"Uh." Kallie's face heated. Why couldn't those floorboards crack open and let her disappear? Where was a good earthquake when you needed one? How much had he heard?
"Yes, Kallie, you do resemble her," he said in an even tone. He'd definitely caught Simon's comment. Her face was probably red enough to light the room.
"Oh. Well." I look like an old girlfriend. Reassuring at first, then rather uncomfortable.
He set his foot on the couch beside her hip and leaned forward, his forearms braced on his knee, studying her until she had to force herself not to squirm. His masculine scent had the tang of a high mountain forest, clean and compelling, but he was intimidatingly close. She edged back against the couch cushions, realizing that after flinging her to the wolves, to Jake, Simon had abandoned her without a word. Her heart thudded inside her chest, more loudly than any spanking or whipping going on.
"I had planned to leave you alone," he said, half under his breath.
Well, that hurt. "Then go." She made a shooing motion with her fingers.
"But then you planted yourself in here. Asked questions."
"I won't ask any more." If her heart would only slow down, she'd be able to think. "I don't want to know anything at all about you or your girlfriend, okay?"
"She was also my submissive," he said, his voice deep. Rough as a talus slope and as dangerous. "I was her master. Do you know what that means, sprite?"
Mouth too dry to answer, Kallie shook her head. Master?
He stroked one finger along her jaw, slowly enough that she could feel the warmth, the uneven skin of a man who worked with his hands. The strength. "I like the way you heat under my touch," he murmured, then looked Kallie right in the eyes. "It means she did what I ordered her to do. Always. If I told her to strip and bend over the bed so I could take her from behind, that's what she did."
She could feel how his hands would hold her in place, his cock hard between her legs, demanding entry and... The air had completely disappeared from the room.
He gripped her chin, keeping her head tilted up, revealing her face. "I could tell her to lie on the bed with her legs spread, and no matter what I did, no matter how long, she wasn't allowed to come."
Kallie felt a burn start in her nether regions. And couldn't help wondering what he had done. How had he touched her?
His eyes crinkled, and he rubbed his knuckles over her cheek. "You're flushed, little Kallie."
"I..." She put up a hand to push his away.
"Don't. Move." The command swept over her like a strong gale bending the trees in its path, pinning her into stillness. Her body froze...and yet grew even more sensitive. Awake. In fact, she'd never felt like this before...and he'd not even done anything.
He chuckled. "Little submissive." With both hands, he grasped the front of her shirt and pulled her to her feet. "Simon was right. You do want to play." It wasn't a question.
Her heart pounding, her eyes captured by his, she tried to back away, shaking her head. "No. No, really."
"Don't lie to me, Kallie," he said ever so softly, yet all the spit in her mouth dried up.
She averted her gaze and tried to think. She'd wanted him since the first time she saw him. Now she might have him. But here? How brave was she?
She'd never deliberately done anything really outrageous in her whole life, always tried to fit in and not rock the boat. But right now she wanted to swamp the boat completely. If she did some "you know" with Jake this one time, her cousins would never find out. Her lips curved up. And my dreams will be very interesting. God, yes, I want to try it. But when she looked back at him, at his level gaze, the words stuck in her throat, and she managed only a firm nod.
"Good enough." His sky blue eyes darkened as if storm clouds had rolled in. "We're playing together only this one time. Only tonight."
"I know." Jake Hunt's infamous "one night only" rule. With the women he dated, months would go by before he'd call again, and everyone knew he wanted physical intimacy without emotional commitment. But at least he didn't try to lie about it like some guys. She could handle it. "Not a problem."
He studied her for a long moment, as if to judge her sincerity. "All right then." One corner of his mouth turned up, his dark five-o'clock shadow making the half smile look dangerous. "Let's start with this." He grasped her country-western shirt, and the snaps spatted like gunfire as he yanked it open.
"Hey!" The air brushed against her hot skin, and she grabbed at the shirtfront.
"Leave it open, sprite. Happens that I like skin." His devastating grin flashed, halting every single protest. Why did he have to be so gorgeous? "Now let's find out what you like." He turned, pulling her in front of him so that her back rested against his chest.
Kallie gulped when she realized he'd turned her to face the woman on the coffee table.
The redhead was still restrained, stomach down. One of the dom's hands was between her legs, his fingers obviously inside her, thrusting in and out. With his other hand, he alternated swats on her butt cheeks. Hips bucking, she pulled against the restraints.
Kallie's heart started to pound. She could almost feel the fingers pressing inside her, the stinging of the spanking, and she shook her head. This was way too...too...something. She tried to turn away.
Jake clamped his arm around her waist, an iron bar holding her pinned against him. "Watch, Kallie." His warm breath brushed her ear.
The woman's voice kept getting higher--"Oh, Sir. Oh, oh, oh."--until she climaxed with a scream, her head back and spine arching.
Kallie realized she was panting, and heat pulsed through her with every inhalation. "Let me go." Her voice came out husky.
"Nope." He closed his teeth on the muscle between her shoulder and neck, and she gasped as electricity streaked to her groin.
"You're just full of surprises," Jake murmured.
No, he was the surprising one. Despite her hot, erotic dreams of him, she'd figured he'd never see her as a woman. He didn't like her--he hadn't liked her--so why had he changed his mind? Worry niggled in her stomach like hungry lake trout. "I'm not your old girlfriend."
"Uh-huh," he said, his voice a deep, warm rumble in her ear. He splayed his hand, hot and hard, against her bare stomach.
Every bone in her body dissolved.
But did he understand what she was saying? She tried again. "I'm not her." And I don't want to be a substitute for some old girlfriend.
He huffed a laugh. "You sure don't have her personality."
That didn't sound like a compliment.
"Don't worry. I know you're Kallie 'Macho' Masterson."
Despite the insulting term, warmth bloomed in her. He had actually, finally, seen her.
He slid his hand beneath her jeans waistband until his fingers rested at the top of her mound, and as with a match held to dry grass, flames erupted inside her. He pressed her back against him, and she could feel the bulge of his erection. Hard. He wanted her. Pleasure warmed her heart. He really did.
Her breath caught as his other hand slid under her bra, settling right over her breast. Her very small breast. She stiffened and tried to pull away, expecting the usual stupid guy's comment: "Why do you bother with a bra?"
Instead he tightened his arms. "Don't move, sub."
The firm command sent heat streaking across her skin. She tried to move--couldn't--and with the feeling of being immobilized came the realization that he could do...anything. Her insides melted into warm liquid.
He chuckled and bit her earlobe. The sharp, unexpected pain sheared straight to her pussy, and a moan escaped her.
"I think I'll enjoy tonight after all," he murmured. "So, short stuff, have you tried anything like this before?"
She barely kept from rubbing against him like a cat. Touch me. Why did he keep talking? Asking a question she didn't want to answer. But his expectant silence forced a reply. "A few times. But I never liked it." She'd known this was too good to be true. Be fair to him, Kallie. She added reluctantly, "I'm not submissive or anything, so it's okay if you find someone else."
"Sure you're not." He slid his hand another inch, one finger on each side of her labia. So close to her clit that she had trouble paying attention to anything but the throbbing bundle of nerves.
"Tell me about those times. What did you do?"
Her brain didn't want to work. "I... One wanted to handcuff me to the bed, and I wouldn't let him...although it had sounded exciting at first. Another tried to spank me, and I couldn't stop giggling." What else? "Um, pretty much that kind of stuff."
"Uh-huh. Sounds like no trust and no true submission." He turned her around.
The removal of his warm hands left behind cold places on her skin, and she ached down below like she'd wrenched something in a place where things didn't get sprained. He'll tell me to go home now; I should have lied.
He closed his hands on her shoulders. "How much do you trust me, Kallie?"
The question was unexpected, and she had to shift directions. Want, yes. But trust? "I--"
"Let me rephrase that. Can you trust me in here, surrounded by other people, to restrain you, spank you, and give you pleasure?"
Her mouth went dry. The thought of him--Jake--his hands on her, tying her, touching her... She frowned. But spanking?
His eyes crinkled. "You wear your emotions right out there on your face, don't you, sugar?"
She thought of the dom and his sub, how he'd brought her to climax with his fingers. "Does pleasure mean us both or just me?"
"Well, now"--he slowly stroked his finger down her cheek, his gaze intent on her face--"I figured on just you, using my hands."
The words welled up like a balloon expanding in her chest. "I want more; I want you in--" Couldn't say it; just couldn't... "Um."
"You want my cock inside you. Is that what you mean?"