It started as a game, but they are both playing to win.
Tina meets Shaun at a monthly meeting of eccentric game players in a British manor house. Shaun is a loner, highly competitive, and devastatingly sexy. When he challenges Tina to a sexual relationship, she can't resist.
In a dangerous game of seduction, sassy Tina might have met her match in Shaun. He is a forthright, dominant lover, and the atmosphere of competition extends to their more intimate moments as they pursue a passionate affair. Each encounter ups the stakes, but what has started as a game rapidly grows more intense. Both players realize they have to play their way carefully, to win the prize. But what is real, and what is gamesmanship? In a relationship brimming with conflict, the ultimate challenge will be getting their opponent to reveal their true hand.
This title includes frequent and graphic M/F sex including some bondage and domination. Please note: this story has been previously published with a different cover. 15,022 words.
Available from the following online outlets:
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and coming soon to Fictionwise
"You need someone to challenge you."
Tina jumped. She'd been walking up the stairs that night when Shaun strode out of the darkness on the landing. He was stripped to the waist. His bare torso was pinup-worthy. She tried to drag her gaze from the sleek tautness of his chest muscles. It was hard. The palms of her hands itched to stroke his shoulders and biceps. A nagging ache in the pit of her belly rapidly made itself known.
"You need someone to challenge you," he repeated.
"And how the hell would you know what I need?" She hoped it sounded dismissive. She meant it to.
He ignored that. "You are an intelligent woman. You need an intelligent man to spark with."
God, he was intolerable.
Her blood was beginning to boil. "I need you to give me a break is what I need, you arrogant prig."
It was a knee jerk reaction. She wanted to swallow her words as soon as she had spoken them.
Shaun, however, seemed totally unfazed by her hasty and rather rude response. There was a determined set to his lips. "I'm serious, you need a challenge."
His expression was indeed serious, and his words were laden with suggestion. He also seemed to be closer, without having moved. She felt the heat from her blood rise to the surface of her skin and began to turn away from him, moving toward the doorway to her room. She couldn't let him know he affected her that way.
He reached out and grabbed her wrist, drawing her back toward him. "No." His tone was controlling. "You're not going anywhere. I haven't finished with you yet."
She tried to tug her hand from his grasp, but he held tight. His sharp masculine scent was already chasing itself inside her body, seducing her senses. She attempted to give a dismissive laugh. "And who are you to decide?"
She let him hold her hand aloft though, because there was something immensely satisfying about the way he held her wrist so tightly. His eyes were alight with desire, she could see it plainly now. It was confirmation of his lust for her and it led a dark thrill through her entire body.
He didn't reply to her question. Instead he traced his free hand up the line of her arm, to rest on her shoulder. Her breathing grew constricted at his touch. Heat blossomed on her skin beneath his fingertips, making her keenly aware of the powerful magnetism between them.
"We're going to drive each other up the wall," he whispered, low and suddenly soft. "You know it's true."
"What makes you think that?" she retorted.
His gaze rested on her breasts, and once again there was a knowing look in his eyes. She could feel her nipples tugging on the fabric of her shirt and it was obvious that he could see it too. His eyes glittered in the faint landing light. "Because you want me."
"You've got a damned cheek!" How dare he be so blatant?
That comment was meant to embarrass her. She couldn't deny it though. His knowing look of his annoyed her immensely and she reacted—pushing him away and back against the wall, swiftly, her hands locked around his upper arms. It was an instinctive action that was meant to assert her independence, but the way he flashed his eyes at her made her realize what she had done.
"And I want you too," he added, when she was about to turn away.
Tina froze. His remark shocked her to the core. She was so startled that she lost her grip on him. Shaun took his chance and had her back in his control instantly. He backed her up against the opposite wall. Their bodies ricocheted together. Before she knew what was happening, they were kissing. She had wanted to hit the arrogant beast for his attitude, and yet there she was, kissing him.
She yielded against his mouth and pressed herself full against him—she wanted to feel his every ounce of being against hers. His mouth felt strong and passionate, her lips parted and melted beneath his touch. The musky scent of his cologne and his skin took hold of her, like another hook on her desire, reeling her in. His hands were on her hips, hers were flat against his chest, where the muscle was strong and defined. Vibrant, barely contained lust shot between them, the heat of their bodies soaring as they embraced.
"Your room or mine," he murmured when they drew apart to catch their breath.
She was unable to respond because his hands moved higher, beneath her breasts, where their firm grip sent a dizzying charge through her. He stroked her breastbone gently with one thumb, his hands squeezing her possessively while he held her gaze.
Then footsteps sounded on the stairs behind them, forcing the issue.
Tina's heart thudded. The door to her room was right there by her side. Desire overruled any objection that more logical thought might have offered in that moment. She wanted more. She swung the door open and stepped inside.
Glancing back, she beckoned him in.