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“Had a shaved head like a boy, yes.” Perhaps that was how he’d known her eyes, but that didn’t explain how he’d known her lips. Had he seen them when she invaded his dreams, as she suspected? Had he truly been that aware of her? “It was one of the few kindnesses I remember from my mother. Most of the prisoners knew I was a girl, but it was best not to remind them. It was best to look as…unattractive as possible.”

“Did anyone…”

She arched a brow. “Tartarus was filled with gods and goddesses used to getting their way. Used to exerting their power anytime they wished. They were angry, frustrated and desolate. What do you think?” She could have lied. Made herself seem pure, untouched. Yet, she wanted only honesty between them.

Oh, the irony, she thought.

A muscle ticked below his eye. “I didn’t go to Zeus and ask for the boy’s release, you know. I wasn’t denied.” Each word was harsher than the last.

“Thank you,” she said, and she grinned. “That was sweet of you.” So they had spoken inside that prison. That was real. A real memory. And they’d shared it. Together. No wonder she had adored this man from the first. “I’m done talking now. I hope you are?”

“Yes,” he said gruffly.

But he was still clearly considering the past. Still angry about her treatment. She wanted him focused on her now, and only her. “Gideon?”


“I’m going to have you now.”

He huffed, but remained still as she unfastened his pants. Black briefs, tenting with his arousal. Her mouth watered. Before the night was over, she was going to have that hard, thick shaft inside her mouth and body. She wasn’t letting Gideon leave this bed until they’d both climaxed a dozen times. At least. She would make the most of their night together.

Quickly she worked both the pants and the underwear off his legs and tossed them to the floor. He’d already kicked off his boots and socks. If he’d even been wearing them. She couldn’t recall. And now, finally, he was bare. Now, finally, he was all hers.

She sat at his ankles, admiring the rest of him. His legs were long, lean yet perfectly muscled. There was a smattering of dark hair on his calves that thinned on his thighs and thickened again around his shaft. His testicles were heavy and drawn up tight.

“Don’t touch me,” he croaked out. “Your stare isn’t killing me.”

So he thought he was dying, did he? “Then I feel sorry for you. I haven’t even begun to torture you yet.”

A groan. Of anticipation? She hoped so.

Scarlet traced his real butterfly tattoo with her tongue, then worked her way up to his sac. He uttered another groan, this one far more hoarse. Just to torment him further, she blew on the moisture she’d left behind, warm breath that would cool against his skin. Yet another groan, even a bowing of his back as he sought closer contact.

“Grip the headboard and don’t let go,” she commanded, lest he decided to pump into her mouth and end things too quickly. He’d made her work for her first orgasm with him. She could do no less for him. “Do you understand?” He stiffened.

At first, she thought she’d pushed this dedicated warrior used to control too far. He stared up at her, uncertainty in his eyes. But then, his arms flew above his head and his fingers wrapped around the top of the wood. Holding so tightly his knuckles blanched.

His uncertainty hadn’t stemmed from a reluctance to follow her orders, she realized, but from trepidation. He was afraid to believe she’d actually take over.

And that meant…he wanted control taken from him. Wanted to lose himself to the passion without worrying about anything but the sensations. Of course. The humans he’d been with wouldn’t have known because he wouldn’t have been able to tell them. Never mind that Scarlet wanted to kill those humans for having touched and tasted him.

“Tell me what you want from me.” She needed to hear him say it. Needed him to know that she and no other understood his true meaning. “Admit it. In your way.”

“I—I—” He licked his lips again. There was no shame in his brilliant eyes, only more of that woeful trepidation. “I don’t know what you’re wanting me to admit.”

Yes, he did. “Say it, Gideon, or I walk away. This ends.” Could she follow through with that threat? She didn’t know. Hopefully, he wouldn’t make her find out. Already she was damp and aching, hungry for him.

And she wondered, would he be the lover she’d created in her mind? Or something more?

“I don’t want you to be in charge,” he whispered, as if he feared she would take him at his word.

“Good. That’s good. Because in this bed, I decide your every action. In this bed, I own you.”

The relief that curtained his features would thrill her for the rest of her days.

So she took the game to the next level. “If you hesitate to obey me even once, I’ll leave you unsatisfied. You’ll have to watch me pleasure myself, knowing you won’t be allowed to climax. Understand?”

He nodded, unable to hide his eagerness. Even his cock twitched.

She’d never been this hard-core an aggressor—sexually, that is—but she would be lying if she claimed not to enjoy it. She wanted to be what Gideon had never had before. She wanted to be everything he needed, everything he yearned for.

“Don’t move, not even a little,” she told him as she lowered her mouth to his erection. She didn’t touch him, though, only let her exhalations continue to caress him. For a moment, she thought perhaps he’d even stopped breathing.

“Devil,” he finally gritted out. But he didn’t move. Oh, no, he didn’t move. “I can wait forever. Please, please don’t…do anything. Please…”

Still she waited. Until her blood was molten in her veins. Until he was trembling. Until she felt ready to jump out of her skin, the darkness and screams swirling inside her, desperate for release. Then Scarlet licked him from base to tip.

He shouted her name, a prayer and a curse rolled into one hoarse entreaty. She twirled her tongue around his slit, tasting the saltiness of his seed, then bore down, taking him all the way inside. Until, long as he was, he hit the back of her throat. My man.

Up and down her mouth rode him, and still he didn’t move. He wanted to, she knew it, for she could feel the tension in his muscles. He might not be her husband, but just then he did belong to her. She did own him as she’d claimed, owned his passion, and the knowledge was heady, fogging her mind, heating her blood yet another degree.

She gripped the base as tight as she could, and he cried out. Not in pain but in intensified pleasure. With her other hand, she cupped his balls and tugged. “Move now. You can move.”

Whatever tether he’d had on his body broke, and he shuddered over and over, again and again, pumping his hips into her hands, trying to slide his cock in and out of her steady grip. But she never loosened her hold, never let him create a necessary friction, and no seed emerged. His cock remained hard as a lead pipe.

“Good boy,” she praised huskily. “You deserve a reward.”

His only reply was a ragged pant. Sweat glistened over his trembling body as she kissed her way up his stomach. She stopped and dabbled at his navel, then played at his nipples, sucking one, then the other. Soon, his trembling was so intense, the entire bed was rocking and the springs were squeaking.

Inside her head, Nightmares hummed.

When Gideon tried to arch his back, placing his cock into the apex of her slick center, still covered by her panties, she bit down on his nipple ring and tugged. He moaned, and the wood he held cracked, but he forced his hips to settle back on the mattress. His breath grew more ragged.

Scarlet sat up and straddled his waist. Slowly she removed her shirt and dropped the material beside his head. His white-hot gaze ate her up, devouring her breasts. As he watched, she palmed them, tweaked her nipples.

He lifted his head, trying to get to them.

“No.” Yes. It was a scream from her demon and a plea from her body, but she shook her head. “Down.”

Reluctantly, he obeyed.

Denying him wasn’t a power play for her. Far from it. He’d given the control to her, had been eager to relinquish it, in fact. That meant he’d wanted someone to tell him no. To direct him. Any other woman would have allowed the action, but he didn’t want what he’d always had. He wanted something different. And she would give it to him, no matter the opposition. No matter how much she wanted that mouth sucking on her.

“Devil,” he moaned.

Darling. “Put your hand between my legs.”

The headboard finally broke as he rushed to obey. Though she’d told him to use only one, he placed one hand between her legs, groaned as if in pain, then placed the other on her thigh and groaned as if in agony.

She didn’t scold him. Yet. The action had probably been instinctual on his part, and was definitely welcome on hers. “Make me climax like this. Me, only me.”

He was jerking the barrier of her panties aside in the next instant, his fingers sliding over her wet clitoris. Now she was the one to groan. Nightmares, too. So damned good. The shadows and the screams finally broke free, seeping from her, enveloping the bed, wrapping around them.

Like before, Gideon didn’t seem to mind. And for a long while, he simply rubbed her. Rubbed her until she was moving with his touch, trying to force his fingers to sink inside her rather than torment her sensitive center. Gods, he was working her to a fever pitch, so when he finally, blessedly penetrated her with one finger, she instantly climaxed, squeezing him, holding tight.

Her head fell back as she rode the waves of satisfaction to the sky, stars twinkling behind her eyes. How long she floated, she didn’t know. She only knew that when she came back to herself, Gideon was still, awe in his eyes, awaiting his next command, his body so tense she could have snapped him in two.

That wasn’t good enough, though. She wanted him out of his mind with lust. She wanted him begging for it.