By day, Bree Mason is a mild-mannered accountant. But after dark, she gives herself over to Luke Raven and a world of sensual submission. Can a woman with so many secrets ever give more than just her body?
While Bree wants more out of life, more out of her career, she’s ruled by fear and controlled by her secrets. And there’s a secret she’s hidden for years, even from herself. Until she can conquer it, she will never be more than a shadow of the woman she wants to be.
For a year, Luke Raven has given Bree the dominance she begs for. Now Luke has developed a craving for so much more; he wants a relationship outside their strictly sensual affair. But does he have the power to help her exorcise her demons and free her from her past?
“The characters are intense and complex and draw you in from the first page.” ~ Romantic Times
“This book excels at giving the characters real believability while providing some scorching scenes.” ~ Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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This excerpt contains explicit sexual content
What Happens After Dark
He tipped his head back, savoring the feel of her mouth on him. Christ. She knew every nerve that excited him. Dropping his chin, he opened his eyes to drink in the sight of her down on her knees on the plush, navy carpet, her silky black hair cascading down the slope of her back. Red fingernails, red lips, and alabaster skin, she was more beautiful than any model gracing the cover of a fashion magazine.
He groaned as she hit a sweet spot with her tongue. His legs trembled, his tension rising, need pulling at him.
For six months, she’d been his to command. Since the night he’d won her away from Derek, her bruiser boyfriend, in a downtown club. She wasn’t made for the club scene, and he’d taken her from Derek as if she were the war prize in hand-to-hand combat, which technically she was, since he’d decked the guy to rescue her.
And what a prize she was. Squeezing his cock, she tantalized him, drove him mad. He thought his head would explode. Shoving his fingers through her hair, he pushed her back. “Not yet,” he murmured.
She gazed up at him with eyes the shade of sapphires. “Did I do something wrong, Master?” Her voice was soft, sweet, like the gentle babble of a distant brook.
She insisted on calling him Master as if he were her dom and she his submissive. He’d never gone in for the dominance and submission lifestyle, but after he found her in that San Francisco sex club, he’d read a bit on the Internet. There were aspects of it he enjoyed immensely—tying her down, blindfolding her, a good spanking, toys, forcing her to push her sexual limits—but other elements, humiliation, degradation, making her cry, giving her to another man as if she were chattel—which was what he’d caught Derek doing—that stuff, not so much. She liked to be dominated, but she needed to feel special. She needed approval. She withered when she was ignored.
He couldn’t have ignored her if he’d tried. Even when she wasn’t within sight, he fantasized about her. Hot fantasies where she was handcuffed, spread out on his bed, and begging him to crawl between her legs. Yeah, he liked the dominant role. “I told you not to make me come yet,” he said sternly.
“You should punish me for that,” she whispered. “Because I’m such a slut, and I’m bad.”
That was another thing she liked, the name-calling. Bitch, slut, even worse. At first he’d used the names because they made her wild. But they made him burn hotter, too. Being with her had taught him how sexy a little dirty talk could be. And then there was the punishment thing...
“Get on the bed, whore,” he ordered, and his erection surged, his blood pumped faster.
She bit her bottom lip, drew in a breath, her nostrils flaring with her excitement. Then she rose gracefully, her movements steady. He’d closed the blinds against the cold January night, and the soft lighting of his bedroom illuminated her slender body, the elegant curves of her back and bottom. Her limbs were long and lithe, her breasts small, the areoles dusky pink buttons. She was a tall woman at five-nine, and barefoot, she was only a couple of inches shorter than him. He’d never been worried about his height; Derek had been taller and bigger than he was, but he’d still won the girl.
She climbed onto the big bed on all fours, her ass heart-shaped.
“On your back,” he instructed. “Spread your legs and arms.”
She laid down, her pussy glistening. The rich burgundy of the bedspread made her skin glow. “I know I’ve been bad, Master. You need to punish me and call me the names I deserve.”
For her to feel that way, he’d assumed she’d had bad relationships in the past that had marked her with some deep-seated insecurities. Derek the horse’s ass certainly wasn’t the first. He also couldn’t deny his desire for a little tender lovemaking and more intimacy. He wanted to know more about her, exchange more than sex, reach a deeper level. But there was power in dominating her, too. They both excelled at dirty, nasty games. He’d bought the fur-lined handcuffs; then he’d bought the four-poster bed to attach them to. The scarves in the top drawer of his dresser—which could be used as either blindfolds or bindings—hid a variety of toys he’d used on her.
He hoped to God one of his daughters didn’t start rooting around in there during their frequent trips home from college.
“Scarves or handcuffs?” He could gauge her mood by the kind of restraints she asked for. “Which do you deserve, you dirty little bitch?”
Her lips parted; her eyes darkened. “Handcuffs,” she whispered.
She wanted things a little rougher. Something must have happened at work today. Not that she ever told him much about her life outside the bounds of their relationship. She was secretive even when he questioned her. Her evasiveness was one of the things he’d had yet to break her of, but he would, eventually. Tonight, she’d been tense when she arrived. In fact, she’d been unusually stressed for weeks, and he’d learned that the worse her day had been, the higher degree of domination she required.
“Wider, slut,” he demanded as he took one delicate ankle in his hand. She stretched for him, her scent rising, swirling around him. He was hard for her, ravenous, but the night would end quickly after he came. He wanted to stretch it out.
She’d never spent the night. They didn’t cuddle afterward. He didn’t know precisely where she lived or the name of the company she worked for, only that she was thirty-five, unmarried, no children, made her living as an accountant, and she was promiscuous. He’d gathered that the fact he’d been her only lover over the past six months was unusual.
He took it as a testament to how good he was at giving her what she needed.
She needed the trappings of submission, but what she loved best was making him climax with her mouth and swallowing his come. She relished every groan, every cry of pleasure he gave. If he didn’t make her come before he did, she wouldn’t come at all. As if she didn’t require the orgasm to be satisfied.
But in this moment, he craved her climax, her pleasure, to feel her body tremble for him.
Rounding the bed, he restrained her other ankle. Then he went to work on her wrists, anchoring them to the bedposts. He didn’t ask her if it was too tight; she would merely tell him that she would take whatever he chose to dish out.
“What are you going to do to me, Master?” Her voice quavered, but it wasn’t fear; it was need. When she was restrained, he could force her to let go.
“Would you like me to fuck you?” he murmured, climbing onto the bed, leaning close to draw in the scent of her. She made his head spin.
“I’m your whore. You can do whatever you need, Master.”
Need? Christ. He needed so much, all the things she withheld, herself. Her thoughts, her feelings, her fears, her joys, her past. Yes, all those things; but for now, he would take this, savor it, until she gave him more.
He grabbed her chin, held her, forced eye contact. “I want to hear you scream my name when you come.”
She blinked rapidly a moment, and he knew that wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She wanted his orgasm. But she was his slave, and she answered the way she had to. “I will.”
He lowered his lips to hers, though he didn’t kiss her. “I’m going to lick you, my sweet little slut. That’s how I want you to come,” he whispered against her mouth.
She tensed. He’d never gone down on her when she wasn’t restrained. He’d never made her come with his mouth, tongue, or fingers when she wasn’t immobilized and unable to fight him. He loved it that way, too, because in those moments, she was his, she let herself go. As if somehow the restraints actually set her free.
“But don’t you need to come?” Her voice rose slightly at the end as if it were a question, yet she cajoled, her voice like a siren in the night.
God yes, he needed to come inside her, or her mouth. Or by her hand. She could work him up in any way she tried. But he wanted her climax, which was tantamount to her capitulation.
“I’m going to lick you, and you’re going to scream.” He covered her, flesh to flesh, held her gaze, her eyes wide, pupils dilated, her nipples pebbled against his chest. “Right?”
She gave in. “Yes, Master,” she whispered on nothing more than a puff of air.
Then he crawled down her body, tasting her skin as he dragged his tongue over her breasts, her belly, down to the finely trimmed mound of her sex.
“You have the sweetest scent.” He breathed her in, then put his tongue to her a moment. “And the sweetest taste.” He loved her pussy; she was gorgeous, full, pink, her clit burgeoning.
He swiped his tongue across her, back and forth, swirling her taste in his mouth. God. How he loved this. She writhed against her bonds, and her soft sounds of delicious distress filled the room. He fit first one, then two fingers inside her, and played her G-spot and her clit in tandem.
She panted. Moaned. Music to his ears. Then her legs started to shake, her cries rose, she called out his name, and her body jerked. He kept at her, rode the tide of her orgasm, until she fell limp against the comforter, her dark hair splayed across his pillows.
Her taste lingered on his lips as he shimmied up her body to lay beside her. “Was it good?”
“Master, it was heaven.” She swallowed, closed her eyes.
He wasn’t looking for affirmation. There was just something too . . . fast. As if she’d wanted to appease him.
“But you didn’t come,” she added.
He gave her a long, measured look, something inside him shifting. “You didn’t come either, did you?”
She swallowed again. Like a nervous habit she’d suddenly acquired. “I did.”
“Don’t lie to your master.” He clenched his teeth against the epithet that rose to his lips. He could call her whore, slut, bitch, almost anything as he was seducing her, but the words lost their sexiness in the aftermath.
She filled herself with a great gulp of air, her chest rising, her skin tinged with pink, though not as if she’d just surrendered to a luscious orgasm. More like... nerves.
“I’m very displeased that you didn’t come.” He used language she understood and responded to.
Yet this time she evaded him. “I’ll suck you,” she whispered. Straining against the handcuffs, she tugged her wrists as if she needed to touch him. “I’ll make you come.”
A coldness spread through him. “How often do you fake it?”
“I don’t,” she whispered, looking at his nose, his cheek, his mouth, anything to avoid meeting his eyes.
But he felt her lie in the stiffening of her limbs. He wondered how many times she’d faked an orgasm, how many times he’d been so wrapped up in her, in what she made him feel, that he hadn’t realized how good an actress she was.
Fuck. He was forty-five years old, too old to get rankled, yet the fake cut him. He wanted into her life. He wanted her to know about him, his daughters, his work, even his failed marriage. And he wanted to know everything about her. There were times his gut roiled against her secrets, the way she held him emotionally at bay. But this was what they had. She phoned, came to his house, had him call her names, tie her down or cuff her, blindfold her, spank her. When she was at his mercy, he could do anything he wanted. The sex between them was fantastic, but he wanted something more authentic from her, more real, more than just bits and pieces of her life. He wanted a whole night without her rushing away. He’d wanted all that for months, but he hadn’t pushed. He’d bided his time. Only to find out she’d actually faked some of her orgasms. Damn her.
“Fuck me,” she whispered, and he recognized the deliberate seduction in it. She never said what she wanted, never asked for anything, but she could follow orders. Jesus, she could follow orders and blow his mind. This, asking for it, was different, unlike her. “I’ll make you feel good,” she added.
Sinking inside her body, he’d feel better than good. When he was buried deep, she took him to another plane of existence. No other woman had done that, not even his ex-wife when he’d still believed her to be the woman of his dreams.
He was being manipulated. She was avoiding what he really wanted from her. He climbed from the bed, stood beside it, gazing down at the perfection of her body in her supine position, losing himself in the shimmer of her brilliant blue eyes. He knew he’d fuck her. Because he wanted her, badly. He had from the moment he first laid eyes on her.
But the game would have to change, the rules revised. He wanted more than sex; he wanted everything. And he would have it. Even if he had to order her to give it to him.
After all, he was the master.