“Punish me?” Her demeanor changed in an instant. She unfolded her arms and braced herself as if she thought he might attack her. “What does that mean?”
“It means I will make you regret being foolish enough to think this is an acceptable way to behave for your owner.”
She backed away from him as he neared. “You can’t do that. And you can stop referring to yourself in that way,” she snapped. “I don’t like it.”
“Because it couldn’t be more disrespectful.”
“I beg to differ. There are many, many ways I could disrespect you. As a friend, a woman. As a very person. I could damage your self-worth to the point where you would not remember ever having it.” She paled, but for no reason. He had no interest in mentally harming his treasure. “But I will not do anything of the sort because I like you as you are, Yasmeen. I have no intention of repeating this to appease your need to hear things more than once, but know I find you very entertaining and I am glad to have you here with me. That should please you. Even as you irritate me with all this conversation, you are saving lives.” He winked to let her think he was joking when he wasn’t. “Now, drop this attitude. I want to spend some time with the pet who fell asleep by the fire last night. Who knows, if you quit drawing out my temper, you might find my company almost tolerable.”
Her hands stopped twisting in front of her, and her head tipped to the side. He wasn’t sure which part of his seemingly endless speech caused it, but the air around them lost its charge and gentled.
“Lucian.” Such a soft, feathery tone. “I find your company more than tolerable when you’re not acting like an arrogant ass. If fact, I really like you. You’re one of the most charming men I’ve ever known. You make me feel like a nympho on roids, and, seriously, your witty humor—that many people likely miss—is great.” She moved into him and placed her hands on his chest. “I would have voluntarily joined you on this trip if you’d just asked. And, I’m sorry for bristling, but I can’t help being really, really bothered when you invade my privacy. Really bothered,” she stressed. In case he misunderstood the emphasis she’d put on the already repeated word? “It’s the same when you’re condescending and rude. Or when you take away my freedom of choice. Or when you treat me like I don’t matter. You don’t need me to tell you no one likes to feel invisible and powerless.”
He swiped his thumb across her lips before cupping her face. The way her features had been put together earned their Creator Lucian’s highest praise. She fascinated him the same way art fascinated her. Her open expressions that forced him to see how she was feeling whether he wanted to or not. The way the light in her eyes brightened when she became excited, and darkened when she was aroused or angry. The way she licked her lips when she wanted his.
“I remember these lips around my cock. Your enthusiasm made it difficult to control myself.” He grew thoughtful. “That is not a problem I am normally faced with. I want to feel the wetness of your mouth again. The heat.” Would she get to him in the same way?
She sighed, and he was able to feel her face heat under his palms. “You’re not listening to me, Lucian. Why can’t you see how insulting that is?” She loosely gripped his wrists. “What if someone with more power than you came in and took me away? Nipped this sex party in the bud. Made it so you never got that blow job you want. Made it so you couldn’t dole out this absurd punishment I want no part of. Wouldn’t you be angry if your choice to have me or not no longer existed, your wants and needs deemed unimportant?”