging desire more intense than it had been before. Inhaling, the scent of him was instantly intoxicating, my hunger reaching an entirely different plateau.
When he dropped to his knees, crawling toward me, I purred like a big cat, tempting the darkest predator of the jungle.
As I clawed the paint on the canvas, swinging my hair from side to side, he studied me without saying anything. But in the rich purple light that splashed over us both, I concentrated on the predacious look in his eyes.
He wasn’t just going to devour me. He was planning on eating me whole.
My entire body shuddered with raw need, the flashing images of him stealing a portion of my breath. As he crawled around me, I kept him in my sights, issuing growls of my own while he remained the silent enforcer.
My question remained unanswered as intended, the anticipation of what he was going to do more powerful than the act. He was coming closer. I gathered wet paint on my fingertips and when he came close, I raked my fingers down his face, using my nails to scratch his chest.
He let off several ferocious growls, remaining on the perimeter, circling me several additional times. When I swathed him in additional paint, he took several deep breaths, lowering his head to the floor.
I should have known he was preparing to strike. The second I shifted to the side, he grabbed my hair, sliding me through the paint until I was turned away from him.
“Bad girls get well used.” He shoved his fingers into my pussy, driving them deep and hard, rougher than he’d done before.
I shouldn’t want it this way, brutal and unforgiving, but I couldn’t find a way to tell him to stop. It was filthy and sinful, but I’d lost my ability to care about any of it.
“Do you like that, mi diosa? Do you crave having my fingers shoved inside your tight little pussy?”
“Yes.” Why lie? Panting, I did what I could to meet every brutal thrust, riding his hand as he shoved all four fingers inside.
“Yes, you like it rough. You like it when I defile you.” His husky tone washed over me, driving me my body closer and closer to an orgasm.
“Oh, God, yes.” When he shoved his thumb into my dark hole, I gasped. The pain was biting and as he pumped his entire hand with fury, I was shocked how aroused it made me. I was lured into blissful pleasure, no longer able to speak.
“Imagine what would happen if you were a good girl.”
He pumped harder, my pussy muscles stretching, clamping around the thick invasion and pulling his long fingers in even deeper. He wouldn’t stop pounding into me. The pain shot into raw ecstasy, a climax so close.
I longed to beg him for his cock, but I knew it was only a matter of time.
“Are you going to come for me, my sweet goddess? Or do I need to spank your pretty little ass first?”
“No. Yes, I mean.”
He laughed softly, bringing his hand down harder. Lightheaded, the arousal became too much to take. I exploded into an orgasm unlike any I’d ever had before, my bedraggled scream flowing with the tribal beating of the drum. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think clearly, a single climax shifting into a second.
“That’s it. Take more. Yes. Yes.” The darkness of his voice was accentuated. He tugged on my hair, keeping my head at an angle, still pounding into me. When he finally pulled out, I wanted nothing more than to drop to the canvas. He was having none of it. He thrust several fingers inside my asshole, stretching my muscles.
“Oh, God. Oh…”
“Do you really think God can help you now?” he asked, laughing softly.
The anguish was off the charts but within seconds, I was even wetter than before, so aroused my nipples ached. My body acted on its own, bucking hard against him, taking his brutal finger fucking and hungering for more.
After a couple of minutes, I couldn’t take it any longer. “Fuck me. Just fuck me.”
“Oh, I will.”
He pulled his hand away and I expected to feel his cock. When he cracked his hand against my bottom, I gasped.
“What are you doing?” I heard the demanding sound of my voice and cringed.
“Bad girls get spanked first.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong.”
He smacked me several times in rapid succession, the anguish unlike anything I’d ever felt.
“That’s where you’re wrong. You have a caustic mouth and refuse to follow my orders. That just can’t happen again. And I’m going to help you remember why.”
I opened my mouth to protest as he delivered eight swats, each one harder than the one before. The pain left stars floating in front of my eyes. “Oh. Oh. Oh.” My bottom was on fire, every inch of my skin exploding from white-hot heat searing my muscles. I couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. The pulsing lights kept me in suspended animation.
He shoved his fingers into my ass all over again and I let loose a mournful scream.
“I need to make certain your ass is well used.”
What he was doing was even filthier than before. It was sinful and wrong. Good girls didn’t crave having their bottoms fucked.
But I wasn’t a good girl and had never been.
After pumping several times, he resumed the spanking, but after several more I realized that I’d never been so aroused in my life. I was shocked how good it felt. That wasn’t possible. Panting, I closed my eyes, and the moment he drove at least three fingers into my dark hole my muscles clamped around them, making the slice of discomfort that much worse. Yet when the pain started to subside, I realized I was riding his fingers, wanting him to thrust harder. Faster.
He pulled all the way out, patting my bottom as if telling me I’d finally satisfied him.
Then he leaned over. “I am going to fuck you, my sweet Aphrodite. But all bad girls deserve the same thing.”
“What is that?”
“Being fucked in the ass.”
I was losing all rational control, incapable of determining right from wrong.
As if that had ever bothered me before.
But this was entirely different, a demon sucking out what was left of my soul, moving quickly toward my brain. The analogy stuck in my head, creating an eerie series of images.
My thoughts drifted to what she’d told me. Talon. Where the fuck did I know him from? Her analogy of the boxed warning with the rat was dead on, as it should be. Either her father or uncle had taught her more about the life than I’d originally thought.
Who the fuck had called her? Who the hell had dared to leave her a rat? My anger was spiraling out of control. No one was going to hurt my woman.
Was Talon a plant of some kind? His talent was questionable, if he’d even painted the pieces at all. It would seem I’d need to hunt down the young man and find out for myself. She wouldn’t leave this house. Period. Her workload and personal life were secondary. She belonged to me.
The thought remained in the forefront of my brain, and I had to laugh.
I’d gone from needing to destroy her to longing to protect her in a few days.
As the ominous light continued to strobe, I took several ragged breaths. I’d become nothing more than a goddamn animal, but the excitement of photographing and painting her naked body had ripped away the last of my humanity. I couldn’t care less that my actions were rougher than I’d ever been. I had to be inside of her. I wanted her full surrender, taking her in every hole. I didn’t give a shit at this point what it cost me.
I shifted my hips back and forth against her bottom, savoring the heat as well as the friction. The splash of color covering her entire body remained mesmerizing, allowing the beast to crawl from his lair without being seen.
Eden moaned, her entire body quivering from the raging orgasm. I’d never seen a woman come so hard. The scent of her desire kept my cock hard and my balls tight as drums.
As I rolled my hand between her legs, fingering her clit, she released a series of whimpers. Then I pinched the tender tissue between my fingers until she cried out.
“Are you ready for me, Eden?”
“Then tell me what you want.”
“Just fuck me. Please.”
That’s exactly what I intended on doing. I thrust the entire length of my cock inside, slowly lifting my head as the sensations overpowered me. Her muscles stretched then spasmed, clamping down around my shaft, drawing me in even deeper. I smacked her bottom twice more, enjoying the sensations covering my palm.
She moaned, wiggling in my hold. The woman could take what she dished out, hungering for more.
I gripped her hips, digging my fingers into her skin, wishing that someone was taking photographs of our lewd event. I was such a bad man. A smile crossed my face as I plunged into her again.
Then I kept a perfect rhythm, pounding into her with all the ferocity of a wild beast.
“Uh. Uh. Uh. Uh. Uh.” Her moans could be heard over the sound of the music, the drumbeats keeping time to the thumping of my heart. I couldn’t get deep enough, shifting the angle and slamming into her.
Even though I held her close, the force was enough to drive her forward. She clawed at the drop cloth, growling like a sweet pussy cat the lion had just ensnared.
I pulled out, slapping my cock against her bottom. Then she surprised me by breaking free, almost making it off the canvas.
Roaring, I dragged her back by her ankle, flipping her over then driving her legs open wide and back, crushing her with my weight. When I wrapped my hand around her throat, she blinked furiously, palming my chest as if a kitten kneading her master. I squeezed until she smiled. Then as I released my hold, she raked her nails down my painted chest as she’d done before. She could have no idea how much the slight pain enthralled me.
But I wanted more.
“Nice try.” I laughed as I lifted her leg, pushing one over my shoulder, kissing the inside before teasing her with my cock. I slid the tip up and down her slickened pussy several times, enjoying the way she whimpered. Then I thrust my shaft back inside, hissing as she purposely clenched her muscles around it, repeating the move several times.
The smile on her face was a clear indication she was trying to regain control. I lifted her arms over her head, wrapping one arm around both of hers. While she didn’t resist, I could sense the feisty woman had something up her sleeve.
I drove my cock in long and hard, fucking her like the animal I’d become. There was nothing like the pulsing strobe effect to keep the fire burning as my heart raced, the madness just under the surface. As her scent filtered into my system, keeping me fully aroused, every heinous thought I’d had collided together.
Perhaps I would chain her to the bed, keeping her naked until I was ready to leave town. The deviant thought made my cock even harder, swelling inside of her. She managed to undulate under me, trying to meet every hard thrust.
Panting, her eyes never left mine and I couldn’t help but wonder what she saw when she searched for my soul. Maybe I’d ask her that after I’d exposed her for what she was.
For now, I was content in fucking her harder. Faster. My pulse was in overdrive, the electricity unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I heard every sound she made, every whispered word.
I was far too close to coming. Not yet. Not fucking yet.
When I pulled all the way out, she gasped, immediately twisting her body.
I wasn’t gentle yanking Eden to her knees, forcing her onto all fours once again. I cradled my body over hers, preventing her from moving. As I lowered my head, yanking hers up by several inches, she laughed as if this was all a game.
Little did she know what I was doing to her, breaking her down bit by bit until she’d never think about running away from me.
“Are you ready, little girl? Are you hungry to have my thick cock inside your tight little ass?”
“Uh-huh. Do it. Just do it.” She was breathless, dragging her tongue across her lips.
“Your wish is my command, my beautiful goddess.” I pushed the tip of my cock into her dark hole, waiting as she panted from discomfort.
“Oh, my.” She shifted her hips back and forth, taking several gasping breaths.
“Does that feel good?”
“Just breathe for me. Remember what I told you. Sometimes pain is necessary in order to achieve the greatest ecstasy.”
“I don’t know,” she whispered.
I drove another two inches inside, pushing past the tight ring of muscle.
“Oh. Oh. Oh.”
“Breathe. Continue breathing.” I stared down at the fluorescent paint, mesmerized by the variation of colors. Then I drove the rest of my cock inside.
She screamed at first, her muscles twitching, doing everything to accept my wide girth. Then I sensed she was relaxing, accepting the invasion. I pulled all the way out, sliding into her again.
That was the last of being gentle.
I couldn’t hold back any longer. As I pulled out again, she clawed the drop cloth.
“You wouldn’t be trying to escape. Now, would you?”
“No,” she purred, but I knew better.
I wrapped one hand around her throat, digging the fingers of my other into her hip. Then I fucked her like a mad dog, driving hard and fast. My mind was in a fog, my thoughts just as filthy as they’d been before. I closed my eyes, driving into her brutally.
As she started to meet every hard thrust, arching her back, I issued a keening roar. Nothing had prepared me for the explosive sensations, the burning need that continued to build.
When I couldn’t take it any longer, every muscle aching from the tension of trying to hold back, I sucked in my breath and finally released, filling her with my seed.
But I refused to stop, pumping several additional times, enjoying the noises she was making. As exhaustion finally crowded into me, I rolled my body over hers, pressing my face into her neck, whispering my intentions.
“We’re not finished yet.”