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Monster. You’ll always be a monster.
If there is anything Kaela Bryson hates, it’s an arrogant man, one who enjoys flaunting his wealth while others suffer. Her boss will always be such a man. Broden MacGruder is powerful, opinionated, and unfortunately one of the sexiest men she will ever lay eyes on. His Scottish accent alone is enough to drive her wild, but she wants nothing more than to take him down a notch or two.
When an invitation arrives for a very swanky costume party at his secluded mansion, she knows exactly what she is going to do—seduce him. No woman ever has. To her credit, the nefarious plan works.
Broden desires the sexy woman; he has ever since he arrived in the States to take over the firm.After sharing a night of passion, he longs for more, but knows she is only playing a game. Seduction is his forte and he’s never lost in business. Or love. Taking matters into his own hands, he issues a series of demands or he will share their night of passion with others, thereby requiring her resignation. His request? She is to become his complete submissive for a solid week. With no other choice, Kaela reluctantly agrees. What neither expects is the intensity of their passion or the secrets that surface, threatening to destroy them both. Will his demands be their ultimate demise?
Publisher’s Note: This story contains explicitly described scenes of power exchange between a dominant man and submissive woman.
“Broden MacGruder is a fucking son of a bitch!” Kaela Bryson exclaimed, fighting off the need to give him her middle finger. Watching the overtly opinionated and yet ultra-sexy man walk toward his office, his carved ass wearing the way-too tight pair of black linen pants like a sensuous glove, she exhaled slowly. There was something about his roguish good looks and thick dark hair, deliciously greying at the temples, that could make a girl pant like a wild woman. Even worse? His dazzling green eyes and a nearly perfect chest leading into a slender waist were utterly perfect. Dear God, she was hot, wet and longing for something she could never have. Was she moaning like a maniac in heat?
“Girl! I can’t believe you just said that out loud in front of all the little women in the admin clan and about your boss. You know, the one who signs your paycheck?”
Hearing her best friend’s admonishing voice, Kaela shook her head and glared in Angel’s direction. “Do you really think the group of chunky monkeys are even listening to anything I have to say when stud muffin is around?” The staff meeting was a direct order to work harder—directed at her alone.
“Maybe, but I have no doubt in my mind that Mr. MacGruder heard you call him a jerk-off,” Angel said between clenched teeth.
“So what if he did? He deserves to hear that he treats people badly. Where does he get off changing my entire work schedule? Where?” Kaela had never been so frustrated in her life. He knew he was good looking and that every woman in the office would do anything and everything he wanted. She was different. She was independent. Oh, who was she kidding? She acted like a blubbering idiot in front of him. Except today. Today she’d been amazing.
“What has gotten into you today?”
“Nothing. I’m just telling it like it is,” Kaela huffed and brushed her hand, her shaking-like-a-wet-noodle hand, through her hair. Why was she so tense and full of rage today? She rolled her eyes; she knew why. The solid ten pounds of work Mr. MacGruder had thrown on her desk, claiming he couldn’t do his job without her, was exactly what she’d expected. He’d sucked up to her right after lunch, smiling and showing off his dimples. Yeah, well, she was going to have to work every night in order to finish the highly sensitive brief by the date he’d requested. There went her time alone, devouring a romance novel and a bottle or two of wine. Clients, like Ms. Bryson, pay our bills. Uh-huh. What about life and love and passion and well, down time? “He’s a jerk off in an expensive suit.”
Angel shook her head as she snaked her arm around Kaela’s, yanking her into the hallway. “Aren’t you trying to make vice-president? Don’t you need this job?”
“Yes, I need the job,” she huffed. “And pigs are so going to be turning colors if you think he would offer me an officer position. What’s your point, anyway?”
“My point is, I somehow can’t see you getting the position so easily if you’re calling the man who will be doling out the huge promotion an asshole. Do you get me, girl?” Angel’s eyes were full of mischief.
Kaela sighed. “I understand, but I can’t take his lack of pre-planning any longer. You know the saying—something about failure to plan on your part? Besides, I have propositions myself this weekend, something exciting. Almost like an adventure. Damn it.” Of course, her voice rose just enough so the bottled blonde at the end of the aisle was happily taking notes. Hmm. She could take the woman in the parking lot. Easy peasy.
“Propositions? Oh do tell about this adventure you have going on, little miss stick in the mud. I’d love for you to tell me exactly what sassy little things you have going on ‘cause the last time I checked, cleaning your house wasn’t exciting or any kind of a sexy escapade. That is unless you’re trying to hunt down the dust bunnies with a big gun.” Folding her arms, she gave Kaela a harsh look.
“Oh stop! I do, or did, have plans.” Kaela suddenly realized her viability as a human, let alone a woman, was pathetic. Taking stock of her life in a flashback moment, she groaned. She worked long hours, lived alone with not so much as a living plant, rarely went out with friends and had a freezer full of frozen dinners. Yep, her life was grandiose all right. Her self-imposed time alone was getting old, no matter how much the past still rattled her.
Angel burst into laughter as she pushed Kaela’s shoulder with her index finger. “You know what I think?”
“I’m guessing you’re going to tell me whether I like it or not.”
“Don’t vex me.” She glowered and wagged a tsking finger.
Kaela couldn’t help but smile. They were so yin and yang together. Angel was one moxie black woman, full of hell fire and a wild attire to match her brass attitude. Kaela was conservative to a fault, hardly ever wearing anything but shades of gray, and they had nothing to do with kink. She bit her tongue, stole a glance out into the room leading to Broden’s office and licked her lips. “Wouldn’t dare dream of it, soul sister.”
“Uh-huh. Well, I think you have the hots for the man to the point your sweet little pussy is clenching right about now. You know he doesn’t date. At least that’s what the scuttlebutt is. You could certainly rock his world. Why don’t you just get it over with and fuck his brains out?”
“What?” Shocked, the words reverberated in the back of her mind. Still, they were an echo of the same sentence she knew without question was floating out to the secretarial pool. “Louder please. Dear God let’s tell the world your thoughts. Maybe he’s gay.” There was no doubt her face was flushing. “And you know the company policy. No carnal moments with the staff.”
“See. I knew it! You want to fuck that man like a wild bronco. And honey, he ain’t staff. Broden is one fine looking Scot and there is no freaking way that hunk of a man is gay. If I were into white men, I’d do him.”
“Like I said, no doubt the rest of the city didn’t hear you,” Kaela chortled. Dear God, the man was hot and she was very horny. This was not the best position for her to be in. She loved her job and all the intricate aspects, including working with what most would call impossible clients. She had no doubt some even delved into criminal activities. The influential but high-risk takers had certainly made Broden a wealthy man.
“Then tell me I’m wrong.”
Kaela shifted, her nipples scraping against her lacy bra to the point she was panting with need. “Wrong?”
“You heard me. I want to hear the truth, white girl. Tell me you don’t want to have our boss shove his cock deep inside what I know has to be a hungry pussy.” Grinning, Angel gave her a heated look. “Go on. Tell me you don’t want to slide under his desk for a quick sip of his man juice.”
“Man juice? You’ve been reading one too many overrated erotic novels.”
“No. That would be you.” Angel cocked her hip. “That’s all you do, read about life and kinky sex. I swear I need to get your ass to a dance floor scoping out rugged men, or you’re going to die alone and old. Very old.”
Visions of Broden flashed in the back of her mind. For a few seconds, she indulged in her fantasy, the same one she’d had for a full year, and smiled. There was nothing like the rather sinful and delicious thought about having a weekend fling with nothing held back. Or maybe a week. Sniffing, she reached her hand out, casually grabbing a paper cup from the water cooler dispenser. “I’m telling you, your comedy act could be your second career.”
Angel sighed in an exaggerated fashion.
“Fine. Okay? I admit Broden is sexy and he is very talented and…”
“Oh for God’s sake!” Angel snapped, interrupting Kaela. “You and I are going to go out tonight. Period. I am going to teach you about men and then some, maybe like rules are meant to be broken. Oh, and you’re not going to wear that drab outfit either. First stop, my favorite store for a bit of a makeover. No, you need a gigantic makeover.”
“Teach me?” Kaela’s blood sizzled. Unable to push away the very vision of Broden’s naked body from the front of her mind, she panted and fumbled as she flicked the waterspout. My God, her mouth was dry. But your pussy is wet.Imagine having him fuck you hard, shoving his thick dick inside your cunt. Imagine Broden shoving his thick cock deep into your ass. Shit. What in the hell was she thinking here? Forcing herself to act casual, she smiled at Angel, giving her a slight nod. As if the girl couldn’t tell she was on fire. “Make over? If you’re taking me to the boutique where you purchase all your skin-tight, leopard print spandex, then I’ll end up being a brazen hussy.”
Angel narrowed her eyes. “You are so going to get it for that one.”
Kaela winked. “Oh and do tell. Just what do I need to learn?”
Angel hesitated as she looked down the length of Kaela, a seductive grin riding her face. “Many things my girl. Obviously many things.” She turned and walked away, stopping short a few seconds later. She tilted her head, gave Kaela a playful look and licked her cherry stained lips. “Five fifteen sharp or else I will go into Mr. MacGruder’s office and explain in total detail how much you long to ride him like a stallion. You got it?”
Swallowing hard, Kaela found herself nodding. “Oh, I got it all right.” She realized she was doing nothing but dreaming about holding a lasso, riding him as she hollered really naughty things. Shivering, she gulped the entire cup of water, fighting back the urge to race into his office and drop to her knees in front of him. Then again, under the desk action on a regular basis might just garner her a raise. The salacious thought giving her a smile, she strutted off toward the bathroom. One night out with her best gal pal certainly would give her a bit of verve. Or so she hoped. Too bad there was the damning rule. No fraternization. Damn it all to hell.
After splashing water on her face, she adjusted her skirt and the second she glanced into the mirror, a sinful thought passed in the back of her mind. What if she did seduce Broden? What could it hurt? “Mmm.” She scanned the bathroom and could tell she was alone, or so she thought anyway. Jerking around, she giggled as she crouched down, peering under the three stall doors. Yep, she was alone. Thankfully.
She rose to her full height and pointed her finger at her reflection before sliding her finger into her mouth. Moaning, she wiggled her hips back and forth, trying to imagine what it would feel like to be under his massive body as he thrust his cock deep inside her pussy. Turned on and heated up, Kaela eased her other hand into the bodice of her blouse, flicking the tip of her finger back and forth across her nipple. When the bud was hard, aching, and ready to be plucked, she pinched and twisted, relishing in the pain coursing through her body.
Moving her finger to her other nipple, she purred as two buttons popped open from the pressure of her hand, exposing the swell of her breasts. “Yes, Broden, yes.” Closing her eyes, she could almost hear his voice, his husky words of seduction and complete control. She knew how much he wanted to dominate her, take her, driving his dick deep inside. She’d give him everything he ever wanted. Everything and…
“Girl, I told you about the birthday party!” Chortled laughter filled the dense space.
Kaela sucked in her breath as she jerked her hand away, a flush of embarrassment slipping from her neck to her face. A nervous tick appeared in the corner of her mouth and as she whistled a happy tune, she could sense the two women knew she’d been up to no good. Smiling at them, she yanked two paper towels from the metal holder. She did everything in her power to act nonchalant, but had no doubt her cheeks remained cherry red.
She walked back to her desk and was just about to sit down when she detected a presence behind her. Stiffening, she inhaled deeply. There was no mistaking the exotic and very woodsy scent of his cologne: he man wanna be with attitude. Her pussy clenched as a trickle of her honey eased into her panties. She shifted and cringed, wondering if her boss was some kind of mind reader. Remember, he’s a true jerk.
“Ms. Bryson, can I have a word with you in my office?” Broden asked, his voice holding an authoritative timbre.
No time to let him see her sweat. She turned and smiled, detecting more than just a hint of discord. “Of course, sir.” Point won when he gave her an odd stare at her emphasis on ‘sir’. She tossed her hair back from her shoulders and followed him, a tight smile on her face. Without a doubt, she knew the admin pool had told on her. Hell, she couldn’t blame them.
“Close the door.” Broden walked around his desk and toward the window. He folded his arms and stood gazing out into the downtown landscape, remaining quiet.
Kaela had the distinct feeling he was doing this on purpose. She closed the door with a soft click and after a full minute of silence, she risked addressing him. “Mr. MacGruder?”
“Tell me something, Kaela. Do you enjoy working here?”
“Very much so. Why do you ask?”
Another minute, then two, ticked by. She was about to lose her patience when he turned around to face her, his emerald green eyes penetrating her very soul. Now, she was shaking. “Seriously, why do you ask?”
Broden placed his hands on top of his desk. “Because I need to know who my top players are, the ones who will work side by side with me, completely and utterly loyal. Also, because I know you have a problem with me.”
“Problem, sir?” So her voice held an edge. She could tell Broden was goading her.
“Yes, problem. Don’t you like me, Kaela?” The timbre of his voice deep and husky, he gazed down the length of her.
Was he actually undressing her with his eyes? Hell yes, he was. Bastard. Good thing he couldn’t see the ugly white bra and matching granny panties! Now she was pissed. Tomorrow she’d wear Victoria’s Secret. She took a stride toward him, placed her hands on her hips and tilted back her head. Thank God, she’d worn her three-inch heels today. She could almost look him in the eyes. Almost. “Sir, I have no problem with men who garner respect and know how to treat women, both in business and in pleasure. But assholes, I kick to the curb.” Holy fuck! You did not just say that to your boss? A single bead of perspiration trickled down the side of her face.
“Hmm.” He kept his fingers on his desk as he moved to the other side, then walked toward her, his eyes never leaving her face. When he drew near, he stopped just a few inches from her.
Kaela had never been so uncomfortable in her life. Every nervous tick she could have, she did, and for a few seconds it felt like there was a vacuum in the room, sucking out all her air and her nerve. She was nothing but a deflated blob of flesh, but she stood her ground, refusing to take a step backward.
“Well, interesting. And I agree.” Broden walked around her in a complete circle before stopping in front. Inhaling deeply, he cocked his head and very slowly reached his hand out, the tip of a finger pushing back a stray strand of hair from her face. “Women are very precious treasures in both business and moments of intimacy. I, for one, love women of all flavors. I also enjoy when they realize their place.”
“Their place?” Huffing, she glared at him and if she could have spit fire and hell, she would have. “Their place?” she repeated, venom lacing the few words.
“Yes. Their place.” As if a challenge had been drawn in the sand, his eyes twinkled.
Rearing back, she reacted on instinct, plowing her fist into his gut.
Reeling, he took a tumbled step backward and shook his head, the grin never changing.
“Oh shit,” Kaela whispered. Now she was flat out sweating.
“Yes.” Broden shook his head and took a giant stride toward her, crowding her space. “You’re intelligent as well as beautiful. Perhaps you’re a little rough around the edges, but a diamond in the rough no less.”
His accent was enough to melt her into a puddle of goo, but the cut-down was intolerable. “I beg your pardon?”
“Willful. Opinionated. Ballsy. You’re just what I need.”
Was he talking business or pleasure here? There was no doubt in her mind he wanted to devour her. To her credit, she didn’t go racing out of the room. Simply giving him a haughty look, she narrowed her eyes. “All used for business, sir. Nothing more.” There. She’d drawn her own line in the sand. When he remained quiet, she was vindicated. Giving him a curt nod she started to turn away. That is until she noticed where his gaze had settled. On her very visible cleavage. Ugh!
“I have an offer for you,” Broden stated as he moved back toward his desk.
“An offer?” What in the world was he going to offer, whips and chains?
As he gave her a controlling look, he reached into his desk drawer, pulling out an envelope. “I have very few people over to my house. I honestly prefer being alone.”
Why did that not surprise her? “Mmm, I can certainly understand that.” Yep, her words were haughty.
“Has anyone ever told you before you’re a ballbuster?” He slid an envelope across the desk and narrowed his eyes.
Kaela was about to retort, but could see he was serious about this offer. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound so rude.”
“Yes.” Broden sat down in his chair and looked away, flipping on his laptop. “I think you did. My offer is that I have a few very important clients coming over to my house from overseas. I think you know the ones?”
She knew exactly the people he meant, the kind who fashioned themselves to be royalty. “Yes, I do.”
“Well, we’ve been working on this deal for six months and they want to mix business with pleasure. I need a date for the night as well as some maneuvering of the contract. That’s where you come into play,” Broden offered, his eyes twinkling.
The clients he was talking about made her skin crawl, but securing their business would mean a hefty bonus. “Fine. Your date in both business and pleasure? I guess I can tolerate that for a night.”
“I’m certain you can, Ms. Bryson. You’re a professional after all.”
Smiling, she wanted to snap at him but he could read her too well.
“Ms. Bryson, do you know how I deal with mouthy girls, who don’t seem to know their place?”
Kaela was quite incensed he was refusing her look at her, simply pressing keys on his blessed computer. Tempted not to honor his obvious request to find out, curiosity got the better of her. “I think you’re going to tell me.” Aren’t you, asshole?
He gave her one sharp look, a glint in his eye suggesting something dangerous. “Discipline, the old fashion way, and do you know how that’s going to happen?”
Discipline? Was he talking corporal punishment? There was no way! Beads of pure sweat rolled down the back of her neck. Don’t ask him. Don’t do it! “How’s that?”
“You’re going to ask me for it.”
With those words, she knew she’d been dismissed. The words rung in the back of her mind, an echo of them kicking up her adrenaline and coursing straight into the heart of her pussy. Dear God, she wanted to be spanked, needed to be whipped like a bad girl. She wanted nothing more than to be draped over his lap, her naked ass already crisscrossed with marks from his hand, a paddle, his belt and… Get a grip woman. But she knew more than anything what she craved and for all his bravado, Broden MacGruder, aka Jerk Off of the Year, had seen through her veiled attempt at hiding the inner girl. How in the hell had he managed?
“The invitation is fairly clear. Make certain you wear something sexy and appropriate for a kinky costume party. Do you understand?”
Oh, she understood all right. Very causally she grabbed the envelope, admiring the red linen and crisp gold-embossed lettering. As she turned, she heard his voice and this time the husky vibe drilled right through her.
“You made a deal with me and I certainly expect you to be there. In fact, I won’t take no for an answer.”
The words chilling, she managed to wait until she was back at her desk before ripping open the envelope. “A masquerade party?” This was about as unexpected as she could imagine.
Come one, come all to a midnight masquerade ball
Wear something sinful or there will be no admittance.
And plan on indulging in your every fantasy.
Shuddering to her crimson painted toes, Kaela couldn’t believe he’d gone to this cheesy of a level. Really? She read the invitation again and groaned. She knew she was somehow going to have to play nice with the clients. Ugh. She tried to remind herself this was business only and Mr. MacGruder needed her help. Still, if she could help garner the contract then perhaps the vice president position was locked up.
Unfortunately, she had other things on her mind. She pursed her lips, thinking again about his words and the not-so hidden meaning. Goose bumps nearly exploded on her skin. Maybe some good fortune had interceded and perhaps they could get to know each other, maybe even date. Get a grip. This is just business. No dating, remember?Thoughts about the party gave her the willies. There was no doubt some of his cronies would be there as well to help seal the deal, imagining they were getting some night of shameless fornication. She yanked up the phone and dialed Angel’s extension. “First, don’t ask me any questions but you are so on about shopping and a drink after work.”
“Okay, what gives. Were you fired?” Angel chortled.
“I said no questions!”
“No can do if you’re getting any fashion advice.”
She groaned as she glanced back at the invitation. “Not fired. Something much better. That’s all you’re going to get.” A plan was in order. She was going to garner and keep his attention.
“Fine. After some wine, I’ll get it out of you,” Angel said with a lilt in her voice.
“Maybe.” Kaela hung up the phone and proceeded to try and work.
The afternoon couldn’t have gone by any slower. By the time the workday ended, Kaela was ready to move to another country. Between his heated looks and her constant sweating, she was fit to be tied. As the afternoon drew on, she second-guessed one too many things.
She’d moved here, away from people she’d grown up, with to start a new life, leaving her past behind. She’d changed her appearance and kept to herself. She’d also locked down her needs. Somehow Broden was bringing her kinky side out in the open, something she’d padlocked several years before.
Fear was a terrible thing to live with constantly. For some reason, she had a feeling she was destined to do this, maybe challenged into opening up again. If only she had the courage.
* * *
At five thirty on a Thursday night, Kaela and Angel were standing just across the street in front of what could only be described, from Kaela’s point of view, as a souped-up sex shop. From the neon lighting, to the feather boas strategically placed around, and the scantily clad mannequins in the plate glass window, the place reeked of seduction. All things that terrified her. Blinking furiously, she looked up and down the crowded street, half expecting musicians to appear on every corner. “Here?”
“Yes, here. Do not judge a book by its cover, girl. This is the most well-known urban shop this side of the Mississippi and you know I have good taste so get with the program,” Angel huffed as she wrapped her hand around Kaela’s arm, pulling her toward the shop’s entrance.
“I really don’t have money to spend on clothes. I’m on a budget.”
“What, to purchase more books so you can drool and dream?” Angel slapped her on the ass. “Liar, liar pants on fire. Come on. Shopping is meant to be fun and think of it this way: Sexy clothes might help you get laid. And I should add—finally.”
Kaela groaned as heat crept up both sides of her neck. “You’re one bad woman.”
“That’s why you love me, for my positive influence on you. Now get ready to party.”
“Hold on. I have a question,” Kaela said, the party looming in the back of her mind.
“I feel a nightmare coming on.”
“Funny. Do they still make voodoo dolls?” she whispered, her mind still beating herself up for her ridiculous behavior.
“You’re still on that bit from today?” Angel asked as she folded her arms. “And what’s the hot news you have anyway?”
“Oh, that was chump change in comparison to what I did after you left.”
“What exactly did you do? Daydream some more or plan on murdering him in his sleep?”
“Very funny,” Kaela mumbled as she nibbled on her bottom lip.
Angel stopped at the corner and glared at her. “What did you do?”
“I mighta, kinda, sorta punched him in the gut.”
Her foot off the curb, Angel nearly tumbled into the street. “What? You did what exactly?”
“Yeah, I know.” Cringing, she walked ahead.
“And you still have a job?”
“You know? I think he liked it. He liked it so much, he invited me to an exclusive costume party—as his date—where he hopes to sign that big overseas deal.” Maybe he likes whips and chains, too.
Chuckling, Angel shook her head. “What? Seriously on both counts?”
“Yes. And I have no idea why he invited me either.” Kaela groaned.
“Because you’re the best closer in the office. He’s honoring you and you hit him. Superb, girl. Just perfect. Jesus. I don’t want to ever be your enemy.”
“I know. I didn’t know what he was going to ask. Don’t worry, I’ll play nice, but I have no idea what to wear. He deserved the punch, by the way.”
“Unbelievable, girl. The woman would battle with a heavy weight fighter. Guess he loves the rough stuff. As far as the invitation goes, Mr. MacGruder might just be using this event as an excuse to date you as well as garnering new clients. Ever think of that?”
“Yeah, but what about the great no dating rule?” she whispered. Visions of submitting to him flowed into the back of her mind.
“He is the boss, right?” Angel laughed before planting one hand on her hip and stopping their progression. “Okay, look. There’s obviously chemistry between you two, so maybe this is just a way for him to get to know the real tiger inside the kitten suit.”
“You heard me. Think of is this way: Maybe you’ll have fun. Real fun. Big girl style.”
Kaela smiled, her eyes twinkling.
“Uh-oh. I know that look. What are you thinking?”
“I think…” She brushed her hand through her hair, enjoying the light breeze as she cocked her hip, striking a pose.
“I think, no I know, I’m going to seduce Broden MacGruder at this party.”
Angel hesitated before a huge smile crossed her face. “Now, there’s the girl I knew was buried underneath a solid pass of boring. Mmm… This shopping trip is perfect for you, girl. Come on. I’ll buy you a set of handcuffs and we’ll drink and plan tonight. When’s the party?”
“Then the plan is we go and buy a few necessities for tonight, and a few for the party. We’ll dress you up so damn hot Broden can’t resist you period. Is that what you want?” Angel leaned over her, swishing her hips back and forth.
Did she? Oh God, yes. More than Christmas morning any year. “Yes.”
“I didn’t hear you. Do you want to suck and fuck this man you’ve been hot for like a wild child or not?” Her voice rising, Angel huffed as she tossed her head back defiantly.
The lurid looks from both men and women walking by only fueled the very bad girl inside, the one hidden behind the scars. “Yes. I want to fuck him!” The exclamation made to the entire world, Kaela wasn’t surprised she received applause.
“That’s more like it. Now let’s get shopping. There’s little time to make you over, girl.”
The moment Kaela was dragged into the store she was impressed and could feel the tension ease from her body. Thumping disco music matched the strobe lights, infusing the entire place with a rockin’ feel. “Wow.”
“Told you you’d like.” Angel moved through the store at rocket speed, singing over the strains of Donna Summer.
Kaela watched her work, the way she was overtly comfortable in her commanding-and-naughty-minx kind of manner. She had to admit she loved the wild woman like a sister.
“Look at this sexy dress.”
Glancing up, Kaela groaned. “Nothing in chartreuse or bright orange. I’m not a traffic cone and I don’t think men from Saudi Arabia would like the teenie-bopper look.”
“Party pooper. You need color and men just like sexy. Besides, you’re Mr. MacGruder’s date, remember?” Angel scanned the store. “I’m thinking purple passion or scarlet. You need a bit of the girls-gone-wild look. Oh, and we’re getting you fuck-me pumps, too.”
Date. Whew, what was she getting herself into? Kaela grinned and leaned against a rack of clothes. Fuck-me pumps? Well, that would be the closest she was going to get to fucking for a long time.
“Would you ladies like a glass of wine or champagne?”
The woman’s velvety voice was nothing if not soothing. “I think I might just have to shop here more often.” Kaela nodded yes.
“I told you this is a full-service boutique. Except for the cabana boys. Darla, you really need to get some in here, girlfriend,” Angel quipped.
“On our list, Angel. On our list. How about a nice merlot to ease you into a sexy evening?” Darla asked, winking at the two women.
“Sounds perfect to me,” Kaela breathed.
“Honey, you mean purr-fect don’t you?” Angel cooed.
One hour and twenty minutes and two full glasses of wine later and Kaela was standing in front of a mirror, guffawing at herself. “Holy shit! I look hot.”
“Told you that you could actually look hot, not your usual attire, thank God.” Angel swirled the wine in her glass before taking a sip.
She smoothed down the front of her dress and sucked in her breath, the effect pushing out her boobs. The underwire bra was killing her but the look was stellar. For one night she could suffer to look like a sensuous prom queen. “I take offense to that.”
“You mean you resemble that.” Angel strutted forward, brushing her hand through Kaela’s hair. “A little bit of hair spray and some teasing and you might just be good to go.”
“And just where are we going?” Kaela shimmied and the feel of the string in her ass wasn’t as horrible as she thought it would be. In fact, she kinda liked the very notion of wearing little of nothing under the skin-tight dress. “And exactly what do you call this material?” The slippery body hugging slip looked positively wet.
“Pleather. And honey, we’re going to a new club. We’ll have some dinner and check out the eye candy and select the two or three men we’re going to snack on for the night. Maybe tonight will loosen you up so you can have fun at this costume party. The deal could be signed in minutes.”
“Two or three?” Kaela blushed, her heart racing. She didn’t think a night on the town was going to loosen her up enough. “I guess you’re right.”
“Well, that’s a start for me anyway. We’ll find you a nice mama’s boy accountant type. You know, boring in and out of bed.” Angel chuckled.
Kaela unzipped the front zipper on the dress, exposing more cleavage, and gave Angel the finger.
“There’s that finger again. Now let’s just see if you can tease men as hard as you do your best friend.” Angel eased behind Kaela and grinned. “Come on into the bathroom. We’ll be good to go with a little lip and that can of hairspray. Tonight is about a real adventure. Not the ones you constantly read about. That is if you can let go for once in your life, be the naughty minx I know you can be. Here are those handcuffs I mentioned and the perfect sexy outfit for Saturday.”
“You have nothing to be afraid of. What do you have to lose?”
Only her self-respect and pride. Kaela shivered as she glared at the steel set of cuffs and what could only be described as a dominatrix in waiting. The leather and lace bits would barely cover her voluptuous hourglass figure.
“Perfect, eh? Now for a special mask to top off the outfit. After all, Broden needs to unwrap his prize,” Angel cooed. “You did say you were going to seduce him, right?”
Her heart racing, Kaela was certain she might be going to hell. Now this was a challenge.
* * *
Broden MacGruder eased out of his Ferrari and grabbed his briefcase. For a brief second he stood in the darkness, thinking about the tedious day. Funny enough, he was like a redneck at a Nascar event, full of testosterone. The concept of having multi-million dollar new clients had nothing to do with his condition either. Sparring was certainly an adrenaline rush, especially with a sexy woman, one so voluptuous he craved unwrapping the hard candy coating, licking up the sweet cream inside. Since when did you become a Neanderthal?
Since he’d actually planned the party with Kaela in mind. Well, the Saudis had asked to have a very risqué event while they were in town. Who was he to deny them, as he shoved a pen in their hand? Unfortunately, he hated parties. Loathed them. Hell, the people he’d invited would do nothing but paw his furniture and his female guests. But he had a date for the evening and he knew Kaela would seal the deal quickly.
The event was a good idea and would keep the Saudis happy for a little while. No matter what nefarious plans he had for her, closing business was first. After that, maybe he could peel the rather confining layers from around one delicious woman.
He patted his hand on the hood of his most prized possession. He had plenty of toys in his repertoire. Too bad he hadn’t been playing with anything as of late. As he walked toward the door, he couldn’t help but grouse to himself. He was physically exhausted, even though every cell in his body remained on fire. How many long hours had he worked over the past few months? Months? Who was he trying to fool, or maybe impress? Putting this deal together had nearly kicked his ass. He tossed his briefcase down as he turned on the kitchen light, glancing around the gleaming space. In the year plus a few months he’d been in the United States all he did was work. He certainly had a lot to show for all the ridiculous hours.
The stainless steel spotless, the granite counters free of clutter, the entire space was immaculate. Broden also realized the beautiful room was also very cold, much like his life. Granted, he’d made certain decisions in his life, placing business in front of everything, including his family in Scotland. Taking over the firm had been one of the best decisions he’d ever made and he loved being in the States. He certainly had made a significant amount of money, allowing him to live in one of the finest mansion style homes in Charlotte. The city certainly wasn’t as beautiful as his burrow in Scotland, but he was able to travel easily—as if he ever did.
Chuckling, he snagged his tie, tugging until he was no longer strangled, and unbuttoned his top button. As he rolled up his sleeves and headed for the open bottle of cabernet, he allowed his mind wander to one very feisty woman. “Mmm.” What he wouldn’t do to get her into bed for one night. He chastised his rather ridiculous behavior, knowing he could have a sexual harassment lawsuit on his hands if he wasn’t careful. Rubbing his jaw, he wasn’t certain he cared. Kaela was the woman for him. Every move she made he’d studied during her tenure working with him. Intelligent and full of verve, she took outspoken to a crazy level. Most of the women in the office hated her for her beautiful hair—flaming red, highlighted with sun kissed gold—as well as her creamy porcelain skin.
He didn’t need to lose sight of the prize, no matter how beautiful she was. The party was a damn good idea and come Monday the entire office could celebrate. You old bag you. What in God’s name was his problem as of late? Perhaps Kaela would call him an asshole yet again. Eh, he couldn’t blame her, but his business tactics had garnered them a solid two hundred percent increase in business during the past year. Some would call him a shark. Broden simply called his astute business acumen well-trained.
By the time he managed to grab a wine glass and pour himself a hefty amount, his cock was swollen and aching. The voluptuous Kaela Bryson embroiled his senses, tempted the savage man buried behind the thousand dollar suits and silk ties. She pushed every button, challenging every decision and he wanted to take her and possess her. Somehow he would figure out a way.
The wine was smooth and exactly what he needed. He glanced at his watch and headed for the living room. For all the money he had in the bank, he was bordering on pathetic. Barely eight thirty on a Thursday night and the only thing he had on his agenda was pulling out a frozen pizza and finishing the bottle of wine. “Great.” The entire party was going to be catered, so short of dressing in costume, he had nothing to do. And tonight he was bored to death.
Broden switched on the television, flipping through channel after channel, only half paying attention. He took a gulp of his wine, savoring the rich flavor as he inhaled the hint of raspberries. Antsy. Nothing seemed to hold his attention. He turned off what the Americas called the boob tube and walked toward the bank of floor to ceiling windows. As he turned on the set of lights illuminating the pool and hot tub, he imagined sharing a heated moment with Kaela. Sadly, she had no interest in him. In fact, he had the distinct feeling she loathed him. Who was he kidding? The sparring this afternoon should have told him clearly what her thoughts were about him.
However, if her nipples had been any harder they would have poked completely through her shirt. For the first time he witnessed her out of more than just her comfort zone. Electric current continued to pulse though his body, sizzling his last nerve. He couldn’t help but envision tying her to his bed, spanking her sweet ass, fucking her hard. He snarled and clenched his fist. He was more than determined to have her, take her, claim her. Words he’d also said to her. Smiling, he made a promise to himself. He was going to have Kaela in his bed, perhaps more.
He took another sip and this time the pricy wine managed to burn the back of his throat. Tonight, he longed to bring a sexy woman home for a wild night. At minimum he was going to have a nice dinner and a glass of cognac, developing his plan of attack during the party. He wasn’t certain he was talking about the contract either. Huffing, he sauntered into his bedroom for a change of clothes.
Dressed in all black, Broden surveyed the look, glaring at his reflection. He was almost forty-five years old and had never been married. Not that any woman could put up with his overtly sexual proclivities. Women needed romance and nurturing, something he wasn’t used to. Maybe he’d never find the perfect one, a soul mate. Stopping short, he placed his hand over his heart and realized he was shaking. He could never be flippant. Never. The past had to be honored. Then again, he needed to get away from the ugly nightmares plaguing him. They’d gotten worse lately.
He sniffed and pointed his finger at his reflection. “Tonight you’re going to be an animal. Got it?” He growled at himself knowing he’d be happy with simply enjoying a night out.
He never lost in business or in play and tonight he was determined to regain his verve and there was only one way. Sex. Could he indulge in a tryst with a stranger? He certainly hadn’t engaged in anything sexual since he’d been in the States. Nodding to the man in the mirror, he set his sights on one hot club. He strolled into the kitchen and grabbed his keys, glancing out at the full moon. Tonight was perfect for hunting. If only the sweet and gorgeous prey of his dreams could grace his presence. Not gonna happen. A man could dream.
Club and restaurant Zeus was packed, filled with the pretty people of Charlotte, all looking for a good time, perhaps a sizzling moment of intimacy. Broden threw his head back as he walked inside, scanning the perimeter, gathering the vibe. The music was rockin’, the dance floor packed and the women stunning. As he was led to a table, one perfect for seeing the comings and goings of the majority of people, he settled in, nodding to the women who’d already noticed his arrival. He was well aware of his dangerous prowess and certainly enjoyed the admiration.
His drink and a very rare steak ordered, he sat back and inhaled the sensuous fragrances worn by women and men alike. Scanning the crowd, he could tell just how hungry everyone seemed to be. Even though the people were sexy and the music hot, he grew bored quickly.
Broden almost didn’t notice when a drink was placed in front of him. Sighing, he fiddled with the edge, absently glancing around the club until an odd sensation oozed from every pore in his body. His sixth sense kicked in and he turned his head to the right, studying the shadowed crowd. Then he saw her. Kaela. This was completely unexpected. Now he knew inviting her to the party was a good idea. “You’re going to be mine, sweet lady. All mine.”