Reluctant Desire: Mastering Charity

(More Desire, Oklahoma 8)

Erotic Romance, Contemporary, BDSM, Romantic Suspense, Small Town, MF, HEA

Charity Parrish was madly in love with her sexy as hell husband, Beau, and thought things couldn’t get any better between them.

But lately, Beau had begun to exhibit a need for a more.

So she did what her sister would do.

She provoked him.

His reaction had the desired effect, his shock and anger unleashing the Dominant inside him with a vengeance.

Beau knew Charity to be calm and logical, with a soft heart, and feared that the need to possess her in ways he hadn’t before would scare the hell out of her.

In his playroom at Belle Fleur, his estate in Louisiana, they began a journey that drew them closer than ever.

He needed her to look to him for strength.

She needed to be all to him.

They found it in each other, and an intimacy that carried far beyond the walls of the playroom.


He ran a hand through his hair and met her gaze, his hands light on her waist. “I’m sorry.”

Stiffening, Charity closed her hands on the edge of the table. “What are you apologizing for?”

Beau offered a small smile, one filled with tension and self-depreciation. “For being so…intense.” He looked down at the photo of her. “Just the thought of any other man seeing you like that drives me crazy. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Deflated, Charity slid from the table and walked around it, closing her laptop and shoving it into her bag. “You didn’t scare me, Beau. You aroused me.” Glancing at him, she picked up the picture she’d been so proud of and ripped it to shreds. “Evidently, you don’t think I’m woman enough to handle that darker side of you.”

After tossing the pieces of the photo into the trash can, she hooked her purse over her shoulder and grabbed the bag holding her laptop. “I’m not stupid, Beau, and I’m not as weak as you seem to believe. I wouldn’t marry you until I knew that your playfulness didn’t mean you took our relationship lightly. You’ve shown me that love can be playful. You showed me another side of myself and made it clear that you wanted all of me.”

Beau stepped closer, holding out a hand to her. “I do, my love. I love every part of you.”

Ignoring his outstretched hand, Charity forced a smile. “Meanwhile, you hide part of yourself.”

His eyes narrowed. “It’s not that I’m hiding a part of myself. We play, Charity. I told you how important I think it is to play.”

“There’s more.” Charity lifted her chin, her insides clenched so tightly it hurt. “I’ve seen it. I’ve tried to encourage it.”

His eyes narrowed. “You try to piss me off. You try to make me lose control.”

Charity smiled faintly, wishing she knew how to make him understand. “At times.”

Beau sighed, running his hand through his hair again. “Baby, it’s not something I want to subject you to. I’ve always liked to play, but since…you—hell.”

“Since me…what?”

Beau closed his hands over the top rung of the chair. “I want more. You’re right. It’s a dark part of me that I thought ended when I met you.”

He lifted his head, something dark and tormented in his eyes. “With you, I’ve learned that wanting is much more intense when it’s built on love. You’re mine. You wear my ring. You bear my name. It should be enough. It was enough.”

“But it’s not anymore?”

“I love you.” Shaking his head, he grimaced. “Hell, that used to sound so profound to me, but now it doesn’t come close to describing what I feel for you. I love to take you slowly and give you the tenderness I need to show you and that you deserve.”

His eyes glimmered with something so stark it took her breath away. “I love when we play. But there are times when I want more. I want primitive. Raw. I want to drive you insane with hunger and show you just how much I want you. How much I need you.I want you to feel that hunger.”

With a sigh, he clenched his hands so tightly on the back of the chair that his knuckles turned white. “The need to possess you, have complete control over you is so intense that I have to walk away. It’s not something you signed on for. It’s getting harder and harder to contain. But I’m scared of setting it free. If you saw that part of me, it would probably scare the hell out of you.”

Closing the distance between them, Charity lifted a hand to his chest. “Do you think I don’t see it? How can you be so blind? How can you not see how much that darker side of you excites me?”

Dropping her hand, she tugged her purse higher on her shoulder. “How can you expect me to settle for any less than all of you?”

“Charity, you have all of me.”

Dropping her hand, she shook her head sadly. “No, Beau. I don’t, and it’s creating distance between us. That’s what scares me.”

“There’s nothing to be scared of.”

“Well, I am. You’re already holding part of yourself back from me. Eventually, it’ll be more and more. I can’t live like this, Beau. You always say that I’m impatient. Maybe I am, but I feel like I’ve been patient for months, and you still pull away.”

In a move too fast to anticipate, Beau gripped the back of her neck and yanked her closer, his lips hovering over hers. “Charity—”

Charity waited, the feel of his warm breath against her lips, the look in his eyes unlike anything she’d ever seen before.

The intensity in his look both excited and scared her, a look she’d seen only glimpses of in the past but now appeared more frequently.

Recognizing it as a part of him, a dark hunger for more dying to break free, Charity realized how much of himself he’d kept hidden from her.

She held her breath as the look in his eyes sharpened even more, the hand at the back of her neck holding her close, her face lifted to his.

His eyes suddenly became shuttered, and releasing her, he stepped back. “I won’t keep you from your plans. I have things to do myself.”

Sucking in a breath at the pain his cool tone inflicted, Charity nodded, finding she had to swallow the lump in her throat before speaking. “I’m meeting Hope for lunch. I’ll see you later.”

She went outside, closing the door behind her before releasing the breath she’d been holding, feeling better now that everything was out in the open.

And the different ways it could play out really scared her.