When the water stops running, I know Niko’s about to get out of the shower. My pulse quickens at the thought of him stepping through the door at any moment. He may be the one man who truly frightens me, not because I fear what he could do to me, but because I’m afraid I’ll like it so much, I’ll surrender my will entirely. I have to find a way to get what I want, without allowing him to take over every aspect of my life.
Settling back against the pillows propped up behind me, I cross my legs at the ankles, hoping my pose looks suitably casual. I don’t want to let Niko know he’s got my head spinning. There’ll be no negotiating with him if he senses he can just take what he wants. And a part of me really is tempted to let him do whatever the fuck he likes with me.
My heart thuds a little harder, as Niko steps out of the bathroom, a white towel wrapped around his waist. He isn’t shy about his body, but then, why should he be? He’s tall and muscular, with everything in perfect proportion. His thighs are thick and powerful, his torso perfectly toned. He has biceps that would put any bodybuilder to shame. Scars and tattoos mark his pale skin, a testament to the battles he’s fought and the crimes he’s committed. Some women might be turned off by the patch of discolored flesh just below his belly button, but not me. I recall the day he took that bullet. He stepped right into the line of fire to protect Timofey. Some dumb Croatian fuck had tried to shoot his way out of trouble when my brother caught him stealing from us.
That was the day I first took notice of Niko. Before then, he was just one of many big, muscular brutes who work for my family. But when I saw him lying on a table in our guardroom, while one of our medics worked on him, I was struck by the almost angelic nature of his features. Sure, his body is that of a brutal enforcer, but his soft mop of blond hair and big blue eyes lend him an air of innocence. His expression is generally forbidding, but when he smiled up at the young woman who was tending his wound that day, I saw nothing but light.
It makes him all the more dangerous, that boyish charm. It would be easy to underestimate him. But he’s no teddy bear.
I watch as Niko goes to the dresser. If he’s surprised I’m still here, he doesn’t give any indication of it. He likely knows me well enough to realize I’m not the type to run. He rummages through a black washbag that’s sitting on the dressing table, and finds a comb, which he drags through his hair. He doesn’t speak, and doesn’t use the mirror to so much as glance back at me.
The onus is on me to start the conversation.
There are things I want to say but I have no idea how, so I decide to act. Getting up from the bed, I walk over to him. He doesn’t look at me, but his shoulders stiffen, showing he isn’t oblivious to my approach.
“Nicky.” He turns to look at me, and I give him my back. “Unzip me?”
His response is an indecipherable grunt. I sweep my hair over my left shoulder, out of the way. His fingers brush against my back, sending a shudder down my spine, as he slowly slides the zipper down. When he reaches the small of my back, I move away. Glancing back over my shoulder, I let the dress slip from my body and step out of it, leaving a pool of lilac satin on the floor behind me. I go to the bed and pick up Niko’s belt. Deciding it’s now or never, I hold it out to him.
“What is this, lapochka?” His tone is cool, but the heat in his gaze is enough to sear my skin.
“I want you to spank and then fuck me.” I walk back toward him, purposely exaggerating the sway of my hips. “Tonight, I will submit to you. I’ll do whatever you say. Then, we’ll see.”
Niko cocks his head to one side, as though considering. “A test run?”
“You want to try me out, like some new toy you bought?” A twitch at the corner of his eye is the only indication he’s displeased. His hand shoots out and wraps around my throat. He backs me up against the wall, fingers squeezing my neck. There’s no real pressure, and I could break free if I wanted to. I don’t try to fight him off. He’s testing me, just as I am him. For several long beats he studies my face, searching for something. He wants submission, so I let my gaze drop to the floor. Niko releases his grip on my throat, but grabs a fistful of my hair. I yelp as my scalp pinches. He pulls me to the dresser. “Bend over, ass out. Watch in the mirror as I master your body.”
I don’t think I’ve ever been so turned on by mere words. Or, should I say, the promise those words hold. My pussy gets wetter and my clit gives a flutter of appreciation for Niko’s dominant tone. Getting into position, with my legs parted and my butt pushed out, I grip the sides of the dresser and stare defiantly into the mirror, my eyes meeting his. Niko sucks in a breath. He got my message loud and clear.
Show me what you can do.
He positions himself behind me and to the left. Swinging the belt, he lands a stinging blow in the middle of my ass. He didn’t start out slow, trying to ease me in. I wouldn’t have wanted him to. It’s not as if I’m some feeble little thing he picked up in a club. He knows I can take it. The impact hurt, but it didn’t come close to testing my tolerance for pain. He’s going to have to try harder than that if he wants to prove himself worthy of my submission. I glare up at him in the mirror. “Is that all you’ve got?”
The wicked grin that spreads across his face tells me the challenge I laid down has been accepted. “Be careful what you wish for, lapochka.”
He pulls his arm back farther this time, and the wide leather strap whooshes through the air. Seeing it coming makes it hard not to stiffen, but I keep my muscles as loose as I can. The belt cracks across the full width of my butt, drawing a hiss from my lips.
Okay, that one was harder.
Pain ripples out from the point of the impact, and I grasp the sides of the dresser, my knuckles whitening.
As Niko gets into a rhythm, whacking the belt against my left buttock and then the right, I settle into it, too. Heat blooms across my backside, and the ache grows to a point where I have to grit my teeth. Still, it’s nothing I can’t handle. What is starting to trouble me, though, is the wetness between my thighs, the ever more urgent need for him to sink his cock into me. A certain vulnerability comes from knowing he has the power to deny me that pleasure. I find myself desperate to avoid disappointing him.
“Your ass is so pretty, lapochka, with my marks on it.” Niko’s voice is strained, as if his desire is close to overwhelming him. It’s a feeling I share. “You’re taking your spanking so well.”
“Too well, perhaps,” His voice holds an ominous note. “Spread your legs wider. Push up on your toes.”
Following his instructions, I move my feet apart and raise myself up on my tiptoes. A thrill surges through me as Niko’s breath hitches. He’s so calm, collected, utterly unfathomable most of the time—but he’s affected by me. Each time I do as he says, I gain a little more power over him. By the time I’m done with him, he’ll be the one on his knees.
A split second before the belt flicks up between my legs, I realize what he’s planning to do. There isn’t time to brace myself for the vicious bite of the leather, and I shriek as pain radiates through my pussy. “That hurt!”
“And so will the next two.” Amusement curves his lips, as my eyes widen in horror.
“Hold still, and keep those eyes on the mirror.”
With the next lash of the belt, my mouth drops open, and I gasp loudly.
That was nasty!
I blink and stare at my reflection as my vision blurs, tears welling in my eyes. My hair’s a mess, and my downturned lips suggest abject misery, but as I catch sight of Niko’s appreciative gaze, I feel a surge of excitement. Even when I’m in this state, he still desires me.
“One more, then I’ve going to shove my cock in you and make you scream.”
His words set off a scintillating throb in my clit, despite the prickling pain caused by being struck in such a sensitive area. The final crack of the belt between my legs pulls an agonized groan from deep inside me. Agony twists into pleasure, and I blink back tears. Shedding them would relieve some of the pressure, but I’ll die before I let Nikolai Morozov see me cry.
I don’t have time to process the strange, opposing sensations, as Niko grabs my hip. I sag forward, dropping my head onto my arm, as he impales me with a single, forceful thrust. A gentler man might give me a moment to adjust to being filled with his enormous cock, but Niko isn’t the type to show mercy. Wrapping his fingers in my hair, he pulls my head up, forcing my back to bow.
“Eyes,” he reminds me, and I watch in the mirror as he withdraws and slams back into my quivering body. He fucks me hard and fast, at a relentlessly savage pace. I don’t try to match his rhythm. I just hold on and accept the ruthless pounding. The woman in the mirror is one I barely recognize. She isn’t in control. Her eyes are glazed, her mouth contorted, as she’s assailed by bone-melting pleasure. She doesn’t look like me.
The arousal I’m experiencing is so intense, I can barely stand it. The pressure builds, as I hurtle toward a climax. I’m close, but then I feel a pang of something I can’t explain. It’s not regret so much as it’s… a wistfulness. For a split second, I wonder what it would be like if Niko made love to me, with care and affection. He’s not the type to go slow, I guess. I think I prefer it like this, anyway. He’s claiming me with an animalistic savagery, and there’s an honesty in the act. We have no tender feelings for one another, so why pretend?
“Fuck, Mila, you’re amazing!” Niko releases his grip on my hair, but slides his hand around my throat once more. He pulls me back toward him, so my head rests on his shoulder. I swear I hear the frantic rush of blood through his veins as he furiously pumps his hips, driving into me with a force that steals my breath away.
“Nicky…” His name comes out as a tortured moan. I’m close, but not there yet. I push my butt back, hoping he’ll take the hint. Fortunately, he does, his hand sliding down from my throat to curve around my breast. His fingers find the hard peak of my nipple and he yanks on it, sending a wave of pain straight to my core, where it detonates into pure, unadulterated bliss. As an earth-shattering orgasm crashes over me, I shout something incoherent. My legs shake, but Niko’s arm around my chest holds me up. He drives his cock deep and then stills. With a feral grunt, he spills his seed. As warmth bathes my insides, reality returns with a bang. Breaking free of Niko’s grasp, I whirl around and slap him, hard, across the face. For a moment, I think he’s going to hit me back. His fist clenches at his side, but it’s not anger I see in his expression. No, it seems from the sad eyes, the crinkle at the bridge of his nose, that I’ve wounded him.
“What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?”
“No, ty svin’ya.” He did cause me pain, but no more than I could handle. “You came inside me.”
His frown deepens. “I thought you were… protected.”
I put my hands on my hips and glare at him. “We had that discussion, did we?”
“No, but you got that shot, yes?”
I don’t know whether he’s guessing, or if he actually knows I get regular injections of contraception. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s aware of my entire medical history, since it’s his job to be up to speed on everything happening within our family. “I am, but that’s not the point.”
“I’m clean, Mila.” He comes toward me, arms wide. It’s a placating gesture, like he’d use when trying to wrangle a wild animal. “I’m sorry. We should have discussed it, but you caught me by surprise.”
“So, you’re blaming me, because I asked for sex?” I’m spoiling for a fight, and know it’s because, in the aftermath of our intimacy, I feel vulnerable. It’s what I always do. I wreck relationships before they have a chance to develop. Being aware of what I’m doing doesn’t stop me trying to smash everything apart. I have a self-destructive streak a mile wide. “It’s my fault you’re an inconsiderate asshole?”
Niko shakes his head. I guess he knows what I’m up to, as he pulls me into a hug, seeking to offer reassurance. I struggle for a moment, but he runs a hand up and down my back and coos, “Shh, lapochka. It’s okay.”
Allowing him to soothe me, I settle into the embrace. I don’t want to play my usual games with Niko. I’m going to try to make this work. “Just don’t take anything for granted where I’m concerned, Niko. I don’t like it.”
“Understood, Mila. In future, I make certain.” His accent, loaded with regret, is thicker than before. I snuggle against him, this big Russian bear, and then step back.
“What happens between us stays private. If you embarrass me in front of the Brotherhood, this ends. I can’t lose the respect of our men, Niko.”
“Of course. This is personal, the rest is business. We keep them separate.”
“Okay, then.” Satisfied we’re on the same page, I smile. “I’m going to shower before we leave.”
As I turn, Niko puts a hand on my shoulder, arresting my movement. It’s a light touch, but possessive all the same. I look up at him, and he leans in close, kissing my forehead. The tenderness is at odds with his harsh tone as he speaks. “You do that, lapochka. But just so you know, that slap will not go unanswered.”
A frisson of excitement whispers over my skin. If Niko thinks his threats are going to make me behave, he’s in for a shock. I liked it when he spanked me, more than I thought I would. It wasn’t so much the act itself, as the sense that, finally, I’ve found someone who may be able to hold my interest.
“Yes, Nicky,” I say as I saunter off, wiggling my butt at him. “Whatever you wish.”