Authors: Lacey Alexander
Tags: #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance, #General, #Erotic, #Computers, #Erotica, #Programming Languages
decision, Adrianna.” He spoke matter-of-factly. “I knew we would cross paths during the proceedings and I wanted to do the decent thing by letting you know myself.”
She gave her chin a haughty lift. “Decent? Clearly we use different dictionaries, Tristan.”
At this he smiled, but
never been less amused in her life.
“We’re in good financial shape,” she pointed out. She understood enough about takeovers to know
companies were usually the targets, and that sometimes it was as much a “bail out” as a takeover.
“But undervalued, in my opinion,” he said.
“Ah.” That she couldn’t argue. Her heart pounded in her chest as she suddenly regretted certain decisions she’d made along the way. When she’d first incorporated and gone public, she’d intended to keep 51% of Adrianna, Inc. shares in her possession. But later she’d been persuaded to let some go, advised that it was a smart move. Still… “You think you can convince enough of my shareholders to sell?”
He shrugged, still all confidence. “With enough money, you can buy anything.”
She narrowed her gaze on him. “Why do you want my company, Tristan?”
“I told you, it’s undervalued.”
She simply blinked, irritated with him now. “Why else?” There had to be more.
She detested how cocky he looked. “Maybe I have a fondness for lingerie.”
Now it was
who arched a challenging eyebrow.
“All right then,” he conceded, “let’s say I have a fondness for lingerie on
Despite herself, her breasts tingled. “You haven’t seen lingerie on me in fifteen years.”
“Which is far too long. And every time I see a catalog or commercial for Adrianna, Inc. I find myself envisioning you in whatever little scrap of lace is being shown.”
Damn it, now her pussy fluttered too. “Is that so?”
“And since the moment you walked into this office, Adrianna, I find myself wanting to see you in nothing at all. I want to sink my hard cock into your sweet, wet little cunt.”
She crossed her arms. “Did you come here to steal my company or fuck me?”
“Both?” he suggested.
“I hate to break it to you, but one is not conducive to the other.”
Across from her, Tristan balanced his elbows on the armrests of his chair and steepled his fingers in front of him. “Which is why I find myself…tempted.”
Her stomach roiled. She hated this. Hated that he still aroused her, even as much as she’d longed to be aroused by
a few short minutes ago. Hated that she felt at his mercy. “Get on with it then.”
“Agree to give me one night of sex, all night, and you can keep your company.”
She raised her eyebrows, as if to say,
. “‘I fuck you or else?’”
Another too-confident shrug from Tristan. “If you want to look at it that way.”
“What’s the catch?”
His wicked smile said she was right, that there was definitely a catch. “You submit to me, Adrianna. What I say, you do. What I want, you give. You make no requests or demands, you ask for nothing, and if you do—even once—the deal is off. But give yourself to me, completely, for one night, and Adrianna, Inc. will still be yours.”
Adrianna had not been all that daunted by the idea of sex, but her throat constricted at the thought of
kind of sex. Her as the submissive. It made her skin crawl. She spoke evenly, still trying to sound in control. “You know I don’t do well in that role.”
Even in college, they had both wanted to be the dominant one in bed, and it had been a problem. The sex had been great,
—but it had always held that underlying struggle for power. One more reason she’d let him go, not followed him to L.A. “In fact,” she informed him, “I’ve become quite skilled at the
Lust softened his sharp features. “Now that I’d like to see.”
“Apparently not, since you’re asking for the other extreme.”
He grinned—a winning smile, almost boyish. “Well, maybe another time.”
“You might also be surprised to know how many other people I’ve fucked in the last fifteen years.” Perhaps she could direct his attention elsewhere, away from the dom/sub issue—she was desperate for a change in subject.
“You said people, not men. Does that mean you…appreciate both genders?”
“Enormously,” she replied. Somehow, letting him know how sexually bold she’d become made her feel a little more powerful with him.
“That’s incredibly hot,” he said, “but back to my offer.”
“You. In my bed. Pleasing me. However I want.” He lowered his chin. “What do you say, lover girl?” It was an old nickname and she worked not to let it paralyze her.
“I told you,” she said stridently, “that’s not me. I’m much more master than servant.”
Another of his captivating smiles enveloped her. “It’s only for a night.”
Adrianna let out a sigh, her stomach churning. In that moment she hated him. She couldn’t help thinking this somehow went back, all the way back, to their breakup, to the power struggle she thought she’d ended fifteen long years ago—in another lifetime. “So…one way or another, you conquer me—is that it? Is that what it takes to make you feel like a man?”
His easy laugh cut right through her. “You’re always so literal and exact. You refuse to see the nuances. Maybe I just
you that way, for
. I want Adrianna-the-docile-kitten instead of Adrianna-the-prowling-tigress.”
She rolled her eyes. “So now I have to be
too? Not sure I have that in me, Locke.”
“Well, I’d trust you to do your best. Think of it as being a sex slave for a night.”
Another eye roll. “Charming.”
He chuckled. But then got more serious. “You amuse me, but that attitude will have to go. And I’m serious about that. Your job, on the appointed night, is to please me however I wish, and that begins with a pleasant and servile attitude.”
She hated that she was at once repelled and slightly turned-on by his suddenly commanding tone. But the repelled part won out. “When did you turn into a pig, Tristan?”
The jab affected him not at all. “Sticks and stones, Adrianna. All that matters to me is that I get you the way I want you for one night. Either that or I proceed with the takeover—something, I might add, that
very skilled at. What’s it gonna be?”
The truth was, now Adrianna was more than irritated, more than just angry—she was starting to get a little nervous. And she couldn’t
the last time she’d been nervous. But she was also good at keeping walls up, so she strove to appear just as austere and unflappable as she had so far. “Tell me, Tristan, exactly what sort of degradations did you have in mind? Whips and chains? Cheerleading uniforms and pompoms? Will I have to bark like a dog?”
His eyes darkened and she could see he enjoyed toying with her. “I’m not sure—depends upon my mood. But those are all interesting ideas. Look at it this way,” he said with a wink, “it’ll be a fun surprise.”
“Fun for you.”
“That’s the idea. Although, just so you know, I’m not into degrading
or any other woman.”
“Hmm, could’ve fooled me. Everything
this is degrading.”
He still looked so sure, so unstoppable. “It’s all in how you look at it, and you’ve
been very open-minded. Maybe this will change that. So, Miss CEO, do we have a deal? One night of fucking—my way—and I’m gone from your life. Who knows—relax a little and you might even enjoy it. And just to be clear, you
allowed to take pleasure from it. You just have to take the particular pleasure I want to give you. So, once and for all, I need an answer. Do we have an agreement? You give yourself to me, body and soul, for one night—and I’ll ride peacefully off into the sunset and back to L.A. with no one the wiser.”
Body—okay, she could handle that. But her soul she’d keep to herself.
As for agreeing to this arrangement, she had no real assurance he would keep his end of the deal and back off once their night together was over, but Tristan had always been the trustworthy sort, and despite everything that seemed so morally slippery about him right now, she supposed she still believed he was a man who would keep his word. She supposed she sort of
to believe it.
Even so, she couldn’t quite bring herself to say yes. So she simply nodded. Succinctly.
After which a slow smile curled the corners of his mouth. At the moment, he looked like the devil himself. “Good. How’s Saturday?”
Tristan relaxed on a lounge chair soaking up the sun among the large stone vases and manicured trees that turned the Bellagio’s pool into an Italianate paradise. He was here on business—mostly—and it might have been more convenient to stay someplace off the Strip, but he’d also come here for fun and games, it seemed, so maybe it made sense to immerse himself back into Vegas full force. And the Bellagio, he’d discovered, combined Italian sophistication and Vegas fanfare in a pleasantly intoxicating way.
If he wasn’t mistaken—and he didn’t think he was—two young women across the pool were giving him the eye. Both were attractive, in their twenties, and they wore barely there bikinis that left little to his imagination. And under normal circumstances, he would probably make a move—send them a couple of umbrella drinks, or take the more direct approach of just walking over and saying hello.
But circumstances weren’t normal right now. He’d just seen Adrianna this morning, for the first time since college. And at the moment, she was occupying his thoughts too much to spare many on other women, no matter how young and pretty.
God, it had been strange to see her after so long. And she’d been fucking
. Her raven hair remained long and silky, although now accented by soft waves and curls. Almost too soft for her personality, and yet…maybe that was a clue. That something more resided beneath her sexy but severe exterior, something just a little bit soft.
Her body was no longer that of a girl’s, but a woman’s, ripe with curves that had become more defined over the years. He’d instantly ached to see her ample breasts, and even through her suit, the woman clearly possessed an ass that wouldn’t quit.
And thinking about asses—well, he should
like one for blackmailing her. But he didn’t. Adrianna was a tough nut to crack, always had been—getting through to her, changing her opinion on something or even getting her to be open-minded, was not a task easily accomplished. It
He liked that she knew him well enough, even all these years later, to know there’d be a catch. And he’d known good and well she wouldn’t like it, would be offended. But in the end, she’d conceded.
. He’d thought better of pointing that out, but definitely felt it was a step in the right direction.
Even in their youth, she’d been so opposed to the very idea of letting anyone control her that he knew to gain any real foothold with her now, he would have to
control. In a way she might not like. At first, anyway.
His mind traveled back to his years at UNLV. He and Adrianna had fucked like animals—in the dorms, in the desert, anyplace they could find. They’d been so fascinated by sex that they’d both tried to control it, both yearned to do it their own way. They’d made it work—the sex had been good enough to overcome those struggles—but Tristan had discovered he loved Adrianna more than she loved him when she’d flatly refused to come to L.A. with him for no good reason he could find.
She’d fallen back on her burgeoning business—but she’d been mere months into it at the time, and moving to L.A. would have actually
with early expansion, not hindered it. Neither of them had had ties in Vegas—they’d both grown up in the east and had only come out west for school. Leaving would have been easy. But she hadn’t wanted to, and so she hadn’t. And he’d been pretty damn heartbroken for a while, until he’d gotten over her by discovering there were plenty of sexy women in L.A. to keep him busy.
But he’d followed Adrianna’s career—loosely at times, more closely at others.
And now here he was, watching the scantily clad girls around him at the pool with appreciation, but he had his old lover—his
real lover—on the brain and was looking forward to Saturday night more than he could have anticipated.
* * * * *
Adrianna had more acquaintances than friends, but she’d been glad she’d gotten together with a few of them to celebrate her birthday over dinner and drinks—God knew she’d needed
to distract her thoughts from Tristan Locke suddenly appearing in her office and tricking her into kinky sex.
Actually, the idea of Tristan and the idea of kinky sex were perfectly amenable, but it was the
part that bothered her, not to mention that the kink was of a variety she knew she couldn’t possibly enjoy.
Now it was Saturday night and she was pulling her Jag up under the expansive awning at the front doors of the Bellagio—he’d insisted she meet him here. They were going out to dinner before the kinky sex, he’d told her. Then they’d come back to his room.
“Welcome to the Bellagio. Checking in?” asked the handsome young man who opened her car door. All around them other cars and taxis came and went while luggage passed by on large carts and the hustle-and-bustle aura of the Strip permeated the air.
“No, just meeting someone—but the car may be here overnight.”
The young man nodded and winked before giving her a claim ticket as she plucked up a small overnight bag from the passenger seat containing a few bathroom items and a change of clothes for the morning. Her heart beat too fast as she walked toward the regal front doors, not from embarrassment of any kind—but…was she actually
? Because of
Damn it, she supposed she was. It happened so seldom that it was difficult to recognize. But this was Tristan, not just any other man. This was Tristan, the only guy she’d ever loved, the only guy she’d ever—briefly—believed she might have a future with.