I’ve tried texting her a couple of times, but I’ve gotten no response. She returned from Rome last weekend and has been in touch with Kylie, which is the only reason I know anything.

I should feel relieved. Sophie knows the truth now. Everything is out in the open. There's no more hiding my broken marriage from her and no one would ever need to know my dark secret about purchasing a sex slave. This whole thing could be over – we’re free from our arrangement. Only I don’t want to be.

I should just walk away, but I won’t. I still want to fuck her. Shit, it goes deeper than that if I’m being honest with myself. I like her. Her genuine nature, her selflessness for putting herself up for auction. She’s not like other girls. She made me macaroni for fuck’s sake, and refused my help for additional money. She’s not like the women in my past. Or she’s damn good at faking it.

Either way, I want to make her mine. I tell myself it’s just because I never got to have her. Weeks spent waiting while the sexual tension and anticipation between us built to epic proportions have left me with the world’s most critical case of blue balls. Terror alert level red. My sac is about to combust. Shit, at this point, I wonder if I even remember how to fuck. It can’t be that difficult, right? I shake away the sullen thoughts swirling in my brain.

I want to claim her body, to be the first man to penetrate her pussy. And as much as I try to deny it, something inside me wants more than that too. But the entire point of this whole charade was because I promised myself I wouldn’t get entangled with a woman ever again. So much for that not happening. I’m in deep with Sophie. Completely wrapped up in a woman I may have zero chance of having. But I’m not backing down now. No fucking way.

I'd bought and paid for her virginity, something I was not inclined to let simply slip through my fingers due to some technicality.

When I think back to her hotel room in Italy, the way she let me touch her…before completely shutting down on me, my stomach twists into a knot.

I’m not used to being turned down, and it’s not a feeling I want to grow accustomed to. I didn’t get where I am today by lying dormant. Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I call Sophie once more, giving her one last chance before I show up on her parent’s doorstep and drag her back to me.

I may have trust issues, and I still need to deal with Stella, but none of that is going to stop me from taking what’s mine. And Sophie is mine.

Expecting her voicemail, like every other time I’ve called, I’m surprised when she answers on the fourth ring.

"Sophie?" The surprise is evident in my voice.

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"Hi," she says casually.

"We need to talk." She’s silent for several long moments, only the soft sounds of her breathing tell me she’s still on the line.

"About what?" she asks finally.

"I have a new proposition for you."

***

When the limousine I’ve sent drops Sophie off in my driveway, looking bewildered and tired, I’m thankful that her parents live a few hours north of Los Angeles. It means I should be able to keep her here at least through the night. She will have to hear me out.

Stepping out into the sunlight, I greet her beside the car. My fists clench uselessly at my sides as the realization that she’s not mine to take into my arms slams against me. I lift her bag from the brick walkway and force a smile onto my lips. "Thank you for coming."

She nods. "Thank you for sending the limo. That really wasn’t necessary." She twists the ring on her thumb, obviously curious about why I’ve summoned her here when things seem like they’re over between us.

"Let’s go inside."

I let her walk ahead, appreciating the way her round little behind sways enticingly. I follow like a puppy on a leash.

Once inside, Sophie is all tentative steps and unsure glances. Deciding it’ll be best to cut to the chase about why I’ve brought her here, I lead her into the den. The same room where I brought her that first night. Memories of her on her knees before me, taking my thick cock into her mouth and sucking me off with such skill and enthusiasm causes my dick to harden instantly. Fuck.

I take a breath and clear my throat, hoping that her eyes don’t wander to the front of my trousers. "Have a seat."

Sophie complies, sitting carefully at the edge of the sofa. I wonder if the memories of that first night are burned into her brain as thoroughly as they are into mine. Despite my efforts, I’m unable to get the visual of her full pink mouth wrapped around the head of my cock out of my mind. The way her tongue teased down the length of my shaft and her hand curled around my base, stroking as she sucked me deep into her throat.

My needy erection zaps all my concentration and it takes me a moment to realize Sophie is speaking.

"Colton?" she blinks up at me, drawing me from the x-rated show currently playing in my head.

"I’m glad you came," I say.

She chews on her lower lip, almost as nervous as the first time I brought her home. Her gaze sweeps around the room and her spine is as straight as an arrow. She doesn’t want to let her guard down and I assume it’s because she doesn’t trust herself with me. Good to know. I don’t trust myself either.

"Can I get you anything? Wine? A bottle of water?"

She shakes her head. "What did you want to discuss? You were kind of vague on the phone."

She’s right. I was vague –mainly because I had no idea what I could say to persuade her. I knew I needed to see her eyes – to read her expression in order to craft my proposal. And the nervous, unsure girl I see sitting before me means I need to proceed with caution. I’d considered pushing her, convincing her how good we are together physically and persuading her to be with me the way I know she wants. But now I see that I need to employ a different method, because watching her walk out that door again is not an option.