He increased his pace and pressure, but her cl*t burned for friction. She squeezed her eyes shut in sensual agony. “Damn you, give me what I want.”
“All of it, baby. Tell me.”
“Fuck me hard! Take me with your c*ck and make me come, damn it!”
He slammed into her and her heels dug into his back as she reached. He grasped her h*ps and set a demanding, bruising pace, pushing her closer. Heat shimmered deep within. Again. And again. And—
She shattered in a thousand pieces with nothing but the ties holding her to earth. With a hoarse shout, he came right afterward, but her body continued to milk him hard. Moisture gathered behind her eyelids at the sheer release she never experienced, and she wondered if she’d ever be the same again.
He slumped over her and gathered her close, untying her wrists from the bed. With a sigh of pleasure, she wrapped her arms around him and slid into sleep.
“Hmmm, what time is it?”
He laughed. “It’s Vegas, baby. Does it matter?”
“You’re right. I’m parched.”
“Let me get you some water.” He rose from the bed and made his way to the elaborate wet bar. He put a few cubes in a crystal glass, poured Pellegrino and added a slice of lemon. He brought it back to the bed and watched her gulp, then slump back into the pile of down pillows.
He took her glass, re-filled it, and retrieved one for himself. He sat on the bed beside her and watched her plump lips suck on an ice cube. His c*ck grew hard as he imagined her sucking him off. She lifted a brow.
“Do you ever rest?”
“Not with you around. Tell me about poker.” He watched her face, wondering what had spooked her in the past. Or who.
“What do you want to know?” she asked lightly.
“Not many little girls grow up to be world renowned poker players. How did you get involved with the business?”
He wondered if she’d tell the truth or lie. His gut screamed she wasn’t afraid of the truth, and reminded him of a fierce warrior—forever loyal once she belonged to a man. He wondered how many men she’d claimed, and jealousy burned like a shot of whiskey.
“I grew up as a vagabond. My mom took off when I was young and my dad raised me. Unfortunately, my dad gambled and ran con jobs for a living. He loved it all: horseracing, slots, tables. He couldn’t drag me to the casinos until I turned legal, but he gave me an education early.”
She shrugged elegant shoulders and stared at the ice in her glass. “He taught me how to pickpocket. How to use my age to distract a mark. Got me a fake ID, dressed me up, and took me into the casinos.”
The reality of her childhood struck him hard in the gut. “What about school?”
“I went here and there. Mostly, I educated myself. I became obsessed with books—all kinds. Classics, poetry, business. I started reading psychology and found the art of reading people. Ticks, facial expressions, how people lied. I graduated with a street education that served me well.” She hmphed in disdain. “Stupid people spend thousands for a degree when they can get anything they need free. Anyway, something clicked with poker. I loved math, and had a photographic memory. I also got my father’s skill.”
He raised an eyebrow in question. She gave a twisted smile. “The luck of the Irish, of course. Unfortunately, my dad liked the drink as much as the gambling.”
Darkness stole over her face for a second. She pushed it away with an expert ease he recognized immediately. “Found him passed out in a hotel with an empty bottle at his side. He’d had a heart attack and died on the spot.”
“How old were you?”
“Nineteen. Old enough to get by myself.”
He nodded as if he agreed and understood. Inside, his heart stopped, before the beats resumed. “But you still weren’t old enough to gamble legally.”
“That’s right. I had squirreled enough money to get by. Some of my father’s friends took me in and gave me shelter. And I took the time to learn.” Her smile came fast and hard, with a glitter in her violet eyes. “By the time I walked into the first casino on my own, I made my first grand by the end of the day. I perfected my craft and got sucked into the Poker circuit.”
“Easy to get sucked in, but hard to remain a consistent winner.”
She shrugged again and shook the ice around in her glass. “I have my father’s luck. I don’t drink. And I’m careful with my money.”
Her will, not to simply endure but to thrive, slammed the truth into him like a sucker punch. She made no excuses and asked for no pity. Poker required great skill and control, but in order to win, she forced back any submissive urges. Even in the bedroom. Sloane needed to give up that control in order to feel. Somehow, some way, he knew he needed to push buttons to go deeper.
He wanted to go deeper. But she wasn’t ready. Yet.
“You made your life on your own damn terms.” He spoke in a strong voice without a shred of pity. With a grin, he lowered his head and growled in her ear. “Good girl.”
The familiar term affected her immediately. Her pupils dilated and her heart beat sped up. He scented her arousal, and he bet if he plunged a finger inside her p**sy she’d be dripping wet. A few hours before dawn remained. He needed to bust down some of her remaining barriers, and teach her to trust her body. But he needed a decent plan.
His eyes lit on the glass she held. A smile curved his lips.
She stopped shaking the glass. He almost laughed at the combination of wariness and lust gleaming in her eyes. With slow, deliberate motions he reached out and plucked the glass from her fingers.
“Lie back, Sloane.”
She did, though she teetered on the edge of acceptance and rebellion. Her natural submissive tendencies wrapped up in a headstrong hellion made his dick rock-hard. Damn, her very demeanor called to his soul to complete him.
“Now, close your eyes and don’t open them until I tell you.”
He adjusted her on the bed with her hands by her head to lift her br**sts upward. The rosy tips of her n**ples thrust forward proudly. Beautiful. Pulling up her knees, he opened her p**sy to his gaze.
Her eyes flew open. “What are you doing?”
A deep sigh escaped him.” Another direct order disobeyed.”
“I’m not your sub, buddy.” Fire lit from her gaze.” And I like my eyes open.”
He left her for a moment and returned with a silk pillowcase. “Again, we’ll do it the hard way.”
Moving fast, he bound her wrists again to the headboard. He rolled the silk fabric of the pillowcase into a sleek rope and placed it over her eyes, tying a snug knot behind her head.
“Our night isn’t over yet, and you lost the bet. Now, if you say another word, I’m going to gag you.”
Silence ensued. He smothered a laugh and sat beside her. Her body vibrated with tension. He laid his hands on the sleek, silky muscles of her shoulders and began to ease out the knots. He took his time with a deep massage until she softened beneath his touch. Slowly, he eased down to her br**sts. The full mounds filled his hands perfectly, and her n**ples jutted out in cranky demand for attention. “Just relax, sweetheart, and let me pleasure you.”
“Shhhhh.” His mouth covered hers, gently playing with her tongue and sipping at her lower lip. He played with her br**sts, wringing out a moan, and worked his way down her body. When he reached her feet, he used his knuckles on her instep and heel. Her sigh of pleasure raked across his ears. Every muscle surrendered to his touch, open to every sensation he chose to bestow. Satisfaction coursed through him.
He plucked an ice cube from the glass. And touched it to one of her n**ples.
She arched up, but the ties held her, and he moved the ice over each hard nipple. The color turned a deep ruby red, and goose bumps broke over her skin. Lowering his head, he sucked and rolled his tongue around the tip until she moaned. When she relaxed against the heat of his mouth, he slid the cube down her belly, dipped into her navel and coasted to her inner thighs. He kept his mouth busy, alternating his hot tongue with the cold ice until she writhed under him, lit with arousal.
Grabbing another block from the glass, he hovered it over her clit. Slowly, he slid his fingers in and out of her p**sy, wringing out moisture, while his tongue worked her with long, hot strokes. Her h*ps bucked. A smile curved his lips, and he pressed the cube against her swollen nub.
She came apart, the orgasm wracking her body in beautiful form. He quickly sheathed himself with a condom and slid home.
Her tight heat squeezed around him mercilessly. He plunged over and over, claiming her for his own, as he pinched her n**ples. With one final thrust, he came hard. Her p**sy clenched around his dick with her orgasm, and he rode out his release before he collapsed on top of her in a tangle of limbs. He pressed a kiss to her sweat-dampened skin, released her bonds, and gathered her close. Her scent rose to his nostrils, and the thud of her heart beat steadily against his ear. Foreboding washed over him as he gazed at her face, replete with satisfaction. She’d wrecked his world.
He wondered if he’d ever be the same man again.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
He replaced the receiver on the phone and walked toward the bed. Except the man didn’t really walk. More like claimed the space around him. He was even more powerful nak*d, as if he belonged in the Garden of Eden and had never taken a bite of the apple.
“Getting us some dinner. I have plans and they require energy.”
She stretched her sore muscles with a languid sensuality she’d never experienced. “I have a big game tomorrow. At least let me walk into the room with some dignity and not hobbled by too much sex.”
His laugh sounded low and promising. Goose bumps lifted on her arms. Halfway annoyed at her quick response to a man she’d met only hours earlier, she rose from the bed and went to the bathroom for a robe.
“Don’t.” His voice lashed through the air.
She stopped mid-stride. “Don’t what?”
He closed the distance between them. “Don’t put on a robe. I like you nak*d.”
Pleasure speared her belly. She’d always felt too skinny, worried about her small br**sts and her lanky height. His gaze and mouth and hands worshipped every inch of her, and his impressive erection proved his desire. Still, she wasn’t so far along that she enjoyed walking around nak*d. She forced a laugh. “Thanks for the complement, but I feel more comfortable with a robe on.”
He smiled slowly. “I want to look at you while we eat and imagine what I’m going to do to you later. No robe.”
A touch of uneasiness skated down her spine, along with the familiar sizzle. Why did he turn her on so much with his demands and orders? She raised her chin up and gave him an icy glare. “Sorry, but I like to eat with my clothes on.”
A discreet knock on the door halted the stare down. She scurried into the bathroom, relieved at the interruption and donned a luxurious white spa robe, slipping her feet into matching slippers. She cursed under her breath when she found no ties—he’d made use of them, the bastard—but she wrapped it tight like a kimono and marched back out of the bathroom.