One corner of his mouth curved upwards. “Yer book,” he said. “I wanted tae meet ye and was willing tae pay for the privilege.”
“Um. Thank you. I think.” She wondered if he had a sub who’d benefitted from the experiences and research that she shared online. She had let her followers know that a book was coming, had kept them updated on her progress. The manuscript was done, but only her publisher had seen it.
Micheil dipped his head at the Replay owner, who was ordering punishment for a slave girl. “St. Leger told me that ye command a hefty appearance fee. My offer was purely a guess. Since ye agreed tae the terms, I take it that the contract met yer expectations.”
“Yes,” she said simply, following his gaze when it failed to return. The slave was stripped and bound to a column. Tiberius Piers snapped his fingers and a tray of floggers appeared. He picked one of softest leather and introduced her to it, stroking her sides, rubbing her back, tracing her cheek, then stepping back and laying on the first set of stripes.
Rowena clamped her thighs together, cursing her traitorous body, feeling the creamy moisture between her legs.
He must have heard her breath catch. “Ye like it.”
“Do ye wish it for yerself?”
“Yes,” she breathed. “And no.”
His blue eyes considered her, a lambency in their depths that she could not fail to recognize. “Explain.”
“I wish it were me,” she admitted, “but not with Piers.”
Don’t make me say it. Don’t.
He stepped closer, not touching except for the breath that fanned her hair and bathed her in his heat. “If not St. Leger, lass, with whom?”
“You, Sir.” Her voice was the barest whisper. “But we can’t. I can’t.”
The Dom came out, full force, and he was not happy. “Why not?” he rumbled, his voice rolling like thunder while his eyes sparked St. Elmo’s fire.
“The contract?” She lowered her gaze, fighting the urge to drop to her knees in a submissive’s pose.
He blew out harshly. “And if I said, damn the contract. Tear it up and I’ll give ye half a million anyway?”
Her chin came up as she threw her head back far enough to meet his gaze. Humorless. Not even a hint of irony.
“You’d do that?” she asked. “Seriously? For one night of play without sex? Remember, my rule is one time. You punish me tonight, and you won’t touch me for the rest of the weekend.” Why was that so hard to say? Damn him. Damn her body, begging her to reconsider.
He smiled darkly. “Make an exception,” he said. “Ye tried tae top me in the bookstore. Ye knew exactly what ye’d done and pretended ye did nae understand. For that alone, ye need a spanking. Two spankings. I should be the one tae give them. It’s only fair.”
If she wore panties, they’d be sopping wet. The Vestal Virgin was yearning for the path to ruination.
“It would be fair,” she agreed, “but it can also wait. I gave my word. Three nights. No kink. No sex. I’m not a liar. Don’t try to make me one.”
“Exceptions tae the rule,” he reminded her. “Ye said ye’d observe the scenes. Nothing was said aboot wha’ happens outside them. When the play winds down and they shuffle us out in the wee hours of the morning, what happens next is up tae us, aye?”
Tempting. My god, he was so tempting.
And he was right. Outside Replay, anything goes. Except…
“Then we’re back to one time. Once. No repeats. Is that what you want?”
She thought she sounded unshakeable. He smiled as if she’d just agreed to his terms. “I want tae feel that fine arse of yers under my hand. Forget yer rules. Do what’s right.”
His voice had dropped to a rumble that pushed every button she had. She whimpered, as if she could already feel herself bent over his lap, panties around her knees, his large hand exploring the landscape of her posterior as he familiarized himself with the terrain, deciding how he wanted to change it for his pleasure.
“I could tie ye up. Ye’d be beautiful, bound tae my bed. I might just have tae keep ye there.”
“Once,” she said weakly.
“Lass,” he murmured, his Scottish burr thickening. “Ye ken ye owe me times three. Once for trying tae top me. Once for playing innocent aboot it. Once for nae letting me ken who ye were. We have three nights of scenes tae get through. I’ll give ye time tae consider yer sins against me. At the end of each night, ye will present yerself tae me. Ye will submit. Ye will suffer, but I’ll give ye what you need. Three punishments and aftercare. I promise ye, I am verra good at both.”
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