Ronin’s entire body quivered from the tension he’d placed on all his muscles.

The towel fluttered from her fingertips. She placed her palm over his heart and curled her other hand around the back of his neck. Then she leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to where his pulse hammered in his throat. “I can’t do this.”

“Do what?” he asked softly.

“Play it cool. Act like seeing your hard-toned body with your hard-assed nature doesn’t affect me.”

“Affect you besides the way you’re babbling?”

She nodded.

“Tell me.”

Her fingers dug into his chiseled pectoral.


“I want to drop to my knees and touch, stroke, lick, and suck every square inch of this body, over and over, until you fully understand what it means to be worshiped. Because I worship you, Ronin Black. You are the most magnificent man I’ve ever seen. The most amazing man I’ve ever met.”

He remained quiet for a long moment. “Baby. Your words honor me on a day I’ve had little praise. So thank you.”

“Are you done for today?”

“Close. Why?”

Amery’s gaze collided with his. “Because I want you. Just like this. Hot, sweaty, your muscles quivering from exertion and that fierce look on your face.”

Ronin uncurled her hand from the back of his neck and kissed her knuckles. “Anytime you want me you can have me.”


He released a heavy sigh. “But I’m not in the right headspace now.”

“Oh.” She tried not to deflate.

“That’s why I am the way I am when I come home after training. It’s . . . physically demanding and a total mindfuck. It takes me a while to let go.”

“Are you sorry I came?”

“Never.” He kissed her knuckles again. “I want Master Daichi to meet you.”

“He doesn’t look like he’ll be as nice as his brother.”

“Master Yasuji can be ten times harder than Sensei when he puts his mind to it.”

“He’s also a jujitsu master?”

Ronin gave her an odd look. “No. Didn’t he tell you who he is?”

“No. At first when he served me cookies and tea I thought he might be the butler.”

He laughed. “I cannot wait to tell him that. Yasuji is bakushi.”

She frowned. Where had she heard that term?

“He’s Japan’s most renowned kinbaku and shibari rope master. He’s been my instructor since I was eighteen. He’s the sole reason I was selected to train with Master Daichi.”

“Yasuji is the one who taught you all of your rope tricks?”

From behind them, Yasuji said, “Only the good ones. The boy has a lot to learn yet.”

Amery spun around. “I apologize if I’ve offended you by my ignorance of your stature.”

“I’ll admit it was refreshing to meet you, knowing more about you than you know about me.”

Of course Ronin had told his teacher all about her.

For the first time it didn’t bother her that a stranger knew she enjoyed sensual rope play with her husband. She smiled. “Well, I’m a recent rope enthusiast—strictly from the tie-ee’s perspective. I look forward to Ronin practicing the new rope tricks he’s learned from you on me.”

Ronin muttered, “Jesus.”

Yasuji laughed. “Yes, Amery-san, you are definitely the woman that’ll keep Master Black on his toes for the next fifty years.”

“If I could be so lucky to have her beside me for that long.” Ronin wrapped his arm around her, facing her toward his teacher. He introduced her to his sensei in Japanese.

Master Daichi bowed stiffly.

After she returned his bow, Amery remembered the Japanese phrase Ronin had taught her that she was honored to meet him.

Sensei Daichi didn’t seem impressed. Then he motioned Ronin aside.

Amery watched closely, wondering if Ronin was getting his ass chewed for his wife showing up.

Yasuji stepped in front of her. “You’re protective of him.”

“Someone needs to be.”

“My Rikya used to go head to head with my brother.”

“Did she win?”

“Yes. She was a very determined woman. In all things.”

Her gaze moved to Yasuji. “Was your wife . . . one of your rope models?”

“She was my only rope model. She did not like my hands on other women.”

“I’m the same way with Ronin. Did she help you do kinbaku demonstrations?”

“Yes. Not with much enthusiasm at first, I’m afraid.”

“I understand that. I still . . .” She hesitated. What if Ronin hadn’t told his teacher that his wife had issues with public bindings? Maybe Ronin would be embarrassed if Yasuji knew he hadn’t done any rope demonstrations for months.

“I will answer every question I see in your eyes, Amery-san. Please come visit me when Ronin returns to training.”

“I’d like that.”

Ronin draped his arm over her shoulder. “Quit trying to talk her into being your rope model, old man. She belongs to me.”

Yasuji’s gaze dropped to the white scar tissue on Ronin’s arm that was her name in kanji. “I see that. So you’re taking your wife . . . ?”

“To Iriomote.”

“So far?”

“So private,” Ronin said with a grin. “It is week two of our honeymoon.” Copyright 2016 - 2023