Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

Previous: Chapter Seven
Next: Chapter Nine

Chapter Eight


Keyonna kept calling herself all kinds of fool for agreeing to the Nick’s ultimatum.

But what choice did she have? The handsome brute had promised to bring her to her knees either way. What was one year married to him, compared to a future marred with debt and professional disgrace? He’d do it; she knew he would. And even then, she couldn’t take the risk of defying him and finding out if she was right.

His final words of that day kept ringing in her head. “Don’t make me do it, Keyonna,” he’d said quietly, his lips so close she could almost taste the heady kiss hovering. “This can be a perfect arrangement for both of us. As my wife, you’ll never lack a thing. All I have would be yours. And when it’s over, we can both walk away if that’s what we want.”

“You really think I care about your money?” she breathed, eyelids fluttering as she was unable to hold back the droplets of helpless tears spilling to her cheek. Hating herself for her weak tears, she made to turn angrily away but he gathered her into his big, potent arms and kissed her, hard.

Keyonna couldn’t break away, and felt herself almost bent back beneath the force of his passionate kiss. The way she whimpered and shook with pleasure was like the final nail in her cross of shame.

“Ssh...don’t cry, tesoro,” Nick rasped gently against her lips, making her tears spill faster at the soft endearment. “Stop fighting me. I can make this good. I promise. Let me show you how it can be between us.”

“No,” Keyonna moaned, even as his powerful arms swept her off her feet. Somehow, his quick, sure strides found the way straight to her bedroom. Keyonna’s mind was a whirl of emotions fighting for supremacy. She couldn’t deny that she wanted Nick, so badly it burned through her like a fever. No other man made her body tremble with desire just by his touch, his kiss. Already, he’d burned a hole through her defenses and already, she knew she had more than just her pride and body at stake. Even as he began to slowly yet purposefully strip her clothes, even as she melted beneath him when he finally joined her on the cool sheets, she still couldn’t help feeling that whatever could have been between them was forever cheapened.

And Keyonna knew she should hate him for that but damn it, she couldn’t.

He plucked his mouth from hers, arching over her while a deep growl rumbled in his throat as she instinctively writhed closer. He was still fully clothed while she was now naked to the skin which gave her somewhat of a vulnerable yet thrilling sensation.

Laughing softly, Nick pinned her wrists high on either side of her head, making her feel more helpless than ever. His eyes began to smolder as they ran over her body from neck to toe. Her nipples stiffened beneath his warm look, and as his gaze trailed down to the softly tufted mound in the V of her thighs, her skin grew warm.

“You’re beautiful,” he said huskily, while pressing himself into her a little harder so she could feel the stiffness of his thick, long, clothed erection rubbing against her belly. Keyonna’s breathing was quite heavy now and she squirmed as his head dropped to her heaving breasts.

Desperately frightened of how she’d react to Nick’s lips on her, she blurted shakily, “It’s not enough you blackmail me into marriage – but now you get my body as well? That’s a bargain if I ever saw one.”

Nick stiffened, and then swore harshly beneath his breath in Italian before suddenly releasing her wrists and rolling off the bed.

Keyonna stared at him incredulously, somewhat surprised to see him heading straight for the door.

“What the hell Nick? Where are you going?” Keyonna called out to his retreating back before she could stop herself.

Nick paused at the door, turning reluctantly to face her as he shoved his hair back with a furious sweep of his hand. “This goes only one way. You know it, I know it. We’re going to get married as soon as it can be arranged. But as for the sex – heaven forbid it’ll ever be said I had to coerce a woman into my bed.”

“It’s my bed,” Keyonna muttered, dragging the discarded covers and pulling it up over her to her chin. “So you’re saying if we get married, I don’t have to sleep with you? My body’s not part of the package?”

“Fuck!” Nick swore, looking like he was about to turn away and just leave again. But then without warning he was striding to the bed again, and without further ado stripped the covers from her nerveless fingers. Keyonna yelped, drawing up her knees protectively as her arms wrapped around her shoulders.

He didn’t touch her, but leaned on his arms on either side of her cringing, naked frame. He didn’t tear his eyes from hers. “Tell me to leave, Keyonna, and I’ll go. Tell me that us sharing this bed will be something you don’t want, and I’ll respect your choice. But don’t lie that you don’t melt at my touch, or that your pussy’s not dripping right now for me. Blackmail or no blackmail, your body’s crying out even now to be claimed in ways that only I understand. You’re mine, Keyonna.”

Keyonna shivered, surprised by the blazing mixture of rage and possessiveness in his eyes.

“I’m not going to be treated like a whore, Nick,” Keyonna said firmly, her emotions from the first time they’d met bursting forth. “Since that night at the party it’s been one rude shock after another. And now this...marriage contract...” She shook her head with distaste, and saw Nick’s harsh expression soften at her words.

“I understand,” Nick said with a more gentle tone than before. “I can see you need time. I want you so much it’s like a fever in my brain but I can wait until you’re ready. But in one month, the wedding will take place. In the meantime, I’ll get to introduce you to my family, and of course I’d like to meet yours. I can imagine they’ll be surprised at the speed and the unexpected element of us both settling down out of the blue. But then we’ll just say we couldn’t wait after rediscovering each other over the last two weeks.”

“Right...because we’re so, in love and everything,” Keyonna replied with deep sarcasm.

Nick’s response was just a predatory smile crossing his deeply tanned face, right before he lowered his mouth to her ear, licking and nibbling it wickedly. Keyonna let out a shuddery sigh and clenched her naked thighs while the moisture pooled right at her core. How and why did he have such an effect on her? The solid weight of his clothed body held her down and kept her from moving, and she became swept in the woodsy, manly scent of him. Her fingers itched to sink into the glossy dark waves of his beautiful hair, but instead she fisted the sheets on either side of her as his hot breath fanned her sensitive ear lobe.

“I want to take you here; now. Just pin you to the bed, spread your thighs as far apart as they can go and then...” His raspy voice cut short as he slid his hand down her belly to cover her bare sex. Keyonna silently cursed as she felt her pussy begin to flood with juices at his touch. She could sense the heat emanating from her as his fingertips gently brushed her folds. Dismayed at the moan which escaped her before she could stop it, Keyonna shot out a hand to push his away.

“Nick, n-no...,” she stammered, her hand closing over his wrist right before he parted her swollen, slick vagina lips and pushed his middle finger deep inside her. She heard him grunt softly as she instinctively, helplessly ground her pussy into his hand, shocked by how good that finger felt buried inside her snug walls. She shuddered, feeling him stroke in and out of her a few more times before withdrawing the invading digit.

He kissed right behind her ear, and then gave her lobe one last ravenous little bite as he whispered, “The day will come, tesoro, when you will scream loud to have me inside you. You will not think to say ‘no’ to me then. Soon, Keyonna...very soon.”

Keyonna wasn’t sure if she was disappointed or relieved when Nick finally drew back completely and she watched him leave the silent bedroom.

Previous: Chapter Seven
Next: Chapter Nine