Authors: Sandra Hill
“I think Nick’s goin’ stark ravin’ bonkers, myself,” Lee opined. “No woman’s worth makin’ a fool of yourself like that.”
“Do you think he’s makin’ a fool of himself? No way! Women eat this romance fantasy stuff up like candy. You really oughtta watch more
The Woman’s Edge with Dr. Sheila
“I got better things to do than—”
“Betcha didn’t know what some couples do on top of a washing machine.”
Skip gave a short, graphic account of laundry room sexual activity, most of it revolving around vibrating washing machines.
Impressed, Lee asked, “And you learned that from Dr. Sheila? Wow!”
Paula’s face flamed with embarrassment. Good Lord! By tomorrow morning, everyone in New Jersey was going to know about this latest stunt of Nick’s. And it would be linked right up there with vibrating washing machines.
She gritted her teeth, closed her eyes, and counted to ten for patience. Finally, she opened her eyes and looked at Nick.
He still sat cross-legged in front of her with his arms folded across his chest. He stared at her with blatant sexual interest, not even trying to hide his intentions.
“Would you like me to remove the gag, Zara?” he asked in a soft voice.
She nodded vigorously.
“Do you promise not to scream?”
“Mrffmfh!” Her eyes flashed sparks of defiance. Oh, she intended to scream all right. And slap some sense into his silly head.
He laughed, a low, throaty sound. “Ah, then, we cannot allow that. It appears you need to understand your role, my dear. I will, of course, enjoy teaching you.”
Her eyebrows shot up at that.
And little tingles of unwanted pleasure rippled across Paula’s skin at the erotic promise in his voice.
A slow, knowing grin tugged at Nick’s beautiful lips. “I wonder what kind of pupil you will be, Zara.”
I wonder, too. Oh, Lord!
“Will you be defiant and resist me, like a proud desert princess? Or will you be compliant and seductive, like an experienced
Every nerve ending in her body leaped to attention at those vivid mind pictures.
He stood and walked behind her, so close that she could feel the soft caress of his robe against her bare leg, the whisper of his breath against her hair. Abruptly, before she could react, he lifted her by both upper arms and propelled her inside the tent, closing the flap behind him.
And the fantasy began.
On a scale of one to ten, this sexual fantasy was a twenty . . .
PAULA FELT AS if she had fallen into a black hole and emerged on the other side of the world. It was
and a torrid Bertrice Small novel all wrapped up in one.
By the flickering light of candles and tall flame-lit torches, she saw jewel-toned Persian carpets, topped with dozens of satin pillows. Wine cooled in an ice-filled bucket, and succulent Middle Eastern foods warmed over a brazier. Exotic music came from somewhere—a mournful twang reminiscent of hot Sahara nights and dark-skinned Bedouin lovers.
Paula fought the seductive pull of the erotic fantasy Nick was creating for her. She didn’t understand why he did it, but she couldn’t deny the heightening of her senses—or the lowering of her resistance. She closed her eyes, fighting for control, and groaned behind her gag.
“Did you say something, Zara?”
Nick had come up behind her, silent as a desert bandit, and placed a sharp blade near her throat. She glanced back over her shoulder at him. A shiver ran through her, but not of fear. Nick wouldn’t hurt her.
Before she realized what he intended, he cut her oversized T-shirt from the neck band to the end of the short sleeves on both sides. Despite her hands being still bound behind her back, he was able to pull the shirt down till it fell to the ground, exposing her bare breasts. They peaked immediately into telling points of aching arousal. She wore only shorts now, but those, and her panties, soon joined her shirt on the ground.
And she stood before him, naked and vulnerable, like the slave captive he had deemed her.
He circled her in a predatory fashion, examining her body from all angles, as if determining her worth. Nick had always been a good actor. That was why he often got assigned to drug busts or gigs where he had to play a role. He was using all those talents now. If Paula hadn’t known him before, she would swear he really was a ruthless sheik who’d captured an unwilling slave girl . . . on a New Jersey beach.
She giggled, low in her throat.
“You find humor in your captivity, do you, Zara?” he asked in a velvety voice, and trailed the dull side of his knife downward, flicking the nipples of both breasts lightly.
She inhaled sharply at the intense pleasure.
He smiled. “I’m going to remove your gag now, Zara, and you are not to speak unless I give you permission. I am the master. You are my slave. Do you understand?”
At first, she remained obstinate. Then she nodded her head. Despite herself, she was curious as to just how far he would go with this charade.
The minute the silk scarf fell away from her mouth, she charged, “Nick, you can’t do this.”
“Oh, can’t I?” he said. “Did I not tell you to remain silent? I am Raschid. It is the only name I will answer to. Or master.”
She made an “in your dreams” snort of disgust.
He raised an eyebrow at her in challenge and continued, “And you are Zara . . . my love slave.”
Love slave? Oh, my.
“What is this, some kind of middle-aged crazy thing?”
“Middle-aged?” he sputtered indignantly. “I’m only thirty-five. And you’re doing a hell of a lot more drooling than I am.”
“Pre-middle-aged then. Or post-raging-stud-dom. All I know is, you’re acting crazy lately.”
“Stud-dom?” He grinned, honing in on that one word. “You think I’m still a stud?”
“Still?” She made another snort of disgust.
“Now, now, sarcasm does not befit a harem girl.” He winked and held out a bundle of sheer fabric. “When I release your hands,
you will put this on,” he ordered.
Paula looked down in puzzlement as he shook the fabric out, causing all the tiny bells sewn along its edges to tinkle delightfully. She couldn’t help but smile . . . until she realized what he held. A harem girl’s outfit—like a belly dancer’s—little more than transparent scarves that would reveal more than they would hide. Oh, this was outrageous! And, worst of all, it probably belonged to one of the strippers at Skip’s nightclub.
“You can’t make me.”
I’d like to know how
“I could tie you to a tent pole and caress you till your tongue curls.”
He wouldn’t dare. Would he?
“I could lay you on those pillows and slather you with honey and lick you from your toenails to your eyebrows.”
Oh, he is good.
“I could give you a new lesson in aural sex, talking—just talking—for hours about the things I fantasize about doing to you, until you come, and come, and come.”
Stop panting, Paula, or he’ll know you’re interested.
“I could touch myself the way I would like you to touch me and force you to watch.”
Oh, my God!
“I could stick dates in—”
“Stop!” she choked out. “Give me the damn bimbo clothes.”
He laughed smoothly and untied the scarf binding her wrists behind her back, then handed her the sheer garment. Turning away, he poured two glasses of wine while she dressed, which didn’t take long, considering the small amount of fabric.
The top portion was a red chiffon, bolero-style vest, with no buttons or clasps, ending just under her breasts. The loose pantaloons, also of red chiffon, hung low on her hips, exposing her navel. Tiny bells lined all the gold twining edges of both the top and bottom garments.
Paula felt more exposed than if she were naked.
And she felt incredibly sexy. Especially with Nick still being fully clothed.
She got grim satisfaction when he turned, and his jaw dropped with surprise. He almost spilled the glass of wine he was about to hand her.
“Hot damn!” he murmured under his breath.
She walked closer to him, jingling like a Christmas sleigh—
call me Tinkerbell—
reached for the glass of wine.
“Well?” she asked, wanting to reverse the tables on him, to take over the reins in this power play. She experienced an odd thrill in knowing she could turn him on so easily. She felt an even greater thrill wondering how it would feel to play out this tantalizing drama. “Does this fulfill your fantasy?”
A grin teased at his lips. “Allah be praised. You are every man’s dream. But this is to be your fantasy, Zara. For your pleasure, if Allah wills.”
Suddenly, Paula was frightened of this game and how easily she had fallen, once again, under Nick’s spell. They shouldn’t be talking, let alone having sex, with their divorce a few days off. Not only was Nick going off the deep end, but now she was about to take the leap, too. “All right, Nick. You’ve had your big joke. Now, tell me what this is all about.”
“Not Nick. Raschid,” he corrected. “And you need not understand the fantasy. Do not fight the fates Allah has foretold.”
She put both hands on her hips, stamping her foot.
His eyes flashed blue fire, darkening with passion, as they riveted on her chest.
She looked down and groaned. Her posture had caused the vest to part, exposing a good portion of her breasts. She jerked the sides together and scowled at him.
He smiled, a dazzling display of white teeth and pure Nick charm. She melted. She couldn’t stay mad at him when he smiled at her like that. She never could.
That is, until he spoke his next words.
“You will feed me now,
“I beg your pardon,” she said with disbelief.
He dropped down languidly to a nest of cushions, sipping at his wine, and pointed to the brazier. “A good slave feeds her master . . . with her fingers.”
Paula took a long drink of her wine to cool her consternation—and ardor—but it had the opposite effect. The potent beverage rushed to all the nerve centers in her body, heightening their sensitivity. Even the air teased her skin, which had become one large canvas of unending erogenous zones.
“This is the twenty-first century, babe—I mean, Raschid,” she snapped, fighting the whirl of her dizzying emotions, “and women don’t
Paula knew she’d made a mistake almost immediately. She downed the rest of her glass of wine in a big gulp as Nick rose in one fluid motion and pushed her gently to the cushions. “Of course, you are right, Zara. I will serve you.”
And he did.
Half reclining on the cushions, sipping at the second glass of wine Nick handed her, Paula had trouble concentrating. Perhaps it was the effects of the alcohol. More likely, it was the enticing feel of Nick’s fingers against her lips, feeding her rice with slivers of succulent lamb, bite-sized pieces of pita bread dripping with honey, marinated olives, and sweet dates.
Along the way, somehow, she’d begun to feed him as well. He lay on his side, leaning on one elbow, with a tray of food between them. His expression was hungry and lustful, and she thrilled at the knowledge that food was only the appetizer in this delicious foreplay.
When she placed a pomegranate seed inside his mouth, he held her wrist in place and sucked the pulp surrounding the kernel till she finally removed it from his mouth. Over and over, she repeated the procedure, fascinated by the play of light and shadow on his flexing cheeks, increasingly excited by the abrasion of his tongue on her thumb and forefinger.
“I would like to do the same with your nipples,” he said huskily, holding her eyes.
And when she put the next seed in his mouth, she felt each pull in her breasts.
“Do you feel it, Zara?”
She couldn’t answer, but he knew. He knew.
“Bare your breasts for me, slave.”
She had probably had too much to drink. That could be the only explanation for her even considering doing as he asked. Sitting up, she watched as he removed the tray between them. Then, slowly, she drew her bolero apart and over her shoulders.
Nick made a low growl of approval.
She lay back down, feeling as seductive as the Bedouin princess she pretended to be. Nick gazed at her like a thirsty man who just arrived at a sand-locked oasis, about to be offered his first cup of water. And Paula realized that the last thing in the world she wanted was to make him suffer.
“Arch your back, Zara, like a cat. Purr for your master. Can you purr?”
She could. And she did.
The Middle Eastern music thrummed around them, exotic and sexually compelling.
All of Paula’s blood seemed to center and pump rhythmically in the fullness of her breasts, which she offered to him wantonly. Leaning back on both elbows, she threw her head back with shameless abandon, concentrating all her attention on the pebble-hard tips.
She was no longer Paula. She was a desert princess, and Nick was her sheik, the answer to her most intimate dreams.
Tossing aside his headdress, he rose to his knees at her side, his adoring eyes raking her body.
With his hands at his sides, he bent forward, and his hot breath fanned her breast as he whispered, “You are my beloved, and I am your slave.”
Paula keened aloud then with the intensity of her need and arched higher, forcing her nipple against his lips. He chuckled softly with delight.
“No, I am the slave. I must be a slave to bend to your will so easily,” she whispered.
When he kissed the taut buds, then drew on them gently and laved them with his tongue, she began to whimper and tried to pull away. Wave after wave of pleasure mingled with pain washed over her, and Nick put one arm under her back to hold her in the arched position. He would not let her escape now.
For long minutes he played the two hardened “seeds,” overt marks of her overwhelming arousal. Alternately, he used his lips and tongue and teeth to nip and caress, suck and blow, flick and press.
Her thighs grew rigid as she strained, fighting against the onslaught of her approaching climax. “Stop. It’s too much. Please. Oh. Please.”
But he would not comply. “Yield, Zara,” he coaxed her in a thickened voice. “Surrender to me.”
Then, suddenly, he stopped and stood, pulling her to her feet. The tiny bells on her trousers jingled.
Blinking, barely able to focus through the haze of her inflamed senses, Paula watched as Nick drew away from her and leaned against a tent pole, folding his arms casually over his chest. But there was nothing casual about his pale eyes, glistening like beautiful pools of blue passion, or his full lips, parted sensually.
She couldn’t believe he was going to just stop. How could he? Nick had never been so cruel.
“Will you dance for me now, Zara?” he asked in a low, erotic growl.
“I don’t know how,” she protested weakly, but already her hips swayed seductively to the rhythm of the Arab music. The bells jingled softly as she moved.
She found she
dance. For Nick.
Raising her hands to the nape of her neck, she lifted her hair. She looked back at him over her shoulder and saw that he’d shifted back into his role-playing. He watched her intently, his face an expressionless mask, like some caliph viewing a harem girl. And that bothered her. A lot. Hah! She’d show him.