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Excerpt from Rules and Rewards

Grace’s heart always started beating wildly on those last few steps before she reached the fifth floor and Ray’s apartment. It wasn’t about the number of steps; her job as a Special Enforcer required her to remain in perfect shape, and a few flights of stairs didn’t tire her. Instead, it was the prospect of seeing him again that left her a little breathless so that she needed to calm down before she knocked. She didn’t doubt he would like to know how excited she became when she was about to see him, but she couldn’t allow it, just like she couldn’t allow anything that might hint she wasn’t in complete control of herself and everything else, including him.

She stopped at the top of the staircase, her hand tight on the cold metal railing, and took a few deep breaths. Usually, when she reached this point she reviewed in her mind what she had planned for their time together. This time, though, she needed to tell him something. She had wanted to tell him the previous night, but he had been in no state to hear her when she had accompanied him back home from their favorite club, Carte Blanche. She couldn’t stay very long because she had a plane to catch before night fell, but she was glad she had needed to come back for this.

Getting herself under control at last, she took the last few steps to his door. She knocked twice sharply and had to wait a few moments before the door opened, revealing a shirtless Ray, his blonde hair tousled, his blinking eyes still full of sleep. Maybe because he had just awoken, it took him a second or two longer than usual to drop to his knees when he saw her, and when he did, the perfect kneel remained obscured by the shapeless form of his baggy sweatpants. She didn’t miss the slight wince when his ass made contact with his heels, though.

“Good morning, Ray,” she said warmly, stepping in and closing the door behind her. She quickly got rid of her jacket and, standing in front of Ray, tilted his head back so that she could see his face. “You were still in bed?”

“I was, Mistress. I had a long night.”

A small smile touched his lips on the last words, and she answered it in kind, acknowledging the scene they had played at the club. It had been one of their most intense scenes in the almost eleven months since they had met. Ray had needed the pain, and Grace had taken care of him with the steely warmth a caring Dominant showed her submissive.

For a few seconds, she remained in front of him, simply watching him as the sleepiness left his features. His usual guard was down, allowing his emotions to pierce through: surprise that she was there so early in the day; happiness too, and that made a tendril of pure warmth wrap around Grace; and on top of it, the same gratefulness he had shown just hours earlier, when they had finished the scene. All of it mixed together only made Grace want to kiss him. The good thing about being a Dominant was that most of the time she got exactly what she wanted.

“Stand up,” she commanded, “sit on the sofa with me.”

He rose lithely and followed her to the sofa, just a few feet away. She gestured for him to sit first. His face, now that he was fully awake, didn’t show any pain when he sat down on the firm cushions, but the slowness of his movements revealed that he still hurt. It had taken Grace a little while to figure out how his vampire physiology affected his pain threshold and healing speed, but she had a pretty good idea of what she was doing now.

Without warning, she kicked off her low-heeled shoes and sat on his lap, one knee on either side of him on the sofa. He blinked in surprise, then again when she wrapped her arms around his neck and drew him to her for a gentle kiss, but he soon caught up. She had given him no instruction, which for them meant that he could do as he pleased, within their usual limits. A little hesitantly, he rested his hands on her waist and pulled her a little tighter against him. She hummed her approval against his lips before giving them a quick flick with her tongue. He opened his mouth for her, and her tongue slipped in to find his, teasing it lightly until he responded. Slow fire spread through her body, awakening the lust she never failed to experience when she was in his arms.

He started squirming in that particular way of his, just enough for her to notice that he was trying to restrain himself. His cock had grown hard, trapped between them, and Grace moaned quietly at the feel of it. She yearned to touch it, touch him, feel him beneath her and inside her. It had been all about him, the previous night, but the satisfaction of knowing she had taken good care of her submissive did not cancel out her own needs. She didn’t have time for this, but she wanted it too much to deny herself. They would have to be quick.

Pulling away from his lips, she gave him a mock glare.

“You should be ashamed, Ray. It’s very bad of you to make me this horny when I only have a few minutes to spend with you.”

“I’m sorry, Mistress,” he said meekly, but didn’t sound apologetic in the slightest. “May I take care of your needs?”

She stood up from his lap and immediately started working on the buttons of her blouse.

“You may. Lead the way to your bed, then.”

He hurried off, already scrambling out of his sweatpants. When she joined him, having undressed as well, he had straightened the bed sheets and slipped to a kneeling position at the foot of the bed. With his thighs slightly parted and his hands at the small of his back, Grace had an unobstructed view of his cock as it strained toward his stomach. Her mouth watered at the sight. If only they had the time…

“On the bed,” she asked, glad that her voice remained steady despite her arousal. “Hands behind your head.”

He was very tense when she joined him on the bed and climbed onto his lap, his entire body locked as though waiting for a blow. She settled on his thighs and lightly ran her fingers over his chest. Could he be so close, already?

… continued in Rules & Rewards

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