Dominated, Page 6Maya Banks
deep-seated ache to her soul.
She craved his dominance—needed it—and yet she realized she needed this too. It gave her reassurance that before she wouldn’t have thought she needed, but in the aftermath of that horrible night, insecurity had taken root and bloomed. Now? She needed both. She needed the harder edge, but she also needed this softer touch. She needed his . . . love.
Would that be something she could ever hope for from him?
She pushed that discomfiting thought from her mind and gave herself completely to the beauty of their lovemaking, surrendering heart, body and soul to the powerful release that swelled and built until she could bear it no longer.
“I’ve got you, baby,” he said tenderly. “Come with me. Let go.”
He thrust powerfully, rocking his hips against hers until no part of him wasn’t buried deeply within her. His face blurred in her vision as euphoria flooded her body and she began to spiral out of control, unraveling faster and faster until she was panting to catch her breath.
Drake growled and then gathered her tightly in his arms. He rocked into her one last time and then buried his face in her neck as they both fell over the edge and into oblivion.
For a long moment he let his weight rest atop her and then he rolled, holding her tightly against him so their positions were reversed and she lay sprawled atop him on the bed. His big, strong hands caressed the length of her spine and she snuggled her face into his chest, nuzzling and offering tiny kisses to his sweat-dampened skin.
“Don’t leave me again,” she softly whispered.
His grip tightened around her and she felt the betraying tremble of emotion in his body.
“I won’t, Angel. I need you too much.”
Evangeline woke to toasty warmth and the solid comfort of being wrapped in strong arms and anchored to a hard body. It took her a few moments to sort through her foggy thoughts and initial confusion. She wasn’t on the small cot in the tiny storage closet at the hotel that had been converted to a sleeping area for her. Nor was she weighed down by the desolation of loneliness and despair.
Slowly the events of the previous day filtered back to her. Drake appearing at the hotel where she worked. Him taking her home. Making love to her. Them napping for a few hours and then spending a quiet evening in his apartment watching movies. They’d eaten takeout and she’d fallen asleep nestled in his arms on the couch and that was the last she remembered.
Obviously he’d carried her to bed without her ever stirring.
She blinked at the bright wash of sunlight that filtered through the blinds over the windows, and then alarm hit her because it was too light. Hastily she shoved herself up on one elbow so she could see over Drake’s side to the clock on his nightstand.
Oh crap. He’d overslept. It was nearly nine and he was always up and gone well before now.
Drake’s arm snagged her waist and dragged her back down against his deliciously warm body.
“Go back to sleep,” he muttered.
She glanced anxiously at his face and still-closed eyes. She touched him on the shoulder to get his attention. He lazily opened his eyes so they were half lidded and he studied her, desire reflected in his dark gaze.
“It’s almost nine,” she said urgently.
He continued to regard her lazily, not reacting to her statement in any way. Then he smiled.
“I’m well aware of the time.”
“But you’re late!”
He smiled. “As the boss, it’s my prerogative to be late on occasion, and that occasion happens to be this morning when I’d much rather spend the morning in bed with my woman and then take her somewhere good to eat for lunch. As for the rest of the day, we’ll take it as it comes, but I’m sure I can find ways to occupy myself.”
She shivered at the blatant sexual innuendo in his voice. As he said the last, he tugged at the sheet she was clutching to her breasts so that it fell down to her waist, baring her nipples to his view.
“Now that’s a nice way to wake up,” he said in a silky voice.
He leaned forward and sealed his lips around one sensitive peak and sucked it between his teeth. She gasped and shivered as a thousand chill bumps danced across her skin. Both nipples puckered instantly and her groin clenched with instant need.
“Get on top of me,” he growled. “Now.”
Oh, but she loved the command in his voice, and she silently rejoiced that her dominant lover hadn’t disappeared for good.
Obediently, she rose on her knees and then threw one leg over his and moved to straddle him. She shimmied upward until his already rigid cock lay against the V of her legs and rested against her belly.
“Are you ready for me?” he asked.
“Yes. Oh yes,” she said breathlessly.
A little self-consciously, she slid her hand between them, burrowing between her sensitive folds until she touched her opening. She pressed one finger inside, collecting the moisture before withdrawing and then extending her hand for his inspection.
“The question is, are you ready for me?” she asked daringly, her eyes sparkling.
He cocked one eyebrow at her boldness and then lifted his head and strained forward, sucking the digit into his mouth and licking it clean.
“Delicious,” he said, the sound rumbling from his chest like a purr. “I’m more than ready for my woman. Take me, Angel. Take your man and ride him long and hard. Don’t show me any mercy.”
“Oh, I have no intention of going easy on you,” she said breathlessly. “I’ve missed you so much, Drake. I’m only whole when I’m with you.”
In response to her impassioned statement, he dragged her head down and slammed his lips to hers, devouring her mouth in a breathtaking kiss. His hands were possessive as they roamed over her body, stroking and caressing, reacquainting himself with every inch of her skin.
Her arms were shaking as she leaned forward to brace her palms against his shoulders. When she would have released her grip on one of them to reach down to position him at her opening, he stopped her.
“Let me. Hold on to me. I won’t let you fall, baby. I’ll always take care of you.”
She complied, arching upward so he could angle his cock and press the head to her entrance. She stopped breathing when he breached her a mere inch. But he didn’t move any farther. Instead, he moved his hand out of the way and laid both arms beside him on the bed and he stared up at her, his eyes glittering with desire and need.
“I’m all yours,” he purred. “Take me hard. Take me sweet and slow. Show me how beautiful you are and give me your pleasure.”
Unable to wait a moment longer, she slid down in one hard, swift motion, gasping at the sudden, overwhelming sense of fullness as he stretched her impossibly wide.
“Don’t let me hurt you,” he ground out.
“You would never hurt me,” she said softly, leaning down to kiss him as she clutched him like a greedy fist and pulsed around his turgid cock.
She flexed her internal muscles, milking him as she rippled around him. His anguished groan of pleasure and desperate need fueled her confidence. That she had a measure of power over this dominant man thrilled her and left her breathless. Gathering her courage, she began to move sensuously atop him, rising and arching up until he was nearly free of her clasp and then slowly sinking down to engulf him whole.
His fingers flexed and curled into the sheets on either side of his body until his knuckles turned white and he tilted his hips up to meet her downward advances. Then as if unable to control his need to touch her or command her, he moved his hands to her hips and dug his fingers in, yanking her downward in forceful motions.
“You’re so damn beautiful,” he rasped. “I’m never letting you go, Angel. I hope to God you’re with me because I can’t let you go. I need you.”
Her heart turned over, squeezing with violent emotion. Tears stung her eyelids and she leaned down so her face hovere
d just over his as she looked at him tenderly.
“I need you too, Drake. I’m not going anywhere. For as long as you want me, I’m yours.”
Satisfaction gleamed savagely in his eyes. “Kiss me,” he commanded.
She slanted her lips over his and licked at them, coaxing them to part, and then delved inward, tasting him, absorbing his essence. One hand left her hip and tangled roughly in her hair, anchoring her against his mouth so there was no escape.
“You are perfect,” he said in a gruff, choked voice. “I don’t deserve you. Not after all I’ve done, but God help me, I can’t let you go. But I’ll make it up to you, Angel. If it’s the last thing I do. I’ll make it up to you.”
“You already have,” she whispered. “You came for me.”
Suddenly he wrapped his arms around her and rolled swiftly, planting her underneath him, his weight pressing her into the mattress. He plunged deeply, spreading her legs even wider. Then he looped them over his shoulders, baring her so she had no defense. She didn’t want any defense.
“I won’t last much longer,” he said through gritted teeth. “How close are you, baby? I want you with me.”
She reached up to caress the firm line of his jaw. “I’m with you, Drake. Don’t stop.”
He closed his eyes and took a breath, pausing for one brief moment buried deeply within her body. Then he began to pump hard and furious, the slap of flesh on flesh loud in the room.
Every muscle in her body tightened in preparation for her release. It built higher and higher until she was a bow at full draw, so tight she felt like she was about to explode. She closed her eyes but his sharp demand for her to open them and look at him had her obeying and she locked onto his intense gaze, watching the intensity of his eyes as he drew closer to his own orgasm.
“Now,” he panted. “Come with me. Let go. Now!”
He pounded furiously into her, driving her body up the bed until her head bumped the headboard. Her entire body shook and quaked. A scream hovered on her lips and then it was simply too much. She couldn’t hold back any longer and she let out a sharp cry as the world exploded around her and her body went limp, euphoria foaming through her veins, her muscles going lax.
Pleasure, so much pleasure. Sweet, indescribable pleasure carried her on wave after wave. She was flying, floating on the clouds, completely weightless. Tears slipped down her cheeks, not of sadness but of immense joy and contentment.
“Don’t cry,” Drake whispered as he sipped at the trails of moisture and kissed them away. “Never cry, my love.”
“I can’t help it,” she said in a quivery voice. “It’s so beautiful. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m so happy right now, Drake. When I thought I would never be happy again.”
He looked tortured by her sincere statement, and he lowered his body to hers. He gathered her in his arms, holding her tightly as he continued to kiss away her tears.
“Things will be different from now on, Angel,” he said with utmost sincerity. “I swear it on my life. You are my single most important priority. You come first. Your happiness and safety come before all else. I and my men will ensure it. In time you’ll trust me again. Just give me a chance.”
“Oh, Drake, I do trust you,” she said, cupping his cheek with her hand. “Please believe that, if you don’t believe anything else. I’ve already forgiven you. Let’s not dwell on the past, and focus on the future.”
He looked overcome, dropping his forehead to hers, his breaths coming hard. He closed his eyes and pressed sweet kisses to her lips.
“I don’t deserve you,” he said bleakly, repeating his earlier statement. “But I’ll be damned if I let you go.”
“I won’t let you let me go,” she said. “I need you, Drake. I can’t live without you. I don’t want to live without you.”
He crushed her to him, his body shaking with emotion. His eyes were closed and he simply held her. “Thank God,” he whispered. “Thank God.”
They lay there a moment longer and then Drake reluctantly lifted his weight from her and rolled them to their sides so they faced one another.
“I’m spending the day with you,” he announced, to her surprise.
Though he was admittedly late for work, she’d fully expected him to go in at some point and she couldn’t contain her look of surprise.
“I’m taking you to lunch and then I thought we’d go for a carriage ride in Central Park. After, I thought we could go by the market to pick up some groceries. I’d like for you to cook for me tonight and spend the evening in.”
Her cheeks warmed with pleasure. “Any special request?”
He kissed her. “Surprise me.”
Her mind immediately began to race, thinking of some of her specialties that she hadn’t prepared for him yet.
“Tomorrow I have to go back in to work, but I’ll arrange for a security detail to take you anywhere you’d like to go.”
Her heart immediately sank. She was in no way prepared to face Drake’s men yet. Humiliation crawled over her body at the mere idea.
“Maybe another time,” she murmured. “I don’t have anything in mind for tomorrow. I’d rather stay in the apartment and relax.”
He kissed her one last time before moving to the edge of the bed to get up.
“Whatever you want, baby. You only have to ask and it’s yours.”
Butterflies scuttled around her stomach and into her chest at the tenderness and affection in his voice. And he wasn’t blowing smoke up her ass. Drake simply wasn’t that kind of man. He was blunt to a fault and didn’t spare any feelings when speaking his mind. And every single declaration he’d given her since tracking her down had been utterly sincere.
Drake didn’t need to offer platitudes or stroke anyone’s ego in order to persuade them to do his bidding. He was a take-it-or-leave-it kind of guy. She admired his honesty even if at times it was painful. But at least she never had to wonder where she stood with him. There was no guessing and no doubting whether he really wanted her to be a part of his life.
She still had a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that out of all the beautiful, sophisticated and far more worldly women in the city, he’d homed in on her. And he’d done so immediately with no subtlety, no playing games, flirting and dancing around the issue. He took what he wanted and refused to accept no for an answer.
Perhaps she wouldn’t be named feminist of the year, but she reveled in his dominance, his authority, the fact that he called all the shots and expected her to stand back and allow him to take care of her in every conceivable manner.
If she had a choice between being a cherished, pampered princess or being a ball buster and refusing to allow Drake to control her existence, she didn’t even have to agonize over her decision. Drake made her feel like she was the only woman in the world to him, the most beautiful woman he’d ever been involved with; she had no doubt he’d been involved with countless women, and yet they were nowhere in sight and Evangeline belonged heart and soul to him. That had to say something, right?
Even as confidence, something entirely new to her, bolstered her in a way she’d never experienced, she chastised herself for being too confident. Too arrogant. She could very well be a temporary challenge for Drake. An amusement. Other women could have been the same, explaining why they were no longer in the picture: because Drake grew bored and in need of a new challenge, so he tossed them and moved on to his next conquest.
She bit into her lip and nibbled in consternation. Stop, Evangeline! For God’s sake, you’re being a hapless coward. If Drake truly was invested in their relationship, if she kept on with her insecurities and lack of self-confidence, she would be the one to drive him away. Not the other way around.
He chose you. He could have any woman and yet he saw you on a surveillance cam and he chose you. That has to mean something.
Though Evangeline hadn’t spent a whole lot of time in Drake’s club, she wasn’t blind. She’d seen firsthand all the beautiful p
eople. Men and women but especially women. In all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, some small and curvy, others tall with killer legs and a million-dollar smile, not to mention their beautiful hair, skin, clothing and makeup.
And yet for some reason still baffling to her, Drake had locked onto her and claimed her within seconds of them meeting face-to-face for the first time. She shook her head. These things simply didn’t happen to a girl like her from a podunk town in Mississippi. She was clumsy, awkward, shy and extremely conservative, which was why she’d only recently lost her virginity to a man who was all wrong for her. And naïve. God, she had to be the most gullible, naïve woman on the planet. So what on earth did Drake see in her?
“Evangeline, what’s wrong?” Drake asked sharply.
She flushed guiltily at being caught out lost in her thoughts. No way in hell she was going to tell Drake what she’d been thinking, even if she did have the propensity to blurt out the truth no matter how embarrassing it might be. For the first time she was going to lie to him, and she’d promised never to lie to him. But it would only anger him and ruin what had been a perfect morning. She justified her lie by telling herself it wasn’t a damaging lie. She wasn’t betraying him or withholding the truth about something that truly mattered. But even acknowledging that didn’t make her feel any better. She hated lying. Hated it.
“I was just trying to think of what to cook for dinner tonight,” she said lightly.
He studied her for a moment and more heat scorched her cheeks because he didn’t swallow her lame excuse in the least. But to her surprise, he didn’t call her on it, nor did he push her for answers.
“Let’s go take a shower together and then we’ll go get lunch. After, I’ll take you on that carriage ride.”
She sighed in contentment. “That sounds like a perfect day.”
“Are you ever planning to allow Evangeline out of the apartment?” Maddox asked dryly.
Drake glanced up sharply, and a perusal of his men netted the same question in their eyes that Maddox had voiced. The question came out of nowhere and had nothing to do with the business matters they were discussing. For that matter, his personal affairs weren’t open for discussion. Apparently he needed to make that clear.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Drake demanded. “I fail to see how my relationship with Evangeline is any of your business.”
His tone was icy and his features glacial as he stared his men down. There was disapproval in their eyes and it pissed him the fuck off. He was tempted to beat the fuck out of each and every one of them. He’d be damned if they were going to pass judgment on his relationship with Evangeline. Fuck that.
“Oh, I don’t know. Let’s see. She hasn’t so much as set foot out of your apartment since you brought her back there. Hell, no one has so much as seen her. You were going to make her your queen and go public with her, but she’s more scarce now than she ever was before.”
Drake’s eyes narrowed at the implied criticism in Maddox’s voice. As though Drake were purposely keeping her under wraps.
“She is free to come and go as she likes,” Drake said in an icy voice. “She’s aware of the necessity of higher security, and she accepts that. I’ve offered to have some of you accompany her wherever she’d like to go, but so far she’s refused, preferring to stay in.”
“Hell, she’s probably embarrassed,” Justice said in disgust. “She has no way of knowing what or how much we know, though she likely suspects we were privy to every single detail of what went down that night. It’s understandable why she wouldn’t be eager to face judgment from others.”
“Who the hell says she would be judged?” Silas demanded in a pissed-off tone.
Justice shot him a look of impatience. “Evangeline has pride. In spades. I’m not saying any of us would judge her. She did nothing wrong.” He shot a pointed look in Drake’s direction that had Drake baring his teeth. “But she doesn’t know what we think or know or what side of the picture we line up on. It’s likely she’s avoiding all of us. I don’t blame her. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the exact same thing in her shoes. By her way of thinking, she’s been shamed enough.”
“Fuck that,” Maddox growled. “The hell I’ll let her believe that shit.”
Silas held up his hand to silence Maddox. “I’ll sort Evangeline out.”
Drake slashed a look in his man’s direction. “Oh, you will?”
Silas met his stare without backing down. “Yeah, I will. I’ll let her know that whatever fucked-up shit she has going on in her head is just that. Shit. We had an agreement before for a once-a-week takeout date. So I’ll get takeout and bring it over to your place tomorrow and I’ll set her straight then. No way in hell is she going to hide away in shame for something she was innocent in.”
Drake held on to his temper by a thread. Only because he knew Silas would cut his own throat rather than ever betray someone he considered a brother—his only family—was he able to control his anger at the condemnation in Silas’s voice. Hell, it wasn’t as if Drake didn’t harbor enough self-blame without it being served up to him at every turn by the men loyal to him.
Even as the initial rage threatened to erupt, it abated just as quickly. He was grateful for Silas’s fierce defense of and regard for Evangeline. Drake knew of no other recipients of either from Silas save those currently gathered in Drake’s office. And going public with Evangeline instilled paralyzing fear in