Tempt: Volume 2 is Now Available!
Tempt: Volume 2 is now live at all the retailers and reviews are already starting to come in!
“I just love Theo Sutherland. There are so many layers to him that the author has not revealed yet. Once you start this book you will not want to put it down. It was freaking awesome.” –Books of Past, Present, and Future Book Blog
Need. That’s what is was with Theo. When he came to me he wasn’t just looking for a release, he was looking for so much more. For escape from the demands of his life. And, maybe, for a safe place to land.
Want. There was more to this than simple sexual attraction. No matter how many times I reminded myself this was a bad idea, and no matter how times I tried to convince myself that anything more than sex was dangerous to my heart, I wanted inside this man. Maybe I was addicted to the high I got from knowing what he needed.That ability… it was exciting. So was the satisfaction I got from his smile.
Freedom. I was completely addicted to the way Theo made me feel. The intensity and urgency washed away everything else. There were no expectations and rules. No families and stress. There was just a man who needed me, and the infinite pleasure I got from being with him.
Risk. The deeper we go, the harder it gets. Theo’s life is complicated, and the more I learn the more I realize how much I don’t know. My heart is at risk, but I’m starting to understand that it’s only the beginning.
“Breakfast!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as I placed our plates on the reclaimed wood table. I smiled at the brief memory of being laid out on this table.
I heard the piano stop so I yelled a second time in case Theo was wondering if he’d actually heard a woman yelling from his kitchen. A moment later the door opened and Theo, dressed in a white undershirt and sexy black pajama pants, came walking down the hallway with a curious look on his scruffy face.
I plopped into my seat and started shoving eggs in my mouth. I was starving and I didn’t want to have an awkward conversation any more than Theo did.
“This looks amazing. Thank you,” he said as he dropped a kiss on the top of my head and took the seat beside me.
“You’re welcome. I thought food might lure you out of your sanctuary.”
His eyes flicked to mine. The gears in his head were turning so fast I thought steam might come out the top. He was probably running scenarios five steps out and in ten different ways, trying to figure out what my motivations were, what the consequences would be. I was willing to bet Theo was a brilliant chess player.
“Do you win in two moves?” I asked between bites of cinnamon raisin toast.
I waved with the toast as I spoke. “In chess. Do you win in two moves or three?”
He paused for another moment before picking up the fresh cup of coffee I placed by his plate. “Depends on who I’m playing. I have been known to win in two from time to time.”
I chewed and nodded, paying more attention to my plate than Theo. “Figured.”
He set his mug down and folded his hands in his lap as he sat back and looked me over. “And why is that, may I ask?”
I pointed my finger at his forehead. “You think I can’t see all that thinking? Pros, cons, costs, benefits, motivations, all ten moves out? You’re picturing your entire day in ten different ways.”
His face went blank. “Excuse me?”
I rolled my eyes. “Stop thinking so much, Theo,” I sighed. “You can trust me.”
“Trust is earned,” he replied immediately.
I cringed. I couldn’t stop the reaction and really, I think it was for the best. He needed to see how things like that affected me. I pulled my upper lip between my teeth and counted to ten before I picked up my fork and went back to eating. “Look, you can force me to jump through as many hoops as you want. Whatever makes you comfortable. But it doesn’t change me or who I am. All it does is take time.”
There was nothing but silence as I ate the rest of my egg. I glanced back at Theo to find him sitting completely still, staring at his food.
“I’m not the enemy. Will I accidentally say something that will hurt you one day? Yes. I can guarantee that. I have a mouth that just doesn’t quit some days.”
A small smile pulled at the corners of his mouth and he finally looked back up at me. “I quite like that mouth.”
I smiled proudly. “As well you should.” More silence. “This is just food. I was hungry so I cooked. I didn’t want to interrupt you because I knew music means a lot to you. If me passing out after you fuck me into oblivion is a problem, then you should probably be less awesome at sex. Because this? It’s just food. Stop over thinking it.”
He picked up his fork and ate half the plate before he stopped. “I don’t mean to make you jump through hoops.”
“How do you know?”
I pushed back my plate, then my chair. I twisted so that I faced Theo comfortably and pulled my knees up to my chin. “Trust is earned. You are absolutely right about that. And when your trust has been broken by someone else, it means that everyone else has to work that much harder to earn it. Trusting blindly is weak and stupid. You are not weak or stupid.”
He blinked as if I’d shocked him. “And neither are you.”
“Thank you. So I hope you understand, then, that when I say all of this, it is with a clear head and comprehension of what I mean. I am not here to get anything from you or manipulate you into doing something for me. I don’t need you.” I let that hang in the air for a moment. “I want you.”
He stopped breathing. “What’s the difference?”
I smiled. He full well knew the difference. He wanted to hear it. Theo fed off of hearing me repeating over and over again that I wasn’t here to get something from him. It gave him freedom. Freedom he didn’t get from anyone else but me.
And let’s be honest, I got high off that, too.
“One is taking, the other is giving. If I needed you, then really, I’d be here for me. I’d be looking to you to provide me whatever it is I was after—whether it was sex or money or a name. I’m here because I want you. And because I want you, I need to be the giver. Otherwise I won’t get what I want.”
He swallowed. I think I was turning him on. “Does that make me the taker then?”
I shrugged. “I don’t think it’s required for there to be one giver and one taker in any situation.” I grinned, thinking of all the orgasms he’d given me, knowing full well that Theo needed me, he just wasn’t ready to admit it. “And just so you know,” I eased to the edge of my chair and spread my legs on either side of his. “It’s perfectly fine to need me a little. I can take it. I kind of crave it actually…”
This is where I knew I was walking a fine line. In order to be that vulnerable you have to fully trust the other person. I trusted Theo, but I hadn’t earned his yet. I was pulling on a very fragile thread hoping to make it stronger, not weaker.
He didn’t say anything after that. Not another word until we were both panting on the kitchen floor completely satisfied. But the look in his eyes told me everything he wasn’t ready to say yet. For the first time Theo let me see just how deep and wide his need for me ran.
It was the most beautiful and terrifying thing I’d ever seen.