Lexi had a talent that casinos didn’t much like. She also had a secret, one that drove her to use that talent at the very real risk of being caught and blacklisted – or much worse.

She and Richard Loomis had a history together that caused her to want to avoid him at all costs, so when she’d industriously tried to accumulate the funds she needed by the only means open to her, she didn’t expect to end up in the office of the man she ditched without a word, years ago, fighting for her right to do what she did while keeping her secret clutched close to her heart.

As badly as Lexi hurt him, Richard’s body wouldn’t just let him kick her to the curb the way she’d done him. Instead, he initiated a bargain between them that harkened back to the first time he’d caught her misbehaving in his casino.

And they both knew exactly how he was going to deal with the fact that she was doing it again.

Publisher’s Note: This dark, steamy, contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.



As she was wondering what implement he might use, he stretched out beside her, actually up against her, so that she could feel the fine material of his clothing as well as the imposing presence of his cock where it dug into her hip, and lay his hand over the crest of her bum, although it quickly followed the unobstructed path that lay beneath it, down her cleft to dip his fingertips into the evidence he was looking for, bringing them to his mouth and licking them clean with great relish.

“You are delightfully wet, my dear. It’s nice to know I can still get you that way.”

“Did you ever have any real doubt?” Lexi found herself asking, when she probably should have kept her mouth shut.

“You could have left me because you no longer wanted me,” he answered, all too seriously, but then he forcibly shook that mood off in favor of enjoying the bounty before him to the fullest.

“It was never, ever that, Richard,” she replied softly, shamefully.

But he had forced himself to move on.

“I think this calls for a dose of old fashioned discipline, Lexi. A good, thorough spanking is what you need to get your head right, or it’s going to be a very uncomfortable two months.” And beyond, hopefully, he thought to himself. “And you know how much I adore the feeling of your beautiful cheeks wobbling beneath my palm.”

It was not an easy spanking. She couldn’t really remember if he’d ever spanked her quite that hard, but she supposed he had, although she wondered if it was a bit of his anger coming out. He used to give her short, sharp spankings for small indiscretions. She guessed she’d forfeited those.

This wasn’t horribly long, but it was very near to unbearable. He’d always been quite skilled at it, and now it seemed he was a master, making every swat count to the fullest, sometimes delivering them two at a time, in the very same spot on each cheek, never rubbing or stopping as he had previously, but lacing into her the entire time, eliciting tears and attempts to extricate herself from her present predicament by uselessly tugging at the bonds that held her—neither of which had any effect on him whatsoever.

Richard watched her continue to weep and try to pull herself free, even though he had stopped spanking her and his hand simply rested on her behind, his body in the clutches of a need that was so powerful he very nearly couldn’t control it.

And he gave in to the realization that he didn’t have to control it. She was his.

So, while she was still wrapped up in her struggles, in the very real pain that he had visited upon her, he draped himself over her—still pretty much fully dressed—holding himself above her on his arms and legs for a long moment as she slowly regained her composure and realized what he was going to do.

On a sob, she whimpered, not really knowing why at that point, “No, Richard, please—not like this—th-the first time we’re together—”

But he was resolute, bending his head down to her ear and whispering, “Yes, Lexi,” as he took her roughly from behind as she begged him not to. “Just. Like. This.” He slid himself slowly, deliberately into her, feeling her struggling to stretch around him but, for once, paying no heed. She’d taken him before—although never very easily—and she wasn’t—exactly—crying out in pain, although he could hear a bit of distress in the way her breath hitched frequently, on an almost sob as he advanced steadily, forcing her to open around him.