Authors: Adriane Leigh
“You were in the military?” I shifted closer.
“Army. A tour in Iraq and three in Afghanistan,” he said with characteristic brevity.
My eyes fell from the well-defined bicep beneath the fine jersey of his t-shirt back to his eyes. That explained how they had the haunted look of a man who’d seen too much. “You were wounded?” I finally asked.
“In more ways than I can count.” He took another swallow and then glanced back at me. “Shot in the arm…there are still some shards buried in there somewhere.” He continued to rub his bicep as he spoke. “Throbs like a bitch some nights, but small price to pay for getting out alive. I think the weather has something to do with it.” He glanced up at the dark sky, as if indicating the dry air of Lisbon was to blame this time.
“I’m sorry,” I said in earnest.
“It was better than what I came from.” He shrugged as if it flowed off him like water. My eyes darted up at his admission. “Well, early day tomorrow. Sleep well, Erin.” He stood and brushed the pad of his thumb across my bottom lip, and I shuddered in both pleasure and shock. The wind whipped my hair, swirling it around my shoulders and licking at his wrist. His eyes averted and his fingertips trailed through the soft ends of my hair. “If only,” he murmured softly before walking through the doors and away from my raging heart.
I could follow him in, offer him my bed, offer him my
. But the professional career woman in me was desperate to be taken seriously and warned of all the dangers of sleeping with the boss. Only the wanton slut was desperate to feel his warm skin scraping against the sensitive nerves between my thighs, across my navel, along my nipples. Tonight, the career woman was going to win.
I slumped further in my chair, taking another long sip of wine.
Hunter Ellis may very well be the death of me.
MY ALARM BLARED A resounding wake-up call before I tossed a hand across it and curled deeper into the oversized comforter. A soft groan rumbled next to me and I shrieked, pulling the blanket around my body. Lying there, in my bed, was a fully-clothed and sleep-rumpled Hunter.
“Jesus, you scared me.” I placed a hand over my hammering heart before settling on the edge of the bed. A faint memory of Hunter stumbling into my room in the middle of the night, mumbling something about a bar in the couch and collapsing on the bed beside me fluttered to the edges of my mind.
“Morning, gorgeous.” I could hear Hunter’s grin from across the queen bed.
“You may have trouble getting rid of me if that’s how you greet all your PAs in the morning,” I quipped pushing a hand through my ruffled bed hair.
“Not a problem; I’ll have my secretary send a revised contract.”
I turned, and his green eyes dancing in the early morning sunlight peeking through the gauzy shades made me smile. “I’m your secretary.” I tossed a pillow at his head. His laughter followed me all the way to the bathroom, his broad, easy grin imprinted behind my eyelids.
I padded down the cool wooden floors of the hallway a minute later and paused at the doorway to the guest room. Hunter had fallen back asleep, his honeyed skin in beautiful golden contrast to the bright cotton sheet. My eyes trailed the slow slope of one bicep arched above his head, his sleep-tousled hair shooting every which way, the soft part of his full lips as he took slow breaths. My mind flooded with his words about war and shrapnel. Such a beautiful man to be so brutalized by life. I sucked in my own measured breath before pulling my eyes away from him, setting my sights on the coffee pot.
By the time the rich aroma of coffee was pressing against my nostrils, I turned to find Hunter sauntering into the kitchen wearing nothing but the cargo shorts he’d worn yesterday, a ratted belt holding them around his narrow hips. My eyes scanned the long, lean line of his well-muscled shoulders and biceps, used to contorting into a variety of angles for that perfect shot. I was surprised to find a spray of solid stars tattooed across one arm, and two doves above each of his pectorals in perfect opposition. Also hanging around his neck was a silver chain carrying dog tags. My fingers begged to stroke the tags against his warm skin and press my lips against the cool metal.
“Something on your mind, Erin?” His voice pulled me from my daydreams.
“Coffee.” I cleared my throat and gestured to the pot as heat flamed my cheeks.
“Getting caught red-handed looks good on you.” He caught my chin between his fingers with a crooked grin before pulling a mug down from the shelf and pouring a cup of the scorching brew.
My mouth fell open by the time I’d registered his words. “Caught what? I wasn’t—”
“Don’t worry about it, Erin. I don’t mind being objectified by a pretty girl.” He winked then, and I’m sure he saw my heart thud a thousand times faster than it was ever meant to behind my ribcage.
“Hunter, whatever you think you saw, I’m a prof—”
“You’re a professional.” He leaned in. “I remember.” His words vibrated across the fine hairs at my neck and heightened every fucking cell in my body. My toes curled, my thighs shifted, my nipples hardened, and my cheeks felt like I’d dusted them with blush made of molten lava this morning.
, Erin. “I toasted you a bagel,” was the only thing I managed to come up with. “Shit!” I spun as the smell of burnt bread filled the kitchen.
His deep chuckle warmed my insides more than the coffee ever could. “I don’t do simple carbs, but this is great.” He pulled an apple off the counter and headed down the hallway. “Taking a shower,” he called behind him before I heard the loud crunch of teeth tearing delicate red flesh.
Sweet Lord in Heaven. My brain blitzed and the knife I held to cream cheese the bagel clattered to the floor. The thought of Hunter Ellis in the shower all hot, wet, and naked was too much for my fragile ovaries to bear. Working with Hunter was going to be so much harder than I ever could have dreamed.
THE MODEL ARRIVED promptly at six fifteen, and within twenty minutes she was nude and we were shooting. To take advantage of the light Hunter draped her over the balcony, and with morning sun silhouetting her slim curves, it looked as if her dark skin glowed.
Hunter then escorted her to the master bedroom. He snapped a few shots of the exotic model, her breasts full and nipples hard, as she laid against the tree. Hunter passed his camera to my waiting hands and took out a long strap of dark leather. Twisting and pulling around the large trunk of the tree, Hunter bound her, placing each lash strategically across her form—just under her breasts to lift them a little fuller, between her legs in a criss-crossing pattern, and then further wrapped around the trunk until her wrists and ankles were restrained.
“Don’t move,” he shot a gravelly warning at the model when she’d squirmed against his binds. He was so dominant, so feral when he flipped to work mode, I couldn’t help but wonder the tone he took when he fucked.
I bit down on my lip as he took the camera from me. His eyes flashed to mine as our hands connected. My heart skidded to a near halt when his little finger hooked with my own for a fleeting moment. A small smile tilted his lips, and it was like we fell away. For just that one instant, it was him and I, all alone again.
“Excited?” His voice fell on my ears in a delicious whisper.
“Yes.” I shuddered with arousal. His eyes flicked down to my lips, and the cocky smile softened to something sweeter that I couldn’t quite place.
“Let’s get started then,” he said quietly. And then his finger released mine and we were apart again. The world around us snapped back into place, and in the next instant I was holding his reflector at just the right angle to capture the light.
“She’s beautiful,” I murmured as I stood to the side, admiring while he shot. Her nipples puckered as her eyes fluttered closed for half a beat.
“You like that?” His voice lowered as he looked up at the model’s face from his camera-in-hand crouch. “Say it again,” Hunter whispered to me. My mouth fell into a soft O as Hunter’s eyes urged me on silently.
” Hunter ordered. Jesus, with the instructions…and the instructions had my clit throbbing and a slow ache burning incessantly in my stomach.
I licked my lips and started over. “You have beautiful breasts,” I said softly and watched as her nipples beaded and her eyes fell closed for a slow second, before fluttering open again.
“Perfect.” He inched closer, zooming in to capture the goose bumps standing in contrast to the smooth slicks of leather. “That’s it, beautiful baby,” Hunter murmured to the model, almost on reflex. I could see he was in his own world now. I did my best to follow him and anticipate his needs, but he was lost to me. “You like thinking of her looking at your beautiful body?” he asked again, enraptured by the different angles of her form and constantly checking the pictures he took as he went.
“One more thing, Erin. Come here.” He was back to bossing me around again and my insides twisted with desire every time he did. “Hand.” He held a hand out, and confused, I placed mine in his. Our palms connecting again had butterflies floating in my stomach, but I loved it, I loved every delicious minute of it.
His hand fell away and my fingertips smoothed just up the curve of her waist. Goose bumps erupted across flesh as her thighs shifted anxiously. I leaned in close, my lips within inches of hers, and blew warm breath across her cool skin. A soft sigh escaped her lips and she writhed, riding the straps of leather between her legs.
My heart thudded and my palms burned with something I couldn’t quite place. Shallow breaths fell from my lungs as Hunter’s hand locked with mine and pressed against her narrow waist. His other hand slid up her curves, brushing across the edge of one breast and wrapping into the dark strands of her hair.
“I’d love to fuck you both.” He hummed in her ear while his other hand guided mine to her breast and squeezed the round flesh.
“Hunter, I—” I stumbled for words as disbelief clogged my brain. I knew without a second thought that I was only touching her because he was with me, encouraging me, fucking me with his words and his eyes and that delicious click-clicking of his camera.
“Let go. Feel the heat on her skin, the blush of her nipples; she’s turned on, right where we want her.” He replied and the model’s eyes fell closed, a soft moan escaping her lips. “Would you like that? Do you want to be fucked tied against this tree?” His palm pressed against her neck in primal domination. A small groan fell from her lips before she nodded, her warm yes fluttering open to meet his own intense ones.
“Good girl.” His hand fell away. “Keep touching her.” His deep eyes cut to mine and had my stomach churning with anxiety and lust. I would do it. I would do anything if he continued to look at me like that.
“That’s it.” Hunter sang as he fell back on his ass and the camera
click click clicked
away. I inhaled the sweet scent of the model’s damp skin. Her breath shuddered and breaths grew rapid. My head swam and my thighs shifted, my panties growing more damp with every moan and click. “Beautiful,” Hunter encouraged. “You’re both so fucking beautiful.” Whimpers filled the silence as her legs began to tighten and quake. I’d never done this before, nothing like it in my life, but with Hunter, I saw sex from a different perspective. It was a beautiful expression of his art and capturing her aroused with lust burning in her eyes was what made Hunter’s photos different. Stopped people in their tracks and forced them to see the heart of physical love.
“Pinch,” Hunter instructed, and despite all the thoughts flooding my brain, I did as I was told on reflex. I pinched her nipple between my fingers, gently first and then harder, until soft grunts fell from her lips along with her crashing orgasm.
“Perfect,” Hunter said as he zoomed and clicked, leaned and stretched and clicked again before he finally paused to review the last handful of shots he’d taken. He’d turned sex into art. Made the taboo elegant, exposed the heart of lust and translated it into something of raw beauty and love.
“I think we got it.” And just like that he shot up and his eyes found mine, passing me an almost gleeful grin. “Can you untie her? I’ve got an idea for the next shot.” And he was gone, and I was left untying the model who had just come against the tree. A smile quirked my lips that suddenly this had become my life. Through some strange turn of events, I’d run into a beautiful edgy artist at a coffee shop, and now I was across the ocean with him living a life wilder than my dreams. Fate had a funny way of throwing a twist now and again.
I SIGHED WHEN I finally flopped in bed that afternoon, exhausted even though it was hardly four P.M. The jetlag plus the early morning work schedule was taking a toll.
“Oh no.” Hunter launched himself onto the bed next to me, hands stretched over his head, wide smile on his face. “We’ve got dinner in an hour,” he rumbled, lifting my phone off the bed, taking it upon himself to scroll through the photos. “What are you doing?” I screeched and pulled it away.
“Making sure you weren’t taking any pictures of me for your spank bank,” he answered, his eyes on fire with mischief.
“Do you think I would just have them on there for anyone to see?” I turned away. “They’re hidden.” I smiled politely and his laugh died, his eyes wide and focused on mine.
“That reminds me, I need to lock this.” I went to the settings in my phone and glanced over the screen at him, my eyes now doing the twinkling. I could feel the butterflies in my gut, the zaps between my thighs, the happiness, the smile. Hunter made me smile from the tips of my toes to my exhausted cheekbones.