Excerpt: Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones

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Being Me (Inside Out, #2)

Book:  Being Me

Series:  Inside Out Book #2

Author:  Lisa Renee Jones

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I strip away my clothes in seconds, and I’m pretty sure the art of the seductive, slow striptease is really not my forte. I’ll work harder at it when I want to tease him and not me.I just need him right now. I need to be naked with him, all barriers gone. I need him to know that I want to understand him because he matters, because we matter. Because life made me believe that what is blossoming between us wasn’t possible, but maybe, just maybe, it is.

*****

My gaze lifts, and I watch him watching me, the grit of his teeth, the tightness of his jaw, the lust and fury in his hot stare. It’s arousing to have this powerful, sexy man respond to me, want me, need me. And he does. I have never been as sure of this as I am now.

*****

*MALE name removed as to prevent SPOILERS

The idea that I’ve convinced myself he is less controlling than he is has my heels colliding heavily on the driveway. I charge toward his car, the same car I’ve let myself drive instead of holding on to my own identity. I don’t look his direction but damn him, I can feel him all over, everywhere, inside and out, and in intimate places I can’t convince my body he isn’t welcome. It’s beyond frustrating to know that anger this potent isn’t enough to stop the thrum of awareness that just being near him creates.

Not for the first time, I feel Rebecca’s words from that first jour- nal entry I’d read deep in my soul. He was lethal, a drug I feared. I relate to her, and I understand the inescapable passion she felt and lost herself inside. I don’t want to be her. I’m not her. And for the first time since my initial first few encounters with this man, I wonder if I am drawn to him because I’m self-destructive, and he to me for the same reason.

Suddenly he is there, at eye level, as he had been the first night we’d met, when I’d spilled my purse. My gaze lifts and meets his, and a blast of awareness shakes me to the core. My breasts are heavy, my thighs achy. My skin tingles. A fine line between love and hate, Alvarez had said, and I understand them in this moment. I stare into his eyes and I wonder if he too is thinking about the night we met and the many ways we’ve made love.The many we have not and I want us to, when I should not. I should be seeking space, independence, and my own identity, which he is threatening by taking over my life. It makes no sense how I feel in these eternal moments. How can I be this furious with him and still powerfully, completely lost in him?

“We have a lot to talk about, don’t we?” he asks, breaking the spell. His tone is low, and the rasp of anger in his voice is impossible to miss. It jolts me back to reality. He showed up at my client’s house and he’s angry with me?

My temper overpowers all other emotions in me and I reach for the key. His hand closes over mine and heat races up my arm and over my chest.“Don’t do what you did tonight ever again, Sara.”

The sharp command in his voice hits a bull’s-eye on every physiological male dominance issue I own, of which there are many. I try to pull my hand back but I am captive to his grip, leaving me with words as my only weapon.“Ditto to you. And yeah.We have a lot to talk about—somewhere other than my client’s front yard.”

His eyes glint fire a moment before he releases my hand and helps me to my feet.There is a possessiveness to his touch that has me leaning into him when I should be shoving him away. He notices, too; I see it in the slight narrowing of his eyes, the gleam of satisfaction in their depths that I both hunger for and reject.

“I’ll follow you to my place,” he informs me.

“I have no doubt you will.” I click the key clicker to unlock the car. I’m about to open the door when his hand comes down on it, and he leans close, so close his breath is warm on my neck and ear. That woodsy scent of him, which I could luxuriate in for a lifetime, permeates my senses, tearing down my already weak defenses.

His hip nudges mine.“Don’t think for a minute that when we pull up to my apartment, you’re going to ask for your car and leave.”

It is all I can do to fight him when he touches me. Purposely, I do not look at him, certain all my resolve to distance myself from him will crumble.“If I decide to leave, you can’t stop me.”

“Try me, baby.You’re coming up to my apartment.”

I whirl on him.“I don’t want—”

“I do,” he vows, and before I know his intent, his fingers twine into my hair and he pulls me into his arms, against his hard, warm body.

“Let go,” I hiss, my hand flattening on his chest. I intend to push him away, but the heat of his body seeps through my palm, radiating up my arm. My elbow softens, and I am instantly closer but not close enough.

“Not a chance,” he promises, his mouth closing on mine, firm with demand. His tongue licks into my mouth with one brutal, commanding swipe followed by another, and I have no resistance left. I’m weak, so very weak, for this man. As always with him, he demands my response and I helplessly respond. I am instantly wet and wanting, my nipples tight points of aching need.

I try to resist the lure that is this man, but the taste of him, familiar and almost brutally male, mixes with his anger and mine, and the effect is explosively passionate. I want to shout at him, push him away, pull him close, strip away his clothes, and punish him for what he is doing to me, what he takes from me. What he makes me need.

When his lips part from mine, too soon and not soon enough, I barely fight the urge to pull him back. “Was that for the cameras?” I pant at him, furious at myself for such weakness.

“That was because you scared the shit out of me when you didn’t answer your phone. I don’t give a damn about the cameras.” His mouth comes down on mine again, and his hand slides under my jacket, over my backside, pulling me flush against his thick erection.

I whimper, impossibly aroused, and my hands slip beneath the thick leather of his jacket, wrapping his waist. His hand caresses up my back, molding me tighter to him, branding me with heat and fire and sizzling passion that threaten to steal all the reason I possess. No man has ever made me forget where I am, forget why I should care.

“That,” he says roughly, when he pulls back again, “was for the past twelve hours that I should have been thinking about business. Instead, I was incessantly thinking about pink paddles, butterfly nipple clamps, and all the places I’m going to lick, kiss, and now, you can bet, punish you when we get home.”

I almost moan again from his words and have no idea how I manage enough coherent thought to issue a warning, but somehow I do.“If you think sex is going to make this argument go away, you’re wrong.”

“You couldn’t be more right, but it’s a good place to start and end the enlightening conversation you can bet your sweet little ass we’re going to have.” He sets me back from him and away from the door enough to open it.“Let’s go home where I can fuck what you’ve made me feel out of my system and you can do the same.”

Staring up at him, a million things I might say or do are wiped out by the word home replaying in my head. He keeps using that word, and it affects me when he does; it affects me in a deep, painfully real way that leaves me raw and vulnerable. He leaves me raw and vulnerable.

When I don’t move, he pulls me close again, caresses myhair,and gives me a quick kiss on the lips.“Get in the car, Sara,” he orders softly, and as always—though I’m fairly certain he’d disagree—I do as he tells me.

*****

The elevator door dings open and I never have the chance to retreat. Chris grabs my hand and pulls me into his apartment. Before I can blink, I’m facing the entry room wall, one hand clutching the journal, the other flat on the surface in from of me. Chris steps behind me, framing my body with his bigger one and I feel the hardness of his body as intensely as I feel the hardness of his mood.

His hand settles on the center of my back, branding me, controlling me, and he pulls my bag and purse from my shoulder and dumps it on the floor. I feel him shrug away his jacket and he reaches for mine. It catches on the journal and his hand closes around it.

The air seems to thicken and for several seconds we hold the journal, both our fingers gripping the red leather. Erotic images created by Rebecca’s words play in my mind and I remember reading one of the entries with Chris. I wonder if he is thinking about that day, too, or something completely different. About Rebecca perhaps? I want to ask, but there is this sharp pinch in my chest that holds me back.

Chris takes the journal from me and I have no idea where he puts it. It is gone and my jacket follows. He steps behind me, and I forget everything but him. His hands settle possessively on my hips and his mouth, that delicious, sometimes brutal mouth, brushes my ear. “You want pain and darkness, baby, you got it.”

Shock slides through me at the unexpected promise and I think of us holding the journal, and of the dark entries inside that terrify and intrigue me. “What happened to me not being able to handle this part of you, Chris?” I ask, and my voice trembles with the question.

“Tonight happened,” he replies and there is nothing unsure about his voice, just hard steel and more anger. “And I damn sure want to give you a reason to think twice before it repeats.”

Conflicting emotions overcome me. I crave and resist the possessiveness I sense in him. I’m jerked out of this thought when Chris yanks my dress up my hips, exposing my backside. I hear the silk of my panties tear before I feel the bite of the material ripping from my body. His hands caress my backside, and the edgy tension in him is like a wave crashing into me.

He leans in, his lips brushing my ear, hot breath fanning my skin, promising delicious, forbidden fantasies only Chris can fulfill. “I’m going to spank you before this night is over, Sara.”

The threat is a velvety seduction and taut threat and my response is instantaneous. I cannot catch my breathe, let alone form a coherent reply, but I never get the chance.

Chris turns me to face him, shoving my hands over my head and shackling them with one of his. “But first, I’m going to take you to the edge of bliss and pull you back so many times, you’ll think you’re going insane, just like I was when you didn’t answer your phone.” He tugs down the front zipper of my dress to my waist, unhooks my bra, and begins to tease one of my nipples. “Any objections?”

“Would they matter?” I whisper, unable to find my voice for the waves of pleasure washing over my body.

“Not unless you tell me to stop what I’m doing.” He leans in and nips my lip as he had the night before, laving the bite with his tongue. “But if you say stop, Sara, make damn sure you mean it because I will stop. Understand?”

“Chris-”

“Answer, Sara.” His fingers slide between my thighs, spreading the slick heat of my sensitive flesh, and leaving my nipples aching for more. I have the distinct impression he’s reminding me why ‘stop’ is a bad word.

“Yes,” I pant. “Yes, I understand.”

His thumb strokes my clit and slips two fingers inside me, filling me, stretching me. I pant with the pleasure, imagining the moment he is inside me. “Come before I tell you to and I’ll spank you right now.”

“What?” I gasp. “I can’t-”

“You can and you will.”

His words are as powerful as his touch, and I feel the bittersweet build of release. “Why do I get the idea you’d enjoy my failure?”

“Because I want to spank you.” His lips brush mine, his fingers stroking me with slow, sultry precision that is driving me wild. “And you want me to.”

I do and I have no clue why but the certainty that he will is so intensely erotic that my sex tightens around his fingers.

The beginning of an orgasm is almost as alluring as his hand on my backside.

His fingers are suddenly gone, denying my pleasure, and I growl my frustration. “Damn you, Chris.”

“Damn me all you want but you still won’t come until I say you come.” He strokes my nipple and flicks it back and forth. “I’m going to release your wrists and you will not move them. Understand?”

No, I do not understand! I scream in my head, but I nod my agreement, certain doing as he says is my only path to satisfaction.

His hand teasing my nipple falls away and he studies me, seeming to assess my willpower, or maybe just torturing me with the absence of his hands on my body. I’m ready to scream with the injustice of it when he sinks to one knee in front of me and his hands settle on my hips.

His gaze lifts and snags mine and I want to order his mouth to the most intimate part of my body. Slowly, his mouth lowers, not to the spot I crave him to be, but to my stomach. The soft, seductive touch of his lips, followed by the gentle stroke of his tongue, sends a shiver through me and my belly quivers beneath his mouth. The contrast of how tender he is in one moment and how hard and demanding he can be in the next, fills me with anticipation and is as arousing as anything I’ve ever experienced.

Slowly, he trails his lips over the tender skin, his tongue dipping into my navel, laving my hip bone, and finally traveling just above the V of my body.

I am breathing hard with the restraint I use to stop myself from reaching for him and the muscles of my sex clench so tightly it hurts. “Chris,” I plead when I can take no more.

He rewards my urgency by licking my clit. Yes, please, more, I think, but do not dare say out loud, for fear he will do the opposite. I moan and another lick follows and it’s nothing shy of sweet bliss when his mouth closes down around me. He suckles my swollen nub, drawing deeply on my sensitive flesh and using his tongue at just the right moments until I am going insane. Sensations ripple through me and I have no willpower, no control. I tumble into orgasm and he immediately pulls his mouth from me, denying me full satisfaction, leaving my muscles clenching in partial release.

My knees buckle but he is on his feet, wrapping his arm around my waist, and holding me up. He lifts me into his arms and starts walking toward his bedroom. His words replay in my head. Come before I tell you to, and I’ll spank you right now. Chris doesn’t say anything he doesn’t mean and my heart races at the certainty of my punishment.

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