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When Fallon Crowe discovered her submissive side, she indulged it fully, reveling in her erotic nature – until she stepped into the brutally possessive world of Brian Willoughby. More than a year after she was literally dragged away from his abusive clutches, Fallon is finally building a new life with Cord Jamieson, a Dom who reminds her that punishment can be loving, pain an aphrodisiac.
But when Fallon unexpectedly runs into Brian, he reawakens an addiction that never quite died. Now she’s torn between the caring relationship she’s established with Cord, and Brian’s darkly mesmerizing lifestyle that goes far beyond safe, sane and consensual.
The choice is Fallon’s – the wrong one might destroy her completely.
Publisher’s Note: This dark, thrilling romance contains adult themes, including power exchange. It is the sequel to Desiree’s novella ‘Dangerous Addiction.’
Fallon Crowe stood naked before the mirror in the bedroom, fresh from her shower, hair piled atop her head in a messy topknot, skin still slightly flushed from the hot water. At thirty-three, she considered herself to be in good shape. Better shape since she’d moved into the ranch with Cord and he’d had her out riding—and doing other forms of exercise. A tiny thrill skittered through her as images of certain exercises danced in her brain.
Sometimes she could barely comprehend the changes in her life. Little more than a year ago, she’d been lost.
She still had moments when flashbacks of him tormented her mind, and her reaction was to withdraw into herself. But Cord, without even knowing all the details, always coaxed her out then treated her to a loving session. And he never failed to praise the quality of her work, words that were as much an aphrodisiac as anything else he used to arouse her. With him, she felt cherished, protected, safe. Adored.
She had thought she’d never be able to trust again after him, not just a man but any Dom. Never again have a healthy D/s relationship.
Or maybe it was her own judgment she kept calling into question.
The pleasure she found when she’d discovered she was a natural sub had become tainted by her weakness for a devil. Fallon had been very fortunate in the Doms she’d been with, but she’d made a major error in judgment with him. A damaging choice that nearly destroyed her pleasure in submitting.
Getting to the point where she was now, where she could be with Cord, had been a painful journey. It had required a lot of healing and distancing from a bad time in her life, as well as the love and support of her very closest friend. Some days she barely remembered the details of the Lost Year, as she called it. They were still so mixed up in her head. Even the day that Claire dragged her out of his house was foggy, so fuzzy, Claire insisted that Fallon must have been drugged.
Not impossible, Fallon had to admit. He was capable of anything.
But when she met Cord, the electricity that sparked between them was far more than just sexual awareness. It was right there—the knowledge of what they each desired, their particular proclivities. She’d been so mired in the past, Fallon was afraid to move forward. Taking Cord on as a client had been a big risk. Now she was so grateful for the circumstances that had brought them together.
One day at a time, they were building something very special. He was teaching her that possession could enrich, not just destroy. That her submissive nature was something to be embraced, not feared. That it made her more, not less. That a Master could worship even as he dominated.
Cord helped her understand there was a big difference between dominating and domineering.
With Cord, she understood that pain can be provided out of love, rather than inflicted out of malice or a hunger for power and control. He was so patient with her, especially on the days when the demon reared up in her mind and she wanted to flee and hide. Every single day, she gave thanks that she had met him, and that Claire had encouraged her to enter a relationship.
Cord was the ultimate alpha male, but so comfortable in his own skin that he took pleasure in her successes and achievements. He respected her abilities, her intelligence, her talents. He’d handed the promotion of the ranch to her because he respected her, considered her a professional in her field. She was a sub whose talent he believed in.
How did I get so lucky?
Comanche Pass Ranch was the realization of a dream for Cord, part working cattle operation, part public event destination. The massive party they were planning for the grand opening—with a guest list that read like a Who’s Who in the state of Texas—was her baby. And he had trusted it all to her. What a change from… before.
She blinked to clear the sudden intrusion of hazy images from her brain.
Behind her, reflected in the mirror, was the massive bed where Cord taught her daily what an exchange of power really meant—that said power wasn’t all in his hands. How her submission gave him such pleasure that she had as much control as he did. But, most importantly, that their relationship developed through ongoing negotiation, so both of them were happy.
It was such a novel concept to Fallon. A couple years ago, as a rather naïve sub, she’d learned a very different lesson. She worked hard every day to keep those destructive memories from haunting her and affecting her growing relationship with Cord.
And it was working. As long as she never saw him, she could keep herself balanced. That was one of the main reasons she limited herself to the Hill Country area. The city of San Antonio was a yawning pit of danger. As long as Cord didn’t push it, didn’t try to delve deeper into her nightmare experience, everything was okay. One of these days she’d have to step out of that comfort zone, she knew, but she wasn’t quite ready yet.
As she stared at herself now in the mirror, Fallon lifted her hands and cupped her breasts, imagining Cord’s hands kneading her flesh, sending spears of electricity through her body. The familiar quaking gripped her muscles. If only Cord would stride into the room, graceful as a panther, and command her to fall to her knees, take his cock in her mouth. She loved the feeling of belonging to him but total possession still frightened her.
Baby steps, he kept saying.
She turned slightly so her brand new nipple rings glinted in the light from the lamp on the dresser. The sight of them made the walls of her pussy throb. Heat curled low inside her as the jewelry called up the memory of their most recent erotic adventure. The previous Saturday, on the two-month anniversary of the day she’d moved in with him, Cord had called a recess in their frenetic preparations for the event center’s grand opening party and insisted on a day off.
“We need to take a break,” he had claimed. “A day off and some surprises.”
Surprises indeed. Warmth flushed through her at the memories.
He had taken her to an exclusive shop where, in a private room, she sipped champagne before a tiny woman pierced her nipples and threaded the thin gold hoops through her flesh. The initials CJ—for Cord Jamieson—were delicately engraved at the bottom curve of each ring, the thickest part.
“Too soon to discuss an appropriate collar,” he told her, giving her a hot kiss. “I sense that you still need more time. But make no mistake about it—you’re mine, and this puts my stamp on you. We’ll both know my initials are there.”
He sat beside the padded table, watching the procedure with that hooded look she’d come to know so well, his gaze burning into her. The process was painful, but one thing she’d learned from the past was that she had a high tolerance for pain. She still wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. When the woman had finished, Cord bent and very lightly licked the area around each nipple.
His touch made her instantly wet. The bulge in Cord’s fly was evidence of how affected he was by the procedure. When she was ready, he helped her dress.
“Lunch,” he said. “To celebrate.” He touched his mouth lightly to hers. “An intimate meal.”
At the restaurant he chose, the maître d’ showed them to a corner booth where they were out of most lines of sight.
Fallon slid in first, stopped by a wall to her right. As soon as Cord sat beside her, effectively blocking her in, he adjusted the tablecloth to cover her lap and hiked up her skirt so her thighs and cunt were open to his touch. No panties, he’d ordered before they left the house, so she was just bare skin beneath the white linen, the thrill of anticipation curling low in her belly. As Cord smiled at the waiter, thanked him for the ice water and ordered a bottle of wine, he trailed his fingertips along the skin of her inner thigh, just barely touching the lips she kept waxed at his request. When the tip of his little finger lightly brushed her bare cunt, she had to swallow her gasp.
She sat as quietly as possible while Cord read the wine list and made his selection. When she tried to squeeze her legs together to still the ache in her core, he used his hand to keep her thighs open, his finger now brushing rhythmically against her tender clit. His fingers were slick on her inner thighs as he gathered her juice and spread it with a gentle touch. She caught the scent of her own musk and her pussy clenched.
They drank expensive wine and savored escargot in garlic butter, and all the while, Cord continued to tease and stimulate her. Her nipples were sore from the piercing and the dual assault on her senses was almost more than she could stand. It was all she could do to contain herself each time the waiter brought food to the table or removed empty plates.
Fallon didn’t know how Cord could sit there and eat his food so calmly when she was a bundle of nerves next to him. She was so on edge, eating took all her concentration just so she could swallow her food without choking.
“You should eat slowly,” he cautioned, his voice tinged with humor, his fingers still busy at her clit.
When a drop of melted butter clung to her lip, he bent his head to lick it away.
“Do you know why I do this?” he asked, leaning closer so his mouth was at her ear, his breath tickling her. “Because I can.”
Her hands shaking, she somehow managed to finish the meal. When the waiter removed the last of their plates and refilled their wineglasses, Cord slid two fingers inside her, his thumb pressing on the hard knot of nerves, and gave her the release her body needed.
“Be still,” he reminded her. “Remember. It’s all a matter of control.”
Obediently she gripped the edge of the table as tremors gripped her body and the muscles of her cunt spasmed. When the orgasm subsided she was as limp as a dishrag. Sitting back in the booth, she closed her eyes and dragged in a breath.
Cord removed his hand and slowly licked her juice from his fingers, his eyes burning with lust.
“I want you to remember at all times who your Master is. Whatever I demand of you is what you will give me.”
She’d been a little frightened in the beginning of their relationship, haunted by bad memories she tried to keep locked away in her mind. But Cord was… he was a loving and caring Master. One who understood the dynamics of a D/s relationship. He’d coaxed her one step at a time, taking things slowly to ensure she was comfortable with every aspect of their relationship. A negotiation, he repeatedly explained. A concept totally absent in her last relationship.
Smiling, she remembered the first time he said she could trust him.
“I can get you letters of reference.”
He’d said it jokingly but she knew how serious he really was. So determined to make her feel secure. Not trapped.
“You’re mine to do with as I wish.” It was a common mantra of his. “But it’s your willingness to give me gratification that enhances any pleasure I might get from it. The power is really all yours, Fallon. I want you to know that.”
Fallon smiled now at the memory. In the two months she’d been living with Cord, submitting to him, she’d discovered just how trustworthy he was.
So different from before. Not like—
She gave herself a mental shake.
Do not go there. Not now. Not ever.
She’d buried that desperate need, that unhealthy craving, as deep as it would go and she prayed it would stay there. Now it was all about Cord, a man she’d been damn fucking lucky to meet. A man who treasured her. A man who seemed to know when the past reared up to grab her, and eased her back to the present.
She’d told him a little about her time with Brian. God, she could hardly call it a relationship. Bad didn’t even begin to describe it. And yet—
She had to keep reminding herself that the past needed to remain behind her. That meeting Cord was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He never pushed, never demanded beyond a certain point. She knew her immediate past angered him, but that rage was directed at Brian, not Fallon. There were still things that lurked in the dark shadows of her mind that she couldn’t bear to drag out into the light of day. She hoped she’d never have to.
Fallon was still staring into the mirror, still holding her breasts, when Cord walked into the room and approached to stand behind her. His solid physical presence always reassured her. Gave her a sense of safety.
His thick dark hair sported a ridge from the Stetson he wore all day. She wanted to run her fingers through it and twist the strands around them. It was obvious he’d been working hard in the heat. Sweat stained the t-shirt stretched across his broad chest and shoulders, and the ends of his hair curled slightly. The stubble on his chin had a familiar scratchy feel when he brushed against her cheek.
Her senses were overwhelmed by his scent. She inhaled his fragrance, a sensual blend of aftershave mixed with the smells of horseflesh, leather, and just good old-fashioned dirt that made her instantly wet.
Oh god, this man invented the word masculine.
He slid his hands over hers, his tanned skin an erotic contrast to her paler coloring. With gentle squeezes, he molded her flesh the way it pleased him to. Just his touch reminded her that he was in charge at all times. Not manipulating, but nevertheless in command. Not like—
Again, she forced the memories away and leaned back against Cord’s solid body. To refocus, she turned her head just enough to give his neck a gentle lick.
“If you could bottle that you’d make a million,” she told him.
His laugh was low, pulsating through her. “But then all the other women would want to lick my skin and where would we be?”
“They wouldn’t be here,” she said fiercely. “That’s for damn sure.”
“You’d beat them off, would you? Those are my breasts you’re holding, you know,” he reminded her. “Just like every other part of your body. Were you imagining those hands were mine? Shouldn’t you be waiting for me to give you permission?” He lowered his head and nipped her shoulder. “You have it. Because you have no idea how watching you turns me on.” His hands squeezed hers, and beneath them the plump flesh of her breasts. “I love your jewelry.” Using his index fingers, he gave each nipple ring a gentle flick.
Her body vibrated as if he’d touched the metal with a tuning fork. Lust surged like a tropical heat wave and liquid from her cunt dampened the insides of her thighs. Her nipples hardened to points, aching for the touch of his mouth. His tongue. How easily he could do that to her. And how she loved it. Craved it, even.
“I think next time we should pierce your clit. A good sub deserves the best jewelry; don’t you think?”
“M-my clit?” For a very brief moment an unpleasant memory washed through her and she stiffened in his grasp. She quickly shoved the thought away.
But Cord caught the infinitesimal signs of her reaction and pulled her back against his body. One arm slid to band her waist while the other slipped up between her breasts, allowing his hand to rest easily on her neck.
“If that bothers you, I have to know,” he murmured. “Remember what you promised me.”
“I know. But sometimes I just…” She wet her lower lip with her tongue. He never forced her to talk about her time with Brian, but he looked for clues, anything that could help them in their relationship. Sooner or later she’d have to dump the whole mess at his feet for him to see—every detail, not just the worst highlights. But that would take more courage than she had at the moment.
“There isn’t anything you can’t tell me,” he said. “Nothing. How can I deal with your fears if I don’t know what they are?” He nipped her earlobe. “We can wait on that, Fallon. The pain is supposed to be pleasurable, not unbearable. I don’t want anything from your other life to bleed into this one.” His voice dropped. “I want to bring you nothing but pleasure.”
“You do,” she whispered.
He tightened his hold just enough so the heavy ridge of his cock pressed against her through the fly of his well-worn jeans.
“Feel what you do to me?” His hips thrust slightly. “I can hardly look at you naked without getting harder than steel.”
Her gaze met his in the mirror and held. Her breathing quickened.
“Open your legs for me.” He didn’t raise his voice but the command was there nonetheless. When she hesitated a second, he exerted pressure on her breast. “Now, Fallon. Right now. Don’t make me tell you again.”
She moved her feet to widen her stance. The moisture on her inner thighs glistened in the light.
“Wet. Just like I thought. Rub two fingers through your slit then lift your hand.” His voice was dark with a smoky quality, tinged with the promise of forbidden treats. His gaze in the mirror still held hers.
She did as ordered, bringing the slick fingers up to her face. She knew what was coming.
“Now lick them. Suck every bit of your taste from your hand.”
She trembled as her tongue swiped the juice from her fingers. Her legs trembled. If not for his arms around her, she would have collapsed to the floor. How easily he made her entire body his. And how willingly she gave it.
“Excellent. Your musk intoxicates me. I’d say watching you lap it from your hand makes me hard, but just looking at you already does that.”
Another gush of fluid soaked her cunt. She was helpless to the power of his words.
“Tonight,” he said, “wear that black dress I like so much.”
The design of that dress was elegant, but the material was thin enough to show the slight outline of her nipple rings, just visible to anyone looking. Tonight they were attending a small party with business associates, a chance for both of them to network.
He bent his head to nibble at her earlobe. “And when you get dressed, leave off the panties.”
She turned in his grasp. “No panties?”
He gave her a wicked grin. “I want unimpeded access whenever I choose.”
He brushed his mouth over hers. “I’d better shower and dress or we’ll be late. Remember. The black. And those skinny heels that make your legs look ten miles long.”
He stripped on his way to the bathroom, giving her an unimpeded glimpse of his excellent ass and muscular back. The sight made her weaker than she already was.
From the first moment she’d submitted to Cord, crossed that threshold with him, he’d held an invisible power over her. Power that, when she’d finally allowed herself to step into this relationship, she’d willingly given. If the addictive craving from her past occasionally tried to force its way to the surface, her relationship with Cord gave her the strength to push it back.
She ran her tongue over her lips, finding the residual taste of her juices still lingering.
Okay. No panties it was.
The first thing Cord had done when he’d bought the ranch was to thoroughly renovate the house itself. He had the bucks and he was determined to outfit it with every comfort he wanted. The bathroom had been primary, with its Jacuzzi tub, long vanity, heated towel racks and a glassed-in shower in which the water sprayed from multiple showerheads at whatever pressure a person chose. Now he stood beneath those showerheads and let the hot spray beat down on his aroused body. The naked image of Fallon danced in his head.
Jesus, the woman could turn him on with nothing more than a look. A touch. Especially when her submission was written plainly across her face. Upon seeing her naked, he’d wanted nothing more than to bend her over the bed, clamp her wrists behind her and fuck her senseless. That she would let him do it willingly made his cock ache with need.
He had been a Dom for so long he could hardly even remember when it first became a part of his life. In Dallas he’d had access to the best dungeons, the best private clubs, and a long list of subs had satisfied his needs. But with his fortieth birthday breathing down his neck, he’d wanted something more. Especially after the purchase of Comanche Pass Ranch. The goddess of fate had surely been watching over him when he met Fallon and hired her to do promotion for the ranch and plan the opening event.
Immediately at that first meeting, he’d sensed she was a submissive. She’d taken some coaxing to establish a connection with him but it was worth every effort on his part. Fallon had been out of the scene for a year when they’d met. He’d wondered what had happened, why she hadn’t even gone to a club to play or to hook up. But as their relationship progressed, he’d realized there was a history she kept buried so deep, he had to work to pull anything out of her. Her previous Dom had changed her, until she’d no longer understood or recognized the intricacies of a healthy D/s relationship, and the part real emotion played in it.
Because of that, Cord was overly cautious about focusing on the importance of consent, about establishing limits between them. He took his lead from her reactions, negotiating from one level to the next. It had stunned her at first. She’d obviously expected he would make his demands and she would simply acquiesce. But he didn’t want a sub who was a robot, over whom he had ultimate mind control. He wanted a woman who submitted because it gave her extreme pleasure to do so, but who was smart and independent in her own right.
He knew that most of her previous Doms had been smart and caring, excellent trainers for a budding sub as she grew into her submissive role. In fact, she’d lived a healthy life as a sub, enjoying the scene—until she’d met that colossal asshole Brian Willoughby.
It already pissed off Cord that a shithead like Willoughby had damaged her so badly it had taken Fallon a year to willingly step into another D/s relationship. The things she told him were bad enough. But when he’d managed to dig out additional details from her friend Claire, he’d been downright enraged.
Even in Dallas Cord had heard of the bastard, and that was exactly what people called him. A taker. A user. A man drunk with power who wielded it like a sword, but with such a magnetic personality, people were in his thrall before they even realized it. Friends had come out on the losing end of business transactions with Willoughby, the deals done before they’d even realized he’d ridden roughshod over them. Many of them were still shell-shocked at the situations they’d found themselves in.
Apparently he was no different in his personal relationships, because it appeared he’d done the same to Fallon.
How had she even met him? He wasn’t known in the BDSM community. His type of Dom would be banned from respectable dungeons and groups. Lack of respect was never tolerated and from everything Cord had heard, that man respected no one.
The experience with Willoughby had scarred her, wounds that Cord knew were still healing. He sensed there were still deeply buried fears, deep-rooted anxieties that impacted the life he and Fallon were trying to build together. He knew that, despite his best efforts, she always held a little of herself back. A last part of her that he couldn’t quite reach.
If their relationship was to become what he hoped, there could be no secrets.
What if she still has feelings for him? Is still drawn to him?
If Cord were truthful, that was a good part of the reason he didn’t push harder. The last thing he wanted was for Fallon to run away. Maybe back to him. And he didn’t want to lose her. She’d gotten to him, right in the deepest part of his gut, lodged there now like a permanent part of his body.
He was so lost in thought he didn’t hear the door to the shower slide open. But his eyes flew open when slender fingers closed around his throbbing cock.
“May I, Sir?” Her voice was equal parts desire and submission.
“It appears you’re already doing it. And without my permission.” He heard the rough edge of need in his voice.
“I understand.” She lowered her eyes. “But it occurred to me I haven’t served my Sir well today.”
Cord clenched his teeth as she caressed his shaft from root to tip and back again. “Too true. A hardworking Dom needs to be attended to. Perhaps I should punish you for the omission.”
“As you wish. It would be my pleasure to receive whatever punishment you choose for me.”
He gave a strangled laugh. “I’ll just bet it would.”
They were back in D/s mode again, her head bowed in a submissive pose as she stroked his shaft. For a moment he considered paddling her ass while it was still wet, increasing the edge of pleasure/pain. Then all rational thought left him as she dropped to her knees and closed her lips over the head of his cock, swirling her tongue around it as her hand continued its steady stroking movement. His balls tingled and the vein wrapped around his dick pulsed rhythmically. Her mouth was like hot velvet, her tongue a silken flame.
Staring down at Fallon on her knees in the shower, head bowed over his cock as she sucked and stroked, it took everything he had not to come right then. But he wanted to prolong the enjoyment as well as the sight of her in submissive mode. Droplets of water traveled down the length of her spine and rolled off the curve of her ass, an ass his hands itched to spank. The image of those rounded buttocks, hot-pink from his hand or the paddle, sent another surge of lust bursting through him.
Pulling the clip from her hair, he let the shiny tresses tumble to her shoulders so he could wind them around his fingers and grip her head. Tightening his hold, he worked his cock in and out of her mouth, each time thrusting harder and deeper. The head scraped along the roof of her mouth then slid lower, across her tongue and toward her throat. Fallon adjusted the angle of her head to take him deeper, her hand still stroking rhythmically. He wanted badly to make it last, to prolong the sensations, but the minx knew exactly how to work him.
When his control threatened to snap, he jerked himself from her mouth. He would decide where he wanted to come, and tonight it wasn’t in her mouth. He wanted to feel her snug pussy around his shaft, tightening and milking him, her muscles clenching. Reaching up to a little built-in shelf where he stored them, Cord grabbed a condom and rolled it on with shaking hands. If he wasn’t so close to the edge, he’d take her in the ass, rough and hard, but he was already past the danger point.
Lifting Fallon to her feet, he placed his hands beneath the slippery cheeks of her ass, balanced her against the shower wall and drove into her body with one swift thrust. He closed his eyes and made himself take a deep breath. Fallon wound her legs around him, pulling him closer, impaling herself on him.
Her inner walls were already flexing, her body trembling. Banding one arm tightly around her waist to keep her pinned to him, he slid his other hand between their water-slicked bodies to find her clit. Rubbing her sensitive little peak, he thrust hard, holding back as long as he could. The moment he felt a long spasm claim her entire body, he let go, his muscles tightening as the release surged up from inside him in time with hers.
When the last of their tremors had subsided, he lowered her to the floor and backed up to lean against the opposite wall, his legs trembling with weakness as he still held her close. He closed his eyes and tried to even out his breathing, gain back some control.
Jesus! She just did it to him, every time.
And he loved it.
A willing sub who submitted eagerly but with a strong spirit. He’d never thought to find this, the perfect woman to enrich his life in all aspects. She even rode a horse now like an expert. The nipple rings were his attempt to solidify their relationship, to let her know this wasn’t a transient thing for him. He really wanted to give her the delicately crafted collar he’d had made, currently sitting in a locked drawer in his desk.
But she still had too much baggage dragging her down. It was impossible to ignore. She told him so little about it. He couldn’t be sure if she was afraid to tell him, if it was too upsetting, or if she was still in some way addicted to the Dom who had made such an impression on her life.
“Cord?” Fallon’s warm voice shook him out of his unpleasant musings.
He sighed lightly, stripping off the condom. Sliding open the shower door, he tossed it into the wastebasket.
“That was damn good, girl.” He kissed her forehead.
“Shouldn’t we wash and get out before we shrivel up?” She grinned at him. “It would be my pleasure to wash my Master’s body.”
He laughed, enormously glad for her presence. He brushed his mouth gently against hers.
“We’ll be late for dinner if we keep this up.”
She lowered her eyes seductively. “Would my Sir feel compelled to punish me?”
He licked the water from her lips. “I think when we get home from dinner, we might have to have a session.” His tongue darted into her mouth then out.
“I’ll look forward to it.”
“No more than I will.”