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Bound by him, p.2
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       Bound by Him, p.2

           Red Garnier
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  His cock stirred, demanding that he have her, that he remind her who she belonged to. He’d taken too long to come back to her.

  Now she’d fight him all the way until he possessed her completely.

  She’d torture and torment him and make him pay for leaving her, no matter what excuse he came up with.

  But she’d gotten into the car with him. A Donahue to the bone, her parents had been the local church’s most generous donors. They’d been moral and principled, and Whitney would keep her word if it killed her.

  She’d give Andrew his kiss. And damn if Andrew wasn’t going to get more of her.

  He shifted in his seat, his groin aching, his balls drawn up so damned tight he felt choked by his desire. The piercing in his cock strained, he was so hard, and it caused pain from the need to rub it against her. He remembered all the times they’d ridden in the back of his cars, when Whitney draped herself wantonly against him, tonguing him, offering up her mouth entirely, rubbing his nipples with her fingertips, making little sexy sounds deep in her throat. He remembered how his tongue had made love to hers, tangled lazily, heatedly.

  His cock throbbed painfully in his slacks. He’d never been so desperate to join himself with her.

  But Whitney was angry . . .

  He wanted her to submit, fully, completely, give him everything she’d given him before and more. Now nothing stood in the way. Nothing stood in the way between them anymore.

  Except Whitney’s pride.

  He would have to soothe it. To calm it. Calm her.

  He just hoped to God he could calm himself and the desire roiling inside him first. He distracted himself with the view of her black cocktail dress, but it only magnified the urge to take it off and look at her naked body again. Kiss her, feel her, bury a thousand days of wanting inside her tight, sweet sex until they drowned each other with passion.

  “If you think kidnapping me will get you anywhere, you’re wrong,” she said in a low, brittle tone.

  He made his tone match hers. “You can’t kidnap something that already belongs to you.”

  Her face whipped around to his, and she lifted her brows. “If you mean you own a kiss, you’re right, but that’s about the only thing you have a right to,” she said.

  His gaze pinned her down. “In a few moments I will be happy to remind you just what rights you promised to me some time ago.”

  “Why are you here, Andrew?” Her voice broke. “Haven’t you played with me enough?”

  He smiled at her softly. His Whitney. He’d feared she’d break if he left. He’d had nightmares of coming home to find her, frail and shattered. No. His girl was made of sterner stuff. Had survived worse stuff. Her character had been through fire, and now she was made of steel.

  Good for you, my darling. But I still need to remind you, you belong to me . . .

  He was still claiming her. He was reclaiming his life, and he was reclaiming the woman he loved beyond the point of sanity. Beyond anything . . .

  She’d changed. He could see a new challenge in her stare, a resilience in her, an attitude.

  He was amazed how much he liked it. How much it turned him the hell on.

  He’d left a budding young girl behind and had come back to a full-grown woman. And the man inside of him, the man he’d become—harder, tougher, and a little angrier, ached to claim this new version of Whitney Donahue with such intensity, his muscles were drawn to the point of bursting.

  He would reach her heart again, and the path to its tender center would be through her body. The pleasure only he, and he alone, could give Whitney would be overpowering. And it was going to bind them both.

  She wanted to know why he was here?

  Had he not been clear with the few letters he’d managed to send, promising her he’d come back home? Come back to her? Had he not been clear tonight, paying a million dollars for something that was already his right to take?

  “Isn’t it obvious, Whitney?” He lifted his glass in a quiet toast, meeting her lovely gaze with his, his chest heavy with emotion. “I’m here for you.”


  Whitney hovered dangerously between screams and tears. She didn’t know what to think. What to do. What to say to him.

  This felt surreal, like one of her dreams where Andrew came back for her. But he was tanner, more muscled, more . . . powerful. And she was scared out of her mind with the pull she felt toward him.

  Andrew was here, in Chicago, and if she owed him a kiss, then he at least owed her an explanation. He owed her something that would give her closure even if she ended up having to move on.

  Her heart was an open wound inside her chest as she stared at a dark lock of hair that had fallen across his forehead, hating how badly she ached to brush it aside. The shadows of the passing city lights flickered across his face, and her lungs just weren’t working right. God. His mouth, his skin, his beautiful face. It was all man, every inch of him. He’d always been a man. Her man.

  The tattoos on her wrists almost burned with that knowledge, and her pussy watered wondering if he still wore those marks, the same as hers, on his thick wrists, which were now covered by his suit jacket and shirt. No matter how angry she was, her body loved his, and she couldn’t help but respond to his presence. To his gaze. His scent.

  His eyes—the radiating energy of his entire being simmered inside them. Dark as sin. Dark as the nights when she had belonged to him. He was unsmiling, intense, his pulsing, restrained power whirling around him. A magnetic force to her. An irresistible force.

  Her fingers ached at her sides, her breasts, her core. He’d been her one and only love. He’d been her safe haven. He’d freed her from hell and taken her to heaven, and then he’d left her for three years.

  She’d believed that the aching need she felt with him had been mutual. That he would protect her from everything, always, always be with her. He’d done things for her no other human being had ever done. He’d stepped up for her when no one else had. This is why she still couldn’t believe, couldn’t comprehend, that he’d leave her for so long. He’d sent her letters, beautiful, loving letters, and then he’d sent nothing. Nothing, until now. Did he still wear her marks on his wrists? If he didn’t, then why did he still look at her with those polished onyx eyes like she was his very own soul?

  With him here, before her, it felt like he’d hardly left at all. But she remembered all those letters, she’d read them a thousand times. The last one beginning with that heartbreaking: I’m afraid this could be my last letter . . .

  “Won’t you sit next to me, Whitney?” He spoke softly, tenderly, as he stretched a hand out to her, palm up.

  She trembled with the urge it took to refrain, to keep from shifting to the opposite side of the limousine and feel his skin beneath her fingers, his breath on her face.

  She’d been broken when Andrew found her. Raped and physically abused by her uncle in her teens. She’d grown beyond her years and her spirit had dwindled so badly, she’d felt like she was only a shell. But when he’d seen her, he’d seen more. He talked to her, questioned her, reading through all her bullshit lies that could not justify the purple bruises on her body, and when he told her she was strong, she’d believed him.

  When he told her it was going to be all right, he’d moved heaven and earth to make it so. For her. Just for her.

  Had he stopped loving her?

  Had her need of him driven him away?

  “Whitney, won’t you feel more comfortable on my lap?” he asked.

  He patted his lap, his voice deceptively calm considering the rabid thirst with which he gazed at her. Those eyes pulled her into his depths, making it hard, so hard, not to squirm restlessly in her seat with the physical urge to go up onto his lap, a place she’d always believed belonged to her.

  “I’m fine right here.”

  His voice gentled even more. “I’d love to stop arguing. Is that possible?”

  “No. It’s the most impossible thing I’ve ever been asked.”

  He leaned back in his seat with deceptive relaxation, but his eyes continued watching her like a predator. “All right then. Talk to me while we argue.”

  “Talk to you? What do you want me to say?”

  “How are you, darling?”

  She gazed outside, hurting all over again, hating his gentleness, his questions. “Now you pretend to care,” she scoffed.

  “You’re the only thing I care about.”

  Outrage bubbled up in her chest. “Save your breath, Andrew. You won’t be able to seduce me, and you’ll never have my heart again, this I promise you.”

  He smiled. “A challenge. I can always count on you to make it fun for me, can’t I, darling?”

  Suddenly she was glad his marks were hidden under her cuff bracelets. She was glad he had not seen that she still wore them, even though he probably knew, deep down, that she did. She had kept her vow, not because he deserved it, but because she couldn’t be the one to break it, couldn’t sever her ties to him, for she feared that he would sever her from his life as well. But then, hadn’t he already done that?

  Her eyes blurred remembering, and all of a sudden, her heart felt heavy.


  How many women had he been with these past three years?

  She was so angry at him, but had underestimated how she would react seeing him again. The attraction was so strong, it took effort to sit across from him. She’d never been so separated before while riding in such close quarters.

  The distance hurt. His presence hurt.

  The car pulled over at the Fairchild Hotel. It belonged to his family and was one of the dozens of businesses he owned. She would be swept back into his life, but the glamour of living with a Fairchild had lost all of its glitz for her. Andrew wasn’t the perfect man, not her prince who’d rescued her. He’d rescued her, all right. But he’d just taken her from one hell to another.

  The motor shut down, and Whitney suddenly panicked, tugging at her cuff bracelets, loathing with sudden intensity the marks that lay hidden beneath. “I can’t do this. Please, Andrew, let me go. Let me kiss you here and we’ll get it over with.”

  The door opened, and he didn’t hesitate. He stepped out and held out his hand for her. “We said forever, Whitney,” he said softly, something dark and pained in his eyes.

  An ache spread through her, too.

  Andrew was a man used to getting his way, and the only way to make him let her go was to make him stop wanting her, and it was going to hurt them both.

  Especially when he was all she’d ever wanted.

  Chapter Two

  As they entered Andrew’s luxurious five-bedroom apartment on the top floor of the Fairchild, Whitney’s memories of her time here fell on her like bombs.

  She’d lived in this very home with Andrew for almost two years, and then alone for two more, waiting for him, until she couldn’t bear to wait any longer and had no choice but to move out a year ago. Despair opened in her chest as the familiar scent of maple wood furniture invaded her nostrils.

  She watched as Andrew pressed the access code on the Creston keypad, and all at once, several lamps flared to life across both the living and dining rooms. “Did you stay here like I asked you to, Whitney?”

  He cocked his head in question, and Whitney remained stubbornly silent. When he’d left to “work” in the Middle East, he’d offered her the use of his home, his chauffer, his maids. He’d left her with checkbooks, credit cards. Everything except what she most needed. Him.

  He strode down the hall to the master bedroom, and when he returned, his jaw was clamped, for obviously he’d noticed that her things were gone. “I see.”

  He took off his jacket, and the sight of his muscles rippling under the fabric of his white cotton shirt almost undid her. Her voice was laced with anger and frustration. “What do you want, Andrew?”

  He unknotted his tie and pulled it loose, and she burned in her skin at the sight of his biceps flexing under his shirt. Their bodies were calling out to one another, silently, powerfully. She could feel his pull, tugging at her with magnetic force. “Show me your wrists, Whitney,” he said, as he set his tie aside.

  She backed away when he suddenly advanced, her chest heaving. He looked delicious in that shirt. Delicious. Oh, God. Why did he want to see her wrists?

  “Show me yours first,” she countered, sure that he’d removed them, as callously as he had left her behind.

  Without preamble, he tossed his cuff links aside and rolled up his shirtsleeves. Whitney’s breath stalled, her gaze snagging on the Celtic marks wrapped around his wrists, her name perfectly delineated on his tanned skin. WHITNEY. A strange, swooping euphoria surged within her when she realized he still wore her mark.

  He closed the distance between them. “Now, you. Show me.”

  His thick, textured voice did a number on her as he encircled her wrists with long, gentle fingers. Her breasts pricked when he removed her cuff bracelets, first one, then the other.

  Helpless not to stare, she caught his expression the very moment he viewed his name on her flesh, and her heart stopped beating. His eyes darkened, his jaw tightened, and then he slammed his eyes shut and he just held her wrists in each of his hands for the longest moment.

  Her legs liquefied as rising need rushed through her bloodstream. It took every effort in her body to fight it, to stay on her own two feet without collapsing.

  “Well well well,” he murmured, his eyes opening.

  He set the butterflies loose in her stomach with that look alone as he lifted each of her hands in his, then linked their fingers, aligning the marks.

  “What do we have here . . . ?” he continued, his palms huge and almost engulfing hers, his eyes engulfing her.

  Her throat closed as memories threatened to consume her. Days and nights, holding hands like this, marveling about their bond, their ownership. “It means nothing,” she lied thickly.

  His eyes were tender, not angry. “It means you’re still mine.”

  “We were young, Andrew.”

  “Why can’t we move on, then, tell me, Whitney? Why are we still wearing these . . . if they meant nothing?” He raised one of her hands to his lips, and the moist lap of his tongue across her wrist shot ripples of awareness across her being. His eyes smoldered as he watched her reaction, and her entire body began to vibrate.

  Her cheeks flared with the heat that spread across her skin like wildfire. “You’re gone for years. Years. I don’t hear from you and then you expect me to jump when you come back. What, beyond death, could’ve taken so long?”

  An awful silence stretched between them. The frustration and fear of hundreds and hundreds of endless nights and drawn-out days, the pain of waiting and crying and feeling alone while reliving her dark past with barely a future to look forward to, came crashing down on Whitney in an explosion of pain, and then she did something she needed to.

  She slapped him.


  Andrew remained deathly still, gazing down at her with a throbbing jaw. Whitney. He took in the silken waves of her red hair, the rapid heaving of her chest, her wide, tear-filled eyes, dark emerald green in color, filled with those gold flecks he wanted to count.

  He’d never needed her so much than at this moment, when she hated him. But patience won the race in this case. He couldn’t force himself on her, not with the way she’d been abused before. It took every ounce of effort to keep his hands still as he held her simmering green gaze. “Do it again. But make it hurt this time,” he gritted out.

  She slammed her fists into his chest three times, then pulled back, panting. “My heart is mine. You don’t own me anymore! You don’t own me anymore!”

  He tangled his fingers in her hair and exhaled a frustrated breath, needing to pounce on her, have her. His woman. Mine mine mine. “Fight it all you want, but I can feel the way you need me, Whitney! I can feel it in my gut . . . it’s always like this between us. You know it. I know it. In less than ten seconds, we’
ll be tearing our clothes off and nothing will even matter anymore . . .”

  She made the mistake of letting her eyes linger far too long on his lips. He noticed. His entire body noticed. Hell, his entire body responded to that inviting stare.

  Something happened when their eyes locked. They both lost it. He swept down as Whitney grabbed the collar of his shirt and boosted herself up onto her toes, and their lips collided with the force of two enemies in a war zone.

  Her warmth, her gasp, her moan, overwhelmed him with a flood of sensations. He tasted peaches, ripe and sweet, calling his tongue to reach in farther, to take in everything he craved. Longing thrummed inside of him, longing to possess her, like he used to, love her, like he used to.

  He was thirsty, too thirsty to get enough. He added his teeth, the play of tongues. Anger crackled between them, feeding their lust, their need, until it blazed like an inferno. His tongue flashed into her mouth, coaxing her tongue to follow back into his mouth. Her taste—he felt instantly drugged. High with it. With her scent. The sound of her panting breaths.

  Three years of hell . . . and now, at last, he was in heaven.

  He slipped his hands around her and crushed her tighter to him, his fingers spreading over the silken smooth flesh revealed by the plunging back of her dress. He ground his body into hers, demanding that she feel how much, how fiercely, he needed her. Wanted her.

  “As long as it takes, you said, you’d wait, Whitney, because I gave you my word I’d come back to you,” he rasped against her mouth. “Forever turned out to be much too soon for you.”

  “Except I’m still here, Andrew!” She frantically pulled him back to her mouth and crushed it with hers.

  He took her lower lip between both of his and angrily tugged the soft flesh. She moaned out his name, and his balls ached with need. He was sick of cold showers, sick of jacking himself off to the thought of her. He needed her desperately.

  Hungered out of his mind, he nipped her mouth, then licked her lips with long, damp strokes until she moaned his name again.

  He wanted to be gentle with Whitney, wanted to make love to her like she deserved, but by God, he was dying from the way he needed her.

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