“Now,” I manage to say a little louder.

“I’m sorry. I can’t hear you, Paige. When did you say you want me?” He’s taunting me.

“Right now!” I scream as I push back and force him inside me.

I hear him hiss through his teeth. “Then right now you shall have me.”

I feel his hands on my hips and I hear him groan as he sinks deep inside me with more force than I thought possible. I call out from the shock of it. “You like it this way, don’t you?”

I can’t lie. I love it. “Yes.” It’s all I can manage with him pounding into me.

He slows his pace a little and I feel one of his hands leave my hip to slide down my spine. “I love having you this way.”

I’m like a cat bending to his touch. He holds so much power over me … I wonder if he knows.

I spiral until he takes me to that place, the one where I implode as he drives hard into me one last time. A few moments later, I feel his kiss against my back. “Pack a bag. You’re coming home with me. But don’t change. I want you just the way you are.”

He doesn’t have to ask me twice.

Paige is in her room packing when I hear the lock jiggle. Ben Donavon comes through the door to find me in his living room, sitting on the arm of his couch—the same one I just bent Paige over—and I stifle my laughter. He’s not happy with my presence and is about to question it when Paige comes out of her bedroom.

He sees her bag and reads the situation for what it is. She’s choosing to leave with me, not stay here with him. “Going somewhere?”

He’s pissed off and that makes me more eager to get her away from him. “When should I tell Addison you’ll be back?”

She looks to me for an answer, but I don’t have one. I haven’t thought about a plan beyond tonight. “She’ll call and let her know.”

He’s furious because this isn’t his plan. His involved coming back to the apartment to have some alone time with Paige. Too bad. The only one-on-one she’s getting tonight is in my bed.

I put my arm around her and take her bag. “Ready, baby?”

Paige glances at me and grins. “I think so.”

As we walk out the door, I taunt him over my shoulder. “Merry Christmas, Ben.”

He doesn’t say anything back. Sore loser.

I see Paige’s gift by the door when we pull up. I called and canceled the delivery to the apartment and instead had it brought to the vineyard the moment my mum convinced me to spend Christmas with my “girlfriend.”

My poor mum. She thinks she sent me here to woo her potential daughter-in-law, not indulge in my latest lewd act.

Paige sees the gift on the porch when we get out of the car. “Check it out. Someone left a Christmas gift for you by the door.”

I try not to grin. “Hmm, I wonder who would have done that since all of the staff are still gone for the holidays.”

I unlock the door and grab the gift before she has time to investigate the name on the card. We go into the living room and I put it down on the coffee table. “Want to go ahead and take your bag to the bedroom?”

I watch her disappear down the hall, and it makes me smile. She’s familiar with all of this—me, my house, the things I want to do to her. She hasn’t been shocked or apprehensive about anything so far. The others were uptight and stuffy, but Paige is different. She’s so much better.

She comes back into the living room and sits next to me on the couch. I pass her one of the glasses of wine I’ve poured. “Thank you.”

She lifts it to her mouth and then makes a guess at the type. “Merlot?”

She smiles, pleased with herself. “I have a great master.”

“Perhaps.” I take the wine from her hand and put our glasses aside. I lift the large gift from the coffee table and hand her the card. “I’m dying to see who this is from. Read the card to me.”

She smiles as she takes it. “Merry Christmas to Paige, from Lachlan.” Her smile fades when it registers. “You got me a gift?”

“When did you have time?”

“When isn’t important.” I place the box across her lap and I’m surprised by the joy I’m feeling. I’ve gone from one extreme to the other today. I was discontent when I woke this morning and thought about not being with her when she opened this, but now I’m antsy to see her reaction. “Open it.”

She tears the paper slowly. I can tell she’s guarded, perhaps thinking of all the things the large box could contain. Of the things running through her mind, I don’t think this one she considers.

When she opens the box, she sees the case adorned with one word: Martin. She knows what’s inside. I can’t decipher what I see on her face. Is she not happy?

My other companions were ecstatic to get gifts. Of course, I usually give them something lavish, like jewelry. Maybe she was hoping for something along those lines. Should I have given her diamond earrings instead?

She swallows hard and pulls the brown case from the box. She places it across her lap and looks at me. She seems sad, and I don’t know why. I wish I knew what she was thinking.

She pushes the brass drawbolt latch up with her thumb and opens the top of the case. She stares quietly at the Martin D-45 she admired in the window of the music store before she grazes her fingers over it. I’m no closer to knowing what’s going through her mind. It’s frustrating and I begin to wonder if I’ve done something wrong. Perhaps it isn’t the right guitar.

I can stand it no longer. “You have to tell me what you’re thinking.”

She blinks several times and I see the tears in her eyes. Shit. That wasn’t what I was going for at all. “I’m thinking it’s beautiful but way too expensive and I can’t accept it.”

“Don’t think of how much it cost. I bought it for you because I want you to have it. You’re keeping it. Now, take it out and play something for me.”

She puts the case on the coffee table and removes the guitar. She slips the strap over her head and hesitates like she’s still thinking it over, but then strums it for the first time. And it’s over. I know there’ll be no more talk of not accepting my gift because she’s in love with it.

She begins strumming a song and nothing sounds familiar about it, but I like it. “What song is this?”

“Paperweight.” She strums a few more chords and then begins singing. “Been up all night, staring at you … wondering what’s on your mind. I’ve been this way with so many before but … this feels like the first time.”

Two lines in and I’m completely lost in her. Her voice is uninhibited and I love everything about her when she sings—her song choice, her voice, her facial expressions, but mostly the feeling I get. She’s special and destined for great things when the right person in the music industry discovers her.

When she finishes playing, she looks over at me and smiles. “It’s perfect and I love it. It’s the best gift I’ve ever been given. Thank you.”

She gets up and puts the guitar in its case before she climbs onto the couch and straddles me. She takes my face in her small, delicate hands. I hadn’t noticed how dainty they are until I saw them strumming the Martin. She’s watching my eyes. “And thank you for coming back to me.”

I’m taken by surprise because her words sound so intimate, like those that would be whispered between two people in love. She’s very good at our little game. She makes this feel real.

My first thought is to take her to the bedroom, but then I remember that we are alone and decide I want her right here in the living room. I lift her shirt over her head and unfasten the back of her bra to free her perfect breasts. I suck one of her rosy tips into my mouth and I feel her arch closer as she drops her head back. I roll my tongue around the erect pebble and then scrape my teeth over it.

“Oh, Lachlan,” she quietly moans as she grinds her pelvis against mine.

My sweet little American girl isn’t much of a talker when we’re like this, but I’m going to work on her a little at a time. “Tell me what you want me to do to you, Paige.”

“You know what I want you to do.”

“I might, but I can’t be sure, so I need to hear you say it.”

Her face is red because she’s embarrassed to tell me, but I’ll eventually have her so she isn’t afraid to ask me to do anything. I rub my hands over her breasts. “Do you want me to kiss you here?”

She swallows hard. “Lachlan, I want you to kiss my breasts.” It’s a soft whisper, but I let it count because this is going to take some conditioning.

I take her other breast in my mouth and suck it hard. I tug lightly on her nipple and it makes a popping sound when the suction breaks.

She’s still wearing her bottoms so I lift her from my lap and lie her down on the couch. “Now, what do you want me to do next?”

“Take off my pants and panties.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I grin at her as I tug on the waistband of her pants and panties. She lifts her hips and I slide them down for a second time today. I take them all the way down and toss them onto the floor. “Next?”

She smiles and I think she is starting to relax with our game. “Take off your clothes while I watch.”

“Anything you want. You only have to ask.”

I unbutton my shirt and toss it casually over the back of the couch. I take the two foil squares out of my pocket and put them on the coffee table before I unfasten my daks and drop them and my jocks to the floor. “Next?”