He looks down at me, and his face is so stern, so solemn…so hungry that I almost flee right then.
Instead, I ride it out. I tell myself I can handle whatever happens, and I stand my ground as he turns the knob and pushes it open.
His eyes cling to my face as he waves me inside first.
I step inside expecting something grand. Elaborate. Even magical. And that’s exactly what I find.
The wall in front of me is nothing but a sheet of glass, giving me a stunning view of the tops of pines, and the river rushing over rocks below them. Above the treetops, the pale sky stretches on and on, marred only by another crow or hawk or raven.
I could get lost in that view, but I don’t let myself. I roll my gaze around the room, taking in its deep plum walls, high ceilings. There’s even a fancy indention at the center of the ceiling, something that looks right out of a home and garden magazine. And to my left is the bed. A huge, imposing, mahogany canopy with a pale green duvet and curtains that drop down around it.
A bed for sex.
My hunch is confirmed when I notice, amongst the heavy dresser and wide desk, a claw-footed tub in one corner of the bedroom.
I’ve got my mouth half open, trying to decide if I should just be me and blurt out “sex cave,” or continue with my act and feign charm.
I turn around to him, belatedly realizing I should be making sure he doesn’t shut and lock the door. I find his eyes on me, but when my gaze meets his, he breaks away and walks over to the window.
“This used to be my room,” he says without turning around to look at me.
“I gave it up for trainees.”
“That sounds kinky.” It’s unplanned; I just murmur it.
He turns to me, his eyes hardened, his mouth gone sensuously soft. “You think so, Miss Whatley?”
I nod, and he walks over to me.
His hands close around my wrists. He looks into my eyes, like he’s desperate to see what I’m thinking. He brings one of my hands to his mouth. The soft brush of his lips on my palm makes me tingle, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going through with my plan regardless of how attracted I am to him.
“Can you see yourself staying here?” he asks, in that low, deep, sexy voice of his.
“I don’t know.” I try to sound weak; uncertain. “I think I’d miss my friends at the Tri Gam house.”
“I could make you forget about them while you’re here.”
IS KELLAN WALSH PROPOSITIONING ME?
“How could you do that?”
He steps a little closer to me, sending my pulse racing. His wide chest is inches from my breasts. I find myself longing to step forward.
Instead, he does.
My breasts mash against his chest as our hips brush. Half a heartbeat later, I feel his dick pressing against my lower belly.
Oh my God.
His hands come up and frame my face. His eyes, on mine, are hypnotic.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I want your body, Cleopatra. I’d like nothing more than for you to stay here with me. I’ll teach you to deal—teach you how to avoid getting caught, how to maximize your, our earnings—and we can see if this goes anywhere.”
“That’s why you brought me up here?” I whisper.
He nods slowly.
RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2015
I whirl around, because I need to go now. Need to run.
He grabs my arms, snatching me around to face him, holding me in front of him. Holding me still as he tries to tell me things I never want to hear.
“Stop it! Shut up! Shut up, Kellan! Fuck you!” He pulls me closer, and I slap his face.
The sound echoes through the foyer. His smooth, tanned check stains brilliant crimson.
He doesn’t move a muscle. Doesn’t even blink as I look at him for what I know will be the last time.
I’m sorry. His lips move silently. I don’t care. I can’t. His secrets ruined my life. He ruined my life!
If I live to be hundred, my heart will never be the same.
Note: Sloth is the first in my new Sinful Secrets series. Each intense, erotic story is inspired by a sin, and centered around a life-altering secret. Each “sin” stands on its own, so they don’t have to be read in order. After Sloth, I’m writing Murder. Between these two, I’m releasing a stand alone: a more traditional romance called The Boy Next Door.
About the Author
Ella James is a USA Today bestselling romance author. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 25 overall; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Bestselling Young Adult Ebooks in 2012. To find out more about Ella’s projects and get dates on upcoming releases, you can stalk her on the following social media sites: