He hadn’t comecompletely down off whatever ledge he’d been walking and she wanted him fully engaged with her, here in the present. He liked to be in control. Therefore, she wanted to see how much he’d willingly relinquish.
“We go at my pace,” she said.
His hands fell to his sides. Caution nudged aside the desire in his eyes. “You sure you’re okay?”
The question disarmed her. He meant because of the altercation with Jonas. There was so much potential in him for decency and kindness.
“I’m fine.” When she reviewed the boy’s behavior and tried to make sense out of it, she began to develop some new ideas as to the true source of his aggression. The comment about Angel’s dare had tweaked it.
She’d have to puzzle that out later. Ryan was of far more interest to her at the moment. “But you’re a control freak, Black Bart. Let’s see how far your control will stretch before it snaps.”
“Well, isn’t that the pot calling the control freak Black Bart,” Ryan drawled. He extracted a condom from the wallet in his back pocket and tossed the condom onto the bed. The shiny foil packet sparkled with promise. Desire slid back into his gaze. “But I’m game. What are you into? Whips? Handcuffs? Because I can come up with both.”
If she wanted to torture him, she had far better methods. “As intriguing as that sounds, I’m not sure how the labor laws in Montana would hold up against me restraining and whipping my boss. Think of this as another teambuilding exercise. Why don’t we see how long you can take orders from me?”
“This should be good. Order away.”
“Turn off the light.”
“Why?” he asked. “I like to see what I’m doing. Or what’s being done to me.”
“Aren’t we off to a great start?” she said sweetly. “Because I’d rather the entire ranch not see it, too. That’s why.” The blinds that covered the front window overlooking the path were wide open and she wanted to leave them that way. The moon offered enough light to make things intriguing. “Let’s make this a tactile experience. And that’s the last explanation I’m giving, by the way.”
“Your teambuilding skills could use some finesse.” But he reached for the light, plunging the room into darkness.
“That’s better. Now lift up your arms and stand still. I want to take off your clothes.”
He did as he was told. Arms raised, he turned to stone.
Her heart pattered like raindrops against the inner walls of her chest as she raised the hem of his shirt. She’d never played sex games with a man before and this might not be the best one to start with. They’d find out soon enough.
With his shirt hiked up to bare his stomach, she bent forward and licked the line between the top of his jeans and his navel. The muscles under his skin tightened, but other than that, and a slight intake of breath, he didn’t move. Her hands, holding his shirt out of the way, smoothed over his pecs. She let the shirt drape over her wrists so she could toy with his nipples. They hardened between her thumbs and her fingers. Physically, the man was a serious work of art.
She took one nipple between her lips and caressed it with her tongue. Mounting excitement left her damp and light-headed. He tasted delicious.
And to think, she could taste and touch him for the rest of the night, if she chose.
“Take off your shirt,” she said. She wasn’t tall enough to remove it herself.
The fabric rustled, then fell to the floor a few feet away. Fortunately, he wasn’t wearing boots. She knelt and removed one shoe, then the other, along with his socks. He had beautiful feet, too. Long and slender. She ran her hand the length of one sole, making his toes curl. She pressed a kiss to his ankle, rose, and reached for the button at the fly of his jeans. Here would be the real test of his control.
She took a few steps back. There was enough light in the room for her to see the way he watched her—the way a cat feigned disinterest until its prey wandered too close. She kicked her shoes off, and slowly, one by one, unbuttoned her shirt. She let it fall from her shoulders, then reached behind her and unfastened her bra. It followed her shirt. Cool air rippled over her breasts. Now they were both wearing only their jeans.
“Tell me what you’re thinking,” she said.
“I’m thinking,” he replied, sounding far too conversational for her peace of mind, “that the next time we play this game I’ll have you undressed a lot faster than this, but that’s where things will slow down. Within two minutes you’ll be begging me for satisfaction, and I’ll give it to you, but not until I’m good and ready.”
“Someone’s ego is healthy. But this was for one night, remember?”
“We agreed to pretend it never happened. No one said anything about one night.”
The pattering in her chest increased to a downpour. This was what she got for striking deals with the devil. She’d debate that with him later. Right now, her common sense was engaged elsewhere.
She wriggled out of her jeans, watching him watch her. Now she wore nothing but a scrap of lace.