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       Bound, p.28

         Part #1 of Mastered series by Lorelei James

  herself around him and tipped them both into the deep end.

  • • •

  THE following evening Knox let her into the penthouse. If he noticed she was nervous, he didn’t mention it.

  Amery’s steady heart rate skyrocketed when she opened the door to Ronin’s secret room.

  Spread out across the bench was a satin kimono the color of cherry blossoms—pale pink that gradually morphed into a deep rose at the bottom hem. She picked it up and rubbed the silky fabric against her skin, half expecting the sweet aroma of cherry blossoms to surround her. But Ronin’s scent teased her nose and she breathed it in.

  A piece of paper fluttered to the floor. Amery picked it up, realizing it was a list for her. Ronin’s precise penmanship stood out in black, a sharp contrast against the thick white paper. She read:


  Strip and wear nothing beneath the robe.

  Leave your hair down.

  Kneel on the pillow in the center of the room.

  Close your eyes and allow your mind to drift.

  No wasted words. No surprise there.

  As Amery ditched her clothing, the balls of nerves knotted in her chest, her belly, and the back of her neck began to loosen. She slowed her breathing and focused on her senses.

  The cool robe slithered against her naked, heated skin. The velvet pillow provided cushioning for her knees as she rested back on her haunches. The only scents she could distinguish were Ronin’s and the slightly bitter tang of her own sweat. Her mouth remained dry, but she could taste the remnants of her breath mint. Placing her hands palms up on her thighs, she searched for the quiet place inside her where unease didn’t have a foothold.

  Her happy sense of calm wavered when the door snicked shut.


  Then Ronin’s hands were on her scalp. Petting her, following the length of her unbound hair to the ends in the middle of her back. His mouth brushed her ear. “Nervous?”



  Not the response she expected, which caused her to bristle and ask, “Are you nervous?”

  His softly whispered “Yes” was there and gone.

  She permitted herself a small smile.

  He said, “Stand,” and helped her to her feet. From behind he untied the robe’s sash at her waist. He slid his palms up the length of her arms. He peeled back the fabric from her shoulders, and the satin fell to the floor.

  Amery had been naked in front of him before, but this seemed . . . new.

  Then his lips were on her skin, trailing down the side of her neck in a silent command to arch to the opposite side. Her hair swished against her back in an erotic arc as she complied.

  “So lovely,” he murmured, while pulling her arms behind her back. “Is it comfortable for you to grab your elbows?”

  She maneuvered her arms into a better position.

  “Perfect. I’m going to start tying you now.”

  Her stomach lurched in a combination of fear and excitement. She blurted out, “Am I supposed to keep my eyes closed?”

  “Up to you.”

  “Me watching you won’t bother you?”

  Ronin stepped in front of her. “No. The only thing that will bother me is if you’re not honest about how you’re feeling. Blocking your sight will strip away another layer of your control. I can blindfold you if you’d prefer.”

  “Oh.” Part of her wanted to be blindfolded to get the edgier experience, but a larger part wanted the option of watching him as he bound her.

  “So what’ll it be?”

  “I’ll wing it.”

  He pressed a kiss on her lips. “Stay still. I’ll be right back.”

  Amery watched as he selected three plain white rope bundles from the far wall. And she managed a clinical detachment about what he intended to do with the rope until he loosened the first bundle. She squeezed her eyes shut.

  “I’ll start with a chest harness that will also immobilize your hands.”


  That’s all Ronin needed. The first wrap circled her chest below her armpits. As did the second and the third. Then he crossed the center of her chest, and that pulled the bindings tighter as well as squeezed her breasts.

  She contemplated looking down to watch him at work, but she focused on his rough fingertips gliding across her skin as he checked the tightness of the bindings. And yeah, they were plenty tight.

  “Are you holding your breath?” he asked in that low, commanding tone.

  “Maybe a little.”

  “Inhale and exhale slowly. Even more exaggerated breathing than you use in yoga.”

  She nodded and filled her lungs.

  Ronin didn’t miss a beat and kept wrapping.

  When he tugged the rope across her nipple, she sucked in a surprised breath.

  “One more like that.”

  The second wrap compressed her nipples between the two ropes, creating a pinching sensation, and her eyes flew open. She glanced down and saw her nipples elongated from the pressure and jutting out from the ropes.

  His thumb swept over the left one as his right hand held the coil of rope. “Does it hurt?”

  “Not when you touch it like that.”

  Ronin kept stroking it, staring into her eyes. “This tie is called ‘string of pearls.’ See how the binding makes the tips of your nipples round?”

  “Yes. Just as long as it doesn’t cut off my circulation entirely and turn them white.”

  “I know how sensitive your nipples are. Plus, my mouth will help restore blood flow when the time is right.”

  That brought forth a flash of heat between her thighs. She closed her eyes.

  He said, “Breathe, baby,” and wound the rope around her rib cage.

  There didn’t seem to be a point when his hands weren’t on her. Or when she couldn’t feel the heat of his body against hers. Or feel his lustful gaze studying her reactions. It was heaven, being on the receiving end of his total attention.

  Another shiver broke free when his fingers followed the contour of her belly down to the rise of her mound.

  Ronin pressed against her clit and dragged the pad of his thumb down the seam of her sex and back up. He pushed against that bundle of nerves again. But the pressure was different. She sucked in a quick breath when she felt the rope sliding along the split in her sex, one on either side of her labia. Then he pulled it between her legs and up the crack of her ass.

  His mouth grazed her ear. “Do you know how beautiful you look?”


  “Or how fucking hot it is that I can make you come whenever I want just by doing this.” He tugged on the ropes, sending a shooting sensation from her nipples to her clit, then down her pussy, across her anus.

  She gasped, shocked that the sharp bite of pain morphed so quickly into pleasure.

  He snatched the two rope ends tickling her back and attached them to the rope threaded between her thighs, tying them to her bound arms.

  Amery’s breaths had become labored—from the tight bindings or her lack of control or a combination of both.

  “Slow and steady, remember,” he said in that deliciously deep, calming tone.

  But it didn’t soothe her this time. She thrashed around in an attempt to get free. “I can’t get enough air.”


  “I can’t fucking breathe.”

  “Stop. Think. You’re safe.”

  “No! Let me go.”

  Ronin abruptly stepped away, leaving her alone.

  That kicked her sense of panic higher. The rope sliced into her every time she moved, burning tender flesh. She twisted her shoulders, trying to shake loose. A scream of frustration got stuck in her throat and the only sound she could make was a pitiful whimper. All she heard was the rush of blood in her ears.

  Then firm, warm flesh pressed against her back.


  He pulled her lower body against his with his right forearm, which also stop
ped the rope from moving and abrading her skin. Ronin curled his left hand around her throat and jaw, holding her in place.

  His complete immobilization of her didn’t create additional alarm. It somehow . . . settled her. He didn’t say a word; he just held her. He made her feel safe.

  Keeping her eyes closed helped her focus.



  “I’m going to let you go. Are you ready for me to finish binding you?”


  Whatever configuration he used connecting her arms to the chest harness took longer than she’d expected. So by the time he finished, she’d drifted into that floaty headspace she’d experienced when he tied her to the chaise. She was attuned to every nuance in her body. The tug in her sex. The constriction around her chest. The position of her arms and hands that rendered them useless.

  Ronin’s warm breath drifted over her damp skin as he made adjustments. Intensity radiated from him.

  His fingertips followed the bindings from her chest to her belly, over her slick pussy, up the crack in her ass, and then from her shoulders down her arms to her wrists. He didn’t say a word, but Amery knew she’d pleased him.

  A gentle push indicated she needed to return to her knees. Her head tilted forward and the ends of her hair brushed the tops of her thighs.

  She wasn’t sure how much time passed before she felt Ronin behind her. His hand went to her hair, pulling to get her attention as that hot, wicked mouth of his assaulted her neck. Biting, sucking, sending tremors of need through her and yet she knew she remained under his control. She couldn’t touch him. Or herself. She couldn’t do anything but surrender.

  And what a sweet, sweet surrender it was.

  Ronin lightly tugged on the rope with the knot teasing her clit. His other hand toyed with her nipples. Sometimes pulling. Sometimes pinching. Sometimes just giving her a featherlight stroke over the aching tip. He held her head in place with his hand and nuzzled the skin beneath her ear. “Amery.”


  “Are you close to coming?”


  He increased the speed and pressure of the rope on her clit and she sucked in a sharp breath. “Better?”

  “Some, but I don’t think I can . . . without direct contact.”

  Then Ronin slid in front of her and let his tongue flick across her nipple. He bent his head to her other breast and scored the tip with his teeth.

  Her head fell back.

  He moved the small knot in the rope away from her clitoris and stroked with his thumb. Side to side at first, bringing blood to the nub.

  Amery clenched her thighs in anticipation. Every rapid stroke on her engorged clit pushed her closer to the edge. The binding around her chest forced only reedy breaths, increasing the dizzy sensation.

  Then Ronin’s mouth was sucking in that spot below her ear—the spot that shot an electric charge to her nipples and ricocheted to her pussy. She had about a five-second warning before she came undone. And right after that first hard pulse rocked her, Ronin snapped the knotted rope into place over her clit.

  The spark of pain lasted a split second before the pleasure hit and her cunt spasmed. Every pulse felt like another hard snap of that rope.

  She arched back but didn’t have anywhere to go with her hands tied. Ronin’s mouth suctioned to her neck as his fingers twisted her nipple to the pulsing rhythm coursing through her.

  By the time she floated back down, Ronin’s touches were aggressive.

  He shifted her into the position he wanted—on her knees on a training mat, her chest against the cool vinyl, her ass in the air. Those skilled hands skimmed her naked back from the start of her spine to where her bound hands rested above her ass. Her name tumbled from his lips as soft as a sigh, but with as much reverence as the way he touched her. His potent mix of affection and need flowed through her when he clamped his hands on her hips and anchored his body behind hers.

  The thick head of his cock circled the opening once before he plunged into her pussy to the hilt.

  Although she was wet and she’d already come once, the ferocity of his thrusts made her breath catch. Good thing he’d switched his grip from her hips to the ropes binding her arms or she would’ve gone skittering across the mat.

  But it felt good. Empowering. She’d driven Ronin Black to the tipping point. And he was proving his mastery with every hard, driving thrust. He didn’t speak. The only indication he’d finally reached the end of the climb was when his fingers dug into her hips and he released a soft grunt as his heat filled her.

  Afterward Ronin retreated and pulled her to her feet. He immediately picked her up, cradling her in his arms as he carried her to his bedroom. The man wasn’t even breathing hard when he laid her on his big bed.

  He kissed her with hunger and delicacy. First her mouth, then his lips meandered down her torso, stopping at her swollen clit. He was ruthless in bringing her to climax again with his tongue and soft, sucking kisses.

  Amery sighed, surprised she had breath enough in her lungs to make any noise at all.

  He traced the skin above the first rope wrap as he untied it. “You are beautiful bound. Beautiful in your surrender to me.”

  “Even when you had to talk me down?”

  Those ever-changing brown eyes hooked hers. “Especially then.”


  “Hold on for a second.” He helped her into a sitting position and wedged himself between her knees. One quick tug and one of the knots on the chest harness loosened the binding above her breasts. Blood rushed in and the painful pins-and-needles sensation would’ve brought tears to her eyes if not for Ronin’s mouth being right there to alleviate the sting.

  “Oh my God.”

  “You like that?” he murmured, moving to her other breast.

  “It hurts. Then it doesn’t. Is it weird I miss the hurting sensation, but at the same time I don’t?”

  “No, baby, it’s not. That’s why it’s called the edge between pleasure and pain.”

  “It’s easier to understand when I’m actually dancing on that razor’s edge.” She let her head fall back as Ronin kissed and nuzzled every section of her chest where the ropes had been.

  Then he was in her face wearing a look of satisfaction. “You took to bondage amazingly well.” He kissed her forehead. “Is that something you’d like to continue to explore with me?”

  Amery blinked at him. “Why would you think I wouldn’t be interested?”

  “I never assume.” Ronin brushed his cheek over hers. “You agreed to try it. That’s it.”

  “And I liked it,” she blurted. “A lot.”

  “Good to hear. I have plenty more ideas on how I’d like to bind you.”

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