He pauses at the end of the bed, but only for a moment, a single beat of my wretched heart. He speaks softly, yet forcefully as he slips off his jacket and lays it carefully at the end of the bed.
“I have many things to say to you, Aria Talvery,” he practically spits my name and I snarl back, “Fuck you,” feeling the hate for him intensify.
I’ve always known he was my enemy, but I never felt as if he saw me that way. The tides have changed.
His deft fingers unbutton his shirt and my eyes leave his to watch as he strips.
“I told you to get on your knees,” he reminds me in a voice that drips of dominance and sex. He tosses his shirt on top of his jacket, losing the control he had a moment ago.
My eyes are drawn to the leather of his belt as he unbuckles it and then quickly pulls it from its place, letting the leather hiss through the air.
My pussy clenches as he bends the leather into a loop and waits for me to obey him. “You’ve already questioned me, defied me, and lied to me today. Are you really going to disobey me again?”
I swallow thickly, knowing I want his punishment, and I want this. But I didn’t lie to him.
“I’ve never lied to you and I never will,” I tell him quickly, feeling my pulse quicken.
“You didn’t tell me the truth. That’s lying,” he says, his voice louder and he doesn’t hide his anger in the least.
“I won’t…” I pause and trail off. Biting down on my lower lip, I hate that the one conflict we have that will tear us apart, again and again, is one we will never agree on. “I won’t sit back and let you kill them. I won’t.”
Carter’s movements are faster than I thought possible, sending a spike of fear through me. The belt hits the bed as he grips my chin and lowers his lips to mine. My heart races and lust mixes with terror. “You don’t have a choice,” he whispers against my lips.
I question myself even as the words leave my lips, “You’re wrong.”
I can feel his heat; I can hear his heart hammer in his chest as I stare into his dark eyes. I could get lost in them forever and at this moment, I wish I could. “I wish things were different,” I tell him as his silence grows.
“They will be soon,” he says. The darkly spoken words come with a threat. “On your knees, songbird.”
It’s his nickname for me, his grip on my chin, his lips so close to mine and the rapid pace of his heart, that all make me move.
I keep my eyes on his for as long as I can as I get onto all fours and let him slowly strip my pants from me. He pulls them down slowly, teasingly even as his fingers brush down my sensitive skin.
The cool air is all I can feel for a moment and I know the belt is coming. I brace for it, but there’s nothing for what feels like forever.
“Do you think you deserve this?” he asks me with his voice low and not an ounce of resentment that I expect.
I breathe the word easily, truthfully, “Yes.”
The belt bites the flesh of my right thigh from behind and I scream out in agony. He didn’t waste a second.
My thighs tremble as I try to stay on all fours.
Smack! The edges of the belt scrape against my ass and send a wave of pain through my body while burning where they slice across my skin. I can’t control the sob that claws its way up my throat. My toes curl as I grip the sheets tighter and fight back the tears.
I jump at the soft touch of Carter’s hand against my heated flesh, wishing I’d said no, but then I would be the liar I claimed not to be.
“Do you know what happens to men who point a gun at me, Aria?” Carter’s voice is laced with a deadly threat as he bends over me, his hard cock digging into my ass and just the feeling of it sends a deep-rooted desire to surface in my blood.
The lust nearly drowns out the pain. It’s so close, and I wish it would, but Carter isn’t finished punishing me yet.
His lips brush the shell of my ear as he tells me, “They don’t live to pull the trigger.”
I have to swallow before I can answer him. My skin alternates between pain and pleasure on the places where his hand still rubs soothing circles. “I never would have pulled it,” I answer him in a soft voice while rocking my hips back against him. I’ve always been a whore for him. I bow to him and love it. Some sick side of me desires it. I imagine I always will.