Sometimes the first step in taking control is surrendering.
Under Faith Malone’s deceptively soft exterior lies a woman who knows exactly what she wants. A strong man who’ll take without asking—because she’s willing to give him everything…
Dallas cop Gray Montgomery is on a mission: find the guy who killed his partner—and bring him to justice. So far, he’s found a link between the killer and Faith—and if Gray has to get close to her to catch the killer, so be it.
Faith is sweet and feminine, everything Gray wants and desires in a woman, but he suspects she’s playing games. No way she would allow a man to call the shots in their relationship. Or would she?
Faith sees in Gray the strong, dominant man she needs, but he seems determined to keep her at a distance. So she takes matters into her own hands to prove to him it’s no game she’s playing. She’s willing to surrender to the right man. Gray would like to be that man. But catching his partner’s killer has to be his first priority. Until Faith is threatened and Gray realizes he will do anything to protect her.
She’d thought about it the entire night. It had actually hit her as she sat in the spa waiting on Nathan, and once the idea had presented itself, she hadn’t been able to shove it out of her mind. It had unfolded in exacting detail along with her smug assuredness that it just had to work. It was perfect.
So here she sat, the next day, waiting for everyone to leave the office so she could sneak Pop’s spare key to Gray’s apartment.
Of course, Connor picked today to host a client meeting in the main conference room. She glanced at her watch, knowing she had limited time if she was going to get into Gray’s apartment before he finished up at his current jobsite.
She breathed a huge sigh of relief when she heard the murmur of voices in the hallway. A few seconds later, Connor and the three
clients he’d met with walked by her office. She sat fidgeting in her chair until she heard Connor return.
“Hey,” he said as he stuck his head in her door. “You didn’t have to stay.”
She smiled brightly. “Oh, no problem. I have a few things to finish up. I’m planning to leave in a few minutes.”
“Want me to wait?” he offered.
She waved him away. “No, you go ahead. Nathan and Micah are waiting for you at Cattleman’s.”
“See you tomorrow then,” he said before he ducked back out.
She waited until she was sure he was gone and then hurried back to Pop’s office. She fumbled through the desk drawer where he kept all the spares until she came to the one marked with Gray’s apartment number. Triumphantly, she palmed it and walked back to her office to collect her purse.
She dug out her cell phone on her way out and punched in Micah’s number.
“Hey, sweet thing,” Micah said when he answered the phone.
“Are you with Nathan?” she asked.
“Don’t let him know it’s me you’re talking to,” she hurried to say.
He paused. His tone grew serious. “What’s going on?”
“I need a favor,” she said. “A no-questions-asked favor.”
“Can you ditch Nathan and meet me at Gray’s apartment right now?”
“I’ll be right over,” he said.
She sighed in relief. “Thank you. See you soon.”
She closed her phone, grateful he’d done as she’d requested and asked no questions. Not that he wouldn’t have plenty when he saw her, but at least he hadn’t let on in front of Nathan.
She drove straight home and parked in her spot. She glanced warily down at Gray’s empty parking place and hoped he stayed tied up at the job for another half hour like he was supposed to.
She sat in her car, drumming her fingers on the steering wheel until she saw Micah pull in and park a few places down. Gray’s key in hand, she got out and hurried over to meet Micah.
“Hey, baby doll, what’s going on?” he asked as she approached. His brow was creased in concern.
She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward Gray’s door. “I’ll tell you when we get inside his apartment.”
“Oooh, breaking and entering. You know how to have fun, girl.”
She laughed. The nut. She held up the key when they got to the door. “It’s not breaking and entering if you have a key.”
“Sneaky. Even better.”
She hauled her purse strap over her shoulder as she inserted the key into the lock. Seconds later, she and Micah slipped into the darkened interior, and Micah closed and locked the door behind them.
“Okay, doll face, we’re in. Now are you going to tell me what I’m risking a jail cell for?”
She swallowed nervously and fidgeted with her purse strap. “I want you to…tie me to Gray’s bed. Naked.” She tensed, waiting for Micah’s response. She didn’t have to wait long.
His mouth fell open. “Whoa. Wait a second. You want me to do what?”
“You heard me,” she mumbled.
“Hoo boy.” He shoved his hand through the hair at his forehead and pushed back until his fingers were thrust deep into his unruly mop. “Faith, honey, are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
She checked her watch as panic edged up her spine. “Look, Micah, can you play armchair shrink while you’re tying me to the bed? I’m running out of time. He’s going to be home soon, and I’d rather he not find you here.”
“That makes two of us,” Micah muttered. He sighed. “Lead on.”
She headed down the hallway and paused at the open door to his bedroom. As she glanced inside, she was relieved that the bed was the same model as hers. She’d been banking on the hope that Pop had similarly furnished all the apartments. If Gray hadn’t had bedposts, she would’ve had to have done some major improvising.
She motioned Micah in and turned around to face him. “I know this is awkward, but I couldn’t ask Nathan. He’s too much like a brother, you know, like Connor. But you…you at least look at me like I’m a woman and not some kid sister.”
He arched one brow.
She gave him an “oh please” look. “I see you checking out my ass,” she said. “Nice to know at least one of my guy friends finds me, or least my ass, attractive.”
He laughed. “Well, I guess the reward of this venture is getting to see you naked. I can mark at least one fantasy off my list.”
She chuckled as she pulled her purse off her shoulder and dug for the rope she’d purchased the night before. She thrust it at Micah, and he uncoiled it as she started to slip her clothing off.
“You know,” he said. “If you’re wanting to get this guy’s attention, which I’m assuming is the reason behind all this, I can think of less drastic measures than tying yourself to his bed.”
Her hands paused as she reached around for the clasp of her bra.
“Here, let me,” he offered.
His fingers brushed across her back as he unclasped the hooks, and she held the cups over her breasts with her arm. She walked over to the bed, still clad in her underwear.
“Tell me something, Micah. If you walked into your bedroom and found a naked woman tied to your bed, what would you think?”
“That I’d been a very good boy in a past life?”
She shook her head. “My point is, a woman bound, naked, offering herself to a man—it’s a clear signal. She is his to do with as he wants. He’s in control.”
Their eyes connected for a long moment, and she saw a kernel of arousal, a spark of pure, primitive male. Yeah, he understood what she was talking about.
“What happened at The House, Faith?” he asked softly. “What did you go there looking for?”
She shivered at the intensity of his gaze. Then she climbed onto the bed, letting her bra fall to the floor. She felt him staring at her, and she felt awkward and vulnerable. Taking a deep breath, she reached for her panties and slid them down her legs.
She glanced up to see Micah standing over her, the rope in his hands. There was an odd fire in his eyes, like he was seeing her for the first time.
“What happened at The House?” he repeated.
The command was strong in his voice. It evoked a heady sensation, and awareness prickled over her skin.
“I went looking for something,” she whispered. “Something I wanted. I found Gray.”
Micah took one of her hands and pulled her arm above her head. He looped the rope around her wrist and tied it to the headboard.
“And what is it you want?”
His voice, buttery smooth, glided over her body, removing the awkward vulnerability and leaving vague arousal in its stead.
She licked her lips as he walked around the bed to take her other arm.
“I’m waiting,” he said as he secured her other hand.
“Control,” she said simply. “A man’s dominance.”
She heard Micah suck in his breath. In silence, he slid his hand down her leg until he looped a length of rope around her ankle.
“You surprise me, Faith,” he finally said when he moved to her other leg.
He pulled gently until her legs were completely parted. Her pussy was exposed, and she closed her eyes in embarrassment. He’d see how aroused she was.
“Faith, look at me,” he ordered.
She opened her eyes as he walked around to the side of the bed. She could see the bulge against his jeans. Fingers, featherlight, danced across her belly then up toward her breasts. His touch left her for just a moment before he cupped her soft mound in his palm and ran his thumb across her turgid nipple.
She shuddered and arched her body. What the hell was wrong with her?
“I had no idea you wanted a dominant man,” he murmured. “A man would go crazy to have such sweet submission.”
She gazed helplessly at him, confused, aroused and curious about the promise she saw reflected in his dark eyes. He bent down, leaned over her until his mouth hovered above her belly. Then he pressed his lips to her navel and ran his tongue erotically around the shallow indention.
Chill bumps raced up her body until they collided with her neck.
“You don’t have to stay here.”
He let his hand wander down her abdomen, down to her pelvis until his fingertips brushed against the nest of curls between her legs.
“You could come home with me. I can give you what you want, Faith.”
His fingers slid into her wetness, and she cried out as a jolt of surprised pleasure echoed through her groin. She was tempted. So tempted to take the easy road. Gray was avoiding her. This man was not. Micah wanted her, seemed to understand what she wanted. And though her mind was plenty confused, her body didn’t seem to have any reservations about accepting Micah’s offer.
But Gray called to her. On more than just a sexual level. If it was only about sex, then yes, she could forget this crazy plan and go home with Micah right now. But it was more than that.
She was drawn to Gray on an emotional level she didn’t quite understand.
Micah’s finger rolled lazily around her clit. It felt good. Her body responded, but she couldn’t agree just for the physical release she’d find.
“I can’t,” she whispered. “Maybe Gray will toss me out of his apartment. Maybe he won’t want what I’m offering, and maybe he can’t give me what I need. But I have to find out.”
Micah bent and tugged her nipple into his mouth just as his fingers found her sweet spot. She was going to come. She rolled her hips, wanting, needing release from the impossible, edgy tension.
Just as she neared bursting, he pulled away, leaving her aching with need. Then he moved his lips to hers and kissed her softly.
“If he tosses you out of his apartment, he’s a damn fool.”
He touched her cheek with his finger as she sought to control her erratic breathing.
“I hope you find what it is you want,” he said. “But if you don’t, you know where to find me.”
Without a backward glance, he walked out of the bedroom.
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