Sunday, February 21, 2010

By the Numbers: More Than by Riley Ashford


More Than

by Riley Ashford
cover art by ReneƩ George
ISBN: 978-1-60521-380-4
Genre(s): Paranormal, Hot Flashes, BDSM
Theme(s): Vampires
Series: By the Numbers
Length: Hot Flash

After an abusive Master nearly beat her to death, submissive Lora Nelson turned her back on the lifestyle and escaped into a mundane existence. She works the night shift at a grocery store and lives in a run-down apartment, but she has her freedom and, more importantly, her dignity.

And then he shows up.

The mysterious stranger catches her unaware in her own apartment, and offers her a tantalizing choice -- let him reintroduce her to the world of BDSM on her terms. Now, Lora just has to decide if she has the courage to submit to a new Master, one who promises to chase away her shadows, and give her more than she could ever imagine.

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Lora went inside her apartment, locked the door behind her, tossed off her shoes, shed her coat, and dropped her purse. Her foyer light had burned out a few nights ago and she kept forgetting to change the bulb.

She shuffled into her bedroom already yanking her work shirt out from her black pants. All she wanted was a shower, a glass of wine, and some deep, dreamless sleep.

The next thing she knew, she'd been shoved against the wall. The right side of her face pressed against the smooth surface.

Her heart stuttered then started pounding fiercely.

The intruder held her wrists behind her back with one strong hand. The other hand grasped her shoulder.

Icy fear balled in her stomach. Oh, God. Had she just been thinking about how nothing scared her?

Her throat knotted and her mouth went dry.

"Y-you can have my purse," she said. "Take anything in the house. It's yours."

"Anything?" His breath ghosted over her cheek.

She didn't have much of value: a TV with a built-in DVD player, a jar full of change, a silver jewelry box inherited from her great-grandmother.

"Yes," she said hoarsely. "Anything."

"I want you."

Tears fell. Richard had always taken what he wanted. She hadn't been allowed to say no. Not ever. So, whatever this man did tonight had been done before. But it didn't mean he wouldn't hurt her, or make her feel all those terrible things she'd felt before. How much could the spirit take before it broke?

"Just get it over with," she whispered.

The hand on her neck drifted up to wipe the tears from her cheek.

"I've been watching you," he said. "Waiting for you. Sweet Lora. I know those thoughts you tuck away. The dark dreams you're afraid to reveal because of him. He was a bastard. He wanted your devotion. He wanted to possess you. You thought he would give you what you needed -- but he never gave, did he? He just took."

"Stop," she said. "Just... stop."

He was scaring her in an entirely different way now. An intruder who wanted her money or her physical submission was one thing. A man who plucked out her fears and needs from her own mind was something else.

He let go of her wrists then raised her arms above her head. He flattened her hands on the wall. He pushed fully against her, his arousal rubbing against her ass.

She sucked in a breath.

"Keep your hands on the wall," he commanded. "Nod if you understand."

She nodded. Her heart tripled its beat as the man slowly raised her shirt.

His lips traced the curve of her spine. When he reached the top band of her bra, he slid back down, his tongue flickering along her skin.

"You're a very good girl, Lora." He pressed against her again, his fingers sliding over her hips. "You are so luscious. So beautiful. Do you believe that?"

"No," she admitted.

"I'm proud of you for being honest," he said, approval ripe in his tone. "But I'm disappointed in your answer."

Her stomach squeezed. She swallowed the "I'm sorry," because she wouldn't apologize. The situation had turned into something surreal. She wondered if perhaps she had fallen asleep, and this was a dream.

"Will you accept a gift?"

"Do I have a choice?" she asked bitterly. What would this gift be? His cock ramming into her? She squeezed her eyes shut against another barrage of tears.

"You always have a choice, Lora."

She shouldn't even feel curiosity. She should be trying to think of a way to get free. How could she make him leave without hurting her or taking what little possessions she had? Her treacherous body was reacting to his male strength, to the command in his tone, and to the gentleness of his hands.

"I a-accept."

He wound something thin and soft around her neck. "Until tomorrow night," he said. "Sweet dreams."

Then he was gone.

For a long moment Lora sucked in steadying breaths, then with her legs quivering, she turned around and faced her empty, dark bedroom.

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