I never thought I’d see her again. The one I couldn’t have, the one I’d never forget. When I met her I had nothing, a lowly ranch hand working on her daddy’s land. She was the golden girl up on the hill, sexy as hell but beyond my reach. Now, like all my fantasies realized, she’s come to me for help.
I’m a bastard, ruthless in pursuit of my goals. My cold, hard drive has made me what I am today, amassing wealth and power. A good guy would help her, then send her on her way with a handshake and a smile. I’m not a good guy. I’m going to make a bargain and hold her to it.
One week. I’ll bail her out, pay off all her debts, but only after she gives herself to me completely. Seven days and seven nights of no-holds-barred submission to my dominance. I’m a demanding man with dark, relentless appetites. She’s unleashed the beast in me and I won’t stop until I possess all of her.
Six years ago he broke my heart. Now, with nowhere else to turn, I’ve put myself at his mercy. He’s the ultimate alpha male, commanding and controlling, and I’ve agreed to let him use me as his plaything for a week. I’m terrified of how he’ll take me, what he’ll make me do to serve all of his needs.
I’ve got to keep this week all business. It needs to stay a transaction, pure and simple, no emotions in play. I’m scared as hell about the power he wields over me.
Because I have a dirty secret. I’ve never gotten over him. I’ll fight hard to keep up all my defenses even as he melts them down. But the truth is that the thought of serving him has me panting, wet and practically begging for everything he has planned.
NOTE: Unleashed is a four-volume story launching the Beg for It series about the hot, alpha males in Declan’s family and the battles they wage with the strong, sexy women who make them finally meet their match.
That night it rained. It had been so hot and so dry for so long I’d almost forgotten that it could. We’d all been waiting, watching, hoping for a while now. You didn’t live off the land in Montana without realizing you were at the mercy of Mother Nature.
I felt at the mercy of a lot of things lately. Waiting, watching, hoping. Not just for the rain. For Declan Hunt.
My father hired him to work on our ranch over the busy spring and summer. The first time I saw him, I swear it was like the earth stopped spinning on its axis. Strong jaw, broad shoulders, and a big old belt buckle on those slim hips. He’d looked at me with dark, smoldering eyes, his cowboy hat tipped down low, and I’d just about forgotten to breathe.
He barely noticed me, though. I was just a high school kid, the daughter of the boss man. But I hoped I could do something about that. I was 18 and had just graduated. Not a kid anymore.
But so far he’d hardly looked my way, even when I strutted around in short shorts and tank tops. Hell, I’d even washed my truck in front of him, deliberately lathering things up nice and slow, sloshing myself good with soapy water in my Daisy Dukes and bikini top. Nothing. I’d been trapped in a long, hot, dry spell.
But that night it rained. It caught me by surprise. Seven o’clock, Daddy and I had finished supper and I’d boxed up some leftovers for old Bill. He’d been working on our ranch as long as I could remember. A cranky, old bachelor, he never asked for a single thing, but he sure appreciated my homemade roasted chicken when I gave it to him.
I didn’t make it down to his cabin, didn’t even make it to the big old barn before the deluge began. Like mischievous cherubs had been waiting up in the clouds, giggling and shushing each other until they all-at-once upturned their filled buckets on the unsuspecting people below. Soaked in a heart-stopping instant, I started running, my flip-flops slipping and squashing in the mud.
I ducked into the barn, shocked, drenched, exhilarated, and stood there in the dark watching out the window. All hell breaking loose on us, just when we’d least expected.
I didn’t realize he was there, too, standing in the shadows. Until he took a step forward into the dim light filtering through the window. I started at his presence, gasping and bringing my hand up to my chest.
“Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?” His deep, rumbling tones, the sexy hush of his voice, I knew what took my breath away and it wasn’t outside, violent though that might be. Nothing raged stronger than the storm brewing inside me for Declan.
“You’re all wet.” He drew closer and damn if he didn’t describe me in more ways than one. In the shadows, the lines of his cheekbones, the strong cut of his chin, the hollow of his neck all stood out like an artist’s sketch. I could smell him there in the darkness, so virile and male. I could feel his heat, too, radiating off of him, drawing me to him as I started to shiver.
“You cold?” he whispered. I bit my lip and nodded yes, accepting that as my cover story. Shaking because of the cold. Not because he was so close to me, in the dark, the way I’d wanted for months now. My overprotective father wasn’t there to find us, neither were the other ranch hands. Just us, alone, in the shadows.
He brought his large hand to my shoulder, the touch of his palm felt so electric I drew in my breath, quick, my eyes widening. He seemed to feel it too, this charge between us, his eyes fixed at the spot where he touched me, his skin against my skin, flesh against flesh. My breathing started coming faster, shallow.
With one finger, just one, he traced a line across my shoulder up over to the strap of my tank top. It was a skimpy one, the kind of thing I’d taken to wearing in the pathetic hope I’d catch his eye. But he’d never looked my way before. I’d seen him around town a few times with girls who looked like they ran a lot wilder than me. Most did, I guessed. A sheltered little daddy’s girl like me, I didn’t exactly have a wealth of experience under my belt. And I’d never felt the urge, the impulse to get it.
The feel of his finger, thick and calloused from hard work, powerful as he toyed with my strap. It felt so flimsy in his grasp, as if he could tear it right off of me.
“What are you wearing?” he asked, his voice harsh and strained. I squirmed, nervous, shy and aroused.
“A tank top,” I managed, self-conscious under his scrutiny. Why was he asking? Did he not like it? Did he think I looked dumb?
He made a sound low in his throat, almost like a growl, and in two steps he had me up against the wooden barn wall, the planks rough on the bare skin of my back. He pinned me there, one hand at my shoulder, one at my hip. His gaze fixed on my chest, wet from the rain, illuminated by the fading dusk light of the window.
“Fuck,” he swore as if angry, frustrated, furious about something. I didn’t know what was happening, what he meant. I couldn’t think. All I could do was feel, his strength, the firm, commanding grip of his hands on me, pinning me down, holding me right where he wanted me.
“Declan?” His name came out of my lips, half-question, half-plea. So close, I could see the stubble along his chin, his full, sensual mouth in the dim light. He licked his lips, as if seeing something delicious he wanted to bite right into. A shiver tingled down my spine.
“You’re soaked.” His voice sounded strangled with need as he stared at my heaving chest. I followed his gaze and saw what he was fixated on: every inch of me revealed to him, the thin cotton of my top soaked through, the light gauzy lace of my bra offering no cover. My breasts were on full display, the fabric plastered to them, outlining, highlighting, and my nipples were hard as rocks. The swollen tips pushed out urgent, erotic, begging for him.
“Why’d you come in here, Kara?” he growled, not taking his eyes off of me, holding me, pressing me there. He kept his body tight, coiled, tension lacing through him as if he were trying to hold himself back.
“I… it started raining.” I squirmed under his stare. Heat stole through me, flooding my senses, starting to build between my legs, my sex growing slick. “I needed shelter.”
“You came in here to get shelter.” He repeated my words as if finding them ironic, wickedly funny. Dipping his head lower, he dropped in close, his mouth so near to my skin. He scented me like an animal, drinking me in, filling his lungs as if he could sustain himself on that alone. The feel of his breath against my bare throat made me start to pant.
“You thought you’d found someplace safe.” His voice mesmerized me, low, and dangerous. His lips traveled the length of my throat, so close to my skin, but not touching. Then, so slowly, such a light whisper of a touch, he flicked out his tongue to taste. He pressed it against my skittering, racing pulse, licking me there. It almost felt as if he were marking me.
I gasped. His tongue felt so teasing, so irresistible. Unable to stop myself from responding, I tilted my chin back, baring my throat for him.
“Instead, you found me,” he said, gruff. In an instant, his mouth was on me, hot and full down around my breast.
“Ah!” I cried out, eyes closing, engulfed in sensation as his mouth claimed me, sucking, licking me right through my shirt, heated and wet on my shivering breast. Finding my sensitive, aching nipple he sucked, hard, bringing his teeth down lightly, right on the tip. A jolt of pleasure and pain rocketed directly to my pussy, and I gasped, clutching his shoulder.
At my other breast, he sucked, licked, his large, rough hands up to cup and massage, bringing my tip right into his mouth where he enclosed it in his heat.
“Oh! Declan!” I cried out as he teased me, licking, trailing his tongue in a circle around my nipple, not touching it, not giving me what I needed. “Declan!” I nearly screamed, until he closed his hot mouth directly over my aching bud, pulling it hard between his teeth, harder than last time. The intensity of it shocked me, how bad and good it felt all at once.
I smacked my head back against the wall, mouth open, eyes closed, my breasts in his hands, in his mouth, ready for all of it, everything, anything he wanted to give me. I’d wanted him for so long, so much, I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. He was finally touching me, here, in the dark, just us, the way I’d wanted. The way I’d fantasized about late at night, touching myself, guilty and secret in my bed, coming with his name on my lips. Now it wasn’t a fantasy, it was really happening, and it was so much better than I’d ever imagined.
But just as suddenly as he was on me, he pulled away. I lost his warmth, his power. The flames consuming me turned cold.
“Get out of here,” he barked, striding back into the shadowy depths of the barn.
“What?” I asked, breathless. He couldn’t be telling me to leave. “Declan?”
“Now!” he bellowed, leaving no room for questions, no opening for discussion. Commanding, firm. Brutal.
Tears burning my eyes, I did as I was told, the leftover roasted chicken forgotten on the floor, my feet somehow finding their way back up the hill. Crushed, I was unable to forget his heat, or the coldness in his abrupt dismissal.
But up in my room, I made up my mind. We still had a whole summer ahead of us, a summer of nights, dark and hidden and hot. Somehow I was going to find my way to him again. Now that I’d felt his passion, the way he wanted me just like I wanted him, I didn’t care what obstacles we faced. I knew we were meant to be together.
Callie Harper writes contemporary romances so hot they may melt your ebook. You’ve been warned.
She is powered by coffee, wickedly sexy bad boys, and all things funny, intentional or otherwise. She is the author of OFF LIMITS to be released 12/14 and the BEG FOR IT series which will start being released in January 2016.
She lives in the gorgeous Bay Area with her family.