“Jessie, we’ve pushed you too hard. You’re strong, but you’re not from here. My family’s ways are not the norm in the outside world. I get it. But I can’t back off. I love you and I want you, not for a night or two. I want you forever.”
* * * *
Jessie’s heart danced in her chest when Denver told her he loved her. She ran her finger over Denver’s scar. She liked being held in his arms. “You say you want me forever, but for now, I just want to survive until my Dad leaves Wilde.”
“I’ll help you with that.” The cowboy pressed his mouth to her lips, delivering a toe-curling kiss.
When he released her, she was out of breath and feeling better. “Will you do something for me, Denver?”
“I want another training session with you.”
He frowned. “At the club.”
“No. Here. Now. Just you and me.” If she had a chance at love with the brothers, she had to be ready for Austin. If he rejected her, it wouldn’t be because she hadn’t done all she cou
ld do. No way. And as much as it pained her, if Austin did turn her away, she would leave. She would not come between the brothers. Ever. They were family, and that meant something.
He cocked up one eyebrow. “Okay, sugar.”
This made sense. She needed to be ready for one of the public areas the next time she went to the club. Besides, when Denver turned into Sir, she was able to get out of her head and go to that wonderful, dreamy place where no memories of old hurts were. At least for a bit.
“I need to let my bratty sub out. Are you Dom enough to tame her?”
Denver stood, still holding Jessie in his arms with her feet dangling. He gently lowered her to the floor to a standing position, and then his whole demeanor changed. Like some superhero, he morphed from his former self into someone different. Sir.
Her nerves popped inside her like kettle corn. “I–I’m…not…really…”
He cupped her chin with one hand and pinched her nipple with the other.
“Ouch.” Her nipples were sore for all the former training, and this tweak woke them up, causing them to throb.
“It wasn’t a question, sub. You just earned yourself several whacks to your pretty, little ass.”
“Yes, Sir.” She intentionally didn’t move to undress to see what Sir would do, though she was nervous to defy him too much.
He let her chin fall and pinched both her nipples until she yelped, bringing her part way out of her malaise. “I ordered you to strip. Do it!”
“Yes, Sir.” She undressed mechanically. Her mind was still juggling so many thoughts and memories. She wanted Sir to give her space and take charge.
Sir studied her.
Denver had been so wonderful to listen to her talk about her mom’s death and her father’s coldness. Though he’d not said much, he’d shown her such tenderness it was the perfect salve.
But when he was Sir, she felt his hot blood, boiling with a sharp possessiveness. That, too, was its own kind of healing. Not salve, more like necessary surgery.
Sir’s voice was like an idling engine in his chest. “You’re completely naked, and I can’t see even the tiniest shiver in you, sub. Not good. Not good at all. I’ll fix that.” Soon, she knew he would put the pedal to the floor and take her on a delirious ride.
Sir walked around her, touching and pinching along the way. He stepped in front of her and kissed her, driving his tongue into her mouth past her lips, not asking for permission, but demanding entrance. There was nothing soft about this. Her lips ached and swelled. Though she wanted their kiss to go on and on, Sir released her.
She felt her eyes brim up with tears. He knew exactly how to make her feel better. She wasn’t lost to her suffering. His gaze locked on her and held her like the strongest restraint. The urge to look down pulled at her. But she didn’t want to. Not yet. She wanted to push him. Show him she could take more. Much more. She craved Sir’s punishments.
“You going to show me who is boss or not?” she asked.