Falling in deeper, p.23
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       Falling in Deeper, p.23
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         Part #11 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black

  make her feel adored as he helped her heal from the past. This spanking was an unspoken outline of his expectations. The way he explained it, he wanted her to understand his desires because he intended for them to have a tomorrow. And unlike with any twisted abuse or heinous act Canton had inflicted on Erin, Lily could make everything stop by uttering a single word.

  Stone lifted his hand, and she held her breath, tensing. Her heart pounded. Her skin sprang to life as she anticipated his impact. Where would he spank her? How hard? How good would it feel?

  He didn’t smack her again right away. Instead, he caressed his way down her cool, untouched cheek, his fingers slipping between her legs. Her slickness coated him as he explored her all the way from her empty, clenching opening already aching for him to the nub of nerves throbbing for more of his gliding fingers and teasing touches.

  “This is how I want you.” His dark, deep voice filled her ear—and her head. “Wet. Eager. You’re aching, aren’t you?”

  “Yes, Stone.”

  “Hang on to this feeling,” he instructed as he slowly rubbed at her clit, making her tense and moan and quiver. “Remember how delicious this is.”

  Before she could ask why, he withdrew; then he smacked the unoffended cheek of her ass. He lit it up like the first one, until it danced and shimmered, heating bone-deep. She’d barely had time to drink in the sensations before he did it again. Then again. And again.

  He alternated cheeks, smoothing the fire under her skin, before sparking a new blaze in another spot. The array of sensations smarted, both stunning and dazzling Lily. They confused her because she wasn’t quite sure how to feel. Each impact hurt, no denying. Stone wasn’t holding back. And yet the hurt came with a warmth she could barely comprehend. It spread with every audible impact. He took care with her, not striking the same place twice, not imparting more punishment than she could bear.

  Lily wasn’t sure how much time passed before she dissolved onto the table. If she hadn’t locked her knees, she might have hung from the restraints at her wrists. Her bones felt like softened butter, her muscles like pudding, her mind like melted chocolate. Stone could probably put her back together and create a confection much better than she’d been before. That realization allowed Lily to disengage from her concerns and sink into the experience.

  “I think you like this, baby,” he murmured against her ear. “Besides a red ass, your skin is flushed the most beautiful rosy shade and”—he parted her slick folds with his blunt fingers again—“you’re wetter than ever. I have a paddle ready to go but I’m enjoying the stinging of my hand every bit as much as you’re enjoying the smarting of your ass. It feels more like we’re in this together.”

  Because they were. Lily knew it down to her core. And the fact that he wanted to be with her every step of the way made her sigh in bliss and trust him even more.

  She relaxed every muscle and lost count as his palm made contact with her backside repeatedly until the fiery sensations overtook consciousness, until time bled away, until all she knew was Stone, his touch, and the blossoming feelings in her heart.

  Lily had no idea when he lifted his hand from her throbbing flesh. She only knew that he kissed a line up her spine, the most tender brush of his lips worshipping her back, before he nuzzled her neck.

  “You with me?”

  “Yes,” she managed to whisper.

  “You all right?”

  “Feeling a little floaty.”

  “Not in too much pain?” He sounded concerned.

  A little smile crept across her face. “Yes and no. My butt is on fire. But I’m good with that.”

  He chuckled in her ear and unlatched the first of her cuffs. “All right, then. Let’s try something else I think you’ll like.”

  She could have asked what but she trusted him too much to waste the words. “Hmm . . .”

  “You’re amazing.” Stone unlatched the second cuff and caught her as her legs gave way beneath her. “The trust you’ve shown me . . . I know it’s not easy for you and I know why. Thank you for giving me a chance.”

  When he removed the blindfold and lifted her in his arms, he held her against his chest. Lily could barely find the strength to hold her neck up but she did it so she could look into his eyes. She ached to stay there, drown there, die there. If she did, she’d be completely content.

  She sighed and admitted what she’d been suspecting for a while. “I love you.”

  Emotion ripped across his face. Lily saw the impact of her words in the way he tightened his eyes and furrowed his brow, in the way his mouth flattened and the tendons in his neck bulged before he swallowed hard. “Baby, I love you, too. I know it’s fast. I know most everyone would think we’re crazy. But they aren’t us and they can’t feel what we do. I saw you across Dominion that first time and I swear, mentally I felt this click, like we fit together.”

  In all honesty, Lily had experienced it, too. The minute they’d met, their eyes had locked and he’d spoken to her, a jolt of something she couldn’t describe had rumbled through her. In retrospect, it had been an intuition that she’d found her missing half. Of course, Zeb had imparted Stone’s past then, and logic had taken over, convincing her of all the reasons she must be incorrect, so she’d shut Stone out.

  How much did she regret that now? How much better would her life be if she’d listened to her gut then and learned to trust him sooner?

  As he stepped into the bedroom and lay her down across the mattress, he shucked everything he wore, revealing miles of bronzed, inked skin, ridged muscle, and a thick cock she wanted to touch and pleasure again. Then he grabbed a condom out of the drawer, sheathed himself, and crawled onto the mattress.

  She watched, unblinking, unmoving, unconcerned.

  Then he lay directly on top of her.

  The weight of him flattened and pinned her down. She knee-jerked. Cold panic laced her veins, obliterating all the peace she’d been feeling moments ago. She flailed, screaming, shoving, and bucking in a desperate bid for freedom.

  “Shh.” His voice soothed, even as he wrapped his arms around her and loosely held her. “It’s me. We’re hugging. Nothing more. I’m not threatening you.”

  Lily heard the words. Somewhere in her head, she knew he was right. She needed to be more rational, less of a head case. But she kept remembering Erin’s struggle. She couldn’t forget that her bestie hadn’t left that bed in which she’d fought—and failed—to stay alive.

  Stone braced himself on his elbows and cupped her face in his hands. “Look at me. Right. At. Me.”

  He tugged on her hair just enough to snag her attention, and Lily blinked up at him, her whole body shivering despite his heat.

  “Can’t you get off me? I’m scared. Please.”

  “I could,” he murmured. “But how long are you going to let this fear limit you? Us? Are we going to spend the rest of our lives not being as close as two people can get? Won’t Canton have taken even more from you then? Try for me. If it’s too much, you have a safe word. Otherwise, I want to make love to you, Lily.”

  Logic warred with instinct. He was right, and she knew it. But she had to fight every urge in her body not to scream that one word rolling through her head.

  Deep breaths. You know Stone and how gentle he can be. Stop wimping out and woman up. Don’t blame him for Canton’s crime and don’t put them in the same league.

  Lily dragged air in through her nose and out of her mouth until her thoughts stopped pinging all over her brain and her heartbeat approached something normal. The adrenaline slowly seeped away. She let go of the sheets tightly curled in her fists.

  “That’s it. I’m still on top of you. Nothing bad has happened. Nothing bad ever will,” he swore.

  “I-I know that in my head. I’m reminding myself of that.”

  He brushed hair from her face and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “We’ll conquer this together.”

  Through the residual panic, she looked into his dark eyes and wondered wher
e Stone had come from and how he’d gotten so perfect. “Why are you so patient with me?”

  “Because you’re worth it.”

  This man had said a lot of nice things to her, but that unraveled her most. She teared up. As usual, the drops didn’t fall, and Lily often thought she would benefit from a good cry. But for the moment, it was enough to look into his eyes and feel total acceptance.

  He had no idea that she didn’t really deserve it. “No.”

  “Yes,” he insisted, staring her down as if he could push that belief into her soul. “You are. What you witnessed wasn’t your fault, and you couldn’t have helped Erin. I know you think you could have or should have, but you have to cut yourself slack. If anyone should regret their past, it’s me. I threw away an upbringing of upper-middle-class privilege because I arrogantly thought I could make a few bucks and the law didn’t pertain to me. My parents had me take out student loans and work part-time during college so I’d learn the value of money and hard work in school. I disappointed them in the worst way possible and I can never mend that fence with my mom. On the other hand, I’m not that person anymore. You’re not either. Put the past behind you and look forward with me.”

  His words calmed and soothed, like the rhythmic strokes of his hand through her hair. He brought reason and light.

  Lily needed that more than she could express. And maybe he was right.

  “I want to.”

  “Then let me in.” He parted her legs with a nudge of his thighs and pressed his erection to her opening. “We’ll do it together.”

  How badly she wanted to replace those atrocious memories with good. How much she’d love to associate having a man on top of her with arousal and love, rather than absolute terror.

  “Together.” She lifted her head and kissed him, layering her mouth over his and clinging for a timeless moment.

  He met her halfway, welcoming her lips with a crush of his own. It quickly caught fire, and she opened to Stone, lips parted as he rushed inside with a heady melding of mouths that soon had her breathing hard and surrendering.

  He backed away, switched angles, dove deeper, nestling her into the mattress and nudging at the very depths of her mental boundaries. Just when she thought she couldn’t handle more, he found some new way to revere her with his lips. Lily didn’t feel threatened but totally worshipped. The gravity of the moment astounded her.

  Somehow she knew that if she allowed him the closeness he sought, it would change her forever.

  Lily dragged in a deep breath, resolved to jettison the past, and grabbed onto Stone as she parted her legs wider. Wonder spread across his face as she bent her knees and fitted him into the cradle of her thighs.

  He caressed his way down her body until he reached her hips and held firm, rooting around for her opening. “That’s my baby. Now who’s ready for an orgasm?”

  When Stone winked at her, her tension broke. Lily smiled. That probably wasn’t possible, but she loved his enthusiasm.

  Then he began to probe inside her, every inch sliding deeper until the two of them seemed to become one.

  As he filled her up, she gasped at the slight sting of her flesh stretching to accommodate him. His hot breath fanned across her mouth as he drilled down into her body, into her eyes, taking her sex and her soul at once. The tingles she’d thought were impossible moments ago erupted, along with a shiver that ran through her entire being. This desire came from a whole new place because it wasn’t just that he roused her body; he moved her heart.

  Lily glanced at him in wonder. “Kiss me.”

  “I’d love that,” he murmured as he took her lips with his own, parting them and plunging inside with the same solemnity with which he would make a vow.

  He mimicked the same movements with her body, lighting her up with every stroke. His hard cock scraped against her sensitive nerves, as if he could read her, knew exactly how to kindle the desire now humming through her blood.

  His fingers bit into her hips as he pistoned deeper, faster. He groaned. And Lily felt the sound of his agonized need reverberate through her body as she reached for the peak right in front of her.

  She pressed her fingers into his shoulders and raised her knees around his hips, welcoming him even deeper. The angle of his thrusts, the intimacy of their bodies, the connection of the face-to-face contact felt completely new to Lily. Her boyfriend in high school had climbed on top of her and screwed. Vaguely, she recalled it. But what Stone did now wasn’t that at all. He paid attention to her body and adjusted every time she gasped or tensed or whimpered for more. The experience wasn’t just about him, the way it had been with Rick. It wasn’t only about her, either. The lovemaking they shared was for them both. They joined and melded. She could almost feel their bond fusing even more tightly together.

  A few days ago, she’d started her morning by buying a gun because she felt alone and unprotected. Now she’d cast off all her barriers simply to be with Stone because she felt treasured and surrounded and safe by his side. And so amazingly loved.

  His breathing ramped up. His skin flushed with effort as sweat gathered at his temples. With every push inside her, the muscles of Stone’s body flexed and worked. He gave his all for her pleasure, to be closer to her than ever.

  The burn behind her clit grew hotter, the need sharper. Lily thrust up at him, grinding. He hooked one of her knees into the crook of his elbow and leaned forward as he shoved his way inside her once more. With the head of his cock, he rubbed a spot that had her back arching and nearly set her reeling.

  “Stone!” She needed more. Needed him now.

  Lily bit into the fleshy part of his shoulder, her hips gyrating and matching his rhythm. He threw his head back and let out a guttural rumble deep in his chest. He grew longer, got thicker, pumped faster, gave her more.

  “Are you with me?” He barely managed to get the words out.

  “Yes,” she wailed as the intensity torqued between her legs and the urge to surrender all of herself to him grew.

  “Together,” he muttered as he picked up the pace to something unrestrained and breakneck that made her catch her breath and hurtle toward explosion.

  In the next breath, her body seized up. Her heart nearly beat out of her chest as blood pumped, her skin charged with life, and she flew straight into ecstasy with a clawing scream. Stone’s long moan of satisfaction rang in her ears, and she clung to him as if she’d never let go again.

  Chapter Fourteen

  WRAPPED in Stone’s arms, Lily felt a sense of contentment that she hadn’t felt in . . . ever. Living hand to mouth with a mother who had regarded her as a problem child in a neighborhood where violence had been shrugged off hadn’t provided the framework for many happy moments in life. The few she’d cherished, the times with Erin, had ended in horror. Her years with Axel had been helpful, but not particularly joyful.

  Then Stone had come along.

  He reached her on every level. From the beginning, he’d made butterflies dance in her stomach and tugged on her libido. But her feelings had gone so much further so fast. As she lay, her arms and legs tangled with his, he enveloped her in the comfort of a warm velvet hug where nothing could touch her now except the love they shared.

  “After an orgasm that should have short-circuited your brain, you’re thinking too hard,” he murmured and kissed the top of her head.

  Lily laughed. “About how happy I am, yes.” She planted her hands on his chest and stared into his eyes. Nothing, no one, existed except the two of them right now. “It’s all your fault.”

  “I’ll take full responsibility.” He winked. “But we should share the blame, you know. I pried you open so you’d confide in me, but you reached out in return. You overcame your fears to take the lifeline I tossed you. You’ve been so beautifully honest, baby.”

  Mostly. Almost . . . but not entirely. “I’ve been lucky that you cared enough to be patient. Most men would have given up. But you’re not most men.”

  She couldn’t he
lp but stare. He’d changed her life in a few short days. He’d given her everything. She needed to give him her all, too.

  “You keep talking like that, and more than my ego will be big.” He grinned.

  “I’m counting on it.” She didn’t want to squash the levity of the moment but she wanted to give him her total truth. “The blindfold thing was major for me. If you hadn’t challenged me on that . . .”

  “Well, to most couples a fear of blindfolds wouldn’t be a deal breaker. But we might be a little kinkier than most.”

  “It meant way more than that.” He needed to understand. “Being okay with the blindfold was life changing.” She paused, gathered
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