Cravings - powerful desires - are part of the human condition. Our brains are "hard-wired" to appreciate and to pursue natural rewards such as food and sex because of their critical survival value.
Drugs used by addicted people activate the same circuits that motivate food and sexual behavior. Signals, called cues, can be sights, sounds, smell or thoughts. Cues activate the brain's powerful "go!" circuit creating cravings, whether for food, drugs, alcohol or sex.
In BEYOND ADDICTION I explore the disastrous pitfalls of sexual addiction.
When Fallon Crowe discovered her submissive side, she indulged it fully, reveling in her erotic nature—until she stepped into the brutally possessive world of Brian Willoughby. More than a year after she was literally dragged away from his abusive clutches, Fallon is finally building a new life with Cord Jamieson, a Dom who reminds her that punishment can be loving, pain an aphrodisiac.
But when Fallon unexpectedly runs into Brian, he reawakens an addiction that never quite died. Now she’s torn between the caring relationship she’s established with Cord, and Brian’s darkly mesmerizing lifestyle that goes beyond safe, sane and consensual.
The choice is Fallon’s—the wrong one might destroy her completely.
Fallon forced herself to breathe evenly. Heat burned her skin where his fingers rested on her arm. His touch was light but it might as well have been steel talons. She wanted to jerk away but the message didn’t seem to filter down from her brain.
“You heard wrong.” From somewhere she managed a hint of defiance in her tone. “I’m not hiding at all.”
“Oh?” He lifted one eyebrow in a too-familiar gesture. “I’ve missed seeing you.”
His fingers stroked her arm where they held her.
She wet her lips. “I was just—reordering my priorities.”
His eyes raked over her. “I’ve missed you.” He took a step closer, shrinking the space between them. “You’ve missed me too. I know you have.” He bent his head so his mouth was at her ear. “You’ve missed me fucking you when you were bound so intricately you couldn’t move a muscle, and I could plow into you at will.”
His tone had that same compelling quality she couldn’t forget. She trembled at his words and the gush of fluid into her panties disgusted her. Yet at the same time, vivid images of the scene he described flashed into her mind and all the months dropped away. She found herself being lulled by him again. Falling into the same trap.
No! Cord! Think of Cord!
She extricated herself from his hold—but damn it, she missed his touch as soon as it was gone. “I have a new life. A better life. I could say it’s been nice running into you, but I’d be lying.”
He reached out and touched her cheek, his knuckles grazing the skin. The contact sizzled and another kaleidoscope of memories and sensations bombarded her.
Finding courage she didn’t know she had, she backed away two steps and glanced at her watch.
“Sorry, Brian. I really have to run.”
She deliberately used his given name rather than the honorific. She had a new Sir, a better one, and she couldn’t muddy those waters. Turning quickly, she strode away, never looking back, heels clicking on the pavement. She managed to make her way through the door and to the restaurant’s ladies’ room but the moment she was inside, she collapsed against a wall, heart racing, pulse pounding. She brushed her hand over her forehead and discovered it covered with perspiration. She leaned over the sink and looked at herself in the mirror.
Who was that woman looking back at her? Not the strong, vital, sensual woman who relished Cord’s mastery. No, this woman looked as if she’d been in a fugue state for a month. Her eyes were glazed, her skin pale, her hands trembling. She reminded herself of the way she’d looked when Claire had literally dragged her out of her high-priced prison. And yet…
And yet for an instant, all her defenses had threatened to crumble and she’d been ready to fall on her knees right there in front of the people milling around them.
What rotten luck running into Brian, especially after her conversation with Claire. It should have been a good test, a way to prove she’d gotten him out of her system. Instead, seeing him made her body vibrate with need and gave her the sense that she was perched on the edge of a precipice. And if she fell, it wouldn’t be Cord who caught her.
Even now, as Cord’s image swam before her, it was Brian’s face she saw.
Sick. It was a sickness. She knew it yet she couldn’t seem to find a permanent cure. So what did that say about her?
Cord will take one look at me and know. He’ll paddle my ass and it’s no more than I deserve.
She ran cold water over her wrists and dried them, lightly patting her face. Fresh lipstick helped, as did a swipe of blush. Glancing at her watch, she realized she had only moments before her client meeting. Afterward, she’d go home and immediately make herself presentable for Cord.
But he’ll know. Oh god.
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