The Plus One Chronicles, Book 2
Jennifer Lyon Books (May 28, 2013)
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Savagely sexy billionaire Sloane Michaels ruthlessly controls his life and everything in it. Even his sex partners are carefully negotiated plus-one arrangements, including his latest, the fiery bakery owner, Kat Thayne. But Sloane’s control is challenged when his mentor becomes seriously ill, and his need for Kat, his need to possess her at all costs, rivals only his single-minded goal of vengeance for the murder of his sister.After surviving an attack six years ago, Kat Thayne escaped her fears in the protective world of her beloved bakery. Then Sloane Michaels storms into her life, making her feel beautiful, strong and sexy. Yet as Kat pushes her boundaries and uncovers a dangerous secret in her past, Sloane’s controlling side emerges. Worried that Sloane will possess her mind, body and soul, Kat fights to keep her hard won independence. But just as Sloane demands her complete surrender, she discovers he has a dark side that could destroy them both.
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Excerpted from Possession: Book two of The Plus One Chronicles by Jennifer Lyon Copyright
© 2013 by Jennifer Lyon. Excerpted by permission of Jennifer Lyon. All rights reserved.
He’d given her three damn days—she’d better be there. Sloane Michaels yanked open the door to his SLAM Fitness and Training Center in San Diego, California and strode in.
The public area of the gym vibrated with energy and sweat. Music pounded, weights clanked and voices surged in a rhythm as familiar as his own breathing. Barely nodding at the assorted greetings thrown at him, Sloane focused on his hunt for the only person he wanted to see.
His blood simmered at the edge of violence that had him primed to fight or fuck. Ever since he’d gotten word that his sister’s killer had walked out of prison a free man, his emotions rode too close to the surface. He needed to focus on his goal now more than ever. No distractions.
And Kat Thayne was one hell of a distraction.
But he couldn’t forget her, couldn’t get the taste of her out of his mouth or the feel of her out of his mind. She’d taken up residence in his head, migrating into his thoughts day and night.
Enough. He needed to find her now. With renewed determination, he searched the gym for Kat.
She hadn’t shown. He didn’t see her anywhere. Had her car been in the parking lot? He’d been so fixated on getting to her, he hadn’t taken a second to look.
Go home. I don’t need you to fix this, I have to be strong, and I’m not sure I can do that with you around. Her words from Sunday rang in his head while her beautiful but tormented eyes haunted him.
Unacceptable. They’d made a deal, and she would damn well keep up her end. He would not let her dickhead ex fiancé screw this up. Kat wanted to get strong enough to deal with that asshole? Then she’d train with him. Sloane pivoted to leave. If she didn’t have the guts to show up, he’d go and get her.
Cherry, one of the receptionists, waylaid him. “Mr. Michaels.”
He resisted the urge to brush right by her. He only wanted one thing—to find Kat and drag her ass here to spar, or to the nearest bed.
They were not done. He needed her, needed to finish what they had started so he could clear his head.
But Sloane hadn’t built his SLAM Inc. empire without having self-control. “What do you need, Cherry?”
The girl stepped back. “Uh, Ms. Thayne is in the private sparring room. She seemed nervous, so I thought she’d be more comfortable there.”
Relief flowed from his temples down to ease his jaw, neck and shoulders. “Thanks.” He spun, found the door, punched in the code and entered.
Sloane’s blood stilled at the sight. Kat spread out on the blue workout mat, her pink-streaked brown hair braided down her back, revealing her iPod ear buds. Her eyes were closed as she went through yoga stretches. When she pushed up to downward-facing dog, ass in the air, head down, back straight, the beauty of her long lines dried his mouth.
All but her right leg. That one, she had bent to accommodate the plates and screws holding her tibia together.
Kat rose, lifted her arms and curved her spine in a backbend. The arc revealed the strip of her flat stomach from her hipbones to her ribs. Her pants molded over her hips down to the V of her thighs.
Sloane ached to touch her. Seeing her warmed the cold dark pit in his gut, the place where he shoved the shit dogging him—his mentor dying and a murderer set free to live. Sloane got rid of his shoes and socks, and crossed the mat just as Kat straightened.
Her eyes widened to blue-green pools. “Oh, I didn’t hear you come in.” She tugged out her ear buds.
His cock swelled, throbbed. Sloane wrapped his hands around her waist, his fingers scorched by the strip of bare skin.
“It’s a good thing you showed.” He stared into her eyes, trying to see past her barriers. Sloane wasn’t used to this need inside him, this compulsion to strip her to her soul.
Not just her body, but all of her.
He stroked his thumbs over her belly. “I’m not ready to let you go. Not yet.” Kat tempted something long dead inside of him. But this lust would burn out, it always did. To think it was anything more was foolish at best. Dangerous at worst.
She sucked in a breath, her face flushing. “It wasn’t your choice. It was mine.”
Maybe it was a choice for her. For him, it was a compulsion. “What made you decide?”
Her stomach tensed beneath his fingers. “I’m in control of my life, and this is what I want. Maybe I failed to stop David this time, but next time I won’t. I’m learning to fight back.”
That’s what drew him to her with a magnetic force. She didn’t want to be rescued, Kat wanted to rescue herself. That attracted him like nothing else. His mother still blamed Sloane for the way her life had turned out. Blamed everyone but herself.
Not Kat. She worked to change what she didn’t like. And what she couldn’t change, like the damage to her leg, she adapted to.
Sloane lowered his head, inhaling her scent. She must have baked cinnamon rolls at work today. His mouth watered at the thought of licking her skin, searching for any traces of cinnamon. “Is that the only reason you’re here? To learn to fight?” He needed this from her, had to know she was as affected by him as he was by her.
He prompted her, digging further. “What else do you want?”
“You. I like the way I push my boundaries with you.” She swallowed. “All of them. Physically and sexually.”
The air in the room sizzled from the connection between them, arcing like a live wire. He had to take some control back before she drove him to his knees with her honesty and trust.
“You’re in my gym now, baker girl. Time to push some of those boundaries.”
The vulnerability in her eyes hardened into determination. “I stretched. I’m ready to work.”
“Not yet.” Huskiness coated his voice.
“No?” She tilted her head up.
“Not until I kiss you.” He brushed his mouth over hers, kissing his way to her ear. “And you burn for me like I’ve been burning for you. For three fucking days.” And nights. Even while he trained, something that had been unheard of before Kat.
Her responsive shudder excited him more. Sloane angled her head back to ravage her mouth. God, her taste. So decadent that he slowed his assault to savor it and gently sucked on her tongue.
She melted against him and twined her fingers into his hair.
The tug on his scalp scalded straight to his groin. Cupping her hips, he lifted Kat to press his erection to the hot center between her legs.
Wrapping her thighs around his waist, she moaned into his mouth and shot the last vestiges of his control all to hell.
He either stopped now, or he’d take her hard against the wall of the training room. As tempting as that was, it was also not happening, not when there was a chance someone could come in. Naked Kat was for his eyes only. This might be temporary between them, but he’d damn well protect her while she was his. He broke free of the kiss, but her desire-swollen pupils didn’t help. Laying his forehead against hers, he sucked in oxygen. “Now we’re warmed up.”
He didn’t want to put her down. Hell, if he could get away with it, he’d whisk her to his house, lock them in his bedroom and lose himself in her. For hours or days, as long as it took to calm the clawing need burning in his blood.
“For training or for sex?” Her breath feathered his face, while her teasing words went deeper.
“Both. Train first.” Because he knew how important this was to her. Kat needed to overcome her panic attacks. “After that we’ll shower, get some dinner, and then I’ll get you naked and keep you that way.”
For as long as it took to burn out the fire between them, so he could focus on what he had to do.
Avenge his sister.