One brutal night in her past changed her life forever. Now, sixteen years later, Jill feels as though she is still stuck in the past as new trauma encompasses every waking and unconscious moment. One strong panic attack and a phone call later, Jill’s already chaotic mind is thrust even further into disarray as Damon Santos enters her life yet again.
The one passionate encounter they had nearly put Jill on her knees. She had wanted to relinquish her tightly coveted control for the first time in years. With his crooked grin, dark eyes, and unique brand of domination, Damon slowly breaks down every wall she has built around herself to show her what it means to be truly healed.
But when her past rears its ugly head she must find the strength within herself to fight back and reclaim her life.
Be Warned: anal sex, bondage, sex toys, violence, sexual assault (backstory), animal abuse (implied)
He shook his head and held out his open hand. I looked at it like it was poisonous before meeting his eyes again. When I didn’t move, he let out a huff of a laugh and grabbed for my wounded hand. His warm, gentle touch made a shiver run up my spine before I snatched my hand back.
“I can take care of this, you don’t need to clean it.”
His eyes hardened again. “Jill, give me your hand,” he demanded coarsely. I glared at him again.
“I said I can take care of it. Seriously, you ca—”
“Do you ever just shut up and let someone take care of you for a change? I said. Give. Me. Your. Hand.” He said each word with a chipped tone.
I felt goose bumps rise on my arms. Nobody ever talked to me the way Damon did. He took charge and didn’t put up with any shit. Honestly, I found it a little refreshing. I also found it infuriating. I rolled my eyes and held my palm out for his inspection.
“Fine, have at it. Could you try to hurry? I would like to be done with this day,” I murmured in an annoyed tone.
I watched him as he carefully looked over my shredded palm. He was surprisingly gentle as he used the tweezers to extract a broken piece of glass from my hand. I took that time to look over his features while he wasn’t looking at me. His long dark-brown curls were mussed like he had run his hand through the soft locks more than once today. I would bet that’s what he did when he was frustrated by something. The silky strands hit right at the top of his shoulders, begging for my fingers to run through them.
He had the cutest little crease between his eyes that spoke of long moments of concentration. His lips were plump and moist. I knew from our last kiss that they were perfect to nibble on as he took his time devouring me. He had the start of a beard growing, unkempt along his sharp jaw. I couldn’t help thinking about how the rough hair would feel rubbing against my inner thighs.
Dangerous territory, Jill, move on. My gaze traveled further up again to look at his deep cocoa eyes surrounded by lashes that most women would kill for. The whole image he made was one of masculine beauty.
He fluttered his eyes up to meet mine as if he knew I was staring at him again. I don’t know what he read on my face but whatever it was had his eyes darkening. I sucked in a breath and tried to pull away my gaze but I couldn’t. I was enchanted. But, he broke the spell by looking away first.
“So, what is it that has made you so jumpy lately?” he asked as he put the tweezers down. “Why haven’t you been sleeping?” He arched an eyebrow before returning his attention to my hand.
After grabbing the rubbing alcohol, he dabbed my palm. I hissed at the burn but didn’t pull out of his hold. I continued to observe him as he cleaned my hand.
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because I got shot three months ago, in case you forgot,” I responded, sarcasm dripping from my voice.
He looked up long enough to glare at me “Believe me, I remember,” he scolded in a hard voice before he returned to his task.
I sighed as I continued. “For half my life, I have needed to hold a certain degree of … control. When I got shot, it kind of threw me into a place where I had none. I think I’m just having a hard time getting it back.” It was so hard to explain to people who didn’t understand what it felt like to have no choice in what happened to them. “As for sleep…” I trailed off.
Damon glanced back up to me as I mulled over what to divulge with him. The thought crossed my mind to make him jealous. Tell him I was seeing someone and that’s why I wasn’t sleeping. But one look in his concerned eyes had me telling the truth.
He nodded and resumed examining my palm. “What do you dream about?” he asked.
I snorted before answering as if the answer to his question was obvious. I watched him as he started to bandage my hand. “Things I can’t control,” I murmured.
Now that the blood was all cleaned up, I could see it wasn’t that bad. It would heal in a few days.
When he was done, he looked back up at me. “Why do you need to control every little thing in your life, Red?” I could tell his question was genuine and held no condescension.
Because bad things happen to me when I don’t, I thought to myself.
I didn’t talk about what happened to me with anyone besides Kate and Dr. Yorker. I wasn’t about to share my shame with someone I barely knew. Especially not Damon. For some reason the thought of him knowing about my past made me feel even dirtier and more unlovable than normal. I shook my head and turned my face away from him.
“I just do,” was all I offered as an answer.
He grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him before he leaned in closer to me. His other hand traveled up my thigh and held firm. I licked my dry lips and watched as he followed the movement with his gaze again. I thought for a second he was going to kiss me before he spoke.
“Have you ever thought about giving some control up in a couple of aspects in your life? If you give someone else some of your responsibilities, maybe you wouldn’t feel this way,” he said in an intimate tone that raked across my flesh.
I shivered again and felt my nipples tighten further into aching peaks. I stared at his lips as I answered him. “I don’t know if I could. What aspect are you referring to?” My voice came out far more breathy than I had intended.
He leaned in even further until his lips almost brushed across mine. Both of his hands held me now on the outside of my thighs. Tucked firmly where my legs meet the side of my ass. He squeezed and kneaded, nearly ripping a moan of pleasure from my lips. It had been so long since I had felt someone’s intimate touch.
“When was the last time you didn’t have complete control over your next orgasm?”