I’m pleased to offer up a tasty sample of my new book from Hachette/Grand Central Publishing/Forever which officially launches in six days! It’s already popped up in some bookstores, though!
I originally shared this sex scene from TAKING THE LEAD with my newsletter readers back 14 months ago, shortly after I’d written the first draft. It has since passed through my beta readers, critique partners, and my editor at Hachette, and has more depth than that early draft. (Just as much sex, though…heh.)
This segment is from our heroine’s point of view. Ricki Hamilton is a young Hollywood heiress, fresh out of business school, while Axel Hawke is the lead singer of a rock band who are just hitting it big. It’s the night of the Grammy Awards, and at one point, as a publicity stunt, Axel is supposed to joke-kidnap a mutual friend of theirs out of the audience. But Axel, who has gotten interested in Ricki, ends up making off with her instead. Here’s what happens after they land in the “getaway limo.”
(Also after all the limo scenes in the Struck by Lightning series, especially the first few in Slow Surrender, I thought it would be fun to have very very very different limo sex this time around. Remember how James doesn’t even touch Karina at first? This time I think Axel has extra hands…!)
When Axel Hawke dove into the back of a limo with me and we sped off, I was lightheaded from being unable to breathe. The moment he had picked me up I had started to laugh, and then partway up the aisle he’d switched to carrying me over his shoulder like a pirate making off with a wench. His shoulder dug into my stomach, which made me laugh harder but also made it even harder to breathe.
Maybe it wasn’t the way he was carrying me that made me so breathless. My mind was awhirl—the tabloids! They were going to have a field day! But part of me didn’t care. My fantasies of him carrying me away came roaring back, and the giddy feeling only intensified as I realized that any of the blame for this stunt was going to fall squarely on Axel Hawke, not me. I was merely the innocent bystander dragged along for the ride. Literally.
I realized I still had my arms around his neck while I fought to catch my breath. We were halfway lying down where we had landed in the spacious interior of the car. It was one of those ridiculous tourist limos, suitable for bachelorette parties and the like, the interior lights cycling through a series of colors and a miniature disco ball throwing sparkles of light everywhere. Given that he had just taken off without getting any directions, this limo driver had to have been hired by Axel in advance.
Where are we going? I wanted to ask, but I made the mistake of looking into those intense eyes of his. For a moment he looked as if he might say something.
Instead, we kissed. One moment we were staring into each other’s eyes; the next moment our lips were sealed together.
And I’d thought I was breathless before. Axel Hawke could kiss. His mouth was sure and firm, never still. He coaxed mine open, and the more we kissed, the more I wanted to kiss. He varied the pressure, never letting me take the lead but not overwhelming me, either. His tongue teased and I felt the kiss all the way down under my gown.
This was everything I wanted, but nothing that I expected. This wasn’t anything I could have imagined actually happening, and with every cell in my body focused on him, on where we touched, on the way he moved, there wasn’t any brainpower left to think about anything else.
As the kiss went on, the tingle between my legs grew to a warm center of pleasure and then to an outright ache of need. When was the last time I’d actually wanted like this? When was the last time I had let myself want anything like this?
Then I was gasping for breath and trying to understand the words that were pouring hotly into my ear.
“Should I stop?”
No, no, don’t you dare stop, I thought, but I couldn’t let myself say that. “You…You should…but…” I said weakly, regretfully.
“I’ll stop when you say the word ‘no,’ then,” he murmured. He sounded a little drunk. Intoxicated by lust? Probably his performance high. Dad used to call it the strongest drug known to man. Which was pretty funny coming from an alcoholic, but that was my father for you.
“Where are we going?” I asked, thinking I’d distract Axel.
“Sakura’s,” he answered, and began kissing me again.
And I was kissing him back. It was simply too good to stop. He flattened me under him, a hand on either side of my head, while his tongue did its wicked work, inflaming me. Lying like that, the hardness of him was excruciatingly close to that place where I ached. I wriggled under him, telling myself I was trying to wriggle away, but I was actually trying to move the hottest part of me against him in just the right way…
Then came a moment when my writhing almost dislodged him and he shifted his weight to pin me completely. To see what would happen, I tried to actually wriggle free and found his arms and legs moved to keep me in place. Being pinned like that sent my desire surging! It was like a tide that had been coming in gradually suddenly hit a wall and waves of need leapt up, splashing, swamping me.
I freed my mouth to take a deeper breath and his mouth moved down to my neck. How he knew where the spot was that was like a direct line to my clit, I don’t know—maybe he found it by luck, but once he did, he didn’t let up. The zone was just below the array of diamonds of my choker and his tongue worked it softly but relentlessly. I moaned. Why was I trying to push him away? My hands were pushing at him but he was not letting me deter him from his goal, which seemed to be licking my neck like his life depended on it. He had a bit of stubble on his chin but instead of giving me rug burn it was only making my skin tingle even more.
I was trying to push him away because it was too much, too ticklish, too stimulating, and yet it wasn’t, because when I didn’t succeed in dislodging him I didn’t shatter in a million pieces: I melted even more.
And so the game went. He didn’t let up pleasuring that spot on my neck with his mouth, and every time it got too intense for me, I’d try to wrestle him off and he wouldn’t let me. Each time I tried to fight him off and he didn’t let me win, I fell deeper and deeper into his control. I could say “no;” wasn’t that what he’d said? But I wanted to try to push him off, to see if I could, or to see what he’d do, where his limit was.
But I wasn’t close to Axel Hawke’s limit. He was single-minded in his goal to make me writhe. One of his hands strayed to the nipple that was pushing at the fabric of my gown and his thumb brushed it, teasingly light in contrast to the never-ending motion of his tongue and mouth. I felt my clit twitch with that touch.
It almost felt like he could make me come like that, without ever getting into my panties. Amazing. I had never felt a touch like that.
I tried one more time to get free. He was simply too good, too balanced, too determined…I was along for the ride, I realized. Just like with being carried from the auditorium, this was completely on Axel. It was as if my body finally caught up to what my brain had been trying to tell it and I stopped fighting him entirely. I surrendered to the incredible gift of the sensation building in my nerve endings. Instead of trying to push him away now, I was grinding against him, pulling him closer, harder, needing…something.
“I…I…” I gasped. “I’m going to come.”
“Yes you are,” he murmured against my neck and shifted position ever so slightly, letting me wrap my leg around him.
I’d never come with all my clothes on before. I’d never come in a limousine before. I’d never come in a one-of-a-kind Chanel dress before. And I sure as diamonds had never come rubbing myself off on the boner of a rock star of questionable sanity.
You can ask me later whose sanity was more questionable. I was too busy at the time screaming because I was coming so desperately, so hungrily—it wasn’t enough and yet it was too much at the same time. If he hadn’t been so firmly planted between my thighs I would have been tempted to jam my hand down there myself. But he was there: I was entirely in his control.
My spasms peaked and then subsided suddenly, like they often do, leaving me gasping and limp as if I’d been beached by a wave.
When I opened my eyes, Axel Hawke was propped on one elbow, looking down into my face with mild concern. The disco ball’s sparkles twinkled across his face and were reflected in his eyes.
Orgasm had shut off my filters. “Sakura was right. This was like the prom night that never was.”
“Prom night?” An amused half-smile dimpled his cheek. “Are you okay?”
I tried to answer the question with actual information, but that took some thinking. “Did you mean to do that?”
“Make you come, you mean? Or kidnapping you in the first place?” He sounded much calmer than I expected him to be. After all, I could feel his erection between my legs, throbbing. Maybe he knew he didn’t have to hurry because he knew I was under his spell. The thought made my insides clench hungrily, even though I’d just come.
“How about both,” I said, trying to re-engage my logical mind.
“Well, they were both spur of the moment decisions, but, once I decided, then yes, I meant to do that.” His tongue slowly swept the edge of his lip. “I hope that was all right with you.”
I must’ve been full of sex hormones at that moment because his dimple was the cutest thing I had ever seen and his eyes—which had already been captivating—I was staring at them like a thief at the crown jewels. All I could manage to say was, “Okay.”
“The publicity stunt part was planned, but I was supposed to make off with Sakura in this limo. She’s going to kill me.”
“She’ll forgive you,” I babbled. “You’re very convincing.”
“Good.” He nuzzled behind my ear. “Now let me convince you to let me under that dress, Ms. Hamilton.”
“I don’t date bad boys,” I heard myself saying, though at that moment all the reasons not to seemed very far in the back of my mind.
“I’m not asking you for a date. I’m asking you to let me under your dress.”
That sounded so reasonable. Didn’t it? “You’re not going to give me some groupie’s STDs, are you?”
He chuckled. “No. I’m clean. Are you?”
I almost told him how long it had been since I’d actually bothered to let anyone touch me below the waist. I decided he didn’t need to know that. I kept my answer to “Yes.”
“Good.” He brushed his lips over the spot on my neck where he had been licking and suckling so intensely before. The light touch made goose bumps spring up on that half of my body. “Because I hate to break it to you, but your body is mine now.”
“Oh, is it?” He’s fun, I thought.
“Mm-hm,” he said, in mock seriousness. “This spot right here is an on-off switch.” He dragged his finger over the place on my neck. “Only I can turn it on and off, though.”
“Yep. Some doms make their subs wear a collar to keep that spot hidden. But I don’t have to.” He warmed my neck with his breath and my entire body felt like deliciously hot massage oil was pouring over it. “Now, are you going to take your gown off, or am I going to cut it off you?”
I remembered what Sakura had said about how she suspected he was dominant and I wondered if she was more certain than she’d acted. I also really wondered what he’d do if I said he should cut my dress off. But I didn’t want to ruin the gown, even if I never wore it again. “I’ll…I’ll take it off.” I was surprised to hear my voice shook, like an actress unsure of her lines.
He lay back then and gestured at me to do so. He was the picture of insouciant self-possession, his ankles crossed, his legs outstretched in their spandex, his hands folded on his flat stomach, his hair clinging sexily to his neck and his cheek. He had some kind of a curvy black tattoo on his upper arm and part of his chest but I couldn’t get a good look at it in the disco-ball light.
I knelt on the floor, adrenaline pumping through me like it did when I was on stage or in a spotlight. I’d never liked this feeling when I did theater productions, which was why I wasn’t an aspiring actress like Gwen. I was too afraid of messing up in front of everyone.
But here I had an audience of one. One person whose opinion mattered.
I couldn’t remember where the zipper was.
“Here. I’ll start,” Axel said. He stripped off his own top in one smooth motion and then lay back down as if he were posing for a portrait entitled “Royal Pasha in Repose.” He gestured again to spur me.
Right. There was a tiny clasp hidden at one hip, and then the zipper ran up one side. I undid the zipper and peeled the gown down like white magnolia petals all around me.
“Pretty,” he said, the tip of his tongue exploring his upper lip.
My nipples tightened as if that tongue were touching them.
“Pretty breasts,” he added, as if he noticed. Of course he noticed. “How sensitive are they?”
“I don’t really have a point of comparison.”
“Show me, then. Run your fingers over them lightly, not the nipple, just the skin.”
My cheeks flushed so suddenly it felt almost like sunburn. I’d never performed for a guy before. My fingers were trembling slightly with excitement as I made light circles with my middle fingers around the outside of my breasts. Was this what he wanted me to do?
“Look down,” he said. “Watch your nipples.”
I saw they were crinkling up and standing out like buttons.
“Keep circling, don’t touch them yet.”
“Yes, sir,” I whispered.
“Mm, ‘sir.’ That has a nice sound to it.” He sat up. “Because of the sweet way you said the word.”
I blushed harder. “Sir” had been a guess on my part. This was getting more and more like an improv scene all the time. “Do you like it when I call you ‘sir’?”
“Yes. But why don’t you call me by my name? But you can only call me by my name when you mean it like that.” He moved behind me then, running his hands over my stomach and purring into my ear. “Only when by saying it you mean ‘man who owns my body and my pleasure.’ Say it.”
“A-Axel,” I stuttered.
One of his hands slid down my abdomen under the gathered waist of the gown. “You don’t sound very sure of that.” A finger slid right over my pubic bone but stopped short of my clit. “Who am I?”
“Axel,” I tried again.
The man who owns my body and my pleasure. I leaned back against him, touching my tongue to the back of my teeth as I sucked in a breath. “Axel,” I breathed.
“That’s it,” he said, and rewarded me with a long stroke over my clit.
I was copiously wet and my clit throbbed under his touch, as if being neglected before had made it all the more desperate for contact.
“Last chance to take your gown off before I ruin it,” he whispered in my ear as his finger switched to circling my clit.
“Don’t stop,” I answered, my belly quivering. “Please don’t stop.”
I couldn’t imagine how a man could be so good at fingering a woman without feeling what she was feeling herself. Maybe he’d had a lot of practice. Maybe he was good at reading my reactions. Maybe both. I couldn’t really think that deeply about it while his hand played in my panties like a virtuoso. He spread my lips with his outer fingers while the inner ones teased the underside of my clit, and when that ache turned white hot and unbearable he soothed it with another round of circles.
On and on and on it went, until my panties were soaked with juices and my neck was soaked with sweat, until again we reached that point where it was too much for me and I tried to struggle away from him.
Except that just like before he held me fast and didn’t let me get away, plying the pleasure onto my flesh no matter how I writhed or struggled. The struggle became heated but again there was no way I could win it.
I reached the point of surrender once more, gasping as I went limp and then a second time as he chose that moment to plunge a finger into me, the sudden stimulation from inside rocketing me into orgasm. I found I was too hoarse to scream, but I made a long moan as his finger inside me continued to wiggle and crook against a pleasure spot inside, drawing the orgasm out longer than I expected and still not letting up when the peak had passed, making me cry out in distress. “Oh God, oh God!”
He clucked his tongue. “That’s not the name you mean to call out, is it?”
“Axel!” I sobbed. He didn’t let up one bit. “Axel, oh God, Axel.”
“Are you going to come again? Come again for me.”
I had often heard orgasms described as “explosions,” but this was the first one I’d had that felt like one. Like I blew apart. And still he did not stop, his finger inside me and the palm of his hand rubbing my clit, too.
I sobbed again. “Why don’t you stop?”
“Because you begged me not to,” he whispered, doubling the pace of his efforts. “Remember?”
“Oh fuck, oh fuck, Axel!”
“Do you want me to stop now? Do you?”
I arched back against him, exploding again, screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Except these were the yesses that meant I was coming, not “yes I want you to stop.” But he was merciful and let me finish coming before he slid his fingers out of me, settling to a slow, gentle massage between my legs. I could barely think: All I could do was feel. I felt incredible, every part of my body glowing, my heartbeat slowing. I couldn’t remember ever coming like that because no lover before had ever pushed me so hard. Is he that special? I wondered. Am I that special? I had an unfamiliar feeling I couldn’t define fizzing in my chest, and down below a new need, no less raging than the previous one, was burning hot.
“Mmm. You’re amazing,” he said, burying his face in my hair. “I could make you come all night long.”
I didn’t know what line I should deliver after something like that, so I said nothing. I’d had enough of orgasm and what I needed was much more…solid than that.
He gave me my cue. “Tell me what you want, Ms. Hamilton.”
“You, Axel.” My cheeks got hot all over again.
“Me? You have me.” He slid his fingers back and forth over my swollen pussy as if he knew that would make me feel empty inside.
“I want to have sex with you.”
“I am pretty sure what we just did counts as sex,” he said, sounding amused.
“Your cock, Axel,” I finally said, feeling the blush spread not just over my cheeks but over my whole body. And it felt good rather than mortifying—like my inhibitions had been ripped away by sheer need. “I want you to fuck me.”
“Are you sure? Consider before you answer. If I fuck you, I’m going to make you come on my cock.”
I growled. I wanted him to get to it now, not talk to me about it. “That’s the point of fucking, isn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s the point. But I’ll warn you. After you have my cock, you’ll find all others inferior. In fact, you might find it difficult to come without it inside you.” He gave me an insouciant grin. “Fair warning.”
“Prove it,” I said, trying to goad him.
“I will. When I’m good and ready,” he said. “I think you’re forgetting who’s in charge here.”
The words laced through me like a shock, sending my mind tumbling and another rush of lust through me. Why did it affect me like that when he took charge?
I’d have to think about it some time when I could think. Right now he was pulling me down to rub my cheek against his erection and even though I didn’t really have a thing for oral sex I found myself salivating. His flesh was hard as stone. I could feel it throbbing and it was like every throb was answered by one between my legs.
“You feel that?” he said. “You still want it?”
Each word he said only melted away my resistance even more. “Yes, Axel, yes.”
“Then you’ll do exactly as I say, won’t you, Ms. Hamilton?”
“Yes!” There wasn’t any idea in my mind of doing anything except exactly what he said. Wanting him blotted out any other thoughts. I hadn’t known it was possible to want someone, or something, so much.