Montand’s shaded and challenging past forces Emma into proposing a challenge of her own as New York Times bestselling author Beth Kery’s The Affair continues…
The Affair Week Three
What was it about a man as damaged as Montand that made Emma say yes when she should have fled and never looked back? His intense sexual preferences intrigued her more than she’d been willing to admit. But now that she’s been privy to his secrets—including a long-ago family tragedy, and the true identity of a woman who lurks in the shadows of his mansion—Emma fears she’ll be just one more submissive conquest in Montand’s troubled life. And then abandoned like so many who came before.
She needs to be strong and protect her heart, but her desires won’t let her resist. So, if their affair is to continue it’ll be on her conditions: it will not continue indefinitely, only she can end it, and when it’s over, they’ll part and never speak again of the things they dared to do behind the locked doors of the Breakers.
Includes a bonus excerpt of Beth Kery’s When I’m with You
More to come. Don't miss The Affair: Week 4
Praise for Beth Kery, Recipient of the All About Romance Reader Poll for Best Erotica
“Wicked good storytelling.”—Jaci Burton
“Addictive and delicious.”—USA Today
Beth Kery is the New York Times bestselling author of Because You Are Mine, When I’m with You and Exposed to You.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Emma had been fooling herself. It shocked her beyond words that she had the ability to blind her own judgment, to delude herself into not seeing the obvious, like a magician with a sleight of hand.
When she exited the bathroom a few minutes later, she found Mrs. Shaw and Montand—Vanni—in the living room of the suite. His gaze landed on her when she entered the room, but he continued talking with subdued authority to someone on the phone. Ignoring Mrs. Shaw, she found Cristina’s chart and began to make an entry in regard to the death.
“When are they coming to get the body?” Emma asked quietly when Vanni hung up the phone. Just thinking his name in her head caused a bitter taste at the back of her mouth. She continued staring at the page as she wrote methodically in the chart.
“They’ll be here within the hour,” he said. “Vera? Leave us, please.”
Emma blinked in confusion. Who was Vera? Her question was answered when she glanced around and saw Mrs. Shaw hastening out of the room, even if her disapproval seemed to linger.
Her gaze leapt over to him, anxiety rising in her when she recognized they were alone. He stood next to a coffee table, his expression rigid. In his jeans, simple white T-shirt, and with the shadow of dark whiskers, he really might have been the familiar man she had begun to know . . . care about, even. She thought she’d begun to know him. It’d been an illusion—a spell—one she’d cast herself. She’d already thought him way out of her league. Her certainty was greater now that she knew he was that man who liked to tie up and whip women whom he cared nothing about.
It was too much think about the details now that the elusive face from that night—from her dreams—was clear to her.
He studied her for a moment; the silence seemed to swell and billow around them.
“What is it?” he asked quietly. “Did Cristina’s passing upset you that much?”
“No. Yes,” she corrected. She closed her eyes briefly in frustration before she met his stare again. “You’re not who I thought you were.”
His eyebrows furrowed. “What’s that supposed to mean?
“You cut your hair,” she said starkly, lost in her ruminations. “If it’d been long, I might have recognized you.”
Something flickered across his stark features. He took a step toward her, his eyes narrowing dangerously. Emma held her ground, but it took an effort.
“What did you say?” he asked.
Swallowing back an enormous lump in her throat, Emma turned and gathered up the hospice paperwork in preparation to leave. “It’s nothing. It’s not important. You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s me. I’ll inform the hospice and contact the night nurse so that she won’t come—”
“Don’t walk away from me, Emma.”
“I have to,” she said miserably before she could stop herself.
“You’re condemning me for what you saw in there without knowing anything about Cristina and me?” he demanded sharply, pointing to the bedroom. “I thought you were less judgmental than that. I’m disappointed.”
She caught herself just in time from saying the words out loud. He didn’t deserve her angst and agitation. Besides, it wasn’t that. Not really. She wasn’t disappointed. He hadn’t done anything to hurt her on purpose. It was just that he was more than she’d bargained for. How could she explain to him? She couldn’t. It was too humiliating. Too overwhelming. She’d agreed to this affair, but she hadn’t agreed while knowing who he was.
While acknowledging the truth fully, anyway. Now the truth was inescapable, and all Emma wanted to do was hide from it again.
“You just . . . aren’t who I thought you were,” she repeated inadequately.
“Well I’m damn sorry for not being what you expected.”
She turned and left the room, hating his quiet, snarling cynicism . . . despising her cowardice even more.
* * *
She only slept for a few hours a night for the rest of her workweek. When she did finally sleep on Sunday night, it was no relief, because she dreamed.
Again, she was blinded by night and was in Vanni’s arms, his cock piercing her, her flesh quickening and thrilling around him. She was secure in the cocooning darkness, safe to move at her body’s urging and at his command, free to take his intimate touches, glad to hear his hot, whispered words as he took control of their fierce joining.
“Arch your back, Emma. Offer yourself to me.”
Her spine curved in supple acquiescence, thrusting forth her breasts as far as her restraints would allow. Restraints? Yes, she wasn’t on the beach, after all. The dream had shifted. Her wrists were bound securely over her head. Her legs were spread wide, and his cock thrust high inside her, pounding her like a relentless wave. She couldn’t move. She didn’t want to.
“That’s right,” he murmured darkly in her ear as if he’d just heard her thought. “There’s nowhere for you to go now. You can’t escape.”
He thrust so hard that a cry popped out of her throat. It hurt. No . . . it wasn’t pain, it was a knot of pleasure so tight, it felt like a brutal cramp. But then the pressure unfurled, and she was climaxing.
“Look at me.” She gasped, her body shuddering in sharp pleasure. “Open your eyes. Look at me,” he shouted. Only then did she realize she couldn’t see him because her eyelids were clamped tight.
She opened her eyes and saw him over her, naked and savage, bracing himself on muscular arms. She was on a bed, and the room was lit with golden light. His face was rigid and cold, but his eyes burned her. He thrust his hips and grunted gutturally, the symbols on dense, swelling biceps flashing in her dazed vision like they were lighted neon, not black ink. She felt his cock jerk and erupt inside her, his warm semen filling her.
“Don’t you dare look away,” he grated out, white teeth flashing.
Emma awoke with a start, Vanni’s command still ringing in her ears. Without thinking, she plunged her hand beneath her shorts and underwear and moved it frantically, gasping as she finished climaxing powerfully.
A moment later, her hand fell against the bed, damp from her juices. She panted softly. She was in her bedroom, dawn peeking through the blinds. The dream was still with her, the memory palpable. She could still see his eyes, feel his cock swell inside her before he grunted in release, savage and beautiful.
There’s nowhere for you to go now. Don’t you dare look away.
She rose sluggishly from her mussed bed. This was reality, not a dream, and she needed to get ready for work. Her hospice had quickly reassigned her to a dozen households where she visited several times a week. It was both a comfort to go back to her usual schedule following her assignment at the Breakers, and yet also jarring somehow, as if she was trying to fit a new Emma into an old world.
On the way to the bathroom, she felt compelled to check her cell phone. Vanni had called again last night. She’d listened to the first message he’d left last Friday with a strange mixture of wariness and hunger.
“I need to speak with you. I think I might understand,” he’d said in that clipped, authoritative manner of his. “Call me at this number.”
How could he understand when she didn’t? She’d teased him about his insistence that he was selfish, not really believing because of what she’d seen of him, because of how much he gave her with his smallest touch. But he and that man with the voluptuous Astrid were one and the same. He was selfish, and he’d been right to warn her.
She was to blame. She’d only seen what she wanted to see. All her life, she’d made a habit of doing that. Her mother would fret and worry over lack of finances or Emma’s health. After Emma’s health crisis had resolved, circumstances had altered. Both Amanda and her mother had started to look to Emma for a sense of steady optimism, the go-to girl for a laugh and for seeing the glass half-full. She was her mother’s “miracle” child, a spot of sunshine when the fog of doubt settled. She was the stubborn one who refused to admit defeat, no matter the intimidating playing field. It was that quirk in her personality that had made her overlook what was happening with Colin and Amanda, what was probably obvious to everyone else.
It was that same fault in her character that had made her see only what she wanted to see with Vanni Montand. She’d wanted to experience a grand passion so much that she’d blinded herself, exposed herself to a situation where her naiveté and lack of experience would have undoubtedly wounded her in the end.
It already had wounded her. Thank God there wasn’t a chance for the knife to cut deeper.
She jumped slightly when her phone began to ring. It was Vanni again, she realized as a tingling sensation rippled down her limbs. She dropped the phone abruptly onto her dresser with a thud when she recognized how much she wanted to answer, how much she wanted to hear his voice again.