His heart thudded in his chest as she continued.
“Life is scary, but I think it’s supposed to be. If you’re living it right, that is.”
He hugged her tighter against him. “What do you want from me, Sarah?”
She met his eyes and dared the truth. “A chance.”
He nodded and ran a finger teasingly over the neckline of her dress. “And in return?”
Sarah raised herself onto her tiptoes and whispered, “A confession.”
He growled deep in his throat, “I like that. Tell me.”
Rubbing herself against him, Sarah said, “When you grabbed the back of my head and pulled me to you, I liked it.”
He reenacted his early move, burying his hand in the back of her hair and holding her helplessly immobile before him. “You mean this?”
She sighed through parted lips, “Yes.”
He claimed her lips with his, teasing, testing, while he boldly slid a hand beneath the back hem of her dress, cupping her ass roughly. “You like it rough?”
Sarah playfully struggled against his hold, loving how easily he restrained her. “I don’t know, but I’d like to try it out,” she admitted.
His mouth closed over hers again, his tongue deep within her mouth, demanding a submission she gladly gave. With one strong move, he ripped her thong off. There was a sting to the move. Sarah moaned into the kiss, loving how the slight pain flooded her with want.
He growled into her ear. “I told you earlier that there’d be a price to pay for inviting everyone to dinner.”
Sarah wasn’t sure if his anger was fake or real, and she didn’t know if she cared.
He pulled away from her and took off his belt. Her eyes rounded as she realized she should have defined rough before the game started.
He laughed and dropped the belt, along with the rest of his clothing, to the floor. “Don’t worry, I would never mark what is mine.”
She turned to flee, half in jest and half in response to what she was pretty sure he intended to do. He grabbed her around the waist, swung her up, and sat on the edge of the bed, settling her face down across his lap. The material of her dress softened the sting of the first spank, but then he slid it up, exposing her bare ass to his reprimand. “Do you like soft?” He tapped one ass cheek lightly. “Or hard?” The crack of his hand echoed in the quiet of the room, and Sarah gasped at the sudden pain, then marveled at how it intensified her desire.
“Both,” she panted, and squirmed in his hold.
He repeated the same pattern on her other cheek. Another gasp and more pleasure. A few more spanks, and Sarah was writhing and moaning. Just when she thought she couldn’t take any more, he bent and kissed the flesh he’d reddened. He ran his hand down the back of one of her thighs and pushed her legs apart wider.
With one hand, he held her head arched back by pulling on a fistful of hair while he slid one finger of his other hand inside her soaked pussy. His thumb sought and circled her excited nub. His erection jutted against her stomach. “You’re not in control here, Sarah. I am.” He thrust another finger inside her, pumping in and out, faster and faster. “You only come when I tell you to.”
He kissed her waist, bit her lightly on the curve of her ass, and kept a steady rhythm within her. He’d stop, twirl a finger, rub her clit with increased speed, then stop again. She felt orgasms build, then retreat, only to come back stronger and fiercer in their promise.
“Oh, God”—she gripped his leg—“don’t stop again. Please.”
“I like it when you beg.”
“Don’t make me kick your ass,” she threatened in a haze of frustrated desire.
He chuckled, but his hand started moving again, faster than before, while his thumb lavishly rewarded her most sensitive spot. “Now, Sarah. Come for me.”
“Yes,” she groaned as she wept, moving her hips against the fingers he’d paused within her.
He released her hair, removed his hand, and rolled her over in his arms, kissing her lightly as the last waves of orgasm shook through her. She laid her head on his shoulder, closed her eyes, and said, “Apology accepted.”
He chuckled again, then stood, still holding her in his arms as he carried her to his bedroom. Later, spent and wrapped in each other’s arms, Tony was just about to fall asleep when Sarah asked, “Would you be upset if I quickly write a few things in my notebook before I forget them?”
He opened one eye and said, “I don’t know which I should worry about more—that you have enough energy to write, or that you’re afraid you’ll forget what we did.”
Sarah laughed and stood naked beside the bed. “Would it help if I told you that I want to capture the wonder of it all?”
He smiled and closed his eyes with a groan. “Go get your notebook. You can read it to me tomorrow, and if you forgot any details, we can repeat tonight again and again. Purely to help you with your research.”
Sarah lifted his shirt off the floor and threw it at him. He caught it a few inches above his head, smiled, and dropped it to the floor.
Pulling her notebook and a pen out of her bag, Sarah headed back to the bed. I hope he doesn’t really believe I’m doing this for my book. What we have is about so much more than sex.
Three weeks later, Sarah was sitting on the porch in a cotton summer dress and the new cowboy boots Tony had surprised her with, hugging her notebook to her chest. Time had flown by in a happy haze of notebook-worthy lovemaking. Being with a lover who was both demanding and respectful of her preferences gave Sarah a confidence she had never imagined possible. It wasn’t about what she would or wouldn’t do; it was about what they enjoyed doing together and how the trust between them was growing.
She woke in his arms each morning, loving the warm kiss he gave her and how reluctant he always was to leave her. He’d returned to his training schedule and Sarah had found a comfortable rhythm to the ranch days. She helped Melanie with the morning cleanup, read books with Jace, and dragged them both to town to shop for Tony’s house. At first their conversations were strained, but as trust began to build, a friendship was born.
Sarah took photos of the people who worked on the ranch and framed them, placing them on the walls and around the house on tables. With Tony’s permission, she replaced his old furniture with simple but comfortable pieces that made a person want to stay for a while. The quiet of the house was replaced with soft music on most days, and Sarah had even convinced Tony that he needed not only a television but also a computer and Internet access. Slowly, Tony’s house was becoming a home.