My Lord (Rothvale Legacy #2) by Raine Miller

Chapter 1





Gabrielle





25th August

Donadea, Northern Ireland





My heart dropped, as I froze against Ivan. He sensed me stiffening and held onto me a little tighter. Unable to move away or do anything much more than just stare at him, I memorized every feature of his face, the gorgeous green eyes; the mole on his upper left cheek, the natural part of his hair and the way it fell along the side of his face, the color of his lips and the shape of his jaw. All parts of him I was just beginning to know by heart.

All of him beautiful to me to the point I almost couldn’t look away.

His burning gaze held me anyway, just as much as his arms were doing. Ivan held onto me because he expected me to run away and freak out. He was only reacting to what he'd come to expect from me based on his experience. I’d been trying to run from him nearly every time we’d been in the same space together since our very first meeting. His powers of deduction didn’t have to work overtime to figure me out. He also had no trouble trying to convince me to stay with him longer. Ivan Everley was a master of persuasion.

I want you submissive when we fuck, Gabrielle.

I shivered at the thought… and the implications of what he meant by those very direct and potent words. Imagery flickered through my brain and threatened to short it out. This man had a powerfully mysterious hold over me that I'd never experienced before, and I needed to exercise extreme caution. My rational mind knew this of course, but I also knew I was in danger of tossing said extreme caution to the proverbial wind.

The confidence with which he made his request inferred this thing we'd started would be continuing indefinitely. As much as it sounded wonderful to be with Ivan for longer than just a weekend of uninhibited sex and sensual pleasure, my rational side told me I was a fool if I thought I could pull this off with him. There was no way I’d make it out unscathed. He would twist me up into all sorts of knots. Add in the fact I didn’t deserve any kind of relationship with him…or with anyone really. My sins still hung heavy on my heart and the self-flagellation was something I couldn't let go of just yet. Someday maybe, I might be able to forgive myself for what I'd done four years ago.

I want so badly to have that…with you, Gabrielle.

When he’d said that second part to me there was a definite yearning in his voice. I’d heard it clearly. I’d also sensed a loneliness in him. I think I picked up on it because feeling lonely was my favorite flavor these days. Could Ivan and I fill those lonesome feelings for each other? Was it right for me to give in to the desire I felt with him? Or was I fooling myself?

I’d guessed right about Ivan. He was a dominant even though I was certain he had mostly suppressed his natural inclinations whenever we’d been together thus far. I’d caught glimpses of the Dom behavior of course, but then, coming from him, it turned me on wildly because Ivan Everley pushed every one of my sexual buttons.

I liked how Dom Ivan operated far too much.

Dominants can spot a submissive when they find one, so he'd guessed right about me, too. I couldn’t hide my submissive nature from him any more than I could keep the urges buried any longer when I was with him like this—i.e., naked in his bed weak from hours of attention from his cock and his hands and his mouth. I could barely hold onto a coherent thought, let alone keep my true desires under wraps.

He just knew.

“What are you asking me to—to do with you?” I still had to know. I needed to hear him lay it all out on the line before us. For me. I needed to hear it in order to go forward. I could literally feel my heart pounding in my chest as I waited for his response.

“I think you know, Gabrielle.” He traced down the side of my face with his finger, and then down my jawbone, further still to my chin before slipping onto the side of my neck to rest it over my pulse point. He pressed in, his finger sinking into the flesh of my neck. “I can feel the blood pumping under my finger. Your pulse is racing. Your perfectly flawless skin is flushed. The idea of my suggestion turns you on.” He pressed his finger just a little harder. “Doesn’t it, Gabrielle?”

Yes. I was in such deep trouble with this man.

His green eyes bored into mine as the pressure of his finger held me frozen, totally under his spell, powerless to turn away from his embrace any more than I could deny the truth in his words. That’s all it took. Just one finger infused with the command of presence that Ivan Everley owned as certainly as he owned the handsome looks and the talented moves in the bedroom. Or art gallery storeroom. Or wedding reception dance floor. Or the interior of a sea plane.

As an involuntary shudder overtook me, the awareness of the strength of my attraction to him, to his wildly unexpected proposal, was very unnerving.

It was also so very tempting.

His response was to bring his lips closer and say, “Don’t overthink. I know that’s what you’re doing.” The press of his lips was as gentle as his kiss, firm but settling. With his tongue licking into me, he breathed, “Trust me, Gabrielle. Just trust me and say yes.”

Damn, he was good.

How in the hell could I resist when we were naked in his bed with his lips on my skin promising more pleasure than I’d ever known? An impossible feat for a woman much stronger than me I am sure. I knew I wasn’t ready to give an all-encompassing yes to his proposal, but I could give him an honest answer to his question.