In the course of his thirty-two years on the planet, Jax had taken a lot of risks…all of them calculated. He’d also made a handful of unfortunate dumbass decisions. But until now, not a damn one of them had been made by his dick.

He shouldn’t be thinking about taking his friend’s daughter upstairs to a private room, baring her ass, then spanking it. Yet that was precisely what he planned to do.

Some fucking hero I am.

“What will it be, Willow?”

When she spoke, her words resonated with confidence, bringing him to his knees. “Yes. I want to play with you.”

He eased off the barstool and offered his hand. This time, she took it. He leaned forward so that his mouth was near her ear before he said, “I’m giving you one last chance to run.”

The desire in his eyes made her shiver. “Are you planning to hurt me?”

“Very much so. In the exact ways you want.”

“Then why are you warning me away?” Breathlessness weaved through her words, curiosity and wariness mixing.

“For a million reasons. Especially because I respect your father.”

She angled her chin and delivered a ferocious scowl. He schooled himself not to respond.

“You picked a fine time to discover some integrity, Jax.”

He imagined she hoped to offend him. “If I may continue…?” He didn’t wait for permission before going on, this time with steel in his words. “This is a matter of integrity. I don’t care whether you think I have any or not. Without Brian’s belief in me, Jaxon Media wouldn’t be where it is today. I owe him a debt. If we go forward, you’ll be mine.”

“I don’t belong to anyone.”

“That’s why I’m offering you one last chance to tell me to go to hell. If you don’t, you might regret it.”

“Your conscience is annoying.”

All his life, Jax had avoided entanglements. He’d seen what had happened to his dad, after his mother had given up, abandoning her kid and the man who’d knocked her up and refused to marry her. His father had drunk too much, struggled to keep a job after the coal mine closed up, brought home too damn many women, some who hadn’t known he had a kid. Jax learned use a can opener when he was four, the stove when he was five. At nine, a teacher had recommended him for a summer camp, the first really good thing that had happened to him.