Playing For Real, book #5, the final release in the Paolo’s Playhouse series, will be released on February 4, 2014. And while that seems like FOREVER to me, I know it will be here before I know it. So I thought I’d give you all a quick peek at Paolo and Julianne’s story.
Paolo’s Playhouse, Book 5
Paolo Mancini’s needs are simple: a committed relationship with a submissive who will let him love and care for her. But after a long, heartbreaking string of relationship failures, he’s beginning to think the perfect woman for him simply doesn’t exist.
When Julianne Barnes steps into his playhouse for one night of bondage sex, she blows him away with her beauty, sass and bravery. She could be the one…if she will allow him to show her how to weave bondage and submission into her life. And hopefully, into his.
Julianne keeps her craving for soft ropes, dark blindfolds, and strong fingers apart from “real life”, where this successful businesswoman doesn’t need anyone telling her what to do. Yet Paolo’s lyrical, steel-under-silk voice affects her body in ways that make her want to offer up her soul.
Slowly, delicately, Paolo tantalizes her closer to the idea that fantasy and reality can live as one. But to convince her it’s safe to open the last compartment protecting her emotions, he’ll have to expose his greatest vulnerability. His heart.
Warning: Features a petulant sub looking to live out her fantasies and a sexy Dom looking for love of the forever kind. Contains an intense sex-with-a-stranger fantasy, ropes, chains and a spanking. Or two. Or more.
“Julianne? It’s Paolo.”
She shivered simply from the sound of his sexy, lyrical voice speaking her name. She swallowed before she could speak. “I’ll be right down.”
“Buzz me in, Julianne.” There it was. The commanding tone that made her stomach tickle and her sex clench.
What had she gotten herself into? “Okay. But I’ll be right down.”
She grabbed her purse and locked the door to her apartment behind her. She’d walked up and down the narrow flight of stairs hundreds of times, but somehow tonight it seemed longer, narrower, her heels higher, skirt shorter, tighter. She was anxious to see Paolo again but still, she couldn’t help being nervous.
He was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs in the entryway, frowning slightly. He took the first few steps up, hand outstretched, to meet her. He looked elegant, more than sexy, in a loose black jacket over a white shirt. “I should have come up to get you.”
She took his hand and his long fingers wrapped around hers, fingers that had strummed over every inch of her body. The electric spark of awareness might have been clichéd, but it was there just the same. She couldn’t let it zap her into submission that quickly. “There was no point in you climbing all these stairs just to come right back down.”
As soon as they were off the stairs, he drew her close, their bodies not quite touching. He nailed her with his deep blue gaze. “From now on, I will walk you to your door and collect you there as well.” He brushed his lips lightly over hers, only long enough to tease, not nearly long enough to taste.
She resisted the urge to lean into him. Instead, she shrugged as if her mind wasn’t screaming at her to end this now before he dictated more than how he would pick her up for a date.
He stepped back then, looked her over, her hand still in his. A lock of his dark, wavy hair fell over his forehead and gave him a softer look. His familiar scent wound around her.
He wrapped his arm around her waist and led her across the foyer. “Have you been anticipating our evening as much as I have?”
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, yes.” She was excited to start their play dates. But she was also a little frightened about what he would want from her. What he would want to do to her.
He paused with his hand on the door handle and looked over at her. He was so close she could have gotten lost in those eyes. “You sound nervous. Do you want to talk about it before we head out?”
Hell yes, she was nervous, but she didn’t want to hang around here in the foyer to hash it out. “No. I’m okay.” She tried to keep her smile light. “I think we talked it all to death the other night.”
He chuckled and she relaxed a little. “Yes. You are right.” He opened the door and they stepped out into the warm Monday evening air.
Was that really a limo parked at the curb? A tall, broad man in a dark suit stood on the sidewalk.
She glanced at Paolo as he led her to the long black car. “This is for us?”
“Of course.” The uniformed man—was he a chauffeur or a bodyguard or what?—opened the back door for them. Paolo smoothly delivered her into the car as if he’d escorted dozens of women into the spacious backseat of this limousine at one time or another. And he probably had. A man as sexy and charming as Paolo, a man as dominating as Paolo, must have had plenty of women to ravish in the back of a dark vehicle.
And the thought of being ravished by Paolo was probably more exciting than it should have been.
The leather seat was soft and warm. Paolo slid in beside her and the door closed behind him, shutting them together in what a moment ago had felt like a huge space. Now that Paolo was beside her, he seemed to be sucking all the oxygen out of the air. Julianne started panting lightly, finding it suddenly hard to breathe.
He didn’t seem to notice her difficulty. He took one of her hands in his, intertwined their fingers before he lifted their joined hands to his lips. He lightly kissed her knuckles. Tingles shimmered over her body.
“The Playhouse must do very well,” she blurted out, her nerves getting the better of her.
Paolo lifted a brow, paused a moment before replying softly, “Yes. I am happy with its success.”
“I mean…a car like this? A driver like that? I didn’t expect…” She shut her mouth before she shoved her foot any deeper inside. It wasn’t any of her business. She sounded as if she was fishing for information. As if she cared how rich he was. As if she was surprised how rich he was. Even though she was.
“Why should you expect anything?” Paolo replied smoothly. “I did not pick you up in this car in an attempt to impress you. The truth is that I would rather not have my eyes and hands occupied with driving when I could have them more pleasantly occupied.” He kissed her knuckles again. “Watching you. Touching you.”
“Oh.” The word came out on a shaky sigh.
“I have been looking forward to playing with you again,” he told her as the car pulled away from the curb. “I see you wore a skirt as I requested.” Their hands still together, he dropped them down onto her bare knee, then slid them up her leg until he reached the hem of her short black skirt. He caught her gaze, held it. “Did you follow the rest of my instructions?”
Julianne hesitated, then nodded.
Paolo slid their joined hands down her inner thigh and she automatically spread her knees as far as she could in the tight skirt, so he could reach under and make sure she’d left her panties in the underwear drawer.
Since their fingers were still twined together, she felt, as well as he did, the bare flesh between her legs as he dragged their fingers through the wet, sensitive lips. Her sex clenched with the quick touch.
“Very good, Julianne.” There was enough light left in the twilight to catch the flash of pleasure and arousal in his eyes. Julianne felt an unexpected matching pleasure at his approval. And then the resulting dismay.
How could she declare she wasn’t submissive when she’d followed his instructions to the letter? When she felt a rush of pleasure simply from pleasing him? Was her denial only an attempt to pretend it wasn’t true?
Paolo drew their hands out from under her skirt. “Do not put your knees back together,” he said softly, his lips brushing against her ear. “I like knowing you are bare and open for me. I like to catch the scent of your arousal in the air around us.” He lifted their hands to his lips and he licked her moisture from their skin.
She trembled with the light touch of his tongue and the erotic words that flowed from his lips so easily. She looked out the tinted window at the buildings flashing by. It was time to get real. She was aroused. She was incredibly attracted to this man, but she was so far out of her comfort zone it wasn’t funny. Should she insist they stop now?
While the rational part of her mind whispered that was exactly what she should do, her body burned and sizzled and ached to be under his control again.
She couldn’t imagine never again feeling the incredible way she had when he’d tied her up in his fantasy room and played with her body. She couldn’t deny the feeling of rightness that snapped into place when he’d bound her and controlled her and—
“Julianne?” Paolo caught her chin and turned her to face him again. “Are you thinking too much?”
“I have a lot to think about.”
“I know.” He cupped her face, ran his thumb along her bottom lip. “I am tempted to tell you what I have planned for our play date tonight, but I think it is better for you not to know.”
“How can that be better for me?”
“Anticipation can be sweet, Julianne,” he said in that lilting Italian accent.
Playing for Real is available for pre-order now. And if you want to catch up on the rest of the series before Playing for Real releases, they are all available now.