“Isa… I have something to ask you, and I’m not quite sure how to start. Please… close your eyes.”
The twinge of anxiety in his voice made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. What was going on? Why would cause my strong, dominant Mr. Drake to be afraid after a day like this?
I closed my eyes and waited for what was to come, feeling the warmth of the fire on my face. I let the blanket fall to my sides and knotted my hands together, worrying, despite the feeling of safety I’d just enjoyed.
There was a rustling, then Mr. Drake’s hand covered mine once again.
“Open them, Isabeau.”
I opened my eyes and gasped. Tears sprung to my eyes as I saw my master, my love, kneeling before me, his green gaze piercing me. A ring glinted in his other hand, a cluster of diamonds forming a blossom in the middle of a beautifully carved platinum band.
“Isa, I’m sorry I couldn’t wait to do more… to make this moment perfect… because you deserve that and so much more. But I couldn’t spend another moment with you without asking you this.”
I trembled, my whole body shaking as I gripped his hand in mine, not daring to move, or even speak, lest I discover I was dreaming. That this wasn’t really happening, and Chase Drake wasn’t on his knees before me.
“Since I met you, my life has been different than I ever thought it could be. I never imagined I’d find someone who I could trust so completely, not only with my secrets, but with my heart. I didn’t know anyone could be my perfect match. Isa…” He held the ring up to me, his eyes full of need. “Will you be my partner? My wife? Will you say yes and make my life what I always wanted, but never dreamed possible?”
For a moment, my breath caught in my chest. Time stood still, and it was just me and him, looking into one another’s eyes and envisioning eternity together. Working together, living together, loving one another as only we could.
Without a word, I slid off the couch and wrapped my arms around him, bringing my lips to his. We fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, his mouth opening to me as I deepened the kiss, pouring out all of my love and hope and promise into that one moment. Salt flavored our lips, and I realized tears were rolling down my cheeks, flowing freely at the thought of being his wife.
I pulled back, smiling even as I swiped at the wetness on my cheeks.
“Yes, Sir,” I said.
He laughed, pulling me back into his arms, holding me on his lap in front of the fire.
“This ring was my grandmother’s,” he said, his breath tickling my ear as he held me tightly to him. “I didn’t have time to buy one for you, but I will. You’ll have whatever you desire, my beautiful Isa.”
I broke away and held out my left hand, urging him to place it on my finger. “It’s perfect. It couldn’t be more perfect if I’d picked it out myself.”
He slid the ring onto my finger, my skin coming alive beneath the cool metal band.
“I love that it was in your family. One day, maybe I can pass it on to our child.”
He stared at me for a moment in silence, assessing me, then broke into a smile that made my heart ache.
“I’ve never met a woman like you.”
It was my turn to smile. “I’ve never met a man like you, either.”
He pulled me down with him, laying me back on the soft rug before the roaring fire. “Then I guess we’re lucky we found one another.”
He leaned over, pressing into me, his erection hitting me in just the right spot to make me moan. I spread my legs, wrapping them around him, holding him to me as his lips captured mine once again.
I was going to marry Chase Drake. The wish I didn’t know I’d had was coming true, and in that moment, I knew–things would never be the same.
Three months later…
I screeched as Mr. Drake scooped me off my feet, the white fabric of my wedding dress swirling around his crisp tuxedo shirt. He tossed me over his shoulder and opened the hidden door to his dungeon. He swatted my backside, making me giggle.
“What kind of husband would I be if I didn’t carry you over the threshold?”
I grinned against his back, my hair spilling out of my chignon. He kicked the door closed behind us and set me down. He pulled me into a kiss that made my head spin, holding me tightly in his strong arms. When he pulled away, his eyes were blazing.
I still couldn’t believe I was married to this man, my love, my Mr. Drake.
“I don’t have a gift for you,” I said. “I didn’t know I was supposed to… and after what you gave me, I don’t know what I could do for you that would even compare.”
“Isa.” He wound his fingers in my hair, toying with the curls now falling down around my shoulders. “Making you partner in the business wasn’t a wedding gift, you silly girl. I just wanted to surprise you today to make it even more special. You will accept, won’t you?”
I looked down at my shoes, searching for the right words. The dim light of the dungeon made the antique ring seem to glow on my hand, the diamond flashing as I fidgeted. I glanced back up, suddenly shy.
“Well, we do make a great team.”
His lips twitched into a lopsided grin. “And your name is already on the building. Mrs. Drake.”
The words sounded so sweet, so right, that I wondered how I’d ever been called anything else.
“Then that’s settled,” I said, biting my lip. “If you want me, Mr. Drake, I’m yours.”
Mr. Drake’s eyes caught mine, the hunger in them taking my breath away. He looked me over, his gaze sliding down over the slinky white silk of my wedding gown, and for a moment, he looked like a panther ready to pounce.
“God, yes,” he growled. “I’ve never wanted you more.”
He reached forward, his strong fingers shooting toward my straps, ready to tear my gown off my shoulders.
“Wait!” I yelled. “Not this dress!”
He stopped short and grinned, then moved behind me and started slowly unbuttoning the long line of pearl buttons down my back. His slow, methodical movements were driving me crazy. I longed to be in his arms, and wondered if he was going extra slowly just to torture me. I tapped my foot impatiently, and heard his low laugh against my ear. When the last button was undone, he pushed the straps gently over my shoulders and let the gown slither to the floor. I stepped out of it and heard him draw a shuddering breath.
I smiled over my shoulder at him, delighting in the appreciation in his eyes. I wore nothing but a white lace garter belt beneath my dress, delicate bows clasping the tops of my sheer, ivory stockings, caressing my legs all the way down to my high heels. I turned around, then knelt on the ground before him, spreading my thighs and placing my hands behind my back until my br**sts jutted forward. My ni**les drew into peaks under his gaze, ready and eager for his touch.