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He was a quick study and soon she didn’t have to direct him. He learned her body, absorbing the knowledge of what made her crazy with want.

He placed an openmouthed kiss to her pu**y entrance and then thrust his tongue as deep as he could get into her liquid warmth.

He wanted her to come in his mouth, an instant hot rush of release. He maneuvered his fingers, two of them below his mouth, and plunged them inside, caressing the silken walls of her vagina.

He probed gently, seeking the spot where the texture was more plush and different, slightly rougher. He pressed upward, eliciting an instant cry from her. She grew wetter and panted, the sounds an aphrodisiac to his ears.

His c**k was flat against his belly, so hard and pulsing that he was nearly out of his mind with the need to claim her. But he’d deny himself that ultimate satisfaction. For her. This was all about her. Only for her. His silent apology for being a bastard and taking out his black mood on her.

He didn’t like feeling jealous. Especially of a dead man. A man who’d been his best friend. But there it was. He was insanely jealous of Carson’s hold on her even from the grave.

“Are you close, honey?”

“Yes! Please don’t stop, Dash. I need you.”

The heartfelt plea seized his very soul, warming him from the inside out. Liquid sunshine. He basked in her radiance, her pleasure and need.

He thrust with his fingers, exerting firmer pressure on her pleasure spot as his tongue circled her cl*tand sucked gently. She quivered uncontrollably underneath him, her thighs shaking, her knees knocking against his sides.

“Give it to me,” he rasped. “Give it to me now, Joss. Everything. Let go.”

She arched upward, her cry endless and pained. He quickly covered the mouth of her pu**y with his own and sucked hard as she pulsed and vibrated in her orgasm. Her honey coated his tongue, spurring his need even higher.

His thumb moved up to her cl*tto replace his tongue and he rubbed gently, coaxing wave after wave of release from her.

Finally she sagged onto the couch, her body going limp. He glanced up to see her half-lidded eyes lazily surveying him, glowing with contentment. She reminded him of a satisfied cat and she was all but purring.

When he would have stood to replace his clothing, she quickly sat forward, her hands going to his h*ps to stop him. Then without a word, she grasped his c**k and guided it toward her mouth, slipping the head between her lips.

“Don’t deny me the same chance to pleasure you,” she said, her voice laced with the husky remnants of her orgasm. She sounded hoarse and needy, as though she still had a ways to go to complete her pleasure.

“Just stand there, Dash. Let me love you.”

He closed his eyes, a wave of contentment rolling over him with the power to bring him to his knees. God yes, he’d allow her to love him. It was everything he’d ever wanted.

His hands tangled in her hair, lifting it and pulling it away so he could see her face, could see her lips wrapped around his dick. She sucked him deep, holding him at the back of her throat and then swallowing around it, milking him.

“I won’t last long, honey.”

Her lips curved into a smile around his cock.

“I know.”

And then she began to pump her fist around his dick, sucking him hard and deep. It was a pace destined to drive him over the edge within seconds. And it did. Before she’d sucked him deep the fourth time, he was already coming, jetting and pulsing deep into her throat.

She swallowed greedily, sucking, demanding more. Not a single drop spilled from her lips. Her fingers gently lowered to his balls, caressing and rolling them in her palm. He was up on tiptoe, straining forward, his body so tight that he felt he was coming apart at the seams.

The last of his s**en erupted and still she sucked and licked gently, bringing him down until he was simply too sensitive to bear her tender ministrations any longer.

He caught her hand, forcing her to still her motions, and then he carefully withdrew from her mouth, her tongue running along the back of the length as he pulled away.

He pulled her to stand in front of him and caught her in his arms, hugging her tightly to him. He buried his face in her hair and pressed gentle kisses to her head.

“I didn’t deserve that,” he said hoarsely. “But I won’t turn it down. Ever. Thank you, honey. Thank you for forgiving me.”

She pulled away, a gentle smile curving her lips. “There’s nothing to forgive, Dash.”

His feeling of unworthiness skyrocketed. God, but she was perfect. And he was an as**ole taking out his frustration on her two mornings in a row, and yet she forgave him as sweetly as a woman ever forgave a man.

“If you’d like, I’ll fix you a drink and you can come sit in the kitchen and keep me company while I prepare dinner,” she said.

“I’d like that. I’d like that a lot.”

The idea of them being so domestic. Of him sitting and watching as she cooked for him. The image was powerful and brought him immeasurable joy.

He quickly dressed and then she held out her hand to his.

“Come on then. I’ll fix your drink and then if you don’t mind, I’ll get dressed. I don’t want to be near a hot stove or oven na**d,” she said ruefully.

“Use my robe,” he said gruffly.

There was nothing he’d like more than to see her wrapped in his robe while she puttered around the kitchen.

“All right,” she said softly. “I’ll get your robe just as soon as I’ve fixed your drink.”

TWENTY-THREE

THE last two weeks had been a dream. Dash couldn’t be happier. Joss glowed with contentment. She’d fallen into her role as a submissive, submissive to him, as though she’d been born to it. And maybe she had.

Maybe it was what she had always craved—needed—and Dash was supremely arrogant and pleased that he was the man who’d provided it for her. There had been no reoccurrence of her saying Carson’s name in her sleep. No upsetting dreams. She was, he was beginning to have confidence, his. Completely and utterly his.

He drove faster than normal, eager to get home. Tonight he’d broach the subject of taking Joss to The House for the first time as a couple. He hadn’t wanted to rush into it, especially after Joss’s first experience at The House. He hadn’t wanted to take her there until things were perfect between them. Until that first encounter was wiped firmly from her mind and no embarrassment or shame lingered.

She was ready. He was certainly ready. Ready to take things to the next level. He wanted to publicly claim Joss, but he also wanted to give her what she’d been looking for that very first night.

He was confident that she’d agree, that she’d even be eager to experiment with all of the pleasures The House provided.

Before he’d decided on the night, he’d made damn certain that neither Tate nor Jensen would be there. He wouldn’t cause Joss even a moment’s discomfort. Jensen had joined and gone through the vetting process and had received his membership just days before.

According to Tate, he and Chessy hadn’t been in a long while. Dash had frowned over that fact, remembering his conversation with Joss about Chessy and Tate and her concerns over Chessy’s happiness. Tate had seemed awfully preoccupied with work lately. His company was growing by leaps and bounds and the demands on his time had increased.

But he hadn’t broached the subject with his friend because it wasn’t his business. And he had no way of knowing if the couple was having problems anyway. No need to plant the seed of doubt in Tate’s mind if there was no cause for concern. Tate adored Chessy. Dash knew that much. And it would likely make Tate crazy if he even suspected Chessy wasn’t happy.

The couple would work it out in their own time. Dash was confident of that. Tate was over the moon in love with his wife. He’d give her the world—had always given her the world. He treasured Chessy’s gift of submission. He was damn lucky.

But no, Dash was every bit as fortunate now. He had Joss. Perfect, submissive, loving Joss. She’d gone to great lengths to please him, worrying endlessly that she’d disappoint him. As if.

Dash now knew that even if Joss weren’t able to give him what he needed—desired—by being submissive, Dash would forgo that aspect of his personality for her. There was no sacrifice too great to make in order to have his heart’s desire.

Joss was enough. She would always be enough.

He pulled into his drive, parking beside Joss’s car, and he idly wondered if he should buy her a new car. Something that was from him. A clean break from her past. She’d already moved out of her house, though she hadn’t yet put it on the market. They hadn’t even discussed it. But it was a subject he’d bring up soon. He wanted Joss here, permanently. He didn’t want her to have her own home to go back to. A house she shared with Carson. A home purchased by Carson just as the car she drove had been purchased by her husband.

She could sell the house and bank the money for her own use. She’d never want for anything Dash could provide. He wanted no penny of the money given to her by her husband. It and the income generated by her part of the business would be hers alone. And any children they had in the future.

A goofy grin spread across his face as he got out and headed for the door. The idea of giving Joss the children she so wanted—his children—filled him with absolute happiness. Little girls that looked just like their mother. Boys with his arrogance and her gentle spirit.

Damn, but life was good. And it would only get better.

He knew there were two things Joss dearly wanted that Carson had been unable to provide. One, Dash had already provided. Dominance. The other? Children. Carson had been reluctant to have children, but Dash had no such reservations.

As soon as he convinced her to make their relationship permanent and legal, as soon as he got his ring on her finger, they’d discuss her becoming pregnant. There was no need to wait. Joss had already waited long enough. He wanted nothing more than to make all her dreams come true.

He walked inside and as he’d come to expect, Joss was waiting, on her knees, na**d, her eyes welcoming as he strode into the living room.

He went to her instantly, picking her up and cradling her in his arms. He kissed her lovingly, allowing all the love he felt for her to show. He hadn’t given her the words, but his actions told her on a daily basis. Surely she knew. And soon he’d give her those words. When he felt the time was right.

“Hi,” she said breathlessly, her lips swollen from his passionate kiss. “Good day I take it?”

He grinned. “Not until now, no. But coming home to you is the very best part of my day. Every day.”

She smiled and cupped his jaw with her hand, lightly caressing. He savored her touch, craved it with everything he had inside him. He hadn’t lied. He looked forward to the end of every day, merely going through the motions at work. He hadn’t been late a single day because it would mean missing out on this time with her.

The evening was now theirs. No interruptions. No outside world to interfere. Only their world behind the closed doors of their home. Their home.

“It’s my favorite part of the day too,” she said in an adorably shy voice. “When you call me and I come into the living room to wait, it seems interminable.”

“Sorry, honey. Is it uncomfortable for you to kneel that long?”

He wanted her to suffer no discomfort. Not on his account. Yes, he wanted her waiting, kneeling, na**d and utterly submissive. But not if it caused her an ounce of discomfort.

She smiled and shook her head. “No, darling. I love the moment you walk into the living room and I love how your eyes light up when you see me. I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything.”

He was absolutely and absurdly delighted over the endearment she used. She’d never used one, never called him anything but Dash. He was a grown man and nearly taken to his knees over the sweetness of her calling him darling.

“What is it, Dash?” she asked, worry furrowing her brow. “Did I say something wrong?”

He kissed the lines away from her brow. “Not at all, honey. You said something very right. You called me darling. I like it.”

She blushed and ducked her gaze, but he forced her back, cupping her chin so he could kiss her again.

“I like it, Joss,” he reiterated. “I like it a damn lot. It makes me feel special. Like I’m special to you.”

“You are special, Dash,” she whispered. “I hope I’ve shown you that in our time together.”

“You have, but it’s still nice to hear it.”

She reached up and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck as he stood holding her, cradling her in his arms. He never wanted to let her go.

He walked to the sofa and eased down, still holding her firmly in his arms.

“I have something I wanted to mention to you. I wanted it to be a surprise, but I thought it might be better if you’re prepared for it. And if it’s not something you want to do, then just say so. I won’t be angry. I don’t want to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.”

There was confusion in her eyes, but she remained silent, waiting for him to continue. He loved that about her. That she didn’t immediately panic or protest. She trusted him and he savored that trust.

“I thought we could go to The House tomorrow. As a couple. It’s a place you were interested in, and I can make the experience special for you, Joss. Trust me to know what will please you.”

To her credit, no doubt marred her expression. Just trust, shining in her eyes as she stared up at him. She didn’t even appear to be nervous or apprehensive.

“I do trust you, Dash. If you want to go, then I’ll be happy to go with you. Just tell me what I should wear. I don’t want to disappoint or shame you.”

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