The next Friday night, Dena pulled up to Jeff’s house shortly after six. She stepped out of her car and admired the rustic but modern cabin. It looked exactly like the house she’d have pictured Jeff in. Set back in the woods and with no neighbor in sight, the house looked like it was deep in the wilderness rather than so near a large city.

He was actually smiling when he opened the door. Smiling. She rarely saw him with anything other than a neutral expression, and her breath caught at how handsome he was when he was happy.

“Dena,” he said, holding the door open for her. “So glad you could make it.”

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Earlier in the week, he’d asked her to come to his house for dinner tonight. Even though it’d been Monday, the memory of their time at the party was fresh in her mind. And while they’d spent the rest of the evening together, he didn’t take her. When she’d questioned him about it, he’d told her their first time wasn’t going to be at his friend’s house where the potential existed for them to be interrupted.

She hoped that meant there was more on the menu at his house tonight than just food.

“I’ve been looking forward to this all week,” she said, stepping inside. “Your house is amazing.”

The inside boasted exposed-beam ceilings and wide-planked wooden floors. There was an overall feel of warmth and comfort and home that on the surface appeared at odds with the cool demeanor Jeff portrayed. Such a mystery he was.

“Thanks. I had it built a few years ago.” There was a touch of pride in his voice. “I wanted something different, but homey and comfortable.”

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“You found it.”

“Come on into the kitchen with me. I was just getting ready to pull the fish out of the oven.”

He led her to the kitchen, and as they drew near, the mouth-watering smell of citrus and teriyaki greeted her. “Something smells good.”

“It’s a marinade my grandma taught me. Really easy.”

“I’ll take your word for it. I don’t cook.”

But she certainly enjoyed watching him in the kitchen. The way his shirt stretched over his muscles, the power in his thighs when he knelt down to find a pan in a low cabinet.

He stood up and faced her once he’d taken the fish out. “Do you have a safety call?”

“No.” Her heart started pounding. He wouldn’t have asked if he didn’t have something planned after dinner, would he? “I trust you.”

“Thank you,” he said, then turned his attention back to getting everything ready for dinner.

He didn’t bring up anything remotely connected to play while they ate. Instead they chatted about simpler matters. He asked what her favorite movie was and when she said Gone With the Wind, they debated whether the book or the movie was better.

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“I’m so glad you see things my way,” Dena joked. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie I thought was better than the book.” She took her last bite of fish and smiled.

He didn’t reply, and silence fell across the table. Her heart started to beat in her throat as she met his piercing stare, and all thoughts of movies and books fled her mind. All that remained was Jeff.

“You have a decision to make,” he finally said. “We can go outside and walk and then maybe watch a movie, or we can pick up where we left off at the party. The decision’s yours alone, but you should know that if you pick the latter, it’ll be more than my fingers fucking you.”

Finally, he was going to give her what she wanted. He sat across the table from her, leaning back casually in his chair, his fingers playing with his wineglass as he waited for her answer.

“Will you show me where your bathroom is, Sir?” she asked.

A momentary look of confusion crossed his face, but he nodded and pushed back from the table. He led her down a short hallway, past what looked to be a makeshift playroom and, across from that, a bedroom. The bathroom was at the far end of the hall.

“I’ll be in the kitchen cleaning up,” he said.

Once inside, she closed the door and looked at herself in the mirror. She checked her makeup and finger combed her hair. Then she slowly undressed completely, placing her discarded clothing in a neat pile on the countertop.

When she stepped out of the bathroom, she made her way directly to the kitchen. Jeff stood at the sink with his back to her. Moving as quietly as she could, she went to the middle of the room, knelt down, and dropped her gaze to the wooden floor.

In her mind, she tried to picture what Jeff was doing by listening as he finished up the dishes. The water was running, so he was rinsing them. Then that turned off and the soft clinking indicated he was probably putting them in a drying rack.

He’s turned around now, she thought, and held her breath.

“Dena,” he whispered in a low, rough voice.

“I picked the second option, Sir.”

He walked three steps forward, and his feet came into view. “Look at me.”

She lifted her head and met his dark eyes. They were veiled, and she couldn’t make out what he was thinking. The urge to jump to her feet threatened to overwhelm her, but she forced her body to remain still.

“You’re sure this is what you want?” he asked.

“Yes, Sir.”

“Just to be clear, for the rest of our time together tonight, until I say otherwise, your body is mine.” His voice still had the gravelly undertone to it.

“Yes, Sir. That’s what I want.”

He nodded once. “I’ll meet you in the bedroom in five minutes. Second door on the left. On your back in the middle of the bed.”

So he wasn’t taking her to the playroom. She rose to her feet silently. He hadn’t given her permission to speak, and until he did or asked her a direct question, she would remain quiet. Without a word, she walked to the bedroom, conscious the entire time of the heat of his eyes as he watched her go.

He entered the room only seconds after she got into position in the middle of the bed. Though he knew she was naked, he still had all his clothes on.

He climbed onto the bed to her left, his eyes sweeping over her body in an appreciative manner. Ever so slowly his lips curved into a sultry smile. “Damn, you’re beautiful. Makes me so hard seeing you on my bed like this. Offering your body to me, knowing I’ll make it good for you.”

It was a promise he gave her. A promise of pleasure. Her belly tightened just thinking about it.

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