Authors: Lisa Renee Jones
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #General, #Erotica, #Contemporary, #Suspense
If I Were You
Shades of Grey meets Basic Instincts
Inside Out Trilogy
Lisa Renee Jones
If I Were You
Copyright 2012 Lisa Renee Jones
Published By Lisa Renee Jones
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To Diego --This story is for you
Happy Birthday to Tina who is my lucky angel and dear
friend. Without her love and support I would not have survived my nerves over
this very special project. And thank you to all of my Underground Angels who
have shown so much support. You ladies really are my wings. Thanks to my
readers who make it possible for me to do what I love and many of you who
helped spread the word about this story. And thanks to the many bloggers who
helped spread the word about this story as well!
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
a price. There is
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
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
A knock on my apartment door jolts me from the seductive
words of the journal I’ve been reading to the point I darn near toss the
notebook over my shoulder. Guiltily, I slam it shut and set it back on the
simple oak coffee table where it had been left by my neighbor and close friend,
Ella Ferguson the night before. I hadn’t meant to read it. It was just...
On my table. Absently, I’d opened it, and I’d been so shocked at what I found
that I hadn’t believed it could really be my sweet, close friend Ella’s
writing. So I’d kept reading. I couldn’t stop reading and I don’t know why. It
makes no sense. I, Sara McMillan, am a high-school teacher, and I do not invade
people’s privacy, nor do I enjoy this kind of reading. I’m still telling myself
that as I reach the door, but I can’t ignore the burn low in my belly.
I pause before greeting my visitor, and rest my hands on my
cheeks, certain they’re flaming red, hoping whoever is here will just go away.
I promise myself if they do, I won’t read the journal again, but deep down, I
know the temptation will be strong. Good Lord, I feel like Ella seemed to feel
when living out the scene in the journal-–like
am the one hanging on
for one more titillating moment and then another. Clearly,
twenty-eight-year-old women are not supposed to go eighteen months without sex.
The worst part is that I’ve invaded the privacy of someone I care about.
Another knock sounds and I concede that, nope, my visitor is
going away. Inwardly, I shake myself and tug at the hem of the
simple light blue dress I still wore from my final day of tenth-grade summer
English classes. I inhale and open the door to have a cool blast of San
Francisco’s year-round chilly night air tease the loose strands of my long
brunette hair that have fallen from the twist at my nape. Thankfully, it also
cools my feverishly hot skin. What is wrong with me? How has a journal affected
me this intensely?
Without awaiting an invitation, Ella rushes past me in a
whiff of vanilla-scented perfume and red bouncing curls.
“There it is,” Ella says, snatching up her journal from the
coffee table. “I thought I'd left it here when I came by last night.”
I shut the door, certain my cheeks are flaming again with
the knowledge that I now know more about Ella’s sex life than I should. I still
don’t know what made me open that journal, what made me keep reading. What
makes me, even now, want to read more.
“I hadn’t noticed,” I say, wishing I could pull back the lie
the instant it’s issued. I don’t like lies. I’ve known my share of people
who’ve told them and I know how damaging they can be. I
like how easily this one slipped from my lips. This is Ella, after all, who in
the past year as my neighbor, has become my confidante, the younger sister I’d
never had. Together we are the family neither of us have, or rather, neither of
us wish to claim. Uncomfortably, I ramble onward, a bad habit brought out by
nerves, and guilt, apparently. “Long day of classes,” I add, “and I had piles
and piles of paperwork to finish up for the summer. Lucky you got to avoid that
this year, though I had some great kids I enjoyed.” I purse my lips and tell
myself I’ve said enough, only to find I can’t help but continue, “I only just
got home a few minutes ago.”
“Well thank goodness you have some time off now,” Ella says,
lifting the journal. “I brought this over last night when we’d planned to watch
that chick flick together. I wanted to read you a few of the entries. But then
David called, and you know how that went.” Her lips tilted downward, guilt
laden in her tone. “I deserted you like a very bad friend.”
David being her hot doctor boyfriend. What David wanted from
Ella, he got. Now, I know just how true that is. I study Ella a moment. With
her dewy youthful skin, dressed in faded jeans and a purple tee, she looks like
one of my students rather than a twenty-five year old teacher herself. “I was
tired anyway,” I assure her, but I’m worried she’s over her head with this man
ten years her senior. “I needed to get to bed to be ready for today’s classes.”
“Well they’re over now and yay for that.” She indicates the
journal. “And I’m so glad to get this back before my date with David tonight.”
She wiggles an eyebrow. “Foreplay. David is going to love this. This thing is
I gape in utter disbelief. “You read him your journal?”
I’d never have the courage to read a man such intimate personal
thoughts-–especially not about him. “And it’s foreplay?”
Ella frowns. “This isn’t
journal. Remember? I told
you last night. It’s from the storage units I bought at that auction at the beginning
“Oh,” I say, though I don’t remember Ella saying anything
about the journal. In fact, had she, I’m one hundred percent sure I’d remember.
“That’s right. The storage auctions you’ve been attending since you got
obsessed with that Storage Wars show. I still can’t believe people store their
things and then default and let it go to the highest bidder.”
“And yet they do,” Ella says. “And I’m not obsessed.”
I arch a brow.
“Okay, maybe I am,” she concedes, “but I’m going to make
more than double what I would have teaching summer school. You should really
consider going to the next auction with me. I’ve already turned two of the
three units I bought around for big money.” She holds up the journal. “This
came from the last unit I bought and it’s the best yet. It has artwork I know
is going to sell for big bucks. And so far I’ve found three journals that are
absolutely spellbinding. My gosh, I can’t seem to stop reading them. This woman
started out like you and I, and somehow got pulled into this dark passionate
place that is terrifyingly exciting.”
She’s right, and I can feel that burn in my belly thinking
about the words on those pages. I can almost imagine the soft, seductive voice
of the woman whispering her story to me. I try to focus on what Ella is saying,
but I’m wondering about that woman instead, wondering where she is, who she is.
”Oh my!” Ella exclaims. “You’re blushing. You read the
journal, didn’t you?”
I blanch. “What? I…” Suddenly, I can’t talk, and I’m not
rambling a nonsensical reply I would normally spurt out. I am so not myself
right now and I sink helplessly into an overstuffed brown chair across from
Ella, stuck in the trap of my earlier lie. “I…yes. I read it.”
Ella claims a couch cushion, narrowing her green eyes on me.
“Did you think
wrote that stuff?”
I cast her a tentative look. “Well…”
“Whoa,” she says, clearly taking my reply, or rather lack of
reply, as confirmation. “You thought…” She shakes her head. “I’m speechless.
You couldn’t have read the good parts or there’s no way you would think she was
me. But you’re sure blushing like you read the good parts.”
“I read some parts that were, ah, hmm, pretty detailed.”
She snorts. “And you assumed I wrote them.” She shakes her
head again. “And here I thought you knew me. But heck, I so wish I could live
up to that assessment for just one hot night. There is a mysterious eroticism
to that woman’s life that’s just…” She shivers. “Haunting. It,
In some small way it comforts me to know she is as affected
by the words on those pages as I am, and I don’t know why. What in the world do
I need comfort for? It isn’t logical. Nothing about my reaction to this unknown
woman is logical.
“Once David and I finish with the journal,” Ella continues,
drawing me back into the conversation, “he’s going to take pictures of a few
intimate pages for potential buyers and we’re listing the journals on eBay.
They’re going to bring in big money. I just know it.”
I gape, appalled at this idea. “You can’t seriously intend
on selling this woman’s personal thoughts on eBay?”
“Heck yeah, I do,” she says. “Making money is the name of
the game. Besides, for all we know it’s all fiction.”
Her words are cold and she surprises me. This is not the
Ella I know. “We are talking about a woman’s private thoughts, Ella. Surely,
you don’t want to profit off of her pain.”
Her brows dip. “What pain? It sounds like all pleasure to
“She lost everything she owns at auction. That isn’t
“I’m guessing her rich man flew her off to some exotic location
and she is living life in a grand way.” Her voice turns somber. “I
think like that to do this, Sara. Please don’t make me feel guilty. This is
money I need and if I didn’t do this, some other buyer would have.”
I open my mouth to argue, but relent. Ella is alone in this
world, with no family aside from an alcoholic father who doesn’t know his own
name most of the time, let alone hers. I know she feels she has to have money
for emergencies. I know that feeling myself all too well. I too am alone.
Mostly, but I don’t want to think about that right now.