Monday, November 25, 2013

Hunting for a little Heat


A big tiger-striped blob is stretched out on the back of the sofa in my office, her head pivoting every now and then to either look out the front window to watch for birds or to watch me. Not that I’m doing more than I usually do in my office.

Just typing.

But the temperature has dropped steadily for the last few days and she’s waiting for me to turn on the little space heater under my desk.

Just past her first year, she’s a huge cat, a definite two handed lift, and quite intelligent. When the heater is one, she wanders around my feet until she finds the perfect place to settle-far enough away to keep from getting scorched but close enough to get toasty warm.

Can’t believe I argued against keeping her last year. She was a rescue cat, taken in by a friend from hubby’s office, and we already had a big dog and a spoiled cat.

Now we can’t imagine not having her in our home.






Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter ?


Winter is finally here.

Maybe....

I had the same thought a few weeks ago, but lo and behold, the sun came back and the steam rose into the air-just like summer.

The cute weather guy hiding in my television has the best job in the world. He gets paid to make predictions that don’t have to be right. And he still gets paid. (Yes, I know he’s gone to college and has a degree, and is often correct, but still.)

The fact that I live in Texas makes this an easy discussion. We have a reputation for changeable weather. We native Texans even have a saying:

“If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a minute. It’ll change presently.”

However—

I have a theory. (Remember: I’m not a scientist, I’m a writer of fiction (the hot, steamy, make you want to hunt down your hubby for some fun, kind.)

I think the planet is shifting on its axis and the scientists in the know (and quite possibly the governments of the world) aren’t telling us.

Could be that we’re experiencing a normal occurrence that only takes place every few thousand years. (It’s possible.) But after years of doomsday movies about the death of the planet, those in the know are keeping the info hush-hush to avoid a planet-wide panic.

So, on the off chance we might be heading into a disaster, I’m going to have some fun and enjoy whatever comes along. And, of course, I’m going to keep writing my hot little stories as a diversion from what might happen down the road.

What do you think?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Full Circle


A few years ago, a writer friend was telling me about the new book she had coming out, and it sounded wonderful. When I asked her when it would be in bookstores, she told me it was an eBook and mentioned the website where I could purchase it.

My reply?

“I don’t do eBooks. There’s just something about holding a book in my hand, turning the pages, smelling that new book scent.”

And I asked her to let me know if it was ever in print.

A little over a year later, I sold my first book, Bound by Trust, to an eBook publisher.

And I went out and bought an e-reader. At the time, I wasn’t exactly tech savvy, but I read the manual and learned how to buy eBooks. I can’t tell you how many times I reached up to turn the page on the book I was reading and realized I was using an electronic device. Scary how technology creeps up on you and invades your life while you’re not looking.

I go back and forth with books and eBooks and I still have a huge collection of both.

Just the other day, I was re-reading one of JR Ward’s Blackdagger Brotherhood books. It’s an awesome series, and I was thoroughly caught up in the story. I slid my hand down the right side of the page and touched the corner to turn the page.

Nothing happened.

Tried again...still nothing.

I was about to cuss my ereader when I realized I was holding a paperback.

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Private Delights -
The muffled scream came out of nowhere and he stepped back to check his surroundings. When it repeated, he put his ear to the glass door.

Shit. It was inside. A woman spewed profanity and cried out in pain. He tried the door but it was still locked. Not sure why anyone was locked inside, he knocked on the door. If he was interrupting an early morning love call, he’d at least warn them of his presence. When he heard the female voice shout for help, he pulled his Maglite from his belt and tapped hard on the glass panel next to the lock. At the second tap, the glass cracked and fell into the building’s foyer. Nowhere near a silent entry, but he was in.
              The screams continued and he raced in that direction.

A man was wrapped around a woman, her arms pinned to her body while she kicked back at his shins. The way she moved kept the assailant from getting to the open door across the hall, even though he was taller and bulkier than she. Her eyes widened when Steve neared, fear intensifying, but he laid a finger across his lips and turned his focus to her attacker.

Years of combat training took him in a few silent steps to the man’s side. Using the handle end of the flashlight, he popped the man’s head and he went down like a rock. The woman flung her body forward, ending up on her knees.


 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chapter 15 - Explicit content. Must be 18 or older to view


Derek stared, her words ringing in his ears. She’d given herself to him wholeheartedly. As much as he’d wanted to run, as hard as he’d tried to keep his heart separate from hers, he’d failed.

Walking away from Joanne wasn’t possible.

The soft sound of her wounded cry from the bottom of the stairs had chopped through every plan, every ruse, and every denial. Mark had pushed him to stay, but he’d been resolute. Until he heard Joanne’s pain, his only thought was escape.

Now he understood. Her pain was more than he could stand. She’d crept under his skin when he wasn’t watching, making him vulnerable. He needed her. He needed her submission.

Derek unwound her hair from his hand and stepped around her side until he stood facing her, one short foot between them. He stroked one finger down her cheek before reaching for his belt. His already straining cock made it difficult to slide the zipper down and he lifted her chin to watch as he freed it.

“I won’t go easy on you. Understand?”

“Yes, Master.”

She was already wet for him, no doubt in his mind. Creaming and ready to beg for him to take her. The urge pushed him to the far edge of desire.

“You stocked this room?”

Joanne panted at his feet, a lone tear slipping from one eye. “Yes, Master.”

He reached around her and released the leather restraints. “Get rid of those clothes. I want to see your body.”

Just as she had the first time he’d dominated her, she removed every stitch of clothing and folded it into a neat pile a few feet away from her position on the floor.

“Good girl. Now, bring me a condom.”

She was on her feet and at the cabinet in one pulse of his cock. Protection in hand, she went back to her knees before him.

“Put it on me. Slow and easy. Think about what comes next.”

Her nipples beaded tighter than a knot on a kite string and her body trembled as she rolled it down the length of him. A stray thought caught him hard. Was she fearful of or anticipating sex?

“Use your safe word if you need to stop.”

“Yes, Master.”

“Do you remember your safe word, Joanne?”

She leaned back and settled into the submissive pose. “Yes, Master, I remember, but won’t use it now.”

As intentions went, she couldn’t be any clearer than that.

Derek grasped her under her arms and brought her to her feet, her body soft and pliant in his hands. A few short steps took them to the bed. Restraints dangled from the head and footboard, ready for fun and games. Sliding one arm around her waist, he used the other to push her shoulders forward. “Hands on the bed, sub. Feet apart.”

Her gasp egged him on, fueling his need to dominate. It had been a fucking long-ass time since he’d had the pleasure of a submissive under him and the need to savor every minute pounded into him at the same rhythm of his cock.  As soon as she was in position, he slipped one finger in the slit of her ass cheeks and stroked down until he encountered the dew between her lips. He pressed inside and listened for her moan.

He wasn’t disappointed.

A quick grasp of his cock and he was lined up for the first thrust. He took her to her core in one long hard drive and gloried in the extended half-cry half-moan she made as he burrowed deep. When she quieted, he pulled back until only the tip of him remained in her, then went deep again. He set a slow pace, in deep and hard followed by a prolonged extraction. The feel of her body clenching at him with each thrust and retreat lit up his brain like sugar after a long fast.

He had to know if she felt the same.

Pulling free of her, he landed a stinging blow to her ass and said, “On your back, Joanne. Face up on the bed.”

She complied with alacrity and he directed her to raise her arms. He walked to the end of the bed and reached over the metal frame to grasp her hand. Wrapping the leather cuff around one wrist, then the other, left her staring up at him with a hitch in her respirations.

Fear crept into her expression and his chest pinched. “Remember your safe word, use it if you need to. There’s no disgrace in calling a halt. I don’t want you hurt.”

Warm brown eyes met his for a moment and she nodded, giving him the go ahead to restrain her ankles at the other end of the bed. When she was spread out for his pleasure, he stood next to the bed, his tight dick still covered and ready, and surveyed the beautiful woman before him.

He positioned his body behind the headboard, out of her line of sight, and palmed both breasts. Her gasp increased the throb of his cock and slowed his movements. He needed to watch her squirm.

Lifting his hands until only fingertips touched her skin, he circled each nipple in slow spiraling arcs until he brushed over the tight peaks. She panted and he grasped the tips, then squeezed. The more he tugged the more her body twitched on the bed. But she had nowhere to go.

Moving to one side, he leaned in close and covered her breast with his mouth. The taut berry hardened even more as he licked and nibbled. She cried out, begging for more and he gave it, moving to the other side of the bed.

Her hips rose and fell in an age-old rhythm while he took care of her breast. When the tip was deep red, he lifted his head for her moan. Eyes closed, she whimpered with need.

“Joanne, you will look at me while I fuck you. Do you understand? I want you to be sure who’s inside you.”

“Yes, Master.” Her eyelids fluttered and then lifted, a warmth and need he hadn’t expected connecting them. “I’m yours to command.”  

 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Private Delights


Chapter 14 continued...

 Hard footsteps sounded on the carpeted hallway and Joanne ducked into one of the ladies rooms on that side of the building. Hiding in a stall wasn’t cool, but the only way to escape questioning.

 The main door remained shut and she relaxed enough to leave the stall and dry her tears. Once composed, she stepped out into the corridor.

Derek’s big body propped up the wall across the hall.

She stopped short, not sure what to say and wondering why he was so obviously waiting for her.

He pushed his body off the wall and turned with a sharp, “Follow.”

With that tone of voice, how could she not?

A swipe of his keycard popped the door’s lock. He held open the door to a private playroom and ushered her inside.

“Why were you hiding?”

Oh, no, he was not going to Dom her into giving him everything and sharing nothing of himself. “Why did you come to my house last night?”

His stare unnerved her. Heat crept up her chest and across her cheeks, a physical reminder of what she wanted from him.

“On your knees, Joanne.”

“No.” She stood her ground, unwilling to forget the conversation she’d overheard. If he was leaving, she wanted the words to come from him.

"When are you leaving?”

“What are you talking about?”

Liar. She wouldn’t let him lie to her. “I heard you. Your conversation with Master Mark was loud enough that it was probably heard in the back parking lot. Tell me.”

Hands on hips, she waited while he stared.

The quick snatch at her arm put her off balance and he spun her around to capture both hands behind her back. Too strong for her to resist, he controlled her wrists with one hand and reached for a nearby drawer. Something soft wrapped around her wrists and tightened until she couldn’t separate her hands.

“Let me go.”

“Do not tell me no, Joanne.” The voice in her ear was dark, lusty, and urgent. “You are mine. Don’t forget that fact. Submit to me or use your safe word.”

The word hung on the tip of her tongue but she refused to give it voice. If he left her, she’d have this moment to remember afterward. If this was all he could give her, she’d take and cherish it. She bit back a reply but writhed in his grip. She wouldn’t make it easy for him.

“Eavesdropping isn’t a good idea. You might hear things you shouldn’t.” A tug on the short length of leather between her wrists pulled her back against him. “On your knees or use your safe word.”

 With only two choices, she went to her knees.

Derek stood before her and growled deep in his throat when she met his eyes.

“I expect submission, Joanne. Don’t make me wait. I’m not in the mood to go easy on you.”

She dropped her chin and waited. The pressure of his hand on her crown soothed more than it hurt, but the tension in his body put her on edge. Something bothered him enough to want to leave and she didn’t know how to help him.

He paced around her, a touch here, a touch there, while she waited for a word or a clue as to his intentions. He stopped behind her and she drew in a rough breath. Fear of the unknown was more powerful than the fear of a man she trusted. In this moment, she feared more for Derek and what was happening in his head than what he would do to her.
 
“Will you obey, or will you use that word? Tell me.”
 
“I will obey, Master.”

“You will not run from me.”

She quivered, her heart a sharp thump in her chest at every command. The change in his demeanor had her off center and confused while she tried to figure out what he wanted from her.

“No, Master.”

“Joanne. Look at me.”

His hand swept over her shoulder and lifted her hair, wrapping his hand in the locks. ”Joanne.”

His sandpaper over velvet voice sent a shiver down her spine. Something had happened last night, but she didn’t have a clue as to what. The pressure on her scalp increased and she lifted her chin to look into his eyes. They were dark, rich with emotion and bald need.

“I’m yours, Master.”
 
His fingers dug into her scalp and she stood ready for whatever he had in mind.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Private Delights


Chapter 14

Derek walked into Mark’s office with a plan, one quickly postponed when he found Steve already seated.

“What’s going on this early?” he asked.

“Hey, buddy. Long time no see,” Steve said.

Derek sat in the other chair and waited for Mark to bring him up to speed, wishing he’d thought to bring a mug of coffee. Sure, he’d had most of a pot at home this morning, but he needed something to do with his hands.

“Steve found some information about a member I’ve already approved. We might have a problem.”

“What kind of problem?” Derek asked.

“History of violence.”

Mark raised a hand. “Possible history of violence. No charges, but more than one incident.”

“Won’t happen here.” Derek got up and went to the fridge for a bottle of water. He needed something in his hand, anything.

“True. We’ll keep a close watch, and I’ll be sure to have a heart-to-heart with him before the club opens.”

“Anything else?” Derek asked.

“Matter of fact, yes. Steve’s fucking Simon Lindsay’s baby sister.”

Derek laughed. He’d known the Lindsay family for years and had worked for the old man long before he joined the army and met Steve. “How in the hell did you manage that?”

“Here’s the kicker,” Mark said. “She doesn’t know about the club, or our friend, here’s proclivities.”

“Vanilla? Really?” Derek asked.

At least Steve had the ability to laugh at himself for a minute.  “Yes, well. I plan to convert her to my wicked ways. Give me a little time and she’ll be squirming under the whip.”

“I look forward to watching,” Derek said, wondering how long he’d have to wait for a private conversation with Mark.

“Well,” Steve said, standing and cracking his back, “I have a job to do, so I’ll be back here later this afternoon.”

Finally. Derek slapped him on the back. “Office still quiet?”

“Nothing Ella and I can’t handle for a few more days.”

When the door shut behind Steve, Derek turned to Mark. “Got a minute?”

“Sure,” he said. “Follow me out.”

 The lights were on and music piped through the building in soothing waves as Joanne made her way through the main hall and into the staff locker room. The final installation of lockers beckoned, providing a safe place to store her belongings while she worked.  The club was almost complete and every day more and more employees joined the ranks.

Today had been set aside to train wait staff and she and Derek would work together, teaching the new staff the etiquette of the club and its patrons, the attention to detail expected from the staff, and the basics of dominance and submission.

Working with Derek was a major perk for her. She’d come to appreciate the man and his intensity. His strong attitude and the way he controlled her with only is voice made her anticipate seeing him every day. He hadn’t replied to her message last night and she had no idea why he’d been outside her home. At some point, she planned to talk to him about it but, doubted he’d have much to say.

He was like a big teddy bear with a broken paw, and the need to repair him tugged at her heart. When she left the employee lounge, she knew he was in the building. Master Mark was in the second floor hall, his voice resonating in the mostly empty space, and from his tone, he and Master Derek were arguing.

“No. I need you here for the next month. Forget it.”

Derek’s voice punched back. “I’m a partner here, not an employee. I can come and go as I please.”

“You have an obligation to complete the tasks you agreed to when we came up with the plan. Don’t bail on Steve and me when we’re so close to the end of the job.”

Joanne stood fixed beside the banister. Derek wanted to leave. A cave formed in her chest at the idea of not seeing him every day. Moisture matted her lashes and she turned away, her feet moving without direction until she found herself leaning against a wall in the dark recesses of the lower floor.

Maybe he’d come by to say goodbye last night.

Would he turn her training over to Master Mark and never look back? She was nothing more than an employee and a plaything. It was the nature of the business and she should know better than to let emotions get in the way.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chapter 13


Chapter 13

   

Derek rolled over, sleep evading him in the darkened room. Her message pushed him to change his mind, change the way he thought his life should run, and change the way he responded to her easy sensuality. But then the urge to run, to leave town until the club was complete, filled his head.

He never should’ve taken on her training. Mark was an ass and had no right to force the issue. Derek balled up the pillow and crammed it behind his head, propped up in the dark bedroom while he put off sleep.

What the hell had happened to his backbone when Mark insisted he train her? Snapping back and standing his ground would’ve been the best option. Now he was stuck.

Or was he?

Most of the work left to do at the club was minor. In the morning, he’d tell Mark he had an offer to assist in a club in Vegas and bail for a few weeks. Mark would finish Joanne’s training and when the club opened, she’d be ready and he could watch from the sidelines. Just like he had for the last few years.

He rolled over in bed and relaxed, his body sprawling in the cool sheets. The shadows moved in the hall, floorboards squeaking, night noises settling in for the duration. A breeze floated across his chest, warm, delicate, like the whisper of early spring in Galveston when the water heated and the sand began to bake. His body baked, too, ached with need, and unfulfilled desire.

Slipping into the room, her soft footsteps brought her to him.

Her hair was up, piled on her head, exposing the delicate column of her throat. Long bare legs were showcased by her standing submissive posture, her hips barely covered by the oversized shirt she wore.

His shirt, he realized. He must have left it in the club and she’d taken it home. Was she feeling the urges he had, the pull of attraction?

Did she want him as deeply as he craved her?

Her hands moved up her body, cupping what he knew to be full, rounded breasts, and his mouth watered with the need to taste, to suckle, and to nip until she cried out. He wanted her begging for more.

She shouldn’t be here chipping away at his reservations, his need to control his body and preserve his memories.  When her hands lifted to her hair and removed the combs, all the air in his chest left in a rush. Russet locks tumbled free and he was on his feet, ready for whatever she offered.

She moved to within inches of his chest and he reached for her hair, wrapping it around his fist and tugging her closer. The feel of her body against his fueled his need to possess.

“Remove the shirt.”

Her fingers went immediately to the buttons and in moments the shirt was a pool of gray on the floor. He cupped her breast, the feel of her nipple pressing against his palm a heady reminder of her submission at the club.

“Why are you here, Joanne?”

He had to hear the words, wanted her submission and her heart.

“I’m here for you, Master.”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Private Delights


Chapter 12

 It was early evening before Derek completed the paperwork for Joanne’s project. When she came in the next morning, he’d have contractors waiting to talk to her about materials and schedules. Budget in hand, he pushed through Mark’s waiting room and into his office.

“Thanks for ratting me out,” he told Mark, tossing the single sheet of paper onto the desk.

Mark didn’t skip a beat. “Joanne thought she was about to get fired and wasn’t sure what went wrong.”

“Ah, shit. Didn’t know I scared her that bad.”

 “I don’t know what happened. One minute we were laughing and talking, the next, Mary was asking for our order.”

“What?” Mark asked, leaning over his desk. “That’s not possible, we both know that. Tell me you know she’s gone, man.”

“I know,” Derek sighed. “Maureen has a new waitress, and when she walked up to the table, I saw…I thought I saw Mary.”

A few long minutes of silence rubbed at his ears before he heard Mark’s office chair squeak. Derek looked up to see a strange expression. Worse than concern or sympathy. Worry.

“Buddy, I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need to see someone.”

“I don’t need a damn shrink. It’s just grief. I’ll get over it.”

“It’s been three years. I watched you go through the process, but I haven’t seen you move on. Mary would—”

“Don’t tell me what she would want. I don’t need to hear it.”

Mark surged to his feet. “Dammit, man, you need to listen. It’s way past time for you to get back to the business of living. While you limp through a half-life, you’re leaving the people who care about you in a bloody wake.”

“You and Steve can handle it.”

“Sure,” Mark said, easing back into his chair. “but what about Joanne?”

“Fuck. I screwed up.” Derek dropped into one of the chairs in front of Mark’s desk and leaned back to stare at the ceiling. “I didn’t mean to hurt her.”

“Not completely done. It’s salvageable. She’s still speaking to you?”

“Hmm, yeah, she is.” He closed his eyes, knowing his buddy would get a kick out of the next little bit. Humility wasn’t Derek’s strong suit. “I apologized.”

“Good for you. How’d she take it?”

“She’s a decent woman. She accepted it and changed the subject.”

“Damn,” Mark laughed, “I could fall in love with her myself.”

“Don’t. She’s too good for you.”

“Helluva comment from the man who just screwed with her head,” Mark replied.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Private Delights

Chapter 11

Desperately in need of a few quiet minutes to put herself together, Joanne perched on the ugly orange chair that had missed the first furniture purge and wiped the tears from her lashes.

What had she done? Her submission in the bar had pleased him and he’d been clear in his praise. The conversation in the car had been pleasant and friendly. Hell, Derek was almost flirty. Then, with no warning, he’d become cold and distant. She riffled through the interlude to find a reason for the change but couldn’t.

Finally giving up the search, she repaired her face as best she could and went to find Mark. Wrong move, all the way.

“What happened?” He didn’t wait for an answer, just walked right up close and touched her cheek.

“It’s nothing. Just a misunderstanding.” The idea of discussing one boss with another was anathema, guaranteed to make her job disappear in a heartbeat. She’d never been there, but had seen it happen too many times to count.

But Master Mark was a pit bull.

He didn’t back away, and he didn’t take her answer at face value.

“What did he do?”

“Nothing. I misunderstood, that’s all. It’s fine.” She turned to the long table in his office with an eye to tidying the stacks of paper but he caught her arm with a warm palm around her wrist.

“Don’t walk away from this, Joanne. Tell me what happened. Better yet, let me tell you what I think happened.”

Oh, hell. What had she gotten involved in this time? And how could he know what happened at lunch, unless Derek had already told him. She turned accusing eyes at him, but he shook his head, sympathy pooling in those dark brown depths.

“I haven’t seen or heard from Derek, but I can guess what happened. He was flirting, teasing and friendly, dominating you to the edge of sensuality, and suddenly went cold. Am I close?”

Her free hand floated behind her hip to find the chair she knew was close by and when Mark let go of her arm, she sank into it.

“How did you know?” she asked, her words a thin whisper.

Mark perched on the chair across from her, his elbows braced on his knees and his hands hanging between his calves. “It’s not the first time, but it’s been a while.”

“Whether or not you get involved with Derek, your job is secure. We have high expectations for job performance in the mainstream fashion—theft, violence, and the like aren’t tolerated. Having a mutually satisfying relationship with someone you meet here will not be reflected on your yearly evaluation. Understand?”

A deep exhale lightened her heart. “Yes, Master Mark. Thank you.”

He nodded. “Good. Now, we still have a shitload of things to take care of before we open in two weeks.”

“Umm, can I ask a question?”

“Of course. Shoot.”

“Are you planning to upgrade the restrooms? I was in the ladies downstairs and it’s clean but on the far side of ugly.”

“How ugly?” His brow furrowed as he picked up a yellow notepad and a pen. “Show me. I never gave a thought to the public restrooms, since all the private rooms have a full bath. Damn.”

They started on the second floor and once inside the ladies room, Mark agreed to refurbish. “Even to my eye, it’s bad. You know what women expect in a high—end salon. Talk to Derek and have him set you up with his general contractor today. We need new tile, mirrors, chairs.”

He made a few notes and said, “You’re in charge of the bathrooms. Get a bid from the contractor for all of them and run it by me, since I keep the money. Let’s take a look at the men’s before we get carried away.”

Half an hour later, Joanne found herself back in the bar, sitting on a barstool while Derek finished his last interview. He’d acknowledged her with a nod when she arrived, polite and polished as always. When the applicant left, Derek rose and walked to the long bar and stood next to her.

“I owe you an apology, Joanne.”

She ducked her head. “I talked to Master Mark.”

Humor licked at his words when he said, “Turn me in with the boss?”

“No. He asked...he noticed that I was upset and before I could explain, he told me what had happened.”

“Great.”

His tone belied his comment, dark with a hint of pain, and her heart squeezed. “He helped me understand that it wasn’t my fault.” Dammit. Not the right words at all.

“It was never my intention to blame you.”

“I know. Can we change the subject? Master Mark asked me to take care of the refurbishing of the public restrooms and he told me to ask you for an introduction to the main contractor so I can get a bid.”

Derek tipped his head back and laughed. “Perfect, sweetheart. I’m the managing contractor. Show me what you want to get done.”

 

 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Chapter 10 Warning: Adult content


Chapter 10
Joanne clamped her lips tight and attempted to relax, but the sting in her nipples continued long after his hands went on to other endeavors.
This job would ruin her for any other sexual encounter. Just the thought of vanilla sex was abhorrent right now, the pulse of her arousal filling her head with a persistent drumbeat of need.
Beside her, Derek’s cowboy boot sat mere inches from her, and if she cut her eyes just right, she could see his jean encased hip and watch his thigh flex while he spoke to the applicant. She blinked a couple of times and refocused on the wall several feet in front of her. Aside from the table he used for the interviews, Master Derek had placed her in plain sight and she could only wonder what the potential employees might be thinking.
The rumble of Master Derek’s voice keyed her into what was happening beside her, pulling her out of her musings and into the reality of her place in the room. Chair legs scraped and footsteps moved away. Master’s hand stroked her head and crooned his pleasure while different footsteps approached.
They were quicker, or maybe the length of the step was shorter. A woman? The sensual overload played havoc on her perceptions of the area around her. And if it was a woman approaching, what would she feel about Joanne’s place in the room?
Derek’s voice interrupted her thoughts.  
“Private Delights is a private BDSM club,” he told the woman. “The bar will be open to the public, but wait staff may be asked to serve in the main club. This is an example of what you might witness on the main floor. Is this something you can handle on a daily basis?”
“That depends,” a female voice said. “Is this a choice or is this woman being coerced in some way?”
“Joanne, will you answer her question?”
“Yes, Master Derek.” A cleansing helped her focus on an answer. “I choose to be submissive, and my Dom provides for my needs. I have the right to deny him but choose to obey.”
“This is your decision, not his?”
She didn’t sound convinced and Joanne didn’t blame her. The lifestyle was a long leap from a traditional relationship. “My choice. Not one everyone might want to try, but it works for me. And for many others.”
The woman took an audible deep breath and let it out slowly. “Okay, as long as it’s consensual, I’m fine with it.”
He conducted two more interviews before calling a break, instructing the applicant to close the door on his way out. Joanne hopped it meant she’d be allowed to stand up. Her knees ached from the wood flooring and her back was stiff.
The door clicked shut and rough hands grasped her under her arms and pulled her upright, then onto Derek’s lap. Fingers dug into the tense muscles below her shoulder blades and she moaned in pleasure.
“I’m proud of you Joanne. You handled that woman’s question perfectly.”
“Thank you, Master Derek.”
His thumbs loosened the muscles and moved lower. “Stand for me.”
She eased to her feet and stretched then shivered when his hands settled at her waist and those hard thumbs massaged the small of her back. Just when she thought it couldn’t get any better, he stopped and leaned to the side. Straightening, he set her bra and blouse on the table.
“Turn around.”
Her perception of nakedness turned on a dime, much like her body did. Bare from the waist up and in the submissive pose was one thing, facing him with her tits in his face was another. Her face warmed and she attempted to keep her respirations shallow, but knowing he saw every inch of her chest as it rose and fell disarmed her more than being completely naked in the playroom with him.
He held out her bra. “Arms.”
Her heart pounded in her chest but she put her hands through the straps and fought to stay still while he settled the cups against her breasts. This wasn’t sex, this was intimacy, and she had no frame of reference for this man’s version of intimate behavior.
“Turn.”
He drew the clasps together and asked, “Too tight?”
“No, Master.”
“Turn, and breathe, Joanne. I won’t bite.”
Oh, God, she didn’t need that visual, since her body was already half way to completion.
She faced him again and he slid her blouse over her head and helped with the sleeves.
“Now, since you’ve been a good sub, I’m going to feed you. We have time to get some lunch. Follow.”
Did she have a choice? Not a chance.
The voice and the attitude pulled her into his wake and kept her feet moving in his direction. Besides, the view from the back was almost as lip-smacking good as his captivating face. He put her into the passenger seat of his car and they left the lot. For all she knew, they could be on the way to Mexico, but she knew better than to ask. Instead, she sat silent and waited for the next instruction.
“Do you have a preference for lunch?” he asked.
“Not really.”
“Joanne. This isn’t a test. If you don’t want to have lunch with me, say so and I’ll take you back to the club.”
Turning to face him, she caught the glimmer in his eyes and she wasn’t sure what it meant. “I’m not sure what my place is here.”
He grinned, a smatter of a laugh escaping before he spoke. “Nothing earthshattering, just a friendly lunch with a little dominance thrown in, that’s all. Now, what do you like to eat? Or better yet, what won’t you eat?”
“Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find something I won’t eat.”
“Good. I can push your boundaries while we eat and we can talk about your duties at Private Delights once we open.”
“May I ask a question?”
Derek nodded. “Of course.”
“Will I be required to be naked when the club opens?”

 


 

 

 

 

 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Private Delights, continued...


Chapter 9

 

The weight of his palm as it settled on Joanne’s hair created a warm wave, and it worked its way down to her toes and back up her thighs to settle low in her belly. How had she not known what a true dominant could do to her body with such a simple touch? Certainly not something she’d gotten from what’s-his-name all those years ago.

His fingers dug into her hair, nails scraping against her scalp and sending tingles of pleasure along neglected nerve endings. The pulse in her chest intensified to a tribal drum beat.

“You’ve worked hard today. I appreciate your eagerness to take on responsibilities unfamiliar to you. Master Derek will be proud of you.”

“Thank you, Master Mark.”

“I am proud of her progress.”

Joanne drew air in through her nose and tried to keep her spine straight while Derek greeted Mark. His voice shouldn’t move her, but it did and she couldn’t change her body’s response. Master Mark was merely a warm up for Derek’s intensity.

Then he touched her, his finger trailing across her shoulders, left to right and back again, a gentle caress meant to sooth but instead, it caused her pulse to jump.

“Has Mark taken good care of you, Joanne?”

A simple question, but Derek’s tone made it seem as if they’d been humping their way to nirvana. Was he jealous? Did she want him to be? Dammit. This place, these men, were driving her crazy in ways she’d never imagined.

What else could she say except, “Yes, Master Derek.”

Warm breath floated across her cheek along with the distinctive scent of Derek. “Maybe you should offer him a kiss.”

Her hands quivered where they lay across her thighs. A kiss in this club could mean many things and she had no point of reference for what Master Derek suggested. If anything, she’d rather kiss Derek, but he hadn’t offered.

“Yes, Master Derek.”

A hand appeared in her sight line. Derek’s. She placed her hand in his and let him help her to her feet while Master Mark waited for his kiss. She’d never heard of a boss needing a kiss for giving an employee a task to perform, but she’d never worked in a BDSM club. Who knew?

He’d lowered his backside to a sawhorse left by the contractors, a concession to her height, and she was glad she wouldn’t be expected to climb his body for this kiss. Eyes down, she moved into place between his open thighs.

“Joanne. Look at me.”

Damn that masterful voice. She lifted her chin until she could see all of him from his clavicle to his messy brown hair. The hint of a flirty smile made her relax a bit but the slumberous Dom-at-work eyes negated the feeling.  Master Mark was all about power and lust, and he had both assets in spades. Any woman tangling with him would be squashed into submission in a heartbeat.

Nevertheless, she offered him her mouth.

He met her halfway, a soft brush of mouth to mouth, the slide of his tongue across her open lower lip, and then the pressure of his full mouth on hers, invading and investigating until he’d finished.

“Joanne, go and wait for the next delivery truck.”

Unsure as to who gave the order, she turned on weak knees and left the empty restaurant, pleading with her legs to keep her upright and moving until she was out of sight of the two men.
 
Wow. At this rate she’d need a cold shower every night after work.

 
Derek kept his eyes on her until she’d reached the end of the rear hall and turned toward the front entrance, sure she’d fall before she made it. Once sure she couldn’t overhear their conversation, he asked, “Do you really want her?”

To his credit, Mark didn’t even consider the question. “No. You know I don’t do commitment, and Joanne is one of those women who craves a happily ever after. I prefer the happy for the night version.”

Relief trickled and seeped under his scalp, and irritation he didn’t need. “Then don’t mess with her.”

Fucking hell. Where did that come from?

“You want her for yourself. Fine. Take her. I won’t interfere unless you want to share.” Mark’s easy expression gave nothing away, making him an excellent poker player and a master manipulator with the women. His sense of fairness was his only redeemer when it came to his sex life. He never seduced a woman unwilling to take him on his own terms.

Even with the little he knew about Joanne, he knew she wasn’t a play-toy for Mark. “I don’t want her. I just don’t want to see her hurt.”

Mark made rudimentary sounds of agreement but one dark brow rose in question. Best to ignore the issue, Derek said, “Are we on schedule with the opening?”

Mark’s smirk made it clear he hadn’t been fooled. “Pretty much. I have interviews set up all day today and tomorrow. Care to split the list with me?”

"Sure. What am I looking at?” Derek asked.

“Why don’t you take the bar staff? Since Joanne has some experience in that area, she can help and you can continue her training.”

“Thanks, buddy. I thought she was handling deliveries all day.”

“Nope. She’s all for you, my friend. Enjoy the gift.”

Mark strode down the rear hall as Joanne led the delivery men in through the front of the building. Her hesitation as she came into the dining room made him feel like a jackass. He stepped aside while she spoke to the crew then stepped behind her before she could leave.

“Joanne. Follow me.”

Satisfaction stirred when her chin lowered and she fell in step without comment. Derek stayed to one side of the wide hall. They moved against the traffic of the workmen, but he wanted to be in the bar area before the applicants arrived for their interviews. He had a schedule in mind for her training and he didn’t want to deviate too often.

He fact that he wanted a few minutes alone with Joanne had nothing to do with his feelings. She needed training and he’d agreed to school her on submission. Today they would play in the guise of training.

Knowing she followed without question didn’t make it any more or less a job. Just as thinking about her outside of the club didn’t mean he had feelings for her. She was a trainee, nothing more, and he wanted to be sure her training progressed to the point she’d be well-prepared when the club opened.

The bar had been installed during the reconstruction, a long, curved wooden expanse that curved from one side of the room to the other. Half the room was designated as dance floor, the other half providing tables and chairs for drinking and socializing. Unlike the rest of the club, the floors in this area were hardwood, stained in a rich brown, and sealed to keep them durable. A few tables, those sent as samples before Mark chose the d├ęcor, peppered the floor.

Derek pulled a chair over to one of the tables and set it to face the door. To Joanne, he said, “Arrange a few of these chairs outside the door and return to me.”

Her easy compliance encouraged him to push harder.

When she returned from the hall, she carried a manila folder. “Mildred asked me to give this to you, Master Derek.”

He sat at the table and opened the folder, glancing at the list while he made her wait. After a moment or four, he lifted his hand palm down and extended it to his side. Joanne paused and he could feel her anxiety in the air around them before she went to her knees on the wooden floor.

“Good girl. Face the wall behind  me, with your back to the main entrance.”

She adjusted her body and settled into the submissive form. A check of his watch and the schedule Mildred provided gave him ten minutes to play.

“Remove your blouse.”

Drawing a settling breath, Derek watched from the corner of his eye as her fingers dove to the hem of her top and pulled it over her head. Folding it neatly and placing it in front of her knees, she reached for the clasp of her bra and added it to the shirt.

“You honor me with your compliance, Joanne.” He pushed his chair back enough to enhance his view. “You’re a beautiful woman.” One finger traced her collarbone from the left side of her body to the right, then slid lower to circle her breast, beginning at the outside swell and swirling inward until he fingered the tight bud.

Eyes properly down and breath moving a bit faster than normal, she maintained her pose. Impressive.

He repeated the tracery with the left breast, and when he reached the apex, he palmed both mounds, rubbing and pinching the nipples until spikes formed.

     “Beautiful, Joanne. Just beautiful.” Derek shifted his chair back to the table and quietly told her, “The first applicant has arrived. Stay as you are until I release you.”

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Private Delights, continued...


Chapter 8

 

Joanne unlocked her front door and eased into the living room as quietly as she could. Terri’s door was closed, but she didn’t want to inadvertently wake her best friend at midnight. She sank into the soft cushion of chair closest to the door and put her purse on the floor.

The ankle boots she wore for work pinched after a long shift, but at least she only had two more days at the bar. The manager was irritated, primarily because she was the only regular waitress who showed up on time, but Tim couldn’t blame her for wanting more money.

And the gig at the club would be a definite raise.

Feet finally bare, she stretched her toes and wiggled them in the thick carpet. Her head dropped to the back of the chair while the tension left her shoulders, and her thoughts drifted to the man from the new club.

Derek Lyons.

Master.

Not a man to fall in love with.

She barely knew him, just a name and persona and a wicked sensuality a woman needed at least once in her life.

But he wasn’t for her.

Getting her own life in order was her priority, and Master Derek had his own demons to tame. No idea what they were, but Joanne knew they were there, somewhere inside that strong, hard body. His eyes shone with a sense of pain she’d recognized from her own past, but she knew from her own experience that it would only heal when the time was right.

Not her job, anyway. She was an employee, a staff submissive in a bondage club, not a counselor.

Gathering her things, she double checked the front door’s lock and went to her room. Ordinarily, she’d shower and read or watch a little television before sleeping until noon, but she wanted to work at Private Delights for at least half a day before she went back to the bar at three. Her budget would thank her later for the double shifts and exhaustion would mean sleeping hard every night. The end result? No late night dreams about her teacher.

Setting the alarm for seven, she stripped and fell into bed, letting the cool sheets do their job.

Her eyes popped open at six fifteen and she’d showered and dressed before the alarm went off.

"Hello, stranger,” Terri said from the kitchen. “Coffee?”

“Yes, please.” Joanne slipped a bagel into the toaster and put her coffee cup on the oval dining table while she waited, cream cheese in hand.

“You’re up early.”

"I’m working at the new club this morning, then at the bar from three to eleven.”

“Ouch,” Terri said. “Whose idea was that?”

Joanne doctored her bagel and sat next to her friend. “Mine. I need the money and I’m in training at the club, so I might as well make the most of it.”

Terri chewed fast, her eyes wide, and Joanne gave serious thought to leaving before her roommate could empty her mouth.

“Training? Do tell, and don’t leave anything out.”

Sure, like that was going to happen. “One of the owners is teaching me about BDSM and how to be a proper submissive. I’m also learning about the workings of the club, the staffing, and helping with anything else that needs to be done.”

“Will you be the only paid submissive?”

“No, of course not. Well, actually, I don’t know. Mr. Harrison is still interviewing, and he’s hiring staff for several positions. Why? Want a new job?”

Terri took another bite and shook her head. “Not there,” she finally said.

Joanne laughed. “Chicken.”

“Yes, ma’am. I prefer to work with my clothes on.”

“It’s not a nudie bar. I’ll be dressed, most of the time.”

Terri laughed. “It’s the rest of the time that has me worried. Now, I’ve got to get on the road.”

Twenty minutes later, Joanne pulled into the parking lot of Private Delights, a rather large delivery truck turning in behind her. There weren’t many cars in the lot but the front doors were unlocked so she went straight in.

The new carpet made an amazing difference in the space, the green and gold scattered swirls in the dark purple mat visually doubled the large room. While the carpet looked great, the room itself was cavernous, empty and silent.

Upstairs, the main office door was open but Mildred wasn’t at her desk. Joanne knocked at Mark’s door and waited to be invited in. silent minutes passed before he pulled the door open. “Joanne?”

“Good morning, Mr. Harrison. I thought you should know, there’s a large delivery truck in the front drive.”

A devil-may-care smile lit up his face. “Every day’s like Christmas around here. Let’s go see what it is.”

He led the way, talking as they went. “Are you here full time now?”

“No. I have two more shifts at my other job, but I wanted to pitch in as much as I could here.”

“Please tell me you have some knowledge of interior design,” he said as they hit the bottom step. Two moving men were waiting for direction, a long sofa held between them and another pair of men right behind them.

“Oh, my. How much furniture did you order?” she asked.

“Quite a bit,” he told her, and then turned to the men. “Gentlemen, this is my assistant. If you’ll wait just a minute, she’d tell you where to place the furniture.”

His eyes sought hers. “Follow.”

Well, hell. Another man who could change his voice from sweet and friendly to deep and dominant in the blink of an eye. Her life would never be the same.

“Mr. Harrison, I don’t know much about interior design,” she said when she caught up with him.

His quick turn surprised her, even more so when he touched her chin and raised her head to meet his expression. Cool, controlled, and collected. “You can do this, Joanne. My plan for this area is open seating arrangements, a place for members to socialize. Think hotel lobbies. Scatter the sofas, tables, and chairs in a way that will make people congregate in small groups to discuss their day or plan their playtime here at the club. You’re in charge.”

“But, Mr. Harrison—”

“When you’re here, I’m Master Mark. Don’t worry, Joanne, it’s just furniture, and easily moved around until we figure it out. Just do your best.”

He left her standing in the middle of the cavernous main room and she looked back at the sofas waiting for her decision. Holding up one finger to the first delivery man, she walked the length of the room and measured the space in her head.

She could do this.

It wasn’t that different from arranging office space.

She waved the first man toward her and directed the pair’s movement until the sofa sat at an angle to one side of the room but still facing the main entrance. The second sofa’s placement mirrored the first, a dark green instead of the gold of the first one. She left room for accent tables, hoping they’d been ordered.

A steady stream of furniture came through the room and when she was almost out of space, Master Mark reappeared.

“Well done, Joanne.” His hand brushed from her crown to her nape. “There should be another delivery soon, restaurant tables and chairs. Have you seen the layout of the first floor?”

“No, Master Mark. I haven’t been much farther than this room and your office.” With her head tipped down, she could barely see the smile he flashed her.

“Derek’s teaching you the basics?” he asked.

“Yes, Master Mark.”

“Walk with me and I’ll show you the layout. And don’t be afraid to watch where you’re walking. While I appreciate your submissive eyes, I’d hate for you to break a leg before the club opens.”

A laugh bubbled up and she lifted her head enough to see the bottom half of his face. “Thank you, Master Mark.”

 They strode down the hall at a brisk pace and she was glad he’d given her permission to watch where they were going. The building was large and spread out, with evidence of recent construction in many areas. Master Mark stopped at a new wooden door.

“This is an access to the north side of the building where the public bar will be. It connects via a short hall and the door on the other side can only be opened with a keycard. All employees will have one, as will members.”

She nodded and gave him the requisite reply and they moved farther down the main hall while he talked about the bar and when the equipment would arrive. “We’re also looking for staff in that area, and if you know anyone trustworthy and hardworking, let me know. Or better yet, have them apply and mention your name.”

He stopped when they reached an intersection in the hallway. “Lost yet?”

“No, Master Mark,” she said with a smile. He might be a little different in lifestyle, but he appeared to be a decent sort of man and she found herself liking him a little more with every interaction.

Good. This hall runs down the backside of the building. There are rooms that open on both sides of the hall and it intersects the main room where you were arranging furniture.”

 “Thank you for the tour, Master Mark.”

 “If you look to the right, you can see the elevators. I believe Derek took you upstairs?”

 Her face warmed but she tried to keep her tone smooth and calm. “Yes, Master.”

He crossed to a set of double doors propped wide open and she followed. “The vendor delivering the seating for this area will take care of installing all the booths and setting up the tables and chairs. All you need to do is direct them to this room when they arrive.”

 She answered in the affirmative again and looked around the large space. The carpet she’d chosen looked lovely with the dark wood baseboards and crown molding. The back wall was half glass, the windows looking out on the former golf course, and she wondered what the man next to her had planned for that area. Something kinky, most likely.

 “Show me what you’ve learned from Derek.”

 It wasn’t a request. The voice was dark again. Commanding. Joanne went to her knees in silence and assumed the position of a submissive and awaited his instructions.