Colters daughter, p.13
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       Colters Daughter, p.13

         Part #3 of Colters Legacy series by Maya Banks
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Page 13

  He sat first and then pulled her onto his lap until she was cuddled against his chest.

  “Now ask these questions you want answered,” he said. “We’re full, I’m holding you. I’m a happy man. ”

  She smiled ruefully as his fingers glided over her breast and he toyed with one nipple as he awaited her response. The man made it hard to want anything other than for him to hold her and to keep touching her.

  “Have there been other women like me?”

  He laughed softly. “Now there is an easy question to answer. No, there has never been another woman like you. I think it’s safe to say that you’re one of a kind, Callie. ”

  She pulled away just enough that she could look into his eyes. “I meant women that you’ve had a dominant/submissive relationship with. When did you know that this is what you wanted, or have you always known? What happened to the other women?”

  Max sighed. “I’ve had several relationships, not all of which have been as a dominant to the woman’s submissive. The ones I’ve been the happiest in and the most content, however, were with a submissive woman. I’ve found those to be the most rewarding.

  “As to what happened to those women, the relationship simply didn’t work out. ”

  “Why not?”

  He looked vexed by her question. For a long moment he stared away and then finally he looked back at her. Something dark flashed in his eyes, something that sent a little shiver pricking up her nape.

  “They weren’t willing to go as far as I wanted them. But more than that, I think I recognized that I had selfish reasons for wanting their submission. It was all about me. How they could please me. It was no wonder I found no satisfaction in those relationships. And then you…”

  “What about me? Why was I different? Why am I different?”

  “Because it was no longer about me when I was with you,” he said. “It wasn’t a game, some idle pleasure. It wasn’t something I wanted. It was something I needed. I needed you. I needed your submission. Not simply because it would please me. But because I wanted to take care of you, cherish you, protect you and love you. I wanted to please you more than I wanted to be pleased. ”

  His answer lay heavy between them. Her heart thudded more forcefully against her chest. He sounded so…impassioned. Like every word had been wrenched from the very depths of his soul.

  Max swallowed and blew out his breath. “We talked about why I left. Why I stayed gone. The fact that we fell so hard and heavy and fast. The truth is, from the moment I met you, Callie, my thoughts about you were dark and all-consuming. I pushed you hard and you took everything I gave you and wanted more. That scared the hell out of me. It seemed too…”

  “Too what?”

  “Perfect. Too damn perfect. ”

  Her brows drew together in confusion.

  “I looked at you and saw someone who was perfect for me in every way. Someone who met my needs. All of them. But there was so much more I wanted from you and I had to make a decision whether to trust that you were that perfect person for me or whether I wanted to back away before I became too emotionally involved with you. ”

  It sounded cold. Clinical. Harsh even. She stared pensively at him for a long time, mulling over his words. Despite the bald way he put it out there, she sensed vulnerability.

  “So you backing away was self-preservation. ”

  He rubbed a hand over his face and then through his hair. “Yes. I suppose you could call it that. I needed time to evaluate. I needed to be sure that you would be happy in the relationship I would demand. ”

  “You’re an idiot, Max. ”

  He blinked in surprise and his brows drew together as he glared at her.

  “You men never get it right. Half the time you don’t think at all and then the times you do think, you think too much. ”

  “Care to explain my idiocy?”

  “Did it never occur to you to talk to me? I don’t know, maybe ask me if I was comfortable in our relationship? Maybe lay out what more you wanted from me and gauge my reaction?”

  “I was worried we moved too fast, that we jumped without thinking and were caught up in the moment. I thought we needed distance so we could think with clear heads. ”

  “Now you’re calling me an idiot,” she muttered.

  He sighed. “I’m doing no such thing, Callie. And if it makes you feel any better, I knew I’d made a huge mistake. I was miserable without you, and the truth is, even if you weren’t comfortable giving me all I demanded from you, I wanted you badly enough to compromise. I swore to myself I’d take whatever you were willing to give. ”

  She touched his cheek, grazing the tips of her finger lightly over his jaw. “I would have given you anything, Max. ”

  “Have I ruined it then? Will you punish us both by withholding what we both want?”

  “I’m not vindictive. I try not to be. You hurt me. We both know that. I’m still dealing with that but I’m working on it. I want to be happy. I’m tired of feeling sad. I want to be happy with you. ”

  “I’ll make you happy, Callie. ”

  She lifted her mouth to his and gave him a soft kiss. His hand glided up her leg, over the curve of her buttocks and up her waist until he cupped her breast.

  “Tell me what you want,” she whispered. “How much of my submission are you demanding?”

  His eyes glittered as she pulled away. He stared back at her until she burned under his gaze. “Everything. I want everything. Nothing less. ”

  Chapter Fourteen

  Max never took his eyes off Callie as she digested his blunt declaration. She didn’t flinch. Didn’t shy away. Nor did she appear to have an extreme reaction. Her expression didn’t change but she cocked her head to the side and stared at him like she was sliding into his thoughts and giving them serious consideration.

  “Define everything, Max. Are you being dramatic to make a point? I need you to be exacting here. This isn’t the sort of thing we can afford to misunderstand. ”

  He almost smiled. So typically Callie. Blunt. To the point. She wasn’t a shy woman. He’d been afraid that he’d ruined some of that spirit, but it was there. Maybe beaten down, but it stirred beneath the shadows and slowly flickered to life.

  “What do I mean by everything? It’s simple and yet complicated. You asked before if you were to submit to me only in the bedroom, so in essence you were asking if it was narrowed to sex. My answer is no. ”

  He thumbed over her nipple, unable to keep from touching her. He’d never grow tired of feeling her against him. After so many months, it was like coming home to have her in his arms. He could sit here all night and simply touch her and smell her.

  “I want you to be mine. You’ll be mine to protect. To cherish. To love. To take care of. To provide for. I want to dress you, spoil you, lavish you with fine food. Trips to Europe, the world. I want you to trust me enough to allow me to make the decisions in our relationship. To cede absolute control to me in the bedroom. To give your body to me and only me. But it’s not about you giving and me taking. It’s not about pleasing me to the exclusion of all else. Maybe it was like that in my other relationships. I want ours to be about me pleasing you every bit as much as you please me. I want to do things for you. Everything for you. I want to give you things. I want this kind of relationship for what it can do for you as well as me. For the things I can give to you.

  “So, no, I don’t want it confined to the bedroom, but I want our relationship to be where you can push back when I go too far. But only then. Once we establish complete trust, it will be easier. You’ll know that I won’t want to do anything that isn’t in your best interests. ”

  Her brows bunched and she stared intently at him. Her expression was pensive, and he knew she’d absorbed every single one of his words and even now was turning them over and over in her mind. He could see the questions in her eyes.

  He smiled. She wanted to argue. To protest. But she tempered the bubbling protest as she continu
ed to study him.

  “It takes a very strong woman to submit to a man,” he said as he fingered a strand of her hair. “What attracted me to you was your beauty and your laughter. I’ll never forget the first time I saw you in Italy. You took my breath away. But later, it was your fiercely independent spirit that kept me with you. Even as you submitted, your will remained. Your true self was unaltered. You retained all the qualities I most admired, and yet you offered your submission to me so sweetly it made me ache. ”

  “You seem so sure the two can coexist long-term,” she said. “Is that what happened with your other women? Did they lose themselves in the process?”

  Her intuitive question caught him off guard. “Partly, yes. It happened in two of my relationships. They were so caught up in pleasing me that they became shells of the women I was first attracted to. They became…what they thought I wanted. What I thought I wanted for that matter. It sounds so contradictory, but what I want is a woman who can please me and be pleased by me, but not lose herself in the process. Someone strong. Someone like you. ”

  “I may have misjudged you, Max,” she offered quietly. “All this while I’ve been hurting and aching, and I assumed you weren’t thinking about me at all, that you left me without thought and never looked back. But that’s not true, is it? You’ve been thinking about me—us—quite a lot. ”

  “Not a day has passed that I haven’t thought about us. ”

  Her eyes softened and became damp pools of blue. She reached up and cupped his cheek and stroked gently. “You have my submission, Max. Without reservation. I want to try. I don’t know if you’re right and I’m the woman you need or that I’ll end up being the woman you want, but I want to be her. I’m willing to try. I’m willing to give us a chance. I’ll make mistakes. I’ve never allowed anyone the kind of control you’re asking for. ”

  He smiled and leaned forward to kiss her on the forehead. “I’ve no doubt no one has ever been able to control you. And that’s not what I want to do. I love your free spirit too much. I am the only person I ever want you to submit to and it’s my job to cherish your gift and not crush your spirit but nurture it instead. ”

  She smiled back. “I think I can handle that. ”

  “Good. Now that we’ve settled that matter, I want to establish a few ground rules. ”

  She started to frown but recovered quickly and instead looked inquisitively at him.

  “When we are alone, whether in this apartment or elsewhere, you aren’t to wear clothing unless I’ve said otherwise. ”

  Her lips parted and he could see her battling over whether to question him.

  “I want you accessible to me at all times. If I want to fuck you in the kitchen, I want to be able to just lean you over the table and slide inside your sweet body. ”

  Her breathing hiccupped and her eyes went a little hazy.

  “I might want you to suck my cock while I eat after I’ve fed you. I prefer for you to be nude when that occurs. ”

  Her lips quivered and she twitched in his lap. He almost grinned. She was getting turned on by the images he painted.

  “When we’re in the living room, I want to be able to bend you over the arm of the couch and fuck you from behind. Or I might want to sit on the sofa and have you sit on my cock. The point is I want you accessible at all times. I want to be able to look at you whenever I want and touch you. ”

  She nodded jerkily but kept silent.

  “Tomorrow when we go shopping, I’m going to choose jewelry for you to wear. It will be a sign of my ownership. At no time will you take it off. You will only do so if we’re no longer together. ”

  Her eyes widened again. “You mean like a…collar?”

  His heart softened at the horror in her voice. “No, dolcezza. A collar would never do for you. It would be demeaning. You would hate it. And me for making you do such a thing. What I have in mind are wrist cuffs. I want them specially designed for you and engraved with my name. ”

  “Oh,” she said with a quiet sigh. “I don’t think that would be bad at all. ”

  He nudged her chin up with his fingers. “Callie, we need to make something clear. Yes, I expect your submission, however, this isn’t a dictatorship. You have to tell me if at any time you’re uncomfortable with something. The last thing I want is for you to be unhappy. We’ll talk about it and work something out. ”

  She smiled and it lit up her entire face.

  “When we’re in public, I don’t expect you to assume the role of my submissive. The only thing you will be to others is the woman I adore and cherish above all others. Our private life is exactly that. Private. I don’t need the world to see you submit. I’m the only person who ever needs to see it. ”

  He circled her wrist with his fingers and her pulse sped up, racing against his hand.

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