“It’s not. Nothing you say is stupid.” His voice was raw and close, an intimate murmur that had such power over me. “I’m glad you find me attractive, Kyrie. I wouldn’t want this to be one-sided.”

“One-sided?” I risked a peek up at him. His blue gaze was hot, open. Searing.

“Yes, Kyrie. I’ve known a thousand women. All of them beautiful, intelligent, willing. Some of them were famous, some not.” Why was he telling me this? I didn’t want to know how many women he’d f**ked. Of course a man of his skill with a woman’s body would have had to learn it somehow, but I didn’t want to think about it. “None of them, Kyrie, were as breathtaking as you are. You are so beautiful it makes it literally difficult for me to breathe sometimes. You make it impossible for me to keep my hands off you, to keep from kissing you. A while back you asked why you. That’s why.”


“Yes, Kyrie. I am not a man prone to exaggeration, or flattery. When I look at you…I become weak. Yet the strength I see in you makes me want to hold you and protect you so you don’t have to be so strong. And…I have this need to possess you. To own you.” He shifted, rolling toward me, leaning over me slightly, weight on one elbow, his hand still holding the side of my face. “Do you have any idea how hard these last few days have been? How badly I’ve wanted to just…rip all your clothes from you and bury my c**k inside you? Watching you come, feeling your pu**y clench around my fingers…that has been such sweet torture. Watching your lovely face as you come for me and not being able to feel you around my cock…that has been an ecstasy of agony. I need you, Kyrie. You’re mine. You belong to me. Waiting…it has been all but impossible.”

“Why have you waited? You said it yourself: You own me. So why not take what is yours?” I watched his eyes, his expression, as he thought about his answer.

“Because you deserve better than that. I’ve had a lifetime of meaningless sex. So have you. I want more for you, and from you. I can take a thousand orgasms from you. I can kiss you and touch you and tear your clothes off you, and I don’t need and won’t ask for your permission. But for that? To bring this between us to the next level? I want you to give that to me of your own will. I want to own you completely. I want you to give that last bit of yourself to me because you want to be owned by me. And I will wait for that day to come.”

“What if I never can, never do? What if that day never comes?” I stared up at him, feeling his presence like a sheltering mountain, and knew the question was little more than me playing devil’s advocate.

His eyes narrowed, and his jaw clenched. “Do not toy with me, Kyrie.” Abruptly, he softened. His free hand slid down my arm, came to rest casually and possessively on my hip. “You’ve already given in to me. Do you remember last night? Do you remember what you not only let me do, but asked me to do? Were those the actions of a woman holding herself back?”

I gulped a deep breath. “No. I remember. But that’s…that was different.”

“Oh? How so?” He roamed down my thigh with his palm, then back up to my waist. “I don’t think it is. I put my finger in your ass**le, Kyrie. You don’t get more vulnerable than that. You’re telling me you’d let me do that to you, but you wouldn’t let me make love to you? You’re telling me you don’t want that?”


“I’m not saying that—”

“Then what are you saying, Kyrie? Say what you mean.”

“I don’t—I don’t know.”

“You’re afraid of what you’re feeling.”

“Yes,” I admitted.

He let out a soft breath and then dipped down, pressed his lips to mine, gently, so gently. “I’ll give you time.” He pushed away, slid out of the bed, stood up. “But be honest with yourself. Sort out what you’re feeling, and why you’re afraid of it. When you have that figured out, talk to me about it. In the meantime, shower and get dressed. Eliza will have breakfast ready in forty-five minutes.”

I watched Roth as he gathered his clothes. My mouth was dry, and my body tensed. He was around six-four, and he was lean, toned, muscular. His body was honed, artfully sculpted. I licked my lips, unable and unwilling to look away as he slid thick, long, powerful legs into a pair of distressed jeans, watched his rippling six-pack abs shift as he turned his plain black T-shirt inside-right, lifted it over his head. The sleeves stretched around his biceps and pecs, clung to his sides. He was barefoot, and for some reason the sight of his bare feet with the jeans made me tingle and shiver. It was intimate somehow.

He stuffed his hands in his hip pockets, leaned against the frame of the open door leading to the living room. His eyes were hooded, sleepy still, and his hair was sexily mussed, looking just-fucked. I wanted to climb out of the bed, tear the clothes off him, and lick him all over, run my fingers through the grooves of his abs and trace the indent of his V-cut, slide my thighs over his and ride him until he couldn’t move. I was hungry for him. Now that I’d seen him, I knew what I’d been missing. His powerful, virile body and angular, masculine beauty only increased his control over me, only made his impossibly potent effect on me that much more irresistible.

“Keep looking at me like that, Kyrie, and we’ll miss breakfast, and you won’t get a shower.” He withdrew his hands from his pockets, backed out the door but then stopped, gripping the frame in his brutally strong hands. “Tempt me, my sexy little vixen, and I can’t be held responsible for what I do to you.”

I realized I was posing. The sheet was pooled around my thighs, leaving my upper body bare, br**sts heavy and ni**les peaked, thighs pressed together to give a teasing glimpse at my core. My hands were tangled in my hair, as if frozen in the act of running my fingers through my locks. My lips were parted, my eyes heavy-lidded, and I was breathing deeply, each breath swelling my chest. It wasn’t an intentional pose, but now that I was aware of it, I held it.

And then I decided to see how far my own control over him went.

I ran my tongue over my lower lip, arched my spine to thrust my tits out, tilted my head back, and combed my fingers through my tangled hair. Let my hands drift down over my chest, paused to caress my ni**les, then down to my stomach. I watched him through lowered lashes, my lower lip caught between my teeth. He squeezed the doorframe until I heard wood creak, and he lowered his body as if bracing himself, as if about to fling himself forward. I slid my hand down under the sheet, between my thighs.