At His Mercy

By: Tawny Taylor


Elena Caine has secrets. The kind that could devastate her life if they’re revealed. And now a selfish bastard is dragging the skeletons out of her closet. She’s being blackmailed. There’s no way out. Then the quietly seductive Dom Kyler Pierce decides to blackmail her too. As Kyler and Elena face their common enemy, overpowering sexual heat sizzles between them. They want each other. Need each other. But happiness may be beyond their reach. For this determined Dom and reluctant submissive to have any chance at love, Elena must learn the most essential lesson of Dominance and submission—to trust her Dom. Especially when she is on her knees…and her world is tumbling down around her.



(Previously published as Blackmailed)



Length: Long novella, approx. 30,000 words



SAMPLE



“Will you tell me why you’re so angry?”

He looked away.

Her nerves crawling, she watched his throat work as he swallowed. Nothing.

“You won’t give me a chance to explain?”

“I don’t know if I can believe anything you say.”

Where did that leave her? This man, whose eyes were cold as icicles, held her job in the palm of his hand. Her job, the medical insurance that paid for her brother’s treatment. Her entire future. She couldn’t get any more desperate than that. “What will it take to prove to you that I can be believed? I stayed. Right? You didn’t lock me in. You won the bet, and I didn’t leave, even though I wanted to.”

“Yeah, well, that could also be because you didn’t want your pretty little as**s hauled to jail.”

“I’m not sure that would be any worse,” she said, frankly. “I mean, you’re throwing these threats around, acting one way one second, totally different the next. It’s confusing. Scary.”

Her eyes were burning, darn it. Her nose. Don’t cry. He’ll think you’re trying to manipulate him.

She blinked several times.

His eyes narrowed, his gaze becoming even chillier. Sub-arctic. “There you go with the waterworks again. I see now. Whenever you get backed into a corner, you throw the switch, the tears start to flow, and you’re off the hook.” He crowded her, grabbed her chin, and glared into her eyes. “It doesn’t work with me anymore. I know the truth about you now. I know you’re fucking Matt Becker, and you’re itching for a promotion—from the whore of a sales manager to the whore of a vice president.”

She felt sick. Was that really what he believed? “No, I’m not sleeping with Matt. You’re wrong.”

“Funny.” He dragged his thumb over her lower lip. He walked her backward, until her back hit the wall. He thrust his arms forward, caging her head between them. “But if you’d just come to me, I’d have fucked you. You could’ve had your vice president. In fact…” He dropped his head and kissed her roughly. His tongue thrust into her mouth, in complete domination.

Instantly, her body was on fire. Yes, this was what she’d wanted last night. Pulses of liquid heat pounded down her torso to the juncture of her thighs. Despite her confusion, she kissed him back, letting the searing heat of the kiss burn away everything.

Insanity! This was complete craziness. But she couldn’t help reacting to his kisses. She’d been waiting, ready. She moaned, stroking his tongue with hers. Exploring the sweet depth of his mouth.

He bent his elbows, crushing his hard body against hers. Wedged a knee between her trembling thighs.

Crazy!

She moaned, rocking her hips back and forth, desperate to rub away the ache building between her legs.

He suckled her tongue and she slid her hands up his stomach, whimpering.

Her head was swimming. Her body melting. Her brain short-circuiting. She was falling, sliding down the wall, unable to remain standing another second. Her pus**sy rested on his knee, a support. Oh, the sensation. The glory of that hard leg against her soft, swollen tissues.

Insanity!

He caught her up into his arms and carried her to the bed, laid her on it and then climbed over her. More of those amazing nuclear-reactor-hot kisses. He gave her more, and she accepted him, eagerly. His hands started at the sides of her face but—much to her joy—didn’t remain there for long. Down her neck they traveled, to her shoulders, lower. He cupped her brea**sts and she arched her back, pushing her brea**sts into his hands.

I need to stop this. Right now. Stop. Now.

She tried to turn her head, but he caught her face in his hands again, kissing her until she couldn’t move, didn’t want to move. Wanted nothing less than his hands on her naked body, his co**ck buried deep inside her wet pussy.

She’d be sorry for this later, no doubt about it. But for the first time in years, she just wanted to forget about shoulds and should-nots and let go, follow her impulses instead of her head.





Chapter One



“Let me guess, after last weekend’s date with a bug-eyed, tentacled alien, you can’t stop fantasizing about octopi?”

Elena Caine snapped to, realizing she’d been blindly staring down at a pan of…was that squid? Eww!

“Huh?” She hurried down the Asian buffet, past steaming pans of fried rice, sweet and sour shrimp, and moo goo gai pan, following her best friend Ashley to a table in the corner of the restaurant. “No. Trust me, tentacles do nothing for me,” she joked. “But horns? Yum.” The contents of her jacket pocket bounced against her hip as she dodged a toddler in a high chair, reminding her why today had been the worst day of her life.

She’d always thought politicians, judges, lawyers—those kinds of people—were the only ones who got blackmailed. People who were bad. Or had money. Or power.

But your run of the mill office manager? With no money, no power? Not hardly.

So why was she being blackmailed?

“Earth to Elena. Are you with me? What is with you?” Ashley waved a hand in front of Elena’s nose. “I haven’t seen you this dazed since that party in college. Are you high?” At Elena’s fervent shake of the head, Ashley asked, “Sick? Or did you OD on allergy medicine again?”

“Well…” Elena wanted to tell Ashley about the letter in her pocket. It was so tempting, but the jerk who’d sent it had warned her not to tell anyone. Not a single person. If she did, he claimed she’d be the immediate recipient of a pink slip. And a free ride downtown…in a police cruiser.

Considering who she was dealing with, she believed him.

The way she saw it, she had no choice but to play along with his twisted scheme. The jerk had done his homework, known she couldn’t afford to lose her job or risk going to jail. She certainly couldn’t go to the authorities, not when the bit of information he held over her head was so…sensitive.

He had her by the so-called balls.

Yep, worst day of her life.

“Whooo hoooo? Gone on another trip, or are you still here with me?” Ashley, queen of exaggeration, waved her fork in the air.

Elena knocked Ashley’s hand away. “I’m here. Just really tired. It’s been a hellacious week at work, and I’m ready to go home and go to bed.” She lifted her diet cola and took several swallows, trying to avoid eye contact with her best friend.

She knew that look. Ashley was going to pry.

Ashley shoved her plate away and dropped her wadded up napkin on the table. Her gaze was razor sharp and probing. “I’m worried about you.”

“Don’t be.” Elena faked a smile.

“You’re pale. I don’t think you’re just tired. What else is going on? Why won’t you tell me? Don’t you trust me? Is it your boss again? PMS? Your little brother?”

The questions came fast and furious, like balls being spat from a pitching machine gone haywire, and Elena fielded them like a world-class ballplayer. Quickly and efficiently, expending as little effort as possible. One word answers. That was all Ashley got.

Finally, Ashley gave up and went back to chattering about the new guy in the cubicle two down from hers. The one with the great butt and new ‘Vette.

Pretending to listen, Elena picked at her dinner—what had made her decide the Chou Dofu was a good idea today? A little while later, Ashley heaved the sigh of the weary friend who felt neglected and did the little shooing motion she used on stray dogs and pigeons. “Go home and sleep. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Okay. ‘Night.” Elena shrugged into her coat, dug her keys out of the bottom of her purse, gave her friend a quick hug and hurried out to her car, one hand in her pocket, her fingers curled around that damn letter.

It was dark outside already—she hated fall! The restaurant’s parking lot was murky and slushy, thanks to an early snow. It wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet and already they’d had their first heavy snowfall of the year. Winter was bearing down on Michigan like a frigid white demon. She slipped and slid to the back where she’d parked. Unlocked her door, flung her purse onto the passenger seat, climbed in and cranked the engine. It started with a sputter and cough, threatening to stall. Like its owner, her ancient Volkswagen hated the cold.

Elena hit the gas and flipped on the heater, shivering and cursing her temperamental vehicle for making her freeze her butt off while it warmed up.

As she pulled the letter from her pocket to reread it for the bazillionth time, the passenger side door swung open. Assuming it was Ashley coming to keep her company—aka harass her some more—while she waited, she stuffed the letter back into her pocket and pulled her purse off the seat, depositing it on floor. But the body that slid into the seat was not Ashley’s. It wasn’t even female.

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