I shook all over, eyes closed, imagining the scene he’s setting with his words. I pressed my thighs tight together, seeking pressure, seeking relief, hot and wet from his teasing, and now made all the more desperate by his sexy, expressive voice murmuring in my ear, describing exactly what I’ve envisioned myself.

“You’re so tight, Kyrie. I can almost feel you, clenched around my cock. You’ll feel so good, Kyrie. So tight. Almost too tight. You can barely take me, but you do, and it drives both of us mad.” His voice is barely audible, and his accent seems a bit thicker, more noticeable. “I’ve had this dream a thousand times, Kyrie, love. I’ve imagined feeling your tight little cunt around my c**k and…feeling it just then, I know it’ll be even more perfect than dreams could ever show. You tempt me, Kyrie. Sitting there, naked, so composed. I want you right now. Bare, skin to skin. I was just inside you. I had you. But…I want to make that dream come true. I want to see the moonlight on your skin. I want to tear that lingerie off your body. I want to lick every sweet curve of your body until you’re mad with desire. That’s why I’m waiting, Kyrie.”

I was tensed, on the verge of coming just from his words. I was there, right there, just from the sound of his voice, the promise, the scene he’d set in my mind. If he were to touch me, slip one finger inside me, I’d explode.

I pushed away my pride and rebellious streak, reached out to grab his hand. Rolled to my back, let my legs fall apart. Brought his hand to my soaked folds. “Please….”

He groaned. “Kyrie…you tempt me. You make me so crazy.” He, unconsciously it seemed, stroked my cleft with a finger. “If I touch you, I’ll not be able to stop.” He backed several steps away from me, ran his hands through his hair. “I want you desperate, Kyrie.” He eyed me, chest heaving. “Don’t think this is easy for me. It’s not.”

I slid off the bed and gathered my clothes, tossed them on the bed. Getting dressed again only took a moment. When my dress was zipped and I felt somewhat composed, I turned to him. “Let’s go sailing, Valentine.” I held my hand out to him, threaded my fingers through his. But I pulled him back when he started walking, met his eyes. “You’d better follow through.”

“What do you mean?”

I gestured at his bed. “What you described just now? You’d better give me that.”

He pulled me against him. “I promise you. That…and then some.”




Roth’s private elevator took us down to an underground garage. It was a cavernous space, well lit, eight-foot ceilings, shiny blue epoxy floor, whitewashed walls lined with ’20s and ’30s-style vintage posters depicting a day at the beach, race cars, cruise liners, now-defunct cigarette brands and Italian wine companies. There were rows of red and silver Craftsman tool cabinets, several racks full of yet more tools, a work bench scattered with greasy parts and disassembled engine bones.

I counted nine vehicles: a Maybach, a boxy Mercedes-Benz SUV, a Maserati, a Tesla, a Bentley convertible, two different kind of motorcycle—a crotch rocket and a chopper—a civilian-model military Hummer, and an older-model black BMW, the last the car his father had given him, I assumed. It was an impressive array of vehicles, and I didn’t even want to contemplate how much it was all worth.

On the wall beside the tool chests was a small metal cabinet with a fingerprint-scan locking mechanism. Roth put his thumb to the pad and opened the cabinet when the lock beeped, revealing two sets of keys for each vehicle hanging from hooks. He glanced at me. “Which car do you want to take?”

I was a fairly typical girl in that to me, for the most part, a car was a car. I knew enough to know that these were supremely expensive, top-of-the-line cars, but yet there weren’t any of the usual rich-guy sports cars. No Ferraris or Lamborghinis or Corvettes in this garage, which I found interesting. Those cars didn’t suit him, though, I realized when I thought about it. He was wealthy, but not showy or flashy.

I shrugged and pointed at the convertible. “That one looks fun.”

Roth grinned. “Good choice.”

The elevator door opened behind us, revealing Eliza carrying an insulated cooler. “The lunch you requested, Mr. Roth.”

“Thank you, Eliza.”

“My pleasure, sir. Shall I expect you for dinner?”

Roth shook his head, taking the cooler from Eliza and setting it in the back seat of the Bentley. “No, I think we’ll find something in the city. You can go, if you like.”

“Thank you, sir. Tomorrow, then.” She smiled at me and let the elevator door close in front of her.

A few moments later, Roth was guiding the quiet, powerful car up a ramp and out into the brilliant late morning sunlight. Roth pulled a pair of Ray-Bans from the inside pocket of his coat, pointing with them at the glove box. “I think there’s another pair in there.”

I opened the glove compartment and found a spare pair of sunglasses, slipped them on, and tied my hair back with the ponytail elastic I had on my wrist. The drive through Manhattan to the marina was brief but pleasant, the wind in my face, sun bright and warm, Roth beside me, holding my hand.

When Roth had said “go sailing,” I’d envisioned a little boat just big enough for the two of us. I should have known better. The boat Roth owned was long and low, a sleek and sexy thing, all gleaming silver and polished wood, masculine lines and smooth curves. I knew less about sailboats than I did about cars but, knowing Roth, it had to be the most expensive and highest-quality sailboat money could buy. Roth carried the cooler by the strap over one shoulder, never letting go of my hand.

He helped me from the dock onto the boat, pointing at a seat beside the steering wheel. “Sit.”

I sat, watching him untie ropes and coil them neatly on the deck. He sat down, started the engine, and backed us out of the slip and pointed the bow toward open water. When we were clear of the marina, he cut the engine and unfurled the sail, tied the line, and then did the same to the smaller triangular sail in the front of the boat.

“Can I help?” I asked.

He shrugged. “I’ve got it.”

“I’d like to, if I could. I didn’t come to just sit here and do nothing.”

Roth nodded, ducking under the horizontal bar of the big sail and taking the wheel. The wind was stiff, blowing at us at an angle, making the sails flap. “All right. First, a quick lesson. The small sail in front is called the jib. The big one is the mainsail. The big bar is called the boom. The ropes are called ‘lines.’ The next thing is to know that modern sailboats don’t travel in a straight line, and they don’t work with the wind coming from directly behind. You sail in a zigzag pattern, which is called ‘tacking,’ keeping the wind at an angle. So when I tell you we’re ‘coming about,’ the boom, the big bar holding the bottom of the mainsail, is going to swing around. You have to pay attention and make sure the boom doesn’t knock you overboard when we’re coming about. I’ll warn you before I bring us about, but just be aware, all right, love?” He gestured at the line leading to the mainsail. “Untie that, then pull the line until the sail is taut.”