Two wins placed her name at the top of the charts in Vegas. Unfortunately, most men couldn’t handle the intimidation. Her last relationship bombed so badly she’d teetered on switching teams and going full lesbo. Not only was she physically hard up, it had been so long since she enjoyed an honest, open relationship she worried she’d become one of those very rich spinsters who spent their life doing things for charity. She fought a shudder at the thought.
But Rome Steele didn’t seem too afraid of her.
And, God, she needed an orgasm.
How humiliating. The tabloids stalked and publicized her exotic hook-ups. Fortunately, the press had no idea they were mostly visual candy to throw people off track. Some of her most well known escorts were only good friends or gay. The ones she attempted to actually sleep with were…disappointing. Something must be wrong with her. Her cli**xes gave her barely a hiccup of pleasure. She craved a man’s body under her hands and warming her bed, so when her friend told her about Madame Eve, she decided she had nothing to lose. She did not engage in one-night stands for the risk factor. She believed in controlling all details, from her work to her play.
Pushing away her thoughts, she concentrated on her hand. Ten of clubs for her. Deuce for her one-night stand. She kept her head down and watched from the corner of her eye for every nuance of expression, and dug deep into her gut. Yes, he wasn’t a safe player. Not stupid, but he liked risk. He’d ask for a hit fifty percent of the time when he should stay. She watched the dealer flip up an ace for himself.
She tapped her finger twice on the table. The solemn face of the Queen stared up at her. She hid a smile and put out her hand in the hold gesture. Rome’s card slid across the table. Eight of hearts. A slight hesitation did him in, and his next hit revealed a six. Done.
Wayne kept his expression neutral as he dealt himself a card. Five of spades. Without a flicker of an eyelash, he hit himself again. Ten. Done.
The chips slid into her pile to match her first mound. She waited for the fake expression of awe she usually received from her dates. Instead, he treated her to a wolfish grin that promised he’d eat her for breakfast and enjoy every last bite. He grasped her wrist in a firm grip and pulled her forward so their lips were inches away.
“Nice warm up. But can you do it again?”
She laughed with sheer pleasure. “Of course.”
“Fine. Do it again and you get me for the night to do whatever you want.”
She gazed at him with suspicion. “I already did.”
Admiration cut through her. This man was not led around by his cock. Curiosity teased the question from her. “What do you get if you win?”
Determination and promise gleamed from his blue-gray eyes in warning. His voice dropped to a growl. “You, of course. But you’ll listen to everything I say without any back talk.” He paused and deliberately stared at her with the look of a warrior issuing an order. “And obey.”
She gave him an icy glare. “Excuse me?”
“You heard me.”
Her thighs clenched and her panties grew damp. Why did his commanding tone turn her on? Her n**ples tightened painfully, her body on full alert, practically begging him to make good on his threat. She forced the excitement down, knowing she’d win. She always won. Still, he never backed down, and she wanted him in her bed. She licked her lips and nodded.
Wayne dealt the cards. The stately king of diamonds winked at her. Rome took a five. The dealer turned over a lucky seven. They moved to the face down cards.
Her senses opened up as her view narrowed to the dealer’s hands, and the cards on the table. She looked at the next card, poised for the flip, and imagined an ace. She watched the ace unfold and put her hand out to stay.
Rome took a ten. She knew the odds favored a bust. The man never even paused, just tapped the table. Six of spades. Twenty-one.
The dealer busted and they both raked in chips. Sloane glanced up at Rome and found no emotion etched on his face. Definitely a good dealer. His quick movements and stone face challenged her. Her respect nudged up a few notches. She’d dated dealers before, hoping the knowledge and shared love of the game would be a bond. Usually, they ended up pissed off at her for winning most of the time, or became clingy when she wanted to play in other casinos.
He didn’t look concerned or overly interested. They set themselves up for round two.
This time she hit twenty. Wayne held at eighteen. And her one-night stand surprised her for the second time that night.
His cards added up to sixteen. She prepared to leave the table with her winnings, cash out, and have some very good sex with her Roman warrior. Instead, he tapped the table for a hit.
If she hadn’t been so used to guarding every emotional reaction, a gasp would have escaped her lips. Why would he hit? The odds were almost impossible not to bust. Her eyes widened slightly as she waited for the card.
Six of clubs.
Son of a bitch.
He pulled in his chips and turned to face her. No hint of victory marred the carved lines of his face, or the steady gleam in his eye. He said a few words to Wayne and slid some chips across the table for the tip then he stood and offered his hand. “Your room or mine?”
She blinked up at him and tried to school her features. When was the last time she lost a hand to an amateur? The glint of purpose in his ocean eyes told her he knew her thoughts. The sudden turn of events slammed into her like a launched champagne cork.
I agreed to do anything he said.
The answering thrill hit her body as fast as her mind. She grew wet and achy, ready for him to take charge. He’d won. There was nothing she respected more in another player…or in a man.
Her voice caught on the word. “Mine.”
His fingers interlaced with hers and he gently tugged her off the stool, making sure to scoop the chips into her cup. “Lead the way.”
They walked in silence to the elevators. Never spoke as the doors swooshed open on the thirty sixth floor for the Penthouse suites. She ushered him in and clicked the door behind her. He scanned the lush interior with a quick dismissal that confirmed his ease with luxury hotels. Castillo Resorts rivaled the best in Vegas, and she only stayed at the best. The gorgeous colors of the desert theme interspersed the room with a cream sectional sofa, rich cherry wood dining area, and a wet bar taking up one entire side. The oriental carpet and watercolor canvases lent an exclusive feel to the suite. The ceiling-to-floor windows gave an aerial view of the shimmering lights of Sin City during a hazy sunset.
He walked to the wall and hit the button. With expert grace, the blinds slowly closed and blocked the city from view, shrouding the room in a shadow. He took charge of her room as if he owned it, and her. A virginal shiver slid down her spine and she stood rooted to the ground in a strange mixture of fear and anticipation. He closed the distance between them with a few strides.
She sucked in her breath at the flash of white teeth amidst the sexy stubble of beard that covered his upper lip and jaw and at that moment, it wouldn’t surprise her to spot fangs. He looked exactly like a wolf about to enjoy long hours toying with his meal.
“Let’s play, Sloane Keller. Take off your clothes.” He leaned forward an inch so his warm breath struck her trembling lips. “Now.”
Rome took in the slight widening of gorgeous violet eyes and held back a chuckle. The Queen of Cards seemed off balance, probably for the first time in her life, and he loved every moment of it. He intended to use the next few hours wisely and wring out every last ounce of pleasure. For both of them. If this worked, he figured he’d send Madame Evangeline a crap load of flowers. The woman in front of him called to every sense of challenge in his arsenal, and his dick stiffened to full staff. Forget the toys tonight. She’d insist on his best weapons—his mind and dominance. She exuded all the characteristics he craved in a woman: headstrong, confidant, assertive. With a soul that cried out for a man to tame her so she could receive the ultimate in pleasure.
And he was just the man to give it to her.
He raised an eyebrow in question. He made sure his voice slapped her like a whip to attention. “Make me ask again and you won’t like the consequences.”
Heat burned her cheeks, but her n**ples hardened like pebbles and poked against her shirt. “Screw you.”
He shook his head in mock disappointment. “I guess we’ll have to do this the hard way.” With deft motions he unhooked his belt, pulled it through the loops and grabbed her hands behind her back. Her gasp of outrage heated his blood as he tightened the leather until her hands were snugly cuffed behind her back. She began to thrash and fight back, but he moved quickly and slammed her body against the wall, trapping her. He kicked her feet out and pressed his knee between her thighs so she remained open to him. With his free hands, he grabbed her jaw and forced her head still.
He watched her carefully for any sign of fear or panic. Instead, her pupils dilated, her pulse beat rapidly at the base of her neck, and lust gleamed from her eyes. The lady didn’t want to admit it, but she liked to play games in both the casino and the bedroom. He wondered if any man before him ever had the guts to take the upper hand.
“Anything else to say before we begin again?”
“You son of a bitch—”
He stamped his mouth over hers. With one quick thrust, he parted her plump lips and pushed in. Hot, wet satin and the sweet taste of woman swamped him, mingled with the unique taste of coffee, mint, and spice. She met him full force, her tongue forcing him back in a battle he intended to win. He sucked at her lower lip, bit her, then ravished her fully until he wrung a moan from her delicious mouth. His hands worked the buttons of her blouse free, slipping the material over her shoulders and down her arms so it hung loose around her tied wrists. One snap and the fragile lace bra fell to the ground. His thumbs moved over sensitive n**ples flushed a ruby red. He plucked the tight buds and squeezed until she slumped against the wall.
“I’m going to make you come so many times you’re going to beg me to stop,” he whispered against her lips. His teeth nibbled along her jaw and worked his way to her ear. He bit the lobe and blew gently. She jumped, and he caught her musky scent of arousal. “But you have to be a good girl for me. Can you do that?”
He watched her struggle to gain the upper hand. She pushed against him in one last desperate move to win.
The instinct to conquer and possess speared him. With a low chuckle, he pushed down her black pants and dipped his head to take one hard nipple in his mouth. He laved her with his tongue and sucked while his other hand slid past the elastic of her panties. Hooked under the lace fabric. And dived into home.
She cried out and arched upward. Dripping wet heat met his hand, but he backed off and kept his touch deliberately light. He traced her swollen folds while he worked at her nipple, until his name chanted in his ear to his satisfaction. Slowly, he lifted his head and removed his hand.
Fucking gorgeous. Violet eyes fogged with need and a nak*d desire. He pressed his hand to his nose and breathed in her essence. A raw animal response thundered in his veins, like a horse wanting to mount and possess in a fury of lust. If he wasn’t careful, he’d plunge inside of her and spill his seed like a teenager. He clamped down on his need and took a deep breath. In order to break down her barriers, he needed to go slow. By the end of the night, she’d completely submit to him, body and soul.