Tell Me No Lies
Truth & Lies, Book 4
Tess and Jake have been avoiding their attraction since they first met…twenty years ago. But when Tess hits rock bottom, Jake decides the best way to pull her back up is his way…which involves whips, cuffs, ropes, some highly customized workout equipment, and a heaping helping of control.
An Excerpt from Tell Me No Lies
Copyright © Delphine Dryden, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
“You’re always so interested in me doing things for my own good. Why is that, Mr. Hogan?” Her tone was joking but her question was serious. She felt as if she were at the edge of discovering a secret, something about Jake that she needed to know and couldn’t quite put her finger on.
His eyes narrowed, and Tess’s stomach did a backflip. Dream-Jake.
“Clearly somebody needs to pay attention to what’s good for you. Right now, you’re running rampant.” Young lady.
“I love it when you talk like a duke in a bodice-ripper.” That was actually true, she realized.
Jake snickered but his gaze stayed on her, dagger-sharp. The air between them had grown charged. “My secret is revealed. You may call me My Lord from now on. But seriously, you should try the not-talking thing. As a friend, I’d be happy to help you out.”
Dangerous, dangerous. Tess felt entirely out of her league, suddenly doing this bizarre form of flirting like a madwoman with Lord Dream-Jake. It was thrilling. “Maybe Your Majesty? You were my Homecoming King, after all. So you want to help me as a friend? Were we ever just friends? Even you can’t make me stop talking, Hogan.”
“I was thinking I’d gag you. You’d look cute in a ball gag.”
“They don’t have a store in Cranston or even Smithville that sells that stuff.”
“Yes, I know. But you’re assuming I’d need to buy one.”
“Oh you have one in your nightstand, do you? Why not do it then, Mr. Freaky Sex Toys?”
“For you? No, I was joking about that part. I wouldn’t use a gag on you. That would only give you another thing to think you had to fight against. It’d be all about resisting the gag, and that would defeat the purpose. It can’t be external. The motivation and the control need to come from here.” He reached over and tapped her forehead twice, then ran his finger down to tap the tip of her nose. His expression was bland as rice. “And I don’t keep it in my nightstand. I have a custom-made cabinet for my special toys, with a lock on it so my cleaning lady doesn’t get the shock of her life.”
She blinked and tried to puzzle through what he’d said, how he’d said it . . . and then it hit her like a brick. The whole conversation took on new meaning.
Oh, look over here, Alice. A rabbit hole. Mind the edge.
“You’re . . . you’re not kidding, are you?”
He smiled, cool as a cucumber. “About gagging you? Or about having a ball gag at my disposal?”
Tess studied his face for a moment, her thoughts too fast and improbable to capture. Her toes were at the crumbling rim of that rabbit hole, and the temptation to let herself fall was almost too much to bear. “You have more than just a ball gag, don’t you?”
He acknowledged it with a tip of his head. “Quite a bit more. The gag is really the least of it, Tess. But those are props. Like I said, it’s all up here.” He tapped his own temple this time.
She shivered as the memory of her recurring dream ghosted through her, recalling the pressure on her wrists, the weight of his body over hers. “How long have you . . . you know . . . been doing stuff like that?”
“Since I became aware of, you know, stuff.”