Continuing from last week’s section, first draft, etc.
Hauled up and tossed into a chair, Shiloh sat shaken and confused, staring at Mr. Connagher as he paced back and forth. She cradled her throbbing hand in her lap. Each thud of her heart spread that pain like a pulse through her body, melting her bones and priming her for his full attention.
What did I do wrong?
“When we’re alone, then you can call me Victor, a mean sonofabitch, or a low-down dirty bastard, anything you want.” He jerked to a halt and whirled to face her, his eyes blazing. “But we need to take care that you’re alone with me as little as possible.”
“I don’t understand,” she said carefully. “Are you not…available?”
He jerked his hair tighter, and she winced in sympathy for his tortured scalp. He must have one hell of a headache. “I’m so available I’m about to tear the seams in my pants.”
Studying his hair kept her gaze from wandering lower to see just how available he might be. He hadn’t made any outright claims on her, so she didn’t feel like she had the right to ogle him. Yet.
“It will be safer for us both if we limit our interaction to the show, at least until I’ve been able to take some of the edge off.”
He looked so glum, then, that she started to rise so she could wrap her arms around him. Throwing up his hand to ward her off, he resumed his furious pacing while he slapped his right thigh aimlessly. Her skin heated, tingling with longing. She wanted those slaps on her body, not his.
The longer he paced, the more he began to favor his left knee, until his limp was pronounced. Victor Connagher had been a college football star on the verge of the NFL when he’d blown his knee in the championship game. Pictures from his glory days were in the case downstairs. By all accounts, he would have been a star for any professional team.
Tears burned her eyes. Until now, she’d never seen him display any weakness, any hint that the old injury still pained him.
Finally he growled out, “I don’t want to go too fast for you.”
“Too fast?” She laughed, but it came out harsh to her ears. “I’ve been planning this show for months, hoping, praying you might…”
That you might need me as badly as I need you.
Although she’d often seen him around VCONN Tower, she didn’t know how to approach him while at work. It was just too sleazy for her to come on to him as she’d joked. She’d even gone to a mixer hosted by the bondage club to get an introduction, but the frenzied feeding-ground atmosphere just wasn’t her style. Besides, he hadn’t been there, neither. During her research, she’d scanned Silken’s current membership roster, but it hadn’t included his name, which didn’t really surprise her. Many prominent members would rather keep their names secret or at least low key, which was one of the reasons she’d devised a show where everyone could wear masks.
Fantasizing about him had only made her attraction worse. Nothing could touch the aching black hole that expanded day by day deep in her belly. The pain in her hand only served to wake up that miserable, ravenous monster. She wanted him with that riding crop in his hand, wicked and hard and wild. After he’d put that image in her mind, nothing and nobody else would do.
“How else was I supposed to introduce myself as an interested submissive, a f–” self-censoring in mid-word, she changed to, “freakin’ letter?” [inside joke for Dear Sir, I’m Yours fans. Sorry, couldn’t resist.]
He gripped her chin and tilted her face back up to him. A smile softened his face, but not his grip. “I’d much rather have this show than a letter. I’m pleased, Shiloh, more than I can say.” Shadowed desire flickered in his eyes despite his encouragement and his fingers dug into her cheeks. Even in trying to comfort her, he wasn’t—couldn’t be—gentle. “I am available, I promise you, and so attracted that I don’t trust myself right now. It’s been a long time since I did a scene, and I never…”
His jaws worked back and forth as though it took all his concentration to soften his grip on her face. Sighing, he released her and turned away. “I don’t want to seriously hurt you.”
Incredulous, she stared at him, her mind whirling in a frenzy.
Victor Connagher, the fiercest, most incredible Master she’d ever hoped to meet in her life…was afraid.