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Authors: Alexandra Christian

OneHundredStrokes

BOOK: OneHundredStrokes
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One Hundred Strokes

Alexandra
Christian

 

Selene and Julian need to get away from it all and rekindle
the excitement that has been sorely lacking of late. Heading to the mountains
for a romantic getaway, Selene packs the one thing she knows will make her
weekend enjoyable. However, when Julian discovers her little secret, he’ll make
her pay for her deviance. With the help of a forbidden text and an antique hairbrush,
their passion will ignite in a way that neither expected.

A
Romantica®
BDSM erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave

One Hundred Strokes
Alexandra Christian

 

Chapter One

 

Selene shivered as the night air slipped through the
curtains and blew across her skin, still wet from the bath. From the rumbling
sounds outside, she could tell that a storm was brewing somewhere over the
mountains. The late summer humidity had settled over them like a warm, wet
blanket, charging the air with a strange electricity. It seemed to reflect the
dark mood of confusion and excitement that was rumbling deep inside her. When
her boyfriend Julian had suggested they go away, just the two of them, she’d
been taken by surprise. He had always been one of those workaholic types and
lately she’d grown tired of his excuses. Their relationship, once hot, heavy
and constant, had turned into a bi-weekly date night that might or might not
culminate in half an hour of mediocre sex. And even when they managed to have
sex, something was missing. She always found herself alone and unsatisfied.

During last week’s dinner date, Julian had sprung the idea
of a weekend getaway to the mountains to escape the August heat. Selene had
been apprehensive at first, thinking that perhaps it would end up being a
business trip for Jules and she’d be left alone in some hotel room, but her
reservations had been quelled immediately. He’d arrived at her apartment to
pick her up with only a small valise of clothing and no cell phone. Instead of
his usual suit and tie with crisp white collar and perfect hair, he’d donned a
pair of jeans that were stylishly ragged and a T-shirt that seemed to cling in
all the right places. He looked relaxed and more sensual than she’d ever seen
him. After she’d commented about it, Julian had only laughed and said simply,
“This weekend is for you, darling.”

As Selene gazed around the room, she felt the truth in his
words. The palatial mountain house he’d reserved for their getaway was like
something straight out of her imagination. Dark wooden pillars rose all around
the room, ending in exposed rafters that held up the high ceilings. She could
smell the rugged scent of pine and cedar all over, coming through the windows
that surrounded the entire place. It was the smell of the forest and it made
her feel animalistic. As if she were Julian’s prey, waiting in nervous
anticipation for him to strike. A bed sprawled in the center of the room,
covered with an assortment of lush pillows and comforters. The thought of lying
back on that monstrosity with Julian had already made her wet with desire.
Selene could only hope that he would live up to her expectations.

“Penny for your thoughts.” Julian’s voice startled Selene as
he strolled into the room. She turned toward him, her breath catching. He’d
shed his T-shirt and his jeans hung low on his hips. She watched him, savoring
every movement. He moved with an unearthly grace that she had to admit had
fascinated her since the day they’d met. She watched the muscles in his back
and shoulders work as he pulled back the coverlets and tossed the decorative
pillows onto the floor. His dark hair, usually perfect, was tousled and stood
up at strange angles all over his head, highlighting the strands of silver at
his temples.

“Oh, nothing,” Selene replied, crossing the room to sit at
the small vanity dresser beside the bed. “Just wondering what you’re going to
do with me now that you have me all to yourself in the middle of nowhere.”
Looking into the mirror before her, she could see his mischievous smile.

“Thinking I brought you out here to have my way with you?”

“Well, didn’t you?” Her heart fluttered in her chest at the
thought of Julian having his way with her.

“Of course,” he replied, sitting on the bed behind her. He
stared at her in the mirror, his green eyes burning into hers. “I didn’t think
you’d mind.”

“Not at all,” she said, her voice barely a whisper. “There
are few things in this world I enjoy as much as you having your way with me.” A
combination of the charged air and the dark expression in his eyes made Selene
nervous. She could feel the blush rising in her cheeks, so she looked away,
picking up the wooden hairbrush on the dresser.

“Look, Selene… I know I’ve been distracted lately. My work
takes me away from you.”

“It’s all right, Jules. I know how busy you are.”

“Busy is no excuse, Selene. I haven’t been there for you.”
He slid forward on the bed, getting so close that she could feel the heat of
his body resting against her back. Reaching around, he closed his hand over
hers, taking up the brush she clutched lightly. “I realize that I haven’t
attended to your needs as I should have.” As he spoke, he began pulling the
stiff boar-hair bristles through her auburn hair. “You’re such a beautiful
woman, Selene. The thought of losing you is…unbearable.”

“You shouldn’t worry so much, Jules.” She sighed, relaxing
into his words. “I knew what you were like when we started dating.”

“Oh? And what am I like?” he asked, continuing the gentle,
rhythmic strokes of the brush through her hair.

“Just…intense.” Selene shivered as his fingertips found the
cuff of her ear, brushing a strand of hair away from her cheek. “Perhaps a
little obsessive at times.”

“You think me obsessive?” Julian asked, gathering her hair
into a ponytail at the back of her head and picking at a small tangle.

“A little,” she replied, biting her lip as the brush tugged
at the small hairs at the base of her skull. “It’s just that sometimes I feel
as if your work comes before me.” She let her eyes stray to the mirror, staring
into his face and searching for some kind of reaction. “Every now and then I’d
like to be first.”

“Is that what you think?” His lips were set in a hard line.
He gazed at her with a stoic expression. “That I don’t put you first?”

“I didn’t mean that you don’t love me. It’s just that
sometimes you put me off for work. I don’t feel…you know…like the center of
attention. And sometimes being the center of attention is nice.”

“I see,” he replied. He said no more but continued brushing
out Selene’s thick locks. Over and over he dragged the bristles through her
hair, smoothing it until the gentle strokes lulled her into a relaxed state of
contentment. After several moments, his voice broke the silence, jerking Selene
from her reverie. “You know, some might say that a need to be the center of
attention all the time is selfish and rude.” Selene glanced into the mirror,
seeing that his mouth was quirked into a playful smile. “Very unbecoming of a
lady.”

“I’ve never thought of myself as a proper lady. You know
that,” she replied, returning his smile with a spark of mischief in her eyes.
“You of
all
people should know that.”

“Despite my tutelage.” He pulled back, standing up and
tossing the hairbrush onto the bed. She started to follow, but Julian laid a
heavy hand on her shoulder, pushing her back onto the seat. “Stay here. I have
something I want to show you.” Selene nodded, watching him as he crossed the
room, disappearing into the enormous bath off of the sitting area. Her stomach,
deep down, lurched and fluttered at the thought of what he might have up his
sleeve. What sort of game was Julian playing at this time? Perhaps a ring? The
thought made her blush clear down to her toes. Of course she’d thought of marrying
him. Who wouldn’t? Julian had it all—a partnership in his law firm, more money
than he could ever spend, a sprawling townhouse right in the center of
Savannah, an intelligence to rival Einstein, an incredible body that could only
be described as godlike. What more could a woman ask for in a potential
husband? But she had always assumed that he’d never ask her. And recently he’d
seemed to lose interest. Could it be that all this mysterious banter was a ploy
to surprise her with an engagement ring? Doubtful, but Selene couldn’t help but
hope.

When he returned, what he held in his hand was not a small
velvet box, but a book bound in red leather. Selene’s breathing ceased when she
saw it, recognizing the intricate leatherwork on the spine. Though the light in
the room was dim, she could just make out the title scrawled in gold leaf on
the cover. “A Feast of Fetishes,” Julian read, staring down at the book as he
leafed casually through the pages. “I had no idea that you indulged in such
decadent literature, Selene.”

Selene’s face flushed bright-red and she could feel the heat
radiating from her cheeks. “It looked interesting in the bookshop,” she
murmured.

“Indeed. Just looking through the table of contents, one can
see how interesting it is.” His eyebrow was raised, but she couldn’t tell
whether it was in amusement or anger. “And they say women aren’t interested in
pornography.”

“You yourself said that everyone has their own pornography,”
Selene muttered shyly. “And I didn’t know…”

“Don’t tell me you didn’t know what it was about when you
bought it.” Julian snickered. “A Feast of Fetishes? Really? Perhaps you thought
it was a cookbook.” He strolled toward her, looking predatory, almost
disapproving. “Last week when you were getting ready for our dinner date, I happened
to see this book lying out on the coffee table. I just couldn’t help myself…”

“So you invaded my privacy?” Selene interrupted, unable to
keep the irritation from her voice.

“Perhaps. But I think you’ll agree that my finding this has
opened my eyes, as it were. After looking through its dog-eared pages, I knew
that I had to take you away this weekend. All your most heated fantasies are
obviously contained within.”

“I wouldn’t say all of them.”

Julian smirked and opened the book, holding it out to her.
“I think it’s pretty obvious the ones you coveted the most.” As his delicate
fingertips slid across the pages, she could see that he was right. It was
apparent by the smudged pages which ones she found most appealing. One story in
particular, titled
One Hundred Strokes
, had even been marked. Again she
flushed, thinking about the dark fantasies that just the title brought to mind.

“Ah, yes, I see I’ve found your favorite.
One Hundred
Strokes
, is it? Pray, love, enlighten me as to what that one is about.”
Julian’s mouth quirked into a malevolent smile as he saw her blush deepen.
“Perhaps a tale of hair brushing?” Selene could tell by his expression that he
knew full well what the story was about. After a few moments of her staring
silently up at him, he raised his eyebrow expectantly. “Well? Answer me, pet.”

Pet.
The same term of endearment that the man in the
story had used. Yes, Julian had read the story in great detail. The heroine of
the story was a spoiled princess whose Prince Charming gave her a lesson in
love and discipline with her silver-backed hairbrush. “It’s about a woman who
wants…um…” she stammered, trying to avoid Julian’s gaze. She was squirming
inside and he knew it. Was enjoying it, even.

“Wants what?” he urged, tossing the book aside and sitting
down on the end of the bed so that they were nose to nose. Selene sighed almost
inaudibly. He was so close. She could feel his breath, warm and wet against her
chest and neck. She wanted to be closer, but right now he was frightening.
Intimidating. He was pushing her to admit something she wasn’t sure she could
breathe aloud. Some deep-down desire that she had never shared with anyone, and
he wanted her to say it. “Tell me, Selene. What is it that she wants?”

“She… I…” Her words trailed off and suddenly she realized.
She couldn’t say it. The words died in her throat as she tried to verbalize.
How could she tell him that her secret desire was to be dominated? To be
punished with pain and rewarded with pleasure. She wanted him to take control
and push her limits to their absolute edges. All this time she’d been blaming
him for not being there, but it was as much her fault as his. She couldn’t tell
him what she wanted.

Julian stood and took a step toward her. Reaching down, he
took her chin between his fingers and tipped her head back to stare up at him.
“Tell me what you need, Selene.” He didn’t wait for her to respond, taking her
wrist with his free hand and pulling her roughly to her feet. Her body crashed
against his, knocking the breath from her chest. Their fingers interlocked and
he pushed them behind her, forcing her chest hard against him. He stared down
into her green eyes, searching them for some sign. But they were pleading.
Pleading with him not to ask her this. They willed him to know what she was
thinking without her saying it aloud. Selene breathed slowly and heavily, waves
of nervous sexual energy thrumming in the pit of her stomach. He leaned over,
brushing his lips suggestively over hers before pulling back, a wicked smile
playing over his lips. “Leaving that book out was your way of telling me,
wasn’t it, pet?” His mouth was close to hers again and she closed her eyes,
waiting for the warmth of his kiss. A kiss that never came, only the mere
whisper of his breath, warm and scented with scotch and clove. “Well I’m afraid
that won’t be nearly enough.”

“Please,” she whispered, arching her neck to find his mouth,
but he would not give in. Just a taste of his tongue as it flickered over her
lips was all she would be allowed. His arms gripped her tightly, his hands
holding her wrists firmly behind her back, nearly bruising with their
intensity. “Kiss me,” she whispered. “That’s what I need, Julian.”

Covering her mouth with his, he kissed her hard. She gasped,
opening her mouth to accept his tongue as he pushed inside deeply, a
foreshadowing of things to come. His tongue swirled around hers, licking and
stroking and leaving her breathless. For a moment Selene was sure she would
drown in the tempest of his kisses, but all too soon he pulled back. Staring
down at her and pushing her hair away from her face, he examined her expression
closely. With a single fingertip he traced the crest of her cheek and the line
of her jaw. “No,” he growled. “I don’t think I will kiss you, Selene. That’s
not what you need.” Releasing her wrists, he stepped back, leaving her to
stumble backward. Sitting back on the bed, he watched Selene shivering with
cold humiliation. She wanted so much to explain, but when she tried to speak no
words would come.

BOOK: OneHundredStrokes
12.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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