Rex is finally returning to his hometown after eight years in the Army. He needs to return to his roots to find something concrete to ground himself.

Alannah is leaving, because she needs to stop protecting herself by playing it safe. Now that she’s ended her engagement, there’s nothing keeping her in their small town.

When the two collide, they try to keep things casual, but all too soon, feelings get involved.

Rex needs to be enough to make someone stay. Alannah needs to leave to remember who she is. Can the two of them be together, or will someone’s heart get broken?

Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains a theme of power exchange.

Excerpt

Rex followed her up the stairs, further behind than the last time they’d been in this same position, though that didn’t discourage her optimistic vagina from reminiscing. She wondered if he was remembering the same way she was, if his eyes might be fixed on her ass in a skirt with the same intensity as when she wore those shorts. It was a good skirt, fitted and slightly clingy in a business-sexy sort of way; if he was looking closely, he might be able to see the outline of her thong. The idea sent another pulse of blood between her thighs. She was so hypersensitive, she could probably get off just from rubbing herself on a pillow for a minute or two, and the thought of grinding down some pressure on her achy sex almost had her whimpering.

She bit her tongue. Just send him to his room, then you can go make nice to your detachable showerhead a time or twelve. Do not jump the bones of your temporary houseguest. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t fly with Airbnb.

She wiped her damp palms on her skirt and stopped at his door, checked the bed was made up, and fixed a bland smile on her face as she went to get out of Rex’s way. They tried to move the same way once, twice, and her balance tipped and she pitched forward. Rex’s hands wrapped around her shoulders. She was braced against his big, muscled body from chest to groin and with a shock so tangible, it might as well have been electric, Alannah registered that he was hard against her stomach.

“Holy shit,” she breathed, frozen in place.

“Shit,” Rex echoed through gritted teeth, all his muscles standing out like he was fighting every instinct. “Al, don’t—”

His thick cock was pressed against her stomach, and she pressed her hands against his chest as though there was any chance she’d have the strength to push him away. Instead, she found herself clinging to him, fingers tightening in the fabric of his shirt, pulling them closer together, rubbing over the heat of him, somehow knowing instinctively that if she could just leverage herself properly, it would be enough to stop the throbbing ache between her legs.

“Alannah,” Rex growled, the deep timbre reverberating through her chest, and she actually fucking moaned, a desperate gasp that she could no more stifle than she could fly. Her taut nipples were rasping against the lace of her bra and the ridged muscle of him, and his hands tangled in her hair, and he kissed her.

It was the kind of kiss that sent her blood pounding, that brought another moan tumbling from her tongue to his as his erection swelled against her. He kissed her like he was starving, like he hadn’t been kissed in a decade, like their TV dinner had been the most exquisite foreplay that he was only now allowed to act upon, and the restraint had used up so much of his energy that the permission to act turned him savage. He fisted a handful of her curls to tilt her head for the best access to her mouth, licking deep and growling when she sucked on his tongue.

“Alannah.” Rex said her name like a curse. “If you do that, I’m going to strip you down and fuck you right on this floor. Do not fucking tempt me with that tongue.”

“Should I tempt you with something else?” she managed, and the look that burned across his face was fierce and primal and delicious. It made him look like an animal, unfettered, unchained; the idea of having this much raw power between her thighs, above her, beneath her, behind her, had her pushing her swollen sex against his thigh. Part of her wondered whether she should be afraid, having him here, barely bound by civility, this man she hardly knew anymore. But the combination of familiarity and strangeness only added more fuel to the fire coursing through her blood.

Rex used his grip on her hair to tug her closer, no gentleness in his touch; this was a man used to getting what he wanted, especially from a woman who took him into her body.

She spread her legs to accept his muscled thigh between them. The pressure was perfect and yet deeply unsatisfying, her skirt pulled tight across her spreading thighs preventing him from pushing against where she needed him, a tease at the very front of her sex not nearly enough when she needed so much more. She needed his hands on her, needed him to ruck up her skirt and work her over the cock she could feel in just not quite the right place. She whimpered into his open mouth again, and his grip on her tightened, rolling her against the muscles of his thigh, which rippled when he flexed them. She’d never given any thought to the musculature of a man’s leg, beyond appreciating the inherent attractiveness of strength; she’d definitely never considered the practicalities of the curvature for pushing between a woman’s legs, the perfect shape of the bulge of muscle that rolled against her as he clenched, that had her tilting her hips to try to get the pressure against her clit where she needed it.

“Don’t you fucking dare,” he breathed, answering the question she’d almost forgotten she asked. The hand tangled in her curls tightened, dragging her head back to meet his eyes.

“You’d tempt a goddamn saint, Alannah. Don’t try my patience any further.”

“Or what?” she breathed, eyes fixed on his mouth.

“Or I might not say no, sassy girl. I might take you up on the offer you’re making under these clothes, and you wouldn’t walk right for a week.” His other hand gave her ass a squeeze then an experimental slap through the fabric, and she felt herself arch against his hold on her hair, a bowstring pulled taut.

“Fucking hell,” Rex growled, dipping his head to lick and bite the exposed skin of her neck. His hold on her hair slackened experimentally, as though she might want to move away from the incredible sensation of his lips and teeth. She wrapped her arms around his neck and clung, arching into the pressure of his hand on her ass. “Could’ve gone my whole life without finding out that you like getting this perfect ass spanked—that’s a fucking tragedy. You need more?”

“Please,” Al whispered, shoving the memory of another night like this one, of those other hands on her skin, of his doubt and disgust when she shoved down her fear and asked him for the dirty things that made her touch herself in the dark. Harry had embraced the part of her kink that could be fulfilled with three spanks and a rough fuck, the part that was unproblematic within the scope of his own moral compass. It was only when she exposed a desire for more that Harry had looked at her like there was something wrong with her.

Alannah shoved the memory down, focused on the man before her, of the heat of him on her skin. Harry had no place in what she felt with Rex—with any man now—but her voice still quavered when she spoke. “Please. Yes, more.”

Another rough manhandling of her backside that culminated in a slap. Al felt the sting through the fabric of her clothes, revelled in the pain of it, but it was the rough grip and squeeze, the deeper thudding of the blow, that seemed to have a direct line to her pussy. “Yes, like that. So good.” She pushed herself against his thigh once more, arching so her skirt ceded another inch or two and she could just barely spread her thighs, still painfully far from where she needed him.

Another cinnamon-sweet smack of pain. Another, and she thought she might scream. Not from the pain, she loved the burn of it, but from the desperation of needing him shoved against and all over and invading her core.

“God, I can feel you rubbing all that sweet up against me. You’re so hot and wet, even when you’re fighting this fucking skirt. Push a little harder, baby. Let me see you work for it.”

“Take it off me. Please.” Al tried not to sound like she was begging, though she couldn’t stop herself from moving against the not-enough pressure of his thigh as her hands clung to his shoulders, fingertips digging into him. “I need you closer. More.”

“I thought you’d never fucking ask.”

His hand in her hair pulled her against him again, his tongue laying claim to her mouth as he yanked her skirt upward over her ass. There was something debauched about having him so desperate he didn’t even take it off, just shoved it up so he could get between her legs. The relief at finally being able to grind on him properly almost had her sobbing into his mouth, the feel of his ridges of muscle so overwhelming, she tilted her hips away from him.

“No, you fucking don’t,” Rex growled, grabbing at her ass and shoving her tight against him. “You wanted closer, you got it. Now hold the fuck on.”

He moved them before she could blink, trapping her against the wall. He worked her over his thigh in constantly tightening circles, his focus completely on positioning her so that pressure was placed right where she needed, one hand still wrapped in her hair, the other gripping her ass. She tried not to go under, tried not to thrash and scream into his mouth, but she was so primed, so fucking swollen from wanting him, she didn’t stand a chance. He used his grip on her ass to lift her higher, so gravity was pressing all her weight on the place his thigh supported her, and when he tensed the muscles there, the pressure was too much.

She came.

It was a rough, harsh climax, like the moment a glass shatters, and she tore her mouth away from his to cry out once, twice, a third time.

The silence afterward was deafening as Alannah kept her eyes squeezed shut, avoiding meeting his gaze. Sure, he’d been down for some vaguely kinky things in the heat of the moment, but that was no guarantee that now he wouldn’t look at her like she’d grown an extra head, like she was something disgusting.

She pressed her face against his shoulder, hiding the fact that her breathing had turned ragged from more than just the shockingly powerful orgasm. The fear made her shaky, made her turn her face into his neck and press a kiss there rather than meet his eyes. Rex slowly lowered her to the ground, and a groan burst free from her with the renewal of pressure where she was most sensitive. Her feet met the ground, and when they broke apart, Al made firm eye contact with his collarbone for a long moment before moving up his face inch by inch, steeling herself for the look of horror she remembered far too well.

It wasn’t there, but that could have been because Rex wasn’t looking at her. He was glaring down at the leg of the shorts she’d lent him, the hemline of which she’d significantly darkened with her arousal.

Jesus, Alannah. You were humping his leg like some kind of… of dog, she thought, suddenly repulsed by her own actions. His expression morphed into something like anger, and the horror of the memory of Harry’s disgust had Al pushing out of his hold, away from his angry eyes and downturned brows, from the mouth swollen from her kiss. She muttered some kind of excuse, a goodnight that was lost in the tears rapidly pooling in her eyes, and managed to tamp down on the heaving breaths until she was in her own room, blinking owlishly at her own reflection.

Maybe, Al thought miserably, she should have stuck to beige.

About the Author

Sophia grew up in Australia as part of a big, sprawling family. She started telling stories before she could write, and writing before she could spell. Her early works consist almost entirely of misspelled fairy stories. As a teenager she would hand-copy the steamy scenes out of her favourite books to enjoy later, and this naturally led her to writing romance.

After a foray into non-fiction writing with a university paper she returned to her origins and started writing fiction again. When not writing, she can be found pole-dancing very poorly, completing her medical degree or terrorizing her two dogs. He Comes Home is her first novel.