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McKenna sat down in the chair beside me, her hands moving restlessly in her lap. “I think we got off on the wrong foot,” she murmured. “I’m here to help. That’s all.” She held up her hands, palms out in a placating gesture, and her eyes met mine.

Her hands were small and looked soft. It had been a while since I’d been around a girl as innocent and pure as she seemed to be. I nodded, acknowledging her statement, then cleared my throat and asked, “Did you need something?” She had asked me to stay behind, after all.

She took a deep breath, inhaling slowly, as if to steady herself. “Success in this program hinges on one’s ability to admit they have a problem with sexual activity, and that they need help.”

Although I could surely use her help with some sexual activity, I had a feeling that wasn’t what she meant.

“I’m here at the request of my counselor.” My voice was bland, indicating my lack of passion regarding her little meetings.

She looked down at the floor to the space between our feet once again, momentarily falling silent before raising her gaze to mine once again. “What do you do for fun, Mr. Bauer? To blow off steam.”

Mr. Bauer. I liked the sound of that falling from her pink lips way too much. My gaze zeroed in on her mouth, and McKenna bit down on her lower lip.

I stuffed my hands into my pockets, forcing my eyes away. “What do you want to know?”

“Your hobbies.”

My hobbies? Drinking, getting arrested, f**king pretty little things like her. Since the truth would shock her, I just shrugged. “Nothing that concerns you, angel.”

“You’re awfully…dominant, aren’t you?” Her words were direct, but her gaze remained glued to the floor, as if she was unable to be so bold while holding my eyes. It set off something inside me.

I didn’t like the label. Dominant. I’d read a little bit about it online, and I’d be lying if some of the shit I read didn’t ring true. I liked to take control in the bedroom. Give orders. Be pleased by a girl eager to submit, or give pleasure to someone so willing to receive it. I liked the control it gave. The heady feeling of power. Especially because there was so much in my life I couldn’t control. And something about McKenna’s gentle nature told me if I could get past her walls, she would submit to me beautifully.

I was even sicker and more f**ked up than she knew. I’d own her. But as fun as it might be, I wouldn’t let myself break her. She was my sexual addiction counselor. She was off-limits. And it wasn’t like I had an actual problem. I liked sex. I was a red-blooded American male, but I could control myself.

“Your reaction is very common, Mr. Bauer,” she went on. “With all due respect, it sounds like you may be in denial, especially if you continue to engage in destructive sexual activities.”

I let out a snort. “You think you’re going to cure me of wanting sex, angel? Not a chance.” The nickname slid from my lips with ease. She was a sweet, blue-eyed, petite little thing. Soft and innocent looking too. An angel amongst devils.

“We don’t preach celibacy. That’s not what I’m asking of you.” Her voice wavered ever so slightly.

“Damn good thing too.” No way in f**k was I taking a vow of abstinence. I felt itchy and uncomfortable just thinking about it, like a caged animal ready to rebel. Why was I letting her get under my skin? Shit.

“We operate under the same approach as many twelve-step programs. We don’t expect abstinence, but my goal is to help you engage in healthy sexual activity. To work with you to stay away from people or images that might trigger compulsive sexual behavior.”

This was insane. I wasn’t some sicko, some sexual deviant. I just really, really liked women. I shouldn’t have even come here today. I should have told that counselor to f**k off instead of agreeing to this bullshit interrogation. My heartbeat pounded in my ears, and I crossed my arms over my chest to hide my clenched fists.

“Our group members often have unresolved emotional issues, things from their pasts that bring on PTSD, anxiety, depression. Eighty percent of sex addicts were abused as children…” McKenna prattled on like she was reading from a textbook.

My past had nothing to do with my liking sex. The only thing that kept me in my seat was watching McKenna’s pretty blue eyes looking so solemnly at mine. She held me captive, even if I didn’t want to listen to what she had to say.

McKenna licked her lips slightly, which made my dick twitch, and said, “Only once you deal with your sexual dysfunction can you form true, loving relationships, and break the cycle.”

No thanks. Been there, done that. And I had the battle scars to prove it. I shifted in my seat, becoming more agitated by the second.

She leaned forward, her expression sincere. “You can’t do this alone, in private by yourself, Knox. I’m here to help.”

“Sex feels good, McKenna,” I spat out. “You should try it. It releases endorphins.”

“So does jogging.”

I couldn’t help the throaty chuckle that tore from my chest. Jogging as a replacement for sex? This girl was crazy.

“I have to go.” I shot to my feet, needing out of this room where her sweet scent was invading my senses and making my head spin.

McKenna opened her mouth to argue, but closed it once I stood.

We were done. At least for now.

Chapter Four


That night while lying in bed, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about him. Knox Bauer. Even his name rolling off my lips sent my pulse racing.


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