Excerpt: If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

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Book:  If I Were You

Series:  Inside Out #1

Author:  Lisa Renee Jones

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His fingers knot in my hair and I gasp at the unexpected bite of his grip, holding me steady. “Is that all you got?” I demand, shocked at how much I want more. How much I want whatever is beneath his surface.

I’m not scared. I’m aroused. I’m ready.

His eyes probe mine, his expression hard, intense. “I thought you were a good little school teacher.”

“You’re corrupting me,” I declare, “and I seem to like it.” I barely issue the challenge before he’s pulling my mouth to his, and he is kissing me with unrestrained, burning passion. I taste the part of him I want to know, the part he’s afraid of, and I burn to know more. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I am playing with fire, but I cannot stop myself. Beyond reason, I will push him until he reveals everything.

*****

We are almost to the gallery, and a knot has formed in my stomach at the prospect of an awkward goodbye, when he suddenly grabs me and pulls me into a small enclave of a deserted office rental. Before I can fully grasp what is happening, I am against the wall, hidden from the street and he is in front of me, enclosing me in the tiny space. I blink up into his burning stare and I think I might combust. His scent, his warmth, his hard body, is all around me, but he is not touching me. I want him to touch me.

He presses his hand to the concrete wall above my head when I want it on my body. “You don’t belong here, Sara.”

The words are unexpected, a hard punch in the chest. “What? I don’t understand.”

“This job is wrong for you.”

I shake my head. I don’t belong? Coming from Chris, an established artist, I feel inferior, rejected. “You asked me why I wasn’t following my heart. Why I wasn’t pursuing what I love. I am. That’s what I’m doing.”

“I didn’t think you’d do it in this place.”

This place. I don’t know what he’s telling me. Does he mean this gallery? This city? Has he judged me not worthy of his inner circle?

“Look, Sara.” He hesitates, and lifts his head to the sky, seeming to struggle for words before fixing me with a turbulent look. “I’m trying to protect you here. This world you’ve strayed into is filled with dark, messed up, arrogant assholes who will play with your mind and use you until there is nothing else left for you to recognize in yourself.”

“Are you one of those dark, messed up, arrogant assholes?”

He stares down at me, and I barely recognize the hard lines of his face, the glint in his eyes, as belonging to the man I’ve just had lunch with. His gaze sweeps my lips, lingers, and the swell of response and longing in me is instant, overwhelming. He reaches up and strokes his thumb over my bottom lip. Every nerve ending in my body responds and it’s all I can do not to touch him, to grab his hand, but something holds me back. I am lost in this man, in his stare, in some spellbinding, dark whirlwind of…what? Lust, desire, torment? Seconds tick eternally and so does the silence. I want to hold him, to stop whatever I sense is coming but I cannot.

“I’m worse.” He pushes off the wall, and is gone. He is gone. I am alone against the wall, aching with a fire that has nothing to do with the meal we shared. My lashes flutter, my fingers touch my lip where he touched me. He has warned me away from Mark, from the gallery, from him, and he has failed. I cannot turn away. I am here and I am going nowhere.

*****

Behind me, I hear the car door shut, and the engine rev, before the 911 pulls away. “This doesn’t look like a place that serves pizza,” I comment but I am not looking at the building. It is Chris who has my full attention.

“Two blocks down,” he explains. “We can walk there if you want or we can go upstairs to my apartment.”

Chris lives here, at least when he’s in the States. The implications of our location are clear.

His long fingers curl around my neck, under my hair, and he lowers his mouth to my ear. “Be warned, Sara. I’m no saint. If I take you upstairs, I’m going to strip you naked and fuck you the way I’ve wanted to since the moment we first met.”

The shockingly bold words ripple through me and I am instantly aroused, squeezing my thighs together. He has wanted to fuck me since we first met. I want him to fuck me. I want to fuck him. Yes. Fuck. I want to give myself permission to forget good, proper behavior and fuck and be fucked. Wild, hot, uncontrollable passion, with no worries during and regrets in the aftermath. I’ve never let myself feel those things. When in my life have I ever experienced such a thing? When has any man ever made me think I could?

I press against his chest and lean back, my eyes seeking his. “If you’re trying to scare me off, it’s not working.”

“Not yet,” he says, dark certainty to his tone, to the lines etched in his handsome face. It is as if this is simply a seed already planted that cannot be stopped.

 

“Not at all,” I counter.

He doesn’t immediately respond, and his expression is a mask of hard lines, his jaw set, tense. Slowly, his fingers slide from my neck to caress a path down my arm until his fingers lace intimately with mine. “Never say never, Sara,” he murmurs and starts walking, pulling me with him.

*****

Rounding the corner, I enter the hallway, and Chris is suddenly there in the narrow passage with me, pressing me against the wall, his powerful thighs framing mine.

My hand goes instinctively to his t-shirt-clad chest. I am immediately aware of the intimacy of the touch, of my body’s reaction to the man who has betrayed me. “Don’t shove me against another wall and try to intimidate me, Chris.”

“I’m not trying to intimidate you. I was protecting you, Sara.” His hands move to my waist, scorching me, and my reaction to the sizzling touch is instant. I cover his hands with mine, trying to control what he does next, but it doesn’t help. Now, my hands are on his hands and his hands are on my body.

“Call it what you want,” I ground out, “but you had no right to do what you did.”

“He had to know he couldn’t manipulate your dream. Money, and my many resources at your disposal, does that.”

His words knock my anger and my breath away, and confusion consumes me. His actions and his words conflict at every turn. “Why would you help me? You said I don’t belong in this world.”

“Because I won’t watch him gobble you up and destroy you.”

I remember his words, and understand now that he wanted me out of this gallery, not this profession. “Because he’s a dark, messed up, arrogant asshole who will play with my mind and use me until there is nothing else left of me I recognize.”

“That’s right.”

“And yet you say you’re worse.”

He stiffens and cuts his gaze, seeming to struggle before fixing me in a turbulent stare. “I am, Sara, which is why you should run as far away from me as you can. And I should step back and let you.”

“Then why aren’t you?” I whisper.

His eyes hold mine, and what I see there, the depth of his desire, overwhelms me. He flattens his palm on my belly and I tremble beneath the touch, and he has to feel it too. “Because,” his voice low, seductive, his hand traveling up the center of my body, “I can’t stop thinking about you, and everything I want to do to you, everywhere I want to touch you.”

His hand presses to the swell between my breasts, and my nipples ache with a wish he would touch them. His boldness ignites something sultry and dark inside me, a side of me that defies the good-girl school teacher who is appalled I haven’t stopped this. I want him. I want him here and now, and any way I can have him.

And when his gaze lowers to my mouth and lingers, I know he is thinking about kissing me and I have never wanted to be kissed so badly in my life.

“Do you taste as good as I think you do?” he asks, but he doesn’t wait for my reply.

Suddenly, his fingers have tunneled into my hair and he’s dragging my mouth to his. I am all soft submission, yielding to the moment, to the man. I melt into him, welcome the hardness of his body pressed to mine. And when his tongue presses past my lips, a long, wicked caress, I taste his hunger, his need. There is possessiveness to his kiss, to his hand on my back, molding me closer. I am lost in the ache that has become my need for this man, this stranger I cannot resist. He says he’s protecting me; he says he’s dangerous. I am conflicted, and sure I should be angry with him, but I am completely incapable and unable of processing why.

*****

It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expires.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.

 

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery she’d worked at, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of…him. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.

Sunday, March 7th, 2012

For months I’ve had dreams and nightmares about how perfectly he personifies the word. Sleep-laden, alternate realities where I can vividly smell his musky male scent, feel his hard body against mine. Taste the sweet and sensuous flavor of him-–like milk chocolate with its silky demand that I indulge in one more bite. And another. So good I’d forgotten there’s a price for overindulgence. And there is a price. There is always a price. I was reminded of this life lesson on Saturday night. And I know now, no matter what he says, no matter what he does, I cannot–will not–see him again.

It started out as any other erotic adventure with him. Unpredictable. Exciting. I barely remember where it all went wrong. How it took such a dark turn.

He’d ordered me to undress and sit on the mattress, against the headboard, my legs spread wide for his viewing. Naked before him, open to him, I was vulnerable and quivering with need. Never in my life had I taken orders from a man; most certainly I had never thought I would quiver with anything. But I did for him.

If Saturday night proved anything, it was that once I was with him, under his spell, he could demand anything of me, and I’d comply. He could push me to the edge, to unbelievable places I’d never thought I would go. Exactly why I can’t see him again. He makes me feel possessed, and what is so disconcerting about this feeling is that I like it. I can hardly wrap my mind around allowing such a thing, though I burn for it. But when I saw him standing at the end of the bed Saturday night, all broad and thick with sinewy muscle, his cock jutting forward, there was nothing but that need.

He was magnificent. Really, truly the most gorgeous man I’ve ever known. Instant lust exploded inside me. I wanted to feel him close to me, to feel him touch me. To touch him. But I know now not to touch him without his permission. And I know not to beg him to let me.

I’ve learned my lesson from past encounters. He enjoys the vulnerability of a plea far too much. Enjoys withholding his pleasures, until I am nearly quaking with the burn of my body. Until I am liquid heat and tears. He likes that power over me. He likes full control. I should hate him. Sometimes, I think I love him.

It was the blindfold that should have warned me I was headed toward a place of no return. Thinking back, I believe it did. He tossed it on the bed, a dare, and instantly a shiver chased a path up and down my spine. The idea of not being able to see what was happening to me should have aroused me-–it did arouse me. But for reasons I didn’t understand at the time, it also frightened me. I was scared and I hesitated.

This did not please him. He told me so, in that deep, rich, baritone voice that makes me quiver uncontrollably. The need to please him had been so compelling. I put on the blindfold.

I was rewarded by the shift of the mattress. He was coming to me. Soon, I knew I would come, too. His hands slid possessively up my calves, over my thighs. And damn him, stopped just before my place of need.

What came next was a shadowy whirlwind of sensation. He pulled me onto my back, flat against the mattress. I knew satisfaction was seconds away. Soon he would enter me. Soon I would have what I needed. But to my distress, he moved away.

It was then that I was sure I’d heard the click of a lock. It jolted me to a sitting position, and I called out his name, fearful he was leaving. Certain that I’d done something wrong. Then relieved when his hand flattened on my stomach. I’d imagined the sound of the lock. I must have. But I couldn’t shake the subtle shift in the air then, the raw lust and menace consuming the room that didn’t feel like him. It was a thought easily forgotten when he settled heavy between my thighs, his strong hands lifting my arms over my head, his breath warm on my neck–his body heavy, perfect.

Somehow, a silk tie wrapped around my wrists and my arms were tied to the bed frame. It never occurred to me that he could not have done this on his own. That he was on top of me, unable to manipulate my arms. But then, he was manipulating my body, my mind, and I was his willing victim.

He lifted his body from mine, and I whimpered, unable to reach for him. Again silence. And the whisk of fabric. More strange sounds. Long seconds ticked by, and I remember the chill that snaked across my skin. The feeling of dread that had balled in my stomach.

And then, the moment I know I will die remembering. The moment when the steel of a blade touched my lips. The moment that he promised there was pleasure in pain. The moment when the blade traveled along my skin with the proof he would be true to his words. And I knew then that I had been wrong. He was not dangerous. Nor was he chocolate. He was lethal, a drug, and I feared…

*****

We begin our walk, faster this time, and the cold wind has nothing on the chill between us. Conversation is non-existent, and I have no clue how to break the silence, or if I should even try. I dare a peek at his profile several times, fighting the wind blowing hair over my eyes, but he doesn’t acknowledge me. Why won’t he look at me? Several times, I open my mouth to speak but words simply won’t leave my lips.

We are almost to the gallery, and a knot has formed in my stomach at the prospect of an awkward goodbye, when he suddenly grabs me and pulls me into a small enclave of a deserted office rental. Before I can fully grasp what is happening, I am against the wall, hidden from the street and he is in front of me, enclosing me in the tiny space. I blink up into his burning stare and I think I might combust. His scent, his warmth, his hard body, is all around me, but he is not touching me. I want him to touch me.

He presses his hand to the concrete wall above my head when I want it on my body. “You don’t belong here, Sara.”

The words are unexpected, a hard punch in the chest. “What? I don’t understand.”

“This job is wrong for you.”

I shake my head. I don’t belong? Coming from Chris, an established artist, I feel inferior, rejected. “You asked me why I wasn’t following my heart. Why I wasn’t pursuing what I love. I am. That’s what I’m doing.”

“I didn’t think you’d do it in this place.”

This place. I don’t know what he’s telling me. Does he mean this gallery? This city? Has he judged me not worthy of his inner circle?

“Look, Sara.” He hesitates, and lifts his head to the sky, seeming to struggle for words before fixing me with a turbulent look. “I’m trying to protect you here. This world you’ve strayed into is filled with dark, messed up, arrogant assholes who will play with your mind and use you until there is nothing else left for you to recognize in yourself.”

“Are you one of those dark, messed up, arrogant assholes?”

He stares down at me, and I barely recognize the hard lines of his face, the glint in his eyes, as belonging to the man I’ve just had lunch with. His gaze sweeps my lips, lingers, and the swell of response and longing in me is instant, overwhelming. He reaches up and strokes his thumb over my bottom lip. Every nerve ending in my body responds and it’s all I can do not to touch him, to grab his hand, but something holds me back. I am lost in this man, in his stare, in some spellbinding, dark whirlwind of…what? Lust, desire, torment? Seconds tick eternally and so does the silence. I want to hold him, to stop whatever I sense is coming but I cannot.

“I’m worse.” He pushes off the wall, and is gone. He is gone. I am alone against the wall, aching with a fire that has nothing to do with the meal we shared. My lashes flutter, my fingers touch my lip where he touched me. He has warned me away from Mark, from the gallery, from him, and he has failed. I cannot turn away. I am here and I am going nowhere.

*****

Whirling on Chris, I barely muster the will to keep my voice low, and it’s all I can do to remember the customers who might be watching. “What have you done?” The question comes out a hiss and I jerk my hand back with as much discretion as I can muster considering I’m shaking, but he holds it still.

“Made sure you’re no one’s captive.”

“By getting me fired?” I tug on my hand again. “Let go, Chris.”

“You aren’t going to get fired, Sara.”

“Let go of my hand,” I ground out between my teeth.

He clamps his lips together, and with obvious reluctance, he releases me. “You aren’t going to get–”

I walk away, cutting to my left, and toward the hallway opposite the office leading to the fancy guest bathrooms, afraid I’m going to do the completely unacceptable, and cry in public. I’m not a crier. I’ve never been a crier, but this is my dream Chris has destroyed. I thought I could be here, belong here. That a famous, gorgeous artist wanted me, when he was trying to destroy me. I am embarrassed and hurt. I hurt. This hurts. Chris hurt me.

Rounding the corner, I enter the hallway, and Chris is suddenly there in the narrow passage with me, pressing me against the wall, his powerful thighs framing mine.

My hand goes instinctively to his t-shirt-clad chest. I am immediately aware of the intimacy of the touch, of my body’s reaction to the man who has betrayed me. “Don’t shove me against another wall and try to intimidate me, Chris.”

“I’m not trying to intimidate you. I was protecting you, Sara.” His hands move to my waist, scorching me, and my reaction to the sizzling touch is instant. I cover his hands with mine, trying to control what he does next, but it doesn’t help. Now, my hands are on his hands and his hands are on my body.

“Call it what you want,” I ground out, “but you had no right to do what you did.”

“He had to know he couldn’t manipulate your dream. Money, and my many resources at your disposal, does that.”

His words knock my anger and my breath away, and confusion consumes me. His actions and his words conflict at every turn. “Why would you help me? You said I don’t belong in this world.”

“Because I won’t watch him gobble you up and destroy you.”

I remember his words, and understand now that he wanted me out of this gallery, not this profession. “Because he’s a dark, messed up, arrogant asshole who will play with my mind and use me until there is nothing else left of me I recognize.”

“That’s right.”

“And yet you say you’re worse.”

He stiffens and cuts his gaze, seeming to struggle before fixing me in a turbulent stare. “I am, Sara, which is why you should run as far away from me as you can. And I should step back and let you.”

“Then why aren’t you?” I whisper.

His eyes hold mine, and what I see there, the depth of his desire, overwhelms me. He flattens his palm on my belly and I tremble beneath the touch, and he has to feel it too.

“Because,” his voice low, seductive, his hand traveling up the center of my body, “I can’t stop thinking about you, and everything I want to do to you, everywhere I want to touch you.”

His hand presses to the swell between my breasts, and my nipples ache with a wish he would touch them. His boldness ignites something sultry and dark inside me, a side of me that defies the good-girl school teacher who is appalled I haven’t stopped this. I want him. I want him here and now, and any way I can have him.

And when his gaze lowers to my mouth and lingers, I know he is thinking about kissing me and I have never wanted to be kissed so badly in my life.

“Do you taste as good as I think you do?” he asks, but he doesn’t wait for my reply.

Suddenly, his fingers have tunneled into my hair and he’s dragging my mouth to his. I am all soft submission, yielding to the moment, to the man. I melt into him, welcome the hardness of his body pressed to mine. And when his tongue presses past my lips, a long, wicked caress, I taste his hunger, his need. There is possessiveness to his kiss, to his hand on my back, molding me closer. I am lost in the ache that has become my need for this man, this stranger I cannot resist. He says he’s protecting me; he says he’s dangerous. I am conflicted, and sure I should be angry with him, but I am completely incapable and unable of processing why.

Remotely, I register voices sounding somewhere nearby, and some tiny part of my mind is aware we could be caught, but I am too lost to care. I do not want to stop kissing him and I am panting when Chris tears his mouth from mine and presses his lips to my ear. He gently strokes my hair, his breath warm on my neck. “Go the bathroom baby, before someone sees us.”

The endearment does funny things to my chest.

He turns me to the door, his hands on my waist, his body framing me from behind, and I can feel him hot and hard against my backside. It is all I can do not to lean into him. He kisses my neck. “I don’t mind who knows what we are doing but I don’t want you embarrassed.”

The voices grow louder, high heels clicking on the tiled floor. Reality blasts through me and I dart for the bathroom door without looking back at Chris.

*****

He turns me to the window, and my hands flatten on the glass. Wasting no time, Chris unhooks my bra, and it and my blouse, are off my shoulders in moments. He is behind me again, his thick erection fitted snugly to my backside.

“Hands over your head,” he orders, pressing my palms to the glass above me, his body shadowing mine. “Stay like that.”

My pulse jumps wildly and adrenaline surges. I’ve been ordered around during sex, but in a clinical, bend over and give me what I want kind of way I tried to convince myself was hot. It wasn’t. I hated every second, every instance, and I’d endured it. This is different though, erotic in a way I’ve never experienced, enticingly full of promise. My body is sensitized, pulsing with arousal. I am hot where Chris is touching me and cold where he isn’t.

When he seems satisfied I’ll comply with his orders, Chris slowly caresses a path down my arms, and then up and down my sides, brushing the curves of my breasts. He’s in no hurry, but I am. I am literally quivering by the time his hands cover my breasts, welcoming the way he squeezes them roughly, before tugging on my nipples. I gasp with the pinching sensation he repeats over and over, creating waves of pleasure verging on pain, and the music is fading away, and so is the past. There is pleasure in pain. The words come back to me, and this time they resonate.

His hands are suddenly gone, and I pant in desperation, trying to pull them back.

Chris captures my hands and forces them back to the glass above me, his breath warm by my ear, his hard body framing mine. “Move them again and I’ll stop what I’m doing, no matter how good it might feel.”

I quiver inside at the erotic command, surprised again by how enticed I am by this game we are playing. “Just remember,” I warn, still panting, still burning for his touch.

“Payback is Hell.”

His teeth scrape my shoulder. “Looking forward to it, baby,” he rasped. “More than you can possibly know.”

*****

The bellman is in the door with our bags and I haven’t moved. I feel his eyes on me and I know I must look a disheveled mess. Somehow, I focus on the room, bringing the amazing detail into focus. Vaulted ceiling encase me and to my right is a living area and full kitchen. A California King-size bed is to my left, a stucco fireplace in the corner in front of it, and beyond that a private patio overlooking the mountains.

The hotel door shuts and Chris locks it. My heart is thundering in my chest. I can’t look at him. I don’t think he wants me to look at him. I don’t know why. It’s just a feeling.

He rolls my suitcase to the center of the room and unzips it, pulling out a pair of cream-colored strappy high heels he drops on the floor, and a pale yellow chiffon dress he lays on top of the case when he closes it. “Put them on.”

I force my eyes to his. “You want me–”

“Yes.” I wet my dry lips. Okay. He wants me to dress up. Sounds like a good excuse to escape and regroup and boy, does regrouping sound appealing. I walk to grab the dress, intending to head to the bathroom, wherever it is.

“Right here,” Chris says. “Where I can see you.”

I gape and try to clarify again. “You want me–”

“Yes. I want.”

He sits down on the bed and I realize he intends to watch me undress and dress again. This is about control, about him demonstrating what he has and I do not. He needs it. He needs it on some deep level, and I am not going to deny him. For reasons I’ve yet to understand, giving Chris control doesn’t bother me, but I know in my heart, it keeps me at a distance. This is his wall, his barrier, his great divide; I am beginning to wonder if I can ever conquer his barriers. Right now though, I’m happy to let him conquer.

I swallow hard, my throat like sandpaper, my body wet and wanting. I am aroused by this and everything Chris does. I reach for the dress.

“No,” he orders. “Undress first.”

I nod and lean against the wall to unlace my boots, and pull them and my socks off. He stares at my pink-painted toes and good lord, he makes even that hot. I reach for my pants and unlace the strings holding them closed before sliding them down over my hips and down my legs, leaving the expensive, gold-jeweled cream-colored panties in place.

My shirt comes next and I pull it over my head and toss it to the floor, standing before Chris in only my bra and panties.

His gaze sweeps over me, hot and heavy, his eyes dark, hooded. “Everything.”

I blanch. “But–”

“Everything. I want to be able to get to you when I want you. And we’ll both know I can anytime, anywhere.”

Heat rushes over my skin at the implication. He means to have me in public. I should be appalled. I should say no. Instead, I am weak in the knees with desire. I slide my fingers into the thin strings of my thong and slide it to the floor.

Chris’s gaze follows the path they take, his stare traveling my skin, touching me with such heat that it might as well be his hand. I step out of the panties and have no intention to stand there and wait for his next command.

I unhook my bra and toss it at him. “Happy now?” I challenge.

He arches a brow and I think I might see a hint of a smile on his lips, maybe. Perhaps not. “Don’t test me, Sara. You won’t like the results.”

“Or maybe, I will.” Maybe I’ll push his control. Maybe I’ll get inside him and tear down the wall.

“You won’t.” His words are hard and too certain to be comfortable for me.

 

He pushes to his feet though, and I silently cry out with joy. Touch me. I don’t care how you do it, just do it. He saunters over to me and stops out of reach. He scoops up the dress, his eyes raking over my body. My nipples pucker under his scrutiny, tight balls of aching need and I pray for his mouth on me sooner, not later.

He hands me the dress. “Put it on.”

Put it on? Without him touching me? He can’t be serious.

“Right now?”

“Right now.”

You know I have to punish you. Rebecca’s words come back to me. He’s punishing me, absolutely torturing me. Making me pay a price for daring to take control. But deep down, I come to a conclusion. I came close to breaking through his wall or he wouldn’t be doing this. It’s this information that makes the torture bearable.

I take the dress, and I notice he is careful not to touch me. I pull the chiffon material over my head and the silk rasps over my nipples and skin. I am so ultra-sensitized I think I could come with one touch of his mouth in the right place. And I believe there would be many right places at this juncture in time.

The dress falls into place and Chris’s eyes never leave mine.

“The shoes.”

I slip them on and he walks around me, giving me a careful, penetrating inspection before stopping before me.

“Beautiful, baby. You look stunning.”

My chin lifts. “But not stunning enough to fuck right now.”

“More than enough to fuck, just not yet.” He leans in, his lips by my ear, but he is careful not to touch me anywhere else. “Because when I do, you’ll be so hot and wet, you’ll be mine to do with what I want. And believe me baby — I want plenty.”

“You’re punishing me.”

He looks at me and his eyes soften as he brushes his knuckles over my shoulder. Goosebumps lift all over my skin. “Does that feel like punishment?”

More like pure bliss. “No.”

“Then you have your answer.”

 

If I Were You (Inside Out, #1)

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