Mr. Pig—he’d said his name was Albert, but Ashley didn’t really want to think of him like that—slipped the gun belt over his head and dropped the weapon on the table. He put it next to the string of pearls he’d given her, which she’d laid there a moment ago, right before she’d started on the first button of her shirt. He shucked his own shirt, folding it over the back of his chair, even before she could undo a second button. His gaze never left her, and here wasn’t just lust in his eyes, but also a kind of breathless expectancy that she could only describe as that of a little boy on Christmas morning.
It made her strangely nervous. Lust she could deal with. She’d been fielding looks and catcalls from guys—and sometimes more than that—ever since she first started growing breasts. But the little-boy look made butterflies flutter in her stomach that had nothing to do with her nerves over why she’d lured him to the vault in the first place, and was currently trying to seduce him to further distraction.
She chewed her lip, hesitating briefly as she regarded him across the table. She had to admit; he was quite good-looking: more broad-chested than the college boys she was used to, with wide shoulders and nice pecs rippling beneath sun-tanned skin. She tried to swallow, finding her mouth suddenly dry.
She shook her head, annoyed with herself, as she undid a third button. Concentrate, girl, she told herself. She wasn’t here to have fun; she was supposed to be keeping Pig occupied until the men in the main room could take control of the bank. And then she was supposed to get his gun away from him. So far, her plan seemed to be working out: his eyes were riveted on her, the weapon all but forgotten. She didn’t know how long that would last.
She decided she should put more distance between him and the gun, making it harder for him to grab it quickly. But how? Her gaze fell on the string of pearls next to the weapon, and suddenly an idea struck.
She finished with the last button and smiled wickedly up at him as she slipped out of her own shirt. His eyes widened a little, firmly focused on her, as if she were all that mattered in the world. His undivided attention and open admiration, the sheer intensity of it, made her feel good. As she moved, she felt the scratchy lace of her bra brush against her nipples in a not entirely unpleasant way.
“You’re so beautiful.” It came out in a whisper that she could barely detect over the nervous pounding of blood in her ears.
She reached for the string of pearls. “I have an idea. Give me your hand.” A little puzzled, he held out his hand and she wrapped the pearls around his wrist. “Other hand.”
She could see understanding slowly dawning on Albert. He gave a choked laugh. “Oh, that’s—.”
“Kinky?” she suggested softly, twisting the strand around his other wrist.
She merely grinned. “Come.” She tugged lightly on the string, but hard enough to get her her message across, and his mouth twisted upward. Without hesitating, he followed her as she led him further into the vault. At the back wall, she made him raise his arms until she could wrap the other end of the pearls around the bars. He was taller than she was; to get him in the right position, she had to raise herself on tiptoe. Leaning in close, her breasts brushed his chest; she knew the lacy bra didn’t hide the fact that her nipples were hard.
Well, if he thought—. But it was because it was a little chilly in the vault, Ashley told herself.
But when he made a noise in the back of his throat, something warm slithered around her belly in response.
Ashley took a small step back, tracing a fingernail down his torso from the tattoo on his chest until she reached his jeans. His muscles rippled under her touch and his jeans bulged where his hard-on pressed against the zipper, but he didn’t move, apparently trusting her fully.
She felt an unexpected rush of power surge through her, a feeling so different from the helplessness of the last few days that it took her breath away. “Know what?” she murmured close to his ear, once she’d manage to draw some air again, “You’re my hostage now.”
“Ungh, yeah.” He sounded as out of breath as she felt.
She knew it wasn’t real, that it was nothing but a game: the string of pearls was anything but a dependable manacle; and he could get loose giving it a simple tug. Yet he didn’t do so.
She experimentally ran her palm over the bulge in his jeans and he bucked against her hand. “You like?”
Again, he made a noise that she assumed was assent. “Ashley….”
She slapped her open palm against his chest, the sound of flesh on flesh echoing loudly in the small vault. “That’s Miss Ashley to you.”
She had no idea where the words came from, but they seemed fitting. She felt more in charge of her life right now than she had at any time since Albert and the others had walked into the bank two days ago. The sensation was dizzying, and she took a deep breath, before lightly running her hands up his sides. He twitched beneath her touch and she giggled. “Ticklish?”
Albert grinned at her sheepishly. “A little…. Ma’am.”
And then the lights went out.
The vault was plunged in sudden darkness, the only illumination the soft green glow of an emergency exit light outside in the hallway. Ashley gasped in surprise, even though she’d been expecting it, and should’ve been ready. Albert started, and she felt him prepare to pull on the pearls. “I should—.”
“Shh.” She reached up and pressed two fingers against his lip to silence him, while reaching down with the other hand to flick open the button of his jeans and pull down the zipper. “It’s okay,” she whispered. She knew she had to keep him here while the others took control of the bank; she just hoped she’d got him distracted enough that she could keep distracting him. “It’s just the wiring, or something. It’ll be fine.”
Albert hesitated, apparently unsure what to do, until she started tugging down his jeans. At which point, he let out a soft moan of defeat, and wiggled his hips to help. A moment later, his cock jumped free, slapping up against his stomach. Ashley wrapped a hand around it, hard and hot in her palm. He jerked in her grip, and she licked her lips, only half aware that she did so. Something tightened in her lower belly, and she realized with a shock that her panties were growing damp.
That wasn’t something she’d counted on, and she wasn’t entirely sure what to do next.
Before she could make up her mind, distant shouts reached the vault: angry curses, a cry of pain, and someone screaming. It was more than Albert could take; despite being glassy-eyed with lust, the soldier in him took over, and he tore himself loose from his bonds. Pearls skittered across the floor as he leaped for his gun on the table.
Ashley was faster.
She snatched up the gun and pointed it straight at him, trying to keep her hands steady. “Get into the bank.” The crestfallen look on Albert’s face as he realized how she’d played him was almost more than she could bear. She gestured angrily with the gun. “I said, get into the bank!”
With a nod, snatching his shirt from the chair and putting himself away, he obeyed, his eyes never leaving hers as he started backing away. “Don’t do this, Ashley. They’ll kill you.”
“I swear to God….” Tears burned in her throat. And although she was the one holding the gun, she felt far more vulnerable, while they slowly inched their way back into the main room, than she had in the vault less than five minutes ago.