Authors: Maya Banks
Lucas walked her back to the stairs where they’d come down. Daryl, Matt and Jace walked back with them, surrounding them on all sides. At the stairs, two of the bouncers took over and the three men melted back into the crowd, gone before she could blink.
She continued up the steps with Lucas, still in a post-orgasmic fog. They drew the stares of many. Lucas had never been so bold with her, though they’d gotten a little frisky at Lucas’s table before. But never something so open and public. It was …different. Not something she would have thought Lucas would do. In private? All bets were off. There was nothing she’d put beyond him whether it was one man or a dozen. Though it hadn’t ever happened with her, she had no illusions about how far he was willing to take things.
Lucas saw her into her seat and then motioned for the waitress who had taken a nearby post.
“Water for Ren and I’ll take a beer.”
The waitress was back quickly but then she’d likely anticipated precisely what Lucas would order. Lucas didn’t often deviate from his routine and his usual order only consisted of a variety of three drinks.
Ren drank thirstily of the water and leaned back, suddenly exhausted by the dancing and the mind-blowing orgasm. What she wouldn’t give for a good snuggle and a comfortable bed.
Lucas reached over to curl his hand around her nape. He rubbed a thumb up and down the line of her neck as he continued to survey the goings on in the club.
As they sat and he rubbed her neck, her growing more lethargic and content by the minute, several people stopped by to speak with
Lucas. She tuned out the conversation and concentrated instead on his touch. She closed her eyes and absorbed the delicious sensation of his fingers, the heat of his hand, the comfort in knowing she belonged to him.
For an hour longer, she watched people come and go from Lucas’s table. He talked easily with his customers, business associates and VIPs. He held court like a pro, never going to others but allowing them to come to him. Even the rich and famous came to him, their ego stroked that he allowed them to enter his inner circle.
Then he turned to her, lifted her hand to press a kiss to the back of her wrist and said, “Are you ready to go?”
She nodded, not bothering to defer to what he wanted. He’d asked and she wouldn’t lie. She’d gotten what she came for and what he’d brought her for. Her mind was much freer of the weight it had borne for the last few days.
ole wasn’t sure how he felt about his meeting with Lucas Holt. He wanted to dislike the man. A damn lot. But it was hard when he seemed so …decent.
He sighed and glanced at the clock. He was ill at ease. He was fucking nervous, and that pissed him off. He felt like he was preparing for some kind of goddamn test that he didn’t know the answers to.
Lucas was a cagey bastard, and he’d caught Cole completely and utterly off guard with his proposal. It had been on the tip of Cole’s tongue to refuse. It enraged him on Ren’s behalf. But then he remembered those damn rules. Or rather that there were no damn rules in the lives that he, Lucas and Ren had chosen. Only those they made themselves.
And then, when his anger and surprise had abated, he knew that there was no way in hell he could walk away from this kind of opportunity. He wasn’t entirely certain what Lucas’s motives were in offering
Ren to him on a silver platter, but what Cole did with the chance was what mattered.
He had another chance to make Ren love him. To make up to her all the pain he’d caused her. To show her the man he’d become.
He’d become more focused. Intense. He had a harder edge now and that might scare the shit out of her. He wasn’t the same young man who adored her beyond reason and was a hesitant participant in their experimentation. He wasn’t even sure he could be that man any longer.
It was a choice he agonized over. Show her the truth and take the chance that she’d never come back to him. Or lie to her and withhold the true part of himself forever.
Neither held any appeal but he knew he couldn’t lie to her or himself. Lucas had warned him of the consequences of such an action. Ren would suffer no pretenses and he was fiercely glad of it. He wanted honesty between them.
He had two weeks. Two weeks to win back the woman he’d never stopped loving. And at the end of that time, he had to hope like hell that she’d choose him because he couldn’t face losing her a second time. The first time had changed him irrevocably. This time would destroy him.
Ren sat between Lucas’s knees as the limousine slid down the highway to God only knew where. Lucas had been cryptic on details and very explicit on how she was to dress and what she was and wasn’t to wear.
She was on her knees, legs apart, the folds of her silk skirt fanned out on the floorboard. The top she wore had a plunging neckline that emphasized her full breasts and barely covered her nipples.
It was an outfit put together with access in mind. He wanted unfettered access to her.
He was distant though. And preoccupied. Whether it was business or something else entirely, she wasn’t sure, but he seemed restless and cagey and she knew from experience that he was harder and rougher when he was in such a mood.
He slid his hand down the middle of her chest and then impatiently pushed aside the material covering her breasts. He thumbed her nipple idly, almost as if he couldn’t quite decide what he wanted to do with her.
It was unusual for Lucas to show clear indecision and she wondered what could possibly be occupying his mind that he was so distracted.
Abruptly, he slid his finger between the band of her collar and her skin and yanked forward until she was leaning against him, her belly pressed to his crotch. He kissed her. Hard.
She felt …branded. Like he was proving all over again that she belonged to him. His teeth bit into her lip, drawing blood, and then he licked over the tender area, sweeping the blood away and onto his tongue.
She wanted to ask him what bothered him, but knew that particular boundary between them shouldn’t be breached. He was private, and if he wanted her to know, he would tell her.
As he pulled away, he held her face in one hand, his grip firm as he stared into her eyes. He looked as though his control was barely leashed and that he might toss her down and take her roughly.
Her breath caught and held with anticipation. Her body tingled and came alive. Her clit pulsed and ached. Her breasts tightened, her nipples hardening.
“How well you know me,” he murmured.
He stroked his hand over her cheek and then over the lip he’d nipped, soothing away the slight ache. His features hardened, and she shivered at the sudden infusion of darkness into his eyes.
“Get up on the seat. On your hands and knees.”
She rose up on her knees, crawled over his left leg and onto the long seat he was slouched in. Her palms sank into the sumptuous leather and her knees pressed just at the seam between two sections of the seat.
She felt him move behind her. A cool rush skittered over her ass as he pushed her skirt to her waist and allowed it to bunch there.
“There are two things I want tonight,” he said, the rasp of arousal deep in his voice. “My mark on your ass and my cum inside your body when we arrive.”
She almost asked where they were going but held her tongue. He wouldn’t have liked that slip. She shifted restlessly, aching for his hand against her bottom.
The slap, when it came, startled her and sent her forward. She braced herself against the seat and pushed back, begging silently for more. He loved when she did that.
He rubbed his palm over the burning spot to soothe the hurt and then administered another stinging blow to her other cheek. She moaned softly. With another man, that might have gotten her into trouble. But Lucas loved to hear her sounds of passion. He liked to know he pleased her even though her purpose was to please him.
He encouraged her uninhibited responses as long as it fell within the boundaries of obedience. If she enjoyed what she experienced, he expected her to express it. If she didn’t enjoy it, she was also free to express that as well, but it may or may not cause it to end.
Lucas followed a simple rule. If it wasn’t harmful—and by harmful, he meant causing her permanent physical or psychological damage—then she had no choice but to endure it. Afterward, he might invite her to tell him why she didn’t like the experience and he would then consider whether he would ever make her suffer it again.
Cole hadn’t been her only dominant lover. There had been a total of four in the last ten years since Cole. Lucas was her favorite, though. He …
He just got her. He understood her. He wasn’t out to prove his masculinity or his power. He wasn’t afraid to be wrong or to make mistakes, though she couldn’t ever remember a time when he’d done anything she considered a mistake.
It probably sounded dramatic but she couldn’t think of much she wouldn’t do for Lucas. And it was because she trusted him. A component that had been lacking in her last relationship, and consequently it had been her shortest.
The next blow caught her unaware for the sheer brutality of it. The pain shocked her and suddenly Lucas’s hand was wrapped in her hair and he yanked her back, forcing her head so that their gazes met.
“Am I boring you, Ren? Would you prefer to be somewhere else?”
Her mouth twisted in dismay because it was the last thing she wanted him to think. “I’m sorry, Lucas. I was thinking.”
His hold loosened only slightly. “What were you thinking that was more important than me?”
“I was thinking of you,” she said honestly. “I was comparing my relationship with you to the others I’ve had.”
His hand gentled and he ran his fingers through her hair in a gentle pet. “Do you know what I love most about you, Ren?”
The question startled her. She’d expected his anger. Not this sudden …affection.
“You tell me the truth, no matter how awkward or potentially uncomfortable. It would be so easy to lie and say you drifted away or that you were thinking about where we’re going. Why is that?” he finished softly.
Her brow wrinkled in confusion. His hand soothed over the subsiding burn where he’d marked her, stroking and caressing.
“Why do I not lie to you?”
“I suppose that’s what I’m asking. I know that you’re inherently an
honest person, but even the most honest person will seek not to make herself vulnerable to another.”
Her expression eased and she locked gazes with him. “Because I trust you not to use my vulnerability against me.”
His eyes went warm with approval. He leaned down and softly pressed his lips to hers.
“Now tell me how our relationship compares to your previous ones.”
She twitched against his palm, eager to feel the burn again. His hand stilled and then he pressed another kiss to her forehead in apology.
“I’m neglecting your need. When I’m finished administering the appropriate marks to your sweet ass and when I’ve availed myself of your body, then we’ll finish this conversation.”
She sighed her relief and gifted him with a smile.
“How hard and rough do you want it, Ren? I find I’m in a mood tonight. I’m not usually so indecisive but I go back and forth between wanting to allow my darker urges free or showering you with tenderness. I’m in an affectionate mood and then you smile at me like that and it only reinforces my desire to show you gentleness instead of power.”
She raised her head and settled back on her heels, allowing her hair to spill down her back. He had one knee on the floorboard and she turned her head to the side so she could look at him.
“I am yours, Lucas. Do with me as you will. I will love whatever it is you choose to bestow on me and I’ll take it without complaint.”
He lifted his hand to cup her cheek. His eyes shimmered with dark promise. “I am very glad to hear those words. Especially tonight.”
She cocked her head to the side, rubbing her cheek along his palm. She didn’t ask him why. She simply waited for what he would tell her. Or not tell her.
going to give you to another.”
She went completely still, shock rendering her unable to move or react. She stared back at him, but he too was waiting and in no hurry to further explain.
“Does that excite you?”
“I don’t know. It’s …surprising.”
“Why would you find this surprising? I’ve discussed with you in the past that I find enjoyment in giving the woman I own to another man so that I can watch and enjoy.”
She nodded. “It’s just that you never have. In the beginning I expected it. But as more time went on, you seemed content not to share me with other men.”
“Does it bother you that I seek to do so now?”
She frowned, unsure of how she felt. She’d considered such a thing just a short time ago and found that the idea excited her. The idea. There was a huge difference between what sexually excited her in theory and what actually aroused her in reality.
More than once, a kink that she was excited to try turned out to be something she didn’t enjoy at all. Would this follow in the same vein?
Now she wondered if the night out at the club had been a mere taste of what was to come. Had he tested her to see how receptive she was to having another man’s hands and mouth on her body?