Stark International Novella
Sometimes passion has a price …
When sexy Stark Security Chief Ryan Hunter whisks his girlfriend Jamie Archer away for a passionate, romance-filled weekend so he can finally pop the question, he’s certain that the answer will be an enthusiastic yes. So when Jamie tries to avoid the conversation, hiding her fears of commitment and change under a blanket of wild sensuality and decadent playtime in bed, Ryan is more determined than ever to convince Jamie that they belong together.
Knowing there’s no halfway with this woman, Ryan gives her an ultimatum – marry him or walk away. Now Jamie is forced to face her deepest insecurities or risk destroying the best thing in her life. And it will take all of her strength, and all of Ryan’s love, to keep her right where she belongs…
Tempt Me is Story # 2 in the Stark International Security - Jamie & Ryan series.
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About this StoryPublication Date 02/14/2017 Story Type Novella Primary Characters Jamie Archer Ryan Hunter Series Stark International Security - Jamie & Ryan Place in Series Story #2 Genre Contemporary Romance
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The word pounds into my head, beating a sensual rhythm in my blood.
More, yes. Please, please, more.
I’m neither awake nor asleep. Instead, I’m floating on a cloud somewhere above a horizon of dreams. I feel alive. I feel on fire.
I feel wildly, incredibly, insanely turned on.
Mostly, I feel loved. Cherished.
Arousal tugs at me, pulling me into consciousness. Into a place where I’m aware of the reason for the fire that rips through my body, igniting my skin and settling between my legs, making me achy and needy.
His lips. His hands.
They are roaming over me, strong and sure. Each caress like a tongue of flame. Each kiss a cool oasis, keeping me from melting under the heat that he is igniting inside me.
I know this touch, of course. This man.
I sigh, simply from the pleasure of his name in my mind. Hunter. My Hunter.
Before Hunter, I’d been with a lot of guys. Like, a lot of guys.
Once upon a time, that’s something I took as a point of pride. That Jamie Archer could fuck around with the best of them, without ever letting anyone get too close. Because if you let them get too close, you could end up getting hurt.
But then Hunter came along and he broke through my defenses. All of my defenses.
He tamed me, and now he’s always with me. In my heart. In my head.
Even now—with my eyes still closed, half-in and half-out of sleep—I can picture him. The thick, chestnut-colored hair that he wears short, but with just enough length that I can run my fingers through it. Fathomless blue eyes that see me so intimately. A long, lean body that he uses expertly—in bed and out of it.
He is so clear in my mind, and yet it’s not enough. I want to actually see him. The humor and heat in his eyes. The way his lips twitch when he watches me, as if he can’t decide if he wants to kiss me or devour me. The tightness of his jaw as he fights desire, holding back his own pleasure until he’s made me explode again and again and again.
“Ryan,” I murmur as I start to open my eyes, unable to wait a moment longer.
“No.” The word is simple, yet firm. Full of the command that comes so naturally to him. And though I whimper, I acquiesce obediently. “Good girl.” His voice washes over me like a warm caress, and I bite my lip, forcing myself to stay quiet.
“I want you lost in fantasy,” he continues. “I want to watch your body move under my hand, not knowing where the next touch will be. Not knowing if I’m going to kiss your breast or spank your ass.”
He does neither. In fact, his hands barely move at all. Instead, he simply grips my hips, his hands perfectly still. Only his thumbs move—a gentle back and forth caress that has hardly any more substance than a butterfly beating its wings, but to me is so intense that I can feel the thread of that contact all the way to my clit. I’m hot and wet and needy, and I writhe beneath him, silently begging for a more substantial touch.
He doesn’t disappoint, and I cry out in both surprise and pleasure as his fingers pinch my nipples. Then moan when he crushes my mouth with a bruising kiss.
He runs his hands over me, his touch hard. Possessive. He palms my breasts, squeezing just enough that I arch up, wanting more. Wanting his mouth on my tit. Wanting him to suck. To tease.
But he leaves me wanting and instead draws his hands down. Not feather light this time, but with heat and pressure so that he leaves a trail of red hot fire down my body. So that when his hands stop at the juncture of my pelvis and my thighs, I cry out, “Please, Hunter, oh, fuck, please.”
I can practically feel the heat of his skin on my cunt, and yet he doesn’t move. Instead, he shifts his position and I feel the mattress dip, and then the warmth of his breath at my ear.
“I want all that,” he whispers as he shifts his thumb just enough so that I feel it graze along the soft skin just above my clit. “Mouth. Breasts. Ass. Pain. Pleasure. And everything in between.”
His thumb dips inside me, and I arch up, willing him to go deeper. To fill me.
But he’s still teasing me, and instead of thrusting his fingers deep inside me, he withdraws them, forcing me to bite my lip simply to keep from whimpering.
“In other words, kitten,” he murmurs as his thumb traces lazy circles around my clit, “I want you at my mercy.”
“I am.” My words are a gasp. “You know I am.” The bed shifts again as I speak, and my skin feels cool as he removes his warm hands from my body. For a moment, panic rushes through me, and I fear that he’s playing a game. That he’s going to leave me here, naked and alone, lost with my thoughts of his touch, my skin flushing as I anticipate his return. As I fight the urge to touch myself when all I want is his hands on me and his cock deep inside me.
“Hunter.” His name is a plea, and I reach out blindly, grasping for him.
“Shhh,” he says, and the soft brush of his fingertip over my lips soothes me. “Wait,” he says, as the finger moves lower and lower until finally I feel both hands on my hips, and he strokes them down along my outer thigh.
A pounding, liquid heat pools between my legs. I’m beyond aroused—I’m desperate. Wanton. And I move my hips in a silent demand that goes sadly, frustratingly unfulfilled.
“Christ, that’s beautiful,” he says as his hands reach my ankles and he slowly—so painfully slowly—spreads my legs. “You’re so wet, you glisten. You’re ripe, baby, so ripe I think I have to taste you.”
The words have barely passed his lips when his mouth brushes my inner thigh and he begins to kiss me, higher and higher as his fingers trail along, lightly stroking the opposite thigh. I whimper and writhe, but then the intensity of his touch increases and instead of light strokes to my tender skin, his strong hands are holding me down. I’m immobile, trapped in place, my legs spread so wide it’s almost painful, and I’m completely open to him. Completely exposed.
His tongue grazes the soft skin at the top of my thigh and I shudder. I try to squirm, but he’s holding me tight. I hear someone begging and realize it’s me. A soft “please, please, oh please, yes, please” escaping my lips, barely a murmur, and so much more like a prayer.
Finally, his mouth closes over my sex and he sucks and teases, playing with my overly sensitive clit as I try to move—to relieve some of this astounding, amazing, incredible assault. But I can’t, and I can only endure it as a storm builds inside me, brought on by a pleasure so intense that it crosses over into pain.
And then, just as my body starts to quake with sweet release, he pulls back, gently stroking me, his tongue dipping inside me, thrusting hard, and I cry out, because I want more. I want to be filled completely. I want to feel my body stretching, welcoming him. I want him to own me. To use me. I want to break apart under the power that is this man I love.
“Hunter,” I cry out, and as he lifts his hands to let me move, I piston my hips, fucking his tongue as he slides his hands up and cups my breasts, his thumbs teasing my nipples. “Please,” I beg, because at this point I am officially desperate. “Please,” I repeat as my eyes flutter open. “I want to feel you inside me.”
He lifts his head, his expression a mix of passion and playfulness, then kisses his way up my body with slow, lingering caresses designed to drive me even wilder than I already am.
“Ryan—” But he silences me with a long kiss, so deep and intimate and claiming that it feels like fucking.
“Shhh,” he murmurs, his mouth brushing mine. Tasting mine. Teasing my lips. Tracing a path along my jaw as his fingers dip deep inside me. “You’re so wet,” he says as I lose my mind and grind against him. I want him. I want everything. And I’m both frustrated that he isn’t yet giving it to me, and deliciously, wildly, insanely turned on by the way he’s extending this unimaginable pleasure into an infinite, crazed delight.
“I don’t want to stop,” he admits. “I want to keep teasing you. I like it when you beg, kitten. I like hearing how much you want me. Tell me again, baby. Tell me what you want.”
“You.” My voice is cracked, as shattered as my body. “I want you inside me. I want you to come inside me.”
“Christ, Jamie,” he says, his voice sharp and urgent. “I can’t take it any longer. Turn over, kitten. On your knees for me.”
I comply eagerly. Right then I’d hang from the damn chandelier if he asked me to, even though we don’t even have a chandelier. I just want him. Want to please him. Want to feel him.
“Beautiful,” he murmurs once I’m on my knees, my head on the pillow and my elbows on the bed. His hand smacks my ass lightly, and I groan, squeezing my legs together to fight the growing sense of pressure in my cunt. I’m so fucking turned on right now that another touch could send me spiraling over the edge, and that’s not what I want. Not yet.
No, what I want is to feel him inside me. I want that connection, that most intimate union, and when I finally feel his cock at my opening, my entire body rejoices. This. This is what I want. This man, one with me.
“Yes,” I beg. “Now, Ryan. Now.”
I’m beyond wet, and when he grips my hips and thrusts forward, his cock fills me. He stays still for a moment, our bodies joined, then pulls out before slamming back into me again and again and again. Wilder and faster, in a rhythm that has me gasping, my hips moving in time with his thrusts so as to make it deeper.
“I adore you,” he murmurs. “Christ, you feel good.”
“Yes,” I murmur, because my mind can’t come up with any more words. “More.”
His laugh is low and throaty, and he slips one hand off my hip then slides it around to tease my clit. He’s thrusting slower now, and when he takes his other hand from my hip, I bite my lower lip, unsure what he’s up to. But then I feel his fingertip stroking from my vagina to my ass, and my body shakes under the onslaught of my coming orgasm, my cunt tightening around his rock-hard cock.
“That’s it, baby. I want to make you crazy.”
I’m desperately wet, and when he teases my anus with his thumb, it’s wet and slick with my own desire. Then he presses it inside me, slowly at first, and then faster as I relax, so that his finger fucks my ass as his cock pumps harder and harder, the tempo increasing again until I am reduced to little more than sensation and need and greedy lust.
His fingertip teases my clit as he thrusts his finger and his cock harder and harder, and I piston my hips, wanting this to continue forever almost as much as I want to explode right this very moment. I want to shatter.
I want it to never be over.
I want Hunter.
“Ryan,” I beg. “God, Ryan, please.”
And then, without warning, my muscles clench tight around him, my whole body shot through with electricity, my core milking him as he cries out too as his body explodes inside of me, and I’m twisting and moaning, wanting both to escape from this onslaught of sensation and to experience it fully. I’m lost in a dance of colors so wild, so incredible, so intensely beautiful, that I’m certain this must be what heaven looks like. At least, it’s the heaven that Hunter and I made together.
Slowly, I come back to my senses, and realize that I’m biting down hard on the pillow, as if that was my tether to the earth.
Ryan has moved beside me, and now he cradles me against the warmth of his body.
“I think you broke me,” I murmur, and though I can’t hear his responding laugh, I feel the rumble in his chest.
“I hope it was worth it.”
I shift so that I’m facing him, our legs intertwined, his semi-erect cock brushing against my sensitive pussy. “Very,” I say, then reach down and gently stroke him.
I see a flare of heat in his eyes and his cock twitches with obvious interest. But while the body is obviously willing, the man shakes his head, and I still my hand. “That was your wake-up call. Good morning,” he says, then kisses my nose.
“If that was a wake-up call, I’m giving up my alarm clock and relying on you every day.”
“I wouldn’t protest,” he says. And though he’d shaken his head just a moment before, he reaches down and slides my hand over his cock, obviously ordering me to start stroking him again.
I lift a brow, amused. “Or maybe we should always set an alarm. That way we remember to wake up and fuck.”
“I don’t need a reminder to remember to make love to you.”
I grin. “No?”
I sigh, knowing that’s the truth.
Ryan and I have been together for a couple of years now, and I’ve never felt happier or more loved. He’s truly my knight. A man who, quite literally, rescued me when I tried to run away. From him. From a life that really wasn’t working out the way I wanted or had imagined.
Now, though, I have him, and every day feels like a gift. He’s loyal, protective, and sexy as hell. And I’ve gone from being a girl who went through men as if they were candy—sweet, delicious, but not something good for you—to being a woman who knows that Ryan is the best thing that ever happened to me. He loves me—faults and bad choices and all.
And that’s a damn nice feeling.
Lord knows he’s seen me at my worst. He’s the Security Chief at Stark International, and his boss and best friend is Damien Stark, the multi-billionaire who happens to be my best friend’s husband. So Ryan has had a bird’s-eye view of so many of my bad choices. He’s seen me drunk. He’s seen me dumped. He’s seen a parade of bad choices pass in front of me, and he knew damn well they were passing through my bed.
And yet all that time, he’d wanted me. Not as a fast fuck, but as something more. And he’d gone after me with singular determination.
I’d been terrified at first.
Now, I don’t know how I could survive without him beside me.
Hell, he loves me so much that he wants to marry me—and that’s a nice feeling, too. But it’s tainted by a black thread of fear. Because while I’m happy with the thought of spending the rest of my life with Ryan, the idea of formalizing it with marriage vows makes me twitchy.
It’s making me twitchy now, just thinking about it. And so, like I often do, I brush the thought from my head and roll over to curl up closer to him. I breathe in his scent and sigh, because he smells like home. “I like having days off,” I murmur. “I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it when my weekends were free.” I’ve recently landed a job as a weekend anchor for a local news affiliate. It’s a great gig, but I do miss these lazy Sundays.
“Well, we can’t be too lazy. We’re meeting Nikki and Damien over at Jackson and Sylvia’s place. And,” he adds, glancing down at his now steel-hard erection that I’m stroking, “I think we’re going to be late as it is.”
“Phhht.” I wave my other hand as if brushing away his words. “They have a house. They have kids. They’re not going anywhere.” I give his shoulder a shove, so that I push him onto his back as I release his cock. In the same movement, I straddle him, nice and low on the hips. Then I start to move, wiggling my ass just a little as I lean forward, sliding my hands slowly up his rock-hard abs, then higher and higher until I’m pretty much doing yoga on the man, as my torso is flat against his, while my legs are still spread across him, and the head of his cock teases my rear.
And I’m wet—so wet and so turned on all over again. I shimmy a bit, wanting to feel the hair above his cock rough against my sensitive clit. And his cock—oh, yes—I want that bad. I lift my hips in slow, easy movements so that his shaft slides along the crack of my rear.
I meet his eyes—and I see both amusement and a wild heat reflected back at me. “No more teasing,” he says. “Slide that beautiful pussy down and fuck me.”
“Yes, sir,” I say, then do exactly as he says, drawing him in so slowly we both are going crazy with need. And then, when he’s deep inside me, we rock together in slow, sensual motions.
“Kiss me,” he says, and I close my mouth over his, losing myself in the sensation of being body on body like this, so close I can’t tell if the heartbeat I’m feeling belongs to Ryan or me.
We move slowly at first, but there’s no holding back, and soon our motions are frenzied. Soon, he’s exploding inside me. Soon, I shatter in his arms.
“Oh, baby,” he murmurs when we’re sane again and he’s looking at my face with eyes filled with love. “You are so beautiful.”
I bend and kiss him—my heart overflowing. And I can’t help but think how different it is with Ryan than the men I’d been with before. Before, when a guy called me beautiful, I’d mentally cringed, at least a little.
Because the truth is, I am beautiful. It’s not an ego thing—it’s just an empirical fact. It’s useful, and I’ve definitely traded on it. But it’s not who I am. Not the heart of me. And in my life BR—Before Ryan—whenever a guy called me beautiful, I never knew if he cared about me, or if he was just happy to have a pretty piece of ass.
With Ryan, I know without a doubt that he loves me. And the beauty he sees in me is more than what a camera sees.
He sees the whole woman. A lover, a friend. He sees a girl he can laugh with. That he can talk to. A woman to spend long, lazy nights with. A woman with hopes and dreams and fears and doubts.
He sees me. Jamie Archer. And that’s a really nice feeling.
“I love you,” I say, those little words just spilling out of me. “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The moment I say the words, though, I regret them. Not because they aren’t true—they are. But because I can see the response on Ryan’s face, though he knows enough not to say the words out loud.
If that’s true, then why won’t you marry me?
God knows he understands marriage scares me. And, thankfully, he’s patient.
But the day will come when understanding won’t be enough and when his patience has worn thin.
He’ll want an answer. A solid yes or a solid no.
And what the hell am I going to do then?