Authors: Caitlyn Willows
What happens when lovers face off
in the courtroom? Six months of hell.
Not only has Russell been without
his woman, he’s also had to put up with her kicking his ass all over the
courtroom. Well, the trial is over. His woman, his
, has managed to
do what no one else could—beat him. Now it’s time to remind her who is really in
Valerie’s seen a side of Russell
she doesn’t like. Gone is the caring lover and Dom who captured her heart. In
his place is a vicious opponent who will stop at nothing to win. If he thinks
he can take that attitude with her outside the legal arena, Valerie has news
for him. Yeah, she’s missed him, craved him, even while she hated seeing
Courtroom Russell. But she refuses to allow him to charge back into her life
with that chip on his shoulder.
If all that weren’t enough, someone
is determined justice will be done, even if that means killing everyone
involved in the case.
erotic romantic suspense
Russell Cambridge knew he’d find her here. Fate and the
local branch of the American Bar Association had placed his worst nightmare and
sweetest wet dream across the room. Who was he kidding? He hoped she’d be here.
Prayed even, while his cock led him around his house in a rush to get ready.
All the praying in the world wasn’t enough to quell the persistent ache in his
balls. He’d had to beat off in the shower to get the sucker down enough to fit
his trousers. His cock didn’t stay flaccid long. It grew with aching intensity
with every mile he put behind him. Now at full staff, it hurt like a son of a
bitch and homed in on the object of his frustration.
So far Valerie Oswald hadn’t noticed him standing at the
bar, his hand wrapped around two fingers of bourbon on ice to give him
something other than her to focus on. It hadn’t worked. It never would. Valerie
was ingrained in his bones, a part of his soul. Having to do without her these
last six months was a hell of its own making. Or rather, her making. Having her
kick his ass all over the courtroom was a frustration beyond belief. Her win
over him was the last straw.
He clenched his jaw. Russell was as competitive as they
came. He hadn’t gotten to be an assistant district attorney by sitting around
with his thumb up his ass. The thing that pissed him off the most was that his
own woman had done what few others had—taken him down. Valerie warned him it
would be a no-holds-barred, full-on attack to win her case. Others told him she
was a tigress in the courtroom and he’d met his match. But this was his woman.
woman, for fuck’s sake.
And she never once let their private and oh so secret
relationship spill into the workplace. Not once. Never backed down. Never
blinked. Never caved on the agreement they made to stay away from one another
while they battled in court. And damn he’d missed her. Tried to lose himself
with training others in the lifestyle in which they played. And failed. Only
Valerie would do. Hell, he should have turned in his Dom card the second he
hooked up with her. Because with Valerie it wasn’t about who had the power. It
was how they exchanged it, shared it and made it their own.
He hauled in a breath through his nostrils, as if by doing
so he could taste her scent from across the room. Her long hair—blonde and
thick—drifted over her shoulders, down her back. Gone was the prim French twist
she’d worn for courtroom battle, yet professionalism still oozed from her pores
in the obligatory little black dress. High heels stretched her legs to
perfection, accentuating the cut of her calves. This was a woman who took care
of herself. A woman who excelled at all she did. A fact he didn’t fully
appreciate until they’d gone head-to-head.
Russell set his bourbon aside untouched. There was no doubt
of his next course of action. They’d lost too much time, and he did have a
score to settle while they ended the dry spell. He didn’t want the hint of
alcohol on his breath to cloud his control or obscure his senses. He wanted to
feel everything, to lose himself in her a thousand times over. After he tossed
her over his knee and paddled her bottom until it burned for driving him insane
these last six months. He had the tool to do the job tucked deep in his pocket.
Valerie Oswald was about to be reminded of what it felt like to be on the wrong
side of her Dom.
He strode toward his objective bearing the confidence of a
man who knew he was about to get what he wanted. Russell also wasn’t above a
bit of coercion either. Hell, he’d drag her off to the nearest restroom and
fuck her against the wall if he had to. Retribution would be his, as would
lust-filled fantasies that were spawned since the day they’d determined it best
to stay apart for the duration of the trial. The trial where she’d chewed him
up and spit him out. He’d know the pleasure of watching her ass grow rosy red
while she squirmed on his lap. Plunge his fingers into her dampness and watch
her shudder to orgasm. Feel the clutch of her pussy around his cock, something
he’d craved more than his next meal. Yes, Valerie was finally going to be all
his again tonight. This time he wasn’t going to let go.
She glanced up as he neared, brown eyes bright and
welcoming, a smile perched on her lips. Both dimmed when she realized it was
Russell. Her skin flushed a delicate shade of pink, hard nipples thrust against
her black dress, and her breath quickened. He imagined her pussy slick for him,
clit hardening with every second that ticked by. Fantasies of falling to his
knees before her and burrowing his face between her legs overwhelmed him. He
flexed his shoulders to shore himself against the image.
The man by her side, Conrad Anson, turned Russell’s way.
They’d known each other for years, often on opposing sides of the courtroom.
Now Conrad had the catbird seat of California Superior Court Judge.
“Russell, you made it.” Conrad extended his hand toward him,
the other pressed against Valerie’s lower back.
Russell fought the instinct to yank it away. Valerie was his
and his alone. At least in his mind and heart. What if she’d moved on? Found
another Dom to fulfill her needs. He hadn’t counted on that. She’d need relief
from the pressures just as Russell did. He still played Dom to a few and drew
the line at sex. Only Valerie would do. Only Valerie could fill the void, quench
his needs. What if she hadn’t felt the same way? What if he’d lost her? To
Conrad? Surely not. Conrad was a flirt and clearly not a match for a woman of
her caliber. Fear gave way to resentment. Fantasies were one thing, encroaching
on another man’s turf quite another.
“Wouldn’t miss it, Conrad.” Smiling, Russell accepted the
handshake. His gaze remained on Valerie. She toyed with the stem of her
wineglass and looked everywhere but at him.
“You might want to keep a low profile.” Conrad scanned the
room, then leaned in. “Alden Baker’s pissed as hell that defense made its case
His voice was meant for their ears only, low,
conspiratorial. Dread crawled up Russell’s spine. It didn’t bode well to have a
superior court judge angry, not to mention prejudiced in the outcome of a case.
“I never knew what the color puce looked like until I saw
him afterward,” Conrad continued. “Hilarious as it was to see him in all his
states, I thought you’d both needed to know to watch your backs. Personally, I
thought the two of you did one hell of a job. I was very impressed with your
work and professionalism, and I’m not the only one. I see big things in your
futures. But then,” he smiled, “I always have.”
It was nice to know some people were still on his side. Russell’s
boss was none too happy with the verdict, which was an understatement compared
to how Russell felt.
“Thank you, Conrad. I appreciate knowing all that. I hate to
tear you away from such lovely company, but I’d like a word with my worthy
opponent. We have some business to discuss.”
Conrad straightened and raised his glass. “Lighten up. It’s
supposed to be a social event. Play nice. Save the saber rattling for the
Valerie leveled lusty eyes in Russell’s direction and
flashed a smile that both threatened and promised. “Come now, Conrad. Where’s
the fun in that?” she asked.
Russell matched her stare. Despite the word play, her grip
on the wineglass threatened to snap the stem. She caved first. Her gaze drifted
downward, submissive. Just the way he wanted her. He watched her pulse flutter
at her throat and imagined it beating against his tongue.
She took a hearty sip of wine. Russell took the liberty of
extracting the glass from her grip. It wouldn’t do to have her inebriated.
There would be no excuses of
I was drunk, I wasn’t in my right mind
he wanted her clear-headed and very aware.
Conrad’s laughter carried over the crowd noise.
Valerie’s gaze snapped around to those who surrounded them.
Her flush deepened. “Unfortunately, I was just leaving. Now, if you’ll excuse
Russell gripped her elbow before she could dash off. “It
won’t take long. Perhaps we can find someplace more private.” Conrad could
think what he wanted of that request.
“In a crowd this large I doubt that’s possible.” She flexed
her arm, subtly removing herself from Russell’s hold. “Perhaps another time.
Gentlemen.” A regal nod signaled her departure. She walked away before Russell
could stop her. If he followed her now he’d look like an idiot.
“History?” Conrad asked.
“Something like that.” Russell wasn’t ready to blow Conrad’s
mind with the truth. They couldn’t take the risk of losing their jobs. For now
their relationship—if they still had one—was between him and Valerie.
He monitored her progress across the room. The second she
walked out, purse in hand, he was hot on her heels. Valerie was quicker. He
lost her in the parking lot. A hard breeze obscured the sound of footsteps. The
beep of her car locks disengaging gave her away. He snapped his head to the
right, caught sight of her blonde hair and jogged that way. He reached her
before she could open the door.
“You’re still as persistently stubborn as ever,” she said
without turning around.
“Determined.” Russell leaned forward, pressing her into the
car as he reached for the handle.
Her breath caught yet she made no move against him. “To do
what? Take a strap to my bare ass, or give me the fucking of my life?”
Russell’s erection swelled to life. Hot, hard and more than
ready for action. He could raise her little dress right now, shove the crotch
of her panties to one side and plunge deep inside her pussy. Finally feel how
tight she was.
“Get in.” He opened the driver’s door and stepped back.
Valerie slid behind the wheel. He wedged himself in the
opening to keep her from shutting him out.
“We have unfinished business.”
“Do we?” She lifted her eyebrow his way as she stabbed the
key into the ignition. “I would have thought after six months you’d be coming
to me for pleasure.”
Russell stumbled over his thoughts just like he had in the
fucking courtroom when she’d challenged him unaware.
“Or have you been taking care of that need on your frequent
visits to Renard’s?”
He hovered between denial and defensive, then chose a point
somewhere between. “How would you know about that if you hadn’t been yourself?”
“That’s a non-answer if ever I heard one.” She snapped her
seat belt into place, then started the engine. “Women talk, especially when
it’s about a man like you.”
He squatted down to her level, almost on his knees, a
subservient position that went against every Dom gene in his body. God, what
the hell had she done to him? “They were lying, Valerie.” He curled his fingers
over her knee and slid his hand up her thigh. Her warmth beckoned him. The
catch in her breath and taut nipples gave him hope.
Valerie clamped her thighs shut against further invasion.
A verbal slap in the face he hadn’t anticipated. He obeyed
the safeword and pulled his hand free, resuming his stance over her. The
dominant position had never felt more vulnerable.
“Now step away and let me leave.”
“You leave when I say so and not a second sooner.” Instinct
made him clasp his hands in front of his crotch.
Valerie’s gaze narrowed. Lips thinned. “I said ‘red light’
and I damn well meant it. If you think I’m going to give up my control to a man
who can’t even maintain his own… You know what? We’re done here. I don’t need
you. I can do much better.”
Stunned, Russell jerked away. Valerie slammed the door shut and
peeled from the parking lot.
The hell of it was—it was true. He
almost from the start of all this. Russell had told himself it was Valerie
who’d cave first and come to him. She never had. It drove him insane.
Undermined every action. She could do better than him, but he couldn’t live
without her. And it pissed him off. Fault, it seemed, was primarily on his
shoulders. And the hell of
was—he still wanted her more than he
* * * * *
Damn it all, and especially Russell Cambridge for dredging
up feelings and emotions Valerie didn’t want to deal with—frustration, anger,
and most frightening of all…a want she couldn’t shake no matter what. She’d
been all a-quiver since she saw him. One sight of six feet of hunky male
straining the shoulders on his pinstriped gray jacket had Valerie salivating in
places. She’d tracked his every movement, his smile and greeting to
others, his openness. All the while praying he’d turn those brown eyes her way.
When he did, she was riveted in place. Praying he’d reclaim her and damning
herself for needing him so much.
Conrad’s voice had faded into white noise. Her body had
buzzed with anticipation. Russell was headed her way on a no-nonsense course
that let her know
was his target. He had a commanding presence. Just
the thing Valerie looked for in a man. Someone to take charge. To take
In the brief space of time it took him to cross the room, she imagined herself
naked and stretched out for his pleasure. He’d take his time, be thorough and
meticulous, leave no part of her untouched—inside or out. If the first words
he’d spoken had been “remove your dress” she might have done so on the spot.
Heat flushed her skin. Her fantasies did have a tendency to
run away with her, but they were her fantasies and she could do whatever she
wanted in them. God knows she’d had her share of them in the last six months.
It’d taken a willpower she never realized she possessed to battle him daily in
court. To face off against her man, her Dom. To do the job required of a public
defender. To not run to him at night and get the relief she’d only truly known
Then he ruined it all by glaring at her. Gone was the caring
lover, replaced by a hard-assed assistant district attorney. His attitude had
nothing to do with taking care of her. It screamed revenge. She’d done what no
one else had—beaten him. Water under the bridge, doing her job, as far as
Valerie was concerned. Russell’s actions said differently. He clearly cared
more for the job than her. Hadn’t he proven that by dancing off to Renard’s?
The betrayal cut deep at a time when she needed him most.