Submit (Surrender Series Book Two), page 1
Book Two in the Surrender Series
By Melody Anne
Copyright © 2013 Melody Anne
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Printed and published in the United States of America.
Published by Gossamer Publishing Company
Editing by Nicole and Alison
Cover art by Trevino Creative
Salt Lake City, Utah
Table of Contents
Note from the Author
Books by Melody Anne
This book is dedicated to my Aunt Linda. Thank you for always being such a wonderful person. You have been there for me since I was a young child. To this day I can’t listen to the Top Gun soundtrack without thinking of you. I love you!
Note from the Author
I can’t believe another book is done and ready for publishing. I’ve thanked you all over and over, and I can’t say it enough. Thank you to my fans, my family, and my wonderful friends. A new person I want to acknowledge is Alison! You are amazing. Thank you for the time and effort you put into editing and for the fabulous job you do. You don’t allow me to be less than the best and I appreciate it so much!
Thank you again to my fans, especially those on my street team, Melody’s Muses. You truly inspire me and I love the amazing effort you put out each and every week to promote my books and to encourage me. Thank you!
Thank you so much to Jack, who goes above and beyond the call of duty and makes changes for me, encourages me and deals with my millions of e-mails. You are a rock star!
I hope you’re enjoying this newest series. I hope you all forgive me for the end of this second book. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It's such a thrill having a job doing what I absolutely love. Thank you!
Books by Melody Anne
*The Billionaire Wins the Game
*The Billionaire’s Dance
*The Billionaire Falls
*The Billionaire’s Marriage Proposal
*Blackmailing the Billionaire
*The Billionaire’s Final Stand
The Lost Andersons – Billionaire Bachelors Continued
*Unexpected Treasure – Book One – Coming June 2013
*To be announced – Book Two – Coming November 2013
*To be announced – Book Three – Coming January 2014
*To be announced – Book Four
*To be announced – Book Five
BABY FOR THE BILLIONAIRE
+The Tycoon’s Revenge
+The Tycoon’s Vacation
+The Tycoon’s Proposal
+The Tycoon’s Secret
RISE OF THE DARK ANGEL
-Midnight Fire – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book One
-Midnight Moon – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book Two
-Midnight Storm – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book Three
=Surrender – Book One
=Submit – Book Two
=Seduced – Book Three – Coming September 2013
=Scorched – Book Four – Date TBA
Rafe sat there, unmoving, as Ari continued toward the open door of his jet. A chill traversed the length of his spine and his throat tightened — surely the thudding of his heart couldn’t be fear. He stiffened slightly, but only to keep his body from betraying his reaction. If she were to walk out the door, onto the tarmac, and out of his life, he wouldn’t stop her.
He knew she wanted him, knew it wouldn’t be a hardship for her to stay. Any use of force was out of the question. Much as he wanted her submission, he’d gone as far as he ever would with this game; the chase was over.
Ari held all the cards — she just didn’t realize she was in control. He wouldn’t keep her mother’s home or business from her. They were just bargaining chips.
Rafe’s only real power was in Ari’s not knowing if he was as ruthless as he’d claimed. He’d proved himself a callous adversary — he only hoped she didn’t call his bluff.
When Ari suddenly stopped, Rafe’s heart skipped a beat. Slowly, she turned, flames leaping from her eyes. She was stunning in her fury, and his body awoke with the overwhelming need to take her, claim her as his own.
Did she really have a choice?
No — and now they both knew it. They both knew that Ari couldn’t let her mother down. If Sandra left the hospital only to find that she had neither a home nor a business, that Ari had been compelled to sell them during her mom’s long and terrible illnesses, both women would be devastated.
“You realize I will forever despise you, right?”
“I don’t need your affection — only your submission,” he replied with the slightest tilt to his lips. Confidence now emanated from his whole being as he watched her make her decision.
She was his!
Without another word, Ari lifted her head high and began the short walk to the back of his jet — straight to his bedroom. Excitement pooling inside him, Rafe rose from his chair, his senses tuned in to the soft sigh of her shoes as she moved before him.
He turned to tell his pilot they were ready — the doors could now be shut — then he followed Ari into his room.
Anticipation made him almost unsteady as he circled her. They had only a few things to settle and then she was his for the taking. The long anticipated wait had been worth it, if his body’s reaction was any indication. Her eyes caught his every movement and he liked the uncertainty she was trying so valiantly to hide.
“Come here and sit,” he commanded her.
A slight smile lifted the corners of her mouth as she began her slow approach. Yes, he’d always known she’d make a good submissive. Still, disappointment filled him at how easily she was bending to his will. If he managed to break her so soon, would he enjoy her nearly as much? Part of her appeal was her defiance.
“You might as well wipe that victorious smirk off your face, Rafe. This is a power game to you; you wield your business agreement and your Snidely Whiplash words like a sword and shield. But it is only a game and I refuse to play. I said I’ll stay — and I will. You’ve obviously managed to get the upper hand, but that doesn’t mean you will own me.”
“I don’t understand.” A rush of adrenaline almost made him light-headed as he looked at the fire flashing in her eyes. Joy coursed through him. She was in no way defeated — not even close. They had only a few minutes before they’d have to go back out front and sit for takeoff. He’d been hoping to get the formalities out of the way and then relieve the ache in his body.
This was better.
“I won’t be on a leash. I’ll be your mistress, but I have my own conditions. If you don’t like what I have to say, then turn this jet around and let me leave. My mother would rather lose everything than lose me. I may not want her to go through the pain of knowing she has nothing left — but she’d never forgive me if I gave up my soul.”
“What are your conditions?” Rafe was surprised by her words — even more surprised that he was entertaining the idea of allowing provisions. He didn’t allow his mistresses to make demands. He certainly didn’t allow them to speak to him this way. Any other woman would have been banished from his life on the spot. Ari wasn’t just any woman, though. She was his obsession.
“First off, I want to keep my job. I won’t accept a salary for doing nothing other than bending over the back of your desk. Secondly, I get one day a week off — one day to do with as I like, such as visit with my mother or my friends. I’ve sacrificed too long, and I won’t have you telling me I can’t spend time with my mother — after all, she’s the reason I’m degrading myself this way in the first place.”
He beheld the passion in her eyes, heard the slight quiver in her tone. She wasn’t bluffing. If he refused her, she’d walk. Would that be so bad? Quite honestly, he just couldn’t tell any longer. The only thing he knew for sure was that he couldn’t seem to let her go.
“Mr. Palazzo, we’re cleared for takeoff. Will you please return to your seats?” Rafe glared at the small sidewall speaker. Walking over, he pressed the intercom button.
“I need ten more minutes.”
Rafe returned to Ari and the two of them stood motionless in a face-off. He knew it was critical not to cave to her demands. It would set the bar for their relationship. Being a master at negotiation, Rafe weighed his odds. If he called her bluff, yes, she’d walk away. His other option? Make a few concessions, but still keep his unbendable rules intact.
What was most important to him? His fixation on her could very well undermine every defense he had put in place over the last few years.
Was she worth it?
Ari didn’t know how she was keeping her knees from knocking together. What if he’d simply had too much and decided to throw her out? Was that what she wanted? She hated him in these moments, but there was no doubt she desired him, too.
It wasn’t such a hardship to imagine sharing his bed. She just couldn’t turn herself into a whore. She refused to be one of those women who were nothing more than candy for their man.
Keeping her heart from being affected shouldn’t be a big deal. When he bullied her, treated her like nothing but another member of his staff, she had no problem despising him. The hard part would be in not needing him. Rafe was powerful, someone she could easily imagine leaning on. And that was something she absolutely couldn’t ever do.
The seconds passing by seemed more like minutes. Ari didn’t know how long the two of them stood staring at each other, neither wanting to blink first, but finally she couldn’t take it. Her anger was evaporating, and she needed to sit. Breaking their deadlock, she moved to the bed and sat on the edge.
Rafe spoke after a brief pause. “You take a lot for granted, Ari. One of these times, you’ll push me too far and lose everything. Being with me isn’t such a hardship. I treat my mistresses well.”
“I have no doubt you treat them exceptionally well. I just don’t understand your desire to be with me. I’ve fought you from day one. Sure, the sex was good, but I imagine you’ve had a lot of good sex. I don’t really see the appeal in all of this for you.”
“You’d be surprised how hard it is to find someone who’s truly compatible sexually. The sex isn’t just good, Ari — it’s extraordinary. I will give you your one day off per week. Of course, that will be void if we’re out of the country. That’s something I can’t help.”
“If that happens, then when we get back, I can take two days the week after, and so on until I am paid the days off that are owed to me,” she broke in. By the flare in his eyes, she knew she was pushing her luck.
Too bad. He needed to be defied. Obviously, not enough people refused the all-powerful Rafe Palazzo.
“We can negotiate that point when the time comes. Under no circumstance is your day off an excuse to see other men. While you’re with me, you are exclusively mine. Do you understand?”
“Good. As for the employment, that’s not up for negotiation. You can’t carry on full-time work, or even part-time, and be committed fully to me.”
The arrogance in his tone made her skin crawl. How could she submit to him? She’d never been the sort to cave in to anything. This wasn’t going to end well.
“Then you will just have to find me a position at your offices. I won’t be paid to be your mistress. I don’t care what the job position is. I’ll file mail, copy documents, fetch coffee for people — I do not care. I absolutely won’t do nothing more than sit around a paid-for home and wait for your call — this isn’t negotiable.”
Ari hadn’t realized how much she was revealing to him with her words. She needed this job to be more than just her being his personal sex slave — she needed to earn her paycheck through actual work, not on her back. If she’d known the desperate sound of her voice, she would have put her armor back in place. In no way did she want him to see her as weak, show him a soft spot for him to sink his fangs into. She felt her best defense was to have an impeccable offense and show not one iota of weakness to him.
Her small moment of vulnerability is what gave her power, though, even if she didn’t realize it. Seeing her so exposed ate away at Rafe’s conscience — much as he fought the idea of even having a conscience.
“Fine. I’ll find a position in the Palazzo offices that will allow you to be available to me at all times. I’ll have to speak to Mario about it.”
Ari was surprised at how willing he was to compromise. When she looked up, she was expecting to see victory in his dark eyes, but she was greeted only by a blank stare. What had she gotten herself into? In what universe did she believe she could come out the victor in a battle against Rafe?
He might be allowing her some concessions, but he was the champion of their match. His quiet arrogance left no doubt about that. Ari might hate him, but she was reminded in this moment of the thin line between love and hate. This man had the power to break her in two. It would take everything inside her not to allow that to happen.
“We need to get seated. We’ll discuss this more out front.” Rafe didn’t wait to see whether Ari would follow him. If he hesitated, he would show her a crack in his armor. He’d already given in too much today.
Making his way to his seat, Rafe heard the gentle sound of Ari’s breathing as she followed behind. His afternoon hadn’t gone the way he’d planned, but then again, he really hadn’t known whether she would stay or go. Not knowing the outcome of a situation he was going in to was new for him. Feeling the anticipation of awaiting her answer was a shocking exhilarati
“I’ll serve drinks once we’re safely in the air,” the flight attendant said after making sure that he and Ari were belted in, and then left them to their uncomfortable silence. After the jet started moving down the runway, Rafe turned to gaze at Ari as she looked out the windows. Her shoulders remained firmly back, her head high.
“We’ll go over my expectations of you.”
Warily, Ari turned and looked at him. Then, when the jet began its ascent, she glanced back out the small window as if she were considering escape. Soon they’d be high in the air, with the only way down a long, long jump.
Rafe penetrated her thoughts, and satisfaction filled him at knowing he had her right where he wanted — at least for now.
“I think that’s a good idea,” she finally answered.
“Good. There’s no use in sidestepping the issues, so we may as well get right into it. I’ve already made concessions for you. There are certain areas in which I’m unwilling to compromise. You should consider yourself lucky that I’ve been as lenient as I have.”
“Are you kidding me? If this is you being lenient, I’d really hate to learn what strict means in your vocabulary.”
“Can you for once engage in a rational discussion without a smart-ass response?” he asked in frustration. If he’d been the type to pull out his hair — no, he didn’t want to think about it. At least Ari kept quiet for the moment, but the searing look she sent Rafe’s way didn’t escape his notice. If ever a woman needed to be tamed, she was it. Now that was something he’d like to think about.
“Fine. I’ll listen, but I just want to say it’s under duress. If you were a decent man, you’d let me go and forget all about this.”
It was a good thing he’d never claimed to be a white knight. He’d been up-front from the beginning about who he was and what he wanted. The only way he’d departed from his normal routine was by chasing after her.
Other author's books:
- SeducedSurrenderScorchedSubmitArdenKianThe Tycoon's ProposalBurned
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