“That’s the best I have.”
Lily touches her chest. “I like club dancing, but I’ve never personally given a lap dance.”
“And Daisy has?” Ryke asks in disbelief.
“She said she did it once.” Lily relaxes against Lo’s chest, and he holds her close.
Ryke lets out an angry breath. “You do realize that ninety-percent of a lap dance is basically the same thing as when a girl f**ks on top? You know, riding the guy.”
“I don’t think Rose wants to take the lap dance to that level on camera.”
Our talk is cut off by a scraping noise. I watch Scott drag a dining chair into the living room, the legs scratching the hardwood.
When he places it in the center, he taps the frame of the chair. “Take a seat, Connor.”
I don’t take kindly to orders unless there’s a greater benefit for me. And in this instance, there’s none.
All eyes and cameras hit me, waiting for my reaction, wondering, quietly, if I’ll adhere to Scott Van Wright’s simple request. Rose stands impeccably straight, her bones hardened and stiff. All I see is fear, something that I desperately want to take away.
I stare right at Scott and break the strained silence with a few words. “Take a seat, Rose.” My gaze never leaves Scott, not even as the humor abandons his eyes.
“That wasn’t the bet,” Scott says.
“I’m amending the terms.”
Rose’s heels clap against the hardwood as she struts to the chair. She sits down with her shoulders pulled back and her ankles crossed as if she just took her f**king throne.
My body heats just watching her.
I redirect my attention to Lo, who has his arms splayed over Lily’s shoulders. “You’re still going to see a lap dance. You okay with that?”
“That’s all I want.”
“Wait.” Daisy holds up her hands and then points at me. “You’re giving Rose a lap dance?”
“Yes.” I untuck my black button-down from my slacks.
She smiles brightly. “Okay, we have to record this.” She turns as if she’s going to get a camera, and her elbow knocks into Savannah’s Canon Rebel. “Oh…right…never mind.” Only Daisy, a girl who’s swarmed by photographers for her job, would momentarily forget that we’re all being filmed.
“This I have to f**king see,” Ryke says, settling on the couch next to Scott. Everyone takes seats, ready for the show.
But I lock eyes only with Rose as I approach her. She white-knuckles the side of the wooden chair, afraid and anxious and aroused.
She trails my body as I unbutton my shirt, and her breathing deepens.
The unknown is frightening for her.
But it can be the wildest, most tempestuous out-of-body experience she’ll ever have.
Get ready, darling. This may spin your head.
[ 10 ]
Connor slowly pushes the last button through his black shirt, club music blaring in the background from a pair of speakers. He stands confident, tall and domineering, like a perfect marbled statue, never once looking away from me.
I refuse to cower and crumple into a frightened ball. So I sit stiffly, waiting for him to near me. Waiting for—I don’t know what. I have no idea what Connor Cobalt plans to do after that.
“Shake your ass, sweetheart!” Loren yells over the bass.
Connor doesn’t give in to Lo’s wish, and I feel Scott’s penetrative gaze on me as he watches from the couch.
The moment Connor’s legs brush against my knees, all the air tightens in my chest, chained deep inside my ribcage. He places his feet on either side of my chair, still standing and towering above me. I absorb his position, and my heart has decided to dance on its own, clenching and flipping and fluttering. Basically spasming. My heart is doing an idiot dance, the equivalent of shaking stupidly on the floor.
And then he tilts my chin so I look into his bottomless blue eyes.
Power radiates in his motionless stance.
My neck grows hot, and he pries my hands off the chair, guiding them to his ripped abs. I feel him in ways I haven’t before, the lines and hardness of his muscles. I warm the longer I run my hands along his body. I’ve thought about this so much. About what it would be like to be beneath someone as strong as him. I just never allowed myself to give him that victory, in fear that he’d run off with it and leave me behind.
I realize I’m practically eyelevel with his crotch. My ankles hurt as I cross them tighter together, forcing my legs shut.
My panties are soaked. That’s all it took—him standing above me. Really, Rose?
I wait for him to shake his ass in my face or do some silly dance moves on my lap. But he doesn’t perform either.
Scott clears his throat and lets out a laugh. “Connor, are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
Connor stares right into my eyes and says, “Je sais toujours ce que je fais.” I always know what I’m doing.
He unbuckles the belt to his slacks. And my heart pitches wildly. Really, my heart needs to go sit on the bleachers and take a serious timeout.
“You’re not going to like me very much if you move. So stay f**king still.”
It’s not possible to move anyway. I am frozen to this chair.
He slips off his leather belt, and I fixate on it as he lowers to me. But instead of sitting on my lap, he rests his hands on my knees, breaking them apart, spreading my legs open. It allows him room to sit on the seat with me. The music still thumps loudly in the background, unraveling my senses.
My eyes widen in alarm, and I clutch his biceps. I try to breathe normally, but my lips are sealed shut, afraid, mostly, of any noises escaping. Pleasurable, fearful—all of the above.
He suddenly grips me by the waist, the belt wrapped around his hand. And he slides my back halfway down to a slumped position. One of his hands grips the top of the chair. He now shrouds my face from the cameras, but in the same instance, he dominates me completely.
He unwinds the belt and brings my wrists behind my back. He binds them together, the leather snug on my skin. Connor knots the belt and then cups my face. He begins rocking to the beat of the music.
He grinds his pelvis into mine, following the rhythm and tempo so it’s not just dry humping. He’s giving me a lap dance, and it’s more sensual than anything I could have accomplished.
I struggle to keep my eyes on his. I am so aware of the people in the room, of the cameras, of the fact that he’s on top of me, my legs hanging with uncertainty around him.
As his hardness digs into me, my nerves prickle, and my toes constrict in my high heels. Oh my God…
Is this really happening? In front of everyone? And soon-to-be nationally televised.
What did I get myself into?
His parted lips reach my ear. “Ne pense pas.” Don’t think.
That’s a little difficult, Richard. But I can’t open my mouth to form the words. His movements quicken with the music, rougher, and I grit my teeth hard to hold in a sound that tickles my throat. Oh…God… This shouldn’t arouse me this much. Not with everyone watching.
I shut my eyes for a second, my head tilting back. He still holds my face in a strong, controlling hand. His mouth is so close to my cheek as he moves. I don’t have to look to feel him studying me, watching me, a keen eye on all my needs. He knows me too well.
He grinds hard, and a sharp noise jumps out of my mouth. Shit. Before I can dwell on what just happened, he takes his hand off the chair and slides it to my thigh and up towards my bottom. My eyes shoot open, and I jerk my hands, but they’re caught in his belt restraint.
I glare, and his smile grows, filled with that familiar arrogance.
I am much more aware of what’s going on. I peek behind his arm and spot my sisters. Lily’s mouth is permanently hung open, but Lo covers her eyes with his hand. So it’s safe to presume she caught Connor being wicked in public, which is a rare sight to behold. He’s usually only so uncouth in private.
Daisy sits on the armrest of a couch, and she wears a big grin. Ryke and Lo just watch in curiosity. And Scott…as soon as I turn my head to look at the producer, Connor grabs my chin and forces me back to him.
“Lui donneriez-vous ce qu’il veut?” You would give him what he wants? His eyebrow arches, and then his lips press to my jaw, kissing gently before sucking deeply.
The breath rushes out of me. The moment his eyes meet mine again, I say, “Il ne peut pas m’avoir.” He can’t have me. I should stop there. I shouldn’t add anything else. But I don’t want to lose this battle. I don’t make this easy for Connor. I give him the challenge he craves. “Aucun homme ne peut.” No man can.
His lips find my ear again. “We’ll see.” And then he wraps an arm around the small of my back, melding my body to his, and his other hand slips into my hair.
Before I can think about anything, he kisses me on the lips, his tongue parting mine, his whole body pushing against me. The place between my legs pulses for a heavy force, and my limbs tighten in rebut. Good God…
The music cuts off. And I realize that Connor has stopped rocking against me as soon as the song ended. We’re kissing more passionately than I can ever remember, his fingers grasping my hair, my wrists digging against the leather as I want, so desperately, to touch him back.
“All right,” Scott says. “That’s enough.”
His voice yanks me back into my head. I withdraw from Connor and turn my face before he can kiss me again. My body is flushed and sweaty, and my heart can’t stop pounding.
“Wow,” Daisy says, clapping, “that was hot. Solid 10.”
“How much did I miss?!” Lily cries out, trying to pry Lo’s fingers off.
“It was way too scandalous for your pretty eyes, love,” Lo says with a grin. He drops his hand and kisses her on the temple.
I still try to catch my breath. Connor watches me carefully as he unties the belt. I keep my eyes narrowed at the wall. What just happened?
When Connor stands, I straighten up on the chair, but my muscles won’t cooperate to do more than that.
“We were supposed to see a lap dance,” Scott says. “Not a porno.”
“Did I make you uncomfortable?” Connor asks in his usual impassive voice. He tucks his shirt back in his slacks and begins buttoning it. But he stays close to me.
Scott says nothing in reply.
“Allow me to accommodate your feelings then,” Connor tells him. “There’s the door. You’ll be much happier on the other side of it.”
Loren almost breaks into a giant grin at the diss, but his hot-tempered glare pins to the producer instead.
Scott scratches his scruffy jaw and just nods. Then he heads into the kitchen. On television, I wonder who’s going to come across as the bigger a**hole in this scenario.
Ryke stands and says, “Cobalt, were you or have you ever been a stripper?”
“No one would be able to afford me.”
“It was Magic Mike, wasn’t it?” Lily asks. “You had to have seen that movie.” She turns to Lo and gives him round pleading eyes. “Let’s see it just one time. It’s not porn.”
“Channing Tatum’s abs might as well be porn,” Daisy interjects.
Lo just kisses the top of Lily’s head in reply.
She lets out a resigned sigh, and her eyes trail off in thought. “I do need a shower after watching that.” Her cheeks immediately redden at the slip and her eyes bug. I can practically hear her thoughts: Did I say that out loud? Yes. Yes you did, Lily.
Daisy nudges her arm with a smile. “I totally call it after you.”
Ryke and Lo groan, but Lily relaxes at the idea that she’s not the only one aroused. Hell, I can’t move because I know just how wet I am. Connor basically just electrocuted me with his pants on.
Ryke stands up from the couch. “I’m going to the gym. Anyone want to come?”
Daisy gasps. “You masturbate at the gym?”
He chucks a pillow at her face, and she catches it with a playful smile.
Loren turns to Lily. “You’re really going to take a shower?” His voice is full of disbelief. I’ve heard them arguing about the bathroom situation since we moved in. Lily has yet to bathe, mostly out of fear of Scott walking in. I would coax those fears if I didn’t have the same ones, hence why I shower at five in the morning.
She goes quiet, and Loren drops his voice. “You smell like sex,” he whispers, but I’m still close enough to hear. “You’ve got to take one soon.”
She stares at her hands. “Can we take them together? I won’t do anything, I promise. I’ll feel…safer.”
There’s a long pause before he says, “Only if we wear bathing suits. I just don’t want to tempt you for six months, Lil.”
Her face brightens and she throws her arms around his neck.
I rub my sore wrists, unsure of everything for a moment. Connor suddenly grabs my hand and effortlessly lifts me to my feet.