|Your cart is currently empty|
Dani has a full life, or so she thinks. She’s busy with her job as head of security for Fetishes, an exclusive BDSM club. Devoting herself to her career leaves her little time for anything else—like a personal life. But when a stranger from her past reemerges, Danistarts to question her priorities and the choices she’s made.
Liam never forgot her. She’s haunted his dreams and every waking moment ever since she walked out of his life. Now that he has found his way back to Dani, he doesn’t want to lose her again. But Dani’s reluctant when Liam pursues her. He’s known since the beginning that she was his but can he convince her to let him in?
Dani shook as he circled behind her. She wanted this. Craved this. It was the anticipation that killed her. And he was good at drawing out the moment. That's what she liked about this arrangement, he ticked all her boxes. He seemed to be more familiar with what would turn her on than even she was. He was so in tune with her—they were in tune with each other. It was too good to be true. Almost.
It would have been too good to be true if they were in some sort of relationship. Sometimes she let her mind wander and imagine what it would be like to have a man like him all the time. Could she live with this intensity every hour of the day?
"Ask me for it, gorgeous."
He brought her back to the present, away from her childish fantasies of turning her hired Dom into boyfriend material.
"If you're a good little girl and you beg the way I like, maybe I'll let you come tonight."
He wasn't teasing her either. He'd left her wanting at their last session, brought her right to the edge and left her hanging. He refused to get her off, no matter how much she backpedaled and tried to, belatedly, do as he asked. Since then, she'd used every toy she owned and nothing could satisfy her. She'd done the only thing she could think to do. She broke the rules and emailed him, begging, pleading with him for another meeting time outside of their normal arrangement.
They were her own rules, she had made them and sketched out the terms of their agreement. But she was ashamed of breaking them just the same.
She’d grown up in a family of cops, law and order practically ran through her veins. It helped with the new position she’d just been appointed—head of security at a burgeoning company. She was elated, as long as she didn’t think about it too much. But she’d deal with that on Monday, today was all about the moment.
"Please," she whined, gasping for breath when he twisted the clamp on her right nipple. Pulling against her bonds, she pressed her breasts forward, trying to lessen the pull. "Please, please, please." No other words came to mind. The pain he created shooting right to her pussy. She couldn't think.
Everything in perfect order. Everything in separate compartments. It was the only way she could exist. But he created chaos. He muddled her mind and made her forget what she wanted. In its place she only felt need. Sheer need that could only be quenched by him.
"Mmm, your words are so sweet. You know you make my cock hard when you whine."
She knew. Her eyes were already focused on his denim encased cock. His low slung, faded jeans clung to his hips. He reached down and unbuttoned his fly, loosening his pants and adjusting himself without any sort of embarrassment.
"Please, please Master, I'll take anything you want to give me."
He smiled then, giving her a truly genuine grin. "There it is. Was that so hard?"
If he only knew. Danielle Bradshaw did not beg. She certainly did not call some man Master. But something about this made it okay. Something about him. Another piece of her armor slipped away, and something else slid into place making her feel more centered.
"Please, Master," she begged again in lieu of answering his question. Did he really want to know how hard it was for her? He wasn't her therapist. But it was why she stopped going to her local BDSM dungeon. She craved to surrender, but none of the men were worth surrendering to. She'd even opened her options and tried a few women.
She knew it was her, something deep down that wouldn't let go of her strongly guarded control. Even when she quit the dungeon, she didn't stop trying. Her rendezvous were more private and riskier than they had been in the past. That's how she came about having a weekly session in a hotel room with this man she found on the internet. They used aliases, she wasn't supposed to know his real name. But she did.
She knew all about him. Had run a background check before their first meeting. He didn't know that though.
"You're stubborn, but you're a fast learner. Do you know I'm not joking now when I tell you to do something?"
"I'm sorry," she breathed out. She couldn't do it just a few days before. Couldn't make herself beg. But now it seemed she couldn't stop.
"I'm not. I got to see you twice in one week." He winked at her.
She never liked a man who winked. It was as if he was telling you he said something funny and he knew it. But this man? He could wink at her whenever he wanted. In fact, the thought of him winking at another woman made her want to gouge his eyes out.
He had her hands bound behind her back, she was sitting on the only chair in the hotel room with her legs splayed wide. He'd attached her ankles to the front legs. The cool air on her pussy had only served to remind her how wanting she'd been for two days. She was going to lose her mind if he didn't give her some attention soon.
As if reading her mind, he released her ankles and pulled her upright. "Let's go, gorgeous. You'll get a reward for your pretty little begging. But first, to finish your punishment."
She didn't know if he expected her to kick up a fuss or not. She just followed him eagerly, her hands still bound behind her back. She wanted him to punish her, needed him to. But when he picked up a cane she hadn't noticed leaning against the wall, she paused.
"What's the matter, sweetheart? Does the cane scare you?" He smiled, almost wickedly as he gripped her upper arm and pulled her into the bathroom. "Maybe you'll remember to do as you're told next time. When I tell you to beg, you beg." He freed one of her wrists before pulling her arms overhead and fastening her to the shower curtain rod.
He shut the door behind them and then started up the shower, the spray wasn't quite aimed at her, but droplets of water hit the front of her body. She looked down at the tiled floor, wishing he would have laid down a towel if he was going to run the shower with the curtain open.
"Remember, we have neighbors," he reminded, pointing to the surrounding walls. Then he pulled her panties from his pocket and pushed them to her lips.
Her eyes flew wide in surprise, but when she opened her mouth to question him he shoved the material inside. He secured them in place by wrapping her pantyhose around her head. She winced when he tied it, surely he stretched them out and now they were unwearable. She tried to maneuver her tongue around the panties and could taste the unmistakable tang of her own juices. Her nipples pulsed with the beat of her heart, the clamps offering an uncomfortable bite as her arms stretched above her head. Heat suffused her face as she fully realized her current situation.
He tapped the back of her calf with the cane. "Lift your foot up and stomp three times."
She tried to crane her neck to give him a questioning look, but he was too far behind her. She sighed and did as he asked.
"Good girl. That's your safeword. So keep your feet flat otherwise."
She tensed up at his words. Easy for him to say. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been caned and she still doubted his skills.
"Relax," he instructed, running the flat of his hand over her rounded globes.
She willed herself to follow his directions and figured she'd succeeded when he backed up a step behind her.
The air in the bathroom grew humid as the water got hotter. Nonetheless, goosebumps broke out on her skin as she screwed her eyes shut and tried to find the right headspace.
The cane thwicked through the air and a line of fire blazed across the center of her buttocks. She let out a strangled cry through the material stuffed in her mouth and danced up on her toes.
"Watch now, your safe signal is stomping. Are you calling it off?" His voice piped up from behind her.
She could almost feel the stripe raising on her skin, but she shook her head. Planting her feet back on the ground she stuck her ass out toward him.
He struck again, just below the first line and this time she was able to manage with a groan. She didn't break position. He waited a few moments, letting her catch her breath. The third fell with equal intensity and tears pricked her eyes.
She tried to swallow but the material in her mouth was doing its job and it gagged her. Her mind didn't know where to focus, on the pain in her nipples, the need in her pussy, or the fire exploding on her backside. She closed her eyes and just let it wash over her.
It was while she was like this, trying to maneuver around all of the sensations that he struck her again. He lit up the crease between her ass and thighs and she saw stars. Her knees buckled and she listed to the side, turning her body away from him.
Her breath came through her nostrils in angry bursts. He came up beside her, catching her chin and turning her face so she could meet his eyes. "Do you need a minute?"
Tears flowed freely down her face now. She couldn't have stopped them if she wanted to.
"Do you need to stop?"
She shook her head. She needed to finish this. Because then it was finished. She'd had a moment of clarity. Things had gotten too complicated. She'd already broken her own rules. He was too much, too intense. Too inside of her.
"Two more," he said, with a reassuring hand on her shoulder as if she weren't already mourning the loss of him.
Once across the backs of her thighs and then a diagonal strike slicing through the existing lines. No pause in between, all business, he finished up his task. She sobbed. But another piece of armor fell away.
He untied her wrists, and sank down to the floor with her. Her knees fell onto a fluffy towel and he placed her hands on the edge of the tub. "One more thing, I promise you're almost there." He pressed up against her, kneeling behind her. But when he placed his hand over her mouth she began to fight him, until she realized his intention.
"This is always a motherfucker." His fingers deftly released her nipples, quickly, one after the other.
She writhed against him, her cries coming out in a muted scream as the blood ran back to her sensitive nubs.
When she collapsed back against him, he pulled the makeshift gag from her mouth.
"You ready for me?"
She nodded, even as her eyes fell shut.
"It's going to be hard. You better hold on."
He shifted her forward again, forcing her to brace herself on the edge of the tub. His hands grasped her thighs, spreading her open. Without any preamble he impaled her.
She gasped for breath as she fought to adjust to his size. At some point he had shucked his pants and donned a condom. She was already floating away, losing snippets of time and space.
She was barely aware of a few more grunted questions directed at her. She must have nodded at all the right places because he finally began moving. Pounding into her at a punishing speed.
That's where she found it, the place she couldn't get to on her own. The final piece slipped away and she mourned its loss, knowing it would take twice as long this time to put the pieces back together again. But she allowed herself to do something she never did—enjoy the moment. She needed to remember this, because it was the last time.
Three Years Later
Dani got out of her car, balancing her travel mug in one hand and a stack of files under her arm. She grabbed her jacket from the front seat and at the last moment remembered to take her phone out of the cup holder. It was early on a Monday morning. Far earlier than any guest would ever be at Fetishes, the upscale BDSM club she ran security for. But it was going to be a busy few weeks. Her boss, Martin, was leaving on a trip at the end of the month and they still had a lot to get done.
She already felt behind and her week had just started. The fact that she was getting off of a four day weekend due to her sister's wedding didn't help matters. No one had balked at her taking the time, she rarely used her vacation days anyway. But she knew it hadn't come at the best moment.
She wasn't surprised when Martin's car sped into the lot as she unlocked the employee entrance door. Entering the building, she placed her mug down so she could disarm the alarm, then she lingered by the door, knowing Martin would be there momentarily.
"How was your weekend?" he asked upon entering. They walked down the hallway switching on the lights.
"It was long. Filled with family." She turned and smiled. "I'm glad to be back at work if that answers your question."
He barked out a laugh and gestured for her to follow him into his office. "I think you need the vacation, not me. You're here more than I am."
She tried not to sigh as she sank into a chair by his desk and dropped her things beside her. Work had become her whole life. She threw herself into it. At first, she thought it might improve her social life, working at a BDSM club. But she didn't like the idea of mixing work with pleasure. So while she had been propositioned, on numerous occasions, she never gave in.
It's not that she was opposed to having a relationship, but she worked hard to earn the respect of her employees and she couldn't let that slip away. They worked at Fetishes which meant they were open-minded about the BDSM lifestyle, even if they didn't practice, but she feared they would see her differently if she let her guard down.
She could have sought to meet a man somewhere else, but instead she threw herself into her job. She hadn't meant for it to go on this long, but here it was almost a year since the last time she had even been on a date.
"I'm glad you came in early, we can go over some of the new hires."
She straightened her shoulders. "You hired new staff while I was gone?" She worked at not sounding hurt. It was Martin's club after all, he could do what he wanted.
He nodded and sipped his coffee as he fired up his laptop. "Five new hires." He looked up and met her eyes. "Only two on security detail. Do you mind?"
She shook her head. "No, of course not."
Membership at Fetishes had grown and the staff was stretched thin as a result. If they needed more people anywhere, it was on security. She just couldn't help but feel a little left out of the whole process.
"With Melissa and me leaving soon, I just wanted to get some people in place. I could at least try to relax if I knew you weren't shorthanded."
She smiled, but it felt like a dig. Did he think she wasn't competent enough to run things while he was gone?
"Hey," Martin addressed her, pulling her out of her spiral of self-doubt. "They all know it's on a trial basis. If you don't think it's working out for any reason, then let them go. No questions asked. This is your department."
Martin was always quick to reassure her that he had faith in her. And she assumed he had to, to some degree, if he made her his head of security. But part of her still felt like she was trying to live up to the role.
She left Martin in his office and walked across the hall to hers. It was less luxurious than the "Master of the Club" office, but it was her own. She didn't have to share it with anyone and that was something. Martin ran Fetishes himself, but he had three other partners. She was head of security in a company that was managed by four dominant men, and that was a little unnerving. But she was also extremely proud of her position.
Most of her security staff were men as well, they had only hired one other female in the two years she had worked there. Dani struggled with trying to be seen as "one of the guys" but also tried to distance herself a bit because she was their boss after all.
She spent her morning trying to plan out her week. She had to organize some sort of security detail for Martin and Melissa while they traveled, especially because the tabloids had been hounding them. And she had a meeting to prepare for in a few days time. She appreciated Martin's support and faith in her, but he'd set something up for her to handle security at an event of his father's. The man was only a prominent New York state Senator. No big deal. She wasn't freaking out or anything, or feeling like she had too much on her plate. Nope, not at all.
Her stomach rumbled and she realized she had only consumed coffee that day. She was just deciding where she could get herself some real food when there was a knock at her door.
Martin walked in without waiting for an invitation. "Everyone's congregated in the security room if you want to come introduce yourself to the new hires."
He phrased it like a suggestion, but he was pretty much telling her to get her ass down to the security room. Panic shot through her. "Our weekly meeting is usually later in the afternoon."
He quirked an eyebrow at her. "This isn't a meeting. Just come say hi."
She wasn't prepared. She had a general outline of things she wanted to hit upon at the staff meeting, but she was going to critique it over lunch. "Give me a few minutes," she said, rising from her chair and smoothing her sweaty palms over the front of her pants.
"They're just in the security room, someone brought doughnuts. It isn't a meeting."
"Okay," she answered, forcing a smile. "I'll be down in two minutes. I have a call I need to make," she added as an excuse.
He gave her a bewildered look and gestured out into the hallway. "I'm sure it can wait. Come on."
Belatedly she realized she had just shown him a crack in her veneer. She didn't like surprises and she didn't like being pushed into unfamiliar situations. This would be the first time she was meeting two new employees. First impressions were important.
She grabbed her suit jacket from behind her office door and took a second to calm herself down. It must have been all the coffee coursing through her system, her nerves were jangled.
After a few moments, she followed Martin down the hall toward the security room. Laughter and loud voices could be heard from the hallway. It was a Monday and still just before noon so there were no guests arriving yet. Most of her staff arrived early, though.
She entered the room, smiling and greeting the guys. Mike, her assistant in security, came over to her.
"Nice to have you back! Was the wedding a good time?"
"Oh yeah, being the single sister has its perks. People clear a path for you when you're on your way to the bar and trying to outrun your elderly aunts."
"Come on, I bet it wasn't that bad," Mike replied.
No, it hadn't been that bad. It had been slightly worse. She just had to meet the disappointment of her parents and take some ribbing from her brothers about her security job. She came from a family of police officers and once upon a time thought she would follow in her father and brother's footsteps. But it wasn't meant to be.
"Well look who the cat dragged in." Logan, one of her security guards, commented as he walked into the room. "You decided to come back after all, huh?"
As happy as she was to be back at work, she wasn't very happy to see Logan. He was good at his job, but he was a sexist ass and he went out of his way to get on her nerves. Martin had hired him on before she had been hired as head of security and she took it as a personal challenge to learn to deal with Logan. Letting him go would be admitting defeat, so she did her best to coexist with him, It took a lot of energy to act like he wasn't getting to her.
"Hi, Logan. How was your week?" she asked, giving him a smile.
"It was quiet, one less female barking orders at me."
"That's good, glad to hear it." She wasn't up to challenging his blatant disrespect, so she decided to act like she didn't realize he had insulted her.
Judging by the look on Mike’s face, he hadn't decided to ignore it. He glared at Logan until the other man moved on his way. "Anyway, we acquired some new members to the team. I think you'll like them," Mike went on.
She glanced up and almost choked on her tongue. It had been a few years, the last time she had seen him he was clean shaven and now he sported a beard. He looked older and more distinguished, if that were possible. His eyes still crinkled at the corners when he smiled and his jaw still looked like it could cut glass. She looked up into his grey-blue eyes and tried not to let her mouth fall open.
She knew she had a feeling today was going to suck.
~ ~ * ~ ~
His heart thrummed against his ribcage and he tried his best to look casual. To his credit, he thought he was doing a better job than she was.
"Hi, I'm Liam," he said, breaking the awkward silence as she stared dumbly back at him.
She took his hand, giving him a firm shake. And just like that, the spell was broken. "Dani," she replied, losing the awe-struck look and slipping on her business-like mask.
He'd never known her name before. Sure, he'd come up with a lot of nicknames for her during their time together, and many more since their time apart. But nothing ever seemed to fit her. "Pleasure to meet you, Dani," he said, testing her name out on his tongue. "I'm excited to become a member of your team."
She snatched her hand back and gave him a sidelong glance before she said, "On a trial basis."
"What?" he asked, he'd gotten distracted by the way her pink tongue darted out to wet her lips. He could almost remember how she tasted.
"It's on a trial basis. We'll see how it all works out," she said, with an air of confidence she had been lacking just seconds ago.
"Right, nothing's permanent," he agreed. He hadn't known he'd be walking into this today. He knew the head of security at Fetishes was a woman. The other guys seemed to like her, no one had anything bad to say about her, but no one had any glowing reports either. From what he gathered she was kind of standoffish. He never thought in a million years it would be the woman who haunted his dreams. The one that got away.
He couldn’t take his eyes off her body as she walked across the room. She looked every bit the professional business woman that she was, but he couldn’t help seeing her as a willing submissive at his feet. Her long brown hair was pulled back into a no nonsense ponytail, but he preferred when it cascaded down past her shoulders. His mind struggled to reconcile Dani’s business demeanor with the recurring fantasy he replayed in his mind. She was tall, still shorter than him, but she downright towered over Mike. He always liked that about her when they played. She had an athletic build and she was surprisingly flexible from what he remembered.
He hid a smile as that particular memory floated through his mind. It had been a few years but he could still see the soft curves he remembered hidden beneath her professional clothes. What he wouldn’t give to feel her soft skin again. He wanted to slip her right out of her dress pants. She wore them like a suit of armor.
Dani had already moved on to the other man they had hired. Dani was having a more in-depth conversation with him. Liam didn't fail to notice that she peppered the other man with questions. She wanted to know all about his experience and his interest in working on their team. Funny, she hadn't asked him any of that. Maybe she was trying to impress just how temporary this job could be.
He took a step back, edging along the room to the water cooler. He needed to distract himself from the instant hard-on that had sprung in his pants the second he had laid eyes on her. When was the last time he had seen her? Three years ago. He'd replayed their last meeting millions of times since then. They never traded personal information. He had known nothing about her, but he had just made the decision to make it more serious. He was going to ask her on a date the next time they met. But she'd never shown.
He had tried to convince himself then that he wasn't suffering from a broken heart. How could you be broken-hearted over someone you didn't know? But he did know her. He knew her body and her limits. He knew her scent and her taste and her sweet whimpers. He had known what they had together wasn't enough, and when he had finally decided to do something about it, she had disappeared.
He clutched the plastic cup of ice cold water in his hand and tried to act like he wasn't staring at her from across the room. He searched tirelessly for almost a year before he chalked it up to a lost cause. She was good at covering her tracks, which made sense now that he saw the line of work she was in.
"Don't let her get to you, man."
"I'm sorry?" Liam looked up at the man addressing him. He wore the Fetishes security uniform of a black button down shirt and black dress pants. The man was taller than he was, it was impressive for Liam to have to look up at someone else when talking to them.
"The boss lady," he said, jabbing his thumb in Dani's direction. "She can be a bit of a bitch, someone needs to knock her down a peg."
Liam clenched his hand that wasn't holding the cup of water. "Funny, I didn't get that impression at all." He felt the urge to protect her, what did this guy know? But then he stopped, really, what did he know? The hulking meathead could be right, he had no clue what Dani was like.
The other man shrugged, already losing interest, and moved on to a more captive audience.
Later, after Mike had given him and Sam—the other new recruit—a tour of Fetishes, Liam made a mental list of what he did know about Dani.
First off, he knew her name. He couldn't stop himself from grinning. It was something that would have been useful three years ago, but he knew it now. Second, he knew that she was fucking gorgeous. He had always known that, and it hadn't changed. In fact, she seemed hotter now than she had back then in the scenes they set up in hotel rooms. Third, she was good at her job. Despite what the meathead would have him believe, he watched Dani as much as he could today and her entire staff respected her. Plus she knew what she was talking about and was a good manager. He understood why the club's owner had put her in charge. And fourth, she was gorgeous. Had he put that on the list already? It was worth mentioning again.
His first day on the job wound down. It was a lot of observing and listening. He hadn't actually started working on his own yet, but he'd been hired mainly for perimeter security. The manager and his girlfriend were having some trouble with photographers. Nothing he hadn't encountered before, but he wanted to start upgrading their system right away.
As he walked out, he wasn't surprised to see Dani's office door open, light spilling into the hallway. He stopped in her doorway, craning his neck to find her sitting at her computer. He tapped on the open door and she jumped in her seat.
"Shit!" she gasped as she clutched a hand to her chest and whirled around. "You scared me!"
"Sorry," he gave her a sheepish grin. "I think you were miles away. Working on something?"
Her cheeks flushed and she closed the lid to her laptop. "Work multiplies when you take a few days off."
He nodded. He was happy she was talking to him—she seemed to be avoiding him most of the day. "It does tend to do that," he agreed.
She looked at him expectantly. "Can I help you with something?"
He cleared his throat, suddenly uncertain of what to say next. It had been his intention to address their situation and clear the air. "I was on my way out, I didn't know if you wanted to walk out together."
She raised her eyebrows. "I don't need an escort."
"I wasn't implying you did."
"Right, I'm still working so, no." Her body stiffened and her eyes had widened. He was making her uncomfortable and he guessed the last thing she wanted to talk about was their shared past.
"Okay." He nodded and rocked back on his heels. He wasn't ready to leave her company just yet.
"But thanks," she added when he continued to linger.
"No problem. Well, goodnight, then."
"Yup, have a good night." She began turning in her chair.
"Yeah, we're meeting with Martin. You and I, about your system upgrade." She glanced back at him. "Don't be late."
He smiled at her, inclining his head in acknowledgment before he left her office. He finally got a glimpse of it, the siren he liked to tease.
Now he needed a cold shower. He got into his car with the sinking feeling that this new job may just be the death of him.