Authors: Nikki Sloane
Alec’s smile was laced with satisfaction as he hovered over me. He studied my expression, watching me intently when he reached a hand back and found my knee, hiking it up over his hip. His fingers skimmed from my ankle along my calf, pausing to trace a circle on my knee, and up on my thigh.
His voice was loaded with pleasant surprise when he slipped under my skirt and pressed his fingers in between my legs. “Goddamn, Jessica.”
He was making a comment about how wet I’d become. I shuddered and tore my gaze away, looking out the patio doors. There was security lighting outside that must have come on when the sun set. It flooded the studio with silvery light, filtered through the landscaped palm fronds.
A phone rang, jarring us both. It was his, so he paused, hurried to flip it to silent, and then resumed his assault. Whoever was calling was not as important to him as what was happening right now in his studio. We were both mostly undressed, writhing on the floor. I clutched at him as his fingers stirred over my silk panties, and I tightened my hold as Alec slipped his hand down the front of them.
My mouth went slack. I saw sparks behind my closed eyelids. The moan that was cried out didn’t sound like me, but there was no one else it could have come from. His mouth was attached to my breast, sucking on a nipple, while he massaged my slick skin. Over and over. Faster and faster.
Pleasure roared inside me, spinning like a top on table. Each orbiting path brought it closer to the edge where it would fall. I groaned when he eased a finger inside. My body took over, and I bucked my hips into the invasion, allowing him to slide as far inside as possible.
In no time I was damp with sweat. His hand moved to a rhythm that had me breathless and quaking. It didn’t seem to be enough for Alec. He withdrew and hooked his fingers around the waistband of my panties, yanking them down. As he freed my legs from them, I gasped. I was naked beneath him. He’d pushed my skirt clear to my waist so it was nothing more than a belt.
Panic seized me when he climbed off and slid down my body, resting on his elbows and curling his hands around my thighs. He held me open so he could feast on me. I slammed a hand over my mouth and moaned through my fingers as his tongue made contact. The soft brush of his tongue on my sensitized skin was a focused burst of pleasure.
He did it again.
“Alec!” I arched my back, slamming my head against the floor. I fisted the sides of my skirt in my hands, needing to hold on to something. I squeezed and twisted the fabric so tight I worried it would rip. There was a bang as I collapsed my back against the wood and gasped, spinning further out of control. His tongue was madness. It was heat-soaked bliss. Feather-light strokes followed by firm, aggressive ones, sending me into a spiral.
I was a slave to him and his wicked mouth.
The hands wrapped around my thighs tightened. I was squirming uncontrollably, and he locked me in place, so he could continue to lash his tongue, fluttering it just above my entrance. The moans poured from me almost as furiously as his tongue moved.
“Collaborate with me,” he demanded in between his devastating strokes.
“What?” I tried to scoot backward from his mouth, but his hold was inescapable.
“Let’s work on something together.”
“I can’t think,” I panted, “when you’re doing that.”
“I figured. Just say yes.” He licked a long path through my valley and I jerked from the amazing sensation. “We could do a piece that speaks about our bad reputations.”
The mention of his standing in the art community made it more difficult to ignore the warnings in my head. Alec was a stranger and I was letting him kiss me in a place I’d only allowed a few men before. Shockingly intimate for a man I knew nothing about. No, it was worse than that. Alec was supposed to be my enemy.
Yet, the only war I felt was internal. The desire to do more with him and find my release, battled against logic.
“I work alone,” I said, clipped. What he was doing felt so impossibly good.
“Me, too.” He rolled the pad of his thumb over the bundle of nerves at my center. “But look at how well we’re getting along right now.”
“I don’t . . . Oh, God,” I groaned. He sucked hard, making me shudder. How could I defend myself like this? He was doing it on purpose. “I don’t like being manipulated.”
He lifted his head and his smug look made my stomach bottom out. “Oh, yeah? You’ve never been manipulative to get what you want?”
I would have sworn his expression said he knew he was talking to the queen of manipulation. I stared up at the skylight overhead, unable to say anything. I was sure even if I lied and said no, he’d know. He used my silence and distraction to move in for the kill.
He sank two fingers deep inside me and latched his mouth on my clitoris. I cried out in surprise and pleasure, and the sound echoed in the room. Fire seared across every nerve ending in my body, begging for more. Screaming for release.
“Say yes, Jessica,” he murmured. “I own you no matter what answer you give me.”
It was terribly true. If I said no, it didn’t matter. He had my damaged sculpture and Maritza as a witness to what I’d done. So I could refuse him, destroy my career for the second time, and possibly go back to prison. Or I could say yes, risk my future, and go with the unknown man who pulsed his fingers inside me at a dangerous and wonderful pace.
“Why do you do it?” I had to know. “Why do you take from other artists?”
He froze, and the muscle along his jaw flexed. He was clenching his teeth, and his eyes clouded over. “I don’t do that anymore.” He thrust his fingers so hard, it stole my breath, and it felt like punishment. “And I only took from two artists. Two,
“Who?” More importantly, “Why?”
“Phillip H. Moore and Skye Martin.”
The desire in me was a thick sludge, making me slow. I had a hard time seeing the connection. “They . . . opened a gallery together last year.”
Alec nipped the inside of my thigh. “Yes, and they used to have a third business partner.”
It made so much sense now.
He licked where he’d bitten me as if trying to relieve the non-existent discomfort. “It was stupid revenge, but fuck them. I struck back where I could do the most damage.”
Because there was nothing more sacred to an artist than their art.
“I didn’t realize what it’d do to my name,” he added. “I wasn’t thinking—”
“You could only focus on what they’d taken from you.” I understood his dark motivations perfectly. I’d suffered from the same shortsightedness.
“Yes.” He blinked back surprise. Alec sighed into me, kissing a line back to my center. “And you haven’t given me an answer yet. Collaborate with me. Your aesthetic and my execution could produce something . . . phenomenal.”
There was no other option. The push and pull of his slow finger made me climb once more, and I gasped my answer. “All right.”
I was making a deal with the devil, I was sure. No respectable deal was made by a woman when she was on her back. His mouth was sin, which was further proof. On my agreement, his tempo took off like a rocket. I groaned and reached a hand behind me, slapping my palm flat against the wood, and turned my head into my arm, hiding from him as I neared my orgasm.
Just as I closed in, his fingers slowed and withdrew. He walked his hands beside my body, working back up until his face was level with mine, and his hips pressed against me. Alec grasped my chin and turned my face to his, dropping a kiss on my lips.
“I have what we need in my wallet. Are we doing this here?”
It was a clever way to ask consent, but it was also persuasive. It assumed I’d already said yes. He kept his hold of my chin, and his thumb brushed gently against it.
I nodded slowly.
His bright blue eyes turned warm and pleased the moment before he placed his mouth against mine and shifted so he could dig out his wallet. I lay still while he rose up on his knees, pushed his pants down, and tore open the wrapper with his teeth. His gaze never left mine as he pulled the condom out, but his hands slowed and hesitation flooded his expression.
“What?” I asked, my vocal cords tight.
“You . . . seem nervous.”
I sighed and glanced away. “It’s been a while for me.”
“Oh.” Relief tinged his voice. “I’ll go slow. And if you decide you’re not into it . . . we can go back to what we were just doing.”
I couldn’t get a read on Alec at all. One minute he was manipulative, another he was understanding and sweet. “All right,” I whispered.
When he was ready, he lowered down on one hand and used the other to position himself to bring us together. I held my breath. I wasn’t the woman who jumped into bed with men. I didn’t give in to lust. After Jon, sex was carefully metered out and calculated. My heart was too fragile to risk.
As Alec began to sink inside, I told myself this was necessary to save myself. It had nothing to do with the debilitating need he’d created in me. I took another inch of him in my shameful body and continued to lie to myself.
This is a transaction only. Sharing your body with him is closing the deal. You don’t enjoy it, or the sound of his hurried breath in your ear.
But I did enjoy it.
I moaned as he moved all the way inside until we were completely connected. The stretch of him was uncomfortable, yet familiar. It made me feel useful and needed.
He groaned with satisfaction against the side of my neck, and then lifted his head to peer down at me. “Okay so far?”
Again I nodded. Who knew what would come out of my foolish mouth?
“Good.” He brushed his lips over mine, and began to move. His first thrust was slow, but deep, and in response, my legs drew up around his waist. This groan from him now was indecent, and I echoed it sincerely.
My back was slippery with sweat against the smooth floor, and my tailbone hurt knocking into the hardwood, but the sensation of him claiming me overpowered it. I shut out thought. My hands drifted around his shoulders and I hung on as Alec took command. He had one rough palm on my waist, pinning me down while he drove into me.
“Jesus, you feel good,” he said.
I shut my eyes, bashful. I wanted to be confident, but that had vanished once the sex started. His lips trailed kisses down the side of my throat, and his five o’clock shadow scratched at me like sandpaper.
I whimpered when his hand slid up from my waist and settled on my breast, massaging me where I felt heavy and full. His touch was electric and perfect. Goldilocks had found the bed to sleep in that felt
He screwed me on the floor of his studio for an eternity that I didn’t want to end, even as my hips ached and I was sure my spine was bruised. His thrusts grew powerful and serious, and I gulped for air, unable to do anything but receive and endure. I shook like an earthquake around him and drove my nails into the bare skin of his back. It was the most violent sex I’d had, even though it was clear Alec was trying to be gentle. The stress on my body was solely due to the location.
The dark, sick part of me wondered if Jonathan would be proud of me. Not because I was having sex that hurt or might leave bruises, but that I’d allowed my desire to lead me as I once had, rather than my goals. Tonight I wasn’t thinking about the end game. Only about enjoying sex and getting pleasure from another person.
“Fuck, I want you on top,” Alec said. He took his sweaty, heaving chest away from me and flung himself down on his back, grabbed my waist, and pulled me toward him.
Being in this position brought both physical relief and mental anxiety. I climbed up on him and lowered myself down on his shaft, inch by slow inch, and shuddered. His hands were all over me, exploring and caressing. It distracted me from my worry and self-consciousness. I tried to relax into his hands and let him mold me into whatever creature he wanted me to be.
He guided me to sit upright on him. I rocked my hips in time with his and flashes of electricity sparked from our connection.
It became infinitely easier to go with it when his fingers moved to where we were joined and stirred. My body went on an autopilot program and I gyrated my hips to maximize his wicked touch. I panted and moaned as something inside me tightened. It gripped my lungs and annihilated everything but a primal need.
“That’s it,” Alec urged in a low voice. “Show me.”
I didn’t like being on display, but I wasn’t in control anymore. I surrendered to the ecstasy of my orgasm and launched forward, crushing my breasts to his chest, and fused my mouth with his. Pleasure rippled through my body, wave after wave, and it poured from my mouth in breathless moans, followed almost immediately by his own release.
His long gasp of satisfaction was . . . sexy. Erotic. Pride that he’d found his completion with me only last a few moments and then was replaced by a negative voice in my head which sounded suspiciously like my mother’s. I was a warm body, nothing particularly special. Just a vessel for Alec to take pleasure in. He’d used me just as I’d used him.
But as I rolled off of him and lay on my side, he trapped me in his arms and squeezed me tight against him, molding our bodies together in an intimate embrace. I didn’t feel interchangeable as I had with Erik. How strange was it I had more connection with this artist in a single encounter than the man I'd left my husband for?