Promised, p.41
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       Promised, p.41

         Part #1 of One Night series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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  ‘I’ve told you before, Miller Hart. You’ve happened to me.’

  ‘I don’t like this person. I like the girl who I—’

  ‘Then. You. Should. Have. Left. Me. Alone.’ I speak slowly and clearly, yanking yet more feeling from this apparently emotionless man. He’s barely containing himself. I’m not sure whether he wants to shout or cry.

  We’re briefly interrupted when the waiter places a platter of ice and oysters on the table. He doesn’t speak or ask if we require anything else. He skulks off quickly and quietly, aware of the obvious tension, leaving me staring at the platter in disbelief.

  ‘Oysters,’ I breathe.

  ‘Yes, enjoy. I’m leaving,’ he says, clearly forcing his body to turn away from me.

  ‘I’m a paying client,’ I remind him, reaching for one of the shells and dislodging the meat with my fork.

  He turns slowly back toward me. ‘You make me feel cheap.’

  Good, I think to myself. Expensive suits and luxury living doesn’t make this acceptable. ‘And the other women don’t?’ I ask. ‘Should I have bought you a Rolex?’ I slowly raise the oyster to my lips and tip it down my throat, wiping the back of my hand across my mouth and holding his gaze while I lick my lips seductively.

  ‘Don’t push me, Livy.’

  ‘Fuck me,’ I mouth, leaning forward in my chair, getting a strange thrill from seeing him struggle to know what to do with me. He didn’t bargain on this when he set this up. I’m turning this around on him.

  He takes a few moments to gather himself before leaning across the table. ‘You want me to fuck you?’ he asks, not bothered about his gentlemanly manners in the presence of nearby diners.

  I manage to contain my recoil at his returned confidence, even if I don’t utter any words.

  He leans in further, his face deadly serious, all hurt, anger and shock seeming to have disappeared. ‘I asked you a question. You know how I feel about repeating myself.’

  For reasons I’ll probably never know, I don’t hesitate. ‘Yes.’ My voice is a breathy murmur and, despite fighting it, my body is flying into full-on responsive mode.

  His eyes are burning through me. ‘Get up.’

  Chapter 25

  I stand immediately and wait for him to round the table and collect me, taking a firm grip of my neck and pushing me out of the restaurant urgently. When we hit the fresh evening air, I’m directed across the road towards a regal, grand hotel where I expect his car is parked, except we don’t head to the car park. The doorman opens the glass door and I’m pushed through, suddenly surrounded by exceptionally traditional decor, with a stone fountain in the centre of the foyer and old worn leather couches scattered everywhere. Character is bursting from every corner. It’s classically stately, like the Queen herself might appear at any moment.

  Miller drops his hold of my neck. ‘Wait,’ he instructs shortly, approaching the reception area. He speaks quietly to the woman behind the large, curved counter for a few moments, before taking a key that’s quickly handed to him. He turns and cocks his head towards the stairs, but with his lack of hold on my neck, I’m feeling a little unstable. ‘Livy,’ he grinds, his impatience kicking me into action.

  He leaves me free from his grip as we take the stairs, the tension bouncing between us almost unbearable, but I’m not sure whether it’s sexual tension or nervous tension.

  It’s both.

  I’m nervous now, while Miller is overflowing with sexual craving. He stares blankly forward, displaying nothing, which isn’t unusual, except now it’s making me uneasy. He’s shut down completely, and even though I’m sizzling with desire, I’m also a little apprehensive.

  I’m reclaimed by his hold on my neck when we reach the fourth floor and I’m being guided down the extravagant corridor until he’s inserting a card into a door and pushing me into a room. I should be overwhelmed by the gigantic four-poster bed and the gushing luxury, but I’m too busy trying to balance my senses. I’m standing in the middle of the room, feeling exposed and vulnerable, while Miller looks poised and powerful.

  He reaches up and starts unravelling his tie slowly. ‘Let’s see what a grand gets you with the notorious Miller Hart, shall we?’ His tone indicates complete detachment. ‘Strip, sweet girl.’ His endearment for me is rife with sarcasm.

  I search everywhere for my earlier brashness, but I’m struggling to find it.

  ‘You’re hesitating, Livy. The women I fuck don’t waste time when they have me.’

  His words tear at my heart a little, but also inject some courage and reignite my anger. I can’t let him see me wavering. I instigated this, but why I have is now forgotten. I firm up my movements and pull my dress from my body, letting it fall to the ground, the red material pooling at my feet.

  ‘No bra,’ he muses, shrugging his jacket off and unbuttoning his waistcoat. His eyes are dragging slowly down my body, drinking me in. ‘Take your knickers off.’ His commanding tone has been used plenty before, but the soft edge has long gone. I don’t want to be turned on by it. I don’t want the throb between my thighs to intensify. I don’t want to find the conceited arsehole before me attractive. Yet I can’t prevent my body from responding to him. I’m shaking with anticipation. I’m a foregone conclusion. Even now.

  I slowly push my underwear down my thighs and step out, then kick my shoes off. I’m naked, and when I return my eyes to Miller and see he’s now bare-chested, I forget any reluctance, being blinded by the pure extravagance of his torso. There really are no words, but when his trouser and boxers are slowly removed, I find one.

  ‘Ohhh . . .’ I breathe, my lips parting in an attempt to get some air into my lungs. His clothes are cast aside carelessly and he’s staring at me through his dark lashes as he slides a condom on.

  ‘Impressed?’

  I don’t know why he’s asked. It’s nothing that I haven’t seen before, but it improves every time I’m confronted with it. Miller’s perfect cock, his perfect body, and his perfect face. It all screams hazard. It did before. I knew it then and I most definitely know it now.

  ‘Are you going to make me ask you again?’

  I return my eyes to his and form some words. ‘Not a thousand pounds impressed.’ My cockiness shocks me.

  His jaw tightens and he starts to approach, taking slow, even strides until he’s pushed up against my front, breathing down on me. ‘Let’s see what we can do about that.’

  I don’t have time to respond. I’m pushed back to the bed until the edge meets the back of my thighs and I can go no further. I’m desperate to feel him, so I lift my hands and push my fingers into his hair, messing up his dark waves with a few circling caresses.

  ‘Get your hands off me,’ he growls. I can’t hide my shock at his severe order, my hands instantly falling away from his head to my sides. ‘You don’t get to touch me, Livy.’ He reaches forward and takes my nipple between his thumb and forefinger, squeezing hard.

  I hiss in pain and cry out, but the shot of pain surprises me and falls into my groin, mixing with the pleasure. It’s a heady cocktail of feelings, and I have not the first idea of how to deal with them.

  ‘I’m going to drive you insane,’ he declares, producing a belt from behind his back. The sight of the brown leather makes my eyes widen and fly to his, finding an element of uncertainty. He’s unsure; I can see it.

  ‘You’re going to hurt me?’ I ask, the potential of the belt sending a shockwave of fear coursing through me.

  ‘I don’t hurt women, Olivia. Lift your hands to the bar.’

  I look up, seeing the brown wooden bar stretching from one post to another and, relieved his intentions seem to be different from my thoughts, I lift willingly. But I can’t reach. ‘I can’t . . .’

  ‘Get on the bed.’ He’s brusque, impatient.

  Negotiating the soft mattress is a task, but I eventually steady myself, without any offer of assistance, and hold my wrists to the bar. He’s going to bind me, restrain me, and while it’s a more appe
aling option than the thought of being whipped, I’m not entirely happy about it. I thought he’d fuck me. I didn’t expect the introduction of restraints, and I certainly thought I would be able to touch him.

  His tallness allows him to reach the bar with ease, and he sets about weaving the leather between my wrists and around the bar effortlessly and confidently. He’s done this before. ‘Don’t fidget,’ he snaps when I start to wriggle, the leather cutting into the bone of my wrists.

  ‘Miller, it—’

  ‘Bailing on me?’ He raises a challenging eyebrow, victory gushing from his blues. He thinks I will. He thinks that I’m going to call a halt to this.

  He’s wrong.

  ‘No.’ I raise my chin in confidence, my sureness strengthening when he loses the smugness.

  ‘As you wish.’ He pulls my legs down from the bed so I’m suspended, the leather instantly becoming taut and sharp around my wrists. ‘Hold onto the bar to ease the pressure.’

  I manage to follow through on his command, linking my fingers over the bar. It alleviates the cutting of the leather into my flesh, making me more comfortable, but Miller’s severe words and harsh face do not. He’s only ever made love to me. He’s only ever worshipped me. I can see clearly that I’m going to get neither now.

  He starts running his eyes over my naked, suspended body, clearly trying to decide where to start, then after staring at the apex of my thighs for a few moments, he places his hand on my thigh and starts stroking his way up until he’s brushing lightly over my clitoris. I draw in a long breath and hold it. This action is quite tender, but I’m under no illusion that I’m about to be worshipped.

  ‘I have rules,’ he says slowly, thrusting his fingers into me, pushing all of the air from my lungs. ‘You don’t get to touch me.’ He withdraws and wipes his fingers across my bottom lip, spreading my wetness everywhere before leaning in, getting as close as possible. ‘And I don’t kiss.’

  I absorb his hard stare and his hard words. My restrained hands are preventing me from touching him, but his lips are close, so I lean forward to try and capture them. He pulls back, shaking his head, and then curls his hands around the tops of my thighs and grabs harshly, lifting me to his body. Like a man possessed, he yanks me onto him on a guttural bark, impaling me fully, no easing in and no soft words to accompany his taking of me. I scream in shock at his ruthless move, my legs hanging limply around his hips, but he doesn’t give me time to adjust. He lifts my body up and yanks me back down again. He’s completely merciless. He falls into an unforgivingly fast and brutal pace, hitting me repeatedly, over and over, shouting and barking on each and every strike. My head is limp, my screams loud, and my body in shock. It’s painful, but as he pounds on, the discomfort starts to break and pleasure begins to push its way forward, sending my delirious mind into despair.

  ‘Miller!’ I cry, yanking and pulling at my wrists in a vain attempt to free myself. I need to feel him, but I’m ignored, his grip increasing further, his hips hitting me harder. ‘Miller!’

  ‘Shut the fuck up, Livy!’ he shouts, following through his cold order with a powerful smash of his body into mine.

  I force every useless muscle in my neck to solidify my droopy head, pulling it up and finding clear blue eyes full of purpose. He looks crazed and completely detached, like he’s not present in mind and his body is acting on instinct. There’s nothing in those eyes. I don’t like it. ‘Kiss me!’ I yell, wanting to draw the feelings that I know are there. This is unbearable, and not because of the ruthlessness of him smashing into me, but because of the absence of our usual connection. It’s completely gone, and I need it, especially when he’s taking me so aggressively. ‘Kiss me!’ I’m screaming in his face now, but he just squeezes my thighs further and pounds harder, the sweat dripping from his face. My pleasure has gone. I’m getting nothing from this, except the earlier pain returning, but it’s hurting physically and emotionally now. I’ve lost my grip of the bar above me, leaving the leather of the belt cutting into my skin, and his hold on the backs of my thighs is pinching my flesh. But my heart is hurting the most. I’m not feeling my usual comforted bliss or safety, and his denial to let me kiss him is killing me. He knows exactly what he’s doing. And I asked him to do it.

  My eyes close and I drop my head back, not wanting to look at his face any more. I don’t recognise it. This isn’t the man I’ve fallen in love with, but I don’t stop this because in a screwed-up kind of way, this will help me get over Miller Hart, and the fact that he doesn’t chastise me for depriving him of my face only enflames the hurt further. The reasons for my stupid decision to do this are suddenly all I can think of as I blank out and accept his brutality. I think of all of the loving words he’s said to me, all of the tender touches he’s given me.

  ‘I’ll never do anything less than worship you. I’ll never be a drunken fumble. Every time I take you, Livy, you’ll remember it. Each and every moment will be etched on that beautiful mind of yours for ever. Every kiss. Every touch. Every word.’

  Miller’s loud roar pulls me straight back into a room that’s cold and unwelcoming, despite the warmth and luxury of the surroundings. And something strange happens – something out of my control. I’m shocked, my body taking on a mind of its own and responding to his vicious strikes. I orgasm. But it passes with no element of pleasure attached. I’m attacked by one last round of thundering strikes before he raises me slightly to gain more leverage, then finishes on an ear-piercing bellow that resounds around the room. He holds himself inside me and drops his head back, his chest expanding at a crazy rate and sweat pouring down his neck. I’m numb. I can’t feel the pain of the leather or the agony in my heart.

  ‘Any man who’s done anything less than worship you should be fucking shot!’

  My legs are pushed down from his waist, and he pulls out of me quickly, but he doesn’t start to release me. He leaves me on a quiet curse and goes into the bathroom, slamming the door viciously behind him.

  All of the missing emotion from that encounter is made up for when I begin to weep. My head goes limp, my chin hitting my chest, and I can’t even find the strength to relieve the pain in my wrists by getting myself back on the bed. I’m just hanging lifelessly, my body jerking from my sobs.

  Destroyed.

  Empty.

  I hear the door open, but I keep my head down. I can’t look at him and I can’t let him see that I’ve fallen apart. I goaded him, pushed his boundaries. He’s hidden this man from me. He’s fought his control the whole time.

  ‘Fuck!’ he roars, and I drag my heavy head up to see his face pointed towards the ceiling. His features are distorted . . . disturbed. He lets out another ear-piercing bellow and swings around, sending his fist crashing into the bathroom door and splintered wood crashing to the floor.

  A suppressed sob escapes my mouth and my chin falls back to my chest.

  ‘Livy?’ His voice is softer but doesn’t ease my wretched state as I feel his hands working around my wrists. He wraps an arm around my stomach to hold me up while he unravels the belt, and I hiss in pain when my arms drop lifelessly to my side. ‘Livy, you let go of the fucking bar!’ He sits me on the end of the bed and kneels on the floor before me, pushing my hair away so he can see me. I pull my eyes up to meet his. My face is soaked with tears and Miller is just a blur through my glazed eyes, but the horror on his face is clear, even through my distorted vision. ‘Oh Jesus.’ He grabs my wrists, lifting my hands to his mouth, and kisses my knuckles repeatedly, but I flinch, pain searing my flesh from his hold, making his face fall further. Shifting his grip to my forearms, he studies the angry welts silently until I pull my arms away from him and stand on shaky legs. ‘Livy?’

  I ignore the anxiety in his voice and pick up my knickers, pulling them on as fast as my wobbly limbs will allow.

  ‘Livy, what are you doing?’ he asks, moving in front of me to get in the field of my vision.

  I glance up, seeing panic and uncertainty. ‘I’m going.’
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  ‘No.’ He shakes his head and rests his hands on my waist.

  ‘Don’t touch me!’ I shout, jumping back to escape him. I can’t bear it.

  ‘Oh God, no!’ He swipes my dress up from the floor and holds it behind his back. ‘You can’t go.’

  He’s wrong. For once I will find it very easy to walk away from him. ‘Can I have my dress?’

  ‘No!’ He chucks it across the room and takes my waist again. ‘Livy, that man isn’t who I am.’

  ‘Get off!’ I pull out of his hold and start towards the spot where my dress has landed, but he beats me to it. ‘Please, give me my dress.’

  ‘No, Livy. I’m not letting you leave.’

  ‘I never want to see you again!’ I shout in his face, making him wince.

  ‘Please don’t say that,’ he begs as I try to win my dress back. ‘Livy, I’m not letting that be your last memory of me.’

  I snatch my dress, collect my bag and heels, and run half naked from the room, leaving Miller fighting his way into his boxer shorts. My head is spinning and my body trembling as I dive into the lift and smash my fist on every button in sight, not prepared to take the time to find the one I need.

  ‘Livy!’ His thumping footsteps come charging down the hotel corridor as I continue to hit the buttons.

  ‘Come on!’ I shout. ‘Shut!’

  ‘Livy, please!’

  I sag against the back wall when the doors begin to shut, but they don’t close fully. Miller’s arm appears, forcing them open again. ‘No!’ I shout, backing into a corner of the lift.

  He’s heaving, sweating, panic clear on that perfect, usually expressionless face. ‘Olivia, please, get out of the lift.’

  I wait for him to step in and seize me, but he doesn’t. He’s just hovering on the threshold, persistently cursing and forcing
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