command to my tone, but I was unsuccessful. "Why?" "I'm exhausted." It was a lame excuse, but at least it was true. I was exhausted. "I assure you I have a bed you can occupy." Jace smirked and my stomach flipped at the double meaning in his words. I looked back at his car before narrowing my eyes on his deliciously handsome figure. "Exactly how meticulous are you?" Jace cocked his head. "I fail to see the relevance in your question, Olivia." I pulled the corner of my bottom lip between my teeth as I thought. "What I am meaning to ask is, how angry will you be if I scuff your floor or ding your wall or I don't know," I waved my hand. "Chip your granite or something?" Jace nodded, finally understanding my hesitation to set foot into the elevator that would take us to his condo. "If you scuff my floor, I will watch as you clean it on your hands and knees. All the while, enjoying the curve of your ass." He stepped toward me and my breath caught in my throat. "If you ding my wall, I would be willing to bet the fault was mine; for ravishing you against it." He took another step so only an inch of space I so desperately longed to close, stood between us. "And, if you somehow chip the granite, then I'll know, I was too rough." Wow. I definitely didn't care about a thing in his condo as long as he lived up to the promise in his words. The only thing causing me to hesitate was the fact my knees felt as though they would buckle if I tried to move. How his words affected me so intimately, I would never know. I said the only thing I could think to say. "Lead the way." Jace grinned, devilishly, and my heart rate spiked. "So eager." I felt my cheeks burn as he placed his hand once more against the small of my back. "Don't tease me, Jace. It is rude." "Don't pretend you don't love it." Jace retorted and the blush in my cheeks deepened. How did he know me so damned well? It was like...he was meant for me. Oh, hell no! I forced the thought from my mind as he pressed the button in the wall. I was not even going there. This was a strictly sexual relationship I was willingly entering into. I knew what I was getting into. I knew men like Jace...the powerful men that walked in this world I had forbidden myself from venturing into. They were selfish in their desires and strictly incapable of any emotion that resembled love. I would not let myself fall for him. I would enjoy what he had to offer me. I would learn from him, but I would not expect him to remain a part of my life for long. I was certain our time together would be just as fleeting as it would be passionate. I was okay with that. I had to be. The elevator door rolled open, exposing a stainless steel box. I stepped inside and couldn't help but marvel at how impeccably clean the dark tiled floor was. Jace rubbed a circle into my back with his thumb. "You are tense." "I am?" Of course I was. I was moments away from walking into Jace Rush's living space. I had no idea what to expect. Google offered me nothing of his living space. I was walking into the lions den blind...but, oh so willing. "Yes. You are." Jace confirmed. "Why?" "Wouldn't you be?" I asked, pointedly, and he took a moment to ponder my question. "I suppose." I scoffed. "You suppose?" "You will be the first, aside from very close friends and family to be brought here." He looked down at my bug-eyed disbelief, and chuckled. "Like you, Olivia, I like my privacy." I liked my privacy for what I suspected was an entirely different reason than Jace's. I knew what it felt like to feel owned. I loathed that feeling with every fiber of my being. When I decided to move to New York, I had experienced a severe sense of relief I would never again be forced to bite back my opinions, beliefs or feelings because of my father. The man had done everything in his power to mold me into a woman who would succumb to his will. He'd wanted me to marry into power and had a list of eligible bachelors that would suit him just dandy.