The print and eBook for Beautiful Bitch doesn’t hit stores until July 9, but by blatantly bribing one of Bennett’s hapless interns, XOXOAfterDark acquired this sneak peek for you. Check it out, then preorder Beautiful Bitch in print or eBook and stay tuned here and at www.Facebook.com/BeautifulBastard for continual updates on the series.
From Beautiful Bitch
© 2013 by Christina Lauren
The rest of the meal was all talk about work, about getting the new office off the ground and all the pieces that still needed to be put into place before that could happen. We’d begun discussing whether his family would be going back to New York again before the new offices opened when I asked, “When did your dad get back in town?”
I waited a moment, but when Bennett didn’t answer, I looked up, surprised to see him pushing his food around his plate.
“Everything okay over there, Ryan?”
A few seconds of silence passed before he said, “I miss you working for me.”
I felt my eyes widen. “What?”
“I know. It doesn’t make any sense to me, either. We were awful to each other, and it was an impossible situation.” Holy crap, what an understatement. The fact that we managed to survive working in the same office together for ten months without bloodshed or some sort of manslaughter stapler incident still surprised me. “But . . . ” he continued, looking up at me from across the table, “I saw you every day. It was predictable. Consistent. I pushed and you pushed back. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a job. And I took it for granted.”
I set my glass down and met his eyes, feeling an overwhelming surge of affection for this man. “That . . . makes sense,” I said, searching for the right words. “I don’t think I appreciated what it meant to see you every day, either. Even if I did want to poison you on no less than twenty-seven separate occasions.”
“Ditto,” he replied with a smirk. “And sometimes I feel guilty for how many times I threw you out the window in my fantasies. But I most certainly plan on making it up to you.” He picked up his glass, took a long drink.
“Do you now?”
“Yep. I have a list.”
I raised an eyebrow in silent question.
“Well, first I’m going to peel off that skirt.” He bent to glance under the table. “I’d hassle you for wearing that lacy stuff underneath just to torture me, but we both know I’m into that kind of thing.”
I watched as he straightened and leaned back in his chair, hands clasped behind his head. The weight of his attention brought goose bumps to my skin. Anyone else would have been intimidated—I could still remember a time when I was—but right now all I felt was adrenaline, a thrill that shot through my chest and settled warm and heavy in my stomach.
“And that sweater,” he began, eyes on my chest now. “I’d like to rip it open, hear the sound of those little buttons as they pop off and scatter across the floor.”
I crossed my legs, swallowed. He followed the movement, a smile slowly lifting at the corners of his mouth.
“Then maybe I’d spread you out on this table.” He leaned over, made a show of testing its sturdiness. “Put your legs over my shoulders, suck on you until you’re just begging for my cock.”
I tried to seem unaffected, tried to break from his stare. I couldn’t. I cleared my throat, my mouth suddenly dry. “You could have done that last night,” I said, teasing him.
“No. Last night we were tired and I just wanted to feel you come. Tonight, I want to take my time, undress you, kiss every inch of that body—fuck you. Watch you fuck me.”
Was it suddenly getting warm in here?
“Pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?” I asked.
“And what makes you think I don’t have a list of my own?” I stood, dessert forgotten as I rounded the table to stop in front of him. His cock was already stiff, straining against the fly of his pants. He followed my gaze and smirked up at me, pupils dark and so wide they drowned the hazel surrounding them.
I wanted to rip off my clothes and feel the heat of that stare on my skin, wake up in the morning exhausted and sore and with the memory of his fingertips still pressing into my body. How did he make me feel this way with just a look and a few dirty words?
Bennett shifted in his chair and I stepped between his legs, reaching out to push the hair—that eternally freshly fucked hair—from his forehead. The soft strands slipped between my fingers and I tilted his head back, bringing his eyes to mine. I’ve missed you so much, I wanted to say. Stay. Don’t go so far away. I love you.
The words stuck in my throat and nothing more than a “Hi” slipped out instead.
Bennett tilted his head, smile widening as he looked up at me. “Hi.” Warm hands gripped my hips, pulled me closer. Laughter curled around the single word and I knew he could read me like a book, saw every thought as clearly as if it were written across my forehead in ink. It’s not that I wasn’t comfortable saying I loved him, it’s just that it was so new. I’d never said it to anyone before him, and sometimes it felt scary, like opening up my chest and handing him my heart.
His hand moved up to rest on my breast, thumb brushing along the underside. “I can’t help but wonder what’s under this pretty little sweater,” he said.
I sucked in a breath, felt my nipples harden beneath the thin cashmere. He slipped one button through the hole, and then another, until the cardigan fell open and his eyes moved over my barely-there bra. He hummed in appreciation. “This is new.”
“And expensive. Don’t ruin it,” I warned.
He couldn’t contain his smug smile. “I would never.”
“You bought me a four-hundred-dollar slip and then used it to tie me to your bed, Bennett.”
He laughed, pushing the sweater from my shoulders, taking his time to unwrap me like a gift. Long fingers moved to the waist of my skirt and the soft sound of the zipper filled the room. He did as he’d promised, purposefully peeling the wool from my hips and down my legs to pool at my feet, leaving me in only my lace bra and rather skimpy panties.
The air conditioner switched on and a low whir carried through the apartment, a burst of cool air rushing along my exposed skin. Bennett pulled me down onto his lap, my legs on either side of his hips. The rough fabric of his pants brushed against the backs of my bare thighs, my practically naked ass. I should have felt vulnerable like this—with me in so little and him fully dressed—but I relished it. It was so much like our first night together at his home, after my presentation, after we’d both admitted we didn’t want to be without the other and he let me tie him up so I could have the nerve to hear how much I’d hurt him.
And then I realized this position was intentional. I suspected he was thinking about that exact night, too. His eyes shone with such hunger, such adoration, that I couldn’t help but feel a sense of power, like there wasn’t anything this man wouldn’t do if I just asked.