Charlie finished up his second beer, but I thought I’d better stick to one tonight—two, and I was liable to invite him to back to my house for a little more drilling. The memory of being bent over that island hit me again, and I closed my eyes, squeezing my thighs together just for a second. Jesus. That orgasm was so intense. Why should it be that intense with someone I’m not in love with? It didn’t seem fair. Could I justify sleeping with Charlie? Because if he was that good with his hands, imagine how good he was with his—
My eyes snapped open. “What’s funny?”
“You. You just moaned.”
“You moaned just now, and your eyes were closed. What were you thinking about?”
“Uh, these fries.” I shoved the last one in my mouth and chewed frantically.
“Erin.” He put a hand on my leg. “What were you thinking about? I want to know.”
I swallowed. Should I just tell him the truth? I barely knew Charlie. I barely liked Charlie. But maybe it was because I didn’t like him all that much that I figured I might as well be honest. What did I have to lose? After a breath, I looked him in the eye. “I was thinking about that night in my kitchen.”
“Yeah? What about it?”
And I heard it—the low, hushed tone. He’s turned on too. “I liked it.”
“You, a person who does not enjoy violence, liked being coerced in the dark like that? Forced to do what I wanted you to?”
“Yes. Does that surprise you?”
“Actually,” he said slowly, “it scares me a little.”
“Because I know what I would have done to you if the lights hadn’t come back on.”
My stomach cartwheeled. “Turn off the lights and do it now.”
He inhaled and exhaled, deep and controlled. “You don’t know what you’re asking for.”
For a few seconds, neither of us moved. I imagined that in his mind he was debating the wisdom of subjecting me to more coercion. I’d said I liked things dirty, but he must have recognized that I hadn’t had much experience. It had probably been obvious by my stunned, faltering reactions to his words and his hands. But it had also been obvious that I enjoyed it, right?
What was he afraid of?
Confession: I was afraid too. Of being rejected, of being in over my head, of being wrong about my inclinations.
But mostly I was turned on. And curious. And bored with the Naughty Rabbit.
Bring on the Naughty Cop.
“Charlie.” I set my beer bottle down and got on my hands and knees. “Show me.”
He looked down at my wrists and circled one with his fingers. “Don’t. Move.”
Excerpt #2 (Dirtyish)
“Wait a minute.” I shoved Charlie in the chest, and even though it was like a ladybug trying to budge a giant sequoia, he was gentlemanly enough to take a step back. “No.”
His eyebrows raised. “No?”
I hopped off the island. “No. You said last night we were just going to be friends.” I struggled to breathe—it was like he’d knocked the wind out of me.
“We are friends.”
“Then what is this?” I gestured to the clothing on my kitchen floor.
“You don’t want this?”
“I didn’t say that.”
A pause. And since he wasn’t that much of a gentleman, I knew what I had to do.
I took off running.
He chased me through the dining room and front room to the bottom of the staircase, where he finally snared me with an arm around my waist. I did my best to try to scramble up the steps, but it was like spinning tires in the snow. Charlie easily overpowered me, subduing me with his strength, his will, his size. He spun me around to face him and set me down on the stairs, looming over me, one hand braced on a step above my head. I’d left one little light on in the front hall, a wall sconce that burned low, leaving half his face in shadow.
I glared up at him, breathing hard. Then I grabbed his head and pulled his lips to mine, thrusting my tongue into his mouth. My heart thumped with alternating beats of anger and arousal. How dare he show up like this? How dare he tell me he couldn’t stop thinking about me? How dare he chase me and throw me down like I was his plaything?
Confession: I loved it. Loved the antagonism between us, the hunt, the capture, the game. Loved that the spark between us hadn’t died. In a twisted way, I even loved the contention in my own head, my conscience arguing with my id.
This is wrong.
Please. Can you not?
You need to stop.
No fucking way. This is happening.
Tell him to leave.
I can’t talk right now.
Tell him you don’t want this. You’re not like this.
But I do. I am.
He’s using you.
Fuck off. We’re using each other.
This isn’t one of your fantasies, Erin. It’s real.
That’s why it’s so good.
But someone will get hurt. It’s inevitable.
I let go of his head and opened my mouth, words of defiance on my tongue. He placed a hand on my breast, squeezing it hard, claiming it, daring me to refuse him. It felt so good, I hesitated. Closed my eyes. Arched my back.
He put his finger over my lips, and I understood without being told, without even looking at him, what he was saying. Don’t speak. Just let me.
Oh God, I wanted to let him. I wanted to let myself. There were so many reasons to put a stop to this, and only one reason to keep going.
But it was a really, really good reason.