Five

There were eighty-three vents, twenty-nine screws, five blades, and four bulbs on the ceiling fan above my bed. I rolled to my side, certain muscles mocking me and providing undeniable proof of why I was unable to sleep.

“I want you to watch. And tomorrow when you’re sore, I want you to remember who did it to you.”

He wasn’t kidding.

Without realizing it, my hand had traveled to my breast, absently twisting my nipple beneath my tank top. Closing my eyes, the touch of my own hands turned into his in my memory. His long, graceful fingers ghosting along the undersides of my breasts, his thumbs brushing my nipples, cupping me in his large palms . . . damn it. I let out a loud sigh and kicked a pillow off my bed. I knew exactly where this train of thought was headed. I had done this exact same thing three nights in a row and it had to stop now. With a huff I rolled over onto my stomach and closed my eyes tight, willing sleep to come. As if that ever worked.

I still remembered, with perfect clarity, the day almost a year and a half ago when Elliott asked me up to his office for a talk. I’d started at RMG working as a junior assistant for Elliott when I was in college. When my mother died, Elliott had taken me under his wing; not so much a father figure, but certainly as a caring and warm mentor who had me to his home for dinner to keep an eye on my emotional state. He’d insisted his door would always be open for me. But on that particular morning, when he phoned my office, he sounded uncharacteristically formal, and frankly I was scared shitless.

In his office, he’d explained how his youngest son had lived in Paris for the past six years, working as a marketing executive for L’Or?al. This son, Bennett, was finally coming home, and in six months would take over the position of chief operating officer at Ryan Media. Elliott knew I was a year into my business degree and was looking into internship options that would give me the critical hands-on experience I needed. He insisted I complete my master’s internship at RMG and that the youngest Mr. Ryan would be more than thrilled to have me on his team.

Elliott handed me the company-wide memo that would circulate the following week to announce Bennett Ryan’s arrival.

Wow. That was my only thought as I looked over the paper on my way back to my office. Executive VP of product marketing at L’Or?al in Paris. Youngest nominee ever featured in the Crain’s “Forty Under 40” list, published several times in the Wall Street Journal. A dual MBA from NYU-Stern School of Business and HEC Paris, where he specialized in corporate finance and global business, graduating summa cum laude. All by the age of thirty. Christ.

What was it Elliott had said? Extremely driven? That was an understatement if I’d ever heard one.

Henry had hinted that his brother didn’t quite share his laid-back personality, but when I’d seemed concerned he quickly put my mind at ease. “He has a tendency to be a bit stiff and completely anal retentive at times, but don’t worry about it, Chloe. You can handle his bark; you guys are going to be a great team. I mean, come on,” he said, wrapping his large arm around me. “How could he not love you?”

I hated to admit it now, but by the time he was set to arrive, I had developed a bit of a crush on Bennett Ryan. I was extremely anxious about working with him, but I was also impressed with everything he’d accomplished in his relatively short life. Looking up his picture online didn’t hurt either: the man was a specimen. We communicated through e-mail leading up to his arrival, and although he seemed nice enough, he was never overly friendly.

On the big day, Bennett wasn’t due in until after the board meeting that afternoon, when he would be officially introduced. I had the entire day to work myself up into a ball of nerves. Being the good friend she is, Sara came upstairs to distract me. She sat in my chair and we spent over an hour discussing the merits of the Clerks movies.

Soon I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. I didn’t notice that Sara stiffened when the outer office door opened, and I didn’t notice that someone was now standing behind me. And though Sara tried to warn me with a swift hand across the throat—the universal sign for “shut the fuck up”—I ignored her.

Because, apparently, I’m an idiot.

“And then,” I said, giggling and holding onto my sides, “she says, ‘Fuck, I had to take a fucking order off a guy I blew after junior prom once.’ And then he says, ‘Yeah, I’ve waited on your brother too.’”

Another bout of laughter hit me, and I stumbled backward a bit until I collided with something hard and warm.

Spinning around, I was mortified to see that I had just ground my ass onto my new boss’ thigh.

“Mr. Ryan!” I said, recognizing him from his photographs. “I’m so sorry!”

He did not look amused.

In an attempt to ease the tension, Sara stood and extended her hand. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. I’m Sara Dillon, Henry’s assistant.”

My new boss simply glanced at her hand without returning the gesture and raised one of his perfect eyebrows. “Don’t you mean ‘Mr. Ryan’?”

Sara’s hand slowly fell as she watched him, obviously flustered. Something about his physical presence was so intimidating she was at a loss for words. When she recovered, she stuttered, “Well . . . we are fairly casual around here. We’re all on a first-name basis. This is your assistant, Chloe.”

He nodded to me. “Miss Mills. You will refer to me as Mr. Ryan. And I expect you in my office in five minutes so that we may discuss proper workplace decorum.” His voice was serious when he spoke, and he nodded curtly to Sara. “Miss Dillon.”

Sliding his gaze to mine for another moment, he turned on his heel toward his new office and I watched in horror as the first of his infamous door slams took place.

“What a bastard!” Sara mumbled between tight lips.

“A beautiful bastard,” I replied.

Hoping to smooth things over, I went down to the caf? to get him a cup of coffee. I’d even asked Henry how he took it—black. When I nervously made it back to his office door, my knock was followed by an abrupt “come in,” and I willed my hands to stop shaking. I curved my lips into a friendly smile, intent on making a better impression this time, and opened the door to him talking on the phone and writing furiously on the notepad in front of him. My breath caught when I heard his smooth, deep voice speaking in flawless French.

“Ce sera parfait. Non. Non, ce n’est pas n?cessaire. Seulement quatre. Oui. Quatre. Merci, Ivan.”

He ended the call but never lifted his eyes from his papers to greet me. Once I was standing in front of his desk, he addressed me in the same stern tone as before. “In the future, Miss Mills, you will keep all non-workplace-related conversations outside of the office. We’re paying you to work, not gossip. Do I make myself clear?”

I stood speechless for a moment until he lifted his eyes to meet mine, raising an eyebrow. I shook myself out of my trance, all at once realizing the truth about Bennett Ryan: although he was even more breathtakingly gorgeous in person than in photos, he was not at all like I had imagined. And he was absolutely nothing like his parents and brother.

“Very clear, sir,” I said as I walked around his desk to set his coffee in front of him.

But just as I was about to reach his desk, my heel caught on the rug and I lunged forward. I heard a loud “Shit!” escape his lips—the coffee now nothing more than a scorching stain on his expensive suit.

“Oh my God, Mr. Ryan, I am so sorry!”

I rushed over to the sink in his bathroom to grab a towel and ran back, falling to my knees in front of him and attempting to wipe off the stain. In my haste, and in the midst of humiliation I didn’t think could get any worse, it suddenly occurred to me that I was furiously rubbing the towel against his crotch. I averted my eyes and hand, feeling a heated blush spread from my face down my neck as I caught a glimpse of the noticeable bulge in the front of his pants.

“You may go now, Miss Mills.”

I nodded, rushing out of the office, mortified that I’d made such a horrible first impression.

Thankfully, I proved myself pretty quickly after that. There were times when he even seemed impressed with me, although he was always short and on edge. I chalked it up to his being a giant asshat, but I had always wondered if there was something specific about me that rubbed him the wrong way.

Besides that towel, of course.

.

When I arrived at work, I bumped into Sara on my way to the elevator. We made plans to have lunch next week and said good-bye as she reached her floor. Arriving at the eighteenth floor, I noticed Mr. Ryan’s office door was closed as usual, so I couldn’t tell if he was here yet. I turned on the computer and tried to mentally prepare myself for the day. Lately, anxiety hit every time I sat in this chair.

I knew I would see him this morning; we went over the schedule for the coming week every Friday. But I never knew what kind of mood he would be in.

Although his temper had been even worse lately, his last words to me yesterday had been, “Get the garter belt too.” And I had. In fact, I was wearing it now. Why? I had no idea. What in the hell had he meant by that? Did he think he was going to see it? No fucking way. Then why had I worn it? I swear to God, if he rips it . . . I stopped myself before I could finish.

Of course he wouldn’t rip it. I was never going to give him the chance.

Keep telling yourself that, Mills.

Answering some e-mails, editing the Papadakis contract for intellectual property issues, and making a few hotel inquiries took my mind off the situation for a bit, and about an hour later his office door opened. Looking up, I was met with a very businesslike Mr. Ryan. His dark, two-button suit was impeccable, complemented perfectly by the pop of color in his red silk tie. He looked calm and completely at ease. No trace remained of the wild man who had fucked me in the La Perla dressing room approximately eighteen hours and thirty-six minutes ago. Not that I was counting.

“Are you ready to begin?”

“Yes, sir.”

He nodded once and turned back to his office.

Okay, so that’s how this was going to play out. Fine by me. I wasn’t sure what I’d been expecting but was somewhat relieved that things weren’t different. Things between us were getting more and more intense, and it would mean a harder crash when it all stopped and I was left to pick up the pieces of my career. I hoped we could limp through this without further disaster until I finished my degree.

I followed him into his office and took a seat. I began going over the list of tasks and appointments that needed his attention. He listened without comment, jotting things down or entering them into his computer when needed.

“There’s a meeting with Red Hawk Publishing scheduled for three this afternoon. Your father and brother are also planning to attend. It will probably take up the rest of the afternoon, so your calendar has been cleared . . .” And so it went, until eventually we got to the part I’d been dreading.

“Lastly, the JT Miller Marketing Insight Conference is in San Diego next month,” I said, suddenly becoming interested in what I was doodling in my calendar. The pause that followed seemed to drag forever, and I glanced up to see what was taking so long. He was staring at me, tapping a gold pen on the desk, his face completely void of any expression.

“Will you be accompanying me?” he asked.

“Yes.” My one word created a suffocating silence in the room. I had no idea what he was thinking as we looked at each other. “It’s in the terms of the scholarship that I attend. I, uh, also think it’d be good to have me there to, um, help manage your affairs.”

“Make all the necessary arrangements,” he said with an air of finality as he resumed typing on his computer. Assuming I had been dismissed, I stood and began walking toward the door.

“Miss Mills.”

I turned to look at him, and even though he didn’t meet my gaze, he almost seemed nervous. Well, that was different.

“My mother has asked me to extend an invitation to you for dinner next week.”

“Oh.” I felt heat bloom across my cheeks. “Well, please tell her I’ll look at my schedule.” I turned to leave again.

“I was told I must . . . strongly encourage you to attend.”

Turning back slowly, I saw he was now staring at me, and he definitely looked uncomfortable. “And why exactly should you do that?”

“Well,” he said before clearing his throat, “apparently she has someone she would like you to meet.”

This was new. I’d known the Ryans for years, and although Susan might have mentioned a name in passing, she’d never actively tried to fix me up with anyone.

“Your mother is trying to set me up?” I asked walking back toward his desk and folding my arms over my chest.

“So it seems.” Something in his face didn’t quite fit his nonchalant answer.

“Why?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

His brow furrowed in obvious annoyance. “How the hell would I know? It’s not like we sit around discussing you,” he growled. “Maybe she’s worried that with that sparkling personality of yours you’ll end up an old spinster wearing muumuus and living in a house full of cats.”

Leaning forward with my palms on his desk I glared at him. “Well, maybe she should be more worried that her son will turn into a dirty old man who spends his time hoarding panties and stalking girls in lingerie stores.”

Jumping out of his chair, he leaned toward me, his face furious. “You know, you are the most—” He was cut off as the phone rang. We stared fiercely at each other from across the desk, both of us breathing heavily. For a moment, I thought he would throw me across the desk. For another moment, I wanted him to. Still glaring at me, he reached for the phone.

“Yes,” he barked sharply into the receiver, his eyes never leaving mine. “George! Hello. Yes, I have a minute.”

He lowered himself back into his desk chair, and I lingered to see if he needed anything from me while he talked to Mr. Papadakis. He held up his index finger for me to wait before he slid it over his pen, rolling it across his desk as he listened to the call.

“You need me to stay?” I asked.

He nodded once before speaking into the phone, “I don’t think you’d need to be that specific at this stage, George.” The deep tenor of his voice vibrated down my spine. “Just a general outline is fine. We need to know the scope of this proposal before we can move into drafting.”

I shifted where I stood. He was such an egomaniac, making me stand here like I was holding a plate of grapes and fanning him while he spoke to a colleague.

He looked up at me and did a slight double take, his eyes dropping to my skirt. When he looked back up, his lips opened slightly, as if he would ask me something were he able. And then he reached forward, pen poised between his finger and thumb, and used the tip of it to lift the hem of my skirt up my thigh.

His eyes widened when he saw the garter.

“I understand,” he murmured into the phone, letting my skirt fall. “I think we can agree that’s a positive development.”

His eyes moved up my body, darkening as they traveled. My heart began to pound. When he looked at me like that, I wanted to slip onto his lap and bind him to the chair with his tie.

“No, no. Nothing so broad at this point. As I said, this is only a preliminary outline.”

I slipped around his desk and sat in the chair across from him. He raised an eyebrow, interested, and then slipped the tip of the pen between his teeth, biting down.

Heat bloomed between my legs and I reached for the hem of my skirt, sliding the fabric up my thighs, exposing my skin to the cool air in his office, and to the hungry eyes across the desk from me.

“Yes, I see,” he said, but his voice was deeper even still, hoarse now.

My fingertips trailed over the lines of the garters, along skin and to the satin of my underwear. Nothing—and no one—had ever made me feel as sexy as he did. It was as if he took all my thoughts of my job, my life, and my goals and said, “These are all well and good, but look at this other thing I’m offering you. It will be twisted and very dangerous but you’ll crave it. You’ll crave me.”

And if he’d said that out loud, he would have been right.

“Yes,” he said again. “I think that’s the ideal path forward.”

You do, do you? I smiled at him, chewing my lip, and he gave me a devilish half smile in return. The fingers of one hand traveled higher, cupping my breast and squeezing. With my other hand, I pushed the center of my panties aside and ran two fingers across my wet skin.

Mr. Ryan coughed and fumbled for his water glass. “That’s fine, George. We’ll take that over when we receive it. We can handle that timeline.”

I began moving my hand, thinking of his long fingers rolling the pen, those very hands grabbing my hips and waist and thighs when he drove into me in the lingerie store.

I moved faster, my eyes falling closed and head dropping back against the chair. I tried to be quiet, biting down on my lip when a tiny moan escaped. I imagined his hands and taut forearms, muscles tensing beneath skin as his fingers moved inside me. His legs in front of my face the night in the conference room, tight and sculpted, struggling to keep from thrusting.

Those eyes, on me, dark and pleading.

I looked up to see them exactly as I imagined, not watching my hand but seeing his hungry expression trained on my face as I fell and fell and fell. My climax was both overwhelming and unsatisfying: I wanted it to be his touch doing this to me instead of my own.

At some point, his call had ended, and my breath sounded too loud in the silent room. He sat across from me, sweat beading his brow, his hands gripping the arms of his desk chair as if he’d been thrown into the wind.

“What are you doing to me?” he asked quietly.

I grinned, blowing my bangs out of my eyes. “I’m pretty sure I just did that to myself.”

His brow lifted. “Indeed.”

I stood, smoothing my skirt back down my thighs. “If that will be all, Mr. Ryan, I’ll get back to work.”

.

By the time I returned from freshening up in the restroom, I had a text message from Mr. Ryan, informing me that he would meet me in the parking garage to head downtown. Thank God the other executives and their assistants would be going to the Red Hawk meeting. I knew from our history that if I had to sit in a limo with that man alone for twenty minutes—especially after what I just did—there were only two possible outcomes. And only one of them ended with his balls intact.

The limo was waiting right outside, and as I made my way to it our driver smiled widely to me and opened the door. “Hey, Chloe, how’s work?”

“Busy, fun, never-ending. How’s school?” I smiled back. Stuart was my favorite driver, and although he had a tendency to be a bit of a flirt, he always made me smile.

“If I could drop physics and still graduate with a degree in biology, I would. Too bad you aren’t a scientist or you could tutor me,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.

“If you two are finished, we actually have somewhere important to be. Maybe you can flirt with Miss Mills on your own time.” Mr. Ryan was apparently already inside waiting for me, and he glared at the two of us as he retreated back into the car. I grinned and rolled my eyes at Stuart before stepping inside.

Aside from Mr. Ryan, the car was empty. “Where are the others?” I asked, confused, as we pulled away.

“They have a dinner meeting later this evening and decided to drive separately.” He busied himself with his printouts. I couldn’t help but notice the way he was nervously tapping his fancy Italian oxfords.

I eyed him suspiciously. He didn’t look any different. In fact, he looked sexier than hell. His hair was its usual perfect mess. As he absentmindedly lifted his gold pen to his lips, just as he had in his office earlier, I actually had to shift in my seat to ease my discomfort.

When he looked up, the smirk on his face let me know I had been caught ogling him. “See something you like?” he asked.

“Not back here,” I replied with a smirk of my own. And just because I knew it would get to him, I purposely recrossed my legs, making sure my skirt rode up a bit more than was appropriate. Maybe he needed to remember who could win at this game. The scowl was back in an instant. Mission accomplished.

The eighteen and a half minutes left of our twenty-minute drive were spent trading dirty looks across the car while I tried to pretend I wasn’t fantasizing about having his pretty head between my legs.

Needless to say, by the time we got there, I was in a bad mood.

The next three hours passed at a snail’s pace. The other executives arrived and introductions were made all around. A particularly striking woman named Lila seemed to take an immediate interest in my boss. She was in her early thirties with thick red hair, luminous dark eyes, and a body to die for. And of course, the panty-dropping smile was in full force as he nearly charmed her unconscious the entire afternoon.

Asshole.

When we walked into the office at the end of the day, after an even more tense drive back, it still seemed like Mr. Ryan had something to say. And if he didn’t do it soon, I was going to explode. When I wanted him to be quiet, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. But when I needed him to say something, he became a mute.

A sense of d?j? vu and dread filled me as we made our way through the semideserted building and toward the elevator. The second those gold doors closed I wished I were anywhere but standing next to him. Was there suddenly less oxygen in here? As I glanced at his reflection in the polished doors, it was hard to tell how he felt. He’d loosened his tie and his suit jacket was slung over his arm. During the meeting, he’d rolled the sleeves of his dress shirt partway up his forearms and I tried not to stare at the lines of muscle beneath his skin. Other than the constant clenching of his sharp jaw and his downcast eyes, he looked completely calm.

When we reached the eighteenth floor, I let out a giant breath. That had to have been the longest forty-two seconds of my life. I followed him through the door, trying to keep my eyes off him as he quickly entered his own office. But to my surprise, he didn’t close the door behind him. He always closed his door.

I quickly checked my messages and wrapped up a few last-minute details before I could leave for the weekend. I don’t think I’d ever been in more of a hurry to get out of here. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. The last time we were alone on this floor I had made a pretty quick getaway. Damn, if there was ever a time to not think about that, it would be now, in the empty office. Just me and him.

He left his office right as I was gathering my things, placing an ivory envelope on my desk and continuing to the door without pausing. What the hell was this? Quickly opening the envelope, I saw my name on several pieces of elegant ivory paper. It was paperwork for a private credit account at La Perla, with Mr. Bennett Ryan as the account holder.

He opened a credit account for me?

“What the hell is this?” I said, seething. I jumped from my chair and asked, “You got me a line of credit?”

Stopping midstride and hesitating slightly, he turned to face me. “After your little show today, I made a phone call and arranged for you to purchase whatever you . . . need. Of course there’s no limit on the account,” he stated flatly, having wiped all trace of discomfort from his face. This is why he was such a master at what he did. He had an uncanny ability to regain control of any situation. But did he honestly think he could control me?

“So, to be clear,” I said, shaking my head and trying to keep some semblance of calm, “you arranged to buy me underwear.”

“Well, just to replace the things that I—” he stopped, possibly rethinking his response. “The things that have been damaged. If you don’t want it, don’t fucking use it,” he hissed before turning to leave again.

“You son of a bitch.” I moved to stand in front of him, the crisp stationery now a mangled ball of paper in my clenched fist. “Do you think this is funny? Do you think I’m some plaything you can just dress up for your amusement?” I didn’t know who I was angrier with: him for thinking of me that way, or me for allowing this thing to start in the first place.

He scoffed, “Oh yes. I find this absolutely hilarious.”

“Take this and stick it up your ass.” I shoved the ivory paper into his chest and grabbed my purse, turning and literally sprinting to the elevator. What an egotistical, womanizing ass.

Logically I knew that he hadn’t meant to insult me, at least I hoped not. But this? This was exactly why you don’t fuck your boss, why you definitely don’t get off and give him a little show in his office.

Apparently, I missed that part of orientation.

“Miss Mills!” he shouted, but I ignored him and stepped into the elevator. Come on, I said to myself as I repeatedly pushed the button for the parking garage. His face appeared just as the doors closed and I smiled to myself as I flipped him off. Real mature, Chloe.

“Shit. Shit. Shit!” I yelled into the empty elevator, practically stomping my feet. That bastard had ripped his last pair of panties.

The elevator chimed, signaling that I’d reached the garage, and, muttering to myself, I made my way to my car. The garage was dimly lit and mine was one of the only cars left on this level, but I was too furious to even give it a second thought. I’d hate to see the unlucky prick who dared mess with me right now. Just as that thought entered my mind, I heard the stairwell door burst open and Mr. Ryan call out from behind me.

“Christ! Will you fucking wait?” he shouted. It did not escape my attention that he was out of breath. I suppose sprinting down eighteen flights of stairs would do that to a person.

Unlocking my car, I jerked open the door and threw my purse onto the passenger seat. “What the hell do you want, Ryan?”

“God, can you take it out of bitch mode for two seconds and listen to me?”

I spun around to face him. “Do you think I’m some kind of whore?”

A hundred different emotions flashed across his face: anger, shock, confusion, hate, and fuck me if he didn’t look delicious. He’d opened the collar of his shirt, his hair was an absolute mess, and the bead of sweat running down the side of his jaw was not helping the situation. I was determined to stay mad.

Keeping a careful distance, he shook his head. “Jesus,” he said, looking around the garage. “You think I see you as a whore? No! It was just in case—” He stopped, trying to organize his thoughts. He seemed to finally give up, jaw clenched.

The rage was coursing through me so strongly that before I could stop myself, I stepped forward and slapped him hard across the face. The sound cracked through the empty garage. With a shocked and furious glare, he reached up and touched the spot where I had struck him.

“You may be my boss, but you do not get to decide how this works.”

The silence stretched before us, the sounds of the traffic and the outside world barely registering in my consciousness. “You know,” he began with a dark stare, taking a single step toward me, “I didn’t hear you complaining.”

Oh, that smooth fucker.

“Against the window.” Another step. “In the elevator and stairwell. In the dressing room while you watched me fuck you.” And another. “When you spread your legs in my office today, I didn’t hear one word of protest out of that fucking mouth of yours.”

My chest was heaving, and I could feel the cool metal of my car through the thin material of my dress. Even with my shoes, he still stood a full head above me, and when he leaned down, I could feel his warm breath against my hair. All I had to do was look up, and our mouths would meet.

“Well, I’m over it,” I said through clenched teeth, but each labored breath brought me a brief moment of relief as my chest grazed against his.

“Of course you are,” he whispered, shaking his head and moving even closer, his erection pressing into my stomach. He braced his hands against the car, trapping me. “Completely over it.”

“Except . . . maybe . . .” I said, not sure whether I meant to say it out loud.

“Maybe just one more time?” His lips barely brushed mine.

It was too gentle, too real.

Turning my face up, I whispered against his mouth, “I don’t want to want this. It’s not good for me.”

His nostrils flared slightly and just when I thought I would go insane, he took my lower lip roughly between his and pulled me to him. Growling into my mouth, he deepened the kiss and pushed me forcefully against the car. Like last time, he reached up and removed the pins from my hair.

Our kisses were teasing then rough, coming together and pulling apart, hands fisting in hair and tongues sliding against each other. I gasped as he bent his knees slightly, grinding his cock against me.

“God,” I moaned, wrapping my leg around him and digging my heel into his thigh.

“I know.” He exhaled heavily into my mouth. Looking down at my leg and cupping my ass with his hand, he gave it a rough squeeze and murmured, “Have I told you how fucking hot those shoes are? What are you trying to do to me with those wicked little bows?”

“Well, there’s another bow somewhere else but you’ll need some luck finding it.”

He pulled away. “Get in the fucking car,” he said, his voice rumbling deep in his throat as he yanked the door open.

I glared at him, willing rational thought to penetrate my clouded brain. What should I do? What did I want? Could I just let him have my body like this again? I was so overwhelmed, I was trembling. Rational thought was quickly abandoning me as I felt his hand run up my neck and into my hair.

Gripping it tightly he jerked my head toward him and stared into my eyes. “Now.”

The decision was made, and once again I wrapped his tie around my wrist, pulling him into the backseat. Once the door closed behind him, he wasted no time going for the ties on the front of my dress. I groaned as I felt him part the material and run his hands across my bare skin. Pushing me back to lie on the cool leather and kneeling between my legs, he placed his palm between my breasts, slowly moving down my abdomen to the lace garter belt. His fingers traced the delicate ribbons to the edge of my stockings and back up again, moving to run across the edge of my panties. The muscles of my abdomen clenched with every movement and I tried to control my breathing. Fingering the tiny white bows, he looked up at me and said, “Luck has nothing to do with it.”

I pulled him to me by his shirt and slid my tongue into his mouth, groaning as his palm pressed against me. Our lips searched; our kisses grew long and deep, gaining urgency with every inch of skin uncovered. I pulled his shirt from his pants and explored the smooth skin over his ribs, the sharp definition of muscle at his hips, and the soft trail of hair urging me down his navel and lower.

Wanting to tease him the way he was teasing me, I ran my fingers across his belt and to the hard shape of him beneath his pants.

He groaned into my mouth. “You don’t know what you’re doing to me.”

“Tell me,” I whispered back. I was using his words against him, and just knowing the tables were turned for the moment spurred me on. “Tell me and I’ll give you what you want.”

He moaned and bit his lip, his forehead pressed against mine as he shivered. “I want you to fuck me.”

His hands were shaking as he gripped my new panties in his fist, and as insane as it was, I wanted him to rip them. The raw passion between us was unlike anything I’d ever experienced; I didn’t want him holding back. Without a word, he tore them from me, the pain of the fabric pulling across my skin only adding to the pleasure.

I pulled my leg forward and pushed him back and off me. Sitting up, I shoved him against the seat back and straddled his lap. I grabbed his shirt and yanked it open, sending the buttons scattering along the seat.

I was lost to everything but him and this. The feel of the air against my skin, the ragged sounds of our breathing, the heat of his kiss, and the thought of what lay ahead. With frantic hands I undid his belt and pants, and with his help managed to get them down his legs. The tip of his cock grazed my entrance and I closed my eyes, slowly sliding down over him.

“Oh, God,” I groaned, the sensation of him inside me only making the bittersweet ache intensify. Lifting my hips, I began to ride him, each movement feeling more intense than the one before. The pain from his rough fingertips on my hips only fueled my lust. His eyes were closed and his moans were muffled against my breast. Moving his lips across my lace bra he pulled one cup down and took my hardened nipple between his teeth. I gripped his hair tightly and elicited a moan from him, his mouth opening around my skin.

“Bite me,” I whispered.

He bit down, hard, making me cry out and pull harder on his hair.

My body was so in tune with his, it reacted to his every look and touch and sound. I both hated and loved how he made me feel. I’d never been one to lose control, but when he touched me like this, I happily threw it out the window.

“Do you like feeling my teeth?” he asked, his breath short and jagged. “Do you fantasize about where else I could bite you?”

I pushed on his chest and stared up at him. “You just don’t know when to shut your mouth, do you?”

He lifted me off and roughly threw me down onto the seat. Pushing my legs apart he thrust back into me. My car was too small for this, but there was nothing that could have stopped us now. Even with his legs bent awkwardly below him and my arms braced above me to protect my head from the door, it was almost too much.

Pulling himself onto his knees and into a more comfortable position, he picked up one of my legs and placed it over his shoulder, forcing his cock deeper inside me.

“Oh, God, yes.”

“Yeah?” He lifted my other leg to rest across his other shoulder. Reaching out, he gripped the door frame and used it for leverage to deepen his thrusts. “Is that how you like it?” The change in angle caused me to gasp, as the most delicious sensations spread throughout my body.

“No.” With my hands pushing off the door, I lifted my hips off the seat to meet each motion of his hips. “I like it harder.”

“Fuck,” he murmured as he turned his head slightly, his open mouth leaving wet kisses up and down my leg. By now our bodies were glistening with sweat, the windows were completely fogged up, and our groans filled the silent space of the car. The dim glow from the garage lights emphasized every carved indentation and muscle of the masterpiece above me. I watched him in awe, his body straining with the effort, his hair mussed and sticking to his damp forehead, the tendons in his neck pulled tight.

Ducking his head between his outstretched arms, he closed his eyes tightly and shook his head. “Oh, God,” he panted. “I just . . . I can’t stop.”

I arched to get closer, needing to find a way to pull him deeper, more completely into me. I’d never wanted to consume another body as rabidly as I did when he was inside me, but even like this, I could never seem to get close enough to the parts of him I wanted to feel. And it was with that thought in my mind that the delicious, ratcheting tension along my skin and in my belly crystallized into an ache so heavy I slipped my legs off his shoulders, pulling all of his weight on top of me and pleading, “Please, please, please,” over and over.

I was so close. So close.

My hips circled, and his hips answered rough but steady, as savage above as I was underneath. “So fucking close, please.”

“Anything,” he growled in reply, before bending to bite my lip and growl. “Take fucking anything.”

I screamed as I came, my nails digging into his back and the taste of his sweat on my lips.

He swore, his voice deep and hoarse, and with one last powerful thrust he tensed above me.

Exhausted and shaking, he collapsed with his face against my neck. I couldn’t resist the urge to run my trembling hands through his damp hair as we lay there panting, his heart racing against my chest. A million thoughts skittered through my mind as the minutes passed.

Slowly, our breathing calmed and I almost thought he’d fallen asleep when he moved his head away.

My sweaty body was instantly chilled as he started getting dressed. I watched him for a moment before sitting up and putting on my dress, feeling heavily ambivalent. More than just physically fulfilling, sex with him was some of the most fun I’d had in a long time.

But he was such an asshole.

“I assume you’ll ignore the account. I realize this can’t happen again,” he said, startling me from my own thoughts. I turned to look at him. He was shrugging on his torn shirt, his eyes fixed straight ahead.

Moments passed before he turned to look at me. “Say something so I know you’ve heard me.”

“Tell Susan I’ll be there for dinner, Mr. Ryan. And get the hell out of my car.”

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