“Remove your clothes.”
I was startled by his command, his words said so softly I wasn’t certain I heard them correctly. “What did you say?”
“I think you heard me, Shannon. Do I really need to repeat myself?”
No longer able to feel my legs, I remained like a freaking statue, reminding myself several times about the damn contract. No wonder the payment had been so damn high.
He leaned forward, shifting his glass from one hand to the other. “Perhaps I should rephrase my command. Remove your clothes or I’ll be forced to issue harsh punishment. The choice is entirely up to you which you would prefer for the evening. Pleasure or pain.”
The fact he’d left the decision up to me was crazy, but as my throat closed shut, leading to a few minutes of claustrophobia, I made my choice, one I hoped I wouldn’t regret.
I took a purposeful step away, my hands shaking. In my mind I was cursing him in the three languages I knew, but I dared not repeat the words out loud. He remained in the same position, his eyes shimmering as if he’d just won a round of poker. So much of me wanted to peek behind his mask. Huffing, I closed my eyes as I unbuttoned the dress, counting to twenty as I peeled it away, slowly pushing it down past my hips. When the material slipped past my fingers, I couldn’t stop the damn whimper escaping my mouth.
“Open your eyes and look at me,” he commanded.
Damn him. Damn everything about him. Still, I obeyed, opening my eyes and giving him a hard glare. That only seemed to amuse him.
Now I was in a pure white bra and panties, feeling more self-conscious than ever, but the way he was looking at me suggested his hunger had only increased.
I knew better than to argue with him. When I started to turn around, he shook his head.
“Never hide from me. Never.”
The velvety tone of his voice skittered through me, sending a rush of butterflies into my stomach. He never blinked as I unfastened my bra, trying to be sexy as I pushed first one strap then the other down my arms. I heard the sound of my skipping breath as I slowly tossed the tight confines. Removing my panties was even more difficult, but I managed to slip my fingers under the thin elastic, rolling them down my legs. By the time I kicked out of them, I was shaking like a damn leaf.
“You are stunning, Shannon. Please turn around for me.”
“That’s what, Shannon? Not acceptable? Not what you signed on the dotted line for?”
For all his intense seductive methods, his arrogance remained just below the surface. I reminded myself that there were just two months and thirty days left. Two million dollars. He wouldn’t be able to break me. Not now. Not ever.
I turned around slowly, able to do so without stumbling or cursing at him. When I sensed his approach, I did everything I could not to flinch. Everything about him was so masculine, his scent a combination of woodsy foliage and rare spices. What surprised me was the way he slid a single finger down my spine before moving around me, stopping long enough to pull strands of hair over my shoulder, tangling his fingers in them.
He said nothing as he took my hand into his, guiding me back toward the table. When he slid his arms around me, cupping my buttocks then lifting me by a few inches, several moans escaped my lips. The second he pushed me on the surface of the table, I had difficulty catching my breath.
“What are you doing?” I managed, struggling to say the words. Stars floated in front of my eyes, my blood infused with a blast of heat unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.
Frederick leaned over, planting his hands on either side of me. “You made your choice. I’m providing you with the kind of pleasure that will leave you breathless. Then I’m going to show you exactly what fucking is supposed to mean.” Without any hesitation, he yanked my legs open, forcing my knees to bend as he pushed them back against the table.
“Oh. Oh…” I dragged my tongue across my lips as he blew across my pussy. My muscles clenched, my body trembling as I stared up at the ceiling. A mixture of emotions raced through me. I wanted to scream at him, then laugh. Then cry. Finally, I bit my lower lip preventing any sound from giving away just how anxious I was.
A long, drawn-out, and very low growl left his lips as he yanked the chair back into position, sitting down with a hard thud. He brushed the tips of his fingers along the insides of my thighs, taking several deep and exaggerated breaths.
While I wanted to see everything he was doing, I couldn’t move. I was frozen, pointing my toes in some crazy effort to look as pretty as possible. When his touch became rougher, kneading my legs then darting his tongue around my clit, that’s when I jerked up from the table, gasping for air.
The stars remained floating like beacons of light, but I was unable to focus and all from a simple yet powerful touch. When his guttural sounds increased in volume, I arched my back. He continued to tease me, swirling his tongue in lazy circles then sucking on my tender tissue. He repeated the sinful action several times until I was aching from need.
“So sweet. I bet your pussy is as tight as it is wet,” he breathed.
“Are you ready for me to lick you, to drive you to the edge?” he asked.
“Yes.” God, yes, I was. Another wave of embarrassment hit me, only adding to the apprehension. I wanted to run and hide, pretending none of this had ever happened.
When he buried his face in my pussy, I couldn’t hold back a scream. Embarrassed, I pressed my hand across my mouth, tossing my head back and forth. Every sound he made as he feasted on me was animalistic, the way he drove his tongue deep inside already pushing me to a delicious and filthy edge. I was lying on a beautiful mahogany dining room table being eaten like I was dessert.
My skin was on fire, every muscle electrified from his actions. He took his time, licking up and down in a practiced manner. Every twitch of my muscle, every move I made, I could tell he was watching. He made the intimate act seem like a crafted art, yet it was so easy for the man. When he toyed with me using his fingers, prickles rose to the surface of my skin.
I was tossed into a sublime space, allowing myself to enjoy what he was doing. I should feel nothing but humiliation, even hatred for the man, but how was that possible when he was bringing every cell back to life? There was such a fire burning within me that I was fearful I would explode.
He slipped a single finger inside, thrusting in and out slowly, effortlessly. As he did, he returned to sucking on my clit until the little nub had to be three times the size. I continued to tingle all over, vibrations shifting up and down my legs. When he added a second and third finger, flexing them open immediately, my pussy muscles captured the thick invasion, pulling them in even deeper.
“I… This is…” I laughed, still tossing my head back and forth.
“Are you beginning to understand what pleasure can mean?” he asked in his ultra-sexy voice.
“Yes. God, yes.”
Laughing softly, he blew another swath of hot air across my stomach before returning to what he’d been doing. I was immediately sucked into a wave, my body jerking as a climax started tingling my toes. He seemed to understand every nuance, exactly how to use his tongue to drive a woman insane.
The rapture became overwhelming, my senses bursting from the electricity. When I could hold back no longer, I jerked up from the table with a strangled scream.
He dug his fingers into my thighs, opening my legs as wide as they would go. His guttural sounds matched my labored moans, the noise swirling around us. I tossed my head back and forth, slapping my hands on the table. The rattle of dishes only added to the sinful fantasy and within seconds, a single climax burst into a giant wave. I was shocked at the level of vibrations as beads of perspiration trickled down the sides of my face.
“Come again for me, Shannon,” he growled, lapping up and down the length of my aching pussy. There was no possibility I could deny his command.
“Ah. Ah. Ah!” This time my scream was silent, only breathless whimpers escaping my mouth. I had no idea how long the raging orgasm lasted, but when I slowly fell against the table, I closed my eyes, the sweet release and euphoria unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
He refused to let me go, licking one inner thigh then the other. Then he moved away, leaving me aching and riddled with confusion. I’d never been given this kind of pleasure and a significant part of me wanted to beg for more, but no words formed in my mouth. When I heard the sound of the chair being scraped across the floor, I opened my eyes, searching for him. I watched in fascination as he moved the candelabra off the table, taking his time to remove several of the dishes.
“Move to the center of the table,” he commanded, his request completely unexpected.
He gave me a harsh look, shaking his head. “Never question my demands, Shannon. This is your final warning.”
Panting, I struggled to comply, sliding backward then resting my head. What the hell was he planning?
“Close your eyes and keep them closed,” he added, remaining in the shadows as he usually did.
After taking several shallow breaths, I did as he asked, trying to remain calm.
“Arms over your head.”
His tone of voice was sensual, so commanding, the hint of danger boosting the level of excitement. When I slipped my arms over my head, I lowered my legs, trying to pretend this was a normal event.
“Tsk. Tsk. Return your legs to the original position. I need to see your glistening pussy. The sight entices me,” he whispered in a deeper, more seductive tone of voice.
I realized I was shaking as I tried to follow his orders. I’d never felt so open or exposed in my life. After a few seconds, I realized he was going to make me wait, testing my patience. Then I sensed him as he moved closer, taking his time walking all the way around the table before stopping beside me. When he brushed the tips of his fingers across my chest, I held my breath.
“You have beautiful yet delicate skin. Perfect in every way.”
I wasn’t certain if he wanted me to say anything. “Thank you.”
“Mmm… Pleasure and pain. The combination is also perfect. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I… I wouldn’t know.”
“Soon, you will learn.” He swirled the tip of his finger around my nipple, pinching and twisting lightly.
The discomfort was instantaneous, but almost immediately sweet bliss followed. I arched my back, biting my lower lip. He chuckled, raking his manicured nails to my other breast, repeating the action. While my breathing remained ragged, I felt so alive, burning with energy.
“When you do, you will never be able to accept anything less. Breathe for me, Shannon. And relax.”
I did as he asked, now able to take deep, even breaths. There was a sudden sensation, one that added to the confusion. I twisted my head toward him, trying to figure out what he’d done. Then as I felt it again, I realized. He was pouring drops of hot wax on my breasts.
“What do you feel?” he asked.
“Warmth. It tickles.”
“Interesting.” Several other drops fell directly on my nipple, the first hint of discomfort not unpleasant. When I moved my arms, all he had to do was growl. I shifted them back into place, intertwining my fingers together.
Several additional drops were trickled over one nipple then the other. I was shocked how filthy and delicious the sensations were. A few seconds passed before he repeated the action, this time drizzling all the way down my stomach. I was finally able to feel a slight burn, the pain not unbearable.
“Do you appreciate quotes?” he asked seconds later.
“I’m not certain what you mean.”
“Oh, come now, Shannon. A woman of your intelligence must appreciate quotes from great artists and writers.”
I was surprised at what he was asking. “Yes, my mother used to quote several authors.”
“One of my favorite quotes is by Rene Marie. ‘I think vulnerability and sensuality, they are two sides of the same coin.’ What do you think about that?”
“I think…” I had to give the quote some thought. “I think that while there is a possibility, vulnerability is often mistaken as weakness.”
“I agree with you; however, while vulnerability is often taken advantage of, those who truly understand the meaning of the word enjoy the beauty and intimacy that sharing such experiences allow. You are vulnerable, Shannon, but not to the throes of society or the difficulties of finding what you consider to be a stable place, but in accepting the woman who dwells inside.”
As with other statements he’d made, this one was thought provoking. It was also terrifying for reasons I wasn’t capable of comprehending at this moment. Even more fearful was that everything he’d said drew me closer, my desire increasing for a man who savored every moment of his power.
“I am stronger than you think,” I managed, squirming on the table, almost desperate to know what he was planning on doing.
“Yes, but you have no method of trust, including with regard to yourself. Trust is vital. Often lifesaving. Do you think you can trust me?”
There was no way I could answer without angering him, but it was obvious he wanted the truth, no matter how painful. “Maybe.”
After a full thirty seconds, he chuckled, the sensual vibe only adding to the building level of apprehension swarming through my mind. I wanted to reach out, to know he wasn’t going to leave me alone. The ugly truth was that I longed for his touch, no matter how inappropriate it might be. I wasn’t just his employee. I was his protégé, a woman he intended on molding to his needs, exposing the very vulnerability he’d quoted. I wasn’t certain I would be able to handle what he had in mind.
“Also fair enough. Trust is earned, isn’t it, Shannon? But on this night, you need to place your welfare in my hands. That will be an important lesson for you to learn. Now, breathe for me. While I have full control, I have no intentions of causing you harm.”
There was almost an ominous sense to his tone, but the test was one I was determined to pass. Although there was no immediate additional movement, my instinct told me he was watching me carefully, calculating whether or not I had the strength to handle the damaged man he’d become.
Both in business and in pleasure.
Why had he chosen me? Was this all about Granger? Or was there something even more destructive that he had in mind?
I swallowed then controlled my breathing. When I sensed his approach, I tried to keep completely still. While he was an intimidating man, he was also exposing what some might call a weakness. Maybe in that alone, he was sharing his greatest strength with me. The tickling of the hot wax awakened every nerve ending all over again, the trickle slowly moving down my naked stomach.
“Keep your legs wide open for me.”
Another command. Another test. I pressed my knees against the cold surface, biting my lower lip as the stream oozed down even further. He circled my bellybutton with the substance, then moved even lower until I was certain he intended on pouring it down my pussy. My instinct was to bristle, pulling away in order to protect myself. Would he have the nerve to create another kind of anguish?
I managed to stay in position, although I wasn’t certain how. Fear slammed into my chest, making breathing difficult. I clamped my fingers against each other, my nails digging into my palms until the pain in my hands was the only thing I could concentrate on. When he lingered, dripping wax from one side to the other, only inches away from my tender tissue, I almost lost it.
Then I knew he’d pulled away. I finally took several deep breaths, straining to hear anything. The gothic music was almost too much for my scattered mind, a series of lust-filled thoughts rivaling the good girl I’d always tried to be. While I tried to take comfort in the stunning concerto, every muscle remained tense.
When I felt the light brush of his fingers swirl through the heated wax, I couldn’t stop myself from opening my eyes. He hovered over me, stimulating my already electrified nerve endings with his gentle touch. As he continued painting me with the wax, the world seemed to float away. The rugged man now completely naked, I was stunned at the appearance of his chiseled body, muscular in all the right places. Even more surprising was the vivid ink adorning his shoulders and chest, the design the most colorful symbol of the phoenix I’d ever seen.
He twisted his head as he gazed down at me, his chest heaving. There were no words that needed to be said as he lowered his head an inch at a time until our lips were mere centimeters apart. I quivered all over, finally unable to resist touching him.
I thought he would recoil at first, his body tensing as I crawled my fingers down the length of his chest. The roughness of his skin indicated a massive scar, the ink hiding the injury beautifully. Tensing, his breathing was ragged but he didn’t pull away, nor did he chastise me for breaking the rules.
After a few seconds, he pressed his lips against mine, holding the position as he gently opened my lips, darting his tongue just inside. I was drawn to him even more than before, finding myself lost in the moment. There was suddenly no light or sound, just the quiet we shared between us. Somehow, he’d managed to break through several other defenses, allowing my guard to fall.
Allowing him to seduce me with his actions as well as his words.
He hadn’t forced me into anything, yet his act of seduction was meticulously played out. As the kiss became more passionate, I wrapped my arms around his shoulders, entangling my fingers in his hair. I was perplexed by his tenderness, uncertain if he was Jekyll and Hyde himself. Yet as the moment of intimacy continued, all thoughts about business or the contract faded away.
A single growl indicated his hunger was increasing, his need to devour every inch of me becoming difficult to control. He dominated my tongue, wrapping one hand around my throat as the kiss continued. When he squeezed, I pushed hard against him, the little voice inside my head reminding me I was at his mercy. He could do anything he wanted to me. Could I trust him? Hell, I couldn’t even trust myself or my judgments as of late.
He raked the same hand down my side, lifting my leg and tossing it around his hip. Then he shifted hands, easing my other leg into the same position. At that point, our combined passion took over, my desire exploding deep inside.
I slid my hand down his chest, wrapping my fingers around his thick, throbbing cock. He was huge, large enough I wasn’t certain his shaft would fit. As I stroked up and down, every muscle in his body tensed.
After breaking the kiss, he took several gasping breaths before issuing another command. “Slide my cock inside of you. I need to fuck you just like I promised.”
The moment I pushed the tip past my swollen folds, he took control, thrusting the entire length inside of me.
“Oh. Oh!” I was shocked at the intensity of the electric current racing through me, igniting every cell. My blood pumped wildly as he pulled almost all the way out, slamming into me again.
He planted both palms on the table, able to observe my facial expressions. As he plunged deep inside, thrusting hard and fast, my breath was stolen, my mind a huge blur. I clung to him, the force he was using brutal enough plates crashed to the floor, the jarring effect only adding to the building desire.
Growling, the sound savage in nature, he never blinked as he watched me, his eyes darkening. The pleasure became so intense, I was thrown into a fog, but within seconds, an orgasm rushed into my system.
I locked eyes with his as the climax exploded, surprised by the wry smile crossing his face. Unable to hold back any longer, the wave of rapture spilled over me, encompassing every inch of my body.
“Yes. Yes!” I tossed my head back and forth, gasping for air as the explosive moment charged through me.
Frederick continued pumping, yet he’d slowed his rhythm, drawing the single climax into a second. Then a third. I lolled my head, unable to keep from moaning softly. When my body finally stopped shaking, I realized I was purring like a cat, completely and utterly satisfied. I was blown away as he pressed kisses against one cheek then the other, dragging his tongue across my jawline then to my lips.
“I’m not finished with you yet,” he whispered before nipping my earlobe.
My mind was slow to react as he moved off the table, but when a cold chill shifted down my spine, I reached for him, the ugly realization he’d crawled off the table disturbing.
He took several deep breaths before snapping his hand around my ankle, jerking me down then off the table, flipping me over the edge.
“Oh. God. Yes, I…” Nothing I said made any sense. I clawed at the surface, struggling to catch my breath, shuddering when he rolled his fingers all the way down my spine. When he slid a single finger down the crack of my ass, another whimper escaped my mouth.
“Now, I fuck you.”
His tone was even more gravelly, his hot breath adding gasoline to the raging fire. He fisted my hair, yanking until my head was pulled off the table. Then he rammed his cock inside, my pussy muscles clenching and releasing immediately as they stretched to accommodate his girth.
I was shocked at the difference, the man pounding into me like a wild beast, my body turning into a ragdoll.
He didn’t stop, the force he used shoving my waist against the edge of the table. My breathing came in pants, my heart thudding to the point echoes were in my ears. Every grunt and growl he issued pushed me further into a rush of euphoria, the sound of skin slapping against skin replacing the music. Somehow, noise made from our carnal fucking was even sweeter.
Every action he took was predatory, the brutal nature of our coupling what fantasies were made of.
As the passion continued to roar between us, I could feel myself letting go, surrendering if only for this magical moment in time. Somehow, I knew this was just the beginning.
This wasn’t just about molding me.
This was about breaking me until I was prepared to surrender.
When I sensed he was ready to come, I squeezed my muscles and closed my eyes, smiling as beads of perspiration trickled to the table. My mother had warned me about playing dangerous games. What I’d come to realize was that the one he’d created wasn’t just risky.
It was going to be treacherous.
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