Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer just got hotter with the release of HIS TO MASTER AND OWN, book 5 of the Miami Masters series, and the pre-order release of the new MASTERS OF THE CASTLE boxset with my story, CONTROLLING CARLIE.  It was such an honor and thrill to be invited to participate in this 10 author, 8 book set that takes place at Maren Smith's popular BDSM castle.  All eight books revolve around the same plot- a unique twist on boxsets and quite the challenge for us to coordinate. 

I hope you enjoy these excerpts from both books and take a moment to check out both titles-you won't be disappointed!


Blurb - His To Master and Own:
The first time Sean Bates saw Alessa Alexander at a BDSM club without one of her friends attending with her, he didn’t approach her or interfere, deeming it was none of his business.  The second time, his protective, dominate instincts forced him to confront her, and then offer his professional counseling for her needs.
Alessa’s desire to turn herself over to a man’s full control kept her from believing she’d ever enjoy a long-term relationship like her friends recently committed to.  When she gets up the nerve to ask Sean Bates to tutor her in her unorthodox fantasies, the first scene he devises leaves her aching for more of his strict control, but worried about keeping her feelings uninvolved.
Past heartbreaks kept Sean and Alessa leery of hoping for too much from their agreed upon temporary relationship.  Between escalating problems with an ex at work and her insecurities, Alessa runs from Sean before she ends up hurt.
But it doesn’t take her long to realize how much she wants him and his strict discipline, enough to risk the height of humiliation to earn his forgiveness.

Her response to his control was everything she hoped, and feared it would be.

Sean couldn’t recall another woman who looked as beautiful when in the throes of an orgasm as Alessa.  Her red streaked hair dampened on the ends, her body bowed and jerked in the restraints, glistening with a moist sheen as she rode the dildos with unabashed pleasure.  “Again,” he commanded when her gyrations slowed, and she shook with the dwindling tremors of her release.
He worked the double phallus inside her, upped the vibrations by twisting the small knob on the base again, and pressed the larger one harder against her swollen, reddened clit with each return thrust.  The black corset emphasized the paleness of her skin, especially the fleshy mounds of her quivering breasts and her soft thighs above the gartered stockings.  As sexy as she looked, he couldn’t wait to strip her bare the next time, to enjoy access to her whole cushiony body. 
“Oh, God, please,” she pled, her breathless voice zeroing straight down to his balls.  How long had it been since he’d reveled in hearing a woman beg? 
“Please what?” he prodded with another plunge that brought her up higher on her knees.
“I don’t think…aaah! Sean cut off her denial with a painful bite of one nipple then smiled when she pressed her crotch down on the invading objects and came apart again. 
“That’s it, Alessa.  Don’t think, just feel.  One more.”

The new Masters of the Castle boxset, WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM - 10 authors, 8 brand new stories, 1 really, really bad man.
Where will you be when the bomb goes off?

Carlie Simms had wanted her brother’s best friend for as long as she could remember, but Luke Montgomery refused to see her as anyone besides Evan’s little sister.  Now, five years after her brother’s death, she has a chance to move on, away from the home town where she grew up next to Luke, away from the painful memories of losing bother her mother and brother, and away from the one man she couldn’t stop longing for.  Her best friend, upset over Carlie’s announcement she planned to move, finally talked her into one last fling before leaving; a weekend at the local BDSM club, The Castle.  What better way to see if she was as submissive as her dreams led her to believe, to do research for her writing and work Luke out of her system?  The only drawback she could see was Luke was the only man she craved to submit to.
Nothing could’ve surprised Luke more than seeing the girl he’d sworn to protect at the Castle, perched on another Dom’s lap.  Anger and jealousy urged him to intervene then Carlie’s stubbornness forced him to take her on as his sub for the weekend to honor his promise to her brother to keep her safe.  Unfortunately, in his mind, that promise included keeping her safe from his dominate pleasures, as he knew Evan would never approve of the lifestyle for his sister.  To make matters worse, he had only returned to the club to search for an assassin who had set his evil sights on the club owner’s cousin.  Now, he not only had to refrain from making Carlie his in every way while teaching her the art of submission but had to keep her off the assassin’s radar.
Would Carlie’s stubbornness to get everything she could from a weekend spent submitting to Luke prevail, or would Luke’s determination to hold back put both their relationship and her life in jeopardy?  It takes a possible threat followed by a misunderstanding to get Luke to see what’s been right before his eyes all along.
 The only way to keep her safe was to bend her to his will.
Clasping Carlie’s arm, Luke steered her out into the foyer and over to a corner, relieved Marshall agreed to the switch in subs without fuss. “You need to go home,” he insisted without preamble, then winced when her widened eyes narrowed to angry slits behind her glasses. Seeing her here had thrown him for such a loop he couldn’t think straight. He knew a statement like that would yank on her obstinate nature and she’d dig her heels in.
“What? Did you run off Master Jones just so you could tell me to go home?” Her incredulous tone emphasized his mishandling of this and her. That damn stubborn streak of hers rivaled the most contrary jackass.
He kept his voice low so he could use her given name. “Look, Carlie, this is no place for you, not to mention there are things at play I can’t discuss but don’t want you involved in. I promised…”
“I swear, Luke, if you say you promised my brother you’d look after me one more time, I’ll kick you. I am not your little sister or your responsibility,” she snapped, jerking on her arm. He tightened his grip and she stomped her bare foot, emphasizing the pique of annoyance reflected in her voice. “I. Am. Not. Leaving.”
It was his turn to narrow his eyes and let go with the irritation her surprise presence was responsible for. Dressed in that sheer blouse, his first glimpse of her full breasts and pink nipples stirred not only his protective instincts, but his cock, the enticing view confirming what his imagination had been teasing him with. He not only needed to get her out of there for her sake, but for his as well. Suppressing his desire for her had been hard enough the past few years, seeing her in this sex-charged atmosphere only whetted his appetite for the forbidden fruit she represented.
“When you took the tour of the Castle, didn’t you see any scenes taking place, see what your Dom might want to put you through? Think you’d enjoy being tethered naked to a St. Andrew’s cross, tormented with a flogger or cane while others looked on? How about the Sybian? Did you happen to view a sub riding the vibrating dildo attached to that apparatus, maybe while her Master delivered stinging swats on her nipples?”
Carlie’s face paled, then reddened as he spoke, but Luke couldn’t tell if he’d worried her or tweaked her interest even more. “I saw a few scenes, and I’m still here. I’ve researched this stuff, Luke, and I’ve wanted to check this place out for a long time. What’s the big deal? You’ve been a member for years, and I know Evan visited several times.”  
“That’s different,” he growled, his frustration with her stubbornness increasing. His mind urged him to act fast before his body overrode his good intentions. Maybe, instead of outlining what she would be subjected to, he should give her an example of what she was in for, what she’d be expected to submit to, if she stayed. Of course, there was the risk whatever he did would work against him, add to his craving to have her beneath him, to feel all that softness cradling his hard body as he pinned her down with the pummeling thrusts of his cock. But, what choice did he have? He had to get her to leave, to keep her safe from both Carmen and himself. 
“Not even if I do this?” With his eyes on hers, he reached up and lowered the right side of the elastic scooped peasant blouse to just underneath her plump breast. Cupping the soft, underside fullness, he let his gaze wander down while strumming his thumb over the turgid nipple. Watching as it puckered even tighter. His mouth went dry with the urge to nip at that tender tip, to work it with his teeth and lips until it went from pale pink to berry red.
To Luke’s surprise, Carlie leaned into his hand, her voice breathless with her answer. “N… no, not even if you do that.” Her eyes shifted behind him and she blushed when she saw how many people were watching them, but that stubborn streak remained firmly in place.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Thank you for joining me on Saturday Spankings.  With the newest Miami Masters installment, HIS TO MASTER AND OWN just out, it's a perfect time to share another tantalizing spanking tidbit. 

Buy links:


The first time Sean Bates saw Alessa Alexander at a BDSM club without one of her friends attending with her, he didn’t approach her or interfere, deeming it was none of his business.  The second time, his protective, dominate instincts forced him to confront her, and then offer his professional counseling for her needs.

Alessa’s desire to turn herself over to a man’s full control kept her from believing she’d ever enjoy a long-term relationship like her friends recently committed to.  When she gets up the nerve to ask Sean Bates to tutor her in her unorthodox fantasies, the first scene he devises leaves her aching for more of his strict control, but worried about keeping her feelings uninvolved.

Past heartbreaks kept Sean and Alessa leery of hoping for too much from their agreed upon temporary relationship.  Between escalating problems with an ex at work and her insecurities, Alessa runs from Sean before she ends up hurt.  But it doesn’t take her long to realize how much she wants him and his strict discipline, enough to risk the height of humiliation to earn his forgiveness.
My eight-sentence snippet:

His frown caused her to stumble back a step, but he caught her wrist and yanked her over his arm to deliver five rapid, skin reddening slaps.  “This is what you’ll get every time you give me attitude.”  Tears hovered in her eyes when he lifted her.  Confident he got his message across, he allowed her to reach behind and rub the offending marks.  He’d made sure the swats were hard enough to add to the lingering pain of the paddle.  “Now, shall we try this again?”  He held up the open dress.

“I only meant I’m not a child,” she pouted.
     “Then don’t act like one.”

Be sure to check out the rest this week's hop!

Monday, July 9, 2018

HIS TO MASTER AND OWN now up for pre-order for only $2.99.  Price jumps to $4.99 on release day, July 13th, so get your copy soon.  In the meantime, enjoy this steamy excerpt from Sean and Alessa's story.

The first time Sean Bates saw Alessa Alexander at a BDSM club without one of her friends attending with her, he didn’t approach her or interfere, deeming it was none of his business.  The second time, his protective, dominate instincts forced him to confront her, and then offer his professional counseling for her needs.
Alessa’s desire to turn herself over to a man’s full control kept her from believing she’d ever enjoy a long-term relationship like her friends recently committed to.  When she gets up the nerve to ask Sean Bates to tutor her in her unorthodox fantasies, the first scene he devises leaves her aching for more of his strict control, but worried about keeping her feelings uninvolved.
Past heartbreaks kept Sean and Alessa leery of hoping for too much from their agreed upon temporary relationship.  Between escalating problems with an ex at work and her insecurities, Alessa runs from Sean before she ends up hurt.  But it doesn’t take her long to realize how much she wants him and his strict discipline, enough to risk the height of humiliation to earn his forgiveness.

He sat down but she resisted the tug on her hand with an uneasy glance toward the closed door.  “But, here?  What about your receptionist?”  Oh, God, she’d never be able to show her face to the older woman again if she heard what he planned to do.  
“Barbara has left for lunch.  We’re alone in the suite.  But make no mistake, Alessa.  There will be times I’ll tell you to do something with others present and giving up control means you either comply or walk away.  Now,” he yanked harder on her hand and sent her sprawling across his lap, “quit stalling.  Unless you have a different preference, red will be your ‘stop’ safe word, and if you say it, our agreement ends.  Period.”
She didn’t have time to assimilate that remark, or the cold chill she experienced when she thought of walking away from him.  Being placed over his hard thighs like a recalcitrant child was hard enough to take in, but then he lifted her skirt and her automatic response was to throw her hands behind her, a futile attempt to preserve a modicum of dignity.  “Wait!” she cried in panic over him baring her big butt.
“No.”  Sean pushed her hands down.  “Grab my leg if you have to, but don’t bring your hands back here again or I’ll swat them as well.”
Why that sounded worse than having her bottom smacked, she didn’t know, but didn’t hesitate to grip his muscled calf and brace herself for this humiliation.  Her plain white bikini panties came down next and the cool air wafting over her exposed flesh drew a shiver down her bowed spine.  With her bare buttocks the only part of her anatomy on display, Alessa had never felt so vulnerable, but the slow caress of his hand over her quivering cheeks soothed her anxiety.  His casual, soft exploration worked to loosen her tense muscles even though she still held her breath, waiting for that first slap.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

DETERMINED TO MASTER - For those who haven't read the Virginia Bluebloods series, here's your chance to get all five books for just $6.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited!  Enjoy these snippets from each title and be sure to check out Book Unleashed blog tour and get in on the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Another awesome dealing coming July 9th-the pre-order price for HIS TO MASTER AND OWN will be $2.99 through the 12th.  Release date, July 13th, price goes to $4.99.

Blindsided excerpt:

Reaching up, Nate cupped her right breast, the soft fullness a nice handful, the erect nipple jabbing his palm as he kneaded her creamy flesh.  “Makes you more aware of your body as you wonder what the other person thinks.  I love your breasts, Eve.  They’re the perfect size for my hand, so soft here,” he squeezed her plump roundness, “and so hard and responsive here.”  He rolled her nipple between two fingers then gave a taut pull on the small bud until a low moan escaped her lips.  When he released her, she shifted, seeking more.  “Do you tend your own lawn?” he asked her before dipping his head and drawing her nipple into his mouth and suckling with strong pulls, his intention to keep her off guard, unable to think.
“Yes, no, I mean Carl and Mark helped me pick out shrubs and flowers and where to put them.  Ow!”  Eve reached up to rub her nipple to ease the pain from his surprise sharp bite, a pain that sent needles of pleasure straight down to her pussy, but he stopped her with one word.
“No.”  Chuckling, he scooped up some of the sweet whipped topping off the pie.  “Here, this’ll take the sting away.” 
Eve gasped when she felt him coat her nipple and a good portion of her breast with the cool, creamy pie then couldn’t suppress another moan when his lips closed around her tip and he licked it off.  “Oh, God,” she muttered as he feasted off her breast with his mouth and tongue, licking and sucking at her entire breast as if it was the tastiest of desserts.  Wet heat pooled between her legs and her entire body grew warm from arousal.  The setting sun shining through the windows and across her torso added even more warmth until she felt as if she was burning up from the inside out.  The sharp nip of his teeth on her nipple had her gasping and tightening her legs to ease the pulsing ache growing there.
“As much as I relish being likened to a higher deity, sugar, you can just call me Nate,” he teased, scooping up more pie while nibbling on the sensitive curve between her shoulder and neck.  After covering her entire left breast with the sweet, creamy concoction, he dipped his head and took slow licks.  By the time he got to her nipple, she was restless, shifting on his lap, her soft round ass making his cock beg for release.
“I’ll try to remember that.” 
Her soft, breathless voice filled his head as he moved over to her left nipple.  From her low moan, he knew the air felt cool against the tingling he left behind.  “Want to go to my bedroom?”
Nate didn’t reply until he finished tormenting her breast and had every speck of white cream removed and both nipples berry red.  “No, right here will do just fine.  Stand up and get out of those pants.”
Eve stood, slipping both the capris and her panties down her legs and over her bare feet, kicking them aside as she waited with an anxious look for his next directive.  The quickness and ease with which she obeyed told him she was discovering once again how much easier and more pleasurable sex could be when she didn’t have to think about anything, do anything except what he said.

Bind Me To You excerpt:

Dec didn’t know what he would do, how he’d react if she said no.  Thank God he didn’t have to find out because, with a look of relief, she followed him to the elevator without a word.  He couldn’t recall a time when he’d wanted a woman more, not even in his horny college days when women were all he’d thought about.  It’s just pent up frustration from pent up lust he told himself as they exited the elevator and he led her into the first room on the right.  From the way his cock pressed with painful insistence against his zipper, he felt as if he could explode any second.  He knew he would’ve had no qualms about hauling her outside and taking her against the brick side of the warehouse if he had found all the second floor, private rooms taken when he’d stopped on this floor on his way downstairs earlier.
“Strip,” he ordered without preamble, tightening his jaw against the surge of possessive pleasure he experienced eyeing the cuffs he had left on her wrists and ankles.  They were wide, thick and bulky.  He wanted her to know she had them on, know who put them there and accept what they meant as long as she wore them.  Her hands shook as she finished unbuttoning her top, her expressive eyes shifting away from his when she shrugged it and her bra off her shoulders.  Holding out his hand, he took them, saying, “Now the skirt.”
Camille kept quiet, afraid if she said anything it would be the wrong thing and he’d send her away.  With her palms sliding flat against her waist, she lowered the skirt, taking her panties the rest of the way down with it, conscious of the heavy feel of the cuffs.  They were bulky and cumbersome around her wrists and ankles, but strangely comforting in a weird, somewhat sexual way.  She assumed he would remove them when he finished with her, and she’d been both relieved and pleased he wasn’t ready to end the night just yet.  She had difficulty swallowing around the lump of vulnerability stuck in her throat when she stood naked before him, but as his gaze took a slow slide down her body, hot enough to inflame her smoldering arousal, her body responded with its usual fever. 
Surrender To Me excerpt:
He opened the door without knocking to see her scrubbing her hands with frantic motions, steam billowing from the faucet, the look of sheer panic on her face irritating him even more.  “What the hell are you doing?  Stop that.”  Turning off the hot water, he jerked her reddened hands under the cold faucet, removing the loosened band aids she had wrapped around three puffy fingers.  “What’s gotten into you?” he snapped.
Shea couldn’t believe how fast it all came back to her, the humiliation of leaving the Zimmerman’s, the fear of rejection.  She’d known she couldn’t keep telling Fin no on one hand and yes on the other without consequences, she just hadn’t known how much she wanted to stay, here, with him.  Instant panic had consumed her mind when she noted his irritation as he stared at her grease stained clothes and hands, the look on his face similar to Mrs. Zimmerman’s when she had walked into the bathroom and seen the smudge of grease she had left on a towel despite her efforts to clean herself up.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get it all off,” she tried assuring him as she struggled to pull her hands from his.  “I promise I won’t get anything dirty.”
“What?  Oh, for God’s sake, Shea.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’ve bathed in the damn stuff.”  Turning her around, he leaned into her, his eyes boring into her startled, purple eyes.  “That’s not what I’m pissed about.”
Before she could question him, his mouth covered hers, his lips ruthless as he assaulted her mouth and her senses with a hard, demanding kiss.  The erection he pressed against her mound was just as hard, just as demanding and Shea knew the time had come for her to choose.
“Damn it,” Fin swore as he lifted his mouth from hers and whipped her dirty shirt over her head.  “I’m tired of waiting, tired of your evasive answers to my questions and damn tired of you denying you want this, you want me, as much as I want you.”  Fisting her platinum hair, he jerked her head back and ravaged her mouth again, his other hand ridding her of her bra and lowering her shorts with unerring speed.
“Oh God,” Shea groaned when cool air wafted over bare skin, her nipples beading into pinpoints before his hot mouth closed around one turgid peak.  The strong suction on her sensitive tip shot fire straight down to her pussy, had her arching into his mouth, thrusting against his denim covered cock.  She had no choice but to yield to the searing need which had been building for days.  Coupled with the fear of rejection reverberating in her head, the choice was made for her.
Fin released her nipple with a long pull and a plop, turned to lick over its twin before raising his head to see the undisguised agreeance reflected on her face.  “It’s about fucking time.” 
Blackmailed excerpt:
“Did I mention I insist on being in charge?  Like this.”  He took her mouth again, his assault deep and hard, her response quick and eager.  Slipping his hand under her skirt, he caressed up her smooth thigh until he reached a surprisingly full, soft buttock.  With his mouth glued to hers, he kept her busy with his tongue as he delved inside her panties and lowered them to just below her ass.  Then got her attention with a hard swat on one buttock.
Surprise more than the sudden sting from his slap had Charlotte jerking her head back, the warmth spreading over her cheek matching that covering her face.  “What was that for?” she asked, praying her voice didn’t reveal the shocking pleasure spreading from her tingling butt down to her sheath.
“A little example of what I’ll do if you don’t give me the control I’ll insist on when we get to your room.  Think hard and fast-what the hell is your name?”
She couldn’t help it.  She giggled like a teenager on her first date instead of a grown woman about to have raunchy sex with a complete stranger.  “Charlie,” she told him, liking the sound of her abbreviated name, and liking him, gruff exterior and all.
Pressing the Start button on the elevator panel, he responded with a wry grin tugging the corners of his mouth.  “I’m Wes, and,” he squeezed the buttock he slapped, “if you don’t want those doors to open on your exposed, red ass, I suggest you answer me.  Fast.”
Charlotte could think of only one way to respond to the rough urgency she heard in his voice, the same rough urgency spreading through her, brought on by that stimulating smack and threatening to send her spinning out of control soon.  “Yes, I’m sure.”
Bound By Two excerpt:
After insisting she ride with them, Dale squeezed his big body in next to hers on the front seat of Eli’s maroon Ford Escape.  Dani welcomed the extra heat from the tight press of their larger frames, but not the additional stimulus to her already over charged libido. 
Dale’s lean cheeks creased when he smiled down at her, that enticing dimple she liked so much flashing.  “A little.  Those… things aren’t very comfortable.”  Especially when they rubbed against raw, overly sensitive nerve endings with just the slightest movement.
“Since you’ve been so good, I’ll give you a small treat, a sample of what they can do.”  Reaching into his coat pocket, he pressed the lowest setting on the remote for the vibrators. 
  Tiny vibrations unlike anything she’d felt before started up in her rectum and vagina, sending off sparks of pleasure.  She gasped in surprise, her nipples tightening along with the clamps, putting more pressure on their already hypersensitive tips.  Please,” she whispered, closing her eyes against the desperate plea in her voice.  The small pulses weren’t enough to push her over the edge she’d been teetering on, only enough to torment her further.
“Give her a break, Dale.  We’re almost there.”
Dale heaved an exaggerated sigh and turned off the vibrators.  “You used to be a hard ass.”
“Still am, when the situation warrants it.”
Dani was so responsive he sometimes forgot just how new all this was for her.  From the look on her face when he brought out the bullets, he’d think she had never seen vibrators before.  It boggled his mind thinking that might be the case.  What woman her age hadn’t played around with toys?  More questions as of yet unanswered.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Big summer plans!  Coming June 29th-all five books in the Virginia Bluebloods series will be offered in a box set for one low price of $6.99-an awesome deal!  Check out the hot new cover & title.

Following on the heels of this offer, book 5 of the Miami Masters series, HIS TO MASTER AND OWN, will be released on July 13th.  I hope you'll enjoy Sean and Alessa's story as much as my beta readers did.

THEN....stay tuned for an announcement of a special project I'm thrilled to have been a part of!  Coming the first week of August, this is one you won't want to miss.  More details in a few weeks, but in the meantime, don't forget June's Instaspank Challenge!


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Join me on Instagram all this month for the June Instaspank Challenge and get in on the numerous prizes!  Just make a comment on the photo for the day and you'll be added to several drawings for Amazon gift cards.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book 5 in the Miami Masters series is done!  HIS TO MASTER AND OWN, is Sean and Alessa's story, one I enjoyed writing very much as it's a bit 'out there'.  The Carlson brothers, Troy and Trevor will get their book next, the last in the series.  Enjoy this little peek from book 5 and check back for the release date.

Be sure to take a moment to check out my recent guests posts from awesome authors such as FELICITY BRANDON, LIBBY CAMPBELL, GOLDEN ANGEL, PK COREY & BRANDI EAVANS!

“You’re fifteen minutes late,” Sean stated from his seat behind his desk when Alessa entered his office on Thursday.  His anticipation at seeing her again after catching her name on the schedule dimmed with her tardiness.  He’d hoped the one time she’d been a no-show had put an end to her testing him so they could move on.
Alessa waved her hand in an airy, indifferent gesture that matched her off-the-cuff excuse.  “Sorry, got tied up.”  She plopped into the chair, crossed her legs and arms and gazed at him as if daring him to make an issue of it.  He remained quiet until she fidgeted in her seat, her multi-colored, calf-length skirt sliding over her leg as she swung her foot.
“Having a bad day, sweetheart?” Sean drawled with deliberate sarcasm just to see what she’d do.
Those slim brows dipped in a frown and her soft lips tightened.  “Don’t call me sweetheart.”
“Why?”  He could tell she hadn’t expected to come up with a reason when she unfolded her arms and went for a hangnail.  “Knock it off and talk to me.  That’s why you’re here.”
Her hands went to the armrests, the quick way she resumed the grip he’d instructed her to take the last time sending a surge of pleasure through him until she jumped up and began pacing.  “Look, I had a bad night at work then didn’t sleep well.  Do you want me to stay or not?” she snapped without looking at him.
No, she definitely wasn’t done testing him.  “Sit down and tell me about the first foster home you can remember, and why you left.”
“I didn’t leave.  They asked for me to be removed.”  She sat with another disgruntled plop and glared at him.  “I told you, I was difficult.”
He regarded her with a steady look, his voice as bland as his simple inquiry. “Why?”
“Why what?” 
“Why were you being difficult?  Did you not like the adults, the other kids?  Did they make you eat gross vegetables?”
“I like all veggies and everybody,” she returned without pause.
“Alessa.”  A delicate shiver shook her at his warning tone, so at least he was getting through to her on some level.
“Fine.  You want details?  Let’s see, I was around five, so I don’t remember much except missing the little girl I played with in my first home.  In the second place, the kids were older, around nine or ten, and didn’t like me bothering them.”  She shrugged and glanced away to add, “I’d get bored by myself, so I’d pester them, I guess.  I don’t recall their names, but the parents grew tired of their kid’s constant complaining and told me it’d be better if I went to someone who had kids my age.  Good enough?” she finished, looking back at him.
Attitude dripped from her, but the disquiet in her whiskey eyes gave her away.  “I remember when we danced at the weddings thinking you were shy and quiet.  Did you come across this belligerent with your foster parents?”
She shrugged.  “Like I said, I could be difficult.”
Had anyone ever stuck with her?  Sean could see a clear picture of her past, a lonely girl reaching out the only way she knew how.  The neglectful foster care system had let her down as much as her poor choice of men.  “So, the next home, were there kids your age?”
Alessa stood again and turned her back to him, but not before he saw the rigid set to her jaw.  Walking across the room, she stopped in front of his law degree hanging on the wall.  “I went to Florida State as well.  Did you grow up in Tallahassee?”
“No, here in Miami.  You didn’t answer my question, Alessa.”
Shaking her head, she kept her back to him when she replied, “Let’s talk about something else.”
“Okay.  What do you want to discuss?”
Her shoulders lifted with her deep inhale, then she blurted the last thing he wanted her to say.  “You mentioned introducing me to someone who could tutor me into giving up complete control.  What if I said I wanted it to be you?”
Nothing like handing me my fucking dream on a platter.  Sean willed his rapid heartbeat to slow down as he took a moment to think her offer through and ponder where it came from.  There were numerous reasons why he should turn her down: they would still be thrown together at social gatherings of their mutual friends afterward, which could be awkward; Dax and Krista would kill him if she ended up hurt; it would cross an ethical line he’d never violated before; and it would test his own control to give her a taste of what she claimed to want. 
“You’re not saying anything.”  Alessa’s shoulder’s slumped before her back went rigid and she pivoted to face him.
And there, etched on her pale face, was the one reason he couldn’t turn her down.  She’d already braced for his refusal, for him to be the next person to turn his back on her.  Enough people had rejected her; he couldn’t be another in a long line of inconsiderate jerks who hadn’t cared enough to give her what she needed.
“Does this mean you’re through testing me and you’ve concluded you can trust me?”
Her brows dipped in that cute frown again and he continued to find himself amused by her quirks and drawn to the woman they exposed.  He could see she hadn’t expected him to catch on to what she was doing. 
“What do you mean?  You’re the one who’s testing me,” she returned with a defensive glare, a hint of pink staining her cheeks.
“Let’s see, I surmise you so rudely skipped our second appointment because you were waiting to see if I mentioned your visit to any of our mutual friends.  Tuesday, my questioning brought up the past, and you suspected I saw beyond what little information you revealed.  You thought to push me today by arriving late, and with attitude.  How am I doing?”
And just like that, the shy, insecure Alessa returned and sought to flee instead of taking the risk of getting hurt again.  “I can see you’re not happy with me.”  She started for the door.  “Thank you…”
“If your request was another test, I’m happy to say I’ll pass this one as well.  Yes, I’ll tutor you however far you want to go.”  And he’d begin by enforcing his rule, something his palm had been itching to do since she walked in with attitude written all over her.  Since they were running past noon, he knew Barbara would have left for lunch already and they had the entire suite to themselves.