Authors: Christine Feehan
“Tell me the rules. I don’t know if I can be someone you really need, Savage. I’m not going to say I can if I think it’s
impossible.” Her voice shook. Her body trembled. In her eyes there was that hint of speculation, of desire. Of hope.
She wanted to be able to be his partner, to find his brand of sex as erotic in reality as it was in her fantasy. He knew it was frightening. She would be insane not to be scared. He used his hand to soothe her. Pressed little kisses along her hip bone.
“We already talked about you singing in the bar. When I say you’re done, that’s it. You’re finished. My brothers will know the signal, and they’ll be cool with it. You and I will work that out, and we’ll get good at it.”
“I think that’s a good rule.”
“Same thing goes when you’re visiting your friends or anywhere else, baby. You get in trouble, and you see someone’s ill, you need to give me the sign we’ll work out so I can step in and help you.”
She nodded. “I can live with that.”
“We talked about me needing to know where you are. I’ve got enemies. So does the club. I’ll have to know you’re safe, Seychelle. Most of the time, I’ll want to be with you. If you want to make plans with the other women, you consult me before you agree to anything. That’s what the phone is for. You can get good at texting. In our home, you can have any damn thing you want. Decorate it. Buy furniture. You don’t want to cook, you tell me, we’ll go out if I don’t want to cook. That will never be a big deal.”
“I’ll want to know you’re safe as well, Savage. If you’re imposing rules like that on me, I would hope they go both ways.”
“Naturally. The only thing we don’t share is club business. Sometimes I have to go out on business, and I can’t talk about that.”
“And I won’t know where you are?”
“If there’s trouble, you’ll be at the clubhouse, or you can stay with Blythe if Czar thinks you’ll be safer there. I’ll have someone watching out for you.”
“That isn’t what I asked you.” Seychelle’s gaze was steady on his face. Unflinching.
He wanted to smile. She could never say she lacked courage. The woman would stand up to him, and that was a good thing. He respected that in her. He wanted a partner. “No, babe, you won’t know where I am, but you can text me and I’ll answer as soon as I can. If you’re worried, you can text Czar. He’ll know where I am and if I’m safe. Because I have enemies, it’s best we always have a bag ready to go at a moment’s notice. Your travel papers, money, although that isn’t necessary—Code will fix up papers, and I have enough money. But anything important to you should be ready to go at a moment’s notice. If we do ever have to leave fast, we travel light.”
“That’s easy, Savage. My mother’s hairbrush and the rose sculpture. My parents were cremated. That was what they wanted. Neither could travel much, so they asked if their ashes could be scattered at sea. I took care of that, but I kept enough to have a glassblower make that sculpture for me. My mother loved roses, and I do too. Their ashes are in the sculpture. That’s why it’s so bright when it’s lit up. So, if we ever have to go fast, grab those two things for me if I’m not with you.”
She’d be with him. She hadn’t even flinched at the idea of having to make a fast getaway. She hadn’t inquired why they might have to make a run for it.
, every minute, he was falling more in love with her.
Savage rubbed his chin on her soft belly. “I think about sex all the time. Since I laid eyes on you, it’s been every minute, night and day. When I want you, however I want you, I expect to have you. No other man is ever going to touch you. I don’t share. They may see us, because at the parties we’ll go to, sex is everywhere. We prefer the others around because we’ve always been safer . . .”
She shook her head, drawing back from him, and when he looked up at her, he could see the utter rejection, the absolute abhorrence. “No. Absolutely not. If you’re going to
do things to me that are scary and painful and then turn them into something I get off on, I’m not having anyone watch. That’s either private between the two of us, or it is never going to happen between us. I mean that, Savage. I’m terrified and out of my element as it is. The things you know and want, I can’t conceive of. I would be humiliated to have anyone else know I not only let you do those things to me, but I want them, if I ever get to that place.”
He turned his head so he could rest his chin on her belly, just above her mound. That scent of wild strawberries clinging to her was driving him mad. “That’s your bottom line? Sex is okay at parties as long as I don’t cross that line?”
He knew that line would begin to blur for both of them, but she had a point. There would be added intimacy if they kept their proclivities solely between the two of them. He wasn’t an exhibitionist. He didn’t care if others watched or not. It was about Seychelle and her body, his canvas, his private playground. He would worship her forever.
“I just couldn’t do that.”
“What are we talking here? At the events, the runs and parties, I can keep us in the shadows, where no one else can really see, but you know I’m going to have to have some of the easier things we’ll do. Nipple clamps? My hand? A switch? A crop? Something simple like that? I want to have your fuckin’ body, baby, and I have to be aroused. I’m not just using you to get off.”
“Those things are simple?”
“Yeah, baby, very simple—you’ll be loving them by the end of the week.” His body was already hard and aching with the images of teaching her. “We’ll have to figure out what we can do at parties that you find acceptable, so we don’t cross any lines.”
“I want to try things first before we make any rules. Right now, I don’t even know if I can do any of this.”
That was reasonable. More than reasonable. “Tell me you’ll stay with me. Always, Seychelle. Tell me you can live
with me just the way I am. No one in your life will ever need you more. You can make me happy.”
“Only you can make yourself happy, Savage,” she corrected.
“That’s what I’m doing. I found you. I laid it all out for you. I’m doing everything in my power to ensure you’ll give me your word that you’re mine. That you want to be mine and that you’re willing to live your life my way.”
“If I say yes, I want to try, right now, if I give you that, what’s going to happen?”
Triumph burst through him, but he didn’t let it show. He sat up slowly, turning toward her so she could see his expression clearly. “First, we’re going to take care of unfinished business.”
She touched her tongue to her lips, drawing his attention. He wanted to fuck her every single way he could. Her mouth. Her pussy. Her ass. Even her tits. He wanted to mark every inch of her body, cover her with him. He would have all the time in the world to do those things. She needed time to learn. He would enjoy teaching her.
She rubbed her hand anxiously down her thigh. “Take care of unfinished business?”
“I told you, baby, you got drunk and nearly went off with another man. I fuckin’ would have killed the bastard if he had taken you home and put his hands on you. It’s just a lesson, and you know how it made you feel when I showed you sinful, dirty sex. You’re going to get so slick and hot for me. It will hurt, but you’re going to like it at the same time.”
She pressed her hand into her thigh, and he took it, pried her fingers open and pushed a kiss into the center of her palm.
“Say yes, Seychelle. Be that brave for me. Choose me, baby. Choose a life with me and trust me that much.”
She swallowed hard and inclined her head. “I want to be with you, Savage. I’m going to tell you up front, I’ve never been so scared in my life, but I’m willing to try.”
He shook his head. “You have to go all in, baby. There’s
no way we can survive if you aren’t all in, if you can’t look at me and say you want my happiness before your own. You have to want to give me everything I need. I have to make that same commitment to you, and I do. I’m one hundred percent in.”
“But if my body doesn’t respond the way you expect it to, and I can’t go that far into what you need, Savage, you can’t stop yourself—you would have to seek what you need from other women.”
He didn’t want to bring up his past again. Absolutely, he didn’t want to remind her of what he’d done for all those years, but there was no way around it if he wasn’t going to give her reassurance. “Baby.” He kept his voice as gentle as possible. “Don’t you think, after training girls to love that shit for over fifteen years—girls who really didn’t have any proclivity toward it, to crave it—that I could guide you down that path when you want to go on it with me? I’ve craved this since before I knew what sex really was.”
He needed to be very cautious saying much more. Seychelle wasn’t quite ready to accept that she had darker cravings. She was embarrassed and didn’t quite understand them in herself. “Don’t you think I can read when a woman is going to be more accepting of my rougher sexual practices?”
“I think I’m afraid because I don’t really know what to expect.”
It was difficult to look away from Savage’s eyes. They were mesmerizing.
was mesmerizing. Seychelle was very aware he had gifts, talents, psychic talents. She did too. Seychelle also knew this was the most important decision of her life. She had more than one psychic talent, and they were both gifts and curses. She had been drawn to Savage because of those talents, and she continued to be.
She kept contact, her fingers moving on his scalp, her hand pressed to his thigh. He was strong in the places she was weak. She was strong where he needed someone. And he did need someone. He certainly didn’t show that on the
outside. He was just plain scary. A dark, dangerous man with violence swirling inside him like a deep volcanic well.
She’d touched on that well more than once. She saw it when she knew it was successfully hidden from others. Savage lived in isolation, even from his brothers in the club. They knew about him. They probably even knew what had shaped him into being the way he was, and he’d sugarcoated it for her. She’d caught glimpses of images in his mind. With those images came that rage. Dark and ugly and filled with such terrifying memories, her mind could barely comprehend them. Not only his, but his brothers’ and sisters’ as well. He took it all on.
She only knew that the risks were enormous. He was capable of things she knew she couldn’t live with. That didn’t mean he’d do them. Without her, she knew he’d eventually go under. His hand was moving up her leg with those slow, mesmerizing circles that sent heat waves rushing through her veins, a seduction that would clearly work if she wasn’t going over every detail in her head.
She couldn’t blame him. He knew he was fighting for his life—and for hers. She would go under as well. She was slowly dying, unable to control her gift of healing. She’d never been happier than when she was with Savage. He wasn’t going to find another woman who would see into him, see what he had to battle every single day, and be willing to face that and join with him.
Savage was well aware she was his one shot and she saw more than that swirling pool of rage. She saw that other side of him. He had a strong need to protect. To have someone of his own. He was intensely loyal. He wasn’t at all a selfish man. He was capable of loving deeply.
Right now, when he knew she was weighing judgment, he might be using the pads of his fingers shamelessly, but he didn’t push for an answer. He didn’t say anything at all. He gave her the space—and the time she needed—to make a decision.
You need us to stay, there’s no problem.
If this was
for the rest of her life, she had to believe she could do it. Both of them had to have faith she could do it. That’s what they would be going on. Faith, because neither could really know until she was in that position. She knew she wanted to do it for both of them, and that was half the battle.
He made it clear it wouldn’t be easy, and looking at the violence in him, she knew it wouldn’t be. Hearing him state the things he needed, she was more than scared: she was terrified. Even being terrified, she had to acknowledge to herself that deep inside, in a secret part of herself, she was more than excited at the prospect of what he would be asking of her. When he talked about his sexual needs, instead of flinching as she should have done, her body had grown hotter than she thought possible. Her blood pounded through her veins so hard she could barely hear him through the thunder in her ears. Was it terror or secret exhilaration?
Savage was a good man. She saw that clearly. He was losing his battle. He no longer believed he was worth saving, but she did, and he clung to that in her. Still, it wasn’t her job to save him. She knew that. She couldn’t make him happy; that wasn’t her responsibility. If she was going to be with him, she had to do it because she wanted to.
She wasn’t going to lie to herself. She needed him. She was drowning. She couldn’t keep the continual assault from her day and night when she was in any public situation. She didn’t want to hide in her house. She wanted to work. She loved to sing. She didn’t know how to stop giving herself away, and having Savage standing in front of her—and he would whether she liked it or not—would allow her freedom she didn’t have now.
She needed to be needed. That was who she was. If there was one person on the face of the earth who needed her, it was Savage. The relationship was dangerous and scary to just jump into, but he saw her when no one else did or could. Just as she saw into him, he saw into her. They were connected by their talents.
She wanted that scary, dangerous sex. She’d always craved it but was too afraid to seek it out. There were too many pitfalls if one went in that direction. She was intelligent enough to know that, but here he was, offering her a chance. It was a gamble. Nothing less.
She looked at him then. His gaze had never left her face. Her heart clenched in her chest. She knew she had already fallen hard. She was well on her way to loving him with everything in her. She could do this if she gave herself into his keeping, surrendered completely, but that was terrifying—living for someone else. Trusting that they lived for you.
Was he capable of loving her that completely? Giving her everything, as he promised he would? Could he really do that? The way he was looking at her, as if she was already his everything, was as addicting as the feeling of his fingers on her skin. He swore to her he was already there. She closed her eyes, knowing she was going to give him everything he wanted and more. She was going to take that leap, because it was impossible not to want to be with a man like Savage when he was offering it to her.