He kissed her. His tongue swept in and took over, possessing every hidden nook and cranny until she dug her nails into his muscled shoulders and hung on. When he finally lifted his head, his eyes blazed with demand.
“Sex isn’t about tit for tat. Next time you take my cock in your mouth, make sure it’s because you’re dying to taste me. Not because you owe me an orgasm. Got it?”
His directness reignited the ache between her legs. She forced the word past her lips. “Yes.”
“Do you want more?”
Lust speared her belly. Her nipples rose and tightened even further. His hand flicked one swollen peak and she shuddered.
“I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s just make sure.” His fingers slid down and delved into her heat. She bucked under the sizzle of fire tearing through her center. He laughed. “Oh, yeah, that’s the spot.” He added another finger as he worked his way in and out, setting a teasing rhythm. Her over stimulated clit throbbed and burned from the attention. In seconds, she neared orgasm again, completely swept up in his voice and tongue and fingers.
He reared up, grabbed the condom packet from the bedside drawer, and sheathed himself. His hands encircled her ankles and thrust her legs wide apart. Again, her gaze snuck up to the mirror. Her pussy lay open and vulnerable to his every whim. Her swollen lips gleamed with wetness as she stared at her reflection. His huge, throbbing length lay right at her entrance, poised to push forward. She wanted him, ached, and then the memory surfaced….
A different face flashed before her, his expression twisted with rage. Ugliness. He pushed inside her, over and over, while she tried to lie still and bury the pain, her mind screaming the same word again and again…. No….
“No, stop!” The words broke from her throat and she panted, trying to push the ugliness away.
“Look at me, Tara. Now.”
She turned away from the mirror. Golden eyes met hers, glittered and seared with heat. His hands gripped her ankles, but his touch was gentle. He kept still as he waited for her to calm and direct him.
“I would never hurt you. Say it.”
She reined back sobs and shuddered out a breath. “You will never hurt me.”
“That’s right baby. Do you still want me to stop?”
She relaxed, inch by inch. Rick would never hurt her. The last of the memory leaked away and left her body open, empty, needing him to fill her.
“More. I want more.”
His hands stroked her inner thighs. His cock pushed one inch into her pussy. She moaned, past the fear, only craving the bliss he offered. Another inch. The tip buried into her wet heat. Her channel tightened and begged for more. One more inch. Another. Then….
“Ahhhhh!” She cried out as he buried himself to the hilt. His massive length and width filled her until there was nothing else left but him. She clutched his shoulders, digging her nails into solid muscle as she struggled with the invasion. The breath whooshed out of her lungs.
“Okay?” he asked between gritted teeth. “God, you feel like heaven.”
“Yes.” She lifted her hips upward. “More.”
“Here we go, baby. Hold on tight.”
He pulled completely out and surged back. The demanding pace wiped every thought out of her mind but giving him everything he asked. Again and again he drove deep inside. Her sex squeezed him and her clit pounded in demand. The tension tightened and every muscle in her body screamed for release. Still, he kept her at the edge, not allowing her to fall over, but demanded she surrender to each thrust until she had nothing left to hold back.
Something shattered deep within her and broke free. She arched and cried his name.
“Come for me, baby. Now!”
He pinched her clit and drove his cock inside one final time.
She shattered. Her pussy milked every inch of him as she convulsed, and he followed her over with a hoarse shout.
No tears ran down her face. She succumbed to the delicious fall into a cloak of warmth and safety, and finally surrendered to the darkness.
Rick smoothed back the strands of strawberry blonde hair from her face and watched her sleep. The physical and emotional release had pushed her right into slumber, and he enjoyed the soft expression on her face when her mind shut off and there were no more barriers.
In a few short hours, Tara Denton had wrecked his world.
He’d never been with a woman who gave him such an honest, open surrender. Sure, he liked to play, and enjoyed Dom/sub fun in the bedroom with willing partners. But he’d never felt so connected to another woman through physical intimacy. Not since Rebecca.
Her name skittered across his memory, but without the usual sharp pang. Her betrayal cost him big time. He’d stopped trusting and believing his partners, even in the bedroom, and that was a dangerous combination. Trust was implicit in a good relationship and he used to pride himself on his ability to sniff out a liar a mile away. He lost confidence in his own abilities, like Tara lost her trust. A wry grin crossed his lips. They made quite a pair.
He studied the scars marking her body. Rage simmered, but he clobbered it back, knowing the emotion useless. Amazing how she imagined herself to be ugly. She awed him with her strength. She endured, fought back, and survived. Each wound was a testament to her soul, and he appreciated every damn one, like a soldier overseas battling in a war.
Her eyes flew open.
He watched her thoughts flicker across her face as she realized where she was. He enjoyed the easy way she blushed, which was a total contradiction from her open response in the bedroom. The way she screamed as she came made him hard all over again.
She sat up, propped on the pillows, and peered at the plates of food on the bed. “Starved. Are we having a picnic?”
He smeared some creamy goat cheese on a cracker and fed it to her. She moaned at the taste, and right then, he was ready to rock and roll. “Just building up your energy for the rest of the night.”
A flicker of lust danced from her eyes. Yes, she was aroused at the idea of more play. He grinned and handed her a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio. “So, why don’t you tell me about yourself?”
She gave a hearty laugh. The pleasant sound caressed his ears with delight. “You probably read everything in Madame Eve’s report. There’s not much else to tell.”
The dry facts of the sheets given to all 1Night Stand participants barely scratched the surface. The black and white text told him her physical attributes, what she required in a one-night stand, and that she withstood a violent encounter she may or may not share with him. He craved so much more.
He wanted everything. Of course, he’d scare the crap out of her so he kept his tone light. “Oh, I don’t know. The report didn’t tell me how much you liked me to suck on your clit before thrusting my fingers inside you. It didn’t tell me your eyes are a thousand shades of blue and reveal every emotion, or that your breasts spill so perfectly in my hands.”
She blushed. “Okay, you win. What do you want to know?”
Evidently, she guarded her secrets well. “What do you do for work?”
Her muscles relaxed and she nibbled on some salted almonds. “I work for the local battered women’s shelter part time. They don’t have the funds to pay very well, so I supplement with a bookkeeping job. Jackson Castillo gave me a shot at his hotel, and now I’m working on my degree in accounting.”
The pride in her voice warmed his heart. Son of a bitch! So Jackson knew Tara personally all this time. How odd the man went along with Madame Eve’s request. He figured Jackson would’ve kept his buddy far away from his employees. “I bet you’re very good with numbers,” he said. “Numbers you can control. If you work hard enough, everything fits into place, with no surprises.”
Her eyes widened. Bingo. His little accountant needed a place in her life where she felt empowered. He bet she’d squeeze out every dime of profit for Castillo Resorts and admired Jackson for seeing the potential in her.
“You’re right. I never thought about it like that,” she murmured. “I was always really good in math and numbers.” Her voice drifted off as if she fought the memory of her past and she shook her head.
He wrestled with his instinct to push. God, he wanted to know every thought and every hurdle she’d gone through.
“Did you graduate high school?” he asked gently.
She smiled. “Oh, yes, with high honors. I loved school. I just never got to college because Tim wouldn’t let me.”
A dark cloud passed over him. “The one who hurt you?”
She seemed to struggle with her decision to share. Emotions shifted across her face, replaced with determination. She raised her gaze to his and looked him straight in the eye. “I don’t like to talk about him much, but I’d like to tell you the story. If you want to hear it.”
He grabbed her hand. Then squeezed. “Yes, baby. I do want to hear it.”
She took a deep breath. “I met him senior year in high school. At first he was the perfect boyfriend. Sweet, protective, caring. He took care of me. My father had taken off when I was young, and my mom wasn’t really around.” She crinkled her nose in distaste. “She had a series of boyfriends I liked to avoid, and I had no rules. No curfew, no need to show up at school. But I wanted to go to college, have a career, and be independent. I thought that’s what he wanted, too.”
He waited patiently as she paused. “Things began to change. He got controlling. Angry. Hated my friends, and refused to let me talk to other boys. He said he needed me to concentrate on him. His father beat him, so Tim moved out and wanted me to live with him. I agreed, thinking I could go to the local community college and we’d support one another.”
She swallowed. “I don’t know when I realized he changed. He flew into rages over things I did. I started getting nervous all the time, trying to do everything right. The first time he hit me, I was so shocked, but he cried and swore he’d kill himself if I left.”
Rick nodded with encouragement. He noticed she slipped into telling mode, her voice monotone. “I stayed. He began to beat me. My mother didn’t want me anymore since she was shacked up with her new boyfriend. I had no money, and Tim controlled everything in my life. I kept missing classes from the bruises, so I dropped out of college.”
“How long did you stay with him?”
“Three years. Two months. Five days.”
“How did you get away, sweetheart?”
She shuddered. “I collected change. Loose dollar bills when I knew he’d been drinking. I stashed the money in one of the tiles in the ceiling until I had enough. He always told me he’d kill me if I ever left. And I believed him. I had to be careful who I involved myself with because I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt.
“He worked at an auto shop days. He kept a close eye on me and I wasn’t allowed to leave the house when he worked his shift. But that day I did.”
She shut her eyes. He wondered what horrors she watched behind her closed lids, and his gut wrenched. “I cut off all my hair. Put on a knit cap and Tim’s clothes. Had a cab take me to the bus station. And I bought a ticket to the next town. And the next. And the next.”