Begging for It

       part  #2 of  Asking for It Series  by  Lilah Pace / Romance & Love
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Begging for It
Page 1

Prologue

I’m ashamed of what I want.

I want it anyway.

Although I’ve tried to break the habit, it never works. Sometimes I indulge in fantasies that would bring most women over the edge. A hot guy with his face buried between my legs, his muscular arms wrapped around my open thighs; that sexy professor from my undergrad poli sci class, bending me over the desk in his office; even Robert Downey, Jr. , and Chris Evans inviting me into an Avengers three-way and proving they have superpowers of their own.

None of it gets me off. Every time, my fantasies ultimately bring me back to my most secret shame. The hands that caress me hold me down; the moan of satisfaction I imagine turn into screams for help, screams no one hears. As the fantasy becomes more savage, more brutal, I glory in it more and more.

And in the end, I only come when I imagine being raped.

I loathe this about myself. Rape is a vicious criminal act, one that makes the victim feel like a hollowed-out, broken thing; I should know. Countless self-help books, sex toys, and therapy sessions have taught me more about why I have these fantasies. They’ve also taught me that lots of people get off on this—female and male. But my desires still betray me, own me.

For a long time I kept my needs secret. My boyfriends had no idea what I was imagining behind my closed eyes while they were inside me. Once I tried to tell my ex-boyfriend Geordie about it—lightly, playing it as no more than a kinky whim—but that was a kink we didn’t share. He couldn’t go along, not even for me, and I wound up feeling humiliated and even more ashamed than before.

But I’m glad I told Geordie. Because in a drunken haze at a party months later, he blurted out my secret. Most of the people who overheard him snickered or leered, knowing only that I wanted to try something crazy in bed.

One man heard the truth even Geordie hadn’t understood. One man realized exactly what I wanted, and how I wanted it.

Jonah Marks understood because he wanted it too.

We began a sexual relationship built on our shared secret. At first we tried to remain unknown to each other, coming together only as strangers, to intensify the fantasy. Jonah understood what I needed and how to give it to me. He let me become a victim; I let him become a monster. And yet we always stayed within the limits we’d set. He understood how to walk the line that let me feel scared and safe at once.

Over time, though, we were no longer strangers. We knew only one thing about each other—but it was the most intimate thing anyone could know. We had looked into each other’s souls.

Finally we saw too much. Saw the truth. Jonah pulled back. Now he’s lost to me—for now, and maybe forever.

But not if I can help it.

One

Normally I don’t worry much about walking across campus to my car. My schedule as a graduate teaching assistant allows me to leave before dark most of the time, and the University of Texas at Austin is one of the biggest colleges in the nation, meaning people are usually around.

However, this is the Saturday night after Thanksgiving. Most students are still at home with their families. Professors too. Me, I left New Orleans sooner than I’d planned. The enormous pile of research papers I had to grade could’ve been split into a couple of days’ work, but I was close enough to finishing this evening to keep on to the end.

That’s why I’m walking across a nearly deserted campus, not far from downtown, at 11 o’clock at night.

A white truck drives along the nearest road. Its headlights sweep past me, and I blink against the glare. For a moment I think the truck might be about to stop, and I wonder if it’s stopping for me. But then it drives on¸ and I breathe out a sigh of relief.

The world spends so much time telling women how not to be raped—more time than it spends telling men not to rape. So I remind myself that I know what to do. I keep my head up. I look around me so that I’m alert and aware of my surroundings. No earbuds to deafen me to the sound of approaching footsteps, no phone in hand to distract me with texts or games. What I’m wearing shouldn’t attract undue attention: denim skirt, wine-colored cardigan. And I’ve got on flats I could run in, if I had to.

And I also know to meet the eyes of any man I see, so he’ll realize I’ve registered his presence. That I could identify him later.

Which is why, when I hear the dull thud of boots on the ground near me, I turn my head—and stop in my tracks.

The man walking so close is tall, six-foot-two or -three. Muscular too, as his low-slung jeans and tight-fitting shirt reveal. Yet he’s not some bodybuilder type; his waist is almost impossibly narrow beneath such broad shoulders, his neck long. His proportions suggest both brutality and fragility. One glance would tell anyone this man is stretched to the breaking point, and make you wonder what he’d do if he broke. In the bluish glare of the streetlight, his features are almost too beautiful to be rugged, but not quite. Straight nose, high cheekbones like slashes, his thin-lipped mouth set in a firm line. One of his broad hands could circle my throat. The description for the police would begin Caucasian, fair skin, dark hair cropped short, clean-shaven. His eyes are the shade of steel.
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