Read Believe Online

Authors: Lauren Dane



By Lauren Dane

Their First Christmas, Bound Together…

All Jude wants for Christmas is Rori, all to himself. It’s their first holiday season as a couple, and staying home, seeing friends and family, means they’ll be surrounded by the memory of Rori’s late husband. It’s time for Jude and Rori to create their own traditions. Time for them to fully explore their most intimate desires to dominate and submit.

Rori is thrilled when Jude whisks her away to a luxury resort in the mountains. Spending Christmas away, just the two of them, is the perfect time to show him she’s ready to give herself to him completely…

Dear Reader,

There’s something magical about the holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Diwali. The energy and excitement surrounding these holidays charges the air and our emotions, providing a perfect platform for romance and love. So I knew we couldn’t let Carina Press’s first holiday season pass without celebrating it with a collection of special novella releases.

This holiday season, celebrate with our first collection of invitation-only novellas. We’ve pulled together eleven talented authors and author duos, all of whom have made their mark in their respective niches, and invited them to transport our readers with holiday delights. In
Naughty and Nice,
join Jaci Burton, Lauren Dane, Megan Hart and Shannon Stacey as they show you both the sensual and sweet sides of the holidays. Visit post-apocalyptic worlds and paranormal beings in an enchanted journey with authors Vivi Andrews, Moira Rogers and Vivian Arend in
Winter Wishes.
And celebrate the beauty of the season in
His for the Holidays
with m/m authors Josh Lanyon, Z.A. Maxfield, Harper Fox and LB Gregg.

Through the talent of their writing and their captivating storytelling, I believe you’ll find something in each of these special novellas to put you in the magic of the holiday moment.

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons.


Executive Editor, Carina Press


This one is for the readers who’ve been asking me for more of Rori and Jude for years now.

Thanks to the many folks at Twitter who responded so generously to my request for information about holiday getaways – I don’t know where I’d be without the Twitter hivemind.

Chapter One

Two weeks. He’d been gone while attending a training in Dallas for two whole weeks and it had sucked. Being without him wasn’t something she was used to, or that she liked in any way.

But to pass the time and to give him a Christmas present she knew he’d love, Rori had gone to a tattoo parlor with their friend Ryan and had her right shoulder done. Nothing too big or brash. A pretty, stylized melding of her initials and his, wrapped around an infinity symbol. She wanted to mark her commitment to him in a tangible way.

He was due back tomorrow and she could hardly wait. She missed him in a way she couldn’t have understood without him being gone. Realized how much he did for her. The place he filled in her life and in her heart. In the time they’d lived together, before they were a couple and then in the months after, he’d become essential to her. He looked at her and made her feel like the most beautiful woman alive.

As if by some sort of magic, he knew just what she needed and when she needed it. He was her other half. He made her laugh. Didn’t hog the covers, hefted the heavy stuff and didn’t balk if she asked him to pick up tampons at the grocery store. He saw straight to her heart and he loved her anyway. Having that connection with him was the finest thing in her life and something she figured she’d never be lucky enough to feel once Zach, her former husband, had been murdered nearly two years before.

But she had him. He had her and she was, indeed, blessed.

Again, she thought this was the case when she came around the corner on the last block to their house and saw him on the porch. Laughing, she double timed it, jogging toward him and pausing, just a moment, at the front walk to take a long look at what was hers.

She took a good look from the tips of his scuffed cowboy boots, up the long legs covered in pale, worn denim, the bulge at his lap, the narrow waist with the tucked-in shirt and belt buckle. She caught her breath as her pulse galloped. She loved every tall, lean, muscled inch of his body. Her gaze moved again, up the chest she nibbled her way down as often as she could, the wide shoulders and work-strong arms and up into a face she’d dreamed of for years and years, never imagining she’d wake up to it every morning.

Falling into his gaze.

He leaned back against the porch, stretching out and preening just a little for her. The smile on his lips brought her nipples to attention.

Jude Callahan in all his glory.

The road that had brought them together—that had built this relationship she gave thanks for every single day—had been a hard one. Filled with pain and loss. And yet, there he was on their porch, with eyes only for her, with a smile that spoke of delicious secrets only she knew.

“Now look what I got here. Come on up here, sugar, let me taste those lips.”

As if she had anything else she’d rather do just then?

She moved to him, up the steps and into his arms, and came home.

His mouth on hers, as always, settled in for a taste. Exactly how he wanted. She sighed, opening to him, melting against him, glorying in his flavor, in the way his arms held her to his body.

The heat of him forced the chill of the cold December day from her bones. When she shivered, it was for an entirely different reason than the cold.

“Now then.” He set her away from him, his eyes going half-lidded when she licked her lips to get that last bit of him she could for the moment. “I feel lots better.”

“Good. My work is done then.” Because she could, she took another tour from his toes to his gorgeous face. “You’re home! A whole day early. What are you doing out here? It’s cold. Did you lose your keys? Not that I mind, it sure made that last half block easier to see you waiting up here for me looking all handsome and stuff.”

“I had the chance to catch an earlier flight so I grabbed it. The last day wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before so I got out of there and back here to you. Glad I did.” He hugged her again and she snuggled back into his body.

“Yay.” She kept hold, not wanting to let go just yet of how good he felt.

“Just got home about three minutes ago. I saw you cross the street over at Alder and decided to wait. You jiggle pretty-like when you jog up the steps.”

“Pervert.” She swished past him and into the house, reaching out to take his hand as she passed. That thread of their connection shimmered and solidified. That space he took up inside her warmed and settled in.

“This shouldn’t be news to you.”

Once the door was closed and locked, he pulled the window shades closed before turning back her way. “Now then. You’re here and I’m here and we don’t even have to webcam. Though I will say I find having you naked and fingering your pussy on camera for me while I’m away sure does make the time apart a little easier to bear.”

She sighed happily, taking the coat he had in his hands and moving to the closet to hang it up for him.

“Good. I felt positively wanton.” Funny how he did that, enticed her to do things that made her blush, knowing she’d get off on them once she let go.

He laughed. “Only for me, darlin’. Now. You and me, naked. Sweaty. I think some writhing might help too.”

“I have something for you first.” She took his hand and drew him down the hall to their bedroom.

“I was getting to that. That’s part of the naked sweaty plan I was proposing.”

“No silly. Your Christmas present. The big one anyway.”

“Christmas is three weeks away. You’re so impatient.” He grinned. “Not that I’m complaining or anything.”

She moved to their dresser, pausing before the mirror. Meeting his gaze in its reflection, she paused a beat until his attention was focused on her so intently she shivered as if she could feel it like a phantom caress.

“Well, as it happens, your being gone was good for my plans.” Facing him, she reached down to pull her sweater up and over her head and then shimmied from her bra.

“Liking this so far.”

She turned, bowing her head, waiting for him to see the tat.

“Holy shit.” In the space of a breath he was on her, standing so near the heat of him blanketed her bare back. He leaned close, his breath against her skin as he brushed the hair away from her shoulder, exposing the tattoo to his view.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Do you like it?” It was important—she knew that right then—that he did.

“Rori, this is… No one but you has ever touched me like this.” Gentle fingertips traced over the ink, replaced by his lips. “It’s beautiful. I want one too, just like yours. In the same place.”

She smiled, her hair covering her face. “I’d like that.”

“And now you have to help me with my problem. You created this, you need to fix it.”

She turned. Knowing what his next words would be did not blunt their effect when he spoke.

“On your knees. Suck my cock just the way I like it.”

She knelt quickly, her hands moving to his belt and the zip and button of his jeans. Just how she liked it too. His clothes still on as she knelt there in his gaze. Totally naked. It amped up the power between them, crackling against her skin as she leaned in and brushed her cheek over the line of his cock before turning her head to kiss the ridge where he was most sensitive.

Time seemed to slow, draw out with honeyed sensuality as it often did when she found herself on her knees for him. His cock, standing fierce and hard, drew her attention and she went back for another long lick and some more kisses before she took him at the root, angled him just so and took a deep breath. Bit by bit, she took him deep, keeping him wet, the way he liked it best.

His fingers sifted through her hair and then tightened, sending a shiver through her, hardening her nipples, where the rings he’d given her swayed, sending a pulse of desire through her pussy. Her groan around him only made him harder against her tongue.

“I love it when you do that,” he murmured. “When you groan half pain, half desire and then you keep sucking my cock. When you give yourself to me it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.”

He wasn’t a man prone to empty flattery. Not by this time in their relationship. Shallow, flirty Jude had gone, grown into a man whose word meant everything. So when soft words, especially those laced with darkness, flowed from him, it got to her.

“Wait.” He said it, but he didn’t sound very sure about it. She paused for a moment, letting him decide. He put a hand on her shoulder and she pulled back with a slight pop.

The way he stalked over to the chest at the foot of their bed made her tremble just a bit, knowing what he had in store for her.

“You’re too pretty not to be bound right now.” He turned toward her, the wrist cuffs dangling from his fingertips.

Swallowing did little to help her suddenly dry mouth. And then he brought out the blindfold and she blinked several times, not bothering to hold back her smile. He knew what got to her. He knew. He used it. Pushed her buttons. Her boundaries. And brought her more pleasure than she’d ever imagined.

Within moments he’d secured the blindfold, the fuzzy inner lining light, tight and very soft against her face. Another contrast, just like the man who’d put it in place. “Hands at the small of your back.”

Without her sight, she let her skin come alive. Let her other senses come to the forefront. She didn’t bother to stop her soft whimper of pleasure when he slid the loosened cuff, also lined, over first one wrist and then the other, tightening until the leather creaked just right. The metal of the hasp jingled slightly, a whisper of what was to come and she let herself fall into it, let herself get captured by his spell.

“When you’re done. After I’ve come in your mouth and you’ve pleased me. I’m going to stand back and look at you. Look my fill at what a beautiful woman I’m blessed to have in my life.” Clothing rustled as he paused. “And then I’m going to use the chains and weights on your nipples.”

She gulped at the phantom sensation blooming through her nipples at the memory of the tug, the slight pain of the weighted beads that would then rush into unbelievable pleasure when he took them off.

He chuckled. “That’s what I thought. Now, my cock is right in front of your mouth. Suck me off, baby.”

She took him deep, as deep as she could. Over and over, the movements as entrancing in their own way as the cuffs were. It created a sense of ritual without seeming rote.

His taste wended through her. The feel of his cock in her mouth, the way he touched her, the sounds he made—it all combined to bind them together again after their time apart.

He had a way of murmuring the sweetest things to her when she was on her knees for him, even while some of them were utterly dirty and made her blush, the emotion behind them, the way the awe and love was so clear in his voice made them beautiful instead of hard or ugly.

That’s what love did and it was the core of why she loved being dominated by him so much, why it made her feel beautiful instead of a thing. He took the reins, but never her control, never her personhood. She
him her control, gave him the power to lead them, but in doing so, gained her own.

Whatever it was, however they described it, it was love and it worked.

“Are you ready, baby?” His voice was passion rough. She knew his eyes would be glossy with desire, his lips wet from the way he drew his tongue over them right before he came. Knew he only looked at her as she gave him pleasure.

She hummed her assent and he thrust into her mouth one last time, filling her as he came on a snarl of her name.

“I love you, darlin’.” He helped her up and led her to their bed. “Kneel here for me. I want to look at you awhile.”

Gooseflesh broke as she knew he meant to drag her pleasure out. Knew that when he made her come at last it would be spectacular and bone deep.

And so she knelt on their bed, falling into that space in her head where she relaxed like a cat in a sunny window.


Jude moved to his favorite chair to get his breath back as he took her in. Truly, he’d seen a lot of naked women in his time and none of them could even approach her level of beauty. It wasn’t just her outside, though, truth be told, she was a gorgeous woman. It was the way she knelt there, knowing he watched her, knowing just how much she affected him.

Her submission was the most beautiful part of his life. Strong, like she was. Her submission did not make her weak in any way. He loved her independence and energy and the way she gave herself to him would be meaningless if she had no choice, or he bullied it from her.

He thought about the mark she’d had done. Just for him. For them. Another step, this one so big and important it had sent him reeling. It was one thing to wear his necklace or the rings in her body. That tattoo on her shoulder, the ink in her skin was a public declaration of their relationship. She’d done it for him, for them, and he needed to process it all.

Because she’d done it when he needed it most and the way she saw straight to the heart of him left him exposed totally. Loved. Appreciated and laid wide open. All for her. All for them.

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