Authors: Mari Carr & Jayne Rylon
She’d considered riding around until the agony subsided. In the past, flying down the highway too fast, using distance and the roaring of the motorcycle’s engine, helped erase the fear, the aching. Today, she’d opted for another cure. Liam.
“Jade,” Liam started.
“Is anyone else around?” Her words came out louder, angrier than she intended.
Liam shook his head.
“Good.” Jade reached for the hem of her T-shirt, tugging the cotton over her head.
She’d hoped the action would incite a bit of hunger in Liam, but instead he studied her with those cool, calm, too-observant brown eyes. The look pissed her off.
She reached for the hooks on her bra, unfastening them and shrugging off the lace. Still Liam didn’t move. She longed for a reaction. Needed it.
“I was speeding on the way here. On my motorcycle. Got her up to ninety.”
Finally, his gaze narrowed and she detected the slightest tightening around his jawline. “Is that so?”
She nodded as she worked free the button on her jeans. “Yeah. Then I slowed down and drove carefully the rest of the way here.”
Liam frowned, clearly confused by her admission.
“So now I want my prize for good behavior.”
“What happened at Compass Ranch, Jade?”
Her temper spiked. “Nothing.” She tugged down her pants, kicked off her shoes. Liam was quiet as he perused her naked body. Shyness had never been a part of her personality, so she stood comfortably as he looked.
When he made no move to approach her, she put her hands on her hips. “My reward?”
Liam’s gaze returned to her face when she spoke. She was breathing rapidly, standing on a narrow ledge, trying desperately not to fall. She was upset, furious, scared. She hated every single one of those emotions. Needed Liam to wipe them away. To drag her back into the safety of his world. A world where Alzheimer’s didn’t exist.
“How bad was she?”
She exploded, flying forward. “Fuck you, Liam Harrison! You promised me! Told me I could come to you!” As she spoke, she shoved him. She needed physical contact and she didn’t care if it came through sex or aggression. Both would be ideal.
Liam was a mountain of a man. Her rough push did little more than move the hay clinging to his chest. So she shoved him once more.
Liam captured her arms, tugging her hands behind her back. He squeezed them tightly until she winced, gasped.
“You want a fight, Jade?”
She nodded. Oh God. Hell yeah, she did. She wanted to beat on something, someone, until they felt as shitty as she did.
Liam released her hands. The sudden freedom caught her off-guard. Then he lifted his arms in surrender. “Do your worst.”
His invitation irritated her. “I don’t hit like a girl, you know. If I punch you, you’re going to feel it.”
The corners of his lips tipped up, taunting her. “I expect I will. Do it anyway.”
She reared back without a second thought and swung, though she pulled back at the last minute, afraid of hurting him.
Liam put his hands on his hips. “Try it again, Jade.”
“One more time. As hard as you can. Then it’s my turn.”
She swiped her brow with her forearm, wiping away the sweat trickling from her hairline, stinging her eyes. The weatherman predicted today would be the hottest day of the summer. He hadn’t lied.
Jade tried to take a steadying breath, but failed. Her heart was racing, her head pounding. She couldn’t take much more of this fucking day. This fucking life.
“Fine.” Balling her hand in a fist, she let loose with every ounce of frustration and misery she could muster. Liam reared back when she caught him in the stomach. His loud
told her she’d hurt him.
Regret appeared. Words of apology forming on her lips. Neither made landfall when Liam gripped her upper arm and dragged her to the corner of the barn. This spot was more open than the stall they’d just left.
Liam picked up some thin cord from a pile of ropes stashed there and looped it around Jade’s wrists. His movements were quick, efficient.
He raised her arms, and it was then Jade noticed the hook above her head. Liam attached the rope to it, the height forcing her to stand on tiptoe. Her head swam at how effectively he’d managed to capture her, render her helpless.
Strangely, the fear she’d felt when she left Compass Ranch started to wane. One of these days she’d have to figure out why Liam’s bondage made her feel safe rather than terrified. Clearly something was broken inside of her. Little surprise there. She’d felt out of step with the world for most of her life.
Liam stood a few feet away, studying his work in silence.
She didn’t feel the need to break it, to fill it with mindless chatter. She reveled in these quiet moments with Liam when the only thing she had to consider in the world was what he would do next.
He stepped closer, the heat from his skin combining with hers. Though it was cooler in the shade of the barn, Jade suspected the temperature was still pushing ninety, probably more.
“Feel better?” he asked.
She shook her head.
Though his brow was creased, concern written on his face, Liam never denied her, never balked at her desires or criticized her for them. He reached up and cupped her bare breast, squeezing the flesh that was still tender from their lovemaking the previous night.
The reminder of the tight clamps sent a surge of arousal to her pussy. She wished he had them with him now. She tried to admonish him when he released her breast, but Liam shushed her.
“No, Jade. No complaints. No demands. You’re going to take what I offer or I’ll cut you down from there and end things right now.”
She shook her head rapidly. “Don’t stop.” Her mind silently added
, though she didn’t dare speak the word aloud.
“Then trust me to know what you need.”
She did. Completely. That thought soothed her.
“Good,” Liam murmured just before he placed a soft kiss on her lips. While she generally loved his kisses, she didn’t need his comfort today. She longed for something more powerful, more brutal.
Liam must have understood because he kept the contact brief. Then he stepped behind her. Jade didn’t bother to turn her head to watch.
His hand struck her ass hard, the strong blow sending sparks of pain mixed with need throughout her body. He didn’t pause, didn’t give her time to recover as his hand struck her flesh again. She had no awareness of the passage of time. It was irrelevant. She wanted to stay here forever.
The spanking stopped too soon as Liam’s rough hands burrowed between her legs from behind. He pushed two fingers inside her sex, pumping rapidly. Jade’s head fell forward, the first of her orgasms imminent. Weeks with Liam had made her greedy, taught her to expect multiple orgasms rather than being appeased with one lukewarm climax in a night.
Liam continued to finger-fuck her, using his free hand to stroke her clit. The combination worked as she cried out his name. Liam let her ride out the storm before thrusting her straight back into it. He pinched her clit, using his now-drenched fingers to fuck her ass. He’d bought her a butt plug during her first weekend at his place, introducing her to the magic of anal sex.
The forbidden act, the pinch, the pain and the pleasure blended together to make it one of her favorite things.
“Fuck me. There.” He’d told her to make no demands, but she sucked at following orders.
She groaned when he pressed deeper into her ass. “Please.”
“No lube. It would hurt like hell.”
“I don’t care.”
He cut off her pleas with several hard thrusts. “I do.”
Jade lifted one leg, twisting her foot to relieve the cramps forming there. Her toes weren’t used to supporting her for so long.
Liam must have noticed her distress as the hook holding her arms up lowered slightly, allowing her to stand with her feet flat on the ground.
“Good. You’re going to need steady footing.”
She twisted to look at him as he moved away from her. Her breath caught when he took a riding crop down from a rack hanging on the wall.
He didn’t approach her, merely watched her, his arms hanging by his sides. “You asked me to use this on you a few nights ago.”
She licked her lips, fear and arousal pulsing through her so powerfully she felt certain she’d fall to her knees without his ropes holding her up. “I did. You said later.”
He looked down at the crop in his hand, and for the first time since they’d embarked on their affair, Jade sensed hesitance on his part.
“Liam, you don’t have to if...”
He glanced at her. “If what? If I don’t want to? I do. That doesn’t scare you?”
She shook her head. “Nothing you’ve done has frightened me.”
Liam closed his eyes momentarily, then he captured her gaze again as he walked closer. “One of these days we’re going to discuss this.”
She knew what he was talking about. It was clear they shared similar kinks, but rather than talk about it, they’d jumped in with both feet, neither of them taking the time to figure out why this worked. Or why they needed it.
Jade had read enough of Hope’s dirty books to understand her feelings weren’t wrong. Hell, they weren’t even particularly unique. She’d never be a vanilla girl, though in the past, she’d settled for that flavor because it was simpler than offering her trust.
“Do it,” she whispered.
Liam gave her a crooked grin, so friendly and familiar, she couldn’t stop herself from returning it. “You’ve been standing right in front of me every day for eight years.”
She understood his sentiment, his amazement. “People don’t wear their sexual proclivities around on their sleeves.”
He chuckled. “It would make life a hell of a lot easier if they did.”
She laughed. “Maybe we should propose it at the next city council meeting. Bet Bucky’s a toe sucker. That bastard is always making comments about my feet.”
Liam shook his head, his smile growing. “Twenty bucks says Martha Suire is into pony play.”
“Your sleeve would say Dom who likes to spank women and pretend he’s in charge.”
“And yours would say very bad closet sub who’s into pain.”
Jade sobered up, glancing at the crop. “I want to feel it.”
She bit her lip. “I don’t know.”
“Yes, you do. Say it.”
The words fell from her lips without thought. “I’m tired.”
Liam raised his arm, swinging the crop. He hit the fleshiest part of her ass with only a small bit of force. There was a brief instant of stinging that mellowed out quickly, turning to heat. “Of what?”
The crop lay still by his side as he awaited an answer. Jade hated the questions. She wanted to give him her body. Why wasn’t that enough for him?
“I’m tired of trying to control everything.”
Liam lifted the crop again, this time the leather caught her on her upper thigh and the pain lasted longer, burned hotter.
Damn him. She didn’t want this. Didn’t feel the need to bare her soul to him. This was just sex. Why couldn’t he understand that and leave it alone?
He didn’t move, didn’t give her more of the pain she craved.
“I don’t know, okay? Just everything. Of feeling so helpless, of watching Vivi slip further and further away and not being able to do anything to stop it. Of trying to be two kids instead of one, of feeling guilty for living when George didn’t…” Her words became trapped in the lump in her throat. She shook her head, trying to warn him off, to shake out all the shitty feelings clambering down on her. She swallowed hard, refused to cry. Finally, she found her voice once more. “I’m just tired, Liam.”
Liam didn’t reply. Instead, he gave her what she longed for. He struck her a half dozen glorious times more with the wicked crop, varying the placement, the intensity. Jade’s body ignited, burned. She nearly lost her balance twice. Both times, Liam was there to steady her, to support her.
Tears streamed down her face—of pain, relief, arousal.
Then Liam tossed it down and stepped in front of her. With one arm wrapped around her waist, he touched her sex with his free hand. His strokes were firm, sure, perfect.
She trembled, crying out loudly as she came, just before Liam released her arms, there to catch her when she fell forward. For several moments, neither of them moved nor spoke. Jade soaked up his strength, let it bolster her, replenish her.
He placed a soft kiss against her brow, whispering, “You don’t have to do any of this on your own anymore. I’m here.”
His soft assurance triggered something inside her. Opened a door she’d thought locked forever. She slid along his body, dropping to her knees. Unfastening his jeans, she relished the sound of his sharp inhalation as she freed his cock.