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Seduced, Page 12

Melody Anne

  When she took a taste, she was disappointed to like it so much. Rafe knew what she liked a little too well. For that matter, no other person knew her as much as this man sitting before her. No one else, that is, but her mother.

  Of course, during her mother’s drawn-out illness, her mother had missed a lot, but it wasn’t Sandra’s fault. She’d been trying to get better, and Ari had doubted the bond they shared, or at least that’s what it felt like she’d been doing, since she hadn’t trusted her mother with the truth. Had Ari not doubted her mother, she never would have felt a need to lower herself to become what Rafe had demanded of her.

  Though she’d somehow managed to fall in love with Rafe during that time, she still hadn’t forgiven him for what he’d asked of her. She’d given him a piece of her soul when she complied with his commands, and she didn’t know if she’d ever get that back.

  That was a big reason that she couldn’t understand her attraction to him now. How could she still desire this man? Probably because she had made a choice to follow him. Though his methods had been abhorrent, he hadn’t abused her — hadn’t followed through on what he’d commanded in the beginning.

  He’d never been cold with her, just demanding. The sad thing about it was that she liked Rafe strong and taking charge. She just needed to be able to say no, and she needed to be able to take charge, too. He’d been weaker on the second point, but she’d always been able to say no. He’d told her he wanted a puppet on strings, but he’d never actually made her his toy.

  “Yes, you are strong and independent, beautiful, and smart. I am very impressed with you, Ari. It is my honor to dine with you,” he said as a bowl of soup was set before him.

  “You have become smarter, Rafe. I am almost curious to learn what has happened to you,” she said, her guard dropping as she gazed at him.

  “Oh, I’m the same man, Ari,” he told her with a wink and a confident grin. “I’ve just realized that I can’t live without you. It changed me in some ways — I know where I went wrong, and I know I can never let you go. ”

  “That’s not really your choice, is it, Rafe? I choose the people I want to be with. I am not a frightened child who must do your bidding. It may only be three years after the first day I was in your office, but I’ve grown in that time. I won’t bow to you or to anyone. I will never be blackmailed again or forced into a situation I don’t want to be in. I will never be your mistress. ”

  Her shoulders stiffened as she looked steadily into his eyes. If she couldn’t get anything else through his thick skull, she wanted him to understand that she wouldn’t be a kept woman again.

  “I don’t want you to be my mistress. I want you for my wife,” he said almost casually as he lifted his glass and took a sip.

  Ari choked on the bite of food she’d just taken. The waiter rushed over, looking at her with concern while she gained back her breath and then picked up her water glass. Sending the waiter away, she glared at Rafe.

  “You’re not amusing, Rafe,” she sputtered.

  “I’m not trying to be humorous, Ari. I intend on marrying you. When the time is right, I will ask — and you will say yes. ”

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  He spoke as if they were talking of nothing bigger than next week’s dinner menu. Confidence radiated from him and his eyes sparkled. He was so full of himself that he actually believed the words coming from his mouth.

  “We’ll just see about that, Rafe,” she said as she angrily picked up her fork and speared a chunk of asparagus, clenching her teeth on the vegetable.

  “You are so good for me, Ari. If ever I think I’m in control, you remind me that I am powerless in your presence. Why would I ever have let you go? I was a fool once — it won’t happen again. ”

  “You haven’t changed, Rafe. You are still the ‘control freak’ I met three years ago. You have just gotten much better at masking the commander beneath seductive smiles and come-on lines. I am not fooled,” she told him.

  “You are right, Ari. In some ways I will never change. You are also wrong. I said I won’t force you, and I won’t. But I have never said I won’t seduce you. I know just what it takes to heat your very core. I know how to make you come alive, with your body straining against mine for my touch only. I will use every weapon in my arsenal to win you over, and I will feel tremendous pleasure while doing it. You wanted to play a game with me with your text messages. Well, you started it, and I’m not conceding defeat. I do hope you’re still wearing the teal panties. I’ll enjoy removing them with my teeth. ”

  Ari felt heat pool inside her as he gazed into her eyes. She couldn’t get the image from her mind of his teeth scraping along the delicate lace of her panties. Would it really be so bad for her to give in for one night? Perhaps the lovemaking would be terrible — perhaps time had loosened his hold.

  As he lifted a hand, reaching across the intimate table, to caress her hand as she reached for a piece of warm French bread, her stomach quivered. When he softly caressed the top of her hand, running his fingers over her flesh, she melted, though she knew it was quite foolish of her to do so. Being with him would be even better than she remembered — she had no doubt about it. He’d make her body sing in ways no other man ever could.

  “You want to play games, Rafe? Fine. I’ll play some games,” she said, and she stood up.

  His eyes never left her as she moved over to him and leaned down, her mouth an inch from his. Oh, he smelled so unbelievably good.

  “When I go home tonight and lie na**d in my bed…” Mmm, she enjoyed the quick intake of his breath and the narrowing of his eyes.

  “It will be all alone. ”

  With that, she turned and walked from the table, a huge smile on her face. It wasn’t easy to best Rafe, but she’d just done it. And to top it off, he’d have to pay for that two-hundred-dollar bottle of wine.

  Chapter Nineteen


  Heart racing, rage and excitement boiling inside her, Lia knew she had about two seconds to make a decision. Was she going to go down this road again with Shane? Because she knew if she did, all bets were off.

  Shane wouldn’t force her, but then he wouldn’t need to, would he? One touch and she’d go up in flames. The way she craved him was what scared her the most. What if this was nothing but a game for him, with her as the prize?

  Trust was the hardest thing to gain back once it was stripped from you. He’d broken her trust, and she was afraid to give it to him again.

  The hunger for him would never diminish, but was it worth surrendering to her own desires when she knew she’d have to deal with his betrayal? And she was sure he would betray her again. It seemed impossible for him not to.

  She did believe he cared about her. Just not enough.

  Survival kicked in and she turned to make a quick retreat, slipping from the cave and dashing back out into the raging storm. If he touched her, she would lose all willpower, and then she’d never get him out of her heart.

  Though she really believed she could protect herself by not ha**ng s*x with him, inside she knew that she was lying to herself, because he was already lodged so deeply inside her soul that she’d never be free of him. But her pride and stubbornness were the only things holding her together, and she was afraid to let them go.

  Not making it very far, Lia gasped as Shane’s arms wrapped around her, swinging her to face him, his eyes boring into hers.

  “The time for running is over, Lia,” he said above the roaring of the storm.

  There was a pause as his face illuminated over hers with the flash from lightning overhead. The heat in his eyes was enough to melt her from the inside out.

  As her body betrayed her and fused against his, his lips latched on to hers, and the fight was over, just as she’d known it would be. It was inevitable.

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  With a deep moan, she submitted to his hard body, giving

back as much as she was receiving. The warm rain emptied over them as he hungrily captured her mouth, his hands molding her wet skin, touching her back, gripping her sweet backside as he pulled her tightly against his stiff arousal.

  “You have been mine for a long time. I was just a fool for fighting against it. Now, you are the fool for running away,” he said, pausing for only a moment in his kiss.

  “Yes, we’re both fools, Shane, and this can’t lead anywhere,” she gasped.

  “That’s where you’re wrong, Lia. I don’t intend to let you get away this time,” he said, and he ended their conversation by sealing their mouths together.

  His tongue pressed against her lips, demanding entrance, and she opened to him, no longer desiring anything other than their bodies joining together. She had to have him fill her, needed him to take away the constant agony she’d been in since walking from his room more than two years earlier.

  Shane lifted her in his arms, moving to the wet grass next to the lake, the warm rain coating their heated bodies.

  “I wish I could see you better,” he said as his lips skimmed across her cheek, then moved down to her neck.

  Another streak of lightning flashed through the sky and on his face was an expression of such complete adoration that she was overwhelmingly undone. It was an emotion she had yet to see in him before this moment. It was as if in the dark of the night he felt safe enough to let down the hard shell surrounding him and was completely unaware of his vulnerability.

  The rest of her fight with herself was lost as she pulled him closer, needing to comfort him, to love this vulnerable side of him. Yes, she most likely would be hurt, but this was Shane, this was the man she’d loved for so long. She couldn’t imagine loving anyone else.

  Not letting him know what she’d just witnessed, she said, “I guess we’ll just have to remember each other’s bodies by touch alone. ”

  A groan escaped his throat, barely discernible above the raging storm around them. He grabbed her shirt, pulled it off and tossed it aside.

  The rain continued to fall, but it was only a drizzle now, just enough to make them slide against each other as the lightning streaked across the sky, giving Lia glimpses of Shane’s perfect form, his enraptured expression.

  “I can’t touch you in enough places. It’s been so long. I need you, Lia,” he gasped as he struggled to pull off the rest of her clothing, which was plastered to her skin.

  “Yes, way too long. ” She helped him with the removal of their clothes.

  Within moments, they were both naked. Her back was cradled against the soft grass; he leaned against her, his mouth roaming across her neck while the rain pulsed against her skin.

  When his mouth captured her nipple, Lia arched off the ground, reaching up to grasp his hair and tug him closer. Why had she thought she could resist this?

  Shane’s mouth moved down her stomach, and the sensation of his tongue swirling along her heated skin while the rain hit her ni**les was building her pleasure in an unimaginable way.

  “You taste so sweet,” he growled as his mouth reached her h*ps and he spread her legs apart. His hands ran across her thighs, pushing them farther and farther apart, opening her to him.

  Lia’s head fell from side to side as she groaned in need. His tongue lapped at the outside of her core, teasing her to madness as she waited for him to take her to a higher place.

  “Please, Shane, please make me come,” she cried.

  “Oh, Lia, I’m going to give you pleasure long into the night,” he promised, making her shiver as he clasped her sweet spot with the warmth of his lips and sucked her into his mouth while feverishly flicking his tongue.

  Her h*ps arched into the air as she pushed into him, reaching…reaching…almost there…

  “Yes,” she cried, her voice being carried away on the wind, rising in the sky to mix with the storm clouds. Thunder echoed, shaking through her body, and making her orgasm go on endlessly.

  As Lia started to descend from the high of a spectacular orgasm, Shane made his way up her body, taking his time as he licked away the rain still washing across her. When his face came into view and blocked out the downpour, another flash lit the sky, and the look in his eyes took her breath away.

  “I’m right where I need to be, Lia. Your beauty, strength and passion overwhelm me. You’re strong and brave, talented and kind. You mean everything to me. Yes, I love how my body feels as I sink deep within you, I love the taste of your release on my tongue, but more than that, I love everything about you — from the sweet taste of your skin to the fire that lights your eyes. I can’t ever let you leave me. There are those who say that if you love someone, you must set the person free, but they have never been with you, because to set you free would be to lose myself. ”

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  He entered her body, slowly and sweetly — wondrously — and Lia flew again, but not away from him. She flew higher than she’d ever been, her body clutching him, holding him deep within her.




  Lia didn’t want to be set free. She wanted to be right there in Shane’s arms with the rain blanketing them, the thunder rumbling in the sky, and the lightning giving her flashes of the passion and love on Shane’s face.

  “I don’t want to go,” she whispered when she could speak again.

  Shane began moving, and all she could do was cry out as he brought her to the peak again and again, as he’d promised, while he surged deep within her body.

  She loved him. She had for more than ten years, and no matter what had parted them, she had a feeling that nothing would separate them again.

  Chapter Twenty


  Adriane was shocked at how much he was enjoying his time with Rachel. He still hadn’t learned anything about her, because she was much better than he was at this game of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He found himself wanting to lie in her arms and speak of the throne, of his brother, of his duty. He was barely able to hold himself back.

  This was supposed to be nothing more than a fling, just something to ease his stress before he took on the responsibility of his position — a responsibility that he didn’t even want. But somehow this American girl had slipped past his defenses.

  It wasn’t love.

  Adriane wasn’t such a fool as to believe in love at first sight. He knew the fragile emotion existed, but he chose not to fall into its merciless grasp. Once love got its talons into a man, it would never let go, never let him think objectively again.

  No. He would marry a proper woman when the time came, and his wife would produce heirs for his kingdom. That was what a king did. That was what was responsible, what he’d known he must do from the time he was seventeen and discovered he’d inherit the throne one day.

  Still, though he didn’t want his affair with Rachel to end, duty called. He must return to his homeland and perform as king of Corythia.

  “I can’t believe how virile you are. Do you ever get enough?”

  Adrian turned to look into Rachel’s gleaming green eyes, and he almost gasped, as he always did, when confronted by her beauty. Instead, he reached upward and tweaked her hardened nipple.

  “Look who’s talking, wildcat. You’re always just as eager,” he reminded her as he crushed her smooth body against him, allowing her scent to engulf him and inhaling it deeply. Desire, sure and strong, thrummed inside him as he lay over her, his arousal pulsing as he moved it against the hot folds of her core.

  This was their last night, unless he made an excuse to keep them together longer. He wanted to…

  “You are distracted, Ian. Don’t be. I want your full attention,” Rachel demanded as she grabbed his hair and brought his mouth down to hers, taking his lips and pushing her tongue forward as she entered his mouth.

  He was torn between lust and confusion, and lust won out as Adriane’s tongue f
ollowed her retreat and he deepened the kiss, tightening his lips on hers as his hand smoothed down her side to slide beneath her derrière and pull her more tightly against him.

  Her responses to him were always so deliciously open and honest. She groaned with pleasure as her h*ps rocked forward, encouraging him to press inside her. She demanded satisfaction, and that was one of the things he loved most about her.

  Not proud of the many women he’d lain with, he could safely say none had made a place inside his head — none but Rachel.

  She made him lose his mind — made him forget everything except for her.

  Pulling back, he smiled when she growled at him, light flaring in her eyes as she reached for him. She was always so eager to have them join together, but Adriane loved to play with her lissome body, loved to make her cry out over and over again.

  Grinning at her for only a brief moment before bending down and kissing her ear, his warm, wet tongue slipped along the outer edges, making her break out in goose bumps. Her ni**les strained toward him, aching with a need to be touched.

  As if reading her body’s yearning desire, he reached down, taking her peaked ni**les between his fingers and pinching down, elongating the sensitive flesh, bringing such intense pleasure that she called out.

  His hand moved down her quivering stomach; he circled the sensitive flesh between her legs, and then teased her swollen little bundle of nerves, not quite giving her what she wanted, but touching her just enough to keep her on edge.

  When he slipped inside with two long, supple fingers, then rubbed her in just the right place with his thumb, she cried out her encouragement for him to continue.

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  Lowering his head, he sucked the puckered flesh on her breast into his mouth, gently clamping his teeth down, rubbing the hard skin lightly before releasing one pink bud and moving to the opposite side. Her hands tangled in his hair as she guided him, showing him exactly what she wanted.

  He moved both hands upward, abandoning her principal pleasure point, and he cupped her twin peaks, squeezing the wet flesh and running his thumbs across it before his mouth descended again and teased her br**sts even more.