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       Bound, p.18

         Part #1 of Mastered series by Lorelei James
 

  Knox grinned. “It helps.”

  They didn’t make small talk as they rode the elevator to the fifth floor. She expected he’d put her in the next elevator and then leave. But he swiped the card and punched in the code for the roof.

  When Amery gave him a challenging look, he smiled again. “I know about it because I’m his second-in-command ninja badass. But that doesn’t mean he lets me wander around up there by myself as he’s allowing you to. He’s a very private man for a reason.” Don’t fuck that up for him went unsaid.

  The doors slid open. She faced Knox before they closed again. “Thank you. I promise not to run off with the silverware.”

  The stress of her day vanished when she entered the garden. She wandered through the tree canopy, running her hands along the smooth bark. The garden designer had created a bonsai look with the trees without all the years it took to groom a tree to that size. Pots of flowers were tucked between the trees and ringed the perimeter. She loved the riot of colored blooms, from azalea bushes to bird-of-paradise and anthurium. How often did he have to replace these plants that weren’t native to this area? She paused at the sand garden and looked at the zigzag pattern. Different than the last time she’d been up here. What had Ronin been thinking when he’d drawn that pattern?

  Amery stretched out on a chaise and stared at the purple twilight sky. A breeze stirred, bringing the sun-warmed scent of petunias.

  Time truly lost all meaning when she was nestled in Ronin’s rooftop paradise. Closing her eyes, she let herself drift into that place as relaxing as savasana.

  Even in that dreamy state, she sensed his presence. She smiled without opening her eyes. “How long have you been standing there?”

  “Long enough to plan what I intend to do to you first.”

  Amery didn’t bother dressing to impress when she came to Ronin. She wore yoga pants, no underwear, and an athletic tank top—all clothes that could be easily stripped away. Just hearing him say he had plans for her made her wet with anticipation. Made her arch and purr because he was about to pet and stroke her until she yowled.

  “Did you get the test results today?” he asked.

  “Yes. I’m clean. You?”

  “Clean. So I plan to get very, very dirty with you tonight. Take off your pants.”

  She did as he bade and waited for further instruction.

  “Lower the chaise completely and remove your shirt for me.”

  Her blood began to pump faster as soon as she was naked. But she didn’t feel bare, or exposed, just anxious for his touch.

  “Your skin glows. You like being out here, naked in my garden, waiting for me, knowing I’m as drawn to you as the bees are drawn to the brightest, sweetest blooms.”

  Hearing the scrape of his bare feet across the cement as he erased the distance between them, Amery felt her stomach pitch.

  “I can smell that honey you’re making just for me. A full bouquet that’s sweet and creamy on my tongue.”

  How could just his words turn her on this much? She squirmed, rubbing her thighs together.

  “No cheating. I will take you there.”

  She opened her eyes. Ronin was less than a foot away, and his eyes were molten. Hungry. Assessing. He still wore his gi.

  He touched her then. A single fingertip down the center of her body, from the hollow of her throat to the rise of her pubic bone. “Yes, I came here straight from class because I couldn’t stay away from you another moment.”

  “Ronin—”

  He placed his fingers over her mouth. “Do you trust me?”

  She nodded.

  “Drop your hands to the ground. Palms flat, press the inside of your arms against the support posts of the chaise.”

  Amery had to scoot down to stretch out her shoulders.

  “Good. Now stay still.” Ronin dropped to his knees. His hard-skinned hands caressed her forearm, from the bend in her elbow to her wrist. Goose bumps spread across the right side of her body from that simple touch.

  The long strings from the chaise cushions tickled as he untied them. Then she felt the ties crisscrossing her forearm as he tied her to the support post. It didn’t hurt, but she couldn’t move. Then he switched sides and secured her other arm. His hands followed the length of her arms up to her shoulders and down to her breasts.

  “You okay? Not cutting into you?”

  “Not unless I move.”

  Ronin stood and straddled the chair. “Then you’d better hold still, hadn’t you?”

  “What do you plan to do to me?”

  He drew lazy circles around her nipples. “Anything I want.”

  Amery’s mouth dried at seeing the heat in his eyes.

  More lazy circles. “Does that scare you?” He leaned forward and curled his tongue around her nipple. “Or excite you?”

  Her nipple puckered into a rigid point. She wanted more of his touch, his mouth, more of him.

  “Answer me,” he said in that velvet rasp, sending his warm breath across the nipple he’d wet with his mouth.

  “It excites me.” She felt him smile against the lower curve of her breast.

  He suckled her nipples long enough to make her squirm and arch up. Then he pushed upright.

  Amery watched as he unknotted the embroidered black belt he wore with his gi. When he snapped the ends together, a loud pop echoed.

  “I want my mouth on you. I want to lick and suck your pussy until your honey pours down my throat. I don’t want to miss a single, fucking drop.” Ronin dragged his middle finger up her slit and popped the digit into his mouth. “Mmm. But with the way you wiggle . . .” He snapped the belt together again. “I’d better make sure you can’t get away from me.” He pushed the bottom of the cushion up so it raised her pelvis. Then he placed her heels on the edge of the chair, which in turn spread her knees wide. “Such a pretty, wet cunt.”

  Whenever Ronin said such blatantly sexual things, she blushed from the roots of her hair to her toenails. He looped his belt beneath the underside of the chair and brought the ends up to tie a knot directly over her belly button.

  With the cushion lodged under her butt, her midsection secured, and her arms immobilized, Amery was completely at his mercy.

  “Every part of you is mine to touch.” He put his mouth on the inside of her knee and sucked. “Mine to taste.” He swept his fingers alongside the edge of his belt tying her to the chair. “Mine to tease.”

  When he settled himself on the end of the chaise, Amery knew why he’d pushed up the cushion; it put her pussy at his mouth level. A wave of want nearly swamped her.

  “You’re always speaking of balance. Let’s see if you can keep your balance when I’m doing this.” He licked her from the opening of her pussy to her clit.

  She tried to arch up to meet his mouth, but if she moved her lower half, her heels slid off the chair.

  His mean little chuckle was unnecessary.

  “Did you think of me today, Amery?”

  “Yes.”

  “When you thought of me did you imagine my tongue licking you from the inside out? Like this?” He burrowed his tongue into her channel.

  She released a long moan.

  When he came up for air, he eased back and nibbled the inside of her thighs until her legs quivered. His hands skated up the tops of her legs, pausing to squeeze her hips, and up farther yet to span her rib cage. “Breathe. If you pass out I might get a swelled head that I made you come so hard you lost consciousness.”

  Amery sucked in a deep, slow breath.

  While she did that Ronin licked her clit. Then softly kissed her intimate flesh. A tender swirl of his tongue followed by gentle sucking. Kissing and exploring her pussy in the same unyielding way as when he first kissed her mouth.

  And she got that same dizzying sensation—except it seemed more acute. She didn’t have to push and move to get to that sweet spot where she unraveled; she knew it was coming. The buzz started behind her tailbone and spread upward. Making her belly muscles qu
iver, her nipples hard. She didn’t stiffen up; she just let Ronin coax her to the detonation point. She hovered on the brink as he lit the match.

  The wait for the explosion was sweet torture. But when that first shock wave hit, Amery might’ve actually screamed. Then another one blasted her. And another. And each subsequent pulse built on the last one and the skill of Ronin’s mouth.

  After the waves ebbed, she found herself blinking at the dark sky, wondering if she was still being tossed about in that spinning vortex. Her gaze fell on the dark head between her legs.

  Their eyes met. Ronin murmured, “Again,” and slipped two fingers in her drenched pussy. Those fingers expertly stroked her to another shuddering orgasm so quickly she did cry out. She’d never been so in tune with every nuance of her body’s response—even with her inability to move. Maybe it was because she couldn’t move and she’d given control of her pleasure to him. She didn’t have to think; just feel.

  Her thoughts scattered again when his hands were stroking her belly and a hot mouth brushed her breast. Then she was looking into that sigh-worthy face.

  “You’re beautiful,” he said. “Every inch of you.”

  “Ronin. Untie me. I want to touch you.”

  He brushed a soft kiss across her mouth. “Not this time. This time it’s all about you.”

  “But . . .” It’s always about me. How could she complain about that? She watched as he stripped off his gi. “You don’t plan on fucking me?”

  “I plan on fucking you. But even then, it’s still about you.” Ronin balanced on his knees and slowly fed his cock into her. Once his shaft was fully buried, his hands landed on the armrests beside her and he began to move. “Wrap your legs around me up high. That’s it. I want to feel your heels digging into my shoulder blades.”

  That changed the angle and she moaned. “That’s so good.”

  Ronin kissed her. But it was a different kiss than usual. He kept his eyes open. He teased her lips with his; then he sank his teeth into her bottom lip. Their breath mingling, breathing each other in, staring into each other’s eyes further enclosed them in a bubble where the world outside this one ceased to exist.

  He quickened his pace; his thrusts became shallower.

  “How long are you going to hold off?”

  He nuzzled her neck. “Until I feel this hot cunt clamping down on my cock.”

  “Say that again.”

  His breath warmed her ear as his hard shaft stroked inside her. “You’re so wet, so hot, so fucking tight I could spend every waking moment slamming my cock into you. Feeling this pussy milking every drop of seed from my dick. Make it happen, Amery. Make me come.”

  Amery turned her head and scraped her teeth up and down the tendons straining his neck. “Anything you want from me. Anytime. Anyplace. It’s yours. I’m yours.” She squeezed him with her cunt muscles. “Let go of that control.”

  Ronin emitted a growling noise and fucked her harder. Rolling his hips so the chaise bounced with his effort to get inside her as deeply as possible. A dozen nearly brutal strokes later, he stilled as his cock emptied into her.

  She felt the burst of heat as he came inside her without a condom for the first time. Each time she bore down on that thick shaft filling her up, a throbbing pulse zipped from her G-spot to her clit.

  He buried his face in her neck, panting as she’d never heard from him. Ronin stayed like that a long while before he whispered, “Thank you,” and pushed away from her.

  First thing he removed his belt. His fingers and mouth soothed the tiny red lines on her belly. Two quick tugs and he freed her hands. He immediately brought her upright and massaged her forearms to get the blood flowing. He examined her closely, tracing the marks. “Any pain or numbness?”

  “None.”

  “You sure?

  “Positive.”

  Ronin continued to sweep his hands everywhere across her body. “Every time I touch you . . . I want more of you. I want you in ways that you can’t even imagine.”

  Now that she could touch his face without restriction, she mapped the planes and angles that made him so beautifully masculine. “It’s a rush that a man like you wants me like that.”

  “Amery.”

  “I’m serious, Ronin. I know we agreed that what came before this doesn’t matter. But it does, because I’ve never had this kind of . . . freedom before. I’ve never had any man look at me the way you do. I’ve never had any man want me the way you do.” I’ve never been obsessed with a man the way I am with you.

  “Does that frighten you?”

  “Only in that I’ll disappoint you.” When he started to protest she pressed her fingers over his lips. “So promise me you’ll let me be whatever you need. Whatever you need,” she repeated. “Because you’ve given me things I didn’t even know I needed.”

  He closed his eyes. His whole body trembled. “I promise” was barely audible as he breathed it through parted lips, but Amery heard it, and that’s all that mattered.

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  “I didn’t spend this much time getting ready for prom,” Amery complained.

  “This is much bigger than prom,” Emmylou said, unwinding the curling iron from Amery’s hair.

  Sasha, the blonde Amery secretly called Marilyn, swept powder over Amery’s face. Maybe she’d lucked out that Sasha made her living as a makeup artist, but to be honest, she was half-afraid to look in the mirror. What did it mean when Sasha swore Amery would look “glamorous yet natural?”

  “I still can’t believe you’re going to this. I’ll bet John Elway is there.”

  “If he is he’ll be mobbed. He’s on equal footing with the Messiah in this town,” Amery said.

  “As he deserves to be.”

  Amery fought the urge to roll her eyes. Emmylou was a jock through and through—sports heroes were the only heroes in her eyes.

  “How much longer?”

  “Just your lipstick, sweets, so pucker up.” Sasha started painting her lips with a thin sponge.

  “Better make it the kiss-proof kind. The way Ronin looks at her . . . I think he might actually eat her up.”

  “Emmylou, you are such a romantic,” Sasha said with a sigh.

  “Back atcha, babe,” Emmylou cooed.

  Amery looked away as they pawed at each other and kissed noisily. When the grab-ass session continued, she slipped from the barstool and went into her bedroom. She picked up her shoes and her beaded handbag and headed downstairs. She texted Ronin: R you picking me up in the alley or out front?

  Ten seconds later her phone vibrated.

  RB: I’m parking out front right now.

  She slipped on her shoes and reached the front door the same time Ronin walked in.

  He stopped dead. His gaze started at the tips of her toes and wandered up her body, lingering on her hips and breasts before locking on her eyes. “You are absolutely exquisite.”

  Amery blushed. “Thank you.”

  “But . . .”

  Her stomach pitched. “But what?”

  “But here’s a warning; I swear to Christ, if we get five minutes alone in a dark corner, I’ll have my hands and my mouth all over you.”

  The emphatic way he growled that caused her girl parts to tingle. As much as he kept eyeing her hungrily, she returned the favor. The man could rock a suit. In black, of course, a modern cut worn with a white shirt and a subtly patterned tie. Ronin hadn’t done anything to his hair, like pull it back into a ponytail when he was in the dojo, so the casual messiness of those dark, thick locks and the formality of the suit made her mouth dry and her panties wet. Amery’s lust-filled gaze hooked his. “Same goes, Master Black.”

  Chaz exited the bathroom and marched up between them. “The two of you will turn heads at this gala.” His gaze flicked over Ronin
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