Blurb: Elizabeth has watched with frustration as her relationship with Jason slowly faded away. Braced for their inevitable end, this “nice girl” is instead surprised—and aroused—by her boyfriend’s naughty Christmas plans. Jason has tiptoed around what really turns him on, afraid Lizzie would run screaming from his kinkier desires. But as their relationship flags, he latches onto a last-ditch effort to inject energy into their sex life—and their love.
For twelve days leading up to Christmas, Jason gives Lizzie a new present, each one enticing her further into his dark desires. Now Lizzie needs to loosen up a little—to give up enough control to submit to her edgiest urges and give herself completely to the man determined to be hers forever.
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Lizzie tapped her nails on the desk and stared at the clock. Three fifteen—only ten more minutes before she could leave. All her grading was done, her lessons were set for the next week and she was eager to get home. She wanted to put up decorations, get a tree, bake Christmas cookies.
And see what Jason had left her for day four.
In an effort to avoid looking at the clock, Lizzie walked through her classroom and snagged errant scraps of paper and two thoroughly chewed pencils before tossing them in the trash. Bending over to grab a lingering piece of crumpled math homework, she tried, once again, to figure out what the heck Jason was up to. After almost a year with the man, she still couldn’t read him sometimes—and she had super teacher perception. Three days ago, he’d become even more confusing.
She’d come home that afternoon to a package sitting on their doorstep with a big red one on the top. She’d been confused and opening it hadn’t helped. Inside sat a deep blue silk robe and a note from Jason. Lizzie, this is the first of twelve presents, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas. The blue matches your eyes and I can’t wait to gaze into them again. Wear it and think of me. Love, Jason.
Her breath condensed on the air as she delicately picked her way across the parking lot, keeping away from the patches of ice scattered across the pavement. Thinking of the presents she’d received the next two days kept the cold at bay—jasmine-scented candles, her favorite, and massage oil.
Once inside her car, she puzzled over Jason’s intent. Was he trying to reignite their flagging sex life? Maybe reverse the downward spiral their relationship had taken? Lizzie banged her head against the steering wheel and decided there was nothing she could do about it except go home and wait for her confusing boyfriend.
And his fourth present.
* * * * *
Jason was glad to find the condo empty when he got home. He’d taken an early flight out of Albany so he could surprise Lizzie when she came home from work. Which should be any minute now.
Box four in hand, Jason sat on the brown leather recliner in their living room. He’d spent the last ten minutes pacing, wearing a track from the door, through the living room, into the bedroom and back. But his legs had grown too shaky for even that, so he dropped onto their plush loveseat to wait.
Jason was well aware of the risk he took, exposing Lizzie to his hidden sexual proclivities. But he needed her to know him, accept him, before their relationship could grow. Or sputter and die. He hated the latter alternative. The last year had been the best of his life and at this point he couldn’t imagine a future without Lizzie.
A deep ache settled into his chest and he rubbed the muscle over his heart. Though the thought of losing her hurt, he couldn’t hide from her anymore. Every time they made love, his stomach churned from fear that maybe this time, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself.
At least he wouldn’t need to wait much longer for her reaction. No more than twelve days, and then he’d either be alone again, or she’d be wearing the engagement ring he’d bought last week.
He was desperate to see that ring on her finger. To know that she was his, that despite his kinks, she loved him.
The beep of her car lock sounded and Jason smoothed a hand through his short brown hair and across his freshly shaved face. He set the present on their glass coffee table and headed for the door, opening it just as she had her keys poised at the lock.
“Surprise,” he said. Way to sound lame.
“Jason. You’re home early.” Her eyes darted away and he took a step back, giving her space to enter. She took off her boots, resting them on the rubber mat in their entryway. Her fingers loosened the knot and the laces with care and Jason knew she was stalling for time.
“I got an earlier flight,” he said to break the silence. Jason scratched his chin, hating the distance between them. “I missed you. Needed to come home to you.”
She set down her second boot and looked up at him. “It’s been empty without you here.”
Well it wasn’t a declaration of love, but he’d take it. He grabbed her by the hand and drew her to his recliner and onto his lap. She curled up and tucked her head beneath his chin. His chest tightened with love and nerves.
When she stiffened against him, he knew she’d seen the waiting box. She sat upright and turned to him with questions—maybe eagerness?—scrawled across her face.
“Open it.” He held his breath as she unwrapped the small package, folding the paper into a precise rectangle. Lizzie, his little neat freak. The deliberate movements of her hands and her prim way of opening everything from the newspaper to cereal boxes to presents fascinated him and gave him one more thing to love about her. Hell, sometimes it even turned him on.
She cocked her head to the side in what he thought of as her curious little bird pose and popped open the lid of the box to reveal a blue silk eye mask. She turned to him with one eyebrow cocked. “I’m sleeping just fine, Jason.”
Though he tried not to read into her words, he cringed inside. He didn’t want her to sleep poorly without him, per se, but would it be too much to ask for her not to be sleeping fine?
She’d always been able to read him, almost as well as he could read her, and she cupped his cheek. “I’ve missed you, Jason. The bed is empty without you.”
He kissed her before saying. “Yeah, hotel beds leave much to be desired. Mainly, you.” Her pupils dilated and he kissed her again, lingering on her lips. “Besides, the blindfold isn’t for sleeping.” Holding her gaze, he watched the understanding fly across her face, only to be replaced with warm delight.
“Oh, it’s that kind of blindfold. How very inventive.” Her grin gave him hope that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t run from his desires.
He stroked her back, enjoying the softness of her gray sweater. But it would have to come off. “Why don’t you go change into your robe and point me in the direction of the candles and oil.”
She shuddered under his hand and her breathing hitched. Their eyes locked as she answered. “Okay. And everything’s in our bedroom.”
Our bedroom—he loved hearing that. And it was past time he showed her just how much. “Then change in the bathroom, love, and I’ll have everything set up when you’re done.”
She set the blindfold down on the coffee table and got to her feet. Her thick socks softened her footsteps to the bedroom suite and he couldn’t pull his eyes away from her retreating figure. Curves in all the right places and an ass just made for spanking. The thought had plagued him since their first date all those months ago. Jason knew smacking her tight ass would make the most beautiful sound. His cock tightened beneath his slacks at the thought—and the hope that he’d get to hear it, see her submit, soon enough.
Snagging the blindfold and the lighter lying next to the living room’s fireplace, he followed her into the bedroom.Let the games begin.
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