A hoarse cry left my lips with the rush of him filling me. Nothing had ever felt so right. We stayed that way for a long time, holding each other tight, as if one of us might disappear at any moment.
“Now I’m home. Right here.”
He rocked into me, impossibly deep, and I arched into the movement, loving every slow thrust of our bodies connecting. I wrapped my arms and legs around him until we were touching everywhere, fully entangled.
He held my cheek in his palm, trapping me in his gaze. I couldn’t. I closed my eyes and turned away. I was afraid of what he’d see if he looked too hard. He forced me back to him and kissed me, thrusting deeper as he did. I gasped and shuddered, reveling in the familiar waves of heat saturating every cell of my being. Every limb hummed.
I tried not to think about the other side, the long fall from the earth-shattering bliss he gave me to the darkness of a life without Blake. I tried not to think about it, but the cold, hard reality of it crept in. Time ticked by, my body refusing the climb, evading its addictive pull. If only I could suspend this moment—our bodies impossibly close, slick with the heat of our passion, a never-ending state of being. I could live with that, never reaching the top, if it meant we never had to come down.
I turned away, staring into the near blackness of the room, my thoughts too far from us. He turned my face back to him, his own expression strained, his skin tight and flushed.
“Goddamnit, what’s going on?”
I stumbled, trying to find the words. “I’m sorry. Don’t stop, please.”
“What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing. I don’t want to think about anything but you.”
He stilled. Then without warning, he pulled out of me and left the bed. He rustled through his travel bag by the door. How he could see anything in the darkness of the room, I wasn’t sure.
“What are you doing?”
“Putting you in a better frame of mind.”
The bed dipped under his weight again.
“I did some thinking while I was away, baby, and I think you need this as much as I do. We’ll start slow though.”
My breath caught as he stretched my arms above me, encasing my wrists with two soft leather cuffs, looping the connecting strap around a rail on the headboard.
“There. That’s better. You okay?”
“What are you going to do?” It was a quiet plea. A part of me was afraid of what he might do, but I needed something and soon.
He grabbed my hips and tugged me lower until my arms were fully extended above me. My breath hitched, my muscles tensing with the position. He planted a wet kiss between my breasts, and I sighed. Moving to one and then the other, he teased the tips with warm strokes of his tongue. My nipples were hypersensitive, almost painfully hard, jutting out shamelessly for his slow torture. He bit down gently and my body jerked from the pleasure that shot through me.
He continued to roam with one hand while the other slipped between my thighs to the apex of my desire. He teased my clit, tracing my opening, and then back again, my core quickening with the motion.
When I thought I couldn’t take much more, he withdrew and flipped me to my belly, my arms tautly outstretched. The cord of the cuffs twisted around the rail, increasing their tension on my wrists.
He licked up my spine, causing me to quiver. His thighs straddled mine as his hands glided smoothly over my skin, down my back, squeezing my hips and the top of my ass.
“Mmm, I missed this. Thought about making your ass pink every night I was gone.”
I bit my lip. I knew what was coming and went wet with anticipation, the ache between my legs throbbing now.
“You weren’t too well behaved while I was gone, were you?”
I shook my head as much as I could.
His palm made hard contact with my ass. I jolted at the shock of pain. Then an unexpected wave of pleasure warmed me.
“Someone else had his hands on you. We’re not going to let that happen again, are we?”
I winced at the memory of James.
“Erica, answer me.” His voice was hard and clipped, his hand falling hard on the same spot.
“No, I promise,” I moaned, acutely aware of the wetness pooling between my thighs.
He continued to punish the same spot until my head buzzed with a heady mix of adrenaline and inexplicable desire. These weren’t gentle playful slaps. They were hard and loud, echoing through the room, each one landing with a sting that had me tensing anxiously in anticipation of the next. They fell so solidly across my skin that I swore I was being punished.
I wanted to be, so I let myself believe it. I convinced myself that Blake was punishing me and I was letting him. For making him so jealous, for letting James get too close. And for what I was about to do to him, to us, I deserved it.
“I want to hear you.” His hand made contact once more, smarting the skin that was nearly numb from the endorphins now. “I want to hear those helpless little moans you give me. To know what I’m doing to you is making you crazy inside that tight little body of yours.”
I didn’t make a sound, my cries burning in my throat.
“Erica,” he snapped. The edge in his voice sobered me. “More,” I cried. “I want more. Harder.” Inexplicably, I did.
He exhaled harshly. “Are you sure?”
I lifted my hips into his grasp and gripped the rail tightly. “Blake, please,” I moaned, overcome with a craving for the pain that I so deserved.
He left the bed, and I heard movement next to me before the sound of clothing dropping back down to the floor. He was over me again, straddling me.
The broad curve of a leather belt followed his touch, cool against my burning skin. My palms went damp with fear and lust, slipping on the rail. A slow tremble worked its way through my body. My chest heaved, and I fought for breath as I waited.
“Tell me if it’s too much,” he murmured. “Use your—just tell me to stop, okay?”
I arched off the bed, my body asking for more before my mind could make sense of it. Whatever pain came at the other end of this I’d earned or was about to.
“Just do it.”
I heard the sharp crack of the leather on my skin before the pain caught up to my mind. My jaw dropped in a breathless cry when the pain pulsed through me. Fucking fuck, that hurts.
He paused, waiting for me to speak. When I didn’t, he released another lash. I bit the pillow beneath me and suppressed a scream. Undeniably, it hurt. My entire body tensed against each blow. Why are you doing this? Tears stung my eyes, my throat thick with pent up emotion. You deserve it. You did this. Take it. Take it all.