Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chapter 3


     “I’m not doing it.”

     They’d been arguing about it all weekend long and Derek was tired of the subject. Mark, on the other hand, was still warming up to the subject. A clear reason to keep Doms from working together on a business project. Neither would back off willingly.

     “Dammit, Derek, you don’t have to fuck her, just train her to be a submissive.”

     Easy for him to say, much harder to do, and the look Derek gave his friend was intended to end the discussion. “No.”

     They crossed the main floor and went out to the front walk to inspect the façade. The contractors had worked over the weekend to finish painting the extensive remodel and to get the landscaping done while they could. Taking advantage of a few bright sunny days in February before the weather changed was an opportunity not to be missed.

     The original entrance to the country club had been front and center, with wide steps and a ramp. That entrance was gone and in its place was an oval patio area contained behind a wrought iron fence. A concrete sidewalk ran through what was rapidly becoming a grass yard in front of the patio. The sidewalk extended into part of the existing parking lot and ended in a sloped entrance. Another load of soil was on its way to fill in the area and enlarge the grass yard.

     Mark and Derek watched the landscape crew plant shrubs around the water feature to the right of the entrance.

     “This was a good idea,” Mark said. “I wasn’t sure what you were talking about when we first discussed it.”

     “Yeah, you didn’t want to trust me, but I know what I’m doing.” Derek shut his mouth on a groan, sure of what was coming.

     “Exactly, which is why I want you to train the girl. You know what you’re doing and you’re good at it.”    

     A truck pulling a flatbed turned into the drive and both men pivoted to watch its progress. “The sign,” they both said, grinning at each other like little boys with a new toy.

     “I thought it wouldn’t be here until tomorrow?” Derek asked.

     “They called early this morning,” Mark said, still grinning. “Both the building sign and the one for the street entrance are ready to hang.”

     Derek felt the cosmos close around his throat. “And that means you need to be out here all day to supervise.”

     Mark slapped him on the shoulder. “Yep. Guess you’ll have to handle the new girl.” He turned and strode across the lot to meet the delivery truck.

     Fuck. Derek reluctantly followed, wanting to see the final design for the marquee but unwilling to give in to Mark’s plan. He hated to be manipulated.

     Gorgeous. No neon for this club, just simple lines and classic décor, except for the playrooms, of course. But the exterior remained sophisticated, right down to the marquee.  Private Delights spelled out in a flowing burgundy script and set a few inches out from the brick wall with overhead lights spotlighting it. No flashy strobe. No trashy pictures of strippers. This private club would remain a secluded haven for people with discerning tastes.

     Another car pulled into the lot and Derek watched a slim woman stand next to her car looking for a sidewalk of some kind. She was the one he’d yelled at the other day. The new hire he was being forced to train. Shit. He took a few steps in her direction and gestured for her to come to him. It helped that she didn’t look happy to see him.

     Nevertheless, when she stopped in front of him, her head tipped up and she stood her ground. “I have an appointment with Mr. Harrison.”

     “Yes, I know, but you’ll have to do with me. His schedule has changed and I’ll be taking care of you today.” He smiled when her spine visibly stiffened. “I believe there are papers for you to sign before we begin.” With a tip of his head, Derek strode toward the new entrance, wondering if she’d follow or try to catch up with him. A first test to see how she would adapt to the lifestyle.

     He stopped at the door and she was a few steps behind, ready to enter when he held open the frosted glass door.

     “Wow. This place has changed a lot since I was here last week. You’ve been busy.”

     Derek couldn’t stop a smile. He was proud of the work they’d put in. “We plan to open in two weeks. We still have a long way to go.” He led her to the grand staircase still covered with the old carpet. “Watch your step here. Some of this is still loose, but we aren’t pulling it up until the new carpet is ready to install.”

     “Are they going to make this Friday’s delivery date?” she asked.

     Derek paused. “How do you know about the delivery?”

     “When I was here last week, Mr. Harrison asked me to help him chose the carpet.” She stumbled on a rough patch of carpet and he reached out to steady her. The pink flush in her face caught him off guard and he let go as soon as she regained her balance.

     Instead of responding he nodded and hurried her along. “Can I assume you know what kind of establishment we have here?”

     She huffed. “I would assume it’s a BDSM club, simply because of the position I discussed with Mr. Harrison. Am I correct?”

     “Yes. Have you—do you have any experience with BDSM?” Better to get everything out in the open as soon as possible.


     “Care to elaborate?”

     She paused at the top step. “Have I been hired yet, or is this still the interview process?”

     “Does it matter?” he demanded, making sure he was calm, cool, and dominant.

     “Yes. Legally, I don’t have to reveal personal information during an interview.”

     “Do you have things to hide?” If she was a problem, they didn’t need her, and he made sure his tone conveyed just that.

     “No, but my sexual history is no one’s business at the moment.”

     Hmm. Strong minded and a little conventional. The makings of a good submissive. Maybe.

     Derek pulled open the door to Mark’s outer office. “Mildred will walk you through the paperwork. Give her everything she asks of you. We’ll also do a background check. Is there anything we should know before we run it?”


     “Good.” Instead of leaving her with Mildred, he walked over to one of the folding chairs lined up against the wall and sat, his eyes following her every move.

     He was making her nervous.  The shift from foot to foot was evident only in the slight sway of the cuffs of her pants. Her slim hips barely moved. And what a lovely ass she had, not too big, but definitely not flat, and it sloped from her small waist to a nice soft curve before ending at her thigh.

     He wouldn’t fuck her, but touching wouldn’t hurt. Surely Mary would forgive him that much.

     The thought of his wife sent a wave of grief through his gut, but the cut wasn’t as deep as it had been in the last two years. If Mary could speak to him, she’d be disapproving of his celibate life these days. She’d told him to move on, but he hadn’t, not really.

     The young woman had finished signing the ream of paper Mildred had prepared, so he stood and waited for her attention. Gathering her copies into the envelope the secretary provided, the young woman slipped them into her purse and rose.

     When she turned to him, he said, “Tell me your name, sub.”

     “Joanne,” she replied, head dipped just enough to hide her eyes. So the answer was yes, she did have some experience with dominance and submission.

     “Come with me.”

     Derek strode out the door and down the hall to one of the open play areas. It was nowhere near finished, but they could use the space for basic instruction. First, he needed to assess her knowledge within the BDSM lifestyle.

     Regardless, he wouldn’t go easy on her.

     He sat in the only chair in the room and looked her over, waiting to see what she would do of her own accord. Joanne’s eyes didn’t meet his, and when he didn’t offer instruction, she fidgeted a minute before going to her knees in front of his chair. It wasn’t the best submissive form he’d ever seen, but it was adequate.

     “How long has it been since you’ve been in this position?” he asked.

     “About four or five years, Master.”

     Her gaze remained focused on his knees, a good start, but he needed her trust and more information before they could get started.

     “Joanne, for now I’d prefer that you look at me while we talk.”

     Soft brown eyes looked at him, her expression hesitantly nervous. The short cut of her dark brown hair fit her gamin face and even in this untraditional situation, she appeared calm and in control of her body. No flitting around with her hands or her eyes like she was a flight risk.

     “Now that you’re properly hired, will you discuss your private experience with BDSM with me? I’d like to know where to begin your training.”

     “Yes, Sir. First, will you tell me how you prefer to be addressed?”

     “When we are in the club, you will address me as Master. Any other time, you may call me Derek.”

     “Thank you, Master.”

     “Good girl. Now, tell me about your past experience.”


Monday, March 25, 2013

Chapter 2 - Help me name this story...

Chapter 2


“How did the interview go?” Beth asked when Joanne came in the front door. “Did they say when they’d make a decision?”

Joanne dumped her purse on the wing chair near the door and flopped onto the sofa next to her roommate. “He offered me the job, but I’m not sure I want it.”

“Uh, why?”

Joanne looked around at all the things she’d acquired in the last few years. Most of the furniture was new, bought during what she now called the money-flood year and a half she’d worked for the dot-com. When the flood trickled into a mud pile, two of her co-workers moved in with her to help with the rent. They were lucky.

They hadn’t bought a house like she had. Even with a three way split, they were barely making the house note and utilities, even though all three were working long hours.

“Come on, share. I have an appointment Friday. Should I skip it?”

“The ad wasn’t exactly clear about the type of business.”

“It’s a club. Beer, wine, dancing. Sweaty people getting drunk and spending money. Better, rich people spending money.”

“Beth, it’s a BDSM club, very quiet, exclusive and pricey. A members-only kind of place.”

“Okay, it’s a kinky bar. They still pay good money for booze, don’t they?”

“I suppose, but he asked if I would consider being a paid submissive. I wasn’t worried about the bar or the wait staff positions. Those are pretty much the same anywhere. But what he suggested is different.”

“I may have a bachelor’s in English Literature, but I’ve lived a sheltered life. What the hell is a paid submissive?”

“Interesting. I asked Mr. Harrison the same question.”

“Dammit, Joanne,” Beth said, “stop beating around the bush and tell me the whole story. You’re driving me nuts.”

“In the club, there are dominants and submissives. The submissives follow orders and please their master. They can be punished for infractions or rewarded for good behavior.”

“You’ve got to be kidding. He’s opening a whorehouse?”

Joanne got to her feet, too wound up to sit still. And talking about the whole Dominant/submissive lifestyle brought out too many old memories. Pacing the length of the living room, she tried to find a good way to explain it to her friend.

“It’s not always about sex. And it’s not always a male dominant and a female slave.” She held up a hand to Beth when she gasped. “The terms are interchangeable in the scene, but no one is really a slave. Actually, the submissive can stop the action at any time and the dominant has to stop. At least, that’s the way I learned about it.”

     She turned around to see Beth staring at her. Heat suffused her face from the horrified look on her friend’s face, and now they were both embarrassed.

     “I never knew you had such an interesting life before we met,” Beth said. “I feel boring as hell right now.”

     A giggle erupted, and then another. Beth joined in and the laughter continued until the front door opened and their other roommate stood staring at them.

     At least Terri had a regular job, one she loved and paid well.  “What did I miss?”

     “Joanne got a new job. She’s going to be a paid submissive.”



Derek Lyons pushed the swinging door open with his foot and maneuvered the large pizza box through the opening. The six-pack of beer in the other hand clanked as the bottles tipped and his buddy turned at the sound. Mark grabbed the box and set it on the one open table in the room, one of those white plastic things that easily folded. They’d cleared out the warehouse store when the building had been declared habitable and they could begin the remodel. Easier and cheaper to use temporary furniture until the work was done.

“Thank God for pizza,” Mark said as they broke into the box.

“Thank God the construction is almost done,” Derek added and Mark nodded while he chewed.

Derek tore open a package of fake cheese and doctored his slice. “Foreman assures me the exterior will be finished by the end of the week. How are we doing on the inside?”

Mark swallowed a sip of beer and nodded again. “Carpet will be delivered and installed at the end of next week. Furniture will come in the following Friday, now that we have a color scheme.”

Derek laughed. “You finally picked something?”

“Yeah, I had help.” He grinned. “One of the women I interviewed today picked one for me.”

Derek raised a brow but didn’t stop chewing.

“Yeah, I know. But I liked all three, and while I can tell a Chagall from a Renoir, I couldn’t see much difference in the carpet swatches. It’s a rug. As long as it’s soft on the knees and looks luxurious, I’m okay with it.”

“Isn’t that why we paid a designer?”

“Yes. She asked me to make the final decision, so I figured they would all work.” He downed another sip of beer and chuckled. “She was pissed when I asked a stranger to choose, but the girl did fine and Miss Tankson still got paid.”

“How’s the hiring going?” Derek asked.

“It’s getting there. I have five bartenders lined up and ten or eleven waitresses so far. Mildred is doing the paperwork for background checks. And I think I found a paid submissive. She came in as a waitress application, but I think she’d be great on the floor.”

“Why? Does she have a BDSM background?”

“I don’t think so, but maybe. She didn’t open up, but said she’d think about it.”

“What makes you think she’ll call back?” Derek asked.

“She looked hungry,” Mark said. “She’s been working as a waitress, but has a degree in marketing and made a heavy salary at a now defunct dot-com. She’ll call.”

“This is your instinct at work?”

Mark shook his head. “Nope. Just good business. She needs a job and I offered her one that pays better than what she has now. She’ll call.”

They finished dinner and Mark tossed the box and bottles in the large rubber trash bin in the corner. “Let’s walk the place and call it a night. I need a hot shower and a soft bed.”

“And you call me the old man,” Derek huffed. They’d just finished the second floor walk-through when Mark’s cell rang.

He grinned when he answered. “Yes. Thank you for calling me back, Miss Reynolds. Good. Come in Monday morning at ten and we’ll discuss the terms.” Mark smiled at his buddy. “Great. See you then.”

“Don’t tell me.”

Mark laughed. “Told you I had the gift. She needs a job.”

“That’s one. How many submissives did you want to hire?”

“Probably four or five. We’ll have to see.” They crossed the corridor and went down the steps to the main floor, noting finished work and items on the checklist that hadn’t been done. Mark ran a tight ship and Derek was the best supervising contractor he knew, besides being a security systems analyst.

“I want you to train her.”

Derek stopped in his tracks. “Why me? You can do it.”

He nodded. “I could, but I’ll be the boss once the place opens. And you have better technique.”

“Bullshit. You just want me involved again.” Derek hadn’t had a submissive since his wife died three years ago. He dabbled, but he didn’t keep anyone. “I can’t train anymore.”

“Don’t tell me you can’t remember the drill. I know you. You’re the best trainer in the state.”


“Just think about it. You can meet her Monday morning and decide.”

“I’ll meet her, but I won’t commit to training her.”

“I’ll agree to that.”

Derek paused halfway across the main floor. “Why don’t you wait and train all of them at the same time?”

“I already planned to have you do that.” At his best friend’s glare, he laughed. “I’m running the business end of this club. It’s the least you can do for me. Think of it as keeping an eye on your investment.”


“Once you get this girl trained, she can help you train the rest.” Mark slapped him on the back. “She’s pretty. Tall and slim, with short brown hair and dark eyes.”

Derek’s brow lowered. “Don’t push me.” He walked ahead to the next corner but didn’t turn into the open area.

“She’s nice, and she needs a job. Can’t you help her out, and help me, too?”

“Dammit. I don’t need this harassment.”

Mark grinned as Derek walked away from him.

“She was the last woman in the door this afternoon. Maybe you saw her? Gray skirt, heels, and a nice rack, not too big, but just right for her build?”

Son of a bitch. “Did she have dirt on her skirt?”

“I think so.” Mark waited for his buddy to make the connection.

“No. Hell no.”

Monday, March 18, 2013

Help me name this story...

Chapter 1


Joanne pulled into the parking lot and found a spot well away from the building. The old country club was barely visible through the morass of workmen rebuilding the façade and while the lot seemed debris free, she didn’t want to take a chance on a flat tire. With funds dwindling, she needed a job more than a repair bill.

A few minutes early for her interview, she got out and leaned against her car. Six months ago, she’d been in and out of this place too many times to count while she organized the company Christmas party. With no idea of how quickly a start-up dot-com could go under, her boss had insisted on a high-end bash to celebrate the great year they’d had.

Two months later, they were bankrupt, and she was the only waitress at the diner with a master’s degree in marketing and bills to match the national debt. Well, everybody had bills to pay, and she couldn’t be sure about a couple of the other girls at the diner. But, for the last few months, her resume circled Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and Las Vegas. She even sent a few to San Diego, hoping she could locate Kevin and reconnect if they worked in the same town.

This was the last place she expected to be, but the new club opening after this remodel promised to pay top-shelf wages for qualified candidates, and she needed the money. Besides, she knew her way around a bar, knew how to fend of drunks and still get a good tip. She’d put herself through college doing just that. This couldn’t be any worse than some of the dives she worked on the East Coast.

She stepped over a bundle of wooden rails and made her way around to the side of the building where she’d been told to look for the temporary entrance. Halfway there, she ran into a wall of male heat with a wad of papers in his hand. One minute, she was on her feet with no one nearby, the next, she was on the ground looking up at the most impressive physique she’d ever seen.

Well, the best she’d ever seen in a shirt and jeans, but from the fit of the shirt as it hugged his body, he’d spent serious time at the gym.

“What the fuck are you doing here?”

Looks a side, he wasn’t much of a winner.

He reached down and offered her a hand. “Why are you sitting in the middle of the walkway?” he asked.

“I was walking to the entrance when I was run over,” she replied, tugging at her skirt to make sure she was still presentable.

She gave him her best screw-you look, but he didn’t notice, so Joanne stepped around him, or tried to. His hand gripped her arm just above the elbow.

“Where are you going, miss?”

The steel in his tone and in his grip stopped the sarcastic reply on the tip of her tongue. One look at his face had her mesmerized. The sharp line of his brow, dark brows furrowed above his nose, highlighted the high cheekbones and strong jaw. Power. The word flung itself into her brain and wouldn’t leave. She filled her lungs and fought for a little self-control. “I have an appointment with Mr. Harrison.”

Without letting go, he took a step back and looked her over from head to toe before meeting her gaze. A flicker of interest in his expression caught her by surprise but it disappeared almost immediately.

“The path to the front door is on the other side of the fence.”

Releasing her arm only long enough to turn around, he took her by the shoulder and escorted her to the gate she’d been aiming for before their collision. The heat of his hand penetrated clear to her chest and breathing wasn’t easy with him so near. The scent of testosterone and clean male sweat permeated the space around him and overwhelmed her. Damn, she’d been single for too long.

“Harrison is in the main hall discussing carpet with a vendor. When you come back out the door, make sure you stay on the gravel path all the way to the parking lot.”

“Yes, sir,” she said as he put her on the other side of the chain link gate and closed it between them.

His lips twitched like he was trying to hide a smile before the man turned and strode back to a makeshift table facing the building.

Joanne focused on the door and increased her pace, mentally shaking off the encounter with the contractor. She needed this job, and as hunky as the guy was, she’d never see him once the club opened. The door was propped open even though the air conditioner blew cool air from every vent in the ceiling. The waste was irritating after the irrational spending of her former boss, but she tried to let it go. She didn’t know these people, but they must have money to spare.

Squaring her shoulders, she walked right up to Mark Harrison and waited while he looked at three carpet samples. The floor underneath was covered with beige industrial carpet, well-worn and dirty. It should have been replaced long ago. Harrison looked back and forth between the two salesmen, then caught sight of her.

“Mr. Harrison, I’m Joanne Reynolds. I have an appointment at one.”

One brow went up and he did that head to toe thing the contractor did before meeting her eyes. “I had a little accident on the way in,” she said, dusting off a spot of dirt on her gray skirt. “One of the contractors knocked me down. I don’t usually come to a job interview with dirty clothes.”

“You weren’t hurt, I hope?” he asked.

“Just ruffled a little, but I’ll be fine.”

His grin was a surprise. “Good. You can tell me what you think of the samples before we go to my office.”

That was so not in the job description, but she’d handled all kinds of tasks at the failed dot-com. “Thread count?” she asked the vendors.

Mark answered. “All the same. We’re—well, I’m stuck on the color and pattern. I need a woman’s opinion.”

Joanne studied all three of the large swatches and looked around the room where they stood. Football games could be played in the place if they took down the staircase in the middle. “Is it for this space?”

“Yes,” all three answered.

“I’d go with the purple.”

“Eggplant,” the salesman interjected.

“The eggplant with the gold and green swirls. It won’t take over the room and is more elegant than the other two.”

Harrison turned to the salesmen. “Order it. I need it installed at the end of next week.”

One of them pulled out his cell and keyed in a number while the other hurried to gather their samples. Harrison didn’t spare them another glance, just turned and strode toward the bare wooden staircase. She followed, hoping he wasn’t ditching her appointment. At the top of the stairs, he turned with an apologetic look.

“My office is still being put together, so we’ll need to be a little less formal today.” He waved her to a pair of folding chairs and a small table set out in the hall. “Please sit.”

As if by magic, a door opened and a demurely dressed woman came out to hand Mr. Harrison a manila file.

“Tell me about your previous employment.”

With so many interviews under her belt in the last three months, it didn’t take her long to hit the highpoints and share her work history. It was all in the resume in his hands and she didn’t deviate.

“Interesting and diverse. Now tell me about your personal life.”

Not a typical subject during a job interview and she didn’t have a ready answer. Could he legally ask that question?

“Private Delights is an exclusive members-only BDSM club. I’m interviewing for wait staff, baristas, and paid submissives. With your education and background, you would come closer to your previous high salary as a paid submissive, if that interests you.”

Prickles of heat crawled over her skin. “What in the world is a paid submissive?”

Chapter 2 will post next Monday, March 24th.
Help me out with a title! leave a comment or email me at

Monday, March 4, 2013


It’s finally happened.

I finally confused the Amazon search engine and it has no idea what kind of ads to send me.

For years, my primary purchases from the online giant were children’s books. Now my kids are grown and they buy their own stuff.

Last December, I spent a week searching for a robe for my mom, but never found the right one. I’ve shopped for gifts for hubby. I’m bought my fair share of romance novels. And in the past year, I’ve ordered more college textbooks than I wanted, but with kids in college, I had no choice. Those books ran the gamut of subjects.

When I see an email from Amazon in my inbox, I never know what to expect.

I do know my reading habits have changed over the years, and their computer needs to go with the flow.

As a young teen, I read stuff from the school library and books I could find in the local grocery store—mainly Harlequin fare (I’m telling my age, but it was when they only had one line.) and they were fast reads.

I moved on to science fiction in high school and lingered there for years (the genre, not the school) because I found lots of romance cleverly cloaked in fantasy and sci-fi from writers like Anne McCafferey. In fact, most of her books are still on the shelf in my office.

Several years ago, in a moment of high stress, I reached for a romance, sure it would be an enjoyable read and end in a happily-ever-after, something I desperately needed that day. I haven’t strayed since then, reading all types of romance from dozens of great writers. I could list my favorites but this post would go on for miles.

Speaking of change, the biggest leap I made recently was from the ‘I must have a book in my hand’ camp to ‘I can’t live without my ereader’ camp, and in my mind, it was a huge step. I should take a moment to apologize to all those friends and authors who tried to change my mind a few years ago, when I was adamant about not giving up my paperbacks. They know who they are, and I buy their books regularly.

Have you made any changes lately?
Leave me a note and let me know.